Saturday, November 22, 2014

BUD FRESH CHINESE FLORIDA WATER

Curiosity got the best of me when I saw this obscure Chinese Florida Water called Bud Fresh Florida Water 《昕蕾花露香水》 going for S$2.00 (about US$1.60). I have been wanting to get the classic Two Girls brand Florida Water but this was cheap and just... there.

Florida Water is an American cologne water, with a sweet orange, spice and floral scent, created in the 1800s by Robert I. Murray. Florida Water from China was created since the early 1900s, with Two Girls brand (Hong Kong) being the most famous. You can read more about Florida Water here


The liquid is emerald green, which is a little uncommon. I always thought it was green glass. It contains alcohol, perfume, water and colouring, CI19140 is a synthetic lemon yellow and CI42090 is a synthetic brilliant blue.

The packaging: See the floral image rolling towards the right? Yea it's pixelated...! They probably stole it off the internet, and the chinese-style water lily with western-style floral painting... no comment lol.


The scent: I find it strange, at my first whiff was it reminded me of a sweet smelling Johnson's baby shampoo with a chemical undertone (on my hands, not from the bottle). From the bottle the alcohol and chemical-ish smell is pretty strong. Also maybe baby powder with a chemical undertone. Also reminds me of medicine, or the smell from a clinic trying to mask the medicine smells. It says 'high quality aromatic materials', which could be anything!

I'm not quite used to it but will give it one good point: when I left my room and came back the lingering odour (the milder the scent the better) was a bit like the Sam Fong powder. I asked my mom to sniff it slightly and she actually liked it for some reason. Oh well. It is too sickly sweet for me and my choice of scents are usually pure florals... since this has alcohol in it I might use it to clean my toilet floors and counter-tops instead.

With my curiosity is now piqued, my mission is to try out the other Florida Water on the market, both Chinese and western. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ORIGINAL ART BLANK CARDS SCRATCHBOARD

I have been playing with some scratchboard and they are pretty fun! The only downside is once you make a mistake it's permanently there. I made nine cards so far in my spare time, and these are something unique other than the usual greeting cards (and monochrome scratchboards) and exclusive creation by Lemon Shortbread. They are available in packs of 3 as a trial run in my Etsy shop. Great as signage and for kids to play too!
I like drawing trees. Rainbow trees!
And flowers! Lots of shoujo style flowers.
Set A
https://www.etsy.com/sg-en/listing/211501631/

Set B
https://www.etsy.com/sg-en/listing/211500319/
Set C
https://www.etsy.com/sg-en/listing/211653297/

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

FREE DIGI STAMP - CHRISTMAS CANDY CANES

A freebie Christmas candy canes graphic or digital stamp for your crafting needs! It is 4.8 inches in 300dpi, jpeg format. Get the high res image here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B91RHpzGLjXocC1MSkk0ajZGRjg/view?usp=sharing

Christmas sales and decor seem to be going up much earlier this year! Hope you will find this graphic useful, if you shrink it, it can be used as an accent.

TERMS FOR USE:
- For personal use only, commercial use is not allowed.
- Please keep the signature on the image.
- A link-back or credit is much appreciated if you are posting your crafts online.
- If you want to share or blog about this, please do not place the full-sized image for download on your site or on Pinterest, instead link to this page.
-  Please do not share the image off-site, but direct your friends, followers or team to download from here.
- Please grab yours while the freebie is available. Once it is gone, please do not share it, it's yours to keep and yours only! I will put an expired notice on each freebie that has ended its run.

If you see a notice that there are too many users downloading the image today, keep trying! Google has a daily limit set that I have no control over.

Feel free to share your crafts with Lemon Shortbread digi stamps on my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/lemonshortbreadart
You can also leave a comment here and I will check your creations out!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

NEW PET COLLAR SHOP - MANGO MINX

I'm plugging my new shop with a close friend from my fashion school days! Introducing Mango Minx - luxury handmade pet collars! Tentatively we only have dog collars but we will soon do cat collars too. We also do customised work. Do check us out at http://mangominx.com/

The chihuahua above is a quickie to show how the collar would look like on a model, I might come up with a more legit promo lol.

