Sunday, February 28, 2010

a LITTLE packaging..

..goes a long way. 

And I mean, little as in tiny.

Anyway, conducting an online business means having to be hands-on in carrying several different activities, from photography to social media promotions to doing accounts etc. Some are rather tedious yet necessary, but there are some which I truly enjoy.

Like the part where I get to pack orders. Somehow I always get a kick out of penning down addresses, making my own bubble envelopes (yep I do that!) and MOSTLY, packaging the actual purchase.

I'm very, for lack of a better word, anal about packaging. (actually 'particular' might be a better word eh. oh well!) To me, packaging is a last step which is sadly, very often neglected. But I feel it is the key to transforming a simple purchase, into a gift. 

It wasn't easy at first, trying to figure out what kind of packaging would work best for a product that tiny. Most packaging advice suited jewellery, or books, or clothings, but it was hard to find any that taught you how to package miniatures. 

Fast forward a year later, now I've found some materials and ways to package miniatures in a way that would asthetically please. I can't say and definitely don't think they're the best packaging methods, but the main point here is to show that just a little thought and effort goes a long way. (yes, I'm starting to repeat myself.)

This is how I chose to wrap up some of my cookies for a recent customer.


Okay please allow me a shameless moment. I'm REALLY proud of my cursive 'cookie'! hahaha, I've always struggled with cursive since my primary penmanship days. But ever since I saw a girl in lecture who was taking down school notes in a journal which was crammed with gorgeous, messy cursive, I fell in love with the font.

Although I must admit I practised about a dozen times just for this 'cookie' label.

 I use cheap baking/greaseproof paper, and baker's twine. Trust me, you can't really go wrong with these two materials! :)

 And that's a lot of mini triangle cut-outs achieved after a few minutes of hard snipping away.

 Right, so I threw those cut-outs into the bin (not before I snapped the above photo!) as I was really cutting the jagged edges of these miniature grocery bags instead! 

I haven't seen a patterned scissors which cuts such small edges yet, but I kind of like the brainless, shut-down mode I go into when I'm cutting them anyway! I always recycle the brown envelopes of my family's mail, you should try looking around in your postbox or you could use real grocery bags. :)


RIGHT. This is turning out to be a long monologue, and I sound like a total packaging geek, don't I!

It's all her fault really, head on over and see if you ain't bowled over with all the pretty packaging!

WAIT, before you hop off!

How do YOU package gifts/products?
What's your favourite/worst package received so far?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cutest name ever - Kueh Tu Tu.

The search is over, guys. I've found the food with the cutest name ever.

It's the kueh tutu!

Seriously, doesn't that just sound adorable! kueh tutu.

I mean I wouldn't want to name my baby after it or something, but I think it definitely ranks high in cute-factor amongst other food names like the serious-sounding profiterole (there is a financial term in it!) or the eyebrow-raising crepe (So many of us here pronounce it as 'crap'. lol).

Disclaimer: The latter two foods are still EXTREMELY delicious.


Alright, so I've strayed too far off topic. 

Back to kueh tutus. (I know I'm wearing the name out.)


To the non-Singaporean, it might be the first time you're seeing this pasty-looking dessert.
Some quick facts from Wikipedia.

Kueh Tutu is a traditional Singaporean delicacy. Made primarily from rice flour or glutinous rice flour, the light snack contains either ground peanut and sugar or shredded coconut as filling. The typical method of preparation involves rapid steaming of the flour and the filling. Once ready, the Tutu is served on pandan leaves to add fragrance.

 I played around with Picasa's effects, and achieved this vintage-y feel.


These kueh tutus were commissioned and made into earrings. Each kueh measures at 1cm in length.

I meant to write an entry all about reminiscing about how as a child, I used to watch the kueh tutu aunty make the kuehs and I was so intrigued that I told myself that will be my job one day.


But now this entry's all about food and their names. But it's strange, ain't it. How we humans attribute character to inanimate objects like foods, colors, names. It's like this innate desire to humanize everything.

Tell me any foods which you deem as having character! 
Like the macho Root Beer, or the sexy salsa dip. Haha.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Does the tiger go ROAR, or purr?

It's the Year of the Tiger! :)

Last Sunday was the very first day of the Chinese New Year (da nian chu yi), and with that we bade farewell to the ox and ushered in the tiger

Here are some CNY-related craft items - all made by mom.

Plump mandarin oranges made from stretchable material.

The red packets always have such festive, pretty details. Such a shame to throw them away after CNY!
Paper lanterns, with empty red packets.

Chinese New Year (or is it lunar new year?) is definitely one of my favourite, if not my favourite, festival ever. It is always jam-packed with activities - the ever-important lou-yusheng (pictured below), noisy and fun gatherings with family and friends, some happy-gambling with cards and mahjong, collecting angbaos (red packets) from our elders.. 

And of course, my mom's fab baking. 
I know in a few entries back, I whined about how the kitchen smelled permanently of pineapple and pastry after my mom's baking tirade, but I kind of miss it now.

