Christmas and New Year in Tokyo

I know these are kind of belated, but better late than never right? :D :D

Pre X'mas

I had the blessings to try like, the best brownies of my life.

Freshly baked one unsuspecting morning. The smell was so sinful that I literally couldn't go back to sleep after it woke me up. I went out of my room and stared at my host Glenn till he offered me three pieces of awesomes. I'd never felt sadder about finishing my food when the last piece was gone. T_T


Met up with Kiem and had okonomiyaki and monjayaki, one of those things I must have each time I'm back in Japan. :D

Lights!! I love the illuminations in Japan during Christmas and New Year so much. This was at Shinjuku.

Paper-cut chandeliers in Tokyo Midtown

Went to Tokyo Midtown and saw these these incredible (and huge!) paper cut-out chandeliers. So brilliantly simple and beautiful, and fit perfectly with the aesthetics of the interiors.

We then chanced upon these US$160 strawberries. Like. Woah. *___*

Christmas

Glenn prepared a feast of a dinner for his X'mas home party:

Like, holy cow, can you believe one person prepared all these @_@ I'm out of alternatives for the word awesome, so yeah, awesome. :D

Shopped too at some point of time. Absolutely heartable new pieces:


From top: Helmut Lang soft leather & wool top, Alice Auaa cropped jacket and h.Naoto Dark Red Rum H.Jelly dress. :D

New Year

Got to experience a Japanese New Year!

Sawaka working on our New Year's eve dinner <3

Brandon, Chris, Sawaka and her friends.

Don't know why the boys look so unhappy. I swear I'm not a mean photographer ><

The dishes on the table all have their own meanings (except for the nachos, ha). I can't remember them all, but soba is supposed to signify the wishing for a happy long life or something, I think? (Eat more soba™)

We watched Dead Poets Society. It was my first time. I cried, absolutely loved it. It was a recommended film to watch for Lit class in Secondary one but I somehow never got around to it, because, you know, what school recommend can never really be that great right? How wrong I was :( So gad I finally managed to see it though. I loved this quote so much: "The human race is filled with passion." There was something amazingly powerful to the lines in the film that was motivating and touching. So inspirational.

We made our way to Meiji Shrine a short while after dinner for hatsumode, the first shrine visit of the new year.

In Chinese we call this "people mountain people sea". 

So naturally we couldn't all fit under the roof. So to make offerings (coin toss), instead of getting close to the inner shrine, a huge row of humongous wooden boxes was instead placed in the empty clearing in the courtyard before the shrine for people to make their offerings and praying. (Huge like, if you'd been to Meiji Jingu, it stretches across the width of the clearing between the two large trees. Yeah.)

After saying our prayers we stayed around and ate around the food stalls that were set up along the stretch on the way out of the temple, before heading to the Telecom Center Building in Odaiba to watch sunrise.

And here's 2010!

It was such a beautiful experience, and actually also the first time I've spent a New Year's celebration with friends. I was so happy, thank you everyone for the wonderful company, may 2010 be full of wonders~! <3

Backlog photos and stuff

Man. Lugging 2 lights+stands+17"MBP+1Ds MIII around in this weather, alone, is no freaking joke.

So tired my whole body aches so bad.

Thus, instead of heading down to Harajuku on a seemingly gorgeous Saturday, I'm gonna stay at home and emo, so I can rest up enough and repeat the above routine for tomorrow's shoot.

Cuz I'd been updating more on twitter than blogging, here's a random a mix of things from the past few months I'd been meaning to blog about. The pile is ever-growing but here's a start nonetheless.

Wacom Intuos4. Brand new from this trip.

This thing's so freaking gorgeous I wanna put it on display. Like, serously.

The one I'd been using for the past years had been a 9x12 which is just waaaaay too huge to carry around for travel. This new one's medium-sized and is so much easier to bring around. Now I can bring it on shoots to do quick demos on the spot for clients and my team. Yayness. Thou I'd still prefer the 9x12 for long-period usage since it's better for my wrist.

