Sizzix Hello Owl


This Bigz Sizzix Owl #2 657694 die is a favourite, it's so darn cute and love the fact you can *dress* the owl in so many varieties !


Details like these glasses make the Owl pop.


I cut out the owl shape, 2 circles for the eyes, and the arms and beak (not shown).


For the bottom, I die cut only half of the owl using a patterned paper.


The Jen Long Retro Sunglasses  659508 were die cut using the SophistiCut and for the card, I trimmed away the center eye pieces.

A YouTube Video with Stephanie Barnard on how you use the SophistiCut is : HERE

I added the speech bubble from Marisa Pawelko's Thought Talk Bubbles 659688. The background white Bazill cardstock was embossed by using the Lattice Textured Embossing Folder 658483.

Assemble the Owl as you like with additions of the beak and more trims. There you go ...... an adorable card for someone special, so easy and fun !!

Sizzix products used :
Powder Blue Big Shot
Extended Cutting plates
Bigz Sizzix Owl #2 657694
Jen Long Retro Sunglasses  659508
Marisa Pawelko's Thought Talk Bubbles 659688
Lattice Textured Embossing Folder 658483

Thank you so much for dropping by !

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Jul. 13th, 2014

Hi everyone !

I'm on the Sizzix Blog with a card tutorial : HERE

The Thinlits Dies Overall Patterns 659758 below are wonderful and together with the Magnetic Platform, you will get clean, detailed die-cuts that are versatile for Project Life, layouts to cards.


Here's a close up of the Tattered Pinecone 657492 rolled up into a Tea Rose.


Have a great weekend !

Sizzix products used :
Magnetic platform
Thinlits Die Set 3pk Overall Patterns 659758
Tattered Pinecone 657492


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Sizzix Gerbera-Daisy.

Hello scrappers !

This Gerbera-Daisy is so pretty and a good size at 3.5inches across. I used patterned paper for the die-cuts and  Versa Craft inks to add color to the tips of the petals.


This is the Brenda Walton Gerbera-Daisy die : Here


Thank you fro dropping by, have a great weekend !

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Sizzix Tutorial - I am Beautiful canvas

Hello Crafters !!

This canvas started with an idea we are all beautiful in ways others cannot imagine and how it's hard to prove to people we are worthwhile. We tend to admire those who are successful materially and forget that life is more than just having nice, expensive things.


In this project less is more, where simplicity just works. The Tim Holtz Alterations Layered Butterfly Die and Embossing Folder 659578 is so pretty on its own it really does not need much else !


Here is the close up.


To begin, using white Bazill card stock I die cut the butterfly and then embossed it with the folder that came with the die.


I love working with Art Anthology paints and Las Vegas Gold Sorbet is my favourite ! For the butterfly I paired it with a Velvet paint in Orchid which is a sweet shade of lilac. Using a palette knife, gently spread the gold over the center of the butterfly making sure the paint gets into the recessed parts. Don't worry if it doesn't look perfect ! Dry completely with a heating tool. Next rub in the Orchid Velvet to the edges of the butterfly wings again making sure some of the paint is left in the recessed areas. Leave aside to dry.


To create a base for the butterfly, I trimmed a piece of white card stock 5 x 6 inches. The Tim Holtz Honeycomb Stencil was placed to the left of the card stock and a mix of Texture Paste and Orchid Velvet lightly spread over the stencil.


When dried, you will get this effect. I added strips of the tissue tape for more interest.


This project is on a 12 X 12 canvas which I had earlier painted with gesso and a little Orchid to create the palest lilac. After that dried, I speckled it with watered down Distress Paint Seedless Preserves which is a warm dark purple.


Next I frayed the edges of a small piece of Burlap to add to the top right edge of the base.


Here you can see how the layers were built. A button and the word Beautiful was adhered to the middle of the butterfly.


The journaling is from the song You are Beautiful.

This is how the assembled project looks - clean and (I hope) elegant !

Sometimes it's very easy to over work a project by adding more and more ..... learning how to stop can be a difficult process especially with mixed media. With each project I make, there's always more to learn and to accept that some pieces do not need more embellishments.

Have a wonderful week ahead!!

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Learning Modern Calligraphy ....


