27 December 2012

My Favorite Videos of 2012 . . .

It's the end of the year:  woo hoo!!! Over the next couple of weeks, I will be alternating holiday posts with posts about my favorites from 2012.

First up? Music videos!!!

I am an avid video watcher. I do not watch cat or baby videos on YouTube. I watch good-old-fashioned-music-videos. I love them. I have been watching and obsessing over music videos since I was roughly 7 years old.  

I like the colors used, the placement of the people involved, the settings, the interactions, and sometimes the dances (if any). Very rarely is the music the major part of it for me . . . I know that sounds horrible. But it's the combination of everything that I am most interested in. The music might be great alone, but it might not be. But together--with the visuals--it plum knocks my socks off.

So without further ado here are my favorite music videos from 2012, in no particular order. Enjoy!

12 December 2012

Handmade Movement Singapore . . .

(Hi there! I haven't gone away . . . I'm just preparing for my big trip to the States for the next 3 weeks. So I've been busy wrapping up the semester at school and finishing up some handmade gifts. Please excuse my absence and know that I will return to my normal frequency of posts very soon! Happy holidays!)

To get my Christmas craft on, I headed down to The Foothills of Fort Canning at Clarke Quay.   

The workshops I attended were run by the lovely ladies of Handmade Movement. Handmade Movement is a local organization helping artisans reach out to the community and encourage appreciation for unique items that are handmade with love and attention. They are putting on a craft fair in January and I have been chosen to help them decorate the giant space that is Fort Canning. Some of my proposed installations can be seen below, on either side of the flyer advertising the event.

To help fundraise for this major event, they have been holding $35 craft workshops. I attended the past two workshops and had a wonderful time!


The first workshop I attended was called Merry Revelry and featured craft projects selected by Ann Thomas of Beautiful Revelry. She led us in making pompoms, sparkly clothespins, handmade postcards, and paper ornaments.  

While I had made most of the items before, never had I made the now-popular award ornament. I was excited to see how simple it was to create.  

Each workshop included a station where you could screen print your own handbag from pre-made Handmade Movement screens and for a minimal fee.

It was exciting to see so many people crowded into such a small space, crafting away. Crafting itself is not new to Singapore, but making things for sale and just to get creative is new. In the United States--with Martha Stewart and Etsy and Poppytalk and Craft Mafia and Renegade--it feels like crafting for innovation and to make a living has been around forever. But it's relatively new here and I'm happy to take part!

The workshop went strong for 3 hours, and at the end of it we received a goody bag and a cupcake. Perfect! Not-to-mention, I am now obsessed with glitter paper. (What a surprise!)


The next workshop I attended was called Carve, Print, and Wrap. At this workshop, we carved small eraser-like blocks into whatever we wanted and then printed them onto small paper bags and sheets of wrapping paper.

They had very cute templates out for us to use, but I decided to go with the word cheery. (Originally I had the word cheer sketched out but felt it was a little too cheerleader-y.)

I ended up being one of the first ones done carving and set about printing a large piece of wrapping paper. I took the end of my pencil and added polka dots for fun.

Once my sheet of wrapping paper was complete, I moved over to the bags. I made two bags for my nephews and one bag for my sister. I really liked how the pink cheer stood out on the brown paper bag.

At this workshop, not only did Handmade Movement feature a do-it-yourself screen printing station, but they also had several postcards, prints, stickers and other fun things that you could buy.

I was amazed at how quickly I got in-and-out of there. I was running late due to rain, but was able to create my design, carve it, print it, and leave within 2 hours time. See? Just a little bit of time can make a whole lot of crafty goodness! And at the end of this session? We received tiny little cakes. Mine was white chocolate!

I think it's safe to say:  I'll be back for more workshops and goodies in the New Year! Until then, watch for more posts involving the process of putting together the elements to help decorate the space for Handmade Movement's first-ever craft fair!  

04 December 2012

Midnight Stamford Style.

On the Monday night after I got back from my Thanksgiving trip to Bali, I spent several hours in the gym with the drama faculty and lots of very helpful mothers facilitating the hanging of fabric for Stamford's first ever large-scale performance at the new campus, A Midnight Summer's Dream.  

Since the theatre hasn't been built yet (it'll be here in another year), the director of the play wanted to transform the gym. We hung fabric from the ceiling and taped more fabric to the center scrim. I wanted to be on the lift hanging the fabric myself, but I wasn't allowed to for safety reasons. So we gleefully directed from the ground.


