Myths, Legends, and the Year of Caprinae

2015: Year of Caprinae

IMAG2525Year of the sheep, the ram, and the goat: I’m not going to debate, so I wish you happy year of Caprinae. According to South China Morning Post, scholars believe that it’s the year of the goat based ancient illustrations.

Today marks the 8th day out of the 15 days of Chinese New Year celebration. Why does it last this long? Just imagine celebrating Winter Solstice, Seasonal religious holiday, and Valentine’s day all in one. In fact, the final day of Chinese New Year is a version of Valentine’s day (元宵節)–the first full moon of the year.

The two-weeks celebration can also allow people to return home in time to meet with alllllll the relatives. After all, I remember hearing stories about how my Great-Grandfather sailed on a junk boat from Sydney, Australia all the way back to Canton, China.


Legend+Folklore Highlights

Speaking of stories, festivals aren’t complete without their legends and folklores. Even though there are multiple versions of these stories, here are some of the highlights from my childhood:

1) New Year Day 1: The Red, The Fire Crackers, and the “Passing of Year”
In case you haven’t noticed, Chinese New Year is usually bombarded with red and gold. Maybe you’ve learned from somewhere that red symbolizes good luck and happiness, while gold means wealth. It’s true…but there’s more.

CNY01Just like Green Lantern having a weakness to things that are coloured yellow, a horrifying beast called “year”  (年 – Nian) was terrified of the colour red. Each year, the beast would come out of its hiding place to terrorize villagers. Apparently the beast had hypersensitivity issues: In addition to the colour red, the beast really disliked loud noises.

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Well-Intentioned but… A Thought on DIY Donations

*photo above taken from here used under CCC, work is by photographer Victor Bezrukov


Putting in More thoughts

Practical or Unnerving?

“It’s the thought that counts.”

My fellow NPO friends and I often discuss some of “quirky” donations organizations receive. Sometimes we are eager to help, but we may not be mindful of others who have very different life experiences than some of us.

I recall one time, someone who works with the shelter communities mentioned that they’ve received a giant box of gifts during winter. It’s new, it’s warm, it’s plain and simple, which is great! They are….. uh oh!! Ski masks.

The staff and clients all had a good laugh.  No doubt about it, it’s a very kind gesture. On the other hand, some of the shelter clients were joking about how mugging and other crimes would occur thanks to the inspirational ski masks.

What we might forget

Can be really cool under the right circumstances, but definitely not this…

Of course one wouldn’t say that ski masks will increase crime rates, but it’s not exactly a suitable attire either. What we may forget is that there are shelter residence who are coping with severe mental illness. So let’s just say ski masks may not trigger the best association when it comes to safety and comfort.


Choosing the right Material: Personal vs. Facility Laundry Care

Taken from Jillee’s guide on reading laundry symbols

When I think about it, I do take garment care for granted. While I dislike doing laundry, I have access to running water and laundry machines.

SHELTER: Though keeping warm is a huge factor, durability and washability are also very important. Whether it’s a long term or short term stay, a client’s laundry will be machine washed and dried under high heat. This is one of the sterilization process to eliminate germs and bedbugs. While wool can keep someone super warm, one may consider using materials that can withstand heat while preserving its shape & size.


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Setting up the Flat & House Warming: I’m making progress

Setup2Still too busy with Life Stuff!

Between settling in at my new flat and finishing up a major event at work and taking on even MORE responsibilities than before… I barely had time to breathe!  Thankfully, I’ve had some days off here and there, so I am still gradually setting up my new home.

Long story short, the place is still rather cluttered due to poor time management, but I’m excited that it’s finally coming along!

Setup1Alas, A Fully functional kitchen that’s organized?

Apart from thinking, reading and crafting, cooking & baking is actually a part of my decompressing routine. To me, there’s always a greater satisfaction when my decompressing outlets fall inside of functional demands.  I mean hey… most of us have to eat in order to survive anyway right?

Faking it: Close all doors to the rooms & Pretend the flat is organized!

A couple weeks ago, we had a low profile house warming event.  Due to my introversion, I’m usually inclined to create interactive activities for guests to engage in.  This time was no different: I came up with a “Mix your own drinks” station instead of boring old drinks. Continue reading

Life and Junk in Spring: Bad Gut, House Hunting & Introversion

That stupid Anxiety Bug!

Like a nasty bedbug, I’m surviving but being rather dormant on my blog and some social media for a while.  Truth be told, it has been a little stressful and my anxiety disorder has been flaring up like no tomorrow.  Although still semi functional, it’s like this everyday uphill battle against the “OWWW MY GUT!” syndrome.  On the bright side, I’ve become the certified walking app for locating the “Closest Lavatory” in the areas I frequent.  Carrying a giant Lysol Air Freshener in my bag is something only one of my best friend/gut twin would understand.

