DAYRE ORDERS

Dayre, a place I've been updating almost daily with random day-to-day musings, food and sometimes rants, since I got back to it on November 2015! 

I was actually on Dayre in 2014 for a few months, before I stopped due to school work and part time work in general. Oh my, I was still crocheting then! And throwback to my first post on Dayre after the long break, where I talked about wanting to work as Jocelyn's Assistant for AiClay

It was just a good place for me to upload photos with story etched with them, and unless Dayre's server crashed...(touch wood) they'll be there forever. DON'T SAY NO TO FREE STORAGE HAHAHA. It's a mobile based blogging experience, and it has made blogging on the go SO CONVENIENT. 

Slowly, I started meeting new people on Dayre, thanks to Editor's Pick! I really think it was one of the reason that made me stayed on Dayre, because I get to have a peek into other people's life, be it a cook, baker, artist, and more. Editor's Pick is where your posts will be on everyone's timeline for a week, and if they like what you write...they'll want more and follow you! 

And one day....I was picked as Editor's Pick!! 

What a sweet write up :') 

Back then, Handxmade is basically NOTHING, and nobody barely know about me hahahahaha. So being Editor's Pick was like a gift sent from heaven, where SO MANY PEOPLE could see my works, and follow if they're interested! 

Dayre community is so friendly and supportive, it was almost unreal. Of course, as time goes by and more people gets on to the bandwagon, there's bound to be trolls. But that's a story for another day. I STILL LOVE DAYRE. I even made friends, and met some of them! How amazing is that :')

 
 

In the end, I decided to give discount for my orders, and I was pleasantly surprised that I got more than 15 orders altogether! Although one or two dropped out a bit, it was still an whooping amount of people (compared to....like.....0 at that point of time LOL)

I was suppose to take...10 orders? But I ended up taking more haha. 

I also spent A FEW MONTHS to finally get all of them done, and throughout the way...I've improved TONS, and also realise that the current pricing was impossible for me to survive if I really want to keep it a full time job. 

Now, I've changed how I price my custom orders, a better FAQ section, fix my rushing for deadline problem (hopefully), figurines are consistent in how they look, and also improved my forms (big thanks to Kaye from Pixelandcode! <3)

It's been a looooooong while since I updated handxmade blog, and I'm going to post all the works I've done for Dayre supporters! :') 

Need to keep my "portfolio" alive right hahaha.

*I'm going to post the photos based on their submission, but I worked on them differently because of different deadlines (despite saying I am only taking orders without deadlines....)

LONG POST AHEAD!


The couple keychains with distinctive dress

I really love the female's dress, and really enjoyed making it! There's even a hood at the back, and I think the dress does make the figurine special to that someone - because it's just so rare.

By the end of all orders, I have started putting headpins on all the legs of the figurines, just so they will be more stable! It's actually really tedious, but for long lasting figurines, anything is worth it hurhur.

The figurines hiding in the bed of dried flowers cracked me up though!!!!! HAHAHAHAHA.

And of courseeeeee, reference photo hehe. 


The army guy

This was the first time I made a malay figurine, and it was really fun!!

I love her dress, and of course the original looked much better, but I do think it was pretty similar!

I also tried to sculpt the braid at the side of her head, although it's not very obvious.

Some WIP! 

It was the first time I tried making this kind of texture for floor, and I was determined to get it right! I even asked on Dayre in hopes that someone would take a photo of such floor tiles (because there was none near me, and I didn't know what to Google...), and a couple of people really emailed me, or those who had my number sent them to me! I remember feeling really grateful, and thinking "this is the power of internet"

This was the first time I made camo prints, and also a beret! Really glad I managed to pull it off *phew*


The one I made friends with

Cheryl has been a really good friend, and I'm proud to say that I know her through Dayre 100%! She taught me how to use my DSLR (Yes I got one, shall write about it another day hehe), and even accompanied me to watch Train to Busan when my partner wasn't free (he rarely is, and I really wanted to watch it tsk)

I quite like the peace sign, hehehe.


Army man 2

I was really lucky to get two orders in a go for army boyfriends! Hehehe. This time, I was ready with the correct paint, and mold for the beret! 

It's nice to make keychains, because I can take individual shots like this hehe. 

