Archive for art

Empire State of Mind

Posted in Asian Winter Odyssey 2010-11, Travel North America with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2013 by Yarn Over New York

The flight was very long

In mid-December 2010, it was time for me to take a three-week trip back to the USA for the holidays.  My first stop was good ol’ NYC to see my friends and enjoy the city’s unique energy.

Having never traveled half-way across the planet all in one go before, I was not prepared for the staggering jet-lag.  On my first night, my former roommate Nicole invited a friend over for a dinner party.  I remember sitting on the couch and chatting while Nicole cooked and then the next thing I remember is waking up on the couch- still seated in the exact same position at 2am.  Apparently, I simply passed out mid-conversation and missed the entire dinner.  I guess I’m lucky they didn’t put my hand in warm water or cover my face in shaving cream!

Good morning sofa!

After shaving my head in a hari krishna hair style in India, I needed to embrace the craziness.  So I bought some hair dye and headed over to Queens to see my friend Keiko.  She helped me dye my tuft bright blue.

She even gave me matching earrings!

My trip was so quick, luckily I had a chance to see a bunch of friends and also catch some beautiful sites in the city.

Lincoln Center

Dali exhibit at Time Warner Building

Pretty sky downtown

Flying cows (part of the Flying Animals installation by Caitlin Hurd)

Grace Church at night

And I’ll leave you with a quote that is not technically from a fortune cookie but should be.

See more photos of NYC here.

Read more about my travels here.

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Good-Bye Rainbow Apartment

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Life in Singapore, Painting with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2012 by Yarn Over New York

The time for me to say good-bye to my apartment in Singapore is fast-approaching.  My show (Voyage de la Vie) is closing and I am heading into what I like to call International Homelessness.  I will travel for a little while (currently planning to do 2 weeks in China, 1 week in Hong Kong/Macau and another week in Tokyo.)  If I don’t manage to have work lined up after that, I will head to the land down under and do a grand tour of Australia and New Zealand.  (Which is potentially very exciting because I’ve never been either place before AND it would be my 50th [and 51st] country visited.)

Here are some photos to show off my mad decorating skills.

My Rainbow Apartment

My Living Room

I sure will miss this place.

See even more photos here.

You Snooze, You Lose

Posted in Life in Singapore with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2012 by Yarn Over New York

For the last few months, the Singapore Art Museum has been displaying a AWESOME sculpture by Mojoko and Eric Foenander  on its front lawn.

“No One Can Save Us Now” photo by Suzzana Low-Chew

For the last few months, I have been meaning to put on my Superman t-shirt and have my photo taken with this sculpture.  However, last night as my boyfriend and I were returning home from a fine Mexican dinner in Little India, I noticed the sculpture had been taken down and that the SAM lawn was distinctly empty.   Upon a quick internet search, I discovered that it had been taken down the day before.   I missed it by 1 day!!!

Me, sad, NOT next to the the Melting Superman

My boyfriend suggested an alternative photo shoot to cheer me up, so I donned my coffee t-shirt and posed with some giant colorful macaroons.

I’m as strong as Superman
This yellow one looks tasty

At least I got my photo with the macaroons before they got graffitied or replaced.

My Apartment in Macau

Posted in Life in Macau, Painting with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2011 by Yarn Over New York

When I moved from Belgium to Macau about a year ago, I found an awesome little 2-bedroom apartment in the historic area of Taipa.  The apartment fit all of my requirements: I could walk to work, it was not in a high-rise, I could easily walk to stores, restaurants and bars, and most of all it was in a neighborhood with some personality.

The area where I live is the oldest populated part of Taipa (called Old Taipa Village), whereas the rest of the island was pretty much a jungle until about 10 years ago.)  In recent years, the trees have been cleared out of the majority of Taipa and many many new high-rise apartment buildings have been added.  Though I enjoy the conveniences this kind of development creates (groceries stores, home supply stores, bars and restaurants), I wanted to live in a location with more of a history and a more unique feeling.

A view of the rest of Taipa

(Chicken coop high-rise = bad)

As you can see from the photos below, I have large windows with a view of trees!  It feels like I live in the woods ever though I am in the middle of the city.

Here is a before photo

The apartment is fully furnished (YAY!) with really ugly non-color-coordinating cheap furniture (BOO!), so I decided to cover EVERYTHING with orange fabric.  It is much better this way, don’t you think?

And here is the finished product

I also decided to paint the walls in my bedroom and the main living/dining area.  The kitchen and bathroom are both tiled, so no need to paint in there.  I had left the second bedroom alone with plans to tackle it in the future.  Now my roommate Nia has painted it for herself.

I went with an orange called “Carotine,” a dark green called “Kelly Green” and a light green called “Celery Stalk” for the living room.

For the bedroom, I chose a yellow called “Ripe Banana” and a pink called “Strawberry Crush.”  It’s like a smoothie in there!

I went to several home goods stores looking for various colorful (but mostly orange) accessories for the apartment.

