Recently, I joined the “Lovely Package Exchange” hosted by Danni of Oh Hello Friend, one of my favorite blogs. I missed it last year so I was really so happy to finally catch it this time around. A million thanks to Danni, people like me who loves everything that has got to do with packaging and giving gifts were given the chance to indulge in this passion and meet people who are as crazy about it.

The 132 people who signed up were paired by Danni with somebody from their country to save on shipping. By some stroke of fate, I was paired with the lovely April San Pedro (but I guess we were the only ones who joined from the Philippines), the creative person behind the Artisan Design Studio. I am a paper goods addict so I have been really hoping to meet April since I discovered her studio almost two years ago when I was preparing the invites for my wedding. I really admire her work, too bad we didn’t get to have the wedding invites printed at her studio since we DIY almost everything for the wedding. But last year, I had my calling card printed at her shop and she did a really awesome job (thanks April!).

April and I also happen to live in the same city but it’s only through this package exchange that we get to finally meet. Amazing, isn’t it? We decided to meet up for the swap but too bad though we didn’t have any photo of our first meeting because we got so busy chatting (hehehe)

I gave April sheets of durian handmade paper from Katakus (a non-government organization training women farmers on handmade paper making and sustainable agriculture), washi tapes, notebook, planner, post-its, stickers, bookmarks, and a travel-inspired necklace. I also gave her some stuff which I made myself like the decoupaged pencils, the handpainted wine cork necklace and the bleached cacao leaves (which will be available soon in my Etsy shop).

For the packaging, I wanted something which April can re-use (and for easy transport too!) so I got her a bayong (handcrafted by locals in San Isidro, Davao Oriental) made from pandan leaves which I got during a trade fair. I placed the small items inside an old box covered with a cute green paper so it won’t get cluttered inside the bag.

Here are some photos of the stuff I gave her and how I packaged them…

| left | durian handmade paper handcrafted by women farmers in Katipunan, a small farming community in Panabo City, Southern Philippines.  |right | how I wrapped the handmade paper (I used pattern-making paper, twine and some bleached cacao leaves)

post-its, planner and notebook

decoupaged pencils which I made (A for April!)

some washi tapes which April can use in packaging and decorating

a wine cork necklace which I handpainted

cacao (where chocolates came from) leaves which I processed to turn it into this color; this will soon be available in my Etsy shop

| left | I covered an old box with green floral paper…   | right | …and tied it with twine to finish the look…

…and finally placed everything inside this bayong

April gave me really cute and pretty stuff from her travels and her shop such as greeting cards, postcards, letter set, notebook, bracelet, lip gloss, and washi tapes. And the item I love the most? The wonderful note from her which made this package exchange personal and heart warming.

April’s pretty packaging

some lovely items from April’s shop: postcards, greeting cards, notebook and bracelet (you can also find them at her Etsy shops here and here)

beautiful stuff April got from her travels: letter set, cards, washi tapes, lip gloss; and of course her note which I love the most

Thank you SOOOOOO much April! I am not sure if I’ll be using the paper goods you gave me since I also wanted to keep them for myself too! They’re too pretty to give away, it breaks me heart (hehe).

And by the way, April is a crafter too. The crafting community in Davao is still non-existent (I think) so imagine my joy to have finally met someone who shares the same passion as I do, and living in the same city is such a great bonus too!

 Looking forward to chatting with you again, April! Thanks again for the pretty goodies! 🙂