Mixed Media Tuesday: The journey of a self-portrait

Oh well. You know the day would come when I would attempt a self-portrait painting right? And a large one too! Because your girl is crazy! *winks*

I started with my usual mixed media messy background play with paints, inks, stencils and gesso. Then I went in with my rough sketch using a charcoal vine. It's messy but totally erasable (with a wet cloth) so you don't feel so committed to your lines (haha!)

As you can clearly see, I'm sooooooo bad at sketching! I mean, she looks nothing like the photo right?

Then I went in with my first layer of acrylic paints and worked on the details with a water brush pen filled with ink. Nephew #1 came into my room at this point and asked me who I was painting. The first thing he said was, "Why does she look so fat?" *LOL*

Here I am fine-tuning the details after I scaled down on those massive fat cheeks. It's weird that we see ourselves so differently. I've always felt that I've such chubby cheeks.

After hours of painting and re-painting because the folks said she looked nothing like me, I was finally done when nephew #1 said, "Wow. What did you do? She looks like you."

Now of course, I have to paint everyone in the family. At least that's what mum says. And you know, mum is the Empress Dowager. *winks*

What do you think?


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Muted Monday: When bros met and hung out

So I decided to challenge myself and work with a muted colour palette on this layout to really let the "so-so" photos stand out a little more....because it is, as usual, impossible to get a nice photo of the nephews.*winks*

Since nephew #1 is staying with us, the bros don't get to meet up that often...and when they do, they always have fun together...even when doing mundane things like getting a haircut or eating chocolate chip cookies (baked by their fave aunt of course).

It was fun pulling out muted colours from my scrap pile and using up a whole bunch of mismatched alphas. As always, I'm hopeful that this year, I will get to use up my stash! *cue laughter!*

Playing along with Stick It Down.


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Mixed Media Thursday: From sketch to painting

I've always wondered why artists did like a whole detailed mini sketch of a subject matter before working on the actual piece even though sometimes the final piece doesn't even look anything like the sketch.  So I decided to give it a go to see what I can learn from the process.

First I started with doing the background of my mixed media painting - the usual layering of mediums in various different colours until I had a pleasing result.

Then I went into my sketchbook for the sketch of an eye I did recently in coloured pencils and paint markers.

Using the sketch as a guide, I drew in the shape of the eye with a water brush pen filled with ink. I like using ink as opposed to paints at this sketch stage because the ink has more "open" time and I can just clean it off with a wet wipe/rag if I made a mistake.

Now I know why artists take the time to do a detailed sketch first because it really helps to save time on the actual piece. I actually got this eye done in one sitting...under three hours...because I didn't have to fiddle with getting the eye shape/angles right.

I really like how the final piece turned out. Here it is on my gallery wall. It measures 20 by 20 inches.

What do you think?


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Layout Tuesday: Nephew #1's birthday

Yep...it's the start of a new year and I'm still playing catch-up on last year's birthday photos. That's like perfectly normal right? *winks*

Nephew #1 wanted the chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting so that's what I made him. 
And yes, those signages I made from ages ago get a lot of use in photos. Some people even ask if they can have them! *LOL*

Lots of fun fitting in the paper scraps and embellishing with stickers and die-cuts. :)

Playing along with Let's Get Sketchy.


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Make Stuff Monday: The Rilakkuma Edition

Hello my friends! Happy new year! 

Today I'm sharing with you the stuff I made for my sister's birthday. (It's her actual birthday today!) Now, she really loves Rilakkuma so I thought it would be fun to throw her a mini Rilakkuma-themed family party. 

Never mind that in this photo you didn't see the cheesecake that was supposed to have Rilakkuma's face on it. There was the minor incident where someone didn't close the fridge door (not me!) and the no-bake cheesecake kind of "melted" and had to be reconstituted in the freezer for an after-dinner dessert and we had a cheese plate for afternoon tea. *LOL*

Just focus on the fact that my family just goes along with my shenanigans and poses for family photos that will make it to the family scrapbook album and provide years of entertainment every time that said future layout (er...I actually have to make this layout first) is seen. *winks*

It started with this birthday box of little gifts (including Rilakkuma stuff of course) that I wanted to gift-wrap. As usual, I had the grand idea to make my own wrapping paper design either by stamping or calligraphy but then decided that I should just create a Rilakkuma's head with felt because I thought it would be way faster.

Nope. Apparently symmetry is not my strong suit. Plus I didn't have the necessary felt colours and had to improvise with white gesso and a black Sharpie. *LOL*

Then I thought it would be cool if my sister had a backdrop of Rilakkuma faces to pose with her birthday cake so I decided to paint her a bunch of Rilakkuma canvases.

