Monday, December 31, 2012

be still my heart

i'm not into antiques and whimsical, flourish, splatter paint; i just don't really get them.  i find them surreal, then again i do not get most of the contemporary art.  in the midst of post modern esthetics where it says everything is art, let's be honest — how many of us understand the function and meaning of abstract.

i learned about the existence of pinterest from this blog viewer link.  i took notice of some beautiful metal and fabric works by few artists.  one captivated me, nina bagley.  like silent reverie; her artworks are so deep and complex, yet she delivers them in such harmonious honesty.  they speak the foreign language  i can comprehend. each piece with its meticulous detail tells a story, and they all have the same tune. nuff said...take a look at them yourself if you're interested.  as for me, i can see alabama clearly in the near future; i give myself 12 months to personally learn what i could from her...who knows.

months ago, i lost interest in papers.  i started focusing on familiarizing myself with the various materials of metal smithing.  mixed metal work supplies are hardly available where i am and they're not easy to bring in due to the hazardous warnings.  as luck would have it, my first stash got stuck.  everything got abandoned, but not forgotten...until last month.

to distract myself from a sadness, last month i picked up where i left them.  so they say a journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step.  i did not have the weaponry and ammo for metal works....yet.  i tried to make do with what i have and educated myself with trials the hard way, starting somewhere and step by step building the arsenal. on boxing day, 3 months later than expected, my stash finally arrived. 

so...inspired by nina bagley and translating one of her work roughly into my own story...

a copper plate book carefully aged; bounded with hand colored silk sari ribbon called love story and interlaced with some spanish lace and hand wrapped antique lily of the valley glass beads on silver plated wire. dangling on a chain are 50mm swarovski wings (the're called pegasus actually).  not visible here are a couple of silver plated charms.  i acquired antique frozen charlotte circa 1890 directly from thuringia limbach, germany.  somewhat it supposedly stands for the winged victory of samothrace.  on the cover is another swarovski pendant called the wild heart set on a silver plated filigree after my wild sacred heart necklace; except for here, i call it the pure heart after the welsh hymn calon lan. the word memento is engraved using a hand steel stamp.

you have to excuse the photo which i took with an itouch in my studio on a rainy day.  (like i know how to take a better one on crystals and metals with a bigger camera).  this is the better one of the couple i have which unfortunately not showing much.  thus i tried to narrate what's happening on the cover without going into the symbolic details.

here is another piece based on what i saw by jen crossley which she call hers etched in time.

what i purposely didn't do was to call it alis volat propriis which i always thought of side by side with that goddess nike of my all time favorite by the way; the winged victory of samothrace that is.  the cover is brass etched with tim holtz book cover stamp and coptic bound with black irish waxed linen.  i chose each charms carefully within the symbolic context of ideas...from conception up to realization so that it worth to be the keeper of what would be written in it.

so now i have 2 books to write on in 2013.  oh, i have a couple more actually.  i made one the other night and bought one last week. 

i'm excited about this new found interest and  perhaps looking into making some small installations in the future...meta stuff i mean. 

hear my soul speak: the very instant that i saw you, did my heart fly to your service.
~ the tempest by william shakespeare

Sunday, December 02, 2012

chronology...coming soon

i redesigned and recalculated this typewriter template with swiss precision (ha!).  originally it was going to be an assemblage of a poem i wrote. after contemplating other few ideas, i settled on making it a chronicle of my 2013 engagements instead.

it's going to be a studio class starting mid december if not beginning next year.  as usual i'm still waiting for some additional supplies to arrive.

this antique typewriter comes with a pull out compartment housing a rolodex like filing cabinet using graphic 45's place in time that doesn't deserve to see the light of day yet.

so, see you soon perhaps.  :)

Friday, August 24, 2012


just a quick update, i managed to close the beagle freedom project fundraising.   idr 11.700.000,- (lots of zeroooos but the usd took 4 zeros out, so usd 1,170) was raised and donated on august 22, 2012 in honor of max' 6th years of joyful companion.

was it tough?  you bet!
would i have done it all over again?  for the chance to see a few beagles in a loving homes—anytime.

i was going to take a shot of the studio's mess, but i forgot and managed to clear it out a little.  it's like a twilight zone hits by a tsunami in there.

thank you ladies for supporting the project: buying and liking them and thank you shannon keith and everyone at arme and bfp for your angelic work.

my life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet i'm happy. i can't figure it out. what am i doing right?
~ snoopy
max, i love you since the day i saw you, i love you now and every second in between. thank you for loving me back baby boy!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

