Friday, August 27, 2010

Měiwèi (Delicious!)

Recently some Chinese friends helped me reminisce about the year I spent teaching English in China by teaching me how to cook some of my favorite Chinese dishes!  These aren't what you'll find at the local Chinese restaurant in America, and I love that I now know how to make some authentic Chinese food!
Chungming taught me to make Di San Chen (Three Fresh Vegetables).  This is Green Pepper, Potato, and Eggplant.

So delicious, but though it might seem healthy know that you have to try each piece of vegetable in oil!
Next we made Gong Bao Ji Din, which is chicken with peanuts, green onion, and cucumber.  Its a little spicy.

Then Bing taught me how to make Tomato & Egg (Don't know the pinyin for this one!).  It basically scrambled egg with tomatoes and a little sugar. 

What a feast!  We had a fun time talking about Shijiazhuang--which happens to be both the city I lived in and the city where they grew up!  I am reminded again and again that it is so valuable to have friends all over the world.

Monday, August 23, 2010

London Review of Books

Today I got to see my ad design in the London Review of Books!  Yay!  We've already advertised The Townsend Papers in the NY Review of Books, which was also cool, but when I opened up the package sent from across the pond and looked at our copy, I got a little chill when I saw something I had made printed inside.  Its not a review of the book I thought I was going to write back when I was a child, but it is still pretty fun to see. :)

Cover above, and the ad below, page 8!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chew on This

One of my latest assignments in design class was a fun one-- designing gum packaging!  This was a group project, and after lots of hard work I am happy to say that I love our final product!
Our conceptual inspiration was based on the fresh, minty flavors of the gum (pepperment, spearmint, icy mint).  From there, our visual inspiration came from the plants themselves and then the water and earth that support them, which led to a desire to produce an environmentally aware package. We chose a tin, with a design that was pretty enough to catch a consumer's eye and hopefully make the box something they want to keep and reuse!

Inside, you get a pretty sticker that has a similar design but less branding/package-y text.  Consumers can stick this over the original label, making the box something they treasure! If this was for real, we may have embossed the tin itself, but this was our substitute. 
The inside wrapper around the gum lists ideas for reusing the tin. 

It was fun to see our finished product, and would have been even more fun if these were actually going to show up on the shelves at Target, as was the hypothetical assignment.  Maybe someday...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Van Scoy Kids Retreat

For the last few years my siblings and I have made a point to get together for some quality time, usually near where one of us lives. This year we met up on the Oregon coast!  We stayed in a lovely house near the beach, played cards, explored, and caught up on life.  So much fun. Now I'm in the airport getting geared up for sad the weekend of fun is over!  
Self-timer on the beach!

What views!!
I didn't take too many more photos, because much of the rest of the time was spent cooking in our wonderful house, playing phase ten, calling Grandma, and other fun things.  We DID visit the famous Tillamook Cheese Factory, but we'll have to wait for sister to share her photos before I can show you that wonder!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rejoice! Free Music & The Weekend is Here (almost)

You know I love discovering new music, especially when it's free music!  So when my friend Lisa forwarded me this free download of the Outside Lands Sampler I was overjoyed!  I've never coughed up the money to go to this festival, but they always have such an amazing line-up, and an amazing poster too. While I'm sad I'm not going this year, I'm very excited to enjoy a getaway in Oregon with my siblings!  No matter what you're plans are this weekend, check out these tunes so you can jam out while you're doing it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New work

I've been designing like crazy at work.  Here are a few new pieces; first a postcard for our film series, and 2nd a flier for the Course Threads Program for undergrads at UC Berkeley. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Google Fights

I know some people who work as editors who may think this is horrible, but sometimes when I'm trying to decide whether to use nation-state or nation state, 5th Century or fifth-century, in writing and I just can't find that old Chicago Manual of Style, I do an internet search to figure out what it used more, and thus what might be more correct.  Now I know there are many fallacies associated with this, but still, I have to share the newest tool I found for such comparisons...GOOGLE FIGHT!!  

At this fun little spot you put in two things and let the internet dual it out, polling google results to see what appears more! There are little fighting guys while your results are calculating.  Here are some fun fights they have:

God vs. Satan
Mac Donalds vs. Burger King
Headache vs. Aspirin

Lately, I've been swamped with my design class assignments, so I looked in to the magic crystal ball and made a fight between me and Homework.  Phew!  Looks like I'm going to make it...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Friends, Birthdays, Adventures

Its been two weeks since my birthday but I haven't gotten around to posting because I wanted to finish up Guatemala posts.  However, I had a great birthday week and want to thank everyone who helped make it so special!  On the actual day I was very busy with work and class, but two of my housemates surprised me at work with flowers and whisked me away to a lovely lunch at Intermezzo (Also mystery named Cafe Mattina sometimes...Pretty much the best salads in the world). Then on the weekend we met up at Le Bateau Ivre for a drink, and then had a bunch of friends over for mojitos and guacamole in the backyard. It was blissful!

So lovely in the afternoon sun.
Yummy ice cream cake! I share a birthday with Anders (housemate), so we got two cakes!
To top it all off, some of us went kayaking in Half Moon Bay.  

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Guatemala: Man-Made Beauty

For my last Guatemala post, I had to complement all the natural photos of my last post with some of the other wonders I saw on my trip. 
The ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Tikal-- phenomenal!
Here we are in the ruins of a cathedral back in Antigua.  
In the small village of San Marco (right on Lake Atitlan), there was this wonderful wall made of soda bottles, filled with trash.  This was part of an effort the town made to reduce litter.  I love the concept!  I also saw a sauna made of wine bottles cemented together in a beautiful pattern.  The idea of reusing things to make even our houses is very interesting to me. 
This one isn't so beautiful.  And it represents both natural and man-made I guess!  Its one of many roads that were wrecked by the torrential rains that came along with Hurricane Agatha.  This little disaster made a 2 hour drive to the lake 4 hours: here we were just ten minutes from San Marcos, but since we couldn't pass we had to turn around and go ALL THE WAY around the lake to get there, adding another 2 hours to the trip!  
But, it was worth it!  San Marco was beautiful.  This is the view from the honeymoon suite of a place where we ate brunch. 
The whole hotel was decorated with ornate mosaics that a French artists had done.  This is the bathroom in that same suite.  One thing you should know about me is that I love love love mosaic.  This was my dream spot.