Dec 31, 2008

a christmas wrap-up

the year is nearly over and i'm excited to see what next year would bring :) after the gift making frenzy in the past month i thought it fitting that i wrap up all the christmas gifts i made in this last post of 2008 :) so here they are ...

3 friendship tags :

i am naturally inclined to slightly "darker" things, so most of the art i come up with are not what i would call "happy" looking. the same thing happened when i made these tags, they naturally turned out to be quite subdued and kinda "bleak" if i may say so... thus didn't go too well with christmas! so i decided to add some tassels and bells to them to give them a more "christmasy" and a happier feel... the tassels were made from putting together ribbons, sequines, yarn and bells. the sunflower (last minute addition) also helped to brighten the last tag up. plus... if anyone intend to hang these on their doors ... they would also make good "door bells" :))) the first two tags had my "untitled ll" poem on them which i thought went well with the travel theme.

2 magnetic boards :

of course these came with 4 magnets each :)) magnets made from glueing raw magnets to mosaics if you remember :) you can find the creative process of these magnetic boards in one of my previous post :)

5 sets of coasters :

this set of 8 were my first try. i gave them to 8 of my colleagues in the office.

subsequently, i enjoyed making coasters so much that i made 4 more sets. i know there are 3 here, that's because that 1 set that i made... ahem... wouldn't be very nice if an under age happen to come into my blog and saw them... so i rather not post the pics here :)))

the doggie set was made last. this was for a very good friend who is also the host of the party we went to ... he is a true animal lover :) lives with 3 dogs and 3 cats :) so i thought doggie coasters were perfect for him :)))

nell who received the betty boop set was squealing and sent me the most lovely thank you message via facebook the next day :))) i'm so glad she loved them...

2 painted mirrors :)

these mirrors were painted with waterbase acrylic. i did a similar sunflower mirror for another friend 2 years ago and one of my friends saw a picture and fell in love with it. she even asked me if could paint another one and she'll buy it from me... of course i'll paint another for her... so she got this as a christmas gift :))

the second mirror i called "lothlorien" which was inspired by lord of the rings :) though you cannot really see it, but the motif is painted with luminesence pearl white paint and looks really magical when you see it under lights :) i especially designed and painted this for a very gentle friend :)

all in all it was a great christmas :) now let's see what next year holds for all of us :)

happy pimping! :)

Dec 25, 2008

christmas spirit award

i have been so caught up in this last week that i could only steal a few moments in blogland each day :) but i am so honored that i could finally receive and write something on the christmas spirit award i received from the sweetest lady and my friend, melissa at sunbonnet cottage. and it makes it all the more meaningful as today is christmas :)) thank you once again for thinking of me this christmas melissa :)

i now have to say 5 things about why i love christmas :)

1. the spirit of friendship
we do not celebrate christmas in my family but each year my husband and i go to a friend's place for christmas dinner... on rather christmas eve dinner. this is an occassion we look forward to each year. after the dinner we would just sit around absorbing the nutrients... lol! actually we sit around and catch up, absorb the warmth, the friendship and play with angel cards. this year we did rumi card readings :)

2. the food
chris is a great cook! every year we get to eat his sumptous roast turkey with slabs of butter and fab fruit stuffings :) we pot luck as well :) there was roast duck chinese herb style (from jason and i), roast pork meatloaf with stuffings (courtesy of nell and bf), hokkien fat noodles (courtesy of yen and gf). chris also managed to cook some mushrooms this year. we finished off this year's decadent meal with chocolate brownies and icecream! YUMMY! all in all we gorged ourselves silly... i can still feel the food in my tummy now :)

3. the shopping for gifts frenzy
in the past, this was one of the most exciting time for shopping for gifts. so many pretty things to choose from. it's also the best time to buy ornaments for costume making :) well... this year i didn't have to buy presents... so it brings us to

4. the gift making process
this year i made all my gifts :) it was a truly fulfilling process for me :) and i'm really grateful for the gift to create :)

5. the memories
each year we go home with warm and fuzzy memories of the dinner, the friendship, the moments, the warmth and the love we all share. and this year it was all the more greater... my first christmas with all my blogging friends :) you cannot know how grateful i am for all of you, your friendship and all your sweet words :)) i have seen nothing but kindness and encouragement here ... thank you all ... thank you for being my friend and filling me with the sweetest memories :)))

and now i have to spread this award :) to keep the christmas spirit rockin and rollin!
1. jen at technicolor cottage
2. gayle at this artist's journey
3. earth jewelry
4. sharon at mana moon studios
5. zom at pinch me to see if you're dreaming
6. trudi at deco detective
7. sf at reduce footprints
8. carolyn at harbor hon

all you have to do is pass the spirit on and tell us 5 things about why you love christmas :)))

no rush... you have 12 days to do it :)

have a blessed christmas and a smashing 2009!

