Saturday, May 30, 2009

Francesco Clemente.

There is  fine line between reality and fantasy. It is like that feeling of deja vu when you see something and you think that you have experienced it before, only to realise that it happened in a dream, or a memory from your past that seems so distant like a dream. All those scenarios seem to create a distinct feeling of its own. Something familiar yet strange; a confused state of sorts. 

Francesco Clemente is an art prodigy. His works show both surrealist and expressionist references. He is an Italian self-taught painter, who studied architecture in 1970 at the University of Rome. He was born in Naples and moved to New York in the 1980s. If you find his work strangely familiar, he did provide the paintings in the movie, "Great Expectations". 

I love his commissioned portraits that he has done. They always seem to capture the soul of his subject but in his distinct style (without being looking too much like still life). I do understand that he does not paint from photos, the subject must be present for the sitting. Now I wonder how much would it cost for him to paint me? I'd love to be his subject. Maybe one more item to go on the "to do list" before I expire.



A Portrait of Gianfranco Ferre, an Italian Fashion Designer.

Self Portrait with a heart of a lemon.

Gwyneth Paltrow for the movie "Great Expectations".

Another painting for the movie, "Great Expectations".

Thursday, May 28, 2009

25 Hours Hotel, Frankfurt, Tailored By Levis.

Located in the heart of one of the biggest cities in Germany, the 25 Hours Hotel, Frankfurt is very special. Why so? It is the only hotel co-designed by Levis. What happens when you marry German sensibilities and the American Design? You get a hotel like no other; witty, comfortable and offbeat. Just like the denim that they create. A Levis tailored hotel must come with its fair share of blues. Their rooms are based on the colours of denim washes, with touches of grey and white. I love the facade of the building, it was made to look like 2 brown packing boxes, stacked on top of each other. Now isn't that a well disguised hotel with a sense of humour.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Joy and Lucien's House in South Africa.

I love Joy and Lucien's House. I chanced across it when I was flipping the pages of Living Etc. I love the greenery surrounding the house. I love big gardens and space. A house is pathetic if it were just to occupy the entire land on its deed and have hardly a garden. I love the attention to details like the mixture of chinois and old english. The house is a old 50s house given a 21st century revamp. It is as though it were on its own private world. Having said that, I wouldn't change a thing about it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bake Sale for Charity.

Yesterday, I've been busy with baking cupcakes for a bake sale that was on today. The ladies at church are raising money for our missionaries at Laos who run an orphanage and we want to give the children a Christmas to remember. A few of the church ladies and I baked a variety of cookies, muffins and cupcakes which sold out completely. Thank God! 

I decided to make it look more professional by packaging them in a box with a label "Tutto Bene..." which means so good in Italian. In each box there are both a vanilla and a chocolate cupcake each. I've decorated the chocolate ones with pink icing and a sugar button each and the vanilla one with a sugar flower each.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

BMW Z4: An Expression of Joy Commercial (Behind the Scenes)

The new Z4 ad for me only mustered an alright response from me. However, the behind the scenes footage of them making the ad, is fantastic. They were so innovative in placing spray cans in the wheel arches which was controlled by a radio remote control. I did think that the sketches with the finger and marker over the drawing paper on how it should be on the floor was so cool. You need to watch it for yourself to understand. 

Well, ad aside, I do love the car. The first hardtop BMW Z4 roadster, it's a winner.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

étoile home.

étoile home was launched in 2006 by fashion and interiors photographer and stylist Shani Beadle. étoile was born from the rich colours, textiles and prints that inspired her during her travels around the world. Combining this inspiration with a passion for design, she wanted to create a line of homewares that are fun and eclectic. 

I love her cushions and the styling and photography of the room or table scape that she has put together. It has a certain warm and cosy quality in it. Her love for all things old and colourful are well represented in her range.  

Monday, May 18, 2009

Further Soap.