My Guardian Lion

I set up a nice relaxing area on my bedroom windowseat.  It is a perfect little reading corner.

I covered the wardrobes with my photos.

My water cooler.

See more photos of my Macau apartment here.

Tree of Life

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Life in Macau, Painting with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

A few years ago in NYC, I painted a mural on my door inspiring by Gustav Klimt‘s Tree of Life.

 

Klimt's Tree of Life

Skoopy's Tree of Life- 2008

Recently, a friend of mine started to do murals on the walls in his living room.  He asked me to do a portion for him.  I chose the corner between his kitchen and his front door.  After some thought, I decided to do another tree of life.

I started this project about a month ago now and am really excited to show its progress over the last few weeks.

 

In the beginning, there was a tree

And in the end . . .

 

See more murals I’ve painted in Macau here.

La Femme Cactus Makes Her Mark

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Life in Macau, Painting with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

I am writing this post to demonstrate why it is good to have friends that are as crazy as you are (I am).  I will present this tale to you in the form of a script.

Scene: Apartment in Old Taipa (Macau), nighttime, two 30-something expat chicks chilling on the balcony

 

Shaz: I bought some fairy lights today.  Wanna help me figure out where to hang them?

LFC: SURE!

Shaz shows LFC two set of Christmas lights, one with dragon flies and one with random shapes made of straw.

LFC: These are awesome.  [La Femme Cactus look around the room thoughtfully] You know what you should do?  You should hang them on this wall above your couch.

Shaz: That could be cool.  How would you do it?

LFC: Well first I would paint the wall so it’s not such a boring brown color.  I have an awesome green leftover from when I painted my apartment.

 

****I interrupt this story to tell you that, YES, I will write a post and show photos of my own apartment soon.  I promise.  Now, back to your regularly scheduled broadcast.****

Shaz:  That’s a good idea.

LFC: Do you want to do it right now?  I can go get the paint and the supplies.

Shaz: Sure.  Let’s do it!

Shaz and La Femme Cactus go over to LFC’s apartment, which is conveniently located in the same building, but is inconveniently accessed by going DOWN one set of stairs and then UP another set a stairs.  They collect the paint, brushes and other supplies and then head back DOWN and UP the stairs back to Shaz’s apartment.

 

The two ladies begin to rearrange the furniture and set up the painting supplies.  Meanwhile, Rich (Shaz’s husband) comes into the apartment . . .

 

Rich: Hey ladies, what’s going on?

LFC: We are going to paint your wall green and then hang some fairy lights.

Rich: [pointing at paint can] That lime green right there?

Shaz: Yeah, we can make a cool design.

Rich: I don’t know how I feel about this.

LFC: What if we just paint PART of the wall green and leave mostly the brown?

Shaz: Yeah, we could do shapes!

Rich: I’m still not sure about this.

LFC: It’ll be great.  Just wait and see. [ponders] Ok, if we don’t paint the whole wall, we should find a fun design.  What do you think?  Palm trees?

Shaz: I don’t know.

LFC: I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [EXCITED] A cactus!

Shaz: Perfect.

La Femme Cactus then starts painting the outline of two cacti.  Soon, the cat, Butters, decides that he should help.  Soon, Butters face and tail both match the wall.  Mostly brown, with a lovely green design.


LFC: I think I can finish the basic shapes tonight, but I’ll need to come back tomorrow and bring more paint for the rest.  If you give me your keys, I can do it while you are both at work.

Shaz and Rich give LFC a set of keys to their apartment and she heads home for the night.

End of Day One

The next day, she returns with several more colors of paint and resumes her work on the wall.


Painting the spines takes FOREVER!  Shaz and Rich come home.  Shaz’s friend Brandy comes over to watch.  LFC slaves away for HOURS to paint all the little spines on the two cacti.

Flowers too!

Finally the paint is done and the lights can get hung.  Shaz pulls out some sticky hooks and gets to work on her contribution to the mural.

Ready for lights

LFC: I think we have done a good job.

Rich: It’s not what I would have imagined for my living room, but it’s pretty cool.

Brandy: I want one in my house!

 

THE END

See more photos of this and other murals here.

 

 

Scandinavian Leg

Posted in European Summer Adventure 2009, Travel Europe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

Sweden - Home of ABBA, Nokia, Stieg Larsson and Andy Warhol's Cows

Between my trip to Paris to visit Saram and my trip to Cyprus to visit more friends, I had two weeks of solo travel through Scandinavia.  Though I have been living in Northern Europe for the last year, I wanted to go really really far North.

Finland- Home of reindeer, cloudberries and Santa

NOTE: I had originally intended to write separate blog posts for each of the countries I visited on this leg, but my departure date for Macau is less than 2 weeks away and I need to blog through the rest of my European Summer Adventure before I leave.

