Jun 26, 2009

simple paper weights - tutorial

today i was at a garden shop and saw some really nice, smooth and round stones. and then i thought, well ... these are good size stones, not too light, not too heavy ... they'll be perfect for paper weights!

and of course, paper weights they will be :)

these are so fun and easy to do you can do it with your kids :)

what you need :

* nice palm size stones
* paint (i use acrylic) & brushes
* all purpose sealer (mix 1:1 with the paint so that the paint adheres to the surface of the stone, i use the brand jo sonja)
* images of your choice (trimed)
* adhesive/glue
* varnish

1) clean the stones with water and cloth, get rid of debris and dust, allow to dry

2) paint a base color. i use my normal acrylic paint mixed with an all purpose sealer at 1:1 ratio

3) if you wish you can add some 'extra' to the base color. i just dab my brush in 2 different browns and lightly brush across the stone to give it some striations.

4) i was feeling a little frisky so i painted the bottom half in black acrylics. just for fun :)

5) trim your images. since i'm into my dragonflies now, i reprinted them in a smaller dimension to fit the stone. of course if you're printing with an inkjet, then you'll have to fix/seal the images before you do any glueing. otherwise your inkjet images will bleed. if you have a really good fixative, please let me know :) at the moment i'm using letraset inkjet fix, which i fear is going to run out of stock real soon in the ONLY craft shop that carries this brand *sigh*

6) you can do without this step but i like to line the white paper edges off with a marker. the image looks so much sharper if you take the time to do this step :)

7) glue your images on the stone. remember to use a glue that allows paper to bond to a stone surface.

8) after letting the glue dry, finish your work with 2/3 coats of varnish. (i use a fan brush to apply varnishes, it gives me a really light and even coat) today i'm trying out a new gloss varnish. apparently this varnish is flexible !! yea... it's suppose to be good for items which will expand or contract with the temperature. since it's flexible, the varnish don't crack up when your item expands or contract.

9) and now you can weigh your papers down in style :)

have fun! and...

happy pimping! :)

Jun 24, 2009

dragonfly cards test batch

last night i was busy making dragonfly cards from some cardstock i bought at a local papercraft store. since i've never made cards before, the store lady told me that the usual size would be the 4"x6". so i followed her advise and made a test batch of four 4"x6" cards. i tried them in 2 colors, dark brown and dusky green ...

here they are ...

these have been made decoupage style and i've paired the dragonflies up with the celtic 'ish' frames and motifs like i said i would.

on the inside of the card, i stuck an extra piece of softly patterned light colored card so that you don't have to find a white or light colored pen to write on the dark surface. also, i found it prettier with the little patterned card inside.

i was quite pleased with the designs.

but i faced a couple of problems in the card making process.

1) my cards curled. i think i'm using the wrong glue. i think the glue i used had too much moisture in it.

2) since i print my cards with an inkjet, there is the problem of water smudging. though i used a fixative to fix the ink, i was just wondering if there are any other ways to seal inkjet images on a card (besides having to acquire a laser printer!)

3) i forgot to score the fold of the card so it looks a little untidy at the fold :)

today, i went over to the papercraft shop again to seek for advice :) and my guess was right. it's the glue that's making my card curl. so they recommended me another glue. and i tried that and my card turned out perfect!

no more curling, straight as the queen's palace guards!! i even found an apple green envelope to match my dragonfly's wings :) and oh... since this was also a test card, i cut the card a different way. still 4"x6" but it folds differently.

do you think this'll work? or do you prefer the conventional fold? i really value your views and ideas :) well, if this is going to be a new product in my etsy ... i sure need all the feedback i can get :) oh yea ... i'm thinking of making these into a set of 4 all in a same color. what do you think?

as always, i would love to hear from you :)

happy pimping! :)

