Quote: Don't Merely Exist. Live.

"If you are not happy, you are not living your life correctly."

It is good to be on top of your work, focused. Nonetheless, apart from your personal endeavours, don't forget to spend some quality time to grow laterally, expending the breathe of your life.

Challenge yourself with new things, try something interesting, relax yourself being mindful about all the nature and people around you. You will be amazed what you will find.

On top of all, you are living.

Count not the days in your life, but life in your days.

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Other quotes you may like:

Tutorial: A guide to the makings of miniature food

It has always been hard for me to tell my friends what I do when they ask me about what I do in my free time. They look confused when I tell them I am "crafting miniatures", but going in lengths explaining about what it is just don't seem right. But still, though this hobby is a bit weird, I am happy that I have discovered it. To all of you that know this craft, or who are interested to it, I'd like to share how I work from start to finish. If your approach is different, tell me about it, I'd love to know! :)

Here's how I do it:

1. Finding ideas
First find out what kind of food you want to make. Do you want to make a donut, cake or hamburger? Search for inspirations either online or from cookbooks/magazine. My favourite is FoodGawker and Pinterest, the submissions/pins are photoed in brilliant photography that makes both your mouth drooling and your stomach rumbling.

2. Draft
Draw your design on a sketch book to help you visualise your work. I find this really helpful in letting myself know what exactly I want, especially in the later stages. I've sketched in the same size scale and added labels of what layer it is on each section (it's almost like biological labelling diagram).

3. Research
Figure out how to create the best colour and texture by working on an experimental piece of clay. If you couldn't think of any idea how to make it, always search online for miniature tutorials. Your favourite miniaturist might have some posts that give you some ideas.

4. Craft!
This is pretty self-explanatory, time to dig in and create your work! My favourite tools are  size 0 pointy paint brushes, toothpicks and X-Acto craft knifes. The key to this is to be patient. Many things can go wrong, maybe it does not look like what you expected or in a miniaturist's nightmare, you dropped the tiny bowl of blackberries you have been working for six hours onto the floor. Sometimes you might need to re-do your work, other times perfecting it. But once you've gone through the process, you will be so happy about your work!

5. Photography matters
Finishing your work is not your last step after all of these many hours you have put into though. You still have to photograph it to share it with people who are not able to see your work directly. To take a even, well-lit photo, try using a light box or a few mirrors toeflect light. Plus, being able to keep a soft copy of what you have done is just delightful. To take a even, well-lit photo, try using a light box or a few mirrors to reflect light. Save it in your phone and share it with your friends when they look confused about what miniature craft is about :)

Life: Currently Loving

Currently loving Realliving magazine T2 Birdy Nassae Ithilwen
1. Real Living Magazine October 2014
I rarely able to read a magazine from front to end, but this is one of the rare exceptions. The beautiful pastel-themed cover caught my eye while I was grabbing my groceries in the supermarket. Flipping through the pages, I find it so divine that I bought it immediately, and I'm glad I did.

If you love Earl Grey, this is the ultimate version you can look for. With the extra scent of flower blossoms and citrus, the elegant smell is pleasantly invigorating. The moment you start pouring water over the tea leaves, you will find yourself in Utopia.

3. Birdy
I love her dreamy voice. Her album makes really good study music. Birdy's covers are smooth and soft, just like the calming sound of raindrops dripping at the window while cuddling in bed. My personal favourite is her exquisite People Help The People.

Tutorial: How to compose a perfect surprise snail mail

Snail mail letter and gift. Nassae Ithilwen.

Whether it is your pen pal, your best friend's birthday or your sibling's Christmas gift, a thoughtful mail with all sorts of notes and presents will certainly be a pleasant surprise to the receiver. Here are some tips and suggestions on what you can include in your assortment of wonderful things.

Pretty note paper letters
There is nothing more heartwarming than expressing what you think of and like about the person you love. Write about the unforgettable memories, funny jokes and tough hardships that you have been gone through together.

Find some motivational quotes and sayings that can cheer up your friend when they feel down. Print the quotes or write them in little square card stock decorated with stickers and doodle drawings.

