Misc. photos and stuff

Sorry for not keeping everyone updated, I have been very busy with university! However, I have managed to take a few new photographs these past few weeks!

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First thing’s first, my flatmate’s boyfriend brought her a really beautiful bouquet of flowers so I decided to take a few photographs of them. I am not a photographer, in fact I’d go a long way to say that I wasn’t one, but these came out quite lovely. I used a macro lense for them because I really wanted to capture the details of the veins in the leaves and flower petals. They were edited on photoshop after. I did want to take more the next day but by the time I remembered, the lilies blossomed and pretty much crushed the flowers I liked. I’m not a fan of lilies myself, unfortunately. I’m more of a rose person!

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Sometime a few weeks ago, there was the video game market at the Leeds town hall. I absolutely love video games, as you know, so I was rather eager to go. They sold a lot of retro games, and some newer games too. There were plenty of stalls but unfortunately most of the games were NTSC1 or Japanese region-locked so I ended up not buying anything. However, it was absolutely packed and it was great to meet some new people! I was actually tempted to buy an arcade machine of Street Fighter for about £600 but I decided against it. The owner didn’t let me take a photo of it either….

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And finally, this is my Skull Kid figure. I bought a small New 3DS with Majora’s Mask special edition from the Nintendo Store UK and the bundle came with the free statue. For something that was free, it’s incredibly nice and detailed! It’s not perfect but looks really cool on my shelf right now. I was mostly expecting something along the lines of the Bravely Default figure which was an absolute disaster (This is an accurate photograph of it) so this was a lovely surprise!

This weekend, if my plans aren’t tarnished by snow and rain once again, I will head to York and take some lovely photos of the Shambles. I’m heading to Hong Kong next month so I’m hoping to take my camera there too.

York Trip cancelled [until another day]

Today I had actually planned on going to York, I booked the train tickets and everything. I have recently been swamped with a lot of university work to do and so today was the only chance I could go since it’s my day off.

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Unfortunately, it was only after I booked the train tickets did I realise that actually, the weather was going to be pretty bad. I was hoping that I could maybe go ahead anyway and stay in York only for an hour or 2 in the morning before heading back so I’ll miss the rain and snow. However, when I looked out the window today, it was snowing rather heavily. This is the view from my room.

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For now, the snow has stopped but I have no doubt in my mind that it will return later, and it’s probably headed for York too. I’ve decided to stay at home so I can catch up on university work, at the expense of a £10 train ticket. Oh well!

On the plus side, I am working on a pretty major project for university and I really can’t wait to show you all what I’ve done! It’s something that I’m very passionate about and I work on with my current charity too!

A year since then and now the future

It’s been a year since I’ve started this blog so I thought it would be a nice time to write a personal entry.

Firstly, I hope everyone has had a happy new year. I started this blog on 2 January 2014 so it’s been just over a year since I started this blog. The past year has been a huge experience for me and I thank everyone following my blog for being there for /almost/ every step of the way! Of course, I plan to continue posting more art, influences and just general bits about my life throughout this year too so don’t expect any major changes to this blog.

2014 was a time of dramatic change for me. I think it wasn’t as difficult as the year previously but I still had many hurdles to overcome. However, towards the end of 2014 I can really feel myself being, for once in my life, really happy and content. I don’t think I mentioned this in any previous journals but when I was in my first year of university I was incredibly homesick and miserable. I barely made any new friends, I hated my flatmates, and I was constantly stressed about university work. Now, I have grown so much physically and emotionally. I’ve made so many wonderful friends, I adore my course and I’m thinking about staying in the city I study in once I graduate. It took an entire year to build who I am, and I am extremely grateful for that kick in the backside I had when I needed it!

2015 is also hopefully going to be a time of great change- Firstly, I want to travel more. I want to do mostly travelling alone, though holidays with my family are unavoidable. Similar to my trip to Newcastle not too long ago, I want to just hop on a train going anywhere and explore parts of the UK I never knew even existed. My dad has given me a new camera as a gift as well as some new lenses for it so I would love to document my travels on this blog. Things which are definitely going to happen:

– I plan on visiting Sheffield either next week or the week after to see the Winter Garden and then York to see the Shambles. I love old things, especially streets and architecture so I’m really looking forward to these visits. I have a huge thing for cobblestone roads too, which is why I love parts of Leeds.

– In April I am going to Hong Kong with my parents. We are going to Ocean Park so expect lots of photos of jellyfish! We are also going to trek this hill in Sha Tin to see a Buddhist temple with hundreds of Buddha statues so this will be interesting.

– Again in April, I am going to see a live orchestral performance for the first time. I’m going to see the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess concert in London with my sister and I’m actually quite excited about it since I love Zelda music.

– In June I am going on a cruise with my parents through the Nordic countries. We will depart from Denmark and travel to Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Eastern Russia (St Petersburg). Apparently we will be able to see the Northern lights in Norway, though because of uni it’s not 100% decided.

– In July I will be heading off to Tanzania to intern with a charity for 9-12 months. I’m really excited about it and I hope I’ll make some great friends, as well as making a difference to the local people over there. I’ll only be doing graphic design work over there (my specialty!) but they really need my help and I really need experience so it’s a win-win situation.

Overall 2015 will be a very busy but hopefully extremely exciting year for me! Whilst I’m doing doing anything too adventurous such as trekking a huge mountain or skydiving somewhere, I’m gonna have a lot of fun and learn a lot from all the travelling I’ll be doing. As well as all that, I hope to continue creating drawings for my blog and hopefully making some animations too.

