Always In My Heart

It has been 3 years today since I lost a piece of my heart. Although it has been that long, it still feels like yesterday. Nono was diagnosed with mast cell tumor a week after my dad’s unexpected passing. Even with cancer cells showing all around his body, he was still his playful, goofy self. I thought, or was hoping he would eventually get better with western/chinese medications and a stricted diet. But that only lasted for 8 months. His condition took a turn for the worst overnight. Suddenly he was refusing food which was very unlikely of him. I hugged him close to sleep that night, praying that he would feel better the next day. When dawn came, he was unresponsive. Then he had a seizure in his unconscious state. I was feeling so scared and helpless all alone at home at that time. I remember running around the block with his lifeless body in my arms frantically trying to flag down a cab to get to the vet (for some reason, the cab I called didn’t show up). But no one would stop their car. I was crying and praying so hard for help. I was a wreck. My boy didn’t wake up since that day. As I gaze up at the sky each night, I think about our evening walks in the park. I miss his cheeky face. I miss holding him close in my arms again. I’m sorry, I wasn’t a great pawrent to you.. I wish I could have done so much more. I hope you knew you were loved till the very end. For now, I’ll just keep you close in my heart till we meet again.

❤ Blessings, Charllotte

An Animal's Love

Some people believe that pets are more than just our furry friends; they are our spiritual guides or soul companions, and they are here to guide us, to teach us important life's lessons. I couldn’t agree more. If there were no Nono, there would be no Dollgift, and you won't be seeing drawings of a little girl exploring the world with her cute doxie! I hope everyone who comes across my drawings be inspired by their sense of wonder. :)

I did not grow up in a positive or supportive environment. In fact I have a critical mother who never fails to make me doubt myself. Being an introvert, INFJ and HSP all rolled into one only make things more complicated. I don’t share work related stuffs at home because I know their negative remark is going to affect me. I love my family and I have no doubt they love and cared for me too, but sadly, things don’t always work out the way we hoped no matter how hard we try. Sometimes we just have to go against the wind and do what we feel is best for us. I won’t deny it’s a very challenging path I have chosen. But then again, I have never felt more alive in my entire life. Because of my perseverance, I was able to do the things I enjoy and support the causes I care deeply about. I know if this is my life’s purpose, I’m going to have to keep my faith and trust the universe to guide me.

I have always felt a strong connection with animals. I want to support animal rights not just by monetary means but also through my lifestyle preferences. I have been on a mostly vegetarian diet since 2006 (I said 'mostly' because I still consume fish occasionally) and I try to use cruelty-free products. Now after learning about the horrific treatments of farm animals, I want to go vegan.

I have an envelope labelled ‘Angel Charity Fund’ where I put 10 percent of each sale I make (50 percent from my DOGs collection) inside. Every now and then I come across appeal for financial aids for animal shelters/ rescue centres on social medias, or whichever emergency cases I feel called to help, this is where the fund goes. I also like to contribute my works for fundraising efforts.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to share my career journey with you. I sincerely want to thank each and every one of you who has supported me in every little ways. Without you, I won't be able to pursue my dreams. I hope by sharing my story, you too, will be inspired to live yours.

I pray that sweet Nono from above will continue to guide me in helping more animals. ^^

 The last photo we took together. <3

The last photo we took together. <3

❤ Blessings, Rheea

All Dogs Go To Heaven

My heartfelt thanks and appreciation for all your love and words of encouragement over my loss. I know many of you were deeply sadden by the news especially those who have known Nono through my blog and drawings over the years. 

A lovely lady wrote me this:
'I hope you find peace in your heart knowing that I enjoyed seeing him in your art, I hope you don't stop.' 

It means alot to me knowing what I do bring joy to people. Although Nono had left us physically, his spirit remains. So no, I wont stop drawing him. I hope his mischievous antics will continue to bring smiles to your face. :)

Well, I've no doubt my boy is having the time of his life above now. 

Art print available on Etsy, www.etsy.com/shop/dollgift

Have a fun-filled weekend!

❤ Blessings, Rheea

Goodbye Nono...

With a very heavy heart, I'd like to announce that my beloved boy had left us yesterday. He was very blessed to be surrounded by his loved ones when he passed. He looked as though he was taking his nap on a usual afternoon, except he's no longer in pain.

We weren't prepared for this to happen so soon. Afterall, his condition seemed to have stabilised over the past 7 months after the diagnosis. He was reacting well to his changed diet, Chinese medicines and supplements. The tumours on various parts of his body (with new ones forming now and then) had all disappeared, except for the one on his fore paw but even that seemed under controlled. Without any warning, everything just went downhill at a rapid speed within a few days. Then he was gone. I kept asking myself what had I done wrong or not done enough. I was struggling with so much guilt. His vet however assured me that sometimes our sick pet may seem completely normal on the outside, active and running about, but we wouldn't know what's really going on inside their body; the cancer cells could have spread to other parts of his body without us realising. I felt a little better.. just a little. I guess we just weren't ready to let him go. But then again, we'll never really be ready. I keep reminding myself at least he is no longer in pain.

