Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wedding Guest Book: My Very First Commission

For three wedding events & photos!

This book was made in... 2004! Goodness that was a long time ago... Back then I only knew two binding methods, coptic and stab. That was it. Good thing I expanded my répertoire.

Right, this guest book was commissioned with the idea that it was for three seaperate wedding events. The couple was a local Chinese bride and a Protugese groom. So they had a chinese wedding style, a local malay style wedding and a church wedding in Portugal. So the bride wanted a guest book that can accomodate all that.

So the book I made consist of three sections, one for each event. Each event got their own sections so they would only need to undo the ribbon for that particular sectioned event, hence all the gold ribbons at the sides. The bit with the windows is where they can place their wedding photo hence the window. This book has two front and no back if you get me...

Oh, the cool part, the material used for the covers was the same material that the bride made her wedding chongsam. She only gave me so much, 1/2 meter or 1/4 meter, it wasn't alot and man, I was glad you can't see the joints because I had to join them and by the time I was done, she asked for the leftovers, it was only like 2 x 3 inches.

I can't remember the details about the book now, I think I made sure each section had 100 pages, the dimension was probably 10 x 7 inches based on the bench it was on in the picture.

The book travelled well, it went half way around the world and back, and I told the bride if anything happens just let me know and I'll repair it for you... I'm good like that.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Concertina Album: With Love, Bluebear

I was hoping I could get through this pregnancy without falling sick, and there I was, almost the home stretch with 7 weeks to go, I got sick! A cold, but it was still annoying enough that made me short tempered and cranky like hell. The worst is over, I hope, I'm just dealing with a stuffy nose, phlegmy, occasional cough and unexpected sneezes when it gets too cold.

Despite being sick, I managed to start and finish making this album. Made me feel better too.

This was a commission from a friend in Australia, who used to catsit her next door neighbour late cat who passed away at 17 years of age and very much missed by his human parents. As a parting gift for her neighbours as she's moving away, she asked me to make an album in memory of the cat, who was named Bluebear.

I chose a stripy material to remember the joy Bluebear brought to them, and used red as the joint for the spine and the ribbon closure for the album, and holding the photos down are red skinny ribbons at the corners.

I used the same material throughout the whole album and a handmade red woody paper for the end sheet. I like this shot, you got the zig zag of the concertina and the vertical stripes of the pattern of the material.

I used red for the spine joints and it echoes beautifully here with the pattern of the material, and then you get the diagonals of the skinny red in the corners. The album was about 9 by 7 by 1 and a quarter inches, and the photos were 5 by 7 inches.

This was the bit that almost made me cry, I'm a cat person so I could relate... and also this pregnancy is making me very sentimental, things just trigger me off...

When the photos were passed to me included was this button, a blue bear, I sewed on the lower part of the spine with binding thread so it will stay on nice and tight as the spine was slightly curved. On a whim I decided to put a red heart on top of it, thinking love... and that was when it hit me, this album was like Bluebear's last 'letter' to his human parents, a memory of him for them, his love for them and their love for him. I was floored, and added on two hearts to represent his human mom and dad.

When my Aussie friend came to pick it up, she was really happy. Now I wait to hear what Bluebear's parents have to say when she gift it to them...

More pictures of album and content can be viewed here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Colours On My Studio Floor

Isn't that cool? Check out the riot of colours! Over the weekend, my cousin Wina came over to complete the commission she got from a semi government entity's annual dinner, the organizers had asked her for twenty colourful snowflakes they going to use as part of their decoration. They encountered her small ones when she made them last December. So, armed with the materials she required, my studio floor transformed into a sea of colourful six pointed stars.

More pictures can be seen here and Wina said you can find tutorials online by googling.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Buku Hantaran: Julie's Pink & Purple

A very popular colour combination pink and purple. This one is an A5 with an open heart center. The client was specific with the pink on the inside and purple on the outside.

Pink & purple buku hantaran, engagement folder

It turns out that the client is a staff at where darling hubby works, so he brought the folder in, easier that way, also I figured an indirect way of promoting, you never know right, I found out majority of the staff are at that age of getting engaged and what not. Probably one of my first client that I don't actually meet.

More pictures of the folder can be seen here.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Work In Progress: Long Overdue... Part 4

Aaaaannnndddd they're complete! Ok, 99% because I still have the single folder left which I finished earlier but now when compared to these I'm not too happy with and I might just take that one apart... maybe...

The concertina portrait

The pictures given were a mix of both portrait and landscape, and to make that as one album I didn't like the idea of the dead space the framing will have. It's a construction that I'll leave for another time, right now it was a matter of finishing and be done with it.

All stretched out, more or less...

There were three portrait pictures and five landscape pictures. They are quite big as each framed picture is 11 inches by 13 inches, when you start pulling them out you can imagine how much space they take.

A back view

These shots were taken on my king size bed as I needed a large flat uncluttered surface. My usual set up was just too small...

The landscape version

So you can imagine when I pull out the landscape concertina it stretched across the length of the bed.

Back view of landscape album, notice the different ribbon placement

Due to their size, I couldn't figure out how to photograph them interestingly enough. The client and her family are away for two weeks, leave me with enough time and daylight to experiment with the photo composition at least...

More pictures of the albums can be seen here.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Flag Book: The Cookie Project

It was that time of year again, the significant other's bithday. So this year I decided, I'm going to bake cookies, slap on fondant or icing on it, and write short messages from friends and family with edible ink pen on each one, record it, and compile into a book for keeps as cookies gets eaten.

When I started receiving the quotes, greetings and memories I realised there was no way they'd fit on a cookie unless they're huge! Because I don't think I could write that small and still be legible to read.

Scratch cookies, straight to the book.

Chi guarding daddy's birthday book

I chose the flag book structure, invented by Hedi Kyle in 1979, as construction was easy and I don't have to worry about the layout of the images and text. Each page is treated as a singular.

The book when closed is about 3 inches by 6 inches, and 18 inches by 6 inches long when fully stretched open.

The black ribbon slides off with the title to open the book. The title is to signify his age and there are 37 stories and wishes inside.

Turning the pages

The wonders of this flag book structure is that it allows the pages to be open flat and be read like a book...

The criss crossing of the pages when opened

And when extended it creates a sculptural form, and the way the pages are arranged are more noticable.

On the inside of the front cover end sheet I wrote an explanation of the project, and on the back cover is the 37th story which was mine, long and epic, hehe...

With the covers overlapping

I had an interesting time making this book, lots of factors to deal with, content mainly, if it weren't for the messages the book wouldn't work so well, structurally it'll be fine, but content plays a part too. I had to deal with contacting people, setting deadlines, the logistics of layouts, printing, construction... On the morning of his birthday I was still hunting for images of cookies I was hoping to find in magazines to tie the whole theme together to be used for the front cover.

But it worked out the way it should in the end. I like the white of the cover contrast with the black band, I'm not sure if you could see it from the picture but the white is a textured white, I'm not too fond of a totally flat surface.

So, this is one of my rare Artist Book moment. Thank you to my darling husband for being the inspiration. Now my sister in law wants one too for her birthday! Oh dear...


Contact me at