Post-shoot snap with Kokusyoku Sumire in their beautifully decorated cafe, stolen from their blog here.

I super love the figurines in the background. They're made by another Japanese artist who doesn't sell them anymore. /emo

This shoot was for Gothic Lolita Bible Aug issue (I think)

Okay, moving on to end Apr/early May photos:

With my lovely assistant Abby in Kyoto

With Kagetsuki at the Ghibli Museum.

Also, if I may, plug her new awesome fashion blog with Dawn - Monoxious.

More from the Ghibli Museum and cafe~

My X Japan concert guest pass. Shiny stuff *_*

Goban used in The Go Master movie filming. The go-kes here weren't inside, they're just in collection of the person I visited, designed personally by Honinbo Shuei.

Shuei

Ninja Jingna making okonomiyaki in awesome Junya coat. Chris looking very very skinny...

And Gullimer's (sp?) Village for Young People, with nary a soul in sight. With Rick, Chris, and Abby who's cropped off because my self-portrait skills aren't awesome enough. ;_;

Birthday dinner

Paris:

From my meetup~ That huge white book is my portfolio. XD

Gorgeous new Givenchy jacket

Awesome old mag store on rue de Temple

Not forgetting the inevitable stuff that break our banks...

There're a lot of other epicness, recorded in my iPhone, and all lost along with it during the Paris trip. T_T Oh well~ at least I have this:

Awesome food on Singapore Airlines. Hahahha.

Last but not least, a polaroid with Ivory Flame after the Lilith shoot. She's really really super stunning to photograph~

Sorry for the seemingly outdated/bland stuff. I'm working on trying to finding something interesting to blog about but being so busy everything seems like they'd just be too boring for a read. I'm so sorry!! T_T

Heading to Jakarta on Monday!!

Japan Part II: Day 5-7 Tokyo-Kyoto

Forgot to add that I went to see the Daibutsu at Kamakura on Day 4. Here's an additional photo. We also had really nice ice cream there~~ XD

Day 5: Ginza + Akihabara

I generally try not to schedule shoots back to back for the sole reason of needing time for recovery... since I had super little rest the night before, I slept in and missed the trip to Tsukiji in the morning. ;_;

Got up around noon-ish. Walked through Ginza, but didn't really do much. Bought a nice white file from Ginza Hands (Tokyu Hands). It's really really pretty ._.

Had our late lunch there too~

Then headed off to Akibahara.

I bought a few books, but I mailed them back so I haven't got photos of them...

Also bought a 70-200 f2.8L lens from Yodobashi. Ahh I just love long lenses so much.

If only they weren't so damn heavy... (and expensive?) Argh.

Super awesome okonomiyaki for dinner~

Day 6: Ohanami~

Went to watch cherry blossoms at 小石川後楽園 in the late morning, they were selling amazake at the place!!! I was so happy because I really wanted to have it again after trying the last time (at Arashiyama ;_;)

Made a point to go to Laforet in the afternoon, it's like, my compulsory shopping stop.

And totally overspent there.

I'd been eyeing Gadget Grow ever since the first time I entered Laforet. I can finally sort of afford to buy something from there. My spending plan for GG was one top and one accessory, but I ended up getting 3 tops and a wallet. D:

But oh I love their stuff so much ;_;

Shopping is sin~ T___T

It has totally taken over Alice Auaa's #1 spot not just because I love their designs, but also because of the fact that they actually fit me pretty well. I have to admit, thought, it's simply because Alice Auaa's pieces have cuttings meant for petite Japanese girls... and I am able to fit Gadget Grow's stuff well because it's a menswear label. *sighs*

Day 7: to Kyoto

Met up with Rimfrost and saintsazzle from dA in the morning. They're from Norway. :3

Chris and I brought them to Ueno Park~ We had a very very short hanami, but it was lovely. (Chris makes an awesome tourguide desu)

Headed off to Kyoto in the afternoon.

By the time we reached and settled in it was pretty late already, so nothing much went on for the rest of the day, other than meeting up with my assistant Abby for dinner, who arrived in Kyoto a day before.