Jun 22, 2009

dragonflies inspired by 'untitled'

a couple of things have helped inspire these dragonflies. first, the owner of red envelope put this idea in me with ... "our ladies love dragonflies here" ... oh ok i said :) i thought about it for a couple of days but couldn't seem to connect. i don't think i can come up with a design just like that without something 'clicking' inside of me. then last week or so, i chance upon a poem (or simply thoughts) i wrote a while ago ... 'untitled' ... as i read it, colorful dragonflies began playing in my head and something clicked.

since re-reading the poem several times, with dragonflies flying in my head (lol!), i have rewritten 2 words in 'untitled' (if you compare the link with this one below, you'll see which 2 words)

the body is merely a vessel
reducible, degradable
fleeting, as moment
transient, as life

the mind and the spirit
reside within this ephemera
steadfast and sacred
define our worth

you can break my body
but you cannot break my spirit...

it seems appropriate somehow... to rewrite the 2 words ... the poem seems to have "moved" along with my evolving thoughts ...

dragonfly... so fleeting is its lifespan...
though it seems to me, our own is not unlike theirs

in life ... proud, colorful, powerful predators and somewhat magical

yet ... as it's transient life quickly fades away

peering through it's broken wings ...

still ... the strength and spirit for life do not cease to glow ... iridescence ...

... hmmm ...
i'm stuck for words ... so many things churning inside of me ... unexpressed.

let's just 'beam' back into real world for a moment :) so... my dragonflies... hmmm ....
i haven't thought of any crafts to do with them yet, but i am going to combine them with some celtic 'ish' designs i made. i think they would go quite well together...

by the way ... i actually tried to mimic the watercolor technique on parts of the dragonflies' wings, but as you can see, it didn't really work out ... it totally doesn't look 'watered' down, looks real intense actually... lol!!! but then again, i was using acrylics on canvas ;)

as always, i'd love to hear what you think :)

happy pimping! :)

Jun 21, 2009

ponderings, mutterings and ramblings ...

as i was clipping away my latest paintings just now ... yes ... you heard right, i clip them away like this ...

i thought of real artists.

normally people would assume that once a painting is complete they would be hung up or sold or something to that effect. but mine just gets clipped away.

my clipped away paintings above are actually painted with acrylic paint on artist canvas. for some reason i have like a huge roll of artist canvas which i bought 5 years ago (for no apparent reason). so now i cut them up mostly in A4 size so they fit my scanner :( and paint my designs on them. what sort of artist am i?!? i make my art with proper paint on a proper canvas, only to scan them and then clip them away!

that's becos in my head, i make art and designs for crafting. funny ... but i haven't thought of it any other way. i do a lot of decoupage ... that's how i started making my own designs and painting them. at first it was like 'get the images from the net' , 'get decoupage paper from the craft store' but then it didn't feel really right. i was constantly gnawed by the feeling of copyright infringement, and let's be honest ... as an artist, would you like it if someone took your work and use it on their crafts and call it their own? well... i didn't like the gnawing feeling and i didn't feel that my work was solely my own. so i started designing my own designs and painting my own images.

i was pondering today when i started looking at what i've painted so far ... which was not long ago cos i started crafting seriously only about before christmas last year... could i do more with paintings besides scanning them and reprinting them as craft paper?

well... not these ones... but perhaps future ones, when i paint only for the sake of painting and not paint with having a set frame of mind that they would be used on a coaster set or a placemat or something. (well ... i did use to do folk art and decorative art, but not on canvas tho)

the fact that i don't give too much attention to my paintings is probably because i feel that they are not good enough as a piece of art. yea... the designs may be cute and they may look alright reprinted on paper as craft paper (hoping that the flaws might be hidden after scanning and reprinting?) ... but as a piece of "real" painting? real work of art? nope ... i really dun think so. and yea ... i prefer to call my paintings "designs" or "illustrations" ... cos that's just only what they are ...

