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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Hi guys, it’s been a while since I’ve updated and I finally got the energy and drive to update today. So massive massive update ahead, but also lots of photos to feast on.
My current status is that I’m officially unemployed for the past 3 months (wow how time flies). I should saw that I’ve been busy looking for a job, but that’s a lie because the time just consists of a lot of waiting. What this means for my art and creativity though is that my life currently consists of no structure, like I’m bobbing along in the great big sea. Since starting blogging, I found that my most productive creative days happen when I’m busy with other tasks, so I am now consciously aware that having momentum allows me to flourish best. Spending 3 months without any sense of structure and time though… not a good environment to be doing art.
Perhaps it’s the idea of a new year, or perhaps it represents the start of a new life as I leave my undergraduate life behind, this year, I’m finding it easier to start something new (fingers crossed I don’t jinx it). Not just something new, but starting anew, as I try for a past me that have disappeared into the wind in the past few years.
I’m taking up planning again, like those student handbooks that you are forced to buy when you are in school. I have to confess that I used to love them though, and each year my handbook get filled up with reminders and homework and crossing outs. It’s nothing fancy of course, but it didn’t matter because it’s functional. I’ve tried to use planners again during my university days, spending the time and effort to search for planners that would suit my needs AND look pretty. It’s not that much of a lost cause, but often times I find myself not using them, and when I try to pick them up again, I found that I actually didn’t like to use them. This time though, I’m heavily inspired by videos of bullet journals I seen (particularly this and this) so I decided to go simple. I had a B5 binder notebook that I used for German note taking so I decided to use that. And with some new inserts, my planner is thus born. What I loved about this (and probably why it worked so well for me), is that I can just throw papers away if I did something wrong or if I didn’t like it, which frees me from a lot of the stress and pressure I put on myself.
There are tabs that came with the notebook that I used to keep section separate, but the main tab that consist of everything to do with planning is a mishmash of things that goes by chronological order (of when I started the page, not so much what’s on it). I found that it doesn’t bother me so much, and it’s actually kind of nice to be flipping the pages back and forth, rather than just staying on one spread for the week and never needing to move away. It’s adds to the illusion of doing something too, because most days I don’t need to spend too much time writing in the planner. A few photos of how my journal looks:
I’ve also started a page on tracking my habits and I’m enjoying it so far. I have unfortunately gained (more than) a few bad habits and lost a few good ones, so I’m trying to get back on track by making them visible, and having a chart to mark off each day allows me to track my progress, and reminds me each day of what I have to do the next day/week/month/whatever. Some habits are easier to get back into than others though, like remembering to put apply face cream in the mornings and nights, and others doesn’t seem to get done at all (the habit that read “Post on My Craft Diary once a week” has been there since January). Yet others seem to have mixed success that I can’t seem to achieve consistently, like sleeping early or bathing early. Nonetheless, keeping track of my habits works for me so it’s something I’m sticking with.
A lot of my drive in picking up new habits come from the first piece of artwork I did this year. It’s a reflective piece, in which I think about the things I want to achieve in my life, and the things I want to keep out. It’s almost like my resolutions for the year? Though I’m not sure if it can really be considered resolutions because they are just big and broad aims I have while I’ve distilled them into workable actions that are manifested in my habit tracker. The piece if now hanging on my wall though, and it makes me happy to just look at the piece on the wall, if only because of the colour. Here’s how the piece looks on the wall:
And here’s how it looks at the background stage plus some details on the layers. As usual, you can click to view an enlarged image.
I may not be doing a lot of art, but it has not been completely bare these past few months. I did go on a few shopping sprees, so I have quite a few additions to my supplies. They’re mostly utilitarian though (like 3 different type of glues or blade refills), though there are some new yummy supplies that I’ve bought to keep that creative spark (mostly the inexpensive stuff like new pens or ink colours). I finally finally bought the set of paper bead roller that I’ve been eyeing ever since this video came out and it makes paper bead making so much easier. I promptly broke in the new tool by making beads out of scrap pieces of paper that has been lying around for years – that’s what I call killing two birds with one stone 😉 Here’s a look at the bead making process:
I’m also trying to reacquaint myself with the Jennibellie’s Journal Workshop community, and have been chatting with the creative peeps there occasionally. I may be very much out of it but it nice to have a place where I can just drop by, some place familiar where I feel comfortable, and Journal Workshop is just the place for those moments. I participated in the last art swap too, and I think it’s been almost two years since I last did an art swap. We made some paper flowers for the swap and I really liked how these turned out, with the embellishments and all. Hopefully my swap partner would like them!
