One day a year ago in July, I was eagerly testing a new sketch app on my telephone, and let my finger do the drawing, at random.
In no time, I was looking at the outline of a girl’s face, framed by curly tendrils of bluish-green hair with charcoal strands.
The lipstick was filled in as carefully as an index finger tip could manage but it went out of the outline, much to my chagrin….but oh that’s alright, I convinced myself… because some of the grand masters painted that way too.
Intent on adding the ‘finishing touch’ to the picture, I found the perfect photo of anthuriums in my media library and fancied it would lend itself to being perched on the girl’s head like a floral fascinator would.
And to make it a floral fascinator worthy of being a VAL Design, there just had to be a sliver of glitz in the form of a gold netting bow tucked in between the flowers. Et Voila!
Since a tender young age of 5 or 6, I have had a fascination for hats which I wore to church on Sundays. That to me, was being dressed in my ‘Sunday best’.
In later years, I admired fascinators for their ability to look so striking while being pertly placed on the head. I have created some for myself but I do not have photos of them, regretfully.
Till the next sharing of a creative expression, have a wonderful, blessed day!
…..Following up on an earlier post entitled: Kebaya Chic Goes Espresso (please click here to read it), today I share with you the charming two-tier cake stands, each adorned with one of four kebaya floral patterns.
The floral patterns featured are from vintage kebaya tops, designed in a contemporary pattern with a background of complementary hues that hark back to the basic colours of precious Peranakan ware.
Unlike the other items in the whole Kebaya Chic range of new bone china ware which come in sets of four pieces, the two-tier cake stands are sold individually. If undecided as to which of the floral patterns appeals more, why not treat yourself to all four!
I simply adore cake stands. If they did not take up so much shelf space, I would have accumulated a much larger personal collection. One can never have enough of these beauties.
When the suggestion to design two-tier cake stands for the Kebaya Chic range was broached by Luzerne (the Singapore-based premier global ceramics company that commissioned these items), I agreed to the idea immediately before any minds were changed.
When not used to serve cakes or any other food delicacies, they take on a decorative role, whether placed on the shelf or dining, coffee or any table (for that matter).
Part of my potpourri of single-tier cake stands are arranged in descending heights on the kitchen counter and create a pretty picture when arranged with fresh fruit. That is one way to tackle the shortage of storage space challenge!
Having designed artworks in a variety of sizes, the request for a 320 cm x 80 cm (128 ins x 32 ins) piece certainly was the longest and largest thus far!
It was for the Thai restaurant for which I had done the three works on silk, based on the Chilli theme. To read the post, please click here.
The design brief for this piece was short and sweet:
When it was finally printed on silk twill, the luxurious touch and sheer size of it, took my breath away!
Framed and hung in place at the restaurant’s entryway, its vivid colours and the 3D effect of the various design elements provide a visually arresting sense of arrival.
While the image above is only as large as this page allows, the real piece is just magical! (Or am I just biased?)
When I received the commission to create three pieces of artwork with chillies as a theme, several ideas came gushing into my mind, each vying for attention. So one can imagine just how I had to gingerly plow through the overlapping thoughts till I settled on the one that seemed to hold most promise!
I put in a hot order for the best chillies from the kitchen…chose them for their colours,sheen and varying degrees of curves. Did some photo shoots…stirred them in a ‘creative pot’ of ideas to come up with three pieces of artwork that I was and still am very pleased with (if I may say so myself).
Printed on 60×60 cm of silk twill each, the set of three works of chilli art was then mounted and now hang (proudly) in a gem of a Thai restaurant.
The client was so pleased with the pieces that they produced coasters that grace the tables of the restaurant. The coasters have been given away to patrons, as souvenirs of their dining experience. Needless to say, I have a mini collection at home too!
I am thankful for the opportunity to explore the art of chillies.
Toodles for now.
When I designed my “Kebaya Chic” silk scarves and leggings, the popularity for all things ‘kebaya’ led to the design being adapted to grace a whole set of new bone china ware.
Commissioned by Luzerne (www.luzerne.com), a premier global ceramics tableware company headquartered in Singapore, whose expertise and quality are second to none, the “Kebaya Chic” range comprises:
* Espresso Cups and Saucers – for four persons, in four kebaya floral patterns
* Two-tier cake stands – in four kebaya floral patterns
* Dinner plates – in four kebaya floral patterns
* Round side plates – in four kebaya floral patterns
* Square side plates – in four kebaya floral patterns
* Square cocktail plates – in four kebaya patterns
Every four-piece set showcases four types of vintage floral designs from kebaya tops, designed in a contemporary pattern with a background of complementary hues that hark back to the basic colours of precious Peranakan ware.
They are just so pretty, if I may say so myself. Sharing a cup of espresso with hubby after dinner at home is that much more delightful an occasion when served in one of my Kebaya Chic cups and saucers.
