One photo, blank mind


One photo, blank mind. Hope I can think of something to write here soon...


Inspire me Sunday


Ten days without any posts is not good. But I promised to myself not to talk negative things on my blog so how about some beautiful links I found during the week?

• Beautiful pattern on pattern design

• a 87 year-old grandmother and her odd-eyed kittenlovely photo book of friendship. I especially like the shot of the two with hanging white radishes.

• What is a Book?, a picture book about books created in the early 1960s. Love the illustration in vibrant yellow and pink.

• love to have one of these kitchen towels by Ingela P Arrhenius

House Held Up By Trees, beautiful book. I'm so in love with Jon Klassen's style.

Happy weekend and I hope you like my merry sketches above, by the way.


my inspiration board


I never had this kind of inspiration board before. I usually kept cards, stickers, pretty brochures, etc. in boxes. It's fun to pin up some cute things to see and think further. I especially like the flowers, which even when they are dry, they still maintain their beauty.

The center piece, some of you may be able to tell, is my floral design. I printed it out, pinned it up to see how it would look like when up on the wall. Looking at the design from this angle, I saw right away which part I would have to adjust to make it better. This suddenly reminds me that when you have problems you can't figure out, it helps to step back and see things in different angles, you will find the solutions more quickly.

Now, my problem is the board itself. There are too many things on it and I feel dizzy looking at it :p. Need to take some things off and rearrange the whole thing.

It's a good start though :)


Inspire me Sunday


Good morning Sunday. I guess I will just make Sunday a relaxing and inspiring day of the week by posting love links I found during each week.

Enjoy beautiful things and have a merry Sunday!

Laura Carlin  : love her design on ceramics.

World's first 3D printing photo booth : this is very cool!

diy project : tiny doors : this super cute project reminds me of two things. One is The Borrowers and the other is an article I just read in Frankie magazine which talks about how important of stuffs we collect. No matter how non-functional they are (like these tiny doors), as long as they keep you happy just looking at them, it's worth the keeping (or making). I just love this imaginative idea :)

flying houses photos made me think of The Wizard of Oz.

up up & away illustration print : another flying art, always love her works.

PS. No new ideas for PiBoIdMo yet. Hope I could have one or two during laundry :P


merry girls sketches


I have been away from my computer most of the time this couple of days. There are a lot of things in my head that I wish I could dissect and lay them out in a neat pattern and just act on each of them one by one. I think the main problem (beside encountering creative blocks) for us, the creative minds, is how to balance things in our lives (work, family, our goals, etc.) properly.

It's very hard but sometimes it can be challenging too. The key is not to give up and keep on going.

My work is in a slow pace right now but I try to always have a sketchbook in hand and draw ideas whenever I can. The characters you see in these sketches are, I think, some kind of my brand representatives, I call them Merry Girls :) It's not my intention though. I draw this kind of girl a lot during work to get myself relaxed. I post them on my facebook page and it becomes a character that people recognize me from. Some of my followers kindly told me that they got happy feeling when they saw my girls. It's the best compliment I ever had. I name my brand MerryDay just to say how happy I am when creating art but it's even better if my art can make someone feel happy too :D

I mostly post my merry girls doodles on my facebook page. If you are on facebook and would like to check it out, you can go browsing my album here >> http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150257328584435.339945.259090264434&type=3


A half day of frustration and a half day of inspiration :)


The good thing about doing freelance is that your time is flexible. This really helps when I get into creative blocks or encounter frustrating problems that prevents me from creating good design. In the case of today, I have a problem with my inkjet printer. It's the third working equipment gone bad in the period of 6 weeks. So, I guess it's quite acceptable to be very upset.

But I didn't let myself be mad too long. It's not good. I could just make use of my schedule flexibility by turning my computer off and switching to do something more relaxing. The printer could wait. I'm sure I can figure it out later ( or I hope).

So, with a box of color markers and a sketchbook by my side, I sat on the cool floor and started reading the current issue of Frankie Magazine, one of my wonderful inspiration sources. Its pretty pages with insightful content really helped lifting my spirit. I ended my afternoon with some pages of color sketches and a few worthy quotes...

I guess my today is not too bad at all :)

PiboidMo day 13 : what if Giraffes could fly?


explore, play and make mistakes


There are times that I get frustrated with my art. It seems that ideas in my head and sketches in books always look better than actual works. The idea of showing my art in public sometimes scares me too. I guess that is one of the reasons that I get too tense and could not be satisfied with my art easily. My perfectionist side is taking over me and it's not good. Art needs relaxation. Explore, play and make mistakes, I need to say that out loud...

