Mar 31, 2010

special post - qingming festival

this morning we woke up at 6am and drove about 2 and a half hours up north to sungai siput, ipoh to offer our respects to the ancestors of the chong family. we arrived in sungai siput at about 9 ish and that was considered late by many, including my mil :) cos she couldn't get us to wake up at 4am this morning ;p. before going to the graves we had breakfast at a very quaint roadside shack (this is where the best food is served!)

which was situated right beside a wet market ...

the store owners gave me this astonished look when i started taking pics of their veges. one even asked me if i were a tourist!! ahhh ... the things we bloggers do!

after breakfast and my mil buying last minute stuff for the prayers, we adjourned to an auntie's place to drop off llara kaye and my mil :) usually every year, my mil will do the prayers with jason, but this year she's decided to chill at her sister's place with her grand daughter, and officially "passed the baton" to me to continue with her duties with jason ;) oops!!

such a quaint old house this is! jason and his family use to live 2 houses away from here. i think this must be llara's first visit to a kampong* house :)

*kampong = village

after dropping them off, jason and i proceeded to the gravesite, which was just a couple of streets away actually. usually the grave sites will be filled with tall grass (they just let them grow, i dunno why) but during the qingming festival, the caretakers would burn down the grass so that visitors can actually find their ancestors' tombs!

that's jason praying at his paternal grandfather's tomb. see the burnt grass all around?

the festival of qingming (or the chinese all-souls-day) falls on the 15th day of the spring equinox, which usually occurs on the 4th or 5th of april, and this is the day chinese families all over the world would make their annual pilgrimage to the graves of their ancestors (usually the patriarch side). the festival usually begins a week before, so that people who cannot make it on that particular day can choose any day within that week to do their pilgrimage. this is the time when we gather to clean and sweep the graves of our deceased ancestors, offer them food, tea and wine, burn candles and incense and do a bit of prayers and worshipping.

we also burn paper offerings which can come in any form you can imagine ... gold and silver ingots, clothes and shoes all branded!, TVs, laptops, ipods, mobile phones, porche ... yes, and lamborghini as well, yachts, houses and even paper maids! we believe that "they" continue to live like us in the afterlife :)

of course we do not do the extreme ;p ... can you spot paper shirts all folded and packed like you would buy at the stores? can you see the gold-ish stuff? that's the gold ingots which my mil tirelessly folds bags and bags of them! what do you know ... my mil is a paper-crafter!

it took us a good hour and a half to complete the rounds ... cos we did quite a few ancestors today and you actually have to walk up a hill filled with tombs and find the right ones! we also cleaned the graves quite a bit.

one of the final visits we made was to jason's paternal grandma's tomb. usually the kids would bury their deceased parents together in a shared tomb, but in this case, jason's grandma was a christian, so they did a completely different ceremony for her when she passed and buried her in her own tomb, tho not far from where her husband was resting.

flowers, fruits and her favorite coffee :)



what an interesting day i had! my first official qingming with jason for his ancestors :) and of course, being the green horn, plus punishment for waking up at 6am instead of 4am ... it was deemed appropriate that i brought home a "souvenir"

we were right there ... under the 11am-12noon sun :)

happy pimping! :)
and tomorrow ... i'll be in pain!

Mar 30, 2010

blog in transition!

YES!!! i made the decision!

i bought a custom domain www.pimpandpaint.com ... and i am happy, for now ... YAY!!! no more ".blogspot"

i shall have to register a completely new domain for my jewelry when i decide to go full swing, and when i can think of a nice name to brand my jewelry :) and find the domain for it ... you can't always get the name you want ...

this blog will be in transition. google tells me that it could take 3 days! so please bear with me ...

but you can still find me at my old URL "www.pimpandpaint.blogspot.com" ... it will redirect you to my new page ... so i don't loose you my frens! that's the biggest advantage of buying from google and not directly from an independent domain company. google doesn't own a domain company, it still buys from like say GoDaddy ... but when you buy thru google as the middle agent, you dun have to bother about the transition process ... it's ALL done for you :) YAY!!

