LiPeony Shop

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Can't Wait for Summer!

So Mother Nature has been playing some jokes on us in the Eastern Coast of the U.S by giving us a taste of summer then dowsing it with Spring Showers and chilliness. Darn it I was ready to get my darn flip flops out! For some reason I have the worst timing as I wore too much on a very warm day and wore too little on a rather chilly day. With summer right around the corner I'm more then ready for those summer BBQ, warm nights out, hot days and the beaches. I wanted to wait for summer to bust one of my newest prints out but I just could not wait and I let it out early!

On another note I had volunteered to help out at the CDC (Center for Disease Control) labs in NYC because they've been running non stop 24 hours running tests due to what's been going on lately. Though I'm one of many volunteers so I doubt I'd be called on but the opportunity to help and learn was so excited I just had to try! I've worked in hospital labs during the anthrax and MRSA phase and have come across cases and happily all of the people recovered completely. It may seem squeamish to work with and I actually am a bit of a germaphobe myself but it's something I'm very interested in and I know that can help people.

Until next time... think surf and sand... =D

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring Cold Ugh!

Just like what the title says... I've come down with my annual Spring Cold! Arg! Every year when the weather changes suddenly from cold to hot or hot to cold I always get a cold! The last couple of days I've been pretty under the weather and slow with creating new art. It is better to get it now then in the middle of finals because that would be terrible! I made the above little art that I am planning to make as a Get Well card.

Well on some happier news I'm 99% sure I'm going to be interning at NYU Hospital in the Microbiology labs for the summer so I am super excited! It's always fascinating to work in labs on the forefront of prevention, diagnosing and healing well more like behind the scenes but still.

I'm sure everyone has heard of swine flu by now and there are many everyday things people can do to really protect themselves and others. My microbiology teacher who also works for Infectious Disease Department of NYC says if you wash your hands properly with soap and water it will literally cut the amount of germs and viruses etc being spread. SO... less germies and buggies = less infections and infected. Just some simple soap and water and scrub your hands while singing the first TWO lines of "Happy Birthday to You" (equivalent to 2 minutes) is enough.

I'm always very surprised and somewhat sickened by the amount of people who go to the bathroom and simply do not wash their hands and just walk away. People wonder why I'm hesitant on shaking people's hand. Also cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough. Use tissue and dispose of it properly. Most of these disease are caught though hand to hand or surface contact or air borne due to sneezing and coughing etc. This doesn't mean you should constant wash your hands every second but use some common sense when it comes to cleanliness.

Until next time.. take care of yourself... =D

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mini Cupcakes!

I've been neglecting my little origami shop Meekiyua since I've been really trying hard with my art shop LiPeony. I have a huge bag of long white scrap paper from making my origami that I use to make tiny embellishments for my origami. A light bulb shot in my head I'm sure other people would love to add these tiny details to their own work so I started making some. My first ones are a dozen assorted cupcakes. They're really tiny each one less then half an inch! I don't know whether I should make them into stickers or just leave them as is so people can do whatever they want with them. I have a couple more and I do love making tiny pieces of art!

Until next time... size doesn't matter!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sweet Sweet Surprise

This is one of my newest print of one of my favorite sweets. Cotton candy! When the good weather hits the city there are usually street fairs where vendors would sell freshly made cotton candy in all sorts of colors! You know those machines spin tiny clouds of sugar and sometimes they float up into the sky where people would try to catch it like a bubble. I'm looking forward to it and they're usually around during Sundays because many streets of Little Italy close down to car traffic and allows people to mill around. That's also when they have the freshly made gelato, fruit cake and all these sweets out ready to be purchased by the bag. The gelato an Italian variant of ice cream is absolutely scrumptious... I like the one from Ferrara, they make a delicious tiramisu gelato!
To my surprise it was featured in a sweet and sunny treasury! Click on the image to go there. Super thanks to Collectiveelements for creating such a wonderful collection. The sun is suppose to come out for the rest of the week so I hope it does!

Until next time... enjoy the wonderful sunny weather!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What's new?

