Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Always Challengingly Cute

Carving stamps with letters squeezed into a small area
is very challenging.
You can't make mistake with letters.
Everything must be done right at the first place
because if you cut wrongly, it is beyond repair
and you have to start all over again.

Commissioned stamp. The person who ordered this took the photo from the internet so I'm charging for my carving service only minus the design charges. It's unethical to just simply copy any artwork you found on the net you know. If you don't know the designer, it doesn't mean it's free and doesn't belong to anyone.

Usually when a customer give me a design taken from the internet,
I will try my best to design something new,
using the provided design as reference
(that's why I took longer time to come up with a design to propose,
those who worked with me before would know).

An order from a mom who wanted to make handmade invitation cards for her son's birthday. I forgot to inform her that I was working on the stamps so she already finished the cards when the stamp was done.

I was happy actually when she said, "Oh no...I already finished doing the cards",
Hehe an addition to my personal collection YEAH!!!

I'm not saying carving above stamps are easy,
but at least, easier.
We have less to worry about cutting the tail of a "p", or
unintentionally make an "a" looks like an "o"
or simply cut away the dot above "i" and "j",

Monday, 29 November 2010


My old drawings, about A4 size only.

Can't wait to start drawing
for the ATC Swap.
But first thing first.

A month will pass in a blink of an eye.
I'm anxious about the approaching year end.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Hello Sunrise!

It's the greatest gift of all.

Another day to love, live, dream,
and think of Him.

Don't take it for granted.


Photo: Taken from my balcony this morning.

I just realized, this is the first ray of sunlight in Malaysia, for today!!
Yeaa...thanks Ikeen for pointing it out!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Handcarved Stamps

My recently completed tasks,
:) as penoreh getah.

Below is the artwork produced by Jujue's cousin for her wedding.
I use it as reference to make their wedding stamp.
The illustration is a brilliant idea!

My husband was sitting infront of me
and he thought I was carving... Australia?


I love the previous header very much.
I might want to get back to it

I'm still not satisfied with the current header,
but I also love it very
very much.

I always love crest.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Vietnam Pho

I am sorry I am polluting this blog with more and more kitchen experiments. Hehe.

The juicy, chewy tendon is awesome! The broth had been prepared since last night, so now the tendon became very soft and jellylike.

Image source, here.

I use beef feet (orange circle in above diagram)
from recent Raya Korban
to make some homemade Vietnam Pho!

I was crazy about making Vietnam Pho after we came back from Hanoi last August.
learning from my Pho googling experience,
beef bones and knuckles are the best for Vietnam Pho broth.
Actually to me I think this time it tastes better and healthier
compared to the one I made last Ramadhan
(that time I used beef knuckles with bone marrow).
The bone marrow is so greasy and fatty!

The recipe is actually very easy
(it wasn't really easy for the first time anyway).

This time, I don't refer to the recipe anymore.
:) Here's how I prepare my Ala-Kulitmanggis Vietnam Pho.

Note: As usual, these are my estimation only.

1. 1-2kg of beef bones, preferably leg and knuckles
2. 1 big onion, halved (charred on stove or grill until slightly burnt and fragrant, then washed to remove loose, flaky burnt skin)
3. 3 inches of ginger (charred~just like the onion). Click here to see how the charred onion and ginger may look like.
4. 4-5 cloves of garlic
5. Pho spices which consist of corriander and fennel seeds, star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom pods ~ it's pretty common right? So I just use Rempah Sup Tulang.
6. 1 inch chunk yellow rock sugar
7. 8-10 tablespoons of fish sauce (or as desired)
8. Large chunk of meat, to be sliced later when serving (optional)
9. Salt.

How to prepare the broth;

1. The bones are washed and parboiled for 10-15 minutes. This is to remove impurities like blood particles and excess fat. Drain and rinse the bones and pot, refill with clean water and put it back on stove. Parboiling will give you a clean-tasting broth.
2. Put the bones back into the pot. Add spices, charred onion and ginger, garlic, meat, fish sauce, rock sugar and salt.
3. Let the broth to simmer for 3 hours and adjust the taste with seasoning; fish sauce, rock sugar and salt.


1. Rice noodles (it looks like kuetiaw, wide and thin. I bought mine at Giant ~ in the noodles section). Blanch in hot water until soft, and put in cool water so it doesn't get overcooked.
2. Fresh scallions and cilantro or coriander (chopped).
3. Lime - cut into wedges
4. Some onions - thinly sliced (optional)
5. Meat - take out the meat chunk from broth and thinly slice.

