Thursday, December 27, 2007

IF: Horizon

Just a really quick one for this week's IF. It's snowing again over here!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Antique Cowgirl Boot Lamp

My sweet friend got me this lamp for Christmas gift and it was a total surprise. I saw the lamp when we went to the antique mall a couple of weeks ago. I loved it but I had to put it back when I saw the price tag. Until last Friday, he gave me a big bag, as I opened it I saw this lamp! I couldn't believe he went back and got it for me. It's an antique bronze cowgirl boot design; I absolutely love the elaborate florals on the boot and how it tapers into a tiny foot... so cute! I outfitted it with a sage green Martha Stewart shade (which I might pimp up later, not sure yet) and I am going to put it in my office so I can see it everyday! Thanks, Robsie!

Little Elephant Doodle

Just a quick doodle of a character that pops up in my head...He will be back!

Cool website to check out:
Julie West

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


No... not that underwear brand Unico, but the one movie that I watched over and over when I was little. I guess being alone at home during Christmas gives me a lot of time being nostalgic. On top of that, I was trying to come out with an idea for this week's Illustration Friday topic "Horizon". For some reason, this movie pops up in my head because I vaguely remember there is somthing about the end of the earth (as geographically) in this movie. I remember watching it when I was about 6 or 7 years old. Even though the story could be scary for little kids, I just absolutely love everything about it. You know, it's like that one favorite lost toy from your childhood and you wish you could find it again? That's how I feel. I was searching high and low on the internet (I don't even remember the name of the movie), and finally, by the magic of YouTube, somebody has posted the whole movie (and it's in Enlgish), divided by 1o clips; I was beyond excited when I saw it. The main character's name is Unico (a little Unicorn with special magic power). There are 2 movies made by Sanrio and the first one came out in 1981, but I prefer the second one "Unico in the Island of Magic", especially for the music. But to understand the characters, you might want to watch the first one "Fantastic Adventures of Unico" before you watch the second one. Here are some screenshots from the clips.

If you were like me, born in the mid 70s and grew up in Asia, you probably know about this movie; you might even be searching for it. But if you have never heard of it in your whole life, check it out if you have time. (As I said, it could be dark and scary for kids... I wasn't scared, however. I remember I even had aUnico pin on my book bag which I brought to school everyday.) Here I am posting the first clip out of 10... from there you can see the rest of it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Christmas is just around the corner and I want to share with you the two little trees in my office, as well as all the warm wishes from my friends at work! Thanks for visiting my blog and I really appreciate all your comments. I have made a lot of wonderful friends here; you all inspired me in so many ways and I am totally thankful for that. As the year draws to an end, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday and a wonderful brand new year to come... cheers!

Love you all! xoxoxo

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tagged: My Top 25 Favorite Movies

I was tagged almost 2 weeks ago by sweet and very talented Kelly to post about my top 25 favorite movies. I told Kelly that I am not an avid movie goer at all, and I go to the theater about twice a year, so I might have a hard time to come up with 25 movies. But actually, it was easier than I thought (as a matter of fact, I even had to eliminate a couple of movies from my list). I don't necessarily remember the stories in all these movies, but they are definitely the ones that pop in my head right away. So here they are, in alphabetical order:

After Life
Akira Kurosawa's Dreams
Castle In The Sky
Cinema Paradiso
Grave of the Fireflies
Il Postino
Kiki's Delivery Service
Love Actually
My Neighbor Totoro
Nacho Libre
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Princess Mononoke
Shall We Dance (Japanese Version)
Spirited Away
That's the Way I Like It
The Road Home
Under The Tuscan Sun
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Woman On Top

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Mom's New Flower Bag

My mom sent me a photo of this little bag she had just made. I think it is so cute and I'd love to share it with you. She is taking a applique/quilting class and this is the first product from that workshop. My mom was an art teacher in a middle school for 30 something years and has always been really good with her hands. She would learn a skill really well and then move on to the next thing. I remember since I was little, I would go with her to classes like flower arrangement, gift wrapping, clay flowers... etc. I only wish I could be half as crafty as my mom is... I can't wait to see what she will make next! (She also knitted me an amazing purple cardigan, without following any pattern, that I have to show you when I have a chance. I got so many praises from my co-workers whenever I wear it to work...)

IF: Backwards

Maybe Puppy and Kitty want different gifts this Christmas?

