Toys From Thrown Flip-Flop

Amazing!! upcycling at its very best.

Ahmad Ali Karim's Weblog

There are lots of discarded flip-flop slippers washed up on Kenya beaches everyday.

A small company in Nairobi is collecting those discarded footwear and recycling them into colourful and cute toys.

To me, it’s a very nice idea for it won’t cause extra pollution from factories to make new toys.

Here are some photos …

Please click the photos for larger images:

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Paper Mask

I really like working with paper. They are easily manipulated, flexible; there’s so many different kinds, handmade, cardboard, plain, printed …and of course they’re everywhere! Really, everywhere, they are your bus tickets, coffee cups, your magazines, books, printed photos, your paper towels and more! (crazy right? check out these facts)

Since, and I don’t think I’m alone in this, I do have tons of paper clutter I choose to take advantage of these resources for my diy (it is cheap!)

I’ve made a couple of paper masks for my RevWear outfits earlier this year made completely with recycled paper. I made them so to fit my ‘steampunk’ inspired outfits, I can’t seem to find photos of the finished mask but here’s an unfinished one instead!


Now, I followed Corinne of Threadbanger‘s Make Magazine’s video on DIY Paper Mask (phew! tons of clicking there, eh?) using paper salvage like newspaper and office paper rejects.

These are bird masks, so remember throughout this tutorial to keep the the texture of the paper by keeping the pointed ends loose.

This DIY is another version of the mask using almost similar supplies with a different design.


A cereal box or any flexible box wide enough for the mask size you will need

A shiny, glittery? box (i had a blue toothpaste box)

Cornstarch paste

2 long ribbon or delicate strings (to use as ties for the mask)

optional (Modpodge, handy dandy glue stick)

scissors, cutter, white paper, pencil


*First! I dont have a formula on how to make a fitted mask that suits your face but Corinne’s video has some instructions that could work for you! Here is my method, grab a white piece of paper, put it on your face (seriously!) press then trace where you eyes are, the end of your nose and top of your eyebrows. Then basically, put it down, straighten out the shapes, clean it up and cut it out (the paper, not your face!).

*Use this to trace on the cereal box using the scissors and the cutter for the eyes.


*Take another part of the cereal box and cut out the nose. The size is however long you want it to be and make sure the tip is pointed. Stick the nose to the mask using Modpodge or cornstarch glue.

*Now that you’ve made sure the basic mask fits, put it aside. Take your shiny box and cut up some triangles! I made my triangles not too big nor too small, they are about 2- 2 1/2 cm long and 1 1/2 cm wide, note that these will be over lapping each other when gluing them to the nose.Image

*Take your newspaper and make shorter triangles- tons of them :/ yeah, I know. To make the best of the newspaper effect, pick the side with the most text so the mask won’t appear patchy, as in make sure the triangles have writing on them so it will look like it came from a newspaper!

*The pasting begins. I recommend sticking the shiny paper first because there’s less of it. Start from the bottom, use your Modpodge (if you have them) for this one because it will need a stronger glue to keep the triangles on the paper. And if you don’t have Modpodge, the cornstarch works well too, you may have to put in more glue for the thicker triangles to stick though.

*Put glue on the wider part of the triangle only, keep the tip loose to keep the 3D, “feathery” texture. As I mentioned, they have to overlap, make it so that the triangle tips are not covering each other. Place them strategically to cover empty spaces and to cover the edge of the nose. If a tip sticks out too much, you can trim it once the glue dies.


*The same thing applies when sticking the newspaper triangles (using the cornstarch mixture): glue only on the wide end, cover the whole mask, overlap, make necessary trims once the glue is completely dry.

*The eyes need special care, since you don’t want to poke anybody, when the paste is dry flip the mask to the “wrong” side and use the cutter to trim the triangle edges that are in the way of the eye hole, trace it with your fingers to feel if the edge has anything pointy! Clean up the shape by doing necessary trimmings

*Take your cutter or scissors, make an incision about 1 1/2 cm from the edge of the mask that aligns the tip of the eye, do this on both sides. Place the ribbon or string and tie a knot on each end to keep them in place

TA DA! you now have a paper mask! how exciting 😛



PS. This mask was in the running for the Totally Green Contest, but it didn’t make the top ten. Take a look at the top ten though! they’re fantastic, the perpetual calendar is genius, i say!

♥ Sz.

Music can make you feel good, no?

this playlist

one of the tracks has this catchy lyrics
by the Passion Pit –

I filled the bucket
I spilled the bucket
Out on the floor
A mistake for sure
Turned me hostile
I got so tied in
Made me docile
Then you applauded
When I was loving
Made me feel weak and
I start recovering
Now I feel silly
Selfish and dizzy
Now I got this feeling
That you’ll forgive me

And you know
Oh my god just please don’t ever let me go
Yeah sometimes we’re high and sometimes we’re low
Put up with me then I’ll make you see
That things are better when you’re with me

Hope things are working out well on your side of town

There you are!