Here are some new things from my shop. The above is my Chibi Girl Bubble Print. The bubbles took me an incredibly long time to get that sort of glistening bubble like look. I looked at several photos and have to think how it would be compared to the background and my point of light and the direction she's blowing from. Phew! I also love the bubble background because it was by accident that they ended up looking like that. I was experimenting on how to make shadowed balls/bubbles. I think they came out great! Though it may take a few minutes to actual do them it takes so much longer just experimenting to have the perfect color, shadow, size, position and feel.
Also I noticed that people liked to buy my smaller prints in sets of 2 or 3 so I decided to make a "Choose your three" set so people can mix and match'em without having to contact me to make a separate listing for them. Personally I am a big fan of sets because if I liked something enough to buy one I'd like it enough to buy more then one especially if it comes with a price break. This goes double for tiny things like jewelry, tiny bags, soap etc. I got a lot of new stuff to be had and I've already started on some summer prints... oyes! I'm just way to early!

Until next time... one is fun, two is cool but three is the number to be!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Yummy Weekend!

Mmmm Curry... Well before I start on that my weekend was awesome. I ate at a Chinese Buffet in NYC with my bf and his friends and family. It was a big old good time and the weather was amazing! Considering how weird the cold weather was it was a great summerish spring break. The food was okay... but then again I'm pretty picky at good Chinese food. They did have a very tasty sliced roasted duck on steamed bun. The duck skin is very crispy and flavorful like sweet soy sauce and the meat is tender sweet too. The bun itself was soft with no flavor as the duck itself has enough flavor. A pinch of thick sweet sauce and some finely chopped scallions and wa la!In NYC one of the most well known places for peking/roast duck is a place named well Peking Duck House. It's a bit on the pricey side but the duck is very good. The only thing we ordered and everyone else ordered was the duck. There are two locations but I've only tried the one on Mott Street. The wait time is extremely LONG so I suggest to make a reservation because last time my friends and I waited for 2 hours but to them it was worth it. Personally this place which has good atmosphere and good food caters more to tourists and the like. There are many restaurants like that around the area where the price is pretty high for a poor college girl like me and most of the time they're pretty darn good food.If you really want the busy hustle of Chinatown NYC with none of the frilly polite atmosphere then go across the street to Big Wong King or as we call it "Dai Wong." It's busy, crowded, the waiters and people who work there aren't the friendliest bunch in the world but their food is really good. The prices are super and they offer a lot of "Cantonese" cuisine. Their "cold cuts" of roasted duck, pork and spare ribs are usually top notch and fresh. There's a dish that's only cold cuts over rice. I would also recommend Fried tofu with fried fish which is actually lightly battered fish in a creamy sauce, the shrimp and lobster sauce over rice (I love it). This place is known for the "cold cuts" and congee. This is one of the few places that make White congee which has no salt, no flavoring just plain old congee... my friend loves it for some reason. There are other great places for such dishes and each one is known for a particular dish so I suggest to go out and really roam around.

A few things about eating in Chinatown... many people love to eat dim sum but I suggest to eat it only on the weekends as during the weekdays especially on Mondays the dim sum is not as fresh. Do not order the common Chinese food like beef and broccoli over rice and the like... really go out and try something different(I know pork/beef intestines don't SOUND good but they TASTE good) ... look up on blogs and reviews that everyday people write because they generally are the people whose eaten around the neighborhood and know all the little gems.

Well there I go writing a whole thing on food again. Darn... oh wells...

Until next time... good eating... =D

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Books n Books

I just listed my first bookmark above. I had the idea for about a month now I did not get to really get into it until now. I like how it's small, simple and I love the little character Mark the Book on the dangle part. The whole thing is almost made entire from recycled materials. I work in the Student Labs and there are tons upon tons of paper wasted when people accidentally print the wrong things or it does not come out the way they want. So I decided to take some of those clean scrap paper and wrap them around some cardboard from boxes in my home to make bookmarks. I love how they came out! I'm still having my Spring Free Shipping Break until Monday. =DSo I'm a fan of the Twilight series and I noticed there was an explosion of supernatural especially vampire books and series out. My sister brought the boxed set of the Sookie Stackhouse collection by Charlaine Harris. I'm not an avid reader as I'm extremely picky and somehow the fact that it was made into a TV series deterred me but alas I decided to pick one up. Guess what it's actually pretty good. The text was easy enough to understand and the dry wry humor of the main character was a refreshing change. It does get a bit confusing but overall it's a pretty enjoyable read. Who knows what the next book I read may be?

