Snapshots from Instagram

Photo Caption from @katrinaalana: This is just the water well at the Peranakan Mansion. Imagine what the rest of the house looks like. This place is a must see in Georgetown.

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How Not to Practice Calligraphy

Today was supposed to be a relaxing day. I was in bed, practicing calligraphy while playing season two of Top Gear when I knocked over the small bottle of calligraphy ink off my little practice table and onto the bed.

Ink soaked through the sheets and onto the mattress protector

Ink soaked through the sheets and onto the mattress protector

I know you’re not supposed to practice calligraphy on a tiny food tray but I’m lazy like that. So at one point or another this was bound to happen.

After rinsing the sheets at the bathroom, off we went to the nearest laundromat to wash our sheets since we needed to use 3 separate machines to quickly remove the ink and hopefully rescue our linens. The stain remained on the white mattress protector despite soaking it in bleach but the other stuff turned out ok.

So have I learned my lesson? No. I will still practice calligraphy bundled up in bed playing my favorite series in the background.

Spacing Guide Sheet for Modern Calligraphy

One of the challenging things in learning Modern Calligraphy is tackling the issue of connecting and spacing letters as you’re learning how to flex the pen. This takes some time to get used to.

Spacing Guide Sheet Practice

Practicing with the Spacing Guide Sheet

During our workshop, we address this issue by providing different types of guide sheets. We develop our own materials to help speed up learning and to equip participants on how to successfully practice at home. We provide some exemplars and one-on-one instruction but the key to learning calligraphy is always to set aside time to practice. We highly recommend practicing for at least 30 minutes at least thrice a week.

You can download a copy of the Modern Calligraphy Spacing guide sheet here so you can practice at your own convenience. You may also like to check out our blank guide sheets here.

Calligraphy Spacing Guide Sheet

    We recommend:

  • printing using a laser printer
  • using the highest quality copy bond paper available

We love hearing feedback and questions from our participants since it allows us to improve the class, learning materials or format. Feel free to email us or get in touch via our contact form.

We’d love to hear how you’re progressing. Please leave a comment below.

Email is Down – Fixed

We would like to apologize to our clients and customers if your email bounced this past few days. We noticed that we were not receiving emails at our sales[at]katrinaalana.com email which is our primary email for enquiry and sales.

We are currently fixing the issue. For any urgent enquiries, please use our contact form or get in touch with us through our Instagram or Twitter account @katrinaalana.

We hope to resolve this issue today.

Update:  The email issue has been fixed today.

Shrinky Dink Craft Series: Flower Ring

I’ve been toying with Shrinky Dinks for the past few months because I wanted to release a series of Shrinky Dinky DIYs on our blog. A few weeks ago, I was hired to teach at a children’s party. During the planning stage, I proposed some crafts that are appropriate for girls from the ages of 3-12.

One of the crafts that came to mind was making Shrinky Dink* jewelry. Although this project was not picked to be included in party, I thought I’d share it here because I love how it turned out.

What you need for this project

Materials:

  • “Shrinky Dink*” type plastic from Daiso $2
  • Pack of $7 ring base from Lai Guan at People’s Park Centre
  • E600 glue
  • $10 Oven toaster from Cash Converters
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie Markers
  • Aluminium Foil
  • Baking Paper
  • Tweezer
  • Katrina Alana Flower Pattern (optional)
  • Sealants like Modge Podge, Diamond Glaze, clear embossing Powder, clear nail polish or spray acrylic sealant (optional)

Safety:

  • Work in a well-ventilated place since using a heating device and the baking process might release fumes.
  • Be careful of sharp edges. Make sure you cut or sand down any sharp corners before heating your piece so you don’t have sharp edges on your final piece.
  • Use tweezers or tongs to remove the aluminum foil so that you do not accidentally touch any hot surfaces.
  • Get a cheap oven toaster on sale to use for your crafts. We prefer to keep our craft materials and equipment separate from items we use for food preparation.

Steps:

  1. Draw your design on the Shrinky Dink plastic. I used Sharpie markers to trace my design on the shrink plastic.
  2. Place your template underneath the shrink place and trace or make a free-hand design

  3. Line the tray with crumpled aluminium foil.
  4. Before baking

  5. Bake the Shrinky Dink in an oven toaster according to the instructions of the manufacturer. The plastic will twist and warp as it shrinks.

    The plastic will move and warp as it is shrinking.

    You can take the piece out once the plastic stops warping and it has reduced to about 40% of the original size.

  6. After baking it shrinks to less than 40% of it’s original size

  7. Take out the shrunken piece using a pair of tweezers.
  8. Use tweezers to remove the shrunken plastic to avoid marking the design or getting burns

  9. Place the ring that is lined with baking paper on both sides in the middle of a heavy book to flatten it.
  10. Line the shrunken piece with baking paper and use a heavy book to flatten it

  11. Take out the ring after a minute and wait for it to cool completely before handling it with your hands.
  12. This step is optional. You can use a sealant and coat the surface of the ring so that the design does not get scratched off easily. Make sure that the sealant that you use is non-toxic. I did not seal my ring because I like the matte texture and I am still testing different types of sealants.
  13. Attach the Shrinky Dink piece to the ring base using a bit of E600 glue.

Finished piece

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you decide to make a ring using this tutorial, we would love to see a photo of your ring or hashtag us #katrinaalana. *Shrinky Dink is a brand of shrink plastic. We are not using the Shrinky Dink brand of plastic however since the company name / product is more well-known than the material, we refer to Shrinky Dink as shrink plastic.