Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Pokemon Review Wednesday

Hello and welcome to a new video review!

It's July 26 of 2017 (already?) and though I look 'too sticky' to be on camera right now, I did it anyway. Because I love the feedback from you lovely people 😁

Today we'll look at 3 of my favorite Pokémon items. I used to have a super adorbs ~squishy~ Pikachu keychain too, but my obsession with his ears led to their accidental removal :/

Hahaha yes, I did sing a little in this. It could be the weather (or the Ativan I'm taking for work-related anxiety), but I felt really giddy at the time of filming. Or maybe it was just the rush of 'cuddle hormones' (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

Thank you for reading with me today - who is your favorite Pokémon?

Daryl J.
Artist and Blogger

Monday, 24 July 2017

Monster High - Are They Kawaii?

Hello, how are you?

At 29 years old, I've been a fan of Mattel's Monster High™ line of dolls and TV specials for several years (since they came out). In fact, thanks to Rob I have one of the original Draculaura dolls - with her black & pink ponytails, cute voice, Victorian (or 'Lolita') style and ironic dislike of blood - she's my favorite!

Image result for draculaura

See the Draculaura love post here

In fact, if you've been following this blog for some time, then you've seen her make some random appearances in photo form here & there. For a vampire, she sure shows up well on camera, hahaha.

Personally *I think they're kawaii characters, but what do you think of Monster High?

If you'd like more information to weigh your decision, let's look at some characters and learn more about them ^_^

Note they all have big eyes, cute/innocent smiles and inward-turned feet, which show some shyness (which is perceived as part of kawaii style). However, their heads aren't oversized and their bodies are long and slender instead of short & squat. This call is up to you.

I did draw a 'kawaii Draculaura' last October:

Most of the female main characters (or, should I say 'mane characters'?) have a distinctive mark on their cheek, which plays along with their monstrous(ly cute) background! Draculaura's is a heart, Cleo De Nile's is a diamond (she is the daughter of The Mummy, which is why she is royalty and possesses strange magic). Frankie Stein has a stitch pattern on her cheek:

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And as for their personality traits? Well, with some exceptions (like Cleo and older sister Nefera, as well as the Were-Cats led by Torelei) these monsters have big hearts full of love to give. They're genuinely curious about others, love to have fun, respect feelings and their web series promotes friendship and tolerance.

I don't know about you, but I believe that promoting messages of peace is what Kawaii is all about!

Thank you for reading today,
xoxo Daryl J.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Reviewing Despicable Me 3 - Minion Toy

Hello everyone, you look lovely today. How are you?

Today is about day 2 of my 'aunt flo'. I am cramping and I look awful, lol. It is however, Review Wednesday (July 19, 2017) and today we're having a quick look at a Minion Happy Meal toy. We'll mostly be doing photos, but I took a couple of awkward one-handed videos to show that vibrates and is supposed to 'fly'.

Which is why I dub him...

'Flying Kevin'!

 Here he is, wrapped in plastic, saying - 'Somebody let me outta here!'

His instructions say (like IKEA furniture ones) that he has a switch on his back that causes him to vibrate and you should toss him to a friend, rather than hold him. I am here alone so I didn't get the full effect, lol.

A close-up of the switch. It seemed to have a mind of it's own and worked about 60% of the time I was turning it, hahaha.


Here is the first video I tried to take, when I finally got him vibrating. I tried to stand 'Flying Kevin' upright, but his feet are at such an angle that if he's not held, he falls down. Much like a toddler.


This video is slightly worse than the other one, but that's okay. Not everything in life is perfect, and it is that imperfection that keeps it beautiful.

And I saved my very favorite photo for last - since the whole 'Minion craze' started a few years back, I immediately saw the uncanny resemblance to my husband Rob!

To this day, he disagrees. "I do not look like a Minion.." he claims.

BTW, the picture on our computer is from our first date on August 11, 2008. We still lived in Calgary then, and so we enjoyed a day at Devonian Gardens and around downtown. Our wedding was held exactly 3 years later - August 11, 2011. We had that at Heritage Park, historical village. If you are visiting Calgary, we highly recommend Heritage Park - and Devonian Gardens.

Thank you for taking a moment out of your busy day to spend with me - much appreciated!

The date is now July 19, but this was originally drawn on the above date.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Learning Some Japanese

Hello friends!
I had a very cool conversation recently with a really nice young lady who works at Dairy Queen in Deer Park, just 20 minutes away from our home.

I don't want to have a 'swollen head'... in fact, the opposite is true - I'm beginning to get recognized more & more by strangers since getting this Kawaii365 project out there. And it makes me feel humble and full of gratitude 💓

Yesterday Rob & I stopped for lunch there, and when we had donated to the children's hospital via the Children's Miracle Network, I automatically wrote some kawaii stuff on the paper balloon.

When the super sweet girl came to our table moments later, she asked if I could speak Japanese, and that started a really nice discussion about going to Japan and seeing the Hello Kitty theme parks.

I've been pondering on her question about being able to speak Japanese - I know only a little, but alas there are others out there who would like to know even that. So here goes:

Konnichiwa - good day, hello.

Konbanwa - specifically, good evening.

Hajimemashite, dozo yoroshiku - "I am meeting you for the first time, I shall look forward to your kindness"

Kawaii - cute, 'glowing face' (which explains the rosy cheeks).

Domo, Domo Arigatou, Arigatou, etc. - various ways of saying thank you, depending on event.

Sayanora - goodbye; often informal.

Sumimasen - a formal 'sorry'. Also used for 'excuse me' in public.

Kudasai - common 'please'. Often used in context like 'please give me...'

