Author Archives: Katrina Alana

What’s up with Us

It was winter when we moved to Melbourne

It’s been a few months since our last blog post and I’m sorry to have been MIA. I’ve been a little more active on Instagram but not by much. I will be posting more updates starting this week.

We’ve been so swamped on the back end doing rebranding and product development. Moving to Melbourne has inspired me to create and redesign so many things in our line.

Etsy Made Local Melbourne

One of the things we’ve been passionate about is the Etsy Made Local Melbourne Market. It is happening on November 28 at Collingwood on Rupert on Rupert and Allpress. Being a team leader has been incredibly fulfilling for me. I get to work with the most amazing ladies ever, Jen, Deanna, Nik and Shu.

Calligraphy and Ceramics Experiments

Calligraphy and Ceramics Experiments

I have been experimenting with calligraphy and illustration using materials and printing mediums I haven’t used before. Clay has been my favorite so far but I only have access to a studio once a week. I’ve been so eager to come back each week and see what my pieces look like after they have been fired.

We haven’t had the time to organize calligraphy workshops here in Melbourne. We hope to resume classes by December or January.

We are also in the middle of producing more calligraphy supplies. We’re prototyping and testing now.

Our Etsy shop is once again selling our greeting cards and prints. We will be adding more stationery with a new and exciting designs on November. The wax seals and sealing wax will be on sale again by Monday however custom orders will still be on hold since there is a delay in our equipment.

Thank you so much for supporting us through the years. Exciting things are coming soon. We can’t wait to share them with you.

Kat & Lex

400 Gradi Neapolitan Style Pizza

We have been craving for pizza and decided to go out for our date night. I had read about 400 Gradi in CNN Travel. They were featured after they won the Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza (Pizza World Championship) in Italy in 2014. The owner and Chef Johnny Di Francesco won the top Margherita title. He beat some of the world best pizza chefs so our expectations were quite high.

400 Gradi by Photosaurus Studio

Photos by Photosaurus Studio

We made our reservation online and the place was packed when we got there at eight o’clock. I loved the modern décor with the polished concrete surfaces. The only problem was the accoustics of the main dining area. The sound bounced around so much that it was noisy compared to the bar area in the adjacent room.

400 Gradi Margherita verace pizza

Margherita Verace Pizza $22

We ordered the Margherita Verace Pizza, Spaghettini al Grancho and Tiramisu to share. The Margherita Verace Pizza was made with Sam Marzano tomatoes, Buffalo mozzarella and basil. It was a delicate sauce but it was flavourful and delicious. We both loved how fresh and light this pizza was.

Spaghettini al Granchio $36

Spaghettini al Granchio $36

The Spaghettini al Grancho was made with Spanner crab meat, chilli zuchinni, cherry tomatoes, white wine and lobster bisque. The dish is served with some chilli and parmesan cheese on the side. I wish there were larger chunks of crab meat in this dish. I would recommend adding a little chilli for a little kick and as crazed cheese lovers, we couldn’t help but add a lot of parmesan cheese. We would order this dish again for sure.


Tiramisu $16

The Tiramisu was made with mascarpone cream, savoiardi biscuits soaked in coffee and marsala wine. It was a delicious dessert but I would have preferred it if it was served in a different container. It was difficult to get all the layers with one spoonful.

The service was quick even though 400 Gradi was packed and our server was friendly. The food was great and we will definitely come back again.

400 Gradi

  • Website:
  • Address: 99 Lygon Street, East Brunswick VIC 3057 Australia
  • Telephone: 9380 2320

Interview: Rebekah from Through Bambi Eyes

Rebekah from Through Bambi Eyes

We met Rebekah at the Queen Victoria Market Night Market. I really love her head scarves, they are very colourful and pretty, perfect for adding a dash of colour in any winter outfit.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Rebekah Jayne. After exploring the world and living in Austria I came back to Australia and began leaning to design and sew. I entered fashions on the field at the Yarra Valley Melbourne cup and was runner up. Since then i have been designing dresses and accessories. I love working with natural and organic fabrics and have a focus on sustainability in fashion. I decided to start with accessories making headscarves, bows and bow ties. I like being unique especially when it comes to clothing. I reflect this in my work be only making a few of each fabric design. I am slowly expanding into women’s wear with a range of nighties coming soon.

2. How did you come up with your shop or brand name?

A guy once commented on my eyes. He said “you have bambi eyes”. Then when I went back to Europe to send back my belongings I wrote a blog and came up with “Through Bambi Eyes.

