Thursday, October 27, 2011

flea market finds: comfy and cute

bbbrrr! its getting quite nippy day after day now and the only thing thats keeping me going when it gets cold here is the thought of christmas :) but i don't want to jump the gun yet because the anticipation makes me ridiculously giddy!

in the meantime, since its the perfect weather for cuddling, hot chocolates and pretty much being the CEO of the sofa (according to the mister), my thrifting adventure finds seem to coincide with his comfortable and laid-back theme:
although the color of this hippy 70's flower power cushion is subdued (navy blue and white), i can't help but think "groovy, baby!", and for .20p? smashing!
this pair of blue 100% cotton cushion covers with a Made in India tag was £1 each. imported by The Factory Store, they were new too and was still in their packaging when i bought them :)
i have been on the lookout for quilts ever since i saw the modern fabric designs over in the USofA. either they are color blocks with cheerful color schemes or japanese-inspired or even the patchwork, good ole made-by-granny quilts found in garage sales and estate sales, i have been in love with them for like forever and the stories they bring :) so the moment i walked into my favorite shop and saw this £5 faded but still sturdy, 100% cotton, machine-washable beauty, i knew she had to be mine :)
on the subject of cute however, found this cute Hello Kitty ring and immediately thought of my feline-loving sister from the red dot in the Pacific ;)
i also found this pair of silver citrus-y rings for .50p each under a pile of costume jewelry. there is no mark on them but they are a bit heavy. i really am loving their colors :)

hhmmmm...since my jewelry collection is once again burgeoning, do you think i should open an Etsy shop? tell me what you think!

*linking to Thrift Share Monday @Apron Thrift Girl

Sunday, October 23, 2011

the many faces of Gibraltar

i spotted a rainbow yesterday which reminded me of Sylvia Voirol's quote, "Rainbows apologize for angry skies". the night before, there was booming thunder after a creepy lightning show. so the thought that God said sorry in the most beautiful way he knows how was just so life-affirming. God loves us!
in Gib, you can go through all four seasons in just one day. that's how unpredictable the weather is. short-tempered and capricious, even the locals have a hard time understanding her. she changes so fast you gotta pay special attention or you will miss her most beautiful shows.
take for example this one misty morning two weeks ago. the Rock was completely covered in mist that when you look outside, you can actually see the particles moving. its eerie and reminded me of the moors in "Wuthering Heights" -- instant cinematography!
a perfect moon above the Rock and it was also moving so fast i didn't have time to adjust my camera before it disappeared into the thick levante clouds (only thing missing is a howling wolf IMHO)
this was taken one sultry September night. i didn't know they've showcased the Moorish Castle in dramatic lighting. but what a sight! (alas! my poor picture does not do justice)
as the saying goes, "red sky at night, sailors delight. red sky in the morning, sailors take warning". that's because, either way, when the sky gets to be like this, she is one bad-ass hoochie if you don't give her R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

flea market finds: its beginning to look a lot like christmas!

christmas is just around the corner and like always i have been preparing for it like a squirrel preparing for winter! keeping my eye out for anything christmas-y in the fleas and storing them and lovingly preparing them for the most joyous season of all :)
red of course is the color for christmas and look what i found beneath the mounds of toys in my favorite shop! bought for £1 with a Made in Portugal mark on it, this checked polyester-cotton tablecloth measures 1.5x1.5m. and i think its just perfect for our noche buena (Filipino term for the "Christmas eve meal")
i also spotted this red salad spoon and fork set. it has a bit of weight and there is no mark on it but for .50p who cares? Waldorf salad anyone?
i was on the fence with this lovely heart-shaped decoupage box mainly because i was thinking i dont have a use for it... but once the creativity lightbulb popped in my head aaaaaand... in it went to my shopping basket :) also bought for .50p!
this last find is a pair of vintage silver earrings (no mark on it though) with a scallop design. even if i am now sticking to studs as my staple everyday earrings, i still have a secret soft spot for chandelier, dangling and quirky jewelry in my heart :)

