Ponderings: (Happy) Accidents

Been a long time since I posted, but I’ve been in a creative rut for the longest time – barely anything created, anything written for so long. Words in particular, were difficult and it resulted in a lot of silences. I turned to music a lot during this period, but even then there was something missing, because how can you express what you want to express when you can’t put the words to it? A lot of things happened in the past three months, and I’m finally finally feeling more settled right now, and getting back into a groove, slowly finding my rhythm back.

Played a little in the craft room yesterday, just grabbing whatever colours suit my fancy and blending them together with gesso. Pretty much a mindless process, but I’ve always had a soft spot for colours and how they blend. Then I came across a line while reading and thought of writing out something similar to it. Unfortunately, there was a little accident in the aftermath when I saw it again today:

I had used a dye based marker to write the larger words, and somehow, the ink spread out overnight, causing the words to become all blurry like. I could still read it, but it wasn’t as clear as it was before, because it was supposed to be the focal for the page. But then I thought of turning it into a creative opportunity:

.. and rewrote the words using a white pen. It still show up too much, because it reacts with the dye based black ink, but I can see it clearer now. It also reminds me of balloons for some reason, and I like it a little better than before now. It also seems symbolic, because of what this page is about – to embrace things, say yes, and believe that it’s where you want to be now, even if it didn’t feel like it when it all started.

I’m still coping with new things and essentially a new life, but I really do enjoy where I am right not. Perhaps not the same kind of enjoyment as I would define it before, but it doesn’t diminish what it means to me right now. Even if it was kinda an accident that landed me where I am. Did I wanted it? No, not really – want seems like such a loaded word. But it doesn’t mean that I’m glad for it to happen.

Advertisements

Currently…

A collection of small things I want to share. 

In some stroke of funny luck, my phone died shortly before this post on hands-free photography was set to publish. Which actually means that the post is no longer relevant to me because I’m no longer using an Android phone and have switched to an iPhone instead. I do hope that the post content is still helpful to all Android users though!

I’m not a big big fan of the iPhone, and still isn’t after a few weeks of using it. Maybe I’m the odd one because I don’t think people don’t fall in love with Apple after using their products. That’s not to say I hate it though, but I do already have an iPad, so I really don’t need the same features that my iPad can offer me in my phone. But why did I pick the iPhone then? Well, Samsung note isn’t available (I’m a big big fan of the Note series) and I didn’t like the look of the new Samsung Galaxy. And the other Android phones just can’t seem to compare.

Here’s what I’ve been missing about my new phone:

A built in stylus.
The loss of it has never been so acute when I was out one day and my fingers itched terribly to have a stylus in my hand so I can write/draw something to send to someone. I do have my Adonit Jot Pro that I use with my iPad, but it isn’t really that portable with my phone (or so I feel). At least with my iPad I can just tuck the stylus into my iPad cover bag, but with my iPhone… not so much.

My makeshift tablet input. 
I used to use my phone as a tablet input, through the VirtualTablet app, which is available only for selected devices. Granted, it doesn’t work that perfectly, but at least I have the option to make it work after some fiddling. Now.. I don’t even have the option to do so without paying for it. I tend to use the tablet input for photo editing on the blog, for drawing things like arrows. I did find another way around it, as you can see in the photos from the previous post, but it’s not a direct input from my phone to the computer, so the arrows aren’t as organic as I like them to be.

Here’s what I’m enjoying about my new phone:

The camera.
I still stand by that the iPhone has a pretty decent camera. In fact, all the photos from the last post were taken by my new iPhone, and I find the colours to be a little bit more true when I have HDR activated. Of course, now I’m missing the voice-control function, but so far I haven’t felt the lack of hands when I’m taking photo, so that could mean that the focus of this phone camera is better than my old one. That, or I haven’t taken enough photos yet. Time will tell. But yeah, I think the photos I take now look nicer, so I’m a little bit more inclined to take more photos yay!

