Blue Monday: Gouache and water ink

In case anyone noticed, I was away from blogging for a good two weeks.
Nothing really happening from my side of the planet. Been busy with home-life and some creative hobbies on the side.

Marie's Gouache Paint Set
Getting ready to make some mess.

I love my blue and white dipping bowl. It’s small and hand-painted and costs me next-to-nothing. As mentioned previously, I’ve picked up calligraphy again and been experimenting on inks. Since calligraphy inks here are rare, much more coloured inks, I tried mixing gouache and water and voila! Problem solved. Here’s a scanned result – I mixed vermillion red and viridian green:

Love the henna-ish effect!
Love the henna-ish effect!

I am excited about the thousand and one possibilities of mixing colours!
Do you have any creative hobbies, too? Do tell 🙂

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Blue Monday: Fancy

Some months ago, out of boredom, my husband and I set out to see what goes inside a local market. That day we went to Psah Olympic, or the Olympic Market. To my blogger-friends who haven’t been to Asia yet, shopping is quite an adventure in Asian markets. Cambodia is no exception. It is quite a treat to the senses!

I just might write some more about this market tours in my future blog posts, including photos. For the meantime, let me share you one of the sights I managed to capture inside the Olympic Market.

On the third floor of the market is where you will find fabrics of all kinds and, of course, Cambodian silk. Aside from the many shops selling fabrics and ready-to-wear dresses, there are also shops where seamstresses make these custom-made fancy clothes.

Cambodian wedding dress
Fancy dresses for Cambodian women on display at Psah Olympic. These are actually the traditional ones women wear during weddings. The more glitters there are, the more fabulous the wearer thinks it is.

The colours are splendid and the glitters even more fabulous.

These are the recent styles and are becoming more popular and preferred by the modern Cambodian woman.  It lis still
These are the recent styles and are becoming more popular and preferred by the modern Cambodian woman. The dresses are still bedecked in glittery sequins and the colour vibrant but, compared to the above photo, look more “subdued”.

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Blue Monday: Sky

Good morning, friends!

We woke up to another chilly morning in Phnom Penh.
Looks like we’ll be seeing a lot of locals in thick jackets again. It’s a beautiful day today so we went out for a drive and get some stuff for the food pantry. It was nice to be up and about early in the morning – the sky was a clear, gorgeous blue shade.

blue monday traffic in PP

But I think we stayed too long because, on the way back, a moderate build-up of traffic greeted us.

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Quiet weekends

I like quiet weekends. And so does my husband.
There is nothing better to us than to have a plan-free weekend, with our time free to potter around the house.

Of course, we still do errands and shopping (recently we were scouting for a yamaha hs50m for his class) and other chores but, for most of the time, you would catch us relaxing, pursuing our own hobbies, or napping, and then we’ll have a nice dinner at home or, on rare occasions, dine out in our favourite restaurant. Our lifestyle is definitely changing and I’m pleased about it.

Grilled mackerel laced in mixed spices, mango salsa, and Chinese bok choi with oyster sauce and garlic.
Grilled mackerel laced in mixed spices, mango salsa, and Chinese bok choi with oyster sauce and garlic.

The past weekend, my husband wanted to have some grilled fish. And so we trooped to Psah Thmey and bought nearly a kilo of mackerel (2 pcs for 17,000riels) for grilling and ingredients for the Khmer mango salsa to go with the fish.

Every time we visit Psah Thmey it is crowded than ever, no thanks to the busloads after busloads of tourists that go there and the worsening traffic. It was nice to be in the market last weekend when most of the shoppers and tourists have already gone. Psah Thmey was no longer crowded (it was around 12nn) and so we’ve avoided the traffic jam as well as bumping into fumbling tourists in great numbers who were eager for bargains. Still, despite the crowd, the overpriced goods and sellers more aggressive than ever, Psah Thmey retains its charm that we keep on coming back.

We were home by 1pm and we didn’t get the dinner started till 4pm. We capped our day with a movie after this sumptuous dinner we bought earlier today.

Mrs. Geek I Am!

Oookay, so I’m back to blogging again. Hhhhhnnnngggfff! I can’t even!

Since quitting my job a few months ago I thought I would have more time to do things, like regular blogging, crafting, and so on… But no, nothing like that happened. True, I’ve never been busier, but over something else. For example, taking care of the house and those in it. Which, I am not complaining. We are all healthy and happy – that’s all I could ask in return.

Pls. click the cartoon for source.
Pls. click the cartoon for source.

