Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Entrepreneur Bug

Yep.. it's creeping up to me. Whatever I'm doing or see, whenever I am, the first thing that comes to my mind is, "Can I sell this? Will it sell? Will people be crazy about it as I am?" Well, most of the time, the realistic answer is no. Heh.

Then it gets annoying when the brain goes deeper to questions like, "Can you make it sellable? Can I create the demand/trend? What can I do to make it different from the others?"

Then I get the downright exhausting questions like, "What business do you want to start? You want to trade/sell good? Or provide services?"

These days, Facebook is full of those entrepreneur posts... 10 Habits of An Entrepreneur, How to Be An Entrepreneur, From Kitchen Assistant to Franchise Restaurant Owner and Kitchen Supply Company with Multimillion Turnover... you know, titles like that start to attract me.

Gosh, I'm so Chinese.

Everybody wants to have a successful business generating enormous revenue, right? I don't know if I can do it... some part of me believe that can be a reality, but part of me just want this routine, stable-income security.

Hate crossroads... yet love it at the same time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SSF @ Danga City Mall

SSF is a home and garden decor concept company in Malaysia. I have been to the branch in Plentong and I remember the feeling I had when I stepped inside for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with their display. I must say, SSF covers a good spectrum of style from French Glam, eclectic, English country, cottage, vintage, rustic to contemporary. IKEA seems too boring now!

And recently, in October last year, a new branch opened at Danga City Mall, Level 4. Quite similar to IKEA's concept, there were many layout displays, like small living area, dining and study room decoration ideas. Though not as extensive as IKEA, it carries many unique items sourced from other countries. (read more about it here)

 The artificial flower collection is more 'atas' here compared to those sold at the ubiquitous Kedai Kahwin all over JB. I could see that they are attentively selected for the quality, detail and colour hues. There is a good display of garden furnitures as well. 

 There are unique armchairs.

And chest of assorted drawer.

The 'industrial' dining chair!

I covet this gorgeous Japanese style dining set. Table, 4 chairs and a bench! I have always wanted a bench at the dining table.

These vintage iron toys are sold for more than RM100. Heartpain.

Glassware galore.

White wicker basket with 9 clear milk bottles. So cute.

Artificial succulent in concrete style planters. Oh me love.

 There are household things as well, and as you can see, all the colours are neutral. Good eye.

There are decorative displays here and there if you can spot them. I love this place!

This is my next black hole... 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pasar Karat or Bazaar Johor Bahru

Bazar JB, Bazaar JB, Pasar Karat JB. They all refer to the night flea/vintage market at Sungai Seget area. It starts from Jalan Tan Hiok Nee where there are always events organized by Tiong Hua Association, all the way to Jalan Sungai Seget. That place is a party at night!

Many stalls there sell unique stuff. I saw stalls selling used baby strollers, car seats and scooter-skates, a lot of hand bags, A LOT of shoes and T-shirts, watches and unwanted chargers. Only one stall caught my attention.

I don't know the stall's name/brand, but it sells antiques and anything vintage.

Old cameras.

There is even an Olympus microscope!

The vintage enamel pot was my favourite.


I didn't buy anything from that stall, maybe next time. But I did walk away with a humoungous rock on my finger. *gush*
RM10 from a random stall. I love cheap thrills. Heheh.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Marco Polo Kitchen @ Bukit Indah Johor Bahru

Last weekend, I stumbled upon Marco Polo Kitchen at Bukit Indah while looking for a place to eat lunch. At first glance from the outside, I saw potential.

You see, unlike KL or Singapore, big city kan, JB doesn't have a list of authentic good fine dining places that we can be proud of. Those of the international cuisine kind. Sure, we have MANY Pekin restaurants all over, and ONE Chez Papa, the authentic French restaurant at Taman Pelangi. There's also this Rosmarino Italian restaurant that I went to once. There were probably some that came and went (closed down). That's about it. I don't count those at hotels because it's not fair. Haha.

SO. When local folks see chic places like this, we try it, yes? Yes.

They provided some crayons and a colouring sheet for kid's entertainment. Mummy approve!

I don't know food critic's jargon, so I'll just use my own words. AWESOME!
I'm also no food connoisseur, but I think I am smart. Always order the vongole to set the benchmark. Hahaha... ok la, maybe unfair.

