Life in the End Times

Shin's gift to Annie on their One Year Anniversary

Designers Don’t Decorate

Filed under: Creative Reflection — Annie at 2:04 pm on Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Someone in my computer graphics class asked the teacher, “What about the backside of the project? Do you want us to decorate that too?”

His reply: “Designers don’t decorate. We design”

Sunday night around 9 I started my graphic design project for class. We were asked to design a direct mail brochure for Corbis, a stock photo company, to promote 360* panoramic photos. I prayed a lot because I had had a HUGE creative block all the last two weeks that the teacher assigned it.

Shin saw how much I was floundering with my little comps and ideas going everywhere. So he taught me how to streamline and systemize my decision-making process. So by around 11 I was actually settled on a layout and designing the actual piece on the computer. It was great. I slept at 2:30AM and I was really happy with what I produced in that short time. Here are some pictures…

When you receive it it would look like this on the mailing side:

The other side of the address would look like this:

Once you open those on one side you would see “double doors”- two panels side by side. These would look like this:

When you open those two fully, it’s 4 panels wide, and the inside looks like this:

The great thing is that if you flip that over fully spread, you get another complete panorama of the Vegas Strip that goes all the way around in a 360 when the brochure is closed:

I Love My Wraparound Skirt!

Filed under: Studio Art — Annie at 1:12 am on Sunday, February 26, 2006

I finished the skirt the first week she cut the fabric. I had bought a green and a brown fabric to layer but after seeing the thickness of the cloth she said I could make two individual skirts instead. The fabric line, at Joann’s Fabrics, was called “Destination India” and it’s a linen rayon mix so it has the slightly rough, criss cross texture of linen but, according to the salesclerk, it won’t wrinkle as bad as 100% linen fabric.

I saw my mom today at my nephew’s birthday party and she loved it so I asked if she would wear one if I made it. She said yes after I told her it’s a one size fits all. I described the other color fabric and she said, She said, “I like brown-chocolate brown, ok?! Haha.

I lent my sewing machine to Nasim’s mom but I’m going to get started on that soon. I also asked Nasim’s mom for a copy of the pattern, so she might be able to give me one. Actually my mom’s friend had asked to borrow my machine and I put it off/forgot and now it’s on loan to someone else. Shin says that makes me “in debt”. That’s an interesting way to look at it. And ironic because the person I actually felt indebted to was Nasim’s mom.

Upclose this is a horrible picture of my face b/c I was in mid conversation or… just photogenically challenged but it was the best picture of the front of the skirt that I could find.

Image from the back. The bias makes the skirt fall very nicely. It came out very surreal looking with the trains in the background and a haziness. I think I look like the girl from Final Fantasy VII from the back because of my hair length and pose- it is like a still of a photorealistic animation.

Christian’s Dol & a Day at Travel Town

Filed under: Extraordinary Days — Annie at 7:45 pm on Saturday, February 25, 2006

This morning we woke up at around 8:30 am and did some semi-major housecleaning. Here’s a list of what we each did.
Shin: washed the dishes, wiped down the kitchen counters, cleaned bathroom 1, organized the office.
Annie: cleaned kitchen floor and wiped the kitchen cabinets, cleaned bathroom 2, swept the floors in the bedroom (amassed a pile of dust- ew), put away extra clothes and items.
Together: made the bed, took out the trash. Pretty good. We ended around 10:15

Showered, and I helped Shin pick out his clothes for my nephew’s “dol” / 1st birthday. I was still deciding what to wear with the green skirt I recently made so Shin decided to help me visualize. Here’s what he produced in less than 20 minutes.

Annie Fashion Annie Fashion Annie Fashion

The party was in Pasadena at the Panda Inn. Very nice fast food-ish sit down. Here are some pictures of my cousins and nephews.

The top left is Susan, Jack, and their only kid Sammy, with a closeup of Sammy below. In the top right is Linda holding the birthday boy, Christian, with a closeup below of Caleb, her first son. Cute babies.

Shin was being very mischievous and tagging helium balloons on people. He got me with TWO! I didn’t even know until I started walking and felt a light tug on my skirt string. We also got some sib photos.

Check out the resemblance between the Chinese demon gargoyle and Shin. Wow. what a likeness.

Afterwards we found ourselves pretty close to the Travel Town Museum off the 134 freeway so we ventured there to look at some historic, retired trains. Not only did we see some cool trains but SO MANY KIDS AND BABIES!!!

We took a series of “JUMP” pictures. I had some major timing problems. Shin must have some sore calves from all the jumps I made him do to capture that perfect moment of flight.

Look at his form! Ah.. breathtaking.

And below we were trying to get the effect of jumping in front of a moving train. hahah

Shin also got creative and took some amazing, artistic, stock-photo quality photos like the ones here.

I love how he caught that glint of sunshine in my sparkly, shoes. How personal to reveal my unpedicured foot.

