hello 2016


carmel . chiang mai . vancouver
kenting . ymerbukta . taipei
singapore . san francisco . oslo

Apart from Chiang Mai where I lived for the month of October in 2014, these are a few of the places I was lucky enough to spend time in this past year—being in nature, catching up with old friends, encountering new ones.

naturepiles - 139
2015 concluded in Hong Kong with #naturepile 127


It was strangely a year of equal high highs and low lows. Came across these words recently in The Grand Paradox. Continuing to work on the latter.

Last Import - 1—Wystma/Kierkegaard

This year holds more additions of north american gems to the naturepile collection. East coast (and unexpectedly west again) I’m coming for ya! Midwest, fingers crossed, but I do need to finish up my school photo series. Squeezing in some koala spotting time as well as other projects in the works.

It’ll be an interesting one.

Where will 2016 lead you?

Stop from time to time to reflect, make a naturepile or two, and send some love. Have a creative and adventureful year.


highschool workshops

The highschool workshops took place earlier this week. The students are on term break so I really appreciated them taking the time to come out to Rumpueng to spend with me. The original plan was to do a mapping of place through texture and object collections but because of workshop timing, it would be dark out.

We explored our vision of place instead, contrasting how other people like visitors or tourists perceive our city/home and how we would choose to convey it. As a fan of mail and Chiang Mai being a popular holiday destination, the postcard format was used.

What is it that we value and find meaningful in the place we call home?

We looked at typical Chiang Mai and Thailand postcards depicting wats, monks, tuk-tuks, elephants and developed ideas for our own set of cards sharing what we would like other people to see and know. Here are a few of the pieces.

Our second evening was spent exploring different book structures and how the tetra-tetra flexagon could be used. Ideas ranged from depicting changing feelings to a children’s story to the elements earth, wind, fire, water.

IMG_6120 IMG_6118


I haven’t learned much Thai yet and English was limited but these two evenings we were still able to share and learn from each other. I’m continually amazed at how people communicate and especially how art can give us a voice in so many ways.

how it all began

I came across these last month going through my things that were in storage at my sister’s. This was part of a project I did in uni documenting and cataloguing the overlooked in a city and the beginning of my obsession with sewers/grates/covers. Avoiding traffic to collect rubbings in the middle of the street was most memorable.  I’ve gone the quicker route of photographing now and you can see the growing collection here. Doesn’t compare to running around with pads of newsprint and messing about with charcoal though…perhaps something to return to in the future.

hanoi in twenty

may 2012 . dragonair . melia hanoi

old loves & new finds


  • Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu

Korean food is exceptionally good in Toronto and this is a stop I make every time I’m in town. Yonge/Finch-5445 Yonge St, North York; Koreatown-691 Bloor St W, Toronto

  • fresh–vegan & vegetarian fare. Love this place. If it were not for my affinity towards bacon, I could be vegetarian.

new york

  • Cafe Mogador-family owned Moroccan and Mediterranean restaurant.  Wish I had had a few more meals here in NY.

halumi eggs for brunch


mad collection of interesting items

hidden treasures waiting to be discovered

  • Museum of Unnatural History–826 D.C.

As fun to poke around in as the Pirate store in SF. The captions to the displays–“Critical Moments in Unnatural History” were thoroughly entertaining.

san francisco

A beautifully designed space.  Loved the music they played–from The Temper Trap to Radiohead to The xx. Top it off with intriguing company and a maple apple bacon scone…the perfect place to draw, read, and make up stories  about people you’re watching.

A few other interesting things in the neighbourhood:

  • Green Apple Books–independent bookstores are gems of a city. Had the weather not been amazingly un-foggy, I would’ve spent my entire last day in SF here.

And Eggers happened to be inside signing his new book–A Hologram for the King.

portland, oregon

  • Breken Kitchen–cool breeze, open space, good food
  • Nicholas Restaurant–family owned Lebanese and Middle Eastern restaurant.  I was at the one in Gresham. Ample vegetarian options and the dishes are great for sharing…which makes a meal even better.

phoenix, arizona

  • QuikTrip–If you have never stepped into a QT before, you must…just for the experience.  I’ve lived in the states and travelled around a fair bit but have never come across anything like it. People sure do love their fountain drinks.

32oz for 79cents

the lid selection

my QT purchase….not a fan of soda so got tea from the tea bar, which had about 6 options.

vancouver, b.c.

  • Twisted Fork Bistro-local ingredients, amazingly delicious food, featured artists’ work on the walls. 1147 Granville St

Caramel Napolean–Almond tuilles filled with caramel mousse and fresh raspberries served with house made maple ice cream and raspberry coulis

summer travel sketches

Some quick sketches from summer in north america

mainstreet unionville, ontario
garden doodle


central park, new york
point lookout beach, new york
poet’s landing, connecticut
ferry building clock tower, san francisco
hummingbird atop strawberry hill, golden gate park

what’s your story?

Watching people and wondering what their stories are…

Minh’s Jazz Club, Hanoi
MTR, Hong Kong


Starbucks opposite the National Zoo, D.C.
field by Conservatory of Flowers, SF
Coffee Bar, SF
SFO, headed to Edmonton and then Yellowknife