October 29, 2011

Paper for Halloween?

I'm having a very boring Halloween weekend working on Powerpoint slide decks (Friday), watching the theater-music-poetry hybrid that is Sellars', Morrison's and Traore's Desdemona, and being too lazy to go to parties/ too cowardly to partake in the horror movie marathon currently going on in my living room.

But then I came across these amazing masks and wigs created out of paper by the amazing artists Nikki Salk and Amy Flurry as part of their Paper Cut Project:

The intricacies of paper made to look like feathers and leaves!! Ah I'm dying. As someone who struggles on a constant basis to master cutting paper in a straight line, not gluing finger to object being glued, etc, this is artistic craftsmanship at an unbelieveable level, and for such a humble medium.

Hope everyone's having a super fun Halloween!

October 28, 2011

Favourites: Charlotte Taylor FW 11

An old collection from British designer Charlotte Taylor, but SO GOOD. Bold animal prints, autumnal colours, great styling. Reminds me so much of old portraiture, and is so elegant while not being stuffy about it.

The penguin blouse is a definite NEED.

Images from the Charlotte Taylor website

October 27, 2011

Thursday music: "boppy"

I've been kind of high-strung lately: had a mini freak out today just thinking about the amount of TIME I spend on TBG and just kind of how crazy stressed I am over academic work and all the little projects I have in the air.


1. Life Fantastic by Man Man
2. Some Day by Brett Dennen (ridiculously adorable live)
3. This Wasted Heart by Tenderfist

Boppity bop! There might also be a direct correlation between the giant cup of vanilla latte I just consumed and my current level of frenzied, work-accomplishing activity. #justsaying.

Images from Vogue China- aren't they just the perfect monochromatic burst of cheeriness?

October 26, 2011

Textile animal art

Oh my word.
These quilts are phenomenally creative:
I am a huge quilt fan- my grandmother made some super adorable quilts, and my family still keeps the little yellow ducky one that she made for me when I was a baby and my brother's baby blue quilt. Before she passed away, she and my mom were working on a blue bear quilt (I was 14...) for me, and it was a really great generational experience seeing the fabric spread out over the dining table; my grandmother and mother holding the batting down and teaching me where the stitches go. The quilt project got shelved when my grandmother fell ill, and it still lies undone in a corner of my house, but I think it might be a good project for me and my mom to revive when I come home. (Though maybe we could attempt something cooler than blue cartoon bears. Maybe something as geometrically interesting as these ones.)

Images from the CCollier Studio Etsy store, via Style by Emily Henderson

Black and blue

These nifty drawings from Brian Rea are making my economics problem set/Powerpoint slide deck filled night a lot more giggly than before.

His entire body of work is sneakily brilliant, but I especially love these images from his Heartache Mountain series. Also really like his giant mural on Fears and this banana illustration.

October 25, 2011


Sorry for just disappearing off the face of the earth for the past couple of days- school's been crazy busy and I've become really run-down because of all the THINGS that I need to get done.

Anyway, here's a picture I've been super obsessing over lately:
Liu Wen's outfit (oxford, woolly pullover, hair messily pulled back) is basically what I wore all of last week during Berkeley's weird sudden chill/ earthquake drama (we had 16 earthquakes in 3 days. I felt 2 of them. Earthquakes are Not Fun.) But I just really love the proportions of her outfit and also that gorge blonde model (feel like I should know her name; I just can't remember it for the life of me).

But today was a good day (mostly because I missed 4h of my day by refusing to get out of bed): collected some good interview data, got most of the stuff on my to-do list ticked off, went for my first pilates class (SO painful. But undeniably good for me), and had me some interview prep. So, onward! Powerpoint slides, midpoint presentations, midterms, economics problem sets- I will conquer you with sheer force of will and excessive amounts of caffeine!!

Image source unknown. Let me know if you do so I can credit it properly.

October 17, 2011

Poem: The Confession of an Apricot, Carl Adamshick

The Confession of an Apricot
Carl Adamshick

I love incorrectly.

