Holiday at the Thistle, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan

Posted by Lakshmi

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

I have just returned from a three day holiday at the Thistle Resort located in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan.  Formerly known as the the Guoman Resort, it has been refurbished and renamed.  It's a beautiful holiday resort for families and its not too far from Kuala Lumpur.  It's spacious, well planned, covers a reasonably vast area with 2 to 3 kiddies pools and  infinity pools, jacuzzi, spa, clubs games area and beaches.  I had a fantastic view of the pool and beach from my 6th floor room.

Watching the sunset sitting on the deck chair, facing the beach,  with the rhythmic  sound of  lapping  waves lulling  my ears  is one of my most cherished and beautiful experiences.  Imagine, no cooking, no cleaning, no screaming with the kids to do their chores, no running around the house cleaning up here and there,  no washing and  ironing, no preparing this and that ....... aiyo...... never ending story of our lives la..!

It was three whole beautiful  days of sleeping, walking on the beach, lazing around , playing games and eating  out.    Bliss......zzzzzzzzz

Well, it's back to the bandwagon now and just in time as  the  new year is just 2 days away .  There have been quite a few invitations from my girlfriends to attend  the New Year Eve party celebrations  and although I am tempted to go and have a smashing good time with them , on second thought, I would feel terribly guilty betul  leaving my husband and kids to themselves -  even though I  know in all probability, from experience  over the years, the kids will be sleeping and my husband will be  watching ESPN reruns............................. 

So, in all probability, as over the years I've come to experience it too, I'll do what is right instead of what I like.  Stay at home and share a glass of wine  with my husband to usher in the New Year .  That's a motto that I have learnt to accept, to do what is right than what I like.   It makes us grow  more graceful and dignified. And in my book that's a lot of difference indeed .

On the painting front, below are some of the painted artwork by  my good friend, Tengku Norashikin.  Also uploaded is my student, Ms Amanda, who came to learn how to paint bears.................................

The lace frocks for the bears have yet to be painted............

Shikin's cutlery box with lace and lillies of the valleys

with roses........................

a deep kuali or cooking wok 

A  painted trash box too good to use.............

Happy reading and painting


It's Christmas Today

Posted by Lakshmi
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Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas started on a right footing with a beautiful weather - no raining !  The day started off with " Ho.. Ho.. Ho.. Merry Christmas " greetings to my family and  opening presents around the Christmas tree.  Since we had attended the late night  Mass yesterday  on Christmas Eve, we did not have to go to Church today and so had a leisurely breakfast  of Croissants and  sausages  with my children and husband .  I don't take sausages, so I had coffee and  toast.  ( saving calories in exchange for the gargantuan Christmas lunch, actually ! )

Lunch was a big family affair in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur  with all my 6 sisters  in-law, their husbands and children, making a grand total of 17.   I had  baked a perfect tasting bread pudding with orange sauce, recipe courtesy of my good friend Norita,  as my  dessert contribution to the Christmas lunch table .

This year, the lunch was more of an Asian flavour - the  long table groaning with Mutton Masala, Thai Prawn Curry, Nyonya Deep Fried Fish with Assam Sauce, Roasted Eggplant, Tofu with Angled Loofah Chinese Style, Bittergourd Prawns,  Naan Bread and Briyani Rice.  The traditional Christmas lunch of   Roast Chicken with Chestnut  stuffing with  Black Pepper Sauce  ( a welcome change instead of turkey )  Cold Cuts of Ham with Pineapple Rings , Mushroom & Onion Quiche Coleslaw, and Jacket Potatoes with Sour Cream were also laid on the table.  So now you understand when I said the table was 'groaning' ?   The customary wine  toasting was with a delightful and fruity Australian Riesling . Dessert was Turkish Delight , Belgium Dark Chocolates  and black coffee.  That was lunch !

To shake off all the gross calories, we had a Punjabi Bangra dancing session  and continued it with  Shakira's ' Hips don't lie '  the African Waka Waka  ,  Gloria Gaynor's ' I'll Survive ' , etc... etc...... you get the picture....................................................

