Clutches from HCMC, Viet Nam
Hi everyone! It’s been a month since I’ve blogged, but as you all know too well, life happens.
It’s been a very, very busy time of the year for me and the family. Two of my kids had their birthdays and that means me making egg-free cakes since my oldest son has an egg allergy. I love many things about Ho Chi Minh City, my temporary home for another 2 years, but the one thing I detest is the shopping. :( It’s terribly inconvenient. Just finding vanilla extract took trips to three different stores, and after giving up, my dear friend Dutch friend Zita had some to spare for me! Thank goodness for friends and neighbors in this expat community. Target and Costco would make a killing in this town.
I found tips from amazing bloggers on the Internet to make this cake. I could not find any grocery stores that sold ice cream cones here! My husband flagged down a street vendor who was selling ice cream and bought them off of him. I made fondant out of strawberry flavored marshmallows. The best thing? My son could enjoy this cake along with all the kids without fear of an allergic reaction.
I have also continued to do my weekly visits to my Grandma, who does relatively well for her old age. I am very thankful for the visits and the many talks that I have with her. Nothing brings me more joy than to see her smile, like she is in the pic below. Her eyes absolutely light up when my kids are around. Sometimes I go by myself, and sometimes I’ll bring one or two of the kids with me. The bumpy trip in traffic has made my middle child prone to carsickness. Noah hurled coming home from one trip and when Hayley looked over, she vomited as well. Lucky for Ethan’s quick reaction, he bolted up and managed to avoid the calamity. And he was seated in between them!
My Grandma’s health is off-and-on but not as precarious as she was last October. She has a keen mind and still runs the show. We try to make her comfortable and happy. She only asks for visits and a little money to donate to the local temple. She gives me fruit (mango, pomelo, guava) every time I come and visit. She also tells me to stay out of the sun, which is quite impossible with three active kids. Not to worry, I use SPF 50 on them and myself every day.
I had time to go to a trade show where local artisans showcased their talent. I was most impressed by the emerging rice art displayed there. Below are artwork made by a local firm that employed disabled people. The director was a young lady who just recently graduated from university and started her own company! Her employees use rice that has been roasted to different shades to meticulously create the designs. The rice is adhered by a proprietary eco-friendly glue. It was really striking artwork. I was really impressed with this young visionary who found her passion while at the same create jobs for those who often have a next-to-impossible task of finding suitable employment.
Whatever little time I had left, I had to do more errands. On a trip to get my daughter a toy cell phone for her birthday, I saw some cute clutches sold in local accessories shops in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. They do not allow photography but I had to break the rule and whip out my point-and-click and snapped some candid shots!
School is out so I will be busy with the kids every day. My youngest sister is also here visiting for 7 weeks so it’s full at our house. I can only work once the kids are in bed at 8pm. Most of you with young kids may be experiencing the same thing that I am: how to keep the kids busy and how to limit their time on electronics! We have a couple of trips planned: South Korea for 5 days and the US (NJ, IL, IN, and WI) for 2 weeks. I think the travel and jet lag will really age me and test my patience, but traveling is a nice problem to have!
Until next time, I will update the tutorial in some key measurements. You already know how to adjust the measurements and how to make your own pattern from my bonus tutorial, but I will make a permanent change since I like the fuller look of clutches. As always, I will let you all know about it here first. So if you haven’t already done so, subscribe to get the email update when that happens. The update will be free for all of you who bought the clutch tutorial. For your convenience, it’s the same password as was sent to you when you bought the tutorial.
Lastly, I’ve had 5 versions of a clutch for the 12×3.5 frame but I haven’t found a way to make it easy to make, so it might entail a new tutorial for that size bag, altogether. I will give it one more attempt before doing a whole new and different tutorial for that size alone. I have been working on different patterns and sewing steps to simplify it while making the template printable from your desktop printer without any scaling. Just print and go like the other tutorials. I’m not quite there yet.
Until next time, I hope you all are having an enjoyable summer. Remember to wear sunscreen! :) ~Winn
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