Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I'm on the pursuit for adventure

Goodness knows made bought me here again after abandoning my blog after all this time. Maybe it is because I wanted to check if I am still capable of writing more than one worded photo captions on face book, or maybe it's because for the past weekend or so I have been feeling very motivated and slightly inspired in the art and literature department.
Anyways, I suppose this shall be a quick update about what's been been revolving around the cuppy headed world, besides the fact that I have been obsessing over indie rock fashion and DIY bohemian inspired feathery headbands, seriously though I can spend hours scrolling through pictures of weird indie /bohemian inspired fashion and hipster type quotes in german that I find somewhat amusing, what has become of me. Or maybe this post shall just be a short reminder that I still exist and have yet to be completely taken over by feathered accessories.

Apart from tearing apart old t-shirts and converting them into colorful headbands, which have convinced my family that I might join an indian tribe sometime in the near future or perhaps at least start practicing rain dances around the house, I have been drawing a whole lot more as compared to the past few months and I have completely given up using my once favorite Stabilo 0.4 ink pens for willow charcoal sticks and 2b pencils. I don't recall what made me switch art mediums but I guess it was partly due to boredom and the fact that I wasn't really good with ink and I wanted to try something new altogether.

Honestly, I haven't actually studied or observed artists using pencils and charcoal because I am such a lazy creature and also it literally takes an hour to load a youtube video with the extremely slow Port Dickson wifi speed I am blessed with, so I guess I can proudly say that I picked up whatever pencil and charcoal skills through a whole lot of trail and error and not to mention the amount of wasted paper! Also, until I immersed myself into creating art with these relatively new art mediums (Or at least that's what they are to me since I never would have given it a second thought before.) I never would have realized how important an eraser was, especially to create highlights. And erase mistakes, doh. The next step I'd be taking would probably be to use color pencils and hopefully be able to invest in a nice creamy set of color pencils that would hopefully work better than the cheapo ones I find scattered across my brother's desk. Then again, it could just be me not having enough skill to be able to blend the colors properly, go figure.

Ah, I remember now. It was because I was slowly getting sucked into the world of realistic human portraits, with a tinge of surrealism and ink pens limited shading and whatnots since I was, and still am pretty much useless at controlling ink. At the same random pencil using artists decided to appear all around, so I decided to give it a shot. I don't think I would ever go back to drawing with ink pens or start doodling henna inspired art again, or maybe I would one day since I once sworn that I wouldn't never step back into the cake decorating industry but I did and I probably created more birthday and wedding cakes for the past two months than I have throughout the past few years. Sometimes I do wish I weren't so fickle about the decisions I make.

A couple of days back I got the last of the Rotary youth exchange forms filled up and I was told that I would be departing for a year in Ecuador on the 22nd of August next year, that was probably the moment when everything started feeling scary and at the same time excitingly real! Since I have got a little less than a year till my departure to the land of spitting llamas and ancient  galapagos tortoises, you could say that I have prepared a list of some of the things I wanted to experience in Malaysia or just things I am looking forward to, since I wouldn't be around for an entire year and at the same time prepare myself for a journey to a faraway land. To start off I decided to pick up Spanish, I had no idea it was such an easy and enjoyable language to learn!

The decision to go to Ecuador instead of Germany was pretty sudden. Sudden as in I said yes over a two minute phone call in the middle of a hectic marketing game played during MYC13, I was bought over the moment I heard that the exchange students would be able to visit the Amazon rainforest, Galapagos islands, Machu Pichu and some other places I did not catch on that brief phone conversation! Besides almost all the previous exchange students went to either somewhere in the European region or Japan, so it would be nice to be one of those that venture outside the box!

Carrot Guppy Head's to do list of shenanigans before Ecuador:

  • RYLA13. I actually got chosen as one of the facilitators this year! So I suppose writing that insanely lengthy e-mail to them about my "abilities" was worth it, though I was fan-girling about how much I loved RYLA12 and the experiences I had for at least three quarters of it! I can't wait to see what's in store for me this year since I've stepped up the ladder, hm.
  • OUTWARD BOUND. I swear, I attend every single camp I lay my eyes on but this particular camp sounds like heaven on earth for outdoor loving, adventure junkies!
  • VOLUNTEERING at Zoo Negara and the Ma Daerah turtle sanctuary. It's amazing being in an environment where you are surrounded by people that have the similar love for wildlife conservation and nature, being able to observe how things are managed and operated behind the scenes and constantly learning to fuel what you are passionate in. 
  • MT. KINABALU. Training for it, pushing my limits and conquering a mountain sounds thrilling!

For the past two months or so, change (Such as how I am able to do a proper bridge without sounding like a dying pterodactyl and being able to tie a top knot that doesn't come loose in two seconds.) and fascinating discoveries were ever present, you could say I am feeling very much happier and wholesome now than I have been for the longest period time.
It could be due to the fact that the future doesn't seem so blurred and foggy anymore and maybe it is because I finally accept who I am without the need to feel embarrassed when people start bashing my dreams.
And it feels amazing.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A weekend of music and dance

I must admit, it's pretty strange typing away on a laptop again as I have grown accustomed to the whole pen on paper, old fashioned way of writing thing ever since I decided I wanted to be out of the house more and blogging on a tiny phone isn't exactly easy as the keypad is tiny and I keep stumbling over my own fingers, so I decided to start writing in one of my long abandoned diaries again.
It was slightly difficult at first since it's been sometime since I've actually written my thoughts down on paper and by the time I was halfway through jotting down whatever I was thinking, the thought would have evaporated away and you are left staring at some blank paper, maybe it's because I write very slowly or something. I should probably teach myself how to write in cursive one day.
Also you get to pen down every last detail without having to worrying about how your entry might insult someone or how you would be judged by the way you write, so hooray for secret diaries!

