of Yaps and Cheng

loving living


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DIY: Headband, Hairbow/Hairclips Storage

Organising accessories is a such headache. This is such a smart, easy and unobtrusive way to store hairbands/headbands neatly. By pluckymomo.

I love it when you can make it with things found readily at home.

She also a project for your hairclips/ hairbows. This is very scrap-bookish and artsy. Can you spot the hairbows?

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DIY Craft: No Sew Pincushion

While figuring out the bathrobe, I re-appreciated the importance of using pins to keep fabric from running all over the place.

I was garang, well actually lazy, enough to try sewing with guiding the fabric with just my bare hands for the first step. Needless to say, the next step was extra – rip out all the threads, hunt for the pins and re-sew everything again.

My Home Econs teacher (anyone remembers her name?) will be happy to know I made solid friends with the pins again.

If you use pins, you need a pincushion.

Living mainly out of a few luggages in Tianjin (most of our stuff are still stored in Beijing), I just have the basic necessities with me and a pincushion definitely is a luxury. I do have one in the warehouse, and I certainly do not want to buy another replicate. Nor do I want to sew one if I can help it.

Googled and found many pretty and girlish DIY pincushions, but require sewing. Yikes. Then I found some no-sew options on Instructables, yay! There’s a No-Sew Cupcake Pincushion, cute but too cute… and then there’s this:

 by The Spotted Fox

Very quaint! Very creative, ingenious, no need to sew, use up your cloth scraps (yay, I can use the towel scraps) and best of all, really really really idiot-proof.

Yanni's No Sew Pincushion

The ingredients: Rubber band, toy cup, cloth scraps.

Rubber band, Jingheng's toy inverted as a cup, bigger scrap of cloth to wrap up all the cloth scraps for the inside

Bundle the scraps into the middle of the bigger cloth, scrounge and tie up to look like fried wanton, invert the wanton and pop into the cup. Done!

I love shortcuts!


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DIY Refashion: Toddler Towel Bathrobe

Nothing throws ALL your worldly possessions in your face as much as house moving does. After Freecycle-ing, recycling, packing, storing and throwing away mountains of  papers, books, clothes, soft toys, souveniers, what-nots… I’m exhausted. How can I have so many things?!

Time for some artsy stuff to relieve the tension.

I’ve been searching high and low for a bathrobe for Jingheng to use for swimming. The ones you find in Singapore are too thin for the winter weather here; the ones here in the Tianjin stores or Taobao are either too ugly or too expensive.

SO! I decided to make one. From an old towel. Tada!

Jingheng's new "Hogwarts" bathrobe - refashioned from an old blue towel. Yellow trimming cut up from the kitchen apron Jingheng refused to let me wear

I have been reading too much refashion tutorials and blogs to actually dare to feel confident I can make it. The source of inspiration for the robe is from (1 hour) Summer Beach Robe Tutorial by Brandy.

It sure took more than an hour. Took me good half a day in fact, but I think I’m wonderful that it is actually completed *Pat on back*! The last time I seriously maneuvered a sewing machine was when I was 14 and sewing the absolutely-I-will-never-ever-wear-it-it’s-hideous culotte (gosh, this must be an extinct fashion word) for Home Econs.

Thankfully, my tiny sewing machine didn’t break down from punching the needle through the thick towel fabric.

My bro-in-law Aloysius said it looked like “Harry Potter robes”. I think it’s more like a priest robe. You can decide for yourself. Here’s the little boy trying it on:

Little one prancing in the both the unfinished and polished versions of the robe. The belt is too low for him now, but lazy mummy is NOT going to unsew and resew the straps. He will just have to grow into the robe.

He wasn’t really keen about it. Holding it up I asked:
你喜欢吗? 不喜欢。
可是,是mummy做给Jingheng的。*After 5 seconds of thinking* 我喜欢。

I’m not hurt. I’m still in yaya-papaya land 🙂


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DIY: Homemade Playdough/ Playdoh (cooked version)

Dim Sum and The Mangosteen. By Eve & Yanni.

When Eve and I were arranging a playdate for Jingheng and Lucas, she text to say to bring my cookie cutters because she was planning to try and make playdough. Then went a jolt of “so fun!” through my mind, and then “I should contribute too!”. I’ve been meaning to try my playdough recipes a few months ago but my lazybones body refused to move. So thanks to Eve, I finally sprung into action.

I tried the 2 recipes from Instructables, both require cooking:

  • one by canida – she adds colouring after the dough is done
  • another by Lorddrake – colouring added while cooking dough

I preferred canida’s after trying both, because I could just cook once, divide the dough, add various colourings to get different coloured playdough. I’ll just share her recipe and basic steps here, you can click on their links above for more information.

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Cooking in process photos by pregnant sis Mengting; Playdate photos by Eve.

Canida’s ingredient ratios:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsbp cream of tartar (for improved elasticity)
  • food coloring

Steps (My own simplified version):

  1. Mix all ingredients and stir fast over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken until it resembles mashed potatoes. Keep stirring and cooking until the dough is dry and starts to pull away from the sides and clumps in the center. Remove pan from heat. NOTE: If dough is still sticky, you simply need to cook it longer!
  2. Allow the dough to cool enough to handle.
  3. Knead the dough on a counter/mat vigorously until it becomes silky-smooth.
  4. Divide the dough into balls for coloring.
  5. Make a hole in the center of the ball and add in food coloring. Fold the dough over, working the food color through the entire ball evenly. Add more colour as necessary to achieve your preferred color.
  6. Voila! Your playdough is ready for the boys and girls.
  7. When you’re done playing, you store the playdough in an air-tight container, or zip-lock bags like me. I stick it in the fridge when not playing to make it last longer

I like Eve’s uncooked version, has no small flour lumps like mine, will post hers when I get it. She’s doing a control experiment to see how long these homemade dough will last, will share the results once out.

If you are interested in using Playdough for art, here’s one on doing Playdough Painting. Qiyun, this should be relevant for you, especially page 6 where the guy shares his experience on drying the artwork.