I'm gonna regret saying this, because I think it can't be unseen afterwards.....but the male's face looks like watermelon HAHAHAHAA. It's just that my figurine's faces are all kinda round..so.........

Some WIP. You can see the watermelon shape clearer here..... *ahem*


The baby

It was the first time I was tasked with adding a baby to the mix, and I was also having mixed feeling about it. HOW WAS I SUPPOSE DO THAT??

It did took me a lot of test and trial, and the placement was really difficult - there was a lot of planning involved. But I made it! 

We even decided that the base to be like the glittery black tile in the reference photo, and I also glazed it with glaz to make the glitter shine out even more! 
I was really proud of that hehe. 

The checkered prints of their shirt would be too difficult to make, and it would have cost a lot more, so she decided the pink colour of the shirt would do for both! I still think it was adorable for them to dress up the same, even the baby was in a hot pink dress. Too cute!

Here's a haeadless baby! XD Apparently it was creepy to some people, but I kinda find it cute. HMMMM.


The Crepe

This was a trip to Korea that my customer went with her boyfriend! I thought it was really sweet of her to include the crepe that she had, with the clothes they were wearing on that day. That was what I wanted my figurines to be, capturing a memory that is special to them :')

The crepe was an add-on, and by itself it took quite a while to make! It was also TINY, and I had to make sure the size is proportionate to the figurine to a certain extent hahaha.

I do like how the jeans for the female looks like tho! Does look like a pair of jeans, eh?


The one where I fixed the head shape

Before this figurine, the head shape of the figurines I made were all kinda rounded. I realise that by making it a bit more oval shaped, it leaves more space for forehead, and thus making it look more proportionate! 

It was really amazing how such small thing matters, and I felt a lot better about my figurines after that! 

I also started getting props so I can take photos with my figurines with them, and use the sunlight to take photos! It makes a HUGE difference in my photo, so I make sure I take time to do it ^^

(Cat postcard from @troopsonprint on IG, and dried baby breathes from @myvalentinesg on IG!)

I always loved such decorative items, but I never knew what to do with them. Now they have a purpose (being props for my figurines hehe), I am more willing to spend money on them, and at the same time support local businesses! Win-win situation hurhur.

I love the first photo so much because of the baby breathes, which imo really make my photos so much nicer! And I used the photo for my FIRST EVER OFFICIAL NAMECARD FOR HANDXMADE! Hehehe. The namecard is design by my friend, Siang Joo. Do check out her works! 

The obligatory front, side, back shots, and also reference photo!

The sandal was definitely one of the interesting part I made for her order! It's not easy to make, but was definitely worth it! 


The transparent clay

(See what I mean by being in love with baby breathes? Hahaha. Can't believe that before this, I didn't know about the existence of dried flowers, and the fact that they can last at least a year! Really make your money's worth don't you think hahahahahahaha #cheapo)

I was really excited about this project, because I finally could try out the Transparent Clay I got when I was in Japan! 

I started the orders after my Japan trip, and it really was luck that I chanced upon the transparent clay when I was in Japan Tokyu Hands! 

I wrote a review about it on my Dayre, you can read it here.

Long story short, I regretted not getting more of this clay! It looks GORGEOUS for the bride's dress and veil!

It's a shame I can't post the reference photo, it was really dreamy and beautiful!

The female figurine looks a lot shorter than my other figurines, because in the reference photo, she's actually sitting down! 

Before I put on the veil however, I took photos of her hair, because it was the most complicated yet satisfactory hair I've ever made! 

I was really happy when I finished it :')

The veil! I really like how the transparent clay worked out for this project, especially the veil! If I were to use translucent clay...the effect will definitely be different, and it would have just looked opaque.

And here are the flowers!

I have no clue what the flowers are, but just made according to the colour and shape I see in the photos HAHAHA. I think it could have done better, but it being so tiny and all, this was the best I could do. I quite like it though! Definitely gave the whole figurine a dab of colours!

The dress is also made with transparent clay, albeit a bit more opaque. But it does give the dress a really soft look! A good idea for sheer clothes imo.


The cheerleaders

This actually took me WAY TOO LONG THAN I EXPECTED...

