Saturday, October 19, 2013

Wouldn't I Be Not Happy About It??

The Art of The Shoes competition voting is still on... In fact very competitive... Seriously the power of social media, it's really influential I sould say... And as of 2:43pm, I stand at 490 votes!!! All thanks to my friends and family support!!!

I stand at 490 votes as of 2:43pm today...
 Here are the sketches for my submission;
3 designs for ballerina flats, heel and a platform wedge sandals...
Yes, I'm still in unbelief that I got in just because I'm not a designer by training and I've seen designs that's even better... I was shocked to know I was one of the top 8... I'm even more glad to know from some of my friends' honest opinion that my designs are one of the nicest and I do stand a chance in winning... Well, thanks for all these compliments which give me strength and encouragement... However, this is only just voting... The ultimate winner will be determined by the judges on 8th January 2014 which I'd have to present my designs and concepts to them... I'm not sure how much chance I'll stand in buying the judges over but these shoes are something I'd like to have as a woman; colourful and whimsical which is lacking in my wardrobe... I always wanted to own a nice pair of espadrille but I just couldn't find one that is my style... Just to share a little inspiration behind this... I'm using the Flower of Life geometry concept to create those overlapping curves on the shoes together with strong vibrant rainbow colours which I think it's very fun to have them as summer colours... The added touch of espadrilles was an additional texture to balance the vibrant colour use so that it doesn't look so stern and serious... Fun, bright and whimiscal... Isn't this what most young girls like to have?? I personally like bright vibrant colours because they tend to brighten up your days and give you some sunshine in life...

So happy to learn that the organizers are prototyping my shoes and will be worn by runway models... I'm looking forward to see my designs coming into life more than wining the competition as this is something I never had it happened before in my life... Seeing your works turn into life and get worn by models is a feel of accomplishment... I know it's a rare chance and I got it via God's grace... Though speechless still, I just want to give thanks... Voting is still on till 6th January 2014, I'm not sure how can I get so many votes at the end, but do continue to support me if you can by placing a vote here, under my name which is at the last row...

For those out there who vote for me, my deepest thanks and gratitude to you guys in believing my designs... Thank you so much!!!


Yes! I'm One of the Finalists...

So after weeks of cafe hopping, my time was really getting more and more free... Thank God I still have some interests on hand that I could explore... So what I've been doing for the past week are just busying scrapping because I managed to be a guest designer for The Art Republic!!!! Yeah!! I was so happy that Jean, the owner is willing to give me this chance to explore my creativity which is something I love to do... So catch on my upcoming classes here... I'm so excited for this and I hope I can do this for long term, I hope...

Another thing I'd like to announce is I got into top 8 finalist for The Art of Shoes Design Competition!!! Ok, this is something I never expect I'll get because I'm taking part as part of the shoes sketches workshop organized by Taf.tc since I only need to pay $30 for a full 4 day course and get a chance to participate... Since I'm jobless and time are hard to get a job now, might as well fulfil my days by doing something more constructive... I also took part a sustainable fashion competition which is an international based compeition, however I didn't get to represent Singapore for this which is something I wanted it more... Nonetheless, somehow I got into something... Well, I'm trying to get votes for my designs I hope to gain some popularity here... So people who has bumped into here, please show your support for my designs under my name, Katie Zoey Ho which is at the last row on the voting page...

My grand finale will be on 8th January 2014 at The Cathy... The organizers are prototyping my designs and will be worn by runway models to showcase them... An ultmate winner determine by the judges will get a trip to Milan... So exiciting!!! Whether will I be the winner or not, I guess that's not the point because it's the experience that counts...

For those who know or don't know me, and have given your support to my designs, a big thank you from me... I hope in days to come should I become a designer, I hope I can come out with great designs....


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Day 8 & 9 of Cafe Hopping

August is coming to an end... Time really flies... It also marks the week that I've lost my job for about 1.5 weeks... It seems seriously long to me but in actual fact it's only just 13 days!!! Cafe hopping does makes me feel I'm busy with work; the usual not enough time feel is still there while I was working though things are different for now... I still feel sad on my job lost... If I didn't approach my GM to talk about my talent-placement problem I've been facing, probably I can still be in the job for a little longer... Since it had happened, there's no more "ifs" now... For the very least, I dare to speak up and have no regrets... I know I've done the right thing even the outcome was not I'd want to see... Neither I think it's fair for anyone (so long you're a human being with flesh & blood) to be treated in this manner...

