Friday, July 24, 2015

LEMON STAR GIRL DIGITAL STAMP


A new illustration titled "Lemon Star Girl". She is wearing a lemon motif necklace and I coloured her with an 80s pop vibe! I drew her specially for my Facebook group banner but thought she might also make a nice digital stamp for crafters to work with!

The lineart digi is available in my Etsy shop at: https://www.etsy.com/sg-en/listing/241524212/

Saturday, July 18, 2015

PINEAPPLE HAT KID DIGITAL STAMP

Pineapple Hat Kid digital stamp, latest addition to my fruity-themed kids series. Hope you like her, do you hear the music and waves of the sea and warm breeze in this? The above artwork is coloured with markers and soft pastels as always. This time I tried out a few new Marvy Uchida T8 markers, they are alcohol-based markers like Copics, and even carry the same grey plastic pen except it is triangular shaped. The sky is made digitally.

The digistamp is available in my Etsy shop!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/240327524/

Don't forget I have a new Facebook group to share your creations!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/lemonshortbread

Thursday, July 16, 2015

QPOSKET SAILOR MOON BY BANPRESTO

This Qposket Sailor Moon released by Banpresto is really too cute! She resembles a miniature Pullip with her oversized head, large eyes and thin lips. She also comes with a yellow transparent stand to support her head because this figure weighs pretty heavy for its size (14cm height). She has the classic Sailor Moon pose.
Purchased this for SGD$30.00 at TOG (Toys or Games) - I think formerly known as Comics Connection (r-i-p). Like my previous post about Banpresto's Girls Memories Sailor Moon line, the box has no window but the picture on the packaging is pretty accurate, and maybe a bit more adorable in person!
Sailor Moon comes with a separate head and body. I had a difficult time placing the body into the holes of the stand, because her legs were spaced too close when out of the package and it was maybe 0.5cm off from the holes! Trying my best not to break the hips whilst using some strength to pull her stiff plastic legs apart, and then hearing a sort of crack sound after doing that (!) I wondered if it was a defective piece. Anyhow I decided to let my bf try it. He got it in 2 seconds somehow.... 'You need to use some force' he said.
After assembling her, she is adorable! Her hair isn't flapping in the wind nor her skirt so the atmosphere appears static, giving it an even more Pullip/Blythe doll vibe. This figurine looks dimensional in person. I like the heavy bottom curls that fits the chibi style. The bangs are slightly separate from the headband which was nice.
Some seams on the sides, and the white paint on the boots are a little unsteady. The red transparent circles on her buns are a good design idea, rather than the usual painted red types. It gives the hair accessories the proper reflection and depth like in the comics.
Her skin is peachy-beige with a peach blush, not quite the pale eggshell you see from the photos, I do like the tone of it.
Her hair is a pearlscent deep yellow. You can't quite see it from the photos but it has a slight shimmer when light hits it.
Her eyes are glossy, don't think they are glass, maybe a decal? It does give an impression that the eyes are separate pieces from the face. She has one white printed reflection and the other one is reflection from my window! Her irises have a green to dark blue gradient.
Can't wait for the rest of the line to be released!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

LEMON SHORTBREAD FACEBOOK GROUP


I have finally set up the Lemon Shortbread Art Facebook Group at:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/lemonshortbread/

FB groups are more accessible than Pages for posting your images as they appear on the main feed. In pages, your posts only appear on the sidebar in text unless I share it onto the page. There have been the limits on views on Pages as well, so why didn't I set up a fb group earlier?!

Please feel free to share your creations in the group and/or page! You need to click 'Join Group' before you can comment or post anything. Any crafts with Lemon Shortbread stamps can be posted, whether old or current. You can add or invite friends who may be interested in joining or has an interest in art and crafts. I will upload special freebies for members so stay tuned!

Monday, July 13, 2015

MONKEYS AT MACRITCHIE TREETOP WALK

We visited the Treetop Walk at MacRitchie Nature Reserve last week as we had planned for quite some time... earlier I was sick and we could not bring ourselves to hike in the current heatwave or wake up early enough. It was slightly cloudy that day so that helped with the heat but it was still muggy as always.

The Treetop Walk is a 250m suspension bridge that rises above the rainforest so you can get a nice bird's eye view of the forest's canopy. More info:
https://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/central-catchment-nature-reserve/tree-top-walk
 
It is accessible by two trails at MacRitchie, you can take the trail from the main entrance of the MacRitchie Reservoir park and hike 4.5km around the reservoir (about 2 hours hike one-way), or the shorter trail at Venus Drive carpark about 2.5km long (1 hour's hike one-way).


We wanted the shorter hike so we took Bus 165 from the MacRitchie bus-stop and got off at Thomson View condo about 5 stops away, and then walk a few minutes towards Venus Drive. You can find the entrance of the trail with this huge sign about the monkeys (harbinger of things to come) and something about no flying drones allowed.