Mini Red Sweater Ornament

I know, I know... you've seen a lot of snow and ice in my recent blogs, but that's all we have right now. We just had another snow storm yesterday (thank God most of the ice from the previous storm had melted already), and I stayed in all day and finished half of the rib scarf. On top of that I tried to make a mini sweater ornament... it is not perfect but it's my first sweater attempt (even though it's tiny). I may try to make more of it later, but right now I need to head over to the yarn shop before they close to get more grey yarn for the rest of the rib scarf!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fisherman's Rib Scarf

I started another scarf while staying at my friend's home last night
due to my power outage. This one is gonna be less fancy since it's a
man scarf. But still, there is a little twist: even though the pattern
might looks like the good old rib stitch, it's actually something
called "fisherman's rib". The texture is thicker and fluffier (that
makes it a good pattern for sweater too), and I just think it looks
better than the regular rib stitch. It's really easy but I can already
tell that it will take me a long time to fnish because I have to
alternate between knit and purl stitches.

If you like to knit one for yourself, here is the pattern:

* Cast on an even number of stitches; I did 24
* 1st row: Knit till the end
* 2nd + all following rows: Purl 1, (K1b, P1) repeat till the last stitch, then P1
* Continue until the desired length, then cast off in rib

K1b means knit 1 into the stitch below. Place the point of your right
hand needle into the stitch below the next stitch in the left hand
needle, then knit in the usual way.

IF: Little Things

The icy branch in the garden is the favorite napping nook for the snow baby.

(The photo was taken in my yard yesterday. We have been having an ice storm and everything is coated with a thick layer of ice.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Look what I've finished!

The honeycomb scarf is done over the past weekend since I stayed in and didn't go anywhere. It's super warm and I've been wearing it everyday.

I lost my power...

Yesterday while I was in the middle of writing my blog and trying to post some photos to show you the weather, my power got cut off. First I heard this crumbling noise (I think some tree branch must had fallen onto the power lines), and as soon as it happened, the power was out! I took yesterday off because of the yucky icy weather and naively thought I would get some work done at home... of course that didn't happen without the electricity. I didn't know how long would it be before the power was restored, so I quickly packed my stuff while there was still day light just in case I needed to stay over at my friend's for days. Until 4 PM the power was still out, and it was getting darker and colder in my house, so I had to head over to my friend Donna's. I ended up staying there for the night. We had pizza, knitted and watched TV... my power eventually came back sometime in the middle of the night, but I had to toss almost everything from my refrigerator!!!! Sniff sniff...

Here is a photo of the view from my house. Ice is everywhere. It's actually really pretty but at the same time really dangerous.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Where did my time go?

I just can't believe it's been a week since my last post! Time passes too fast! I have so much work and had to bring work home everyday (whether I really work on them after getting home is another story, but it makes me feel better that I bring them home with me), plus the weather has been really cold over here. No kidding, wait for my next post; I will show you pictures! When it's cold like this, I just automatically go into the hibernation mode. But I did work on my stuff and here is a photo of my messy studio table to prove it! I have not had time to do the IF entry yet, but I will try to come up with something within today or tomorrow. I just don't want to miss it!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

IF: Excess

One thing about having excess amount of hair is that birds can build their nest in it...

Monday, December 3, 2007

What's cooking right now... a new scarf that I started this evening. It's getting real chilly over here and I just can't deny the urge that I want to knit again. It's such a natural thing to do in the winter, to curl up on the couch, watch TV and knit! Since this is a pretty straight forward scarf so I didn't really follow any pattern except the honeycomb part, but even that is still pretty repetitive. I thought posting it in its beginning stage would motivate me to carry on and finish it. I will post it again when I am done! : )

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Little Wire+Button Tree

My dear friend and I were lucky enough to find two more of these small wire trees (the same style that appeared in my earlier post) in the local antique shop for just $11 each. I made these little wooden buttons for him to decorate his tree. I had to do it in a real hurry yesterday afternoon since my band had a gig last night and my friend needed to catch an early flight this morning. But I got it done and thought they turned out alright, until I put them on the tree and then realized that all I could see was the backside since they are not rounded as traditional ornaments!!! Ahhhhh... so I added punched-outs from my old book and that helped. I hope his co-workers would be jealous of his new tree! Heehee... I know it might be too girly for a man, but come on, it's hand-made. It's the thought that counts! : )

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I made these necklaces cause I wanted to experiment adding little buttons as danglers and see how they look like. I love colorful matte plastic buttons... they are like tiny candy drops. I am gonna give these to my girlfriends/bandmates as little random gifts! I hope they like them...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Flower Bookmarks

Here is a batch of flower bookmarks I made over the weekend. The possibilities of mix-and-match of different patterns, shapes and colors are endless and they are just so much fun to make!

