Thursday, December 31, 2015

Watercolored Succulents for Pao & Tin's Wedding

Our good friends Paolo & Tin got married this month, and I helped them with some designs for their wedding. (I only work on one wedding per quarter, and I mostly do it just for family and friends :P). One of the first things we did was work on the fabric for the bridesmaids dresses. We printed my succulent pattern on blue-gray neoprene! Love how it turned out. And I'm always super kilig to see my patterns on fabric!

This was a test print done on white neoprene

Love the girls' matchy shoes, too :P

I also worked on their wedding invitation. They were open to having a unique orientation, so we did long invites + long catalog style envelopes to match. Played with some wood texture since the other wedding elements like giveaways were made of wood.

For all my wedding invitation designs, I always print them on IFEX paper. The paper stock I used for the invitations was Cordenons Wild 450 gsm, and 118gsm Mohawk Loop in Cypress color for the envelopes.

I used bleed proof white to the calligraphy, and made a tiny stamp printed on fabric linen tape to seal the envelopes.

Paolo is an interior designer, and he made these robot cake toppers, as well as robot magnets for the giveaways, and toy robots for the sponsors' gifts. (Don't we all love a hands-on groom?! :P) Love their naked cake topped with succulents and berries!

Congratulations & Best Wishes, Pao and Tin!:)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Craft Shopping for My Workshop Kits

One of the reasons why I put together the workshops is because, like many of you, I LOVE shopping for craft supplies. These workshops scratch my craft shopping itch, because I get to shop for art supplies for ALL my students!:P Whenever I travel, I hunt for new and rare art supplies and test them out to see what new kits I can include them in. But of course, when buying materials in bulk, I choose to shop online.

I pride myself in curating awesome art kits for my workshops. I always include quality and full-sized materials for the workshops, and one of the novelties of the kits is that there are lots of materials in my kit that aren't available yet here in our country.

My students always ask me how I shop for my art supplies. I've been shopping from online stores in the US for many years now, and it used to be such a complicated process, until recently, when I signed up for Shipping Cart.

I had been using a different courier before, and was paying a really steep price for the shipping fees. When I saw my bill for my first shipment via Shipping Cart, I was so surprised to see my shipping bill cut in at least HALF the price I normally pay! Since I run about 4 workshops in a month, and have materials shipped regularly, this was a huge cut in my expenses.

Why does it cost less? Upon receiving my package, I learned that Shipping Cart can consolidate your packages and REMOVE EXCESS PACKAGING so you don't have to pay for extra packaging weight. One of the online shops that I visit heavily packs their boxes with paper stuffing, which makes it heavier than usual. I was happy to see that my items in the box were transferred to a box that fits its volume better, making extra stuffing unnecessary.

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Okay, so if you're ready to checkout your items in your shopping carts here what you need to do:

Register for an Shipping Cart account here:

You'll get your free LBC U.S. Address and account number after signing up.

Use this address when you shop at U.S.-based online stores

Items arrive at the LBC Warehouse and it you'll get a notification e-mail. 

Log-on to your account to select the items that you want consolidated and shipped

Make your payment, and wait for your items to arrive!

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I used to pick up my huge boxes from the courier's warehouse here in Manila, but with Shipping Cart, the packages arrive at my door. Another thing I like about it is that you can track your packages and shipments. And since I hold workshops regularly, it's important that I get my shipments on time. My packages arrived at my door in just 2 weeks after checking out.

Here's a list of a few specialty craft sites that I shop from:,, Enjoy!:)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Havaianas Filipinas 2015: Laro, Lasap, Lakbay

It's odd that November weather here in Manila feels a little too much like summer: even without direct sunlight, the heat outside burns! This tropical-blooded girl isn't complaining, though; I'll take this heat over fall & winter's freezing fingertips. I guess this summer-weather in November is Mother Nature's way of cooperating with us: this month, Havaianas Philippines is launching 3 new local designs! And guess what? I am one of those designers!! *squeal-jump-dorkydance-highfive*

Back in college, I used to live in shorts and tsinelas (you can ask all my classmates and teachers :P). Until now, my fave part of the day is when I can change into my flip-flops! Haha. I love working with brands that I personally use, so when I was invited to collaborate with Havaianas for their local collection, I was nothing short of excited to design for a brand that I grew up with.

My design features calligraphy doodles of my favorite Filipino street food: Sorbetes!

It's an honor to be working alongside fellow designers Abbey Sy and Patrick Cabral

Each of us featured the things we love about our country in our flip-flops.  Abbey designed Lakbay, Patrick designed Laro, and I designed Lasap. The Havaianas Filipinas 2015 collection will be available this Holiday season, and only for a limited time!

The planning stages of the collection began in Feb 2015, and it was sooo hard for us to keep quiet about it! (What is excited. haha :P) Thanks to Havaianas, especially to Iya Cua for coordinating with the three of us to make the design and planning processes as smooth as possible. The last couple of months saw us meeting up for lunches to plan our upcoming event & a workshop at Hillside!

To launch the collection, Patrick, Abbey and I teamed up with Havaianas for a creative afternoon of Three (!!!) intensive workshops!

Each participant got to take home a curated workshop kit filled with some of our favorite materials!
- Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens
- Dr. Ph Martins Concentrated Watercolor from CraftCarrot
- Canson Watercolor Paper sampler from IFEX
- Waterbrush from Craftdoodle 
- 30/0 Spotter brush by Silver Brush from CraftCarrot
- Plus more Lettering supplies

We hand-stamped our Laro-Lasap-Lakbay lettering work on the goodie bags!

The module covered Hand-lettering by AbbeyFlourishing by Patrick, and I taught Watercolor Washes & Monograms.

