Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Back to reality (keep telling myself that...)

Yup. I'm back to uni life again. *UGH* Last semester's exam results shocked me speechless and my happy-batteries that usually work best during hols were somewhat out of function for a few days after I received that darn piece of paper. T-T

I'm decided. I'm going to put my all into studies this coming semester. It's been a good start as of today. I actually listened and took in two whole lectures on clinical pharmacokinetics.

Normally, for the first few minutes of a lecture, I'd be thinking about what I just saw and heard *visual and auditory processing - not that I'm dumb; I just have a way of thinking too much about things*, and then proceeding to daydreaming about beautiful treasures I saw online. Not even 15 minutes after the start of the lecture, I'd start looking at my watch, mentally willing the lecturer to speed up finishing going through the powerpoint slides, at the same time hoping there'd be some sort of distraction like a fire drill or a campus-wide black out. Halfway through, I'd have nodded off to candyland and stayed immobilized on the chair, with my head down - a model of a good student deep in thought - until about 5 minutes before lecture ends. It's quite uncanny really, how I'd jerk awake right before a lecture ends.

Well. Hope this fired-up determination to attend a lecture properly is going to last for the rest of the sem. *fingers crossed*

That aside, Big Bang is seriously pumping up some cool tunes. I just discovered this song they did for SBS's stop smoking campaign in Korea.

{ Dae Sung's face *when he saw Seung Ri the nurse* totally cracked me up! GD, I ♥LOVE♥ your "no no no no"! He really knows how to move! HOT HOT HOT!!! }

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Oat & Prune Slices + Project Wedding Cake Topper

Bro's big day is drawing near. And that can be seen by the number of relatives filling our home this afternoon. -_-" Phew... Banyak tak terhingga.

Made oat and prune crumble slices :

{ Absolutely yummy crumble slice }

To make crumble, beat 1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar with 200g soften butter, and then add 2 cups plain flour sifted, 2 cups rolled oats and 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda. Mix until mixture begins to resemble soft crumbs. To make the prune filling, soak 3 cups of chopped prunes and 1/3 cup of sugar in 1 cup of water, add lemon rinds if you like, and simmer the mixutre over low heat allowing the prunes to absorb water, until very little liquid is left. To assemble, press half the crumble mixture into a baking pan, and the spreading the prune mixture on that, and topping it of by sprinkling the rest of the crumble. Bake the crumble at 170°C for about 30 minutes, or until the top has browned.

A very simple recipe for a healthy yummy treat. :)

I was inspired after seeing this gorgeous cake topper made by emiliefriday. It looks absolutely cute, with those soft pastel colours and dainty little flowers. I wanted to re-create a similar one, but didn't have the required materials unfortunately. I tried making do with whatever I could find.

{ Excuse my horrifyingly messy table }

I took two rolls of sticky tape bases (with the tape finished), wrapped them with purple ribbons to give them a striped effect, wrapped some fake flowers (which were found in abundance as a result of countless wedding dinners that my parents attended) and stuck the whole thing on a cake plate.

Then an idea suddenly struck, and the next thing I knew, I was squeezing caulk like crazy all around the cake base. I stuck those paper clay hearts I made the other day, and then drizzled on shiny little purple sequins. Finally, two felt birds and a heart that I sewed were place atop the piece on wire stalks.

I'm not sure if it looks good, because the fake flowers are actually very very old already, having been tucked away in an old biscuit tin for years. Hence the faded look. But after showing the finished piece to my sister-in-law-to-be, I'm glad to say that she actually loved it. :P I was kind of apprehensive about showing it to her in the first place because aside the generally looking a little too vintage, the fake cream droplets sort of looked a little too messy to me. Well, it's a relief to gain even more confidence that my crafty works appeal to local people too. :P

{ Love bids amongst creams, hearts and flowers }

I'm still undecided about this piece, although I've got confirmation from both my brother and his fiance. I may alter it before the wedding. I'd be very grateful if you could share experiences you had with making a cake topper or if you've seen beautiful ones or any suggestions you think would improve this one. :)

Oh, and Merry Christmas to all you lovely readers! Kawaii~neh! loves you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wedding Favours + Chocolate Mud Cake with Prunes+ Paper Clay Flowers

Being the only son in the family, my brother is set to have a really grand wedding. The church ceremony itself is estimated to draw around 300 people. Nomally, there'll be small gifts given to everyone who attended the ceremony. So, the other day, while grocery-shopping, we *mum, sis and I* spotted Toblerone milk chocolate sticks (35g) going for RM1.50 each. We bought 16 boxes of 24 sticks, deciding to give them away on the big day after the church ceremony.

