November 22, 2008

Picture Time

Here's a peek into what I've been up to - flowers, macarons and more flowers....

My most recent flower foray, sparked off by a bouquet I was helping a friend do. With lots of excess flowers, I thought I might as well use 'em all up...

The recent italian meringue-style macaron adventure that led to my burns. Kaya and bandung (rose lah) flavour. Way too soft and sticky, I really need to perfect these little almond cookies. Will try again.

The trifle looking thing in the glass bowl was my attempt at finishing up the rose whipped cream I had. I was too lazy to bake some cupcakes to frost, and so turned to the only food (that could be used) I had - Danish biscuits. I piled a bunch of butter cookies and slopped on rose whipped cream on top of it, sprinkled some cereal, and added some more whipped cream and topped off with some strawberry choc flakes. Stuck it into the fridge overnight. Next day I bought some strawberries and garnished it. It was quite yummy, the whipped cream had set and the butter cookies had softened. Yum.

Collection of my work in floral design class. The flower quality isn't the best as I didn't opt for the "take-home" materials as it's much costlier, so we use flowers that have been recycled.

November 19, 2008

Inspiration of the Moment

This picture kinda sums up the colours and feel I have in mind for Ever After...
 blog it

November 17, 2008

Macaron Adventures and the Like

I really need to get a food processor if I'm intending to continue making macarons. Spending 20 minutes pushing and pounding ground almonds through a fine sieve is NOT fun and really quite finger and back breaking. I've definitely invested way too much into all these pieces of equipment. I bought a candy thermometer the other day so I could try making the Italian meringue macaron recipe as it involves boiling sugar syrup to a certain temperature to be poured over whipped egg whites. Which incidentally, has resulted in a kitchen mishap which has led to Rorschach inkblot blisters on my hands. Clumsy me.

Since I'm going to get a food processor, I might as well go and get a second baking tray to insulate my first one (apparently it gives you more even temperature), as well as a small saucepan to cook my sugar syrup so that I won't get into a similar incident with the sugar syrup & thermometer again. While I'm at it, let's just throw in a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker (the industrial self-freezing type, not the have-to-put-bowl-in-freezer-overnight type) that's on sale at Tangs for $688 which is really a steal considering the high-end Musso one is over $1000. Bah, dreaming only, since I don't even really eat ice-cream that much. But maybe I will if I get the machine (self-rationalisation in process)...

In line with the asset accumulation (yes that's what I like to view it as), I've bought several candle holders, artificial flowers & plants, decorating knick-knacks and some gift boxes/bags over the weekend. I really really need to start restraining myself from buying all these pretty but useless things.

November 11, 2008

What Should I Do With My Life?

That's the title of the book I'm reading. It's a collection of stories of how people are in various stages of deciding what to do with their lives, finding meaning and purpose. Each story is a few pages, and the author tries to weave in themes that he sees coming out from all these people he meets.

I must say that the stories do unlock one's mind, and it gave me perspectives that I did not consider before. I always end up putting myself into the shoes of the person in question, and trying to identify with the situation. The last story I just read was about how a woman gave up a job offer which would have doubled her salary, to pursue her childhood dream of being a landscape gardener. The job offer forced her to relook what she was doing in life. She knew if she took the job, it'd just be for money and not anything else. It made her realise that she was not after money in life, and she just wanted to do something that made her happy. Oftentimes we see money as the means to that end - to be able to afford to pursue something that makes us happy be it to bum, open a business or study. But once we get caught up in the pursuit of money, often that overshadows whatever original goal we had.

I thought about my childhood ambitions. Did I have any? I know that I was never the sort who grew up with a conviction to be something (there are stories about that too in the book), but I do remember wanting to be a fashion designer at some point, fashion merchandiser and also make-up artist at another. In my late teens, I think I also wanted to be an interior designer and a chef. While these never really lasted or developed into strong ambition, the stories have made me dig up these memories and realise that there is a common thread among them - that they are all jobs in the creative field, vocational in nature requiring some sort of a skill. They are not money-spinning, highly intellectual jobs in the corporate world.

My fear though, is that my talent does not match up to my passion. That whilst I may wish to pursue these things, I will inevitably fall short. Fear of failure, in our success and qualification driven society. Maybe I belong to the category of people who are good at what they do not like, but like what they are not good at.

I tell myself that these questions and fears would be best answered and confronted if I actually act and take a step in that direction that I have always felt tugged in. No more sitting around and just agonising over what could be.

Now I just need someone to bankroll me.

November 7, 2008

Names Names Names

After a few days of brainstorming, though most of them were thought of at Klee earlier tonight with JW, I've shortlisted some names that could be used for a wedding planning & design service. Which one's better?? Pls take the poll!

November 3, 2008

Pretty Productive

So today I didn't work. The end of the year marks the start of all the leave-taking. I had intended to make some more macarons using the italian meringue method (since I rushed to buy a candy thermometer last Sat) but got a little sian. Been baking quite a bit in the past week so thought I need to venture into other things. Evidence of my recent baking adventures below - Chocolate Mint Cupcakes for baby Victoria's one-month & P's bday, and Salted Caramel & Peanut + Chocolate Halloween Macarons (no it's not yellow but supposed to be orange the picture is lying).

I settled my insurance, renewed my road tax and got my teeth cleaned. In between, I also plonked a whole bunch of money into my flower course. Yeah, I've decided to restart my flower classes and this time, I went the whole hog and decided to sign up for a Professional Certificate in Floristry Development. Yeah, pompous sounding name I know but it sounds more cheem than it really is. I do hope I can get some mileage out of it, more like an investment for the long term. Well, at least that's how I convinced and reasoned it to myself.

Spent the past few hours surfing online d-i-y craft/wedding/flowers stuff. There are quite a lot of craft studios coming up in Singapore. I know of the usual scrapbooking places, but didn't know there were places where you could go to sew, bead, paint, make pots and what-have-you. Think I'll check some of them out one of these days. If anyone's interested, do check out the links below.

Other Resources
  • Craftholic - really good online/print mag on all things crafty, which is where I got the above links from.
  • Our Craft Place - online shop selling scrapbooking stuff
I should really sleep in case I've forgotten I still have to work tomorrow.
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