Category Archives: Events

Candy DIY Book Launch

What do you get when you have Alessa Lanot, Mansy Abesamis, Mikko Sumulong and Macy Alcaraz all together in one room?  A really awesome craft party, ofcourse!!!

Slide01

Fully Booked at The Fort served as the venue for Candy Magazine’s DIY Book book launch last Thursday evening.  I received an e-vite from Alessa, and new the craft party would be a perfect mid-week, stress buster activity.

The first order of business when I arrived at Fully Booked was to buy my copy of the DIY Book and have it signed by Alessa, Mansy, Mikko and Macy–aka the Craft Superstars :).

Slide02

Slide03

As I was doing so, the little one spotted this table full of mouth-watering cupcakes and cookies.  She kept pulling my hand, dragging me towards the desserts.  I don’t blame her.  If I hadn’t just given up sweets for Lent, then you’d probably find me making a beeline for this table as well :).

Slide04

After getting her dose of sugar, it was time to start crafting!

There were 3 stations in all.

First was the rubber stamping station.  I finally got to play with Alessa’s alphabet stamps!!!

Slide07

Slide05

The little one stamped her name on her postcard too :).

Then we tried Hey Kessy’s Washi Station.  It was a full house (er…table :))!

Slide06

The little girl embellished her postcard with some washi tape, buttons, and paper straws!  Boy, did she have fun doing it!

Slide10

Slide09

Lastly, there was also a pompom station, but we unfortunately didn’t have time to sit and try it out.  Instead I asked Mansy if I could take a pompom home as a souvenir :).

Slide08

Like I said, even if we were in the event for all of half an hour, it was a quick but energizing and feel-good activity :).  I had a wonderful time doing something creative, and even better, doing it with my little girl :)!  Creative fix?  Check!

I couldn’t end the evening, however, without having a photo with two of my favorite crafters–Alessa and Mansy!  They have truly inspired me to pursue my creative goals, and to try to inject more art and DIY activities into my week!  They are truly rockstars in my world!

Slide11

Hooray for DIY!!!

Manila FAME in InstaGrams

If you are my friend on InstaGram, you probably noticed how I was flooding your feed with images last week of the Manila FAME expo. My apologies for that. I guess I couldn’t contain my excitement on how fabulous this year’s show was!!!  Hahaha!

But the posts I made were but a fraction of the wonderful things I saw. Here’s more!

Slide01
These were but some of the baskets that we saw at the OTOP (One Town, One Project) section of the show.

Slide02
More baskets! This was a collaboration with Heima. Love the colors! Pretty, and functional too!

Slide03
Aren’t these baby brogues by Maco Custodio too cute!!!

Slide04
One of my favorite accessories designers, Ken Samudio, fresh from his exhibit in London, showed off his new editorial pieces–hats inspired by corals in the ocean. So pretty, right? I wonder what he’ll come up with next!

Slide05
Baubles from Joyce Makitalo. I sooo want her dipstick necklace and am saving up for it for this year!

Slide06
Would you believe that this is both a bag and a sculpture?!? Only from the mind of super creative jewelry designer Micheline Syjuco. It’s definitely an art piece in itself!

Slide07
Another fresh concept from Kenneth Cobonpue.

Slide08

I must have ordered 3 new dresses from Filip+Inna!  Len Cabili is another one of my favorite designers!

Slide09

Through these shows, and the various pop-up events I’ve attended, I’ve met a number of young and extremely talented designers.  Here is the Bungalow 300 display.  The creative tandem behind it is Vernice Songco and Marga Espiritu.  I just love the way they put things together!  Bravo, ladies!!!

Slide10

Another artist to watch out for is Lilliana Manahan.  I just loooooove her quirky and colorful planters!!!  If I’m not mistaken, I think they took their inspiration from a buko shell!

Slide11

Mats, mats, glorious mats!  These beauties hail from Basey, Samar, one of the towns hardest hit by Yolanda last year.  While they are still recuperating from the tremendous loss, the mat weaving industry is starting to get back on its feet.  I hope events like these will help their businesses to start picking up again!

Slide12

Another beautiful exhibit on other Filipino weaves curated by Bungalow 300.  Everything here was so pretty, and just looking at it was so inspiring!

Slide13

T’nalak Weaving.  I heard a story that one of the famous weavers sees these designs in her dreams so each of the patterns produced is really unique!

Slide14

Last year, Schema was one of the hubby’s and my favorite booths.  We adored their pendant lamps and wanted to get some for our dining area.  This year they came out with these copper balls.  Oh no!  I want them too!!!  Hahaha!

Slide15

Vito Selma’s Lotus table is giving his Geo table a run for its money!  Hahaha!  Did you know you can turn the base over for a different look and effect?  Genius!

