Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Making of Felt Flower Corsage

Sketches and References of Flower Corsage

A dear friend of mine has recently wed and she has requested me to make her a few sets of flower corsage for the Jimuis during Jip San Leong (a traditional challenge for the groom to get to the bride). A few important details to acquire when creating corsage;

  • Colors: Best to limit down to 3 or 4 colors. Keep the colors to minimum.
  • Flowers type: There are quite a lot of types out there, this is up to you. Peony is the one I am referring to.
  • Added details: Pearls? Ribbons? Netting? Glitters?
  • Overral style: Bohemian? Polka 50's? Bright 70's?

Where can you get felts in KL? Look no further, head to Art Friend, Garden's Midvalley. It's RM1.50 per piece, but if you have a membership, then it's another 5%. Yay!

There are a few types of felt. The ones that I bought is called Eco Felt. Apparently its made from acrylic and it cannot be dyed like the normal wool type.

Next, we go to step-by-step tutorial. I got to give credit to iCandy handmade tutorial. You can find out more precise tutorial here.

Print and cut your choices of stencil. You can print the image below and print it on a thicker paper, say 80 gsm and above?

Use a sharpie and trace away!

The rest of the folding process, again, you can refer at iCandy handmade

Neat, huh? I have stitched the flower with beaded bracelet, which is made from copper colored beads wrapped using thin elastic thread. Since its made from rubber, the bracelet can be expanded a little.

Here's the final look. You can also make this as a hairpin, clothing badge...anything!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fly High, Hitam

Hitam at her favorite window spot. Taken July last year.

My cat of 16 years passed away last month. Hitam took her last breath just about 15 mins after I reached home after a phone call from my mom. When I got home, I found her lying in her bed, her breath was heavy, blank and dark stare in her eyes...the signs I knew so well from previous experience with a friend's cat who took his last breath right before my eyes.

After the burial, my sis and I sat at the back porch and had a moment of silent. Shortly after that, came a butterfly with a hint of black and white flying across the burial spot.

Hitam is a tortie (with black, white and orange fur), coincidence or plain miracle? :)

Love you, Hitam. Thanks for being a great part of the family and for spicing up our life.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kiwi Motorhome Adventure

It's been more than 1 week since I recovered from a quick trip journey with my family of 4 to New Zealand last October. Last year, I managed to get a steal AirAsia flight tickets for RM813 per person (inclusive of tax, meal and luggage). 

My last overseas travel with my family was 20 years ago! We have no idea what's in store for us when we decided to go KIWI - traveling in a motorhome. To sum up how it feels like, it sorta reminds me of The Survivor reality show, haha! But thank god, we've made it!

Here are the summary of our journey destination...compiled using Halftone apps from iPhone.

Day 1: Airport Birches Motel
Our flight arrived at Christchurch airport about 20 minutes early than the expected arrival at 11.55 pm. This motel provides free pickup from airport till 1 am, but we've kinda anticipated that we couldn't settle everything before the last call. So eventually we managed to grab a shuttle van at around 1.15 am. If I'm not mistaken, its about $7 per person. We wished we could pick up the motorhome at this hour, but it is highly recommended to get a proper rest before driving.

Day 2: Lake Tekapo Holiday Park
After the whole process with the motorhome, groceries shopping, we made our way to the famous Lake Tekapo. It was a 3 hour journey technically minus the photo op stops, hehe.
We paid $18 per person ($90 for family of 5) for a powered site. We've chosen the closest camp site to the lake, too bad the pine trees stand on our way. Throughout our journey, we've noticed that most of the private camping sites are not that blessed with kick ass view compared to the DOC sites. I'll explain more on DOC sites further on the next post.

Day 3: Twelve Mile Delta, Glenorchy
We made it here by accident, or rather a serendipitous incident after finding out that Moke Lake couldn't take big camper. After a long winding, wet journey up the hill from Queenstown, we decided to find the nearest DOC sites which we later found out that it is one of the filming location of Lord of the Rings! We arrived here with darkness all around us, not knowing what the place has in store for us
  but the next day...OMG, the lake was twinkling and just blew us away. We met some friendly locals camping there...and not to forget the warden (wish I could get his name but lets just dubbed him Yoda) that helped us on our route ahead. Basic facilities here (pit toilet and water) but hey, for $7 per person and the view, this was a steal! FYI, this is a DOC sites.

