life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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paper story: our invites

Kei gave me the free hand to create our invites. I count it as one of the perks of being a graphic artist, as I already have an idea of what I wanted our wedding invitations to look like.

But being Chinese we have to uphold certain traditions. Our Invitations have to be bilingual. Being quite of a rule breaker that I am, I know for sure that I am not going to have the traditional Chinese wedding invitation cards.

Sorry, but this is just so not us.

At home we have a shoebox full of wedding invites that look like this. T_T (photo from google)

At home we have a shoe box full of wedding invites that look like this. T_T (photo from google)

But I am not about to go out and buy generically designed cards. I am going to create my own, our own. And get it printed.

I wanted something simple: no letterpress, gold foil or emboss, but I wanted to inject color to make it look happy and not so plain and of course, it must look modern. So the cost would be lower, and also to highlight the design and color. And if the budget would allow, I also wanted it to be on pearlescent paper. So I went to ask my best friend Google for inspiration.  I found these.

invitation inspiration all photos from google.

booklet type invitation inspiration (all photos from google)

I like the idea of a booklet type invitations. Beacuse I have to write everything twice, one in English and one in Chinese. I need a lot of pages!

So, I took that idea and went to create my awesome, modern bilingual invitations. I made two designs and got Kei to pick one, so that everything has Kei’s approval from the design to the paper stock. 

I now present our draft/prototype! This was printed at home using our desktop printer and cream colored pearlescent board paper, and held together by two paper fasteners.

Bilingual ✓, color ✓ , pearl paper ✓=just what we wanted.

Bilingual ✓, color ✓ , pearl paper ✓ = just what we wanted.

Ours still feature the traditional Chinese symbol double happiness* 囍, which was modernized by making the 喜 “hug” the other 喜. Using soft colors instead of the usual red and gold gave it a more casual, romantic feel. Using pearlescent paper also made it look elegant. We also added bunnies inside!

*Double Happiness is a ligature, “囍” composed of 喜喜 – two copies of the Chinese characters 喜 () literally means joy, compressed to assume the square shape of a standard Chinese character (much like a real character may consist of two parts), and is pronounced as apolysyllabic Chinese character, being read as 双喜 (shuāngxǐ). -wikipedia

The invite was sectioned into three parts: The wedding- that includes everything about the ceremony. The Entourage- This page has everyone in the bridal party. Lastly, we have The RSVP- where we placed more information (what to wear, our instagram tags, facebook page…etc) regarding the event.

So, once we got our draft done, we got some of our friends (who has been-there-done-that) to check our handiwork. They thought it was the real thing! hahaha! It looked good. We had all the wordings down pat. One even commented that the look was so Pammy. I took that as a compliment. ^_^ Till we let one of our principal sponsors take a look of it. (Unknown to me, they are in the printing industry! *surprise surprise!* They would also like print our invites!!).

They asked us out for dinner meet-up they got us to choose paper stock for our wedding invites! So blessed! Just Wow!

Imagine our amazement when they handed over swatches of Prestige Paper Products and Fedrigoni Papers. They let us choose the one we like. I was over the moon! I love stationery and fancy paper! So many options all awesome paper! But we had to choose, and keeping in line with what we wanted we picked out Fedrigoni Papers for Indigo in Soho Sirio Pearl Polar Dawn.

It looks like this.

It looks like this. But the photo does not give it justice.

The photo does not give it justice at all. It has these iridescent rainbow flecks on a base of subtly shimmery cream paper. Prints and colors shows up well on the paper too! Awesome sauce pretty!

 Now all we have to do is finalize the texts inside of the invites as we have a lot of changes in those.  

 

-Need a Chinese graphic artist for your own invites? shoot me a message. ^_^

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two brides in the family

the actual message sent to me

the actual message sent to me

Yesterday (March 15, 2015), I got this text message from my cousin (that is also my bridesmaid) that she was proposed to within the week. And she will not be able to fulfill her duties as my bridesmaid-as she has her own wedding to plan.

Her date is Jan 24, 2016 (so close to our date-Dec 19 and it is also right after my birthday!) We would be on a Sukob- a (Filipino) belief that misfortunes will befall the couple if they decided to get married during the same year a sibling also got married. or a chiong xi-clash of luck a (Chinese) superstition that if a couple’s wedding falls within less than 30 days of the wedding day of one of their close relatives (cousins included), then the couples cannot attend each another’s wedding or there may be a ‘collision’ of good fortune. I was like are are you freaking kidding me?

You didn’t even have a decent Facebook post or announcement or anything??? What now?

Do not get me wrong. I love my cousin. For my whole existence, she was one of my Atchie/s (big sister) –one I look up to. One of the family. I love her dearly that is why I picked her to be by my side on my wedding day.

But then again. What guy proposes to a girl that already has picked out a wedding date that fast?! (Chinese usually gets a geomancer to pick out a good day.) I informed you guys, a year ago of my date! I was aghast. I mean yeah, I am happy for you. But the news also stirs up my thoughts….Why did you have to set the date so soon? Why so sudden? Why the rush?

I got engaged July 20, 2014. My wedding is at December 19, 2015. That December 19 date was picked by our geomancer!