Until next time... A book is the gateway to worlds you can only dream of and worlds you cannot imagine...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lasso a Star

Good day everybody! I just finished my newest print last night and I really like how it came out. It took me a while to figure out how to do the background with all the different sized stars and the faint white among the sky. I did not want to use a darker night sky color because I feel it would lose a sense of the lightheartedness and whimsical nature I strive to put in all my pieces. My Spring Shipping Break is up until Monday for free shipping on all my prints. I've been doing a bad job of advertising that because I'm relaxing aka... lazy.... =DI got a overwhelming response on the tininess of my fingers which is a ring size 2.5 ^-^. I'm extremely petite and it has been quite an amusing hindrance when it comes job/internship interviews where people take a double look. I've always been carded when I even walk across the casino floor just to get to the beach, at the movies, when my friends are buying drinks... and in the University people always ask "am I lost" or if I'm with my friends that they have "an adorable little sister." One of my other short petite friends said to me "just because you're small doesn't mean you can't be heard... speak up girl!" I've been trying friend... I've been trying... =D

Until next time... Happy Friday! Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A seriously non-serious Present

My boyfriend whose been very supportive of my ventures in etsy has finally opened his own account! Well not to sell as he doesn't have a creative bone in his body (but I still keep every one of his Paint program stick figure drawings) but as a buyer. We've been together for about four years now and he confessed he wanted to get a ring but had no clue (as I realize many other guys) on what to get for his significant other. So I turned him to etsy and pointed out some of my favorites. I've had my eye for the lovely ring pictured on top in MuyinMolly. I've commented and known her though blogger and etsy and she's one terrific and talented gal. Now I'm a proud owner of one. She was gracious enough to make one in 2.5 ring size which is extremely small.What I love about this ring is not only is it handmade and customized to my size it's really elegant but also very fun. The pale blue color is very soft and girly to me, the pearls are very elegant and the wire wrapping is very fun... even though it is called a Bird's Nest to me it reminds me of the solar system with the tiny pearls orbiting the pale blue sun. He was extremely happy that he gave me something exactly wanted. He found Mollie to be so helpful, kind and attentive. He didn't have trouble with paying and it's his first transaction. The great part of this ring is that it is a seriously non-serious present it means we're together but it's not a promise ring or anything that says we're getting married soon (we'll both have heart attacks) it's more of representation of how content and how much we enjoy our relationship now. It got me floating on cloud nine. =D

I know he won't go shopping on etsy unless it was for me which I'm very sure goes for many male buyers on etsy. It's also very true about how hard it is to find men's items... I did spot a few items that would be great for him like this mac book bag, he recently got a mac book.
The above is from fernfiddlehead and is so cute and the color is dark to ward against stains and it's comfortable functional and no frills. He dislikes extra unneeded "frills."
This clock made from a hard drive from pixelthis would totally rock his world. He's a real big computer guy.

Every dude is different and I'm very happy with my dude even if he has no fashion sense and the minute I mention shopping his eyes glaze over and I'm sure his mind is off in daydream land.

Until next time... be happy with the now... =D

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Bit of Magic

Has an idea so cool, so exciting hit you when you least expect it? That has happened to me many times and I'm always not able to jump on that idea because I'm either at work or in class. The moment I get home I scribble everything down and start doing it. I think my ACEO tarot card above was the perfect photo opener to introduce the magical entrance of how ideas just seem to pop out of thin air and take advantage of the free shipping I have during my Spring Break. I have a black moleskin book full of ideas I've had over the years. Some stay within the pages and some become reality. You never know one day as I'm flipping though it I'd catch another idea that I want to bring to life. At the moment I'm not done with the idea but I'll be done later today hopefully.

