Auntie Dionne is wise

I’ve been following Dionne Warwick on Twitter and she’s always cracking me up but this one is really funny to me.

My thoughts exactly.

l hardly use Twitter. I created an account a while back (a year ago, maybe?) to what I thought cover my bases in social media when I was thinking of starting illustrating and some kind of print-to-order account. Or something something.

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Well since we’re on the subject of the great Dionne Warwick, here’s one of my favourite songs from her. Is the video fabulous or what.

I’ve loved her since a kid watching her host Solid Gold. Funny thinking of the show now, especially the dancers.

And I just discovered this video a few minutes ago while doing this post. What a gem:

Purple Rain

With these amethysts representing purple, I rounded up the six colours of the rainbow I did for this pear-shaped gem design. It was an enjoyable ride. I had so much fun with this pattern and as always, am fascinated by how a little illustration I did is portrayed on not just t-shirts but so many other different stuff.

For the Redbubble gallery of these jewels on black stripes, click here.

And for them on purple stripes, click here.

As always, here is a selection from the two galleries linked above:

For some reason I always get extra delight from seeing the socks. I don’t know, I just find them so funny and cute, they’re such a hoot. I always get a smile or chuckle looking at how the design looks like on socks.

It’s raining sapphires

Going through my posts, I just realized that for a gem design, I haven’t posted the blue and purple versions in the series of rainblow colours I did. So I thought I’d put it in now, brighten up this blog a bit!

As blue sapphires here the gem illustration look berry fruity and bubble-gummy in this pattern 💙. The version with the blue stripes remind me as well of classic blue-and-white porcelain.

To see the full Redbubble gallery with the black stripes, click here.

As for the blue stripes, click here.

Here’s a selection from the galleries:

Happy Chinese New Year – Year of the Ox

My little design for Chinese New Year that’s just around the corner. Wishing all Chinese all around the world a wonderful New Year full of love, peace, good health and prosperity.
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By the way, that’s not a self-portrait 😄, though yes the Year of the Ox 🐂 is my year when it comes to the Chinese zodiac.
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For the full gallery on Redbubble, click here.

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Tutor credit for the border: I learned it from Nick of Logos by Nick on YouTube:

Art Deco Calla Lily Pattern

I drew a pattern, started out inspired by Art Deco and the Calla Lily flower, but when I finished it also feels a tad Mid-century to me.

Clockwise from Top Left: Marigold, Scarlet, Indigo, Ocean

I think maybe that’s due to the sparse lines, the white background and the colour choices. Even though this ‘fish scale’ type of pattern is usually considered Art Deco, the art movement is usually associated with richness and luxury. So maybe a dark jewel tone instead of white for the background, gold or silver lines for contrast, and gradients for depth would make it more Art Deco. But I like how this turned out. I’m looking forward to trying out more such patterns.

To see the entire Redbubble gallery for each of the four colour choices, click the names I’ve selected for them below.

Marigold, Scarlet, Ocean (Green), Indigo

Flood-resistant and wheelchair-accessible house

*Update 28th December: Using the cool ‘scenes’ function in SketchUp gave me the idea to make a YouTube video about this house. 🙂 The lovely music is ‘Beyond’ by Patrick Patrikios, from YouTube Audio Library.

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After drawing out a wheelchair-accessible house in previous posts like this one, I couldn’t stop thinking about drawing a flood-resistant version. In this case it simply meant elevating the house to a raised platform. As for access for wheelchair users, I decided to incorporate a residential cargo lift, also known as a platform lift or porch lift.

This is what I came up with. Click to enlarge.

Dimensions:

  • House structure only, excluding stairs, porch, lift and balcony extension: length 15 metres (49.2 ft), width 4.7 metres (15.4 ft)
  • A further width of 1.8 metres (5.9 ft) to cover stairs, porch and lift.
  • So, for the total floor area it’s 15m (49.2 ft) x 6.5m (21.3 ft). That’s an area of 97.5m2 (1050 ft2)

Besides being flood-resistant, four other features I’ve incorporated are:

Let’s face it, the last one is not just for wheelchair users but for the rest of us as well, and not just when lugging home heavy groceries! 🙂

Layout of First Floor

First floor Plan. The circles indicate diameter of 1.5 metres, space for turning of wheelchair.

A closer look on the rooms on the first floor. Click to enlarge.

Layout of Rooftop

The Rooftop Plans below feature the location of the rainwater tank, raised-bed vegetable garden and the pavilion with solar panels fitted on its roof. Click to enlarge.

The rooftop is accessible to wheelchair users with the lift. It also features sitting and dining areas, plus cooking appliances, in short perfect for parties or just relaxing. Just rearrange the furniture and add more chairs as needed, and don’t forget the barbeque grill! The kitchen counter and dining table can double up as counter space for gardening work.