Okay, it wasn't exactly a weekend of music and dance since it started on Thursday and I only got home on Monday and it was filled with more than just music and dancing, I seriously need to work on my blog titling skills.


I woke up to the very annoying bleeping sound of my phone's alarm at seven or so in the morning, I wanted to give my morning zombie self some time to put on make up, actually comb my hair into place and put on a little black dress I D-I-Y refashioned from one of those hand-me-down ankle length auntie dresses I had rotting in my closet which I so happened to only work on it at like, two in the morning or something since I had to pack and stuff. I had a casting and it so happened that I needed a tight, short, dark coloured dress (That I didn't have, so D-I-Y-ing was the alternative to sitting down and crying I suppose.) at the Amber Chia academy for a company that booked runway models.

The casting was over pretty quick, all I did was talk a little bit about myself, get my height measured against one of the two ladies that were doing the casting, do some pretend-you-are-on-a-runway strutting and they actually said my very panicky refashioned dress was pretty and asked where I bought it from!
I'll should probably add "learn how to sew clothes properly" to my things I need to learn how to do before I get old list.

After some drool worthy wan tan mee in Petaling street and getting a new pair of red sneakers at Mid Valley, Dad dropped me off at AWL's. I don't really remember what happened afterwards except maybe walking over to CLIC to have some bihun, fried, vegetarian bak kut teh and fried seaweed with bits of sesame seed in it (Which I later dumped into my bak kut teh soup since it tasted really weird on it's own for some reason that I have no explanation to.) for lunch and then re-reading the city of glass by Cassandra Clare.

At five or so in the evening we made our way to the urban groove dance studio where the workshops for project hip hope (A charity fund raising project for the house of love, an orphanage and the house of joy, a home for the elderly.) were held and signed up for their graffiti workshops since I've recently been obsessed with trying new forms of art out and graffiti is something completely different to what I am used to!

Once I got "project hip hope" stamped in red ink on the back of my palm I was whisked off to a secret church, it shall be called the secret church since I have no idea what the church is called and I probably wouldn't have noticed it there since they camouflaged it so well!

A couple of minutes after climbing up a few flights of stairs, settling down on a plastic chair in this very squashy room filled with Australian fellows freestyle rapping to their adventures they had so far in Malaysia and hip hop dancers that I recognized from the urban groove studio, began the first project hip hope workshop! It began rather awkwardly I must add, since literally everyone knew each other and spoke in hip hop language, which at first was like an entirely new language filled with weird hand gestures but I am proud to say that by the end of the three days I spent at the graffiti workshop I had pretty much understood the whole hip hop language and sign language thing they had going on. And a girl named Carisa, who happens to look almost exactly like my fat blue hippo but perhaps with a hip hop twist said she liked my very random stack of bracelets, yay me.

I must admit the workshop ended almost right after it started or at least it felt that way, hmm. We covered a a brief bit of hip hop history, how it started and who made it famous and all, it's too bad I don't remember much of it since I probably have this life long disease called goldfish memory.
Then we did even more theory on the different graffiti techniques, mainly letter writing/spray painting techniques since we were focusing on getting our tag, basically your graffiti signature, done by the end of the first workshop.

After what seemed like eternity, nah actually I found the theory bit pretty interesting since I had never actually dabbled in graffiti before. When it was time to create our tags I had an "artist block", my mind went blank and I had no idea how to create a somewhat "badass" tag for myself or how to sort of draw it out on paper! Even when I did pull some ideas together and started doodling on my A3 sized paper with multi colored markers it just didn't seem to flow as well as I thought it would and I got the feeling that maybe graffiti is just something I will never be naturally good at.

Once the workshop ended I headed back to the urban groove dance studio, got dragged to a vegetarian restaurant by Awl for dinner and of all things they had there I ordered vegetarian fish head noodles! It tasted very much like eel sushi, I am still undecided if I like or hate it, hmm. Oh since Am, Sam and Arian decided to take the evening workshops we hung around the restaurant sipping on Chinese tea and orange juice, since I might have burnt my tongue while stuffing noodles down my throat. Then Jet and his family decided to join us since they had just finished their dinner somewhere in taipan as well, we yakked about things I don't remember of anymore till the owner of the restaurant decided that they wanted to to kick us out since it was getting late.

The next day was filled with egg sandwich making and packing into ziplock bags,more reading and writing a dozen pages or so in my diary, I guess this is what I get for procrastinating, zero memory of anything that has happened only rough bits and pieces. 


Today at the workshop we started on characters, the whole theory then practical concept again but I enjoyed myself a whole lot more since Sam wasn't taking the workshop with me so I pretty much didn't have an excuse to hang around her and not talk to anyone else! I was there a little early for the workshop that for some reason was held in the urban groove studio instead of the church, so after walking around the reception area for a bit, I plopped down on the couch and talked to this random girl that looked equally as bored next to me and by the time the workshop started we pretty much knew everything from each other's weird life stories to what we kinds of videos we watch on youtube to what we thought of random countries around the world!

As for the practical part of today's characters in graffiti style workshop we had to draw the person sitting next to you as a character and the person sitting next to me was Jane, a friend of Sam's that I had met at the first workshop but didn't really get to talk to much and the photo above is her drawing of me as a graffiti styled character and the piece of paper next to it is my failed attempt at graffiti from the workshop the day before! 
I don't look anything like that though you might have gotten the shorts and big feet right, but thank you for making me feel really beautiful!
We switched our drawings at the end of the workshop so I unfortunately can't upload a picture of the drawing I did of Jane but maybe it's a good thing since mine turned out pretty bad but not as rotten as the tags I did the day before, thankfully.