And I was wrong, the pineapple fragrance was temporary and it has dissipated. :(

I did not manage to capture on camera, every single Chinese New Year cookie my mom churned out this year. But here's some of them. A few are still sitting prettily in their boxes in my living room table. Oh so tempting! :)

I can't remember what went into this biscuit, but they were crunchy, tasty, with a dusting of caster sugar on every one of them.

A concoction of toasted cornflakes, raisins, honey, coconut-ty goodness lies in each of these pink pastry cups.

I really take my hat off to my mom, for having the patience to sit through the tedious rolling of each and every chilli shrimp roll. They were devoured in probably less than 1/100th of the time she took to make them!

Separate pastry skin. Cut into uniform squares. 
Scoop chilli shrimp. Fold corners. Tuck in bottom. 
Roll. Dab top triangle of pastry skin with water. Roll.

Then repeat 32910 times.

(It's impossible to count how many she wrapped but I don't think it's too exaggerated an estimate.)

My little cousin's favourite. Melt-in-your-mouth milk sugee biscuit. :)


I used to hate anything with almond in them (if you've tasted the foul-tasting almond jelly, you would too!). But these almond cookies totally had me convinced to give the nut another chance. Teehee.

They were packed full with almond flakes, and it was so incredibly crunchy with every bite, and there was a distinct, fragrant almond smell, nowhere like the almond jelly at all!


This year was just the same like other years. In the entire week following the arrival of Chinese New Year, I don't remember having much time for myself at all, much less to sculpt/blog. It was a mad rush of hustling to and fro different houses, and it wasn't till midnight that we would reluctantly leave, only to gather again a few hours later, for another round of mahjong/ban-luck/steamboat. 

My sleep debt definitely accumulated in the past week, but I'm not complaining. :) 

Colorful sugar jellies.

 If I was a kid with no worries about an expanding waistline or risk of getting diabetes, you would see a very eager little girl cramping as many of this in her mouth as humanely possible. :)


My wonderful family - parents, brother, boyfriend, aunts, uncles, cousins.


This is such a long post, and my eyelids are getting really heavy. Time to repay that sleep debt, and I promise that the next entry would be about miniatures! :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mr SandwichBag.

This is a story, about a sandwich bag.

In a cafeteria far far away, and in a time long long ago, there was a sandwich bag.

 Mr SandwichBag's best friend was no other than Miss Sandwich of course! 

Mostly, all they do is protect each other from their greatest enemy -
the greedy kid with grimy fingers full of snot.

And so, Mr SandwichBag and Miss Sandwich lived happily ever after.


Don't you just love these senseless stories? Heehee.
(I'm sorry, I was bored and decided my blog needed a new entry.)

P.S Due to an unforseen soggy-lettuce situation, Miss Sandwich has refused to pose for photos. But she has a photo account (not unlike Facebook) here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Welcome to the first episode of 'Look!'.

I shall try to make this a fortnightly event, and it is mainly to showcase Etsy shops, which I have fortunately stumbled upon. Etsy is such a wonderful site, and I hope 'Look!' will attract you to join the site, either as a buyer/seller, or just take a further look at the respective artist's shop.

In today's 'Look!', I was mindlessly browsing through Etsy's categories, and decided to use the 'pounce' function on the shops which have just had a sale. 

And of course they deserved the sale! Just look at the lovelies beneath.



I hope some of you have fun shopping!

By the way, this is not the big plan I was talking about in the few entries earlier. 
I'm still tying up some loose threads with that!

It's a big small!

A big small is what you call something that is big in the small world.

and usually, it will still be small. :)

Okay fine, I just made that up five seconds ago.

It was nearing evening when I took the photos, and the sun was hanging low.
I happily caught a shot with the miniature cookies bathed in the warm sun rays.

The big small.

The cookie measures at 1.3cm in average diameter.

Of course, someone had to chew off a bit. It's chocolate and cookie, for heaven's sakes.

Nom nom nom nom nom nom. 

I can type that forever.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Apples of her eye.

I haven't been coming up with products for non-collectors of miniatures for a really long time.

But finally, here's a reason for you all to come to my shop!


The idea of dangling miniature apples off earrings is really an idea of my dear friend (rossiepoo are you reading this? :)).

The apples are not in 12th scale, because that would mean it's almost only visible as a pair of dancing red dots beneath your ears, heh heh. Therefore, I have sculpted these to be bigger.

"All the better to see them with", says the big bad wolf.

The earring loops are 3.3cm long and miniature apples measure 1.1cm tall and wide.


I have so many big ideas up my sleeves right now, and they involve YOU (yes you, who's reading this!) so I know you will be mighty excited when I get to share it with you. 

But I want to run through all of the nitty gritty details first, before letting this plan out of the bag.
It will really need all of your support to make it a blast, so YOU have to stay tuned alright! :)

-off to draw more mindmaps in my sketchbook.