Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lovely Long Stitch Books

Look look! I'm so excited! Look at these darling long stitch binding books! I've never seen so many in one go! Imagine having these up on your book shelf. Mine are the first six from the right, the rest were made by students of the second long stitch class I conducted. Aren't they fantastic. I like my paper to be anything but white when it comes to making books, there is just something warm about ivory coloured paper. And the two on the right got pink and blue pages. I have one more class this Sunday, and then I'm hanging up my teaching hat to concentrate on preparing for the wedding and after the wedding setting up our new home and my new studio! Woo hoo!

A possibility that by the time I'm settled and start classes again it will be the fasting month, any takers? Or should I just wait until after the fasting month is over?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

And The Winners Are...!!

This was what I did, I have to describe it to you because I forgot to take pictures, I was just so excited to see if it worked... I've written everyones names who left a comment one each on a square piece of paper. Each paper I then fold into a water bomb (instructions here on how to make it). I place them in a pile on the floor in front of Shazam! She jumped straight in and they went flying! I kept an eye on which piece Shazam! went chasing after until she lost it under the cabinet which I then fished out. Collected the rest and put them into a pile again and Shazam! did the same thing, played with one until she lost it under the cabinet again and I fished that out too.

Two pieces of squashed water bombs.

Unfold to reveal... (drum roll...)

Dang and Blast
A stab bound book will be making it's way towards you! Heading to the States, woo hoo!

I'm not sure whether you are living locally or overseas. I've checked your site and the other one. Are you in UK by any chance?

The rest of the water bombs, Shazam! had a field day with them. Mental note, make more inexpensive cat toys...

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Current Studio...

Everything in this room, I am currently in the process of moving out into my new studio space. I took pictures, I just haven't offload it from the camera. When that happens then you all could see the wonderful space I'll be moving into. In the mean time, just a couple of pictures to give you a feel of how much stuff will be moving...

This is the day bed area I have, it's tucked in a corner of the room with enclosed by my book rack and work bench. Everybody who goes into the studio ends up crashing on the day bed. I have people who come over and end up taking naps and even sleeps over, in the studio. I'm working away and they're curled up all cosy fast asleep.

The work bench on the left holds stacks of handmade papers and various other crafty stuff like my seeminglessly endless supply of miniture roses and flowers and ribbons.

The surface is where I do all my work, and my bench grinder. The background was a wallpaper that my parents had installed before I took over the room and turned it into the studio. They're probably be happy when I finally clear out so they can see it again. Before that the whole wall was covered up with postcards and magazine ads and various other stuff, one day I got tired of it and took down. I didn't realise people liked it so much until when I get visitors and they go, "What happened to the wall?! Where did it go?!"

The rack on the right contains all my art reference books. Origami, design, paper, graphic novels, pop ups, and above are a bunch things I collected throughout the years.

Oh, and the tiered basket wire rack contained chocolates on the top, rolls of ribbons in the middle, and masks at the bottom. I always have to fix back the ribbon ties on the masks after the kids been through them.

This is on the other side of the room. More racks. As you can see there is not enough racks to house all my boxes and other items that lived in the studio. Those green baskets top left, more flowers, white basket next to it, more rolls of paper, picture of me when I was 8. Painting I did when I was feeling happy. Behind it boxes of greeting cards to be repurposed. And my three helmets, which one I sold to a colleague at work.

The rest of the shelves, boxes with labels to tell me what's in them. The middle rack top shelf holds all my sketchbooks since 1990 til present. Envelopes, more bits and pieces in containers, magazines... Half of what's in the picture have been moved out already, most are still on the floor.

In the foreground, left hand side of the picture is my guillotine. You can just carry it with another person helping you. If you're wondering how I was able to get all my books all sliced up neat, it was thanks to this gizmo. It's a manual thing and it even has a safety that the blade is locked unless the safety cover is in place. I can cut up to an inch and a half stack of paper.

