Friday, September 5, 2014

Tokyu Hands - Opening Day Visit!




To all Singaporean artists, crafters, modellers.... I would like to encourage every one of you who visits Tokyu Hands to suggest to their management to bring in more art and craft tools and materials! I certainly did, pity they had no feedback forms yet or I woulda grabbed a few to distribute to you guys hee hee hee

Nevertheless, it's great to see them open a branch here in Singapore, even if it's all the way at Westgate Mall (Jurong East MRT).

For those who are new to this brand, Tokyu Hands is a famous departmental store from Japan, well known for their wide range of art and craft tools and materials, as well as their departmental/lifestyle/beauty/stationery etc items.

http://www.tokyu-hands.co.jp/foreign.html

It is a pity that their craft range was limited to one shelf of "basic school supplies" of drawing paper, Sakura air dry clay (??) and carving tools. Nevertheless, hooray for a (possibly) wider variety of supplies in Singapore!

*pardon the enthusiasm but I had been so envious of my friends raving about the ease of availability of materials from Tokyu Hands Japan and now that they have opened a branch here, there might be a chance for us miniature lovers to easier obtain materials....if only they brought them in!! If there is a demand, there will be supply, so keep suggesting and feedback-ing bwahaha! Now, to find a way to better convince them that there's a market here without crossing the "harassment" line....I dowanna be blacklisted and banned huhuhu

ON to the IMPORTANT stuff. PICTURESSSSSSS


D and I didn't even notice this huuuuge display and walked right past it as we were distracted by some social media kiosks. no pics of that, as a lot of teenagers were doing neo-printy stuff on them. fwao, neoprints hahah do they still have those machines??


The whole area was very bright and inviting, thought quite smaller than I expected. We had arrived at about 4pm and there was quite a crowd still, given the timing.


We walked 2 rounds, a first 'recce' round, and a 2nd more browsing round. The fiance is quite a fountain pen collector, and he told me that the facebook group he was active in had already been flooded with photos from fountain pen buffs. there were at least 3 (might have been 4 or 5) pen shelves full, with 1 seemingly dedicated to fountain pens!


wahhh colourful cartridges~


even a fountain pen stand. haven't seen one of these since i was a kid.

given the popularity of food related accessories, it's no wonder they had a shelf full of them. These caught my eye simple due to the size and price. only SGD$6 per keychain! (or was it phone dongle thingum. eh) Pretty decently made, rather realistic! The rest of the range were miniature magnets and such, didn't pay much notice cos I'd seen them in various shops before and given the crowd, was difficult to take photos....:-/


as mentioned, there wasn't much of an arts/crafts section. Just one vertical wall shelf with a small range of Copic markers, drawing papers and 'basic' school arts supplies. I did however find this Sakura brand air dry clay. It was really soft, the outermost pack had already been squished to...ugh. but anyway. It costs SGD$6 and though I was tempted to try it out, decided against it as I had rather alot of stocks waiting to be used for SGDC2014. I will have to get round to that ADC post that I'd been meaning to write up.....

=_="

There was a fancy shmancy Sakura carving tool set that tempted me - forgot to take a pic-, but $22 for 5 knives with plastic handles just seems a little overboard, when the $4 set I use seems more than ample for my current needs. kek.

As there were too many people around, I decided not to take anymore photos, and browsed through almost every shelf. The left half of the store was dedicated to beauty products, centre mostly for promotions and knick knacks, right side mostly stationery and luggage/travel/umbrellas. Yes, they even carry the self-closing automatic brollies, which start from SGD$60. ouchies.


So....what did I buy? well...let's just say since I'll be using them for SGDC2014, I'll keep you piqued for the moment :P But I did get this cute little box of ink cartridges, not sure what i'll do with them yet, for SGD$2.90, why not?


Also, hadn't paid attention to the promotion they had, which was a free hand towel for every minimum $30 purchase! I had just grazed past the mark, which means I get to replace my grubby old work chamois. which I probably wouldn't but...it does look like quite a sad state, given it was originally bright yellow coloured.....3M Scotch Brite rag hahaha 'branded' rag! :P :P :P I think the promotion is a 'while stocks last' thing....

