Saturday, May 25

First artwork on the wall!

I used to dream about buying a house and filling it with my artwork all over the place. Lol I also had plans to hand paint patterns on the walls and ceiling.

Alas, now that we've bought a house.. I'm too chicken to do anything more than painting the walls white! Paint is not cheap and I kept imagining my cat creating a Picasso moment (probably called something like 'Rainbow Pawprints') around the house. Another thing holding me back is the fact that this place also belongs to the boyfriend and I don't know if he's gonna like my paintings. Heck I'm not even sure if I'm going to like it!

But look at it this way - it's a clean slate. A blank canvas, a great way to start. At least this is how I consoled the artist within.

I have not worked out enough courage to get adventurous on my walls yet so for now, painting on paper/canvas then hanging it up seems like the perfect compromise :)

Frame: RIBBA 42 x 52 cm, IKEA, AUD 19.95

If I've got spare cash, I'd give Art Logic a call to get their very cool gallery quality hanging system installed in my house. Neat and strong, these babies have a high tensile strength (up to 15 kg per strand from memory) and most importantly, you know you can trust the Art Logic folks, one of the best people I have worked with :)

Monday, February 18

A Belated Birthday Card

Alison is a friend of mine (a fellow cat owner and pet lover) that went through all the trouble to get me a whole lot of things for my birthday last year - things that I've really want, but never had the heart to spend money on. I was so moved I nearly teared!

Her birthday was in early January and we weren't able to find anything suitable so we ended up purchasing a gift card. I didn't think a gift card was very thoughtful so I've decided to couple it with a handmade card. Now this decision caused another 3 weeks of delay because I procrastinated but I finally mustered enough will power to get it done. Here's the finished product:

Black kitty card is inpired by the white maneki neko figurine - a souvenir from Alison in her travels last year.
The front and back of card.

LOL can you see how sincerely sorry I was?!?

Tuesday, January 8

Thank you 2012!

The magic peacock of random awesomeness

I still find it hard to believe that yet another year has passed. Two weeks into the new year and I still put down '2012' when I'm writing the date half the time (like in my drawing above). Oh well, I'll get used to it.

2012 was a really challenging year for some. From speaking to friends, Facebook and some blogs I follow, quite a few couldn't wait for this testing year to end. I do hope the new year will bring them new found hope and happiness. Nothing's permanent in this world of ours, good or bad - this too shall pass. 

Overall, I think 2012 has been a pretty good year - some significant milestones and emotional highs for many. A lot of couples I know either got married or engaged. A lot of my close friends claimed they had their biggest travel adventures or have never travelled to so many places in one year before. I couldn't say the same for myself, but these are my highlights for 2012:

1. Going back to Malaysia

Twice actually, but the trip last December was really awesome. The main reason for the trip is to attend my cousin, Rose's wedding. This experience deserves a couple of blog posts on its own but in a nutshell, it's the most frustrating yet the most beautiful wedding I've ever witnessed. 

It's always a challenge to catch up with people with such a tight time-frame but I am immensely proud of my good mates. After Rose's wedding, I hopped on a 7 am bus to KL and texted them on the way there. With only a few hours of notice, my friends/cousins with full time jobs made time for me and I've got my power packed trip sorted. I love them to bits! 
Penang > KL > Damansara > Kuang > Seremban > Kuang > Damansara > Penang (in 4 days!)

Last but definitely not least, I spent some quality time with my family. I have a love-hate relationship with some of them but at the end of the day, family is... family! And I really do love them.  

2. Getting my driver's license
Got my driver's license in Malaysia a month before I came overseas, and have been too poor to afford a car and too used to having Steve to chauffeur me around... until recently. May not be a big thing to some but having the confidence to drive a car is a massive accomplishment to me. Having said that, driving in Malaysia is still far-fetched for me :P

3. Rekindled old hobbies
I'm starting to draw, paint, read books and ride my bike again. These are small things, but something inside me felt alive. I doubt it made sense to you but I really can't explain this better.. sorry! 

4. Being more stable
What kind of highlight is 'stability'?! Lol, I feel like a simpleton sometimes. For lack of better words, I wanted to say that I felt more secure about my life. My relationship with Steve is going strong and financially, I think we're both dealing with our savings very well. I'm really pleased and contented with where we are at.

Well, wasn't it a perfect year? Nah, it goes without saying that the year did encounter a few low notes. I'm beginning to dislike certain aspects of my work and workplace. A big portion of my calendar year is dedicated to work so this is a biggie! Gah, at least I think I'm well paid, so I'll suck it up and power on. Another lowlight was how I disconnected myself from some friends. It's probably beneficial to disassociate myself from friends as such, but I feel sad. (Hero complex?) I wish I could fix this. Can 2013 give me the opportunity to do so? 