"the" alice? ~ no. 4 bfp fundraising project

 cheshire cat: "the" alice?
when i first mentioned to a friend that i was going to sell some scrapbooks to raise money for beagle freedom project, she immediately said: do the alice.  she meant the impromptu tea party i did a while back of course.  i gushed that i wouldn't be able to repeat it even if i took 7 different kind of chill pills.

a few days after, i picked a tunnel vision assemblage i made for the impromptu tea party v.1b which i never quite finished yet.

alice kingsley: sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
before i knew it...

i assembled the flying cards pop-up.  that wasn't so hard.  except for when i visioned the binding, i realized the v.1b had a different measurement from the v.2.  so i had to change the base.  what started so effortless turned in to a series of literal bone breaking effort; from conditioning the rock hard "soft clay" to crashing the melting pot to pieces.

i must admit a few times the thought that perhaps i should just have forgotten the projects and donated my own money and asked from a few friends that would say so as well.  then i saw those pictures updates on bfp facebook page and made the pledge to do as planned.

today, before my very eyes...

blimey, couldn't believe it myself—never better binding and revamped version.

another beagle owner friend offered a generous donation for this book. honestly, i would give it to her as a present had i not made it for the fundraising. i felt bad, but i felt much worse for the lab beagles.

i didn't see that most of the charms were flipped when i took the photos, but they're all tie-in to the story and some special ordered metal words charms from the story.

let's see through some of the pages.

this book is designed as a story book all though. the left panel housed the tunnel page and the title page is from tim burton's movie tie-in book.

the graphics are from graphic 45 ~ hallowe'en in wonderland papers.

some pages are meant to accommodate die cut photos.

some are meant to hold full page photos, but i left semi-fixed embellishments just in case. this page has an alice with pull in/out tab on the next for some writing.

there are 24 pages til the end and a tunnel vision box—thick, solid, leather bound inside out interlaced with various fabrics and laces.

some people inquire if i will make more of the sold album to sell; no but thank you for your interest and thank you for supporting this bfp fundraising.

travel log ~ no. 3 bfp fundraising project

a hand bound travel theme journal i finished yesterday for beagle freedom project fundraising.

the cover and back is composed by various metals,resin, clay, beads, fiber, resin, wood, mica and other trinkets.

the 6 inside signatures are sewn using acid free 140 smooth ivory splendorgel and 7 gypsies global papers.

it's a keeper, i will have to repeat this one for myself when i'm done making all the projects for bfp fundraising.

Friday, August 17, 2012

beagle freedom project fundraising

a while ago i stumbled upon a very moving video...

following the site, i went to check another...

beagle freedom project  rescue lab beagles from death row in research labs all over the world to be given a chance of freedom in loving homes.  beagles are the most popular breed for lab use because of their friendly, docile, trusting, forgiving, people-pleasing personalities. 

this little boy walked out of the cage and touched grass for the first time since birth.  he was one of the lucky rescued from the labs.

the 40 beagles they rescued a week before their death row from a lab in spain. first scared and confused then nurtured and fostered until they are adopted into their forever loving homes.

so...inspired by another lady at beagle freedom project facebook, i'm selling my work to raise money for the beagles rescue.  in honor of my beagle max, i'm making 6 projects for the fundraising, one each for the 6 wonderful years of his present. all profit made will go directly to beagle freedom project.

portrait of a lady

my camera went error 20 halfway through taking the pictures.  it will be at least another week before i can send it for repair due to the independence and eid holiday here.

"happiness" bungalow

i'll be posting more details on the beagle freedom project fundraising page. i'm finishing up a couple more works and will be uploading them in a few more days.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

yours truly ~ not your ordinary photo album

(reposting—after i deleted it by mistake)

another workshop completed under the tuition of  nellie wortman at the artful gathering 2012; it's not your ordinary photo album and i named mine yours truly.

as you can see, it's a mixed media hanging journal/book/album.  i've binded mine with alternate signature of fabric/laces and papers; and will work on the details in time as i fill it up.

now that i look at the pictures, i realized the train is too long; it looks like a mermaid. a lady in the group said that she could see a few birdies flying in that tail.  i will definitely have to look into that later this week when i have more smaller birds coming as the few bird forms that i have didn't work anywhere else i tried. 

i was so absorbed in the cover's heart focal point, i adopted e.e. cummings' i carry your heart with me as my conceptual text.  it won over shakespeare's tempest and sonnet 116.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                        i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)

initially i placed the heart shaped quilt as the center piece, but decided with the bird nest instead.  i thought of arranging a heart shaped moss, but didn't go follow through in the final installation.

beneath the flower bed there is layer and layers of treasures: lace spine, the antiqued nails and quilt binding, text of the poem of course.

