Zentangles – Diva Challenge Wk 187 – Blind String

I cannot believe how time flies! Another week is gone. We are so much closer to the end of the year than I feel like it ought to be.

I spent a few days catching up on everything I’d missed whilst moving my craft space and whilst I am not fully caught up, I am nearly there. Yay!

I’d also finally completed a long-awaited Mew Review (it seems are our cats are getting quite popular) which I had floating around in drafts for nearly 3 weeks 😛 I’ll just need to send off the ‘official’ photoshoot photos after this post before I can check it off my to-do list ^_^

This week on the Diva Challenge, we were asked to draw our string blind.

I had really enjoyed the “Eyes Wide Shut” (Week 3) challenge and was very excited to attempt this one last night 🙂

This was my response to Eyes Wide Shut, drawn on A5 art paper.

Diva Challenge Wk 3 - Eyes Wide Shut

For this week’s challenge, I used an official tile to create a 9cm x 9cm border on a postcard blank (with eyes open – which is probably cheating!), and then drew on the string with eyes closed. This was how my string looked like… (clicking the images will take you to Flickr)
Diva Challenge Wk 187 - Blind String

Although it probably looks like I was still channelling the previous week’s “Leaves Leaves Leaves” challenge, I am rather pleased with the resulting ZIA ^__^

Diva Challenge Wk 187 - Blind String

Diva Challenge Wk 187 - Blind String        Diva Challenge Wk 187 - Blind String

I decided to leave out shading for now as I haven’t left any piece unshaded, for a long time 😛

I realise also, that I need to use a larger variety of tangles in my work! I seem to keep using Sanibelle, Knot Rickz and Lily Padz………

Signing off here, so I can visit everyone else work ^__^

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Mew Review: Fetch-box.com, Nekojam & Cat Socrates

Dyllis and Dexter, the resident meows, have been having an incredible, nearly unbelieveable, fortnight of non-stop goodies, and it is still a long way off their respective birthdays 😛

For starters, in mid-September, I finally got my hands on a packet of Wellness cat treats, after months of wondering why Singapore suppliers only brought in the canine versions. The cats have been using Wellness Core kitten kibble, although pricey, since Dyllis weaned off the questionable brands their breeder was feeding. And so it was weird to me that they chose not to bring in their range of cat treats. Anyway, these treats were somewhat pricey too, at nearly 9 bucks per pack (my memory continues to fail, all I recall is that it cost more than $8.50. Do forgive!), for a small pack, but then again, most quality pet products are over-priced in Singapore.

The meows also got a restock of their favourite snack – Applaws wet food in ready to serve pods. (We don’t serve this directly to the meows in these pods because we don’t want any blood shed xD They are required to share each pod even though it is small – it is a snack! – and there is always a huge fuss to lick the plates clean. The ‘pods’ are also plastic and lightweight, guaranteeing a confirmed flight cum disastrous crash-landing, should it happen to get caught in any meow-ltercation.)

I am usually stingy with treats as the meows are fed a human-grade diet containing a raw elements that are made from USA-sourced ingredients and then imported from the USA. Thus I do not want to disrupt the feeding routine by feeding too many treats. This restock was, by my own standards, quite generous 😛

(Note: I promise, am not being/trying to be a snob about price vs. quality. I invest in their nutrition as I neither wish them to suffer ill health, nor I to suffer paying staggering vet bills. As pet food adds to expenses either way I see it, I’d rather not spend on food that could be very affordable, and later have my meows pay for my poor choice with their health.)

cat treats september

The Wellness Kittles didn’t last us very long. I don’t think it is real value for money, though it is still a high quality snack. I will probably buy it again, but only when I am inclined to splurge (there are better raw-dehydrated treats out there for less!). Dyllis, ever the biscuit monster, went crazy for Wellness Kittles as she does for most other biscuits, but Dexter wasn’t very interested. He would only accept one or two, I suspect out of courtesy for me xD

Fetch-box.com

Then the meows also received a surprise delivery with from Fetch-box.com too. Fetch-box.com offers a monthly subscription box of goodies for cats and dogs. The last time we ordered a box was at Christmas last year so it was truly a surprise to receive 🙂

Dyllis + Fetchbox

 

Here is Dyllis our professional meowdel (model) xD Dexter chose to sit this session out. (As always – click on the images to view the photo and others on Flickr)

 

Dyllis + Fetchbox
Dyllis + Fetchbox

The goodies in the Fetch-box package will be going to 4 rescue meows who have recently been taken in by our relatives 🙂