In Singapore, anything new spreads like wildfire be it a new food place, a fashion statement, a craft or hobby. Here it's the small city culture where practically everyone is permanently attached to their phones or tablets resulting in news, trends being a quick click away, the latest thing to explore becomes a trendy revolution with people suddenly wanting to learn.

Modern Calligraphy is the *new* art many are taking up, filling seats at the workshops offered.


I've always loved fonts and design, anything with stylised writing built into the designs we see in posters, rubbers stamps, in scrapbook papers or products. Having seen beautiful work by calligraphy artists, on Pinterest and online sites, I was totally fired up to learn !

There are 2 independent artists conducting Modern Calligraphy workshops in Singapore :
** Pauline Ibarra of Happy Hands Project **  and  ** Dee of SoulDeelight **.

As a craft educator, I strongly recommend hands on workshops to get started because it really gives you so much in terms of actual demonstration of the craft, numerous tips and ideas as well as the physical presence of the instructor to correct mistakes.

These are my thoughts : I teach scrapbooking and often have crafters who come for workshops with no foundation, who've wasted so much time (and money) struggling to scrap with the products they've bought, not knowing why their projects feel lop-sided with too much or not enough. The foundation course teaches how to use products and tools correctly, the importance of colour, balance and proportion through design basics, how to begin a layout, optimising supplies without wastage and the current trends in design and products. With a foundation workshop, a crafter will be less overwhelmed by the supplies they bought or see in the store.

Join workshops if you are beginning crafting, they are important to helping you start right !

I badly wanted to take a workshop in Modern Calligraphy, but over the months have found it difficult fitting into any of the schedules, it was frustrating !! My own workshops or events at Made With Love are often on Saturdays and clashed with the calligraphy classes ...... or there were family plans on the weekends.

All this led me to try figuring out a way to learn on my own. Online sites are the best bets for affordable craft workshops, are very popular, a boon for people like me who cannot attend physical workshops especially those by US crafters I follow. As I've mentioned, my first choice would be an actual workshop, but being unable to go to one, well, online it is ! Another factor : I am an experienced crafter used to paints, inks, with an already developed eye for design, and a healthy understanding that one gets *good* ONLY with lots of practice. If you are new at a craft, be patient and keep at it, make the effort to dedicate time to practice.

There are quite a few offering online Modern Calligraphy and I settled for Molly Jaques at Skill Share. While I feel the content is sufficient, not having a physical teacher to interact with may be unnerving for those unused to online classes, obviously feedback is not immediate which may be a problem for someone totally new at any art-type hobby. For me it was more important to see Molly Jaques's style of writing, and find out if her style suited me. She has an angular slightly italicised style ...... while I tend to prefer *fat* rounded writing.

Currently I am using the Speedball Pen Holder with the nibs Niko G and Leonardt No. 41 (similar to the Gillot 300). Make sure you buy the nibs which have the flap underneath for the ink reservoir. The inks I have are Higgins (they have different ranges, permanent ones are better) and Dr PH Martin. Gouache is the one thing I will try next !

Pen holders and nibs can be bought from these two places:

Art Friend at Brash Basah Complex

Straits Art Co, 420 North Bridge Rd #01-27

How fast one progresses depends on your experience in crafting and natural ability, and how much time spent on practicing. Calligraphy in Singapore is an affordable art, it doesn't cost very much to start, doesn't take up alot of space, the supplies are easy to carry around if you need to practice outside of your home.

Hopefully this post is useful to those intending to try Modern Calligraphy ..... it's fun, therapeutic and very pretty !

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Throwback Thursday ....... Vintage Camera.

Hi everyone, how about a throwback project ?

I get scrappers coming into Made With Love asking me how the Vintage Camera was made. Here is the tutorial for Sizzix which I hope you'll enjoy.

Click here :

These are the Sizzix products used :

Powder Blue and Teal Big Shot
Magnetic Platform
Circle Framelits die set 8pk 657551
Sizzix Bigz Gadget Gears 656636
Vintage Cabinet Card 6
Texture Fade Embossing Folder 2pk - Bubble and Honeycomb



Thanks for coming by !

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Be ......... and Art.

