Friday, November 30

MT Tapes Exhibition {Part 4}

And finally this is {Part 4} of the series of work that I contributed to the first mt tapes exhibition in Singapore

I wanted to work with a natural color palette and aim for an Asian twist. I got the idea when shopping at the local 100yen shop and spotting the bamboo plate. Chopsticks were a no brainer of course and I customized one of them only with mt tapes.
The "napkin" is indeed a wrapped wet wipe such as the one you get in restaurants in Japan, I only added mt tapes to decorate it.

Check all of the images and share your thoughts in the comment section!


© All photos by EtincelleCreativeSTUDIO

There isn't a thing you can't decorate with mt tapes as it seems... chopsticks, wooden clothes pegs, plates, mats, walls, cards, envelops, bikes, cards... the list goes on and on.
Mt tapes exhibition help you to understand how fantastic the craft tool is, and I hope that you are as exciting as I was to explore more of it in your daily life.

As always I would love to hear your feedback, and maybe what you plan to do now with the dose of inspiration. We will soon share photos of a Christmas Party Styling done this week for Beautiful Revelry blog. Maybe it will inspire you some more...

... and look out for my Christmas Giveaway next week full of mt tapes + other craft goodies from Japan!

MT EVERYDAY in Singapore
Exhibition & Crafts
24 November to 2 December 2012
National Library
Craft sessions at 12pm and 2pm
Free admission but registration is required.
all details click {here}

PS: I will create an online directory of shops where to buy mt tapes and share it shortly in an another blog post. Thanks for your patience!

MT Tapes Exhibition {Part 3}

Today I will unveil {Part 3} and {Part 4} of my contribution to the first mt tapes exhibition in Singapore. It's happening right now and until December 2, 2012 (this coming Sunday) so make sure you will drop by and get some inspiration to tackle your holiday decoration.

You can decorate a great deal with mt tapes, and I hope to be able to share some of my projects soon enough on the blog. Typically, you can use mt tapes to decorate your walls, your Christmas cards or envelops, the advent calendar or your Christmas table. If tapes aren't easily available where you live, remember to shop for them online. I will add a short directory in my next post for help.

So back to the themes, I thought of playing with a black & gold color combo for theme 3. That could work well for a wedding anniversary for example (with the number 6 on the mat representing the number of years you have been married for). 


© All photos by EtincelleCreativeSTUDIO

The numbers used to decorate the plates, garland, cup etc... were individually cut from a roll of mt tapes. I used a shiny gold thread for the garland and paper plates & cup again from my local 100yen
shop. I also cut the center of a paper doily to create the "skirt" for the cup. Isn't it cute?

Check out my previous posts on {Part 1} {Part 2} and my initial submission work.

One more theme to share with you later today! Stay tuned...

MT EVERYDAY in Singapore
Exhibition & Crafts
24 November to 2 December 2012
National Library
Craft sessions at 12pm and 2pm
Free admission but registration is required.
all details click {here}

Thursday, November 29

MT Tapes Exhibition {Part 2}

Hello! I am happy to share theme 2 of my work for the mt exhibition in Singapore. I love polka dots and stripes and have no problem mixing them both. I have chosen to use baby blue and a light pink for this theme.
What kind of party would it work well for do you think? I am dreaming of a polka dots theme party one day... that could be loads of fun!


© All photographs by EtincelleCreativeSTUDIO

You can catch up with {PART 1} here and my submission work here if you'd like. And remember to leave me a comment to share what you like and if I have inspired you to explore more about mt tapes!

Have a lovely day/ evening depending on where you live...

MT EVERYDAY in Singapore
Exhibition & Crafts
24 November to 2 December 2012
National Library
Craft sessions at 12pm and 2pm
Free admission but registration is required.
all details click {here}

Wednesday, November 28

MT Tapes Exhibition {Part 1}


I am excited much to finally show you {Part 1} of my contribution to the mt tapes exhibition currently happening in Singapore {for more information click here}. Ruth of The Little Happy Shop suggested me to work on party decor as she knows he enjoy it a lot and based on my submission ideas.

I came up with four themes which I will share with over the next few days - hopefully you will visit the exhibition afterwards!


©Photos by EtincelleCreativeSTUDIO

I played around with party wares that I found at the local 100yen shop (everything in the shop costs 100yen only - amazing place to shop for creative materials and parties!). I then customized them with mt tapes using a selection of my choice and reflecting the neon trend of this past summer (who didn't love it!).
The <Party Time > letters are in wood and entirely covered with mt tapes. I shopped for them at Tokyu Hands - they have a wide selection and different sizes as well.

Stay tuned as I will share more photos and a new theme tomorrow!