Below is the current collection we have, with 2 more coming up. We have been working on the designs on-off for months, and pretty picky about the designs and findings. We like sparkly things so each collar has some sort of rhinestone or crystal elements in it. Join us on our Facebook page for updates and pet-related jokes, videos and memes: https://www.facebook.com/mangominx/


Gothic Victorian Dog Collar

Regal Soldier Dog Collar

Beary Kawaii Dog Collar
Flamenco Passion Dog Collar

Thursday, November 13, 2014

WINTER SHOUJO DIGITAL STAMPS

Newly released Winter Shoujo series digital stamps, they can also double as colouring pages as they are large enough and will print out beautifully, 7" to 8" height each. Hope you like them! I was deciding if I should make them victorian-ish shoujo or modern shoujo fashion, and ended up somewhere midway.

As you guessed, I will be coming up with the other seasons as they arrive. The set is cheaper at $10, should you like to purchase them individually they are $4 each.

"Snow in my Palm Shoujo"
https://www.etsy.com/sg-en/listing/209820858/

"Winter Cardigan Shoujo"
https://www.etsy.com/listing/210529213/

"Winter Muff Shoujo"
https://www.etsy.com/sg-en/listing/210116641/

"Winter Shoujo Set"
https://www.etsy.com/sg-en/listing/210534074/

Monday, November 3, 2014

MOVIE RECOMMENDS - Love Letter 1995

Today I am going to recommend something sentimental for the upcoming cold season (or rainy season for us at the equator)....

Love Letter (1995)

Directed & written by: Iwai Shunji
Cast: Nakayama Miho, Toyokawa Etsushi, Han Bunjaku, Shinohara Katsuyuki, Sakai Miki, Kashiwabara Takashi

Iwai Shunji has crafted quite the artistic piece here. Beautifully cinematographic movie: white snow whispering down the sleepy frozen town of Otaru.... light softly streaming through the trees... even the normally dreary classroom appears romantic. The soundtrack is hauntingly pleasant, I'd say much of the success of the movie also lies in the atmospheric music composition. Every song conjures up different scenes of the movie and also nostalgia. The pace was fitting, the unraveling of the story's plot is wonderful. The ending is wrapped up perfectly.


The story:

Watanabe Hiroko (Nakayama Miho) attends the second death anniversary of her fiance, Fujii Itsuki. She has not gotten over his death and in his bedroom she flips through his high school yearbook. She discovers his old home address in the yearbook, and decides to write a letter to him. The house did not exist anymore as there was a highway built over it. With hopes that her letter would reach heaven, she wrote: "Dear Fujii Itsuki, how are you? I am fine.".

Surprisingly she receives a reply letter that read, "I am fine, but have caught a cold."!


 
**Spoilers ahead**

Was her letter actually delivered to heaven? Or was it a prank? The truth was neither. The reply was certainly from a Fujii Itsuki - except that 'he' is a she. A case of mistaken identity... there were two Fujii Itsukis in the same class, one boy one girl.

Upon discovering the truth, Hiroko continues to correspond with female Itsuki, unawares female Itsuki resembled her (Nakayama Miho plays dual roles). She requests for the latter to share her memories of male Itsuki in high school in her letters.

The story then proceeds in semi-narrative style, on how both Itsukis were ridiculed to no end in school for three years.

I believe this is the scene most people remember or at least it's the one I like best:

 
 
The library scene! The school library is the pivotal point for their off-beat relationship. I like the "Maybe we can be friends, if only we didn't have the same name!" look from female Itsuki (Sakai Miki). It was short-lived though lol.


 
This is also one of the signature imagery from the movie, I thought it had an ethereal quality to it. It's no wonder Kashiwabara Takashi was tagged Japan's bishounen (pretty youth) of the 20th century, he is very good looking and resembles a manga character. I'm a fan of his drama "Itazura na Kiss"(1996), yes only the original Irie Naoki please.


Love Letter's visual and mirrored symbolism are apparent in many parts of the movie, emphasising on forgotten & reliving memories, lost chances & second chances, the seasons & colour palettes distinguish moods with the use of appropriate filters. The small bits of humour from the flashbacks are a nice touch to balance out the sentimental parts of the movie.



