Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Paperman Perseverance"

It's ironic, when you're at a 'young' point of your life - so many questions, too many stories, how do we decide what to relate to? Being told that, you're in your 20's! So you must live life to the fullest. And what that's supposed to mean is: You must meet as many people as you can, but build trust for true friendships that last a lifetime. You must not get into a serious relationship or it will bog you down. You must chase your dream (that you apparently have a clear picture of) so that you can work for a job you love, not just for money.  How many more things must we do that sound so inspiring but in reality is so hard to balance?

I guess since we're supposedly the most healthy and energetic at this age, we should do as much as we can huh. But what if you did do that and you work on yourself, yes. But there are always so many people around you that seem to have so many more chances - at work, at love... then the grass seems greener on the other side? Which is why the media is such a huge influence on us all, especially at this age. We can almost touch and feel other peoples' experiences from YouTube and soon Google Glass. Nah. I believe the grass is greener where you water it. Your chances come from where you choose to put your hard work into. No one is a superhero, it's impossible (and upsetting) to have it all. 

It's actually easier, imo, to focus your hardwork on what you believe in. Your core values. Then, things would fall into place when you wouldn't expect it. How does this even relate to my blogpost title. I was inspired to do a nail design by Disney's Paperman, a short film (view here) illustrating a dull man's life before he saw an attractive girl and nature helped him chase her. He folded paper airplanes over and over to chase the girl, because he was so fed up by his job. It reminded me of the many paths and crossroads in life, where you're given a chance with a person and you have to decide whether or not to take it.

Here are my designed nails before top coat. I used: Joe - Cloud and Joe - Cement for the base.
The lip stain and heart were whisked with watercolour, while the paper airplane + trail was done using nubar nail art pens.

Paperman reminded me that happiness comes from perseverance. You will never be satisfied if you compare your lives with others, because you did not put in the same effort they did in that certain specific aspect of life. At the same time, they have different sliding doors they decided to open, different choices they had to face, given different circumstances. There's nothing wrong with loving first before living, or living first before loving. In fact, we should live while loving, for one teaches how to cherish the other. Loving can mean a girlfriend or boyfriend, but also family or friendship. Boundaries set on how or when you should love limit and discourage the young. Yes, this can be a naiive way of thinking; but it is equally as naiive as chasing a dream you don't know how long you will believe in. You meet everyone for a reason, not because you want to (as you might have experienced) but perhaps you need to - "to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you".

Here are some collages of the finished design. It reminds me that there is more than one path for a reason. Even if you miss a path on the way alone, there is bound to be another around the corner, to take together.

A risk will always be a risk; but I met him to realize I needed him. 
And if I am to see the world, it would be a greater happiness to grow in and share it with him.
Chase your values, and they will lead you to your wildest dreams.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"Gotta Ace'm All!"

It's that time again. Or rather, there's always this time throughout our lives. Whether it's a test for school, finals for undergrad, or testing at work - there's always room for a jumpstart!


I decided to make a pikachu bento lunch featuring dugtrio and pokeballs to really bring pokemon to life. Energy, childhood, rest - just a few things this bento reminds me of that I wanted to bring out in the theme to help recharge his spirits for the final undergrad term :) 

Here's my first blog attempt to outline the bento-making process:

  • Pikachu:
    • Head and Butt: Rice mixed with separated egg yolk, heated for 30sec. after combination.
    • Blanket: Egg-white sheet (forgot to add a bit of corn starch and, as you can see, it broke!). Underneath the blanket you can put any surprise you'd like - I placed ribs and some spicy meat cubes to boost the blanket's shape.
    • Tail: Cut sliced cheese into a thunderbolt shape before cutting seaweed (nori) for the bottom of his tail (I sized the tail to cover up the blanket mess).
    • Face: detail a suitable expression with nori and use ketchup for some blush. I just used google images to reference and guesstimate pikachu's feature spacing and mouth shape. 
  • Dugtrio: I diagonally cut mini sausages (to ease standing hold) into 3 different lengths. After searing them on the pan for a bit (for colour), I used ham (nose) and nori (eyes) to make their expressions. Use a dab of mayo with a toothpick to highlight the top corners of their eyes for a livelier look.
  • Pokeballs: Cut cherry tomatoes in half and form cheese balls into half a sphere, to combine with seaweed strips. The center small white circle is also formed with cheese. Hold it together by sticking a toothpick through the centre.