For afternoon tea, we had the traditional Christmas Fruit Cake and the Bread Pudding with Orange Sauce.  It was late evening when we reached home.

Gosh! that was a real heavy meal and as I am writing this, I don't want to think about food for the next two days...........................!  Am starting off by skipping dinner today.

The pics below show Norita with her painted apron and scenery

You must try out Norita's Bread Pudding  - the best I've eaten  and so easy to make but as I'm kinda   sleepy right now ,  you have to wait for my next update la .........................................................

Happy reading and painting  and  since Christmas mood is still in the air, Merry Christmas to all


Interview with MIDI Magazine, Tole Painting & Kokhloma

Posted by Lakshmi
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Wednesday day,  22 December 2010

It was indeed a very pleasant start to the day when Ms Mariam, the journalist and Mr Ejam, the photographer  from Karangkraf Publishers  came to my home to interview me for their January 2011 issue of the MIDI magazine.  This will be my first debut in a magazine and I really hope that it turns out well.   I do so really want to reach out to everyone, especially the ladies to take up a skill , any skill really, to keep themselves occupied gainfully  and if it so happens that they take up decorative painting, all the better ! 

That's Ms Mariam and Ejam from MIDI magazine at my home during  the interview . We all have big beautiful smiles, don't we ? That's because we had coffee with freshly baked banana cake.  And since my house is full of cakes and cookies all the time,  I was very glad to give them some to take home .

As for my painting, I did tole painting last week, something different for a change from the florals and it was really like a breath of fresh air. My reference was from the book ' Tole You So' by Margaret Wehking

Tole painting on a biscuit tin - front.  The base colour for the tin was Wrought Iron (Folk Art Colours)

Tole painting on the biscuit tin -back.  The base colour for the side panels  were in Linen ( Jo Sonja Basecoat ).  The top and bottom rims were smudged with Metallic Gold ( Americana )

Finally, my Kokhloma painting -   jewellery box.  Very tedious and meticulous work but really beautiful when completed. 

There's really so much more to explore and learn in Folk Art painting, so don't just stop at roses, ya ..............................................................

Happy reading and painting


FA Classes

Posted by Lakshmi
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Friday 17 December 2010

There have been several enquiries through my email  telephone   with regards to my classes and address.  Just to let know that there will be class tomorrow , Saturday, 18 December 2010  at my home at 3.00pm.  My house location is -

         47 Jln Puyuh 6/1d
          Section 6, Shah Alam ( adjacent to the Section 6 Market)

Beginners/students would need to bring the following:

acrylic paints
basecoat paint ( for beginners)
brushes - angle 1/2", filbert No.6
transfer paper
tracing paper
A4 size hard coloured papers for practice

plaques or mdf board for painting
water container

It would be very helpful if students could kindly inform me at 012-6709459 to confirm your attendance to avoid any mis-communication  or email me at -

Regular class are held on the following days and times :

                    Day                                             Time 

                  Wednesday                                 - 9.30 am 

                  Saturdays (morning class )        - 9.30 am     

                  Saturdays ( afternoon class)     - 3.00 pm

Please also note that I'll be away on holiday from Christmas, 25 December 2010  onwards till the New Year.


Happy painting and reading


Season for Gifts

Posted by Lakshmi
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Saturday 11 December 2011

Tis the season for gifts and so my first gift was to a student whom I had taught  English language quite some years ago.  The wedding card arrived quite late and I had no time to do something more elaborate. So, of course I did what I can do the fastest - paint roses of course!

My second gift was to my sister who wanted a ' welcome ' signage for her patio.    Thus, my second gift, which took an hour or so to finish.  The varnish was done 2 days later!

Then, getting carried away with the roses, since it was the easiest to paint and also to  finish all the roses theme quickly, I did this, also as a gift  for Datin Suriaty as she had recently moved her business address.

