Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
first she chose all the charms she likes
workshop and briefing begins...
it wasn't too tough for a fast learner like her
and her buddy got one too!
taadaa! good job girls!
Monday, June 22, 2009
a little background on being vain... I remember being a fussy-pot in the dressing department when I was only ten or so – of course, compare that to today's urban & privileged little girls, being a vain pot at ten years of age is nothing. I remember in vivid memories how I would plan what blouse to go with what skirt and sandals before I make a trip out with my dad for a stroll in the mall (whatever version of shopping malls I could get my hands on back then in little Taiping town).
All through teenage years I strife to be stylish in my own ways with my limited resources (wardrobe, knowledge & finance) and it's only in recent years I feel that I have somewhat, relax my own 'fashion rules' a little. Having spent so many hours of my life thinking about looking stylish, I have compiled some lists of ideas and pictures on dressing.
The Art of Mismatching
Personally, I always have the most fun mismatching an outfit for a look that is hard to copy. It's hard for others to copy because unless everyone else has the exact accessories, the look is uniquely yours to keep. There are many levels of mismatching...
example 1: mismatching styles of accessories.
I created a feminine podka-dot tube dress with an ethnic necklace,
longer ornament chain, and to complete the outfit I wore clogs.
Mismatching belts for one outfit to create a new outfit!
example 2: mismatch with the wrong cardigan. Pair an outfit with an
unpredictable jacket or cardi to brand the look your own. I paired this purple cocktail dress with a laid back but fitted cotton cardigan. Experiment with a few options to get the satisfied result.
example 3: Mixing genres. Mix the east and the west elements together fusion look. This is an easy one and also I'd say it is rather safe too, we seen Kebaya tops being worn with blue jeans, haven't we? So have fun oriental or ethnic pieces mix with everyday skirts or jeans; or pair up your batik sarong with a sultry tube...the possibilities are endless, enjoy!
DIY and Rock-N-Roll!
Trust me, the satisfaction derived from modifying your existing wardrobe is no less greater than coming home from the mall with bag full of new clothes. This is especially rewarding when you turn a pile of to-be-throwout old clothes into something different that you can't wait to put on and parade round town.
The DIY ideas:
Cutting Edge: update with a pair of scissors. Change the design of your old tees which you are bored with with a few snip here and there. Start by looking at the tee and ask yourself why are you bored with it?
Wish it's a little more low cut? Hate those three quarter sleeves? Well, cut them off and see. The natural `free hand' cut with a pair of scissors will give the garment an edgy casual look, it's a fantastic way to immediately `dress down' any item that look too dressy for its own good, eg. you feel uncomfortable wearing a fully-sequined blouse to go out, try this method to make it look dress BUT chic-casual.
Safety pins: Instant-down-sizer. Keep a collection of normal safety pins AND fancy ones, in various sizes to work as both decorative item and a functional safety pin, for that fancy blouse that you think it's showing too much cleavage, try pinning the sides from the inside of blouse to tighten it. I learned this one from a model I met at work previously: tighten a tank top or a singlet's waist by using a safety pin, pin the back of the top from the inside, at waistline area. Use a fancy one you can tell people you reinvented the tank. Hemming up is the way. Grown sick of your outdated 90s Lycra long evening dress? Bring the dress to the shop and alter it into a mini dress. Or turn that sloppy working pants into a fitted tailored shorts to pair with high heels.
~ Bored of a garment? Try too keep the item tuck in a twist, ie. Create wrinkles on it, take it out again after a
month and you might juts like the wrinkled look – works on certain kind of material only, so experiment away!
~ Your tube tops have gone too loose? If the top is a thin material kind, try use it as a belt - push the tube
top down to your waist level and secure the look with a thin belt.
~ Lost one of your favourite vintage earrings? Use the one left as a brooch, on suitable jackets, dresses, tops,
mind the material of the clothes.
~ Spice up an old garment by designing a new look for it by adding accessories such as sequins, lace, beads,
tassels, ribbons and etc.
~ Your favourite shirts/blouse/tee got stained/colored? Sew sequins or beads in matching colors to the item,
the beads will make the mistakes less noticeable and your old items will now stand out in a crowd!
