Our Polymer Clay Journey

It all started at the beginning of Singapore’s circuit breaker where I chanced upon some ads that Polymer Clay jewellery makers posted on Instagram. That was when I took notice and showed my mom about this new craft that we might both enjoy.

Moments later, she googled more about it and immediately “took action”. We bought our first set of polymer clay on Spotlight. While we waited for it to arrive, we went through many tutorials and beginner guides online to find out how we could get started with this new craft. My mom was all along into handicrafts as she designed many resin pendants since four years ago.

Finally, after a week (feels very long tbh as we were so excited to start after seeing all the tutorials online), we received our starting materials. Polymer clay of different colors from Sculpey Premo & Accents.

This was actually the third time we bought from Spotlight as we were both too excited to start working on our clay the first and second time so no pictures were taken then.

What I felt when creating crafts with Polymer Clay?

“It is just like PLAY-DOH!” I exclaimed. The texture was just right after conditioning the clay. Not too soft not too hard and sticky. It was fairly simple to work with. There was an indescribable happiness I’ve felt when I saw my “babies” come to live after baking in the oven. 😀 I still get that joy when I pull out a tray baked beauties.

As a Nintendo fan, these mushroom army was my very first creation upon receiving our first batch of clay. Speaking of which, I will add creating a set of Nintendo Switch clay accessories to my design list! Do let me know in the comments on what characters you wish to see us design! So exciting!

Over time, I explored different styles and not sure why but I feel that braiding polymer clay is just so satisfying. Seeing how each braid overlaps nicely on top of the other but at the same time ensuring that not too much pressure is applied. Otherwise, there will be those dents on the back of the braids. Lots of attention and patience are placed into creating these delicate pieces.

These are some styles that I have experimented and created thus far…

These are just a small preview of some designs I’ve created thus far.
All our designs are on our website.

So what’s next for us?

We will definitely be creating a lot more designs of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, charms, and 3D printed polymer clay cutters which will be made available for sale on our website.

On top of that, we will also be creating some polymer clay tutorials and beginner guides based on our experience thus far. Do keep a lookout for more updates by following us on Instagram!

Top 2 ways to celebrate Mother’s Day during Quarantine

Given this year’s unique circumstances, many are celebrating mother’s day at home or even virtually. Even if you do not stay with your mom and still wish to celebrate Mother’s day together, there are 2 best ways that will help make this year’s celebration an unforgettable one.

To polymer clay makers out there, you are one step ahead!

For those who are not… Don’t fret, I’m here to help! 😀

One day a year is focused on moms – women warriors who work, teach, care, cook, wiping tears from their own tired eyes and when their children anger them. In fact, their “job description” is freaking long. Since they do so much, shouldn’t we celebrate more?

There is also a saying which goes “everyday can be Mother’s day, not just once a year”. Moms do not have designated rest days. Even while they “sleep”, they are still thinking of their child that refuses to sleep early despite having school the next day.

Once you become a mom, you’re a mom forever and always.

So let’s try out this 2 ways to appreciate your mom’s effort especially in times of social distancing!

Step 1: Spend quality time together

For those staying together with your mom, LUCKY YOU! You have so many activities that you could do together.

  • Order delivery and chat over breakfast, lunch and dinner (Or even better, whip up a meal right in your own kitchen – she will be moved to tears especially for those who cook once in a blue moon; or never)
  • Help her complete household chores (Trust me, she will be very grateful if you do that. Or even better clean the windows etc TOGETHER!)
  • Teach her how to use Instagram or any photo editing apps (You will be amazed by her creativity and how this could help eliminate her boredom, if any)

Even if you are not staying together, here are some ideas!

  • Virtual Dinner Date (Order the same food items and get it delivered to both your mom and yourself to savour the meal together)
  • Host a Netflix Party (There is a group chat feature incorporated. Alternatively, just WHATSAPP VIDEO CALL her and see her laugh REALTIME)
  • Workout together (Create a fitness playlist on Youtube and share it with your mom and tap into the joy of dancing)

Step 2: Prepare gifts (Polymer clay+ eGift)

If you have not decided what gifts to mail over or give your mom. You might want to start DIY-ing right away! If you are attracted by the possible creations you could design using polymer clay. Just like the examples below.

