Monday, November 16, 2015

Greek coffee over gardening

We had an awesome Sunday yesterday, having greek coffee, grapes and sunday pasta while learning about gardening. We had the session in El Griego Jorge's place in Versilias on Haig :D The view was stunning, and the whole session was enriching. I illustrated some notes for my own reference :D Definitely have to repeat this.

Greek Coffee
Notes of the day

the girl with purple hair

The girl with purple hair caught my attention in Universal Design course which i attended recently at BCA academy :D

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Calina (Haze)

My friend Taught me the spanish word for haze in Spanish is "Calina". The first time I Heard it, i thought it sounds like a really nice name for a girl. Having Imagine me esta name - Calina Yong, but no thanks, i dont want to be Associated With haze!

In any case, there are several vocabulary That is a similar yet different. It is very interesting to learn all about These, thanks to my Spanish friends Who are Super helpful in explaining it.

Calina - Polluted air with smoke, Which Currently we experienced here. A friend Associated With it the word "Hot" Which kind of Makes Sense figuratively.

Calima - wave of very hot weather, heat wave.

Misty - or something that looks foggy Also it can mean when something is dark.

Haze - the foggy air filled with water droplets When We gaze at the mountains.

Smoke / Humareda - smoky, eg the huge smoke

Some time ago, I experimented writing a poem in Spanish, and here you go:

El tiempo está corriendo,
Sin parar,
Sin esperar,
Es tiempo del día,
Abriendo la vianda,
Frente a mi ordenador,
La comida para llevar de coffeeshop,
Pescado frito con arroz frito sin sabor.

Escribo algo para el almuerzo,
Me siento un poco lujo,
Con tiempo y espacio que está sola la mía,
Tranquila y calma,
Suerte que puedo relajar.

Aire en fuera esta brumosa,
No quiero caminar en este momento,
Solo puedo ver desde ventana,
No quiero respirar el aire lleno de humo.
Rezando para que el aire,
Sea fresco como antes.

Time is running,
Without waiting,
It is time of day,
Opening my lunch box,
In front of my computer,
The takeaway coffeeshop,
Fried rice with fried fish, tasteless.

Write something for lunch,
I feel a little luxury,
With time and space That is only mine,
Quiet and calm,
Feeling lucky That I can relax.

Outside air is hazy,
I do not want to walk At this time,
I can only see from window
I do not want to breathe the smoky air.
Praying That the air
Will be as fresh as before.

Illustraccion poem The Lazy Painter.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

mi mesita

A photograph of my humble workstation

Having a personal workspace is like having an intimate relationship with the space, because it is where I spent most of my time, and in my case, engrossed in drawing and writing, and sometimes, surfing.

Last two weeks, when my husband flew to Kuala Lumpur for an architecture seminar, I took the liberty of having our whole room to myself. So I started clearing our room, inside out. I have a strange preference - i prefer sitting on the floor than on the chair. Even if I am sitting on the chair, I have a habit folding my legs up to the chair. Do not ask me why, I think it is just a habit! So, to cater for my unique working position preference, we bought 2 furniture from Muji - Low table and Legless Chair sometime ago. Buying furniture can be very addictive as more often than not, you tend to have many cool imagination as you are choosing the item that you like and how you would like to place it in a room. So far we had added 4 items into our collection! We splurge on furnitures as gifts for each other mostly on our birthdays and any celebration. We thought this is the most practical way and also I am not a perfume or roses person :p I

Anyway, I did small adjustments and the room does seem more spacious after that. As much as I wish to remove the big tables that our landlord provided, I did not remove it due to some reasons (which was related to the contract), so i had very limited ways to play with my room - I could only rearrange and reorganize. No major painting or refurbishment or bulky furnitures. I would have to keep the wishful thinking of decorating our home for the future. Current room is only a shelter for rest, certainly not a place we could call home :(

. The muji low table was placed in front of the large table. dislike this arrangement so much but i could not find time to arrange it until last two weeks!

