Jan 29, 2011

i know i'm a little fanatical and ...

i know you must think i'm crazy but ... :p

i am genuinely EXCITED about how these RUSTED!!

i love how these washers have a "rust line" thru the center. the lines were achieved by several layers of vinegar solution soaking; first soaking half the washer and then soaking the whole of it in. i called it "controlled rusting" :)

these two were also rusted over a period of time ... and over several layers. i love the "rust waves" and the "dark shades" on the last washer.

another rusted panel ... the rust pattern is achieved yet again thru several layers of "controlled rusting" . the shapes were achieved by placing half rusted hexagon nuts on the metal panel and allowing "alchemy" to do the job.

OOOOO!!! speaking of alchemy, i just wanna share with you my first batch of Altered Alchemy Blank Cards ...

this is a set of 6 cards, all images of my previous/current work in mixed media :) they come with 6 pieces of A5 envelopes. laser printed on good quality textured cardstock, there are 3 horizontal cards and 3 vertical ones. these can be found in my etsy shop now :)

i've always wanted to do something out of my images ... i'm quite pleased that i finally did it :)

Jan 23, 2011

immunization, poop and books

yesterday was immunization day for baby Maia. she went for her second dose of shots ... yup two shots to be exact ... one on the right thigh and one on the left ... blame it on daddy! we missed one earlier so she had to get two shots yesterday. and our brave little preemie merely squeaked once, when all the bigger kids who went before her nearly tore the clinic down! BRAVO baby Maia!!

after that, we proceeded to gate crash the doctors' clinic with no appointment (not that mommy knew that we had to make an appointment!!), anyhow they kindly let us in cos there was no one else there :) having gate crashed, daddy and mommy tried to stay as low profile as possible in case they decide to throw us out again ... but of course baby Maia had other thoughts in the form of a huge ear-shattering poop during weighing session! and guess what ... mommy forgot the diapies ... UGH!! and had to cower in shame when the nurse exclaimed "huh? you mean you didn't bring any diapers??"

fortunately the day didn't get worse ... the doctor checked her and was pleased that she's gained a good amount of weight. baby Maia is now 4kgs ... a far cry from her birth weight of 1.3kg :)

despite having a slight fever, a reaction to the shots i think, she slept soundly last night :) which gave mommy some time to put some finishing touches and list 2 new journals on etsy

an ever favourite of mine ... old world romance, vintage maps, uncharted places, ancient discoveries ... this is Exploration

256 pages counted on both sides, the brown craft paper pages are hand torn and stitched to a leather spine. the cover is made of mdf, painted, papered, stamped with my very own compass design (which i finally turned into a rubber stamp WHOOT!!) and of course an assemblage of rusty bits :)

and the second journal which i totally adore! is ...
Book of Celts

also a 256 brown craft paper paged journal, i love how the cracks and 'peeling paint' effect turned out on this one! the celtic inspired heart motif is also another one of my designs turned into a rubber stamp. i wanted this one to look like some medieval door to a castle and i must say i am totally pleased with how this cover turned out!

Jan 14, 2011

that which inspires ...

what inspires me?

old world romance ... ancient voyages ... adventure stories ... heroic quests ...

rusty elements ... distressed surfaces ... found objects ...

fantasy ... magic ... "other worlds" ...

visit the talented and creative ladies at inspiration avenue to see what inspires them :)

Jan 8, 2011

my messy lil space

i have been visualizing ... visualizing for a studio. i would like a real one. like a space just for creating ... not just a space, i would love a whole room ... or maybe a whole loft with large ceiling-height windows, domed ceilings, stone walls and old wooden floors ... or maybe a rustic conservatory, surrounded by greens and looking out into a lake backed by mountains or miles of meadows ... a combination of cement countertops and reclaim wood would make lovely work areas and fittings don't you think?
... sigh ... no harm dreaming big is there?

ah well, i just have to be content with what i have now, cos i know some of you work on the dining table and have to clear up every time after a session. at least i can leave my mess on the table and no one's gonna complain except me!

i have a corner in my study-cum-store for a studio ... i mean, for a space. i share this tiny room with Llara and her desktop, my hubby, his laptop and his mattress, shelves of books, golf and home magazines, and loads of hoarded stuff which i dun even remember i have!

i was telling everyone that i have a 4 x 4 work area ... well i don't. i measured the space today and realized i dun even have a 3 x 3 work area, i have 28 inch x 31 inch area. and it looks like this ...

it's still got some work space on it becos when it gets full ... i shove everything into empty shopping bags and promise myself that i will sort them out another day ... of course 'another day' doesn't ever come!

here's a full shot of my messy lil corner ...

all my 'frequent use' things are there ... stuffed into every crevice i can find around me.

this space not only serves as my creating space, it's also my storage space and my makeshift photography station ...

ahhh ... thank goodness for improvisation!

and did you know that i built this workspace myself? yup, i did. cos i couldn't find anything in the market that came close to what i wanted. so off to ikea i went and bought some pinewood shelves ...

got some tools ...

ok i know ... i've been reprimanded already about using the foot as clamp ... and ok ok ... i know i bought the wrong saw ... but i still got the job done ... only with a couple more blisters on the palm ..

