Friday, 31 October 2014

Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

Bukit Bintang is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur within the Golden Triangle, a premier business, shopping and entertainment district.  I would be here a few times in a year but I had never stayed in any hotel here before. We had a fortune to stay in the JW Marriott hotel in Bukit Bintang by an invitation of  my sister in law last weekend. This hotel is adjoining to the prestigious Starhill Gallery and is just a few steps away to the other major shopping malls like Pavilion, Fahrenheit 88, Lot 10 and Sungai Wang. It is also nearby the popular Bintang Walk, a lively and vibrant pedestrian walkway where you can find a vast variety of restaurants, open-air cafes, entertainment outlets and shops. It will take about 15 minutes to walk the whole length of the walkway. This is one place you should not miss if you are in Bukit Bintang.

Bukit Bintang is really a good place for shopaholic and food lover. It is also a good place for night strolling. If you like nightlife, you will have many choices here. Anyway, I just like eating! haha!! Since we were staying in a hotel close to many shopping malls, restaurants and entertainment outlets,  surely we wouldn't miss the opportunity to visit the shopping malls during the day and at night. Of course we also seized the opportunity to take a night stroll and try out the cuisines in such a hotspot.

JW Marriott hotel in Bukit Bintang

Night scene of Bukit Bintang



Right opposite JW Marriott Hotel is the massive Pavilion shopping mall. Brands available here range from upmarket labels to mid-market labels. I like this shopping mall, it is beautiful and have a large number of restaurants selling a wide variety of international cuisines and drinks. To me, it is a great hangout. We had our dinner in a Japanese restaurant called "iciban boshi" here that evening.

Pavilion

Pavilion - The outdoor walking area



If you are looking for luxury labels, Starhill Gallery is the place for you with Gucci, Dior and Louis Vuitton. This is an upscale shopping mall where I almost afraid to touch everything. Apart from the luxury labels, the unique standout here is the stylish modern designs and decorations throughout the building.

Starhill Gallery



Sungei Wang is one of the most popular shopping malls among locals in Kuala Lumpur. Every weekend it is packed with visitors. To me, this is one of the places we can get good deals on ladies apparel in Bukit Bintang.

Sungei Wang



Lot 10 is located along Bintang Walk. There is a limited variety of stores. Anyway the popular departmental store called Isetan was our favorite shopping spot that night.

Lot 10



Berjaya Times Square is located along Jalan Imbi. What impressed me was the Asian's largest indoor theme park. The huge indoor rollercoaster really attracted my attention.

Berjaya Times Square



We had a great weekend and I would like to wish everyone a great weekend. :-)








Saturday, 25 October 2014

FRIM (Forest Research Institute of Malaysia)

Yesterday morning, we took a chance to go cycling and strolling around in FRIM ( Forest Research Institute of Malaysia). FRIM is located in Kepong, Selangor. It is a nice place for outing. We were so happy to explore the forest. We loved the fresh air, the green nature, the tranquil environment and the beautiful scene there.

Entrance of FRIM


After the entrance, there was a signboard showing the way to Taman Botani Kepong (Kepong Botanic Garden), that was our cycling starting point. Later, we had a look and took a rest at Timber Technology Centre.

The scenery of Jalan FRIM (after the entrance)

Surroundings of Timber Technology Centre in FRIM


Along the way, we found that there were many species of plant in the forest. One of the species that struck me was the Eucalyptus deglupta tree. It looked tall and the rainbow color of the trunk was so unique. From a distance, I thought it had been painted on, actually these colors were natural. To me, that was the most beautiful tree in the forest.

Green spaces of the nature in FRIM

Eucalyptus deglupta tree


Beautiful buildings

Fish pond

Information center and cafeteria


There was a picnic area called Sungai Kroh Picnic Area. Opposite the picnic area was a little waterfall called Sg. Kroh Waterfall. Climbing up the walkway would lead you to the waterfall. Further up the walkway, there was a shallow pool where the children could wade in.

A walkway lead to the waterfall

A little waterfall

We were so happy to cycling and strolling around the forest. One thing that you have to keep in mind is remember to bring along a can of repellent because you will encounter some mosquitoes and insects along the way.




Thursday, 23 October 2014

finger puppets

This is another craft idea of using craft material scraps - finger puppets. I whipped up these little animal cartoons while my daughters were reading their new bought story books. These finger puppets are the right tool to transform a child to be a storyteller. I believe that their minds are full of imaginations and they could tell you a few imaginative stories once they put the finger puppets on their little fingers.

These finger puppets are very easy to make, what you need are a few scraps of felt, ribbon,glue, beads and embroidery floss. I have posted all these five finger puppet templates below, you are welcome to try out these simple finger puppets with the templates here.






Giraffe




Bear



Frog






Rabbit







Panda







Monday, 6 October 2014

Bow bookmarks

I had not tidied up my craft materials for some time. I found that there were a few scraps of ribbon kept in a little box. I didn't want to waste those scraps and thought for a while ...... "I better make some mini crafts than throw them away."  Yes, I got an idea in a sudden! I wished to make some bow bookmarks with these scraps of ribbon.









It is pretty quick to create this mini craft. What you need are some scraps of ribbon, some paper clips or some decorative items like buttons and beads. Here show you one of the way I made the bow bookmarks.


  1. Make a desired loop with a piece of wide ribbon and put the paper clip at the centre of the ribbon loop.
  2. Insert another kind of ribbon strip (a fine ribbon would be recommended) through the paper clip as shown in the photo and hold them firmly. The fine ribbon should be set at the centre of the ribbon loop.
  3. Tie a hard knot at the back of the wide ribbon and then trim the fine ribbon.
  4. Done.
If you found that this method is not easy to set a bow on top of the paper clip, you can just tie a bow at the top of the paper clip with the ribbon itself and then sew a button or bead at at the centre as a decoration.

