Eastgate Arrival!

May 31, 2007

savior faire blue sketch book

Originally uploaded by Duc N. Ly.
previous post about Eastgate

flickr photo


Ah it’s been a long hiatus of reviewing paper, but at last! the book that I requested from Mark of Eastgate is here for a review! Just in time for the Hot Hot Hot weather too. I’ll be packing this slim book along on my sojourns. I love the indigo blue cover. It seems to be laced with fine fibers and wrapped in a soft paper over durable book making board. I did some drawings with Uniball Vision fine. This pen, let me tell ya, bleeds on most surfaces, especially index cards. On the Savior Faire paper however, it wrote well and draws a fine line. In fact it’s a perfect pen for such a rough acid-free hand made paper (50 pages). The paper is made in India. Imported by Savoir-Faire of Novato, CA 94949. Just by the look of it you can tell that it is an Artist Book. Measure 6″x8.5″ which is perfect for landscape sketching. east-gate-review-copy.jpg

This book was my companion last night as I sat with my wife. I sketched while she watched television. I’ve got some good labyrinth and flower patterns from just that one session of drawing. I put pen to paper right away because if you wait, the book is going to sit around empty. I choose blue ink to match the beautiful cover. I’ve never work with rough grade paper before so I challenged myself to a new surface and medium. I treated my pen to a snow white field and let it guide my thoughts. I can’t wait to try water color and pastel.

  • six signature hand sewn into the bind
  • Acid-Free – Rough
  • 50 Pages
  • Cotton Rag Paper
  • Deckle Edges
  • Suitable for Watercolor, Acrylic, Drawing Ink or Pastels.
  • $22

Mark thought it was interesting enough to include it in his personal blog: markbernstein.org/May0701/SketchbookReview.html I’m honored! Thanks Mark.

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at a diner, in second life

Originally uploaded by amywilson.
I thought this was an interesting concept. Amy Wilson painted a series of watercolor images of her Travels in Second Life. She put together a very nice book on

I asked her a few questions and here is her answer.


I’ll do my best to answer your questions… let me know if you want me to elaborate at all…

I’m an artist professionally. I have my body of work that I normally work on, which is different than the SL watercolors. I started playing around with the SL watercolors more or less as a lark – as a way to wind down the day after I’d spent hours working on my “real” work. I’d sit in my studio and paint all day, then go and spent an hour or so on SL, then – just before I’d fall asleep – I’d quickly make a watercolor of what I saw in SL and write some comments along with it. I also sometimes made a watercolor in the morning, just as I was waking up and warming up to get to work on my other projects.

I have been on SL for about a year. My in world name is Amy Freelunch.

The material is standard watercolor and pencil on paper. The originals are about the same size as they are in the book, so they are small (about 6 x 9 at the largest). While I’m flying around SL, I take multiple screenshots, trying to find a composition I really like. I might take 20 or 30 photos before I find the one I like (of course, this process is really easy in SL – just pushing a button). I go through them once I’ve logged off and then either print out the image (most of the time) or occasionally work from the screen. I prefer to print it out because it is usually late by that time and I’m working with water… don’t want to spill it on my computer!

Let me know if you need more info! Thanks so much for everything.

Come to the book signing in Second Life.


Check out her musing on Lulu and art

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Before Pulau Bidong

May 23, 2007

Before Pulau Bidong, I was a happy child. My childhood spent in church yards flying kite, traveling in packs on bikes, or walking to a book store and be mercerized as the book racks spin, a kaleidoscope of color-full comic covers blur together. Sometimes, we loose ourselves in a game of Chinese Chess. We gather around a small square of the board game thinking, scheming, and smelling the herbs of the ancient medicine of our forebears, sitting on the selves, soaking up the sun. Sometimes, my days would be filled with sand; sand bags, pits and caves. Fortified with buckets of water, the loose granules become fortresses. We launch anything, including ourselves, on the see-saw.

Then there was the bamboo season. When, I swear to you, everything and anything can be made out of bamboo: lanterns, chicken cage, toy guns. We fashion together a series of bamboo rifles using bamboo, empty tin can, bottle cap and most importantly, rubber band. You first fatten out the bottle can and put two nail holes onto the bottle cap. Then you string the strands of rubber band through the holes and fasten them to the holders onto the can. Basically, it’s just two small stick strapped with rubber band against the sides of the circular tin can drum. You twist the rubber bands with the bottle cap, restoring it’s potential energy with each revolution, increasing the rubber band’s torque in an algorithmic laws of the elastic limits. So when the trigger is tripped, the bottle caps rattled against the drum surface of the empty tin can. The noise of the vibration would send your enemies falling to their knees. This was before I saw the legendary bamboo traps of the jungles and the instruments of torture, in the movies.

Before take off. There are certain imagines that still linger on my mind. We left in the early morning light. Mother called for the Cyclo. She insists that the Cyclo be shrouded. When ask, we were to say that we are going to Soc Trang to visit relatives. Between us, my sister and I had one small bag. The bag must have contained some dry provisions, clothes, and sea faring drugs. We sit in semi darkness. I hear the bicycle bells ringing and the chain of the sprockets pulling the inertia that would change our lives.

We had a few days in Soc Trang to prepare the boat for launch. The details of which escapes me. All I can remember is walking the thin wooden planks to the boat. This was before I heard of Noah Ark. Looking back there maybe some similarities.

