Siam

There are some parts of Bangkok that make me forget about the pesky heat that is constantly breathing down my neck, and that grey cloud of smog that threatens to suffocate. This green sanctuary does it for me, you could imagine my delight to have found this place!

It was a beautiful day for afternoon tea and mindless chit chat on the rustic veranda, shaded by a curtain of cascading foliage. This has got to be one of my favourite places in Bangkok to visit. Thank you my lovely M for bringing me around!! ☺︎

Gnome Day

Every year, Gnome Day falls on a particular day in November. This special occasion sometimes extends to the other days of the year depending on the auroral activities in the sky. Or at every sighting of an ice cream cart.

Last year, we celebrated it in a form of a cosy garden party held at Da Paolo Rochester Park with some of my closest girlfriends. The set up for lunch was really simple, and I'm glad it turned out just the way I wanted. ☺

Of course, it was not without the help of my amazing friends. [Y and Evie, who painstakingly travelled around town the day before to look for the plant which I have specially requested for. Jo, who made sure I got the cake that I wanted and spending her Friday night in making the fresh plant wreath rim decor for the cake together. Lynette and Yaya's attempt to save my tablecloth crisis. And Khay for squeezing in time in between functions just to be there.] We had a lot of fun setting up the table together, and I'm glad I did it with my best friends. Sometimes it is really hard to imagine how much my friends love me from the things they do for me. Time to use it to my best advantage.

I'm just kidding, I love you guys too much!

 Y bought me a pretty bouquet for the table ♡

Y bought me a pretty bouquet for the table ♡

 Hand-lettered placards that I made for the guests

Hand-lettered placards that I made for the guests

P101191411.jpg
IMG_0898.jpeg
IMG_08831.jpg

Food was pretty decent, something to be expected from the Da Paolo chain. The service, however, was way beyond terrible on that day for a place that caters to hospitality events. We didn't take too many pictures of the food as everyone was pretty famished – the half-eaten green pea soup as evidence. 

The pictures in this post were taken mostly by P (thank you!!) and a few from my own camera. ☺

IMG_0893.jpeg
IMG_0909.jpeg

MY CAKE !!!!! Red Velvet from my friend's bakery Cake Spade (please try their cupcakes too) I love how simple and organic it is, and the cream layer was nicely done.

[Behind the scene] This is what goes on during our gatherings most of the time, I'm most guilty of it hehe – 

IMG_09071.jpg
 Awkward turtle

Awkward turtle

 A few more short of full attendance - Lynette, Yahui, Jo, Pandora, Khay, me & Yuxuan.

A few more short of full attendance - Lynette, Yahui, Jo, Pandora, Khay, me & Yuxuan.

 Spot the awkward pinky

Spot the awkward pinky

What turned out to be a really short lunch was made extra special by having my close friends all together. The ones whom I have grown up with since we were crazy girls in blue pinafores gallivanting around town, drinking too much bubble tea and trying to squeeze into neoprint machines. Some of whom I have survived multiple school assignment deadlines with. As well as the ones I've bonded over coffee/sushi sessions and while sitting in bookstores folding paper and typing on typewriters. Even though not everyone could make it to lunch, please know that all of you are special to me and thank you for being my extra sparkly beacons of light (you know who you are!). Regardless of the duration of our friendship, each and everyone of you mean soooo much to me. I had a really great birthday week with all my favorite people, brunch, coffee,  thoughtful gifts, miffy balloon, cupcakes, and a whole lot of sweetness. ☺

Where two oceans meet

Australia was never in the list of places that I'd like to travel to. Somehow, the beauty of its nature left me bewildered and charmed. I was so exhilarated when we reached the top of Leeuwin Lighthouse, after 300 steps that I completely forgot about my fear of heights. With acres and acres of green rolled out before me, there was just so much to take in. 

P1011553_72.jpg
 happy survivors of my 110km/h driving

happy survivors of my 110km/h driving

P1011543_72.jpg
P1011509_72.jpg
P1011503_72.jpg
P1011508_72.jpg
P1011500_72.jpg
P1011507_72.jpg

Cape Leeuwin is the point where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean, and the only place where you can see the Indian Ocean to your right and the Southern Ocean to your left. If you think about the distances these great oceans have covered and the stories they have carried from all over, it makes it pretty special to see how they collide to make magnificent waves.

