Archive for the ‘Handicraft’ Category

If there was ever a time when you had Japanese food to the point you leave the shop beaming from ear to ear, tonight had to be it. The venue? Isaribi Tei Japanese Restaurant which serves authentic Japanese Cuisine of course! This Penang based Japanese Restaurant is located at Burmah Square on Jalan Chow Thye, on the row of shoplots nearby Him Heang.

The night was pouring heavily, and with our stomachs growling, this seems to be the perfect place. The garden which leads to the restaurant was beautifully decorated, and even though it was dark, it gave the place a very cozy feeling.



Upon entering the place, we were greeted by their friendly waiters and shown to our table. Looking around, we can see that the spacious restaurant is decorated with a tapestry of cultures. Wooden panels decorated the walls, while memorabilia of all sorts were donning the sides. We don’t feel that we are actually in an old pre-war shoplot.

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Recently the International Women’s Association (IWA) celebrated an “all things Japanese” event. I took the opportunity to attend it which was held in the ballroom of Cititel, Penang.

The first site that attracted me was the display of beautiful kimonos. Guests were allowed to put on those kimono (with some professional assistance) and pose to have their photos taken.

Other demonstrations include flower arrangement (Ikebana), paper folding (Origami) and the traditional tea ceremony …..

There is also a doll exhibition of many types of dolls, from the beautiful and elegance ones to the heroic and magnificent warriors with very detailed accessories.
Display of a warrior doll with his weapons of sword, bow and arrows.
Samurai warrior helmet displayed on top of a lacquered box.

Finely detailed samurai armor suit.
Another site with display of sake bottles in different shades of black ….
We were treated to sushi (made during the demonstration) and this lovely green tea cake which was sponsored by Sea English Language Center for this event.
Overall, it is a well organised exhibition which features interesting Japanese customs, crafts and cultures.
My first blog was on sewing of beaded shoes which can be view at Peranakan Beaded Shoes – “Manek Ay”. Besides that I have venture into sewing a lot of items using beads. These are some of the beads embroidery that I have done in the past years.

These bags can be used for keeping hand phone, tissue paper, spectacles…..I have given some of these items as presents/gifts for my friends and relatives on special occasion. They were very pleased with it.

I have gone as far as framing up one of the beads design as a picture to hang on the wall in my living hall.

These are miniature pillows with colourful flower design. I used them to brighten up small corners in cupboards and on table tops.

All the colourful beads, patterns and materials can easily be found in handicraft shops – Sin Seng Lee in Penang Road and Sin Soon Lee in Rangoon Road. It is an interesting hobby. It gives me a rewarding feeling looking at them.

Do give your views and ideas on beads and cross stitch sewing and I would be happy to share mine with you too.

During the Peranakan days, it was a trend for the nyonyas to wear beaded shoes. Most of them learn to sew it themselves and they work with the tiny colourful size beads known as the manek potong. Sewing a pair of beaded shoe is time consuming. From my experience it is tedious and can be strenuous on the eyes too. Nowadays those sold in the shops are usually made up of the larger size beads which are cheaper and easier to work with.For all my beads handy craft work, I prefer to use the smallest size beads because the finishing product looks more elegant. To start off, I have to choose a design, colour of the beads, specified needles, thread and a frame. The frame is require to hold the cloth tightly which makes sewing much more easier.

The photo below shows the design of  bird and flowers which is from the nyonya era. The colour for the beads are chosen according to the theme. It took me three months to complete it. I have yet to make it into a pair of shoes which can be easily done in the famous Hong Kong Shoe store located in Lebuh Muntri.

Below are modern design bead work tops/cover which were already made into shoes. The shoes in the center and left photos were made using the smaller beads, while the pair on the right uses the larger size beads.

Bead works handy craft can also be made into pouches – for storing hand phone, tissue and even card holder. Some designs can be frame up and hang on the wall too. Will blog more on these in the coming days…..
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