Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kristi Yamaguchi at Barnes & Noble

I found out Kristi Yamaguchi was going to be in Walnut Creek during one random day Alane took me shopping. She was signing her new children's book called "Dream Big, Little Pig." 

My day (March 19) was complicated. I went assuming I could just meet her without a book, but later on found out I wasn't allowed to meet her without a book. I found this out when it was my turn to meet her, and I had been in line for over an hour! Nobody told me! Soooo, after some debating, I purchased a book and got back in line. I did get to meet her, but it was very brief. She was only there to sign her book, and there were a lot of people, so you couldn't get much time with her. I really wanted her to sign my Oakland Ice Center shirt, because she use to skate there. Oh well, at least I got to meet her :)

I had prepared some goodies for Kristi.

I thought the signing started at 1, so I got there around 12:45. It really started at 2.

My stalker picture. I could've had a better picture, but I didn't want to lose my spot in line (which didn't matter later anyways -__-).

Kristi read her book to us before she signed. Why a pig you wonder? She had always liked pigs and her grandparents used to call her pig, and always told her to "dream big, little pig." 

Though our meeting was short, Kristi was impressed by my drawing. She said that her illustrator, Tim Bowers, had better watch out ;) I wanted to talk to her more, but all I was able to do was congratulate her on her book and everything she had accomplished so far, and that I used to take lessons at OIC. haha.

I've never met anyone famous before, and in the past two months, I've met two of my idols. And, oddly enough, I've met them on the 19th of both months. hmm, curious. I wonder who I'll meet next, and will I meet them on the 19th.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Secret Santa Iron Man

We (DOC) had a secret santa exchange for the Christmas of 2010, but everyone's schedules were all over the place, so we were never able to get together. We still weren't able to get together, but a few of us exchanged anyways.

The Christmas before, I made a paper Spiderman for BJ. I wanted to make something again for this Secret Santa exchange, but then I went shopping with Kevin, and he convinced me to buy something instead (our limit was $5 btw). BUT since this exchange was so delayed, I got bored and made something anyways.

I was Jaime's secret santa, so of course whatever I'd get him would have to be some kind of super hero... i.e. Iron Man or Green Lantern. I decided on Iron Man, and made that light thing on his chest.

I was inspired by the Target ad for the Iron Man costume during Halloween time.

So I dug up my push light.

And based my design off this toy.

Here's my game plan

The light was more complicated than I had anticipated. Had it not been rounded, it would've been easier. I was trying to work mathematically, but the fact that it was rounded threw me off. So a lot of what I did was by guessing and checking. My pictures will skip steps here and there, because I wasn't always sure of what would work.

I started by drawing and cutting out some pieces

And painted them with my good ol' silver nail polish.

I had to do this part in pieces, because of the fact that the light was rounded and my paper was not... if that makes sense. By doing it in small pieces, I was able to glue them on and mold to the rounded shape if needed.

After gluing all the pieces on, and letting them dry, I fixed the edges with the knife to make a more perfect circle.

Making the center piece was the hardest. It took a lot of guessing/instinct, but I managed to make one that fit perfectly. I am still very surprised with how I did it.

I taped the center piece temporarily so I could estimate the placement of the outer pieces.

When it looked about perfect, I glued the pieces on.  

And then trimmed the excess with my knife.

I worked from the outside in, this provided guidelines for the placement of inner pieces. At this point, It kinda looked like I was about to make the Deathly Hallows sign.

I skipped a bunch of steps here, but I finished the center. Here, I added paper and tape to prepare for painting.

In the 10th grade, a few of my friend and I made a cardboard phone booth for our geometry teacher. SUPER TRANS! So I had a lot of red paint left over. Perfect for this project.

I painted two coats, because the first coat was streaky.

It dried dull looking, so I added clear nail polish to give it a shiny, plasticky look.

Next step was to make pieces for the sides. The circumference of the light was about 30 cm, so I cut two 15 cm strips of paper.

And again painted with my silver nail polish.

As that dried, I continued to work on the center.

Then while the top dried, I went back to the bottom and made those little square ridge things. I made myself a paper guideline so I could ensure that the space between each ridge was the same.

And... done.

I started this near the end of December.

Did 75% of the work within this past week (first week of February). Super lag.

Consider it a very generic/simplified version.

Lights out.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cousin's 13th Birthday

My cousin had been asking me to make tiramisu since the day he arrived, but I just never felt like he deserved it. lol. Anyways... since it was his birthday yesterday, that enough reason for me to finally make him a tiramisu.

The tiramisu I made was a shortcutted version, something I sort of whipped up to cut costs. The ingredients included: box mix pound cake, butter, milk, eggs, mascarpone cream, heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, espresso powder, and cocoa powder. The only ingredients I had to actually buy were the mascarpone cream and heavy cream. Real tiramisu uses lady fingers, but I with pound cake instead. Pound cake mix was something I just had on hand, and I figured it was dense enough to hold the liquid you usually used to coat the lady fingers without becoming soggy. Another cut was the use of eggs in the cream. I've never used raw egg to make a frosting, so I didn't really want to attempt it for this recipe. Also, notice the absence of alcohol. Usually tiramisu contains marsala wine, rum, coffee liquor, or some other dessert-y alcohol, but considering I was making it for my cousin, and I don't like the taste of alcohol, I omitted it.