Nekojam ID Tags and cat collars from Cat Socrates

In addition to all of these, I finally made the trip to the newly open Cat Socrates branch at Katong. This is quite shameful it took me so long to visit as I live really close by, but only managed just to bounce over 😛

Cat Socrates is a local shop that I was always very fond of. I have been visiting its first outlet periodically since 2007 or 2008 (I can’t seem to pinpoint in my mind when I first set foot in it), whenever life gets too stressful to face. It is a cosy little store where each visit feels like a home-coming. I have taken countless of friends to the original outlet over the years and I had been looking forward to visiting the new outlet since its opening was announced.

Housed in the quaint old world district of Katong, the second shop is set in a newly refurbished shophouse. It is a pity my trip ended with no photographs. I was lazy did not bring my DLSR so I relied on my poor Samsung Note II which could not keep up with the day and crashed repeatedly 😛 (It is really my fault – I have about 3k photos in it. This reminds me that I need to do a backup soon!) Nonetheless, I will revisit with my camera soon!

For other photos, do visit Cat Socrates’ owner, Hellen Jiang, the Post Banshee’s photostream  on Flickr.

I got Dyllis and Dexter a pair of cat collars from their latest line of pet products.

IMG_20140917_175851

I’d already been saving a pair of ID tags from Nekojam Online for when I got them new collars, so I was pleased as pie to finally hang them on these sparkling new, bling-ing collars from Cat Socrates.

Dyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates Dyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates

In particular, I liked the white collar with the pink bloom best. It has pretty crystal studs all around and is sturdy. It does not slide around if worn properly. Dyllis our vainpot, was quite pleased to wear it around the entire day, and was even in the mood to pose.

Dexter, of course, got the collar with the black polka-dotted bow. It is a very lightweight collar, akin to a bra-strap 😛 It is really pretty though, but I think my meows are a bit too fond of rough play for them to wear this one unsupervised. It is not heavy duty enough for Dexter who kept trying to chew off the bow, which in turn pulled on and tightened the strap XD Needless to say, he wasn’t very fond of wearing it as Dyllis was with hers XD

The ID tags from Nekojam Online fit the Cat Socrates collars like a dream. These tags are made of aluminium and are very light and can be worn by cats and dogs.

Although every pet cat and dog should be micro-chipped, like ours are, ID tags are really useful as they allow the owner to insert a piece of paper with a contact number into the barrel.

Nekojam offers these tags in seven colours (Angel Silver, Gunmetal Gray, Peony Red, Tangerine, Apple Green, Ocean Blue & Fancy Violet) at the very affordable price of SGD8 per tag. Nekojam donates SGD2 from each purchase to Action for Singapore Dogs or the Cat Welfare Society (your choice).

I wanted neutral colours to match collars of all colours, so I went for Angel Silver 🙂

Here are the photos from the shoot xD

DexterDyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates

Dyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates

Dyllis
Dyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates

Dyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates

It always gives me great assurance that the good people at Nekojam are pet lovers too, and this is highly evident in their dedication to quality brands.

The team at Nekojam Online is fronted by Debrah, a very friendly and approachable, self-confessed crazy cat lady 🙂 Once we started chatting, we became fast friends.

She is very dedicated, and often responds instantaneously to my enquiries. Sometimes she even personally delivers the orders herself! Whenever she does this, Dyllis always rewards her by allowing kitty hugs and cuddles xD

Anyway… The meows are happy so I am happy 🙂 Leaving you for now with Dyllis and Dexter on their home-made cat-tree ^^

Dyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates

Dyllis & Dexter ft. Nekojam & Cat Socrates

Updates & Zentangle Diva Challenge Wk 186 – Leaves

New-Old Digs

I am very behind my usual routines as I have just moved my old desk out of the utility room, which used to be my personal craft studio until my cats came along. I am trying to carve out a little workspace in the spare room.

We shut the meows in the utility room at night, and they have grown a little too fond of this room – they see it as theirs! I have tried to sit there, only to be sat on in turn. So because I can no longer work in there, lest I get cat hair on everything, I considered myself properly ousted.

I tried to put up with this ‘arrangement’ for the past half a year – sitting and working on the floor in the spare room, mostly. It is a very uncomfortable arrangement and I’d get neck and backaches from long crafting sessions, especially if I had to prep items for my flea markets. I simply did not have enough storage or desk space to work elsewhere in the apartment and I do not have the budget to purchase additional furniture (because everything is funneled into booth rental and material costs, until things stabilise).

