LiPeony Shop

Friday, February 26, 2010

Freezing Friday aka Creative Friday!

It's a heck of a snow storm today and it's going to last for 3 days! Phew lucky for me we had a snow day and no classes =D Instead I whipped out my carving set and drew some quick sketches and low a behold some new stamps: a rabbit, cupcake and pocket watch. The pocket watch didn't come out exactly as what I planned as these guys are about an square inch so it made carving the little details much harder. The cupcake was inspired by my researching into wedding cakes and many of the bakeries are also well known for their little cupcakes. The bunny and pocket watch is from Alice in Wonderland and seeing from the first few previews and pictures the movie looks visually stunning =D. I'm planning on using these to stamp some small notebooks and postcards very soon so look for it sometime in early Spring =D. Short post as I got to run soon =)

Until next time hope you guys are staying warm and safe =D

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And the Winner is....

I want to thank everyone that tweeted and posted on my blog. =D I'm so incredibly sorry that it took so long to pick out a winner I had long 12 hour shift today and got home very late. ;_; I apologize *hangs head in shame* I'll be sending this collection of Red Envelopes ASAP. I was very glad to read everyone's posts and hope everyone had fun checking out their Chinese Zodiac =D! I do love sharing a bit of my heritage with others and this giveaway was so fun I may do it again with something else (I've been eying some beautiful handmade rice paper that have soft colors interwoven into the fibers) So be on the look out =)

I'm also excited because I've been doing massive research on weddings since I'm going to be a bridesmaid (first time too!) so I'm so excited. Today I've been looking at wedding cakes and it astounds me how beautiful the cakes are and how scrumptious they sound! I'm looking forward to those cake tastings =P

Until next time... how's your week so far? =D

Monday, February 22, 2010

Red Envelope Giveaway =D

Chinese New Year is winding down and this will be the end to my Chinese New Year Series on my blog. To commemorate that I have set up a giveaway of 30 red envelopes of different designs and sizes. They're from collection of red envelopes my family has kept over the many years so many of the designs aren't printed anymore. Each year they tend to have similar but different designs. I included tradition ones ranging with images of oranges, golden carp, people, dragons, flowers to even some Hello Kitty ones.

You can use these to make your own Chinese Lantern Decoration or use the paper for scrap booking or adding that extra happy flair to any project =D. Click for more posts about Chinese New Year.

A random winner will be chosen and for a chance to enter:
  1. Retweet this giveaway on your twitter (please try not to spam).
  2. Mention this giveaway on your blog (please include a link to it)
  3. Post a comment on my blog about your Zodiac Animal or what you're planning for this new Year of the Tiger =D (please include your email so I can contact you if you are the winner)
You'll be given an extra chance for each one above.
This will end tomorrow night at midnight where I will announce the winner! Good Luck!

Wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wrap Up Fair =D

This Saturday was a great day at the Brooklyn Flea! Thanks to my awesome space mate Felicity from WishByFelicity for lending me a table and putting up with my chatter =D. Check her out for some awesome jewelry... saw her wire wrapping and it's gorgeous. Speaking of unique jewelry my other space mate the talented daughter and father combo of LuisFernando was selling their beautiful jewelry too! We're all part of the fantastic NewNewTeam. Wouldn't be possible without them =)

I had changed my display and I took a gamble on buying and selling framed works. You know what, it paid off! By having them displayed in frames less people assumed they were cards and were more then willing to buy them framed as opposed to just loose which was what I was doing before. I also had people browse though my cards and my octopus design was the most popular one =D. I also sold a good amount of pins and I must thank an anonymous person (you know who you are) who read my blog and said they'll be over to catch the little black cat pins below.