It’s going to be an exciting year, and I hope you guys will be there every step of the way this year too! :D

Reminiscing – The most beautiful song

I just wanted to share a beautiful song by my favourite artist; Reminiscing by Jazztronik.

I don’t know what it is about this song but it just reminds me of my childhood a lot. Although lived in the city when I was younger, I have lived most of my life in a beautiful rural town. It reminds me of that time for some reason, and the lyrics are so beautiful.

City lights decorate the setting sky
A symphony of colours come alive

Because I love city lights, these particular words really spoke to me and I’ve really glad I managed to find this song (and this amazing artist, all thanks to my mum!). I really hope you enjoy listening to this song as much as I did. :)

Can you hear
A river runs below
The memory of spring makes it grow
Tune your ears
To the song of its past
A serenade to when it met you last

Free the busy streets
For a stroll in the breeze
Feel the hint of sun
Falling through the leaves
If we once were here
I know we can come back
I’m savoring each moment
Unless we do they pass so fast

Can you find
That quiet stream inside
Flowing to its own time
Free your mind
And witness it shine
Far beyond any known design

When the wind blows strong
And the night’s twice as long
The thought of you
Keeping me warm
Makes the cold subside
Like breath does to ice
Hope is winning over
A heart covered in snow

Crossing the bridge
Made from fallen trees
Over waters
Washing your feet
And into the woods
Echoing deep
Letting the air
Comb your hair
And reminiscing, reminiscing

City lights
Decorate the setting sky
A symphony
Of colours come alive
How we watch
The seasons go by
Days learn to fly
While I wonder why

Oh, I gave the cold
A chance so flowers grow
Embraced the change
Happy to let go
Opened the present
A sight to behold
Hope is winning over
A heart covered in snow

Charity e-mail

As you all know, I am a volunteer graphic designer for Anza. I don’t do much anymore because I am too busy at uni but they have given me a new email to work with anyway. If you have any questions about the charity or about my work, please contact me with this email: jo@anza.co.com

I will try to answer any questions as fast as I can!

About Anza: Anza are a charity working in Tanzania and Ghana to change the lives of young people through social empowerment. They have been working on a variety of different projects, helping teenagers start their own business and even helping girls go back to school by teaching them to produce their own re-useable sanitary towels (sanitary towels are extremely expensive in Africa).

About my work: I work with the Student Ambassadors manager and other graphic design volunteers to produce work for the website. I mostly make PDFs or change a few things here and there; as I mentioned earlier I don’t do as much work as I used to but I get on with it whenever I have time. You might see my illustrations around occasionally!

Kawaii Box (October 2014) Review

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My sister told me about Kawaii Box around a month ago so I didn’t hesitate to order a subscription as soon as I saw what goodies were in the previous boxes!

For those of you who don’t know, Kawaii Box is a subscription service where you are sent a box full of Japanese and Korean ‘kawaii’ items each month. It costs $18.50 a month, roughly £11, and there are 10-12 items in each box so let’s say each item costs around £1. It sounds like a bargain, especially when you get send very high quality items. Today I received the October’s Kawaii Box and I opened it immediately. Here’s what you get:

  • Adorable cat face plush charm
  • Rilakkuma dessert charm
  • Kitty sharpener
  • Puccho grapefruit sweeties
  • Hello Kitty dessert pen
  • 2x sweeties hair ties/bobbles
  • Extreme cute dog note card with envelope
  • Pearl Jewlry Seal stickers
  • Puffy cupcake stickers
  • Cute cosmetics bag/pencil case
  • Pink face cloth/towel

The header photo shows the kitty plush charm, the Rilakkuma charm, kitty (or a dog?) sharpener, and the 2 hair ties. Firstly, the kitty charm. It is absolutely adorable, extremely fluffy and poofy! The elastic is rather strong so it won’t break or come off easily, so don’t be afraid to attach it to your bag! The same thing can be said about the Rilakkuma charm which is made of a squishy material.

As for the sharpener, it is really cute but there’s a gap between the sharpener and holes so sharpenings will come out of it rather easily. Make sure it’s something you keep on the desk to use, otherwise you’ll ver a rather messy pencil case. The hair ties are very good quality, especially as I love tying my hair up. Use both of them at the same time for 2 candies in your hair!

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Next up is the Hello Kitty dessert pen and dog gift card. The pen writes very fluently and is a rollerball. The dog card is just too cute for me to use and give away though! You can pop out the bone part slightly to keep the card folded.

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These are the stickers they sent. I personally love them. I have no use for stickers but I do keep a very large collection of stickers just so I can admire the adorableness! They might want to check the spelling of ‘jewelry’….

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The final 2 items are a pink pencil case/cosmetics bag with cute animals and a girl on the fabric and a pink face cloth with a variety cute images on it! It’s a small case but it’s perfect for storing all of the index tabs and sticky notes.The face cloth is also very useful as I need a new one anyway, they remind me of the ones you can get in the markets of Hong Kong. Oh, and let’s not forget the Puccho sweets (totally forgot!). I’ve already eaten half the packet and they are very yummy~ They have bits of grapefruit flavoured gummy sweets inside the soft yoghurt so it gives it a really unique texture.

If you love all things kawaii and haven’t bought a kawaii box yet, I really really recommend that you get one! You can order one here if you didn’t click the link before. The products you get are cute, high quality, and much cheaper than buying them all individually. Part of the thrill is not knowing what you’ll get, and I’ll be posting next month’s box too when it arrives!

Stay tuned~ <3