Am and Sam weren't at the studio yet since their vocal workshop started a little late so I sneaked into the room where the hip hop dancers were rehearsing for the project hip hope concert on Sunday and you could say I was pretty blown away, staring at them dancing with eyes popping out of their sockets and my jaw trailing of the floor! There is just something about the choreography and music that just makes you blink for a second and then mouth a silent "wow" because you forgot to breath for that few minutes they were dancing and its a little hard to say anything when you've got no air left in your lungs.

I spent the next twenty minutes or so watching them dance the same routine again and again till Am and Sam arrived and dragged me off to subway across a very congested road for dinner, by then the dancers were probably very creeped out by my overall existence in the studio.

We watched the silver linings play book when we got home, it was amazing (Yay, Jennifer Lawrence!) enough to keep me awake watching it till two or three in the morning.


Day three of the project hip hope graffiti workshop! The workshop that I just couldn't wait to attend since we were told that we got to do graffiti with actual spray paint!
Evening came soon enough and after a quick round if registering and re-stamping in the urban groove dance studio I rushed down to the alley behind the row of shophouses with Sam because that's where today's workshop was held. 
I was greeted by three huge wooden boards and a cardboard box filled with primary and secondary spray paint colors, I was bursting with excitement!
After Matthew mystery, he is this mind blowingly "cool" priest that conducted the graffiti workshop, does freestyle rapping, dances hip hop and tells nerve wrecking stories of his early graffiti days in Sydney and how he very nearly got killed by a train in the subway and caught by cops a couple of times. Anyways after he demonstrated one of his signature characters it was our turn to finally try out graffiti on the huge wooden canvases.

Sadly, I discovered that graffiti isn't as easy as it looks and made a complete mess on my side of the board, how very disappointing indeed but it was fun literally getting myself coated in spray paint since I picked the bottom part of the board and there were people working on their piece above me!
Note to self: Always pick the top when it involves paint and other humans.


After another lazy morning filled with more egg sandwich making and diary writing at Awl's we made our way to the Paradox cafe where Am had created an open mic event, to be honest I really didn't expect much from it, maybe some newbie singers/songwriters that would give such terrible performances that you would rather listen to a blender blend concrete. You could say I didn't have very high expectations about the event or/and that I am a terrible excuse for a human being.

It was strange how the moment Am welcomed all that arrived and started it of with her two original songs "clues" and "dandelion days", I actually found myself enjoying the songs, tapping out the beat with my shoes and singing along, all while I was stuffing my face with a huge bowl of noodles.
I still have Am's "dandelion days" stuck in my head and I believe a week or so has passed already.

I even met a fellow RYLArian there, Krystal, I do regret not speaking to her much during last year's RYLA, hmfp. She's in a duo called Big & Small, they were the featured artists for today's open mic and I don't think I have enjoyed a performance as much as Big & Small's! It was just so filled with strength, happiness and energy that you can't help it but dance! Unfortunately I still hadn't finished my enormous bowl of noodles so I kind of just shuffled my bum around the chair I sat on, boo.

Also, I don't think I have ever spent so much time in a toilet before, it was just so filled with hilariously interesting stuff pasted on the walls and there was a piece of artwork painted on the door to the toilet and the particular style it had was extremely familiar! After staring at it for a minute or two I realized it was by Iam May, one of my favorite local artists! 

The moment the last performer stepped off the stage we packed up and zoomed off to The icon, where the project hip hope concert is held.
We arrived a little late so the concert had already started and there were three middle aged men rapping in Cantonese, I was pretty confused but things started going uphill when they exited the stage because then the stage was just taken over by all the dance crews and music that was so loud the floor vibrates and your heart starts beating a little funny! I unexpectedly started having a really good time and joined the huge crowd of people that were waving their arms about, dancing (halfway through the night the people in the mosh pit made a circle, the dj started mixing and there was an amazing dance battle!) and jumping in the mosh pit!

So yeah, that was my very eye opening weekend of being immersed in the world of music and hip hop culture.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Because the neighbor is renovating and I can't hear the tv.

Okay, the past month or so kind of just wooshed by and I seem to have gotten a memory wipe or something because everything I've done seems extremely vague and blurry but at the same time it was probably the most interesting month this year since I was rarely ever at home.
And I oddly don't exactly miss the whole comfy home environment as much as I thought I would have.
Hoorah, a nomad's life it shall be for me.

What's also strange is that everything I have wished for seems to be coming true and that's an amazing feeling.

Yes, I actually prayed to be out of the house and on my own in a way, my family is absolutely fabulous and I get stuffed with amazing food everyday but sometimes change and adventure is needed and that I felt excruciatingly frustrated about not knowing what I wanted during most of the year kind of helped too.

I think I just made everything sound overly dramatic.

Anyways, I will start my post off at the end of May, my Dad received two seats to an introduction to NLP, which stands for Neuro linguistic programming if you didn't know but most of everyone I've talked to seems to have heard about it one way or another and I was pretty surprised I suppose.

I had an impression that we could hack into people's minds but fortunately for those around me it wasn't anything like what I had in mind.

The two day seminar was held in on of the lecture theaters in the Taylor's Lakeside Campus and I expected a huge lecture hall that could accommodate over a hundred participants, like those you see in movies but it really was this normal class room with bright yellow walls and was filled with middle aged students that had either grey hair or were balding.
I should probably lower my expectations by a whole lot.

