Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wabi Sabi? Domino Books and Rainbow Loom

First time I joined Paper Traders Speed Round ATC Swap  (#4 Wabi Sabi/Jun 2014), mine were done with weaved tea-stained background, white tatted flower and fabric scrap.  What is wabi sabi?  This is what I understand - nothing is permanent, nothing is perfect, accept imperfections and finding beauty in imperfection.
Wabi sabi ATCs received from Jo Murray(Australia) [left] and Beckie Holso (USA) [right].

I never know how to play dominos, and it never is popular in Singapore, I had a real hard time trying to find standard domino tiles.  Guess Toys"R"Us is the only place here that sells them.  I'm not learning the game still, so why am I searching high and low for them?
Before this, I didn't know people altered these tiles into books among other uses.  I cramped 7 haikus (of which I composed 5) to accompany each and every of the cancelled postage stamps. This went to Connie Holso in USA.

Did another similar book for myself.

My swap came in from Donna Authenreith (USA). 
Donna also did a mini-domino pendant for me.  I was wearing it right after receiving it!  Thanks,  Donna!!!

And since I am composing haikus these past months and planning to compile them into a chapbook, I put the 5 haikus into ATCs.

My girl got a rainbow loom for her birthday earlier, but I think those rubber bands bracelets are too childish even for her age, until I saw the owl she made.  That caught my attention. I borrowed her loom and made 1 for myself too!

Monday, August 18, 2014

August ATC Session @ Bishan Library - Papercutting

I explored another craft with our participants in Aug ATC session - papercutting.  Although I have done some papercutting on my own previously, I have never really read up on it.  This time, I read a few books and did more online research, and shared the history and characteristics of papercuttings from different cultures and more importantly, tips on papercutting.
Some time back, we did round robin ATCs during 1 of our sessions, we are doing it again but this time, 7 of us are doing them for swap and for 3 consecutive months. The 1st month (Round 1) is completed - all different and a number of interesting backgrounds! 



Here are my new papercutting ATCs. 

The theme for our ATCs was "Red & White". Couldn't resist doing the merlion. I crocheted a small little red heart and placed it on the white merlion done by layering paper.  And guess what, the background was done with food colouring!
I tried to drop the colours on this particular paper, but it didn't absorb fast enough, and my girl played with it behind my back (more like messed with it). Ruined for a background as I originally intended it for, but amazingly, I just saw it as another intuitive drawing as the colours dried!

Swapped for some fantastic cards - Country Side by Doris, Potted Plant by Maureen, Red & White At the Beach by Cheo Hiang, and Red & White Kit Kat by Selina. 

The theme for Sep session is "Autumn".



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Library Workshops - Duct Tape, Batik Art, Lino Print and More

There were again a number of interesting workshops at the libraries, so I was literally running around different places on my weekends. Great that most of our public libraries are relatively near the MRT stations. 
My girls are usually too busy with their school work and CCA to join me, but they managed to come along for this duct tape workshop since they just finished their mid-year exams in May.

I don't know how I managed to piece together this collaged parrot  within the 2-hour workshop, but I know I was one of the last to finish! 



Wondered why I decided to do the roses at that moment, should have worked on my favourite bird - the owl.  Someone in the workshop did an impressive one, and we couldn't resist taking a shot of it!

I was thinking of making this into a cover for all the haikus I have composed so far.  Will need to touch it up and arrange my haikus into a chap book.  Another project to work on! 

My children have all done this in school.  I only did it once last year at a school function, but without any introduction or instruction.  I can now appreciate this batik art better.

I always think I'm lousy in drawing.  It was an eye-opener to see Mr Han drawing so effortlessly all the illustrations.


Yet another workshop on leather craft.  We didn't need to sew for this one, so it was quite easy. My alignment was slightly out though, but hey, this is what handmade means!

Another lino printing workshop, but this workshop was longer and the lino was larger.  It was more organised than the previous one, and perhaps also because this was my second attempt, my lino print turned out much better.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wrapping Up New York Trip

24 Oct 2013 (Thu), sunny-partly cloudy, 4-11 deg C.
The temperature had dropped again.  I had initially wanted to travel as far as I can to Brooklyn, but decided not to and I just alighted at Prospect Park.  Walked around a little and went into a little cafe for a muffin and a hot tea.
I didn't shop much the whole trip and only bought souvenirs (name tags, key chains and such), so I went around some shops along Sixth Avenue to buy a little beads and trimmings for myself. 

Time sure passed very fast when one go shopping. Joined DH for dinner in Columbus University.

25 Oct 2013 (Fri), sunny, 5-12 deg C.

Today was our last day here.  I went out to Times Square to buy a bit more gifts, and walked around while waiting for DH to finish the last part of his course.  

   
It was sure congested in the evening on the road and it took much longer than we expected getting a cab willing to drive to the international airport. Lucky we didn't miss the plane!  Long flight back to Singapore, but I swapped seat with hubby after the transit at Frankfurt and enjoyed the rest of the flight on Business class.  Loved the cheese platter, but I still couldn't sleep despite the ample space to lie down, and ended up watching 5 movies on the flight back, making a total of 10 movies including the flight to New York!  