Nakayama Miho, of course, is outstanding, moving and natural. Both roles are so distinctly portrayed one might imagine they were played by different actresses. Toyokawa Etsushi who plays Akiba Shigeru, Hiroko's and male Itsuki's friend, is energetic, fits his role perfectly and ever popular. The two young Itsukis were movie debuts: Sakai Miki is a pretty charm to watch, while Kashiwabara Takashi, the wierdo with little dialogue but so memorable there are still people reminiscing about Fujii Itsuki by the window curtains. Another supporting character, a kooky schoolmate played by Suzuki Ranran stole the show whenever she appeared. This movie is highly recommended for a gloomy day! Maybe I will watch it again.

 Original Trailer (Eng subs)


Wins

1996 Japanese Academy Awards - Newcomer of the Year (Miki Sakai)
1996 Japanese Academy Awards - Newcomer of the Year (Takashi Kashiwabara)
1996 Japanese Academy Awards - Most Popular Performer (Etsushi Toyokawa)
1996 Blue Ribbon Awards - Best Actress (Miho Nakayama)
1996 Kinema Junpo Awards – Best Film (Shunji Iwai)
1995 Hochi Film Awards - Best Actress (Miho Nakayama)
1995 Hochi Film Awards - Best Supporting Actor (Etsushi Toyokawa)
1995 Toronto Film Festival - Audience Award
Nominations
1996 Japanese Academy Awards - Best Film
1996 Japanese Academy Awards - Best Music (Remedios)
1996 Japanese Academy Awards - Best Supporting Actor (Etsushi Toyokawa)


Friday, October 31, 2014

OWL ON BRANCH DIGITAL STAMP


Just out! Versatile owl on leafless branch digital stamp, you can add floral decoupage or whatever you like to swop out the seasons.

Digital download is available here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/208271748/

Friday, October 24, 2014

THE HAUNTED QUEEN MARY

Halloween is up next so this is a good time to post my Queen Mary photos from 2010! I was too lazy to post it then and only had it on Facebook albums. Better late than never.



The RMS Queen Mary is permanently docked at Long Beach California and reputed to be one of the most haunted ships around.

The ship's maiden voyage started in 1936 as an express transatlantic passenger liner between Southampton and New York. She was converted into a troopship in WWII and became known as the 'Grey Ghost' for her speed and new camouflage colour. In 1942, she collided with her escort ship HMS Curacoa, killing 239 British soldiers. The ship was ordered fullsteam ahead nonetheless and to abandon survivors, many of whom were killed when the giant propellers cut through them. This is one of the reasons why people believed the ship is haunted besides the other deaths onboard. In 1947 she resumed passenger service, and her last cruise was on (get this) October 31, 1967 (Halloween), arriving on Dec 9, 1967 at Long Beach where she has been docked ever since.



You can freely walk the top deck and the next few levels like the hotel corridors, restaurants, lounges. The infamous pool area and lower decks are out of bounds unless on a guided tour. Here are rows and rows of carpeted corridor, it is easy to get lost since they look identical. It is very quiet and your ears may hurt from the silence. The hotel rooms are still functioning so you should be quiet anyhow.


We were there for the Coast to Coast AM 'Ghost to Ghost' live radio talkshow broadcast and for me it was mostly to see a place of interest in California that wouldn't require me to pay. The others wanted to see George Noory lol. Guided tours have a fee so we skipped it and decided to roam as not to make it a wasted trip since there was a small paranormal convention going on, but it was badly organised and we backed out very quickly after they wanted to charge us too much money.


A banquet room. We peeked in, we were curious because it was so dark in there, I had to turn on the flash on the camera.


The bathrooms were nice, just dark and eerily quiet. It had one those annoying eco-lights that would turn off if it determined no noise = no people. We were deep in the ship so that was unsettling.


Deco style bins.



One of the exhibit areas.



Top deck.


One of the views overlooking Long Beach.


Life rafts on the sides.


You know Singaporeans call reversing a car 'Go Stun', actually it came from the phrase 'Go Stern' like the back of the ship.















In case you were wondering, yes we saw George Noory. There was actually a crowd gathering outside the small lobby and you can look through the glass window and watch them chat! And no, we did not see any lady in white!