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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Stuck with Sudoku

Sudoku Puzzle
Once in a while when I've got nothing much to do, I would try my hands on a few games of Online sudoku. But personally, I think the best sudoku is played the old fashion way - paper and pen. So while shopping this morning, I've passed by a book store and bought a sudoku puzzle book. Compared to the many publications available in the book store, this was the cheapest - MYR7.90 (Approx. USD1.80) for 150 puzzles. One thing I love best about puzzle games is because it stimulates the brain. Especially right now my work now doesn't require much thinking (compared to my university days), it's good to exercise my brains every now and then.
The image above is one of the puzzles in the book where I am currently stuck at and I can't seem to find any solution... What's worse it when I'm stuck at something, I will refuse to do other things until I solve this pesky problem (closing the book is NOT an option to me by the way). (^^,)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Not just an Alien Movie

On Sunday we made an impromptu decision to watch a movie. I guess with the H1N1 flu scare going around, the cinema (the entire shopping mall to be exact) was quite empty. It was really a rare occasion where you don't have to queue up to buy tickets on a Sunday AND the best seats are still available~!
Anyway, we decided to watch District-9 just only because it was the next available movie within 30 minutes AND it was the only non-horror, non-scary movie with a very intersting poster. Well, overall the show was a nice one to watch about aliens landing in Johannesburg, South Africa and stayed at a government camp called District-9. And 20 years later, D-9 becomes a slum and all aliens are deported to a new area called District-10 (which the photos in the movie looks like a concentration camp). For sinopsis and review, you can check it out at IMDB.com but be warned that this show is rated 18-SG in Malaysia but I think the only gory part in this movie is when Wikus (the lead actor) pulls out his fingernail (it was a sign that he was mutating into a "prawn") and another scene where he "plucked" his molar tooth.
Okay, I'm telling too much - go enjoy the show!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stitching up Happiness

Cross Stitch Double Happiness
As mentioned in my previous post, I've been relatively busy these days thinking and at the same time preparing props for my second photo shoot in October. One particular prop I'm stitching is the classic Chinese calligraphy word for "double happiness" which is commonly used at Chinese Weddings. It's ligature "囍" (double happiness, or in Chinese it's read as shuangxi,"双喜") is actually putting two "喜" (joy, or happy, or xi) together. In crafting and arts, it's often modified in various creative ways.
Commonly in the Chinese community, the 囍 motives are often cut out from red colored paper and pasted on EVERY doors of the homes of the newly weds. And very often it becomes the focus of photographers covering the blissful event. So instead of just using paper I've searched the web for something a little more innovative - cross stitch. The image below is the cross stitch chart on Aida 14 Count while the image above is how it should look like when finish.
Double Happiness Cross Stitch - 囍Right now, I've only completed the left half or the"guy" part. And hopefully by sometime next month I can finish the right side or "girl" part and have the completed craft posted here. I don't quite know how many skeins I need for the entire image but that too will be updated when I've completed the task.

Enjoy~!

Monday, August 17, 2009

When memory lacks... there's always pictures to look at

I've been back to busy mode of late. This time I've been spending more time offline rather than online. It's nothing serious - just that I've been cooking up various ideas on what to work out on our outdoor shoot which is 2 months away... I know, I know. The dates for my photo shoots are like so far apart (more over my wedding is not until next year, I kept getting questions such as "why do now?") But trust me, time flies and when it comes to shooting day, unless you have hyper good memory, it's best to keep your ideas or at least reference pictures in written or printed form. Basically we got carried away in the first shoot, we sort of got "dried up" towards the end. Worse part is the ideas came flowing back when I reached home~!

Anyway - so how did my photo shoot go? Spent almost 8 hours at the studio doing wacky stunts and making goofy faces - basically it was splendid~! Sorry though... no pictures at the moment because we were thinking of compiling the entire album before proceeding to publish them and show the world.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pre-Wedding Photoshoot Deals - Know your Details

You are engaged to the man of your dreams and planning for a wedding in the near future. On your things-to-do list, is to take a pre-wedding photo album within a very strict budget frame. While every bridal company in very city and town offers different packages, it is always best to do your homework in advance.

