My dinner last night at Bakerzin, Wisma Atrium:

Bakerzin Sweet Pleasure

Sweet Pleasure

(Camera conked off, so had to get this photo from Flickr)

The description for this treat at the display counter:

"Layers of hazelnut praline dacquoise, Jivara milk chocolate ganache with fleur de sel, topped with chocolate mousse."

Unwholesome? Fattening? Sinful? Superb?

Yes, yes, yes and yes!!!

Of course, carrying such an enormous sack of guilt, I can't but have soup and nothing much else today.

I love making boxes. Always have. What's not to like? It satisfies my itchy fingers, and if the final product is desirable, it actually helps to DECLUTTER, as opposed to other crafts that once completed, have to be kept somewhere. And hey, if you love making all those other crafts, you could also make boxes to store them. Double bonus!

I'm still considerably green though, so my boxes are still far from perfect. Have a look:

Box 01

A Japanese-Western fusion box I made on a whim. I don't know why I like to call it that though. Have yet to put a handle/knob on it.

Box 02

Boxes in the form of little drawers! So adorable and useful for small items
like my quilling tools, handmade embellishments and other thingamajigs.

Yeah, more to come in the near future, I hope. Been busy with work and trying my hand at other things, so I'll get back to this a little later.

This is rapidly becoming a blog of all sorts, from a craft journal to one that has everything short of daily ramblings about the mental-emotional typhoons and real-life drama also known as My Life. Sorry, THAT blog is private.


Two days ago, my sub-supervisor (SSP) came to me asking if I knew how to create alerts in MS Excel for when a certain date is reached. This is to serve as a reminder for when calibration of equipment needs to be carried out (every 6 months).

I've been an Excel user for years, but sad to say, I never knew such things could be done. In the past, I've only needed to calculate scientific data and plot graphs/charts, so I've got that downpat. But to create alerts?

This had to be about cell formatting of some sort, so clicking on Format in the Toolbar, I found this previously unnoticed option called "Conditional Formatting". The title itself was obviously the solution to our puzzle. Bingo!

But wait a sec. It's not that straightforward. While it's easy peasy if you, for instance, wanted to highlight cells that contained a specific, static value, it's another story altogether to do the same with constantly-changing dates/times.

I played around with the TODAY() and NOW() functions for a good hour or so. But experimenting with dates meant that I had to wait till the next day to see if any effect took place! I was also too blinded by enthusiasm to use backdating. *slaps forehead*

Anyway, I thought of another way to test results faster, which was to use Time. This meant that my objective would now be to get a cell highlighted in, say, one minute from the current time.

Trying to achieve that took me another working day, and proved futile. Online forums and Help sites didn’t have what I wanted either. No choice but to seek one-to-one professional help – from Chandoo (a.k.a. Pointy Haired Dilbert), “an engineer / manager, currently working with India's largest IT services firm as a consultant”.

After a couple of to-and-fros, he found me a solution. Capital! (Been reading too much Tolstoy…am becoming fond of that word.)

Testing it out right away and to my delight, finding it successful, I proceeded to write a much simplified step-by-step procedure. It was meant for my SSP, in case he asked and I was too lazy to explain, but in case anyone’s interested, I’d put it up here too. For those already savvy and find this topic trivial, click the X at the top right of your browser. :)



a) Alert when a targeted date is reached.

b) Alert when a targeted time is reached.

c) Unshade cell when info has been keyed in.

a) Alert when a targeted date is reached.

Let cells A1 and A2 be used in this example.

  1. In A1 – key in formula: =TODAY() .
  2. In A2 – key in targeted date in this format: m/d/yyyy
    (if you want a different date format, make sure you change for both A1 and A2.)
  3. Selecting cell A1, go to Format > Conditional Formatting.
  4. Select “Formula is”, then type: =A1=A2 .
  5. Click “Format” and choose desired alert method.
  6. Click OK.

b) Alert when a targeted time is reached.

Let cells B1 and B2 be used in this example.

  1. In B1 – key in formula: =TIME(HOUR(NOW()), MINUTE(NOW()), 0) .
  2. In B2 – key in targeted time in this format: 10:00 AM.
    (if you want a different time format, make sure you change for both B1 and B2)
  3. Selecting cell B1, go to Format > Conditional Formatting.
  4. Select “Formula is”, then type: =B1=B2 .
  5. Click “Format” and choose desired alert method.
  6. Click OK.

Whenever you want to see the spreadsheet recalculating to the latest date/time, press F9.

(Keeping the spreadsheet active by keying in info or simply typing randomly in other cells will also refresh the date/time but why do that if you can just press a button, right?)

c) Unshade a cell when info has been keyed in.

