December 6th, 2011 | 8 Comments »

Click To Download Fhung's Roman Teal Paris ClockFace

Inspired by a couple of Pinterest finds:
1. Use an embroidery hoop to make a clock. This is such a brilliant idea!
2. The right look and colors for a clock face.

So I combined those two ideas and went on designing my own clock face, printed it on a canvas (with my Canon Pro9500 Mark II printer at home), coated it with acrylic medium for protection, and then mounted in on a 10 inches diam. embroidery hoop. The pretty clock hands are from Etsy. This clock (the large pic on the right above) is now hanging on the wall in my computer room!

Then I just to make some more… I happened to have these little circle canvases stretch over a wooden frame: one is 10 cm diam., the other is 8 cm. So they are pretty small. For these two, I used copper sheets to create the rim, held in place with several nails. The 10 cm diam. can be displayed just as is, or perched on a candle holder like a mini clock tower. It is now sitting on a shelf in our dining/living room while the 8 cm diam. one is hung on a cabinet door in my art studio.

I can’t wait to get more embroidery hoops and to design some new clock faces!

You can download the clock faces pictured above to make your own clocks if you want: just click the image above! The zipped folder contains the clock face in 8 cm diam., 10 cm diam. and 10 inches diam. – all in high resolution JPG format. Enjoy!

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Posted in Daily Bits, manuFactor
December 4th, 2011 | 4 Comments »

Here’s what I have been doing recently: making some changes to our small dining/lounge room! I have been wanting to do this for quite some time but there was always something else that were deemed more important to get done first. But finally I got to do it!

I painted the wall and did something different with it; creating a kind of wall installation featuring my artworks and a Tillandsia airplant with the swirly motif subtly hinted at the background. The swirly motif was designed to incorporate pre-existing screws on the wall where some pictures used to be hung. I plan to change up the artworks from time to time as I have several in the storage from my previous exhibitions.

We finally gave away the old IKEA single-sofabed after holding on to it for a while. We had to admit that we will no longer be able to use it anyway. We also moved the IKEA’s Klippan sofa around and change the old worn out black cover with a new one in natural color (very cheap at only HK$200!). Then we got a recycled chest of drawers to replace the ad-hoc bookshelf – a leftover from my studio that I can no longer afford to keep, and added a couple of Hemnes shelves from IKEA. I love that this way I can easily and quickly change the display too – no mess with drilling wall!

The end result is a more spacious and airy feel of the room… at an extremely economical budget :)

What do you think of it?

 

 

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Posted in Daily Bits, manuFactor
November 7th, 2011 | 5 Comments »

Old T-Shirt Shrug

Another simple and easy upcycling sewing project! Found the inspiration and instructions on cutoutandkeep.net via Pinterest and I have been looking for a little cover-up garment like this for a while now without much success and here it is… Looks like it could be just the thing and it’s something that I can make myself without costing me anything! I thought I really ought to give it a try since I have quite a few very old T-Shirts anyway.

I chose this pale grey t-shirt from U2, my favorite local brand that sadly is no longer around anymore. They produced simple and versatile clothing articles, very affordable (read: cheap!) with good quality. I am still wearing a lot of mine that I bought in 2000-2002. The one that I turned into a shrug is one of these! The pale grey color is neutral to be worn over dark or light colored dresses.

And look… Now it has been reincarnated into something much prettier with a new function and look! It is perfect to cover up some of my dresses that are showing too much cleavage. I think it looks best with empire line dresses like the one I wore here. The best part is that it is so easy that even a beginner seamstress like me can do it! Since the end result is to be gathered with a ribbon, any not-so neat sewing wouldn’t be visible. Great for an inexperience seamstress like me *grin*.

Tips: Cut the decolette/neck area into a smooth curve instead of corners like in the instructions. This would make sewing the casing much easier!

So… go look into your wardrobe and find those old t-shirts to transform into pretty shrugs! You can hem the edges with lace or ribbons if you wish too! I have a feeling that another old t-shirt will be given a new life soon :).

