Thursday, October 31, 2013

Travel Diary: Shopping in Jaipur

Whenever I visit a new place, I always make it a point to shop for unique handicrafts, and to try to learn from the local artisans. Our 3rd stop of our recent India trip was Jaipur, and I am in love with all the loot I got from this vibrant city!
After touring on our first day, we went to Badi Chaupar, a market square lined up with stores that sell bags, clothes, shoes, and many more beautiful things.
As soon as you get to the stalls, hawkers and vendors will hard sell you into going inside their stalls. "Come in, come in, I will show you!" me what? Haha. The hawkers even follow you to other other stalls and wait for you to shop, just so that they can corner you and make you go into their store. I mean, I have to say that yes, their crafted goods are worth the look, but it can get really annoying! You need to stand up, look them in the eye, and tell them harshly to just leave you alone so you can shop in peace. :P
Wooden blocks for textile printing are lined up on the streets. Wooden blocks are used for cotton, while metal stamp blocks are used for silk.
Leather duffel bags that the vendors tan (after purchase) according to the shade that you want.
Horse bling. I kid you not. :P There was a stall dedicated to just accessories for horses.
Traditional mens slippers. The man in the shop didn't want to sell these to me because he said they were for men, and was showing me the beaded slippers instead. I had to force him to sell me these! :P Also, he was selling it for 2500 rupees each, and I was able to bargain down to 2 for 900 rupees :P
Chef Ed & I bought some spices here, too!
If you like to take your time with shopping, you can go to the shops where prices are fixed. You also know that their quality is really good. My mom got her saris from this store, while I learned how their do printing on their textiles.
The next day, we rode the elephants up to the City Palace and Observatory. It was really hot, but the souvenir store by the observatory made it all worth it for me! Haha :P
I got a bunch of bell anklets like the ones on this man. Plus the cabinet door pulls which I posted here a few weeks ago.
And sometimes, you don't have to go so far to shop! I got these gorgeous bangles at the lobby of our hotel, Marriott Jaipur.  Ahhh, now I want to go back to India just to shop! :P

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday7: Online Shopping & New Craft Supplies

I subscribe to some of my favorite local magazines through Zinio, and while reading the back issues, I chanced upon this feature on my crafternoons in the July issue of Preview! Click on the image above to zoom in.

TWOThese cotton shirts from local brand Thread 365 are wonderful! I bought a few to try out, and all I can say is that I want to live in these tees. (Say hello to my white file cabinet in the background! :P)

THREEOkay, I know this has nothing to do with online shopping or craft supplies, but I love bibingka! It makes me feel more excited for Christimas! We recently launched a few new items on the Pino menu, including the Pino Bibingka Galapong with Tsokolate Shot. Available at Pino Malingap. :) 

FOUREm and Euge's Batanes Wedding is featured in the current issue of Wedding Essentials. I love how the simple doodled monogram I made grew into so many wedding details: stamp, cake topper, embroidered napkins. Also, it was through Em that I discovered YZA Coloured Printer in Prince David Katipunan, where she had her invitations printed. They are super efficient: I just e-mail them my digital files for printing, and then pick them up soon after! E&E's wedding was a collaboration between the couple and all their friends, and it's funny how PJ and I were credited for the photobooth! Haha, all we had was an instax camera! :P

FIVEWhat I love most about craft time is playing around and experimenting with my tools. I recently ordered these snap buttons from Amazon. At a crafternoon, I played with some fringe, and realized I knew how to braid with 5 strands. :P

SIXMy new stocks of Sakura brush pens have arrived, and I'll be giving these out at the Calligraphy & Lettering Crafternoons in November! Slots for the workshops are already full, but if you'd like to gather your friends for a private crafternoon, e-mail me at

SEVENI've also been experimenting with DMC thread lately, and find that their tapestry thread is really great for making pompoms!

Happy Sunday! :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Craft Detour

My crafty friends and I were all set to go to Bohol and Cebu to celebrate my birthday with a weekend of crafting by the beach. Even after we heard about the devastating news about the earthquakes in the Visayas, we still wanted to go. Anya of Anthill, who was in charge of the craft event in Cebu, even suggested that the craft module include be paired with psychosocial therapy as post-trauma activity for the kids. I was all for it. Until I heard of news about afterschocks and quakes which continued for the rest of the weekend. We all decided it be best to postpone the trip, and not risk anyone's safety. Our prayers are with everyone in Cebu, Bohol, and all those affected by the quake. I'll see you all there real soon!

