Friday, 20 April 2018

a bouquet of Mookas

  For this term of my weekly classes, I've been teaching my students how to draw Mooka. So I think that explains why it's popping up so often in my personal art works... I've been having great fun teaching this month's classes, and I can't wait to convert those classes into online classes.

  This was what a student did in her sketchbook as homework:
Very lovely.
  Here are my tiles for this week's Zentangle challenges. Joey asked us to use Relly-Telly-One. The Diva asked us to use Shattuck and Tripoli. I kept things really simple this week, letting shading take centre-stage.

   Some Travelling Tangles Project tiles:
with Beth Detzler

With a six-year-old kiddo by the name of "Jazz White".
I coloured the tile rainbow colours, cause' every kid loves a rainbow.

  A Cubine tile from Michele Werner...


  Lastly, a tile that was created as a thank you present for someone.   :)

  The background was done using Peerless watercolours. The gold accent was done using Finetec paints. Featuring a bouquet of Mookas, Printemps, and Diva Dance Waltz. I'm so pleased with how this tile turned out.

  Thanks for popping by. I'll see you next week. :)

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Review of Paperless Post

  If you've been reading my weekly posts, you'd know that I'm currently pregnant. How exciting, I know. :) I've just crossed the six months mark and if all goes according to plan, I should be due on the 13th of July 2018.

  One of my best friend, Hush, decided to plan a baby shower for me. Funny thing; the Chinese do a "full month celebration" or a "100 days celebration" for the baby, so I thought that baby showers were the Western version of that. Apparently not. Baby showers celebrate the parents and happen BEFORE the baby is born. Who'd have thought.

  I've got catering done. Balloons will be bought. Decorations have been planned. Now I just needed a way to send out invitations. It just happened that I discovered a company called "Paperless Post" to do just that. Paperless Post creates e-invitations to any events that you might have. This was a great option for me because I didn't want to send out physical invitations, but just sending a text message to my guests seemed a little too casual. Electronic invitations seemed like the perfect in-between.

  Paperless Post has beautiful design templates, with an easy-to-use interface. And the best part is, people can RSVP directly through the invitation- no more phone calls or text messages needed. I can also see that this would be great if you have an informal gathering for cocktails, or a really large event like a wedding, or if you didn't want to contribute to paper wastage.

  To start, you can use your Facebook or Google account to sign into the website, or you can create an account. You can then go ahead and add email addresses to your "Address Book".

The red arrow is where it's at.

  After that's done, you'll get to the fun part- designing your own invitations!

  There's so many designs to choose from, for so many different occasions... Birthday parties, weddings, happy hour get-togethers (that sounds fun)...

  I was glad that the baby shower invitations were not all pink or blue, or gender reveals... I never liked the idea of that. My baby shower's theme was going to be teal-white-gold-coral.

Literal baby shower? hehe

I liked this coral-gold combination.

 There were storks, and flowers, and animals... In some designs, you could even upload your own photos. Lots of designs were really pastel and soft, and I'm a more... *coughs* loud, sort of person... So I picked this design:

  You can change everything from the text that's written on the invite, to the fonts, the sizes of the words, the colours of the words... You can even add a backdrop for your card. One thing I wished you could do, is to have multiple boxes, so that you could add texts in a staggered fashion rather than align left/centre/right only. 

  After that, you get to choose an envelope and a liner. For an additional coin, you get to pick your own stamp design.

  What's this "coin" thing I'm mentioning? It's a virtual currency that you use to buy the designs on Paperless Post. After you've finished designing your invites, the site will tell you how much it'd cost per invite, and then you can use the currency to purchase however many invites you need.

  You can also add additional "pages" should you need to tell your guests how to get to the venue, or when to arrive, or whether food/drinks will be served. Here's how mine looked like:

  After you've done the invitation design, (and that took me forever in its own right... there are literally so many design options to choose from...) you get to fiddle with how you want your guests to reply. I discovered that you could ask for their mailing address, which seemed like a great option if you were having a wedding and wanted to figure out how many people would be free to attend it before you ordered physical invitations to send via post.

  I just picked the RSVP option, so guests could just click "will attend" or "will not attend". Paperless Post then got me to fill out a form that included the event's name, venue of the event, date and time of the event... and then it gave me the option to include my phone number for the guests to reach me, and also an additional box if I wanted to ask them a question. (I asked whether they would bring additional guests.) Here, you can also get guests to give you their mailing address, add a comment, and you can even include a gift registry.

