Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Reviewing Despicable Me 3 - Minion Toy

Hello everyone, you look lovely today. How are you?

Today is about day 2 of my 'aunt flo'. I am cramping and I look awful, lol. It is however, Review Wednesday (July 19, 2017) and today we're having a quick look at a Minion Happy Meal toy. We'll mostly be doing photos, but I took a couple of awkward one-handed videos to show that vibrates and is supposed to 'fly'.

Which is why I dub him...

'Flying Kevin'!

 Here he is, wrapped in plastic, saying - 'Somebody let me outta here!'

His instructions say (like IKEA furniture ones) that he has a switch on his back that causes him to vibrate and you should toss him to a friend, rather than hold him. I am here alone so I didn't get the full effect, lol.

A close-up of the switch. It seemed to have a mind of it's own and worked about 60% of the time I was turning it, hahaha.


Here is the first video I tried to take, when I finally got him vibrating. I tried to stand 'Flying Kevin' upright, but his feet are at such an angle that if he's not held, he falls down. Much like a toddler.


This video is slightly worse than the other one, but that's okay. Not everything in life is perfect, and it is that imperfection that keeps it beautiful.

And I saved my very favorite photo for last - since the whole 'Minion craze' started a few years back, I immediately saw the uncanny resemblance to my husband Rob!

To this day, he disagrees. "I do not look like a Minion.." he claims.

BTW, the picture on our computer is from our first date on August 11, 2008. We still lived in Calgary then, and so we enjoyed a day at Devonian Gardens and around downtown. Our wedding was held exactly 3 years later - August 11, 2011. We had that at Heritage Park, historical village. If you are visiting Calgary, we highly recommend Heritage Park - and Devonian Gardens.

Thank you for taking a moment out of your busy day to spend with me - much appreciated!

The date is now July 19, but this was originally drawn on the above date.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Learning Some Japanese

Hello friends!
I had a very cool conversation recently with a really nice young lady who works at Dairy Queen in Deer Park, just 20 minutes away from our home.

I don't want to have a 'swollen head'... in fact, the opposite is true - I'm beginning to get recognized more & more by strangers since getting this Kawaii365 project out there. And it makes me feel humble and full of gratitude 💓

Yesterday Rob & I stopped for lunch there, and when we had donated to the children's hospital via the Children's Miracle Network, I automatically wrote some kawaii stuff on the paper balloon.

When the super sweet girl came to our table moments later, she asked if I could speak Japanese, and that started a really nice discussion about going to Japan and seeing the Hello Kitty theme parks.

I've been pondering on her question about being able to speak Japanese - I know only a little, but alas there are others out there who would like to know even that. So here goes:

Konnichiwa - good day, hello.

Konbanwa - specifically, good evening.

Hajimemashite, dozo yoroshiku - "I am meeting you for the first time, I shall look forward to your kindness"

Kawaii - cute, 'glowing face' (which explains the rosy cheeks).

Domo, Domo Arigatou, Arigatou, etc. - various ways of saying thank you, depending on event.

Sayanora - goodbye; often informal.

Sumimasen - a formal 'sorry'. Also used for 'excuse me' in public.

Kudasai - common 'please'. Often used in context like 'please give me...'

Nyan - 'meow'

Neko - cat or kitty. 'Maneki Neko' is Lucky Cat.

Usagi - bunny - sooo cute!

Banzai! - A Japanese cheer, often said before drinking Sake (sah-kay).

Itadakimasho - "let's eat!"

-San - Adding this after someone's name (often surname) shows respect, like saying 'Mr.'

Chocolate (yes please!) - chokoreto.

Coffee Shop - Kohii Shoppu.

Dozo - "please, help yourself."

Matsuri - festivals (very popular, esp. in Harujuku and Tokyo).

Kigurumi - 'large wearable toy', often refers to adult onesies (like PJs). Love these!

