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Jun 21, 2013

Caring for Sterling Silver

A Replica and THE Replica
Editor's Note: This blog has been moved.

Now that I've gotten my Evenstar, I'm beginning to show signs of anxiety over the task to protecting it while wanting to wear it all the time like a charm. Sterling silver a.k.a. 925 silver, is an alloy of silver (at least 92.5%) and other metals such as copper. Silver jewelleries are indeed gorgeous, but they do tarnish really easily with time.

I own a couple of 925 pieces myself, which is precisely why I'm cracking my head over the handling of my Evenstar because I really want it to to last a lifetime and treat it with dignity. (Like you know, wearing it on my BIG day with my wedding gown and perhaps till my hair turns silver).

Some ancient Christmas present (Golden lomo tint)
For my regular silver accessories, I'm perfectly proud of my home remedy (it's actually DIY electrolysis) because the effect is clean, instant and does not involve any abrasive contact - I've been doing that for years to my favourite 8-year old ring and Perlini's Silver necklace.
*I'll explain that later!*

The only concern I have is that our subject is now an Evenstar that costed a BOMB - and yeah, would my home remedy destroy the Evenstar?

Monochrome - she's 8 years old this year
That said, I believe the quality of the official pendant from New Zealand is utterly indisputable. *Crosses my heart* I'm essentially just a paranoid perfectionist who would spend her time scrutinising the cubic zirconia for scratches and narrowing her brows at the silver frame, looking for signs of defect. But when I do find (a) defect(s), the novelist in me would end up convincing the perfectionist in myself that every scratch is a mark of history and things are beautiful precisely because they are flawed.

You can now see why I'm anxious. I'm proud of my DIY electrolysis skills but at the same time, my over-achieving attitude might just be the doom of me.

Now, let's finally move on to DIY electrolysis! 

Basically, the entire process involves transferring of oxides from your relatively less reactive silver to a more reactive aluminium. Can you guess what are the things we need for this little reaction? YES, it's the wondrous aluminium foil!

Things you'll need:

  1. A heat tolerant container (a regular ceramic bowl would do, you can even use a cup lol, depending on the size of your silver piece - just be imaginative.)
  2. A piece of aluminium foil (be environmentally friendly and cut out just a small piece of it, enough to cover your silver piece and keep the rest of the next electrolysis.) 
  3. Boiling water
  4. Baking soda
  5. Salt

  1. Mix 2 portions of baking soda to 1 portion of salt (for single use, 2 teaspoon or baking soda to 1 teaspoon of salt) and there you go, the magickal reactant which you can keep for subsequent use! 
  2. Line the bottom of your heat tolerant container with aluminium foil.
  3. Place your silver piece upon the aluminium foil, ensure that there is contact. 
  4. Add your reactant 
  5. Add boiling water
There should be a sizzling sound and small bubbles rapidly rising from your silver and bubble growing all over your foil. Watch and see how your silver is restored to their previous glory! I do that once every few months. 

The difference would usually be instant and drastic - depending on the degree of tarnish. But do take note that there might be some risks if your silver piece comes with gemstones. I can't guarantee they won't crack under the heat! 

But you do get the idea don't you? My anxiety about putting my Evenstar through this DIY electrolysis when it does tarnish. But I'm perfectly happy abusing the rest of my accessories because the effect is practically magical and effortless. 

  1. Do NOT attempt to rub toothpaste on your silver, abrasion and scratches are definitely unavoidable as silver is a really soft metal. It might help remove some tarnish, but the effects are just too harsh and irreversible. 
  2. Try not to use cloth on your silver unless its a real polish cloth for jewelleries or watches. Personally, I use a nano-cloth which came with my spectacles and I still think it would leave scratches on my silver. 
Well, I'll most likely be wearing my Evenstar like a charm on a daily basis since it is made for wear (with a 5-year guarantee). Silver is too gorgeous to be kept for once-in-a-blue-moon occasions and just enjoy while the shine last and cherish your pieces! 