My husband PJ knows that birthdays are my most favourite holiday :P and although I didn't want anything big for this year, he took over the weekend plans even before I could allow myself to sulk and brood over thwarted plans. We headed to Tagaytay for an overnight trip with his brother Ruben, Olive and the kids, and then on the way back to Manila, I begged to stop over at the woodwork shop.
I just sketched out our initials on a slab of wood, and prepped it with the router, and ran it through an electric saw. I still have much to learn in this craft, and am hoping to go back there soon to make more projects.
My polished pieces :)

In the evening, we celebrated with a dinner at Pino. Here I am with family who are my best friends, and best friends who are like family. :)
Thank you all to those who remembered my favourite day! :P

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

DIY Doodled Sneakers

On a rainy Saturday morning, I played with lines and made this doodled aztec pattern. I first started with one shoe, just freely doodling the design, and then replicated it onto the other shoe. Patterns and geometric shapes are the way to go if you aren't so confident about your drawing skills. :P

Then on Sunday, I brought my doodled kicks to the BDJ Fair,
where I had a mini crafternoon with Sharpie and DC Shoes. It was only 11am but the Mall of Asia Music Hall was already brimming with BDJ bellas.
I set up the craft space in the activity area while waiting for the participants to arrive.
After some introductions, we went straight to sketching! I asked the participants to trace the shoe on a sheet of paper, and roughly sketch their design using pencil first. Sharpies are permanent, so it's best to have a plan before drawing directly on to the shoe. There were so many people watching them draw and design, so sketching with a pencil warmed up their drawing muscles, and shook off any nerves. You see, once it's time to put marker to fabric, you need confidence in every stroke and commitment to your design! :P 

These girls were all amazing. Check out their doodled sneakers!
After the fair, I took my own pair of doodled sneakers
for some Sunday shopping with the family!:)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

We'll be Crafting in Cebu and Bohol!

On October 19, I'll be at the Ayala Center Cebu for Child's Play, an arts and crafts event from 10am to 2pm. We'll be doing totebag and stationery stamping and bracelets & charms for kids! Pre-registration is now open, and you can sign up at Ayala Center Cebu.
I'ts also my birthday weekend, and instead of the usual party, I'm going to spend it crafting with friends in Momo Beach House in Bohol. It'll be a much-needed retreat for the creative soul! :) So excited for this!

See you in a few days, Cebu and Bohol!
Hope you all have a happy Sunday! :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pipino is 3!

Once upon a time, I dreamed of having a small vegetarian food business. I wasn't quite sure then what or how I wanted it to be; I just knew that something had to be done for the vegetarians in Manila. Then I met my prince charming, and everything fell into place. ;)

PJ taught be to wish BIG. If I were to aim for something, it better be up there, bigger than what I normally imagine, because that was what a dream was. And I realised for myself that if I wanted it enough, it really would come true.
In October 2010, we opened Pipino Vegetarian in Malingap Street, Quezon City. PipinoVeg is Pino Restaurant's little green sister. What started as a 6-item intro menu in Pino bloomed into a full scale restaurant! Our goal was not really to convert people to turn vegetarian, but simply to encourage people to add more vegetables into their diets, and to prove that vegetarian food can be both healthy and delicious.
Thanks to Star, PJ, Chef Edward Bugia for making the Pipino dream a reality! I also would like to thank our parents, families, business partners, and friends for supporting me and believing in this dream. And of course, thank you to all those who have visited and dined at the restaurant! :)Photo credit: Raya Mananquil

Yesterday, Pipino turned 3 years old, and we are celebrating with a new menu!
All the Pipino favorites are there, together with a bunch of new dishes! We've also categorised the menu so that the Filipino Vegan dishes --a rarity in meat-centric Manila-- are highlighted. Pictures prove that vegetarians do not just eat (and deserve more than) salads and side dishes. Gulay is glorified and plates are peppered with color!
All of Pipino's dishes are 100% plant-based and vegan-friendly.

Come visit Pipino at
39 Malingap St, Teachers Village, QC

Oh, and you can now find @PipinoVeg on Twitter and Instagram! :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday7: Some New Things

ONEIt's been months since PJ and I moved into our new place, but it's only now that we're having our custom closet system installed. I can't wait to install put closet knobs from India on my craft cabinets! :)

TWOWe celebrated my Mom's birthday at the Manila Hotel. We were surprised to see the newly renovated Cafe Ilang-Ilang, and enjoyed a really delicious buffet meal. I'm not much of an ice cream fan, but I can't get over their gelato station!

THREEI have a new neice! Meet little Olivia, my cousin Matet and Lac's week-old baby girl!

FOURThese were all part of the new calligraphy workshop kit, which was launched at yesterday's Calligraphy and Lettering workshop. Each participant received a bottle of Winsor & Newton calligraphy ink, a roll of HeyKessy washi tape, a Brush pen, Speedball nib holders, Tachikawa G nibs, Mongol pencil, calligraphy paper, and a 16-color set of Sharpie ultra fine pigment pens. I've opened up the sign ups for the November workshop; you can register here.

FIVESee you on October 13 for the DC x Sharpie workshop at the BDJ Fair!

SIXThank you to Entrepreneur Magazine for this crafternoon feature! :)

SEVENWe're launching the new Pipino menu this week! Lots of new dishes including Monggo Malunggay and Tofu Bistek. Come by the resto at 39 Malingap, Teachers Village.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Download: October 2013 Printable Calendar

October is up in lights because it's my favourite month! Aside from my birthday, this month I am celebrating two more anniversaries as Pipino turns 3, and this blog turns 2! I have crafternoons lined up almost every weekend (checkout the right sidebar for the list), and can't wait for our crafty trip to Bohol with friends. In our family, there are also so many people celebrating their birthdays, so for sure, there'll be a dinner party every other day.

Fresh from our India trip, I'm ready for the new month! Here's the October 2013 Printable Calendar. Enjoy!:)