Friday, June 29, 2012


Finally done!

Despite the simple designs that don't require too much counting so they allowed me to do them while I was watching TV and looking after the kids while they were playing, still it took me longer than I thought to make them.

(Cross Stitch Crazy magazine ed 161, March 2012)

DMC threads on 14ct Aida white(13x10cm each)
Stitch count 75x55 each

I am keeping them without frames for now, when we are settling down somewhere or having a house of our own my dream is to have a little hobby room/small library and I will hang them there on my stitching corner :)

***** many thanks, terima kasih, sağol, شُكْرًا

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Javanese Wedding and Aleppo-Amman stories

This is the cross stitch project that I mentioned on my 'about this blog' section. I bought this kit in 2003 (If I am not mistaken). I entered a hobby shop in a mall in Jakarta and fascinated by the cuteness of cross stitch projects there. So much different than my mum's style and how the back stitch gave a frame to the shape of the stitches. I couldn't remember why I bought this design back then, maybe I was attracted to a javanese man? maybe I was wishing to get married soon? :D

I remember I took this kit to Lampung (the western tip of Sumatra island) when took my annual leave to our hometown in Metro, so I would have something to do and my mum could guide me how to do it. I could still remember I miscounted when I stitch the bride's batik skirt and I didn't bother to recount. I just stopped left it in my room.

In the end of last year I went to Indonesia and visited Metro to congratulate my parents who just back from their pilgrimage to Mecca. I found it in my dressing table's drawer, still inside my mum's tupperware cake box with rusty needles. Around eight years have passed and it was there where I left it, in my single bedroom :) I took it back to Aleppo, I thought I would start it all over again, use the almost torn pattern, bought new threads and fabric. I didn't feel like to count and check where did I make mistake.

When we had to go to Amman, initially it was because my husband had a workshop scheduled here for one week. After the explosions the situation deteriorated and I felt so insecure to stay all by myself with two young children. I was afraid if something happened and they (the office) applied their contingency plan and we all be evacuated to Turkey, what would I do? I knew they wouldn't leave us but still... I would be panicked and it would be very difficult. It would be impossible to pack, kids won't let me... they wouldn't understand what was going on.

So we decided that I and the kids should go with him, and since we will be relocated to Amman (but there wasn't exact date when it would happened) we thought it might be a good opportunity for me to see the city and if we were lucky we may find a house. It was a quick decision, I packed only one medium size luggage, but I remember to take this unfinished cross stitch with me. I thought, who knows... I may need something to do to clear my mind from all this chaos, rite?

Early morning, it was still dark in quiet Aleppo. A van from the office picked us up, I looked at our house for the last time, never know when would I see it again... whether I would be back. We left everything behind. Somehow I knew I would not be back. Airport was packed with a growing number of people who wanted to leave the country. Families with young children, each of them carrying heavy hand luggages, bags bigger than themselves. Young foreigners, seemingly backpackers (I surprised there were still many of them... never seen any tourist in the city since we first there in October 2011) with sacks. Surprisingly, snow came again just before we took off. Everything was so different than November 2011 when I left Aleppo to Indonesia. Grim. Grieve. Unhappiness. Uncertainty was in the air. Serkan said, 'if they don't let you in I will not let you come back here, I will send you to Turkey, I will call my family from Amman'.  After the Arab springs Jordanian government changed their visa policy. Most of nationalities couldn't get their visa on arrival at the airport, they have to apply to Jordanian embassies. Amman office called Jordanian immigration office and they said Indonesian can get their VOA at the airport but there is no guarantee I can get it (it depends on the officer in charge) because there are many Indonesians in Jordan as low class workers and some of them are illegal. To be on the safe said the office provided us with a letter, Serkan also told his collegue in Aleppo to get ready to pick me at Aleppo airport if they refused me to enter Amman and sent me back to Syria. Some of our friends who were supposed to travel with us had to defer their departure for 2-3 weeks because they didn't want to take the risk of being refused to enter Jordan at the airport.

The day when we're back from Indonesia to Syria, at the front yard of our house in Aleppo. It was the first day I stayed in that house and also the first day the kids  reunited with their daddy after 1,5 months holiday

Picture taken one day before we left Syria in our living room. Our Syrian friend came over with his family, they brought full  Arabian style brunch. David (third from left) also relocated to Amman and stayed in the same building with us now. We still keep in touch with Adel and his family (his three girls are amazingly smart, pretty, nice and special), our thoughts and prayers are always with them...

