Author Archives: ramisme

Rockstar Parking

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We had only swerved right and driven past the unmanned cubicle at the entrance of Citis Square Mall when Hal asked out loud for his ‘rockstar’ parking. This is not an occurrence exclusive to that day or place, but to every time we decide to drive anywhere – and I decide that he drives.

Sometimes the decision will be followed by many regrets, amongst which are micro anxiety attacks whenever he ‘safely’ follows cars at a distance that scaredy-Ram is not comfortable with, or almost-near-death-experiences whenever he swerves far too swiftly for my fragile little heart to handle.

Oblivious to the psychological mess his driving leaves me in – I’m aware that it is not for me to complain about since I always ask him to drive – he chirpily asked, “right, where is my rockstar parking?”

He drove past rows after rows of parked cars. With no free parking space in sight, I promptly traced back, in my head, my last few shopping to figure out if I had any loose dollars for Times Square underground parking fees. Or – if my last shopping was for weekly groceries – cooking a meal at home was another option.

I had already started my ritual of letting go of worldly needs (affirmations of how one can live without fruitime’s refreshing C5 broccoli, melon and apple juice, nor does one need another Ochado’s scrumptious Hokkaido Ice Cream Puff – for that day) when the backlights of one car turned on and the car began its slow reverse out of parking.

“Hah, there it is.” Hal exclaimed – no tinge of doubt in his voice that this was, in fact, that parking space sent to him from the Heavens.

Was it men’s arrogance? Or, was it confidence from years of luck in finding parking?

See, if this was me, the story would instead go: Ram drove into a full parking lot. She thought, “oh no! Will there be any parking space? Alright, what shall be the plan if I can’t find parking?” She drove round and round the place until she finally decided that it was time give up and drive back home – while repeating her affirmations of letting go of worldly needs. ‘One can live without fruitime’s refreshing C5 broccoli, melon and apple juice, nor does one need another Ochado’s scrumptious Hokkaido Ice Cream Puff – for that day’.

Once – or more – I did do just that.

I was trained from very young to plan and prepare. Now a teacher, I am no stranger to the cliché advice, ‘if you fail to plan then you plan to fail’. But, what if all this while, I had been planning for failure?

I have read somewhere about the drawback of contingency plans. Sure, they make us feel safe. They make us feel that it is okay to screw up, give up and then let go of our initial intentions. “There is always plan B”. One often thinks that the security of having something to fall back on would make one less scared to go all out when trying new things – and such can be the case. Now, however, I wonder if this feeling of security is also what had enticed me to opt for the lesser option and to let go of my deepest desires (yes, I was really craving for my fruitime C5 and Ochado Puff!).

What if there were no backups? What if the plan was the only plan? If I had gone in completely focused in my search – certain that it was there for me to find – instead of wrecking my heart and brain listing options which were safe but never what I wanted?

I imagine the process scary and anxiety-inducing. Perhaps, similar to how I sometimes feel towards Hal’s driving.

“But, did you die?”

Not yet.

So far, Hal found his rockstar parking, and I had gone to where I want to be – in one piece.

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Another try

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A lot can really happen in 4.6 years.

I left the UK with the heaviest heart, leaving behind what I had identified as true joy and belonging, to many confusions and frustrations. Sometimes, it feels like I’ve never left – and all of whom I thought I’ve grown into, in my years there, disintegrated as I set foot in my home country once more.

Suddenly, difficult choices had to be made. As I considered feelings and comfort and well-being of others over my own, I slowly began to lose track of myself. Then, the people whom I’ve lived for passed on one by one, and I wondered what it was all for.

Until now, I still have moments where I feel lost and lonely and scared – perhaps, this is something that everyone will have to live with. My life so far has been quite a roller-coaster of a ride, as it should be. I’ve lost a lot, but I’ve gained many happy moments regardless.

I haven’t been very good at proactively doing things that make me happy – and documenting it. But tonight, I feel inclined to try again.

It’s good to be back in My Happy Place.

It’s my nephew’s birthday, LoL

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I decided to try out the technique in this article to draw some of my nephews favourite game characters on his birthday cake. It works like a charm and I am pretty pleased with the results. My nephew seems to like it too as he seems to want to preserve the iced characters for as long as he can – which isn’t that long as the kids love their chocolate brownies!