IF: Zoo #2-The Elephant Train

I did the sketch for this one last week, but then the fun train soon derailed and I started to make brooches instead of doing the illustration... What can I say, it's too much fun. Oh well, here it is, the original illustration intended for this week's topic.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Birdie Necklace + Brooch

I couldn't help but make more of these really fun wooden accessories.
This batch of goodies includes a necklace and a brooch. The brooch has the same scalloped copper foil tape that I use for soldering, and I applied black patina to it so it looks old. I use the black patina on all the metal parts of my design cause I like the worn-out feel that it gives. I am gonna try to make some bookmarks later as well, but I need to run to the craft store because I ran out of the wooden nickles... It's so addictive!

Yumminess report for you who live in America:
If you have a Border's near where you live, you have to try the "Coco Trio" from its coffee shop. Oh my, it's super delicious! It's like drink clouds that are made of chocolate!!! Mmmmm... Also, IHOP's stuffed french toast with blueberry sauce is so sweet and good, I am off to have one right now! Lucky me!

IF: Zoo #1-Brooches

I started doing some doodles for this week's IF. And one thing led to another, I began to make tie tack brooches instead of doing the illustration... I first did little drawings of animals in stripy shirts on punched-out circles using the paper from an old book, but then I just couldn't help but make them into little wooden+felt brooches! (By the way, besides polka dots and scalloped edge, I also LOVE stripes, too.) I think they turned out quite fun. I am still planning to do another illustration for this week when I have time, but I want to share this one with you first!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

IF: Superstition

I've been really busy plus I have guest in my house (it's the Thanksgiving week over here!) But finally I managed to have a little time this morning to make this collage for this week's Illustration Friday and I wanted to do something related to my culture. For Chinese, it's a big NO-NO to give clocks or umbrellas as gifts, no matter how cute they are. Because in Mandarin, "clock" sounds similar to the word for "death" and "umbrella" sounds like "separation" or "splitting up". It's very important to remember this if you are doing business with Chinese, or even just casual gift-giving between friends. If you want to learn more about what to give or what not to give in Chinese culture, here is a good link to visit!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tree #2

Here I am sharing my tree #2: the big wire tree in my living room. I like it so much I want to keep it up year round. It just makes me really happy. The colorful ornaments are from The 12 Days of Christmas Collection by Crate and Barrel. They are handpainted and are like little pieces of artworks! I wanted to buy another box from my local shop this year but they were all out... Sign.

I've been tagged... sweet Christine to write 5 random/weird things about myself. Even though I have posted 7 random things about me before, I decide to do this one again with 5 more facts to entertain you. Here they are:

#1: I have taken flamenco dancing lessons for more than 2 years, and I have danced in front of people in a restaurant...
#2: I have a lot of grey hair (I started turning grey since high school) and I don't color my hair because I am too lazy to maintain it, plus it might takes me 5 bottles to color my giant head...
#3: When I use a straw to drink, I always bite the tip of the straw until it's totally flat.
#4: I love polka dots and scalloped edge, as you might be able to tell already.
#5: I love to know how things are made. I would learn it, and then I move on to the next thing.

Now, here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well
as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

The following folks: Aspa, Maura, Kelly, Amy and Mush, get ready to be my next victims...heehee...

Friday, November 16, 2007

My Mini Christmas Tree

I can't believe it's this time of the year again! I have a thing for rustic wire forms and I love Christmas trees. I added this little 17" tree to my collection last night, and it is perfect for my office! I got a box of cheap little ornaments from Target (and they look like chocolate to me somehow) and made some paper garlands to drape over it. I will share more photos for my other much bigger wire tree later. Will you let me know if you have some pretty tree photos as well? Let's share!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Polka Dot Hat Baby

Here are the brooch and pendent I made using the collage of my recent IF entry. I took a really quick photo this morning... It's not the best shot because I was freezing outside and the camera battery was dying. But you get the idea. By the way, I finally got a flickr account and I am posting from there, so it might look a little different (I noticed the image is bigger)...

PS: Do you see the thick layer of leaves on the ground? I don't even want to think about picking them up later... I get so much leaves every year from my 7 huge old trees and my neighbors' trees; it's insane.

Monday, November 12, 2007

More soldering experiment

Today I took a much needed day off from work so I made two more brooches and a pendent. This time I used handmade images instead of computer print-outs. Do you think they work better with the rustic black metal?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

IF: Scale

Paper collage and pencil drawing on 5"x7" stretched canvas.

Finishing touch

This morning I woke up with an idea to dress up my soldered Fall Fairy pin a little further so it would look more finished. (I got so excited, I didn't even wash my face yet...) I cut a piece of felt and glue it to the back of the pin and it hides all the messiness of the backside. And I really like the look of rusty black metal against the soft wool, plus it shows the pin better against black fabrics since I am almost always wearing black. Ah... I am happy and I can go brush now!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I love black patina...

