Dear Mandy

Posted by Lakshmi

Friday, 29 April 2011

Dear   Mandy

When I received your email enquiry from Sarawak, I was quite  surprised ,  for it had such a commanding yet positive tone to it.  You  had not heard about me, did not even know me, had no idea who I was and how I'd turn out to be as a teacher,  but , you were already preparing  to make  flight  arrangements to  attend my class on your first enquiry itself.   I couldn't even decline your request, even if I had wanted to !   And when I replied your email, you signed off with " Yipeee, I'm so so happy  !"   How could I have  refused then ?

Boy! was I surprised when you came for class on the appointed day.  Your openness, warm and happy-go-lucky character, your sincerity and forthright manner put me at ease instantly,  I knew you would be  different  from the rest  and now , after getting to know you,  I can honestly say that you are indeed, a  very special person, Mandy. 

Being a nail artist, you were quick to grasp the painting techniques but your  ever shocked and surprised utterances of  "Oh !, So, that's how its done huh , ............................  Ohhh ! so  that's the secret  aaahhh   .................................. What the fish man ! ,  How come I didn't know about you earlier ? You teach so easy and clearly  and don't hide your skills......... ,  Aiyooo !, I spent quite a lot of money  learning from " teachers"  who taught me nothing man,  you know !................. Oh My God, ! , why they make it soo difficult to learn when it's quite easy  huh  ..................    all this and more  had me in fits .

I couldn't control my laughter when you said all those things, and coupled with   your  expressive and  incredously   wide open  eyes  (and your mouth too, I might add !) you had me in stitches all day. Your  tremendous excitement ,   wonder  and happiness upon discovering the joy of Decorative Painting just made feel  oh, so happy, Mandy.   It was like finding a similar soul mate ! And when you said that you had browsed through my entire blog postings from the beginning to " gauge me "  ( and also many other different  blogposts ) before deciding to choose me for your teacher because you felt ' we were on the same wavelength ", it was really a ' Wow" moment !

But despite all the fun and laughter, there's something you said that stood out and which I have not heard from any parent.  I have met many parents with special children's needs and all  of them do love their children just as much as any other  parent/parents .  I do sometimes and even now  wonder how great and incredible  parents of special children are and how they  cope with their added  responsibilities ( it's one of the reasons why I volunteer to do my bit too - because I'm in awe of such parents )   You said and I quote "  I am a mother of  a special child too and  I  have been blessed to have her as my child  .  I have become a better person because of her presence in my life  "    Your statement had a profound effect on me, Mandy , for I have not heard those simple  but incredibly beautiful words from anyone as yet, not even from parents of normal kids.... Well,  except perhaps from Mother Theresa herself.   

You are a real gem of a mother, Mandy, and I'm sure your little one has been blessed by your presence in her life too........... and I'm so happy  and glad to have had the opportunity to have you in my house at Shah Alam, all the way from Sarawak.

Here are some of your wonderful moments captured in picture ............. 

 After just 3 rows of strokework, you were ready to go !

 Your first try on a board and it looks quite good already.................................

 Your very first completed project and that was pretty fast and beautiful for a newcomer !  Oops, I forgot your hydrangeas painting......................

 Now, on to the rose...................................  My, my, at this rate, all your clients will be having rose painted nails soon  !

I believe  that our new found  friendship will continue to  grow  .  I also hope that you'll slow down from your frenzied and energetic business of running your nail art salons and take time to smell the roses, literally ! ! 

With best wishes and warmest regards


Syahida from Johore Bahru and Bake - Sale

Posted by Lakshmi
1 Comment

Sunday 24 April 2011

Well, for a start, I was invited to give a motivational talk to a  group of youngsters , which I did with much gusto !  Then  I had a baking session with my good friend, Yati , and baked some lovely chocolate cupcakes and iced them too, for a bake-sale, proceeds of which I used for a school student who needed a pair of spectacles.

