Wow. Things have been pretty hazy from where I am. Let me tell you about what’s been going on lately here on the tiny island of Singapore. Thick smoke blowing from forest fires in the Indonesian island of Sumatra is being blown by winds to Singapore and Malaysia, and the air is just bad. Really bad. Everyone’s walking around in surgical masks, and as of last night, I could no longer find a single box in the 3 drugstores I went to. Sadly, there will be no outdoor activities in the next few weeks or so for us. I know, I know, I’m too lazy to jog nowadays – but my daughter misses the playground and doesn’t understand why she had to stay indoors!
So anyway, while we’re all staying inside the house, why not check out these lovely things I’ve seen around the web? This week we’re going back to basics with this collection of black and white pretties. Yes, I do love a burst of color every so often, but one can never go wrong with black and white. Over at my Etsy shop, the most popular items are always those set on a chalkboard background. Here you go! I hope you’ll like these as much as I do!
I remember having a pen pal when I was about 10. Her name’s Tara and she was from the UK. That’s all I remember about her now, but I have an amusing recollection of how excited I always was whenever my Mom hands me something from the mail. Oh, I guess old habits die hard. Until now I still love to write. And still get very much thrilled when I have something waiting for me in the mail box!
With the resurgence of snail mail and pen pal writing, while doing some research, I have stumbled upon Postal Travels Magazine. Tee and Karina are the ladies behind this online publication, and I must say they are very enthusiastic about the art of snail mail. The magazine features DIY crafts, stationeries, letter-writing, pen pal ads and stories, interviews, and my favorite – giveaways!
I am still beaming (slightly on the outside, but mostly on the inside) because they featured the Happy Hands Project. Yup, I have an interview in the Postal Travels June issue, so I hope that’s another reason for you to check it out.
They currently have this Traveling Notebook project which I think is a fantastic idea. It will be passed on to different people from different places, and each person gets to write something creative on a page or two. Then the notebook will be sent to another place again. How exciting! I am definitely signing up. If you need to know more, flip to pages 18 and 19 of the June issue.
If you haven’t gotten into the pen pal writing thing yet, Postal Travels might just be the inspiration you need to get started.
I have been practicing with my new scarlet ink a few weeks ago, and had a grand time writing a bazillion ‘hellos’. I had to figure out a different way to share them, and here they are! I came up with 3 new Photoshop brushes that you can use. You can adjust the opacity in Photoshop and use them as photo overlays, or you can make note cards for people you simply want to say hello to. Any day is a good day for sending mail, I say.
I hope I’ll get to see what you make of them! Tag me on Instagram, I’d be very much delighted to see them. Download your brushes here.
If you need help loading these brushes, check out this video tutorial from Creature Comforts. I always link to this video – I find it way cooler than just reading step by step instructions. I have another set of brushes here, if you’re into watercolor circles. Have fun and spread the love!
I’m not sure if any of you noticed, but my blog suddenly turned non-existent for a week at least. E-mail accounts were down as well, and I was in cold sweat. The saddest part was that my blog entries that were supposed to be posted on schedule were removed from the face of the Earth. We could not retrieve it.
I will not go through the technical nerdy stuff, for I myself do not understand what exactly happened. I am just amazed at how my friend, who developed my site, migrated it to another server, re-coded everything (the codes, too, were nowhere to be found), and tidied it up according to my requests. It was really awesome.
So anyways, you can now get in touch with me through e-mail again! I have a lot of things lined up and I’m happy to be back in the game – though I’m still catching my breath because well, I have a lot of catching up to do. Thinking of how to rewrite at least 4 entries makes me want to cry.
Meanwhile, the latest wall art that I have in my shop is very timely. Think happy, stay happy. Nothing can be more apt for me right now. Despite the online mayhem, I’m just happy to get back on track! Good to see you here, and welcome once again to the Happy Hands Project!
Hello everyone! My little family is getting ready for an upcoming family trip, and we are so very excited. I’m also up to my neck with the preparations! The youngest family member always has more stuff needed to be packed.
I finally found time to show you this logo I recently worked on. I must say it was a pleasure working with Ann of Beautiful Revelry, and such an honor to create a custom calligraphy logo for the website revamp. She showed me her calligraphy inspirations along with her new website design, and then I got to work. Well, work is not really work when one’s having fun, right?
… and here’s the final logo on the home page! Check out Beautiful Revelry for party and design inspiration, and of course the charming selection of stationery and social gathering paraphernalia on the shop. Thanks again, Ann, for this wonderful opportunity!
Often times, I am amazed by the generosity of artists who share their works online. What’s more amazing is when these artists make such an effort to help someone in need.
I came across this print at P.S. I Adore You as a collective effort to give financial support to cancer patient Brielle. The site is not just your average ‘daily deals’ source – these Moms do showcase wonderful products for great prices everyday but it’s also their way to educate people about chidhood cancer. I purchased a digital file from Hillary Henslee of The Painted Arrow, and it’s now printed, framed and displayed in our living room.
Don’t you just love how beautiful this painting is? I am swooning over the colors, and the message is such a joy to see. The fund-raising drive has long been over, but make sure you check out The Painted Arrow for DIY tutorials and free downloadable goodies. While waiting for her shop launch, you can reach Hillary through her blog’s contact page if you’d like to get your hands on the ‘Love Is Spoken Here’ print.
We will all be celebrating motherhood soon! Even though I am miles away from my Mom, I’m sending a card out to her today. I’m looking forward to celebrate with her when we see each other three weeks from now! I’m super excited with our upcoming trip… but I have to stop myself because that’s another story.
