Sunday, 26 Jun 2011

welcome to tomfoolerie

Posted in tomfoolerie handmade at 2:45 pm by betherino

Hello! Welcome to the tomfoolerie blog and store.

Our products under the tomfoolerie label will be listed on the Paperlace website ( and Facebook page. The shop part of the site is still under construction but most of the stuff in the Paperlace Lookbook is for sale. Give us a few days and we’ll have everything up and running! Do take a look and see if there’s anything you like.

If you have custom orders or requests, or if you saw something at the flea you liked and want to purchase, drop me a mail at and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

Thanks for dropping by!


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Shift dress

Posted in Musings at 9:23 pm by betherino

Okay, I haven’t posted in a long time – Pinterest really doesn’t help lazy people who don’t have that much time to blog :(

So anyways I’ve always been in love with Jean’s blog at ExtraPetite. Though I’m not exactly petite myself, we are both Asian so I do like seeing how she rocks colors and styles that would suit Asian girls with Asian coloring. She also shops at reasonably priced stores like H&M so it’s easier to get inspiration from her looks without feeling totally discouraged that I can’t afford anything similar. Another thing I like about her blog is that she alters a lot of her own clothes which really made me realize that I shouldn’t be afraid to tailor things to fit me better!

From Jean’s blog I hopped on over to Wendy’s Lookbook. Wendy is also American Asian but with slightly pricier looks; she always looks so perfectly put together with the most amazing ensembles. One look I liked was the orange shift dress from ASOS:

orange shift dress

Her dress is from ASOS and so is fairly affordable, but I’m a little leery of ASOS since my penny-pinching ways don’t permit me to buy any of the really well-made stuff! Still, if you like Wendy’s look, my favorite local online store, Love Bonito, has just released a gorgeous dupe in four colors: mustard (my favorite color of the season!), and the safer choices: black, white and navy.

Calista dress

It’s currently retailing for S$32.00 so grab quick! This time I’m still going to pass because I feel like my very rectangular body doesn’t work so well with this silhouette. If you’re petite or curvier than I am, this is so pretty <3

Here’s another version from Forever 21, now selling for US$17.80.

Let me try and ease my way back into blogging! *fingers crossed*

Friday, 2 Dec 2011

Harry Potterware

Posted in Accessories at 2:49 pm by betherino

Harry Potter accessories. How cute are they?!

Accio keys!
Accio keys! by foxwise

Hogwarts owl mail
Owl post necklace, by touchsoul

Marauder's Map bracelet
Marauder’s Map bracelet by TesoroJewelry

Harry Potter lightning bolt print
Harry Potter art print, by SkahfeeStudios

Deathly Hallows necklace
Deathly Hallows, by 1luckysoul

Harry Potter glasses necklace
Harry Potter glasses necklace, by SixAstray (local seller!)

Tuesday, 8 Nov 2011

Flowers make me happy

Posted in Home at 1:02 am by betherino

Cut flowers make me ridiculously happy. It’s really lovely how whenever I come home the first thing my eye is drawn to is the vase of happy flowers on the dining table and it makes me smile from ear to ear. They aren’t too expensive from Far East Flora either, and even though I have like absolutely zero flower arranging experience or any sort of know-how whatsoever, I still manage to get them into the vase and looking decent. Probably my flower-arranging expert friends would gasp and faint in horror at my inexpert handling of blooms but hey :D we can’t all be experts, so forgive my amateur fumblings. I basically just want all the flowers in the vase and looking like flowers!

Indian bicolor roses

All the pictures are taken with my humble iPhone – I know, I really should be utilizing my actual camera but aargh the iPhone just makes me so lazy – it’s a decent camera and I can wirelessly transfer the pictures to my computer. Heh. Anyhoo this time I bought some lovely Indian roses in two different colors. I really love the shading of the roses!

flower arranging for dummies

So all I really do is put the first stem into the vase and approximate how long I want the stems to be. I snip off the extra bit with my trusty gardening shears (which are delightfully rusty) and then lean the first rose against the edge of my glass vase. Then I pull off all the leaves except the topmost ones, and place the stems into the vase, alternating colors and crisscrossing the stems to give them some support and basically just stuff them in one by one. I’m sure flower-arranging experts are all cringing by now. Can I just use the excuse that I like the wild, untamed look? :D

vase full of roses

That’s pretty much just it. I have two friends who are mad into flower arranging and who do absolutely beautiful, delicate work, and I’ll show some pictures of their work sometime this week :) They really are brilliant and do *actual* arranging unlike what I do, which is flower stuffing, heh heh.