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Thinking back, I'm really grateful to have that 'extra' 7 months with him. If he were to leave right after my dad's passing, it'd have been alot harder for us. And because of that, we treasured the moments we got to spend with him more. I'm sure he is in a beautiful place, possibly with my dad now. For now, I'll just have to continue to miss hugging him, sniffing his head, having him greet us at the door when we return home, staring intently at us whenever we're eating, letting him naps on my bed as I work at my desk, our evening walks in the park, and most of all, miss having him around.

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Run free my boy. You'll always be in our hearts; our mischievous darling boy. Till we meet again. :') 

❤ Blessings, Rheea

Updates And Result For Giveaway

A few things to update today.

Over the weekend, we had two events going at the same time. Both of these shelters, Gentle Paws and Causes For Animals Singapore (CAS) are one of our beneficiaries. Thank you for those who were there to show them your support. If you know of other animal shelters who might benefit from our merchandise donation, do drop me a message and I'll be in touch. :)

Our DOGs campaign perks...

The parcels were finally packed and delivered to our beloved funders! Yay~ You could be receiving them this week if you reside in Singapore. In fact, some of them told me they'd received it. International shipping usually takes about 2 weeks but since it's the festive period, it could be longer. I hope you'll like your items! :)

Now, the result for our giveaway! Woohooo~~

It was nap time and my boy was reluctant to help, so I had to do the pick myself. Congratulations to Christina Siew, the lucky winner of our giveaway! I'll get in touch with you soon.

Thanks to everyone who took part. I hope you had fun like I did. I'm hoping to do a giveaway every month. Do like (and 'follow') our Facebook page or subscribe to our mailing list to ensure you don't miss our next giveaway.

Have a great week ahead!~

❤ Blessings, Rheea

Nono's Birthday & Basic Illustration Class - Lesson 6

Lesson 6 was something new and very fun! Haha. You probably heard me say the same thing every week but I really enjoyed every lesson.

For this lesson, we learned how to use references as a base to develop on (paint over). 

I created this from an image reference. Unfortunately I forgot to create a new layer before painting over it, so I don't have the original image now. :/

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Exploration. Alien invasion?

Oh no! More aliens?!

Then I got bored. And changed the colour... I love my new colour!

And added this. A devilish fairy! Things start to get exciting...

Then Jimmy suggested that I put in a frozen villain. So I came out with this!

I'm pretty proud of the outcome. This must be the BEST fantasy art I'd created so far! Heh heh. What do you think? :)

If you liked what I've shared so far, do stay tuned for our lesson 7 recap next week!

Also happening last week, we celebrated Nono's 12th birthday. Since his diagnosed with mast cell tumor nearly 3 months ago, I'm glad he's still active and eating very well. There are around 8 masts all over his body at the moment; some have since reduced in size but the one at his mouth is not looking good.

We're still praying for the best and hope we'll get to celebrate his 13th, 14th, and more birthdays with him. Stay strong my boy!

❤ Blessings, Rheea


Updates

Recently my Nono was diagnosed with cancer. We took him to the vet after we observed a continuous growth of  lumps on the bottom of his paw and lower lip. Yes, it is the dreaded cancer. BUT no, I'm not going to give any more power to this disease. Not even after losing my dad to lymphoma two months back.

Considering my boy would be turning 12 this year, we have no intention of letting him go through any surgery that would cause him to lose two toes (or more) and his lower lip. After consulting with a TCM vet and doing some research online, we made quite abit of adjustment to his diet which now consist mainly of home-cooked meal, TCM and some supplements. 

I'm glad he is still eating very well at the moment. Just look at how adorable he was in his new booties (sorry my dear, they only had the pink ones left :p).

Please be strong and healthy again, naughty boy! 

On a lighter note, I'd signed up for a basic illustration course at Mages which will commence end of July. Although this is just a 6-weekly course, I'm still very excited about it. Plus, this would be my very first illustration course as I've never done anything like this before. The encouraging part is that, I was also being offered a 90% grant by MDA (Media Development Authority). This means I only have to pay $128+ for the course! I can't wait to be in 'school' again.

Well, I'll be documenting what I've learned on my blog every week and hopefully there'll be something you can learn from. Stay tuned!

❤ Blessings, Rheea

Once Upon A Time

Hello to a brand new week! ^^

It's 11.11 today (one of my favourite number combinations)!

