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!
The materials I used were:
- Pretty Ribbons
- Wrapping Paper
- Scotch Tape
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Step 6: Tie the Ribbon
Have a great Christmas everyone!!
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!!
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.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
It’s not a difficult thing to do :)
It’s Monday! I hope all of you emerge from your weekends well rested, refreshed and rejuvenated. The important 3 Rs that are always essential in my weekend plans :) This weekend, I really caught up on my sleep debt and was really thankful for the “metime” to just sit back and relax – though I’ll admit that my love for time management games caused me some healthy frustration. haha.
& just in case you’re into stressful time management games like me (hey! the satisfaction of completing a level efficiently is very rejuvenating, ok!), here’s what I’ve been into lately, Burger Queen. It’s not listed on the “Top 25” of the iTunes list, but this app by Korean company Crecat Soft is well worth its $0.99 value. It’s been 3 days and I’m still addicted. The characters and animation are very comical and cute!
Of course, I didn’t just spend my entire weekend tapping away at my ipod touch (not converting yet to iphone! I’m still happily playing with my android phone whilst having my itouch lol) – I also looked for more decorations and additions for my still-rather-empty office space.
Tada! More flowers for my desk! :) We headed to IKEA with the intention of killing time before going to a friend’s house for mahjong, but I ended up going insane over the new range of pretty flowers there. This time, I was going for a different look and chose a long, elegant, transparent vase for my flowers – I only put four stalks in the vase as I wanted this to be more simple. I also picked two stalks of orchids – one purple and one white (as shown) so I can rotate the vase to suit my mood during the day :) For the vase, I accessorized with a black and gold chanel ribbon that has been lying around my desk forever (I stole it from my mom’s chanel perfume muhaha).
Here are closeups of the flowers
Besides the vase and flowers ($2.90 – $4.90 per stalk), I also bought a pink A4 sized photoframe to place my photos. Plus I also got this incredibly fuzzy pink pillow from Spotlight – slightly expensive at $24.95 (after 20% off) but it was a gift from the bf to indulge my girly insanity :D Pictures of those soon when I’ve placed them at my desk!
A few years back, a friend introduced the free online software Scrapblog, a scrapblogging service where you can import your pictures from various places such as Facebook, Flickr etc. I promptly became obsessed with it and ended up spending hours on it in a single day haha.
Here’re some examples of the works I’ve done with Scrapblog!
As you can see, Scrapblog has a pretty varied number of “stickers” or add ons to your images, plus you can choose very pretty backgrounds! If you’re the type who’s more tech-inclined than one who loves messing around with stickers, glue and paper, this is really a great option. Moreover, all you have to do is save the image to your com before bringing it to the photo shop to print, so you do get glossy photos as part of the end result! :)
Right now, here’s the lone flower basket that’s at my desk
Here’s how empty (but neat) my desk is. I really like the white-ness of it all and most of all, appreciate the different sections they’ve set for files, paper, and even an extended shelf so you can put more stuff :)
Unfortunately, in comparison to my colleagues who have hello kitty collectibles and loads of stuffed toys and photographs all over their desks, mine is truly sad and lonely in comparison. So in the next few weeks I’ll be scrapblogging like mad so I can put up some lovely personalized photographs up all around my workspace as well!
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 :)
- The size of your vase/container
- the colour scheme you’re inclined towards
- 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.
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!
- Hard Card-stock paper
- A Stapler
- Glue (preferably Liquid as it’s stronger)
- Marker/Decorative elements
- 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.
I love tomatoes. Fortunately for me, not many of my friends share this view. So that means that every time we sit and have a meal together, and there’s a tomato garnish on their dish, it automatically belongs to me (Yay!) But it’s not enough for me to hoard my love for this wonderful fruit. (That would be selfish and mean!) Instead, this post is dedicated to the wonders of the tomato and how it has both health and beauty benefits.
Let’s start with a little bit of history first. The tomato was named by the French botanist Tournefort and when directly translated from Latin, it means “wolfpeach.” Why wolfpeach? Because it was round and luscious like a peach and wolf because they thought it was poisonous (how wrong they were!) enough to kill wolves. Later, they changed the name and decided to call it pommes d’amour or love apples, because they thought that the tomato had aphrodisiacal properties.
Well, now we know that all these are misconceptions and the tomato is neither poisonous nor capable of arousing amorous feelings. Instead, the tomato is rich in lycopene, a powerful natural antioxidant that not only improves the skin’s ability to fight UV radiation, but it helps prevent cancer too!
All you need to do is to EAT it.
nom nom nom
And there are so many ways to! I personally prefer to eat them raw (especially cherry tomatoes!) or with salad but if that somehow freaks you out, then by all means, cook it! You could blend it into pasta sauce, chop it up to create a salsa dip or churn it into tomato soup (Yum!) Try some simple tomato recipes today! (Also, I heard through the grapevine that eating tomatoes gives you a rosy, glowing complexion so eat up!!)
