Wednesday, September 29, 2010

playing with more than 2 colours

so. after the mooncake stuff, i've been trying to catch up to the next seasonal craze, and you can probably tell from the colours here, right?

since i'm working on a contest entry, over on, i can't reveal my entry so....this is all i have for updates XD i managed to feel inspired only yesterday morning, woke up with an idea, man i love it when my brain does its best processing while i'm asleep. see how much i use it in the day???? *snort*

also, working on a special request for a friend. his parcel got lost on its way to Afghanistan (when he was posted there) so i asked him what he'd like, and it's almost done! it's.....*gasp* NOT FOOD :P but again, until i complete it and he's received pics T-T

bleh. it's not as if i have nothing to update, more like, i'm unable to for now! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH *dusts the blog frantically*

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy 中秋节!

Mid-Autumn Festival is kind of a big deal to me. I think it is significant because there are so many happy childhood memories tied in with the festivities. especially the being-able-to-play-with-fire-albeit-under-adult-supervision-bit XD oh yes, the closet arsonist emerges!

it all started with this. a few months back, i made some 1:4 snowskin mooncakes (or small 1:3 ones) and Talina asked about them. so i offered to send her some when the season came around. however, the mooncakes wouldn't last the duration of the journey :( the closest i could offer were the piglets, since they are essentially the 'skin' of the original mooncakes, and i really enjoyed eating them, still do actually. of course, i had to make the 1:12 version :) it's pictured against a Singapore 10-cent coin, which measures 1.85cm across.

i then stuck with the theme and worked on making these 'original' mooncakes in 1:12. each is approx 0.8cm wide. they make for large-ish mooncakes, i really didn't want to work on any smaller, getting the chinese characters on there was no joke. it says "中秋" - mid-autumn on the left, and on the right, "月饼" - mooncake.

which led to the snowskin variety. it's a little like mochi, or maybe closer to marzipan? either ways, i'm not too big a fan of the snowskin variety, which is best eaten after refrigeration...perhaps it's the perfumy taste that i tend to avoid.

i much prefer the variety with lotus seed paste and nuts. usually it's pine nuts or watermelon seeds. either way's TERRIFIC!

grandma likes the one with the salted egg yolk.

in continuing with the theme, here's my take on the glass paper/cellophane lanterns that i adore. as always, it starts out with a terrible sketch. drawing isn't my strong point but it helps in the visualization process (?)

tadah! the dodo-bird looking lantern! at least they stand.


and i tried 'lighting' them with cheap lights from Daiso. not hiding the wires very well i know...:P

we also played with the paper variety. i attempted making these before the cellophane ones, i muddled about, tore alot of paper, gave myself immense hand cramps and wrist pains, and here are the fruits of my labour.

this has to be the item that i thought longest and hardest about, and it only took what, 2 hrs to make ONE??? LOL! needless to say, all of the items depicted here are not for sale (not yet?). i might make them available per commissioned request i guess. not that i expect any great demand for these anyway. :X

Yotsuba's not allowed to play with fire. so the candle in her lantern has been extinguished. :P

hope you enjoyed the pics as much as i enjoyed making these! ^ ^

Friday, September 17, 2010

1:12 Cameo Cakes

my customer sent me some cameo stickers for use on her request. i hope she likes these. the toughest bits for me to make were the ribbons, and getting the cake bases nice, clean and even zzzzz i'm not a machine! XD

more pics.

decided to use picnik's collage option cos i'm too lazy to upload that many pictures. i LIKES IT. :D free to register and use, very good for simple image manipulations :D no need to mess about with photoshop/gimp!!!

and as a personal project, since i had so much oddly coloured clay laying around, i made a chocolate macaron tower. some of you might recognize the chocolate portions as part of some older works....i needed something to fill in the blanks (HA!) and yayyyy they came in handy! the toughest part of assembling this tower has got to be fiddling with that dang ribbon. BUT I DID IT YAYYYYYyyyyyyyyy took me only 2 hrs....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

off to the mini meet!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

1:12 resin play

.....yeah......i keep forgetting to post about these cos they take so long to set, and i get distracted and store them away, and....well you know how it is. out of sight, out of mind XD

some jam jars.....i made the original in this post:

as with the cups.....

