20 February, 2018


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


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).


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!)


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!! 


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


17 December, 2016

On Holidays

Well it's been  a nice relaxing and fun week for me. Though I quit my job on saturday, I couldn't catch up on the blog last week because I was rushing a whole bunch of deadlines for merchandise planned for the new year! Very excited for some of these merch :D I want to have more focus on stationery items. 

Karen came back for the holidays to her family and I. It's been awesome to be together in real life rather than skype and chat apps. We had a lot of fun just chilling, and going around the city!
Anyway, today I am having dinner at Karen's mom's home and we are making traditional taiwanese dishes! Karen and I have prepared Turnip Cake 蘿蔔糕 and BaWan 肉回. This morning I made some AiYu 愛玉冰 to compliment the food afterwards. I realized that AiYu is really good for Taiwanese food, cuz we eat a lot of heaty foods. AiYu is made from the seeds of Ficus pumila. They are these tiny dusty looking seeds you put in a cheese cloth baggy and soak in water. You massage the bag to release all the gelatin from the seeds into the water.

It has a light fresh taste, it is eaten with lime juice and sugar water! It's really refreshing - not really something for winter, but hey, it's yummy!

Short post today :D I should get some laundry done and pack a bit!

04 December, 2016

On Rainy Days

I can't say that I've had many many remarkable rainy days in my life, but it almost feels like I've had a downpour this week. It started Tuesday night... as I was going home from a long day at work. I left work with my cellphone in the red and my bladder full thinking that I will be heading straight home so I can just wait it off till I get home. How very wrong I was.

As I was driving, ten minutes onto the highway, my car began to sink and power down. I steered the car onto the shoulder of the highway and turned off the ignition. I really had hoped that I could restart it after a few moments but no. I quickly messaged Karen to let her know I was in a mud hole and proceeded to call CAA. After pressing five or so options I'm put through to a helper only to learn that it was illegal for the company to operate on the highway so I would have to get the city to tow my car to an accessible point where the CAA could get me. There were also parts of that conversation that were very confusing because the person was french and didn't seem fluent in english. This is the curse of Québec. I then called the city and waited for the tow to arrive. While waiting I made a quick call to CAA again to ask how long would the wait be when I get to an accessible area; they told me approximately 60mins. I'm sorry but 60mins wait is WAY too long, especially how I was still 40mins away from home. So the city tow came, and before I could really decide on what I was going to do, my phone dies. This made my choosing much easier I can't call the CAA anymore, so I will just get towed all the way back to my little suburb neighborhood.

Arriving at the garage on the tow was actually somewhat interesting, and amusing. I try not to worry so much when this kind of thing happen, and just take it as is. After leaving the car at the garage, I asked the tow if they could just drop me a block or two down on their way. Luckily my garage was not too far from the strip mall, and I didn't live too far from the strip mall either. And at the strip mall I could finally use the bathroom and charge my phone a little. I was sure Karen was worrying so I tried to message her as soon as my phone had some juice. I pulled a cookie out of my bag and ate it as if it was rationed for times like these. After reassuring my boo, I walked home and just took it easy.

The next morning I woke up at 7am and decided to call the garage just to let them know my car was at their shop. The mechanic picked up and asked me why the tow person didn't deposit my car keys. (Because I didn't know and I hadn't taken off my house keys yet...). He urged me to get to the shop as soon as possible because my dead car was blocking the front entrance to his garage. I then rip out of bed and slap on clothes, I look horrendous as I speed walk/jog to the bus stop. At 7h13, I get on the bus, arrive at 7h24 at the garage, drop my keys, talk with the mechanic. I make my way back on to the bus taking me home, and was home by 7h46. Pretty amazing. I made breakfast, and did some stuff, and got a call from the garage around 10h30. He told me my battery died because my belt had a crack, plus the alternator died. On the plus side it was the original battery and it lasted pretty much 10 years... Anyway, the whole of it costed around 550$ (on top of that the towing was 200$). Of course the repairs had to be done, but after I hung up the phone I teared up from the shock of it, and turned to Karen who was an angel and comforted me right away by telling me a story that was even worse than mine.

Honestly, right now, I don't feel bad about the car, because I feel safe in it, but even the money.. It's okay. I saved up for this kind of emergency. Its got nothing on me. It was just the unfortunate circumstance it had to present itself when I'm about to move away and would ideally save that money (laughs). It's a little ironic how I posted about saving money and this happens.

On a lighter note, I did some christmas shopping with Carey on the Wednesday while my car was in the garage. We also ate at this Korean restaurant and ordered way too much food unintentionally... Yes despite the unforseen dent in my wallet by my car, I was still able to enjoy myself because I have learned to save for these circumstances.

Foods from this week!!

Learned to make patterned rice rolls. With some left over tofu fish cake I made :>
Jukebox burger bar! They have a poutine burger I'll have to try when Karen comes back.

The feast between Carey and I... It was hella good and great price too...