Click here for alternatives ways of maintaining your silver :) Do note that the above steps for DIY electrolysis is written base on my own experience over the years. 

Good luck and have fun giving your silver the restoration it deserves. 

Jun 16, 2013

Today I'm as HAPPY as Gollum

Editor's Note: This blog has been moved.

I am beyond over the moon. I am beyond happy - what I am experiencing right NOW is total bliss, and the waves of emotions going through my circulation right now is just so real that my happiness is spilling allover the place, too full to be contained, too wild to be tamed - which is why I've decided to share my joy because while you may not know who I am or why I'm so grateful for today, I would still like to share my joy of receiving a hard earn piece of token with you.

And so here I am with a special  post dedicated to all the Middle Earthlings out there.

I've been a LOTR fan since I was around 13-14 years old. I've been dreaming about this for close to eight years and never am I so happy to see something in my mail box on a late Saturday night.

After an amazing island wide film recce trip with my awesome new found friends, my super kind producer pal decided to drive everyone home. (I'll post a special entry about the special places in Singapore that we went to today, but I'll save it for another day) Fatigue would be an extreme major understatement to describe the state of my physical existence as I dragged my way from the bus stop to my block - but when I walked past the contingent of grey looking mail boxes, something lighted within me, like some chemical light bulbs  flickering to live across my synapses.

It was a profound gut feeling, a calling intuition which guided me to my mail box. I took a peak inside and the next moment, I was squealing like a kid and ransacking an earthquake through my bag for my damned keys.

The next moment, this is embarrassing, but I literally hopped around, all the way to my lift and jumped up and down during it's ascent.

I swear I've waited for this for years and years and the real item is definitely, indisputably a gazillion times more magnificent and surreal compared to the replica. This photo does my Evenstar no justice at all. I'm close to tears currently because it is simply what I wanted, all I've wanted for all these years.

Actually, I've been wearing this stupid smile that no one seems to be able to wipe off my face ever since I got home. I hopped around my house, from the room to the living room and then the kitchen and back and froth - this is how happy I was when I got home, showered at the speed of light and unwrapped layers and layers of bubble wrap, plastic wrap, leather pouch and paper wrap - I'm currently still intoxicated with happiness, apologies for the lengthy sentences.

15th June was a magical day well spent with kind, ridiculous, fun-loving people with big hearts and this parcel just make everything, every throat-cuttingly busy bit of my 3-month summer break amazingly worth it. 

Here's a peak of the layers of wrappings that I had to go through - it literally pushed the escalation of excitement to a whole new level. I was 100 percent hyper-active.

HAHA, do you spot my miniature DIY Bag End?
 The mail was sent from the inner city of  Palmerston New Zealand North Island the main city of Manawatu-Wanganui region of North New Zealand and it took approximately 9 days to reach my home.

The packaging was optimal, thoughtful and flawless, with a lovely statement letter and 5 years warranty.

The pendant and chain is right within that tiny zip lock
Can you see the cushion of bubble wrap? The Elven pouch lay within a ziplock, which contained another ziplock encasing the paper-wraped Evenstar. I was practically thrilled to the last moment, because when I unwrapped the carefully enclosed pendant, it was back-facing me. 

I wasn't breathing when my eyes met the heart of the pendant. One word - love at first sight. It was dazzling, it was shimmering - it was clear like the morning dew and sweet like a breath of spring air. Yes, I'm singing praises all over the place now because it was worth the arduous wait. It's my treasure now, and the best thing is that I know it's made for everyday wear. 

The Cubic Zirconia is clear, well-cut like a real diamond with shimmer that shatters and spills out from within like rivulets of light. The seven man-made diamonds are glorious and seamlessly set in sterling silver claws, like myriads of star combined.

I can't explain my love for sterling silver, (especially since mom got me a silver ring 8 years ago), I've always been captivated by silver's soft, lustrous golden glow that  makes me believe that it's the most enchanting metal on earth.

