Friday, March 20, 2015

Evan Half Moon Coin Pouch

Took a while didn't it, for me to finally launch a marbled leather goods collection?
Evan // pronounced [ih-van]. Named after a friend who got me started on leather: Evangeline.

I've been meaning to get into leather since more than a year back now, but had no idea where to get materials nor tools from.
Prayed about it and seemingly out of nowhere, Evan just "magically" showed up in my life.

She was first introduced to me as a client, who was planning on a carnival themed wedding and wanted someone to illustrate live portraits of her guests.
While talking and getting to know her better, she revealed she's a really crafty soul and had currently picked up on leatherwork too.
She showed me all the pieces she had made on her Instagram & I just couldn't believe it.
Naturally, I jumped in with questions of suppliers and tried to get the low down on the how tos.

Evan was so nice about it and shared all her contacts with me, even lent me her tools and a small instruction book on how to hand sew leather  said she was heading off to Hong Kong for a trip and I could fiddle around with it in the meantime.
She even helped buy me my own leather tool starter kit!
I don't think I know another person more generous than she.

Our client relationship morphed into a friendship of course (almost instantaneously actually).
Naturally, I think it's only fitting and right to name my debut leather goods collection after her.

Evan Half Moon coin pouches are fully hand made by me, from its cutting, marbling to its stitching.
I love how each one is unique and absolutely impossible to replicate.

Find them here!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Muse: Shantell Martin

I can't fully recall how I've stumbled upon Shantell Martin, but it's most definitely along the lines of an online publication feature.
Her work drew me in almost immediately.
I felt a very strong connection with her bold graphical lines in black and white. 

Watching her talks and her working live, reminded me a little bit of my own style, except she was so much looser.
I really drew inspiration from her to be a lot more free in the approach to my undertakings.
I'm not sure how, but watching her work made me realised I was trying to force myself to be a "type" of artist I wasn't.

I kept imagining what it'd be like to share a studio with her and what it'd be like to pick her brains.
I just hadn't been inspired by an artist (and not just their work) in so long.
I was especially struck by her philosophy and the positivity she radiates.
I found it utterly refreshing.

I was then overwhelmed with the sensation to make a portrait of her in her element, as if pretending I had her for a studio mate.
I couldn't shake off the idea. And since I only work in black and white in my embroidery too, my hands got to it.

The background is taken from a mural she did for Y & R Global HQ, New York. I've made some tweaks to it to include all the little words I really liked.
And only after had I finished embroidering that I'd realised I've made her a leftie instead when I'd flipped her around in photoshop to make it all fit!


As I've mentioned before, embroidering portraits of strangers always made me feel a sense of closeness to them, like I know them, yet, still not.
Embroidering an artist's work conjures up an even more intimate emotion than that, which I can't quite put my finger on.
It's almost an queer awareness that this is my work, but too, not.

Should I chance upon another artist whom my soul feels akin to, I will be doing the same.
Having this embroidery now up on my new studio wall gives me a sense of company in a bizarre warm way.

I guess this qualifies as the very first fan art I've created.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Dream Home

Roxy Marj recently had an Instagram giveaway contest and it was to draw your dream home.
I'd participated in it, but too bad for me, didn't emerge as a winner.

Lately though, Jian and I have been debating on whether or not to go back to Perth, so the concept of a dream home was really challenging.

Ideally, we would have space enough to have ourselves a garden where I can grow edibles and Eden can frolic about with (possibly) our pet dog. We can't yet agree on breed of our dream canine either. Since owning land is definitely out of the question here in Singapore for us, Perth would seem like a much likelier place to have this dream come true.

If we were to remain in Singapore though, a dream home would be one of those shop houses you see in Joo Chiat or Katong. Colourful, vibrant and pattern-filled.
We'll have our home upstairs and the downstairs would be a mishmash of a small retail space and a studio where not only I can work from, but where I could conduct workshops too.
 There will be plenty of courtyard room enough for that garden.

It'll be so much fun for Eden to grow up in an environment such as this I can image; always buzzing with something to do, people to meet and things to see.

Dreaming indeed. We're not made up of the dollars. Reality-home would be any place where we can call our own.
Singapore or Perth; garden or not; big, small, it doesn't even really matter.

I don't know when, but well, one day.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dip Dye Chair Legs

If you have been following me on Instagram, you'd have known that I'd picked up this awesome stool from the trash area underneath my void deck.

I can't believe someone would toss it out. Mainly because I've been thinking about getting one just like this.
Of course though, I can see why someone would. The legs have started to rot.

I didn't think it was that big a deal and thought it'll be a relatively easy fixer-upper. Already I knew in mind what I could do with it  dip dye its legs.
I've decided to document the process and make a simple DIY tutorial.

First things first. Materials you'll need aside from your beat up stool:
Masking tape, or painter's tape + spray paint colour of your choice.

Tape off areas where you don't want the paint to go on. Make sure you get nice straight lines where the legs are. This ensures you get a neat finish.
Everywhere else doesn't really matter so long as you've sealed it off proper.

On hindsight, we should have sanded down the areas where we'd wanted spray painted too. This would have allowed our paint to grip on the wood better.

Take your spraying outdoors. You don't want to be breathing in any fumes. 
Set up your spraying area with some tarp (or newspapers) to prevent the ruining of any walls or floors.

This was what we did. We'd created a setup at our corridor.

Not necessary, but we'd placed a board down from the stool's legs as a further surety we don't get paint on any bits we didn't want either.

Follow your can's instructions and paint as many coats needed. 
Leave your stool to dry and peel off the tape after.


Yay, you've just given your furniture new life! This stool is going into the corner of our studio as a plant stand. I think it looks super cute, like it has socks on. 

All we need to do now is to decide on a plant.

My New Pets

I've got Loki, my betta, a filtered tank the other day. I have had him for exactly 1 year now.
I thought to shower him with some good lovin'. Previously, he lived in a bowl.

I was finding it too tedious anyways to give it a good cleaning every week as the algae builds up quite quickly in there.
More so now that I'm 7 months pregnant, I really am not feeling like taking on this chore anymore.

Naturally, with a huge 36 cm tank for only one critter, I thought he might need some companions aside from Merry & Pippin  my jolly cute marimos.

So, I got him some shrimp friends! I have named them Tiny Colony.
Aside from being overly eager about meeting his new pals (he chowed down on some shimplets), Loki seems to like having folks around.

I've got 8 of them. They are so much fun to watch! They are constantly busy.