Dec 12, 2008

more coasters

my sister in law came from singapore last week and fell in love with my vintage coasters... so before she left, i made her a set of 6 vintage coasters. this time i made these on square base. i used reprints from an old garden encyclopedia (you can see some scientific flower names in the background) , more vintage images of beautiful ladies and aged them with a bit of paint patina. then i finished them off with 2 coats of glass glaze spray which i just got from the store.

here's another set of coasters which i made for a very good friend who has this crazy obsession with the character betty boop. these coasters i made with plain white kitchen tiles. this time i wanted to make something a little more over-the-top, so i decided on zebra prints for background (which i featured a couple of post back). unfortunately the canvas i initially painted the zebra prints on were not large enough to make 6 coasters. so i painted another.

this is just free hand painting on a piece of canvas using black acrylic paint.

here's the canvas cut up into 6 pieces... with a little left over

the next step is glueing the zebra print pieces on the tiles and then betty boo reprints on top. jason thought they were too plain so i added some embelishments.

(disclaimer : i do not claim the right to the images of betty boop. this is just a one-off christmas gift i made for a very good friend. these coasters are not being sold for profit)

this is how they look after completion

i edged the images with red acrylic paint + a thin black line using a felt tip pen

i also painted the sides of the tiles red for impact

and here is a particular one which i think will tickle her to bits (i've censored it here... but i'm sure you can imagine it uncensored :)))) )

i hope you enjoyed that!
these were also sealed with glass glaze to give it a shiny finish.

happy pimping! :)

Dec 11, 2008


ooo... tonight i was going through some of my drawers and found something i would love to share. it's an ambigram i designed quite a while ago. an ambigram is a word or motif that reads exactly the same when you turn it round or flip it 180 degrees.

it's in the form of my daughter's name LLARA KAYE. see if you can figure it out it... i know it's a little difficult to turn your monitor upside down 180 degrees :D...

initially i wanted to make this into a tattoo... i still want to make this into a tattoo... but i'm a coward :) ( i know jen will laugh at me :( ) so... i dunno... but this was an interesting find :) i should keep this where i can see now...

happy pimping! :)

Dec 10, 2008

collage training or zebra crossing?

what a silly post title! but i'm feeling silly cause...

yipee! i bought another fab book! this one's on collage :) i am sooo excited! can't wait to go through this treasure :)

in the meantime, i painted this zebra print on a piece of canvas. i'm making more coasters so i want to use this as the background. initially i was thinking of scanning this and printing it on paper but the black motifs don't really come out sharp on the ink jet... i think it's because it uses too much black ink. i'm contemplating laser printing ... that i'll have to do in the office :) the other option is of course cutting the original canvas up :) this time i'm going to be using kitchen tiles for the base like what julia at the spotted sparrow did.

happy pimping! :)

Dec 9, 2008

creative process of a magnetic board

i have finally completed 2 pieces of magnetic boards. but the truth is, i'm not totally excited about the finished products. the magnetic boards itself worked out quite well but the arty part of it... well.. i cannot say it didn't work out well... they are not ugly, just not what i'm used to... i guess. it was a choice so i'm not going to complain. i made a choice to used them as canvas for discovering collage making and mixed media.

before i go into the 'arty' part, let me show you how i finally made the boards, 'magnetic' :)

these are zinc sheets i bought from the hardware store. they are pretty light weight and thin and can be cut into shape using a pair of normal scissors. but the edges are really sharp so you have to be very careful when you cut them up. initially i wanted to cut them exactly to the shape of the palette but found it really difficult to cut the holes. and on second thought, it was not such a good idea because if anyone slipped their fingers through the holes, the zinc might cut their fingers! and the palettes ... you've seen them before, the one in grey... is the one i sprayed with the not-so-magnetic magnetic paint :)))

so i ended up with this and i think it worked quite well. glued the zinc to the palette with elmer's metal glue.


this is the first one magnetic board i made.