I've been so busy at work and I am just really tired everyday after I get home. But I'd still like to do a little soldering experiment when I have time. I got a big bottle of black patina solution and tried it on the stuff I made. I love it!!! It gives the piece a nice dark antique black finish (which doesn't really show well in the photo; it's actually not as shiny as it appears to be). To me, the black finish has more personalities and charms than silver. But I am still facing another problem... when I use images printed out from a color laser printer, some of the ink get greasy and makes the art looks oily under the glass... I guess it's because the soldering iron is so hot, it made the ink re-surface to the top of the paper. I guess if I can't get it solved, I will have to do little collage art for every piece by hand (like the "Dairy Queen" in my earlier post) which I enjoy doing it anyway. But I'd love to know if there is any solution for my problem...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Another Try on Soldering

After I came back from my Sunday soldering class, I tried to do another one at home, but my brand new soldering iron just didn't want to behave for me and everything looked like a big mess. I got black goo-goo all over my iron, the solder was not melting nicely and I burned the wet sponge... I was really discouraged.

Last night I decided to give it another try. My friend at work told me how to get my iron clean and it really made a huge difference. Suddenly the solder flew nicely and everything was fine. So I made another one using one of the little collage I did during the class. I need a lot of patience and practice, but knowing that I can do it makes me feel a lot better...

Thank you all for your nice and warm comments on my posts!! They really mean a lot to me!! XO

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Soldered Away

OK! I just came back from my soldering class... I didn't realize that more than half of the class was actually for making collaged images and the last 2 hours were for real soldering works, and I really only got to solder for like an hour cause we had to share tools. But I had fun and I do think taking the class is necessary (at least for me) than to learn it from book myself, and it will probably save me a lot of trail and error down the road. Even though I didn't make pretty charms like Sally Jean's (I'll never know how in the world she makes her edges so smooth), here are my very first attempt, front and back... Please don't laugh...

IF: Hat

I love drawing hats but I've always had a really hard time finding cute hats that fit my giant head. My co-worker actually measured my head for me long time ago and it was a whopping 23" all around... not good for a lady at all. Well, what can I say? I even had a really cruel friend told me that my head needed its own zip code because if its size...

Here is another little illustration I did couple of weeks back. I think it suits this week's topic as well.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

My New Old Chandelier + Some Other Thoughts

YAY!!!!! I finally got my oldie chandelier installed this morning. For the longest time I don't have proper lighting in my dining room and I've been searching for a fancier (but not too frou frou) old chandelier over my table. I saw this wood/brass fixture in a local antique mall for $225... I LOVED it but it was too much for me. However, couple of weeks later I was lucky enough to see someone was selling the exactly same one for only $35 on eBay. Well, not exactly $35 cause parts of it broke druing shipping and I had to take it to the lamp maker to get it fixed, plus I hired an electrician to install it for me this morning, which leads to another story: after the guy left, I changed the light bulbs to chrystal ones and I tightened them up a little too much, and as soon as I flipped the switch on, my dimmer got burned. I had to call my electrician back right away and he got me a new dimmer and fixed it for me. The lesson learned here: don't tighten the light bulbs too much when you deal with an antique fixture... it might cause a short in it. Now I know...

I've been trying to only post about my own works on this blog and keep all the other stuff (like this post you are reading) on my sleepyjellyfish blog, but I am wondering maybe I should just keep everything on this blog since it's all about my life anyway plus this one has more visitors... Perhaps you can give me some suggestions!

I am gonna take a soldering class all afternoon tomorrow. I've never done that... this should be interesting! In my perfect fantasy world, once I learn it, I can make beautiful charms like what Sally Jean make... Of course, it's not that simple and easy but I am still really excited! I will keep you guys posted! XO

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

I know this is late, but I want to post this super quick doodle and wish everybody a safe and happy Halloween!! Have fun out there and keep warm! (I might turn the Pumpkin Lady into something later for Thanksgiving...)

Also, check out my good friend Bob Kolar's blog "whoop dee do". Bob is an illustrator and children's book author. I am very fortunate to be able to work and learn from him everyday. You can also find his latest book "AlphaOops!: The Day Z Went First" at Amazon.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

IF: Trick or Treat

Even though I've done enough of trick of treat images at work already, it's nice to do something saucier that I can never do at work... So here is my conjoined twins monster, heehee! I am also gonna submit this one to Penelope's Monster Mash contest, too.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wood Squares: Grow

I did some wood squares using my IF illustration. I was as gentle as could be but it is not easy to get a really clean image (most of the time there will be some rubbed-off spots here and there, as you can see on the blue one). I got lucky with the red one; it looks pretty clean. I am gonna make some more during the weekend!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

IF: Grow

I have been so busy, but finally I could make some time tonight to do a little drawing for this week's IF. So here it is! I might use the rectangle versions to make some little wood plates later...