Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Annika Marie!

Happy Birthday to the prettiest, smartest, 12 year-old I know!

Birthday Card in "Annika" Calligraphy

My version of an e-card! This is my "Annika" font, dedicated to my favorite birthday girl.

The card and envelope are both fuchsia pink and I designed the envelope liner to match. Next time, I'll have to add some illustrations. I promise my next birthday cards will actually physically make it out on time! And I know exactly whose birthday that will be!

Now to start celebrating the holidays...

Monday, December 13, 2010

creative classes

I've been so busy lately! Looking back at the last six months, I remember there used to be days where I'd just stay home, cook, clean, watch tv, and do errands. And now I'm usually working on some new project, constantly moving about, and working to expand my blog and etsy shop.

I realize that I'm lucky enough to live near San Francisco, where there are so many wonderful arts-related classes that I can take. And boy, do I plan to take advantage of that!

Graphic Design has always been something I've skirted around. I've taken some Photoshop classes and photography classes. I've dabbled in different kinds of artistic mediums, watercolor, oil paint, pen, and ink. And every year, I would design our family's holiday e-card, that my dad would send out. (Guess I'm not doing that this year, *sigh*.)

But going back to the topic of classes, there are a few that I would really like to take.

There are quite a few of them I want to take, namely Photoshop, Illustator, InDesign, etc. And if I take the required courses as well as the ones I'm really interested in, I'd end up with a professional certificate in Graphic Design!

2. Letterpress Classes

Photo from

I'd originally wanted to take it from Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day but she's going on hiatus and moving to Paris for a year. (How awesome is that?) 

Maybe I'll just take them at the San Francisco Center for the Book which offers lot of artistic and book-related workshops. It's a beautiful craft, one that I'd never though I'd have the opportunity to learn.

3. I've got more calligraphy classes in mind. There are a few offered by Orinda Recreation, Piedmont Adult School, and some in San Francisco too.

4. And more photography classes (yes, somewhere in my future, be it distant, there is a DSLR waiting again.)

5. And maybe some web developing classes so I could improve my blog design and perhaps design other websites too.

What can I say? Creativity runs in my blood. (My mother is a decorator and she decorates beautifully. She also makes accessories and dabbles in a few other things as well.) Creating is my bliss and I'm always all for learning. 

Let's hope I get to cross off a few things on this list within the next year or two.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

holiday rush!

I have been so busy preparing packages and cards for the holidays I've barely had any time to blog! So I thought I'd just catch you up with the packages I've been preparing. Some of these are special orders, some are gifts for family friends.

Special Delivery: Chocolate Bark Gift Box

A Gift Box Full of Chocolate Pockets!

Chocolate Bark Gift Tin

Full of Pretty Chocolate Pockets

Another Chocolate Gift Tin

Full of Chocolate Bark in Assorted Flavors! Notice the White Chocolate Macadamia?

So that's what this busy elf has been up to! Working with lots of new chocolate bark flavors too, like White Chocolate & Macadamia, Milk Chocolate & Macadamia, and Dark Chocolate with Walnuts. And lots of candy making and gift-wrapping in the works!

Can you believe it's 14 days to Christmas?!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

inspired table numbers

Having just come off wedding fever, wedding related paper products are still very much on my mind (as you can see from my previous post of place cards!) 

Inspired by my dear friend's wedding colors, I started playing around and came up with the idea of cutting the border and text from card stock, then gluing the entire thing on another piece of card stock. 

The end product has a kind of "pop-up" or embossed effect with the border and text being raised. I'm currently experimenting with fuzzy, felt-like paper to give the border and text even more texture. We'll see how that goes!

But in the meantime, these table numbers are now for sale at the hello, whimsy! etsy store. Lots of more stuff coming up soon! Please do drop by!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

presenting... the chocolate pocket!

With the holidays coming up, my husband and I wanted to give little tokens as gifts to friends, family, and co-workers. Of course we wanted to give my specialty, homemade Almond Bark. (Bite size candy pieces made of a buttery, crunchy, graham layer, topped by premium dark chocolate and toasted almonds!)

And I wanted nice, Christmas-themed, handy little containers.

So, the Chocolate Pocket was born!

The cute pillow box pockets measure 4.25 in x 2.5 x 1 inch and they hold about 1 oz of bite size candy pieces.

I also have non-Christmas-themed pockets of course, lots of cute little prints and solid colors as well. I'm going to start selling them on Etsy soon, at $2.50 a pocket. Perfect for wedding favors, baby shower favors, as any kind of party favor, really!

And of course, a hello, whimsy! special pocket.

Aren't they adorable? I am currently obsessed with them. I'm even making matching scallop circle or square shaped tags. I can't wait to give them out for Christmas!

Candy Pockets also up for grabs so if you'd like to order some, just send me an e-mail at

Thursday, December 2, 2010

seaside inspiration

While shopping for paper (which I spend waaay too much money on) I came across this pretty pack of cardstock that immediately brought the beach to mind. (I've lived in a tropical country most of my life, I think about the beach a lot!)