As her business card had turquoise and blue violet colours,  I painted the roses  in a mix of Fawn and  Country Blue for the base,  then Smoked Pearl ,  Saphire and a touch of Blue Violet when stroking in the petals. Highlights were glazed  in Titatnium White and shaded with Diox Purple. Finally, I used Aqua to slip slap all round the roses and ribbons to tone with the business card colour scheme and to soften the overall effect. 

Ps: I haven't found the time to give it to her yet !

This biscuit tin was the one that I showcased as one of my recycling projects in my TV debut on  RTM 1 and since I am updating the roses, I thought I might as well update this too .

I'm pretty sure most of you readers are up to your eyeballs seeing roses and   I'm hoping  therefore that I don't have to paint them again, at least until the end of this year  !!! 

Happy reading and painting


The Case Against Child Marriage

Posted by Lakshmi

Thursday, 9 December 2010

I'm sure most readers would have read the bewildering case of the marriage of a 14 year old school girl to a 23 year old man who  (even worse still )  happened to be her teacher ! ! It was a shocking development to take place in Malaysia in this day and age .  Since it is mired in religious verbose ,  I really would not like to comment further on it  although it is on the tip of my tongue to say my piece ..........................................  .

 ( Sigh, I simply  can't help it now lah , I just have to say my piece........... because,  once I've started and I already have now,  my mind just goes on its own and my hands can't keep still..........( so please erhmmmmm..... disregard my last line of the first paragraph !! )

Readers who are familiar with my blog will know that I have not the slightest intention to meddle in any matters pertaining to religion.  As far as I am concerned I take the view from the angle of a  woman, wife and mother -  And so does this opinion on the unfortunate  child marriage which took place.

A 14 year old girl ( kid ?) is hardly even a remote  candidate for the trials and tribulations of marriage, isn't it? .  When even grown  ( and educated ) adults who enter into matrimony ( with eyes and ears wide open )  cannot seem to cope with the pressure of responsibility, both physical and emotional strength needed,  how on earth can this mere wisp of a child of 14 cope ?  What was the guy thinking? And he was her teacher ?  Her teacher ?  What do you think he was teaching ?  Tell me honestly,  would you trust your daughter of 14 to be his pupil ?  It doesn't matter if he says he's going to make an honest woman out of her. That's just plain excuse.   His job is to teach and only teach, for goodness sake!   It's not his place to encourage his student,   with whatever words,   to marry him.    

I have a few questions

 for the school 

 were the school authorities aware of what was going on right under their very noses, for it sure didn't  happen overnight .  Did they advise him on how  his action  would reflect on the teaching profession et al ?  Wouldn't parents now begin to mistrust the once noble profession of teaching ?  Is it possible to trust their kids with them now ?  What is the response from the National Union of Teaching Profession ?  Are they condoning this because I don't seem to have heard any plausible response from them as yet.

for the parents 

 were the parents aware of what was going on between their daughter and teacher? Did they advise or rightly insisted that she at least finishes her basic school education?  What would her future be like without even a basic PMR or SPM  qualification .  Would she be able to support herself later if the need arises ?  I shudder to even think or ask about childbirth............

for the teacher

Did he fully  realise  the repercussions of his actions down the line? Is he, in all sincerity committed to this  marriage - something like " till death do us apart , in sickness or in health "  when he himself  is just 23 or 24? As a teacher, shouldn't he have rightly advised and waited for the child to finish her  education and then talk about marriage?  Didn't he know that this is ' craddle snatching "?  Or was it for the RM1000.00 given as a gift............ It does make one wonder, doesn't it ?

(I remember sometime ago,  a male teacher, who was awarded " The Teacher of the Year " award, when asked by the reporter,  what was his secret for his success, he told the whole world    "I have *** with my  wife everyday ".  And now here is this teacher marrying  his underaged student.......... I'm  really at a loss for words ..................................

for the Government authorities 

The child is underaged and well below the legal age of marriage.  How did they allow this to happen at a mass wedding ?  Why didn't the Ministry of Women or whatever, step in and prevent this from happening ? .  Did they think a mass wedding was the perfect facade  to hide behind ? If they  claim they were unaware of this ' cradle snatching'  were they sleeping on their job?  Isn't is their job to prevent things like this from happening?

