The Clothes ‘Re’Cycle part 2

26 07 2012

Dear world,

My cousin, Nicole :D, who works at Nparks, Singapore made a comment that may be I should mention to you too! 😀 It’s called ‘upcycling’. I suppose many would classify that as ‘re-using’ but it is really rather interesting. You remake or I suppose reinvent your clothes. No do not go and buy a new set of clothes. I said reinvent your clothes, not your look.

So I googled, like Nic suggested I do and it’s really cool, how people turn skirts into little girls dresses, or old sun dresses into funky new bags. Or jeans into a rack for your hair pins!

You know what! Google it. I am sure you will find cool ways to turn your clothes into functional items!

That’s one more thing to add to the list in ‘re’cycling clothing.

Happy searching.

Cheyenne 😀





The Clothes ‘Re’Cycle

26 07 2012

Dear world,

Now that I am in Environmental Studies in NUS, I should probably blog about more green efforts. I don’t know about that actually because I believe if you are fanatic about something, it is very difficult to convince people of your views. You need to be balanced… but I’m digressing.

I wanted to talk about Recycling….. clothes!

Yup. Clothes. Finally something about recycling that doesn’t have to do with putting glass bottles in different containers from ordinary trash. Something all girls … and some guys  in more developed countries can squeal about. <I was not going to be sexist and say that guys don’t go crazy over clothes… cause I know some that do>.

Now this post is completely inspired by my Mum and my Aunty Karen. If I understand the history of the ‘clothes cycle’ as I like to call it, it goes something like this:

My mum has two other sisters and when one didn’t like a piece of clothing or couldn’t fit it any more, they would just well, exchange or give each other. This method is known as ‘passing down’ clothes. Most of us know this concept. Here’s where the cycle completes it self.

My Aunty Karen wears small clothing ( or rather, her clothes are all size small -depending on cut and style). When me and my sister were younger, she would pass down to us. As we grew up and got bigger ( we had to grow), we passed up!

See how the cycle has completed itself?

Now in 2012, me, my sister and my aunt are still giving each other clothes. We aren’t all the same size but its fun to mix and match. Now with vintage coming back ( or to quote my sister ‘It’s always back”), I have a wardrobe filled with ORIGINAL vintage clothing and some stuff that was bought more recently but still looks good.

Now when stuff is very small for us, we give them to our friends. Can you imagine getting something new to your closet for absolutely nothing?

If no one wants your clothes or no one can fit them, red cross will always be grateful for your donation.

Trust me, handing clothes over to a new owner is better than chucking it out.

Do your part to save the earth! Have an exchange with your friends and family. You really never know what they want to throw out.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Happy Trading.

Cheyenne





My attempt at a Rookie article

21 07 2012

Dear world,

So about 3 weeks ago, I attempted my first article for a online magazine called rookie and I think they decided not to print my article ( or at least publish it online). Well lucky for me, I can publish it myself. It was in lined with their theme of the month ‘Freedom’. I made a few modifications to it but I hope everyone likes it still. Enjoy.

Cheyenne

Ps. yeah, it’s alil personal.

Freedom from up above

Note: This was written in waiting terminals at Singspore’s Changi Airport and Perth International Airport. The writer was on a solo trip to visit family.

Let’s face it. As young women, we crave freedom. We absolutely want it. Some of us would simply do anything to gain some sense of being free and away from family, responsibilities and reality. Some of us think it might be living on a tropical island. For others it may be having an infinite amount of money to do all the shopping we possibly can. For others, it would be to have some places to (finally) call your own. As for me, it was to travel… alone. Actually, it was pretty much to do anything alone. I pride myself as being independent, for not needing anyone but myself. I wanted to work and earn my own money for my own endeavours. I wanted to read and write beautiful prose. I wanted to be a cultured, talented, learned and free person. I still want that now. To achieve all that, I felt any and all help from my parents was preventing that or at least, delaying the inevitable. I would eventually have to leave. I would eventually have to pay my own way around the world. Despite how little I make now from my tutoring jobs… job, I wanted to try and live and test this freedom I would eventually get.

Perhaps, before I continue, I should define ‘freedom’ to me. Freedom is very simply described as having little to no strings attached to anyone, to be able to provide for yourself and be a sustainable adult, knowing your actions only affect one person, yourself. Sounds harsh, but that is what gives you the right to do whatever you like, by being responsible for your actions. You have to be more than willing to accept whatever consequences that come your way. Freedom means to look out for number 1 and number 1 only.

I chose to test my freedom this year, looking out for only me when I choose to fly solo to Perth, Australia. While I mainly hung out with my cousins and visited places of interest, I enjoyed not being around an overwhelming authority that I felt back at home. Unfortunately for me, I did not get to experience complete freedom where I provided for myself as my parents paid for my trip and gave me spending money (for the record, which was not my idea).  Sometimes, you just need a break from the world and stand on your own two feet.

It’s really simple logic if you think about it. The only way to be free is to perhaps, be rid of everyone around you and know that your consequences affect no one but yourself. You take full control of your life and you deal with the good and bad times. If you drink, you get drunk and lose money buying the alcohol. If you fail a test, the only disappointment is to yourself. If you take a holiday like me for example, you are the only one that gets to enjoy the scenery or the shopping or the hiking. Then going with this logic, freedom comes with the biggest consequence of all, being alone.

What is the big deal with that? A lot of people like being alone. Being alone provides one with the clarity of the mind, some peace to the soul and  an overwhelming wave of serenity to the heart. Who cares if you don’t have anyone to laugh with or spend Christmas with or make you your favourite meals or hold you and tell you everything is going to be alright….

