May 21, 2016

A surprising endeavour

For a long long time I have always thought, or assumed that drawing would be something out of my artistic range. In school when we had to draw a scenario with people in them, I would always dread it, simply because I can never draw a realistic looking person. They would be out of proportion, had a funny face and what nots. And I have always envied those of my friends who can draw. So from that time on, I have never had the inclination to sketch anything that's human or animal. I only drew motifs and tattoo-like designs.
However, since last week, everything I thought about me+drawing, changed.

I don't know what exactly inspired me to pick up the pencil and start sketching dragons. Maybe it was my 5 year old who gifts me drawings after drawings of wonderful girls in motion (she loves to draw, unlike her mommy). Or maybe it was a message in etsy where there was the mention of a Phoenix, or maybe it was the really amazing artwork I saw on a friend's facebook feed. Something triggered me, or rather, they ALL did it because one morning last week, I woke up and all I wanted to do was to learn how to draw a dragon. And so I researched on the internet (Youtube) and started devouring videos after videos on dragon drawing. I googled dragon artwork and tried to decipher what constituted a dragon since it wasn't a real creature that one could observe in the flesh. After a day, I made my first dragon. That was on the 10th of May. In the subsequent 5 days, I had made 6 dragons heads.

Here are the first four dragons I sketched ... No. 1 being Tatts. That's my first dragon drawing.

And then in the next three days, I drew Smirk, Al and Cocky.
Of course, I was hooked by now and I drew another two.

Bucky, fashioned after a Komodo Dragon.

I was genuinely surprised that I could draw a decent looking dragon. Nothing like those fancy ones I see on Deviant Art, but they were decent. And then a rebellious thought came to mind. What if ... what if I tried drawing faces. Like human faces. I still had a little phobia with drawing humans, but I just needed to know if I can, or cannot draw a proper face. So I made my first human face on the 14th May. Since my daughter really fancied Sebastian Stan after watching Captain America : Civil War, I used one of Stan's photos as drawing guide.

I actually did two Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier. The results looked nothing like him, but it was an encouraging start for me ... I can ACTUALLY draw a face! A human face!! Yipeeeeee!!!

I couldn't stop there knowing that I can go further. So I relentlessly drew. I haven't stopped drawing until today. Here is a chronology of the faces I drew and the dates I drew them. I still cannot believe the progress I am achieving. It shows that nothing is impossible if you put your heart into it. And I really put my heart into this.

Sebastian Stan (again) - 15thMay

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Strange - 16thMay

Aaron Taylor Johnson as Pietro Maximoff - 16thMay

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers - 17thMay

And then by now, I am as smittened with Sebastian Stan as my daughter is LOL!! So another one of him on the 19May.
Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes - 19May

Today is the 20th May. It's been 11 maybe 12 days since I decided to learn how to draw ... dragons and humans. I don't know when I will make myself stop drawing, so that I can go back to my other art forms (I do need to make some books and jewelry soon!!). But to top this journey off, I made drawings of my daughters today :)

This is Llara ... she's 11

And this is Maia ... she's my 5 year old drawing princess!

I never thought I would enjoy drawing so much. I am so glad I gave it a try again after 30+ years.

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 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?