Thursday, December 17, 2009

once upon a time...

...there was a beautiful fairy princess and a handsome snowman.

The fairy princess liked to sit outside in the wide, green world and swing her legs and gather berries and interesting leaves,

while the snowman liked to stay inside by the warm stove, perched on the kettle, anticipating the next cup of tea.

They never actually met, but they're both so cheerful-looking, I bet they would've become splendid friends.

And seeing them reminded me of this old Pixar short... which is pretty amazing for having been made in 1989.
Wow, computer-generated animation has come such a long, long way in such a short amount of time... I wonder where it will go from here?


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

sorry for the absence...

...I was over in lovely Wilmington, NC to watch one my dear friends graduate college!

Since I've known this person for 5 years and they've been in college that whole time (they had to switch schools mid-way), it seemed extra momentous + exciting.

Congratulations, Nolan!!!

Needless to say, I have some catching up to do on the present-front!

Here we have a kawaii memo pad,
little deer keychain,
bento box picks,
star-shaped mini mirror,
and my favorite-- quail egg molds!

If you click on the picture you will be able to see the happy animal imprints in the molds. They work something like this... adorable, huh?

I am so excited to now own two bento-related items.

Bento-making is way up there in my list of things to try (it was actually #1 on my list of "25 things to do before I turn 26" ... I'm 26 now... oops). Now I am that much closer to fulfilling my dream... I just need to buy a bento box now. Soon!

Hope everyone had a splendid weekend, and I'll see you tomorrow!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

twinkle toes

Hello and Happy Thursday!!!

Today's present reminded me a bit of something I've always wanted to own, and that is Sparkly Shoes.
Specifically red sparkly shoes (a la Dorothy), although unfortunately they usually only come in little girls' sizes, and even though I can in fact squeeze my foot into a size 4, it is very, very uncomfortable.

So I'm still dreaming.

But yes, this little key-chain shoe isn't red, but it is sparkly and pink, and pink is very close to red!

Perhaps this is the shoe Dorothy's first child wore?

(by the way, yes, there are women's-sized red glitter shoes... but they usually look something like this... which is why I don't own any)

(Maybe I will make my own someday.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

monsters oh my!

I'm not really a huge fan of plushies, but this little reversible monster (monsterS?) is just too, too perfect.

I squealed when I opened the package this morning! They are so adorable!

(shinz, did you make these???)

I'm not 100% sure where I want to display them (I've decided they are monster siamese twins...) but for now they're hanging out on my kitchen counter with my Starbucks monster mug.

There's something about little fangs that gets me every time... even my favorite tote bag has a bitey cat on it.

see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

lovely little papers

I'm pretty sure one can never have too many lovely little papers, and if they happen to come with tiny animal-making instructions, so much the better!

It's hard to read the writing down there in the corner, but yes, this was day 8's present.
I think it's so funny how Japanese octopuses are always depicted with a little tube-shaped mouth.
When I see a picture of one, they don't seem especially tubed-shaped, so it must be one of those cultural things...

(photo courtesy of

It's awfully gloomy and rainy around here today.
Even listening to my Múm and Joe Hisaishi channels on Pandora isn't cheering me up...

time for some drawing!

Monday, December 7, 2009

My apologies for the delay in present-recording!
I was working an overnight babysitting job this weekend and was away from my computer... and all my lovely little presents. Now I am back!

The 25-days-of-Christmas window is clearing away awfully quickly... I have so much to do before I open the last present!

I enjoyed opening all these gifts, especially the tea. Having a foreign language on the teabag makes it seem so much more fancy, don't you think?

To recover from my babysitting job I spent yesterday watching Peter Pan and writing in my journal. I found myself wanting to return to Neverland several times afterward and even this morning... it's so lovely!

Hmm... this might end up in a trip to the library to re-read the original and explore a bit more about Mr. J. M. Barrie...

see you tomorrow with gift #8!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

it's gray and rainy today,

...but that won't stop me from having a splendid morning as I unwrap present #2!

Once again I am very impressed + happy with such a lovely surprise: coffee, tea, and hot chocolate mixes!

I've put them in a little cup by my kettle so I can choose a treat whenever I feel like it.
Hurray for warm mugs!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

it arrived!!!

Several months ago, I signed up to participate in this swap.
The idea behind it seemed utterly fantastic... how charming to open a tiny surprise each day of December until Christmas, like a personalized advent calendar!

I was a little bit afraid I wouldn't receive my package by December as it was coming all the way from Malaysia, but my partner timed it perfectly, and to my delight it arrived in the mail today, December 1st.

I don't have a Christmas tree yet (that'll happen later this week, hopefully), so I decided to turn my kitchen windows into a little present-display area. (Sorry the lighting is terrible, it's a very gray sort afternoon over here.)
I swapped the usually green-print curtain for a piece of red fabric and added a few Christmas ornaments to make it a bit more festive.

