Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Japanese book binding

I watched some tutorials online and thought I found the simplest way to bind a book. I'm in love with Japanese book binding and hence, the try:

These were made using scrapbits from previous projects, and I happened to have few meters of paper strings left, so I thought of giving it a go. The stitching part was the hardest, since I was too lazy to dig up my sewing box (gathering dust under the bed ha!), so I stitched the pages without using any needle. Oh yes I did. *bangs head on the wall*. On some 1/8" round holes. Stupid decision, I know, but still do-able. :P

It was a mess cutting and slicing the papers, so they ended up with some uneven pages.

I like the hard cover of my first book though, and the wrapper was actually one of my favs.

The second try was much better, but I wasn't really fond with my colour choice for the hard cover. I messed up again when I tried mod-podging the cover (need to get used to this mod-podging business!), so it came out with all the bubbles, scattered and uneven, and it didn't look very nice. :( I tried covering it up with the E alpha, but it only solved half the problem.

Remind me to find more coloured strings for the bindings, and I'll give it a try again, with much better colour coordinations. And with much better design. And sizes. Or perhaps I should use ribbons too.

The front cover looked so bare so I used the alphas that I made before to decorate on them. At least now they looked decent enough heh!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Black Box

It has been a tiring week week so far. I've been running around and trying to settle few things in between.  My convocation is coming up and I just noticed a mistake in my name (so need to do correction with the university), there are more permanent jobs to apply, orders to fulfill, things to buy etc. Oh, and there's KL International Book Fair to go. Well, I've been there twice already, and bought few interesting books (that I would love to share later!), and am planning to go again on Saturday. There goes my budget for the month!.

Let's go back to the main agenda: The black box.

I didn't plan the box to be black and white. But I happened to go to a stationery shop last week and saw this gorgeous looking wrapping paper. with. eyes-rolling-with-excitement. price. tag. I ended up buying 3 pieces with plentiful of ideas of what to do with them. And I will probably go back to buy some more hehe.

This is actually meant as a packaging for a bulk order that I received. I've done making all of them (with tons of FUN in between). I can't reveal what yet (though totally tempted to) since I'm yet to send them to their owner, so for the time being, just enjoy the box okay.

I'm totally into packaging right now, and boxes are always my favourite. I thought of adding ribbons to the box, but then, it doesn't feel right as it would take away the beauty of the pattern paper. So I simply gave a dash of a quilled flower on top. After all, simplicity is what I always go for. Let's take a sneak peak of what the inside looks like :P

I've included the card since it fits in the whole black and white theme. It even matches the quilled flower outside.

I hope Are-ween would love the box, and the things that come with it!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Revamping and Rewrapping

Yeay for the new simplistic design on miyyah@kertas! I've been wanting to change the whole template for ages, but it would just mean headache to understand all the html codes. But yesterday, my mood was in full swing so I started by designing new header instead. And I got caught up with that so very much and decided to change to whole look completely hehe. I experimented in a test blog (it's always good to have one so you won't mess with your main blog), and with help from Prof Google and Mr. Photoshop, I finally liked what I saw. And transfer the whole coding into miyyah@kertas and TADAAA... here it is!

I'm totally loving my new header! And the new look!

Ok, let's go back to the main story.

Remember when I made the blue calendar I told you that I was totally in love with the pattern paper? Well, I love the retro design so much that I wanted some for my own use. Since I still have some extras from the previous project, I decided to use them and start wrapping everything in blue hahaha:

Okay, perhaps not everything. I just managed to wrap four items though hehe. Okay, I love collecting adhesives, and these three are my favourites, and they seem to coordinate in blue! The big-size bottle is the PVA glue (my fav! and non toxic!), and I use the smaller bottle on the right for refill purpose - so I only have to bring the small glue bottle instead of barging in with the huge, and heavy PVA. On the left side is my trusted glue stick. I only buy glue sticks in blue-coloured brands haha. There's something about glue stick being blue. :P

The quilled flower was one of those flowers lying around in my box, so I just stick one on a blue and white card, put them up nicely and the PVA bottle looks much, much better. :)

And when I thought I could just stop wrapping all my blue-coloured craft items, I found an eraser in black. Doesn't it look much better now? Oh how I love colour co-ordinations.

Need. to. do. more. wrappings. And need to buy more adhesives. So far I've got the PVA white craft glue, the glue stick, the tacky glue, the glitter glue, the superglue, glue guns, glue spray, all kinds of tapes...

What's next? Mod podge!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tutorial: Another Paper Flower

It's been ages since I last updated my tutorial section. I'm feeling good this week (regardless the camera incident), so here goes another tutorial on how to make Another Paper Flower (never got tired of them!)