Nyan - 'meow'

Neko - cat or kitty. 'Maneki Neko' is Lucky Cat.

Usagi - bunny - sooo cute!

Banzai! - A Japanese cheer, often said before drinking Sake (sah-kay).

Itadakimasho - "let's eat!"

-San - Adding this after someone's name (often surname) shows respect, like saying 'Mr.'

Chocolate (yes please!) - chokoreto.

Coffee Shop - Kohii Shoppu.

Dozo - "please, help yourself."

Matsuri - festivals (very popular, esp. in Harujuku and Tokyo).

Kigurumi - 'large wearable toy', often refers to adult onesies (like PJs). Love these!

Yukata - a light-weight, cotton robe (similar to a kimino in style, but way less fancy).

Hai - yes.  The Japanese word for 'no' is iie, but they don't like to say it because it's considered rude. They are a very polite culture that would prefer not to rebut.

Hashi - chopsticks. Great for sushi! Or anything cooked in tempura (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

Umami - a sort of savory, meaty flavor.

And Some vowel info for easier pronunciation when reading Romaji (Japanese in the Roman alphabet which is why it looks familiar):

There are no diphthongs in this language (yay!). That means each vowel can be pronounced independently for the most part. This means that:

A sounds like 'ah'
E sounds like 'eh'
I sounds like a long 'ee'
O sounds like 'oh'
and U sounds like 'oo'

So for example, using one of the above words, the word 'please' sounds like Koo-dah-sah-ee.

And when you have a moment - thank you for checking out the new line of cute animal characters inspired by this year-long blog project - Zoo'd Blog

Thank you for reading,
have a great day!

Monday, 17 July 2017

New Characters Coming Soon

Good evening, konbanwa (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

So as you know, this blog has brought me a very far way as an artist since 2016. My heart is filled with an abundance of gratitude! 💗

And now, with inspiration from many of you, there is a new line of characters coming your way. It is exciting to work a little each day to bring them to life, and it's an honor to get to introduce them to you soon 😍

They are Zoo'd Animal Hybrid Friends - they like to go by Zoo'd for short.

Many thanks to you all!
Daryl J.

What's Cute This Week - July 17, 2017

Hello and welcome to a new spin on 'Are They Kawaii?' as I most recently was exposed to some very kawaii things IRL (in real life).

To start off, today is July 17 - which means it's World Emoji Day!!

How will you be celebrating? For some inspiration on emoji, see this cute post here.

And last night in bed, I was flipping channels and came across a very sweet game show (hosted by the forever good-looking Mario Lopez) based on the popular Candy Crush game app. I didn't know this was a thing, and it looks awesome!

Rob & I had a very nice weekend together in Sylvan Lake, Alberta. While we were there, I was visually bombarded by the large, colorful and painfully cute pool floaties of passers-by!

Though I didn't take pictures of them specifically, I thought the donut, the unicorn and the others were worth sharing with you guys!

Image result for kawaii pool floaties   Image result for kawaii pool floaties

If you live in Alberta and are planning a trip to Sylvan Lake, be sure to stop by More Moo or Big Moo for food, ice cream and some cute summer fun items!

Are you at least the age of majority (18-21+) in your region?

Okay, good. I want to tell you about a really nice scratch ticket Rob & I recently did (it was $3 and I won the $3 back too). It's called Rainbow Treasures, and it is much like the Lucky Lines scratch & win tickets, where you uncover symbols to reveal an entire line for a cash prize.

If you have access to these tickets in your region, I strongly suggest trying them! Even if you don't get a cash prize from it, the pastel visuals will give you a Dopamine and Oxytocin rush!

Thank you for your time today!

Stay tuned to this blog, as we're soon going to be introducing a new line of characters with their own blog, coloring books, web comics and tee shirts! I love designing so much, and your support is much appreciated!!

Have a sweet day! xoxo
Daryl J.

Friday, 14 July 2017

First Feature Friday (Since End of Kawaii365 Project)

Hello friends!

Still coming to terms here - it is still surreal that 365 art projects flew by over a year. It literally made me a bigger, more talented/skilled and open-minded person.

And it's an honor to share that joy with you (✿◠‿◠)

Before we meet today's (July 14's) #FeatureFriday cutie, here is another 'brag'. I also got featured with Red Deer Express. This city has amazing news media outlets and people! So glad to have moved here in 2015. Aside from the obvious getting married, it's the best thing Rob & I have done (and getting this condo too).

Sharing this story isn't so much about bragging, as it is about reaching out to other artists and creatives, and encouraging y'all to follow your dreams. Don't worry what others tell you, or think of your goals. Believe in yourself, and just try it. You may be pleasantly surprised by what happens!

And today it is an honor to meet Tomoto from Kyoto, Japan. She graduated from Kyoto Art University Visual Design Department and is a freelance illustrator, known for kawaii-style food & animal scenes.

Impressively, she has a lot of corporate clients, ranging from Sanrio to Panasonic (my husband's very favorite electronics brand, BTW). In her spare time, she runs a cute blog by cute cartoon Panda, 'Berry' (who lives in Macaron Town).

My Photo

Her blog is called 'Sweet Life' and is primarily focused around desserts! Yay!

 Berry the bear holding up a big chocolate heart for Valentine's Day of 2017. I really appreciate that she has a regular character. So sweet!

Have a look at this cute 'foodie couple':


Thank you for taking a moment to enjoy some cuteness from fellow kawaii artists - and seriously, who doesn't love cookies, donuts, ice cream, cake and fruit? (before you say 'Diabetics', these items *do come sugar-free).

Rob & I will be enjoying Sylvan Lake together this weekend - wishing you all the best!

Daryl J.