It’s official. I now blog only once a month. It’s not so much the busy-ness as it’s the fact that I don’t feel like I need to write entries that often anymore? It seems there are separate places to share the different sides of me now — Facebook for the daily random personal thoughts, links, and photos, Flickr for the craft updates, and deviantART for the Art/Architecture works (although not as frequently updated as the other two). And this blog, is what ties everything together: a summary of what I’ve been up to. I’d like to point out, if there are new readers, that this isn’t really a craft blog, nor is it a daily “I did this then I did that” personal diary, nor is it a “link showcase” with articles on particular subjects. It’s just… er, this.
I am still using Ubuntu, and am typing this in KompoZer, a WYSWYG editor. I’ve been surviving with Photoshop CS2 running under Wine, but recently discovered an alternative for quick photo editing and collaging — Picasa. I’ve heard of this program for ages, since the times of TechTV, but never downloaded or used it. I so appreciate the fact that they have a version for Ubuntu — the picture mosaics and stuff shown in this entry were done in Picasa.
I currently have three weeks of Spring Break left. To rewind a few weeks back; after the bridge-staircase project, we had an seaside oyster bar-restaurant project, which I almost enjoyed. (That does not mean it was smooth sailing, though — the night before crit, I had a grand total of 20 minutes of sleep. And I didn’t even finish my work for the Construction module, resulting in a low low mark, but at least I passed. ) I scored much better in the Design module, because I really did put in a ton of effort on the presentation drawings and stuff. And the model, because I like model-making and didn’t put it off till the last minute like I did before. (No doubt this time, I only concentrated on the parts of the course that I liked more than the stuff I hated, ie. construction details and drawings. Blergh. But I totally understand that this isn’t the way to go. )
Presentation boards for the projectSite model For this crit I wasn’t the first one to present (which I greatly appreciated, since I’ve always somehow been one of the first ones to go ) — in fact I was the 3rd last from the 15 members of my group — and on one hand it was more nerve-wracking, having to wait all day for your turn, but it also turned out to be useful, to listen and watch the others go before you, and get a sense of what the reviewers are like, what kind of questions they asked. When it came to my turn, the tutor actually had nothing much to say! He was surprised that the doors on my model actually slides (like, duh, right? ), and said that my design had this Urban Planning thing going on because it fit into the site context really well. (And I was worried that my building looked too boring and uncreative. But hey.)
The holidays so far have been quite uneventful, mainly because I am so so broke. There have been many unexpected expenses (like a £300 deposit per person for our house next Autumn — THREE FREAKING HUNDRED! :shakefist: ), in addition to the fact that our next quarterly allowance will only be banked in by our sponsor at the end of April. Lovely. I guess it pushed me to be more resourceful, though, like how my model had corrugated cardboard (from boxes I’ve kept) for most of the walls and roof, and how I nicked wooden coffee stirrers from the student union shop (shh. I wasn’t the only one who did this ) for the “timber slats”, and how I used materials for some of the craft things I’ve kept myself occupied with.
So. Most of this entry will consist of stuff I’ve made and haven’t blogged about yet. Feel free to click (or not click) on them for more info.
Crocheted duck and pencil cup cozy. The multi-coloured fuzzy yarn was bought in Liverpool at 99p (for 4 balls) last winter. I’ve made the duck before, but this one’s a request from Kak Yana, who browsed through my Flickr and picked out the stuff she wanted. The duck is still with me, though, and I’ve named him Doug.
The pencil (well — brushes and scissors) jar was a pasta sauce jar, washed and label removed. The cozy covers the bottom of the jar too, and at the end I had to crochet the jar into the cozy, since the lip is smaller than the rest of it. I’m not sure I could take it off the jar if I wanted to, I tied it off pretty tight.
Next is a new hobby I decided to try out. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen hand-carved stamps before, but it wasn’t until May-Ann posted her creations, that my hands just itched to make some myself. Awhile after that, Skin left a comment here and from blog-hopping from her site, I’ve discovered so many more Malaysian crafters (which made me so happy and proud and my Google Reader so bloated with new subscriptions ), one of them being Mangosteenskin. Her stamps are amazing, go check them out!
