Friday, June 29, 2012

Download: July 2012 Printable Calendar

Is it any surprise that I would use handwritten script for the next printable calendar? :P

I kept this month's design pretty simple, because if you do realize that we only have 6 months to go before the year ends, then your head, like mine, is probably a mess with lots of project planning, re-evaluating of goals, and backlog work. Now is the perfect time to check back on the list you made in January and to ask yourself, "Are you living the life you imagined?" If you are, then good for you, but if you're not, well, it's never too late!

July is your chance to start with a (semi)clean slate! :)
Download the July 2012 Printable Calendar here.

LifeAfterBreakfast x DMC Embroidery Workshop in Cebu

My recent trip to Cebu coincided with the first year anniversary of the Hand Crafters of Mary Enterprise, makers of the Isabel Rag Dolls. During their thanksgiving party, I taught them some freehand embroidery basics, to expand their handsewing skill set. Here are photos of the workshop with the 23 crafty mothers.
Isabel Rag Dolls can be purchased online. Contact them for custom orders!
DMC retailers in Cebu
Gave them a copy of the Friendship Bracelet Book!
Happy to be sewing! So refreshing to see such a passionate bunch.
Winners of the embroidery challenge.
Thank you for having me at your party! :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Do Something Creative Every Day

I am in a new relationship with my blue copperplate dipping pen. We've been friends for a while now, but it was only yesterday when I took the time to sit down and get to know it more.

Beach plans were thwarted, but I was determined to celebrate the beginning of Venus no longer being in retrograde. I never believed in all that astrology stuff before, until all sorts of things started happening to my computers and phone, after my ruler Venus went into retrograde. Anyway, met up with Patty and Nicole for lunch at Yabu in Megamall. How considerate of them to have 1 vegetarian meal on the menu, haha.

And then I met up with Em, for our first joint calligraphy lesson (1 out of 24), and we started by reading the books, putting them down, and doodling away to get a feel of our pens, paper, and ink.

Then we proceeded with foundation font.

This morning, I decided to experiment with my materials, and tried my dipping pen with watercolor. I'm in love!
More doodling...
...learning how to control ink flow...
And then this: my personal mantra,in my own script. :)

Been blogging from my phone because my laptop is still busted. It's hard, but I'm so amazed with all the photo editing (cropping + watermark) and blogging apps! Also, I know this is so late and anticlimactic, but I'm a newbie on Instagram. Find me there: @alessandralanot :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday7: In Cebu

I'm blogging from Cebu, where I spent the weekend with Anthill, and finally got to meet Princess Ant Anya! We're working on a LifeAfterBreakfast x Anthill collection, and Im super excited because I'll have custom L.A.B. weaves for all the products!! I know I've said this a million times, but please bear with me, because this really is another DREAM COME TRUE for me. It's awesome enough that I'll have custom woven fabric, and to use them in an entire collection of accessories-- from bags to paper products to home & kitchen stuff --is just too cool. Too cool. Thank you to Anthill for this opportunity!:)

It was also the 1st year anniversary of Isabel Rag Dolls, and at their thanksgiving party, I got to meet the mothers who hand-sew the dolls, and taught an embroidery workshop with them, of course, using DMC thread.

They presented me with an Isabel Rag Doll with a letter A for Alessa! So sweet! Oh, and while we were out of late lunch yesterday, I went spoon-shopping! Kaligayahan ko ang mga 'to. More props for the coming food shoots :)

Here are this week's Sunday7 photos from sunny-rainy-sunny Cebu:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Brilliance by Ramon Orlina

After four decades, Ramon Orlina's brilliance in glass artistry has gone through the fire and has broken the limits of international acclaim. Like most compelling success stories, his artistic journey was born out of adversity and his genius was the glimpse of opportunity in challenging times.

Orlina had a flourishing career as an architect when martial law was declared in the country. His patrons fled the country or saw reversals of fortune when their businesses were stopped or usurped. Due to the waning projects, he turned to painting on mirrors and as fate would have it, the first exhibit was a sell out.

