Forest Flame Millinery

Friday, April 27, 2012

Knee, 'Idiots' and a house full of furnitures

It takes me 20 minutes just to walk to the bus-stop because my knee hurts very badly. For the past 2 years, I took taxi to work every morning because of my knee. But not anymore. With my daughter's school fees costing me nearly S$9000 every 6 months, I worked out that I need to save $1500 every month and that means, I no longer am able to spend money freely. No more taxi every morning even if it costs me only $12 each way at a mere 15 minutes journey. From Ang Mo Kio to Khatib, it now takes me 1 hr and 15 minutes as I take 2 buses. This route requires the least walking and only cost $2. But it is a painful slow walk ....and I am no difference to the Hulk when I am in pain. So don't fault me if I am  curt and less patience lately.


Another incident that irks me happened just a few days ago. I thought that the Backpackers Guide to the Galaxy was nonsensical and those dummy guide series are crap ! But nothing beats this guide which I am going to tell you. As mid-year examination for the students starts next Monday, it is customary for the Dean of instructional programme to run through the invigilation procedures especially when we have new staff joining the school every year. I cannot fathom what's her motive for doing this. She quoted examples of how a staff has not conducted exam properly.Then this Dean showed us her powerpoint slides pompously and everyone gasped in horror, disgust? The title of her slides is "The Idiots Guide to Invigilation".  So we are all idiots?

My vintage flower tools and a hat block finally arrived. They were simply sitting in a forgotten corner at SingPost HQ at Paya Lebar and no one was able to trace them for nearly 3 weeks.  If these parcels were sent to my house the first time, I don't understand why they were untraceable the second time when I asked for redelivery? After-all, I paid S$110 for Vpost to send them from USA to Singapore.

I have just cleaned them but will have to wait for next weekend to try them out. It will be a busy week for me because I am organising my materials and work area. Never been a person who bother to do housework, I usually clean my house every few months. In fact the last time we mopped the floor was in Nov 2011. This is how my living room looks like NOW:

The town council man has just came over to dispose of my sofa and book shelf. Last night at 2 am, I threw out 12 bigs bags of stuff. No one wants them and I just have no time to give anything away. Don't call me wasteful. I can hardly walk and the easiest way for me is to pack them and dispose of them. Anyway, at 6am when I went to work this morning, I saw the lights and many items removed from the black trash bags and others were strewn all over and left behind. Obviously someone has taken the useable stuffs but he/she is no reader cos the whole box of fiction was untouched.

I am not the real 'waster'. It is my younger brother who lives in Hong Kong. He has decided that  Aberdeen is not too convenience and bought an apartment at Northpoint (Hooray, I like Northpoint, HK). So he is selling his semi-D in Singapore. We have called many 2nd hand furniture dealers but they were not interested citing low demand, We called many charity organisations but they only want small items like walking stick and kettle...etc. No one wants the teak furnitures that my brother has. Even Salvation Army is picky and wants $60 to be paid to them for transportation charge and only will collect items in good condition for them.  All my brother's furnitures are in good condition but Salvo here is so picky that anything with scratches, they dol not want. Well, bugger off! So I took his leather sofa, air cooler, standing fan, mini fridge, teppanyaki pan, ice coolers  and 4 sets of the lighter shelves, The king & queen beds, sofa bed, dining table, large fridge, large washing machine, side tables, dressing tables, writing tables, display shelves and cabinets (all teak or in good solid wood)...and many more,  everything in that 3-storey house will be disposed of. So I have been busy organising my own furnitures and helping him get ready the house for sale.

If I have a big house, I will gladly take more of the furnitures. Such is the way it is in Singapore, No one wants second hand furnitures. My brother couldn't care less as he is way too busy working in HK.

Going to make a coffee and start cleaning the house. See you at MAAD next Friday.

PS: I have made 4 new hat pieces but cannot remember where I have packed them after the cleaning up.

Good night.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Making It Clearer on Customisation

I received several emails a week requesting for customisation and I hate to say that I do not do customisation anymore. Well sort of. Let me explain.

To make a small cocktail hats can take me 20-35 hours. There's blocking, stretching, wiring, steaming and the many trimmings that I sew and make myself. But most of the order does not give me enough time to work on them. Thus I have to set certain guidelines as I hate to turn down orders every week.

