Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Let Us Eat Tarts To-Gather

Designing digitally is not really my kind of work and I very much prefer to create stuffs physically by hand. However, occasionally I do create stuffs digitally and my taste buds often gear towards Victorian and Regal style. I wonder why, perhaps I'm someone who love to tell a story behind everything I do, I just love vintage and old stuffs; the older the better, best with some history or stories behind.

Just very recently, I've done up an in-house poster for my congregation for an upcoming Ladies Fellowship event. Though I was asked to do up a simple one, I simply couldn't do up one that look simple enough as what they defined as "simple". At the end of the day even perhaps a simple R.S.V.P. attendance sheet has become something like this:


As we were going to make some pineapple tarts and an afternoon tea after that on that day, the quote "Let them eat Cake" (which is widely attributed to Marie Antoinette) came to my mind. While the story behind this phrase is widely controversial and denotes insensitivity and incomprehension towards the realities of the unfortunate and poor, the truth is this quote didn't come directly from Marie Antoinette herself. History aside, despite the original ill intention of such a quote that's widely linked to Marie Antoinette (granted it's insensitivity thought behind), I rephrased it to "Let us eat Tarts" to re-frame it's intention to "through thick and thick, we will gather and eat together no matter what" (Hebrew 13:1, Galatians 6:2). I replaced "cake" with "tarts" just 'cos we will be having pineapple tarts during tea. Hence, "Let us eat Tarts To-Gather" emerged as a new conceptual phrase in this setting. 


Because it's a ladies only event, I decided to use an image that will relate closely to Marie Antoinette's period of time. I found this French lady that came from 1870s costume book at Graphic Fairy, a website that's filled with tons of vintage clip arts and photos. Simple love this site! Of course, we do have several other fellowships as well, just that sometimes we'd want to have some "ladies only" events simply 'cos it's always better to keep men out of the picture for such events . 

I've digitally created the attendance sheet using several graphics from Graphic Fairy and other public domain websites such as Pixabay. However, though most of these images are freely available for personal use (some even commercially), it's always rightful to check the various copyrights and licensing terms before saving them into your computer. Though these are quite common for images and graphics, there's one aspect that I'd think a lot of us might miss out - fonts licensing. The fonts you use for your artwork especially for commercial usage is very much  neglected and often taken for granted. It didn't occur to me that fonts need licensing even I've downloaded several free fonts online during the past years. It's only recently when I was about to blog about this project then I start to take notice that I might have used a font that could be in conflict with the terms set by the author despite this is a non-profit project. As I've already transmitted it freely to publicize the event within the church, it caught onto me and I was thinking about this last night. To make sure I'm not in any conflict with the terms, I decided to write to the author, explaining my intention of this project and in hope permission could be granted. I was all mentally prepared that the author would say a "No" and I'll have to take down everything and further extend my apologies to my church. Thankfully, the author replied with much appreciation for my email and is more than happy to help me with this project. Thanks Maelle!

The thumb of rule, in general is to attribute to the original creator when using their creations within your artwork. I believe the creative community is quite generous to begin with and there're actually tons of graphics and fonts freely available for us to use for our personal projects and education. I think that's only legitimate to give them the credit as this respects their creation(s) for the time and effort they've put into. So below here are the list of digital graphics and fonts I've used for this project:
Disclaimer: Though these graphics are derived from the public domain and are consider royalty free in a sense, I cannot be 100% sure it's entirely free from copyright. This includes the fonts as well. Some of them I used are already pre-installed in my editing software (i.e. Photoshop) so the links I've linked to might not be entirely free. However, they're generally freely available for personal use, not commercially and you will need a license for that. Some has some angel policies behind. Nonetheless, do check and get yourself informed. Write to the author to clarify if in doubt. I might have miss something out and I can't be sure as well, so if there's any conflict I'd very much appreciated to be made known so that we can all learn together.


P.S. I didn't include the main poster for this entry due to privacy issues as it contains some personal information that out of due respect it's best not to disclose to the public in this kind of setting. 


