Prelude

Hello! Thank you for visiting Whisk & Maps.

Whisk & Maps is a visual diary dedicated for your viewing pleasure and my writing pleasure. This is where I’m going to document my kitchen musings and little DIY projects. I’m also borrowing a small space to pen down my personal thoughts and occasional ramblings.

I hope you like what you see.

Yours truly,
Yan

DIY Gentleman iPhone Case

Craft time! ♡

DIY Sharpie ideas have been all over the Internet since day one and I thought this would be a nice addition to the craft community ╭( ・ㅂ・)و

As usual, I made sure it was a project that wouldn’t cost more than a cup of coffee and wouldn’t take up more time than I would spend lounging in a cafe. I have weird benchmarks I know.

DIY Gentleman iPhone Case

Model: iPhone 4S (white)

Monsieur Apple was created within 15 minutes. It’s a classy minimalist design for white iPhones. Basically all you need is a clear iPhone case and a black Sharpie. Before you proceed, please make sure your black permanent marker has an extra fine tip because otherwise you might not be able to draw fine details such as the tips of the moustache. The Sharpie I used in this project was the Industrial Extra Fine Permanent Marker. I also used a hard phone case rather than the usual rubber ones.

Although this design works best for white iPhones, theoretically you could also try it out with a black iPhone + white permanent marker. Unfortunately I have not tested this out since the local art shop doesn’t sell fine tip white permanent markers!


“DIY Gentleman iPhone Case”

DIY Gentleman iPhone Case
Tools & Materials

Clear iPhone case (available on Etsy or eBay)
Tracing paper
Pencil
Extra fine tip black Sharpie
Clear nail polish (optional) 


DIY Gentleman iPhone Case

Method

  1. Tape a piece of tracing paper on top of the Apple logo at the back of your iPhone.
  2. Sketch your design with a pencil. Make sure it’s symmetrically balanced and appropriately aligned with the Apple logo.
  3. Fit the clear case onto your phone.
  4. Fill your design according to the tracing paper beneath the case with an extra fine tip black permanent marker. You may have to go over the design a couple of times to ensure that it is evenly colored.
  5. Let your phone case dry overnight and finally remove the tracing paper.
  6. Coat your design with a layer of clear nail polish for a longer lasting effect (optional).

Have an amazing Sunday! x

Matcha (Green Tea) Cupcakes w Matcha Whipped Cream

Matcha Cupcakes

I know I’m not the only one ♪ … who is absolutely obsessed with matcha (green tea) and its beautiful shades of green. This recipe is dedicated to all my fellow green tea dessert lovers out there ٩(˘◡˘)۶ I created this recipe based on my previous avocado muffin recipe and it appears that the combination of cream cheese and butter is responsible for creating the soft and fluffy cake texture every time! Well I guess it was kind of obvious…

I had initially planned to bake green tea muffins but I ended up whipping up a simple matcha frosting since I had a carton of fresh cream in my fridge! Either way, the muffins or cupcakes will taste delicious all the same ◡̈


“Matcha (Green Tea) Cupcakes”

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
3/4 cup fresh milk
1 egg
1/2 cup unsalted butter
50 g cream cheese
1/2 cup molasses (sugar)
2-3 tbsp matcha powder
2 tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170ºC or 325ºF and fill a cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
  2. Using a stand mixer, beat the softened butter and molasses together until the mixture is smooth, creamy and light.
  3. Add egg into the butter mixture in 3-4 parts, and continue beating until well combined.
  4. Add the cream cheese and milk into the butter mixture. Mix well.
  5. Whisk the matcha powder, all-purpose flour, tapioca flour and baking powder together in a bowl and fold into the butter mixture, just until incorporated.
  6. Carefully scoop the batter evenly into the cupcake liners, and top with the avocado cubes.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes (varies depending on your oven). At the 20-min mark, test the cupcakes using a skewer. If the skewer comes out clean, your cupcakes are ready.
  8. Place cupcakes on a metal rack to cool. Try not to steal a bite.