Yesterday, I had an interview with a recruiter in the morning around Raffles Place area... With a heavy heart, I went into the office without any expectations that I could get a job within this year... My instincts were right, the amount of job opportunities are really very scarce... Since I've nothing to lose, I was very honest about my situation to the recruiter... Throughout our entire conversation, I got to realize my difficulties in getting a job... Besides my age, my portfolio didn't showcase any form of specialties that I could leverage on to advance my career within my industry... I felt really upset... Reality has finally set in, real harsh this time round and I'd have to say I can't have that kind of hope for this time round... Since I'd have to start from zero, this really set me thinking real deep on exactly what I want to do... It was clear and I know deep within my inner voice - I do love fashion and design a lot, so much that I've been hiding for the past 10 years but yet without the courage to step out to try... I need to regain that design sense of mine and find my own identity... Though I still feel upset on what had happened to me, in no time I'd have to pull my ass off and start moving... I don't have that much time left...

These 2 days of cafe hopping gave me very deep insights on what I really want to do... Courage is still lacking, but I'm moving ahead which is a good starting point... I pray real hard I can hold on to it and never lose grab on what I've... Moving on, I headed to Dimbulah cafe at Change Alley after my interview with the recruiter... Thought of having a proper breakfast, very unfortunately the Aussie Toast I ordered was just plain ham and cheese sandwiched, toasted... This costed me 5 bucks over!!! I think it's just too expensive and it doesn't tastes very special... So I had their cappuccino which I think it's acceptable... The coffee art was just not that enticing...

Cappuccino...
After my so call late breakfast, I headed down to Orchard Sephora to get one of the items I had bought the day before for an exchange...Got myself a cream espresso eye liner from Laura Mercier... I tried not to shop too much since I'm out of job... But sometimes, I just couldn't help it... So, in order to stop all these excuses and nonsense, I went ahead to my next stop which is The Orange Thimble within Tiong Bahru area... The cafe is just next to Tiong Bahru Bakery!!! Surprisingly, it was really quiet as I entered the cafe... Due to the peace there, I stayed there for a very long time before I head down to Taf.tc for my evening class... Since I didn't have lunch, I decided to have their Chicken Stew and a cup of Floral tea... The stew was nice but not really fantastic... But for a light lunch, the light taste did make my stomach a good favour... The tea, however was kinda sour and I think I should just order an Earl Grey instead...

The taxi-stand lampshade; done by Casey Chen as a gift to them...
Near the Entrance...
The bar area...
The Floral tea...
Chicken stew with Baguette & salad...
Revealing of the word "Delicious" after uncovering the stew...
This marked the end of my Day 8 of cafe hopping... Looking forward, my sister agreed to bring me to the cafe she went the other day with her friends, after I saw what she has posted on Instagram... It was along Jalan Riang area, which is very near my Serangoon house and within walk-able distance from NEX shopping centre... I managed to uncover quite a number of interesting cafes along that stretch... Without hesitation, for this weekend, we just hop 2 cafes along that area... We went to Rokeby for lunch as our first stop... My sister ordered their Fish & Chip and a Hot Chocolate while I tried their Ribeye Steak and Ice Cappuccino... I'd think the food is good, just that it's kinda salty especially the fish and the steak red wine sauce... The fries for the fish and chip unfortunately is not very well done - it doesn't tastes that good... I learned from their website that they import Aussie coffee beans for all their coffees... I was so looking forward to have a taste in their coffees there... Too bad, I shouldn't have ordered ice coffee... But anyway, the ice cappuccino looks good... I still think sugar syrup should be served with ice coffees since not all people love to drink bitter coffee... Sad to say, this is something most baristas have neglected... 

Freo Fish & Chips...
Ribeye Steak in red wine jus...
Hot Chocolate...
Ice Cappuccino...
Having some space for desserts, we walked a few steps ahead to Wimbly Lu Chocolates, the cafe my sister agreed to bring me over... As recommended, we ordered their in-house unique specialty, the Root Beer Chocolate Cake with Vanilla ice-cream, Chocolate Creme Brulee, Classic Hot Chocolate and Mayan Chocolate drinks... For this session, it was way too chocolaty... LOL!! A great endorphin booster!! 

Root Beer Chocolate Cake with Vanilla ice-cream...
Chocolate creme brulee...
Mayan Hot Chocolate...
This reached a total of 19 cafes I've visited since the day I had lost my job... Well, the completion of visiting 20 cafes is almost reaching... By then, I should seriously think what I should do next and move on quickly... I'd miss cafe hoping and I'll not just end here...



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 7 of Cafe Hopping

Sad... Today I'm really sad, at this point of time as I'm blogging this entry... How messier can my life be? I wonder... It's another sad day for me... I've been struggling for the longest period of time in my entire life especially my marriage and the things I really want to do... It's never easy to step out and make drastic changes in life... Sometimes you just want to stay where you are and hope things will get better as time goes by... Unfortunately, when reality kicks in, you know the more your drag, the worst it will become...