. I shifted our slim muji organizer to a new location, which was beside the small wardrobe cabinet provided by landlord, shifted the large table nearer to the bay window and tucked in my muji pine low table in between the large table and our bed. We removed the bed frame provided by our landlord as it the platform where our bed rest on was long broken before we moved in. The double bed provided had faulty spring. We got rid of the old bed frame and bed and bought a new IKEA bed and decided that we might as well rest our bed on the floor itself, instead of going through the hustle of buying new bed frame and then having problem when moving out again in future. We did have our bumpy road in renting rooms here. Nothing beats the comfort of having our own room back home which we admittedly took granted when we were young.

In any case, now that our room is now more spacious, I am able to practice some yoga stretch, spending some time alone on my knees and reconnect with the ground, enjoy some stillness and rediscover my senses. It felt quite a luxury to be able to recharge and regain some quietness this way in this bustling city.

Although it is not the ideal layout as I always dreamed of having my own artist studio and bedroom ( i love artist studios where magic happens and of course rustic bohemian bedrooms, or something with rugs or patchwork, which is down-to-earth and not overly luxurious), I love the new arrangement and was not ready to sleep after that because i was having poetry in motion. It felt like having a new fresh space for NOW.

The idea of having my own workspace/studio and a really warm and cozy bedroom will have to wait until we get our own place one day (we don't know when and where)! For now, we will have to be thankful with what we can afford and live with this first!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

el melocotón

He comprado tres melocotones grande esta mañana. De verdad, yo quería comprar uvas moscatel, pero me dijo que para comprar las uvas moscatel, necesito reservar. Pues, me recomiendo el melocotón. Me hace sorpresa que los melocotones en su tienda son muy grandes, y tienen olor fragante. Así que los melocotones que tenemos en Asia es más pequeños. Quería comprar uvas originalmente para mi cuñada (mi esposo va a Kuala Lumpur esta noche), pero no había uvas hoy. Entonces, compre tres melocotones. Dos para ella, y un para nosotros.

Después, fue a trabajar en hospital. Cuando estaba en la reunión de discusión, lo olí. Los hueles dulces y agradables, como estábamos trabajando al lado de un jardín o la huerta llena con melocotones. Me recordó días en Salamanca, España donde yo disfrute muchísimo de melocotón después de comida. iAh! Los buenos viejos tiempos...

La tienda se llama "Herbs Garden" . Podéis comprar las cosas orgánico aqui.

Direccion : 50 East Coast Road,#01-74 Roxy Square,
Singapore 428769.
Tel: 63486149

I bought 3 big peaches this morning. Actually, I wanted to buy muscat grapes, but I was told that to buy the grapes, I need to reserve it before hand. Anyway, the owner of the shop recommended peaches in her shop. I was surprised to see the peaches were big and they have very fragant smell. In Asia, the peaches that we have are in smaller size. Originally I wanted to buy moscat grapes for my sister-in-law (my spouse is going to fly to Kuala Lumpur tonight), but there was no grapes today. Therefore, I bought 3 peaches. 2 for her (my sister-in-law) and one for myself.

Then I went to work in hospital. When i was having a meeting, I smelled the greatness of the peaches. They smelled really sweet and pleasant, it was like working beside a garden or an orchard full with peaches. It reminded me of the days in Salamanca, Spain where i used to enjoyed peaches after each meal. Ah.. the good old days!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Entre Paletas y Helados

Aprendí cosas nuevas hoy – sobre la diferencia entre paletas y helados.

He probado la paleta de coco en una tienda nueva en Tiong Bahru, se llama The Latino Quarter. Esta buenísima! Decidí que tengo que dibujar y escribir algo en mi cuaderno y ahora nos presento mi notas.

Sencillamente, paletas significa “Ice popsicles” en inglés. Son zumos de frutas y estan congelada con los palos. El helado significa “ice cream” en inglés. normalmente no se sirven con los palos pero con los conos.