Rebekah's Workshop

Rebekah’s Workshop

3. What got you into crafting/arts/illustration/retail/business?

I have always loved being creative. I made a dress for the Melbourne cup in Yarra valley the year I moved back to Australia from Austria. I came second and since then I have being taking classes and building my skills.

4. What do you make and why do you make them?

I make accessories, headscarves, Bows and bow ties. I will also be selling nighties soon as well. My dream is to design dresses both casual and evening wear. I have a passion for fashion as it were. I love designing and Using organic fabric to express style in a quirky and classic fashion.

Through Bambi Eyes

Through Bambi Eyes

5. Do you have a favorite item that you created? Is it sold or still available for purchase?

I don’t really have a favourite at the moment I love each of my fabrics they always add something to my outfits.

6. Are you a full time artist, designer or crafter? If not would you like to be?

My aim is to design full time. At the moment I work full time and design in-between.

7. Do you have any favorite blogs or resources that you can share to our readers?

I have my own blog on tumblr

8. Do you have any discount codes or promotions that you can offer our

I offer 10% off to people that like my Facebook page.

Though Bambi Eyes

Etsy Craft Party 2015

We were eager to join our very first Etsy Craft Party since moving to Australia. The theme for this year was Kaleidoscope: Paper Taking Shape. We got a bit lost when we got to the Ian Potter Centre but we finally managed to locate the room after asking several museum staff.

Etsy Craft Party 2015:  Kaleidoscope: Paper Taking Shape

The room was pretty packed and we were excited to make a little kaleidoscope. We quickly found a seat after going through registration.

Making my diamond kaleidoscope at the Etsy Craft Party

The tools and materials were layed-out in front of us and there were several templates and instructions. It was challenging trying to cut out the inner parts out using a pair of scissors. Another lady in the group brought her own pen knife and she was able to make a few pieces quickly.

Colorful Kaleidoscope

It was fun making my own little diamond kaleidoscope during the alloted hour. There were several successive sessions so we couldn’t really linger but it was fun talking to the people we were seated with and getting to know some fresh faces. We’re looking forward to the next Etsy Craft Party.

Queen Victoria Market Night Market 2015

We arrived in Melbourne a few weeks ago. We haven’t really had the time to explore the city since we were too busy house-hunting. Jen told me that the Queen Victoria Market Night Market was starting this week and I made a mental note that we should go. Even though we were busy last Wednesday, I managed to remember that the night market started that day so off we went to have a night out and I was excited to see what good food and goodies were for sale.

Queen Victoria Market Night Market

We arrived around seven o’clock in the evening. The night market had picked-up and people where pouring in. The night market seemed to be set-up in a large covered space but it was an open air venue so as the night wore on the place became quite cold. There are large outdoor heating lamps scattered around the venue but I would suggest that you dress warmly to enjoy the event fully. There are a handful of performers on site and you can watch them perform around the market. There are some ATM machines and toilets near the Queen Street entrance.

Getting There

To reach the venue you simply need to alight at the Flagstaff railway station and exit via William Street. Walk along the park to Peel Street then you should see the QVM after a few blocks. If you go by this route, you will reach the back entrance to the venue but it’s the easiest way to get there if you’re commuting.

The Food

There was an overwhelming array of food available. We checked the website before coming to the night market and we were eager to try Hoy Pinoy and The Little Mushroom Co. We got distracted by the different food vendors so we were stuffed by the time that we located The Little Mushroom Co. You will find that there is going to be a long queue for more stalls but don’t fret as the lines move fast.

• Hoy Pinoy

Hoy Pinoy serves Filipino barbeque and street food. Sisig has always been one of my favorite Filipino dishes so I was so excited to try their version of my favorite dish.We got a serving of the Sisig served on a flatbread and the Pork Crackling served with vinegar. Sisig in the Philippines is usually served on a hot plate and and some restaurants served it with a topping of crushed crackling pork. Hoy Pinoy’s version seemed like a fushion of the traditional sisig and a thai style soft taco. We loved the well balanced flavour, unique combination, the addition of cilantro, the use of the lime wedge to cut the fat and the generous serving. If we ever come back to the night market again this season, I will definitely get another serving of this dish.

Queen Victoria Market Night Market - Hoy Pinoy

Cooking Sisig

The pork crackling or chicharon was crunchy but it was a bit bland. We both agreed that it needed a bit more salt in it as it lacked that umami sensation. The chicharon was technically well done but it lacked flavour.

• Carvery

When we were eating the sisig and chicaron, the person who were were sharing a table with was eating lamb shank, porchetta and some chips so since we were still hungry we decided to hunt for the stall that sold those food. We got the porchetta served on a bun with some greens and a gravy-type sauce.