Um, I think that’s it actually. Wow, I guess I must be really not used to my phone. I hope this gets better over time as I use more of it!

Jazz up your washi tape

Today I’ve got a quick and simple tip/tutorial for you to jazz up your washi tapes. If you’re like me, you probably have lots of washi tapes in your stash, and can’t help wanting to add even more to your collection. But we all know that each roll of washi tape lasts a long time, and it will take a long time to finish up even one roll. Not to mention that sometimes, we get tired of the designs we own (even though we still really like them) and just want something different for a change.

Well, I’m here to share a way for you to jazz up the washi tapes in your stash so you can get different looks from the same washi tape – and that’s simply by doodling on your washi tapes with a pen or marker! And it sounds simpler than it actually is. Take a look at some of the ones I made:

I first laid down strips of washi tape on sticker sheet backing so I can work on them on a flat surface. I tend to keep sticker backings for projects involving tapes and handmade stickers so it’s easier for me to work on them or store them, and I can shift them out of the way easily. You can of course work on them on any surface that the tape won’t stick permanently to, such as a non-stick crafting mat/sheet, waxed paper or deli paper.

Now onto the designs! You can see from the examples above that there are many designs you can doodle on your washi tapes. You can make dots and any other polygonal shapes you want, or just make a variety of lines, such as stripes, plaid, zigzags, dashes, ‘x’, ‘+’. Really, any kind of mark making will work here. You just want something that will jazz up your washi tape and make it look a little different. Try using different colours for the same design, and you can end up with a washi tape that has a different look to it. Even adding some highlights to the original design will give it a different look, as seen in the sakura washi tape.

You can use just about any pens and markers you have in your arsenal. In the above examples, I used Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic Gold, Staedtler Pigment Marker and Kuretake Zig alcohol markers, but any gel pens, pigment markers or alcohol markers should work. I didn’t show it in the photos, but water-based markers will work as well. You do need to let the gel pens, pigment markers and water-based markers dry for some time though, and be careful not to smudge them while you’re adding your designs, because the surface of washi tape tend to repel them. I let mine dry overnight and they were completely smudge free by the morning!

I hope this blog post has given you some ideas on how to jazz up the washi tape in your stash, and make them go further, and no longer repetitive and boring. Don’t be afraid to try out different designs! If you mess up, well, it’s just a small strip of washi tape and you can always start over again without fear of ruining your whole roll of tape. Hope you have fun with your washi tape (:

Here are the links to the washi tapes that I used in my photos: plain pastel yellow, plain baby blue, purple dots, sakura blossoms. I try to link to Amazon whenever I can because I am an affiliate member of Amazon, and I will receive a small amount if you shop through the links (at no additional costs to you).

Tips on mobile photography: hands-free phototaking

I’ve been taking a lot of photos lately, particularly for the shop and this blog. Most of the time now, I take photos with my phone because it’s just convenient to reach for, and easy to transfer photos to my computer wirelessly (a feature that my trusty camera unfortunately lacks). Sometimes I’ll use my iPad too, when my phone battery is low or when I can’t get the image to focus, but the idea is that using mobile devices is convenient for me.

I’ve encountered a problem when taking photos though. I don’t have steady hands, so I need both hands to steady my phone or iPad when taking photos, which means that I don’t have the extra finger to poke the screen of my device when I am ready to take the photo. That resulted in multiple attempts at shots, as images tend to get blurry the moment my hand leave the side or stretch to touch the capture button.

A while back, I discovered a solution to my problem while fiddling with the settings of the camera app on my phone – I can use voice control to command my phone to take photos, without having to sacrifice one hand I use for steadying! That has saved me lots of time and effort in taking photos, and eliminated a lot of the frustration.

Here’s a quick guide on how to activate voice control on your phone:

  1. Head to settings on your phone’s camera app.
  2. Make sure that your voice control is turned on. (Photos can be clicked on if you want to enlarge.)

