Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Duck Duck Goose Designs & Art by Vanessa De Lacy

See the beautiful cards above? Those are the personalized cards (set of 6) I won from Duck Duck Goose Designs, a company specialize in personalized whimsically designed paper goodies.

Their designs are cute and original, and their items can be purchased at a reasonable price. Other than cards, they also sell Round Stickers , Memo Pads , Bag Tags, T-Shirts, Picture Frames , Lunch Boxes and more.

You may visit their blog at Duck Duck Goose Designs Blog.

Together in the mail ~

A package from Etsy artist Vanessa De Lacy. She kindly offered to send each contestant an a5 print of our choice from her shop (those who didn't win). But wait, we are WINNERS too!

I chose the Hold my hand, it will be alright print and she sent me another smaller one, The three brothers print. These came in a plain white envelope, but Vanessa creatively added some flowers on the envelope and made the whole thing looked prettier than ever. Thanks, Vanessa!

Blog : Art by Vanessa De Lacy Etsy shop : De Lacy

Coming soon : Interview with Reg Silva from Notebooks.etc

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Necklace From Fringe Lore

Steampunk Inspired Necklace

I received this unique steampunk inspired necklace from the kind Julie at Fringe Lore not long ago. This is another beautiful piece of artwork made by Julie. This necklace is suitable for both men and women because the style is simple and it doesn't look very feminine, at least to me.

Finished with a toggle clasp

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Book Review : Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Pub. Date: February 2006
ISBN-13: 9780812968064
Sales Rank: 878
Pages: 288

Order Snow Flower and the Secret Fan from

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Lily and her friend Snow Flower are a laotong pair, related more closely than husband and wife. Lily's Aunt describes a laotong match this way: "'A laotong relationship is made by choice for the purpose of emotional companionship and eternal fidelity. A marriage is not made by choice and has only one purpose -- to have sons.'"

The two girls are also bound together by experiencing the painful process of foot binding at the same time, and by letters to one another written on fans with Nü Shu, a secret phonetic form of 'women's writing.' In addition to the language itself, the young women learn Nü Shu songs and stories.

Although both friends are born under the sign of the horse, they are quite different. Lily is practical, her feet firmly set on the ground, while Snow Flower is a flying horse that attempts to fly over the constrictions of women's lives in the 19th century in order to be free. Their lives differ as well. Although Lily comes from a family of relatively low station, her beautiful feet play a role in her marriage into the most powerful family in the region. Lily ends up as Lady Lu, the region's most influential woman. Snow Flower is not so fortunate. She marries a butcher, culturally considered the lower of professions, and has a miserable life filled with children dying and beatings at the hand of her husband.

The novel depicts human suffering in many ways: the physical and psychological pain of foot binding; the suffering of women of the time, who were treated as property; the terrible trek up the mountains to escape from the horrors of the Taiping Revolution; the painful return back down the mountain trail with dead bodies everywhere. Some estimate that the number of people killed during the Revolution was approximately 20 million.

The detailed treatment of the suffering which Lily and Snow Flower experience in their laotong relationship is a major aspect of the book. Lily’s need for love and her inability to forgive what she considers to be acts of betrayal cause her to inflict harm on many people, Snow Flower most of all. Believing that Snow Flower has not been true to her, Lily betrays her by sharing all her private secrets to a group of women, virtually destroying Snow Flower's reputation. When Snow Flower is dying, Lily is called to her bedside and tends to her until the end.

As the book returns to the present (1903), Lily is an 80 year old woman who has lived 40 years after her friend's death. Lily’s final words indicate that her love for Snow Flower remains: “But if the dead continue to have the needs and desires of the living, then I’m reaching out to Snow Flower and the others who witnessed it all. Please hear my words. Please forgive me.”

Through this novel, I have learnt more about the lives of the Chinese women in the 19th century, their culture, tradition and the hardships they encounter on the journey of life. The tales of their amity are heart-warming, but sad and sorrowful sometimes. Lily and Snow Flower have gone through much together, as they evolve physically and mentally from innocent little girls into beautiful young ladies, tasting all kinds of 'flavours' of life --- happiness, love, joy and sorrow. This is a well- written, fascinating historical fiction. I must say that Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is certainly one of the best books I've ever read.

