Collage Art: A personalized handmade gift for my mum on Christmas!

Hello you munchkins!

I trust that you’ve had a fantastic Christmas, yes? I certainly hope so :) There’s always New Year’s Eve to go ball crazy if you didn’t have that good a time on X’mas.

Mine was simple, and quiet, dinners with family, gifts exchanging and board games at Marina Bay Sands. Then getting drunk at night with friends. Yeeeppp. Still a little bit hungover on Boxing Day as I’m typing this.

So a big part of Christmas for me is the presents.. Not necessarily receiving them, but more about giving them! I always make sure I try to get the person the best possible present that is either thoughtful or practical within a reasonable budget. If I REALLY really like the person, I will hand make them a gift if I have the time… and I absolutely love my momma, so I thought I’d do something nicer for her this Christmas. Hand written cards are too boring and I want her to have something totally unique, so in the end I came up with this!!!


Do you like it?

If it’s not obvious enough, it is a photo frame filled with collages of heartwarming smiley pictures of my mother and the people she holds dear to her heart, in the shape of a giant “I ♥ U”!!! I want her to wake up every morning and be reminded that someone out there in this big big world, loves her very much.

Every bit of this was handmade (except the frame which I bought from a store) and I think it screams sincerity and originality, so I want to share with you guys a short tutorial on how to create this for your own loved ones too! I know X’mas is over now, intended to blog about it before then but I didn’t want my mum finding out beforehand and ruining her surprise. But you can still do this for your partner on your anniversary, Valentine’s Day (which is coming up soon).. or heck, just do it anytime you can for anyone you like in general for no special occasion, except that you totally ♥ them!!! :)

It will take some time and effort, but the look on their face when they receive this is so going to be worth it. So let’s get started!

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Materials you’ll need:

A plain rectangular photo frame with a thick frame, preferably black. Size is up to you, but mine was about 25″ long. I bought mine from IKEA for about $13 and it is called RIBBA (I think)

Compile 15-20 shots of happy memories of your loved one captured on camera, edit them to be black and white, then print them out. Have a mix of close up shots and mid-shots. Full length shots will be redundant.

Editing them to be black and white is important because it creates a timeless effect, and the photos will look less cluttered and generally a lot prettier when you put them all together. Skip this step and your result will differ a lot. If you don’t have a good image editing program to use, try Photoscape. I think it is one of the best free-to-use image editing software out there – simple interface and amazing quick results! ^.^ Highly recommend this.

The size of your printed photo would depend on the frame size you choose, but if yours is around 25″ long like mine, then 4R is a good size. You be the judge of the photo size. If most of your photos are close ups, then get a smaller size, and vice versa.

To create your collage shape, you will need a piece of thick white paper / cardboard that is the exact size of your photo frame.

Buy a big piece from Popular book store, then trim it according to your frame’s specifications. I used a piece from one of my white cake boxes lying around the house. LOL :P

When you finally have your collage base custom fit to the size of your frame, use a pencil and sketch out the shape of the collage you want. I suggest using I ♥ U for the shape because it gets the message across and it’s short enough. A long message more than 4 letters is not suggested. If your loved one has a short name like mine, then something like S A M would also work!

After you’re done with that, cut your desired shape out with a pen knife. You want bold, thick, fat letters. Be careful when you’re doing this because if you screw up the shape, it’s going to be quite obvious. It doesn’t matter if the back is ugly due to your rough sketching – you can’t tell that from the front, so sketch away.

Test out how your stencil / collage base looks in the frame! So far so good.

This part is optional, and you can get creative.

I traced the outline of my “I ♥ U” and did a lacey type of pattern with a black permanent marker. It’s not fully completed on the letter “U”, if you wanna compare a before and after. You can add any design you want on the white part, but I wanted to keep most of it clean and white, so this was a good design. It also gives the whole collage some needed depth.

I invited my friend Nicholas over to do some arts & crafts with me! Here he is, enthusiastically coloring his whole base black with a marker. LOL. He did this because he didn’t cut his “I ♥ U” shape out very well and you could see the parts where he messed up. Coloring it black does make the flaws less obvious but I don’t really recommend it.

Get a pair of scissors and some tape ready.

This is the fun part.
Now it’s time to arrange your photos into a pretty looking collage! You will have to cut the pieces into smaller shapes that fit inside the letter, so hold your picture behind photo frame like I am doing in doing in the picture above to view how it’d look like from the front, then when you’ve found a nice arrangement, cut the photo into an appropriate size & shape then tape it down securely on the back.

Work your way from there, doing 1 picture at a time.

