Ztampf! is back from hiatus with a new series!
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Edition No. 78  May 2015

It's here!

the long awaited ztampfiliciousness

Indeed, you might have been wondering about the scant updates and ztampfilicious goodies since January 2014. Well, 2014 proved to be a very challenging year - with unexpected major changes pushed unto me. While I am not yet ready to share the details here, I am glad to let you know that I survived it. Still struggling every day, but I know that I will be able to face whatever comes my way. I will survive and continue to grow further...

2015 came with a difficult beginning too... You can read about it below if you're curious. Meanwhile... I am just so happy to finally managed to release the long overdue Year of The Goat Series! Better late than never! You might have pictures that you haven't scrapped yet from this year's Chinese New Year. Also, it works well to scrap your traveling pictures, or visits to Chinese gardens or museum. The HongBao may be used for Birthdays, Weddings, Anniversaries too! Enjoy!

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Year of The Goat Album :

And, of course... when you get the Package Saving, you'll automatically save yourself $8!
Check out the Loot section before you go ztampfshopping though ;)

Below are some layouts I put together quickly using the Year of The Goat Series:

My late father when he was young, on a riverboat somewhere...
Created with the Year of The Goat Series by Tracy Little
Created with the Year of The Goat Series by Lynn

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Now, as a Ztampfever subscriber, you are entitled to a special discount coupon and a free gift!

To download this QuickPage created with the brand new Year of The Goat Kit, click here.

To receive 20% off your next purchase at Studio Ztampf! just apply this coupon code :  ztampfgoat20 -  it is valid for one use per person, through June 14th 2015. Don't miss out on using it! It is good for anything at Studio Ztampf! - yes, including Professional Use Licenses! Enjoy!

I am back!

it's been a long time to be away...

2015 sort of sneaking in for me. It opened with yet another challenge: my father suddenly fell ill and was hospitalised in the ICU on the New Year's Eve. So I flew to Jakarta on Jan 3rd, and I basically stayed there until early April. I did went back to Hong Kong briefly at the end of January - for just five days when I got to spend a precious few days with my step-daughter who visited Hong Kong, before returning to Jakarta to take care of my ill Papa. It's his lungs. He was a heavy chain-smoker for almost 40 years out of his 82 years of life. But he has completely quit it for the past 25 years or so. But apparently, the damage is done. At the very least, the smoking has weakened his lungs. That evening on new year's eve, he suddenly couldn't breathe. Ambulance was called, and they put him on a ventilator unit.

Eventually, Papa's condition was getting worse and worse. After a short 3-day respite when he was off the ventilator, we had to move him to another, further away hospital because he needed to be on ventilator again, but all units were taken in this hospital. Those nights I spent caring for him was to be my last memory being with him while he was still lucid enough.

I stayed overnights looking after him. He wouldn't go to sleep, and I sang him lullabies. He cocked his head to the rhythm and moving his mouth to sing along although no sound coming out as he was still unable to speak after the intubation. His eyes lighted with wonders and joy. In his dimmed, declining cognitive functions, he recognised me and found my lullabies delightful. It reminded me of one of my earliest memories with him. I was maybe 3 y.o. and wouldn't fall asleep although he sang me lullabies and patted me. Finally he carried me outside, to the darkened living room and sang me lullabies while twirling around the room… Funny how now it's like a full circle. That night in his hospital room was the last time I saw him being aware and lucid enough. So my memories of him started and ended with lullabies - him to me, and me to him...

But I didn't know it then... I was optimistic that he would be well enough again to enjoy his favourite ice cream...
Here he was sharing a cup of ice cream with his grandson, Gael. They were taking turn feeding each other, it was so sweet! Created with the Year of The Goat Kit.

Then of course the flood happened! When it rains, it pours! Literally! Fortunately my youngest brother was well prepared with a Jeep that's high enough - well, barely - to keep rolling across the flooded streets. The real worry was the potential power and fresh water supply cut as the flood got higher. Therefore, we decided to evacuate before the water got too high for the car to pass by. He picked me up from the hospital through the flooded streets, and the following morning he got our mother and I safely evacuated to my auntie's place. Pheeew!

Wanna take a ride with us while we are evacuating ourselves from the flooded area? See below:
Evacuation... the car was barely tall enough to roll through the flooded streets...
Fortunately, the flood receded pretty quickly so we could go back home and visit Papa in the hospital daily again, until eventually his doctor advised us to take Papa home and maximise our joint-efforts to make Papa as comfortable as possible. There wasn't much that they could do for him anymore. The thing was, he was infected with the two most lethal nosocomial bacteria in the hospital itself. After a frantic couple of weeks of preparing an ICU room at home for Papa, along with hiring all the necessary equipments and nurses, we got him set up comfortably near the little garden. He used to love gardening. Then the hunt for rare medications begun. After an intense week, Papa passed away in peace surrounded with his loved ones. He has fought a good fight. When he left, his eyes were closed, his face was clear. He looked so peaceful and noble, we didn't realise exactly when that he was gone.

While we wished that he would have lived longer, we are also grateful that we could be by his side throughout his illness right to his final moment. I am especially grateful to be able to care for him all those months in Jakarta. He was a gentle-hearted soul, a truly kind and generous person. As a father, he loved us all unconditionally - he never demanded anything from us. We were given a lot of freedom and trust, something rare coming from people of his generation, with his background. An advise he gave that I still remember well is: "It is easy to love the strength and the goodness of your partner. True love is to accept your partner's weaknesses and shortcomings as part of who he is, and continue to love him nonetheless."
We held a three-night vigil at the funeral home for people to pay their last respect to him. He was cremated the following morning and we scattered the bulk of his ashes to the sea near where he lived on what would have been his 83rd birthday... That evening, we ate ice cream in his honour as he was so very fond of ice cream in his old age!
Around that time, I was invited to participate in a group art exhibition to celebrate Martell's tricentenaire at Edwin's Gallery in Jakarta. I created a triptych of digital art, using the photographs I took during my father's illness, superimposed with photos of my father's lungs x-ray that I shot through the garden's window where he breathed his last breath. The first one is titled "Hypen" - took the photograph during the three-day short respite when he was off the ventilator. It was raining, I took a picture of the rain drops on the window of his hospital room. The second one is "Com(m)a" - things were looking up for a moment before it seemed to stalled, and eventually got worse. The last one is "Full Stop" - I took the photo while my taxi stopped at the traffic light in the midnight coming back from the hospital to bring medication to my father back home. the following night, he was gone. His lungs has come to a full stop.

The whole work is entitled "Respirae", printed on brushed aluminium plates, at 33 x 33 cm each. A tribute for my dear departing Papa...
So I am back in Hong Kong, back to get busy in the art gallery that I am working part time for, and back in my home-sweet-home ready to create more artworks and ztampfilicious things! Yup, after I got over the chickenpox! Trust me, getting chickenpox as an adult is a lot more painful and miserable. Now to keeping healthy and be more active all around! Yay! Expect to get your ztampfilicious doses more regularly from now on ;)

Now, don't forget to make use of your special coupon: ztampfgoat20 to receive 20% off your next purchase at Studio Ztampf! The coupon is good through June 14th! Happy ztampfshopping!

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