August 30, 2013

5 Things Friday: 5 Futuristic Home Living Ideas

internet of things, futuristic, connected devices, Yi Wei Lim, yiweilim

Imagine turning off your alarm clock in the morning, which prompts your espresso maker to start making a merry cup of coffee. Or a more complex example: your high-tech fridge keeps an inventory of what's inside, and if you run out of tomatoes, it notifies your local grocer or an online delivery service to save you a trip to the grocer's. 

Welcome to the "Internet of Things". As more and more devices connect to the Internet, the idea of connecting such devices over a (secondary) network so that they interact with each other is becoming ever more a reality.

The espresso maker example above? Actually, that's what internet service IFTTT does. IFTTT, short for "If This, Then That" integrates web services with devices without writing any code. (For more on IFTTT, click here.)

Anyway, you get the gist... let's proceed to this week's countdown. I'm looking at online design magazine PSFK for inspiration today! In July, PSFK launched an interactive exhibition called "The Future of Home Living" in New York. Some of the exhibits provide more adaptability in how we imagine and arrange our things at home. However, we're counting down exhibits that utilise the "Internet of Things" concept... so here we go:

PSFK, PSFK Future of Home Living, futuristic home, internet of things, 5 Things Friday, Yi Wei Lim, yiweilim

5. Belkin WeMo Switch

"If you can plug it in, you can control it with WeMo." The WeMo adapter lets you plug your devices in, and control and even schedule them from your smartphone. Pretty neat!

Hmmm, might be good for Malaysians. In the light of truly horrifying crime stories featuring the most audacious of criminals, I wonder if the ability to schedule devices to turn on and off could add to a house's security features...

August 29, 2013

Topping iTunes Charts: A 96-Year-Old Man's Song to His Late Wife

Fred Stobaugh, Green Shoe Studio, Fred Stobaugh Oh Sweet Lorraine, Oh Sweet Lorraine, yiweilim, Yi Wei Lim, Jacob Colgan

When Illinois-based music studio Green Shoe Studio launched a singer-songwriter contest to gauge local talent, they had no clue what they were in for. One of the submissions came from 96-year-old Fred Stobaugh who wrote a love song to his recently deceased wife Lorraine (married 73 years!). Despite the competition requiring online submissions on YouTube and Fred's submission arriving in a thick manila envelope, along with a letter explaining the song, Fred's story so touched the crew at Green Shoe Studio that they decided to produce the song at no cost to Fred.

Yi Wei Lim, Fred Stobaugh, Lorraine, Oh Sweet Lorraine, Green Shoe Studio

Now complete, the song, "Oh Sweet Lorraine", features the voice and instrumentals of Jacob Colgan. The song is currently at the top of the iTunes Singer/Songwriter Chart! After that, a documentary titled "A Letter from Fred" has been released.

Tell me this isn't the cutest, sweetest thing ever. Some people are so blessed to possess such enduring and tender love. Hoping Fred has the best of health and happiness despite the passing of his wife.

Discovered via My Modern Met.
Images: here, here.

August 23, 2013

5 Things Friday: 5 Amazing Finds from the New IKEA 2014 Catalog

Yi Wei Lim, yiweilim, IKEA Catalog 2014

The IKEA 2014 Catalog is out, and like its predecessors, it is a work of art and makes for great flipping. If you're a 20-something-year-old, it is quite likely that your first apartment will contain some IKEA furniture. I'm an IKEA fan for its sleek Nordic design... although I do concur that some of its furniture aren't thaaaaat sturdy. Nevertheless, the Catalog is a great source of visual inspiration for home decorating!

For 2014, the Catalog leverages technology... Besides an online version, IKEA has made the Catalog available on the iPhone, iPad, and Android. Even better, you can scan and upload photos of your living spaces and insert IKEA furniture to get an instant virtual preview! (This is going to be fun for my new dorm room :D.)

Colour trends seem to lean toward red and greens, and stripes, geometrical shapes and woven textures are in. Here are some of the items I love from the Catalog:

5. New STOCKHOLM vase (pg. 26-27)
Yi Wei Lim, yiweilim, IKEA Catalog 2014, Stockholm, vase
I'm a sucker for anything in teal, but there is something really appealing about the smooth curves and translucency of the vases.

