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Monday, November 17, 2008

4-5 weeks of school to go!

I am poorly neglecting my blog and have lost my readers, but I will soon be able to devote lots of time to my crafting and art-making/-doing and blogging! My camera battery died and my charger is back home so I shall have to borrow a friend's camera to take pictures of my latest work.

I have a design that I am hoping to turn into a paper-cut and possible screen print mini poster. Will definitely take pics of the sketch in progress! It'll need lots of work!

Meanwhile, I've discovered the fun-ness of snap buttons and have been experimenting with wallet-making. I know that there are already lots of wallet makers on etsy and elsewhere on the Internet, but I've enjoyed making mine as my store bought wallet was breaking at the seams! I am embarrassed each time I take it out to pay for a purchase.

Until next time...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A New Era

I am late with posting about the election, but here I am.

I'm generally political in the off-and-on kind of way. When I feel like it. When it matters to me. When I'm touched, compelled, inspired.

For some reason, this election did not move me in the way that it moved others. Not because I cannot understand the significance of this election. Oh, no, I get that - big time. Message is loud and clear. And it's not because I don't care about who is president - it's definitely an important job. But... a lot of my "apathy", for lack of a better word, is because of the way I was raised. My parents grew up in a time when questioning the authority could get you into trouble (1950's - 70's China) and if you had any opinions about the government and the way that things were, you kept them to yourself. My parents, based on snippets of conversations overheard, are still somewhat distrustful of government officials and fear the repercussions of going against the government.

My family, in general, do not express emotions or feelings or any such things of an intimate nature. I suppose I still fight through that every day. One moment I am very stubborn and refuse to shut up about voicing my politics; another moment I would rather ignore what is going on.

While I may not cry tears of joy, or jump around the street in exaltation, quietly, inside my mind, I see the beauty of millions of voters coming out to voice their politics.

Oh, if only you could be there for the celebrations on my college campus! Oh, if only I could've been there! At least a thousand people paraded through the street that night, whooping and hollering, and raising a large flag. People on their cars. Honks and a peaceful, spontaneous march through the campus. Apparently, quite a bunch of them marched up to the chancellor's house at the north end of campus and he came out and made a little speech right then and there, alongside his wife. What a night.

I am only sad that I could not have been there for that momentous occasion. I was there physically watching the news like everyone else and quietly I was excited to know that my choice for president was that of many others as well, but spiritually and emotionally I could not get myself to be there - my heart did not connect with the hearts of others... and so, after years of political apathy, I'm still working on it.

Today is a new era for our country. (I'm still a little jaded by the last few years, but, maybe, just maybe, there's a tiny glimmer of hope).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

so it goes...

patience does reward itself!

drum roll please...

presenting my very first knitted sweater! i probably could've chosen an easier sweater to begin with and preferably one that came with a more coherent pattern (sorry wenlan), but, hey, it's finally finished at last! and i even made a hat too.

the sweater is the best friend cardigan from wenlan chia's "big city knits". one warning: the patterns are at times vague and confusing and there is a pdf file online with errata that you might want to check out before making one of her designs. but hey, i love a challenge and learned to improvise! pretty soon i'll be writing my own patterns.... :D

i only recently discovered a site that sells wenlan's twinkle chunky yarn at a discount. if you love her yarns like i do but can't bear to pay the $19.95 price tag for 83 yards, do check it out: fabulous yarn. there are so many discounts involved with that site - i only wished they carried more brands.

i've already bought yarn to start another project from the book. but that'll have to wait until my flurry of midterm examinations are over with!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Some things take time

As I am learning right now... while in the middle of a last minute cram session before my first midterm of the semester. My LAST semester, mind you.

I could only wish to have the patience to bake such wonderfully appealing bread. Until then, I live in the wonders of cooperative living! Mmm... aren't they just delightful to look at? I do not think I've ever seen anyone bake bread before (minus foccacia and banana bread).

My patience has been tried ever since receiving my first screen print kit. I've used it several times and have made plenty of items (must remind self to show photos at some point), but nothing has taken longer than this unfinished print. This is my first attempt at a print and will be in very limited quantities, but I hope someone somewhere will enjoy it. It's still missing one element and it's a very simple print. Explanation to come.