This is the purple flying elephant painting that was sitting on the shelf, when I did the painting it was art night and all of us were cracking jokes and laughing so hard stomachs were aching. Then I donated the painting to charity and it managed to raised quite a lot of money to feed at least ten children in India for a year. Right now it's hanging up on someone's wall which I hope will make them smile everytime they see it.

This swing is right outside my studio door. It's older than me and the planks of wood has been been changed and painted over and you can see just how old it is but it still works. So one day getting tired of seeing the blank worn out wood I spent an afternoon with my acrylics and did a quick and bright painting of my fat cats. If you see it in real life it got glitter all over it too. The swing is a two seater and there's my cat Chi plonked right in the middle, this was the best picture out of the whole lot with him in it. I wasn't sure what to paint on the seated part and I started painting in pink hearts, but I never finished it because it didn't look right...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Paper Flowers

I need to make about 60 corsages for the wedding, to keep the cost low and have something I like. I never liked the ones that were store bought because it's all mass produced and I can't stand the sloppy glue gun usage that were used to make them.

So far I've narrowed the search down to these...

This I really like, it's a bouquet! I could make my own bouquet... the instructions teaches you to make various types of flowers that makes up the bouquet. Click here for link.

Martha Stewart pompoms. They look like carnations, isn't it sweet looking? Wina showed me how to make this once, but hers didn't turn out looking like this. I have deduced a hypothesis why after seeing this. Click here for link.

This one is absolutely fantastic! But I would need a large six petal flower punch to make this. Anybody out there got one I could borrow? It would significantly reduce the workload to punch the shapes out than to trace and cut out. Click here for link.

This one is easy. Old school, reminded me of a craft book from the 70s. Click here for link.

Then there's this other link which I have yet to check out the pdf instructions as there was no picture with the post. Worth checking? I don't know yet.

I really have my heart set for the paper rose, second would be the pompoms and then it's a toss up between the bouquet and the crepe rose because the bouquet looked complicated and the crepe rose looks uninspired but dead easy.

Originally I wanted to do one using origami... maybe I should still... Hmmmmm...

Will look around some more...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Giveaway!! On Radio

Just for the heck of it, since realising it will be my last class until the big day, for those of you who don't feel like leaving a comment or love being a lurker, there will be another giveaway for Stab Binding Basic: Making a Book for one lucky listener on Philian FM between noon and 4pm today. The DJ will be Izan and I don't know what she will make you do to earn that spot and I'm kind of nervous about being mentioned on air and all, but am looking forward to see who will be sitting at my table next week Sunday. If it's successful, I'll do more in the future.

Still time to leave a comment for the giveaway on this blog. I got asked if I could swap a book instead of the class since they have already done the class. Maybe, possibly, there might be a surprise somewhere... Sign up folks, why let an opportunity like this slip out of your grasp?

Happy Earth Day!
Well... the afternoon had come and gone. And it just so happen I was coming back from lunch and gotten into my car and had the radio on. Less than a minute later I had a heart attack when I heard the words 'scrapbooking' and then I had multiple seizures when she kept on repeating the word after every other word. Thanks Izan for correcting it afterwards.
People who know me would understand why I reacted the way I did. Moving on...
The winner was confused with what it was that she won when I called her. Hopefully she would have checked out the site to give her a better idea. I emailed her the details of the class. She doesn't live that far from me, so that'll be easy for her to get to.
So, one spot taken. We still have the giveaways on this blog. We won't know until next week. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 20, 2009


We all like that word don't we. Oh yes we do! A couple of reasons why this is happening... One, the last time I had a give away was back in... December I think... and it's time for another one. Two, I missed my bloggerversary and this is to make up for it.

The Prizes

  • If you are living locally, you will be gifted a spot on the Beginners Book Making Class on the 3rd of May (furiously checking calendar for availability of dates, it's in the afternoon by the way) I know there is a bunch of you out there that had been emailing me inquiring about the classes, isn't this a good deal? You get to come and make a book, I get to meet you!