  After that, you click "Next" and it's just a matter of making sure everything looks good by clicking on "Preview Invitation". If all looks swell, you can import your contacts from your address book, and then send out to e-invites to your guest list. There's even an option to send yourself a test email.

  I checked and re-checked, and double re-checked the card to make sure all the details were correct... and then finally hit the "send" button. I sent one invite to myself just to see how it'd look like on the guests' side. I was very pleased. The cards that I had spent so long creating were there. The last card told guests to reply below. After you scrolled down, you'd see the date and time and venue of the event. You could even click a button to get directions on Google maps to the event. And you could send a message to the host by clicking another button. And the little buttons for "will attend" and "will not attend" would follow you as you scrolled down the page. Great attention to detail.

(Address blocked out for obvious privacy reasons..)

  After you click "send", Paperless Post directs you to a page with a list of all your guests, and whether or not they have replied. An easy way to check on how many guests will be attending, and whom you need to check-in with as the event date draws closer.

(Emails blocked out for privacy reasons. Mine is shown, because it's all over this blog, so it's not like it's a secret.)

  Oh, and... If you're a more traditional letter-by-post sort of person, I happened to find out that Paperless Post has a sister site that sells actual physical invitations. Find out more here:

  I'm beyond thrilled at how the invites turned out. Now, I just need to wait for all my guests to RSVP. All in all, I would use Paperless Post again... I even have remaining credits. They also do "thank you" cards, but I'll be creating mine by hand and gifting them my guests on the day of the baby shower. Perhaps I'll do a Christmas card for this year.

  Expect pictures of the baby shower. :)  I have a couple of cute things planned.

  I'm excited. A new chapter of my life. It feels surreal, at times. Or I'll forget that I'm pregnant, and then I'll feel the baby kick and then be reminded. Stephanie: Artist, Certified Zentangle Teacher, daughter, wife, and now soon-to-be mother... I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

a splash of colour

Here's my sketchbook page for this week's Joey and Diva Challenge. The Diva wanted us to use our hands to create a string, and Joey wanted us to use the tangle "Breach". I added Flux and Crescent Moon. The background was created using Finetec paints. The white pen is a Uni-ball Signo Broad.

  In a similar fashion, I created some Bijous with my Finetec paints to complete last week's of Joey challenge. We had to use Mak-Rah-Mee, which is a lovely tangle. I added lots and lots of Mooka to the tile, draping outwards and downwards.

  For Travelling Tangles, I completed a tile sent to me from Jules Mack.

  I added Fe-Ba as a background to try to echo her flowers. I think it worked well.

  I also sent out my tiles for April's Kite Swap. I created hand-made envelopes for this swap, and had a lot of fun with it.

(Addresses have been blurred out for privacy purposes.)

  Here's a mosaic from one of the classes I taught last week. :)
The bottom left tile that has no shading is mine.
The top right tile was done by an adult. The other two were done by kids.

  And lastly, here is a page from my sketchbook of a flower I drew in ballpoint (Biro) pen. Lots of fun.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

giving the baby a shower

  Let's start this post off with a monotangle tile for Diva's weekly challenge. We were asked to use Paradox. Here's what I did:

Very simple.

  I also wanted to show you a little project I did with my students for the month of March. I started by creating little windows in watercolours....

  I then got my students to add Puff, Onamato, and Diva Dance Waltz onto the tile. Here's my example tile for the class, with an added coloured background:

  And here's what some of my students did:

  If you live in Singapore and would like to join a Zentangle class with me, I offer weekly classes at Bukit Batok East Zone 3 RC and Toa Payoh Central Community Club. Or you can arrange for a private class, too. Find out more via this link.

  I'd also like to share exciting news with you... My husband, Alex, and I are expecting a baby in mid-July! 

I'm currently at 24 weeks, but I've already gained 15kg (that's about 33 pounds).  

  It's a girl. She's healthy. And we are thrilled for this new addition to our family. We haven't quite settled on a name just yet. But I'm not too worried. Four months is still a way to go.

  The pregnancy is the reason why I dropped off from the online world towards the end of 2017, and that I haven't been updating my YouTube channel... I'm not sure what I will/will not be able to do after the birth of the child... I know for sure that I'll be taking my maternity leave from June onwards, so all of my Zentangle classes will stop then. I don't know when I'll start teaching again after, but teaching is my passion and I cannot see myself completely stopping even after having the child. I'm just taking things as they come, and reminding myself to not push myself too hard.