To put it in a nutshell,  everyone involved simply abdicated their duties and let it pass on from one person/authority to another.

Please do read this article from  the - Malaysia Chronicle ' Hypocrisy over child abuse ' by Mariam Mokhtar .   Mariam has done a better job explaining the situation than I.

I rest my case


Hypocrisy features in Malaysian lives. We ban Beyonce, but permit child marriages. We whip girls for drinking beer, but have shares in breweries. Women accused of illicit sex are whipped, whilst the men get off because they have a right to satisfy their sexual needs. Sex with a minor is statutory rape for non-Muslims, but not for Muslims.
By Mariam Mokhtar (Malaysia Chronicle)

Malaysia’s hypocrisy over child abuse

Cherry-picking from Syariah law for excuses that suit them
Mariam Mokhtar, Malaysia Chronicle

EDITOR'S PICK Malaysians have long acknowledged that they are subject to selective justice; poor vs. rich, muslims vs non-muslims, women vs men and now it seems children vs adults.

The marriage of a 14-year old girl on 7 December sparked public outrage. To get around this, Muslim ministers cherry-pick from syariah law. It is this false adherence to Islamic principles and the “holier than thou” attitude that exposes their blatant hypocrisy and double standards.

Nazri Abdul Aziz, minister in the Prime minister’s department who is in charge of legal affairs, finally revealed that the government had no intention of reviewing laws allowing for underage marriages because the practice is permitted under Islam.

He said, “If the religion allows it, then we can't legislate against it. Islam allows it as long as the girl is considered to have reached her pubescent stage, once she has her menstruation".

The Islamic Development Department of Islamic Development (JAKIM) director-general, Wan Mohammad Sheikh Abdul Aziz condoned the practice of underage marriages as “a reasonable move”.

Minister for Islamic Affairs, Jamil Khir Baharom, was guest-of-honour at the mass wedding ceremony involving the 14-year-old. He sanctioned the underage marriage as being legal under syariah law. Couples who took part were alleged to have received RM1000 each.

Curiously, Jamil appears to have done a U-turn. Last March, when there was a furore over the marriage of two children (a 10 and 11-year-old) to men in their forties, Jamil reportedly said, “it was more to satisfy lust”.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Sharizat Abdul Jalil firmly said, “the government is not for child marriages.”

Would the Prime minister Najib Abdul Razak like to clarify this confusion arising from the conflicting views of his ministers?

Child marriages are common in sub-Saharan Africa, the middle-east and tribal Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Yemen, over a quarter of girls are married before the age of 15.

When a 13-year old Yemeni child bride, Elham Assis, reportedly bled to death after being tied down and forced to have sex with her 23-year-old husband, her death sparked outrage. Yemenis are now pushing for a child marriage ban.

In Malaysia, our politicians dare not face-up to the ulama. They also fear alienating the rural muslim vote.

Syariah laws pertaining to divorce, marriage, conversion and child custody are usually passed without proper debate and discussion, without consulting women and taking their views into consideration.

Child brides often have no legal right to receive inheritance, alimony or child support if the husband dies prematurely or abandons his underage bride.

Girls who marry young are at higher risk of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Many contract sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS, as sex is likely to be unprotected within marriage.

The exploited girl suffers tremendous emotional and physical trauma. She is denied an education and her right to personal freedom and growth are curtailed. She is excluded from interacting with her friends, or participating in school/community activities.

When pregnant, her health is at further risk from premature pregnancy or pregnancy related mortality. Illness, injury, or death because of pregnancy is much higher than for women over 18.

Children need education, not marriage for a good start in life. Around the world, women enjoy advancements in education, living standards and economic and financial freedom.