Yes, I'm reaching at this point where I'm still sorting my emotions and very much wanted to brave up and be courageous to make a decision, that's clear so that I could move on... I can never escape the exploration stage where options are always available... How I wish there's only one option so that I don't have to go through this phase which can be torturing...

As I cafe hop, keeping myself occupy does makes my life a little busier and I feel I'm occupied with something... Guess I had enough of that and have to force and push myself forward to get things sorted out ASAP, or else I can never move on... Running in circles is no joke and no one really likes that... As such is life, this is human life... We all have such lowest point in our life at least once in our lifetime... Seems scary but it's a fact of life...

Well, as such is life, I still need to move on and in no time, I really pray darn hard that I can find a way out soon...

Since I'd be in Orchard area this morning, I decided to visit Pique Nique at Takashimaya for lunch after my morning appointment... As usual, I'm always undecided in the food I'd want to take, that's why I always have a food problem... As I had pasta yesterday, I wouldn't want to take any for today... Therefore, I ordered their burger, Mushroom Swiss Burger and a cup of Cappuccino... The burger was really too big for me, I can't finish it... Perhaps that's me, I usually can't finish a full burger except for fast food burgers which are mostly in petite sizes... For this, it's a regular... Food is ok, edible but not very palatable... I hardly can find nice burgers that really suits my palate as I've pretty fussy taste buds... But I was disappointed with the coffee... It's too milky and creamy... Pretty much to do with the kind of milk they are using... It's just not something I like...

Cappuccino...
Mushroom Swiss Burger...
Thinking of heading to Paris Baguette at Wisma Atria after lunch for a nice coffee and perhaps a Tiramisu to compensate the disappointed coffee I had at Pique Nique, however I was completely turned off by the messy queue and crowd within the cafe... I got to know this cafe when I was in Korea but never get a chance to visit it before I came back to Singapore... So finally, they opened a branch here as of late last year which I only got to know it recently about their existence... Well, I should say the open foodcourt style concept for cafes is just sucky... I don't really like that... So, I walked away and head to Ciel Patisserie for better French pastries and cakes... At the time I arrived at the cafe, the neighbourhood is so bloody quiet... How could such a gem cafe hidden in such places?? Anyways, it was their teatime special; any cake/pastry and a cup of tea at $6.80... What a steal!! So I got myself a Fuji and a cup of Sakura for this special teatime...

Fuji; matcha with lychee...
Sakura tea; green tea with rose and other florals...
Yes, their cakes are really good... And reasonably priced for such nice quality French cakes... Despite the small size of the cafe, I noticed they have a constant flow of customers coming in to get their cakes and pastries which really speaks a lot about the kind of food they are serving... So for this new gem found in secluded area, I don't have to go all the way to Orchard/MBS area to spend a hefty amount to get nice cakes/pastry... This is good enough and it's so near my place... It's really a steal!!!



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day 6 of Cafe Hopping

Recently, there's a lot of unpleasant things happening... Especially about myself, my career, my marriage as well as my family... Seems like it's a mess!!! At around 10am this morning, I received a call from my sister crying over the phone... She was in pain, great pain... She couldn't move 'cos she has hurt her back while carrying my niece last night and it so happened this morning it got worse... So, she don't have a choice but to call an ambulance to ferry her to the hospital...

~Sign~ Yesterday morning was my brother who is suffering from hemorrhoids... He can't walk properly and gave me a call yesterday telling me he was making his way to the hospital... He may need a surgery... Luckily, he doesn't need one as it was too small for surgery and it might cause more pain, hence he was asked to go home to rest for 5 days... 'Cos I'm the only one in the family who can understand medical terms, able to comprehend surgical procedure as well as basic medicine, it's very natural for them to approach me to handle such situations... On the other hand, as I've lost my job I've too much time to spare...

Seriously, not really a pleasant day to start with especially while I'm still coping with my emotions; trying to get them sorted out after so many things had happened... I felt like giving up, not wanting to do anything and just get into debauchery... In the end, I decided to buck up and get my ass moving, as per plan and continue to cafe hop... Again, I set off slightly later due to my sister's call... Because of this, I've met and befriend Azia at my first cafe stop, Kith Cafe...  Yeah, I know you are reading my blog...

The signboard; taken while I was seated inside...
The bar...
The dining area...
My original intention was to have breakfast there before meeting Euzart, unfortunately at the time I arrived at the cafe, it was consider lunch hours... Since I need lunch, really need lunch more than coffee, I ordered their Mushroom Aligo Olio and a 3/4 Latte... The pasta was well cooked till Al dente, but not the best Aligo Olio... I think my version is better... LOL!!! I heard they serve nice coffees that entice quite a number of Australians... Perhaps not for Lattes, all I could taste is milk... Even Azia's cappuccino wasn't that good as what she told me... So, we had a good chat... Seriously, I never thought of hitting it off so well with a stranger... Moreover, over at a cafe... I'd think it all started off with Kate Spade bags; both of us are carrying Kate Spade's bags...

