As some of you may know, I am doing a summer internship in San Francisco for a user experience company. We recently moved from an apartment in Berkeley to an apartment in San Francisco, the city. And the only real reason I'm bringing that up is to say that this blog will be moving homes from Blogger to Wordpress this weekend.

Now what does this mean for you?
• If you were subscribed to the email updates, you should be receiving an email adding you to the new newsletter. Make sure to click on the link to activate your enrollment to the newsletter.
• If you're viewing this on your RSS or news reader, make sure you're subscribed to the Feedburner feed. Don't know what the heck that is? It's okay, it just means subscribe to this.

That's all for now. Click on the photo above for a peek into our temporary home for the next four weeks.

Toodle of the Day

Can anyone guess what today's toodle (to-do doodle) is saying?? Toodle #1

Lock Door Control: Cultural Cues?

My dad told me he's always confused by the door lock controls in cars.
Does the raised dot mean lock? Does the indented dot mean unlock? Or is it the other way around?
Looking at our two cars, it seems that the Japanese have a different logic from the Germans. I wonder what the thinking is behind each.
It makes more sense to me to press the indented dot to lock the doors, and the raised dot to unlock the doors.
What do you think?

Baby Blue Jay

Guess what we found in our garden this morning?? A hatched baby blue jay egg (with feathers)! And the dead baby bluejay in the bottom! Kidding. Looks like it hopped off, ready to spread its wings :)

Le Petit Elefant

I went to Unique LA for the first time this weekend. The highlight of my day was discovering and meeting the person behind Le Petit Elefant, a fellow Filipino, Genevieve Santos. I was drawn to the very quietly round and whole nature of her work. They all remind me of perfect days outside. And there is always something about the meeting of man and animal that's endearing to me, or in this case, girl + monster, boy + baby elephant, girl + boy + unicorn whale. Below are some of my favorites.


I also like how she makes use of the dimensionality of her medium (like notecards) in the design and placement of her illustrations.


Paper Backpack


I would love to gift this to someone (or get it as a gift!). It's from that amazing company, Siwa I blogged about before.
Found through Happy Camper.

Tissue Blow Hole

An idea for our future apartment...


Mr. Toastie: Product Development

(slightly burned and puffed-up barley on left, and barley fresh out of the bag on right)

Lately, I've been busy making these little gocco'd microwaveable hot packs. It's something I made primarily for myself because of my frequent tummyaches (due to cold weather, etc.) Previously I would use one from one of those stands at the mall. But it was the wrong shape and size and... was lime green with butterflies and flowers on it. So I decided to make my own. I'm at the stage now where I'm discovering areas for improvement in some of the samples I'd sent out.

1. Rice vs. Barley filling - Barley costs less and was on sale so I got a bunch to test. Turns out, it burns really easily, which you can really smell. I guess it's definitely back to rice.

2. Lemon Peel fail - One of my smells, Lemon Peel, which I thought smelled fresh unheated, didn't give off as strong a smell after heating. It was a bit of a disappointment since two of my closest friends ordered that one. I'll have to find a replacement eventually, but at least I know now that I want something that's as effective-smelling as lavender. Need to test the spearmint next.

Oh I just thought of something... what if I mix in tea leaves like English Breakfast. Or COFFEE! I'm getting carried away, let's see how it goes.

Talking Heads

I'm going to steal this idea someday.

Talking heads coat hooks sold at A+R

We Made Things

From t-shirt company, Wire & Twine's, About page:

Some time ago, we were all designers working in other spaces. During the day we worked for clients, but in our personal time, we made things. Some digital, others analog, but all of them gave us joy in the simple acting of creating. We gave these things to friends or family, or wove them into our homes.

Next to the things we made were the things we collected. Objects that held memories or inspired new thinking. Stuff that touched us or simply made us smile.

And in the midst of all this, we find ourselves meticulously documenting. Most of us take pictures every day, and the photos we love are of moments and people and things we adore.

Over time, we began to realize that this constant creating, collecting, and documenting folded into one another in a seamless way. Childhood toys sparked an idea for a new shirt design. Photographing a beloved item produced not only a ever-lasting memory, but an intriguing piece of art that sparked conversation. When we couldn't find something we needed, we created our own.

And so we hung out our virtual shingle.

We work in a shop on an old farm. In the summer, we occasionally hop on the tractor and bale hay. When you bale hay you can secure the bales one of two ways—with wire or twine. As we thought about those two techniques, we realized it was much like we work. Wire represented our digital work and twine the goods we create with our hands. Two paths to creating a meaningful end.

