Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lunar New Year ends

Today is the 15th and last day of the Lunar New Year. Also the time we have our 2nd reunion dinner. On the menu tonight are Hokkien noodles of the traditional black variety, fried meat rolls (similar to spring rolls except with meat instead of veges), sweet & sour pork ribs and bbq chicken wings. A sort of Hokkien-Singaporean mix.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Marina Barrage

It's a public space above a dam. We stopped by for a quick picnic dinner with baby Ryan and parents. Lovely inlaid grass on the roof structure to create a sky park of sorts and lovely sea breeze, perfect for flying kites, which is what a lot of people do.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Jenny's getting married

Her wedding planners have asked me to book my flight and lodging more than 2 months ahead of time! Berjaya Times Square sounds great, there is an indoor amusement park and Krispy Kreme. Think I will be enjoying myself. Congrats Jenny.

Picture from Berjaya Times Square Hotel Weddings

Thursday, February 25, 2010

OSIM uSonic

The last stage of cleaning; my personal accessories. I read about jewellers using sonic cleaners to wash their goods, so I bought a home version and some specialty chemicals to clean different materials. Hopefully, this double dose will do my accessories some good. The 600ml capacity was a tight squeeze for some of the chunkier items but otherwise did a good job of restoring the sparkle on my jewellery. The items were squeaky clean with a little added polishing during the wipe down with a polishing cloth. Now I can get rid of that archaic brush.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Repairing my bag

Time to fix the dropping fringes. This is one delicate bag.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jewellery Sketching

Settings for my mom's Jade piece. She chose the one on the right. Will post a picture of the completed necklace later when she comes back from work. She's wearing it today.

Pic of the necklace!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ceiling Woes

As my home starts to resemble a cave dwelling with stalagtites forming on my kitchen ceiling, I survey the dismal state of it's semi-renovation state. Sure, we re-paint the walls every 2 years, re-pack annually and fastidiously clean everyday. We have been putting off full scale remodelling for quite a while now. Making do with quick fixes around a home I have stayed in for almost 3 decades. The logistics of renovating a home you are currently staying in can be troublesome. Who to sleep where and a pressing question of where to store the stuff? Time to source for quotations. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Peapods from Space

After replanting the seeds from the original peapod, 2 giant healthy crawlers sprung up from the ground. Check out how big the fruits are and no, there is no optical illusion. At 8 inches each, they are even larger than their parent plant (6 inches).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Everybody's Birthday

The 7th day of the Lunar Calendar is everybody's birthday or "Ren Ri". So we are all a year older. Typically, yusheng a type of raw fish salad is eaten on this day. My family celebrates by having homemade dumplings with our own sauce concoctions.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Kerastase Hair Treatments

It's the same stuff the salons use for their hair spa treatments with the added convenience of using it whenever I am free at home, at a fraction of the cost. Ever since I have found where to purchase these precious vials of hair serum, I seldom get hair treatments in salons anymore. Unfortunately, it is only sold in commercial packs of 30. Buy from :

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Jones the Grocer

My lunch of burger and fries. Now that they are open in Mandarin Galleria, it's much more convenient to meetup with friends for lunch.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

24k Gold Facial

This common spa treat is inspired by Cleopatra's gold mask. Nope, not the famous funery mask. But, the everyday one historians claim the famous pharoah slept in every night as a form of ancient facial treatment. I think it makes sense. Gold has proven regenerative effects, especially helpful for small blemishes and acne. Instead of ingesting it, it is applied like a salve onto the face. The modern version offers nano showers of gold dust and creams before finishing in the extravagant gold leafing of your face in pure 24k gold sheets to create a mask that is thrown away after the facial. The entire experience is magical and leaves your skin glowing. I think it is definitely a surer bet than the $5 million hongbao draw that I didn't win. It is the year of the golden tiger after all.

Picture coutesy of UMO

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Poker Sets

Now that we have an IR, suddenly the shops start carrying consumer poker sets ranging from affordable plastic starting from $100 to professional quality mahogony roulettes at $1,000. Not much of a player myself, I am only intrigued when the luxury brands launch their versions of this game. See LV version above.

Cartier bespoke poker set for $15,150 and Juicy Couture set below for $288. It's so pretty I almost bought it even though I don't play the game. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Side Table

I use a safe as a side table. In a city where space is a premium, it's both practical and functional, granted a little more expensive than a regular table. The trick is ordering one that is the appropriate height. Once you throw a tablecloth over it, noone will suspect otherwise. It may seem a little paranoid but anything smaller than 50cm can just be carted away by thieves, so why bother. If you want to get a safe, get a bigger one. Historically, we've always had safes as my grandpa's business used them quite frequently. I don't really have any valuables for thieves to steal so it's more for precautionary purposes than anything. In case, I receive something valuable, I have a place to put it.

