PicMonkey Collage

To somewhat add to my creative repertoire, I am also sometimes a stand-in hand model for our food shoots. So far my hands have been featured in a step-by-step guide to making macarons, in a recipe for perfect ice cream sandwiches, among others. Admittedly, I am chosen not because of the state of my ex-piano playing, knuckly hands, but rather usually pulled for the job last minute…or because the team just needs to give the crazy editor something to do so that she’ll stop nit-picking every frame we shoot. Tsk. The art of hand modelling is not an easy one to master. Move – pause. Tilt – pause. Hold. Repeat. Muscle strains a plenty.

This weekend we’ll be shooting an outdoor picnic, and yes, featuring my hands laying out the food, unwrapping sandwiches, pouring seltzer into glasses, etc. It’s all in the details to tell the entire story. So! Off I will go to get a manicure to lessen the Photoshop post-work for my designers.

Really, this is just a long intro to what I really wanted to talk about – the gorgeous range of nail polishes from Scotch Naturals. If I had to choose, Stiletto, Seaboard and Leprechaun-Lynch are my choice shades.

Nail polish (not necessarily a full-on manicure) is part of my regular beauty routine. I can be fresh-faced, without a smidge of makeup, but if there’s colour on my nails, I’ll feel ready to face the day. Perhaps it’s because I am typing all day and that extra splash of colour gives me a quick energy boost. The shades will depend on my mood that day, or even what mood I want to be in. Nail polish (or varnish, if you’re so inclined) colour selection displays ¬†another dimension of our personalities, and adds another sentence to the story of ourselves that we all tell, every day.

Image: Scotch Naturals

In the Mood for…



Creating a moodboard and concept sheet for an issue is one of my most favourite things about what I do. Afterall, I get to call sourcing photography, surfing Pinterest, browsing recipes sites, and reading magazines my job. This is what this week was all about.

Those who know me know that I am awfully selective about being mainstream. Granted, in producing a magazine, we need to cater to our readers. And our readers are….mainstream. However, as an editor it’s my job to inject some unexpected into the expected.

PicMonkey Collage

The palette we’ve decided on will use a lot of gold, orange and plum with hints of pale green. And as usual I will probably try to sneak in tints of blue, just because I feel it allows eyes to rest while being inundated with visual after visual. It’s difficult to not default to browns and reds so we needed to throw in some pops of contrast. I’m also eying the colours of Moonrise Kingdom.

As we all know, autumn is the season for harvest. But in China, it’s not just about flavours and staples, but more so about eating the right seasonal ingredients to keep your body warm – literally. Therefore we will be incorporating chestnut, gingko, white sesame, taro and ginger into our heartier-than-ever recipes. Lots and lots of wonderful, pungent ginger to keep our systems cosy.

PicMonkey Collage1

For this issue, I just want to evoke that special autumn feeling of coming home to something warm. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Coming home to the smell of hearty homecooking, gathering around with loved ones, jumping into piles of crunchy, golden leaves, walking into a room full of laughter. It’s always a challenge for me to fuse East and West together (we don’t have piles of leave to jump through here in Shanghai, or apple pie, for the matter), but it’s fun to see how many ways we can sneak new ideas in.

Alright, Issue 10. Let’s get you started.

Photo: Tart + Tea, London, May 2011.
Images: Bouquet, Lipsticks, Yarn, Apples. Tarts, Citrus, Porridge.