Recent discovery of an obsessed theatre darling

There is nothing happier than knowing another person who comes across as smart, confident, articulate, jovial and likeable with larger-than-life personality and hardly no air about him – at least when he’s around me and I mean, I really do enjoy his good company.

He’s my dear friend, Richard Chua.

There are many lessons about life, theatre and relationship that I learned from him. Design matters, dogs, and people become the staple of our conversation.

When we talk, I want to see the world as he sees it.

His words and gestures dance along even when he rants about petty things, but here I am – like someone in the audience watching an actor acting out a script in front of me – beginning to create scenes in my head and the experience would seem surreal.

In case you haven’t checked out Theatrix Asia (founded by Richard), I am amused by the amount of entertaining articles that I can find about entertainment arts here.

It is still unbelievable how I came about writing a piece for the web portal, which I would cringe every time I think about it. Just because you hadn’t done up a review about a show, it doesn’t mean you can’t, Richard said to me.

And when he told me to write what the heart desires at the time of writing and let it flow, don’t stress it…I listened.

On a serious note, here are some of his reviews that I enjoy reading:




Richard also appeared on radio to speak about a production he loved very much, which I was privileged to watch when it premiered at DPAC. Here’s the link to the radio interview.

THE NUANCED HIDDEN LIFE – The Weight of Silk on Skin – Interview on BFM radio station

I heard that he would be travelling around Asia this year to witness some of the best art events and theatre shows.

How wonderful!

The Richard Chua I imagine
is a traveler with a backpack and a book/journal in hand,
observing people and things as he goes along, and
enjoying a tête-à-tête at a coffeehouse
now and then.

Can’t wait to catch up with this theatre darling and have our own tête-à-tête when he’s back!

“Must do” — before the first meeting

Every time that I have to speak to someone new about branding and my design business, I get thrilled about the first meet. I enjoy the time I have to spend before the meeting.

I would thank the universe for working in my favour and for sending me a lead. (so important, I tell you. We must be grateful.)

Do a background check on this person aka client.

Trash out the design collaterals we had done and check whether we have portfolios relevant to this client’s brand or business.

Share some links from our Tsubaki Studio on Behance site prior to the meeting.

Go through my brand slides.

Think of all the possibilities that can happen during the meeting.

Prepare questions beforehand and keep them in the notebook for use during the discussion.

Glance through my wardrobe and work out that “glam enough, confident enough” look.

Give myself a pep talk in front of the mirror while I ‘paint’ my face.

What if I’m late?! Well, I usually don’t, but maybe it’s worth to share with you in my next post on how I get out from this embarrassing situation. Till then!

The cashier girl asked me to sing. Here’s what happened.

What day is it today? Cause’ I feel like it’s freebies day.

I just went in to the Guardian store hoping to, you know, pick up that BB foundation and go. Proves again that shopping for me is always never that easy.

I think I ended up with 10 items; but, I was given 6 other items that I didn’t pay for.

The store cashier said that it’s “complimentary from us”.

Aren’t these a lot for just one purchase?

Feels like it’s a lucky day indeed, isn’t it?

Plus, I got rebates from today’s purchase, cash voucher for my next purchase and a chance to buy an electronic weighing machine for much less (if I want to).

I never asked for anything, didn’t think about it, and am not even Guardian member. Well, here’s what I think.

When you’re loyal to a brand, you don’t need to register lah, kan (unless it’s really worth the time filling in the application form because let’s face it, we don’t really make use of the member card, anyway, except for AEON – the perks are great).

Coming back to my day at Guardian today, I am thankful for the gifts. From a branding perspective, Guardian (particularly this store in Raman Sri Rampai) had captured my heart with good service, and the staff were courteous to me.

The gifts from Guardian
The gifts from Guardian

I like the jewelry box the most. I have new glasses I got from previous JB trip, so I have a nice place for them now.

I was a little chatty with the staff (just being myself); we were talking about things over the counter other than a business transaction. The cashier girl seemed to have warmed up to me and she saw that I was carrying a guitar bag behind me, so she asked “Awak pergi jamming ke nanti?” (Are you going to a jamming session later?)

I replied, “Tak de la. I tengah belajar gitar.” (Nope, I am learning the guitar.)

Now, we’re talking like neighbours.

I think I got her excited when I told her that I like to sing Malay songs. There was a twinkle in her eyes. I guess that maybe she was bored at work and you know, work can get boring at times. Solution to boredom is –> Make friends with your customers. You’ll start to love your job again.

“Ye ke? Nyanyi sikit boleh?” she asked.