This is what it will look like from the back. Squint hard and you’ll see a lot of tape at the back. Once again, it doesn’t matter how it looks like on the back, only the front!

If you find my explanation confusing, just look at my pictures and use your brain. Lolol.

Give your photos a slanted edge so that it looks extra artsy and random!

Use bigger pictures for fatter characters like the “♥” shape, then save your smaller pictures for thin letters such as “I”.

When you’re FINALLYYY done with all this tedious work, you’ll end up with something as pretty as….

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THIS!!!!!!!
TA-DAH!!

(No, I’m not actually a Volleyball player so ignore my short lol. When I was in Primary School I did play Netball though!)

Philip (my adorableeeeee penguin) approves! ^.^

It’s not that difficult, anyone can do this with enough patience! It is actually more labor intensive than it looks, took me and Nicholas about 3 hours to finish everything.

Now that is a thoughtful & personalized gift if I ever saw one. *beams*

It would sit all pretty-like in a room and add instant warmth!!! I am so pleased with myself ahahah. Turned out better than I thought it would. I hope you’ve found this tutorial meaningful and useful! And that whoever you make this for would absolutely love it ;) Feel free to leave me a question or a comment if any of my steps above weren’t clear enough.

That’s all for today, happy holidays and Happpppppy New Yearrrr everyone!!!

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2011

I’m sorry for the lack of updates!!!!!!!

It’s just that, well you know it’s the X’mas season and even though I haven’t been doing a lot of cakes, I’ve been focusing on well, life itself. Doing X’mas shopping, spending time with friends and my boyfriend, etc. It’s currently X’mas Eve but I’m gonna force myself to stay up to blog despite being mad tired because if I don’t do it now, I dunno when I’ll ever have time to!!!

So here goes: my blog entry on the Nuffang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2011.

I hadn’t taken as many pictures as I would’ve liked, but that’s the problem with my DSLR.. takes great photos but it’s so troublesome, I end up not taking any at all. My mum is getting me a new compact camera that is semi-pro and HD for Christmas. *HAPPY FACE SPASM*

So.

This is me at 9am on the coach bus with all the other bloggers, looking like a 14 year old student. Lol. We’re on our way to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I actually managed to wake up early enough to do some last minute packing and made 2 boxes of cupcakes for the bloggers to nomz on our way there ANDDD I didn’t end up late or forget to bring anything which was a freaking miracle if you ask me.

While going over the bridge that connects Malaysia and Singapore together, I couldn’t believe how near yet totally different our countries are. Every time I come back from M’sia I appreciate Singapore that much more. For it’s safety, cleanliness, state-of-the-art facilities, infrastructure, organized roads and more.

After a painful 7 hour bus journey (it sure as hell felt that long, our seats couldn’t even recline backwards T_T) we arrive at the Marriott Putrajaya hotel! A pretty nice hotel that is located in the middle of nowhere. I appreciated how comfortable, quiet, clean, big and spacious it was though.

Our coach had arrived later than expected, and after waiting quite awhile to check into our respective hotel rooms, it didn’t leave us with a lot of time to get ready for the awards dinner! I’m like the slowest person to my make up and hair so I was kinda worried. Thank goodness most bloggers are perpetually late (guilty as charged) even if it’s for an awards show to honor their presence, because that bought me more time.

And I managed to get ready in time!!! :)

I bought this red evening dress specially for this event because I have like zero formal clothes in my wardrobe. I got it altered to fit me better and I’m lovin’ it. I think I chose the right color because most people were in hues or black and blue that night.

Now if only I had more formal events to attend so I could wear it more than just once…

You can check out the bareback details of the dress in the reflection image!


Ready to hit the awards!!


WHO IS THIS HAMSUM BOY?!?!? ♥

Mucho love to my boyfriend for accompanying me even though I know how badly he wanted to stay home and rest instead of traveling and getting more tired. December is such a ridiculously hectic month wtf.

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LOTSA VAIN PICTURES INCOMING!!!


Looking suave, boys!

Sam and Mike hit it off really well during this trip! He also gets along surprisingly well with Sophie’s boyfriend, Alaric….

Sam said he wants to start a club called the “Singapore Female Bloggers’ Boyfriends Association” for guys like them. LOL

Sam and Huiwen who looked gorgeous in her long blue dress!!! One of the first few Nuffies I’ve ever met, and she’s always been really nice.

My current desktop wallpaper ♥

Check out Wendy’s madddd sparkly blue dress in the background!!

Everyone looked super good that day wtf. All so pretty and handsome!