Sunday, October 21


One of my favourite things is the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Instant coffee is okay - I'm not particularly against them, but there's just something magical about ground roasted beans.

Back in Penang, either my mom or aunty would make a pot of coffee every morning. I think they are still using cloth filters that looks something like this. For as long as I remember, I've always loved the smell of coffee but it took quite a few years to feel the same about its taste. It was too easy to sneak a few sips so I eventually did it... and was filled with disappointment! "How can something smell so nice yet taste so bad?" So coffee was in the same category as lip balm (blueberry) for a while.

Latte, cappuccino  mocha, long black, short black, flat white etc etc..  Two years ago, I'd think long and hard about which one I should try. I'm only used to hearing people order Kopi O or Kopi Peng! LOL. Although I still find the coffee list rather confusing, I now know what I want to have. Ooh, I could also roughly explain what affogato and macchiatto is. When I was working as a waitress, I had hoped for my boss to get a proper coffee machine in her restaurant so I could learn some cool barista skills.I doubt she gave it much thought! Oh well, someday I'll get an espresso machine with a steamwand so I can make pretty latte. Haha, someday! 

My sloppy latte art on pumpkin soup...

As a kid, the question of why the adults enjoy drinking coffee, eating vegetables and watching news on tv have always puzzled me. Now I feel all grown up :P

I guess it's a good time to end the post. The cat has just gone onto my lap.. kitty love time! :3

U say wha?

Wednesday, September 19

Feeling artistic all over again

I rarely pass on any given opportunity to sketch, although the quality of my sketches these days are detriorating. Having said that, when I put some effort and time into it - I'm quite amazed at what I could draw.

I drew this a few months back for our rogaining team, the Sleepy Crawlies. We're meant to be in a bug inspired sleeping bag. I think it's cute :P Most of my drawings are still in pencil. I don't really know how to use pens properly yet.

I've recently completed a 5 week acrylic painting class at the WEA. I struggled more than I expected to. Blaargh, long gone were my glorious painting days! I've only used poster paint in the past and acrylics behave quite differently. It was quite challenging to get use to the quick drying time and the fact that the paint becomes insoluble in water after it has dried. I don't have a lot of colours so I've got to mix a few colours to obtain them. This also proved harder than initially thought to be!

On the first 2 lessons, we were asked to mix colours and paint the colour wheel. The third lesson was the most interesting, as we were taught to paint a subject using different techniques. I've never painted so many bananas in my life.

On week 4, the task was painting still life. Our teacher, Rebecca, arranged some props like fruits, bottles and foliage on a table. If the class went on for another hour, I may have finished it... maybe not :P 

Our final assignment was painting anything of our choice. A friend was doing some research before her big Europe trip and uploaded a really stunning scenery (Tuscany, I think). I saved the picture on my phone and decided to use it as my reference. The finished product:

To be frank, I'm quite surprised it turned out pretty awesome (by my standards). Awesome! :)

Wednesday, May 9

Of Cigarettes and Smoke

I have a scar on my right hand from playing with a lit cigarette when I was a child. I grew up in house with three smokers. Well, four, if you include the uncle who frequently visits. Two of my aunts quit smoking now but back in those days, a smoke free day is rare.

When it doesn't come in big puffs of smog, smoke can sometimes be so beautiful. I enjoy the sight of its fluidity - the way it swirls and dances in the air. Dipping my stained paintbrush in stirred water gives that same effect, leaving me staring in awe and admiration.

Having said that, the smell of cigarette smoke really puts me off, especially in the morning. The whole second hand smoker thing doesn't bother me that much. Sure inhaling the smoke is bad but in an open area, the overall effect is a bit like dumping a bucket of salt into seawater. Breathing in smoke when I'm walking behind a smoker or when waiting at the bus stop annoys me. Last week, I had a conversation about this with a customer over the takeaway counter at the restaurant. She shared the same sentiment and told me that soon, people who smoke in public areas may be fined. I heard this over the radio this morning too and I really hope this new law will come to pass.

As much as I despise the smell of cigarette smoke, there's something about the smell of unlit cigarettes that I really like. Yep, I'm talking about the smell of a freshly opened pack of ciggies - the smell  of cured tabacco? Ironic?!

Tuesday, October 4

My roses aren't red...

...but I love them nonetheless :) We were going to pay our respects to Steve's grandma at the temple, so I thought I'd bring along some flowers from our garden.