Though being me I was a bit skeptical but I made some anyways and yes she showed up and brought out my little black cat pins and some card and a print! I was completely floored and so flattered. It seriously made my day and I was just so so so happy! I thank you so much ^-^!
The space was beautiful... seriously a piece of art. The inside had mosaics and paintings of constellations. Even the windows had silhouettes of whimsical characters. This place use to be a bank the handmade vendors were in the hallway where the bank tellers would be. There is even the vault downstairs that was turned into a food court. There also a small mezzanine with vendors. It was great!
There were tons and tons of sellers from food vendors (omg the food is delicious! I had these fish tacos and they were just unbelievable!) handmade sellers (I'm always floored by the creative work people do!) and vintage vendors with all these different knickknacks. Speaking of vintage I brought the little book stand above to use to hold my prints for display. I love the way it looks and also how it's detachable. Score! =D Oh and being displayed are my new bags. They're pale blue paper bags from AC Moore and I stamped my shop name and used my own carved pencil stamp and I think they turned out great! The pale blue matches my business card which is pale blue. All in all it was a awesome day with awesome people!

Chinese New Year is winding down and to commemorate that I have sent to have a giveaway of 30 red envelopes of different designs and sizes. They're from collection of red envelopes my family has kept over the many years so many of the designs aren't printed anymore. Each year they tend to have similar but different designs. I included tradition ones ranging with images of oranges, golden carp, people, dragons, flowers to even some Hello Kitty ones. =D So look for it tomorrow!

Until then how was your awesome (or unawesome) weekend?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

From Idea to Complete!

While browsing around the Etsy Forums there was this questions that popped out about whether the artist keeps the original or not. I thought about it... all my drawings are first done by hand using pencil and is usually incomplete and rather messy. For example the one above is the pencil drawing of my newest print. Most people would consider that the original.

I scan the pencil drawing and set it up on photoshop where I use the tablet to basically redefine and redraw the whole thing again. It took me a while to learn to use the tablet because unlike doing pencil and paper it's different visual connection between your hand/pencil and what you draw. I'm still learning to do finer motions. Then I fill in the solid colors of the drawing then putting in the proper shading and shadows.

It's amazing what shading can do to a drawing. It makes it come to life. It took me a long time for that to click in my head. Determine where the light is coming from and see what will be brighter where and where it would be darker and the shadows they will cast. I'm still learning. Two hours later is the completed version of the pencil drawing =D. One day I'll take some screen shots of my work in progress so people can see how it works. I also managed to find some very nice frames for my prints that I will be selling as framed prints. One problem I noticed from doing a few craft shows I've done is most people thought they were cards and hopefully by having several framed prints hanging around and selling some it would be more clear =D. I'm going to be at the Brooklyn Flea this Saturday so hopefully it'll be good .. so if you're in the Brooklyn Area stop on by.

So speaking of my artistic methods how about you? Where there any surprises when you're learning to work with your medium? How do you work?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year from NYC! =D

Happy Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day! Today was great weather out in New York City and there was tons to see and tons of people! Here are some pictures of today. Unfortunately I would've had more but my Dad accidentally deleted a whole bunch of them =/ .

Morning started out with constant ringing and dialing of the phone to wish everyone a happy new year. We the family shared the first meal of the year which consisted of all vegetarian dishes. Then we all went out to enjoy the festivities! You could hear the unmistakable sounds of the drums and cymbals crashing though the streets and following them you can see the many Lion Dances in Chinatown. The one above is around Bowery Street right outside the Manhattan Bridge and I tell you it was very hard to get good pictures.

It's extremely crowded and the Lion Dancers are constantly moving from store to store and street to street! I had one shot of them tearing apart the cabbage in front of a business to bring them good luck just for you wonder readers but alas my Dad deleted it >=( .

We were in a restaurant for dim sum (though we call it "yum chai" meaning drink tea) and the Lion Dancers came inside and went around the tables bringing luck to the businesses. Also if you offer a red envelope to the "Lion" you can rub it's head or bum for luck! Above is a photo of the table next to us giving a red envelope. Below is my sister rubbing the Lion's Head and getting her good luck for the year.
We also walked down Mott street where hundreds of people gathered and set off these make shift confetti shooters. There would be literally 10 or 20 of them going off at once and filling the whole sky and street with confetti. Also a special thing is in certain shooters were these little red papers with Chinese characters that float down on red parachutes. Everyone would run to get them. Though I'm not sure what they mean my Dad explained in China getting one of those would mean that you would be pregnant with a son. Sons were prized in Chinese culture because they would carry the family name. After my sister heard this, she balked and said "I'm not ready for a kid!"

