Rhinestic's Knick Knacks

Friday, February 27, 2015

Weekly Color Theme #3 - Late Afternoon Concrete Pathway

Not quite evening, and yet not quite the colors of bright early afternoon. The boring little concrete pathway may be dull and gray, but yet, it harbors different moods at different times of the day.

February Illustrating and Painting Stinct

February. One which flies by so fast. A quick jumble of ups and downs.

Feeling Green and Gray. Ink illustration and watercolor on 5" x 7" watercolor paper

Freedom! Water color on 4.5" x 6" watercolor paper

Heart of plants. Ink illustration on A5 heavy weight cartridge paper

Hyacinthus. Watercolor on A5 heavy weight cartridge paper

Thinking Green. Water color on A5 heavy weight cartridge paper
Green Fingers. Ink illustration and water color on A5 heavy weight cartridge paper.

Rain, rain, go away. Ink illustration and water color on A5 heavy weight cartridge paper

How has your February been?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Weekly Color Theme #2 - Stuffed with Chinese New Year Goodies

We're just into the 3rd day of the Lunar New Year as I am writing this post!

It's a little scary because we seem to be reliving the oh-my-tummy-is-going-to-explode episodes. Not that it's a bad thing since Chinese New Year dishes and goodies are always so yummy (and mostly unhealthy...)!

Anyways, I decided to snap a Kuler "photo" of the snacks and goodies at my mum's place before digging into the box of melon tarts..

Looks like Chinese New Year goodies don't translate well into palatable colors...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

O' Crafty Day #18 - Ang Pow Gems

Have been making ang pow gems to adorn my door and one of my FB subscribers has requested for this tutorial!

I just learnt that some superstitious folks will be very unhappy if you have these up as Chinese New Year decoration... Not very sure the reason why, but I guess those sharp points are the main culprits! However, if your family and friends are not superstitious, go ahead (like me!) and make tons of these for your CNY decoration this year! If not, you can always wait until after the CNY period and make these precious out of other sorts of fancy paper!

I had originally used the triangle score guide tool by We R Memory Keepers to make my life easier since I already have their Trim and Score board. However, that doesn't mean you can't make one without the tools.

Materials that you need:

Note: All measurements are in inches, which will be denoted by "

- Base Template + Pattern Sheet Download (Please print the pdf at 100%, no scaling.)
- Ang Pows (The longer ones) / Thick papers or cardstock at least 6" x 6"
- Scissors
- Scoring tool (Optional but good to have, a plastic ruler will do the trick too!)
- Pencil / Pen
- Ruler
- Adhesive (I'm using a tape runner since it's faster)
- Washi tape / Masking tape (Optional but good to have)

These gems are all made up of the same basic module - equilateral triangles. So our objective here is to score/draw the base equilateral triangles repeats before tracing out the pattern for the gem you want to make.

For this tutorial, we will be making gems from a repeat of 1" big triangles. Once you get the idea, feel free to make different-sized gems by varying the triangle size. (As this template is catered for Ang Pow packets, the largest size you can go for the triangle is 1.5")

Okay, let's starting digging some gems and head on over to my tutorial!

For peeps hailing from GuideCentral,

Cut your Ang Pow packet  into a 6" x 6" square. Make sure to have the uncut long folded edge positioned at the center of the square.

The easiest way to do this with scissors is to draw a parallel line 3" away from one of the long edge and cut along that line. Then draw another parallel line 6" from the bottom of the Ang Pow, and cut along that line. It doesn't matter if your Ang Pow has a closure slit on it. Then, just cut along the bottom fold, and you'll have a 6" x 6" square with a center fold!

If you are using normal thick papers / cardstock, just trim them down to the right size.

Just because we can! Cut out as many 6" x 6" squares as you need. :)

Making sure the base template is the right side up (the numbers should not be upside down), place the ang pow square at the top left hand corner and align the center fold at the 3" mark. (refer to the photo above). If you are quite precise with your cutting, the corner of the ang pow square should fall nicely with the corner of the template.

At this point of time, if you have washi tape / masking tape on hand, I suggest taping the ang pow square down to the template with a couple small pieces of the tapes.

Place your ruler along the vertical line at every inch, and score/draw a line. You should have 5 vertical lines.

Align and orientate the ang pow square with the tilted square template as shown in the photo.

Again, score at every 1" interval.

You now have a nice repeat of diamonds. Orientate your piece of square such that you are looking at a series of fat diamonds (refer to photo). Place your ruler along the points of a column of diamonds (please refer to photo again), and score/draw.

Once you are done, you will be left with a piece of Ang Pow square filled with 1" big equilateral triangles!

All you need to do now is to decide, from the pattern sheet, the gem you want to make and copy the pattern onto the Ang Pow square. Do make sure the orientation of the triangles on the Ang Pow square correspond to the orientation of the triangles in the pattern sheet first!

