Thursday, February 26, 2009

25 Random Things About Me on Swap-Bot

1. I was born in East Malaysia (Borneo Island) on 5th October, 1983. I am half Chinese, half Nepalese and I am an only child. I used to always regard myself as a Chinese, and i was raised by my Chinese mother's side. I did that because I didn't like people questioning me about my father and that I haven't seen him since I was 12.

2. I'm a vegetarian. I became a vegetarian overnight when I first learned that Darren Hayes of Savage Garden was a vegetarian during the end of October 1997. I was 14 years old & was crazy about the singer. I've been a vegetarian for more than 10 years. In between that time, I tried to be a vegan for 2-3 years but started to consume dairy products and eggs again. I will be a vegetarian for the rest of my life, it's one of the things that I'm proud about myself & my will power for it.

3. By the age of 4, I was raised up by my aunt and my grandparents while my mother worked in Brunei to earn more money to provide for me. It has always been hard for me to express my feelings and I missed my mother a lot when I was in primary school and I used to wander around the house crying on my own as I didn't know who to talk to about it and I felt embarrassed about my feelings.

4. During kindergarten, the cartoons that I obsessed most are My Little Ponies and Care Bears. I think it was the fact that the cartoons are mostly in pastel color which grabbed the attention. I remembered my mom sent me a My Little Ponies colouring book which i loved dearly and the bed sheet that me and my aunt slept on had the prints of Care Bears. I remember the cartoon 'Jem' as well. When my aunt was driving me to kindergarten school on her scooter, I'd look at the sky and imagine the Care Bears sitting on the clouds. I guess that's how I start to day dream and I day dream a lot at school & was been caught out by various teachers & been embarrassed in the class. I still day dreamed when I was at work & was been caught out when my ex-colleague saw me staring on my computer screen displaying a folder containing a few files.

5. I used to have a yellow back pack that I use to store my precious things in it when I was in kindergarten. I remembered the stuff that i put in it was a mini stamp book & a coin box. I used to carry it around the house and imagine that i'd be carrying it safely with me if something happen to my house. It was my escape back pack.

6. I will never want to smoke in my life as I've seen what kind of damage the cigarettes have done to my aunt for just been a second hand smoker. She had nose cancer as she worked in her husband's bar for a few years where smoking is allowed and the situation worsened when she doesn't smoke herself. I'm glad that she has overcome it now but the chemo treatment she has taken has some side effects.

7. I have never been good at babysitting and I never have much experience on babysittting but I'm able to dog-sit or cat-sit. I would love to learn to be good with kids and I think it's an important trait to have.

8. I have always been a pessimist in my life and I wish I were not. I always believe in karma and I have this belief since I was a kid that if something good happens to me, something bad will happen & vice versa. I know that I've missed lots of opportunities in my life if only I had been more optimistic.

9. I studied Civil & Structural Engineering for my degree. I wanted to study psychology at first but my family urged me to study something that I can make a living out of it. I think I love & hate it at same time; love it when it's in the skill shortage list & it's easier if you want to work abroad, it pays a bit better, it sounds quite technical & people generally think you must be a smart person, it creates the very fabric of a society & you're part of it; hate it when it requires lots of mind boggling moment to solve something out when I just want to go home & play with my Blythe dolls; it is still quite a sexist industry where there are more opportunities for male engineers.

10. I have been in England for more than 5 years. I first came to Bradford, West Yorkshire during September 2003 to continue my degree. So far, I have gained 5 years (instead of losing 5 years) here and I am really grateful for the opportunities and experiences that I have had.

11. I love eating olives. I have never eaten olives before when I was in Malaysia. My first encounter of eating olives was when my Greek classmates invited me to have dinner at their hall and they prepared greek salad for me. I didn't like olives at first but after a while I start to miss the taste of it and I have been addicted since. Greek salad has also become one of my favourite dishes.