Know Every Detail
Have you ever get a close girl friend and ask her every single detail about her life? Or at least how she met her hubby/boyfriend in microscopic details(inclusive of S-es and EX-es)? Honestly, neither have I. Signing a wedding package deal is like doing business, not chatting (or gossiping) with girlfriends. You MUST know the details or you'll be on the loosing end. So when you ask "What's in this package?" and the reply is "Everything is in!" DO NOT BELIEVE IT for the things you expect will NOT be in.
Basically there are a few things that are generally covered in a wedding package
  • Gown rentals for photo shoot (average package includes 4 dresses, one wedding gown and 3 evening gowns) and actual wedding day(usually 1 wedding gown and 2 evening gown for dinner banquet)
  • Hair and makeup for pre-wedding photo shoot and wedding day
  • Hand Flower bouquet for bride and decoration for bridal car on wedding day
  • Pre-wedding photo album
Now the details that you must know (if you don't know, find out by ASKING)
  1. Must the dresses for the photo shoot be the same as the actual wedding day? This is just to clear the air because for some bridal companies, they only allow choosing of gowns ONCE and you wear the same clothes for both the photo shoot and wedding day. However, to my knowledge, larger companies usually allow you to choose twice because their stock pile is HUGE.
  2. How much is the minimum penalty if the gown is returned dirty or worse, torn? Why ask this? Well, in the event you are a clumsy bride, you won't get shocked when the bill comes.
  3. Makeup - Do you include false eyelashes and ampules or serum? Ampules or serum is a special liquid to protect the face from massive outbreak a.k.a pimple pop due to heavy makeup. This is very much advisable for brides-to-be with sensitive skin. Most (if not all) bridal companies carry their own supply of false lashes and ampules but they charge separately from the package. So if they don't include that in the package, ask the price and you can consider buying from outside.
  4. Hair - Are the hair accessories included? Again, some might want to charge for hair accessories or costume jewelery that they loan to you. After all, there's no harm asking.
  5. Flowers - Do you include corsage or wrist flowers and will it be real or fake flowers? Some companies includes corsage and wrist flowers but they are mostly fake (only the bride's hand bouquet uses real flowers).
  6. Do you include original digital copies of our pictures? If yes, how many copies? Again, this depends on individual companies. Some will give you the original in high resolution (average size 5MB), others may resize the pictures first, or you may find some companies charging you for every single photo at a hefty price!
  7. Wedding album - this one, you have to see it for yourself. Most companies buys software templates from China and Taiwan. All they do is drag your wedding photo and paste it onto the template, cover up the defects (pimples and pores) and FINISH~! Because it's THAT simple for those folks at the bridal studio, the don't look into the template in details like the so-called English phases which are actually direct translations of phases of Chinese romance novels which makes no sense at all! So make sure you tell the staffs you do NOT want any wordings on your album, or you'll end up having people giggling for all the gibberish smearing your beautiful album! If they tell you they can't remove the words, you'll have to choose either another album or another bridal studio all together.
  8. Props - some bridal studios offer simple props to be used like a bouquet of fake roses, lilies, sunflower etc. However, if you want something special, you have to bring your own. Ask the company what are the props they have (and charges if any) so you can use some of theirs and bring what they don't have. Now this is something very personal to me.It should be something that represents the both of you - anything at all. Anyway, since props can be a luggage full long list of things I've created another blog post just on props ideas.
  9. Who will be your photographer, stylist and makeup artist? If you are at a specific bridal studio because of a friend or relative's recommendation, it is very likely that person who recommended you this studio also insist you use a specific photographer, stylist or makeup artist. So if you want specific person to do specific things (say, you want Ken Watanabe to be your photographer and Jack Pierce to do your makeup) then make sure it is written in your bill. Otherwise don't get shocked when you have someone else as your photographer or makeup artist when the person you have requested is "out running errands" or worse still "on the other side of the country taking photos for someone else"
Bring your own supplies
As the photo shoot day draws near, there are things we need to bring. Like the wedding day itself, you need a checklist on what to bring or wear that day
Bride
  • Shoes
  • Stockings / pantyhose
  • Ring
  • Contact lenses (no glasses because the lenses will reflect the flash)
  • strapless bra (off shoulder or tube dresses) or silicone bra cups (for bare back dresses)
  • Wear front button blouse (so you won't end up messing your makeup when you change)
  • FOOD and WATER(a photo shoot with 5 gowns takes about 6 hours. You will be hungry sometime in between)
Groom

  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Black, Blue and if available white pants / slacks
  • Long sleeve shirts (all the colors you have in your cabinet)
  • Tie (bring all that you have)
  • FOOD, WATER and Mobile Phone with games. (Of the 6 hours of photo shoot, you'll spend half the time waiting for your bride to get dress, change hair style and re-do her makeup, so a little entertainment helps you speed up time)
  • A CD with all your favourite songs. Why? Well during a photo shoot, there will be music played via their sound system or radio just to break the silence so it won't be so awakward. So the best way to calm yourselves in front of the photographer is to share with him/her your favourite musics. Psychologically, when you listen to your favourite songs, you'll build happy emotions. Thus the photographer will be able to capture those happy faces rather than having to keep nagging you to smile. But do ask in advance if they have a CD player to begin with.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Busy Bee - Getting Bussier

Okay, I know I've been missing from my blogging activities for the pass one month. Apart from my new addiction on Mafia Wars, Restaurant City et. al., I've also been busy with other things - my own pre-wedding shoot. In my next posting, I'll include insights and as much details (tips) for those who are interested in preparing for their own pre-wedding shoot but have no clue or ideas.