Day 4: Lake Ruataniwha, Twizel
A local lady selling fish and chips happens to recommend this place, which is not a smart move...not because she didn't eat fish (we were mentioned this when we've asked what's the best fish in the shop) but basically cos this is the worst version of our Day 2 campsite. It's slightly cheaper but we couldn't get any close view of the lake...plus this seems to be a lot of permanent campers here. FYI, Lake Ruataniwha is a man made lake, which explains the lake color. We've got a bit of a discount for $70 ($14 per person), but frankly, it's not worth the money even if it's half the price.

Day 5: Peel Forest, Geraldine
"Geraldine is one of the best place to visit on your way back to Christchurch", said the warden we met at Twelve Mile Delta and blimey, he's right. Geraldine is a lovely small town with friendly folks smiling at you as you passed them by. We were recommended to go to Peel Forest, which is probably the best DOC sites we've been to. Its a hidden gem for the fact that they have probably the most facilities in the DOC sites that you can find in South Island. Everything from kitchen, laundry, hot shower, BBQ pit, powered sites, cabins and most importantly lovely sights for hiking and exploring. Wish we were stationed here longer.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dry Skin and The Body Shop

My 2009 Hall of Fame Collection: The Body Shop Body Butter ! My favs are Shea, Mango (too bad this no longer around) and Passion fruit (great for hand and arms and a substitute for perfume).

To those who just swing by, just to say, among all the wonderful stuff The Body Shop have in store, nothing beats their award winning body butter.

I have a mild case of Ichthyosis Vulgaris or IV in short. It's the dry, scaly part of your body. I only have it on my calf area, so you won't notice I have any fishy thingy going on if you're walking past me. Haha! Since its autosomal dominant inherited disease, I get this from my long line family members, my dad and my late grandfather. Even my aunt and uncle have it. The rest of my siblings were lucky enough to escape this disorder. Lucky them :p

Like eczema, there is no instant cure for this disorder, however it will often improve with age, although they may grow more severe again in old age. I have to moisturize my body twice a day after shower, if not my shin gets dry and itchy. My other body areas tend to get dry too.

I've tried dozens of over-the-counter moisturizing, products and nothing beats it like The Body Shop body butter. It smells yummy and it works wonder! Other products just smell nasty and artificial.

Just for the record, I've tried these products on my skin;

Nivea cream: My college budget cream. Need to use this right after shower. The Nivea signature smell is so-so and can be a bit too boring sometimes, but what makes this a 'meh' for me is for the fact that its greasy, not moisturizing. Yerrrr ouuuut!!!

Palmer's Cocoa Butter: How to say this in a subtle way, it's like a mashed lip balm :p

QV: This product is good for those with very dry skin and sensitive skin. I have actually bought three products on this from the body gel, body spray and cream and it actually works fine for me. What's lacking is the smell and the availability in normal pharmacy. I can only find the whole range in Singapore and in certain location in KL. Bummer.

Reuse is better than recycling! Empty tubs make an awesome currency tub for my future travels. Too bad it doesn't come with a good exchange rate. Hahahaha!

I gotta say, this tub costs a slight whopping of RM59.90. It's a real ouch if you have to spend it every month, but hey, my shin is loving this.

Wait, there's ANOTHER one must-have for dry skin (IV and also eczema) is the Shea Body Scrub. A friend of mine who has eczema uses The Body Shop Shea Shower Cream and it definitely a good addition along side with Body Butter.

Shea Body Scrub (in my shower)

Zoom in one the sugary scrub texture. At the lower part of the tub, you can see a surface of oil that makes the scrub moist. You can use just the oil for the dry part of your body. If you noticed, the fine lines on my hand is another characteristic of Ichthyosis Vulgaris.

Check out my MJ glove. LOL! It's also from The Body Shop. At first, I thought a glove scrub would make scrubbing easier, but I dunno, it feels rather odd and a bit tedious to be taken off. I ended up using only one side of the glove instead.

