Life Lately…

Happy Easter, crafty friends!

Life and work and this pregnancy took over my life lately so that explains the long hiatus from this blog. My crafting life also took a back seat again although once in a while, I got to sneak in a few projects.

Here are a few of those…

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|LEFT| I found some scrap pieces of wood at my parents’ garage, assembled it and painted it with gold stripes to make this planter. |RIGHT| I breathed new life to an old picture frame by covering it with some washi tape. Then, instead of a photo, I placed the papercut  made. 

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I made some hanging planters using thin pieces of string. I painted the pots in bright, happy colors and planted it with succulents. These now hang at the window in front of my desk.

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Little felt clouds I handstitched for our Little Kulet’s crib mobile.

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And here’s the finished cloud mobile.

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Instead of using typical curtains, blinds or shades for the window in front of my desk, I made shades with pockets to serve as extra storage for knick knacks, small books and other little stuff. I figured it’s also a pretty way of displaying postcards and other interesting prints.

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During walks with my husband and our dogs around the neighborhood, I pick wildflowers which I either press or dry.

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Lately, I also enjoy styling product shoots using materials lying around the house.

Hopefully in the next few weeks, I get to blog more regularly and share with you more crafty projects and how-tos.

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Notebook Collection

Oftentimes, when I am feeling down and out of sync with the world, I usually head out to that part of a store where they sell cute notebooks, pens and papers. This often lifts my mood. These cutesy stuff just make me oh so happy.

So today, I thought of sharing with you the notebooks I have collected over the years. They are not expensive as I don’t want to feel any remorse when I want to use them. Prices range from Php 20 to just a little under Php 200.

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I love florals! I am dying to own one of those Rifle Paper journals but they’re expensive especially if you add in the shipping. I wonder though if they’re available locally. Heima is selling some Rifle Paper stuff but none of those journals I like. So for now, I’ll make do with these equally pretty notebooks.

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I love notebooks with cute, colorful and interesting prints
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A planner with spaces for writing little notes
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|Left| Fabric covered notebook |Right| I was fixated with this color (aqua/turquoise) for a while and it was mixed in with a pop of red so I am inlove.

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|Left| I liked the simplicity of its cover and its quite large so its ideal for writing. |Right| This is a giveaway by a real estate company. It’s cover is embossed with flowers. It’s also ideal for writing because it’s quite thick and the spaces between the lines inside are huge.

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Vintage inspired notebooks. The two on top, they have graphing paper-like pages so I liked it.

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I found this one at a bookstore. It’s cover is made of plastic where you can insert whatever you like. So I customized the cover with washi tape, doily paper and a typewritten contact info.

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Loving notebooks with plain covers too!

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A Norwegian Wood notebook which Crystal, my bestfriend, got from Hong Kong, if I am not mistaken. Its inside pages are kraft paper with some Japanese texts in between some of the pages.

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This is a notebook which Keith, my husband, designed for a donor-organization and which they gave out to partners during Christmas.

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These are the notebooks I am using now. I have different notebooks for different purposes. |1| Notebook I use for news coverage. It’s small and sturdy so perfect for writing notes while on the go. |2| This is where I write notes on my pregnancy–what I eat, what I have been doing during the day, what I have been feeling. This will be useful during doctor’s visits and I think this will be cute to show to my little one when he’s/she’s all grown up. |3| Sketchbook and calligraphy practice pad. |4| Where I write my to-do lists. This is always on my desk at home. |5| This is the notebook that I have all the time in my bag. It contains notes, lists, budgets, etc. |6| A notebook for my crafting life where I list to-dos, wishlists, and possible projects.

I also found this cool blog, Notebook Stories, which contains interesting stories on people’s notebooks and/or their collections. There are also DIYs, vintage notebook restorations and so much more. Enjoy the read! Have a great weekend everyone!

