Have Fun Along the Way

"Traveler's Notebook and Fountain Pens" Austin, 2017
Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/40 sec, ISO64
“Traveler’s Notebook and Fountain Pens” Austin, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

At my work, we have 6 core values, and my favorite one is “Have Fun Along the Way”. It’s actually a great value to live by, isn’t it? Anyway, whenever I pick up a new hobby, I tend to get obsessed with it and do so much research, watch videos about it, spend lots of money, etc. I’m sure I’m not alone in this! But what I am trying to do with my current watercolor/stationery hobby is to slow down, take it easy, and not go overboard. I want to make sure I don’t burn-out over it. And by going slowly, I make sure that I maximize the time that I am having fun along the way!

As I grow older (I am 48 as I type this), I start to think about making things last for the rest of my life. For instance, the things I buy like bags, penswatches, or sandals… will these last me (and will I want to keep them) for the rest of my life? That now goes into my purchasing decision.

And then I think about the things I do… will the new things I learn add anything to my life? I know that interests change, and that’s fine, but as the years go by it seems to be more important to focus on things that have real importance. When I was debating on whether or not to get the regular tickets or VIP tickets to see the band Scandal, my friend asked me, “When you are on your deathbed, are you going to be happier that you met the band or happier that you saved $50?” Of course, I bought the VIP tickets.

I think about that a lot when I have to choose things in daily life… “On my deathbed, will I be happier that I binge-watched another episode of Parks and Rec, or that I worked on a painting?”

When I was in high school and college, I loved creating things. And in my career, I’ve always had a job that involved creativity. I haven’t really given it too much thought to be honest. But it’s something that I can be proud of, and happy that I lived my life this way. So, my “new” hobby of watercolor painting is something I can fully enjoy, without any guilt. And it certainly fits the “Have Fun Along the Way” value!

"Color the Trees" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO800
“Color the Trees” Cedar Park, 2017

I hope you had a nice day!


Gyoza, Clouds, and the Search for Grey

"Gyoza Dinner" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“Gyoza Dinner” Cedar Park, 2017

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight’s post will be a bit scattered, but whatever. I’m not writing to win any awards. 😁

For dinner, Koa and I had gyoza, which I am getting pretty good at preparing. We usually buy pre-made, frozen gyoza and so I just have to heat them up… not really cooking, just preparing. Anyway, the method I use it so arrange them into a circle in the skillet, with the flat side down. Next, add some vegetable oil and sesame oil to the bottom and fry over medium-high heat. After a few minutes, I add in about 1/3 cup of water, then cover the pan with a lid and steam for another 4 or 5 minutes over medium heat. Then, remove the cover and cook until the liquid disappears.

Finally, I take a large plate (that is wider than the gyoza circle), place it over the gyoza, then flip the pan, plate, and gyoza over. That way, the crispy golden part is facing up for serving.

Serve with a dipping sauce of ponzu and rayu, and bowls of white rice and you have a nice meal!  I only wish we had miso soup to go with it…

"Today's Clouds" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/8, 1/3000 sec, ISO200
“Today’s Clouds” Cedar Park, 2017

Lately there have been some pretty cool cloud formations in the sky, so of course, I had to take photos of them. I think the clouds in Texas can get pretty huge and impressive and I am always amazed at the natural beauty. I still don’t fully understand how clouds form, and frankly, I’d rather not know and keep the mystery alive. 🙂☁️

"Looking for Grey" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Looking for Grey” Cedar Park, 2017

Lastly, I did a little bit of research on how to create a nice grey color using the paints I currently have in my watercolor palette and I think I found a good combination. It’s basically pthalo blue mixed with a bit of orange, and a touch of red. It’s easy to make it warmer or cooler just by varying the ratio. I also produced a nice grey using the prima blue that came with the watercolor set I bought.

Next, I want to try to make some dark colors for shadows. I am not sure I can produce that with the colors I have now, but I read that pthalo green is needed to make the color I want. We’ll see!

I hope you had a nice day.


Packing Sketch

"Packing Sketch" Cedar Park, 2017
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/50 sec, ISO3200
“Packing Sketch” Cedar Park, 2017Oac

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today I made a pen and ink sketch of some of the main travel items I took on our trip to Morocco and Spain, I was inspired to do this after watching this video from an artist that I have been following on Youtube.

I think it turned out ok, but there are a few things I would change. For instance, I would sketch the items smaller, so I could fit more on the page. Also, I forgot a bunch of things that I should have included, for instance, my Kindle, headphones, notebook & pencil, and maybe my clothes. And the passport didn’t need that yellow part. 😅

Teoh Yi Chie’s packing lists are so cool, I want to create more packing lists, or even a “what’s in my bag” sketch. So fun!

Today I bought a few more art supplies, including two more watercolor tubes, a #8 brush, 3B pencil, and Micron pen. I still need to figure out how to create a nice grey color using the paints that I have… I don’t want to resort to using the pre-made grey or black paints… so I guess more testing and research is needed.

Well, I hope you had a nice weekend!