We were also late and there was traffic that morning, like most mornings so my Dad parked across the highway at a patrol station and we actually walked across a highway so very early in the morning.
You could say it was a very interesting experience to have when you are half asleep, I felt very much like a refugee that morning.

The overall two day "training" was pretty interesting and I am surprised I do quite a lot of the techniques already, it was basically reminding myself how to use it.
We were also given a pen and paper test to basically find out your personality and we were taught how to communicate better with different individuals, it was very much like learning a whole new language and the whole using certain words thing doesn't really work on me (Or maybe my Dad just doesn't know how to play with his words very well.) but it surprisingly worked on my Dad and he still doesn't know I used "his personality language" on him to persuade him to go shopping with me.
So maybe I'll use it after all.

The biggest reason why I enjoyed I really enjoyed the overpriced course was because I got to spend more time with my Dad and I also learnt why I usually end up in tears when we "talk", it's because we are are on the extreme sides on the personality chart.

He is an I.D which means he is someone who enjoys plans, structure and straight forward stuff and I as a kinesthetic on the other hand, doesn't really like step-by-step plans, I would very much prefer that you gave me a deadline and I would find a way to get it done by then, hopefully.
I am also completely fine with fuzzy details and apparently I feel a little bit too much and my Dad doesn't exactly understand what this feelings are.

I guess now I understand why he says the things he says and overall accept his occasional grumpiness a lot better, as well as learn a little more about my wonky self but I honestly wouldn't pay RM 1,400 for that seminar because I am such a cheapo.

The next day I drove, wait my Mom drove over to our old place in PJ and kidnapped Swathy over to PD to stuff our faces with Mommy's popcorn, re-watch every single episode of Mind Your Language again, roll in sea mud, dig for lalas, cycle to our favorite warung to have nasi goreng kampung tambah ikan bilis and syrap limau ais and then tapau-ing curry puffs to munch at the very beautiful and breezy fisherman's jetty and throw a random Honda car factory plant tour in the middle of it somewhere.
I also got stopped by a really creepy kampung boy that claimed I looked like his favorite k-pop singer and insisted to take picture of me and to have tea with him. I don't think I have cycled away from anyone quite as fast before.

Packing was horrific since I only started the midnight before camp and I was tossing clothes all over my already insanely messy room trying to find dark colored t-shirt and long pants, not my favorite choice of clothing I must admit.

Hm, camp. I honestly haven't a clue where to start even though Teen Dhamma Camp 13 is all I have been thinking about since it ended and this time I actually had very low expectations (Seriously, how fun can a DHAMMA camp be, right?) but guess what?
.. And I have been listening (And dancing to the hoedown, of course.) to the TDC theme song, It's time - Imagine Dragons on repeat for the entire day and woah, it's a rush of beautiful bittersweet camp memories.

I just realized I enjoyed TDC more than last year's RYLA, maybe it's because I am a little more confident this time round and I don't have a fear of speaking in general.
And therefore you get to meet more people and have more fun, woopie!

When we (Bloo, Nadia, Jet and Sam) reached SJBA very early in the morning, we were led to this hall that was filled with teenagers sitting cross legged and walking to an empty spot to settle down was stressful since everyone in the room was staring and I very badly wanted to dissolve into water at that very moment and hopefully seep into the floor tiles or something.

After a very awkward puja and massage-the-person-in-front-of-you session we had to split into groups of eight and we pretty much stuck together thinking everything was fine as we played some warm-up-to-the-random-people-around-you-type-of-games but oh, after thinking I was safe with the people I arrived with we had to run around the hall asking the facilitators if we were in their group or not and it turns out all five of us were scattered in different groups.

Seeing the people that I was going to be in a team with was.. I don't know how to describe what I was feeling at that moment but "Oh my god, I am going to be stuck with this boy with nice braces (THIS IS SHAYYYNEEE! *Rings chong*), a rather grumpy and annoying look boy, a rather shy smiley girl and three other tiny people for the next four days" was terrifying.
And somehow I got elected to be the leader of the Wave team, like are you people serious.

So what do you do when you put eight random teenagers together?
You make them come up with a group cheer.

"Wavey, wavy
We are the waves
Prepare for a tsu-na-mi"

After a terribly awkward cheer creating session we boarded two school buses and headed over to the place where we would be held captive in for the next four days, Bodhi Park, Shah Alam.
It has a huge concrete lotus on the roof so it was pretty hard not to miss.

Right after our vegetarian lunch, I actually quite enjoy vegetarian food but don't tell anyone that.
And after unloading our luggage into our double decker zinc cabins (I slept underneath and it was nerve wrecking since the girls on the the upper layer were dancing or something and the wooden deck didn't look or sound very stable but I lived.), we started off our first activity together as a team, it was called the Apple station and we basically had to run around the temple compound finding stations where we would perform Apple app themed games against another team.

The Candy crush station was the most memorable because we had to stick our face in a basin of flour and fish out candy with out mouth in result to people regurgitating nice round blobs of dough out and having flour in your nose isn't the best feeling ever.

And there was the 4 Pic 1 Word station where two teams were shown the same picture and we had to guess the word without the brackets to guide you but my insanely awesome team found a way to cheat, the Where's My Water station where we had to look around the cabin area for cups of water and put it into a little spray bottle, spray a dangling cloth and try to get the water to drip into a cup, the Instagram station where one member of the team (A glittery tattoo to whoever guesses it right.) had to paint an Instagrammed picture of a facilitator, the Hardest game ever station where we had to solve crossword puzzles, sudoku and riddles, the Fruit Ninja station where we had to mash a banana with the skin intact and a Draw My Thing station where you had to um, obviously draw your "thing". *Eye twitch*

There was sort of a "moral" to each game that is somehow linked to the whole "Dhamma"/"Buddhist camp" thing but I sadly don't remember any of it.

