Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Road Less Travelled

Barnet Marine Park, Vancouver BC. Oct 2010

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, 
and sorry I could not travel both
and be one traveler, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim,
because it was grassy and wanted wear.
Though as for that the passing there
had worn them really about the same

And both that morning equally lay
in leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back

I shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere ages and ages hence: 
two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less travelled by
And that has made all the difference. 

Wishing you a Happy New Year and a blessed 2012.
May 2012 be the year your dreams come true

Friday, December 30, 2011

Sewing 2: Wedding Gown for MG (3) - Mermaid Skirt in Progress

MG's Wedding Gown: Mermaid Skirt,
Dec 2011

Mermaid skirt almost done.

You can see MG's Wedding Gown in this drawing here and the fabric here
The photo above shows the Mermaid skirt with fused underlining, but without the lining. 

The shape looks great, but the skirt needs pressing as I had a bit of a struggle trying to get it onto Mandy, my M-sized mannequin. *lol*

The skirt is duchess satin which is a really beautiful fabric with a subtle sheen. But duchess satin is also a very delicate fabric, easily snagged by pins and even ragged finger nails, so I had to progress slowly, pinning as I go along and working on one section at a time.

I have completed the main skirt and lining/facing pieces. 
This weekend, I'll join the lining/facing to the skirt, and pin & tack the hem which will be left unfinished until after the final fitting with the wedding shoes, in case alterations are needed.

Technical notes on working with duchess satin are below, and I'll post the draft and construction notes later.

101 Things in 1001 Days: December Update

15% completed so change from November

Nothing completed this month, but I'm happy to be making steady progress on:

#5 Develop the habit of only opening my computer after I've had breakfast and done my morning routine (27/30)
#13 Start a blog and make 100 posts (58/100)
#25 Draw one thing every week (16/52)

 #38 Learn to sew my own clothes and make 1 item a month for 12 months (1/12).........this is on the shelf for 2 months, so I can focus on MG's wedding gown and evening gown.  But that's ok since the purpose of this goal is not only a new wardrobe but also to discipline myself to sew regularly : ) . 

Read on for the full Progress Report on my  101 Things below......

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Drawing 16: Relaxing over Christmas

Relaxing over Christmas, Dec 2011

I missed one week ie the week before Christmas, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it. This is last week's drawing, done while I was at my parents for a few days over Christmas.

Since Mum doesn't go out much because of her Parkinsons, we spent a lot of time watching TV and chatting. And eating. My friend Fui spent Christmas with us this year and I could see the parents really enjoyed her company.

Brother sent a package over from the US containing all sorts of goodies, including my favorite Welch's fruit gums, and I brought with me a box of Marks & Spencer's Christmas biscuits. Every year, Marks & Spencers come out with gift boxes of biscuits covered with Belgian chocolate and I always bring some home for Christmas. It's become a kind of tradition now and the parents look forward to it every year.

They say draw what you see.
What I saw most of the time was my feet on a chair and beyond that the TV.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

One of the most inspiring stories of 2011

Korea's Got Talent: Choi Sung Bong. 
From Youtube. Uploaded by gmldnjsoE 
With English sub-titles.

Choi Sung Bong was abandoned at an orphanage by his parents when he was three. He ran away at five after he was beaten and lived on the streets, surviving by selling gum and soft drinks and sleeping in stairwells and public toilets. 

One day, he was selling gum at a club when he heard a vocalist perform. He was so touched by the sincerity of the singer that he taught himself to sing, taking lessons whenever he could afford it. 

This is his first performance in Korea's Got Talent
He came second in the finals. 

Nella Fantasia

In my imagination I see a fair world,
Everyone lives in peace and in honesty there.
I dream of souls that are always free,
Like the clouds that fly,
Full of humanity in the depths of the soul.

In my imagination I see a bright world,
Even the night is less dark there.
I dream of souls that are always free,
Like clouds that fly.