And no I am not saying myself ok haha I mean other people. No expense spared, everyone went all out and their efforts really paid off because most people looked the best I’ve ever seen them.

Before I left my hotel room, I did a quick check with my reflection in the mirror and thought to myself, “Hmm… not bad. Ok, let’s go!!!”

But when I saw how dressed up and pretty all the other female bloggers were…. self esteem went out the window, hopped onto a plane to go skydiving. LOLL. Seriously though, it was really cool seeing so many bloggers from different countries and walks of life all gathered in one grand ballroom.


Blogging takes people places!!


Brad aka LadyIronChef,
who won Best Food Blog that night!!! Congratsss!! :D

I know I’m not the only one who visit his blog when I can’t decide where to go for dinner. I lazy to list down all the winners of the nights / nominees, I dunno who most of them are anyway so I’m only going to tell you who won what if I took a picture with them that night.

Sophie and I!!! This girl is ridiculous. Whenever I see her, she is either 1) eating or 2) hungry. Chocolates, donuts, supper, she nomz them all without hesitation… When we go on double date with our boyfriends, our itinerary is like this:

Meet for a meal. Eat a lot. Do random shit like watch a movie or play darts. 2 hours later, go for another meal, and eat a lot again.

But only Sam and I will get fatter from the indulgence, while Sophie and Alaric stay damn thin. And I don’t think either of them exercise. Why like this? ;___;

Trying to take a photo of Brad but my camera focused on her instead. Forever camera ready. Look at that smug expression I almost want to smack her LOL why you think you so pretty is it???….

Ok la very pretty la.

No need to guess who is the Region’s Best Blogger & Most Influential Blogger!!

Wendy aka Xiaxue.blogspot.com!!!!!! A most deserving winner :’)

I have been reading Wendy’s blog even before I started blogging on my own, and she was definitely a large contributing factor to why I picked up blogging in the first place. I admired her straightforward nature and boldness to speak whatever she felt!!! Still do.

Totally teared up when she started making her speech after being completely shocked that she won Region’s Best Blog twice in a row. I feel very happy for her success and count myself lucky to be her friend. She’s actually really nice in person you know. I always emphasize on this point when people ask me about her because people tend to judge too quickly from her online personality. Ok I admit she’s quite a bitch online, but who isn’t? LOL.

I’m not sure if I can express my like for her properly without coming across as an over-adoring fan / a suck up so I hope I’m doing this right. All the angry Australians were so sore about her winning, if only they knew how much she influences thousands of bloggers / readers all over Asia just like you and me!!!

I finally got to meet Cheesie of Cheeserland.com! Woopie!!!!! ^.^

CHEESIE WON
the Best Fashion Blog Category!!

I love her traveling / fashion posts and used to read her all the time :) Now that I’ve started this cake business I almost never have the time to read blogs anymore.. or the time to update my own. #sadface

A blurry pic that would’ve been otherwise good. #camhopains

A group picture with Qiuqiu, Sophie, Cheesie, Wendy, Velda, & Beatrice!

Prettiness overload or what. O_____O These girls ah.

With Nadia!! ^.^ From Nadnut.com

This and following picture credited to Qiuqiu

HAHAHA she made me chin very sharp and eye big big!

Picture credited to Brad

And omg in this picture you can see I was actually wearing…. FLATS.

Or slippers if you wanna call them that. Who the fuck wears blinged out slippers to a black tie event – I know right!!! But I couldn’t find a nice and comfy pair of heels, and Comfort owns Fashion for me, thus the inappropriate footwear. Lol lucky nobody really took full body shots that day. Every other girl was in like 10 inch heels.

I felt unusually short.

The Awards & dinner is about to start!!!!! From here on I don’t have alotta pics already because I was too focused on the food (starving) and the entertainment for the night.

Seated at a table with 2 Singaporeans and a bunch of older Aussie bloggers I didn’t know. Nobody was that friendly or particularly interesting so we made a switch of tables to join Nadnut as her table as she was just behind us. A clever move because I switched inbetween courses, and I got to have double servings of bread. LOL I think the bread was probably the nicest course / item of the night..


Official photos from Nuffnang:

The show started off with risque dancing… Which raised a lot of eyebrows. I’m sure some men totally appreciated the performance but I was too busy eating.

A stand up comedian which I thought was the best entertainment of the night! I loved his jokes about comparing Malaysia to Singapore because I can totally relate.

Wendy receiving her award….. Awwwwww!!! Look at that shiny pink ball of fluff grinning away.

