Dec 31, 2009

ready for the new year!

2009 is coming to an end and most of my frens think it's a good thing as this year has not been the best of years. we are all looking forward to 2010, may the new year bring to all of us renewed energy and spirit, lots of new opportunities and of course plenty of good health and happiness :) and to all my arty bloggie frens :)) ... may your 2010 be filled with buckets upon buckets of creative juices and manifestations of stunning new works of art :))

i for one have already prepared a couple of new collection for my etsy adornment shop. so far the response to my adornment shop have just been luke warm, not as "energetic" as my houseware shop :) but no matter ... i'm just glad to be creating and to have a place to showcase my work :) here's a peek of my latest dabbles in clay.

Random Beauty
- these are my latest experiments in the mokume gane technique, altho the way i've executed these pendants may not neccessarily be the most proper way to do it. but i really love the random beauty that came out on these.

celest

lava & flo



Black Bohemian
- these are a continuity from my previous prototypes. if you have been following my previous exploits you would know that i've been contemplating resin finish. well, i did manage to find some resin and they turned out just beautiful! altho i did face the problem of over-spilling which i was ever ready for, since my pendants had no edges to them. i couldn't really expect the resin to reach the edge and then do a perfect balancing act now could i! but i seriously adore these! they are just statement pieces!

meet my favorite girls :)

bella, arya & rosalie

alice, rosalie, arya, victoria & bella

these pieces will all be on sale in my ithilien shop on january 1st 2010 to celebrate the start of the new year :))

happy new year to all of you and see you next year!!

& happy pimping! :)


Dec 29, 2009

happy birdday to dad :)

don't you wanna just melt in a heap when your baby leaves something like this for you on the dining table :)


today is llara kaye's daddy's birthday and this is what she made for her daddy ... i think that's a self portrait, she's giving her daddy a big hug :)

Dec 23, 2009

(im)printed matter

when your mokume gane polymer clay experiment turns out like some alien reptile shedding skin disastrously at 3am ... what do you do?

*sigh* something else that you can actually execute ...

yes... altho my mokume gane stuff was a disaster, i manage to save my soul by making some simple pendants using the imprinting technique ... and i was actually quite happy before i went to bed last night :)

Freedom

Bella


Arya


i love the way these came out! now i am in search of some sort of glaze medium or resin or something that would give me like a protective shield over the face of the pendant. something that is thick and transparent and would create a glassy bulge over the face of the pendant. any recommendations, anyone?

this is probably my last post before christmas :) so if i dun speak to you again before christmas ...
Merry Christmas !

happy pimping! :)

Dec 21, 2009

of elephants, whistles, clippers and canes ...

the end of last week has been a little crazy becos i had a last minute request for my elephant coasters. i had to churn out 3 sets in 2 days. seems simple enough but ... i had to wrestle with running out of ink and friday being a public holiday so i couldn't buy ink, plus, my new printer doesn't give me the same blue color as my old (i hate it when my blues and greens dun turn out the way i want) and i have to re-color my turquoise and green elephants digitally so that they came out closest to my old printer's color. on top of that, i usually only craft between 11pm to 5am when everyone's asleep and i can concentrate. finally, 4 coats of varnish can be hassle when you have to rush an order. simply put,

moi +elephant coasters = headless chicken

anyhow, i manage to complete the coasters and was even able to re-list one set in my etsy store! whoot!

over the weekend, i've finally had time to make some simple christmas presents for our yearly christmas eve gathering at chris'. i made some bookmarks and mobile phone charms, and then me being me, i wanted some more varieties. but ... *no bulb appears on top of luthien's head*

every saturday and sunday, we would bring llara kaye to the malls for lunch, ice-cream and some fun, i made it a point to be a little more observant last weekend, perhaps spy on some ideas for prezzies :) luck has it ... i did!!

i was quite pleased with these, that i made 2 extra ones for my etsy shop!

although it came in a totally boring and clinical packaging, i was still delighted when i found this whistle! becos i instantly knew i could make this potentially life-saving device look pretty and gift-worthy!

anyone of you carry this essential in your handbags? i do. and the ones i get from the pharmacies are really really unattractive. now nail clipper bearers all over the world can clip their nails in style :)

i am tickled pink with these two, especially the clipper! i've always believed in the concept of practical things can be made pretty too :) all my prezzies are now in check ... woohoo!!

