Apr 11, 2016

2nd quarter

How quickly time passes. It was like only yesterday we turned 2016 and now we're already in the 2nd quarter of the year. Anyways, I'm taking a break from the bench so that I can blog for a bit as I have some exciting news to share.

First off, my interview with an art and design blog from Germany just came live, so I cannot wait to share it here. I've been lucky enough to be in several interviews but never one from Germany. I'm delighted to say the least and really honored that the owner of the site, Cirsten Dieckmann, wrote to me. The site is call ArtMercato and HERE is where you can find the interview. The first part is in German but there is also the original English transcript below. Please do pay a visit if you have the time! A very interesting site indeed!

Next exciting news brings me to the online workshop that I'll be teaching at Artful Gathering Online Art Retreat. Registration opens on May 1st, so for those of you who are interested in taking art classes but cannot make it to physical venues, this summer online retreat is a great place to be. This year I will be teaching a Mixed Media Book Making class call "The Looking Glass". My class is in session ONE which will run 6 weeks from 6 June to 17 July 2016. I am so excited about this class and I cannot wait to see you all there. You can visit HERE.

Every year I try to think of something different to introduce the workshop that I'll be teaching at the Artful Gathering over summer. This year I made a short video using a technique that really excited me when I first saw it. This video was made using a simple form of Projection Mapping and I totally love how it turned out!

I will leave you with the video, I hope you like it as much as I liked making it!! Until next time ...

Mar 5, 2016

Lots have been done ...

since my last post. I am glad I haven't been procrastinating when it comes to my craft. The last few months were mostly dedicated to filming and editing my new workshop for the coming Artful Gathering 2016. Session 1&2 line-up are up and I am happy to see my workshop in Session 1 YAY!! This year I think I have outdone myself with regards to the length of the workshop. Last I counted, I have 11 hours of footages! Dang ... it didn't even feel like 11 hours when I filmed it. I am having so much fun with this project. For those of you who are curious to know what I'll be teaching ... we have been given the green light to divulge hahaha!!

This ... ladies and gentlemen, is The Looking Glass, a true mixed media journal making project which includes both these designs and a total of 11 hours of workshop! I have been asked frequently to create a workshop on my larger books. So here it is :) I hope I will see you all this summer at the Artful Gathering Online Art Retreats 2016!

Besides prepping for AG2016, in between rest I have been able to create several other books and jewelry pieces. So prepare yourself for a deluge of photos ... *drumrolls* please!!

First, the books!

The Seafarer's Sword & Book of Earendil

Memoir & Homecoming

A Witch's Handbook

Flower in the Attic & Between Two Worlds

The Lover's Handbook

And then, I also made this ...
This is Treasured {A Box & A Book}
The Box
The Book
The Pages
 These were experiments. I stained the papers with coffee then stamped designs on them with thicker coffee and even added liquid chlorophyll for the green. All from the kitchen, except the paper of course! Really liked the results.

So much for the books. Now lemme show you the obscene amount of earrings I made. By "obscene" I meant more than 3 pieces LOL!! I think I am getting better at working faster and more. I have never been able to make more than 3 pairs at one go.

I did even manage to learn a new skill. I've always wanted to try stamping on solder but never could find the apparatus and tools here to do that. I finally got tired of looking, I simply imported them in ... just like most of the other components I use in my work. The shipping as always, was as expensive as the items themselves. SIGH!! But now ... I can play :)

Live & Play

Petals & Steel
Totally worth it, shipping the leadfree solder and flux in!
So ... that's about it. That's what I've been up to since my last post. The new workspace is a dream! I am so loving it ... I think you already know :) Before I go, I will leave you with the latest piece from my bench.

Northern Route II

Sep 27, 2015

a new old space

The past month saw me initiating quite a transformation to my working space. I've been mulling over the idea for a while now, but just didn't have the push to do so, until one day my nephew said he would take over my current table. The current table, or should I say now, the ex-table I had was way too high for my petite frame. It gave me all kinds of back problems as I couldn't sit with my feet planted on the floor. They were always hanging as I had to adjust the chair higher to suit the table.

