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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sophie Standing - Textile Art

Enjoy the following stunning artwork by Sophie Standing. Sophie uses a technique unlike anything I had ever seen before. Her one off pieces are created by appliqueing an intricate collage of fabric onto the canvas where her image is already sketched out. She then draws the details over the top of the fabric with her sewing machine using many different coloured threads. I love the way you can see the patterns through the stitching!
Born in England but now based in Kenya ,Sophie’s textile embroidered art is inspired by the flora and fauna around her in Africa.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

W/W - Lobster Claw

A heliconia aka Lobster Claw from my mom's garden.
Did you know that the heliconia is related to the banana, canna and ginger? The actual heliconia flower is fairly insignificant. What most people would call the 'flower' is actually a group of colourful specialised leaves, called bracts. The true flowers are hidden inside these bracts.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Birds Made Of Petals By Hong Yi

Remember Hong Yi aka Red, the Malaysian artist-architect who challenged herself to create a new piece of food art every day in the month of March? Well, she's making waves again - this time with her adorable, playful  creations of exotic birds using flowers, leaves, twigs and sticks she finds in her garden.

Thought it'll be nice too, to share some fun facts on the flora of the country where I live.

Peacock made from the petals of the butterfly pea and allamada flower, bottlebrush leaf and spines of the coconut leaf.
Allamanda aka golden trumpet
The Rhinoceros Hornbill

Malaysia's largest state, Sarawak, is known as 'The Land Of The Hornbills'. As its names suggests, hornbills are in abundance here. 8 known variants are found in Sarawak alone.

Flamingo made from the petals of pink gerberas
Gerbera - a member of the sunflower family

Rooster made from gerberas and leaves

A kingfisher made of gerberas, butterfly peas and purple shamrocks

Clitoria Ternatia (commonly known as the butterfly pea). This genus was named after the clitoris because of its resemblance to the female genitalia! The Malays and Peranakan use the blue butterfly pea as a natural blue dye for cakes, rice and dumplings.


Dodo made of white, pink and orange chrysanthemums

Yellow chrysanthemums
Ever tried chrysanthemum tea? Yellow or white chrysanthemum flowers of the species C. morifolium are boiled to make a sweet drink in some parts of Asia.

Northern cardinal made of red gerberas and deep purple chrysanthemums

Bald eagle made of white, yellow and maroon chrysanthemums

Monday, July 22, 2013

Traditional Malay Foot Wash

Ever heard of a traditional Malay footwash? Me neither until I spotted these cute urns of water that were placed at all the entrances to the chalets at the village resort where we spent our last vacation. A hotel staff explained that washing one's feet before entering a Malay home is a custom that is still practiced in some of the rural kampongs (villages).
A ladle made from the shell of a coconut is used to scoop water from an urn filled with collected rainwater.
Makes sense too, 'cos in the rural kampongs, the ground is not paved and tends to be muddy especially when it rains. Imagine trudging in all that icky mud! To the Muslims, of which all Malays are, prayers are sometimes conducted in the living room and a soiled floor makes it unsuitable for prayers to be carried out.

A traditional Malay house is perched on stilts and the urn is placed next to the ladder for visitors to wash their feet.
image credit -
A word of advice - please remove your shoes before entering a Malaysian home (mine included!). Generally, we Malaysians live in a shoes-off environment. For me, this is not a cultural thing but for a good reason -  a research says 87% of the dirt found in our homes is tracked in and you never know where your feet have been.  Eeeeewww! I'm OCD when it comes to clean floors and I mop mine daily! Yes! Every single day!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sesame Seed Honey Ribs

Scratching your head over what to cook for dinner? Try this Sesame Seed Honey Ribs recipe. You can't go wrong with sesame seeds and honey! I did this with pork loin but I think the recipe is better suited to ribs.

