07 March, 2018

Interlude


Again, I just have nothing much to talk about I guess, cuz every week rolls around and I have nothing much to say. Recently, we bought a Huntington Library pass, so Karen and I can go there whenever we want now! It's a pretty posh area so I always feel like I have to pretend to be rich (laugh). Our first visit was with Emil and Catherine for the Bonsai event. It was a beautiful day!


We went to have dumplings at lunch after that - subsequently lead to Emil and I plotting a dumpling night. We had a lot of fun wrapping, cooking, eating and talking about life. I think it's always easier to connect with people who've had similar situations than yourself. We touched on subjects of lgbtqa - and I think two years before now I don't think that I would even know what to say about this. Honestly, I'm so gay but never knew till the last few years. It would've saved me so much time if someone told me beforehand. Anyway that aside, it leaves me in thought of what to be done about lgbtqa representation...? We live in California where people are more or less aware of the issues, but still there seems like there's still much to do in terms of acceptance. 

I think about this kind of stuff but I don't think myself of an activist of any sort (laughs).

so I baked this cake for our dumpling night but it caved right in loool I was not prepared

managed to save the caving disaster with some sculpting and decorations! 
Else, it's been officially three months since I've worked at Baum-kuchen! I'm so happy to be there. Wakako said "It seems like you've been here forever." I think that's a good thing (laughs). I really enjoy the work there, especially since I have so much to do on the creative side. I'm excited for the upcoming projects to work on. I can feel myself easing more into creative works, and it's a good feeling! 

I just wish the adulting stuff can take a chill so I can sit and draw without worrying about catching up with life!! As I am aging I realize that being an adult is not real - we are forever kids trying to do adult things. Honestly why would I want to grow up anyway??  I mean I've started watching and playing pokémon again! (laughs)

I love the overworld slowpokes





20 February, 2018

Dreams


my favourite quote by Leo Tolstoy


Lately I've been feeling uninspired to do much art, maybe I'm just a little lost on my way but the drive to draw isn't as before. I'm not completely sure why or what happened neither when. I just know I need to get back on that train. I miss that adrenaline rush to solve a picture. 

Wakako is putting me in charge of the Kingsley Machine soon. I'm a little nervous but I'm glad to be trusted with extra tasks! 

Last week I had the chance to hang out with Jen! She was visiting from Canada, and we went to the arboretum. Thankfully it was a really really nice day and the walk was so pleasant! I really like going out for walks, especially around nature. I'm sure it will all come back to me some day. 


I'm starting to enjoy my time here in the new apartment; and the pupper is happier too! We are so grateful to have the sun shining in our lives again! Though it will be hot during the summer, I much rather have that than no sun at all. We are also enjoying our walks outside in the neighbourhood (when it's not 4C outside). 



We are probably going to slowly start exploring the neighbourhood for good food too~ Karen was craving sushi so we went to a restaurant near by! It was pretty good! Looking forward to find the good spots to eat!


13 February, 2018

Heart on my Sleeve


onion that survived our move and started to sprout...

I can't believe I'm this bad at blog updating!!! Last week the pupper got collitis and it was just a warzone between us and her butt. Anything relating to LiLi's health always stresses me out. She's getting old and I just want her to have the best life possible. Thankfully a visit to the vet and going to work on the next day helped me destress a lot! I think the move finally took a toll on me (and LiLi) last week. I was exhausted like crazy! 

this cute little poo machine

happy sunbathing plant children


Anyway, the apartment is mostly furnished now. I think we still have to work out how to place our bikes and get one or two more shelving. Possibly even add a plant shelf! They are all so happy to be here. 

little gift from Judy, sweetest customer at work

baked a cake for coworker's birthday

I've been thinking a lot about how sensitive and prone to emotions I am. I just carry my heart on my sleeve, and it's pretty transparent too. It makes me so intense sometimes, I don't know how my friends put up with me. I now watch my boss at work who also carries her heart but in a much more calm way. She takes time to reflect and think about the things that affect her and don't let it bother her actions until there is clear reason to. I watch her and think that it's pretty admirable because my reactions are pretty instant (laughs). I'm looking forward to learning more from work. 


quick postcards I managed to squeeze in!

Lately I've been thinking how wholesome most things in my life has become: my cute little family and my nice non-stressful work. I think the last thing I want to work on the most is finding out where I want to go with art, as I feel I've been held back in that area of my life for some time. I want to be inspired and draw lots again!

he grew a lot!