Recomiendo paletas de @paletassingapore en 68 sieng poh lane en Tiong Bahru ! También podéis comprar cosas / ingredientes de latín América o México en este tienda! #paletasmexicanas #paletascoco #helados #dibujar #illustradora #thelazypainter #paletassingapore

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Sometime ago, while practicing Spanish conversation with a Spanish friend, he taught us the word "meatball" in Spanish. It is called "albóndiga". There was a joke or an exaggerating way of commenting someone who has gained some weight that he/she looks like a meatball now. Probably the connotation comes from the characteristic of a meatball : fat, round, spherical, juicy and succulent. I found it amusing to call someone a meatball and the first image that formed in my head was like this. Round and cute. As much as I love eating meatballs, I don't fancy being called one, although "albondiga" sounds nicer than "meatballs." :p

A quick search online on the word "albondiga" will bring us to the urban dictionary which list a whole long list of definition that is not so pleasing! Urgh.. they totally just ruin my good impression on meatballs.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pug lovers' love story : Wedding Card for Julian &Tricia

One of the best moment in life got to be getting married to the person you love.. and in this case, both Julian and Tricia are pug lovers. They must have love pugs so much that their friend, Fangyi wanted to personalized a card with a pair of pugs for their card. We then further animate the lovely pugs by dressing them up as bride pug and groom pug. I am not an expert in drawing live things but this assignment taught me patience and observance. Taking the drawing slow and steady by detailing the facial details of the pugs. The best thing is i get to observe the facial structure of the pugs and their cute eyes that never stopped to be loved.

I "took" the pugs to the woods/green jungle and "made" them sit down poisely. Wedding in woods/jungle had always been one of my favorite ideas as I love the green and nature settings. Nature is the best backdrop. Caption and wording inside by Fangyi. I just did the illustration :)

Some photos of the work in progress :

The beauty of the card is that it can be framed as an artwork as well for remembrance.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Bringing these birds to a friend’s new crib

Last weekend, I spent my Saturday morning doing a different rendition of "pajaros graciosos" by a vector artist, e.kataev. My intention was to recreate another version of these funny birds with more vibrant colours, with a light-wash background. Pandamopi bought me some frames so I thought it would be nice to make a handmade gift for a friend, Teri who had just recently moved to a new place. We were invited to her place for a simple housewarming on Sunday.

Painting process is always enjoyable for me. It is peaceful, tranquil and quiet. My room is normally well lit in the morning. After shower and wash up, i began my little project - painting. The paper was cut and prepared by Pandamopi, which was approximately 20 cm X 25 cm (8R). I quickly sketched and started painting process and the whole process took me approximately 2 hours, including some waiting time for watercolour layers to dry up before applying another layer.

Below is work in progress photos.

Story of the artwork :
There is an unique connection among birds of different characters and personalities in a home/family. God put them/us together in a nest to form a family. Each of us play a part in the nest, and they need each other, just like they need each other to make the artwork look complete. It is incomplete if one of them is taken away from the artwork. It is also an illustration of the birds are having fun (by looking funny) in Teri's new crib. Photo background featuring our favorite kilim carpet which we brought back from recent travel in Istanbul. You could see we still miss Istanbul pretty much!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

feet treat : shopping for new running shoes

Pandamopi's shoes had slowly worn out. The last time he bought a good pair of shoes was three years back, when he just moved to this city. He bought two shoes back then - Sketchers and Nike. Both were his favorite and because of constant usage, the shoes are slowly wearing out and are at their verge of giving way. Unlike other working class, Pandamopi does not wear formal black or leather shoes to work. His running shoes are also his working shoes. So I guess it was time for him to splurge a little bit and reward himself for working hard.

The last time we went shoe shopping was a long time ago, perhaps 1 or 2 years ago that I could not remember well. For one, we are pretty frugal. We only spent when necessary and dislike impulsive shopping, especially when things are pretty expensive and we do not like to spent on unnecessary expenses. Despite living in an expensive city where there are branded stuff are considered affordable and for some, those products are necessities, we prefer living simply, for we feel that we should spend the way our income allow us. It is also a sustainable lifestyle, of not buying more than we need, or eating more that we need. We are constantly aware on how impulsive shopping could lead to excessive expenses, resulting from buying/eating stuff more than we need that we eventually produce waste.

