Category Archives: Crafting

It’s Gift Wrapping Time!

It’s that time of the year again and I just spent the entire weekend wrapping tons and tons of goodies! Granted, each of them is just a small little token, but I decided to make them a little more festive :) It’s not about the quantity, it’s about the thought that counts!

So tada! I made candy crackers! cracker shaped presents chock full with yummy goodies :)

The materials I used were:

  1. Transparency
  2. Pretty Ribbons
  3. Wrapping Paper
  4. Scissors
  5. Scotch Tape
  6. stuffings – e.g. chocolate, candy etc!

I absolutely loved the ribbons i got from watsons. cheap and pretty! But on hindsight, using cloth ribbons would’ve made for a neater and more presentable end product. The transparencies I got from my bf who found them while clearing out his room, but you can get any plastic or hard card-like paper. It definitely needs to be stiff material if you’re intending to use something else to substitute.

I used 1 Dove chocolate, 1 Mint Chocolate & either 1 snickers/twix for each of the candy crackers :)

Step 1: Create a circular Tube.

I basically cut the transparency into half (a5 size) and then using the scotch tape, taped it to become a circular tube. Of course, I had to make sure that my combination of goodies could nicely fit in. If you’re planning on using a substitute material, do use a stiffer material won’t crease. This ensures that the body of your candy cracker holds up nicely when you wrap it and won’t lose shape. I highly recommend hard plastic!

Step 2: Cut the wrapping paper.

To wrap it properly, you need to ensure the following-

  • The width of the wrapping paper can adequately wrap all around the tube without revealing its contents.
  • The length of the wrapping paper is in excess of at least 5cm on both sides – this is so that it’ll be easy to scrunch up the wrapping paper on both sides to get the effect

So here’s an example of about how much wrapping paper I used for one of the candy crackers. You really don’t need to be so precise, but do be generous with the length. I had a few candy crackers where I had cut the wrapping paper too short, & in the end they looked kinda weird. haha.

Step 3: Roll it!

Paste scotch tape on one end of the wrapping paper, making sure that half of the sticky side is protruding out.

Stick that part onto the circular plastic tube, so that it won’t move around.

Roll!

Once you’ve rolled it all the way (it’s a good idea to look at both ends of the wrapping paper to ensure that you’re not rolling in the wrong direction. keep the ends parallel!), use another scotch tape to secure the wrapping paper.

Step 4: It’s scrunching time!

Take out all the goodies (if you’ve got any) from inside the circular tube. Tilt the tube upwards and use your fingers to feel for where the tube starts underneath the wrapping.

At the tip of the tube, use your fingers to press down on the wrapping.

Do the same all around the tube until you see the line of the plastic. It’s a good idea to crease your wrapping paper in this fashion all around – this will help it to scrunch up prettier.

Step 5: Pinch it!

Now that you’ve scrunched up properly and know where you want to tie your ribbon, pinch the wrapping paper together to make it easier to tie your ribbon.

Arrange the top part of the wrapping paper i.e. you can open it up more, or make sure that the flares are more regular etc.

it’s a good idea to pinch it all around – this kinda makes sure that the creases are regular and it looks more cracker like?

Step 6: Tie the Ribbon

Tie the ribbon where you’ve pinched and scrunched. always use double knots! Once you’ve done tying the ribbon, fill your candy cracker up with goodies before doing steps 4-6 on the other side :)

Have a great Christmas everyone!!

Procrastination, thou art the Devil

Lately posts have been slow coz knowing how to get that work-life balance doesn’t seem as easy as it should be. The concept seems easy enough, but with a long work day that’s exhausted you physically & mentally, a work-life balance kinda seems impossible. particularly because my work involves quite a bit of writing, sometimes i just mentally shut down without thinking & stuff like this happens:

At the end of it all, procrastination is way easier than getting up to have a social life :( & it’s an addictive method of time wasting, i assure you.

so I look for interesting things that could spice up my life. Projects that aren’t that hard to accomplish & ones that could be really fun to do, you know?