happy pimping! :)

Mar 28, 2010

buying a custom domain ... advice pleeeeeease!!!

did you know that you can actually buy a custom domain from blogger and change your URL from www."yourblogname".blogspot.com to a www."yourblogname".com? for example, now my URL is www.pimpandpaint.blogspot.com ... but if i decide to purchase a custom domain from blogger via the "publishing" tab in the settings, i will get a www.pimpandpaint.com

no .blogspot anymore means that it actually makes your blog look more professional. it only cost $10USD a year. and correct me if i'm wrong but i read somewhere that you can also create sub-domains like www.shop.pimpandpaint.com or www.forum.pimpandpaint.com ... from your main domain if you decide to expand in the future. the whole process is supposed to be hassle-free becos blogger helps you make the transfer smoothly ... all your followers, posts, images will all be transferred to their new home with no .blogspot.

now... i'm thinking of doing that.

my question is ... what about my feeds? will that transfer too? anyone knows?

also ... i'm thinking of doing something quite drastic. i want to rebrand. i want to change my blog name, from pimpandpaint to something else. what will my consequences be if i changed www.pimpandpaint.blogspot.com to perhaps ... www.designs-by-luthien.com when i buy my new domain name? or something to that effect ... some name so different from my original blog name ... what do you think is my loss here?

i would love to have some advice here pleeeeeease ... >_<


Mar 24, 2010

opposites attract ... me :)

when my fren and teammate maggie told me she thought of my "dark and light" whilst writing about IA's challenge this week "opposites", i was tickled to bits! i must have been seriously raving about it that it stuck to her LOL!! poor maggie!! *oh dear ... i just received a comment (as i am writing this post) from another fren and teammate angie ... and she says, this week's challenge reminded her of me too!! LOL!!!!!!!!

you know what, a thought just occurred to me ... i think i sort of know why "opposites" seem to attract me to no end. well ... i'm a pisces! 2 fishes swimming against each other! now that ... is what i call ... true to character!

and so not to disappoint maggie :) opposites it is!

introducing my newest post-IT earrings ... yes! earrings at last!! altho i dun think i have actually grasped the dynamics of making earrings yet ... but here they are :)


Indemnity clause : The maker of these earrings shall not be held responsible, should the wearer of this adornment develop an inability to remember spoken information, instructions, rules, knowledge, advice and other important messages. Rated PG16 ... Parental guidance is encouraged for wearers age 16 and below!

i personally am really stoked with these! they made me laugh when i first pictured them in my head complete with little comic strips of a mom scolding her teenager ... words going in one ear, and coming out the other as soon as she puts on the "magical" earrings!!

on a different note ... since i'm into earrings, i didn't stop at 2 pairs of course. i actually made part of these earlier, but just could not complete them. well ... today everything came together!

Elleth ... "a maiden born of elven descent"
Luitha ... "to enchant"

" these are the kind of adornments that i imagined the elves of lothlorien would forge for themselves. my imagination tells me … silver definitely, blended pastels and adorned with flourishes … ethereal, magical and otherworldly ... "

once again i've stayed true to character ... 2 pairs of dark and 2 pairs of light ... PISCES RULEZ!!

happy pimping! :)

Mar 22, 2010

i heart hearts ...

you know what ... i so wanted to do today's challenge at inspiration avenue themed "my town" ... unfortunately i live in such a sterile and boring new township there is absolutely nothing to show, unless you want to see the largest ikea in malaysia ... well, i'm 5 minutes drive away *shrug*

BUT ... you might like to take a trip down to inspiration avenue's blog and take a look at what fabulous places my friends live in *sob sob* i am sooooo jealous!!

having no town to show, i decided to settle for some hot from the oven, newly baked hearts instead! now, i'm not lying ... these were really baked like a cookie! LOL!


