cover17 months is a long time for a break without anything specific to do. So during one my many near-insanity moments of feeling restless, I made earrings! It all started because I saw this Rookie post and I was so into the dinosaur earrings. Boy, I was hooked. Took me a while to find dinosaurs of a suitable size but I finally did in Daiso in Korea for a 1000 won. I bought the basic d.i.y. earring materials like jump rings(?), hooks and stuff and made some others as well. Basically, I’m a huge noob at this whole d.i.y. earring business but well, I had my fun. 

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  1. The puff earrings were the first ones I made. They look the CUTEST but I’ve never worn them out because they look weirdly weird on my ears. They just look like they weren’t meant to be on ears. But the pom pom colours are so nice.
  2. I think the second one I made were the Christmas earrings. I think you can tell that it just looks like a noob made it. I mean, look at the crooked wire hahah. But I still thought they were really cute and I liked them a lot. Wore it to a Christmas party too! Oh, but my mum thought this pair was the ugliest. (shockingly)
  3. The paperclip penguin earrings are the most presentable ones and were also the easiest to make. I used to buy a lot of pretty stationery so I had a box filled with pretty tape, pretty pencils, pretty paperclips and pretty.. you get what I’m trying to say. So I simply hooked one of the paperclips I had onto a hook and wala~ it was done. Quite proud of this one, even though I barely did anything. It was actually white in colour but I gave it to a friend who wanted it a different colour, so I painted it mustard yellow.
  4. The dinosaurs! My favourites. My loves. I did succeed in making the dinosaur earrings I so badly wanted but I gave them to a friend so I couldn’t add them in the picture. The one in the Rookie post was triple dinosaur layers but my dinosaurs were too big for that… It’s just really fun and quirky and it was also pretty easy to make. 
  5. These fancy ones were obviously not DIY. They’re from H&M. They were Christmas gifts from a friend! It’s really long and gold and just super extra and fancy looking. I love them.  

I get over things pretty fast, so I think I’m over making earrings already. It was fun! Most of them are really much easier than you think so if you’re crazy bored, or just for whatever reason, hope you try them out! 

 

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Art of disruption

When they get their boxes smashed and their insulators dismantled until they had no other option but to imagine a totally new tomorrow.

It’s possible to die a sort of death at the other end of the spectrum.

Success, security, abundance can lead to boredom, a numbing predictability, a paralyzing indifference that comes from being too comfortable.

Art of honesty

Pain has a way of making us more honest.

To stop pretending and posing and acting, we have to suffer.

And then we suffer. There’s disruption, and our boxes get smashed and the insulators are removed and the pretense is shattered and the “empty place” inside of us open up.

ONLY IF YOU MEAN IT.

That’s what great artists do. This is what great people do. They ask it. They say it. They express it. They put in words what so many others are thinking and feeling and wondering.

But suffering, suffering unites.

Art of elimination

Removing clutter, excess, all the superfluous elements.

Mark Twain said that if he’d had more time, he would have less. Michaelangelo said that his David was in the stone clamouring to be freed.

Suffering. It compels us to eliminate the unnecessary, the trivial, the superficial.

There is greatness in you. Courage. Desire. Integrity. Virtue. Compassion. Dignity. Loyalty. Love. It’s in there – somewhere. It’s in there.

YOU CAN OWN SOMETHING AND NOT POSSESS IT. YOU CAN POSSESS SOMETHING AND NOT OWN IT.

Having nothing, yet possessing everything. When we suffer, we become open to the mercy and grace and gratitude and gift and appreciation and joy that are always around us all the time, even in a sandwich.

Art of failure

Because that’s where the spirit enters.

Opportunity to grow, expand, evolve, learn.

Tuned in to the thousands upon thousands of gifts we are surrounded with every single moment of every single day.

How? All the blood, sweat and tears have meaning. I reuse, reshape, recast all that goes wrong that in the end nothing is wasted and nothing is without significance and nothing ceases to be precious to me.

I shot 4 rolls of film in Vietnam. I’m not quite sure if that’s a lot or little for a week spent there! But it was my first time sending 4 rolls to the shop for developing, at the same time, so it was pretty exciting. And… also pretty expensive. Here goes a very picture heavy post. (I thought about separating places into different posts but then, then some would be too short so yeah)

Hanoi

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Cat Ba island – Lan Ha Bay

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Mui Ne

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Ho Chi Minh city

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Whew. That’s a lot to take in. I want to write another post on some of the details, sooo it’s just gonna be pictures here! (But I always end up failing to write a follow-up… ) Most of the photos I took in Ho Chi Minh was of my Airbnb that was super cute. You can get RM 105 off with this link !

Where to get film processed in Hanoi, Vietnam?

I googled that because I wanted to get a roll developed when I arrived in Hanoi. This excellent page answers it perfectly. Among the many film labs suggested, I visited Lab 36+ because it was the nearest to where I stayed. And I highly highly highly highly recommend it. The colours came out so! nice! I don’t know, it could have been that maybe my skills had improved and I had just taken better photos, but I doubt that. I think they just develop film very well….. I don’t know much about developing film and how much it can alter your photos but, the point here is that you should get your film process at Lab 36+. Oh, and guess what? It’s RM 6 to develop+scan 1 roll. … amazing???!??!??!? isn’t it. I paid RM 80 to get 4 rolls processed back here in Kuching… 또르르….