Internal layout of wheelchair-accessible house

A couple of months ago I decided to try designing a wheelchair-accessible Small House using SketchUp, the 3D design software. I posted about it here in WordPress. I did both a single-storey version, sized 83 sq.metres (about 890 ft2) and a double-storey one. This post is about the internal layout of the double-storey one, featuring 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. As I wrote in the previous post:

Why a Wheelchair-Accessible House?

  • I think that if one builds a house, might as well make the layout and size of rooms wheelchair-friendly to make it more inclusive.
  • Even if there are no wheelchair users in the household, the extra space incorporated will be appreciated.
  • In the meantime, the extra space can be configured to different needs.

As for the size, I started off drawing a single-storey Small House, which is a residential structure that is considered to be up to about 1,000 ft2 (93m2), as featured in the previous post. The double-storey house featured here is about 160 m2, so it’s not considered ‘Small House’. To recap, in any case:

Why a Small House and not Tiny House?

  • Tiny Houses are up to 400 ft2 (37 m2), too small to accommodate the usage of a wheelchair comfortably.
  • Small Houses, bigger at between 400 ft2 and 1,000 ft2 (93 m2), would also offer the amenities of a typical house, like a ‘more regular-sized’ kitchen and bathroom.
  • The single-storey version of the house featured here would be 90 m2 (about 970 ft2). This includes the ramp outside. An additional small single bedroom or study can also be added where the stairs would be in the double-storey house.

I did a double-storey version for additional bedrooms. I’m thinking that, even if the wheelchair user is single and lives alone, an extra bedroom might be useful or even necessary if he or she wants or needs a live-in carer.

I did not feature the internal layout in the previous post because I had arranged it using furniture and fittings from SketchUp’s wonderful 3D Warehouse. As I’m not sure about permission issues regarding featuring them in my post here, I decided to play it safe and draw my own furniture and fittings instead. Just some basic designs. It took me a long time, especially the kitchen appliances. An hour here, a few hours there, but I’ve finally done it.

First, some points on the changes to the external look of the house.

  • Windows and sliding doors were changed to look more Art Deco since that is what inspired the design of the house.
  • Ramp is now longer. With research I now know better about standards such as a 1:12 slope, for safer wheelchair use.
  • The above meant having to reduce the number of side access doors, from two to one.

Dimensions:

  • House structure only, without ramp: length 15 metres (49.2 ft), width 4.7 metres (15.4 ft)
  • Ramp and its top landing deck: width 1.3 metres (4.2 ft)
  • Pool Module (pool, decks and planter): total length 14.5 metres (47.5 ft), width 3.6 metres (11.8 ft)
  • Pool only: length 8 metres. (26.2 ft)

Ground Floor

The ground floor consists of a double bedroom, bathroom, sitting area and kitchen.

Plan View of Ground Floor (featured with Pool Module on the right). The circles in the Plan View above indicate diameter of 1.5 metres (59 inches), space for a wheelchair to turn.

Here is a closer look at the ground floor which is wheelchair-accessible:

Double bedroom for the wheelchair user (and partner). There is space to trade the right bedside table for a writing desk.
Bathroom. The white rectangle in the shower area is a collapsible seat.
Sitting area.
Kitchen with dining table next to the sitting area. The space below the sink and stove is made void to serve wheelchair users. Among other things, the height of the fridge and microwave oven is factored in for wheelchair users. 
The kitchen, dining table and sitting area all look out to part of the Pool Module where outdoor dining can be located. These sliding doors also serve as the access point for wheelchair users.

Upper Floor

The upper floor consists of two bedrooms, both with ensuite bathrooms as well as balconies overlooking the Pool Module below.

Plan View of Upper Floor (featured with Pool Module on the right).
Master bedroom. As with the bedroom directly below, there is space to trade the right bedside table for a writing desk. This room also has a second balcony which is directly above the front door of the house.
Ensuite bathroom of the master bedroom. Instead of the cabinets on the right, there can be space for a bidet. Or, instead of the bidet, put the toilet bowl closer to the wall and trade the shower for a bathtub.
The other upper floor bedroom, with a small ensuite bathroom. There is space in front of the bed for a sofa or chaise lounge, and a writing desk beside the sliding doors of the balcony.

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It’s been very interesting doing this. For the next house, also with Small House proportions, I’ve set my mind to drawing a flood-proof house, what with global warming, rising sea levels and the increasing incidents of hurricanes.

New Year Resolution begins today

At least when it comes to exercise.