Anyhow. You can probably already tell I was rather disappointed, but I already guessed they wouldn't focus on arts/crafts supplies, but THEY SHOULD! Singapore, though small, is pretty thin on variety and range when it comes to art/craft supplies for the -a little more than miniature food- miniaturist....it would be nice to have more options, not that Art Friend and Overjoyed are not good, but they're targetted more towards fine arts and general DIY crafts. I just prefer to have a choice, and range, more suited for builders, modellers and tinkerers. I'll definitely write up a post on where I like to shop at locally, soon-ish! :P

If you are in Singapore, and have a favourite art supplies store, please feel free to share them in comments! Meanwhile, I recommend making a trip down to Tokyu Hands...nice to have some place other than Daiso to rave about huhuhu!!! ;)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Custom Requests Closed for 2014



Custom requests are closed for 2014. :(

http://clover-tea.blogspot.sg/p/custom-requests.html

Yes, the good old wrist brace is back T-T As some of you loyal readers may know (and thank you for following all this while!), I actually got myself this injury almost 2 decades ago from excessive gaming (Diablo II anyone?). It was further exacerbated by the crimping of the teeny cupcake wrappers, also why I stopped selling them individually. Looks like a recent order for 5 of the danish cookie tins has wrecked the hand again, even though I took care to pace myself :(

So, in a final *laughs stupidly at self* attempt at

(haha i took it off to type and it started to ache at the last sentence so now i'm typing with it back on)

let's try this again.

The swelling has gone down a little since last night, zheng gu shui FTW! But it is still very achy and throbby, so I will take it easy for these 2 days to see if I need to get to the doc again. I have actually gotten a diagnosis for it from a specialist before, hence the fastum gel and grotty brace, but the only thing I can do is NOT use/strain it. Good luck to me with that, I'm still tap tap tapping away with just my middle finger on my right hand hawhawhaw *stubborn*

I will still be fulfilling my current orders, thank you all so much for giving me the time to do what I do! I can still paint and such, but clay work is impossible for the moment, unless I train my left hand........


HRMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

*painful chuckle* ok imma be a good girl and rest this it's attempting to communicate via morse code again

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Miniature Pizza slices and more butter cookies in 1:12 scale

 1:12 miniature mushroom and pepperoni pizza slices, air dry clay, acrylic paints, sealants


Heyo~! Here're more 1:12 items that I've made recently. I want to couple these slices with boxes and perhaps drinks, but I need to finish up some commission work first. Hope to do them when I get some free time!

 1:12 miniature danish butter cookies, polymer clay, soft pastel, craft sand, sealant, paper, decals, Inkscape, tin

So, I've been getting quite a number (okay okay, maybe only 5 or so) of requests for similar versions of these tins since they were sold back in 2011 :O How time flies! Anyway, I decided to go with a more faithful approach so the cookies look more like their life-sized counterparts. The tins were purchased off greedbay, and I made the liners, cookies and graphics myself!

One of the tins is already spoken for, but I did make an extra, and it is available here:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/199284602/miniature-danish-cookies-in-tin-24-pcs

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The past week has been a little busier than usual, as I finished up 3 large-ish requests, also because Ahma had not been feeling well, and was warded for a few nights just to make sure she was okay. I'm really close to her, and it sent me into all sorts of horrible panic attacks and crying in my sleep. But she's okay!!! I usually monitor her pill-taking (she's taking like, 7 different pills a day), but she'll require closer monitoring for her blood pressure, which seems to fluctuate rather wildly throughout the day, thus causing her giddiness/dizziness. The docs have sternly warned her not to go out on her own anymore. For a spritely 87-year old, that's not good news, but it is a relief to the rest of us who've tried to no avail to keep her from gallavanting for quite some years now.... we'll see how long she'll behave until she sneaks out again....-_-"""""  

Back to work!


Monday, August 4, 2014

More thoughts on Copyright, and some personal rants

It has been a while since I've posted anything insightful with regards to miniature making, the hobby, and selling.

