Saturday, 31 December 2011

Day 296-3rd Year-The Last Skill

15th Oct 2011

trans.mute  (trns-myt, trnz-)
       to change from one form, nature, substance or state to another;  transform

15th September 2011

It was exactly 2 years ago that I first experienced the joy of transmutation. I converted gold to brass and called myself an alchemist.

alchemist [ˈælkəmɪst]
     a believer that he can change base metal to gold; a seeker of the elixir of life so that the world  be rid of  all diseases and our aged be restored back unto eternal youth.

You must think me deluded.  An alchemist? Not only did I not turn metal into gold but I did quite the reverse.

Then a year ago, I painted brand new plastic boxes into rusty metal junk.  

And there was more destruction, maybe even death. 
What Elixir of Life? 
Aged unto Youth?

But wait....

This year I learnt this....

I learnt how in death there can be life

and see how in decay, there can be beauty.

Perhaps there really is less death and destruction 
than death and transmutation, as Edward Teale said

If Nature denies eternity to beings, it follows that their destruction is one of her laws. Now once we observe that destruction is so useful to her that she absolutely cannot dispense with it....from this moment onward the idea of annihilation which we attach to death ceases to be real....what we call the end of the living animal is no longer a true finis, but a simple transformation, a transmutation of matter. According to these irrefutable principles, death is hence no more than a change of form, an imperceptible passage from one existence into another. 

.....................Marquis de Sade: Dolmance, in Philosophy in the Bedroom, "Dialogue the Fifth: Yet Another Effort, Frenchmen, If  You Would Become Republicans (1795)

I dedicate this to my wonderful friends, especially those who were here in the past year, constantly telling me how they could see the beauty in my decay. 

Thank you too the 365 people who follow my blog. My silent companions, some of you. I appreciate you no less.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Day 299- New Year's Eve

Daybreak from Marina Bay Sands- 31/12/2011

I woke up to this sea of burning sky on the last morning of 2011. Standing at the balcony of Asuka's 13th floor room at the Marina Bay Sands, I imagined how this must have been the everyday phenomenon for all the other 364 days of this year. All the past mornings of wonder that I had missed... No, I told myself, this one was particularly beautiful because this one fell on New Year's Eve and also because I had been waiting for this moment since about 3 weeks ago.

Elephant parade @ Marina Bay Sands picture taken by Cher Kuan during a run on 20/11/2011

It was 3 weeks ago when Asuka invited me and Cindy to a staycation at the Marina Bay Sands and to spend New Year's Eve with her and her family. I was thrilled to say the least. What can be better than watching dawn break at one of the world's most amazing swimming pool, long chats about miniatures into the quiet of the night, strawberry champagne and mask party, right?

The Night Before..

Pictures from here
The evening started exotic enough at Geylang with a dinner treat from Asuka's dad. I have never tasted creamier porridge or tastier frog legs. Thank you to Asuka's family for such a sumptuous dinner! Right after dinner, we cabbed down to Marina Bay Sands.

My City- from 57th Floor Marina Bay Sands, 30/12/11

We wasted no time in checking out SkyPark Pool . Rosanna texted me an hour before this picture was taken to wish us  all a Happy New Year. This was us giving you our hugs and kisses, Rosanna!

Grainy picture taken with me holding the camera just before we plunged into the cold water. 10pm, 30/12/2011.


Nice warm water in the foamy jacuzzi 

More of the magic asset enhancer jacuzzi

and Wet Kisses !

Extravagant strawberries that Cindy and I decided to splurge on just because they were so pretty

We returned to the room at about 11pm to more treats of strawberries and Rilakkuma papercraft made by Asuka

Asuka's favourite 

Indonesian chicken puffs and Chinese New Year crackers.

And then Asuka did the perfect corking of the Chilean sparkly I brought just for her because she loved strawberries. 

Glasses of the original blend of Chilean sparkling wine with handpicked strawberries and then as if it was not strawberried enough, we dunked real ones into the flute for her. Of course, I did not know she didn't like alcohol. Good thing her mummy and I do.

We clinked to Cindy's birthday that had just passed, Asuka's birthday that is about to come, the last day of the year and the beginning of a new one! 

And the mask party lasted till our faces began to itch.

New Year's Eve

Rosanna's gift to me for Xmas this year, trees of green bracelet created  by Amy.

After watching the sky till it cleared, I went back to bed till everyone woke. Cindy and I stayed in the room whilst Asuka and her mum went off for breakfast. I showed off my favourite Christmas present to Cindy and she took art pictures of it. 

And for the rest of the day with them at the pool, I took even more pictures. Not surprisingly, looking at these pictures now, they somehow set out for me my aspirations for the coming year 2012.

Asuka and her mum

To be a better daughter,

Cindy and Asuka

sister, partner and friend.

Basically, a better me.

To put my best food forward
instead of one in my mouth.

window display taken by Cindy

Continue to do what I love,
love what I do,

window display MBS taken by Cindy

Construction Workers on Roof from 34th Floor MBS

Learn a new skill/s

Specialty Wine and Vinegar shop MBS

Add colours to my life

 Louis Vuitton House, Singapore from 34th Floor

And always aspiring to 

Art Science Museum from 34th Floor

greater and 

Singapore Flyer from 13th Floor MBS

greater heights....
                                       ....of happiness.