When i was a little girl and my parents weren't rich, they taught me about sustainable by buying new clothes only when old clothes is torn or beyond usage. We would recycle the clothe by using it as a cleaning clothe before disposing. It feels really good that we do not throw things away just because we can afford it, but to recycle and use it to the fullest. It is a matter of responsibility and the love for nature. It is about being humble and down to earth.

When Pandamopi told me he was pleased with his selection of shoes and we were ready to pay and leave the retail, I was brought back to reality from my musing. I am glad that Pandamopi and I shared the same vision, to be sustainable in our lifestyle, in little steps whenever we could. I looked at the smile that was beaming on his face. The smile that you found a good new pair that resonates your soul.

As he placed the new shoes into the box to be packed for payment, he wore the old rugged Sketchers shoes again and felt emotional, for these shoes are his best companion, even when I was not by his side, these shoes were accompanying him all the time, to countless places, and to even our latest vacation in Istanbul. These shoes had served him well, and I could understand why he would feel emotional about it. We paid and left the store. I gave him a super-tight hug, and told him it is ok. Everything has its time and this pair of Sketchers shoes will always be remembered, in our heart, and which we would tell the story of Sketchers shoes to our children and to our grandchildren and the story of being sustainable.

Pandamopi's new NIKE shoe

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Reliving girly spirit : of being lovely and sweet again

It has been a while since the last time i feel girly and dreamy. Thanks to this assignment, I got to revisit my girly spirit, which I used to fancy a lot when I was younger. Girly-ness by my personal definition and impression would be cotton pink polka dots dresses, pink ribbon hairbands, sweet pink lipstick, soft toys companion, sweet pink lipstick, girly diary, trees, gardens, cute cakes etc. My colleague came to me and wanted me to paint something girly for her 10 year old niece, who has reached an age where girls learn to be girly, loves pink and everything which is lovely, and her special love for cute soft toys called Beanie Boos.

I was really excited because I have already form something in my mind as she was describing Jasmine, a Sri Lankan girl residing in Australia and is turning 10 years old this coming 27 July 2015. As soon as I returned from work, I began brainstorming on the card and came out with a rough idea sketch on my notepad, designing The Lazy Painter's version of Jasmine (she needs to be tall, dark, and has straight hair). Most importantly, Jasmine will have to look lovely :)

I also recorded the process of making the cards.

I was really excited when I got Jasmine the way I wanted. She is sweet and girly and I love her polka dots dresses, her diary and handbag.

I don't know how others think about it but I really enjoyed this piece a lot. It's sweet, lovely, girly, light-hearted and fun. I did have a fair share of escaping the reality of this world for a while while painting this card :D

Last but not least, The Lazy Painter wishes Jasmine a lovely Happy 10th Birthday. May all your dreams comes true and may you always find happiness and fun in life!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bringing birthday greeting cards back

A greeting card is a simple yet warm ways to send regards to people and also to let them know that you think of them :D

I am a big believer in that :D

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Getting sick is not the best experience at all, but it makes us aware that our body lack rest.
When we constantly ignore the warning, our body has its own way of getting our attention and begging us to rest.

For the past few days, although I was sick, I had fond memories of my husband taking care of me.
I was shivering profusely at night when there were the aircond and fan were not even switched on.
Pandamopi made a trip to the kitchen, boiled the water and brought it to me with medicine. His sleep was disrupted because of me.

The night was dark, and I was sick, but I am glad that someone is there to take care of me when I am sick.
I was in pain but I was deeply touched.


eustoma love

According to the Greek, "Eu" means beautiful while "stoma" means mouth. It is commonly found in North America, and native in Texas and Mexico.
The single flower resembles poppies or tulips, while the double variety has the appearance of peonies or roses. It is strikingly similar to the queen of flowers - Rose.

Whatever it may be, Eustoma is beautiful in its own way.

As i worked on this artwork, it makes me feel calm and happy. I imagined myself in a floral cotton dress, picking fresh eustomas from the garden outside my french window. The sun glowed and kissed gently on my face. The lace curtain danced to the cool breeze. I slowly arranged the eustoma into a lovely Chanel Parfum vase with some water filled in. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. It's a new day again.