In my imagination there exists a warm wind,
That breathes on the cities, like a friend.
I dream of souls that are always free,
Like clouds that fly,
Full of humanity in the depths of the soul.

translation from wikipedia

Wishing you a Blessed and Magical Christmas. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Drawing 15: Evening Gown for MG's Wedding

Drawing 15: Evening Gown for MG's Wedding, 
pen & kurecolour marker, Dec 2011

I am making MG's wedding gown and evening gown. 
You can see the wedding gown design in Drawing 14 here, and the fabric here

Drawing 15 above is the evening gown design.
MG chose a fluid red satin as the main fabric. The look and feel of the satin is gorgeous. It's not shiny but has a sheen, and drapes beautifully. The bodice is black lace on red satin. The waist which has a sash effect, is black tulle on red satin.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ira Glass on Creativity

From Youtube. Uploaded by PRI

Good advice from Ira Glass for all of us who do creative work. 
Transcript below: 

Nobody tells people who are beginners. 
I really wish somebody had told this to me. 

All of us who do creative work, we get into it because  we have good taste and we love doing what we do. But there's this gap. For the first couple of years that you're making stuff, what you're making isn't so good. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sewing 2: Wedding Gown for MG (2)

Fabric for MG's Wedding Gown. Dec 2011

This is the fabric for MG's wedding gown which I posted in Drawing 14 here

Last week, I went shopping with MG and her friend to look for fabric for the wedding gown and the evening gown. We spent almost a full day looking at laces, satins and other dressy fabrics. There was so much choice, it was hard to make a decision but in the end, we settled for a delicate-looking white beaded lace and duchess satin for the wedding gown, and a red satin for the evening gown.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sewing 1: 6-Gore Skirt

6 Gore Skirt, Nov 2011

I decided to kick off my new wardrobe with a few basics that I can wear every day. So I drew a 4 item basic casual capsule which you can see here.

I 've never worn a gore skirt before and couldn't wait to see what it looks like on me, so I sewed this first using an easycare polycotton. I am very happy with the results. The gore skirt is a very flattering (and forgiving) shape, and has a nice drape.

How to draft a 6-Gore Skirt from a basic skirt draft: 
Most skirts are drafted from the basic skirt draft.
To draft this pattern, I used a simple basic skirt draft where both the front and back are the same.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

101 Things in 1001 Days: November Update

15% completed so far : )

#17 have weekly grooming sessions for 12 weeks (12/12)
#67 Develop a Personal Style that reflects who I am....did a mood board here
#79 Make a wish at 11:11 on November 11, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Drawing 14: Wedding Gown for MG (1)

Drawing 14: Bridal Gown. Nov 2011

Design for a friend who's getting married next March. 
I will be making the wedding gown for the church ceremony and luncheon; and the evening gown for the dinner.

We are going for a Vintage 30's look. The gown will be a 2-piece with detachable train. 

The top will have a corset base overlaid with beaded lace, with a raised collar and V-neck, and dropped sleeves. Button detail at the back. Mermaid skirt and matching train will be in duchess satin.

Keeping to the Vintage 30's theme, the bride will wear a pillbox hat with net front just covering the eyes, and a longer tulle veil at the back.  

This is my first bridal outfit  and I've never made a train before, let alone a detachable one.
So I'm as nervous as a bride!
: )

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Book 11: The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point, Nov 2011

Malcolm Gladwell has a way of making me examine my assumptions and look at things from a different perspective. I enjoyed reading his first book, Outliers and so I went out and bought The Tipping Point

The subject matter is different but the book was just as enjoyable. 

While Outliers examines why some people achieve extreme success ......think Bill Gates, the Beatles....and, I think, Steve Jobs also falls into this category, The Tipping Point looks at epidemics. Not just viral epidemics but also epidemics of ideas, fashion, trends.....why do some ideas gain popularity and traction and others don't? What is the tipping point from which an idea takes off? What is needed to reach tipping point? 

As the tag line says, it's the little things that makes the big differences. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Drawing 13: Portrait - Girl with Wild Hair

Drawing 13: Portrait - Girl with Wild Hair. Nov 2011

Love the Wild Hair!
This is last week's drawing. I drew the same girl in Drawing 12 here.

