“Kebaya Chic” Goes Espresso…

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When I designed my “Kebaya Chic” silk scarves and leggings, the popularity for all things ‘kebaya’ led to the design being adapted to grace a whole set of new bone china ware.KC Leggings for blog

Commissioned by Luzerne (www.luzerne.com), a premier global ceramics tableware company headquartered in Singapore, whose expertise and quality are second to none, the “Kebaya Chic” range comprises:

* Espresso Cups and Saucers – for four persons, in four kebaya floral patterns

* Two-tier cake stands – in four kebaya floral patterns

* Dinner plates – in four kebaya floral patterns

* Round side plates – in four kebaya floral patterns

* Square side plates – in four kebaya floral patterns

* Square cocktail plates – in four kebaya patterns

four espresso cups and saucers

Every four-piece set showcases four types of vintage floral designs from kebaya tops, designed in a contemporary pattern with a background of complementary hues that hark back to the basic colours of precious Peranakan ware.

KC new bone china ware

They are just so pretty, if I may say so myself. Sharing a cup of espresso with hubby after dinner at home is that much more delightful an occasion when served in one of my Kebaya Chic cups and saucers.

espresso cup

Today, I share pictures of the Espresso set. More to come in the next few days!

NOTE:

For enquiries regarding purchase of Espresso sets, please email me at: veronicaannlee@gmail.com.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!

 

 

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Remembering Gordon…

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It was Gordon’s birthday yesterday. He would have been 66. Though it has been 14 years since he returned to the Lord, my darling brother is still very much with us in our hearts and minds.

We remember him for the many ways in which he touched our lives, especially when he took to entertaining us with a few songs…while his talented piano partner – Julie – tinkled on the ivories.

Whether it was a toe-tapping ‘New York New York’, a romantic ‘J’attendrai’ in fluent French or a religious ‘Rosa Mystica’, we loved his handsome voice and style.

In 1995, I dabbled in caricature drawing and was inspired to capture Gordon and Julie in action. I thought it would be the best way to remember the good times with my talented brother by sharing this piece of artwork today.

Happy Birthday Gordon. We miss and love you.

Julie and Gordon

Julie and Gordon

An Ode To A Jolly Gal…

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Good Golly Ms Molly

There is this gal who is oh-so-friendly

She is called Good Golly Ms Molly…

One who brightens your day

In her own jolly way…

In rain or shine

From 9-5 or 5-9…

Wherever she may be

She is always with her brolly…

A little bit like Mary Poppins

Especially when she pops in…

With brolly in hand

And brightens your day in a way so grand!

Peach Romance

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Peach Romance for blog

The third in a trio of finger drawn digital portraits, “Peach Romance” plays on soft, dreamy pastels, smokey eye shadow, pouty lips in pale peach.

As the lady has an air of quiet elegance about her, the ‘outfit’ would have to reflect the gentle outlook to perfection. Of course, this called for yet another VAL Original design!

Here, one single flower from my image library that happened to be in the correct pale peach colour, has been used to achieve an amazing effect, if I may say so myself.

The gentle curves of its petals and the green stem come together in the most natural of ways to form a filigree weave pattern with a slight flounce! It all adds to the air of anticipation….of romance…?

I hope everyone enjoys viewing “Sleek & Sassy”, “Pretty in Pink” and now “Peach Romance”, as much as I have derived such joy in their creation.

Till the next time….cheerio.

Pretty In Pink

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Pretty In Pink for blog

Hot off the post on “Sleek & Sassy” (please click here to read), this digitally-created portrait “Pretty in Pink”, also a finger drawing on an ipad app page, takes on a different feel. With a head of carefree curls and a hot pink flower on one side, it begged for a pretty and eye-catching ‘outfit’ to complete the picture.

Thankfully I found in my image library, soft pink flowers that fit perfectly as a floral bustier! Definitely a VAL Original designed ‘outfit’…..(Sorry I cannot name the flower type, as it was photographed along a bustling shopping street in Shanghai many moons ago).

Mixed media? Collage? Call it what you may, I love the lively contrast of the flower photos against the digital drawing/painting. Hmmm, I might just be able to coin a new term here…. ‘floral fashion in art’?

There is a third one to share next….keep your eyes peeled out for it.

Sleek & Sassy…

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Sleek & Sassy for blog

All the joy that was ushered in with the Lunar New Year simply could not lift the sluggish mood of the haze that hung outside like a dark cloud…blocking out the weak rays of the sleepy sun that seemed to have gotten lost somewhere up there.

Was I about to let the dreary weather dampen my creative spirit? Not on your life.

I whipped out the ipad and started doodling on an app page. While my mind wandered dreamily, my index finger did the drawing and ‘painting’. Forged on by my curiosity of the wondrous ease with which one finger tip could create digital lines or circles of colour and even watercolour paint brush effects – the afternoon just flew by.

Quite happy with the digitally-drawn girl, with her sleek and sassy hairstyle, I took it one step further in the computer. Satisfaction peaked when I added a flower (the perfect complement) from my image library to the overall artwork and ‘voila’, the girl came alive. I love the exotic floral dress, don’t you?

Not bad……for what started out as a finger doodle on a dull-weathered day. Look out for the next one…..

Peonies by VAL

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Peonies by VAL

I have tried working on a few gif files for use online and now am experimenting in a more adventurous way..as shown above.  The mind boggles at how many new creative ways there are, in which to express oneself…..with gif.

In this gif image, the focus is on the play of colours that change in the peony flower (finger drawn on the iPad and coloured in photoshop). The background too, is a finger drawing on the iPad. Oh and of course, the hand-writing effect of the word ‘Peonies’.

