Sunday, December 27, 2009

Not So Fast! Yoga CatZ Before I Go!

Interesting comments from yesterday's post about the weird split I got. Read them here and add to it if you know why (is it an oldskool practice? Is it to shorten the practice?)

This is why I need to take a break from my computer. I have 1 hour until I leave for the airport, but I just had to post what I found: A Yoga Cat Calendar.

By the same people who brought out the Yoga Dog Calendar. I saw that one a while ago but found it freaky and not quite cute, hence I didn't bother posting it. This kitty one however, is equally FREAKY... but... a little cute too since I'm more partial to cats if you couldn't already tell.

News article here. Yoga Catz Calendar here (I didn't add the "z" at the end. That's really how they spelled it).



(ICK! This one looks like kitteh porn!)



And LOOK! This kitteh's up to Krounchasana in the Intermediate series too! (This is SUPPOSED to be Krounchasana... right?)


OK OK, I really have to go now. Have a Happy New Year everyone!

Cutting Up Primary, Handstand Screams & I'm OFF!

Today, Teacher told me to go from Parsvottanasana straight to Paschimottanasana (and then continue to my 2 Intermediate poses at the end).

Woooooot!

I have no idea what the thinking is, and OK, so it's nowhere near splitting the series either... but if I get to cut out about 5 poses from the Primary series, I'm not complaining. Hehehe. (Anybody care to comment why you get to cut out poses now? ...simply so that your practice gets a tad shorter?)

It's funny how your brain gets scrambled just by shifting a little bit of the sequence that your body's so familiar with, since it's been practiced a certain way day in and day out. After Parsvottanasana, I did a vinyasa and came to seated and instead of going into Paschimottanasana, I sat in Dandasana for 5 breaths. It wasn't until I was into B variation of Paschimottanasana that I realized what I'd done.

W.E.I.R.D. I guess I've always just associated Dandasana with the "next section" of the Primary series. It's the first pose of the seated poses after all, and I find it kind of centers my focus.

It certainly hadn't centred me today though - coz after all the Paschimottanasanas, instead of going into Purvottanasana, I folded my leg in for ABP Paschimottanasana. HUH? I NEVER get my primary sequence scrambled (well, not in a long time since I learnt the series by heart ages ago anyway). I realized my mistake before I exhaled forward and corrected myself.

Wow, cutting out 5 poses really does mess with the sequencing in my head!

After dropbacks and what-the-heck-do-you-call-it-againasasana (cross arms in front of chest and get assisted dropbacks 3 times and go down fully on the 4th)... Teacher said "Handstands".

I used to love handstands. I have no idea why now, but the thought of handstands now fills me with DREAD and IMPENDING DOOM. I'm trying to figure out why. Maybe because I realize now how much more work I need to get done before I get a near-perfect handstand done? Anyways, my brain went "BLERRRRGGGGHHHHH" as I prepped myself.

I bunny-hopped up easily enough, I think Teacher was supporting me quite a bit for this coz I've always had trouble getting hips over the shoulders, and today's handstand felt quite strong. She let go of my legs and put her hand (I think?) in the small of my back and kept tapping me on the front of my thigh but I wasn't budging (I couldn't quite connect what she was telling my body to do). She got fed up with me and said "Just TRUST ME and let go there".

There are just too many things going on in my head in a handstand - I used to have a similar internal dialogue with the other pose I struggled with for a long time... Supta Kurmasana. It feels like your brain is gonna BURST out of your head with all the screaming thoughts you've got going on (y'know, kinda like when Sharath forced me to stay in headstand for his full horribly LONG counts). I no longer have internal screams in Supta K, in fact, it's a pretty peaceful pose for me now. I've transferred these big screams to my handstands now.

It goes a little like this:
"SUCK IN YOUR BELLY! KEEP THE FEET TOGETHER! POINT THE TOES UP! PRESS DOWN THROUGH EACH FINGERTIP!! STOP ARCHING YOUR BACK SO MUCH! (This is definitely my problem in handstand) MELT YOUR HEART MORE! (A technique I learnt from my Anusara teacher) KEEP THE HIPS OVER THE SHOULDERS! DRISHTI AHEAD! DRISHTI!DRISHTI!DRISHTI! STRONG LEGS! KEEP GRIPPIIIIIING!"