My main project now is my Japan travel journal, which I started in December and then stopped because I got busy during the holidays (Christmas & Chinese New Year). I started picking it up again a couple of days back, and then somehow fiddled with a camera and video setup. In a stroke of brilliance, I found a set up that works, and doesn’t take too much time to set up, though the setup is rather amusing.
I use a short table as a temporary work for this project, because I bring out a lot of materials that wouldn’t fit on my usual workspace. You can’t see in this photo, but surrounding this table is an arc of supplies and things I would need for the travel journal, with just an empty space in the middle where I can sit down. Because my craft room is also my bedroom, I used my bed to help in the camera setup, and added cardboard boxes and even my pillow to prop up the selfie stick to a appropriate height. Nothing fancy, so hopefully this means that I might take more videos in the future! I also posted a video of a short flipthrough of the parts I worked on these few days on my instagram which you can view below:
As you can see, I usually go off on a tangent while I do things, even when I have definite plans. But it’s not a bad thing, because it usually end up being productive, like a new burst of energy to do things. While editing this post, the tangent brought me to create a stamp with the My Craft Diary logo, and it’s pretty easy to add to the images, so that’s a success. *Does happy dance* Have been wanting to do this for a while, but I was finding it a drag to learn how to do it. I did it on Photoshop before, but gimp is a little different and I’m not particularly familiar with the programme, so Google was the best way to go. I think that’s all the updates I have for this post, and hopefully, this marks the start of the habit to post on the blog once a week. Thanks for stopping by.
This month’s monthly challenge prompt from Jennibellie’s Journal Workshop is “Back to School”. I actually did this page back in August, using the same prompt, since school started in August for me. Because I am still in school myself, I didn’t approach the prompt in the same manner as Jennibellie (her’s is more like nostalgia, reminiscing her days in school).
Each element on the page represent a part of my school life, both past and present, except for the background which was done way in advance – I just happened to pick this background as the page of my art journal page. It’s just a simple background, with a paper collage, tinted gesso and stamping. The colours I choose for each of the elements are kind of random. I just wanted everything to be a different colour and bright, hence the colours I have chosen from a limited colour palette. I used Neocolor II (set of 15) direct to paper, so no colour mixing there.
On the top left, the “Moosic Notes” was a memo pad gift from a secondary school friend. She bought this in Canada while on university exchange because of my involvement in music. To me, this represents the musical part of me – studying music up to ‘A’ levels, playing in orchestras (then and now), juggling piano lessons with university classes.
Below it, the books represent well, school itself. It’s all the textbooks that have past my hands, all the reference books I have referred to and all the readings that I have to read for my university classes. It is also my lecture notes, and all things words that my eyes see when I’m studying or in school.
The thought bubble on the top right represents daydreaming. It’s all the times that I get lost in class and stare blankly at my lecturers. It’s all the times I lose focus and let my mind wander to things that have nothing to do with the class. It’s also all the times that I get tired and doze off in class, entering my dreamland in the middle of the class.
Lastly, the pencil below the “Back to School” is just a representation of my writings. It’s the notes I write messily in class and rewrite neatly again after class. It’s the assignments I have to write in exchange for a grade. It’s the examinations I have to do at the end of every semester before I get my temporary freedom from school.
That for me basically sums up everything about “Back to School”. It started out because I was restless and wanted to do something. “Back to School” popped up as a prompt because school was about to start (think this was a couple of days before university started) and I couldn’t have done a more appropriate page to the prompt. Hope this does not count as cheating though, to submit a page that was done prior to the release of the prompt even if the exact same prompt was used.
For the first time in a long while, I did an art journal page based on Jennibellie’s Monthly Challenge prompt (join the group, it’s free with lots of exclusive videos and crafty goodness!). This month’s challenge is all about windows and doors and this particular interpretation came into my mind:
It’s based on the saying, that whenever heaven closes a door, they will always open a window. And so I interpreted this way (and also what I journaled on the page):
Sometimes, doors look like they are good opportunity lost. But when heaven closes a door, they always leave a window open, whether or not you can see them at first. You just need to be patient for a little bit, wait for the clouds to clear and you’ll see the beautiful window and angel that heaven has laid out and opened for you a long time ago.
It surprises me how much this resonated with myself, even as I work on it. It’s been a long time since my art has been in sync with my journal; often it has just been journaling accompanied with colours or patterns or something that don’t speak the same as the journaling. Hence I hope this can continue, and that my interpretation of this has struck a chord with you too.