August 22, 2013

Art Projects This Week

I finished moving out on Monday night... yay! Anyway, these are some mini-art projects that I've been working on this week:

1. A paint chip / Pantone swatch wall art piece inspired by DIY blog 'A Beautiful Mess' for my lovely friend Soo
paint chip wall art, wall art, a beautiful mess, yi wei lim, art projects this week

I didn't use paint swatches (paint swatches are these little colour-coded cards you get when you're choosing wall paint usually). Instead, I used these little coloured paper squares that have been sitting in my craft drawer back home in Malaysia since forever. It's so easy and pretty, and I think I might try different colour schemes for my other wonderful girl friends.

2. Messing around with my calligraphy pen
Gothic, calligraphy, Yi Wei Lim, yiweilim, Art Projects This Week

I started practising Gothic lettering a few weeks ago actually. Did some revision while having wine with my former housemates. Such a great Friday evening. 

I'm also trying to master typography and different font styles. It's pretty fascinating to attempt to convey artistically the spirit of the words. I think the font below is sweet:
you're incredible, sweet typography, typograhy, calligraphy, font, Yi Wei Lim, Art Projects This Week

Capped off my practice with a quick Lady Gaga sketch with her Alexander McQueen "Jellyfish" shoes seen in "Bad Romance". I just watched the video of her latest single, "Applause". It's not as catchy / does not have a melodic hook compared to her previous songs, such as "Bad Romance"'s "ra-ra-ah-ah-ah", or packs much power (I listened to "Telephone" yesterday after a long time, and loved the sheer power in that song) but it still retains that unique Gaga artistry. 

Yi Wei Lim, Lady Gaga, calligraphy pen sketch, The Fame Monster, Monster, Art Projects This Week

What do you think I should do next? :) Off to practise more!

August 16, 2013

5 Things Friday: 5 Ways to Make Moving Out Less Painful

I realised that I missed posting last week's "5 Things Friday" edition, which is rather shameful of me and I apologise. I returned to Hong Kong last Friday, and didn't have a very restful sleep on the flight so I was very much a woolly-headed creature. 

Anyway, this week we're covering "5 Ways to Make Moving Out Less Painful"! Since my return to HK, I've been packing to move out of my current apartment, and back to my university hall. Moving out can be a very stressful period, especially when you begin to take out everything that you have and wonder how you managed to accumulate SO MANY things in x period, and have a mini brain freeze at the idea of organising things and getting rid of stuff you don't need.

5 Ways to Make Moving Out Less Painful, Yi Wei Lim, yiweilim

5. Make a list. 
I've to say I have it relatively easy - I'm not house-hunting or taking any furniture with me. However, if you are, you'll be needing a notebook - a sort of "Moving Central". Grab a business planner with rings, so that you can easily slot in envelopes and business card holders. You'll find the card holders handy during house-hunting days when you meet countless property agents, and later on when you actually begin moving, you'll be collecting the numbers of movers and handymen. 

When you pack, use your notebook to list down what's in your boxes. Be as specific as possible; instead of writing "Clothes 1", "Clothes 2", write "John's winter wear", etc.

August 9, 2013

40 Days of Dating: A Happy Ending?

40 Days of Dating: A Happy Ending?, Yi Wei Lim, yiweilim, 40 days of dating

...Or a curious project / social experiment, in the least. If you've yet to hear about this project by New Yorker graphic designer friends, Timothy ("Tim") Goodman and Jessica ("Jessie") Walsh, you heard it here then!

Frustrated with the dating scene in the Big Apple, Tim and Jessie embarked on a 40-day project in April 2013 during which they tried dating each other. Their experience has been now chronicled on the website '40 Days of Dating', which is updated every weekday, beginning from July 10, 2013, till August 22, 2013.

August 7, 2013

Collaboration with IndieVerse: Saltillo Music Review

Saltillo, music review, Saltillo music review, Monocyte, Ganglion, IndieVerse, Yi Wei Lim, yiweilim

Last week, I was so very kindly invited to collaborate with indie music blog IndieVerse. Thank you IndieVerse for the opportunity!

