Lunar new year

Happy lunar new year! Hope everyone celebrating it was able to eat some good food and connect with loved ones (hopefully safely!). This year’s new year eve (February 11th) crept up on one of my busiest weeks of this semester so far. I didn’t have any special celebrations, but my house did get some good (authentic) Chinese takeout! Yum, because while I am Chinese, my cooking skills do not reflect well on Chinese dishes. I am also a huge dessert gal. This year I did not get to enjoy any of my favourite Asian desserts, but not a problem – I drew them out, and I will be justifying this by telling myself that I need to cut back on sweets. The dumplings were just extra because they are so fun to draw.

Thinking of You. Procreate (2021).

An brief introduction:

  • Tang yuan are glutinous rice flour balls, usually with a sweet black sesame, red bean, or peanut filling. They are similar to mochi but they are typically served hot in a light, sweet broth.
  • Sesame balls are once again made with a glutinous rice flour, covered in sesame seeds, and deep fried. The filling I learned to love and adore is red bean. This treat hits a nostalgic spot for me because they were my number one favourite dessert growing up!
  • And speaking of nostalgia, the eight treasure rice (very loose translation – I apologize to any native Chinese speakers) holds a special spot in my heart. I have fond memories of my grandparents making these for me. My dear, sweet grandma also puts a pretty display of toppings in concentric patterns – so cute!
  • As you can see, a pretty obvious pattern is emerging here. I love anything made with glutinous rice flour and has a sweet red bean filling – haha!
Phone wallpaper if you want to wake up every morning to a delicious sight 😉

If you celebrate Chinese new year, I hope you were able to find joy in any way you might have chosen to celebrate – big or small! And if you don’t, I hope if you ever get a chance to try these tasty desserts that YOU DO! That’s all from me for now. Cheers everyone. Happy lunar new year! 🥳

Year of the Ox

Chinese New Year starts on February 12th this year, and we are celebrating the year of the ox! Whether you are a believer of zodiac signs and all the associated traits and symbolism, or not, we can all appreciate the legacy of this Chinese tradition. (Read more about it here: LINK). To get myself prepared for the holiday spirit (in the safety of my home), I made a quick doodle using Procreate and turned it into a wallpaper for my phone.

This year I also decided to (be basic and) make a vision board. Noted – the term “vision board” is loosely applied given the COVID-19 pandemic in its current rampage. Some of my hopes of 2021 include travelling to Japan, road trips, and simply having the luxury of reading in a cafe. Albeit, I will accept if none of these things manifest if it means maintaining the health and safety of our communities, country, and globe. In that case, I won’t mind changing the “2021” into “2022”!

My loosely envisioned “vision board” also features my ox!

I have more posts planned to come. In the meantime, how you are planning to celebrate Chinese New Year in 2021? 🤩

I’m Board

Happy new year everyone! 🥳🎉 What do you get during winter break in a house full of hungry and bored university students? Lots and lots of charcuterie & cheese boards. I made this graphic for a close friend of mine for their birthday to honour their unconditional love for charcuterie boards. I wanted to make a quick post to share this fun graphic I made!

The word “Charcuterie” stems from 15th century France (according to various blogs and Wikipedia) where a specific guild was responsible for the production of salted and dried meats – referred to as “charcuterie”. On the other hand, cheese boards are enjoyed by the French and British. The French often have a cheese board before dessert, while the British prefer cheese after dessert. It appears that charcuterie boards emerged between WWI and WWII as a dish enjoyed by the upper class (source). Nowadays, charcuterie cheese boards have been popularized and often include all kinds of ingredients, some perhaps unorthodox. I’ll bet the elite class enjoying charcuterie boards during the interwar periods won’t have predicted seeing vegan cheese and vegan meat on such a platter. The beauty of charcuterie boards is that you can make your own, tailored to your taste. Furthermore, the meticulous process of assembling your board is ultimately rewarding if you achieve an aesthetic product. Thus, if you are ever bored during the holidays, try making a charcuterie board!

‘Tis the season

Happy holidays! Merry Christmas! ‘Tis the season to light holiday candles, drink hot cocoa, and watch terrible Christmas movies on Netflix. 2020 has changed everyone’s life and what we determined to be “normal”. I wanted to document how we managed to regain some of this “normal” throughout this holiday season (while staying safe). I am so grateful for the wonderful people around me, who have inspired and motivated me to bring holiday cheer to others around me.

We sent out holiday postcards to community members! One of the clubs I am involved in volunteers and advocates for a local support group. In times of COVID, this support group has not been able to gather for the last year. I designed this postcard, which my club mailed out to all the members of this local group in hopes of bringing folks some holiday cheer! What makes this postcard extra sentimental is that it is a depiction of our local city hall (though not a super accurate one I’ll have to admit – I tried my best, haha!).

“A Jolly Time in Kingston”. Procreate. 2020.