Tada! An insanely simple way of making a pretty wrap that could be perfect for the office. The sleeves are missing, but getting a nice printed wrap could really spice up a muted work outfit, particularly if you’re meeting friends for a girl’s night out! :D Especially if most of your work clothes (like mine) are mostly made of muted colours or monochromatic ensembles. Here are a few prints I wouldn’t mind getting for this project: 

Geometric prints, animal prints, polka dots & flower prints.. these are a few of my favourite things! Too bad most of my work wardrobe doesn’t consist of such prints – so having a colourful & fun wrap would really brighten up my day :)

Another thing I’ve been thinking of doing is re-look at my eating habits. i.e. Eat more “negative calorie” foods, which are basically foods that take more energy & calories to digest than the amount of calories inside them! Smart way to diet without sacrificing on amount, eh?

Besides, looking at this list, I really do love quite alot of these foods, so it wouldn’t be a struggle to eat them, but I do have to make a more conscious effort / choice to eat healthily.

I love hush puppy shoes because they’re so damn comfortable, but the colours available are so bleah. I know it seems like a crime to vandalise a pair of $100 + pumps, but I’m seriously contemplating pulling a fairy godmother stunt to turn a plain pair of pumps into really pretty sparkly shoes

check out the glitter shoes tutorial on Pixie on Pump’s blog!

She used cheap shoes so I’m thinking I might practice my skills on a cheap throwable pair before trying it out on a pair of hush puppies. haha.

so yep! those are the few things I’m planning on doing! :D It’s always great to find inspiration. I just hope that I don’t end up like this:

HAHA. have a great week ahead everyone!!

Wedding Invitations

Right now, Carol & I are wedding crazy and surfing the net for all sorts of inspiration for every little detail of of the wedding. Granted, as the bridesmaid the most I can do is flood Caroline with suggestions, so here are some really cute wedding invitations I found off tumblr! :)

A really cute embossed/vintage print in the happy colours of red and blue, though for Carol & Mark (or markaline as we all term them) it would be an embossed print of cats? hahaha

love these vintage book-themed wedding invitations. they look so intimately personal.

 

I could totally imagine them making funny faces like these polaroid inspired wedding cards. It’ll make all their guests smile!

 

or maybe because they’re both such movie buffs, a movie ticket for each guest would be pretty awesome! Also a great way to settle seating so guests know where to put themselves when they arrive lol.

something really sweet and simple would suit Caroline too!

Ahh I’m simply bouncing up and down with excitement now. Can’t wait to flood Carol with even more suggestions when I meet her this Sunday! hahaha. :D

all pictures from tumblr.com

 

How-To Tuesdays [by Etsy]

Etsy has a wonderful blog that keeps you updated on the latest and best of Etsy, and every now and then it has my favourite feature, its How-To Tuesdays, that present cool DIY projects to do at home.

I think this guy is absolutely amazing, using old soft drink bottles and office paper to create art.

Check out other How To Tuesday posts here [sun painting], here [paper dolls], here [paper beeswax boats], and here [hanging notepad]

DIY Project: Reusing a Cute Plastic Bag!

I made a pact to be nicer to Mother Earth and every once in awhile, I keep reminding myself to look around and see what I can do to meet the three magic words: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!

Korean stationary store ArtBoxis one of my favourite go-to places, mostly because the stationary there is oh-so-cute and teasingly functional (I say teasingly because it inspires fantasies of how useful it could be when in reality its usefulness can hardly ever come into practical play). After a trip there recently, I couldn’t help but stare at the plastic bag they gave me. It was ridiculously cute. I mean, I know it’s part of marketing and all, but what would happen to it after my shopping trip that day ended?

Thinking about leaving this cute plastic bag to collect dust made me feel sad, so I decided to put my hands to work and fully exploit its cuteness instead :) My weapons of choice? My trusty pair of gigantic scissors and a Scotch permanent glue stick.

When it comes to glue, I’ll freely admit that I do have a greater inclination towards liquid glue. It’s messier but so much more effective when it comes to filling up cracks and holes and its bonding power is really much stronger. However, given that I was using plastic, I decided to go with a glue stick instead, which would be strong enough. Scotch is a brand I swear by, & the stick retails at popular for approx $1.25.

Seeing that the illustrations of the plastic bag were so cute, I decided to cut them out and then place them throughout the notebook I just purchased from Artfriend ($3.90) and on its cover:

*snip snip snip* It took me an hour to snip out all the doodles that I thought were pretty and worth keeping (you’d notice I kept none of the doodles that included the girls…) & I really liked how they stood out against the paper inside the notebook and the cover. Setting aside a few for the cover, I pasted 1 plastic cut-out every 2 pages of the notebook.