Materials needed:

Any types of paper (for the purpose of the tutorial, I'm using dark pink construction paper @ sugar paper)
Brads/ Craft wire
Paper flower punch/ Scallop scissors/ Any other craft scissors
(if you don't have any of those, a simple paper scissors will do)

Firstly, punch out 8 -10 paper flowers. If you don't have any flower punch, you can use scallop scissors or any other means, as long as you get enough flowers. I use paper punch because it's easier, and because I'm finally able to make use of the flower punch that I've bought ages ago hehe!

So here are the flowers:

Then arrange them together like this:

Poke two small holes in the middle of the flowers using sharp needle or pin.

Use brad or soft craft wire to tie all the flowers together. I'm using brads, but you can also use craft wires.

Once everything has been tied up nicely, here comes the fun part. Scrunch the first layer of the petals like this:

Then scrunch the 2nd layer of the petals. And continue scrunching the 3rd, and repeat the same step for all the layers of the petals. It will turn out like this:

Then, using your fingers, open up the scrunched papers slowly, to make it blossoms into a nice looking flower.

And repeat all the steps again if one flower is not enough (it never will!). And there you have it, your Another Paper Flowers, ready to be used as your craft embellishment.

The fun part of this flower-making is that you can use any types of papers and get flowers of different sizes and textures. This is what it looks like when I use my scallop scissors to make the flower. It's slightly bigger than the punched flowers, but I still love the effects.

I smudged the corners using red stamp pad to get the nice tone effects. And this one is done using baking paper cups:

Looks good to be decorated on boxes!

Try out your own Another Paper Flower using other types of shapes/ craft scissors and different types of papers - newspapers, mags, tissue paper, glossy paper, pattern paper etc.. and don't forget to try on combination colours on a flower (e.g dark pink and light pink would do wonders on a flower)

Just have fun experimenting ok! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

FOUND: Ribbons!

By now you probably have noticed my attitude of wanting everything in cheap prices haha (thus, the FOUND! section :P).

I was hunting for ribbons for some bulk orders, and I've been looking around for quite a while. I wanted those printed and colourful grosgrain ribbons, but they're either too bulky for my project or too expensive. Tried to search online, but nothing caught my interest. So I've started hunting down alternative ribbons (by lowering down my specification), and I would be happy if I can find ribbons that are of good quality, but cheaper in price. Yes, I know, I'm aiming too high LOL.

So, one sweet day I decided to try my luck at a nearby sewing shop. They have lots and lots of plain satin ribbon, and being a fussy craft buyer, it took a while to find what I want. Then, something at the darkest corner of the ribbon rack caught my eyes. It was the dustiest place of them all, and I had to wipe away the dust and finally found these:

[insert overdosed squealing here]

These 1 cm (in width) ribbons are simply perfect for my project! They came in multiple colours - green, yellow, pink, purple and orange. And guess how much are they priced?

RM5.80 per roll! (about 10 meters ++)

Okay, I'm just guessing that. Perhaps it's 10 yards. I don't bother to ask or to count haha. Even if I did, I know I wouldn't get the numbers right anyway. But I guess it's thick enough to be 10 yards anyway.

At first I only took what I need, but a few days after the first visit, I went back and took each in every colour hehe. By the time the pictures were taken, I've used up all my pink-coloured ribbons.

I'm not sure how many are left, but it's worth checking out. So for those in Shah Alam, head here fast, before the shop runs out of stock. :)

Found at: Kedai Alat-alat Jahitan You Mei, Seksyen 18, Shah Alam (nearby Mydin Hypermart, Shah Alam)
Sold at: RM5.80 each

Hurry up while stocks last!

*Updated on April 11, 2010: Thanks to a tip from my cousin Kak Ti, the same ribbons are priced at RM4.80 per roll (15 yards) and you can try digging them up at all Bake With Yen branches (Puchong, Petaling Jaya and Chowkit and Taman Tun).

Monday, March 15, 2010

Extraterrestrial Reading

These little aliens remind me a lot of teletubbies LOL. After Irie was born, I though of making more robots, but I keep on quilling aliens instead hehe. These four little aliens had very, very huge tummies, and as you can see, they have taken serious liking on desserts.

Let's do some proper introduction, shall we?

Well, this is Gaz. He's so much into glitzy chocolate puddings and seems to be a bit obsessed with anything chocolaty. He shouts MINE all the time - especially when he's hungry.

He's a bit selfish, and snotty. But could be a little cute especially when he stuffs himself with chocolate LOL. As selfish as he is, the other three seem to listen to him very well, and respect him a lot. So I guess he's the leader of the pack.

And this green little monster is called Chu.

He's the nerdy one in the group, and a natural-born peacemaker. He recycles everything around him and plans to open his own recycling centre. He loves vege and anything green. He might not say it out loud, but I think he has a wee bit crush on Gem.

Who's Gem? Well, this is Gem:

The troublemaker, and the youngest of them all. Gem is Gaz's younger sister, but they have absolutely nothing in common (okay, perhaps the thickheads!). Gem didn't listen to anyone, and only does what she likes.