Tokyo Art Book Fair 2013

This blog has gathered  just enough cobwebs for Halloween! Yipee.

So the waves have finally brought me back to my sunny shores. Actually, since a week ago. My mysterious disappearance to Australia was the result of being sucked into a relentless temptation offered by a budget airline and a need for some quiet time.  I will be posting my photos from my trips bit by bit so there would be something to look at for the next few days.. weeks... months? 

 It is hard to believe that September came and gone just like that. 21st September was a day that I was counting down to since the 1st of July. When the day finally came, I did not know what to expect and almost relieved at the fact that I am present in Tokyo, at Tokyo Art Book Fair as an exhibitor.  By Grace I made it there, and I am sure glad I did. ☺

This year's fair was a massive one, we were one of the 300 over booths at Tokyo Art Book Fair held at a university with the most confusing name at Shinanomachi, Tokyo this year. The event was a huge eye-opener, it was really great meeting independent publishers from all over the world. However, there were a few challenges in being part of such a huge exhibition as well – in trying to stand out and having to set prices at a competitive rate. When I took a break from manning the booth and walked around, it was only then I realized how huge the compound was. I ended up only purchasing two zines on the first day myself. Both were by Taiwanese designers and extremely lovely. ☺

Seated at my tiny corner at the booth, it was interesting to observe the way people interacted with my designs and the display space. It was an incredible experience to see how your design extends beyond the physical material (in this case, the book) and to the environment in which is sitting in and vice versa. It gave me a lot of ideas on how my works can be improved to provide a more wholesome experience. I also thoroughly enjoyed talking to people who took interest in my works, to explain about the concept of my writings and designs even though not everyone who came by left with something in the end. It was a truly humbling experience to meet people who tell you that they appreciate what you do, and my heart stifles a chuckle whenever I see people smiling while flipping through my books. 

 

 

Over the 3 days, we had our fair share of surprises – friends (Saki, Silas, John & Lp) who showed up to give their support, as well as acquaintances who came by with coffee and chocolates, including the man from an antique shop in Shimo who loaned us display items for free. There was also a sweet Singaporean lady who dropped by our booth with her son to show her support when she realized that we are also Singaporeans. Not forgetting Bernice, Stacy and Josiah who helped us packed at the end of the fair and Josiah who carried my stuff up 5 levels to our apartment with his super strength after he learnt that our apartment elevator was not working. So thankful for these people. ☺

This trip was unlike any other trips to Tokyo, mainly because the intention was not for vacation. It is definitely a great experience and something I wouldn't mind doing again. As there is always a first for everything, I am beyond blessed to have this experience to call my own.

Here are some pictures that I have managed to capture amidst the crowd! Hope you guys will enjoy the post, it was not easy typing with both hands covering my ears to protect them from the boisterous roar of the thunderstorm. ☺ 

 

 Entrance to Kyoto University of Art and Design, Tohoku University of Art and Design GAIEN CAMPUS   

Entrance to Kyoto University of Art and Design, Tohoku University of Art and Design GAIEN CAMPUS

 

 Stamping workshop at one of the tents on lvl 1

Stamping workshop at one of the tents on lvl 1

 Cute booth designed like a birdhouse

Cute booth designed like a birdhouse

 Random by PY Leong X Wood&Lead

Random by PY Leong X Wood&Lead

 Our tiny booth – I had to balance a merchandises on my head and it helped to draw some crowd.

Our tiny booth – I had to balance a merchandises on my head and it helped to draw some crowd.

 Customers browsing through  Of Clouds & Parenthesis , a travelogue.

Customers browsing through Of Clouds & Parenthesis, a travelogue.

P1011259_2.jpg
_2.jpg
 LP who gave us a HUGE surprise by turning up with John without notice 

LP who gave us a HUGE surprise by turning up with John without notice 

 Michelle, Wood&Lead customer who bought and modeled the tote *___*

Michelle, Wood&Lead customer who bought and modeled the tote *___*

P1011268.JPG

Click on the image above to watch the video which accurately captured the mood of the book fair. This video was taken and originally uploaded by my friend Stacy who runs a cool site with updates of her life in Tokyo. 