I’m not really one who’s into uniformity so I experimented and played around with putting the doodles at various places throughout the notebook. After sticking the plastic doodles on the cover and on the pages, I only had one doodle left afterwards, which I placed on the back cover.

Tada! The final product :) I managed to use everything I got from Artfriend, except for the receipt lol.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

It’s not a difficult thing to do :)

DIY Flower Arrangement

Feeling rather jealous of my colleagues’ beautiful desk decorations, I dropped by Nex after dinner last night to do some shopping. To my delight, furniture store King & King Wong (which I have oft admired for their gorgeous fake-flower decorations) was having a 50% off sale for an entire flower section! Obviously I was over the moon and began picking out my flowers – the total cost, including the pretty tin container came up to about $27. Not insanely cheap, but for gorgeous flowers that are gonna last me quite a while, I felt it was quite worth it.

So here’s a DIY tutorial on how I created a beautiful flower arrangement for my desk :)

In picking your flowers for this task, it’s important to know several things:

  1. The size of your vase/container
  2. the colour scheme you’re inclined towards
  3. Decide on Dominant Colours vs Supporting Colours + Accents (explained later in the tutorial)

For me, I was personally very inclined towards a pink-white-purple colour scheme, but decided that my main centrepiece would be this beautiful red gerbera flower. You may choose to use a sticky base – some like to use wax, or even sand, or glue, or you can just go without any of these bases so that you can change your flower positions anytime you like :) For this tutorial, I go without the base.

Alongside the red gerbera flower, I had purple and white roses to form the bouquet. Ideally, with “supporting”/”secondary” flowers, their colours should be less loud and softer, leaning more towards pastels.

Arrange your “secondary” flowers in the container/vase to your pleasure. Because you don’t want these flowers to outshine the main “star”, so you should put them at the borders of your chosen container. To give a more natural look, “layer” these flowers on – i.e. don’t put all the purple flowers, then the white flowers. Put a few purple, then a few white, etc until you’ve finished using all the flowers. This ensures that the flowers are equally visible – though I’ll admit I had far more purple flowers than white ones! Remember to leave a significant space for your centerpiece, where none of the flowers will interfere with the main flower’s petals.

Place the main centerpiece into the container and tweak everything such that the main centerpiece stands out and has uninterrupted petals. You may choose to adjust the height of the main flower such that it stands out slightly, or is the same height as the rest of the flowers

Next up, the flower accents! I chose tiny pink flowers and several green leaves from stems I’d chopped off other flowers. Ideally, choose one complimentary accent to fill up “gaps” and one contrasting accent to bring out the colours of the flowers.

Insert these accents into your flower arrangement and tadah! A beautiful flower arrangement is completed :) I’ll be bringing this in a paperbag to office to brighten up my desk in the morning!

A Little Box Of Wonders

With so many stores going on a coupon frenzy lately, I’ve had loads of loose paper coupons swimming around in my bag, making it quite a horrific experience whenever I want to find certain coupons. Putting them in my wallet would render it an ugly fat monster, and using a paper clip to put them together is sometimes ineffectual as the paper clip quite easily slips off or tears the coupon by accident *tears*. So I put my resources and brains to work and came up with a little pocket (or box of wonders as I prefer to call it) for the inside of my organizer, making it a perfect storage space that I’ll bring wherever, for whenever I’ll need it!

For this DIY Project, here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Hard Card-stock paper
  2. A Stapler
  3. Glue (preferably Liquid as it’s stronger)
  4. Marker/Decorative elements
  5. Ruler (optional)

First what you’ll need is a hard, card stock paper. I used 220gsm for this project. Basically, the rationale for using hard paper just means that it’ll last longer, is stronger and more capable of holding more paper/coupons within it. It’s important that the paper you use is stiff yet bendable, so that doing this project will be quite easy.

As my organizer is an A5 size, I simply used one of those note-taking cards (the largest size) for this project, rather than getting a paper and cutting it into half.

Cardstock paper can easily be found in any of your nearby popular bookstores, either at the loose paper section or in stacks if you’re interested in getting more for your other craft projects :)

Fold three sides of the card, and how you fold determines how your pocket will look like. As I felt that my combined coupons would be rather bulky, I decided to have a thicker bottom. Do not that the bottom has to be folded over the two sides, not under! It will be more secure this way.

