Friday, December 21, 2007

My DIY Feature at

I entered a wedding diy contest and was featured as their first contestant. (And right on my birthday too. How cool is that!?) For a dose of wedding inspiration, you'll find loads of ideas here. Thanks Abby!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas Ornament Tutorial

Hi! I just sent all 9 packages to their recipients of my swap group today (Phew!) and decided to post the tutorial here as well. It's a christmas ornament made out of shrinkable plastic and adorned with my favourite itsy bitsy buttons. But first, download the template here.

STEP 1 : DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE. This is how the template looks. I've not included the patterns, you may want to decorate them as you like. Digitally or with sharpies/colour markers. I've used quilting textile patterns and put in the recipients name with Adobe Illustrator. If you need the illustrator file, just e-mail me.

STEP 2 : DESIGN YOUR ORNAMENT & PRINT. That's my work table with all the printed shrinkable plastics. Choose shrinkable plastics that allow you to print on your inkjet printer if you intend to do this digitally. Read instructions on shrinking percentage and enlarged as you seem fit. Bigger ornaments need bigger graphics (you may try out one first.) Usually shrinkable plastics will shrink about 50% tp 60% from the printed size. Some may even shrink horizontally more than vertical. For mine, the rounded ornaments started as perfect circles, but when they're heated it shrunk vertically more, so they now appear oval like.

STEP 3 : Remember to print at 50% lighter shade. Because of the shrinking that will take place in your ovennete, things will appear very much darker.

STEP 4 : CUTTING OUT THE PIECES. All arranged out. I'd advice you to cut 1 set at a time and punch the holes as soon as you do. Make sure the punches are on the same direction for all the pieces. If not, you will have the holes in the wrong edges.

Step 5 : PUNCHING THE PIECES. Only punch the edges where you will sew the pieces together. Always remember to punch before heating, if not it will be too late to punch once it is shrunk! Too thick and too damn hard! Oh yes, a bigger punch is used if you need a bigger hole. Too small of a hole will not be effective once it is shrunk. (I hope that makes sense.)
Step 6 : HEATING THE OVEN. Please use the oven. NO MICROWAVE OVENS (unless you want a Chernobyl incident here!) I use a simple toaster oven. You need very low heat (follow manufacturer's heating instructions). Pop them two at a time on top of foil. Watch them shrink and curl. Don't worry about the curling, it will naturally uncurl once it is ready to come out. This will take less than 30 seconds or more depending on heat. When there is no more movement or shrinking, pick them out with wooden chopsticks onto a wooden board and flatten while still warm.

STEP 7 : Place on wooden board to cool. Do the rest. It's quite automatic after awhile. If you notice unsightly dents in the middle, it means that your piece needs more heating. Do not overheat though, it will take a lot of heat to melt it again and it will be disastrous.
You can pop in The big pieces on at a time. Don't be in a rush, I know you'll get excited watching it shrink and dance but you need to control the curving when it comes out from the oven and you need to flatten it immediately.

Check out the shrinking.

Laid out to rest.

STEP 8 : VARNISHING. I used Modge podge to varnish and waterproof the pieces. You can also use aerosol sprays but Modge Podge is way cheaper. Let dry overnight and away from busybody 4 year olds.

STEP 9 : ATTACHING THE PIECES. Select matching buttons. Size of buttons depends on how far the holes are from one piece to another ornament piece. I tie a knot to secure the button first before sewing onto the pieces.

Select the last piece and sew to the upper one.

To knot off by going around a few times and knotting at the back to properly secure the button to the piece.

Sewing the upper pieces together depending on how many layers you want your ornament to be.

STEP 10 : ATTACHING THE RIBBON. Assemble the ribbon and buttons for the upper ornament.

STEP 11 : ATTACHING THE RIBBON FOR THE TOP MOST ORNAMENT. With the same method, attach the topmost ornament with a ribbon for hanging. Select soft ribbons for this.

Do the bow for the middle. You can opt for felt cutouts or maybe lace, there are many possibilities. Use your noodles!


Knot off with the same method for a neat finish.

Tada! The finished ornament. This is for Melissa of Group 17.

All in a row. I even made one for myself. Now, remember to write to me about your creation this Christmas.

Merry Christmas Everyone. Have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year. Do write and keep in touch.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tagged! By Katherine

Katherine of tagged me and well I've not done this for awhile so here goes.