Oki. Not too worried about snakes. Only spiders. And leeches. And giant bugs. And wary of the monkeys.


There is a ranger station inside the forest with drinking fountains and toilets. My shoe broke just as I reached it, thank God anyway because I don't want to hike in the jungle barefoot!! Either way I needed to fix the shoe even if I gave up on the hike because we were closer to the bridge (300m away), than turning back.

Anyhow about the stupid shoe, one of the sides gave way because the glue came loose from washing I guess, and the stony paths didn't help. Many thanks to the office staff who saved the day and gave a stapler, nylon wires and zipties to try to keep the darn shoe together. In the end the nylon strings worked haha.... This hiccup delayed us for about half hour.

I decided to continue the hike because the strings looked like they could hold up for 300m + 2.5km. I did walk barefoot for a bit to preserve the strings for as long as possible, on a paved road that was going uphill. It was algae-ish and looked relatively clean. Ok not quite, I've seen 'Monsters inside Me'.

This is the entrance to the bridge. It closes at 5pm sharp so you should start your hike a few hours before the doors are locked.




In other visitors' images there were always monkeys sitting on the rails. We didn't want that (too vulnerable this high up!) and were thankful they were nowhere to be seen, so we could take our time to look around. The bridge is narrow and allows one-way traffic only. So no changing of minds once you step on it.

View overlooking the forest towards Lower Pierce Reservoir. It was slightly cloudy and some gentle gusts of wind on occasion. It was nice and recommended if you want some exercise.
At the end of the Treetop Walk, you had to climb lots of stairs to get on the one-way trail leading out. This part was not fun.
The stairway when looking back down where we came from.
And then we heard some commotion from people in front of us.
We finally saw our first monkey - kind of wanted to see a couple but didn't want to at the same time. We've seen how those monkeys are in Sentosa and at the Reservoir park's canteen. But yeah a few monkeys in our nature shots would be interesting, we thought.
Behold the monkey, aka big opportunist, heading for us. Monkey logic:

1. Corner human at face level at narrow trails, works best when humans are weak from climbing the stairs
2. Railings on both sides are the best for snatching bags
3. Humans can't chase us with rails in the way
4. Humans, even large men, seem to be afraid of us
5. We're quicker and we got teeth
6. Attack the females!

I had anticipated an attempted robbery because I know monkeys here harass people with plastic bags thinking they have food in them; mine was a large tote but this one was bold enough to try. While packing the bag at home, I was debating on whether a tote might attract monkeys but had no haversacks (which they usually ignore). Anyhow the thief was waiting for the right chance to spring at me, of course, all the time staring at my bag. We had a stand-off (sorta). Like: if I pass you, I know you'd jump across and grab at me or ON me! So I'm waiting for you to move but you ain't moving!

So finally I made my move and it tried a weak grab at my bag jumping across to the left rail but no, no monkey will ever bully me lol... We almost had another stand-off but the monkey noticed my bf who was starting to panic and swung his camera at it to scare it off. Because it was at eye level and we were vulnerable much lol. And it showed its teeth at him because because bf did a monkey hiss at it to communicate which was a bad idea by the way.

The monkey shot was the last photo he took because bf was spooked by the encounter. I kept nagging "Just keep walking and don't stop. It'll eventually go away, don't show your fear". If only we had a video. Anyway the monkey realised we were too much work and left us alone and started to harass the people who were initially in front of us; they took a rest at the shelter while we walked on. We heard their screams lol.

There were more monkeys further down the trail out for lunch but bf had already kept his camera and took out an umbrella just in case there were more attempted attacks. Using a 7D to whack off monkeys isn't a good idea lol. So that was a pity as we only had that not-so-good shot of the monkey before it attacked. Anyhow with our umbrellas, the other monkeys scuttled off before we even came near. Like do the disciplinarian walk.

Going down another flight of stairs, he saw a giant hairy spider dangling, and a green coloured snake (some sort of viper) coiled up on the stairs. Somehow I missed them because I was walking too fast and not looking in general lol. So there's that blurry shot of a monitor lizard running away from me with my iphone lol.

We took bus 165 back to the MacRitchie Reservoir bus-stop, and thinking we had left the monkeys behind:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

FRUIT HAT KIDS DIGITAL STAMPS


New fruit-themed digi stamp titled "Strawberry Hat Kid", if you love cute strawberries, this lineart may be for you! The coloured version above is made with markers, pen and soft pastels, I made the strawberries pink and red for some contrast.


She is available as an instant download at:
https://www.etsy.com/sg-en/listing/239308284/

Next is "Apple Hat Kid"....

