Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Aliya craft's Giveaway


I haven't taken part in a giveaway for a while now. So thought I might since the prize is so tempting. I've said this before, I'll say it again. When you're busy sewing things for other people, you kind of lose time to sew things for yourself, that is why I love handmade giveaways. And usually they're very generous too. :DD
Hmm..anyways, this giveaway is hosted by Aliya's Craft. Starts on the 12th December and ends on the 31st. If you want to win this lovely red, well-made wristlet clutch, go visit Aliya's Craft to find the details of how to join. Good luck!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Just aYan's Handmade

Salam all...

I'm a little short on blogging lately. I've been up to a lot of sewing, constantly sketching up new bag designs I want to try out, going through my fabric stash over and over to figure what design looks best with the beautiful prints that my sister has bought for me, plus, making a new blog for it! :)

This is my new blog strictly for showcasing my handmades and custom orders. I will occasionally blog about my handmades here but for all the details, you may directly visit I've only posted a few clutches and an accordian wallet along with two custom mades, but there will be bags coming soon such as sling bags and totes. Do take a look around, maybe there is something you would like to own or gift to a friend or family, or if the colours or print or design is not to your liking you can also request a custom order. Nevertheless, they're all still beautiful to look at :)



Monday, December 10, 2012

That beach house on Penang island..

Salam all...

I just got back from my second family holiday of the current school break. We went to visit Penang again where we stayed at a beautiful location. Yes, none other than TNB beach house in Penang. It truly is an amazing place to stay.

Last I came here, I didn't take any photos of the house itself because I completely forgot, but this time I have all views.

Front view of the house. Quite a huge front yard with a drive-thru

This is a view of the back of the house. I was sitting on the swings in the backyard 

This year we came with my extended family from Abi's side. We didn't go to many places in Penang as we had to attend a wedding on Saturday, about 2 hours drive off the island. Regardless, it was a pleasant stay and we all had a lot of fun playing by the beach and in the sea. Yeahh, that's the great part about a beach house. You can go for a swim as early as you'd like, say 7.30 in the morning. :p

View of the front yard from the rooftop

View of the backyard from the rooftop

Abi only got to book the house for the weekend, so we had to leave by Sunday. A little unfortunate for me, that Sunday morning after a good time in the sea, I lost my ring. The silver one with carved hearts all around it. Huge possibility I might have dropped it the sand. So I went home with an empty finger. Quite sad about it because I've had the ring for 5 years. Ever since after highschool, I barely not wear it. Of course, beau suggested wearing a new ring..I don't know. I'd like a new ring, has to be special. We'll see...

Anyway, to end off this post, here is a pic of the beach. I was standing quite near to where I had dropped my ring.

I'm half-way through my holiday. Hopefully I have enough time to do everything I want to do before degree. Lucky its longer than some people may have. Be it a month or a week left, enjoy the rest of your holiday!



Friday, December 07, 2012

Buttons - The fabric kind.

Salam all.
See those? I'm sooo happy I found them. I know they're sold at online craft shops, but those tend to be more expensive. Buttons are my favourite type of sewing embellishment. I bought my first fabric covered button set from Daiso :DD. They just opened an outlet at MidValley Megamall, and I'm sure many people are as thrilled as I am.
As always, everything from Daiso is RM5 per item. These come in a few sizes and they also have refills so that when you run out of buttons, you dont have to buy a new set along with the assembly parts. They are so easy to use and they come out really neat. If you have these, you dont have to buy plain buttons just to make your own fabric covered ones. Totally worth it. Honestly, I'm so happy I bought these. Yayy!! :DD


Thursday, November 08, 2012

Fabric Manipulation: Honeycomb Smocking

Salam all...

Currently having my first listen to One Direction's new album Take Me Home. Has a lot of beat. The songs are more towards the kind of band I first thought they were. So, okay I comment on the r-rated songs, lol.

Moving on to why I'm actually writing a post tonight, a project that I completed a while ago but never got to post it because the client wanted to gift it to a friend, so it was her request for me to wait a while before posting it online.

This is the Quran cover she ordered. She didn't have ideas for her own design, so she asked me to design for her. She asked for something unique and elegant but in her budget. And I created this.