    You might also need to head to the settings of your phone to activate the voice control function.
  3. To use voice command when you are taking a photo, just give the command that is indicated on your phone settings. Mine says either “capture”, “shoot”, “smile” or “cheese”. I like to say “shoot”, because it’s just one syllable, and my phone detects it quite well, so try different command to find one that works best for you and your phone.

As a reference, I’m using a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which is an Android phone. From what I can gather from the web, all Android phones have the voice command function in-built for the camera. Unfortunately, if you are an iPhone or iPad user, there is no such in-built function available. There are however, apps you can download from the app store that would provide the same function. I’m not particularly impressed with the apps I’ve found though, so I won’t be mentioning any. But you can search the web using search terms like “voice command iPhone camera” and a few apps will pop up that you can try out. I think it’s a shame that Apple devices are lacking this function, which would have been great, because admittedly, I find Apple cameras to be better.

I hope this tip/tutorial has been helpful. If you have any additional suggestions, or know of a good app for Apple devices, do share with us in the comments below (:

Card: Thinking of you

Hi friends, I’m here again today with another card to show you! I made this card in the same setting as the cards I made for the Danipeuss Card Challenge – here’s the link to card 1 and card 2 if you are interested in them. For anyone else who is interested to participate in the card challenge, there’s a new challenge up already, which you can check out here too!

This card started out as an experimentation of sorts, as I play around with supplies that I don’t usually use. I stamped the background with a striped border stamp using a red dye ink for some patterned background. It didn’t ink too well though, for some reason, and I can’t tell if it’s because I’m not using a mounting block or the stamp itself, because the results is the same when I use a pigment ink. Nonetheless, I went with it and took the splotchiness as a design feature as well by spritzing the whole panel with water mixed with perfect pearls. I got this idea from Jennifer McGuire, and it’s basically just filling a spray bottle with a spoonful of perfect pearls. You get a nice light shimmer coverage when you use this, which is really nice to add just a little something special to backgrounds. The light shimmer didn’t show up too well on the camera though, so I can’t show you how that actually looks, but it’s a really pretty and subtle shimmer.

I got some water on the card accidentally, and because I used dye ink on a super absorbent paper, there were some water splotches on the card as well. To cover up the mistake and to make it seem as though it is part of the plan, I dripped more of the perfect pearls water onto the water splotch and then elsewhere on the card. Some splotches are larger than others, and you get a nice pearly splotch if you drip enough on it, as it pushes the dye ink away. It’s also kind of meditative to watch the water push the ink away like a ripple effect. Here’s some close up look of the splotches:

You can see the slightly lighter colouring of the splotches, as well as a more concentrated dose of the shimmer.

The focal point of the card is this cute little ribbon that I’ve tied. While waiting for the background to dry, I came across this video on how to tie a ribbon in less than a minute, so of course I had to try it (and break out my stash of hardly ever used ribbons in the process). It turns out that the ribbon are really embellishment worthy if you have some nice coloured ribbons and the pink ribbon looked really nice when I auditioned it against the background. I glued the ribbon to the panel with some fabric glue, but any wet glue should work fine.

I decided to use the sentiment “Thinking of you”, which I thought would be a nice complement to the ribbon and the sweet colour scheme of the card. I wanted to keep the card basic and the focus on the ribbon, so I opted to write out the sentiment, rather than stamping it on. To echo the wide distance of the striped background, I first drafted out the sentiment on a grid paper, and then used it as a guide when I wrote out the sentiment on kraft cardstock. It’s not perfect placement, because I stumbled a little when I was writing it, but it’s close enough that I don’t scrutinise it – it’s alright to not be perfect in your projects! A tip if you like to hand-write sentiments or words like me: scrap pieces of cardstock are excellent for adding sentiment or word banners! You get to use up all the thinner scraps that don’t get much use otherwise and the thinner width makes it easier for you to align your writing or when trimming it. For the last finishing touches, I went over the entire banner with a Wink of Stella clear glitter pen, and coated it with a coat of Glossy Accents for an epoxy look.

