Where did I go?

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There’s a small chance someone out there pops onto this blog from time to time to see what I’ve been up to (and I know that it does in fact happen–I can see the stats!) and finds that, aside from my instagram feed, the answer is “not much.” Well, that’s not true! I actually moved my regular posting onto a tumblr site (ack! Can I say that on WordPress?) I kind of explain it here. And if you click over to my tumblr site and go to the archive, you’ll see I’ve actually been pretty busy! So click on over littlepictureseverywhere.tumblr.com and tumbl along with me!

© Kiki Yee 2015

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Project 365+1: halfway there

October 3, 2014 – Wow. Where does time go? I actually did complete my project 365+1 in 2012. Even had a show in October 2012 featuring images from it! But look what I found today. An unfinished blog post. Way back in the thick of if, I would compile all the images for the month onto a grid and post it. Well, looks like time got away from me in June. The original two sentences I wrote for this post indicate that I was late posting May’s photos so I would post them together with June. Looks like I never got around to compiling that June grid! But I’m back and I aim to start posting regularly now. Or semi-regularly. Still having a problem with this “time” thing. But if you want to see all the photos from the 365+1 project, just click here.

© Kiki Yee 2014

Boy in the sand

July 2012 – He’s got a wetsuit this year. He even plays in the surf. But still, nothing compares with playing in the sand!

© Kiki Yee, 2013

Family Portraits

 

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December 24, 2012 – This year, E and I hosted Christmas Eve at our house. In anticipation of a family portrait, I made sure the kids wore “something nice”. I even coerced S into wearing a dress! Sure enough, Auntie L requested a portrait. I figured we’d get through the meal first. But then all little e could talk about during the meal was opening presents! So we did that next. By the time we even remembered that we wanted to take a portrait, the kids had changed into their pyjamas!

And any photo op in our house turns into a “make any face you want” session as soon as the “formal” pics are done. Just click on any image to view as a slideshow!

© Kiki Yee, 2013

Don’t wake the sister!

August 2012 – They have invented a new game. It’s called “Don’t wake the sister”. S flops on the sofa, pinning little e under her, and pretends to be asleep. His challenge is to try and sneak out without “waking” her. A lot of giggling is involved.

© Kiki Yee, 2012

Pumpkin carving

October 28, 2012 – This year, the kids got their pumpkins from the pumpkin patch set up by their wonderful out-of-school care. Which means they’ve had them since the 19th when the daycare had a Hallowe’en themed pro-d day. Little e could not wait to carve his pumpkin. Every day he asked “when can we carve our pumpkins?” or “today can we carve our pumpkins?” Finally, the Sunday before Hallowe’en came and it was indeed a fine day for pumpkin carving!

Little e managed to get a lot of the carving done on his own. I helped him with the mouth.

S doesn’t need help anymore! She’s got it all under control.

The finished jack-o-lanterns. They look pretty good, don’t they?

© Kiki Yee, 2012

The Tofino Chronicles: Firebrat

July 2012 , our annual trip to Tofino. This year, little e really embraced the whole camping experience. Although not the hiking experience, but that’s another post. What he really loved about camping this year was the campfire. Oh, how he loved that fire! And once that fire was lit, oh how he loved to poke it and prod it. (Gosh, I have no idea where he gets that from! <diverts eyes>)  He would have used up all the wood on the first fire if we let him. Of course we gave him limits. How often did we then hear “Has it been ten minutes yet? I think it’s been ten minutes.” It was barely two!

© Kiki Yee, 2012

He loves kung fuuuuuuuu . . . . panda!

April 27, 2012 – Little e watched Kung Fu Panda for the first time. Completely the exact opposite of the first time S saw it. The first time she saw it, she was 6; he’s 4. She saw it at a school “movie night” on a BIG screen and VERY loud; he saw it in the comfort of home on not a huge screen, volume at an acceptable level. She was terrified; he was enthralled. And engaged. And completely invested in the story. Honestly, I don’t know what was more fun to watch–the movie, or little e. Actually, I do know. Oh, how I loved watching his expressions as the story unfolded, hearing his exuberant giggle. But the best part was the way he threw his arms in the air and cheered for Po in showdown with Tai Lung. I can still see him in my mind’s eye, bum lifting off the couch, fists punching the air as he yelled “ya! ya! ya!!!”

