Monday, March 31, 2008


Cool giant posters made of 20 pieces of photocopied paper. This belongs to RA and I helped assembled them on the walls.

This one below is made of 30 pieces. It takes quite a while to assemble and to line up everything accurately; not perfect but still looks good.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I went to Long Beach in California yesterday! Here are some snapshots:

Palm trees on a sunny day.


I'd love a beach house.


Empty beach section because it's not summer yet.


Yachts docking at the harbour area.


Fat pigeons on a post.


And my reason for driving 4 hours from the mountains to the beach: Sea Glass (and random shells I picked up to make my bag feel heavier than it actually is). Unfortunately sea glass were so hard to find I only found these little scraps after more than 3 hours of combing the coast. I was planning a whole lot to make jewellery but oh well...

I'll end the blog post with:

Friday, March 21, 2008


I've arrived in sunny California, and the weather is cold still.

The all-american fortune cookie. They don't exist in Singapore.

This is a snapshot of the setting sun while we came back from a bookstore.

This is FUMAN. He seems distracted. Maybe not, he's just bored at the photographer.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Yea I think I've done enough sakura for now. The left one took me 2 days, center one 4 hours and the right one half a day! It is available in my Etsy shop (though in separate pieces).

One of them was featured in a Teal & Pink treasury in Etsy by JulietValentine. I love teal/turquoise & pink combi, it reminds me of.. turkish delight (don't know why). And turquoise is such a cool stone.

Expiring but I'l just post the link anyways:

Friday, March 14, 2008


I love beaded purses because of how the beads are sewn so compact and 3-dimensional! It takes alot of time to actually line the beads and sew them securely. I hate it when the beads don't have a hole or my needle can't pass thru the holes. Which reminds me I saw some lovely Miyuki beads in my local shop. Currently my glass beads are from Taiwan (who also have larger holes for sewing) & Czech glass beads (great quality) in really pretty colours!

This is a Doraemon bootleg purse, workmanship is not too good but it's cheap so I bought one from a vendor that was sharing tables with us at a bazaar. This is made in China. Besides, I love Dora-chan!

This one is given by my friend who bought it from Hong Kong and I love it! It looks so juicy!! Oh yes there's a zip on the top. I can't bear to use it!

And this is my attempt on an ACEO, I always wanted to make a semi-beaded strawberry, though this one is overweight! I am thinking of selling this on Ebay next week, but if anyone is interested now, just leave me a msg. It is double stitched that means after I've secured them the first round, I restitch all over again with a double thread so they are less likely to move around. 100% handstitched.

This is my latest ACEO 'Sakura' It is available in my etsy shop. This one came about when I thought of the singer aiko, she has an album called 'Sakura no ki no shita' which means 'Under the Cherry Blossom Tree'. 100% handstitched.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


I'm in the mood for sewing so here are 3 aceo sized mini quilts! They are made of acrylic felt & handstitched. I used to dislike felt because they are so stiff-fibery but the convenience of it not fraying allows me more patterns on small details. I'll be selling more of these on Ebay when I'm in the USA from 20Mar-Apr. The extreme right one is available in my etsy shop! Also bought a whole range of colours so am busy for now =) It's such a pity I can't bring my needle or scissors on board airflights..

Left one is 'Cloud Forms' with wire details and czech beads, center one is 'Black Kitty' which I've always wanted to make and the right one is 'Glitter Tree' with swarovski crystals and glass beads!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Chinese New Year has passed about a month now, but I have to mention that red packet designs are getting nicer and nicer, these are the one of the cutest designs so far from these banks! If you notice, the design spans the entire series, so they all join up at the edges! The ones in the photos are free and issued by banks when we want to change old cash notes for new ones. Sometimes companies will give them out too if you make a purchase at their store.

This one is by POSBank, in cute digital art made like chinese folk paper cuts!

Red packets or 'hong bao' ('ang pow' in hokkien dialect) are used when senior/ married folk insert cash into them and hand it over to unmarried folks during Chinese New Year. Denominations are usually in even-numbers for superstition and depending on how close you are to the person that will result in how much you get. Also it depends on whether the person is generous or not. My experience tells me that usually the richer the person the stingy-er they are, although there are the rich & generous, but they are very rare. Anyhow receiving red packets is something to look forward to (or an excuse) to go house visiting. However the people giving out cash probably don't like to welcome too many strangers to their home, unless they like giving money away.

These are by OCBC Bank and have a japanese flavour to the designs.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


I collect pretty tins and have been eating these since small - Sakuma Shiki Drops. I believe Sakuma Confectionary releases a new design every now and then, so some people collect them. Aren't they eye-catching and retro! This design features Sakuma's 100th Anniversary (since 1908, that is: Meiji Year 41) with vintage fonts. They cost quite cheap, mine is between S$1.80-$2.00 which is about US$1.50; I always grab a pack when I see it (tho not often). Unfortunately someone always throws my stuff away!