Here’s what you need to get started!

  • Sculpey Premo Oven Bake Clay (For those living in Singapore, there is a 30% Spotlight SALE; Alternatively, get them from Amazon) Would be great if you could purchase the basic colors like white, red, yellow, blue and black so that you can mix to obtain other colors!
  • Oven (Hopefully, there is one in your kitchen!) Note: Just to be clear, please please please do not cook both your polymer clay and food together.
  • Pen/Art Knife (If not, a clean scissors blade would work too)
  • Your mom’s old earrings/necklace chain (You can reuse old earring hooks or studs to create a fresh design for her! Why not, right?)

These are the three basic materials and tools to get you started creating your mom’s favourite earring/bracelets/pendants/keychain etc!

I have shared some ideas and creation at the end of this post which might help you think of a design to create. If you do use them as reference, please tag us at @infinityandme.design on Facebook or Instagram with your remake!

Instagram: www.instagram.com/infinityandme.design/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/infinityandme.design

If you are just starting out in polymer clay and your materials will not arrive if you placed an order today, send her an eGift card instantly using Canva.

This is a perfect example of some eGift card designs you could send her while you wait for the materials to arrive.

Last but not least, here are some ideas which we had designed to kick start your DIY process. Hope this helps!

Design Inspiration 1

The following set of earrings is perfect for mommies who like minimalistic designs and gemstones. We chose to design Ruby Quartz (right image) as it is the perfect color to remove negativity and toxicity from one’s life and enrich it with positive energy.

Design Inspiration 2

If your mom’s favourite color is P I N K, this set is best suited for her! The pink swirls represent harmony, beginning, concentration, and focus. For working moms, the spirals will help them in their journey, direction, and progress.

Design Inspiration 3

If you recall that your mom usually helps you braid your hair when you are young, this would be a great gift set to surprise and thank her for all these years of hard work and love that she showers on you!

Design Inspiration 4

Foodies gather!! If your mom loves sweet stuff, she might glow when she sees the candy like earrings on the left OR indulge in Mala (right) as is the latest comfort food for many.

Design Inspiration 5

Although it sucks to be quarantine at home and miss the warm sunshine on your skin. You might consider designing a sunshine related series that emits freshness, happiness and positive vibes.

For more designs, be sure to follow us on our Instagram page at @infinityandme.design

You can direct message us to order or enquire! We are friendly and won’t bite. 😀

Do leave your comments below if you felt that this post have help you in preparing a surprise for your dearest mommy.

Signing off now, cheers! 🙂

Little red eggs? They are Daruma Dolls!

© Illustrated by MCYK Studio.

For those who had visited the Land of the Rising Sun (Japan), I’m sure you had brought home the cliché variety of KitKat or bottles of sake for your loved ones. If you want to be a little more original during your next trip to Japan, you might want to consider getting these beautifully designed Daruma Dolls that are handcrafted with high quality workmanship from the Japanese.

The Daruma is a traditional Japanese doll which people believe could help them achieve their goals and obtain good luck. During my past three trips to Japan, I had brought home these dolls to display on my shelves but little did I know about the history behind them… Until now. If you are like me, attracted by their designs, do stay on and read the rest of this post where I will explain their slightly disturbing origin, the types of dolls and how to use them.

So… what actually led to the rise of Daruma Dolls?

The Daruma dolls have symbolic representations where the shape was modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen sect of Buddhism. Zen believers stress the importance of meditation and takes no interest in doctrinal refinements. Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5/6th century CE and credited with the conveyance of Zen Buddhism practices to China and subsequently to Japan and eventually became very popular in the West from mid 20th century. Its actual origin is muddled with mystery as there the documentation of his life is mixed with legends.