Yummy food from Hillside Cafe!

Craft Carrot's pop-up booth

Each participant also got to take home special gift from the Havaianas Filipinas 2015 Collection!;) Flip-flops for everyone! :)

Thanks to everyone who joined the workshop! And as of early January, the Lasap pair has already sold out! Thanks to all those who purchased my sorbetes design!:)

Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2015 Printable Calendar

Love thinking of new ways to combine watercolor and ink. Did the watercolored typeface with watercolor, let it dry, and then sketched over the letters with a calligraphy pen + bleed proof white.

Also experimented with a watery and colorful alphabet + salt. 

Including the step-by-step process for these in my new workshop handouts for the Watercolored Type Workshop on November 15 at Hillside Cafe QC.

November also means that I get to announce something special that Abbey Sy, Patrick Cabral, and I have been working on since the beginning of the year!
It's so hard to keep it a secret, but we'll have to wait a few more weeks before we can spill the details. What I can tell you, though, is to Save The Date: Sunday, December 6, at Hillside. I promise you, you will want to be there! :P

Made some tropical leaves for the November calendar, mostly because I am dreaming of the beach. Hoping I can squeeze in an island trip during one of the many holidays this month! Also, the colors signify that November is World Vegan Month. Lettuce party at Pipino! :P

Download the November 2015 Printable Calendar here.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Timeout & Craft Shopping in Bangkok

I celebrated my birthday with a lunch with family, dinner with best friends at Hillside, and a time-out  trip (a.k.a. non-working, real vacation) to one of my fave cities: Bangkok!

PJ and I stayed at Hotel Muse, a 5-star boutique hotel in Soi Langsuan (near BTS Chit Lom).

Upon check-in, we were welcomed with cocktails & juices. When booking online, make sure you tick the button for their breakfast buffet!

Cloudy bedsheetzzz :P

My favorite part of the bathroom was the ceramic sink bowl!

Ordered room service as soon as we got there: veg pad thai. SO good!

Ok, now it's time for a craft shopping tour with me! :P

If you only have limited time to shop for crafts, I suggest staying in the Siam/Central area (BTS Siam/Central). I found great art supplies sections in the malls' department stores.

In most Bangkok shopping malls, the tourist is king. There's always some sort of promo, tourist discount (an additional 5-10% off just by asking "Do you have tourist discount?' :P), plus of course, Tax Refund. Which is why the goods come out extra cheap, even if you shop at the malls. Art materials there are surprisingly much cheaper than in Hong Kong!

My first stop was the BeTrend section of the department store at Siam Paragon. I was greeted by an entire shelf of Arches pads and blocks! Bought a bunch of hot pressed (pink) blocks ;)

CENTRAL WORLD: Siam Marketing
When I asked for a tourist discount / tax refund, the owner of the shop just smiled sheepishly and said that it's already so cheap, so they don't give discounts. It's true, though. I was able to buy more Ecoline colors (they had gray and white!) for 99 Baht, about 40Baht less than in the department store. Was also able to buy 1/2 oz bottles of metallic acrylic gouache that can be used as calligraphy ink, for only 45 baht each!

Good selection of pens and manga art supplies.

Best selection of art-related books: Kinokuniya Siam Paragon
Best selection of craft books (with Japanese selection): Kinokuniya Central World

Can't get enough of the BeTrend stationery sections in the department stores! Each one has a slightly different lineup of supplies, so they're all worth checking out.

EMPORIUM: Department Store (BTS Phrom Phong)
Home accessories

Love these wooden lamps! They were only 2000Baht each.

Hand-pulled art prints

 EMPORIUM: TCDC - Thailand Creative Design Center

At the top most floor of the Department store sits one of my favourite places to hang out in Bangkok, TCDC. It's a Library and co-working space--by membership only--but tourists get a free 1-day pass (just bring your passport), or you can pay a fee and get a 10-day pass. If I lived in BKK, I would definitely get a full membership here! Books, Magazines, DVDs, Movie & Music archives. Heaven for artists and designers.

Right next to the library are a couple of exhibition halls and a design shop.

(various locations around Bangkok)

So happy to have found Lemon Farm on the same street as our hotel. I was able to buy organic (and msg-free) mixes for Thai food faves Tom Yum and Pad Thai! I cooked the tom yum today and it's really good! :) Was also able to buy Galangal powder (essential for Thai cooking) here. Hoarded packs of these mixes, and thinking of bundling them up for Christmas gifts!

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Of course, no trip to Bangkok will be complete without FOOD! Here are some places we visited:

Though fairly new (there are still some unoccupied slots), Mercuryville looks like a chill place to hang. There's a rooftop bar (that wasn't full that time, because we were there during the end of Buddhist fasting), and there's also Veganerie, a dessert resto & bakery, and Kalpapruek, which is famous for their Thai food.

Had their iced chocolate with soy milk froth!

THONGLOR ART VILLAGE: Soul Food Manahakorn
Thai food, but not that many vegetarian options. The place seems to be popular with the tourists and expats!

NAHM at Metropolitan by Como (Lumpini Area)
We were finally able to get a reservation for dinner at Nahm. I got the vegetarian set meal. The funny thing is, my favorite part about the meal was the pako, which served not as a salad, but a savory dish. Dessert was great! I had (photo on right) coconut with crushed ice & star apple, served with sesame crisps. Personally, though, I enjoyed my meal at Gaggan more. :P

I thought that Bangkok was just for clothes & shoes shopping, so I was pleasantly surprised by the wide (and easily accessible) selection of art supplies. Tip for you hoarders: PJ and I took Thai Airways and had 30kgs of free luggage allowance each! :P Are you going to Bangkok soon? Take me with you!:P