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.
I love getting packages in the mailbox. When I shop online to top-up my art supplies, I anticipate unlocking the mailbox and seeing a brown package. I know that inside, my goodies are silently waiting in all their bubble-wrapped glory. Today was quite different though, because sitting in the mailbox was the wedding invite I designed for a couple in Florida.
I got in touch with Stella, the bride, through my Etsy shop. Initially she wanted a hand-lettered wedding logo to be used on their invitation. We finally agreed on having a customized invite as well. Oh, I love their colors! Gray is my absolute go-to color because it just has its way to perfectly blend with anything. Pair it with teal and what we had was something crisp and pristine. Like a breath of fresh air.
The design was meant to be all type, with just a hint of elements here and there. I’m glad that the couple agreed to the overall subtlety of the design. I’m also pleased that their names became the heart of the invite because, well, they’re the stars of the night after all!
Oh, I had such a rough couple of weeks! My daughter was fighting off the effects of her vaccine with some rashes and a higher-than-normal fever, when somehow the evil cough virus slipped in unnoticed. She was having coughing fits day in, day out and we all suffered from sleepless nights. It was so upsetting, seeing her in distress. My husband and I were worried sick for she wouldn’t drink or eat anything at all.
On the bright side, she’s much better today and I’m positive that she is now on the road to recovery. She’s still coughing a bit but the fever is gone and her appetite is slowly returning. Whew! So what do I have for you today?
I was very much anxious the past few days and what brought me some cheer was looking at pretty things. The word pretty can be rather subjective I suppose, but what I have rounded up here can be considered ‘universal pretty’. I love the mix of salmon pink and taupe so I scoured the world wide web to collect lovely things that will reflect this color palette. Here’s the Happy Hands Project’s very first ‘Perfect Pretties’ roundup. I hope these beauties will brighten up your day.
I have never watched Japanese anime until I met my husband. I just didn’t like the animation itself, and that alone was a reason big enough to turn me off. The Animax channel was something I can easily live without. I grew up watching Disney – Minnie Mouse was my best friend.
Well, my husband changed all that. A few years into the marriage and I can proudly say I’ve seen two full length anime films and a few series that made me laugh and cry. I have to wonder how the Japanese can be brilliant in so many ways. Currently we are watching Space Brothers(Uchuu Kyoudai), and I have learned a lot about space flight and the rigorous tests aspiring astronauts have to go through to qualify. Set in 2015, it’s about two brothers who are as different as night and day, but share one dream – to become astronauts.
So before this turns into a geeky blabbery of something that will most likely bore my dear readers, here’s something I came up with last night.
Well, I got so into it so I made it into digital wall art and posted them on my Etsy shop.
Then I got even more into it so I made it into an iPhone wallpaper. I was exploring royalty-free vintage photos (taking the cue from How About Orange) and thought, hey, I can use these Astronomy images along with my lettering!
Of course you can download your very own inspirational iPhone wallpaper here. Even if you don’t watch anime, I hope my little artwork here would motivate us all to always look up, hold our heads high, and reach for the stars.
And if I may add, Space Brothers is really that good. You, non-anime viewer, should check it out.
This is usually how my morning goes. I launch Firefox and go through my bookmarks – which mostly covers fun, lighthearted blogs from all over. I go through each of them so I end up with about eight tabs on my Firefox window. And it wasn’t even 9am yet! So anyway, I found out that my morning browsing will be considerably organized if I just signed up with Bloglovin’. After a few days of reading other users’ reviews, I took the plunge and signed up. Claimed my blog, even. I was surprised at how easy it is now to read all my favorite blogs (I know, I sound like a celebrity endorser but no, I didn’t get paid for this. And I’m no celebrity!). Click on the image below to go to my Bloglovin’ page so you can follow the Happy Hands Project.
As you can see, I even made an art work just to announce my new discovery. To think that I’m pretty late to the party on this one. I was experimenting with Photoshop brushes today and ended up making three watercolor circles that can be used, well, anywhere, actually! These are high resolution, good quality brushes! Here are just some of my ideas as to where I can end up using them:
A personalized notecard
A desktop wallpaper
Stickers in different colors
My advise is this – go crazy with your brushes! Experiment with colors, play with different layer styles. Just make sure you use different layers in Photoshop for every click of that brush. Just layer it. You can thank me later. If you need help on where to save the file onto Photoshop, this is helpful. For more lovely (and free!) brushes, plus how-to videos, check out this post on Creature Comforts. These are probably just about everything you need to get started.
Now it’s time to download the Happy Hands Project watercolor brush pack here.
As always, for everything that’s on the house, these brushes are for personal use only and cannot be sold or re-distributed. I would appreciate linking back to my post if you would feature this on your blog, and not host them on your own server. Whew! I just had to get that out. Thanks for reading!
