Ohnik Studio News
Yay! So you've picked out your wedding invitation design (a custom-illustrated artwork from Ohnik Studio, perhaps?), chosen your fonts, but now... what do you write on your wedding invitation?
The good news is... you can write whatever you want! It's your wedding, after all. :)
Since your wedding invitation is the first item your guests will receive regarding your wedding, it really sets the tone! For instance, if you and your other half are funny and playful, what not be more whimsical and/or casual with your invitation design and wording, too?
A. Checklist for (typical) information to include on your invitation:
1. Name of bride & groom
2. Day(s) of the week & date(s) of the wedding
3. Address(es) of ceremony and reception venue(s)
4. Whether a drink/meal/dancing will be included
5. Method of RSVP; RSVP deadline
6. Wedding website (optional)
B. Opening Phrase
1. Formal, parents are hosting/paying for the wedding:
2. Formal, parents are hosting/paying for the wedding, with a late parent:
3. Formal, bride & groom are hosting/paying for the wedding:
4. Casual, with families:
_____ Seasonal Fish
Thinking back on our wedding preparations, some of the best memories involved having friends and family over for a barbeque dinner and then a waffles brunch -- our bribe for their labour before and during the wedding. :)
There were also a few nights (right before the big day!) where we had to stay up late and finish a few last minutes crafts (yes... we procrastinated...). Huge thanks to everyone who helped make our day so perfect!
Here are a few super easy DIY crafts we made for the wedding (that saved us lots of money):
*Psst... also check out our other wedding blog: "Help! How do I dye my white veil ivory?"
1. Lace-trim votive candle
Votive candle -- we purchased by the dozen at a craft store
(Fabric) Lace tape -- available at dollar stores and craft stores, or check out this beautiful lace trim on burlap if you want a rustic look.
Put lace tape around the votice candle, cut, repeat. That's it!
2. Air Plant Centrepiece
Though we wanted to use air plants for our guest table centrepieces, we decided against it in the end because green was not one of the wedding theme colours. We have since then made a few of these for ourselves and our friends. :)
Air plant (big gardening store or online)
Moss (in bags, cheaper at craft stores; or online)
Soil (from your own garden or gardening stores)
Stone (dollar stores, your garden, park, beach...)
Glass container (small; available at dollar stores or gardening stores)
1. Put a thin layer of soil on the bottom
2. Neatly arrange moss and stone on top of soil
3. Put air plant in the middle
3. Wedding Program
Ok, I have to admit this was actually not a very easy project... at least for someone like me who has little graphic design experience! Luckily, it wasn't tooo time-consuming (it took me about 4 hours, but this varies depending on what you want to create).
Graphic Design Tools at Canva (a free web resource!)
Thick paper stock (at craft stores, stationery stores or online)
1. Create your wedding program using tools at https://www.canva.com/
2. Save the file as pdf
Tips: If you have a nothing-fancy home printer like mine (or, you can get one with duplex printing function, though many seem to not handle thick paper stock well), experimenting how to print double-sided and fitting two programs onto one piece of paper could take some time.
Here's what I've learned:
1. To fit two programs onto one piece of paper, duplicate the front page image (I did this in the Mac program "Preview")
2. Put all your paper stock into the paper tray, or the feed tray if the paper's too thick
3. In "Print", select "Print 2 images per page", then type in the number of copies you need. (i.e. You'll print all copies of the front page at once)
4. Put your paper stock (now with the front page printed) back in. (*Note: Experiment! Should you put in the paper face down or up? Text to the left or right?)
5. Print the back page (duplicate the back page image, select "Print 2 images per page", and type the number of copies you need).
Good luck and happy crafting! :)
Check out our other wedding blog: "Help, How do I Dye my White veil Ivory?"
Kin's sketch on Twitter was featured by Tennis Canada as one of the "Ten Best Tennis Moments from Our Fans". We are ever so proud to support Canadian Tennis! Go Milos, Vasek and Eugenie!
As organic products become increasingly available, I always ask myself, is it worth the money to go organic?
