Monday, February 28, 2011


110227 Snow
Heatwaves and intense sunlight make for great photos.
It occurred to me that I have yet to touch snow. I used to scrape ice from our green Kelvinator during hot and humid days, I'd watch the ice melt in my hands and pretend that I was in Siberia.

It's still ridiculously hot here and I feel like I'm being deep-fried and liquefied at the same time.

Things are either blistering, sticky or sweaty.

Yesterday I was furiously fanning myself with a brochure and spilled coffee on my white shorts...a few emphatic smiles from cafe goers made it all better.

I was about to mention another unfortunate incident but nevermind that... 

it just rained! un-friggin-believable! 
3 minutes of reprieve. The air smells of musty soil but it's fabulous, water fell from the sky and right now, it's the closest thing to snow!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A (typewriter) love story

This is all I know about them:

He loves typewriters, bicycles, works by Keats and the colour blue.
She loves yellow.
She loves him.

She gave him a vintage typewriter last year, for Valentine's.
He types her poems and stuff, including a little tip-off about an impending proposal.
He loves her.

nawww moment
♥ nawww moment  

A few days ago on Valentine's Day, she asked if I could make her an artwork from my Typewriter Love series. It had to incorporate a bicycle, anything by Keats and the colours blue and yellow. Wow, I was absolutely honoured :)

I scoured the net for hours in search of poems by John Keats. He writes beautifully and I found his works captivating, but often peppered with sadness and melancholy. Then I came across one of his sonnets:

On The Grasshopper And Cricket 

The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper's -- he takes the lead
In summer luxury, -- he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost, 

The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.

John Keats
December 30th 1816

I love its liveliness and that it involves twos...

grasshopper + cricket
summer + winter
warm + cool
vibrance + silence

All of which are equally beautiful, neither more superior than the other. There is something eternal about it; it's filled with feelings of hope and faith, as if to say - love persists, come rain or shine. I think that this would make a beautiful sonnet for a wedding :)

She made some wonderful suggestions, including making the bicycle a tandem one, and I'm so happy that she loves the finished product.

On the Grasshopper and Cricket

They're getting married in May and this is her wedding gift to him.
Ain't love grand...
Happy Valentine's!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


So the folks arrived on Monday for a 3-month visit.
That night, mum asked if we could go "marketing" a.k.a. grocery shopping, so that she could start cooking amazing meals for us. 

Well Perth is a little behind the times in terms of extended trading hours, but my sister recalls hearing about Spud Shed. It sits on Federal land and isn't subject to the State's trading hour laws, so it gets to stay open 24/7. 

We searched for this magical place and found it in Jandakot, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.

Spud Shed, Jandakot

There were ridiculous amounts of fruit

and plenty of chlorophyll-ed veggies :)
asparagus and chlorophyll

It was meaty and cheesy
meatiness and cheesiness

and nuts were scoop-a-licious
cashew scoop-a-licious-ness

I saw Halloween-ness
pumpkin halloween-ness

 And jaundice-ness
carrot jaundice-ness

 I liked the uniformity
milk uniformity

and raw rusticness
onion crate rusticness

Dad and sis were taking turns posing with and pushing this giant shopping trolley
shopping trolley

And mum was busy picking all the goodies to fill it

This all happened after 10pm, long after most shops have shut. 
We had a ball!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One door

As they say, one door shuts and another opens.

I'd rather there not be a door at all.
I'm getting quite tired of having to open and close them.

I wish that there were no doors.

No actually, I'd rather that one door opens before the other know, just in case.

Or I could just draw myself a door that's always open.

Ink and watercolour on handmade paper

Friday, February 4, 2011

Koi Carpe Diem series

It was Chinese New Year yesterday and will be for the next 2 weeks. So this is as good a time as any to have a go at my Koi Carpe Diem series, seeing as the koi fish is so oriental and features lots of red.
The koi (or carp) is associated with strength, courage, perseverance in times of adversity, ambition and advancement; attributes that I can identify with.

All my life, I've been torn between following my heart and conforming to expectations. The latter always wins because to choose the opposite would be frowned upon, more so if you're from a typical chinese family. It'd bring disapproval, disappointment and embarrassment. Ungratefulness and disrespect would be implied. I don't resent this at all, it's just the way it is.

After high school, I studied Accounting, which was one of a handful of 'acceptable' disciplines to pursue. I got good grades, received a scholarship and studied overseas. I conformed.

Then I did the unthinkable, I stayed overseas...ah but I digress.

10 years on (about a year and 3 months ago), I left my accounting job *gasp shock horror*! I desperately needed a break. It was as if I wanted the world to be still for a moment so that I could take a breath and hear myself think. After 6 months of freedom, I took on a short-term contract and am now job hunting again. I'm really glad that I've done this, despite it being an uphill battle for most of the way, with plenty of fear, doubt and every other internal struggle you can think of. I needed every ounce of strength, courage and perseverance to keep my head above water and believe in myself.

Most importantly, I've kick-started my creative juices and am now more than willing to sink my teeth into a 'proper' desk job again. Hey, a girl's gotta eat!

The koi is also said to bring good fortune and luck. There are so many positives associated with them and I hope it all rubs off on me while I immortalise them in art :)

110204 Koi Carpe Diem series
Pura Tirta Empul

Carp-e Diem!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fabulous fabulous day!

The day started with a makeup workshop. I dabbed, blended, shaded and contoured with at least 20 products and 10 brushes till my eyes were smokey and the last of my blemishes (and face, for that matter) disappeared. I love the look but doubt I'd have the patience to perfect it. So much work just to look effortlessly put together!


I headed around the corner to Vans Cafe, one of my favourite places for brekky. My latte was a little weak but that was probably best considering I haven't had coffee in weeks. I tend to order the oddest thing on the menu and decided pretty quickly to go for the roast stuffed fig + gorgonzola + pancetta from their lunch menu.

Knew it was going to be pretty, and it was :)


Van's CafeOne fig was stuffed with gorgonzola and the other was red, springy and juicy, both roasted to perfection. 

The stuffed fig was oozing cheesy goodness. The salty pancetta was half-crispy-half-soft and I thought that was a really nice touch.

The other fig was sweet, with a slight zingy-ness and it was a joy to crunch on the tiny seeds. 

Together with the fennel fronds, coriander and micro herbs, they held a party in my mouth ;)

The atmosphere was very pleasant, with the air filled with laughter and lively chatter.

Lunch was followed by a bit of exploring...

Pretty things

And on the way home, a quick stop at a much-loved spot.

Boat house

A few hours later, it was time for the customary Chinese New Year eve reunion dinner...

Reunion dinner

And to top it all off, fresh typewriter ink arrived today :)

Typewriter ink

I always wish for fabulous days and occasionally, I get an epic one!