25 July 2021

Washi Tape -- Never Travel Without It

Hi there! 

Are you traveling anytime soon? May I recommend a little travel tip? 


Bring a roll of washi tape!


Here are five ways where washi tape will come in handy:


Number 1: Have an additional layer of privacy by covering the peep holes on hotel doors with washi tape (you'll want to make sure your hotel rooms or vacation rentals have not been outfitted with hidden cameras.) It's always good to be safe and aware. 


Number 2: Use washi tape to re-seal a bag of snacks to keep them fresh and crunchy. 


Number 3: Use washi tape to seal toiletries and keep them from spilling.


Number 4: If you like to buy tokens for family and friends while you travel, use washi tape to label your gifts.


Number 5: Washi tape is very useful for making labels. You can write on it with a permanent marker (doesn't smudge) and the tape easily peels off without damaging surfaces.



I hope these ideas will turn your travels from "blah to TADA!"

And if you'd like more "blah to TADA!" ideas like this delivered to your inbox every week, you can sign up here.

18 July 2021

Painting on Leather

She painted on a $10,000 leather bag!

Hand painted Hermes Birkin by artist love Marie aka heart evangelista Escudero ❤️
via Pinterest
This is an Hermes bag that costs at least US$10,000. The price can go higher depending on the size and the leather used. It's a beautiful bag, no doubt, but I can't see myself buying something for such an expensive amount. And let's just say I did, I would take very good care of it, wiping it down after each use and reserving a chair just to lay it on. And I would hold it tightly under my arm because the bag alone is enough to bail me out of a ransom situation. 

But this artist painted on it! 

She PAINTED on it! 

I applaud her audacity.


via Boyarde
This is a Goyard, another luxury bag that is priced from US$1,200 upwards. Another artist used it as her canvas.
  
이정진 Jung Jin Lee(@artjin1214) • Instagram 사진 및 동영상
via Jung Jin Lee
How about this artist who paints on a Louis Vuitton wallet?

Apparently, a lot of people are having their designer bags custom-painted. The paintings add personality to the bag and makes it stand out from others who own the same kind. But do these paintings add or diminish the value of the bag? 

Anyway, while spring cleaning, I found this passport case. It was an airline freebie.

Here's what it looks like inside.

It's plain and simple on the back.

I was contemplating on how to turn it from "blah" to "TADA!" and I decided to paint on it. But no fear here because if I mess it up, it really didn't cost me a thing.

I decided to paint a portrait of an adventurer. I used white acrylic paint to make my outline.

Then I added details using a pencil. 

I took out more acrylic paint and a small, flat-tipped paintbrush.

Then I added the corresponding colors.

This cool girl is ready for adventure!

I don't know if you can see from here -- her sunglasses are metallic. And the leather-stamped branding is no longer obvious...TADA!

Simply add a passport, IDs, and a pen for the adventure to begin now that the world is starting to open its doors to tourists after months of lockdown.

This is my first attempt to paint on leather and I enjoyed it a lot. 

Thanks for stopping by today!

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11 July 2021

Creative Calligraphy Made Easy

This is a story of how I got back into practicing calligraphy. It all started with a book called "Creative Calligraphy Made Easy."

calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy
It's written by Karla Lim, a calligrapher and wedding invitation designer based in Vancouver. She is also the woman behind Written Word Calligraphy where she blogs, teaches classes, and even has a shop
 
Karla's style is feminine and elegant with a muted color palette. She's been doing this for more than eight years, making her an expert to write this book. She defines "Modern Calligraphy" this way:

"Modern calligraphy uses the exact same tools as traditional pointed-pen calligraphy but you set your own "lettering rules," styles, flourishes and more. When you use a pointed pen to write in calligraphy, you will be going back in time, dipping a pen into an inkwell and writing with a flexible pointed nib. The flexible pointed pen creates thick and thin lines when you write, which leads to the signature look of modern calligraphy. I always think of modern calligraphy as drawing or painting letters and words, rather than simply writing them to be read. Modern calligraphy is truly an artistic expression." - Karla Lim, Written Word Calligraphy   

I've taken a calligraphy class with Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls (who also writes the foreword to Karla's book) but I haven't practiced in ages.

calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls

straight pen, oblique pen, calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls
So I assembled my materials, an assortment from Maybelle's class, as well as thrift shop and art store finds.

calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, calligraphy practice sheets
Then I practiced.

calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, calligraphy practice sheets
And practiced.

calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, calligraphy practice sheets, calligraphy uppercase letters
And practiced (the uppercase letters weren't easy to do at the beginning).

calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, calligraphy practice sheets, Practice makes progress
Karla's mantra is "Practice makes progress."

calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, modern calligraphy, calligraphy projects, gift wrapping ideas
The book suggests many projects where we can apply our newfound calligraphy skill.

addressing envelopes with calligraphy, wedding invitations, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, modern calligraphy, calligraphy projects,
There are guidelines on how to address envelopes in calligraphy for wedding invitations or to fancy up everyday envelopes we send in the mail.

wedding DIYs, party ideas, calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, modern calligraphy, calligraphy projects
There's also a lot of wedding and party DIY ideas.

calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, modern calligraphy, calligraphy projects, gift wrapping ideas
Plus ways to add flair to wrapping gifts.

calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, modern calligraphy, calligraphy projects, gift wrapping ideas, calligraphy on ribbon, foil quill
I'd love to try this calligraphy on ribbon using a foil quill.

Calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, modern calligraphy, calligraphy projects, gift wrapping ideas, salutation cards
To give this idea my own little twist, I wrote down some phrases on scrap cardboard to make these salutation cards.

calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, modern calligraphy, calligraphy projects, gift wrapping ideas, salutation cards

calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, modern calligraphy, calligraphy projects, gift wrapping ideas, salutation cards
And used them to decorate some presents...TADA!

calligraphy, hand lettering, blah to TADA, calligraphy book, Karla Lim, crafts using calligraphy, modern calligraphy, calligraphy projects

This book is very helpful to learn the basics and discover new applications for modern calligraphy, turning ordinary objects from "blah" to "TADA!"

"Calligraphy is an invitation for rediscovery and creativity. It invites us to slow down and think about the shapes and intention behind every stroke, rather than just writing simply to read. Because of that, writing in calligraphy is typically slower than usual hand writing. It is more intentional, technical and purposeful, which is what I love about it." - Karla Lim, Written Word Calligraphy

How about you? Have you tried calligraphy?

By the way, if you like my crafty "blah to TADA!" ideas and would like these blog posts automatically delivered to your inbox, you may subscribe here.  Thank you!

05 July 2021

Jewelry from the Jersey Shore

Hi guys! Before I share my craft project today, a little announcement:

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If you're subscribed to "blah to TADA!" you may have noticed something different with how it's delivered to your inbox. I switched my e-mail subscription service to follow.it. But don't worry, no need to do anything. You'll continue to receive updates from me every week. As always, THANK YOU for subscribing and for being a loyal friend all these years!

And if you're new to the blog...WELCOME! Go ahead and have a look around. There's lots of cozy corners to make yourself comfortable. If you like what you see, please subscribe here and you'll get new "blah to TADA!" ideas in your inbox every Monday. I have nothing to sell. This is simply a passion project full of crafty tutorials to turn the ordinary from "blah" to "TADA!"

I really appreciate that you are here.

So, what are your favorite summer rituals?

I love going to the beach.

The sun, sand, and the sound of the waves are both relaxing and invigorating. 

When I'm at the beach, I always dip my toes in the water, even if the temperature is ice cold.

I always take long walks and search the shore for treasures.

Sometimes I find just one.

And other times, I discover a handful.

When I get home, I give them a rinse and let them dry overnight. I love to use them for crafting.

Let me show you how I turned the seashells from blah to TADA!: 

I made them into earrings.

 I used findings and jump rings from the craft store...

...as well as different beads from my stash.

I chose colors that remind me of the sea.


I've also used the seashells to make these necklaces:



These are broken shells but their edges have become smooth with the help of the waves. I simply added some jewelry findings and a chain...TADA!


These are pieces I can wear all year round and always remind me of summers at the shore. Have a good week everyone!