Monday, December 15, 2014

November Artistic Trading Cards

This is a busy month with more handmades done up for friends as their Christmas gifts. I hardly have time to blog or even open up my laptop to work.

I just received my stack of November Artistic Trading Cards from the hostess - Annie, with theme - Year of Goat / Chinese words.

My Nov ATC

Group ATCs
I skipped October ATC swap as I have no time to design and make. However, I made an extra effort for December with theme - Mixed Media.

Moving on, I guess I will be doing lesser scrapbooking but focus on project life, ATC swap if I can. Of course, the majority of my time will be on sewing of dresses for my children, patchwork and more mini quilting. If you are interested to find out more about my up-to-date sewing and quilting work, do follow me at Instagram - search for joeycraftworkz. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I Didn't Throw It Away!

Many people said: "Crafters and sewists are hoarders."

Well, I admit I am one even before I craft or sew. I am just one of those who appreciate things and love to keep them

I was invited by Agatha from Green Issues by Agy to this blogtrain on "I Didn't Throw It Away", together with some Singapore and overseas bloggers, who will be sharing some of our lovely sentimentals/goodies that we have kept for 20 years or more.

I am quite good at hiding all these stuff in all corners that I can find in my house and my parents'. Here are some of the things that I picked and would like to share why I kept them for so long.

1. Sewing notions

Pass down
My mother has been using this pair of scissors for her tailoring days when I was younger. She has stopped sewing and gave me this pair. (She can predict I would sew, you know.) It can still be used but I think it has to be sent for sharpening if I were to use to cut my fabrics. The embroidery hoop was from my auntie who did cross stitches and given to me for the same reason. I used it to handsew my quilt instead. (Note that it was bought at Yaohan as you can see from the price tag.)

2. Bus and cinema tickets

Old bus tickets
I love to ride on the old buses to visit my grandparents. In the past, we paid the fare to the bus conductor after we sat down. He will go around issuing these tickets and punch a hole on the date. I kept them because I like the designs and the memories I had with my parents on the bus. (Used to sleep on my mum's lap throughout the journey.)

Old cinema tickets
Don't ask me why I still kept these old cinema tickets. I guess they were of sentimental value to me or simply love to collect paper stuffs. The red marking was the seat number. How cool it was! I am glad I kept them which I will show to my kids some day.

3. Guiding days

Guiding stuff
I still kept these in my cupboard but I don't know where was my uniform. :( Maybe it was thrown away or it was still hidden some where. These were great sentimental for me as I had a super great time in my guiding days during secondary school. Great friendship were formed and some of the guides are still in contact with me.

4. Plastic bags

Who can still remember this brand called "heshe"? I used it to keep some of my old goodies. I still have some old shopping bags like Daimaru, Sogo, Yaohan hiding in the box inside my storeroom. (These shopping centres were in Singapore in the past but pulled out after many years of operating.)

Follow the Blog Train

This post is part of a blog train hosted by Green Issues by Agy on "I Didn't Throw It Away". We have become such a throw-away society, but there are some things in our households that we still keep. Why is that so? Perhaps this blog train can unlock the reasons behind it! Follow the daily posts on this blog train and read about the stories behind the things we have kept for many years and why we didn't throw them away.

Tomorrow Adora from Gingerbreadmum will share with us the stories behind the things she didn't throw away. Adora is an old soul trapped in a not so old body. She has a weird memory of strange random things, like how much chicken wings cost at her primary school's tuckshop, and the names of all her primary one classmates. Being a mum to Poppy, 6 and Calla, 2.5, gives Adora the excuse to revisit her own childhood by introducing old school games to them. She blogs about her life with kids through anecdotes and drawings at

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sewing Tip 2: Tracing Spatula

Welcome to my Sewing Tip series again. Today, I will be sharing with you my second tip for sewing or quilting - Tracing Spatula or some called it Hera Marker. You can buy this from our friendly store Daiso for $2.

(You can read my first tip here on Magnetic Pin Holder.)

Tracing Spatula
Some of you are unsure what this tracing spatula is for. It is for you to trace out or mark on the fabric of the design that you want to sew on. It will give a shiny line on the fabric as it leaves no residue.

So what else I use this for?

Creasing the fabric for my zakka patchwork blocks. Sometimes, I am so lazy to take out my iron and ironing board for a small project. I use the tracing spatula to press the joints for my blocks.

Place on the joints of the fabrics that you want to press

Apply pressure across

Almost done
Does it look neat "enough"?

My Card Trick block
Hope you like my tip. :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Creativity 521: Mould and Paint Crafts

It has been a long time since I linked up with Creativity 521. Last week, we managed to do some mould and paint crafts. Big E wanted to give some of her creations to her classmates during her birthday celebration.

My friend gave her this Mould and Paint Fridge Magnets for Big E's birthday. She can't wait too long to do this. Luckily, she was patient enough to wait for weekend to come so that my hubby could take care Small E while we did this.