Fortunately, I could enter Jordan easily, and as it happened we found a furnished house to rent on our second day in Amman (we hit a jackpot immediately, in Aleppo it took us one month!). We moved in after stayed in a hotel for a week, and Serkan left us immediately. He didn't even stay a night. He needed to go to Lebanon and also went back to Aleppo to deal with our belonging that we left in the house.

I thought leaving Syria would be easy. We'd been there only for 2.5 months, I hadn't attached with anything. But I was wrong. I wasn't prepared to move again. I hadn't say goodbye to anybody. I left everything behind. And knowing what we left, how the condition there... what they had to deal with... I felt bad. I felt I betrayed them :( I almost cried everyday. It was strange as well to stay in the new house without Serkan. None of the furnishing belong to us, I felt as if I invaded somebody's else house. Not any single photo or ornament, not even a small fridge magnet is belong to us, to mark our existence in this house. It was strange, it was hard. I wanted to cry but I shouldn't, I was ashamed, why should I cry for the furnishings and belongings? What I have is much better than what people in Syria been through. They don't cry for furnishing but they cry for live that been lost. It made me feel even worse. I felt bad because I wanted to cry but it made me want to cry more.

I tried to keep myself busy. This house was very filthy. The landlord had paid a cleaning lady to do the job but I think she didn't know how to clean properly (they need to learn from Turkish! seriously! If you been to turkish house you would know what I mean, but my house doesn't count as turkish house though hahaha). So at the day time I cleaned I cleaned and cleaned. In the evening, I turned to my cross stitch. I didn't have any projects to do, didn't have any pattern and materials, didn't know where to buy. So I had no choice but this Javanese Wedding projects. I recounted it again, pulled some threads (it was very simple mistake! can't believe I left it all those years!), and finished it. Unfortunately I forgot to take 'before' shots. I stitched the head accessories of the bride, the umbrella, completed the batik skirt, made the shoes, and all backstitches. I thought this Javanese wedding is irrelevant for me anymore (I should made Lampungnese wedding since we wore that in our Indonesian celebration) so I wanted to give this for a best friend of mine. She was very close to me around the time when I start stitching it, I was working in a small village in Labuan (the entry to Ujung Kulon National Park) and she worked in a city nearby so we visited each other almost every weekend. I first met her on my first day in High School (in Indramayu, West Java) and become best friends ever since. We were separated in the last grade of high school because my family moved to West Sumatra, but we reunited again because we were accepted at the same university (but different faculty) and become flatmates. After I left Indonesia to New Zealand it seemed almost impossible now we would live near each other but every time I went to Indonesia for holiday we always spent quality time together. In 2009 she took me to her hometown in Jogjakarta and last year we visited several places in Jakarta. She married her high school sweet heart (which is also my friend) when I was in New Zealand. She was a javanese bride indeed. Some lettering in backstitches, and I think its a great present for them. Finally I finished it: 2003 - 2012, started in Indonesia and finished in Jordan. I wish I could hand it on their wedding anniversary but I think I should give it whenever I come to Indonesia (sometimes next year).

One of our holiday highlight in Indonesia: Endah took us to Schmutzer Primates Center, Ragunan, Indonesia. Dilara was so happy to meet Monkey, Gorilla, and Orangutan, it was an unforgettable day indeed :)
on their Wedding Day, do they look like my cross stitch project? :-p

I hope my long story doesn't bore you, thank you for stopping by :)

***** many thanks, terima kasih, sağol, شُكْرًا

Only when it's dark

Not long after I joined the embroidery club in Aleppo (Syria), I came across this pattern online, I thought 'oh I wish there were threads that can glow in the dark' but I still saved the pattern because I like what it says. Not long after that on DMC website I read about Light Effects threads but not sure where can I get them. I was so happy when a friend took me to a cross stitch shop they stocked up on the threads and navy blue aida!

I still keep it as it is, I think I need to find a suitable frame to make this simple project stands out :)


Design by Jackie Harries (from Annie's Attic)
Navy Blue 14ct Aida
Stitch Count: 243 wide x 27 high
Threads: DMC Light Effects (Glow in the Dark and Precious Metal)
Material bought and stitched in Amman, stitched in one day 23rd April 2012

Very simple yet it has deep meaning, and literally glow in the dark too, thanks to DMC light effects thread :-)

***** many thanks, terima kasih, sağol, شُكْرًا

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Theme-a-licious Jumanji June Check In : Furry Friends

Another first time for me :) In the beginning I wasn't sure to join Theme-a-licious because I didn't think I would have patterns or kits in my very limited stash to match with the theme, but in the end (which was last night) after having another look at the rest of the theme left for 2012, I think I can stretch a bit :)

I was going to join in July though, because half of June is already gone. But when I checked again and saw the theme for this month is ANIMAL, I remember I already have all threads that I need for my next project: Furry Friends, cats by Margaret Sherry (from Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine ed 160, February 2012).