But nothing pushes the envelope more than trying to knit a sweater! With cable! Using the vague and somewhat inaccurate patterns by Wenlan Chia, no less! I know, I know... amateur knitter attempting difficulty task. I think I've heard that fable somewhere. ...Oh, right... it's me. :) Despite the wonks and kinks, I believe there is hope for this sweater yet. (It had better because this silly hobby of mine is costing me lots of moolah! Wenlan's prices for yarn are not exactly for the faint of heart.)

Despite all the other challenges to my patience, there is a silver lining. Just look at this gorgeous shoe rack! From Ikea, painted purple because it's the paint lying around in my room and I didn't feel like looking for other paint. I think it looks pretty nice and really brings out the colors of my shoe collection (my other shoes are back home with the parentals). I, um, have a, sort of, minor, problem,... with spending money. *shrugs shoulders* What can I say? Appearance matters to me and the appearance of my room has been atrocious of late. But, hey, at least my shoe rack is a dandy alternative for my eyes.

Stay tuned folks... I'm already in the sketching stages of a new print/cut out (or both, really, cuz I'm ambitious like that!). I'm also trying to get some dolls made (got the parts cut out but never sewn up... hmm.. that must be fixed). I'm also in the process of purchasing some fabrics in hopes of making a few bags (SANS pattern - I'm not a pattern gal; they're great to have when you're completely lost, but patterns generally confuse me more!). Oy! What a run-on sentence I weave. For shame.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's way too hot!!!!!

School's already started. Almost two weeks to be exact-ish. The weather went from cold summer to hot, hot, hot fall. what's up with that? Global warming, I'll just blame it on you. (and my ignorance of weather-ness).

I'm still quite alive, miserably so. Given my schedule, do not know when I'll be back and updating regularly. If you've noticed, I've also commented less on the blogs I typically visit. Sorry... I still read it though!

I did make a cool little book bag for myself after reading skinny laminx's blog post about bags. I so have to take pictures as I'm quite proud of it and have been putting it to abusive use!

I'm almost done with the print art I've been working on. I'm almost done carving out the rubber stamp and just need to mix some paint for it. Cannot wait! I've also got some little screen printed card samplers (nothing fancy) that I've been meaning to post about and add to my shop. But, alas, folks, I've been too busy with school and the cooperative house and my managerial position in the house... and soon to add volunteering to do anything crafty related. Well.. I still craft, but not sharing it. Many many heartfelt apologies.

Now if the darn weather would just give me a breeze I'd be almost content. And maybe turned down the heat a few notches. Not asking much. I just don't want to walk around campus like I'm in the middle of a dehydrated heat stroke!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Just stopping by to say hi, in case anyone still visits. Hi!

My latest "distraction" has been my good friend's dental school application. He e-mailed me a copy of his personal statement, and well, let's just say it was not a bestseller. And he knows it and that's why he's enlisting help from his friends. It's never easy to request help or accept it, but in this case I think it was a smart decision. Dental school is not an easy thing to get into and, of course, you'd ideally like to get into a good one with good training. Am I right?

So I've been busy helping my friend draft out an outline, rephrase sentences, and providing a much-needed structure. (I know with my own experiences in writing such darned things as personal statements that, sometimes, it's difficult and frustrating to write when there is no direction.) A research paper is easy because someone is telling you what to write about, what to look out for and what to accomplish. Y'know?

Anyway, I hope this blog picks up again in the fall semester. That is highly unlikely as I will be finishing up my last semester of undergraduate study. And, as is fate, I have a bunch of tiny courses (avg. 2 units per course) in my schedule as opposed to 3 or 4 bigger courses. Oh well. AND - I'll be back here at Glide once a week to volunteer with the case manager. AND - I'll be sharing the responsibility of being workshift (fancy schmancy name for house chores) manager at my cooperative house. So... I've got a plate full on me.

But, do not despair, I will certainly make time to write and blog and post lovely photos again!

Meanwhile, I've been working on getting those dolls all sewed up and getting those prints (wip I've mentioned countless times before) all printed up.

It'll be fun. I'll barrage you with lots and lots of catch-up photos!

So tell me, what art projects have you been doing? And how have you given back to your community?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lotta Jansdotter + Screen print samples

I am sooooo incredibly late with these photos of Lotta Jansdotter. She was here in SF for a printing workshop of sorts in June. It was nice to finally meet the woman behind the books and the famous designs. I haven't looked through all the photos yet but here's two!