I have to admit that I no longer blog-surf with the frequency I used to. But there are a few blogs I still check in with when I have the time or attention span to do so. Pepper recently wrote a very insightful post regarding copyright, and the sharing of ideas.

http://mitchymoominiatures.blogspot.sg/2014/07/copyright.html

I have zero clue as to who the accuser/accused are, but I'm pretty sure it is the same old boring story of some poopyhead who, due to some over-protective instinct (read: paranoia) or narcissistic inclination (read: big-headed) thinks they are the sole originator of some fantasticola technique or idea. Thus every other person must have copied their work. In the minifood world, this is so common, the nonsensical drama that rises from it disgusts me. I have written before on this blog about copyright,  and in my dA journal about how a donut is just a donut, a cupcake, just a cupcake. Big fat hairy deal. If those poopyheads are that good at what they do, they'd innovate, not start territorial wars. Tch.

Pepper has put it rather succinctly all the points I agree upon with regards to copyright, sharing of information and passing of techniques on to the following generations of miniaturists. I have a few thoughts on it, which explains this post.

(Actually,  spending too much time in bed due to a bout of food poisoning also has a lot to do with my rants here. Haw haw. Queen of TMI has struck again!)

I am often asked to reveal my techniques or to write tutorials,  as I have done so in the early days of this hobby. Well, at risk of sounding defensive,  here are my current reasons for -not- doing so:

- health. My health (or rather, poor health) was the main reason I stopped working full-time, and got bored enough to look for a new hobby -> miniature making. But the hobby grew into a way of earning enough to cover medical and other bills. My health has worsened over the years, and it limits the amount of time I am able to work on minis, or even stay at the computer. Which brings us to

- time. With the limited amount of time I am able to work,  I keep myself busy with commission work, preparing for events, and trying to keep myself visible online amidst the very many other miniaturists who do far more excellent work than I.

It has also pushed me to decide how better I should limit my time online, which accounts for why I have also reduced my social networking interactions for it just comes with too much drama and distracts from what is important to me. And right now, it is...

- money. Living and medical expenses aside, I have a wedding to plan, and a mortgage to look forward to.

I also think money is also the main reason for all the quibbling and petty online squabbles. I never quite understood why people would waste so much energy on -not- miniature making! But when I started selling, not just to cover material costs, but to cover daily living expenses, I understood a little better all the need for protectiveness.

I personally have had my own photos floating around with either no credit to me, or credited as their own works. Flattering as it may be, this can be misleading, or even downright fraudulent. And once, when I asked to have at least a name credit, was thrown back a threat to have my photo taken down and never "promoted" again. How is it "free promotion" if my name was never mentioned anywhere in the photo (my watermark was cropped out) or in tags?!?!??? Which explains why I have been watermarking a lot more. Sigh.

 Also, close friends of mine have had their artwork and images blatantly sold under the thief's name, so it brought the issue of copyright infringement a little closer to home. which led me to think about

- creativity. Although miniature making frequently imitates real life items, there are many artists who work in miniature scale, and not just faithful reproduction of life-sized works. For me,  I wanted to improve beyond mere replicas, to spend time exploring new ways of presenting food, learning new skills (only reason why miniaturemaking has kept me interested for so long!), and most importantly, creating new works.

Writing tutorials or rehashing techniques which can be found via books or online searches, it all seems too time-consuming and not very satisfying for me. It takes time away from my creating, but I still do blog some of my processes, inspiration and materials when I can remember to do so. But what really upsets me sometimes is

- guilt. Although I do occasionally get a curt request for tutorials, I tend to ignore them, but some requests or comments irked me, in that they either came across as demanding, or more recently, where I was chided for coming across as a grouch when people ask me questions pertaining to miniature making.

How does guilt factor into this? Well, for one, I have this ridiculous (and long since abandoned) Catholic upbringing which instilled an unreasonable guilt complex in me that I am still struggling to shed. I actually DO feel guilty for not replying all questions since I (used to) strive to be a nice person ALL THE DAMN TIME.