~ Tie or sew ribbon bows to the sleeves of your boring sleeveless tops.
Want to add a touch of bling or glamour in our otherwise rather down to earth everyday wardrobe? Not everyone of us get the excuse to dress up to nines every weekend to attend parties and cocktails so why not create our very own little moment of glamour in our everyday-wear? When asked by a friend who was packing for a three-week-long honeymoon, what to pack so that she could travel in comfortable clothes and still be stylish, I compiled this what I call,the 'Instant Glamourizers' list – items that can spark up, smart up your casual and down to earth looks.
Janet's Instant Glamourizers
~ Jewelled or accessorized Japanese slippers or sandals
~ Cargo pants in luxurious fabric, comfy and glamourous
~ Little jewelled hats
~ Chunky & fancy accessories: large vintage earrings, big ethnic necklaces, big rings...etc
~ High fashion handbags
~ Evening cardigans with rhine stones, beads, sequins, in satin or silk fabric
~ Red lips!!
~ Wicked attitude & lots of confidence
Instant Glamourizers are for:
~ Going from day to night look
~ Leaving back stage to main stage, to transform from anonymous crew to the look-at-me crew
~ Emergencies: out shopping for groceries and have to rush to a full-watt party,
~ Anytime low key glamour, when it's adjusted well of the glam-volume, it's classy and low profile.
Keep one or two pieces of these items in your car for those emergency call for wardrobe change for a last minute party or cocktail. The idea is to invest in some `stand-alone' accessories that will go well with your normal wardrobe. So there you go, have fun with improvisation!
Friday, June 19, 2009
we pay our respect to her.
* signs of respect *
We feel so thankful that, we have you guys supporting this humble event of soak republic :) Cheers!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Name: Toong Mun Ee
Title: Angel with a heart of gold
To most people, the angels in their lives are those whom they know of. However in my case, the angel with the purest of hearts is one who do not exist in my life. That angel is one that I have only read of but I can’t stop admiring her sincere heart.
My story begins now.
Does this picture break your heart? This puppy was not sitting there posing for a picture. This puppy was one of the dogs thrown to Pulau Ketam by irresponsible people who still do not think that it is wrong to abandon them there. The person whom I call angel is the one who initiated the rescue of the dogs thrown at Pulau Ketam. This angel is Miss Sabrina Yeap.
Many do not realize how heart breaking the conditions of these dogs until one actually looks at these photos. How can one possibly think that dogs can survive here? The only way to curb the increasing numbers of strays is by neutering them. This is where they are left. Many who tried to leave the island by swimming either ended up drowning or had to turn back as they could not reach any further.
This is where the dogs are left. The little island is very remote and poisonous snakes are everywhere on this island. Those who were not prepared will become the victims of the snakes. The dogs are left with no food nor water. The starving animals resorted to cannibalism. They ate the carcasses of the fellow castaways who didn't survive. There is no way anyone could have survived this island without any food. Mud was everywhere and if one steps on the island, they will be swallowed in by the mud.
This island was so remote that people rarely go there. No one was willing to help without a payment. Sabrina and her team from furry friend farm had to rent a boat RM200 just to get to the island. What they saw was beyond imaginations.
This is Sabrina whispering words of prayer. The dogs really need help. And Sabrina and her team alone are not enough. More than half of the dogs abandoned there is already dead. The dogs that have been saved so far are too afraid of humans and are starved till they are left with a bag of bones.
Their mission was able to save several dogs from the hell island. Many more are still there. It was not an easy task at all to search for the dogs in a mangrove populated island where mud would swallow you in every step you take. Below is the picture of Sabrina saving one of the poor dogs.
Sabrina is one true angel who helped these dogs who have no voice of their own. She deserves to be the angel in everyone’s heart. These dogs have been thrown into this island of hell for two weeks. It’s about time the world hears about their sufferings.