Queen Victoria Market Night Market - Carvery

Porchetta Burger

The porchetta was very flavourful but eating it as a burger mellowed out the flavour. We ended up removing the top bun and eating the meat separate from the bread to enjoy the full flavour of the pork. The chips they served was excellent as well. It was crispy and salty on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

• Bigne

For dessert we got some caramel cream puffs and some cartoca. I really liked the cream puffs. The pastry was puffy, custard was creamy and the caramel was crunchy. It is one of the best cream puffs I’ve ever had.

Queen Victoria Market Night Market - Bigne

Yummy yummy cream puffs

The cartoca was ok but not memorable. It was good but the flavour of the pistachio topping didn’t really come through. I would give this a miss and just get a second serving of the cream puffs.

The Goods

There was a good assortment of vendors on site. I enjoyed going around and visiting some stalls. I bought a hair accessory for myself and few items for our home.

• Made in Japan

Made in Japan sold really beautiful but incredibly affordable ceramics that are of course made in Japan. I really like the small plates and tea cups they sold.

Queen Victoria Market Night Market - mij

Beautiful ceramics at an unbeatable price

We bought all four designs of small blue plates since they were such a bargain at only $3.75 each. I really liked the large bowls and serving platters on sale as well. The texture and the jewel-like glazing was really gorgeous.

• Green Candle Co

I’m a huge aromatherapy nut so I couldn’t resist buying some soy melts and a burner from the Green Candle Co. Most of our items are still with the shipping company in Singapore waiting to make it’s way here so I don’t have my oil burners yet.

Queen Victoria Market Night Market - Green Candle Co

The fire performer was very entertaining. We just love the Beach House Soy Melts from Green Candle Co.

Marina makes them herself and she was very friendly and informative about each item sells. We both like the Beach House Soy Melts and the lovely modern design of the oil burner which was perfect for our new flat.

• Through Bambi Eyes

I like the nice graphic print of the headband for sale from Through Bambi Eyes. I bought the peach headband from Rebekah and wore it to the Matt Blatt opening the next day. I love how it adds color to my monotone outfit during winter.

Queen Victoria Market Night Market - Through Bambi Eyes

The very friendly performers on stilts taking photos with the crowd. Got the peach hair tie from the Through Bambi Eyes stall.

We had a lot of fun at the Queen Victoria Market Night Market. The food was good and there were some nice items for sale. I would suggest going to this event if you haven’t been there and have a fun night out.

Our Move

We are off to a new adventure this month as we have moved to Melbourne. We stayed in Singapore for the past seven years and we have come to see it as our second home. We have had so many milestones and memories that saying goodbye was not easy but we are happy to move on to the next chapter in our lives. 

There is still so much to do as we set up our nest here so we will be less active online in the next few months. You can still reach us via our email address, social media accounts or via the contact form.

Once we are up to speed, we will be reopening our online shop and continue providing workshops. We have a lot of projects and products in the pipeline so please stay tuned and keep in touch.

Wooden Ink Stand

We designed these wooden ink stands last year. We worked with craftsmen to realize this product using quality wood and good finishes. We first debut them during our workshop with Public Garden and we are now offering them for sale with customization options at our shop.
Wooden Ink Stand

The following models are available:

  • Standard Model – no customization
  • Customized with your name written in gold foil
  • With a gold colored metal holder
Wood Ink Stand Options

Wood Ink Stand Options

You may order these wholesale from the Insignia Stationery Company or retail from our online shop.

DIY Rustic Photo Frame

We just love this DIY Rustic Photo Frame made by Joanne from Fudge and Joy featuring our Live Laugh Love print.

Joanne is working in the corporate sector and blogs about her passion for baking and crafting. Her blog is named after her pets: Fudge is a chocolate Labrador while Joy is a Calico cat.

DIY Rustic Photo Frame

DIY Rustic Photo Frame

What I like about this project is that you can make everything from scratch and you can easily change the contents of the frame with another print whenever you feel like it.

Fudge and Joy

Chalkboard Art Tools

I made my chalkboard art piece for Orange Karinderia last December and I’ve been eager to make another one using different chalkboard art tools so I can experiment with other materials. I planned to make a smaller piece since the last piece was about the size of a poster. I wanted something that we could put at the start of a buffet table or snack corner during parties, workshops, and events.

Eat Drink and Be Merry Chalkboard Art

Eat Drink and Be Merry

I chose “Eat Drink and Be Merry” since it was one of my favorite phrases. I like how this version of the expression gives a very welcoming message to guests. I made my initial sketch on paper then transferred the design on the chalkboard by lightly tracing it.