Here is a photo of some simple mushroom cards I created with my not-so-new screen print kit. None of them are perfect but I've found the imperfections unique. They're just screen print samples. They're so cute! I'll be putting them up in the shop as individual cards, along with envelopes. And meanwhile, I've been perfecting my skills on a print I mentioned earlier. Photos to come!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

WIP update

i created a sketch a while back that i never got a chance to show anyone. i didn't know what to do with it and i was getting tired of stationery (speaking of which, i printed some cards to try out my screen printing kit and have been meaning to post about those - nothing fancy), so... what else could i do? the easy answer (though it took some time for it to occur to me) was to produce some prints! yay!

so with my paycheck in the bank (i'm going to miss receiving a paycheck btw), i went to the art store and purchased several different kinds of lovely cream/ivory cardstock. got me some canson and two other brands. anyhow, i'm still at work right now so i'll have to wait until later tonight to commence the printing part. i enjoyed cutting the paper though, with my trusty paper cutter (those things they sell for scrapbooking, those watchmacallits).

i'll have photos for you in a day or two. it's taking a while because removing screen filler is difficult! i still dont have all of the screen filler removed but i'll make do. there's enough space to fit my design.

anyway, sorry again for the lack of lovely photos! :(

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Updates to come... and yes, I'm still alive!

My summer internship has been intensive. I am really starting to understand why a full time job (regardless of how interesting it may be) can be sooooo sucky. It drains the energy out of you (even if you don't have to do hard labor...).

BUT - and here's the but - I will slowly try and get myself back on the map! I've been doing so much before the internship began and never got a chance to show and tell. And that was very bad of me. I guess I shall have to work on it. Anyhow, to keep things interesting, I'll do mini posts of some of the projects I've been working on and the many WIP (works in progress) that I have. I'll even show you photos of my parents' living room! It's a complete mess!!!! :) I've taken over.

AND - I've also begun cutting out the parts to the dolls I've been meaning to stuff and sew. I'll also get around to that. Maybe make one per night or every other night. Slowly, but surely, they'll be appearing in the shop.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

50th Post!

It has been a tremendously long time since my last post. I have been incredibly busy at work. I am an intern at Glide Memorial Church. If you've never heard of this church and its foundation, or if you've never heard of Cecil Williams and his wife Janice Mirikitani, then I suggest you go on over to Google and search for them. They are amazing people and this church has done some wonderful things to help the homeless, the working poor, and anyone who's had their luck taken away.

I have the pleasure of working in the social case management office with Harry Williams (no relation to Cecil), the case manager. I work with him during his meetings with clients and my tasks are numerous. I do anything that he would normally do by himself. And my hours are from 9am - 5pm. I usually get home so exhausted that I have been neglecting this little blog of mine. However, I've been keeping up with a few blogs and reading when I can. I haven't completely neglected the blog world.

This weekend will be the 1st annual Renegade Craft fair in San Francisco, which I'll be attending. I can't wait to meet Lynn of Satsuma Press and I hope to snap lots of photos and buy lots of goodies! :) And hopefully this weekend I'll update with photos from the Lotta Jansdotter printing fest last month, as well as updates from my own personal crafting.

What have y'all been up to?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

my, my, my

i have been neglecting my little blog here. and my shop as well.

i've many new things to share and many new photos i need to take.

all will come in due time.

just popped in to say, i've been busy with school and internship/work. but my summer class will be done in one week. so i will have more time to devote to this little blog of mine.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

trying new things

in case you haven't noticed, i'm always presenting you with something new i've done or made. rarely do you see a repeat of the technique or item. except maybe the bears. and the stationery.

right now i'm still in the stationery phase of my creative endeavors. i'm looking for low cost, low technique way to put my designs onto paper. as a college student (for one more semester!), it doesn't make sense for me to try to take on bigger things that usually require lots of time, money and equipment - none of which are available in large quantities in my case. but this doesn't mean that i shouldn't try to learn new things and experiment within my means. and the fun part, in all of this, is trying to make something look nice, but handmade, when your resources are few.

i'm up for the challenge!

earlier in the spring i started with just scanning an image and printing it with my home printer or using a copy place. which is always easy and handy to do. but it didn't provide me with the texture that i so crave in stationery.