25 sweet little presents, eagerly awaiting discovery!

Oh, and I also decided I'd take a picture of each gift as soon as I open it... so you can follow along in my discoveries if you'd like. :)

I love it already.

Happy December, everybody!
See you tomorrow with Present #2!


Friday, November 20, 2009


There are few lovelier ways to begin the weekend than by sitting in a massage chair getting your toenails painted lilac, and when the little Vietnamese lady offers to add magical stars, how can you refuse?

Happy weekend! :)
May you have a beautiful and magically-lilac one!

I'm off to see Camera Obscura tonight in Atlanta!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The other day I felt like I just couldn't take it anymore, so I went on an adventure.

First, I ate a delicious meal on my favorite plate.
(There are grumpy clouds on the background, but of course they're hiding behind the food.)

I jumped in the car (my car's name is Rudy, by the way) and drove up to Asheville, where Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was playing at a dollar theatre. I hadn't seen it yet but really wanted to, even though I feel like the last several Harry Potter movies have been a disappointment... but that's another story for another time.

The leaves were just starting to change and it was a beautiful day!

Once I arrived in Asheville I had some time before the movie began, so I found a little coffee shop and made myself at home with an almond-milk hot chocolate.
I sat outside and enjoyed the fresh air whilst attempting to re-create a circular design I had made in church that morning.

It turned out fairly well, but the most lovely thing is that sometimes patterns can be so, so soothing to draw. It's a great way to relax.

After that I explored the surrounding neighborhoods and found many treasures!

Finally it was time to see the movie!

Thanks, Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company.
You're the best with your little red booths and pizza-filled interior.

Full, happy, and brimming with inspiration,
I headed home beneath the gently graying sky.

Thank you, Asheville, for a wonderful adventure.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

you know, it's yupo!

A few days ago I finally caved in and bought a pad of Yupo paper.
Since I've been hearing great things about it for the past 3 years or so, I figured it was probably time to go ahead and give it a try.

And you know? It was rather exciting!

It took me a while to get the hang of it, so I just played around at first. Since it's made of synthetic material, it doesn't absorb moisture like watercolor paper, so the paint dries in all sorts of lovely little rainbow puddles.
Then after it's dry you can actually scrape it away (sort of like a scratchboard), like I did on the bird's tail.

Or, you can wet a cloth and completely wipe away an entire section:

(It was pretty splendid to be able to make such a clean line whilst using watercolors!)

For the final exciting challenge, I decided to paint two identical cat-ladies, one on Yupo paper and one on regular watercolor paper.
Can you tell which is which?

okay, well, I guess it's kinda obvious that the yupo-cat-lady is in the wiped-off area... but still... :)

At first I was completely convinced that I preferred the regular watercolor paper version... but now I'm not so sure.
Yupo is a lot smearier, but there's something so alluring about all those puddles...

Monday, October 26, 2009

coffee shopping

hello, little ol' me here, saying hi to you from Magnus Joe coffee shop!

Well, not exactly, because they don't have internet at Magnus Joe,
this picture was taken there about 10 minutes ago.

The other day I found a random $20 bill in my pants pocket. This doesn't happen very often. I wanted to spend it on something meaningful + worthwhile.

(inotherwords, I immediately thought of about 10 different books I'd like to buy...)

But although books are definitely meaningful + worthwhile, I decided to do something a little different. Since I work from home much of the week, some days it's really helpful to just get out of the house for a bit. I'm notoriously bad at answering e-mails, but somehow when I take my computer out somewhere for the sole purpose of getting work done I'm really able to concentrate. Same goes with brainstorming or researching.
So I decided to use my $20 to take a little tour of the area coffee shops. Perhaps then I will be able to find my perfect little working-away-from-home spot!

Today: Magnus Joe
Reason chose: it's part of/right next to Thaicoon Thai restuarant, which I love... plus their little monkey-coffee bean logo always intrigued me
Ordered: Hot Cinnamon Spice tea

-not very crowded
-several varieties of seating: booths, chairs, and stools
-friendly staff
-decent variety of teas

-music was super loud (I didn't ask them to turn it down, though)
-no internet
-no comfy armchairs
-really cold!

Final verdict: I think there are better coffee shop atmospheres out there, and no internet = no good. I shall keep searching. However, it might be a fun place to meet up with friends... you could get a booth and have the place to yourselves! But bring a sweater!

happy Monday, dears!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

so delicious

I can't help it, I'm happy.

This post isn't very well thought-out. You wouldn't believe how many posts I haven't published just because I was afraid they were too boring. Or because I haven't felt like what I've made was creative or interesting enough to share. And I haven't even made anything this time-- I got these lovely yarns and ribbons in the mail today.