 

Also, Wood&Lead items sold at Tokyo Art Book Fair are now available for purchase, visit Wood&Lead Etsy store now ! ☺ 
  

 

Magic

There are some people who emanates a certain sense of warmth that touches the tenderness of your heart, the kind from whom you'd always have something special to take away with you after every meeting. ☺

When we stepped out of the elevator and peered down the corridor, an apartment immediately stood out. With a row of gardening tools hanging neatly by the wall, tending by the little nursery at the entrance of the house, you could tell that these people must care a lot for the world from the way they cared for their little green friends.

We let the chiming of the doorbell announce our arrival as we waited eagerly to be invited into this special space. 

 

  Karen & Pao's dreamy apartment

Karen & Pao's dreamy apartment

  Details

Details

  Kitchen invasion

Kitchen invasion

 Sarah at work

Sarah at work

  Py, the treehugger

Py, the treehugger

The door opened and we were greeted by Karen's beautiful smile, one that seemed to give the apartment an extra glow, and then Pao who shyly walked out from their studio. The last time I saw them was on their wedding day, and they still look as perfect together.

Soon enough, the air buzzed with excitement from three girls swooning over every detail of the house, disrupting its tranquillity. I thought I saw the rows of trees lining the hills across the road waver a little. But it was just impossible to stop ourselves when everything is just so perfect, as the humble owners looked on in amusement. After we were done helping out with Sarah's little project, we gathered around the dining table to catch up on each others' lives and talked about our dreams. It was very much like finding a spot in the middle of the forest,  just talking and munching on grapes while sitting on toadstools. The afternoon was splendid and magical.

  Py and Karen having a grape time

Py and Karen having a grape time

When it was time for us to leave, we said our goodbyes reluctantly and conveniently made plans to invite ourselves back again (heeehee). Took a glance towards the door and was surprised to see that Pao has neatly arranged our shoes in a way that was most convenient for us to wear them. If my soles have eyes, they would be flooded with tears, it was such a terribly sweet gesture.

• 

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.

– Yoko Ono 

• 

The perks about being a creative person is the limitless imagination we have in creating our own worlds, just like how Karen and Pao built their special treehouse in this urban jungle. Seeing this couple makes my heart gasp and sigh (and die) in a good way. Great things always happen when the stars align. ☺ Perhaps the magic in living is quite simple, treat everyone with genuine respect and humility, and the world will give you back in ten folds. If you are searching for magic, look no more, you create the magic. ☺

 

  Only apt to wear these kitty stockings to the Treehouse (a gift from my bestfriend Jobyna) 

Only apt to wear these kitty stockings to the Treehouse (a gift from my bestfriend Jobyna) 

Sun-drenched

Midweek brunch at P.S. cafe, one of my favorite places. Packed even on a weekday afternoon, the atmosphere was blithe, the air filled with light hearted chatter. Left with the option of alfresco sitting, we were greeted by playful sun rays and the lush greenery.  This experience, albeit a familiar one, was most inviting having roughened it out the past months. 

It was another sunny day, with the occasional breeze that makes you forget how pretentious the idea of midweek brunch could possibly be. As always, the food was agreeable. My smoked salmon sandwich with organic soy linseed bread was a dream from long ago. Such a hearty meal, it was undeniable that I was living life right.

Our brunch was interrupted several times, with uninvited meal companions descending from above – I wish they were angels but it was practically raining spiders and ants. I knew there had to be a reason behind that generous serving of rocket salad, possibly so guests would be kept busy chewing on the greens and not being able to scream / let out the secret that I'm going to be the next spiderman (sorry andrew garfield). 

P1010013.JPG
    Hello beautiful

Hello beautiful

P1010022.JPG
  !!! 

!!! 

  Watching leaves fall was quite a sight.

Watching leaves fall was quite a sight.

P1010039_2.jpg

It was a beautiful afternoon with my best friend, filling our souls amidst the cascading  foliages which added a tint of magic. We walked away from the afternoon, sun-drenched, happy, with lightness in our steps (and no spiders in our bags yay).