One Month of Drawing

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I did it. I sketched 31 things in 31 days, doing sketches daily (for the most part) during March as part of Articulations Filler Up sketchbook challenge. While not all of the drawings were particularly great it taught me many things:

  • Not to be so self-critical. The reason I used to not draw much was because often I would trash everything I started because I didn’t like it. I also erased often leading to many unfinished works. Having to finish many in a short time left me less time to be critical
  • You can make art with anything. Living the example of my grandfather who made art on literally anything I also didn’t limit myself. Some days I drew with fancy pencils, other days ball-poit pens or lead pencils
  • Making time. My excuse for not drawing (or any other thing for that matter) was that I didn’t have enough time. Time is always available if I make an effort to try to set some aside.
  • Ideas come from anything. Don’t know what do draw? Draw the glass you are drinking out of, the beer you’re drinking. Literally anything is a subject.
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Brunch @ Saving Grace

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On Saturday I had brunch at Saving Grace. I had previously heard that it is usually packed but we were luckily to be seated right when we arrived by a dude that looked like he hated life. There was a line immediately behind us waiting outside the small space.

I ordered french toast with gruyere, onions, mushrooms. I actually didn’t realize it was a sandwich until I received it. It also came with a side of salad and flat crispy potatos. While the sandwich was good, I felt the “french toast” part of it didn’t really add to it. It lacked sweetness for one, and the softness wasn’t my favourite for use as sandwich bread.

The price was around average for a brunch place in Toronto but elsewhere I could’ve got a fancy eggs benny for the same price. Maybe I ordered the wrong thing but I don’t know if I’d be back if I wasn’t lucky and had to wait in line!

Saving Grace on Urbanspoon

What I Saw During Earth Hour 2015

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Last night the annual Earth Hour took place from 8:30-9:30 encouraging people around the world to turn off their lights and devices for an hour. I decided to turn off all the lights and go for a walk.

Originally, I planned to take photos of my journey with my new gear. I packed it with me and decided it would be exempt from the “no devices during earth hour” thing. However, I realized that it wasn’t a good idea to be flashing expensive equipment around on a particularly dark night (since i was walking alone). Instead, I took a mental note of the things I saw and when I got home immediately jotted them down in a notebook.

I had not taken many walks at night in my neighbourhood, but I discovered so many things:
– There’ s a coffee shop that also fixes guitars
– There are many places opened later than I thought, and are very lively
– a giant walnut in front of a nut store
– very creepy mannequins in some store windows
– a space-themed cafe
– many out of place phonebooths
– places that are beautiful to look at but I have no idea what they sell
– antique shops (tons of them)
– the fortune teller is very popular
– many popular places that don’t seem to have names
– people wondering where the ATMS are

It’s amazing how many things can go unnoticed. I definitely have to venture into some of the places sometime!

Testing the Canon 85mm 1.2L II

Went to @downtowncamera for the first time. Great customer service! New toy 😁

A post shared by Tiana Feng (@tianafeng) on

After thinking about it for months, I finally purchased the Canon 85mm 1.2L II lens at Downtown Camera. It is currently on sale for $400 less in Canada at authorized retailers.

I also happened to have visted my friend Steph today, so I decided to test the new lens on her delicious pastries!
Cream Puff by Petit Nuage
Macarons by Petit Nuage
Nimbus Macaron by Petit Nuage
Macarons by Petit Nuage
Macarons by Petit Nuage

Macarons by Petit Nuage.

What Do People Do With Each Other Between Meals?

Brunch at the Beverley Hotel
Brunch at the Beverley Hotel

Ever since transitioning into adulthood – the strange world after univeristy/college – my social life has noticeably changed. People have become busier because of their careers or because they have started families. The only times I’ve hung out with people are at concerts (but those are a different kind of people) or while having a meal.

It’s like I don’t know what to do with people if we are not eating (or having the drink which I put under the same category). I don’t think it’s entirely my fault either. I think meal plans are more concrete, everybody has to eat and they can easily be booked in your calendar. Want to meet me at the restaurant for 6pm? sounds like a better plan that Want to come over and play board games? One sounds a lot easier to cancel than the other. Plus, who knows if the other person wants to play games with you, but again.. everybody has to eat.