I think we also created our mail boxes with pieces of paper and Sharpies that afternoon, pretty similar to the ones that were at RYLA but mail boxes are amazing!

Later that evening we had Mahapuja, it conceived of a very short an enjoyable meditation session which I happened to be slipping in and out of consciousness in and then we lined up in a U shape and passed down flowers, candles and a cup of water. I don't even know why I enjoyed it so much, really.

After a breakfast of dry noodles we began the amazing race which to me was a continuation of yesterday's Apple Station but instead of Apple app themed games we blew tissue, bounced marbles on paper, used chopsticks in a wheelbarrow position, solved some riddle, blew some ping-pong balls into a cup while lying on a lovely sandy and cement-y floor, did some hoedowns and did this marble-tissue roll thing that was very frustrating I must say.

And this time you weren't given a clear map on where the next station is going to be, we had to wonder out of the temple and into a housing estate in the scorching tropical afternoon sun and if you found a marble somewhere along the way you could U-turn another team to do one of the previous stations, unfortunately my team got the U-turn card and boy, it was not fun and I felt like the worst team leader ever because I was probably sulking my face off.


I swear, the meal times were the best because everyone would run off to their group of friends, eat, die of laughter, empty their mail boxes and read fan mail and play with Nadia's hair.

Sleep came very easily to me that night but I was soon woken up by the sound of one of the facilitator's voice saying to go to the mph (Multi purpose hall) NOW, so I dashed to the toilet with my contact lenses and tried to put them on and I accidentally swiped them into the sink.
Mark my words, never try to put contacts on when you aren't functioning very well. Especially not in the middle of the night.
I never realized how insecure I was without my contact lenses. FIVE MORE DAYS OR SO TILL I GET HOME TO MY STASH OF CONTACT LENSES.

Anyways, we were woken up to solve a murder and it was hilarious since everyone was so blur and we had to solve riddles and duck walk in order to get the suspects and witnesses statements which we then pieced together to figure out who it was.

Also throw in some zombiefied facilitators walking around the temple compound and lots of screaming girls, thinking about the night before the next morning seemed as though it was a really weird dream.

There's so much to write about that my fingers hurt just by thinking about it but I'll try to go on, ack.

Our last night at camp was as usual the most amazing, it conceived with a lot of rolling on spiky grass, stuffing our faces with REAL sausages and cuttlefish balls, loud music, singing, jumpy high-5s and amazing friends!

If only I could relive TDC 13 once again.

-Karen Cuppy Cake

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bits and blobs

So, apparently people still read my blog (Yes, I am surprised!) even though I abandoned it for half a year and I got a request to share the five minute sketch I made of the cakes I submitted for the Mother's day themed cake competition.

Um yeah, it isn't much really and it does actually look as if it was sketched in five minutes and I don't even want to talk about the ball of fluff AKA pink flowers, which didn't even turn out pink! I should probably work on my cake drawing skills!

If you've noticed I did tweak the cakes a little here and there, okay tweaked them A LOT!

I redesigned a couple of tiers from 28 (That's the cake with gumpaste flowers and basket weave.), removed on of the pink flower tiers because I was a little too lazy to make another and I redesigned the roundish flower arrangement topper into an elongated arrangement and again it was because I was a little too lazy to make more flowers!

As for 27 (The little stout prize winning cake with piped details) I did toggle with the designs a little, they were all suppose to be done in a very henna inspired way, I left the styrofoams as is, I planned on slicing them in half to make shorter tiers but I don't have a styrofoam cutter and it does get pretty messy and I also changed the overall shape of my cake a little because I wasn't able to get the sizes I needed, bleh.

My sketches aren't ever set in stone and I make changes when ever I can to get things done faster and easier because I am a really, really lazy person!
I always write down the techniques that kind of go together so at just glance I would be able to know what I have to work with and trust me it makes life a lot simpler!

If you saw my little "What-to-bring" list on the to right corner.. Well, I had completely forgotten about the fact that I had to bring my Wilton course certificates till after I loaded the cakes into the car on the morning of the competition!

Yep, so I ran around the house like a headless chicken trying to find the pale yellow file which I kept all my certificates in and.. To this day it remains mysteriously hidden, coordinates unknown.
I don't even know why it was stated that you would have to bring your certificates along when you don't even have to show it to them or anything, well I didn't have to do so at least.
Maybe I've got a special VIP pass typa thing,yippee!

I guess that is about all I can say about the whole sketching/planning affair and I bet you are now very disappointed at the fact that I am actually this extremely lazy and careless person that makes terrible sketches of cakes and that I don't even know why I make sketches when I don't follow half of it!

Yesterday was probably one of the most productive days I have had in awhile!
I actually spring cleaned my cake room and for the record, I haven't done it in a very, very long time! 
Eh, I'm guessing cleaning isn't exactly one of my strongest points.

My mini caking library was dusted, drawers were emptied and scrubbed, a truck load of cutters and plungers were washed and categorized and my tools were placed into my upgraded purple toolbox on wheels! 

Yeah, I stole this off the Wilton website because my camera is dead and I haven't a clue where the charger is.

Speaking of my new Wilton rolling tool caddy, I am frankly quite disappointed because the drawers just slide out if you tilt it to the front and just how am I supposed to travel the world and teach with this thing exactly, there should have been a little clasp to hold the drawers in place but I guess drawers falling out isn't as bad as the clasp of my handheld toolbox breaking and my tools and piping tips being scattered EVERYWHERE.
I guess it works fine otherwise (Yes, it just stores tools like any other tool box around.) and you get to show off what a huge, purple, wheelie toolbox you have!

