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Friday, February 26, 2010

Sun & Sea

D and her friends from the UK are off to Krabi, Thailand for a few days next week and have invited me along. I thought since my days in Asia are limited, I would jump on the wagon and join the girls for a sun soaked vacation.

S is organizing the whole thing so I just have to pack my swimmers and some shades. The beach of choice is Railay in Krabi which is touted as one of the top beaches in the area. Krabi has about 83 islands so we might take a longboat and island hop.
As I was curious about the place, I went online to check out what else was available and boy was I impressed. There were endless number of choices available. Koh Lanta that was about 1 hour south, had these beach front bungalows at Lanta Palace. During low season ie May - October, the beach front cottages are rented out at USD12.50. If that's not enough, that rate includes tax AND breakfast for 2 !!



Then I found this one, called Lanta Castaway - love that name.

 Again right on the beach, for this hut, during peak season, its USD 10.00 ! For off season, its USD 3.00 !!!  Book the whole freaking hotel I say and invite the family !!


Of course, there are really lovely and posh hotels, like this one.


The Rayavadee Resort which has bungalows with all the fringe benefits. 
The room rates range between 200-400 USD a night. More for couples, not so much for 5 girls looking to sip cocktails in the pool bar and eye candy.
For us, the hotel has been picked and it's the Railay Bay Beach Resort that is right on the sand and looks comfortable and clean. At USD 103 a night, it is very reasonable. The banana pancakes are apparently a knockout.  These are the cottages we would be sleeping in.


I will be away most of next week so will post my photos online when I get back.Til then, have a fab weekend !

Back to School Part II

I have been busy over the past two days, back in the Adobe lab taking the Illustrator course level 2. This time, the learning curve was much  steeper. I am trying out tools that I have never seen and creating interesting stuff.

Am eager to go back into my studio to do more design work now.

If you think these are photos, think again.

These are illustrator art produced by some of the world's best.



Just blows my mind.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Latest in KL

The Lot 10 shopping mall along BB has been around for yonks and has always been sleepy except for a few cheap shops. YTL gave it a new lease of life and has reopened it with swanky shops and new restaurants.

What I'm more interested in is the food court.

Lot 10 Hutong is a gourmet food court has been opened to house only Malaysia's best hawkers. Only those who have been around for 50 years, are invited to open up in the Lot 10 Hutong gourmet food court.

 (photos from here)

So now, if you want to taste Malaysia's best, you only need to visit one place. You no longer need to fight against tourist crowds in Chinatown to taste the famous Petaling Street Hokkien mee, its right there at Lot 10. So is the famous Jalan Gasing Chicken Rice, Klang Bak Kut Teh and about 20 other stalls. Non halal too- fantastic!

There are stalls offering Penang best as well and the Hong Kee Porridge stall has been getting rave reviews from KL's bloggers.

Wanton mee by Ho Weng Kee 
(pics from lotsofcravings blog)

So D next time you come, let's go and try everything out !

If  you fancy posh nosh, there is the new rooftop Teeq, offering fancy cocktails and modern decor with cool views of the busy BB strip. The food according to some bloggers is good like the Duck Confit with orange perfumed risotto.


A must try !

A beautiful sight

Not everyday you come across something so beautiful that makes you stop and stare.


This has been voted the most beautiful bookstore in the world on this website.  A 13th century Dominican cathedral in Holland has been turned into a bookstore. The owners wanted to maximise the space but were not allowed to make any structural changes to the building or even attach any supports on walls.


Architects turned a free standing scaffolding into a 3 storey book "flat". 

Even the cafe area is designed with God in mind.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cult status


I saw this photo of a home featured on the blog A Cup of Jo and was blown away by the simplicity and beauty of the painting on the wall. I want one too.

I dug deeper and found the artist, Harland Miller, painter and writer. His paintings go for thousands of pounds, so owning one is out of the question but still one can dream.


The great love that people have for Penguin classics have resulted in an explosion of its famous covers on mugs and rugs. I love these deck chairs. 

I came across the Penguin book of postcards at Kinokuniya  today and had to buy it. It came in a book like box and had 100 postcards in all delicious penguin designs.



I laid down 27 of them in a rainbow spectrum and am thinking of framing them up as one big artwork. What do you think ?

Or I scan my favourite cover and blow it up to Miller proportions, 6 ft by 5 by and find somewhere to hang it.

Potentially very interesting.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Family Dinner

I spent the last week in Singapore with the family, celebrating Lunar New Year. The days felt so long as we went from house to house wishing the elders a good new year. Everyone had fun fussing over my niece though and she lapped it up.

For one night, I managed to get just my family to have a quiet dinner on our own. We brought baby G along and she looked like she was having a good time. I booked a table at One on the Bund, at Collyer Quay where I have heard good things. 

