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

ambigram

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.


passion

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 :)


wallflower

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
http://jimwarren.com

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! :)