Back to the topic of spring cleaning, right after I was done I simply just stood back and stared at the more or less squeaky clean room and.. Started yanking all my tools out from my toolbox to recreate some flowers I found in the garden in gumpaste.

Um yeah, the caking room is once again, in a horrendous mess!

Oh and here's a nice short story.
We, as in my brothers, mother goose and her fluffy little gosling decided to go swimming in the sea once the sun was down, there was a really beautiful rainbow that stretched across the lagoon and we were playing a game of swim-tag..
Soon it got really dark and I felt something soft and jelly like brush against the back of my palm and a millisecond later I felt the most excruciating pain ever, imagine someone spilling acid on you then roasting your hand over a bonfire.
Mmyeh, I got stung by a jellyfish last night, huh.

-Karen Cuppy Cake

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happiness is pastel pink

It's been some time. Okay, a lot of time since the last time I've blogged and it makes me wonder why I am typing away on this pretty much abandoned blog that happens to be drowning in a truck load of weird comments.
I guess it is partly because I somehow really need to get stuff out of my head and that I don't enjoy being on Facebook as much anymore because I feel out of place and unwanted, if that is even possible.
So yeah, I guess this is my not so secret hideout that I crawl into whenever I feel small, tiny and out of place and type loads of short drafts out.
And I am also coated in flour and breadcrumbs, but that doesn't really matter.

I also have no idea why I joined another ICCA cake competition when they don't really seem to get me anywhere and this year I have to only use Wilton method techniques, trust me they aren't very impressive but I am pretty glad I decided to give cake decorating a second chance because I don't think I enjoy doing anything more and nothing else seems to delight me as much as when I am working on a cake.

I have decided that I should probably get started on writing a "Malaysian inspired piping/stringwork and flowers in gumpaste" book which I have been procrastinating for a couple of years already.

Oh right, what gave me the jump start was this successful-people-speaking-for-the-middle aged-but-still-unsuccessful seminar at the Mines which I happen to randomly stumble upon going, well it's a pretty long story.
The speaker for the day was some oldish but coolish guy that wrote "Publish your book and grow rich" and he was an amazing speaker, well as compared to this old, well dressed guy that could be Nigel Thornberry's twin brother who spoke about property liens and buying property in the US.

Yeah, so he was such an amazing speaker that he convinced me to actually go ahead with the whole writing and publishing a book idea and I am also going for his three day writing boot camp in June, yippee!
I was also dressed in pink from hair tips to tank top to neon pink skinnies to toenails, with uncombed hair, jingly bangles and dirty flipflops, I stuck out like a sore thorn amongst the sea of grumpy middle aged people dressed in black suits and had perfectly styled hair and shiny shoes, so I guess I had gotten a fair share of glares but there were some really nice people that I discussed book plans with and had no clue what "Sugar artistry" was.
I actually enjoy attending seminars now, huh.

Okay, back to the present. 

I entered two entries in this year's cake competition since I could only use Wilton method techniques and the techniques are extremely simple. No, I am not bragging or anything, they are actually meant for total beginners. Like myself when I was eleven.

 My planning started two weeks before the competition, I basically flipped through my Wilton 1-4 course books to have an overview of the techniques I could use and started sketching.
I gave myself a day to complete it but I ended up finishing in under five minutes and spent the rest of the day reading The mortal instruments.
Which is pretty hilarious since the judges were like "OH MY GOD YOU REALLY SPENT LOADS OF TIME PLANNING AND THINKING HOW TO KNOCK US OVER WITH OVER WILTON-NESS" and I was just dying of laughter inside.

Since I had two entries this year I decided to have a gumpaste technique cake and the other a piped technique cake.
There honestly isn't much to say about the cake itself since it had to be in the Mother's day category and I wasn't allowed to incorporate any other techniques in!
All I did was read and then regurgitate, effortless.

For the base of cake 28 I was much inspired by Ron Ben-Israel, I have always loved him since day 1 and I've always wanted to have a whole tier just filled with flowers!
No matter how simple and un-dusted the flowers are they would still look good if you put loads of them together.
I did two tiers of piped basket weave for this cake because I just thought baskets go really well with floral arrangements, the whole Mother's day theme and.. They are really simple, pretty and they fill up space very well!

This tier is probably everyone's favorite, maybe because it's a little different and everything is white.
Inspiration from my latest Keith Kee bridal couture fashion show popped into my head whilst I was sketching this cake out and I just decided to incorporate a little bit of a lace inspired look to it and I think it turned out very well and it made hideous plunger flowers look extremely detailed and interesting.

And as for the cake topper all I did was bunch all my leftover flowers together and stick it on top.
Now wasn't that easy but I did have a little bit of trouble since it stormed for days with no end in Port Dickson so my gumpaste flowers drooped and I had to redo them twice or so and that wasn't exactly fun.

Moving on to cake 27! (I really should have named them, now they sound like prisoners.)
Holding a piping bag to me is as natural as how you would hold cutlery for example so I completed this in two pretty lazy days, I even had time to dig the world's biggest hole according to Fai, Han and Ean at the beach and go swimming afterwards.

I incorporated little fabric like touches to this cake as well because they added that little feminine touch to the cake and that it tends to cover up any ugly patches you have on your cake really well!

I didn't really change the color scheme here much and left everything in the colors you would find them in your Wilton course books.
Oh right, speaking of colors I fell in love with the copper gel paste from Americolor which I received in a goodie bag from the 2011 cake competiton, I hadn't used it till now and boy, is it beautiful!
Literally all the tiers had a little copper mixed into the fondant covering and the trimmings and borders were light and darker tones of copper.