Let's get started!

PS: About Theme-a-licious & Jumanji June Check In

***** many thanks, terima kasih, sağol, شُكْرًا

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My first TUSAL!

There's always first time for everything and this month is my first time being a hermiter and also TUSALer! So far so great... I am so excited I think I am the first to post my TUSAL report :)

My jar is still look pathetic now and I am looking forward to make it full! To make it more attractive I put my daughter's pic when she was 6mo next to it :D

I started collecting ORT since I started blogging on cross stitch and found TUSAL logo on most of stitchers' blogs. I think its a fab idea, all this time I didn't know what to do with the snippets of floss left over from my stitching, usually I just left them wherever they fell, hoping that next time my vacuum cleaner would pick them up :)

 Most of my first batch of ORT came from my 'Keep Calm' project, here is the snap shot before I filled them in:

The pattern is from Cross Stitch Crazy magazine ed 161 (March 2012). I am very close to finish it, only word KEEP from the last series Start Stitching needs to be filled but I ran out of B5200 thread. I thought I had a couple but later I realise they were actually blanc. I have to wait until next week when my husband is back from his trip to India, because going to cross stitch & hobbies shop alone with two active toddlers is the least I want to do in this summer heat!

I hope everybody else get a lot of stitching done and managed to fill their jar full :) I have been trying to do blogwalking and leave comments as many as possible but its very frustrating because my laptop/internet is going very slow recently. I dont know why but our landlord did warn us that during summer the internet connection is very slow and sometimes unreliable :( with slow connection reading cross stitch blogs is really testing my patience and I got annoyed to wait all the pictures to load (sometimes with no resulr after waiting for quite long time!).

If you get a good connection I hope you do not forget to enter great and generous giveaways from Melissa (ended today), Anne (ended June 23rd), Teresa (ended June 23rd), and Milli (ended June 26th). I believe there are many more, I saw some last night but at that time I have lost patience with the connection. Maybe when it gets better I would track them again, I hope I will still have enough time :) Giveaways are amazingly fun, I tempted to make one too but firstly I need to find out where the post office is :))

***** many thanks, terima kasih, sağol, شُكْرًا

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June IHSW: WIP Baby Hello Kitty

It's my first IHSW, I am so excited about it!

This weekend I worked on Baby Hello Kitty, I started this project about 3 weeks ago, but after two days I put it away because I didn't enjoy it much. Too many small items (in very soft colours) with a lot of back stitches to frame them. But my daughter keeps begging me 'mummy mummy when will you make my Hello Kitty? will you finish the heart for me?' so I decided to continue stitching it.

This was how the project looks when I started on Friday morning (as I mentioned on my last post, weekend in Jordan is on Friday and Saturday):

Sorry for bad quality of the pictures, all of our cameras (3 of them!) are not working properly at the same time (thanks to the busy hands of my son). We desperately need one, but I think 2 of them can be fixed (we want to do that in Turkey when we go there for summer holiday this July-Aug) and my husband wants to buy a DSLR one but its quite pricey here in Jordan so he is going to ask his friend to buy from Canada when he is going there also this summer :) So I have to be patient and I hope everybody would be happy enough with my snaps from Blackberry.

I worked for about 2 hours in the morning and another 2 hours in the evening, and at the end of the day this was how it looks:

I hope you can see a difference. I have added three more kitties (top left, middle left, and mid on heart) and three small bits. I felt I spent a lot of time stitching but when I looked at the result it seemed not so much... maybe I have to admit and accept that I AM a SLOW stitcher? Or shall I put a blame on my kids who always interrupted when I stitch?

Before I jump to Saturday photo, I want to share some photos from my shopping spree on Friday.

A couple days a go when we were in a mall, as usual I took a glance at the window display of an abaya shop. This time, I convinced my husband to enter, I told him Eid is coming I want to have a look so I know which one that I want to buy before we go to Turkey. There is a traditional abaya of Jordan that I fell in love, its hand stitched in traditional pattern of Palestine.
For more information about Palestinian Cross stitch you can go to this link, and for more modern fashion and posh style you can check facebook page of Palestyle.
I couldn't decide which one that I wanted, kids were running around crazily inside the boutique so I rushed off (before my husband hit the roof :-p) and decided to come back alone in another time. However I managed to snatch a cute abaya for my daughter:

Isn't she gorgeous? watch  out, Queen Rania! :)