Wondering why my blog's growing mould these days? This is why :

I was reassuring my mum that all 384 sticks will be nicely decorated with a satin ribbon, complete with a 'Thank you' heart-shaped sticker within one day. Well, I could only kick myself for suggesting to help out with the whole thing after 3 days of non-stop ribbon-tying. T-T Me and my inflated crafty self-esteem. T-T

Although my weight has been tethering to spill over to the obese-side, it still didn't stop me from making cakes on two occasions. ^-^"

{ Chocolate Mud Cake with Prunes }

The cake was a combination of two recipes, some parts self-intervened. Started out with a prune cake in mind. And then thought that a chocolate prune cake'll be even better. Looked up a recipe for chocolate pudding , but then saw that it requires cream instead of butter, which I proceeded with anyway. Halfway through mixing, realized that we'd run out of eggs. So, I looked up a vegan chocolate cake recipe which I remembered didn't require any eggs, and substituted that with 3 tablespoons of baking powder.

What a jumble-up. But thankfully, the cake turned out absolutely delicious - soft, crumbly, moist. Mmm.....

Took some time to craft too. Made some more stuff with paper clay. I tried baking the clay at 170°C for 3 minutes, and the results are hard and pure white.

{ Paper clay flowers and cookies to-be }

I had in mind to paint the flowers to make them as similar to the real thing as possible. Er.... I'm sad to say that I can't paint too well. They didn't turn out the way I planned them to. ^-^"

{ Flower necklace }

The last few days of hols are going to be bustling with activity. -_-"

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Feeling Disoriented and Unsettled

End of hols is drawing near. Over the past few days, things kept popping up - I had to go for a dental checkup and a hair-cut, run errands for mum, help dad print loads of photos as well as send emails, and do some stuff for my brother's wedding.

Speaking of the wedding, it'll be held on the 27th this month. And I've booked a seat on a flight back to KL the next day at 9.25 in the morning! Gah! I didn't know 29th is a public holiday, or I'd have definitely bought a ticket to go back on that day. Yeah I'm ignorant.

I didn't do much crafting. It's not because there's no time. It's not because of lack of ideas either. It's because I'm just plain lazy to set work on an idea, be it a sudden thought of a design or a project planned in my head long ago. I don't know what's gotten over me. I find nothing more exciting than to sit in front of the laptop or laze about the house all day. T-T I haven't even finished reading one book since I got back. My holiday to-do-list actually comprised of : learning Japanese online here, getting a make-over for the blog and learning html-ing a blog's layout *with that polished look - frames for sidebars, borders for post bodies and such*. Clearly, none of these were even started on, let alone completed. Gah! I am such a lazy bum!

Okay.... Nuff of pointless whinings... Here are photos of some crafting activities that did take place :

{ Happy Poo Friends Set of Cellphone Straps for a custom order }

{ Little Nature Puffy Cloud Plush Cellphone Charm Straps }

{ Lil sis in full concentration while painting tiny paper clay hearts on my messy table. }

{ *Smile~* }

{ Mmm.... Blood red.... }

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chocoate Torte with Strawberries + Banana Toffee Cake = Afternoon Tea

I haven't been really productive for days now. Crafting is sort of on and off, here and there. But I did spend quite a few hours on these felt cakes.

{ Banana Toffee Cake }

{ Chocolate Torte with Strawberries }

Turned out the two bottles of caulk I bought by mistake (thinking they're similar to silicone) were mighty handy in making these faux cakes. They're great as fake cream decorations. I even managed to pipe letters using a make-shift plastic piping bag.