A year in the making, We even sent out bridesmaid kits for the entourage (Feb 2015)! She even accepted! It was all planned, she knew! Just why?

Then I am blindsided with this. After knowing our story, our date, our colors and location of our wedding. I was like why? Why you do this? The only good thing right now is at least we still haven’t had her measurements taken for her dress.

So, yeah maybe that was out of her control. But looking again at her message, there is this 100 days before and after that she wrote down… that means she and her family cannot attend my wedding, Same goes for us.

So yeah whatever. If that makes them feel better so be it. What I hate about the situation is the awkwardness and the comparison it brings, let us also not forget the casting of entourage… kind of like a ugly power struggle. We are all supposed to be happy for one another! A family must be united on a happy occasion right? You guys know how I hate family drama. Sucks. All this because they set their date so close and so sudden.

Anyway, what is done is done. I’m just praying that everything goes well for everyone.

I may be bewildered now, but I am ok. I bear no ill or bitterness. All the best Atchie C.

I love you and is truly happy for you! Happy preps! Our family is truly blessed to have two happy occasions to look forward to! Double the bride, double the love! God bless!

xoxo, Pam


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Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节) stories

The only thing I am excited about in September is mid autumn festival. Love the dice game (even if I rarely win) as well as the mooncakes. I actually keep my favorite (lotus 1 egg/ made form lotus paste and with one duck egg) mooncake/s for breakfast, and eat another one come afternoon, as my afternoon snack.

Photo from thailandtatler

Photo from thailandtatler

As a child, I remember walking to a auntie neighbor’s house to see her making mooncakes, as she makes them to sell come mid autumn festival.  The smell of the cakes cooking wafting from her house is just yummy. I usually get a freshly baked mooncake from that auntie as a treat for keeping her company.

My mum and this auntie are friends. She even invites my Mum to cook with her. My mum usually declines and just buys lots of her mooncakes instead. This certain auntie tells me lots of stories regarding mooncake festival while she bakes.

Here are the stories/folklore told to me by our neighbor.

 

Chang E’s story (the moon goddess)

Chang E was a beautiful young girl working in the Jade Emperor’s palace in heaven, where immortals, good people and fairies lived. One day, she accidentally broke a precious porcelain jar. Angered, the Jade Emperor banished her to live on earth, where ordinary people lived. She could return to the Heaven, if she contributed a valuable service on earth.

Chang E was transformed into a member of a poor farming family. When she was 18, a young hunter named Hou Yi from another village spotted her, now a beautiful young woman. They became friends.

One day, a strange phenomenon occurred – 10 suns arose in the sky instead one one, scorching the earth. Hou Yi, an expert archer, stepped forward to try to save the earth. He successfully shot down nine of the suns, becoming an instant hero. He eventually became king and married Chang E.

 

But Hou Yi grew to become a tyrrant. He sought immortality by ordering an elixir be created to prolong his life. The elixir in the form of a single pill was almost ready when Chang E came upon it. She either accidentally or purposely swallowed the pill. This angered King Hou Yi, who went after his wife. Trying to flee, she jumped out the window of a chamber at the top of palace — and, instead of falling, she floated into the sky toward the moon.

King Hou Yi tried to shoot her down with arrows, but without success. Once on the moon, Chang E has only one companion, a (jade?) rabbit, is constantly pounding the elixir of immortality in a large mortar.

 

 

The story of the moon rabbit

The story goes about a god reincarnated into a poor old man and begged food from a fox, a monkey and a rabbit.

When an old man begged for food, the monkey gathered fruits from the trees and the otter collected fish, while the fox wrongfully pilfered a lizard and a pot of milk-curd. The rabbit, who knew only how to gather grass, instead offered its own body, throwing itself into a fire the man had built. The rabbit, however, was not burnt. The old man revealed himself to be a god  and, touched by the rabbit’s virtue, drew the likeness of the rabbit on the Moon for all to see.

Or the  alternate ending that, the god was so moved by the rabbit and sent it to the moon to become an immortal jade rabbit. Ever since, the jade rabbit stayed in the Moon Palace to accompany Chang E and pounded immortal medicine for those living in the heaven.

 

For today, I am going to see my grandama and the rest of the family  later to celebrate mid-autumn festival, and eat mooncakes.

 

*Try to look at the moon tonight, its at its roundest and brightest.

**Mid-autumn festival occurs every 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar.


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Shisa Shisa

This is a Shisa/シーサー.

I got it as a CNY present for a friend of mine. Cute huh?

A Shisa looks a cross between a lion and a dog.

A Shisa looks a cross between a lion and a dog.

Its a Japanese version of the Chinese Foo Dogs 福獅 or the imperial guardian lions.

They always come in pairs, its a  yin and yang concept.

Usually seen on gates of temples and the house gate of the wealthy. People put it on their home gate or on the roof to prevent the unfortunate/vicious thing from coming into their place. Meant to ward off evil spirits.  They are adapted by the Japanese and calls them komainu”, although in Okinawa it is still calledShisa“,  Korea, Tibet and Myanmar also has them too .

Although what I have is the small version, I think it could also “guard” the table of its owner, or maybe just look cute to act as a stress reliever.