This is the authentic Italian pizza crust. Not like Pizza Hut, please.

Some random decor lamp at a corner.

The prices were reasonable. We spent about RM70 for 3 main courses and a salad. Buuuurp!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I am crazy over enamel kitchenware. But they are so hard to get here! And SO.VERY.THE. EXPENSIVE.

Falcon Enamelware and Riess are the two leading brands in the world.

Excerpt taken from Falcon website.

Since the 1920s Falcon Enamelware has been an icon of British home life. Ice white with a distinctive blue rim, it is instantly recognisable as a design classic.
But as well as timeless elegance, Falcon Enamelware has enduring strength. Enamelware is porcelain fused onto heavy-gauge steel, giving it many admirable qualities - durability, smoothness and chemical-resistance. It can assume brilliant, long-lasting colours, and cannot burn. If you drop it, it may chip but it won’t break. Dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 530F / 270C, it can also be used on gas and electric hobs.
Riess is a family owned company, manufacturing enamelware since 1550 in Ybbsitz, Austria, operating in a sustainable and environmentally responsible way for generations. Electricity from the factory is generated by three hydroelectric power plants powered by a stream that flows beside the factory.

Can you imagine the scenery?!

And each piece is crafted and hand-finished by skilled artisans. I'm a sucker for hand crafted things.

Enough words...

 Riess Ladle Set

 Riess Milk Can

Riess Colander

 Falcon Colander

 Falcon Mugs

Falcon Serving Dishes

I can only hope IKEA produces similar design and it will be way more affordable. For now, mostly UK online shops sells them... in POUNDS. When you convert POUNDS to RM, that's like 50 stabs to your heart. 

Some day, some day...

Update: SPR Market in Singapore carries the Falcon Bake Set and certain Riess kitchenware.

GUESS WHAT?!! I also found the Riess ladle set in RAKUTEN GLOBAL site! Not cheap though...
Buuuuuttt... I found very similar plates, mugs, saucepans and colander as Falcon.. the white with blue rim. And waaaaaay cheaper! I have placed my orders, and awaiting the shipping quote *fingers crossed*

My Instagram Adventure

I don't do very well in social media. I just joined Instagram. And I have 7 photos so far. And I don't think that number will increase much..haha. But I absolutely LOVE the photos that other people are posting!! I follow quite a number of designers, artists, stylists and photographers. Some of their photos are too amazing.

Here are some of mine...

Then a friend told me that I didn't include hashtags...  -__-

I'll do better, I promise....

Friday, April 04, 2014

The Causeway Traffic

It's been crazy. It now takes TWO HOURS to clear the CIQ and the Woodlands Checkpoint. And I don't think it's because of the security-related incidences that happened recently. I find that the passport checks are still the same as before, not any slower, not any faster.

I think it's the significantly increased volume of lorries, busses and cars ALTOGETHER. The notorious motorcycles you ask? They are always there, needless to say. Our beloved causeway cannot cope anymore.

There was this time when I started the queue jam at 5.30 am from CIQ, and when I reached towards the Singapore side at about 7am, it was CLEAR!!! It is totally baffling!! You could almost see everyone's face go 'WTF?!'

Wow, imagine those wasted accumulated hours... I could have sewn 50 bags or something. *__*

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Small and Medium Creative Businesses Struggle

Stop rent hikes from killing small firms.

The article above says everything I have always wanted to say.

Property developers are the cruelest greediest opportunists.

They buy and clear lands, build projects after projects, houses, commercial buildings, sell them for prices that are escalating higher and higher.

Where can people like me go to? People like me who has this hunger for a creative space to grow, share and spread my passion for arts and design, hoping the society will benefit from how art can sometimes change the way we look at the world. Somehow I believe this can make our world a better, nicer and easier place to live in.

The typical rent of an old rundown shoplot at Jalan Ibrahim, Tan Hiok Nee or Dobi is about RM5000-RM8000 a month. Is that even possible to earn more than that selling zakka homewares, stationery and such? No way. But don't people WANT to see more of creatively designed shops selling interesting stuff? If rent were lower, we could see more of these on our own little town.. wouldn't that be nice? People will get less stressed, happier and more chillaxed...

Only the developers can dream of this themselves...