MT EVERYDAY in Singapore
Exhibition & Crafts
24 November to 2 December 2012
National Library
Craft sessions at 12pm and 2pm
Free admission but registration is required.
all details click {here}

Tuesday, November 27

The Lamb Shank Recipe {by J.Oliver}

Here I am wondering what to cook for dinner tonight and remembering the delicious lamb shanks I cooked two weeks ago. I also remembered that I had promised to share the recipe here on the blog since i couldn't find the link on Jamie Oliver's website.

I found it in his 2010/ 11 recipe yearbook {I'd call it a mook though} that we had purchased in Sydney last year. I am not the one cooking lamb at home usually, but we had the shanks in the freezer, and well, lamb IS my favorite meat after all.


Serves 8

Olive oil
2 large leeks, trimmed and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 tsp each cumin & caraway seeds (I used safran instead)
1 tbsp smoked paprika
A few sprigs of mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
8 lamb shanks
A bottle of good quality white wine
1 garlic head, broken into cloves, unpeeled
1 dried red chilli, crumbled
A small bunch of thyme

1. Get your largest saucepan with a lid on a medium heat. Add a good splash of oil and sauté the leeks and celery for 10mins, until soft.
2. Bash the caraway and cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar, then add the paprika, mint, sea salt and pepper and a tiny splash of oil. Mix it up well, then rub over the lamb shanks before placing snugly in the pan with the leeks and celery.
3. Pour over the wine, throw in the garlic gloves, the chill and the sprigs of thyme. The shanks should be almost covered - if they aren't, top up with some stock or water. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover and cook gently for two and a half to three hours, until the meat is soft and succulent and falls off the bone.
If there is a lot of liquid left, remove the lid and simmer for the last 1/2 hour or till the sauce thickens.

Et voila!

It was delicious and I highly recommend this recipe. I personally added some potatoes directly in the pot, but JO recommends roast potatoes with this dish.

Bon appétit!

Source: Recipe from the Recipe Yearbook 2012/11 by Jamie Oliver
Photos by Etincelle Creative Studio

Expat Christmas Fair in {Tokyo}

Singapore, Tokyo... It looks like I am everywhere all at once! I participated to my first fair here in Tokyo, at my daughter's international school. I was a little bit excited and anxious as I haven't attend any fair since last year and it was in Singapore.

Well, it went pretty well despite the not-so-good weather. I sold almost all the bunting banners I had prepared together with some of the newest items {now available in my Etsy shop}. I also met very interesting people and made new customers, got to hand over my business cards and talk about my other activities (workshops and party planning). It was good to get out of my bubble!

I had the idea to make matching bunting banners to some of the Mini Me dolls, and what a good idea it was: I sold more banners than dolls at the end!

I hope to participate to a Japanese market in March next year, that is a much bigger challenge for me!

Monday, November 26

First MT Tapes Exhibition in {Singapore}


I am back blogging! I didn't manage to spare some time for that last week, I was way too busy sewing and embroidering new items for the Christmas fair last Friday. I will share some pics of my table later one, but right now I only want to talk about the MT tapes exhibition that is happening in Singapore this week. 

It launched last Saturday at the Central Public Library and showcases the work of many artists and crafters (including myself!) who have come up with various creative ways to use MT tapes in the daily life. I will share my work on a couple of posts as I have a lot of photos to share with you.

I thought of starting with the submission pictures I have sent to Ruth of The Little Happy Shop when she very kindly invited me to participate to this exhibition (I was thrilled!). I submitted three ideas...

#1 To create accessories/ jewelry using mt tapes, paper and various types of thread - I love accessories!

#2 To create a multitude of garlands using pompom trim, ribbon, lace trims etc... - I love garlands!

#3 To create a party set decorated with mt tapes - I love party planning!

Ruth chose one option for me to work on. Which one do you think it is? Reply in the next post...
Which one would you have like me to work on?

If you are in Singapore, please drop by the first ever MT tapes exhibition at the Central Public Library and share your pictures with me {here}! Admission is free. Unfortunately I wasn't able to travel there for this event...

Craft sessions are being held at 12pm and 5pm on the weekend, please register to participate!

Looking forward to share my pics with you all! Stay tuned...

MT EVERYDAY in Singapore
Exhibition & Crafts
24 November to 2 December 2012
National Library
Craft sessions at 12pm and 2pm
Free admission but registration is required.
all details click {here}

Friday, November 16

{Interview with} Ann of Beautiful Revelry

Hello friends,

Here we are today with the come-back of my {Interview with} monthly column! I wasn't able to continue it after we moved to Japan last May therefore it's been a while. I am very glad to resume it today with... Ann Thomas of Beautiful Revelry

We've known each other for quite a while now - a bit more than two years or so as I used to contribute to The Handmade Hullabaloo on Ann's previous blog {Little Red Bus}. Funny fact about us both: we have never met in person! 

