Thursday, May 6, 2010

Float, Flutter, Fly!

For no apparent reason, I have recently developed an unprecedented fascination of butterflies.

Well, it's probably not for no reason at all, actually.

It all started one sun-stricken day when a few of my colleagues and I ran out of lunch options and decided to go to a Chinese fast food restaurant a few blocks away from my office. The food wasn't great (which was a given counting there was barely any crowd at lunch time, which in turn is usually a bad sign), but the wall behind the serving counter caught my eye.

Yep, it was covered, top to bottom by tiny little paper butterflies. Handmade, accordion-fold, paper butterflies. Apparently, as and when the waitresses were free (which is probably quite often, judging from the non-existence of any type of diners that day), they gathered in a corner and folded scrap papers--used receipts, brochures, leaflets, and other tiny pieces of colorful papers, to make these dainty, little charmers.

Needless to say, once I got home that evening, I Googled "accordion paper butterfly" and found a handful of links that gave me the step-by-step instructions of how to make it.

This was the first card that I made that very evening:

I made the butterfly from leftover wrapping paper that I found in my studio and used florist wire to make the body and antennae (PS: If you're making one too, be sure that you use thin or low gsm paper as it makes the crease look sharper and you'll get a more streamlined shape). Shaping the wire was unexpectedly difficult, though! Note to self, I really should buy smaller diameter wire next time.

I adhered the butterfly onto a piece of white cardstock and placed this topper on a violet pre-folded cardstock, and I also found some leftovers of my most favorite, beloved DCWV Spring 2009 paper stack. As a finishing touch, I embellished the card with three dainty jewels from Prima.

Another photo of the card:

As with what happens every time I get fascinated with anything new, come the following weekend; I found myself with a new Carla Craft butterfly punch. I was quite excited because that was the first craft punch that I'd bought in a long, long time!

I forgot where I saw the inspiration to make this card, but I remembered that it was a framed image of three butterfly collages that gave me the idea for this design. I actually intended to send this card for a friend's birthday, but somehow I didn't send this card and ended up making another one.

By the way, the button that I used for the embellishment was rather 'special' because I bought it in Cebu, the Philippines. Yep, even when I was having a holiday with my hubby I managed to scour a few scrapbooking shops and bought a few bits and bobs, LOL ^_^.

The last card in the butterfly series is a simple birthday card with a cut-out shape of a butterfly, which was made with one of the papers out of my DCWV Spring 2009 paper stack.

Unfortunately the paper was a bit too thin for this shape, so I had to stick quite a few pieces of tiny craft foam squares at the back to support the form. As I was out of the violet cardstock, I used a shocking-lime-green colored pre-folded cardstock, which is a color I'm not typically in favor of. But it works out quite well at the end I think, thanks to the light green elements on the wrapping paper that I used as a base.

I've only created three of these butterfly-themed cards, but surely I'm still anticipating more to come. I am thinking of experimenting with felt... needle-felt... tissue paper... crochet... OMG! The possibilities are endless! I'd better get crafting now!! Bubye!!

Much love,

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Hi there!

This is my first post on this blog and I am sooo excited about it ^_^. I have been intending to publish my own blog forever and a day, and being the lazy gal that I am, well, it dragged on for months on end :P.

I have always loved arts and crafts since I was barely a teenager, and have been selling my own handmade stuff since I was in Junior High. The first 'art' that I sold was a handmade journal, or, to be overly concise, a journal with a handmade cover (I literally just scrapped off the cover and replaced it with a jute cover that I made) and sold it to one of my besties for about $1 because I wanted to buy a new pair of baggy jeans (which were very much in trend back then, I swear).

Anyhow, my crafting pursuits carried on for years, ranging from paper crafting, sewing, painting, sketching to loads of other stuff (I christmas cards, crafts, digital paper, digital scrapbooking, hello cards, Jute Cardseven hand sketched my best friend's portrait for her birthday gift, lame as it is), until I went to university.

I majored in Architecture in uni, thus my 'crafting' endeavors or any part thereof, became--shall I say--an 'obligation'. Never in my life have I seen so much crafting needed to be done in one day, as with my days in Architecture (and I am sure my uni friends can vouch for me on that). Studio hours were endless, handmade modeling of buildings kept us awake for forty eight hours at the least, and watercolor lessons were 'recommended' in order for us to pass one of the studio subjects. Even I, being much in love with crafts in the beginning, became desensitized to its daintiness and started to see arts as an industrialized course, if nothing else.

