Sunday, December 29, 2013

Experimenting Milk Paint

I'm so excited to blog about my experience with milk paint! I chanced this while I was surfing the web and was just dying to play with it. My first experience with milk paint was many years ago. The first milk paint I had was in liquid form. Even now, I think they are relatively unknown (at least in my part of the world), except for those who are probably DIY enthusiasts who love doing furniture makeovers. Traditionally milk paint are used on wooden furniture and other textured surfaces to create an antique look, which is why it is quite popular with people who love that style.

These are not sold locally, so I ordered mine overseas. While doing my research on milk paint, I became fascinated with it even though I don't have any antique furniture to try it with. So while others will use it with furniture, I will use it for my dollhouse miniatures.

What is milk paint?
There are many types and brands of milk paint out in the market, some are in liquid paint form which is ready to be used, and some are in powder form. Today I'm going to try out the milk paint powder which requires mixing with water.

Milk paint is an eco-friendly, all-natural paint which contains milk protein (casein), chalk, clay, natural pigments.

Suitable for both interior and exterior painting and is mold resistant.

It is ideal to paint on various types of surfaces, including wood, plaster, drywall etc.

It is environmentally friendly, non-toxic and does not give off noxious vapors (often called VOCs)

How is the texture different from acrylic paint
I can only speak from my own painting experience, but the milk paint offers a very smooth, even painting finish that I can't get from acrylic paints. Sometimes acrylic paints that are kept too long ends up being lumpy, but so far my liquid milk paint doesn't end up like that.

Ways to use milk paint
Simply paint on porous surfaces to create a finish that doesn't chip or flake with time (which is perfect if you make your own dollhouse miniature furniture).

You can add more water if you want to create a "colored stain" or "faded wash" look.

If you paint directly over painted surfaces, allow the paint to "self-distress" and chip away randomly for an authentically aged look. (I haven't tried this yet, but will do so soon!)

Preparing for my experimentation!

So I got my stuff ready, the usual - paint brush, a little container to hold the paint, and a small scoop container to efficiently measure powder and water. You can use a spoon if you have, but I didn't have a deep craft spoon. You can use a small cap or container as well.

For this experimentation, I must tell you that the colour I was going to try out was a light mint blue/green colour. But please note that the colour of the milk powder is almost cream. See below photo. So please do not be alarmed!

The milk paint is ready to be mixed with water.

As soon as I added in 1 scoop of water and started stirring, the colour changes!

Stir well, until the lumps disappear. This was stirred halfway, as you can see there are still some lumps.

The ratio of powder and water is 1:1 But there are no hard rules to this, you can add more water if you like, which I did.

You can start painting immediately after the milk powder is dissolved.

The outcome of the colour reminds me of a discontinued FolkArt colour - Mint Green. Many of my students can't find this colour at the craft store anymore, so this will be the replacement for that colour.

I painted 3 coats over my furniture and it covers well. 

End result colour

It was a fun experiment. I hope you enjoyed my little review of the milk paint! Once I tried the other experiment, I will blog about it!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Visit to Gardens By The Bay

A little while back, I went to Gardens By The Bay for the very first time. It had always been one of my wish to visit ever since it was opened, but I just never had the time to do so. But I was glad to visit during this time of the year as they had christmas decorations in the garden ^^

There are several options which one could pick. I only visited 2 domes, as I didn't want to rush through my visit. I'm glad I did that, as I took my time to admire the indoor and outdoor gardens. By the way, the outdoor gardens are free of charge, and one can reach there by crossing the linkway bridge at Marina Bay Sands Hotel. I didn't know about this until I ventured on this trip.

The 2 domes were air-conditioned (what a blessing!) and I enjoyed the cool air. The first dome had lots of flowers, cactus plants, succulent plants, and christmas plants as well.

A point to note, most plants are actually displayed above ground level and I wonder if the reason for that is so that people won't be able to touch them easily.

I enjoyed admiring the various succulent plants up close.

This looks like a gigantic ginger plant.

After going through the succulent plants area, I looked at flowers and leafy plants, but I only took a few photos.

I'm lucky that there wasn't many people in the gardens on the day I visited, so walking in the domes were really nice.
 People admiring christmas plants on the lower deck

Poinsettia Christmas Tree

Assorted plants tucked in a little corner

After lunch, I went to the 2nd dome which is called Cloud Forest. I didn't take lots of pictures here because it was more wet and slippery, so I was more careful with my camera. But I enjoyed walking on the high pathway which overlooks the city.

I hope you enjoyed the short little trail with me. This is definitely a place I would visit again just because it's so fun. Smelling the plants and flowers makes me happy!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

My paint collection

While doing my cleaning routine, I decided to clean up the drawer that holds my paint collection as well. I usually don't clean this every week, but perhaps once in a while since they are all kept in a drawer. This is still not my complete collection of all the paints I own :D For those that I use on a very regular basis, they are taken out and placed on my desk.

I have a great amount of pink, greens, browns and whites in my collection. The colour that I re-purchase over and over again is white. Some of the colours are over 6 years old, and are discontinued colours.

The folkart ones are great when it comes to house keeping because they come with a colour tag on the top of the bottle which makes it easy to identify the colours. For the other brands, I have to write the names of the colour on the top of the bottle cap just so that I know what it is. Sometimes I also flip it over when I keep it, so I can see the colour from the bottom of the bottle.

I don't have the most perfect storage solution, but I make do with what I have.

I keep those colours that I seldom use at the back of the drawer usually. And for those that I use regularly will be pushed to the front so it's easily within reach. Simple enough for me.

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of my paint collection!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Making Miniature Little Gifts

I've been busy making some miniature little gifts lately. I plan to give it to my students who are here for classes in the month of Dec. 

It has been fun to put this together. The side decorations were so much fun, I actually love them lots!

It also makes a perfect little gift. I have this available in my shop here.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dollhouse Miniature Full Cream Milk

Just a really quick update! Some of you may have seen this in my shops, but I've been really slow in updating this in my blog. I made this 1:12 scale dollhouse miniature full cream milk a little while ago. I designed this from scratch and it took me a while to get it altogether, but I am really pleased with the effect.

There are some days where I'm just more keen to work on the computer than playing with clay, so those are the times I'll get to design stuff. I get excited seeing the little project come to life on the computer screen. I must say sometimes it's a little addictive doing research.

I even wrote a little story about Pei's Fresh Milk, at the side of the packaging, although you can't really read all the words as this is a one inch scale miniature. But I like making all the little details.

On a random note, for some reason, a lot of people are craving for fake macarons at the end of the year, so I've been busy working on these special orders. I hope to take a few photos of them before I mail them out by next week! We have been having more wet weather days here for the past few days. In fact it's a little chilly at night, and that also means my macaron shells are taking a little longer to dry. But I'm still cranking them out as fast as I can possibly and just let them dry naturally.

I can't believe tomorrow's already Friday... Have a great weekend everyone!