  • Decor
    • Flower: Fold a piece of ham and make small cuts along the folded edge. Roll to wrap with the cut edges facing up - Simple and great for fillers!
    • Roses: I took slices of smoked salmon to roll into roses at the back of the bento. Variety is key ;)
    • Sleeping Z's: I took sesame seeds and spelled the letters using a toothpick to move the seeds around on the beef cubes.
    • Greens: Gotta keep your meal balanced! Spinach leaves make a healthy meal with great colour - I actually find broccoli an even better bento filler (as seen in my Snoopy bento - post soon). 
Peek-a-boo! A closer look at the ingredients.

The "加油" or "Jia You" or "Add oil"... or good luck/keep going/you can do it... flags are DIY using sticky note tabs (do write it on before sticking them on to save yourself the trouble). Well, on an unrelated and interesting note: my favourite pokemon is actually Squirtle. Or eve. Or togepi..? Regardless! I had a lot of fun making this bento ...and to be honest it's not Too saddening seeing him picking it apart to eat it, because the most important part is to enjoy :) It just means there's more to come!

 Ta-Da! Goodluck
Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"An empty belly is the best cook."

greetings, earth!


This piece was inspired by one of my favourite animated movies of all time (next to Spirited Away, Despicable Me, Wreck-it Ralph, Up, Finding Nemo... wow there's actually quite a few). But, it's not often you can find a modern post-apocalyptic movie... delightful :) ...or is Warm Bodies a close one? I haven't seen it to know.

Wall-E is a simple empty robot at first glance, but fills you with wonder and love as he collects invaluable items the human world left aside, and of course, meets Eve. He's a hidden treasure! I wrapped minced meat in an egg sheet to form Wall-E's body and some remaining bits for his arms. Tofu is a different white from the rice so I shaped them into eyes and claws using a toothpick to imitate the screws in his binocular eyes. Eve's eyes were tricky because I wanted to imitate the glow using the shading of sliced asparagus - didn't have blue food material - nts. consider using food coloured tofu next time or something...

I fell in love with making bentos because it's easy to achieve a balanced meal with its small parts, and not waste meal leftovers - in fact, the more the better variety! ;)
This idea was adapted from Anna the Red :

& I made the bento my own (since I didn't have certain materials) as lunch for him :)

Toughest part? Seaweed tire treads - she shaped those tires so well!
Best part? Eve the quail egg

Bon Appetit! 

"I'm no Disney princess, yet he gave me a fairytale."

good day ~ world! 
It took me a long time to muster up the confidence and start a blog.. even if I know only a few people will read it for the time being. I used to keep up blog writing back in the Xanga/AA days - but apparently blogger has the cool kid traffic nowadays.

Well, as they say, there are only so many tomorrows! My passion is for all things creative - and for now it's been expressing itself through food, nails, accessories, and.. food :) 

Here my story starts.

For his gradball, I chose the theme of dancing in the moonlight. A romantic panoramic scene in the stars with a couple in their own moment, wishing on a shooting star.

This base was the most opaque essie colour I've ever used. It applied very nicely, very smoothly and only required 2 coats. 

I sponged a gradient on 3 fingers of my left hand and 1 on my right to portray the night sky (Gotta put the complicated stuff on the left hand (; ...I'm obviously a righty). 

With NUBAR's nail art pens I detailed the dancing silhouettes (based off a random google image) and a tree. Finally, using the dotting tool with the finest point, I printed stars on the minuscule scene.