Tuesday, December 08, 2015


Monday morning: I drifted awake on the tail end of a dream. I think the moment just before I opened my eyes, I had been (in my dream) repeating, "Chaya, Chaya, Chaya ..." (No, not the 'Chaiyya chaiyya' song.)

The Chaya in my dream had been a beautiful, dark-haired woman.

In my dream, I was (I think) on my first day at a job—either as a receptionist or assistant to a doctor who didn't/hadn't (yet) turn up at work—and I was handling all the patients/clients who came to the office, wanting to see the doctor. Prior to going into the office, I seemed to be walking around with a friend (Jen, I think?) which gave me the opportunity to look around. The setting was natural and calming; think: ivy-covered stone walls and muted gurgling of man-made waterfalls.

In the doctor's office, I wasn't in a panic and the patients/clients weren't pushy or angry. They seemed content to be rescheduled and, in a more or less orderly manner, asked for their (new) appointments.

Chaya was one of them. I apologetically explained that the doctor wasn't in (yet) and asked whether she would like a new appointment, perhaps later that same day. She said she would like to be registered for the earliest possible opening but could I please give her a call as soon as the doctor came in. I promised I would. She wrote down a long-ish string of number and left her name.

I think maybe that was when I started waking up, repeating her name and staring at her phone number.

Anyway, it was an unusual name so last night I decided to look up its meaning. I pronounced her name 'chah-yah' (the Hindi way) which was what I was more familiar with; however, I'd just finished The Mathematician's Shiva on Sunday night so I'm kinda leaning towards the Hebrew meaning (however differently it is pronounced).

Does that dream mean anything? Hm.

Guilty Reads

(Yeah, strange coincidence of reading back-to-back books with a Jewish theme. This is why I have a feeling that the Chaya in my dream isn't Indian but Middle Eastern/Jewish.)

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Next Project

I'm itching to do more cutting—more specifically, Yule cards—but I've also been thinking of the updating that Rach's family tree cutting needs with the new addition to her family. Because I'm adamant that I don't draw anything (there're just too many steps, what with sketching and endless re-sketching—I often tear and crumple paper with my furious erasing—then scanning and adjusting/tracing, before I can even print and cut), I took days to find the right vectors to edit and paste together.

Anyway, after trying unsuccessfully to work on an actual tree cutting, I ended up pasting together something from a couple of Art Nouveau vectors I found online:

This looks like it could very well be a viable piece with both positive and negative cuts. The only criteria Rach gave me were that it be A3 and portrait (so she can re-use the frame she bought for the previous cutting).

Time to buy paper and get this printed out ...

I would like to do a series of small-ish Yule cards decorated with himmelis and/or with piercings (like the card I made for Jen) ... unfortunately I don't have anyone to give the cards to. I don't think I want to mail those cards—the himmelis will make the cards bulky and maybe slightly fragile.

Guilty reads:

Friday, November 27, 2015


The ornare card ended up being completely ruined after the spray paint job because of a small malfunction, so I just crumpled it up and threw it away. I think the next time I make such a card, I'll draw the design out by hand on graph paper—which will help keep my perforations more or less uniform in distance too (not that it really matters).

And then this straw thing just didn't turn out as I thought it would ... sigh.

I'd envisioned a bowl. This isn't even remotely bowl-like. And it's kinda flimsy. Worse: it looks like a fucking tortoise. I'mma try to salvage this, maybe turn it into a hanging thing as Emily suggested.

Guilty reads:

I also re-read Tom Holt's Who's Afraid of Beowulf. This and Expecting Someone Taller are prolly my two favorite titles by Holt although I think I enjoyed them more when I was doing Old Norse and Old English classes (I'm also re-reading Grailblazers but it's only okay). Still trying to finish reading Meadowland ... sigh.

Working on designing a new "family tree"-type paper cutting for Rach but I'm all out of inspiration ... -_-

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

One To Go

So ... Okay. Not exactly as I had envisioned, but close, I guess ... Once again, let down by my poor execution. Sigh.

Was too lazy to think up and make an envelope that will accommodate the bulkiness of the himmeli, so I folded a sleeve instead. (I intended to give this to a friend I'm supposed to meet for coffee this week. I don't think it's safe to mail this—too much room for destruction.)