Slide16

While mommy was ogling the Lotus table, A set her sights on the Cara-Boo.  Don’t you just love it? :)

Slide17

I think this Raina chair was one of the most photographed pieces in the expo.  Definitely queen-worthy!

Slide18

Catalina’s booth is always visually striking!

Slide19

Loved these functional yet decorative storage baskets from Hacienda Crafts!

Slide20

Ok, so I totally want a distressed wooden dining table now.

Slide21

Wow!  Love the effect of all these lightings clustered together :)

Slide22

Beautiful throw pillows from Tadeco.  Loved their display too!

Slide23

Such chic lighting from AZCOR! :)  It would definitely go well with my distressed wood dining table!  Hahaha!

Slide24

A peacock chair from Obra.  I have no words… :)

Slide25

For my future beach-slash-rest house :)

Slide26

I wouldn’t mind lounging on these floor pillows as well.  So cool that they’re just made from jersey cloth!

So there you have it–my curated images of Manila FAME (trust me, there were too many nice ones to choose from!).  I hope they will encourage you to drop by and see the next show, which is scheduled for around October.

Not only is it a way to show your support to our local designers, and to the local traditions, but I’m sure it will be a feast for your (design) senses as well!

Date Night Diaries : Celebrating our 6th at Terraz

6 years.  It seems like such a long time, but really, it doesn’t seem that long ago.

I’m talking about my wedding anniversary, ofcourse, which the hubby and I just celebrated recently :).

Slide3

The downside of getting married so soon after the holidays is not having the time to properly prepare for it :(.  I would have wanted to get the H a simple token, and to book a table at a nice, romantic restaurant, but unfortunately, exhaustion and back-to-work duties prevailed.

Nevertheless, I guess what is most important is that we found time within the day to celebrate our special day–just the two of us :).

For dinner, we chose to eat at Terraz, the new restaurant at the Zuellig Building. We had also considered dining at Stockton Place or at The Black Pig, but I guess the proximity of Terraz, and the lure of being able to explore the Zuellig Building won out.

Located at the 3rd floor, Terraz is operated by Raintree Restaurants, the same company that owns and operates Chelsea, Stella, Momo, Rocket Room, Mr. Jones and Saboten.

Slide1

I found the ambience to be very casual, bright and inviting, with clean and streamlined furnishings that were quite comfortable to sit on :).

Slide2

Here is what we had for dinner :

Slide5

I decided on the freshly made pappardelle pasta with arugula and grilled chicken, while the hubby got the pork ribs “bento”, with bibimbap rice and steamed vegetables.

Slide4

Simple, but yummy food :).  I just wish the slivers of grilled chicken on my dish were a bit bigger, although the pasta was already quite substantial and filling :).

For dessert, we had the Ube Tres Leches with Sago (tapioca pearls) on top.  We originally wanted The Impossible Cake which is Chocolate Cake with a layer of leche flan, but opted for something we thought to be healthier.  Hahaha!  The cake itself was okay–light and not too sweet–but I thought the sago as a topping was a bit strange.  It did not add much to the dessert, so I actually just stopped eating it altogether.

Slide6

Terraz has simple and good food, but to be honest, it pales a bit in comparison to its sister resturants.  We enjoyed our food, nevertheless, although maybe we’ll try a different dessert next time :).

So that’s how the hubby and I celebrated our anniversary.  Just a quick, quiet dinner to mark the passing of 6 good years :).  Mental note to self to start planning our celebration much, much earlier.  Hopefully we can even plan an out-of-town getaway next time! :)

TERRAZ MEETINGS & BISTRO 3/F Zuellig Building, Paseo de Roxas corner Makati Ave. Telephone Number : +632 625-4831/32 ; Open daily from 11AM-11PM

P.S. Before heading to Terraz, I came home from work and found this HUGE flower arrangement waiting for me from the hubby!!!  Isn’t it beautiful? :)

Slide7

The Holiday Round-Up

With this post I recall all the great moments of this year’s Christmas, and finally lay the holidays to rest :).

It was a wonderful time spent with my bigger family and with friends, peppered with a lot of quality moments with the H and A.

Hectic as usual, but I love that every day was a day that was celebrated well, with new memories created, and many blessings to be thankful for  :).

Ayala Triangle Light Show

Slide01

To kick start the holiday season, the H and I always try to catch the light show at the Ayala Triangle gardens.  There’s something about all those lights draped from the trees, flickering to Christmas music, that makes me feel so giddy and excited. It never fails to put me in the holiday mood :).