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Christmas-inspired Kraft Envelopes For-A-Cause

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If you’re not from the Philippines, perhaps you might have read, heard or seen in the news how our country was devastated by disasters (both natural and man-made) lately. Last September, an armed conflict erupted in Zamboanga City, between government troops and factions of the Moro National Liberation Front–a group seeking for Mindanao’s independence from the rest of the country. Then in October, Bohol, an island province in Central Visayas was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. And then last November 8, Super Typhoon Yolanda (International Name: Haiyan) hit many parts of the Visayas.

So many people lost their lives, homes and livelihoods in these disasters and how they will be able to rise up from these odds still puzzles me, and I’m sure many Filipinos too. But as they say, we Filipinos are resilient (and we are!) and somehow we are able to find ways to survive, and times like these, our spirit of bayanihan (loose translation: sense of community; spirit of unity and cooperation) prevails.

My gradeschool bestfriend, Crystal whose father hails from the town of Loon–a small town in Bohol that has been greatly affected by the earthquake–thought of giving away a small sum of money for 67 families in her father’s village for Noche Buena (Christmas Eve Dinner). It was suppose to be her own little project but a friend of hers pitched in as his Christmas gift to her. And so she thought of inviting her other friends to join. Here’s an excerpt of her Facebook message to us:

My Tatay’s* family are all well and alive but they lost some neighbors. Their barangay is still without electricity and due to trauma (and houses still can’t be fixed properly because it’s hard to find people up to the task and aftershocks still strikes every now and then) they still live in tents.

 

Just like in any province their barangay** is close-knit, Tay saw for himself when he visited just days after the quake how everyone’s working together and helping in whatever little way they can, so this Christmas as a personal project I have decided to give noche buena money to each of the 67 families in the barangay. I was supposed to do this on my own however one of my best friends based in New York has already sent money to add to what I have as his Christmas gift to me. (Another friend also added to my donation for the re-building of the churches). I’m expecting no gifts this year so this is not in lieu of what you’re supposed to give to me. Last year for most of you Ate Alma, our helper who lost family members when Typhoon Pablo*** struck their place, was recipient of your generosity and so I thought that maybe this year you would like to join me once again in spreading kindness and cheer to people who need it the most.

I want to be a part of Tal’s project but I am cash-strapped lately but I’ve got lots of time in my hands so I volunteered instead to make the envelopes where she can put the money in. Another friend of hers who’s into calligraphy volunteered to make the notes that would go in with the money. Crystal’s father will be going to Loon this week to personally distribute the cash gift.

TCL_envelope_08Hand-drawn Christmas lights.

TCL_envelope_07Dove – a symbol of peace.

TCL_envelope_06Fiesta-inspired. Hand-stamped buntings.

TCL_envelope_05Mini Christmas trees using scrap paper.

TCL_envelope_04Watercolored and Washi-ed! :)

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TCL_envelope_02Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Hand-drawn and watercolored :)

We all have been blessed this year and I’m sure we all have something to share no matter how big or small. Wherever you might be right now, please say a little prayer for these people who were affected by these disasters as well as all the others out there who needs help. This will definitely go a long way.

Also, if you want to donate to relief efforts in the Philippines, CBS, Huffington Post, CNN and Time provided a list of organizations you can give to. You might also want to volunteer in your local charities over your holiday break to spread some Christmas cheer.

Let’s always be grateful and share. Merry Christmas everyone!

* Tatay – Filipino term for “father”
**Barangay – a village
*** Typhoon Pablo (International Name: Bopha), also a Category 5 typhoon hit 3 provinces (Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and parts of Agusan del Sur) in Southern Mindanao last year

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Craftlove: Handmade Bouquet

I’m pretty proud of myself this week! I finally finished this bouquet which I started weeks and weeks ago and I’m quite happy how it turned out!

