Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tram Card Collection Memento

I previously posted about personalizing your wall piece using things that you might already have, like a collection of something.

Recently a friend who was about to go back to Malaysia jokingly asked us if he could buy our framed tram card collection.  We were flattered by his interest, and thought what a great idea it is to create a farewell memento of Melbourne for him and his wife!

So from the collection of our used tram cards...

We arranged them in a smaller frame...

He was very much delighted to receive the gift! 
And of course, we were also very delighted to share a part of our ordinary collection with friends :)

p/s: we have another collection coming up called "Sugar", stay tuned!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chasing for Diana

I'm reaching the end of my 36-exp film roll on my Diana Mini. Last Monday, I just had to get these shots before I run out of film. We'll see how they turn out soon.

Photo | Luna Park, St. Kilda

Photo | Bathing Boxes, Brighton Beach
Camera | iPhone 3GS on Instagram

Monday, April 25, 2011

Albums for Wondergrams

Since we are entitled to 80 FREE prints EVERY MONTH for ONE YEAR from Camera House, photos have never been so tangible.  Choosing photos to print and arranging them in albums are now our monthly activity.  Last month, I printed 50 Wondergrams - a collection of my everyday photos that are mostly from iPhone (while there are some that were from my Olympus and my husband’s Nikon which have been Instagrammed or LomoLomoed).  I would have opted for matte paper, but the free prints only entitled us for the glossy prints.  Still good, as long as they are free ;)

I was thinking of crafting a square album from scratch, like one of those small albums for polaroids and instant prints.  But while looking for papers and materials in Officeworks, I found this 4R album for only AUD1.00.  Since the Wondergrams are 4x4, they’d fit just nicely, but with gaps at the top and bottom.  So I thought adding hand-written captions for each photo would be able to fill these gaps, and furthermore, become personalized notes about each photo.

Then I saw this stack graph paper for only like AUD1.50 and thought I might be able to put it into some good use.  Even if I didn’t, I haven’t used graph paper in ages, and that would be a nice change to scribble some research notes.  As it turns out, I still have an unused self-adhesive book cover at home.  And before you know it, the idea for the album came together.

Put it the photos, hand-write some notes about it, and there we have it: an album for Wondergrams :)

I wrapped the cover of the album with the graph paper and the self-adhesive book cover, so that the whole theme would be similar.

And whaddya know, less than AUD2.00 for a customized wondergram album!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chocolate Nutella Coconut Cupcakes

I was having some friends over for tea-turn-dinner today.  Earlier this week, while thinking about what to cook, I remembered RC's Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes.  Yes, the sound of chocolate and coconut does sound tasty and different from our usual topping, doesn't it?  I used my favourite chocolate cake recipe by Hershey's.  I learned that there is indeed a difference between using a cupcake recipe and a cake recipe: cupcake recipe usually makes drier texture, while a cake recipe makes moister cupcakes.

And as for the topping, I couldn't resist the thought of spreading Nutella with the dried shredded coconuts (also helped by the fact that I didn't have to do any topping myself, of course) ;)

Make them tiny and make the cute!  Good I tell ya :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Joy in Crafting a Mail

That one night, I was preparing the wondergrams (wrapped in yellow) to be posted to Malaysia to Aim (we swapped photos that we took) and New York (to my sister, which by the way, has it arrived? And don’t forget to mail me some of your photos too ye).

I liked assembling the packs, as it involved stamping letters on the paper with rubber stamps, folding, gluing, and writing names and addresses on the envelopes.  And with the dim desk lamp, it felt like I was working in some kind of old toy workshop.  That was nice.

Receiving things in the mail is a lot of fun too :)

Thank you Aim for the lovely photos and gift :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Some Bits of Vernacular Malaysia

We were back in Malaysia for 2 weeks recently.  The first week was hot (which got me sick for a week), and thankfully, the second week was a lot better with a bit of rain and clouds.  One of the highlights of our activities this time that was out of the norm was visiting my sis-in-law's family farm.  Now when I say 'farm', I'm sure an image of lush green grass, fences, vegetable patches, chicken and goats and small hut would come to mind.  Well, most of those stuff were present at the farm, except for the lush green grass which is still in the process of growing.  The farm is located on a land surrounded by oil palm plantations, so you can probably imagine the heat during mid-day.

“Pondok” (in Bahasa Malaysia) is what we call a small chalet or hut at the farm.  It actually has three rooms, kitchen and bathroom.  It’s quite nice to have something like a traditional house to visit from time to time now that even our “kampung” or family’s hometowns are mostly suburbs.

The farm is surrounded by fish ponds, where two of the brothers went in to catch some fish for my husband to grill.  Then there are some patches of lime trees, pucuk ubi, some chickens and four goats.  Going there, we brought some Durians that my husband's brother bought from Ipoh.  Malaysians love Durian, while others not familiar with it may refer to Durian as stinky or smelly fruit.  I wouldn’t describe it as stinky.  It just has a very strong, distinctive smell.  The fruit is fleshy and rich, and there’s no other fruit or food that taste like it.  What does it taste like?  It’s somewhere between sweet, a tiny bit bitter sometimes, and thick in taste.  I find it funny that in shows like Fear Factor or food travel, people would be willing to eat bugs and creepy crawlers, but would squirm at the sight of Durian!  It’s a fruit and it’s pretty good.  If you have a chance, you MUST give Durian a try!

And for the grilled fish (which was forgotten to be photographed!), we squeezed some fresh small limes or "Limau Kasturi" right off the tree.  These limes taste really good in iced tea, over noodles and on seafood.

Once in a while, it's definitely really great to be out in the farm or kampung or the more vernacular environment, don't you think?