by the time i finalized the inside pages, i'm sure there wouldn't be so white pages and there wouldn't be a riot of materials hanging down and out.

it took me all day to build this rustic birdhouse.  originally i made it longer which was the shape that i wanted, but it was too dominating so i trimmed it.  that was after i abandoned the worn out red and metal roofed birdhouse.

an artist friend of mine who also owned a beagle once told me that his kumon had contributed in the making of his exhibit series shown in new york.  he asked me if max had contributed anything concrete in my crafts.  out of all the people in the world, he would know if i show him this rustic birdhouse.

the closure of the book...

the canvas serves as the book's back cover as well as the body of the installation.  unlike the cover, i didn't plan to bees waxed the canvas; but i did.

even the back of this piece is adorable.

i'll be staying out of needles for a while. i had more pin pricks on this project alone than in my whole life combined together.  that's because i was pinning and sewing it incorrectly, but now i know (not that i know it correctly either). 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

antique store ~ sharon's class

another marvelous class of sharon ngoo's of papermarket singapore, i'm fortunate to join last week.  this time, we're building an antique store from scratch.  when i first saw the real model, i was surprised at how huge the box was.  despite of just leaving with only the four walled box, i'm hooked on building and filling it up for the past 2 days.

with some reinforcement placed in the constructions i could basically flip this box upside down without anything falling off .

i have a few concepts for structural assemblages which i was going to incorporate here, on a second thought...another time.  i'm working on this as is.

i almost added stuff on the side walls, the roof and the back of the store, but i'll keep the imaginations alive until it needs to be...perhaps more fixtures on one side, a hanging mini album on the other and something flat on the back, a mural?  i went ahead to prep it with plaster to create the water and weather damaged wall.  anyway if i left it be, it would look more finished.

here's my lantern.  i could go on and on adding fixtures to this shop #7. 

from the itouch pictures, i couldn't quite figured the papers on this door.  it looked like barb wire to me so i found this hambly and happy with it.  i happened to have some left over materials from the soliloquy class, so i added a pocket of posters and polaroids for later use. part of the reason i stopped working on it in the class was because i thought i was going to change the papers since i already worked on with prima almanac before.  i didn't remember that when i got home and got carried away working on it.

the exact peek that i saw on the sneak photo.  i fell in love with the green door and the "etched" glass window; and of course the "sound" of an antique shop.

voila!  the shop is now open!

it's intentionally crowded.  have you seen an antique shop which is not?  there are more gadgets i'd like to add on, which i haven't and might or might not.

i didn't see the crooked roof when i took the picture.  that shouldn't be and could be easily fixed.

in my shop, i installed drapery and foyer tabl,

a couple of hanging dress tags and a mini album.

how brilliant of sharon!  the counter also served perfectly as a mini book shelter.  i have that supposedly crystal chandelier to secure it, which i can unscrew to take the album out.

this is how the shop looks like when it's open for business.  i took a great care of not attaching too many miniature, so they're not over powering the altered fixtures.

next to that bell counter, i could have put this miniature cash register that i have and move the dial phone next to it and fill the spot with a weighing scale, a miniature typewriter...i'm just saying.

it could have been a real miniature pink umbrella (which is corny imho), but i love that altered umbrella so that's out of the question.

delightful counter top isn't it.

look at that grand father clock and the cupboard door.  i wouldn't think of assembling it myself.

these are shopping boxes and bags.  the only one that's removable is that round bag at the back.  it opens up to a locket.  i saw sharon's graphics 45 curiosity cabinet closet in the classroom.  she has a round box which i copied here, but i assume hers opens up since it's a bigger tin container.

the cupboard stored another mini booklet.  it's not visible on the photos but i have the same white apothecaries silhouette, hambly of course, behind the counter's shelves.  i'm fond of what barely there details serve.  functionally, they binds the objects and adds depth/texture; emotionally, they left footprints of more to the story; aesthetically, they gives the contentment of creating a quality piece.

so, all in all i have 4 mini books in this shop.  unless otherwise i decide to add more when i fill them up,

and 2 hang tags.  those are probably the only detachable objects in my shop.  oh...and the umbrella of course and the front door insertions.

i'm not a fan of ring binding, so i tied a few scraps of leftover papers in various sizes and assembled this book real quick;

attached danglings on the hanging threads,

and flips and flaps...the usual.

on the hanging mini, the bottle is actually the spine of the booklet.

thus is my antique shop.  this might be the end of it or i might build some more attachments later.  hope everyone enjoy the tour.  now, i'm off to do some sewing and hammering on my not ordinary photo album.