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Yearly Archives: 2011

iPhone pic / lolita fashion

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Yes, I’ve been away for a while… but it doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing creative things while away.

Nanowrimo has come and gone, and though I didn’t complete 50K words, I did write 15K, which is 5x the amount I wrote the year before. Next year, if I manage to write 5x the amount I wrote this year, I’d be able to complete 5K. (One can hope!)

Now, photography has always been one of my creative avenues. This year, I have been opening myself up to Gothic Lolita – a type of Japanese fashion that I’ve been fascinated with for years, but never had the guts to wear.

Since moving back to Melbourne, I’ve joined the local group of Lolitas and have been going to the meets and just having a hell of a time.

The photo above was taken at one such meets. It was a spur of the moment thing, and after tweaking it a bit on the iphone, we have the above result. Ta da!

urban sketches?

Melbourne is actually packed full of old and interesting buildings (trying to concentrate on writing this entry whilst listening to Good Night Sweet Girl – yeah, not working out so good atm, lol. I’m a fan, sue me XD); you can’t walk down any street in the city without bumping into one.

All of the victorian-era-esque buildings that you see still standing around the city would be protected by the Victoria Heritage Register, and I love how these majestic buildings will be preserved for future generations. I was actually living in Hong Kong and was there to witness it when they pulled down the Queen’s Pier. It was disappointing to see proof of a government that would be more interested in financial gains than preserving the city’s historical landmarks… it’s not like there are many left to begin with.

Anyway, back on topic.

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Some of these buildings make for great subject matter for sketches and paintings. I’ve always been iffy about drawing buildings as my perspectives are always kind of off. But finally I bit the bullet and started sketching.

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I thought I would start off with something relatively simple.

Then I realised that it’s never simple when you have a building at an angle.

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It’s still very much a work in progress, but I plan to ink it and colour it.

I admit that I’ve lost a bit of my initial enthusiasm to finish it. All the itty bitty details on the storefront – which had attracted me to this subject to begin with – had become the reason for my procrastination.

I am an impatient person and sometimes I want to complete a piece of art, RIGHT NOW. If I don’t manage to do so, then the incomplete piece may sit on the page for quite a while. In actual fact it’s been a month, at least, since I took that photo above and this entry. In this time, the sketch has not progressed =_=

I feel guilty even writing about it. Perhaps I should go home tonight and finish it – although I have an appointment to watch Harry Potter 7.2 tonight… after HP then… ;P

SupaNova 2011 (Perth) – Day 3

This is a relatively short post and is the last one in my three part series on my SupaNova weekend in Perth. Please find the links to my previous posts below:

My third and last day in Perth is very James-Marsters-centered. I planned to attend the James Marsters panel, get a photo and autograph with him and then later that night attend the SupaNova afterparty, which James would also be attending.

I hadn’t mentioned this earlier, but I had taken my Gothic Lolita outfit to Perth with me. Hearing how there are more cosplayers on the Saturday than the Sunday, I wore that outfit on Saturday. Which leaves me wearing casual clothes on the Sunday. Which is just fine – as much as I love the fashion, I didn’t want to take a photo with James Marsters in it.

But first things first, the James Marsters panel.

I woke up at 10:30am thinking, “What time was the James Marsters panel again?”

It starts at 11am.

Of course I wasn’t going to just run out of the apartment without proper grooming – photo taking, remember? – but I swear it was the quickest I’ve ever put on make up.

I didn’t miss too much of it, luckily, and got a few snapshots while I was at it.

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Look at that smile, who wouldn’t swoon?

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Then, while I was waiting for James Marsters’ photo op session, I went to watch the anime game show.

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Yeah, even John Robertson was a bit gobsmacked about this performance.

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I love this pair’s cosplay. Even though I’m not too sure which anime it’s from (more my fault than their’s), I thought their’s was the prettiest out of the two days worth of costumes I’d seen.

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More cosplays.

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And finally, my picture with James Marsters.

