Floral Arrangement – My experience and sharing for beginner

In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends ~ Kozuko Okakura

Dragon Fly & Rose

My special thanks go to Bro Yap for sharing his experience, knowledge and expertise in floral arrangement class. We had finally completed our fundamental course after almost 3 months and celebrated with a pot-luck party. To Bro Yap and my dearest floral classmates, they saw me as a naive apprentice bringing a round centerpiece for my first assignment at the beginning. I still remembered Bro Yap commented “The shape is there but the color is dull. Put in more fillers”. So when I did for my second assignment, I composed an overloaded bouquet of a triangular since I remembered the first lesson’s advice vividly. Oh goodness sake! Comparing mine with other classmates, mine was so-called “over eating”. My triangular bouquet looked bloating like composing a Christmas tree instead.

Some yummy food at our potluck party

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Creative Floral Arrangement – Part7 (Compose a Phoenix or Bird)

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns,
or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses ~
Abraham Lincoln

Bird of Paradise

Phoenix is a mythical bird with a beautiful tail. In Chinese legend, it symbolizes beauty, good luck and female energy. Understanding the myth obviously give us a better clue on what this composition can offer or for what occasion.

This lesson shares some tips on how to compose a phoenix leveraging on Strelitzia or commonly known as ‘Bird of Paradise’ and palm leaves.

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Heavenly Hangzhou – Dongpo Pork and Tomb of Yue Fei (Part 1)

There is a saying in Mandarin goes as “Tian Sang Yu Tian Tang, Tian Xia Yu Su Hang

Translated, it means ‘up above the sky there is a heaven, down below (on earth), there is a Su Hang, ‘Su‘ for Suzhou and ‘Hang‘ for Hangzhou. So much have been said and written about this beautiful city of Hangzhou, As early as 13th century, Marco Polo himself has landed in Hangzhou and called this place a paradise.

When we signed up for an 8 days 7 nights ‘Shanghai and Jiangnan’ tour package, we had no clue about this city. As Hangzhou is the second last city in our tour, I imagined it must be quite similar with the other cities we have visited earlier like Suzhou, Nanjing and Wuxi. However, when our tour bus finally reached Hangzhou, I sensed something different – this place is simply alluring!Cool

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26 August 2008 Permatang Pauh Parliamentary By-Election

August 26, 2008 is a Tuesday that will be remembered by many. The day that dictates our future. The day that Malaysians decide where do we go from here. From coffee shop to even board room, this is the hottest topic discussed among fellow Malaysians. We are indeed very concern on who will be the next Permatang Pauh MP (member of parliament). Arif Shah, Anwar Ibrahim or Hanafi Hamat. And why?

As a matured individual and a responsible citizen, firstly execute it by deciding to cast your ballot on 26 August 2008 if you are truly a legal voter for Permatang Pauh. Secondly, it is the choice for which party to vote for. Barisan Nasional (BN), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) or Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (AKIM)? It is not difficult at all, my dear friend! Think for a moment of truth.

This election is not as simple as deciding for the Permatang Pauh MP or who will be speaking on behalf of the ‘rakyat’ (‘rakyat’ means citizen in Malay language). It is about whether we want to have two equally dominance political parties in our country. Looking at the example of developed nations like United States or Sweden, it has been proven that two political parties with almost an equal force definitely provide an advantage to perform check and balance for the country and subsequently enable our nation to move forward in economics and social as well. The opposite is observed for those countries ruled by a dictatorship political party or government like Myanmar. A republic by name and nothing else. It was reported in their recent election, some villages authorities and polling station officials ticked the ballots themselves and did not let the voters to do anything. This could be an extreme case but if we do not stop this, we are getting there very soon. Studying carefully the political climate of most republics in Africa that are dominated by a single ruling party, it also shows there is a significant below par achievement in term of economy and social growth. If this simple analogy rings a bell, I believe you are wise to pick your choice.

