Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sushi - Colour check

colour check
Originally uploaded by Snowfern

grrr. need to buy red pastels. Jocelyn highlighted (haha) this problem previously, but since i had little experience with red pastels till recently, i didn't expect it to be this disastrous XD

anyhow. this is a colour check before i continue making these. the sake (salmon) shape is off, but that's cos i cut off the end of the cane for it :P i think i got the colour right, at least i hope i did.

does it need more gloss you think? i used satin, hoping it wouldn't be overwhelmingly glossy. maybe another coat? or should i just go straight to gloss?

maguro texture needs work. i think the 'yam-coloured' sushi is just right, i don't know the name for that though.

k. it's almost 3pm, bf isn't awake yet, and i'm looping Gackt's "Last Song" over and over, it's been almost 2 days, thanks ah, Asuka! LOL go see her latest painting inspired by that song on Asuka's blog, it's sooo calming i love it :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

even more donuts, i'm sick of ochre XD

more closeups on my flickr
i've been inhaling too much pastel dust XD made the donut and cupcake bases yesterday, and spent ALL of today frosting and affixing the cupcakes to the headpins. and of course, photos.

if you're wondering why i'm so narcissistic, rather, more so of late, it's cos i've been posting quite a bit on deviantArt and it's pretty well known that some of the young'uns there love 'stealing' images.

i'm taking the opportunity to practice phototaking and editing, i might use some of these for namecards, catalogues etc. gotta find a decently priced (read: cheap) printer. any recommendations?
i played around with toppings. wish i had made some lemon canes, but i'm sooo tired and my hands ache.

i think my fave of the lot has to be that rose cupcake. it's the only 'brown' one left, found it while looking for more toppings.

i don't know if i should sell these as earrings. what do you think?
and of course, Yotsuba has to make an appearance :P the sugared donut has to be my fave of all the donuts i made. i know some people are gonna ask, so i'm going to go ahead and say the 'sugar' is white-coloured sand, the kind you find in kids' crafts. remember to add that protective coat of varnish or it'll all fall off. i didn't know better before....-_-"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

More cupcakes, donuts and a new friend!

i'm driving myself crazy wondering how to price my work. all of the above are in 1:4 scale, the donuts are approx. 2cm across.

they are textured, dusted with pastels to show off detail, and after all the fancy stuff has been added, they're coated with varnish.

thing is, there are cheaper options available for cheap, anywhere from SGD$3.90-$5 on a keyring. but NOT at this size, NOT handmade, and NOT as detailed.

yet majority of locals have the impression that handmade goods are inferior and not worth paying SGD$8-10 per item, when you contrast it with the $5 keychain, or $4 eraser set.

what should i do? :(

that aside, i also made some 1:12th donuts, finally LOL i've been putting off making these because i keep forgetting to ;P ack. the colours make the ochre on the belgian waffles look so....unnatural XD

on a brighter note, bf surprised me 2 days ago with this! i'd been moaning about Yotsuba for a year before i got her, and whilst searching for her i found out that there was a Summer Vacation version, with more expressions and hands!!! OMG OMG!!!!
so bf secretly bought this online as an early birthday gift ^ ^ I LOVE IT! i really can't bear to open it, i know i will, but i also know a few fanboys who would look at me like i killed my dog if i did XD
speaking of my dog....LOL here's Eva looking all embarrassed...whenever she's munching on some random stuff (mostly her paw) i'll ask her to "Let me see" and she'll usually let go of whatever's in her mouth, or open wide for me to look into it.

this time, i called out to her for fun and she had no clue what wrong she'd done, hence the drooping ears XD XD XD poor girl. :P

note, her left paw is bald from her constant gnawing :(

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Anime Festival Asia 09 - Candid cosplayer shots

i thoroughly enjoyed myself! there wasn't much to purchase (not into figurines nor gundam XD) but was told by friends who had gone the previous 2 yrs that the booths this year were definitely more commercial and less interactive. and ticket prices had gone up from $5 to $15!! AUGH!

i don't own any of those fancy cameras, and i've reduced resolution/sizes of the pics for ease of upload...but i love candid shots so i guess it works ;P

here's AFA 09 through my eyes ;)

Alodia! i first found out about her on dA while doing a random google search for AFA....what a beauty! the were soon ushered off by that guy on the right, i only reached the impromptu pose/photoshoot in time to capture this :( i think they were cosplaying Witchblade.
ok, i LOVE this girl in the purple wig. she looks so shy and timid, but at the karaoke booth she sang her heart out and the crowd joined her! WOOT WOOT!!!! i have a video of part of her performance, would you like to see it? XD



they start so young..this little girl, i don't think she's older than 12-13 really, was cosplaying Sakura from Naruto. i think. i'm a little(alot?) out of sync with the animes lately..

haha the guy on the right was singing along to lucky star's outro at the same abovementioned karaoke booth. i enjoyed his performance so much, as did the cheering and laughing crowd around him! both are playing characters from FF, i can't remember which.

hokay. that's it. there're more pics on my flickr, i didn't take all that many cos i was busy soaking in the sights.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

1 12 scale fruit tarts....