As I finish this blog post, I have to go tend to a present LiLi left me... It is what it is!


30 January, 2018

24 January, 2018

helter skelter

 I feel like the moment I'm about to catch up on things on my plate, other things start piling on again. Crazy! Over the weekend more paperwork arose for ensuring some proper legal works. Will the struggle with the paperwork ever finish? Stay tuned to find out!

Jokes aside, no particular theme for today's post. Just some pictures of the week!

A little postcard surprise from Job (ytube: jobsjournal). I love the postcard image, it's a piece of my dear Canada. I got a little mail from Kelsey, a long time patron, it's very cute mori style pokémon stickers!! A New Years postcard from hakumo a really old friend. We don't talk at all during the year but she always sends me a postcard - without fail!! But this time there's no return address so I'll have to maximize my stalker skills to find an address to send back!

On Sunday, Karen and I saw this interesting tree... And later I met up with one of my friends with a Mina Perhonen cover for her Hobonichi.... So beautiful!! It's reigniting my desire for a nice cover. I forever regret I couldn't get my hands on the Sometimes Lucky cover...




Karen and I made time in between packing the apartment to go on a little date. All that matcha softserve is for me by the way. My NRT Traveler's Notebook is starting to grow on me finally. I just loved my Brown so much - but after having customized the cover a little more, it made it feel more me! Still always loving the yosegi charm - it's pricey but I always love looking at it. And the second picture features the Tokyo Train Station Traveler's Notebook that belongs to my friend Annie :)


That's it for this week! By next week I will be at my new apartment!!! Excited!

17 January, 2018

Mail More Love

So since the last post, I have dropped off the face of the earth due to the very deadly flu that has been going around. Right after I posted two weeks ago I literally was bed ridden for 2 more days, then out of commission for the next week... and only today, right now, do I feel like a normal human being. What a crazy experience! I feel so bad for my wife who saw me in this sub-human state. But I am back, and things can only go up from the bottom!!! And to be honest, many things have happened since the last post... It's almost overwhelming. I will touch on a few items towards the end. 

Recently got a postcard from Fiddy and Satchi!


I drew a Koi postcard to reply Satchi :)


But today I wanted to write about postcards!! 

Over the years I have amassed a large amount of mail I received from friends around the world. It happened quite organically, in a way that I didn't notice, until I had to think about it one day. I've always enjoyed receiving things in the mail, and that fostered a love for sending good words out as well. With the advent of the internet, I can communicate with my friends at leisure; this makes mailing posts more like a treat! What I mean is that nothing too seriously grave is discussed, as we talk about those things in real time.

Sometimes I wonder how people in the old days manage to get any communication done... 

What really fostered my love for written mail and sending packages was my time corresponding with my friend Yi-Wen. I loved her posts to me! What was special was that she always drew a little image. At the time she lived in London, so I also received special british goodies. In the end, though, it was always her letter and little piece of art that made my day. 

February postcards! The California postcard is a Baum-Kuchen x TSL piece :) I just coloured it with watercolour


Since then I've had years when I've sent a lot of mail, and others that were less inspired. This year I really wanted to get back into it! So much that it is one of my new years resolution: Mail more Love!! Working at my job I realized how just a little extra touch in the things we send can lift the whole intent of the package. So I will be a lot more dedicated and careful about how I choose to send mail out this year! My hope is to do it steadily once a month, and to draw a little something if time allows. I'm so excited to get back into it!




I've included pictures of my February postcards in this post. It's a little early but that's because we are moving!! We actually weren't planning to move till March but the right place came up and we snatched it up right away. It's larger than our current place (not so important) and recently renovated (very important) - and close to my work! I'm looking forward to walk to work all the time! I'm also looking forward to happier pup and happier plant children!! I'll surely post about the moving process in the future!

lil forest spirit from cynthia 

recently bought a Monstera child, and had to separate him


02 January, 2018

Hello 2018!


Happy New Year!!! 

Since it is just my wife and dog and I at home, things are calmer than with family. Both our families are a little scattered around the world - and I don't really want to connect with mine just yet anyway. So it's the year of a very quiet Holiday Season, giving lots of time for quiet reflections (and in my wife's case, a lot of time for freelance). I've also come down with a cold the first day of the New Year, that means the rest of the year will be okay, right?

