Happy Rooster Year!

Happy Chinese New Year!

After a week of overtimes and coming home to massive cleaning, its a day to celebrate and rest and dinner with my mom, of course. It will be a ton of fun and we are excited to go chat amd eat together.

This entire week consisted of a lot of tidying up and getting the house ready. Flowers somehow were quite hard to find. Although I did end up with three bouquets of them.

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Decorations are pretty much the same as previous years for the most part. If only my Chinese calligraphy was better, I’d make some myself.

Today’s just a short post to share some of the floral arrangements here. They are simple this year but believe it or not, it was actually pretty hard to put them all together.

Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year! Its the Year of the Rooster! 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

This week, share a photo of something that’s art to you. It could be some actual “art,” like a painting by your grandmother or the misshapen but perfect clay sculpture your child brought home from kindergarden, or something most people wouldn’t consider beautiful at all, but that has meaning to you. The important thing is that it’s art in your eyes. – The Daily Post

I’m a movie lover, a bookworm, a blogger learning how to write and an amateur photographer.  Not to mention, a patient crafter and I’m all about DIY-ing.  I can sit down and do photobooks, sift through pictures, compile scrapbook layouts hours on hours.  I can cross stitch for hours which feel like minutes and make bottles of origami stars and buckets of origami cranes.  And finally, as an aspiring baker, I can sit around and craft my baked goods for a long time, like with my glow in the dark cupcakes HERE!

What I’m saying is that I’m all about art in cinematography, the picture weaved by the words on paper and the images filtered through the lens of a camera. The best work of art comes from your heart.  Thats the reason why I do DIY and thats the reason why these following things popped in my head when I saw work of art because they are all art in my eyes. Maybe its not worth oodles of money like Van Gogh but they are irreplaceable.

First up is the work of art from my mom…

Cake

Simple strawberry birthday cake

Sure, my mom doesn’t get all fancy like when I bake but what shines through her simplicity is her love. Plus, didn’t we all learn to not judge a book by its cover because my mom makes a kick ass cake.

After an exhibit from my mom, how can I go through without something from my dad because that was the first thing I told my mom and my boyfriend I would be moving to my home: one of my dad’s work of arts.

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You got that, right? This painting may have migrated to another part of the house because my university diploma is occupying its place above the piano but its coming with me. My dad’s painting of this bird is my favorite.  I always believed that my dad should have taken up the arts diligently and he would have gotten so far with the right opportunities.  Maybe thats because I’m his daughter and I just admire him despite our differences.  Thats my award-winning work of art that I own right now.

Now, we all know my friends hold a crazy place in my heart, at least they all know who they are.  Although my friend’s wedding earlier this year was done in a fanatical rush and frenzy with only 6 short months for a 200 guest wedding, she may not believe it but all those endless hours she put in to make the centerpieces on each table and the individual party favors that made up said centerpiece, they were the most beautiful ever.

20140217_202724I spent a few hours helping out with punching out the little parts of these butterflies and let me tell you, she has some admirable patience and the time and care she put in this work of art was memorable to me, even if no one else realized how much work was put into it.

Unless you just dropped by, you all know I’m addicted to flowers. I love flowers so other than baking and the myriad of things I do, my work of art every year is in making the perfect Chinese New Year floral arrangements 😉

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How about it? What is the work of art that you love? 

Here is my response to the Weekly Photo Challenge.  Please see other entries HERE!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

A threshold is a point of entering; that point just before a new beginning — that split-second moment in time, full of anticipation. All the hard work is over; relief is palpable. – Weekly Photo Challenge

If its anything thats abundant in my house, its the presence of flowers, potted or bouquets, whichever depending on the season or whatnot.  I love taking pictures of flowers so when I water flowers and see buds, I wait everyday for them to bloom.  That would mean the chance to capture the moment the beauty of the blossom reveals itself.

Clivia

Clivia Buds

Lily

Lily buds

Lily Buds

Pink Lily Buds

Prune blossoms

Prune Blossoms

Prune blossoms are the anticipation for the harvest of prunes in the coming season. Although we don’t treat our prune tree, we still manage harvest a good amount to make jam or whatnot. 🙂

Spring is right around the corner.  It may be a bit later than usual this year with the abnormal cold that just didn’t want to go away but I look forward to the spring buds as the grass gets green, the trees sprout leaves and the flowers start blossoming.  It’ll be soon. I’m keeping my fingers crossed 🙂

Here is my response for this week’s photo challenge.  Please go check out more entries HERE!

Happy Year of the Snake!

Happy Year of the Snake! Its finally arrived!

Last night my best friend had me over for Chinese New Year`s dinner at her house and it was super fun because I got to catch up with her.  We’ve both been so busy so all we have time to do is just text each other randomly.  It felt great to have someone to talk to and just enjoy some relaxing times together.  Her parents treat me like their goddaughter so its always heartwarming to be in that environment.  Feels like home.  However, I was having so much fun that I didn’t even think about pulling out my camera and snapping pictures.  But I kid you not…we had 10 people altogether and 20 plates of food and it was all SO AWESOME.

Earlier though, I had gotten up extra early to run to the store to get some fresh flowers.  Its tradition and even if my mom isn’t here, I thought I’d get the celebrations on by myself.  Not to the extent that my mom does it, but you know, just keep the New Year traditions going at the minimum, give the house a fresh look to bring in a new beginning.

My mom did decorate the house before she left and with the flowers I bought, its just beautiful! Here’s how it looks around my place now 🙂

Chinese New Year is all about doing things and decorating and eating things that have good symbols whether its it the sound of the words or whatnot.

Usually we decorate with banners with different proverbs (??) that wish for good fortune, say with the typical Gong Hei Fat Choy! By the way, my mother tongue is Cantonese. We have little dangling wishes from the ceilings like up there wishing for everything to go as we wish during the new year.  We welcome the new year with happiness all over the house. Everything is red before its what we believe is good luck.

When choosing flowers, we pick the ones that have sound and represent good wishes.

So here, you see the flowers I chose:

The yellow flowers (not exactly what they are actually called) since these are from the garden, but we call them Strings of Gold. Give me a bundle of those, I know 😉 This year I matched those with pussy willows which we call in direct translation Silver Buildings (give me a 1000 bundles of those..haha). So for lilies, its name in Chinese is wishing togetherness and harmony in relationships.  And as for the orange/red Gerbera, its a bright color so it works with the tradition! Do you like the flower arrangements? I only practice once a year *blush*

Yesterday I reposted a past recipe I did last year for New Year’s so I made it again.  The pictures are right up there for the batch for this year! Almond Cookies are just awesome!

More posts to come up today (most probably)! Its Chinese New Year! YAY! Wishing everyone fortune, prosperity and lots of happiness! 🙂

What Chinese Zodiac are you? I’m a Tiger (or should I say Tigress? )