What about you, my dear friends? What was your New Year's Eve like?

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Day 297- Eve of Christmas, Morning


11.59 am


Perfect Blend of Red and Green!


And may God bless ye merry, friends of mine,
Let nothing you dismay,

And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface
O, tidings of comfort and joy
comfort and joy!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Day 296-3rd Year's New Skills

Evening Light - Taken on 26/6/2011

I asked at the start of my 3rd year, like how I did in the past 3 years, what new skills I wanted to acquire during the coming 12 months. This year, just like the preceding years that passed, I didn't end up learning what I thought I wanted at the start. I still don't know how to ride a Vespa or play the drums or work with polymer clay. 

You asked why in the world do I keep making these resolutions if I don't plan to achieve them. But I did achieve, I'd say! Let me explain. My resolution - and it is always the same one each year- was to learn at least one new skill for the year. 

That task, I believe I did. In fact, I felt I made 3 rather significant accomplishments in my 3rd year. 


I learnt to take better photographs

Tribal Kitchen -taken on 26/6/2011

S$2 small table with drawer from Daiso (bashed). Various baskets from Chatuchak (painted or varnished), Dried flowers are yellow sea lavender or statice. Bottles are swapped gifts  from Glenda Howell (dirtied), vegetables from Chatuchak (painted and already eaten by Rat), sack of rice (made with hemp cloth)

Harvest- taken on 20/12/2011

Maize is potpourri, ladle holder (made with jewellery finding), ladles (made with toothpicks and seed pods),  paper leaves from Chatuchak, reed from table mat

Biscuit Tins- taken on 20/8/2011

shelf (made with ice cream stick, plastic lace, mirror beads and gesso), biscuit tins swapped gifts from Indonesia (painted),
raw crackers waiting to be fried came with tins

Shadows - taken on 27/8/2011

Mud and mirror furniture (made), plate of raw fish (assembled), utensils & milk can (ebay purchases) silver plate (from shop in Miniature Museum of Taiwan), brass bowls (painted metal caps), brass pots from Little India, fish trap basket from Chatuchak (painted)

Kitchen Goddess Lakshmi -taken on 27/8/2011

Brass Lakshmi from Little India (painted), Alcove (made with clay diya, distressed),
garland (made with string & preserved real leaves since May 2011)

Broken Blinds -taken on 27/8/2011

Broken blinds (made with bamboo coaster), dried flowers are potpourri, ladles (made with metal caps and toothpicks), ladle holder is a wooden bead, little porcelain cups are gifts from Rosanna Rolla (dirtied)

Kerosene - taken on 20/12/2011

Bottles bought from bead shop in South Bridge Road (dirtied, cork is real), tinderbox (painted metal, assembled), mud and mirror stove (made), pot from Chatuchak (painted), blue plate rack (made with ice cream sticks, beads, bamboo skewers)

Now, by themselves, these photographs may not seem particularly impressive. If you will understand my constraints however, you may appreciate how far I have come. Firstly, we have the size issue. Everything is small, be it the subject matter or the space. 

Then, there is the question of where the objects are placed. The Goddess Lakshmi for instance, can never be seen in real life by a human being because the alcove it is placed in is right inside the kitchen on the wall.  Let me assure you, there is no conceivable way you can fit your head into  the room for a closer look. 

Before, I had no inkling at all on the kind of lighting required for photographing the interior of a dollhouse placed rather far away from a natural light source. Take a look at some of my photos taken this year and you will see what I mean.The kitchen especially posed a serious problem as it was the most dimly lit room.  

After starting the year so auspiciously with the accidental discovery of a white light source, I can take pictures any time of the day now. I have really come a long way from not knowing how to even upload photos (Dec 2008), macro setting (2009), lighting or  photo edit tools (2010) to now taking ambient pictures.  I am giving myself the Most Improved In 3 Years Award and singing It's my anniversary party and I can give if I want to!

The Forgotten Toy-(exterior side of house) taken on 20/12/2011

Toy bird (made), winter trees are real stems

Treewizard's Tree- (below toy) taken on 20/12/2011

Tree by Christopher Pereira, gift

Ladder and Lace- (other side of house) taken on 1/10/2011

ladder (made), rusty pail with cloth (assembled, painted S$2 pail from Daiso), tree (made), stone seats with moss are real pebbles. Alcove (made with clay diya , dirtied and distressed)

Ladder and Lace details- taken on 1/10/2011

Rust- taken on 20/12/2011

Pump is souvenir from India (painted) Plate on top of brass jar is a gift from Eva Perendreu, metal basins from Daiso, (painted)

Last Blooms - Taken on 25/9/2011

Flowers , (painted plastic flowers) weeds are dried moss, brass pot from Little India, skinny twigs are real, shrine cupboard (made) , flooring is table mat. 

House Shrine -Taken on 20/12/2011

Rusty metal trunks (made), books (made), pillow (made) , blue tin  (made)with real dried flowers,  Brass Ganesha and goddesses of light from Little India (painted), cupboard (ma de) , golden bowls were gifts from Carol G Msv

Embroidered Dowry- Taken on 20/12/2011

Quilter's Cupboard (made), bowls made by Rosanna Rolla, gifts. Basket with laundry made by Flora

 And then there is of course

the immense satisfaction and indescribable pleasure 

Key to my heart-taken on 10/12/2011

of completing a home.

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