Ponderings: Thoughts

The year is ending once again! How time flies. And I have barely achieved anything within this month. I must apologise for my absence, real life distractions aside (relatives visiting), I really didn’t feel very motivated or inspired to do anything craft related. Well, I did do something, but it isn’t a lot considering that I have so much free time this holiday.

It’s hard to explain why I don’t feel motivated. It’s not as if I don’t have any idea of what to do. At the very least I actually have plans for several blog post that I have not started on. I have a lot of new supplies, bought and gifted by friends but I haven’t actually broke into all of them yet. So I’m in some sort of limbo where I absolutely don’t feel like doing anything at all.. which luckily I manage to get myself out of today.

I don’t usually try to fight my lack of inspiration/motivation, because they usually end up being terribly frustrating, particularly if they have anything to do with creativity. Not everyone might agree with me, but I rather do nothing than to do something so halfheartedly that I absolutely dislike it.

Once again, I turn to art journaling at its very basic to help me organise my thoughts and feelings. Here is a page I did just before I started writing this post:

Dreams and envy

All I did was to stick down a journaling card where I could journal onto a pre-made background, stamp the title and my page is complete. This is something simple that I always fall back on, because for me, journaling is the easiest and most convenient way of letting everything out. You find that I have a preference for tone-on-tone jounaling, such that the words don’t stand out too much. For me the process of journaling is more important than the actual words I write so I like to keep them barely visible, but still readable if I ever want to read them again. It is my most fail-safe method that I can turn to without too much effort.

Well that’s all for the ponderings today. The New Year is coming and while it is arbitrary, I still find it a good way to start on a new slate. Also, here’s a quote that resonated with me a lot when I was listening to a podcast: “Failure is not the same as something ending. It feels like you are the one at fault but sometimes, things come to an end because they should come to an end. We may not be ready for it, but it’s not the same as failure.” (not word for word, but it’s along those lines). These are very powerful words, and gave me a lot of food for thought, especially the part about things ending because they should and have to. Hope it gave you something to chew on as well.


Ponderings: What to buy for your craft room?

(Warning: another long post ahead)

As a crafter, I think all of us are to some extent, obsessed with supplies and buying stuff that we can use in our craft room. Not too surprising actually, seeing that the craft industry does so much marketing, and new products are released more than once a year. So amidst all these new release of products and all, how do you know what is the right thing for you to buy? For me, I always want to get the most out of my money, be it spending the least money on what I buy, or making the item I buy worth it through the amount of usage. Here, I’ll share some tips that I have as I reflect from my own experience in crafty shopping.

Continue reading Ponderings: What to buy for your craft room?


A collection of small things I want to share. 

Writing down notes from magazine articles.
I borrowed 3 magazines from the library: Artful Blogging, frieze, and Geographical. I have started reading the first two and while reading I have also been making notes, be it tips, quotes or reflections. I feel that writing down notes help me digest the information more, and crystallises what I read into my brain, which also makes reading all the more meaningful.

Immersing in my creative self.
Doing bits of art every now and then, starting and stopping. Basically just going about doing whatever comes into my mind at the moment, and putting aside plans. I have taken out my Creative Handbook once again (free download by Amy Tangerine) and the small scale of the handbook is perfect for my start and stop way of working right now. Finally have the time too to take the online classes that I have previously purchased but haven’t had the time to look at them. I am hoping to add more to the blog this holidays too while I have the time to do so.

Writing my fanfiction.
Have started to write stories for my fanfiction account again, after a short hiatus before the exams. I like it when the words/stories flows and when I get excited about my stories/characters. It’s like the feeling of loving your art but more than that because it’s like living through the story/characters when you write them.

