brushes and papers

my learning journey




This year Chinese New Year falls on Saturday of January 28.  According to Chinese zodiac, this year is the year of Rooster.  Rooster ranks tenth of the twelve animals in the 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle.  Every 12 years there is a rooster year.

I have attached a video of chopsticks from  youtube.  It is eating utensil which have been used by the Chinese over 6000 years and by many East Asians. Chopsticks has been a significant part of the Chinese culture. Through chopsticks we learn many things and it is a connection between people.  Happy Chinese New Year !!  May the year of Rooster brings prosperity and good health to all of you.

pic source:








Happy Chinese Lunar New Year 2015

This year Lunar New Year falls on the 19th of February which is today.  I am here wishing all of you who celebrate lunar new year a very Happy New Year. May this goat year bring peace to the world.

As usual we had small reunion dinner last night.  Both my brothers and their family did not come, so only the girls, my parents and nephew. The dinner table seemed getting emptier by year.  We had steam boat dinner last night just like many other reunion dinner years before.  This is the less trouble that mom had to prepare.  We cooked whatever we wanted to eat ourselves on the dinner table.  Anyway, Happy New Year Everyone.

new year dinner 2015


Glass Engraving Try Out

I had been so restless lately and had no idea what to do to inspire my daily practices anymore.  So as a result, I watched a lot of youtube videos and read anything that could help ease this boredom.  While searching the videos I chanced upon Lesley Pyke glass engraving videos.  Her glass engraving work is so beautiful that I too would like to try out.  Trying to paint on glass is not as easy as painting on piece of paper.  For starter, all the tools used are totally different and heavier.  My hands have to be very steady and firm otherwise, lines that have been engraved on glass can not be erased or do it over.  I have to be very careful, eyes alert and hand steady on how I land the bit on glass to make those lines.  This is my first glass engraving.  Happy Saturday!




My Olympus OMD (奧林巴斯 OMD)

I fell in love with this camera ever since I first laid eyes on it almost two years ago. This Olympus OMD reminded me of the only camera I used to own when I was in college (it was Yashica 35 mm film camera). The shape, the light-weight body and the flawless classic design of OMD EM-5 made it so irresistible. I lust over it ever since and had to refrain myself from buying when it was launched.

Fast forward the story.. When my brother went to Hongkong last month, I couldn’t resist asking him to just check the camera price for me. They have June-July promotion here but the kit lens does not include pancake lens I was after. Anyway, so I got myself a real nice camera and have been playing with it, studying and reading its manual with such eagerness. However, the camera advancement overwhelmed me. There are so many small buttons/functions I have to familiarize with. Now, there is another thing to study and practice. 🙂

Please take a look at how gorgeous my little camera is. It is very small and light weight. It fits nicely in my small palm and there won’t be any problem clutching camera everywhere because of its weight.




Below pictures were the first try pictures on my unkept garden, the building across the street and piano sheet. I am very pleased with the clear details result. I have not tried their software to edit pictures yet.

Wild flowers using 17mm f2.8 lens.




Below pictures used 12-50 mm f3.5-6.3 lens



Honestly speaking, I know nothing about photography. The most I do is aim at an object and shoot. Is there anyone willing to share some photography tips with beginner like me? What are those two lenses best suit for etc. Very much appreciated for your valuable help. Happy Saturday!

Eliza’s Paintings

A few days ago I was so honoured to receive copies of painting from my art class friend Eliza.  She was kind enough to share her work with me. Her paintings are different from mine.  They are naive paintings.  The way she painted was, she first hatched a picture of what she was going to paint,  then sketched it on paper and painted them. Unlike my paintings which are spontaneous.  I did not do any sketches before hand.  What attracted me so much to her paintings are the vibrant bright colors, the cheerfulness and small detail objects in it.  It must have taken Eliza days to paint those.   The paintings are so beautiful that I just have to share them with you today.  Aren’t they beautiful?  They are acrylic on canvas.

Happy Saturday and take care.

Does anyone go to library anymore? (圖書館舊書銷售)

Last Friday, I was invited by a friend to a closed-door, member-only, one day library used books sale at the expo. This was the first time I went to this kind of book sale. The large hall was filled with all sort of books but only few people were there. It felt strange and excited at the same time. Strange because there were no usual crowd there and excited as all those books are ours to pick at our leisure time. No one would try to snatch the books from your hands or tried to squeeze you out of where you were standing.

