Category Archives: My Projects

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.

Animals and Cheesy Puns Exhibit

I’m so excited to join my first exhibit in Tokyo next month. This is a big milestone for me as an artist. I’ve been busy thinking of concepts and drafting illustrations for the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the exhibit in person due to some pressing commitments here in Singapore. This whole situation is just so heart-wrenching for me.

Drawing the design drafts

“Between Us” is organized by the brilliant people at Yellowren Productions. The theme focuses on showcasing connections not just with people but also with our environment. We met Joyce, Jeremy and Allan and we got to know more about their work and initiatives. I encourage to visit their website and Facebook page to get to know more about the wonderful work that they do.

Working on a piece featuring a cheesy bear

I wanted my work to communicate a few things. My pieces for this exhibit had to showcase something personal to me, something that at first glance could immediately show the theme “Between Us”, something that spoke about our relationship to our environment. 

Working on the lettering

My collection is called “Animals and Cheesy Puns” since it is dedicated to my ultra-supportive husband, Lex, who loves animals and lettering. Without him I would not be the creative person I am today. I’ve come to appreciate cheesy jokes and puns only because of him.

A finished piece called "My Deer"

My deer

The cheesy puns add a humorous spin to the anthropomorphism of the animals. The choice of using pyrography on wood was made to remind us of how we are affecting the environment. We are quickly burning through the resources of this planet. We need to make a more conscious effort to adapt more environment friendly practices in our lives.

My finished pieces

My finished pieces

I’m very grateful for the opportunity of display my work together with other amazing artists. To learn more about the exhibit and other artists showing their work for “Between Us” go to Yellowren’s website.

Yellowren Productions

  • Website: www.yellowren.com
  • Address: 577 Yishun Ring Road, Singapore 768693
  • Email: info@yellowren.com

Yellowren Arts Festival 2014 (Tokyo & Singapore) – Between Us

  • Location: Design Festa Gallery
  • Date: May 2-7, 2014 (Friday – Wednesday)
  • Address: East Building, 150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingu-Mae 3-20-2
  • Telephone: 03-3479-1442
  • Email: info@designfestagallery.com

Hand-carved Rubber Stamps

I wanted to create a new look for the notebooks that we will be including in the calligraphy kit for the workshops this weekend since we will have some male participants. During the last workshop, I used the butterfly stamps that I got as a token from the organizers of the MT Tape workshop I conducted last year.

Took a quick photo using my old iPhone

I decided to carve these stamps using vintage sailor tattoos as inspiration. Sketching the design was pretty easy but I had a hard time deciding on which carving rubber to use. I ended up using a Japanese carving block that Lex bought me during one of his trips to Japan. Unfortunately I no longer had the packaging so I’m unable to mention the brand here.

Sailor Themed Stamps: Sparrows, Stars and Anchors

I used linocutters and a kraft knife to make the details. I’m pretty happy with the result. I’m looking forward to carving more designs for my collection as soon as I get more carving rubber.

Christmas Crafts and Calligraphy

I was able to make some rubber stamps this week for some Christmas crafts at the office. It took me about two hours to carve this reindeer stamp using the free printable gift tag designs for last year’s Christmas freebie here in our blog. I’m happy how it turned out.

Made some greeting cards using carving rubber and ink pads

As part of our holiday tradition, we usually make handmade wrapping paper to spend some quality time together and to save money. I do hope that that statement didn’t sound too pretentious. I make stuff because I enjoy crafty things.

Gift tags for my family written in my own hand using a Brause Nib

We usually wrap our presents before flying home but I don’t think we will have time to do that tomorrow before our flight on Sunday.  I’m glad I found some time to make some gift tags for my family and in-laws’ gifts so at least there will be a handmade touch to our presents.

Gift tags for my in-laws

What Christmas crafts are you doing for your loved ones?

Mavi’s Birthday Party

My godson’s first birthday party was last month and since I’m all the way here in Singapore, I was glad that I could contribute something to this special event. The theme for the party was Mustache Man and I made the custom graphics and cake topper just for Mavi.

Our Little Man, Mr. Mavi turned 1

My friend Melissa is a pastry chef based in General Santos City and she owns Mavilous Cakes and Pastries with her husband Meiji. She baked all these and styled the entire event. The tablescape has cheese blondies, cupcakes, cake pops and blueberry mousse.

Yummy yummy baked goods

Meliza made a lot of DIY for this event and planned the party months in advance. I just love the bottles with the googly eyes. Isn’t it adorable?

Custom goodie bags and giveaways

Credits:

Birth Poster

My goddaughter was baptized a few weeks ago and part of our gift for her was a birth poster which shows the baby’s birth statistics and birth information. Her mom saw something similar online and we collaborated to create a version specially for our little angel.

A gift for my goddaughter

NOTE: The details below have been changed to protect my goddaughter’s privacy.

Singapore Insider Guide Project

We’ve been planning to make an insider guide for tourists in Singapore so we can share our favorite things. We’re currently compiling pictures and making illustrations for this free pdf guide. Here are some badges that I’ve been working on for this project.

My badges: (left – right) Shop houses, double-decker bus, personal grocery shopping bag, drinks, food

If you’d like to contribute to our insider guide, get in touch with us via the contact form. We’d love to hear from you.

Apache Marriage Blessing Poem

I was commissioned to work on an Apache Marriage Blessing poem by Germaine for her friends who were getting married. She originally wanted to do the piece in Italics but decided on my version of Modern Calligraphy instead. The text is written using Aurora Black ink and gold gouache on parchment paper.

The work took a few days to finish. I usually start the process with a pencil sketch for the outline and drawing of the feather. Once that was approved, I ink the final piece.

Note: I currently offer Copperplate and Modern Calligraphy services. Please contact me via the contact form for any enquiries.