The streets of Kyoto at night... so very nostalgic.

Japan Mar-Apr Part III
> Japan Mar-Apr Part II
Japan Mar-Apr 09 Part I

Japan Part I: Day 1-4 Tokyo

Total bliss. T__T

Yeah okay, I haven't died~ It's just that I haven't been having the most accessible internet possible.

It's been a great trip so far, and I feel... happy.

Just a super quiiickkkk recap. I'll definitely be doing individual entries for those that need expansion. XD

Day 1 started somewhere around 5pm after we'd unpacked in Tokyo. Had super awesome yakitori and super mega awesome sushi for dinner. 2 different places with 2 different groups of people. I felt very very welcomed and loved.

Day 2 went to Asakusa in the morning, it was drizzling.


Met up with Ken from GPKISM, had sushi and started reminiscing about how we first started speaking when we were both in Melbourne in 2005.

Then I raided Closet Child (and bought too much of Alice Auaa) ;_;

And also got myself a Vivienne Westwood lighter, just because it's so damn pretty.

Too bad I don't have a reason to carry it around...

Spotted EGL twins in the evening~

Day 3: Photohoot #1 + Wacom Intuos4 Launch Party

No preview photos from the shoot yet, Chiaki was the model again. She worked with Sugizo as a photographer. *intensely jealous*

Oh well. ;_;

Attended the Wacom Intuos4 launch party at night. It was pretty awesome~

I want this tablet, like right now~! Hahaha. Control panel on the board's all on one side now. And no, fret not if you're left handed, just flip the board around and you will have it the right way for you. Yay.

There were a dozen or so stations around the club for people to test out the new tablet.

During the party there was a live performance by a VJ. She painted according to the beats of the music, and on people if they went in front of the projectors, pretty cool~

And throughout the evening there were Wacom Artist features and interviews played on displays around the premises, consisting of a whole range of people from illustrators to designers to retouchers to concept artists. Discovered some really spectecular stuff there.

Can't wait to get mine (a 9x12!)~

Day 4: Photoshoot #2

And this is, the most beautiful man I'd ever photographed.

Japan Mar-Apr Part III
Japan Mar-Apr Part II
> Japan Mar-Apr 09 Part I

Macbook Pro 17"

Looks good so far. I'm just in need of a Firewire 800 cable to replace the FW400 for my cardreader, since there isn't a port for FW400 anymore.

And since I'm here, might as well update the rest of the recent pocket-damaging shopping.

Ann Demeulemeester sweater.

Junya Watanabe coat.

Also bought Tim Walker's Pictures, thing was so damn heavy to lug around it isn't even funny. But I managed home in one piece. Yay.

And just to spoil the post with some bright happy photos --

Jingna stares at Peixuan lovingly...~
...while having high tea at Cova (in Paragon, Orchard :3). Peixuan and I wanted to have a tiny private celebration of sort with Dan for his 21st birthday, as belated as it was.

Peixuan couldn't stop gushing about the decor. We liked the tea, the foie gras was a common favourite but the best was still recounting the old times and sharing gossips from the shooting range again. :3

Paris Dec Part II

Just a couple photos from the trip that I'd been meaning to post~

I just can't get over how much I love this place. It's just so so grand and beautiful.


Saw this in the home section while at Dior picking up clothes. The small bowls were very tempting, if only they weren't something like 130 euros each.


Opéra de Paris

Lafayette Home

And outside our hotel.

And shopping.

White top from Proenza Schouler, black one's from Ann Demeulemeester.
Sarah Moon's 1 2 3 4 5 is heavy, a bit expensive, but it's worth it.

That's all for Paris, pretty fun this time if not for the luggage incident...~

More photos of the pages~

Apologies for the lousy photos, I promise to take some nice ones once it's out. Quite a number of new images in the volume ^^

Did a little shopping today to unwind.

My sis was peeking behind me as I took these photos, first she went on about how high the heels were, then why I bought a children's book, it was really odd, because then everyone started laughing. =_=