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Daily Bits, manuFactor
October 13th, 2011 | 6 Comments »

I relocated to Hong Kong in January 2001 and in March 2001, I moved to a studio apartment in North Point. It’s a tiny apartment with awkward nooks but I love it! I furnished it 99% with stuff from IKEA – some of which I am still using in my current home in Discovery Bay, a decade later. This is how my studio apartment looked like on March 12th 2001. If you are an IKEA fan, you would recognize most of the things here:

The Wilma Curtains from IKEA was used to divide the bedroom from the rest of the apartment. March 2001.

I packed the Wilma Curtains and kept it in the storage when I moved in to a bigger apartment with my then fiancé (now belovedst husband). Recently, we decided that we need a curtain in our living room to provide more privacy. We wanted something light and airy and my thoughts went to the Wilma Curtains. I took them out from the storage and washed them. Then I went to Sham Shui Po to get a selection of pretty lace. And here’s what I did with them:

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The ‘new’ Belaced Wilma on our window now:

Sewn with different colored threads. I need to practise more to sew in perfect straight lines...

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Posted in Daily Bits, manuFactor
December 20th, 2010 | 2 Comments »

December 2005. It was winter in Hong Kong and I was home alone as my husband was away and wouldn’t be back until the first week of January 2006. I was into my third month of designing digital scrapbooking and Ztampf! was basically all I spent my time on then – it was my baby!

My husband and I didn’t exactly do Christmas then, we exchanged New Year’s gifts instead. So I wanted to gift him something handmade that is not only nice and unique but also useful and practical. Then I got this bright idea of making him a desk calendar that can be collapsed into a flat booklet which he can carry with him whenever he travels – which he does quite a lot. I started to make some sketches to design the look and to work out the construction part of it. After some experimentation, I arrived at what would become the basic of all the Ztampf! CraftyCalendar Kits that came after that.

Then the digital works begun: creating the tabbed pages, the dates and months, the backgrounds, etc. Being totally immersed in digital scrapbooking, of course I made use of my own designs. I used my own personal layouts that I have made since I first started digiscrapping in August 2005 to decorate the calendar pages. I loved how it looked like as if they were actual mini pages stapled or stitched onto the calendars pages! And I was so pleased with myself to come up with the idea of unique Date Markers to mark the important dates in a way that is fun, special and practical! But most of all, I couldn’t wait to see my husband’s face when he saw it later! (Yes, he loved his New Year’s gift; it was such a super special and thoughtful gift. A total surprise too!)

The finished calendar, the first ever calendar I have ever made up to that point – turned out very well! Once I figured out the construction, it was so easy to put together I decided to make another calendar to gift to my parents back in Jakarta. And then it dawn on me that anyone would be able to make their own Crafty Calendars like the ones I just did, totally personalized with their own photos and important dates marked. I just need to provide the materials and the instructions!

So I worked on it, thinking up ways to provide my customers with as many options as possible to create the most personalized, customized calendars while keeping things easy to put together. I photographed the process of making the calendar so I can show how things are done better. The most challenging part for me at that time was to put together a comprehensive instructions, when English is not my first language and I couldn’t ask my husband (who is a native speaker) to help proof-read it as he wasn’t supposed to know about the calendar yet! But I managed to pull it off! The Instructions is in PDF format so people could print it and refer to it easily while creating the calendars. And so the Ztampf! CraftyCalendar Kit was born. It appeared on the first time on Ztampf!Shop on January 5th 2006. Obviously a bit late but perhaps because there was nothing in the market like the Ztampf! CraftyCalendar Kit, people loved it and bought it. Well, it makes a great Valentine’s Day gift… and Anniversary and Birthday – if those happened to be early in the year! So the first ever Ztampf! CraftyCalendar Kit did very well despite its late release!

This is how the first ever Ztampf! CraftyCalendar looks like.

And here is how the first Ztampf! CraftyCalendar appeared in the shops!

