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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Reindeer or Moose?


I say these are moose, Josh says they are reindeer. But then again, they could be elks or caribou . Frankly, I can't tell the difference. You don't find these creatures on our side of the pond.
However, we do have the mouse deer. Ever seen or heard of one?
image credit - Wikipaedia
Mousedeer, also known as Chevrotain.

Ah, but the mouse deer is not a deer! Neither is it a rodent. It is of the Tragulidae family. An animal about the size of a cat, the mouse deer lives in the jungles of Africa, Asia, and many Pacific islands. It has the legs and the tail of a deer, and the face and the body of a mouse.
The mouse deer (kancil in Malay) is the protagonist of many popular Malay fables that  have been told and retold as folklore for generations in Malaysia. A wee yet cunning figure, Sang Kancil uses its intelligence to outwit other bigger and more powerful creatures than itself.

If you have young kids and want them to learn about children's folktales of Southeast Asia, here are a few Sang Kancil stories to share - THE ADVENTURES OF MOUSE DEER

Monday, November 10, 2014

Santa Bears

With Christmas just round the corner, I'm elbow-deep in icing! Armed with my new found icing 'skills', I just can't wait to surprise my relatives and friends with this year's handmade Christmas cookies instead of those store-bought ones I have been giving year after year.
Santa Bears
Ha! Save for a couple of neighbours, a cousin and Josh's classmates who have been guinea pigs for my cookie experiments, no one knows about my cookie obsession and I can't wait to surprise them!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

School Break

Tomorrow is the last day of school for the year 2014 as Malaysian schools are out for our final term break. Dang!  This means I will have a hard time doing my cookie thing as I won't get to have the house to myself for the first half of the day. And for 2 whole months!  Shudder!

Cookies for Rodney's classmates. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Happy Halloween 2014

I know it's another couple of days to Halloween but I just can't wait to show these off!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Deepavali 2014

Around this time every year, you will see colorful *kolams such as this adorning the entrances to Hindu homes and shopping malls in Malaysia. That is because Hindus all over the world will be celebrating Deepavali also known as the Festival Of Lights tomorrow.

* During Deepavali, the entrances to Hindu homes are decorated with fresh mango leaves and kolams (Indian floor art). It is believed that the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi, will only enter a home that is adorned with a kolam.
The kolam or floor-painting uses colored rice grains or powdered rice to prevent evil entering the homes. It is believed to bring prosperity and harmony.

Photobucket
Diyas (oil lamps) are lit in Hindu homes on Deepavali morning. By lighting the oil lamps, the Hindus are thanking the gods for the happiness, knowledge, peace and wealth that they have received.

Diya and elephant cookies for my Hindu buddies

Happy Diwali to all my Hindu bloggy buddies!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Of Friendly Ghosts, Spirits and Deities

While making these cookies, I recalled  a strange story my college roomie shared with me. The boy in the story was her neighbour.
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When Yusof was little, his parents thought he had an imaginary friend he was constantly interacting with. The conversations and pretend games were so real, it was hard to believe that the friend was imaginary. Yusof described his friend as a boy with an elephant face. At first, his parents thought he just had a healthy, active imagination but grew concerned when they noticed the imaginary conversations and games took place only in a particular room in the house. It was an unfurnished and unoccupied room and they had just recently moved into the rented house.  When Yusof began to spend an abnormal amount of time in the room, his parents began to wonder if the 'friend' was more than just a figment of his burgeoning imagination. They decided to consult a bomoh (a Malay shaman) who, in a trance, revealed that the half-boy half-elephant friend was actually Lord Ganesh, the Hindu elephant deity. And the room that was the playground for Yusof and his invisible playmate was used by the previous occupants as their puja room. A puja room or a prayer room is an intrinsic part of every Hindu household. A visit to their landlord who previously resided in the house confirmed this. An idol of Lord Ganesh used to occupy the exact spot in that room where Yusof loved to play! The landlord brought a Hindu priest to the house and several rituals were performed which included mantras and offerings of  laddus (sweets), incense sticks and a garland of scented flowers. From that day forward, Yusof never saw his elephant buddy again! Uncanny but true!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Josh's Graduation

It seems like only yesterday when my son Josh graduated from Kindergarten.

I can hardly believe it has been eleven years since. Today, he graduates from High School
I am excited for him yet terrified of what the future will be like next.
As he stood there looking all smart and grown up, I went all emotional and it finally hit me that with school over, the safety fence will no longer be there and this young man will be stepping out into unfamiliar territory. This is certainly a pivotal time in our lives.
 I just couldn't hold back the tears that were streaming down my face. Today marks yet another milestone in his life. I guess there will be many more important milestones we see in the future and then, in a flash, they recede into the rear view mirror. How I wish life came with a pause button.
 
I made these cookies for his class's graduation party.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October is National Cookie Month

Did you know that October is National Cookie Month in the US? I don't really know the significance of this but to me, it means lots of excuses to bake cookies and sharing them with friends and family!

For starters, I made these gothic hearts. I thought they look kinda Halloweeny.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Of Monsters and Mosquitoes

Me:   Guess what these are?
Hubby:  Elephants?
Me: Wrong! Guess again.
Hubby: Mosquitoes?

Sheesh! What's wrong with that man? Has he no imagination or what?
C'mon pallies. Tell me these are obviously monsters in bubbling cauldrons.


And this is a crow, by the way!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Needlepoint Cookies

I used to cross-stitch a lot before the boys came along and when I was way younger. I thought making these needlepoint cookies was a piece of cake. Heck, I've embarked on projects far bigger and more intricate than these and on 22-count Aida cloth. That means 22 microscopic stitches per inch.
With bated breath, I sweated big time decorating these. By the time I got to the third cookie, my eyes were crossed and tearing up. And don't get me started on my aching back. Besides, the tension was killing me! It was sheer suspense getting those grid lines straight and across the cookie without breaking. I heaved a sigh of relief each time a line made it across successfully!
This, I learned, is definitely not a sport for the faint-hearted or the weak of eyeballs!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Matryoshka

When I was little, I was fascinated with a Matryoshka set my late aunt had that was a gift from her Russian pen pal. How I loved those Russian nesting dolls! The tiniest doll was the size of a peanut! They amused me for hours and I would stack and unstack them, wishing secretly that someday my aunt would bequeath them to me. She didn't! Sadly, no one knows until today where the dolls are. My aunt was single and didn't have any children.
Visiting Russia is on my bucket list and I hope to own these someday. Well, like I always say, if you can't have something, cookify it!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Quernus Crafts

I squealed with delight when I stumbled upon these wee animal sculptures handmade by Kirsten Miller of Quernus Crafts. Aren't these perfect as keepsakes or gifts? Kirsten from Leeds, UK started Quernus Crafts after leaving behind a 15 year career in law to make cute miniature creatures from polymer clay.

WARNING!   CUTENESS OVERLOAD!

Bath Time Mouse
Jane Austen Mouse
Ruth's Crunchie Mouse
The Mouse Nativity 2011

Psychiatrist Mouse And Patient
Sewing Mouse
Twas The Night Before Christmas
Visit Kirsten's photostream @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/quernuscrafts/ for more cuteness

Connet with Kirsten @
FB - https://www.facebook.com/QuernusCrafts
Twitter - https://twitter.com/QuernusCrafts
Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/quernuscrafts/
Quernus Shop - http://www.quernuscraftsshop.co.uk

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