Tag Archives: DIY

Stamps, words, mirrors

As I mentioned in my previous post, I totally didn’t realize that I had to use the mirror image when carving anything that has a specific sequence. Jo became O and a hook. I manage to fix it by sketching the letters backwards. A two-letter name is simple, but what if I wanted to carve something like: “Hey, yo mama”–in cursive! I stayed up all night thinking of EASIER ways to sketch my patterns in reverse without reworking my imagination to think backwards or the aid of a mirror–which I’m sure would end up confusing me more.

Hence:

20121212-223449.jpg

I first traced the perimeter if the eraser/stamp on a sheet of paper to gauge the size of my working area. In it, I sketched the pattern I wanted with a very dark pencil. I didn’t have to fill in the letters actually, I just wanted to make sure that at least some semblance of the pattern would transfer on to the rubber.

20121212-223735.jpg

Gently lay the eraser/stamp over your sketch then gently flip it over. Rub the area over the sketch–almost as if you’re using contact paper. When you feel that you have a considerable blueprint on the stamp, lift the sheet of paper. Use a pencil to refine the areas, especially lines that will serve as your guide.

Happy cutting!

20121212-224323.jpg

I chose the word “Paid” because I just watched the BSC movie and Paid is like the most common stamp ever. Unfortunately, as Lou and Jo pointed out, I could’ve just bought a ready-made one. On the other side, I made a little stock market stamp for Jason. Just for practice. I’m trying to work with harder patterns on teeny erasers so that when the time comes, working on more spacious and real rubber stamps would be a cinch!

20121212-224718.jpg

Squiggly squiggly. I hope the real stock market doesn’t look like this. Jason’s charts always look so complicated, but he’s always assuring me that they’re easy to understand.

20121212-224906.jpg

More to practice on! I can’t wait! I need a better knife. My nifty (and very cheap) cutter is starting to get blunt. That pig vase in the back is where I’m growing my new grass plant. They remind me of ’90s Grassheads–but cuter. Jo bought it from Hong Kong and according to the package, I just have to wait seven days before my little plant starts growing. I’ve never had a green thumb (my fortune plant died after a few months), but cross your fingers! If the grass grows long enough, you can style it! I’ll write about it after a week!

Written on 12-12-12. Therefore my grass pig should have made progress by tomorrow!

I cut myself carving

Because I have no patience and I do not want to drive all the way to Craft MNL, I just hauled myself to the nearest National Book Store to get some makeshift supplies: a narrow cutter (instead of a utility knife) and erasers (instead of a rubber stamp).

Before I begin, let me just say that the eraser shelf in NBS Robinsons Forum is an utter mess, an ukay for erasers. I had to literally dig deep and deeper. They didn’t have any big CHEAP flat ones that weren’t Faber Castell or Staedler. I had just settled on a P15 Maped one, when I came across a P10 Best Buy one. I rummaged a bit more then finally, I chanced upon a pair of teeny erasers for only P9. Since it was my very first time to make rubber stamps, I figured I might as well go cheap–that way I can literally afford to make mistakes.

The attendant didn’t know what I meant by utility knife so I had to draw it for her. Artist lang talaga ang peg! They didn’t have it. Eventually I contented myself with a minuscule, dirt-cheap cutter that I figured could cut corners (#punny).

20121211-201544.jpg

First obstacle: the erasers were tiny! I’m an okay drawer, but I felt like the artist who uses hair to paint faces on pinheads! Second: due to my excitement, I did not realize that I had to sketch the mirror image for the figure (especially when it’s text) to come out right when I stamp it. I only realized it after I made the first incision. Sobrang sayang lang.

20121211-202105.jpg

Since I don’t know anyone who spells their name with an O and a backwards J and I didn’t want the project to go to waste, I decided to carve some more. I still had enough space on the other side of the erasers anyway so might as well. That’s the beauty of using erasers instead of actual rubber stamps; it’s much thicker! What it lacks in surface area, it makes up with… Duality!