Today, I share pictures of the Espresso set. More to come in the next few days!
For enquiries regarding purchase of Espresso sets, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and have a wonderful day!
What makes the world go round?
In ‘Summer Sun’ the artwork that is depicted in this long rectangular silk chiffon scarf by VAL, it is……Fresh air. Sunshine. The great outdoors. Happy people celebrating the good life with drink and food…or noodles, to be precise!
Interestingly, whenever I drape this scarf around my outfit, the design elements that catch the eye of many a beholder, are the inclusion of a dish or two of ‘noodles’. As it turns out, this has been an interesting ice-breaker or conversation piece.
To enlighten the curious minds as to how the ‘noodles’ came to be incorporated into this design, allow me to elaborate….
The original colour pencil & acrylic art piece was created by yours truly for a hotel’s noodle restaurant in a Chinese city about 12 years ago. Pleased with the fantasy-like concept, the hotel replicated the artwork as a mural that ran along the full length of one wall of the restaurant, which brought the long, narrow space to life.
As the restaurant is now non-existent, the original artwork was whipped out and slightly embellished for its new life on silk chiffon! The design was then given the perfect finishing touch in the form of a border filled with the words from the poem ‘Summer Sun’, by Robert Louis Stevenson. Thoughtfully-crafted words that so aptly describe the happiness that spills out of the sunshiny scene portrayed.
For those who choose to complete their outfits with the ‘Summer Sun’ silk chiffon scarf by VAL, its exclusively original design will help to spread the joys of summer (and a dish or two of noodles) all year round!
This, and other ‘art to wear’ silk scarves by VAL are available for sale. For a preview of the complete collection, please click here.
On that note, I wish everyone blue skies and everything nice!
In 2011, we decided to brave the May Day Holiday crowds that would descend upon Beijing, my old stomping ground in the 90s, just to feel for ourselves, first hand, what it would be like to be two of millions of sightseers in the city on a public holiday.
And NO, we never dared to ‘join the crowd’ – anywhere in China – on public holidays. So this was a first for us.
As it had been a decade since our last leisurely visit to the city, we were in search of walks down memory lane while embracing the new. Needless to say, we enjoyed the trip, visiting with good friends. Thereafter, I summed up my mixed emotions in the best way I know how – with my art.
Right in the midst of the kaleidoscope of colours, patterns and textures, is a sketch of a girl in a Chinese outfit, looking serene in sepia tones with golden hues. It was done in a moment of distraction (during a meeting, when inspiration struck), in the mid-90s in Beijing.
Surrounding her are contrasting details from the 2011 visit. While some hark back to traditional forms, the bright colours and ultra modernistic font of ‘Bei’ in ‘Beijing’ that I found in Sanlitun serve as the stark contrast in my search for what used to be.
An area that we used to hang out at on the weekends, people watching while sipping large, comforting cups of cappuccino, Sanlitun was the closest thing to the ‘sidewalk cafes of Paris’ back then. Many a fun and heart-warming tale can be retold from those early days. Now, it has caught up with the rapid modernization in the capital and while it may still appeal to some, I could not find its soul anymore.
The title in dark red represents all things Chinese, intentionally done in bold and large oriental-type font to hone in on the character of the Middle Kingdom. After pounding the pavements for a few days during the visit, it seemed only apt to allow a faint hint of the paved walkways in the main colours of the sidewalks to show through the grey background.
Beijing Revisited is about a girl, filled with fond memories of the 90s, in search of the old Beijing she used to know….only to be confronted with remnants of the past and the modernisation of today.
Till the next archival find…..
Original, limited edition Silk Scarves by VAL are making the scene on style icons around the globe ……
Usually worn as a classy finishing touch to one’s outfit, some of these original works of art on silk have been proudly displayed as wall art too.
Any which way you look at it, ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’ ~ John Keats.
If you wish to see and be seen with a VAL Original, please contact me directly at email@example.com
Thank you one and all….
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Call them what you like. Lowest form of art. Ground art. Plain Janes…but they all point to the humble manhole covers. Most people take them for granted as part of the ground they walk on. But I find them to be fascinating in terms of how they could look when presented in a totally different way.
Here are three versions of some manhole covers – all made-over by VAL into Art-to-Wear originals, aptly named SIDEWALK SIRENS in Black and Blue and PAVEMENT PASTELS. Printed on 100% silk twill in 90×90 cm dimensions, complete with meticulously hand-rolled edges, the scarves’ vibrant colours appeal to everyone and dress up a plain outfit dramatically.
For the longest time, I felt like I was the only one obsessing about the patterns on manhole covers…until this I came across the following in the news:
Over in Japan, they have taken to turning manhole covers into art forms with the creative use of colour!
Next time you are out on the street or sidewalks, do pay attention to the world of creativity some simple manhole covers can offer.
Till the next post..have a great day.