DIY Shiny Cloud Mat

Lately, I have been working my butt off building up on my inventory for the shop. And on occasion, I mess up because I get too tired or my mind starts wandering off as I’m doing the same mundane task of cutting shapes. You snooze, you lose. When that happens, I feel like stabbing someone with my scissors. I am sure we all have those moments. *shifty eyes*

So, this little cutey here was a result of me messing up. I was cutting up clouds and bam!, I forgot to give enough allowance for this particular one. It was such a big piece and could definitely be used for something. That something is now a shiny cloud sitting on my table!

imageThis cloud placemat is so simple to make and you can use just about any fabric you desire.

You need:

  • Clear vinyl
  • Fabric of your choice
  • Stiff felt
  • Scissors
  • Basic sewing skills

imageStart by drawing your cloud pattern on all three pieces. I used the stiff felt as a base because I felt that my shiny fabric was too soft. I wanted the placemat to feel more solid. The clear vinyl prevents water from seeping into your fabric. Of course, the whole mat is not entirely waterproof, so do clean up spills quickly!

imageCut out the cloud when you have transferred the pattern on each piece.

imageSandwich your shiny fabric in between the base and vinyl. Finish it off by sewing all three layers together! If you do not have a sewing machine, simply use a blanket stitch with some embroidery thread to finish. When you sew with vinyl, do use a teflon footer or tape the base of your metal foot with masking tape.

imageTa-dah! You are on cloud nine, give yourself a pat on the back.

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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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Happy Birthday, Me!

Contrary to said title, it is not my birthday today. It was 12 days ago. I had a good day, and it was good because I ate a ton of my favourite yakitoris at the best place on earth. Also, my boyfriend bought me a cactus, which in my books is quite romantic as I lost a plant recently. It was a cute cat planter with one or two pre-mature alyssum flowers, but it fell off the ledge and broke in two (along with my heart).

imageWell, it’s been replaced by two adventurers amongst the wilderness now! He tried to copy my art though. 😉 In a long ago past, I used to work with miniatures. Maybe one day I will think about creating art again.

imageThis week is going to be a cactus-filled blog posting week. I have a couple of paper cut cactuses which I did last year and I haven’t got a clue what to do with them. With the sudden rise in cacti loving posts that I’ve seen popping up on almost every virtual space, I might as well hop on the bandwagon. I love cactuses, especially ones with flowers! But I probably wouldn’t get a chance to plant more in my current home. So, I thought of a few projects that will help quench that thirst! Stick around!

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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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Sewing, Level Up

I recently purchased an overlocker from a local dealer – a really nice and knowledgable middle aged man. It’s a vintage babylock EF-405 in a cute shade of blue and I admit it probably was one of the factors that made me take the plunge! Let’s face it, no one wants a machine in a hideous shade of grey sitting on their desk. Anyway, this would be my very first time using an overlocker and I am not sure if I made the best and wisest decision to purchase something so old and basic.

It’s super heavy (made entirely out of metal), only 3 threads, no fancy hemming and no differential feed. This old grandma of a machine has been zapping me with some electric currents as well. So now I have to wear rubber slippers while using it. But not forever, I will be bringing it back for a health checkup after the lunar new year. The thought of carrying this blue child of mine all the way back to Yishun just kills me. Yikes, what did I get myself into?

photo DSC_1099_zps9c07dd6b.jpgUnfortunately, brand new overlockers are crazy expensive in Singapore (even when discounted). I have been considering getting one for the longest time, but have often been put off by the price. It was not till recently that I decided to hunt for local dealers that also did refurbishing for old and used machines. Boy, were they hard to search for off the internet! I have listed two shops below that I have personally been to and spent ages in there without getting chased out. Phew! The second hand overlockers are not entirely cheap to me, but I do believe some of the older full metal-bodied ones are hardy. You can get one slightly below $300. I think it would be better to stick with the popular brands like Juki, Janome and Babylock. You should also make sure you can get a warranty for your item. I have a one year warranty for mine and was ensured that should any parts malfunction there will be replacements for it. That really set my heart at ease!

So now that I have my sewing duo, I can’t wait to make more beautifully crafted things! I spend the whole 初一 (first day of the new year) drafting out new patterns for the (non-existent) shop. I will try to put some of them up here when it’s ready! Till then! XO.

P.S. The addresses for refurbished overlockers below!

Ban Soon Sewing Machine

Block 431 Clementi Ave 3, #01-328,Singapore 120431

http://www.sewing.sg/

Freddy Electric Sewing Machine

Block 928 Yishun Central 1, #01-141, Singapore 760928

http://freddysewingmachine.ibuzzaar.com/

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