Tag Archives: lockdown

Increasing the Stash

24 May

Just when I depleted my DIY miniature stash, I increased it again! I have been slow crafting my miniatures this year compared to the last two years under lockdown during the pandemic. My current supply of miniature sets has been collecting dust, and I attribute this slowdown to playing more golf and the new felting hobby.

Despite completing only one set (number 23) recently and in the midst of another now, I felt that I needed to increase my stash of DIY miniatures. There seems to be a sense of insecurity when I take a box from the mountain of miniature sets. Funny.

Three weeks ago, Lady Luck was shining on me as the sets that I had been eyeing were on sale on my favorite online shopping site. The series of six was on offer, and it was tough to decide whether to buy all six or be selective on which ones to get. Decisions, decisions!

One box is dented but insides not damaged luckily

In the end, I picked only three sets. Although my mountain of DIY miniatures sets saw a decrease by two, these three latest purchases have reinstated the security level. Yes, I feel a little more secure now, and crafting miniatures have never been more pleasant!

DIY Project #24

23 May

So DIY project number 24 kicked off before the weekend. I thought it would be an easy set to work on, being so minuscule. Boy, was I wrong! The gramophone is so hard to construct, and I have not even looked at the rest of the set.

A pair of deft hands are needed!

Thank goodness I had the weekend off from golf, and there was progress. Slowly but surely, I will finish this set to avoid this being a repeat of project number 23, taking forever to complete.

When Life Gives You Bananas Instead

20 May

Recently the pandemic SOP restrictions for travels and visits have been lifted. So we visited my aunt and cousin – it was a fruitful visit, literally. We came home with papayas and bananas. So wonderful! It wasn’t a case of getting lemons and making lemonade, but bananas and making a bunch of yummies!

The papayas tasted very different from those from our garden, but nice nevertheless. We couldn’t figure out what species was the bananas, so we had to wait for them to ripen. And when they did, we still couldn’t pinpoint the species. Lol! Oh well.

We discovered the banana tastes best when combined with something. Eating it on its own does not taste as good. So what do you do or make when there are so many bananas?

First, there was the banana smoothie, which was so good and filling. I used lactose intolerant milk so that I could drink the smoothie too. Then there’s the banana bread baked by hubby. Delicious! After these two efforts, there were still a lot of bananas left, so I made a banana sorbet, which tasted simply heavenly.

Banana galore!

It’s such a simple recipe that I found online using just three ingredients. Bananas, which we had plenty of, and lime and honey! Blend them several times to be as smooth as possible, then freeze. Best eaten during hot days. So now you know, when life gives you bananas, make bread, smoothies, and sorbet!

A Little Role Play

17 May

Since I took forever to complete DIY project number 23, I decided to play with it. Being my only classroom setting kit, a little role play for some fun. As I happened to have three felted Miffy bunnies (I gave the others away), they are the perfect size for the classroom!

The little classroom

Add in Hedwig, the learned owl, to teach the classroom – this little fun makes up for the lengthy duration I took to complete the set. If I had more felted characters done up, I would have one busy township bustling with activities. All those DIY sets that I have completed would have a better use than just being in the Ikea display cabinet.

Wrapping Up DIY Project #23

13 May

DIY project number 23 has been such a challenge. After five months, I’m glad to say DIY project number 23 is a done deal. Well, almost. Not so much of it is hard to construct, but more because of my commitment to staying focused to get it done. When there are other things to do, crafting miniatures takes a backseat.

DIY project number 23

The structure and furniture pieces were all completed some time ago. However, I left things unattended, diverting to felting Miffy rabbits and cute tortoises in between playing golf. The finishing details were the schoolbags and ceiling lights which I decided to skip doing for practical reasons, or call it customizing, if you may.

The opted out pieces

The set will sit in the Ikea display cabinet with the other completed miniature projects. So being in the display cabinet, ceiling lights are pointless because it is too tight a space to touch anything in there. In other words, I have not turned on the lights of any of the sets for some time already. As for the bags, well, I find them too tedious to make, so I’m leaving them out now, but I may change my mind. We shall see.

I have also decided not to take a long break and will jump right into DIY project number 24, which is a much smaller set; hence, the time to complete it will not take so long. I hope I will be more focused on it once I get started.