OH! *embarassed* one last thing, i made my first polymer cane leaf last night :) it's non-too-pretty, but it does look like a leaf :) it should get better with more practice!

happy pimping! :)

Dec 16, 2009

rustic bohemian

early last month mr L, a good friend of me and my hubby, mentioned that he wanted me to create a pendant for him. it was to be a christmas gift for the love of his life :) isn't that romantic :)) ... and guess what, i'd totally forgotten about it until he mentioned it again last week! that's not romantic :( ... fortunately it's still a week to christmas and thank goodness i dun have to ship it :p

so over the weekend i've been trying to contact my muse over sms, since she's somewhere playing snow, but progress has been slow due to communication breakdown. i told her that mr L's only condition is ... it has to be green. you would think that that's easy enough, since green is the favourite color of both me and my muse, but no ... we couldn't agree on the style *sigh* ... she wanted it to be rugged, but for some reason i'm feeling a little bohemian ... maybe it's becos of those wretched bills i had to pay, and now i'm sort of living the life of an impoverish artist :p

anyhow, we manage to come to an agreement after threatening that i'll fire her (with the clay :p). and to my surprise, combining polymer clay, antique gold filigree, shiny glass beads and rustic leather cords produced some interesting results! so sometimes it's alright to fight with your muse :))

this was the first piece i had in mind for mr L ... i had called it ... bohemian rhapsody


and since i was already starting the oven, i might as well bake a couple more stuff in there ... economies of scale, you understand :) and came up with 4 more pieces.

konstacia

sofee

lara

midnight rhapsody

i shall let mr L choose first before i list these in my etsy shop. i owe him that much for forgetting his gf's gift ... UGH!! i sure hope he likes at least one of these!

happy pimping! :)

Dec 12, 2009

Weekly Challenge - Imagine / Imagination

wild! when i said "let your imagination run wild" i wasn't joking :p ... mine was so wild, it grew fur!

this week's theme at inspiration avenue's weekly challenge is "imagine/imagination" ... and the concept ~ anything goes! let your imagination run wild and see what you can come up with ... no boundaries, just creative freedom!

may i present to you ... "book of isildur"


isildur, son of elendil and the second king to the fair kingdom of gondor. also the one who saved a seedling of the white tree at great personal sacrifice, and subsequently planted it in the court of the fountain in minas tirith, royal city of gondor. for some reason, this book reminded me of this character in the lord of the rings ...

is it because of this doorway that opens up ...


to the white tree of gondor? symbolic of health of the kingdom ... maybe :)

this is made with polymer clay. initially this was supposed to be a locket (so you can actually slip a photo in the space where the tree is). but it looked so perfect on the book of isildur ... so there it will stay :)

the pages of the book are handtorned,


and the signatures are handstitched using the coptic stitch technique.


aluminum wires twirled into elven forms


and a box with my kingdom's crest :p to house isildur's book :)

happy pimping! :)

Dec 9, 2009

simple delirious!

i am delirious! delirious doesn't even cut it. i feel overjoyed, appreciated, inspired, renewed uplifted and every other positive energy you can think of :)

last week i received an email for a lady named michelle ho. she told me she was browsing through etsy and saw my clay pendants on ithilien.etsy.com. she was interested in purchasing a couple from me and coincidence has it that we live so close to each other, we made a date to meet up at ikea (yea ... ikea is smack right in the middle of a shopping hub in my area) we met up and michelle finally bought 3 pendants from me. needless to say, i was totally delighted!!

