Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Hi and Merry Christmas everyone,

Today we have had a relatively quiet christmas dinner (lunch) at home. The kids were busy playing with their christmas presents. Luke spent a good part of the morning setting up his lego set. He is getting really good at building lego. Now him and Dad are building a balloon powered jet robot.

Yesterday Wim and I baked our first pavalova - a traditional dessert from New Zealand. Our first attempt didnt work out too well and after a quick phone call to mum in NZ, we tried it again. The second attempt looks good and after we dress it (with cream and strawberries ) we will take it along to our friends house tonight. I hope it tastes as good as it looks.
Christmas in Singapore is a strange affair. The road workers were in full swing this morning resealing the road and painting the traffic islands. Most shops in the malls were open and tomorrow (boxing day) is also a working day. At least we will have the day off.
Seasons greetings
Marianne, Willem, Brooke, Celine & Luke

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Art Class Finale

Today was our final art class. I finished off the sunset with the palm tree and also fixed up the picture of the fire hydrant. Its still not quite right but it is an improvement on what is was. I really enjoyed the class and I learnt heaps...Thanks a million Ms Gorman!!!!! Cant wait to do another class next year.

The kids have their last couple of days of school before the christmas break and they are really looking forward to the holidays.

Yesterday I finished off my NZ quilt top and I will be taking it to NZ with me to have it long arm quilted by a friend. The adjustments to the jeans I made are finished and they fit a lot better now. Now that my UFO's (unfinished objects) are done, I am looking forward to getting into some creative quilting after christmas. My head is full of ideas and I cant wait to get started on some of them!
Well thats all for another week - thank you to all those who have left comments. I really appreciate your thoughts and I find it a real encouragement. Thanks and merry christmas!

Saturday, 13 December 2008


I finally managed to get my UFO out of the cupboard this week and it felt GOOD! Maybe its because Ive been busy thinking about NZ lately and to get out all of my NZ fabrics was fantastic. Anyway here is a sneak peak of some of them.

Ive been collecting NZ fabrics for a while and some of them are extra special to me as they were given to me by special friends who knew that I collected them.

Isnt it funny how fabrics can invoke special memories of a place or people! (maybe that only happens to quilters)

The younger kids had their christmas production yesterday and it was really nice. The kids sang and danced their little hearts out and they looked fantastic wearing all those lovely christmas scarves!! (all 103 of them). Speaking of christmas:

Orchard road (the main shopping area) is beautifully lit up with christmas decorations. There are huge christmas trees everywhere. The bigger the better it seems! Im hoping that all my christmas shopping is done (even got something for misty the dog). Just a few more things to get to take on holiday with us.

I think we will be having a quiet christmas this year with a nice dinner at home. The condo will be quiet as a lot of people are going away. Ive been looking up christmas songs and found a really great kiwi version of the 12 days of christmas:

Written by Kingi Ihaka in 1981
A Pukeko in a Ponga Tree(The 12 Days of Christmas)

On the first day of Christmas My true love gave to me A pukeko in a ponga tree On the second day of Christmas My true love gave to me Two kumera And a pukeko in a ponga tree .

On the third day of Christmas...and so on, until... On the twelfth day of Christmas My true love gave to me

Twelve piupius swinging

Eleven haka lessons

Ten juicy fish heads

Nine sacks of pipis

Eight plants of puha

Seven eels a swimming

Six pois a twirling

Five - big - fat - pigs !

Four huhu grubs

Three flax kits

Two kumera

And a pukeko in a ponga tree!


Pukeko:A native NZ Bird
Ponga :Native tree fern
Kumera :Sweet Pototoe
Huhu grub :Edible larva of a flying beetle found in decaying wood (maori delicacy)
Pois: a small white ball swung on a string in maori dances
Puha: Watercress
Pipi: small shellfish
Haka: Traditional maori war dance
Piupui :traditional flax skirt
We all love eating indian food and the kids love butter chicken - however when you order it from the indian restaurant here, the butter chicken has enough spice in it to burn a small hole in one's nostrils. Not great for the kids.