Regardless of the path we take in creating, it's always a labor of love. All of our products are designed and produced by hand, most within the four walls of our workshop. We like our staff to be small and our boundaries limitless. We pay fair wages, love a well-stocked kitchen, and are always spinning good tunes.

We don't know where we're going just yet, but we're excited by the journey. We aim to please so if you have any questions, feel free to drop a line, we'll do our best to set things right and appreciate the opportunity.

A Trashy Question

This is what's left of the blueberry cheesecake I bought yesterday. I scraped all the cream off and ate the cheesecake. It's now ready to throw away.

Or is it?

What will be the fate of this lone container with leftover cream inside?, I can't help but think.
Will it decompose and go back into the earth? But plastic doesn't decompose. Does that mean the cream will stay in there forever, grow moldy, like a body in a casket six feet underground? Should I then separate the cream from the container? If so, do I just throw it naked, in the trash? The trash can that's lined with a plastic garbage bag? How is that different from the original cake container? And for that matter, how does anything we throw out go back to the earth if we wrap and rewrap all our trash in plastic??
I'm sure I'm not the only one who's thought about these things, so if you can relate, please chime in. I want to know what you think!

PS: If I compost, do I just throw the cream on the compost pile? Haha I don't know why, but I think that's a valid question.

The Only Constant Thing Is Change

For a while now, I've been holding back on posting some things that I was afraid my current readers wouldn't be interested in. But that stops today. I thought about opening a separate blog for the "other sides" of me, but thought it was silly to divide myself into different parts. In the long term, that would mean me having an infinite number of blogs because of my infinite number of interests. But above all else, I think I want this space to be true to what's going on inside of me, to be a documentation of my path, including all my side trips. And anyway, if you're perceptive enough, I think you'll spot the common thread. So expect things to change a bit around here. Starting with this... look at all that evaporation-condensation going on in there!

From Calvin

Who won't be cheered up by a little Calvin??

Today: Airi Isoda

My friend, Airi Isoda's first fashion show is taking place today, in just a couple hours. I haven't posted the second sneak peek of her process, so that will just have to be a "behind the scenes" look back now. It's been a long nine months for her and I can't believe she's made everything she has -- she's sewn fabric, cast concrete, cut wood, dipped stuff in paint, and knitted yarn...for all her twelve looks.

So, Airi, here's to your first big step forward. Good luck!

Pigeon Toe

air plant in pot

I got this quirky little guy at Pigeon Toe Ceramics while visiting their shop in Portland this weekend. I spoke with the owner, Lisa Jones, and could relate to her experience of getting into ceramics because she missed working with things she could actually feel and touch versus pure graphic design which is mostly screen-based. I definitely have that inclination with my own work -- working with both the physical and digital. I also find myself really identifying with the work produced by once-graphic designers who end up making other things that range from clothes to bowls. There is always a cleanliness of line that you'll observe.

Pigeon Toe's shop consists of a studio at the back and shop in front. It's my dream to have something like that, especially for the studio space. Actually, even just the workspace, and making my own stuff to sell. Taking orders, packing things up, designing the website and everything else that goes into setting up my own little shop. I've taken a ceramics course before and I enjoyed learning it, but probably only came out with one piece I was happy about. I spent the rest of the time making cylinders that I was "required" to do. I wish I hadn't followed that. But now I know, in order to actually sell them, I need to come up with a collection, and not just one lonely little piece. And I definitely want to use porcelain and custom colored glazes. Now I just need to do some research...

Anyone know...
1.) How to make custom colored glazes and where to get materials
2.) Ceramics studio space (shared) for rent in Los Angeles area, more specifically, in the Valley? I live in Valencia, in the suburbs north of the Valley, so the closer the better!

Oh, I forgot to tell you about the plant. It's a tislandia or air plant -- it absorbs nutrients from the air through its leaves, so no soil needed. I like how the tips of the plant have the same peachy pin color of the inside of the tripod pot. I got both of them from Pigeon Toe.

Pantone Pen Print

print 68 of 73
I have tons of books I haven't thoroughly gone through yet. One of them is by Daniel Eatock entitled, Imprint. In case it matters to anyone he is also the person behind Indexhibit, the well-known portfolio site.
Above is something by Daniel that came out of what I like to refer to as, an experiment. Half art, half science. And I just love the simplicity and cohesiveness of the whole concept. Actually it's more than that -- it's randomness, chance, playfulness, uncertainty, anticipation, surprise, structure... all in one. That's what I love about it.

