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A new home, a new Blog !

Hello everyone !

I've moved to :  http://www.aidaharon.com/



Hope you'll visit me there, much love, Aida

Feb. 19th, 2015

Hi everyone !



It's the Lunar New Year and in a sort of a way, we do celebrate this occassion. With Augs being Chinese, it's important for the girls to know about the ties to his family. From the time I met them, they've been so kind and open, generous with help whenever we needed it. We are not a traditional Chinese or Malay family and melding these two cultures has been an interesting experience for us. We tell the girls they don't have to choose to be Chinese or Malay but rather take the best parts of each culture and just like being who they are. In the end it will not be ethnicity which decides whether they are happy or successful but rather, how comfortable they are in their own personalites and talents.

Life has been interesting the last few week showing me that people change, and for better or worse, it is what it is. We don't always have back up plans for everything that happens and just need to trust that our actions were the best choices made given the facts and circumstances. In all of this, I've realised that support can come from unexpected sources.

So : breathe ....... have faith ...... let go ....... it will be ok.

Have a good week ahead and may fortune, success and good helth accompany you throught the year.

Cheers, Aida.

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It's Valentine's !!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone !

We don't celebrate this day, but I love all the pretty things associated with today : hearts, pinks and roses. This card was made using Lori Whitlock's Simple Flowers and Tim Holtz's Love Struck. Papers are the incredibly beautiful Blue Fern. All products are available at Made Wtih Love Singapore.



Have a lovely weekend ! Cheers, Aida.



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Feb. 10th, 2015



Life or designing is not complicated ........ as long as we're honest, try our best ........ when we make mistakes, learn from them and work at being better. Bizarre situations will be thrown at us, that's life and there's nothing to do but take a deep breath, keep calm, laugh if we can, decide when enough is enough and move on.

Less on worrying ..... more of being happy !

Aida


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Sizzix Tutorial : That's Life Canvas Panel.

Hello crafters, I have a tutorial on the Sizzix Blog and I hope you will check it out !

Here : Sizzix US Blog



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Thank you for visiting ! Cheers, Aida.

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A Valentine's Day panel.

Hello everyone !

This weekend was unusual in that I had both days to myself. Saturday is normally a *teaching* day where I have workshops at Made With Love but with the addition of three more Educators, I've found myself in a fortunate situation where there are less Saturdays to choose from in the roster. Still, crafting is what I love and staying home means Saturday is for experimenting, for checking work due for the Sizzix Blog or posting Sizzix projects here.

Today I have a small canvas panel measuring 6 x 8 inches with the gorgeous Blue Fern Love Story and Sizzix die-cut elements.

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Layers are the key to making any canvas project interesting and adhering the pieces at diffferent heights gives it an attractive dimension. The mediums I love using most are the Distress Paints and on this canvas are Worn Lipstick, Antique Linen, Picket Fence and a very small amount of Crushed Olive to warm the palette.


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The ceramic rose and brads are by Prima and the Heart key, the Magic Flashcard are from Idea-ology.

The Ornate Frame and the Moth (Easter Elements) are Sizzix die cuts. Have you tried die-cutting with the Little Sizzles mat board ? They are fantastic !!! What I like is how lightweight they are compared to chipboards, the surface and core is the same colour, the surface is tough yet porous and takes paints really well without sloughing off as chipboards do.

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I painted the Frame with Antique Linen, then swiped Tarnished Brass quickly over it. When the paints are dry, apply Clear Crackle Paint with a brush all over. It's impotant to remember NOT to use the heating tool immediately and to wait till the cracks have set before heat drying.


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It is Saturday and I hope you've made some fun plans with family or friends. We're off to a Potluck dinner and I've cooked a Beef Rendang which is beef stewed in Coconut milk, seasoned with Lemongrass, Kafir Lime Leaves, Daun Salam (a local Bay Leaf), Galangal and ground Red Chillis. There are slight differences in the spices for the recipe and mine is in the Padang style where Fresh Ground Red Chillis are used, other than the herbs mentioned NO onions (surprisingly), cumin, ginger or tumeric. I like this Rendang recipe best and wish I knew where to find fresh whole Belinjo nuts to add as it gives the dish a wonderful nutty, slightly bitter underbite.




