today is my husband's birthday~

I have done so many greeting cards but never made one for my husband, so I decided to draw one for his birthday today to surprise him. If you know him personally, you may understand the illustration better. He is a guy always prefer a simple life. He wears t-shirt, Levi's jean and Blundstone Boots. His work life and his entertainment pretty much covered by his notebook and iphone. He always has an umbrella and a thermos cup in his knapsack, and of course, he takes his knapsack every day. He has 2 cats, and now I share with him.

It is really fun to draw a card for him, I think I should do this for his birthday every year~ =)

Apple Store at the Eaton Center

I have to be honest to say that I am not a big fan of Apple products, may be I am just not there yet... but yesterday I went into the Apple store to check out a Mac Pro notebook, thinking this may be my next buy in the near future.

I was surprise to see the crowd in the store! I believe as many people said Mac has changed their lives. Since Steve Jobs passed away, lot of  people have posted sticky notes at the store front window display, what they said have moved  my heart actually.

my lunch today...

well... i think there is not much really interesting to talk about the foods I eat daily, who would care about this??!!! : ) but my lunch today looks very pretty, i think it is worth to take a shot for it and try to appricate it visually.

taste is good too, i eat salad as my lunch almost everyday, it only took me 10 mins to prepare for it.

happy friday again, my friends~

happy weekend

It is Friday again, this week goes so fast to me. I hope everyone will have a great weekend, be thankful for what we have today, or send a thank you note to someone you care~ : )

Here I like to say "thank you" to all of my friends who give me support and encouragement on my art journey, and whoever you "like" my works on FB. It all means so much to me!

(new thank you card design just from yesterday!)

For Baby Slias

My God son Baby Silas was born on Sept 5th, 2011. I created this art print last week to welcome him, it is one of a kind illustration only for Silas~ : )

My new USB key!!!

A while ago I lost my USB key, just tried to search every single place but could not find it. I would just balm on my cats hiding it somewhere in their treasure corner! (I know it is not them, I lost it after I visited a print shop) : )

Then a week ago a friend came to visit from Hong Kong, he bought me this tiny 8MB USB key for gift. I love it!!! Since it is so small and I may lose it again, so I tag with my handmade pendant charm. Hope I will keep it well forever~

Thanks Wallace & HaoYee for such a nice useful gift, it became a piece of jewelry now~ =D

Amazing Japanese Foods

Wing and I went to a downtown restaurant for a delicious Japanese dinner. We did not know the menu, all dishes were designed by the chef based on what's the best ingredients available in the kitchen of the day. Every dish was a nice surprise, both visually and tastefully. We had 13 dishes including dessert, it is the most expensive dinner I have ever had but it is worth to pay for the good quality foods.

Dish #1 Appetizer:

Top Left: Squash, mussel, shrimp, tofu and lotus root.
Top Middle: 2 kinds of seaweed with yam.
Top Right: Squash with grilled red pepper.
Bottom Right: BBQ eel wrapped in egg.
Bottom Middle: Grilled fish.
Bottom Left:  Smoked wild salmon.

Dish #2: King Crab Soup with Mushrooms

Dish #3: Red Snapper Sashimi

Dish #4: PEI Oyster with Quail Egg and Uni, Topped with Scallions

Dish #5: Squid Pasta topped with Okra and Ginger.

Dish #6: Japanese Horse Mackerel served 2 Ways, Sashimi style and Tartare with Hot Korean Sauce

Dish#8: Grilled Geoduck (top) and Grilled Wild Salmon (bottom)

Dish#9: Left (Fish Marinated in Vinegar), Center (Egg and Tofu with Seaweed), Right (Noodles with Cherry Blossom and Plum).

Dish#10:  Stewed Red Snapper Head

Dish#11: Rock Lobster with Rice Kernel Tempura, Served with Fried Okra and Hot Pepper.

Dish#12: Sushi

Dish#13 Dessert: Strawberry (1st picture bottom) and Sake (1st picture top) Sorbet served with Strawberries.  Red Bean Cheesecake (2nd picture) served with Fruit.