Sunday, 6 Nov 2011


Posted in Yummies at 2:35 pm by betherino

Emboldened by my recent success with dessert tarts (a chocolate salted caramel tart and a peach cream cheese tart), I decided to move on to muffins. Sadly though I’ve tried a few recipes that looked awesome in pictures, I didn’t quite have the same success with the muffins. Here are the recipes I tried and the outcomes! Just a tip – for my muffins (though I actually own two muffin tins – one metal and one silicon) I used souffle cups rather than muffin cases. I find that when making muffins in large batches I prefer to use souffle cases because they hold their shape and are waxed on the inside. Also it negates the need for muffin tins, because muffin cases need to be placed in tins, and so if I’m making a large batch, I’m not limited to baking only six muffins at a time.

Click on the recipe names for the links to the original recipes!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

cream cheese pumpkin muffins
picture from The Girl Who Ate Everything

It’s fall, isn’t it? Even if our leaves are stubbornly green here in the tropics. It’s practically winter now, really, but with Halloween just over and Thanksgiving coming up, I insist that it’s the right time to eat pumpkin treats! And these cream cheese muffins were perfect (since I had leftover cheese from the peach tart). Apparently they’re a Starbucks knockoff and the recipes carried such glowing reviews that I just had to try these.

Unfortunately, because we don’t get tinned pumpkin puree here, or pumpkin pie spice, I pretty much had to roast my pumpkin from scratch and make my own spice mix. This recipe took me almost 3 hours to complete and for the results, I didn’t think it was quite worth it. They were good, don’t get me wrong, but they weren’t so mindbogglingly good that I would willingly go through three hours of toil to make them again. It was lovely though to have the smell of autumn floating through the house, but I can easily recreate that effect with a pot of orange peel, clove and cinnamon simmering on the stove.

I didn’t manage to get any pictures of this though – I forgot. Blush.

French Breakfast Muffins

Velvet Lava's French Breakfast Muffins
from Velvet Lava

These were really easy to make with ingredients that any baker worth his or her salt would have lying around the kitchen on any given day, and only took less than an hour to whip up. Makes a small batch too of about six 4cm cupcakes, perfect for a small family. The cupcakes are alarmingly blonde though – I expected a browned muffin top but they came out really light, though with a really lovely dome.

As you can see from my picture, instead of topping them with melted butter and sugar as the recipe suggests, I decided to make a cinnamon honey buttercream frosting instead. I added a couple of tablespoons of thickened cream to the mixture, wiping it over the muffins with a palette knife. It came out a little too sweet for me but I later realized when you’re eating it with the muffin the sweetness is distributed so it’s just right. I would caution you though to make sure you’re using a decent quality honey – I used a cheap Huiji one and the honey taste was a little too harsh for me.

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Isabella's Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
from kokken69

If you watched Junior Masterchef as religiously as I did and fell in love with the twins, Isabella and Sofia, you’ll be thrilled to know that this recipe belongs to their family. Izzie baked these cupcakes for a Mystery Box round, and had the judges practically oozing over the table along with the lemon curd inside them! How could I resist this recipe then?

Putting the dough together

The batter was really simple, again the sort of recipe you can whip up anytime with ingredients you should always have in your pantry. Silly me though – I’d happily distributed most of the batter into my souffle cups, then realized I’d neglected to add the lemon zest. BAH. Had to pour them all back into my mixing bowl to fold in the zest. Grumps!!

Cutting holes in the muffin hearts

AS you can see these muffins turned out very blonde too. Is it just me? Is it my oven? They tasted fine though. I had to cut out the centers of the muffins for the lemon curd. Happily I got to eat all the centers too. It’s awesome being the chef.

When life gives you lemons...make lemon curd!

