The Bearded Men

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I have been painting and working on several things with clay lately. I blame it on the bad influence from all my workshop classes. Kidding! I love you, clay! You know, I might suffer from a little obsessive compulsive behaviour when working on certain projects. I reach a big fat high and just feel a desperate need to do more and more and more. It’s almost as if I have to reach the quota of exhaustion before deciding to quit. These bearded men are the perfect example of the addictive urge to create! Making the simplest of things puts you through a therapuetic state of mind and you find a sort of calmness amidst the chaos, which we so lovingly call life.

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I am considering putting my men up in the shop if these painting experiments are successful. At the moment, I’m leaning towards getting some wood cut ovals for the faces. But, I do need better brushes for painting and to start learning to take care of them properly! I am guilty of not washing my brushes and leaving paint to clog on the bristles overnight.

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Lots of things have been on my mind as well – playing around with different visual palettes, how to style small objects and working with my one and only light source (our dear sun!). It is not easy to make things look beautiful! One of my goals this year is to push myself to just create whatever comes to mind and not throw away the bad ideas. I remember watching an interview where Marina Abramovic said she got her students to come up with ideas and to toss the good ones in one basket and the bad ones in another. Eventually, she made them choose and use their rejected ideas at the end of the day. According to her, those are the best ones! Something to think about! Time to harness my chi and put the negative thoughts aside. The truth is, my ability to focus is poor and I am the ultimate worry wart. It sucks and I’m still working on it.

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Till then, gonna be keeping my chin up! Xo.

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Where The Wild Things Are

rp_DSC_5967-13_zpsd79068c8.jpgI work part time as an art facilitator in various communities alongside my ex-lecturer and my boyfriend. For one of our classes, we got our participants to paint on dried leaves. This project was largely inspired by a ton of leaf art on pinterest. We agreed that it would be super fun to get everyone to create imaginary leaf friends! As I did some experiments before conducting the class, I accumulated so many leafy friends and knew I had to share this quick and easy tutorial.

All you need are dried leaves, acrylic paint and paint brushes!

imageThe best ones are those that are a yellowish-brown and have fallen from the trees. If it’s too brown, they crack really easily when dried.

imageChoose a base colour for your leaves. I would suggest picking only two to three colours as limiting your colour palette helps you be more creative! I went for a monochromatic palette, just red and white. So patriotic!

imageHere are a few tips if you feel stumped on designing your leaf buddy. You can always sketch your ideas out on paper first. Play with straight lines, dots, zig zags and scallops. Change the scale of the polka dots or the thickness of a line. Keep it simple and have fun!

imageHere is how I did mine. First, I went in with horizontal lines, then I moved on to vertical and zig zag lines. Lastly, adding in some polka dots and facial features! I feel it’s easier to approach it step by step, it feels less overwhelming!

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imageWhen you are done with your friends from the wild, it’s time to hang them up to add some magic into your space! I sewed myself a long banner and used a hot glue gun to stick them down. You could also glue them onto any used cardboard.

imageWhen you get better at it, start adding embellishments! Sew on sequins, simple embroidery or even cut patterns in them. Run with it!

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Mount Fuji Pom Pom

As you all might know by now, I am still head over heels crazy about making pom poms! Just recently, I got hold of a huge purchase of yarns and spent two days sorting them out. Oh god, what a headache! I will update about that in time to come.

I just got back from Japan a week ago and I miss Japan so much now, it’s like Japan fever going on! Don’t you just hate holiday withdrawal syndrome? It was my first time in Japan, so please just let me wallow in my own sadness! I wouldn’t be talking about the trip in this post, though I would pretty much like to. But I know I would rattle on non stop like a crazy fan girl! I swear, I will make time for that once I start sorting the pictures out.