It's my first attempt at honeycomb smocking, a type of fabric manipulation. Something I haven't done since I stopped working with silk satin. If you try google-ing handbags or wallets produced by designer labels, notice that most of them are made of plain coloured, textured fabric but they still have a high feel of elegance. It made me realise how elegant handmades created from plain fabrics are, with a bit of manipulation. Fabric manipulation can turn a plain fabric into something just as eye-catching as patterned fabric.

Consequently, I decided to do some tutorial hunting on really unique types of fabric manipulation. Here are some favourites that I found.

1. Honeycomb Smocking by Tumbling Blocks

This is the tutorial I used to make my Quran cover. Its quite easy to follow as compared to other tutorials on the net of the same type of smocking. 

2. Weaving by Happiness

This technique looks so intricate, you wont believe how easy it is done. Just a little bit of measuring a bit of sewing and a bit of patience, you'll have yourself a unique manipulation effect, works best on plain fabrics.

I love polka dot fabric. I will always have stocks of them, if I run out, I'd buy some more the next time I go to a textile store. Although polka dots are a fun pattern by itself, when you keep making things out of the same patterned fabric, like me, everything just looks similar. So I was definitely excited to try this when I found out about it. A way to still sew with my favourite patterned fabric but giving it a little twist.

This idea is so simple, that if you're a regular seamstress, even just by looking at it, you can figure out how its done. But, the reason it is in my favourite list is because its still a very fresh idea, something that never crossed my mind. Its a great way to keep the elegance you get with a plain fabric but still add peeps of colour using fun patterned fabrics.

5. Flower Smocking from

Yes, the tutorial is all in Chinese but the pictures are very detailed and easily understandable. Takes a lot of patience but very unique and so worth it!

Hopefully, I'll be able to try these techniques out soon. Another thing to add to my 3-month to do list,

7. Try fabric manipulation techniques on my handmades.



Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Three-month to do list.

Assalamualaikum and happy holidays to those who are already on their break. This is my first post since I got home from campus and I've so much to blog about.

Starting off with a bit of music, currently having my first listen to Taylor Swift's new album, Red. So far, still as flawless as her previous albums, just lovely. At the moment, also addicted to The Script's new album, #3. Favourite songs have to be 'No Words' and 'Millionaires' track #9 and #10. Another example of how current song addictions are affected by current life. :p

I'm happy. :) It's wonderful. No words to describe it.

Moving on... This is the holiday I've been waiting for in a long time, my three months holiday before registering for degree at IIUM main campus. Yep, three months. I've a checklist of things I want to do before continuing my studies.

1. Get my driver's license. Already working on that now.
2. Sew lots and lots. Kakak bought me plenty of US imported fabrics - Mostly from the Vera Bradley collection and my plan is to turn at least 50% of it into beautiful handmades before I go to campus.
3. Finish watching all episodes of Friends. Currently up to season 6 :D
4. See Skyfall and Breaking Dawn part 2.
5. Scrap some layouts of a couple of events that I haven't scrapped this year.
6. Go on holiday to Cameron Highlands and stay at The Sharples. Or to Penang and stay at TNB home in Tanjung Bunga.

So, yeahh. That's what I want to do. Now is just a matter of actually doing it. :p

Last of all, to all scrappers, go crazy this weekend, okay. There are no better scraps deals than (inter)National scrapbooking weekend.

Much love, aYan

Saturday, September 01, 2012

8 ways to draw a cartoon ice cream.

Assalamualaikum and Happy Syawal to all! Yes, I'm a fortnight late on the Raya wish because my past 2 weeks were full-on. Though I did have a lovely raya with my family in Alor Setar. :)

A while ago I found a shop in MidValley The Gardens, its a craft shop called Art Friend. They sell all kinds of art supplies and stationery, you wouldn't believe the various types of supplies. Drawing, painting, scrapping, quilling, sculpturing, beading and practically every other type of crafting, you can find supplies there.

So on my first visit to the store I bought some scrapbooking supplies (irrelevant to the post) and an eco-friendly scout book with a plain cover. There were other scout books with pictures printed on them and these books are sold in other stores too, but I purposely chose the plain one so that I can draw my own cover. Since then I've been thinking of ideas to draw on the cover until I got home Thursday night and read the November issue of The TIME Magazine. Knowing me, if you've read this issue too, you could probably guess which article inspired my scout book cover. ;)

Yep, none other than the Food article in The culture section. 