Don't worry if you missed this weekend's festivities in NYC they will be going on next weekend as technically Chinese New Year festival is about a week or more. So if you have the time stop on by in the early - late afternoon and enjoy the once a year festivities!

For more posts about Chinese New Year and Chinese Culture you can check out my other blog posts HERE.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Feedback

Howdy Guys! I've decided to make a Friday Feedback weekly post when I answer some questions people have asked me throughout the week or to elaborate on certain things =D This week and next week's blog series would be focusing on Chinese New Year and it's traditions.

"I've never seen the dragon, only the lion now your mention it, do you know what it means when they 'eat' the lettuce which is usually hung at the top of somewhere high?" From LittleClouds
For those who don't know business such as stores/banks etc usually hang a large lettuce/cabbage with a Red Envelope nestled inside, outside their doors. The Lion Dance brings in the good luck for the business and in exchange the dancers tear apart the cabbage for the money inside the red envelope. More traditionally the Lion Dance Troupes would use this as a competition to see who is better. This is called "chai ching" (採青 aka picking the greens)

For More About Chinese Traditions: Check out my other posts. =)

" i really like ur nail polish color." From Magnet Games
Why thank you! It's two coats of "Let's Meet"from Sinful Colors Professional from Duane Reade for about 3 dollars. Though for some reason the website doesn't have this one it may have been labeled as something else. =D

On another note I'm going to my first craft show of the year! I'll be at the Brooklyn Flea on Saturday Febaray 20th from 10am - 5pm at the beautiful Williamsburgh Savings Bank at One Hanson Place.

Until next time sweep out the bad luck and bring in the good luck =)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Year of the Tiger... RAWR! and the Chinese Zodiac

If you didn't know yet this year is the Year of the Tiger. The above shows the years associated with the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac the Rat being the first and the Pig being the last. Each one is associated with certain traits very similar to the Western Zodiac. But what people might not know is why is it in this order? Why is the small rat first? Here is one of the renditions of the story of the Chinese Zodiac.

Long ago in ancient China the Jade Emperor ( or in some cases Buddha) has asked the animals to join him for a feast (or meeting in some cases) on a certain day. All the animals compiled except for the Cat who was sleeping (or preoccupied). The Rat decided to play a trick on him and said that the feast was the day after the time they were suppose to met.

On the day of the feast the animals had to travel (except the cat who was tricked) all the way to Heaven, this required crossing mountains and fording rivers. The little rat who was the smallest of all the animals was also the cleverest and noted the ox was the fastest and strongest of the animals not because of just his strength but his perseverance. The rat being tiny jumped and hid in the ox's ear (in some tales the rat tricked the ox) and right before they reached the gates the rat jumped out and was thus first of the animals to arrive. From then on the Chinese Zodiac consisted of Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

As for the cat... he found out too late that the rat had tricked him. Since then cats have always hated rats.Fruit Baskets: One of my favorite Anime based on Zodiac =D

I've heard of this story before though the cat part was something recent that is sometimes included in the tale depending on where your source is from. For more detailed fun on the Chinese Zodiac you can check out this very detailed site: Chinese Zodiac - Chinese Astrology

Until next time... =D

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dragon Roars and Lion Dances!

With Chinese New Year coming up quickly everyone looks forward to the Lion and Dragon dances. People tend to group these dances together but they're actually two different things depending on the folklore you read. The Dragon dance above is usually performed by 10 or more people and consists of twirling a huge vivid long dragon. The dragon is viewed as a powerful, dignified and a symbol of Royalty and known as a symbol of bringing great wealth and luck. The dance itself may seem like just a rolling wave but in actuality requires a lot of skill and teamwork to coordinate such a large creature. Sometimes up to nine of these Dragons dance together in highly organized patterns.

