yay giveaway! :D

I thought I’d share a few of the paint­ings I cre­at­ed in my square-a-day project (see back­ground sto­ry here), to cel­e­brate the fact that I actu­al­ly com­plet­ed it, and to thank every­one one for trav­el­ing with me and encour­ag­ing me on this jour­ney of redis­cov­er­ing the joy of paint! :D

Before I explain the details of the give­away (first ever! :D) Here’s anoth­er look at all the squares I have, paint­ed between July 6 and August 4 (you can click on it to see a larg­er image).


I’m giv­ing away four sets of three paint­ings. I tried to group them by themes.


Day at the farm




Curi­ous naturalist




Each is rough­ly 4″ x 4″, acrylic paint on canvas.

I think they’d look nice framed indi­vid­u­al­ly in small­er frames, or togeth­er in a long frame like this one. Or, a cou­ple of vis­i­tors have sug­gest­ed that they can be sewn onto bags or oth­er sewing projects, like patch­es :D I think that’s awe­some idea, as long as the item on which they are sewn won’t need to be washed very much. I’ve ironed them to fix the colours, so I think it would be okay to spray them with some water and wipe them clean. 

If you’d like to give some of my paint­ings a good home, please leave a com­ment on this post. Four names will be drawn ran­dom­ly a week from now, on Sun­day, August 19 at mid­night (EST). The four peo­ple will be con­tact­ed by email the fol­low­ing morn­ing :D

Edit: I real­ized that I for­got to clar­i­fy one thing: the ran­dom­ize draw mech­a­nism will draw four names, the first name being drawn will receive Day at the Farm, the sec­ond name will receive Origa­mi, the third name will receive Curi­ous Nat­u­ral­ist, and the fourth name will receive Abstractionist. Basi­cal­ly, the order that the names are drawn will coin­cide with the order that the paint­ing sets are list­ed. Sor­ry that I for­got to make that clear earlier!  

Thank you so much for vis­it­ing, and for all of your kind words and support!

Have a great week, every­one! :D




square-a-day: the last leg!

Day 25, portal.


Day 26, hope floats.


Day 27, leg­end of the shrim­panzee — half shrimp, half chimp, all sea mon­ster! “rawr, get out of my lagoon!” *bats at rocks* Inspired by these awe­some paint­ings.


Day 28, sea­weed nest and pearls of wisdom.


Day 29, shrooms. Was writ­ing a guest post that day and I men­tioned mush­rooms at the foot of a tree.


Day 30, over a field of pop­pies. I paint­ed this at my par­ents’, as I was spend­ing the week­end there. I brought my most used brush­es and used the paints from my sis­ter’s old paint-by-num­ber kit. 

Hur­ray! Project com­plete! :D


Here’s how they look alto­geth­er. I’ve been hang­ing one up every­day on a string, like a bunting. (Please excuse the clut­tered back­ground. Our apart­ment comes with a mir­ror-cov­ered wall and we put all sorts of posters on it.) You can click on the pho­to to see a larg­er image.


Kind of hard to believe that I actu­al­ly stuck with it, paint­ed a square a day for 30 days. It was a lot of fun. Often I just paint­ed what­ev­er came to mind but some­times it offered such a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to work through the thoughts and feel­ings that were both­er­ing me.

Also, I did­n’t men­tioned that all of the paint­ings, except the 30th one, were done with dol­lar store paint! Not the great­est qual­i­ty, but does a good job actually. 

I’m going to have to take bet­ter pic­tures of them. The Insta­gram ones are fun but some of the colours and details don’t show up very well. And then I’m going to have a first ever gen­uine mud­pie give­away! :D To thank every­one for trav­el­ling with me on this jour­ney of redis­cov­er­ing the joy of paint­ing. Still have to fig­ure out the logis­tics of it, but will post details soon! 

I’ll def­i­nite­ly do this again, maybe a square a week or some­thing. But for now I’m going to fin­ish the pat­tern I’ve been work­ing on (eeep!) and a mys­tery project! With mys­tery posts! Stay tuned! :D


Wish­ing you a fun-filled day!


Pre­vi­ous square-a-day posts:
First post
Update 1
Update 2
Update 3 



square-a-day update

Day 19, a quick study of Kat Sue the felt­ed cat hailed from Fel­pa Felt, Mex­i­co. Pos­si­bly my favourite square yet!


Day 20, octo­pus in the distance.


Day 21, con­tem­plat­ing good­bye. Deal­ing with some dif­fi­cult things these days, glad to have a way of express­ing it.


Day 22, lis­ten­ing. For direc­tions, I guess.