  I have plans to start converting my weekly classes into online courses. That way, if you're living outside of Singapore but would like to take a class with me, you could. Watch this space. You'll be the first to know when that happens.

In related news;
  My best friend is planning a baby shower for me to happen in June. We're ironing out logistics and I'm excited for the celebration. Some days it still feels surreal to know that I'm pregnant....

  I recently found this website called "Paperless Post" that creates personalised digital invitations. I've been thinking of creating invites to my baby shower using the site. I'll give you a full review of my experience with the website at a later date. :)


  I started a new sketchbook to do ballpoint sketches, and more realistic pieces using my Caran D'ache Neocolor II. Here are some pages from the sketchbook so far.
A tomato with a cool colour scheme.

Some pears.

  I also drew a seashell. I showed it to you in my last post, but if you haven't seen it, you can click here.

  Thanks for dropping by. Maybe I'll see you next week. :) Until then... Keep tangling!

Sunday, 25 March 2018

she sells seashells by the seashore

  Here's what I've been up to in the past weeks... First off, some tiles from the Travelling Tangles Project.

  Let's start with this beautiful circle tile from Elena Greer...

  A tiny Bijou from Yvette Campbell. 
Shading done using Peerless watercolours. White highlights done using a Uni-Ball Signo Broad pen.

  Joey van Oort sent this tile to me for the June 2017 Flower Swap.
I tried to have the tile look like a flower. It was coloured using Peerless watercolours, and the white highlights are from a Uni-Ball Signo Broad pen. 

  I did some prep-work for my Zentangle classes... Tiny coloured squares made using watercolours.

  Which I think inspired what I drew for this week's It's A String Thing #235 (top). My tile for the Diva challenge is below it. We were asked to use our name as a string.

  Lastly, here's a pretty seashell I drew using Caran D'ache's Neocolor II. I really like how it turned out and am looking forward to creating more of such painterly drawings using my Neocolors.
In case you were wondering: the ballpoint pen is included in the picture because that's what I used as the outline for the shell.

  Thanks for dropping by. I hope you're having a great weekend.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

I'm doing swimmingly well.

  I have so many things to show you this week!

  I thought I'd spend February filming videos, and doing more personal projects... But I ended catching a terrible case of the flu that took me three weeks to recover from. :( 

  Other than the flu, February has treated me well enough. Chinese New Year happened. I had reunion dinners with both my in-laws, and at my mum's place. Here are some fishes I painted using Peerless watercolours to celebrate the holiday.

  I had a workshop at Bukit Batok East Community Club. The CC's staffs who attended the workshop were very creative and engaged in creating beautiful Zentangle art works.

  Here's their class mosaic. One of the tiles is mine. :)

  Group photo!

  I completed a couple of tiles for Travelling Tangles. Here's one from Jules Mack.

I had to black out the lower left circle because the watercolours made the black ink bleed.
I do like how the coaster turned out, though.

  Here's one from Sandie McClellan for the September Cadent Swap.

  And this lovely tile was from Debra Huff.

  I added watercolours for the background and then pushed the “bracelet” forward by adding Diva Dance Waltz. Subtle shading was added using Polychromos coloured pencils.

  Debra also sent me a tile for the Embedded Letter Swap.

  I was very tempted to add a frame around Debra’s tangles. But eventually decided to expand her work outwards. I thought about filling the tile out, edge-to-edge... but I chose to stop here. I’m very pleased with how it turned out. :)

  Over the week, I found a new gelato place at Bedok...

  Today also happens to be my first year wedding anniversary. ^-^

  Alex and I celebrated it early, last Sunday, by going to watch "Black Panther" at Cathay Platinum. The theatre had extra wide, plush seats, that could recline! The theatre's staffs also served us some finger food (directly to where we sat). And there was a little lamp that you could switch on if you needed to see what you were eating. It was a great experience.

  That day, I wore a peach-coloured vintage tulle dress that used to belong to Alex's grandmother. :)

  Lastly, here's a tile I did this morning for Diva's challenge. We were supposed to use a heart-shaped string on a Zendala.... I did do that, but I didn't exactly follow the string.
The background was created using Caran d'ache's Neocolor II.
I bought a set of 30 for $20! What a steal!

  Thanks for popping by. I hope the year of the dog has begun just as well for you as it has for me.