My rating : 10/10


Lisa See, the author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, who is so kind to send me an autographed copy of the book. I also want to thank her for writing such a beautiful story that keeps my eyes permanently fixed on the pages from the beginning until the end.

Thank you, Lisa!

Lisa's other books:

On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese American Family. St. Martins Press, 1995.
Flower Net. HarperCollins, 1997.
The Interior. HarperCollins, 1999.
Dragon Bones. Random House, Inc., 2003.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Random House, Inc., 2005.
Peony in Love. Random House, Inc., 2007.
Shanghai Girls. Random House, Inc., 2009.
Chinatown (guidebook), Angels Walk LA, 2003.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer Fairytale Fashion

I'm one of the lucky winners of the Charade Summer Style Contest on Megan's blog --- Student Charade. This is my winning creation. Is it nice?

Megan said:
"I loved this look for it's over-the-top glamour and whimsical theme, great for a fancy summer event. I thought the glitter ball earrings were a perfect prize for this glitzy set."

This is my prize...Can't wait to get it! XD

Many thanks to Megan and congrats to all the winners! See here for the full list of winners.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

SmuTopia Jewelry : A Story and A Feature

SmuTopia Jewelry is an Etsy shop which sells a selection of affordable handmade pendants, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and purse/zipper charms. Jessica Smutek, the owner of the shop is a very kind person.

Blossoms--Peaches and Cream Earrings - Handmade Jewelry by SmuTopia $5.00

On 5th June, I revisited my long-ago-abandoned blog and found out that Jessica left a comment there saying that I won a pendant from her shop. The date indicates that the comment was left 2 months ago. I knew it was too late to claim my prize. So, I sent an e-mail to Jessica to thank her for selecting me as the winner at the first place.

Seastar Dangle Earrings - Handmade Jewelry by SmuTopia $7.00

2 days later, she replied :
" Hi Aik! I'm so happy you found my message--I didn't know any other way to contact you :)
I will me happy to send you your prize, all I need is your mailing address. Have a great day!"

I was so excited to hear about her reply! Let me tell you what : "Jessica is so kind!"

Circle of Hope - Handmade Jewelry by SmuTopia $10.00

*The jewelry shown above are some of my favourites. There are more lovelies in Jessica's shop, SmuTopia Jewelry. So, be sure to check it out!*

Contact info : SmuTopia.Jewelry at gmail dot com
Etsy shop : SmuTopia Jewelry
Jessica's blog:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Geography Quiz

10th July, 2009

Together with my 3 friends, I attended a Geography Quiz in SMK Convent, Sitiawan. Their school compound is smaller than mine, but what I liked about that place is that it's VERY clean. Yes, there's not a single rubbish in sight. My first impression was : Hmm...Nice...

There were 20 participating teams from the Manjung District. Well, as usual, I was chickened-out by their rigid, professional and confident faces. Oh, will I ever get the strength to pretend that everything's just fine?

The air was filled with dense air. The greatest war in History was about to start. Knights and ladies in shining amours were ready to battle for honour and glory, and most important of all, for their nation. (Oops, I guess I just veered away from our topic...)

We were asked to leave our bags outside the examination hall, and we were allowed to bring our pencil cases only.

The quiz started and everyone automatically turned to 'silent mode'. Only the whirring sounds of the fans and the scribbling sounds of friction produced by the pencils and the papers were heard. Slowly, my hands and feet went cold. Like a vampire's. Oh great. (I guess I'm just too obsessed by Twilight. You know how handsome Edward is.)

We have to answer 80 questions in an hour. The time wasn't a problem. The questions were. They were hard, well, for me. I think it's because I don't study much. I only read through a few pages before going to the quiz. Laziness and computer addiction has made me an irresponsible person. I have to admit it's my own fault.

An hour passed and the papers were being collected by the prefects. Some people say prefects should be perfect, but I think that's impossible. How can you ask someone else to be all-rounded when you yourself could never be one?

