Friday, February 08, 2008

New Year Traditions

Every family here in Malaysia has different traditions for celebrating Chinese New Year. In mine, we give my mother's plants haircuts.

This requires just a wee bit of explanation so it doesn't sound quite so odd. My mother loves plants. More to the point, plants love her. Think of a benevolent Poison Ivy, and you have an idea of how our garden looks like, and how plants behave around Mom. Got a sick plant? Bring it over. Quite a few plants sent over for rehabilitation have stayed on as permanent residents, after their owners saw the results and realized they wouldn't be able to duplicate such conditions in their own gardens.

My mother swears she doesn't do anything but feed her plants organic compost, which is mostly just all the fruit-peel, tea leaves, and coffee grounds and eggshells that the household disposes of. Orange peel is the biggest contributer to the compost box, so we have a running family joke that if any of our pineapple plants, fruits or vegetables ever taste of oranges, we'll know why.

That being said, Mom is a fanatic about her plants looking nice for New Year. Since we live in such a hot climate, the plants do get some brown edges due to heat and old age. There is one particular potted plant that we've nicknamed the Twin Towers due to it having branched out from one bulb into two bulbs, and grown into a gigantic onion-looking piece of greenery. The ends of the Twin Towers -always- require trimming, so it's become known as 'giving the plant a haircut.' And since we've been doing this for about three years now, it's become a Household Tradition now.

In other news, today was Sketching to Blazes and Sucking Badly Day. I think I'm out of practice or else I'm just not concentrating, but oh, improvement, improvement, thou hath backslidden from me. The following are studies I did for a picture I'm intending to work on soon, and...ngh. Yeah, improvement needed.

The Family also got their fair share of being sketched tonight after dinner:

The scan quality is less than stellar, because I was trying to take flash photographs with my camera - no scanner here, alas. Tomorrow, it'll be Sketching Fish, which will hopefully go better than this.

And on the jewellery note, can't resist tossing this one up. It's named Loiosh, after one of the mythical dragon-like telepathic creatures called jhereg in Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos novels. Even if I do say so myself? I'm really pleased with how this came out despite the clasp being a bit of a disaster. New Year bracelet!

More jewellery tomorrow and Gong Xi Fa Cai to all!

1 comment:

constance said...

Xin Nian Kuai Le shuku! I have to laugh, reading about your mom's 'twin tower' plant! :D
Oh, you're designing jewelleries as well? You see! I'm really jealous of your capabilities! :D They look really cool...hmmm..i'd like to buy one from remember to bring some over when we next meet ok :)

Love the poem too...