Monday, February 8, 2016


Okay, this is going to sound weird but sometimes, my posts put me to sleep.


I can't count the number of times I've dozed off while typing one of those Zip A Bag tutorials, only to wake up with a start, and have to check that I hadn't written something stupid while unconscious.

"See," I tell myself, "if you were posting about cardboard toys and such, you'd never fall asleep, because cardboard is so amazing."

Yes, cardboard totally is. Sewing (even if with gorgeous fabric and vinyl and zippers), though . . . not so much.

And going on and on about the technicalities of sewing - RS and WS and SA and "face the zipper" and "snip the gusset" and "edge-stitch here" and "baste there"- is . . . well, let's say I've listened to scientific lectures delivered by incoherent professors with indecipherable accents that are more interesting.

Some days, the only way I keep myself going is by remembering that writing sewing patterns is a hundred times worse, because pattern instructions have to be a hundred times more banal. So . . . chin up, LiEr! This is merely a tutorial, not a pattern. Whoo! Perspective can do wonders.

That's not to say I don't enjoy writing tutorials, friends - if I didn't, and were just faking it to get you guys to like me, I'd have given up long ago and just curled up and died. I'm not good at pretending. It takes too much energy. It's just that they're sewing tutorials (not even drafting, which would've been at least fun), and sewing is all standard construction methods and foundational techniques. In other words, when you've made one bag, you've kinda made them all. 

Unlike drafting, which is mentally stimulating, or cardboard, which is - as we've mentioned - amazing.

Or maybe it's winter, and I'm missing the sunshine, and why do I have to wear jeans indoors (jeans are OUTDOOR semi-formalwear in Singapore!) just to stay warm, and who ate all the dark truffles and left the inferior milk ones behind? GRRR."


I can't pretend: I simply don't do well in the winter. Especially without dark chocolate.

But I will keep writing sewing tutorials, because I genuinely do like telling people what to do. Hahahahaha! 
Uh. Did I say that out loud?
I hadn't meant to actually say that out loud.
As I said, I'm not good at pretending.

Anyway, just for a break from bagmaking, here's a fun, colorful project the kids did this weekend.

Have you guys made one of these?

We just discovered babbedabbledo literally days ago. Beautiful, and loads of fun. I've pinned a few Sciencey-Mathy things to do with the kids in the future. So exciting (unlike sewing tutorials)!

These are flextangles. They're morph-y. And I like anything that morphs. Check out our grainy video:

Initially, we weren't going to post about them, because I don't believe that one should do crafts just so they can appear on the old blog. However, this is what the kids looked like this weekend:

I can't remember the last time all three of them sat at the kitchen table, coloring. As if they were preschoolers and toddlers again. It was like stepping back in time to a hallowed moment from babydom - those precious (and exhausting) years that I thought I'd lost forever.

Incidentally, the reason everyone's got newspaper and adverts under their projects is because they're using sharpies and other bleed-through-the-paper markers. It's a rule in our house, and it has saved carpets, tabletops and other important surfaces.

We printed out Ana's pdf printable from and the kids drew their own patterns and colored them. 

Here is one of the flextangle templates, colored, cut out and creased.

And here are the final flextangles, assembled and glued.


  1. Flextangles are tons of fun and a great tools in teaching geometry. We love them and because you posted about it, we will probably make one tonight. Here's hoping you can get some dark chocolate and sunshine soon. BTW, sweatpants are a great alternatives to jeans in winter time.

    1. Unknown: I hope you do make one! They're easy and cathartic (all that coloring!). Ah, sweatpants, yes. I might have a pair. I shoved them in the Denial Pile, along with indoor jeans. But they might have to be exhumed if this winter drags on.

  2. That looks like a fun project for Miss C! Thanks! P.S. I think you need to get to bed earlier. ;)

    1. I agree. Earlier bedtime sounds wonderful. Sigh. (Even though the aforementioned falling-asleep happened while typing at the girls' swimming lessons, in the evening. That's how sad my tutorials are.)

  3. Oh to have your confidence! I'm loving your zipper series. I'm creative enough to follow patterns and make them my own, but drafting and making up my own stuff has so far ended in utter failure every time. I've made a few bags, but the things that you use zippers for in this series blows my mind. Thank you, thank you for sharing your knowledge and creativity even though you're having a hard time with it!

    1. Julie: you're welcome! I'm actually enjoying this series, even though I complain and put myself to sleep while typing it all out. Don't give up drafting - it takes practice, and sometime in the future, it might just click. Sometimes that's what happens- a sudden flip of a switch rather than a gradual accumulation-of-skills. Drafting is funny that way.

  4. Oh goodness! Not only do you share your bag and zipper magic with us, but you share brilliant art & science idea websites too! I've been reading through the zip-a-bag tutorials and learning so, so much. While I don't have a bag currently planned, I have so much more confidence in my ability to execute well when I do make one. Thank you so much for all the time and effort you're putting into this series. Your generosity never ceases to amaze me.

    1. Danielle W: I love that website! I can't believe I only just discovered it. And you're welcome for the tutorial. Believe it or not, I AM actually enjoying writing it - when I'm not unconscious, I mean ;)

  5. Have you heard of Seasonally Affected Disorder ? Sound as if you have a slight case, obviously it feels worse to you, being used to a warmer climate. Maybe you could read up on it, there are several easy-ish home remedies you could try, along with the darkest of dark chocolate as an essential. I love your tutorials and your cardboard crafts, never boring - and I think you are such a good Mother to those girls, they are learning so much more than can be gained from formal education, great too that they don't seem to be glued to screens during their free time. Cheer up, February is the last month of Winter. x

    1. Elbey: Yes, SAD. I'm familiar with it and I most certainly have some degree of it. I deliberately dress summer-like at home as part of my coping, except this week, which has been colder than usual. Shorts are a wonderful therapy! Thank everything in all creation that we're in the homestretch of winter. And thank YOU for your kind and caring words!

  6. Spor la treba ! Faceti lucruri frumoase. MULTUMESC PENTRU MUNCA DEPUSA PENTRU ALTII

  7. I keep meaning to make these with my kids. Maybe over the upcoming long weekend...

  8. I hadn't seen these, so I'm really glad you did post about them!


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