I've never painted faces this seriously, and have long admired mixed-media artists who seem so polished and amazingly talented. Well ....... being a fan of *letting go*, learning and enjoying the process, why not try ? The key is to just jump in, no expectations ...... and maybe surprise myself.


While painting the face, I thought about what it should say, how did I feel ? Where was it taking me ?


Often I think of how people have helped me along the way, how kind and generous some have been, opening up opportunities previously unimagined. In turn it makes me want to pay it forward ......... and I've found amazing things happen ....... rewards come back to me many fold. This painting is to remind me to be open, to be generous in spirit, to think kindly even when the person does not seem to deserve any consideration, they might have difficult *stuff* going on in their lives I don't know about.

And certainly, make more ART ! Experiment, let go ...... challenge myself, learn.

It helps I had wonderful mediums to work with in Dina Wakely's Media Line, they really are a dream ! Spreadable, perfect primary colours that blend well and have an ideal satin finish so writing on them is easy. And do you see that gorgeous deep blue on the right ? That's Night. For painters, black is not really black, it's one of the first rules we learnt in secondary level art class ..... it's shades of deep blue, aubergine, even dark green.


I hope you are doing creative stuff to de-stress, just for pure fun ....... not to become another painter with perfect strokes or techniques. Working with colours is therapeutic, it draws out whatever anger or frustration and leaves calm in its place.

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The Working Crafter .....

I made a card using Ranger's Vintaj Patina and Sizzix Texture Fades Retro Circle. Love how this turned out !


Here are the details :



There are always questions about the *creative process* and what it's like working in the crafting industry. People are curious, does it pay well (nope, but it's enough !) ....... it must be wonderful to get all the free products.

First I must state : yes I am lucky, thankful to be doing what I love with the bonus of independence in choosing the projects to work on, to have varied supplies, and manageable deadlines most of the times.

And there's the saying  : nothing comes free. Perhaps this is what many don't understand.

There are certain unspoken rules of the job and the biggest probably is committing to a high level of crafting because there's an audience to please, and they are not always kind enough to tolerate a bad crafting day. Honestly, we must've seen work by a celeb crafter and thought " is THAT all ??? ..... uuuummm ... !!*. There are times when I really cannot see where the work is going with the beast of a deadline breathing down my neck ..... and uppermost on my mind is if the project is *enough* or if it warrants the cost of the class fee. We all have doubts or feel discouraged, we have bad craft days.

The one saving factor for full-time crafters is experience of knowing a hundred and one ways to tweak a project through design tricks and savvy product use. It's what makes us fast because it helps to know a combination of supplies can get you a definite, desired result. And we get to practice ...... ALOT ! Using mediums and Sizzix products 5 days a week for work and personal pieces will make anyone good at manipulating the products ....... no secret to this. The more you create, the more ideas you have, the more you are able to figure out new ways of working with products.

The other factors : commitment to deadlines, schedules, efficient delivery of projects, definitely no Divas allowed, be nice to your fellow team members and those who work in the industry (including the front line retail staff !)

The truth : I am a working crafter, this is my job and I LOVE the free licence to create. Together with that, there has to be a certain amount of objectivity to it, no tantrums, no drama, it's all about *get to work and finish the project*. Being open to feedback is an important part of the package because I am designing for a store who pays me and a manufacturer who has expectations. Designers must have an understanding of how to bridge the selling aspects with a creative project.

Some projects I totally love (like this card), others *fit* the requirements, either way it gets ticked off as *Done !* and on to the next project on the list.

It's mid week ....... hope it's been great for you so far !

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Traveling Blog Tour.


Hello everyone !

When I received the email from Grace , I was curious, and this seemed like a good idea being able to travel through personal Blogs reading about our work and perspectives. Are we interesting, are our Blogs visually attractive ....... who will read our meanderings, would there be people who care about our opinions ?

In the end, life is just about jumping in and with eyes open or shut it's really our choice.

To begin, you might like to know I am Dyslexic, not badly ..... but bad enough to fail spelling throughout Primary school. Since then a lifetime of coping skills have served me well and though you will still find a few weirdly spelt words now and then, these errors I've learnt to let go with the firm idea anyone reading *will GET it !*. Life really is too short to worry about spelling mistakes.

a. What am I working on?