Until next time... you never know when that perfect idea would just appear...

Monday, April 6, 2009

I Need a Break

I don't know about you but I need a break. I just finished my rounds of tests and Spring Break is right on the horizon. Just in time too, I was getting tired from staring at my computer looking up stuff for class, work and of course etsy (winkwink). That's where the little inspiration for the print on top that I'm going to put up very soon. My mouse looks like that too but with a smidgen of blue.

Anyways I had a terrible time at the post office where the post office lady asked the usual is there anything hazardous, sharp etc and when she said breakable/fragile she proceeds to bend my package in half. That was when I realized I forgot to put in the cardboard matting for my prints. That was my fault I ended up sending another one. What was shocking was that I never had a post office worker just bend any of my other envelopes like that they usually give it a squeeze and put it in the box. I wasn't sure if post office workers were suppose to bend it? My eyes were O_O and I had no idea what to do or say so I left. Outside the post office I felt miserable to know I should have said something but being shy shy me I did not. ARG!

So to alleviate it I'm offering free shipping on all my prints. I'm very disappointed in myself for not catching my mistake and especially disappointing a customer. BIG SIGH. Well I'm glad she was very understanding and I'm ready to send another one tomorrow morning and I put in the thickest cardboard I can find and wrote "PLEASE DO NOT BEND" all over it. I should invest in sticker or a stamp for that.

Until next time... please do not bend my packages... =_=

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Beads n Stuffz

This is my newest little print in my shop LiPeony. I actually had the sketch done a while ago but I only recently colored it in. I looked at various pictures of beads and tried to capture the shininess. This one I worked more on the shadow to give it more dimension. I also think it's great to make art of art and crafts. Like my Big Pencil Little Chibi Girl, My Sewing Chibi Girl and In a Knit Chibi Girl. This got me to think of all the wonderful colors, designs and medium that beads come in. Here are some of my favorite beaded things on Etsy.
AMIdesigns is a wonderful jewelry store. Actually i noticed Alison's little store when she asked for help on colors on the forums. I was floored by not only the colors but by the beautiful photographs. One of my favorite is this Gold Wraparound Bracelet. I'm usually not a gold wearer but this one got me sold because the gold is not overpowering and really retains a very elegant feel. It would be perfect for a night out or to jazz up any outfit.

With me constantly eating at my desk and I have this lovely wooden desk so coasters are a must. I found these really hand beaded ones from Craftnique. It's a shop of unique odd and ends like decorative flower pots to notebooks. These were special as I love the spiral look and also the beads since they reflect different colors in the sun so it's never the same look. They come in sets of four. Neat-o!

I was browsing though the search of "beads" and these totally took me by surprise. These are cute little bead dolls from Variation. Made of vintage beads they are so so so darn cute! The photos are wonderful. I have a lot of little things on my desk like those Precious Moments and tiny versions of teacups and saucers and wine glasses made of glass and plastic. These would be so cute to put anywhere. I always need a bit of art or creative things around me.

Just some of the wonderful things one can make with beads! I have many beads but they're all stored away. One of these days I got to get them out and do something with it.

Until next time... one tiny thing... a million different possibilities...

Friday, April 3, 2009

It's all about the pictures eh?!