Making holiday cards! During COVID, many of us have to rely on the post office to mail gifts to family and friends. Mailing out parcels can be extremely slow and costly. If you are on a budget but you still want to let your friends and family know that you are thinking of them this year, you can always mail them a handmade card! There is something so special about receiving a card that has been meticulously crafted and tailored just for that someone special 🥰

Cards I made for family and friends. (In hindsight, a collage is not the best presentation of these cards due to the clutter but you get the gist!)

Our core bubble made a holiday feast! As long as you uphold your local COVID precautions and rules, there’s nothing that holds you back from still enjoying all of the delicious foods associated with Christmas and the holiday season. My personal favourites have to be vegetarian stuffing and mashed potatoes 🤤 You can still feast, even if it’s just within your immediate household. If you wanted to share your feast with others outside of your core bubble, you can always coordinate with them to drop off/exchange dishes at a safe location and safe distance. Afterwards, you can enjoy the meal together over ZOOM, Facetime, or other modes of virtual communication.

Our holiday feast❤️ (done within guidelines established by Ontario and Kingston). Peep the stuffing and mashed potatoes made by meee!

As an university student, I am ecstatic for this winter break. I can finally celebrate and rejoice in the wonderful things in life – big or small. For me, the small things include my morning coffees, painting my nails, and reading a good book before bed (I’m currently reading “When Breath Becomes Air”- very good so far!). The big things are finishing my second last semester of undergrad and applications to graduate schools! I am privileged to enjoy and experience all these things. And I have immense gratitude and appreciation for others in our community who make this holiday possible for the rest of us (e.g. store employees, frontline workers, etc.). I hope you can also rejoice and appreciate all the big and small things in life. ‘Tis the season to be grateful and to spread the jolly spirit! Happy holidays everyone ~ 🎄🎁☕️

Sweet Tooth

Quarantine calls for extra time spent reminiscing. And specifically about childhood snacks. I have a raging sweet tooth, but I think this doodle will hold me over until I can get my hands on these goodies again 🤩

(Procreate. 2020)

 

Happy Mother’s Day

I wouldn’t be who I am if it were not for my mom’s continuous support and love. Lots of love 💕 Don’t forget to send your mom a text, an email, a call, or a digital drawing (like me- feel free to use this!). Happy mother’s day!

Procreate. Digital drawing. 2020

what you love

This is something I whipped up for my mom’s birthday. Just a reminder to do what you love because she told me her new years wish is for me to be more happy. I thought I was already very happy 😂 so maybe she meant for me to maintain this state of mind for 2020. And right back at her! She is always so selfless so I thought she needed a reminder to be mindful of her own happiness too. Love you Mom!

What’s your favourite edit? 🤔

Procreate. iPad. Jan 2020.

Happy new years everyone. Enjoy your 2020 vision while it lasts 😎

There are no words…

I love drawing but I am NOT a doodler. With uni full-time, I find it more and more difficult to find the time to sit down and paint or sketch. Over the past few weeks, I found myself “doodling” words.

 

I have been using this as my Christmas card to family and friends! This is a great way to personalize your cards while keeping it simple. You just have to print one design and use it for multiple cards. 🙈

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I have been loving the Procreate app for drawing. The more you play with it, the more you realize that the $15 or so was worth every penny. If you are into digital art or graphic design, I highly recommend checking it out.

Cheers. Happy doodling. And happy holidays. 🤠

Meme Worthy

If you don’t go to Queen’s, then you probably don’t know the hype around sushi burrito. This creation from Kpop Sub Sushi took QU by a storm.

In fact, our club even made this into a sticker to commemorate it.

10/10 recommend if you ever visit Kingston!! 🙈

How to get more involved in uni as an introvert

I didn’t get involved in many extracurriculars back in high school nor my first year of university. I remember feeling like there was something wrong with me for not being interested in anything school related, especially seeing how active my friends were at school.

All this, and I can tell you that that mindset is false. First of all, there are COUNTLESS clubs and activities on campus. You are bound to find something that sparks your interest, even in the slightest bit. For me, I am especially interested in science/healthcare related clubs. Combine that with graphic design and it’s a match made in heaven. I really enjoy graphic design so I find myself enjoying a graphic design position in clubs that are not even related to science or healthcare. There are so many roles delegated in each club that you are bound to find one that speaks to you. For example, do you like marketing, finances, outreach, or sponsorship?

If all else fails, you can always start your own club! This I can speak for. It also explains my long hiatus from this blog. My friends and I started a club this year that supports the local Parkinson’s Disease community.  Getting this club up and running hasn’t been easy but I know it will be worth all the time and effort. As an introvert, the idea of starting my own club was terrifying at first. Luckily, I was able to find a group of friends who were willing to put in their own time and effort to help me make this club a reality (how am I so lucky to have found these people 🥺). I am going to be cliche here and say that nothing is impossible if you have enough drive and passion- you can do it.

My advice to anyone who is stressing about not being involved in enough extracurriculars is to… NOT. Sounds like dumb advice. But it’s true. Take a deep breath, mediate, and start seeking out clubs or activities that you are ACTUALLY passionate about or interested in. When you find those opportunities, you will find that being an active, involved student on campus will be easily than previously thought.

Here are some graphics that I did for my clubs last month:

 

Cheers and good luck!