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Maker Faire Taipei 2013

Around February we went to a meetup for Taipei Hackerspace and Maker Faire at the Google offices in Taipei 101.

I have heard about Maker Faire before, but I didn’t know that Taipei had them. Actually they didn’t have them before, and this year is the first Maker Faire in Taipei. We really like the idea of Maker Faire because it’s really all about DIY and making things, because that’s kind of what we do. The organizers told us then that we can apply for a booth, so my sister did.

So we got ourselves a booth, and since it’s a DIY thing, my sister also signed up to teach a beading class.

Last Friday, we went to set up our booth.

Maker Faire took place in Huashan Creative Park, which used to be an old factory, so all the exhibition areas are like abandoned warehouses. it is quite charming.

The booth next to us was adorable.

They call themselves Shepherd and they make furniture out of wood and pipes.

And here’s ours:

We call ourselves House of Small Beauties and we make Flowers of No Purpose.

Our most popular item:

Our beaded QR code, it actually scans.

Our second most popular item, our sign made from bent wires, inspired by the Summer Paradise lyrics music video by Simple Plan and Taka from One OK Rock.

I made these:

My sister’s beading class:

This booth had kids sewing stuffies and other stuff the whole day.

The Maker Faire was more techy than artsy crafty.

There were apps:

Raspberry Pi:

Fruits that make music:


More robots:

Ok, a lot of robots. And they fight too! The Robocon RBL competition took place on the second day:

And during breaks, the other robots have unofficial matches, and it’s cute how they let the other little kids control their robots.

There was also an Open Source competition. And this guy made a Miku Desk Live. The projector’s under the table instead of on top.

And of course, there were a lot of 3D printers.

I already saw 3D printers before during the meetup, so I didn’t take pictures of the printers at Maker Faire anymore.

Overall, it was a fun fair. who knew robot fights can be so exciting.

Filed under maker faire taipei robocon

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purplelilgirl plays with photo caption apps

Photo Caption Apps, apps that literally just put, well, captions or text on photos. I think it’s those emo/inspirational quotes all over Tumblr that inspired these text over photo meme(?) thing. So a seemingly simple purpose, actually has quite a few apps that are dedicated solely to it. 


I went to Beitou, Taiwan today and took a couple of pictures, and placed a couple of captions on them.

So I played with InstaQuote, Typic, Tiny Post, Overgram and Instaplace (“Insta” and “Gram” is the new “i”?).

First  up it’s InstaQuote, it’s basically a text caption thing for Instagram, it’s actually it’s whole name- “InstaQuote - Text Caption For Instagram”. By the way, this app is free.


So being Insta “Quote” and all you can start off with writing a quote, but since am not a quote-y person, I just typed the name of the place I went to.


You can use one of your photos as the background or use one from the background packs. Oh you have to buy the background packs. Separately, and they cost about a dollar, each.


So stingy me used one of my own photos. Guys, check out the Thermal Valley in Beitou. Steam is literally rising from that body of water. Pretty, but smells like sulfur.


Oh and then you can pick one of the styles. A couple are free, but the rest requires a Pro upgrade.


You can change the Text Color and the Punch Color.


You can also change well, Text Size, Alignment, Line Spacing, etc. I don’t really get what Frame Width is though.


You can “Fine-tune” the font, like change the font, but it also requires the Pro upgrade.


And finally “Open in Instagram”.

So from this:


The photo came with a “natural” filter, with the steam rising and all.


+InstaQuote. Oh it comes with a watermark.


And finally Instagram-ed.

Should I rate these apps with stars? If ever, I’m not really sure what to give this app. It’s okay and all, but a lot of stuff requires the Pro upgrade or some In App purchase.

Next up, Typic, I noticed this app because it was featured in the New and Noteworthy section when it first came out. And app screenshots from iTunes look really pretty. I’m not sure if it had always been free, but anyway, it’s free right now.


The splash screen is kind of cute.




The featured picture is different every time you load the app, and I found that quite charming.



So you can take a photo or choose one from your library.


The app has a scroll view type interface, and you just slide across to go to a previous or next screen.

So this app actually comes with filters.


The filter made my photo really pretty, I think.

You can tap on the Caption button to type your well, caption. Adjust Text size, font etc. Some fonts need to be bought too. But the free ones are good enough for me.


And then you can, well type your caption.

This photo is taken at the Plum Garden. Plum flowers can apparently bloom in winter, or maybe these were just token.


You can also add frame, in black or white. And if you chose frames, you can even adjust the corners to be a little rounded.

And you can also change your text color, black and white is also the only option though.

You can make your picture a litter blurry, to emphasize your text, but I chose not too, since the flowers are just too pretty.

You can also adjust your text opacity.


And yes, “Open in Instagram”.

So from this:


To this:


No need to add filters and stuff in Instagram anymore. Oh and no watermarks either.