We have tons more photos but for now these are some of my favorite images of our trip to Travel Town, along with those mental snapshots you keep in your mind of that person that you have the most affection for, that secret crush, or boyfriend, or husband, that makes all those moments spectacularly sweet and fun, and memorable.

I think I’ll look back on today and remember colorful rooms, white-chocolate-dipped fortune cookies, and flying in some mystical place full of babies and magical trains.

Wraparound skirt

Filed under: Arts & Crafts — Annie at 9:31 pm on Saturday, February 11, 2006

These skirts are our next project for our arts and crafts ministry at church. One of the students’ mom is kind enough to lend us her talent and time. She’s a former designer for Guess Georges Marciano when white jeans and the triangle icon were huge. Despite her totally awesome career and giftedness, she is a very humble woman with a sincere faith in God. A month or two ago I asked if she would be interested in hosting a craft sometime and she got back to me pretty quickly with the idea of making unique, wraparound skirts.

The two basic kinds are a simple wrap that is closely fitted to your waist and hip size, and the second is a one-size-fits-all skirt that ties at the side.

I think almost all the girls are really excited, except the ones who adamantly refuse to wear skirts. I think it would still be a great experience in design and construction, and a time to connect with each other, and quite possibly nudge them towards being open to feminity. (Although, that is not the aim of this ministry, despite that we are developing some typical, homemaker skills.)

This morning I took two of the girls to get fabric. I admit, it was unfair to those who have to get their own, which was the instruction I wrote in the email. But when the host of the craft asks you if you can take them it is sort of a give-in. I already bought mine yesterday after my second visit to a fabric store.

I actually worried that the hard job landed on me to help them choose fabrics when I had such a hard time myself. But as soon as we arrived there I ushered them into the quilting section that has lots of cotton material with cute patterns. It was interesting to see how quickly they settled on the first picks and then went through the decision making process. I went in knowing that I would be tempted to influence their direction so I really tried to keep quiet, except for when I felt pretty certain they would be unhappy with their decision after seeing the final product.

What was amazing to me was observing how they both had such strong sensibilities and adult-like demeanors mixed with their childish voices and tiny statures. I suppose this is the essence of the teenage years. Mind you, these two girls are in 6th and 7th grade. The first girl, E, had a very strong affinity towards busy, floral patterns on dark backgrounds with metallic outlines. It seemed so strange to see such old patterns on such a young girl. She said it was because even though she’s young, she is also very serious. I found that very comical. But she also liked a juvenile, peach colored one with cherries on it. In the end she chose a light blue one with clusters of butterflies outlined with metallic gold. It was almost vintage looking. She said she liked Japanese origami looking fabrics. She definitely hit that on the nail with her fabric choice. When I asked what her mom might say about her selection she said, “I think my mom would say its very sophisticated!”. I would have to agree.

On the other hand, “N” kept choosing just the opposite genre of fabrics. Mostly bubblegum pink with baby florals. Mostly she would discover herself that they were too bright, or very pajama-like. I was impressed with her ability to make those distinctions for herself although she favored that genre nonetheless. At the last minute we decided to get two layers, and I went to get the darker pink tone to put underneath. I brought both her darker pink along with a baby pink and when I saw them together I exclaimed, “hey! these two look cute together!” and she agreed too, so there at the cutting table she changed her mind.

Something else I learned about myself was how my own taste leans towards the calmer, more mature. I’ve always thought myself an old soul, but to be on the receiving end of the stick where one of the girls chirps, “We like young colors!” was bizarre. I thought of my mom and how her suggestions were never right in my eyes. Very, very, weird feeling.

A little later in the afternoon, N’s mom invited Shin and I for lunch with some other guests. She was busy being the hostess. But after lunch she was making ice coffee and cutting fruit and I happened to be in the kitchen when she looked up between pouring cups of coffee and asked me to show her my fabric. In that moment I saw something wonderful in her expression. I saw passion. In her eyes and smile I saw into her love of the craft, of years of friendship with fabric, and the happy rapport that certain colors evoke, and the steadiness and care she would take in constructing patterns. I saw a lot of happy memories in her smile, almost because she knows the joy it will bring to accomplish this. Earlier when the three of us were out the door she called out, “Bye girls! Have fun!!!” AH! And she is sharing this part of her heart with us. I really feel so blessed. But also super excited to make the skirt. I’ve been oohing and ahhing over my fabric for the last two days because I’m so in love with the texture and color, and what it’s going to become…I’m like a pregnant woman dreaming about the baby in her womb (Btw, I just called two of the students trying to get them to change their mind about the skirt. We’ll see…haha).

Ahh…. this is art. I think God gave us joy in being a creator because it resembles his own character. How lucky we are to be His children, made in His image. Thank you God. Thank you for blessing this ministry with caring parents and growing students.