Sunday, December 29, 2013

[Closed] Win a Dreamcatcher by Garden of Eva

Sunday, December 29, 2013
The Artsy Craftsy 2013 X'mas Special #2

I love being Santa this year!

Thanks to our sponsor, this time Garden of Eva (Dreamweaver) has sponsored TWO (2) handmade Dreamcatchers in this second x'mas giveaway special. If the name sounds familiar to you, you are right because Garden of Eva was once featured here on the blog. Vaishnavii, the dreamcatcher maker makes magical looking dreamcatchers and is currently very popular among her fans. And yes, her dreamcatchers are 100% handmade! Now you can win a dreamcatcher and catch yourself a dream to come true.

With this, The Artsy Craftsy and Garden of Eva is giving away TWO (2) dreamcatchers away (Worth RM50 and above), ONE (1) for EACH winner.

Vaishnavii Devi, Garden of Eva



Step 1- LIKE Garden of Eva FB page (or here)

Share with us your MOST CREATIVE DREAM 
(weirdest, scariest, beautiful, funniest, dream-to-come-true, etc.)
     PLEASE INCLUDE your email address and Facebook URL

~ Entries will be judged based on creativity and uniqueness by sponsor
~ Only 2 winners will be selected (1 dreamcatcher for each winner)
~ First best entry will receive the Pink Dreamcatcher, second best will receive the Brown Dreamcatcher
~ Giveaway challenge from 18 December - 24 December 2013
~ Winners will be notified via email/FB, a week from the closing date or earlier.

Have fun participating!

Want to know more about Garden of Eva? Visit their Facebook page. (Open for personalize request)

1ST PLACE- DOREEN ;LING - Pink Dreamcatcher
2ND PLACE- PAULINE TAN - Brown Dreamcatcher


Thursday, December 26, 2013

When Pixlr loves my stuff, my love for photo art is renewed

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Hey all! I am still away on holiday with my loved ones, and that means this is a scheduled post.

Today's post is about my passion for taking photos and manipulating or editing them.

Ever since I was in college, I always loved taking photos and I started my interest in photo manipulation when I picked up Basic to Photoshop from my lecturer. But after awhile, I grew out of it, because there was a lot of advance knowledge that I didn't get to learn and photo editing on Photoshop became difficult for me. Eventually, I forgot about photo editing, and just stayed on with taking photos.

Photo 1 & 2: Photos manipulated in 2007 with Photoshop

When technology evolved, and then came android, I was excited that I could take photos with my phone. Then I realized that I could edit my photos on my phone. So, I started downloading all kinds of photo editing apps but non had good features until I discovered Pixlr! I just went nuts and started taking photos with Pixlr-O-matic. I fell in love with it because of its cute "film" camera feature (and sound effects).
Taken with Pixlr-O-matic on Sony Xperia Arc S

Then I discovered Pixlr Express; it's like photoshop but a phone version. I started to transform and manipulate all my photos on my phone; I could do it on the go.

Taken with Sony Xperia Arc S, edited with Pixlr Express Mobile

As a blogger, I also have to edit photos on the computer, but I realized that my graphic design software was too slow and I couldn't carry my laptop with my all the time. I wanted a graphic design software I could use online, immediately, and had access to it anytime wherever I am (especially at work with a desktop). Then I discovered Pixlr Editor, and it was the perfect solution to use for bloggers on the go like me!

Taken with Sony Xperia Arc S, edited on PC with Pixlr Editor

I've been using Pixlr for almost a year now; I am officially Pixlr's biggest fan.

It was also such an honor to received Pixlr's feedback on how much they like my work and what I have done with my photos for the blog.

Today, as I was editing another photo on Pixlr Editor, I realized that ever since I became a Pixlr-user, my passion in photo manipulation / photo editing has been renewed. As a user, I am very thankful that Pixlr exist and created cutting-edge apps for giving chance to people like me to unleash their inner artist.

Thank you Pixlr for making this blog's images amazing!