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I was going to tell you how my mind went completely blank when he shook my hand and said, “hi,” but I think you guys have had enough of me swooning in the past three entries. XD

Oh, and the after-party?

It was unnerving to see how much more fan-girly other people could be – I mean, I thought I was bad. But everyone behaved, to a degree. I even got to meet Gareth David-Lloyd (aka, Ianto Jones in Torchwood).

He’s quite a unique individual – for a lack of better words – and I’m now watching Torchwood, to compare the actor and the character. It would be interesting to watch a show after meeting the real person (as opposed to the opposite).

As I have warned, this is a fairly short entry. Unfortunately I took so long to get all the photos sorted out that the impressions of the trip is no longer fresh in my mind.

I’ll have to keep in mind to actually write the entries while on future trips, and then edit and publish them when I get back.

Since I have a Hong Kong/Tokyo trip planned for September, this is a good tip to keep in mind. ;P

SupaNova 2011 (Perth) – Day 2

Well here is part 2 of my 3-part series on my SupaNova weekend a few weeks back. If you haven’t read the first post, you can find it here.

After my text-intensive post last time, I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking in this post.

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You should hear the amount of “aww…” when this kid-Vader walked up to the 501st Legion.

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I usually won’t post fuzzy photos, but I thought their pairing was fantastic.

This Tardis has certainly seen better days, but I loved the effort they put in it. Go Doctor! (Oh, I saw this guy who did a great Doctor, but I was in line for food and couldn’t get a picture. Then I couldn’t find him again, boo…)

Cross-Universe?

So cute… if I could ever get my cat to behave, I’d dress up as Kiki Delivery service.

Shameless plug of my cat.

This poor guy was about to go on break when I asked to take his picture. He had to do up all those little buttons on his vest again – then undo them again when I was finished. But you’ve got to admire his tenacity for perfection.

That was not the scariest thing I saw at the event… does that tell you something?

Okay, here’s where the limits of my dad’s Canon 24-105mm lens are most obvious. It might be an okay lens if you have bright lights and subject matter which is not all that far away. But when you’re 1/3 way across a large room and trying to take photos of an unlit stage, you get

a lot

of blurry photos.

As such, I don’t have as many photos of the Cosplay competition as I would have liked.

Let me just say that John Robertson was great up there. He’s funny, and he knows most (if not all) mainstream anime/games – I’d hate to have to listen to a MC who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

He managed to smooth over some fairly awkward moments (e.g. where amatuer Cosplayers get onstage without being prepared to “flaunt their wares”, and instead stands in one pose awkwardly for 1 minute) – and no, none of these cosplayers I posted up are of those awkward cosplayers.

Look at Penguin’s nose…

This guy yanked a head off a teddy bear and stuff it on a baseball helmet… scary…

Do you really want to know?

After the cosplay competition, the day was far from over –>> James Marsters Live Performance!

Unfortunately photography and any sort of recording was not allowed.

Truth be told, when you forget about aiming your camera and actually sit and experience an event, it’s actually more memorable.

Before nearly every song James would tell us the story behind the lyrics – apparently he wrote quite a number of songs to get back in his girlfriend’s good graces XD

The night was a blast, and it went a long way to making up for the disappointments I’ve experienced the night before.

SupaNova 2011 (Perth) – Day 1 (well night really)

So finally, here is part 1 of my 3-part series on my trip to Perth a few weeks back. Sorry for the text-intensive post, I promise more photos in later entries ;P

The trip did not start off well.

It all started while I was on the bus from the long-term parking to Melbourne Airport. I get a call from Foxtix. They were calling to let me know that the presenter for the two-days writing seminar was stuck in New Zealand due to the volcanic ash. As such SupaNova would be cancelling the writing seminars. The Foxtix employee assured me that I would be refunded in full – as if the cost of the seminar tickets would be all I cared about!

If I was going to Perth purely for the writing seminar I’d be screwed, was Foxtix going to refund me my airfare, lodging and car hire?