from the namecard that i packed with the pendants, michelle found out i had another etsy shop pimpandpaint.etsy.com. and guess what? i received another email from her a couple of days later and she reserved 3 bookmarks and my polymer clay gecko CICAK!! holey moley!! i couldn't believe my eyes when i read the email :)) i have never had something like this happen to me! there was no words to express my joy and excitement! i was delirious :))

so today i delivered the bookmarks and gecko to her and we had lunch and chatted and laugh. more than anything else, my heart tells me that i've found a new friend, like-minded and just a joy to be with :)

michelle herself is a bath and body artist. she supplies one of a kind high quality handmade soaps on consignment to a friend's shop in bangsar and sells at various "happening" bazaar markets :) initially, she started making soaps becos her baby daughter's skin didn't take to commercial soaps too well. it is amazing how something that started out as a family thing can turn into a business venture. and now her handmade soaps are selling like hotcakes :) check out her website at ~ The Kinder Soap Company

these are some of her beautiful and kind-to-the-skin soaps ... (from left) 3-bar gift set, dreamtime soap, the breakfast bar.


now ... allow me the indulgence of showing you the 7 items that michelle bought from me :))

emerald

earth flower

vintage lace

touched by an angel II


remembering compton

secret garden

cicak

thank you so much michelle :))
happy pimping! :)


Dec 6, 2009

self made rubber stamps

for some reason i've been really "attracted" to rubber stamps lately ... actually since i started using them on my clay. and now i've started using them on paper as well (weird i know ... that's what they're actually made for right, paper). as usual, i've been googling rubber stamps and seen numerous tutorials on how to carve one on a soft carving block ... so i decided to try it out for myself of course :))

however, i haven't been able to find the same sort of carving blocks here, but i did find an alternative that i can carve on. linoleum sheets. apparently these are some sort of flooring, but since i found mine in the art shop ... i guess they're for art too ;p

the materials i use are :

- 4" x 6" linoleum sheets (soft)
- basic wood carving tools
- non-permanent ink pens
- lots of patience (and practice)

1. prepare linoleum sheet













2. and basic wood carving tools (i'll call them cutters for short)

(no. 1) - V shape cutter ... very good for carving slim lines and outlines

(no. 2) - large U shape ... to "scoop" up larger surfaces

(no. 3) - small U shape ... to carve thicker lines, or "scooping" surfaces that are too small for the large U


3. make your design with a non-permanent ink pen so that you can wash off the residual markings after carving











4. i began carving with the V shape cutter.
*apply some pressure onto the sheet to prevent the cutter from skidding off and creating lines that are not meant to be there :)

i decided to start the easier way by making this a "negative" stamp (the butterfly will look "engraved" on the paper) by carving ON the outline itself

*to make a "positive" stamp (design that looks "embossed" on the paper) you have to carve AROUND or OUTSIDE the lines.

5. as you can see, the U shape cutters are very good for "scooping up" the thicker edge of the leaf motif

* i START carving the wide edge of the leaf motif with the U cutter ...








* and then i change the cutter to the V cutter to finished the leaf motif off, creating a clean pointed end












this is the finished butterfly stamp, with the residual purple ink washed off.

*note that the design and outlines are the actual "carved" places and this becomes what they call a "negative" stamp (see the next image)








butterfly design
tree design
*negative stamps ... where the motif comes out looking engraved.

heart design
this one started off as a negative stamp, but i decided to remove linoleum all round the heart so now it's "sort of" a positive stamp :) also, can you see the residual markings on the linoleum? that's what happens when you use a permanent ink pen to draw your design :(

elven design
this one is how a proper positive stamp would look like. i have carved all AROUND the motif so that the motif becomes the focus. most rubber stamps that you find in the market are made in this manner.

happy pimping! :)

Dec 4, 2009

special post - "belukar"



today i would like to share with all my friends in bloggie land an upcoming malaysian made indie movie called BELUKAR. this is my husband's directorial debut, made in sabah, malaysia. he also wrote the original story, screenplay and co-produced it. budget RM2m (approx USD600,000) and took only 24 days to shoot :) yes ... unthinkable in hollywood standards but absolutely doable here :))

it's still in it's last stage of final mix down at the dolby digital soundstage so we haven't got a release date as yet. but, we're planning for either a march or april release at the local cinemas. the total process for this movie took about one year. pre-production started in dec 2008 and the shoot proper happened between march 2009 - april 2009.

all casts and crew are malaysians, and the OST music for this movie was scored by various local indie/underground musicians.