It was a very filling meal.~

I Love Camper Shoes

I am a big fan of CAMPER shoes; it is the first Spanish company designing not identical shoes. It could be one shoe has bird, the other shoe has leafs, or cat and fish, or butterfly and flowers and so on. They are comfortable to wear, long lasting, funky and creative. With all the nice combinations, it means they are expensive. It is about $150-$200 a pair in average.

I could not afford a pair until my trip to Italy last fall; I finally bought my first pair of CAMPER shoes. It was a short black boots. I wore it almost everyday during the winter; it was the best shoes that I could not get rid of it. Yesterday there was a shoe store in downtown had liquidation sale, I found a pair of summer flat CAMPER shoes for sale. You can’t believe it, I paid CAD$31 including tax!!! The regular price was $130!!! I pretty much wanted to give the store owner a big kiss when I left.

You may think I’m silly but having my second pair of CAMPER shoes gave me a big thrill for the whole day (may last for a week though). So I must share it on my blog, and now I have my summer shoes in the next few months. What a great life, lucky me!!! =D


Doors Open Toronto 2010

This is my 5th year joining Doors Open Toronto, I saw some new buildings every year and still found interesting architectures in the city. Just showing some snap shots here, nothing very serious... =)

All photos are shot at the Distillery District.

Vancouer Scenery

Here I chose some scenery photos that I like to share on my blog.  Hope you will like it. : )

Now... Vancouver trip is over, I'm looking forward to my next trip... although I have no idea when and where. : )

Vancouver Foods

We only had 5 days in Vancouver so there was limited time to try different foods. Wing and I both are BIG fan of Japanese food, so my captures are pretty bias though, we ate 4 times of sushi out of 5 days. I know it sounds little crazy... haha

There is a Japanese restaurant "Toshi Sushi" I have to mention here, the food quality was so great, price was reasonable. It must be a very popular place as people were lining up at 4:30pm on the street wating for restaurant opens at 5pm. The average waiting time for a table is 30mins or more. A group more than 6 people is not recommended.

Sweet shrimp, Wing's lover.

Oh, this shrimp tempura was very very tasty!

Other Sush Places:

One early evening we went to an oyster house, there was a happy hour special from 3 to 6pm, good deal~

Bakery at Granville Island Public Market

Fish & Chips at Granville Island, it was the best Fish & Chips I have ever had in my life!

Wrapped by newspaper... cool~

Last but not least, thanks Sarvenaz took me to this pinky cupcake place near Robson Street, tasty, pretty and so lady... =)

Next post will be about Vancouer scenery...

Vancouver Animals

I've been busy to catch up my works after the trip, it took my longer to organize the photos from my Vancouver trip, sorry for not be able to keep up my post lately.

About Vancouver....

Vancouver is a beautiful city, I have no doubt about it. Since I live in Toronto for so long, I tend to compare what's so interesting in Vancouver which I cannot find in Toronto. It's surprise me that I had seen and experience many "first times" in this trip such as seeing wild animals, tasting foods, meeting artists etc. In this page I will tell you about the wild animals I had seen in Vancouver, it's my first time seeing them so close in the city or in the open space, not in the aquarium nor ocean park.

First time seeing Seal waiting for foods by the water at Granville Island:

First time seeing hundreds birds flying next to my boat very close:

First time seeing eagle standing on the top of a tree:

First time seeing hundreds sea lions lying on rocks:

I saw dolphins too, but they were to fast and I could not even get a shot for them, too bad….

Next post I will talk about the yummy foods I had in Vancouver!

Spring in Vancouver

I will be heading to Vancouver B.C tomorrow for few days, it is so good to take a short break to visit the west coast in the spring time. Besides my simple light suitcase, there are three must bring items:

- My sketch book: Wherever I go, sketch book is always with me.

- My lovely camera: When time does not allow me to draw, I will take photos.

- My book: Recently I'm reading abook "What I Know Now -Letter to My Younger Self", edited by Ellyn Spragins. It is a very interesting one and I would like to talk about this book more later on.

Here I go but cats have to stay~ : )

Speaking of Spring

I take a walk around my neighbourhood, it is so happy to see trees and grass  and flowers are popping out, they are telling me the spring is here! I cannot wait to take some shots for them as plants grow so fast like a teenage girl. All of sudden, I feel everything wakes up, inculding my soul and my mind.