“Matcha Whipped Cream”

Ingredients

1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp green tea (matcha) powder
1 tbsp icing sugar

Method

Mix ingredients well using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Beat carefully at medium speed until the whipped cream forms stiff peaks.

Note 1: By the time your whipped cream has formed, it might become too soft to pipe onto the cupcakes due to room temperature. To avoid this, refrigerate the whipped cream for an hour or so for easier piping.

Note 2: Dust cupcakes with a pinch of matcha powder after piping the whipped cream (optional)


Matcha Cupcakes

p.s. Just couldn’t resist taking a close up pic ( *´艸`)

DIY “Wooden” Origami Cranes

DIY “Wooden” Paper Cranes

Today’s project is inspired by Muji, one of my favourite lifestyle brands based in Japan.

I love all things wooden, from furniture to cutlery to stationery. Wood elements are not only aesthetically pleasing, they also compliment natural and minimalistic designs by default and tend to have a calming effect on people.

One day, it occurred to me that even wood textures could be applied to daily crafts and little projects. Especially origami. I’m a big fan of thoughtful designs and of course applying wood textures to paper, which is also made from wood, is laden with subcontext. Ha.

DIY “Wooden” Paper Cranes

So I created my own origami paper, made a set of “wooden” cranes and was very satisfied with the result (*´꒳`*) Decorate your house or room by letting them perch by the window, on tabletops, shelves, or even make a mobile! If you’re up for the challenge you could also fold a thousand origami cranes in exchange for one wish or eternal good luck, according to Japanese folklore. With “wooden” origami paper, you could also fold other shapes such as animals, boxes, kimono, or even paper airplanes.


Method

Four simple steps, no special tools required. (Except, well, a printer. And a pair of scissors.)

  1. Look up “free seamless wood textures” online and download the pattern image. Remember they have to be seamless so that the pattern repeats without a noticeable boundary where the edges meet.
  2. Print your wood texture design onto A4 paper with a borderless setting.
  3. Trim the paper into 10x10cm square pieces. The size and dimensions are up to you as long as it’s square. Try to be as accurate as possible because a lot of symmetrical folding is involved.
  4. Refer to an origami tutorial and fold away!

Links and references

// Seamless wood textures download. http://borysses.deviantart.com/gallery/5901662/Textures

This talented DeviantArt user has created a whole range of high-resolution textures for design purposes, including wood, water and ice, skies and clouds, granite and marble, etc. They are free to download and each pack contains 10 designs. I selected my wood textures from the “Uncut Wood” series.

// Origami crane tutorial. http://youtu.be/Ux1ECrNDZl4

A very easy and comprehensive live-tutorial video that also includes diagrams showing the folding directions for each step.


Happy (almost) mid-week and Merry Christmas ♡

Pink Sundays

It’s been a while!

I visited a wholesale florist center over the weekend and decided to pick up a random bouquet for my mum.

Pink Sundays

Honestly, I’ve always felt that flowers are too expensive for what they’re worth because they don’t last long and are only picture-worthy for a short period of time. Yet I still splurge on them once in a while, because random gestures like this never fail to put a smile on my mum’s face and that is more rewarding than anything else in the world.

And I’m thankful for moments like this.


*Bonus family trivia:

My dad never fails to buy red roses for mum on two main occasions every year – their wedding anniversary and her birthday. This has been their tradition for almost 30 years now ever since they got married. The number of roses equals the number of years, hence the size of the bouquet increases each year ♡

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

I’m a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s animations, especially My Neighbour Totoro. I remember when I was younger and a little less composed, I would gasp and squeal at the sight of this fat, fluffy, grey bundle of joy in every toy store. Totoro has been around since 1988 and is truly an unrivaled movie of its genre that reflects childhood innocence and genuine happiness.

I really enjoyed making this card and even had the Totoro soundtrack playing in the background during the whole card-making process!