The exhibit caught the eye of Victor Lim of Republic Glass, who, wanting to develop new ways with his product, offered to send Orlina overseas to learn more about glass art. The artist opted to study the production process in the factory and discovered the cullets which are fragments of the glass block that remains in the furnace after 7 to10 years of continuous firing.

From those cullets, Orlina created his famous green glass sculptures that have regaled collectors from all over the world. His first commissioned mural called Arcanum at the Silahis Hotel was shown to visiting Czechoslovakians who were amazed at finding glass art of that magnitude outside of their country. The Czechkoslovakian Embassy gave Orlina a tour to meet the various Czech artists acknowledged as masters in glass art.

At his new exhibit Brilliance, which runs until June 24 at the Powerplant Mall, Rockwell, Orlina mounts his most colorful exhibit using crystals in amber, amethyst, cobalt and white alongside the original emerald glass. The exhibit opens on Independence Day and features nationalistic pieces such as "Steps to Liberty, Unity, Harmony, Pagkakaisa and Alliance."

Works that honor Father's Day can be seen in "Daddy's Girl, Close to Father, A Father's Inspiration." Personal favorites are the horizontal pieces called Unity carved from amber crystal and the dynamic Green Earth cast in verdant glass.

Beyond, devoted wife Lay Ann Orlina sees the future of glass art in fire and furnace to shape new obras of molten lumina to differentiate from Orlina's genre of hand sculpting. Students of Orlina will have to turn to glass blowing, rolling and shaping using heat and fire to define themselves and their works. The romance with glass burns bright with infinite possibilities.

Coffee and Crafts

My hands smell of coffee after a three-day photoshoot which required lots of craft-making. While Beam and I were busy making props and all sorts of things, Em ( was able to snap these beautiful behind-the-scene photos during the shoot. Her commitment to Instagram is something that I really admire.

After the typhoon this week, it was unbearably hot --perfect weather, actually, for our outdoor layouts. But that also meant we were extra sweaty and sticky (and sparkly from the glittered props) all day. We cooled down with some homemade Ice-blended hot chocolate with almond milk (I prefer it to soy, and besides, that's all I had at home!) and homemade african safari iced tea, with some fresh lemon juice and coco sugar syrup. Hooray for leftover props ;)

I'm so happy to be working on this project again with my favorite yearly coffee & tea crew: Em, Dar, Beam and Ralph!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Garage Magazine: Settling a Beef with Veggies

Please grab a copy of Garage Magazine's June issue, and check out meat-loving Adrian's article on his vegan experience at Pipino. I had a super fun lunch with this carnivorous bunch!:)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Mini banderitas I made for my Dad :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012


In the beginning of each month, I challenge myself with the goal of publishing at least one post per day. Despite my laptop's sorry state (screen cracked), and even while traveling, I was doing well for the month of June.

That was until the other day, when my iPhone was stolen in Megamall.

From my first pager (which I purchased with my very first paycheck from YoungStar when I was a highschool freshman in 1996!) to my first mobile phone in 3rd year high (which I also saved up for), I have NEVER lost a phone, and was always proud of the fact that I was able to keep a phone for at least 4 years before having to replace it. That is, until now. But 1996 to 2012--that's a 16-year streak! I guess it's still something to be proud of.

But, what's done is done, and my ever pro-active, positive and supportive husband took me to the mall yesterday, and got a new phone with me. I am still trying to "rebuild" my life, though. It's heartbreaking, but just like my best friend Gin and I used to say in high school, L.G.O!!! Life goes on! :P What has this experience taught me? I learned that the end of the day, a laptop is just a laptop, a phone is just a phone, and iCloud is just AMAZING. Haha!

I'm okay now, but I just want to forget about what happened for a bit by staying away from technology until the week ends. I will be back on regular programming next week, with a continuation of last week's travel adventures, and the schedule for the next craft events. See you then! :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Meat-Free Recipes in Cosmo's June Issue

Grab a copy of Cosmopolitan Philippines' June 2012 Issue, with the lovely Kim Chiu on the cover! Thanks to the wonderful Cosmo Team, and to Irish Dizon, I'm featured in this month's Whip It Up section! Learn how to make low-carb Yuba & Quinoa rolls, and my favorite recipe for Puttanesca!