“Before Alice got to Wonderland, she had to fall.”
Mahrker Fairy Tale Inspired Series
“The little girl just could not sleep because her thoughts were way too deep, her mind had gone out for a stroll and fallen down the rabbit hole.”
Lewis Caroll, author of Alice In Wonderland
After I left my previous employer, Singtel, one of my first personal projects that I began to get busy preparing for was Green Day 2019. Green Day, if you haven’t known, is a Korean couple day on the 14th day of the month of August when couples would drink soju and enjoy a romantic walk in the woods. To me, it makes sense for me to use this day to make anything related to nature or anything green and eco-friendly.
On a Friday night 2 weeks ago, I took time to take part in a free workshop organised by Youth Corps to learn how to make a small pouch out of scraps of unwanted leftover felt patterns. It was an eye-opener how there are businesses out there that make effort to recycle waste and remake them into something useful.
Here’s what I made over the short 1-hour session. I intended to give this simple DIY felt pouch to Taenggu too.
On the next day, I went for a 2-hour love themed terrarium workshop which I signed up for about a month ago. I happened to get to know about this class through DateIdeas SG on Telegram.
What actually motivated me to go learn how to make a terrarium was Taenggu who has similarly had an opportunity to learn to make her own terrariums as part of SONE NOTE LIVE Vol. 21 earlier this year.
I remember how in awe I was of her looking like some lady boss of a flower shop. Hahaha. I was so envious and asked her if she could give me one of those terrariums she made herself, specifically the one with the heart-shaped cacti. ㅋㅋㅋㅋ 🌵
In return, I wished I could make her a terrarium of my own too! So that was why I took up this love themed terrarium workshop ahead of the upcoming Green Day.
When I stepped into the class, the teacher asked, “Oh you are the one who signed up for just 1 person, right?” “Yup!” I said. She led me to my seat, I sat down and then realised what she meant. All the other participants came in pairs with their other half to attend this workshop together. It suddenly dawned on me that this event, which was advertised on DateIdeas, was ideally meant as a date which couples can do together.
Fortunately there was one other male participant who had come alone so we were put in a pair together at the edge of the table. But obviously he was here to make the terrarium for his own special someone while I wished I could also openly (and have the courage to) say that I was here to make the terrarium for my girlfriend too. Well, since no one asked, I kept quiet to myself. But thankfully, the class atmosphere was really good. I’m glad that I didn’t receive weird stares or awkward feelings for being by myself and I didn’t feel out of place either (those negative emotions that I constantly felt during my time at Singtel).
The tools and materials which we would be using at the workshop.
Everybody was given this empty container to house our succulents later on. It has two really cute figurines of a boy and a girl sitting side by side having an intimate moment together. Because I intended to make this for Taenggu, I had to tell her that the figurine on the left isn’t a boy, but a tomboy, which technically makes “him” a girl too, so that this terrarium could be fitting for someone in a girl-girl relationship too. 👭
After a demonstration from the teacher, it was time to get our hands and tables dirty.
First, we got to choose 2 succulents of our own choice. I chose a normal succulent and the other a jade plant, also known as lucky plant or money plant. 💰
Then, we put a layer of soil at the bottom of our wooden container as the base.
After making sure the roots of both succulents were firmly secured in their positions into the soil, we cleared all the excess dirt away with a brush and filled the remaining spaces with tiny pink decorative stones up to the brim.
Lastly, we were free to decorate our terrarium with a wide range of embellishments that they have for us to choose from at an additional cost per item. Wanting to model my terrarium like a garden wonderland, I picked items like a purple bee, a carrot-munching rabbit, a giant mushroom, a blue bird and even a pink flamingo sneaking behind the love couple. And after putting them in place with some creativity, I was done! Terrarium making was a pretty easy and therapeutic process!
Some individual shots posing with my terrarium at the end of our class. 📸
Before we parted our ways, the teacher gave us tips on how to take care and water our succulents properly. She said it is enough to water them with 1-2 teaspoons of water once a week and put them at a place with sunlight. I was aware that it would be kind of impossible and impractical to mail this terrarium to Taenggu overseas without destroying it unless I get to meet her and pass it to her directly. So I guess I will have to keep it with me at home and try to take care of it on her behalf for now (hope it can last long! 😖).
On top of making an eco-friendly pouch and a terrarium for Taenggu, I wanted to make a Green Day themed card too. For the past few couple days in the previous months, I’ve been making cards inspired by various Disney fairytales – Beauty and The Beast for Yellow/Rose Day, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for Kiss Day and Cinderella for Silver Day. To keep this trend going, I chose Alice In Wonderland as the fairytale theme for this month’s Green Day! I find it a good fit because it is a story about getting lost in the woods and meeting magical creatures along the way.
But instead of a simple self-designed printed card that I did for the past few couple days, I wanted to go a little further and do something a little different. I had an idea to make a simple DIY card book that contains my own handwritten brush calligraphy of quotes from Alice In Wonderland. As I learned, Alice In Wonderland isn’t just a fantasy but it also contains loads of important life lessons throughout the story, so I thought it would be meaningful if I could make a collection of these quotes into a book too.
So what I did was to compile a collection of images and pre-written brush calligraphy quotes from Alice In Wonderland online. Then I designed my own template that involved deciding which image to be attached to which quote, planning the sequence and flow of the quotes and putting them neatly in place and made it into a PDF document ready for print.
After printing one copy for my own sample reference, I printed another copy on the actual coloured papers with only the images without the quotes.
Then I started doing the calligraphy by following the sample. It didn’t have to be perfectly the same as the sample, at least it gave me a structure of how I should write the words since I’m not a seasoned freehand calligraphy artist. I took this as a practice to brush up my calligraphy skills too! 🖌
There are 11 quotes in my book altogether. After finished writing all the quotes, I then glued all the pages together so that I could flip them like a book, and we are done! 📖
Now it’s time for some photo-taking! 📸
HAPPY GREEN DAY, MY DEAR TAENGGU!! Let’s hold our hands and walk into the woods together, down the rabbit hole and to our very own wonderland where all magic begins! 🔮
It’s AliceTaenggu and Celeste in Wonderland. 🌳🐰🍄💜
Theme song of the month: “Alice” by Avril Lavigne
Read my Tumblr post about this soundtrack of the 2010 Alice In Wonderland film here.