© Kiki Yee, 2012

The kindest cut

May 4, 2012 – S’s hair was driving her crazy. Not to mention me. It’s almost always been long, a chin length bob at its shortest. But with soccer and swimming three times a week (each!) coupled with not liking to comb it, it was becoming a real pain. Literally, for her. She was caught in a vicious cycle—not combing it because combing hurt which only created more tangles which made it more difficult and painful to comb!

She was trying to grow it out so that she could donate it. The instructions are quite clear:  the hair is to be gathered into a ponytail and must measure 8″ from above the elastic. She had a way to go yet so we decided it should at least be trimmed, evened and tidied. Off we went to see Sara at the Beehive. We explained the ultimate goal and to our surprise, she said she thought she was already there. You see, it didn’t have to put it into one ponytail, she could put it in several around her head. She measured and sure enough, her hair was long enough. S was so excited to get it all chopped off. It suits her, don’t you think?

© Kiki Yee, 2012

Recital

March 24, 2012 – S has been playing the drums for just over a year now. Last December, her teacher, Guido, decided it was time for a recital. So they got to work, practicing a few different songs that would showcase the different beats she’s learnt. He would accompany her on guitar and provide vocals. By her request, the guest list was small–Oma and Opa, of course, a few aunties and two cousins. Invitations for Music in the Afternoon were sent out.

With guests assembled in our wee music room, the show began. First song on the set list was Stormy Mondays. There was a little misstep, but she played through it, and being the showman he is, Guido adapted, switched from singing to humming, and kept playing his guitar. The next song, Stand by Me, was flawless. She’d been practicing that one the longest. That was followed by You Send Me. Then it was time for the big finish. The final jam highlighted her ability to work her feet independent of what her hands were doing and featured a call and response jam between the two of them bookended by S doing a jungle beat solo. This was my favourite piece for so many reasons. Firstly, I was just impressed at her ability to move her limbs independently like that! I loved seeing the interaction between the two of them, the look of intense concentration on her face as she launched into her last solo. It brought tears to my eyes. Really. And when it was all done, seeing that huge smile splash across her face, a look of sheer joy and relief at the same time, was one of the best mothering moments ever.

© Kiki Yee, 2012

Project 365+1 – one third of the way there

April 30, 2012 – 121 pictures posted in this project. Some days it’s easy and I know the instant I’ve seen the shot that my work is done for the day. Other days, I’ve taken lots of pictures, captured a lot of images that I like; the hard part is deciding which picture is going to be the picture of the day. And then there are the days that almost slip away before I’ve even touched the camera. Those are the days I wonder why I plunged back into image-making with a project 365+1 and not a project 52. One image a week; now that would have been manageable!

This month, when I had more time, I decided to play with the images a bit more and not be afraid to do more post processing, to feel like I’m making art again not just documenting a moment in life. I’m wading in, deeper every month. And it feels good.

Please click on over to my instagram feed to check out these and other images.

© Kiki Yee, 2012

Just like me

April 7, 2012 – I have to admit, I did a small double take when I saw the photo of little e, above. I mean, I knew it was him but I had to look again for just a second. You see, I was taking pictures of the two of us on the iPhone using the front camera. He was blocking shots with his hand. So there was a tiny possibility it was actually a picture of me. To prove I wasn’t seeing things, I looked for (did not pose for) a picture of myself. I found this one, my annual birthday self-portrait from 2011. See how similar? The eye, the nose . . . but the clincher is the way his lips are set, making him look, in this moment anyway, just like me.

© Kiki Yee, 2012

Project 365+1 — another 31 days

March 31, 2011 – Another 31 days of a photo a day. 275 days to go.

