Jul 30, 2009

book of lorien

ahhhh .... in my LOTRs mood once again :) painted another "coaster" book which i named "book of lorien" inspired by lothlorien, home of galadriel, the keeper of nenya ~ ring of water ... that's how the motif on the front cover came about. i fell in love with it as soon as i finished designing it. it's one of those things that look just perfect, no erasers needed :) although i did contemplate for quite a while on the colors :) but finally decided on pale gold and metallic turquoise to signify the nature of nenya (water).

at the same time, i also felt rather "DevianT" :) did you know that my favorite art genre is deviant art? i guess it's not surprising, since i love all things LOTRs!! to me ... elves and middle earth fall right into the deviant art category :)

my deviant mood wanted an unsettled background, the stone-like texture on the side ... and vines like ropes binding lorien. the undulating background color continues to the back of the book, where we also see a "ghostly" outline of lorien, incomplete and devoid of substance...

the spine of lorien is leather and the signatures (there are 11 signatures of 10 pages each) are hand sewn onto the leather with double thick black thread.

the heart of lorien is filled with my tea-stained papers, all hand torn. however to create more variety in the pages, for every 8 pages of tea-stained paper there are 2 pages of brown recycle paper.

i just cannot stop looking inside the book because every page i turn, it's like a delightful surprise ... the tea stained papers are such intriguing materials ... it's like art on its own, and art that is so organic (sorry for the pun ... everyone knows i stained the papers with expired organic tea bags!!). what i mean by organic here is the way the pattern happens. it's so natural and un-choreographed ... it's how the tea decide to trail, where the teadrops decide to land and how they wanna splatter! so pretty! well ... to me at least, but then again, i'm weird ... my mom would probably frown at the "dirty" papers!! LOL~!

as always, love to hear what you think :) and oh... "book of lorien" will be listed in my etsy shop ;) just gimme 10 minutes :)

before i go ... just another reminder:

blog party ~ 5 degrees of inspiration!

would love to see you there :) big big gorgeous prizes to be won - a collection of all our artists' works and a $20 cash voucher to spend at our shop. it's not too late to party :) just click on the link, read the rules and leave a comment :)) doesn't cost anything ... well, maybe just a hangover from too much cyber wine :))

click here to party!!

happy pimping! :)

Jul 26, 2009

my first ever treasury!!

ahhhh ... finally i can tell you that :

1. i know how to do an etsy treasury :)
2. i know how to "print screen" :)

so here's my first ever treasury : a different time and place

happy pimping! :)

Jul 25, 2009

tea stained paper

over the week i've been checking out other artists' work on book and journal making because i'm just so stoked with this craft :) and i can tell you, some of the work i've seen is beyond belief! i've always loved anything ancient or worn, i'm sure most of you who have been looking at my work would know... cos most of the things i make are quite 'dark and dirty' lol!!

i first came across the term "tea stained" was through non-other than tammy's blog, art & inspiration. that was way back i think. at that time, i didn't think much about it, but thought that it was an interesting concept. well, at that time, i wasn't into book-making ... how times have changed!!! by the way, tammy makes the most beautiful journals and invitational cards :) lol!! i should go get tutorship from her :)

anyway, i tried out tea-staining some papers last night. i didn't research on how exactly to do it becos i wanted to try it my own way. just do what the term ask you to do ... stain paper with tea :) and i did, and i also tried out different ways of transferring tea water to paper. (i have to tell you this, i had totally forgotten that a friend gave me a small pack of organic english breakfast, my favorite tea, and because it was hidden waaaaaay back in the cupboard, it expired! BOO HOO!!! but i didn't want to throw it away in 2008... so now... i have use for it! :) my papers are stained with organic english breakfast tea! )

so here's what i got

and these have been dried and ironed ^^ ... are we even suppose to iron them? but i love the crease effect that ironing creates when done on wet-ish paper!

this first batch were the normal staining ... just applying the tea water evenly all over the paper.