Monday, January 15, 2018

#Throwback Monday - My Life with Graphic 45

On this evening, it's perhaps one of the unusual environmental history of all times in Singapore, under this really cool weather that made me feel like I was in San Francisco, I was "tidying up" my YouTube channel a moment ago.

Kinda random... I saw a couple of YouTubers having those little "pop-ups" on their videos and I wonder what are those. It was only quite recently I took notice that these are called "cards" as defined by YouTube and they are consider interactivity tools. OK, kinda not really use to know them as such so I think I should give it a try by adding some interactivity video links within some of my videos to suggest videos of similar context within my channel. Perhaps it may be helpful to my viewers.

As I scrolled through the 15 videos I've produced till date, it caught onto me that maybe I should watch my very first video. And... I did! My very first video was my final submission into Graphic 45 DT back in 2014. That was 4 years ago! Oh geez! Suddenly I felt really old, in comparison to my latest video I was so new in making video back then!!! My editing skills was really down to the most basic. I recalled I even got one of my friends to teach me how to use Window's movie maker to get me started. Those were the exciting days just 'cos I really want to make it into this dream team. Nonetheless, if it wasn't of such requirement for the final submission to gain entry into Graphic 45 Design Team, I wouldn't have done it and made it into the team. Neither will I establish my channel after that and started to make videos. For today's throwback, here is my final submission video aka my pilot video which I was talking about:


All thanks to Graphic 45, I should say if it wasn't an opportunity given at that point of time, whatever accomplishment(s) I've throughout these years will never happen, though it's not some sort of major ones. To me it's a great establishment for my creativity and perhaps a start of a possible crafting career in future (which I do not know where it'll bring me to). I'm so blessed to be in this journey and able to see how I much I've progressed despite of all difficulties I faced. Surely, being part of Graphic 45 DT was one of the most memorable chapter of my life. It was also a period of time that being part this team I won't feel so devastated and lonely in midst of all my trials and tribulations during those difficult days. Neither will I forget all of you, ladies and gentlemen who have been following my works till date despite my 2 years hiatus. Those kind encouragements and comments given to me means a lot to me and your words had made my day shine despite facing series of gloominess and darkness in my life. Though those days are over and I'm done with them, I'm glad I've managed to pull through it even I'm still facing some remnants of it. 

The very first g45 DT badge that I could finally proudly display in my blog.

It seems it has been all well planned and divinely provided for, I'm able to make a come back due to an unexpected request. And it was on this very special invite to do up a memorabilia for one of the oldest member (sister Baby Tan) in my congregation for her 90th birthday last year that kick start everything. Needlessness to say, Graphic 45 came to my mind, without a doubt for I've so much of their products with me during my 2 years term with them! Their generosity and dedication towards their DT was simply amazing. They're perhaps one of the most encouraging and generous companies I've ever worked with. Every member is abundantly showered with tons of their products and despite I've used up quite a lot for the memorabilia project, I still have most of them with me, all kept in huge boxes. 

Without much saying, I can only be deeply thankful to God and His providential care that allows me to develop this creative aspect of mine and able to do this for His Glory.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

An Encouragement Card



As the title of this entry suggests; it's a card that encourages. And this card was specifically made for one of the sisters within my congregation, in hope the verses I quoted from the Bible can serve as a source of encouragement for her. Last Sunday morning, she lost her husband to cancer who was also one of our brothers. 

Though I didn't get to meet them in person (until the day of the wake last Tuesday), I had heard about this brother's illness since the very first day I entered into the LORD's church since last June and have been following through his progress via our Sundays' and mid-week services and prayer requests. The whole congregation was praying for them during those period of times and when the news broke to us that he has finally passed on, we were all deeply saddened. We weep, mourn and grief together as a family (Galatians 6:2).



Because she's an orphan and her husband is her only family, when he passed on I'd think it'll be especially difficult for her. I spent few hours thinking and searching through the Bible and manages to choose 2 verses (Deuteronomy 31:6 and Isaiah 41:10) for her that might be best for her. They were printed out and affixed onto in this 6" x 6" card, in hope God's Word can be a true source of strength and encouragement for her to cope with her lost. Together with this card, I also gifted her a book - Songs of Deliverance - hoping via reading and studying of this book is able to deliver her out from trials and tribulations. It might not be enough at this point of time, for I may not be able to fully comprehend the level of grief and pain she's facing. However, I do hope and continue to pray for her that she can pull herself up, altogether again and bravely face her life ahead.