I begged Mum for a 'pretty China plate' for a photoshoot of all four cakes, including two I made a few weeks ago. Haha.... Just for fun! :D

{ Love the plate! It's got a vintage look to it. }

{ Good enough to eat }

I had an issue with the Banana Toffee Cake. Upon completing the cake base, I was a little dismayed to see how very square the whole thing looks, with its sharp edges and corners. Gah! I did the only thing I thought could save it. And that was to pile up the top with decorations so that its brown would not contrast too much with the creamy-coloured sides which would accentuate its squarishness.

I wish I could eat them. *nahm~*

{ Bon app├ętit }

Etsy - A Family Thing

I was browsing Etsy today for shrink plastic handmades. On one of the search result pages, a few photos caught my eye. My initial thoughts about them were "Omg. So hideous. Who would buy these? They look like drawings of a 5-year-old."

I was really curious if anyone has bought from the shop, so I clicked into it. In the subsequent seconds as the page loaded, I had a flashback about something I read on the forums, which was about parents helping their children set up shops on Etsy.

The shop I clicked on was that of an 8-year-old boy, who makes little pieces of shrink plastic charms that he sells to earn extra spending money. His shop announcement read that his mother, sister and grandpa all have their own shops on Etsy. I gather his shop is managed by his mother.

Strangely after visiting each shop, warmth just welled up and spreaded all over me. I had to share this little family's creations with you. It's wonderful to see each member of the family making craft or art and displaying their handiwork on Etsy. I sensed a togetherness amongst the family members as they help each other promote their craft/art works.

I learnt something admirable from there, and that is to be proud of my family, always support each member and always be there for them. Not that I never did these - it's just that I've been so wrapped up in my own world that I'm often unconcerned about my surroundings. Perhaps that is a result of selfish desire to do whatever pleases me.

I should grow up and face the world.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Firefly

Yep. I made some more flowers from felt scraps. This time, red felt was used. I must say, blood red is a strikingly beautiful colour on its own.

{ Firefly - Red felt flowers snap-on cuff bracelet }

Found larger pieces of brown felt, and sewed them together to make this odd geometrical-shaped cuff bracelet. Somehow, the shape worked perfectly for a cuff bracelet! :D

I kind of like how it looks - natural, earthy, fashionably simple. It's surprising that felt alone can produce such a beautiful wearable piece. Well, that is provided texture is created. :) Eheh... Blowing my own horn. ^-^"

{ Uha. I ♥ felt. }

{ Hai fireflies ♥ }

Holidays are coming to an end. Fast. T-T I feel like it's just started. T-T

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Little Update + Peach Cream Felt Flower Necklace

Er.... I'd been neglecting the blog again. ^-^" My family had relatives visiting, so it was a busy period of afternoon chats and social dinners, of which I didn't at all look forward to. All the while, I couldn't wait for each session to end. Call me anti-social, wallflower, introvert or whatever lah. I just don't get the thrill of small talks and polite conversations. So I focused on the one other thing that would not ask me perfectly stupid questions like "Eh, you got boyfriend ady a not?" and "You want biao shau help you count your life a not? She knows how to read palms eh!". And that one other thing is - food. Hell was it nice! But then, continuous gastronomic affairs with Sibu's best of the best restaurants only served to pile up kilos that I so painfully shed from jogging and swimming back in KL. Talk about weight fluctuation. In the higher extreme. I'm one of those people that'll gain 2kg a day with just normal meals. T-T

Finally, after that few days of entertaining guests, things calmed down around the house. I finally began another round of crafting using felt. As a result of plushie-makings, especially of gigantic ones, felt scraps are accumulating fast. So I tried cutting out tiny pieces and sewing them together to make flowers.

