Monday, February 22, 2010


Def. in English: pre-engagement ceremony that usually been directly translated as asking/ spying ceremony.

Merisik according to wikipedia:

The adat merisik (asking ceremony, or more literally 'spying custom') is the traditional Malay system for arranging marriages. When it is time for a young man to get married, his family will look around to identify a number of potential brides. Nowadays, the man might suggest to his family who he would like them to consider, and it may be that a romantic link already exists between the man and woman. Having decided upon one particular woman, the merisik, or investigation process, takes place. For this ceremony one or more representatives (wakil) of the man's family pay a friendly visit to the family of the woman whom they have in mind as his potential bride. The visit is purely for the purpose of further investigation, and it gives the visitors the chance to see the woman. A hint will be given to her parents regarding the purpose of the visit, and their reaction will be assessed. The woman's parents may also give the visitors some idea as to whether or not their daughter would be interested in the match. The merisik does not constitute a formal proposal. Following the visit both sides can begin to think more seriously about the possibility or otherwise of a marriage. It is possible that no progress may take place, and the man's parents or representatives will then look for another possible bride.

Simplified version of merisik according to me:

It's the first official visit that marks the seriousness of a relationship. It's more like the official visit to introduce your boyfriend/ girlfriend to your family (despite the many unofficial ones haha), with the intention of discussing engagement/ marriage. A merisik ring would normally be given to the woman as booking fees (haha - no pun intended!), and both sides would normally exchange few gifts (fruits and food) as token of acceptance. Back in the old days, wikipedia entry would be a much better definition of merisik, but in these modern days where love marriage rules, I think my definition would be better haha.

It was a cousin's ceremony. We could simplify the whole thing and transformed the whole merisik thingy into a simple engagement ceremony, but the groom-to-be side wanted to do it properly, and we're going to have another official ceremony for engagement.

It was a truly family affair (more like a small family gathering with lots of food). I was asked to help out with one of the gifts, and thus, the box with plums in it. It took me a day to prepare everything - the plums, the mounting boards for the box, the box template, the yellow wrapper, the quilled pieces, the idea arrangement etc.

I'm all for simplicity, and it's the best I can do in a short time. The design was inspired by Arabesque design- an element of Islamic art where geometrical patterns are repeated to form artistic motives.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Into the wide blue yonder

There's nobody's birthday, but I happened to have the birthday tag, and thought it suited the card haha.

I'm not really sure what this technique is called - I'm pretty sure it must have a name somehow, but am yet to figure it out.

I've seen someone made a flower out of these petals, and learned later that this technique is taught in Jane Jenkin's book. But I'm yet to get my copy of the book (still nowhere to find in Malaysia!), so I did my own experiment and came out with this - I guess they are not so similar but they're still nice in my eyes hehe.

I'm addicted to making these right now, and had made tonnes of red, green, black and brown, but yet to figure out the next designs. This was actually my first, and I'm loving the swirls and the blue waves!

This is totally something different from what I used to make, and I'm totally excited to be able to do this. Will post few more designs later!

Friday, February 12, 2010

2010 Calendar v. 3.0

A promised, this is the belated birthday present that accompanied the previously mentioned Flaming Lily card. Yes, it's already February, so January calendar card is no longer valid, but there are still 8 months + to go, so hopefully she would be able to make full use of the calendar.

This calendar was actually made together with the brown calendar, and actually one of those few encounters that I had with pattern papers.

Since the other one was made in brown, complimenting the new owner of the calendar, this one was made in red, and made thinking of the new owner as well.

I think red suited her cheerful and bubbly personality best, and she adores anything in vibrant colours. And the white butterfly was from one of those earrings that I wrote the last time.

And I threw in a red bookmark as well (it wasn't actually part of the gift, but I just threw it in because it matches the card, and the calendar and she just love this matchy2 stuff haha.

Now the whole set totally reminds me of Chinese New Year Celebration!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Belated Birthday and Flaming Lily

Thank you Malinda Johnston, for introducing me to this stunning quilling technique to make the Flaming Lily! I think the theme quite fit in the Chinese New Year theme hehe. Spent a great, and cosy weekend at a friend's place and the card was supposed to be a belated birthday card (and the presents will be posted later). I've always wanted to try yet another template from Malinda Johnston's book, and finally had the chance. So here goes:

The flower looks difficult but it's actually quite simple to do. It was a bit difficult for me to crimp the petals, as I have quite unsteady hands. But it turns out quite ok at the end so that's what matter more. :)

I love the leaves too because the different shades of green used gave nice tone to the flower. (Well the original template has 3 lilies, but I made only one to fit the card.)

I'm thinking of experimenting with shades and tones next, because I simply love the combination of greens, and the combination of red and and yellow.
Here's the inside of the card (I put a red square in the middle of the card)

Happy belated birthday again Tita, and hope you love the present.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Quilling Basic

Aaah. How I remember thee. This card is truly a special one, as this marked my first try at quilling. This was done in 2006.

I cut the papers by myself (hence, the uneven edges), and rolled everything using fingers (hence, the not-so-whimsical design on the swirls). I didn't even know how to make flowers and yet I threw myself into the over-ambitious project, ha!