Combine them together in a bowl ~ just like serving soto or any noodle soup. Can be served with some chillies and soy sauce in separate serving plate as dipping or condiments.

It's difficult to find Halal restaurant in Hanoi, but this is one of the place where you can get Halal food. They serves Malaysian cuisine so you can still have nasi Lemak, asam pedas and mi goreng mamak there. You can see the address clearly in the photo.

This is the Vietnam Pho that we had in Nisa Restaurant.

This is how me and Putri had our Vietnam Pho soup for lunch today.

Flooded rice. Hehe.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Pan-Grilled Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaves

It's not like I'm changing this blog
into a recipe or food blog.

But I find
arranging food on the plate,
and taking photos of them,
are so much fun to do!

I don't know what to call this recipe,
I just blend some chillies, onions, ginger, lemongrass,
garlic, shrimp paste, turmeric and dried shrimps.
Add salt, fish sauce, tamarind juice and tabasco.
Marinate, and pan-grill the fish wrapped in banana leaves.

I saw them make the "spring onion curl" in Top Chef recently
(astro ~ don't remember which channel).
The secret is to put the spring onion leaves in cold water.
Here's a simple instructions for making the curls.

Hey, if you guys noticed,
I just created new label for my cooking-related posts;
"my kitchen experiments".


Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Mt. Kinabalu

We went to visit one of our employee in Ranau a couple of days ago.
She just lost a brother.

I took this video with my handphone from inside the car.
I know it's bad,
I just wanna share the sight of Mt. Kinabalu with you,
the weather was so fine that day!

ATC Swap

Further details regarding the Artist Trading Card (ATC) Swap
(deadline 14th Dec 2010)

: open (no specific theme so you can draw / paint anything you want) but preferably hand-painted/ hand-drawn

Host: Mangosteenskin

CLOSING DATE: 14th December 2010

Number of ATC to be Submitted: 3

Participation : All Artists, Art Enthusiasts and anyone keen enough to showcase their artistic talents. Local and international artists are welcomed.

Submission: Please email me for address



1. To share knowledge and showcase talent.

2. To swap original miniature arts.

3. To exchange ideas; to inspire each other; to appreciate and respect each other’s arts while at the same time building a social network of art enthusiasts both locally and internationally.

4. For FUN!


Rules and Regulations (MUST READ);

1. The measurement of each card should be 2.5 x 3.5 inches. It is advisable that the paper used for drawing / painting the ATC must be of high quality card stock that is neither to thin or easily damaged.

2. Participant may use any technique or medium to draw / paint.

3 Register by clicking "I'm Attending" ~ by clicking this you’ll be automatically considered a participant of this swap.

4. All ATCs must reach the host before the closing date.

5. Please include these particulars behind your cards;

Title, Artist Name, Date, Location. You can even write your address and phone number just consider your ATC as your artistic business card and lastly don’t forget to sign your card.

6. After the closing date, you will receive 3 cards from 3 different artists. No one will receive their own cards.

7. The Swap Event will be done in the manner described below.
• Every card received will be given a number (to identify the artist).
• After the closing date, three cards will be drawn from the pile of ATCs received for this swap.
• Should an artist accidentally get their own ATC, a re-draw will be held untill they get a card that did not belong to them.

8. Eventhough the ATCs are meant to be swapped for free, but it is hoped that we will try our best to make it worth to be treasured.

9. Important!! All artworks are copyright to their respective artists. Even though the cards are swapped, the current holder of the card does not have the copyright to sell or use the card for commercial purposes.

10. Those that have finished their artworks can upload and showcase their artworks here.


Happy Drawing and may our ATC Project be a complete success!!! Thank You very much to Baizurah Basri for the translation :)

List of Participants (will be updated from time to time)

1. Mangosteenskin (host) - Penoreh Getah (Sabah, Malaysia)
2. Arthur Stephen - Artist (Sabah, Malaysia)
3. Baizurah Basri - Senior Lab Assistant (Sabah, Malaysia)
4. Emila Yusof - Illustrator, graphic designer & children book writer (KL)
5. Ramiliano Roscom Guerra - Artist (Sabah, Malaysia)
6. Chum DaVincci ScarzSanders - ? (Sabah, Malaysia)
7. Noor Azlina Abd. Samad - Fulltime Handmade Card Artist (Kedah, Malaysia)
8. Morgan Horward - Ceramic Artist (Virginia, US)
9. Edina Mohd. Azhar - Jurutera/Partime Baker (Selangor, Malaysia)
10. Chi Len Yow - Student (Malaysia)
11. Syazwi Aljabri - (Malaysia)
12. Veda Murthy - ? (India)
13. You!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Steamed Chicken Wonton

Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha

I'm trying a new recipe today,
Steamed Chicken Wonton.