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I handcrafted all these flowers from “fossilized” (for lack of a better term huh?!) cacao (where chocolates come from!) leaves which I processed last year, and durian paper which I got from KATAKUS.  I used dried grass flowers as “fillers” which I collected during walks around the neighborhood with Keith and our 8 adorable dogs.

www.thursdaycraftlove.com

A rustic or fall wedding, and nostalgic brides who’d want to relive the memories of their big day were all in my head when I was making this bouquet but I think this will be just as perfect for your engagement shoot, home, or as a gift to a friend or someone special in your life.

www.thursdaycraftlove.com

www.thursdaycraftlove.com

P.S.
I accept custom orders for this item. Philippine residents can send me an email over at //thursdaycraftlove@gmail.com// for orders and shipping rates. For everyone else, kindly head over to my Etsy Shop to order. Thank you so much! 

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Snapshots of Home

Finally, after 8 long, arduous months of construction, our house is finally done! For those 8 months, my life has been nothing but cement and steel and layouts and measurements. Me and my husband, Keith personally supervised the construction (with a lot of help from my engineer cousin). We are here almost everyday–approving designs and layouts, ordering supplies, interacting with the workers, doing some construction jobs ourselves like sanding and painting shelves, and trying to understand engineering marvels and construction lingo. We learned SO much, that to a point I started to think I can now change careers–be an architect, start a construction business or something (hehe!).

We moved in last August but it’s taking us until now to fix and organize our stuff, especially work stuff since we work mostly from home. But for now, I am just happy and content that I can finally see some floor space and somehow manage to find things without tumbling over stuff (and without taking hours just to find them).

The whole process has been fun and exciting but mostly, it has been difficult for us. We encountered lots of challenges during those months but looking back at it, it made me realize that those problems only made this house more special to me and Keith. Family and friends helped us out during those tough times–both in getting through those personal challenges and with the construction itself. In a way, this house is a testament of love between me and Keith, our family, and our friends.

Until today, I still somehow can’t believe that we finally have our own space. This is one LIFE PROJECT (yes, this is that project I’ve mentioned months back) that I never thought would be possible but God made it happen and I am really thankful everyday for it.

So much work still needs to be done–tiling, more storage, among others–but for now, we rest and enjoy our home sweet home :)

Here’s a sneak peek at some parts of the house and some of the DIY projects that Keith and I did:

file000021Our stairs is one of the places in the house where our dogs love to hang out.

www.thursdaycraftlove.comOur dog, Sushi, with the cement planters I made

www.thursdaycraftove.com That’s Sophie, our first dog

www.thursdaycraftove.comAnd Shinji, the youngest of Sophie’s babies

We were aiming for the vintage-modern-industrial look and as much as possible, we tried to make use of eco-friendly materials.

www.thursdaycraftove.comWood from the louvre windows at the house of Keith’s grandparents serve as base for this lighting fixture

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| Kitchen Light | Thanks to Pinterest, I was inspired to have baking tins and old wood for our kitchen lights

www.thursdaycraftove.com| Kitchen Counter Light | I painted a dome reflector in mint to add color in the kitchen

www.thursdaycraftove.com| Dining Table Lights | Keith made these from scraps of wood that my mother got from a factory exporting kiln dried wood

file000183| Dining Table Lights | And it’s all lit up at night by LED lights

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|Front Door Light | My husband also made this one from scraps of wood and also made the design for the door

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| Stairs | A simple lighting fixture made by Keith…

www.thursdaycraftove.com| Stairs | …That lights up the stairway at night

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| Light | One of the things I love most about our home is the light that streams through at different times of day. This photo was taken at around 7 am.

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| Bathroom | This small but cozy space is one of my favorite places in the house

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I restored an old softdrinks case which we found at the basement of Keith’s grandparents’ house. It now serves as a repository for keys, coins, bills and other knickknacks.

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I really dreamed of having a kitchen sink with windows and plants in front of it so here it is.

www.thursdaycraftove.comThe kitchen at night

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Destressing at Life After Breakfast’s Watercolor Crafternoon

Our (new) house is one heck of a mess right now since we just moved in last week. Boxes and bags and what-nots are all over the place occupying whatever precious floor space available. So to get away from it all (and I have really been dying to join similar workshops since and meet fellow crafters), I joined Life After Breakfast’s 1st Watercolor Crafternoon in Davao City last Sunday.

