Friday, January 31, 2014

Sacred Craft Time

January has been crazily packed with meetings, and it's been a struggle to find some quiet time to craft. When I saw a free day on my calendar, I took the chance to escape from the 'real world' for the day and headed to Tagaytay. I'm lucky to have a husband who understands my weird alone-time-slash-creative-retreat needs.

There is nothing like a beautiful view, cool weather, and delicious food from fresh produce matched with a sketch pad, notebook, and some craft tools to really clear your thoughts and let you focus on creating. No wonder so many artists leave the city for life in the mountains.Brunch (at Breakfast at Antonio's) was a spinach omelette and baked beans. It was a huge plate, but I ditched the bread for some of the best hot chocolate in the world.Paper placemats were perfect for sketching out stamps. My Lola's 40th day of passing is coming up, and I wanted to make a bird stamp to design the thank you card from our family.
These tools make carving out the tiniest details super easy. They'll be included in the future rubber-cut workshop kits. (I just need to sort my schedule out, but will post details about the next class soon!)
After brunch, I visited the folks over at Cornerstone Pottery Farm.
 We tried the stamps on clay, while talking about a coming collaboration for March.I experimented with little pieces, and am so excited to try them out once they're baked! I headed home (armed with lots of clay to play with) just before rush hour, and in time for early dinner with the family.

Hashtag, PerfectDay.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dip-dyed Thread Necklace

It's been a while since my hands did anything crafty, and they were itching to experiment with something new. I was in Megamall to pick up some stuff, and chanced upon these DMC Natura balls of thread. I have been wanting to experiment with dyeing white thread, and thought that these were just perfect.
Always remember that for natural fibers, use natural dye. Synthetic fibers require chemical dyes. I decided to use some powdered turmeric because I remember how badly they stain my husband's braces when he eats yellow curry! Haha :P
I decided to chop up some thread.
The skeins are so soft and loose--perfect for making.......POMPOMS!!!
I love how the thread falls apart to reveal its individual strands when you cut it.

I cut up lots of long, thick strands, bunched them together. Starting at the center, I knotted them in strategic places to make a necklace. Did random braids, and then added a stone in the middle, together with the pompom.
 At this point, it was already good enough for me, but I thought it *could* look cuter with more color!

Dipped in the diluted turmeric powder, and just left in in for a minute or so. The longer you keep it in, the more intense the color will turn out to be.
Best to lay the necklace flat so that you don't accidentally dye the other parts.
Dip-dyed Thread Necklace

Natura Thread is available at DMC Megamall
Building A, Basement level.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Note to Self #8

A little reminder I made for myself. I sort of got lost in dreaming. All these years, I have been so focused on who and what I wanted to be, that I have somewhat overlooked what I already have, and who I already am. 

January still has us all hiding under the covers, as everyone still seems to be solidifying plans for the rest of the year. Equipped with lessons learned last year (and some from just a few days ago), I think I'm almost ready to face 2014. :P Currently drowning in a sea of meetings, but I'll be up for air soon!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday7: One Brush, Seven Faces

I paint letters all the time, but when I really want to take my mind far away to the land of nothingness (a.k.a. zen mode), then I paint entire alphabets.

A lot of people ask me what brush I use to paint. This does everything for me: a triple-zero rigger brush. They're the same ones that I give out at the Watercolor Crafternoons. 
For today's Sunday7 post, here are 7 of my watercolored typefaces, in the original colors that I painted them.
A Slab-Cowboy Hybrid font
Courier New, Bold
Rockwell, Bold 
Gotham Rounded 
Plus Sans 
Georgia, Italic
Happy Sunday! :P

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hand-carved Alphabet Stamps

There are times in a crafter's life when the world just has to stop and you forget all your have-to-do's because all your energy is focused on one silly, crazy thing. In this particular case, the 'big idea' was actually teenie-tiny: I was set on making little hand-carved alphabet stamps.
Random Doodled Type
Tinier than my fingernail!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Art of Pressed Flowers

Is it just me, or is January taking its sweet time? We're only halfway through the month, and yet so many things have happened already. The new year always brings a blank slate, so maybe I just see everything more clearly, making me feel more 'in-the-moment'.

Last weekend, I learned a new craft that really does make you feel like time is at a standstill. Mikko and her mom, Tita Tocy, invited us over to the I TRY DIY HQ last Sunday afternoon to learn more about the art of Pressed Flowers.
We were greeted by a colorful spread of materials in Mikko's signature colors :)
Mansy, Macy and I each got a set of handouts, and Tita Tocy patiently explained how to press flowers, and taught us different techniques on how to preserve and care for them.
We laughed about how one would never see flowers the same way again, and how she would ask to stop the car on the roadside just to pick some flowers and leaves. Haha, all for the love of crafting!:) On a side note, since crafting with these crazy girls is always a laugh trip, my flowers were flying all over the place because I kept laughing and huffing down on my arrangement!:P

The flowers and leaves were so delicate, each one encapsulating its season's beauty.The flatness and transparency of the flowers made me feel like my watercolored flowers had come to life! It was so surreal, and I had to take a moment to just feel and stare at them.