i think of my work as amateurish. never been to art school, never learned the technical stuff about art. the only art lessons i went to was a folk art class about 6 years ago ... once a week 3 hours, with a group of ladies, for 6 months. i really enjoyed that tho. for the first time i was painting something that looked remotely like art :)) then i stopped becos i got pregnant and couldn't take the smell of the mediums. thus, i still feel that i'm bulldozing my way through ... shading? highlighting? proper strokes? blending? i dun even know if i'm doing them right! i just do them by instinct! HAH!

what brought on today's ponderings, mutterings and ramblings? well ... i went into etsy and looked at real artists' work ... conventional art, mixed media art, oil, acrylics, watercolor ... it was like WOW! so... could i do this? or that? sell art as well, not just crafts? well ... i like the idea ... mixed media attracts me ... more room to explore and more freedom of expression?

but ... must equip myself with more knowledge first!

anyway enough of ramblings for today ... but before i go ...


and happy pimping! :)

Jun 18, 2009


i dunno if "fraternity" is the 'bestest' word to use, but i really really like this word. the first time i heard it was in the movie WANTED when morgan freeman said to james mcavoy, "welcome to the fraternity (of assassins)" :)

well ... i now belong to the INSPIRATION AVENUE fraternity :) do not fret! i have not inducted myself into a group of assassins ... but then again, i believe we could be as potent! inspiration avenue etsy team is the group's full name and it is made up of a diverse but very talented group of artists who promote, encourage and support each other's work through friendship and a positive team environment. i am still finding my way here as i have never belonged to a group such as this :) but i am really excited and ever-ready to explore! woohoo!

please feel free to visit us by clicking on the 3 badges below. each one will take you to a different 'hideout' :)

IAEteam shop

IAEteam profile

on a different note :) i just received another award ;) this one is rather new i think cos i've only seen it once. it's the one lovely blog award!

thank you sharon of mana moon studios for passing this beautiful award to me :)) for those of you who have followed my posts, you would know sharon is a wonderful and extremely talented jewelry artist. more than that, sharon is a dear friend and a truly warm and giving person. lol! she is the one who brought me into the IAEteam fraternity! double thank you to you sharon!!

check out this collection of hers. isn't it gorgeous?! ... that's why... it's going to go on TV!!

hohoho! so many things are happening in blogworld and artyworld for me ... my adrenaline is a-pumpin! there's more orders for my elephants from red envelope, i have just put up a pimp&paint fan page in facebook and have 450 fans already!!, there's IAEteam and of course , there is my new dragonfly series in the workings :))) i'm a little flustered but that's becos i'm EXCITED!!! ... woohoo!!!

happy pimping! :)

Jun 12, 2009

peace series ... and now there are 6

aha! my peace series is finally complete :)) well... for the moment it is ... who knows :p. the last puzzle to the peace was the ambigram and now i have 6 designs which i can make into 6 little coasters! and i am quite pleased with them. tho they (we) all look different on the surface, we know that they (we) are all linked together by one powerful spirit that is PEACE :)

1. "wor ping" - peace in chinese caligraphy ... cut out on a reprint of a peace treaty made in 1648
2. peace flowers - inspired by the lotus and painted in my favorite blue-green hues :)
(altho this new printer i just bought, prints a different kind of blue ... i actually prefer my old printer's blue :( )

3. peace in colors - a colorful and whimsical depiction of peace
(i tweaked some of the colors in this one on the GIMP software to blend in better with the other designs ... ahhh ... the miracles of technology :)) )
4. doodling peace - an unconscious extension of the word 'peace' and the peace sign

5. ambigram of peace - perfect symmetry
6. green peace - the only software generated design (among the 6) ... exploring different fonts and ways of making peace

and so ... this is it :) or not?? because after i finished making this set of coasters last night, i suddenly had this wicked idea. i should have designed one with a scary tree and a tombstone that says RIP (rest in PEACE) !! lol!! i might just do that the next time round ... perhaps remove 'green peace' and insert RIP :)) but this set will be in my etsy shop :)

as always ... love to hear what you think :)

happy pimping! :)