The article was written by Josh Sanburn and those tempting looking photos of the ice cream from several different ice cream parlours were taken by Elizabeth Renstrom.

The article was a spread about weird but unique flavours of ice cream invented by some very creative flavour inventors in the States.

Hence, my scout book cover,

Yeah, after giving weeks of thought, ice cream was all I needed~

That's all I wanted to share, really. If you love art and you live in Klang Valley, you should visit Art Friend, you'll fall in love. If you're an ice cream lover, then read the article, it'll make you run for the nearest ice cream parlour.

Much love, aYan


Thursday, August 16, 2012


Salam everyone.

I had a fun day today, with my mum. We went to look at baju raya but we seemed to forget that most stores in Bangi opens at 11. -_- We only window shopped today, just to get some idea of what I want. After that, I took a visit to school, had a chat with some juniors, some seniors and some teachers and had a look around the new buildings that I haven't seen. Apparently, they're going to build another new building at the end of the year. A 6-level building with an elevator. Awesome. A strange thing also happened today, I got offered a job. I was at my favourite sewing store, Karysma, at 4tam Bandar Baru Bangi, and the managing director offered me a job to teach classes on how to sew bags. Of course I couldn't do it since I'm still studying, but the man gave me his card anyway, to let him know my next holiday. To be offered to do what I love as a first ever job, how lucky is that? :D

Well anyway, onto my other hobby. As promised :DD, the template freebie. Yayy!! I made this scrap page for the photos I snapped using the clever edges technique.

 And here is your free page template. No idea why I named it sketchy, but it was the first thing that came to my head when I looked at it.




Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Top 5 Favourite Bag Tutorials

Salam everyone. Yes, I'm officially home for Eidulfitr holiday. I dont have very long, just a week, but I do have so much I want to complete in a week. I received an emergency book cover order from a friend recently plus my younger sister needs a skirt for a fancy dinner. I'll be off to the textile store again with her soon to pick out fabrics.

Anyways, lately I've been exploring the Internet for some really great sewing patterns and tutorials for bags. (I'm gonna have to search for skirts soon..) I've a whole list I'd like to try making in the future. These are among my favourites that I found that I really really really wanna sew !! :DD

1. The Everything Bag by Blue Bird Baby. I love this tutorial, the instructions are very clear and easy to understand. The photographs are fairly detailed. But, of course the bag itself is something I probably need to take to classes. Definitely big enough to put in books.

2. The Messenger Bag by Obsessive Crafting Disorder. Also another clear and understandable tutorial. I like the look of the bag. As of right now, I'm not the handbag type of girl, I like either a good sling or wristlet clutch to use for a day out. Of course wristlets are more of a formal thing. This bag is perfect for a walk in the park.

3. The City Backpack by Heart of Mary. What I love about this bag is the fact that it's a drawstring backpack. I've searched forever and there is only one other free drawstring backpack tutorial on the Internet that looks almost similar to this one, which I'm sure all DIY bag lovers know exactly the tutorial I'm referring to :) In case you don't know, the one written by the super awesome bag maker, Lisa Lam, the author of The Bag Making Bible and A Bag For All Reasons. Though I prefer this pattern because the base of the bag is much wider that its flap. So you get a kind of chubby look to it. (That's how I'd put it into words!)

4. The Conversation Bag by Sew Sweetness. This bag was made using quilted fabrics and it looks lovely, but not the reason why I like it. Although its a simple rectangular bag, I think the way the zip was sewn is unique, how it curves almost half way around the edge and how it is sewn hidden. This may also be a great bag to make for taking to class.

5. The Wallet-to-tote On The Go by Ikat Bag. I think everybody needs at least one of these in their pocket. Fold-away totes have already been trending for quite a while in the shops in Malaysia, however you rarely find fold-away totes that are zipped. Usually, the ones you find in the shops are buttoned and has no function when they are folded. But this one doubles as a zippered pouch. An awesome emergency tote to have with you all the time.

So there, that's the first 5 bags I want to make in my to-sew list. Hopefully, when this semester is over, I'll have all the time I need for pleasure sewing.


**Quick note - Yes, I promised a free template in my previous post. That will be up tomorrow ! :)


Monday, August 13, 2012

Photo technique - Clever Borders/Edges

Assalamualaikum and happy monday!