I'd just spraypainted the other card. Lord, there was a dripping issue with that one so that card is actually ruined. (But I'm still curious as to how it'll turn out once I remove the tape, etc.)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Yule Cards WIP

First attempt at ornare:

Using a fucking thumbtack (for the lettering) is a real pain. Literally. I'm interested enough in this technique to look for more appropriate piercing/perforation tools—maybe get like a pergamano needle or two.

The perforations on for the snowflake were made by a very fine-nosed screwdriver my dad found me, but I'll definitely want to be able to make perforations of varying diameters. NO MORE THUMBTACKS ugh.

Because I'd printed the stencil inside the card, I'm gonna like spraypaint the inside as soon as I buy a better can of spraypaint. (I bought a can of Chase glitter spray on Friday and it is a fucking POS. I tested it on two of my cocktail straw himmelis and all I ended up with were two fucking glitter bombs. I'mma go get me a can of Krylon Glitter Blast soon. You get what you pay for, I guess.)

Alternatively, I guess I might washi-tape the inside up? I still have two rolls of pretty nice silver-patterned washi tape.

This card's meant to have a star himmeli mounted on the card front, but since Chase's lousy glitter spray is fucking up my star ...

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Actually, this is pretty easy to make since I don't gotta measure or cut anything. It's pretty flimsy though, using cocktail straws and sewing thread.

I bought a can of silver glitter spraypaint for a small star I made for a card. If there's any leftover from my test sprays (gonna use the previous straw thingies I made as test subjects), I'mma spraypaint this baby.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Not sure if my calculations are correct. If a regular icosahedron has 20 little triangles in total, then I add three triangles to each little triangular face to make a triangle-based pyramid, I'd get like 60 surface triangles? (Honestly, I don't know the names to these shapes and shit. I either was not taught it, or I'd been spaced out when it was taught ...)

I have to say though: I don't like this spiky orb thing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Yesterday was the Diwali public holiday. The only Hindi movie screening on the free-to-view channel was fucking Chennai Express. Why the shitty show I don't have a clue, but I guess a movie like That Girl in Yellow Boots or Ugly isn't exactly something that will liven the holiday mood.

Tried out a himmeli orb (well, I made two, actually) while streaming Gone Girl:

I'd not read Gone Girl but the movie I couldn't finish nor did I want to. Visually, the movie looked great, but the characters and story—big fucking ugh. I found the movie to have zero incentive for me to continue or finish watching: I dislike both major characters and don't give a fuck as to whether revenge was had or they reconciled and had a happily ever after.

Anyway, books I finished in the last week or so:

  • Bad Monkey
  • Mystery
  • Victims
  • Sandman Slim:
    [note to self] Not sure whether to pursue this series or not. This book came as a if-you-like-[book A]-you'll-like-[book C] recommendation, [book A] being the Cabal brothers series. While I adore Johannes (and Holt) Cabal, James Stark isn't a character I feel much for either way. Sure, the book's throwaway one-liners gave me a number of amused snorts along the way, but I had to push myself to continue reading, almost right until the take-down at Club Avila when it got kinda exciting.

The himmeli orb has 20 facets (if I counted correctly), which makes it a regular icosahedron—I think. With no internal spokes, the structure is less stable than I like. Maybe I'll try stellated polyhedra next ... or something in a larger scale.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Wilde Cut

This is, I think, my first attempt at a pop-up card without a template ... so, as expected, my calculations and measurements are a little off. (Not to mention the lack of structural support in the text so that the first are is collapsing backwards.)

The background isn't coming through the way I thought it would (it's the starry night-sky background I created for my VSC 2 assignment, the Cirque des RĂªves booklet).

This is one of my favorite quotes (out of context). Something I hope to remind myself when times get shitty.

Monday, November 02, 2015

A Quick One

The basic building block of this thing (three-sided triangle-faced) came to me while I was lying in bed on Sunday morning. This thing turned out to be kinda 'movable'—as in it can be rotated like flip food lunchbox.

I guess if I used bugle beads or something with clear nylon thread, this could arguably be worn ... right?

Mini Projects

As soon as I decided on wearable himmelis, I started making a butterfly one (cribbing from a design I found on Etsy) which is definitely not wearable.

Completed this one on Friday ... and it doesn't look much like a butterfly because I eyeballed the different lengths required based on the design. Ah well.

Also, I finally finished the first of my Islamic pattern cuttings yesterday:

I don't quite know what to do with this—mount it? Make it into something of a lampshade? What??? I gotta try to give this away to a friend so it's gotta be made into something.