I think I let go wherever she was telling me to, then she helped flip me over to a backbend and went to assist someone next to me. So I stood up on my own from the backbend. I felt major SFS (Spatchcock Feet Syndrome) in this. Too tired to be bothered with feet alignment. Then I sat down, relieved, but Teacher said "One more time".

BLERRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

StupidStupidStupid Handstands.

So I did it again. This time, something felt like it connected a bit more, for a split-second at least. It felt like she only had a finger or a hand on my back, with no other support (I think? I couldn't see, so can't tell). But I felt a lot more stable this time round. Then a flip over to backbend again (Is this called a tic or a toc again? ...Or is it neither of the above?)

OK, so it wasn't so bad this time. I can conclude now that 3 nights of Christmas Cake for dinner didn't really affect my practice as much as I thought it might have. Hehehe. All binds are still there. And I was surprisingly strong today too. The body sure is weird like that, innit?

Anyways troops, I'm off to Bali tomorrow for a week for this wedding that I've been talking about. It'll be a nice break from stuff (I hope!) ...I don't plan to bring my laptop with me coz I think I need to decompress from the interwebs a little bit (I'll still have my Blackberry with me though. Gulp.)

So... no updates from me for about a week - but I'll come back with photos from the beach to make you very jealous. I still have awful tan lines on my... er... decolletage from when I got burnt from helping out at the Cancer Council Bondi Beach event (yes, the irony). So I will look really weird in my strapless bridesmaid's dress in all those photos forever and ever, Amen. DAMMIT!!

Anyways, hope you have a Happy New Year and all... and if you can't be good, be good at it. ;p


(Photo credit here. I heart LOLcats very much.)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

...and a Merry Capitalism Day to all!

Wasn't Boxing Day traditionally when people boxed up all the excess food from Christmas the day before, and delivered them to the less fortunate?

Well in today's world, it looks more like a day celebrated as the day of BIG BLOWOUT SALES!!

Town today was UNBELIEVABLE. I have never seen so many people queuing up to GET INSIDE a store. Seriously. The Bally store in the Queen Victoria Building is in the middle of the mall. The queue to get inside the store snaked all the way to the other end of the building (where the classic Adidas store is). There was even a security guard walking down the queue and yelling out "You will only have TEN MINUTES in the store! So make sure you make your decision and purchase within the first 10 minutes that you're inside!"

And guys, this was only at 10am. I think the store hadn't even opened yet!

Capitalism at its finest.

Everywhere you looked, there were people queueing up. It was so flipping insane!! And then I realized... 99.99% of all the people queuing up outside these high-end designer stores were all... ASIANS!

Yup, that's right. My kind was out in top form today. I couldn't believe it, but I'm afraid the stereotype is true. They're all slave to the designer label... Witness Exhibit A, queue outside Coach:


Exhibit B, queue outside Oroton:

(Taken surreptitiously, while we were having brunch.) (We thought we'd have a quiet start to the morning. We got it all wrong today.)

Exhibit C, queue outside Guess (OK, so this isn't quite high-end, but still! Would YOU queue up to get into... GUESS?!) (Yes, I'm a snob. I mean, if it's good enough for Paris Hilton... then... do I really still want it?!)


I was so tickled by the number of people who were so hard up to bag a good deal outside Oroton that I had to shoot a video of how long the queue was just to show you. (The Bally queue was about 5 times as long as this!)
video

We made our way outside and thought we'd check out Myer, the department store (which incidentally was open since 5am this morning)! But er... look at this sea of people! It's a shakey shot coz I was walking as I shot it... there was no way I was gonna be able to stand still in one spot to get the shot coz the sea of people just pushed you through.


Myer closed all its entrances except for the doors on either end of George St. and Pitt St. The queue to get in from Pitt Street snaked about 50 metres down Pitt Street Mall.

We weren't that desperate to get in, so we thought we'd check out the other department store up the road, David Jones. This was probably the only store with NO QUEUE!! However, once inside, it was plain to see that it was all also 99.99% Asians elbowing their way through the "bargain bins" of designer handbags (er... they averaged about $300 - $500 a bag. Yes, a real "bargain" indeed!)

