January 28th, 2014 | 1 Comment »

For the first time in quite a long time, I will be celebrating the Chinese New Year in my hometown Jakarta, with my parents and extended family!

Chinese New Year in Indonesia happens during the height of the rainy season, with the threat of flood never far away. This year is not so bad for us – unlike last year when the water rose up to 2 meter high and my parents had to evacuate for almost two months.

Jakarta was flooding pretty badly when I arrived last Sunday, 19 Jan. Within the next couple of day, we had to evacuate to my auntie’s home. We had to ride on a rubber dinghy to the nearest road where cars could pass by. It was quite difficult to get the dinghy as everyone wanted to evacuate by then. After waiting for almost four hours, we managed to rent one and things went smoothly from then on.

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We were lucky that the flood receded very soon and we were glad to be able to go home after just two days! It was nice to spend time with my auntie too. All in all, it wasn’t so bad :). We are very lucky indeed as some area were flooded very badly!

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Posted in Daily Bits, Travelogue
November 8th, 2013 | 7 Comments »

Three nights ago, I was right in the midst of a gas explosion in our little kitchen. Apparently, I didn’t realise how shocked I was until a couple of days later. But I really am all right – just some bruises and cuts on my lower extremities and arms, and a small bone fracture in my middle left toe. Very fortunate, considering the extent of the damage the explosion has done to our kitchen and I was right at the very center of it!

My husband and I were busy that day and would be home late; no mood to cook dinner. I got home first, ordered in a pizza, and then worked on my iMac. Less than 15 minutes before my husband should be arriving, I was to turn on the oven to full heat so we could re-heat the pizza just before dinner. At 20:28, I went in to the kitchen, and turned on the gas – switching the dial to full heat.

BOOOOOM!!! Very loud. The kitchen was a wreck. The air was smoky. My immediate reaction was to utter “What the bug…???! An explosion???!!!”. I felt an intense heat, especially on my lower extremities, and it smelt like something’s burned.  My first thought was “Oh no, my feet got burned!  Gotta pour cold water over them quickly!”. Fortunately, it occurred to me to turn off the oven gas first before I scrambled to the bathroom!

After letting cold water running over my feet for a while, I went back to the kitchen -  just standing there at the doorway looking at the wreck. It’s almost unbelievable that I came out of it relatively unscathed. I just went “Wow”, and walked back to my computer. I sat down, considering to continue with my work, then looked at the clock: it was 20:30. My husband should be home in 10 minutes. I started to text him, but thought that I’d better ring him instead. So I did, but no reply. I stared at my computer screen, and discovered that I needed to lie down. So I hobbled to the living room – it was near the kitchen, and lied down on the sofa. By now I could feel the pain all over my lower extremities. My little toe looked quite smashed and bloody too. But at least no major burn there! Pheeew!!!

My husband rang back, and I told him what happened. He was almost home anyway. Needless to say, he was horrified by the state of our kitchen – and relieved that I was not more badly injured. He rang the management and the gas company, and they came quickly to inspect the damage and check the gas connection. They disconnected the gas from the oven, and made sure that the rest of the gas connection was fine. The couldn’t figure out how the explosion could happen. They also thought it was  incredible that I wasn’t more badly injured as I was basically standing within 60 cm from the center of explosion.

The explosion came from under the sink, which was on my left side where I was standing to turn on the oven – hence worse injuries on my left leg and foot. There was a cabinet underneath the sink, and one of the doors has thrown off – while the rest were torn loose. Strips of wood covering the bottom part of the cabinet have blown off and torn. The pipes under the sink were broken and pushed away, the sink itself came off – pushed out from below. The entire kitchen counter top – a heavy stone – was pushed forward, leaving around 1.5 cm gap between the counter top and the wall. The stove top above the oven were also pushed up, and the heavy stone cracked. The oven itself was pushed forward as well. The whole drawers and cabinet unit run alongside the oven under the sink area was damaged. Even the light fittings on the ceiling got dislodged! And the sealant on the ceiling cabinets cracked, dropping debris… And to think that I was right in the middle of it all – right at the very centre! Yiiiiiikes!!! I have been sooo… very lucky indeed!!! Lucky that I have put away all the breakable dishes and cutlery (knives!)  from the drying rack on top of the kitchen counter before I turn on the over. Who know what kind of damage and injuries would have taken place otherwise. The drying rack was thrown up and everything on the kitchen counter turned all topsy turvy!