Okay, onwards now to my Japan-inspired pom pom! The famous Mount Fuji! Oh in case you were wondering, I did not get to see Mount Fuji in its grandeur. I did not even get to the 5th station, just the foot of some foggy raggedy place. But, I did get to see it on the plane to Haneda Airport, so booyah! One of the reasons why I decided to work on a Mount Fuji pom pom was because everywhere I went in Japan, souvenirs stores had all things Mount Fuji! I admit, it’s a little holiday souvenir gimmicky, but shit, I want them holiday gimmicks! I would have bought them all if I was Queen of Mount Fuji.

imageWell, I did get this beautiful and pretty funny looking handkerchief, even though I don’t use a hanky. But hey, it inspired this post! You have got to love the way the mountain is portrayed here, look at the different snow hairdos they have got on! It’s hilarious! There’s actually one with braids and one with a moustache, which I just realised I don’t have a shot of. Oops! But, you get the idea! I absolutely love shopping for handkerchiefs in Japan, it’s heaven! How I wished I brought home more!

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imageI always start off the pom poms round and then trim them into a triangle, I’m absolutely loving this shape now and plan to start making a whole ton of different ideas for the shop! I never once thought I would attempt making a living selling pom poms, ha!

imageI had a fun time figuring out how to get the snow capped part out right, but I still need more time to perfect the way I want the snow to look like. I guess the best part is imperfections actually work here because snow looks different every other week!

Thanks for all the inspiration Japan, till the next time!

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Cactuses for the Faint Hearted

I know I was supposed to blog about this last week. I did not forget, but I ran out of time! Need to get a proper schedule down pat, girl. Anyway, I decided to create some new paper cactus art last week. I made some of these last year and really enjoyed going back to paper again. It’s been so many years since I started working with paper art and I still have an undying love for PAPER! Guess it’s never going to end! Well, let’s get back to playing with cactuses.

First, we’ve got to bust out some paper cactuses. Draw a ton of them on paper and select your best few! It can get a little hard picking your favourite, or maybe it’s only me. They are all so cute!

imageI like to start off with a piece of light basal wood in a postcard size. I like the weight of these as they work well on their own without a need for frames! You can just lean them against the wall on your shelf! Saving cost, yes! I am a total cheapskate. My basal wood came in a long plank, so I just used a penknife to chop it to a desired length.

imageNext, you could choose to use paint, paper or washi tape to create your background. I took out a bunch of tapes and picked a neutral colour palette, that I thought look like swimming pool colours. Ok, what am I talking about, I’m so bad with descriptive words today! Next, you would want to tape that baby plank up with 2 to 3 layers of colour.

imageThe fun part comes now, when you get to compose your picture! Cut out a variety of geometric shapes and play around. They could be vases, shelves or tables, something to put the cactus on. I’m thinking home related things, but of course you can let your imagination run wild! Who says you can’t put a cactus on a birthday cake? Birthday cactus cake card, anyone?

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imageWhat’s a cactus without its spiky thorns? Pencil them in! Add some flowers or other embellishments if you like. When you are satisfied with the final image, glue them onto your plywood and you are ready to show them off!

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imageEasy peasy, huh?

imageEven if you don’t have green fingers, these would still turn out great! Xo.

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Oh, Mr Pompous!

Pom poms. My new obsession, amongst many other things which include consumables (if one must know, I’m really craving for buttermilk waffles like a freaking pregnant woman right now).

So it is, that I have been making fluffy round pom poms for months now and recently it dawned onto me that they look a hundred times cuter when they are triangular! Add on a pair of goggly eyes and they are to die for! Yup, I’m totally squealing behind the screen now. A haircut always does wonders!

imageI love how they turned out, looking very much like onigiris with their rounded corners! Although the green ones look like grass hedges straight out of a perfectly manicured garden. The day starts off better when you have one sitting on your desk staring at you. My desk is a lie though, no sane desk looks like that. I just happen to be in the midst of revamping my room and decluttering. I wish I could say it’s going swimmingly well, but no, it’s not. It’s been more than a week and I took forever spray painting my old shelves! But, tomorrow. Tomorrow will be better.

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imageI’m sorry, I’m digressing again. And no, it’s not cool to topple your friend. But he is supposed to be a pompous ass. I know being pompous doesn’t suit him, too cute for that! It was funny when I thought about it though.

imageIt’s real simple making these pom poms. Yarn, scissors, a pom pom loom or you skip that like me and just loop it around your hands. I looped them about 70 to 80 times around my four fingers. Instead of cutting them the usual way into a ball, create three sides and cut them flat.

imagePut a little pin on the back and you have a new friend to bring along wherever you go! Till the next time, xoxo!

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