Isn't she cute! I coloured the picture with markers and soft pastels. The green background is added digitally. Almost wanted to mix it up with green apples but ended up using just red tones... I also bought two packs of my favourite red apple chips yesterday =)
"Apple Hat Kid" is also available in my Etsy shop:
https://www.etsy.com/sg-en/listing/239606714/

I will probably come up with a few more fruit kids so stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

GIRLS MEMORIES FIGURE OF SAILOR MOON & PLUTO (BANPRESTO)

Recently purchased these beautiful Sailor Scouts figurines of the "Girls Memories Figure" line by Banpresto! Sailor Moon was released in 2014 and Sailor Pluto in 2015. These are my favourite two senshi so I got them first, and I am definitely looking forward to Sailor Saturn when she comes out. I'd love a Luna in human form too please. Excuse my messy table.
The boxes, it doesn't have a window for you to check out the actual toy if you buy it in person, but the package image is accurate and I knew it was going to be nicely sculpted! I purchased them from Le Tendo at Funan mall at SGD$26.00 for Pluto and S$28.00 for Sailor Moon. These were meant to be UFO machine prizes.

Classic Sailor Moon pose. Her hair ponytails and the plastic stand had to be assembled. The hair buns were a little tricky to do as you had to add some careful force to it. One thing good about this is if you ever do bump her by accident, she won't break that easily because she is made of pvc & abs for some weight and stiffness.



I like how they made her hair and back collar flap as though they are in the wind.

No wand or other extra accessories, but cute enough for my table! The white plastic stand is soft and ordinary, the design is printed on top.

Sailor Pluto is very pretty. Her body comes in two pieces, her upper torso and the skirt + legs. Her staff also came in two pieces. I slotted the bottom part of the staff into her flexible palms and fitted the top part, again it was a little tricky to make it hold.

Her hair has a gradient and is dark green, it is also blowing nicely in the wind. Her skin colour is lighter than what you would expect normally from Sailor Pluto but I do not mind it.

Her pose is elegant like she is, and her expression is the usual half-smile. She is also about a half a head taller than Sailor Moon.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

HAW PAR VILLA VISIT PART 2

Made another trip to Haw Par Villa while I was feeling a little better from my flu, you can read my earlier 2011 visit in this post: Welcome to Haw Par Villa. This time the weather was very sunny with no clouds so it was pretty hot. It hasn't rained for some time so the water levels seemed a little low in the ponds. The photos here will showcase some of the features I left out in my previous post. The top photo is the entrance to 'Hell' already featured in my old post so I'll skip that!

Admission is free and the park closes at 6pm. Drinks are not allowed so you should bring some coins for the vending machines in the canteen near the toilets. The Haw Par Villa MRT is just beside the park so it should be real easy to get there. You might meet a small snacks/ice-cream vendor outside in case you are worried about starving.

 The entrance. This place is never crowded!

Cute little dragon figure. It looks a bit more modern, I wonder if it was from the 70s-80s when the dragon boat ride was an attraction.
Main central pond feature with pagodas and buddhas. The pond is full of terrapins.
Sun tanning terrapin pile.

A nice statue of liberty figure in front of the pagoda pond.

I believe this is a Garuda.

A scene from Madam White Snake, where she flooded the Jinshan temple and fought Monk Fahai to save her husband Xu Xian.

Looking down the diorama you can enter within the caves & water sculpture.

The cavern below those tiger sculptures which you access by steps, it is quite cool in here although dusty.


Colourful ceiling.

One of the memorials on site, this one is for Aw Boon Haw.

Laughing buddha.

Journey to the West diorama featuring Monk Tang Sanzang with his white horse.

Monkey King Sun Wukong battling Hong Hai'er (also known as Scarlet Child/ Red Boy). This kid is stronger than Sun Wukong, he breathes fire and is the son of Niu Mo Wang (Bull King Demon) & Tie Shan Gong Zhu (Princess Iron Fan).

Pigsy Zhu Bajie being perverted and staring at the spider demons bathing in the river.

Spider demons attacking Sandy (Monk Sha).

The white dragon horse.

Another figure of Sun Wukong, he is placed quite high up on a rock sculpture.

The Monkey King's hometown - Hua Guo Shan (Mountain of Flowers and Fruit) with his troop of monkeys.

Closeup of the Monkey King as King. His fan roughly translates to "I'm the one and only".

Mermaid children sculptures, beside the large adult ones in my old post.

Kind of disturbing.

Sea snail mermaid of sorts.

Aquatic plants revealed as water levels are lower this time. Previously I saw fishes in it. They are also renovating it. You can see the sculptures clearly now since it above water.

Three characters from Romance of Three Kingdoms: Zhang Fei, Liu Bei and Guan Yu.

Giant dioramas teaching virtues and morals.


They are very detailed and large, with a lot of things going on.