Ram

Nyan cat tissue-pack cover pattern

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Good morning! I got a bit too excited to show you the nyan cat tissue-pack cover I crocheted last night (or really early this morning) that I decided to leave the pattern for the next post. Well, here it is!

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This pattern is for tissue-packs that are roughly 10 x 1 x 7 cm, and uses crochet hook size G/6.

BODY

Row 1: Using yellow yarn, ch 26. Turn.
Row 2: Sc in second chain from hook. Sc 25, ch 1. Turn.
Row 3 – 39: Sc 25, ch 1. Turn.
Row 40: Sc 25. Finish by crocheting evenly around the piece.

TOPPING

Row 1: Using light pink yarn, ch 20. Turn.
Row 2: Sc in second ch from hook. Sc 19, ch 1. Turn.
Row 3 – 9: Sc 19, ch 1. Turn.
Row 10: Sc 19. Crochet evenly around the piece.

Embroider sprinkles using dark pink yarn. (This is how I did it).

EARS (Make 2)

Row 1: Using gray yarn, ch 2. 4 sc in second chain from hook.
Row 2: *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc*, repeat 2 times (6 sts).
Row 3: *2 sc in next sc, 2 sc*, repeat 2 times. (8 sts).
Row 4: *2 sc in next sc, 3 sc*, repeat 2 times. (10 sts).
Row 5: Sc 10. Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.

LIMBS (Make 4)

Row 1: Using gray yarn, ch 2. 6 sc in second chain from hook.
Row 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12 sts).
Row 3 – 4: Sc 12.

Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.

TAIL

Row 1: Using gray yarn, ch 2. 6 sc in second chain from hook.
Row 2: *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc*, repeat 2 times (9 sts).
Row 3 – 8: Sc 9.

Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.

HEAD

Row 1: Ch 2, sc 6 in second chain from hook.
Row 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12 sts).
Row 3: *sc 1, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat (18 sts).
Row 4: *sc 2, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat (24 sts).
Row 5: *sc 3, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat (30 sts).
Row 6: *sc 4, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat (36 sts).
Row 7 – 8: Sc 36.
Row 9: *sc 4, dec 1*, repeat (30 sts).
Row 10: *sc 3, dec 1*, repeat (24 sts).
Row 11: *sc 2, dec 1*, repeat (18 sts).

Sew on ears and embroider face.

Row 12: *sc 1, dec 1*, repeat (12 sts).
Row 13: *dec 1*, repeat (6 sts).

Stuff head. Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.

Enjoy!

Ram

Nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan cat tissue-pack cover nyan nyan

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I’m starting to feel glad that I’m quick to promise people crocheted gifts – it forces creativity out of me somehow. The other friend, whom I promised to crochet for, wanted something with a cat theme. So, I went for nyan cat!

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nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan nyan

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It’s a tissue-pack cover!

I was running out of grey yarn towards the end and had to decrease like crazy to finish the head >.< Despite it all, I’m very pleased with this. I’m starting to feel quite reluctant to give it away! lol.

Ram

Don’t be such a negative panda!

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When I was still learning how to crochet a few years back, I promised a couple of friends that I would crochet an amigurumi for them as a gift. Years have passed and I almost forgot that promise, until one of them started dropping hints all over my facebook – bless him. Since I’ve made them wait for a long time, and I was being a naughty friend, I decided to make the gift extra special by making the amigurumi ‘functional’.

At the time of the promise, one of my friends was crazy for pandas. She also often claims that she is a bit of a pessimist. With that in mind, I crocheted her a negative panda box!

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I’m a negative panda…

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Look at my cute lil’ tail.

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And I can store things!

I thought it was a pretty clever idea 🙂

I used Tamie Snow (Roxycraft)’s fuzzy panda pattern for the head. The pattern for the box and limbs are provided below.

UPPER BODY (LID)

Row 1: Ch 2, sc 6 in second chain from hook.

Row 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12 sts).

Row 3: *sc 1, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * 6 times (18 sts).

Row 4: *sc 2, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * 6 times (24 sts).