I'm currently in the middle of my mid-semester exams, but today, I get a day off since I've no papers today! Awesome~ I decided I wanted to do some scrapping on my monday off, so I went through my albums in Cameron Highlands and I noticed a photo technique I frequently use when I want to add a little embellishment to my photos without actually searching through my scrap stash.

This is a photo I submitted to scrapbookbytes forum a couple of years ago for a photo challenge. The challenge was to to take a photo that framed a subject, as the one below where me and my cousins are sitting on a wedding bed framed with flowers. Do click to see the pics bigger.

The technique I'd like to share today is almost similar to the photo above, but instead of letting the frame dominate all the edges of your photo, make the frame only take up a little part of it. The idea came from my two sisters who are way better at taking pictures than I am. All the photos below were snapped on our many holidays to Cameron Highlands since my dad loves it there so much. :)

This is an example of a clever floral border-ing by my elder sister.

And another one by younger sister.

Simple but uniquely enhancing! Lets go step-by step on how its done.

1. First of all, pick the subject of your photo. It doesn't have to be a posed photo, it doesn't even have to be a person. However, its best to go with a diverse surrounding so that you'll have a selection of borders or edges to choose from. On my most recent trip to Cameron Highlands, my mom was doing some holiday paper-marking at the patio of the beautiful Osmaniah Home, so I decided to use her as the subject of my photo.

2. Pick your border or edge. Look around the surrounding of the subject. As my photo is outside I chose plants and flowers as my edge.

3. Snap your photo with the border/edge in front of the subject, not the other way around. Otherwise, the technique is less effective. The trick to this technique is to focus a slight more on the border/edge and let the subject be the background.

Take many snaps at different angles and switch to different borders, or edges until you get a photo you're really happy with. You can make the border/edge take up as much of your photo or as little of your photo as you want.

You don't have to let the border/edge come from only one side of your photo, you can also make it come slightly from the bottom and a bit from the top.

That's a little bit of what I know that I can share. I'm not the slightest bit close to a professional photographer, nor do I have a sophisticated digital camera to take pictures with. So I like using simple techniques like this for my photos.

And, of course, with sequence photos comes a great scrap page. Yayy! :DD

This scrap page was made using the scrapkit Serenity by Just So Scrappy. The template is my own that I created for sequence photos. If you stick around long enough, you'll catch the template freebie some time later this week ! :DD

** In case anybody is wondering about the font I used to label my photos, its Pork Chop by Miss Tiina. :)

Last of all, to all Muslims, there is only a few days of Ramadhan left, use it well. Spend some time for Allah and He will spend time for you :)



Saturday, July 21, 2012

Make-over ! :DD + 3 blog tricks tutorial links

Salam Ramadhan Mubarak everybody!

Hope everyone is doing well and embracing the 1st of Ramadhan. A few days ago I decided to make-over my blog. Go with a different colour scheme. So I came up with this simple look. Not too girlish, not too dark. It was made using two different scrapkits with the same colour palette, Digitally Smitten by Digital Design Essentials and Just The Way You Are by Secret Stash. The font I used in my header, titles and dates is called Mikayla by Miss Tiina. I used several different tutorials I found on the Internet for making simple alterations to your blog, thought I might share a few...

1. Smooth scroll-to-top button.
If you noticed, I've added a new little widget at the bottom right corner of my blog. When you've started scrolling down, a flashing epoxy will appear and by clicking on it, it flies you back to the top. Neat, huh? There are many tutorials on the Internet explaining you how to do this but I found this link to be most understandable. So if you'd like to add a smooth scroll-to-top button to your blog, here's the link :

2. Font for Post titles and dates.
For those who don't like the font of your post titles and dates, I found this awesome tutorial by Amanda from Kevin And Amanda (she also makes free fonts for downloads!) on how to change the fonts of your titles and dates and sidebar titles to ANY font you want. Yes, any font that you can download or already have in your font stash.

3. Image next to dates and sidebar titles.
One more tutorial I'd like to share with you is the little icons next to my dates and sidebar titles. I like to match them with my favicon, looks more uniform. ;)

That's three fancy adjustments I made to my blog to keep it unique. Yes, I love HTML :DD

Have a great Ramadhan and Happy Fasting!