It was sure a lot of unforgettable first experiences and encounters in this 16-day trip.  Fond memories too of the people I have met.  My heartful thanks to all for their little gestures and little helps I received everyday I explored this big and diverse land!



Saturday, July 12, 2014

June and July ATC Session... Postcard and Tags

To prepare for June ATC session in Bishan Library, I did some research into the background of iris folding and shared with participants, all first time trying their hands on this paper craft technique.  The chosen pattern was a bit tough to work in ATC size in the limited time, but several completed them. 
I did my "Holidays" ATCs in iris folding - Holiday Cruise and Holiday at the Beach.
Swapped 1 for Hiang's marker pen drawn Holiday ATC.



Chin Yean introduced pop art to our participants in the July ATC session, we sure had a colourful time!


I made more of my Gemican people (dolls composing of gems from brochures).  Swapped 2 ATCs for Selina's iris folding tree with an inchie bird and Jessica's under the sea with a fish inchie. 




I haven't show this delightful piece of work - Marion Bockelmann's (Germany) lovely postcard which I won in her Our World Our Art blog giveaway (Apr 2014).  Marion did it with collage and sanding technique. My postcard collection is slowly growing! 

Over at Paper Traders group, I participated in another interesting swap - Mother Nature Tag Flag Book. We swapped 8 tags and stored them in our own book. Here's the tags I did and the book I made containing all the tags returned.






From left to right:
top row: (1) Tag by Pam Colosimo, (2) Study Nature, Love Nature by joarty1, (3) Bird House by Shelly Recicar, (4) butterfly by Connie Holso.  
bottom row: (5) Dragonfly by Pam Prosser, (6) Bloom Where You Are Planted by Beckie Holso, (7) GHIJKL by Cathee Stegall, (8) Nature garden by Nancy.







Sunday, June 22, 2014

Grand Central Terminal, 9/11 Memorial, Empire State Building

23 Oct 2013 (Wed), partly cloudy, 5-14 deg C.
I had wanted to rent a bike and cycle in Central Park, but it was too cold for me without any jacket.  So, I just wandered around today.  Went around the State Empire Building, but decided to go up only at night for the night view.  Then I went on to Macy's, but nothing really caught my fancy.  I hopped on a bus, but guess what, a few tens of police cars, ambulances and fire-engines went whizzing past the bus I was on.  Traffic almost came to a standstill. I got off and walked down the street. No one was running, everyone was curiously waiting and watching.  Something happened at Penn Station, and service was suspended.  The buzz was that someone fell into the track.  After a while, fire-engines and ambulances started to pull away, and I too continued my way for lunch.

Hoping to get some postal stamps, I walked to the General Post Office.  There is a corner of postal exhibits.   
Just next door is the Grand Central Terminal, and it is grand and elegant as its name! 

Took the subway from the Grand Central Terminal to World Trade Center. I had a bit of frustration and problem finding the place where they issue the ticket and the actual entrance to the 9/11 Memorial, and was literally walking up and down the street a few times before I finally found it.  They were almost closing.  Sombre yet tranquil.  One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower) is impressive.
After dinner at Mdm Ruby Foo's, we went up the Empire State Building for the night view of NYC. Luckily, DH had some pullovers and jackets bought from the University store that day; we were so cold out on the rooftop that we just wore them, never mind if they were grossly over-size for me and tags were still hanging! 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Some of the Most Famous Places in New York

21 Oct 2013 (Mon), sunny, 11-18 deg C.
I spent the whole of Monday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Nina was there as a volunteer to repair books, and she got me in as a guest.  I had a little tour of her workplace and had a soup and salad for lunch with Nina at the staff canteen.  The museum is amazing, all those exhibits!  If I could afford the time, even one week would not be enough to  go through everything!

I tagged along with hubby for some of the meals at restaurants designated by the University.  We got to try different foods from Mexican to Asian fusion.  I couldn't say I really enjoyed the food, most tasted just not quite there compared to what we eat in Singapore, but then, there were some nice surprises too.  

I hardly take fast food even at home so no burger at all for the whole trip, but I simply love salads, and I was overwhelmed by the variety of vegetables and salad dressings available everywhere.  Soups too! 

22 Oct 2013 (Tue), cloudy turned sunny, 9-19 deg C.
This was one busy day.  I went to the Top of the Deck at Rockefeller Center for a bird-eye view of the whole city.  Initially cloudy, but the sky cleared before I left!
Next, it was Ripley's Believe It or Not! at Times Square.  Another place with amazing exhibits.  The most gruesome must be the those shrunk heads, with even a 10-step recipe on how to shrink a head to fist size!  I'm not joking.  Although I'm one brave gal, it did feel a bit eerie to walk on my own in the near empty halls looking at the collections.  I reinforced on myself it was the dim settings and purposely done that way!!
Just nearby was Madame Tussauds.  This was my first to the wax museum.  Pretty exciting to meet some of the most famous, just like real!  I was visiting on my own, so when I spied a lone Japanese visitor, we became happy companions and exchanged cameras to took photos for each other!  
Hey, that wasn't all for the day!  How about a dinner cruise on the Duchess?  Awesome sight along the bank, millions of lights dotted the darkness.  Dinner was fantastic too, every single dish, both presentation and taste!  This was one meal I really enjoyed!