Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Getting the same things in different colours...

Well, if you have the habit of buying the same items in different colours, please drop a note here. You are not alone! (though I could well be the only queer one).

I used to buy shoes and pants in different colours when I find a good fit. Sometimes I am even tempted to buy 2 of the same pair of shoes (and I mean IDENTICAL) but I quickly stop myself. When the only pair wears out, it's always too late to replace it (I hope fashion can be less seasonal!).

Yes, boring, resistant to change, predictable, that's what my friends would call me when they go shopping with me. I'd prefer adjectives like "classic" and "sentimental". Ahhh... do I hear some cheer from the like-minded? ^___^

When the same habit translates to craft supplies, it becomes a different story though. We may need paint, colour pencils, pastels in full palettes, but to get the same printed fabric in all available colours? Even I am finding it a little too indulgent. For all being said, I still indulge. (okie you can slap me...)

I had tried to stop but I just can't (searching for self-dicsiplline. See? I can't even spell it properly.) The only way to go on is to figure out what to do with them. I use very little fabric (as of now), so I have to find ways to use more. I have a close friend who exercises frantically to enjoy loads of high calorie food; I think I am close to grasping her theory. Haha...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Miu~ on facebook

It's awful weather:- howling winds, uprooted traffic lights, bent trees, falling road signs. All appointments were cancelled; I was home (almost) the whole day (still manage some grocery shopping!) and I did 3 pieces of graffiti on facebook's superwall (it's an application that allows you to make send drawings/messages with brushes like how we did with the old ).) I drew Miu~ the optimistic cat (again!). They must realise I am terribly glued to the laptop.

I raced a virtual pet on facebook (aka (fluff)Friend) over 60 times over 10 hours to earn some virtual money. Such an animal abuser. I even gave the poor giraffe 2 shots of coffee to help it race better! Awfullllll me. I'm still praying the weather would be better tomorrow, so I can check out a few places in Taipei, but weather reports are clearly asking people to get real and stop wishing for the rain and wind to go away. I'll have loads of time to work on a friend's wedding invitation! Yippieee~~~

The brief: "Something auspicious, preferably red, without being TOO red." Huh, it's a little ambiguous here, but I'm very excited about the opportunity to be involved in their wedding. It's just 2 months away! Such a rush, I should get on it as soon as possible.

I'll do a post when it's ready. :)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Silkscreening Miu~

I had been waiting for this workshop for a month, and when 29th September finally came, the Saturday morning seemed especially cheery. It had not been easy looking for silkscreen classes where I reside, and when I finally found one I could attend, I jumped with a big HOORAY!!!.

Though a short session (yup it's 3 hours, I'd hope it's a full day workshop so I can keep printing), I learnt 2 basic techniques with loads of hands-on:- Mono Screenprinting and using Reduction Screen Filler Stencils. For those completely new to the concept of screenprinting (yup, I was totally new a month ago as well, and watching how-to videos on youtube helps), you might want to take a quick look at screenprinting on Wikipedia before you read on.

For Mono Screenprinting, screen mono prints are using water-soluble crayons, pencils and fabric dyes drawn or painted directly onto the mesh of the screen. Once your image is completed on screen, a transparent base is used as a vehicle to transfer it onto the paper. The image can be used once or up to a few times, before the image fades out.

For the latter, a screen filler is used to create or edit images by closing areas of mesh, preventing them from printing. Each time you squeegee, you print 1 colour. If you have 3 colours on your image, you print thrice. Quite a lot of work actually, but loads of fun. Below is a simple diagram showing the filter meshes and the resulting print.

The floral image (with green background) is printed twice, once with green, and the second time with brown.

It was a great workshop at Tyler Print Institute of Singapore. Another part-time course I found was hosted at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, it spanned 10 evenings over 10 weeks in August/Sept, and focused on printing on fabrics (which I love). I am not sure if courses like these would recur. If you know of any other silkscreen printing classes coming up, please do drop me a note!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I got fixated on Japanese fabrics since a month ago, and I can't seem to resist them. I haven't got a sewing machine (sigh.. no oven, no sewing machine, something in life is just missing). I tend to consider for the longest time when I shop for "equipment" of any sort. I go crazy looking at specifications, learning about functions & features. I dwell on every single detail and consider and reconsider every need and future need. Ha! By the time I finish the research, the model is outdated, and no longer sold. "L" for loserrrrrr. While I am not too quick on buying the BIG things, I jump and almost pounce on all the small little indulgences. Weaving seamlessly between shelves of ribbons, bales of printed cottons & linens, I am quick (and almost too eager) to part with some cash.

Okie, back to Miu~, this card features a contented cat sitting on an armchair. I wanted to find a way to start using all the ribbons, paper and fabric I have. I find it therapeutic to draw wallpaper and furniture. Voila... I showed it to Sha when we met up last week. She said she would open up her bookstore when I make 1000 of these, 20 (or is it 50?) designs. She would sell them in her shop. Well, I don't think I'll reach 100 anytime soon, because it's horribly tedious to ink & cut & paste, but this somewhat informal remark is giving me an awful amount of interest in making them, because I *REALLY* wish for the day Sha has her dream book store! I know she would find so much fulfillment in running it (and reading everything on the shelf!).

