How to Care for Leopard Lily Plant

While its other name seems silly – “dumb cane” – this house plant is anything but dumb. The leopard lily (Dieffenbachia amoena) is resilient and easy to grow in any light conditions and no matter your gardening skill. However, if you want the plant to thrive, you need to keep the following basic tips in mind.

The dumb cane plant can produce flowers. Because they are mostly grown indoors and can withstand neglect, not many house owners know that this plant can produce flowers. The buds are 5 inches long and will only come out if the plant is healthy. However, with the unique color and pattern on the 20-inch long and 10-inch wide leaves should be enough to make it suitable as a house decor.

Any soil mix will do. Although you do not need a specific soil mix to grow the dumb cane plant successfully, uou should avoid orchid and sand mixes. The best mix is perlite and potting soil with a 1:1 ratio.

It needs a large space to grow. This is a perfect indoor plant for a large apartment because it can grow up to 6 feet in height. You should also check the root density once a year and consider re-potting the plant if it is growing too big for the container. Before re-potting, reduce watering until the leaves are rubbery. You can also propagate it by planting new growth in moist soil.

The dumb cane plant needs bright lights. But it should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Too much light can burn the leaves, but too little of it will lead to stunting. You can ensure that it gets indirect but bright lights if you place it in an east-facing window.

Keep constant temperature. Indoors, the dumb cane plant should be exposed to temperatures between 18°C to 23°C. Outdoors, it can tolerate temperatures up to 35°C. Anything below or above the average can kill the dumb cane, so make sure to place it in areas protected from direct sunlight, drafts, and sources of cold or heat.

The dumb cane plant thrives in moist soil. Whether you grow it outdoors or indoors, it is important to keep the top soil moist all the time, but do not over-water the plant. You can tell if it is getting too much water if the leaves are stiff, while dehydration is indicated by shriveled leaves.

Use a fertilizer to encourage growth. To get the best results, you should use a full-strength balanced fertilizer every 4 to 5 weeks, however, if the leaves start drooping, it might mean that it is getting too much fertilizer.

The dumb cane plant is poisonous. If you have pets in your apartment, it is important to keep the plant away from them. Even humans can get poisoned from the sap if ingested and it is also a skin irritant. Try not to touch the plant when unnecessary and keep it away from your kids.

Rapping 101: Tips for the Beginner Rapper

More and more rap artists are popping in and out of Singapore today. With rap becoming the most listened-to music genre at the present, more talent has been showing up as well. If you’re one of those who love to listen to hip-hop, you might even think of becoming a rapper yourself. You think of that one time a famous Eminem beat just came on and you were able to rap all the lyrics fluently. By then, you became inspired! So, here are some tips if you want to try your hand in rapping.

Listen to all types of rap music

A lot of people don’t know that there are so many types of rap music. There’s the classic boom-bap style used in the old school by legends like 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. Then there’s the modern trap style that you hear from rappers of today. Listening to a wide variety of styles will help you find your actual taste in rap music. Of course, some people prefer boom-bap while others prefer rap. But listening to both will help you get a grasp for the overall feel of rap so that you can also find what’s most comfortable for you.

Listen to iconic rappers

If you’ve now found the type of rap style that you like, look into famous rappers who do those styles. For boom bap, for example, some would say the best choice would be The Notorious B.I.G. He’s considered a lyrical genius and a legend when it comes to boom-bap. Listening to iconic rappers and imitating their flow can be a good start. You can also practice by memorizing their songs and practicing your flow with that. But of course, once you start getting better, it would be a good idea to stop imitating your idols and start finding your own voice.

Dedicate time to writing lyrics

Aside from listening to rap, you should also start writing your own lyrics. The thing about rap though is that writing lyrics is a lot like poetry. There are rhyme schemes to consider, there’s also wordplay, and then you’ll also have to consider the melody. For a beginner though, you can build a great foundation by just writing lyrics without worrying about a beat. A lot of newbies like to look for a beat online and create lyrics that can match that beat. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, you can actually improve your lyricism if you can create something without relying on an already-established beat.

Just practice rapping daily

By practicing daily, this doesn’t mean rapping only in your mind. When you practice, you have to actually use and train your mouth. There are a lot out there who make the mistake of rapping only in their minds. Even when they’ve memorized the lyrics, when they actually start rapping, they mess up. This is because they didn’t hone their mind-muscle connection. Their tongue and mouth simply are slower than they expect.

How to Start a Stationery Collection

Do you have a relative or a friend who loves to collect notebooks, writing sets, pens and pencils, envelopes, and even Post-its? That person could be a stationery collector. Even with the popularity of electronic gadgets, a lot of people still find collecting stationeries a therapeutic and rewarding activity.

Stationery is a catch-all name for writing, typing, and printing materials. The name probably comes from the name of the vendor, a stationer, who has a store, such as a book shop, in a fixed spot.

Here are the things you need to remember if you want to start your own collection.

Seven Basic Types. If you are overwhelmed with the choices in hobby shops and bookstores in Singapore, you can start by building up your collection using the seven basic types of stationeries. These are memo pads, flat cards, folded notes, stamps and embossers, labels, contact cards, and non-personalized notes and cards. This list, however, still lacks other stationeries, so don’t limit yourself to these.

Build Your Collection. Like any type of collection, the stationeries you will select will be based on your taste and style. There are no rules that say you should collect only certain types of items, but if you’re planning to use some of your stationeries, you should stock up on the basic pieces. These include personalized stationery, memo pads for lists, formal stationery for correspondences, and stationeries for special occasions, holidays, and celebrations.

