Made by hands, expressed from the heart.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Koi Pond.

Last year I made a small piece in wood with little koi fish in a pond. I liked so much that I decided to make more of them, using pieces of wood used for board breaking competitions. Some of them came from my friend John's karate dojo, some from the taekwondo dojan my kids and I go to.
First I had to use some bigger equipment to make the pond, that was noisy and messy.
But making each fish in clay is much more quiet and peaceful.
And arranging them in place, to make the lake.
Pouring the liquid resin.
Then making my plants and lotus flowers to place after it is dry.
The complete pieces came out very shiny.
I love to make each of these steps, but most rewarding is the part that I can see that my idea worked.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Totoro Bag

Since I first watched the movie My Neighbor Totoro, I have been in love with this character. He is a spirit of the forest, friend of the wild creatures and has magic powers.
And that is why my little hand bag has Totoro.
I have been adventuring in embroidery too, and I discovered I like like to make animals.
I started draw a little sketch in the fabric.
Then for the next 3 days, I made the scene.
After all this work, I had to make sure I sewed the image in the correct place.
And here it is, after done. It looks like it worked.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sushi Cakes.

A lot of times I wake up with a feeling that my creativity is gone and I won't be able to make anything else. Lately I discovered that I need a big motivator to make something, and this time the motivation came in a form of a bake sale.

The taekwondo school that my children and I attend is organizing a fundraiser for one of the students, who was diagnosed with leukemia. Y.H.Park School and the parents are getting together to help Juliana's family get through this hard moment (if you want to help the link to her Gofundme page is here).
I first thought of making sushis, or Rice Krispies Sushis. But since it is a bake sale, I figured I should bake something. So I decided to try to make little cakes.
This was my first thought.
The big dilemma was the packaging for the sale. I thought of buying a lot of take out sushi and use the containers, but we are trying to avoid using a lot of plastic. So I headed to the dollar store and bought square paper plates to make the boxes. It was a lot of work, but I was happy with the result.
I cut the outside part:
And the inside part:
And put them together.
I baked a big cake and cut the round shapes using a plastic cup I had at home. It was the size of the sushi I wanted.
To make the shrimp, the stuffing for the sushi, the black seaweed and the wasabi, I made something called modeling chocolate, or candy clay. The recipe is here: Cratsy modeling chocolate.
For each piece of cake I placed a few pieces of the modeling chocolate to make the stuffing, covered the cake with frosting and sprinkled coconut flakes on top. Then covered with a black strip around.
To make the rice with the shrimp on top, I decided to use Twinkies, because of the shape. The only problem was that it is too long, so I took a piece out from the middle.
So then I just attached the two pieces with frosting, placed the shrimp with more frosting and covered with the black chocolate.
I was left with a lot of little rolls from the Twinkies, so I used them to make another sushi. I had to cut a little bit of the corners to make it round, placed frosting in the middle and tossed a red sprinkle on top.
I also wanted to make the ginger, but with the chocolate I couldn't get close to the real color. So for that I used fondant, colored with a few drops of red coloring and a tiny bit if yellow.
In the end I could place each piece in the box, attached with a little bit of frosting, to glue them in place.
I wrapped each box with plastic film, placed a piece of cute paper and put a chopstick in each one.
I love to make these projects, but if it is for a good cause, and to share the is even better.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Japanese Doll.

I became quite curious about this new trend of remaking dolls, erasing their faces and giving them new clothes.
And the other day I came across a used doll in the store for 2 dollars, so I decided to give it a try.
The first person I saw remaking dolls is a lady from Australia, and her company is called Tree Change Dolls. She likes to erase all the make up from the dolls, and give them a more child like appearance. So I follow her instructions to erase the face, wiping baby oil followed by nail polish.

Next I draw the new eyes with a pencil. What I like to draw is more anime style faces, with the big eyes. So that what I went for.

Then I used my acrylic paint to finish the eyes. Since she is my first doll and I am not very good with paintbrushes. one eye was bigger than the other.
After the eyes were dry, I had to decide on her clothes. To follow the style of her eyes, I decided to make a Japanese inspired outfit. I didn't have much of the fabric, so I had to adjust here and there.
The doll comes with those huge boots and she does not have feet. So I used clay to make new feet and sewed new shoes, trying to resemble tabi boots.
I placed her hair up and made little kanzashi flowers for her hair. The only challenge was to make it very small, so I made in the same way but using tweezers.
I found a beautiful ribbon to make her obi, and tied the obijime as best as I could, because it was so small.
After that, I could play with my doll the way I wanted.