Thursday, September 29, 2011

Preview

I'm hoping to get this printed later today (not on anything fancy... I'm too pressed for time!), but here's a little preview in case I don't have time to update after its printed!

Here's the cover & back (very unexciting back, but I can't be bothered to do anything about it!)
I made little calendar icons for each activity (though I just noticed I'm missing one for Yangmingshan) for us to write in when we plan to do that thing or to record when we did that thing. I tried to be as detailed as possible with the maps & directions because I'm incredibly directionally challenged.
The map below is what started this whole last-minute mini-project. I was checking out Neil Wade's Taiwan Photography Blog for ideas of things to do in Taiwan (where my search originally began at Stuart Dawson's Hiking Taiwan blog) and found this amazing tagged map he shared on google maps for the Four Beasts Mountain hikes that are close to town. While this map is great, it was too detailed/cluttered for my needs so I set out to simplify it and highlight the key streets and buildings that I usually look for when I'm finding my way around and this is the end result. 
There are 3 other pages (6 once folded in the book) but they're not quite finished and pretty much the same look as the above few pages so I'm not going to bother showing them. Plus two of the pages are just the subway way for quick reference. I wish I got the idea to do this earlier, but oh well. It'll be useful nonetheless! Perhaps after our trip I'll have more things to add to the book and I can make it bigger and incorporate photos from our trip and turn it into a travel diary =) It will be 5"x7" once folded & bound, with a total of 10 pages of content.

Uhmm...

What.the.heck. Besides typhoons that come around suddenly in the summers, I've NEVER encountered that much rain in one week in Taipei. Of course this happens when I bring I.S. back with me and have all these outdoor activities planned. Please, oh please let the weather forecast be wrong as it usually is!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pinkoi

You know how Etsy is the place to go for indie-designs? Well in my search for Taiwanese designers out in the interweb for some inspiration, I discovered a Taiwanese version of Etsy, called Pinkoi (found via shuflies). It is pretty amazing. I've navigated through it with just the icons for the different product categories, but sometimes I panic and accept Google's offer to translate the page for me (mostly just my lazy brain giving up on me).

It's fun to see what people over there are designing/making because I feel like I'm seeing the same sort of style when going through Etsy & pinterest (think polka dots, stripes, & chevrons), so it's refreshing to browse through the site. No chevrons or stripes or polkadots. Or at least not at first glance, so that's promising.

  How cute are these felted pencil toppers, by Woooo Studio?

Or how funny are these pencil sharpeners by 設計小人SBooBS
(Don't you love how things from Asia translate into English? I wonder how they came up with that name...)

I might need to get that pencil sharpener just to have on my desk in my new office.

Sidenote: I just saw this in shufliespost on the Yong Le Fabric Market in Taipei.
(photo by shuflies)
I might need to get some of that. I wouldn't really use it for anything though. I just want it. Ah-mazing (to borrow J.'s favorite word).

It's late and I can't stop looking through shuflies' posts & stuff on Pinkoi. This may become a problem given that I am a new pinterest addict too.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Love... (#21)

Mini marshmallows in my hot chocolate remind me so much of this annual winter festival at my old middle school, which we called "Larsenlude", named after the local Winterlude festival. There would be various activities set up around the school outside and inside and of course my favorite part was being inside because being inside meant that it was time for hot chocolate with mini marshmallows (and it also meant I could stop freezing my toes off).  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sneak peek

A little peek at one of the invites I'm working on for the Minted challenge. A bilingual one. Still a lot of work ahead but I think it's a good start. I didn't think that getting the text layout to look good would be this hard. Vertical Chinese text + horizontal English text = awkwardness. Needless to say, it's probably going to be as time-consuming as the illustration itself will be!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weddings!