Source: Buddha Weekly – Image of Bodhidharma 

According to one tradition, Bodhidharma stopped in a Shaolin monastery in China for sometime and continued his travels until he decided to meditate in a cave. He was famous for his practice of wall-gazing. Legend goes saying that Bodhidharma  meditated for nine years straight without moving, eyes fixated to the wall and seated in a cross-legged position without taking breaks or closing his eyes. Except for one occasion, after seven years. He was so infuriated with himself and grabbed a knife to cut off his very own eyelids to make sure that he will never fall asleep again. The pieces of eyelids which fell to the ground eventually sprouted green tea leaves which eventually became a belief among Asian people that drinking green tea helps one to stay awake. Of course, Science would explain that it is due to the caffeine inside it but legends explains that the tea was created because of the “eyelid-plant”.

The goriness does not end there… Bodhidharma also suffered from the loss of his four limbs where legends said that it had gradually withered and fell off his body due to nine whole years of immobility.

This is why the Daruma resembles the head and torso without all limbs. Also, it is believed to have exhibited all characteristics of Bodhidharma and it is often associated with the Japanese proverb ‘nanakorobi yaoki – 七転び八起き’ which means ‘fall down seven times, stand up eight’. The Daruma might look unstable at first glance but just a mere push, it will still come right back up. It is a symbol of resilience and recuperation.

© Illustrated by MCYK Studio.

How to use Daruma Dolls?

I hope that the morbid history behind the Daruma Dolls did not scare you off and you might want to know more on how you can actually use them to your favor. These dolls are believed to be able to help one achieve their goals and dreams by providing them luck and the strength to be resilient. They are also popular gifts of encouragement in the Japanese culture where they are often commercialized by the Buddhist temples to help with goal setting.

Initially, the Daruma’s eyes are blank and you will have to make a wish and paint one of the eyes. Once your wish or goal is realised, you can then paint the other eye to thank the god for your achievement.

© Illustrated by MCYK Studio.

However, do note that these Daruma charms have an effectiveness of only one year. After a year, you should return it to the temple from where you had purchased it and burn them regardless of whether you had attained your goals. This is a symbol of freeing the god and it is not meant to be treated as giving up on one’s goals but it is a renewal of one’s vows by purchasing another Daruma. There is even a ceremony named Daruma Kuyo is held in several temples in Japan where tons of Daruma dolls are burnt altogether. The next ceremony will be held at the Nishiarai Daishi Temple in early Feb 2021.

Modern day Daruma

Let’s talk about the colors. In modern day Daruma designs, the color of the doll varies. The most common being red as it originated from Bodhidharma’s red robes. Also, in the Asian culture, red symbolizes prosperity, good luck and fortune. There was also another myth that the color red was due to the smallpox incident that occurred during the Edo period in Japan. Children who was diagnosed with the illness had to wear red hoods. If they died, they were often wrapped up in red funeral robes. As such, the Daruma are typically red as it associates with this myth and symbolizes resilience and wishing one to have a speedy recovery.

Today, there are many uses of the Daruma design as it could be vastly seen adorned as bracelet charms, pendants and even tattoos.

Source: tattoperfection

Even the Daruma doll’s facial hair has a symbolic meaning. The eyebrow represents the shape of the crane and the mustache takes after the tortoise. This was to match the Japanese proverb of ‘the crane lives 1,000 years, the turtle 10,000’.

Nowadays, the designs have shifted to using cats and many other forms to be incorporated in Daruma. This inspired me to create and design my own series of Daruma jewellery. I hope that this blog post helped you understand the origins of Daruma dolls and perhaps encourage you to get one during your next visit to the rich heritage and cultural land of the rising sun. 🙂

© Designed by MCYK Studio/ Infinity & Me.
© Designed by MCYK Studio/ Infinity & Me.

What is O2O commerce?

If you understand what O2O stands for based on your prior knowledge or from the picture above, good for you! For those who are like me, where you had only seen this acronym for the first time you might be wondering what’s that? Another type of chemical compound?

O2O stands for Online to Offline in the context of e-commerce marketing. Matter of fact, I have only found out about this word when I was looking for jobs on Glassdoor and in particular a position from Shopee’s UIUX department stood out. That got me googling for “what is O2O design?” and only after that, I realized that although this term is new to me but it is definitely not 100% foreign – because we have all used it at some point in our lives. What we didn’t know is that there is a term coined to this type of marketing in the realm of the vast e-commerce world we all live in.

