Monthly Archives: April 2012

A Poem (By My Sister)

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While walking down the memory lane (or more accurately, browsing through people’s old Multiply accounts), I found a poem my sister wrote for me back in the days when I was younger (and emo). The poem was a response to a rather suicidal one I wrote, which she thought was powerful yet so very dark (so I won’t share it here). I don’t think I understood her poem at all when I first read it years back, but, I think I know now what she’s trying to get at. When she wrote it, she was about my current age and it’s weird how the poem feels very familiar. It feels as if it was written by present me, for me.

Yesterday I wondered
Why tomorrow comes
And today I write
my thoughts down

If only now exists
Then where did yesterday go

If only now exists
Why worry about tomorrow

What is the past
When is the future

What of a world that only has now?
Never knowing the years, minutes, and hours
Everyday is today
Today is yesterday
Yesterday is tomorrow
Tomorrow is everyday

If now is the beginning and the end
If now is everything and the only one

What if time is alive
living inside each of us

What if time does not flow
but has always stopped

What would you do?
What stories can you make?
If you only have now

This entry doesn’t really fit any of the categories I listed on my blog, but, it definitely is one of my favourite happy things. I found it in good time as well as I’m feeling overwhelmed with life and work at the moment. The poem definitely serves as a great reminder for me to take things one at a time and to not worry too much about what effects my present action would have on my future. Because, although this is a rather grim way of putting it, who’s to say that I definitely will have one?

I hope no one else is freaking out about the future, but, if you are, just try and take it one step at a time. And, though easier said than done, relax. We’ll be fine.

Ram

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Stumbled Upon Past Me

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I don’t know how it happened exactly. I was looking up travel insurances all night last night and somehow went to bed having found my old Multiply account. At first I cringed with embarrassment at the things that I wrote and posted – I really don’t want to know how I was as a teenager… I have deleted my account but not before downloading the better pictures of my Food Technology projects! You have no idea how excited I was to be reunited with them once more 🙂 I might update the pictures I used in previous posts but, for now, I will leave them here for you to enjoy!

Decorations and picture taken by me during food photography class.

Chocolate meringue torte before decorations.

Chocolate meringue torte after decorations

Caramelising apples.

Caramel sauce.

Mini apple charlotte fresh from the oven.

Mini apple charlotte with caramel sauce

Baking Pear Puff Pastry

Custard Sauce.

Pear Puffs with Custard Sauce.

Making chilled lemon souffle.

Chilled lemon souffle fresh from the fridge.

Experimenting with bases.

Experimenting with fillings.

Chocolate collar.

My very own Blackforest Layers!

I’ve provided recipes for the above and more in my previous posts so do check out my Food entries if any of them interests you 🙂

Ram

Minecraft Baby Pig Amigurumi

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It’s been a while since my boyfriend first suggested that we play Minecraft together. I’ve had a go on my own, but, I spent most of my time getting lost and not knowing what I’m supposed to do. ‘Anything!’ My boyfriend would say. It is a pretty cool game where you can pretty much build anything and do whatever you want. I just run out of ideas pretty quickly.

We had a go playing multiplayer in Minecraft last week and it’s much more fun than playing it on your own; at least for me. I get to spend more time on things I like, like my crop farm and breeding animals, while my boyfriend travel to faraway caves for minerals and had to fight hostile mobs! I think he’s starting to see the unfairness in this arrangement as he kept telling me to come to caves with him… I really don’t want to but I guess I’m gonna have to for equality’s sake.

Anyway, breeding is my recent project in Minecraft and I’ve been having lots of fun with it. I love the little baby animals with their disproportionately big heads and high-pitched squeaks! Because they are so cute, I decided to crochet one for myself. I chose the baby pig as it was the first baby born in my farm 🙂

A comparison between Minecraft baby pig and the amigurumi I made

My baby!

They took longer than I thought to make, mostly because I’ve never made square-shaped amigurumi before. I didn’t write out the pattern, but what I basically did was to make a square and then continue to single crochet around the square until I get the size I wanted. At every corner, I will make a turning stitch (which is basically a chain stitch), skip a stitch and single crochet the next. I would also make a slip stitch at the end of every row, make a chain stitch and continue to single crochet around.

As for dimensions of the starting square, I used 5 chain stitches for the head and made about 6 rows of single crochet. The snout and the body used 4 chain stitches which I made into 2 rows and 3 rows of single crochet respectively. The limbs used 2 chain stitches made into 2 rows of single crochet.

If you want to make your shapes more pronounced, you can always sew an outline using the same yarn with an overcast stitch. That’s what I did with the head, body and snout.

I might make more minecraft mobs, but not just now as I have work that needs to be done… If you have any suggestions and/or requests as to which mob I should try out next, do leave me a comment!

Ram

Not Sushi (or ‘Sushi’ for The Picky)

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I was feeling rather inspired towards the end of last week to invent new things (was probably rather bored too). Following my ladybird pattern, I had a food idea in mind that I wanted to try out. Since the boyfriend stayed over last weekend, I was even more motivated to carry it out as this particular idea sprouted from his picky-eater nature. Story goes – I’ve been craving for sushi recently. I swear, if I had all the money in the world, I would get me a sushi chef and eat Salmon nigiri everyday! The boyfriend, however, does not like rice, seafood and seaweed (and a lot of other things) which is what most sushi consists of. I actually tried to find out if there exists a variant of sushi without the things that he doesn’t like, and all I could come up with is tamagoyaki (literally translates to fried egg). Then, I had this crazy idea of substituting rice with mashed potato and seaweed with tamagoyaki. As I played around with the idea some, I wondered if it was possible to make some sort of chicken roll with things inside. Only one way to find out!