this past weekend i decided to carve out my own rubber stamps (being inspired by lotta jansdotter's new book and all). i discovered soon after that it is hard to hand carve a design with fine lines. that did not deter me. please, shirley is much courageous than to simply give up. i managed a sketchy pussy willow design that i'll put up soon. it came out alright for a first try.

two nights ago i decided to carve out my logo (the bunny with bird on its back). i changed it slightly to make it more carve-able and i must say it came our rather lovely. i'll definitely have to put up pictures of that.

and yesterday i bought some clear embossing powder and heat tool to use those stamps to create embossed stationery. i still need a bit of practice with the heat tool but i love it! i've created texture! and definitely hand made, well, hand carved, at least. and i finally bought myself a paper trimmer (though i had really wanted a paper guillotine trimmer), so i can buy paper in large sheets and in bulk (much more cost effective) and cut it to the desired dimensions.

i'm enjoying the process and while i would love to shoot straight into professional hand made mode, i can only stick to what i can do and what i do have and make it work. so, sometimes my end product looks slightly crooked, just slightly, and sometimes my design looks too hand drawn (which i love actually), but hey, with anything in life, there's a little push and shove, a little give and take. and i'm taking it with me.

meanwhile, with all this learning and trying new things, i'm excited for the arrival of my own screen print kit by speedball (the same company who made the rubber stamp kit i used). i cannot wait! at least with screen printing i have higher hopes of printing with my fine line drawings. carving rubber stamps is fun and all, but i dont think it's so great for fine lines. i nearly ruined my stamp carving when i carved really near the outline. yikes!

i'm currently on campus (i had a morning class) doing some research for a paper and catching up on missed reading assignments (oops... wonder why i "forgot" to do the reading...), so photos will have to come at another day.

so what new things have you tried lately?

oh, and btw, any suggestions for other low cost ways to print stationery (aside from the mentioned rubber stamp and screen printing)? i'll take what i've given. :D

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

i'm here!

it seems i've been neglecting my little blog here.

finals and then a quick trip to new york occupied much of my time. i am happy to say i had a fun time in new york, got to see a bit of brooklyn and even walked across the brooklyn bridge! (it's a different experience compared to walking to golden gate bridge over here in the bay area). AND i passed a pass/fail class, received one A- and two A's! yay! still waiting on one more class. hopefully an A too.

i started the first day of summer school yesterday and will be starting my internship in two weeks' time. so busy busy busy. however will i find the time to make things for my shop?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

finals finals finals

need i say more?

two ten page papers due friday. it's almost midnight on wednesday. have not started much, if at all.


what's my problem with school?

sometimes i wonder if i should have gone to an art school. but quite frankly, i wouldn't have known what to major in. fine art? graphic art? digital media? craft?


luckily, i have my trip to nyc to look forward to. i just need to get these darn papers out of the way and hope that i get A's for all my classes (which i think may be achievable this semester... yay!).

i'll be back with more art. reading all these blogs, blog-surfing as i call it, has been such an inspiration. i can't take it all in at once. there is so much i want to do and try, but so little time. if only i could be paid to just make stuff all the time. for myself. for my own pleasure. man, that would be a fine day in the usa! :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Presenting the lovely Lissie Doll and many cool pictures!

As promised, here is the onslaught of photographs of my latest projects from the past month.

But first, let me introduce my new Lissie doll! Isn't she just the sweetest? And her hair might become a trend I say. After all my final exams and papers and projects are completed and after I'm back from a weeklong trip to NYC (so, probably late late May-early June), I'll have a few of these dolls in my shop. (This image was taken at night so it does not do her justice. I'll take better pictures later.)

And this is Lissie's friend Olive, who will make an appearance in the shop too! A one-off though (because, don't tell her, but she was just a practice doll... shh! Olive will be jealous that Lissie is the one I want to replicate). :)

And now... lots and lots of pretty visuals!

I helped a housemate make this gnarly camera case for her friend Beth. It's a picture of her dressed as a man on one side. I will never ever attempt this again! haha.