Row 5: *sc 3, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * 6 times (30 sts).

Row 6: *sc 4, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * 6 times (36 sts).

Row 7: *sc 5, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * 6 times (42 sts).

Row 8: *sc 6, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * 6 times ( 48 sts).

Row 9: *sc 7, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * 6 times (54 sts).

Row 10: Working through back loops only, sc 54.

Row 11-13: sc 54. Fasten off and weave in ends.

LOWER BODY (BASE)

Row 1: Ch 2, sc 6 in second chain from hook.

Row 2: 2 sc in each sc around (12 sts).

Row 3: *sc 1, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * 6 times (18 sts).

Row 4: *sc 2, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * 6 times (24 sts).

Row 5: *sc 3, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * 6 times (30 sts).

Row 6: *sc 4, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * 6 times (36 sts).

Row 7: *sc 5, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * 6 times (42 sts).

Row 8: *sc 6, 2 sc in next sc*, repeat * 6 times ( 48 sts).

Row 9: Working through back loops only, sc 48.

Row 10 – 21: sc 48. Fasten off and weave in ends.

LIMBS (Make 4)

Ch 9, sc in second chain from hook. Sc 8.

On other side of base chain, slpst in the same stitch you are in. Sc 8. Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.

TAIL

Ch 2, sc 6 in second chain from hook. Weave in yarn around crochet circle. Pull to make a ball. Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.

You can also substitute the panda head with the head of your favourite amigurumi. Be creative and have fun with it!

Ram

Say hello to the dog from Heaven!

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When I was younger, my dad bought me a children’s story book about Qitmir. Qitmir was a stray dog, who was abused by his former owner and left on the streets to die. When a poor man saw Qitmir, he emphatised with him and shared his loaf of bread. From then on, Qitmir would follow the man and guard him whenever he sleeps. In fact, he died guarding the cave in which his benefactor slept for 300 years, and was brought to heaven as a reward for his loyalty.

As a child who constantly felt taken for granted by her friends, Qitmir’s story touched me. I don’t know when or how, but I started ‘talking’ and being friends with the heaven dog – I even carried a piece of paper with Qitmir’s name on it wherever I go, because I wanted to be there for him like he was for the poor man.

Don’t know what brought the nostalgia, but it doesn’t matter. I now have him as a phone cosy 😀 lol.

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‘Hello! I’m a heaven dog.’

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‘Look at me fly!’

I pretty much made this through trial and error, as I still haven’t got the hang of doing a gauge swatch. There were many a painful unravelling 😦 But, it was all worth it in the end! The pattern below, taken from Roses and Lilies, was what I started with:

CELL PHONE COSY PATTERN

Row 1: Chain stitch until your row is as long as the short side of the laptop.

Row 2: 1 Sc in second chain from hook, 1 sc in each stitch across, 2sc in last stitch. DO NOT turn your work.

Row 3: (working around the corner and into the bottom side of the starting chain row) 2sc in first stitch, 1sc in each stitch across, 2sc in last stitch. (doing 2sc in one stitch at the ends is increasing the size of your sleeve – to fit over batteries etc.  Only increase at the ends, and only until the sleeve reaches the desired fit around the end of your laptop/phone.

Row 4-ish to last row: 1 sc in each stitch around.

Last Row: When your sleeve is the desired length and fit, slip stitch 2 to 5 stitches so that the last few stitches blend in.  Then fasten off and weave in the loose ends.

You can use any amigurumi pattern you like for the body and embroider the face accordingly. For the Heaven dog, I used a body and limb pattern similar to my previous Kiroro amigurumi pattern. I also crocheted 5 chains for its tail.

As for the wings, I found a picture of a crochet angel wings that I really like, but couldn’t find a pattern for it anywhere. So, I tried to figure out a rough (and modified) pattern from the picture and here’s what I came up with:

WINGS (make 2)

Row 1: Ch 2, 6 sc in second chain from hook.

Row 2: 2 sc in each sc around, ch 7. Turn (19 sts).

Row 3: Sc 16, ch 3. Turn (19 sts).

Row 4: Sc 6, sl st into base of circle. Fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.

Enjoy!