Redoing My Acrylic Canvas Painting

I wasn’t sure if you can paint over an acrylic canvas so I did some research.

I was thrilled when I found out that YOU CAN!

Some people use a gesso medium and cover the entire canvas to have a blank slate again. Others, turn their canvases upside down to not get confused with the old painting. In my case, I just used it as it is. I kind of wanted to use my old painting as a base anyway of where I wanted my new and improved horizon to be. After 2 days of letting the original painting sit in our room, I decided I was ready to change it. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I can pull it off, but I know if I retouch it I have to commit to finishing it. And so I used our dining area as my studio. I don’t own an easel since I have not painted on a canvas before. When I sketch on my sketch pad I just use whatever table is available. Hahaha.

So this is what I came up with…

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My Paint Nite Experience

I recently went to a Paint Nite in town with a bunch of ladies from our church. If you haven’t been to one or haven’t heard of it, Paint Nite is a social painting event where the rest of the class paint the same thing.  Experience in painting is not required as there’s a painting instructor that guides you step-by-step through the featured painting in about 2 hours.

The cost per ticket was $45 and they provided all the painting supplies. I don’t think all Paint Nites are fundraising events, but the one we went to was giving $15 of every ticket purchased to CIBC Run for the Cure. They even provided some light snacks, and a cash bar for those who were interested in drinking while they paint.  Continue reading

Coloured pencil art

My Nana’s 95th Birthday

It was the 19th of March 2014 when we celebrated our nana’s 95th birthday. My sister and I bought some party supplies and with the help of everyone, we decorated the living room and the dining area while she was taking her afternoon nap. She woke up to the aroma of the baked lasagna and salmon teriyaki I made specially for her.

When she stepped out of her room, her eyes caught the sight of the balloons and paper streamers.

Slowly she walked towards the dining table, admiring the decorations we hang on the ceilings and the walls.  We guided her to her usual spot in the dining table. Her seat we decorated with purple streamers and a nice big purple bow on top.

After singing “happy birthday”, we asked her to blow the candles of her favourite mango cake!

It was a special day! Not just for her, but for us as well. To still have her with us at her age is such a blessing! Thankfully she was released a few days ago from being confined at the hospital. Who gets to 95 nowadays? I mean really? Right?

So before our trip to see my family, I was thinking of what to give to her as a birthday gift. I made her a huge embroidered canvas of a fruit basket last time. I even went to Michael’s to have it framed with a special non-glare glass.

My nana is very crafty. They say I got that from her. So when I give her something I made I know she appreciates it because she understands the time and effort that were spent in making them.

The canvas I gave her took me months to complete. I didn’t have months to spare this time so I thought perhaps a sketch of her and me would be a nice gift instead. So I looked for a nice photo of us together. When I saw the photo of me wearing my wedding gown with her by my side, I thought that would be the perfect picture to use. I was only able to make a rough draft of my sketch before we hopped on the plane to see her. So when she would go in her room to nap, I would go to mine, locking the door behind me to work on my sketch. I showed my draft to my sister and she was pleased.


Sketch in progress.

On the day we bought the party supplies, we grabbed a dark brown picture frame with a nice cream mat. It fit my sketch like a glove. I gave it to her on her birthday together with some colorful crocheting yarns and a crocheting magazine.

Her eyes beamed when she saw my sketch. I gave her a big hug and she gave me a kiss!


To view more of my artwork, click here.

Thanks for stopping by.

❤ Zhi



It was Spring of 2014. We were planning on visiting my family in the States and I thought i it would be nice if I can give our lovely niece a present I made myself. Since I was running out of time to make her anything special, I thought perhaps a sketch of her would be a wonderful handmade gift from her aunt. And so I did! (I also made one for my grandma who was about to celebrate her 95th birthday that year. You can check that out on this post). 

sofia_wm.jpgI used a photo of her that my sister emailed to me when she was 5 months old. Good thing I was able to finish it on the day we flew. I remember sitting at the airport tweaking my sketch while waiting for our flight departure.

When we got there, my husband and I bought a picture frame at Walmart to put my sketch in.

Isn’t she just adorable? Now this cutie has turned 3!


Sketch in progress.

For more artwork, click here. Thanks for dropping by!

❤ Zhi



25th Wedding Anniversary

December 2013.

My husband and I decided to visit his family in Manitoba and spend Christmas with them. Everybody will be home, even his brother and his wife who live in a different province like we do. So it was pretty special that everybody will get to visit everyone. What their parents did not know at the time was that their children have been planning a surprise 25th wedding anniversary party for them. I remember the many phone calls my husband had to make to contact old friends of his parents and family members he has not seen nor spoken too for a long time.

We used the basement of a church not far from their home as a venue. With the help of all his siblings and family friends we were able to prepare some food and decorate the place without their knowledge. On the day of the reveal, I’m sure they were suspecting something was fishy but I don’t think they knew exactly what’s going on.

When they entered the venue that night, they were in for a good surprise! It was one memorable event, even for me as an outsider looking in. Their faces beamed with gladness as they recall lots of fond memories of the good ol’ days. It was very euphoric.

I wasn’t sure what to give them as an anniversary gift. I didn’t want to just buy something from the store. This kind of occasion calls for something more special than priced tag item.

I want to give them something personal… a gift that has a piece of me in it.

And so I emailed one of their daughters to ask for an electronic copy of their wedding photo. She sent me a few, and this one was my favorite. I started sketching it right away. The more my eyes soak in the details of this photo, the more I realized that my mother-in-law has a very cunning resemblance to my husband. From the curly hair, to the oval face, and even the beautiful Irish nose.

To finish this sketch in time, I brought my sketchpad and pencils to work. Whenever I had a free time, I worked at it.

wedding-photo-sketch_wm.jpgSlowly, it took it’s form. The lines and strokes of my pencils attempted to capture what transpired that very day. It was a beautiful photo. I hope I did it justice.


(For more artwork, click here). 

Did anybody else notice I got the date wrong in my sketch? Ooopss.