Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Weekend of heARTs

After this past Valentine weekend, I feel like I can do anything. :P

Whenever I feel any stress from work, I just try to remember how I survived that weekend, and it makes whatever issue at hand seem so little. In THREE days, I managed to paint a giant heart (2 sides!), fill up a wall for a mini exhibit for the hearts' media launch, do (perform? :P) three public demos, attend our newest resto's blessing, and teach three workshops! Even after just writing that, it feels like I need to take a moment to breathe. Lolz.

The crazy schedule was because of the fact that I just couldn't say no to any of these amazing opportunities.

It was a great honor to have been invited by Glorietta to paint the mall's community heart. Each Ayala Mall set-up giant hearts last weekend, and invited local artists to design them. At the media launch, I was so happy to see artist friends Pat and Camy Cabral, Tippy & Pong, and Nica and Kayo in a room full of strangers!

Ayala Malls asked me to fill up a wall with my artworks. I framed some of my patterns and prints and displayed them at the launch event.

I used the ever trusty Faber Castell tack-it to put the frames up. 
The trick is to keep stretching and massaging the putty 'til it feels hot!

I decorated my heART with a floral pattern + doodles.  Take a peek into my process!

I had no idea what kind of paint would work best for my work, so I called up our resto's contractor to ask for advice. I wanted a bit of a watercolor finish, so he recommended that I apply concrete neutralizer first, and then flat white latex. This was all I did on Day Zero, because I wanted to be sure that the concrete finish would not suck up my colors.

You'll be surprised to know that I used Dr. Ph Martin's Hydrus Watercolor for my under-painted blobs. I used pure paint (no water), and used a sponge and a the Black Velvet Silver Brush mop to apply it. Hydrus paint and Silver Brush are available at

I painted the bulbs in the morning, then had lunch while letting it dry.

Afterwards, I used regular black acrylic paint to sketch over the details of the flowers.

I called it a day, and let the paint dry overnight.
The next morning, I added doodles on the white spaces using a large Pitt Brush from Faber Castell. I absolutely love this stiff foam-tipped brush pen! 

It was a fun experience doing live art at the mall, right next to the entrance. Lots of people stopped to take photos, and some even chatted me up to ask me about my process. I welcomed chatting with friends and strangers who approached me--painting for 9 hours a day can make you crazy!:P

During the main event on Sunday, I did a live demo to finish the details.

Finally done!:)

Last Saturday morning, I taught a Modern Calligraphy + Gold Leafing Workshop at Hillside Cafe.

Then I headed back to Glorietta for National Bookstore's Love Calligraphy event.

I did a special calligraphy demo for Pierra, who had just launched her poetry book, The Heartbreak Diaries, which now available in select National Bookstore outlets.

I did a demo of one of my favorite hugot lines from her wonderful collection of poems. Pierra, you are SO brave for putting your beautiful words out there. :) Congratulations!!!

Scripts and Serifs.

I learned that speaking on the mic + trying to keep your hand still is a very, very difficult job. I even spilled my ink on stage! Ack!

On Sunday morning, I taught a Pattern Design workshop in partnership with Faber Castell.

We used Faber Castell Watercolor Pencils, Pitt Brush Pens, and Pitt Artist Pens to create our patterns, which were later on printed on canvas fabric.

After lunch, I taught another workshop on Rubberstamp Carving--one of my favorite crafts!!

Carved this little guy for the class demo.

Awesome students' works!

And then after all that (live art + 2 workshops), I dashed to Trinoma mall to join my other crafter friends for a demo on Botanical Watercolor.

These demos make us crafters feel like rockstars, haha :P

Check out that crowd!!
It was great that our works were projected on a giant screen for the mall's atrium to see. I wish I had this at my workshops, haha.

My final output: dahlias and peonies!

Special thanks to Em Sulit, Celina Baylon, Ayala Malls, and Glorietta for having me over for the week, for taking care of me, and for placing so much trust in my work! Thanks to Pierra Calasanz-Labrador for inviting me to do the calligraphy demo for her book, and to Nica Cosio for inviting me to do the demo at Trinoma. Many thanks to Faber Castell and to CraftCarrot for supporting my workshops and demos! And of course, thank you to my husband PJ for being with me all weekend! I probably would not have had the strength to go through everything if you weren't there. THANK YOU!!!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and cheesy as it maybe, I wish you all love not just a happy Valentine's day, but a happy Valentine's LIFE!:P

Friday, February 5, 2016

Travel Diary: An Empty Day to Create and Dream

P a s t   m o u n t a i n   l a y e r s

d e e p   i n t o   a   s e a   o f   c o c o n u t   t r e e s 

f o r

---  a  m u c h  n e e d e d

C R E A T I V E   R E T R E A T .

I try to balance long and blurry work days 
by stepping out and doing something worth remembering

by being quiet, so that I can hear my thoughts.

The ocean never fails to humble

and put you in place.

Nature's trash is this woman's treasure ;)

Picked up some driftwood for crafting later on.

A beautiful camp site was set up for us at Easy Adventure Baler

Thick mattresses and crisp sheets will shift any of your camping hesitations :P

Restrooms are super clean and airy, but still private.

With nothing planned for the day, I brought out my bag of craft materials.
Started working on a new macramé piece, with the sea as my backdrop.

The repetitive knots of macramé are so meditative, and freeform patterns allow you to be as creative or symmetrical as you want to be. You take it one row at a time, and for a few hours, focus on nothing but the work of your hands.

And of course, what's an out-of-town trip without some craft shopping?

Stopped by the stalls along the main highway to take home some baskets and this rainbow walis! Perfect colors to define how one feels after a refreshing time-out trip. :)