but these were from some old sylvanian family sets i got like....gee. at least 10-12 years ago? or more? they're going into my 'cafe' :) the original was an ugly yellow, but i thought they'd look great clear, i'm glad they turned out nice! i wanted to play with some metallic hues, and wondered how the metallic paint i had would work with the resin. i think they look better in the pics than in it's actually a little darker than in the matter, i still like it! i want to someday (HA!) try making original trays so i can sell, just like Asuka's awesomely cute food trays T-T

doing this much resin work has maybe started up some of my allergies, so......i think i'll take a break from resin. man this is getting tired fast, me having to cycle through different mediums due to my multiple health issues. grr.

so this is the inspiration for the marshmallows! i saw the cute marshmallow packaging at my neighbourhood store and picked it up for fun :D i LOVE toasted marshmallows! but i was a good girl and restricted myself to just the one when at my friend's birthday bbq last friday :D (konnyaku doesn't count cos it's made from seaweed, right? XD )

time for bed :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

are you sick of gummy bears yet?

i made this pile of gummy bears over the week, as the resin takes about 4 hrs to set properly before i can de-mold the bears. AGHHHH i forgot to take pics of the trays and plates i poured too. this is because the bears use so little resin i was afraid the resin would not cure if i used too tiny an amount.

also, made some marshmallows out of ADC as i feel ADC would make it look more realistic, i haven't tried it with PC, but so far i'm really liking the results. and as usual ARGHHHH forgot to take pics with the larger pack that inspired me to make these. i'll get round to that another time i suppose :(

i tried to make 'strawberry flavoured' bears, but the colours just didn't co-operate. after 2 different batches, i gave up and i'll try again another time, i just wanted to have some of these done for my etsy, which is pretty bare (haha) now. and has been for a while.

the nutritional info actually states it's 0 calories XD


and my stupid little m&ms/skittles/candy pieces which alot of people thought were jellybeans :( seeeeee they're tiny little SPOTS not bean like. but i admit the angle and colours/translucency does make it look like beans, especially in the other picture. i realised it only after i posted up the pic, and then the comments came in almost immediately and i felt i couldn't take it down XD

again, 0 nutritional value XD

i'm putting together a 'store' of sorts, got the materials ready but i get sidetracked soooo easily (go figure) and so, the mounting boards and wooden strips are still waiting for me, along with the Dremel :X and i still have incomplete commissioned items, and that 'secret' i'm waiting to reveal????

and so i happily distracted myself with the decal sheets :P i love clear packaging and plastics, or translucent white plastic (all my organizing drawers and boxes are translucent white or transparent). so naturally i had to translate it into mini :P i fudged up on the flour ones, i much prefer the blockier packaging to the right with the dragees, and far left. however, since the label is in black, it's kinda hard to read and so i think i'll make the white background stickers for items that won't bring out the label.

i have plenty more items to photograph, been keeping busy, but i really gotta go before it rains, it's mooncake shopping day :) and my next post will be on............................................hahhahahahhahah i feel like i'm going crazy from all this secret-keeping!!!!!

on a personal note, i am loving LOVING minis all over again. not only has it made me a happier, patient person, it's taught me how to socialize better, and even reunited me with a friend whom i'd lost contact with for over 2 years! KISMET! that's another story, for another time, right now i'm loving life :)


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

1:12 meringue towers

made with air dry clay.

removeable butterfly 'wand' cos i think the tower looks pretty nice without the topper too. just didn't want to leave a gaping hole is why i added the butterfly.

should be made available on my etsy after the varnish has dried :) i don't feel quite comfortable working with such muted colours, but i do so love the effects!

meringues hand piped, moldings made with commercial molds.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOYFRIEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahah the funny thing is i got an EARLY birthday pressie (4 months early! XD ) yesterday :)

got the kit from RS Singapore. i must say, for local purchases, i HIGHLY RECOMMEND the site. the customer service is EXCELLENT, provided you can get through the busy hotline XD I had to listen to elevator muzak for quite a while before i got my order in. Local delivery is free for purchases above $100, and they even accept C.O.D.!!! how cool is that! i will definitely buy from them again, pity their showroom is in Tuas or i'd be all over it like paint on canvas. haven't tried it out yet, too busy lately....

