It was a year ago that I experienced one of the most heartbreaking events of my life. It left an imprint on me, one that has only cooled with time and distance and reflection. There were ghosts of course, ones that lingered in the corners of my new house. Elusive, yes, and foreboding.
Thankfully, time does heal all wounds. And I enjoyed one of the best Halloweens I can recall.
This year, I bought full-size candy bars to hand out. Last year, in my grief, I failed to think about the fact that we would get trick or treaters in our new home. So, after the 5th trick or treater last year, I scrambled throughout the house looking for packaged food to hand out. Raisins, croutons, fruit snacks that I reserved for my daughter’s lunches. So, to make up for the craziness of last year, I handed out the big stuff. I loved hearing the squeals of delight as I offered the tray and said simply, “Take one.”
My daughter is older now, so gone are the days of rushing her through festivities to split with her dad. This year, she chose to trick or treat with her amazing group of friends.
I’m grateful to finally be able to enjoy this time of year again. Void of ghosts and full of beauty and hope.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I moved my daughter and I into a cottage near her school.
The gifts along the way, the light and magic we brought into creating our home.
Our kitchen before:
Our kitchen today
Our living room before:
It’s show time! And the theme of my life is ‘On with the show”.
I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to be part of a few shows coming up for the holiday season and I’m grateful for friends who will be assisting me in making this happen.
Urban Craft Uprising opens to the public Dec 1-2!
One of the many things I am truly grateful for is that my pieces I created years ago are still being discovered by new customers. It's a bit like my past self made sure my future self would be taken care of when I needed it the most.
There was a traumatic event that occurred recently that I cannot discuss at this time. What I can say is I’m grateful each day. Grateful my daughter and I survived. And Thankful for my past self that created things for people to enjoy long into the future.
I've been swamped lately with orders and my daughter wrapping up middle school, as well as the laborious tasks of my day job. Still, I managed to squeeze in another commission from The Shanghai Pearl to make a very special pin for her show 'A Night in the Forbidden City". This peony dancer pays tribute to the dance clubs in China Town in the 40's and 50's.
The show sold out and was magnificent. I also had the pleasure of vending. I set up a tiny space of pins, prints and cards to sell. Not expecting the amount of love I received that evening.
The most important part of the evening was connecting with so many customers. (This photo is funny because it shows us on our phones! In reality, I was manually entering in credit card info into Square here). But in all honesty, the connection of being around performers and customers who acknowledged my work and told me they were fans was a huge boost I needed.
Sometimes I forget how important connection face to face can be. It fuels my soul and lights me up. It reaffirms that I am doing something right in my life.
Peony Dancer pins can be purchased here.
With ice cream nails...
Treats with my beloved friend ...
Burger Pins! New in my Etsy shop.
And peonies every day they’re in season.
My friend Priya is an amazing photographer. So when she contacted me earlier in the year asking if I would be interested in modeling some vintage Shaheen dresses, I crossed my fingers that I could fit into the dress she had in mind for me.
The dress fit, thankfully. And on a gorgeous May afternoon, we went to the Kubota Gardens to do a photoshoot. What a wonderful evening spent with friends.
Photos by the talented Priya Alahan
This month just keeps getting better and better.
Fresh lilacs for my kitchen.
An amazing artist I commissioned to paint me a donut burger!!
Being part of a photo shoot with these bombshells.
Taking the plunge and finally buying a new car. I've never had a new car in my entire adult life. I'm going to call her the Little Red Hen.
The pinup shoot I did the day before had my hair in tight curls, which meant the day after, I woke with vixen hair!
May has been so much fun. I'm savoring every moment.
...an occasion to wear pink and oversized pearls.
A new soft enamel pin designed by yours truly for Mother's Day!
Surprise Iris in my yard. (This is the first Spring we have spent in our little cottage.)
New shops carrying my items!
...enjoy the taste of Spring...
...find more ways to make favorite cuisine part of your art...
...hang out with beautiful friends...
...sip beverages with beloved friends...
This enamel pin is in the works and will arrive by Mother's Day. I'm really excited about this one.
It is based on this piece I did a few years ago. It's been one of my top selling pieces and someone even had it tattooed on their arms.
I'll upload it to my Etsy store as soon as they're in, end of April.
I'm so grateful Spring has settled in and is making itself comfortable.
April is already filled with greatness.
Butter kissed rolls.
Wholesale orders from stores I love!
Cute man of the house and richly colored flowers.
Gifts of gratitude from clients.
April brings joy and the promise of rebirth and growth. I've never been happier.
It was time to make my annual costume for Venice is Sinking. Since my cousin decided to dress as the Pope, I decided to dress as Mary. It was either that or a communion wafer. I've never been one to be overly religious and the last time I thought about Mary was when I played her at the age of seven in the church nativity.
But, I'm always up for a challenge.
I made this headdress and costume.
I added LED stars. And flowers.
My veil and dress were long sheets of sheets fabric. They did nothing to flatter my figure, but then again, Mary didn't need to have a slamming figure.
I only became aware of Tura Satana when she died in 2011. How I wish I'd known about her as I was growing up. With her bad ass characters and curvy physique, she is a bit of a hero for me. The images of Asian women I grew up with in the US were docile, subservient and boring. None of them were loud or tough or curvy. Tura embodied all of this and more.
Below are some illustrations I did over the weekend as a tribute.
Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
March is full of commissions, pink lipstick and promises of longer days ahead.
They say timing is everything. Same is true for art. Sometimes illustration takes a while to finish.
I originally sketched this out 4 years ago.
Took me a while to get the inspiration to finish it, but it's finally done!
Now I wish I had a pink tv.
I made a new little piece for Mother's Day.
It's the simple things that matter most.