Enya Elvira ...

made last week but didn't get to post it here tho some of you might have seen it on my facebook. a vintage gothic choker in antique brass and black. where the focal bead is polymer clay and resin-ed, finished with a dragonfly :)

polymer clay mixed media necklaceif you have noticed, i like to name my pieces in the weirdest names! sometimes elven words, other times just names. they all have been girls so far ... i wonder if i would create a 'male' one of these days.


Athelia

" It is said that when the Age of Man begins, the elves would fade and return to the Ancient West. Athelia is inspired by the Grey Havens, the harbor where the last of the elves of Middle Earth would embark on their final journey home to Valinor..."

polymer clay mixed media necklace* can be worn long or short ... your call :)

and finally Daelithe

" Daelithe is inspired by the dawn of a new cycle, the rebirth of new energy, new growth and new hope. Daelithe is a celebration of the coming of Spring. Rejoice! "

polymer clay mixed media necklace*also can be worn long or short ...

once again, i'm swaying between dark and light ... also endings and beginnings as is evident in the latest 2 pieces i made. one speaks of the passing of a race, the other speaks of the dawn of a new beginning ...

on a different note however ... i have suddenly become quite obsessed with ocean jasper!! arghhhhh!! i basically spent a whole day oooogling at them on the net. then went straight to my bead supplier and guess what!! i managed to buy a couple of strands of ocean jaspers! hehehe ... see if you can spot them on my new pieces?

also, i've been experimenting on some new blending techniques with polymer clay as seen in the striations on daelithe. i have made a couple more beads with this technique and can't wait to form them into a piece of adornment!

polymer clay
and of course, i still want my blacks!!

polymer clay
oooo ... i am pretty excited already!!

happy pimping! :)

Mar 17, 2010

blessed i am ...

i wanna say a big thank you to the mystical and magical faerwillow who resides in the faraway land of ~serendipity~ for tagging me with this "funnest" game ever!

blessed i am ... to share my life with this most beautiful and priceless work of art !!


this picture was actually taken by her granddad, when i brought llara kaye to visit my parents one weekend. she was probably 3+ here... in july she will be turning 5! how time flies!!! i'm thinking that she was all sweaty that's why grandma tied her hair up. and judging from that look on her face ... she must be in contemplation ... contemplating how to manifest another earth shattering act of mischief!

i must admit that i broke into cold sweat as i edgily searched for the object of desire that is to be the main ingredient for this game. i wished so hard that it wasn't gonna be some indecent picture of me without my eyebrows! but in the end ... it was all good!


and the rules of this very fun tag game :

open your first photo file

scroll to the 10th photo

post the photo and the story behind it


all the wonderful ladies do the most unique and fabulous works of art ... please take some time to pay them a visit. clicking on their names would magically transport you there. no need for FLOO powder!

... and oh talking about magical ... don't forget to visit the sweet lady faerwillow of ~serendipity~ too ... for a journey to the mystical realms of pure magic!

happy pimping! :)

Mar 12, 2010

post-IT!

it feels like the longest time since i wrote something! life has been just a little more hectic these couple of weeks with work and the art auction and all. feeling all bumped, so i thought i'll just finish these pieces that i've started but never had the mood to complete them. i hope they bring a smile to your face as they did to mine :)

so ... the question is ... are you a ...



or are you ...


i hope you enjoyed that :) do you think these would sell? :p

by the way .. did you guys manage to take a look at our art auction at inspiration avenue yet? there are a couple of new entries since it opened. please go take a look ... it's for a good cause where 100% of the proceeds go to angel faces, a wonderful sanctuary for disfigured adolescence girls. the auction closes this sunday so don't miss out the chance of helping these girls :)

happy pimping!