Looking back now, I didn’t remember hearing any other sound other than the very loud BOOOOOM!!! although it must have been quite noisy with everything being hurtled and thrown out of their place. I didn’t recall feeling or noticing anything fell upon me – although they obviously have: the door was slammed hard upon my left foot and calf. All I did feel was the heat, and the incredulity of it all…

Well, there must have been some gas leaking from the oven connector. And it’s been building up in the narrow space at the back of the cabinet besides the oven and under the sink, and inside of it as well. Hence the explosion under the sink and all the resulting ruptures around it… The investigation continues on…

We need a new kitchen.

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Posted in Daily Bits
October 18th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

So I have been away for two weeks visiting my old folks back in Jakarta, Indonesia. Back to Hong Kong late last night and this is what happened when I turned on my beloved-4-year-11-month iMac (runs OS 10.6.8):

The start-up chime sounded, then a blank white screen appeared. Eventually, a dark grey folder with question mark appeared at the center of the screen, flashing. Nothing else happened. Nothing I could do except to turn it off using the power button.

I cannot run any diagnostic tool because the optical drive has died about a year ago. So I went to the Apple Support Forum to find out how to fix this issue:

I have followed some of the steps described here: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1440?viewlocale=en_US

First, I disconnected my mouse and Wacom Tablet. Restarted. The problem persisted: white screen, followed with a flashing folder with question mark. So I turned it off with the power button.

Then I turned on my iMac again. Upon pressing the Option key, a cursor appeared. I connected my Apple mouse, and I am able to move the cursor around. But there is nothing there to click, the screen is a blank white, unresponsive screen (the folder with question mark did not appear).

Next I tried resetting the NVRAM/PRAM since I cannot reboot from the installation CD. After the second chime, the computer restarted but the only change happened was the speaker volume became much louder, which indicates that the PRAM has been reset. The screen stay blank white until the folder with question mark appeared and flashing again…

 What to do now?

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December 25th, 2011 | 2 Comments »

Have a Joyful Christmas!!! Wherever you are, I hope you are having fun today with your loved ones!

Here we have something special for this year’s Christmas. For the first time ever, we have a Christmas Tree! It is a super mini one as it is a baby tree :). It stands about 13 inches tall and I decorated it with the strings of beads that I made a few years ago to make our ‘Tropical Christmas Tree’. It looks pretty when there is lights around!

I hope this tree will continue to grow bigger over the years. However, once it’s grown too big for the pot, we will have to gift it away. You see, we live in a highrise apartment building so we don’t have garden or even a yard to properly plant the tree. But it’s all right, we’ll enjoy it until then. And then, we’ll make someone happy by gifting them a Christmas Tree!

How about you? Do you have a Christmas Tree?

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Posted in Daily Bits
December 6th, 2011 | 8 Comments »

Click To Download Fhung's Roman Teal Paris ClockFace

Inspired by a couple of Pinterest finds:
1. Use an embroidery hoop to make a clock. This is such a brilliant idea!
2. The right look and colors for a clock face.

So I combined those two ideas and went on designing my own clock face, printed it on a canvas (with my Canon Pro9500 Mark II printer at home), coated it with acrylic medium for protection, and then mounted in on a 10 inches diam. embroidery hoop. The pretty clock hands are from Etsy. This clock (the large pic on the right above) is now hanging on the wall in my computer room!