  • If you are living overseas, you'll receive one of my stab bound books. I've mailed several of those already so I know they're mailable. 

There you go, either a free class or a free book, depending on your geographical location.

How To Enter

  1. Leave a comment in the comment section 
  2. Must be a blog follower (I will check, click 'follow' in left column if you haven't) 
  3. Some way for me to contact you, either in your comment or a link to your email or blog
  4. One comment per person only
  5. A winner will be randomly picked out
  6. This will be open for comments until the 27th April
  7. I will announce the winners on the 28th April
This is so exciting, your fate will most probably be in Shazam!'s paws *lol*

Sunday, April 19, 2009


This year is alot of happenings, with the wedding coming up and friends giving birth, lots of good things to look forward to... Whilst on my two weeks break from work and moving studio, I took time out to visit the new babies and hung out on a sunny weekday afternoon...

Me with baby Emelda. The daddy, Erwan, is a dear friend of mine and he'll be doing my wedding photography. When I learnt of the name they had given to their daughter I said to them, you have given the legacy of shoes to her... (ref: Imelda Marcos) Mommy Mimi is looking forward to it.

This is Rafi. He's the boy to my other dear friend Rashid. The first kid in the group. He's two plus now and has started nursery. That's his machine in front of him. He's only two and he already got a computer!

The recent addition to the group, baby Hana. Only a few weeks younger than Emelda, future playmates considering the dads are good friends.

Us girls at Rashid's and Lina's place. That's Lina on the left with Hana and Rafi, Mimi talking with Lina about being a new mom. Me fussing over Emelda, and Erwan taking the picture. Rashid was at work. We don't get to hang out as often nowadays with getting married and having kids and work and hobbies and classes, but we make the effort to. Looking forward when it's my turn to host dinner, with kids!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Images From Intermediate/Advance Album Classes

Now pay attention folks, this part is critical...

Drawing diagrams for better referencing for later.

Black pages are the way to go for old school albums.

Some of the many covers selection to choose from, all coordinated with matching ribbons and end sheets, rolled up in a basket.

Mini pin cushions waiting to be completed for students to choose from made by Wina.

Fiance in baby sitting mode, his mac is loaded with cartoons.

Our kitten Shazam! (yes, her name is spelt with an exclamation mark) taking a nap in one of the students bag.

A completed album by Kat, she did the basic class in the morning and stayed to do the album class in the afternoon.

My maxed out group, fortunately they enjoyed every bit of it.

The album that almost never was. You can't tell what happened can you, especially after extensive surgery was done to it. Mental note, be careful when using chiffon material as covers when there is a drill involved.

So, those were just a few shots of the happenings in album classes. I'm thinking of putting together the images of the foods that I've been serving up in classes. That's alot of pictures to shift through...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Long Stitch Binding

This is a European binding according to what I have read online and in books regarding the history, it dates back to the 18th Century and possibly as far back as the 15th Century. To think that this binding has been around for at least 300 hundred years.

The ones above are just a few of the many variations of this binding which I am attempting to teach. I've done it one to one but not as a group. So these long stitch binding classes I'm holding are trial classes to enable for me to find the best way to teach in a group setting. If it works out, then it's an all go after my break. So you guys who signed up, are the 'lucky' ones *insert evil mad scientist laughter*

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Got An Unknown Overseas Call

Here I was, making my wedding invites with my mom, sister, aunts and cousins, when my phone rang. The reception was bad and really crackly, I could hardly hear the person on the other end. From the number that appeared I'm guessing it must either be a pre paid phone card or skype. What I gathered was that it was a lady calling from the United Kingdom and she mentioned that she saw my site (woo hoo!) and enquired about something when the connection dropped out. Darn it!

To the dear lady who called, please email me (email address at bottom of page) so I can help you in whatever it was that you were enquiring. Thank you.