Norway - Home of fjords, Sonja Henie and Gustav Vigeland

I traveled between and through the countries on every form of public transportation available.  I flew from Paris to Stockholm, took a train to Uppsala, a ferry to Tallinn and Helsinki, a train to Rovaniemi and Turku, both a ferry and a train to Oslo and both a bus and a train to get to Copenhagen.  I also rode the Tunnelbana and took buses in each city just to get around.  However, I never once took a cab or drove a car.

Denmark - Home of Hamlet, Christiania, and the Little Mermaid (sorry crappy photo)

Unfortunately, I did not have time to visit Iceland, otherwise my Scandinavian Leg would have been truly complete.

First Stop – Stockholm, Sweden

Due to the last-minute nature of my travel arrangements (mostly due to cash flow issues during the aftermath of the Zürich Wallet Theft).  I had very few options in choosing hostels in all of the Scandinavian cities I visited.  While visiting Stockholm, I actually had to stay 40 minutes outside of town at the Jumbo Hostel at Arlanda Airport.  It is the first of a chain of hostels created in retired jumbo jets.  The hostel was very clean and cute. The staff was also quite friendly and I loved that shoes were not allowed indoors.

The Arlanda Jumbo Hostel

A plane taking off into the sunset (as seen from the tarmac beneath my hostel)

The commute was a drag, but it actually inspired me to visit nearby Uppsala which was only about an hour from my hostel, but almost 2 hours from Stockholm.  I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have made that trek if I had actually been staying in the center of town.

A View from the Skeppsholmsbron Bridge

I enjoyed Stockholm very much, there is a tremendous amount of public art and a lot of great neighborhoods.  I was really impressed by the Moderna Museet. It has a great collection and is really well laid out.  Decorating the lawn outside the museum, are the works of Calder, de Saint Phalle and Tinguely.

Alexander Calder's "The Four Elements"

Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely's "Le Paradis Fantastique"

Day Trip to Uppsala

Upon the recommendation of one of the receptionists at my hostel, I took a day trip to nearby Uppsala.  I found the town quite cute and inviting.  My absolute favorite part was the University’s botanical gardens.

Cool art at the Orangerie

More photos of Stockholm and Uppsala  here.

Second Stop- Helsinki, Finland

I actually spent a day in Tallinn, Estonia between Stockholm and Helsinki, but as Estonia is a Baltic state rather a Scandinavian one, I will write about it separately.

My stay in Helsinki, was somewhat marred by the rain.  I spent most of my time there soaking wet and cold and trying to find shelter.  I did mange to find many great coffee shops and bars around town, though. And I did manage to snap a few decent shots when the sun came out.

Eila Hiltunen 's Sibelius Monument

1952 Olympic Stadium

The Rock Church

Next Stop – The Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi

Though it cost me a chunk of time in train travel from southern Finland to the Laplands and back, my trip to the Arctic Circle and Santa’s Village was well worth the sacrifice.  I do not recommend making a trip this far North in the winter, as the sun barely shines.  But in the summer, a month after the Midnight Sun, the days were still long enough to enjoy the sights.   By the way if you want to buy canned reindeer meat, this is the place to go. Rovaniemi (and Napapiiri).

I crossed the line

Santa on Top of the World

Giant Cloudberries - They're Orange!

More photos of Rovaniemi and  here (also includes a few shots of the pit stop in Turku)

Onward to Oslo (Norway)

I took a 6 hour train ride from Rovaniemi to Turku, then hiked through town to get to the ferry terminal, then took the ferry overnight to Stockholm, then hiked through town to get to the train station, and from there I took a train to Oslo. All told, the journey took a day and a half.

The sun sets as the ferry sails away from Turku, Finland

A few hours later, the sun rises as we approach Stockholm, Sweden

Again, I felt lucky that it was August and I was able to enjoy a long well-lit evening on my first partial day in the city.  Although I did spend a couple of hours indoors seeing the movie Alexandra.  (Side note: I do not recommend this film.  It is more boring than a nightmare about boredom.)

Here is a great Norwegian to English translation.

Kylling = Chicken

I ❤ Ibsen

Way Cool Opera House - you can go on the roof!

My absolute favorite sight in Oslo was the Vigeland Sculpture Park.  The whole park is adorned with magnificent sculptures.  The sun was shining gloriously and a I got many great shots.

Unfortunately, it was tough to get an unobstructed shot of some sculptures

Last Stop – Copenhagen, Denmark

By the time I arrived in Copenhagen (after an overnight bus trip and an early morning train ride), I was exhausted.   I opted to take a boat tour to hit all the main attractions.

Shiny New Theater

Funky Opera House

We also saw the palace and converted shipyards and the Little Mermaid.

I did also do some walking and visited several areas on foot both the during the day in the evenings.

On the outskirts of Christiana

Ssssssssh, I'm Thinking

Some acrobats for my acrobats

See more photos of Copenhagen here.

I leave you with some more birds for Elise to name.

Spotted outside the Munch Museet in Oslo

Ducks in Helsinki

Stocky in Stockholm