It turned out quite ok and I think I've improved a lot over the years. For example, here's a huge comparison on the butterflies that I made, and how they evolved in time:

The 2006 butterfly:

The 2008 butterfly:
The 2009 butterfly:

(yet to make butterflies in 2010 hahaha)

I've started doing paper craft ever since high school, but only dwelled into the beauty of paper quilling four years ago. I was browsing, and came across some beautiful quilled flowers. I was immediately in awe, and later found out that it's called quilling. So I started digging more on the type of paper art, and had been in love ever since. I'm still no quilling expert, and my mentors are the Internet and quilling blogs, so it's a pretty much self-learned (I only have 1 quilling book to date!). But it's one thing I really enjoy doing, so I plan to continue doing it. Since it's no fun quilling alone, I'm always excited to spread the quilling love around, and am still trying very hard to encourage others to start quilling seriously.

I've received few queries about quilling tools in Malaysia, as it's not really a popular paper art among Malaysian crafters. I'm not really sure why it's not really popular - perhaps it's because of the hard to find materials, or the too-expensive quilling tools or simply because of the much needed patience and time to finish a quilled item. So here's another attempt of spreading the love around. Here are some questions that I always get, together with the answers I always give to interested quillers wannabes :P

Do you need special tools for quilling?
There are two types of quilling tools - one is the slotted type:

and another one is the needle type:

You can always google for further info and you can use either one of the tools. I started off quilling by rolling the papers using my fingers - you can do that if you want, but quilling tool will make you life easier, and will give you better quilling quality.

Where can I get quilling tools/ materials/ sets in Malaysia?
Since I've done my quilling research hehe, there are three places so far that I found selling quilling tools and quilling papers in Malaysia. Craft Haven @ One Utama, Scrapbook Memories @ One Utama and ArtFriend @ The Garden.

How much are they priced?
To date, Craft Haven is selling the slotted tool at RM10.90 each (they used to sell the needle type at RM15, but no longer having that stock now). Scrapbook Memories is selling branded Scrapbook Memories quilling tool set of 2 (both slotted and needle type) at RM45++ (can't remember much). ArtFriend is selling quilling set of 2 (different brand) but at RM19.90.

The papers are usually priced at RM15 - RM20 per packet, but I don't really care much about them, as I prepare my own quilling papers. If you're new to quilling, perhaps you would want to start by cutting your own strips first.

Quilled items are sold at the same craft shops at a range of RM7.50 - RM15.00 each, depending on the type of quilled items.

What types of papers can be used?
I'm still experimenting on the best papers to use - it truly depends on you. So far multi-coloured IKEA papers (can be found at Kid's Section and priced at RM20 per pack, but I found mine at As If section priced at RM10 per pack hehe) are the best type I found, but I also found construction papers (also known as sugar papers) to have some nice effects to quilling as well. I used A4 papers, and also buy those multi-colour A4 papers that come in set - usually priced at around RM4.00 - RM6.00 per pack. It's a bit thin though, and could be a bit difficult to shape, but I'm getting used to them.

In getting the quilling strips, at first I used to cut them (freehandedly coz I was too lazu haha) so they sometimes out uneven, but now I'm using paper shredder to shred my papers (i wrote about it here).

As for the tutorials on quilling, I have some in my tutorial section (promise to add some more later!) but you can check the quilling websites on the right side of this blog for some examples and other tutorials. There are also many free templates available online, and so many different ways to quill, but I believe the most important part of them all is not only the basics, but you need a WHOLE LOT OF PATIENCE and time to be dedicated to quilling.

Good luck and happy quilling!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

This is Irie.

Meet Irie.

This was how she looked like almost a year ago in some Statistics class. That's where she was born. Yes, Irie was born in a. Statistic. Class.

Back then, her brain was bursting out from learning the formulas of Standard Deviation. And Regression. And Correlations. And answers to some hypotheses. Her eyes squinted to the fact that she had to survive a 3-hour Statistics class every week. Numbers are not Irie's favourite things. Yes, she's a robot, but robots have hearts too. Too much of not-so-favourite things occupying Irie's head, the brain ought to explode too. As you can see, hers did. But as you can also see, Irie loves smiling, and she can smile her way out of everything. :)

But since that almost-a-year had passed now, Irie could look back with one satisfied grin on her face.

Her brain is back in place, her hair grew again, and her body glows in shocking pink! And her heart is now so big it could fit in her pocket.

Irie has gone through some transformation on her own, and now she sports a spunky hairdo, splashes some bright colours as her new fashion, and has gained few kgs. She likes eating greens, and spicy food and she reads Japanese manga during her free time. She loves watching Chuno, as her heart boils and her eyes wide with excitement whenever she sees blood splatter and swords flying in the air.

Can you see Irie's smile? Wide, isn't it? Enough to make your heart flutter.

Monday, February 01, 2010

A.l.p.h.a.b.e.t.s = a 9-letter word.

Alphabets always remind me of this song (hahahaha):

Lately I've been having the so-called crafter's block. I got drained from similar designs that I kept on making, and can't seem to find any new or fresh ideas. Quilled flowers are always popular, but they did drain me somewhere along the process. So I've decided to take a break from flower quilling - since I still have flower stocks enough to make 15 cards.

And I start making alphabets, and numbers. And pasted them on the small cards made from some craft leftovers and decorated them with some small flowers.

Here's an M for Miyyah.

A for Alert

T stands for Tough.

And H stands for Harmonious. or Hot. Whichever you like. :P

.. and together they form the word MATH - a subject that is not really to my liking hahaha.

I got addicted to making them now! I've quilled all the numbers (0-9) and have done almost 15 letters now - of different colours. Hehe. Here's some of them as well:

A three on a tree.

A five in a pot.

And a seven up with the limes.

[Click play again]
Let's sing together now... ABCDEFGHI....


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