Arte, arte!

Hello, blog.

Just an update (especially for those two of you who reads this).

So I have been doing some commission work for friends, nothing massive but enough to keep me busy all this time. Recently, an Indonesian who introduced himself as a font designer asked me if I could make him an exemplar in modern script (meaning, my calligraphic style), for a fee, of course. While I was flattered that I got offered to do this kind of job, I declined as this is not actually what I want to do or make. I found this guy’s online shop and — lo and behold — he is selling these kinds online! Tsk, tsk… these guys!

Anyways, I’m currently experimenting on gouache paint. It’s similar to watercolour paints, but it is more opaque and the texture more powdery or chalky. However, I like the colours though. Here’s one example:

Mixing gouache paints
Mixing colours is fun! These are pastel blue and pink. You can also see the bottles of drawing ink on the upper right hand side of the picture; I use them for calligraphy.

My younger brother requested for pastel colours. Since there is no pink nor any pastel colours on the gouache, I took it upon myself to mix colours. YouTube is a fountain useful of video tutorials, I found out. Choosing one tutorial to use is quite a challenge. Thanks to these generous people who upload their video, they are helping newbies like me! So, what do you think of the result?

Live webcam in Cambodia!

Yes, you heard it right! The first live webcam in Cambodia is already up and broadcasting live this week and already it was picked up by various webcam sites including the EarthCam.

The webcam was actually borne out of curiosity – curiosity about what our two dogs do when we’re not around. From there, the possibility of putting up a live webcam showing the traffic situation on our side of Phnom Penh came out. Long arduous nights were spent together, searching for webcam hosts, installing and tweaking codes… now it is all done! This webcam is mainly for our family and friends who want to see our side of the world – and it’s very interesting what they saw, so far, they told us.

Now that it’s done, I need to visit a spa for some pampering. I’m looking forward to some tender, lovin’ skin care. The long nights and unhealthy junk food had taken its toll on my already “ugly” skin – lots of pimples and it feels scaly! Accckk.

By the way, here click this link to see what’s currently on the live webcam – CambodiaMapsWebcam.

My return to yoga

Just a few weeks ago, I started taking yoga classes again at the Kundalini Yoga House in Boeungkengkang district. I have never done Kundalini yoga before and my previous yoga experience was awhile ago where I took Ashtanga yoga with my former officemate Tara. At that time, I wasn’t so diligent about it. 

After years of being inactive and leading an almost sedentary life working behind the desk most of the times I’ve developed a chronic back problem. For years, I endured the pain and when I couldn’t bear anymore that’s when I finally decided to see a physiotherapist. I had a total of 15 expensive sessions with this French physio but there wasn’t any slightest change at all. I felt I was shortchanged. 

My back never get back to 100% fitness. For the last 4 years or so I bore the excruciating pain without any intervention, well, except for a few massage sessions here and there and the back rubs from my husband. So when a friend of mine invited me to go with her to a yoga class, I had my doubts on its effectiveness in relieving my back pain. 

There is clearly a big difference between Ashtanga Yoga and Kundalini Yoga. The Ashtanga method involves synchronizing the breath with a series of intense postures. The Kundalini way, on the other hand, goes beyond the physical performance of poses because its emphasis is more on breathing, meditation, and chanting.  chanting. However, Kundalini poses can also be very intense, that I am finding out. Imagine pumping your stomach repeatedly while holding your breath, or performing a pose while breathing in a certain way. What I really, really love about Kundalini is that before the class ends, we lie down on our backs and listen to a song and let our mind wander (is this meditation? hahah). After this, Mindy, our teacher, plays a closing song which we listen to or, if we know the lyrics, sing along with. The singer’s voice resonates around the room and I feel the energy from it coming to me that I happily sit there listening till its over.

I may be new to Kundalini but, so far, I can really say that it is very relaxing to the mind (how many times have I drifted off to sleep during relaxation exercises?) and very invigorating to the body. After only six classes, I already noticed a slight decrease in the intensity of my back pain. I plan to continue Kundalini and I am really hoping the pain will go away. After each class, I feel a calming sense, a sense of well-being. I wish I can say more but I am just beginning to discover Kundalini yoga. 

I am grateful to Josiet for bringing me back into yoga. Okorn charan.