And so the clearing out began. I took it pretty slow, just a few items a day. That way I didn't feel tired out. And then one day ... this was what's left.

As you can see, it is quite a nice table and I've put in some time with the painting and such, but it was too high and with all the stuff I have, I was left with only 2 feet of space to work on.

I realize this is the only photo I have of my old space! With my little one posing of course :) See that space in front of the chair? That's all I have for my working area.

It was dismantling day and I even have an assistant to come and help ;)

I like it that my older girl is not averse to power tools. Atta girl!!

I have always wanted to make my own work bench and so I did. I loved the idea of using plumbing pipes as legs when I saw them on Pinterest. I thought they were industrial and cool looking, plus I could make them myself! I love DIY afterall. I proceeded to design and calculate the dimensions I needed. It was easier said than done.

Unlike the States, we do not have places like Lowes or Home Depot. The people who make pipe tables on Pinterest just had to go there and buy all the parts they wanted with all the pipes cut to size professionally. Over here I had to find an independent shop who still had the machine to cut and thread metal pipes (we are using a lot of PVC plumbing materials now so metal plumbing is not that easy to come by). But yea ... after asking and searching I found a shop who sold, cut and threaded metal pipes.


Finally I had all the components ready. I decided on an Ikea 8 foot solid oak butcher block as the tabletop. Best decision ever!

And then the construction happened ...

I have always wanted plug points on the table top, and this time I did!

I also made this tool storage for my most used tools. This was an old kitchen cabinet door my friend wanted to throw out.

And then everything fell into place.

Love the T feature underneath the wood

the DIY Lightbox now sits high

Beauty of Oak
The oak butcher block turned out not only beautiful but very very solid, which will be a plus when hammering metal. I stained it with a transparent wood stain to bring out the wood knots and other woody features. This side is in fact the back-side of the butcher block. But I loved this side because it had a lot more character with the wood knots and imperfections.

Couldn't be happier with my new space! It is 27 inches high as opposed to the old table which was 31 inches high. Now my feet can touch the floor. Also pretty proud that I made the workbench on my own :)

And a Panorama view ... All 8 feet of it!! Weeeeeee!!!!!!

Jun 1, 2015

Earrings Explosion!

We are nearly half a year gone, just cannot believe it is June already. Why does time pass so quickly nowadays? I don't remember it going so fast when I was a kid. Sigh ...

What have I been up to? Well, I have been excitedly anticipating the opening of Artful Gathering 2015 Session 1 on the 6th of June, which is now less than a week away! Lemme give you another peek of what I'll be teaching in Session 1, maybe it'll intrigue you to sign up with me this year ;)

Oh yea ... This is Fly Away With Me and it is a birdhouse wearable piece with moving parts! Isn't it cool!?!
SO ... if this has intrigued you in anyway, come join me and my fellow instructors at www.artfulgathering.com. You are not too late!

Besides AG, I have also been busy on my workbench. You know it's weird sometimes, when you're in the mood for something, you can't stop making them? Yup ... that's the main reason for my latest earrings explosion ((O_O)). I don't know how many I've made, but I guess I'll know now LOL!

These, I have named them Words, with a series number

Words No. 1

Words No. 2

Words No. 3

Words No. 4

Words No. 5

Words No. 6

And as for these, I called them all Bohemian Opulence ...

And now I know. 9! Actually 10 because I've had another custom request for Words No. 1. I've never made 10 earrings in a stretch, so this is definitely the first for me! I don't think I've had nearly enough yet, who knows ... another 10 perhaps?

Apr 17, 2015

Very excited!

