Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Free Rubberstamp Carving Workshop Giveaway!

Dainty lavender stamps & wooden stamp handles

There's a FREE Rubberstamp Carving Workshop giveaway happening on Instagram! Head on over to instagram.com/lifeafterbreakfastph to join!:)

Congratulations to the winners!:)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday7: Sweet Surprises & Craft Play

ONE: Chunky KitKat Caramel
If Milky Way & KitKat had a child, this would be it. I bought a bar at citysuper in HongKong to take on our plane trip back home, but not I regret not tasting it earlier! Aaah. If you chance upon this anywhere in the world, go grab a whole box! :P

TWO: Beyond Borders Blanket
I love collecting local handwoven fabrics, and I really do use them for our home and for some craft projects. This blanket that we use to cover our sofa bed is from Beyond Borders.

THREE: Chika with a capital CH
Met up with one of my fave brush letterers Christine Herrin last week. The afternoon was spent chatting about random things and work lives, followed by a quick craft exchange. I finished my piece too late, so I took a photo of the stamp I made before I mail it to her. Lettering by CH. :)

FOUR: Foil Foliage
Dipped pen doodles with copper foil. I have a crush on everything copper right now.

FIVE: Peony Practice
Currently creating new handouts for the upcoming Botanical Watercolor workshops!:)

SIX: Bread Coasters
Made custom bread coasters for Pi Breakfast & Pies. Chanced upon speckled cork in the bookstore--it reminds me of multigrain bread!:P

SEVEN: Takoyaki at Home!
Made use of our ebelskiver pan and made takoyaki from scratch. Filled it with cheese & veggies instead of octupus.

Hope you all had a happy Sunday. Happy Father's Day to all dads! :)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

DIY: The Best Gin & Tonic Recipe

If you think about it, gin & tonic is actually pretty simple -- you just need gin and tonic water! So why the recipe?? Last New Year's Eve, we tasted the best Gin & Tonics in SLS Hotel in Las Vegas, at Jose Andres' restaurant Bazaar Meats. It was the first item on the beverage menu, highlighted as their signature drink, so I decided to have one...and a few more after that. Haha! We all headed to the bar and I watched the bartender make the drinks. I just knew I had to recreate this someday!

And that someday was last night. :P I finally found the perfect tools and ingredients to make the perfect G&T's.

Lemon & Lime
Use a vegetable peeler to get a strip of lemon zest. Thinly slice a lime.
(Ceramic knife and vegetable peeler cropped out on right)

Take half of a lemon and use it to rub the insides of the glasses. Don't squeeze the lemon! Just rub. I guess this is the step that ups the G&T game.

Ice Balls
Of course you can use regular ice for this drink...but so boring. Haha :P These ice balls not only make your drinks look sleek; they will also last you a couple more refills, and won't water down your drink as much. Some sphere ice molds work better than others, and I find that this Zoku ball ice mold does. Price is cheaper online, but if you want to save all the shipping hassles, you'll find them at SM Dept Store (which is where I got mine) for a little over P1000. The box comes with just two ice molds, so I've been making and collecting ice (for future house parties) since I bought it. :P

 Gin & Tonic Water
Take 1 lime slice & 1 lemon zest peel and drop it in each glass. Add 1 to 1.5 parts Gin to 3 to 4 parts tonic water. You can use the cap of the gin bottle to measure. Lightly stir.

Juniper Berries
I found some dried juniper berries at Santi's (though they read "juniFer berries" hehehe and it was NOT a typo because it was a handwritten label stuck on each tub) for just P33 per tiny container. Find it in the dried herbs section.

Hmm...maybe we should have a crafts + cocktails party soon! :P

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Burn Bright

That song on the tv commercial of Unionbay (ang 90s!!) that plays in between the NBA Finals (PH broadcast on btv) is so cute! It's such a happy happy song about living in the present, doing it now. "Burn bright before we burn out," the band says. Just that midweek push we all need!

Love & Oceans
by The Dimes

open up your arms 
and feel the sunlight on your skin 
cross your fingers it won't leave you 
that this feeling never ends 

never looking in the rear view 
never had the time 
with the sunshine in your hair 
and your lover in your eyes 

you're the stars up in the night sky 

we went running through waves 
and you asked me for a sign 
I said my love is like an ocean 
and it sounded like a line 

make our way around the world 
reaching every port of call 
smiling like a river 
spilling over every wall 

you're the stars up in the night sky 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Peek into the Process: A Step-by-Step Lettering Guide

I'm always trying to improve my workshop guides and handouts, and though I've taught numerous classes already, each is always a learning experience. Sometimes, a finished piece of work can be really intimidating for beginners, so I've broken down the lettering steps, to make it as easy as possible to comprehend and follow. I'm sharing it now with anyone and everyone who might need the guide. :)

Before we start, let's define some terms. 'Lettering' is the art of creating letters by hand; 'Typography' originally means printing with pre-formed letters (wood/metal). The term 'typography' is loosely used today to refer to the general love for letters, but even if a word/quote looks exactly like a typographic font, as long as it is done by hand, it falls under the category of Lettering.

