Singapore Souvenirs

January 27, 2016 | Shop, Singapore

Super Mama

I’ve never really talked much about life as an expat (and I won’t really start now haha!), but having been one for nearly 8 years now I feel like I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to live back home in Australia. While we have no immediate plans to leave our adopted Singaporean life, inevitably we will end up making the trip back to Australia eventually, so I’m always on the look out for some uniquely Singapore souvenirs that I can take with me to remember my time here.

Finding these “souvenirs” can be a little tricky.. tacky trinkets and obvious tourist stuff is a definite no-go for me. I want well-designed, not-so-obvious, meaningful (to me) souvenirs. Things that offer a story or meaning below the surface. And even better if they’re usable and don’t just sit on a shelf. I know, I know.. I ask a lot of the things I buy!

SupermamaTop left: One Singapore porcelain plate, Top right:HDB plates and chopstick rest, Bottom left: Merlion fridge magnet, Bottom right: A Cup That Holds a Festival.

But – as you can see, they do exist! And boy are they fantastic. These are not your average souvenirs, there’s nothing tacky or garish here. Only beautifully designed pieces of Singapore, and I love it!

So, if you’re in the market for your own keepsakes from the Little Red Dot, look no further than Super Mama and The Little Dröm Store. I really can’t recommend them enough… whether you’re a tourist, an expat or a local!

Super MamaClockwise from top left: Jiu Ceng Gao Doorstop, Good Morning Mug, MRT & Bus Washi Tape, Chope! Keychain, Merlion Chouchou.

Little Drom StoreClockwise from top left: Katong Laksa Fridge Magnet, Kway Teow Fridge Magnet, Kopi Fridge Magnet, Chope! Fridge Magnet.

Top image: National Day Plate

So perfect, right?! By coincidence I came across this quote today that I thought was a pretty great way to describe what it feels like to be an expat at times. Not always, but sometimes :)

quote

Claire x

IKEA Project 3: Dining Room – DIY Painted bowls

August 24, 2015 | DIY, Singapore, Sponsored

Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration with IKEA, however all ideas, opinions, and thoughts are my own. 

I can’t believe we’re already at the 3rd challenge! I’m just loving these tasks so much -It’s really fun to take a critical look at certain areas of my home and think about how they could work better, or what small things I could do to update the look.

For the last two Ikea tasks, I’ve done more of a space makeover (see those here and here). For this challenge though (dining room!) I wanted to focus on something a bit more specific, something we use in our dining room every day. So, instead of a room makeover, I’ve done a bowl makeover!

DIY painted bowls

I’ve been wanting to get some simple white bowls for a while now, and when I saw the IKEA 365+ bowls I thought they were perfect. Simple, classic, and – S$3.50! Can’t go wrong, seriously. Well, until I decided to get all crafty and freehand paint on them in the pursuit of cute custom ceramics… there was some serious room for error there.

I decided to face my fear of ruining these poor bowls though, and I’m thrilled that I did! I love how they turned out. It wasn’t too hard either, in fact I found that even if my lines and patterns weren’t perfect, it didn’t matter – it still looked good as a whole. PHEW.

And you can do it too! Here’s what you’ll need to make your own DIY painted bowls:
– Light coloured ceramic pieces of your choice (could be mugs, bowls, plates etc.)
– Porcelain paint pens* (or pots) in colours of your choice
– Some paper towels or an old piece of card to blot the pen on

*I used Marabu Porcelain Painter Pens (in dark blue 293) available at Art Friend for anyone following in Singapore. In future though I’d probably try and find pots of porcelain paint and use a very fine paintbrush as I found the pens a bit streaky and unreliable.

IO6A0523

Step 1.
First things first – the paint should not be applied to any surface that you plan to put food on. Best to keep it on the outside.

You’ll need to make sure your ceramic pieces are clean and dry. Then, have a read of the instructions on your paints and doing a small test of the bottom of one of your pieces. I bought 3 colours but ended up not loving the green or pink, so good to do a test!

DIY Painted Bowls

Step 2. 
I started by drawing a few rough sketches to get a feel for the patterns I might want on my bowls. Better to go in with a bit of a plan I reckon! Once you’re happy with your ideas, you’re ready to start painting! Or you can wing it, that’d work too :)

The paint dries fairly quickly, but can be wiped or scratched off if you notice a mistake soon after it’s been made.

Note: I discovered that the more detailed the pattern you create the better. When it’s really detailed, you tend to only see the overall pattern, and not the place where the pen started running out, or your flower wasn’t quite perfect. Larger drawings will require more accuracy. Also – thicker, thinner, lighter, and darker lines might seem like a mistake, but actually overall it just gives it a nice painterly feel! So don’t stress if it’s not perfect :)

DIY Painted Bowls

Step 3.
What you do next will depend on your paints – once they were finished, mine had to air dry for a few hours and then be oven baked.

That’s it! Now they’re ready to be used, and are even dishwasher safe. Brilliant!

DIY Painted Bowls IO6A0540 DIY Painted BowlsDon’t they look nice set up for breakfast? I can totally see a big mound of ice cream sitting pretty in these bowls too (though I’ll take ice cream in any bowl really!).

For some more beautiful ceramic painting tutorials (seriously, they’re gorgeous!) have a look at Delia Creates and Funnelcloud.

I hope you’ll give ceramic painting a go too! Be brave! :) x