In Drawing 12, I had a lot of trouble with drawing the face and messed it up. So Drawing 13 is an attempt to get it right. Not great, though recognizable. I spent a lot more time than I planned to and had to stop, or I won't be able to do a drawing this week. So I left the shading incomplete. 

Must practise doing more portraits, AND speed up!

Friday, November 18, 2011

# 67 Get a Personal Style

Personal Style, Montage, Nov 2011

Fashion fades, only style remains the same
~ Coco Chanel

"I knew I needed a look and I got one." said Maria Callas, in the play Master Class. Me too. So I am getting rid of everything that's not "me" any more......which seems to be most of my wardrobe. But that's ok. I won't be wearing boring corporate suits anymore in my new life.

Some of the stuff can be deconstructed and reconstructed into something I will actually wear. While I'm at it, i.e. cleaning out my closet, those comfortable dropped-waisted faded jeans with the frayed hems will have to go. Faded is so not-elegant and the jelly belly is starting to roll over the dropped waistband.

Effortless.......Uncontrived. Not looking like I've spent hours doing hair or make-up (even when I have!)
Timeless........Modern classic's and Vintage look. 
Simplicity.......Minimalist. Design should be based on cut, rather than embellishments. Minimal accessorising. 
Natural..........No purple or green hair. no heavy make-up. Enhance rather than disguise. Natural fabrics.
Elegant..........Well-groomed, good posture, good manners.  
Stylish............Keep up with broad trends, but only pick those that suit me. Skip the ones that don't.
Creative........Classic's with a twist!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

100 years of East London Style in 100 Seconds

100 Years of  East London Style in 100 seconds. 
 From Youtube. Uploaded by Westfield Stratford

Love this!
A fun and quick fashion history lesson.

This well produced video takes us from Edwardian 1911 through the Flapper 20's, the war years of the 40's, the Swinging 60's,  Boho 70's, Punk 80's and Grungy 90's to 2011.  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book 10: The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini. Nov 2011

My mother was a librarian, and reading was encouraged in our home. I love immersing myself in a good story and with all the good writers out there, there are few books that I don't enjoy. 

 But once in a while, there's a story that stays with me long after I have read the last word and closed the book. Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner is one of these books.

Drawing 12: Girl Leaning

Girl Leaning, Nov 2011

I like this Benetton ad which I found in an old copy of Vogue, but was not confident drawing the whole group. So I picked the girl with the fizzy hair as I liked her pose which I thought would be quite interesting to draw. 

Unfortunately,  I had a lot of trouble drawing her face and in the end, managed to mess things up by wearing away the paper with the eraser, and there is no time to re-do this week. 

Next week, I'm going to practise drawing faces!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fashion Icons: Twiggy

from Youtube. Uploaded by 60sFashionLove

Mid-60's in London: The Beatles, Carnaby Street, Mary Quant, mini-skirts,  the Mod Look, short boyish hair, skinny and Twiggy.

Her famous crop cut, by Leonard of Mayfair, propelled her to fame at age 16. She became one of the first international super-models when she took New York by storm in 1967. Suddenly the waif look, boyish  crop cuts and big round eyes with long, long lashes worn with short, short skirts and A-line dresses were all the range. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Drawing 11: Girl Sitting on a Boat

Drawing 11: Girl Sitting. Pencil. Nov 2011

Old magazines are a great source of photos for practising figure drawing. 

This drawing is from a Nautica ad in an old Vogue. The model has that fresh Nordic look that goes perfectly with the white shirt and light blue sea.

I wanted to try drawing different poses but this sitting pose was quite a challenge for me. It's still not quite right...the angle of the face and shoulders need some tweaking. In the photo, the model leans forward more than I had drawn her. And I need to practise drawing faces too.

But time's up for this week. No time for doing any shading or colouring, so posting this drawing with all its glaring errors.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November is National Novel Writing Month!

Image from, uploaded by asafresh

November is the month for NaNoWriMo.
National Novel Writing Month

Every November, budding novelists from all over the world get together on the NaNoWriMo site, and commit to writing 50,000 words in one month. Since everyone has a shared goal, the forum buzzes with questions, advice, support, sympathy and commiserations.