And you know how everyone dreads getting pelted on the face with tomatoes? Well, maybe we should relish that experience abit more because as far as anti-ageing products go, tomatoes rank numero uno on the list! This is due to the high levels of anti-oxidants that can help to cut down the number of free radicals in your body.
Put your best face forward!
Furthermore, tomatoes help to balance the levels of moisture upon application so no dry, flakey or super oily skin! Tomatoes are also very effective for cleansing pores and blackheads because of its acidic quality. In addition, it contains potassium and Vit C that helps fade pigmentation spots.
You can use tomatoes to create a DIY facial:
Mash a ripe tomato and strain the juice. Put tomato pulp in bowl and add powdered milk. Stir till it becomes a paste. Apply on face and leave it on for 20 mins before washing it off.
Mash a small tomato with a ripe avocado, smooth the mixture on your face and leave it on for 20 mins before rinsing off.
Mix a large spoonful of yoghurt (or you can use honey) with a mashed tomato and spread it on your face. Let the mixture sit for 20 mins before washing it off.
Or even use tomatoes to treat hair problems:
Mix a ripe tomato with 2 tablespoons of oatmeal. Add 6 drops of lemon oil and blend the concoction in a food processor. Spread it all over your scalp and wrap with plastic wrap. Leave it on for 15 mins and rinse thoroughly. Don’t forget to use conditioner afterwards.
Work tomato sauce through the hair to treat chlorine damage. Leave it on for 15 mins before rinsing, shampooing and conditioning.
But if DIY isn’t your thing, then be sure to check out brands like Skinfood, Yes to Tomatoes and L’Occitane. These brands carry tomato products anywhere from sunscreens to moisturizers. L’Occitane has an olive oil and tomato range of body moisturizers and the Skinfood range featured here is for whitening.
I am currently using the Yes to Tomatoes facial hydrating lotion and this range is for oily and combination skin. In addition to tomatoes, this product also has watermelon and camomile to soothe and moisturize and dead sea minerals that help to keep your face shine-free. I’m loving this so far because it feels very light on the skin. I feel like it keeps my skin hydrated without that oily feeling and there’s no visible shine even after 5 hours. I think my makeup stays on longer too. The other great plus is how it is 99.6% made out of natural ingredients. Even the tomatoes used to make this lotion is organic! (maybe it’s psychological but I feel like it’s good for my skin.) Only thing that it is missing is SPF. So I do have to layer on some sunscreen after but other than that, I have got no complaints!
Ok, that is all that I have for you today folks! Hope that this post has inspired you to try out some tomato food/beauty recipes!
Each year, there’s a lot of excess wrapping paper that’s left behind from oddly shaped presents – and it’s hardly possible to reuse the same wrapping paper each year, let alone free wrapping paper that has a company’s logo proudly emblazoned across it… it just isn’t classy, no? So instead of throwing away oddly sized shapes and bits or paper that’s semi-crumpled etc, I’ve employed my crafting spirit to making my own handmade christmas cards this year! :)
- at least 2 designs of wrapping paper
- cardstock paper in a plain colour – i used Gloss White, 220 gsm
- cutting tools – pen knife, scissors, papercutter (optional)
- sticking tools – double sided tape, glue, mounting tape
First, look at your old wrapping paper and see if it has any outstanding symbols/images that you’d like to use. Likewise, you can pick an outstanding image from a magazine etc., depending on the type of card you want to make. e.g. for this tutorial i picked a Christmas Wreath, but for a friend who’s a shopahaulic, you might want to pick a high heeled shoe from a magazine :) Cut out that image with a small border around it. You don’t have to be extremely precise.
Wrapping paper is relatively sturdy as compared to magazine paper, so you might want to reinforce your magazine image by pasting cardstock behind it. Place the image on the cardstock and proceed to decide what type of card you want. For this tutorial I’ve chosen a small palm-sized card that I’ll be affixing to the present.
When you’re done with your measurements, proceed to cut out the card. I highly recommend using the “natural” edges of the paper as your guidelines if you’re afraid of cutting crooked lines. Alternatively, use a paper cutter.
Paper Cutters actually aren’t very expensive. I got mine for $19++ at Art Friend @ Bras Basah. It can also be found in some of the Popular Book Stores. It can cut 8 pieces of regular paper max and 2 pieces of cardstock. It’s not necessary to my daily life, but since I love doing paper crafts, it’s great for me and I love the convenience and speed at which it allows me to do all sorts of things. Plus I tend to have shaky hands, haha.
When using a paper cutter, you should make full use of the ruler/grid on it. Placing a ruler on top of the paper that’s in the paper cutter won’t measure as well as the measurements on the paper cutter. If you have difficulties dealing with measurements not beginning/ending with zero, it might be advisable to have a calculator on hand. Hold the paper firmly and press the blade down as you slide it across. loosely cutting the paper without holding it or securing the blade will result in ugly edges (and fixing it with a scissors totally defeats the purpose of using the paper cutter in the first place)
When creating a folded card with cardstock, the thickness of the paper means that folding it with your fingers will result in ugly creases along the edge. So try using a ruler and quickly sweep along the edge you wish to create. Pressing too hard might result in “frayed” edges, so don’t linger too long while doing it.