I was trying to check the spelling for Mother’s Day earlier. Should it be spelled as ‘Mother’s’ or ‘Mothers’? Well, Anna Jarvis, the founder of the holiday, specifically noted that “Mother’s” should “be a singular possessive, for each family to honour their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.”
Can’t argue with Miss Jarvis on that, so here’s a printable card to commemorate the wonderful existence of our own Moms. I’ve been having fun with brush lettering lately, and this was originally done in watercolor. Download yours here! Let her know how awesome she is.
Yes, I totally understand that by using the title above somehow gives my age away. And yes, I’m one of those people who was born in the 80’s. I’m either too old or you’re too young, though for obvious reasons I’d prefer the latter. Oh, what an amazing time it was – I get these really cool Michael Jackson and Madonna vinyls! The Sesame Street soundtrack on cassette! I get to dance whenever I want!
When I was on third grade I joined the Dance Club. In school we were supposed to participate in at least one school organization, and at that age I couldn’t think of any other club I’d rather be in. I guess it’s quite obvious now that at a young age all I wanted to do was dance (that’s my husband’s cue to cringe). So anyway, the big performance came and my group decided to dance to Milli Vanilli‘s ‘Blame It On The Rain‘. In tight cycling shorts, because that was really hip then.
My lovely parents saw me perform and it was one of my proudest moments ever. Luckily I didn’t have any major boo-boos, except for that one time when I lost count and failed to switch to the next move. I was assured that nobody hardly noticed.
I’m always racking my brain for what to write for my lettering, and this funny memory suddenly came to mind. It’s silly, I know, but ‘Blame It On The Rain’ has got to be one of my favorite songs then. For the record, I wasn’t ware of the lip-synching scandal at the time. It’s even sillier that I’m considering uploading this as a digital wall art on my shop! Well, you’ll never know, there might actually be somebody who would love to be reminded of how cool growing up in the 80’s was. Like dancing to Milli Vanilli in cycling shorts.
For some weird reason, I remembered a college professor of mine who blatantly told me that I was not ‘a true artist’. All because the pencil that she borrowed from me was not sharp enough. That classroom was packed with aspiring creative professionals, each with his own strength, his own goal, and hanging on to every word an accomplished Arts Professor said. And she just said it out loud for the entire class to hear – ‘You are not a true artist’.
If I was such a weakling then, I would have run out the room, bawling. Worse, I might have pursued a different career path. Luckily, neither of those happened, and I’m still happily writing, designing and drawing. I’m still making art. I still have this creative mojo going on.
I guess what I’m just trying to say is, the sharpness of a pencil does not define an artist. I mean, seriously?
Anyhow, I have some digital wall art on my Etsy shop to share – an Albert Einstein quote that I’ve written last week: Creativity Is Contagious. Pass It On. Artistic ability may not be innate to every one of us, but creativity is. Every person can use her imagination to make things. To create. The best part? Being around creative, artistic people is extremely infectious. And you can just immerse yourself in all that creativity around you.
I hope this quote inspires you to make things and share that contagious creativity of yours. And don’t worry about your pencils not being deadly sharp. It doesn’t matter anyway. Spread the love!
I used to be a silver-loving person. I just felt that silver is the most neutral metallic color, if there ever is such a thing. Until I laid my hands on my husband’s gold spray paint. Ever since I discovered how nicely it adhered to any type of surface, I just wanted to ‘Pylox’ everything that comes my way. No, really. I found out the gold paint covers my thick card stocks very smoothly, so I experimented making some note cards.
Here are the things I used:
A4 size card stock (I used a shimmery 250gsm card) plus a few extra ones
Gold spray paint (I used Pylox, but feel free to use another brand)
Rubber cutting mat and cutting materials
Pens, markers and any writing instrument you prefer
I know not everyone has her own rubber mat, so some alternatives are a stack of newspapers or a large piece of cardboard box. You just need a cardboard that you can slash on that is thick enough to protect the surface underneath.
So are you ready to make personalized note cards? Let’s go!
Cut your card stock to desired size. I usually cut mine equally into 4 pieces, and they perfectly fit inside a C6 (114x162mm) envelope. Here’s a guide to envelope sizes if you need one.
Make use of your masking tape and extra card stock. Cut your tape and cover parts of your card that you want unpainted. Those clean spaces will be for your handwritten messages, embellishments or drawings. If you prefer having minimal paint and more writing space, use your extra cardboard to cover your note card. Tape the edges of the cardboard to keep them in place. On one of my cards, I cut a circle and stuck it onto the center of my note card. The center will remain white while the rest will be painted gold.
Set up your spray painting area! Make sure you are in a well-ventilated place and cover the floor with newspapers. If it’s windy, stick your cards onto the newspapers. One tape underneath will be easy enough to peel off.
Place your note cards on the covered floor. Shake your spray can for a minute or two to make sure the paint will be smooth when applied. Oh, and keep the cap on when you do so!
It’s time to start spraying! I hold my can about a foot from the note cards and spray lightly and quickly in a horizontal manner. I usually spray a second coat to make sure even the tiniest bits are covered. Leave your painted cards for about an hour to dry.
And now for the best part! I love peeling off masking tape to reveal straight edges. It’s also a nice surprise to see how each card would look like sans the strips of tape.
Decorate, embellish and write on your cards. The possibilities are endless. You can use strips of washi or fabric tape to prettify your works of art, or just use your favorite pen and doodle all you want.
Nothing beats a handmade card sent by snail mail, in my opinion. How would you ‘Pylox’ your cards? I’d love to see how they would look like! Tag me on Instagram.