No plot? No problem, someone will provide a few ideas. Your novel-to-be is set in a dystopian future after the world as we know it, has dissipated in a nuclear cloud, and you want to know what are the effects of radiation on the environment? No problem, just post the question and someone will come up with an answer.

Those who manage to complete 50,000 words by 30th November get a certificate from the NaNoWriMo site and the satisfaction of having written 50,000 words which is practically half a novel!

Monday, October 31, 2011

101 Things in 1001 Days: October Update

Autumn in Multnomah Falls, Oregon, US. Oct 2010

End of October and day 160 already!
841 days more to go.
12% completed so far : )

Item #38 on my 101 things in 1001 days listLearn how to sew my own clothes and make 1 item a month for 12 months (0/12)
........drew the illustration for the mini capsule wardrobe.....2 skirts and 2 tops. Drafted skirt patterns for basic skirt and 6-gore skirt. Decided to start with the 6-gore skirt which I have cut. Next step is to get the edgings done, and sew the skirt

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Drawing 10: Girl with Camera

Drawing 10: Girl with Camera. Pencil. Oct 2011

This drawing is of a Kate Spade advert in an old Vogue magazine. The cloche hat and the vintage-looking camera gives the model a retro look. I love vintage and retro fashion, especially the 30's and 40's; also the 60's fashion in Madmen.

I still have the drafts from my very first sewing lessons, way back in the 70's. After my finals one year, Mother decided I should learn a new skill, rather than hanging around with friends and partying. Coming from a staunch protestant background, Mother was a firm believer in "idle hands makes devil's work"!

I think the general idea was that I would then be able to make myself useful, and sew clothes for Mother and the Aunts. It didn't quite work out that way, as my first attempts at drafting and sewing were pretty disastrous.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The 10,000 Hour Rule

Ipoh Clock Tower, Malaysia. Aug 2010

The 10,000 hour rule is from the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

Outliers is the story of success, and examines the factors which make some people exceptional achievers......on a statistical chart of high achievers, these folks are way up there among the stars. We're talking about people like Bill Joy (founder of Sun Microsystems), Bill Gates (Microsoft), the Beatles, Mozart and Joe Flom (a founder of Skadden, Arps, Slate and Flom, a highly successful NYC law firm).

Gladwell found that one critical factor for success was the amount of time these folks spent in mastering their own field......all of these exceptional people had at least 10,000 hours of practise or study in their field. There's more to exceptional success than 10,000 hours for sure....the mix includes opportunity, hard work, timing, support, etc but 10,000 hours was a critical factor in their success. When the opportunities presented themselves, these folks were ready for success.

In a nutshell:
To achieve mastery or excellence: 10,000 hours
To be good: 8,000 hours
To be competent: 4,000 hours
Amateur level is 2,000 hours.

Well, I guess I'd better get on with it ; )

Friday, October 21, 2011

Financial Bailout: How it works

Image from, uploaded by OmirOnia

I have no idea who came out with this "explanation" of a financial bailout. 
A friend sent it to me and it gave me a good laugh:

It is a slow day in a damp little Irish town. The rain is beating down harshly, and all the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt and everybody lives on credit. 

On this particular day, a rich German tourist is driving through the town, stops at the local hotel and lays a  €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night. 

The owner gives him some room keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the  €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. 

The Hunger Site

image from The Hunger Site

Just by clicking on The Hunger Site once a day, we can help contribute free food to the hungry. 

There is no cost to us, as sponsors give 1.1 cups of food for each click. Food is distributed by the Mercy Corps, Feeding America and other charitable organizations.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Drawing 9: A Pair of Slippers

Drawing 9: A Pair of Slippers, Colour Pencil. 
Oct 2011

So far, I've managed to keep to my commitment of one drawing a week.
My drawings are no way near the standard I'd like them to be. Hopefully with practise, they will improve.

One good thing: I discovered that drawing is a great way to improve my observation skills and I notice details which I would have missed before. So that is one good thing that's come out of this.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Drawing 8: Sewing Project - Everyday Capsule

Drawing 8: Sewing Project

I've been very lazy with practising pattern-drafting and sewing. I like designing and pattern-drafting. Basically I like the challenge of looking at a 2-dimensional design and working out how to make it into a 3-dimensional item of clothing. 

