Saturday, November 27, 2010

my new photoshoot area

I know i know, you've seen these before...and finally i've put them up for sale!

Wear these on your ears! Available on my Etsy! These hang downwards and lower on the earlobe...

And these are the upright ones, but i suppose you could twist them around in any direction :D Find them here!

Shell shaped macarons here!


haha ok promo time is over. now to the usual stuff, and i have finally finally made the display unit as i promised i would! for my regular readers, you probably have recognized Rosanna's beautiful signboard, last shown off here :P back then, i promised myself that i would build a unit worthy of displaying those gifts.

i've mentioned countless times how i'm terrible at conceptualizing and design, so i have to work with what i -know- how to do. which is to work on individual items, and then hope everything comes together while i play 'lego' with the pieces :X as always, i forgot to take pics while in-progress cos my hands are usually gesso'd or sticky with glue/paint. 

i started out with a quarter-circle that i cut out with mounting board. the walls and floor are double thickness mounting board, glued together with tacky glue, and gesso'd up before spray painted white. i suppose i needn't have used gesso, but i wanted to give the walls a slight texture (not very noticeable but in my heart i know :X ) and make sure the mounting board would not warp too much after application of paint. see, at that point, i hadn't even decided on wallpaper or paint, nor paintbrush vs spraypaint. i pretty much did every single element on-the-fly. the pink lace detail on the floor was added cos i felt a plain white room would be very blah, and i had a plastic doily so why not use it? stippled the floor with pink paint, laid the doily on top, and spray painted with 4-5 very light coats of white acrylic spray paint. then i assembled the walls and floors with more tacky glue.

the shelves i made using metal jewel filigree bent with pliers at 90 degree angles, then stuck on a pre-scored basswood board strips. honestly, i didn't know how it'd wind up looking, i was more concerned with the functionality rather than the aesthetics. luckily, everything 'worked' as it should, and they held on with tacky glue strong enough to hold the items i'll be displaying on them.

Yotsuba likes it too! i like how 'coincidentally' Rosanna's items and my other props sit on the shelves too :)

overall, i think it works, i highly doubt i'll fill it up as i want to use this to sell individual pieces. i like the simplicity and versatility of it, and my next display will be more towards my 'style', as i develop it further. thanks for reading and looking :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010


polymer clay madeleines in 1:4 scale! the longer 'classic' madeleines are 1.7cm or 5/8 inch long, while the shell ones are 1.2cm or 7/16 inch wide/long.

you can click for larger pic. these are also flat-backed, i made a couple of fully textured (front/back) madeleines, but it's started to rain, bad lighting for pics T-T

which makes them suitable for moderately large earrings! i also made some in 1:3 and 1:12 scales, but that'll be in a future lengthy post in which i'll discuss my 'method' of making them. yea, get ready for another 'failure' post XD will list these, along with a medium and small size once i get them done. and the pics. which i foresee will take forever. so i guess i'll have to try and get them all done and up by end of next week??(that's as self-motivational as i get these days har har) i bought like, 72 earring posts so you can look forward to some other earring designs too :D

on a more personal note, i finally finally met up with my long-time customer Joanne :) she was so sweet and brought along her little blythes, and even a pullip, but we didn't take that many pics cos the lighting wasn't that great -_-" i wish i could have played with her little toys a bit more, but as usual, i'm deathly afraid of damaging or dirtying another person's possessions, so i limited my contact with them XD thank you for the lovely tea-time Joanne! see you next year! ;)

i plan on finally FINALLY making a 'proper' photo set up, i've disassembled my previous peach horror, i mean i liked it cos i learnt how to make a display unit out of it, but i'm sick to death of how it clashes with much of the colours i use in my works. or lack thereof. let's see how much i get done today ;P

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

hey where's santa?

Gingerbread Boy & Girl enjoying a sleigh ride after decorating their christmas tree! Available here ^ ^ 

 or perhaps a cheerier sleigh with cookies? also available here :P

this design featured in the white sleigh combo are also available separately here....

or if you'd like to have a variation, you can get these too.....

this is the most christmassy i've ever gotten since childhood! 

will put up more items once i feel better. i didn't know that today was a public holiday here in Singapore, and went down to the clinic at 7.45am hoping to get some antibiotics for my sinus infection. it wasn't open T-T i'll list more items when i get them done, look forward to more christmassy items, i'm excited, are you??? :D :D :D