Now, to the main point of what O2O is all about and how some brands we know are strategizing…

O2O marketing is a business strategy that attracts customers from online platforms to make purchases in brick-and-mortar stores. This form of marketing came to light when retailers feared that they will not be able to compete with e-commerce giants who sold their products or services online. Being in the digital space, conventional stores face several limitations such as high rental costs, limited space which reduces the selection of goods and the need to hire employees to run the stores. On the other hand, online retailers could offer a greater selection volume as they rely more on shipping providers to deliver their goods from their warehouse or even at the comfort of their homes. This brings be to my next point where I will share some of the examples we see in tiny red dot, Singapore.

Example 1: Kickstarter – We The People

Kickstarter is a great platform which help people bring ideas to life and I had tried it for my entrepreneurship project – Plusboard. For backers to have trust in you, they will have to look through the entire campaign to see if your idea could really enter production and be delivered to customers. However, this tend to be difficult as you could not have a feel of the product before you put in money to help kickstart a project you believe in. For this group who tend to be more skeptical especially when it comes to online transactions, they would prefer to see the physical product before purchasing it.

Tada! We The People store is designed with this in mind. Since 2016, they spearheaded Livefunding – “for consumers to see, touch, and feel the latest innovation which unlocks an untapped source of funding; the physical market”. This is great because it eliminates the possibility of falling into online scams or threats so that this group of people can continue to support the ideas. Besides the two stores located in Singapore Millenia Walk and Funan Mall, they have now expanded to have a store at Westfield Valley Fair Mall in Silicon Valley! #singaporepride

Example 2: Ikea

When it comes to furniture, I think of Ikea and Taobao. The only difference is that I can easily head over to the Ikea Tampines or Alexander showroom to see a bookshelf that I seen online whereas for Taobao (based in China) I can’t. I could only check out the pictures and read through thousands of comments hoping that there are sufficient pictures of the product that were uploaded by customers. As such, I can benefit from the ease of access to the online catalog that Ikea provides and visit the showroom to feel the material for myself. Of course, purchasing more items along the way as I roam the superstore and filling my stomach with the juicy meatballs. Aren’t you guilty of that?

Also, the AR feature in the Ikea app definitely saved me time so that I do not need to make multiple trips to the store to measure a product and see if the product fits my room. Love it!

Example 3: Rosebel

One last example before I end off this post!

Rosebel brings the online experience to an offline popup store (picture below) which sells explorative epoxy resin jewellery. With a consumer mindset, I’m sure we are all guilty at desperately trying to hunt down great deals and search for good quality products. But how are we able to do all these by just by scrolling through thousands of product photos online (with a high chance of these photos being processed by photoshop)? It all boils down to great communication and having the chance to showcase products at an actual store which you could head down and adorn these jewellery for yourself! This was how Rosebel became so popular and shifted their online Carousell business to a full fledged business with a online website showcasing all their amazing products.

On a side note, do check out their online shop especially since everyone is encouraged to stay at home. Support them, check out their Instagram account (@rosebel.co) and enjoy shopping at the comfort of your home!

Hope that this post helped you understand what O2O is all about with the examples drawn from the tiny red dot I live in 🙂

Do also stay tune for the next few blog posts which I will be sharing with you more about my newfound hobby stemmed from staying at home! #stayhomestaysafe

Color and Gradient Galore – Part 1

Not sure what color theme for your next web, graphic, app design? I have designed and gathered my top three favorites from my past design works. Each palette comes with a traits tag that might be useful if you wish to choose the colors based on a particular set of traits. Surprisingly, while I was compiling the colors for this post, I was inspired to create two more color palettes. Feel free to use them and let me know how the palette has helped you in the comments section below!

Down-to-earth / Strong / Responsible

Adventurous / Cheerful / Imaginative

Courageous / Delightful / Joyful

Created two more palettes below with personality traits like determination and being cautious. If you have used the following palettes feel free to tag me in the comments section below. Can’t wait to see how the colors helped in your design works!

If you were observant enough, you would probably realise that the featured image of this blog post is created with the palette above 🙂

Stay happy and continue designing and letting your ideas flow! Don’t stop doing what you enjoy!