I used another 2 metres of french tulle to make a new tablecloth, in time for the new year. It was meant to resemble a tutu. But, kept bunching and my needles kept breaking so I eventually settled for layers of white tulle in between the raw pink silk and french tulle. I managed to acheive a dreamy end result albeit without the pouf.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Baking Pineapple Tarts

My mom's making her famous melt in the mouth pineapple tarts. These delicious confections are made from scratch starting with hours of stirring the pineapple jam. The ensuing madness as space is cleared from every counter top to make way for the tarts to cool.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


The tai tai pastime and Chinese gaming equivalent of poker. Can only be considered gambling if you are betting huge amounts of money. Otherwise it's just a a game played to while away the time at wakes and reunions. You can buy miniature sets (1.5 cm tiles) for $25 at your local "going out of business" store, instruction booklets for newbies can be had for $1.50, standard sets like above pic for around $70. 

For more serious gamers or like my friend Tammy who needs to be special, you can get a Louis Vuitton Mahjong Set for under $5k, completely customizable with it's own little trunk. Apparently, each tile is handpainted with LV emblems incorporated into the pictures. Perfect present for your mom, mom-in-law maybe...

Maison Martin Magiela is giving away pure white limited edition sets with purchases above $2k on the Fall/Winter 2009 collection in HK (see pic below).

Baby pink Hello Kitty set for $200 if you can find it. Loving the cute teddy bears and kitty faces on the tiles.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Apple Bottoms by Nelly

Yup, it's a clothing line by a rapper. But, they make the cutest accessories. All apple themed of course and gold-plated to prevent tarnishing. I bought these apple shaped bangles online, in time for Lunar New Year. Apples represent Peace.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

LNY pasar malam

Pasar Malam at Chinatown, outside Kwan Yin Temple. It's usually packed back to back. But, it's raining today so there are no crowds. My family and I made a trip to stock up on food and decorations.

Check out the mountains of pomelo and mandarin oranges for sale. Only at this time of the year. If you are looking for something better, you can make a trip to Isetan Supermarket for the Japanese imported pomelos, honeydews, oranges and apples that retail for 10x or 20x the price.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Piano Cover

Does anyone remember how much they paid for their piano covers? I remember Yamaha used to sell little velvet pieces that only cover the top for $350 and full length black vinyl ones for $250. So when my mom told us our full length lace cover cost $1200 I wasn't surprised. Meant either as dust covers or to accentuate the piano (those tiny little velvet ones), depending on the preference of the owners. This time around, I decided to sew my own.

First, the draping. We eventually decided on 6 metres of cream coloured thai silk lining. With some creative cutting, I only used 4.5 metres of the silk tulle. Using a combination of machine and hand stitching, I finally made my decorative dust cover. See pic below.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Skinny Pizza

My new favourite pizza place. Apart from the thin crust pizzas that flake off when cut and piled high with fresh veges, this place serves yummy deserts including some home-made alcoholic ice-cream. I usually come here for a short break in between shopping and always order the Truffle Fries and Cider. Simple, yet unbelievably amazing. They always seem to get it right.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Making a necklace

My box of gold findings. Everything is 14k goldfill or 24k gold-plated.

Working on the necklace the whole day! The sizes have to match up exactly. Using graduated colours makes it even more challenging as every shade shows up.

The finished product! it can be worn as a 34 inch chain with 2 patterns to be adjusted half-half, front or back and doubled up to form a 16 inch necklace (see pic above). It's a keeper.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lampwork Beads

I wanted to make myself a fun colourful bracelet that is sorely lacking in my wardrobe. My purchases primarily have work in mind, so it's usually sedate and elegant (I hope). Each lampwork bead has to be individually crafted so it carries a certain artists' imprint that makes it interesting and unique. You see many different versions when you are vacationing, as different artists do up different stuff. I wish I collected them then. After exhausting the usual bead shops for material, I found this great webshop (based in Singapore) that sells these gorgeous lampwork beads: I like the panda head and sea urchin inspired spiky ones. The material came up to $40, free delivery and also a free gift! Will post a picture once I am done with the bangle.

Thursday, 11 Feb 2010
My completed bracelet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sewing Machine spare parts

The sewing has stopped as my machine needle has snapped into 3 parts. For the non-sewer, this is actually quite common. The neighbourhood haberdashery only stocks Singer spare parts and I have to do a special order for my Brother needles. Safety glasses while sewing is highly recommended. For those that wear glasses this won't be a problem. But everyone else, including me has to start looking for a clear pair.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sewing Machine

Whipped out my trusty Brother sewing machine to make some soft furnishings (see pic above). I bought this for $50 (free delivery) a decade ago when Courts first launched their online retail store (they don't take orders online anymore). It does a good basic job of sewing straight lines with 14 stitch options including 1 buttonhole option, with light, automatic bobby winding and reverse stitiching.

The sewing machine we used before this was a pedal-powered antique Singer that my grandmother used. Surprisingly, you can still buy that model under their vintage range, remodelled with hidden electrical motors for about $600 (see pic above) *kawaii*.

Nowadays, you can still get a good ole sewing machine for about $150. They go from there to a cool $15,000 for a 6 needle embroidery machine that resembles those used in factories (see picture above). Next up is Quattro (see pic below), touted as the most expensive sewing machine in the world at $11,888. It has a video camera, led lights from every angle, allows you to hook up your PC to the machine, automatic embroidery and over 1000 stitches for you to choose from. That's just for the domestic usage range. I wonder what the industrial machines are like?