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

Tonari no to-toro, to-toro ♪ To-toro, to-toro ♪


“DIY Totoro Stitch Card” 

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

Tools & Materials

A 10cmx15xm blank card, colour of your choice (black recommended)
Pencil, ruler & eraser
A needle
Embroidery thread – white, grey, and green


Method

Step 01 – Sketching

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

On the back of the card, sketch Totoro using a pencil. As a rough guide, it’s easier to start off with the round tummy, then paws and ears, and finally the leaf umbrella.

Alternatively, you may download the printable template here (right click and save image as).

For black / dark-coloured cards – Totoro Sketch (white outline)
For white / light-coloured cards – Totoro Sketch (black outline)


Step 02 – Etching

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

Using a needle, carefully poke holes along your sketch outline against a pair of old jeans or thick fabric. This will form a dotted outline of Totoro on the front card to guide your stitching.


Step 03 – Threading

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

Secure a tight knot using embroidery thread. You might need to tie around the knot several times so that it won’t slip through the holes of the card. Starting from the back (where the sketch is), weave onto the front card randomly in a criss-cross manner to fill the Totoro shape.

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

On the back card, weave along (not across) the sketch outline to create a Totoro silhouette. Alternatively you can repeat the criss-cross pattern. When you run out of thread, end the knot at the back card the same way you started – tie around the knot several times so that it won’t slip through.


Step 04 – Repeat

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

Repeat the stitching process until the Totoro and leaf shapes are clearly visible on the front card.

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

Behind the scenes.


Thread colour guide

Totoro body – Grey
Totoro belly – White
Leaf umbrella – Leafy green + lighter shade of green (optional)

Tips 

When using the needle to poke holes on the card, wear a thimble or wrap your finger with a thin cloth.

Try to poke holes with equal spacing for a neater look.

Make sure all threads knots begin and end at the back of the card.

Secure your thread knots tightly and ensure that they cannot slip through the holes on the card. This can be done by tying around the same knot multiple times.

Author’s notes

  • Although I had initially sketched out the tiny boomerang shapes on Totoro’s belly (one of his trademarks), I didn’t end up stitching them. I changed my mind because 1) it wouldn’t have been visible against the white criss-cross pattern, and 2) it would’ve made the design look messy. Therefore if you’re sketching Totoro by hand, you don’t need to draw a ^^^ pattern on his belly. The printable template does not include this either.
  • If you’re completely clueless as to how to draw Totoro but insist on trying anyway (I like you), do check out this tutorial as a basic guide! It teaches you how to draw a full-scale Totoro, however you can skip the details since you just need to sketch out a rough silhouette.

I hope the this tutorial was useful!

On another note, I have some exciting news to share ( ˘ ³˘)♡ My handmade Ice Cream Stitch Card will be featured in a UK craft magazine next summer (March 2015)! So thankful for this opportunity. This mini project has led to many new experiences for the past 2 weeks – I basically had to create a new tutorial and shoot high-resolution images using a DSLR. I also had a lot of fun dabbling with Photoshop and Illustrator which was initially daunting but very addictive nevertheless.

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

I have since then decided to create a Stitch Card collection, which will feature different illustrations based on things I like and my daily musings. Each post will include step-by-step tutorials as well as free printable card templates for you to work on! Do stay tuned for more ♫꒰・‿・๑꒱

*For those who have read my previous Ice Cream tutorial, I have added a printable card template, digitally drawn with love (and Illustrator) so if you’re not up for sketching, you can always print out the design to work on directly!

Have a great weekend ahead ♡

Avocado Cream Cheese Muffins

Warning: Excessive use of the word “avocado” ahead. I regret nothing lalala ♪

Avocado Cream Cheese Muffins
I’m so glad my whole family loves avocado. I’m hoping my future husband will be an avocado lover too, so that I can pamper myself woo him with all sorts of avocado-themed goodies. Did I just use the word woo? Woooo. Happy Halloween btw!

Being a bunch of avocado monsters, we never fail to check out the avocado section whenever we go grocery shopping. Unfortunately, avocadoes are generally quite expensive in Malaysia as they tend to be imported from Australia and South Africa.