Birthday gift
It was also her first in doing something like that. I had to guide her and helped her in a way as she was not very confident in mixing the powder with water. We had to mix it very quickly before the mould got dry up to be placed into the moulds. One pack of powder could only filled up 2 moulding plates (there are 3 in the pack).

Into the moulds
We left the moulds to dry for the rest of the day even though the instructions said 1 hour. It was a humid day due to the rain. The moulds could not be dried up fast enough.

Dried moulds
Big E could not wait to start colouring them. Strangely, there were only 4 colours in the pack - yellow, white, pink and blue. I had to give her our own watercolours to use.

Her masterpieces
The magnets were given, however, the tape on the magnet is too weak to be sticked onto the back of the moulds. I tried a stronger doublesided tape and failed too. I seek my friend's advice and she recommended super glue! It worked!!

Big E packed them nicely into the transparent bags and gave out in her class. She wanted to make more again.

new button

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Reopening of Sembawang Public Library - Focusing on Babies, Toddlers and Children section

When you passed by Sembawang MRT station, have you noticed that the shopping centre - Sun Plaza is under major renovation for quite some time? Yes, now it still does.

But do you know that despite the major overhaul, the Sembawang Public Library has opened its door since 5 November after 6 months of closure? Well, that is the only place to visit inside Sun Plaza now. You need to take the service lift to Level 5 which could be dusty, hot and slow.

But once you stepped out of the service lift, you will be welcomed by a new entrance, atmosphere and of course the air con.

Collection Box of the book reservation outside the entrance. You could collect after operating hours

The entrance. Very modern.
The first section on the right is none other than the children's section.

Pram parking area. I find this cute

You have to remove your shoes upon entering this section. There are a lot of books for the children of all ages (especially for 6 and under) and even some handy toys to play too. There is also some tablets for children to use the educational apps.

The kids can even sit on the green patch to read
Book area for the babies and toddlers

The preschoolers section is also quite big.

Young readers section
At the back of babies section, there is also modernised wooden steps and reading deck area which my kids love to venture and "play". The kids or yourself could even read or lie inside the crate boxes (check the beige and maroon boxes on the right. This area looks like shipbuilding and shipping containers.

Reading or playing area?
Other areas of the library that I like.

Magazine racks

High chairs
I managed to borrow quite a handful of sewing and children craft books that you might want to borrow.

Sewing books

Kids craft books
If you are looking for nursing or changing diaper room, you can find it at level 4 by taking the escalator. It is just next to the restrooms. It is a simple room which a bench on the right side. I forgot to check if it can be locked or not. I doubt you can from what I see from the photo. So it is better to bring a nursing cover. As the mall is not done up yet, the room could be stuffy.

Nevertheless, we will still visit the library again even though the mall is still under renovation. They are expecting to be completed in second quarter 2015.

Simple layout.
To find out more about the library activities, you can visit their facebook page at

The library opens from 11am to 9pm daily except public holidays.

How to go?

MRT station: Sembawang. It is next to the station.

Bus interchange: Sembawang with bus numbers 167, 859, 882, 980 and 981. You can also take bus 962 from Woodlands Bus Interchange.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Handsewpatchwork Sew-a-long Block 13 - Rose of Sharing

I am glad that I am on track with the handsewpatchwork sew-a-long. In fact, I always look forward to the next release of the block every week. Always anticipating.

Selecting the fabrics from my stash which I bought from Yvette

I was wrong to think that this block was difficult. There were no curves to sew together. In fact, you just have to sew the raw edges of the rose onto the backing cloth. Like handsewing an applique.

You can download the template from ZakkaArt. There is just one template to prepare. You have to select 8 pieces of cloth and 1 for the backing. Important to take note is that you have to mark two points on each pieces to mark the start and end of the curves.

Laying out the petals
Sew two pieces of the petals together first and you will have 4 sets. Remember to sew till the marking you have indicated. (Read more from ZakkaArt's detailed instructions.) Then combine 2 sets of the sewn pieces so that you will ended up 2 sets. After that, you can combine all together. Fairly easy as all are straight lines.

Then use the back cloth and sew the petals' raw edges onto it like an applique.

Block 13 - Rose of Sharing

Love this colour combination. Hope you have fun.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Kids' game - Sponge-containing capsules

Add caption

I have searched for this toy for so long. Finally I managed to find it at Daiso! It was sold out very fast as the next trip to the shop and other outlets, it was gone. One mummy from the Homelearning group shared with us on this game. I wanted Big E to experiment a simple science project at home.

Simple instructions with the animal designs
It was a very simple science experiment. You have to prepare a fairly hot water in a container. Your kid just have to place the capsule into the water. Bear in mind that the water is hot, so you have to use a spoon to pour some of the hot water onto the capsule. I realised warm water did not melt the capsule fast enough.

Waiting for the sponge to take into shape
The animals are out
As mentioned, the temperature of the water is the key factor on the speed of the sponges to take into shape. During the process, I explained to her how the capsule will melt under hot temperature. You could also use two different containers - one hot, one cold and timed which capsule will melt first.