Breaking out of the blogging doldrums

I feel like this from time to time; perhaps several times a year. It can be difficult to get out of this funk when all I want to do is just laze around the house.

I  was excited when Postcrossing published an interview featuring the creator of Lali cards. I was compelled out of my doldrums to blog about it because — Lali cards.

You see, I never owned any Lali card but I’m such a big fan! Which is a shame, to be honest. I want them but couldn’t get them anywhere here in Phnom Penh or other Asian countries.  Apparently, Lali cards are only available in certain European countries. *insert a sad face here*

Don’t know what a Lali card is? Well, you must have been living under a rock! Lali card designs are like normal cards only that it has riddles on them. The designs are playful, vibrant, whimsical and appeal to people of all ages. As I’ve said, every card  has a riddle written in front that needs to be solved. They’re in French but they’re a lot of fun even for non-French speakers like me. Every card design has fantastic details – I can only hope to draw like this!

Postcrossing has done a wonderful feature about Lali.It was nice getting to know the person behind these most-desired cards in their Postcrossing profiles. Hers is a story of heart, passion, and of course, hard work. How wonderful it was to read about her beginnings,  an affirmation that dreams do come true. That is, through hard work, perseverance, a burning passion, and a little dash of luck, too. Such an inspiration to girls and boys out there who are nurturing similar dreams.

To mark this occasion, Lali and Postcrossing joined together to give a chance to Postcrossing members to win – not one – but a whole set of Lali cards! How great was that? Of course, I had to join. I felt that lady luck was whispering in my ear so I dropped my name and comment there. I felt so giddy at the little voice in my head telling me that it would be awesome to win the Lali cards of my dreams.

And here’s an update:

Two weeks or so passed after that,  I opened an email from Postcrossing and — lo and behold! I read the most pleasant news evah! Ana told me that I was among the three Postcrossing members who have won the Lali cards giveaway. I was so happy I almost did cartwheels if not for my pet dogs blocking  my way, lol.

So just to humble-brag a bit, let me show you my  precious Lali cards.

My precious Lali cards! Some of them are going to be sent to dear family and friends :)
My precious Lali cards! Some of them are going to be sent to dear family and friends 🙂

I also have to mention the lovely handwritten note from the Postcrossing team 🙂 Thank you, Postcrossing! Thank you, Lali!

Back online again

Wow,  it’s been three weeks since my last post. We experienced a major kink with our Internet service provider and, unfortunately, had to temporarily terminate their service until things got sorted out. 
We sought the service of another ISP, this time an ADSL connection, from a supposedly the best ISP provider in Cambodia. But imagine our surprise and shock at how their technicians wired our Internet at home:
 This was exactly how it was left by the darn technicians. On the right, without the black tape. HTC – High Tech Cambodia. Oh, dear.
In case you are wondering, the connection is just baaaaad. What can you expect? The connection was dropping out completely within minutes of connection. So we refused the service – as we customers have the right to do so – but the staff won’t give back our deposit even if we called it off on the very first day of the contract. They can shove the deposit down their – uhm – throats ‘coz we ain’t paying for a sh*tty service.
Three weeks without Internet seemed like three years, lol. To tell you honestly, I was restless at that time and couldn’t stay still. I pored over craft books to see what I could do or make while waiting to be re-connected to the Net. There were lots of great stuff there including painting leather. It’s a good thing though that my husband recently bought us a Singer sewing machine so it kept me busy all this time. Here’s some photos I took:
Vintage sewing machines for sale around Psah O’Russei (O’Russei Market).
Learning the basics using paper (at first).
Then on to the fabric.

So far, I have already hemmed a five-meter curtain and two three-meter sofa covers. That saved me about $40, the amount I would’ve paid a costurera here in the Penh. But don’t you all worry, I will still be collecting postcards and stamps and, of course, be engaging in swaps (albeit selectively).

What to do when sick

Artwork from Dazed Reflection.

