Thursday, November 15, 2012

Painting: Woman with a Stick

Hi everyone! I have not been posting much here lately, it doesn't mean that I have been idle - I have been busy doing all sorts of DIY and some sewing here and there. The reason for me dithering on my blog was because I am having an identity crisis on what sort of blog this is turning out to be. I have been posting many fashion posts and this started off to document my craft.

I am thinking of starting another blog, I keep talking about it but I am horrible at making my blog look presentable. I might have to go to a professional to get my blog looking nicer and all.

But in the meantime, I finished a painting for my cousin who lives in New York. He and I grew up in very strict Malaysian schools where students get caned for mistakes or talking too loudly. He was in Poland and he saw a painting which reminded him of his student days so he wanted me to paint it.

So here it is, it took me a week. I painted it on paper, and had it in a frame which I bought from Michaels.

 I am only regretful that I did not take more pictures after the painting was done. Here it is already inside the frame and the glass is reflecting the stair rail. But I was also very pleased with how it turned out.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Inspired Designs: Valentino Rockstud Shoes

It is no secret that I love shoes and I especially love Valentinos - I just bought the Rockstud Kitten Heels from Nordstrom and I love them. I struggle with owning them because I love them but the price ($958 with tax) is not something that sits well with me. I usually thrift for my clothes or make them if it is easy enough.  I do the same with shoes too. I try to be a good steward of my own finances so I cannot find a reason to hold on to a pair of shoes which is almost $1,000. Please note, my blog is not to judge those who buy luxury items as every one has different financial situations.

Anyway, I saw this email in my inbox today, and I had to share it with my readers. (Well the 9 of you anyway)

Valentino Pointed Ballerina Pumps retailing for $536.61
Sole Society has an inspired pair called Martine for $49.95

I am thankful for these companies that sell these "inspired" designs because I can delight in them without guilt.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Romwe Review: Studded Anamolous Top

I have never bought anything from Chinese based websites before, because returns just seem to be a bit more daunting. Many bloggers I know purchase from several websites like Romwe or Sheinside and the quality seems to be fine from what I read. So what made me take the plunge was a top I saw Karen Cheng wearing this.

I went to the link and I got to see all the lovely details more clearly. You will have to click on Karen's website to see the link so that she gets all the shopping credits - I don't do anything like that yet on my blog so I would like her to earn something from it if you decide to buy since she introduced it. So yeah, I don't get anything from reviewing this purchase either but I hope it helps someone who is thinking of buying something from them. I had to go through many blogs but no one really writes in detail about what their purchase experiences are like. They just say that the product is nice which is not really enough for a cautious shopper like me.

I sat on it for several weeks before caving in. I have been looking at some peplum style tops but never taken the plunge to get anything because I have been trying to sew my own. (Tutorial to come soon!) This one had the extras - the hem was shorter in front and longer at the back; also the shoulders had these rockstar studs which I liked. I signed up with Romwe and they give you a code for being a first time buyer. You get 20% off, which is generous. The good thing about this website is that they assure you that you have 365 days to make a return but the downside is that you foot the cost to return it to China. I do not know how much it costs to return something to China but I can imagine it will be quite expensive.

With some trepidation, I bought it with the knowledge that I might be saddled with something too big or ill fitting. It took me 2 weeks to receive my order and you get a tracking number to see where it is. That helps!

There was a noticeable smell when I first opened the package. I had to wash it immediately because it really smelled of chemicals. I hand washed it because the fabric was very thin. I was hoping that it would be thicker than T-shirt material but it was more like a sheer knit. I would not put this in the machine to wash in order to retain its shape. The sewing was good and because it is a stretch fabric, it fit me well. I am glad to say that I will not be returning this top! It has made me more confident in buying from this website in the future and if I ever need to return something, I will write about it too.

I am wearing it with a pair of skinny pants I bought while I was in Singapore $18.  The Nine West leather handbag was a $4 steal from a thrift store.

Front view

Back - it covers your backside in a discreet manner! 

And my Nine West Shoes, which I thrifted for $2!

I wore this to the Motor Vehicle Agency to obtain my driver's license since mine was stolen in Malaysia. I usually dress up when I go take pictures for the license but I felt extremely LOUD in a sea of denims and neutrals today. I was kind of embarrassed to say the least but pretended not to care since it was too late to back down!

Hope you all have a nice weekend!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Meeting Mongs and Thrifting In Singapore

This post is long overdue but when I was in Singapore, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with Mongs, who is the author of the very cool blog, My Thrifty Closet. I was really excited because I have never called someone I didn't know out of the blue to arrange to go out, thrifting no less! It was kind of like a blind date, only with less tension and more fun!