Really like how that shimmer looks under a layer of Glossy Accents!

This is a really simple card put together with some basic supplies, and of course lots of play and experimentation. I hope you enjoy the various cards that I’ve shown you over the past week! If you made a card inspired by this card, share your card with me in the comments below! I would love to see what you made (:


Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and thus I would receive a small amount (at no addition costs to you) if you purchase through the links above. Your purchase will help support the blog and my small crafting business, and it will be much appreciated (: 

Danipeuss Kartenchallenge/Card Challenge #043: Card #2

Following up on yesterday’s post, here’s the second card I made for this Danipeuss Card Challenge!

Hallo! Ich bin hier mit meiner zweite Karte für diese Danipeuss Karten Challenge!

Here’s how the card look like:
Hier ist die Karte: 

You will notice that I used the same feather elements as the first card since I already have them out on the table. In this design, I laid the feathers overlapping each other to make it kind of floating/falling down. I didn’t mention this in the last post, but all of the feathers are made using this Crafter’s Workshop stencil and Distress inks in a variety of colours – they make really nice elements after cutting out. The background is just watered down dye inks – I stamped a red dye ink pad onto an acrylic block, add some water and then smoosh it to the paper. It creates this kind of painterly watercolour look, which is really nice while adding some colour to the panel.

In dieser Karten benutzte ich dieselbe Federn wie die erste Karte, weil sie schon am Tisch sind. Die Federn werden mit Distress Stempelkissen aus diese Schablone schabloniert, dann ausgeschneidet. Der Hintergrund wird mit einem roten Stempelkissen und Wasser (ähnlich wie Aquarell) gemacht. 

The sentiment for this card is a mix of stamping and handwriting. I stamped them on a scrap piece of paper first to make sure they would fit and look right before I did it on the panel, because I wanted the sentiment to be on top of the pink of the background, and didn’t want to make any mistake to cover it up. Admittedly, the handwriting part isn’t perfect, but it looked alright so oh well.

Das sentiment wird mit sowohl Alphabet Stempel als auch Handschrift gebaut. Aber zuerst zeichnete ich das Sentiment-Design auf ein Scrappapier, damit alles perfekt an der Kartetafel sind. Das Handschrift fallen nicht so perfekt aus, aber es sieht nicht so schlecht aus, so alles sind gut 😉 

Again, a really simple card, but I put this one together much quicker than the first card because of momentum. The placement probably helps too because the elements filled up quite a lot of space that there isn’t a lot of empty space that I feel like I need to fill up.

Wie die erste Karte, diese Karte ist auch super einfach. Aber diese Karten brauchte weiniger Zeit zu machen, weil ich schon Momentum hatte. 

A look at the details of this card:
Mehr Fotos von die Karte: 

A look at the feathers. / Die Federn.
A look at the sentiment. / Das Sentiment.

And that’s all I have for this Card Challenge! Hope you enjoyed looking at the cards I’ve made. It’s quite a challenge to do a write up in both English and German, but it was a good exercise and a good chance for me to practise my German again. I have one more card I made in the same setting that isn’t related to the challenge, so if you like to see that, check back again in a couple of days!

Und das ist alles für die Kartenchallenge! Ich hoffe, dass Sie für beide Karten Gefallen finden. Mein Deutsch ist nicht perfekt und Schreiben auf Deutsch ist eine Herausforderung aber ich hoffe, dass es nicht so schlecht ist! Ich habe noch eine andere Karte gemacht, doch sie ist nicht für die Challenge. Ich werde in ein paar Tagen die Karte bloggen, wenn Sie sich für das interessieren. Bis nächstes Mal, tschüss!


Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and thus I would receive a small amount (at no addition costs to you) if you purchase through the links above. Your purchase will help support the blog and my small crafting business, and it will be much appreciated (: 

Danipeuss Kartenchallenge/Card Challenge #043: Card #1

I’m participating in the Danipeuss Card Challenge for the very first time and I’m here to share with you the cards that I’ve made for the challenge. This time’s theme is “Happy Birthday”, and I have made two cards, which I will share in this blog post and another post tomorrow. Danipeuss is a new blog that I’ve found and started following recently, because it’s in German, and I really need to make sure I don’t forget the German I’ve learnt, and I quite like the content they produce. I’m also going to blog in German for the first time, so good luck to me!

Hallo zusammen, heute zeige ich Ihnen meine Karte für Danipeuss Kartenchallenge #43, zum Thema „Happy Birthday”. Ich machte zwei Karten für diese Kartenchallenge, und morgen werde ich Ihnen die zweite Karte zeigen, denn ich muss die Karten in verschiedenen Posts zeigen, gemäß den Regeln der Kartenchallenge. Es ist mein erstes Mal auf Deutsch bloggen, und ich bin leider ein bisschen eingerostet. Entschuldigen Sie mich wenn mein Deutsch falsch ist! 

Here’s the first card I made for this challenge:
Hier is die erste Karte für diese Challenge:

Danipeuss Kartenchallenge #23, Card 1

This is a simple card, but it took me a while to put it together because I was really uninspired when I started out. I knew I wanted to to use those feathers that I stenciled and fussy cut out but and it took me a while before I found a placement that I like, along with choosing the right colours for the feathers.

Eine einfache Karte, aber am Anfang habe ich Probleme zu beginnen, weil ich ideenlos war. Ich weiß, dass ich die Federn benutzen wolle, und brauchte ein bisschen Zeit, um ein angenehmes Design zu bekommen. 

I started out with a blank piece of white panel for the card front and I didn’t like the bright white, so I grabbed my gouache that was beside me on the table and just swished some neutral colour down. It was still a little too plain, so I took a textured stamp and randomly stamped it on the background with an ink pad matching the background to give it some interest.

Ich malte die weiße Tafel mit einen neutralen Farbe meiner Gouache und danach stempelte ich mit einen dessinierten Stempel für manchen Interessen. 

For the sentiment, I wrote out “Happy Birthday” on a strip of blue textured cardstock with a black pen, plus a white pen for some shadow. I then matted it with black cardstock, stamped the empty space with a border stamp and stuck it down across the panel. For the finishing touches, I inked the edges of the panel and the sentiment strip with a gold ink pad for some definition, and added some pearls for a more elegant look.

Ich schrieb die Sentiment mit einem schwarzen Kuli, und dann markierte einen Schatten mit einen weißen Kuli. Zu der Feinarbeit machen, färbte ich die Panel und der Sentiment-Papierstreifen mit goldenen Stempelkissen ein und klebte einige Perlen an der Karte, damit alles ein elegantes Aussehen gibt. 

Some close-up photos of the card details:
Manchen Nahaufnahmen von der Karte:

Pearl dimensions and really wonky handwriting of “Happy Birthday”. / Perlen und „Happy Birthday” von meinem Handschrift. 
Inked edges with gold pigment ink pad. / Eingefärbten Ränder mit goldenen Stempelkissen. 

Hope you enjoy this little card that I made for the challenge. Admittedly, I don’t create cards often unless I am inspired by cards that I’ve seen other people make. In fact, this is the first time I’m making a card with a blank mind, and it’s a lot harder than I expected. But practice makes perfect, no? I’ll post the second card I made for the challenge tomorrow, and then one more card I’ve made in the same setting the day after so look out for that (:

Und das ist alles! Ich hoffe, dass Sie an diesen Karte Gefallen finden. Die zweite Karte finden Sie morgen in einem anderen Eintrag. Tchüss! 


Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and thus I would receive a small amount (at no addition costs to you) if you purchase through the links above. Your purchase will help support the blog and my small crafting business, and it will be much appreciated (: 

How to make your clear stamps cling again

Hi friends, today I have a quick tip to share with you, on how to get your clear stamps to cling again. I own quite a few clear stamps, because they come in a lot of designs and are much easier to store. Unfortunately, cling stamps have a tendency to lose their stickiness on the back, and doesn’t want to cling to the stamp block or the plastic backer sheet during storage. This can be problematic not only when you’re stamping, but you can also easily lose the stamps in storage, if they drop off without you noticing. I’ve lost a few tiny stamps this way and I’ve never been able to find them again! Even more troublesome if these are alphabet stamps – what to do with a alphabet stamp set that’s missing a vowel?

The problem has been sitting on my mind for a while so I set about trying to solve it the other day, and found a way to make them cling properly again!

Here’s what you need:

  • Your clear stamps
  • A rag (I use a microfibre cloth that I use all the time to clean my stamps)
  • Stamp cleaner, I use a homemade one using this recipe for years

Here’s what you have to do:

Step 1: Spray some stamp cleaner onto your rag.

Spray some stamp cleaner onto your rag.

Step 2: Place your stamp, cling side down onto the rag.

Place your stamp, cling side down onto the rag.

Step 3: Rub the stamp onto the rag a few times. You can also bring the rag to the stamp, if you feel like you want a little more control.

Rub the stamp onto the rag a few times. You can also bring the rag to the stamp, if you feel like you want a little more control.

And that’s all! The process is actually very similar to cleaning your stamps, because you are effectively cleaning off all the dust and dirt that have stuck to your stamp, which is what make it doesn’t cling anymore. Here’s a photo of how my stamp set look after I’ve cleaned the cling part, in contrast to the original. That was a couple of weeks back, and the stamps are still clinging well so this method definitely works!

I hope you enjoyed this little tip and tutorial and that you would give it try! Let me know what you think, or if you have other methods that you would like to share as well. Until next time.

 

My Craft Diary Shop is finally open!

After years of deliberation and even more months of resistance, I’ve finally gotten around to selling the stuff I make online. I’m now selling my stuff on Carousell, which is mostly a local platform where people sell things, old and used alike but if you like any of the stuff I’m selling, and you’re not from Singapore, feel free to email me at mycraft.diaryshop@gmail.com to contact me and we can arrange something out.

You might notice that I’m not only handmade stuff on the shop. That’s because it started out with a few steps to overcome my own resistance, and selling old stuff that I no longer use/enjoy while purging my stash was a good way to start. It then evolved a little to selling the stuff that my mum didn’t want to keep in the house anymore, since a lot of people sell them on the platform as well. And then I finally finally got around to putting some of the stuff that I made. It’s not a lot at the moment, just some minibooks that I made, and painted tags from my stash. I’m planning to add more stuff, particularly handmade cards, which should give me an excuse to create them. I like to make cards, but I don’t send them out too often. Sure, my friends enjoy receiving them but it gets kind of funny just sending out cards again and again without any reply… Nowadays I mass send them on special days so I mass produce for that purpose too, which isn’t too creatively challenging if you ask me. But the alternative would be too tiring to make like 9 different cards for the same purpose within a short period time.

Really need to thank Jennibellie and the folks over at Journal Workshop for giving me this mental push and butt kicking to overcome my creative resistance for this May’s monthly challenge. But this is a start at least, as I’m one (baby) step closer to overcoming my creative resistance. I hope that this too would perhaps inspire you to tackle your creative resistance as well.

Pen review: Uniball Signo dx/Uni Style Fit

I recently added 10 pens into my already large pen collection, because I had a voucher to a book store and didn’t have any books that I wanted to get. I thought it would a good idea to review my entire pen collection, and to tell you what I like (or don’t like) about all the various pens.

We’re going to kickstart this mini series with the Uniball Signo dx, which is my favourite writing pen of all time. I started using these pens when I was in school and fell in love with them, and have been using them to mark and notate my class notes. Now that I’ve moved beyond school, they have become my go-to pens for a variety of journaling – art journal, scrapbooking, and daily journal.

Continue reading Pen review: Uniball Signo dx/Uni Style Fit