Anyway I was browsing my recipe books (a sure sign of desperation for me) and found an Alison and Simon Holst one. They have an easy peasy recipe for butter chicken. Its was REALLY YUMMY and more importantly REALLY easy! Maybe I'll end up enjoying cooking after all!
well thats all from us
We wish you a very merry christmas and a happy new year.
Marianne and family

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Busy as a bee

Wow what a busy week!
My husband was away visiting family in Holland and he returned today. The kids had a day off on Monday being Hari Raja and we spent most of the weekend making christmas scarves for the elementary christmas programme. We cut up 10 yards of christmas fabric into 3 1/2 strips and sewed them down one side. They were then turned right way out and ironed. We managed to cut and sew about 100-110 in one weekend. Celine was zooming away on the sewing machine (man she speeds!) , Brooke did the turning and I was left with ironing. We have since outsourced some to other mothers at school. It was fun to do together although on top of everything else that needs doing at christmas, it was a bit hectic. (maybe I shouldnt take so much on!!!)
We also made a really cute frog box for Lukes teacher who is leaving to go back to Australia. She is crazy about frogs (FROG fully rely on God!) and we just happened to find some really cute frog fabric. I hope she likes it.
I finished my jeans that I was making with my friend Henny and I even got to wear them today. They look good but I do think that I will need to take them in as they are a bit wide on the legs. My next project is to finish that quilt that has been hiding in my cupboard for the last couple of months.

Today I went to my art class at school and finished another picture. The sky was a lot of fun to do, the black got a bit messy. Im obviously not one of these people that can stay clean while drawing. I am really enjoying this class.

The end of the year is fast approaching and thats always the time that you look back and see what has happened over the last year. This year we have shifted countries, encountered different cultures and people. The kids have done so well adjusting to their new environment and school. They have all achieved good grades and made friends here. Willem started a new job and has been travelling to some new and interesting countries.
I have made some good friends, both at school and in the condo that we live in. These are people that have made the transition here so much easier and I am thankful for their friendship and support.
Most people here are travelling home for the holidays and our family is also looking forward to spending some time with family in NZ.
Well thats all from us

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

My Drawings


For the last couple of weeks I have been going to a pastels art class at the kids school. I have always wanted to be able to draw and I think it will come in handy when making art quilts.

The teacher there has the patience of a saint and the classes are really fun.

On our first class I did the swan. I walked around the class until I found what looked like the easiest picture! Ok so I wimped out but thats what you do if you have no talent!! It turned out quite well.
The next couple of classes I worked on a picture of a building with a door and a fire hydrant. A lesson on perspective would have come in handy. Please note that it is not featured on this blog!

Today I managed to finish my orchid. This was based on a photo. The whole art class went around Singapore one Saturday, where we took lots of photos of things that we would like to draw. Hotels are a great place for flowers as they have some stunning flower arrangements. We must have looked quite funny with our heads and cameras stuck in all their flower arrangements!

I am soo pleased with this one and I cant wait to take it home. I have started a new one with a sunset. It is quick and easy and I managed to get my fingers really messy which was great.

On another note - I have started a new sewing project. I am sewing myself a pair of jeans. It is quite hard finding pants that fit here. They are all made for small and slim singaporean women. My friend Hennie gave me the pattern and she has been helping me make it. She is a great sewer, card maker, crafter etc etc.

I pulled out my overlocker for the first time since we arrived in Singapore only to find that a cockroach had decided to build a nest in it. Ewwwww!!!

Wells that all for now.

Happy quilting


Sunday, 30 November 2008

Holiday fun

This week was thanksgiving holidays - a new concept for a couple of kiwis in Singapore! This week we made some lovely boxes with the kids and we went and saw the madagascar 2 movie.

On Thursday morning my husband came home from business in India - thankfully he was in Bangalore and not Mumbai! Some of his work collegues also got stranded in Thailand and had to drive 16 hours to catch a plane home. Its quite an eye opener living and travelling in this part of the globe and realising how unstable some of the countries in the area are. Thankfully Singapore is stable although we have already noticed some increased security since Thursday.

On Friday we went ice skating with the kids at the Kallang Leisure centre. It was a really nice rink and the kids had fun even though the two youngest kids cant skate all that well yet. We had some yummy authentic chinese food for lunch.