I've also been on a bit of guilty-reading binge. I borrowed a bunch of books last Wednesday and the Wednesday before last after my blood test and a doctor consultation (re: blood test results; I'mma stop my thyroid pills now that my TSH and other crap have leveled out) and have been steadily going through them.

Guilty reads so far:

Gotta say, I absolutely adore the Thursday Next and Johannes Cabal series! It used to be Tom Holt was my favorite (because of books like Who's Afraid of Beowulf and Expecting Someone Taller) but Jasper Fforde is now my new hero. And Jonathan L. Howard—hoo boy, I love me more of the brothers Cabal!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Not What I Had In Mind ...

See, what I'd intended to make was a bangle/bracelet; what I ended up with was a fucking wreath. A tiny wreath, but still a wreath nonetheless. Fuck.

I'm quite determined that I make something wearable today. And not flat.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Devil's Workshop

Idle hands, devil's workshop ... No, but really, I find working with my hands therapeutic, soothing, and kinda rewarding (depending on how the final product turned out).

It started with wanting to make a housewarming gift for a friend (whose housewarming I eventually didn't attend): I was wavering (two to three days prior to said housewarming party) between a calendar and a hanging planter but soon decided that a plant seemed like more an appropriate gift. I was really taken by the himmeli planters I saw online and thought they didn't look very difficult to make ... (HA!)


  • Black straws (bendy bits snipped off)
  • Cocktail straws
  • Embroidery floss (I had loads from Daiso leftover from the friendship band attempts) and a long needle—I did try regular sewing thread (too fiddly for my fat fingers) and a spool of twisty tie (it doesn't lie straight and flat and curves the straws uglily); I think if I were to continue making these straw mobiles/ornaments, I'd use clear fishing wire/nylon beading wire thread.

I used the design of a star pendant I found. The whole thing measured approximately 30 cm; I cut my straws into 15 cm and 8 cm lengths. The plant I bought was an air plant, Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides), which Emily pointed out resembled an untrimmed (pubic) bush.

So ... yeah. (That wasn't why I didn't attend the housewarming and give this thing I made though.)

These recent days have been weirdly tiring ones for me. Inexplicably so. I couldn't wake up, didn't feel like I slept restfully, and spent most of the day in a fugue of sorts. Making another himmeli was the only productive thing I've done between Monday and today (and the damn thing only took less than a single afternoon—while I was half-watching, half-listening to Drishyam.

Filmi-digression: Drishyam was decent enough but anybody expecting Rahasya-level suspense and thrills will be sorely disappointed. Tabu was fricking amazing and my, my, my does she look so delish. I also liked Shriya Saran enough to want to watch her other Hindi and English works, namely Gali Gali Chor Mein and Cooking with Stella).

This I made with the cocktail straws which had the two constraints of being of very limited length and very thin.

Conclusion: himmelis are actually really fun to make. It's just that I've nowhere to dump finish pieces (my mother will flip if I tried to display every single project I've made—from all my modular origami shit to paper-cuttings, and now this himmeli crap). For now, my sketchbooks and other assorted tools are scattered between my sister's vacated room (aka my dump-yard) and the living room coffee table (my preferred spot for working on paper-cuttings).

I wonder if it would be possible to make himmelis in a sorta paper-pleat pattern (which is also geometric). That would be interesting I think. Guess I could continue to scale down my himmelis to make them wearable art (look out WoW LOL!) ...

And speaking of paper-cuttings, I've been working on this for a few evenings now:

The coloring-as-therapy craze that's on right now—I find that super stressful. I can never be a color-er. Cutting is so, so, so much more relaxing and therapeutic. I'm also very much into the geometric Islamic motifs and patterns right now—not only are they pretty, they're really easy to cut!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mini Collage (aka Didn't Know What To Do With Myself Today)

Collage as in I pasted vectors and patterns I found elsewhere into an artboard in Illustrator. All while listening to what I think of as a struggling-to-hold-on-hold-tight playlist.


Credit where credit is due:

  • Feather vectors: Freepik.com
  • Teardrop pattern: Creative Market
  • Typeface: Notulen
  • Dragonfly vector: Insects (Dover Publications, Dover Pictura Electronic Clip Art series)
(Scribble: mine.)

I think the word 'hope' is too off-center for my liking, but then hope always is ... Originally intended to make it into a cutting template but no way am I gonna be cutting that many curves.