(Impatiently) Waiting for Spring

African Violet

I like winter but I’m really, really looking forward to spring because I can’t wait to start my garden. This house was sold to us in April last year but we couldn’t move in until July and by then it was already a bit too late to start a garden. But this year, I’m going to have a whole year to grow whatever I want! Yippee!

My plan was to turn the backyard into a vegetable garden, but I’ve changed my mind. You see, a couple of weeks ago, I very ambitiously bought seeds to grow 11 (!) different varieties of heirloom tomatoes off eBay. I thought filling the whole backyard with tomato plants sounded like a boatload of fun and a half. But then common sense kicked in and I realised that it would be way too much work, especially for a novice (not to mention lazy) gardener like myself. So I’ve decided to be less ambitious and just plant 3 or 4 varieties this year and see how it goes. I won’t even plant them in the garden. I’ll plant them in 5-gallon buckets instead because I read that it would make the plants easier to maintain. I will also put them on the deck so I don’t procrastinate too much when it comes to watering because they need a lot of water to grow!

Now for the backyard, I think I’ll just focus on making it look easier on the eye since the previous owner did pretty much nothing to the backyard. No flower beds, no plants, nothing but weed-infected grass. I’m going to put in some lovely flowering plants. In fact, I’m going to start growing them from seeds some time this week using the winter sowing method. I’ve never done it before so it’s going to be an exciting experiment! Basically, you just plant the seeds in plastic pop bottles, put them outside the house and then forget all about it until spring. By then the seedlings should be ready for planting on the ground. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do the forgetting all about it until spring part due to my obsessive nature, but the rest sounds pretty easy. We’ll see how it goes!

Another reason I’m really looking forward to spring: I can’t wait to see our cherry tree blooming! Cherry blossoms are so pretty. That is assuming that it’s still alive. Dormant trees make me wonder sometimes.

Oh, I know that 99.9% of my readership has no interest in gardening but just bear with me, mmmkay? ;)

Pimping My Camera

Homemade Camera Strap Slipcover

My very first sewing project turned to be a camera strap slipcover instead of a pillow cover. I had been coveting one of those pimped-up camera strap slip covers you can find all over Etsy for awhile but I was too cheap to buy one. I thought I’d wait until I got myself a sewing machine so I could make myself one. I made one yesterday by following this tutorial. It was pretty easy, even for someone with next to zero sewing skills like myself.

I’m quite pleased with the result but in retrospect, I probably should have used a thicker fabric. I also should’ve followed the instructions to the T and pressed the folds but damn, I hate ironing. I’m thinking of making another one next week using a thicker fabric just to see if I like it better. And then I’ll try to make a padded one. If anything, it’s a good sewing practice and, as the cliché goes, practice makes perfect!

By the way, if you live in Ontario, Canada, Salvation Army thrift stores are the place to go for fabric. They have a good selection with an affordable price. Sometimes you can even find some designer’s fabric. Fabric is about the only thing I buy when I go to thrift stores these days and my stash is getting bigger and bigger by the week! It’s good for me, but not so good for the state of the house since we have rather limited storage space. My fabric collection is just piling up in the spare bedroom right now. Not good! Need fabric storage!

When I started using the Internet

Plinky wanted me to recall when I first started using the Internet regularly. Well, it's got to be 1996. You've probably been online long before that, but keep in mind, it's Indonesia I'm talking about. I signed up for an Internet account after a field trip to an Internet provider for a class in University. I have to admit, it took me awhile to figure out how to hook up the computer to the Internet. Stupid TCP/IP! But when I did, I was instantly hooked! So many things to read!

Like many other bored kids on the Internet, I had countless free GeoCities and Tripod accounts. I'd always preferred GeoCities to Tripod. GeoCities was okay until Yahoo! bought it and introduced pop-up ads. Ick! My first webmail account was with Rocketmail before Yahoo! bought the service in 1997 and transferred all Rocketmail accounts to Yahoo! Mail, which was lame. Yahoo! seemed to ruin everything that was good back then. The only good thing about Yahoo! was, if your site got listed on the Yahoo! directory, you could brag about it and it actually brought you quite a few hits.

Some Indonesian guy once sent me an email upon seeing my pictures on one of my GeoCities sites and asked me to remove them because he was concerned that people from outside Indonesia would think that all Indonesian girls are as ugly as me. Nice! Sadly, that site is no longer up. I didn't take it down. Yahoo! did, apparently. I met a bunch of Internet assholes along the way, but mostly on IRC. Remember a/s/l?

I have a site at Angelfire from 1997 that's still up but you have to beg me for the link (it's that embarrassing). I kept some kind of a blog on that site. I posted wacky news articles from Indonesia, copied straight from a local English language newspaper by hand. No fancy cut-and-paste! See? I've always been a hardcore blogger. Heh.

I found Usenet very entertaining. I would download news from random servers using my email client just to see what kind of crap they had for me to read.

I learned how to use stylesheet/CSS in 1998. I loved it and still do. I practiced my CSS-Fu a lot while online-journalling (that's what blogging was called back then) over at Diaryland between 1998 and 1999. I discovered Blogger in early 2000 when it was still owned by Pyra instead of Google, before Blogspot was conceived. Made quite a few friends from the world over. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Fabric Love

Fabric Collection

I’ve been collecting fabric for awhile because, well, I appreciate good design and some fabric have really good designs. Since my source for fabric is thrift stores, they’re relatively cheap, too. I’d also been buying fabric because I figured I’d get a sewing machine sooner or later and when that happened, it would be cool if I already had fabric I could cut up and sew and turn into lovely stuff.

So I got a sewing machine for Christmas. It’s just a basic, Brother sewing machine, nothing fancy. But now that I’ve got a sewing machine, I can’t bring myself to cut the fabric! They are so pretty! How could I cut them into pieces? I know it doesn’t make sense and that once they’ve turned into many lovely stuff, I’ll still be able to enjoy the prettiness of the fabric anyway, but not making sense is like my middle name. I’ll get over it, eventually.

I think my first sewing project shall be cushion covers because we have two cheapo cushions on the couch that could use some prettifying. I’ve found a tutorial at Sewing Republic that seems easy to follow. After that, I’ll learn to make a zippered pouch even though sewing zipper seems rather daunting. But man, I really wish I didn’t have to cut up my lovely fabric collection to make stuff!

My Breakfast

My Breakfast I

I’m currently obsessed with replicating the look of film photography on digital shots. I did a study of my breakfast this morning with that particular post-processing idea in mind. I think it looks pretty good, if I say so myself. This shall be an ongoing project, i.e., shooting my breakfast. If I were a breakfast person, I’d probably do this photo shoot daily. Since I’m not, I guess I’ll add more pictures to the project whenever. A few more shots from the project are behind the cut if you’re interested.

Read More