When it comes to music, it’s pretty easy for me to become the singing jukebox right away. I welcome people into my world. So, to feed her curiosity, I gave away one line. Just one line, mind you and we talked even more. We even said goodbye to each other. I thought: Hey, that was awesome. I went in as an ordinary customer and I came out as a valued customer.

Staff should be encouraged to interact with their customers. It’s a motivation to do a job well. It’s also a message telling the customer that “we always welcome you into our world”.

That will be a very convincing move with happier staff and customers as the result. That’s for sure.

LOL…this long post to describe my unplanned visit to Guardian on the afternoon of April the 2nd. What an experience! I AM a lucky girl :)

P.S. Curious to know the song? Hang on there…I’ll tell you that in my next blog post. 😉

Tis the season to be grateful

Cheers to a nice first Winter Solstice celebration with both my family and the in-laws! What an evening it was! Full course Oriental dinner and lots of selfie going on between my sister-in-law and me.

In just a matter of days, the New Year will begin. If I were to describe 2014, it is an uphill battle with a wondrous pursuit at the end. If felt to me like another round of red velvet cake, bite after bite, with icing on top to soothe my sweet tooth. There are days you can choose to cherish. There are also days you wish they perish.

I’d say, be grateful for all you have!

Material or not.

Love or otherwise.

Be kind to yourself.

Once in a while, indulge!

Having said that, it’s that time of the year to shower the people around me with kind gestures and nice sayings. And, let yours truly put up with an all-time favourite movie, The Holiday.

A couple of years ago, this is what happened. I picked up guitar for a while. I had a tutor who thought that I enrolled in the wrong class when I should be following a vocal trainer. I like to go back to my guitar once in a while for old time’s sake. This one here was found idle in a backpacker’s inn where we stayed in Kaohsiung. I think I was strumming to the chords of a Dia Frampton song.

Knock, knock Mr Postman is at the door

Oh, I know, that parcel is not for me. Of course not, it’s written in Chinese with our address. I highlighted this to my husband over Whatsapp.


So, I went on and did the unwrapping of the parcel aka the gift like Christmas came early 😀

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 12.21.19 PM
*oin=pin – typo error; always happens with the auto correction

With permission, I cut open the top of the parcel, and gently tore apart the top flap of the brown envelope (it’s thick, good quality kraft paper). I don’t know why I do that with envelopes but I’m the kind of person that wants her soon-to-be discarded items to still be as neat as can be.

Yup, confirm sure. It is the certificates from the Golden Pin Design Award that we’ve been waiting for, and oh my, look at the finishing!

Gold stamping at the right places...
Gold stamping at the right places… (front, the cert and back)
Then I put two of our latest covers together with the certs
Then I put two of our latest covers together with the certs
Then, I grabbed the awards from the black cases where we put them...checking out the natural lighting from the sun
Then, I grabbed the awards from the black cases where we put them…snap snap with backup from the sun’s natural lighting

What a way to end the year! I hope to see our new friends in Taipei again. Also hoping that there will be many more designers from Malaysia participate in next year’s Golden Pin Design Award and lavish their life stories with moments like this.

谢谢金點設計獎! 我们会做的更好! (Thanks to Golden Pin Design Award! We will do better!)
谢谢金點設計獎! 我们会做的更好!

Thanks to Golden Pin Design Award!

The team at CUTOUT Magazine and TSUBAKI Studio are thankful for the recognition you’ve given us and we will do better! 😉

Throwback to 2007

All this while the voice that have been talking to me is actually an old acquaintance of mine pre-CUTOUT days. And all this while the sound of her name didn’t trigger anything at all. Until I met her at a meeting recently. Can’t believe my eyes! It was unexpected, surprising with a nice feeling put into the mix.

What was I doing that time?

I don’t know but I think I tried to make up a smooth sentence so I could greet her nicely but I couldn’t. I only remember smiling from ear to ear, and swaying like a walking penguin towards her and gave a big hug.

For a moment, I know that face looked oh so familiar but my brain’s speed was at a low that morning (just downed a hearty breakfast meal before that). I just couldn’t make a connection about where we’ve met. And then…bingo! I do remember her anyway – just hidden deep inside my head.

Me and my friends from the arts scene meeting to discuss projects for the 2015. The trio who rock Publika with their wit, humour and cool ideas. (R-L) Sunitha whose voice I didn’t get to recognise at the first place, Nani whom I respect and admire for her boldness and natural self, and to Alex, welcome back! Also a surprise to see him there. Double throwback.

She was actively involved in the arts scene and I was about 21 then and setting up a designer T-shirt business with the better half. We somehow crossed paths and stayed distant because we only came together when there was a collaboration.

I want to believe that our friendship sort of took a long break before we eventually cross path again after 8 years. Too good to be true but faith is kind :)