On top of that, please do not be swayed by the threat of instability or inconveniences if there are two strong political parties. Yes, things may get slower to be approved but it also means that our ministers are more careful in their analysis and decision making as we leave them with no chance to make mistakes or being careless. This is the attitude we shall work towards to cultivate. And how to achieve? Think and cast your vote wiselyInnocent. Decide for our future and vote towards a two-party system!.

Hundreds of traders, thousands of products at Floating Market in Thailand


Floating Market

From running a sundry shop at along the canal to frying bananas on a boat, I also came across a butcher and a hot beverage operator at Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, about two hours from Bangkok by road. I was extremely fascinated with thousands of things there. These folks or traders on boats are very skillful to handle almost everything that you can name it and available at a typical market.

Seeing is believing! Let the pictures here tell you more than a thousand words.


A butcher..paddling his way…


Do you notice the ladies on boat are heating up the cooking oil to fry banana fritters?

Frying Banana Fritters

Lady on the left is preparing hot soup noodle for her customer.

Making Soup Noodle

Beverages making on a boat? Cool…

Making beverages

Greetings from Bangkok. A picture postcard for you!

Two boats



Fresh and Cheap Flowers from wholesaler in Penang

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet
~ Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

I bet at this moment if you are seriously indulging in floral arrangement, you’d be asking where to get fresh yet low-priced flowers. It sounds a bit tricky comparing the usual cases whereby some part of quality will be compromised if it cost less. Aha, there is another reason to get stuff cheaper if we buy in bulks, so get the fresh and cheap flowers from wholesalers.

To those folks that live in Penang, below are some of the places that I know of (most have been to) and hope it does give you some pointers in searching for fresh, lovely and reasonable priced flowers.

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Creative Floral Arrangement – Part6 (Compose a Poodle)

Lovely Poodle
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower
~ Albert Camus

There is no limit to human brain. In this lesson, Bro Yap was sharing a special design that he was going to do for the first time; to arrange flower that resembles a white poodle using huge blooming chrysanthemums. In floral design of animal resemblance, it involves plenty of imagination and definitely an awesome flower gifts especially for children.

Tips for this arrangement:
Compose from front view and top view.

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Creative Floral Arrangement – Part5 (Festive Style – Hari Raya/Muslim festival)

Each flower is a soul blossoming out to nature Innocent~ Gerard de Nerval

White PeacockI am residing in Malaysia, a country of multiracial with rich culture. One of the most significant celebrations among main ethnic groups is Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa. This festival is celebrated after fasting one full month in Ramadhan of Muslim calendar. In this part of Creative flower arrangement, I am sharing the floral designs for Hari Raya.

Concept of Festive Style for Hari Raya

As mentioned in Part4, seasonal flower arrangement makes a great impact on the design if relevant props are exploited in accordance to the celebration theme. Attractive props like ketupat (traditional Malays/Indonesians food), tudung saji (food cover), congkak board and wau bulan (literally means moon kite) are great to be included in the floral arrangement.

Tips for this arrangement: Compose from front view. The most commonly used flower for Hari Raya celebration is orchids. Candlestick Lily also can be considered as it looks similar to Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is Malaysia National Flower).

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Creative Floral Arrangement – Part4 (Festive Style – Chinese New Year and Mid Autum Festival)

Beautiful DaisyWhen you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other Innocent ~ Chinese Proverb

In Part4 of Creative flower arrangement, the theme is focusing on season greetings or festival decorations specifically for Chinese New Year and Lantern/Moon Cake Festival or some folks called it Mid Autumn Festival.

Concept of Festive Style for Chinese New Year and Moon cake Festival

In seasonal arrangement, it is essential to gather some props in sync with the celebration theme. For Chinese New Year, red colored fan or good Chinese characters like ‘Fu’ (that means ‘Luck’) is usually employed. Red fire crackers, lucky bamboo or miniature lion dance head can also be used along. For Mid Autumn festival, it is usually associated with lanterns or legendary angels from moon. As long as the prop is in accordance with the culture/theme, it will adorn our floral arrangement.

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