I walked past a Chinese man with his Chinese wife and Chinese baby, and overheard him saying in Mandarin to his wife "It's all Asian people!" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
(Mandarin translation "Tong tong dou shi ya zhou ren!")

I found myself laughing at the incredulousness of the situation - it was just so unbelievable the lengths people will go to to grab a bargain! (I think we were the only people there who were NOT on a mission to shop.) (I also think it's a terrible idea to go window-shopping on Boxing Day. You need to know what you want and make a beeline for it on the day. No browsing unless you're crazy and actually like crowds).

This is the mayhem in David Jones bag department:


David Jones is one of these oldskool, traditional department stores that's a little bit up itself, and they even had a guy playing a grand piano in one of the corners in the bag section. (If I'm buying a discounted bag at $300, I would at least EXPECT a grand pianist next to the bargain bin. Wouldn't you?)

At one point, he was playing the tune of "The Entertainer" (I think? Maybe it was another one of those ragtime tunes), and I burst out laughing coz it really was like being in a Charlie Chaplin movie with everything moving in fast-motion at 18 frames per second with a funny music track playing in the background for added effect. I had to stand in the hat department (where there wasn't anyone interested in the hats) in order to get this video shot. Hope you can hear the pianist amidst the hubbub (I really didn't wanna elbow my way through to get closer to him just to video this!)
Note: If you're looking for some calm in a department store on Boxing Day, head to the hat section.
video

We gave up and decided to go watch a movie instead. We weren't spared from the queues at the theater either. Yes, I shot another video of the movie queue too! (When we got out of the movie, this queue was TWICE as long, leading all the way into the street outside).
video

If you're wondering what movie to watch next, YOU MUST GO AND WATCH AVATAR!!!

Seriously, even after all of the hype and super-high expectations of the movie, I wasn't disappointed (I'm usually exceptionally disappointed after reading and hearing rave reviews people have of movies). Not with this one though. It might be the first James Cameron flick I actually have respect for! It is just spectacularly BEAUTIFUL!! (Would also make a good acid trip, in parts.)

And oh man, the Na'vis are natural born yogis... I want to plug in and connect to Mother Nature like they can.

Which reminds me, I can't wait to get back on my mat tomorrow... I've had Christmas cake for dinner everyday for er... like... the past 3 nights now. So... yes, I have become completely disconnected from my body. Tomorrow's practice is going to be difficult, now that I have to push my instant pot belly aside!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

...from the both of us.



May all beings everywhere be happy and free.
Lokaa Samastaa Sukhino Bhavantu.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

"Tiger Balm Kissing Asana"

That's a search term someone used yesterday and ended up on my blog.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I wonder if they found what they were looking for?

Nothing new to report on the practice front today. Except when Teacher gave us all a Merry Christmas kiss as we were leaving, she said to me (and only me) "Don't eat too much!"

ARGHHHHH! How did she know?! I think she's been keeping an eye on me and those binds. Or maybe she just knows us Singaporeans are gluttons. HAHA.

Is it really Christmas Eve already? Geewhiz, that descended upon us pretty quickly innit? Have a great break everyone, and you bet I'm gonna be stuffing my face for the next couple of days. Too bad it's not cold here so I can't stretch out in front of the fire like this bad boy!

(Photo Credit here

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Girly Things, Handstands & Core Strength

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how I've started getting into jewelry-making, and how I'd made these pair of earrings to wear with my bridesmaid's dress at one of my best friends' wedding at the end of this year (Bali, here I come! WOOOOOT!)


So the earrings are a little bit too DRAMA for the other 2 bridesmaids (we're all wearing the same strapless turquoise/ teal taffeta dresses), but they requested I make them some jewelry to go with their dresses too.

As an aside, getting the Ann Taylor dresses to 3 bridesmaids all over the world (Try: USA, Singapore, Australia. Oh, and the bride's in the UK) was a mission and a half but thank the stars we got them all in time and everyone's had a chance to alter their dresses already. I can't seem to link to a bigger picture, but you can see the dress in full here


Geez, I feel like I'm in a chapter of Pride and Prejudice or something... y'know... when Elizabeth Bennett and her posse get all excited over choosing fabrics and gems to make outfits for the many soirees they're attending.