Unfortunately, I'm not too keen on sewing and view it as a necessary evil, to make my designs a reality. So I need to really discipline myself at the sewing stage, which is not easy at all to do. All I want is to get finished and started on the next project. This is strange really, as most people on the sewing/tailoring module prefer sewing more than pattern-drafting.

So, I'm going to get a start on #38 Learn to sew my own clothes and make one item a month on the 101 things list. 

I 'm planning to make a simple capsule wardrobe for everyday wear, using a practical, crease-resistant, poly-cotton print I found in my fabric stash. With 2 sets of top and skirt, I'll be able to have 4 different combinations as illustrated in the drawing above.

The colour of the print fabric is a sort of dull beige leafy pattern against a black background. After I had coloured it, the beigey pattern didn't really stand out so I tried using a gold ball-point to highlight it. Bad it looks like the fabric has a glittery pattern which is not the case at all!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fashion from Milk? (and a recipe for Milk Plastic)

German Designer Anke Domaske makes clothes from Milk Fibre


This is a very exciting development from the fashion world and takes ecological fashion to the next level.

Anke Domaske, microbiologist turned fashion designer, has developed QMilch, a fabric woven from fibre made from milk protein.

The use of milk protein or cassein in fashion is not new, having been around since the 1930's. Lanital, a fabric popular in Italy in the 1930's is made from cassein fiber. Galalith, a plastic made from cassein was used to make buttons.  

In the past, the commercial variety was mixed with chemicals. QMilch is the first fibre to be made from natural ingredients and is chemicals-free. 

Want to make your own buttons from cassein?
I found this recipe from Instructables for a cassein plastic
It uses a 16:1 (Milk:Vinegar) ratio and you can do it in your kitchen. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds pretty easy to make the cassein. You'll probably need an extruder or a mold to make the buttons. Something I definitely want to try one day....... vintage-style buttons for a vintage-style dress. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
 ~ Steve Jobs, 2005

Steve Jobs gave the Stanford Commencement Speech on 12th June, 2005.  It's particularly poignant considering he  had  already been diagnosed with cancer for a year. He talks about his life, love, loss and death. 

The full text of the speech can be found on the Stanford News site here

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Drawing 7: Tractor under Trees

Drawing 7: Tractor under Trees, Oct 2011

Looked down from my balcony last weekend and saw this bright yellow tractor parked in a side lane opposite. I thought the contrast between the tractor and the greenery made an interesting subject for this week's drawing. The trees framed the scene nicely too. 

The trouble with drawing movable objects is, they move! 
I completed the drawing on Sunday and, as the light was fading, decided to colour it the next day. But the tractor had disappeared by then, so the colours of the tractor are from memory and imagination. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

101 Things in 1001 Days: Update for September

 Image by Cema at

Failed miserably to get started on #7 Get up at 7am every day, and #8 Go to bed by 12 every day.
Didn't do #37 Sew Seat Cushions either.

I really need to add one more item to the 101 things in 1001 days  list: #102 Stop playing Facebook games!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Zen Thought 4: Live in each Season as it passes

Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA
Oct 2011

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influences of each

~ Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sweet & Sour Fish

Drawing 6: Sweet & Sour Fish, Colour Pencil.
Sep 2011
This is another Tessie recipe. It's a short-cut Sweet & Sour Fish using ketchup, which is as good as the real thing.

I was on a roll last weekend and illustrated 3 recipes: Lotus Root Soup, Tessie's Curry Chicken and this Sweet & Sour Fish. 

Tessie's Curry Chicken

Drawing 5: Tessie's Curry Chicken, Colour Pencil.
Sep 2011
This recipe is from my sister-in-law. Tessie worked for her family for over 20 years before returning to the Philippines. All her kids were brought up by Tessie.

Tessie has become so much a part of the family, we still miss her. Luckily for us, she left behind some favorite recipes and we have these to remind us of her.