This is just a short post to share my ‘latest’ form of expression…!!  Gotta run.

Have a great weekend ahead. Cheerio.

 

Of Noodles & Fun In The Sun

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What makes the world go round?

In ‘Summer Sun’ the artwork that is depicted in this long rectangular silk chiffon scarf by VAL, it is……Fresh air. Sunshine. The great outdoors. Happy people celebrating the good life with drink and food…or noodles, to be precise!

Summer Sun - long scarf intro - Jun 2014Interestingly, whenever I drape this scarf around my outfit, the design elements that catch the eye of many a beholder, are the inclusion of a dish or two of ‘noodles’. As it turns out, this has been an interesting ice-breaker or conversation piece.

Of noodles & fun in the sun...

To enlighten the curious minds as to how the ‘noodles’ came to be incorporated into this design, allow me to elaborate….

The original colour pencil & acrylic art piece was created by yours truly for a hotel’s noodle restaurant in a Chinese city about 12 years ago. Pleased with the fantasy-like concept, the hotel replicated the artwork as a mural that ran along the full length of one wall of the restaurant, which brought the long, narrow space to life.

As the restaurant is now non-existent, the original artwork was whipped out and slightly embellished for its new life on silk chiffon! The design was then given the perfect finishing touch in the form of a border filled with the words from the poem ‘Summer Sun’, by Robert Louis Stevenson. Thoughtfully-crafted words that so aptly describe the happiness that spills out of the sunshiny scene portrayed.

For those who choose to complete their outfits with the ‘Summer Sun’ silk chiffon scarf by VAL, its exclusively original design will help to spread the joys of summer (and a dish or two of noodles) all year round!

This, and other ‘art to wear’ silk scarves by VAL are available for sale. For a preview of the complete collection, please click here.

On that note, I wish everyone blue skies and everything nice!

Elaine Is Now 17!

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A photograph of the painting of Elaine in 1998. The babe is now a young lady.

A photograph of the painting of Elaine in 1998. The babe is now a young lady.

There was a time when painting was my chosen art form and I often put brush to paper and painted the night away – literally – usually starting from about 10pm onwards till about 2 to 3 in the morning.

In the late 90s I seemed to favour figurative art. This led to requests to paint portraits…a daunting undertaking. Why? Well, while the artist depicts the subject with the freedom of artistic license, the subject does not always share the same opinion!

All said and done, I could not say no to a good friend’s request to paint her darling niece Elaine. Out came the photo of the tiny tot for reference. The concept of the art piece was verbally described and agreed upon. The year was 1998. The place was Beijing.

Then, I particularly enjoyed painting Chinese tea cups too, so it was fun to put baby Elaine atop a bone-china cup done up in blue and white (naturally) with outlines in gold, to represent the portrait being painted whilst Judy (the aunty) and I were in China.

I had also tried to refrain from filling up every bit of the background with paint and design (something I observed in traditional Chinese paintings). It was all about ‘less is more’.

In keeping with that line of thought, I used a sponge cut into a triangle and dabbed the background with gold and silver paint to represent confetti. In the oriental world, gold and silver are symbolic of all things auspicious.

When I came across a photo of the painting (last week), fond memories brought many a happy smile to my face. I wondered if the framed painting still hung in the young gal’s room in Canada.

Coincidentally, yesterday I learnt that Elaine has just turned 17! My, how time flies.

I realize that I have been joyfully informed of her fabulous progress all through the last 16 years. In that sense, I feel I ‘know’ Elaine although we have never met and always wish her an abundance of blessings from above.

Beijing Revisited

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Beijing  Revisited for blog - low res - 2014In 2011, we decided to brave the May Day Holiday crowds that would descend upon Beijing, my old stomping ground in the 90s, just to feel for ourselves, first hand, what it would be like to be two of millions of sightseers in the city on a public holiday.

And NO, we never dared to ‘join the crowd’ – anywhere in China – on public holidays.  So this was a first for us.

As it had been a decade since our last leisurely visit to the city, we were in search of walks down memory lane while embracing the new. Needless to say, we enjoyed the trip, visiting with good friends. Thereafter, I summed up my mixed emotions in the best way I know how – with my art.

Right in the midst of the kaleidoscope of colours, patterns and textures, is a sketch of a girl in a Chinese outfit, looking serene in sepia tones with golden hues.  It was done in a moment of distraction (during a meeting, when inspiration struck), in the mid-90s in Beijing.

Surrounding her are contrasting details from the 2011 visit. While some hark back to traditional forms, the bright colours and ultra modernistic font of ‘Bei’ in ‘Beijing’ that I found in Sanlitun serve as the stark contrast in my search for what used to be.

An area that we used to hang out at on the weekends, people watching while sipping large, comforting cups of cappuccino, Sanlitun was the closest thing to the ‘sidewalk cafes of Paris’ back then.  Many a fun and heart-warming tale can be retold from those early days.  Now, it has caught up with the rapid modernization in the capital and while it may still appeal to some, I could not find its soul anymore.

The title in dark red represents all things Chinese, intentionally done in bold and large oriental-type font to hone in on the character of the Middle Kingdom. After pounding the pavements for a few days during the visit, it seemed only apt to allow a faint hint of the paved walkways in the main colours of the sidewalks to show through the grey background.

Beijing Revisited is about a girl, filled with fond memories of the 90s, in search of the old Beijing she used to know….only to be confronted with remnants of the past and the modernisation of today.

Till the next archival find…..