One recent work of art.Boy with a hat

This was inspired by a simple magazine image I saw. I was intrigued by how simple the hands looked in that image (the portion where the boy holds the hat) and decided to give it a try because it looked so simple. I always had an aversion to drawing hands, because I never seem to do it right, or know how to do it. (See this previous work where I avoided drawing real hands.) So I was pleasantly pleased to find that I could actually draw hands if I really focus on it, and by using my hands as a model. This is also the first time I drew a boy; I have always been drawing girls in my journal but I felt that a boy works better with the hat lifting. If there is something that you have been avoiding, maybe now is a good time to try! You never know if it might work out if you put your heart into it.

Quotes I’ve read.

“The world is full of people who are as confused and inspired by our strange and wonderful planet as you and I, and have responded to it in endless creative ways.”

Read this in frieze, one of the magazine I borrowed. It’s been great to find the online community of crafters and to be inspired by the many creative things others do. I feel fortunate that I have taken the leap of faith, and to follow my heart in seeking art once again.

Hope you like this short sharing. A little hard to keep on task this couple of days because we have relatives visiting and staying for a week. But at least it’s always lively around the house when there are more people around (:

Trip to the Craft Singapore Exhibition

I was out the other day to Orchard Road and happened to chance upon this exhibition. It was completely random, looking around while waiting for the traffic light and saw the poster for the exhibition on the entrance to the Singapore Visitor Centre. As I had some time to spare, I popped in to take a look! Here’s some photos I took from the exhibition:

ang ku kueh: often filled with red bean, green bean or peanut paste

png kueh: often filled with glutinous rice; curry puff: a puff pastry usually filled with potatoes, egg, meat, and curry
Miniature versions of our local snacks or “kueh”. These were displayed with a personification, hence the “girl” and “boy”. If you remove the “girl” and “boy” you get the names of these snacks. You can hover over the photos for more description of the various snacks. 
This is one personification of our local snacks from the project “Ang Ku Kueh Girls and Friends”. The character featured here is Ang Ku Kueh girl, with the turtle and marking from the kueh on her hood. You can read more about the project here or see the other characters here.
Featuring our uniquely shaped playgrounds built around 1980. They are some of the most iconic playgrounds around, and memorable for the people who grew up with them as well. You can read more about the project here.

The Strangely Singaporean Book.

Chor Lor: dialect for behaviour/acting in a rough manner
A look inside “The Strangely Singaporean Book” which mostly features Singlish, our local slang on English. A lot of these are taken from other dialects, like the one photographed above. I didn’t realise that the photo was blur when zoomed in, so sorry if you can’t read it properly! You can find out more about this project here, as well as some videos on some pages of the book.
Teh: dialect for tea; Kopitiam: dialect for coffee shop
A page from another book called “Chope” which means to reserve. This is a fun little book about Singaporean lifestyle and habits. For instance, for the above page titled “The art of ordering Teh” (which means tea), there are more than 15 different variations of tea that you can order! I had a lot of fun flipping through this book. More information about the book, as well as videos showcasing pages of the book can be found here.

That’s all the photos I have. It’s a small exhibition, so it doesn’t take too much time to get through everything. To find out more about the exhibition, you can read this press release here. For information about visiting the exhibition, you can click on this website. The exhibition runs till 21 February 2016, and is located on the 2nd floor of Orchard Singapore Visitor Centre.

I also ventured into the library@Orchard for the first time. This library has a beautiful design and the is focused on art and design. Did not take any photos as I thought it would be rude to the other library users. I borrowed a few magazines from the library and will be reading them through this couple of weeks. If I find something interesting, I will share them on the blog as well.

Hope you enjoyed this look at the Craft Singapore Exhibition! If you like to see more of such blog posts, you can visit this post on the National Design Centre.

Ponderings: Staying “on task”

(Warning: long post ahead)

I was sorting out my photos recently, in an attempt to keep my photos in order and clear my backlog of photos. I have left most of my photos unsorted since last year when I went on exchange, and what was on my computer was just folders and folders of photos as I continually import them from my camera, but did nothing more than that. I have also been neglecting photo printings for years; since 2012 to be exact so that’s a really long time.

