Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Days 420-422 Water Garden

I am a water garden. 
I am home to rare orchid and sacred lotus, 
wild flowers and rambling reeds.
Life in my pond is quiet but vibrant,
restraint but free. 


My water garden was of humble beginnings. I still recall how on that really hot Sunday afternoon, I took out an egg crate I kept for years and started building the rock surfaces. The Abandoned House was crying out for a water source and it was between a well and the deep blue pond. I chose the pond. 

The pond's first life after I laid the tiny pebbles and poured some E-6000  over, was a plastic plant from an old project called "Heaven For Dead Cars".  I wanted something special amidst the foliage so I thought, why not a lone stalk of pretty flower?

The rare orchid in my myriad flora collection was the obvious choice. This was a flower made by a Thai artisan bought from a stall in my favourite flea mart, Chatuchak Market in Bangkok. I think it is a variety of the super rare Lady Slipper Orchid.  

The next weekend, I poured more glue into the pond. This time I used an epoxy mix from Elmer's that promised Super Fast something. It wasn't very super anything nor fast. 

I was soon bored watching glue dry so I decided then my pond would be a water garden. I found more discarded flowers, like the lotus buds and placed them into the middle of the pond.

These rather realistic succulents which I love, I planted at the side of the pond.

These dried flowers were souvenirs I plucked when I was in Australia. I knew I could use them in one of my projects someday.

Rambling reeds, another plucked apart dried flower and the pure white paper lotus in full bloom were additions I made on the 3rd weekend when I poured the last layer of E-6000.  The glue had bubbles teeming, suggesting vibrancy and life.

When I brought the house out for a shoot and the various plants by the pond started swaying in the breeze, for a moment there as I looked through the lens of my camera, I saw myself standing over my water garden, dreaming up poetry and enjoying the wind in my hair.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Day 417- The Perspective Of A Fruit Tree

I was "growing" a fruit tree for the Abandoned House when I was once again confronted with the issue of "scale". It was some rambutans I bought from a Thai artisan which I wanted for my tree but these rambutans were a little on the big side (even by my very imprecise standards). 

As some of you may know of me, I am not one to measure down to the last millimeter for a flawless 1:12/24/48 scale. After all, the same object can be different things in different scale. For instance, my Abandoned House could be a 1:48 chateau or a 1:24 shed or even a 1:12 pigsty.  Conversely, an object can, and do, come in many sizes. There are large, medium or small sunflowers or tables or maybe even....


So at the end of the day, how do I tell when something is of the right size? Simple, really. It just must look right, 

Or if it doesn't quite, we can always call it a dragon fruit tree instead of a rambutan tree, maybe even a red durian tree. 

Surely our small world can be anything we want it to be, right?

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Day 417-418- Garden Variety

Ginger flowers

There's something soothing about the commonplace.  

Star Lilies

In its uncomplicated and unremarkable way, it works its magic. 

Digging, potting, seeding. 
Earth, gravel, dirt. 

  Oleanders In A Wheel

In the mundane routine, I find my calm. 
In the ordinary of my flowers, I find my pleasure. 

And in watching fresh blooms growing side by side a passing one, 
I find my gratification. 

Perhaps this is the secret to success,

our ability for pleasure in the simple. 


The base for the abandoned house and thus the garden.

I often find myself veering longingly for my miniatures when I am most stressed at work. In the last weeks, expanding the garden of my abandoned house has worked wonders for my nerves. 

Even in gathering moss from the garden, I found myself smiling. 

Is it like that for you too?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Day 418- Spanish Guitar, Desert Rose

In the days when I was void of any creative inclinations, inspiration came to me from the most wonderful sources and in unexpected ways.

Last month, it came to me in a tiny box filled with ginormous flair. I see dedication, commitment, perseverance. In his Spanish guitar, I saw his music. 

Placed alongside a beautiful white shawl from Seville and the desert roses sent to me last year, there was a harmony that made me want to sing along.

Thank you, Contar for the Spanish guitar which every detail you handmade down to the last string. And thank you to your sweet wife for the shawl that she knitted, warming me to my very core. Dear Arantza, thank you too for the wonderful desert roses. 

But mostly I want to thank all of you who with your gifts have inspired me to return to my art which I have neglected for a while.


This may be a good time to let my friends here know that my mailing address changes every 2-3 years. Regretfully, I have found out that a friend's gift was sent to my old address. It was not forwarded to me as I have moved since 2 years ago. Even as I write, I have just moved again into this new place on 15 Sept.  I hope that the gift was returned to the sender because as with many gifts exchanged in our world, they were made with so much heart, it will break mine if the gift was lost. 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Colours of Bangkok

External Wall of Building With Birdhouses as Mailbox for Tenants

This trip took a while coming, happening almost 7 months since Indochina. After much persuasion, we agreed on a short sojourn, our 1st holiday. Bangkok seemed ideal as SuZ was there for work. We were also in the thick of the coup and the city was quiet.

Flower Arrangement at Anantara

Garden Sculpture in Anantara 

It was new and lush

 House by the Mangrove River

but it was also old and quaint.

Water-Vendor sailing away from Bangkok Seaview Restaurant

We saw a Bangkok we never knew and ate at a restaurant sitting in the middle of the ocean where the only form of transport to and fro was a long boat.

Seats at Bangkok Seaview Restaurant

Great food, good friends, laughter and love.

 Street Food

Coconut Dessert

Condiments for Coconut Ice Cream

And of course, the inevitable Chatuchak Market, coconut ice cream and all the miniature supplies I will need for a while. 

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