So what did I do? I tried to be as clear as possible with my tips and tricks posts, but didn't want to further burden myself with obligations to reply more questions, and yet,  it seems I can still be criticized for sharing. Which in turn cascaded into me feeling guilty for not being as open and generous and friendly as a perfect person should be. And for being fat. You know, typical neurotic crap that I am. And I really don't need this, so I simply.  Stopped. Sharing. Because it seemed sharing was never enough,  people always demanded more. More than I wanted to, more than what my limited time allowed me to. More than what they wanted to pay for (which was nothing to begin with). But that got me to decide that all I wanted was

- happiness. It is really difficult to feel happy when physically, I am restricted by pains that 4 different painkillers don't seem to be enough,  where surgery seems to be the only solution, but it comes at a huge price (not just financially). When anxiety is a constant hum, and depression can knock ambition and will out of me at any time.

BUT I am very lucky to have a small and strong support network.  I am happiest spending time with family,  friends and fiancĂ©.  Playing with my dolls. Making stuff for my dolls. Making a sale. Making miniatures for customers. Receiving feedback and customer photos. Knowing that my work has not stagnated. Working on new exciting (not-for-profit) projects with Asuka. Playing with Eva. Looking for new personal projects to work on.

As always, I hadn't meant for this to become so personal, but as I've always maintained, this blog started as a personal account of my journey in miniature making, and here is where it has taken me.

Personal grouses aside, if you are just starting out on miniatures, or thinking of working towards selling your works, sharing tutorials etc., here are some of the things I know now that I wish or hope I knew then:

- it is okay to share. It is okay too if you don't wish to. Work with what you are comfortable with, and not because someone else coaxed/coerced/threatened you to. I learnt through people sharing, and like to think I shared in turn. It is nice to pay it forward. But I also didn't cave in when people "bribed" me to reveal techniques.  That's just slimy.

- credit your sources, where applicable.  I do it because I think it would help those who are new and would like to look deeper into the craft, widen their scope. Also, I have found very many influential artisans/artists this way, through recommendations from those who enjoy the same styles and influences I have.

- learn to discern between constructive and distracting criticism. This was really tough for me in the beginning, I always thought my work was crap and tried to follow every piece of advice thrown my way. Bbbbzzzzt. I'm still working on how to accept criticism and suggestions gracefully, and not go into knee-jerk defensive mode!

- innovate, create, don't imitate. When first starting out, it is inevitable to learn through mimicry. But in order to improve and differentiate from the throngs of upcoming miniaturists, create a distinction by drawing upon real life instead of favourite artisanal works. Get ready to trash or recycle plenty of clay as you practice. At first, I was so scared of wasting clay, but I settled within myself that it was my learning fee since I did not attend lessons.

- self-assess. Document your work and don't be afraid to try to re-master old works. I used to think "this is good enough!" But there is always room for improvement.  So I sometimes go through my archives and try to re-make old works with new techniques.

- learn to say NO. Know when some requests are unreasonable,  or if people are friendly for ulterior motives. Sad, but true story, I have been burnt by people whom I thought were friends. Turns out I was just an "information counter" to them. Works great if you are not as finicky about friendships as I am.

-DON'T TRUST EVERYTHING I SAY. because I am just another stranger on the Internet.

:€
(Hope I don't regret posting this in the morning, but good news is the rumbly tummy seems to have settled as I distracted myself from it by writing this rambly post hahaha)


-

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

1:3 miniature papayas, EOY 2014 this weekend!

cross-posted at clover-tea.blogspot.com, 2 new blog posts over there, this one cross posted as there's a BJD setup at EOY2014 this coming weekend! :)

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1:3 miniature papayas - airdryclay, acrylics, sealants

Wahey!! This request came in at a pretty close to the deadline, and I was a little worried that it wouldn't dry in time, but the weather has been pretty warm lately (although humid, but I kept the fan directly on them 24/7!) so I managed to finish it on time!