All the nominees and winners!!!!!!!!! If you realllyyy wanna find out who they all are you can check out Nuffnang’s website…

#endoftheshow

Went over to congratulate the people we knew that won and wasted no time in heading back to our hotel room. UBER beat!!! We took a short rest, and then…

Played Monopoly Deal with Wendy, Mike, Sophie, Qiuqiu & Sam and ordered yummeh supper and talked about everything and nothing into the night!!! :D

Our conversation that night was so freaking hilarious and random. We talked about 2 fishes being in a guy’s asshole and more that I can’t even remember now because it was THAT random. But I do remember laughing a lot. Lol.

After that we concussed till we had to wake up for breakfast the next day.

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The next day was a relatively quiet one for Sam & I. Had our breakfast, then decided to forgo the day tour that the other bloggers were going on and join them for drinks at night instead, because we were just sooooo freakin’ exhausted we would’ve passed out on the street so we slept in instead.

The 5 hour nap was AMAZING.

In the early evening, we caught the Nuffnang tour bus (1 hour+ journey!) to have dinner at Pavilion in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

Actually Sam, Mike and I were at the lobby early, waiting for the tour bus to come. But it didn’t come for quite some time, so we decided to sit down outside a restaurant (still in the lobby) and have coffee instead so we could rest our legs. We ended up chatting and chatting and being so distracted that we didn’t even notice the tour bus leaving without us. LOL the fuck….. -____- Nobody came to get us either?

So we had the board China’s tour bus, instead of the Singaporean one. *face palm x100*


Random camho:
I ♥ Floral dresses and hairbands!

WE HAD THE MOST BEAUTIFUL INDIAN FOOD FOR DINNER!!!! Put a smile on my face for the rest of the night. You dunno how much I loved it.

Yes, beautiful.

I remember dining here with family about 3 years ago and I was so happy to find the same restaurant! :D It’s called Spice of India, top floor of Pavilion in KL. My favorite Indian restaurant called Mumtaz Mahal officially closed down all it’s outlets in Singapore (WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY)

And I haven’t been able to find an Indian fix that could match up to Mumtaz Mahal yet, but Spice of India blew me away.

Super recommend it I want to take 7 hour bus back to KL just to eat this.

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And now I leave you with an abrupt ending because it is 3am and I am beyond tired and I have to wake up in a few hours and spend X’mas Eve with my family and I am so hungry just talking about the Indian food that I have to go to sleep now in order to stop myself from ordering McDonalds breakfast.

Not much happened after Indian dinner, we joined the Nuffnang people for drinks at this cool rooftop bar and chit chatted until midnight then went back to the hotel. Next day wake up, take 7 hours bus ride go home.

…….The end.

Thank you Nuffnang for organizing the trip for all us bloggers!!!!!

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Before I go…

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!!

And a Happy New Year to you too! ♥ ♥ ♥

I am spending Christmas in Marina Bay Sands with my fam, and I bought everyone neat presents, I’m so excited to see their faces when they open it!!! I want to stay and blog more and recap my year and talk about my ideal X’mas wishlist and stuff but I really have to go.

Wishing you lots of joy and love this festive season. I hope everyone gets to spend quality time with the people they care about because no one deserves to spend X’mas all alone, even if you’re not religious or into commercialized holidays. It’s about the lurveeee.


….2011 has passed all too quickly.

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

The Rest of Sydney in Pictures – Part 1

Spending a quiet afternoon roaming the streets of Bondi by myself

Trying Nando’s for the first time.. I don’t understand the hype. Mediocre tasting chicken with hot sauce

I walked into this cutie’s clothing store at Bondi and ended up chatting with her for almost an hour since she didn’t have any other customers. It was a quiet off-peak time at Bondi. It’s really nice and refreshing to meet new people & friends in foreign countries :)

These shop owners see me shopping all alone so they make an obvious effort to entertain me as much as possible. It was sweet ♥ I am always moved by a stranger’s kindness and how genuine some of them are, even though I don’t know them at all.

This dude works at 7-Eleven, but owns a beach front house in a prime location that’s worth millions. I found that really interesting.

We caught an Italian Symphony at the Sydney Opera House.

I don’t know why I did it since I knew I was going to stare blankly into nothingness for 2 hours, sitting in sheer boredom (which is exactly what I did) and the only other people there were elderly folks who were nodding and humming away to the tunes.. but what the heck.

I figured everyone should try everything at least once.

I love the twinkling lights.

#Epic moment in the train when we were so glad to have bought tissue boxes because our apartment ran out of toilet paper 2 days ago. LOL.

I miss Australia.

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
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