For the complimentary images (an envelope for the mailbox and a properly laid out Jo for the OJ), I inverted the carving. I scraped off the borders of the envelope–a crazy meticulous task, by the way, without the aid of a proper knife–and I dug out the letters J and O. I went for contrast, imagining how the four would look on paper.

20121211-203303.jpg

The problem with this cheap eraser is that, apparently, it has some sort of weird dotted texture that shows up under the ink. I like how it turned out though. Not to pat myself on the back or anything but it’s not a bad attempt for my first time. I’m so kilig with the final product! That sweet handmade effect! I wish I had colored ink to create a more festive look but either way, I love the simple black and white effect. Knowing me, I would’ve gone overboard with the colors anyway.

20121211-210956.jpg

P.S.

Ironically, I did NOT cut myself carving. I was fooling around with the cutter post-carving when I accidentally pierced my finger. Just a little nick.

P.P.S.

Written on December 11, 2012. I had to delay posting it because I used the wrapper for my Secret Santa Baby, Jo. Hahaha

DIY Holiday Shoes

Disclaimer: I made these shoes last Christmas (as in 2011). I’ve just started using my iPad again so I rediscovered these images only a few days ago in my Photos. I decided to post them–albeit a year later haha. This entry also doubles as a MISSING ad. I have not seen these shoes since I wore them a few days after their upcycle.

At this point, I did not have my iPhone yet so I only took photos with my tablet.

Because I have the sweetest bud in the world, Jason bought me three pairs of shoes for my birthday last year. He initially got me something else but it didn’t work out so he gave me freedom to pick out shoes so long as it’s within budget (We assign budgets for gifts. We’re very organized, financially.) Being the freak that I am, the shoes I got were all the same style (plain flats) in different colors from Soleil. I got bored with purple ones almost immediately so I decided to give them a little holiday glam.

20121211-213651.jpg

The bottle of old rose glitter (which is less than P20 from National Book Store) is more than enough. I only used about 40% of it, in fact, and that includes the second coat to cover the bald patches. Extra-fine glitter looks neater than your everyday silver dust. (I based my choice of materials on a pair of Zara glitter shoes I have.) Everything else, we already had at home. The clear acrylic was leftover from when my brother made his Darth Maul mask for Halloween.

Newspapers for minimal mess! I lined the insides with tape (actually I put tape all over the insole) because I wanted to lessen the glitter on the lining; I also stuffed the shoe with crumpled newspaper to give it shape. Apply the glitter bit by bit. That way, you won’t have to worry about the glue drying up then the stress of sticky reapplication. Don’t worry about rubbing glue over the glitter; Elmer’s dries clear so it’s just added protection. Work your way through the shoe first before fixing any patches. I waited for the entire thing to dry up before I worked over the bald spots. Dry them again then spray with acrylic paint! I coated it three times. Make sure you get the edges (between outsole and vamp) because those are the most vulnerable areas. Spray adhesive is better for flexibility, but clear acrylic works fine, too. If I remember correctly, I did not sleep that night in anticipation.

20121211-214916.jpg

Ta-dah! I had worn it only once when whoosh (that is the sound of something vanishing). Interestingly enough, I have no idea where the red ones went as well! The black ones are terribly over-worn that there’s practically no sole left.

If you find these shoes, please tell me ASAP!

Written on December 11, 2012 (almost midnight)

My early Christmas bib necklace

Right now, I’m looking for the hidden Mickey! But not before leaving you something pretty!

20121107-192611.jpg

Jason says it looks like a puzzle. It reminds me of one of my favorite things in the world, jell-o. I’ve been trying to make this type of necklace (using wire) for a while now, but it always ended up looking too sloppy. I realized when I made this that square-shaped beads work better than round ones. Too bad I didn’t have enough… I would’ve preferred to make something shaped like a detachable collar.