I don’t really believe in New Year Resolutions. If we really want to do something, there’s no need to wait until 1st January. Or use it as an excuse to delay doing it. If you think about it, it’s actually more constructive to adopt a New Month Resolution or New Week Resolution instead. That would cut down the procrastination to a great extent. Of course, the best would be New Day Resolution, even better if Day refers to Today, not Tomorrow, or worse, Forever Tomorrow.

But New Year Resolutions are more fun and novel because it’s just once a year, feeding into grander dreams of what we can achieve in 365 days. Who doesn’t dream of being better people, in better situations, in better shape. New hopes, new beginnings. Hopes and dreams are fun. But that’s possibly because we can do our hoping and dreaming while our asses are still in bed or on the sofa. It’s actually having to put in the effort come 1st January and the weeks and months after that it progressively ceases to be less and less fun.

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So I’ve been thinking, the reason why my New Year Resolutions to exercise regularly crumbles soon after is sore muscles. Yes, when we work out after not doing it for weeks or months, naturally our joints and muscles become all sore the following day as they seek to recover from the sudden workout they had suddenly been subjected to. Depending on how strenuous the workout is, we might take days to recover.

So what usually happens year after year is, after only the second or third workout, I finally can’t take it anymore and have to take a break for a few days. And then find that I can’t fully get back into the previous momentum. This affects the will to exercise which gradually peters off, with more and more breaks in between, until by March or so I’m back to square one.

So, my strategy is simply to start now in early December. Get all the soreness out of the way, so that come 1st January, I’ll be all up and running. That’s the idea, anyway. Which I may or may have not thought of while my ass was still in bed or on the sofa.

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So what’s my New Year Resolution with regards to exercising regularly? Oh, only about 30 minutes or so, 5 to 6 days a week. Nothing too ambitious to cut down the chance of burning out. A mix of dumbbells for resistance training, and cardio.

For cardio, I want to incorporate the following video I came across on YouTube by an instructor called Rowan Row. I tried it yesterday (a Monday = New Week Resolution!) only to discover how out of shape I’ve become. The 10-minute routine is simple to follow: 10 simple exercises, each 45 seconds long followed by 15 seconds of rest. I found that I can’t do some (like the half-burpees, the third exercise) for the whole 45 seconds. It’s too hard.

Never mind, though. I simply do what I can for now, 30 seconds, with a view to build up my stamina over the next few weeks to do the whole 45 seconds. I also modify some exercises to suit my current fitness level. For example, for now I don’t go low on the lunges, the seventh exercise, so I don’t over-exert and hurt my knees.

So that’s another great reason to start our New Year Resolution early. Get the kinks all sorted out, get our joints and muscles acquainted to the routines we want to do. Get used to the time of day we’ve set to exercise, especially if it’s early morning. Settle all these and other things to be mentally and physically ready.

Come 1st January, we’d already be doing it with comfortable confidence, instead of just starting out. Best of luck to all of us, especially me! I’ll be needing it 🙂

An uber-festive Christmas and New Year greeting

Bringing all six colours together for a colourful Christmas card design. I’m happy this is the reason all six colours I’ve done for the jewel design are coming together: for a Christmas and New Year greeting.

This Muslim wishes all Christians a Merry Christmas, and wishing for everyone on this planet regardless of religion, race and nationality, a New Year with peace, love and good health. And jobs and financial stability.

Well, might as well throw in mental hugs for the astronauts who are not on this planet as well, and any aliens as well who happen to be snooping around WordPress and reading this. Have a great next year!

For the sake of all our sanity, especially mine, let’s all hope and pray (if you believe in God, if not, just hope) that 2021 will start to bring back the pre-Covid world (the good bits, I mean, not the shitty stuff like worse pollution). Starting with the vaccine, please. One that is affordable and accessible to everyone, and obviously one that works, meaning safe and effective for everyone.

As opposed to starting a zombie apocalypse or something dramatic like that.

It seems to be less and less likely the world will go back to before, as if that world wasn’t hard enough. In the meantime, all we can do is to be hopeful and persevere, to hang on in there the best we can. I love you all, my fellow humans, and I wish everyone well.

It’s raining citrine

Like bright cheery lemons glistening under the Mediterranean sun. I love how fascinatingly different the overall look is, between black and yellow stripes.

I’m looking at the dresses above and I really think that, while they are sweet and casual by themselves, the yellow will go really well with some gold-coloured jewelry. Like a chunky necklace or drop earrings, big bling like that. A large gold cuff.

Strappy footwear, probably. But if I’m her stylist, definitely black leather boots, like Doc Martens. Something kick-ass like that. And while we’re in that direction, a black leather motorcycle jacket, then 🙂

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For the full Redbubble gallery with the black stripes, click here.

As for the yellow stripes, click here.

As usual, here are some photos below in the meantime.

The socks are so darn cute with this pattern, as usual.