She loves her brother because he's her brother, but hates everything else about him hahaha. She loves to bicker, and yells a lot. But she has a very good heart, and soften a bit whenever her brother's not around :P

The last one in the group is The Prince.

I have no idea why he's called that way. He's not a real prince, nor anyone ever treated him like one. All I know is that he never talks. Gem loves talking to him, as he never replied. He has a heart made of gold, and is loved by everyone. He eats the most out of the four, and he just adores Forgotten Pudding.

Which one is your favourite? :P

*this entry is featuring Nigella Express, one of my favourite cookbooks ever.

On another topic, it saddens me to say that my loyal camera has officially went haywire - for the second time! It keeps on snapping blank pictures as if it had been knocked out and couldn't see anymore. There's no point of repairing anymore (I spend almost RM300 to repair the last time), and I might as well buy a new SLR (dream on - get a job first Miyyah! :P). I'm not sure how to take the next piccas, but will probably rely on my sister's for a while.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Words of Wisdom

My first try at Arabic calligraphy. These words of wisdom are verses from Al-Ikhlas, a short surah in Al-Quran. Here's the original verses in Al-Ikhlas:

This is called the Kufi style of Arabic calligraphy, in which, again, using geometrical elements in reforming the original Arabic words. I'm no architecture student, but it has always been widely known that Islamic art and architecture have widely been influenced by geometrical patterns, and it always fascinates me to learn new things on the beauty of Islamic art. For example, since the verses were written in a complete swirl, I learned that the right way to read a Kufi style calligraphy of Quranic surahs is by starting from the bottom end of the right side, moving to the left... and then top... until it completes a swirl.

I found the original design from an old book of my father, and it stated that the origin of the design was copied from the late Turki Ahmad Karahisari (d. 1556).

I actually used a recycled cardboard (that I found as a support to a drawing pad). I don't have an X-Acto knife - okay, bought twice, but got lost somewhere - so since it's an experiment, I use my old but reliable normal paper knife. I tore the first layer of the cardboard to get the roughed texture before finally painted it in red.

Since March is a very, very hot season (I keep on sweating even under the fan!), so it took less than 15 minutes to dry! It was only until then that I realised there were still some small parts that I missed (as per picture). Oh well, wait till I get this framed, and people won't notice them from afar. :P

Sunday, March 07, 2010

It's black! It's white!

Another one in the series! I told you I was gearing up to these patterns hehe, so here goes another similar pattern in the series! I've previously made a card in shades of blue, and a box in tones of brown, so here goes the black and white version.

I've actually made this before I made the merisik box, but realised at the very last minute that I no longer have a black card in stock! So the project had to be put on hold for a while, and I only managed to resume it after getting my cardstock supply today.

I wish I could have some tones of grey in between, but grey papers are also nowhere to be found. It seems like I've used almost all of my favourite papers and yet to re-stock them. *sigh*

There are still more in the series (red! another blue! green! another brown! orange!)...... but as I said, most of my craftworks have been stalled lately - due to my laziness to restock everything (hehe!).

So stay tuned okay. :P

Friday, March 05, 2010

Calendar 2010 v. 4

Yes, even though it's been 3+ months into 2010 already, I'm still making calendars LOL! This time it's for the lovely Ms Dila (whom I think must be a bubbly person with a cheerful personality - got that vibe from her emails hehe). She asked whether I could make the 2010 calendars for her and her husband, even though calendars are supposed to be received before 2010 arrived hehe. I said yes, and she got all excited, and it took me almost two weeks to complete the task. She finally received the calendars yesterday, so I feel obliged to say this to her: Sorry Dila for being a bit late! Glad to hear that you love the calendars! :)

So here goes the first one - for Dila. It's pink and white, very girlish indeed. :P

Here's the individual monthly calendars:

Here's a closer look for some of them:

This is how the calendar will stand on a desk (s you've noticed lately, most of my photos are photographed in the limited outdoor space that we have hehe).

And this one is for her husband. I use blue and black, with a dash of white. I found the beautiful pattern paper at a stationery shop near the house, and instantly fell in love with the retro look! Thought it would suit the look I'm looking for. :)

And here are the individual months in its entirety:

The close up of some of them:

And this is how it will stand on a desk:

Both calendars were nicely wrapped up in a brown paper, and later put in the pos express box for delivery.

I think I've learned my lesson well. When I first started delivering the orders, I wrapped the packages in ugly boxes, but nowadays, I made sure that everything is wrapped up nicely, so the receiver would open the box with an eye-pleasing view. Hehe. Will try wrapping up better next time (the tape still shown!).

Oh, and yes, all the boxes were custom-made from scratch. I'm a bit obsessed in making boxes lately, and have been making quite a number in variety of sizes hehe. Can't wait to decorate them next!


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