medias were :
> paint - the roses were painted

> music score printed on recycled paper
> vintage images printed on recycled paper
> ink - for the writings
> yarn - for hanging

problems :
the vintage images were not so well printed. the recycled paper took a lot of ink and you can see lines of uneven print job across the images. i'm still undecided if i should change the images because the lines on the 'lovers' image give me a feeling of grainy tv... which i thought quite suited the look of this piece. my best bet is to change the orange image and retain the lover image. what do you think?

these are an assortment of colorful mosaics. i turned them into little magnets by glueing round raw magnets to the bottom of the mosaic. so every magnetic board comes with 4 pieces of mosaic magnets :)


this is the second piece i made. this one has been modified many times. if you look closely, you can still see some bottom layers showing through the top layers. i was so engrossed in the process of trying to get this one to "fall into place", i totally forgot to take pictures of the disasters, (i kicked myself for that) . i finally used the word 'wallflower' from the piece of writeup in the center and reworked this piece from there.

medias were :
> paint - the sunflower is painted, vintage girl had paint added to it
> party serviettes - the circular designs you see on the top right
> vintage flower write up/sketches from an old garden encyclopedia printed on ivory paper
> vintage images printed on ivory paper
> music score printed on recycled paper
> rubber stamp
> texture paste - is the textured background you see above and below the hole
> ink - writing and a couple of leaves
> yarn - for hanging

problems :
i had vision problems... trying to find one subject matter to zero in, which resulted in many disastrous layers (but i can assure you the magnets will still work on this!) i finally decided on 'wallflower'

so the conclusion is ... although i am not too excited about these 2 pieces, but i enjoyed the creative process of making them and discovering a variety of medias which have endless possibilities. my guess is i still have not developed the 'eye' for this sort of art yet. it is all still very new to me. but the good thing is, it keeps my adrenaline rushing. and i'm looking forward to do some more :)

happy pimping! :)

Dec 4, 2008

vintage coasters as gifts

i have so many christmas gifts to make, i've decided to keep them real simple :) these 8 coasters are for my colleagues at work (proper work that is :) ). they are really simple to make, anyone can make them :) and i must thank julia at the spotted sparrow for giving me this simple, brilliant and pretty coaster idea. you must go check out her site... there are so many pretty handmade stuff there but her coasters are my favorite. she even has a tutorial on how to make them.

mine are basically just cut out micro fibre boards (i think they're called) and a bit of decoupage work of choice backgrounds and images. i finished them off with a little bit of antiquing by rubbing bits of brown paint on the edges. finally i sealed them with 3 coats of gloss varnish. i have all of a sudden developed a liking for gloss varnish! i usually just use the satin ones... hmmm...

i made all these in one night (see how simple it is?). i then let them sit for a day to thoroughly dry out before putting varnish on them.

tip : if you use ink jet printer to print your decoupage images, make sure you fix them with an ink jet fixative before doing decoupage with them. otherwise, the ink will smear.

p/s there's one particularly sinister coaster there... if you can spot it. i have quite concealed the 'sinister parts' of it ... just wanted to play a little friendly prank on one particular guy colleague :) hee hee...

images for the coasters are taken from vintage resources, a site where people share their collection of vintage images. thank you!

just wanted to show you how the base looks like :) try them... they are really fun to make :)
happy pimping! :)

Dec 3, 2008

untitled ll

we are but travelers
we arrive

we check-in to our impermanent dwelling

we take-in the sights
we look, we listen, we feel, we muse
some fervent, some dispassionate
some see but do not learn
some search but do not discover
some stay in oblivion
at the end of our visit
are we fulfilled or frustrated
do we rejoice or regret

do we leave... a memory
do we leave... unnoticed...

art by jim warren

Dec 1, 2008

beyond delight!

today i went to town. hubby had a meeting so i followed. while he was at the meeting, i went to browse at a very large japanese book store called kinokuniya (brand from japan but sells all sorts of books) ... and look what i found!

this first book is a decorative art book... i can't understand a word in it because it's all in japanese but the work is beautiful! very good reference book for painting antique and collectible art. below is one of the pages inside ... aren't the art on kitchen stuff cute? :)

this next 2 books are fabulous! they are not actually books but a collection of images, 200 odd images in each of them ... the best thing is they are all royalty free!!!!! it comes with a cd rom and a simple editing program :) at such a good deal too! i'm simply over the top... i can use these images guilt-free! yeah!!!!

i am beyond delight with my finds today :)

happy pimping! :)

Nov 29, 2008

golden bog award?