Today we had a family game day. We played two games of barricade. They both lasted over an hour each game. The battle was fierce, alliances shattered, plenty of thrills and disappointments. In the end the "best man won" - namely my husband and myself. Its just as well our kids are good sports!!! What a great game!
Tomorrow the kids are back at school and no doubt things will be busy with christmas just around the corner. We did some christmas shopping this last week but I still have a whole list of things to get as well as some items for when we go home around christmas time. The kids are sooo looking forward to spending time in NZ and catching up with friends. Im sure that we have all changed since we have been away.
This week I am hoping to get on to my new sewing projects. I will keep you posted!!
Happy quilting

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Little boxes


Today the kids and I made some boxes. I think they look pretty cool and are very easy to make. We made both square and rectangular boxes. It is a great school holiday activity. I will happily give the instructions to anyone who wants them.



Monday, 24 November 2008

Its finished!

Hi everyone

Today I finally finished my friends quilt - the one with the Amy Butler fabrics. The finishing touches on a quilt always seem to take the longest but its such a good feeling when its finally done. The label still needs to be done but my friend is currently in New Zealand on holiday (lucky thing!) and so I will do that once she is back.

Now to decide what to do next- finish my unfinished project or embark on something completely new? Ive been browsing quilting blogs and there are sooo many cool ideas that I would like to try.
The kids and my husband were home today and we took the kids to the movies. We went and saw Madagasca 2. I just love animated movies.
Tomorrow the kids and I will try and make some of those little boxes. They make great gifts.
We put our christmas tree up over the weekend. We werent going to put up a tree this year as we left all our christmas decorations back in NZ. Well the kids persuaded me to buy one and it looks great. I can hardly believe that Christmas is nearly here. Guess I had better get onto the christmas shopping.
Well thats all for now - till next time

Thursday, 20 November 2008

"Little Boxes Thursday, November 13th @ 8:53 AM

Another week has flown by. This week my only offering is that I have been making small fabric boxes with some of my dutch friends. They are really cute and they use up some of my "cutesie" fabrics that I wouldnt necessarily use in my quilts.

My kids loved these and I think I will make some with them during thanksgiving holidays which start next week. Thanksgiving holidays is not something which is celebrated in NZ so its been interesting as it is a big thing at the American International school which my kids attend. It seems almost like an early christmas! (they even eat turkeys etc)
For the rest I have been working on my friends quilt with the Amy Butler fabrics. I only have to add one more part of the border and then I can get on to the quilting. I think I will keep the quilting quite simple as the fabrics are already pretty busy.
Maybe after that I can get on to the UFO's that seem to be buiding up......we will see
until next time
happy quilting

Arab Street Wednesday, November 5th 2008 @ 11:36 AM

Hi everyone

Its been another busy week (aren't they all!) and my quilt for my nephew still hasn't made it out of the cupboard. I suspect that it might be in there for some time yet.
My husband is away and so things seem to be twice as busy with the kids. Anyway today I decided that it was time for some retail therapy and I went fabric shopping with a friend in Arab Street which is renown for its great silk shops. It was also pouring with rain so it was great to duck into all these shops and run our hands over the beautiful silks. (not to mention staying dry) I also learnt the finer art of bargaining (something I have up until now been too scared to try). I found two beautiful pieces of silk and a piece of batik. Im not quite sure what to do with them yet but maybe if I lay them out and look at them for a while the inspiration might hit me!

I think I might leave this one whole and just quilt it and make it into a wall hanging.

I know, I know its pretty bright! This would make great petals for some flowers

Maybe a cushion or a small wall hanging....hmmm not sure.
I would love to hear any suggestions that anyone has.
Ive also added a photo of the quilt I am finishing for a friend. She has used Amy Butler fabrics. She is planning to move back to the States in December so there is a bit of urgency to get it finished. Its very unlike anything I would normally do....but I do like a challenge!

Well thats all I have to say this week.
Happy quilting

Welcome to my blog

Hi and welcome to my blog.

I am a New Zealander living in Singapore with my husband and three children. My passion is quilting or art quilts to be exact. My New Zealand upbringing has strongly influenced my past work (check out my webpage) and now that I'm living in Singapore, I hope that some of the rich culture here will come through in my latest work.

I look forward to hearing from some of you.
regards Marianne

"Chinese King of Hearts"