(btw, i don't know how gingerbread cookies should taste like, but i LOVE those mcvities ginger snaps.....i tried making my own gingerbread cookies aeons ago and though they tasted 'decent', they didn't taste anything like the ginger snaps!)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Piping Practice in 1:12

i have shared previously my love for Rosey Sugar, and since christmas is approaching, i decided to do more piping practice. each cookie is approx 6.5mm to 8mm wide. these are the results of the past weeks' worth of practice. i am going to pick out my fave designs and bang them out for my etsy store, so expect some in there next week :)

i was trying to sort out which were my fave designs, i tried not to imitate any cookies i'd seen, but i suppose some common elements are inevitable since they're snowflakes. the important part for me is getting the piping lines and joins clean and thin. i think my fave ones are the geometric snowflake cookies, i'm not so fond of curlicues, more because they're technically more challenging trying not to get the polymer clay sticking and winding up in a lump while i pipe.

i used mini piping bags which you can figure out how to make by doing a simple google search, keep the tip clean, and have a very steady hand. the mix is simply polymer clay + liquid polymer clay mix, it's hard also to explain the consistency, it has to be thin enough to pipe through the miniscule hole, yet viscous enough to hold its line. you can see some of my cookies were thicker as the mix kind of spread out after piping. all this is very tricky and so, i can honestly say, it comes down to practice practice practice. no special tips, tricks nor tutorials. you just gotta get in there and figure out the mix, consistency and PRACTICE. be prepared to be super frustrated. i think it helps if you're familiar with piping real cookies, of which i have zero experience . but as you can see, it's do-able. if you mess up, wipe it off and try, try again.

of course i had to make some gingerbread men and trees. again, these are practice pieces, and testing the consistency of the piping mix.
 i used paper punches to make all of the above shapes, except for the wee gingerbread boy & girl which i shaped and molded. the piping for all of the above were first attempts and have to be adjusted and improved, but i believe i am getting there.
my arm and shoulder are killing me from mixing the piping 'cream', so naturally i'm grouchy and grumpy. BUT! i'm so happy to show off this little tree!!! i hope to fill it up with more details, but i want to keep it somewhat monochromatic, as is my 'style'.

i'm off to the museum :) i need a break from all this intensity -_-" then it's back to making more more MORE cookies! ^ ^

Sunday, November 7, 2010

hamming it up at the library

thank you Jane for inviting me to talk at the library! i seldom post pics of myself cos i'm not as dainty nor cute as (some) of the minis i make....
here's one some might appreciate, me being very happy to talk about scales and the importance of it XD

i know it doesn't seem like it, but i felt very shy and embarrassed talking about my works. gah. but otherwise, i definitely do not have stagefright, and am so happy that some of my blog readers came and stayed behind to chat with me! although NONE of you introduced yourselves HRRRRMPHHH! :P

on the display board at the library! Jane gave me the copy on the door. it's now folded away and almost forgotten :X i did grab a couple of the brochures that featured the talk too, but wouldn't have known or thought about it if not for Jane too. haha! appreciate your hard work Jane! *bows*

kids behaving well LOL they are so cute, resisting the urge to touch the items. Thanks again Jane for taking pics for me, i totally forgot about it, and had actually brought the camera only to show the audience what camera i use for my pictures :O

blunders aside, i think it went rather well. as usual, i wasn't really 'thinking' and went through my presentation in 'ramble mode'. but i don't think i put anyone to sleep..ha! i made these as a last minute accompaniment to the nonya kueh (and as a personal challenge) the colours of these nonya love letters are a bit too dark for my liking...although in real life the darker ones are crisper, perhaps due to the caramelized sugar?

so i tried again. but this time it was too light. i have a 3rd batch which i'm FINALLY happy with, however i'm bored with them and want to quickly move on to other things XD

remember these?

finally had time (boy i use a lot of 'finally's eh) to take a group photo, will be meeting my customer on monday for tea! i will miss these, maybe i'll make one for myself?

i was so tired from all the activity and overstimulation that i crashed rather early last night. have so many ideas and plans to sort out, but otherwise there's not much on my plate at the moment. time to work on filling my etsy store :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

1:12 Nonya Kueh Kueh

From Left to Right-
Top Row: Kaya (egg jam) Kueh, Tapioca Kueh, 9-Layer Kueh, Kueh Dah Dah, Pulut Inti (rice with coconut topping)
Bottom Row: Various Ang Ku Kueh, Hoon Kueh with Banana, Hoon Kueh with Corn, Kueh Lapis
Made with ADC, mostly Grace, Sukerukun, Daiso clay, Oil Paints

these little traditional nonya kueh kueh are commonly seen in Singapore, and are usually eaten as snacks or for breakfast. i'm not a fan of these desserts, good thing too, as they are mostly made with coconut, coconut milk, glutinous rice/rice flour etc. the ang ku kueh are also part of certain festivities such as birthdays (the chinese character on the kueh itself means "longevity") and weddings, a variation in shape is used for babies' 1st month celebrations (a big deal here for the chinese).

rather than eat these, i'd prefer to make them in mini cos they're rather colourful and almost immediately identifiable (for those who live in SG/Malaysia i guess? heh). but if i had to choose, my favourite would be the kaya kueh, either from Bengawan Solo, or this recipe which i found aeons ago online, then modified to suit my tastes. i'm sorry i don't recall who the original author is, actually now i'm not sure if i even found it online, maybe it was in one of my mom's old cookbooks :-/ anyhow, here it is, if you would like to try it out! pretty foolproof! might be a tad soft though, so do wait for it to cool first before cutting.