Pardon the lack of posts. My butt is getting kicked by this nasty, nasty cold virus and I’ve been coughing a lung for two weeks now.

It’s no fun at all lounging around the house with this sickness. Since my mother is thousands of miles away and could not come to my aid at this time, I’m trying to get better with the help of my husband, drinking lots of fluids, getting enough rest and remembering to cough with my mouth covered, as mum always reminds me.

So while I try to kick the bugs off my system, I’ll be away from the computer for awhile but will be back when I get better again. Meanwhile, I’m sharing you this cute get-well card that I stumbled upon while searching the Internet.

Toodles.

Sweet stuff

A delightful surprise was waiting for me at the Post Office this morning!!!

Miss Igorota is carefully reading the notes on the parcel and smiled at me. The goodies came from Conniechiwa (Writings on the Wall)!

The packet’s filled with stuff that I really love! Without further prodding from me, Miss Iggy helped me in opening the packet. Excited much?!?

A scrapbooking kit by Mary Engelbreit. No more #noynoying anymore. There’s scrapping to do!
There’s a cuuute birthday card (I wonder whose is it for, hmmm 😛), a lovely, lovely scrapbooking kit from Mary Engelbreit, a huge world map from NatGeo, and a pack of chocolates (soon to be in my tummy, lol), too!!

Conn, you are very thoughtful and I’m humbled by your generosity. Madamo guid nga salamat! You surely know how to spoil a girl on her special day ^.^


Down but not out!

Hey, hey, hey… Today is a good day.
I may have a bad case of cold, cough and sore throat but I am most definitely not out — errr, what I mean is that I didn’t let these ailments disrupt my daily routines. Like today, I went to the Post Office to post overdue mails. It took quicker than I had anticipated so I killed time by going to the thrift shop while waiting for my husband to pick me up.
The new look inside the Japanese thrift shop.

I last visited the shop about a month ago and was surprised to see that they moved things around. From the entrance, as you can see in the pic, the clothes are on the right side neatly arranged in hangers, to the left are the bedsheets and the bags and the hats at the back. The centre ailse leads you to a small room that contains tea cups and glasses of many sorts, including various wine glasses. Not seen in the pic is a small corner displaying discount furniture and several shelves of dinnerwares and cookingwares. From a dimly lit and totally cavernous place where all items were dumped haphazardly, the new arrangement is an A++. We can now enjoy shopping without fear of getting bitten by dengue mosquitoes, brushing elbows with other shoppers, or digging through a messy pile of clothes. It’s well-lighted and ventilated, there’s plenty of aisle space, and most of all, the displays were well-organised. I didn’t get anything but I enjoyed my visit there. Well done!

Another gym soon to open in the Penh

I stole a shot this morning, taken from our veranda.

Looks like the gym and spa that is being constructed a stone’s throw away from our apartment is nearly finished. It boasts of a well-equipped gym, a tennis court, two swimming pools, squash and badminton courts, and massage and spa parlours. The other day while I was walking the dogs I saw men unloading various gym equipments from a huge container van. Soon, the spa will be fitted next and wherever they plan to buy their spa decorations they should bear in mind their signature style and match their interiors. Yes, to  buy spa coverup to the seating and accessories, it has to be consistent with their style. Otherwise, it will just be like any other spas that are pretentious.

The lot where this building now stands used to be vacant since 2006, even before the time when we moved in this area. It was covered in grass where snakes and giant rats and other creatures lived. During the rainy season, the whole lot is filled with water and we could hear an orchestra of frogs. In 2010, it was rumoured that an English school would be built there. Obviously, it didn’t push through. Instead, a gym will soon open and our neighbourhood will be busier than ever. The place looks like this (see photo), as of this morning.