I tried using image transfer for this, but since it has a coloured background....it just didn't do too well. Hence, I had to count on my painting skill hahahaa. 

They were SO SMALL!!

But in the end...I was quite happy with it hehehe. I'd better be, after spending so much time on it LOL.

Especially whn your pet love bird destroyed the figurines THREE TIMES and you have to keep redo-ing it T.T That was quite a traumatic experience sobs. I even have photos on it on my Dayre somewhere......

I thought it was really sweet to have a gymnastic mat as a base too! As I think it was probably the most important thing in their CCA :') 

It's so sweet to found your partner through the same passion!

The hair for the female was quite a feat too! She has apparently permed her hair for a performance, and I thought it was one of those things that would latch a memory on the figurine! Definitely made the whole figurine look great hehe.

There were SO MANY reference photos that it was really hard to keep track! But I rather have more reference photos than less, especially for figurines with so many details that I need to take note of!

I even painted the clothes wrongly once (talk about the amount of times I had to redo this...) because I got confused :'(

That was why after this, I made it a point to make a Dropbox paper document with all the information and reference photos inside, with notes, so that I can let my customer check if all information is correct, and it will also help me keep track of all reference photos!

Another hurdle to help me get a better grip for my business. 

After I was done with everything, I had to realigned the guy because he was slanted!!!! OMG. 

Sometimes it slides out while baking, and now I know that I need to make sure it stays, and actually found a way to do it, thank goodness. I was horrified when I saw it, and it was really pushing my buttons!! Glad I didn't break anything when I took the male out! Was really scared hahahaha. 

One last thing that really made me LOVE this figurine - the ribbon! Don't think that just because it's a small ribbon, it must have been easy. I thought so too. But I spent quite long trying to get it work. There's just so many ways to do it, that sometimes you gotta find the right way for yourself! Even had to make sure it was proportionate etc *phew*. All the test and trial was worthwhile. 


The one that made me tried the dipping method

I dragged this project for TOO LONG, because I couldn't get the matte finish right! Thank goodness her deadline was really far away. 

This was how the heartshape looked like when it was fresh out of the oven - the matte finish that I always try to achieve, while giving my figurine UV protection with my matte glaze. 

The glaze I was getting (Golden polymer varnish) was only available online, and I was waiting for MONTHS for the glaze to reach me!! T.T It was really frustrating. 

In the end...........there was actually a reseller in SG who takes in the Golden brand paints and more, AND THEY HAVE THE VARNISH I WANTED. IN STOCK! I dropped everything (literally) and went all the way down to visit the shop I never knew existed until then!! And I really thought I went to most of the art stores in SG already! You can read my Dayre entry here where I talked about the shop, Straits and co.! 

By then, I actually finished ALL my dayre orders, and was just waiting for the glaze! So when I got hold of them (I bought two huge bottle HAHAH), I IMMEDIATELY STARTED GLAZING!

I also had enough for the dipping method, thank goodness, because brushing the glaze on actually leaves streak marks, which was what stopped me from sending out the order. I'm really glad I waited, and that I could give my best for this project! 

The matte glaze with dipping method does give the end product the finish that looks like it was fresh out of the oven doesn't it? :') I LOVE MATTE FINISH SO MUCH.

This was also the first project that made us come up with the idea of a plate! My customer wanted to put their names on, so we thought of putting it on a plate, as the base was too thin and short for it.

I personally think that the gold border with gold for the words really give the whole figurines a classy look, and with the suit and dress from the figurines, it does give it their own vibe!

The dipping method is definitely what I will use from now on for glazing, and now I find myself not dread the glazing like before! *THANK GOODNESS*


The gloss glaze

This customer is actually a return customer, and I am really grateful for all her support! :') This time, I'm making some other idol, and not someone from the group Spexial though ;)

She wanted the figurines to be glossy though, and even though I really love these figurines....customer's request are the most important hahaha. I DO LOVE MY MATTE FINISH AS YOU CAN TELL.

I must say, the hair was quite fun to make, and does make the figurine super handsome, right? XD
Even the clothes too! This is definitely on of my favourite figurines hehee.

Wavy wavy

She also ordered this! 