Then I just to make some more… I happened to have these little circle canvases stretch over a wooden frame: one is 10 cm diam., the other is 8 cm. So they are pretty small. For these two, I used copper sheets to create the rim, held in place with several nails. The 10 cm diam. can be displayed just as is, or perched on a candle holder like a mini clock tower. It is now sitting on a shelf in our dining/living room while the 8 cm diam. one is hung on a cabinet door in my art studio.

I can’t wait to get more embroidery hoops and to design some new clock faces!

You can download the clock faces pictured above to make your own clocks if you want: just click the image above! The zipped folder contains the clock face in 8 cm diam., 10 cm diam. and 10 inches diam. – all in high resolution JPG format. Enjoy!

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Posted in Daily Bits, manuFactor
December 4th, 2011 | 4 Comments »

Here’s what I have been doing recently: making some changes to our small dining/lounge room! I have been wanting to do this for quite some time but there was always something else that were deemed more important to get done first. But finally I got to do it!

I painted the wall and did something different with it; creating a kind of wall installation featuring my artworks and a Tillandsia airplant with the swirly motif subtly hinted at the background. The swirly motif was designed to incorporate pre-existing screws on the wall where some pictures used to be hung. I plan to change up the artworks from time to time as I have several in the storage from my previous exhibitions.

We finally gave away the old IKEA single-sofabed after holding on to it for a while. We had to admit that we will no longer be able to use it anyway. We also moved the IKEA’s Klippan sofa around and change the old worn out black cover with a new one in natural color (very cheap at only HK$200!). Then we got a recycled chest of drawers to replace the ad-hoc bookshelf – a leftover from my studio that I can no longer afford to keep, and added a couple of Hemnes shelves from IKEA. I love that this way I can easily and quickly change the display too – no mess with drilling wall!

The end result is a more spacious and airy feel of the room… at an extremely economical budget :)

What do you think of it?

 

 

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Posted in Daily Bits, manuFactor
November 7th, 2011 | 5 Comments »

Old T-Shirt Shrug

Another simple and easy upcycling sewing project! Found the inspiration and instructions on cutoutandkeep.net via Pinterest and I have been looking for a little cover-up garment like this for a while now without much success and here it is… Looks like it could be just the thing and it’s something that I can make myself without costing me anything! I thought I really ought to give it a try since I have quite a few very old T-Shirts anyway.

I chose this pale grey t-shirt from U2, my favorite local brand that sadly is no longer around anymore. They produced simple and versatile clothing articles, very affordable (read: cheap!) with good quality. I am still wearing a lot of mine that I bought in 2000-2002. The one that I turned into a shrug is one of these! The pale grey color is neutral to be worn over dark or light colored dresses.

And look… Now it has been reincarnated into something much prettier with a new function and look! It is perfect to cover up some of my dresses that are showing too much cleavage. I think it looks best with empire line dresses like the one I wore here. The best part is that it is so easy that even a beginner seamstress like me can do it! Since the end result is to be gathered with a ribbon, any not-so neat sewing wouldn’t be visible. Great for an inexperience seamstress like me *grin*.

Tips: Cut the decolette/neck area into a smooth curve instead of corners like in the instructions. This would make sewing the casing much easier!

So… go look into your wardrobe and find those old t-shirts to transform into pretty shrugs! You can hem the edges with lace or ribbons if you wish too! I have a feeling that another old t-shirt will be given a new life soon :).

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Daily Bits, manuFactor
October 23rd, 2011 | 1 Comment »

About a couple of weeks ago, while watching a DVD on my 5 year-old MacBook Pro, my husband spilled his red wine on it. Pretty badly too. Fortunately the hard drive is not affected. However, the incident rendered the keyboard useless: only about 5% of the keys worked! The battery has stopped charging too – but this doesn’t worry me much since the battery has been quite bad for the past couple of years anyway. Now, a laptop without a working keyboard is useless! We tried to clean and dry my MBP as best we could, but the damage was done. So, what to do?

