Friday, 16 December 2011

Day 296-3rd Year's New Skills

Evening Light - Taken on 26/6/2011

I asked at the start of my 3rd year, like how I did in the past 3 years, what new skills I wanted to acquire during the coming 12 months. This year, just like the preceding years that passed, I didn't end up learning what I thought I wanted at the start. I still don't know how to ride a Vespa or play the drums or work with polymer clay. 

You asked why in the world do I keep making these resolutions if I don't plan to achieve them. But I did achieve, I'd say! Let me explain. My resolution - and it is always the same one each year- was to learn at least one new skill for the year. 

That task, I believe I did. In fact, I felt I made 3 rather significant accomplishments in my 3rd year. 


I learnt to take better photographs

Tribal Kitchen -taken on 26/6/2011

S$2 small table with drawer from Daiso (bashed). Various baskets from Chatuchak (painted or varnished), Dried flowers are yellow sea lavender or statice. Bottles are swapped gifts  from Glenda Howell (dirtied), vegetables from Chatuchak (painted and already eaten by Rat), sack of rice (made with hemp cloth)

Harvest- taken on 20/12/2011

Maize is potpourri, ladle holder (made with jewellery finding), ladles (made with toothpicks and seed pods),  paper leaves from Chatuchak, reed from table mat

Biscuit Tins- taken on 20/8/2011

shelf (made with ice cream stick, plastic lace, mirror beads and gesso), biscuit tins swapped gifts from Indonesia (painted),
raw crackers waiting to be fried came with tins

Shadows - taken on 27/8/2011

Mud and mirror furniture (made), plate of raw fish (assembled), utensils & milk can (ebay purchases) silver plate (from shop in Miniature Museum of Taiwan), brass bowls (painted metal caps), brass pots from Little India, fish trap basket from Chatuchak (painted)

Kitchen Goddess Lakshmi -taken on 27/8/2011

Brass Lakshmi from Little India (painted), Alcove (made with clay diya, distressed),
garland (made with string & preserved real leaves since May 2011)

Broken Blinds -taken on 27/8/2011

Broken blinds (made with bamboo coaster), dried flowers are potpourri, ladles (made with metal caps and toothpicks), ladle holder is a wooden bead, little porcelain cups are gifts from Rosanna Rolla (dirtied)

Kerosene - taken on 20/12/2011

Bottles bought from bead shop in South Bridge Road (dirtied, cork is real), tinderbox (painted metal, assembled), mud and mirror stove (made), pot from Chatuchak (painted), blue plate rack (made with ice cream sticks, beads, bamboo skewers)

Now, by themselves, these photographs may not seem particularly impressive. If you will understand my constraints however, you may appreciate how far I have come. Firstly, we have the size issue. Everything is small, be it the subject matter or the space. 

Then, there is the question of where the objects are placed. The Goddess Lakshmi for instance, can never be seen in real life by a human being because the alcove it is placed in is right inside the kitchen on the wall.  Let me assure you, there is no conceivable way you can fit your head into  the room for a closer look. 

Before, I had no inkling at all on the kind of lighting required for photographing the interior of a dollhouse placed rather far away from a natural light source. Take a look at some of my photos taken this year and you will see what I mean.The kitchen especially posed a serious problem as it was the most dimly lit room.  

After starting the year so auspiciously with the accidental discovery of a white light source, I can take pictures any time of the day now. I have really come a long way from not knowing how to even upload photos (Dec 2008), macro setting (2009), lighting or  photo edit tools (2010) to now taking ambient pictures.  I am giving myself the Most Improved In 3 Years Award and singing It's my anniversary party and I can give if I want to!

The Forgotten Toy-(exterior side of house) taken on 20/12/2011

Toy bird (made), winter trees are real stems

Treewizard's Tree- (below toy) taken on 20/12/2011

Tree by Christopher Pereira, gift

Ladder and Lace- (other side of house) taken on 1/10/2011

ladder (made), rusty pail with cloth (assembled, painted S$2 pail from Daiso), tree (made), stone seats with moss are real pebbles. Alcove (made with clay diya , dirtied and distressed)

Ladder and Lace details- taken on 1/10/2011

Rust- taken on 20/12/2011

Pump is souvenir from India (painted) Plate on top of brass jar is a gift from Eva Perendreu, metal basins from Daiso, (painted)

Last Blooms - Taken on 25/9/2011

Flowers , (painted plastic flowers) weeds are dried moss, brass pot from Little India, skinny twigs are real, shrine cupboard (made) , flooring is table mat. 

