Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

, originally uploaded by desireux.

To all the Moms out there!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pretty paper accents

Color scheme, originally uploaded by desireux.

Here's another card for Mother's Day on May 10th. I'm always thinking of ways to give my cards a subtle hint of color- classy and not too flashy. I have a stash of pretty papers and decided play around with giving my latest cards some color accents. This pretty blue paper is by Martha Stewart and I like how the blue really goes well with the warm chocolate.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

No earthquakes this year

carefree for a moment, originally uploaded by desireux.

Compared to last year with the midwestern earthquake, this year was *peaceful* but still as meaningful. I passed my Preliminary Examinations (a major milestone in my graduate program) two days ago, and today Pop-Ups by tracychong has been online for two years.

The day I had my prelims was a very nice day, so I had a mushroom bagel, a cold bottle of vitamin water, and just sat outside slowly eating my lunch. At that time I was too tired to be overjoyed but it was so nice to just be able to sit in the sun savoring a little carefree moment. I was happy with the way my prelims went, but if I were to do it again, I would definitely handle the preparations differently. I was juggling experiments and writing at the same time right up to a few days before I had to submit my proposal and that really took a toll on me. I would have enjoyed the writing process much more and produced a better piece of work if I had just concentrated on the writing. I'm glad that I can concentrate now on experiments, I received some suggestions during the presentation and I'm so excited to try them out.

Moving on to the pop-up cards, yay for two years, thanks to the most awesome new owners of the pop-ups- you have no idea how happy I am reading the feedback that you take time to leave, many times it has made a not-so-nice day much better. To the other person behind this pop-up venture, you still continue to surprise me with your best-selling ideas, I always enjoy our discussions, thanks so much for everything!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Still can't decide which I like best.

More frozen yogurt. Looks like almost every entry here mentions frozen yogurt :P

I think I prefer the firmer texture of Cold Stone's. Coco mero's has a nice green tea one. Although I still like the tart taste of plain yogurt.

I've got to wake up early for class tomorrow, yes, on a Saturday .. and will probably spend the weekend working on pop-ups for a wedding. Hope to play some football though!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thanks, Mom ... you're the BEST!

Mother's Day is less than a month away. I really should mail my Mother's Day card to my mom so that it reaches her by May 10th. This year I decided to be a little bolder with colors, hence the pink+green combo. I'm loving the colors but I think my favorite part are the two tiny hearts :)

Anyway, it's almost my bed time but I'm so looking forward to tomorrow. There's a new frozen yogurt place in town and it's opening at 10 am! Breakfast may be pushing it but I'm definitely having yogurt for lunch. It's going to be a self-serve place where you dispense your own yogurt and then top it up with goodies. Yums!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, originally uploaded by desireux.

Wishing all of you a lovely weekend ~

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hello April, Hello Spring.

Hello April, Hello Spring., originally uploaded by desireux.

Here's wishing you an April that's filled with sunny skies, yummy treats, baby animals and all pretty things.

These few days ice-cream has been constantly on my mind! The best custard in town, Jarling's Custard Cup is open for the season. My favorite is the plain and simple vanilla sundae + cold fudge. Then one Friday during spring break, my lab-mate suggested going to get ice-cream. So, off we went to Cold Stone. I haven't always been a fan of Cold Stone, I've actually been there only once before this trip because I find their ice-cream very sweet. But ... I tried their tart and tangy frozen yogurt + white chocolate chips and it was SO good. It tasted just home-made yogurt, just frozen, and the tangy-ness combined with the sweetness was just perfect. Guess what, I started craving it the whole weekend, and ended up having more on Sunday :P

Experimenting with frames.

Experimenting with frames., originally uploaded by desireux.