Initially I wanted to use image transfer for the imprints, but in the end, painting was much better because it was much vibrant... Image transfer really only works better on white background :(

I think it went pretty well though, AND OMG THE HAIR. 

The hair is the same size as his head, and I am not even exaggerating!! Look at the reference photo hahaa. It's like, anime hair! I genuinely wonder if it's heavy and how much wax was used....


The strong female

I know I say this all the time, but this figurine was the most difficult I've encountered so far, because of the fragile parts! X.X

The story goes like this: She saw the figurine on the left which reminded her of her boyfriend and her, so she wanted to recreate that position, but this time with the figurines of her and her boyfriend instead! (The reference photo on the right is the dress she wants the figurine to wear hehe)

That's the magic of custom order, you can do anything you want! 

And I'm to make sure that my customer get what she want! :')

I actually made sure that there was a wire in between the two body that were joined, as the female itself won't be able to hold the male just by her hands -  it was too risky, so I had to have some precaution. The female also has a wire through the base to her body, so both were secured!

For the male, because his arms isn't by his side, I also had to make sure it would stay! So wire it is hehehe. This figurine actually required the most preplanning the most, and I also love how the male's eyes were like an emoji! It really does make him look like he's enjoying himself right? Hehehe.

It was also the first time I tried making a kissy lips on my figurine, and I'm very happy to say that  I'm quite proud of it! Huehuehue. 

Overall, a good learning experience, and definitely one of my proudest end product! 


That's all the TWELVE orders I've gotten through Dayre when I was Editor's Pick! :')

I've learn so much from all these orders, all the things I've mentioned throughout this post, and even things like time management (DO NOT ACCEPT 12 ORDERS IN A GO HAHAHAHAA I LITERALLY SPENT MONTHS ON IT), pricing (needed to make sure I can survive and even save with the income I get) and things I needed to improve on, like FAQ section and my forms! 

It has been a great experience, and I think because of all of you who ordered, and everyone on Dayre who was so supportive, that I can truly believe in my work.

This is very important, and life changing for me. 

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart

FAILED ANIMAL FIGURINES :(

If you read my previous post, you would have seen a completed custom order. However, it wasn't the case in the beginning and I actually failed in the beginning :|

He initially ordered a bear and a koala bear instead of figurines, but also wanted them to sit on the bench. 

Obviously it didn't work :(

I even made indents on the bear before I bake it so that it would stick better, but turns out my customer thought that the bear wasn't really sitting on the chair properly. 

Which I could see why! The bear was a little hunched, so if I were to put it a bit upwards it'd be too hunched :< 

I also thought that the koala was a bit too big in contrast to the bear (even though they're actually already very small) 

It was my first time making these two animal, and making one hug the another was even more tough. I was almost really stressed out!!! D:

(You can see the indents on the bear here haha) 

I do like the bear though :D

That's why I made a tutorial for this bear! 

Anyway, in the end I told him I couldn't make it for the deadline and I could refund him, but he really wanted to get something from me for the anniversary (which I really appreciate) hence the figurines! :)

I still made a stand for the koala and bear though because I won't be needing them, but it still means something to them. I don't know what happened to this, but I'm glad at least they're in good hands now! :)

CHOCOLATE THE DOG

So my good friend's mother's birthday is coming, and she didn't know what to get for her. To support me at the same time, she asked me to make their dog, Chocolate, for her mum as a custom order. We were quite excited, discussing how it should be, and how I can make Chocolate's toys too.

After much discussion, we settled for a snow globe, with Chocolate's toys floating about. Here's the final product!

Now my friend and I went out and looked for suitable jars or containers that might do the job. Thanks to Art Friend (where else), we manage to find one. However, turns out the container magnify the items inside quite a bit LOL. Must be because it was plastic, and not glass hahaha. I thought it might happen, but honestly didn't know it'd be so huge!

Here's the original size compared to that in the container. 

Since we're on Chocolate, here's the photos my friend sent to me as reference. (Click on the arrows to see the different pictures)

ISN'T HE ADORABLE AND FLUFFEHHHH!! GFDKAHJGFKAWUSOKEWT.

But because he was so fluffly, I had trouble "sculpting" his fur. Here's the photos of the failed one.

