christmas Tag

I’ve always been writing an overview of the year as it’s nice to look back and reflect on the things that I’ve done, experienced and places that I have visited. I don’t think anyone would’ve expected that this year there’d be a global pandemic and that we’ve all had to press the pause button. It’s just been one weird year where we’ve all had to adapt in the way we live, interact and work. For a lot of people though, the pandemic has exacerbated hardship in terms of loss of employment, mental health, loss of education and an uncertain future in that certain plans have had to be put on hold for the time being. It has also shown the widening gap in poverty and life chances, especially the North and South divide, not forgetting that BAME groups have been completely marginalised in comparison to their white counterparts.

The Black Lives Matter movement has probably been one of the most important social movements of the year; a reaction to the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (of course, not forgetting the countless innocent lives taken away by police brutality and systematic racism) it sent shockwaves across the world. How in modern America is this still happening? It’s like the clocks have turned and they’re going backwards. Social activism has sprung up through social networks organised through grass root communities and organisations- unity and love has been the light through this dark tunnel . It has been a real eye opener, against the backdrop of Covid-19, that solidarity and support is shown no matter where you are in the world. In the summer myself and Ivy raised money in solidarity with Black Lives Matter together with some other artists and illustrators who were kind enough to donate a piece of artwork to the cause. We both felt frustrated by what was happening in America, and though I didn’t go to any protests, sometimes the smallest actions can have a major impact.

During the period of lockdown I had spent a lot of time weaving and throughly enjoyed it. This’ll definitely something I’ll be continuing and I have plans of buying a larger loom.

 

I took part in lots of virtual craft markets during the summer, made sales through them, and will do more of them as they arise in the future. The pandemic has shown that creatives and businesses have had to adapt in the uncertainty of the coronavirus, although not the same as walking through a market, I think it’s been fantastic that so many people have grouped together in support of one another.

As well as taking part in online life drawing lessons, Sam and I have had the time to cook far more interesting dishes which we wouldn’t usually have the time for. We made cheese (at one point it was mega hard to get hold of cheese), bao buns, sushi (made this twice now), lots of Japanese food in general plus good old wontons which I can’t see to get enough of right now!

As lockdown was easing we went camping for a couple of days and that’s been our holiday; no plans of going away either. We’ll spending Christmas here in London as it’s way too risky to be visiting family members. Once vaccinations have been on the roll-out I’ll be making my way up North as I haven’t seen my folks since July. I also miss my grandparents but it’s just not worth the risk to be seeing them over the Christmas period. I miss conversing with them in Cantonese, eating my Grandma’s traditional and home cooked Chinese food… all of those things I’m really craving right now but I keep reminding myself that one day we’ll be able to spend proper quality time as a family. So we’ll be having a quiet: watching lots of films, eating cheese and chocolate, making artwork in my own time and hanging with the cats.

I’m going to end my post here and I wish you all a festive Christmas and see you on the other side. Since I last updated this post, London and all of South East of England are now in tier 4 which means no mixing with other households, people cannot leave tier 4 areas unless permitted (i.e. for work)… generally staying put then.

(A rather ambient version of WHAM’S Last Christmas to get you into the mood- Enjoy!). x

Hi Friends!

Hope you’re all keeping well. I spent the last few days designing some new Christmas cards which will be available in my Etsy, Folksy and Urban Makers shop very soon.

The cards will come in a pack of five and they’re blank inside for you to write your own personal message. Who knows what this Christmas will look like, whether we’ll be able to spend Christmas together or if it’ll be a Zoom Christmas Day? For now though, keep in touch with your loved ones by sending them a Christmas card.

I’ll also be adding some more new A5 postcards too so I’ll keep you all updated about it.

Stay safe and thanks for reading!

UPDATE: New Christmas cards are now available in my Etsy shop!

Hello folks and welcome to 2020, a brand new start to the New Year! I hope you all had a relaxing Christmas and New Year, unfortunately I was struck down with the flu over the Christmas so I was sick for most of it. We went round to my mother-in-law’s neighbours house for a big fat turkey dinner and we were completely stuffed by the end of it. I was still sick up to this point but by the Sunday I had a fever for most of the day and I couldn’t even get out of the bed… flu jab for me this coming Christmas (will be on my to-do list for sure!).

I’ve been meaning to write up a post about 2019 but I didn’t have the time to do it over Christmas or the fact of the matter is that I was so lethargic last week I had absolutely no energy to do anything. I’m now feeling much better so now’s a good time to reflect on the past year. Last year was jam packed with lots of life changing moments i.e. we got married, went to Japan, a friend had a baby, Savina went back to Australia…

I took part in Art at the Deli’s artist exhibition back in late spring and I show cased previous work under the theme ‘animal menagerie’, overall it was a great success as I had lots of people commenting about my work. Plus, it was great to be supporting a local business in Doncaster as well as the creativity within the area.