When my friend saw this picture on my BBM profile she offered to take me to Balat, Amman's down town. So off we went on Friday afternoon, its a good opportunity for me to go out while my husband is at home looking after the kids (HOOORAY!)
It was my first time in downtown, the place was sooo different than typical Amman that I know. To me Amman is bland, modern (just enough modern, not over the top like Dubai), far from exotic. But Balat is quite opposite, it reminded me of Syria, particularly the old city of Aleppo (minus the huge citadel and its world longest souq). Old buildings, street sellers, old mosque, the bustling of traditional market. I was amazed. And the shops are good too! When I was in Syria I couldn't find good abaya shops (I wonder where they were hiding because Syria abaya is quite famous!) but in here they are everywhere! I almost gone crazy and I did shop over my intended budget (used some of my daughter's swimming course fee hahaha)... they are so cheap, less then half of the price in the mall! Some of them just the same quality but some of them you can see that they are so cheap because of the quality of the fabric and the the degree of the finery of the hand stitches. I bought one gorgeous hand embroidery abaya for my mum (I will not be able to hand it to her until next year... lol... have I told you I went crazy there? :p), and one cross stitch princess style abaya for my husband's best friend's wife in turkey (but once I tried it at home I wanted it for myself... and later in the end of the day I think it would suit my best friend in Indonesia best... really can't decide hahaha... Didn't I tell you I went crazy? :-p). I also bought two more little girls abayas for my Indonesian friends who live in Turkey. But of course I bought one more clothes for my own girl, this time is a set of tunic and pants, more like Pakistani style. The blue cross stitch on black is gorgeous:

Of course I bought men abaya for my son as well, last time he was so upset we didn't buy anything for him at the mall :) He only want to wear them for photo only, though... while it was hard to ask my daughter to take them away :)

I will share my own clothes once I chose and bought them :) I think I will go back to the shop in the mall because they have the top only with bat wing style and cross stitched belt so I can wear it with my jeans or legging underneath. I don't think I can wear abaya in Turkey without drawing any attention from neighbours and in laws :) If  its Indonesia I would go for abaya, that's for sure, because there we wear abaya (we call it 'gamis') on special occasion particularly religious one like Eid.

Now let us go back to my IHSW project: this is how it looks now:

I did some stitching for couple of hours on Saturday morning, and then noff to the mall to buy some presents for my daughter (she did a great job last week, she passed her yellow belt taekwondo test and didn't cry a single tear when her tooth was being pulled by the dentist... she deserves a barbie and she chose a disney Snow White Doll) and for her bestfriend swimming pool birthday party next wednesday (another barbie), and went to dentist again for her another tooth (ouch), and when we're back I spent a lot of time stitching again (aren't I a committed IHSW?)... but when I looked at the result it seemed not much progress (Am I really that slow?). I added couple small letters on the right side, did all the capital letters and 2.5 more kitties. My aim is to finish it this week so I can finally get over it (really don't enjoy it at all!) and start on another project. Finger crossed I would keep cross stitching it :)

Thank you for stopping by and reading my post... I really apreciate it, I hope you enjoy my story and pictures :)

***** many thanks, terima kasih, sağol, شُكْرًا

June IHSW has ended on my side of the world & giveaway

Hello hello hello... It's been awhile since my last post, I think I have to admit I am a slow stitcher, I have nothing to show off in here :)

This month is my first time as a hermitter, the official weekend in Jordan is Friday and Saturday (but some companies follow Saudri Arabia weekend which falls on Thursday and Friday), so today (Sunday) my IHSW has ended :) Its very quiet morning in here with my daughter and husband gone to school and office, while my son is still snoozing (its his habit, every sunday he would sleep until 12, too much partying during weekend, i guess ^-^)... I was thinking to keep continue my stitching (will it be considered as cheating because I will have three days instead of two? :-p). I think I will not continue, I will do some blogwalking (havent visited and commented for the last few days) and also will enter fabulous giveaway from Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe. Have you entered?

I will make another post tonight with photos of my stitching and also some captured of my weekend here in Amman. Have a great weekend and hope you all enjoying your stitching on this June IHSW

ADDED LATER: I have problem entering Victorian Motto Sampler Shoope, every time I tried to write on comment box there always a message: 'Comments on this blog are restricted to team members'
I am a member/follower (I can see my photo signed in on the top right where the follower box is) and I can commented on her previous giveaway. I tried to sign out and resigned out, clear the cookies, nothing worked. Anybody has the same problem with me or has suggestions?

UPDATED: problem solved! I was able to comment when I logged in the next day :)

***** many thanks, terima kasih, sağol, شُكْرًا