Jun 9, 2009

a tribute to zachary quinto

ha! i'm on the roll! you know what ... i just designed another ambigram!

divert ...

i'm sure by now, the whole frig***g world knows that :
1) i am a new trekkie convert
2) i am obsessed with spock
3) i am obsessed with the actor playing spock :) ... the younger one ...
before trek i didn't know who zachary quinto was. i didn't watch heroes, so i didn't know sylar. but now i know... zachary quinto's range as an actor both impress and inspire me. i was utterly spellbound by trek and by him. from the numerous interviews i've watched over youtube, mr quinto comes across as refine, articulate, well informed and intelligent. deeply contemplative and slightly old world, he exudes a unique charm. i shall be following his career closely from now.

and now coming back to the ambigram. you probably would have guessed by now that this is an ambigram of mr quinto's name :) so... it begins like this on a piece of white paper last night ...

(to get a closer look click on the pictures)

i always begin by writing the name one on top of another in opposite directions so that i can see which letters to pair up. and i usually try different combinations of the name.
i'm not an expert in this, i've only done like 4 ambigrams, so i don't know if this is how the experts do it. but it works alright for me.

tracing paper is very important. once you have designed one half of the name, you need to see if they work when you put 2 halves together.

a piece of tracing paper allows you to maneuver around (since it's transparent) and experiment with different ways of fitting the 2 halves together.

this is the 1st sketch on graph paper. i initially had some problems with the Y because as you can see, 'zachary' is a 7 letter word and 'quinto' is a 6 letter word. when you flip 'zachary' on 'quinto' the letter Y is the odd one out. of course you can join any 2 letters in 'zachary' to accommodate this, but in this case, it didn't really work out that way. then something caught my eye when i was combining the R and Y... i saw a familiar and an uncannily befitting shape :) ... the shape of the trek logo :) and of course it has since become not only the main feature of this ambigram, it has also solved my Y problem :)

however, i wasn't too happy with the first sketch ... i thought the 'Z' 'A' 'C' 'H' could look better, more compact and more stylized. so i sketched sketch 2 ... and this is it ...

and since i was using the trek logo anyway, i might as well use the heroes sign too :)

'zachary' as you see it ... turn your screen 180 degrees, it should read 'quinto' with the trek logo in front :)

the next step is to scan it into the computer and duplicate another 'zachary', rotate it 180 degrees, and assemble ( i use the software GIMP) ... wallah!

each of them are slightly different.

i had a lot of fun designing ambigrams this week :) the PEACE ambigram had a sense of romance and 'girlishness' to it ... while this one ... well can i say, futuristic with a little bit of edge? i dunno ... you tell me :)

and to all the zachary quinto fans out there, feel free to download them if you wish ... today's art post serves only one purpose ... to pay homage to an excellent actor who is zachary quinto :) enjoy!

happy pimping! :)

Jun 8, 2009

an ambigram of PEACE ...

since reading dan brown's angels & demons a couple of years ago... i've been intrigued by the idea of ambigrams! fascinating stuff ... ambigrams. wikipedia defines ambigram as "An ambigram, also sometimes known as an inversion, is a typographical design or artform that may be read as one or more words not only in its form as presented, but also from another viewpoint, direction or orientation"...

lately, well ... since angels & demons have been made into a movie, my fascination for ambigrams have returned :)) for those of you who have been following my blog you would remember that i once posted an ambigram of my daughter's name llara kaye (click on her name to go to that post). that was done like 3 years or so ago. and weirdly enough, i've never been able to design another since... one of those uncanny arty problems! but yesterday i was contemplating the idea of a PEACE ambigram ... it seemed easy enough, just 5 letters and i also wanted to add another design to my peace series. so i sat myself down and started working on a piece of graph paper. it's always easier to design symmetrical designs on a graph paper, so i know exactly the proportions of each letter. and this is what i came up with last night ...