Happy Day of Hearts, everyone! I’m starting off Valentine’s Day with a wedding that was lots of fun and full of romance. And earthy, orange hues.
When Maan, the bride and now officially my Sister-in-Law, told me that their wedding theme was Autumn, I started thinking about red and brown maple leaves and pumpkin spice. Some wooden centerpieces with orange flowers. What a lovely theme to work on! I have to say Maan was a very hands-on bride who has a good taste in design. She favored a hand-lettered script over fonts, so I came up with a flourish-y lettering for their monogram. Once it was settled, the design for the invitation suite soon came after. I designed the main invite and entourage cards, a reception card and the map.
My favorite part in designing the whole suite was the reception card. The orange cocktail dress, specifically.
The wedding was in November last year, and I have to say it was a terribly busy month for my little family. We flew to Manila, Philippines a couple of days before the big day. I was just so thankful that our little ‘un enjoyed walking along the Changi Airport travellator so much that she was asleep during most of the 3.5 hour-flight. Lucky, indeed!
And oh, it was a beautiful wedding. All the elements from the bridal bouquet, the gentlemen’s boutonnières, to the table centerpieces, just came together so elegantly. The orange ombré style cake was also a delicious eye candy (tasted heavenly, too!). It was certainly autumn at the Blue Leaf that night. Congratulations to the lovely couple! Thank you for making me a part of your wedding.
I have finally opened my Etsy shop! Finally! I will be selling digital files of my letterings that I have prepared as wall art. I still have quite a few that I have yet to convert to vector but it’s no easy task – so I have just uploaded one with four color variations.
I’m quite happy with this accomplishment, as I’ve been so busy with work and mommyhood. I thought it would actually take forever before I launch this shop. I just realized baby steps are all I need. Hey, if other artists can do it, it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot, too, right?
I have to be honest about this. Handmade Movement Singapore‘s inaugural craft fair made me giddy with excitement from the moment I learned about it – until days after it was over. See, I’m the kind of person who loves to shop. I go to flea markets, I shop for clothes even when I tell myself I shouldn’t… you get the picture. But this was my first craft fair visit. My first!
It was dark and rainy that day, the 19th of January, 2013. My husband and I trudged among puddles and muddy patches of grass to Fort Canning Green. I was amazed at how packed the tent was. Despite the heavy downpour, a lot of people still made it!
I specially loved the paper products there, but there were so much more – jewelry, baby clothes, hair bows and bands, pet clothes, food, pens… it was packed with handmade goodness! I went around and chanced upon Momo Shamu. My favorite item? Definitely the customizable camera bag. I will order from Momo Shamu when I finally buy a new cam! Aside from the fabric items, there were also some jewelry. I bought this oversized glittery ring in mint.
I had a hard time choosing which post card to buy from Beatrice Ng of HodgePodge. See, she does these amazing papercut artworks. I have always been fond of Singapore shophouses, and this print in green is perfect.
One cannot have too many notebooks, don’t you think? I was looking at the paper products from Murdoodles when my husband joined me, asking what I was about to buy. With a bit of embarassment (as he knows I have a ton of notebooks at home), I answered in a small voice, ‘a notebook’. Voice trailing, with a little uncertainty. I was so glad he agreed that I had to have that notebook! It’s in A6 with a canvas hardcover, unlined cream sheets, and beautifully bound.
We spent quite a lot of time on LoveSprout‘s table. I couldn’t decide which handmade rubber stamp to buy. There we were showed a catalogue of stamps with different faces, with one that matches hubby’s features! We finally decided on a block of rubber. Bad memories from my rubber cutting exercises from my Fine Arts university days came rushing back so I had to ask, ‘Is this easy enough to carve?’. I was relieved when they said yes. So it looks like we’ll be spending an afternoon having a husband-and-wife rubber cutting competition. I’m just wondering who the judges will be. Anyone?
The craft fair was an experience that left me inspired and amazed at the very talented crafters I met. I can’t wait for next year’s craft fair! Well done, Handmade Movement SG!
When I was about 10, we had a craft project in school for Valentine’s Day. We were asked to bring old greeting cards and recycle them to make a new one. Oh, how thrilled I was! With school glue and scissors in hand, I cut up hearts and pictures to make a Valentine card for my Mom. I remember trying to make a heart (or flower, my memory is already a bit bleary) pop up when the card is opened.
I managed to make a small cardboard accordion and glued the heart (or flower!) on top of it. Kind of like a Jack-in-the-Box effect. The pop-up heart didn’t surprise my Mom at all, but it sure did make her happy.
As a tribute to my childhood tradition of handmade cards, I made a watercolor illustration last weekend for my Mom and Aunts. I’m sharing this with you so we can all extend some handmade love to the people we care about. Spread the love!