I need to grouse about lemons. On the telly, when you watch cooking shows, especially Nigella or Jamie, whenever they squeeze their lemons, BUCKETS of juice pour out, their lemons are soft and infinitely squeezable! WHY. WHY ARE OUR LEMONS SO HARD AND JUICELESS. And yes, I did roll my lemons energetically before cutting them in half. Plus I don’t have a juicer so I had to use a spoon to squish and press the insides of the lemons to get juice out. I ended up squeezing about three lemons to get half a cup of juice. It was some arm exercise I tell ya.

lemon curd

Just look at this beautiful sunny lemon curd. A warning though – in the recipe, they say to use a saucepan. Luckily through my many years of experience (watching cooking shows on telly, ahaha) I knew that lemon curd has to be made with a bain marie, like melting chocolate. So I put the ingredients in a bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisked it madly. When adding the eggs, which is the tricky part, I whisked them in a separate bowl first, then poured the beaten egg into the hot butter mixture very slowly and in a thin stream, whisking all the while. Otherwise you’ll end up getting cooked egg bits in your lemon curd, which is a big no no. I must have licked up more than a few spoonfuls of this lemon curd while I was making it…

Whisking egg white

The meringue part gave me a little trouble. In the recipe it calls for only 60-90 seconds under a heated grill. I gave it a good two minutes and it browned nicely, but when I tasted some of it (I’d put my extra meringue mixture into another souffle cup to test, clever me!) to my dismay it still had that yucky raw egg white smell and taste. After some frantic googling, I decided to put it in the oven a little while longer (about three minutes) under a lower heat setting of about 100°C, until I couldn’t bear to let the cupcake dry out anymore. As a result, the meringue was drier and lost the raw taste. Much better.

browning in the oven

I had to keep it for about two hours before we could eat it after cell group though, so the meringue did start to sweat large caramel colored drops of sugar, but it didn’t take away from the taste. The lemon curd oozed out nicely, though I thought it could do with a bit more of the sunshiny stuff. I did end up with a full 185g bottle of left over lemon curd so I’m going to be using it as a base for the peach tart I’m making on Friday.

happy birthday Alicia!

I printed out Alicia’s name in bright rainbow colors. Made it mirror-reflected so that I could fold over the tops and just double-sided taped the bottoms shut with the toothpicks in the middle. I also melted the bottoms of the candles a bit and stuck toothpicks up them as well. It made a happy happy birthday picture!

Friday, 4 Nov 2011

Is this…Hogwarts?

Posted in Photos at 9:36 am by betherino

Maybe it’s my deep abiding love for Hogwarts, but I’m completely enamored with cinemagraphs. They’re basically animated photographs where most of the elements are kept static, like regular pictures, but one or two…MOVE.

Dancing in the kitchen

Like that. Isn’t that stunning? I love how most parts of the picture don’t ever change so it isn’t like a video, but the seamless replaying of a particular moment over and over again.


I especially get a kick out of the ones where the person suddenly flicks his or her gaze towards the camera. A little unsettling at first, but yet the picture becomes so personal and directed with that one movement.

barber pole

Even the ones without people in them are so captivating, like this one of a vintage barber’s pole. I really love the thoughtfulness that went into this image because look – the reflection in the mirror is moving too!


And to match all the weather we’ve been getting, here’s some rain for you!

These pictures are all by photographer Jamie Beck, whose cinemagraphs are absolutely riveting and beautiful.

I don’t know why when I tried to host the images on my own site, they wouldn’t come through animated…so I’m piggybacking on the original links. :/

Thursday, 3 Nov 2011

Anticipating Bangkok

Posted in Clothes at 12:26 am by betherino

I’ve been waiting on my Bangkok trip for the last few weeks months now and while by and large I have been quite good about not buying clothes in anticipation of the trip, I’ve still picked up a few pieces here and there. Sooner or later I’m going to have to clear out the cupboard to make space for the new things coming in!

I’ve allowed myself to buy mostly skirts since BKK skirts don’t really fit me (curse of the big hips and booty) but I’ve been trying really hard to restrain myself on other items! Just to keep myself on track, here’s a (growing) list of the items I want to pick up in BKK.

1. Cardigans, sweaters, blazers, swing jackets, etc

from rdujour

I’ve recently discovered the wonder of layering (and also an extra-strength anti-perspirant) and by golly I’m not going to let the tropical weather stop me from layering! I figure the trick is to wear light layers and sleeveless tops under them. Also to jump on the chance to layer if it happens to rain in the morning and it’s cool enough to get away with it!