After my artwork submission, I can get back to drawing again. Yay! I always appreciate the time I get to spend on drawing; something I find very therapeutic and fun! From brainstorming on ideas, doodling them onto my sketchbook and filling up the paper with pen strokes to finally adding the colors in Photoshop.. I have to say, I really enjoy every single process. It feels as though I've transformed into the little characters I created for my stories. In that instance, I'd forget all about the real world.  

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This time round, I did a different experimentation on my usual style - I refrained myself from using black (giving myself a pat on the shoulder). It looks so much softer without the harsh solid black lines. Also, I added a pale yellow background, giving it an even gentler mood. I absolutely love the nostalgic feel!

I'm amazed by how my works had turned out each time I put my mind to try something different.

Is there something different you tried recently?

  Have you spotted Nono?

Have you spotted Nono?

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If you like Once Upon A Time and would like to purchase an art print, you may do so on our Etsy store HERE

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Next, I'll be working on some inspirational illustrations! I know, everyone needs some encouragement and inspiration from time to time. Well, I'll save the details for my next post. 

Meanwhile, take care and smile lots!  

❤ Xoxo, Rheea

 

 

Updates

HELLO!

It's FRIDAY once again!! Are you doing a happy dance behind your desk? Speaking of dance, you wouldn't want to miss Nono tap dancing in his sleep. Catch the adorable moves on our Facebook Page! He must have smelled Friday.

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Before we proceed, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who went down to show us your support at MAAD last Friday. I hope you had fun and managed to bring home something you like. 

As some of you may know, I've been working on my greeting cards line lately. Getting into the greeting card business is my next plan for Dollgift. Though I've designed and produced two collections in the past (everyday and Christmas collection), those were illustrated for my very own line. With much research, I've learnt a great deal more about the real greeting card business out there.

The very first challenge for me is to create illustrations that consumers would want to buy. And I'm not talking about a handful of consumers.. Greeting cards companies have to make sure my illustrations would generate lots of sales for them in order to want to carry my works. Almost all the the articles I came across would recommend doing more colourful designs. With that said, I'm known to create illustrations with very little colours (usually as highlights), sometimes simply plain black and white. I love clean, minimalist style and have been very happy with this signature but I'm ready to step out of my comfort zone to explore more colourful works. I already have friends commenting that my drawings are looking happier with more colours now! :)

I decided that several pieces of my drawings were a little too dull for greeting cards and probably need some changes. Here are two pieces I re-worked on. 

 

 

  Faith (before)

Faith (before)

   Faith (a   fter)

Faith (after)

   Fly Me To The Moon (before)

 Fly Me To The Moon (before)


   Fly Me To The Moon (after)

 Fly Me To The Moon (after)

 F ly Me To The Moon (after)

Fly Me To The Moon (after)

Do you like the experiment so far? Let me know your thoughts! :)

By the way, these illustrations are available as art print on our Etsy store HERE. Remember to LIKE us on Facebook for more updates.  

Oh, and I got to mention our Pinterest. I've added a couple more boards for illustrations; categorizing them under different styles eg. dreamy, surreal, cute, fashion etc. You can easily find the style you like now, so go follow us there!

Have a FUNtastic weekend~~~ 

❤ Xoxo, Rheea (and Nono... zzz)

 

The boy in my drawings

Hellloooooooo!! Hope your weekend was great~

I promised to post photos of my Nono boy in my last post, so here you go!

 When he was just a little pup! (Don't worry, he didn't get to eat the snickers)

When he was just a little pup! (Don't worry, he didn't get to eat the snickers)

 Falling in love with my blue seal

Falling in love with my blue seal

 Enjoying a scrub

Enjoying a scrub

 I always enjoy watching him take his shower (sounds pervert huh). He would look so cute like a little otter

I always enjoy watching him take his shower (sounds pervert huh). He would look so cute like a little otter

 Waking him up from his nap just so I could snap photos of him :p

Waking him up from his nap just so I could snap photos of him :p

 Talk to my hand

Talk to my hand

 Sleepyhead

Sleepyhead

 Close-up &lt;3

Close-up <3

 Couldn't love this face more

Couldn't love this face more

 The only photo I have of him looking so mature and smart

The only photo I have of him looking so mature and smart

And finally, a photo of him on his 11th birthday! 

Stay healthy, happy and cute. You'll always be my favourite boy. :)

 He looks so small here

He looks so small here

In case you're wondering about the adventure of Nono and Binnie, I have to put that on hold as I'm working on my gift cards series now. But I'll be posting some of the designs here as well, so continue to stay tuned! :)

❤ Xoxo, Rheea & Nono

I heard it's your birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all September babies!

Sorry for being a little bias here because it's the birthday month of my Nono boy. Heh.