This year has been steeped on geekery, mine mostly! I’ve been geeking out on pretty much everything – TV series and movies very recently. I never knew how huge of a geek I am UNTIL I stayed at home and got hooked on the above mentioned. Like, how seriously addicted, you ask? Well, the kind of addiction that got me into scouring the whole world wide web for hours on end for streaming sites (I live in Asia so not all TV series are broadcast here) cast interviews, spoilers, and fan sites. One time, a visiting-friend of mine, who’s a music geek, and I met up at this newly-opened mall in the city and got into discussing her current crush – an up-and-coming musician back in our hometown. She was so passionate about this person and how she (as a blogger) a is hoping to cover his developments in the tinsel world. She knows everything about this guy and she even goaded me to purchase a record and to “Mail your order today!“. Ahh, geeks.

Enough of the babbling. It’s been a nice Saturday here in Phnom Penh. I hope your weekend will be great as well.

Till next.

Coming back

Well, hello… September!
Blimey! Where have all the days gone?

I’m okay. My husband is okay. Pets all okay. BUT the days since my last post have really all gone by. SEPTEMBER again, and before we know it, DECEMBER is here! And we relocated! Again.

Although our wooden house in Boeung Tumpun was charming and all, we moved out and moved back to our old apartment in Toul Kork. It was great during the summer. We and the dogs loved it there – the space, the greenery, the laid-back lifestyle. However, things changed when the first monsoon rains have arrived – it flooded the surroundings and there was stench everywhere. And when it rains here in Phnom Penh – and it rains pretty up to December – the whole city becomes a water world. There is a lake, and a polluted one at that -just over a mile that spills over to our location when it rains. I wouldn’t dare imagine what it would’ve been like there had we stayed. Can you?

There was hesitation when we made our decision. Firstly, the house was lovely, so homey, and secondly, the landlord and his family landlords were great that when we first saw the house and met them, we immediately snapped it. Just as one would do to a hot commodity that has a Limited availability.

We had a great and memorable time there. We hosted touring cyclists twice in this house. Our dogs were able to meet and be with other dogs without any worries. The landlord and his family treated as like family, as well. However, some good things must come to an end… maybe someday we will build a similar house.

I was gone for more than a month again 🙁

Dear blog…

I know it’s been a while since my last post… *cringe*

Yikes, my last post was dated March 13th. Yikes again.

Our breakfast fare - toast (not in the pic), butter, marmite and jam.
Our breakfast fare – toast (not in the pic), butter, marmite and jam.
DIY flower vase
These are what I used for that flower vase.

Did I tell you already that we moved to a new house? It’s close to my (now-former) workplace. It’s really lovely but what we love the most is that my husband and I can have breakfasts together at a leisurely pace. Gone are the days we just gulp our coffee and say hasty bye-byes before making our separate ways to work to beat the traffic. Nothing fancy, just the normal toast and jam but it’s the precious time we share before going about our day.

Anyways, I was thinking about my blog-absence after breakfast this morning. I can assure you though that I was hard at work during these, errmmm, “gap” moments. Plus, I have tons of crafts and DIY projects – unfinished, of course – that are lying around and not even one is ready for sharing. Darn. I’m not sure if if I’m the only one who has this problem. Have you?

While I was sat there pondering, my dog’s “zip line” got caught in the tall santan shrub when he chased another dog, our landlord’s. The leaves were torn and along with a cluster of red flowers fell on the ground. Not wanting to see the flower go to waste, grabbed some cotton thread, an old beer bottle and a stick to prop the clusters of santan. Nice, eh?

My current state of affairs

Work stuff. Where are you, Friday?

Not meaning to clog up my blog with random stuff but here I go posting one of those random blog posts…

It’s pretty much the same thing at my end. Endless documents that needed submitting, new urgent tasks that land on top of my already-endless urgent task list. Attending team call outs via skype. Running to and fro the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, checking hotel rooms for the volunteers. Requesting photos for our Center’s signages to running around canvassing for brochure prints. On top of that, I’m waging a silent war against da monmon in every lunch meetings that I go to.

I’m really surprised that I am still sane after all of these. So please bear with me for awhile till this mighty wave of workload has gone away.

We’re on the look-out for more!

Since acquiring a new place in the southwestern side of the city, my husband and I are on the market for some serious home stuff. We’re not actually looking for fancy furnishings but our goal is to procure quality, albeit secondhand items. We’ve enlisted to a local buy and sell network and, so far, we’ve had some successes in getting the stuff we like.

For instance, we acquired a really nice wooden table. Quality workmanship and solid wood. The owner is in a dire financial situation and she was selling it for only $50. A lot of people asked her to lower the price. My husband and I went to have a look and we admired the quality of the table. We bought it at that instant. Two weeks ago we were able to buy a huge wooden closet. It was very heavy and it took 4 people to move it.

The buy and sell network has a Facebook page where members sell or look for something. You wouldn’t believe what’s out there. Aside from furniture, there are also lots of musical instruments for sale, for example, a rarely used washburn bass guitar is selling for less than $100.

So we’re keeping our eyes and ears for more in the coming days till we have enough furnishings in the house 🙂