Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Be Nice And You'll Get Your Cake

Tiramisu cake

Do you like stories? I like stories. Let me tell you one because I just can't keep a good story to myself.

One bright summer afternoon, I was rearranging the store merchandise and dusting the place. I usually have the door open to let in fresh air--especially when I'm cleaning. As I was sorting and moving some couple hundred rolls of fabric, I heard some loud sobbing alternating with some firm lecturing just outside the door.

Without going outside, I shifted my stance and tilted my head a little to peer out the door to see what the commotion was all about.

I saw a small boy crying his eyes out and someone who looked to be his father standing over him, telling him what he did wrong.

Aww, poor kid. Looks like he really got himself into trouble, I thought. I was watching long enough to know what the little boy had done to deserve a lecture. Just as I was about to turn around and get back to work, the dad saw me staring.

In my head: Oh crap. I got caught. Maybe I should wave to make it look like I'm friendly so he doesn't think I'm snooping and being creepy.

So I waved and smiled. (That's not so creepy right?)

I don't remember if the dad actually waved back but he brought the little boy into the store. (Guess I didn't come off as creepy. Phew!)

"Hello! Why are you crying? Did you do something bad?"


"What did you do?"

Daddy ushered him to tell me. "I jumped out of the truck." The boy murmured.

"He knows he's not supposed to jump out of the truck." The dad confirms.

"You learned your lesson right? Next time, don't jump out of the truck! You want a banana?"

(Yes, I offered the little boy a banana. Not candy. But a healthy wholesome banana. I thought a banana would cheer him up.)

"Yes." The little boy smiled shyly and took the banana in his hand. He didn't even wait and started chomping on it. He looked hungry.

The dad explained that he had had a long day of physical activities and was going to the bakery nearby to get some buns. So off they went.

Some several weeks went by and I saw them walk by again. The dad was taking the little boy back to the bakery to get grandma a mango cake for her birthday. "Oh, I like their mango cake. It's tasty." I said.

A few days later, the dad waltzed in with a box in his hand and gave it to me... "You like mango cake right?" he said to me.

What a very nice thing to do! I love random acts of kindness. Small things like these can make someone's day. I love being nice to people because you know they'll always be nice back--well, most of the time. I have faith in everyone.

It had been many months but I saw the dad walk by yesterday and wave to me through the glass. I waved back excitedly because it was like seeing an old friend.

About an hour later, he came in and handed me a box. "You like Tiramisu right?"

I took it trying not to laugh. "Yah. That's right. Tiramisu."

The moral of this story: You can be nosy and creepy but as long as you know how to be kind, you'll get cakes, though you may not get the right one everytime.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not-Yet-Christmas Holiday Randomness

So Christmas is just around the corner...and, um, where's our snow? We're not getting enough of that frozen white stuff...but a whole lot of that nasty wet stuff. What was that thing about El Nina this winter we'd been seeing all over the newspapers? I'm sure many people ran out to get their cars fitted with snow tires after that epic record-breaking "snowstorm" in November that lasted for one whole day.

Those boys at Midas and Kal Tire are probably kicking back now, smokin' their cigars, and having a great ol' jolly good time while we're out here driving around in our excessively sticky cars, burning expensive fuel and big fat holes into our wallets. Why burn logs or coal this winter? Just throw your money into the fireplace! ;)

I'm not bitter at all. I love Christmas. It's one of those times when you can justify all your unnecessary purchases! "Ooooh, that's so cheap! Buy three, get three free! I'll keep three for myself and give three away as gifts. It's like I didn't even spent a single dime on gifts for other people."

Really? Did I really need to get SIX family size cans of "super hold" hairspray? Do people even use hairspray nowadays? If you have an Aunt Doris who still sports a giant cemented beehive, please shoot me a message.

Ahh.. a fine example of an unnecessary purchase. My brother bought this for me yesterday because it was so cheap that he felt like a fool if he hadn't bought it. I call it Mr. Easily Justifiable One Dollar Minature Imitation Leather Bear. Isn't it the cutest thing? Now, all I need to do is find a use for it.

$1.69 Peppermint Chocolate Sticks. I love you. It's like a Christmas party in my mouth!

