KLM Charity Tulip Sale 2014

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will be flying in thousands of fresh tulips from the Netherlands for its annual Charity Tulip Sale. The 16th KLM Charity Tulip Sale will be held at the Concourse Level of Sungei Wang Plaza on Saturday, May 10th from 11AM onwards. Each tulip is priced at RM5 per stalk and bouquets will be lovingly wrapped by the KLM staff, making these perfect gifts for Mother’s Day.

For every tulip you buy, Rabobank is generously contributing RM3 (RM1, so that your Mother’s Day gift costs you only RM5, and another RM2 to top up the charity fund).

That’s not all, for every minimum purchase of 50 tulips (in a single receipt) you will get a FREE set of Lanvin fragrance miniatures worth RM175 each. This special offer is valid only for the first 50 qualified purchases.

This years’ sale aims to raise over RM30,000 for the AUTORR (Aged Unite To Organize Rest & Recreation) Foundation. The AUTORR Foundation Centre is a non-profit, non-racial and non-religious place for senior citizens to keep themselves occupied with fun-filled activities and to keep their social circles.

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Venice

Evi had wanted to sketch Venice. Me too. And so we took the earlier train to go to Venice using regional train. Regional train is cheaper than the fast one; Euro 12 to compare to Euro 30. We reached Venice at about 11am and on the way to the toilet we saw a Moleskine shop! We dropped by the shop later and bought each ourselves a Moleskine Sketchbook.

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So first thing Venice was Moleskine. Next was lunch! We were super hungry as we just had a slice of bread and a cup of espresso for breakfast. Evi had Penne al Pomodoro while I had Spaghetti alle Vongole. Evi sketched her lunch first, haha! I could not draw with empty stomach so I decided to draw later after I finished my lunch.

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Then we walked around Venice to admire beautiful buildings and find a spot to draw. Luigi Barzini described Venice as “undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man” in The New York Times. I have to agree him because every building appealed to me, not to mention picture-perfect. I could go on taking pictures of all buildings one by one.

I let my photos do all the talking below :

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Venice is a city in north-eastern Italy situated on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It is located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon which stretches along the shoreline, between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. The city in its entirety is listed as a World Heritage Site, along with its lagoon.

The name Venice is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC. Venice has been known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”. Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe’s most romantic cities.

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Remember the hotel in Tourist movie? The orange building is the façade of the hotel in the movie. The building is called Palazzo Pisato Moretta. It is actually a palace. 

And here are two more drawings I made of Venice:

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Getting to Venice: KLM operated 2 time(s) daily from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Venice Marco-Polo (VCE).

 

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Florence – the city of lilies

After the bookfair I had a day free and took the chance to visit Florence with Evi. Our intention was to visit Uffizi Gallery but we had to skip it as the queue was quite long. We didn’t booked the ticket online because we did not plan the visiting date. I guess this will give reason to visit Florence next time.

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This was only part of the queue.

Nonetheless, I took interesting pictures around the gallery:

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Both were real men disguising as statues.

Evi and I later wandered to the nearby Piazza Della Signoria and saw Neptune Fountain. Neptune seems to be everywhere in Italy.

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The Fountain of was commissioned in 1565 and the work-of-art of sculptor Bartolomeo Ammannati. The Neptune figure, whose face resembles that of Cosimo I de’ Medici, was meant to be an allusion to the dominion of the Florentines over the sea. The figure stands on a high pedestal in the middle of an octagonal fountain. The pedestal in the middle is decorated with the mythical chained figures of Scylla and Charybdis. The statue of Neptune is a copy made in the nineteenth century, while the original is in the National Museum.

However, when the work was finished, it was not appreciated in particular by the Florentines, who called it Il Biancone (the white giant).

Work continued on this fountain during the next ten years. Ammannati, with the assistance of the best Florentine sculptors and casters, added around the perimeter of the basin, in a mannerist style, suave, reclining, bronze river gods, laughing satyrs and marble sea-horses emerging from the water. The monumental marble and the dynamic bronzes give nevertheless a coherent impression. The fountain served as an example for future fountain-makers.

And then, we walked to the great Il Duomo!

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Il Duomo or Florence Cathedral or The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (English: Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower) is the main church of Florence, Italy. Il Duomo construction was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris.

The cathedral is one of Italy’s largest churches and the the 150-foot-wide (46-meter-wide) dome remains the largest brick dome ever constructed, built without flying buttresses or freestanding scaffolding, using experimental methods that many contemporaries believed would surely fail. But it didn’t, it stood there for nearly 6 centuries now. And do you believe that the creator of the dome, Filippo, was just a homely, hot-tempered goldsmith with no serious architectural training? I admire his brilliant masterpiece.

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Geared with a cup of hot coffee, a Moleskine sketchbook and watercolor, I sat at Smalzi Café with Evi and tried to draw the building:

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Massimo Ricci, an architect from an ancient Florentine family, dedicated his life trying to work out the construction techniques that Brunelleschi used to build the dome. After 40 years, he concluded that the geometry of the dome resembles the petals of a flower. Massimo, in his interview with Tom Mueller from National Geographic, laid out some of the evidence for his theory of the dome’s flower, which he considers to be the breakthrough in his conception of Brunelleschi’s method. He told Mueller, “In fact, Santa Maria del Fiore means Saint Mary of the Flower and the symbol of Florence is a flower, the lily.”

Getting to Florence: KLM operated 2 time(s) daily from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Florence – Peretola (FLR).