And more stationery! I really love these colors and I love this simple floral design. They're sort of meant to be pussy willows. What'dya think? Should I attempt to make a few of these for the shop?

a lamp made of lotta jansdotter fabric. love the colors. and really needed to update my lamp from the cheapo mesh it came in.

look! i can do other things too! sorry about the horrible pictures. i can't decide if i want to keep this (when it's finished) or sell it.... hmm... the perennial problem of the artist and his/her artwork... to keep or to sell...

i tried my hand at making a shirt/vest with no patterns. i modeled it after another sleeveless shirt i had but found i needed to add some thick side panels because i grossly underestimated the differences between the stretchy material of the original and the non-stretchy-ness of this material. oops! but it looks nice on me and the darts are form fitting. :)

yee! look at the pleats!

i didn't make this but i had to share a great find. this is a barney's bag that only cost me $12 with some broken handles. i took it to a shoe repair shop and they fixed it right up for $18. not bad for a $400 type bag. :)

anyone who has lived with me for the past two years knows that i'm a bargain hunter and huge fan of designer clothes. and where i live we have this great store called jeremy's department store. it's kind of like a Ross Dress For Less or a Marshall's or a TJ Maxx for designer clothes. They're mainly store returns, things with holes or a missing piece or out of season overstock. I love being able to find things that once retailed for anywhere from $100-$700 but I only paid anywhere from $1 to $50. i generally avoid spending more than $50 for any item and wait for the price to be marked down. but it's tricky because it good be snatched up by someone else the next day. i once got a pair of Sonia Rykiel shoes for $11 when her shoes are $700 and upwards. they're the best shoes ever and all they were missing were some adornments on the toes. it left an icky leather patch of glue behind but i just took a pair of thread rippers (sorry, the correct term left my mind) and took the leather patch off and they're almost as great as new. i'll have pictures of said lovely shoes next week. i could start a separate blog with just the findings and results of my shopping sprees. i really ought to call them my 'spending sprees'. :) :) :)

and who knows? maybe i will start a blog just on my shopping adventures. like the aqua silk halter top by emilio pucci that i got for $1, or the silk blend brown tank top from barneys for the same price.

oh.. if only i were slightly rich....

Monday, April 21, 2008

meet my bunny; winners; MY SHOP's OPENING

I've finally got my act together and opened my new shop at etsy! Please do hop on over and check it out. And, please, by all means purchase up the lovely note cards if you are so inclined. :D Please leave feedback! :) I am so excited and happy to have finally opened shop.

- - - - -

i forgot what name i gave this bunny... so for now, it's just bunny. :)

i don't like bunny's long arms... it's almost freakish. but whatev... it's my creation, so therefore i must love it unconditionally...

and for the drawing... since there were only four comments, it wasn't too difficult to draw two names. haha. using a random number generator, dre and tania are the winners. i'll get your cards out to you soon (and soon can mean this week or next week or even later... haha).

dre, email me your address so i can get that to you soon.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

card-testing + giveaway

Boy, do I love packaging things up nicely! If my job were to design packaging materials and to put together packages done up nicely, I'd be a happy gal. I sometimes find more fun in wrapping presents and putting together little packages than making the things themselves. Are there folks out there who share the same sentiments?

Cutting to the chase, I just printed out a test batch of my lantern cards with my trusty old hp inkjet printer - sorry, no fancy schmancy digital art printer. Below are some photographs featuring the stylish 'do of my test batch cards. Tell me whatcha think cuz your opinions (at least on this matter) do matter!

And, of course, with every test batch there are some kinks and some wonks and some funky stuff going on. In other words, not all the cards were printed out perfectly. Darn printer for wasting good paper and ink! Hmmph! But you, my dears, get to benefit from the icky printing problems. I am giving away two sets of my test batch cards - one of each color with matching envelopes (the matching is up to you). The only major glitch in the cards is the blurry printing on one of the lamps on the papaya colored card.

Cards are printed using Paper Source cardstock, in chartreuse and papaya, with matching envelopes of the same source, in pool and strawberry. How you mix and match is up to you! I'm no dictator here.

The giveaway will be open through until the end of this week (meaning Sunday, 11:59pm Pacific Western Time, cuz I'm on the west coast of the americas). (I needa go buy some stamps... sheesh.) Please leave a comment on this post only. Two names will be drawn in whatever method I choose. May be random, may be not. And please, comment! It's free stuff! :) (Friends and relatives are allowed to participate too. The more the merrier!)