I'm so full, grateful and blessed with beautiful people and things. Enjoy the rest of your day (or night) - the Evenstar has a symbolic meaning for me, and I hope you will find your own version of the Evenstar someday if you haven't.

Here's the link to the official LOTR Jewellery site if you would like to know where I got my coming of age necklace from. I chose its free worldwide shipping services and it obviously did not disappoint me :)

My Tumblr is turning 3 today - it's a really good, good day.

Jun 14, 2013

궃 곤약 클렌징 퍼프 KONJAC Cleansing Pufffffff

Taken from my Instagram
Editor's Note: This blog has been moved.

Why am I excited about this?

It's a good skincare product to invest in, especially when I smear products like moisture tint, primer, eye shadows and concealers all over my face almost 6 days per week, relentlessly and abusively, which is very bad. I know I know. (BB Cream and Foundation clog my pores, which is why I don't use them)

This puffy thing is (as marketed) made of all-natural Konjac fiber (it's a plant) with 10 percent bamboo charcoal that aids us in our attempt to removal stubborn skin impurities. It is basically bio-degradable - which means my dad's potted plants can devour it when it's time expires after 2-4 months. *MUNCH*

According to the user menu, Konjac puff's all-natural quality renders it a great cleansing and exfoliating tool - it's a great investment for people with sensitive skin as well! (I think I've rather sensitive/easily irritable skin)

Oh, and the Bamboo charcoal component of our adorable spongy puff is praised for it's immunity against germs and molds - this, is a definite PLUS because a moldy sponge would only result in a widespread bacterial infection. 

How to use

1. Soak it in water for about 4 minutes

2. Squeeze your favourite cleanser over it and gently massage your face in a circular motion (do NOT wipe your face or scrape it, gravity is already unkind to our skin -do it from bottom to up!) 

3. Clean your face, flush those impurities out and clean the puff properly by rinsing it with water and gently squeezing it in between your fingers to get rid of excess water 

*You can keep it in a fridge to keep it clean and possibly prolong it's shelf life ( I'm not sure if it would absorb the smell of food though, so it's better to place it in a box for hygiene) 
I bought one for my sis, hope she'll like it too :) I know I should buy this when I'm in Korea - the price would be 3 times cheaper but AH, I need to salvage my skin!!!

***repost from my tumblr ***
Jun 12, 2013

The Digital Fortress and the Things that are Old

That's Mackie (my old laptop) and a Cup of  Earl Grey Tea
What happens on the web stays on the web. What is graffiti-ed upon the digital fortress remains within the code, blatant and unchanged for all to see - unless you find some way to remove it. Or perhaps if it's taken down by the patrols.

Well, I didn't exactly graffiti-ed anything, but when I did a bit of Googling, I discovered an old relic of mine still floating out there in the ones and zeros - my half-hearted attempt to create a wix website. The subsequent Frankenstein that emerged after a day of self-entertaining - apparently still lurks around the all-seeing digital fortress, trapped in a limbo of decadence.

So much for creating a portfolio back then!

Talk to me about nostalgia - I miss the old school blogger layout so much that I've finally decide to give up the Dynamic Template and settle for a fresh new look! Dynamic was kind of fun to play with, but it's a nasty thing to work on because it lacks support for so many things.

Here's the site I went to for my new template! I figured it was time to repaint my little digital corner before I fly to Korea in August. #Achievementunlocked - I actually managed to edit drop menu by myself! Hehe, finally, the benefits of overcoming my fear of HTML.

It's 12:58 AM, time to sleep? Perhaps I should. A dozen things are going through my mind right now - sponsorships for my non-profit production, module mappings for SEP, KU Scholarships, Lodging, my o-t-w package from New Zealand as well as my Spree from E.L.F!

All right, nights everyone :)

Jun 8, 2013

Saturdays are for Off-duty Delusions and Rants about Hauls

This is the official Saturday that I get to chill at home with an over-dose of off-duty delusion. I woke up at 2 plus in the afternoon (didn't laze much in my bed) and now it's 5:05 pm and I'm completely half awake.