Yukata - a light-weight, cotton robe (similar to a kimino in style, but way less fancy).

Hai - yes.  The Japanese word for 'no' is iie, but they don't like to say it because it's considered rude. They are a very polite culture that would prefer not to rebut.

Hashi - chopsticks. Great for sushi! Or anything cooked in tempura (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

Umami - a sort of savory, meaty flavor.

And Some vowel info for easier pronunciation when reading Romaji (Japanese in the Roman alphabet which is why it looks familiar):

There are no diphthongs in this language (yay!). That means each vowel can be pronounced independently for the most part. This means that:

A sounds like 'ah'
E sounds like 'eh'
I sounds like a long 'ee'
O sounds like 'oh'
and U sounds like 'oo'

So for example, using one of the above words, the word 'please' sounds like Koo-dah-sah-ee.

And when you have a moment - thank you for checking out the new line of cute animal characters inspired by this year-long blog project - Zoo'd Blog

Thank you for reading,
have a great day!

Monday, 17 July 2017

New Characters Coming Soon

Good evening, konbanwa (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

So as you know, this blog has brought me a very far way as an artist since 2016. My heart is filled with an abundance of gratitude! 💗

And now, with inspiration from many of you, there is a new line of characters coming your way. It is exciting to work a little each day to bring them to life, and it's an honor to get to introduce them to you soon 😍

They are Zoo'd Animal Hybrid Friends - they like to go by Zoo'd for short.

Many thanks to you all!
Daryl J.

What's Cute This Week - July 17, 2017

Hello and welcome to a new spin on 'Are They Kawaii?' as I most recently was exposed to some very kawaii things IRL (in real life).

To start off, today is July 17 - which means it's World Emoji Day!!

How will you be celebrating? For some inspiration on emoji, see this cute post here.

And last night in bed, I was flipping channels and came across a very sweet game show (hosted by the forever good-looking Mario Lopez) based on the popular Candy Crush game app. I didn't know this was a thing, and it looks awesome!

Rob & I had a very nice weekend together in Sylvan Lake, Alberta. While we were there, I was visually bombarded by the large, colorful and painfully cute pool floaties of passers-by!

Though I didn't take pictures of them specifically, I thought the donut, the unicorn and the others were worth sharing with you guys!

Image result for kawaii pool floaties   Image result for kawaii pool floaties

If you live in Alberta and are planning a trip to Sylvan Lake, be sure to stop by More Moo or Big Moo for food, ice cream and some cute summer fun items!

Are you at least the age of majority (18-21+) in your region?

Okay, good. I want to tell you about a really nice scratch ticket Rob & I recently did (it was $3 and I won the $3 back too). It's called Rainbow Treasures, and it is much like the Lucky Lines scratch & win tickets, where you uncover symbols to reveal an entire line for a cash prize.

If you have access to these tickets in your region, I strongly suggest trying them! Even if you don't get a cash prize from it, the pastel visuals will give you a Dopamine and Oxytocin rush!

Thank you for your time today!

Stay tuned to this blog, as we're soon going to be introducing a new line of characters with their own blog, coloring books, web comics and tee shirts! I love designing so much, and your support is much appreciated!!

Have a sweet day! xoxo
Daryl J.

Friday, 14 July 2017

First Feature Friday (Since End of Kawaii365 Project)

Hello friends!

Still coming to terms here - it is still surreal that 365 art projects flew by over a year. It literally made me a bigger, more talented/skilled and open-minded person.

And it's an honor to share that joy with you (✿◠‿◠)

Before we meet today's (July 14's) #FeatureFriday cutie, here is another 'brag'. I also got featured with Red Deer Express. This city has amazing news media outlets and people! So glad to have moved here in 2015. Aside from the obvious getting married, it's the best thing Rob & I have done (and getting this condo too).