This is useful for spreadsheets that are used by more than one user. There may be blanks that are meant for another colleague to fill in. Usually, we highlight the blank cells for others to see, but it’s troublesome to have to remove the shading when the task is completed.

  1. Select cell or range of cells to be formatted. In this example, it is assumed that a range of cells, C1:C100 is selected.
  2. Go to Format > Conditional Formatting
  3. Select “Formula is” then key in formula: =ISBLANK(C1) .
  4. Click “Format” then in the Pattern tab, choose a color for the selected blank cells.
  5. Click “OK”.

The formatting will be applied to the whole range of cells selected in step 1.

As far as I know, all the methods described works for both Excel 2003 and Excel 2007.

Once I understood the concept, I found a bunch of other ways to create time and date alerts. It feels pretty great when you find your own way about things and they actually work.

It’s a very useful tool, Conditional Formatting. You can track changes, check for errors, see only the info you want without going through them one by one like with Ctrl+F, yadda yadda yadda.. Just Google “Excel Conditional Formatting” and you’ll know.

I’m sure gonna be making use of it often from now on!

Over the past month or so, I was told that my mum has been creating loads of luck for us, in the form of old school lucky stars!

Jars of Stars

My mumsie makes these at a rapid rate, during her TV time. These huge jars hold over 1500 stars each.

Mum's 1500 Lucky Stars

When she ran out of jars, she filled up our unused IKEA lantern instead! I think it looks absolutely gorgeous.

Not only do these stars bring us luck, they also make for a great recycling effort. All materials used came from the pesky flyers and brochures that were practically chucked in our faces every other day.

Recycling Pamphlets

See? No waste! My dad cuts them all up into strips and my mum turns them into pretty little things. What a team!

I like to imagine that when I next return home, our house would be star-flooded and we'd be wading through them. :)

Okay so I've decided that this blog should not be limited to crafts alone, so here's some chocolatey goodness for ya!

Yesterday (Sunday) I tried my hand at the Super Simple Nutella Ice Cream by Clotilde of Chocolate and Zucchini, the slow, time-consuming way. The procedure itself, however, was very simple, and anyone with patience and a whole day to spare could do it.

The quantity, however, does not justify the time and cost of the ingredients. A 375g tub of Nutella ($3.70) and a 405g can of unsweetened, full-cream evaporated milk ($1.43) makes only about 3/4 pint. Factor in the time spent (I spent 8 hours, inclusive of waiting time) and you have yourself a very very precious little tub of ice cream.

(Yes, full-cream. Shocker huh? Never thought I'd ever buy anything full-cream!)


I took some photos of the process, but a bowl of brown syrupy goop hardly makes for a pleasant picture, so I'll go right ahead to the finale.

My Homemade Nutella Ice Cream

The end result was a nicely frozen but still scoopable mass of rich thick, gooey chocolate hazelnut ice cream.

It really was a little sweeter than I'd preferred it to be. Maybe I could use dark chocolate next time for a more bittersweet, less cloying flavor. Still, I'm amazed that it actually turned out so well. Props to Clotilde!

What else should I try making next? I bought a can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas) that I had planned to make hummus with, but I couldn't find tahini in the local supermarkets, and I don't want to use any substitutes for my first trial (coz I'm a stubborn purist). I think I'm just gonna eat the beans from the can for dinner.

So yeah, I would love suggestions that are practical, economical yet give amazing results. And nothing that requires baking since I've no oven here. Tall order huh? Anyway, comments are always welcomed.

Goodnight for now!


On such a cool Saturday night, I wish I was on one of these instead of making a miniature one out of paper..




That said, it was quite a neat little project. I took the risk and used 200gsm card-stock instead of the usual 80gsm photocopy paper. The rigidity made the tabs a little harder to fold and glue into place, but the overall result was really solid and I am so proud of it!



Merry-go-round 2


Oh, and by the way, it rotates.  :)

Abstract Art

I've no idea what I've done..
but it's on the wall above my bed now.

So, I've been away for the weekend and have been slacking since. ;)

This is something I snipped out from red foam last Friday:

Mother & Daughter

Scherenschnitte - Mother and Daughter

The original design had a fancy border with hundreds of tiny fiddly bits that I didn't feel like cutting out. Methinks this simple one looks even more tranquil and focused, although those more pro at papercutting may beg to differ.

No new project in progress at the moment. Spent the whole night tinkering with my new layout. I love how the tree design looks like it would make a fab papercutting design that I'd want to attempt sometime.