While organic food contains a lower level of pesticides and organic farming is more eco-friendly, many studies find no meaningful benefits or harm to an organic diet (see one of those articles here). However, for peace of mind and the environment, I try to buy organic, but can't afford to pay the premium price for every produce. So the question becomes, which produce to go organic?
Basically, a thick skin protects a fruit or vegetable from pesticides (i.e. what you eat will be "clean"). I used to buy organic bananas because of the small price difference, but then I realized, "I don't eat the pesticide-ridden banana peel anyway!"
If you're worried about the level of pesticide you're consuming, the "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" is a good general guide:
The following lists are reposted from David Suzuki's website:
The Dirty Dozen (in order of contamination) -- Buy Organic or Peel (if possible!)
Sweet bell peppers
The Clean 15 (in order of least contamination) -- Don't need to buy organic
But of course, eating any fruits and vegetables (organic or not!) is better than eating none.
Check out my other healthy living blogs here.
One of our favourite customers, Adnan & Lara, are about to celebrate their two-month anniversary! :) Thanks so much for having us draw your unique save-the-date. It was a lovely time working with you two beautiful people!
Here's what they said,
"Evy and Kin, you took what started as a shard of an idea and turned it into this amazing work of art that told our most important story together. We could not have imagined a more brilliant outcome for our save the date! ... and the number of phone calls / emails we received telling us how unbelievable our save the date was really put a smile on our faces each day, a necessary break to the stresses of planning a wedding. I can't wait to work with you two again on the next project requiring such artistic talent.
All our best, Lara & Adnan"
As I mentioned in my other healthy living blogs, I'm always on a quest to find natural and toxin-free personal and household products. An extra bonus is those natural, homemade products almost always end up cheaper than store-bought products! Kin's been using the 3-ingredient coconut deodorant for 2 years and he hasn't purchased a single deodorant since.
Today, I'd like to offer some of the other natural products we use in and around the home. Enjoy :)
1. Car air freshener: coffee grounds
Who doesn't love the smell of coffee? What you might not know is coffee grounds makes an excellent natural air freshener for your car! Apparently you can use used coffee grounds as well, but we've been using fresh hazelnut coffee grounds. Oh, the possibilities with all the amazing flavours out there!
How: put 2-3 tablespoons (30-45 mL) coffee grounds onto a piece of tissue paper. Wrap it up with a ribbon like a pretty gift.
2. Dry Shampoo: cornstarch
For those days when you simply don't have time to wash your hair, dry shampoos are great to freshen things up. Did you know cornstarch works very well as a dry shampoo? No more aerosol bottles! I keep my dry shampoo cornstarch in a spice shaker in the washroom.
How: sprinkle some cornstarch on greasy ends of hair. Leave for 1 minute. Pat away the cornstarch with your hands.
3. Oven cleaner: baking soda, salt and water
For those who have the unfortunate experience of liquids (or solids) spilling onto a heated oven floor, you know how difficult it is to scrub the burnt food off. A quick fix is to use the super-hot self-clean function in most modern oven. I have reservations about using the self-clean function too often, so I usually try to naturally clean the oven myself. This is definitely not the most effective recipe (you still need to use a fair amount of elbow grease), but everything in the recipe is edible, which gives me peace of mind over the types of gases store-bought oven cleaners can release.
How: use equal parts baking soda, coarse (kosher) salt, and water to form a paste. Apply with a scrubbing pad.
4. Pot cleaner: baking soda and water
Burnt food not only get stuck on ovens, but sadly, also on pots and pans. This method is great for stainless steel and also enamelled cast iron pots and pans (love my Le Creuset Dutch Oven. I seem to cook and bake everything in it. Can't believe I never had one till this year!). It's gentle enough not to make any scratches.
- Bring a small amount of baking soda and water (more than enough to cover the bottom of a pot) to a boil.
- Watch the carbon dioxide fizz and work for you!
- Add more baking soda if necessary.
- Scrub off burnt food with a wooden spoon.
5. Window Cleaner: vinegar & water
Who knew just vinegar & water can give windows a brilliant shine? Check out other natural window cleaners here.