I had an absolutely wondrous time creating my two entries in my little cake room with the weird music I listen to blaring from my headphones as I kind of did this dancing-singing-air guitar solo-head banging-squeezing icing with a wide grin spread from ear to ear thing throughout the week. I honestly hadn't felt so alive in a while.

As I was scrolling through the pictures that my Mom and the very blur ones that my Dad took I found a picture of Alan and Rosalind commenting on my cake while I was dying of laughter inside. 
Well, apparently a little laughter managed to escape.
I should really work on my poker face.

Anyways, the comments I had gotten on my cakes were mainly compliments such as how the pastel color scheme suited the Mother's day theme very well, how extremely Wilton my entries were as some of the other cakes had bits of other techniques on it and how much they loved the flowers, piping and all that jazz but they did comment on how they didn't really like all that wires on the bottom tier of 28 and that my bead border of 27 should have been finer.

Later that day I was tagged in a picture of my cake and it happened to have a little "Highly commendable" sign next to it and I was distraught!
I thought that either one of my entries would have gotten at least placing this time but I guess I was wrong and the next morning I didn't even feel like going back to the event but I am pretty glad I did because the placings weren't out yet. Silly me, I nearly had a heart attack and I guess all that made me realize what a sore loser I am.

I stumbled upon a picture of Alan Dunn and I during his flower course that was held after the cake competition in 2011 while looking for a file that I may not even have downloaded and um, I seemed to have grown younger looking. What.

There wasn't much going on throughout the day unfortunately, so I managed to walk around a little, read at the Time bookstore and catch up with old WMI (Wilton Method Instructor) buddies, course mates and Nina!
I've probably blogged about her before but oh well, I love her truck loads!
She was one of my favorite people when I was going through my Wilton courses next to all my amazing course mates!
I fondly recall one day when I arrived a little early for class and Nina was sitting behind the register with six naked cupcakes and she called out to me to help her ice them because she said she couldn't and with just a glance I told her the icing was a little too stiff so I added a little bit of water in and we iced them together, happily yakking away.

I was also invited by the owner of Amore E Bake to teach at her place in Seremban so my next project would be planning out my classes and there's also my book!
It seems as though things are finally falling in place, funny how life is this really weird roller coaster ride of ups and downs.
Karen Cuppy Cake is back, baybeh.

Oh yes, and I won first place, gave a speech and didn't cry this time.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Speaking of which.

So, I've just gotten home from my first speech and I feel a massive sense of self satisfaction, my head is pretty much exploding with random thoughts, so many that I can't register most of them so they are pretty much useless, heh.
I had also just realized my supposedly cake decorating blog has morphed into a personal, diary like blog about my whatever is in my head, really.

It pretty much feels like today or to be more accurate, tonight is the start of the new year because I actually feel as though something has "magically" changed in me, that feeling that I had always thought would happen when a new year begins or a birthday passes.

Basically, today I had to give a speech and presentation about my experience in RYLA to my sponsoring Rotary club as a report like thing and I have been dreading it from the moment I was told I had to do it since I had a rather traumatizing experience of speech giving when I was twelve and I had to go on stage and thank people who had help made the the winning possible, just because I had won second place in some teen cake decorating competition with a rather dull "go green" theme.
My entire body was shivering in fright as I was gripping a little too firmly onto a sheet of paper that had a few names and a few sentences of what I wanted to say written on it, I thought my knees were going to give way.  I could barely form words without tripping over them and to make matters worst I was speaking in a shopping mall so there was a huge crowd around me with the camera flashes going off. I ended the "speech" with a tear-streaked face and a "thank you" was forced out through sobs as I walked down the stage and started bawling even more.
I guess you could say that was my first "speech" but I wouldn't exactly consider it one since I didn't exactly speak.  I wanted to be swallowed up by the stage so very badly.

For about two years, public speaking has been one of my biggest fears, ever. And I have been trying oh-so-very-hard to rid of it since I think it's a pretty important life skill to have and I really didn't want to end up being twenty and still not be able to speak to a large audience on stage but I just tend to procrastinate a lot when it comes to things I highly dislike because I am just not a very courageous face-your-biggest-fear type of person.
But that took a drastic change during RYLA.
RYLA stands for "Rotary Youth Leadership Award" but has absolutely nothing to do with awards and please don't ask me why it is there, it's pretty much a youth leadership camp which I happened to be more or less forced or highly persuaded into going to by my Dad since he is a Rotarian and his club had a lack of 17-30 year olds to sponsor so he roped in his -coughcough- daughter and a few of her poor favoritest female humans. Gosh, that came out sounding terrible. Oh well.

Anyways, RYLA was probably one of my biggest highlights of 2012 I think, as it was an overall dull year because of "things", I can't believe I was so reluctant to leave the comforts of my home and wifi for some leadership camp in the middle of Raub, on some Benum Hill that was meant for "youth" 17-30 and on top of that it was probably filled with the need to speak on stage and there was something on the itenary that was called "talent night" which worries me quite a bit but at least they had a total of six meals per day which did surprise me. *Sarcastic smile

Aside from all that meeting rather inspiring people, uber interesting gossip sessions during meal times with the ace gang, visiting an old folks home which happened to be a terrible excuse for a "home" as it wasn't in the slightest bit homely or comfortable,"partaying" till three or four in the morning, impromptu catwalking, inspiring talks and extremely boring ones that quite literally put me to bed, "jungle tracking" more like walking up a muddy dirt road with a slight mist of rain falling to refresh you but surprisingly there were quite a few rather unfit youth that found it challenging and day filled with kayaking, flying foxing and high rope walking.