these were made by puddling tea water at a certain area on the paper, then when it's half dried, i pick up the paper, let one end go, and allow the remaining tea water trail off the paper. this creates the streaky tea stains. i really love this effect!

and these last ones, i'm sure you already guessed by the way they look, is just randomly releasing droplets of tea water and allowing it to dry that way. i like these as well ... but i wonder if these would be a little too stark for some people's taste?

i'm guessing that these would be the papers i'll be using for my next book :)) and oh ... they smell good :)

happy weekend and happy pimping! :)

Jul 23, 2009

book of dichotomy

there are 2 things in life that we must not lose ... time and direction...

contemplation as opposed to manifestation. how many times have we pondered over something but in the end have not the energy nor the decisiveness to manifest it. i have had many such moments in life, and when the opportunity passes us by, the only remaining companion is regret.

this little book i made is called the book of dichotomy. it addresses the issues above. one half of the book is called the "book of contemplation" ... and when you turn it over the other half is the "book of manifestation". visually, it is inspired by the latest harry potter film "the half blood prince". the compass symbolizes contemplation ... searching for a direction or pondering for an answer. on the other half, the hourglass reminds us that time does not wait and if we are indecisive we will run out of time or the opportunity to manifest our desires.

in a way it also reflects harry's journey in book 6 ... he is searching for answers and time is running out. when dumbledore dies, harry loses a mentor and for a moment he also loses direction. the last scene in the movie which i thought was most beautiful, is when the 3 friends harry, ron and hermione, look out into the horizon, and even though time is still not on his side, harry have once again found some sort of resolution ... he's rediscovered his direction.

i've designed the book in such a way that both sides open from right to left, as illustrated in the picture ... however the page marker favors the side of manifestation, the side of the book which i favor :)

the book is again fashioned by 2 coaster bases :) so it's about 10cm x 10cm (well slightly wider this time becos of the leather binding ;o) ). it has 6 signatures of 10 pages on each side of the book and is divided in the center by a single black signature (also 10 pages) ... so when you reach the black signature, you know you've reached the end of the book. but the question is, which side of the book will reach it's end first... do you just contemplate? or do you manifest what you contemplate :)

the pages are made with brown recycle paper except for the center signature, which is in black. all the pages have been hand torn. the spine is leather (you all know where that came from :o) ) and the signatures are hand sewn on the spine with double black thread.

the book titles are written in metallic gold ink and sealed with a fixative.

the covers are hand painted with a bit of rubber stamping work.

the covers are stained on the edges to give it an aged look then finished with 3 coats of gloss varnish.

as always :) love to here what you think :)) but you know what ... i'm really lovin' book-makin'!! so i think for a while it'll be books and more books!!

happy pimping! :)

Jul 21, 2009

stoked !!

the story goes like this...

i was at red envelope yesterday handing sharon (the owner) 3 sets of elephant coasters :) whoot! and i was yacking away like usual and sort of twiddling some cute leather keychains by her counter.

off hand i said ... "i wonder where i could find some pieces of leather"

sharon asked "for what"?

i said "well ... i dunno yet, crafts i guess"

sharon smiled and tore out a little piece of paper, wrote an address and phone number on it and handed it to me.

"go find my sister, she deals with leather"

i looked at her "but i only need a couple of small pieces, old ones that no one wants"

sharon said "go find my sister"

so i went today :)

have no idea what i'm gonna do with them but i can't wait to get my hands on them :) scraps that no one wants ... i got them! i'm stoked!!

happy pimping! :)

Jul 19, 2009

BLOG PARTY @ inspiration avenue

i'm sooooooo excited!!

the pretty girls at inspiration avenue (i'm one of the ;p) are throwing a fantabulous blog party on the 1st of august at their place :) come and join us, have some fun, meet some friends, get inspired, get fat with cyber cakes and cookies :) and stand a chance to win an awesome gift package (a collection of works from our artists) OR a $20 gift voucher to spend at our team shop! great ain't it :)) so please come to our place and sign up before august 1st :))