More updates on Sabrina’s mission to rescue the dogs can be accessed at :
Title: Angel story
Sitting on the garden floor ,I looked down at the scratch on my knee and tears began forming at my eyes. “ What happened?” he asked. I looked high up to meet his face and bit my bottom lip to keep from crying. “You fell down? It’s okay” he said, smile wrinkles forming on his face.”Come on, we’ll go inside and I’ll give you some ice cream and tell you a story,which kind would you like to hear?”, he held his hand to me. I took his hand and pulled myself up, “ Animals and jungle” I mumbled,sniffing. “ Animals and the jungle,that’s my favourite also, okay, So once upon a time in the jungle of Africa...”
A few years later
“ Wow he’s real pretty” I said, my eyes widening in amazement. I brought my face close to the window of display glass,taking in the sight of the little hamster with grey fur and a black line through his back.He looked at me, “ Do you like it?” he asked. I nodded,never taking my eyes off it. “You like it? Then I’ll get him for you, you can get a cage and give him a name, you’re first real pet.”, he said. I looked up from the display glass guiltily. “ Mum says I can’t get a pet. She said i’m too little and won’t take care of it and it might gets hungry and run away and she says we got no space in the house”. I replied with a frown. “ Oh is that so? Tell mum that it won’t run away because we picked the smartest hamster that knows how to find it’s way home.And if there’s no space in the house,then your house is too small and you should build a bigger one.” he said with a laugh. “ Really? So i can get it?” I asked excitedly. “Of course you can! We’ll just build you a bigger house” he replied still laughing. “ Oh thank you thank you!”, I hugged his legs, where I reached up to. “I love you the most and you’re the best in the whole wide worlds”.
10 years later.
We walked along the dock and I looped my hand through his to steady his walk, he needed someone to help him walk now. He didn’t like sitting for too long and the others were still chatting away in the restaurant. A lull of wind blew and he closed his eyes to enjoy it, I smiled at this. “ So what do you wanna do now?”, I asked him. “ Nothing just wait for the old ladies to stop talking then we can go,but I have a good story to tell you about gorillas and kangaroos”, he said, smile wrinkles showing , they had grown more prominent throughout the years making him look more jovial. “Okay”, I smiled and he began with his story. He hadn’t been well for the past week , so I flew up to see him although I having my finals in a week,I cringed slightly wondering how I was going to cram studying to catch up.He stopped his story midway and turned to me. “ You know, I’m glad you flew down.I haven’t seen you in almost 5 months” he said earnestly. “I’m glad too, were you starting to miss me?” I asked teasingly. “ Of course.How can I not miss my favourite? This is my favourite one” he patted my hand.
“ Okay, I smiled, I still want to know the end of the story, so what happens next?” and he continued.
A year later
I closed my eyes to hear the silence. The serenity of my surrounding. I opened them at the sound of footsteps, an old lady knelt by a headstone a few feet away from me saying a silent prayer.I looked at my hands and gently folded the letter I wrote for him, I kissed it gently and placed it on top of his headstone. A tear escaped my eye and I wiped it away quickly. No he wouldn’t like to see me crying,he never liked seeing me sad. I gazed up to look at the sky and smiled. He was my angel. I knew he was watching me, like he always has been and always will be.
Can’t wait to hear more of your stories
Monday, May 25, 2009
I stared at the slow rotating blades of the fan. The warm humid room was hardly a good place to struggle to keep awake after a 30 hour shift. Sneaking a glance at my watch; I see my duty at the clinic was drawing to the end, thank god. The nurse outside calls out a name, and I waited. I nearly nodded off but was awakened by the soft shuffling of footsteps and the sound of a woman’s voice talking to an old man that seemed to be her father.
As they sat down I couldn’t help but notice the face of the old man. One eye was barely open, and his mouth was twisted in a lopsided smile as we made eye contact.
They were plainly dressed, clean but withered old articles of clothing that had clearly seen better days. The woman was both pleasant and to the point. 5 minutes and several questions later, it was pretty clear the old man had had a stroke. He had to be admitted for observation lest his condition took a turn for the worse.
As the doctor drew up the necessary papers, I saw the old man turn to the daughter.
He put his hand on hers and gave it a squeeze. He whispers to her in her ear, something I cannot catch nor guess. They left together, the father leaning on the daughter’s arm, his feet still shuffling on the clinic floor.