Living in New York City there's always at least one but it's catching it at the right time is a bit tricky though I've been lucky enough to catch three. Due to the huge size and the amount of work needed the Dragon dance is rare to find. It's amazing to see the whirling dragon amidst the tall buildings and asphalt because its such a clash of modern day and ancient traditions. People old and young absolutely stand mesmerized by these displays and there's more then a huge crowd of tourists to take in the sights.

The Lion Dance is different as that its usually two people performing using various forms of martial arts as the basis for the movements. The lions are meant to scare away bad spirits and bring in good luck and fortune (see a running theme in everything about Chinese New Year?) There are also two different types of Lion Dance one of Northern China which are usually has more dangerous tricks and stunts and the Southern China which is more symbolic. The ones in NYC are usually Southern Style due to the fact that the majority of Chinese immigrants are from the south.

There are three types of lions. A golden lion that represents liveliness, red lion meaning courage and the green lion represents friendship. Though there are also lions and associated dances to other things in Chinese history like the historical figures in The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Which is also the basis for Dynasty Warriors the game XD... hehe).

Here's a List I compiled though research on various Celebrations though out the world. Most of the festivities are free but some require tickets like the performances etc. I've organized it by Country and then by their location. (You can use CTRL + F key and put in your location and search from there) Most have links and if a link is broken or the information not correct or you want to add something just post a respond and I'll add it on, it there's anything else I find I'll also add it on =):

United States
New York City:
Chinese Lunar New Year in New York City: 2010 - list of CNY activities in the city - Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

Seattle, Washington
Seattle Chinatown Website - there are activities listed on the right side

San Francisco, California
San Francisco Chinatown Site - scroll down to February and look at the events.. I put direct links below to some of these events =)
Chinese New Year Festival and Parade
Chinese New Year Flower Fair
Chinatown Community Street Fair

Los Angeles, California
Golden Dragon Parade
Chinese American Museum

Washington D.C.
Chinese New Year Parade and Festival : February 21, 2010. 2 - 5 p.m., Giant Firecracker set off at 3:45 p.m. Chinatown - on H Street, NW, between 6th and 8th Streets.

Falls Church, Virginia
2010 Chinese New Year Festival

Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu Chinatown Website - here's the event dates scroll down to February for Chinese New Year Events

Monterey Park, California
2010 Chinese New Year Festival

Vancouver, British Columbia
Annual Vancouver Chinese New Year Parade - scroll down to 2010
Dr. Sun Yat Sen: Chinese Garden Celebration
More about Vancouver Chinatown

Calgary, Alberta
Calgary Chinese Cultural Center: Chinese New Year Events

Montreal, Quebec
Chinese New Year Celebration
Montreal Chinatown Website
Montreal Botanical Gardens - may or may not have a celebration but they do have a lovely Chinese Garden

CCC Chinese New Year Celebration

2010 New Year Scouts Day
- you may have to check this one it's supposedly scheduled as thus:
February 20, 2010 (Saturday) 10:15AM-4:00PM Taipei Cultural Centre Markham Road & Highway 401
Chinese New Year’s Art Exhibition and Diversity Achievement Celebration Location: Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, 5183 Sheppard Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario February 14 (Chinese New Years Day) 10 a.m.

United Kingdom
Chinese New Year 2010
London Chinatown Site

Birmingham Chinese Festival

National Museum of Wales: Chinese New Year Family Fun Day

Chatham, Kent
Chinese New Year Celebrations -
apparently the 3rd largest CNY celebration in the UK =D

Year of the Tiger - New Year Party - The Confuscious Insititue for Scotland
Edinburgh Zoo also has a celebration of their own =D

Liverpool Chinatown Celebration

Chinese New Year Celebration
Manchester Art Gallery

Chinese New Year spectacular with fireworks finale. From 4:30p.m., February 12, 2010 at the Lakeside Arts Centre in University Park

Sheffield Chinese New Year Celebration 2010

Chinese New Year & Valentines Weekend Extravaganza(Festival of Love)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sweeping out the Bad Luck

It's a little less then one week before Chinese New Year which falls on the same day as Valentine's Day February 14. The house is going though a whirlwind of cleaning. This is a tradition dating back way way way back when. The cleaning before New Year's symbolizes "sweeping out" last year's bad luck and starting anew with this year. People get their haircuts before the New Year to also symbolize the start of a new year. It's during this time all the salons and beauty parlors are all full of families from the grannies to the little kids waiting to get their haircuts.
No home is ready for Chinese New Year until it has the lucky red and gold decor like the ones above. They're full of symbols and characters for good luck, wealth, longevity, health etc. The most common places to put these are in front of doors, on doorways to guard the home. Now gold lettering and color is lucky for obvious reasons as it's the color of gold but why red?