More Book Makers On The Loose

I love showcasing those who came with no skill or knowledge in this field, did the class, and come out with a book made with their very own hands. When I do the class, I don't touch their books during the process unless I really have to. This is to give them the confidence and awareness that they are capable of making their very own books. I just have to make sure that my instructions are clear to follow and step by step. Time when I handle their books is at the end of class, and that's when I tell them the bits I'm impressed with and what they missed out on and bear that in mind when they make their books on their own. I'm very proud of these folks, in just three hours, I can see them grow...

Pardon the pictures, they came out really weird and I don't have photoshop on me at home...

Left to right: Kat, Kalsum, Tenten, Mariana & Zuliana

Kat got given a gift voucher to do the class and she comes to the house quite regularly and saw the particular kit and booked it for quite some time until she was able to find a free time to do it. This was a morning class and she stayed on for the intermediate class for the afternoon when one of them pulled out at the last minute and Kat took over. Kalsum and Tenten (who is also a friend of one of my ounger cousins) are the inlaws of Mariana, she dragged them along. Mariana is from the other end of Brunei and an avid reader of this  blog. We also found out some of the people and friends I knew from school works with her and she wanted to bring them along too, that would have been interesting. Zuliana is a lecturer from ITB, my aunt asked me to contact her and an email later she came. She enjoyed herself and has ready access to power drills for more books because she teaches in an engineering university. 

Left to right: Sophiana, Hayati, Me & Danna

Aunty Sophiana is dad's first cousin, Hayati is the daughter, that makes her my second cousin. Aunty Sophiana was very concerned that Hayati cut her boards properly and all that. Hayati seemed to be slightly embarrassed with all the mothering, hehehe, but they both felt really proud that they were able to make something like this. Danna has also been following the blog and figured she'd better do the class now before she's going to give birth. I thought that was cool, can make a book about the baby.

Left to right: Syafeenas, Sofia & Nureen

Three sisters, 10, 9 and 11 respectively. Their mother is the one that is doing my wedding outfits. She got her girls to do the class because she wanted to keep them occupied for their school holidays. I wasn't sure how I was going to handle children as a group because what concerns me is the handling of the knife. I debated on changing the class just to accommodate them, but in the end I didn't as one of my main objective with these classes is to create confidence in themselves and just kept to the original. My usual assistant Wina wasn't available that day and I had to get a sub, Kat. My sister came home at the nick of time because the three of us had to supervise one each. Syafeenas was the shyest of the lot and Kat was with her all the way. Nureen and Sofia had a bit of competition going on and between the two Sofia was the outspoken one and she was quite quick considering she's the youngest out of the lot. Sofia didn't need much supervision but I kept my eyes on her just in case. Nureen got my sister to watch out for her.

At the beginning they were really shy and quiet, by the time they finished their books they were very bold and asked if they'll be doing this again the next week. I said it's up to your mum. Got a hug from each one of them when they left. And their books, beautifully done, better than some I've seen.

Left to right standing: Amoy, Sharina, Kylder. Sitting: Kat, Rachel, Katherine

Kat had already done the beginners and intermediate, she came in again for a refresher as well as to keep her sisters Kylder and Katherine company as she gifted the class for their birthdays including her friend Sharina. Amoy was the daughter to a friend of theirs who was only 13, and Rachel was my sister's work colleague who one night came over to do work and ended up wanting to do the class because Zana was telling her about the books that was all over the dining room that they were doing their work in. Kat was telling me that when she came home the first time around of doing the class Kylder got a hundred and one questions about the whole thing. When Kylder was in class, I think I only got three questions out of her. All of them were really proud of their books.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Residue Of Classes

With every class, I teach the students step by step in the book making process, because of that I end up making a book for every class as well. These are just some of the books I made during the beginners stab binding classes.

This particular binding has a history which goes back to the Japanese era of when the written words were on done on scrolls (paper was invented in 2 AD, 1000 years before the Western world got to it). There were disadvantages to the scrolls that they got damaged easily and it got impractical to roll and unroll a long scroll to look for a particular passage. The Japanese developed a system where they started pleating or doing a concertina fold. The next bit was that while it was a good idea it was still loose. Hence the idea of stitching down one side to contain the folded pages.

The wonderful thing about this particular binding is that each page is a loose sheet. Therefore the content of the book could be completed before assembly and bound with the covers.

To learn more about the history and background to this binding refer to this site, it was a student dissertation, very useful.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cause And Effect, My Condolences

Left: Front runner Lee heading back towards a hash site in March

Because of one action, it causes a whole load of chain reaction. One of the ladies in my hash group had passed away this evening. She was a victim of a hit and run. Mrs Lee Jefford was riding her bicycle with a friend and fellow hasher when a red lexus hit and knocked her down. The driver of the car sped off leaving the scene. It happened in the morning. She was rushed to the hospital in critical condition where she was fighting for her life the second time, the first was battling against cancer I was told.

Her husband, her children, her parents, her friends are mourning for her loss. People who loved and cared for her, and those that she loved and cared for, snatched away without a chance to say goodbye. 

Lee was also a therapist, she was suppose to start therapy tomorrow with a friend's son, she could have helped him. It could have changed the boy's life and the family's life. But we won't know now would we.

I met Lee when I joined the ladies hash, she was one of the fast ones and would always be the first ones out at the sound of the horn and the first ones back still looking fresh as a daisy. My heart goes out to her and the family she left behind. May she rest in peace.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Paper Trip That Never Was

It started off like this... A friend said that she and her aunt are going to go to the Philippines to source for some items for a shop the aunt was planning on setting up, paper and ribbons. The items were right up my street and I figured, hey, I've never been there, I'll come too, thinking I could pick up some nice paper along the way. So, here are some images that struck me, although one or two is missing that I feel I should've included them in but I couldn't be bothered at this point in time...

This was the hotel where we stayed at in the Philippines, near a place called Green Hills which has a pretty good shopping area which I quite like, and a big supermarket too.

This was the balcony to the room at the hotel. Pretty nice set up I must say. I spent every night sitting outside reading and listening to the night sounds because...

...right behind the hotel was a shanty town of a sort. Half built buildings and homes pieced together like jigsaw puzzles. The blue roof on the left, the guy was just painting it when I took this shot. The building on the right, it has holes for doors and windows but there are no actual doors or windows in those holes, yet people were living in it. I was watching people doing their everyday life.

I was already tucking into this yummilicious blueberry pancake when I remembered I wanted to take a shot of it. This was considered small. I could only eat half. It was a place called Flapjacks where we went for breakfast, that was about half nine or tennish and I wondered why there were still lots of people at the tables. And that's when I realised the big chasm of the affluent and the poor in Philippines. They could afford to lounge around and yak all day.

Behind where I was sitting at Flapjacks was this. Just this little bit made me think that I was in the USA. Look how loud that police car is.

One of the many places where we went to eat, this has to be my favourite interior. I love the display area at the end of the wall, the oval tray like mirrors on the wall, and the general ambiance of the place. This restaurant was serving local dishes and I liked the bangus spring rolls, it's fish.

On the menu was bottomless ice tea and I don't know why but it taste really nice over there and I kept on asking for refills. Worth the money. Oh, we also went to a buffet at a place which was famous for where over 50 dishes were available. It was most interesting, they gave away hand puppets whenever you order a drink.

When I saw this guy, I thought it was really cute. It reminded me of a sculpture I did of an elephant with wings. When I had a closer look it was actually a teapot with a mustache, wings and an old style aviation helmet and goggles. I took back cute and replaced it with quirky.

This is us, Auntie Linda, Elaine and me. We stopped at the flying teapot for a rest and quick drink from all the shoppings and having checked out the many shopping malls. In the end, we still liked to shop at Green Hills area, plus the open market was there and I picked up quite a bit of stuff there too. Great bargains in my book.