She wore an adorable outfit at our meeting - doesn't she just rock of retro? Here, Mongs picked up that striped tank top next to her. We went to the MINDS Thrift Store and if you can see in the picture, there is a person with a lime green shirt on. The funds go directly to support the people in these shirts, they are with disabilities like Downs Syndrome and they work as staff at these stores. I was told this by the manager and she said there were four MINDS branches in Singapore. I later went to another branch in Redhill (this one was in Queenstown) and they are all very clean, well sorted, and in air conditioned shops. So if you are ever in Singapore, look it up!

The great thing about thrift stores in Singapore are the sizes of clothes. They are more appropriate to Asian fitting and I had no trouble finding a lot of pieces I liked. The prices were reasonable, I picked up a white G2000 (local brand equivalent to Banana Republic) wool sweater for SG$4.00 (about the same in US dollars at that time of conversion) There was a grey skirt that had an interesting detail on it, so I bought it - for SG$1.00!

I saw a pair of mint Prada shoes for $80 but it was not in my size. C'est la vie! 

Later, Mongs took me to a huge thrift store which is called Hi Thrift and this was a really interesting place. It was situated next to a huge badminton indoor hall and everything was in chaos. There were tons and tons of stuff ranging from electronics to furniture. You had to dig through stuff to find your size. The price for all pieces of clothing was SG$2.00 and if you buy a lot, you get a discount. The proceeds go to ex-drug addicts to help them re-establish their lives again.

I wanted a Chinese Cheong Sam but as it is worn for more formal events, I did not want to buy a new one so I was thrilled to find this one for SG$1.00.

A white lace dress from Hi Thrift

 I showed this to my mother and she was like "What on earth??" I kind of thought that too, after I had bought it but it was so different, so thick, like upholstery fabric. It was only SG$1.00 anyway so if I get too many weird looks on the street, I will donate it. That is the beauty of thrifting because I try new styles I would not normally wear because of the money spent and regretted later.


I really enjoyed myself at the second store, even though I get impatient when things are not well arranged. I was really surprised to see American brands like Ann Taylor and Tory Burch. My find of the day was a pair of Tory Burch sequined flats for $2.00 but they were on the small side. Did I care? No, I was just blinded by the fact that they were $2 and TORY BURCH.  I carried these shoes all the way home to America with me and wore them once. They hurt like hell because they were too tight so now I have to donate them to the thrift store. 

Sadly, we only had about 3 hours together. Mongs is as sweet as she is in person, like her blog. I planned on going back to meet with her again but did not get the chance during the second trip to Singapore. It is great how blogging opens up friendships across borders and we connected so quickly because we both shared a passion for loving thrift stores and being crafty. Hope to meet you again someday, Mongs! God bless you and your family!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

And Again...

I had a pair of Japanese inspired wide leg pants which I have never worn because it was so uncomfortable so I took the opportunity to turn it into another one shoulder knit dress. I made the neckline higher but forgot to adjust the armholes so they are not sitting as well as my other dress. Still, I always appreciate the lessons I learn when I sew because I am bound to make a mistake each time!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One Shoulder Knit Dress

As I have been away all summer and missing my sewing supplies, I have been dying to get into some sewing since I returned about 2 weeks ago. I saw this pattern on DixieDIY and was encouraged by the comments on how quick and simple it was to make.

I don't have much experience sewing with knits but if you follow Dixie's thorough instructions, you can be the proud owner of a new dress. I love wearing clothes that I make myself - which is not many, but it is something I hope to change because it is so rewarding.

I dropped by the thrift store where there is always an abundance of fabric and snapped up 8 yards of mint knit for $8. I only used about 2 yards of it. I followed all her instructions except that I did not hem the bottom of the skirt. I tried that but it ended up all wavy and spoilt the line of the skirt. In the end, I just cut it away.

Thank you Dixie, I look forward to making another dress with this pattern. It took me 2 hours from start to finish. Hop over to her website to check out her other wonderful creations!

Inspired by Pinterest: Jewel Buttoned Sweater

I saw this on Pinterest, an image I pinned from a blog I follow, Gal meets Glam, and thought it was one of those quick, satisfying projects to make. Satisfying because I can be sure that I would complete it in one sitting, as opposed to my ever increasing pile of unfinished projects!

I took this picture at night because nights are usually when I start working on my craft projects after the children have gone to bed. I must change this so that I get nicer pictures for my blog in the future.