House Shrine -Taken on 20/12/2011

Rusty metal trunks (made), books (made), pillow (made) , blue tin  (made)with real dried flowers,  Brass Ganesha and goddesses of light from Little India (painted), cupboard (ma de) , golden bowls were gifts from Carol G Msv

Embroidered Dowry- Taken on 20/12/2011

Quilter's Cupboard (made), bowls made by Rosanna Rolla, gifts. Basket with laundry made by Flora

 And then there is of course

the immense satisfaction and indescribable pleasure 

Key to my heart-taken on 10/12/2011

of completing a home.


Rosamargarita said...

Tu siempre me sorprendes, tus fotos son muy buenas y la casa completa es una maravilla
Muchos besos

Daydreamer said...

Ah, Sans! Your photos are MAGNIFICENT! And NOW I see WHY.... you are so intent on getting better and better... and it Shows in your results! YOU are so focused and know what you want to achieve! And you work at it and learn new ways.... always learning!
This is such a lovely re-cap of this year..... and the ever closer details and the incredible light are no accident..... and are So Inspiring! That is what I admire about you..... that is where the Artist shows through.... you are perfecting your VISION of this house, this tiny World... BRAVO for your accomplishments! It is no Wonder that I feel like I am walking in your little World.... your photography skills are Superb!

Mieke,.petitevictorianrose said...

Hi Sans,thank you for your warm words.Your Blog is absolute fantastic, everything looks so full of color, vibrant and warm!
I wish you a merry Christmas.

Hugs Mieke xxx

GB said...

Your pictures make me want to move right in. Now I need to find a bottle labeled "drink me" and I'll be all set. I hope that charpai's comfy?


Sans! said...

Rosam, gracias lado a otro sus amables palabras. Hicieron los blogs hasta las 6 am esta mañana vale la pena! jajajaaja. Yo soy apenas mantener los ojos abiertos ahora:)


Sans! said...

Betsy, it is always so nice to be at the receiving end of your compliments :). Thank you, my dear.

I am having one of those "duh" days (probably due to lack of sleep) where "enthusiasm" feels like an abstract concept existing only in a place far far away. It is so timely for you to remind me of what's important in life. What we lack in the area of talent, adroitness, experience or even intellect, we can make up for in determination and focus, right?

I was just walking to work this morning and thinking about my 3rd year in miniatures and blogging . I have so many friends in this community who are also celebrating their 3rd anniversary and I believe that for many of us, this may be a turning point of sorts. If we have been disciplined and focus and diligent about honing our craft, this is the time we will experience a leap in the quality of our work, I believe. 3 years will not be enough to peak (I sure hope not..jajaja) but I think 3 years is a good time to decide if the path you picked is right for you. Do you agree with me?

OMG , did I just laugh in Spanish???!! jejeje

Sans! said...

Merry Christmas, Mieke! It is so good of you to visit :) and to give me good tidings with such choice and lovely words :)

Sans! said...

The Charpai is shaky, GB but the food is good and the tea is warm. You may have to work for your supper and help spin some yarn :). And there will be no music unless you sing. I am sure you don't mind ;)

CWPoppets said...

Sans, I love looking at your pictures. It's not only your very unique miniatures but the light you so perfectly place. Maybe I should make a new years resolution to use light like you do in pictures.

The Old Maid said...

Need I repeat that I LOVE your photos? Well deserved award - from me to you for them one too!!!! Thank you for reminding us of these feasts for our eyes!

Eliana said...

The house is so beautiful! I loved the pictures! Each one is a journey into the world of dreams. Congrats for this lovely work.

BiWuBär said...

No doubt - you really achieved your goal of taking better pictures! Your beautiful photos add a lot to the magic of your posts, your scenes never look like miniatures, even the tiniest detail can be spotted. But even the highest skills of taking pictures would be needless if there weren't these outstanding scenes to be photographed. I'm a little curious what will be your goal for next year... ;O) - oh, and btw, how could you ever think I lied to you when saying I love your beautiful, addictive blog... I swear I say the truth and nothing but the truth! ;O)


Sans! said...

Christine, I have seen your camels and their owners , genie popping out of an urn. Now that's what I call unique.