It would be a shameful waste to throw the MBP away just because of the defunct keyboard. Besides, I don’t have any fund to get a new one. So I decided to try and fix it! And I am so glad to find ifixit.com! There they have a selection of very comprehensive step-by-step how to for electronics DIY. They also sell the spare parts and the tools necessary to perform the DIY electronic repair! Their website is very easy to use too. I quickly found out which model my MBP is (it’s the A1211) and which keyboard replacement I needed, along with the tools required. I made the purchase and my order arrived in just 4 days! What an excellent service!

However, because I got sick the next day, I couldn’t do the operation until yesterday Sat, 22 October. Below is the complete run down:

Previous

So there! If you have problems with your gadget’s hardware and it’s out of warranty, do visit ifixit.com first before throwing your gadget away just because the cost to fix it is too costly. Their instructions are so clear it is easier to repair things yourself than you might have thought it would be! Seriously! Repairing is good for the environment too :).


 

 

 

October 13th, 2011 | 6 Comments »

I relocated to Hong Kong in January 2001 and in March 2001, I moved to a studio apartment in North Point. It’s a tiny apartment with awkward nooks but I love it! I furnished it 99% with stuff from IKEA – some of which I am still using in my current home in Discovery Bay, a decade later. This is how my studio apartment looked like on March 12th 2001. If you are an IKEA fan, you would recognize most of the things here:

The Wilma Curtains from IKEA was used to divide the bedroom from the rest of the apartment. March 2001.

I packed the Wilma Curtains and kept it in the storage when I moved in to a bigger apartment with my then fiancé (now belovedst husband). Recently, we decided that we need a curtain in our living room to provide more privacy. We wanted something light and airy and my thoughts went to the Wilma Curtains. I took them out from the storage and washed them. Then I went to Sham Shui Po to get a selection of pretty lace. And here’s what I did with them:

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The ‘new’ Belaced Wilma on our window now:

Sewn with different colored threads. I need to practise more to sew in perfect straight lines...

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Posted in Daily Bits, manuFactor
October 11th, 2011 | No Comments »

Last Wednesday, October 5th is a National Day Holiday here in Hong Kong. My younger step-daughter is visiting us from Australia so it’s time for a family outing! Since the weather has finally turned much cooler now, we decided to walk the Discovery Bay-Mui Wo Trail and then back to Discovery Bay by the ferry. In case you are wondering, both Discovery Bay and Mui Wo are on Lantau Island, the largest island in Hong Kong where we live.

Mui Wo is a rural town on the eastern coast of Lantau Island. The history of Mui Wo dates back to the last days of the Southern Song Dynasty. Fleeing south from the invading Mongols, in 1277 the imperial court sought refuge in Silvermine Bay (at that time known as Mei Yu). In March 1278, whilst attempting a further escape from the Mongols, the penultimate Song Dynasty Emperor Duanzong fell from a boat and almost drowned. After his rescue, he became ill and died a few months later at Mui Wo. Duanzong’s successor, Emperor Huizong of Song was enthroned at Mui Wo on May 10, 1278. [from Wikipedia] Today, Mui Wo is a collection of villages and hamlets, with a beach, fields, and a small wetland that’s home to egrets. The villages have become popular with urbanites looking for a quieter life. Close to the pier and bus terminus you will find the market and a selection of Chinese and international restaurants, mostly serving seafood which you can enjoy while gazing at the sea.

The Discovery Bay-Mui Wo Trail is a lovely one, although we found it was a bit further and harder than we expected (too many steep steps!). Fortunately, the day was a bit overcast with a few drizzles which has mercifully cooled the weather down for us and the view from the top of the hills was indeed beautiful – yes, even on an overcast day! Along our walk, we passed some small villages and a few organic vegetable gardens – quite a rarity in Hong Kong! We had a late lunch at the Turkish restaurant in Mui Wo – it was delicious! We ended the trip with a quick browse at the local secondhand bookshop that carries many wonderful old books before dashing off to catch the ferry back to Discovery Bay.