Minutes later, the daughter comes in alone. Her head is low, her hands clutching the admission papers. They’re shaking uncontrollably. She patiently waits as the doctor finishes up with another patient, a man with a headache, nothing important. As the other leaves, she sits down quietly and takes his place.
Even before she says it, I know what she came back to say.
I cannot have him admitted, she says, there is no one that can be here with him.
I have three young children at home, I have to be there for them, she says.
He refuses to stay here alone, he wants to go home, she says.
The doctor seems almost callous as he looks her in the eye and steadily says without a trace of emotion, that it is entirely her choice.
“But if he dies, are you ready for that?”
The line shatters me, it breaks my heart. I scream inside my head withholding the urge to shake her and tell her to say NO, NO, NO.
But she nods her head and she says yes.
The doctor takes back the admission papers, writes a release form and hands it to her to sign. I watch as she takes that wretched piece of paper, almost a death warrant in its right, and she signs on the dotted line.
She hands back the paper to the doctor, and as he places his signature, she turns away and I watch her wipe the tears from her eyes.
Even though she doesn’t say it, I know what she means to say.
We cannot afford it, she says, there is barely money for essentials every month.
I have three hungry mouths at home, to clothe and feed, she says.
He refuses to let them suffer because of him, he wants to go home, she says.
I watch her leave. I smile and say thank you to the doctor for letting me observe his work. I make my way to that empty stairwell where I know nobody ever passes by. I sit down and weep, wondering why anybody should ever have to make that choice.
I stop when I realize it’s almost dusk, and I feel like I’ve aged years in a day.
I can only guess what happened to that old man, but I’m sure he passed on contented, set on his decision for his daughter and grandchildren. All he had left was his life, and he gave it away, because they could not afford it.
I do not know if he was a fiend, a thief, a cheater or a liar.
I do not know if he was a beggar, a roadside hawker or a cleaner.
I did not know the story of his life, but this part of it seems mine to share.
I do know that he was a loving father and grandfather, and to me, an angel in his own right.Why look to the heavens for angels, when they walk among us?
Name: Hanna Afifa
Title: Till Death Do Us Part
This is my story. It had happened before, but only in my dreams. This was a dream I once had. Enjoy :)
Tom and Leah have been best friends since the first time they met 23 years ago. Today Tom is in India, furthering his studies in medicine. As for Leah, she has been staying in Malaysia teaching in a kindergarten. As kids, Leah had always had the heart for Tom, but she had never told him because he was always teasing her about how big she looked and how much she always ate. Little did she know that Tom always liked her just as she was.
Years passed, and neither of them confessed about their love for the each other. One fine afternoon at the university, news spread that Tom had died because of lung cancer. Nobody, except for his family knew about his disease until the day he passed away.
Leah was not told about Tom’s passing, and on the very particular day he died, Leah had decided to confess to Tom about her love for him in the past 23 years they’d known each other. She packed her bags and flew to India.
Above, Tom knew he had to return, and complete one of the most important goals of his life; confess his love with hope to be loved back. Looking alive like a normal living human being, the angels gave him 3 days to do what he had to do and Tom was sent back.
In India, Leah, with her highest confidence, went to Tom’s rented apartment. She knocked on his door and waited for at least half hour. Tom, only as light and not human opened his door lightly. Tears fell from his face when he saw the sweetest smile on the most beautiful face of the woman standing before him.
Leah opened her arms in expectance that he would hug her. Unfortunately Tom knew that he could not touch, nor feel. He avoided any contact with Leah as he did not want her to know that he was only virtual.
Leah and Tom spent the best two days of their lives spending every minute together. At the evening of the third day, Leah, sitting next to Tom said, ‘I have always loved you Tom, since the first day we met 23 years ago. You have stolen the key to my heart.’ Droplets of tears fell from her sea green eyes and fell onto Tom’s palm. Leah grabbed for his hands. To her shock, her hands went right through his! It was as if she was not touching anything. She gasped and her eyes grew large.