This month was challenging. I had decided that this month, I would go out on photo walks, that I would seek out images. I realized how easy it is to snap gleefully away when you are confronted with something so beautiful that you can’t help but stop and take a picture. I found myself jealous of people who live in stunning locales. Seriously, how could you ever run out of things to photograph in Paris? But what if you don’t think of your home city as being quite so exotic? What if you are a creature of habit and you take the same route everyday, you wander the same streets day in and day out? Yes, I sometimes stopped myself from taking a picture because I thought “I’ve taken this picture before.” But then I’d think of Cézanne and how many times he painted Mount Ste. Victoire.

I also found myself thinking of my first year painting instructor’s words “When in doubt, paint a nun.” Huh? you ask. Well, when he was a student and was given a painting assignment that required him to paint a person and it was troubling him, he would paint a nun. It fulfills the requirement of human presence yet is easy to paint–the simple black form, facial features obscured, hands tucked in. Easy. And so transferable:  “When in doubt, look up.” Yes, the sky is a versatile subject. And I have become a cloud pornographer.

© Kiki Yee, 2012

Mad about macro

March 11, 2012 – I have been wanting a macro lens for my camera for a while now. The one I want is a pricey thing, coming in just under $1,000. Before tax. So it remains high on my wish list. However, I very recently celebrated my birthday. And my wonderful E and the kids got a me nifty kit for my iPhone. It’s got 3 telephoto lenses (2x, 8x and 12x) a fisheye, a wide angle and a macro. This morning, I went out into the garden and had fun with the macro lens. The focal length is incredibly short, so these pictures are of tiny moss, a small juniper, wee berries on the heavenly bamboo and some of the smallest leaves I could find on one of our shrubs. They are straight out of the camera, no edits or filters at all. Not bad, huh? Of course I can’t resist adding them to instagram so be sure to click on over to see them in that format, too.

Project 365+1: 60 days down, 306 to go!

February 29, 2012 – 60 days in and I am still at it. A picture a day posted on instagram. What has changed since January 31st? Well, I toyed with the idea of a theme. I was getting some nice motion blur and thought maybe I should concentrate on that. Inevitably, you run into a day where motion photography just ain’t happening. Or you post a photo that perhaps captures the motion but is not a particularly successful image. But I did move beyond the basic idea of an image that encapsulates the day. Sure, some of them still do that because a particular event is what would move me to grab the camera (phone) and take a picture. But some days, I had to go out and create opportunities and you know, I’ve never really done that before. Never gone specifically out on a photo walk with the intention of creating an image. That’s now the minimum standard for the next 31 days. You heard it here first.

By the way, you can take a peek at all of my instagrams without an instagram account by pointing your browser to ink361.com/therealkiki or by clicking on the instagram image below. Please be patient–sometimes it takes a moment for the site to load the profile.

© Kiki Yee, 2012

Out on the street

January 16, 2012 – What I was trying to capture here was the snow. It was really dumping down. If you look hard, you can see it.

While I may not have been completely successful in recording what I saw, I kept coming back to this photo. In fact, it’s the current wallpaper image on my iPhone. I like the converging lines of the glass towers, the slight blur of the folks on their morning commutes; and I love the way the HDR setting has captured the bird in flight. This one image has led to a whole new way of shooting for me–out on the street with my iPhone, not framing the shot through the lens, shooting quickly but not with complete abandon.

© Kiki Yee, 2012

Cooking with Mama

January 21, 2012 – The last several years, Mom has been ordering in the majority of the food  for the Chinese New Year dinner that she hosts. And I get it, it’s a lot of work. All that chopping, prepping and cooking. But you know, that take out stuff is just not as good as the homemade stuff. This year, I had a brilliant idea. Rather than order in a bunch of greasy, fried “Chinese” food, I proposed that my sisters and I take the day and help Mom cook the meal. We would arrive early, help with the chopping and prepping and we’d actually learn to cook her special dishes. It’s something we should have been doing for a long time. Their immediate response was Are you crazy?  (I never learned to cook until I left home. That should say enough about being in the kitchen with Mom!) But the more they thought about it, the more they thought it was a good idea. LJ ran it past Mom. Her initial reaction was Are you crazy?