Yes, my naughty boy will turn 11 tomorrow.

Time flies.. Nono was still a tiny little baby when he came to our family 10 years ago.It's hard not to feel sad whenever I think of how many more years he'll be around. Afterall, he is the very first dog we've had. That said, I'm really thankful that he is still in good health and all active when he sees/ smells food.

Ohhhh... I just realised I've not posted any photo of him on this blog! I promise to post some photos of him here soon. Alternatively, you can find frequent updates of Nono on my Instagram.

Chat soon!

❤ Xoxo, Rheea

 

Rain or Shine - Part II (story continues...)

It's still drizzling away...

But well, I don't think I need to tell you how much these two are enjoying the rain. ;) 

Please drop us a comment to let us know if you'd enjoyed their story or what you would love to see next! :) 

Oh, and be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed below for any update.

If you like 'Rain Or Shine - Part II' and would like to purchase the art print, please visit my Etsy store HERE

Thank you for reading!  

❤ Xoxo, Rheea

Rain Or Shine - Part I (story continues...)

''Wait for me!''

Nono woofed out excitedly.  

But Binnie could no longer hear him. She is already far ahead, running with the moving clouds. 

Seems like the pair are really enjoying every minute of their adventure!

Now, now.. even the rain would not dampen their mood.

Do you like the adventure of Nono and Binnie so far? How would you like the story to enfold? 

Leave us a comment to let us know! 

And don't forget to subscribe to our RSS feed below to ensure you don't miss out any update. :)

If you like 'Rain Or Shine' and would like to purchase the art print, please visit my Etsy store HERE

Thank you for reading!  

❤ Xoxo, Rheea

When Nono Meets Binnie (the adventure of nono and binnie)

My boy is so happy today.

For almost half his life, Nono has been a very shy boy. I'm glad things changed when he met Binnie today.

He even offered her his favorite balloon.

They got along pretty well probably because they are both equally shy.

I can tell these two are going to be friends for life.

If you like 'New Friend' and would like to purchase the art print, please visit my Etsy store HERE

Thank you for reading!  

❤ Xoxo, Rheea

Fly Me To The Moon

If you've been following my works, you may notice a little more details in my recent drawings compared to my past works. I'll let you in on a little secret.. I'd discovered the pleasure of seeing my plain white paper covered with little pen strokes.. the more the better. I know what you're thinking; my boyfriend and friend think I'm a pervert too. Lol.

The challenges I faced on this particular piece were the cloud's shading and funnily, the moon! I had to google on the color of the moon and got confused further since it's color tone varies on different days. After finally deciding on an orange-yellow tone and happily filled up the moon, I realized it was looking more like a sun. -.- I was on the verge of changing the concept to a sun instead but decided to give it one last shot. This time, I added in more shades of yellow and some chickenpox-like detail (what a nice description). Honestly, I'm still not very satisfied with the result but that should be the best for now. 

To purchase this print, please visit our Etsy store HERE.

❤ Xoxo, Rheea.

Follow The Stars

I have always been fascinated with the sky above; the moon, the stars, the clouds and rainbow. Each time I stare up into the blue sky or a star-filled night, I find myself wondering what's beyond. Are there Angels, Unicorns or other celestial beings living above? Strange as it may sound, I feel an immense sense of peace by the thought of it. Somehow my heart 'knew' that was where I came from and I will be going back there someday...

 

To purchase this print, please visit our Etsy store HERE.

❤ Xoxo, Rheea.

 

Updates And Full Interview About ME! ^^

GONG XI FA CAI to everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year! ^^

I hope you've collected tons of 'ang pows' (red packets) and indulged on the endless supply of pineapple tarts.

cny

(Pardon the image quality. This was my mom's best shot after her 10th attempt. lol).

On a different note, I received this email two weeks ago from a sweet lady, Eileen:

''Hi Rheea, was recently at Cat Socrates and bought a tumbler designed by you :) love it for the simplicity of the design!''

She went on to say that she would like to share more about me on her blog, www.ourpaperbacks.wordpress.com. Ourpaperbacks is a little personal space of Eileen, where she shares handicrafts that she made, local artists' works and stories of people who inspire her. I am so honored to be one of them.

So there you go, click here for the full write up.

Before I leave, there are two important things I would like to remind you again:

1) Promotion for our tumblers is only till end of the week. Translation: This is your LAST chance to personalize a tumbler for FREE. Don't miss it!

2) DOLLGIFT flea market which is happening this Sunday, 17 February, between 2pm-8pm at Scape (scroll one post down for more information).

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An apology on behalf of Nono. He is not able to join us on Sunday BUT, you can be sure to find items with his adorable face there.

Remember our date!~

❤ Xoxo, Rheea.