26 May 2014

Pressed Flowers

Good day dear friends! Where I live, the barren trees of a long, hard winter now sport bright green leaves.  Warmer temperatures have arrived and flowers abound. Spring is in full swing!

While photographs and watercolor can somehow preserve these blooming beauties, there's another alternative: pressing flowers.

 These are cherry blossoms.

Here are some carnations.

And these, daffodils.

Pressing flowers is quite easy to do. A kit like this would come in handy {and you can take it whenever you travel}.

But pressing flowers and leaves in between old phone books or heavy boxes is widely acceptable. Just make sure to sandwich the blooms in newspaper. Also, allot a few days to several weeks to get the perfect press.

I've selected these pressed flowers as a memento of this year's spring.

I mounted them on card stock using Mod Podge {any all purpose glue will work, too}. 

I'm ready to tack this onto my bulletin board or framing it in a shadow box is another fun option. This way, I have flowers in my work space all year round. TADA! 

23 May 2014

Printed Parcel

Hi there! Early this week, we had a little washi tape fest. From small crafting projects to decorating the home, this printed masking tape has proven its versatility.

It's no surprise that it brings out one's hoarding tendencies. Two or three are never enough!

Before the week ends, let me share another idea to use washi tape:

I recycled a blah brown paper bag to make these small paper bags.

With this as a blank slate, it's tape time!

To add a new dimension, a few designs using some rubber stamps and an ink pad. Plus pinking shears to add detail to the edge.

A floral embellishment won't hurt, right?

Here's another version using a red theme.

Add a stamped image.

And a silk flower for good measure! Just add a gift and seal with more washi tape. Isn't that blah to TADA!?

Have a delightful weekend and a Happy Memorial Day {the unofficial start of summer, woohoo!}.

20 May 2014

Crafting with Washi Tape

Yesterday, I had shared with you an on-going pop-up called "Taped" at three Anthropologie shops in New York City: Rockefeller Center, Chelsea Market and SOHO. If you're in town, try to stop by to see a showcase of how washi tape is used and even purchase a few rolls. It runs until May 26. 

On the day the event opened, there was a craft station set-up at the Chelsea Market store. I just love creative sessions like these!

There were cute cupcakes.

And mini water bottles appropriately dressed in washi tape.

There was a generous supply of washi tape and plain white boxes in different shapes.

All we had to do was pick a box.

Then choose the tape we wanted to use. 

I really went wild with the colors!

I based my design decisions on the patterns I was drawn to: floral and stripes.

Here is my box all assembled...TADA!

Here are a few more that my fellow crafters made:

And here's another shot of my gift box:

An ordinary box turns from blah to TADA! with tape!

19 May 2014

The Wonderful World of Washi Tape

Hello there! I know that a lot of you are smitten by Japanese masking tape. Also known as "washi tape", it's named after the strong yet thin washi paper it is made of.

The designs are irresistible and offer a lot of versatility in its application. Just seeing them on display already brings joy!

I was practically doing cartwheels when I heard of this washi tape event at Anthropologie.

It was cool to learn its history: 

Since long ago, paper masking tape has been used industrially in all kinds of ways. Kamoi Kakoshi in Japan has been making specialty paper adhesives for almost 100 years. In 2006, the company received an email from 3 women in Tokyo who were using their industrial tapes in beautiful craft projects. Amazed by this surprising and wonderful usage, Kamoi Kakoshi invited the women to visit their factory. This visit inspired the development of an entirely new and original category of tape, MT brand washi tape, colorful tape which is easy to tear by hand and reposition on nearly any surface. MT washi masking tape is now sold throughout the world in hundreds of colors and patterns. MT has become a part of daily life, adding a little color everywhere.

Here is just a sampling of washi tape's many uses.

It can turn anything from blah to TADA!

The event was also a pop-up shop with washi tape for sale.

Plus a few special edition ones like this one of Central Park.

A new member of the family was also introduced: MT Casa. These are bigger sheets that can be used to decorate interiors. 

From large areas like stairs...

And walls, and even smaller surfaces like lamp shades and furniture. Just imagine the possibilities!

In case you're in the neighborhood, the event is called "Taped" and is on-going in three Manhattan branches of Anthropologie until the 26th.

Tomorrow, I'll share with you a craft we made using washi tape.

12 May 2014

Basking Under Cherry Blossoms

Happy new week, everyone! I hope you had a restful weekend and if you're a mom -- a very pampered one, too.

Today, let me tell you about a little adventure.

I thought I'd go on one because the sun was out, the breeze was cool, and spring's presence is finally legit.

I took the subway to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden -- it's that time of year when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. And after a really harsh winter, I was impatiently anticipating this day.

Pink trees! What's not to love?

Just like in Japan or Washington, DC people flock here to admire the miracles of Mother Nature. 

A stroll under a floral canopy.

Many taking pictures for posterity.

A beautiful place to chat and catch up.

Perfect for playtime and a picnic.

And that's exactly what I did...only to find out later that eating is prohibited and sprawling blankets are not allowed {because these inhibit grass growth}. Ooops. 

The view of my picnic spot. I can certainly stay here all day!

I brought along some artsy stuff. Then I began to sketch.

I tried to learn the nuances of these cherry blossoms -- how the flowers appear in clusters, that some branches dangle or crisscross each other; some even trying to reach the sky. Or when there's a gust of wind, petals detach and get carried away like they really intended to -- maybe to go off on their own adventure.

Oh yeah, I took along my watercolor palette. {Gotta keep practicing my technique}.

Here's what I made. TADA!

What do you think? Do they look like cherry blossoms? 

This painting and these pictures are my souvenirs of this fleeting season. I'm always hopeful that I'll see them again for many years to come, while welcoming the possibilities of a new page in life's chapter.

Have a good week, everyone!