Monday, May 15, 2017

Fun DIY with Cement - A Concrete Craft Project

I finally fulfilled my concrete lust! The preparation took a couple of months maybe.. how come so long?? It was because I took time to hoard packagings in the form of boxes and toilet rolls to be used as moulds. You will see...

But the main mould I wanted to make was this. Something I got from Taiwan. I couldn't believe it's concrete.. so smooth and almost flawless, like clay.

To replicate it, I need to make a mould out of it. So I got this rubber mould-making kit by Smooth-On.



I prepared less than expected actually, and had to quickly top it up. A lot of frantic stirring!


Slowly poured and filled up the container.

After a day, the original concrete tray is removed and wa la, I have my mould! Senget because I probably dabbed it too hard as I was trying to remove air bubbles.

What's next? The real deal! I got this creative cement for craft by Rayher, supposedly contains minimal dust for safe crafting.  

Didn't follow recommended ratio here. Just gasak.

The consistency is based on 'feeling', according to cement-expert husband.

 Filled up the mould.

Filled up the other paper packaging boxes I collected. I wanted to create something similar, like a desk decor with an indented space for placing name cards or little stationery things like paperclips etc. So the pebbles were for weighing down the boxes to create that indent.

While allowing those to cure for a few days (soaked in water), the following weekend, I started another batch, this time I mixed the Rayher and the grout cement the husband brought home. The stark difference between the two is that Rayher produces the natural signature grey colour of concrete while the husband's grout is whitish. Sounds so wrong. Hahahaha.

I've always wanted to make the geometric planter. You can find many tutorials and photos of the trending triangle/pentagon/hexagon planters or tealight holders on Pinterest.

It's actually quite easy. Just cut up 11 pentagon shape from a cereal box, using a master shape that is printed from Powerpoint. The size is up to you.

Then build up the vessel and stick with masking tape.


 This was the collection of moulds I had planned on filling, but eventually I had to abandon two of them.

Making cross-shaped fridge magnets, like I did previously.

Another replicate of the desk tray using the rubber mould, another desk tray using packaging boxes, a geometric planter and a cube planter using milk carton. So this batch was made with a mixture of the Rayher cement and the grout cement.


The verdict! Boy, it was exciting unveiling each one of them.

First, the cross magnets.

Not quite as smooth and perfect as the first batch I made last time. It could be the cement mixture I'm using this time. There were more holes at the edges caused by tiny bubbles that formed during the curing stage.

But I still like the raw imperfect result of it. The pieces had to be sand-papered to smoothen the edges of the bottom part where the magnet is at. 

Next, for the planters and tray that were made using packaging boxes, they had to be emerged in a pail of water for a day or two, then scrubbed to remove traces of paper that stuck on some surfaces.

After leaving them to dry for another day, they were ready for finishing touches like clipping away the extra bits and sanding them down to smoothen any sharp edges.

Here they are!



 Styling attempt...haha.

And finally, the replicate I've always wanted to produce.

Spot the difference? I was amazed! So the one on the far right is the original tray. The middle one is made of entirely Rayher cement, the first replicate attempt, while the one on the far left is made of the mixture of Rayher and grout cement, second attempt. I was very surprised at the reproducibility of the first replicate. It was like the exact copy, the smoothness and the colour. When I was mixing the cement, there was a lot of doubt because the cement mix was very rough and felt like there was a lot sand and stones. Quite unexpected!

The one made with the mixture of Rayher and grout cement produced a lot of characteristic holes which some may deem rather adorable... you know, like cheese. But this one is fairer. I will try again with 100% grout since I'm running out of Rayher, but I really do like the colour of Rayher, the signature grey concrete colour.


So that was my 2-weekend cement adventure!


Friday, May 12, 2017

Overhaul My Heart




22 April
- submit car to FA Wagen for checks. Symptoms: loss of power, engine a little shaky,  catalytic converter warning light briefly flashing

27 April
- FA Wagen informed that engine needed overhaul, compression test failed. Quoted 30K for complete overhaul if required. First cardiac explosion (me). The husband says his racer-mechanic friend can do it. "I'll take care of it", he says. Pulse came back with a tingly warmth.

29 April
- towed to racer-mechanic's workshop. Sobbed a little.

1-7 May
- car still untouched. Racer-mechanic friend has a race event. Will be free after this, he says. Second cardiac explosion.

8-14 May
-"Oh, they have a race in China this weekend. Will be free after this." Third cardiac discharge. Pulse is no longer with tingly warmth, now turbulent with toxic fumes diffusing out of my burning scalp.

I NEED TO pray for patience PUNCH SOMETHING. PMS, you are not helping.



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Another one?

No no, not what you're thinking.