But first, the rules:

  1. Link to your tagger (see above), and also post these rules on your blog.
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself (random or weird) on your blog.
  3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
    Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

... and 7 facts about me:

  1. I love buttons, ribbons and trims! They're better than candy.
  2. I can't stand smokers! I've the urge to snuff out their ciggies in their face.
  3. I use this very old chinese fine bamboo hair comb. (I know it's weird! But it reminds me of my beloved grandmother)
  4. I have a very short fuse. (My husband says so.)
  5. I've a wandering eye. (LOL! I look at everything around me - in detail!)
  6. My feet are huge - I think they're still growing.
  7. I've a wild imagination. I get my ideas - daydreaming.

Time to tag some people:

  1. Melie
  2. djbebe
  3. Emily
  4. Nik
  5. Bj
  6. Faizon
  7. Ying

Come play along!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas Tags Free Download - Just Add Buttons!

Hi! It's a little Christmas gift for all my blogger friends. Download, print and add yummy buttons to make these tags. Punch a hole on the tip and tie them on to your gifts these season. Will do up some for my gifts this year too. Download from here.

Show us your creation, leave a comment here. Have Fun!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nigel's Year End Concert

Hi! This is really an overdue posting. Nigel's concert was like a month ago before we left for Phuket and here are the pictures. I didn't sew the costume, if you're wondering. Parents nowadays are pampered, costumes are now included in the school fees. I still remember having my parents prepare for our costume and some of the accessories were just handmade. It's now replaced by mass produced plastics and everything is store-bought. (Here I go again...)

Anyhow, I'm a proud parent that day. He was selected to present his class, thanks to his gift of the gap - He had to do it in our National Language, Bahasa Malaysia and the problem was that the entire class have yet to start on any BM classes. No kid could speak Bahasa and I wondered why the principal insist that the class have to be presented in BM? I had to change the speech that was prepared, imagine Nigel saying, " Mempersembahkan...." It went "Mempelememahbahatan..."LOL. Annoyed I simply changed it to, "Kami dari Kelas 4 Kuning akan menari tarian Melayu Lenggang Lenggang Kangkung!" And we recited this for a couple of weeks until he got it. And that's the only BM he knows currently. So, here goes...(and thanks to Uncle Meow for being there to take some cool shots.)

Nigel with his school teacher, Mrs. Chew.
He's a confident little man. I, on the other hand had my fingers crossed and his speech was running helter skelter in my head!
His entrance on the stage. Check out his Lenggang Lenggang Kangkung!
A huge stage didn't scare him at all. I'm beginning to think that he likes the limelight.
His fans. We were all so amused by all the kid's performance. My 5 year old niece was performing that day too and we didn't have any photos. (So sorry Ruun Ann, Uncle Meow didn't know you'll be performing). But I have a video of you!

A moment of uncertainty. He was standing in the right spot, the rest of the kids in front were front. Hahah!

Look at him smile. Megan was his partner. They look so sweet.
My dashing little pumpkin!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Christmas in November

That's right. Faizon spent months doing this for me and I'm so in love with all her delicate work. As NNC celebrated it's first anniversary (this is the gathering I missed because of my Phuket trip) we all exchanged gifts and all my friends had a wonderful time. Here are pictures of the lovely tatted pieces I received and the gifts I've made.

That's my favourite piece in the middle. Every snowflake is unique and designed by the talented FAIZON!
Breathtaking works of art. Notice the beads all around.
These will be up on my Christmas tree this year.

Look how delicate and beautiful each and everyone of them.

A beautiful pincushion also by Faizon. I don't think I'll ever poke any needles on this prized treasure.
Doilies that came with Faizon's gift for the exchange. All in my favourite colours.
Thank you Usha for these lovely bookmarks. Will use them right away! For my craft books of course.
Christmas on my floor. Awwww! I'm so very happy. And you'll notice... Nigel is at school when I did these photographs. I don't want no 4 year olds touching these precious pieces.

Sewing an applique onto Nik's craft pouch.
Sewing the zipper on. This takes some practice.
Making sure to zig-zag the hem to avoid frays.
The applique looks better than my crocheted pincushion. (That's for the gift exchange)
The larger craft pouch and the pincushion on the left went to Anna.
Close-up of the applique. I have a little piece of sponge underneath so that Nik can treat it like a pincushion as well.

A slice of pincushion cake for Nik in celebration of the Group's 1st Anniversary! Will be posting the tutorial soon complete with template.