It seems like weddings are the only thing I like to design for, but in actuality, I really want to design other stuff like a children's book, t-shirts, and fabric. I just keep getting roped into weddings somehow and they end up taking up all my time! And speaking of which, I just submitted a wedding invite (one of what I hope to be a few) to Minted's latest Head Over Heels challenge. I had designed it for D. & J. but they were drawn to another design so this has been sitting in my computer getting all forgotten about until now! I love love love it so I decided to put it out there to the world of Minted. Go check it out and leave some comments/suggestions if you have any =)
I will say, though, that the color is much more fluorescent than intended. I'm still trying to figure out how to get what I see in my illustrator window to be what I see in my browser window. Sigh. The challenges of learning everything on your own!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Addiction

My name is Ling and I am a Pinterest addict. Just what I needed... another website to waste my time browsing through! The whole point of joining was to spare my browser from being cluttered with bookmarks (I didn't organize my bookmarks very well to begin with and now it's sort of out of control), but I find myself spending more time looking at what other people are posting than pinning the stuff I intended to for my own reference. Sigh.

My latest-find on Pinterest:
The last few years have been all about cupcake towers at weddings. How much do you want to bet that the rice crispy cake is going to be the next big thing?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Polkadots

I wonder if I'll ever get weary of polkadot tights. I bought a pair from Ann Taylor last year but they ran after 5 wears (so sad). I will need to take better care of these ones 'cause I really don't want to have to hunt down polkadot tights every fall! This year Banana Republic was my polkadot-tight-supplier. I'm really looking forward to fall =) The weather here is already cooling down to the point where I can wear my amazing grey jacket without looking like I'm overheating. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fourteener

Fourteener [fawr-teen-er] n. a mountain that exceeds 14,000 feet above mean sea level.

I conquered my first fourteener! Apparently it's a popular thing to do in Colorado because there are so many 14er's in this state (says wikipedia) and boy was it popular! So many people there. I was just expecting to maybe see a handful of people there but yeah, did I mention climbing hiking 14,000-feet peaks is a popular thing here? R. said it was probably the last weekend to hike it without it being mostly covered in snow (the drive to the trailhead closes in the winter) so I guess everyone was out to get the hike in before the end of the season.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Dehydrator

I.S. & I have recently acquired one and it's pretty nifty! So far we've just made beef jerky, dried fruit & fruit leathers/rolls, though I'm pretty sold on the fruit rolls. To make, we just bought a bunch of flavored apple-sauces that were on sale (my favorite flavor is probably the pomegranate mixed with the mango-peach), spread it around the tray, and then many hours later (about 8 for us) you have a giant fruit roll! We need to order some more trays though because we've discovered that two whole fruit leathers disappear faster than they can be produced. So addictive. Backpacking & camping & air travel will be so much more delicious now with all the goodies we can make with this =)



In other news, the work just doesn't seem to stop! But it's good... it's teaching me how to work more efficiently (just ignore the fact that I'm blogging instead of working right now though), which I've seem to lost the ability to do since working for myself. 

Anyway, so in addition to all the work I need to do, I still need to plan & pack for a) our trip to Taiwan and b) our big move next month! I'll be back just in time for Halloween. Weird. Are we really in the autumn months now? It's definitely starting to cool down here, but it's a welcome change as I love crisp, cold air.


Thursday, September 01, 2011

Spoonflower + Minted

So guess what I did? I turned my Minted design into fabric! I took advantage of a promo Spoonflower had for free swatch samples and got this made =) I'm thinking I'll order a larger piece and make a handkerchief out of it to keep in my purse. This gauzy cotton voile fabric was recommended for handkerchiefs, but I'm not sure I agree with that. It's too gauzy for me. I'll probably just order it in their quilting weight cotton next time. 


But how cute is that??

Speaking of Minted, I just got my 25 free calling cards! I jumped on their promo for their mommy cards (but really you could choose from any of their business/calling card designs). It just cost me $7.95 for shipping and you have to let them put their logo on the back of the card. I thought I was going to be smart and use their url as a chance to plug in my minted designer profile link, but I made the text too small and the color is too light so it came out all blurry (including the little text I have on the right side of my website). Not the end of the world though 'cause it kind of just looks like stripes on either side of my url, which frames it out quite nicely. I don't know if I can even bear to hand any of these out, though, 'cause the paper is so nice! I guess I'll just have to save one for myself  =)



These were a fun break from everything else I've been working on/thinking of. Once I come up with a proper name for a site and all that jazz, I'll need to come up with something different but for now, I love how these turned out =)