Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hong Kong: Goldfish (Tung Choi) Street & Ladies' Market, 1st night

Hong Kong's Tung Choi street fish market is quite a sight to see. 
Beams of fluorescent lights refract off glistening baggies by the hundreds. 
Tucked into impossibly crowded alleyways between two overflowing buildings, or dangling precariously from wire racks are countless varieties of fish enclosed in their own personal bubbles of atmosphere, ready to be snatched off and carried home with a lucky collector of aquatic creatures. From turtles and frogs to fugu, there's something for everyone. Walking along, taking in the sights and sounds, it's otherworldly for certain, like stumbling into a scene from Bladerunner. 
Shoppers and the curious commingle, bumping shoulders to catch a glimpse at each creature.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hong Kong: Day 1

Hong Kong. 
Flying from Narita airport in Japan, Hong Kong is a 4-5 hour flight, plus additional time getting to their airport, which added about another 2-3 hours from my residence. 
I packed my things the night before and when it came time to head out, I hopped a taxi to a nearby hotel that was part of the Tokyo Disney Resort group. From there I'd jump aboard a bus to the airport, a peaceful jump onto the freeway that winds itself through small towns and rice fields. Arriving at the airport, the efficiency and businesslike manner of the Japanese is evident in rapidly cleared lines and a clean, lovely airport that has always felt surprisingly quiet and spacious in my visits. This would set a very stark tone against the congestion and visual chaos of Hong Kong, one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the entire globe. It's an entirely different world, even from it's neighbours. Such a visually lush city, there's no way I could even possibly come close to capturing every photo opportunity. I long to revisit the city to discover what new hidden gems, what chaos, what beauty I'll discover this time around. Here's a collection of sights from my first day of my first trip to this gorgeous little world. 

Critical Care Comics Saint Rose Hospital Visit 2016-03-24

You guys might have seen me talk in other posts about my volunteer work with Critical Care Comics, but in case you haven't here's a brief rundown: a bunch of big kids get together with local nerds & do-gooders to gather comics books, then summon up some superheroes and hand out those comics to kids in local hospitals to bring some much needed fun to their day.  Who wouldn't be happy to have Spiderman, Supergirl and Deadpool bring you a fat stack of comics?! Normally Batman would join us, but this time around he had some business to take care of back in Gotham...something about a fight with the man of steel...pfft...boys.

While I've been doing visits with them for a few months now, they've been around for 4 years doing good deeds and assembling their super squad! They're all pretty awesome people in their own right and though Deadpool is a recent addition he's a smash hit! It's so much fun seeing how the kids light up when their favourite heroes (or anti-heroes) walk in! I tag along and do caricatures for any of the kids who'd like to be drawn as their favourite heroes or cartoon characters. On this last visit to Saint Rose I got to draw a little Beast Boy, a Wonder Woman and an Elsa along with a super cute little Mickey Mouse! Sometimes the kids will be too nervous or shy to interact much but will light right up when they see my drawing, which is really heart warming to see. Any reason to be in the hospital generally isn't going to be good, so to bring a smile and some joy into their day is pretty cool! I've been doing caricatures for nearly 8 years now and it's great to be able to give back and do something for people who might not feel up for going out at the moment. 

During this visit we had a camera crew of Channel 3 news tag along for a segment that aired later that day. Our super crew went about business as usual, just with a bit more fanfare than normal. ^_^; It was pretty cool seeing our group get some tv-time. We're legit! It's true! We really do what we do!
And it's pretty awesome. I aim to keep tagging along and doing what I can to help cheer people up when and where I can as long as they'll give me the honour of doing so with their awesome team. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Vegas: Zappos Fandom Friday 2016-03-25

On Friday, March 25th I was lucky enough to participate in Zappos Fandom Friday event! Zappos, for those not in the know, is an online retailer based in my quaint little home town of Las Vegas, Nevada. On top of being a successful company that ranks as one of the best in country to work for,  Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh has taken a very active role in helping to revitalise downtown Las Vegas, leading the way in it's resurgence as a popular tourist & local hipster destination. And yes, if you read the Wired article I linked there, it's true; there is a giant praying mantis that shoot fire in Downtown Vegas, located in front of the Downtown Container Park. Thanks, Tony.
As a participating artist/vendor at the event, I got to hang out in their lobby area and partake in all the nerdy goodness afoot! There were many super talented artists, groovy vendors, cosplayers, banging DJs, and even some llamas. 
Yes, llamas.

Gosh they're cute! 
And really, it was a very cool event to attend. If I'm not mistaken, this was the first ever Fandom Friday thanks in no small part to Rogue Toys! Rogue Toys partnered with Zappos to get the gears rolling on this event and I'm so grateful they did. It's always great seeing new opportunities and events pop up for the artistic community in this city! And what a fun event this was; there were dancing storm troopers, amazing cosplay, fantastic original art, live performances by Decaying Tigers, arcades games free to play, food trucks, and fun and games for all involved!
I came out with some limited edition Batman Vs. Superman prints in honour of the new movie. Have you seen it? Antho and I had already watched it by the time I went to the event, but I made sure not to give away any spoilers...but I didn't really get much opportunity as almost everyone I asked about the movie admitted to being less than excited to see it...womp womp. 