After several hot days in Bangkok, we finally get cool weather today. I went out browsing some books and did some sketches in a coffee shop. It's nice to go outside from time to time :)

PiBoIdMo day 12 : still thinking about rainbow.


Inspire me Sunday


Nothing much to say today. Just finished my floral design. Need to print it out and take photos and move on to new drawings :)

Inspire me today links :

darling magazine : I love this magazine. Wish I had more time to read all through every article.
book cub : little blog of doodles and ideas.
Johnny Kotze : beautiful illustration, love his color palette.
Amy Husband : found her via Twitter (the world of illustrators), Really like her colorful whimsical illustration and hand-lettering too!
Carson Ellis : my favorite. I wish I could draw like her.

Have a merry day everyone :)

Oh! Almost forget PiBoIdMo.

day 10 : A gray city and only one girl who could see colors.
day 11 : Little Peach and little Pear making friends ♪


80% art, 20% business / learn to stop, learn to start


My two online classes have finally ended and I still keep thinking about them.

I took some other online classes before. They were good classes to some level but as I didn't manage my time for the classes well enough, I didn't benefit from them as I should have. But for these 2 courses, Creative Courage and Blogging Your Way, I devoted my time to really read, collect materials and participate as much as possible. I think I gain a lot from these classes, both in knowledge and spiritual support :)

Now I am kind of addicted to starting each day reading the classes' posts. Stephanie, from Creative Courage, incorporated artist's interviews into her class so well. Each one was very informative and inspiring and I felt like I needed more. I searched and read. But suddenly, it struck me that I was beginning to get lost again, in the sea of information.  I still need more info in marketing and Etsy tips. But that information will be only information if I don't create my art enough.

Lisa Sonora Beam from Creative Entrepreneur, one of the artists in the class interviews, says that if you want to be in creative career, you have to do your best in handling two jobs at the same time. One is to create, the other is to sell. The best blend should be 80% art and 20% business.

I think I'm doing on the art part only 10% right now. It's time to switch my focus...

Just like doing digital illustration, with easy clicks, we tend to keep on changing colors, adjusting things with no end. I guess learning to stop and learning to start are very important in designing (and also in life).

Let's see what I will show you next post :)

I forgot that I'm supposed to have one idea each day for the PiBoIdMo. So, here we go :

day 5 : A village where each villager has flower or plant on his or her head.

day 6 :  Little Leaf (from day 3 post) makes friend with other kinds of leaf in the woods.

day 7 : Something about cloud?

day 8 : A girl who is never sad.

day 9 : A pessimistic girl vs. an optimistic boy


Know more about me (and other bloggers)


Today's post is going to be a bit long if you don't mind. This is because lovely Karina from A Kreative Life has just nominated me for a Liebster Award, a tag that let readers know more about the blogger they are following (or just begin to know).

I did this kind of tag last year. I'm thinking how I have changed from that time. Not much. Maybe a bit grown-up?

Anyway, here's the rule : to be eligible, I must post 11 random facts about myself // Answer 11 questions Karina asked of me // Nominate 11 more up and coming bloggers, notify them and link them  to my post // Create 11 new questions for these bloggers to answer / no tag backs.

Quite a mission but here are my 11 random facts :
  1. I love drawing on kraft paper with Faber-Castell ink pen number 4 and 8, this may sound ridiculous but number 4 is different from 5 (at least to my hand :P) and coloring with Steadtler fibre-tip pen, their pink is really bright on kraft :)
  2. I love raspberry latte, both in taste and color. It gives a feeling of warm but refreshingly romantic somehow.
  3. I used to be afraid of dogs, scared to death even when they were miles away from me :P
  4. I don't drink alchohol.
  5. I was pessimistic until MerryDay becomes my brand, more about this later :)
  6. I'm an introvert, quiet person and sometimes annoyed when asked why I don't talk (why must I?)
  7. I cannot live without my glasses.
  8. I love watching documentary shows.
  9. I'm addicted to facebook, only when at home though. I don't use internet on the move.
  10. Europe is always my dream destination.
  11. I cannot sing or even hum :P
That's it! This is getting too long already. I haven't answered Karina's questions yet. Here they are :

1. What is your greatest strength?
I'm not sure. I'd like to say my optimism but I know I'm not that optimistic.

2. What was a moment/event that changed the course of your life?
When I decided to spend another 4 years for graphic design degree.