On the left was the base I did before I "put on" its "fur". On the right is the head with liquid clay + paint fur without baking. I mixed them together and it became clumpy, which I thought will look like small curls.

I thought it looked better after baking since the "clumps" were "smoothed out" a little, and ET approved it too. But there were a couple of problems.

  1. When I showed it to my friend, she mentioned that it looks like there's things growing out of it instead of fluffy............and after she said that, I couldn't un-see it T.T 
  2. The colour looks a bit off compared to the real Chocolate in the photo. Looks like poop LOL. 
  3. The glaze wasn't dried properly (before I got the dry cabinet), which means it was sticky.
  4. And somehow the glaze also discoloured it?? If you look at the bottom right photo, the head of clay Chocolate looks greyer because it was discoloured. It got progressively worse as time goes by. 

So the first thing I thought was to just redo it. It made me unhappy. 

Then I tried out different ways of doing it.

On the left I tried making it maggi-mee style LOL but I think it was too harsh for my taste.

Then I tried making the "clumps" bigger and smoother like the picture on the right, thinking I can try making it like those cartoon sheeps where they just put on balls. I was gonna go with it but then I tried texturing it on the dog itself with a different method other than poking it and I thought it worked better. Hence that's how I got to the final clay Chocolate. 

I think there's definitely room for more improvement, but my friend really liked it so I decided to go with it. 

 

Here's the toys I made for clay Chocolate!

And the following photos are the pictures my friend sent me as reference! (Click on the arrows to go to the next or previous photo)


Now this is my first time making a snow globe (or snow container lol) type of thing, so I had to go through quite a bit of test and trial. My friend figured out what's in snow globes to make the glitter move slowly in the globe before I even started researching haha. It was glycerin, and I tested so many times and so much that I finish one whole bottle and barely had enough for the actual thing lol. 

It took me awhile because initially I tried to put both glitter and the toys inside. But if the glycerin was too little compared to the amount of water, the clay toys floats down too quickly (probably because it's too heavy/denser). And when I put more glycerin, the glitter just stayed wherever they were at and doesn't float at all LOL. So I had to omit the glitter. I thought it was for the better too, since the container magnifies everything and if there's also glitter it will look too cluttered. 

Also, glycerin is a pain in the ass to work with LOL especially with large amounts because it's so...slimy? Apparently it's also used as a moisturiser for dry hands, and they even say to use VERY little amount. Imagine me with my overturned glycerin bottle......

I had trouble closing the bottle too for the final touch due to overflowing hahaha. I had to use cling wrap to wrap it so it doesn't leak out, and because I filled it a little over the brim, some of them overflowed......SLIMEHHH. 

I quite like the end product though. If I have another chance to do this, I'll try to get glass bottle instead.

 

Here's a video of it with the floating toys! ^^

Thank you Ember for giving me this chance to make something different and being so straightforward! <3

BROKEN AND LEARN

It's been awhile since I'm active on handxmade's social media. Actually, been almost a month. I got too caught up with work (the part time accounting and freelance video operator) for the next two weeks soon after the previous post, and took awhile to make the next few orders, take photos etc. BUT HERE I AM. 

Honestly, I really hate the part of me who always feel obligated to help out, even if it really doesn't concern me. I've been agreeing to go back to the accounting place to work one or two days per week (mostly two days, because if you say one or two days they'll obviously take the two days choice right) because they found two part-timers who promptly left even without even going to the first interview.

And they need help. Always need help. So I agreed, not unwillingly but feeling quite stupid since I told them I'm quitting ONE MONTH AGO. A few of them even jokingly said "when is your last day exactly" LOL. The freelance video operator suddenly got gigs too so...ugh.

Anyway, back to the point. This is regarding the custom made orders in this post

After mailing the animals to her, I received this a few days later:

I remember I was working (video operator) and the presentation was going on halfway. When I saw this I remember feeling really terrible but I still had to focus. I quickly replied her ASAP and told her I'm sorry and I'll remake everything for her. 

She took this photo for me so I can see what she mean. The neck!!! T.T Apparently they were pretty sticky too.