Next up, affix your cut out image to the card you’ve made. Ideally, place it exactly in the centre, as it will definitely make a difference. However if you’re like me and rather lazy/in a hurry, simply paste it where your gut feeling tells you it’s the middle. Things can always be fixed :)
Here I’ve used mounting tape as I want the image to “pop out” slightly. Mounting tape is essentially double sided sticky foam. It can be found in any Popular Book Store and most art shops and costs anywhere from $5-$10 per roll. Don’t purchase the mounting tape from Hardware/DIY shops as those are extremely expensive and meant to carry loads of 1.5kg for affixing objects to the wall. However, you can also simply use double sided tape, or a combination of double sided tape + cardstock + double sided tape to create the “pop up” effect as well.Choose a complementary piece of wrapping paper. It doesn’t need to be of a similar Christmas design! Here I’ve chosen a Japanese Origami paper to complement the wreath. A small card also means I need a very small amount of paper, so it’s pretty much perfect for this project where recycling odd bits and paper is the objective.
From the image you’ve affixed, measure its surrounding borders and mark it down on the other piece of paper. Proceed to cut it (a pen knife is highly recommended for this step) so that you have a “hole” or “window” for the image to pop out from, as shown below.
Trim the edges to ensure that it’s all straight and aligned well. Write your message on the interior of the card! For me, I cut out the flowers from the leftover piece of paper (from the hole in the middle) and used them to decorate the inside :)
If you’re worried about slanted/uneven edges of the hole, you can also use a black marker to “even it out”. I did so quite messily here, but it’s also quite a nice effect as it enhances the border more distinctly.
Yup! So this is my DIY project for the Christmas Season – I hope to come up with more DIY card designs over the week! It’s simple, easy to make and uses inexpensive materials you can easily find at home :)
I love painting my nails and making them pretty. I do however, get bored with my nails sometimes, but it doesn’t make sense to change my nail colours everyday, so I try to change it up by either doing some konad nail art or in this case, adding another nail polish to it. Since I’ve been wearing Sally Hansen’s Hard As Wraps in Celeb City, it definitely isn’t going to wear off anytime soon, but this is my go-to nail art for chipped nail colours I’m too lazy to remove. In this case, I was really just bored and procrastinating with my studying haha.
Here’s my secret to creating the perfect diagonal two-colour nail :)
- Get Magic Tape: And no, unlike what its name suggests, this isn’t some secret I gained from some Guru living high up in the mountains. This magic tape is available at any friendly bookstore, produced by the Scotchtape King, Scotch. I bought it for $2.90 SGD at Popular Bookstore. Magic Tape is my weapon of choice because in my experience, it removes the least amount of nail polish. In fact, it sometimes doesn’t remove any nail polish at all, depending on the nail polish brand you’re using :)
- Choose a good contrasting colour to go with the polish you already have on. For this nail art I used the Faceshop’s Nail Polish in BK901. It is essential that you use an OPAQUE polish. Sheer polishes will reveal the dominant colour beneath, which isn’t a very nice effect (in my opinion).
- Cut the Magic tape into strips about 0.5cm in width (or larger, depending how large or long your nails are.) Tape them diagonally across each nail. To achieve a nice, uniform effect, it is important that you ensure each strip of tape is facing the same direction at the same angle. It need not be a perfect diagonal cutting exactly half through the nail – but a uniform direction is far more important to ensure the nails look neat and professional. If your nails are chipping, it is advisable that your strip of magic tape cover the upper, non-chipped part of the nail, as shown below: (this is so that your new colour will cover all the chipped parts). You can see how I’ve pasted the magic tape on my nails.
- DO NOT use the same strip twice as it may transfer colour over (from its edge) when you take it off to put it on another nail. Use a fresh strip of magic tape! To minimize wastage you can simply cut off the part exposed the polish previously before sticking it onto a new nail, but I prefer just using a new strip. Press your fingers lightly over the magic tape. Pressing too hard might encourage polish-peel off when you remove the tape, so a light touch will do. Simply ensure that near its edge there are no air bubbles or open spaces. This is so that when you paint, the nail polish won’t creep underneath.
- Paint freely as you wish! feel free to be a sloppy painter. There’s no chance of mistakes here. When you’re done, wait a few minutes for the new coat to dry BEFORE removing the magic tape. This is extremely important.
- On the leftmost nail you can see the messily painted polish on top of the magic tape. However, on the two nails on the right you can see that upon removal, the line is extremely neat and straight. One thing I’ve noticed during this tutorial is that I prefer this look on a nail with a curved edge. In the photo above, I’ve got a flat edge nail next to a curved edge nail, so you can see the difference in the look that the nail shape creates.
- Finish with a top coat, but paint downwards towards the tip of the nail so that the new diagonal will not be affected.
I hope you enjoyed this nail tutorial! Pretty nails ftw :D