You can read it here: Saltillo - The Darker Side of Trip Hop

Run by my friend Mark Siew, IndieVerse is a great blog to check out if you're tired of mainstream music, or as the blog states, "When mainstream music disappoints". Mark's hard work and solid networking skills have helped establish IndieVerse as a bridge between music lovers yearning for more and talented albeit little-known artistes. Besides music reviews, there are band interviews and expert articles. The layout of IndieVerse is simple, stripped down to what's really essential: good music. 

Do check out the article and Saltillo himself (he is immensely talented), and please feel free to drop Mark a note if you have any ideas / good music to share! 

August 5, 2013

Beat the Monday Blues: Watch 408 Hot Air Balloons Take Off at the Same Time

It's the beginning of another week, and some of us are back in the office. (Not me though, I'm on my summer break... which ends in 3 weeks!) 

Anyway, I've got a video that will hopefully make you smile. Taken last week at the Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons in France, it shows 408 air balloons being launched, breaking a world record for mass take-off (the standing record was at 343 balloons). Thanks to some photographers on scene, we're able to see how the launch looked like. This one is from Stephane Tauziede:

As seen from a sunflower field - fabulous shot!

All these hot air balloon talk reminds me of Cappadocia in Turkey. Cappadocia is one of the world's best ballooning sites, with marvelous, unique views of carved cave villages and rock formations below. My aunts holidayed there - simply fantastic. Definitely a place to pin onto my dream travel list!

Wishing you a great week!

Images: here, here

August 4, 2013

DIY Inspiration: Washi Tape

My washi tape from Daiso (RM 5 per set). Daiso is a massive franchise of 100-yen shops, and its stores are available worldwide.

I love inspiration hunting, even more so when you find an absolutely brilliant DIY idea or life hack (I'm quite a "hands-on" person). This time, I'm eyeing washi tape, something you may have encountered if you spend some time on Pinterest, Etsy, or any other DIY/craft blog.

Washi tape, as its name indicates, originates from Japan, and is in essence masking/sticky tape that is patterned. Made from natural fibers such as bamboo and hemp, or the bark of native Japanese trees, washi tape is as strong as duct tape, besides being pretty and great for decorative use.

So you've got your rolls of washi tape in hand; where can you start decorating?

August 2, 2013

6 Steps to Creating a Hipster Logo

A few days ago, I came across this delightful infographic titled 'The Hipster Logo Design Guide'. This brightly-coloured chart by Texan-born, San Francisco-based designer Tim Delger not-so-subtly pokes fun at the paradox of the hipster subculture in terms of wanting to be non-conformist but ironically turning out alike. Digressing, Tim's work is varied, encompassing print making, painting, sculpture, furniture making, and commercial art, so do check him out.

Since 'The Hipster Logo Design Guide' consists of 6 easy steps, I decided to try my hand at it! Here are the instructions... let's go!

5 Things Friday: Papercut Artists

Happy Friday to all of you! 

"5 Things Friday" is a themed list to be published every Friday. This week, I'd like to introduce to you 5 papercut artists!

5. Jonathan Chapman of Mr Yen

A papercut artist with over 4 years of experience (work pictured above), Jonathan under the name of Mr.Yen creates designs by hand and scalpel that are bespoke. His portfolio includes Oprah Magazine, House and Garden Magazine, and a Christmas window display for Edinburgh indie boutique Hannah Zakari (which has some cute jewelry - I'll check it out and write soon!). Jonathan derives inspiration from nature. You can also find him writing in his wonderfully minimalist-themed blog here.

August 1, 2013

Hello and Welcome!

Hello and welcome to my blog! I'm so excited to start this little adventure with you guys.

This blog is a part of my effort to constantly "smell the roses". It's so easy to be caught up in routines, deadlines and the general hustle and bustle of life. I'm based in Hong Kong, a city known for its unrelenting pace of life... Everything in HK is fast, from the trains to the elevators to the checkout lady at the supermarket. It's great for efficiency but at the same time, it doesn't hurt to take a break and explore and enjoy all the amazing things around us. 

Leaving the city for hiking at beautiful Tai Long Sai Wan, HK

I hope you enjoy the upcoming posts. I've been working on some projects and am very excited to share them with you!

Stay tuned,
Yi Wei