Sharing this story isn't so much about bragging, as it is about reaching out to other artists and creatives, and encouraging y'all to follow your dreams. Don't worry what others tell you, or think of your goals. Believe in yourself, and just try it. You may be pleasantly surprised by what happens!

And today it is an honor to meet Tomoto from Kyoto, Japan. She graduated from Kyoto Art University Visual Design Department and is a freelance illustrator, known for kawaii-style food & animal scenes.

Impressively, she has a lot of corporate clients, ranging from Sanrio to Panasonic (my husband's very favorite electronics brand, BTW). In her spare time, she runs a cute blog by cute cartoon Panda, 'Berry' (who lives in Macaron Town).

My Photo

Her blog is called 'Sweet Life' and is primarily focused around desserts! Yay!

 Berry the bear holding up a big chocolate heart for Valentine's Day of 2017. I really appreciate that she has a regular character. So sweet!

Have a look at this cute 'foodie couple':


Thank you for taking a moment to enjoy some cuteness from fellow kawaii artists - and seriously, who doesn't love cookies, donuts, ice cream, cake and fruit? (before you say 'Diabetics', these items *do come sugar-free).

Rob & I will be enjoying Sylvan Lake together this weekend - wishing you all the best!

Daryl J.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

So What Now?

Konnichiwa friends!

As you know on July 10 of this year, the Kawaii365 art project came to an official end. I can't lie, it is a little depressing. I feel that because I got so used to it (it only takes 2 months to form a habit, and this was 6x that). The feeling of self-expression and trying new crafts or drawing styles, became a little bit addictive (●´ω`●)

However, there is a great feeling of pride, gratitude and excitement. It's still surreal how fast the year went, as how far this 'cute art' project was able to go. I cannot take full credit, since a lot of it came from collaboration. There are too many names to list, but if you're reading this, then you know who you are. Whether you hired me for an art program or event, commission work, or helped me network by sharing samples of my art - I appreciate you (✿◠‿◠)

So there have been people asking: 'What are you going to do with the blog now?' And that's a great question. I'd still love to do a 'Are The Kawaii?/Review Wednesday/Feature Friday' (every second day) schedule on this blog. Yesterday, we didn't do one since we're still in 'wrap-up' mode.

However, I will do my best to have a Feature Friday available for you guys tomorrow! Connecting with others in the kawaii, arts and blogging community is one of my favorite things 💗

Also, every 3rd month or so, I like to 'challenges' with regards to Japanese art or culture. See the KaraokeChallenge and KigurumiChallenge.

Currently, we are doing an OrigamiChallenge - you are encouraged to make some paper art and then share it on your social media, while tagging this blog so we can find you and share your work.

The above are some samples of the origami I've tried so far. Thanks to Chrissy from Paper Kawaii, I am learning new ones too. Yay!

So stay tuned on this blog - there will be upcoming posts, including horoscopes (like this one). I'd also like to try some Japanese and Korean beauty products and routines - so let me know if you have any suggestions!

And, speaking of features, check out this one from Red Deer News Now:

I never want to let this kind of coverage go to my head - it is the people of Red Deer (and others I've met via this blog) who made this possible! Thank you! xoxo

And just so you know, today, July 13, is National Fry Day! If you live in the USA, please enjoy some free (or cheaper price) French fries today!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Konnichiwa Kawaii - The Last of 365 Days

Or maybe, instead of konnichiwa (good day and hello), I should be saying sayonara kawaii?

It's official! All 365 kawaii-cute art projects are now done.

I feel all sorts of things this evening you guys. I feel:

Proud. Surprised. Excited. Sad. Hopeful. Content. Smarter than I was before. More confident now.

If this is your first time tuning into this blog, here's a little background on it:

On July 10, 2016 I started this Kawaii365 blog with high hopes and an open mind. The idea came to me after reading a book called "Unstuck: 52 Ways To Get (And Keep) Your Creativity Flowing At Home, At Work & In Your Studio" by Skull-A-Day author, Noah Scalin.