Psst... I finally took some photos of my latest projects. Will upload that later this week. Yay for visuals!

Monday, April 14, 2008

need to look for my photos?

i've now created the label "my craft and art" or something like that for any post created that includes at least one photo of something i've made or done. this way, if you are curious about what i've made recently or what i've made in the past, you dont have to search through the archives. just click on this label and it'll take you to all the posts that actually contain photos of my work. (unfortunately, the ramblings contained within those posts are still there.. so you'll have to sift through that - i'm not gonna make it that easy for you...) :D

now i'm off to do "homework"

Friday, April 11, 2008

a note to safety, friendship, and update

firstly, a note to safety. last night at midnight, a random (perhaps not random, but i'm just going to assume is random) man called me on my mobile phone, pretending to be someone i knew. his first words were: guess who i am? throughout the conversation he spoke with a whisper (i still don't know why he had to whisper - i guess to mask his voice). and the "conversation" (if you can call it that) could be categorized as lewd and lascivious. those are big words to basically say, a perverted sex-starved jerk-oid. after some time i decided that it could not be anyone i knew and hung up. you might ask: why didn't i hang up earlier? but to be honest, being in a college campus, it's not unusual for stupid, lame, sometimes drunk guys to make the same types of calls. so... i spent the best part of the first few minutes trying to figure out in my head if this was someone i knew playing a lame joke. however, after hunging up the phone, the man proceeded to call me several more times non-stop. as it was late and the folks next door could be woken up, i put my phone on silent. i think, in the time of an hour or so, 30 calls were made by a withheld number. i still do not know who this person is, but let me tell you that this stalkerish type of call, whether intended to be a joke or not, is very frightening. and it is absolutely unnecessary for people to behave in such a way. there really ought to be laws so that such behavior is punishable by a hefty fine, community service, AND jail time. i'm sorry, i seriously thought my safety was threatened and compromised.

earlier this afternoon, when i relayed this experience to a couple of people who lived in the same house i'm living in, they did not seem as concerned. again, in all likelihood it was just a prank call, BUT - where's the decency? where's the friendliness? where's the hugs and the i'm sorry this happened and hope it won't happen again? where's the comfort for the poor girl who had to endure 30 calls from some unknown man who may know where this poor girl lives? one "friend" even postulated that most likely my number was obtained by a company who sold my information (that really ought to be illegal by the way and punishable to the extreme by the law - not that our goverment is worth a rat's ass). as if this assumption calmed my nerves. if a company sold my phone number they could have easily sold my address as well! sheesh. yes, thank you very much for that guess. it really helped me feel safer.

all this to say, when someone feels their safety is threatened, especially in a situation where law enforcement or the letter of the law will not be helpful (or indeed useful), it will help to be nice and sensitive and gentle to the person who had to experience such a horrific night. (but of course, the lovely folks on this blogland would not need such a reminder about friendliness).

now... to update on crafting, sorry, still no pictures of my latest projects, of which there are many... but... i visited the local paper source and bought some pretty cardstock and envelopes. i'm going to turn the lantern image below (and a new image now in progress) into notecards! since i don't have the finances for a fancy schmancy digital arts type printer or the finances to have things professionally printed (in bulk though and i don't plan on printing in huge volumes), i'll have to settle for the local copier. it's certainly a lot better than my inkjet printer. and we all know that the ink on inkjets are not waterproof. at least the ink at the copier's is. haha. but i promise you i'll make them look nice.

with that said, i hope i get less busy with school soon so i can open my shop!

take care and be safe. (i apologize for the contents and language of today's post. it was a most upsetting day).

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

let's all be brilliant and bright!

one paper done, two more to go and don't forget the quiz!

i just finished a quick-ish sketch of some beautiful old-timey ethnic-like lamps. will definitely have to look into doing something with the image. it's just oh so scrumptious. (the lamps are based off some images from the anthropologie catalog for this spring).

i've also made a few new things (new to me anyway) and i think it's fab-o-luss!

don't mean to be a tease, but will share those photos soon. perhaps next week? (when my last paper, for now, is completed and turned in). i promise. i swear. i mean it. :)

ta ta ladies (and gents)!

blogger is being dumb so no photos after all.... maybe later i can upload it when blogger decides to cooperate.