We chose our leaves and flowers from her personal collection. Then, it was time to arrange and glue them on the paper. There were different layout options to choose from, but seriously, I could have just tossed these flowers randomly on the paper. These flowers will make anything look beautiful!
And this is what I made: a floral letter A!
12 x 12", framed in fern, and trimmed around the edges.
I think this is the start of a new addiction! :P

Watch out for Mikko's Pressed Flowers workshop, coming soon! Follow I TRY DIY on Twitter and Instagram to receive updates on her workshop schedules :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Last Weekend's Goal-Setting & Chalk Lettering Workshop at CBTL

It was a nippy Saturday morning--perfect for a warm cup of my favourite Morrocan Mint Tea Latte. The place was slowly filling up with participants for our morning workshop.My husband PJ and I gave a workshop on Goal Setting and Chalk Lettering -- the first of a series of events hosted by the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Last weekend's workshop was held in the bright and beautiful CBTL 26th Street Bistro.

Be sure to check to be a part of their upcoming events inspired by the Giving Journal.Our friends Em and Dar, and their Viviamo team did a wonderful job organizing the event!

PJ kicked off the workshop with his usual funny and motivating talk on setting goals for 2014. In between laughs, everyone took some time to be serious and list their dreams not just for this year, but for the next couple of years as well.
Then, it was time for some chalk lettering with me! :PI gave a brief overview on lettering basics, and then distributed these handouts so that everyone could start working on their chalk art.

It was amazing what they all came up with!:)
We had a little competition, and artworks with the most votes won a set of Sharpies! :PThanks to my friends Muffin and Mansy, and to the BDJ Beauty Ministry for joining the workshop!Photo credit: Nicole Romero of Beauty and Sparkle

Thank you to all the participants! (I think that there were 60+ of you! Wow!) We hope that this workshop has helped you to brew your best year. Excited for everything that 2014 promises! :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Travel Diary: Bangkok Pit Stop

We stayed in Bangkok for a couple of days before heading to Chiang Mai. It was literally a refuelling stop because we stuffed ourselves with delicious food every chance we got! :P
...starting with some ice cream on the plane! Totally unnecessary, but okay, I gotta admit, that was quite refreshing.Flew to Bangkok with PJ, my Mom, Ate Ria, and her daughter Amelia. This little girl flew 32 (or more?) times just this year! Crazy! But happy that she spent the holidays with us!
I booked all of us at the fairly new W Bangkok. So 'new' that none of the cab drivers knew where it was, haha! :P It was quite a challenge getting around.
Cool wall of lights by the lobby elevators

After checking in, we went straight to Central area to shop!Had dinner in a thai restaurant at the food court of one of the malls
...where I had the best longgan juice!
For breakfast the next day, we hopped over to Dean & Deluca just a couple of blocks away from the hotel

It was PJ's and my first time together in Bangkok, so I was happy to take him to my favorite haunts. We toured the The Art & Design Library, located at the 5th floor of Emporium Mall. This place is a dream! Co-working in silence, with all the art and design reference books you need. Make sure to bring your passport with you to get a free day pass! :)
There are also a few galleries and a museum shop just outside the library.

 We had late lunch in Greyhound Cafe.I also think it's nice that almost all the shopping malls in Bangkok have an area/floor where they sell arts and crafts supplies.

That evening, we met up with Ate Ria for dinner at Gaggan, a progressive Indian restaurant.
I ordered the vegetarian set, and there were so many things that blew my mind! Like the 'nuts in edible plastic', but of course, it wasn't really made plastic, but of the thin sheet that wraps White Rabbit candy (remember that??). Anyway, that was an incredible bite.There also was truffle foam, reconstructed dhokla, and liquid soup.

And then the 'main courses' which had more of the Indian flavors.The carrot porridge hot mousse with saffron and 100% silver was insane!
And then some 'cold cookies' were prepared right in front of us.
We all would have loved to stay in Bangkok longer, but Chiang Mai was waiting for us! :)


W Hotel Bangkok
North Sathorn Road, Silom, 106, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

Emporium Mall
Sukhumvit Soi 24, Khlong Toei,Bangkok, Thailand

68/1 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Bangkok 10330, Thailand