How: 1/2 cup (125 mL) vinegar + 4 cups (1 L) water
6. Bug repellent: citronella oil
I'm always wary about the combination of sunscreen and bug repellent. Citronella oil is a natural alternative, though some people, especially children might be sensitive to it.
I also avoid putting on sunscreen if I can (many toxic chemicals there!)... I try to wear hats and cover up well when I am outdoors for an extended period of time.
About a year before the wedding, I realized how expensive it was to buy a veil in Vancouver. So, I decided to buy one online on Taobao. (Sadly, you need to be able to read Chinese to use this website.)
There are also many beautiful and reasonably-priced veil on Amazon, like this gorgeous cathedral length veil. Or how about this lace-bordered veil with comb? At less than $20 per veil, you really can't go wrong!
The veil that came was beautiful... just what I wanted, with a lace trim. The only problem was... it was white!! Almost bright paper white... whereas my dress was ivory. My Maid of Honour noticed it right away. While it wasn't a huge issue, I wondered if there was a way I could dye my dream veil into my dream colour -- using a natural dye.
After some help from Dr. Google, I figured I could! What I did was largely based on Miss Gator's and Miss IndianaPRolis's posts. Since I had more than a year to go, and I could always order another veil online, I decided to go for it (though it was still pretty scary!):
Dying Veil with Tea (from White to Ivory):
2 x Lipton Yellow Label Tea Bags
10 cups x Water
1 x Measuring Cup
1 x Stock Pot
1 (or more) x Test Tulle/Fabric (I didn't have a scrap piece of tulle, so I just used a white piece of fabric)
1 x Veil
1. Boil (more than 2 cups of) water.
2. Steep 2 tea bags into 2 cups of boiling hot water (I used a measuring cup... couldn't take risks with my veil!), for 2 minutes. Keep the teabags completely submerged by using a clean spoon (I made the mistake of using a not-so-clean wooden spoon in my first trial... oil started floating to the top. I wasn't going to put my veil in that!).
3. Pour the 2 cups of tea into a large stock pot.
4. Measure 8 cups of cold water. Pour into the stock pot. Mix.
5. Wait a while till the tea is completely cooled.
6. Rinse your test fabric in cold tap water, until it's completely wet (this is important so that the dye is evenly distributed).
7. Put your test fabric into the pot of tea for 2 minutes. Make sure it's completely submerged the whole time (I kept it down with my hands).
8. Rinse your test tulle/fabric in cold tap water so all the excess tea is gone.
9. Gently wring out the water, and hang your test tulle/fabric dry.
10. If the dry test tulle/fabric came out with the colour you want, repeat steps 6 - 9 with your veil. Otherwise, adjust the amount of time you submerge your test tulle/fabric and test again.
11. After you've dyed your veil, hang it to dry. Make sure it's not bunched up or stuck to another piece to ensure an even colour (though if you've rinsed it well enough, it shouldn't make too big of a difference).
**If you have a trim like mine, make sure the trim is laid out as flat as possible, too. I also went back to check on the veil again when it was about half dry to straighten things out (trust me... it's worth it!).
*** A word of caution: after dying (so wetting and drying), the lace trim on my veil needed to be ironed out. The little pieces of threads were never quite as straight as before.
So, on my second try (on a second veil), I made sure the trim as laid out very flat when it was hung to dry. Much better result!! :)
Hanging the veil to dry
Test fabric: before and after
Veil: before and after (first veil)
My Veil from the Back
I was really happy with how it turned out. :)
Don't forget to check out our wedding planning page for tips and advice!
We do beautiful custom-illustrated wedding invitations and save-the-dates. Read testimonials from our happy customers here!
Portrait of one of our favourite young families, inspired by their favourite manga, Naruto.
Happy Mother's Day!!
When we moved into our condo almost 3 years ago, we thought it'd be nice to have some plants to liven up the place. Sadly, I have no green thumbs and have managed to kill all plants previously given to me. :( That's why I decided to search for plants that are hardy enough that even I could nurture and keep.