I won this book from the downtown library here in Red Deer. Rob knew that I recently became a fan of adult coloring, and so there was an adult coloring event there, which we attended for date night. It was a very pleasant surprise to win anything, much-less this awesome creativity book.

Now, I had earned my Art Diploma from SCI in Quebec back in 2009, but aside from some odd jobs here & there, I never really 'became' an artist. Instead, I just settled for being a retail worker and became a housewife, often just doing chores and not following my real career passion.

So a huge thank you to my husband Rob for paying attention to what interests his wifey, and taking the initiative here. After reading this book for about a week (got it on July 3 from what I remember), I kept thinking about all the amazing authors, musicians and visual artists featured in the book, and all the neat projects. These were all people who swallowed their pride, faced their fears and dove in head first - so I did too.

The above is a picture of the very first, #1/365, project. I didn't know exactly what to make first, so I just started carrying a marker around with me and watched for 'blank canvases'. A coffee cup lid seemed perfect - this one was from Second Cup just off Gaetz Avenue.

I promise they got better after this, lol. Well, somewhat. There have definitely been some 'flops' like the 2 below, but it's all part of learning & growing, as both an artist and a person.

So if you live in Red Deer (or Calgary where Rob & I used to live), then you know I'm shy by nature. It could be a Pisces thing, or because according to Myers-Briggs,  I'm an INFJ (so mostly introverted and more emotionally sensitive). And therefore, this project was one of the best decisions I've ever made!

It not only caused me to get out and meet more people in the city (and collaborate with other artists), it caused me to think with a more open mind. I developed more self-esteem, found myself forgiving others more easily, started seeing life with a more positive outlook and developed a greater interest in learning (which helps with Spanish and playing keyboard).

I also got honored to be part of some awesome events in the city, such as Alberta Culture Days and Art Battle International.

And when it started to dawn on me... I'm a real, legitimate professional graphic and visual artist (and cartoonist), I began offering commission work on Fiverr. I have designed illustrations & clipart, as well as made coloring sheets for businesses such as dental offices, and even got into paid freelance writing for others. This extra income has forced me to be better with balancing books and really paying attention to what comes in [and from where], and then what gets re-invested, and what is left over to save. And for someone like me, this is saying a lot.

Now feeling so professional, I also have my LinkedIn page a complete makeover. Like my passport photo, it was in desperate need of one!

This project has also helped me manage time better - as an adult with ADHD (yes it's a thing), I wasn't always focused on schedules and time. But now, after monitoring a year day-by-day, week-by-week and even month-by-month (with a binder and notebooks), I feel more organized than before. Here's to hoping this is a habit that sticks.

And, armed with the knowledge that I'm a legit professional artist with experience, references, a deviantArt page and a diploma in Arts, I decided to take my tee shirt designs professional and opened a RedBubble shop. That has proven successful with sales, and I also have a Zazzle shop with my original designs uploaded to it. And it feels amazing to have come this far in just a year!

So, you might be wondering then... today is project #365 - what is it?

You'll need to watch the YouTube video above for the reveal...

And, I've been asked by reputable questioners, what is going to become of this blog now that our daily art project is done. That's a great question!

Initially, I figured this blog would end up in a holding pattern [after 400+ posts], but then we began doing Review Wednesdays and Feature Fridays, which proved popular. And most recently, we do a thing on Mondays called 'Are They Kawaii?' so this blog is going to stay updated with those.

I can't just disappear from all the loyal readers and sharers. You guys have shown so much love and helped make this blog and art project a reality for this shy girl (pointing to myself).

Also, we are still doing 'challenges' where you try something new & Japanese (currently, we're doing the #OrigamiChallenge) and share it across social media to get yourself seen ≧◡≦

And before I go for the evening, you need to know something cool: Next Monday (July 17th) is World Emoji Day, so make sure to share some love with emoji! In fact, if you can, try commenting here with them 😄