Saturday, 25 October 2008

Seven Awards

Some people believe 7 is a good lucky number.

I received 7 awards from the one and only Emila Yusof!

1. Blogger Award for Amazing Friendship

2. Super Blogger

3. I love your Blog


4. I love your Blog

5. BFF Gold Card

6. Butterfly Award


7. Uber Award
I am proudly passing all 7 awards to:
Link will be updated later. Chiao!

Ben is Home


Yes, Ben is home.

And the first nice thing he did this morning, was to leave a gross sight on the bed.

Lily, you are right. We are slaves to cats.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Ben

I suppose, it is our fault for letting Free and Ben play outside when we off to work. They are not grounded because we train them to wait for us at the doorstep and poo outside.We know pets can't take care of themselves, but we just don't want to be overprotective --- certain things should be kept natural.

Last Tuesday, when we reached home, Free was alone and Ben was nowhere in sight. I grabbed a torchlight and searched for Ben in the neighborhood, knocked on neighboor's door and looked in the ditches and bushes. Some neighboors told me they saw few kids holding a kitten earlier that evening. The description sounds so much like Ben. There you go, me and my CSI-style interogation . Hehe.

We suspect that Ben was kidnapped. I made a quick sketch (we don't have Ben's picture yet) and create some missing-kitten-posters. I am hoping to get cooperation from the parents, just in case the kidnapper is one of their children. Guess what, just now I received a phone call from our front neighboor saying that she saw Ben in front of our house!! I can't wait to get back home. Somebody must have returned him! Whoever you are, thank you (anyway)!

Whatever it is, I must see the cat first to make sure it is really Ben. Relax, don't get excited yet.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Friday, 17 October 2008

Mushroom's Keeper

I have already submitted my entry to ATCsforAll for Halloween ATC Contest. Do not ask me where the idea came from or "why mushrooms?". The whole thing is just experimental assemblage.

You can view comments for this card here.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

October ATC Contest in ATCsforAll

I joined my first ATC contest in IllustratedATCs and the poll ended yesterday. My card did not win the Double Life Contest. However, I had so much fun participating and frankly speaking, I am overwhelmed that my card is one of people's favourite. It is a good and satisfactory beginning. I think KreationKween72 deserve to win coz I like her card too! I have posted entry photos here. Below is the voting result.


Meanwhile, I just realized there is a couple of contest going on in ATCsforAll. The first one is a monthly ATC contest and the chosen theme for October is Halloween. We do not celebrate Halloween in Malaysia but i think it is going to be fun and challenging to jump in. The deadline is October 24th and a thread will be opened for everyone to vote their favourite card! In ATCsfor All, the cards spect are not limited to hand-drawn card, so if you are free to use your own medium or style; collage, glass-art, felt or fabric, etc as long as it is ATC sized (2.5x3.5 inch). If you are interested, read the rules here. The winner will get a prize packet and goody bag packed to the brim with art-related goods and empherma.

The other one is Official Fall Contest: Fall Themed ATC Competition. Three prize packs will be given out -- the people's choice award winner, the people's choice award runner up, and a randomly chosen person from among our entries. Winning entries and runners up will be featured in the Art Trader Magazine Winter Issue. Deadline is October 20th, so if you are interested in participating, there is no time to waste! Read the contest rules and list of prizes here. I am so interested with the Speedball Speedy-Stamp Deluxe Kit offered as the first prize! I bet it is going to be very useful in my stamp carving hobby.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Butterfly and Uber Award + Friendship Poem

I am so flattered as I keep receiving awards and memes eventhough I always fail to feature them here and spread the link. I am sooooo sorry for that thus I want to take this chance to thank each and everyone of you for your continuous supports. You guys are awesome!!

I would have to let months of previous tags and memes pass, and start all over again from tags and memes received in October.