Monday, March 31, 2008

the big 2-1

i seem to have neglected my blog. many apologies.

today is the big 2-1 but celebrations will have to wait as i have three papers and one quiz for this week. and spring break was too short.

i've been crafting still and will show pictures soon.

so how is your week going?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

in the sketchbook...

vintage flowers by shirley lei (C) 2008

not long ago i purchased a discounted hardcover moleskine accordion page sketchbook of sorts. from half price books (my fave local used and discounted bookseller).

it was the best investment i could ever make with my $1.95 (i'm still aghast that i managed to get a hold of it and that no one else had purchased it as it is easily $10+ in retailers.) but hey, no complaints here.

so here i share with you a few of the sketches that adorn this wonderful little keepsake.

by shirley lei (c) 2008

by shirley lei (c) 2008

by shirley lei (c) 2008

wouldn't some of these images make nice stationery designs? i am obsessed with stationery! :D

tell me how your day went. i'd love to hear. and i'd love to meet new people.

Monday, March 10, 2008

a week in my life...

As a student, I spend about ten minutes a day thinking about school work and then I shove it aside for better, more interesting subjects. My mind is quite picky about the contents that swirl in my memory bank and, quite frankly, I really don't care about education or intelligence. *GASP* Did I really say that? Hmm....

Meanwhile, a typical week involves some bit of shopping, crafting, putting things in
neat little arrangements and finding cute things, for as very little money as possible!

Here's a sampling:

above is a hairclip i turned into a pendant. wasn't so hard at all! and next to it is a bright satin flower i made with a button in the middle for added effect. i'm in the process of sewing on a pin to attach it to the purse below as a brooch. lovely!

here's the purse. i found an easy little tutorial (will have to find it again for linkage). took me two hours at most. the cutting and thinking took long. the sewing, maybe 15-30 mins tops! am thinking of making more... and fyi, the blue/brown fabric came from an urban outfitter's curtain i bought on sale.

there were a bunch of jam jars going old and modly in the back of our refridgerator (this is what ensues in a house of 40 women with 6 fridges! things get lost and forgotten!) and i thought it'd be neat to put my pretty (and random) things inside it. the left holds my bits of pretty ribbon and the left holds my spool of raffia as well as a couple of necklaces. prettiness.... *drool*

fortunately for me, the nearest paper source ( in berkeley has a little box containing samples of letterpress invites, stationery, etc. from their projects. so, ever since i made this discovery, i visit every so often (it is across town, no where near the university campus) and collect quite a bunch! they're free after all and make great inspiration. sometimes i also re-use them in my projects (e.g. the vintage boxes in a previous post, matchbook notebooks in a very, very old post). i might use some of them as end papers/inside covers in futuer notebooks. i need to use up the pretty papers i've bought so i can buy more! :)

and lucky for me, near paper source is a crate and barrel outlet that sells really nice kitchen and home things for a lot less than their retail store. and i was able to pick up a couple scrap pieces of marimekko fabric for 25 cents each! would've bought more... not sure why i didn't. i'm thinking the red cherry blossom print will make a nice purse (using same design/technique as purse above).

forgive me but i just had to post about these condom wrappers. they look so modern and lovely. i'm sure it's a gimmick to get us young folks to purchase them. i've never heard of the brand but i guess i'll have to check them out. hee hee hee.

and finally, another picture of me. it's a bit blurry but i rather like the pose and the outfit i wore. the black free people sweater came from our house's free pile (a free pile in the cooperative sense is essentially a pile full of things you don't want anymore but don't want to throw away and am willing to give away for free). the green cashmere sweater came from a discounter called jeremy's department store (it's j.crew and i got it for $15! love the feel of cashmere - i've since added more cashmere pieces to my wardrobe). and the dress (not a skirt) is an ella moss piece also from jeremy's. love that dress. one of my fave. can dress up or dress down easily. and of course, i'm not a college student if i'm not in my flip flops! :)

take care folks. up soon will be pictures of my lastest endeavors in art. just quick watercolors and a sketch in my sketchbook. i would show them to you now but i'd run out of things to share with you, now wouldn't i? (although i am really excited about one of the designs and i hope i can do something with it - turn it into stationery or something - I LOVE STATIONERY!)

i love writing letters too! would you be my penpal?


Sunday, March 2, 2008


So I've been tagged twice now but have not had the time to respond to it. (I've also been sick recently and busy with projects and papers for school -- sorry about neglecting the blog community).