3. If someone was to give you one gift, money is no object, what would you want to receive?
My best friend once gave me a bookshop gift voucher and I was so happy :D

4. What dish are you renowned for cooking?
Can cooking rice be called a dish? :P

5. What was your favourite subject at school?
English :)

6. Your ultimate career would be?
I want to make my MerryDay shop as my main income.

7. Do your personality traits and interests make you feel as though you should have been in another era, and why?
No, I think I'm in the right era now :)

8. Your favourite colour?
Yellow and pink :)

9. What is the most courageous thing you have ever done?
Getting on a tourist plane for Seattle's bird's-eye view tour with an old pilot who looked like he could have a heart attack at any time :P

10. Your perfect holiday : relax or explore?
Relax. Go to beautiful, quiet place and think of nothing.

11. What makes you laugh?
Something happy :)


Next are my nominees. These bloggers are all art focused which is my main interest. Visit their blogs and read their insight, you might find some new friends :)

Sandra / the Art of Greatness
Andrea / DreAm*heART*sMart*ArT
Tricia / Daring Hue
Suzi / Vignttes de la vie
Notabilia  / Notabilia
gabriella / ink.paint.paper
Little Miss Tweedie Bird
Kaho / Chuzai Living
Elizabeth / On the Surface
Judy / Sketching with Stitches
Anna / Mischief, Flapjacks, Pantone & Me

And here are my questions for the bloggers above:
  1. What activity do you think you cannot live without?
  2. How do you deal with creative blocks?
  3. Do you like reading? What is your most favorite book?
  4. Who is the artist that has great influence on your art or life? How?
  5. What is your motto in life?
  6. What do you do first thing in the morning?
  7. What is the last thing you do before going to bed?
  8. Where do you find your inspiration?
  9. If you could fly high in the sky, which bird's-eye view scene you want to see the most?
  10. Which magazines/blogs do you read regularly?
  11. Your favorite flower?
Done! I hope this long post doesn't bore you. Before you go read my nominees' blogs,  you may want to stop at Karina's place first. She has a neat and clean blog, full of insight and inspiration. I enjoy her writing very much :)


My PiBoIdMo Day 4 : A cat who is scared of mice?


Flower sketches and a little leaf


I have been out most of the time this weekend, didn't do much except some sketches...

I left this brown sketchbook on a bed near open window. My place is on the 11th floor. I guess this little leaf must have been blown from higher floor or some apartment nearby. It's kind of cute and really goes with my drawing, doesn't it? :)

Hope you are having a good weekend.

Oh! Almost forget the PiBoIdMo day 3 : how about a little leaf who gets lost in the wind?


Revamping MerryDay : work in progress

MerryDay work in progress

I think I need to share more of my work progress for my shop now. I thought I would keep everything to myself until I could have something complete to show in public. But on second thought, posting something unfinished might be a good way to push myself to work harder. :)

Here is a flower design I'm working on. I generally sketch ideas with ink or pencil on paper first. Then scan in and trace in Illustrator program. This one is a bit different though. I drew right onto the program based on initial pencil sketches in my book. The idea is to have something sweet, swirly and fresh. The challenging part is color selection. I always struggle when it comes to coloring part. I prefer using 2-3 colors in my work if I could. Too many different colors confuse me and it would take me a long time to finish it.

I'm pleased with this drawing's color scheme so far but can't help wondering how I could make it more unique. I just have to keep trying and learning. :)

Talk about color learning. I have found some blogs that could be helpful in term of color study.

Orange you lucky is my most favorite illustration and pattern blog. The artist, Helen Dardik, is a genius in choosing colors. You have to look at her gorgeous pattern designs. They are all amazing :D

Emma Lamb's blog is also one of my favorites. She has a good sense in color coordination and I really love her crochet handmade.

I found a creative mint through Blogging Your Way e-course. This blog is very beautiful and you can read posts by color. Interesting.

That's it for today. We will see what I come up with tomorrow :)

Now for the PiBoIdMo day 2 : The Demon Grim captures Rainbow princess and put her in a high tower, how can Brave Prince rescue her?


Flaming Gerbera and an idea for Picture Book Idea Month

It's day 1 of Art Every Day Month ! and photo shooting is what I focus on today :)

Taking bright and beautiful pictures of my shop items is one of the challenges I encounter. I'm always learning and trying to work on it. At first, I wanted to try shooting my design but decided against it. They are not ready to be shown yet :) Luckily, I could find these gorgeous Gerbera, the flaming orange color is so striking and they seem to glow even in the dark. My place is a bit gloomy and it's quite hard to have bright sunlight these days with all the bad weather. So, I used the help of 2 desk lamps with Daylight light bulbs and a sheet of white paper on the background and just played.