(please take note below are just my estimation as usually I don't measure them when cooking ~ selalu main campak saja okay).

1. 500g Chicken minced meat
2. 4-5 stalks of scallions (chopped- white part only)
3. 3 large pieces of black fungus - thinly shredded
4. 3 inches of carrot - finely shredded
5. 1-2 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
6. 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
7. 1 egg white
8. 3 tablespoon of light soysauce
9. Salt to taste

Mix everything together. Put some fillings at the center of the wonton skin and and wrap. Just use water as glue. Put in steamer for 15 minutes.

1. 1-2 cloves of garlic - crushed
2. 1 inch of ginger - crushed
3. A little bit of oil
4. 500ml of chicken stock (if you want more soup you can add more, then adjust the seasonings)
5. A few dash of dark and light soysauce
5. A few drop of sesame oil just for the aroma
6. Cornstarch (to thicken the soup a bit)
7. Scallions (for garnish)
8. Salt to taste

Saute garlic and ginger in small amount of oil (i like them a bit caramelized). Add chicken stock, dark and light soysauce and salt. Bring to simmer. Add in cornstarch (diluted in water) and add few drops of sesame oil. You may drop the wonton into the soup just before transferring it into serving bowl. Garnish with scallions.

Look! The wonton is happy! No wonder they taste so delicious!
:) <---making wonton face.

Monday, 15 November 2010

A Trophy, A Treasure

It is an album,
that I've been working on since
last year.

it's finished!

I use the type of paper used to make hardbound book for the cover,
and black sheets of self-adhesive pages in the inside.
The title is handwritten and
the decorations around the frame is stamped with VersaMagic White Chalk Ink pad.
The gold ink is Brilliance Ink Pad; Galaxy Gold.

I'm still in the process of searching and gathering all my stamps images
to be placed inside the album,
but here's some of them so far,

I'm hosting an ATC Swap!

Thank you very much to my artist friend, Arthur,
for the encouragement.

I will be hosting a second ATC swap,
(the first time was in 2008 with the theme Identity).

Our aim is to get our fellow Sabahan artist
(they are real artist, who paint and sell paintings for living)
to join the swap,
but we are also open to all artist, serious hobbyist and art lovers from all around the world to participate.
There's no particular theme, and you are free to use any technique and media.

Please click here to read the details.

The rules are simple, just make 3 pieces of painting sized 2.5x3.5 inch and send it to me (the host). After deadline (14th December 2010) I will swap the cards and send back 3 pieces of cards from different artist to you. But I apologize as the details are written in Malay,
with a mix of Sabahan slang
so if you need any help,
please let me know!

What is ATC?
Hehehe, read here please!

Some of my ATCs back in 2008. Most of them have been traded.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Sup Nori "Campak with Love"

Putri and hubby,
were both having fever
(perfect excuse!,
actually I'm just craving for it..hihi).

Let's cook some Nori (seaweed) soup.
If you have no seaweed then
just change the name to Seaweedless Soup.

You can find this Nori sheets easily in supermarkets.

1 Big onion and 2 red onions (sliced), 3 cloves of garlic (crushed), 2 inch ginger (crushed), 6-7 piece of fishballs (i like to cut them into halves), 1 piece tofu (diced), 2 tomatoes (cut into wedges) and 3 sheets of Nori (seaweed) torn into strips.


Saute ginger, garlic and onions till fragrant, and if you like you can let the onions caramelized a bit.

Add fishballs and tomatoes. I like to wait until the tomatoes softened a bit before pouring in water.

Throw the tofu and seaweed strips in.
(like a witch preparing magic potion).

Bring to simmer. Salt to taste.

At this point, you can stir-in some eggs if you like but I already use fish, so I don't add eggs.
(Where's the fish you ask me?
Owh~ it's in the balls).

Serve hot.
(Be prepared to compliment yourself. Haha.
For the effort maa...)

Easy peasy right?
*You can use chicken, meat or prawns.
*You can add mushrooms, pepper or stir-in some eggs (like making egg-drop soup).
*You may also add some starch if you like the soup to be thick.
*You can alter the recipe to suit your own taste and give special name to your recipe, like me.