1000... okie, 1 at a time.

Well, she didn't say no printing.

Hur Hur Hur...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Falling in love with Cranes & Sakuras

This fabric didn't quite catch my attention on first sight, but I have grown to like it so much it's therapeutic to look at. If you have a queer shopping habit of scrutinizing almost fabric in the store, and looking at the shortlisted ones 10 times before considering thrice and finally deciding to buy the same pattern in multiple colours (I only needed 1 though.. hmmm), you would probably know how I feel. "Precious find...oooo.. ahhh....might as well get the purple, and the brown.. and the..."

I don't know if this would fall under "excessive shopping", but it's certainly turning me into a collector of various kinds of art supplies, most of which I use, but some of which I can only bear to admire with growing appreciation.

I should really get kicking to get started on learning about screen printing my own fabrics. After rolling more truffles *promise* :)

These fabrics are available in my little Etsy store.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Un-serious design

I wonder why I have to wait till the middle of the night (or rather morning) to start working on this. It's 3.11 am, and I felt a strong urge to do some graphic tweaking in photoshop. Strangely (Insanely would be a better word), I think I am starting to miss those hell-no-i-won't-do-it-again days when we worked 48, sometimes up to 60 hours non-stop in the architectural studio. We would procrastinate (we prefer to use the term "conceptualize") and then start doing some "real" work almost always too late to meet the deadline. The only difference (and it makes all the difference), is that now I don't have a deadline to meet, and I am enjoying the process a lot more.

This isn't really the sort of work we did in archi school. You would have not been taken seriously if flowers or pink appear on your presentation boards, and criticised with absolutely no tact nor mercy. We do it MONOCHROME, cool, with dignity and austere simplicity. *period*

Haha... I am just hoping friends from the field won't pop in here and start sneering at how i changed!

Credit of the beautiful damask floral print/pattern goes to The Inspiration Gallery.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My First Sale!

really really really excited when I saw an incoming message regarding a sale I made at Etsy 2 days ago. It didn't register that I sold something till I read the 2nd time. I thought it was an invoice at first. I froze and I logged on to Etsy to check. Delighted, exhilarated and nearly jumped out of the seat. I don't know if I am over reacting, but I can't hide how thrilled I am, it felt like I have won a lottery ticket (though I had never won any...ha!)

I packed it neatly in rolls, and in clear bags to avoid creasing and soiling, and off I went to the post office.

Can't wait for these ribbons to reach the buyer, and I am hoping the buyer would like the items as much as I do. Hur hur hur...

I did a search on ribbon fan bloggers some time ago, half-suspecting that there are many ribbon fans out there, united by this fetish and addiction. Gosh I was right. Out of all the ribbon blogs I have checked out, I can't help but read and reread Jody's blog: Confessions of a Ribbon Addict . I have silently read it for a few weeks, I think it's time to leave a comment on how I amused I am at some of her candid posts.

Yes! 15 August 2007! I think I would remember this day dearly:- someone actually liked something from my online store and click on "Add to Cart"!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Some Items from the store...

Haha.. just want to do a little test to see if this works. It's supposed to show a 3x3 grid with some of my items in the store.

Buy Handmade

My Online Store!!!

I am really delighted to have found Etsy. It's *THE* place to buy all things handmade. Loads of talented artists are selling and sharing their experiences on their sites and blogs. I remembered I spent about 5-6 hours on Etsy some months ago, admiring the various art pieces, some super-duper-cool bags and I swear I could feel the artists' passion and hard work gleaming through. Each store is adorned with a banner, items well described, photographs well taken. I bet everyone took pride in setting up their online stores.

I'm currently putting up some of my ribbons for sale! Kind of ashamed of it actually, when almost all fellow Etsy-ers had something they made. Maybe I should step out of the kitchen and get back to the studio. Well, I still took joy in setting up MY FIRST ONLINE STORE! haha... I'm quite excited really. I took close to 4 hours putting it together, and am still listing some items. I"m looking forward to putting some of my paper products up soon. How soon is soon? Hur hur hur... I don't quite have an answer.

Fellow Etsy-ers, please feel free to drop a note. Do come round to my corner!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

About Kalena's Studio

Welcome to Kalena's Studio. In case you wonder if Kalena means anything, it's actually my name (Karen), in Hawaiian. A good friend once did the translation for me, and I really love it.

I cannot define the real scope of the studio's work yet, as I am still building my portfolio from a series of ongoing projects. A lot artwork is under steady progress, and I'm still learning some fabric printing techniques. My favorite materials are paper, fabric, ribbons and graphic. While I seek to retain a certain amount of focus in this blog (of which I am not sure, as of now), this blog serves dutifully to keep precious memories for one who hopes not to suffer memory loss in future, but is surely having difficulty recollecting now.

Take a peek at Kalena's Kitchen for some chocoholic fun in the kitchen!

I also have an online store selling sewing supplies and cards! Come visit!~~~