Friday, 20 May 2011


As I was reading through my previous blog posts I really had a good time reminiscing about past events. And I felt really good that I had kept a blog and that I had religiously documented significant events which took place in the past. Reading through my own blog posts, I was brought back in time and relived those moments. It felt just great and that made me more determined than ever to keep my blog updated. I know I've been neglecting my blog for a while and also my recent blog posts were mostly about sewing projects. I think I shall try and change that from now on.

One major event which is worth mentioning is that after two years and three months being in the department where I am working right now, I shall be moving on to another department next month. I just can't wait. I think after two years and two months, I am eager and ready for a new set of challenges. My mind is yearning for more knowledge, to learn new skills. In the past few months, many vacancies have come up within the University and I have applied for a few but in the current state of economy, competition for jobs is fierce and I was told that for one of the previous jobs that I had applied for, they have had over 130 applications!! So when this recent job vacancy came up and was only open to internal staff, I was hopeful. I took a lot of care and a long time preparing my application; speaking to the right people within the department to find out as much as I could about the job role; reading up extensively about the deparment, and after checking my applications for more than a hundred times, I clicked the 'Send' button and ever since then, my heart was in my  mouth. Luckily, a few days after submitting the application, I went on a week-long holiday to Rhodes Island and that sort of took my mind off it a bit, until my mobile rang while I was on holiday. Three days into my holiday, I received a telephone call, inviting me for an interview for the job the following week. And can you imagine the state of my mind for the entire time after that? I started preparing myself mentally for the interview. And the couple of days leading to the interview, I started practising on my own; checking out tips for interview online; and rehearsing answers to possible interview questions in my head over and over and over again. Although in the end, none of the questions that I had prepared for came up during the interview, I think the preparations helped calm my nerves and I was able to feel relaxed and confident before the interview. The entire interview process was daunting. I was given 5 different scenarios and had to explain how I would deal with each scenario and after that 5 people in the panel each asked me different sets of questions. I gave examples from my experience as best as I could but when I came out, I was angry with myself because in some cases I had given the worst kind of examples that you could think of. And then the awful waiting began. We were told that we would be informed the following week. And it was only the middle of the week when the interview took place. How was I going to survive till the following week? All the speculating, the not knowing, the anticipation?! Well, I did survive, barely. I was in a constant turmoil all weekend, playing the interview in my head over and over and over again.

I think I did well?

No, I think it was a flop.

No, I think I did okay, they were impressed. 

No, I did not really answer some questions correctly.

And then Monday came, and eventually at around lunch time, I received the good news. I have been offered a job with the Centre. And the relief just washed over me. I was happy, I was relieved and I was nervous. Nervous about telling my current manager. And because she was working out of the office for a few days, that presented me with the greatest means of informing her -- through the great email. Not the best way to tell her, but it had to be done, and it had to be done quick so that I don't delay giving in my notice and hence delaying the start date of my new role.

So now, three more weeks before I move to my new department and I am now writing 'handover handy tips' and it made it realise how far I have come at this current role. When I first started, I knew nothing. What a learning process it has been, these past two years. From organising a Conference, to editing the Centre's newsletter, to facilitating a workshop on my own to having to step in as the Finance administrator... and many other things. And I have no doubt that when I step into my new role, more learning of new skills and knowledge will take place and I am really excited by that prospect. It is cliche but true. Learning is a lifelong process and I couldn't agree more. As humans, we thrive on learning new skills, getting to know new people, visiting new places, gaining new experiences, trying new things, and buying new gadgets (hehe). As myself, I thrive on enhancing my existing skills, gaining more experience, and learning new sewing techniques and making different lovely projects.

It is Friday today, the best day of the week and this weekend, we are off to Frimley to have an early celebration of Steve's birthday. So roll on 4.30pm I think so that my proper weekend can begin. Have a great weekend you lovely people and to end my post, let me show you a pair of shoes I bought for my recent holiday and I love them.
Don't mind the socks. I know it's meant to be slip-ons but I still like to wear socks so that I don't end up smelling the shoes with my sweat.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Labour of Love

A few months back, Mum expressed her wish to have a handbag made for her. So I started sketching ideas and thinking of bag patterns. Then the iPad came along and everything ground to a halt and I thought I had plenty of time. Then I finally managed to get something started but half way through, I became quite unhappy with the bag I was making and decided to start afresh because it was really important that my mum will like the bag I've made for her. This time, I decided to try a pattern that I had bought online. And before I could start doing anything, I went on holiday and another week has gone before I could start picking the fabric and started cutting the bits and pieces needed to make the bag with. Step by step I followed the pattern and joined the fabric that I've cut, piece by piece. Although I would have loved to make my mum's bag from a pattern I had designed myself, I was pressed for time so using a pattern seemed a sensible idea. And using this pattern, I have really learned a lot from making this bag. It wasn't always plain sailing; there was frustration and there was satisfaction.

Finally, today I came really close to finishing it. Although I still have to put the lining of the bag in place, I couldn't wait any longer and decided to share the pictures of this near-finish bag.

With Steve's help, I chose oilcloth as the front and bag panels of the bag; and a plain, matching cotton fabric for the zip section. I wouldn't say this bag is perfectly made, but i am quite happy with the result so far. A few pictures to show you.
 Really didn't expect it to be quite so big.
 Before the straps got sewn on. You can see the instructions on the sewing table, and my 'best friend'.
A rather challenging step, piecing the front and bag panels together with the zippered section.

Can't wait to carry on with the project, finish the lining and send this bag off to my Mum. Bless her she's waited long enough.

In the meantime, I'm already thinking of more projects to embark upon. How exciting!