Monday, 28 April 2014

Bits And Blythes All Over The Place

Jakey says hi!!!!! Don't you just LOVE his smile!!??!! 

Hi everyone!!!!!!!!! How are you????? What have you been doing???? Wow, it's been AGES hasn't it!! Sorry for not posting for SUCH a LONG time! The last time I posted was during the December holidays LAST YEAR! Well, of course then school started, so I got all busy with schoolwork and lots of new activities. Then I had gastroenteritis for almost 3 weeks!! I even had it during the March holidays, BOO! But I'm all better now, thank you Jesus!!

So this post is going to be a little long, because it's a bunch of stuff over the past months squeezed together (I don't have lots of pictures though, because our little old camera slowly died a couple of months ago). Before I start though, I'm going to do some SHOUT-OUTS! In case you don't know, a shout-out is like a greeting, which people usually do over the radio or during a concert, to people you can't see right then. It's a way of saying HI!! If you'd like me to post a shout-out for you to your friends in my next post, let me know!

Here are my shout-outs:
Shout-out to Qin Yi, my classmate and probably the best follower ever. Thanks for swinging by my blog almost every day!
Shout-out to Nicholle -- thanks for being a great friend and my Science partner in the SCSA competition!
Shout-out to Dion -- thanks for being a great partner!
Shout-out to Harmony, Jana, Leeann, Ser Jia, Chloe, Maisy and Jodie for celebrating my birthday with me -- thanks for your super presents and an amazingly fun day!
Shout-out to everyone involved in Earth Hour -- good job!

Now on to my post! (I would have liked to share more pictures of my awesome birthday party with my friends, but I don't really have pictures because the camera was dead at that time. This picture was taken by Maisy's mom, but we're all looking at other people taking pictures with their handphones. Anyway, we had a great time!! Thank you everyone!!!).

So, see me in my blue uniform up there? That's right -- I'm with the Girls' Brigade! Do you know what the Girls' Brigade is? Well, it is an international and interdenominational Christian youth organisation. It was founded in 1893 in Dublin, Ireland. The Brigade operates in over 60 countries worldwide!

The international vision statement of the GB is "Girls' lives transformed, God's world enriched". The motto of the Girls' Brigade is "Seek, Serve and Follow Christ" and its aim is "To help girls become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and through self control, reverence and a sense of responsibility, to find true enrichment of life". The GB programme follows four themes: Spiritual, Physical, Educational and Service. These words spell SPES, which is Latin for Hope. Isn't that great?

I chose to join the GB as my school co-curricular activity (CCA). All students in Singapore must participate in a CCA. As a GB girl, I have lots of important things to take part in and different roles and responsibilities. For example, we have gone to help at the nursing home and had camps in school to learn important life skills and about the fruits of the Spirit. We even had a year-end field trip to Pastamania, where we got to make our own pizzas -- YUMMY!!

Last Saturday, I took part in my official enrollment in the GB. There are six badges which can be collected throughout a year (I got my sixth today). Each badge stands for something; in this case -- God's Book, My Journey, My Service, My Treasure, My Activity and My Responsibility. The first letters of the badges spell "GB J STAR", which means a really AWESOME Girls' Brigade Junior :D

And now, here's a quick pic of little Jakey!!! Isn't he the most adorable fuzzpot ever???? He's already 9 months old, and he can stand up all by himself. He has a huge appetite and the most awesome laugh ever!!!

Just yesterday, my Dad brought me, Ro and Jakey swimming. We put a small black swimsuit on Jake and decided that we would put him in the water slowly, and get him used to it step by step. The last time we brought him swimming, he screamed his head off the moment his toe touched the water. However, this time he really enjoyed himself, and Daddy carried him around in the adult pool. He was laughing and happy and Daddy said he swam better than Ro and me (haha, very funny, Dad).

Here we all are hanging out in front of the balcony TV. I know I look deep in thought or plain bored, but I suppose that's how I look when I digest my food. It's a pretty small space, but really cozy. Just behind me is my Mom's tiny craft area, which brings me to my next topic!