It's amazing how therapeutic drawing can be. It takes you to countless imagination and magical place that you wish you could be, only if you allow it to. How far and how long, you decide.

As i finished this piece, I smiled. It was a wonderful journey. It has opened a door for me to another dimension, away from the hustle and bustle of city.

Illustrating eustoma.

Farhana, a beautiful muslim name for a girl. It means happy, cheerful, joyful and glad. All the good vibes in a name :D
And a matching envelope to compliment the card.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Warming hearts through cards

Greeting cards, especially personalised greeting cards always have a special place in my heart. It is a means to send regards and love to someone we care -- friends & family, sometimes he or she might be a dear colleague/friend who is saying goodbye and moving on to a new chapter. While gifts might be a great way to send regards, greeting cards is a beautiful way to say something and it stays there forever, and the receiver could always reminisce they want in the near or far future. And the card, having standing the test of time, do have some sentimental value of that particular moment, at that time & day.

Because of this, some friends and family suggested that I should probably offer card-making services. Being always the buyer, it is indeed my first time being the seller and little did I know that it could be challenging and there are many things to learn along the way, but the reward is fulfilling. I started it small, as small as anyone who could afford a plate of Chicken Rice here in Singapore could afford a piece of personalised card.

Illustrating personalised greeting cards is a beautiful journey. It is like exchanging my cards with a story, in the process of understanding client's intention and requirement.

One morning, a client pinged me and we started with a light chat, and she told me her intention on buying a personalised cards for this coming Raya Aidilfitri (festival of breaking the fast). She told me her ideas on how she envisioned the card to be -- to have her husband and her, together with her toddler boy and a baby girl interacting with a ketupat. I gave her some suggestion, we hit it off and worked out together. It warmed my heart when she told me that she is sending this card to the United Kingdom to her husband as he could not be back for this year Raya Aidilfitri celebration here in Singapore. I gave my best effort to this card and the outcome was great. She liked it very much. The fact that I could make her happy through art made me feel happy and warm inside.

I finally tasted the first taste of accomplishment on putting a smile on someone through art and cards. It is akin to a zumba instructor who does well in making people happy when dancing, or a chef that makes good food that makes people beaming with smiles in satisfaction.

And these are the little things that keep me going.

Side note :
Ketupat is a type of dumpling made from rice packed inside a diamond-shaped container of woven palm leaf pouch, commonly found in Southeast Asia region eg. Malaysia, Indonesia, Philipine, Singapore and Brunei. Commonly served during Ramadan & Eid Mubarak (source : Wikipedia).

"Selamat Hari Raya, Ayah Halim."

simply meant "Happy Festival of Breaking Fast, Daddy Halim."

A heart warming message from the client to her husband, which I helped her to write inside the car

Friday, June 26, 2015


what is space and time to you ?

Cool Vibes in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam

Sometime in March earlier this year (2015), Pandamopi and I travelled to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Viet Nam. It was a good short trip to recharge and to explore something new. We have a passion to discover new place with new environment, culture and of course food!

The weather was pretty hot, but the city planning was good. We stayed in 3 star hotel -- Blue Diamond Hotel which was in a good location. It is pretty near to Ben Thanh Market. We walked most of the time and skipped public transports as we are big believers in walking. Walking is the best way to explore and enjoy the city.

One of my favorite museum in HCMC is HCM Fine Art Museum - -Bảo tàng Mỹ Thuật TpHCM, located at 97 Phó Đức Chính Nguyễn Thái Bình, Hồ Chí Minh Vietnam‎.

The architecture of this museum is unique. This delightful building which so harmoniously combines oriental and western architecture was designe by the French architect, Rivera, in 1929. It was completed in 1934 for the son of a successful emigrant named Hua Bon Hoa, from Fujian in China. The building was both home and place of business for Tang Huon Hua Bon Hoa, the eldest son, who as head of the family had continued the successfulness of his father's loan and building development company.

In many ways, it is a truly appealing structure because of its cross cultural inheritance of the Chinese and French development of the large family Town House. Opening onto the and overlooking an internal courtyard from various large and small sheltered porticos and windos, it has the liveability of a large town house, but is not wihout a level of the grandiose, with its external front and rear covered entrances which are spectacular without being too grand.