I also believe we both share a fascination, maybe even love (for me definitely ) for Orientalism. :)

I make very simple resolve (unlike "try to lose 10 kg" ) and only 1, like learn 1 new skill. Wide enough to encompass so many things that I know it will happen since we are always learning new things everyday right? :)

Sans! said...

Ewa!!!!!!!! THANK YOU for the award! Now at least I can say "I didn't give myself that award, you know" :).

I wish you were here so I could "talk photography" with you. Like telling you how I really love "Evening Light" . I kept that picture since June for the "Best of" post! LOL. And did you see the golden shadow cast on the stove in "Kerosene"? Then there's Biscuit Tins. OMG! I have never had more unphotogenic subjects! Them and the broken blind. I took the picture from below to test the effect and it worked LOL. By the way , my friend taught me to take pictures of women from below so that the double chin won't you didn't know that :)

Ascension said...

Tus trabajos son fantasticos y encima has conseguido fotos maravillosas.
Parece mentira que las primeras fotos sean de esa pequeñisima casita y se vean como si fuesen de una casa normal por su realismo.
Que buena eres en todo...corazon jejeje
Me ha encantado recorrer este tiempo en tu compañia.
Por si acaso.........
Feliz Navidad!!!!!
besitos ascension

Sans! said...

It is so good of you to share this journey with me , Eliana. I seriously don't know how I would just carry on if not for the fact that there were always friends here to rally me along and to listen to my rambling.

You know Fleetwood Mac's Dream (sung acoustic by this guy jcole123, best cover I have ever heard)? I get goose bumps every time my mixpod plays it and I am reading my blog.

My devotion and crazy passion about what many people not into minis regard only as a hobby sometimes is a little bit like the lyrics in the song. Song's really about giving up one's love for freedom (creative as well) only to be condemned to loneliness. It's a little melodramatic but o well, it's the time of the year when people go a little overboard with the drama in their life wondering where the time has gone right? :)

Sans! said...

Birgit, you forgot "the whole truth"! The lie , oops I mean the line is "is that the truth? The Whole Truth? And NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH???!!!!!????" the last sentence in a loud and threatening voice so that whoever you are screaming at will turn to jelly and just spew the truth ..hehe.

Thank you, my dear friend. It really doesn't matter what motivations you may have behind your words (that's the problem with just reading and not being able to hear or see when someone talks cos I can spot a lie a mile away! That's when I go "is that the truth, THe WHole ...." ah well, you know the routine).

It doesn't matter because they almost always make me smile and then magic happens. Do you know your words can levitate? I swear I am 20 feet off the ground now feeling on top of the world from all your praises :).

About next year's goal, I still want my scooter licence but it is such a pain trying to get one over here. You know I have Vespa minis, Vespa t-shirt and Vespa posters , all gifts but not the real Vespa because I don't have a licence! I already know what my Vespa will look like. Shocking pink (maybe electric blue or Alfa Romeo Green..) with tan seats and wicker baskets :)Definitely the wicker baskets and flowers in the basket of course. And a long long scarf over my head ( or around my neck) when I ride...ya , in my dreams cos I definitely won't be allowed on Singapore roads.

Sans! said...

Graciassssssssssss, la Ascensión. , Estoy muy contento de verte aquí de nuevo comentando posrts mi aniversario. :). Espero verte por aquí siempre, ¿vale? Especialmente en lo que es mi aniversario, e incluso si hago 100 puestos anniverary, voy a esperar que usted esté aquí para leer todas las 100! Ok? Porque yo te echo tanto de menos si no lo hacen.

Usted ha sido tan grande y tan bueno. Más de un año ha pasado desde que nos hemos encontrado y que todavía están aquí, con regularidad. Gracias, mi frend un año especial con usted:).

100 besos & abrazos

Janice said...

Yep, am travelling again!! Only flying into Bangkok to fly out again as this is a diving holiday for the most part. Feel much more confident this year now I am a seasoned traveller!!
Looking forward to adding to my stash with lots of interesting materials.

Drora's minimundo said...

This completed house is so different from any dollhouse I've seen and it's fascinating. I am a great admirer of your photography talents it looks as if it comes naturally to you.

Garden of Miniatures said...

When I just looked at the pictures I thought it is real,a fantastic atmosphere with all the warm colors you took in every detail. I love the complete house,because it made with so much love and completely different to everything else! I'm wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!! Warm hugs,Jeannette x

Amy said...