 

STICKINESS ISSUE

When I mailed the clay figurines they felt fine, but after discussing about it with ET, we conclude that the glaze did not dried properly due to Singapore's humid weather (thanks ah) and it just got..sticky. :/ There's also stories online about how the glaze reacts with the clay and it gets sticky blahblah but I'm using the Golden Polymer Varnish which has good reviews... So we thought it might be humidity. It's always humidity.  

Now one of the way to solve the stickiness issue, was to dry them in an air-conditioned room. Air condition is very expensive and it may take quite long for it to dry completely, so I don't think it was a good idea..

Then ET told me there's this thing call a dry cabinet, where photographers put their most treasured camera and tools inside, and it controls the humidity (analog or digital), so that the camera doesn't get condensation or something like that. If you're interested I guess you can read about it here. It's also useful to put things like guitar strings etc so that it doesn't rust as quickly. 

Luckily, ET wanted to get one anyway because there's a couple of things he wants to put inside, being a musician and having lots of other hobbies, so we went to grab one. (but I think it was mainly because of me.....I think he didn't really need to get it but mostly because I needed it....). It was...about $200++ for the 30 litres one. 

I used it and after they were dried, I could feel the difference compared to one of the testing clay pieces. The matte wasn't shiny, and it was smooth. And I was like "YES. THIS IS IT." 

 

BROKEN

Now the neck breaking thing was just absolutely horrible, because I actually test dropped them before (albeit unintentionally cause most of the time I dropped them because they slipped out of my fingers cuz too small lol and bounced around and hit the ground). I even dropped them a couple of times when I was showing them to ET. The postage handling was probably really bad and maybe they put really heavy boxes on top of my padded envelopes (which I think wasn't protective enough). 

I thought through it while working as video ops (there's a lot of waiting time) and I had ideas like putting it in the padded envelopes, then throw them into boxes with tons of fillers and mail it. But being really lazy and thinking about going to the post office which is a hassle, and then have to talk to people and all (lol) I kept trying to find alternatives. 

You know how they say good ideas always pop out of your mind when you're going to sleep? The solution literally happened like that. I wasn't even really thinking about it and then suddenly "EH I CAN PUT THEM INTO LITTLE PLASTIC BOXES AND THEN PUT THEM IN THE PADDED ENVELOPES RIGHT" haha. I started looking for it online, even went Daiso, Art Friend. And that's when I found the paper boxes in Art Friend. 

They weren't fragile, soft paper boxes but those really thick, hard, gift boxes that had different colours. It was pretty pricey though..so I went to look for alternatives and found paper mache boxes that was even smaller and also surprisingly tough! I bought quite a lot of them, went home and stepped on them to test their durability lol and it was still intact!! So unless they put like more than 50kg worth of stuff on top of my packaging, I'm confident that they will arrive safe and sound. ^^

The best thing about the boxes is that they can fit through the mailbox!! Yaye for the anti-social me. 

 

Anyway, since I remade them, here are the photos of the new ones!

I think this time the tabby cat was an improvement, the face is much more accurate to the photo than the previous one :) 

All in all, this was another experience for me, and I'm glad I managed to solve it without too much hassle, and now the items will definitely reach new owners safe and sound! (but without ET I probably would still have problem with the stickiness lol)

CATS AND DOG

After being MIA for so long, I finally, FINALLY, got back to claying. This time, finishing up what I left.

One of my coursemate from polytechnic ordered three cats and one dog. I remember the first thing I thought was "whaaaaaaaaaat how are you taking care of them??!?" FOUR ANIMALS IN A HOUSE MAN. 

I feel really bad because I left her orders hanging. I recently moved out at that time, and had to practically drown myself with part time jobs to survive. Also, it was the first time I'm making animals and it was really tough for me. I've failed at least four times. And I guess I was just so disappointed in myself every time I fail and then can't bear to touch clay for the next few days. (I know, so weak. I know.) 

She ordered these on April and now it's Oct... I left it for FOUR MONTHS?!!! My god.

But now that I'm gonna work on it almost full time, this will not, and shall not happen ever again.

DSC01746.JPG

The final result!!! *happysobs*

My photography skills still sucks despite the good camera and crash course about shutter speed, aperture and ISO from my bf. Need to practice more and.....maybe some photo editing hahahahaha.

Anyway, I got permission from my friend to upload the photos she sent me for comparison!