there's something exciting i'm working on, and if all goes well i can announce it...soonish? it'll be in November, so i have a little bit of room to prepare. will update when i can! :D :D :D just wanted to plonk it in here to remind myself to work on it......gah stupid iffy memory.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tips: Silicone Rubber Molds, i have to remember my own tips XD

WARNING: Technical post, expect usual crabbiness!! :P

in a previous post here:

i related how i had to get a different sort of silicone rubber than the first time i bought them, in this post:

 being the semi-disorganized person i am (i refuse to outright consider myself disorganized, i know where everything is in this organized pile of mess!), i don't think i mentioned where i got the material from, or if i had, it's probably in my comments. so to those in Singapore, you can purchase 1kg portions from:

directions to the place are in the website itself, and it's best you call the salesperson before heading down to, as i like to put it, "jalan ulu ulu". i'm trying to translate that phrase, best i can come up with is "middle of ****ing nowhere" :P i tend to exaggerate, i know :X

ANYHOW. before i start on my personal experience, if you're wondering where you can get more comprehensive knowledge on moldmaking, please please PLEASE go HERE:

it has EVERYTHING you need to know, kinda sorta. i picked up whatever i know from that totally awesome site, and then wasted lots of material experimenting and adapting to local climates and conditions. so whatever i experience, please keep in mind that i'm in Singapore, and climate conditions definitely affect the pouring of silicone and resin etc since i don't have any of the funky machinery to help me remove bubbles and measure out the portions with extreme precision.

as always, proceed with caution, and i refuse to answer questions because.....hahaha i don't really pay all that much attention to what i do, this is my way of trying to REMEMBER what i did so i don't repeat the same mistakes again :( SUGGESTIONS ARE TOTALLY WELCOME THOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! need all the help i can get....

Below are notes on RTV 589 vs RTV 585 (the first batch i purchased)

- RTV 589 is definitely softer and more pliable than 585

the catalyst is pink, so the resulting pour is a lovely strawberry yoghurt colour (i RIKES!). this is a good/bad thing, depending on usage. for recordkeeping purposes, i'm gonna flat out state that i would prefer 585 for larger, uneven items since i can stick in the clay and expect it not to distort that greatly. of course, if you use ADC, this wouldn't really matter. and either one for smaller resin pours. so for even larger food items, i probably have to stick to alley goop, which is a 2-part silicone putty and you can get that from it cures firmer and faster than any silicone pour, although the learning curve is...a little trickier depending on the temperature of your surroundings and your hands. anyhow, that's another post for another day.

- take into consideration the size, detail and space between the items to be molded

i made the mold pictured above for 1:12 macarons, raspberries, eclairs, danishes etc, and in order to conserve on the amount of silicone pour used, i tried to squeeze in as many items as possible, into as little volume of mold as possible, but that also means that the mold itself is more flexible than if i used a larger container. and because i did that, i messed up my 1:4 and 1:3 molded items (not pictured), as i used the same container to make it. 589 was too soft for me to use polymer clay in it. i could have spaced the items a little better, resulting disaster is the price i pay for impatience and stinginess :P

- pick the right container

i used to use lego blocks, as suggested by the Hirst link i gave earlier, but after a while i've found it to be too much work for items that are so small. some japanese miniaturists i've seen use recycled milk cartons, properly cut and sealed with duct tape etc as the cartons are waterproof, and that's great and all, but again, i had plenty of sauce containers, and i tend to pick a clear container (this time, it was a PP  polypropylene plastic box from Daiso) since it's easier to see if there are bubbles trapped at the sides of the masters. i didn't choose a hard plastic in case the thing got stuck too firmly. ionos. the great thing about inverted sauce/takeaway containers too is that they are clear, and all you have to do is pop the lid off and push out the mold. naturally, i cut off part of the container to allow pouring. if you're confused about what i'm referring to, you can probably google for moldmaking with recycled margarine containres, plenty of resources out there (and probably where i got the idea from, but most likely cos i was lazy and just have too much crap lying around that i could use)