I recently started using Shea body scrub for exfoliation after a suggestion from the sales lady and OMG it makes a whole lotta difference!!! The scrub works both ways; the sugary scrub exfoliate dead skin well and the oily scrub leaves the skin moist when you scrub and it doesn't hurt. If you have dry skin, right after shower, it is recommended that you need to pat only 40% of your skin dry and immediately apply moisturizer before your skin dries up.

I highly recommend the scrub and the body butter for all the dry skin-ers out there. Let me know your success stories on this :) Took awhile for me to complete this article as it's made from love :x

Go to this site to find out which Body Butter suits you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Start of Ramadhan

Today's 1 of August marks the first day of Ramadhan. For one whole month, Muslims around the world will be fasting during day light hours, which means no eating and drinking until sun down.

I remember back then during my childhood, when most of us will rely on television broadcast to announce the iftar (or known as 'buka puasa'/break of fast) and imsak time. Now with internet, online and mobile apps, life's made easier.

Batoulapps.com has developed a few user friendly apps for iPhone and Mac users. I have tried a few apps available and so far this is the most user friendly and convenient.

1. Guidance (iPhone): This app costs $2.99 in App Store, which might be a drag to those who likes their apps free. Very accurate and easy settings are the main reason why I opted for this.

STEP 1: After installation, please choose the right setting. For Malaysians, we are following 'Egyptian General Authority Survey'. Also, make sure the Madhab/Mazhab is set to Shafie.

STEP 2: Locked in your location. In my case, its Cyberjaya.

STEP 3: Done! You can manually change the prayer's time. In this case, I've changed Maghrib time from 7.27 pm above to 7.30pm.

2. Guidance (Mac): It's FREE! The settings configuration is almost the same.

3. This blog has documented the time for both Iftar and Imsak for 2011 for Malaysia. Remember, Imsak (the time to stop eating before the start of fasting day) usually occurs 10 minutes before Subuh or Fajr. Why 10 minutes before, read here for explanation.

Have a blessed Ramadhan, always keep things in moderation and don't forget to keep it green when buying take out food in bazaar or restaurant. Always bring a shopping bag!

Friday, July 15, 2011

On the road to Sydney - Introduction (Part 1)

Driving good ol' OZ car, Holden Omega.

It's been 3 months of silence in Roze Boomerang realm. I promise you there are a lot of things to share and let me dust off a not so recent trip I had in late March 2011.

Sayonara Tokyo :(

March was meant to be the month for my Tokyo trip. It was a 'partial' paid trip from a video contest I have won from MAS last year. Unfortunately and fortunately the earthquake incident strike just two weeks before my trip. So with my already tight schedule for the next 1 month, my partner and I have to figure out a NEW route asap.

After a few days of long look at the world map and prices, we have decided to go to Sydney. Since we rarely fly using MAS, we reckon Sydney would be a wise option since AirAsia will not fly here (ever). Anywho, here's the awesome part, we only have 1 and half day to plan and book hotels for 8 day trip to Sydney.

Having been to other Australia destination; Melbourne and Gold Coast, we'd figure that this trip will be around the same format. My rule of thumb of traveling is to do 1/4 of city and 3/4 country side. Here are a few of my to-do list we have made before traveling to Sydney, in this situation we manage to plan this in less than 2 days.

1. Route: I find Austalia's Tourism site to be extremely useful when it comes to nailing some must-go destinations. And if you're like me who likes to escape the city's hustle bustle via cars, you'll love to start your plan using the roadtrip guide.

Complimentary breakfast at Greens of Leura, Blue Mountains

2. Accommodations: Free wifi, affordable, clean, standout and central location are my 5 essentials on choosing the best accommodation. Will also be a plus if your hotel provides complimentary breakfast. After screening the reviews in TripAdvisor, I found two perfect place to stay. 4 days in Big Hostel in Sydney city and 4 days in Greens of Leura. Will explain further on the expenditure in later post.