Alessa of Life After Breakfast taught us the basics of watercolor (how to hold the brush, different techniques and washes, etc) and then to apply what we learned, she handed us postcards of birds which we had to copy (draw and color). I picked a postcard with a red and black bird (and I forgot its name) and since there’s drawing involved in this exercise, as expected, I sucked bigtime.

We were suppose to have another exercise (watercolor on wood) but since we ran out of time, Alessa just gave the wood slabs to us as assignment and submit what we did through Instagram  (super cool!).

It was fun meeting people who share the same passion as I do. Oftentimes, I really feel so alone since only a few people from my circle can really understand my need to craft and do something with my hands (and yes, hoard supplies too!) Although we really didn’t have enough time to talk to each other, it was a chance for us to meet and learn together and hopefully, we’d be meeting again in the next crafternoon :)

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the kit for the crafternoon:  Sakura Koi Watercolor Set, brushes, pencil and pretty stickers and calling card from Alessa

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I think this was the part where Alessa was teaching us about the wrist flick technique

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Alessa and my classmates at work

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That’s me (standing 2nd from right) with Alessa and my classmates. And yes, I really intended to hide my work (haha!) Thanks to Mansy for this photo :)

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Maxi’s Happy Birthday Cake

Last July 15 (late post again, sorry), we celebrated Maxi’s nth birthday. Maxi is our Dalmatian whom we adopted from a friend who also adopted her from his friend or relative. And since we really don’t know the date, and even the year of her birth, we designated every July 15 as her birthday.

31880_402024419400_4742462_nMaxi, the birthday girl

So for Maxi’s birthday this year, I made her a cake–or at least the icing. I decorated some store-bought chiffon cake with icing (recipe here) and topped it with bougainvillea. Yes, you read it right–bougainvillea–as in the flower. Web search says its edible so even if our birthday girl devoured it, it’s safe (*wink*). I also made a papercut topper to greet Ate a happy birthday :)

papercutalmost done!

cardthe rasta cake in pastel (my husband’s words)

Too bad we weren’t able to take a video of Ate Max (as we fondly call her) getting all excited with her cake but below is a photo that pretty much sums up Maxi’s eagerness to get a taste of her birthday cake.

card-2happy birthday max!

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DIY Thursday: Papercut Greeting Cards

Happy Thursday friends! At long last, I have finally gotten around to trying this craft after seeing and being smitten by the works of these great papercut artists, and our very own Elle Batung and Mansy Abesamis.

I am no expert in this field but I just thought of sharing this wonderful “first-time” experience with you :)

And so here’s what I used:

materialsfree journaling cards from Creativity Prompt

1. I started by first drawing/sketching/printing my design. But please, pardon my drawings. It’s not my best asset as you can see :P

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uhhmm…a drawing that perhaps only I will understand :D

papercuta printout of the text on the card (for this, I first cut the card to its desired size then printed the text on it using a printer; the pencil marks are the areas I need to cut)

2. I then shaded/marked the areas I needed to cut or remove and then I started cutting.

papercut-2doodled/scribbled on the areas I need to cut

papercut-6outcome of the first photo on top

3. Then out came my new watercolors. They were given to me as a birthday present from a dear, dear friend (Hi, Best!). I just colored parts of the papercuts.

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3. I grabbed some board paper and kraft paper and cut them into sizes I wanted for the greeting cards. Then I made a hole infront to fit the papercut designs.

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4. I cut a board/kraft/some colored paper a bit larger than the finished papercut design. I then used a double sided tape (I find this easier and “neater” to use than glue) to stick the edges of the papercuts to the board paper. This will serve as the backing and will help make the designs stand out as well as hide the stuff I’ll be writing in the inside of the card (element of surprise, eh?) . I then glued them on the inside front of the card.

And then I’m done!