{ Flowers made from felt scraps }

{ Peach Cream Felt Flower Necklace }

I didn't know what to do with the flowers at first but then came up with this idea of making them into a choker/necklace. It looks absolutely beautiful, and is comfortable to wear. I have the sis put it on here :

{ ♥ }

Before making this necklace, I made another long necklace out of scrap felt. After finishing it and trying it on, I found that felt is not the best - probably the worst - material for making a continuous long necklace. The necklace is so stiff that it juts out of proportion no matter how many times I tried smoothening is out. In the end, I wound it 5 times around my wrist, and ta-dah! A multi-bracelet.

{ Felt scraps sewn together to make a looong loop }

I can't believe there's only about half a month of hols left. T-T

Friday, December 5, 2008

Kawaii Box of Doughnuts!

Been busy making more felt yummies. I'll let the photos do the talking.

{ Doughnuts ♥ The white stripes on the one at the bottom was done with a white-coloured glue called Caulk }

{ Doughnut backs }

{ Size comparison to the hand. Yeah, I've got purple nail polish on. Madness that only holidays allow. }

{ All snug in a kawaii box }

{ ♥ ♥ }

Listed this set on Etsy. Have a look at it here. Oh, and also the large chocoberry cake plush.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Korean Pop Music Bliss + Red Heart + Gigantic Chocoberry Cake Plush

Collected my yesasia.com order today from the post office, finally! Been waiting for it since about 2 weeks ago, wondering if the package's stolen or had gotten lost. I asked for the order to be shipped to Sarawak instead of the usual KL address, so maybe the delivery's a little slower than usual.

Yesasia's having promotions on selected items. I took advantage of discounts on Korean music products, which went for 30% off. The offer is still on! And what's more, free shipping is provided for all music products! Purchase over US$50 in a single order, and get a US$5 coupon each for both yesasia and yesstyle!

Hoho... Mum asked me, " Why you buy so many CDs? You know a not, CDs will be outdated in a few years. Look what happened to cassettes?" Haiyo.... I just like to keep an original hard copy of songs I like mah. :P Plus, I don't think CDs will go outdated that fast. Maybe in a few decades? By then, I'd have listened to my entire collection to boredom. ^o^

Last night, I made a little red heart-shaped felt pillow. It's meant for my brother's wedding for putting the rings. :) Mum suggested that I make one, because a store-bought ring-bearer's pillow costs at least RM20. -_-" And then when she saw this pillow, she commented that it's too plain. I said the simpler the better. :P Such a striking colour is best left on its own to work the magic.

{ }

The past few days, a large cake plush was in the making. It was actually an alternative I made to what an Etsy customer wanted. I've run out of yellow felt, so I substituted it with chocolate brown felt. The customer prefer whites and creams and pinks unfortunately. T-T

{ Chocoberry Cake Plush ♥ }

{ Woohoo~ Strawberries and cream! ♥ }

{ Added knitted lace around the sides. I kinda like how it looks. :) }

And sis wanted to take photos with it again.

{ Chocoberry Cake Plush cam-whore :D }

Will be putting it up for sale on Etsy soon. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Handmade Kawaii Boxes

Played around with kawaii memo sheets today. I have too much of them. T-T Got out two hard cardboard boxes and decorated them with cuttings from those memo sheets.

{ This is the first box }

I used a sort of white emulsion glue to stick on the cuttings, and glazed them over with the same glue. But even after drying, the box was still sticky to touch. I thought the glue would be ok for decoupage-ing, but looks like I was wrong. Anyway, it wasn't stated on the bottle that the glue can be used as a glaze. ^-^"

{ Love the cover ♥ }

So I diluted a little Diamond Glaze with water and brushed it over the box. It gave a sort of glassy-like finish, but not smooth. Still, it's perfect because the surface's not sticky at all and the box looks professionally done. :)

{ Second box }

I thought I like the first box after it was done. And then I proceeded with the second box. It turned out absolutely fab. :P

{ Four sides of the box }

I used decorative tape around the sides of the cover. That gave the box quite a striking finish. :) The bottom of the boxes are also covered with plain patterned brown paper and glaze.

{ Love this one ♥ }

Had fun making these. :) I was hooked and searched the whole house for more such boxes to decorate, but didn't find any. -_-" Those boxes came with my wrist watches, which I bought a long long time ago. :P

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sushi Tier vs. Homemade Sushi

Yesterday, lil sis and I went to Sushi Tier, a sushi eatery chain in Sibu. It was my first time eating at that sushi outlet.