Next, next, is Tiny Post. It’s free.

Tiny Post is kind of interesting because it’s not just a caption app. It has a social networking thing going on too.

You have to sign up for an account first, and then you’d have this profile, and whatever photo with caption that you make will appear in your profile.


It’s pretty, pretty basic. You take or choose a photo and then you’d get to this page.

Where you can well, type your caption.

And then change the font of your caption. I’m not a big fan of the childish looking fonts though.

And look, filters! Filters named after places, quite pretty.

So this:


Became this:


Pretty basic, and slightly boring.


And there it is in my profile page.

This doesn’t have “Open in Instagram” in its Share options though, but you can share it to Facebook, Twitter though. Oh and Copy it’s URL, which means this photo is actually on the internet, then? Right, social network-y and all.

And then there’s Overgram. Over and Instagram, get it? This one is free too.

This app looks pretty hipster. Check out the splash screen:


This app can produce pictures like these apparently.


It starts off pretty standard. Choose one of your photos or take a new one. I like this user interface. It’s pretty slick.


You can crop it. Since it’s going to eventually end up in Instagram, it has to be cropped into a square.


Like the screenshot says, you can double tap to edit the text.


You can even change the color, while you’re at it.


Do you remember seeing a yellow triangle in the previous, previous, previous screenshot? So you slide that out and you get this round dial of a UI, which you can slide to see a variety of options.


Like… oooh… cool fonts… Upgrade for more fonts. But the free ones are pretty cool already.






And of course, “Open in Instagram”.

This app doesn’t come with filters since it probably figured that Instagram already has them.

So from this:


This is the Beitou Library. It’s a pretty eco-friendly building, and it’s one of Taipei’s green libraries.


Overgram produced this. It has a watermark. But you can remove it with a Pro upgrade, which costs about a dollar.


Plus a filter in Instagram. Oh and when you use Overgram to share to Instagram, it by default has this description already, the pretty standard “I made this with…” spiel, plus a tons of hashtags. So people can actually find your post easily. And one of the hashtags is like #pleaselike, so the nice strangers on Instagram will actually Like it. And Likes are always give me a nice feeling.

Finally, Instaplace. Instaplace, given the key words in its name, it adds the name of the place where the photo was taken as a caption on your photo, which you’ll eventually put on Instagram. It’s free today, but for today only I think.


So you choose or take a photo and that it usually automatically adds the location. Or you can also use the My Place or Locate button to help it detect the location.

There are a bunch of skins:




I think the skins are pretty cute. Some went a little overboard with the logo placement, though.


And then you hit that giant share button there, to share.

From this:


To this:


Yes, it has a watermark too. But I like recently discovered that you can remove it in the Settings (hidden in the More button).


This adds a bunch of hashtags too to your Instagram post. So yeah, likes.

And that about sums up my trip to Beitou, but my photo caption apps (slowly becoming) addiction does not end there.

Some other pictures that I took and added captions to:





So follow me on Instagram? @purplelilgirl

If you guys want me to check out any apps that you made, feel free to contact me, I don’t charge for reviews.

Filed under apps beitou instagram instaplace instaquote ios over overgram photo review taipei taiwan tiny post travel typic iphone App review

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Chinese New Year Break Part 1

Taipei -> Kaoshiung -> Pintung -> Kaoshiung -> Tainan -> Nantou -> Tainan -> Kaoshiung -> Taipei

Like a package, my sister and I have been transferred from one relative to another. And that is why this past Chinese New Year’s break, we have been to so many places, and it was fun :)

We took an almost 8-hour train ride form Taipei to Kaoshiung, because my sister wanted to see the seaside view of Taiwan. Taipei to Kaoshiung is literally the north to south of the country. The view? Wouldn’t know, I slept for the most of it.

Did I mention that we brought Stitch along for the ride? (and for his blog? http://stitchtravels.tumblr.com)

The following day was New Year’s eve, and we had a quiet dinner at grandma’s house.

On New Year’s day, we went to our father’s side relatives place in Pintung. Our cousin ordered food from McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut (complete!) :). And afterwards, we went to a park next to a brick factory and train tracks.

Sea of flowers.

Piggie sculptures made out of bricks.

Train tracks.

After that, we went back to our grandmother’s house in Kaoshiung, and our mother’s side relatives are already there. We had dinner, watched movies and around 11:30 at night, we decided to go to a night market (crazy, right?).

The next day, we went to Pier-2 Art Center, because the movie set of “Black and White” is there.

Look a restaurant called Pasadena (FYI my subdivision back in Manila was called Pasadena).

It used to be warehouses, but they converted it into an artsy fartsy place by the pier. It’s very urban and very grunge and I like it.

The bar set of “Black and White” the movie.

