Dec 31, 2011

Featured!

I am delighted to announce that 4 pieces of my work have been featured on Ontologica - A Journal of Art and Thought, in their Winter Issue 2011!! and one other piece also made it to the cover of this biannual online magazine :)



&

Happy New Year to all my blogging friends and may the coming year bring to you lots of Joy, good Health, great Abundance and buckets full of Inspiration!

Dec 25, 2011

old, new, borrowed, blue

first up ... wishing all my blogging friends a Very Merry Christmas!! some of you are just about starting Christmas day and some are probably doing Christmas dinner already. how amazing that technology has made it possible for people all over the globe with 12,18, 24 hours difference in time, to share Christmas day like we were neighbours :)

today's a slightly lazy Christmas day for me as i am unfortunately down with a flu, but i just couldn't bear being in bed for the rest of the day. so i thot perhaps i should write something for Inspiration Avenue's Challenge theme set by Priti Lisa ... "something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue" ... what a lovely theme!

this necklace i made at the beginning of last week, tho not solely for this challenge but fits perfectly, i thought.

“Starting with Forever” combines the likely with the unlikely, the light and the dark … it amalgamates the fragile and beautiful with the lethal. All of these elements coexist to strengthen each other’s energies, so that they may stand the test of … Eternity. Not unlike the love between a mortal and an immortal.

something old ... an old salvage gear, an old watch face, an old tablecloth and an old metal spike.

something new ... let's see, the beige linen, the brass findings and the book are all new ... but knowing me, new things become old pretty quickly with the help of some coffee and paint :)

 

something borrowed ... the name of this piece "Starting with Forever" is borrowed ... a phrase from a book/movie ... do you have an idea which one? ;) bet you do ...


something blue ... the overriding color of this piece is blue, and neutral of course. tho i did wanted to make it pink in the beginning, but becos of the paradoxes that reside within this piece, i thought blue would be a better color for binding together the "thought" behind this, and the "creation". 
pink would have been too ... cliche.

Dec 15, 2011

my DIY light box

today i decided that it was time to DIY a slightly more "permanent" light box :)
  
Step 1 : 
~ construct the Ikea Antonius frame that you bought today ... turn it upside down
~ cut to size this transparent board (dunno what it's called) and fit into Ikea Antonius like a tunnel



Step 2 :
~ tie light source to one Antonius tray and slip tray in upside down



Step 3 :
~ check if the light works
~ *CLICK* ... and we have Light!!



Step 4 :
~ add whatever paper you have and line the sides of the tunnel
~ also add whatever else you want as decor



Step 5 :
put your artistic creation amongst the decor and *SNAP*



Step 6 :
dump the image into GIMP and Voila!! MAGIC!!


COST :
Ikea Antonius frame : RM 35
Ikea Antonius wire basket : RM 15
transparent board : RM 14
light source : nothing, becos it was from an old disintegrated lamp

TOTAL : RM 64 (approximately USD 22)



and i am HAPPY!!!!! :)

Dec 13, 2011

a Secret Garden ...

have you ever had the feeling of being thrown back in time when you catch a glimpse of something? like visions whizzing pass in your mind's eye like a movie montage? i get that all the time when i see old things. i do love the feeling of traveling back in time if only in my mind's eye ... the feeling is all at once exhilarating, filled with mystery, nostalgic and romantic ... what a combination! but a combination that makes my heart race!

an old key ... i wonder which door it opened and what stories will unlock. an old watch face ... who wore it? was it a romantic gift from a loved one? if these artifacts could talk, what would they whisper in my ear ...

a square coin! King George VI, the present Queen of England's father. i didn't realize that this coin exists in my country from way back. i wonder how life was like in 1939 ... in those days, men still courted the ladies, open doors for them, have tea on porches and steal kisses :) they would still go down on one knee to ask for a hand in marriage ... and they dressed, properly :)


music ... when i close my eyes, i see a theatre filled with musicians of old ... but whilst the music played on stage, what intrigues are happening backstage. love, lust, romance, triangle, jealousy, murder ... life is a stage.

i dunno when i fell in love with books. i just know that i've loved them all my life. and now, i'm making them. old books with stained pages ... what stories and adventures lie within, what worlds are described, what secrets could be uncovered.


an assemblage of sorts, some inspired, some real. whilst making this, i traveled back in time to worlds unknown. tho i am glad it's all only in my head and whatever happened there was exactly how i wanted it to happen :) 
i can tell you the ending ... i  didn't get stabbed for one ((O_O)), and i even got the man ")

 
 and tis ... is my little Garden of Secrets ...
i wonder if my little Secret Garden would qualify for the Projects with Depth in Simon Says Stamp and Show ...