Welcome on ECStudio Ann!

ECS: Ann, please kindly introduce yourself, your work, where are you currently living and anything else you would like to share about your background and your family?
Hello there! I’m Ann Thomas - a self-confessed inspiration seeker, I’m constantly on the look for all things that inspire me to be a better person in every way I can be.
Born and bred in ultra-modern Singapore, I took a huge leap from being a fast-paced lifestyle, full-time working, party-animal, single-lady to being a wife, mother, and business lady this year. Well, it started back in 2009 where I laid out my lifeplan and the then-boyfriend who loved my plan so much he knew he had to propose!
So began my journey to enrich my life. I quit my job as a pre-school teacher, attempted starting a business with zero knowledge, got married, had a baby, bought an apartment, re-focused on my business strategy and bang! Here we are.

ECS: You are a mother of one little boy who doesn’t attend pre-school yet. How does a typical day look like?
Do you follow a strict schedule (hmm...) or do you go with the flow?

That’s a tough question! Heh. My son’s just turned 20 months, and I honestly say I have never met a toddler with as much energy as he possesses - and this coming from an ex-preschool teacher. He’s an energy bar, and since I am his primary caregiver, he’s also very close to me.

I try my best to follow a schedule, although we do bend the rules on days that he doesn’t feel up to it. My parents brought me up military style, and that has made me do everything within my power to ensure my son has a childhood.

Plus, I am ultimately blessed with a husband who is both easy-going and understanding. He always tries to see things from my points of view, and tries very hard to accommodate my schedule and plans.

My day usually begins with a groggy kiss from my mister before he leaves for work. Keith, if I’m lucky sleeps in for another 10-15 minutes where I grab a quick shower and rush through my emails and orders received via my iPhone. Once he’s up, I start with the prepping of breakfast and morning routines. I make it a point to enjoy a slow and leisurely breakfast with him.
We have a shared space - playroom+home office. So soon as breakfast is done, and clean up is over, he plays ‘with’ me, while I’m bustling around the room packing orders. This usually takes about an hour, which is almost always interrupted with calls for cuddles and kisses - but who’s complaining?
Once I’m all packed, we throw my mail bag into his stroller and head to the neighbourhood park for outdoor play. After play, we’d both stroll to the mall - where thankfully a post office is located! - and drop off all orders. The post office has grown to be a favourite place for Keith, as the staff now know him by name and love playing with him. He of course enjoys the attention.
After post office, it’s a quick trip to the grocers and back home. Keith gets to watch Sesame Street or Veggie Tales ( his favourite cartooons ) in the living room while I prepare lunch. Again, I’ll have my meal with him, and after which he’s off to lalaland ( naptime ) for about two hours - on good days that is.
That precious two hours is a race against time where I work through my To Do list for the day. Once he’s up, it’s tea break, a little more cartoons - where I finish up whatever work I had left hanging - and some organized play.
By early evening, I would have exhausted myself from ideas on how to entertain him, and he’s usually left to self-entertain while I sneak and reply to emails and/or work from my iPhone while playing with him.
The countdown to 7:30pm (where Daddy’s finally home! ) often begins at around 6pm, and once Daddy’s home it’s freedom for me! We’d have a family dinner, after which my lovely husband helps with Keith’s bath, clean up and brings the boy down for some Daddy-Dude time alone. On alternate days, I’d join them about an hour later where we’d buckle Keith up in my stroller and have some pretend alone-time where we’d catch up with each other.

ECS: What gets you up and running every day?
My zest for life. I love living! I know that sounds so vague, but that well sums up my primary inspiration point. I have very few friends, family, and hobbies - and those whom and which I do hold close - I treasure them passionately. This helps motivate me to be a better person, everyday. 

ECS: What do you wish you would have known before being a mom? Would you have done things differently business wise?

I wish I’d known how difficult it was to function without the ‘village’ !! My husband and I are the only caregivers to our son - and as much as we enjoy every bit of it, I’d be lying if I say that it has not affected our marriage and lifestyle. We greatly miss those moments we took for granted.

Business wise, I wish I had jumped straight into Beautiful Revelry instead of dwelling on the ideas for almost 2 years before I finally got down to it!

ECS: We have collaborated in the past over on Little Red Bus for the Handmade Hullabaloo, which was a very beautiful experience for me. What made you switch to party planning, and do you enjoy the ride so far (it looks amazing from my point of view)?
The party planning business idea came to me early 2010, right around the time of my wedding. By then, Little Red Bus was almost a year old, and I was quickly losing interest in it. Professionally, I was both trained and qualified in Early Childhood. So it made ‘perfect sense’ that my business should be centered around children. I kept trying to put away the ‘party business’ idea, thinking it was merely my excitement over planning for my wedding, and it would be a stupid move. Thankfully, I caved and jumped ship! I’m enjoying every minute of Beautiful Revelry!