Our teacher came over a few minutes later. You should have looked at her face. It's an UNhappy face. You could have scored better, that's what she told me. Oh, please, I'm not as smart as you think I am. I'm just lucky to get the highest Geography mark IN SCHOOL. Maybe I'm not so lucky this time. Hah.

I thought we were going to loose terribly. But hey, we got second! Not bad. I pictured myself smiling brightly, my heart leaping above the clouds. But somehow, the teacher wasn't happy. She wanted us to get the first prize, but it went to another school --- ACS, with only a difference of 2 marks. A small thing makes a big difference. And it's all my fault. She thought I was going to score the most points in the team, and I disappointed her. I got the least.

Hao Jie calmed her down by saying, " What can we do? It's fate."

We went to Pizza Hut later on and ordered a large pizza and two plates of tempura. It tasted nice, but her face is still sour. She just ordered salad for herself. I guess she's just not ready to let it down yet. Well, I still had to feed my stomach, right?

Many congratulations to the winning teams:
1. ACS
2. Nan Hwa
3. Dindings

Beh Ping Ping from ACS got the highest mark - 72/80. That's great. And there's a girl from Dindings, she's just so sweet --- like a Korean actress. Never got to know her, though. My long-lost friend --- Chien Yie, from ACS, said "Oh, I know who are you! You're 'The-Miss-Who-Always-Has-A-Runny-Nose'! " Great. Now everyone knows my sinus problems.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Serrelynda's Enchantment

Today, I'm featuring an Etsy shop which sells a myriad of beautiful handmade jewelry --- Serrelynda's Enchantment! The owner Serrelynda has been designing jewelry for over 12 years and also likes collecting vintage materials. She thinks that it's a joy to see her creations being worn and looking beautiful.

Let's see what she's got:

Art Nouveau Brass Filigree Bracelet
$22.00 USD

This one is really beautiful. The filigree is reminiscent of ocean waves and shell shapes. The czech glass roses are very light lavender with a touch of bronze aurora borealis sheen. I love this one!

Bronze Filigree With Scallop Shell Cuff Bracelet
$38.00 USD

Reproduction filigree in a beautiful chocolate color brass ox makes the centerpiece. Double strands of czech glass beads with brass ox links wrap around the wrist and have tear drop shaped beads at the ends. These czech glass beads are a milky whitish opal color with brownish antiquing on their ends. A pretty artwork! Another one of my favourites!

Grapevine Chandelier Earrings
$18.00 USD

Lovely vintage grapevine findings with an authentic patina. Triple tear drops of iridescent czech glass in bronze iris luster hang from each vine.

Dragon Silver Filigree Cuff Bracelet

$38.00 USD

The Dragon is considered an auspicious animal for the Chinese. This stunning filigree cuff is adorned with an intriguing silver dragon. Very cool indeed!

Visit Serrelynda's Enchantment now to explore her collection!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Terri Taylor Designs

A few days ago, I received some notepads and a personalized sketchbook from Terri @ Terri Taylor Designs by mail. I redeemed these goodies with my $25 gift certificate I won at Pour Some Sugar On Me.

Clockwise from left :
1 Funky Sketch Pad - personalized 6 x 9 pad in pink, 1 DO THIS ASAP - notepad, 2 Crap to do. - simply stated notepad, 1 I'm not anti-social. I just don't like people - notepad

Total : $24.75

I really love all these beautiful goodies! Each 4.25" x 5.5" notepad has 20 lined sheets with a recycled cardboard backing. The pages are hole punched and held together with cute little brads (brad color and style may vary). The price for each notepad is $5.50.

The 6" x 9" sketchbook is small enough to fit in a backpack, bag or purse. The existing 50 sheet pad is personalized with a brand new cover featuring the name of your choice, and it's only $5.75! I am very happy with all the items I received.

Let's see some other lovelies from her shop!

Dear readers, Terri is offering a 15% discount on your next purchase. This excludes custom invite packages and may only be used once per customer. One coupon per order and may be used in combination with other online offers.

When checking out, enter the coupon code JUNEJOLLIES in the "message to sender" box on Etsy. You will be refunded 15% off your entire purchase via Paypal.
Offer valid through 31st August, 2009