The place has been restored to its former glory and given a new lease of life as a dining hall. I recall its old days as a shabby pier with shops selling ferry tickets to Kusu island and cheap shops manned by ah-peis offering tacky tourist souvenirs. When I worked along Robinson Road, I used to buy my lunch or a coffee and sit on this pier to watch the ferries come and go. Now the boats are gone and the wooden platform is for diners only. The view is quite special, as from here you can see the monstrous 3 towers that make up the Sands casino and on the left, the Esplanade and Marina South hotels.




The entire pier is now one very large restaurant and the decor Shanghai chic. Great attention is paid to the details like the cutlery, food styling etc. It was not just pretty but the food was actually very well done. We had some of the signature dishes like this lamb rib dish which were very tasty though portions were too small for 5 people.

 The restaurant has a open fireplace where they roast Peking Ducks and they use wood chips specially flown in from Beijing to perfume the ducks. We didn't try that but the roast chicken was very memorable.

There is also a special noodle bar where you can order handmade Shanghai noodles done in 8 styles. A definite lunch place to try.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Glass Love Lost

I broke my favourite glass pitcher, by stupidly using it as a flower vase and putting stones in it to hold the blooms. The beautiful dark green glass pitcher was handmade and I don't recall where I bought it so I can't replace it.

I have to find a new pitcher and saw these beautiful designer pitchers from iitalia. I like the simplicity of this Kartio pitcher, it comes in a haunting cobalt blue too.

This jewel toned Orbix range from Cal Breed is quite stunning. I wouldn't know which colour to pick, they are all so gorgeous.


These are also from Orbix and I really like the burnt orange one in the front.


Aside from ptichers, I strayed and saw some beautiful serving bowls from Iitalia. They come in 12 colours.



 Sigh. Such beauty.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Black and Gold

I am hosting an early CNY dinner party tonight and it was all last minute. Half of the guys I know are not in town so I was going to postpone it then decided to do it anyway.

The CNY card I sent out this year looked like this.


The chinese character is pronounced as { jiu } and it is the number 9. The word also sounds like word - a long time, and the number 9 is the largest of the single digits so as a whole, it stands for longevity and power. 

 I liked the gold pattern so have repeated the design for this party.


I got some storebought BBQ pork and stuffed them in chinese flower buns with some fresh cucumber, it was ridiculously yummy. The wontons were black pepper prawn-filled and were not as great as the wrappers got bit soggy after sitting on the counter for a few hours. The rest of the items were purchased at Hakka restaurant, a really nice seafood joint nearby. 

We did the lou-hei tossing and people were gettng really into it and the salad just got tossed everywhere. After filling up with food and wine, the serious business of gambling started. I learnt tonight that S. Africans are just like the Chinese, they love a gamble. 

We were up most of the night drinking and shouting insults as each other as bad cards or good cards were dealt. It was a whole lotta fun.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Dutch love

Decor8's blog introduced a cute Dutch label Nooosugar. I love the colours and the resort feel to their collection. Our future beach house could do with a few of the colour threads.

I am in love with that bedspread and these bronze leather slippers.


Movie Night In

Over the weekend while I was my lonesome self, D came over with pizza offering and movie. We sat on the rug and dug into some crispy thin margerita pizzas while I talked about my ambitions in the designworld. She was enthusiatic about the stuff I have produced already and was full of ideas of how I can expand.

Nice to have so many supportive friends. She even asked that I help her create a personalized CD label for her and here are my preliminary designs. Which one do you think is better?


Or this one? 


D's niece has a birthday coming up and I offered to plan the party. The girl's turning 3 and wouldn't it fabulous if I could try out all the ideas I gathered in the past? D's keen and I am going to try and draft a proposal for her. The birthday would be in April and set in HK. Wouldn't it be just fabulous?!

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Another round of celebrations coming up and I am looking forward to it, especially the food. Glorious food ! Our immediate family will have the reunion dinner at Mum's and baby G will be making her appearance but probably  will be asleep and oblivious to the din.

Chinese New Year is now celebrated everywhere, in Sydney, they are going to be displaying these giant Origami Tiger lanterns that look pretty awesome.

They are being displayed in front of the Customs House in Sydney from Feb 14th for a month.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fantasy Cake Project

For class tomorrow, we are due to bring an iced cake of any colour and 6-8 sugar roses. We tried making the roses in the last class and I admit, I haven't practiced it at all since then.

Today I will attempt to make the cake and roses  but first I need some inspiration. The idea of having a totally white frosting cake is appealing and maybe white flowers as well so it will more or less look like a wedding cake.

Photos from the Martha Stewart and Party Dress websites are making me wonder if I shouldn't try something more colourful though.

Decisions decisions.
Well anyway whatever I make today will NOT be anywhere close, but let's give it a shot.
Will post some photos for laughs later.