I should have drawn the main item ie the Curry in the Bowl, bigger. Serves me right for not planning the layout in advance. The lemon grass doesn't quite look like lemon grass, so more practise needed there.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lotus Root Soup

Drawing 4: Lotus Root Soup, Colour Pencil. 
Sep 2011

Starting an Illustrated Cookbook. 

I enjoyed doing this whimsical illustration.

We (the Siblings) recently hired a maid to help the parents, as Mother has Parkinsons. She's one of the "lucky" ones as she's relatively mobile, but with shaky hands and a tendency to fall. So far they've been managing with Father helping with daily personal care and meals ie preparing breakfast and drinks, but going out to get takeaways for lunch and dinner. And there's also the worry of leaving Mother on her own, with her tendency to fall.

Drawing 3 - Apples and Strawberries II

Apples & Strawberries on a small Dish, Colour Pencil.
Sep 2011
Last week's drawing and my first attempt at colour pencils.

Apples and Strawberries I was terrible so I trashed it. I drew Apples and Strawberries II with a pen outline, which made it easier for me to colour in. Unfortunately, I'm not too good with pen outlines either, so ended up with a bit of a mess on the edges of the dish. I wanted to do an Apples and Strawberries III, but last week's drawing time had run out; so good, bad or ugly, this gets posted. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Drawing 2: Shower in my Bathroom

Shower in my Bathroom, Sept 2011

Just an outline drawing this week
The white background looks blue in the photo.....better get going on #31. Buy a new camera and learn to use it!

The shower sits against a panel of mosaic tiles of different shades of browns and bronzes. I thought this may be fun to paint later. Discovered I can't draw long straight lines freehand!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Zen Thought 3: What goes around comes around

Wall decoration, Banjaran Springs spa, Ipoh, Malaysia
July 2011

All that we are is the result of our thoughts
If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought,
Pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage
If a man speaks or act with a pure thought, 
Happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him
~ Gautama Buddha

How people treat you is their karma
How you react is yours
~ Wayne Dyer 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 101 Update

Kea Farm, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
June 2011

Day 101, and 11 things done!
Time to reward myself with some flowers.

Started in August
#10 Yoga classes 
#25 Draw one thing every week 
#26 Read for at least 30 mins every day

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Zen Thought 2: The Only Constant is Change

Dust in the Wind ~ Kansas ~ 1977
posted by papilioniger, YouTube

 I close my eyes
only for a moment
and the moment's gone

Monday, August 29, 2011

Draw one thing a week: Kopitiam Coffee Cup

Kopitiam Coffee Cup, Aug 2011

#25. Draw at least one thing a week (1/52)

Drawing No. 1. Finished at last!

Mrs. Cheah, art teacher from my old school days would have said,

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Explore 2 historic sites - Sri Lanka

Temple of the Tooth, Kandy
Sri Lanka 2009

This trip was with a small tour group of 11, flying from KL Malaysia. The 5 hour Air Asia flight landed at Colombo International Airport, where our guide, Mr.Vipulla was waiting for us.

How to Age Gracefully

Autumn in Sun Yat-Sen Park, Vancouver, Canada
Oct 2010

17th Century Nun's Prayer

Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older, and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. 
Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Donate 100,000 grains of rice through

image from

I enjoyed playing with the quizzes on a lot of new words, found I wasn't as good in grammer as I thought I was, got a bit more clued up about art and the capitals of the world. Discovered some countries I didn't even know existed, and learnt some spanish words, which will be handy for the grand goal of 2012 aka the Inca Trail. 

And the best thing? For each right answer, sponsors (ie advertisers) donate 10 grains of rice to a worthy cause. Right now, it's the drought stricken region in the horn of africa. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Zen Thought 1: Be Self Reliant

Kelaniya Temple, Colombo, 
Sri Lanka. 2009

Believe nothing 
no matter where you read it 
or who said it, even if I've said it, 
unless it agrees with your own reason and common sense. 
~ The Buddha 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Do It Anyway

Sunset at Beaches Restaurant, Vancouver WA, USA
Oct 2010

a verse written on a wall in Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta:

People are often unreasonable, irrational and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway. 
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.  
Be kind anyway.