Mushroom Aligo Olio... It was served pipping hot...
3/4 Latte...
It was nice to see Euzart again... Each time I get to meet him, his hair colour is always different... As usual, for this time round, pink, blonde and purple... What other colours I had missed, I couldn't tell... Anyway, despite an additional spending of $220 for a cocktail dress, I got back a bunch of very useful advice from him and Susan... I've been wanting to do fashion, it's just that I didn't really pursue it seriously 10 years back and continue on within the Life Science/Healthcare industry... Since I've lost my job (all thanks to my GM's poor people management & screwed up management), I've reached a point of challenging my myself in taking the very first step... The willingness to give up what I used to have and where I've gotten to, and be courageous in taking up the humble pie to start from ground zero is never easy... I've earned peanuts, got exploited, being ill-treated and finally got very well paid from my last job... All these, even I didn't acquired a certain level of experiences I did work my way to where I was... My last position has entirely screwed my career, wasted my time... Even I'm gonna move forward, it's gonna be a different learning curve for me... Since I'd be at such a cross point, I'm really thinking hard where I should head; Fashion or Science?? I'd have to get this sorted out soon...

Moving on, I moved towards Plaza Singapura and landed myself at Hoshino Coffee after finding out that Tea Cosy has closed its business... Sad... But Hoshino is not my first time visit, it's my third time there... Perhaps I shouldn't consider as a stop itself... However, as usual I ordered their Hand Drip Coffee and a Pancake Souffle... Except for their Matcha Souffle, I should say the rest of the souffles are worth waiting... This is something special about this cafe... Other than that, the only other special is their Hand Drip Coffee which is rich in aroma... Smell good, but not the texture itself... Perhaps it's a characteristics of black coffee that  I could never learn to appreciate...

The signboard... At the entrance...
The interior...
Hand Drip Coffee...
The tiny milk jug that comes with the coffee...
Pancake souffle... Always served fresh...


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day 5 of Cafe Hopping

Yes!! Today is sooooo much better... Soooo much quieter and peaceful... Plus I only took one coffee for the entire day!!!

So, I had Pepper Lunch at AMK Hub with my ex-colleague prior in heading down to The Coffee Daily which is situation around Serangoon Garden Estate... I had lived around Serangoon area for over 30 years, I didn't know there's one such corner of shop-houses hidden inside of Serangoon Garden... As I entered into the cafe... Hmmm~ Nice~ and Vintage... What I like about today, it was real quiet here which really gave me the peace I want compared to yesterday... Yesterday's cafe hopping was an awful one...

The Entrance...
The interior...
Anyway, I ordered a Caramel Mocha and a slice of their Straits Cake... Finally, a mocha that does tastes like mocha... And I do taste caramel, so it's really what it speaks - Caramel Mocha... The only thing is the temperature of the drink; it was served lukewarm... I like the sweetness when served, but 'cos of the temperature, as the drink cools down it made the coffee even sweeter... Plus the Straits Cake itself was relatively sweet, I was having double sweetness of everything I ate... Nice to have some sweetness here as these give me a good boast of endorphin... But I guess it's a little too sweet...

Caramel Mocha...
The Straits Cake...
Due to the peace, I stay at The Coffee Daily for quite some time before heading to Lola' Cafe... Another vintage cafe!!! I wonder where they get those old traditional sewing pedals as feet of their dining tables... Nonetheless, it was unique.. I deliberately reach there around 5ish pm to catch an early dinner, however they only serve dinner from 6pm onwards... Oh sad, cannot have real food, only small bites, desserts and coffee/tea...

The Entrance...
The pedal...
The bar...
Well, from the entire menu, I spotted a salad; Avocado with Tuna Salad which I think I could just have it as dinner... Limiting myself to have my last coffee at 4pm latest, I refrained myself in ordering one at Lola's (though I was really tempted), otherwise I might have a hard time sleeping at night... Hence, I got the Hibiscus tea... I was actually having tea for my eleventh cafe visit!!! LOL!!! Tea was so-so, definitely not the nicest Hibiscus tea I had... As for the salad, I was a bit disappointed 'cos first, I disliked mesh-up tuna... Not much choice, that's the only salad available on the menu... And second, I don't think the vegs are fresh as they don't really look like it... However, for the portion and the generous amount of avocados, I should say the price of it is quite worth it...

Hibiscus tea...
Avocado with Tuna Salad...
So this marked the day... Mood is getting better... Good!! I'm seeing improvement... Moving on, once I'm done enough of cafe hopping, it's time to really think real hard what am I going to do next...