Day 23, not alone. An exper­i­ment with freez­er paper sten­cil­ing, then real­ize that freez­er paper and wax paper are not the same. But I only had wax paper, and don’t know where to get freez­er paper. Had mild suc­cess on this square piece of can­vas, so tried it on a t‑shirt any­way, on a larg­er scale, but failed miserably :(


Day 24, duck glar­ing at peo­ple tak­ing pho­tos. I admit that I’m one of those peo­ple. Inspired by recent trips to city parks and Mo Willem’s pigeon series. 


More on the square-a-day project:
First post
First update
Sec­ond update 



square-a-day update

Day 13. Inspired by a pho­to I saw.


Day 14, deep sea navigation.


Day 15, red bam­boo. I was teach­ing Chi­nese writ­ing with cal­lig­ra­phy brush­es at a sum­mer camp that day. Tried using Chi­nese cal­lig­ra­phy brush with watered down acrylic, but it did­n’t work so well.


Day 16, wood and daisies. It was our 5th wed­ding anniver­sary, and my sis­ter told me that wood and daisies are tra­di­tion­al gifts for a 5th anniver­sary. We toured Black Creek Pio­neer Vil­lage that day (pic­tures to come! :D) and took lots of pic­tures of old wood hous­es and daisies.


Day 17, nests. Mask­ing flu­id and sewing on some beads.


Day 18, guests of the land. Used white glue instead of mask­ing flu­id. Came to the con­clu­sion that white glue does not func­tion well as mask­ing flu­id. I think I’ve exper­i­ment­ed with this before. For­got what the results were. Should have checked my own blog first :P 


Have a love­ly day, every­one! :D



More on the square-a-day project:
first post
sec­ond post 




square-a-day update

Day 7, repli­cat­ing a leaf I picked up on the way to school last fall.


Day 8, the great escape.


Day 9, sys­tems the­o­ry, or, “if I could write my paper in colours and shapes”.


Day 10, resilience. I made a stamp using craft foam and a bot­tle cap. A city ris­ing from the sea. A recur­ring motif of the Wall City.


Day 11, lantern. An attempt­ed sun print with a paper snowflake kind of paper-cut­ting method. But the sun was­n’t con­sis­tent enough (despite the heat) that day to make it work. Used the paper cut as a sten­cil instead. I like how bright the magen­ta and yel­low are. Almost flo­res­cent and glowing.


Day 12, lantern, 2. Thought the paper cut sten­cil­ing was fun, made anoth­er one.


Hap­py Wednes­day! :D


More on the square-a-day project:
first post 



square-a-day project

About a week ago I decid­ed to start a paint­ing project. To reac­quaint myself with paint. I decid­ed to paint one square (4″ x 4″ ‑ish) a day for a month (30 squares). 

Because part of my work involves facil­i­tat­ing art groups. Peo­ple in the group work on paint­ing projects. I work with them on the paint­ing projects. I encour­age peo­ple to paint (amongst oth­er art things). But I don’t real­ly paint in my own time.

I’m tak­ing a sum­mer course and the prof once said, “don’t ask your clients to do things you would­n’t do yourself.”

I don’t usu­al­ly call the peo­ple I work with “clients”, but that’s not the point.

The point is, I don’t paint. So I feel like a hypocrite. 

So, I was cut­ting can­vas square for a project for the group and I came up with this square-a-day idea.

It’s a bit of dis­ci­pline, but it’s fun so far. I try to paint what­ev­er comes into mind and not give it too much thought. But usu­al­ly I have an idea of what I’m going to paint ahead of time. I try to be spon­ta­neous and accept the final prod­uct for what it is. Ideas that I try to pro­mote in my work.

Some have titles, some don’t.

So this is the set up, on the kitchen counter. Not that I don’t have oth­er spaces, it’s just near the sink. 


Day 1, I was glanc­ing at my hat as I was get­ting ready in the morning.


Day 2, Red Wing. I was look­ing at a place mat lean­ing upside down on the kitchen counter. Remind­ed me of the res­i­dent red winged black bird in the near­by park.


Day 3, Ghosts. Inspired by an Insta­gram pho­to I saw. But kind of got frus­trat­ed by the way the watered down paint blotch­es on raw can­vas. End­ed up rins­ing the paint­ed can­vas under the tap and fin­ished with just a few strokes of dark­er blue because I could­n’t deal with it anymore.


Day 4, blend­ing the back­ground was pleasant.


Day 5, The Observ­er? Also reminds me of the humans in Moom­in­val­ley. Was just exper­i­ment­ing to see if wax crayon/ink scratch­ing work on canvas.


Day 6, ce n’est pas un Å“uf. Thought I would try to paint from some kind of still life. In this case, an egg. 