So, let's see... 7 things about myself...

1. I LOVE girly panties! I have enough to last me at least 2-3 months. Never worry about doing laundry! haha.

2. I do not like change. I abhor change. Any tiny thing that changes that is not to my liking irks me to the point of death. It just bugs me. I like my comfort zone and change sometimes goes against my comfort.

3. I've secretly always wanted a career doing something public. Crafting, painting, possibly being a social worker are all great careers and all, but I've spent the majority of my life doing work that people cannot see (unless you are there at every moment). And it's nice to have people see what you do, in such fields as the entertainment industry (always wanted to be a singer despite my tone-death voice), theatre/performance art, activist (does that even count as a career? haha), etc etc.

4. I am a simple eater. Although I do enjoy the occasional "fancy" meal, I much prefer eating simple everyday items. I love a great deli sandwich. I love sweetened oatmeal. I love orange juice (passion fruit, mango, guava too!). I love plain white rice (yes it's empty carbs but it's heavily rooted in my Asian upbringing) with my meal. I like scrambled eggs, bacon/ham, and toast with jam for breakfast (none of that fancy schmancy "ethnic" breakfast that my co-op house used to serve). I take so much joy in eating really simple meals. Having food that is comprised of few ingredients. If I'm eating eggs, I'm eating eggs. If I'm drinking orange juice, I'm drinking orange juice. If I'm eating rice and tofu, I'm eating rice and tofu. Not too many other ingredients or spices or garnish. (Now I'm getting hungry)

5. I collect postcards. Not a traveler myself due to financial reasons, so it's a simple joy to add a postcard to my collection. It's more enjoyable when there's meaning to it and not just a pretty picture so often times I ask people who contribute to pick something that means something to them. At least indirectly I can garner meaning and sentiment from the postcard, some way to relating to it I guess.

6. SHOES! SHOES! SHOES! Need I say more? I cannot relate to Carrie Bradshaw's (Sex and the City) character too much, but I have an obsession for shoes, just not the money for it and I cannot justify supporting an already overrated big-profit industry. (But I love how shoes look on my feet -- you may think of yourself as butt ugly in the face or a little chubby in the hips, but shoes always make a pair of feet look gorgeous!)

7. I am currently obsessed about the color robin's egg blue. Or Tiffany's blue. Whatever. I love pale shades of blue (and green to some extent) right now. It's so serene, so elegant, timeless and classic. Oh... I can just imagine a strand of bluish-ivory pearls. Do they even exist???

I'll get back on the 7 I am to tag. But if you read this and have not been tagged yet, consider yourself tagged and write on your blog 7 things (that we do not know) about yourself.

Happy Week!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

scrumptious crafting

this is me...

and this is my room... (excuse the mess - i'm too young and busy to clean! :))

and these are the valentines i made for friends. tiny little pocket-size notebooks. and below it are the latest books made. this time using raffia as binding. such a simple thing to make and yet so pretty. paper from papersource.

and these are my latest sewn goods with my newest fabric purchase. one's a wallet, the other's a messenger type tote bag. teal fabric from urban outfitters curtain. printed fabric from auntycookie and cheekybeaks.

including a notebook with cheekybeak fabric!

and what have I been up to this past week? making beautiful vintage-y, victorian-y boxes of course! inspiration from martha stewart living magazine, feb 2008 issue. can find the article on her website. the materials used: lovely quotes from martha's templates printed on thrifted paper, repurposed wedding invitation cards from papersource (the berkeley store has a box full of free printed samples, from which i help myself), papyrus cards and envelopes (who says i need to use it for letterwriting?), cheapo and reused ribbons. the velvet ribbon monogram can be achieved using velvet scraps (preferably on some thickness), rubber stamps and an iron without steam.

and i know we all love to journal so i thought i'd show snapshots of my latest one. i've been using my lovely journal from paperiarre as a visual diary for inspirational purposes. taking scraps of fabrics i've purchased, business cards, pieces of stationery, mailing labels, etc. anything that's visually inspiring is glued into this journal! :)

and finally... i've decided on this particular sketch for possible stationery or cards or whatever. not sure yet. and i kind of like the squared graph paper in the background. what do you think? what uses could i have with this design?

happy sunday!