So off I went to the bead store again. I thought I'd make everyone different pieces, but use the same Swarovski crystals and Czech glass.

And here's what I've got after a couple of night's work (plus I had missing pieces and not enough findings/ spacers and the like and had to traipse to and from the store a couple more times in between...)

Sam requested a really simple one-strand necklace since she likes things fuss-free (and she doesn't have pierced ears either). And this is her necklace:



She wants it a little shorter, so I'll bring my tools with and customize the length to exactly as she'd like it. Beadmeister to the rescue!

And Caroline didn't mind a necklace/ earring set so here's what she got:




Not bad for a couple nights' work. (Hmm... I'm actually preferring Caro's necklace to my earrings now. Pfft!)

With barely a week to the wedding (and requisite hen's night. EEK!) I'm up to my eyeballs with organizing stuff. Does anyone have any good suggestions on what happens at a hen night? We're renting a private villa for the night and organizing a goddess ritual blessing for the bride (at her request)... but after that... er... WHAT?!

Do you play games or sit around and chat? (If yes to games - WHAT?!) We don't particularly want to get her completely off her face since the wedding will be 2 days later. Plus, getting shit-faced isn't exactly a meaningful send-off from singlehood, is it? (OK, I'm showing what a goody-2-shoes dork I am here, right?) I just feel it ought to be more meaningful than getting drunk (if albeit elegantly wasted.)

On to today's practice update. After dropbacks, Teacher said "Handstands". Yippee! As you may recall, a few months ago, one of Teacher's Assistants stopped me from doing handstands altogether "Not until you can at least dropback" was what she had explained. I was having trouble bunny-hopping straight up with both legs anyway - not enough core strength! (We are in no way allowed to kick up with one leg. Must use both legs at the same time!)

I was extremely hesitant, but surprisingly, today's bunny-hop up felt easy, and finding that point of balance seemed OK too (although it was very much assisted with Teacher's hand guiding my legs, of course). Susananda was right when she commented recently that once Sirsasana is strong, handstands will become a bit easier. I have been holding Sirsasana for much longer than before and coming down to legs at 90 degrees direct from Sirsasana as much as I can (I used to take a rest in between. I still do this sometimes, but trying to do away with it).

And I've been finding more core strength in Sirsasana which kicked in during Handstand balancing today. Funny how some poses affect the other poses (in a good way).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's Official

I am a...

(There I go, cam-whoring... AGAIN!)

And of course you can get your official #yogadork tshirt/ tank top/ mug/ sticker etc. from the original YogaDork here.

And check out the other #yogadork fan photos on YD's Facebook fan page here.

It is f*%king busy at the office coz I have been piled on with all sorts of S&#T 2 days before Christmas. Like... ?!?!?????

So I will have to keep today's post short and sweet.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Of Twilight and Krounchasana...

I finally watched Twilight: New Moon last Friday. And I have been avoiding writing a new post until I could get over my irritation with it or all you would've read would've been expletives. Sorry Twilight fans, you'd better go away and stop reading now.

Twilight irritates the shit outta me. Seriously. From the bad acting to the bad special effects to the horrible story arc (Sorry, what story arc...?) I mean, it seems like in 2 minutes someone can fall head over heels in love with another person to the point where she's willing to give up her life for him? And all this from only having shared ONE kiss? ...And then you realize she's only like what, SEVENTEEN?! Oh, and don't get me started on the "intensity" they share between each other coz it just looks like they're constipated throughout the entire film.

Don't get me wrong, I've watched Part 1 and went through the same dry-retching agony to the point where I just wanted to slap every single one of those stupid "tortured soul" actors. But I am compelled to keep watching, so I am every bit as MASOCHISTIC as that damned Bella Swan character coz I'm also irritated with myself for going back for more.

Yes, my irritation of this series extends to my irritation with MYSELF for this unbecoming, masochistic behaviour. Don't get me wrong. I love a good rom-com (ahem. That's "romantic comedy"). And I'm secretly happy whenever Kelly is away or is working weekends coz that means I can steal out to the movies and watch a silly chick flick that he would never want to watch.