Along with the fabric, I had been constructing large leaves out of cardboard. These leaves were a prop used to cover one of the actresses for part of a scene.

I enlisted 6 of the little ladies in my lovely lunch crew to help paint them. And then--using what I had in the art room--added felt and glitter to make them pop.  

The cast was primarily made up of the older students, grades 5 through 9. But several of my students played some of the younger fairies. It was so fun to watch them dancing on stage! They looked so young! (In my class, I feel like they act older than me sometimes.)

Here are the leaves making their debut on stage!

I also helped to finish off some donkey ears that were handed down to me. Originally they were folded foam. I added felt to the ears and a tuft of felt in between the ears. They still sort of read as bunny ears to me, but I was working with what I was given. And I think on stage they did the trick!

Here is the moon face I made for one of the older actresses. My directions? "Make it white and sparkly!" She was playing a he, and I had one of my 4th graders model it for me to make sure I had the shape just right. (You'll see that she also modeled the donkey ears for me, too!)

The real treat came at the end of the play. As much as I am so-very-tired of this song, it was a hit! The students wrote the lyrics themselves and I think it's safe to say, they brought down the house . . . 

I look forward to working on Peter Pan with everyone in the spring. Working with other faculty on larger projects like this helps me get to meet new people and learn new skills. Skills that can greatly help my personal artwork in terms of building projects and deadline-based work.

And it is so exciting to watch my students on stage. They are such a fun group of young people! Watching them perform reminds me--yes, sometimes I forget--that they are little humans with great futures ahead of them. I'm so happy to be able to watch them grow into their creative skin!

02 December 2012

Monster Mash.

This weekend I had the absolute pleasure of meeting some new folks! I enrolled in a quick tutorial workshop on screen printing with Joe at Monster Gallery.

I've done screen printing many times before, but always on screens of my own designs that I had made elsewhere. Never had I experienced creating the image on the screen myself. And I was amazed at how simple the process was.

We enrolled ahead of time. I found out about the class on Facebook, through various arts organizations that I follow here in Singapore. (See, Facebook is good for something!)

On the night of our class six of us showed up, each with our own black and white drawing. When I walked into the studio, The Velvet Underground was playing on a record player. I knew instantly that I was in the right place and completely happy to be doing this on a Friday night after a long week at school!

The drawing I brought was a tracing of one of my nephew Oliver's drawings. It's probably my favorite. It looks like a Picasso. It's a portrait of my sister dancing. Have you seen my sister dance? It looks just like her. And he even incorporated foreshortening. He's 6.

We sat down at a small round table. In front of us was a little dish filled with screen filler, our screen, and a packet of various-sized small brushes (a regular pack of 4, soft bristle). After tracing our drawing onto our screen lightly with pencils, we began painting the screen filler onto the part of the screen that was not to be printed (the white or negative part). It took me a minute to figure this part out because I had so many stripes, but I managed. (My attitude with anything creative:  it's all fixable, just do it.)

Once the screen filler had been painted onto the screen, that was it! We let the screens dry and we were ready to print!!

Since we were printing onto small bags, test prints were required. Test prints help to discover if you have any areas that need a second or third coat of screen filler. I had a few spots that needed to be touched-up, but for the most part it was a pretty clean print.


The ink we used came from Speedball and was specific to fabric. But Speedball sells all different kinds of ink, so it's best to have a look around before you decide which one to buy. I've never had a problem with Speedball and the colors stay vibrant forever, which is great! It's also important to make sure that the squeegee you are using fits nicely in the screen, and one run is all you need (especially with a small screen).

I really love how loose this process is . . . For me, it opens up another avenue for drawing. As a 3D person, I have a tendency to get stuck when entering 2D land. This really helped me see different ways I could approach drawing, and where aspects of drawing might be able to fit into my sculptural work. I could basically do free draw with the screen filler on the screen and print the results. Awesome!


My little bag that I printed on is going to be turned into a gift bag for Christmas. My plan is to sew additional colorful elements onto the bag and then stuff it with goodies.

Feeling a bit nervous about learning this process alone? Sign up for a workshop with Joe, or look for one in your area. I know that Joe is hosting several more workshops before the end of December, but spots fill up fast! Check out monster-gallery.blogspot.sg for more information.