The following year in 2006, I made some improvements for the Ztampf! CraftyCalendar 2007 Kit, incorporating some customer inputs. For example, adjusting the size to use Legal size papers instead of A4 size because it is very hard for US customers to find A4 size papers, especially for digital prints while on the other hand, it is easy to re-size down from Legal size to A4. Another thing is to provide two versions: US English with weeks start on Sunday and Global English with weeks start on Monday. Started from this year onward, individual date layers in PNG are also provided to give people greater flexibility in creating their very own calendar pages. I also improved the Folder/Stand part of the calendar; to use thicker material so it is sturdier, and to use the then new Basic Grey magnetic discs for the closure.


Beside the more paper-crafty CraftyCalendars, I also released the Poster Calendar and the QuickCard Calendars that year!

>> To Be Continued

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Posted in manuFactor, Z!matter
December 9th, 2010 | 3 Comments »

Wings by FhungAs many of you must have been aware by now, I just LOVE wings! I have made various kinds of wings from various materials from paper to wire to canvas to porcelain. But I have never made wings that I can wear myself! Not a long time ago I watched The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus on DVD and there I got my inspiration for a wearable pair of wings! So for Halloween this year, I decided to make some with my older step-daughter who was visiting us then.

I envisioned my prêt-à-porter wings to be somewhat steampunkish – with leather straps and brass snap buttons. The wings themselves would be made from wire-mesh sheets that I already have. So one fine day we went to Shamsuipo to get some leather straps and brass snap buttons. Well, leather straps turned out to be a tad too expensive so we got a roll of gross-grain ribbon in nice thickness instead. Then I found this ribbon that has a row of inconspicuous snap buttons already sewn onto it at regular intervals which gave me an idea on how to put the strap together!

First thing is the shape of the wings. I drew a template on a piece of drawing paper, then trace it onto the brass wire-mesh. Next I cut into shape with a pair of craft scissors. The wire-mesh sheet is soft enough so it was easy enough to scissor the shape. Next I took out my tool box to create the embossed ‘feather’ lines. You can use anything with smooth rounded head for this. A tea spoon worked perfectly to create a pillowy embossing inside the lines!

The trickier part is the straps. The black strap is the one with the snap buttons already sewn on it – and I made use of this feature to secure the wings onto the strap, and then inserting the horizontal straps into the intervals between the snap buttons. This way the horizontal straps are still flexible. You put the wings on by inserting your head through the V opening at the top. The horizontal straps open and close with thin velcro snaps at the side. They fit snugly around our ribcage, right under the bust.

Finally I prettied it all up with some jewelery findings and sparkling rhinestones! Phoebe wore the one that I made, and I wore the one that Phoebe made!

And the scary looking guy with her on the right? It’s her father (yup, my darling husband!). For the first time he has agreed to let me transform him into a ghostly, blood-thirsty looking vampire. And he thrived in the role too – scared quite a few people around! No, it was not blood that he was drinking! It’s wine and not even red!

And me? My look was inspired by a music video that Phoebe showed me the night before on YouTube: Jón “Jónsi” Thor Birgisson of arty Icelandic ensembleSigur Rós. I happened to have these black feathers fastened onto a strip of ribbon. And I have this old plastic headband with a slit in the middle. Perfect to insert the feathers in! And voilà! My birdy headress was ready! The make up was supposed to look birdy too – but I don’t think people see it that way. Never mind, I quite enjoyed it myself :). I think I looked quite scary too… especially when I stared hard with my eyes opened wide… It was quite a fun opportunity to dress up and to wear wings! That’s why I love Halloween!

In case you are wondering, the Halloween event we attended was the one in our neighborhood, down at the piazza. This year it was more festive with golf-cart parade (private cars are not allowed in the community, those who can afford it can buy or rent a golf-cart instead!). There was also a Haunted Castle – which was quite fun with kids from a local theatre group playing the ghosts. Some of them were really good too!

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Posted in Daily Bits, manuFactor
June 8th, 2009 | 1 Comment »

I made this a while ago as a mascot for my Dream Archives art project out of copper and aluminum sheets. It is now perched on our door. Everytime I see it, it seems to beckon me to take a peek through its single eye – which is the door’s security spy hole. What do you think?