But Twilight is different. It's definitely a chick flick, but it's no rom-com (HAHA, actually... maybe it COULD be defined as a rom-com since I was laughing quite a bit throughout the movie, even though it wasn't supposed to be funny of course).

Even after all of this complaining, I am still intrigued by the bloody cliffhanger at the end of Part 2 and I'm itching to find out what happens in Part 3. ARGHHHHHHHH!!! (Shoot me now, please!)

WHY do I do this to myself? ...I have no idea!!

It started off coz Edward Cullen aka RPatz is downright HAWT.

(Photo Credit here.) (There's a blog for "Hot Men's Hairstyles"?!)

Oh, and that werewolf boy looks much better with a haircut. And yes, of course he had to be topless for most of the film. Conan the Barbarian had a similar body and he too was topless throughout that movie.

(Photo Credit here) (I couldn't find him on the "Hot Men's Hairstyles" website, unfortunately)

AHA! So it's most probably just the eye-candy that keeps me going back for more. Even though I keep rolling my eyeballs at the screen every 5 minutes.

My main irritation actually lies with Bella - she just needs to grow a bloody spine and stop revolving her life around men. I mean... BOYS. I have never read the books so I've no idea if she was actually written to be more than a one-dimensional character which doesn't come through in the films.

As far as I'm concerned, The Oatmeal got it right when they christened her "PANTS" for being every bit as insipid as... a pair of pants, of course!



I reckon Bella just needs some yoga in her life. She needs to reconnect with her authentic Self and stop with her destructive behaviour (like falling for all the wrong types... y'know... Like vampires and werewolves). I suggest she does more Navasana and lots of other core strengthers to help her massive third chakra issues. Regain your power, chick!

OK, I'm stopping my rant here as I didn't even want to get into this in the first place!!

By the way, I got Krounchasana yesterday and I LOVE it! It's just that I never realized how far back your head needs to tilt on the inhale, before you exhale and bring your chin to shin on the extended leg. I seem to always have this problem where I think I'm looking UP high enough, but realize how much farther back my head needs to tilt only when I've been corrected. Hmm.

It's a much better problem to have than Bella's third chakra issue, I think. :)

(Photo credit here)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Silly Season

Bus strike on today. Great timing guys. I need to take the train AND THEN the bus to get to yoga, so then I figured while it would've been OK early in the morning to cab it from the train station to the shala... by the time I was done, I'd have to be fighting my way with the entire work crowd sans buses to grab a cab after yoga. Hence, I made the executive decision NOT to go to the shala today. Plus, it's pissing down too. Bah humbug.

I shall take my cue from An% and not beat myself up over missing practice yet again. Sunday will be another new day for practice. Plus, like Mel has reminded me, I have so much in life to be grateful for. :)

While we're on the subject of the silly season... 'Tis the season to also be receiving all kinds of random gifts from the suppliers you work with.

I've received lots of champagne and wine (thanks guys, but I'm allergic to alcohol and will break out into a massive asthma attack!)... I've had a random gift like a silver yoyo (good for 10 minutes of fun and then... erm... and then what?)

But the one that really takes the cake and is my all-time fave is this Mr. T tea-towel. (At the bottom it says something along the lines of "for sparkling executions, call the A-team in...")

Genius. (Plus I absolutely love Mr. T so I'm extremely partial to this gift. You can kinda see the silver yoyo on the side of my desk) :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Moving Along...

As some of you might already know, I skipped Tuesday's practice coz I just couldn't bring myself onto the mat. Then, yesterday was moon day so no practice either. Today, I was a little bit scared to get on the mat again, for fear of blubbering my way through in the shala (this wouldn't have been a problem if I had a home practice, but somehow in order to force myself out of bed THAT early in the morning, I need to have somewhere to go to or I just wouldn't have the discipline to crawl outta bed). Go figure.

Anyways, I'm glad I did it. I had a nice practice. Nothing new to report, no breakthroughs... except you know me and my fascination with how what I eat affects the next day's practice... and I noticed the twists and binds were definitely harder today because of my soba noodles last night.