Me, matching my outfit with my work.

The next big thing that happened last year is that we finally got married! We spent the whole year planning, crying, shouting, raging and more planning (not in that order but you get my drift). I had to keep going back to Doncaster for my dressings but you know what? All those mega stressful moments was totally worth it. Everyone on the day was helping out and things fell into place; folks chipping in with moving tonnes of flower decorations, Savina (the super trooper person that she is) just stepped in and orchestrated people whenever they needed to be shuffled in and out of places. Totally couldn’t have done it without her, she held me and Sam together like cement. We’ve both said we were utterly grateful for her help right from the start. She’s now back in Australia so we were hoping to visit her at some point in the future.

After the wedding, we went out our mini moon to Cornwall for a quick getaway and we really needed that time just to breathe, be away from London for a couple of days and enjoy each others company.

A couple of months later we went away to Japan for our honeymoon and it was such a memorable and fantastic trip I’d love to do it all over again. Japan, you spoilt us and treated us like kings and queens. We ate so well those two weeks I can’t stop harping on about the food. The people are absolutely lovely; really helpful folks wherever we were and everyone went out of their way to help us when there was a language gap. That didn’t stop us from doing and seeing amazing things… a long and dreamy sigh here. Japan is calling me and I plan on going there again in the future and explore more of the islands down south. Sayounara!

Myself and my friend Monica Moro who runs Cook with Amore took part in two craft markets over Christmas. It was great to get back into the swing of things and I’d love to do more craft markets this year.

The London Crafters in West London

Last year I didn’t get the chance to make much artwork, so I’m a bit disappointed by that. Fair enough we had the wedding to plan but even times when I did have the time, let’s just say that I wasn’t super motivated and kept on doubting myself. Over the past month or so my Etsy shop has been really busy, as in, busy with orders for a particular print. Like I’ve said before, I have no idea where the traffic is coming from so I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has purchased it. I feel like the universe is in our hands- no matter how tough things get you have the choice and the power to make those changes. I honestly believe and live by this quote. So this year I’d like to be more focused on my work as well as concentrating on my Etsy shop and make a proper push for it. Let’s see where things go, who knows what’s going to happen in the next couple of months but it’s great to see the momentum gaining slowly but surely.

Readers. I’m going to end it here on a high. Wishing you all good health, luck and all that jazz for the start of the year and the end of the decade. Take care and thanks for reading as always!

I have added a couple of new products in my Etsy shop in time for Christmas!

I’ll be adding more things over the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes out for more new pieces of work. I’m also doing some prep work as I’ll be taking part in two Christmas Markets in London: the first one is The London Crafters on Saturday 30th November at St. Stephens Church, W2 5QT. More information about the even can be found here on their Facebook Page.

 

The next one is The Hackney Christmas Market in the Bohemia Place Market, Hackney, E8 1DU on Sunday 8th December. I’ll be sharing a stall with my friend Monica who runs Cook with Amore (she’s a super talented chef specialising in vegan cooking and she made our wedding cake for us as well). 

Thanks so much for reading as always and enjoy your weekend!

Happy Saturday everyone! We made it through the week! I hope you’re all having a chilled out weekend, or if you’re me, looking up Christmas presents (love doing it right at the last minute). It’s great just to have the weekend to myself as the last couple of weeks have been proper full on, it’s amazing what a couple of days of doing nothing can do for you. I was completely burnt out at work this week due to stress and anxiety. It was pretty unpleasant as I was completely overwhelmed and exhausted by everything, I couldn’t even focus in the morning so I had to go home. It just goes to show that it’s so important to be mindful: you need to take care of yourself, listen to your body and take time over things. In light of this, I’m going to take it easy either by cutting my hours there and start to think about myself more. I follow quite a lot of artists on Instagram and I’ve seen some rather poignant posts about self-care: nourishing your body and mind and slowing down.

In other news, I’m taking part in Blue House Yard’s Christmas Market this year. I did it last year and it was really good- I met loads of people throughout the day and it’s lovely just to chat to people: some who live locally or those passing by. Either way, I stepped up my game this afternoon and designed two new Christmas cards (see below) and redesigned a couple of old ones from a few years ago. There’ll be two collections of cards this year, which I’ve never done before, but I thought it’d be nice to offer some more designs to customers or if they wanted to buy some separately then they can.

More details about the market can be found either on my Facebook page or alternatively you can visit their Facebook page here as well.

Have a great weekend everyone and look after yourself.