As a whole the building soards gracefully to its fully vaulted eaves which provides a fine basis for its many ceramic tiled roofs which cap and accentuate the stepping in and out of the walls and porches. The overhanging eaves with its basis in Asis, provides both shade and shelter from thepial sun and downpour events which are so muchart of this City of Saigon.

The blue and yellow render finish of the building captures the liveliness of the period when Saigon was emerging as a modern Asian city of the twentieth century and when the street address was 97 Rue d'Alsace Lorraine, and when this new building's three floors were surmounted by an elevator, the first in the city, whose wire grill doors opened on to wide, airy and well lit randah like hallways, off which the many rooms of the house opened r look the pleasant and sizeable interior courtyard.

In many ways, still in original pristine condition, this heritage building deserves to be occupied by the Fine Arts Museum Department which it has done since 1986 and which will assure that it remains a City Icon.

Reference : Signage in front of the musuem.

Something worth mentioning in Viet nam is the typology of seatings in cafe or local street stalls. It is of low levels -- the furnitures are remarkably cute due to its size. The tables and stools are small, making it an interesting sight. Vietnamese are generally very friendly and laid back. We especially love local food like pho, bun cha and cafe sua da (vietnamese iced coffee -- it is addictively delicious).

I don't generally love coffee but cafe sua da is definitely good because i love it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

a test to be patient before blasting off

It is easier said than done. Being patient a midst unfavorable condition is challenging. Keeping calm a midst chaos by just stopping all the busy thoughts and dramas in our minds in this hustle and bustle requires effort.

As I entered the office this morning, it was unusually warm. I was already perspiring from walking to the office and now the air-conditioning is not working. My first reaction was feeling pissed-off. It was only early in the morning and to think of working in a stuffy environment for the rest of the day appalled me. As far as I remembered, this was perhaps the 5th time the air-condition broke down in our office ever since we moved to this new office and today was no exception and I didn't like that. But what could we do ? The management informed us that the air-conditioning system is down and would not be working for the rest of the day. The only measure done was that they provided a giant industrial fan to ventilate the office. The blade was huge enough to produce strong HOT air, but it is inevitably noisy.

Being restless, I tried to find some calmness in this high temperature. Being hot and humid is the least thing I desire. It is difficult. My husband knew the fact that I didn't like hot and humid environment. At home, at least we could adjust ourselves to our desired thermal comfort level by putting on more blankets, lower down fan speed, increase temperature of the air-conditioning etc. Now that we are in the office and there the air-conditioning is not functioning, this is the real test of patience now, and it is a test for me to be patient before blasting off.

Thankfully, I tried to divert my attention to something else by not focusing on the stuffiness of the office. I got my sketchbook out and sketched my neighboring colleague who changed into a sport singlet because he was literally cooking in his working wear. Now it is a record in my sketchbook that today is the day the air-con broke down again but it wasn't the end of the world.

The giant industrial fan, Vistar, was sent to our office to rescue us. Here is a sketch of Vistar who worked hard for the day. I hope you don't need to work again tomorrow because I want the air-conditioning back!

dream catcher

I am fascinated by dreamcatcher lately, probably because deep inside my heart I have a dream, but the dream seem so faraway and impossible. Perhaps I wanted something to keep on reminding that the dream is there, right there and no evil force could touch or stop it. And i thought of dreamcatcher, and later on read more about it. Dream catcher was thought to be formed like a web, which is in a perfect circle with a hole in the centre. It is used to help people reach goals, make good use of their ideas, dream s and vision..and if you believe the great vibes, the web will filter your good ideas and the bad ones will be trapped and will not pass.

This vision was passed on to many people and now many Indian people have dreamcatchers above their bed to sift dreams and vision. The good dreams will pass through the centre hole to the sleeping person. The evil in their dreams are captured in the web, where they will perish and evaporated in the light of the morning sun. It is believed that dreamcatcher holds the destiny of the future.