Anyway, I’ll be back REAL soon. I really hope I do. If I don’t write about Vietnam now, I will forget every detail and never write about it. So. Keep your eyes PEELED. Bye!

on film.

Film photos from the month of September through October. My focus is rubbish, I know. I apologise for the uncomfortableness discomfort you may feel from looking at all the out-of-focus photos. They sure affect me a little. This is actually my 2nd time posting these photos because I posted them with some edits but it degraded the quality of the photos quite a bit. I’ll figure out a way not to compromise on either side. I promise. To myself (which are really the hardest promises to break because the disappointment sort of kills you and you just sort of shrink into a mess until you decide you should actually keep your promise). Here goes-

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Café date with Shawn, watching Sheena sing for the gig at Madeline in Spring. My memory isn’t so great, ever, but I think the tickets were at RM 60 per person. It included drinks, cakes, sandwiches and live music, of course. With the amount of food they provided, I wouldn’t say RM 60 was expensive. But. We simply couldn’t eat it all. I don’t know what it is about Madeleine cakes but I just can’t have too much of them. They taste good and all but I can’t even finish a slice alone. And that’s so strange. I could have like 4 slices of Earthlings blueberry cheesecake if I could afford it. Anyway, so for the amount they provided it’s worth the price but for the amount we ate, it was okay. Plus it wasn’t the best venue to enjoy the music either. Or maybe it was just the other guests who just couldn’t stop talking, very loudly at that. The music was nice, Sheena and Joyce sang all my favourite songs. But man, did we crave some trashy radio music when we got in the car after 2 hours of acoustic music.

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I always want to take more photos of my friends. But I lack new ideas, new backgrounds/places, and friends. I’m always taking shoulder-up photos of Sheena. I need new ideas and new faces (though I love you Sheen, and your face). I’m just so stuck in thinking of new ideas for photos. But I love it regardless. Photos of Rebecca with white flowers were taken at Lydia’s house when we visited to give her and Ms. Ng milk tea. It’s our poor form of support for our friend. Go Lyd! The first photo of Sheen was taken in front of a random house we found driving around neighbourhoods looking for a tree/ bush with plenty of flowers. And the second photo of Sheen was taken at Chinahouse while renovations were still going on. To digress here a little bit, renovations are over and Commons is now open! Different menu and interior. So much more open, it’s really beautiful! And new board games are available too! The 3D snakes and ladders was baffling to set up the first time, but it was so fun. In the second photo of Sheena, she looks super I-love-this-breeze-life-is-beautiful but NO, not at all. There were these huge black flies on the grass and they were those fearless types that won’t budge even if you go near them. It was so so scary. We took that photo and got the fuck out of there. The place itself was a very nice place to take photos at and we were planning to take photos there for so! damn! long. If you live in Kuching and can guess where that is… that’s pretty cool.

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FESTIVITIES! The above photos were taken on Lunar New Year at the Friendship park. There were so many people there and it was filled with lanterns, people carrying them, flying(?) them and many hanging on tree branches. It was beautiful and I loved it. There’s this big sign that says ‘No Kong Ming lanterns’ (along the lines of) but it’s like almost everyone’s sending off big red lanterns into the sky. It was really pretty. You can actually see the bright red dots filling the sky from most places. I used to watch from the balcony all the time and it was my first time going to the park and sending off one of my own. Becca and I bought a red heart-shaped one (accidentally) for RM 4, didn’t want to pay for a lighter nor a marker so I borrowed both from people around us :-), scribbled some wishes and sent it floating into the sky, joining the myriad of red dots.

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CNV000018 (1)These were at the mooncake festival in town. Super crowded. Sort of like Kuching Food Fest but squeezed into one street. The next few photos are all my other halves..

CNV000034 (1)CNV000035 (1)CNV000036 (1)Oktober fest @ tHe Spring with my friends! I swear every photo I take that has Ryan in it either doesn’t come out on my roll at all or something bad just happens to it like the one above. I blame Ryan. Last photo is of the Kim Joo street. A street I go to so often, it’s one of those places in Kuching I feel at home. It was also the street the mooncake festival was squeezed into.

Thanks for reading through. Update: I’ve finally saved up enough to buy my digital camera. A little pat pat for myself. Wanted to bring the new camera to Vietnam but I won’t be able to get it by then so… :-( :-( :-( I’m upset, I thought it would have been the best time to try out a new camera and learn something. My film camera would have to do. :’-)

I’ve been watching so many movies these past few months. I used to hoard(?) movies, like I would download a ton of movies and then never watch it. I was just content in having them in my collections. Sort of like how many people buy books and never read them but still feel happy about it being on the bookshelf. But after my A-levels exams ended (tbh I started watching them before my last exam ended..), I felt the need to fill up the space. Thus, I finally started to make my way down my ‘to watch’ list. So here are some recommendations from the movies I’ve watched in the last 3 months.

