Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pretty packaging & le winner!

So firstly, thank you all for participating in the Gold Coast Giveaway!

I was lol-ing through out all your creative ways to crack the macadamia nuts. If you need a laugh, please head to the comments section of the previous post!

Since the number of participants was quite small this time round, I allowed myself the luxury of doing a lucky draw the traditional way. Jack saw me cutting out the little slips of paper, and his jaw dropped and he went, "OMGWTFBBQ are you doing??" Okay, I might have exaggerated.

But he thought I was crazy for 'wasting my time' on that, when there were online tools like random number generators.

Tsk, never mind him. In the end, I gave him the task of picking out a name with his eyes closed anyway. (Yep that's his hand.)

Drum roll please..

Congratulations Mable!

I'm also sending the gifts in this Cath Kidston gift bag.

P.S those polkadot sheets are actually tablemats, and they were a spontaneous buy at Daiso (where everything is at $2!). But my family doesn't use table mats so I decided to use them for photoshoots instead.

Finally, just to share my adorable notepad where I write little notes to my customers. 

Look at that heart cactus! and the heart teapot! Awww.

Hope you have a productive Thursday!

Friday, July 20, 2012

How are you quacking this Friday?

Looking at these little ducks make me think of picnics, ponds and yummy egg mayo sandwiches.

I handsculpted the miniature duck macarons (yes they're macarons!) and made them into a ring. 

Oh the cuteness!

 The ring is also in the store. 
 I decided to get a little absurd with the name this time haha.


As a side-note, I'm wondering if any one knows someone who can create a Bigcartel widget? It should be like my Etsy widget (viewable on sidebar), but featuring my Bigcartel listings of course. If anyone can help, I'll be forever grateful! ♥

Lastly, 2 more days left till I start drawing lots for the Gold Coast Giveaway! It is such a cheap thrill to draw the winning name haha. Head over to my previous entry and join now!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Gold Coast Giveaway!

I've got presents for you guys, from Gold Coast! Well, for one of you at least ahem.

I have a habit of visiting supermarkets everywhere I travel and spending ridiculous amounts of time in them. Does anyone else do this?

So don't be surprised that most of the items I got are from Woolworths/Coles. I did think of bringing back chocolates as well, but I was afraid that they might get squished/melt in the post. So I sourced specifically for products safe for mailing.

Included in the giveaway: Poppin microwave popcorn, Strawberry Fields tictac, a bag of raw macadamia nuts and some pretty bookmarks.  

This is the highlight of my giveaway actually, the macadamia nuts! I specially bought those which were still in their shells as they're usually not available elsewhere. You have to use a hammer to crack them though, but the fresh macadamia nuts will be the best reward for your hard work. :)

The little red bag for the giveaway contains about 8 nuts, as the shells + nuts pack quite a bit of weight so I can't put more in sorry! 

We visited the macadamia nut farm in Gold Coast, and I asked the lady at the store, "Can I go see the macadamia trees?" "Sure, just go around the back."

Me and my brother went and searched around for a good few minutes but did not see any, only plenty of lime plants. Or so we thought.

Turns out that the green fruits were actually macadamia fruits, and not lime, silly us! They were lying scattered on the grounds everywhere, and we picked one up and squeezed it open in the car. And oh yes, there was a macadamia nut hiding inside!


Finally, here's how you can win this package of Gold Coast goodness! ♥

This give-away is for readers worldwide, and I'll be paying for shipping of course.

Easy-peasy. Just complete two steps this time!

1. Like AiClay's facebook page if you haven't done so.

2. And leave a comment on this blog post telling me how you would crack the macadamia nuts, think crazy ways! Remember to also include your facebook name so that I can check. :)

A lucky reader would be picked in a week, by 22nd July 2012, good luck! 
♥ ♥ ♥

Psst, tips for nut cracking after the jump!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I want to eat durians so bad!

As I write, the radio dj is talking about how durians are going on sale country-wide as there is an abundance of the fruit after the season. 

That is not helping my durian craving at all! 

I know I get readers from all around the world, and some of you might be turning up your noses and wonder what baloney I'm spewing, as durians might be the foulest-smelling fruit there is out there. I can understand how it might smell vile, but the taste and texture is just to die for! I need to stop here before I salivate all over my keyboard haha.

Let's move on to the miniature version. Here's showing you how small my handsculpted durian is. Definitely not my tiniest work, but durians are a lot larger than regular fruits anyway.

After holding the durian and snapping away, I realised that my fingers had been poked all over! Though miniature, those durian thorns are still pretty sharp.

Next post, Gold Coast Goodies giveaway! About time too.

It's open to everyone worldwide, so please stay tuned!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wow so the previous post has gained me a lot of page views over the weekend! All thanks to all the friends and fans who helped share the post, and especially Daniel Ong who shared it on his own facebook page! All of this attention will hopefully help in making SPH laws and implementation better known to the mass public.

I'm going to take a breather from that for now, so here is one of my works!

In Southeast Asia, it's now the season of the king of fruits

I haven't had a taste of the real one this season yet, but my facebook feed has been teeming with updates of everyone who has been showing off photos of this thorny monster.  

The rich yellow flesh is just terribly tempting, although I have had enough heaty foods to last me for a while hmm.

This is a miniature durian that I sculpted.

I remember that posters made by the durian uncles were always filled with bright neon colours and giant chinese characters screaming the price and grade of the durians, so I tried to do the same for this miniature poster.