My first few tries. That one eraser was already flower-shaped, and the round one was already circular. I concluded, after doing the HI!, that I can’t do spontaneous hand-drawn designs straight onto a stamp. So the ones after the first three were typed up in Photoshop and transferred onto the eraser.Closer look at the Nabeelah stamp. I adjusted the N and some of the letters a bit more after taking these photos. Cursive writing isn’t exactly easy to do, too bad I decided to do it for one of my first tries. Oh, somewhere along my research, I came across this tutorial, which I’d totally recommend for any budding stamp carvers.
On the left, the first two were just surprise gifts, the third was a request. These weren’t, by any means, perfect though — for instance, the girl actually has no eyebrows nor mouth. Heh.
Oh, these had a piece of thick cardboard glued to the backs. They make it easier to press the stamp evenly, and helps not getting your fingers all inky.
Then I tried a bigger eraser. I did actually go to town and went eraser-shopping. (I believe some people call erasers “rubbers” here, but I’ll stick to erasers. These probably aren’t even made of rubber anyway.) But the cheapest were some I found online for 10p each. And the last time I went grocery shopping at ASDA, they had bigger ones for 13p each.
I actually liked this “negative” cutting style — carving the word aneesah was really easy using the V-shaped tool. But the tiny letters required the scalpel.
A trip to the charity shop led me to my next new craft — hama beads. They’re basically coloured plastic beads that you arrange on a pegboard in some kind of pattern (rather like pixel art), and then iron over it with some wax paper. The beads will melt and stick to each other. You can either iron one side or both, and the finished product is used as magnets or pendants and stuff like that. I think this was intended to be a young kids’ craft (minus the ironing part), but hey. I wanted to try it out too.
The bead kit and a bag of yarn I found. So these are the thingamajigs I’ve made. Unfortunately, most of the beads now left in the kit are coloured… lime green, grey, pink, and other random icky shades. But I’ll probably figure out some designs that can use them up somehow.
And, lastly, some recycled stuff that I’ve started ages ago but never got around to finishing.
Cardboard + papier mache hooks to use on my closet door. There are two more un-finished ones… I’m always lazy with stuff that require drying time.And this, is the project that caused me to delay my writing of this entry. (‘Cause I wanted it to be finished before starting anything else. ) See, since the seven months that I’ve been in this *cough* lovely country, I’ve collected a drawerful of plastic grocery bags from my weekly shopping. And when they were — this — close to becoming a Plastic Bag Monster threatening to take over my whole room, I decided to do something with them. Something green. Something reusable. Something crocheted, patiently and painfully, almost every day till it was finally completed yesterday. It took about 50-60 bags in total.
I think that’s about it. Anyway, since I still have more free time (although there’s that 2500-word essay for Western Architecture that I am conveniently ignoring because the deadline is three weeks away… ), and am still broke, if there’s anything you’d like to commission me or request I make for you, just drop a line down there. I have Paypal now, which is a good (for online shopping) and bad (for online shopping) thing. Though please note that I don’t have many resources currently; no sewing machine or any fabric or things like that.
Oh, and I’m still having that can’t-access-my-own-freaking-site problem occasionally, so if your comments aren’t approved, don’t worry about it, I still read them via e-mail notifications.
Next on my ideas-to-do list is probably another crochet jar cozy for my other pencil cup (I can never have too many pencil cups. Heh. ), and the S hooks to finish up, and a knit teddy bear from a kit I won from a giveaway (knitting is so much harder than crochet for me ), and maybe some works with air-dried clay that I bought for the architectural model… if I can remember where I kept it… Also, my cardboard / cereal box collection is growing at an alarming rate, so hmm. Need to do something out of those too.
Okie dokie. Till next month, bye!
P.S. Oo, forgot to mention the TV-show and movie-watching I’ve done. So far I’ve catched up with Monk, finished the third season of Little Mosque on the Prairie, and am still watching American Idol, Heroes, and One in a Million. Movies — I can only recommend Monsters vs. Aliens, although I haven’t seen any promos or even heard of it here, it was a pleasant watch. Coraline was slightly disappointing, though I guess little kids would enjoy it.