600 gm pork ribs
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp castor sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
2 shallots, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1/4 tsp dark soy sauce for coloring (optional)
1 tbsp honey

1. Boil ribs in water for 25 minutes until they become tender. Remove and drain well.
2. Combine sauce ingredients and mix well. Brush 3/4 of the glaze onto ribs.
3. Line a baking tray with foil. Preheat oven to 220 C and arrange ribs on the tray. Broil for 7 mins. Baste ribs with remaining glaze. Broil for another 5  - 10 mins
4. Remove and sprinkle ribs with sesame seeds.
5. Serve with rice.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

W/W - The Handiwork of God

For me, sunsets are the handiwork of God, a visual affirmation of  His presence. And only He can paint the sky like no artist can.

Sunset at Tumasek Beach, Avillion

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Domenico Crolla

Glasgow-based restauranteur Domenico Crolla puts the faces of famous celebrities on his pizzas. The realistic portraits are mainly made with just cheese and tomato sauce.

Tom Ford

Anna Wintour


Jackie Chan

Marilyn Monroe


Gordon Ramsey

Robbie Williams

Simon Cowell


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

W/W - The One-footed Peacock

Like arrows, these curious footprints on the beach pointed us to this fella...
A one footed peacock
Apparently, he lost his left foot in a battle for alpha male status.
Despite his disability, he was honking loudly and amorously to the peahens around him, his pomposity no less than before, when his hobble was a strut. And judging by the peafowls' response to him, he still rules.
The only disability in life is a bad attitude - SCOTT HAMILTON

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Dumb Ways To Die

We were on the highway yesterday when we passed this dude planking on his motorbike which was cruising at highway speed. Keeping abreast were 2 other bikers, one cheering him on and the other trying to capture the action on his cellphone. What a dumb way to die! Woe to the mom of this retard. I'm sure she would have freaked out at the sight. And if I've ever wondered which one takes the cake in the ad "Dumb Ways To Die" that suicidal planker would win, hands down.

If you have no idea what I'm rambling about, "Dumb Ways To Die" is a public service announcement campaign by Metro Trains in Melbourne, Australia to promote rail safety. The campaign went viral through sharing and social media starting in November 2012.

Gotta love the catchy lyrics and tune!

Set fire to your hair
Poke a stick at a grizzly bear
Eat medicines that’s out of date
Use your private parts as piranha bait

Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die, dumb ways to die ie ie, so many dumb ways to die

Get your toast out with a fork
Do your own electrical work
Teach yourself how to fly
Eat a two week old unrefrigerated pie
Invite a psycho-killer inside
Scratch your drug dealer’s brand new ride
Take your helmet off in outer space
Use your clothes dryer as a hiding place
Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die ,dumb ways to die ie ie, so many dumb ways to die
Keep a rattlesnake as pet
Sell both the kidneys on the internet
Eat a tube of superglue
“I wonder what’s this red button do?
Dress up like a moose during hunting season
Disturb a nest of wasps for no good reason
Stand on the edge of a train station platform
Drive around the boom gates at a level crossing
Run across the tracks between the platforms

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

10 Twists on Hot Dogs

Now that I've found a no-fail bread recipe using the 65 degrees method, hot-dogs are a regular menu item for dinner. But the boys are complaining my hot-dogs are boring as I usually always serve them either Coney Island style or load them up with classic ketchup and mustard.

Found these 10 cool combos from Everyday with Rachel while googling ideas to spice up my dogs.


Top with egg salad, a few dollops of pickle relish and freshly cracked pepper.

Spread with cream cheese, then top with grilled onions and sliced jalapenos.

Sprinkle with shredded cheddar; melt. Top with guac, pickled jalapenos and crumbled tortilla chips

Spread your dog with a blend of mayo and pesto. Top with fresh basil, chopped tomatoes and grated parmesan.

Wrap the dog in pastrami. Layer on a slice of Swiss; melt. Top with sauerkraut and thousand island dressing.

Top with pickle relish, cucumber wedges and dill pickle wedges. Sprinkle with celery salt.

Spread with store-bought pimento cheese, then sprinkle with crushed buttery crackers, such as Ritz.

Spread with hummus, then top with sliced roasted red peppers. Sprinkle with paprika.

Toss finely chopped celery and carrots in hot sauce. Spoon onto the dog; top with blue cheese crumbles.

Top with caramelized onions and shredded gruyere; melt. Sprinkle with chopped fresh thyme.