Luckily my reasons for going to Perth was three parts, 1) attend the two days writing seminar; 2) go see Wicked, the Broadway musical; and 2) see James Marsters.

It’s okay, I thought as the Foxtix employee arranged for the refund back to my card, on a positive note I wouldn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to make it to the 8am seminars.

I arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare, so while waiting to board I started watching Durarara! on my iPad.

For an hour.

Apparently there was a mechanical fault with the plane and JetStar was trying to get it fixed.

For an hour.

In the end they still had to change planes for us.

It’s still okay, I thought. I had given myself two hours leeway between arriving in Perth and getting to Burswood Theatre to watch Wicked. I had checked online that the Burswood Entertainment Complex wasn’t that far from the airport – I just wouldn’t have much time to eat beforehand.

Whilst boarding the plane, the attendants told us that the pilot will be trying his best to make up for the delay in the flight time.

Which is useless when they won’t let you land.

Apparently since we’ve failed to arrive on time, we had to wait in “queue” for a slot to land. Who knew Perth experienced such heavy air traffic?

In the end I didn’t get off the plane until 7:45pm, the show starts at 8pm. Even though I didn’t have any check-in luggage, I still had to collect my rental car and drive to the theatre.

Did I also mention it was pouring? Like cats and dogs, with the occassional kangaroo? It was one step away from raining drop bears.

I arrived at Burswood Theatre at 8:40pm, rainwater practically running off me in rivulets. I think the theatre ushers took pity on me, because they let me in even though it wasn’t intermission yet.

I was riverted for the next two hours – I wasn’t as impressed by the music as I was by Love Never Dies – but I thought the story was very clever. Although I didn’t miss that much of it because the show was so long, I would still have liked to have watched the thing in it’s entirety.

The rest of the night was relatively uneventful.

Oh except for this.

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There was a car crash outside my apartment window. I was reading a book and getting ready to sleep when I heard a loud long screech then….crunch. By the time I got to my window, I see the car bouncing off the side rails before coming to a stop. One of the guys, I think it was the driver, jumps out of the car and just runs off. His friends get out of the car a bit more slowly, but they just wander aimlessly around the car. I think the bunch of them were drunk off their heads. Later the driver wanders back and they just stand around on the side of the road.

Luckily it seemed that nobody was hurt, and they didn’t crash into any other cars.

Also the ambulance and police arrived very quickly; I think it took no more than a few minutes. I took my camera out for the first and only time that day – to snap that photo above.

And that concludes my post for the first day of my weekend trip to Perth.

My trip did not start out well I’m afraid, but head over to my to see how it proceeds.

SupaNova 2011 – aftermaths

I had hoped to be able to do a series of posts about my SupaNova experience while I was in Perth – but I only realised after unpacking on my first night that I didn’t bring the cable to transfer my photos from my DSLR to my iPad (go figure).

I still haven’t managed to find time to upload my photos into my computer, but I promise to do that soon. Who knows, I might even be able to post the first my SupaNova posts before the week ends *crosses fingers*.

Did anyone else go to SupaNova? Please leave your blog entry link in the comments below, I would love to see your photos!

SupaNova 2011 – Perth

Talk about last minute plans.

Last night I find out that James Marsters would be appearing at the 2011 SupaNova (Australia’s Pop Culture Expo). Unfortunately I’ve already missed the Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney sessions and there’s only the one weekend left, in Perth. This weekend.

Next thing you know, I’ve bought tickets, airfare, accomodation and car hire for a weekend of Sci Fi, Anime and Comics. In Perth.

Okay, before you think that I’m doing this purely because of James Marsters (he has a concert on Saturday night and will be attending the Post-Nova party, squee!), I’m also an anime and sci-fi fan, so it’s not just him.

There will also be the SupaNova Master Class Series for Writers which I’ve signed up for – so no sleeping in for me (both sessions starts at 8am on Sat and Sun D=).