Food also helps with any awkward silences. You can have the excuse “too busy eating to talk”. Also when it’s over, you are not obligated to continue the night. This is different when you invite someone over to your house and you want to go to bed but you still have to kick the person out.

I seriously don’t know what adults do with each other between meals. I can amuse myself fine: with blogging, cleaning, art and various hobbies but it’s hard to invite someone else into those situations (unless hey, you really want to help me clean my apartment).

What do you do with your friends?

Recommended Ciders: Brickworks & Okanagan Pear

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A lot of the times I prefer cider to beer because I find them more drinkable with meals. Like beers, I’ve been looking to try more Canadian-made craft beers rather than the mass-produced kinds. My recent favourites are Brickworks Premium Dry Cider and Okanagan’s Dry Pear.

The Brickworks also comes in a semi-sweet variety (which I haven’t tried yet). They are made with 100% Ontario apples Their site says that “No apple in our cider travels further than 300 kilometres from the tree to the Ciderhouse.” 5% of all their profits also go to environmental organization Evergreen. Their apple cider is perfectly balanced in term of sweetness. It goes down easy like apple juice but doesn’t feel too sugary.

While Okanagan makes an apple cider I decided to try the pear. On their website there are actually a variety of fruit ciders. Anyways the pear cider was nice and crisp. It wasn’t like the Sir Perry Pear cider that was way too sweet, the Okanagan balanced the sweetness as well as Brickworks.

With both these ciders I didn’t feel like I was having some “girly” drink. These were authentic to the fruit flavour but tart enough to be an adult drink.

Pages From My Sketchbook Pt. 3

We’re nearing the end of March and I have some catch up to do in terms of filling up my sketchbook in time for the challenge but here are a few more random pages:

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Dollarama Review: Bejeweled Blitz

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One of the biggest treasure troves of Dollarama is its toy selection. I wish I had such a cheap selection of toys at my disposal when I was a kid. Anyways, recently I picked up Bejeweled Bitz, a game that began originally as a Facebook game.

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The box comes in a nice case of 84 cards that have two gems on each. There are also 7 plastic boost gems you collect for extra points.

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The game is played by drawing cards and making lines of cards. Matching 3 in a row combines those cards into a deck. Chains can also be made as a result (like the real game). The game is over when the deck runs out. The winner is the person with the most points. Points are calculated by counting the numbers of cards in your largest pile. The jewels count as 5 extra points each and are obtained by being the first person to make a row of the corresponding shape.

The game is a lot of chance, but there’s some thinking involved to in terms of where you place the cards. For $3, this was actually worth it as it’s a great adaptation of the mobile game.

My Life is a TV Sitcom

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Do you ever feel like you are the embarrassing character in a sitcom? There are times where I feel like I am such a clutz that everything bad or terrible always happens to me. Sometimes at the same time. I can never seem to catch a break.

I was having such a great weekend and then I dropped my external hard drive. Thankfully it still works. Then I lost my Metropass somehow. My Monday is off to a great start.

Sometimes these things would send me into a downward spiral . It’s hard not to want to cry, and sometimes that’s okay.  But really whenever bad things happen, I think about times where I have had it worse. When there was a fire on the subway and it is delayed followed by buses that couldn’t make it up the hill because of a storm. The time I was cleaning the house and then tripped over the broomstick and hit my head on the counter. A slip and fall on ice that scraped my knee, another in front of a packed bus.

Somehow thinking of myself like a weird character in my own life story makes me feel a little bit better. I can laugh it off and know that I’ll live to tell another episode.

Follow Me on Meerkat!

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Meerkat is the latest craze in live video streaming that was buzzing at SXSW. It has great potential as a way to share live events and push it to Twitter. However, Twitter actually purchased a very similar app called Periscope. But it is Meerkat that is getting more of the attention and has already raised over $12 million in venture capital funding.

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 3.53.28 PMLast night I streamed my own video for the first time. It was a live feed of my turtles (basically doing nothing) and it gained 15 viewers in seconds, many of which weren’t previously my Twitter followers. I don’t know where they came from but I guess the app is so popular now that people are looking for new feeds to follow!

You can find me at http://meerkatapp.co/tianafeng/.