Oh before I forgot, I would like to express my special thanks to Mariuca for selecting me to receive 1000Ec of duit raya. This is for the comment I dropped for her at BlogNet. It is overwhelming as actually I really spend some time to construct my words. I want to show my support by contributing a good comment there so Mariuca can win. She is one of my loyal visitor but I could not give her frequent visit as my slow PC do not allow me to bloghop efficiently (same goes to my other blogger friends). Congratulation Mariuca for winning the September Best Blogger's Blog Award and Good Luck for BlogNet Annual Awards!

I want to pass these very special awards and meaningful friendship poem to Abgjas, Jean Chia, Crazy Scrapper, Megat, Moeha, Antown, Senta, Cecima, Leanne, Emila, Fliffy, Bluecrystaldude, Lydia, Mariuca, Mika, Miyyah, Rani, Ita, Carol, Baizurah, Debbie, Rizal, Bonoriau, Faisal Admar, Sha, Pupu, Bintang4, Marzuki, Maitri, Ciyou, Lisa . I really appreciate your presence in mangosteenskin's. Some of you never fail to drop me encouraging comments and some are regular silent readers. Some blogs continue to inspire me with their creativity and kindness. To everyone, thanks so much!

Butterfly Award
Awarded by Carol.
To those who decide to accept this award, they have to follow tis few steps:1. Put the logo on your blog.2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.3. Nominate 10 other blogs.4. Add links to those blogs on yours.5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

Uber Amazing Blog! Award
Awarded by Mariuca

Uber (synonym to Super) Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who:

  • inspires you
  • makes you smile and laugh
  • or maybe gives amazing information
  • a great readh
  • has an amazing design
  • and any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing

The rules of this award are:

  • Put the logo on your blog or post.
  • Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!
  • Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.
  • Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.

Friendship Poem
Received from Rizal and Mariuca

We need friends for many reasons, all throughout the season.
We need friends to comfort us when we are sad, and to have fun with us when we are glad.
We need friends to give us good advice.
We need someone we can count on,and treat us nice.
We need friends to remember us
one we have passed sharing memories that will always last.

Spread the poem of friendship.1. Everyday Life 2. Words of Love 3. Sheng's Simple Thoughts . . . 4. Pinay Mom Blogs 5. REALITIES 6. Glossa~licious 7. A Great Pleasure 8.The Spirit of Blogging 9. RestnRileks 10. Wishing On A Falling Star 11. Mangosteenskin 12. you next!

Friday, 10 October 2008

Happiness is a Choice

"No one will believe you when you tell them this, but happiness is a choice.

You can be happy right now.
Yes, right now.
How?

With the decision to be happy.


You don't need more money (though it would be nice).
You don't need to be thinner (though you might like it) .
You don't need anything (though you might still want things)."

Something knocked my head. How true. Happiness is a choice. Think about it.
After considering that I have succeeded to be back into arts and crafts, I think now is time to revive and re-establish yet another past time interest; READING. I must admit though I love books and bookshopping, I seldom read. Since kid, I often just flip through pages enjoying inserted pictures and illustrations. Well, that is something I must change if I want to improve my vocabulary and reading speed.

I am currently in the first chapter of Life's Missing Instruction Manual : The Guidebook You Should be Given at Birth. I consider this book as a very good read as the explainations and use of language is kept simple, brief yet accurate. Easy lah for an intermediate like me kan. Hehe.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Signed by Meclarmuj



I remember I left one drawing together with some of my old stuffs under a bed at my sister's house. It is an unfinished one. The last time I saw the drawing, I thought someday I am going to finish it, frame it, and maybe hang it in the kitchen of my future house.

The drawing is special as, it was my first (and last, so far) attempt to draw still life. I remember it was a week or two before final examination, but after class, me and my best friend, Anizan went to town by bus. I do not remember for what reason, but most probably to get paper and ink to print our thesis. Before going back, I bought some apples, pears, tomatoes and apple flavoured bubble tea. I thought these would be a healthier choice of snack to help me stay up doing revision at night.

Back in our second floor room, me and my junior roommate, Hasrah tried to study but we ended up chatting. She was actually my former classmate taking the same course during my first year, but she dropped out in the second year. She continue studying somewhere else and when I was in final year, she was accepted to re-enter the university again, but for different course.