Next, I had a great time teaching Ms  Syahida ( Syahidasrosecottage.blogspot ) who had come all the way from Johor Bahru to attend a 1 day beginner's class at my home.  It really was great fun teaching Syahida.  How would I describe Syahida ? A warm, friendly and unassuming lady  with a passion for learning, a lady whose house is surrounded by pots and pots of  beautiful roses - the real ones, that is, all  lovingly grown and tendered by her great   sense of beauty and her 'green fingers ', ( visit her blogspot to check it out )  a true blue  decorative painting student who did  not mind travelling all the way from down south just to learn how to paint ! What more can I say other than - Welcome, welcome welcome dearest  Syahida ! 

Here are some pictures of Syahida during the class .  I especially like her  beautiful smile........

A very happy Syahida

Isn't Syahida beautiful ? ( and her painting too)

My good friend and baking partner, Yati,helping to decorate the cupcakes for the bake-sale

Some of the iced cupcakes for the bake sale

Very colourful indeed but that's what was
wanted.  I think they look bright and

This is Sangeeta, a 10A student
of the recent SPM exam, learning
to paint while waiting for a university placing

Kak Nor, an entrepreneurial
Shell petrol station dealer/owner who finds much pleasure in taking time off her busy and demanding work schedule to come and ' let go off my stress and headache ' (quote from Kak Nor herself ). 

A cup of tea and my baked cakes also  helps,  I think !

Well, my classes always ends with lots of tea and cakes and good natured laughter comparing the painted  pieces. So, welcome to our ' club ' ladies...................................................

Happy painting and reading



Posted by Lakshmi

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

As readers would probably be aware, Tengku Norashikin and I will be conducting a 1 day  painting workshop on Sunday 29 May 2011 at the PKNS Complex at Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor.   Details of our workshop can be seen at the right side of this blog ( in pink ) and also on my article dated 28 January 2011 titled ' Folk & Decorative Painting Workshop '.

 As we have to meet datelines, finalise plans and commit to getting supplies and materials for conducting the workshop ,  it would be most  helpful if interested readers/students/ participants would confirm their attendance by emails and/or registering your names/make payments by 30  April 2011.

I look forward to seeing all my readers/participants on 29 May 2011


April Showers

Posted by Lakshmi
1 Comment

Sunday 10 April 2011

Between doing the rounds giving demonstration on Folk & Decorative Painting and conducting classes, I managed to do these two  paintings ..................

A better view of the painted window .  Ms Ana of Sg Buloh requested this picket fencing stile design .................................................. A  good way to recyle and reuse the old old 'kampung' house door/verandah windows

The picture below is my gift to Ms Salmah Hassan  after I tasted her Nasi Briyani !

These are pictures of my students at 3C community centre ................... Ms Murali  concentrating on her goose doorstand ( pictured above )

Ms Vasantha's handiwork on her first class at my home

Ms Chen and Ms Vasanti at 3 C

A happy student  .......... I think !

Kak Sal, my oldest student so far............ and who puts in so much effort in her work.  The picture shows Kak Sal enjoying a cupcake which I had baked at home and shared it with my 3C community students

Ms Airene, a teacher at SMK Sunway who teaches Special Children, attending my class.  She is part of the GOLD teaching staff

That's all for now.  I have a lot more things to write but  it's past 12.15am now and I'm almost falling off my chair ..............   Goodnight

Happy reading and painting


The Water Urns

Posted by Lakshmi

Sunday 3 April 2011

 I was invited by my good friend,  Tengku Norashikin, for her pot-luck birthday do at her house  recently.  It was a lunch affair and everyone brought their favourite dish.   There were traditional local cakes and a good lunch spread of chicken, rice,  etc.,

By far the most sumptious and finger licking good,  was, of course, Norita's  ( of the bread pudding fame )   tomato rice with a very very delicious  mutton dish.  I just don't know how to describe it and I also don't know how she comes up with such tasty and delicious concoctions.!    All I can say is that it was worth, worth , worth going all the way to Kajang for lunch !  I was so bowled over by her tomato rice and mutton dish that, after having second helpings ( that's a  very rare thing for me  and I don't usually like mutton) I even  asked Norita to let me take  some home !  It was that good lah !