As new years roll around, everyone in the planner community is excited to start on their new books and are motivated in how to change their system to help them work more effectively. It's a super exciting feeling to start a new blank book - I sometimes wonder how do we carry this feeling throughout the year.




This year I am excited to use some new and old analogue tools!

+ Hobonichi Techo A6 Japanese

This will be my 3rd year using Hobonichi Techo! I've tried the Weeks in 2017 but it was too small, so I've switched back to A6. The first year I was gifted a Hobonichi 2016, I inadvertently committed myself to draw daily comics in it. It was a lot of work!! So in 2017 I've stopped. But since then I've felt less attachment to my journal... which is very unfortunate; so I will be trying to keep it a habit again! It leaves a little less space to write, which is alright, I've always wanted to keep Hobonichi as a happy journal! If given too much space, I start writing nonsensical things, so less is sometimes more!



+ Traveler's Notebook with Weekly + Notes

I've figured out last year that Weekly view with space for notes on the side is my favourite format for planners. It gives me space not only to write gratitude memos but also note some stuff I might not want to write in the weekly space. I'm really glad TN weeks started mid December because I simply couldn't wait to get started on it! That Midori paper is just beautiful; I love the cream colour so much. And as with the Hobonichi, it's super important for me to have paper that is fountain pen friendly! I know Fiddy bought the Weekly Horizontal so I'm curious of how that turns out. 

+ 36 Sublo pocket date stamp

I've been low key hunting for an appropriate date stamper, and recently saw this really really cute pocket date stamper that my boss uses on her correspondences to me. My coworker informed me that they were all sold out everywhere, but that she had an extra one she was willing to part with. It was the guitar+amplifier motif so I removed the rubber and added a little self carved frame. I'm so grateful to her generosity, and I can't wait to literally date everything!

+ fountain pens

One of my new years resolution this year is to only buy 1 fountain pen. I've gone way crazy in 2017 and honestly I already have my holy grail pen: Pilot Prera and I don't need to have more. I'm going to start letting go of some of them online and stick with my favourites. I'm not sure how much I can cut down, but we'll see! I really want to give more love to what I have.

In the coming months there will be lots going on. We are slowly looking for a new apartment, and I am in a frenzy to look for way to decorate and make a place our own without losing our deposit. I'm also on a plant fever frenzy! I bought quite a few within the week and I'm excited to see them grow. In 2018, I am hoping to make a home in Los Angeles! 






26 December, 2017

On Craftsmanship

beautiful flower shop in Ginza
I think over the years, definitely with time, our tastes mature and become more attuned to what we like, what we need. I'm definitely feeling it more and more as I also try to reflect on things I consume. 

I was away Dec 8th to Dec 14th for a brief trip to Taiwan and Japan. Story is that I got a job faster than anticipated and I've wanted to take a trip to Taiwan quickly before I settled into the job. Thankfully my bosses are extremely encouraging of travel and calls them "inspiration trips" for which I am very glad.

Coming back on topic, I think this trip really put to words things I've been attracted to and goals I aspire to. That is craftsmanship. Everything I absolutely loved on my trip is in some form attached to craftsmanship - skill in a particular craft. In ZhongLi, it was that simple bowl of roasted grass jelly; in Ginza, the perfect bowl of gyudon; in Kawagoe, a beautiful unagi-don. I looooved everything. I love being able to experience the perfection of a skill in all sorts of art forms.

roasted grass jelly with QQ in Zhongli
Guydon at Kitsune-ya in Ginza


This trip has really been a beautiful insight to something I need to give deeper thought to. It's still hard to put into words what my goals are for 2018, but I hope to align it with that. More food for thought this week... Soon the goals for the next year will have to reveal itself!

yuzu ramen!!



28 November, 2017

On Being Anxious

Recently I finally decided to finish my little comic/journal about my anxious episode and change. Actually, I was moping around that day since an event I was part of did not go the way I had envisioned. I was gonna do nothing all day but half way through I just powered through lining the comic. I had started working on it a year and half ago, and in that bout of blues, powered through it in two days. 

When I feel sad about my state of art, I feel it's ok to pause a little and take time to be sad. It always gives way for me to foster some kuyashii feelings. I get up and want to get better. 

At least that's how my creative circle goes!!