3. Money: For 8 days stay, we basically exchanged our local money MYR1500 to AUD. The cash will only be used for food, transportation and some miscellaneous things that requires petty cash. The rest like accommodation, we just rely on our trusted plastic friend, Mr Master and Ms Visa ;)

4. Packing: Besides packing the essentials like toothbrushes and lotions, you need to know what's the weather will be like so you can plan your wardrobe accordingly. It rains quite often in Sydney during late March (fall season), but never heavy, just a wee bit of shower. But if you're walking most of the time, best to get a quick dry jacket with hoodie.

That's all for now. Next post: 8 day itinerary for Sydney city and Blue Mountains

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tanpa Belang

Tanpa Belang (2010)

Here's one of my non-winning prized painting for Maybank Tiger Painting competition. Ahhh, there, there *pat self*. For awhile, I was disappointed that the piece didn't even enter the finals, but on the bright side, this could be a blessing in disguise for the fact that I get to personally keep it.

Just briefly recap what the competition is all about, it's mainly a competition for fellow artists or amateur artists to describe their expression towards the almost extinct Malayan tiger via painting or any 2D form of arts.

The first notion that came to mind when making this was to describe "loss". Though Malayan tiger has not wiped out completely, but in general, people tend to contemplate or only start to appreciate at things or a person that are no longer with us.

So 'Tanpa Belang' was described as a premonition, thus the scary fiery effect, which also meant to describe the fragile characteristics of tigers population. Pak Belang is a very known nickname for one of Malay folk stories.

Belang. 1996 - 2005

But to me, there's another hidden meaning to this. I once have a 'Belang' in my life too. Though he's not a tiger (but a cat), somehow there seems to be some resemblance. He's tough from the outside, but scaredy cat once you got to know him. He died after losing his battle on jaundice for the second time. *sniff*

Enough with the soppy stories, I'm here to share the walkthrough of the painting experience. I like to play with light and dark through colors as you see here...

1 & 2

1. Draw out: I have a few of my initial sketches (in a book) next to me before I moved on to canvas. Excuse me on the 'Hitler' mustache there. My attempt to rub off the correction using eraser on canvas seems in vain and made it worse, haha. But thanks to the opaque magic of acrylic, it all will be concealed easily!

2. Paint the shapes out: I like to use warm tones to line up my work. In this case I went for red and orange.

3 & 4

3. Details taking shape: At this stage, I think I should've messed around with the background instead of just focusing on the subject. Looks like it's almost done right?

4. More strokes and colors: Adding fires and background tones. This time I really start to toy around with strokes and lines...I guess Van Gogh started to possessed me at that present moment, lol!

Almost final stage
Is that Sheer Khan? It's so alive, it's freaks Oren the cat out, lol!

So when's the last time you draw? There are a lot of interesting art events around KL and here's one interesting one called Art Camp KL. If you're into drawing, whether you have the skills or not, then this is the fun event for you. For more details, visit this Facebook page here.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Korean Basic Expressions for First Time Travellers

Chatting with friendly locals. You'll find most high school kids are more likely to approach foreigners. I somehow feel that they are 'encouraged' to do so, for good practice, I suppose? They're friendly bunch, nevertheless :)

Part of the excitement traveling in foreign country to me is to learn new language. With vast information in the internet, you don't necessary need to enroll a special class when you have YouTube, phrase books or even KBS in Astro (Malaysian TV satellite subscription).

Help is on the way. We found this 'mobile travel info desk' while roaming in Insadong. As the tag indicate, yes, they speak English :)

Also, you just need to know a few essential words. I believe every travelers must learn a bit or two for these situations;
  • Greeting people and expression (thank you, sorry, excuse me)
  • Shopping: Asking for a bargain and the price. For price haggling, I'll just use my phone's calculator and show them the numbers that I want to bargain. All numbers are the same after all.
  • Direction inquiries or using public transportation.
  • Food language.