As I want the bottom to be secure, I chose to staple the ends of the bottom together – it doesn’t look so pretty I know, and you can skip this step if you believe in the power of the glue you’re using! However, since I’m not all that picky, and I wanted a pocket that would be strong enough to last through the year, I decided to go ahead with the stapling :)

If like me, you’re using liquid glue, you’ll have to wait for it to dry. Instead of piling heavy books on top, which would hinder how well the glue can “breathe” and dry, I used my tried and tested method of paperclips! Using Paperclips is a great way to ensure that the glue affixes the pocket tightly onto the surface. Again, I focused mostly on the bottom of the pocket, as it was the most important part to me. Later on, I did put one or two heavy books overnight to ensure that the pocket was firmly on the book.

and there you have it! Your little box of wonders that’s all ready to be stuffed with coupons and awesome thingamajigs you’d like to bring out with you :) Enjoy!

Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s Day draws closer and closer, it’s slightly amusing when I observe bewildered looking lone guys and frustrated girls in groups shopping for a present for their significant other. Guys feel stressed over finding that “special” thing that his girlfriend “kinda hinted at”, or if he has no recollection of any hint whatsoever, feels a looming sense of doom because he knows he didn’t “get” the hint. Girls on the other hand, feel like their dudes have everything they already want, and stuff that they don’t have is something they’d rather not get for him – like the xbox 360 or PS3 that is going to keep him preoccupied and away from her.

Personally, I always go for something that’s practical, and it’s pretty much come to the point where my bf and I will spare each other the pain and tell each other what we want, then shop together for it. Awesomeness! However, if your bf/gf is not as inclined to that idea, here are some interesting V day gifts you can consider getting :)

Valentine’s Day mugs from Starbucks (Singapore)

Snuggle home with a movie and casually serve your gf/bf a mug of warm hot chocolate in these cute mugs and let them be surprised with your oh-so-slick romantic gesture. Or you could get a few cut flowers from a florist and arrange them neatly within the mugs! If you bring the mug to the florist, most of them will agree to arrange a tiny bouquet within it for you, at an agreed price.

For those who feel like they can’t be apart, it never hurts to get things that come in pairs

If your significant other is overseas, perhaps you’d like to get a set of personalized stamps, available at Singpost for $12.50.

Post it to your significant other’s office or home or attach it to the florists’ card. It’s a cute, personalized touch – and sometimes it’s the little details that make it all the more sweeter.

I’ll have to admit though, that one of the wisest gifts my bf ever gave me was a shopping trip. Well – it was pretty amusing because he paid for my shopping and I, his (though it was proportionately different given our different income levels).

So if your girlfriend’s a shopaholic, feel free to let her go insane with the shopping for just a day! And if you’re the type of guy who can’t stand shopping, or already feel a looming sense of doom for your wallet, “restrict” her expenditure by purchasing a shopping voucher – which excuses you from the shopping trip AND places a “budget” on how much you’re spending on her. do not give her a supplementary card to your account. That’s kinda like financial suicide.

Ideally, you’d tell her about this prior to the date so that she’ll have time to think it through, plot and scheme how to best exploit your money. LOL.

For those who want a permanent, loud declaration of your love, how about putting it up on her wall?

Remind him/her everyday of your love – on Valentine’s Day, let your significant other wake up to this quote facing his/her bed. Of course it might be a good idea to check whether he/she’s into the idea of a decal on the wall first.

Or you could similarly print out photos of your time together, and place them either within a huge photoframe OR affix them onto the wall as well :)

Some prefer to stick to the conventional gifts of flowers and chocolate – but just so your girl knows you’ve put in some thought, get her one that’s flavoured! With loads of chocolate shops in singapore, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

here’s a list of chocolate shops for your browsing convenience :)

The Chocolate Factory/ Laurent Bernard Chocolatier online store, OR their 3 local chocolate shops