It is amazing to know there are so many public libraries all over the island, 21 branches to be exact and one big national library in central town. My family and I love books. We love to read all sorts of books. We usually buy books but they are very costly here. It usually costs around USD 15 or more for the thin few pages painting books that I love to buy. Sometime, instead of buying, we would just head to a library and borrow from there.

Borrowing and owning the books are different. There are books that I would love to own; to read them at our leisure time, to take them out and feel them in our hands or to just flip those pages for no reason. I also like the freshness of new books, they smell good too.

Anyway, back to the expo hall entrance, we were given a basket and were advised by a library staff that those magazines on the display carts are free to take as many as we want. By having this sale, the libraries are recycling and extending the life of those books and magazines. At the end of the day, this kind of book sale is hunting delight for all book lovers and the best of all, each book costs only one SGD or 75 cents US. Who can resist such bargain 🙂 After long hours of scurrying around and choosing, with a big smile on our faces tiredly we all went home. All of us can’t wait to start reading those many books that we hauled home.

These are the books that I bought. They are all painting books.
The total is 28 books.

Happy Weekend!

My New Kitchen (我的新厨房)

I would say besides painting, the time I spend at home is in the kitchen (not counting sleeping). In there, I am either preparing and cooking meals or doing dishes or just cleaning up the kitchen. It is such a pleasure for me most of the time to just cook something for family or friends, and heaven knows that I know nothing about cooking.

Our apartment is an old estate of almost two decades old. We have moved here for about over two years when I noticed the kitchen cabinet’s wood starting to chip away little by little. So we decided that it was time to get a new kitchen. It was a small old kitchen and it looked gloomy. It needed a facelift anyway.

These are the pictures that we took before and after the renovation.
At the start of the renovation, I decided that I needed a bigger table space than the old one. So we had another table top installed just across each other using black granite. We are glad that we had that table top installed as it gives us more space to put things. Now my kitchen looks tidy and a bit organised than before.

Leticia Paintings (四歲侄女思思畫的)

My computer died down on me a few days ago. I was so upset that I have not been able to paint anything. Here came my lil rescuer – my niece Leticia. My sis sent me a couple of paintings that my little four years old niece did.


Rainbow through the eye of 4 years old.
She tried to paint that car on top and ended looking like this.

I was in awe when I saw her paintings. It is not easy to do water-color nicely. Least of all for a four-year old child whom has never painted any water-color before. Not only she could paint the shape of them correctly, she used vibrant color which I have difficulty using them on all my paintings. Now I am seriously very jealous of her.

*Note: All paintings used poster paint on photocopy papers.

My Little Helper The Vacuum Cleaner (我的小帮手-吸尘機)

I have wanted to write about my new little helper the vacuum cleaner, the minute I opened the vacuum dirt container and found it did a good job of picking upp dust, hairs, and dirt from all over my apartment floor. I have been eyeing this vacuum cleaner for quite sometime ever since I read the good review about it on papers. But I had since refrained from buying it because it was quite costly. During these times, I could only dream that if only I had that vacuum, I can do other house chores without worrying when to clean the apartment, as it takes a lot of my time just to vacuum the apartment.

So to cut the story short, I finally got it. I love it so very much. We set it up for it to start vacuuming the apartment at 8 am once every two days. At the exact time, the vacuum will turn on by itself and start cleaning the house. At first I was so worried that it might get stuck under the sofa or bed and so I followed it around while it did the vacuuming. It picked up a lot of dust and dirt that piled up under the bed and sofa and at places that are difficult to reach for me to clean. Although it didn’t do it perfectly but I am very pleased to say that the vacuum lives up to that good review.

It picks up the signal from lighthouse and creates invincible line which the vacuum won’t cross over it.
It cleans corners.
It has little brush with three arms at one side of the vacuum.
Includes two lighthouses.
The vacuum will go back to its base after cleaning and recharge the battery.

It comes with two light houses. The vacuum picks up signal from lighthouses and does not go over the boundaries where we place them. I can let it run around picking up anything on the floor while doing the practice, or while cooking and the list can go on and on. It gives me a peace of mind and not to worry when to clean the apartment. I must confess that I am such a lazy bum and do not vacuum my apartment daily as I want to. Look what it picked up when it ran around my apartment. Now I know how dirty my place was (picture below is the dirt it picked up on the very first time). Oh, how I love this little vacuum dearly. Now should I name it?

Happy Saturday. 🙂


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