So here's some traveler's essential basic expression:

Important phrases Meaning (English)
Anyeong haseyo
Hello/G'Morning/G' Night/ G'Afternoon
Anyeoung hee geseyo Goodbye (when you're leaving)
Anyeoung hee gaseyo Goodbye (when someone is leaving)
Gamsahamida Thank you
Yeh Yes
Aniyo No
Sillyehamida Excuse Me
Mi-an-hamnida/Me-anneyo I'm sorry
[insert location] hangeeyo To....please.
Yul-mah-yeyo How much please?
Kah-ka juseyo Please lower the price
No-moo-bee-sah It's expensive
Mah-tee-tu-yo Delicious
Yung-guh-hal-jool-ahseyo Do you speak English?
Chou-nun-hangung-malchal moteyo I speak a little Korean
Moh lu get-tuyo I don't understand
Han One
Doo Two
[insert location] o-di-ye-so tayo?
Where can I get...?
I-jjok This way
Jeo-jjok (jo-jok) That way
Oeruenjjok (o-ren-jok) Right
Oenjjok (o-wen-jok) Left

Some first timers (including me) tend to get confused with Japanese and Korean language cos it sounds almost alike. But if there's one apparent difference is that Japanese has five distinctive vowels (a, e, i, o, u) which Korean tend to have more vowels. Similarities? Just like Japanese, the usage of some words in Korean language/Hangul differs from seniority and casualties among friends. Some phrase might sound "rude" to certain audience, so you might want to double check with someone who knows Korean well.

Hide This Korean Phrase Book RM24.90 (ISBN: 9789812685841). More info here

I've had about two weeks of my own "crash course" in Korean and for this I've basically...
  1. Watch YouTube with keywords "Korean" "travel" "phrase" "expression"
  2. Bought a pocket size Korean phrase book. I find this a good guide, but still not enough to explain the sound and pronunciation of phrases
  3. Watched KBS in Astro and try to immitate how Koreans speak. It's FUN!
Now that you know, let's learn Hangul! :D

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's up with Korean BB Cream?

New shop on the block of Myeongdong, Too Cool for School

January 22, 2011.

It was one heck of a cold winter night in Myeongdong, South Korea. But when you are a girl in one of the world's greatest cosmetic heaven like Seoul, oh my, nothing can stop you. There are like stretches of renown cosmetic brands side by side from Skin Food, The Face Shop, Etude, It's Skin, and even international brands like The Body Shop. These people have good taste, yo!

I was wondering what to buy and I remembered my friend's to buy-list BB Cream. BB Cream is one of the in-thing to get from Korean cosmetics. BB stands for 'Blemish Balm' and not only it does a good job as a foundation, it also claimed to have a healing agent to fade acne scars and is suitable for most skin types including sensitive and acne prone skin.

Saw this before and after image on BB Cream online. Wow, magic! For real huh?

So back to reality, as I was walking in the street of Myeongdong, I decided to get myself a BB Cream. Scanning 360, I saw almost ALL of the shops around me that sell BB Cream. BB cream this and that. Then I saw a sign that was written "the Original BB Cream" in front of Hanskin shop. That was the ticking

My Korean 'face set makeup' from Too Cool for School. From left according to use by sequence: Dual primer, dual cover BB Cream, mineral loose powder and cheek/lip cream blush.

The pic on top is before and below is the after look. Even with my acne scars, when it comes to makeup, I prefer using light coverage so the skin can at least breathe on the process of healing. I love the effect of cheek cream blush compared to powder blush for the fact that it appear light and natural.

What's my takes on BB Cream?

  1. Coupled with dual primer, my face feels soft and hydrated unlike normal foundation. I can see why most Korean ladies have such radiant and smooth skin.
  2. Great oil control. The oil on my face takes awhile to greased up compared to my Bobbi Brown. I have super oily skin btw.
  3. It feels light on my skin. I have sampled both "Too Cool for School" and "Hanskin" products and both have almost same features. I love Hanskin cos it glides on my face effortlessly even when using my fingers.
  1. Well, coming from Koreans, BB Cream usually comes only in ONE basic color. When applied on tawny, yellowish Asian skin like me, it will appear grayish on me especially when you use flash on your picture. Yikes!
  2. Even though it has light texture, the color looks pastey on the skin. Best to apply using makeup sponge to smoothen out the cream.
  3. Not what it appears on the 'before and after' photo above

I love how light and smooth the BB cream feels on me, but after taking a few snapshots of me in flash camera, frankly speaking I don't think I would continue using this. Cons #1 and 2 sez it all.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Collect your Michael Bublé tickets today!