Afterwards, we went to Shin Kong Mitsukoshi (it’s a mall) next to the HSR station for some window shopping and dinner. Since it’s quite near grandma’s we decided to walk home. We also get to see Lotus lake and the night market stalls next to it.

The next day, we went to see even more relatives, in Kaoshiung City.

After lunch, we explored the shops around Xin Jue Jiang, which is sort of like Taipei’s Ximending.

We went back to our grandmother’s house, only to be whisked away again to Tainan (our aunt’s house). We bought dinner at one of the night market’s in Tainan. There were so many people there, because it’s New Year’s break and everyone went south.

We went to Sun Moon Lake the next day, it’s in Nantou, which is kind of far, that’s why we woke up really early and was on the road by 5:30am.

It was actually my first time to go to Sun Moon Lake, even if it’s one of Taiwan big tourist spots.

This post is looking pretty long, so am going to continue about Sun Moon Lake in the next post.

Filed under taiwan taipei kaoshiung tainan pintung pier-2 chinese new year travels

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Taiwan May 2010

Yesterday, May 11 was my 1 year ‘Move to Taiwan’ anniversary. So yeah, I have been living in Taiwan for a year now. So my sister and I decided to make a compilation of our pictures throughout the year, 365 (more or less, rather less) pictures of Taiwan. I decided to post them by month.

So this is May.

This picture is taken at my house it the Philippines, before we went to the airport.

Who better to welcome me to Taiwan than Wu Chun!

I went to my first job interview on the second day. I love the building on sight, and yah, I was already biased to the company because I like their building. And now I go to this building every weekday to report to work.

After my interview, we went to ride the Maokong Gondola, it’s this really long gondola ride in mid air. I was really scared that time, because I am afraid of heights.

After taking on the gondola, I decided that a ferris wheel would be a piece of cake. Miramar is a mall, but it has a ferris wheel on top.

Guess where this is? It’s in a bathroom! At QSquare, which is a mall at Taipei Main Station. So I camwhored with my sis. My tita is also in this picture, retouching her makeup.

We rode the HSR (High Speed Rail) to Kaoshiung. It really is high speed, because we got to Kaoshiung in 2 and a half hours. If you took the bus, or a slow train, it can take up to 8 hours!

At an MRT station in Kaoshiung. This is where the first scene of the first episode of “Black and White” was filmed.

At Kaoshiung’s Liu He night market, eating Turkish ice cream, with my little sis.

In front of 85 tower. The tallest building in Kaoshiung. A scene in “Black and White” was also filmed here.

I think this is called Star of the Ocean or some other fancy name like that. We saw this appear in “Wish to See You Again”, a series with Vic Zhou. So we decided to check it out. This was also featured in “Black and White”, Vic’s girl died in an explosion here.

Love River. We rode a ferry there. It was shown in “Corner with Love”. Barbie even jumped into that river, because the sneakers that Show Luo gave her fell in. We got lost on our way there, and we found our way, because we saw some of the landmarks that we saw on the series.

Dragon and Tiger Pagodas in Zuo Ying. This is really near my grandmother’s house, and we used to come here a lot when we were kids.

Near Confucius Temple, with my sisters and my dad.

Outside my grandmother’s house in Zuo Ying.

Now the tallest building in Taiwan, Taipei 101.

Reading a book (okay, posing for a picture) at Daan Forest Park.

Sipping milk tea at a tea place near Gongguan.

This is at Nangang Software Park. I had a job interview there, and was offered a job on the spot. But Nangang is too far away, so I declined the offer.

At my family friend, Echo’s house, with her son, the adorable You Ji Hen.

That’s it for May. Coming up next, June. :)

Filed under taiwan may 2010 daan forest park nangang software park zuo ying gongguan taipei 101 confucius temple dragon and tiger pagodas love river corner with love black and white star of the ocean wish to see you again 85 tower kaoshiung taipei liu he night market turkish ice cream hsr qsquare miramar maokong gondola job interview wu chun

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Taipei Art Tour March-May

I’m from the Philippines, and back in Manila, we have museums, but our museums didn’t have visiting art from Manet, Picasso, Gauguin. So after coming to Taiwan, one of the things I did, is drop by all the exhibits. If you can, try to drop by on weekdays, and better avoid the last day of the exhibit (we did that with Gauguin, and there was a really really long line, who knew that many people were into art?).

Taipei has a lot of exhibits going on at the same time, and I compiled a list of exhibits from March till May (the duration of my Fine Arts student, little sister is vacation in Taipei).