I've always been easily bored with being in one place, doing one thing all the time which is usually why I have a few projects active, a few brewing in my head, plus one or two more drafted in my notebook. The one sad factor we ALL have is the sore lack of time. Bummer right ? All these things we want to do, places we want to be at, people we want to catch up with ........ but just ..... not enough ..... time.

So what am I working on ? Well aside from the samples I make for work, the one personal project is *working on me*. Mixed media art collages about how I feel, what's happening in my life feature prominently in art projects.

As one gets older, the subject of who we are, have we succeeded in doing all we've wanted to do, the limitations, fulfilled expectations ..... are we happy ..... aside from wondering if there's enough money for the kid's Uni fees, or if we can retire on the good, unwrinkled side of 70 years old without knee problems ...... these are important questions that rattle in my head. Lately with our girls being older, I think about parenting and if I've been reasonably successful, as well as how to manage the next stage of my life with their independence, with their needing me less physically.

b. How does my work differ from others in its genre ?

As I often tell those who come for my Mixed Media classes - I am not YOU, You are not ME ..... be happy to be different, it's a good thing ...... suck it up, it NOT a huge problem. Same for writing as these are my stories and we all lead varied lives.

I dont think anyone consciously sets out to be different, we just work with what we feel, drawing on the experiences we have. It is people who provide an opinion to our work, polite (one hopes !) feedback, it's those in the industry we work in who peg our work as different ..... or *ouch !* boring.

Trying too hard to be different can be an awful mental curse ........ much better to be happy working on a project we love.

c. Why do I write what I do?

Writing helps me work out my feelings whatever they may be at that moment ...... it's personal.

What I write is never meant to be hurtful or mean, it's just my opinion which I try to couch with sensitivity from how I understand it. We all have inbred prejudices, judgements, cultural perspectives that might colour our writing ........ at the same time we all hope the ones reading will be open to our ideas no matter how bizarre or ludicrous. Writing helps me be more aware of surrounding people and situations, especially on social media where it's easy to be misunderstood, it prompts me to be kinder with opinions and to readily give the benefit of the doubt.

d. How does my writing process work?

Much of what I do is about Craft and Scrapbook products as well as the techniques related to them. Even with good products, to make something or write about products one needs to be inspired by some form of prettiness, beauty or a special moment in our lives. How else would one write about paper supplies without sounding like a bone-dry fact sheet ?

So first, a story is important, then I look at the products to fit in ....... and the rest takes off from there. Making the writing interesting is a skill, much of it hinges on experience and knowing your audience. I write mostly for crafters, and honestly hope they enjoy what's on my Blog.

Do I care what people think ? Yes, especially when the opinion is expressed civilly, with thought and genuineness ...... No, when it's cruel, mean spirited or reekingly self indulgent.

Bottom line : it's not my job to police opinions, people will say what they want, everyone has a right to exit conversations when they want to.

Now I would like you to visit Genevive Rulona :

Gen (as I call her), is an expatriate Filipina whom I've gotten to know through crafting, is a colleague and a friend. Her perspectives on living in Singapore, trying to understand our culture and adjusting, raising 2 boys one of whom who is a special needs child, her journey as a wife, mother, her faith and priorities, all make interesting reading.

Thank you for coming by !

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The messy table .......

More and more I think my Blog should have the title *The Messy Table* !


It's common for scrappers to post wonderful photos of their crafting spaces ........ but sadly while I have space (for which I am thankful for) ...... it is far from tidy.


This is me : a working crafter living in Singapore where most homes are HDBs, no huge dedicated studio space and happily creating. Loving crafting, paints and colours over-rides everything and pretensions of crafty glamour is completely unnecessary. Paint is messy !

A comment from a friend gave me thought and it had to do with how Singapore crafters flit from trend to trend, taking up whatever is new, but in the end not gaining real mastery over the craft. Yes I do agree mostly. Perhaps it's our culture where anything new is good, it's the must have, it's the *been there, done that*, no one likes to feel like a *noob* at the coolest thing. Nothing wrong about being a craft Jack of All Trades ........ as long as you are not teaching the trade right ?

My philosophy is easy : keep it simple, keep creating and working at it ...... it's the only way to get good at what we do.

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