A Bag of Air

10 May

We love snacking on chips, and now and then, a bag of chips would be out, and we’ll be munching away. It’s not the healthiest snack, but we’ll close one eye on this.

Recently, M1 brought a bag of chips home for us to try. And try we did. When I opened the bag, it was a bag of air more than chips! Eesh, I was irked to encounter this! The audacity of the manufacturers to puff up the bag to make it look plentiful when in reality, two-thirds of the bag contains more air than chips.

The bag of air

But certain brands are a little better, packing less air and more chips. So either we eat and not complain, or not eat at all to avoid being irked.

The Garden Choir, Part 2

3 May

There is another group of the garden choir that works during the day. Unlike the frogs performing live at night on rainy days, these birds perform in the morning. And they sure are just as annoying!

The shrill at a sharp pitch is a constant irritation. I do not know why people say birds chirping is soothing and therapeutic – this is the opposite! Occasionally, the tree shrews join the ensemble with non-stop clicking noises that are more argumentative than melodic.

On top of these irritations, the new neighbor behind our house is another strange creature. They have been renovating their house for the longest time ever. They could not do much when the pandemic broke, as renovation activities were not allowed within the estate. It was peaceful for the last two years. Lately, their renovation is in full swing as these activities are permitted again.

Their constant daily drilling and hacking have been driving us up the wall! Let’s not even go into the dust that we have to endure. Between these critters, noise and environmental pollution have become a constant in our lives. Sigh.

A Joyous Time

2 May

The announcement caught us all by surprise. Hari Raya was assumed to be tomorrow, but last night, the news broke that the first day of Hari Raya is today. It is a long stretch of holiday for this festive occasion regardless of this. Given that May 1st is Labor Day, but as it fell on Sunday, the next day is the replacement holiday.

This year is a meaningful Hari Raya because Covid-19 SOPs are now relaxed, and people are traveling again. Due to the pandemic for the past two years, interstate travel was very restricted, so this is a welcome change.

As for us, we are staying put because we don’t want to get caught in the traffic snarl. To those celebrating the festive occasion, here’s wishing you Selamat Hari Raya and happy holidays! Have a joyous time together with your loved ones.

A Welcome Celebration

29 Apr

What a difference with another year passing by for birthday celebrations! The existence of Covid-19 makes it hard for us to predict what can happen with its spread making daily situations so volatile. We cannot plan special occasions so far ahead because things are constantly evolving. Even as I write, the SOPs will change again come next month.

Two years ago, my birthday dinner celebration was a muted affair. We stayed home because of the pandemic and had food delivered. There were scores and scores of containers for the meal. It wasn’t the best in presentation, but being at home made up for it, given the virus fear and lockdown circumstances. Last year, it was a blur, and honestly, I don’t remember what we did on my special day.

This year, things are a little bit different. A spontaneous four-day gastronomic journey that began on Sunday to celebrate instead of a golf getaway like we usually do. Moreover, we just went on a golf trip to Forest City recently, so another trip now is too soon. This mission to discover new food to savor in the run-up to the actual birthday is much appreciated for the chef in me to have the week off from making dinner nightly! Woo hoo.

Lovely fine dining Japanese dinner
We ate to our fill!
We came home to cut my yummy Lemon Pistachio birthday cake
We played a post-birthday round of golf!

The birthday dinner was also a welcome change for various reasons. It was the first fine-dining experience after the many lockdowns we had during the pandemic. Secondly, it’s the first year with M1 joining us, being away for her education, and missing my birthday celebrations for the last six years. All in all, a welcome celebration. A toast to a good year ahead for me, and be in the best of health and mind.

The More, the Merrier!

22 Apr

The itch to buy something from my favorite online site surfaced not too long ago. Although there are more than a dozen DIY miniature sets on my wishlist, I thought it was not a good idea to buy more yet. I have to be sensible and not give in to impulse buying.

Besides, I already have eight unopened boxes waiting for me – acquiring more does not seem practical. Let’s not forget the current DIY project number 23 has not seen any progress since January.

But the itch had to be addressed. So I bought covers for my golf clubs, specifically, my three utility clubs. As the driver, 3- and 5-woods already have the same family type of covers, I bought similar ones to match. The more, the merrier to make them one big family!

My doggo covers and three with tags!

The only difference is size and color, and tags for easy recognition. I love my golf set covers – they look good, and I feel good.