I had a sweater which I thrifted for projects like these. $5. I had another grey one but chose this because it has a V neck. Once I glued down those jewels, I knew I would not be able to button or unbutton the sweater so I would need to slip it over my head with ease.

When I was back in Malaysia, I was within walking distance to two sewing supplies shops. I picked this up for US$0.40 each pack.

With my glue gun, I got to work and within 10 minutes, I had myself a nice "new" sweater!

I would love to see what some of you are working on, please leave a link to your blog in the comment form!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Inspired By Pinterest: Denim Vest

Oh what a wonderful summer it has been! I have been travelling the north and south of Malaysia. We also made two trips Singapore with my family. Sadly, we are nearing the end of our summer break as we leave in about 2 weeks for the USA. It has been so good to just hang out with my parents, sisters and close friends but in a way, I am looking forward to going back!

Here is a brief snapshot of where I have been the last 2 months:

 Now that I am winding down before leaving, I am looking forward to picking up with my blog again. Recently, I pinned an image of how to style a vest, courtesy of The Vault Files.

I have a grey maxi which I have never worn because the weather is too hot here for anything else except shorts and tank tops. However, maxis can be a great staple for travelling on flights because they are so comfortable. My sister has a denim jacket she no longer wears and I cut the sleeves off.

This is what I plan on wearing when I go onto the plane for my 27 hour flight back home.


Sorry for the  poor quality of the photos as I am without my DSLR these days. It's a lot lighter to carry my iphone and I don't have to fiddle with transferring photos. You might not be able to see but my necklace is mint stones, just like my nail polish.

My shoes are from a Singaporean company called Charles and Keith. They have some pretty bags, accessories and very cute shoes. However, I have always found their shoes to be uncomfortable and they are always made with PVC or fake leather. Their prices are not cheap either, since the Singapore dollar is almost on par with the US dollar. These gold sandals cost me $46.00 and it pinches me at my pinkie toe.  One thing to note about the Asian shopping experience is that it is nothing like the convenience of shopping in the US. I bought a bag which I changed my mind about and they only allow you up to 7 days to exchange it for another item. This is EXTREMELY generous because shoppers are not usually allowed to change items or get refunds. I could not find anything else I liked in the shop and had to exchange it for these pair of sandals, but I had a credit of about $20 left over. They would not refund me at all and in the end, I had to get a purse for $24. I did not shop very much during this trip, clothes are very poorly made and very expensive, if you compare them to brands like Gap, Old Navy, etc.

Maxi: H&M $17.95
Denim Vest: Free
Necklace: Forever 21 RM29.00 (US$10) This was a disappointing purchase. I realised that one section of the beads were missing and I could not replace it with another one (stupid exchange policies once again because it is my fault for not checking the necklace thoroughly before leaving the store) The chain started corroding after a week of wearing it in this hot/humid weather.

Hope your summer has been extra relaxing and special!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

In Malaysia and Scalloped Skirt

Hello from HOT and sweaty Malaysia! I have been here for almost 2 weeks and after a grueling 27 hour flight from Washington DC, we were all pretty beat. I succumbed to my illness and there is something about the tropics that encourages germs to grow. It has taken me this long to recover from a regular cough and cold. My poor boys have also caught what I had but fortunately, they did not suffer from the same severity as I did.

My boys were thrilled that we got to fly on the Airbus A380 from London to Singapore. Even though we were in cattle class, the leg room was impressive. We have flown many airlines but Singapore Airlines never ceases to impress us with their impeccable service and quality.

Everytime I come home, I marvel at how different my life was before I came to the USA. For example, something as mundane as breakfast, we eat full meals, none of the "watered down"  cereal meals we have daily. This is wonton mee, dumplings in a bowl of soup (not pictured) with char siew, roast pork for breakfast. I miss my hearty breakfasts!

This is how they are sold, each separate stall is owned by a separate proprietor. You get to choose from soupy noodle dishes to steamy coconut rice dishes. Each meal costs about US$1.80. Here is my son standing next to his favourite stall. We call these Hawker Stalls in Malaysia and they are everywhere. As food is so cheap here, people have a culture of eating out and not cooking at home. I struggled when I came to the US in 2009 because I had to learn how to cook on a daily basis.

Anyhoo, this is a little intro to my country but what I really wanted to blog about was a skirt my sister was going to throw out. Excuse the iphone photos, some of them were taken in extremely poor light but I don't go outdoors to take pictures because mosquitoes attack us as soon as we step out of our screened protected house. This was a pretty formal skirt that my sister grew out of. LOL, I was very sick when I took this photo and I knew my neon bra would show through my white shirt but I could not summon up the energy to change!