Apparently in an old tale every year a dragon would come and gobble up livestock and lil kids and terrorize villages. To appease the dragon they would leave food outside their doors until one day they noticed that the dragon was scared off by a little girl in red. The villagers realized the dragon was afraid of the color red and since then decorated their houses with red to scare off the dragon. The dragon is sometimes associated with bad luck of yesteryear. Another rendition is that instead of the color red the loud noises of firecrackers had scared the dragon off and therefore every Chinese New Year firecrackers are lit.

For an easy tutorial on making your own Chinese New Year Decoration you can check out my DIY.

Until next time... sweep out the bad luck and bring in the good! =)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tutorial: Chinese New Year Decorations =D

Howdy! It's one week before Chinese New Year to celebrate the year of the Tiger! It's been a while since I put up a crafting related tutorial so today I'll be making one on how to make some Chinese Lantern Like Decorations. This is going to be a picture heavy post so ya'll have been warn =P.
What you need are glue (any type of glue is good. Elmer's, glue gun and also tape is fine too) Also some red embroidery string, a needle to help thread some of the details (optional) and at least two dozen Red Envelopes. Red envelopes are small red decorated envelopes that people would give to one another during Chinese New Year. Inside was usually money and it's been believed that the more we give to others it will come back tenfold throughout the year.

You can get them from Asian markets, stores but if you happen to not be near one... you can use rectangular paper about 3 inches x 5 inches (this can vary as the bigger the paper the bigger the decoration size would be) you can use any color/pattern paper but to capture the Chinese New Year feeling it must be mostly red with or without gold or other details.
Let's get STARTED! First fold down the little envelope part so that it's a smooth rectangle.
Fold it in half across the width. (As in all origami... make sure the creases are smooth and crisp)
Now fold it in half along the length.
Now when you open it, it should have a T pattern on it. Now at the halfway marks where my fingers are over in the photo above fold that into a triangle.

Fold it like above and repeat to all four corners of the envelope.

After folding all four sides you should get a diamond shape like above.
Now fold about 12 more of these diamonds.

Now when you have all twelve folded take 3 of them and match the folds to one another. Glue the flaps together.

When you glue them together it should make sort of a pointed dome like above. Note that there are three of them attached at the flaps and are along the length.
Now continue gluing the flaps of the envelopes together. Since I started length wise my next layer is along the width.
Once the ball is almost complete STOP and cut and knot a length of red string use to hang the decoration.
You can glue or tape it to the inside and make sure it's stuck on tight and the length of the loop is good to hang with.

To add some paper firecrackers to the bottom of the decoration ball, take some of the envelopes and roll them up like above. It doesn't have to be super neat.

Once you have about 7 or more ( you can make as many as you like) cut a long piece of red string and start tying the paper rolls in the middle,

Continue tying them until all of them are onto the string and double knot the last one.

For more stability I glued the string to the paper rolls.

Now you attach the paper firecrackers to the opposite side of the hanging part of the ball and let dry.

Once it's dried you can hang these little balls anywhere. The firecracker part would naturally twist a bit giving it a twirl. The best part is that you can use the same pattern with different color, texture, pattern paper to suite your mood to make ball decorations for parties and what not. It's easy to do with kids and that you can make HUGE ones by using more envelopes as the top base. Since I used 3 envelopes as my top base it's a bit smaller then a soccer ball. IF you were to use more the ball will get bigger. Also if you don't like the little flaps coming out you can fold and glue them to the inside so the outside would make a smooth diamondish ball configuration.

Until next time... have fun and look stop on by for more posts about Chinese New Year =)