But of course, painting something "simple" is harder because mistakes become more apparent when there is little to see. I mean you can tell that I made Rilakkuma too "fat" here. Hahaha!

And of course my sister wanted them despite their obvious "flaws"!

I think she looks pretty happy eh?

What do you think?

P/s: Happy week ahead friends! :)


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The reworked Christmas tree


So I've never actually decorated a Christmas tree. Like ever. I was still using the one my bestie from secondary school made me years ago because it was small enough to fit into a bag and into my cupboard when I was done. All I had to do each year was take it out of the cupboard, fluff it up a little and plug in the lights and my Christmas tree was all set up! *winks*

But this year, it was clearly showing its wear and I even bought another one to replace it (see previous post Christmas projccts 2018). Of course, I had a change of heart and decided to see if I could rework it and give it maybe a few more years. *LOL*
Now the tree was previously decorated with ornaments then spray-painted with white paint for a snowy effect. I managed to remove the hanging ornaments that had broken pieces/were discolored and what was left on the tree was sprayed painted "presents", apples and berries (Photo on the left).

My mum recently went to a Malay wedding and came back with 3 door gifts (they held candy) that  were perfect for ornaments on my tree.

The inspiration for the gold and white theme reworked tree came from this gorgeous handmade ornament from my bloggy friend Lisa Bzibziak

So I went in with the gold paint, bling and glitter of course. ;)
It took way longer than I anticipated but I love my reworked Christmas tree that looks really pretty when it's all lit up at night, in my room :)

P/s: Merry merry Christmas my friends! Enjoy the rest of 2018 and I will see you in 2019! Happy holidays! :)


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Christmas projects 2018


Hello friends! As you know, I started on my Christmas projects very late this year but I still wanted to challenge myself to go with a theme...okay, okay to just use up my Photo Paper Play Mad 4 Plaid  Christmas paper collection. :)

So I present to you this year's handmade Christmas projects minus the handmade cards which have already been mailed out (and hopefully have reached the recipients ) and the clay Santa tealight holder (which is a prop).

Following my many attempts at snow globe making (as shared in my last post), I decided to just decorate the jar lid. 

Having decided that I will use stuff from my stash for all my Christmas projects except the absolutely necessary stuff (like the distilled water, glycerin and faux mushrooms), I was happy to find a stash of faux grass styrofoam "stones"(I used one in the snow globe project) that I could use as the grass patch for my red "mushrooms...and my Santa figurine (from a Christmas logcake).

I used a bigger one so that the moose (from The Gangster Gang's  (aka niece + nephews) toy stash could be part of the Christmas scenery. *LOL*

I also used one on my Christmas tree...can you spot it?

Yep...it is a whimsical tree! *winks*

Then there is also the throw-everything-on-a-box kind of gift box. Yes, I went overboard a little. Hahaha! 

Here is another upcycled box. With errr...fewer adornments. ;)

So right now all that is left is some baking to do.
What about you? Are you all set for Christmas?

P/s: The other projects have been shared in previous posts.


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How to make a snow globe - tips and tricks (a tutorial)


Every year  I tell myself to try out a DIY snow globe and I finally did! *pats self on back for actually doing it* 

There are just a few steps:
1. Glue elements to lid of glass jar.
2. Fill jar with water. Add glycerin. Add glitter. Stir mixture.
3. Screw back jar lid.
4. Enjoy your DIY snow globe.

Tips and tricks (I learned the hard way!)

1. Distilled water 
You can use tap water if you like but distilled water has no minerals so you get a nice clear display).

2. Glycerin 
The addition of glycerin makes your "snow" flow slower.

3.. Waterproof glue for best results
Now this is really important because I started glueing down my elements with Glossy Accents and my elements started floating the moment I poured in the distilled water. 

Interestingly, there are a lot of glues that are water-resistant but few are waterproof. Now, I didn't want to make a trip to the craft store so I winged it with my hot glue gun. 

4. Glitter
I just went with whatever glitter I had at home but you could try styrofoam bits if you have them at home.
However, I did learn that there is such a thing as too much glitter which could totally get Santa and his goat into a glitter blizzard. *LOL*

5. Glass jars
At first I went with the standard jam jars but you can't really fit in much or see much. I like the large Nutella jar.

6. Ornaments for your globe
I went with recycled Christmas cake decorations and raided the Gangster Gang's (niece + nephews) toy box for some animals.
Now, please do a water test on your "decorations" because incorporating them into your globe because I added some red  "mushrooms" and my water turned pink!

Overall, it was really fun albeit frustrating experience making a DIY snow globe. Have you tried making a snow globe?


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