I’ll be toting my cameras (Canon S90 and Canon 450D), so hopefully I’ll be able to snap some pics to share later. I’ll also be wearing my Goth Loli get up (probably not whilst getting a photo with James Marsters), so if there’s any Aussie Goth Lolis reading this and will be attending SupaNova this weekend, let me know so we can meet up for a chat.

Oh, and just to make sure I don’t have *any* free time, I’ve also bought tickets to see Wicked: The Broadway Musical on Friday night.

This expo will most likely be leaving me drained; I’ll be flying out on Friday afternoon and I won’t be back until Monday morning (5:55am, *gasp*), after which I’d probably have enough time to drive home to have a shower and then get back to work… wish me luck!

set menu?

Every morning I bypass a small cafe on my way to work. On their front door they have a sign up declaring, “best muffins in Melbourne”.

The first time I saw it, I went in to buy said muffin, only to be told that they were sold out.

Hmm, I thought, they must be good.

So I dutifully went back the next day.

I was disappointed to find that they only have one flavour on offer; blueberry. Whilst I don’t “dislike” blueberry, I just prefer chocolate, but I bought one anyway.

Eating it at work, I found that it was okay. It wasn’t the “best” muffin in Melbourne – although I don’t know what the best muffin taste like, I don’t think this was on that level – but it was soft, and tasty, and I could count on it being fresh with no preservatives.

The next day, I went again, and found that this time they had cinnamon muffins; it seemed that everyday was a different taste, dependant purely on the owner’s mood and preference.

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It’s been two weeks since my first muffin, and I’m still going every morning.

I find that I don’t mind having my meals chosen for me. Back in Hong Kong I had the same arrangement for my dinner; a local diner would have a set dinner which changes daily and I’d just order that.

We live in a world where we are spoilt for choice, it is sometimes refreshing to leave the decision in someone elses’s hands. Because I don’t know about you, but when going out with friends, one of the trickiest questions we have to answer is, “Where do we eat?”

about writing

I’ve been so entranced by the iPad, I haven’t created anything to post about!

Well that’s not true, I’ve been writing again.

I’ve been writing, I think, since I was 14. At that time, my aspirations was to be the next 16-year old author (I think I misread somewhere that Christopher Pike – my idol at that time – was first published at age 16).

My first manuscript took a little over a year to finish; I was banging away on the only computer in the house 24/7 (I don’t remember the model, but I think it was running Windows 3.1).

I submitted the manuscript when I was 17 I think, although I must admit I did a slipshod of it. Not surprisingly, I recieved a rejection letter – it took them 2 years to get back to me; I suspect that my manuscript got chucked in a corner for a while, but I’m grateful that they took the time to get back to me (and even sent my manuscript back – as opposed to just chucking it out).

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Yes, I don’t use conventional pen and paper to write.

The app I’m using is called Notes Plus – I’ll talk about it some other time, but it rocks!

Writing fiction, I find, is not something that could be shared easily in a blog format. I can tell you I’m in the planning stage, but it doesn’t make for very interesting blog entries.

So I do apologise for the lack of posts recently, I’ll try to fit some sketching or zentangling in and posts regularly again.

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This week I’ll be showing you pictures of my workstation in the office of my day job.

This is because I want to take this chance to show off my latest joy in life. My iPad 2! (Yeah, my joy in life is shallow and materialistic, sue me XD)

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I’ve kind of wanted one since the first model came out, but had no justification for buying one. The iPad is for content consumption, and truth be told, I’m more about content creation.

But I’ve been playing with more and more photo manipulation apps – which isn’t surprising since the developers are cranking out better and better apps – and I realised that the iPad would be the perfect photo manipulation tool.

I’ll be able to instantly download my photos from my iPhone or camera using the camera connection kit and the touch-screen will allow me to have a hands-on approach to editing my photos. As much as I like my graphic tablet, it’s still not as nice as “touching” your photo while editing. ;p

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I took this picture one morning on the way to work. I only used a light touch of “100 cameras in 1” app to create some mood and left it at that.

What this means is that there may not be a lot of art journal pages, or even zentangles for a little while. This is what happens when I get a new toy!