The wordsmith in me is typing this Saturday entry at 50-percent functional mode, the shoppaholic in me is swooning all over my stash of goodies (which mom handed to me this morning) from my latest spree. Here in my family, spree is a family thing and I'm kind of glad my mom is trying her best to ignore my exploding wardrobe? *talk about that later* 

Back to the current train of thought, the do-it-all in me is sulking because I know the delusion is wearing off in a few hours and by the end of dinner, I would be emailing sponsors for our mini production. And on top of that, I'll have to settle accommodations, student visa and bursary woes... this holiday is the epitome of INSANITY. But well, I guess people change under pressure and I'm probably tougher, numb-er, more overworked and probably more accepting towards anything this world cares to offer.

I'm a poly-chromatic time person but somehow I've been compartmentalising my time pretty forcefully this summer. Maybe it's a sign that my Peter Pan syndrome is scattered to the winds? Boooooooo, I don't think I'll ever grow up. At least, I'll NOT be those people you see "chope-ing" seats in the foodcourt in town with stacks of tissue paper, keys or newspapers. 

NEVER, 절대 안 된다. I'm not made for that.

Because I'm so used to multitasking and I'm quite bad at it in terms of relevancy, I shall deviate for the rest of the post and blabber about my latest haul! 

Jelly Shoes!
I've been looking out for a pair of jelly shoes for quite sometime - this is totally NOT a pair of Melissa shoes (which you might otherwise think. Go online and buy the real one.) because the workmanship is so-so and I don't detect any fruity smell? I wonder what kind of ester gives off that sweet, candy-like fragrance! Lesson learnt, do not believe the wonders of marketing, if you think it is a counterfeit good, it probably is -  but ah well, I shouldn't be complaining because it wasn't sold to me at that fat a price tag? MEH. And at any rate, if the bow does fall apart, I have a glue-gun here to save me! All right, all right, judge but keep the verdict to yourself. I'm happy here with a new pair of unnamed jelly shoes. 

The second item that got me really excited is this 완 전 대박이지요?

This, is a pair of printed denim tights which I think I'm still slim enough to pull off - for now. I bought four designs at one go (because it was on sale) and seriously, I really do think they look like real denim even upon close-up scrutiny! But of course, the pockets are a giveaway. I'll NEVER wear a pair of cotton leggings out unless the top fully covers my bottom - because in my opinion, the result is uncomfortable and unsightly. But this motif deceives the eye (like body paint) and I think that's probably yet another option open for how to wear that damned leggings? I'm not talking about tucking in shirts into tights, mind you (that's a disaster)- I'm just happy that my not-so-long-not-so-short tops can finally pair up with leggings!

Here's some tips for wearing a pair of denim tights (probably applicable to printed lights) from Fabsugar

The third item I received was my favourite wardrobe companion! Maxi dress flatters my proportions and in my opinion, I think women of all shapes, sizes and height  look good in it. This is my usual maldrobe attire because maxis are just so comfortable and effortless to pull off. (I'm here to ruin your English. In my wordsmith's dictionary maldrobe is a combination of wardrobe and malfunction) If you plan to use that, link it back to me or it's a serious case of plagiarism. I've even seen bloggers who plagiarised entire posts by WHOLE. Totally unethical.

That said, Happy Saturday everyone! 

Jun 7, 2013

My Acceptance Package from KU and Impending Package from Middle Earth

GAHHHHHH I'm totally having a major break-out, terrible ZITS - why are hormonal changes surges such a    beach? (Whooooops, beach it is)

Back on track, two major things happened today and I'm using them as an excuse to do some pretentious updating (as if I'm a such a conscientious writer). 

1. Package from Middle Earth 
My tarnished replica from Taobao :'(
Quoting some cracked pot's Tumblr (Who's that? Who's that? 누가?), I conquered that the insane woman I was back this afternoon just did something gargantuan and irreparable to my pathetic and possibly anorexic bank account. OUCH.