I really love this last one. It looks like the flowers are floating in the air!

That's my day 1 of AEDM. I don't have any plan of what I will do each day for this challenge. I will just let it be spontaneous and exciting each morning that I wake up. :D

Now, there's another challenge I'd like to talk about. It's Picture Book Idea Month. I actually intended to just read and follow their posts. But the group is so inspiring that I can't help myself.
So, here is my first day and first idea :

PiBoIdMo Day 1 : A merry girl with wishing bubblegum.

I should have some sketches to go along with the idea but don't want to stress myself too much :)

PS. If you don't know about Picture Book Idea Month or PIBoIdMo, you might want to read what it is all about here.


Here comes November, the creativity month!


As I mentioned before, this month seems like the month of all creativity. There are art challenges that get people together to do art everyday, according to their themes and concepts, for the whole month. I'm going to participate in Art Every Day Month (AEDM) as I did last year. The idea of this challenge is simply to create anything you consider art. It could be drawing, painting, sewing, photography etc. Anything that helps boosting your energy and creativity, you name it :)

There are also some other interesting challenges. I heard about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and then Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo). The latter one is what I am interested in. I do have a goal of writing and illustrating a picture book myself. Not in the near future though. My priority right now is my etsy shop which is in the process of redesigning (quite slowly but I'm working on it!).

What I think I would benefit from following this challenge is that, with every day guest posts I would learn how creative people get their ideas, how they develop them into visual and verbal final works. As I love to collect picture books, process and behind the scene talks always excite me and I'm looking forward to it. In fact, I have enjoyed their Pre-PiBo posts already!

This month is going to be fun and inspiring. With the Art Every Day Month, you may see me more often here as I intend to draw and create as much as possible, along with my shop improvement of course :)

So, let this month be full of joy and colors :D


drawing : the love of Octopus


So, I think I'm gradually coming back to be myself, a person who draw almost all the time. In fact, I have been a member of some art groups but have been guiltily neglected most of them. It's not good. These groups are helpful, friendly and inspiring. They really help pushing me to pursue my art. So, I think I have to be more active now.

The illustration above is my latest style. It's done for The Fancy Pants Sketch Club on Facebook. The topic is 'Tentacles'. It's quick drawing and although I drew this while I was having a headache, I enjoyed it very much :)

It's a good feeling when you have finished something, even a small thing like this drawing.

I really love me, myself now :)


Every little thing could make big difference in life.


Every little thing could make big difference in life.

This little paper bag contained my latest shopping items from a zakka shop near my place. Simple sentence, but it has stuck on my mind for days. I have always been a person who believe that whatever things we do now will have a role in our future one way or another. No matter how trivial those things are. Just wondering how my little things I do now (such as writing this post?) may affect my future.

The future of unknown, it's a bit exciting, isn't it?

About my project of redesigning my shop. I'm still in the stage of researching, taking notes. The good news is I'm beginning to sketch down new ideas and do some digital drawings. 

Everything is in slow pace now but I can't wait to see the final solution already !

Here a sneak peek of what I'm working on :) 



Children's Book, Good Magazines and what's bothered me lately


If you are my old follower, you might have known already that I have an etsy shop selling illustration and paper goods. I don't put the link on right now because I have put the shop on vacation so that I can spend time in revamping my whole design.

I think those who work in creative fields might experience this feeling from time to time, the feeling of uncertainty and doubt. Not sure of your style. Not sure of the future. This has been bothering me for some time and I feel lost.

What would you do when you encounter this kind of feeling?...

When you get lost, you have to find a way back. I find it in books. Reading can bring you to focus state. When you focus, things will become crisp and clear...

I had had Beyond the Pawpaw Trees on my wish list for some time before I ordered it and I am so glad I finally did. It's a joyful book, full of beautiful black and white line drawings. More importantly, its simple but whimsical story just pulls me off the confusing reality to straightforward childhood, when you don't know the meaning of worry and could do whatever you want. That's what I need right now.  

Then I know a solution to my problem. If I don't feel happy with my art, why not find a way to improve it. So, these past two weeks I have let myself slipped into the world of blogs, creativity, and brainstorming. I look at shops and blogs I admire. I do research and read almost everything about online marketing. I take notes and collect every material that I think could be useful from magazines. (Martha Stewart Living and Anthology in picture above are really helpful and inspiring :) I train my eyes to look at everything in shapes, forms and colors and try to think further...