It looks like I’m back, It has taken me too long to post! (not that you’re really anticipating my return). I feel like blogging again and writing more than a few things down because sometimes Facebook doesn’t cut it. Expect to see art work, diy, and links to things-I-think-are-awesome. So come back soon, in the meantime take a spin on one of my fave Bee Gees song, I’m sure you’ve heard they’re songs a lot lately…but here’s another one 🙂


Spelling and what heaven smells like

There are mistakes people make over and over. Muahahaha… So I caught my grammar and spelling errors from the last post (it’s been edited but if there’s more-just give me a signal). Any Complains? it is silent “t” you know, wait, is it? no? maybe that’s my accent? dammit. Oh em gee can I just say it’s because I was doing it at one in the morning? and you know what happens at that time *wink wink* just kidding. Seriously I do get pretty sweaty and embarrassed when I make grammar and spelling mistakes (or any mistake?), I mean I would be putting down all the ESL classes I HAD to take in highschool, plus that “regular” summer class in English 10 I took just to catch up for the HS Diploma requirements. Like, how did I get to university if I still make these oh-my-gosh-you-learned-this-in-elementary mistakes. Maybe I’m too harsh to myself. I mean I’ve seen so many people use “they’re” and “their” wrong and not even know it. And I’m pretty sure it’s widespread, pervasive okay I feel like I’m describing a disease, but who knows someday we could be reading about an inherited gene defect causing grammar and spelling errors, yeah I kid. So next time, when you see grammar and spelling errors or info I’m not using correctly, please let me know..or let me be is always an option. Yeah, insecure much?

So earlier today I was with my sister and she was getting all mushy with baby feet and I made this comment.
I really was the only one who laughed.

I am leaving you with a great song by Jazzipino artist C. Clamor who dedicated this to Pinays everywhere as a message to stop trying or wanting to change our appearances just to look “mestiza” or “light-skinned” with a “perfect nose” (not flat). She’s awesome huh? Enjoy

PS. I will be visiting this week’s Roger’s Tennis Cup (as spectator not volunteer) at the Rexall Centre, York U, the women are playing this year! I’m excited how I could compare it with last year’s men’s cup hmmm…

Summer Work

Hello, Kumusta na? So here we are, August has arrived and summer… almost over! _insert complaints_

What have you been busy with this summer?

If you think I’ve wasted my summer for deciding not to have a paid summer job or that I’ve become a bum, you’re wrong, at least at the job part.Saw

Looking back to what I’ve done with these four months of incredible heat waves and sudden rain, it’s been crazy busy! I crossed a whole new level of DIY, the “home improvement kind” : installed laminate floors-the whole house, designed kitchen backsplash, painted walls, installed sliding doors and a number of little things Oh, and the backyard garden is a success (can you say to-ma-toes? raspberry next year!).

The heavy stuff, mum and I conquered even when it gave her a tennis elbow (yeah, ouch). There was a lot of planning, pauses, and doing it yourself-again! definitely a lot of frustration too: the table saw, miter saw has an unbearable noise plus it can cut off your fingers, silicone is sticky, chemicals smell, there’s so much energy and waste produced to change things. Okay, complaints aside, it’s been a strenuous experience…stop, okay it wasn’t as bad. It was mission totally possible and empowering knowing I can do these things, I can feel it. And it’s almost over, at least for this part of our DIY, I’ll keep post of what’s next.

Oh! I want to show you guys the rag I made out of scraps of clothes. I’ve seen so many of these while I was still living in the Philippines, they are either woven or sewn. Mine is sewn and I’ve already used half of my scraps. For the backing I used a rice sack, it is basically sewing in between the 50+ of scraps (I’ll try making visual instructions later). This is just one great way to re-use these materials that are usually thought to be tossed in the garbage.


another one to go!


And another one! I needed a visible way of organizing my earrings and I got this idea from a how to video that I promise I will add here once I find it, it’s pretty self-explanatory tho.

till next time, paalam!


So I just got my renewed passport from the mail today. I thought it was funny how I would need a new one when I haven’t flown for nine years. What a waste of all that money and shiny paper…guess how this new one will end up in the next five years?  Un-stamped! Ok, sorry that wasn’t even funny.
Anyways, my mother insisted and I always find it uncomfortable when my photo needs to be taken for documentation. And I thought after all those years of sitting and fixing my hair for school ids, grad photos, immigration applications and passport photos that I would handle it like a pro. But no I had to fuss on my hair, do I wear make up? remember to sit upright-don’t slouch, look through the lens? don’t blink, try not to open your eyes too much and most of all look calm. Maybe the reason why I’m so fussy about it is because most (if not all) photo ids I have are laughable to me, yeah… I mean, it could be the quality, the lighting but I get this look in my eyes, my face it’s either I’m angry, I just look lost or both, I don’t know maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’ve associated taking photos for institutional documents into a bad experience and thus bad results or that people have told me before that I look funny on my passport. Geez it’s just a photo, I got to chill.

Back to passports, I just realized how much I need it! thinking cap on: crossing the border, application for something, clubbing id, drinking id and buying drinks id, not that I use it a lot for that. But for people like me without a driver’s license (twentysomethings who don’t have their G1 represent!) this is one of the very few legit options we can use.
Still, rules and regulations can be better, why couldn’t people have an option to renew their passports only when they are filled with stamps? I mean,  do we really need to spend $87 each (if renewing in Canada or $97 from US) + about $15-20 for photos multiplied by the number of persons renewing (hah, you know this bothers me when I have to use math to explain). I mean, it could just be that I don’t know how these things are processed, if you do, please inform my ignorance.

All that aside, I tried to quick and dirty draw my passport photo to release frustration, et voilà
I hope your photo taking experience is more comfortable than mine.