I finally gave up decided that a more comfortable working space will result in a more efficient working pace and fewer bodily aches will be a lot less distraction too, so I can really focus on my craft. Not to mention, I just felt really guilty for the mess that had accumulated in the spare room 😛 My poor spare room also houses the Hamstery, food and bedding supplies for the Hamstery, food and cat litter supplies for the meows. So to include my shop inventory and stash of beads, charms, spare parts, etc etc etc…. it just became really cluttered and stifling, despite being the largest room in our apartment.

This month seemed like an ideal month to make the shift because I have nothing on the shop schedule until 10 October 🙂 I had also greatly reduced the number of swaps I am participating in, as I know I would be more tied up this month than usual.

Most of my stuff has been moved – yay! I have tons of film (I am old skool, and used a film camera right up until 2003) and photographs (I still enjoy printing photos too.. there’s something special about holding a photo in one’s hand xD) that I still need to go through, but the overall mess is nowhere as epic as it once was.

I hope to get everything back on track as soon as I can 🙂

Potato Pearls

I am not sure but it sure seems that pearls are the latest trend around these parts 🙂 It is just that I seem to be continuously crafting up more and more items featuring freshwater pearls! No complains from me 😛 I just never knew so many people liked pearls, especially chunky ‘potato’ pearls, until I started receiving many custom requests for pearl bracelets and earrings.

Here are some of my more recent creations featuring pearls. (Clicking the images will take you to Flickr.)

Custom Order - Freshwater Potato Pearls Custom Order - Tibetan Silver, Pearl and Glass Hair-tie
Custom Order - Freshwater Potato Pearls Custom Order - Rose Quartz and freshwater seed pearls

I also finally photographed my friend’s heirloom pearls. They are still waiting to be cleaned and upcycled into something wearable and loveable, but I must admit I like them in their original state, as much as I am excited about how they will look after upcycling 😀

Vintage pearls Vintage pearls

 

Diva Challenge Week 186 – String Theory – Leaves Leaves Leaves!

For the challenge this week, we were to use leaves in our string and use leaf inspired tangles 🙂

I knew instantly that this challenge would be one of my favourite ones 🙂 One of the reasons I enjoy Zentangles is because I deeply appreciate how organic and nature-inspired the art method is. I never thought I would be able to create my own piece of art-mimics-nature until I started tangling in July this year.

For my string, I decided I wanted a ‘leafy pile’ 🙂 [Leafy piles are nearly non-existent here, our nation employs very efficient cleaning services. Fallen leaves get swept up even before they are allowed to form a pile, even in our parks.]

I penciled in about 8 leafy shapes for my string, which I then filled and lined with more leaves, leafy tangles, and tangles shaped to look like leaves 😀

Diva Challenge Wk 186 - Leaves
Diva Challenge Wk 186 - Leaves

I truly, truly enjoyed this challenge 🙂 I enjoyed it so much, I nearly forgot to include my hammy insignia xD

Cabbit – a tangle by hesedetang *

Before I go back to working on my messy spare room/craft space/etc, I thought I might just share my own tangle here.

Cabbit is a tangle featuring a mystery animal, a hybrid between a cat and a rabbit 😛

Depending on the length of those ‘ears’, the tangle may resemble either animal 😛

I will probably post step-outs soon, but here is a monotangled Cabbit just for fun 🙂

Cabbit - a tangle by hesedetang * Cabbit - a tangle by hesedetang *

Seeya later!

5hop Announcement

Hello!

Just a quick entry to say that I will not be uploading new listings to the 5tudio 5hop over the next few days.

I am in the process of creating and relocating my crafting space in a different part of my home. It is an epic ordeal (somewhat!) for me as space is quite limited.

Although I do have pieces waiting to be listed, new listings will only be created towards the end of September. Please bear with me, though otherwise, it’s business as usual.

For all purchases and related enquiries, please contact hesedetang[at]gmail.com or LINE/whatsapp +6597541224.

Thanks for understanding!

Zentangles – Diva Challenge #185 “Duotangle Diva Dance & Phicops”

Yummy lunch at Prego, Raffles City, Singapore

Yesterday, over lunch, I met with an ex-colleague to work on two custom projects – a chunky pearl bracelet for her 21 year old niece and to upcycle her grandmother’s heirloom seed pearls. And oh… I am feeling extremely honoured to be entrusted with something so precious!