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Make a Bucket Gift Pouch

Sunday, December 22, 2013
By Playful & Snazzy
*The Artsy Craftsy Blog Designer*

*Photos courtesy of Playful & Snazzy

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Style: The Easy Shirt

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Outfit details:
White chiffon short sleeves loose shirt: Coco Fashion
Black maxi dress: F21
Black pinafore with suspenders: H&M
Black mini skirt: H&M

Very easy indeed. Shirts are so easy to wear with and style with. If it's a plain white shirt, you got yourself a laid back weekender. If it's a black shirt, you got something mysterious and sexy. If it's an off white-ish kind of shirt (see through) like this here, you got yourself the 5's: sweet, sexy, smart, sophisticated and stylish.

It is too easy to wear, I tell ya'!

The best part of wearing shirts (boyfriend or no boyfriend type) is that it is so comfortable and great for style-down days. Especially if you find yourself waking up late to work, you don't know what to wear, throw on a shirt with a pair of jeans and pointy flats and you are good to go (with/without a spag strap inside depending on how bold you feel).

Light and comfy shirts aren't costly at all if you know the right place to get one. Check with your purpose on buying a shirt; is it for a formal wear? smart casual? or a wardrobe essential for you to mix and match anytime any day. It really depends what sort of shirt you are looking for, for different purpose. When selecting a shirt, try choosing one with a pattern that would never go out of style. Avoid getting something that you can only wear once, and get something that is multipurpose.

Happy shirt-ing!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Style: Going Unconventional with Blazer

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Outfit details:
Black Blazer: Sammy Dress
Gold Leaf Ring: Sammy Dress
Grey Skull Dress: Jaspal
Sneakers: Converse
Black Brogues: H&M
Black Maxi Dress: F21

Unlike the early 90's, where blazers are mostly for office wear or to "look smart", blazer styles are now unconventional. I remember back when I was a little girl, my mother would always dress up in her power suit only for big meetings at the office, or she would pair a blazer with black jeans and boots on Fridays  for work because dressing up this way meant that she wants to look sophisticated yet casual. Fashion is a cycle. Today blazers are super-trendy. You can wear it with almost everything and anything, and the best part is you won look as if you overdressed. You can wear it with a boyfriend shirt, skinny jeans, leggings, shorts (yes shorts), skorts (yes skorts, not just skirts) and perhaps even with pretty looking sandals. Blazers are not formal anymore. You can never go wrong with a black blazer. Just throw one on and your entire outfit will change creatively. Accessorize yourself with too little or too much, you will still look good.

Have fun blazer-ing!

P/S: You don't need to spend much on a blazer. Now you can shop at affordable prices and still get good blazers. Check it out here!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Young Malaysian Artist: Haris Rashid makes God-like Art

Sunday, December 15, 2013

When I say God-like, it is because Haris Rashid uses vibrant colours in his artworks with extravagant patterns and motifs that bring out each illustration. Every single part of the painting depicts 'creation'. I was awed when I saw his artwork on Facebook.

There are literally no words to describe such art style; it literally took my breath away. I often stare at a piece of painting from artists like Frida or Van Gogh, and search for its many stories in it. That is how my soul knows whether a painting has caught my attention. When I saw Haris Rashid's paintings, I find myself again staring at it for a long time, studying its colours and motifs; the elements he uses reminds me of Frida Kahlo's paintings, rich in hues and patterns that tell stories. Look closely.

See more of Haris Rashid's artworks at BehanceFacebook and Blog

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why Going Away is Good for Your Creative Well being

Thursday, December 12, 2013

When I went away to Cameron Highlands (about 2-3 months ago), I felt as if my opportunity to enjoy the little simple pleasures in life was finally renewed. Going away on a trip, near or far, was always a way of telling myself to stay away from my electronic gadgets and for my body to kick back and take my time in doing anything I feel like doing.

My love and I practically stashed our phones away. I did everything the old-school way; I did a lot of journalling, drawing everything I observed, plucked flowers and took photos with my film camera. Yes film, very old school.

I took silent walks by myself in the garden. It wasn't boring at all because I was observing my surroundings, and I realized how much small interesting things if you actually take the time to notice them. Those silent walks helped me to be alone with my thoughts. And when I was walking with my love, hand in hand, we basked in the pureness of nature around us and realized that time was very still.

