Love yourself.

Cute print by Lim Heng Swee aka ilovedoodle from Malaysia. See more of his work or buy his prints at his etsy store.

I know it’s easy to say but harder to do, but I’ve gotta love myself more (not in the self centered, narcissistic way obviously). As in, be more grateful about everything that has happened/belong to me. Maybe I have spent my whole life 70% complaining and 30% being thankful? I’ve got to stop looking at others and saying “why can’t I be like that”, but instead look at myself and be grateful of what I have achieved.

My gratitude:

  • I’m thankful for having the opportunity to celebrate my wedding day in Melbourne, instead of in Indonesia because I dislike Indonesian wedding.
  • I’m thankful to finally be able to move back to Australia instead of being stuck in Indonesia for the rest of my life
  • I’m thankful that I ended up with my first love after 6 years of not-so-easy relationship, including 2 years of long distance. And up till now, I’m thankful that he turns out to be a great husband
  • I’m thankful that after I got married, I straight away got a decent home to live in, in a great area close to shops and gyms, and not renting or sharing with other people
  • I’m thankful for my parents who always provide me with the great things in life, and guide me through life. and I’m also thankful that I DON’T have any siblings : D Sorry to be so selfish, but NOT having a sibling is probably the best thing in my life so far. Mwahaha.
  • I’m thankful to have the BEST in laws ever. Most people I know have problems with their in-laws even before they are married, but not me! I have a very caring mum-in-law, a funny father-in-law, a kind sis-in-law and a cool bro-in-law
  • and last but not least, I’m thankful that all my life, everything has been pretty easy. I’ve never feel like I have to try so hard for anything. Even in secondary school, I don’t even know how could I go through 3.5 years without going down to Normal Academic or Normal Technical classes (it’s Singaporean school system. Google it if you don’t get it), despite of my horrible horrible results (I got 7/100 for accounting, I failed ART once, and I’ve ever got a ZERO once for maths. My other subjects’ results are usually just pass or fail). I’ve never broken up with anybody in my life. I’ve never lost a good friend (I have been bestfriends with my best friend for 12 years : ) ). And despite of the way I glide lazily through life, I’ve never been faced with anything bad. So, I should be thankful for that.

Of course I shouldn’t just sit back, relax and live life as it is. I am thankful for all that, but imagine if I put more effort in my life, such as in my work, wouldn’t my life be more fantastic? So that’s what I should do.

I’m going to Sydney tonight to attend Nuffnang Blogopolis 2012 tomorrow! I’ll take pictures and post updates about the event when I’m back. See ya!


Alternative Movie Posters

Most people call movie posters like these “minimalist” movie posters, but some of them are not that minimalist, that’s why I have decided to call them alternative movie posters. Basically they’re artists’ or designers’ interpretation or recreation of popular movie (or series or books) posters.

So there are a lot of them going around recently. Some of them are really great. And do you know where I find some of the greatest alternative movie posters at? Etsy. They are affordable, too.

Some designers take one element from the movie that is most essential. For example, a samurai sword for Kill Bill 1, archer and bow for The Hunger Games, colorful balloons for Pixars’ Up, etc. Whichever movie poster they choose to make, they put their individual style to it.

My favorite poster of my favorite animation movie, UP by Marcus from KL, Malaysia. Visit his Etsy store here.

A great concept by Rowan Stocks Moore

My Neighbor Totoro by Olly Moss. I really really wanted this poster for my new home. I don’t know what’s the original RRP price for this as they are already sold out, but a friend of mine sold this particular poster (secondhand) for AUD300 0_0, and I’ve also found Olly Moss’ posters on ebay for that kind of price. Wow.

Jerod Gibson’s alternative movie poster style uses quotes from the movie

Remember how much Juno loves her Tic Tac?

So for this post, I have decided to create my own alternative movie poster.

My approach here is more towards the characters. If you have known my graphic design work, I love creating characters.

I actually created them in less than one hour, so the concept and idea is pretty spontaneous. Don’t expect anything mind-blowing, ok! : P

Our Idiot Brother is one of my favorite comedy movie. I remember laughing a lot when watching this. Paul Rudd is one of my favorite comedy actors. Loved him in Friends, too.

Here’s another version of my Our Idiot Brother poster in portrait, and I included Idiot Brother’s beloved dog in it : )

Which version do you prefer?

The Spot Legian in Bali

I have blogged before that I was doing some branding design for The Spot hotel in Legian, Bali. I live in Australia, therefore I could not be there during the hotel’s opening. However, I got a chance to visit Bali early this month, so I went to visit the newly built hotel (just opened in April 2012!)