Kudos to these people who decided to make Further hand soap from recycled vegetable oil from restaurants. I am into the green movement. Maybe I am not that green but I believe that if everyone of us makes that self-conscious act of bringing their own green bags and only taking plastic bags when needed, or using the half flush when a full flush in the toilet is not needed, we can all make a difference in our own little ways. In our family, we have even gone a few steps further by not installing hot water pipes for handwashing or in the kitchen (then hot water would be used for only showering which requires a much smaller tank), bought second hand lighting fixtures and furniture. We have even decided to bring over the spare plate sets which my parents don't use. Buying old stuff doesn't always have to feel like taking home junk. If we reuse, recycle and reduce, we can make this world a much better place.

Anyway, I've decided to post the entire story as is, because no one tells it better than they do. 

"For years, Marshall, a guy who drove a bio-diesel fueled automobile and brought his own shopping bags to the market way before it was fashionable, picked-up depleted waste grease from some of Los Angeles' finest restaurants and converted it into biofuel in a make-shift lab inside the family garage.

One day his wife Megan, a former event planner for Vogue Magazine, walked into the garage and became alarmed at what her husband had accumulated: drums of glycerin, a byproduct of the biofuel distillation process. Megan stared at her grease-covered soul mate and lovingly suggested he clean up his act. That's when Marshall decided to take things one-step FURTHER. 

They developed a signature fragrance from the essential oils of Bergamot, Olive, and exotic grasses to create a scent that is at once clean, fresh and sweetly aromatic and combined it with the excess glycerin to create FURTHER.

Today, Marshall still picks-up waste grease from local restaurants and refines it in his garage. Megan has traded-in her SUV for a vintage diesel automobile and Marshall's biofuel now powers two family cars. And the soap made from Marshall's glycerin is returned to the bathrooms of the very restaurants from which it originated creating a perfect, sustainable circle. And now you can participate in this circle too. We hope you enjoy washing with FURTHER as much as we enjoy making it. And remember to please wash responsibly!"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Red Velvet Cupcakes.

This weekend, I've decided to bake a batch of red velvet cupcakes. It is a Southern US (think cajun, buttermilk biscuits and fried chicken). The cake has a light cocoa flavour and it has the texture and colour of red velvet (as the name suggests). It is topped with a butter roux icing.

There is a story attached to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City that has been turned into an urban legend. A woman is reported to have asked for the recipe for the delicious red velvet cake she was served at the hotel restaurant, only to find that she had been billed $100 (or $250) for the recipe. Indignant, she spread it to all her friends as a chain letter to stop the hotel from profiting further.

The pictures of the cupcakes are those decorated with rose pashmak (Persian Fairy Floss). It may be Persian but it originated from an Iranian shop selling Persian sweets.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Roaming the Streets of Rome.

I've been daydreaming of getting lost in the alleys and narrow roads of Rome on a Vespa or a Fiat 500. Ever since I had first discovered the hidden gems in the alleys of Melbourne city, I have fallen hard and in love with the tiny lanes and alleys that only uncover their secrets when you probe. I think that traveling around Rome would not be complete without a ride on a Vespa or Fiat 500. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May's Looks that I Love.

Summer is the best time to get the most fun and sexiest outfits. I was going through Brown's and I thought that I'd share with you the outfits that I love from their selection.

Lanvin Strapless Pleated Dress. I love the rich cobalt blue and the bold black contrast on the waist. It looks really sexy and confident.

Balenciaga Lace Top with Crepe Skirt. The dress looks a little dull on the really pale mannequin but imagine this on your lovely sun kissed skin and your hair gently tousled. It would look outstanding. A real head turner.

Norma Kamali Mesh Pencil Dress. This is perfect for the after work corporate event. It is the look of a woman who is strong yet feminine. A nice twist on the classic dress.

Dries Van Noten Check Pleated Long Dress. Never would I reconcile with the thought of wearing checks for a formal evening dress. Dries Van Noten has definitely changed that for me. This is a marvelous dress for a lovely formal night out without looking over the top.

Ann Demeulemeester Striped Wrap Cardigan. This cardigan has so much character and is edgy. I love the slightly androgynous look which the cardigan has.

Marni Seam Detail Spotted Dress. This is great as a Sunday or tea dress. The print is fun without being frumpy.