Speechless, Tom tried to open his mouth to speak. At that very second, a ray of light shone from the sky, indicating Tom to return to where he was supposed to be. It was time for Tom to leave. His body became light and he was beginning to disappear.
A drop of tear fell from Tom’s cheeks and onto Leah’s hand. She felt it. Tom whispered to her ears, “I died three days ago, dear friend. I’m sorry you had to find out like this, I wish I had told you about my cancer years ago. We could have at least spent more time together.” As he spoke, his voice became slower and his face began to fade. “ I never knew you ever loved me but I’m sorry now that I have to go. Now I have felt the feeling of being loved.” With all the strength and power he had left in him, Tom closed his eyes and gave Leah a light kiss on her lips. As surprised as she was, Leah could feel his dry lips pressing against hers. He moved back and looked her in the eyes and said, “ And now I also know the feeling of loving someone who loves you back. I love you, Leah.”
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Title : my bestie my angel
Looking up to the sky, I smiled widely. Ahh, it's been so long since I felt so good. The sun's rays fell gently unto my beige-coloured skin. I closed my eyes, felt the strands of hair on my face as the sea breeze blew, listening to the waves crashing the shore. What a beautiful day it is, I said to myself softly.
I finally let it all go. Loving him was pain; missing him was torture; him leaving me was despair. Pain, torture and despair. They are no longer the words that would exist in my life ever again. My life would be a new beginning from now on. Before I strapped an anchor around the chest of memories, I looked once more at the memory bubbles. Each bubble categorised with happy moments, arguing moments, sad moments, warm hugs, lingering kisses etc. There was one bubble that I stared at for a long time. It was the Vday bubble; the day we broke up. I was lying on his chest, feeling his heartbeat going thump thump thump so steadily; the melody was my lullaby. As I almost lulled into sleep, he mentioned the taboo word. I pretended to be asleep and held back my tears. He knew me too well; shaking me gently, he continued talking about how things were not going to work out between us as he was leaving for Melbourne soon. I couldn't hold back the tears that were welling in my eyes any longer, and stream after stream came flowing down my face. That was the last night I held him and also the last day I met him. Time flew by so fast but the excruciating scar he left on me never healed. It just remained fresh. The gluttonous appetite I once had was gone. The cheekiness and craps in my speech disappeared. The face lost the cheerfulness and radiance that it once had.
Then, she couldn't take it any longer she had to step in. She knew me for 10 years and couldn't stand watching her bestie drowning in sorrow for months. She spent most of her time with me. No matter how busy she was, she came to visit me everyday. She made sure I ate my dinner, she made sure I did my tutorials, she made sure I went to class by checking on me every 3 hours. It was annoying at first but eventually I understood her. She wanted the bubbly girl as a bestie, not a moody one. She yearned for the one who was daring enough to walk up to a guy and ask for his number just because she was dared to do so. She wanted me to look forward, not to turn back. The attention and care and love she showered me was enough to make me remorse for worrying those who loved me. She jolted me back to reality. The world has not come to an end yet. There's still a long way to go.
After reminiscing, I placed the bubble back into the chest. Locked it up and strapped the anchor on so tight that the chest couldn't be opened up. I threw the chest with all my might into the sea. The 3 years memories of me and him together would just rest at the bottom of the ocean in my heart.
I felt a sudden coldness on my left cheek. Startled, I looked up at her. She was giggling and smiling at the same time. The best, refreshing smile I've ever seen. She threw me the can of Coke Light. She sat down beside me and we just started talking; just like how we used to be. From boys to fashion to gossips to Daniel Wu. Ahhh, ain't Daniel Wu just gorgeous. The hunkiest of the hunkiest and how his eyes could just cut through your skin and pierce your heart so deeply that your heart would just stop beating for a mere second....and we went on and on and on...
Thank you Sammie for being my angel, the one who sacrificed her phone bills and taxi fares just for me. The one who stood by me during the darkest period of my life. The one that never gave up hope on me. You would never know how much I appreciate everything. It has been 10 years since we forged this friendship and it is not going to stop here, it will go on for eternity. Just like how you stood by me, I will stand by you forever. Through thick or thin, I will always be there for you. If you are my angel, I shall be yours too.