1 12 tarts
Originally uploaded by Snowfern

ok back to some smaller stuff. it's definitely trickier to make stuff smaller, but i enjoy it so much more than the larger stuff. which isn't to say i'm not having fun, just wasting alot of time learning new techniques....

here's some of my older works i never got round to photographing. orange and strawberry canes are new, and i'm pretty satisfied with them. kiwi slices are old, back when i didn't understand the importance and ratio of translucency in fruit canes XD

i need to add a sprig of mint to this tart, but i suck at making leaves, am still practicing! XD it shall have to wait a while more to be completed...

and some 1/3 and 1/4 scale raspberries. these took almost 2 hrs to make ; ; i've found that i can't use molds for these, all the details would be lost!

Donuts, Cupcakes, Eclairs, Icecreams

1:4 goodies preview
Originally uploaded by Snowfern

heading out to AFA!!!

OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

these are 1:4 scale. i forgot to measure them. i think the donuts are 1.5" across.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Sweets, preview

Yotsuba, don't fall in!
Originally uploaded by Snowfern

and pricing woes. :(

i don't know how to price the 1/3 and 1/4 items. with the amount of clay i use, i could easily make tonnes more of the usual 1/12 scale i am more familiar with. however, i can't possibly charge too high for my larger scaled works. the amount of time i spent conditioning and mixing the colours alone for these few canes....ahhhh i don't even want to think about it. my hands are already throbbing and bruised LOL

these were fun to make. i'll be updating my progress as i prepare for The Doll Affair.

for those who don't already know, i've applied, and have been accepted, and will be having a booth, along with 2 other very talented miniaturists, Asuka Sakumo and Aiclay, it's a ticket-only event, i'm not sure how much it'll be...but do come down if you're free! show us your love! ^ ^

Sunday, November 15, 2009

strawberry cane failures and FINALLY, a success

strawberry cane failures and success
Originally uploaded by Snowfern

i love strawberries. i love how they look, they taste. ok maybe i like the artificial flavour better than the real ones (real strawberries tend to be sour X( ) but i love them even more in mini.

let me run through how i failed, so that i can remember NOT to repeat my mistakes.

all strawberry canes were made following Marjo Caris' tutorial.

you can find it under "Miscellaneous -> Workshops->Workshop 01", click the strawberry pics. i would have provided a direct link but i think it's rude not to explore her wonderful site :)

i modified it heavily for my most recent attempt though. explanations will follow. for those who care ;) also, since i tend to mix brands/colours, i paid zero heed to the tutorial's colour mixes, so results will definitely vary if you follow my method. wish i had pics, but the whole process is so tedious i didn't want to stain my camera red either.

in chronological order:

1) upper left - sliced after baking
my first attempts. iirc i mixed some daiso polymer clay with fimo translucent, and fimo white for the white bits. there were actually 2 attempts for that but those failed miserably cos i used translucent white and that didn't show up at ALL. i think i have already chucked out that batch. they were found to be extremely extremely brittle. you can also see the sizes are inconsistent and shapes 'wonky'.

2) lower left - sliced after baking
2nd attempt. this time too much white. that's ok, but the white wasn't translucent enough. also, very brittle, as i tried to finish up the Daiso clay, thinking that if i baked for longer it would be stronger. no such thing.

3) upper right - sliced after baking
sculpey red used this time. found it too soft to work comfortably with, and there was lots of wastage clay at the ends of the canes. whites again too white, and the skinner blend results weren't visible at all since i'd neglected to mix in white with the translucent -_-" an oversight, i must have been too anxious to get the 3rd attempt over and done with LOL

and FINALLY, the ones i'm satisfied with.
i decided to work with KATO clay after all these failed attempts. KATO has been heavily recommended by caners as it's firm when unbaked, and stronger when baked. word of warning though, multiple bakings tend to darken KATO, unlike FIMO from my experience. i'd long since given up on sculpey, so can't say anything about it.

instead of using primary red, this time i blended KATO red with oil colours, i think it's the darker, magenta-ish red since strawberries in my mind have a darker hue than the bright primary red. did a skinner blend into red, and further into pink. i have totally forgotten the ratios grr but i guess you could eyeball it yourself. made sure the light pink/white layer was much thinner this time.