As was usual, I clicked away with my new Kodak (did I tell that my earlier Kodak played out on me and I was forced to buy a new one?  It cost me RM 500.00  and that was way beyond my targeted budget of RM300.00.   I had no choice but to get that - all for my blog pictures lah!.  Now I know the real meaning behind   Donna Summers big hit of the 70's " Work hard for my Money " ( LOL- and literally mean it  ! )

Below are some of my ' work hard for my money' camera clicks .......................

Extreme left - Norita, Datin Vivienne, Tengku Norashikin, Zulaihna and Datin Mas (seated)

The picture on the left is the  unpainted water urn with spout and the picture on the right shows what  decorative painting does to  enhance the beauty of  the water urn. 

The beauties in a  row ...............................................................................

Beautiful colours and Welcome signage by Shikin

Datin Vivienne and her chicken..........................

Datin Mas with her sweet smile and  painting. The Turkish  word on the plaque  means  ' Welcome '

A beautiful piece by Shikin

( all photos -by  courtesy of Tengku Norashikin )

Happy reading and painting


The Beauty & the ?

Posted by Lakshmi

Friday, 1 April  2010

I seem to be receiving a lot of you-tube videos lately and this particular one was part of a TV talk show in Pakistan.  A beautiful  Pakistani actress, Veena Malik , says her piece and mind to the Mullah  which touches on her personal life.

Frankly, I think what anyone does in their private lives is strictly   ' hands off  ' to the rest of the public and certainly off limits to religious bigots, whatever the religion.   Whether it is a famous celebrity/politician  or the common man/lady on street, each of us are entitled to our private lives being kept private.    Why do we have to  be so nosy and busybody anyway ?  Each of us have our own faults and character flaws and we all learn to deal with our problems on our own way.   The last time I checked, no one has ever met ( and may I say, will ever meet )  a perfect person on this planet to date so who are we to pass  judgments  on others ? .

What Veena Malik did or didn't do  is none of our business and she certainly doesn't need an outsider, however, qualified he/she thinks  he/is , to publicly deride and humiliate her   and worse still condemn  her on national TV.    No one has the right to  make judgments on others.  As far as I'm concerned, that job was already  taken by  God Almighty  and there has been no  notice of vacancy yet for new one .  So I suggest that we obediently  let HIM do HIS job and we do ours ?

I quote Veena Malik "  There are so many serious problems and abuse which the religious body should take up and fight for - bribery, rape, corruption,etc ......................why pick on the dress I wear ?  "

She does defend her faith admirably despite the accusations by the Mufti  and I certainly respect her conviction  and strength.  Veena Malik certainly has got spirit and guts to give back to the accuser, for it was just accusations at the end of it all.  What makes it worse was when the Mufti said he hadn't seen the show at all and his accusations were based on others who had seen it !.  It does defy simple  logic, doesn't it ? You condemn a person without getting a full picture/information and based on heresay ?  So much for justice!

And, seriously, I hope the Pakistanis have an answer for her last few  questions...

See the video  for yourselves  ( it would make  better sense  if you download it in its entirety first )   and let me know.

Just to let readers know, I have read enough of Islam to know that its a beautiful religion.  In fact, the word  " Islam " itself means Peace.  But sadly, like all other religions, a small minority have hijacked it for their narrow thoughts and actions .

Happy reading


PS : As an afterthought, I'm wondering if  I'd be questioned by the Malaysian Islamic Authorities for my views .  Haiyo !  This is my ramblings/ blog lah  ( but then again, I'm keeping my fingers crossed, just in case  )