Hypocrisy features in Malaysian lives. We ban Beyonce, but permit child marriages. We whip girls for drinking beer, but have shares in breweries. Women accused of illicit sex are whipped, whilst the men get off because they have a right to satisfy their sexual needs. Sex with a minor is statutory rape for non-Muslims, but not for Muslims.

When it suits, the life of the prophet is called into comparison, for justification. In modern times, marrying children in no longer acceptable and no excuse should be used to justify this. The rights of children are ignored and the muslim majority remains silent when it comes to the sexual exploitation of children.

The acid test: Would any of our ministers allow their own 14-year-old daughters to be married off?

December Updates

Posted by Lakshmi
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Wednesday 8 December 2010

Recently I had the pleasure of teaching Ms Fadhlina, who came all the way from Dungun, Terengganu for  painting lessons.  She attended classes for 2 consecutive  days  and discovered for herself the joy of painting.  With no experience at painting at all and propelled just by her desire to learn the art, she patiently practised the strokes and voila! she was sooo over the moon when she finished her daisies......

With diligent practice, Fadhlina finished her lilacs and  hydrangeas which was quite remarkable for a student with no previous experience.

 Of course, Fadhlina wanted to learn roses too....................... .  Now, that was a big milestone for a beginner  and I did explain to her that it would not be an easy task to accomplish.   However , not wanting to disappoint my ardent student who had come all the way from Terengganu , I showed her  step by step on how to paint it and allowed her to practice too.  Seeing her 'beginners' floundering  ( I told you so !! )  I then gently advised her to start with rosebuds and leaves.  She managed that quite well and I was really happy to see her smile back !  I then drew a free hand pattern of rosebuds and leaves on her plaque and she was very happy to be able to paint those.

Then there was Amanda.  This talented and beautiful lady from Meru , Klang ,  came to learn how to paint roses.  Amanda had painted and learnt decorative painting a year or two ago and this thoroughly inspired lady  had painted almost most of her gardening tools on her own with the ideas and knowledge she had acquired along the way.  Full of initiative and verve........................ it's always a pleasure to teach such interested and dedicated students.

Really glad to have helped Amanda and Fadhlina.................................

Happy reading and painting


I Finally Finished My Frame

Posted by Lakshmi

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

I had started on this painting  sometime early this year but somehow didn't quite manage to finish it, sort of abandoned it, really.   I finally decided that I shouldn't take it to the next year and coaxed myself to finish it .

In between finishing my painting, I had the pleasure of teaching Zie ( pictured below) who came all the way from Puchong with her handsome son riding pillion on her motorbike!  I almost couldn't believe my eyes when she arrived at my doorstep on a motorbike with her  cute tyke in tow. And boy, was he well-behaved or what!  While mom was busy learning how to paint, Aiman was busy drawing with a pencil and paper that I had given him .  So well behaved was he that did not even disturb his mom even once. And he's  8 years old and her only son ! ! Can you believe it ?  No throwing tantrums, no crying,  no bugging his mom, no ranting, no walkabout all over the house ..............................Aiman sat obediently and quietly besides him mom until she had finished her lessons.    I think he's  every mother's dream ..... nay, I  think every mother  should have a son  like him ( he obliged me by smiling for my camera too!)

Zie, you are so blessed

By the way, this was Zie's first lesson and she  was very happy to finish  her daisy project all by herself.

This is Ida Azrina from Kapar, Klang.   Ida came
to learn how to paint roses.  Petite and with
a youthful demeanor , I found it hard to believe
that she was a mother to 5 kids.

Ida had previously done decouppage  and has
now embarked on doing the real thing!

That's all for now

Happy reading and painting


Ps: My previous update, which was originally tittled  - My Computer has Down's Syndrome has been changed to ' My computer went for a check-up ' .  A reader, Susan from Ohio, US had commented that I should not have used the term in such a manner.  As I had explained in my reply,  it was meant as a euphemism for my computer breakdown  and I had not the slightest intention to offend anyone .  I have thus removed the caption and re-worded it.