*linking to Thrift Share Monday @Apron Thrift Girl:)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

polaroid dreams

do you remember the £2 vintage Polaroid Presto camera that i bought at a carboot sale a few months ago? well, the hard-to-find film finally arrived in a neat little package courtesy of my ever so supportive sister. she bought the film in a shop in Singapore accredited by The Impossible Project. and the price is waaaaaayyy more than what i got the camera for!
The Impossible Project is the only shop in the world still selling and producing Polaroid films. well, there are of course a few sellers on ebay and probably other sites as well but The Impossible Project is the most popular one. when Polaroid announced they will stop production of Polaroid films, the guys behind The Impossible Project saved the over 3 million Polaroid cameras from becoming obsolete! they also promote and keep variety and creativity alive! (for the avid photography enthusiasts who want more than just a photoshopped version of a sunset!)
up until about 3 years ago, i did not have any clue about Polaroid pictures, but when a friend of mine took a picture of me on my birthday with a Fuji Instax camera, i got curious-er and curious-er (excuse the grammatical error). and the curiousity bug did not leave me since then. so when i found the perfectly-functioning Polaroid Presto, my Polaroid dreams began. Fuji Japan also manufactures their own version of Polaroid (Instant Photography) and is widely increasingly gaining popularity in the indie circles in Singapore. it is handy and inexpensive and the film is available in most photo shops
this is the first picture i took with my Presto. as you can see, i took this against the light and it turned out darker than expected
i aimed the camera too close to the subject and it came out out-of-focus (therefore, another lesson learned)
while i was out shopping one day and under the hot sun, the mister just snapped a picture of me while i was rounding out a corner and it actually turned out fine. i therefore conclude that i get better pictures with my Presto if said pictures are taken outdoors. not much to be said in indoor pictures though. sadly, the Presto has its very obvious limitations. still, i cant help but fall in love with its old world charm.

Friday, October 7, 2011

the relationship between gastronomy, creativity and selective memory

"Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making out of it once it is found." -- James Russel Lowell, American Romantic poet

for me, this is such a powerful quote. it's as if it speaks to me and to me only. this sums up what i have been and will always be upholding in my life. to create something entirely my own. be it in my paintings, stories that i write, crafts that i make with my hands, dishes that i prepare, fabric designs that i would like to sew one day (i am currently teaching myself to sew! wish me luck!), etc. i am always pregnant with ideas in my head. sometimes my hands cannot keep up with my thousand and one thoughts. i just love creating!

in cooking, i tend to recreate the dishes that i loved eating back home. dishes that my taste buds are familiar with. dishes that bring back a lot of happy memories. sometimes they turn out to be a hit and sometimes they would be completely crap! so when i get especially homesick, i tend to cook up a storm in the kitchen and try to come up with my own version of homecooked comfort food.

in Iligan (my hometown), there is this quaint little "carenderia" called Quick Cha which IMHO serves the best "pancit canton" (stir fried noodles, with a flavorful Filipino twist) in the whole world and i'm not kidding. it even has its own unique name, the Happy Birthday Pancit (for obvious reasons, of course). it has a lot of ingredients, including strips of bacon and scrambled eggs!
you might be wondering why there isn't a single noodle in sight in this picture. that's because we ran out of noodles! egad! i substituted it with brown rice and came up with a Happy Birthday fried rice instead!
when i was living in Singapore, i was introduced by a friend to "Guiniling" (translation: minced meat), a very simple Tagalog dish involving minced meat, carrots and potatoes. though a Filipino dish, this brings back a lot of warm memories of Singapore. again, i added rice and simple ingredients like tomato sauce and celery to make it into a hearty meal by itself. i topped it with brocolli florets after carefully placing it inside a blanched cabbage leaf for added drama :)
when i was in uni, me and my foodie friends used to frequent this french cafe called The French Baker that served the most delicious Chicken Ala King in the whole of Manila. its a creamy kind of chicken soup with corn or mushroom served inside a hollowed-out bread! i remember we used to eat this when we get our allowance in the first week of every month :) i just substituted the bread with penne pasta and we got ourselves a homerun :)
another favorite Manila resto is Italianni's. they serve the most scrumptious Sicilian salad around. yes, i was young then and easy to please. but who can ever forget mangoes, grapes, toasted pine nuts, crisp lettuce and parmegiano reggiano with Sicilian dressing in one plate!? oh no, not me! as usual, i tweaked the recipe a bit. i added my favorite rocket leaves and instead of plain chicken, i put in some chicken pops :)

soooo. what have you created today? if you want recipes for these dishes, you know what to do :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

you're still the one...

happy 3rd wedding anniversary :)