Sans, I know you have had those moments when you're looking at something, and suddenly it's transformed completely in a second. Even when you already know that it's a dollhouse, that everything is smaller than your thumb, even when you're completely clear in that regard-it still comes as a joyfull realization, alchemy. I am so completely immersed in the details of your wonderful house, not just because of the incredible craft involved, the translation of ordinary full size objects into miniature constructions, the patinas, the wear, the textures, the colors, but because they are fully realized worlds. They have stories, they have real world details, they are so self-contained. When I see your photographs, I'm not just looking at a dollhouse, I'm reading a story, I'm getting a guided tour of a world that exists outside my own. It is like reading a book-one of the few ways we get to see through someone else's eyes-your eyes. Your world curated by your imagination. Though I know it's all tiny, and invented, when you step back and show me the entire house it's still a little shock-how is this not real? Not really real? That's the power of your doll houses, Sans. When you can surprise and amaze even when I assume I can't be surprised anymore.

Cinderella Moments said...

Your pictures are gorgeous. I love the light and shadows. You did it! You mastered a new skill. Fantastic!

WeeLittleWest / Kathy Olaf-Obrenski said...

Merry Christmas and a happy new year!!

Virginia Isabel CoMa said...

como siempre me encanta como colocas las cosas, es una forma muy especial.

Margriet said...

Such wonderful photos of a beautiful house!!! You sure know how to make the best photos Sans, even the most normal objects become so exotic and magical!!! I'm curious what you want to achieve in 2012 and even more curious what you will achieve in 2012 ;-) I will follow you closely :-)

Patty said...

Sans, You are such a wonderful artist! I am amazed at what you can do to have objects look so ancient and well used. Your photography is really amazing! You learned everything about taking a good photo very well. That will be on my to do list for 2012.


Cindy Teh said...

i will KOPE your light :P
you have such a way with words, it's a beautiful journey, what you've made this far. i am looking forward to what you will make in 2012!

Piikko said...

Merry X-mas Sans! Hauskaa joulua!!!

Hugs and kisses, piikko

What a story and photos!!!!!!♥♥♥♥♥

Sans! said...

Janice, my favourite haunt, Chatuchak is still being affected by floods. It is just as well that you are flying in and out of Bangkok. I hope you like spicy food! If not, you must try anyway :) because my favourite food is Thai cuisine.

Try their lemongrass tea,papaya salad and definitely coconut ice cream!

Merry Xmas!

Sans! said...

Drora, natural???!!!! No way :). 3 years is a long time for natural to happen :) haha. But thank you for your compliments. At my age, compliments are 1000 times better than opening Xmas presents on Christmas morning :)

I am bad at following rules so I guess that's why my house appears different but deep down, we are similar :). Just putting together old distressed things together. If this house is white or cream, it could have been labelled "shabby chic". teehee

Sans! said...

Jeanette, good tidings, comfort and joy to you!

I spent today making container gardens :) and my mind kept drifting to yours :). Ours are worlds apart. Even my gardens are old and dirty. How can that be possible, right? Maybe it's just my clumsy way of saying there's beauty in decay :).

dale's dreams said...

You are awesome my dear!

Yes, you resolved to learn certain things, but along the way, you learned other things, so it is all learning and improvement, thus bettering yourself, which is what resolutions are all about, yes?

I have always felt that you have always had fantastic photographing skills, but, I can see the improvement, also. :)

I find I am in a similar boat.

lol, I love the song reference.

When a toddler is potty training... It's my potty and I'll cry if I want to. ;)

It has been such a joy to me being privy to your world. :)

Sans! said...

Amy, I have come back months after making this post to read the comments that I have missed. This year started with such a hectic schedule that left me with so little time for my favourite things, favourite blogs and of course hanging out with cool blog friends.

I have to do better!

Sans! said...

Thank you Caroline :)

Sans! said...

Kathy O-O :) Good to see you!

Sans! said...

Gracias Virginia!

Sans! said...

Margriet, I am your stalker so you can't follow me or we will be running in circles !

Sans! said...

Thank you Patty!

Sans! said...

Cindy, just checked out your etsy :).

Sans! said...

Kisses, Piiko!

Sans! said...


Margriet said...

Yessssss...let's run in circles...we'll get dizzy ;-)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin