Monday, November 30, 2009

Lights, Camera, Fail!

Suffice to say, I have a new-found respect for film directors.

Anxious to test out my newly-minted 7 scene script, I wrote out a list of "audience questions" to interview my family with at Thanksgiving dinner.

My brother and Sak's brother (who flew in from LA for a few days) helped set up the stage, just a blank wall with a chair on one side and a random painting on the other (off-center composition). We set up the camcorder on a tripod, and went to grab our first interview.

The first surprise of the night - not everyone has seen/heard of "The Office".

Seeing as the video is supposed to be a silly sort-of ice breaker, I was planning on going the mockumentary route, with people answering our questions a bit randomly. We needed funny, but still improvised - nothing scripted.

However, this didn't happen. The first group of interviewees, my father's side of the family, were just too literal.

Here's the questions we asked, and the typical responses:

What should every husband/wife (depending on who we were asking) be able to do?
Typical response: Cook, help with kids, provide emotional and physical support.
Best response: "Whatever she wants to do, whenever she wants to do it." (Courtesy of my uncle, bless him)

What is true love?
Typical response: Unconditional love. (Really, that's the best we can do?)
Best response: "What is love?" *bobs head to invisible soundtrack* (Courtesy of my brother, although it was staged..)

If you were stranded on an island, and could only have 3 things, what would you bring?
Typical response: water, food, companionship (see what I said about being too literal?)
No good answers for this one, sadly.

What are three words to describe Penga
This one didn't work at all, because silly me was in the room at the time. Of course there wasn't going to be any honesty. :P Brother-Peng realized this and started asking "what are 3 words to describe your mom" instead. It got a few better answers, such as "evil" and "crazy". I can use that.

Needless to say, I can't use a lot of the footage from that day. The question list needed revamping.

The next day (black Friday) we spent time with my mother's side of the family. We had more questions, and I had high expectations. Several of the family members dabble in acting, and my uncle (who's a designer) has been on many TV interviews himself.

But I guess when people don't know what's coming, and a camera is suddenly pointed in their face, things change. They froze up and started answering literally and seriously, even though we told them not to be silly say whatever came to mind first.

In addition to the questions we asked before, we also tried these out:

If you were a hallmark card, what would you say?

Describe the perfect date

What's the most embarrassing thing that could happen on said date?

Now, because of the problems we were having the day before, I wasn't allowed to be in the room during this round of filming. Only my brother and Sak were present, but they assured me that the answers weren't any better.

So now I'm at a bit of a loss. Where do we go from here? I have until Christmas to re-think this and try again. And only one shot at Sak's family during our scouting trip. I'm thinking of emailing everyone a clip of "The Office" and a list of the questions. Maybe spontaneity just doesn't work. I mean, even the TV shows are scripted, right?

How would you answer these questions? Are cameras really that scary?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Oink Oink!
Vegans and Veggies please advert thine eyes - this is a post full of pork!

Last night Sak and I stood in a crazy long line out in the Daly City cold to retrieve our Thanksgiving prize. Honeybaked Ham.

Since we've moved to the Bay Area, we've taken it upon ourselves to provide the glazed and salty goodness for Thanksgiving dinner each year. Two 8 pound hams, one for each side of my family, along with the to-die-for champagne dipping mustard.

(Unfortunately, Sak's family is overseas, so it's a bit impractical to get hams for his family as well.)

In any case, we love pork. Ham in sandwiches, ham and beans, char sui, pork ribs, you name it. Not quite a Ponyo-like obsession, but close.


So it's not a stretch when I say we want a roast pig at our wedding. You know, the whole pig. Lechon.

Crispy, salty deliciousness.

As they are expensive, you don't see them around unless there's a celebration. Well guess what, a wedding IS a celebration! So I have the perfect excuse.

And since it's Hawaii, pig roasts are common and culturally acceptable. So we have the perfect means.

Now I just need to find out whether our reception catering can supply it. It's on the menu, but there's no price listed. I'm guessing about $100 (that seems to be the going rate at the local Chinese market anyway). That's not too bad for a mouth-watering spread. And there are no vegans or veggies in the house, so I'm not too worried about offending anyone with my carnal gluttony.

As always, click images for their sources!

And on that note - Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

DIY Program Idea

Our church does a holiday women's luncheon every year, where they have a guest speaker, delicious catered food, and plenty of favors. This year I was tasked with making the devotional booklets, which are completely cute and clever. If I put on my wedding-hat (not that it's ever off, these days), I could easily see these become snazzy little program books.

First we start with a bunch of pre-made cards. These are actually all samples from some printing company, such a great way to recycle!

But, since they are samples, they have this funky "order me" text on the inside. So we'll glue over it with the last page of the booklet.

Next, punch out two holes at the top of the book pages.

And also in the card itself.

Now stick the pages inside and tie the package together with a little ribbon bow.

Score the top of the card and bend it up for easy viewing.

That's it! Simple, eh?
But if you had some fancy cards for cover art, I bet it would look pretty cool.

Just to note - I probably won't use this method for my programs, since the comic pages will need to be bigger than the average greeting card size. But I still like the concept. :)

Now time to finish 50 more!

Anyone else inspired by non-wedding DIY projects? Is it purely a result of constantly having "wedding" on the brain?

Line-Art Line-Up

So in an effort to get more comfortable drawing tuxedos and dresses and romantic poses, I started drawing for the posters over at Weddingbee. A couple years ago I used to do something similar over at Gaia with my dear, dear friend and fellow amateur-artist-though-really-an-engineer, S. I would draw and she would then paint the lineart with her mad skills. But then I did something totally stupid and quit our "art shop". (Technically we did charge for our drawings, but only in gaia-gold, not real money.) Why did I quit? I'm not sure. My creativity tends to come in spasms. Sometimes I just really, really feel like drawing, and other times I don't feel like drawing at all. Which is a bummer, because my "skillz" take a hit everytime I go on hiatus.