to achieve the inner rim of white, i mixed a teeeeeeny bit of pink into a LOT of translucent white. the translucent white was made with a tiny dab of white oil paint into translucent KATO. it was the mix i used for my dango (recycling LOL) remember not to mix brands of clay if you wish for your cane's details to remain consistent throughout.

the whites between the red bits (the white stripes in the red border) were slightly flattened as i layered them between the reds. it thins out so that it looks more realistic. at least, IMO.

the heart of the strawberry was achieved with a skinner roll. i kinda messed up on the top bits, but i think it's ok. i originally wanted the top part to be paler, but i think out of habit or sheer space-cadet-moment, i forgot to add it and happily smooshed and stretched away at the cane. le sigh.

oh yes. and the strawberries in this pic were sliced BEFORE baking. actually, with all my strawberries, they looked pretty 'ok' when glossed as it takes away alot of the scratches. but even with KATO, i found it hard to slice thinly and evenly without breaking the cane, even while it was warm. feck it, i'll pre-slice my canes prior to baking from now on, saves me from all that agony. KATO is firm enough to hold its shape and doesn't smear anyway.

ok. so summary of my modifications, and my lessons learnt:

- slicing baked canes is easier when canes are warmed, but chances of breakage still high
- KATO is far superior for caning than any other brands i've tried, doesn't smear when sliced raw either
- translucent translucent translucent. lots of it
- never use 'pure' white for foods, it looks so fake
- even when slicing raw clay, try to warm up the clay a little in hands before slicing as cold clay can get brittle too if it wasn't properly conditioned
- KATO is a b*tch to condition, even with a pasta machine.

ok. i'm losing my attention span quick, it's time for breakfast. feel free to summarize or add further tips.....and's

<-----thataway for the link to glassattic polymer clay encyclopedia if you wanna know more about how to mix paints into clay, caning, skinner, techniques etc. too much stuff to elaborate here.

strawberry canes are definitely not for beginners!

Edo-Kimekomi Dolls, Singapore Philatelic Museum (SPM)

Edo-Kimekomi Dolls, Singapore Philatelic Museum (SPM)
Originally uploaded by Snowfern

i've posted most of the pics i took today on my flickr, go have a look see :)

bf wanted to cheer me up, so he brought me to the Singapore Philatelic Museum to view the temporary exhibit....

quoted from the website:

Edo-Kimekomi Dolls

12-14 November 2009, 9am – 7pm
15 November 2009, 9am – 12pm

For the first time in Singapore, 400 rare Japanese dolls which are handmade by 200 doll masters from Traditional Edo-Kimekomi Dolls Sachiei-Kai, Japan, will make a special appearance at Singapore Philatelic Museum (SPM). The handcrafted dolls are dressed in exquisite costumes and depict various Japanese festivals, folklore and traditions.

Each doll requires an average of two years to complete. Edo-Kimekomi Dolls are historic Japanese dolls dating back to 370 years ago, and are certified as a traditional artwork by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan. This exhibition is jointly presented by SPM and Traditional Edo-Kimekomi Dolls Sachiei-Kai, Japan.

it was such a fun day! and so funny too. the museum is sandwiched between the freemason's 'clubhouse' and the registry of marriages, so he made constant jokes about getting registered while we were on our way there and back. > < ok so maybe i started it, i jested "Let's go!" and he, without hesitation said something like it's a saturday, not sure if it's open but would be interesting, it made me choke on the water i was drinking -_-" i thought it really cute and funny that he tried again while we were leaving and i asked "so where're we going now?" and he said "i thought we were going to register?" -_-""""

it's something i want to remember, so i'm sharing it with you folks ;)

on to the bad stuff.


anyhoo. i was really down the past few days cos i got the results of the glucose tolerance test. it's not bad enough that i have to be medicated, but it confirmed the diabetes diagnosis. well. after 17 out of 32 (almost 33) years of my life of hypertension, and dad and late grandad and multiple granduncles/aunts dead due to diabetes related illnesses, it comes as no surprise. i am not sure how to feel about it still, the anger and frustration are over now, time for resignation and acceptance.

i'm sick of people telling me to watch my diet. i -have- been watching it very well thank you for the past 2 years, ever since dad was diagnosed. so i know what to avoid, what to do (exercise, etc), what to unless you know about my medical history, please, just assume that i am taking care of things, like i have been. i just have to take -more- care than usual. this news was inevitable, i guess all i'd been doing was delaying it.

