It's time to order holiday cards

I can't believe it's October already! This year seems passing very fast. I am glad to say that it is probably because I have been so busy! I have accomplished a lot, and have made a several licensing deals. I will share them once they are ready for sale. 

I got two holiday cards are hitting the shelves this Fall. One is for Trader Joe's, one is for Minted. The Minted card is already for sale. It has three color options, can be personalized on the front and back. I've got some sales today! So happy!

If you'd also like to order my cards for your family and friends, please visit my Minted shop here.

Image from Minted.com

Image from Minted.com

Image from Minted.com

Image from Minted.com

green anjou

image.jpg

I got a box of Holbein artist gouache. I am playing with it and thought I could add colored pencil on top of gouache paint. The result was, when I put colored pencil marks on it, I created dents instead of colors to the painting. The gouache paint also works differently than watercolor. I am still learning how to control it. 

Color-mixing is a challenge, too. It's much easier to pick colors from color swatch panel in Adobe Illustrator, or render with colored pencil. Apparently, I am more of a drawer than a painter. My goal is to paint more and combine drawing and painting together in my work. I got to practice more.

I have missed my "year of creative habits" project for about a week. I have been busy with work deadlines and other pressing projects. I wanted to keep up with it though. Maybe I should just scale it down, and start it small. So instead of finishing a "full page" drawing daily, I would just make "a small drawing" a day—A fruit, a dog, a flower, etc.

Autumn is here. It's the season to harvest pears. I am going to draw/paint a series of pear study for the next few days.

One pear at a time.

peach

Summer is over.

Many of my favorite fruits will be out of season soon. It's a good idea to stock up some and freeze them for Winter. Peach and other stone fruits are good fruits to make smoothies or frozen yogurt. Here is a quick drawing of the recipe. This is a green smoothie even though all the fruits used in it are yellow/orange color. It has a silky smooth texture and tastes really really good!

chinese okra

I went to a Chinese supermarket near my place with a friend and discovered this funny veggie. It's called "Peng Hu silk squash" in Chinese. "Peng Hu" is a remote island from my home country Taiwan. I've eaten this veggie many times before, but have never bought and cooked a fresh one myself.

According to Serious Eats, this vegetable goes with many names in English: luffa, angled luffa, Chinese okra, and silk squash. When I saw my friend Feng was picking them up(they are super long!), I couldn't help but got one for myself, too.

It took me a while to peel it. I stirred fried it with some fish cakes (should use dried shrimp but I didn't have them in hand) . It tasted so fresh and sweet! 

It was fun to draw, too.

kale

One nice thing about making smoothies is that, I get to eat those veggies I don't usually eat. Like kale, for example. I don't know how to cook kale. But I know how to mix it with other fruits to make a delicious drink.

I wanted to try a different way to illustrate my recipe today. I took the photo of the smoothie and put it together with the drawings in Photoshop.

I used to like to crochet. The coaster in the photo was also made by me. And guess which book it is in the background?

hazelnuts

I got some raw hazelnuts from Trader Joe's a while ago (they carry many great ingredients for my smoothie making). I've been making hazelnut milk to add in my coffee and smoothies, and really like the aroma. It smells so much better and natural than the hazelnut syrup. I also add hazelnuts to sesame sauce for a crunchy texture, which I will share the recipe later.

Today I am going to share a simple smoothies first. 

I find pineapple is hard to draw, but very pretty. The pattern of the peel (or shell?) is interesting. It would make a beautiful pattern design. 

  

making smoothie is art

I love making smoothie. Although I don't usually follow any recipes. I just go with what I have in my kitchen.

It's like an experiment. You put some unlikely ingredients together, you might get a surprisingly delicious smoothie as result.

The only thing I plan ahead is the color. I think about what color of smoothie I am going to get if I mix a red fruit with a green veggie. It's like mixing paints for a painting. I like pink, yellow, green, purple, and orange, but I have no appetite for a brown smoothie.

Here is the recipe for a really delicious one. The key is the coconut water. It made a big difference. I got it from Trader Joe's for only $2.99. 

Guess what color of this smoothie is?


september is a good start

One thing I realized about myself,  is that I like to make plans, lists, and start new projects. I also like adventures and experimentations; and I get bored easily if I have to do things in only one way and repetitively.

That's why I often started a new daily project then ended up abandoning it.

Recently I stumbled upon artist/writer Crystal Moody's project called "Year of Creative Habits". I really like the concept –the rule basically is to choose a creative habit then do it everyday for a month. Share the progress with others, then reflect on the month and make changes. It has more flexibility to explore more things that you'd like to do, not just stuck with one rule/topic/theme for an entire year. 

I think this method would work for me since I can change the "rule" along the way to fit my schedule and interests. So I decided to start my own "creative habits"—and September is a perfect timing for a new start because it's my birth month!

The purpose of this project is to do something I enjoy, explore new things, and create everyday. Instead of a set of rules, I want to focus on the process and the joy of creating. I will make something daily, it can be art-related, food I cook, stories I write, or anything creative. I will also document the process and post the results on this blog. 

So here is my first day of creative habits—my morning smoothie, and an illustrated recipe. 

watercolor pencil, nib pen, India ink, and graphite pencil, on Bristol paper

watercolor pencil, nib pen, India ink, and graphite pencil, on Bristol paper

Would you also like to start your own creative habits? Please leave your project link in the comment section below. I would love to see what you created!

P.S. This is also a good exercise for my English writing! (My native language is Chinese)