This was the first dinner in a couple weeks that hasn't been light and raw, plus... it was full of carbs... it was EXACTLY what I felt like for dinner last night so I'm not complaining. It's just an observation. I couldn't quite catch my wrists today in Mari D, had to stick to finger binds. Though I was still able to catch my fingers in Supta Kurmasana. Barely.

It's weird. Dinner was like 12 hours before practice, so don't ask me why it makes such a difference, it just does. Plus, my digestive system has always been my sensitive point, I seem to "feel my way" through there. HAHA.

The Pasasana bind came easily though. But here's the thing... I'm on tiptoes, I'm twisting and binding, but my drishti's on the floor in front of me. The moment I turn my head back to the correct Parsva drishti, my balance goes off. The same with trying to get my heels down. My coolie-squatting genes are only valid for regular squats that face forwards with no twists and binds, so I'm trying to "mutate" them further... enhance this squatting gene pool (except I'm not sure what good this will be when it comes to natural selection).

(Photo credit here)

Teacher was observing me get the bind in Pasasana, then she came to help me get feet flat and get a SUPREMO twist going. On the other side, she stopped to watch me get into the bind, then helped again with getting heels flat / more of a twist. At the end of it, she said "You'll get the next pose".

YAY!

So I stupidly did my vinyasa, then waited on the mat. (She did say I'd get the next pose, right?!)

Then I looked up, she looked at me and said "Do your vinyasa".

I said "I did!"

Then she said "Next pose for you on Sunday".

HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA. How was I supposed to know?!

It's nice though, how the practice is always there for you. And gives you a little bit of joy like today. :)

What Would James Lipton's Beard Do?

Moon Day, nothing new to report on the yoga front.

I've been going through industry sites and really love this LG Mobile campaign.

What Would James Lipton's Beard Do? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
(He also looks pretty good without his beard).





Monday, December 14, 2009

MEOW!

Funny Kitty links on the interwebs...

First, a very brave tourist sitting on a very... er... FAT tiger. Or maybe it's also very docile (or is it just animatronics that's really well done?)

I can't stop laughing when I look at this picture. Peace out, Sista.

(Posted by @elenaho on Facebook)

And then there's the Kitty Zombie Apocalypse. Of course.

(Thanks to @yogachickie)

Down & Out

It has been an emotionally heavy weekend. Lots of things going on on the personal front, stuff I don't wanna talk about here coz it involves other people too, not just me.

So... things will probably be changing and shifting again in the not too distant future. And I will talk about it again when the time is right. There's too much uncertainty at the moment, which adds to the heaviness.

Suffice to say that backbends, those glorious heart-openers, were pretty tight and shrunken today. I never usually have a problem opening those shoulders (except for a slightly tighter left side)... and dropbacks were shit. I grazed my head (more like PLONKED my head) on the mat all 3 times I dropped back coz I just couldn't open the upper back/ shoulders enough. Or maybe I wasn't concentrating hard enough.

And the tears came in Savasana (thank goodness for my eQua hand towel which doubles as my eye pillow... and tears-mopper-upper today.)

Whoever thinks the physical body can't be connected to the emotional body is thinking shit, coz this is clearly not woowoo stuff. I felt it in today's practice.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Skillz R Us

Through the interwebs & twitter, I've come to know so many awesome yogis who are also really good crafters - y'know... people who are good with their hands, creating all these beautiful things out of nothing but their imagination, scraps of fabric and technical skillz (yes, with a "z").

First, there's Liz. Ashtangi-Extraodiniare who also has such a great sense of humour. She also hand-makes awesome bags for a living, and some of the bags in her range reflect this. Seriously, who wouldn't love a bag of these HUNKS with their furry moustaches? (Yes, their 'taches are made of "Pet Me Please!" furry cloth)


I have my eye on my all-time favourite, Mr. T with his furry tuft of a mohawk. How much more awesome can you get?!


Then there's Angie, fun-loving Iyengi (who knew "fun-loving" and "Iyengi" could co-exist?!) who hand-makes all kinds of yoga props with colourful fabric... bolsters, zafus, eye pillows... If Iyengar requires it, you can bet she'll make it. (She's still working on her website, so that link is to her company's Facebook fan page)


There's also Katy, who not only sells eco-friendly yoga mats (OK, she doesn't hand-make these, but she's also craft-y, you'll see!) ...but she also makes all kinds of gorgeous yoga-inspired jewellery.