Here are some pictures that I took on our walk:

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April 18th, 2011 | 3 Comments »

We all know that Internet is such a wonderful tool to fold the distance between people all around the world. Many good causes have been benefited from it. Now… I’m sure at least some of you have heard about KickStarter.com.Those who haven’t might wonder what it is all about. Well, in a nutshell, it is a crowd-funding website for creative projects. We all know there are a lot of creative people with amazing, imaginative ideas out there. A lot of them are committed to realize their dreams and would work really hard for it. Unfortunately, funding doesn’t come easily for most of them. Now, this is where KickStarter.com makes a difference.

From Wikipedia:

Kickstarter is an online threshold pledge system for funding creative projects. Kickstarter has funded a diverse array of endeavors, ranging from indie film and music to journalism and food-related projects.

One of a new set of fundraising platforms dubbed “crowdfunding”, Kickstarter facilitates gathering monetary resources from the general public, a model which circumvents many traditional avenues of investment. Project owners choose a deadline and a target minimum of funds to raise. If the chosen target is not gathered by the deadline, no funds are collected (this is known as a provision point mechanism). Money pledged by donors is collected using Amazon Payments, and initiating projects requires a U.S. bank account.

Kickstarter takes 5% of the funds raised; Amazon takes an additional percentage (around two). Unlike many forums for fundraising or investment, Kickstarter claims no ownership over the projects and the work they produce. However, projects launched on the site are permanently archived and accessible to the public. After funding is completed, projects and uploaded media cannot be edited or removed from the site.

What do you think? Isn’t it such a super brilliant idea? And it works too! There many excellent projects succeeded with the help of people who believed in their creators. Currently only those with US bank account can submit/start projects, but there is no country limitation to back a project! I believe most of us can afford to spend a few dollars here and there (most accept donation for as low as $1). There are unique rewards as a token of gratitude for the Backers too – depending on how much is pledged. Here are the projects I am currently backing up:

Seed | http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/653079247/seed

When I Die... | http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/773243090/when-i-die-please-send-me-home

Weighted | http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/590535029/weighted-the-movie

iPhone4 Photog Kit | http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/187916848/un01-iphone4-photography-kit

But there are a lot more out there! Check it out and help some creative people out there realizing their dreams!

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Posted in Daily Bits, Musing
April 17th, 2011 | 10 Comments »

Learn something new every day: be curious. That’s the theme of the essays that I was assigned to illustrate for Patti Digh’s latest book: “What I Wish For You“. I used my own ceramic work from the Dream Archives series, combined with my digital Ztampf! works to create the illustration. Can you tell just from the photo below from which kits are they? The elements I used here came from 2 obvious kits. The first 3 persons who got it right will receive $3 coupon to Studio Ztampf! Shop ;). Post your answer in the Comment field of this blog post. You have until noon time of Monday, 25 April 2011 (US EST/ New York Time Zone) to post in your answer!

What I Wish For You - Patti Digh

Now, the wonderful little book itself is filled with heartfelt insights for any age, old and young, at any stage in their life. As her older daughter prepared to graduate from high school and fly away to lead a new life as a college student Patti reached out to readers of her popular blog, 37days.com to gather wisdom from the far corners of the earth to help guide her. She asked: “What advice do you wish you had heard – really heard – when you were graduating from high school or college? What words could you benefit from hearing again?“. The result is this book, an invaluable collection of poignant wisdom from regular people from all walks of life for every one. Get yours now!

I have also been one of the contributing artists for two of her previous books:

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Posted in Daily Bits, Reading
March 16th, 2011 | 1 Comment »

Let us all sending our positive thoughts and prayers and hopes for those affected by the terrible terrible catastrophe in Japan

You can make donations to help them through these reliable organizations – every little bit counts:

Medecins Sans FrontieresThe Red Cross HKThe Red Cross US

 

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Posted in Daily Bits