I like these colorful bookmarks..... don,t you? They are simple but they would be a very cute and meaningful gift for girl.






Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Split stitch

A split  stitch can be used for straight lines, curved lines and outlines. It is also used effectively as a solid filling stitch. You can get a smooth and solid filling stitch when it worked side by side in rows. As far as I know, there is another method of split stitch called two-color split stitch. As the name states, the stitch will be made in two colors.  Usually, I use six strands of embroidery floss to make split stitch as I can separate the stitch in half easily. Of course you can use less or more strands of floss to create a desired split stitch. Let me show you these two methods with six strands of embroidery floss below.



Split stitch



1. Make the first stitch by sending the needle up from the back and then sending it down one stitch length to the back.


2. Then, send the needle up through the middle of the previous stitch you just made.


3.&4. Send the needle back down again the same stitch length and repeat the steps.

 
5. End your last stitch by inserting the needle down to the fabric close to the last stitch.


6. A row of split stitches is done.





 Two-color split stitch



Thread the needle with two colors. Splitting the stitches with the above mentioned method but always keep one color above the needle and the other below.

If you wish to make a very fine line with two-color split stitch, you can thread the needle with two or four strands (even number) of embroidery floss so they split evenly while stitching.










Saturday, 27 September 2014

Holbein stitch (double running stitch)

A Holbein stitch ( Double running stitch) is a reversible stitch. This stitch is made in two stages. First, going onward with a line of running stitches and then going backward to fill the spaces between the running stitches. It can be used for straight lines ,curved lines and outlines,  it is also used in blackwork embroidery.

A lot of embroiderers like to work the Holbein stitch on Aida fabric or even-weave linen. Since the Holbein stitch is a form of counted thread stitch, it will works out a very well result on Aida fabric or even-weave linen. Anyway it doesn't mean we cannot make it on other kinds of fabrics. If you are choosing another kind of fabric, you should transfer/draw grid marks on the fabric for an easy stitching especially for the complex patterns. Here show you the steps how I make the Holbein stitch on a piece of clothing fabric.


  1. Work a line of running stitches, the stitches should be equal in length to the spaces between them.
  2. Turn the work and start a return journey with the same working thread (or use a contrast coloured thread) stitch through exactly the same holes to fill the spaces between the running stitches.
  3. The third photo shown is two lines of Holbein stitches with one color and two colors respectively. Usually, I will use a contrast colored thread on the return journey for creative effects.


Apart from creating straight lines by Holbein stitch, I have tried to create a simple Vs pattern with Holbein stitch. The photo below shows how I create the Vs pattern. I don't draw grid marks for this pattern because this is only a short and simple pattern, I only draw three lines on my clothing fabric. Anyway, you can draw a complete grid marks to get a good result.


  1. Insert the needle at point A from the back and pull the thread through the fabric completely, then insert the needle into point B and come out at point C, pull the thread out to create the first stitch.
  2. Now, create the second stitch by inserting the needle into point D and come out at point E. Pull the thread through completely.
  3. Insert your needle into point F and come out at point G. Pull the thread through and now the third stitch is formed.
  4. Follow the steps like what you have done just now to create the other horizontal running stitches. Finally, you can get a pattern as shown in the photo no.4.
  5. Do a return journey by filling up all the spaces between the stitches with other contrast coloured thread. This time all the stitches should be vertical. The last photo shown is a finished Vs pattern.




Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Batu Cave, Selangor

Last Sunday, we took a half-day tour to Batu Caves, one of the top attractions in Malaysia. It is also the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia. Batu Caves is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples.  It located in the Gombak district of Selangor, about 13 kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur.

The main attraction of Batu Caves is the impressive golden statue of Hindu deity Lord Murugan. It stands 140 feet high at the front entrance. The next attraction will hold you in awe is a flight of 272 steps that leads you up to the sacred Hindu temple cave where houses the shrine of the Hindu deity Lord Murugan. This is  the main cave of Batu Caves called Temple Cave or Cathedral Cave. The stairs seem a bit daunting and challenging to me but my kids had never said they were scared to climb up, conversely, they took it as an amazing experience. This is a great attraction and the admission is free.


The golden statue of Lord Murugan.


On the way up until you enter the inside of the Temple Cave, you would encounter a lot of monkeys. Some of them perching on and scampering along the steps, some of  them frolic around the caves and some of them harass people for food. You have to watch out for the monkeys, they will try to snatch your hat, camera or anything else that they think that is food.

The monkeys here would make your day. They are naughty and lovely.


The view from the top is quite fascinating and I like the panoramic view of the city skyline. The Temple cave itself is so spectacular, here you can see many Indian sculptures and two little ornate Indian temples. In a flash, I felt that the scene was full of Hindu mythology. Within the cave is another two flight of steps which lead to the end of the cave. At the end of the cave you can see the bright sky when you look above you. The high limestone walls are covered with wild plants and the sunlight coming from the opening creates a beautiful mystical nature.

 Entrance of the Temple Cave at the top.


I succeeded in conquering the 272 steps!!


View from the top of the Temple Cave.


Interiors of Temple Cave


At the foot of the caves there is an open square in front of the statue of Lord Murugan where you can have fun in feeding pigeons, there are hundreds of pigeons here!!  I bought my kids a packet of grains from the nearby vendor to feed the pigeons. They enjoyed feeding the pigeons that came around them. The pigeons are tame and not really scared of people, they will even perching on your arm to get the grains that you hold in hand.

Many visitors enjoyed feeding pigeons at the open square.



Cave Villa is another attraction at foot hill. It is a museum and also an art gallery. The entrance fee is RM7 per person for locals.

Entrance of Cave Villa


Fish pond at Cave Villa






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