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fountain_of_Neptune,_Florence
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140210-duomo-florence-brunelleschi-cathedral-architecture/

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Bologna Children’s Book Fair

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the most important international event dedicated to the children’s publishing and multimedia industry. I was here in 2010. I wanted to go back this year because previously I didn’t have much chance to really explore the halls and really look at children’s books displayed at the book fair. I also didn’t have the chance to stick my illustrations on the Illustrator Wall because I didn’t know about it until I was there. As I wrote in my previous post, KLM agreed to fly me to Bologna to realise the many dreams that I wanted to do. I am truly thankful to KLM.

illustratorwallMe at Illustrator Wall.

You see, this is the kind of book fair that I quickly feel belonged. There were children’s books everywhere. There were millions of books on display! Just imagine that I was like a child in her playground getting the right toys! And oh, Oliver Jeffers was even there this year! But too bad I didn’t get the chance to meet him. I collect his children’s books.

For your information, Bologna Children’s Book Fair has been around for 53 years. Bologna Children’s Book Fair is an annual event where authors, illustrators, literary agents, licensors and licensees, packagers, distributors, printers, booksellers, and librarians meet. Here they sell and buy copyright, find the very best of children’s publishing and multimedia production, generate and gather new contacts while strengthening professional relationships, discover new business opportunities, discuss and debate the latest sector trends.

I am proud that this year, my books and books that I illustrated were also being displayed at the Malaysia Pavilion.

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Here are some photos from the book fair:

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Dina, the character from my books was on display alongside with illustrations by Yusof Gajah and Jainal Amambing, two award-winning illustrators from Malaysia.

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Malaysia Pavilion.

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Me holding my book, Dapur Emak Saya, together with (from left) Yusof Gajah, MamaZakian andPuan Sri Diah, from Karangkraf.

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Award-winning books.

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I am crazy over The Forever Flowers by Michael J. Rosen and Sonja Danowski but it was not for sale. The illustrations only have 2 colors: black and red. Loving the illustrations and color concept. Beautiful book!

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Marco Somà, illustrator of La Gallinella Rossa book, the book that I bought and offered as giveaway last March.

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Me already thinking of going next year 🙂

Getting to Bologna: KLM operated 2 time(s) daily from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Bologna (BLQ).

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Bologna

I stayed in a room (booked via airbnb) with another illustrator friend, Evi, and the room was cosier than Lorenzo’s place. It has hot shower and heater. We stayed with the owners, Katerina and Fabio, a very friendly and nice couple. We rented the room because it is situated near the book fair; about 10 minutes walk.

I had a day free before the bookfair and went to visit Bologna town with Evi, Pak Yusof (well-known illustrator from Malaysia) and his wife, Mama Zakiah. We took bus 35 to town and from the station we walked along Via dell’Indipendenza to Piazza Dell’8 Agosto. Previously there would be a massive Sunday market but when we reached the square, there were only few stalls selling cheese, vegetables and fruits.

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We didn’t buy anything, so we walked back on Via dell’Indipendenza before reaching Piazza Nettuno.

bologna_indipendenzaVia dell’Indipendenza

When we got to Piazza Nettuno, we saw a rally going on. The rally, called S.O.S. Venezuela, was in support of students and protesters in Venezuela who are standing up against President Nicolas Maduro’s regime. S.O.S Venezuela was simultaneously held in dozens of cities throughout the world. The objective of the gathering was to create public awareness of what is happening in Venezuela as well as gain signatures for a petition to get elected officials to take a stand and denounce the human rights violations.

SOS Venezuela

We sat for a while looking at the rally while looking at beautiful buildings and Fountain of Neptune at the square.

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The Fountain of Neptune (Fontana di Nettuno) is a monumental civic fountain with a bronze figure of Neptune, extending his reach in a lordly gesture of stilling and controlling the waters, is an early work by Giambologna, completed about 1567.

The logo of the Maserati car company is based on the trident in this Neptune statue. In 1920 one of the Maserati brothers, the artist Mario Maserati, used this symbol in the logo at the suggestion of family friend Marquis Diego de Sterlich. It was considered particularly appropriate for the sports car company due to fact that Neptune represents strength and vigor; additionally the statue is a characteristic symbol of the company’s original home city. Maserati was established on December 1, 1914, in Bologna. Other than from Maserati, Ducati and Lamborghini was also established in Bologna in 1926 and 1963 respectively.

Apart from the fountain, there’s the City Hall.

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The Town Hall (or Palazzo d’Accursio ) consists of a set of buildings, that over the centuries have gradually been joined to the oldest acquired by the city at the end of the thirteenth century. Renovated and expanded in the first half of the fifteenth century, with the help of Architect Fioravante Fioravanti, it was enriched with a clock tower in Accursio and according to examples common in central Europe, a carousel with wooden automata (Madonna with Child and the court of Magi). It was removed in 1796 (some of this still remains today, and is preserved with the Municipal Art Collections on the second floor).

The Town Hall could be trace back to 14th century. It became the seat of the Anziani (“Elder”), the magistrates of the commune in 1336, and later served as the city’s Town Hall until November 11, 2008.

Later we went walking to Piazza XX Settembre to look for 2nd hands books. We bought some art books at very good price.

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After that were all very hungry and went to a Pakistani’s café near the station to have a late lunch. Lunch was rice and chicken and salad! Yums. I had been eating Pizza al Pomodoro and spaghetti for few days that it was good to have rice for a change.  After lunch, Pak Yusof and Mama Zakiah went to the book fair to see the preparation while Evi and I went back to our room because it was about to rain. We took bus 35 to reach Viale Aldo Moro, the nearest stop to walk to our room and walked pass Don Bosco Park. We had fun taking pictures of flowers and birds before it was raining.

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Getting to Bologna: KLM operated 2 time(s) daily from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Bologna (BLQ).

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fountain_of_Neptune,_Bologna
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palazzo_d%27Accursio

 

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