Remember my Blythe dolly Isadora? Well, do you know, my Mom is a doll customizer! Doll customizing is really an art form, where the artists take a basic doll and totally transform it. The dolls they make are called art dolls and they are collectors' items. This dolly is Sadie, one of my mom's dolls. Isn't she pretty? Sadie was bought by a lady all the way in the USA. Sometimes she shows my Mom pictures of Sadie all dressed up with her other dolls, which makes my Mom really happy.

Some of my friends own Blythe dolls in their original form and asked me how my Mom could make them look completely different. Well, let me show you! This is a picture of a Blythe in her original form. Even though their hair and eye colours might be different, their faces all have that shiny plasticky look and those same sort of features.

So, to customize her, my Mom has to completely take her apart. This is a picture of Blythe in pieces.

A lot of the work happens on the face of course. My Mom has to remove all her original colour and carve her to look the way she wants. This is what it looks like in the beginning.

This is what it looks like after awhile. Carving is hard work and takes a long time. My Mom says it's kinda tricky because it's 3D and not flat like a drawing. You have to look at it from all different angles.

The carving tools are all very sharp and so are the doll parts. My Mom has a box of plasters on her craft table. See? Poor Mom's finger got a deep cut and was bleeding :(

After she finally finishes carving, it's time for the faceup. This is when she paints in all the colours and things she wants.

My Mom also has to change the eyes and the eyelashes and decorate the eyelids. Sometimes she also colours and cuts the hair. The face she was working on in those pictures became the dolly above -- Francoise! Francoise is also living in the USA now.

Here is Rowan, getting her newly coloured hair and waiting for her new body.

And here is Rowan, all done! Rowan is going to live in South America, wow!

My Mom always takes pictures of her dolls before she packs them up to send to their new owners. She says that after working so hard on them, she really misses them when they go. Here is Miette sitting on the dolly travelling trunk. My Mom also has to put beads and charms on the doll's new pullstrings. The pullstrings control the doll's eye mechanism. Original Blythes have one string to change their eyes (they have four pairs of eyes looking in different directions), but they don't have sleep eyes. Customizers usually put in the second string so they can close their eyes if they want.

These are Sadie's eyelids.

Here are a few pictures of some of my Mom's dolls. They all live in different parts of the world now. This is Marine. I think she has a very cool city look.

This is Ophelia. She is like a romantic princess in a haunted castle.

And this is Scout! She is the only dolly available in my Mom's shop now. I think she is really cute, like a real little girl.

She's a bit of a tomboy too, so I think we should keep her! My Mom says she'll think about it.

OK -- I'm going to stop now for my dinner. I think I'll have more pictures next time because we have a new camera now, yay! But these few weeks we'll be having exams, so I'll be busy with that. Thanks for popping by!! See you again soon everyboooddyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Isadora in Beijing - Part 2

Hello everybody!! It's me again -- Isadora! What a lovely evening -- let me sit down and share with you more of my holiday pictures! 

Can you see what my Aunty Roro is doing here? Yes! She is feeding me some sausage! The hotel we were staying at gave us breakfast every morning. A lot of it was really oily. We ate tons of hard-boiled eggs.

Here's Aunty Roro offering me some cereal.

I was super excited to visit the Great Wall! We had to take a cable car up. That was so much fun.

And here I am at the Great Wall! It was really magnificent! The Wall was built more than 2,000 years ago and is 5,500 miles long! That is really long! I've read though that the Wall is getting shorter bit by bit because of natural erosion and all the human activity. Of course we can't do much about nature, but people can be more careful, like not taking bricks!

Here I am at the Summer Palace! It is a royal park built in 1750. Isn't it lovely?

Here I am sitting by Kunming Lake and thinking about my dolly life.

I am imagining the Dowager Empress Cixi being rowed along the lake. That day the lake was iced over though, so maybe she went skating.

Here I am with a qilin -- a mythical creature that symbolises peace and prosperity. He looks friendly, don't you think?

Then, we went to the Forbidden City! This was the Chinese imperial palace for almost 500 years! You have to get tickets to go in. Here you can see how big the place is and how crowded it was.

Here I am standing outside one of the palace doors. Isn't is pretty? I sort of match it.

This is a dragon water spout! There were many of them to help prevent flooding.

And here I am inside one of the garden pavilions.

Next we visited the Beijing Museum of Natural History! The museum covers the evolution of organisms and the development of life on Earth. Here I am with some dinosaur bones!