There’s a lot of reason why I haven been “on task” with my photos: a mental block that it takes a lot of effort to settle them all, even more effort require to pick out photos and send them for printing, taking too much photos, not being able to find a good photo printer service, not having a system that works the way I want it to. Right now though, I know that some of these are false, or that the problem has been solved. Or sometimes, all it needs is a sudden motivation that brings you to settle them all. In my case, it was a really good deal for photo printing during this holiday season, hence I wanted to get it over and done with while saving money in the process.

Here’s what I’ve learnt these past few years from my photos problem:  Continue reading Ponderings: Staying “on task”

November’s Instagram 2015

Here’s another sharing of my monthly craft related instagram posts! I didn’t do any sharing on for the months of September and October because there wasn’t any to share, or I ended up sharing the photos on the blog. You can find the previous instagram sharing here.

A small stamp carved out of a flag eraser. Was feeling restless so just did something randomly without any planning and ended up with a wonky grid design. I printed the stamp onto my art journal as an all over pattern to see how it looks, as inspired by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.

I seemed to have lost the original photo for the above post from my phone, so putting in an embedded photo from Instagram. This was a whimsical art piece, inspired by one of Jennibellie’s old videos, whose image was floating in my mind for the longest time. I stamped the “hair” using a round found object, then sketched in the face with colour pencils and randomly filled the hair circles with colour. The funny thing about this happened the next day when I looked at it, and I realised that the colours I picked for the hair was almost exactly the colours of the Tsum Tsum game title screen, and that the face strongly reminds me of buddha. Odd combination, but this sudden realisation made the work more significant for me.

This is an art journal page insert made from a TCW + Balzer designs stencil called “Funky Tags”. I stenciled the shapes onto some painted patterned paper, cut them out and then arrange them in this pattern. This was a result of me getting excited that TCW followed me on Instagram, and Julie Fei-Fan Balzer herself commented on my previous flag eraser stamp post. I am also proud to say that this photo is also featured on Julie’s monthly newsletter from her blog Balzer designs. Such a pleasant surprise!

That’s all for last month’s instagram photos! That’s quite a lot considering the 2 weeks of deadlines and preparations of exams in school. I guess that’s also why I share more because each completed work is something I really like when I specially take the time out to work on them or when they are much needed break from everything else. Thanks for stopping by!

Shadow stamping technique

I’m back again with a mini tutorial after my exams have ended! Today, I’m going to show you how to obtain a shadow using your stamps, as seen in the featured photo above. This is a very simple technique, and all you need is:

  • A clear stamp of your choice, to allow proper positioning
  • 2 ink pads of your choice, one lighter and one darker
  • Surface you want to stamp on

I am working on a small note card here, stamping the “hello you” sentiment onto the card front. The colours I picked for this project are tone on tone, i.e. they are different shades of the same colour but you can pick any combination of colours you wish.

Step 1: Stamp down your first ink layer. I’m working with the lighter colour first because I find it easier to align the stamp when I layer down the second ink layer (it’s less distracting!).

First layer of shadow stamping

Here’s a closer view of the light stamping. If you find the light colours difficult to see, you can enlarge the photo by clicking on it.

light stamping

Stamp 2: Stamp down your second layer of ink with a little bit of offset by looking through the stamp and stamping block to achieve the desired amount of offset. You can choose to offset left/right, up/down, or both. I did different combinations of offset in the photo below. You don’t need to be too particular about the placement of your stamps because it will turn out great in the end.

second layer of ink

Here’s a closer look at the offset:

shadow stamping closeup

Hope you enjoy this mini tutorial! This simple technique added some much needed oomph to my little note cards and now they are ready to be written in and given to others!

Supplies used: paper – drawing block, cut to size | stamp – Technique Tuesday Pure Magic by Ali Edwards | ink pads – Versacolour seafoam (138), indigo (27), sky gray (81), black (82), bisque (182); Versafine vintage sepia |