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Posted in Artisting, manuFactor
January 8th, 2009 | No Comments »

Recently I have been spending more time in my studio which is very good for my mental health :). No, I haven’t been working on any of my art projects just yet. I’ve been crafting. I’m just glad to have some opportunities to use my own Ztampf! Clear-Stamps to prettify stuff we use daily.

Here I used the Floralique Series to customize my Black CIAK Sketch Book. I also inserted a length of gross grain ribbon stitched with a pretty button to make a shoulder-length strap. A pretty cool and practical way of carrying a sketch book, don’t you think :).

And yesterday I improved an old cushion cover that I made a few years ago. Yes, using yet another piece of leftover IKEA curtain! It was hand-sewn and the color is a bit faded now. I have been using a couple of big safety pins for the closure – and now finally it got proper buttons!  I stamped the front side with Ztampf! Clear-Stamps (Floralique #2) using pigment ink (Inkredible!). Since the stamps are modular based, you can build your own patterns by combining them. The possibilities are endless! And because they are clear, you can see them as you creating the pattern. I didn’t make any sketch for this project – just stamp it along. Next I should try colorful ink on light colored fabric!

Closer looks:

Ztampf! Clear-Stamps are available from ScrapSupply.com.

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Posted in Daily Bits, manuFactor
January 8th, 2009 | 1 Comment »

This  is my new sewing machine, a new year’s gift from my belovedst man. It’s Janome 419S. It can sew denim and canvas – an important feature for me as I plan to use it to create some soft-sculptures with canvases. I hope it is capable of sewing into book’s binder board too! We’ll see.

The first projects I did were very simple. A table cloth and a cushion cover, both made with leftover IKEA curtain. We have plenty of it because in our previous apartment we used IKEA curtain as dividers in hallways. I also use IKEA curtain to cover my open shelving unit to keep things looking neat regardless of the fact behind the curtain ;).

For the table cloth, we have been using it as it was until one of the edges got frayed. I was happy for a chance to learn to use the ‘Over Casting Stitch’ to hem the edges. Then I impulsively played with one of the decorative stitches – so now the table cloth looks a little bit prettier :).

For the cushion cover, I made various folds then stitched over them with various stitches. I used very pale blue thread for this. I wish I had colorful thread, it would have looked much prettier. Now it looks very subtle, which is not bad, actually. I need to go shopping for more thread one of these days! Right now I only have Black, Dark Brown, Broken White, Stark White, Navy, Pale Beige, Pale Grey, and Very Pale Blue. Just the most basic, you know.

I think I do love sewing! The mistake I made most often so far is forgetting to lower the presser foot before starting to sew! So silly! Oh I have also tried to stitch buttons (and button holes!) with the machine. Pretty cool!

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Posted in Daily Bits, manuFactor
January 6th, 2009 | 2 Comments »

I love to make things. I used to make things regularly. I mean handicrafts. Making things with my hands, as opposed to make things digitally. There is nothing wrong with making things digitally. I love it too. But I do miss working with my hands, taking risks with every action/treatment I bestow upon my tangible materials. There is no “undo” and “redo”. What’s done is done. Usually there is room for improvisations to save a botched action which might improve the object-in-the-making, lifting it to an ever higher level, or it might permanently damage it beyond any salvation. I think this is a good exercise to toughen myself up. To accept that in the process of creation, waste is inherent. Or, to see it from a better point of view, they are not waste. They are part of the process – they have served their purpose and given their contribution.

One of my main resolutions for 2009 is to achieve and to maintain a good balance between digital and analog (analog as in non-digital, non-computer-generated). Yes, to go back to create things with my hands, from simple craft projects to concept-based art projects. I have to re-learn how to play fearlessly again, to take risks and derive joy from it all. I need to create more art. I’ve been starving myself of art making for too long. I can’t go on like that. So I have to make time for it.