FREE Christmas printable by Beautiful Revelry {HERE}

ECS: Any future plans you would like to share with my readers? what will you have in store for all of us in 2013?
I’m looking into careful collaborations. 2013 will see Beautiful Revelry stepping out even more from the online world, and be in the flesh. Look out for more workshops, parties, demos and such!
As for our catalog, aside from more pretty products ( yay! ) we’ll be introducing some in-house designs and bespoke services. I’m also looking to evolve the blog to incorporate it well into our shop, where it’ll equip just about anyone with ideas and tips on how to indulge in craft projects.

NEW! fun and colorful pompom garland {here}

ECS: I am avidly following every step you take, always wondering what you will come up with next. Where did you get this business/ marketing 6th sense? I don’t remember reading that you attended a business school?
Aw. Thanks, Marie, that’s truly flattering and humbling. Back when I started Little Red Bus, I did spend lots of time reading business and marketing books and blogs. Over the years though, I’ve stopped reading them - especially with the business keeping me busy and on my toes these couple of months. I do wish I have more time to read and catch up with the new trends and ideas!
Quite honestly, this ‘6th sense’ is truly God. I love spending time meditating and worshipping, something which I do anytime I feel the calling to. I trial and error a lot with my business strategies and ideas, but I rest in knowing that there’s a higher power who looks over me and will see me through according to His riches and glory!

ECS: I am in awe with your graphic design skills, and receiving your newsletter is never boring as it’s always pretty. Any tips or advice for people like me who want to start learning some graphic design? Which tools do you recommend
Thanks once again! Although credit here goes to LOADS of creative people out there. I love design! I fell hook, line, and sinker with GIMP when my husband introduced me to it back in 2010. To date, I have never enrolled in any professional design courses - because truth be told, I hate ‘studying’ - I’m more of a project-based self-led person.
I’m still really rotten in Photoshop, and while I do have it, I find myself leaning on GIMP more often. Google is my teacher, and sites such as Interest, Dribble have been my guru. I also refer to Colourlovers everytime I need inspiration for new colour patterns and combinations.
Aside from these, I love botanical illustrations, with my favourite being the ever-so-popular Rifle Paper & Co. It’s a struggle not to copy Anna’s style! Heh. So I try my best to allow her to inspire me and lead me to creating my own works. 

ECS: As a supply seller on Etsy, what do you like most about this platform? Do you find it easier to sell supplies on Etsy rather than handmade goods?
I did try my hand at selling handmade goods, and yes in my case, supplies have been easier to sell. That is possibly because there is ah-mazing talent out there on Etsy. Talent I can’t even come close to!

Next I have asked Ann to pick up six favorites gifts to give or receive - on Etsy of course! Handmade gifts have more meaning and are very personal {that's my humble and personal opinion - Marie}.

from left to right, top to bottom:

ECS: Last, will you decorate your home for Christmas? Is there a family tradition that you love to follow as well? Please share.
We don’t have a home, yet. And given that our apartment will only be ready in 2014, Christmas is once again hanging over our heads. We do have plans for simple DIY decorations around our tiny space to set the mood for little Keith and ourselves, although I guess I’ll be holding myself back once again. All I can say is that I’ll probably go OD on Christmas for 2014!

My favorite part of Christmas (after Jesus) is family traditions. My parents weren’t big on family traditions, but I love the idea. Until we move, it’ll be simple - staying up till 12am, PJs, hot cocoas, unwrapping of presents, fairy lights, Christmas carols, air-conditioner ( we’re in Singapore! ).

I foresee our Christmas traditions getting more special as Keith grows up, and our family hoping adds another little one - but it will of course be centered love, faith, hope, and the true meaning of Christmas.

{... the end...}

Voila, I hope you enjoyed this interview. I am very happy to have had Ann over on ECStudio blog today, and I hope she inspired you to get started on your own business venture! If you would like to catch up with her, there are many ways to do so:

:: Ann is extending a special 10% discount to all my blog readers, Twitter or Facebook followers. Enter code ECS at check out to enjoy your discount. Code will expire on November 23, 2012. No minimum spending required.
Happy shopping!

PS: Or and I should I insist that you sign up for Beautiful Revelry's newsletter today? Tastefully designed and full of surprises and special offers. Sign {here} NOW!

PPS: You can read all the {Interview with} blog posts by clicking {here}. If you have started your Christmas shopping and are looking for unique, special gifts I have made it easier for you.

Have a great day and wonderful weekend ahead!

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