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the banner is perfect for writing greetings or quotes…

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tip: you can make these cards ahead and leave the banner area blank. when the occasion comes, you can then write the perfect greeting or quote :)

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this is a very simple card design you can make in like 10 minutes

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text made using a printer

//NOTES//

- This was a very therapeutic craft for me. I found myself not thinking about anything else except the designs I’ll be doing next and the areas of paper I’ll be cutting. And this turned out to be easier than I thought! It would have been great though if I was gifted with excellent drawing skills. Should that been the case, I would have been able to make/execute the designs swimming in my head. But oh well.

- It’s very important to use sharp blades. Some of my cuts did not turn out as well as I have imagined them to be because my blades are not as sharp as they should be. I ran out of spare blades and I was too lazy to rush and buy extra blades.

- This craft definitely need lots of practice time and OC-ness. I would love to do scripts next time so I really need to practice and practice and prepare for those challenging curves.

‘Til next time. Happy crafting!

 

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DIY Thursday: Travel-inspired Greeting Card + A Bonus

Hello friends! It has been like uhmm….3 long months since my last post (loser, i know!). Life lately starts to feel like in momentary suspension because of this major life project (which I mentioned in my last post). Days and months were and are spent overseeing its completion and I can’t wait for it to be done. I have several DIY projects lined up for it but I do not feel like doing anything just yet until it is finally there.

In the meantime, and in the hope of encouraging myself to do something creative every week (to shake off the stress and anxiety and excitement over this major life project), I will be sharing with you DIY project/s every Thursday (*crossing fingers now*).

First up is this easy travel-inspired greeting card.

And all you need are the following:

Plus, a pencil and a pair of scissors.

//Steps//

1. Cut the board paper into desired card size. Mine’s approximately 4 x 5.5 inches.

2. Using a printer, print your favorite quote (I found mine here) or whatever text you want to include on the card. You can also use your favorite pens and put to test your calligraphy skills!

3. If you’re good at drawing/sketching, you can freehand the airplane pattern. Simply draw an airplane on the airmail envelope, stick it on a piece of cardboard and cut.

BUT….if you’re like me whose drawing skills are below negative, you can download this vector image as pattern or you can find other designs online. After downloading, print the vector and cut. Paste a piece of the envelope (I used the back part–the one you use for writing addresses) on the cardboard. Trace your airplane pattern over it and cut. I glued the paper on cardboard so that the objects will not look too “flat”.

4. Paste the envelope stripes (the reds and blues) on the cardboard and cut.  These will be used to form the airstream.

5. Assemble the pieces on the card, glue and you’re done!

Easy, right?! Now… here’s another one and all you need are just the following.

- kraft paper
- stamp pad with ink color of your choice
- eraser
- cutter or hobby knife
- pen

//Steps//

1. Cut the kraft paper into desired card size. Mine’s approximately 4.5 x 3.75 inches.

2. Draw a triangle on the eraser then cut it using the cutter or hobby knife.

3. Stamp triangles on your prepared card.

4. Add some text and they’re ready for sending!

Happy crafting!

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Sneaking In

Whew. It’s been such along while since I blogged about anything. Since Typhoon Pablo happened in December last year, my photojournalism life took over my crafting life. Then in January, a major life project finally began (bits of that I might share in my future posts here) which is taking so much of my time–weekends included–as well as my creative energies.

Once in a while though, I tried sneaking in some creative projects just to get away from the stress of everyday life and get a much needed dose of crafting happiness. Here’s a few of those:

 
carved some stamps out of the erasers I got from the bookstore


chalk drawing on the board hanging beside my desk


WASHIed my stamp carving tools


made some bracelets for myself :)


my first attempt at drawing…


here’s another…

And then it’s finally summer here in the Philippines! The heat had been so unforgiving especially to a photojournalist like me who needs to spend lots and lots of time outdoors. I wouldn’t mind the heat though if I’m in the beach but sadly, I’m not (and the loser me will not enjoy any surf and sand for several months because of the loser skeds. gah.). So everyday, I always wish that I could just stay indoors and craft the day away but the only thing that’s coming true is me throwing glances at the craft supplies I’ve hoarded for the past months (**heart breaks**).

 

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