2. Striped or polka dot dresses

from extrapetite


I can’t get enough of these classic prints. I can’t explain it. Polka dots and stripes are such timeless patterns and disgustingly delicious and I LOVE THEM.

3. Swing skirts

from brinny.nwi, a blogger who absolutely rocks the swing skirt

I know I said BKK skirts don’t always fit me, but that applies to close fits or pencil skirts. Swing skirts, with their fullness, are much more accommodating of bigger bottoms like mine! And I’ve lately developed a taste for swing skirts and have been wearing my boring black one to death. I need more!

4. Something made of lace – a skirt, a dress, a top, whatever, if it’s lace I’ll have it

from alexandra p.

Lace is another one of those timeless trends; though it’s easy to look hoochie. I want something that isn’t hoochie, of course, which might be a little difficult in BKK. But we can try.

5. Mustard tights

from amyistheparty

‘Nuff said.

6. Lots and lots of accessories – bracelets, skinny belts, etc

7. A medium-sized handbag – maybe splash out a little on a good quality fake ;)

I really want to try and be disciplined this time and not buy back a whole bunch of cheap-looking stuff that I’ll end up not wearing and regretting. While part of the fun is the experience, I don’t want to face buyer’s regret and end up wanting to sell the whole lot off at flea markets or giving them away to friends who can fit. So I’m going to be strict with myself and make sure I get nice things even if it means paying a little bit more for them!

Friday, 28 Oct 2011

Prodigal blogger

Posted in Musings at 8:41 am by betherino

Okay, I’m back, I’m back, I’m back! The workload has eased off somewhat these last few weeks now that my kids’ final exams are well under way, and of course English is over which means the bulk of my work is also, finally, OVER. Only one more Literature paper to go and then I can well and truly see the end of this year’s graduating class workload!

So it’s been YONKS since I last posted – but I have lots of posts stewing in my head. I do still want to do a lot of things on this blog and I’m planning to work around my newfound Pinterest mania, using links I find there and post there. Also will be trying to get a little more creative around the house these hols since we’re not going on a big holiday this year.

So – just to remind myself what I want to do – here are some of the posty ideas coming up!

1) Pinspiration – crafty ideas I found on Pinterest and how I made my own
2) Redecorating and clearing up the house
3) Holiday decor and gifts
4) Sharing more pretty things I find online
5) Manicures

I’ve sort of gotten a little tired of Etsy because it’s become so cluttered with sellers who aren’t really all that great. It’s tiring to sieve through the shops and get disappointed at the quality of stuff on there. There are of course so many many gems but it’s getting harder to find them!

I AM going to break out my camera, and I WILL be posting more next week so…watch this space!

Wednesday, 20 Jul 2011

Terribly tempted

Posted in Home, Musings at 2:53 pm by betherino

to remodel redecorate redo something in my house – but gosh, the limits of time and money and laziness. I get itchy feet and there’s something I want to do – right now I’m leaning towards a new paint job – but at the same time the thought of having to actually DO something makes me feel exhausted inside. I’d rather hire someone to paint, but that will cost; I don’t mind doing it myself but that means a whole lot of moving furniture and effort. Plus it’ll be difficult to convince the husband!

I really would like to repaint the bedroom and the study – though the study is really more hubba’s domain than mine – I loved the dark colors of our bedroom when we first painted it but lately it’s starting to look a little dull. I want a richer, deeper tone than the cloudy blue-gray currently on our bedroom walls.

I wish there were a way to jazz up the living room as well. For some reason everything’s starting to look a little pale or dull, and some bright colors would really make me happy. I’ve always been a color person and the neutral tones of the house are starting to bug me a little bit. What could help? A colorful couch throw? Colorful cushion covers? A bright new rug?

I think though my first step should really be…clearing up my messes at home. My craft desk looks like Spotlight exploded over it, and my kitchen is getting increasingly cluttered…

Sunday, 26 Jun 2011

Wedding bells

Posted in Crafts, tomfoolerie handmade, Weddings at 10:40 pm by betherino

Sha had her wedding last weekend and her pictures just came on FB! Looks like it was such a fun and beautiful wedding – I’m really sad I wasn’t able to be there and share in the love and the excitement!

The lovely couple!

Sha and Jim


Sha's hairpiece


Groom corsage


Really love seeing my pieces on people and I’m happy I got to contribute to her happy day :)

Next page