KW Designs wanted some papayas for use with his setup for this weekend's EOY 2014 at Marina Barrage! I wish I could participate too, there are SOOOO many wonderful setups organized by Fujiwara Yukino, I hope to drop by if my health permits....Please do go down if you have the time!

Event details and how to get there can be found here:




1:3 papaya milk ice blended drink, epoxy resin, acrylics

Meanwhile, here's the blender which KW Designs passed to me to fill with 'papaya milk ice blend' :) I decided to make the lid for the blender as well, since I had spare materials at hand, and hope he doesn't mind! (kept it as a surprise haha) Should be an interesting setup!

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Selfie of Ginger in my favourite wig XD Just because it makes me smile ^_^

Thursday, July 3, 2014

1:6 scale miniature playscale 80s Singapore tidbits

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The DSLR won this round. I am still struggling with the settings, and the macro clip-ons. I suppose the photos look good from far, but are far from good T-T They'll have to do for now because I am a little busy!

The request was for 1:6 items, a rare request! They are double the size of the ones I made for a personal 80s Singapore project. Quite a number of people have asked where I had obtained the images, all the graphics were made by me using inkscape, referencing photos I had found online.


Yotsuba is 12cm tall, which makes her about 1:10 scale, so these are a tad large for her! They would be suitable for playscale dolls like Barbie. Pullip, Blythe etc, but I think my customer ordered them for possibly YoSD sized dolls? I really ought to put them with some Re-ment but eh, already packed them away hehehhe oops

 1:6 scale miniature White Rabbit Milk sweets and Haw Flakes, polymer clay, paper, Inkscape, sealant, glue

1:6 scale miniature Mamee Noodle Snack, air dry clay, decal, plastic, paper, Inkscape, sealant, glue, acrylic paint

Some of these might not be familiar to those who aren't living in Southeast Asia, but I have had people reporting in from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and even the USA who say they're still available in Chinatown areas! Wooo!

1:6 scale miniature seaweed rings, Spin potato snacks, air dry clay, acrylic paint, sealant, plastic

These were the most time consuming to make, and there are 50 pcs in each package. The Spin crackers used to taste and look slightly different from these when I was younger, and had a flavour other than MSG :X I miss eating them! They also came in a cone, not packaged like this. As for how do I do my plastic packaging, let's just say, I still fail alot and so am not confident in revealing my methods :( But you can try and be creative with an iron, just be careful! :X


GROUP SHOT! I hope she likes them :) I certainly enjoyed making them, quite a challenge!


I have also opened up a pre-order for the 1:3 Ramen and Udon bowls that were pretty popular, you can find more details here:


however there are only 2 bowls left, they were snapped up faster than expected, thank you all :)







Thursday, June 19, 2014

You are cordially invited....


...to SIM-RMIT Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) Batch 12th Graduation Showcase

:)



Event: SIM-RMIT Bachelor of Design (Communication Design)
Batch 12th Graduation Showcase
Date: 21 (Sat) - 22 (Sun) June 2014
Time: 10.30am - 8pm
Venue: National Design Centre 
111 Middle Road
Singapore 188969
Admission: Free


For more information, please visit http://tictalk12.com/!


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I feel really really lucky to have been picked by a group of talented designers to participate in their graduate project cum showcase, a big big BIG "Thank You!" for all the hard work, Chin, Esther, Jingting and Noeleen! They were all very professional and lovely to work with, and patient dealing with me, as I have very little knowledge of design and how to market my own works......they even came down all the way to my neighbourhood for their meetings for my convenience. I am really, really touched by their thoughtfulness! 

They did a stellar job and many congratulations to them on their graduation show!!!!

*deep bows*

If you are in Singapore on the above dates, please do drop by to show your support to them, and me *blush* The Singapore 80s tidbit stall was a personal challenge, and I am so glad that people other than my immediate family will get to view my hard work XD 

I will be attending the opening night and hope to grab some photos of the whole campaign, I hope I do their hard work justice! *goes off to charge camera batteries!!!*

As for those who are unable to view all the items in person, you can view the summary of the little individual elements below, in my Facebook album!