That was ten years ago. I started working not long after my graduation (ironically not as an architect, pheeww), days come and go and I was far away--million miles beyond doing anything crafts-related.

And there was I, about a few months back, preparing for my wedding. Yet in the midst of an excruciating episode of planning three different weddings in two different countries (with one man, mind you! But don't ask, I'll save this story for another time!), the one thing that I had in mind was to get DIY everything for the wedding(s). I was overwhelmed with the invitation samples, favor samples, patterned papers, etc., etc., etc., and I must say that I was so astonished at how the craft industry has changed so much in a decade.

I mean, some ten years ago, I created patterned paper by sticking a dried leaf on a foam block and stamping it on recycled paper in green acrylic ink. Now, you can go to virtually any shopping malls, find a scrapbooking shoppe, and get all the patterned papers in any design you can imagine--all on the cheap. And it's not only limited to brick and mortar businesses, go Google 'cardmaking' or 'scrapbooking' and you'll find hundreds, if not thousands, of resources to back you up in your crafting pursuits.

Then, a few weeks after we came back from our honeymoon, I realized that I was craving to do something creative again. So I went back to those scrapbooking and craft stores, and went on a maddddd shopping spree for papers, stamps, ribbons, punches, and just about anything that I could get my hands on without my hubby scowling at me (:P Luv ya hunny).

As it was a few weeks before Christmas, the first cards that I made after the long crafts-hibernation-episode were, of course, Christmas cards that we sent to friends and family (so I had an excuse to spend on supplies as I was saving us the price of a few Christmas cards, LOL). I wasn't so sure that I made, well, 'presentable' cards, but surprisingly I received positive responses from the people whom we sent the cards to.

These are the first two cards that I made in Christmas 2009:

I made this card for my beloved hubby. He always likes scruffy, vintage looking stuff and I was browsing around some digital scrapbooking blogs for this kind of theme when I bumped into Summer Driggs' website. I think she's one of the coolest Digital Scrapbook Artist ever, and all her kits are available for free on her blog. I printed some of the papers and elements from her Believe kit, and it worked very well on recycle paper, giving me the exact vintage look that I was looking for. I inked the edges with Tsukineko Coffee Bean ink for the extra 'aged' look. Thanks a bunch for your kit, Summer!

Another one of the initial inspirations for me in the first weeks of my cardmaking crave was Complete Cardmaking Magazine. Its Christmas 2009 edition was indeed a treasure chest for a beginner cardmaker like moi! This magazine always comes with a free CD with loads of designs and themes, and the paper and card topper that I used for the card above was printed from that very CD. I sent this card to my parents in law :).

Lo and behold, four months on and a few more cards under my belt, I pulled myself together and am determined to get my crafting endeavors underway once more. I recently opened up shop on Etsy called February Lane, and I am hoping to list new handmade cards and some craft supplies for fellow crafters very very soon.

I must say at the moment I am very, very lucky to be living in Asia, where craft supply wholesalers are a dime a dozen, and that I have a very, very lovely mum who's always happy to help me source some strange materials from the corners of my hometown in Indonesia :). And have I mentioned that my office is a stone's throw away from the biggest textile center in Singapore, where fabric, beads and ribbons galore? Now, go figure how blessed a crafter I am!!

And what could say a simple hello better than my own, handmade card?? ;) This is one of my mixed-media favorites: hessian (aka. jute aka. burlap) fabric topper that I bought from a fishing shop two shop houses away from my office, embellished with a needle felted applique. I needle-felted the daisies myself, and it was supposed to be a 3D daisy. But at the end I was too distracted by the new episode of 24 that I managed to skip the next 2 layers and made it into a 2D applique (LOL). I hand-shaped the word "Hello" myself using florist wire and ouch, did it hurt my fingers! But it was super worth it.

So this card brings us to the end of today's post... I will try my best to post new stories in the upcoming week, to share with you a few of the cards that I made in the past few months. But as I do have a full time day job, please pardon me if I don't post regularly at times!! ;) See you!!

Much love,