There is a solemnity in hands,
the way a palm will curve in
accordance to a contour of skin,
the way it will release a story.

This should be the pilgrimage.
The touching of a source.
This is what sanctifies.

This pleading. This mercy.
I want to be a pilgrim to everyone,
close to the inaccuracies, the astringent
dislikes, the wayward peace, the private
words. I want to be close to the telling.
I want to feel everyone whisper.

After the blossoming I hang.
The encyclical that has come
through the branches
instructs us to root, to become
the design encapsulated within.

Flesh helping stone turn tree.

I do not want to hold life
at my extremities, see it prepare
itself for my own perpetuation.
I want to touch and be touched
by things similar in this world.

I want to know a few secular days
of perfection. Late in this one great season
the diffused morning light
hides the horizon of sea. Everything
the color of slate, a soft tablet
to press a philosophy to.


Long, crazy week ahead. But could I ask for anything more?

October 15, 2011

Style inspiration: Weronika from Raspberry and Red

Just came back from one of the most interesting evenings I've had- a pole dancing demonstration at J's studio in Pleasanton (ridiculously cool, but not really my thing, I think) and Fenton's! Yum in my tum. Tonight I wore grey peg leg trousers with a rugby-striped oatmeal jumper and a fully buttoned white polo underneath. Super preppy, super classic, super unfussy- much in the same style (hopefully) as personal style blogger Weronika from Raspberry and Red. I've really been gravitating towards these simple lines and classic silhouettes for the Fall!

The kicker? She's only 16. Hello, inferiority complex.

Images from the Raspberry and Red blog

October 12, 2011

Uncheesy inspirational quotes

Rugged, rustic photography + creative typeface + nifty graphic elements = Julian Bialowas' brilliant project, 356Q. My absolute favourite is the first one- doesn't it just perfectly capture the spirit of Fall?

Images from the 365Q website

October 10, 2011

Why I'm doing this

When school gets me down and I just can't be bothered to put in my 100% into my schoolwork anymore, I remember WHO I'm doing this for, and I get reminded of how I almost didn't get to come to Berkeley and how much my family is sacrificing for me to be here; how much I shouldn't take this (yes, even these terrible work-crammed 2 weeks) for granted.

But first, bed. And then, studying for managerial accounting.

Image from my 21st this past summer, courtesy of hipster (and all-round excellent friend) Kelvin Chew

October 8, 2011

Slowing down, a little bit

One of the things that people always tell me is that I am "too intense." Which I never really thought was a bad thing, because that drive was what got me into Berkeley and so what if I have zero work-play balance, never party on Fridays because I always have too much work or major meetings on Saturday mornings, and no longer have time to sing silly songs/ read the books I love/ write poetry? I mean, I survived on 4h of sleep per night in high school and it got me into Cal, so this will all be worth it in the end, right?

Lately I haven't thought so. I had a lot of fun over the summer at my internship, but it meant that I barely saw my family and didn't really get to hang out with my friends (who were also super busy with their respective internships, though), and it left me just slightly burnt out for this semester. I've been feeling so out of it lately- tired, cranky, whiny, really not feeling school, and I am beginning to think it's because I spend too little time working on myself. So this week I've decided, NO. I'm no longer going to over-commit myself and I'm going to work on protecting me-time; I'm going to force myself to do the things I love instead of accumulating more work for myself.

As always, strategies to thwart my overachieving, overanxious self:

1. Scheduling it in
Everything goes in my organizer. EVERYTHING. If I don't list the event in my organizer, it doesn't exist (this has been a problem for me before, most notably this week when I scheduled 3 meetings at overlapping times last Tuesday...) So I decided to sign up for weekly classes that I can pencil in.

