Wonder Journey In Dumbo, New York……Bring Magic Into Reality

wonder girl baby doll dress
“Lost In The Wonderland–Night Play”

The Max Family Garden, Dumbo, New York. 2020

Fashion& Digital Design: Terrisa Chen
Photography: Joel Halbert

The joy of wondering

Summer is short this year in New York, it is probably short in other places in the world as well. The virus “Covid” is like a hidden lock, closing the usual activities and entertainment. Without beaches, vacations, and parties, summer seems never really begins, the fall is already here. But it’s ok, I am not all that disappointed, I started my journey of wonder, I simply find there is no time for feeling down.

One thing I do a lot during the pandemic is free my imagination to wonder. It might sound a bit easy and lazy, but when you put your ideas into action, you will push yourself to learn and create. The process of wondering and creating generates magical and positive energy.

(*Note: All outdoor photos taken with no one else around . Safe social distancing, safe photoshoot.)

girl and bird surreal art
“Lost In Wonderland–Dawn Play” The Max Family Garden, Dumbo, New York. 2020

Fashion& Digital Design: Terrisa Chen
Photography: Joel Halbert

“Imagination is the only weapon in the war with reality.”

Alice started her adventure with curiosity, wondered through the rabbit hole, she explored the most bizarre and exciting world. I often wake up with odd and funny dreams, which add lots of colors in my night world. While the day-time is filled with routine, I would think about how to turn magic into reality, it turns out there are many ways. One way is to be open to your wondering imagination, get inspiration, then take action. Before the pandemic, I knew nothing about pattern making (Patternmaking for Fashion Design)or sewing, now I can not stop creating my own clothing designs and transferring them into digital art. It is a learning process, I explore, I make mistakes and I enjoy it very much.

The baby doll dress for the curious kids

alice in wonderland inspired dress
“Lost In The Wonderland–Day play”
The Max Family Garden, Dumbo, New York. 2020

Fashion& Digital Design: Terrisa Chen
Photography: Joel Halbert

This cotton baby doll dress is a wonderful piece for me. I found the cotton fabric online and they are actually meant for kids’ wear. However, I immediately had the look of the baby doll dress in my mind when I sew the fabrics, it is a perfect type of dress for the forever kid in my heart.

Materials For creating this baby doll dress

  • The baby doll dress pattern
  • Light cotton Fabrics. eg: cotton lawn, cotton poplin
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing needles and threads
  • Pins
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Fabric scissors
  • Steam Iron

Sketch, Cut and Sew

DIY baby doll dress sewing pattern
DIY baby doll dress sewing pattern

The Wonderland

This stop of the wonder journey is The Max Family Garden, located in Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY.  This open-air garden shares a wall with St. Ann’s Warehouse, a performing-arts venue.  The original brick walls and the scenic archways represent an industrial and rustic aesthetic, they also provide access for community members and visitors to come together for exploration and inspiration. I have visited Dumbo many times before, this garden corner always fascinated me. The Max Family garden, any garden in-fact is a wonderland if you want it to be.

Chai Tea White Russian Mocktail With Homemade Non-alcoholic Coffee liqueur

I decided to make this Chai Tea White Russian mocktail after craving for my old-time favorite cocktail: White Russian. Back to a couple years ago, I would just go get the liquors and make a cocktail in no time. However, the more I drink tea the more I feel it is more fun to try to create tea-infused mocktails. The process is whimsical and profound.

chait-tea-white-russian-mocktail
Chai Tea White Russian Mocktail

This mocktail is combined with chai tea and homemade coffee liqueur. It is very easy to make, and you can even make it a decaf version with decaf chai and decaf instant coffee. The taste is still as wonderful!

chai-russian-ingredients
Ingredients

Chai Tea

chai herbs
Chai Herbs

Chai Tea is a black tea mixed with aromatic Indian spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, and black pepper. Chai tea has a distinctive fragrant. It is known for helping digestion, lowering blood sugar and boosting immunity.  It can also be a coffee substitute due to the caffeine content of chai tea.

iced chai tea
Iced Chai Tea

Chai tea tastes great by itself, is a balance of spicy and sweetness, it also goes well with milk, cream or non-dairy nut milk. You can enjoy it hot or cold.