you can see that there are little corrections patches here and there (the miracle of correction pens!) :) anyway... i stopped here last night cos i didn't want to push it :)

but today i was quite determined to finish what i started, so i brought my base design out to starbucks and began working on the ambigram whilst sipping on my grande vanilla latte :) and i was really pleased with the end results :)

i may tweek it some more but it's more or less complete :) what do you think? i would love to hear from you :)

happy pimping! :)

Jun 3, 2009

'spockie' elephants

i have been working on another set of elephants of late. red envelope, the shop that sells on consignment for me, is selling my elephants like hot cakes! OH!!!!! i have to tell you this... i just got my first paycheck from red envelope yesterday! :)) that felt gooooood! anyway... coming back to my elephant story... i have been working on my new set of elephants since ... 3 weeks ago? perhaps more. my plan initially was to do something retro in my favorite blue and green tones. well... the blue and green tones came out alright, but i can't say much about the 'retro' part...

you see... designing 'retro' elephants in between 5 helpings of star trek isn't really a good idea. oh... did i tell you i was never a trekkie (i saw trek only during the act of changing channels) but now... i think i'm a true convert! well... coming back to the elephants again... just let me show you the pictures first. these are on canvas ...

when i finished them, i looked at them for a looooooong time. i thought to myself ... these dun look retro ?? *silence for 10 seconds before realization* damn ... these look futuristic ... these look ... spockie !!!!!!
now, you tell me... is it just me? or do they look 'spockie' to you too ... my facebook frens certainly agree with me! this is the result of designing 'retro' elephants in between 5 x star trek ... and i think you dun need me to tell you that i have contracted the OSD (obsessive spock disorder) in the midst of all this madness now, do you??

part 2 ... pondering ...

yes... i poured and pondered over my 'spockie' elephants for another week or so. firstly because i still had 'retro' stuck in my head, and secondly, the flu bug got to me. but i'm alright now and i have recovered from both the above maladies ;p ... so last night i came up with this. (as always, i paint my designs on canvas first then scan them and resize them, and print them out again for my various crafts)

my first 'spockie' elephant placemat :) those of you who have been following my work know that most of my art and crafts are filled with 'things' ... i just can't get enough of 'things' ... i like my work colorful and messy and filled. but this one, i was compelled to stop at this. less is good. simple (well... simpler than most of my other stuff) and clean.

and you know what ... this is sooooo weird ... when i was taking pictures of the placemat, i saw things that i didn't even know were there ... it's like this whole 'spockie' thingy manifested itself again. i was really more than a little surprised.

spock (for those of you who have seen the latest trek or has been a fan forever) is a 'child of 2 worlds' and so he has to constantly deal with the conflict he has inside of him, his duality.

look ...

what compelled me to pair 'spockie' elephants with the GITA sutra written in sanskrit ... i don't know... when i saw this, i was like ... OMG! this is duality ... 2 worlds ... one represents the ancient, the other, the future ... and of course, the whole look of the placemat is clean and structured, sorta cold? and masculine ... hmmm ... that's so spock...

but again ... perhaps there is a little me in there. my frens would tell you that i am a really boring person when it comes to fashion. i like black. about the only thing i wear is black tank tops (or spaghetti strap tops as we call it here) and sweats or jeans. everyday. i have black tanks to last me for a week without going to the laundry. but when i create ... it's all about vibrant colors, and clutter, and mess ... why is that so? that is something i just discovered about myself lately ... maybe i should blog about this in another post. so did this element of me manifest itself here or am i just possessed ??

anyway i have drifted away, so, getting back to my 'spockie' elephants ... here are some more pictures :)

i am going to do a couple more in the coming week, send some to red envelope and put some in my etsy shop and see if there are others out there who are also spellbound by the spock-magic :)

i love star trek, i am in love with the character spock, i am in love with zachary quinto :))) and i'm not ashamed to admit it :)))

happy pimping! :)