Here's the rest of the lolspeak cards. From now onwards, I think i'm going to upload photos in this collage-frame-format. I'm liking the float-y effect.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Just spring and I'm enjoying ice-cream

My oh my, it's already the third week of March. The past two weeks have just been a big blur... late late nights in lab, coming home past midnight, then tending to my beloved pop-ups. My preliminary examination (big exam in the middle of grad school) is less than a month away and part of it is writing a proposal (which is due in a few days!).

Fortunately the weather has been rather spring-y, and I've managed to squeeze little moments of joy like enjoying a sherbert popsicle on the quad. It's amazing how little things like this can help maintain one's sanity. And ... this weekend I also spent a little time at the mall! What a wonderful two hours it was. The highlight of my shopping adventure was finding the perfect jumper. I was just about to leave the store when Taylor Swift's Love Story started playing, so I just hung around to listen to it. It was there and then where I spotted the jumper. It was exactly what I had imagined the perfect jumper to be! Of course I had to get it :)

Anyway, back to pop-ups. I'm also working on my Mother's Day collection so it should be up before the end of March.

Ok, signing off now, and off to bed so that I can wake up fresh and ready to write. Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My new stash arrived!

My new stash arrived!, originally uploaded by desireux.

My spring colors have arrived! They are SO happy looking. I've already made some very fresh looking spring-themed pop-up cards (think bunnys, lots of greens, bees ..) and they are up in the store. Very excited! Actual photos will follow soon.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


, originally uploaded by desireux.

As previously hinted :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Stew

Sunday Stew, originally uploaded by desireux.

I woke up kind of earlier than expected this morning and decided to get started on my beef stew. I've been more fond of potatoes than usual this past week or so, thus added sweet potatoes and normal red skinned potatoes. After about 7 hours in the crock pot, the potatoes were so nice. They still held their shape but were soft and so satisfying! I still have mashed potatoes in the fridge, whole uncooked potatoes on the kitchen counter, and a bag of baby potatoes with 4 cheese sauce ready to be microwaved. I guess this week is potato week?

If you are interested in what else is in the stew, just click on the photo, I've listed the ingredients on my flickr page.

Ok, goodnight. I know my Monday will be super busy just because I was supposed to work on a lab presentation this weekend but didn't. Hope your week goes well!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

i miss u <3

, originally uploaded by desireux.

Love is missing someone whenever you're apart,
but somehow feeling warm inside because you're close in heart.
~Kay Knudsen

I found this quote through google, pretty sweet isn't it?

Besides this newest addition to the store, I also have 3 cards for my new category "geekery". I've always been a fan of I Can Has Cheezburger?® and the cats never fail to make me laugh. And .... although some of you may think I'm pretty serious, sometimes I do go "O Hai" ... oh no, did I just reveal that I go "O Hai" just for fun? Anyway, do stop by the store to check out the new cards if you can guess what they are. Photos will follow soon!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

V-day / Heart day, originally uploaded by desireux.

How did you spend your Valentine's Day?

I spent the day in class learning about new venture formation as part of my module on Entrepreneurial Strategies and Technology Management. It isn't the most romantic thing to do, but I thought the topics covered today were quite interesting. Plus, in the spirit of Valentine's Day, the professor made some analogies which I found pretty funny, like how starting a successful business is like finding a wife- you may encounter quite a few no's but all you need is one YES!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

a few days of beautiful

Sunflowers make me smile, originally uploaded by desireux.

You might be wondering ... flowers... sunflowers in Urbana-Champaign in early February? Well, we didn't have sunflowers but we did have just lovely weather. I could walk around campus in just a cardigan and go to a basketball game with just a hoodie, and that was enough to make me so happy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Feelings and Pop-Ups

Central Park, originally uploaded by desireux.

Today, I wrote a very sweet message in one of my pop-up cards on behalf of a lovely lady. It made me feel very touched, and it was so heart warming to think of people expressing their feelings for one another through the pop-up cards. Definitely an awww moment!

Anyway, it's time to sleep. Enjoy the beautiful winter scenery of Central Park in New York!

Monday, February 2, 2009


Lovebirds, originally uploaded by desireux.