Photo 17-4-15, 3 18 01 PM.jpg

The description for the animals. I tried my best to make the size relative to each of them, so the white cat is fattest etc. 

White cat and white doggy! (I think it's super cool that her cat has two different colours for its eyes!!!!!)

The first animal I tried to do was the white cat, since it was probably the easiest among four of them...right?? NOPE. The white cat was the one which made me all I-can't-do-this-what-am-I-suppose-to-do-now-I'm-a-failure hahahaha. I think it's just the fact that it's my first time attempting an animal. But still.....

So from the top left, that was actually the first one I ever did. It was too..realistic??? I wanted to sculpt the fur but it's not the look I wanted, and the head itself was already too big for my liking.

The top right photo looks horrible... I couldn't shape the mouth properly I think. The problem with this is that it has to look okay in all angles, and from the photo, the front looks terrible hahaha. Looks more like an alien..

Bottom left, I was probably more satisfied with this. Sizing was okay, but when I did the eyes, I realised it looked too scary. HAHAHAA.

The bottom left cat in the bottom left pic was the first one that I thought looked acceptable, and I actually wanted to give it as that. But buibui bit the glaze off one of its ears while I hang it to dry (lol) so I redid it, and this time improving the ears too, so all was good.

Tabby cat and black cat! 

Actually, once I got the first white cat going, the other cats were okay to do, except the tabby cat. I was like "OH MY G O D HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO DO ITS FUR AHHHHHHHHHHH" But I managed it in the end phew. 

 

Okie let's see the animals I finally managed to whip out.....in actually a day LOL (once I got the ball rolling nothin' can stop meh)

White cat! I think the fluffy tail and fluffy ears was nubbad. (More on that later)

I think black cat was the easiest and quickest to make, but it was tough trying to make more things stand out. Like his nose...can't really paint it black can I, when the cat's already black. So I painted the nose and eyebrows grey muahaha.

Picture's a bit blur..but yes, tabby cat is white and everything else is painted on. I had fun painting it but took quite a bit of test and trial too... (Good thing is paint mostly can be overpainted ahahaha)

Yes I made the yarn ball for the photo don't judge me pls hahahaha. I tried using the yarns I have to make a mini yarn ball but the yarns I have are all either too thick or easily torn, so I just used clay hahahaa. It's not very well made though, I know it could be better as long as I figure out how to do it...

(yes I made a dog bone just for the picture too. I guess I won't blame you if you judge)

 

NOW THE MOST EXCITING PART!

Honestly, I was quite worried about the doggy, since it's very furry...and it's probably really skinny and all fur. Since I've already tried sculpting fur and failed miserably (white cat), I didn't even attempt it on doggy. I was thinking maybe I could just keep it simple like the cats, and add some clay bits to add as fur instead.

BUT IT'S REALLY TOO FURRY AND I WON'T BE ABLE TO SLEEP EVERY NIGHT IF THERE'S ONLY SOME PATHETIC CLUMPS OF CLAY ON SOME PART OF ITS BODY. 
So I thought maybe to make the transition smoother I could use liquid clay. And since I'll need white colour...I shall just pour in some white paint. 

Then for some reason, the consistency was....quite sticky and stretchy!! So I quickly put on doggy and I thought "hey this might be just the thing!!!" and then I proceed to put all over it's body. 

It was good too because it was really easy to make the brown fur, just mix in some brown. (That's also when I realised the amount of the liquid clay and paint changes the consistency, since it became less 'sticky' after I added in more brown paint.) 

I really feel so proud of myself at that point of time. I COULD EVEN MAKE EYEBROWS WITH THE LIQUID CLAY ISN'T IT GREAT HAHAA (if you can see it) 

I also did the same thing for the furriness of the white cat hehehe. To be truthful, I forgot about the furry ears after I baked the white cat, so I was leaving it until the last. But I did doggy like that, so decided to do the same too! It's easier to manipulate anyway muahaha.

 

This was such a good experience, and I actually learnt a new skill! *level up*
Thank you Qing for being so patient and understanding. I don't know how many times I apologised to you regarding the delays but you always brush it off and give me encouragement. <3

I'm really so lucky. 