Some clues:
I'm now taking Intro to Ballet at the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center! I went for my first class there today (I took 3 classes at LINES in SF last semester but it's too much of a time commitment to travel to the city weekly even though I had so much fun in those classes) and I LOVE it. My teacher is super patient and the most adorable man, and I took a slow walk back today- College Avenue on a sunny Saturday afternoon is one of the most beautiful walks ever. I bought my first-ever pair of ballet shoes yesterday, and it was such a thrill to wear them today at class :) And when I came back... I churned out 1 page of good writing for my paper. I'm also thinking of taking pilates at the YWCA on Bancroft on Monday evenings (anyone want to join me?), just because I kept falling over at the barre so I need to improve my core, stat.

2. Categorizing class expenses as Happiness Money
Soo I am a struggling college student (my parents no longer give me an allowance; they only pay for rent, tuition, and books) so forking over that $13 for something that wasn't *necessary* the way that new batteries for my calculator are necessary made me feel terribly guilty. But I'm dividing my paycheck into quarters- 1/2 goes into my saving account, 1/4 goes into my travel account (saving up for Chicago this Thanksgiving and my Europe trip/ Topshop this winter), and 1/4 goes into my happiness money, which includes eating out, buying new clothes, and small expenses that make life that much easier. e.g. Philz coffee, ballet classes, and new ballet shoes.

3. Journaling
Journaling has always been super important for me- I've had a journal (of sorts) since I could write, but I realized that the last time I journalled before this semester was JULY 2010. And even then it comprised lists and lists of things to-do. But I've embarked on a teeny journaling project, and it's just such a great reminder how much I have to be happy, how much I have to be grateful about- and when I go back and reread my entries I realize that they all consist of "I am so thankful for the new jewelry I bought today," "how the Campanile looks today," "having Korean fried chicken at 1am" and not about 1. Doing homework, 2. Clearing my email inbox, or 3. Attending all my meetings (though clearly they are important). And I think it just keeps me on track on my me-project this semester.

Aaah, today's class made me so excited and happy and better ready to face the world. I hope that list helps any similarly kiasu (Singaporean for "afraid to lose [at life]") folks out there!

Old images found saved on my computer: [1] Vogue Russia 2009 [2] Arthur Elgort for US Vogue September 2008 [3] Rachel Papo for the New York Sun in 2006, New York City Ballet Nutcracker fittings

October 7, 2011

Time split/ heart split

My heart blooms like this Jason Wu SS12 dress on Fridays:

This image is one of the most arresting I've seen in all the fashion week photo coverage. There is such beauty in this world, guys. We can't give up on people.

Image from the Vogue tumblr

October 6, 2011

Here is where I used to lie

Turning Point
Rainer Maria Rilke, translated from German by Stephen Mitchell

The road from intensity to greatness
passes through sacrifice.

For a long time he attained it in looking.
Stars would fall to their knees
beneath his compelling vision.
Or as he looked on, kneeling,
his urgency's fragrance
tired out a god until
it smiled at him in its sleep.

Towers he would gaze at so
that they were terrified:
building them up again, suddenly, in an instant!
But how often the landscape,
overburdened by day,
came to rest in his silent awareness, at nightfall.

Animals trusted him, stepped
into his open look, grazing,
and the imprisoned lions
stared in as if into an incomprehensible freedom;
birds, as it felt them, flew headlong
through it; and flowers, as enormous
as they are to children, gazed back
into it, on and on.

And the rumour that there was someone
who knew how to look,
stirred those less
visible creatures:
stirred the women.

Looking how long?
For how long now, deeply deprived,
beseeching in the depths of his glance?

When he, whose vocation was Waiting, sat far from home--
the hotel's distracted unnoticing bedroom
moody around him, and in the avoided mirror
once more the room, and later
from the tormenting bed
once more:
then in the air the voices
discussed, beyond comprehension,
his heart, which could still be felt;
debated what through the painfully buried body
could somehow be felt--his heart;
debated and passed their judgment:
that it did not have love.

(And denied him further communions.)

For there is a boundary to looking.
And the world that is looked at so deeply
wants to flourish in love.