So today is a very cloudy day but it's the only time I can take pictures. I use a Canon PowerShot SD500 which is at least a year or two old but very good and reliable. My cousin got it for cheap at a sale. Unfortunately I don't have a light box and well I'm too lazy to really make one. I use a long white box I got from the Gap and a white piece of paper. The everyday shove into your printer paper is used as my base. I move the box so the white inside catches as much light as it can from the window and the white reflects the light making it sort of like a poor man's light box that works great during those sunny days. But... during those cloudy days my pictures come out like above. Meh... not so pretty?SHAZAM! A little photo editing and look it's light light light! I don't use photoshop or any high tech whatever program. In fact if you have Microsoft Office/Suite 2003 and above, you should have the same program I use which is called Microsoft Office Picture Manager. It's extremely easy to use. I'm not a really good picture taker and it shows but though trial and error I use this program to really boost up my photos. I'll show you how I do it. If any of the pictures look too small just open it in another tab or window and it will enlarge it. First of all find the program. It's usually in Microsoft Office Tools Box. I'm not sure what the others do as I'm not that much of a comptuer whiz. The only thing I use are Word, Powerpoint and Excel. You can press File -> Open and choose the file you want to fix up. Another way is to Right Mouse Click the photo and choose to use Microsoft Picture Manager to open. It should bring you to the next screen.
Click on the Edit Pictures. This will bring up a host of tools on the right hand side. The first one says Auto Correct. Basically it will automacally correct the photo and usually means making them brighter and fix up the colors. Most of the time it is not enough as it still looks very grainy depending on you and your camera. This program does not correct fuzzy pictures so make sure you at least have a clear crispy photo.
First of all I usually crop the picture so I can get the area of the picture I want. For example in the one above I included some of the brown of my desk that I want to crop out. Use your mouse to adjust the area you want and whatever is fuzzed out will be cropped out. Another note is that you can also do fixed ratio area of the photo like 5 x 7 or 8 x 10. It is more so for printing as most printers print 8 x 10 and 5 x 7 ratios. This will make it so that your picture will not be cropped when being printed.Next I work on the brightness. Click the Edit Pictures tab on the top and choose Brightness and Contrast. You can either move the bar right or left to make it brighter or darker or put in a number. I brighten it until the background is white or close to white as it can be.Next I adjust the contrast. Note that the contrast number is usually higher then the brightness number. It'll make the dark parts darker while retaining the brightness. From here I eyeball it and adjust both brightness and contrast so that the picture looks as true to the real item in light as possible. I don't mess with the midtones because it adjusts both the brightness and contrast and I rather do it individually. Once you have the balance just right. You can also resize it. Generally when you take a picture with the digital camera it saves it in a rather large size. Mine are usually between 3,000 - 2,000 pixels. For Etsy and the web you generally don't need it so big. For Etsy I use Web - Large even though it is smaller then the 1000 x 1000 pixels but for me the pictures look fine. Plus it makes the file smaller making it faster to upload and also saves space on your computer. This helps if you ahve thousands of pictures like I do. A few tips is if you want the image to be right in that square when Etsy cuts off photos, you can either shape your images into squares or make it into a rectangle and make sure the item is at the center.
Now that it's all fine and dandy you can save it, rename it or rotate your work if you want some interesting views. Another neat trick is what if you take a great picture but gosh it's crooked! Well you can choose the Edit Pictures -> Rotate and Flip here you can rotate it 1 degree at a time or 90 degree at a time till it looks straight. Crop it so it looks like a square/rectangle photo and no one would be the wiser. This helps a lot when you scan pictures as I notice no matter how much I keep then straight they tend to be just a tad crooked.

I hope this helps you out somehow. I'm neither an expert nor are my pictures super OMG but they're nice, clear and crisp which is fine with me.

Until next time... Happy picture taking! =D

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

So Much in My Head

Okay the little meekiyu doesn't have something in her head but a squirrel on her head. You know how squirrels are just jumping, leaping, zooming from one tree to another looking for nuts. That's how my brain feels right now in the middle of midterms. It's darting from one subject to the other and never staying in one place looking for the answers to the tests. Actually that reminds me of some real squirrels around the city. Say hello to the black squirrel. They're a version of the Grey Squirrel and they're pretty cool to watch like little black furry ninjas darting across the lawn. City Hall in downtown Manhattan is where I usually see them but they can be found anywhere Grey Squirrels are found just in a much lesser degree. Actually another little cute rodent I like more then squirrels are...CHIPMUNKS! They're so so cute and tiny. I've seen one in Long Island and they are such fast little critters and I haven't seen one in the city before. The minute I saw it just standing there on the short stone wall I squealed and pointed it out to my friend. It was so darn cute. I'm a sucker for tiny cute furry things. Soo... instead of studying I've gone and made a post about squirrels and chipmunks.... way to go... =_= doh!

Until next time... a mind can go a million miles a minute...