And the results:

(1) Bear-shaped mashed potato
(2) Tuna teriyaki and mashed peas wrapped in tamagoyaki
(3) Chicken teriyaki and creamed cheese with garlic and chives wrapped in mashed potatoes and seasoned tamagoyaki

(1) Chicken katsu
(2) Potato chips, mashed peas and omelette wrapped in chicken patty

Onigiri-style mashed potatoes with tuna teriyaki filling, coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried

I was extremely pleased with how well the shapes turned out! Some of the onigiri-style mashed potatoes did crumble apart in the wok so if you want to give this a go, it may help to reduce the size a bit (I made mine a similar size to regular onigiri). Also, do go crazy with the ingredients. There are infinite possibilities for various combinations here – I just went with whatever I have with me at the time.

Ram

A Ladybird Amigurumi Pattern to Try

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A few days ago, while I was on the train, I found a little ladybird crawling on my dress. I don’t usually like creepy crawlies, but, that particular one didn’t feel as creepy – that is, until it went into a ‘lil crazy dance, flickered its wings open and closed and flew past me at high speed. When I told the boyfriend about this incident, he was more concerned about its colour than anything else. Apparently, there are orange ones around with bites some people are allergic too. My visitor though was your typical British red with black spots.

Because I was feeling particularly distracted, I decided to try and crochet my own little ladybird – and actually write down the pattern for once. The finished size of the ladybird amigurumi is an adorable 1 1/2 inch.

I'm a seven spot ladybird!

Yummy fruits 🙂

To make this, you would need:

  • red (or orange for the toxic Harlequin lady bettle) and black yarn for the body and head.
  • white and pink yarn to embroider eyes and mouth (or you can use 6mm plastic toy eyes).
  • G/6 crochet hook.
  • Tapestry needle.
  • Stuffing.

Wings

R1 = Using red yarn: ch 2, 6 sc in second chain from hook.

R2 = Sc 2 in each sc around.

R3 = *Sc 1, 2 sc in next sc* repeat 6 times

R4-5 = Sc 18.

R6 = Sc 18 through front loops only.

To embroider spots: Using a tapestry needle and black yarn, bring the needle out at point 1 and insert the needle at point 2. Similarly, bring the needle at point 3 and insert at point 4. As the diagram shows, we are essentially making a box and filling it with a cross.

Bottom

R1 = Ch 2, 6 sc in second chain from hook.

R2 = Sc 2 in each sc around.

R3 = *Sc 1, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat 6 times.

Fasten off and leave long tail for sewing.

Stuff wings and sew the bottom to inside of wing (where the back loop is).

Head

R1 = Using black yarn, Ch2, 4 sc in second chain from hook.

R2 = Sc 2 in each sc around.

R3 = Sc 8

Fasten off and leave long tail for sewing.

To embroider eyes: Bring the needle out through a point and insert it to a point directly up or under it. Repeat once.

To embroider mouth: Bring the needle out through point 1 and insert at point 2. Pull the thread down to form a mouth shape and secure by bringing needle out through point 3 and inserting at point 4.

Stuff head and sew to the rest of the body. Using the tapestry needle, insert a thread on top of the head and tie off to make the antennae.

This is my first time sharing a pattern with people. If you do give it a try and are experiencing problems, let me know. Enjoy!

Ram

Sew Exciting!

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Finally! I’m actually writing about something that happened this month. When I first started this blog, I didn’t think it would take me this many entries before I could talk about something recent. To those of you who are nice enough to follow my blog this early on, I’m really sorry for spamming your inbox with my crazy updates… After today, I should hopefully be blogging like a normal person.

So, this month, I was fortunate enough to come across an intensive, one-day beginner’s sewing lesson for £95! The course was run by Fashion Antidote and, though I don’t have any basis for comparison, I thought the lesson was quite easy to follow. I have never touched a sewing machine in my life before the course, yet, I came home with my own handmade mini skirt! Okay, so it was made using the most basic swatch and is not really the most flattering thing to wear (if anyone can wear it – it’s too tiny), but, I’m proud of it still.

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There are many Youtube video tutorials on sewing but I didn’t want to get myself a sewing machine before being absolutely certain that I want to sew. And I am! Right now, I’m browsing the ‘net for some sewing machine buying advice and reviews. If you know of any good and affordable ones for beginners, do let me know!

Ram

Dusting Magic

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Recently, I’ve been fascinated by latte art. I don’t know why but the simplicity of a white outline against a dark background just entrances me. The same with dusted icing sugar on pies and pastries – simply beautiful. Inspired by this (and to a certain extent, due to a certain someone’s fussiness and another someone’s stubbornness), the following happened.

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My boyfriend requested his favourite Victorian sponge cake for his birthday. It was to be made with no fresh fruits, no fancy, girly, elaborate decorations, but with lots and lots of cream and jam. I love decorating (or trying to decorate), so, as a compromise, I dusted the manliest of all hearts (!!!) on his birthday cake. He seemed rather pleased with it (?). Anyway, I told him he could always turn his cake upside-down and turn the heart into a bum-shaped decor.

It’s quite easy to do. All you need to do is to cut-out the pattern you would like on your cake on a parchment paper, place it on top of your cake and dust away!

Try it.

Ram