Have a wonderful weekend ! Aida

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Simplifying



Have you ever thought of simplifying life, doing less, having more time for stuff we enjoy ? A Blog post by Ian Tan titled Wiping Away the Material Life got me thinking again. It's so easy to let the busy-ness of the everyday railroad our direction and I have to admit being occupied with work, design and dealling with making samples for the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) Mega Show took much of my time away from living with awareness of where I saw myself.

Ok ..... in case you think I am one of those zen types, I am not. There's no Yoga, no new age direction, no spike in being more religious ......... only the wanting to be more in touch with how my actions can benefit my family or the environments i am in.

What guides your direction ? For me it's the word Simplify.

Previously I took it to mean cutting back and learning to live with less. But I've since realised it's damn HARD to let go of doing things, stuff we are used to or feel passionately about. Simplifying to me these days means pacing out my activities, enjoying the quiet slow times to just flow along in the day's rythm, to make less plans, as much as I can, to spend less and want less, to find more time connecting with family and friends. It means letting go of expectations (one I have the toughest time with), to accept situations as they occur and make the best of it. To consciously tell myself anger and resentment will cage us till it becomes impossible to react sensibly, making life complicated.

If you've been on my Facebook you might've seen the post about a Designer's work being copied and the copy sold online. It wasn't my project, and the anger I felt came from knowing the feeling of a design being stolen. Did the person know it was unethical and still chose to continue, or was she just unaware ? And what does this all have to do with Simplifying ?

Well, we cannot control what people do or say. nor expect them to understand (all the time) why we disagree with them. No matter how much we discuss, there will always be two sides of the story, who's right, who's wrong, an unending drama. If Simplifying life is my goal, in this case I choose NOT to prolong the drama, and let it go. That person will continue to do what she does .... or not ..... but after stating my opnion, no more wasting time thinking about the situation.

Choosing our battles wisely does not mean we do not care or have no opinion. It just means prioritising our energy and choosing positive surroundings and being with people who matter.

Well ...... it's the weekend, here's wishing you fun ahead !!

Cheers, Aida.

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Paper Crafting ..... really ?

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Hi everyone, how has your day been so far ?

When I get asked what I do, it stumps me.

I am :
1) a paper craft Designer and Educator  2) who works part-time in a Scrapbook store 3) who also designs product samples for a die-cutting company whose products are sold in the store. Now this might not sound very complicated, but for many not familiar with the paper crafting industry, especially in Singapore, it puzzles them. One question often causes me much amusement : you mean you can make money from this ? My reply : while I don't expect to see my first million anytime soon, yes it pays a fair salary.

Everything started over ten years ago when my oldest was 11 and I stumbled upon a stamping store, then scrapbooking through the internet, what it is and the products. It was exciting to find out I could document life with photos, to record family moments in a physical way, and with pretty products. One of the women I knew through a mommy forum (we had alot of those then !) was based in the US, really a wonderful scrapper and getting on Design Teams. She helpfully provided tips about the craft, what was new in the industry and together we organised local scrap challenges to encourage anyone who was interested. It was fun, scrapping was new to Singapore, there were fewer brands which made it easier as the releases were paced less frantically. Online shopping for products was less sophisticated, few companies shipped to Singapore and locally there were three small scrapbook stores.

Fast forward to the present : even after acquiring a good working knowledge of brands, products and techniques as well as teaching experience ..... much of it still surprises me. It would be easy to get disenchanted as I've seen some scrappers become, to loose that sense of fun and sponteneity in creating, and getting exhausted managing the deadlines. What keeps me fascinated are the new products, techniques around using them and scrapping styles that were unheard of even a few years ago. One of the biggest developments is die-cutting, how it has taken off becoming much more affordable whether you are using a manual machine or an electronic one.


