Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Fresh Flower Arrangement!

Fresh and pretty...a day after getting the flowers!

Yay, so I was finally able to finish the fresh flower bouquet sample for a friend's wedding.  Her theme is more on the blues, but for lack of blue-hued flowers, I went with purples and whites and greens.

I learned something from Lex on why there's a scarcity of blue flowers.  Apparently, bees can't see the color blue all that well, so blue flowers aren't pollinated as much, and thus they aren't as prolific.

Anyway, the bouquet above is assembled from purple and white paper roses, the delicate misty blue (I heard they dry to the same color, so I'll tie a bunch together and hang), and some berries.

Flipping through a bouquet book at National Bookstore, I learned that this type of bouquet is the "natural" type, a less calculated arrangement as opposed to the more "finished" types of bouquets.

Glad they were happy with this.  :-)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Project: Heat transfer signage!

We're having our first workshop by the end of the month!  :-D

The Craft MNL workshop is well...almost open!  We still have to get our schedules down pat to have someone there most of the time, but in the meantime, we're cooking up all sorts of workshops for everyone to enjoy!  Watch out for screen printing, art collage and bookbinding, with possibly friendship bracelet making in the works!  I've been so excited these past few days, I've been getting up extra early in the morning in anticipation.  :-)

Of course, as part of the excitement, I prepared a rather quaint, rustic signage for the workshop.  Of course it has to be handmade!

So I prepared he designs.  I used a public domain graphic, and modified it, making sure it was an appropriate size for the embroidery hoop I bought.  I then had the designs printed with a laser printer.  When it was printed out, I traced the circle of the embroidery hoop with a pencil, and cut out the round trace.  I then taped the design onto katcha cloth while my Creative Versa-tool was heating up.

When I felt the Creative Versa-tool tip was hot enough (I tested the heat by applying it first on blank paper), I rubbed it on the back of the printout (with the printed side facing the cloth) while applying even pressure, with a circular motion.  At this point, it would be good to note that the design I had printed was a mirror image, so that it would come out right-side facing when the image is transferred.

I learned that the quality of the transfer depends on the pressure you apply, so make sure the surface under the cloth is nice and even (and heat resistant).

In my zeal to make sure the print came out dark enough, I took my time rubbing the moon image in the "Closed" sign, resulting in the paper moving a bit, and the moon getting a bit burned (yes, make sure your cloth will not burn!).  Making the most of it, we figured the damage lent a more vintage-y effect.  Haha!  :-)

So now for the attaching to the embroidery hoop part.  

I first laid the cloth printed with "Closed" over the inner hoop, and wrapped the cloth around it, evening out the surface while positioning it inside the outer hoop.  I then taped down the excess cloth and sewed the cloth down.  When the stitching was done (no photos for this, sorry), I removed the tape.

I then removed the inner hoop (now covered and secured with the "Closed" print), and laid the cloth printed with "Open" over the other side, also stretching it taut over the inner hoop, and securing it by placing it tightly within the outer hoop.

I then trimmed the excess cloth from the "Open" side that stuck out on the other side.

Yay, reversible!

If you look closely, you can still see some of the excess cloth sticking out.  I don't mind keeping it there, because it still goes with the whole rustic effect.

And now since the signage is done, the workshops are to follow!  :-)  Just came from the 10A Alabama Craft Fair earlier today.  Exciting things coming!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

NaPoWriMo Day 9: Old Houses

Make up posts for NaPoWriMo!  :-)  The prompt for Day 9 was to assume the persona of something.

Old Houses

Within me is life,
driven by those
who possess it.

Every space in me,
a vessel,
a sanctum,
a repository of smells
and precious objects,
of memories
that fade
into walls,

and return
as echoes
that only
can hear.

- MPN 04/14/12

NaPoWriMo Day 8: Brainstorm

Beauty after the storm.


A downpour of thoughts
curtain the space
where ideas strike,
hitting the ground,
with force
and might
and sound.


Causing the earth 
to move.

- MPN 04/14/2012

Okay, so I'm like, a week behind on NaPoWriMo (or IntPoWriMo, as yea, I'm not really US-based).  Will be double poetry-posting to make up for it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hello, blue roses!

Because I've been especially busy (since the long weekend ended), I'd just like to share some photos of a blue rose bouquet I made as a sample for a friend's wedding.  Though she chose to go with fresh instead (so now I'm learning all about fresh flowers), I'm still pretty happy with this rustic, minimal bouquet.