ahhh ... there was a time when the messy lil space was new, clean and pristine :)

with ample storage and work space ... and it felt like a 4 x 4 :)

i even decorated the doors LOTRs style :)

becos then, the doors could close ...

well ... not anymore!

i hope you've enjoyed my little creative mess ... it's your turn to show me yours :)

unexpected art by alchemy

it's always so much fun to experiment ... reminds me of science classes at school, you'll never know what might happen ... perhaps an explosion! i always thought, but that never happened ;(

so ... i've been playing again :) let me show you some photos ...

can you tell me what this is? maybe not ... cos this photo has been photoshopped ... but doesn't it look beautiful just as it is? doesn't it look like some sort of an artwork on print?

ok ... let me show you another photo. this photo has been tweaked less ... so it's closer to the original subject.

definitely a work of art?! such pretty colors and shapes, shades and flows ...
so what is it? anyone? ... common ...

well ... it's rust. did you guess it?

it all began with this ...
you know i love rust and i rust my own bits and pieces like screws, washers, wire mesh, bolts and nuts ... the picture above shows a plastic cover which was used to dry off some nuts i had put in vinegar solution to rust. when i removed the rusted nuts ... this is what i got and i thought "oh wow that's pretty!" the rust stains have been left on the plastic cover. i even put a little note there.

then it gave me an idea ... what if i dried the pieces on another piece of metal ... or zinc sheet?

so i got a bunch of these ... these have already been rusted prior...

and put them on a piece of zinc. then i drenched them in vinegar solution

and put them out in the sun to dry ...

wallah!! this is what i got!

and if you tweak the photos a little with an editing software ... i think they could make beautiful abstract art prints!!

of course ... these are just rust stains and can be washed away. if you want them to stay on the sheet, a coat or two of fixative will do the job :) also, i had different color variation on the stains. i think it's due to the metal composition of the nuts and washers i used.

hope you've enjoyed these ... :) try it and tell me how your experiment turned out.

i just realized ... now this ... is truly ... altered alchemy!!!

Jan 2, 2011

hello 2011, some art, accomplishments and resolutions ...

Hello 2011!!

wow! another year has gone, not that i'm gonna miss 2010 ... it wasn't exactly a fantastic year for me. on the contrary it took first place in the "most stressful" category. anyhow a new dawn has approached and may this new year be a magical one for all of us :)

i have missed all of you ... the visits and the conversations. i have missed your daily going ons and your art. i have missed my art too. art has become a luxury, now that baby Maia's home. but in between dirty diapers and my new occupation as a milk cow, i stole time to make some wee art just before the year ended. it was something i had to do ... simply for self expression and to release all the pent up energies in me.

i guess you can say that these pieces have been inspired by baby Maia and me being a newborn's mother all over again. after a 5 year break, i feel like an novice mom!

i dunno if i should call these 5 pieces 'a series' ... they all look different to me, yet they were inspired by the same source.


feeling like i'm in some sort of crossroad, where the traffic is coming from all directions and i have no where to run ... an upheaval of the life i've grown used to, the difficult task of learning to re-adapt.


on one hand, i am grateful and happy that everything turned out fine, yet at times, it is so overwhelming that i just want to curl up in a corner and cry. a feeling of not in control, inadequate and incompetent ... feeling like too little butter on too thick a toast ...


unless you have the experience of having a preemie, you'll never know the things preemie parents have to go thru to protect their babies. others might look at us as being paranoid or overly protective of the baby, but the health hazards and dangers to a preemie are very real.

* p/s ... inside the bottle there is a seedling, a green bean which i grew ... anyone knows how to preserve the seedling so that it would stay in this form for the next decade or so? dun laugh, but it's in vinegar now ... :p


like i said ... my new occupation is a milk cow :)
on the metal strip are a series of numbers ... well, if you look closely, they are time, in 3 hour intervals. my new occupation states that i am to foster a good relationship with my co-worker 'the pump' and use him every 3 hours for maximum productivity ...


especially for my little 29 weeker baby Maia Fae :)
the number is her identification number on the NICU tag. and of course, the littlest washer represents her ... tho small, but standing unique and firm amongst her larger friends.
... my wee one, my fighter, my miracle ...


and before i go and be a mommy again ... my teammate Linda of Beck Lee Cottage Design has come up with an interesting challenge for Inspiration Avenue this week .. something to do with accomplishments in 2010 and resolutions for 2011. i really miss the ladies at IA, and this week seems to be a good week to pop by, wish them a Happy 2011 and join in the fun :)

well ... i'm sure there were some things, art-wise, i have accomplished in 2010. it's funny that i can't seem to remember them off hand now. i guess it's becos they all pale in comparison to our greatest creation of all. so i'll say, my greatest accomplishment last year was to bring my baby, Maia Fae, into the world safely.

as for 2011's resolutions ... hmmm ...
* stealing time to make art
* (while breastfeeding) visualizing a studio ... so that it will materialize some time down the road .. YAY!
* further my research into altered art and assemblage ... i am so totally hooked that i signed up for Michael deMeng's online course!! looking forward to that!!
* rusty stuff rulez ... so i'm going to be on a look out for more rusty stuff to make art with
* and of course above all ... be as best a mommy as i can to my babies ... big and wee ...