Shopping for art’s sake

Hah, it’s been awhile again. I wasn’t up to writing (again) because Rafa (Nadal) lost in the QFs of this year’s Roland Garros tournament.  I was beside myself (slight lang, hihihi). Thankfully, my husband knew exactly what to do to get me out of this funk — he took me shopping.  And when I say shopping, I meant shopping for calligraphy supplies 🙂  So I want to share some of my spoils.

But before I went on a splurge, my husband and I went to Home Top first. For quite some time now we have been meaning to get new frying pans but we couldn’t find ones that we’re looking for. While checking out the frying pans, I overheard an elderly expat couple at the aisle opposite us discussing to Buy spandex table cover. Didn’t mean to be eavesdropping, but, really? A spandex table cover? It’s the first time I heard that, pardon my ignorance. Anyways, we found what we’re looking for — a decent non-stick frying pan.

His and hers frying pan, lol.
His and hers frying pan, lol.
Sponges! There can never be enough of them.
Sponges! There can never be enough of them.

We bought two, of course. We also got dish-washing sponges.
We then drove to Aeon Mall for my calligraphy supply – check out the stuff I picked up. My last splurge was in early January this year when I ordered various nibs, pen holders and ink from an online shop in Manila through my sister, DonyaBooding. Aren’t sisters the best? 🙂 This time though, it was my husband who offered after seeing that a) I needed cheering up after Rafa’s loss, and b) I have the knack for hand-lettering and calligraphy. I kid, I kid!

Pencils, erasers and Sakura Gelly Roll pens!
Pencils, erasers and Sakura Gelly Roll pens!

I was surprised to find Sakura Gelly Roll pens at PBC. They’re only $0.85 each.

Dotted notebook, calligraphy ink, white art paper and a wooden block.
Dotted notebook, calligraphy ink, white art paper and a wooden block.
A plastic nib case to house my nibs. The nibs were purchased in Manila.
A plastic nib case to house my nibs. The nibs were purchased in Manila.

And because I’m exploring other tools, I got these brush pens. So now I’m both into dip-pen and brush calligraphy. Bah, yabang!

Pentel colour brush pen in blue and 2 refill cartridges and a Faber-Castell artist pen in orange.
Pentel colour brush pen in blue and 2 refill cartridges and a Faber-Castell artist pen in orange.

Some of you might scratch your heads and wonder … since when have I been artsy-fartsy? It’s kinda, sorta, hidden, just like my talents are, lol. Seriously though, learning calligraphy is #40  in my bucket list. And this year is the year that I get to pursue this creative hobby. So watch out for more artsy-fartsy goodness in the future posts.

Signs, signs: Loom bands craze

As you might have noticed, it has been more than three months since I last posted. I’ve also not been reading blogs – just because I feel so meh. You can also say that I’m trying to find out – like an experiment of sorts – what it is like to be (almost) blog-free. Something like that.

I actually found out that I missed blogging. And reading other bloggers’ posts. So now that I basically have some free time, I can actually return to blogging *crossingmyfingers* and be transported again to other virtual worlds.

So let me come back with a recent anecdote involving my soon-to-be-six-years-old niece, Chappy.

A must-have accessory these days, this I learned from my six-year old niece, Chappy.
A must-have accessory these days, this I learned from my six-year old niece, Chappy.

Two weeks ago, Chappy sent me this cute present – a bracelet made up of tiny rubber bands that she made herself.  I appreciate her interest in handmade stuff and sent a message to her through my sister’s FB to thank her for the lovely rubber band bracelet. Chappy promptly corrected me – this is called a rainbow loom band bracelet, not a rubber band bracelet. I feel so old. These loom bands looked the same as the rubber bands I played with in the 80s. I find nothing fancy with these loom bands but it’s probably just the old me. Apparently, this is the hottest toy in the planet these days!

My sister told me she is so seriously into it that she asked her dad to buy her more loom band kits. She spends a lot of time making bracelets that she told her dad she is starting her “bizniz”. And one morning, everyone at home were surprised to see these signs she made herself and asked Grandpa, my dad, to post on our wall. I think these handmade signs deserve a post for this week’s Signs, signs meme 😛

I think these loom bands are great for children for these not  only allow them to be creative but also give them something fun and worthwhile to do (making things) for hours while mums or dads are busy over something. In the Philippines where it is now the rainy season, the loom bands will keep them busy.

open

Jar of hearts and other heart stuff

So this is an update of yesterday’s post.

Yesterday, I ended my post with a picture of crochet mini hearts and left a question about how am I going or what am I going to make of them.

I draw my inspiration from Pinterest and a host of other fantastic craft blogs out there. But the thing about these sites is that there are too many beautiful stuff and I end up ooh-ing and ahh-ing at other people’s boards for hours and hours… which doesn’t really help me at all because the more time I spent pinning what interests me on my boards, the more I can’t follow or do what I’ve pinned because I’m buried deep in the images! Lol.