But I can’t just abandon digital world – oh no. And I need it. I need it because I do love doing digital works as well. While the magic in crafting by hands is in “The Magic of Transformation”, the magic in digital work is in… hmmm.. from “The Magic of From Nothing to Something” – which is totally awesome and amazing too, if you ask me! I also need it for practical reasons: to pay my studio rents, my personal bills, my share of household bills; in short: to earn my own living – to earn my self-confidence and worth as an independent adult. So… what I aim to achieve in 2009 (and to maintain it forever!) is to combine both digital and analog in my various works. That doing digital does not exclude analog activities. Of course there will be projects that are entirely digital, or entirely analog. But from now on, I will readily consider the possibility of the combination, however little it might be.

To record my progress and to motivate me more, I created a new category in my blog here, entitled “manuFactor” – from Latin manu factus, literally, made by hand. My philosopher husband Timothy gave me this title back in 2004 when I was handcrafting a lot. Those of you who are interested in handicrafts may subscribe to this Category, just log in and edit your preferences :).



So I need to re-organize myself and it is only fitting that my first project is to make a set of daily planner to organize myself better in 2009. And it is a Hybrid project indeed: using both digital and analog techniques!

I made several as each planner is good for 112 days, roughly about 3.5 months. I decided not to bind them all together into a single thick planner as this way it is very portable. The covers are made from various Japanese Inkjet Washi papers (from Itoya), with the ‘Daily Do’ title made using my own Ztampf! elements. You can use thicker cardstock if you prefer. I like the washi as they are beautiful and light, yet durable. The binding is a simple stitch with linen book-binding thread that a friend gave me years ago. You can also use regular cotton or polyester thread for this.

The content pages are made from regular copy papers, printed with a template that I designed especially for this project. I keep it simple so I’ll have plenty of room to write my plans without any distractions. Each page has 6 sections for weekdays with faint grid background and a flap in either the left side of right side of the page for Sundays. There is a Date+Day Block on each weekday section. You can either a). rubber-stamp the Date and the Day in advance, or b). you can write them as you go – giving you a chance to not bother with days when you do/plan nothing, you can just jump over to the next day/s without leaving a blank section. When you rubber-stamp the Date and Day in advance, you have to keep in mind that the Sundays are on the flaps! This could be refreshing, breaking off from your linear routine – or, you might find it annoying and confusing. I don’t know yet. Right now I’m trying the option a. I made mistakes several times when stamping the dates – forgetting that the Sundays are on the flaps. I just stamped over with darker ink. We’ll see how I like having my Sundays not always between Saturday and Monday!

If you want to make one yourself, you can download the templates for ‘Daily Do Planner’ ( the content pages and the cover – minus the ‘Daily Do’ title) here. It’s for A4 size paper. You can customize them digitally (or manually) by adding your own title, etc. There are Inner Page and Outer Page. Print four of each on both side with full-bleed option enabled. Use the same template for each side (Inner Page with Inner Page, Outer Page with Outer Page). Score and fold the paper accordingly. Now unfold them and stack them all together. Alternate the pages by flipping them one for every two pages so one page has the flap on the left and the next one has the flap on the right. This is to avoid bumpy bulk built by the flaps if they are all kept on the same side. Place all of the Inner Pages on top of the Outer Pages, with the Cover on the bottom most. The cover should be slightly wider than the content pages. Fold them all together, optionally, press underneath thick, heavy books for a few hours (best left overnight) to flatten them.

Next is the binding. You will need a bookbinding awl or you can use any tool with a sharp point. Now lay open the planner and center the pages well within the cover. Hold the half part of the planner (the first half of the pages and the front cover) and bring it down, creating approx. 45º to the other half that is laid flat on your desk. Hold the center firmly, hold your bookbinding awl at 45º and drive it right in the fold (for the exact location, refer to the top right pic on the image above). Repeat the step to punch the second hole. Finally do the stitching! Start from the inside out, and knot the end in the inside to lock the stitch! You might want to press the planner again under heavy books to flatten it before using! Enjoy :).

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Posted in Daily Bits, manuFactor