I had this suit jacket made back in the summer when I first started this blog but never wore it. It didn't have any buttons then because my tailor decided that after two jackets, it was my turn to sew on my own buttons. And unfortunately for me, I'm gifted in procrastinating.

Half a year later, Anda concluded that I will never get around to it. So she did it for me. *grin*

This is Nathalie. She helps take my pictures sometimes. She's also a to-be-carrot-pant wearer. Guess what she's getting as a Christmas gift from Balsam Custom Tailors? Teehee.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How To Destroy Your Little Girl's Jeans--Or Yours

I had to destroy some poor little girl's cool-looking glittery jeans today. The mom came in and asked me to rip as many holes in her little girl's jeans as possible to make it look like tattered rags. Her daughter is playing poor little dirty "Oliver" in her school play.

To make a pair of brand new jeans look old and tattered is actually a lot harder than one might think. The process is long and tedious. It took me 2 hours to finish. Basically, you cut slits in the appropriate spots--places where friction is likely to happen (knees and bum are good spots) and rub the hell out of the areas with a very very tough scouring pad. All the while, you pull out white strands from the frayed edges. Then you keep scouring until you think the areas look very worn out and discoloured.

Little girl's jeans.

Glittery back.

Scouring pad and sturdy scissors.

Stuffed giant hard pillow (I really have know idea what this thing is called). My dad made it.

Insert pillow into pant leg.

Scour the spot like you're scouring the face of the person you really don't like. It makes time go by much faster and the job more enjoyable.

Girl-Oliver's pants. Cool as ice.

No bum rips for this little girl as it may be too revealing for a person of her age. See, I'm already practicing my parental discretion. I'll make a good mother some day. "Jane, no bum rips for you! Now eat your broccoli!"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Real Mission Impossible

Ms.V came in one cold wet disgusting weekday. She took out a straw and an egg from her purse. "I want you to push this egg through this straw so it will come out intact on the other end." I stared blankly at her.

Okay, that didn't happen. What really did happen was this: Ms.V had ordered a wedding dress online a while back and received it just recently. Her wedding day was to take place in Mexico in less than two weeks. The dress was absolutely gorgeous and to die for, albeit one really important thing: it was at least 3 sizes too small for her and way too long.

Alterations on wedding dresses are common and almost no bride can pull a dress off the rack and claim that it fits perfectly. Usually, the dress requires a snip here and a trim there to make it fit the curves of the woman who'll be wearing it.

We had Ms.V put on the gown for us.

The front looked close to perfect but the backside was a different story. Ms.V needed another extra 4 inches at the widest point to be able to zip up the back zipper. At that point, I knew we had a huge problem. The first thing I normally do if a garment needs to be "let out" is to check the appropriate seams for enough fabric. There simply was nothing on Ms.V's dress to work with.

So much for letting out.

Anda and I scratched our heads and scratched again. We looked at each other and we looked at the dress. Then back at each other.

"Well, she's got to shorten her dress at the front. Why don't we take that piece and do something with it?" I said with a trace of doubt.

"We could do something with it. The idea of adding fabric is brilliant but how on earth do you add it on so that it will not interrupt the flow of the dress and make it fit the contours of her back?" Anda replied.

We were determined to figure this one out. We are known to do "magic" here and we weren't going to let this dress rob us of that reputation.

My mom and our team of talented seamstresses and tailors put their heads together and came up with a wonderful solution:

First fitting. Our idea worked!

Thanks to the concealing wrap style back, you wouldn't even know that we did work on the dress.

Ms. V looking so stunning in her gorgeous embellished gown. I love the train of this dress! So classy and flattering!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jack Frost Bit My Nose. And Now I've Gone Mad.

Tailored jacket with ruched sides..mmm, tailored jackets.

Don't ask me what this is. I really don't know how to explain it to you. I don't ride horses. I don't like horses. It's too late to call it a Halloween costume. This is the product of a cold numb brain and my yearning for the season 4 of Mad Men dvd set to come out (think Betty Draper--I love her riding clothes). Pretty creative cold numb brain huh?

Cold weather's good. Cold Vancouver rain bad.