psychedelic christmas in the opium den

On Wednesday, something that potentially resolved my sticky situation materialised (fingers crossed still. .) Although I will still have to be frugal, I never felt so relieved and thankful. I convinced D we needed to do The Big Shop-- i.e. large haul at the supermarket, a.k.a. one of my favourite activities I look forward to. . and he kept going, "Look how much food there is in. . we're not going to go mad!". Of course, like two crazy people who love food shopping, we did go a little mad. Because of the spark of good news, Christmas would be Christmas after all, and I wouldn't keep holing myself up and feeling Apocalyptic. 
Blue LED lights around the ficcus tree and some white-themed baubles; cards from D's mom, my mom and a student; presents under the tree-- I asked D, "Just to be clear, there are three for me?"/ "Who else would they be for". 
I love my kitchen more than my wardrobe. It is also more diverse than my wardrobe, funnily enough. My snack bar is always loaded with all sorts of munchies-- trays full of chocolates, bags full of chips and boxes of biscuits. A large tin of Quality Street and miscellaneous boxes of truffles complete the feel, together with the Live well, love much, laugh often sign on the exposed brick walls as an everyday reminder. Bottles of booze and two new pints of icecream. . hohoho it's Christmas! 
And a sexy man lighting the fireplace ;)
Vegetables and wine heating up on a clean gas stove. . whilst D keeps laughing at me saying, "Ooh, vegetables" because a year ago, he'd go, "I am going to have words with your mother that on your own you do not buy vegetables at all". Always invoking my mother's name, tsk tsk. And even longer ago when we were friends he'd do that too, and I'd smugly tell myself, "hahaha as though you will ever be in a position to meet my mother". Now I eat my words as I eat my . . vegetables.
Really loving this shelf now that I've got the colour theme sorted out. . 
And the extravagant feather lashes I picked out for the night.

all-year gift guide for the girl with everything

original image of Erté's artwork from here, quote by Friedrich Nietzsche, image by Devilishly Pleasurable.

I love giving presents. And I pride myself on giving awesome presents from the heart, unless all the people I've given things to are fantastic actors with their delightful responses and faces that light up being practiced masks. But, I prefer to think better of the near and dear ones (i.e. the only people I bother giving things to, most of the time) and that my Lie Detector Skills are rather sharp. When it comes to the holiday season, often do we associate it with gifting. But, I think that The Art of Gifting should extend throughout the year, whether in terms of dropping in a tiny piece of jewelry in the mail for one of your friends for no rhyme or reason, as a celebratory gesture or for their birthdays. Amongst my friends, I am notorious for receiving this line in all my cards and tags-- What do you get for the girl with everything? But, to be honest, even though I have loads of stuff, I often retort that I am faced with the same headache too. . most of us seem to have everything. Here are some gift ideas for a range of different budgets, which will hopefully inspire or guide you to give a gift that is beyond the toiletries basket (even if I secretly love them) or a generic gift voucher at the mall (even if I love them too). For The Girl With Everything, or The Girl Who Does Not Have Everything, there is always something to be had. Otherwise, you are your own friend. . so give yourself a little treat-- draw up goals and plans to achieve, and reward yourself everytime you meet them!

retro snakes

Before the snow started to fall, I had uncovered loads of clothes that I stored away in boxes for the past year. Excitedly, I drew up a few image sets and decided to execute them, with the aid of tights, some scarves and big coats to keep myself warm. Because last year was supposed to be the worst winter in the past twenty years or so of British history, and I survived extraordinarily well wearing summer clothes inside. I had no idea just why-- in about 24 degree celsius air-conditioned rooms in Singapore, I would freeze, tremble and practically reverberate, and everyone would sympathetically lend their jackets to me. Australian winters were hell to me, and I always piled up. But I found the British winter strangely comforting, even when native Brits were having their teeth chattering, I thought it a little odd-- maybe I had somewhat turned mutant! So I stupidly thought this year would be no kick. And then the snows rained down, the temperatures plummeted-- alright, living by the coast does have fierce winters. Tights will not suffice. This was my very last execution of my beautiful plans that have since witnessed their evanescence. .

foxtrot in my blooming rose garden

The cousin I grew up with is getting married this weekend and I will not be back home for it. It is rather surreal on both counts. As a child I loved making cards. Growing up, I sketched alot, wanting to become a fashion designer even though I have no sense of 3D perspective whatsoever. But the practical realities of instrumentally rational Singapore bit into me, and I never went that route. I befriended a classmate in junior college who took the same bus as I did-- she used to do fashion as an art elective and we exchanged notes with each other's old sketches, and I remember her encouraging me to follow my dream. She was uber-hardworking but really fun, and we would walk instead of run during physical education lessons-- a girl after my own heart-, before she took off to America to study two months later.  I then made friends with a designer, who inspired me to start sketching properly-- i.e. buy a hugeassed sketchbook, and create large drawings with all sorts of colours, textures and materials. He made me a birthday card. It'd been ages since anyone made me a proper card! Feeling a frisson of excitement, I began illustrating and making cards since then, for certain people in my life. And then this weekend, I was wondering just what to do for MQ, besides the present that is being shipped over as I blog. I wanted something heartfelt for her, and for a wedding card, I had to do something big. Something fully-coloured. Can I do it, I asked myself, as I took up a pen and started to sketch, sitting on my bed at 1am on Saturday night. 

if love were liquid it would drown me. .

"Who knew heaven was in Singapore?" fellow fashion blogger Serene a.k.a. The Elegant Bohemian quipped in response to one of my responses about a chocolate buffet in my tag post here many weeks ago. Forgive my tardiness in posting it up-- there's hell alot of photographs since it's a monumental thing where your camera is saturated with shots everytime you go there. Yes, I have been there several times, the first time when I was eighteen with The Best Friend. Ever since then, I've always brought someone there for their first time, it's as though I am some sort of Chocolate Buffet Induction Extraordinaire a.k.a. I Who Lead Thee Into Chocolate And Vanity Temptation. This time, when I went back to Singapore for a holiday a few months back, I brought my very good friend Vee over for her virgin Chocolate Buffet Session. .

we all scream for ice cream even in the snow

I know, I know. It's absolutely freezing out there. Who in the right mind would have ice cream? Maybe our friends experiencing summer or tropical climes? But, it was a Buy Two deal of Thornton's Temptations ice cream, and I couldn't resist getting two pints. After all, ice cream always evokes the nostalgia of the ice cream man coming by in his cart in the evenings, and children (or those at heart) running out to choose their favourite flavours to be lovingly encased in a cone, bread sandwich or a paper cup. It also reminds me of a few years back when my cousin and myself were on our uncle's houseboat in Perth, WA, shivering all excitedly on the deck whilst the winds blew mercilessly at us, only to realise the irony that we were eating ice cream in winter. So I decided to experiment with some decadence here. . . ice cream in winter? Yesh yesh yesh! Nuff said. Amen.

wax lyrical and muse sentimental

Remember the wax-dripped bottles at the pub that I was drooling over? It got added onto my To Do list, even if D said it would take years to achieve. I went to the Cargo sale and got a pack of six long red dinner candles (amongst many other delightful things for the flat) and decided to attempt a hand at recreating them. Artificially, of course. Since I do not wish to wait years. Spread some newspapers on the kitchen worktop and proceeded to light candles, dripping wax in various different patterns. . and voila!
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