Non-alcoholic Coffee Liqueur

non alcoholic coffee liqueur
Non-alcoholic Coffee Liqueur

This homemade coffee liqueur is easy and delicious. Even without alcohol, the combination of coffee and cocoa definitely gives you a nice buzz. With the sweetness of brown sugar and the aroma from vanilla extract, this coffee liqueur stands up well next to anything shop-bought.

Chai Tea White Russian

With some fresh cream on the top and pinches of cinnamon powder, this Chai Tea white Russian mocktail is finished. The taste of it is smooth and aromatic. The sweetness and spice from chai perfectly balanced with the chocolate coffee liqueur, the final touch of cream just makes everything smooth and gentle.

chai-tea-russian-with-cinnamon
Chai Tea Russian With Cinnamon

Ingredients:

  • 4 bags of chai tea ( or decaf chai tea)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee powder ( or decaf coffee powder)
  • 1 1/4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
  • 2-3 tbsp heavy cream (or half & half)
  • Water

Method:

1. Put chai tea bags into a glass jar, add hot boiled water, let it steep for 6 mins.

2. Take out the tea bags, add simple syrup into the jar, stir, let it cool down.

3. Pour 1 1/2 cup of water into a pot, boil.

4. Add brown sugar, instant coffee powder, cocoa powder, vanilla extract into the pot,           stir well, turn off the heat.

5. Pour the coffee liqueur mixture from the pot into a glass jar, let it cool down.

6. In a glass filled with ice, add 2 1/2 ounce chai tea mixture and 1 3/4 ounce coffee liqueur.

7. Add 1 1/2 ounce heavy cream ( or half & half)

8. Sprinkle cinnamon powders on the top.

9. Enjoy!!!

Related Art:

afternoon-tea-digital-art
“Afternoon Tea” digital art by Terrisa Chen @Rock Ur Tongue

Check Out More Tea Mocktail recipes:

Blue Butterfly Flower & Oolong Tea Mocktail

2020. New Year. You Are Entirely Up To You

“Life is not a puzzle to be solved. Life is a masterpiece that you create.”
― Brittany Burgunder

rsaw-puerh-tea
Puerh tea and music

We are at the end of January 2020. After all the post-party blues, the new year will not be a new year soon. But still, it is another year, it can either be the same old year or it can be a different year, a better year, it’s is entirely up to you.

I remember I had ambitious resolutions the past few “new years”,  big wishes, big goals, grand visions.  Most of the time, I tried to accomplish multiple tasks at once and I was distracted by too many  different things. I was restless and desperate. In the end, I often found myself feeling trapped and disappointed because I had a hard time achieving my goals.

new year new me
Hello 2020. Brooklyn, NY

 

Now here I am, at the beginning of 2020. I know I have no time to feel confused, so I decided to make changes. The new year for me is about self-observation. I know what I need to take do  in order to make changes in my life, no matter how big or small. I want to develop my potential, I want to feel fulfilled, I want to be happier with myself, I want to live alive. So here are my conclusions for things I need to focus on More and things I should do Less.

 

illustration-art-more
Illustration: More

More: More courage; More patience; More healthy food; More tea; More action: More yoga ; More meditation;  More books; More positive network; More art; More creation: More self-love

Less: Less fear; Less complaining; Less alcohol; Less procrastination; Less stress; Less laziness; Less soap opera; Less negativity in my surroundings; Less ” do nothing”; Less self-pity

This is not a new years resolution note. It is just about small but necessary tasks that need to be done , and if you feel the same, let’s do this together. I believe this year will be a different one. You are entirely up to you.