one teaspoon of stars

i wandered around/and finally found/somebody who could make me be true/and could make me be blue

on our first proper day in the city we sat in the planetarium at the museum of natural history, staring upward at a domed imax ceiling for a show about the stars, and it was the most beautiful thing i’ve ever seen. every time the sky swirled around and we danced across galaxies, i flinched from the vertigo, but also because i kept my eyes wide open to take it all in. the push and pull of magnetic waves, a star burning bright, slow and fierce, leaving a legacy of light that travels millions of miles even after it ceases to exist. did you know that by some evolutionary marvel, we each have one teaspoon’s worth of star-matter in us?

last day in the city and i can't believe I still haven't seen everything. oversize city + unyielding appetite for adventure

my first time in new york was selfish, all about firsts, thrills and broadway dreams coming true. it’s the kind of place that puts you on top of the world and in the centre of the universe.

a recurring theme this week: how big and beautiful our world is, and how we are made small in comparison

this time though, i loved the city because it made me feel tiny too. you are: one light in the distance, one more set of ears for the underground platform jazz to wrap itself around, one-fiftieth the size of a tree. we are humble and small, but only because our world is so big, and so unbelievably beautiful. a tradeoff in our favour, really.
so flinch, be overwhelmed, but take your place and take it all!

a subdued statement

b/w crystals
bronze cast crystal

These are little bronze stud earrings, but I love the way they look so symmetrical and spectacular up close. Delicate and rough all at once. These are straight from the designer, Andy Lifschutz, but there’s a great behind-the-scenes story of how he made the rose-silver versions for Of A Kind, with a picture of the original crystal the pieces were cast from. Isn’t nature beautiful? Happy belated christmas, self.

psst: if you like them, i’d suggest joining the mailing list and waiting for a sale — the designer seems to have quarterly 25% discounts!

(thanks dil for getting them to me safely :)

back to basics

dress forms

skirt blueprint

I’ve been trying to think of ways to tell you how I feel about this, but there’s really only one word: HAPPY, in big, shiny letters, with lots of exclamation points at the end!!! i am an excited kindergartener, rosy-cheeked and baggy-uniformed, ready to whip out my colour pencils and draw up a storm!

August Woman Dec ’12

august woman dec 2012

army of art

Have you heard of August Woman magazine? It’s stylish and beautifully put-together, and I’m glad it’s here to shake up the array of local print titles.

I loved their debut issue, and was super stoked to contribute a little article to their second issue for December 2012. It’s about Gillman Barracks, a picturesque cluster of colonial military barracks-turned-commercial art galleries, and I highly recommend taking a walk around the area, whether you’re an art enthusiast or just a curious passer-by.

It’s been a while since the issue hit the newsstands, but I just wanted to say a quick thank you to the lovely people who bought a copy to celebrate my first print byline with me :)


an unseen world

Dear 2012, you mostly made me very scared. And you were kind of a lot less charming than 2011. Is that okay to say?

When I think about you, I remember a lot of doors. They were mostly brown, like the one that separated my thesis/work supervisor’s office from the psychology department corridor, like the ones that hid job interviewers from plain sight. I’d always have to take a deep breath before going through those. There were the ballroom double doors and glass shopfronts with cameras waiting on the other side, ones I walked through in a series of small efforts to chase a big writing dream, new worlds I wanted to pour myself into. Then, of course, there were the metaphorical ones, entrances to a life after graduation. This was hard. I’d pick one way and second-guess myself a week later, pick another and then walk down it to find myself at the centre of the same maze. I still can’t say if I’ve found my way out, and I can’t be certain about what waits around the bend.

But that’s the thing about doors right? When they’re closed, they’re awful. They give you that first-date feeling, make it your job to step up and ring that doorbell, then there’s that little lurch you get in your gut as you push them open. There’s a quiver in your step, but you find a smile to wear as you walk through, and then hey presto — you’re on the other side.

So what I’m trying to say is: 2012, thank you for kicking my butt and for bringing me to 2013. You were rougher to deal with, but the reward is somehow sweeter. May the next 365 days be as challenging and beautiful.

Happy new year, everyone! I wish you health, love and grace, enough to let the happiness come naturally.

Seek beauty. Keep going!!!

cosy, content


may your days be merry & bright

this year is much quieter compared to last, but my family is happy and healthy, sam got the long weekend off from work and we had a cosy christmas eve. i am content, and carry a song in my heart and smile on my face this week. i think this is what they mean when they say ‘let your heart be light’.

(photo of my parents in central park, my absolute favourite photo from our trip. only have 3000 more to sift through :)


NUS psych page

so, this happened some time ago. a tighter, shorter version of my thesis about autism and anxiety won best qualitative research in the best undergraduate research category of the Singapore Psychological Society Student Research Awards. as most science-y things go, what a mouthful that is!

i was pretty chill about academics all the way through university and you know how it goes when you write your thesis — you slug and sweat over data collection & your keyboard, and past a certain point of desperation, you’re like, please just let me pass!!! so i never expected to see my face on the NUS psychology page but hey, it’s kind of exciting. if you’re so inclined to pore over scientific-speak, the SPS just published a book of the winning articles which you can download here. mine’s article no. 3, and that’s my favourite number! :)

as a bonus, my favourite style blogger girlsack, who happens to be a recent psych graduate herself, just started a daily psychology fact tumblr, Psychology A Day, and it looks promising! for psych-student humour, there’s always the psychology student platypus, and PhD Comics.

red morning, sailor’s warning?

starting my week with:

breakfast of champions
1. breakfast of champions. noodles, the best 70c coffee around, and a beautiful yolk explosion waiting to happen. these breakfasts always happen on the spur of the moment, so every time i’m at the nus arts canteen for breakfast, i wonder if it will be my last. it’s so good. an everyday miracle.

2. big apple red nails, apt because that’s exactly where we’re headed in about five days. i’m in charge of food and need to get a list together tonight that consists of more than roadside kebabs. if you could draw up a 10 day menu of new york city – 30 meals as diverse as the people who live there – what would it include? pizza slices, folded down the middle? georgian cheese bread from the outer boroughs? magnolia bakery cupcakes, katz’s pastrami sandwiches? where do you begin to digest it all?

3. melty soft rose lips, and a fresh, almost mascauline scent that smells so pretty somehow, like citrus, champagne and just a hint of…tobacco, perhaps.

red always feels like boldness and bravery to me. in about thirty minutes i have to go tell my supervising professor (also just about the best person in my academic life) about a recently-received offer to write policy and programmes for special needs education, and i’m very close to accepting, which means i have to leave the footloose life of a researcher. wish me luck with making the right decisions today x

cinematic style: my fair lady

my fair lady-ascot

my fair lady-ascot

my fair lady-before the ball

my fair lady-before the ball

my fair lady embassy ball

revisited this tonight and couldn’t resist taking a few screenshots of all the scenes that took my breath away as a child. i remember being a little girl and playing our laser disc (!!) of this on repeat, eyes jumping from character to character, taking in the textures and details on the dresses of the ascot scene, the pale sorbet hues of the embassy ball, and all those glamourous updos and silhouettes. trends aside, isn’t it amazing to think about style influences that go back to your early years? every time i see something beautiful in black and white, my mind still makes an automatic reference to the ascot scene, and twenty years on i’m equally convinced i need a version of that dark red collared coat. in the words of ‘enry ‘iggins himself — not bad, not bad at all.