Hi hi!!! Hope everyone is doing fine this Friday morning! Yup TGIF over here already :)

I have some exciting news and a video to share. First, the exciting news. I'm gonna be teaching at Artful Gathering Online Art Retreats again this year! Woohooooo!!! I'm be doing 2 sessions this time. First session is an artjewelry piece with movable parts, yup, that's gonna be so fun and so cool to make. In the second session, I will be encoring last year's artbook workshop. So for those of you who missed last year and wants to do the artbook, here is another chance for you :)

Registration is open now at Artful Gathering 2015 and you can start signing up for classes May 1! Ooooo ... I'm soooo excited! I hope you can all join me this year again and have more fun making things together :)

Here's a video promo I made. This year I involved the family, my 2 girls and my dad are in it, and my husband is my director and cameraman. What great memories we made as a family :) I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making this.

There are so many new classes to choose from this year and the instructors are just an amazingly talented and gifted bunch.
Hope to see you guys at AG2015!!

Mar 12, 2015

A long long time ...

I have been bad ... I have not been blogging as I should. Facebook and other social medias have turned me to the dark side. LOL! Fact is, it's not as easy to find the time to sit and write nowadays. But I hope you all have been well!! :) I have not made much these past few months because I have been preparing for the Artful Gathering 2015 project which I shall be announcing soon.

Anyways ... my latest project a bunch of Steampunk pendants inspired by Totems (I kept thinking of Channing Tatum when I think of Totems ... sigh ... my mind works in peculiar ways). These are about the only pieces I made these past few weeks. Big girl work has taken so much of my time and energy, that I just felt like playing. So I emptied some of my stash on my work bench and started to play. These Steampunk Totems are quite different from what I'd usually make ... but I think they're pretty neat. So many things I managed to play on these; soldering is one. I'm quite new at it, but really enjoying it! I got to play with resin too, and paint :)

From left to right, they are the Oracle, the Angel, the Shaman, the Goddess.
Don't ask me how I came up with the names, they just came into my head when I finished them. Weird. But sometimes you see something and they already have a name. You don't get to name them, they name themselves.

I have made the necklace chains pretty simple because I didn't want it to compete with the details in the spirit boxes. There! They did it again! I just wrote "spirit boxes" instead of shadow boxes or bezels ... Hmmmm ...

Then one of my friends asked me, who models my pieces for me. No one knows cos I always cut off the face of the 'model' (as in the center image). Well now the world knows LOL!! I model them, most of the time with no make up and messy hair, because I know my face won't be seen, and I photograph me and my pieces in the toilet. That's where I have the best natural light and the simplest white background aka toilet tiles :) And then some photoshopping to take away the tile lines and smoothen out the wrinkles ((O_O)) Voila!

There is a real practical reason for me modeling my stuff tho, firstly I don't have the money to hire a real model, and then I don't make my pieces in quantity. I'll probably have one piece made this week and another piece made in 2 weeks or 2 months!! So ... it's gotta me I guess.

Next up ... a cuff I made after I watched the last installment of the Hobbit. Can I just add that I am absolutely in love with Lee Pace after I watched him play Thranduil? Absolutely smitten like a kitten! Ahhh ...
Here is the Cuff of Kings.

What I love about this is how the Patina came out. Isn't it gorgeous? I could just wear Patina!
And if you're wondering what that etched metal is ... it's an old escutcheon cover :)

My all time favourite quote from LOTRs.
I consider myself as a Wanderer. At least, my mind wanders all the time! My wanderings almost always produce some fruit. So I would like to think that I'm not always lost when I wander ...

Another Patina shot, and a showcase of the humongous riveted buckle I made from brass.

Lemme see, what haven't I showed you yet ... hmmm ...
OH!! My Paths Series ... I am particularly proud of these, because the thought process to make these took a long time, and in that time, I thought of many things in life. So these are particularly dear ...

Little book necklaces inspired by life's Journey(s), Memories and Continuity.
Love this photograph of them too. I love how they are sitting in a web of chains and beads, symbolizing how life is. Yet, they are sitting there with their heads up and wearing their mission in the form of the little tags, proudly.

I leave you with this my friends ... I shall return soon, bearing more news and more pictures!