Work of the eyes is done, now
go and do heart-work
on all the images imprisoned within you; for you
overpowered them: but even now you don't know them.
Learn, inner man, to look at your inner woman,
the one attained from a thousand
natures, the merely attained but
not yet beloved form

It's been a frustrating, stressful 2 weeks. I know by Monday I'd have produced an 8p paper on how sight and sound in Wyatt's translation of Psalms 51, a memo to Apple's sustainability director on how Apple can improve its sustainability report in 2012, and finished studying for my managerial accounting midterm on Tuesday, but right now I really don't know how that's going to happen.

Image from Japanese artist Yuken Teruya's "Minding My Own Business," a response to the Japanese tsunami.
"His intention was to let the new sprouts grow from the surface of the newspaper that document the tragic stories. Even when the whole country is shaken by the disaster, time passes, Spring comes and new lives start"

Hearing all these sad news about friends' family members passing away, the Cupertino shootings, Steve Jobs' passing away- they put my little insignificant stresses and upset feelings to shame and into perspective.

October 5, 2011

Favourites: Miu Miu SS10

On a cold, miserable day like this (Berkeley weather is flipflopping between sunshine and pouring rain, it's ridiculous), there's nothing that makes me happier than discovering beautiful illustrations of one of my all-time favourite collections, Miu Miu SS10. The angular style of illustrationist Jiiakuann really perfectly captures the hard-edged, intellectual quality of many of Miuccia Prada's clothes; at the same time, the quirky details in the illustrations, like heavily shadowed eyes and thin colouring, also capture the offbeat and slightly weird Miu Miu aesthetic.

If you can't already tell, I've been practicing a lot of close reading in my English classes, and it's impacting many more areas of my life than I originally envisioned. Still, these are gorgeous. I wish they were available as prints.

Apartment drool

I think I'm more than slightly obsessed with Rue editor Anne Sage's GORGEOUS Mission apartment. It's the perfect mix of mid-century modern (thanks, Emily Henderson of HGTV's Secrets of a Stylist, for educating me on furniture vocabulary) and old-world vintage charm. How adorable is that little vignette with the succulents (my most favourite plants in the world) and little squirrel (my favourite woodland creatures post-Up) figurines in a cake stand?!

I think I'm just enarmoured with this room because it perfectly captures my style (wow this is starting to sound a little pretentious)- the dove greys, purples, muted golds. Love.

Images from Refinery29

October 3, 2011

Favourites: DKNY SS12

Have been kind of obsessed with simple, minimalist looks (Francisco Costa's Calvin Klein and The Row are my all-time favourite brands) for the longest time- see Hanneli post below, and these DKNY Spring 2012 looks make me all trembly and happy inside.

LOVE these looks so much. And the reversibility of those floppy hats- what a cute detail.

Images from Vogue, via poisepolish

October 2, 2011

Poetry exercise

Today I discovered a whole trove of old poetry that I had posted online a long time ago (I stopped posting poetry up in 2006 I think), and it's amazing how one's view of what "good poetry" is changes so rapidly over the years- today I look back at this and wince slightly at their juvenileness; at the same time there are some lovely images in there. I haven't been creative in a very long time, and I think that one of my projects for what's left of this year is to go back and rework some of those poems.

An example:

flickered in, new electrical light you
glittered steadily; i'm tangled up,
filament turns like rollercoasters which never stop
(ring around the roses, up-down, up-
down, we all fall) a stomach clenching fist

(in my darkestdays and darkestnights i cling
to the thought of you, your
perfect beauty and my
imperfect likelovedesperation;

i dream slight dreams of night-time kisses,
below stars that smile,
tremblingly, knowingly,)

my heart is the size of my palm, folded up and closed tight,
i hold you, grippingly, a seal on an envelope; but
the tighter i squeeze, the more you run away-

my fingers are sieves,
and you slip through.


This would be exciting, I think. And I think I need to go back to writing again. I don't know, I think that college has changed me more than I think it has. Today was lovely; I stayed in bed until 11, did some microecon and watched some Big Bang Theory, went to Walmart. Days like this- all dappled and lightly sunlit, my fingers entwined with yours, quietness, laughter, ease. I miss this so much during the school week.