She came around after further discussion with M. They went over the menu we proposed. She told M that if we all arrived by 10 in the morning we could get it all done. LJ agreed to be the one to take them shopping for the groceries since she would be late to arrive on cooking day. All set. Or were we? I called her the night before to confirm our arrival time. Ai ya! She was cranky! She wouldn’t specify a time, said we didn’t have to come . . . she was not buying into the wonderful mother/daughters bonding scenario. She was being herself. What had I gotten us into? Hell’s Kitchen meets The Joy Luck Club?  I hopped the train to the ‘burbs with some trepidation, steeling myself for the criticism that would surely come when I cut the veggies at the wrong angle.

We arrived to find Mom relaxed and in rather a good mood. Of course she and Dad had gotten up early and done 50% of the prep work! She sat us down and revealed the secret of stuffing the mushrooms. I pulled out my camera and Dad offered to take a picture. I thought it was cute that he didn’t take just the one, but went to the other side of the room to get us from another angle. He seemed kind of giddy. He was buying into the bonding moment!

I knew my plan was a success when Mom said she didn’t want to go out to a restaurant for Dad’s birthday this year. That we’d all come together and cook the meal. A new tradition has been born.

© Kiki Yee, 2012

The man who conquered my heart

February 9, 2012 – This one is for you, love. Happy Birthday!

© Kiki Yee, 2012

Mugshots

February 5, 2012 – Riding the bus to the aquarium, he’s got a seat and a bag of snacks. It doesn’t get better than this.

© Kiki Yee, 2012

365+1

January 31 2012 – Somewhat impulsively on New Year’s Eve I decided to embark on a Project 365+1. All because of an app and photojojo‘s instagram feed. Alas, I had to change apps mid-month when I discovered to my horror that the app I was using did NOT have a February 29!!! In retrospect, I should have known since the app was not called “365+1” Luckily, I found another free app, PicCal Lite, and it does the job fabulously. Since I have a day job, two kids (with 4 extracurricular activities between them), a husband, a house and a little startup company I do a little bookkeeping for, I kept the rules simple. A photo that encapsulates my day, that provides total recall of a particular event. For the same aforementioned reasons, cross-posting is allowed. Which means you may have seen a pic or two show up previously in this blog or on From Peaks to Prairies, the collaborative blog between me and Olivebits. Let’s see how I did on that encapsulation bit:

1 – the first moments of New Year’s Day, fireworks outside my door
2 – little e went to a birthday party; he’s making the card
3 – back in the office after two weeks away
4 – nothing happened that day; I took a picture of E’s guitar around 11:30pm
5 – the sun came out!
6 – new glasses for S
7 – Wii sports resorts tournament with the kids
8 – S had a friend over for a playdate; lunch leftovers
9 – bought a new ring
10 – was going to go to Lonsdale during my lunch break; changed my mind and went back to work
11 – actually went to Lonsdale during my lunch break
12 – distracted by the sun shining in my office window
13 – the kids watched Wall-E (again)
14 – went to Langley for family dinner
15 – S saw my name etched in the sidewalk on Ontario Street on the way to QE Park
16 – snow!
17 – snowy commute
18 – still snowing but not the 10cm they were predicting
19 – snowy leaves on a Yaletown sidewalk (lunchtime jaunt to Choices)
20 – trees outside the VAG (lunchtime jaunt to the space formerly known as HMV)
21 – en route to Surrey to cook Chinese New Year dinner
22 – most savoury book club brunch. ever.
23 – dropped a stainless steel mug on my head
24 – grey rainy day and realized that when the boss is away, I can take pictures from his window!
25 – accounting night. ugh.
26 – morning sun!!! shooting without looking
27 – E made enchiladas for dinner
28 – sisters’ sleepover, M has left me the house rules
29 – playing Lego Star Wars with little e (storming the Citadel!)
30 – taking stock
31 – rainy bus ride home

So there you have it. Only 335 to go!

© Kiki Yee, 2012