{ Welcome to The Spot }

The kind General Manager, Nathania Regina, gave me a free night stay in the hotel. I got the Monalisa Room, which posters were designed by ME! : )

{ Monalisa Room }

Some of you might be thinking “Monalisa? That doesn’t look like Monalisa at all!” Well, there is a little history about my creation of Monalisa. The owner, whom I have known for quite a long time, before she ventured in hotel business tried her luck in opening a bagel cafe in Jakarta, Indonesia. The bagel cafe was called: “Bagel-Lisa”, and she asked me to design a logo that has cartoonised version of Monalisa. However, turns out that she has a better luck in running hotels than a bagel cafe, so Bagel-Lisa had to cease business and she moved to Bali and has opened two hotels since, and there will be more to come! I am so happy for her.

However, she loves Bagel Lisa character so much (who wouldn’t when it’s so cute) that she wanted to make one of the room in The Spot hotel Monalisa Room, and she asked me to re-design the Bagel Lisa character to make a series of posters. First poster shows Bagel-Lisa (or Monalisa now) drinking coffee at 9 am in the morning; She’s having her spaghetti lunch at noon for second poster; On the third, she’s asleep at 9pm.

The Spot hotel is a funky hotel that shows different themes and color for every rooms. What is interesting is that the themes are often pop-culture themes such as The Simpsons, Friends, Audrey Hepburn and many more. So whatever is your favourite tv show/actress/city, The Spot might have the room for you!

These are two other rooms in The Spot that I got to photograph that day as they were vacant. For your information I also designed the posters for the Union Jack room. Click here for more information : )

When I went into the Union Jack room, the thing that catches my attention the most was the birdcage lamp. How awesome is that! I wanted them for my bedroom, but I didn’t know how to put them up hahaha. Union Jack is my favourite room from all the rooms in The Spot. I’d love to decorate my bedroom in Canberra similar as that room : )

{ The awesome birdcage lamp }

A little bit about The Spot,

The Spot hotel is located at Legian, the heart of Bali’s hottest nightlife. That’s where the clubs and pubs are. So if you’re in Bali for the nightlife, The Spot is where you should stay. The interior is modern, with decent size room and bathroom (don’t expect huge ass room for the price : P), it is in fact bigger than most hotels with that kind of price in this location. The rate at the moment is 70 USD including breakfast at their rooftop bar with rooftop pool, Meet & Greet : ) That rate is for 2 people per room per night, extra bed will be charged extra. For more information, visit their website.

You can also visit their fun blog here!

{ See you at The Spot! }

The Spot Hotel, Legian is at: Jl. Raya Legian, (Ground Zero), Troppozone Lane No. 8, Kuta – Bali – Indonesia 80361

Phone: +62 361 854 8990 or +62 361 751 940

Wedding photos and Toycamera Analog

Have you ever wondered why these days almost all wedding photos are so… “retro”? I wonder, and I don’t know why. Well, actually maybe I do. With all the retro and instagram madness, everyone wants to live in their little fantasy retro world. I love retro things, and I love retro photos. My parents are collector of Indonesian and Chinese antiques. Having grown up in a house with antiques here and there, I can’t help but love antiques and retro things.

But retro wedding photos? They’re getting old (puns! : P)

Whenever I see wedding pictures or pre-wedding pictures, especially of Indonesian couples, most of the time I see the same blurry and pale colored pictures. I have to admit some of them do really good jobs, such as David from axioo (in return of really high cost, of course). However, I’m starting to feel that those “retro” photos are no longer the classic wedding pictures you could appreciate till the end of your lives (or the world, whichever comes first hehe). They might be trendy today, but will they still be appreciated when you’re older? Actually, creating those retro photos are not so hard anymore with all the photo editing softwares or apps out there. Instagram is obviously the most popular one, although its purpose is pretty different. I think it’s a little bit like twitter, only rather than words, we snap pictures. Photoshop is the classic and never-ending way to edit your pictures, but of course they require skills. The “express” retro photo editing software that I love is Toy Camera Analogcolor by Pentacom. I downloaded it a while ago when they were still free. They’re still free for trial, but at some point you have to purchase it for 12 USD. Cheap!

Also, this software doesn’t resize your picture. It comes out as it is. They have so many effects, choices of lenses, expired film and frames. You can even adjust the contrast, blur and many more. For those who are lazy to adjust, you can use their pre-made effects.