5 degrees of inspiration @ inspiration avenue

see ya!! :))

Jul 18, 2009

shera's border

woohoo!!! feels so warm and fuzzy when some little thing you did, inspired someone else to do some other little things :))

remember my recycle paper tutorial? i am so delighted that shera of shera's border took on the challenge and made some herself... and i can tell you it looks totally awesome!! this was the comment she left in my comment box on the 15 july :

"hey, i started collecting papers which i normally throw into the trash... thanks for the idea...hope can make smthing nice out of the papers :)"

and today i got this from her :)

"hey there.... i tried out my 1st batch.. oh it was so fun.. check it out in my blog ^^ thanks for the idea and inspiration :)"

of course i went straight to her blog to take a look ... :D and i was utterly delighted at what i saw. she had a picture of the "cold cuts" all lying to dry on the floor!! and even more than that ... shera created 2 lovely cards out of the recycle paper she made :) and they are beautiful!!

ahhh... it felt so good and i was so touched that something i did just inspired something so lovely out of another artist, and in a small way ... we did a little something for mother earth. when there was just 1, now there are 2 people in malaysia who wouldn't throw away scrap paper ... but recycle and reuse them AND make pretty things out of 'trash' :)

please go to shera's blog and take a look. not only is she a wonderful and creative young lady, she's enterprising and she cares :) shera makes lovely handmade cards, and now i know at least 2 of her cards, were made by recycling old paper!! woohoo!!!! here's the link :)

that's one of them cards :))

thank you shera :) for inspiring me !!

happy pimping! :)

Jul 16, 2009

more papers and a boo-boo

i am so enjoying making recycle paper. from the first batch, i got about 30 sheets all measuring about 5"x3.5" ... quite tiny but cute :) thank you for all the response i got from the tutorial. i'm so happy that you are all stoked about it and even want to try it! and thank you sharon for posting the tutorial in our home blog, inspiration avenue ;) just wanna share with you a couple of pictures of "the stack", of the 1st batch :)

pretty aren't they :)

i went on to start another batch and trudi of the deco detective mentioned that she have some handmade papers with flower petals in them. she wondered if those were more difficult to make. i was like WOAH!! i've seen those! well... i haven't got round to getting the flower petals yet but i was also curious to know if it was easy to include "foreign objects" into the paper.

anyway, i started with my 2nd batch and remembered that i had a bottle of essential oil somewhere which i haven't used in ages... in the form of lavender scent. so i put a few drops in the paper puree and hopefully the paper will come out smelling nice :)

then i remembered i also had some dried lavenders somewhere in the kitchen. AHA! i found them and rubbing my hands in glee, i threw a hand full into the paper puree. HAH... i was delighted that i could test "the theory of foreign objects" ... and well, lavenders were flowers too :) tho they looked quite withered to me... anyway...

well i can tell you the paper came out well, the lavenders didn't fall off after the paper dried (which i thought they would) and the paper had lavender scent on them ... but wait ... what's the other scent i smell??


look at the dried lavenders ... funny looking lavenders ...

then i realized ... those aren't LAVENDERS!!!! they are ROSEMARY!! O-O

wahahahahahahaha!!!! i laughed so hard at silly old me! can't differentiate between lavender and rosemary :P ... well ... i sure hope it's rosemary ... i hope i didn't get that wrong too!

anyway ... the purpose was to test a theory ... and the result is affirmative :) you CAN introduce foreign objects into your recycled paper quite easily :) next time i'll just stick to rose petals :) and common leaves :)

happy pimping! :)

Jul 13, 2009

making recycle paper - tutorial

i have been looking at my stash of recycled printing papers piling up for a couple of weeks now. i always recycle printed material by printing them on the other side too. it saves cost, furthermore, isn't it such a waste to throw away papers that have only been used one side? well ... maybe i'm a hogger but i don't even throw away papers that have been printed on both sides! i have no idea what to do with them, yet i keep them. so ... this pile has been sneakily building up.