Anyways, I’m getting ahead here. I think it will take around 3months to finally complete everything in the gym. But, you know what, I think it is terrific to have this facility right where I live! No more expensive tuk-tuks and traveling across town, thank you! Plus, I heard that there will also be a mini-mart and a coffee shop in the same building. Cool! But what would make it even cooler if yoga or pilates would be offered here, too.


Overheard

Tomorrow will be the 31st of the month and the next day we will be into the second month of the year. How time flies. And you know what, while I was queuing at the Post Office for postage stamps, I overheard two lady barangs (foreigners) standing at the claims counter for international parcels and talking about Valentine’s and celebrating it here in Cambodia.

There was a discernible excitement in their voices and, from what I’ve heard, one is expecting a set of lingerie bodystockings she bought online. She, the owner, was very animated with a hint of naughtiness in describing the items she chose for herself. They were both giggling like teenagers. I smiled at what I heard; they probably mistook everyone at the Post Office as locals so they weren’t so privy about their thoughts. Hahaha. I know it is not ethical to  eavesdrop on someone else’s conversation but I couldn’t help it. The two were talking, in English, in a room full of people who they thought were non-English speakers. Be careful, ladies.

Australian Open begins tomorrow!

At last!
All the action, drama, thrill, excitement, etc. will begin tomorrow at Melbourne Park.

I won’t be there but I’ll be watching with my dear friend Ana (My World of Postcards) … on cable TV and chatting via Facebook!!! WOo-hoo, I can’t wait, amiga.

And thousands of miles away…  look who’s training intensely?
 

Photo Credit: PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images 2012
Via Rafaholics Facebook Photo Album

That’s our boy, Rafael Nadal. He ranked #2 in the world and seeded #2 in this year’s tournament. See the rest of the list of seeded players here. And Here is the men’s single’s draw.

Good luck. Vamos, Rafa!

Showing off!

Please excuse me and indulge me for a moment.
Here is one of the Korean rubber stamp sets that I ordered. The stamp blocks are sooo cute – sooo Korean. I think when it comes to cuteness overload, the Japanese and Korean are on the top of the list.

{Kawaii} {Cute} I am such a sucker for everything kawaii. Are you?

I think I should transfer this post (and the previous one) to my crafts blog where I blog from time to time 😀 The posts there are intermittent, a result when inspiration sets in or I have this itch to start a new project spurred by something I’d seen somewhere.

Let the stamping begin!

The year 2012 is now well underway – can you believe it?
My brothers have arrived from their three-week holiday and they brought some stuff for me. I’m so excited!

I have so many new things that I’d like to do this year. Like my friend Pinaywifespeaks, I am sort of diversifying my interests this year… aside from two new projects, I’ve taken up… stamping and scrapbooking! A bit of a late-bloomer, yes I am. It’s just that I want to be busier this year. Besides, I’ve always  been crafty but didn’t have the proper shops here in Phnom Penh to get my materials from. So when my husband mentioned he is ordering online a couple of signature stamps, the bulb inside my head suddenly lit up!

I never had stamped before and I thought this is the right time to begin. So, while the husband was busy browsing at the online shop, I was also on the other end of the house with my laptop and ooh-ing and aah-ing at the stamp gallery and decided on getting myself a set of custom stamps that will help kick-start my stamping hobby.

So today, just less than ten days since we placed our oders, the package arrived – hurray! And my, I was so giddy! Can you blame me? This set of stamps is just so tiny… so cute! It’s only for experiment so I’ll see what stuff I can make out of this. If I’m already good at it and developed my own style, I’ll move on to getting the proper things, the materiaIs, you know. I am excited about stamping. It’s something I can do on my free time {apart from blogging, of course} and it’s not an expensive hobby, too. I might even earn money from this, who knows.

Sourcing the materials, I found out,  is not that difficult – you can get them by  just tapping your keyboard. Thank heavens for online shops! Also, one can get a variety of discount stamps from online shops, as well as other scrapbooking materials. If you are a fan of paper products then stamping and scrapbooking might also be for you!