She slept early that night because she did not want to disturb me. But after she went to bed, I arrange the fruits, tomato and canned drink on the table and start drawing. I used 12 pieces Luna colored pencils. I bought the short one as that was all I can afford that time. In fact, I still keep the same box of color until today.

During recent visit to my sister's house, I saw the drawing sticked on the wall using cellophene tape in my teenage nephew's room. At the bottom right, I signed "Meclarmuj"--- a rarely used initial. I decided to just leave the drawing there cause it feels so unright to take it back. Deep in my heart, I am proud. No posters, or artist's pin-ups...but my drawing in a young man's room.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Memory is Sweet

We went to my sister's house for Raya visit today. I tried to stuffed myself with all the food on the table, because my appetite is still on for Raya feast plus I do not have to be shy to eat as much as I can in my own sister's house. I spent the day at home yesterday, and eat nothing but some bread's slice and instant noodle.

On the second day of Raya, we went to visit few of my husband's friends and the last house we visited that evening was one of the stilted house in Tanjung Aru water village. I never been to any water village before, and it has been a very unique experience. I always thought people residing the water village are illegal immigrants, but now I know, local people do stay there! I was amazed how spacious and comfortable the interior, and the house is equipped with electricity and clean water supply. It was really beyond my expectations. According to my husband, the area we visited was the "legal" side, gazzeted by the goverment for the locals to reside long time ago. That is why houses there look much organized than the other side visible from the land. He used to follow his friends there when he was a kid.

As soon as we enter the house, the rain was pouring down like cat and dog! I must mention how great the hospitality shown by the host and her family. We felt so welcomed eventhough we never meet them. We only follow Abg Zul's family fulfilling the open house invitation. We waited till 5.30pm and chat about kuih sampan before we deciced to take a move. Sharing an umbrella with Abg Zul's youngest daughter does not help. My skirt was soaking wet. My hubby, Abg Zul and his wife, Kak Jah walked in the rain without umbrella. I could not walk fast because I was busy watching my steps. I afraid I would get tripped and fall off the bridge to the rough sea below. The bridge is quite narrow and almost only one person can walk at a time. The best part was, everyone walked behind us.

After walking about 1km, we reached Abg Zul's house before maghrib, but we all locked outside the house for almost half an hour. Abg Zul's eldest daughter was sleeping upstairs and unable to hear us knocking on the door. Kak Jah insisted that I should change my wet clothes before going back. She gave me a pair of baju kurung but the it was too short for me. I just use a batik sarong to absorb excess water. Lucky to my hubby, Abg Zul's jeans and shirt fit him, so he was dry and comfortable to continue chit-chatting. They were expecting another friend to come, actually. He promised to come at 5 0'clock, that is why we were rushing to get back to Abg Zul's house. There was me, maintaining my smile, trying to signal my hubby with eyes and body language but to no avail. When Kak Jah came, she offer me laksa. I could not resist and we stay there till my clothes almost dry from the fan blows. My stomach was very full. The laksa was hot, sour and tasty, but I bet the memory would be sweet.

In the car, I told my hubby that I was soaking wet, he said, "Eh, ingatkan you tak basah sebab pakai payung (I thought you're unwet because you have umbrella)". Duh...

I did not bring my camera, so I cannot show you the picture of the house. Above photo is from Flickr, credit to Phil Eadie.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

I Hope You Miss Rubberstamp Story

I know I still owe some stamps and stickers. I want to apologize for being silent for quite some time. The truth is, all my ideas stucked in the form of sketches and doodles in my sketch book. Life has been quite hectic and I barely have time to sit and concentrate on drawing. There should not be any problem if you just order stamps as I can carve the stamps according to my sketches or images that you send to me, but for stickers and business cards, I have to depend on hand-drawn piece of work. The disadvantage of hand-drawing are, it is almost impossible to undo any mistake and without a good photo editor, it is difficult to produce a satisfying outcome. It is possible, hence there is a long list of limitations.