i dunno what gave me this idea but yesterday i decided to make new paper from my used papers. i remember watching on discovery channel a long time ago, a village in china that specializes in making paper. i don't necessarily think that this is the most correct way to make them but somehow the paper did materialize :)

so ... you will need :

* paper supply (i think newspaper would be easier to disintegrate)
* scissors
* water
* large enough container
* wooden photo frame (size depending on how large your container is)
* wire netting (or strong plastic ones) cut to size
* staple gun (or thumb tacks)
* transparency (or any strong plastic sheets) cut to size
* towel

cut paper into little pieces and place into container

2. add enough water to cover the paper
3. wait for the paper to soften (about 4-5 hours)

4. mash the paper up (use any means) ... the result should be a thick puree-like substance

5. add more water ( i added about an inch more)
6. let the paper sit for at least another half a day to further disintegrate (the best is let it sit overnight)

7. while waiting for your paper to disintegrate, make the sieve
8. i used a couple of my extra ikea frames, the smallest becos of the size of my container
9. cut wire net to the size of the frames

10. attach the wire net to the front side of the frame. i used a staple gun but tacks should work just as well.
(never attach the wire net to the back of the frame becos the paper puree will be trapped in the indentations of the frame and you will not be able to pop them out later)

11. your paper should be ready when it looks like this ...

12. lay a towel on a flat surface

13. and now for the exciting part ...

* turn the sieve back side up

* submerge in the container

* skim a thin layer of paper puree

* make sure it fills the whole of the net area (no holes)

* place transparency over the layer of paper

* the transparency should be cut to fit snugly in the inside of the frame

* press the transparency against the net to release excess water

* place the frame on towel and press on the towel to further release water (transparency still there)

* flip the frame over and apply pressure to the net to release the paper puree from the net

* the set paper puree should fall off the net (sometimes you need to lift and gently tap the frame on the towel to release the paper)

* once the paper is released, you can further absorb more water by pressing a towel on the paper

* carefully peel the set paper puree off the transparency. do not let the paper sit too long on the transparency as it will dry and stick to the transparency

14. lay your recycled paper on a flat surface and let it dry :)

15. admire your hard work and know that you've helped in a small way :)

although it may not look or feel like the pretty, smooth papers we're used to, but i do think it's got a character of it's own. i just love the bits and pieces of different colored paper which didn't "puree" properly showing on the recycled paper ... reminds me of cold cuts!

happy pimping! :)

Jul 12, 2009

premio meme award

whoot! i received another award, a really pretty one :) from a wonderfully whimsical artist who also makes the most unique steampunk jewelry ... michele of michele lynch art blog :) thank you michele!! you're a darling :)

now i have to tell you 7 facts about myself :

1. i come from the beautiful country of malaysia ... where cosmopolitan cities meet romantic beaches and mystical rainforests ...

2. my favorite drink (and also very fattening) is teh tarik ... a mix of black tea and spoons upon spoons of condensed milk (yea!!!) ... hence i'll never get rid of my tummy!

3. i loooooove seafood! my favorite ... crabs! hmm... yummy!!

4. to date i've had 4 celebrity crushes :) yes... i'm a teenager at heart :)

5. i use to dance and sing on stage

6. i'm an absolute fantasy freak... LOTR, narnia, eragon, twilight, TREK oh yea!!

7. i had a nickname in high school ... spotted eagle ... bcos i had freckles! but heck! i love my freckles!

now you know my secrets ... tell me yours :)

1. sharon of mana moon studios :)
2. catherine of coral seas jewellery :)
3. angie of artangel :)
4. lulu of coastal sisters :)
5. dawn of harmony quest :)
6. tali of imperfectly perfect :)
7. penny of penny duncan creations :)

happy pimping! :)