Freedom comes with the biggest consequence; the loss of the ones we love. I highly recommend that ‘freedom’ should be enjoyed in short periods of time. Sometimes too much of a good thing is bad.

If you are wondering where I am now, I am sitting in Perth International Airport. I’ve enjoyed my freedom for the week and I am not ready to face the reality that waits for me back home in Sunny Singapore.

As a final word, I believe it takes a lot of bravery to be completely free. It also takes a lot more bravery to return to world, bliss and happy with the experiences you have had, alone.





Gardens vs ecosystems

19 07 2012

Please read for following article : City of  gardens doesn’t make a garden city

Dear World,

My only regret with reading this article is not writing what this guy wrote first.

So I was at a ‘Biopolis’ talk at the Botanic Gardens a few weeks ago and I am not sure if  I blogged about it or not but a Professor from Curtin University in Australia, came to praise Singapore on all the green initiatives that have been put in place. At the tea session I spoke to a middle aged Australian who I believed lived in Singapore for some time and honestly, I thought he was a bit rude because he just kept correcting me but anyways I was trying to tell him what Dr. Isaac Seow En wrote. You can put as many plants around the place as you want, it doesn’t mean you have saved the natural environment or preserved it.

I believe in preserving ecosystems. Plants AND animals included. For me, its difficult to see how Singaporeans want to be green without fully going green.

Ok, before I rant about something irrelevant I should center back to what I actually mean.

Everyone says we exploit the earth for it’s resources. We only want to use and not give back. We are self-fish creatures. We all know this. This is even emphasised when we try and save the earth. We think that we can plant a few thousand trees and plants and we will have clean air and shelter from the weather in Singapore but when birds and bugs and other creatures that return to their habits pose some small inconveniences to us, we start complaining.  I understand that mozzies are no good ( I get it) and poisonous snakes are definitely not ideal, but can’t we take a frog or dragonfly or a small water snake ( non-poisonous of course) back into our environment.

I think I understand the limitations Singapore faces. We are small. Land is used for housing and commercial buildings and businesses.  So we build gardens and pretend that we are maintaining the natural environment. Don’t get me wrong, some of the initiatives taken are pretty ok. I like the park connectors and the public gardens there. I like the big fields which are a dying breed. I’m highly skeptical about Gardens by the bay, despite me knowing its really good system of maintain the plants there. It feels awkward still, almost like we were trying too hard. We might get international recognition but we might need to consider why.

I want to keep our ecosystems alive. Not plant and build gardens. There is a difference.

Hopefully my years at NUS will show me how to do that.

Cheyenne





Uni rants #1

17 07 2012

Dear World,

It’s a weird time of the year. Its only about 2 to 3 weeks until I start University. Some of my friends will be starting with me, in the same University. Others choose other courses at other institutions locally and internationally. My guy friends are in army ( compulsory National Service) and my Juniors, the ones that helped me out last year for my theatre exams, are done with their practical examinations and will start their revision towards the As.

It feels weird. To be 3 weeks away from starting University. It already feels weird knowing I have to bid for classes and ballot for tutorial and that I have to move about the campus to different faculties.

It feels weird just knowing I have to DRESS for classes. I’m so used to a uniform! Grabbing jeans or a dress will feel different.

Then there is the modules you can read. The types of modules or the number of modules or the lecture theatres and seminar rooms.

And the GRADING SYSTEM!

Oh my gosh.

Will tell you more. I miss being in JC.

Cheyenne





Book Review: I want! I want!

5 07 2012

This is a book review on the novel ‘I want! I want!’ by Violet Wee.

Dear World,

This is a truly Singaporean novel. Violet Wee has not only brought in the culture and history of Singapore in the 1960s onwards, but also maintains an air of innocence in the exploration of the social class system that occurred during the time. The main character- Poh Choo- the oldest daughter of a poor family living in Singapore, is engrossed with the idea of a ‘happy life’ and how money and wealth can help achieve that. She falls for a rich man, Frankie, who impresses her by simply being generous with his wealth. Despite her mother’s warnings about rich men, Poh Choo, who Frankie refers to as ‘Stella’ , marries her rich boyfriend of a few months and enjoys the life of the high class. Unfortunately for Poh Choo, that turned out more unlucky for her than being poor and the lesson learnt is one that every generation of girls will be lectured on : ‘Don’t marry a rich man’.

I love this book mainly because it is by a local author and is, in a sense, the essence of Singapore in the 1960s is so evident within the pages. I may be biased because I am a big supporter of local work but I think the storyline is still relevant to the context of today and not only in Singapore but all over the world. However, let’s focus on the cultural aspects of the book. I enjoyed reading about how Singapore was and how the political and social aspects changed with the characters. It was more than just a fiction novel. It made me very aware of how the social class system ( in it’s basic sense) worked and how that as local goverment came into power, the social dynamics changed. It was not just a story, it was an brief introduction to early Singapore.

Secondly, I believe that the lesson behind the story applies to a global context. The ‘old-fashioned’ way of looking at the story line is ‘don’t marry a rich man’ but now I think it is better termed ‘don’t love money’, which is a lesson repeated in all, if not most, developed and developing countries. It is good to save but don’t save until you die. It is also enjoyable to have new things but new things eventually become old things. Poh Choo finds out how marrying into money may have brought her bad luck and struggles out of her dilemma.

I think that I need to say that not all rich people are idiots like Miss Wee portrays in her book. You can actually fall in love with anyone… just don’t do anything for the wrong reasons.
Thank you, Violet Wee for a truly enjoyable tale.

Cheyenne