The Pier at Robertson Quay 80
Mohammad Sultan Road #01-11
Singapore 239013

391 Orchard Road
Singapore 238872

5B Portsdown Road #01-02
Singapore 139311

Cheeky Chocolates

201 Victoria Street at Iluma #04-13
Singapore 188067

Sins Chocolates

9 Raffles Boulevard
#01-85 Singapore 039 596

176 Orchard Road
Level 1 Atrium
Singapore 238 843

9 Raffles Place
#01-17 Singapore 048 619

2 Orchard Turn
#04-24 Singapore 238 801

Jaime’s Chocolates online store

No. 6 Raffles Boulevard #02-259
Singapore 039594

Pave Chocolates online store

93 East Coast Road,
Singapore 428792

enjoy free islandwide chilled delivery of chocolates for purchases above $79 at Pave Chocolates & Confections

Cacao 7 Organic Chocolates & Raw Desserts online store

37A Boat Quay
Singapore 049826

or from its partner stores: Salad Stop! and ONAKA. refer here for the full list

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

All Booked Up

Web Wednesdays will be a new series by Quirkychic showcasing our favourite websites from around the web. Enjoy!

If nerds can look cool with their Ray Bans on…

then hmm, I don’t see why bookworms can’t wear their books around their necks!

Not literally of course.

But as accessories! Etsy store The Black Spot Books creates accessories out of little books, in all shapes, colours and textures. Pick from a hardcover to a leather bound from this “bookstore” of sorts.

Though I think that various book lovers will be lamenting that these books are merely wordless accessories, think of it as a symbolic item or gift. Besides, I highly doubt that anyone would really whip out a magnifying glass to read these books on the go, :) At the moment, embossing services are only available for a limited number of characters, but I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that they will be able to emboss & insert quotes within the books in the near future.

Besides these little books, The Black Spot Books also makes pocket-sized and journal-sized books for your writing pleasure. Prices at the store range from $3USD (copper chain) to $500 USD (large hardbound custom journal).

I also recently discovered Alisa Burke, a mixed media artist who keeps a blog showcasing her works in her sketchbook. I used to keep one myself but gradually lost interest – it’s actually rather difficult sometimes, especially with a hectic school/work schedule. I especially love it whenever she gives us a peek into her sketchbook.

Besides her sketches, Alisa Burke also writes about her interest in food, her other mixed media art projects, as well as DIY fashion projects, if you’re so inclined.

Moreover, her photography makes for stunning visuals, even if she’s simply blogging about a day out.

Do you have a favourite website you love visiting? Share with us and we might choose to feature it on our Web Wednesdays :)

Getting My Indie Fix

Web Wednesdays will be a new series by Quirkychic showcasing our favourite websites from around the web. Enjoy!

Recently I stumbled across a blog post on crafting site Craftypod, titled How Sustainable is Free? I fell in love with the idea almost immediately.

Here’s what I mean by that. Every cool blog post, every podcast, every video that you enjoy for free online comes to you because another human being chose to put their time and energy into making it. A few of these folks got paid for their efforts, but the vast majority were doing it for free.

It’s an internet phenomenon, where people make/write for free, not just for personal satisfaction, but for other’s entertainment and satisfaction as well. It’s basically a cycle of free stuff all around. However, how sustainable is it? Or as the subsequent question inevitably pops up, is the internet economy “balanced”?

Interested? Check out her series of posts here, here and here.

Browsing through Etsy, these gorgeous necklaces by White Owl caught my eye. Lace cut-out necklaces aren’t too rare nowadays, but finding an artist who artfully drapes them and arranges the pieces so aesthetically is rare. I also love how these pieces are made of new and recycled materials. Plus, they’re lightweight and beautifully accentuate the neckline.

Some of their more expensive pieces are also accentuated with beads and sequins, and personally I love the piece with the huge bow on the right. The store also makes lace-cut earrings as standalone pieces and as matching pieces to the necklaces. Prices range anywhere from $18 USD (earrings) to $60 USD (braided necklace).

If you’ve been wrecking your brains thinking of a new place to get decorative items for your home, but don’t want to go to places that mass produce items such as IKEA or COURTS, check out Etsy store la boom! for its extremely cute and eye-catching pieces, some of which are the size of a photoframe.

Better still, experiment with making one yourself! As I type, I’m already contemplating coming up with my own piece from an old photoframe and some old books with their illustrations mostly intact.

Though I’d admit that I find it pretty amusing that they used pages from a Japanese Manga for their Wonder woman and Cat Woman shadowboxes, I still find them a great conversation piece that is aesthetically pleasing. Moreover, they’re easy to display and store as well as they’re standalone pieces. Prices at their store range from $3.20 USD (gift box) to $30 USD (shadow box).

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