Mar 5, 2010

art charity auction at inspiration avenue

the time is now!

the gals at inspiration avenue have worked tirelessly these couple of months organizing an art charity auction for the organization angel faces. if you have read about this event in my earlier post, you will know that the organization angel faces is a place, a sanctuary for adolescence girls who have facial and body disfigurements due to burns. angel faces empower these girls through counseling and therapy (mostly in the form of art) and help them find their confidence and their place back in the society.

in support of this cause, i have donated a piece of handmade neck adornment aptly named estella ... which means hope. goodness knows we all need hope, but most importantly, we need to give these girls hope for a better future.

essentially a mixed media piece, this heart pendant is made from blended polymer clay, hammered aluminum wire, nylon coated artistic wire and acrylics. the cord is a mix of metal chain, fiber, artistic wires, findings and glass beads.

the concept, color, composition, have all been designed to inspire hope and light.

"the heart that was once broken is once again mended, and though it might never be what it use to be ... that does not mean that it cannot take a different form, a more positive form that is richer, stronger and perfectly beautiful inside out"

the starting bid for estella is 16USD


- this auction will go live from the 7th march and end on the 14th march at 12 noon EST

- the bidding will take place on the inspiration avenue blog
CLICK HERE to go there
*please DO NOT bid on this blog*

- your bids should be in US Dollars only, with a minimum of 1USD increments (cents will not be entertained)

- all bids are to be made in the comments section of the post of your chosen item (at the inspiration avenue blog)

- please leave your name and email address in your bidding, so that we may send you a paypal invoice should you win the item

- please go back to your bid item often to check if anyone has made another bid, and re-bid if you wish to

- the winners of the items are given 72 hours to pay, otherwise the item will go to the second highest bidder

there will be other items made by the varied but talented members of inspiration avenue on auction as well. please scroll down on our team blog and have a look. your support is very very appreciated. i thank you in advance for your wonderful support for this cause.

** if you do not see the auction post on inspiration avenue yet, please go back there on the 7th march to check **


Mar 1, 2010

embracing the night ...

“You have to leave … ”
...
“Lawrence … wait … what are you afraid of?”
“If anything ever happened to you … I’d never forgive myself …”



ahh ... just can't get enough of them now, can i?

when i said i was gonna further explore the idea of combining light and dark ... i was quite serious. i had to be, cos i could think of nothing else! however, this time it didn't manifest in a piece of jewelry ... but in a handbound book, another one of my favorite crafts. why a book? perhaps i feel that there is more to tell, more depth to explore, perhaps i continue to wonder if there could have been a marriage between these two opposing realms … a love that could have been. perhaps i hoped that in this book i may rewrite a happier outcome of this unrequited love that is shared by gwen and lawrence.


If there ever was such a thing, it would have definitely involved the light of her, surrendering and embracing the night of him … hence this book, i have named nocturnal embrace ...


Essentially a mixed media piece, this handbound book combines polymer clay, paint effects, handtorn recycle paper, scrapbooking paper, silver and vintage filigrees, lace, wires, faux fur and various leathers. This book is coptic stitched with thick double black threads and the covers are mdf boards. This little baby measures approximately W5 x L4 x H1.5 inches.


i've often tried and failed miserably combining vintage and silver ... but i think i am finally quite satisfied with this combination in this piece ... it doesn't feel forced, it feels like they belong together and just flow into each other's energies ... maybe it's just me, what do you think?


i love the way the lighting turned out in this image ... casting a glow on the wires, the filigree and the light side of the heart :)

....................................................

righty-o ... let's change the subject a little here :) i just wanted to share with you ... what a sweetheart my man is :) i've always wanted a smaller toaster oven to bake my polymer clay so i could safe more energy and ... well, bake more ;P

on my birthday, he bought me this little baby :)


it's really reasonable in price, has a timer, a thermometer and i can even choose to turn off the top heating element so that it doesn't burn my clay :) woohoo!!! isn't he a sweetheart :)
thank you sweetie :))

happy pimping! :)