Oct 19, 2012

1 Earring 2 Books

i should be blogging more often but seriously time must be playing tricks on me. chunks and chunks of it just seem to disappear from the face of the earth ... well, my earth that is. have stopped taking commissions for a while just to chill and not have to make art whilst fighting with time. takes away all the fun.

one of the last commission was an earring. when i say an earring, it really means 'an'. she only wanted one. so i made sure that it was good enough to go solo :)

named her Uni'q ... i'm actually quite smittened with that name HEH!

mixed media earring

after Uni'q, i managed another 2 books. i've been thinking of revisiting some of my older designs. so i took the opportunity to go Celtic this week.

handmade journals fantasy

the Book of the Brotherhood and the Book of Celts ... both i love so very much! and also very thrilled at the fact that the motifs in the center were designed by moi, and then made into stamps. took me quite a while to sort out the over-under line crossings tho!

celtic books cross

also love how this batch of rust turned out. beautiful patches and colors. even the shine-matt combination on the galvanized zinc seem so natural.

rust book celtic

these books that i make take so many hours to complete. rusting the metal parts have to be done days before and closely monitored so that i get a good combination of rust and grey metal. and then the artwork itself, the background distress effect, the shading of the motifs to give them depth and the aging work. also, i have lined clay at the bottom of those strips so that they don't sit flat on the cover. there is a slightly raised edge ... just me being fussy ya know. but darn ... that took some time, becos we had to make sure that the clay was 'grouted' properly all round! yea ... me being fussy again! and finally, the pages are torn and sewn onto the leather spine. OOO!! i just bought a bunch of new threads that i am now in love with! Irish Waxed Linen ... should have used them ages ago!! they even come in beautiful colors :) now my celtic books ... one has Teal colored thread, the other has Olive Green ... MamaMia!!

Oct 9, 2012

SEO - what is it?

over the past 2 days i have been having some interesting, out-of-my-domain kinda conversation with a couple of ladies at Mixed Media Art @ Facebook. we were discussing about some ways to market our work and ourselves better. ye know ... that is the worst part. i would love to just make art and let someone do the marketing ... or just make art period. but i would love to make a living out of it if i could. there were loads of suggestions and one of it that intrigued me was how to drive traffic to your site so that your work would be seen by more people. and since my sales totally depend on the internet, naturally this was the topic that got my attention.

i have heard of terms like SEO, page ranks, search engine robots etc ... i'm sure you have too. and no, these are not bookbinding techniques! wish they were, cos then they'll be easier to understand!! anyhow SEO is search engine optimization. how to get search engines like google or yahoo (and the rest) to find your site more efficiently so that consumers would also find your page easier when they google a keyword pertaining to what you do ... for my stuff would probably be along the lines of 'mixed media jewelry', or 'handmade books'.

apparently there are some things that the search engine robots cannot see. photos are one of them. and you know what ... my blog is full of photos!! ugh!! which means the keywords need to be plastered all over the content of the blog post itself, which is something that i am reluctant to do becos then, the post would look so fake. it would be like me pasting myself all over with branded logos!!

the ladies at MMA said that there was a way to make the robots see your photos. so i searched the net and i found the solution. it's pretty easy to do tho it can be quite time consuming. all you have to do is to add alt="your keywords" within your image's HTML. when you write a blog post, on the top left corner there are 2 tabs. one says 'compose' and the other 'HTML'. you want to click on the 'HTML' to get to the computer language of your image. typically the HTML of an image would look like this.

all you have to do is to add alt="your keywords" right after the <img tag. your keywords can be words pertaining to that particular image. my keywords to my photos would typically be "handmade books" , "handmade journals", "mixed media jewelry" and stuff like that. you need only to put 2 or 3 words between the invert commas. anything beyond four words would be a waste of time as the robots won't read that many words.

it's tedious cos you'll probably have to do this to a lot of your photos every time you post. but if you like to increase your page ranks on the search engines, this is one way to do it. 

now the dilemma is what keywords to use? well, here is a link to a site which points you to 6 places where you can actually find the best keywords to use for your blog. I went to Adwords (the first on the list) ... all you have to do is to put in your domain URL and they will give you a list of keywords that you can use. here's the link  http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/6-free-tools-to-get-the-best-keywords-for-your-site/

Oct 6, 2012


She already knew as she looked out of the window into the approaching twilight. A lone figure walked towards her door. A single tear rolled down her cheek as she opened the door.

handmade books

The man looked sadly at her and handed her a little bundle wrapped in weathered linen. Hands shaking, she unwrap the bundle. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she gazed upon a perfect little book. 

handmade books

She remembered spending many nights sewing it, pouring all her love and heart into every stitch.

handmade books

She remembered placing it in the hands of the man she loved more than anything in the world, before he went to war. She remembered telling him to keep it close to his heart, and bring it home when he returns from war, so that they may write beautiful memories of their future together.

handmade books

And now, the book has returned to her. Even though it was weathered and worn, it was still perfect, just like the love they shared. She unclasped the cover slowly and then … gasped. For within the cover were meticulously burned pages forming a hollow. Within the hollow, nestled a delicate ring.

handmade books

Choking back his tears, the man said,
“Just before he died in my arms, he told me –- how is it that I am able to fight a hundred men on the field but failed to utter two simple words to her … marry me -- And then he passed me this book and asked me to bring him home to you”

handmade books

With that, she removed the ring from the hollow and slipped it into her finger. 
She looked at the man and said,
“He is home”

handmade books