Snap shot below:


Oyster Dinne

Today is Sunday evening, a usual normal day, Wing and I had a special dinner at home. He cooked a very yummy dinner for me, dinner menu includes:

1. Sweet Corn Tomato Tuna Salad.

2. Fresh Oysters. (It was the first time Wing tried to open the oysters, he did a great job!) We tried 2 differt types:

Raspberry Point from PEI, it is light and sweet.

3. Roast Beef and Scallop Potato.

4. Coconut Chocolate Macaroon Cookies.

As usual, when he was working hard in the kitchen, I was busy with my camera. : ) I had a wonderful Sunday, nothing is better than this, all from a thankful heart~

One Step At A Time...

“One step at a time.” I said to my friend when she told me her frustration from work. I said the same thing to Wing when he is planning for his career change, and I told myself almost every day in the past 4 years. Don’t think it is easy to learn one step at a time, it needs lot of patience, persistence and enthusiasm. It requires positive thinking, self-discipline and sense of humor.

In my career journey, I found my destination, I researched from the map to get me there, I set my goal and my schedule. As like taking a canoe trip alone, I have learnt to control the direction with my paddles, prepared foods and water, map and compass. Then I jumped on to the boat and ready to start my adventure!

However, it takes time to arrive. There could be many unexpected conditions in front of me. It could be difficult when some moments come that I have to paddle against the current, or under a windy rain day, or get lost or get stuck, or physically and emotionally overloaded, and so on so on. Oh I can keep on thinking hundreds of silly possibility to stress me out to death.

Then I say to myself: One step at a time.

I don’t think it is just a psychological magic to ease out the emotion, it is actually a very practical lesson to all different aspects of life, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Other suggested items to do when I am stressful or despairing:

  • Listen Jazz music

  • Play with my cats

  • Make a nice warm green tea (even better to go with a piece of chocolate)

  • Chat with best friends

  • Have hydrated mask

So the combo is:

Turn on the Jazz music, sitting on the couch with my cats on my nap, putting mask on my face, talking to a best friend over the phone, and enjoying my green tea and chocolate all in “one step at a time”~

It works for me anyway, give it a try and let me know how it works for you. =)

Max & Sasha

I didn't take photos for my cats for long time. One day I was having my camera on hand as they were looking at me, so I took some shots for them. I think they are my lovely cats... if they don't keep meowing at 3 o'clock in the morning outside at the bedroom door. It happened last Sat early morning, I have no clue why they kept meowing for an hour except they were asking for attention. Every time when they woke me up from my sweet dream, I would tell them in the next morning that I will find a new home for them. I think they don't believe me anymore as it has never happened.

Sometime, cats are smarter than we thought. Don't you think so?

He is Max

He is Sasha

If you don’t feel sexy, you don’t look sexy.

Reading an interview of Gary Taxali from the Communication Arts, I particularly like this paragraph:

"Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession? Perseverance is your ticket to a successful career. Create personal work, at least one piece every week. Your ideas are better than any art director’s so don't let them feed you concepts. Style should not drive the picture; the picture should drive the style. Illustration isn't art but illustrators are artists. Don’t ponder why some people do bad work and become household names, it’s the nature of the industry. Lastly, if you don’t feel sexy, you don’t look sexy."

My interpretation is: If I don't believe I am able to create exceptional illustrations, I will not be able to do it.

More about the interview go to Communication Arts

Big sketch book & small gallery...

When Wing and I were heading to our anniversary, he took few days holiday and finished painting a small wall in the kitchen. It is a magnetic paint primer plus a dark brown chalkboard paint on top. He said it is his anniversary gift to me, I was thrilled by his thoughtful gift.

Now I name this wall "MY BIG SKETCH BOOK & SAMLL GALLERY".

The wall is not very big but still hard to decide where to start. Just as the experience when I started learning to draw, it took me a while to figure out what should do.

Here is my first chalk work, plus some postcards we picked up from Paris last Christmas. It is actually very  fun to do it, I highly recommend it.~ =D