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How good must you be to be on a Team ?

Let's start with this truth : there is no getting away from doing good work. It is a serious business that needs to make money to survive, and being a Deisgner means always keeping up and stepping up. No one gives you products, lots of it and expects mediocre results. If you don't step up by pushing yourself to try new products, new ways of creating, what will set in is complacency, being stuck, ultimately boring your audience. I don't scrap all day, everyday ...... hey, I am a wife and mom, there's a home to look after. Breaks are essential to mantaining quality work, it's a chance to step back and look at the project objectively, then deciding if it needs more work or if it's enough.

Experience makes a crafter good, and constant learning, refreshing the way we craft makes us better. Add on : reliability, finishing what you say you will do, and learning to accept feedback graciously even when it makes you feel discouraged or angry. It's a tough business and you need the right attitude, the mental chops to stay in it.

Is it easy to get on a team ? It's hard work but not impossible. Compared to what it was, today it's easier to get your work *seen* by manufacturers or Kit Clubs by way of Facebook and Instagram, the two most used platforms. On Instagram, a few clicks on your smart phone camera and you can upload your work, then hashtag for the manufacturers to see. People have short memories which means you need a regular flow of posts to keep your Facebook or Instagram interesting.


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I am on Instagram, as so many scrapbook Designers are. Some update regularly, some less so and they all have followers. Personally I don't believe in choosing to comment ONLY on posts by famous Designers unless I know them through work. There's so much creative talent on Instagram, they deserve to know through actual comments what you think of their work even when they are not famous. Likers are good, though commenting takes you a step forward to establishing an online connection, as well as a pressence.

One important thing : thank the people who have taken the time to leave comments (they don't have to comment, BUT they did), visit them and reciprocate. Good manners goes a long way and it is always appreciated.

Have a good week ahead, make time to create !



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Cards and Projects

Hello ! I was looking at some of the projects I made and decided to add them here. These are the ones I REALLY liked and hope you enjoy them too !

This was on Sizzix.com on Tuesday and I loved how the color turned out. It's proof you can use dies from across Sizzix range to create a project that's in your style. Details are *HERE*

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Being asked to join the Tim Holtz Media Team was such a privilege and this was a Halloween project. I love the effect of Alcohol Inks on the plastic die-cut Apothecary Jars.

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Here are the rest !

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Thank you for coming by, weekend's almost here !!!


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CHA2015 has started ....... and I'm looking through the projects made for the Tm Holtz CHA2015 booth, still not fully believing it all. The focus was on his Alterations die cuts and Texture Fades range *HERE* using his Distress Mediums and new Idea-ology.

The experience was a learning journey, one I would not have traded for anything even while I felt idiotically clueless at times. When making projects for manufacturers or for worshops, it's reallly not about free play of just doing what you like. Top of the list it's about working the products to showcase their possibilities within our crafting styles. At the other end when they are all shipped to CHA, projects have to mesh in a cohesive theme by design, colour or atmosphere. All of this is fascinating and not the easiest thing to pull off given the number of designers a booth has - the bigger the booth the more designers to coordinate.

Mostly I am grateful for this opportunity. Singapore is small, so far away from the US, and it's a tough slog for any crafter to get to a level good enough for a manufacturer or a Designer backed by a manufacturer to come looking.

You'll be able to see the event on : Tim Holtz Blog and Sizzix Facebook. Mario always has great shots of behind the scenes on his Intragram : here and of course Ranger : here.

Here are a few of the projects. There was hardly any time to style them properly as they needed to be packed off ASAP ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays. I loved the Mixed Media thinlits best !

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This was a book I made for the Tim Holtz Media Team using his Merriment Paper Stash.

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An Altered Large Kraft Folio.

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Love working with Texture Fades and Shadow Press.

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The Mixed Media Thinlits on a mini book.

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Thank you for coming by ! Have a good weekend !

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