I deliberately opt for warm pastel pink and beige floral and rose papers from Graphic 45 Portrait of a Lady paper collection as the main colours and theme for comfort. Roses are beautiful but they've thorns. Life is often not always rosy but it's definitely beautiful the way it is. Not overly exaggerating, I kept the card as simple as possible to bring the message across directly emphasizing on strength and courage. These are the 2 major intangible elements in life that we always yearn for in very challenging times. Though we can garner physical strength via food, courage is something that requires much more than the food we eat that gives us the strength. Bravery is not often manifested in times of fear, pain and grief. In order to get out of such pits of sorrows, one do need to pluck up the courage and be braved enough to move on. To do that, you just need the strength to do that. 

Perhaps it's one peculiar behaviour of mine, at times of such I'll eat to fill my stomach first so that I can get enough ATP (Adenosine triphosphate - our biology energy currency) to fuel my heart and brain so that I can have the energy to charge forward. This applies to all my creative ventures as well. Whenever I'm stuck, even I may face stress and run out of time I'll just snack a bit (not binge!) in between before moving on. Because I was previously trained in the area of biochemistry, I clearly understand how deprivation of food under such circumstances will do to your body. Sometimes by topping up your ATP bank at times of such might help you to make more sound and logical decisions towards your life. Perhaps not entirely, however in some ways; one way or another.   


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Mister Frosty - Winning Piece for 2017 Handmade for the Holidays Challenge

Occasionally or sometimes randomly, I'll enter some contests or challenges, and Scrapbook.com has this "Challenges" section where they'll from time to time organize a few challenges. Most of the time, I tried entering a challenge hoping to win some kits/items. Some of the winning items can be really attractive and I'll feel so dearly in wanting to win them back home. And for those voucher/gift certificates based challenges, I'll usually enter for fun without thinking I might win because so far such challenges often attracts hundreds to thousands of entries, especially for Scrapbook.com challenges. The amount of entries can be quite daunting.

Strangely enough, so far out of the several of such challenges (perhaps not more than 5 times) I entered, I had already won 3 times, including this which I entered for last year Handmade for the Holidays Challenge. It's seriously not within my expectation and I only got to know it when I received a private message (that got emailed to my inbox as well) from Amy that I'm one of the 10 winners who had won. I need to pause for a few moments to absorb the fact that "Ok! Yes, it's a fact I've won a $50 voucher."

The winning piece for the Challenge

There's a 1,183 entries altogether and this Mister Frosty managed to emerge out as one of the 10 winners. So happy for him!


Saturday, January 6, 2018

An Altered Patina Photo Frame

It's 2018! I hope everyone has a pleasant New Year. Over at my tiny country where I reside, it was raining over the countdown period; practically rained through the last day of 2017 to the first day of 2018. Quite a significant day to remember; raining through 2017 to 2018.  

From this year onwards, I'm coming back with more updates and video tutorials, continuing to share and inspire people alike within the community. And I hope I'm able to do this for as long as I could. Your earnest support and encouragement in the work I share do means a lot to me. Though I may be slow in certain ways and may not be able to respond, I do value each and every one of you who has shown your kind support and encouragement towards my work throughout these years. As I promise before, I'll make an effort to bring more exciting projects and tutorials that's easy to follow and learn. Pretty excited for this and I'm looking very forward for this come back. 

Without me saying further and get carried away with my excitement, I'm moving on to share this altered patina photo frame which I made it as a belated birthday gift for one of my sisters within the Church of Christ. 



Throughout the years, I've been buying and collecting quite a number of "alterable" items which I've this tendency to keep them first, then think later what to do. At the end of the day, I'll always ended up forgetting what I've bought and never get to use them. It's because of a patina paint set I had bought since early last year, I decided to whip something up. While digging into a huge box of "alterables" (this is where I tend to keep them, conveniently sealed beyond my physical eyes), I found this Ikea photo frame which I had already torn away the plastic packaging. So right on the spot, YES! YOU'LL BE THE ONE I'M GOING TO ALTER! Without much further thinking, it got to me that I should also do up a video tutorial for this. 