As secular as it may sound, I felt that there is something that we could learn from it. Naturally, we would very much want to protect our dreams from bad vibes. We want to believe that something that help us to fend our dreams from bad vibes that would perish in the morning sun ray. While we would sometimes create some objects to help us believe that, like in this case a dream catcher, I would like to think that God is our dreamcatcher.

We all need a childlike heart, to believe that miracles do happen and there is indeed magical moments. Current environment may strip off any possible magical moments you could ever expect or think of, but be still and and know that the Lord is in control of everything, magical moments may happen later, today, if not, maybe tomorrow. You just have to have the courage to make wise choices and the patience to wait.

Dreams is such an amazing word.
It doesn't matter how long it takes to fulfill your dream, all that matters is that you have one." - Melanie Moushigian Koulouris

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Free spirit are inclined to explore life and taste new experiences that hold true to the deepest parts of themselves versus being influenced by what the masses around them are doing. They are often people who think freely and have the courage to hear their own voice and follow their own integrity.

Life is short. Just a reminder to myself to stop focusing on the wrong thing and voice. Focus on God and all the amazing things, do things that makes your soul happy, love the people you love whole-heartedly, love life, be good. Leave the rest behind.

Be free. Like the birds.

about dreams & courage

Sometimes I imagine that we are living in another country, enjoying the difference of lifestyle - the climate, people, scenery and adventure.

My heart is small but I have a big dream. The problem is that I have no courage to pursue it and before i knew it, time flies.

Musing on 07 May 2015.

Storey from my sketchbook : Stranger in my own hometown, Kuching

In Malay words, Kucing (without the 'h') is a word for cat. Cats are gentle and graceful by nature. Soft-spoken and lovely. Kuchingites are happy and contented people. They take time to savour life and moments. There is something about the smiles of Kuching people, pure and comes from the heart.

Having working outside from Kuching for a long time, I truly miss the vibes. Time passed and life in Kuching goes on without me. I have been away for more than 7 years and sadly, I sometimes feel like a stranger back in my own hometown. Some things just look familiar yet strange to me. Some roads are still the same yet not quite the same. There are new food inventions that I don't remember having it when I was still growing up in Kuching. My classmates are embarking into parenthood. Conversation topics now revolving around children. Perhaps I got used to the hustle and bustle of city life, the laid back life in Kuching made me felt I have so much more time and space. Above all that, Kuching is still the old charming city. It taught you that the lifestyle can be slow but we still get things done fashionably well without sacrificing the soul factor. It is hard not to fell in love with this small city.

As the night is getting late, I can't help but reminiscing and thinking how my friends and family back there are doing. You know i miss you, i really do. I just want to rest on your comforting fur and forget about bustling cities and never-ending timelines.

Hello Kuching, how are you today ?
I hope all is well.
& hopefully I will be back for you again, soon.

Stories from my sketchbook : Yard behind my house

As I was documenting some of my earlier sketch works, it felt like I was walking down the memory lane, revisiting different moment at different time and place. It is a special feeling because the emotion attachment is stronger than photos. It is a record of you being there at that time, cherishing the moments, painting and penning down thoughts. I'm a big believer that sketch could only done when you feel like it (in my case). The moment could be very ordinary or special, but it has the effect that makes you want to sketch and pen it down and express yourself. The yard beside the kitchen in my house in Kuching is ordinary, but it has a special feeling, probably it reminds me of the image of my dog pooping at that area, the space is also where we always dry our clothes, dad weeding the backyard..etc. Earlier, dad also took extra effort to paved the yard with pavement brick so that it would not be muddy during the rain. The fact that I came back once in a while, a simple backyard sparked off many thoughts and reflection. The yard continues to be the space for daily activities for dad, mom, David (my younger brother) and our dog during my absense.

My parents love gardening. We have pepper plant, curry leave tree, and a Spondias Dulcis tree which we locally called it buah kedondong, ampula, ampra or mangkolong. The fact that the yard was not perfectly landscaped makes me love it even more because I realise that in life, we don't need everything perfect to make us happy. Happiness is when people and things exist just the way it is and that makes each and everyone of us special in our own way.