20121107-192745.jpg

That chain has to go! I linked thin loops together and while I love the chunkiness, the wire is way to flimsy to carry the weight. I wore it at home a couple of times to test it, but it ends up breaking! Either I replace it with a thinner but sturdier one or it’s time to bust out the soldering gun and weld the loops shut. I’ve never tried the latter but I want to for practice. It’s a handy skill in this hobby. I can’t wear it/give it away until it’s absolutely perfect.

Everyone needs a hobby

Today in beadwork…

I was looking through our haul of materials for something to match the Teddy-Manuel-inspired “chandeliers” I made a few days ago. But when you have to sort through all of this:

20121104-150709.jpg

20121104-150738.jpg

You’re bound to change your mind about what you want to make! Forgive the less-than-amateurish photos. For some reason, there is absolutely no light directed on this side of our condo. Unless you know what you’re looking for, things can get difficult.

20121104-151040.jpg

I found the swirl beads (they look like marbles!) first and based the palette on them. The flat petal-shapes beads have a pink-nude hombre finish while the giant round ones are carnations with white swirls. I discovered the wooden beads at the last minute. I needed something solid to tie everything together and I liked their sort of pinkish, sort of yellowish wash.

20121104-151755.jpg

It’s a mix of textures too: there’s marble, plastic, and wood. The hardest part, surprisingly, was making that chain! We ran out of chain (well, ran out of the ones I liked) so I had to make my own by gingerly linking metal loops one by one. The metal was incredibly difficult to work with since they’re thick and smaller than usual and I needed something sturdy to carry the weight of the choker.

20121104-152110.jpg

Yay! The finished product! I was in the mood to make more but since it’s been ages since we last made anything, we didn’t have any (functional) plastic strings left. 😦

Idle Hands Make Pretty Things

Well, sort of pretty. I’m not about to pat myself on the back here.

It’s a long weekend I’ve been spending most of it at home–which I have no problem with because I wanted to rake in some much-needed me time.

I’m a do-it-yourselfer (not to mention incredibly cheap). If I think I can do or make something myself, I don’t buy it. If I find myself with some free time and some needle and thread, I sew. Even as a kid I preferred playing with the toys I made with scrap over the store-bought, extortionate ones that supposedly help in my development but really just succeed in milking my mom’s funds.

Lately though, I haven’t really had time to do anything with my hands so I’ve been living vicariously through my incredibly awesome, fellow crafty friend, Allie. I promised myself that I would do something productive this weekend.

My mom and my sister are incredibly crafty as well. We have a whole book case of beads, chain mail, hooks, threads; drawers of fabrics and glue–you name it. I didn’t have to leave the house for inspiration; I had everything I needed right there.

20121103-132931.jpg

I saw these beads and they reminded me of my favorite Charms candy. Candy necklace! That’s my peg. But stringing them would take only about five minutes and I needed something more difficult to occupy my time.

20121103-133220.jpg

Lining up my strands to make sure everything’s in order. I didn’t put any whites at first but then I felt there was something lacking.

20121103-133315.jpg

Just making last minute touches; i.e. attaching the lock. I put the two teeny orange beads in the middle just to break the monotony of purple.

20121103-133417.jpg

Tada! I actually took inspiration from those bibs that Native American tribal chiefs wear. I dub my creation: Indian Candy Fringe (Or Something Like It)!

I rarely wear anything I make. Usually I give them away as gifts. There’s something amazingly touching about presents that you worked so hard one. I gave my very first handmade accessory to my dear friend Riza when we were in high school. It was a beaded blue barrette that she wore everyday for a week. Thanks for the support, Riz! (I love you!) I also made a couple of bracelets for Jason’s sisters a few Christmases ago. For Kris Kringle last year, I drew Techy Romantics vocalist Camille Besinga and she wore it for one of her gigs! I think I’ll do that again this year. It’s so much cheaper, not to mention thoughtful.

Here’s what I’m currently working on:

20121103-134030.jpg

I saw a beautiful bouquet by Teddy Manuel and I wanted to make something like it. I don’t know what I’ll do with these though.