Even so, I managed to sell a few of the prints. ^_^ I'm thinking of putting them up on Etsy, but I have a few Superhero events left here in town first so I'll see how they do. The nice thing about prints is once they're made you have them, so even if I didn't sell out of them at the event I'm glad to have gone! 
How often do you get to encounter random llamas or dancing Storm Troopers, after all?
This is going to be an image heavy post, so be forewarned ye of sluggish internet!!

Also, if you see yourself or anyone you know and want me to include their name or remove photos, please contact me ASAP and I'll be happy to oblige! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

10 Things I love on Etsy March 2016

Every month I like to take a moment to highlight some of my recent favourites from various sellers across Etsy. If you've never been to Etsy, you really should check it out! There are all sorts of fantastic hand-made, vintage, eco-friendly, niche/craft/artisanal goods to be found and there's something for everyone! Whether you're a total boho babe or are more into finding super exclusive fashion, they've got you covered!
01. I'll start us right off with this gorgeous scarf from AnnushkaHomeDecor. Such lovely shades mixing together in this scarf in a striking visual design that's still light weight enough for wear throughout the summer. The colors remind me of cherry blossoms and flamingos, perfect for spring or summer seasons without bulking up or adding too much heat. Delightful!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hair: Now it's here, now it's gone. 2016-03-26

You guys may have noticed that I recently cut my hair, and quite drastically at that. 
Some may be wondering why I would opt to remove the soft, flowing follicles that adorned my face in favour of a blunt short crop... or maybe not, you might not be the least bit concerned with what I do with my own hair, and right on if so. Feel free to bypass this post in favour of something more interesting to you.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Project: Spring Tie-dye 2016-03-18

Happy Spring, guys!

How is your month going?
We've recently moved and during the process a lot of our tie-dye stuff got buried...but we've managed to dig it out of the abyss of the garage and made a fun new batch of goodies to share with everyone!
If you haven't noticed before, Antho and I are pretty fond of tie-dying. It's an excellent creative project that we can work on together and it's so much fun to unwrap and unveil the finished products! There are so many fabric textures, colour combinations, folds and techniques that we're constantly evolving and trying new things as we go.
We've also been doing research into ordering products wholesale and sourcing fun new styles. 
I really enjoyed how this long sleeved ribbed cotton shirt turned out!  

It's almost long enough for me and I'm 5'10"! I prefer having my tummy covered with longer shirts but it could totally be rocked as a belly-baring shirt for the braver ladies out there. We've been using more or less the same dyes since the very beginning, but we're really excited about a recent order for some high-end dyes that should be arriving soon. Our shop has also been getting more business lately, but we're still far from the top performing tie-dye shop on Etsy and I want to change that. I've sunk some time into watching free lectures and reading blogs from top performers and gleaned some useful tips that have already quadrupled our sales! We've even sold a shirt to Luxembourg & one to Spain since I added international shipping to our shop!
Goals, people.
I got them!

Check out the rest of our colourful new creations after the jump!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Baby Rat Growth & development: Crew of the Nostromo first two weeks

Bright lights, bright lights!

Day 1:

Ripley, our other rat mama, had her litter on the 16th of February. Although she gave birth to 10 babies 3 were stillborn.  As sad as that may be I still find it preferable to how we lost some of Deadpool's little Deadites later down the line. I can only hope that these lost squeaks didn't suffer long, if at all. We didn't remove the stillborns from the cage and Ripley took care of them in her own way, as nature does. Making them took a lot of energy out of her, so it's only fair that she be allowed to recycle them, which is what they're naturally wired to do.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Baby rat growth & development part two: days 11-16

11th Day:

Please ignore the haggard nails, we'd been doing tie-dye. ;) 
The rat babies have been growing like little weeds! At this stage they were still unable to see, but their ears have started to open up and showcase themselves. All of Deadpool's babies, AKA the Deadites, inherited Dumbo ears as both their parents had them. Only a few of Ripley's crew (of the Nostromo, naturally) developed dumbo ears despite having the same father. Genetics! While I certainly claim no great depth of understanding when it comes to the intricacies of rat genetics, I do find it very intriguing to learn about. I believe that by breeding our dumbo eared double rex to a standard coated dumbo we've gotten a batch of 100% rex babies, some with silky coats and others with short, curly fur...but then I'm not entirely sure as some of her litter look pretty bald. 

This little sweetie is Bendleton, or Ben for short. He's definitely gotten a luxuriously silky coat! So soft and shiny! He's been growing bigger, faster, than the rest of the Deadites. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Vegas: Red Rock hike 2014/11/01

Las Vegas, for the uninitiated, is a city seemingly adrift among the vistas of the harsh Mojave desert. While there are several small towns and cities within an hour's drive of the ever-expanding edges of the Vegas cityscape, once you pass those you're pretty much in the wastelands. We're talking the land of infamous Area 51, the Nevada Nuclear test site, Graboids, and Fallout New Vegas. The benefit to all this expanse of unrepentantly rough terrain is that much of it is exquisitely beautiful if you dare brave getting to it. Red Rock Canyon is among these prettiest of places while conveniently close to the city limits and relatively low on the difficulty. You can certainly opt to scramble up challenging rocks and scurry through caves and cracks, but you do so at your own discretion.