Please Please Please let the parcel reach my humble doorstep safe and sound, I saved up (actually, no I didn't, I spent it on CN Blue concert) so long for this precioussssss.

Until it's here, I shall keep my mouth shut because the more I talk about it, the more nagging my doubts will be - so annoying! 완전 짜증나! But surely anyone can tell from <---- what this hoohaaaa is about. *Fingers Crossed!*

2. Acceptance Package from Korea University 고려대학교

YES, this is like receiving an owl post from HOGWARTS OMYGAWD! It's totally equivalent to a thousand posts!!! Okay, actually the truth is far from what I originally imagined - I didn't receive it via post, I'll have to thank Su for it.  My beloved new found pal missed her own bus and boarded mine just to pass me the letter she collected from our home faculty. Yes, she's a darling isn't she! I'm so lucky, I know. 

No owl, no holy light of gold shining above me or Four Winds blowing my hair sky-high (imagine the scene when Harry was chosen by his wand) - but the wave of glee still hit me when I finally receive my baby!  Well, actually it's more like my baby's birth cert. I had to go through a semester and a half of administrative hard work! It's practically equivalent to full gestation period by the time I finally reach Korea. Hah. 

Well, that's the end of my rant, I need to finish my drama. I'm watching Lie to Me (2011) - it's not bad, considering the fact that I am starving from KDramas. 

And guess what, it's FRIDAY AGAIN!!! Au Revoir!!!

Jun 6, 2013

Wicked Wednesday and Photography - Life in Monochrome

Finally it's the long awaited Wicked Wednesday! Wednesday, if I am a bear and you are standing right before me, I would love to give you a generous bone-crushing bear hug *HUGS* with a jar of Hundred-Acre Wood Honey stolen from Pooh.

Today marks the second phase of my internship at one of the youngest and well-loved start-ups in Singapore! I'll give you a clue, it's a major online fashion retailer, founded not long ago in our sunny metropolis by a young team of international talents.

If you've been to the Walkabout Singapore 2013, you might have seen me behind the scenes busy photo-journal-ing the extravaganza in my company!

All right, I'll put work aside and delve into what I have in mind for this Wicked Wednesday post.

As a photographer (disclaimer: amateur photographer), I'm always eager, impatient and obsessive about experimental shoots. But the truth is happinees only hit me when I manage to capture something unexpected, or happen to get what I camped for. And when I say camp, I literally meant loitering around the  potential scene of "crime" in order to capture just one perfect shot. That includes getting looks and stares from our very busy Singaporean public. But that, has always been a pretty good experience. Learning to pace myself and let my steps fall in line with the moments that capture my heart has indeed taught me much since I first begun my compulsive love for photography.

So here's what I have to share, they're mostly from my insane Instagram account - which has been my dumping ground for creative expression since god knows when.

Enjoy the Squarish Pixie Tiles!

Suntec City, 2012

Bishan MRT Station, Where the Crowd Diverges

Personally, I love how the faces were all hooded.

Lobby of NUH on a late evening.

Universal Studios Singapore, I literally lagged behind my pals to capture this shot.

My favourite local Mama Stall Kitty - she's as human as any feline can be.

Yishun Station, on a bright, ethereal morning.

Before the latest Smoke Ban Extension in 2013

Bus 96, departing from National University of Singapore towards Clementi.

There he is, Leonardo DiCaprio - but I was even more curious about the gentleman behind his daily read.

NUS Central Forum. A.K.A. the RAG site. On my way for a 8a.m. Korean lesson. (2012)

On the journey home after a Christmas party. We just watched The Lady in Black starring Daniel Radcliffe.

On a familiar taxi :)

Right before the doors of Isetan, beside Shaw Lido. We were shopping for snacks before catching The Life of Pi.

Star Bucks, Orchad

Our really gorgeous South Korean Palace Guide. Summer 2012.

Payar Lebah station

Laselle School of Arts
Khoo Teck Phuat Hospital, 2011. This, is easily one of my personal favourites. Captured by HTC Desire.