This guy shows the stage after coming out of the water and developing legs. He looks happy.

Here I am talking with a dinosaur! Yes, they actually moved. Go animatronics!

The museum had a really huge collection of stuffed and preserved animals and things. I think this is a yak. All the signs in the museum were in Chinese only, and my Chinese isn't that great yet.

Here I am with a whole bunch of bugs.

And here I am on our last day there -- waaaaaaaaaaaah.

I sat at the hotel window as long as I could while mommy packed up everything.

Here I am in the airport.

And here I am on the plane. I was already thinking about where I'd like to go next!

Well, I hope you liked my pictures! You can see more pictures of our trip here. Enjoy the rest of your holidays and see you again real soon! Bye!!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Joy To The World!

Hello everyone!!! Just a little post to wish you a joyful, blessed Christmas season -- from Rufus the bear, Fuchsia, Isadora, Persephone, Philomena and all the rest of us at home! See you again real soon!!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Isadora In Beijing - Part 1

Hello everybody!!! It's me, Isadora! How have you been? I hope you are all enjoying your holidays! I know I am! Do you know what I am thinking of? Yes, my trip! I just came back from Beijing, China! It was sooooooooooo much fun -- let me tell you all about it!

When my mommy Rebecca took out my travelling bag, I knew it was time to go. I was so excited! Here I am peeking out of my bag. It fits right around the handle of my mommy's trolley bag, so all she has to do is pull us along.

Here I am sitting with Rebecca's mommy's knapsack. We were having drinks in the lounge while waiting for our flight.

And here I am on the plane! We watched a whole bunch of movies and got served our kid meals before everyone else.

And here I am in our hotel! You can see from the view outside the window that Beijing has lots of open space. It's winter and all the trees were bare. I really loved the weather though -- it was an average 0°C downtown, and it was great to not feel all hot and clammy all the time.

Here I am all dressed up and ready to go down for breakfast. You can see not everyone else was ready though.

During our trip, we did A LOT of walking. Thank goodness the weather was so nice. When we first touched down, we could actually smell the smog right inside the airport, but the next day it all cleared up, thank you God! Here I am standing outside the station underpass. You can see the Beijing Olympic Fuwa behind me. Aren't they cute! Fuwa means good luck dolls. Beibei is the Fish, Jingjing is the Panda, Huanhuan is the Olympic Flame, Yingying is the Tibetan Antelope and Nini is the Swallow. When you put their names together -- Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni -- they say "Welcome to Beijing"!

Here I am outside Yonghe Lamasery, or the Lama Temple. This is a monastery for monks of Tibetan Buddhism. There were lots of people inside praying and burning incense sticks. You weren't allowed to take pictures in most of the areas. One Buddha statue we saw was absolutely enormous. It was carved from a single piece of white sandalwood and is in the Guinness Book of Records.

The next day we went to the National Museum of China. The place is really really huge. Chinese history is really long, so there were lots of things from the time before Christ and even prehistoric times. Here I am with some terracotta people from 202 BC.

Mommy took this picture of this smiling guy.

These are a silver holder and sticks from a drinking game called jiuling. The player who can't respond to a riddle or poem must drink as punishment.

There's mommy looking at an iron plaque from 897 AD (well, right then she was looking at Roro). The plaque was given to Qian Lu, a military governor, by Tang Emperor Zhaozong to certify his exemption from the death penalty. I think that was a good thing to have.

Here I am in the museum gift shop. Those gigantic paintings on the wall were really fantastic.

This is the Beijing Tourist Information office. It looked really cool outside, so we went in. But there was nothing inside except a bunch of brochures and a few really bored looking staff. That was a bit sad.

I know when you visit a different country you really should try that country's cuisine. But we were so tired and hungry from all the walking that we popped into McDonalds'. Well, I guess I don't have to tell you it tasted exactly the same! But the Happy Meal box was different. It says "Learn English together!", but you could also learn Chinese from it.

On the way home, we walked through this big street called Wangfujing. It's a shopping area that's 700 years old! There was even H&M there, but of course, that's not 700 years old.

Here I am looking at one of my favourite treats. But my mommy said "No" because her mommy said "No".

OK! That's all for today! I'll share more of my pictures with you another time. Have a super day! See you again soon!!