I will show how small it is in the next post! :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

finally, i'm spilling the beans.

Hi guys.

It is currently Sunday early morning and I'm awake before any of my family are, so it's calm and quiet here. Slightly chilly too, as it was raining through the night.

Today, there would be no photos (and chunks of words). But instead, I'll be sharing something that I've kept secret for a few months now. It wasn't because I didn't want to tell, but because I felt I shouldn't and couldn't. But it is now the time.

So since last week, there has been a great hooha (how do you spell this anyway) going on over Daniel Ong and Jamie Teo's cupcake bakery saga with SPH. For the uninformed, SPH is Singapore Press Holdings, a major media organisation in Singapore which prints most of our major newspapers here. You might want to digest it here first, before you read on.

Note that the link opens to Daniel's facebook account, and you'll have to look for his posts where he mentions about SPH, not hard to find since they're overflowing with comments and likes!

So in a nutshell, the cupcake bakery was interviewed by reporters under SPH and articles were published. They reproduced the articles on their website for sharing with their fans and friends. SPH emails them and warns them that this violates the copyright laws, and demands that the bakery pay for each article (the fee is to be paid every year for as long as you want to keep the article on your website, about $500+ per article) OR take them down immediately and pay a settlement fee of $214.

And this is exactly what I experienced from SPH a few months ago. The conditions were exactly the same, and the fees etc. If you look at my In the Media tab, you'll find that the scanned reproductions of both newspaper articles featuring AiClay are removed too.

When I first received the email from SPH, I was frantic because no one likes to find out they've broken the law. During the interviews with the journalists, there was not once I was told that I could not reproduce the articles, nor was there any contract signed. Which made me all the more confused.

Plus I've been well-taught in Civics and Moral Education lol, and am as law-abiding citizen as the average Singaporean (which is very). I also hated to infringe anyone's copyrights since I'm a content-producer myself and also why I decline commissions to sculpt copyrighted characters.

The email was definitely a rude shock for me.

I definitely couldn't afford a $500+ yearly fee for reproducing each article on my blog, so I promptly apologised and removed the scanned articles online. And I naively thought that settled the issue. But nah, SPH soon slammed me with a $214 settlement/investigation fee.

I don't know my law terms well, but if investigation fees were fees incurred because they had investigated me, I'll be damned! I had definitely not asked to be investigated, it just felt plain unfair. 

After consulting with a lawyer friend, what I did was to ask for a waive of the settlement fee. On the grounds that I was fully apologetic, had removed articles immediately, and was just a full-time crafter (which they jolly well know seeing that was what was written in the articles) and $214 is a significant amount for me.

And guess what, SPH never did reply. So I'm assuming that means they've agreed to waive this off, though I'm not holding my breath.

I did not want anyone to fall prey to this, so I went about approaching the other crafters who were featured in the articles together with me.

I informed them about my experience so that they could react before SPH got to them. From then on, everytime I saw people putting up scanned newspaper/magazine articles (which occurred all too often) I immediately dropped them a note about my case. I even contacted Wendy Cheng when she reproduced an article (better known as Xiaxue) and Daniel Ong (after the incident to tell him my experience). I was turning into a machine for forewarning unsuspecting people lol.

During all of these communications, I would ask to be kept anonymous if the informed wanted to spread the word. I also avoided mentioning it on my website or any of the social media sites. Reason being that I thought it would be unwise for me legally, since liason with SPH seemed to be still ongoing despite it being months since they replied.

But after reading about Daniel Ong's case, I've decided I should break my silence and join him in spreading the word as well. 

Contrary to what SPH insists, I believe that most of the public are unaware that it is illegal to share reproductions of articles which they've been featured in. It does not matter apparently, even if due credit is awarded to the publisher and reporter/journalist.

Oh yes, I almost forgot to share one last juicy bit.

So while I was waiting for SPH to reply, a reporter* from SPH contacted me again and asked for an interview. Granted, I had mixed feelings. As a small business owner, it would be silly to reject any form of publicity. But I still feel a tad sour after the previous experience with SPH.

So I said yes to the phone interview, and at the end of it, I decided to ask the reporter this.

"So if this article is published and I decide to scan it in and share it on my blog, would that be okay?" 

Her reply? "Ya, I should think so. If anything, you should just receive an email from SPH to take it down and that'll be okay."

Of course this is not word for word, as it's been some time since then. But it's the gist, and I definitely recall her saying it is okay and my eyes going wide at the other side of the phone. 

This is from someone who works in SPH, so if I haven't received the previous email from SPH, I would have happily went ahead in reproducing the article on my blog. Apparently, the reporter had no idea about the investigation/settlement fee. Sadly, I have had a rude awakening and know better now.

So that's my story, and it might help anyone who's experienced the same with SPH. If you've got your own experience to share, feel free to write it in the comments.

*To avoid implicating the reporter, I'm not going to name her. But I had to bring this up to show that if SPH staff did not know their own law, then how would the rest of us?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I'm baaaaaaaaaaack!

"scooting back to Singapore", as the air stewardesses on board said.

So that was the plane I alighted a few hours ago, and thus ended my 9-day Gold Coast vacation!

Popped into my email inbox for a look, and it was filled with so many encouraging mails from customers, and exciting projects in discussion! Brought a smile to my face. 

Shall get back to replying mails tomorrow.

Oh yes, and Australia was amazing, like always.