But, back to the point - I'm in one of those "I must draw" moods, for the time being. (which is good considering all the drawing-related things I'm involving in the wedding.)

Here's the art queue for the thread, which I'll update as needed:

-Honeybun (done! click for the full sized image)

-BritishShiningStar (done! click for the full sized image)

-Gator (done! click for the full sized image)

and.. experimentation with color...which doesn't happen too often with me, lol.

-Kmattso (done! click for the full sized image)

-Beexiong (done(for the time being)! click for the full sized image)

-FutureMrsMartin (done! Click for full sized image!)

-Jingle (done! Click for full size)

-Million (done! click for full size)

- (done! Click for full size)

-Crebre (done! Click for full size)

-Bamm (done! Click for full size)
...and, because you knew I set up the pose on purpose, here's an alternate version, tee hee!
-BunnylovesBear (done! click for full size)
line art
-Honeybear (done! Click for full size)

-Sxelexe (done! click for full size)

-ChocolateLover (done! click for full size)

-Mydreamring (click for full size)

UPDATE 12/23:
Wow! I've made it to 20 requests! That's crazy (but I feel so loved)! Anyway, I'm going to cut the list at this point, otherwise I may burn myself out before I finish my comic! So everyone up on the list stays, but for now I won't be adding anymore...Sorry!
Update 4/24/10 - No new art 'til after my wedding in July, sorry!

And a reverse-shout-out to the amazing bloggers who have so graciously posted about my little sketches (let me know if I've missed anyone):

-Mocha Frugalista
-Chocolate Lover
-My Dream Ring/Life

Thank you ladies! :D

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cakie! - Hats

I've talked a little bit about overall cake designs, but today let's just concentrate on the fun part - the topper.

Pretty much anything you can think of can be made into a cake topper. Here's my shortlist:

-Custom wooden people
I picked these little guys up at Michael's for about a dollar or so. It would be simple enough to paint them into a Sak and Peng, and would end up looking maybe something like this:
(click image for source)

-Anime figurines
Oh, there's ton of potential here. Link and Zelda, Shinji and Asuka/Rei/Misato/Kaoru, Lelouch and CC..Somehow I don't think we really identify with the more iconic "couples". Maybe more with Otani and Risa, or Nodame and Chiaki. Maybe we'll go back to Tamama and Keroro, even.
How would this look on a cake? I bought this one from Fanime for $5 a few years ago.

Can't go wrong here, a pretty bunch of flowers on top of a cake is gorgeous, though not high up the personality scale.
(Click image for source)

-Little IC people
(click image for source)

I had this weird thought of using big fatty IC chips and making them look like little people-bugs by bending the pins into feet and hands (Like the "bugs" above, only standing up like "people"). Draw a face on with paint, and voila? Unfortunately, I doubt I could find chips big enough, and we might run into the "contains lead" problem again.

-Hawaiian Salt & Pepper Shakers
(click image for source)

This seems to be the standard cake topper for the Hawaiian bride. It's so cute! But not really indicative of Sak and I. Neither of us are even close to being that tan. *sigh*.

What kind of hat does your cake get to wear?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cakie! - A Beginning

In the weeks to come, I'll be responsible for lining up some cake tastings.

What does one bring to a cake tasting?

The smart thing would be to first say, "a budget".

Okay, but unfortunately, I have no idea how much a wedding cake is supposed to cost. $3-$5 dollars a slice? How much do I even need?

All these unknown variables run through my head as Sak picks up the chorus of the Birthday Cake song. Oh Salinas, ever the silly town.

*Ahem* ...Yeah, sorry about that. Back to business?

As in any complex problem, we'll start by listing out the "givens". What do I already know? (Click images for sources!)

- We want a square cake.
Everyone knows you get more cake out of a square than a circle!

-Maybe 3 or 4 tiers high.

-Mostly white, but with either red or black trimmings.

-At least 2 different kinds of fillings. If I can find a place that will do a rum cake, I can die a happy penga. A good rum cake with a custardy middle is nothing to laugh at!

Or how about some guava chiffon?

Mmm. Hungry now.

And Sak adds, "Please make it tres leche." Umm. Somehow I don't think they make tres leche in Hawaii? We'll put it on the shortlist for the at-home reception, smack dab in the middle of Salinas. In fact, I already know a great bakery for that one.

Sounds easy enough, right? Well, what about the design?

For once I'm drawing a bit of a blank.

I like cakes with ribbon on bottoms..

And cakes with white-on-white piping...

And cakes with gum paste flowers...

But together I don't think it would work out so well. Then there was also my other hair-brained idea.

Tiny little power poles (model-railroad size), on each tier, going up to the top of the cake, where mini-Sak & mini-Penga would stand under a mini streetlight, lit by LED.

Okay, yeah, I just went from fresh flowers and ribbons to train sets. But in my head it seems so cool. And with both of us having graduated as power engineers, it's got plenty of meaning.

Don't you just love paint? :P

Only one problem. I can't find mini-power poles anywhere. Resident train-expert Sak says it's because model-train sets usually are set in pre-electricity times, so there wouldn't be any power. So unless we make our own steel towers, this idea is out.

Even so, I'm still in love with the idea of an LED-lit cake. Let's add that to the list of cake-requisites.

What kind of cake are you planning on? And how do you stop yourself from getting mad cravings while thinking about it?