P/S ... i am so proud of the hubster *blush* ^-^

Dec 2, 2009

it was totally unintentional ...

... that i made my first digital collage (if you can call it that ...)

today i was mucking around at the sound studio, hubby was working on the final mix-down for his film. i was utterly bored cos there was no internet access *sigh* ... i thought i might as well open the GIMP and try to twiddle with it and see if i can learn something new.

i've always wondered how people can change the colors in a photograph, so specifically. like how to make certain colors pop, and other colors fade into the background. so i did what i always do ... experiment ...

i wanted to do something with "nature" ... so i looked through my photo collection on my laptop and oooo ... saw my wedding pictures!! now these we "nature" enough! we took our wedding pictures in a forest reserve, LOTRs style!

... and after a couple of hours ...

i dunno if you can make it out here, but i manage to change the colors of some leaves! i made them purple :) woohoo!!

now that got me into the mood so i played on ... i took another wedding picture and proceeded to experiment.

and thanks to lisa from the wright stuff (another of our darling teammate @ IA) i kept thinking of edward cullen today! lisa sent me an email this morning. she actually sent me robert pattinson's face aka edward cullen (one that she tweaked) ... provoking me in every possible way, especially since i just went to watch new moon yesterday :p .

.. so out came my favourite edward cullen poster! amongst other stuff ... an antique music sheet, a clock and the pendant that i designed for my wedding :)


anyhow ... after about 6 hours in the sound studio (yes ... 6 hours!! dun laugh those of you who are experts in this field) ... this is the result.

i never intended to make a collage! but you know how sometimes one thing can lead to another? i know i know ... nothing to scream about (well ...except for rPattz) but ... it's my first. and all first times are sweet :) and tonight i shall dream of a vampire ... *sigh*

happy pimping! :)

Dec 1, 2009

special post ... bangkok, thailand.

yes! i'm back :) i had a pretty amazing work trip to bangkok. amidst the "work" i manage to eat a lot (courtesy of a fabulous host who we met there :), see a couple of places, do a tinzy winzy bit of shopping and capture some amazing pictures :))

temples ... were pretty amazing ... their beauty is awe-inspiring!
wat po ("wat" meaning temple) - this is a temple that has both thai and chinese influences. this is also where the local masseurs come to learn their craft, as the temple houses one of the oldest massage center and school.

wat po is glorious under the sun!

thai design and architecture is a work of art.

chinese giant deity stands as guardian to the doors.

just look at the intricate architecture!

ok ... that's me trying to be creative with the camera :p ... taken from beneath a bonsai tree.

the massage school & center


sunset temple - located just by the chao praya river, a lovely place for evening walks.

sunset temple @ sunset :)

one of the walls of the temple

sunset temple in night light ... simply magical!


food! glorious food!

our host fed us really well!!


local arts & crafts ... the thai people are amazingly creative!
(all the photos in this section were taken by my other half ... i was too busy looking at stuff!)

these i love :)) and they were inexpensive!

whimsical paintings

@ jak to jat weekend market

chopsticks with an attitude :)

handmade earrings.

monks and deities - i dunno what these figurines are made off, but they look amazingly real!

antiques anyone?

steampunk awesomeness!

recycle art

handcarved wooden buddhas

all in all ... this was quite an amazing trip, tho i wish i had more time to do shopping :) definitely will go back to bangkok real soon. afterall, it's only a 2-hour flight from kuala lumpur :)

happy pimping! :)