That was when I realized, that each time we went away, time always stood still because we weren't busy worrying about rushing from one thing to another, and finishing off the day and going to sleep because we need to wake up the next day. It was also at this moment, that I realized how going away can actually benefit me in my creative well being.

1. When I was away, I was not worried about deadlines or worrying what comes next.

2. When I was away, I was not governed by time. I walked, ate and slept at my own pace.

3. When I was away, I learned to observe because my mind was not constantly thinking and worrying, and I was not busy talking away.

4. When I was away, I learned to notice the little things around me and turn them into my source of inspiration.

5. When I was away, I rekindled my relationship with nature and everything else around me, whether it is the sky, the air, the wind or the silence. I was connecting with all things natural, because I am part of nature too. I am a creation.

6. When I was away, I sat in silence, not in a rush to go anywhere, took out my journal or my camera and started being in the moment of everything beautiful.

7. When I was away, I learned to see everything with joy and slowly more and more creative ideas kicked in! I was getting ideas from my surroundings, in flowers, in people, in colours, everything!

8. When I was away, I learned to embrace the moment and learned to accept, especially when plans don't happen in your itinerary. I learned to go with the flow, as long as everyone is laughing and feeling relax, anything goes. 

No. 8 is a little special to me:

You see, yesterday I had to go the hospital to do a blood and urine test because I was experiencing some symptoms that could either be kidney stones or appendicitis. I was going through this constant worry for a week, perhaps because I was afraid of surgery more than anything and of course, worrying about the results. With so much worrying going through my mind, finally a day before my visit to the hospital, I said to myself, whatever the result may be, it doesn't matter. Not because I don't care, but because I have accepted it. I was still a little scared, but I was accepting. Rather than pushing things away and getting upset that I was going through this problem, I embraced it and said whatever comes, I will be okay.

And it made me realized too, that in everything I do in my life, it makes things harder if I push it away. If I learn to accept and embrace, things become easier, less emotional and dealing with it becomes less stressful.

Anyways, I thank god so much because the results came out okay. I am okay!

So you see, sometimes with all the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, it seems so much easier to just fall into the worry-pit like everybody else. It is not wrong to worry, because sometimes worrying allow us to prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally. But a little balance would do us good, and sometimes, that vacation or a quick getaway would help us a lot in creating that balance within us. Not only will it help us in mentally, but it will certainly help us regenerate our creative ideas for a creative work and living.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 6, 2013

How to Choose an E-commerce Platform

Friday, December 6, 2013

Hello creative biz owners!

Choosing an e-commerce platform is like choosing the best piece from the box of chocolates! There are different flavors and you want to make sure that the one you put in your mouth will give you the best taste! The one that melts in your mouth with the right flavor!

E-commerce is not a piece of chocolate, no. But when you select your platform, it is like selecting the right piece that will satisfy you. Although in this case, your selling needs as an entrepreneur of an online store.

I was 18 years old in college when I first became an entrepreneur. I registered a company and started providing fabric painting on clothing service to couture houses and boutique owners, and also sold some of my own work too. At that time, with the very little knowledge about blogging, blogshop or online business, I could only rely on consignment arrangement with shops and tattoo parlours, and relied on word-of-mouth. Business was excellent but eventually I had to slow it down because of the lack of resources- an online store to reach out to a wider audience. Looking back, I really wish I could have the chance of building my own online store, but with the little knowledge and budget, there wasn't much for me.

Today, more and more companies are coming up with e-commerce platforms, giving every individual the chance to experience what it's like to OWN a store. However, each and every business owner has different requirements. It really depends on their nature of business and selecting the right platform can be tricky.

Nonetheless, there are a few things to look for when it comes to choosing the right platform. Remember, you want the BEST taste, the BEST flavor, not too sweet though or else it will be overwhelming!