The example I have here will make an octahedron gem!

Time to cut out your pattern~

To make the next few steps easier, let's pre-fold all the scored/drawn lines.

Apply adhesive on all the small tabs.

The assembling part can get a bit confusing. But the rule of thumb here is to find out all the tabs that have an adjacent non-tab edge, and stick them together.

For example, in the case of my octahedron gem, there are 4 tabs that have an adjacent non-tab edge.

Once you have the first few tabs adhered, the gem should start taking shape and the rest should be pretty easy!

And you're done! The bottom is a hexahedron made from a sheet of designer paper with a 1.5" triangle module. Have fun!

In one of my earlier blog posts, a fellow crafter requested for a tutorial on folding techniques for shibori dyeing. That is currently in my pipeline, so do look out for that post!

Weekly Color Theme #1: Valentine's + Chinese New Year

I have the Adobe Kuler app for some months now and I thought it would be fun to share my color theme weekly generated by this app. What the app does is it calculates the best color combination from the photo that you take with the application. Pretty cool! The only couple of things I wish it could do is to store the original photo that I have taken and providing the hex code of each colors.

To start off this week's color theme, I had taken a photo of some Chinese red packets and a pair scissors (since I'll be crafting with them) with a wooden background. Here's the color theme that the app came up with:

To me, that screams "Valentine's" more than anything else....

Oh yes, I'll have a couple of new tutorials coming up, so stay tuned!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Artist in Me

I don't know if you still remember but a few months back (that would be in the year 2014..), I got myself a watercolor travel kit by Van Gogh (Royal Talens) before my Tokyo trip. (Digging up post.. over here!)

I managed to paint quite a bit over there.

But after coming back to Singapore, that fire in me suddenly turned to water with a bad touch of alchemy and vaporized into steam. Do not ask me how that happened... (Come to think about it, I guess I was very busy having business meetings with Ailyn from Tat'sWorthy@Such for our collab workshop!)

Then 2015 arrived, and on the very spanking new day, while strolling at a nearby park, I decided to dish out my 95% untouched mini sketchpad and started sketching things that I was seeing around me. A little painting wouldn't hurt too.

Random wilted leaves, pods and flowers on the pathway

Tree stump with a bush of weird tendrils

Tree with bunches of yellow flower.. 

I think I was on a roll! A few days later, I busted out my ink pen and the Japanese watercolor set that I got from Tokyo. This time, I challenged myself to a less-than-30-minute doodle and paint. I ended up walking around my studio and doodled random art supplies.

And then the painting and drawing bug took over my life, kinda. I chanced upon this large pinkish cloud in the sky one evening..

Evening Sky - Ink, Watercolor and Gouache on 5" x 7" watercolor paper

Getting a little bored of see-draw-paint, I decided to play around with illustration and a different kind of style.

The Chirpy Gentleman - Ink illustration on watercolored background (5" x 7" watercolor paper)

I also toyed around with abstract watercolor painting!

Jellyfish Universe - Watercolor and Gouache on 5" x 7" watercolor paper 

Did another illustration on watercolored background for the most recent work..

Garden of Herbs - Ink illustration on watercolor background (5" x 7" watercolor paper)

More illustrations! More paintings! Here I come!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Crafting Quick Tips: Cutting Shrink Plastic Sheets into Equal Halves, the Easy & Quick Way

If, for some reason, you need to cut many sheets of shrink plastic into equal pieces (perhaps for organizational purposes, or if you're like me, need smaller pieces for craft workshops), and you happen to have a scoring board with measurements, a long ruler and a really sharp pointed pair of scissors (I guess a craft knife would work too), you're in luck! (Pardon the unglamorous floor shots coming up!)

All you need to do is to, first, decide where to cut the shrink plastic. I had to cut mine in half lengthwise, so I placed my shrink plastic on my scoring board and measured the width. I divided the value by 2, and that gave me the position where I needed to cut my plastic. 

Place your long ruler on the midpoint (I didn't place the plastic on the 0" mark, so I had to shift my mid point accordingly), following the groove at that measurement. (You simply just have to remember where you need to place your shrink plastic and the point where you need to place the ruler for the other sheets of shrink plastic that need cutting)

Then, take your craft knife or the sharp tip of your scissors, lightly score along the midpoint, using the ruler as your support. (The key here is to use a light pressure. The plastic should score very easily and accurately with the help of the ruler.)

You should get this nice scored line on the shrink plastic.

What you need to do next is to fold along this scored line. 

It should fold nicely without much fiddling.

Then, unfold, and refold in the reverse direction.

The shrink plastic should snap into 2 easily and cleanly!

There you go! It's really simple and fast, and there's no need for sore hands! (Trust me, you'll get sore hands trying to use scissors to cut tons of shrink plastic. Ditto when trying to keep a good pressure when using a craft knife to cut plastic!)
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