Will keep you post­ed on the project! :D

Have an awe­some weekend!






day of the jelly fish

Remem­ber I men­tioned that I bought a super awe­some neck­lace from City of Craft the oth­er day? This is it, the jel­ly fish!


Isn’t it spec­tac­u­lar? It’s like a water droplet with a tiny jel­ly fish in it :D (it’s all made of glass — when I showed it to peo­ple every­one asked me if it were a real jel­ly fish. No jel­ly fish was harmed in the mak­ing of this, I assure you.) It’s made by Tosca Ter­an, a local glass and met­al artist (I am hop­ing to take a class with her one day!). Nev­er seen any­thing like this before. So after cir­cling back to the booth sev­er­al times I final­ly bought it. 

And then it inspired me to make a paint­ing of jel­ly fish.


It’s paint­ed on the back cov­er of an old book. See?


An old book called The Trum­pet of the Swan by E. B. White. I love the cov­er with the writer’s sig­na­ture in gold foil.


The water stain on the low­er right cor­ner was already there when I found the book. Kind of goes with the oth­er two jel­ly fish. Also has fab­u­lous green end papers :D


Hope your week is filled with new inspirations! 



from the lake

Inspired by an idea I saw on Pin­ter­est a while ago — using white ink on dark rocks — I paint­ed these a few days ago. I found the stones by Lake Huron in the summer. 

This one is inspired by the bar­na­cles I saw in Hong Kong on the rocks by the seashore. The stone has some fos­silized corals in it.


This one has a tiny shell embed­ded in it :D


I paint­ed the out­line with white acrylic and a tiny Chi­nese cal­lig­ra­phy brush, and then coloured inside the shapes with fine tip markers.

On a sep­a­rate note, today Toron­to saw the first offi­cial snow­fall of the sea­son! It was the feath­ery kind of snow too and it stayed on the branch­es for a while. The red berry bush I showed you the oth­er day looked gor­geous cov­ered in snow, but I left my cam­era at home! Oh well… maybe it will snow again tomorrow…

Hap­py Thurs­day, everyone!


moon flowers

Anoth­er piece I made at the con­fer­ence on the week­end. From a work­shop on the art of prac­tic­ing grat­i­tude. We were to make a grat­i­tude scroll or wall-hang­ing that reflects the peo­ple, events or things we’re thank­ful for. 

So this is what I made, moon flow­ers. The moon­light that nour­ish­es the flow­ers dur­ing dark times.


I took this pic­ture in the hotel lob­by, with the faux antique wall.

Here’s detail of the flowers…


I cro­cheted the cen­tre of it. The pho­to does­n’t real­ly cap­ture it but there’s actu­al­ly a tinge of red in the cen­tre of the fab­ric leaves, which goes real­ly well with the yel­low yarn I found. Did­n’t bring my hooks, but the fab­ric leaves came with stems. I removed the stem and bent it :D 


It kept snag­ging the yarn, but it worked for the most part. Just kind of inter­est­ing for me to real­ize how attached I am to cro­chet­ing and how the idea of cro­chet­ing just comes up almost auto­mat­i­cal­ly even when I’m just try­ing to paint. That tells me that I need to put an extra hook in my pen­cil case from now on so I can have it wher­ev­er I go, just in case I stum­ble across some­thing I can cro­chet! :D

And then here’s the moonlight…


I do think it was inspired part­ly by the night scene in Plants vs Zom­bies… I love the tiny mush­room that gen­er­ates light! :D

And the pol­ka dot feath­ers I found in the pile of col­lage materials…

Mak­ing things togeth­er with oth­er peo­ple is such a won­der­ful, ener­giz­ing expe­ri­ence. Did­n’t real­ize how much I missed it until I went to this work­shop, where mate­ri­als were just piled on the table and every­one work­ing hap­pi­ly along­side one anoth­er, shar­ing glue, scis­sors, laugh­ter, stories. 

I’m def­i­nite­ly grate­ful for this experience.

Have a hap­py Thurs­day, everyone!




This was inspired by some­thing I saw on Pin­ter­est a while ago, draw­ing on leaf with a sil­ver pen. I went and bought a sil­ver pen soon after I saw that, and found a leaf to draw on. I’ve been car­ry­ing both in my back­pack for the past few weeks but haven’t used them until yesterday.

Oak leaves are great for this because they have a kind of durable leath­ery tex­ture, and pre­serve well with­out hav­ing to be pressed. 

It’s been real­ly rainy these days, so I’m hop­ing for dri­er days to col­lect more leaves before they’re all fallen.

Think­ing of a cozy squir­rel nest with piles of leaves and acorns in it… Have a hap­py Thursday!