- make sure the items are properly adhered to the base of the container

if the master shifts during the molding process, not only do you 'lose' the item, fishing it out before the molding material hardens is a sticky and messy affair, and if you try and extract it -after- the silicone rubber has hardened, you risk ruining the entire mold, or the master itself. with a 1 pour mold, you could probably follow faithfully the steps suggested by Hirst, but i am always too excited to get it done that i hate too much prep work :X that's why i fail so much! LOL anyway.....

i had previously used double sided tape, that worked pretty well if you didn't care about the unsightly surface, and wanted a quick and dirty pour. well, i messed that up majorly with this pour :( i thought i hadn't mixed enough catalyst in, and so placed the poured mold near my laptop, which acts also as a heat source since this machine freaking heats up real fast even with the fan underneath it. i'm not sure where i got the idea that heat speeds up the process, but i think it stands to reason, after all it is an exothermic process, and the heat generated helps the rubber itself to cure. any physicists or chemists out there want to help me verify this? XD anyhoo, my point is, the double sided tape melted and created this gooey mess on the base/surface of the mold that try as i might, could not fully clean off. :( :( :( i took my blade and sliced off as thinly as possible the top layer, after scraping off whatever gunk remained after i let it soak in rubbing alcohol...alas, it is only marginally helpful, it's no longer that icky gooey and most of the glue residue was removed after 4 hrs of carefully cleaning (i really should try out the WD40 but ...the smell of that stuff makes me wanna puke) the surface, i gave up and prepared a new pour. i'll still use it though, for as long as i can tolerate the icky texture XD

- get the ratio right!

i think there's always an 'optimum' amount to mix such materials, like i've mentioned, the heat generated factors into the cure rate, not just the amount of catalyst. well, that's my opinion anyway for epoxy resin. but for silicone pour, i think it's even trickier, as soon as the catalyst comes into contact with the rubber, reactions start happening, gah! if you don't stir rightaway, or if the silicone rubber has been sitting around for a while (there's always a shelf life for silicone rubber/epoxy resin, as far as i know anyway), the resulting pour can clump up before you even attempt pouring :( the suggested ratio for 589 was 2-3% of the silicone rubber portion, but i think that's for amounts larger than 1-2kgs. for this pour, only approx 20ml was used!!!! i tried to play safe by keeping it to a 1-1.25% ratio for our climate, and oh boy, does temperature affect the pour. when i first tried out 589, Asuka was around to help me, and we were in my air-conditioned bedroom. that was a pretty successful pour, with the room temperature at approx 18-20 deg celcius. the weather this week has been hot and humid, and i don't usually work with the air-conditioner on, so i totally forgot to factor it in, and TADAH IT CLUMPED. i was frustrated, and thought back on all the possible variables since i kept the ratio the same, and so tried again today with the airconditioner on. PERFECT. no clumping. oh, and if you can, invest in proper measuring tools, my goal is to get an electronic scale.....soon...soon :( no place to keep my tools!!!!

- keep the stream thin while pouring, and TAP TAP TAP. this is to get rid of any bubbles that could have been introduced into the mix. i got tired of the tapping process, so recently i took to running an old epilator against my work surface (which is usually a box, to introduce further reverberation) LOL. don't judge me!!! i can't always have the washing machine running! XD and yes, the epilator is clean. :-/ freaking effective, just really noisy.....alternatively, you can place the container against a fan, which is what i used to do until i got this new table = no space for fan XD

- use wet wipes to clean up spillage

if any. XD

ok i'm sure i missed out other stuff, but this is a sorta 'newbie' post still, i'm still making mistakes and figuring out what i'm comfortable remember, even if you fail the first time, you have to keep on trying!!! conditions of your environment are SUPER important when it comes to working with temperamental materials such as silicone rubber and epoxy resin!

comment if you've found this useful, or made it through the post without falling asleep ;) i know Asuka probably didn't even make it past the first paragraph ;P *snort*



the 2nd mold set BEAUTIFULLY i am SOOO pleased with it! so far, i've tested it with ADC and the results far exceed my expectations ^ ^

gonna update again with pics of some glasses and bottles woot woot!!!!