Believe it or not, I only have Picasa, Microsoft Office Picture Manager and Microsoft Office Publisher to edit my photos and design my stamps and sticker and whatever my customer request me. I have PC and notebook but both need to be upgraded before I can install whatever software that I might need. I am really into these kind of things these days but my hubby do not agree with the idea of investing in new PC or laptop. Well, I hate to argue, but it is also hard to avoid from complaining. Both my PC and laptop's current RAM is only 256MB. Can you believe that? Can you believe that?! Even surfing the net or bloghopping cause me plenty of time staring blankly at the monitor, trying to be patient with this "tortoise". And my handphone...my handphone...I am still using my 4 years old Nokia 1110 but I never complaint about the phone because of its sentimental value. Yeah, eventhough I am way out of date.

So during the fasting month, I made few attempts to draw cakes and cupcakes and tarts and biscuits, as most of the pending orders are for home-bakery. Unfortunately, I am a bit dismotivated, again and again I made mistakes that cannot be undone so everytime I fail to produce a pleasant drawing, I quit.

Recently, somehow I felt an urge to challenge my creativity using whatever limited resources I have. With zero expectations in mind, I began doodling, copying and pasting in Microsoft Office Publisher and mouse. I spend almost 6-7 hours sitting in front of the computer in the office. The colorful cake is still pending for Ita's approval. The finished stamps later should look like the black and white picture on the right.


Meanwhile, photos below are the stamps that I finished just before Ramadhan. These stamps are not designed by me. The image of girl wearing scarf/tudung is a famous character of an Islamic children's comic, Ana Muslim as requested by Kak Sha; one for her and one for her best buddy, Kak Lina. They both are teachers, scrappers and papercrafters. I purposely place the 2ocent coins in the picture for size comparison.


The Panda stamps was ordered by Soulie. Guess what, remember Bem69? The first runner-up in We are All Geeks card design contest organized by Foldees? He is the one who design this Panda for Soulie. My job was just adding the words on the left side of the panda. Unfortunately, according to Soulie the Panda stamp has already been damaged by...suspected nephew and niece before she is able to test the stamp. She requested me to carve another one before Raya, but sorry Soulie....seems like your new panda need to wait Raya holiday to end before I can send it off k.


Last but not least, here are the tags made from my ATC paper leftovers created using their stamps' image.

Double Life

Our Raya celebration had been simple. I only bought few jars of cookie at Bazaar Ramadhan and guess what, half of the jars have been emptied a week before the arrival of Syawal by only the two of us. My hubby is trying to quit smoking so he keep looking for something to munch to substitute cigarettes. But me,I am just an Eating Machine. Oh no!!!

Speaking of Double Life, it is the theme of an ATC drawing contest held in Illustrated ATCs. It could be anything about your secret side, or whatever you imagine yourself to be. I manage to submit my entry just a few hours before the closing time. This is my first time of entering such online contest and now until 15th October is the voting period. If you happen to be a member of Illustrated ATCs, you wouldn't mind helping me by voting my card, would you? I'm crossing my fingers to win the prize, though it is just a set of 12, Prismacolor watercolor pencil is in my wishlist. As usual, you need to become a member to vote but unfortunately this is a juried site, means membership is not automatic. You need to have at least 10 hand-drawn or painted art pieces in a gallery for the art panel to view before they can approve your membership.

Not many participates in the contest, perhaps the prize is not attractive enough as some of the members are professional artist, illustrators, designers and experienced art hobbyist as well. To non-members, I am unable to provide you the link of the poll or the gallery as it requires a login to enable contest thread view. However, I hope you enjoy looking at the submitted entries. Some illustrate themself as a TV ghost researcher looking at a night vision camera, a purple vampire sucking coke from a can, hot secret agent, elegant cat queen, novel book heroine, harajuku doll, etc. I just draw my Mangosteen Fairy sitting by the window of her Mangosteen House, combing her long green hair. At the moment, my card is voted second highest behind KreationKween72.