Dec 4, 2011

to the Women of (English) Literature

over the week, i suddenly remembered my mom had a very old piece of crocheted table cloth with a huge gash in it, that i feared she most probably would have already thrown it away. but i asked her anyway, and told her if she still had it, i wanted it. she gave me her signature frown (mom will never understand why she has a junk collector for a daughter) and the next day turned up with not one, but 3 pieces of beautiful old crocheted table cloth for me to repurpose!! YAY!!

as Christmas commissions are tailing off, i manage to once again play :) took out all the stash i have plus my mom's tablecloth, now coffee stained ;) ... i made a necklace.



originally,  the chain on the necklace was slightly different. i had initially used a 5 piece rutilated rondelle instead of the copper plate and the phrase. 



but when i looked at it as a whole, it felt 'weight-less'. yes, it was feminine as i meant it to be, but there was no strength in this lady. she looked as if she could disintegrate anytime! and i think women are one of the strongest creatures on this planet, so this feeling just didn't sit well with me. the energy was wrong. could we retain our ability to be feminine and also be strong? definitely.

during the 19th century women were supposed to grow up, get married to a rich man and try to live happily ever after. one woman defied this social norm, and it was her strength within that allowed her to defy all odds and achieve her dream as a novelist. and altho Jane Austen never married ... she's made a mark in the history of literature and paved the way for many future female novelists.


coming back to the necklace, i needed to find its 'strength'. at this point, Barry's half rounded copper plate literally jumped out at me (onto my lap). i looked at it, and nothing can be more perfect for the crowning glory of this piece! i have not had the opportunity to use any of Barry's metals. perhaps unconsciously, i was hoarding on to them. but this time, there was no doubt ... this was it! isn't it amazing how one little change to the necklace can make such a great difference to the energy of the piece? now it has femininity AND strength.



so here's to all the Women of (English) Literature who defied all odds to become what the are. CHEERS!!

before i go, here's to another female writer ... can you guess who? she hails from Gloucestershire, England ...


i bet this could have been the first ever handbook on Quidditch that Hogwarts had, and it should now be sitting in the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts Library ;)



Nov 27, 2011

aged beauty

some of you might know that i belong to a team called Inspiration Avenue, altho i haven't been active in the team for a long time now ... since i had health issues when i was pregnant with baby Maia. but 2 weeks ago, Shel sent me a message via facebook and asked if i wanted to host one of their coming weekly challenges. i said yes :) so this week at Inspiration Avenue, my challenge was themed Aged Beauty. so me isn't it? the "aged" part especially ;)

now being the host, of course i had to come up with something to show tomorrow (Sunday noon is usually the deadline). in fact, i have not just 1, but 3 to show! HAH! tho i haven't decided which one i'm gonna put up there, i'll decide tomorrow when i'm done collecting and showing everyone else's entries :)

i'll start with, well ... Aged Beauty, a mixed media bracelet with all sorts of nick nacks ...

this bracelet has everything i love ... a mini handmade book, old key, words and miniature music notes on coffee stained paper then resin-ed, clock gear, a clay heart made by me, some aged fibers and lace, rustic stones like tourmaline, jasper, petrified wood and a huge garnet in the rough. there is even an old square Malaysian coin from the days of King George VI!! (Malaysia was once ruled by England). 


the second piece is called Eternal Rhapsody ... and you know why ...

well, it's inspired by old fashioned romance and courtship personified and embraced so well by Edward Cullen :) ahhh ... yes, i watched Breaking Dawn, and now my brains are mushed up SO BAD ... i can't even walk properly from too much swooning! i am definitely in danger of OCD ... Obsessive Cullen Disorder ...!!


this third piece is a commission :) my sweet client wanted a frozen charlotte on the cover ... so i made one that "resembled" a vintage frozen charlotte's head with apoxy clay, crackled and then aged it.