On our last day we stayed around the hotel area as our flight was in the evening. I spent the day wandering around and came across this fantastic book store. It has all the pop up books I always wanted and several other books like this one. I want this book. Unfortunately, I had already spent the budget I set aside for the trip and I don't think my luggage can take anymore. So this book is on my wish list. I take pictures of books I want including the ISBN number so I can look it up in future.

Did I come back with paper? A few, but those were picked up from stationary stores and gift shops. Would I go again, I would and this time do the tourist thing and check out attractions. It's really affordable, easy to move around, communication no problem since they speak english anyway... I wonder if it's because we were in the city... I'm still reeling from the knowledge of the big divide of classes... Most of all what I didn't know was, according to future-to-be father-in-law, I should've picked up book binding tools there because they are big on hand made books. Damn it!! I wished I knew...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Corset Binding Stab Album & Hair... Hair?!

Here's a detailed shot of the binding that I've been teaching in the Stab Binding Intermediate Class. It's a very sexy binding I must admit, kinda look slightly raunchy. I'm not sure if you can say that about a binding...

Here's another detailed shot of the ribbon bow that secures the album. It acts as a practical and a decorative feature. That's what I've been teaching the students as well.

Where is this album now, I gave it to my wedding hairdresser because he is a nice guy and he did a fantastic job trying out different hairstyles for me for the wedding, all I have to do was sit there. Almost all my cousins goes to him and my mom and sister got converted to go to his place for their haircuts and are now regular customers.

Wait til you see my wedding hairdo, so cool! I can't wait! Woo hoo!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Surprise Birthday Party

My fiance got smarter this year. He was all prepared to not get sprung on like what happened to him last year on his birthday. So I have to be even smarter. I planned it a month plus in advance, I organised getting his friends together for that day, and it was held a couple of days before his actual birthday. Was he surprised, totally.

I made these stencils to go for the chocolate pudding, he likes this particular Superman logo, it's from the Kingdom Come series if you're wondering. You'll see later how that turned out.

This was the present that he got that night, I had to make the paper bag because it was the best way to wrap up this particular present.

Here are the rest of his presents, I wrapped them up individually and gave one a day leading up to his birthday.

Here's us with the cake I specially ordered for him, a bit of a drama happened getting this cake and everything turned out fine in the end. Phew. I so love the girl who made this, she is the bomb! All I said to her was Superman and teddy bear, and I left her to it.

Check out the detail on the bear. Look at that logo. So cute and perfect! I chose not to have any wordings for the cake and asked for the bear to hold a present instead.

I was fiddling around with the cake and moved the present and aaahhh!! He's wearing the red underwear and a belt! You couldn't see this detail earlier on because the bear got a cape on and hidden by the present. I love her attention to details I tell you. All you people who live locally and want to get your hands on this, go to, and you will deal with a very sweet person. The super teddy was saved and is now in an air tight container in the fridge, the rest of the cake was demolished, a yummy chocolate fudgy cake.

Here's the crowd, we came in last and everybody sang happy birthday to him, that's about almost 30 people in this room. Wished I saw his expression though, he was stunned and that managed to pull a fast one on him. Although that day there were danger of it being leaked when people were asking him if the dinner was that night, of course he had no clue what they were referring to...

Remember the stencils in the beginning, this is what they're for. Superman themed chocolate pudding! Out of all the chocolate puddings I tasted, they have the best. Johanes was such a dear preparing the menu and making sure everything was done properly. That's why I like going there, and the food is good too. Villa Mauri, go, say hi to Johanes.

While we were enjoying the yummy dessert, Dr Phillip was regaling us with his saxophone playing a couple of renditions for us. Some guests from the restaurant sat in to listen to him play.

He got two cakes that night. The second one came out after the chocolate pudding and more birthday singing. Everyone had a good time, the food, the crowd, the atmosphere, the service, it went as planned. Now I have to think up a plan for next year.


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