I was in a rush, so no process pictures, but I'll try to explain it. I had a plastic octagon container that was leftover from some apple turnovers from Safeway which I thought would be perfect for the assembly. I assembled it as if I were making a trifle. I first placed a layer of pound cake, then poured a bit of coffee onto the cakes, then spread the cream on top, and repeated this process seven times. I let it chill in the fridge for about six hours. Before serving, I take it out of the container, and use the remainder of the cream to frost the top and sides. A dusting cocoa powder (from London, courtesy of Cat) finishes the tiramisu.

Did I mention that it was seven layers of cake?

It was really good. This was a nice and simple way to make tiramisu.

I also drew my cousin a picture from one of his favorite animes. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bakerella Book Signing in SF

I had missed my first chance to meet Bakerella (Angie Dudley) a few months ago when she was in Walnut Creek. Last Monday (two weeks before the signing), when I checked her blog, she had announced that she will be adding two more locations to her book tour, one of them being San Francisco! I was super excited that I got my second chance! So I quickly planned my trip via public transportation down to San Francisco.

Here's a little background info to get familiarized with Bakerella. She's an amateur baker, and does what she does just for the love of it. Bakerella fell in love with baking and decorating after having taken a cake decorating class. Soon after, she began to document her baking creations through her blog, Bakerella is known for her cake pops, which are basically cake on a stick.

I just love her creativity.

And she has the most creative friend. I love Cupcake Julie.

These are just a few pictures from Cupcake Julie's Christmas party. She made everything. I even told Bakerella that Cupcake Julie was everything I wanted to be.

(All the pictures above were from Bakerella's website, you can click them to view the posts)

I think you can see why I was so excited to meet Bakerella.

February 19th: My trip started at 11am, and, through the ugly rain, I got to the Chronicle Books Store around 1pm. It was a quaint, little store; I was too excited to remember to take pictures of the outside or inside.

Here was the window display. I need to learn to crochet, because those crocheted cake pops are really cute.

Aren't the cake pops cute?

The line to meet her wasn't too long, but while in line, I met a cute little girl who was also a fan of Bakerella. It surprised me that she was even using a computer at her age. She was super adorable and loved to bake too. I wish I could've taken her home... could've been best friends. lol.

Anywho. I made her a mini bouquet pink paper roses. I think she was in awe that I made them, because she kept staring at them. I had made a list of things I wanted to say to her the day I discovered she'd be in town, but when I get nervous, I start talking really fast. I was so starstrucked. Not exactly sure how I came off (probably like a blabbering idiot), but I said all that I wanted to say. I probably told her that she was a huge inspiration to me like four times in our conversation -____- 

My take home goodies. Adorable complimentary pins, and a really tasty salted chocolate caramel. This piece of caramel (not too sure who made them) is the best piece of candy I have ever tasted. One of the guys passing them out, when asked what they were made of, said, "I'm not sure, but I'm guessing sugar...salt...caramel ( you don't make caramel out of caramel... that would be tedious and redundant. Caramel's just made of heated sugar)," and the second guy adds, "and dreams." I think I'll believe the latter.

I told her that discovering her blog was probably the happiest day of my life. There's just something about being able to relate to other people who share the same love for creativity. I was in a starstruck kind of daze for the rest of the day.

Bakerella usually posts her pictures from every signing online, and I've been waiting for her to post them before I posted my blog bit, but she hadn't posted anything since Valentine's day. She posted an update today, and she's been in the hospital due to her failing, 18 year old transplanted kidney. According to her blog, she is okay, and is just waiting on a kidney match with her mom or another donor. It's strange to hear about something so serious happening to someone so positive. I really hope things will be okay, and that she'll be back to doing the things she loves real soon.

No job, but have work

I may not have a job, but I have a bunch of projects lined up. Some are requests, but most are  because I just want to do it. Gotta keep myself busy somehow.

Major project is a collaborative one with Kevin and Benson. If successful, I should be getting compensation for this one.

Mini projects:

  • Secret Santa present: Finished, but haven't exchanged yet. 
  • Chris: Drawing on his external harddrive
  • Cat's present: Adding bling to shoes.
  • Cousin's birthday: Tiramisu, drawing, and maybe something Celtics related.
  • Sean's house warming gift: Drawing
  • Birthday 1: Baked goods and handmade goods (will be revealed after this birthday)
  • Birthday 2: Baked goods and handmade goods (will be revealed after this birthday)
  • Dad's birthday: Raiders ipod/phone cozy
  • Graduation gift: Finish drawing I started last year. Baked goods.

Personal projects that are kinda stuck in limbo, because I don't have the materials/a deadline:

  • ipod cozy
  • purse/bag
  • Harry Potter related stuff (well, this should be done before the movie in July)
More could be added as the days go by. I will blog about these projects soon (I hope).