Hello! I'm back! I spent last week in Singapore, which was so much fun! I'd never been overseas before and we were in time for Lunar New Year, which meant everything was decorated and everyone seemed in a festive mood ^____^ One thing I was worried about though was that I wasn't going to finish a project for the Get Geometric KAL! I'd started Tanya's knitted cowl pattern a few times, but I just couldn't get my head around it! I think I need to do some more simple knitting and work my way up to it.
I also figured I'd want something to do on the plane flight over, so I packed some balls of chunky yarn and a big plastic crochet hook in my check in luggage. I did double check with the lady who checked me in at the airport, and she said I should be fine. Luckily, security also didn't mind and I was allowed to keep my crafting supplies!
I used the same stitch pattern that I used to make my chevron fingerless mitts, but I worked this cowl in the round. I crocheted with two balls of black yarn, then changed to green for two rows, and then finished off with another ball of black. It's very squishy and cosy, but not really appropriate for Australian, or Singaporean, weather!
My phone started playing up basically as soon as I left Australia (maybe it got homesick?) so I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked to. Nonetheless, I took a fair few!
On the first day we went to Gardens on the Bay, which was really lovely. We went into the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest which were amazing feats of both technology and gardening, and I found the information on sustainability fascinating. However, my favourite part was probably the goats made of flowers! They're just so adorable!
We saw the Sultan Mosque, and spent some time wandering around the Arab Quarter. There were so many silk and carpet stores; the tiny camel carpet was especially tempting for me! We had coffee in a tiny Turkish coffee shop which was covered in beautiful tiles and lanterns; I wish I could have photographed that! Also, we saw lots of interesting street art!
Chinatown on Lunar New Year was amazing, and absolutely packed with people! We lined up to see the parade, but nothing happened for hours and we were too weak to wait until midnight to see the fireworks so instead we had dinner; at a Thai restaurant in Chinatown, ironically!
We also went to the Singapore Zoo, where my phone took many blurry photos. Damn! I did get these two of the flamingos and the mouse deer. I'd never heard of a mouse deer before and they were so cute! They are tiny and one of them had a baby, which was even smaller and more adorable! We also saw elephants, giraffes, a polar beer, a white tiger, a komodo dragon, giant turtles, otters, and many many monkeys ... it was incredible fun!
I'm a big fan of froyo here in Australia, and I thought it was cool how different it is in Singapore! Still very delicious though ~___^ The chocolate eclair I thought was cool because it had a merlion on it! Seriously, merlions are everywhere in Singapore! By the way, if you're ever in Singapore, I can highly recommend the high tea at the Ritz Carlton - eight courses of pure deliciousness and more tea than any one mortal could possibly consume.
And then, the day after I got back, Bec and I headed out to a 60s themed birthday party. It was so much fun! We hit up the opshop earlier that day, and found enough mod/beatnik-ish clothing to make some fun outfits ^____^
My outfit consisted mainly of a black polka-dot mini dress with an aqua collar and waist tie; it cost me $7! I also wore knee high black socks and black wedges, which I already owned. My handbag is one left to me by my Nana Tess; I don't know what era it is actually from, but I felt that it worked well with the rest of my outfit. I wore contacts so that I could wear massive false eyelashes, and I used a bump-it to fake a bit of a bouffant hairstyle.
Bec hit the jackpot and found a black turtleneck (high necked knitwear is very difficult to find in Australian opshops!) and this super cute overall dress. She also wore black ballet flats, round sunglasses (yes, at night; that's dedication to a costume!), and a vintage pendant she had found previously at an antique store.
Bec and I also spent some time before the party icing the birthday girl's cake. It's well ... it's not pretty. But, it tasted amazing! I used this recipe to make the two cakes, but I left out the milk (I used plain water instead), used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, substituted self-raising flour for the plain flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and added 2.5 teaspoons of peppermint essence to the cake mixture. I also ended up doubling the recipe for each cake ... this thing is pretty massive as I used a deep square tin, about 12 inches wide. I made the icing from unsalted butter, icing sugar, peppermint essence, cocoa, and a *lot* of black food colouring. The dots are made from store-brought fondant, although I did colour the yellow dots myself using gel food colouring. If I had the option, I would buy pre-coloured fondant though, because I think the food colouring slightly changed the consistency of the fondant which made it sticky and harder to work with. Plus, I dyed my hands yellow >____< If I made this again, I would change the ratio of butter to icing sugar to make the icing thicker because the icing did seem to slowly kinda ooze off the cake ... the hot weather here also probably doesn't help with that! Anyway, Bec and I had a good time putting it together, and all the guests had a wonderful time eating it ~____^
And that's it from me right now! Next week I start roller derby training and I can't wait! I did catch a cold the day after the party though (I'm blaming the aeroplane) so I'm really really hoping that clears up before then! My current plan is to eat lots of garlic bread and spend a lot of time resting (aka crafting) on the couch so I'm fighting fit by Monday! Any cold cures would be greatly appreciated ~____^
- Lisa xx