12. I have recently been made redundant and I think have reached the lowest point of my life at the moment. I'm ever so grateful for all the supports that I have from my family, my friends and my boy friend. I'm glad to have found pet society, swap-bot & postcrossing at the moment to keep me occupied while waiting for the outcome of the interviews I've been to.

13. I love traveling. I'm hoping to visit some more European countries in the near future, also north & south america. I hope that I would have the patient to write about my travel in a journal. I love reading travel journal & I remember the travel journals featured in The Motorcycle Diaries & Seven Years In Tibet which are very inspiring.

14. I wish I had been more serious about learning to play piano when I used to have a piano at home & when I had piano lessons until grade 7. I really envy those people who can play by ear as I won't be able to play any song if I have a piano in front of me without looking at piano books.

15. I love animals. I really can't imagine a world without animals. It's also one of the reasons that I become a vegetarian. I also like watching Dog Whisperer, I never really know that animals can sense our energy and how our energy can also effect them.

16. I love going to seminars on personal development. I think that it will be useful for me and change the way I look at my life. I have been to a few Tony Robbins & Christopher Howard seminars & although they sometimes cost an arm & a leg, I'm glad of all the information & experiences that I've gained from them. Using the information is still a different thing than knowing the information though.

17. I wish I am more organised & tidier in my life. Most of my friends who know me well know that I have always been a messy person and that my room is always messy. I'm also a hoarder and I don't like to throw stuff away. I am also a magazine junkie and like to keep them thinking that one day I'll have time to do some magazine clippings. I always envy people who can still be tidy and keep lots of stuff.

18. I love receiving snail mail. Even though e-mail is quicker, I prefer snail mail which is more personal. I miss the time when I was in high school and we used to pass notes around in the class until text messages on phone are made popular now. I still keep some of those notes that my friend wrote to me. It brings a lot of fun memory back.

19. I am a shy person. I'll get a bit uneasy if I'm in a group of people and I'm always the quietest person. I find this quite a bad trait of mine as I've been seen as a person who doesn't communicate much at work, contribute in meetings and should have been more proactive. I guess that's why I've been laid off from work.

20. I love listening to a variety of music, mostly easy listening at the moment. I guess I'm getting older. My favourite singers are Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Paula Cole, Fiona Apple, Jewel, The Carpenters, Doris Day, Norah Jones... I love the music during 1997 & 1998 the most, that's when Sarah McLachlan, Paula Cole, Fiona Apple, Jewel, Matchbox 20 ruled the charts. There are still some good music on the current charts as well. I also love music from 20s to 70s, they are quite different than the music we listen to nowadays.

21. When I first started my job after I graduated, I became a spendaholic. I spent a lot of money on clothes which I never wear, lots of toiletries, magazines... It might be the imbalance that I've created while I was at university and not being able to spend a lot at that time as my mother provided my living expenses and school fees.

22. Whenever I had a fight with one of my close friends, I have never really been the one who apologised first and made up with the other. I guess it's hard for me to swallow my own pride and I would try to be the first one who apologise when it's really straining the best friendships I have ever had in my life.

23. I used to be quite independent as I didn't grow up around my parents and had to stand on my own feet. Ever since I have my current boy friend, I feel that I've become less independent.

24. I want to live my life to the fullest. I want to be inspiring to my kids in the future, if not for myself. I always admire those really crafty mothers who encourage their kids to be creative and confident about themselves.

25. I wish I can cook better and be more creative about cooking and never have to run out of ideas on what to cook. Until now, I still think my grandma is the best cook ever because I grew up eating her cooking.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

'I Made This Postcard' Swap on Swap Bot

These are the postcards that I've made for the swap:
I didn't think that they will turn out like this. They took me a few good hours to complete and I have had mind blocks and decided to stick to what I normally draw. I should pratise to draw more. I've been experimenting with Photoshop the first time, hence, the different ways of smudging the addresses as I always use Paint before.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

15 Totally Random Questions E-Swap on Swap Bot

Just preparing for myself for the following e-swap. I just start getting this addiction with Swap Bot since last night. I might have to wait ages for someone to tag me on facebook for this so, this will be fun, I hope:

15 Totally Random Questions E-Swap

1. Who or what inspires you the most in your life?
Probably my family & my upbringing. I'm very grateful for that, although it is not always a bed of roses but they value my education a lot and they sent me to tuition school, art class, music lessons whenever they can afford to, which shaped my life a lot.
Women who write, do craft, music & arts inspire me too.