Anyways, going back to what I made out of the mini-hearts… I managed to rein myself and actually finished some things to show you, guys. I kinda like the slide-show feature here at WP, so enjoy the slideshow 😛

Crochet mini-heart buntings
The crochet heart buntings. It was difficult to photograph them. Please excuse the messy background, this is like our workshop where all the crafting and DIY actions happen. And that's my dog there, if you can spot her 😉
Crochet mini hearts bookmarks
Mini-bookmarks, hand-drawn, with baker's twines and washi tapes. Can also be used as gift tags.
Love is all we need Valentine's card, 2013
Jar of hearts. The mason jar is hand-drawn using a metallic pen and a coloured pen, and I glued the hearts onto the card.
You Have My Heart, Valentine's card, 2013
And this one's for my husband. Hand-stamped V-day card with crochet heart applique.

The buntings actually look nice but I have to find a better spot for it. I think the hearts are too small so I’m going to make another batch of bigger hearts to add to that.

Well, I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day. My husband and I are not really big on V-day but we appreciate the holiday. Loving gestures, in my opinion, should be every single day. And I believe you don’t save them up for just one day.

See you all again next… post. Lol.

stash buster1

Show-Off-Your-Shell-Button

Stash-Buster Challenge 2013: Project #1, Crochet hearts

Last week I signed up for the Stash-Buster Challenge 2013 over at Lana de Ana’s site. Well, I was already preparing to crochet something when the news of my sister’s pregnancy came out, I got so excited that I forgot all about it.

So I have this box full of yarns, yes? There are a lot of things I want to do for the challenge and it’s difficult to select an idea or a project to do first. But since it is February and Valentine’s day is tomorrow, I decided to make mini-hearts. I found a very simple love-heart pattern via Google search and after two practices, I was crocheting non-stop!  Look how many mini-hearts I made?

stashbuster challenge 2013 crochet mini hearts applique

Who doesn’t love hearts? They’re tiny but cute and they can be used in various ways, like an applique to use on your sewing projects or embellishments to your craft projects, glued or sewn onto a card for a sweet Valentine’s card, or even as cute decorations in your room or even a Valentine’s party?

Now that I have enough hearts, I wonder what am I going to do with it? Luckily for me, there is Pinterest that offers a lot of inspiration. I’ll post what I decided to do with the mini-hearts a little later. (UPDATE: Here’s what I did with the mini-hearts!)If these were yours, what would you do with them?

 

stash buster1

Show-Off-Your-Shell-Button

Stash-buster Challenge 2013

I was browsing some craft sites today, hopping from one blog to another. I could not believe the many creative and talented people are out there, whether it be in needleworks, paper crafts, recycling/upcycling, and many others. I envy these crafty people and at the same time they inspire me to be diligent with my own crafting.

I’m relatively new into this crafting bandwagon (although I did a bit of crafting when I was younger) and I have lots of interests – crocheting, rubber stamping, card and tag-making, just to name a few – which is really a problem. Why? Because I do not have a focus, that’s why. I tend to start a project and later on drop it halfway to begin a new one. Tsk. Need.To.Change.

I have a boxful of crochet yarns gathering dust in my craft nook. I had them since 2011 but never had the chance to really sit down and make something out of them.  I was waiting — no, no – I was looking for project ideas but everytime I scour the Internet, I got overwhelmed at the number of wonderful patterns. So, I ended up with nothing at all, hahaha.  So what do I do with this yarns?

my stash of crochet yarns
So many yarns, what would I do with them? Here’s hoping the Stash-Buster will help me use them all up this year 🙂

stash buster1After several hours of ooh-ing and aah-ing at the fantastic works displayed on the many sites, I found this very interesting meme, a challenge  of sorts and it gave me a fantastic idea. Over at Lanas de Ana site, she is hosting a Stash-Buster Challenge and I was excited! See that logo on the right? That’s it! 🙂 It’s a challenge for crocheters like me to tackle the problem of having too much stash of yarns stored in the house. It’s sort of crocheting together and showing and telling the challenge participants about their individual projects by posting it to their own blogs.

So I think this year, it is going to be different. With the Stash-Buster challenge, I will be forced to take on one crochet project at a time and will have other participating bloggers to encourage me to finish one! I hope they’ll accept me 😀

A wonderful surprise

Earlier, I was feeling  run down and getting over a cold but nothing and no one could stop me from going to the Post Office. I was there yesterday but a voice inside my head was urging me to go again this morning. I’m glad I listened to that voice because… today, I received a wonderful surprise in the mail!

 

Miss Igorota is carefully reading the notes on the packet. She saw the familiar address and smiled!
Miss Igorota is carefully reading the notes on the packet. She saw the familiar address and smiled!

Conniechiwa of Writings on the Wall has got to be one of the most thoughtful, most generous and sweetest people on earth. She sent me this super-cute birthday card…

taylor swift hallmark bday card
A Taylor Swift American Greetings card. Sweet!
I wonder who is celebrating a birthday though ^.^

And then… my heart skipped a beat when I opened the packaging and found an enormous world map (I heart!) and this lovely scrapbooking kit by Mary Engelbreit…

 Who doesn't love a Mary Engelbreit kit? It contains more than a hundred of design sheets, pages of stickers, buttons and ribbons.
Who doesn’t love a Mary Engelbreit kit? It contains more than a hundred of design sheets, pages of stickers, buttons and ribbons.