I didn’t want to order the popular chalk pencils I saw online since I really wanted to make the piece immediately so I decided to go to Art Friend at Plaza Singapura and asked the shop assistant whether they have any chalk pencils in stock. She pointed me to the Cretacolor White Chalk Pencil. I just snapped it up together with the small chalk board. I didn’t want to make my own chalk board using chalk paint since this is just an experimental project and I didn’t want to invest in so many materials.

Hoechstmass Chalk vs Creatacolor White Chalk Pencil Chalkboard Art Tools

Hoechstmass Tailor’s Chalk vs Creatacolor White Chalk Pencil

Lex and I were discussing how to do this project the night before I bought the supplies and he mentioned that maybe tailoring chalk would work so I went to Sing Mui Heng, which is a sewing and jewelry supply shop at People’s Park Centre, to look for some tailor’s chalk that would work with this project. I saw the Hoechstmass Catridge Chalk Set and decided to try it since I also have a sewing project I wanted to try and I knew the it would not go to waste.

Testing Phase: Chalkboard Art Tools

I tested both chalk materials on black paper and on the chalk board since I wanted to see how both performed using different surfaces. I have been planning on incorporating chalk art with calligraphy in another project.

Brand Derwent Black Paper Generic Chalk Board
Hoechstmass Tailor’s Chalk ($12)  - Looked greasy however it did not write a solid white line but writes easily. - Worked better for filling in the design since it gave a solid fill.
Creatacolor White Chalk Pencil ($2.50) - Wrote solid white markings on paper. Worked best on paper. - Worked better for outlining the design since it wrote a solid line but was more difficult to use when filling larger areas.


With the generic chalk board, a combination of both the Hoechtmass and the Cretacolor pencil worked best to produce the fine lines. I don’t think that using just one brand would have given me the effect that I wanted since each material served a specific purpose as discussed in the table above. Using the pencils were definitely a thousand times easier than using a regular stick of chalk but for larger pieces you might want to outline using the Hoechtmass Tailor’s Chalk then fill in with the middle portion with regular chalk sticks.

Eat Drink and Be Merry Chalkboard Art

My Precious

I am so happy with the final piece that I don’t think I would erase it. Time to get another chalk board. I’ll be fixing it permanently with a spray solution. I didn’t like how hairspray reacted in the Save Room for Dessert piece so I will be trying either a fixative spray used for calligraphy that I’ve been eyeing on or a matte spray paint recommended by Minifanfan. I’ll write another post about it when I decide which spray to buy.

Please leave a comment below if you have any recommendations for chalkboard art tools or if you would like to share your own chalk art projects. We would love to hear from you.

Art Friend:

Sing Mui Heng

  • Art Friend Website:
  • Operating Hours: 09:00 am – 06:00 pm (Mon – Fri) and 09:00 am – 06:00 pm (Every 1st & 3rd Staurday of the month)

Interview: Elise from Botanicase

Elise from Botanicase

We met Elise from Botanicase at one of Public Garden’s flea markets last year and bought one of her pressed flower casings. We wanted to feature her lovely pieces and get to know more about her.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Elise Aw and I am currently studying Environmental Systems in the University of Sydney.

2. How did you come up with your shop or brand name?

Surprisingly, it did not take me long to come up with my shop name. Amalgamating the word botany, which means plant life and the word case, I came up with Botanicase.

3. What got you into crafting/arts/illustration?

During my 1st year of university, I was taught how to press flowers. After more practice, I gradually fell more and more in love. With inspiration online, I started to make my own pressed flowers phone casings.


4. What do you make and why do you make them?

I make pressed flowers phone casings. Everyone who knows me knows I’m a huge fan of plants. By pressing flowers, I am able to seal in the beauty of the flowers and bring them along simply on my phone case!

5. Do you have a favorite item that you created? Is it sold or still available for purchase?

My favourite item would be my personal iphone casing. I customized it with the flowers my boyfriend gave me, it is meaningful and special. It is not for sale.

Elise's Favourite Botanicase Piece

Elise’s Favourite Piece

6. Are you a full time artist, designer or crafter? If not would you like to be?

Unfortunately, I am not a full time crafter. As I am pursuing a BA in Environmental Systems, I would love to secure a job as a soil scientist or anything related to the soil studies.

7. Do you have any favorite blogs or resources that you can share to our readers?

My personal favourite blogger would be
Her name is Rebecca. Her photos are often taken out in nature which I really enjoy looking at. & I find it terribly cute that she takes most of her own photos using her tripod!