There was always the ever presence of the thin horizon in which the reality of my mind and the thing that’s outside of it seems to have shifted. Days of nothing but water and sky and waiting to see land or another boat. Days of drifting my addled mind drugged up to prevent sea sick, claustrophobia, and paranoia. There were days of infinite hope and unfathomable uncertainty.

I Lived onPulau Bidong


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Freedom Writers

May 23, 2007

Last weekend, my wife and I watched ‘Freedom Writer’.  Any movie about writer I’m interested right away.  It took some convincing to get my wife involved.  At first she thought it was going to be a boring movie.  For me a boring movie about writing isn’t all that bad.  We were both wrong.  This movie has a lot of stuff going on all the time.  Hilary Swank stars as a teacher in an inter-grated high-school of LA. This is a story based on a true story.  There was a little too much tear jerking involved.  But all in all, a good flick full of inspiration.

Hilary is also the Executive Producer!  Any film that features composition books, Border, and diary gets my vote.  Who is this film for?  People in the teaching profession, students, writers, and others.

“To Tame A Land”

May 18, 2007

“To Tame A Land”

major insturmental

first verse

He is the king of all the land,
in the kingdom of the sands,
of a time, tomorrow.

He rules the sandworm and the fremen
in a land amongst the star
of an age, tomorrow.

He is destined to be a king,
He rules over everything
on the land called Planet Dune.

Body water is your life,
and without it you will die
on the desert called Planet Dune.

second verse

Without a still suit you would fry on
the sands so hot and dry in a world
called Arrakiss.

It is a land thats rich in spice,
the sand riders and the mice’ that they
call Muad ‘Dib’

He is the Kwizatz Haderach,
He is born of Caladan, and will take
the Gom Jabbar.

He has the power to forsee or to
Look in to the past. He is the…..
Ruler of the stars.

Major instrumental break

epilog verse

The time will come for him to lay claim…
his crown and then the foe, yes they’ll be cut down.
You’ll see he’ll be….
the best that there’s been….
Messiah supreme
true leader of men.
And when the time for judgement’s at hand,
don’t fret, he’s strong He’ll make a stand
‘gainst evil, the fire that spreads thru the land.
he has the power to make it all end…..
From: klaatu@nando.net (Klaatu Barada Nickto)
Newsgroups: alt.fan.dune
Subject: To Tame A Land – Iron Maiden’s Dune song [pre-movie]
Date: Thu, 01 Feb 1996 02:01:14 GMT
Organization: The Alein Group

For more information on Iron Maiden, click here to see the information on them at the ‘Ultimate Band List‘.

Earlier, I wanted to start a library at work. I stumble upon this little suggestion in RealSimple magazine.

Previous Tip of the Week (TOW):

Poems from Alex Lanz

May 15, 2007

These poems are by Alex Lanz.  He’s about to graduate from Eighth grade and onto High School.


We look at each other’s lives through a rose colored glass, or so they say.

That while we look on to a boy playing with his cell phone his parents bought,

or a friend of yours holding the arm of a girl you liked,

you look through the rosy window of a lonely gray car,

seemingly headed towards oblivion.

But we shouldn’t blame the glass.

(which arguably we have forged with our own minds)

For the persons you are watching could be to blame.

As they have forged a façade, perhaps from the same material,

which ends up reflecting yourself,

without you ever knowing it.

But you look on, intoxicated by another’s joy.

Until it becomes a seed, that takes root,

and leaves muddy footprints all over your heart.

From Principles of Monotony



The vivid stars

complement the street lights.

And even though they’re so far away,

I want to take a handful

And sprinkle them into my ramen.


bright neon store lights

flash out from the darkness.

They then become the

stone clocks

for the frivolities

of the nightlife.


It’s like a large train

that takes away our concerns

to a vacation

for just a few hours,

and the train moves at a speed

that makes light seem slow and sticky.


Movie night:

A tradition as old as time.

I can picture the events of Creation

with a Sony HD screen,

the 1080p visuals sparking the cosmos,

the theater-quality sound

lapping at the Great Flood.


It acts like

extra-strong rope

that reties and strengthen

our ties, our bonds

ensuring sturdiness

as deep as the ocean.


The beauty of it

is that it means something


to every single person

it could mean to someone

the pinnacle of bliss

and to another,

unfathomable horror.


The train

(the one with our concerns)

moves so fast,

it could be compared to the speed of thought.

For there is a poem,

one just like this,

cycling through the minds of humans.

Beautiful language,

here in an instant,

gone in an instant,

language that would put Tolstoy to shame.

Also from Principles of Monotony

For Alex Kohler

Opportunity for a humorous annotation

is never wasted here,

his last one told at the lunch table,

 bouncing amongst the trays.

His unfailing ability

to shift all things towards the universal language of sex.

It has the femininity that flusters us,

yet they are droll enough to make us stay longer.

How amusing these quick and witty strings of words are.

But the best joke would be in the evenings,

when my friends were all in one abode.

And the sun was either plowing through thick clouds,

or seeping through the windows.

As the safety net of the familiar

amplifies the comical genius.

And every “Ha Ha!”

Becomes another musical note

brightens with happiness

and becomes one of many lights of a cruise ship

on a tropical sea.

From Friends: a Collection of Odd Love Poems