2. What song would you like played at your funeral and why?
I would think that a sad song will be more appropriate, but I would prefer a happy song, probably 'On Top of the World' by the Carpenters as the song will remind me that I have lived my life to the fullest and I want the people around me to feel the same.

3. If you could be ANYWHERE right now where would it be & why?
I would say Paris but at the moment, I miss my home at Malaysia more. I want to see my family especially my grandparents, my mother & my aunt. Also, I miss all my sticker & cute stuff collection and I want to find them back again.

4. Do you have any pets? Tell about them:)
I used to have a cat named Jelly. She was a real mischief but still adorable and had her own cute ways of getting attention. She liked sitting by the window sill & looking out of window. She liked to claim her space on the couch & she's quite picky on her food. I had to give her away last year as I couldn't handle renting the whole house to myself and paying the bills. Jelly was normally all by herself during day time while I was at work and it wasn't fair for her. So I gave her away to a loving family and moved into a shared house. I still miss her whenever I saw photos of someone's cat on their blogs or Flikr, I felt that a part of me has gone & miss the cuteness of a cat...that fluffy paw.

5. What is your city most commonly known for?
The current city that I'm living in at the moment which is Leeds in UK, is probably known as a great place to shop. Besides that, I can't really think of any, as I don't think it's really a tourist attraction, but maybe it's quite a good place to study at. My fondest memory of it:
-there are always promoters handling free samples at the Leeds train station.
-I queued up in front of Topshop in Leeds city centre since 6:30am to buy that poppy dress which was designed by Kate Moss on the day it was launched. Leeds is probably considered one of the major city in the UK to have special items stocked in the stores.
-There used to be an exhibition on a few sketches done by Leonardo Davinci in the gallery next to Leeds city library. I just thought this kind of stuff only happens in bigger city, probably in British Museum maybe.

6. Have you ever been on tv? If yes, for what? If no, would you want to be?
No, I don't think so. But they did film us queueing up in front of Topshop at 6:30am to get our hands on the clothes designed by Kate Moss. Yes, I would definately want to be, it will become a great story to tell (or brag about, to be more honest) to grandchildren in the future. I hope that won't do too much harm about wanting to be on tv, why not? Hopefully in good events too!

7. Where is the farthest you have been from home--where were you and why were you there?
Here, England. I'm from Malaysia. I came here to finish my degree in civil & structural engineering since 5 years ago. I always want to go to somewhere else besides my hometown, it's more like a mission for most teenage hearts. I wanted to come here to see snow for the first time, to experience all four seasons, to see the egyptian mummies in British Museum, to visit art galleries, to see europe, travelling on my own, going to Tori Amos & Sarah McLachlan concerts as they never have concerts like that in my hometown.

8. If you could travel back in time to any period in history when would it be and why?
I want to travel back to my childhood years. I want to treat my family better and with respect. I want to be more helpful to my grandparents, help with the chores, learn how to cook properly from grandma, learn to draw more, practice playing piano more, study more, take back all the hurtful things I said to my family, just being a better daughter, niece, grand-daughter, classmate and friend. Lastly, be kinder to the animals & appreaciating nature more.

9. If you could turn any tv show into 'real life' and be a part of it, what show would it be and why?
I can only think of 'Desperate Housewives' at the moment. I was hoping that my mother would be able to have the supports that she needed from the neighbours and wouldn't have sent me to live with my grandparents and my aunt and worked in another country on her own to earn more. I'm really proud of her still for raising me up as a single mother.