The design for the chunky bracelet is confirmed and I am just awaiting a new shipment of ball-point headpins from my supplier, to begin. I am completely out of these headpins and I hope the shipment arrives later this week – I am truly handicapped without them xD

I am still planning a ‘course of action’ for those vintage pearls, and I am taking my time to do so because they are so very precious. I have not even taken photos which is unlike me, but I shall do so when I start on working them xD At some point I will, of course, need to take them apart, as I’d need to clean them thoroughly and sort them out too, but there looks like there are more than enough to make her a layered bracelet or two, and even a few earrings 🙂

Meanwhile, I am also planning a ‘care package’ for a good friend who is soldiering on all by herself. This is taking me longer than expected as I decided to stuff it chock-ful with handmade goodies xD

Now for the Diva Challenge this week 🙂

We were supposed to Duotangle Phicops vs. Diva Dance in honour of the Diva’s 10th anniversary with her bestie/husband.

I am a bit late – shortly after I wrote that last sentence, Edamame, our resident terrapin, decided to pull out the filtration system in his tank and Dexter (our younger kitty who supposedly has a fear of water?!) came and decided to SIT in the turtle water whilst I was mopping up the mess ~_~

Needless to say (Salmonella germses!), I then had to wrestle (read bathe) Dexter in the shower and dry him out which took most of my day away. By then I was all wet from Dex-and-turtle water, so I too needed some drying out and I decided to finish off tangling this week’s challenge and post it up or it will probably never get done 😛

This is my first time trying out Diva Dance and my first attempt at putting Phicops on a tile. I could never quite get my Phicops to look pretty, so I must have unconsciously avoided tangling it in my tiles and ZIAs xD

Also, I guess my string was a bit too complex for how I originally intended the tile to look like. I actually planned on more negative space, but in the end, I filled more tile than I thought I would. I tried to make up for this by not shading too much xD I don’t think it helped at all haha..

No matter which way I look at it, my tile seems to scream: I need more practice!

(Clicking the image will take you to Flickr.)

Diva Challenge Wk 185 Phicops vs. Diva Dance

And practice I shall.. Diva Dance and Phicops certainly deserve a lot more air time on my tiles/ZIAs!

P.S. Speaking of ZIAs, I am hosting a new International ZIA postcard swap on Swapbot 😉 It will probably be a monthly series sort of thing as I don’t think I can manage a shorter interval at my current pace. If swapping is up your alley, here’s the Swapbot page and my writeup.

Zentangles – Diva Challenge #184 & #15

It has been quite a productive week since I last posted ^^

Over the weekend, I was contacted by the BFF to do an impromptu meet-up. She doesn’t normally do this in recent years, as she has a toddler to tote around, so when she called on Saturday asking to meet up on Sunday, I was quite surprised.

Basically the company she works at (which shall stay unnamed) is holding a fundraising event to benefit their adopted charity. Whilst this event is not open to external sellers, employees are encouraged to donate cash or items for an in-house auction (happening later this week).

BFF thought it would be fun to participate by purchasing earrings from me and donating them for the organising committee to either sell off or auction. So she contacted me (so thoughtful of her) and I agreed to give her 20 pairs of earrings at cost 🙂 It was a deal and we met for tea on Sunday (truly a rarity!) to make the transaction.

So sweet of her to think of me 🙂 I was so pleased to be able to do this with her and for a good cause too!

Here are some of the stuff that went to her:

summer cacti by hesedetang * the Silver Garden Earrings in Cyan

BFF and I have been BFFs for 25 years, this year 🙂 How time does fly!

I had a bit of spare time on Sunday evening so I had been tangling my take on Week 15’s Mooka. It was also my first opportunity to play with ING so I included that, just for fun.

It did occur to me that this week’s challenge most likely would be “ING” too, but I decided you can’t have too much of a good thing 😛 So in all, I ended up with three ZIAs featuring this new tangle – two were done before the announcement was posted and a third one after 😛

In the end I just decided to put them all up XD

Week 15 – Mooka

This is Week 15’s Mooka featuring a bit of ING. (Clicking the ZIA images below will take you to Flickr)

Diva Challenge Wk 15 - Mooka

Week 184 “ING”

This ZIA is a test piece on Muji Kraft Postcard paper, which I bought on Saturday.

I like making ZIA postcards, for swaps and for keepers, so I was excited to find a kraft paper version. Previously I was already using Daiso-store-bought postcard blanks.