The Ikea Kvill photo frame


There's an abundant amount of patina effect tutorials available online which I believe there's isn't a standard way in obtaining the effect. Neither is there any straightforward way as well. Previously, I've created a "non-traditional" method in creating patina using mists and solvent ink during my term with Graphic 45 which I still enjoy doing it this way. Certainly, with ready-made paint set available commercially, it just makes creating the patina effect much easier. 

In most of my projects, I've this tendency to match the colours and design elements as closely as possible. Basically speaking, they need to be in harmony and collectively a theme. As I was planning this project out, I already had in mind what kind of effect I want, and I had this Unearth paper from Kaiser Kraft Antique Bazaar paper collection which I took the design as a reference to create the patina effect. 

Unearth, from Kaiser Craft Antique Bazaar collection


Besides owning a number of "alterables", I also have several dies I bought and never put into good use. Decided to use this opportunity to use my stash, I dug into my die collection library (once again) to search for suitable dies to use together with this frame. The rose die from Susan's Garden collection and Tim Holtz's tiny tattered florals dies finally came to their pilot use, after being kept for years (Oops!). Because it's patina, I do find using bronze/copper metallic papers for these flowers as one of the better options over regular cardstocks. Very unfortunately, the bronze metallic paper I used from Time Holtz's Kraft Core collection is no longer available. This does shows that I do hoard onto things long enough till they could go into retirement. Nevertheless, it's not really the end of the world, I manage to find alternatives which I've stated a few in the list of supplies below at the end of this post.

This beautiful Spellbinder's ornate die-cut frame is also making it's debut. Yeah! I know! A crafter can never have enough. Suddenly, I took noticed that I just have too much things that haven't been put into good use. Guess I'd need to make several craft debuts in the future.   


I got the son from my sister-in-Christ to quote some bible verses that will describe his mum well and got these verses printed out onto premium paper. The print-out was subsequently tea-dyed and distressed. I mounted the print-out onto a piece of chipboard before placing it on top of the die-cut frame. I trimmed the Unearth paper to size to fit the window and I used the patina design as the backing of the sentiment. If you take a closer look, the altered patina frame does matches up quite well with the designed paper. 

To perk up the look, a little golden fleur dresden will be just nice. And a final lettering completed the whole project.





Here is a full list of supplies I used for this project, with links to various places you can get them if you're interested:


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Little Milk Carton Gift Boxes

Ever since I become a legitimate Christian, celebrating Christmas as Jesus being the reason for the season no longer hold any water within the Christian faith. I'm so glad to know there isn't such a stipulated "biblical" day to observe in order to be a Christian because such a "religious day" can be taken way too out of context. 


If you take a deeper look and do some research into the history, you'll be surprised to know it's actually derived from pagan roots and a holiday created by men. And for some, it only serves as the most depressing period of the year. Instead I'd much prefer to celebrate this day as a day of long tradition; a day of family gathering together to know everything from Charles Dickson to Christmas trees, or how St. Nick and Santa Claus came about! And why Santa wears red has an interesting origin. Check this out:

   

While almost everyone was busy shopping for Christmas gifts and decorations, as well as sharing holiday recipes on various social media platforms, it was perhaps one of the years I appeared not doing much about this Christmas. Maybe helping out my youngest sister to gift-wrap all the presents she had bought for her friends and colleagues. As usual, a little busy moment for this holiday season.

Although Christmas has just passed, it doesn't means gifting has to stop here. Rather I'd very much prefer to gift based on the heart to give and not restricted to such occasion(s). Hence, looking at the pile of Graphic 45 St. Nick paper collection lying around my crafting area, I decided to do some gifting using this collection together with the milk carton etched die I just bought from Spellbinders. Not something extravagant, but a little act of gifting makes your heart more fonder to gift. In actual fact, I just want to utilize my existing stash to create something. I just have too much! Guess as a crafter/artist, it always seems it's never enough to stock things up for whatever reasons.  