/rant off

s'ok though. i guess i'm being my usual optimistic/pessimistic self by saying, at least i can still enjoy my mini 'sweets'. :-/

otherwise, i'm pretty psyched. bf bought all the stuff i need for my upcoming event. and i rolled out quite a bit of 1/3 and 1/4 scale sprinkles. dammit. those things are harder to make than it looks.

busy week ahead. thanks for bearing with me.

Cindy the Grouch

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Half-eaten Sundaes

mini cones
Originally uploaded by Snowfern

i don't remember if i've posted these, anyway.

these are made with the old cones i made a while back. i have since found a new texture and prefer it, i will update with it soon, but these are now available on my etsy

meanwhile, Yotsuba's having a fine time.....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Japanese Sweet Treats

these took 4 hrs to make
Originally uploaded by Snowfern

ok, thanks to Tomohachi, I've been surfing for more and more and MORE Japanese inspirations....and dug up (or did she give me this link?) this website....

i left it on my browser for almost a week before deciding to try it out today.

i think they don't look too terrible here, but they are. :( i definitely need more practice on these, and they're a PITA since they don't really 'stick' to the wire. so it seems i must make some prep work before starting on them the next time round.

since i rolled out too many 'dango', i decided to make some more wagashi. they don't sell very well although they get quite a lot of views, and finally, i sold 2 of the wagashi boxes last week! fueled by this encouragement, here i present my new wagashi..... and a mini flower 'dish'! i wanted to colour it but i don't think it's very nice yet (not very even)...

with the spare clay i made a 'chrysanthemum' wagashi....of course, this is going to be a mold for my future wagashi, they are so intensive to make X( i think it looks cute in the flower dish! like a little lotus flower?

the new dango look great IMO! i'm most satisfied with these. the sticks were fashioned from toothpicks, sanded, and i made them a little longer this time. i am still waiting on a reply, so i don't know if i should offer this on my etsy as yet...

ok i had food poisoning today, so i'm still feeling a little weak and nauseated....this is all i can manage for now...*whimpers and goes off to bed*

I've got Mail!

I received my parcel from Asuka last week, but the weather was unco-operative, which meant my picture taking would be crappy, and my table was sooooo messy i put off taking pics cos i wanted to do her work justice! look at that gruesome eyeball drink! it would be perfect with my brain platter, i only realized it after i put away the lightbox LOL!

Thank you Asuka! they're soooo cute! XDand then.....i got my other package from Mariella! she had requested for a swap since these items were larger scaled than what she's used to, well, they're mostly 1:6 or 1:4, but still! i hope to be able to use them soon....will update on that....

i was particularly excited about this set, as i was agonizing over how to display my 1:4 scale items...the 'uneaten' eclair is definitely too large for this plate, but the rest of the items seem to fit perfectly! WOOHOO!
and look at what she included LOL 40 reasons why little dolls are better than BIG ones! i agree with ALL of them! i think she's covered all the bases though, i can't think of any more > <> < ok so here's the lightbox i bashed together to take these photos. i originally made it with A4 paper covering the sides, but that didn't allow enough light through (i have a crappy ikea light that broke while taking the previous batch of pics), so i replaced it with some plastic sheets that i got from Daiso...and then covered the flaps with aluminum foil in case i needed more light reflected onto the objects..TADAH! not bad, huh!

oh, and those postcards were purchased when Asuka exhibited at STGCC :D i love love LOVE them! and they're autographed too ;) MWA HA HA


well, also, here's an update on what i've been up to. i experimented somemore today, and spent a full hour conditioning clay -_-" Dango. the pink is supposed to be at the tip, and white in the middle. also, the skewer is too short :(

> <"| ah well! at least i don't need to gloss it further, KATO bakes to a nice sheen! i also experimented with new macaron shapes, but i messed up on the colour as i had used scrap clay. i quite like the new shapes, will try with a lighter colour tomorrow :)

i tried listing new items on my etsy shop, but it kept messing up when i tried uploading pics. i got so frustrated i gave up. well, at least the new cupcake cases are up for sale now, here's a sneak preview of what's new!

the cases now come with more frills! woo hoo! i originally wanted to keep them to 12 to 'fit' the cupcakes i made previously, but i wanted to test the far 16 is the furthest i can go for the neatest, most consistent results :(

and for those who are keen on attempting to make these yourself, here's a link to a tutorial....

go to the 5th link from's in Japanese but the pics are enough for you to figure it out :D

i don't make them this way, but i think this is the best i've seen so far! as to how i make's a secret ;) let's just say, it takes a LOOOONG time to make them, and i had to make my own tools :( so forgive me if i'd like to keep this one to myself for now ;)