Journal sketchbook from Kim

A year ago, my dear friend, Kim whom Pandamopi and i met in Perth sent me beautiful sketchbook by snail mail. The cover of the sketchbook was handpainted. When I received it in my mail box, I was very excited (because i love snail mail) and touched to received this from her, knowing my love and passion for sketching. Today I realised that it has been a year! Time flies..

Got a nice message from Kim in the sketchbook and the next page is my first entry. It was an attempt to bake a flourless chocolate orange cake but it was not as successful as it could be because i forgot to add in soda bicarbonate. Nevertheless, the flavour was nice.

Baking is nearly impossible in Singapore as I have only a small toaster oven here in my rented apartment and my cake always got burnt on top. Something interesting about change of emotion during baking : you got really excited on the idea of baking, feeling fun when shopping for ingredients, being careful and as accurate as you can be hoping that the cake would be successful, feeling like a pro as you mix the batter and pour into a baking tray and then there is a sense of anticipation and achievement as you send the baking tray filled with the batter into the oven. The process don't end there. The beautiful aroma of the cake would make you smile and you cant wait to share the cake as soon as it is ready. When you hear a crisp "ding" from the oven, the cake is ready. Crispy on top, moist in the inside. And as you run your knives around the cake in the tray and place on top of baking cooling rack, you felt happy and you are subconsciously beaming with smile. When the cake is cooler, once again you run the knive carefully, cutting the cake in beautiful grids and found the cake texture is what you desire. And as you taste the glorious taste, you cant help but feeling you have done something super!

So when I realised my cake could not rise because I totally forgot about soda bicarbonate, I was a bit disappointed because all my imagination did not come true. The cake was not successful and I felt sorry for wasting the ingredients but later on I acknowledge that as part of a learning process. Afterall, making mistakes is part of growing and learning.

Lesson learn when baking next time : not to rush things out. Keep calm, follow the steps and bake!

Happy Birthday, Manveer!

This card is specially for a British Punjab friend, Manveer who celebrated his 24th birthday in Singapore:) About 20+ of us filled the card with best wishes.

When I was brainstorming the card, I was inspired to try another style which is inspire by the artist for Roald Dahl story books, Sir Quentin Blake. Rocio, one of our friend suggested us to dress in Punjabi attire for his Korean BBQ Birthday BBQ so I thought I could paint something of us in Punjabi attire, holding a huge cake, celebrating with him while he had to climb up to the top of the ladder to blow the candles and make a wish.

thank you, dad

We were I remember those good old days when my dad used to read us story books and put us to sleep when we were not so fond of darkness. Then, much later when we were around 5-6 years old, when we became much braver, he would bought cassettes with stories so that we could listen to bible stories before bed. He would pray and put blanket on us, kiss us good night and then switch off the light. Before we knew it, we were sleeping peacefully, believing that angels and God is out there at the window, watching us sleep and that darkness has no harm on us.

Bedtime stories moments is always very heart-warming. Flipping books together, read along with papa and mama, asking curious questions, bedtime lullabies…those priceless moments that we would probably revisit again when we became parents ourselves.

Like father like son

I saw a picture of a cute baby cat imitating another big cat in one of the video on line and it reminded me of how I liked to copy my parents when I was growing up.

We spent most of our childhood observing our parents and attempting to be like them. Often little boys copy their daddy and little girls model their mothers.
I remember looking at my dad’s skill in carpentry and thought he was a hero because he could make a stool out of wood planks. My dad has very nice handwritings and I kept practice and imitate him so that I could have the same handwriting as his.

I admired my mom’s curly hair and thought she was the most beautiful lady I have ever known.
When we were young and has very little exposure on how the outside world look like, our parents are our hero. At some point, I asked mom to sew a dress using the same fabric as hers so that I could look as pretty as her. I also remember asking her to bring me to the hairdresser to have my hair permed so that I look like her.

Today as we look back, we probably realised that we are the product of our parents. We do resemble them in one way or another, be it obvious or not. And when we grew up old enough to have kids, we realised that we are becoming our parents and our children are starting to imitate us. It’s a fascinating process. Like father like son, like mother like daughter. (hopefully in a good way!)