Celebration by Marc Chagall

Celebration by Marc Chagall New Window

National Palace Museum, Exhibition Area II, 1F (Library Building)

Website: http://chagall.ishow.gmg.tw/?unit=index



National Taiwan Science Education Center
(No.189, Shishang Rd., Shilin District, Taipei City

Website: http://www.aliveart.com.tw/


Monet Garden

Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Gallery 1A&1B

Website: http://www.tfam.museum/TFAM_Exhibition/exhibitionDetail.aspx?PMN=2&ExhibitionId=401&PMId=401


Trick Art

National Taiwan Science Education Center

Website: http://www.itiswritten.com.tw/


Rural Beauty: Millet and Barbizon Prints

Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

Website: http://barbizon.pixnet.net/blog




One of the goals for my little sister’s summer, is to visit all those exhibits. Yah, some of them are pambata (kiddish) but wouldn’t you want to see Mona Lisa speak? And the last one I listed is a trick art exhibit, hopefully they allow you to take pictures, ‘coz that would look so cool.


Filed under monet garden taipei exhibitions art chagall trick art mona lisa speaks art is alive it is written

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Hello Kitty Townhouse Hotel

Before I came to Taiwan, under my list of places to go is this Hello Kitty themed villa, after reading a “Hello Kitty Paradise” forum post on Crunchyroll. But after coming here, rather being here for almost eight months, I have yet to see this so called Hello Kitty heaven. And Googling “Hello Kitty Villa taipei” gave me more image results than the address.


Living Room of Hello Kitty Hotel, Hsinchu, Taiwan

Bedroom of Hello Kitty Hotel, Hsinchu, Taiwan

So after even more Googling, I found out that the reason why I haven’t seen this place - it is in Hsinchu!



The hotel’s official website: http://www.uni-resort.com.tw/hellokitty.htm.

The official Sanrio website’s news about it: http://www.sanrio.com.tw/taiwannews_en/info-uni.htm.

And now, on to booking…?

The hotel’s online booking website: http://sh2.obuy.tw/resort/item_cata.asp?cata_id=1009492. (The site is in Chinese, but you can always use Google Chrome to translate)

The price of a villa on weekdays is NT$16800 元 ?! (pricey *tears*)… Oh well, maybe next time, when I’m rich.

Anyways, more information from the website:

【Package】Hello Kitty House for one night
           With 3 double rooms, 2.5 bathrooms, one living room, one kitchen

  (KT houses have two styles, one is pink and another is green. (more information)
           (1) Breakfast for six persons
           (2) Afternoon tea for six persons
           (3) 20%off coupon for kitty products
           (4) One kitty plush toy (15cm)
           (5) One Kitty room card
           (6) The service from Kitty housekeepers

Weekday (MON to THU): NT$ 16,800 (include 10% service charge) (order here)

Weekday (FRI or SUN): NT$ 19,800 (include 10% service charge)   (order here)
Weekend (SAT) :NT$ 20,000 (include 10% service charge)  (order here)
Series holiday:NT$22,000 (include 10% service charge)  (order here)

Filed under hello kitty townhouse hotel villa taipei hsinchu

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Taiwan Tour: Day 3 Taipei Flora Expo

The entire day can be summed up with two words:  花博.

It was a weekday, so there are considerably less people, than when I went the first time. So we actually didn’t have to wait that long in lines, and got to see, I think almost all of it (at least those halls that doesn’t require you to take a number in the morning and then come back later in the afternoon).

I’m biased, because I like flowers, but it was sooo pretty!

The entrance ticket is 300 NT, but you are pretty much packed with activities for the entire day, because the expo is sooo big, there are four sections, and I think it spans MRT stations from different lines. You don’t even have to go out for lunch, there are bento lunches available for around 50 NT (cheap!).

Oh and it was also Valentine’s Day. Although, even though we were surrounded by so many planted flowers, we didn’t actually see any in bouquets that we can buy. So we just took pictures next to flowers that we want in our bouquet well I did, anyway).

Oh, did I mention that it was sooo cold, that we had to wear gloves, and the coffee we ordered from Starbucks cooled so very quickly. Yeah, the coldest day, ever!

After which, we went to Ximending’s Alley Cat’s (so called best pizza in Taiwan) and wondered around a bit, including Len buying treats in Sophisca, the adorable candy store.

Filed under taipei taipei flora expo taiwan

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Taiwan Tour: Day 2 Xinyi District, Taipei Lantern Festival

This day started even later, okay, my fault, I woke up around lunch time. It’s a slow day, we went to have super late lunch at Saizeriya (this Japanese Italian place) in the food court next to MRT Taipei City Hall station. While we were having lunch, my sister went to have a book signed by Jostein Gaarder (author of “Sophie’s World”)!

After lunch we wandered around Xinyi district a bit (even though it was raining!). This is where Taipei 101, Taipei City Hall, the big ass bookstore mall Eslite are located.

There is also a Taipei Lantern Festival happening in front of Taipei City Hall, but compared to the sky lanterns at Pingxi, it was meh.

And then it was back to Taipei Main station for the underground mall and more winter wear shopping.

Filed under taipei taiwan xinyi district taipei city hall MRT taipei main station taipei lantern festival taipei 101