I think I’m in craft heaven now! With the lack of craft stores here in Phnom Penh, I’m sure I’m going to use as little as possible until I get more craft supplies from somewhere. Tihik guid, no? Lol.

And then there’s also a bar of chocolate but too bad it’s already gone — rich, creamy, German chocolate with a twist of strawberry – oh, so yummy in the tummy.

I would also like to mention that weeks before the packet arrived, I also received a packet from the equally thoughtful GingMaganda. Inside was a rubber stamp from Papemelroti, my favourite speciality shop in the Philippines.

A vintage Filipiniana rubber stamp, only from Papemelroti. I can say that I'm the only person here in Phnom Penh (or Cambodia) who has this -- unless someone proves me wrong.
A vintage Filipiniana rubber stamp, only from Papemelroti. I can say that I’m the only person here in Phnom Penh (or Cambodia) who has this — unless someone proves me wrong.

I’m excited. Todo-todo, I kid you not. Summer will be so much fun now that I have some crafting supplies, thanks to my beautiful friends. Looks like someone’s going to be spending less time noynoying this summer ^.^

Salamat, Conn at Ging. You surely know how to spoil a seester – da best kayo talaga, apiiiiiirrr ^.^ I will always remember your generosity and thoughtfulness. I will treasure these gifts, but not as much as I treasure you both.

Project Mary Jane slippers, shelved

Three days ago I started my first project for this year, a crocheted Mary Jane (MJ) slippers. I found a pattern online and immediately rolled up my sleeves and gathered the materials:

Yarns (acrylic wool) of contrasting colours, a 5mm crochet hook, and a scissor. Not shown in the pic are the buttons and the blunt needle (to attach the button to the slippers). The pattern is free from The Little House by the Sea.

I do not have the pure cotton yarn (or the recommended alternative Aran weight yarn) as required so I substituted with acrylic wool. I used the pink yarn for the sole and toe cap (and dark green for the edging) but stopped half-way through as I thought pink gets dirty so easily. So I changed to the red-black colour combination that you see from the finished product below:

Left slipper. I still need to attach a button. I wonder when can I find cotton yarns to complete this project 🙁

I love the red-black combination. The pattern (from the Little House by the Sea) was very easy to follow as it only involves chains, double-crochets (single-crochets if you’re American), and dc2tog (that’s double-crochet two stitches together). According to the specifications of the pattern-maker, the finished product will fit UK size 4-6.5 (EU size 37-39.5, US size 6.5-9).

Unfortunately, the left slipper I finished turned out waaay smaller than expected. BUT it did fit my left foot, but only just, and, my toes are crunched up. Could this mistake be because of my “tension” (too tight grip on the hook and yarn)? Or could it be because I used a different yarn material? Could be both, for all I know. Oh dear, lesson learned for me here. Next time, I’ll use only the materials, especially the yarns, required.

So now, I didn’t go on to make the right slipper, which is really a bummer, considering I finished one half of the pair in just one afternoon. I was excited to embark on this crochet project as I love the idea of wearing this at home! I’ll try to scout around for cotton yarns here in Phnom Penh, which I think is close to impossible because all the yarns I see here are  acrylic wool 🙁

Anyone out there willing to help me? Send me cotton yarns? hehehe. I’d appreciate any leads as to where I can find cotton crochet yarns here in Phnom Penh.

Project 01: Crocheted Mary Janes

I’m making a pair of this for my summer project:

Here’s a pair of slip-ons that I fancy. Photo by The Little House by the Sea

Aren’t they lovely? I fell in love with these the moment I saw them. I think they’re certainly a great alternative to slippers – that’s flip-flops to others.

I found a pattern from The Little House By the Sea and, by the looks of it, it is very easy to follow! Now I’m excited. I’m going to do a quick check of what’s left of my yarn and see what I can find to make this cute Mary Janes. If I can make this successfully, then I’m going to make another pair as a gift.

I’ll update as soon as I can.

Stampin’ Sreisaat

This is what’s keeping me from blogging at the moment… STAMPING! I’m a bit of a late-bloomer when it comes to stamping but I’ve always been doing crafting way back.

Last month, I bought a mini stamping set via Etsy and I am so crazy about it right now. The rubber stamp set is made in Korea… aren’t they cute?

{Kawaii} {Cute} I am such a sucker for everything kawaii. Are you?
{Kawaii} {Cute} I am such a sucker for everything kawaii. Aren’t you?

I’ve been trying all sorts of mail art using this stamp set but they’re too small for my liking and I need more designs to play with. Too bad there are no craft or hobby shops in Phnom Penh to get the materials I need. Purchasing online is great but it could get more expensive and my wish-list of crafting materials and tools is long!

Anyways, I might explore the local shops that make rubber stamps near my place. I’ll sketch a design and see if they can make it or not. Rubber art stamps is probably not even heard of here so I’ll see what I can find. Keeping my fingers crossed.