1. Hats take time to make. Customisation takes 4 to 8 weeks. Please place your request in advance.
   Rush order is possible with additional charge.

2. I DO NOT make copies or duplicate another designs.

3. Customisation is strictly based on existing deisgns, i.e, I will make a new one for you based on my ready-to-wear range in the same color or another color of your choice (subject to availability of colors).

4. For customisation, price starts from S$150 for a round pillbox hat and S$250 for brimmed hat.

5. Consultation can be done at Red Dot Museum at MAAD which I attend once a month on a Friday night.I will be at MAAD on 13 April and 4 May. Please enquire for date in June.

6. Completed hats can be collected in person at MAAD on the Friday when I am there. Otherwise, it will be send via courier (same day service) at S$35 (within Singapore) per hat.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The truth, nothing but the truth

This is going to be a painful weekend. Nothing to do with the crucification of Jesus or the fact that many of my catholic friends been reminding me, "no meat ok, don't forget and must go church on Friday ok?" Whatever.

My pain comes from vpost who has once again "misplaced' my parcel. Come on dude, the item came to my house once, so it's in Singapore. How can you not find it for the 2nd redelivery? The fact that I pay US$480 for them and then vpost charged me S$110 for shipping add to the pain that I may just have a stroke before this post is completed. Just last week, without any aggravation or traumatic happenings in my life, my doctor asked with great concern if anything has recently happened because my hypertension is a high of 190. Paying S$9025 for my teen's 6 month school fees? You don't need to be a doctor to guess what's my blood pressure is right now.

As I have never been a very 'normal' person, maybe I should have taken my prozac before I lashed out at the robots at Vpost. Well, too late, I have already swung my lethal claws on 2 robots disguised as human beings on the phone and 2 equally venomous emails to unfeeling robots who will churn out standard answers.

The truth is I have this raging anger in me that I am glad because it let me forget about the pain in both my knees. Knee pain makes me forget about food too. Prozac makes me want to eat. Faced with the 2 Ps, I rather have pain.

Jolly glad that I am not selling any hats at bazaar this weekend. I will eat people who squeeze, press and mishandle my hats. The truth is MOST time, I am fuming when people tries on nearly all the hats BUT I know and they KNOW too that they have no intension to buy.

The truth is I HATE people fingering my hats especially after trying EVERY SINGLE HATS or nearly all the hats and especially the couture range that are most expensive, and then they said, "I don't know when/where can I wear or I don't have any occasion to wear".  WTF! If you have no intention of buying, why add to the wear and tear. $^&%% and stay away from my hats!  I may put up a sign forbidding people with greasy hair, dirty fingers and those with food to stay away. Or I should have one that say. " Once try on, Consider sold".

Last week, I placed a sign : "No Trying On Children". The venue been a large shopping centre and my next door neighbour were balloon artists. So there were many excitable and not forgetting spoil-bxxxs. One burly, swollen-looking father still insisted on placing my hats on his malnutrition-looking and equally ugly daughter. Another obese boy with learning difficulties (since he can't understand my pictoral sign and the words) tore a cocktail hat from my mannequin and wore it on his head. He squealed like a pig because a pin on my hat pricked his head. I wonder why I smile so sweetly at him seeing his pain and the fact that I find all boys (who are of primary school age) dirty and smelly. You will too if you have taught primary school boys and they swarmed all over you after their recess. Lucky for me, I was posted to a secondary school, well, the boys are still dirty and smelly but they don't swarmed all over me.

Good-intention people usually tell me to say only nice things in my blog for fear that it will affect my business. I don't fear nor care as I am not here to earn a living. I am doing what I love, making hats for people who love hats. And my price is a fraction of what they pay overseas. When customers come to my stall, I can tell. People who know hats, wear hats and appreciate my hats - I can tell from the way they speak and the way they handle my hats. They exude a certain confidence and manner. They may not buy any item from me but I will gladly help them try on my hats. Simply because they respect my hats, my designs and that understand the hard work for it takes me 10-35 hours to hand stitch one hat.

The truth is I know you when you stop at my stall. I just know.