LOL! i just received another award... golden bog award... goodness knows i have no idea what it means ... all i know is bog means swamp? correct? no? so am i a swamp thing? anyway... thank you mr argentum vulgaris (or more commonly known as AV) for asking me to grab this from his blog nether region of the earth II. if you are brave enough, please go visit him at this blog and/or another called tomas arcanum.

AV does a lot of interesting articles in his blogs. he talks about everything under the sun... and his knowledge is unbelieveable! there are plenty of things that i learnt from reading him :) but not always for the faint hearted :) his articles are sometimes cute, interesting, full of information, earth friendly, righteous and makes you laugh... and sometimes they are cynical, satirical, dark, makes you think twice about things we tend to brush aside and makes you feel angry (not with AV of course :) ) but i can conclude that AV has a real good heart and that's what's important :))) no offence AV :)

thanks for the award AV but you must forgive me for not passin it on... cos i really dunno who to pass it on to :)))

Nov 28, 2008

sun & moon & thank you sweet melissa!

i have been having some sort of dilemma with copyright. it all began when i started my journey on collage making, which was the last post! i've never had to think of copyright so far because all the work i post here are my own. and then when i started working with paper, naturally i get most of my images from magazines or the internet. and then it dawned upon me that i am actually using pieces of other people's creation or work in my art. hmm...... the most prominent one was an image of a sun & moon i got off the net belonging to an artist named richard neuman. it's a good thing that the art i made was not in anyway going to be used for profit making (ie. selling) so i hope mr neuman won't be too pissed with me and i've also added his link in that post (and here) for using his sun & moon image.

so this got me thinking. i really like sun & moon. not just mr neuman's sun & moon... but any sun and moon images remind me of the time i spent in england studying. it was also a time when i was first introduced to crystal healing and new age stuff. so i'm guessing... i'm gonna be using a lot of sun & moon images in the near future because i'm liking collage and mixed media a lot. maybe i should just CREATE the images i think i'm gonna be using a lot. then i'm just using my own paintings and wouldn't have this knawing feeling that i'm 'stealing' someone else's work.

last night... i painted these for starters... on small pieces of canvas.

i scanned them into the computer and wallah! i get my individual sun and moon images where i can use in my collage without guilt...

then i went a step further and put the 2 images together using a software called GIMP.

now i can have my sun and moon together in one image :))) and then, of course i had a naughty thought ... i put a watermark on them :DDDDD (rubbing hands in glee!!) LOL! i feel like a naughty girl who found some cotton candy and hiding it from mommy!

all in all i am quite pleased with this endeavor :)

and sweet melissa doubled the joy by sending me 3 awards! imagine... it is 3 or 4 am in the morning (my place) ... i just finished painting the sun and the moon, and feeling 'high' from wrestling with GIMP, trying and finally succeeded in putting the 2 images together, had a broad grin on my face when i printed the thumbnails out... then i see this little "1 inbox" appearing in my gmail tab. melissa of sunbonnet cottage has left me a comment saying that she's awarded me with not 1 but 3 awards! my goodness! i went into sunbonnet cottage and stared at my name and awards for quite a bit... first feeling excited and happy, then puzzled... now... what am i suppose to do? me being silly me... never been given awards before... stared at the 3 awards for like 5 minutes. then i scrolled through melissa's blog and saw that she's put the awards on the sidebar! LIGHTBULB! comes on... oh... i see.... then i wrote melissa a thank you message and reconfirmed on what i think should be done with the awards :)))))

i copied and pasted the awards into my computer. i remember telling myself... i'll do this tomorrow :) by this time i was "floating" ... needed to sleep... but i was feeling really really smug with everything! the sun, the moon and sweet melissa's awards! happy thanksgiving to me :) the psyche is well fed :)))))

and now *DRUMROLLS!* i pass these 3 awards to:

sharon of mana moon studios
balego of frayed brushes
AV of tomus arcanum
sf of reduced footprints
sunday girl of the crafty corner
sue of the corner garden
maryjane of the beehive cottage
rose of what i made today
carolyn of harbor hon
(carolyn i know you already go this from melissa :) but awards are never too many :)

everyone who's receiving these three awards have touched my life in certain ways and i thank you for just being you and for all the wonderful things you do and write about.

steps to claim the awards:

1. copy and paste them your blog
2. mention the awards in one of your post
3. pass the love on
4. tell 'em you love them :) (leave them a message to tell them to claim the awards :) )

happy pimping ! :)