Immediately, I started thinking about what I could do with it and what symbols/icons remind me of the beach.

So I've come up with two seaside themed place cards/tent cards/escort cards. 

A Seashell Design...

And a Starfish Design!

Wouldn't they be so whimsical on a table with some sand, more pretty pebbles, and white flowers? Perhaps I'll try making a seahorse next.

Do you have any suggestions for sea themed place card/escort card?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

almond bark sale

Due to popular demand, I am now taking orders for my homemade almond bark!

And what is Almond Bark you may ask? Well, they're bite size candy pieces made of a buttery, crunchy, graham layer, topped by premium dark chocolate and toasted almonds.

I have to admit, it's becoming one of my specialties. I love giving it to friends when we come visit or to relatives when we see them as well. It's always gotten rave reviews and recipe requests.

8 oz Almond Bark Tin: $10.00 plus shipping
Bark made from premium dark chocolate and quality ingredients

For now, just the almond graham bark is up for grabs. 

An 8 ounce tin (pictured above) is $10.00 plus shipping. 

I'm also working on sampler packs, photographed below.

1 oz Almond Bark in Pillow Box: $2.50 plus shipping

These pillow boxes measure 4.25 x 2.5 x 1 in and they each hold about 1 ounce of candy bark. The boxes are fully customizable I can make them in any color you want.

Aren't these pillow boxes the cutest thing ever? They're perfect for parties, giveaways, or even just as a little thoughtful gift. I'll post more about them soon.

Each pillow box with about 1 ounce of candy bark is $2.50 plus shipping.

I'm working on a walnut version, a macadamia version, and varieties of milk and white chocolate. So excited to test new varieties!

For orders and inquiries, send me an e-mail at

Sunday, November 21, 2010

celebrating miku

One of my dear friends gave birth last month and I wanted to send her a little card  in the mail. 

Can you guess what this adorable little boy's name is?

I was playing around with paper and came up with confetti pieces spelling out his name. I thought about gluing one on the card but I just left it on top when I inserted the envelope, in case she wants to stick the pieces elsewhere, like on a wall or frame. The rest were placed inside the envelope.

And of course, a calligraphed envelope.

I'm so excited to meet this darling little boy, who has brought so much joy to my friends! What a wonderful gift it is, this new life.

Friday, November 12, 2010

addressing envelopes

I've been working with different sizes of nibs and fonts to adjust to different sizes of envelopes. It's been a lot of fun but with all the experimenting I've been doing, I can't help but feel a wee bit guilty over the amount of paper I've used! I do however set them aside for recycling at the very least.

The first sample was done a fine nib, it's a smaller font better suited to A2 envelopes (4 3/8 in x 5 3/4 in). This is the same size as the Christmas cards in the previous post

The second sample is for bigger envelopes such as the A7 (5 1/4 in x 7 1/4 in), the kind you'd use for formal invitations and the like.

I've also been trying out different inks and I'm in love with this particular sepia shade from Windsor & Newton that I've been playing around with. It would have been perfect for our chocolate brown wedding invitations. Perhaps I shall still make a sample to see how it looks and feature colored inks soon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

holiday calligraphy

With the holidays around the corner, I decided to jumpstart out holiday correspondences while I still had free time. I was lucky to find a set of 40 assorted blank holiday cards on sale which would give me a nice canvas for calligraphy practice.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the cards were printed at the back as well which meant that they were too dark to see through and would all have to be hand-lined in pencil! Lining will be the death of me!

I'll post the matching envelopes next time.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

cookies, christmas, and calligraphy

So I know I've been kind of slow to start this blog. I've been working on a lot of little projects here and there but nothing yet of note. I've been taking calligraphy classes, working with watercolors, and baking, just to name a few.

Lately, I've been trying to perfect my almond graham bark and tomorrow, my calligraphy class is taking a field trip to visit Michele Papineau, a well-renowned calligrapher in the Bay area. As a thank you to her, and my classmate who's giving me a ride, this is what I came up with:

I'm really excited that I'm finally taking a calligraphy class after all these years of being self-taught. My instructor is wonderful and very encouraging and I've learned so much from her. I love that she encourages us to develop our own styles.

I'm thinking of participating in a calligraphy Christmas exchange (where you send handmade cards out and you receive some in exchange) and I've been jotting down ideas as to how I can use calligraphy this upcoming holiday season. Do I have it in me to hand write a gazillion Christmas cards? We shall see.

Friday, September 17, 2010

hello, whimsy!

This site was born out of the urge to create. Since I was a little girl, I've loved colors, pens, and papers. Let me loose in art store and I'll end up spending way more money than I should have. I have three watercolor sets, several sketch pads, calligraphy pens, pencils and who knows what else I'm going to add to my supplies.

Here in the US, I've found a plethora of new materials to work with and I'm really enjoying myself. I spend waaay too much time and money at arts and crafts stores.

So welcome to my online creative space which hopefully will inspire me to do more. Browse, peruse, enjoy my handiwork which I hope will inspire you as well!


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