Pantone Pen Print
640 x 900mm, ink on paper
Edition 73 original prints
– One complete set of Letraset TRIA Pantone markers
– arranged in the colour spectrum
– left for one month
– resting on their nibs
– on a stack of 500 SRA1 sheets
– 70gsm uncoated white paper
The edition number was determined by the number of sheets the ink bled through from the possible 500.
The numbering of each sheet corresponds to the position it was within the stack and also determined its value.
The final sheet the ink reached, (furthest from the top) was numbered 1 / 73 and valued at £1, the one above numbered 2 / 73 and valued at £2 etc. The top sheet (the sheet the pens rested on) was numbered 73 / 73 and valued at £73

If you prefer to view it on his website, click through here. But if you're happy where you are, below are some pictures.
Tria Markers

Daniel Eatock

print 27 of 73
27 of 73

Print 12 or 73
12 of 73

191 fmmtext2

Yummy Paper

Count on Anthropologie to come out with a store credit / gift card made of THICK YUMMY PAPER, that has a gray layer sandwiched in between!




Rainy Days on Wednesdays

the sun after the rain

I woke up this morning to a rainy day. I then continued to have a discussion with the boyfriend about not understanding people who liked gloomy rainy days. People talk about wanting to snuggle and cuddle indoors with hot chocolate and whatnot, sit by the fire -- ok maybe that's taking it too far. For him, rainy days means no school, building pillow forts, making paper boats and watch it go downstream... For me, it means being too cold and wet out to do anything productive (except build pillow forts i guess...) Anyway, our conversation got cut short because the rain stopped, the sun started to peek through the dark clouds, and I had to rush to get my camera to capture the calm.

Happy Heart's Day (with peanut butter on top)

I just wanted to share something I shared with a friend a couple days ago.

I told her that it's a really exciting time for our generation / people our age, because we're starting to venture out and do our own things. It seems to me like it's the start of us taking over as the generation in charge of shaping the world. There's someone fulfilling a dream of getting her work published with Chronicle Books, another who finally quit one of his day jobs that paid the bills, but kept him from pursuing the volunteer work he's always wanted to do, another who's working her ass off on weekends to eventually do what she really wants to do full time one day (soon), another who is sticking to his guns being an independent developer, maneuvering the sometimes scary but mostly exciting and rewarding path of being his own boss, another who started his own company because he was tired of seeing his ideas go to waste, and another who is getting ready for her first fashion show, sewing like crazy, and deciding on all the big and small details that come with it.

Then there's me. Learning slowly but surely how to live the kind of life that I want for myself. I guess this isn't much of a couple-y vday message, but I think with everything I mentioned above, it's our hearts that we put on the line.

Happy heart's day!

Illustrating (Growing) Pains

My freelance job as a graphic designer slash illustrator slash photographer has been a bit of a ride for me. Sometimes grueling, especially when ideas aren't coming to me, but mostly, it's been one of self-discovery.

Some of the things I've learned and am continuing to learn:
  1. I need a routine. 
  2. I need to get out of the house. 
  3. I'm better at qualitative than quantitative information. 
  4. Sense of ownership is really important to me. 
  5. I hate talking about money. 
  6. Soundboarding, brainstorming, is important to me. I enjoy working on my own, but not by myself! 

I'm going through these challenges, but I really want to get better at it. To close, here is another interview I found with one of my favorite illustrators, Christoph Niemann, whom I really identify with. I could relate especially to his process. One thing I haven't gotten down yet, which I wish I need like, RIGHT NOW, is... well you can read it below...
What about anxiety for you personally? How do you deal with failure, if a drawing isn’t working?
At the beginning, for every single job, I was absolutely freaked out. But I feel that over time, it’s learnable to a large degree. For instance, with all business illustrations, I take them very seriously – it’s not like I do them with my left hand – but I know that there’s more of a mechanism to make what I call an un-embarrassing solution. Something that works, something looks right and sharp, and gets the job done. At this point, I think you can wake me up at 3 in the morning and I can do something on the Federal Reserve discussing interest rates and it will look right, and it won’t generate angry letters from readers.


My cousin Yaz got me an eggling :) Thanks Yaz!

Pixie Dust

This makes me happy! Colored sugar I bought at a cake supply store. For anyone reading with access to Williams Sonoma, DON’T BUY FROM THERE! They will rob you blind! $8 at WS vs. $1.50 at the supply store.

Birthday Greetings

It was my birthday on the 17th and I was pleasantly surprised by this thing I got in the mail from Anthropologie. I think it's a great thing they started. Sure, a lot of retailers give out special deals on your birthday, but seldom is it delivered in a way that really makes you smile. This is strike 2 for Anthropologie. Here's the first.

Take note of the consistent execution of the concept: From the constellation on the envelope to the screen print on the fabric, and most especially to that clever star that became a button to hold the flap down!