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 🙂


An epic match!

Yes, it was every bit an epic match!

An ailing Rafael Nadal survives his second round match play against Tim Smyczek in a thrilling five-setter at the Rod Laver Arena. Yes, it was a grueling five-set match.

I don’t know about you but I would not be able to watch and sit still all that painful five-sets. Wouln’t you?
Luckily, I only caught the last set, otherwise, I would be biting-my-nails-again and clutching-my-chest-hoping-my-heart-wouldn’t-burst-out. In fact, I was too terrified to watch and see him lose in the end. I had to shoo my dogs away, especially the smallest one, because he was nibbling my ankle as if he was nibbling a tenor saxophone mouthpiece while I sat there, wriggling in my seat, watching a sweat-drenched Rafa scraping and grinding to stay in the match. He vomited at the sidelines as Rafa was feeling ill. He could’ve stopped (retired) but he didn’t.  Poor boy. I don’t know why I get so emotional every time Rafa is playing but anyone can not deny that this is what the tennis world missed when he got injured last year!

Rafa reacting on his win against Smee at the 2nd round AO15
Rafa on his knees after delivering his winning shot against Smee in the second round match at the AO2015.

To be fair to Rafa’s opponent, Tim Smyczek, who the media and Rafans baptised as Smee, he was a gentleman and his sportsmanship should be commended. And he’s got a new fan in me – what a great guy he is! Smee has a very likable attitude on court – he smiles at every point won or lost and applauds Rafa’s efforts, too. Now there are only a few players like him on ATP and I hope other players emulate him (I’m looking at you, Lukas Rosol!).

The tennis gods must be pleased with Rafa’s determination and grit. He survived – albeit barely – and lived to play another day at the Australian Open 2015. His fighting spirit is incredible, he grinds like it was his last.  And, he celebrates as if he’s already won the title when it is only the second round. How can you not admire this guy? Truly remarkable, that Rafa. This is one match I will definitely remember for a long time.

Here’s the highlights of the #smadal match last night.

To know more about the on-court drama, hear it straight from Rafa. Here’s the transcript of his post-match presser. And here’s Smee’s presser.

Australian Open 2015 now on!

Yes it is the first round today in sunny Melbourne!

Rafael Nadal vs Mikhail Youzhny AO 2015 first round
Rafael Nadal, on his first round match against Mikhail Youzhny. Photo by Rafaholics FB page. Please click the photo to take you to Rafaholics page.

Ladies and gentlemen of tennis are beginning their campaign today. And since it is summer Down Under, one can feel the heat, the sweat, and oh, this is the best time for deodorant – petal pushers or any deodorant that does its job.

And my boy, Rafael Nadal, played earlier today against the Russian Mikhail Youzhny. He is simply fab in his pink and short-shorts, which he prefers as he is comfortable in it. Oh, did I mention there is also a sparkly pink stripe on his shorts?

I was only able to watch the match intermittently but I’m very pleased with Rafa and his game. I’ll watch the full match later tonight, hopefully someone’s able to post it on youtube.

Blue Monday: Balloon

My husband and I drove to the Post Office to pick up mails and then we were off to the vet’s clinic on the other side of the city to get my dogs’ vitamins. If only we have something like a local EntirelyPets Pharmacy nearby, then we wouldn’t have to be driving that far.

Anyways, we were glad to be out once in a while. It’s nice to be driving around the city on weekends when traffic is not bad and the weather is just right. By the way, we are still having a cool weather and we are loving it!

It was just one of those weekend drives we take across the town when we chanced upon this random scene… a giant while balloon.

Huge balloon in Phnom Penh
A weather balloon? Not sure.

They are being followed by two guys wearing blue shirts, on separate motorbikes. The guy immediately behind the balloon is a security guard, that explains the blue top. The other one must be the owner as I saw it following the balloon before turning right.

Now, how many of you have seen something like this? No, not the giant balloon but having it transported across town on the back of a moto-dop (moto-taxi)? I guess you wouldn’t have/get this in your part of the world 🙂


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”.


Blue Mondays: Sun-drying

We have been lucky to have a nice, cool, sunny weather these days.

And one day last week, my neighbour thought it was a nice day for sun-drying their cushions. I saw their helper lay out their giant, colourful cushions on their lawn to air and dry them out in the sun.

Giant cushions on display. I want one of those for my living room!
Giant cushions on display. I want one of those for my living room!

I also do this. Sunlight and air, according to my mum, kill mildew and mould spores that build up on the pillows and cushions and freshens them, too. I do this for a few hours and only once a month – and when the weather is perfect for such. However, I do fluff my pillows daily while making the bed. More when I’m particularly frustrated and needed to vent some bottled emotions *wink-wink*


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.


Blue Monday: Thankful

Today is the feast day of the Immaculate Conception in my hometown in the Philippines. However, the week-long celebration supposedly culminating today was cancelled due to the arrival of typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit) in the province.

Thankfully, our province is not in the direct path of typhoon Ruby, and the destruction was not as massive as during last year’s Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan). Still, it was strong in other provinces, wreaking havoc in most-affected towns. We were lucky that my hometown was spared this year, and for the other provinces that were not, my heart goes out to them. Hopefully, they’ll be able to bounce back from this natural disaster in no time.

I have been worrying since yesterday but my sister assured me that they are all okay. According to her, the weather today is good – no more rains and winds. What they’re busy now with is picking up the pieces left by the typhoon. Cleaning up and drying out things under the sun. But only after they’ve come back from hearing mass today. And yes, there are so many things to be thankful for today. Typhoons and other disasters come ago but the faith of my countrymen is very much alive and unwavering.

A statue of the Immaculate Conception at the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral, in my hometown. Photo by my sister-in-law, Minmin.

This is the altar of the Immaculate Conception church, photo taken by my sister-in-law. This is where I was baptised, as my father and other siblings were. Although the church is newly-renovated, it still is the same altar that I remember, and the same statue of the Virgin Mary cloaked in a blue robe and golden trimmings.


Blue Monday: Toy logging truck

As per usual, I was blog-hopping and came across another photo meme called Blue Monday. I followed the link and I arrived in the mother-ship of Blue Monday meme. There I read the mechanics, which is very easy, and decided that it is doable. So here I am, on my first Blue Monday meme. Hope to find new friends as well 🙂

My first photo is a toy truck I found in a toy store in Phnom Penh. To most of you, it’s just an ordinary toy truck carrying logs.

This toy truck carrying logs is actually thought-provoking.
This toy truck carrying logs is actually thought-provoking.

Illegal logging is a major problem in Cambodia. Not only does this activity degrades the forest and other natural resources, it also promotes corruption and human rights abuses. So, to see this toy truck sold in a toy store really struck me considering I live here and for years have worked with many local farmers depending on the forest and land for their livelihood.