Embellish This!

7 June 2010

As a last hurrah before the new semester begins, I took out a plain white blouse that has been in my closet for months and embellished it with beads. I actually bought it for this purpose, but somehow I never got around to modifying it until now. As you can see from the “Before” photo, it really is just plain. Sure, it has some ruching here and there, but it was…. bleh.  The idea also came from other clothes that I have and used to have. I have one white blouse with white beading on it, and I have another with a flower-shaped sequin-and-beads embellishment. I used to have a tank top with random colored wooden beads on it given as a Christmas gift (brand: Maldita), but I wasn’t girly enough to wear it at that time so I gave it away. The inspiration for the design came from “bib necklaces” which look really nice, but something I wouldn’t exactly pick out at a store. The collar’s shape on this particular blouse was perfect for that purpose. It practically screamed, “EMBELLISH ME!” and that’s exactly what I did.


I took out the beads which I hardly used and the scrap ones that couldn’t be used for many other purposes, mixed them up (still considering the compatibility of colors, of course) and laid out a basic plan to follow. The giant red oblong ones are actually shells (not 100% sure if they’re colored capiz) from a necklace that I didn’t particularly like.

I also pulled out my very, very old stash of embroidery threads and searched for colors that matched some of the bigger beads. For everything else, I just used white sewing thread.

Read more to view how it progressed from BLEH to :

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Turtle’s Treasure

24 May 2010

This is my Turtles box. My uncle gave it to me (unfortunately, without the Chocolate Turtles inside) many, many years ago and it has been the home of my magazine clippings ever since. But these aren’t the usual clippings. You won’t find any meaningful articles here. What I do is cut out words or phrases and pictures or graphics that I like and keep them here.

What do I do with all this junk, you ask? At first I didn’t know, I just liked collecting stuff, and these clippings have often funny, witty, or unusual words and phrases. Some are small illustrations that I just like. Most of these are from advertisements and article titles in old Fortune magazines. I even had a phase when I would buy old magazines from book sales just for this purpose. Some are cool-designed tags of clothes and other products. Some are packaging (see that Starbucks Tazo Mint wrapper?) and wrappers from Japanese sweets.

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Greeting Card Mod

22 May 2010

Today is my third anniversary with my boyfriend who is currently working abroad. I’m happy, but also kind of sad because we can’t be together on this special day. Nevertheless, we never fail to contact each other everyday through email, SMS, voice calls and IM so the large gap between us doesn’t seem so large.

Sometimes a friend (or a friend of a friend) would be leaving to or arriving from where he his so we send each other small packages through them. Last week I sent him some clothes he requested (clothes are expensive where he is) and I added my surprise gift to him and an advanced anniversary greeting card (sorry for the crappy image, all I had was my phone at the time).

I bought it from the bookstore. The card is simple and the message inside is perfect, but not without a little modification. I always want my things personalized, so why should this card be an exception? The cover art had a dog and cat having a sweet picnic. The dog is nice because the boyfriend and I are dog people. I have nothing against cats, but the duck has more meaning for us because the boyfriend calls me bibe (i.e. duck) so I cut out a little piece of the excess wallpaper I had and stuck it on the cover. I outlined it in black and added little duck feet and an eye. Just a little detail can really amp up the meaningfulness of something to a whole new level, and no doubt would garner a smile from the recipient.

As for the inside, which is the main reason why I bought the card in the first place (reference to “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat, one of our favorite songs), I just added a few more words and another wallpaper duckling.



The Broken Shell Collective

18 May 2010

Whenever I go to a beach, I make it a point to take some time to scour the beach for seashells. But not just any kind of seashell, I pick up only interestingly-colored broken ones. Somehow I cannot bear to pick up whole shells because I feel like I am robbing little sea creatures (hermit crabs and such) of potential homes. Yes, I am caring like that. Hahaha.

Over the years I’ve collected quite a lot of these beautiful broken shells which I store in containers (only some are properly labeled as shown below). I unearthed some of these containers and figured I should do what I had originally planned for them as I picked them up off the coastlines: make them into accessories. One of the reasons why I like broken shells is that most of them already have their edges worn and have holes where I could thread a jump ring or chain through them without having to use a small jewelry drill (which I still do not own). I picked out a few shells and made them into pendants.

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Mothers’ Day Bag Mod

8 May 2010

This is the bag that I posted in my 365 blog, which I decided to hide from my mom until I give it to her on Mothers’ Day (made with love, of course). You can find more finished photos and the link to the fabric flower tutorial there, but here’s the work-in-progress pics so you’ll see how I made the padding on the handles. The original handles were made of braided natural fibers of some sort and they’re rough and itchy if used as a shoulder bag, that’s why my mom wanted it to have some sort of padding on the handles in the first place. Of course, when my mom wants something like this done, she makes me do it for her. I forgot to take a BEFORE picture, but it didn’t really change much besides the yellow padding on the handles, so… yeah.

Materials (it’s practically free because I have all this stuff already):

– Thin rubber foam, about 2mm thick (the stuffing inside bags my mom bought in Bangkok. I told you I keep everything) but any padding would do, even fiberfill or cotton or extra layers of fabric.

– Yellow fabric to match the original bag color (free sample swatch from a fabric supplier)

– Yellow thread (leftover DMC embroidery thread from ages ago)

– Super glue, needle, and clips to fasten stuff with

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What To Do With Wallpaper Scraps?

7 May 2010

What to do indeed?

I have a bunch of wallpaper swatches stashed around with my other material swatch loot bags (with ceramic tiles, wood mouldings, fabric, etc). After organizing my fabric swatches, I was looking around for ways to store the wallpaper such that I could browse through them easily when I need to without having to rummage and have them flying all over the place. What I did was to cut off the ripped parts of the wallpaper to make them all square-cornered (for aesthetics’ sake), punched a hole in one corner then placed them in the 1″ metal rings I had lying around (I have a complete office supplies store under my desk. LOL). Here’s the result:

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5 May 2010

These are crossover posts from my 365/everyday learning blog. I sometimes post pictures of myself making crafts and how I make them so I don’t think it’s really wise to rewrite them here. Therefore…. LINKS!

Plastic Crochet


Beaded Slippers


Hardbound notebooks