I posted the little comic on issuu. If you make an account you can download the PDF :)




Last week was quite a busy week! I received my Travel and Work permit from USCIS, in time for my work interview that was lined up two days after! So.. now, a week later, I'm going to start working! I'm so excited. It's not animation, but it's definitely something I love. And I'm glad I'll be surrounded by really lovely people whom I am eager to learn from. I am looking forward to grow on this job!




Else, it was a nice Thanksgiving, getting together with some friends. I made Banana Bread cake with Strawberry Glaze. The Glaze was a nightmare, but seems like it became good as it dried... Miracle!

Karen and I made a trip to the beach as well as a wonderful sushi experience at one of our -now- favourite sushi places here in California.


I'm still trying to see what schedule work best for the blog! I think it will be important for me to set up some blog themes lined up. I know nobody reads these really but I'm gonna try to be consistent and then share as things stabilize!


19 November, 2017

On EDC!


I need to get back in the habit of writing on blogs again!!! Let's try again to make this happen! 

Lately I've been thinking about making an art material post - actually before I stopped posting I had planned to make a materials post. Right now I'll just post about my EDC (every day carry). Art post will be a little more complicated. Since I've last posted things have changed a little mainly due to the addition of my Traveler's Notebook~ In my EDC, this is my basic carry (my bare bone carry is just TN, sketchbook and pen).



BASIC EDC

watercolour tin (24 half pan or this small one)
global arts travelogue handbook sketchbook
traveler's notebook regular brown
kuretake waterbrush
fountain pen (default LAMY SAFARI)

I try to carry all these most times, and generally I'll have a pen case with me holding my fountain pens as well as a OHTO Minimo pencil, which does come in handy more than i realize! As for handbags, I use a variety of Kiplings, though I am eyeing a The Superior Labor one ...


watercolour tin

I love love love using a tin palette for watercolour! The one in this photo is one I made with a mini postcard tin and some empty half pans + magnets. Recently I came across ppl who have used smaller tins! It's suuuper cute! I might consider it if I'm really strapped for room. I generally will bring my 24 half pan tin when I plan on colouring, I like having the small one as a light casual carry. I use Holbein watercolour tubes. The paints are very vibrant and the pigments are abundant; but because they are generally opaque like, I'm considering switching to Daniel Smith down the line (plus now they make smaller tubes!)

sketchbook

I don't know how many years it has been since I've settled on this sketchbook, but it's been LONG time. Travelogue Handbook is the best... It's just the best for me in terms of how I work. Actually when I started buying them, they were cheaper than they are now... but it's still worth it!! The paper takes a good beating and seriously takes washes well. The pages then buckle up but they also settle down flat after a while, it's really amazing. I LOVE it. It also feels casual enough to just write in it as well.

traveler's notebook

I fell into this TN hell in around January and started to look for cheaper alternatives. Because I was really into bullet journal, I thought this would be a great system to integrate into. So for many months I had tried some Fauxdoris - just to see if I could make this work. (Un)fortunately, it did! I loved the system! In july I finally bit the bullet and bought an official TN when Fiddy came to visit... and our books have been brothers since. I'm still working out which inserts to put in but currently I have 1. Baum-kuchen wallet insert 2. blank notebook for bujo 3. Traveler's Factory Canvas Insert. The latter I got at the Traveler's Caravan x Ace Hotel vent that I absolutely loved!! 


waterbrush

I actually much prefer using an actual brush nowadays, but still nothing beats the convenience of a waterbrush and a rag cloth. I have almost all of KURETAKE's line of waterbrushes, my usual carry is Medium round or the Flat. I think with Flat you can do almost anything, so I just carry that.

fountain pen

One of my personal hells. For drawing I always carry a Lamy Safari inked with De Atrementis Document Ink Black - and sometimes another Lamy Safari with same ink but different colour. I like the De Atrementis Document Ink a lot - they dry fast and I love the assorted colours. Currently, I'm also testing out using my TWSBI ECO for my drawing pen, as the steel nib is very stiff and I like that stiffness for drawing. I also often carry a Pilot Parallel Pen when I go urbansketching - I feel like it keeps me nice and loose.


That pretty much sums up my EDC!! I hope to cover more art materials next time.. For now, have some photos~

jotting down baking ideas in my TN

Ace Hotel, quick sketch on rooftop

a beautiful stack of TNs from people and staff at Ace Hotel event