Let’s Get Crafty: Daiso’s Needle Felting Animal Kit

What is needle felting?

It is the process of turning wool roving into 3-D objects using a sharp needle. Basically what you’ll need are a wool, felting needle, and felting surface.

Wool that is used for needle felting is called roving wool. However, other types of wool of your liking can also be used.

The felting needle is different from the regular sewing or tapestry needly, in that it has very sharp barbed blades on it that helps agitate the wool.

Lastly, the felting surface can be a thick piece of sponge or foam. It prevents you from poking yourself with the needle. This one I didn’t have when I tried the kit from Daiso. As such, I poked my finger in the process. Ouch! Top tip: be very careful in handling the needle, and please use a felting surface to rest your wool on.

How to do needle felting?

Poke! Poke! and Poke! hahaha! Form your wool or roll it into the shape you desire, and begin poking it with your needle. As you agitate the wool more, you will feel it becoming more stiff. This means the wool is beginning to felt together. As you repeat the process, the more you poke the wool the smaller and more compact it gets.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, but be very careful in handling the felting needle. It’s no fun stabbing yourself with it. Daiso’s kit is very affordable. With the price SGD 2 you can already try needle felting. They come in very cute designs too!




Brand Focus: Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth

Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth is one of the world’s leading manufacturer and distributor of first-rate stationery for schools, offices, and artists.

It was founded by Josef Hardtmuth in Vienna in 1790. However, in 1848 the production of graphite leads was relocated to České Budějovice, a city in Czech Republic. The pencils they have produced over the years have received recognition and awards in many world exhibitions. Since their inception, the brand has expanded their product range from pencils, to charcoal, chalk, crayons, watercolour, inks, and other drawing materials.

I’ve had the chance to visit Prague in Czech Republic recently, and of course I did not pass up the chance to score some products from the brand. I visited their store located in Na Příkopě which is a shopping street in Prague’s first district.

Here are the items i bought: Mondeluz 12 Aquarelle Coloured Pencils, Size 8 Kolinsky Watercolour Brush, 18 Pan Round Watercolours, and a “Gioconda” Aquarelle Pencil in 2B. (left to right)
Koh I Noor-1

I didn’t get to note down the prices for each item but I assure you they were definitely affordable. You can get these items too from Amazon where I saw a bunch of online resellers. If you’re in Singapore, you can buy Koh-I-Noor products from Overjoyed’s online store.

I have made a swatch of the items in the picture below.

Koh I Noor-2

For a quick review:

  • Round Watercolours – The colours from the pans are quite pigmented but a little chalky. It takes time to rewet the pans and pick the colour off to get into the brush. However for the price, the colours produced by the set is okay. I was even surprised when I used it to paint a portrait, the reds and oranges form the set produced a really nice flesh tone. I can easily whip up skin tones from the warm colours in the set. I’m not quite sure about the colours’ lightfastness but I doubt that they are.
  • Aquarelle Pencil in 2B – I’ve used this as my pencil for creating the outline before painting with watercolour. It writes easily without much pressure. Moreover, it seamlessly melts into your washes as long as you use a light hand when doing your line work.
  • Aquarelle Coloured Pencils – This set of watercolour pencils really impressed me. I think Koh-I-Noor does pencils really well. Anyway, the leads are soft enough that you’re not digging into the paper to get that solid and super saturated colour you want. Once you wet it with your brush the pigment just melts and creates this vibrant wash of colour. One thing though, if you’re the type of person who mixes a lot of colours together, it might be a bit tricky doing it with these coloured pencils. I say try it first and practice with them. Also if you really want more colours, they offer a set with much more pencils in them.
  • Kolinsky Watercolour Brush – This has got to be my most favourite purchase out of all of them. I didn’t expect much from this brush since it was really affordable. However, I was blown away. Once I wet it, it became this really soft brush that holds a decent amount of water and still retains its pointed tip once you’ve used it. It made painting washes and small details easier by just using this one brush. I would dare say the quality is pretty comparable to much more expensive brushes like ones form Escoda.

There you have it a quick introduction to the brand Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth. For art supply hoarders like me, I hope this post gave you a few things to add to your wishlists!

Where Art Thou: Leopold Museum

Hallo! Guten tag! We’re back in Vienna as we discover the work and life of Egon Schiele. Our journey will start at the Leopold Museum, in the Museumsquartier.

Belvedere and Leopold-12

The Museumsquartier is a large complex dedicated to modern art and culture. It has a total of nine permanent art spaces, the Leopold Museum being one of them. It is located in the middle of the bustling city of Vienna, sandwiched in between old historic buildings and districts. Apart from exhibition and event halls, there are a variety of shops, restaurants, and outdoor cafes in the area as well.Read More »

Where Art Thou: Upper Belvedere

With the stunning architecture, picturesque landscapes, and overall ambiance partnered with good food and good liquor, no wonder a lot artists thrived in Europe. Eat, drink, be merry and create wonderful paintings! Most of the great artists we look up to honed their craft in some of the countries in Europe.

Today, I am taking you to Vienna, Austria to visit the home of the works of one of the most famous artists from Vienna – Gustav Klimt.

To start off, I visited the Belvedere Palace. It has Upper and Lower Palaces, both of which are now art museums. I chose to Visit the Upper Belvedere because I was mostly interested in viewing the works of Gustav Klimt, most especially so his painting “The Kiss”.