Close-up of the large flower.
I used two shades of blue of geena silk, and mixed it in with a mid-tone satin.  And to add to the rustic feel, I put in some canvas petals.  I love the way the addition of a neutral tone makes something more elegant, don't you?  :-)  I used this DIY project from Greenweddingshoes (love that site!) as a reference for constructing the flower.  I then wrapped the wire stems first with floral tape, then hemp rope for more of the rustic feel.  The whole bouquet is finished off with the addition of dried flowers, tied together with the roses using cream cotton lace.

It was an overcast day when I photographed these in the yard.  No adjustments to the image.
I'll document the process next time to share.  :-)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Felting Easter ♥

My first felting project!

So today I figured it was time to hunker down and start felting!  I bought equipment in Taiwan, but I never got around to making them.  Yesterday, I got a package from a good friend in the US, and it came with a really cute basic felting kit!  Mr. Penguin above is the product of my first handmade adventure into felting!

Let's see how he came to be.

The felting packet came with the wool, two felting needles and the instructions.  The special felting needle holder I had (which holds three needles at a time), as well as the pad, I got in Taiwan.

The details were finished off with a single felting needle.  I had only seen a demo of how to felt at the Middle Handmade Studio, care of Ring, and she was a pro at it.  This project was easy to do, but just required a bit of patience with getting the white wool base to come together and shape.

I was tweeting all the while doing it, apart from taking photos (whew, multitasking!), and the whole process took about twenty or so minutes.

So yay, I'm really felting Easter with my egg-shaped penguin.  :-)  Big hugs to Milo for sending Mr. Penguin my way.  Hmmmm.  Milo!  Give him a proper name!  Thank you to Ry and Thomas for carrying him all the way from the US.

Here's to more handmade adventures!  Happy Easter!

NaPoWriMo Day 7: The Day Pink Turned Blue

Longest poem ever.  Actually, it could be a children's storybook.

A quick graphic to go with the epic poem.  I literally fell asleep trying to finish it.

The Day Pink Was Blue

Something wasn't right,
I hadn't a clue.
My face in the mirror
was of a different hue.

I took my temperature,
and though I wasn't ill--
I looked through my cabinet
and swallowed a pill.

And peeped outside...

This couldn't be true,
this couldn't be true--
the roses in the garden
are all a bright blue!

I rushed to the garden,
to the strawberry patch,
to see if this strange condition
my strawberries did catch.

This couldn't be true,
this couldn't be true--
my pink, sweet strawberries
are all a bright blue!

I walked down the street
and heard the sounds of a pig.
Oink, oink, oink!
And he sounded quite big.

Turning the corner,
I stopped to see
if the pig in question
looked real to me.

His tail was curled,
his body was round.
His ears were pointed,
and I made quite the sound--

When it was plain to see
that this was the pinkest pig,
as pink pigs could be.

But what was this?
Could this be true?

Wherever he went,
all the pinks!

"Pink piggie!"
I called out.
"Certainly you can spare
some pink for me?"

"If only I could for you,"
he sadly replied.
"My heart is blue.
No one loves me,
and it's the only thing
I'm afraid I could do."

"That couldn't be true!"
I said in dismay.
"You have friends and family
who must certainly love you in almost every way."

"Alas they are far,
and I am lonely."
He looked at me.
"I've but one request only.
Could you love
a pink pig with a blue heart,
Who may possibly take all your pink..."
He pointed at me.
"Your face is a start."

I looked at my hands
that were slowly turning blue.
If I loved this pink pig,
he would take away all this too.

I saw his sad eyes,
and his blue heart.
And remembered that I too was alone,
it would be good to be part
of a duo with pink pig,
and his blue, sad heart.

"Certainly, pink pig!
I will love you true.
Your pink self is welcome to my heart and home,
and your blue heart, too."

As I said these words,
pink pig's face lit up,
and his blue heart swelled,
and wouldn't stop

Until pink pig
was entirely blue!

But his heart now seemed
wonderfully new.

The pink returned
to my face and hands.
The strawberrries were pink,
and the roses pink garlands.

But pink pig turned blue!
Though from his smile I knew
that he didn't mind
being a blue pig at all.

So from then on, we two
lived happily--
me pink, him blue,
as good friends do.

- MPN 040712

It was especially fun writing this one.  :-)

Friday, April 6, 2012

NaPoWriMo Day 6: Where to, Buddy?

To the route of endless adventure, you and I (and a bunch of other friends).  :-)

Where to, Buddy?

Tick, tock, tick.
Where do puppies dream?
On beds of kibble,
or on streets of lamps?