That's all for this batch! My next order is about 90% done, so will update this space when I take more photos ^^

POLYMER CLAY FIRST TRY #FAIL

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON 19 JAN 2015

So I saw a youtube video about how you can use a mug warmer to cure polymer clay. 

And I was like HEY THAT'S COOL AND IT'S SMALL TOO MAYBE IT WILL WORK SINCE I'M GONNA MAKE MINIATURES ANYWAY THOSE ARE ALSO QUITE SMALL I MIGHT NOT NEED AN OVEN. 

Hence I took my dad's mug warmer, and went off to Popular bookstore to get some polymer clay happily. (Popular bookstore because by then it was after 8pm and Art Friend closes at 8pm. WHY???) SGD $4.20 for a small block of fimo clay...is it pricey? :( I shall go check out the price at Art Friend next time. 

Anyway, so I bought the clay, and immediately tried it out. And since it was the first time, again it was disastrous. 

The first clay I ever used was air dry clay and now I know how smooth and easy to manipulate it is compared to polymer clay. I think I was really unlucky too. I did not know better and just choose the colour of fimo clays I wanted, and did not attempt to try out the texture by pressing on it. (It was after I bought and tried the clays myself then I read an article saying that if the clay is newer/stored properly when you press on it, it should have a small imprint you made with your fingers) MY CLAYS WERE LIKE SOLID ROCKS. *KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK* AND IT'S STILL HARD. RAWR. 

But of course, I tried my best to condition the clay with my fingers. And, it KINDA worked. But it also made my finger like this.

BLISTER.    D: 

And of course, people, remember to cut your nails (or at least paint them so it's not that obvious LOL) if you're working with clay cause it's going to become like this. 

Honestly, all I saw was the fun part of working with clay and I was so naive haha. You have to condition the clay, and especially if you're unlucky like me to live in a place where not many people craft and the clay stocks are probably stored there for ages and hence hardened. Not to mention Singapore is a super humid place. They're gonna pre-bake themselves. :( 

Afterwards, I read that hand sanitizers that is alcohol based will clean the clay right off so I might get some soon. 

After trying very hard to condition the clay with my bare hands and getting myself a blister, I quickly google for a solution online and saw that petroleum jelly can help soften the clay. I HAD SOME VASELINE. HURRAH. In the picture above, the clay at the top is the one I spammed vaseline with, and bottom is the raw, unconditioned clay. SO CRUMBLY. 

Honestly, I still have no idea how a properly conditioned clay feels like, and the one on top was conditioned too much or as I call it, over vaseline-ed. It was getting sticky and slimy and it's too 'gooey' to even cut properly......

It was sticking to the place I work my clay on too. So I rolled the clay flat, started cutting some shapes, then I realised hey shit this isn't working the clay is sticking and by the time I 'tore' it out the shape was ruined. (I watched more youtube videos and made sure to see what other advanced clay makers do and realise that they used the blade to kind of 'slice' them away from the working space, need to remember!)

17.jpg

And yes, the pigmentation goes all over the place, might be because it was over vaseline-ed but even before I put vaseline my fingers was already covered in blue-ish purple. So that's another cons of polymer clay. 

The bump of the blister. The next day I poked it and let whatever inside spurt out. I made sure I squeezed everything out otherwise if there's the bump I'll start to pick on it LOL bad habits, itchy fingers. 

So yeah, polymer clays are tough, but it'll probably get easier as long as I know how much vaseline I should put in crumbly clay, how does workable clay feel like, and also how I should set my table while working clay. I don't have much space in my room so I do almost everything on my bed and I only have a pretty small portable table to put on my bed to do stuff. My tools were rolling everywhere and also near my clay and it was a mess. 





That was a BIG, but related digress I made, but yes, mug warmer. My mug warmer was 14 watts, and apparently it's lousy for a mug warmer. The best so far is 24 watts so I guess it's not warm enough to cure the amount of clay I dump in (which wasn't a lot by the way but it still failed) So even if you have a 24 watts mug warmer, I'd only recommend this if you were really going to cure really tiny things shown in the video. 

Wouldn't it be nice if they have a mini convection oven about the size of a rice cooker? Just for clay miniatures.......... #dreamonxm