Eventually years later, I started my biz again and this time through a blog. From there I learn my requirements and what to look for when it comes to signing up with the right e-commerce platform. I definitely don't mind sharing it with you here. Here's my take on what to look for in an e-commerce platform:

1. Usability

Making sure that your e-commerce platform is user-friendly is very important. Not just for yourself to understand and to use, but for your customers/visitors too. Can you imagine how it will make your customers/visitors feel if the site is complicated? Even as a user yourself, you would be turn off too if certain things on the platform is difficult, such as photo uploading, weird photo size requirements, lots of details to fill up, and more. I have come across one myself that I found undeniably complicated!

2. Layout / Available Design Templates

This is one of the most important thing I look into when I am selecting a platform. I want to know if the "free" templates provided are presentable or simple yet attractive. As I have mentioned before in one of my previous post, a store's image is very important. Just like when selecting a piece of chocolate, you would choose the one that is attractive looking, not the one that is melted and squashed!

3. Features

Look out for features when you are selecting the best platform. These are EXTRA stuff, like caramel melting in your mouth or honeycomb crumbling on your tongue. These extra features can help you with expanding your online biz or making things easier for you to promote yourself. Or it can be in the form of providing international currency feature so that you can sell to your overseas customers.

4. Room for Improvement

Make sure you choose a company that continuously improve themselves in their e-commerce platform service. When a company improve and expands themselves, as customers/users yourself, you will benefit from this too. It can be in the simplest thing such as, new fresh templates, new features, etc.

5. Pricing

In this competitive world, especially in the business world, everyone's trying to come up with the best price. They want to sweep your feet away even before you putting that piece of chocolate in your mouth. When selecting a platform, try to look for the best deal/offer. Do your calculations and make your comparison of the features provided, and check with yourself, do you have this amount of cash to pay every month? Are you able to cover your costs? Things like that can help you make better decisions instead of impulsively commit yourself to a service that doesn't meet your expectations.

6. Efficient Customer Service and Assistance

I don't know about you, but I think that this is one of the most important element that I often look out for. I always prioritize in making sure that if I do sign up with a platform, as a new user, I want to be able to enquire with a personnel and get answers as well. It's just like walking into a store, and you want to be able to check with a sales person about a certain product; and you get frustrated when the sales person is unsure or seem care-less about your inquiries. So, do make sure that the customer service/assistance is efficient when you are signing up with the company. A good customer service will definitely make your stay with them worthwhile.

My tips and advices are usually a little different from the rest. This is because I tend to see things in detail, or perhaps just happen to notice the things that others usually over look. I hope that with this 6 simple tips, you would be able to check out the best simplified and user-friendly platform anyone can ever have.

Happy hunting!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Creative ways to Recycle and Upcycle Things

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Growing up in a family who enjoys refurbishing unwanted goods and transforming old into new, I learned that there are unlimited ideas to recycling and upcycling.

We live in a world that enjoys shopping and purchasing brand new goods; and when we don't find any use for it anymore, we throw them out into the trash can. Not many people would give second chance to their things or re-sell it at least especially after spending so much money on an item only to see it be thrown away. Unless you are the type who uses it until it has served its purpose already, and finally can't be reuse at all. However, most of us tend to overlook the things we already have in the house, throw them away, or stash them aside, and end up buying again and again until finally we have too many things in our homes. If we are not careful we might just become hoarders.

I used to think that to stop being a hoarder is by throwing away things. But then I realized, what if we check with our intentions first before we plan to hoard shop for more things, wouldn't that be better? By throwing away things (impulsively) we end up spending more as well. What if we put in some effort to reuse the things we already have? And if you are worried that you have lots of things lying around the house, perhaps a little spring cleaning and storage planning would help in making sure you are able to have access to the things that you can use rather than have them lying around and going to waste. It is always good to set aside some time to sort your things and separate the usable ones to the non-usable ones. That was, neither would you become a hoarder, and you learn how to make use of your things and probably even make some pocket money out of it too buy selling preloved goods.

Anyways, those are some of my viewpoint about putting our things to good use. Here are some of my idea-picture opinions on what can be recycled, reused or upcycled. Enjoy!

Do share if you have some awesome ideas of your own to add to this list. Stay inspired!