This will be going on forever as long as I want to have my business. But I think I'm having fun doing all these things and I begin to see how my shop is going to be now.

It's quite exhausting but I'm feeling good, inspired and energized.
Now that I can get back right on track :)


green inspire and a photo taking experiment


Since I moved in my  apartment, it has become a habit to buy flowers every week to decorate my little room. A friend suggested me to have some flower pots to take care, but I know I cannot do that. I have never been green-thumb person and I will feel so guilty if plants I take care of die on me :(. So, I choose to have different kind of flowers in a vase each week instead.

I usually buy flowers from little shop at my usual marketplace or from little stall around the corner. There are not many varieties, usually mums, roses or carnations but colorful shapes and fresh scent are enough to feel good just standing in front of them.

This week is green mum. There was only one bouquet in the shop and its different shades of green really stood out among colorful others. Somehow I fell in love with it... and already imagined taking photos of them on wooden background (it just popped in my head).

So here they are on my little wood panel. It’s kind of photo-shooting experiment.  My place is quite dark and it’s hard to find bright natural light around this time (it has been so cloudy for several days already). I used light from my desk lamp, turned it upward so the light would not reflect on the panel, and just pressed the shutter.

It turned out unreal to me, more like plastic and somewhat surreal. I like it though, especially the two green shades look so separate as if they are not from the same branch. It has something to do with the camera color function too, I guess. I’m really an amateur in photo taking :p

I really like these two green shades and wondering how I could use them on my next design :)

How about you? What colors inspire you today?


back to creative track


So...I have neglected my blog again. Same old reason, busy with my work and my time management inability :(

But writing something is always on my mind. I like the time when I get back to my old posts, read and wonder how this or that events happened to me. I don't have good memory, always forget things. So reading old things is like living my life again.

My life has changed a bit this year. I got married and moved to a small but cozy apartment in the city. It's not so much a life-changing stage, part of it is that I had been going out with my boyfriend for 10 years before marriage. It's a long relationship and I don't feel the need of adjustment much. I still work as a freelance graphic designer and I still have the same dream as I did last year.

October and November is like the season of learning for those creative minds. There are so many workshops and art challenges at this time of year. I was in the process of wrapping up some of my work projects when I came across Stephanie's post of her e-course, Creative Courage and I thought that I must take this course! And it is a good decision really. With the class started a couple of weeks ago, I have been able to focus my mind on what I have always wanted to succeed for so many years. In my mind, I can visualize my goal but it seems that the path to that goal is so blurry and I don't know where to start or I know where but it's very hard to keep going from there.

Not sure if I make myself clear. This post is more like rambling thoughts rather than well-thought writing. Forgive me...

Anyway, I enjoy Creative Courage very much and start to look for more. I remember my participation in Sketchbook Project 2011 and then Creative Every Day challenge. I miss waking up each day feeling energized and inspired to create something. Staying constantly focused in creative track is what I really need now. That's why I feel it's the right thing to enroll in another creative e-course, Blogging Your Way. As people always say being surrounded with creative people will help you stay inspired and I feel that already :)

 There are 2 more blogs I plan to follow and learn if not participating. Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoldMo) and Pugly Pixel's css workshop. Too many things? I'm starting to feel overwhelmed already but if I don't put too much stress on myself, it could be a fabulous time :D

Let's see how far I can go in this creative journey :)...

Wondering about my picture above? It's my inspiration board with quotes I love. I just did it this morning and found that taking some time before work to create something for myself really helps boosting my energy and I can focus more on my work after that.  And I'm looking forward to the next morning to do something fun like this again. :)

Thanks for stopping by. This post is way too long, I hope you don't get bored :)


start today with a cup of tea

I think I'm addicted to Peppermint tea lately but love to taste other flavors too, this one is raspberry tea :)


merry tag design

bookmarkrabbit-merryday A set of gift tags designed for my friend as souvenir for her book fans :)


bright flowers on gloomy day

flower-july-pavinee In case you are wondering where my '365 days I draw' drawings are, I have created a new blog solely for the challenge. You can go there by clicking this link.


back to reading

This is not what I am actually reading now. Just love the cover and the bookmark design :)




custom drawing by MerryDay


Custom drawing ordered by one of my sweet clients. It's a birthday gift for her husband. I tried to make it cheerful, airy and hope you can smell the scent of love in the air :)

365 days I draw ( day 79 : daring)

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