{ Open-air kiosk at Sing Kwong, a local shopping mall }

I was rather disappointed at the absence of a conveyor belt. T-T That aside, although varieties offered on the menu were nothing compared to that of Sake Sushi, the food was surprisingly delicious. Surprisingly? I always had the impression that locally prepared sushi would never be able to compare to the real thing, unless they have at least standards of sushi outlets in KL. But I must hand it to Sushi Tier for its freshly prepared sushi. :9 Absolutely yummy. :9

{ Scallop wings on inari tofu pouch + Unagi eel battleship + Soft shell crab hand-rolled temaki + forgot name *some fish roll* + forgot name *overloaded with artificial bonito flakes - chicken floss* + Special Crepe set with prawn tempura & soft shell crab }

Then today, lil sis suggested we make our own sushi. She'd been pestering Mum to make them ever since she got back from Kuching two weeks ago. I guess that first dose of sushi for this hols fired up her taste buds for more. :P

{ Spread a very thin layer of cooked rice on a sheet of crisp seaweed --> Pile on the fillings - mayo, cucumber stick, cooked carrot stick, strips of fried egg, imitation crab meat sticks, chicken floss --> Roll it up! }

We used brown rice instead of the usual white rice. To make Malaysian sushi rice, cook two cups of rice grains and mix the cooked rice with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 4 tablespoons of vinegar.

{ The sis in action }

{ Finished homemade sushi ♥ }

We made another version with tuna and mayonnaise substituting the crab sticks. Super the yummy. :9

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Just a thought

I just came across a craft blog and saw the Creative Commons license for the blog's content. I actually wanted to put up the license for my own blog some time ago, but never got to it because I think that putting up a sort of copyright sign for my craft work and photos would be a futile attempt to keep my designs rightfully mine.

Why am I saying this? Yes, Creative Commons provides licensing for online work. But how effective is it in warding of copycats, especially when it comes to art/craft work and images? From my point of view as an online browser, things I see serve as a source of inspiration for creating stuff. It is inevitable that sometimes people create similar items because if that something caught their eye, it is only natural that they would want to incorporate some of the features into their own creations.

Having said that, I must however clarify that I do not and will never condone copying of original craft work for commercial purpose. It's just plain shoddy to re-create someone else's original work and then selling it off while calling it 'my creation'.

I don't know if I've been copied, up till now. But I'd just like to add one more thing; it's never fun to copy someone else's work or idea. I won't feel proud of the result, no matter it racked in bucks. Sounds too noble? Well, it's the truth.

So in the end, after thinking about it, I decided to have a go with the Creative Commons license. Even if I might never discover that someone's selling off my photos in the form of prints, cards or the like.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Felt Purins + Strawberries-n-Cream Cake Plush

Been busy crafting yesterday and today. Made some food plushies for a custom order on Etsy. :) I guess puddings are loveable huh? :P

{ Small & large purins + Strawberries-n-cream cake plushie }

{ ♥ ♥ ♥ }

I did the strawberry cake plush according to a photo of a toy plush showed by the customer. Even if I sound like I'm pasting gold all over my face - as my Dad would put it in Chinese - I absolutely love this one that I made.

{ The strawberries looks so shweet ♥ Especially the one with the adorable smile ♥ }

{ Lub yooo~ ♥ }

Lil sis didn't get to see the first large purin I made middle of the year. She was beside herself with excitement when she saw the one I just finished making, and demanded to camwhore with it. -_-"

{ Geenormous purin ~ }

{ A little silliness to brighten up anyone's day :) }

{ And then she took all the cakes and ate them. Almost. XD }

She saw some polyfill - soft synthetic fiber I use for stuffing plushies - on my table. And proceeded to pose with it, while asking me to take photos of her with the thing.

{ I said I couldn't see the thing in the first photo. So we decided that she should stand in front of something black for a contrasting effect XD }

The insanity had just started. ^o^