Then, I stumbled upon this TED talk "How to Grow Fresh Air". I loved the idea of growing plants that can remove formaldehydes and other toxic, volatile chemicals from the air. Specifically, the speaker Kamal Meattle grew three types of plants in his Delhi's office: Areca palm, Mother-in-Law's Tongue and Money plant. Mother-in-Law's Tongue is a wonderful bedroom plant as it converts carbon dioxide into oxygen at night. Money plant is a miracle plant that absorbs toxic, volatile chemicals; some say Mother-in-Law's Tongue does the same.
After some research, I decided to buy Mother-in-Law's Tongue (aka Snake Plant) and Peace Lily (another plant that absorb toxic chemicals). They're both readily available in my local gardening stores, and are very economical. Best of all, they're deemed to be very sturdy plants that are easy to grow! They don't require a lot of sunlight, watering or fertilizer (I haven't used a single drop of fertilizer on them).
See how they've grown in less than three years! We've had to repot a few times. :)
Hi Everyone! This is Evy here. :)
I've always been interested in healthy eating & living, and as a Science teacher, I get asked tons of weird questions daily and love to share what I have learned (and continue to learn!).
Three years ago, I read a book called "Never Be Sick Again" by Raymond Francis. It's a book that has made a significant impact on my life. Sadly, yes, I've been sick again since reading the book, but I don't exactly follow everything it says either (oops!). I love the simplicity of the book's premise: there are only 2 reasons cells (and thus we) get sick: deficiency and toxicity. Deficiency comes about when we don't consume enough nutrients (Do you eat enough fruits and vegetables daily? Is there enough variety? I know I'm still guilty of not eating enough "colours"!). Toxicity comes not only from the food we eat (think about all the pesticides!), but also from our new cars, furniture, and household items. The book began with the story of how the author was once severely allergic to many things... including the smell of ink from a newly printed book. That really made me think. If that smell could make someone so sick, it can't be good for me, can it?
Anyhoo, there is my very long introduction to this blog post. The book mentioned how many toxic chemicals are in deodorants, so making a homemade deodorant was suddenly on top of my to-do list. Kin has been using this for more than two years now, and he loves it! I love the fresh scent of coconut. Sexier than those body sprays! ;)
This amazing recipe came from Clotilde's Chocolate & Zucchini Blog. I've made some minor adaptations to make it easier to make and use. And if you don't mind getting some beewax and essential oil, you can make a temperature-stable and thus travel-friendly version!
Coconutty Natural Deodorant
Prep Time: 10 min; Ready in: The next day (overnight refrigeration needed)
This lasts one person 2-3 months.
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons starch of your choice (we've always used corn starch, but you can use arrowroot powder, potato starch, or tapioca)
3 tablespoons (35 grams) organic virgin coconut oil, softened (available now at most food stores, including Costco)
1. In a small bowl, combine (2 tbs) baking soda and (2 tbs) starch.
2. Add the (3 tbs) coconut oil. Stir until smooth and creamy.
3. Use plastic wrap to line a separate small bowl. Pour the creamy mixture into the plastic wrap. Gather and twist the plastic wrap at the top. Kin likes to shape his like an oval soap.
4. Keep the wrapped creamy mixture in the small bowl to refrigerate overnight or until hardened. Voila!
5. Rub it on as you would with a normal deodorant. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge to maintain its shape. Alternatively, keep at room temperature and use it like a lotion.
We are expanding our product line!!
A question that we always get asked is if we could create something completely custom for less time and at a lower cost. We were unable to provide that service before because of the amount of time required in drawing the realistic style in our One and Only.
Since then, Kin has been exploring a new style of drawing that is more cartoon-like and less time-consuming. He has decided he can now create a custom product at $99 that is ready in 2 weeks!
Here are some sample he has drawn to demonstrate his new style. Keep in mind it'll be completely custom: you decide who's in the artwork, and what they're doing!
This is perfect for that birthday or anniversary gift for your special someone (e.g. your Mom!). :)
We can also customize it for a save-the-date or wedding invitation!
Are you watching the Oscars tonight? Here's a sketch of one of our favourite celebrity couples, George and Amal Clooney.