Therefore, I made these 8 little cute milk carton gifts for some of my friends and sisters-in-Christ from the Church. The 12" x 12" patterns and solids paper pad came in very handy for this project. It's probably one good idea to maximize your patterns and solids papers. 



These cute little milk cartons measured at about 3.75" tall, handy enough to be grabbed single-handedly. Puns aside, these milk cartons are just way too adorable. 


It took me some time to figure out what I should do to embellish these milk cartons. That was where I searched into my wafer dies library and found this Spellbinders Fleur de Elegance die set that has a little regal oval frame I could use. Using the gold metallic sheets I've in my stash, I die-cut 8 of them out. The effects it give on metallic paper is really amazing. It just gives a very special touch to the entire frame! Plus it goes really well with the papers I've selected. 


Each of them are thoughtfully named using the alphas from the stickers sheet along with this paper collection, and named them accordingly to the individuals I'm gifting. Thinking adding a little greens will be nicer, I decided to make some holy using the mini holiday green thinlits and placed them onto the labels. Since they're milk cartons to begin with, a little golden bell in front will perhaps jingle a little when the cartons are being shaken. Everything looked well and good, and I'm ready to gift (with some already been gifted)!


A full list of supplies I used for this project can be found listed below with links to various places I get most of my supplies from. This will be my very last post for this year and I hope to see you guys really soon with more tutorials and videos next year. Meanwhile, have a very good weekend ahead and Happy New Year!!!

List of Supplies:


Sunday, December 17, 2017

A Blessed Thank You Card

I've recently bought some club kits from Spellbinders after viewing some interesting project ideas on Facebook. Without much hesitation, I bought the September club kit that came with this very beautiful large lace dies after getting inspired at that moment. 

As usual, I won't have much of the ideas in what I want to do when the dies finally reached me. And this explains why sometimes I'll be a little slow in using them. Considered that one of our fellow brethren from the U.S. was coming to edifying us via the Gospel meeting last month in November, I decided to volunteer to do up a Thank You card for him to show our appreciation in his earnest effort in serving the LORD. This was where I got to play with the large dies I bought.  


Looking into my stash, I still have these rather old collections (Engrave and Printery) from Prima Marketing that I haven't been using them that much. Hence, I decided to do up a masculine Victorian card that displays mainly scripted texts and damasks, which coincidentally goes really very well with the flourish etched dies I bought together with the September club kit. 



A heartfelt message was printed onto premium paper and was mounted at the back of the card. To give some dimension and sparkles, I finished off the card with some jewels around the diecuts, both front and back of the card.


Though the September club kits are no longer available to purchase at membership pricing, the large die set is still available for purchase here. If you are interested in joining the Spellbinders Club Membership, they are having a 15% off for the 1st month when you sign up. Offer will end this year end (till 31st December 2017). Unfortunately, most of the December club kits are sold out for now, however worry not as very soon they will be launching the January club kits very soon before the end of this year. When the kits are launched for purchase, you will be able to enjoy the discount.


A list of supplies used for this project can be found below. Click onto the links to purchase the various Spellbinders dies and supplies if you are interested to get. 

List of Supplies:


Friday, December 8, 2017

Creating with Canvas Corp Brands



Yes it has been quite a while I'm announcing something new and finalized. After finally getting myself settling down, I'm proud to announce that I'll be working with Canvas Corp Brands as their Creative Crew for next year, offering extensive product usage and online tutorials/classes.

It's a good come back to rejoin the community and I intend to do this for as long as I could and will be actively searching around to work with various companies. I hope I'm able to offer more useful techniques to all people alike, whether you are just a hobbyist or someone going through some adversity that need some creative outlet to cope.

Do stay with me. 

Cheers!!!

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Special Box of Memorabilia

First of all, for people who has been faithfully following my various entries in my blog even till this point of time... Thank You, sincerely from the bottom of my heart. I know it has been a long long time ago I last posted on my blog. I'm terrible sorry and equally guilty for unable to update as soon as I could. Nonetheless, I've finally made a serious effort to come back despite all my procrastination and those busy hours.