There were no samples in the Muji store, so I just decided to give it a go being a long time fan of  Muji. Big mistake!

I found the paper really thin despite being labelled ‘postcard’. It is just a tad thicker than normal copier paper so I was very disappointed. Waste not want not.. I decided to tangle on it anyway and found that it was quite smooth and it was quite nice to draw on despite my own misgivings.

Eventually, I might mount each one on a Daiso postcard blank in the end, just to placate myself 😛 😛 Or it could go into a new journal I am building… ^^

Diva Challenge Wk 184 - ING #1

And here is my ‘official’ entry for this week’s challenge, which was drawn on another old book page. I did this one last night before bed 🙂

By now it is probably pretty obvious that I am fairly hooked on drawing Mooka, Lily Padz and Knot Rickz 😛 I was itching to “do something more” with Lily Padz 😛 They are so cute!

Diva Challenge Wk 184 - ING #2

It is kinda rare for me to have just three tangles on a tile 😛 Also, I really like how the lines in ING contrast with the rest of the “plant life” ^^

A closer view…

Diva Challenge Wk 184 - ING #2

Signing off for now..

[In case anyone is bored interested, my other Diva Challenge Responses have been collated here ^^]

 

Zentangles – Diva Challenge #183 “X-Did”

After flea-ing the past two Saturdays, and rushing out custom orders on Monday, I am happy to say that even though I am exhausted in body and mind, I never imagined that all of this crafting and selling could be such a huge part of my life. (I am a former civil servant and have worked in several public service institutions during my career days.)

When I first started crafting in 2005-2006, I’d never thought any of my creations would sell so I usually gave them away for birthdays and Christmas. I am very thankful for those years as they allowed me to hone and practice my craft and wire work. Developing designs is something that is not second nature to me, so those experiences of crafting specific styles and designs to suit the receiver were indeed very vital, now that I am looking back 🙂

My little shop last Saturday 🙂

Some of the visitors at the flea commented that my pieces were very well-thought out and there was a good variety. In fact, I think there were so many differing styles, some thought they were made by more than one person, or that they might have been mass produced. I guess I can see why they thought so – crafters often have a trademark or signature style that they incorporate into everything they design. It is rather unlikely to see many differing styles by one artist.

Whilst I can see how this practice lends brand identity, it can be a bit too much of the same thing. My take on this is to maintain as impartial as possible whilst designing, in terms of materials, colours, textures, etc. Each piece should ‘speak’ and have its own charm. I mean, Nature itself has such a great abundance of designs and patterns, and everything has its place and its own beauty.

Likewise, when I tangle, I like my pieces as organic and ‘flowy’ as possible. I am not very fond of tangles that look too rigid or encourage right angles 😛 I love the curvy and the more the tangle mimics nature, the better.

That said, I did have a great time with Week 13’s “I walk the Line” where I turned my often used tangles straight 😛 It was really fun, but it made me appreciate curls and curves all the more 😛

I am adding it here for fun 😛 (Clicking the image will take you to Flickr.)

Diva Challenge Wk 13 I walk the line

This week, the Diva challenged us to try out X-Did, a tangle by Annette Carlo.

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed (from the busies and also because one of our cats is sick) so I just had to tangle away before bedtime. Upon first glimse, I honestly thought I’d dislike it as it appeared a little too grid-like for my preference 😛 However, after a few attempts on scrap paper, I decided it actually looked pretty and loved those faceted shapes 😛 We were watching Running Man (which was hilarious as always) at the same time, and this eventually led to a few blunders on my ZIA 😛

Diva Challenge Wk 183 UMT X-Did

 

For my string, I layered 3 Bijou tiles over each other randomly 😛 I often get stuck when coming up with string ideas so I might do this again as it really helps get me unstuck 😛

In the middle of my Ixorus is blunder #1 (blame it on Running Man!!) and I had to add in a line of Cockles and Mussels. And in order to complement that line, I decided my Ixorus’ “blades” would also incorporate the same tangle instead of my usual shading 😛 And actually, I can’t seem to locate blunder #2, hooray 😛

 

Diva Challenge Wk 183 UMT X-Did

I truly enjoy looking at the outcome and I’d never have used it if not for this wonderful challenge 🙂 It looks like the X-Did is a tangle I’d certainly feature again ^^

 

P.S. I’ve spell-checked a few times and this fog in my head isn’t helping.. Do forgive any typoes or grammatically criminal acts your keen eyes may find within my text 😛