True ... symbolizes a bond between 2 friends that is growing from strength to strength thru time ... a friendship that is lasting, sincere, honest and true.

if you have the time ... do hop over to Inspiration Avenue after 12noon tomorrow and feast your eyes upon the lovely entries of Aged Beauty :)





Nov 12, 2011

twilight ballet

i often tell my frens, depending on the time of the year, i'm a Witch, an Elf, a Narnian Queen or a Vampire. so if you think about it ... i'm actually shapeshifter. i shape shift according to what's on the blockbuster ;) and now it's time to shape shift once again. it's time to turn into an Immortal :) call me Ms Cullen ;)

ok ok ... i am shameless i know! but my kids are too young to know that their mommy is shamelessly a Twi-fan. (and a Potter fan, and a Narnia fan and an elf living in Middle Earth) ... so i'm safe!

being a Fantasy genre fan, i am anxiously anticipating the premier of Breaking Dawn 1, which will be on the 18th Nov. i probably won't get to catch it on premier night unless the cosmic energy is smiling upon me, but i am trying very hard to bribe my MIL to come babysit baby Maia so i can sneak off to watch Breaking Dawn the week after premier :)

and of course, whenever there's Fantasy amidst, the Muse wants to play.  inspired by 3 main storylines that attract me in the Twilight Saga, i have come up with a series of 3 wearable book necklaces. Here's the Twilight Pas De Trois (Pas de Trois is a term i learned in Ballet ... it's a dance by 3 people)

 
each of these pieces is a personal interpretation of the 3 storylines using the symbol of the Heart as the underlying theme.


 
I Do symbolizes the point in time where Bella and Edward give their self(s) to each other. the wedding is the confirmation of Bella’s willingness to give up her mortality to the man she loves. the wedding also marks the point where Edward in actuality gives up his comfortable and solitary life to a shared existence, for better or for worse. he knows that this path would not be an easy one for it may cost his and his family’s existences, but is still willing to take the risks for the mortal he loves.


 
Choose Me symbolizes the constant pain and struggle of Jacob Black. a wolf trapped and bound in a man, not of his choosing but of his heritage. his heart trapped and bound, at his own choosing when he chose to love a person who cannot reciprocate, yet he is willing and would even sacrifice his life for her. raw and rustic, yet true and righteous is this man-wolf.


The Royal Coven is a manifestation of extravagance, royalty, opulence and indulgence. it is regal but cold, it is ornate yet stylish. but mostly, it is passionate, yet … there is no compassion, as symbolized by the dagger striking straight into the Heart. the large rough Garnet nugget also depicts this coven's carnal blood-lust. it is the embodiment of the Volturi. 

there you go! my twi pieces :) now off to bribe the MIL ;)

Nov 11, 2011

today and forever ...



I, Winnie Luthien Thye take you, Jason Chong, as my always-and-forever soulmate. The love you have given me unconditionally has reached into my heart and taken me captive. I have known no other love like yours and I joyously re-pledge myself to you, as I did 9 years ago. I will share with you all the good and all the bad of life. I will rejoice in your strengths and encourage you and love you in spite of your weaknesses. I will love you the rest of my life, because it is my choice to do so. This is the covenant I make with you ... for as long as we both shall live ... 

Oct 19, 2011

just books

today seems like a good day to write. the baby is fast asleep and my table is clean ... CLEAN!! but my house is still in a mess ... UGH! it's amazing how little time i have now, that i have to consciously "make time" for this and for that. that reminds me ... i need to make time for gym. i haven't lost my preggie fat AT ALL!! that is BAD!! well, i better not complain too much, at least i have time to make art, even if i have to use sleep time for that :)

and yes ... i have been making lots of it. books mainly. big and small. wearable and not.

these two are "newly out from the oven" ...

i guess i dun have to tell you where the inspiration for the Son of Numenor came from :) but if you want to know ... here are some small prints for you ...

… It is said that the descendents of Numenor possess the gift of longevity. It was bestowed upon them by the Valar, the Elder Elves who live in the Ancient West. By the Grace of the Valar, the line of Elros was also given the privilege as the race who would rule the Kingdom of Men. However, in time, the Numenoreans became arrogant and desired immortality, so they called for a rebellion against the Valar. That action led to the downfall of Numenor and the King of Men were exiled to Middle Earth. As time passed, the race of the Kings faded into legend … or so it was thought. There is however, a last surviving royal bloodline of Numenor. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn, who would in time ascend to his rightful place on throne of the White City of Gondor …

the Book of the Brotherhood is something like my Book of Celts, only the motif is a Celtic Cross, my newest illustration made into a rubber stamp. i am so pleased with it!! this design seem to sell quite well ... as i was uploading this image, a message popped into my email and told me that someone from Australia bought it :) YAY!!!

the next three were commissions ...