Let’s have some fun with my wedding photos! : P

Here’s the original version of my favorite wedding photo by pL photography, Melbourne:

Now, I give it Sepia process, with normal lens and no frame, and voila! Who needs axioo if you could make these kind of pictures yourself? Hahahaha… just kidding, don’t murder me axioo fanatics.

Another effected wedding picture of mine:

So there you go, now even amateur photographers could add retroness to their photos. But to be honest, looking at the photos above, I still prefer the original ones. Retro photos tend to make everyone faces look blurry and pale. Sure, it’s a plus for your pimples and imperfections. Also the contrast tend to darken your eyes, which is a good thing most of the time (unless they’re so dark they make you look like Sadako from The Ring). But, well, don’t you want to look like yourself in your wedding pictures? However, I do admit it’s fun to put effects on your daily photos. especially food pictures : )

To end this post, let me share my personal favorite among all my wedding photos (effected using Toycamera Analog). This photo was taken towards the end of the location shoots. I was really really tired and I just wanted to throw my bouquet on someone’s face (my bouquet was freakin HEAVY!) By looking at my eyes area I think my mascara was smudging therefore the dark circles. I just wanted the location shoot to end already, I needed some rest before the reception in the evening. Hence, my face showed how disinterested I was that moment. I looked damn weird hahaha, but I love this picture. It’s not your usual We’re smiling, We’re happy, this is our wedding day, the most romantic day in our life wedding shoot. This picture is US, the imperfect but yet happily married couple. It shows that, even in a wedding, nothing is perfect, and it doesn’t have to be, because you’re human and even on your happiest day you could still feel tired, bored and you sweat, and your mascara smuged. But no matter what, it was still one of the happiest day in your life : )

Taken on Degraves Street, my favourite alley in Melbourne


Nuffnang Blogopolis 2012 in Sydney

So recently I discovered this “Blog Advertising Community” called Nuffnang. Nuffnang is an Asian Pacific community to support bloggers. Their idea is to give a chance for bloggers to make money from their blogs. I might not be able to professionally explain what it is, but let me give you an explanation of what I THINK Nuffnang does in my own simple words.
Your blog is like a magazine. It provides visual and written (typed) information to your reader. However, A blog is even more awesome, because:
1. You, the blogger, is the editor, the designer, the photographer etc etc of your own magazine.
2. You can blog about WHATEVER you like, whatever you are interested in. You can even blog about yourself, and your pictures. Hey you’ll never know, people might find your life interesting. I, for example, am not confident enough in putting my pictures and my life up in a blog where everybody can read. However, I am very confident about my designs, and design is my ultimate passion ever since…. well, ever. So here I am, blogging 80% about design and 20% about other stuff such as my travelling and my cooking.
3. It’s up to you to make your magazine (or blog) as interesting as you want, or as simple as you want. Out of millions (or billions? I don’t know how many population this world has :P)of people in this world, sure there will be some percentage of them who have similar taste/style/personality as you are, and they could be your readers.
So, just like a real, paper magazine, your blog could have advertisements. The Ads could be those ads you see on the sidebar, or some awesome bloggers who have gain sponsorship/endorsements even get to experience and review the products themselves, and advertise them their own way. Now, this is the part I don’t really know, HOW do we get those companies to advertise in our blogs? How do we make money from blogging? That’s where Nuffnang comes. They act as a medium between us bloggers and advertisers. And, since I know NOTHING about this, that is why I am attending the Nuffnang Blogopolis 2012 in Sydney in the next 2 weeks! I am so very excited, yay!
I’m pretty new in this blogging world, and according to the stats, I don’t even have that many readers yet. There are days when I get almost 20 readers, and I wonder if some of them, if not all, might be robots reading it hehe. But to be honest I quite enjoy it. What’s not to like, I like writing, I love designing, I like taking pictures and editing them. My blog is like my own space where I can say/post anything that I like. Unlike facebook or twitter where your friends/followers sometimes will get upset if you post or write something that are not in their favours. However, even when blogging you still have to mind your netiquettes. It would be better if you don’t offend anyone in purpose. Although I know some bloggers do that, it’s their business, not mine 🙂

So, I’ve booked the conference ticket, and my husband is going to drive to Sydney, and we’re going to be there for two nights! I’m so excited cos we’re going to stay at Circular Quay area. Unlike the other time we were in Sydney when we stayed at Kings Cross area, we had to go back to the hotel at 6pm because my husband was afraid the area get pretty dodgy in the evening ^^. It was not dodgy at all, but yeah, things do happen around Kings Cross. And, nothing beats staying close to the Circular Quay, of course!