Housing Wanted: Demolition of Gnome House

A couple months ago, we received the sad news that our Gnome House is getting knocked down.  It has only been short period of time:  the time it takes for two sets of 23 chromosomes to combine and churn into a baby.  Nonetheless, it has been one of the awesomer times in my life.  Somehow that arrangement was perfect, and no one was in anyone’s faces.  Besides, living with one of my best friend at age 30 has probably been the best thing a non-married person could ask for.

house2

Because life happens, 2.5 of the house will no longer be living together.   Off to find a flat in this horrifyingly expensive city.  Suddenly, working in non-profit charities doesn’t seem like a good idea any more.

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Hey, looking good! Crochet Dapper Gear

boo_tie2I absolutely love Ties & Bow ties

Apart from my classic oxford shoes, they were possibly two of my favourite parts of my school uniform from when I was a child–ties for winter, and bow ties for summer.  Even years ago when I had a cat companion, I got some ribbons and made him a bow :3

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Of course now bow ties have been back in style for a while now and Mr. C had been eyeing them for sometime. Over the holidays, Mr. C had grudgingly said he would go with me to a local craft show called Got Craft–which I highly recommend peeps to check it out if you’re in Vancouver. When we got in, Mr. C got quite excited when he saw the artists. Just like last time, he zipped here and there to examine all the fascinating booths oooing and ahhing at the amazing craftsmanship. It didn’t take long for us to locate Belevedere and we finally got him a handmade bow tie! Check out Barefoot Contessa’s article on Belvedere–Classy Goods for Classy Gents.
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Life of Ms. Taffy: Xmas is so last year Issue

ImageHoliday Recap

Whether it’s a short 1 day break or weeks long vacation to la-la land, I hope everyone had a chance to chill out and are slightly more refreshed now that it’s 2014. Much like any crafter out there, I’ve spent my holiday mostly making stuff. Despite my hands hurting like a mofo for the past week, I’m finally back to the grind! Really for those who wonder why handmade things cost quite a bit, it’s because we need to help out the Tiger Balm and Pail Killers company.

For now though, I must remind myself what I’ve done over the weeks prior to moving on.

NOW THAT I’M A LOT OLDER… HOW TO GET THROUGH HOLIDAYS IRRESPONSIBLY:

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Rock Star? Check .
Regulard Coffee? Check.
Canned Imported Coffee? Check.
Caffeinated chocolate? Check.
Feline Greenies? Check. Wait…..What?

Ironically to survive the holidays with less sleep than I have during my work days, I’ve consumed an excessive amount of caffeine beverages and caffeine induced goods that can shorten my mortality rate.

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A week late–but Thanks, Congrats and Stuff

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I didn’t win the contest, but that’s totally fine!

I’m super happy that the 3 contestants won since they are ABSOLUTELY AWESOME–and totally deserve the popularity vote! In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can see the hundreds of amazing creations here at amigurumipatterns.net contest entries and be amazed by the winners here.  I swear I voted for a couple of them myself, so it’s great to know that others share similar sentiments towards the winners! Continue reading

Alas, an update and everything has changed AHHHHH!

It had been so terribly long since I’ve updated my blog, and I REALLY don’t like changes. Whether I like it or not, changes were made and since my last update, I have…

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  • Stumbled upon an amazing Mexican restaurant during a sh*t storm
  • Discovered a local old fashion Soda/Fountain Beverage Shop
  • Assisted a fallen bumblebee and nursed it back to flight
  • Once again, rolled 10+ sided dice playing table top with designer vinyl figurines
  • Acquired Shamy figurines and ended up with just Sheldon Cooper on my desk
  • Rented a button maker, found a local store to order the parts & made a bunch of pinback buttons
  • Grudgingly bid farewell to a ROCKING neighborhood cat (RIP cat)
  • Securing down a job & w/awesome coworkers who picked me flowers
  • Moved to a new living arrangement
  • Hosted a nostalgic, childhood-like conspiracy theory themed birthday party
  • Baked an alien autopsy cake & made a UFO light out of tupperware and lights
  • Saw some nerdy graffiti & started cooking.

That’s a list of mundane accomplishments there, but I am pretty easily excited to begin with in the first place.

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How it all began: Details for the Curious ones

When I was growing up, I have never really held a ball of yarn.

At least as I remember, it’s only for cutting and definitely not for making things. While most crafters seem to have grown up with their skill of choice and have become a master artisan at age 10, I never had that experience.

Every story has a beginning, and the legends often start off with a parent.  For that reason, I’m picking on mom.

The legend is true that Mrs. Waffy-Taffy (my mom) is  really a  good cook, an extremely awesome cookie baker, a great writer, and maker of all things flat like prints–but she can’t make any non-edible 3D things from scratch to save her life. Needless to say, sewing, knitting and crocheting are all out of the equation.

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