Side view

I have seen so many bloggers wearing scalloped hemlines and saw this tutorial on Pinterest.

After some cutting...

The skirt is now been refashioned to this!

This picture was taken today, a week since the "before"picture. I am wearing it with a black corset-style top, another castaway from my sister - I need to find a top that would go with it but my wardrobe is limited at present since I am travelling. The skirt needs to be ironed but it was close to dinner time so I did not get a chance. Bless my son who took this picture! He has the shakiest hands but I am thankful he can take my picture!

Taken on another day.

The good thing is now my sister likes it enough to wear it so she is taking it back! There is half of the skirt left, enough for me to make another skirt out of it but I might make something else. Thanks for reading! Hope you have a good weekend! I am heading down to Singapore tomorrow and I hope to meet up with another blogger, Mongs, from My Thrifty Closet! Keyword is "hope"because she could be travelling as well!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Inspiration Monday: Jeans and Florals

This might be my last Inspiration Monday post for a few months as I leave for Malaysia and Singapore on Wednesday to see my family. I am bringing the bare minimum as I travel with two boys minus the husband. The idea is to make room for new purchases back home so I can fill up the bags for the trip home. I usually end up buying food that I cannot find here. However, I would try to take part where I can, I might pinch stuff from my sister's closet except that she wears mostly office attire.

Today the inspiration comes from Jenna Dewan. I don't know who she is aside from the fact she is married to Channing Tatum. I like her floral top. I was going to wear the one I wore several posts ago with jeans but that is being lazy. I like to take the approach where I can look at my wardrobe with new eyes to create the look using the many pieces I already own and why wear back the same thing repeatedly?  I had to search for another top which was floral and.... is my take, complete with a wave just like Jenna's. I have been pretty ill this last week, fever and cough. When I am sick, I lose weight terribly quickly because I just don't eat. Most noticeable is when my jeans don't fit me and slide down my waist. They are the same Lucky Brand jeans I wore here.  The jeans look loose on my thighs this time around. I think this is good, in preparation for my trip back home because I eat all the food that I miss and put on so much weight!

The top is from Singapore, I bought it 3 years ago from Tangs. It's made from silk but I don't wear it much. This is why I like Inspiration Monday so much as it makes me dig deep into my stuff. My sunglasses are from Ann Taylor's factory outlet for $22.00. My shoes are Franco Sarto's from TJ Maxx $39.00

If I don't get a chance to post for Inspiration Monday, I wish  you all a very nice summer, I will be reading all your posts still though, if my father's internet connection is quick enough to load up pictures. He is still using a dial up service so it is s-l-o-w!

Linking up to Inspiration Monday, join in the fun if you can, it is run by two lovely sisters, Megan and Nora Bird! There is a giveaway there, so do check it out!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thrifted Finds: Clothes Galore!

I am having a stroke of luck with thrifting and garage sales lately. Maybe it's because of the warmer weather, people are doing more spring cleaning and throwing out stuff. Stuff that I am gleefully picking up. :) I picked up (1) a wool tweed jacket which I have been coveting for a long time but was unwilling to pay over $100 for. You can imagine how happy I was when I saw this. The fit is just right and it is from BCBG Max Azria for $6.98, yes under $7, people! (2) Sheer cotton top from Gap $2.50 - I am thrilled to add purple to my wardrobe as I don't have that many pieces in that colour (3 and 4) a couple of neutral sweaters from Gap (around $2 each) one in cotton and the other wool, great for layering in winter. Obviously I can't count because for some reason, I skipped 5 so let's go to (6) I love this sequined top from Jennifer Lopez. I was surprised at the quality of the garment. I wanted to give it to someone but now I am seriously thinking of keeping it.

I found this beige jacket ($6.98) which had and amazing piping detail together with THE FIND of the day, an Escada top, layered under the jacket, which deserves its own write up ($10) and a spotted skirt for $5. The necklace, you saw me wear in this post.

Anyway, I wanted to write about a pair of gingham pants I picked up and I love that they are so light, just perfect for summer! My face is so red and hot because it is 33 deg C today!! SO HOT! So wonderful and lovely. I love summer!

The pants are $5
Bag is $4 (both no brand names)
Top: Mine, old from Singapore
Shoes: Another great find - Ferragamo's for $8 from the thrift store!! It is brand new and never been worn!

The soles are clean and new.


Sorry for the blurry photos. You'd think my DSLR wants to be an Iphone, with the way it's behaving.When all else fails, blame your equipment.

Linking up with Thrifters Anonymous.
Thrifters Anonymous