Archive for March, 2014

holes in clothes

If you have seen me wearing a blue and white striped t-shirt, you might have also noticed a little sail boat on the back near the hip area. Friends who have seen this sail boat have often pointed it out to me (as though I didn’t know about it) and smiled at their discovery. and while it is strange to have them point and stare at me (near the butt area no less!), I am glad they noticed. I had sewn the boat on the t-shirt when I first bought it home only to find a tiny hole; a defect in the garment.


After many washings, the little sailboat has still held up against the ‘storms’ so I have been quite happy and proud with my solution to the hole.


I was thinking about holes in clothes again when reading about an incident in local news recently. In the unfortunate incident, a napping man with a hole in his t-shirt was photographed by a lady, accompanied by a sarcastic caption about the trendiness of having holes in clothes. I shan’t elaborate more but the whole incident has been well-summarized by local MP, Indranee Rajah in her FB post here. The MP had recognised the man in the photos and  wrote an account addressing the incident from his perspective. It is touching to read her post as well as the encouraging comments below supporting the man, Mr Koh.


it made me think about holes in clothes. In the past, before the world of mass-production (and greater affluence), having a hole in your clothes doesn’t immediately mean ‘into the dumps, it goes!’. No, instead, people would bother to sew up the holes (or send it to a tailor to have it mended). In fact, that’s how patches on clothes came about, and became a fashion statement in their own right. What about those rips in your jeans, when did ‘ripped jeans’ become a fashion term and people willingly paid to purchase jeans with holes in them. the world of fashion is strange isn’t it?


I have been toying with the idea of designing ‘repair patches’ for sale. How would you like to have a hand-embroidered sail boat applique to mend your clothes? I love those by Macon & Lesquoy with their quirky designs and sense of humour:


Big Big Tape Repair Patch “for very large holes!”


“Plaster” couple patches

The other day, I noticed a hole in my friend’s shorts, and I told her to sew a repair patch on it. She joked that she would like the patch’s motif to be ‘a pair red lips’. well… the hole was on the butt area!

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All that talk about ‘Happiness’ lately, so what makes me happy? i thought about it long and hard in the morning but i came up with typically generic answers, that’s till my day progressed… I went to meet 2 different independent retail shop owners separately today and we just talked… about past experiences, about things I have done with momshoo, about lessons learnt. and that’s when i realised how lucky I have been to have good opportunities present themselves to me at the right time. When first presented, such opportunities makes me nervous since they are things I haven’t tried before. But as I dive deeper into it, I start feeling like things are fitting in place like a jigsaw. unrelated things that you never imagine would have such an impact till you stop and look back, a decision made led to that, a exploration into a subject as part of school work led to that.


as Ajahn Brahm says, “Good? Bad? Who Knows?”

who knew that choosing to take Marketing as a cross-disciplinary module in university would result in a nice discussion with a shop-owner today? I learnt that there is never such a thing as “learning too much”, it might come in useful in the most unexpected of circumstances or at least, it provides for good conversation material to people you are just getting to know. connecting with people, that is what makes me happy. Meeting people who have bigger dreams and are working to make them come true, that gets me excited too.


and now, since it is Internationsl Happiness day, i present you the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams in various forms:

a medley of the original by Pharrell Williams:

he did a 24-hour long music video. how crazy is that?! view the full version here if you have a whole day to spare or if you (like me) just want to scroll through the interesting website and try to spot celebrities dancing.


the Singapore Version:

because as a Singaporean, I get excited to see familiar places in my neighbourhood and the usually shy Singaporeans dancing! 


and lastly the Walk Off the Earth cover:

i always like their innovative ways of presenting a cover and… watch them grinning like an idiot as they sing/drum and of course spot  Beard Guy who has been a highlight in their video for seemingly doing nothing much.

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Recently on passing by the grand Hyatt in Singapore, my father remarked that the hotel was probably a five star or six star hotel, in other words, a luxury we could never afford when traveling overseas. As we talked about it, we realised that despite not being able to afford such luxury, we rather enjoy staying in small, independent (i.e. cheaper and lesser-known) guesthouses like Puri Bayu which was our home during a recent trip in Ubud, Bali. 

Staying in such places gives us a sense of what it is like to live like a local,  and it is also the reason I love traveling free and easy, as it allows me to immerse into the culture and way of life of a new place. Therefore, you could imagine my dismay when I entered Bali to find long lines at the immigration and foreigners that outnumber the locals as we drove towards Ubud. Bali’s main trade is tourism, and while it makes one wonder if it is possible to get an authentic local experience anymore… it also means that the locals all understand English which makes it a breeze to get around. 

I enjoy learning the customs of different places and perhaps you can get the same information on the internet at home, but there is nothing like hearing it from a Balinese. Why else would you think of googling ‘Bali naming system’ if you haven’t heard about it from your driver / silversmith instructor? (Our Silversmithing instructor was Ketut and when we commented that we have met quite a few ‘Ketuts’ in the course of 3 days, he replied “last time, more Ketuts, but not so common anymore because Balinese do not have so many children now.” Ketut is the name for the fourth-born in the Balinese naming convention) It in these unexpected situations that the nuggets of information stick in your mind.

And every trip is different, even if it is returning to a place you once visited, for memories of a place are built from encounters and situations that occur there and then. We may not again cross the paths of locals who ask “How are you? where are you from? Do you stay in Ubud?” The Balinese are a friendly bunch! you may also never get lost again like the first time. Maybe that is why the ‘first’ visits are always the most memorable as everything about the place seems strange and new. It is the little things (like unknowingly stepping on prayer offerings) that makes you stop and compare the differences between this place and home.

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I was reading a back issue of the Frankie magazine with interest. In an article titled “little gold stars”, the writer, Pui Pui Tam laments about the disappearance of those shiny stickers that were the currency of childhood. How true it is that as we grow older, the less praise we seem to collect, not because we don’t deserve it but because it is less of a social norm to praise another adult as compared to a child. 

which was something I was hoping to do more this year; acknowledge work well done in all the little things by people around you and the people you meet everyday. and doing the same towards yourself too.

In the social media age, where we swim around in digital posts of statuses, photos and accomplishments, it has gotten easier to praise with a hit of a button you can ‘like’, with a few taps on the keyboard you can send a compliment of a comment. so why not do it?

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