Tales from Faraway is another favourite design of many :) i love this too ... maybe i'm was an explorer in my previous life ...

Dream Keeper is a little darker ... it was inspired by the client's love for skulls, hearts and quirky dark Gothicism (if that's a word) :) the papers in this one is artist quality 160gsm white paper.

ooo ... Book of Massacres ... a huge book measuring 16.5 x 12.5 inches ... not something that i would normally create but it was a fantastic challenge and lots of fun! albeit creepy at times! my client wanted a sketch book inspired by his favourite band. i had to tell Llara that is was chocolate-strawberry sauce when she asked what's that dripping out of the clock :) so as not to creep her out :) dunno if she believed me tho ...

those were the big dudes ... and here are some little ones :)



i am quite certain that books are my calling now ... they give me so much contentment!!

the baby is still asleep!! yippee!!! off to make some more :)

Oct 6, 2011

happy birthday sweet Maia Fae ...

my little preemie turns 1 !

baby Maia was born on the 6th Oct 2010 and today, she turns 1 :) we didn't make a big deal out of it becos somehow, we felt that it was a time for reflections, bonding, family, love and being truly thankful for our little fighter, our little miracle. for those of you who have been following this blog for some time, you would know that baby Maia was born premature at 29 weeks and when i was 8 cm dilated they still couldn't find a ventilator for her.
anyhow ... that's past and today is a joyous day :)

we decided to do something rather meaningful for all of us ... we took Maia back to the NICU to visit the nurses and the doctors who took care of her for the first 52 days of her life, the ones who nursed her back to health. and we brought DOUGHNUTS for everyone!

they were absolutely delighted to see her!

took turns to cuddle her ... of course she enjoyed all the attention :)


in the evening, we went for a quiet family dinner and then bought a cake home to celebrate.

daddy, mommy, big sista Llara, grandma and birthday girl

traditional red packet for good luck (and some pocket money ;)

this is the first time she's tasting cake and cream :)

and guess who is sitting silently in the corner gobbling up the cake?

it was a great day filled with love and a lot of joy for everyone. we feel so blessed to have our girls in our lives ... they complete us ...

happy birthday baby Maia ... Mommy and Daddy love you so much!!

Sep 18, 2011

where to begin ...

wow ... i just realized that my last post was on the 25th August. that's nearly a month ago!! what have i been doing? where to begin?

well, to start off, poor baby Maia was down with a bad bad cough and hence was in a bad bad mood becos she can't breath properly, can't sleep and won't eat. *sigh* but that's OVER!! she's fine now and has returned to her happy cheeky self :)

i was supposed to start on a commission on 2 big big books but couldn't becos my raw materials have been delayed! UGH!! but i did managed to go on to other commissions ... so that's great. now i only have half the time i'm supposed to have on the big big books, and that is not so great :(

in between commissions, i sneaked to town and did some shopping. i also made some other things ... just to relax the mind and allow it to wander. what did i buy? ... oooo ... some really amazing turquoise beads!! huge ones, high quality, tri color and mouth wateringly beautiful!! i also acquired some old brass amulets from this guy from Nepal! and this is what i made with my acquisitions ^_^

isn't the turquoise bead just amazing?!! i had to couple it with one of my little books and i really LOVE the effect! and this piece was aptly named Ode to Opulence :)

inspired by some of the myths that the Nepal guy told me of his homeland, i was feeling all spiritual these few days ... as a result, Tantra was created. 'course it needed a turquoise bead too ;)

”each one of us is a union of all universal energy. Everything that we need in order to be complete is within us right at this very moment. It is simply a matter of being able to recognize it. This is the tantric approach”
~ Lama Thubten Yeshe ~



continuing on my spiritual path, this next piece was inspired by the continuous cycle of life, a Buddhist belief ... Samsara. this necklace has a beautiful piece of Picasso Jasper, some rare rutilated quartz rondelles, and an amulet depicting some sort of karmic cycle.

Samsara means “to flow”. Our consciousness is continuous, our selves die but is reincarnated into a similar or a different form. The universal cycle is a continuous karmic flow …

and so these were from this week's wanderings ... tho just before Maia fell ill, i also made 2 other pieces which i did not get to blog about. of course during that time, the inspirations were ever so different ... as you will see ...


isn't it wonderful how unpredictable the muse is?

which of these pieces talk to you, i wonder ... and i'm curious, how are you usually inspired?