He's almost here! YAY!

To those who have purchased Michael Bublé tickets for the highly anticipate Crazy Love tour this March 13 can finally collect it at Enrich Service Centre at KL Sentral station today onwards - that if you have chosen to 'self collect' it.

At 4.30pm today, after a long day of work, I was practically panting my way to the counter, handed them a printed proof (they only need the reservation no.) and identification card and finally, they handed me the not so golden ticket. I was jumping up and down, screaming on top of my lungs...mentally. This could probably the most expensive tickets I have ever purchased, but it's worth it!

Watch out Bieber, Michael Bublé's here!

One of his songs in Hollywood: The Deluxe Edition - Hollywood

At last, it's just You and I, and other thousands of Malaysians swarming in the stadium. D'oh! See you there!

P.S: Word has it, Michael will be bringing along his Argentinian bombshell :O

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Souled-out in Seoulwise Guesthouse

Picture taken from the website.

My quick 5 days and 5 nights trip to Seoul, South Korea could never been any smoother if not for my stay in Seoulwise Guesthouse and the owner, the one and only Mr Young. You'll know why as you read further.

I think I've enjoyed being in the moment so much that I forgot to snap a few photos of the facilities. The photos above pretty much tell it as it is :)

Nestled in a quieter side of the hippiest town of Hongik University, Seoulwise Guesthouse is the place to go if you are...
  1. On a budget. It's only 20,000 won (RM54) per person, per night in 4-bed mixed dorm.
  2. Love clean toilets. Yes, this is probably one of the cleanest hostels/motels I've been too.
  3. Enjoy the night life and coffee, which kinda reminds me of Melbourne. If you love Melbourne, you'll love to hang around this area.
  4. Complete facilities for independent travelers. Everything from maps, guide books, free use of desktop PC and if that's not enough, Mr Young will pour every bits of information he has and his altruistic and helpful personality is what the other travelers like about this place. Yes, he speaks good English, which is a gem in South Korea.
  5. Complimentary goodness. Free wi-fi access in every room, free breakfast (cereal, bread with butter and jam, coffee, tea)...he even loan us T-Money card, a prepaid card best use for public transportation and F&B. Just like PASMO to Japanese, Octopus Card to Hongkies and TouchNGo for Malaysians.

With the map given, it is easy to locate the guesthouse, depending on your direction ability and the time of day, haha! It will be quite a tiring walk if you are bringing pull-up luggage or during snowy winter, which I have to experienced.

Two types of Korean rice cakes: Chapssal tteok (left) Tteok gyeongdan (right)

So what else is nearby Seoulwise? Besides the cafes and night clubs, if you ought to grab Korea's best souvenirs of all, it's none other than their local fruits and snacks. You can buy their local strawberries along the pathway near the church to Kosa Mart. They are huge! I managed to buy a few varieties of Tteok (or rice cakes) nearby the Eel Restaurant.

Having said that, this is one superb location because it's one trip away from airport since the new opening of Airport Railroad that brings you directly to Hongik University Station. YAY!

It's 4,100 won (3,600 won for the fare + 500 won deposit) from airport to Hongik University.

Had a great stay here. Fully recommended! :D

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Seoul Searching: Introduction

Gateway to the city

South Korea is one great example of a country that embrace the old and the new. Here you are walking in between the concrete jungle and smack in the middle of the city lies the remains of some ancient fortress gates and majestic mountains. An intriguing juxtaposition!

Dongdaemun Gate

Remembering scars of the past

To experience Korea like the Koreans is to eat like Koreans

Getting to know the friendly locals despite the language barrier

And who could not forget - one of Asia's best shopping destination

That's all for now. Next post: 5 days itinerary of my wintery city tour around Seoul.

And also watch out for the giveaways - awesome goodies from Hanskin (SK famous BB Cream) and Too Cool For School. Follow me on twitter (rozeboomerang) to receive the alert!
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