Yeah, that pretty much describes an amazing four day camp way too briefly, I am too lazy to elaborate anyways but something pretty much changed me during camp and it sparked during one of the first "talk" sessions we had to attend and it was basically about discovering yourself and the leader within you or somewhere along those lines.

We had to take this little test during the session that was run by Leaderonomics and it just defines if you were either an introvert or an extrovert and there were four other categories after that.
I had already known I was an introvert long before camp and what my strengths and weaknesses were so I didn't find the session all too interesting but there was something our speaker said that created that little spark inside of me and it was something around "It doesn't matter if you fell under being an introvert or an extrovert, a good leader has both qualities in them".

So that got me thinking about a "quality" that fell under the extrovert category which I very clearly have yet to level up and obtained, speaking on stage.
Well, since extroverts are more or less known as better speakers and introverts are better listeners, it's kind of true I guess and this coming from an introvert.

Since I was in a leadership camp which emphasizes on leadership skills and personal growth in youth, I decided to set a goal for myself to achieve in four meagre days and it obviously is to overcome my ginormous fear of speaking on stage.

Fast forward a couple of days, talent night was approaching, I was running out of time to fulfill the goal I had set for myself and my team, the Ravens were planning to perform a sketch that night which we all agreed on since you could incorporate singing, dancing and acting into it and I guess the more you incorporate into a performance, the more interesting it gets!

 The basic rather wonky story line with loads of laughs thrown in was about three young siblings, two sisters and a brother. The little brother gets lost one day while wandering into the woods looking for a missing ball and a Pontianak magically appears right in front of him saying that she is hungry and she wants him as her next meal but the little brother asks her to wait as he orders pizza for her since he claims it tastes better than he does but she didn't end up enjoying it so she tied the boy up and started preparing to cook him. Meanwhile the sisters started to realize their brother went missing so they started looking for him and they had found him with a very hungry and angry looking Pontianak.
They ended up calling a Bomoh ahahaha this is hilarious over to help rescue their brother and after loads of fighting the Bomoh had finally figured out the Pontianak's weakness and summoned a "hot guy" and eventually made "peace" with the Pontianak and everyone lived happily ever after.

So, the moral of the story is Pontianaks want to be loved and to live happily ever after too that um, you should probably make peace with people or something like that.

I was the Pontianak character and I probably would have taken up a role that involved very little stage appearance but I had brought my special effects makeup kit along with me since I was supposed to go for Comic Fiesta the day after camp with the beloved Bloohippo but me being a terrible giraffe didn't and it would be easiest to apply Pontianak like makeup on myself and I just decided to well, shoot for the moon or stars or black hole since it was already the day at camp and I had yet to do anything that had put me out of my comfort zone and again, there was that goal.

When it was our turn to perform I started getting really nervous but surprisingly it started to fade away as fast as it came when I stepped on stage and started "acting".
The crowd was really supportive and I actually had fun on stage even though we didn't really stick to the script!

I had gotten over my fears of speaking on stage and at the same time learn to enjoy it, something I had never thought I would achieve and the Ravens bagged the first place!

Back to the present, I had a speech to make and a slideshow of RYLA pictures to present with two other RYLArians that were sponsored.
Dad helped me out with the basic formula of what I needed to say which I was extremely thankful for, Introduction to the topic - What has affected, benefited you and comments - Slide show presentation and speaking a bit more about RYLA. 

And he had also made me feel rather inferior by saying that a fellow Rotarian sent him an email on some "girl" wrote an amazing report about RYLA and asked if I could do better. I may or may not be dead if the girl or the Rotarian that sent the Father the email finds this blog.
The report was meh but I was glad since the Rotarians expected "meh" but I am still pretty upset over the fact that the Father thinks I have such poor report writing skills and is so amazed over the fact that the report has pictures in them. Like whaaat, I am just occasionally too lazy to add pictures to my posts because it uses up my finger strength and also am too lazy to grammar check my blog posts and I also love adding retarded whale grunts in because whales be fabuloso creatures, so I guess you have every reason to think I have poor report writing skills, heh. *Tosses table and walks away in a diva like manner

Very soon boy, a day flies by quick when you are engrossed in an amazing book, I was standing at the podium introducing myself and speaking a little about RYLA which I kind of disappointed myself with since I had to rely on the paper a little too much cause I couldn't remember the facts but as soon as it came to speaking about what had benefited/affected you, the notes were ditched and I had an absolutely thrilling time speaking and controlling the ears of successful, old people, ohoho the power surges through my veins and it feels goood!

It's strange because something I had once feared so much is now something I am in love with, I had gotten so much praise and applaud when I was done.
Rotarians saying it was inspiring and that they couldn't believe I wasn't an experienced public speaker and that was actually someone who had feared the mic and stage before RYLA and they had absolutely no idea that RYLA had "helped" so many youth! And I was also questioned if I was actually an introvert which was pretty hilarious because I am a 100% introvert that occasionally enjoys speaking to people and occasionally becomes a "fun" person because "fun" like "partaying" till three in the morning with RYLArians is something that should not be missed.

RYLA really should be something compulsory to all youth, like a coming of age like thing because, it really is a life changing camp but it also matters how much you want to be there and how much you want to change.

So, now it feels as though I've entered a new chapter of my life opening myself up to new possibilities like acting or MCing since I enjoy both immensely now even though I am not particularly good in either yet but I might be, one day. 
Like I said in the beginning, it's that feeling you always thought would be there when it's a new year or you've passed another birthday, that magical feeling inside of you which makes you this new, fresh person hybrid.

And I might take up dance one of these days as I feel fairly potato-like.

And no, I shan't grammar check or add any pictures in this post.