grow up, grow right, grow gracefully

September 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

hakone, japan. 2011
Growing Up the Right Way




the expendability of happiness

September 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

val, boo & I. tokyo.

Conversation #01 in my head

Do you mellow as you age?

Is a mellow happiness less intense? Or is it taking the same quantity of happiness and stretching it out like sticky taffy for a long, long time? Sipping the liquified sunshine in your pocket vial to fortify you against the crocodile days. Is that a better move than slamming it back in a shotglass for a momentary high?

How about varying it?

Half in an mind-dizzying burst of ecstasy, half stirred slowly into a pot of earl grey to be tipped out, savoured over afternoons of cream biscuits and wildflowers in glass jars.

Or maybe it doesn’t matter the rate at which one spends happiness. Perhaps it’s who you spend it on.

Yourself. A friend. Family. A loved one. God. A book.

Does that make it too calculated? You’ll end up only wanting to give a slice away when you can get a cake back.

(Some days, I want to sit on these thoughts in my head and squash them.)

I’d say the only way is to constantly fill your tank of happy. If you always know there’s more coming your way, because you know exactly how to get it, you can use it any damn way you please.

And happiness freed holds back on nothing.

カレーライス karē raisu

August 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

In between buying boxes of Tokyo Bananas at the airport last year, I picked up a box of Kiyoken’s Yokohama Curry. It expired before I could cook it, but always had a thing for Japanese packaging and its sweetish curry, so here it is, scanned for keeps.

According to wikipedia, “Western-style curry draws its influence from stews mixed with curry powder, which were popular amongst the British Navy.”  I suppose that explains the figures in western garb below, alongside the traditional kimonos; or perhaps that’s a nod to the American navel base that was there, as shown by the flag.

In any case, thought it quite a feat they combined so many different elements and made it work.

Breaking it down, there are:

  • 4 typesfaces (english, kanji, katakana,  hiragana)
  • 2 patterns flanking the top and bottom of the box
  • A faint skyline of Yokohama’s famous attractions (Chinatown gate, Yokohama Bay Bridge, etc)
  • Feature ribbons
  • Colourful illustration with a decorative border

Usually that’s enough to throw any design into chaos, but the designer showed restraint in the colour palette and allowed the warm curry tones of red, gold and tan to tie things together.

Random trivia to round it up: Guess what’s on the menu for Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force today? Seeing that it’s Friday, curry rice, of course.

[type] for a sunny day

August 23, 2012 § 1 Comment

Exploration of the day was to try turning my handwriting (uppercase) into a font.

“Sherbert” because that’s what a theatre studies & drama teacher nicknamed me back in VJC. He had the loveliest British accent, and we would recognise it with a jolt when the BMW ads were screened in cinemas.

I cheated though. All I did was make the letters into vectors for now, which I’m sure will give strict typophiles the heebeejeebees. Was just curious to see how it would work initially. Know that there’s tons to do and refine if I really want to make a font (not even going to try for an actual typeface yet) and have to start reading up.  Suggestions on books / sites / programmes are always welcomed.

Snapped this with hipstamatic a year back when I was headed down the stairs from Old School for my lunch break. Singapore’s sun is unforgiving, but photographs like a handsome matriarch.

the case for the marriage of peanut butter & apple

August 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Once upon a time,  Peanut Butter & Banana were my favourite couple and I thought they would be together forever. But Life has a funny way of capsizing one’s boat of should-bes and would-bes when she’s bored. So somewhere along the way, Banana shifted out of the plate he cohabited with PB, and one dewy morning, PB met the Apples.

In most versions of this fairytale, the Apples are decked out in tart green, but I think they suit golden-reds best. PB twirled and laughed with the first two brothers, but it was Braeburn Apple with his charming crunchiness she was secretly nutty for.

Their detractors cried out that it was an strange, strange match, but they held fast to each other. In time, as always, the nay-sayers faded away and PB & Braeburn Apple lived happily ever after on their blue plate, travelling about on their silver spoon.


On the same colour palette note, had my nails done at manicurious again. The perk about knowing the people there is that even if I spend a good full half an hour discussing a design and testing out a thousand colours, the manicurists still smile and don’t dump my iced chocolate over my head.

Then again, I think they smile at everyone, so perhaps it’s an imaginary perk. They are an accomodating lot. Loving this simple design Jenny suggested to me when I showed up in a nautical dress.

[london] broadway market

August 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

If you’re ever feeling blue, a street market is the place to be. It’ll cheer you up in no time. Round the corner and you’ll run into musicians strumming their banjos and blowing into their harmonicas. Hum along as you pick up some mushroom risotto to eat, pipping hot from the pot with freshly grated cheese on the top, or be naughty and start with a spread of cookies and cakes – it’s hard to be a downer in a street of sunlight.

Broadway Market
Sat, 9am – 5pm | site | map

autumn countryside

August 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

I started my bucket list when I was 13. Goal #24 was to visit the English countryside. Maybe it was the diet of Enid Blyton books my sister and I grew up on, maybe it was the Wordsworth poem I read in JC. Whatever it was, it was right. Even a random snap while driving leaves you with fluffy storybook clouds. The English countryside on a sunny day is too pretty to be true.

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