Where do puppies tread?
Through shining eyes,
or into snuggly crooks of hearts?

Huff, huff, huff.
Where do puppies run to?
Into fields of color,
or to the rainbow edge of sunny skies?

Sigh, sigh, sigh.
Where do puppies go?
Into the everyday of each day--
only to return
with a soft

to the sound
of your footsteps
en route
to the water's edge
where a thousand bottles
on the shoreline
of dreams.

- MPN 040612

Hmmm.  Reading what I've just written, it feels like a children's storybook.  Ooooh, now there's an idea.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The 10A Alabama Summer Arts and Crafts Fair!

Summer handmade goodness!

Just as last-minute plans for April are settled, I thought I could participate in this summer's Arts & Crafts fair (hmmm, maybe I still could...)--well, I'm still thinking about it, as I've a workshop to lead that Saturday.  But for anyone who's in the area, do drop by and revel in summer handmade goodness!

The Arts & Crafts fairs at 10A Alabama are fun, and a colorful place to get inspiration and stock up on handmade goodies.  :-)

If you haven't been to 10A Alabama, then you're in for a treat.  Visiting Resurrection Furniture and Found Objects Gallery is always a venture into the possibilities that await dusty old furniture and odd knickknacks.  I picked up my favorite fabric necklace there--they carry different brands of upcycled items.

So if you don't have plans on the weekend of April 14 and 15, venture over to New Manila and begin a summer handmade adventure of your own.  Ooooh, and if you're in for some yummy mochi, drop by Dezato (a cafe in the area) for ice cream-filled mochi, or a take-home box of the regular kind.  The milk chocolate mochi is delicious.

Here's the map to 10A Alabama:

RAW and Hausbesetzer aren't there anymore, but it's still definitely worth making the trip.  :-)

And here's a picture of my mochi when we first discovered Dezato (upon the recommendation of awesome art collage mistress, Arlene Barbaza).

Avocado ice cream-filled mochi.  Heaven.

NaPoWriMo Day 5: Earth, Dirt, Dust

Fragile beauty from the richness of earth.

Earth, Dirt, Dust

"When does earth
become dirt?"
The thought rinses
through my mind
as I shake
the lettuce dry.

which holds
and nourishes
and gives,
makes its way
into the drainage
of thought.

Kicked into the air
as we fly,
swirling in sorrow,
then settling.


Until its embrace is welcomed once again.

- MPN 040512

More solemn thoughts settle in, as we ease into Holy Week.

The above photo was taken during a farm trip last weekend with the Good Food Community, a local community-supported agriculture initiative we're fans of.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

NaPoWriMo Day 4: Afternoon Infatuation

The milkiest, most cinnamon-y cappuccino I've ever had.

Afternoon Infatuation

A warm mug of brew
holds between its thumb and forefinger
an idea
that encloses
an image of you
within a delicate veil of steam.

In that moment, everything is perfectly clear.

- MPN 040412

Today's NaPoWriMo post is inspired from a post-lunch cappuccino with Lex at Milky & Sunny.  We found ourselves hanging there while waiting for word on our workshop stools.  Framed graphite sketches, an assortment of vintage-y frames, and embroidery hoops decorated the walls, which completed a whimsical, crafty look for the pleasant breakfast place.

We really should come back to try the food.  :-)


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

NaPoWriMo 2012: I join in on Day 3.

Because I can!  :-)

And because scribbling is yoga for the brain.  As crafting is syncing my motor skills with my mind.


Squasing squash
is an exercise in the necessity
of curry
and salt.
Dancing with sweetness,
the sizzle
the song,
styling the pepper
as its dotted notes
fall into the fires of a domed sky
that echoes
with the scrape of hunger.

The silence, filling.

- MPN, 040312

Okay, so I had squash pasta for dinner.  :-)  I don't have a photo, but what I prepared earlier is a variation of this recipe on Chocolate and Zucchini.  I must remind myself next time to take photos of what I concoct out of the wok.

Oh, and if you'd like to know more about NaPoWriMo 2012, check it out here.

Monday, April 2, 2012

And it works!

The Craft MNL workshop will be opening soon!
And the heat transfer on cloth using the Creative Versa-Tool works!  I just have to be extra-careful with for how long I keep the heat pressed.  I singed some pieces of katcha there.  A couple of tips I learned: press hard, and make sure the surface you've placed the cloth on is even.  I put the cloth on corrugated board (to protect my work table), and the board's texture showed somewhat.

We're working on getting the Craft MNL workshop open!  Start getting excited for workshops!