Unsung heroes

face to face with a life-size hero

There’s a new superhero in town and he is white and furry, has a cute button nose and he sure looks uber-cool in his aquamarine dive suit and matching sailor hat.

Armed with his trusty compass, you can always count on Captain Barnacles and his fellow Octonaut compatriots to rescue and protect all sea creatures in the deep blue.

This is one cartoon superhero I have no worries about my boys emulating. Not only does Timmy learn about appreciating nature and helping others in trouble from the show, he and I have also learnt alot about sea turtles, electric torpedo rays, anemones, sea cucumbers, sperm whales (this is the only time he’s allowed to say the word ‘sperm’) and colossal squids with giant ‘testicles’. My son has trouble pronouncing ‘tentacles’.

Did you know there is an actual fish with a hawaiian name – Humuhumunukunukuapua’a?

Timmy and I did an ocean scene for our art & craft project recently. He had fun painting a wooden shipwreck, sticking colorful pipe-cleaners into modelling clay so they look like psychedelic seaweed, spreading colorful pebbles and glitter glue to make our beautiful seabed, and crushing pink transparent wrapping paper into jellyfish form.

20130222-214038.jpg 20130222-214003.jpg

 I’ve been thinking about the myriad cartoons and TV personalities children nowadays are exposed to, especially since my son is at the age to start exploring concepts of good and evil, superheroes vs villians, what is considered cool or uncool, and what superpowers to have – typical issues adults consider on a daily basis.

It’s really sad that there is only a pitiful number of worthy superheroes that kids can look up to and aspire to be. I’m so sick of seeing every other 5 year old boy wear Batman or Superman T-shirts, don Spiderman masks for every costume/birthday party we’ve been to, consider it ‘creative play’ when they attempt to jump off chairs in restaurants, scale the narrow walls in elevators, growl at old people like they are evil monsters or try to throw wet rolls of toilet paper onto the ceiling to see if they’ll stick like ‘spider webs’.

For now, I think I can still live with Timmy saying ‘testicles’ instead of ‘tentacles’. It is by far a lesser evil than him asking me for a Justin Bieber haircut.



I feel inspired to embark on a new ‘home improvement’ project with every change in season. This summer, I decided to add a personal touch to our feature wall in the lounge room.

Previously, we hung a replica, or rather, a cheap copy of the famous Chinese contemporary artist, Yue Mingjun’s work. I wanted something light-hearted and reflective of our asian roots then. Plus, the figure in the picture bears a slight resemblance to my husband, especially when he is in the shower. 🙂


This project has been long in the making. It was difficult to find unique photo frames that complement one another. I didn’t want boring black and white ones. I found some nice rustic looking ones from an eco-friendly shop in the old town of zurich. The frames were made by a south-african artist using recycled materials. We found another 2 on our trip back to Australia. The next step involved finding interesting images. I finally decided on a few of our travel pictures and family portraits. I also blew up some photos into frameless portraits to make it more interesting and provide different textures to the project.

My wall project:


Deciding on the perfect layout


Final composition


Close up of images





What I REALLY REALLY want to do (albeit self-indulgent) is to blow up this kaleidescope-pattern as a wall paper for the entire feature wall. This was done using the different funny effects on photobooth on the ipad and we had such a blast pulling monkey faces.

Writing (and keeping) New Year’s resolutions


After 2 busy weeks of partying, traveling and basically, stuffing myself silly with Christmas and New Year goodies, I finally found some quiet time to think (the operating word here is ‘think’) about my new year resolutions. I have never been good at writing yearly goals. Never thought it was necessary. I don’t even write ‘to-do’ lists or shopping lists. Maybe that’s why I always spend too much money on groceries. It’s not like I never tried to, I even bought fancy notepads, diaries and a nice coloured pen to encourage myself to create more structure in my life. I recall writing new year resolutions once, that was last year – to read at least 10 classics in 2011. I am proud to say I achieved that in the first 2 months of 2011, that was mainly because I was back in Perth in January to visit relatives. With scorching-hot 40 degree days during the time we were there, there was nothing better than hiding in bed and reading. Erm… plus, I got some children’s versions of classic stories like Alice in Wonderland.

I found some interesting and funny new year resolutions on the internet. Most people seem to have the same goals – Quit a bad habit like smoking, drinking, biting toenails and not washing hands after going to the loo. There are also quite a few altruistic ones like working with neglected children (my own), starting a dubious charity to raise funds for a boob job and finding world peace. I think the top goal on everyone’s list is to lose weight.

If you are still scratching your head to think of good resolutions to make, here are some that might inspire you…

  • I will no longer waste my time relieving the past, instead I will spend it worrying about the future.
  • I will not bore my boss with the same excuse for taking leaves. I will think of some more new excuses.
  • I will do less laundry and use more deodorant.
  • I will avoid taking a bath whenever possible and conserve more water.
  • I resolve to work with neglected children — my own.
  • I will not tell the same story at every get together.
  • I won’t worry so much.
  • I will stop considering other people’s feelings when they so obviously don’t consider mine
  • Spend less than $1825 for coffee at Starbucks this year.
  • Claim all my pets as dependents on my taxes
  • Watch more cute and cuddly kitten videos on Youtube
  • Start using Facebook for something other than Farmville and stupid quizzes

I find that the key to losing weight is setting concrete targets like…

  1. Start smoking to lose weight
  2. Gain enough weight to get on The Biggest Loser
  3. Lose weight by living on the moon
  4. Find a more accurate scale
  5. Stop buttering your doughnuts
  6. Eat more fruit… snacks

Have a happy 2012 everyone!