Before I start introducing my latest project (not exactly new because this was completed on late July. Oops!!!), I'd like to share a small fraction of my current life story that forms part of this project. There has been turmoils in my life that I'd have to put my various crafting projects and teaching plan on hold. Such a halt actually ended up close to a 2 years hiatus. Seems long, yet I felt as if I had been living for almost a century. Indeed, a lot of things happened, with some still feel like a never-ending event. Not to dwell into the details of the issues I'm facing, perhaps going straight to what led me to do up this project will be more meaningful.

A couple of you have probably read some of my life events that I had recorded down in my past entries. To begin as an introduction (to most whom don't really know), I was a "Christian" for the past 13 years and seriously, I thought I was really one though not a very pious one. As life wasn't very promising for me during those period of difficulties, I decided to renew my faith with Christ. The journey begun somewhere between last Winter and beginning of this Summer, I found myself starting to develop an immersing interest towards the Bible, on how historical facts and evidences coincides so well with the Bible. And since then I embarked into a remarkable journey in Searching for the Truth that led me to know the One True God and become a Christian legitimately. 

Currently, I'm serving and worshiping the LORD at my local Church of Christ and got to know this amazing sister-in-Christ Baby Tan who is one of the earlier Christians who planted the seeds in Singapore. Without her, my local congregation would not have started. It was my greatest honour and pleasure to be invited to do up a memorabilia for her as a special gift on her 90th Birthday this July. Without much of me saying further, here is the finished project... 



It's a big 12" x 12" box, which I altered it using the shadow box from Graphic 45. Because I want to make it last, I tore down the outer structure of the box and rebuilt it using some muslin fabric to reinforce the edges before layering some Melange tissue paper from Tim Holtz. The entire deconstruction and reconstruction took me a day to process before any mixed media and decorative work could be done.

I learned from various members within the Church that sis Baby Tan loves purple, flowers and butterflies. And this really narrows down to the colour choice and theme for this project. Without much thinking, immediately I know which paper collection to reach out to - Sweet Sentiments and Botanical Tea from Graphic 45. 




I deliberately chose one of her younger days photos and created a vintage layout for her at the front of the box. As I had done up a notable amount of stenciling, stamping and painting work on the entire box, I tried not to over-embellished the layout and kept it really simple with her picture as the main focal point. 



At the back of the box, I further embellished it using this "inspiration" wordlet from ScrapFX over an ornate flourish frame I found in my stash which I had bought it many years back. This is probably one of my favourite portions of this project.



This is where all the treasures are, all kept safely inside the box. As you pull the drawer, you will be greeted with 2 albums and a scroll.



At the base of the drawer inside, I covered the entire surface with this very sweet floral paper from Graphic 45 Sweet Sentiment paper collection. And I fussy cut the main thematic "Sweet Sentiments" scroll image out and placed it at the center which blend in quite well with the entire theme and purpose for this project.


These are the two albums I did; one hand-stitched photo album and one tag album with all the hand-written messages. 





I had handwritten some Bible verses and had use a couple of them throughout the albums' covers. Some were nicely contributed by our preachers in our Church. 




The scroll is actually a written biography of sis Baby by our late brother-in-Christ Ira Rice. I was reading it for several times on the night I was formatting the font and text after extracting this article out from a book. Her story really inspires me greatly and certainly put me to awe. She's one seriously petite godly woman who truly belongs to the LORD.


And so that's me presenting this special box of memorabilia to sis Baby during her 90th Birthday celebration on 30th July this year in the Church building.

We managed to take a short video of this project, filmed by Rachel Poo (our fellow sister-in-Christ) and here is the orientation video.



List of Supplies used for this project:

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tim Holtz Winner's Badge



Alright, allow me to be a show-off for today. I'm crazily proud (please let me boost a bit as I'm on cloud nine) to win Tim Holtz' December tag challenge just in nick of time before he ends his 12 tags of the year series. 

#OMG! Look at the badge given by Mario above👆, it's finally one thing I can show off at the side bar 👈 on this awesome blog of mine!