Pulot Serikaya/Kaya Kueh

i've substituted the green colouring in favour of pandan leaves. the leaves provide a wonderful fragrance.

clean the leaves of 1 whole pandan plant, cut into small pieces and pound till fine (or use a blender). using your hand, squeeze the ground leaves and catch the juice through a sieve. should yield about 1 teaspoon of green colouring.

1 cup glutinous rice - soaked for 4 hours
250g grated coconut - squeeze for 150 ml 1st milk - squeeze for 150 ml 2nd milk
½ tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp flour
75g sugar
a few drops of green colouring/pandan leaves (see instructions above)
½ tsp vanilla essence

1. Mix the glutinous rice with the 2nd coconut milk and ¼ tsp salt and put into a greased loaf tin. Steam for 15 minutes. Compact the rice by pressing with a wooden spoon and continue steaming for another 10 minutes.
2. To prepare the serikaya, put the flour into a bowl, add the eggs, stir in the 1st coconut milk, stirring slowly. Then add the remaining salt, sugar, vanilla essence and colouring. Mix well.
3. Slowly pour the serikaya mixture over the glutinous rice and steam for another 15 minutes or till the mixture sets. Remove from heat and let the cake cool before cutting.


as with each time i 'experiment', i.e. making an item for the first time, and trying to figure out the best way to make it with no tutorials/instructions...i have PLENTY of failures. this time was no different, and boy did i fail...ALOT.

let's start with the one that gave me the most headache. the 9-layer kueh. as a kid this was a really fun kueh to eat as it was fun to play with :P the 9 layers could be separated from each other, so peeling it off layer by layer made the experience more enjoyable than chomping it down and ruining the structure (??) ((i know i'm weird)) (((but i'm sure i'm not the only one who did this, my bro and i would compete to see who could peel the last 2 layers whole as that was the toughest bit to manage hehehe)))

this was my 2nd last attempt. i finally got the thickness and colours -almost- right (to my liking, traditionally the colours are a tad different). but the texture aiee...turned out more like cake! so i had to re-do it. they won't go to waste, i'll cut them down into candies. ah well.

 i believe the latest attempt was the 8th or 9th time...:( even so, i'm not satisfied with the colours, but it'll do as i have no more time to muck around for it to dry in time for the talk on sat.

i'm terrible with mixing greens, so i tried, and tried, and tried....with ADC especially with grace/sukerukun, the colours aren't so easy to predict, especially since i have less experience playing with ADC. moreover, the textures depend on the amount of Daiso clay in it, and if i get impatient i mess up the slicings. looking at this mess makes me even sadder, kinda hard to convert this into anything else, maybe green marsmallow squares? T-T but halloween is overrrrr waaahhhhH~!
so few successes :(

finally got it somewhat right. the green is a tad lighter than the neighbourhood ones, but looks almost like the real kueh i made with pandan leaves for colouring. the orange was easier to get right, managed to make it in just one try, what with failing that many times on the green XD

even the kueh dah dah needed practice. the 3 on the left were too thick, too big, not green enough etc....the 4 on the right i'm more satisfied with, they're approx 0.8cm long.....

 i was afraid that the kueh lapis wouldn't turn out right, and honestly, i can't even see the darn lines with my near-naked eye (i wear glasses lol) so i'm surprised that it turned out well under macro mode. YAY!

and the hoon kueh too. again, not very visible without the help of macro photography. but eh, i'm glad it turned out reasonably well ::)

there you have it! taking this along to the lib talk :) along with a magnifying glass, i hope the 4x magnification is sufficient XD

on another note, i can finally reveal what i was so happy about in this post!!!!

my cousin, Denise, entered her design for Women's Weekly's contest in collaboration with Kiehl's....and this is the result!! she WON! YAY!!!! this is a sturdy eco-friendly shopping/marketing bag (?) and iirc comes free with a minimum purchase at Kiehl's. Denise received 2 of these (that's why i got one YAY :P ) and 2 boxes of Kiehl's products, woooahhhh they look luxurious!  i love her design too, some of the details were compromised for use, but i think the end result looks great!

i keep bugging her to post about the prizes, but i think she's too busy, and more modest/humble than i am about the win :P so i'm tooting her horn for her HAHAHAH~!