But they're delicious and beautiful and I thought,

you know what?

I'm going to share them anyways.
And I'm going to keep writing blog entries.
I've missed you guys.

So you may have to put up with a few boring entries in these coming days (you know, all 7 of you who read this), but I've really missed spending time in Little Storyland.
It's time to go back.

Oh, and by the way, the new official band of Little Storyland is Owl City. Mabel's completely smitten.... and maybe I am a little bit too...

more coming soon. <3
I can't promise it'll be interesting, but I'm doing this for my sanity.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

a clean slate

So now my studio is all bright + white + shiny, at least one half of it is anyways, and that's the half you see here. Over the past few weeks I've been able to spend snatches of time here and there, and have now painted all the walls, taken apart & cleaned all the storm windows, dusted the baseboards and ceiling, and then finally today I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed, scrubbed, scrubbed the floor. Just this half of the floor, though. The other half, the one you can't see, is home to the tables and shelves and other things that are waiting to be rearranged.

But this half, this perfect half with its sunlight and clean walls and smooth floors, is a wonderful start and enough to lift my spirits for at least a few days. 

I even got to really truly create something in my new space today. It was only a monster drawing for swap-bot, but sitting there on the sweetly-scented floor with my trusty CD player and a patch of sun on my back, I felt like I could be making a masterpiece.

Of course it was not a masterpiece after all, but still...
you should never underestimate the power of a coat of white paint.

happy tuesday!

Monday, August 10, 2009

loving, knowing, doing

It has been a forever long time, but finally I am back in Little Storyland. 
Back to dreaming + drawing, planning, exciting new ideas, new experiences, hopes, loves, adventures, life.

It is splendid to be back.

Hello again, world.

There's so much to share, but for now I shall leave you with this very convicting passage I will be taking to heart over the next few weeks:

"If you make every effort you can to bring your passion, knowledge, and will to bear on your art-making, you will become more creative and manifest your talent. If you challenge yourself to love enough, to know enough, and to draw on your knowledge, to work at your art and to master your disinclination to work, your questions about your talent are likely to be answered. Continue to dream and continue to believe yourself special, for if you stop dreaming you lose your motivational energy, you love less, and you grow less creative. Continue to learn, practice, and explore. Ultimately the question of the sufficiency of your talent may melt away as you manifest your creative nature." 
(from Creativity for Life by Eric Maisel)

It'll take me several days to wrap my head around all that, I'm sure. Or rather, to convince myself it's true. But it is true. Deep down I know it is so, but sometimes it takes a few reminders to put beliefs into action.

(Where's my bowl of cherries?!)

Monday, June 22, 2009

everything's coming up owls

There has been a small owl infestation over here lately, but I'm certainly not one to complain! 
All the politest owls say 'hoo,' and this fellow is no exception. Quiet and genteel (in a purple-y sort of way), he appeared on a doodle I was making for swap-bot and shyly asked to be photographed. He dreams of moonlit tea parties and a new argyle waistcoat in the near future. 

I, on the other hand, will be dreaming of sunny skies and my favorite ginger cookies to dunk in a mug of cold milk.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

rainy day songs

There is, in my neighbor's yard and behind my house, a Magical Christmas Room. 
At least, I think that's what it is.

It's part of a large shed-like structure that is positioned directly against my backyard fence. And although it seems rarely occupied, when I take a peek through, there is fake snow, an army of Nutcrackers, holly wreaths on the wall, and soft furniture draped with cream-colored fabrics. Everything is clean and neatly arranged.
I often wonder what this room is for. I remember Narnia during the reign of the White Witch and how it was always winter but never Christmas. Is this room supposed to be some strange half-interpretation?

Then, this morning, I heard a strange caterwauling from somewhere nearby.
At first I thought it was Pandy. He's been sick lately and often groans on appropriate occasions (when he's hungry, or using the toilet).
But then I realized the sound was coming from behind my house, not inside it. I saw a shadow flit across the shed window. Someone was in the Christmas Room, and they were trying to sing!


You know how some women think they have beautiful voices, maybe even opera-singer voices, but they really don't? They warble on all the high notes and sing as loud as they can and always take the special treble part if there is one. No one has the heart to tell them they don't actually sound good because it would hurt their feelings too much. They love to sing and are emotionally invested in each trembly note.

This person was like that.

And I didn't have the heart to think they didn't sound good, because I could tell they were emotionally invested in every note of every song that escaped the glowy Christmas Room window.

But I did have the heart to sneak up through the drizzle and take a picture.
And next time, when I think Pandy is crying for help, I will check the backyard first.

xoxo to everyone, hope you're having a splendid weekend!
with love from Tabitha