Tag Archives: children

A New Skirt for May


Dearest Sultana,

I think I have told you previously that May is a very girly kind of girl. She loves princesses and fairies and pink and blue. Much of her wardrobe is in various shades of those colours. When I try to buy other colours, she outright refuses to wear them.

skirt for may

Her favourite thing to wear is a long skirt Read the rest of this entry

Blogtember – Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn


Tuesday, September 10: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.


My husband and I met a long time before we started dating. He approached me a number of times asking me out for a coffee or something like that. But I always declined, he just wasn’t my type. I have to admit that in those days, I took a lot of things at face value and he hung out with a much older crowd, he had long hair, which he’d tie up neatly but still, it didn’t conform with what I thought was my type of guy.

What really put me off him, was that he was quite judgmental and seemed a bit of a snob (he laughs when I remind him of this now, I think he was trying to be judgmental to win me over, I don’t completely understand this logic either).

Anyway, so he first came to NZ as an International student, this was in 1997, about half a year before the Asian economic crisis of 1998 in which the Rupiah lost most of it’s value and his parents simply could not afford to send him anymore money (they had another son also overseas and two younger sons still at home with them). His father told him to do his best in NZ, to try and stay out of Indonesia because the situation at the time was very bad for the ethnic Chinese. So he did exactly that, he had to quit school, because the International student’s fee was just way beyond what he could afford, and then he looked for a job and carried on in NZ. I think those first few years must have been very tough on him but they made him who he is today, confident, fearless, resilient, hard working, highly skilled in his field of sheet metal engineering and a good judge of character. This is most likely why he hung out with older guys, he had to grow up very quickly and didn’t have much in common with his peers who were still studying and supported by their parents.

So he stayed in NZ for as long as he could. He applied for a permanent residency but because his visa had expired, he had to leave NZ and apply from Indonesia. So he had no choice but to leave Auckland. Before he left he approached me to take his leave. I breathed a sigh of relieve, finally I’m going to be left in peace by this guy.

Fast forward a year or two later, I got an email out of the blue from him. Just asking me how I was, what I’ve been up to, that kind of thing. And because I thought he was back in Indonesia, I didn’t think there was any harm in replying and I send him a pretty detailed email about all my latest happenings. I wouldn’t have replied if I knew he was in NZ because I didn’t want to give him any false hopes.

That was the day my life took a turn.

He replied that his application for a NZ permanent residency was successful and he has returned to live in Auckland permanently. Then he asked if he could meet up with me again.

By this stage I was beginning to get very annoyed with his persistence. I just couldn’t understand what it is that he is looking for in me. We have never said more than three sentences to each other in one setting, he doesn’t know the first thing about me. If he knew me better he would realise that we have nothing in common and finally leave me alone!

So I told him, let’s just get to know each other but only by email, I didn’t want him to try to contact me any other way. We get to ask each other one question each email, the only rule is that we need to be 100% honest in our answers. I thought he would soon realise that we have nothing in common and leave me alone.

And that’s the end of that, turned out he was right and I was wrong, we had plenty in common with each other, I admired him for his maturity, his confidence, his kindness and sensitivity. He was the soul mate I never knew I was looking for.

Today I feel blessed to be sharing my life with him. He is the best kind of father, adored by his girls. He is a good provider and works hard for our family. He is thoughtful, loyal and generous. And he is funny and we have lots of fun together.


Making Elephant Hair Clips


Dearest Sultana,

While I was getting all excited about all the applique pieces I’ll be making for my Christmas gifts, I came across some remnant fabric from June’s winter daster (night gown). It has cute pink elephants as its pattern and I thought this is something easy enough to iron on to some iron on fusible, stitch over heavier fabric and glue onto a hair clip.

Elephant Hair Clips

My two girls are very girly, they love dresses, necklaces, hair clips and all sorts of accessories. And those things are expensive! I mean seriously expensive. A few simple clips can easily top $7! And for something nicer, most are in the $10-15 region. There’s just no way I’m spending so much money on something that with a little effort I can make myself.

My biggest obstacle was finding alligator clips. I thought they should be easily found at any $2 Shop but couldn’t find any. I put this idea on the back burner for awhile but recently stumbled across this awesome webshop (DIY Craft Shop) . And they have everything I was looking for and more. So I got those alligator clips (at a very reasonable price too) and some ribbons. There are an awful lot to choose from.

I readied my elephants, ironed them onto fusing, cut out and free form sewed  them onto some sturdier fabric, cut it out and hot glued onto alligator clips. I lined the clips with ribbon to make them look tidier and so that the elephant will stick better.

Elephant fabric



That’s it. If I find some other cute designs in my fabric stash I will probably make some more of these. I like how they are so easy and yet one of a kind. I’m planning to make some other styles of hair clips now that I’ve got a good supply of alligator clips.

Here are some flower hair clips. I made these flowers last year for decoration for May’s Princess Birthday Party. I’ll show you how these were made next time I get my hands on some satin fabric.