And @sundarastudio who makes gorgeous yoga mat bags using Ikea fabric. (She's moving house now, so no bags listed at the moment but you can sign up to find out when her Etsy store is back in action.)

And finally, one of my old friends, @elenaho who designs and creates things digitally (we knew each other through work in post production), but I've only recently discovered that this clever girl also hand-makes a whole buncha things in the physical world. Like, a WHOLE BUNCHA THINGS... from knitted Star Wars figurines...

(YODA! OMG!!)

...to bags she used to sell on Etsy...


...to necklaces, clothes, yoga bags... the mind boggles at this chick's crafting skillZ. Her Flikr photo stream here.


So... being surrounded by all these beautiful people who are also so creative... it got me thinking... what else could I do as a form of expression... something I could MAKE and CREATE and call MINE?

You've seen my attempts at baking (I SUCK!)... I can't sew a straight line to save my life (at the tender age of 13 years old, my grandmother had to take my Home Economics project away from me to sew on my behalf, since I kept getting her precious sewing machine tangled in knots. Grandma got me an "A" on the project). :)

So... then I stumbled across a jewelry-making workshop in Newtown. I figured I spend A LOT of money on accesories (of the plastic variety, not the real precious bling), so I might as well learn how to make them and see where that takes me. I mentioned this briefly last week (how I think I've found a new hobby) and promised I'd write about it, so here it is.

Newtown's this really funky, vibey suburb close to town... quite bohemian, with lots of great cafes down the main street... a place where it's not uncommon to see guys in meggings (y'know... skinny jeans so tight that they become "men leggings"), the buskers there are playing tabla drums (very earthy and organic, nothing like the buskers in town with their electric guitars plugged into speakers)... I came across this cute store I'm sure Liz will go gaga over. I just like its name: All Buttons Great & Small. (yes, an entire store full of BUTTONS!)


It's a suburb so arty-farty that someone even put a bubble-blowing machine by their letterboxes, so bubbles were blowing out onto the people on the sidewalk. How could you not smile at this cuteness? (I'm also impressed that no one has stolen the bubble-blower either!)


I really, really like Newtown. Maybe I've got a bit of pretentiousness in me, but I really, really like these small details about a place that actually make it A PLACE. It's called CHARACTER.

So off I went to Etelage. Check out the ceiling where the signboard was hung. It's like from the original Victorian (?) era. I've forgotten all my Art History terms already... what is this ceiling bit called? Etchings? Cornishes? Ah, whatever. It's pretty.


I did 2 workshops that day - stringing and linking. I came out of it with 2 necklaces (with matching earrings) that I will probably NEVER, EVER wear again (coz they're so dainty and er... not me!)... BUT! With just these 2 simple techniques learnt, I'm fast realizing I can actually put pretty much ANYTHING I want together.



So I got a couple of DIY kits and spent last weekend MAKING STUFF!! :) :) :)



Er... I've even got me my own beading box now, and lots of magazines for ideas and inspiration... Yeah, BEADING MAGAZINES?!?!??? I am now officially a Bead Dork too. I got so engrossed in this that I actually missed last Sunday's practice, and er... I did the same thing again today too! (Stayed up late reading beading sites and couldn't get my ass outta bed this morning)


I made these graphic earrings:


I also made another gift for someone, but won't put that online till after she receives it, of course!

This weekend, I thought of making my own earrings for a friend's upcoming wedding where I'll be one of three bridesmaids. We've all got our beautiful dresses in the mail already, so I thought I'd make chandelier earrings to go with my strapless turquoise taffeta dress. It's a pretty predictable design coz HEY! It's only the 3rd item I've ever made on my own! (and this one was from scratch, no kit to follow!) It's made of Czech glass and Swarovski crystals.


While looking around at bead stores online, I found THE AWESOMEST tool kit and told Kelly that this is what I want for Christmas (even though I've already bought some tools to start off with. They're just boring, regular tools.)

Awww Chyeahh! A PINK tool kit with matching pink case!!! I'll be the most stylish beader in the village!! (OK, "Stylish" might be pushing it. I'll be the PINKEST beader in the village.)
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