I almost forgot to mention yes, this is the same candy drops featured in Studio Ghibli's movie 'Hotaru no Haka' 火垂るの墓 / 'Grave of the Fireflies' where 2 sibling orphans struggle to survive through WW2 in Japan. Little Setsuko's only luxury during that period was this candy. After she died her brother put her ashes into the tin. After he died, well the tin was thrown out by the trainstation cleaner. This is the most tragic animation I've ever seen, but one of my faves.

I remember having difficulty opening the lid too!

Characters read right to left.

Real life version, this is a modern reproduction, Sakuma also produced a commemorative design with Setsuko on it, picture from wikipedia.

There is another similar tin candy called Sakuma Drops but does not come with 'Shiki 式' in its title and is manufactured by 'サクマ製菓株式會社' instead of '佐久間製菓株式会社' both also read as Sakuma lol. Don't get confused now! See what I mean here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I still got a long way to improving my marker techniques but here are my general steps to how I create my aceos:

First I have my card stock cut to size. In this case ACEOs are 2.5 x 3.5" fixed size.

Then I sketch in pencil whatever I feel like drawing. My sketches are always messy, this time it is not so bad. Sometimes it get's so messy that I can't see what I've drawn while I'm inking.

This is my favourite part: Inking, done in 0.05 mm pen. After that I erase the pencil lines. Some people like to use a lightbox to trace (sketch on a rough paper first) while inking so they don't need the eraser, but I like to save paper.

Next I use my markers to colour. Sorry I forgot to take photos of the process. I just colour a base colour then add shadows and gradually build up tones on some parts. She still looks scary so I'll just continue to work the colours and add to the lineart boldness to make her less voodoo-doll like

My last step is always the embellishing. That is using white pen for highlights, and this card I used silver pen to sparkle the artwork to play with light sources. I added them on the border & mascara and in her eyes I drew silver stars. (She's staring from your screen, scary photo lol)

Complete! Scanned in computer, add my watermark, title it, spray fixative etc. Unfortunately the scanning process always eats up my colour & shadow contrast. Hope you enjoyed this. It's very simple really! This aceo is #165 "Delectable", you can purchase this original artwork (and many others) for a bargain at my Etsy shop!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I have this terrible habit of blogging at 4-5am in the morning!

I made this digital art to showcase one of the ways you can display ACEOs, by using frames and coordinating matching themes if you like to hang them on the wall. Kitchen Critters is a 3-card set which was my first sale at Etsy! Thanks Katy! 

Monday, March 3, 2008


The super old school Sam Fong Hoi Tong powder by Sam Fong Cosmetic Co. Hong Kong. I like the packaging, it's so cute! It's amazingly still around without any changes to the packaging. And it only costs S$1.00 (about US$0.65). Our grammas and great grammas used these cuz as my mom said, they didn't know how to use western cosmetics (liquid foundation). This together with paper rouge. Actually it's just a white slab of calcium carbonate. And they say it makes your skin white (by that I think they mean fair but it makes you geisha white too). You can add water and use it as a mask. Some people use this to polish silver like how some people use baking soda to clean sterling silver.

I have 2 boxes at home. Not too sure if one is illegitimate or a parallel import but the differences show. The left one is the Hong Kong one which I bought from a Chinese medical store (Chinese instructions) and the right one is Indonesia/Kuala Lumpur import (English instructions) which I got from a makeshift store in a bazaar. The left one looks nicer of course. The side papers are gold shiny papers.

Check out the ingredients:
-Hong Kong: Calcium Carbonate, Talc, Fragrance
-KL: Magnesium silicate, Calcium carbonate, Talc, Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Aquademin, Fragrance

That's a whole lot of difference lol. The Hong Kong one is much smoother than the other one (which is grainier), and slab sizes are different. This may not be important unless you are allergic to the parabens? It's effective at keeping your face less oily in humid climate, but wear it at home lol. Or wait till the white is absorbed before you go out if you don't want to look like having flour on your face. I googled it and found places mislabeling it as rice powder... I wish it were! Unless calcium carbonate is rice powder... neh. And these sites are Ebay stores: some sellers probably copy-paste without verifying.

Edit: Well I have been getting a lot of emails and views on this post, thank you! Yes there is a pink tinted version although it is very pink so I did not bother to try. I think they are the ones that come in the pink plastic cases. Ingredients and country of manufacture are unknown, maybe I'll update this post if I come across any.  I currently don't use this anymore, though they are more readily available in Singapore stores. I think talc clogs pores and so have changed to something better - silk powder.