Subway Basker, I watched this gentleman play tirelessly for the crowd as a kid - he didn't get a chance to watch the child I was grew up though. I love his commitment to life, and an undying passion for music.

Making in progress: Tutu Kueh from our beloved Pasar Malam
Which were your favourites?

This is a personal documentation of the people I saw and spaces I've been to in Singapore. Good night peeps, have a wonderful day ahead.

Jun 4, 2013

The Sentimental Cheetah

Editor's Note: This blog has been moved.

Quick doodle with my Wacom Bamboo Manga, Corel Painter Essentials 4.
I'm always itching to start a new blog, motivated by the promise of a new start. Somehow, something about the current blog would not feel right and I would imagine myself abandoning the old one for a fresh beginning. It's like the mark of another chapter in life, you know.

Then again, being sentimental and a big worrier, I would stop myself from discarding the old for the new. And so I have made a decision - I shall focus on building this site - and maybe in time to calm get over the laziness and start to blog for real, with pictures. Because it's going to be a travel log! *wish me luck*

Oh, about the cheetah that appeared in the title - if you happened to click that button up there *points meaningfully* and direct your browser to my Tumblr page - you might have realised that I happened to name my Tumblr (unofficially) the Runaway Cheetah. There's no story behind it, I just love the silly way it sounds.

Too lazy to document every mundane little thing in my peaceful life, my Tumblr pictures are direct stream my overused Instagram account. I swear I post too much there because it is the best mobile application I ever had.

That said, I hope I'll have the discipline to put an entry or two every week when I'm in Seoul. It's so annoying how I always end up saying nothing after blabbering so much about any other thing.

Asiana Airlines and CJ Hostel

Credits to my Tumblr and Instagram
I JUST BOOKED MY DIRECT RETURN AIR TICKET TO KOREA!!! There's only 10 weeks left till exchange :D *confetti shower whoooooooo* I'm SO gonna work hard for my internship. The people there are AWESOME - and one of my fellow intern XQ is flying on the same DAY as me (she's going to Sweden - I know right, Sweden). 

Oh right, the air ticket - it costed me (my mom, because we had to pay via VISA) a total of SGD639.54 and the travel date's from late August to end December - around 5 months? It's not Korean Air, but it's Asiana. What more can I ask for? It's still one of South Korea's major airlines!

I CAN'T believe this is actually happening, everything's accelerating along the trajectory of time at such an incredible speed that I'm literally losing track of what I have to juggle in my clumsy hands. I just received (3rd June) an email from NUS that my Korea University acceptance package is ready for collection (huh, didn't they say it would be delivered to our MAILBOX?)

Thank goodness I have Su with me, she literally helped me through my flight booking (and she'll be collecting my acceptance package for me because I can't afford to take so many leaves)! A year ago I was the calm goddess trying to guide people step by step and making dummy tutorials - now I am the ganjiong spider myself, bitch please.

(Ganjiong - it's a verb from the Hokkien dialect and it simply means jittery, anxious, 긴장해요, 紧张)(Ganjiong Spider is a term I picked up in my Junior College years - it means jittery spider, pretty much a Singlish term and I'm employing it as a self-mocking expression.)

Su is such a wonderful angel, she has helped me out so much and I'm just thankful we'll be travel companions for the coming 5 months! The truth is, it is the people that makes the difference.

On a side note, I plan to return to my beloved "home" in Seoul - HongDae 홍대/ShinChon 신촌 and I'll probably be staying there for a good 4-5 days before moving to Korea University. Hopefully, I'll be able to secure a double room for CJ hostel! Click here to check out the student suite, and here for my favourite guesthouse in Seoul (the first and only guesthouse I stayed in for a few nights and I totally loved it there).

It's SG Time 1:50A.M. and I think it's time to sleep - I'll have to wake up at 7:15A.M. for work. AND OH GAWD, I almost forget it's results day for NUS students tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed, I signed up for Push SMS, which means my poor CAP would probably come beeping in the morning.

잘자! Goodnight <3