Thankfully, we discovered that our local hypermarket stocks South African avocadoes of decent size and creamy texture from time to time, and occasionally cheaper compared to the Australian ones found in other supermarkets. However such sweet deals don’t come by every day, so we prefer to wait patiently for these green gems to be on sale.

Last weekend, the long anticipated sale finally happened and we gleefully bagged 10 avocadoes home.

We have been indulging in mango avocado salad all week long, and I’m also planning to treat myself with some avocado toast during the weekend. Not to mention my 6-month old baby nephew is officially the newest and youngest avocado monster in the family (He really loves pureed avocado).

These avocado cream cheese muffins are soft, fluffy and rich due to the avocado and butter combination. I’m planning to make a savoury version next time, and if possible, gluten-free too.

Enjoy ٩( ̆ 3 ̆)۶♥


“Avocado Cream Cheese Muffins”

*This recipe yields 10 muffins.

Ingredients

1 avocado
2 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup fresh milk
1 egg
50 g unsalted butter
50 g cream cheese
½ cup molasses (sugar)
1 ½ cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170ºC or 325ºF and fill a cupcake tray with cupcake liners.
  2. Using a stand mixer, beat the butter, molasses, and salt together until the mixture is smooth, creamy and light.
  3. Add egg into the butter mixture in 3-4 parts, and continue beating until well combined.
  4. Peel and slice the avocado into two halves. Mash the first half with a fork. For the second half, slice the avocado into small cubes, roughly 1 cm, and set aside in a small bowl. Drizzle lemon juice over the avocado cubes to prevent the avocado from oxidising too quickly.
  5. Add the mashed avocado, cream cheese and milk into the butter mixture. Mix well.
  6. Whisk the cake flour and baking powder together in a bowl and fold into the butter mixture, just until incorporated.
  7. Carefully scoop the batter evenly into the cupcake liners, and top with the avocado cubes.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes (varies depending on your oven). At the 20-min mark, test the muffins using a skewer. If the skewer comes out clean, your muffins are ready.
  9. Place muffins on a metal rack to cool. Tuck in while it’s still warm!

Note: I don’t recommend this because I’m too much of a health freak, but if you want your muffins to have a beautiful shade of green, use white sugar so that the muffins retain natural colouring from the avocado. Mine ended up golden brown because I used dark molasses, but it tasted just as good, if not better.


Since I love you all and it’s Friday, here’s a bonus recipe. Now, what’s more heavenly than avocado muffins? The Best Couple Award goes to…

Avocado Cream Cheese Muffins

Avocado muffins with a CREAMY AVOCADO SMOOTHIE !


“Honey Avocado Smoothie”

Ingredients

½ avocado
1 cup milk (or any dairy-free milk)
1 tbsp honey
10 ice cubes

Method

Blend all the ingredients together. If the smoothie is too thick, add more ice cubes or water until desired consistency is achieved.


Till then, avocado warriors. Have an amazing weekend x

Meet Cony

Meet Cony

Hello, my name is Cony and I’m a tanuki (raccoon) from Japan.

Yan picked me up from a lifestyle store called Tokyu Hands when she fell in love with me at first sight (I bet she says that to everyone). However, in order to overcome her weakness for cute plush toys, she ultimately decided to give me to her beloved baby nephew, JR.

JR is now my favourite playmate and gets to sleep with me every night. I hate to admit this – but he is slightly cuter than me.

You might be wondering why I’m in this current state. Last night, JR drank milk and puked all over me. As a result I had to spend one hour swimming in a mysterious whirlpool cabinet and getting myself clean. And then they held me captive with some pegs and put me in this ridiculous skydiving pose!

Yan happened to pass by in the morning, and instead of rescuing me, she gave an evil laugh, immediately whipped out a black box and started snapping away. Hmph. Who’s this DSLR guy anyway? Doesn’t she know that the house dog has already tried to nab me twice?! Besides, isn’t JR missing me terribly by now?

Argh, the dog is here again. I hope someone comes to rescue me soon.

Happy Friday!