Belvedere and Leopold-1Read More »

The Art of Journaling

Art Journal-1

Making a comeback into the scene recently is journaling. More particularly, art journaling is becoming more popular. Even in the advent of modern digital technology, people still feel the urge to go analogue. As such, a lot of people are still keeping handwritten planners or journals.Read More »

Stop, Look, and Sketch

In this day and age, when did you last took the time to pause, and just look at your surroundings? When was the last time you took note of how green the trees are, or how blue the skies are? When was the last time you looked up from that phone of yours, and actually captured the moment with your eyes? It’s so easy to just take a picture, share it on Instagram or Facebook. I, for one, am guilty of not being as present as I’d want to be. I’m always engrossed scrolling through my social media feeds or chatting with friends online.

In an attempt to be more present, and to have a digital detox for even just an hour, I decided to try on urban sketching.

Urban sketching is the act of drawing or painting, indoor or outdoor, with any medium you prefer. As the name implies, it is usually artful renditions of cityscapes or urban scenes, be it inside a coffee shop one lazy afternoon or a busy central business district’s pedestrian during a work day. People usually use watercolor as the medium since it is the most convenient one to bring outside the house for painting. It can be downsized to a pretty compact palette, or if you want you can opt to bring watercolor pencils. All you need is a water brush and you’re good to go. Also, others prefer to have outlines in their drawings, so they also bring with them black markers or pens. Famous ones are Copic and Sakura black ink markers with tiny felt tips.

Urban Sketch-2

While it can be daunting to paint an urban scene with so much detail and with such a large area, I suggest you try to just do it. Draw the scene not so much as to how much detail you see, but to how it makes you feel. Render in your sketch the overall vibe of the place. Sketches don’t need to be down to the single brick on the road exact, it is enough to just suggest where you are and how the overall look of the place is. I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that the activity shouldn’t feel stressful for you. Instead, think of it as an act of taking time to be present. Take the time to be ‘in’ the place and not just pass by it. It is a time where you are taking time to appreciate the world around you.

When you are much more comfortable with it, then you can move on to learning about perspectives. To be honest, this is one thing I’m still struggling with and still learning about at this point.

I recently went out to do urban sketching with my dad one Saturday afternoon. And him, being a Civil Engineer, nailed perspective right on its head. Haha! See his work in the small sketchbook in the picture below.

Urban Sketch-1

So, as the saying goes, “stop and smell the roses”. Well, in this case, stop and sketch the roses. 🙂

Watercolor 101: Color Mixing

So from the last Watercolor 101 blog post, you’ve seen some of the different materials used in watercolor painting. What now? Now, you need to learn more about colors and how to mix them to achieve the hue you desire.

For basics, you can survive with just 3 colors – red, yellow, and blue. Other colors can be added to achieve different effects, like warm and cool toned reds produce different tones of oranges and violets.

In this demonstration, I am using a basic 8-color Prang Watercolor Set. I only used the red, yellow, and blue to demonstrate color mixing. Here are 3 simple steps to make your own color matrix:Read More »

Pusong Pinoy


After many tirades left and right, the Philippine’s National Election recently concluded. Although there were many opposing opinions, and stands on whom would best lead the country, one thing is for sure, the Filipino people are hungry to make the country a better place. I, as a Filipino, do too.

Does it all just begin, and end with the election? Now, do we sit back, relax, and wait for change?

I hope not. If there’s one thing I wish we should take away from this year’s most opinionated, and most divisive election yet, it is that we have the power to change the country. We know what we want, we better act the part, and contribute to the change we wish to see. If we are criticial of our public officials, the same amount of criticism should be applied to us too. The government will only work just as well as how much we, as a nation, manifest being a Filipino with dignity, and pride. I believe our country would be a better place if all of us would love, and respect it a little bit more.

After everything that was said and done, is the Filipino heart still as fiery, and passionate? Does your heart kababayan still bleed red, yellow, and blue?



Materials used:

  • Arches 300gsm Watercolor Paper
  • Holbein Transparent Cake Colors
  • Escoda Optimo Watercolor Brushes

Sundae Scroll #9: Instagram’s New Look

Instagram, the ever so popular photo sharing application, recently redesigned their logo and user interface. There have been mixed reactions regarding the update, generally most of the users loved the new UI, but not the new logo.

I think there is a need to explain the sudden logo design change for those that are still warming up to the idea of the new look. As such, here are the few points highlighted by Instagram’s Head of Design, Ian Spalter.

The Challenge: Honor Instagram’s identity while reflecting its growth

While the application’s icon is currently much loved, they felt that it no longer reflected the community, and thought they could make it better. To begin their design process, they figured out what do people loved with the classic icon. They asked a bunch of people in the company to draw the icon from memory within 5 seconds. The result? Almost all of them drew the rainbow, the lens, and the viewfinder.

With this in mind, they decided to translate these into a modern icon design with a balance between recognition and versatility.

The Solution: The Rainbow and Camera as a bridge

The lens was used by the team as a bridge to the bolder, and simpler glyph. While the rainbow was the bridge to the colorful gradient which has always been an integral part of the Instagram experience – representing the various filters, and the community’s photos and videos.

They moved from having a detailed rendering of a retro camera to a glyph in order for the icon to be more flexible and scalable.

All in all, with the icon update, Instagram moved towards a more unified visual identity with the applications within its family namely – Layout, Hyperlapse, and Boomerang.

instagram new logos

To complement the rainbow icons, the user interface was also updated into something simpler and cleaner. Quoting the Instagram’s design team:

While the icon is a colorful doorway into the Instagram app, once inside the app, we believe the color should come directly from the community’s photos and videos.

As such, with the recent update, we can help but feel a little more giddy while scrolling through our feeds. Enjoying the photos and videos posted sans distractions. Furthermore, I think those #feedgoals users are jumping for joy with the new minimalist UI.

We are excited Instagram, once more you have piqued the interest of our creative minds. Thank you!


Instagram Blog

Designing a New Look for Instagram, Inspired by the Community