10. Name 3 books that you could read over and over again & tell why.
The 1st book: The Diary of Anne Frank
I was really surprised to find this book in the library of my high school around year 1999. It was quite hard to find a book in english like this in a chinese school in East Malaysia, i think. I seldom finish reading books without pictures but I finished reading it. It just remind me of how lucky I was at that moment, being able to go out and breath fresh air.

The 2nd book: Chasing Down the Dawn by Jewel Kilcher
It's a collection of journals & sketches of the singer Jewel. I like the childhood memories she wrote, about growing up in Alaska, riding horses, living in her own cabin when she was sixteen and the battle of her parents' divorce. It'd make me cry whenever i read the page about how she bid goodbye to her mother and went to live with her father after the divorce.

The 3rd book: Song Bird (A biography of Eva Cassidy by her parents)
It also includes all the cute sketches and drawings of hers. She loved expressing her gratitudes in the letters/notes she wrote to the people she was close with. She was really creative as a kid and her cute sketches are very inspiring.

11. If you could become famous, what would you want to be famous for and why?
I want to be famous for my voice, I think I can sing but I'm too shy to even sing in karaoke...and maybe for my arts & craft. I was more creative when I was a kid but I still have my creative side, even though I've pursued a totally different career.

12. What movie no matter how many times you see it always makes you cry? And what part really does?
Amelie. It's the part where Amelie was too shy to approach Nino and she was in the kitchen preparing for food & dreaming about how Nino will come home to her soon with the food that she was preparing and then it was just her cat coming to her kitchen and she burst into tears. I find that kind of longing for someone really hard to bear. But I'm glad that the movie has a happy ending anyway. :D

13. What one thing do you ALWAYS do before you leave the house & why do you do it?
I ALWAYS check that I've got my keys to my room & front door in my pocket as I can't imagine myself being locked inside of the house I'm renting and we have to unlock the front door with a key and then I'll be stuck in the kitchen as the place I rent is like a bed-sit. Or else I have to scream for help from the kitchen window hoping that the neighbours might hear me or even jump from the first floor to the garden shared by our neighbours & knock on their doors for help!

14. Did you ever 'run away' as a child/teen, if so where did you go?
No, I never run away. I guess I was never brave enough to do that and I probably wouldn't want my family to worry & post a missing person ad on the newspaper. My grandma used to worry once when I went to my classmate's place after school and didn't come home until late noon & I was surprised to see my grandma half way on my journey home. She told my aunt & my aunt phoned the school to look for me. I was mortified. The next day at school, my teacher asked me where I went & I told her that my grandma was quite forgetful instead of telling her that I didn't tell grandma about it. I still feel bad about what I've said. I have never seen my grandma looking so worried as she always keep her feeling so well & is never good at expressing her feelings. I think my whole family is the same too.

15. How do you calm yourself when things in life are stressful?
During my recent redundancy, I was so stressed I couldn't sleep for the first few days after I've got the news. So I watched The Secret again & it made me felt much better and calmer. For the past few months, I went to a lot of seminars of Chris Howard & Anthony Robbins and there is this saying," When you are in fear, just be grateful." So I wrote on this gratitude page from The Secret website on what I'm thankful for in my life and kept reminding myself about how I'm still luckier than most of the people around the world.
When I watch horror/thriller movies, I will feel less stressful as someone on the tv was been chased by a psycho which is even worse, compared to my current situation.
When I was younger, the song 'My Favourite Things' from The Sound of Music cheered me up.


Back again.

It was windy but sunny this morning. I went to town with my main mission: get the lastest issue (no. 8) of Lula magazine at Borders.

Here's my favourite page from the mag:

Today I have also received stamps pack which included two lovely first day cover on jersey cows (since it's the year of cow) & some exotic loose used stamps that I've never seen in my life before.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bunny Cactus

This little cactus is originally from Ikea. I got it from Sabrina's close friend Jim who is going back to China. I wanted to have it as it reminds me of bunny ears. After seeing a really creative crafter on flickr who made a felt cactus with smiley face, I thought I might as well dress this bunny cactus up with a smiley face and a girly ribbon. She has been rocking my world ever since.
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