1. Frances Ha (2012) directed by Noah Baumbach

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This film was in black and white but without that certain ‘putting off’ feeling (?) I get from most b&w films. I felt like it went by really fast. To be fair the movie was pretty short, an hour and 20 minutes. I loved the story and the how the movie flowed and was narrated. The acting was so real and it was really just a very sweet and bitter and sad and real and funny and awkward film on life. By the way, I’m no film critic so really, don’t take anything too seriously.

2. Mr. Nobody (2009) directed by Jaco Van Dormael

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I don’t have much I can say about this film because I need to watch it again. It’s a film about the different lives the guy lives following a point in his life where he has to make an impossible choice. The film alternates between the 3 lives he lives following the choices of this or that, and of neither. It’s very interesting, and very confusing. Worth a watch. And a re-watch.

3. The talented Mr. Ripley (1999) directed by Anthony Minghella

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I first watched this movie because of the last 2 photos. Also because Matt Damon.. and Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law?? But this film was so disturbing. To be exact, Matt Damon’s character was so disturbing to me. I couldn’t fathom what his character had going on in his head in the slightest degree. But nonetheless a great mystery/crime film.

4. The Virgin Suicides (1999) directed by Sophia Coppola

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Such a pretty movie. Like all of Sophia Coppola’s films. To be honest, films on american teens never really related to me. I couldn’t finish Dazed and Confused. So this was similar in that terms but I still liked it. I like movies that aren’t like movies? Like I like films that seem to record a period of someone’s lives, just like that. Not like something with a definite plot like a beginning, story, climax, and a definite closure. But it really depends, for crime movies or thrillers I do love a good plot. I love plot twists and detailed build ups and all that. I love love endings that I could never have imagined/ thought of. But for movies like this I love their strange, indefinite endings.

5. Your Name (2016) directed by Makoto Shinkai 

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Insanely beautiful animation.

5. Pulp fiction (1994) directed by Quentin Tarantino

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I’ve actually never watched his movies until this. Expected from such a famous movie and director. Cool and quotable, just like what the critics say. I love his dialogues.

6. Marie Antoinette (2006) directed by Sophia Coppola

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Another beautiful movie by Sophia Coppola.. I’m not quite sure what I think of this movie?? I think it really depends on what you’re viewing this film as. Whether you’re viewing this as a historical reference or just some entertainment for the night or because you’re a fan of her work. I think the story was okay.. I don’t know whether you can comment on the story of something based on a real life story. But yes, it was beautiful. And most of the times, I don’t mind beautiful movies with mediocre stories (really couldn’t like Darjeeling Limited though..)

 

This was written a few months ago, actually, and haven’t been watching any movies since. I have a terrible tendency to lose my flow/interest after a short while (one of my worst flaws). But I hope you like these movies if you have time to spare! Have a great month of October and I’ll be back, probably, with film pictures from September-October. Though I still have a long list to go through and will probably take more than a few months to get back to watching movies, leave me some recommendations! :-) 

#girlboss (in caps)

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I’ve recently finished the book #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, the founder of Nasty Gal and it was about how she got to where she was, her mindset and some tips for #GIRLBOSSes (a lil’ cringey, yes) . I guess it was pretty inspiring. It was very, oomph-oomph, hardwork, don’t wait for things to fall into your laps (because it WON’T, or it will, but only leftovers, quoted from Abraham Lincoln), it was very much about going out there and owning it. I’ve always respected people who got out there and got things done. I’m a huge fan of do-ers. Anyway, after finishing the book, I went through it to find some underlines I’ve made so I’m just going to be jotting them down here.

 

To be, in a word, unborable…. It is the key to modern life. If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish. -David Foster Wallace

‘Don’t do sloppy work. Be the best.’

‘Do not spend more money than you have.’

Book I want to read: ‘The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason’

‘You don’t get what you don’t ask for.’

‘we control our thoughts and our thoughts control our lives.’ (Do we REALLY? CAN we really?)

‘-but I really think that what is right should be easy.’

‘That said, if you approach everything in your life with a certain degree of intention, you can affect the outcome.’

‘I don’t want to spend time thinking about things that I don’t want to have a place in my life. You have to kick people out of your head as forcefully as you’d kick someone out of your house if you didn’t want them to be there.’

Doesn’t mean anything, but I think this quite often and I never knew how to phrase it : ‘While I no longer agree with this sentiment, I can empathise with the guy.’

‘I never assumed that I’d just done my best job the first time around.’

I never dreamed about success. I worked for it. -Estee Lauder #girlcrush

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things. -Leonardo da Vinci

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle. -Abraham Lincoln (Strange to read the word ‘hustle’ in a serious quote, its just that it sounds like such a 21st century word like swag, dope.. e.t.c.)

Something I’ve always believed in: ‘Compete with yourself, not with others. Judge yourself on what is your personal best and you’ll accomplish more than you could ever have imagined.’

 

Hope this inspires you to have a kick ass week and get things you need to get done, done. Thanks for reading, bye!