We're so excited to introduce live chat on our website!
Looking forward to our conversations!
We're so happy to announce that we have played a small part in the engagement of a beautiful couple!
The groom-to-be contacted us... and the rest is history :)
Congratulations, V + E!
Here's what the groom-to-be has to say:
"I recently contacted Ohnik Studio to have a custom piece of artwork drawn up to use as part of my proposal to my girlfriend of 10 years. Needless to say, I was extremely concerned about making sure this piece was perfect.
I did not have an exact design in mind but I had small details that I wanted to ensure were present in the drawing. I left the over-all design and style to Kin to put together. The end result was superb! I can definitively say that I would not have been able to come up with a design as good as what Kin put together. I’m very glad I left that part in his capable hands!
Everything came together on-time and he even made sure the digital file was formatted correctly to ensure that there would be no issues with printing at an external print shop.
Read more →
We have a winner... it is Jenny who guessed it took Kin 43 minutes to arrange the flower petals! Congratulations!!!
Jenny was our third entry... lightning speed AND accuracy! Her fiancé has definitely found a keeper.
Thanks everyone for participating and sharing our grand-opening giveaway!
While Kin's still finishing up a few new projects, here's a little sketch to tide art-lovers over. ;)
"Be Safe, Hong Kongers"
In Spring 2014, after a long day teaching at a tutoring centre, I came home to a glorious surprise:
All I could say was, "What? What...? No... really?" He then got down on one knee, and popped the question (not without a tear *ahem twinkle* in his eyes).
I said, "Of course! Yes!" and asked, "How long did it take to do this, taking flowers apart and all?"
The first person with the correct answer (______ minutes, no decimals) in the comments below will receive our digital Quickie Art Save the Date OR Wedding Invitation (a $99 value) for FREE!
*One entry per person (we will contact you by the email address you enter in comments)
*Round to whole number (no decimal)
*If no one gets the exact answer in 3 weeks, the person with the closest answer WITHOUT GOING OVER the correct number of minutes will win (Contest End Date/Time: Oct 9, 2014, 11:59pm).
*This IS transferable, meaning you can GIFT it to a friend!
I never get tired of telling this story... how did you get engaged? Share with us! :)
So the first place I recommend isn't actually a café, but a soda shop! It's the cutest, retro soda shop that offers a multitude of flavoured sodas (made on their 1931 Walrus Soda Fountain), sundaes, milkshakes, and pies. Their caramel apple pie and vanilla ice-cream were dynamite! They use local ice-cream from Birchwood Diary, and boy, did we taste the difference. The ice-cream was fresh, milky and not at all too sweet.
A neighbourhood cafe that is an absolute treasure. A friend said she felt like she was back in Paris when she stepped in. The first time I stumbled upon the café, I ordered a sour cherry tart to go, and devoured it before I could get to my car (which was parked a very short distance away). It was so good I literally doubled back to buy another one for Kin (so I could take another bite, of course). True story!!!
A personal favourite for those lazy Sunday afternoons when you need a little pick-me-up. Try their Katso Sandwich, especially if you're a pork-chop fan; we keep going back for it. They get quite busy during meal times (yay for their popularity!) but we have spent many a cozy, quiet afternoons there during the winter.
Our favourite macarons place in Vancouver. Not only do their macarons have the perfect texture (just a tad crunchy on the outside and oh-so-soft on the inside), but their flavour combinations are also surprisingly bold (and yummy of course!). Sadly, our favourite mango-black pepper seems to no longer be offered. Their black tea lemon and passionfruit macarons are equally excellent though.
A quiet, beautifully decorated cafe in the middle of one of the busiest districts in Vancouver. I was pleasantly surprised they served my hot milk tea in a chubby Bodum. Love their strawberry dark chocolate crepe.
Even FoodTV's John Catucci says, "You Gotta Eat Here"! Fluffy and soft, Miura's waffle sandos do not disappoint. I like their Wazza (waffle pizza), whereas Kin prefers the (fried!) Chicken and Waffle sandwiches.
What is your favourite café? Why? Share with us! #cafevancouver @ohnikstudio