First of all, thanks for the comments on my personal assistant. SLM was right ... she is a tiny bottle of water for me to seal my envelopes. Now, eating too much glue would not be good for my health, would it?

This is another of my designs for Valentine's Day. My darling lovebirds. I always wonder when I see real life lovebirds ... what they feel, if they really love each other or if it's just instinct that causes them to snuggle against each other.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Behind the scenes: My personal assistant

My personal assistant ^-^, originally uploaded by desireux.

Meet my adorable personal assistant, who plays a very important role at Pop-Up Central- where all my pop-up cards come to life. She is barely two inches tall, but is crucial in ensuring all of you get your pop-ups safe and sound. Anyone care to guess what she does?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Watching the inauguration

Lying on the Quad, originally uploaded by desireux.

Today, the sixth floor gathered in the seminar room to watch the inauguration of the 44th president, Barack Obama. It was rather memorable moment.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Year of the Ox

Year of the Ox, originally uploaded by desireux.

My friend has been asking me to make him some Chinese New Year cards with a cute ox because it's the year of the ox based on the chinese zodiac. So I sketched out the ox, gave it a lil' touch-of-cuteness, and even gave them either a flower or bandana depending on if the card was for a girl or guy.

On another note, I would like to give a shout out to Wanwisa from the blog Modern Vintage Designs who did a lovely (and huge!) feature on my pop-up cards. Thank you very much! The concept of her blog is very cool, and her "About me" page tells a very interesting story of she went from planning her own wedding to actually making the switch to the wedding industry, and is having so much fun planning more celebrations.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Updated: My Portfolio

Hi dearest readers. Hope you are warmer than I am over here :)

Anyway, I've just updated my custom pop-up card portfolio to include my latest wedding projects and a few other fun ones over the past months. To visit me, click this link. I would love to hear what you think so feel free to leave me a comment here. It'll be very much appreciated!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's getting cold in here ...

Looks like a gnomes playground, originally uploaded by desireux.

I stopped by the oriental store today to get something for my Tom Yam noodle soup. Ended up buying some frozen raw oysters, and they tasted so good in the hot broth, especially in the cold, cold weather.

Outside the oriental store, they have these tiny lamp posts, about 2 feet tall amongst miniature pine trees. Even though it was freezing, the whole area looked like a playground for fairies or gnomes with the warm glowing lights. So pretty!

My fingers are so cold now typing this. Even with heat on (and I'm wearing 5 layers of clothes!) it is still very cold inside my apartment. It's now 2 F (-17C) and the feel like temperature is -17F (-27C). How crazy is that? There is a wind chill warning and it's only going to get colder tomorrow. Oh dear.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Boy meets Girl

, originally uploaded by desireux.

This is another new design from this year's Valentine's Day collection.

Somehow, this pop-up card really reminds me of the 1991 movie My Girl starring Macaulay Culkin. Have you watched it? It remains one of my favorite movies of all time even though I watched it only once years ago! It's that memorable. I remember crying and feeling so touched. I love the song too, also titled My Girl by The Temptations and have it on my "making cards" playlist.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Fluttering here and there, originally uploaded by desireux.

So here it is, the final version of my fluttering hummingbirds. Definitely looks much cleaner and less cluttered. With the previous version , I kept feeling that something was not right, but now I'm very happy with it.

As for photographing the pop-ups, I'm experimenting with using a plain white backdrop for a fresher look. I've found it works well for some cards but not others. Anyway, now my Etsy store has a combination of photos using both the new backdrop and my usual black/grey gradient one.

This card is part of my Valentine's Day collection of pop-up cards, which you can find here.

Friday, January 2, 2009

More color, please ...

, originally uploaded by desireux.

This year you'll be seeing a much more colorful me.

I'll use more colors in my pop-up cards.

I'm going to include more color in my outfits, right now I'm loving reds.

and shoes.. oh yes, colorful shoes :)