Enjoy the Hunt. One of the most relaxing activities that stationery collectors will tell you is shopping for new items. What makes the hobby more addictive is the satisfaction of finding a rare-looking piece with a different scent, color scheme, shape, text or illustration, and other details. If the activity is relaxing or therapeutic to you, go ahead and enjoy it, because that’s what hobbies are for.

Don’t Feel Guilty. If you feel like you have too many unused notebooks and your desk is cluttered with colorful pens and pencils, you don’t need to feel guilty about it. Unlike most hobbies, collecting stationeries will not eat up most of your income, because paper and office supplies are usually cheap. They don’t take up a lot of space, too, unless your collection already consists of overflowing shelves.

They’re Useful. While most collectors would feel horrified at the idea of writing on their collection, they can be useful for special occasions, like sending cards or letters to people on special occasions. They are also useful for other art-related hobbies such as drawing, calligraphy, and painting. You can give them away to friends and family instead of buying pre-made cards.

Finding the Right Artist’s Paint Brush for You


The artist paint brush you need will depend on the paint you will use and the details of your subject. Acrylic and oils need brushes that can hold a lot of paint. For watercolor, brushes don’t need to hold a lot of paint because the subject has to be painted lightly.

Brushes can be classified in three ways; materials, sizes and shapes.



There are two types of materials from which the brush is made of, natural and synthetic. Natural paint brushes are made from one of the following materials: sable, hog, camel, squirrel ox, goat or pony hair. Synthetic brushes are made of nylon or polyester. Some brushes have both natural and synthetic bristles or hair.



Paint brushes have numbers indicating the size. There is no universal standard for such numbers however, and the sizes may vary among different brands.



The shape of the brushes make it easier to paint details of your subject. Some brushes were made to hold more paint while others are for placing precise details that can’t be achieved by other brushes. There are a lot of lists of paint brushes but they can be classified into seven categories. The following is the list of the seven most common shapes.


  • Round may have a pointed or round tip ideal for painting details and lines. The rounded tip is for thick strokes while the pointed tip is used for delicate strokes. Liner is a type of round, narrow brush which has longer hairs to carry more paint.


  • Flat can hold a lot of paint and is used for bold and fine lines. It has a square end. One type, wash, is used for painting in large areas. It can absorb a lot paint.


  • Fan is a flat brush that is used for effects like washes, feathering and blending.


  • Filbert is a flat brush that has a rounded edge ideal for painting leaves and soft edges. The dagger brush for example tapers to one side.

  • Bright is a flat brush with shorter hairs ideal for strokes that need a lot of color.


  • Slanted is a brush with hairs that are angled. It makes for great control when painting thin lines. One type is the angled brush which can hold less paint and is perfect for shading.


  • Mop is a type of round brush that has a thin tip used for painting in large areas. Example is the hake used for painting on large surfaces.


  • Others like the bamboo brush is used mostly for watercolors and calligraphy. Stippler may be flat or round and is used dry for stippling (painting dots). Stencil brush is used for dry stencils. The palette knife is used for scraping and applying paint like brushes. Toothbrushes are also used for effects. House painting brushes are used to apply paint quickly on a large surface.

Knowing which brush to use will make your work easier, but achieving a satisfying painting ultimately comes down to the execution of the work.

Good News for Movie Streaming Bums


If we are the type that would rather stay in the house catching up the latest season of our favourite crime drama or superhero series, we will be delighted to know that Netflix is talking with Singapore’s biggest telecommunication companies to discuss ways on how to bring the best shows here.


It is not that we do not have the best shows here in Singapore but Netflix will provide rich choices for everyone. Netflix is a popular movie and TV streaming website. It will be here early next year. However, there is one setback – the pricing here will be based on the US pricing which is US$8 or roughly SG$11 per month.

The rate is not that bad considering the rich contents that are readily available to us. What are the contents Netflix will provide? Aside from the exclusive content provided by the company, there will be other movies and shows to be streamed but this will depend on the license issues here. Exclusive Netflix contents include Narcos and Daredevil.


The best part is that they will provide wider selection of contents from Korean to Mandarin movies and TV shows. Netflix met with the Media Development Authority to discuss possible ways of cooperation. To date, StarHub and SingTel already talked with Netflix and explored the business and possible benefits.

Netflix did not give their target number of subscription. The company can only hope but with the right service and branding, customers will surely swarm the product. Let us see where this goes. For sure, Netflix will give our lives more thrill and excitement.


Rainy Day Activities: Keeping Family Busy and Cozy  


Here in Singapore, we see weather as an opportunity or a disadvantage. The rainy weather for instance. When we encounter it, we either stay at home with the family or we curse at it. If we take the rainy season as an opportunity, there are many ideas that we can consider to keep our family busy and cozy.


Here are some activities that guarantee a good time:

  • For the children: The challenging part is to think of activities for the children. We are not sure if they will like it or not but we have to try. We can play with them like sock puppet. This can stimulate their creativity. If we want something more productive, we can help our kids arrange their closets.


  • For grown-ups: For grown-ups, we have to think of better activities. We can ask grown-ups around to help us cook a meal. If that is not enough, the fun thing to do is work out together. If we are still bored, a good movie will do.
  • For us: When we live alone, thinking of an activity can be challenging but sometimes, we do not need to exert effort. We can just pay our sleep debt if we are too timid to do other tasks. If we are done with sleeping, we can also clean our closet and get rid of unnecessary things. If we are the type that loves a good movie, there are tons of movies streaming online or in cable.

Rainy days only give us more time for the family and our loved ones. We should not curse at it.Cleaning-out-your-closet