For this exercise, you will need: a sheet of scratch paper, a pencil, a ruler, an eraser, and your choice of coloring materials + paper that works best for your coloring materials. I will be using Watercolor ink (Dr. Ph Martin's) + watercolor paper (Canson 270gsm) later on.

Okay, let's begin.

Choose the quote you'd like to design.
I'm doing: "Buy the ticket, take the ride."

- - - - -

Write the quote on a sheet of scratch paper.
Keep writing it a few more times to understand the quote's meaning & message better.

- - - - -

STEP 3: 
Highlight the Important Words
Encircle the quote's key words to highlight in your piece.
No need to highlight prepositions, conjunctions, and articles!

- - - - -

Re-write the quote, but this time, arrange the words in a layout that will fit your paper best. Select the orientation that works best for your quote. TIP: If there are long words in your quote, you might want to consider a horizontal orientation.
You can choose holding shapes for certain words. Maybe small words like "the" should be placed inside a circle or in between lines? Experiment and explore possibilities. Assign SHAPES for each word and try to fit them like pieces of a puzzle.

- - - - -

Assign fonts for each word. Do you want a serif or a sans serif? Bold or Italicized? It will help if you doodle out the word in your chosen typeface, just to see if they go together. You don't have to finish doodling the entire words.
TIP: Check out dafont.com for your typeface selection! Just make sure you use ONE font per word. Please don't make it look like a ransom note!:P
In my case, my quote has 3 x 2 words (6 total), and I will just be repeating the font of the first 3 words.

- - - - -

Draw your grid using pencil.
Remember, see the words as shapes & puzzle pieces, not as individual letters just yet!:)
Tip: Space the lines as close together as possible, It's also okay to overlap, or to make the letters seem like they are overlapping to minimize the white space around the words. You'll want the entire quote to look like one iconic shape, as opposed to words that are far apart.

- - - - -

Pencil in the quote. Now is the time to obsess over the details of each letter. When you're done, lightly rub a clean eraser over the entire artwork to minimize pencil lines before you begin painting/coloring. 
This step is optional if you are confident enough with your painting skills. I normally challenge myself not to use pencil at this point--it's my way of getting to know the parts of each letter more! 

- - - - -

Fill in the letters with color.
I always begin with my favourite watercolor technique, wet-on-wet. Allow this first layer of paint to dry.
- - - - -

Add shadows and details. A little shadow goes a long way--it really helps make the words look a little bit more polished! No need to stylize all the words, because then, nothing will stand out. Again, just highlight the important words.
I also added more elements (like the ticket & stars) using gold foil glue.

- - - - -

STEP 10:
Allow the piece to fully dry before applying the gold foil, and erasing the other visible pencil marks. Don't rush the drying process, and be patient before touching your finished work!:P

Now, you're done! Take a photo of your finished piece for documentation purposes (you might want to reproduce your artwork later on!), and then proudly display your artwork!:)

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 2015 Printable Calendar + Mixtape

You may (or may not) have noticed that after over 24 months, I took a long break from designing my calendars. But thanks to jetlag --which never fails to make one feel soooo lonely at 3am (huhuhu)-- I had a little too much time to make a new batch of printables for this month, plus a mixtape! :)

The calendar background of birds was drawn using white bleed proof ink on black paper. Been having too much fun doodling (instead of just writing) with the calligraphy pen. These flower doodles are for new workshop handouts!:)

Panic mode: there are exactly 30 days to go before the first half of the year is over! Time to check on your 2015 goals, cross-out what you've already accomplished, and revise/remove those that don't matter or make much sense any more. If seeing your entire month at a glance is way too overwhelming, here's another printable for you: a weekly calendar spread to help us all micro-manage...and breathe.

Waiiiit! Is summer over?? But I haven't gone to the beach yet! :P I'm suuper excited for this week's trips with friends. Here's a fun summer mix of songs to dance to while you pack your bags for your next destination. Haha! Enjoy!:)