Little presents
Find some beauty product samples (body lotion or hair conditioner) or other gifts such as stickers or hand drawn watercolour cards to give to your loved ones. Wrap them pretty and decorate it with ribbons or washi tapes.

Current obsessions/ mood board
Whether it's the music, art, books, recipes or any other things that you are obsessed with currently, share it with your friend and let them fall in love with your new discoveries as well. Jot them down on a list then folded into a mini envelop, or for the more artistic gals, create a mood board and let them see the collage visually.

Tea/ coffee bags
Nothing is better than reading a letter while sipping a warm beverage, inhaling the flavoursome aroma of the tea/coffee. Include one of these in the mail so they can enjoy this experience.

Snail mail letter and gift. Nassae Ithilwen.
Example 1: (Clock wise from top left) a hand written note, quotes written on a card sealed in a mini envelope, origami paper with current music and websites that I like, small card with gratitudes and things that I want to say to my friend, and a teabag for her.

Snail mail letter and gift. Nassae Ithilwen.Snail mail letter and gift. Nassae Ithilwen.
Example 2: (Top) An envelope wrapped with ribbon; (Bottom, from top left downwards) A teabag, an printed note, an envelope, "good music" note, little wrapped present, second note paper, third note sheet, a decorative strip to wrap all the notes together.

For more snail mail inspirations, visit my Pinterest board. Create your own snail mail and spread some love! I am sure you too will enjoy making something pretty for your friend.

Quote: Life Is Too Short Not to Enjoy It

I am pretty sure life gets chaotic once in a while; you know, when things just pops up out of the blue at the worst time, leaving you running around going crazy trying to get things in control.

Earlier this week, my computer broken down along with all my lecture notes three days before an important mid-semester exam. Panicking, I rushed to the Apple Store for repair (the brilliant Genius checked out that my hard drive cable has malfunctioned) so I could get it back as soon as possible. I would have decided to call this a bad week, but then thinking so would not make my problem disappears. On the bright side, going to city means that I can go to my favourite tea shop and relax with a sample of tea, while waiting for something that cannot be pushed ahead. It is after all the state of mind. If there is a choice, why not enjoy it?

I have picked these wild flowers and plants last year at autumn. This photo I took always brings me back the memory of that fine day, when the flora are full of colours. I have added a quote and made it a desktop background wallpaper.

Hope this will be a warm reminder for you to take pleasure of the things in life :)

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Inspiration: 3 Miniaturists I Adore

Miniature has been a hobby of mine for five years. It began with a Japanese miniature craft book I spotted while I was browsing in a book store in a Tuesday afternoon. It was love at first sight.

I didn't know the extent this discovery could have brought me, but I must say it is one of the most enjoyable time that I have spent, pulling all nighters crafting. I stayed up not because I have an urgent deadline to meet, but the keen fascination I have on creating something that is so small you can put it on the tip of your hand, yet still full of detail as if it was in real life scale.

Below are 3 amazingly talented miniaturist that I admire. They have given me lots of inspirations in this hobby I'm passionate about. And every time I see their new work I am in awe with the texture, composition and skills that they have achieved. Do check out their websites, they are truly gifted artists.

I would describe Tomo Tanaka as the King of miniature. Even now I still mistakenly think the food from his photos is real, if you don't tell me it is from his blog. Above is one of the many examples of his outstanding skills in creating a convincible gourmet dish that you wish you can eat. Just look at the texturing!

2. Petit Plat
I have been following Stephaine from the very beginning of my miniature adventure. The playfulness and cheerfulness of her creations warms my heart. I also like the way she photographed with a shallow depth of field that makes her work stands out. And you just have to love the way she show the scale with everyday food objects!

3. My Tiny World

Look at the texture details, that is just remarkable how Bözse can make the corns look so realistic. I imagine her spending a long time arranging the kernels with care. That must have required a lot of patience.  Great work Bözse!

Quote: What's Stopping You?

"When you feel like quitting, think about why you started."

It is so easy to get lost in the long list of unfinished tasks. But I believe when we remind ourselves the passion we have put into our work, why we choose to love this profession, and how hard have we fought to be what we are now, the thoughts will generate a motivation to push us through yet another challenge.