Usually, the husband and I rarely communicate during the day when we're at work. Because you know, we're no longer in our courting-newly-wed years anymore.

And then, out of the blue, he has been wishing me good morning for a few days, adorned with the blowing heart kiss emoji. How cute.

Then it's not cute anymore when he finally asks, "Can I go to Bangkok with my friends? Golf trip"

At least he asked, you say. He'd probably already secured his tickets. Asking is just to prevent divorce.

First leisure trip with friends?, you ask. Nope. He has enjoyed his buddy-trip every year since he met his group of businessmen friends. Every year.

Yes, I am jealous. Yes, I am sour about it. He has NEVER taken me on a trip. He said he wanted to. He even took some brochures. WOW. Just WOW. I'm just worth a brochure.

Sometimes I feel that marriage is a trap for women. The men will never be trapped. They get to go on golf trips.

I need to meditate now. And I believe in karma. Such a bitch, this one.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Attempt To Sell On Instagram and Facebook

Today I clicked on many buttons and links to learn about setting up ads on IG and FB. I trembled and quit Safari altogether.

Still not ready, but close...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

This Or That

Hah... 40 years old and still fickle. I get bitten by the mid-life career switch bug now and then. And lately, this bug was strong. It got me listing all the potential jobs/career I could have. Well, quite pathetically, there's only 3 in my list.

1) Teacher
2) IKEA
3) Business in design

Actually, those my semi-retiring dream jobs. Nothing fancy. Kindy teacher, IKEA cashier or running my small little business online and participating in craft fairs. But first, I always always always do research...

So I searched for colleges that offer part-time courses in Early Childhood Education. I read forums where people talk about their experiences in switching career, in teaching, in everything good and bad about it. It got me all sparked up.

You hear this often, "I left my high-paying job to do something I'm passionate about", or "I'm 10x poorer but 100x happier". I wish I had the guts to make those statements. Or maybe bravery is about shoving those dreams away because responsibility is more important. I don't know.

Sometimes I believe my life is perfect the way it is right now. Stable job, good salary which becomes awesome after the MY-SG conversion rate, wonderful colleagues, fairly stress-less work environment, daily commuting so-so (sometimes smooth, sometimes bumpy), have time for family, and HAVE TIME TO CRAFT. What more can I ask for right!

I know a certain person will tell me, "Don't be stupid", while a fair share of folks will encourage me to follow my dreams. Should I be stupid?


- conversation between Mrs Darling and Michael, taken from Peter Pan by J.M.Barrie.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Designing Stamps

Some time in October last year, I've started listing wedding save-the-date rubber stamps on my Etsy and Carousell Singapore shop. Surprisingly, I've gotten most buyers from Carousell.






And I decided to finish these wood-mounted rubber stamps once and for all, so that they are ready for sale.


And I've been Taobao-ing again... heheh.

Happy days!

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Plans


I have nothing planned for 2017. It's partly because I think I overdid it in 2016. I actually felt guilty splurging last year. So this year, I'm going to save money. DOPE!! I JINXED IT! Don't say don't say!

2016 was an Apple whore year. Because my Macbook Pro was stolen during a house robbery, I had to get a new one.

Then I bought an iPad mini for family use, specifically for the boys to learn and to assist in their homework. But so far, the only apps opened are Minecraft, Roblox, Geometry Dash, Minion Rush and Youtube showing Roi Wasabi aka Guava Juice immersing himself in a bathtub filled with mac and cheese. By the way have you seen the Nutella one? Good luck to him cleaning the bathtub. Also by the way, do you know that children's ambition these days is to become a Youtube star? Can be millionaire wan leh.

And then, I splurged heavily on the husband. He lost most of his beloved watches in the robbery, including a Samsung smartwatch. So I replaced it with an Apple watch since he converted to an iPhone. But I was also torn between the watch and a laptop because his old one was robbed too, and he was looking for a basic one for work. I walked out of Best Denki with an Apple Watch (first gen, with titanium strap) and a Macbook. I actually felt scared and stupid, not because I regretted it, but because I felt these were too much to give at one go. But I think they are useful, practical, good quality products that will last a long time.

Lastly, seeing that my mom's Xiaomi phone is giving her (and me) headaches, I went to find a second-hand 16GB iPhone 6. Mistake! Mummy dearest wants a phone that can keep one thousand photos and 'no need to delete wan'. Actual words from her, "I want to see photos I took from year 2013 wan". Then it struck me. Shit, tech savvy people like us can back up our photos on our computers and iClouds or Google Drive or what-nots, but people like her hoards photos on ONE device. So that iPhone is still in my drawer. I think I will sell it back.

Taiwan in September, Hong Kong in December. Splurged on SQ flight.

That was my 2016. I will not be impulsive this year.