I guess this is the modern day version of those COD Christmas display shows I used to watch when I was a kid (they actually have a revival of it at the Greenhills Shopping Mall, but I’ve never been).  It was always a family tradition to trek down to Cubao to witness this Christmas production.  My dad would prop me up on his shoulders, so I could have an unobstructed view of the show.  I remember always being entranced by the set and the moving figures, and it always strongly reinforced how much I loved Christmas, and all its traditions and festivities :). Still do :).

Hi-5 House Party in Manila

Slide02

Slide03

This holiday season, we were also able to catch two shows :).

The little one loves Hi-5, and it just so happens they had a show at SM Aura–right in our neighborhood!  The H and I knew she would be so ecstatic to watch them live, so we immediately snapped up some tickets, and took A to see her favorite group perform.

And boy did she love it!

Even though I am personally not too into Hi-5, seeing the excitement on A’s face, made it more than worthwhile for me :).

Barkada Christmas Get-Togethers

Slide04

Slide05

I’m glad that despite our busy schedules, we were able to plan our barkada Christmas get-togethers early enough for them to push through without a hitch.

The H and I both have groups of friends that we’ve known for like forever.  My best gal pals have been my friends since Grade School (some since Nursery!), and the H has known his since High School.  They are truly our closest friends, and because we don’t get to see each other as often, celebrating these occasions with them and their families is always such a special time for us :).

Christmas Eve

Slide06

Slide07

Slide08

Christmas is the only time of year that my family is complete.  And that’s why I love it :).  The house also always looks so festive, sissy is home from New York, we do our thing and decorate the Christmas dinner table together, and the food we feast on has been a family tradition for many, many years :).  What’s not to love, right?

And for the past couple of years, we’ve started to have color themed parties as well :).  This year’s theme was red, green and gold :).  Our parents were all in red, my cousins, siblings and I were in green, while the kiddos were in white and gold.

In my family, Christmas Eve is also the night when presents are exchanged and opened.  Because of Yolanda, gifts were a lot simpler this year, and some of our relatives decided not to give gifts at all, but that did not dim our celebration one bit :).  In fact, I think it was even more fun, and definitely more meaningful :).

Christmas Day

Christmas Day this year was spent at Cousin A’s house.  It’s pretty much a repeat of the night before, minus my siblings, who celebrate the holidays with their in-laws.

For the past couple of years, my generation (my cousins, siblings and I)  has already been hosting the family holiday celebrations.  Our parents have been “passing on the baton”, so to speak, and getting us ready for what will eventually be our role in the future :).  I love it when traditions are passed on successfully, and hope my cousins, siblings and I will be able to keep it up, and keep our families close in the years to come :).

Slide09

Slide10

In the evening, we trooped over to my in-laws for Christmas dinner.  Since last year, they decided to celebrate on the 25th itself, just so that we wouldn’t have to rush Noche Buena with the Pascual side (my family’s side) on the 24th.  Best. Decision. Ever!!!  Plus, we could totally enjoy the feast that my MIL ends up preparing.  Before, when we would celebrate both Noche Buena’s on the 24th, I would be too full to eat by the time we reached my in-laws’ place.  The kids would also be a bit tired, as it would be waaaaaay past their bedtime.

This time around, dinner was enjoyed quite leisurely, with no one rushing to leave; and gift opening was ofcourse the highlight of the evening, with all the kids excitedly opening presents, and creating a huge mess in the process!  Hahaha!  Oh to be a kid again! :)

Slide11

Slide12

Slide13

Santa’s Visit

Slide14

This year was the first year we introduced Santa to the little one.  During past Christmases we felt she was still too young to understand who he was, so we did not even bother with it.

But this year–thanks to Rockwell mall–she got so into the idea of Santa!  I guess it helped to see an actual live, breathing version of him (haha!).  Unfortunately however, as Christmas Eve drew nearer, and our schedules just got waaaaaay too hectic, we were unable to compose our letter to Santa.  Instead, I asked A to wish very hard, for what she wanted Santa to get her, and that if she was a good girl, Santa would give her a gift on Christmas.

On December 26, A opened her very first gifts from Santa Claus.  He left them inside her stocking :).  As you can see from the look on her face, she was very pleased with her presents :).

Next year, I promised her, we’ll try to work on her letter, and we’ll even leave milk and cookies for Santa.  We’ll go for the whole shebang :).

Cousin’s Night Out

When we were younger, the days in between Christmas would be spent partying at bars and clubs.  Obviously, those days are far behind us now.  Hahaha!  Staying in and having wine and cheese nights are more our thing :).

Thanks to big sissy for being our host this time around.  We had a great time bonding with the sibs and our cousins, in the comfort of her beautiful home :).

Slide15

NYC Roomies Reunion at The Pen

As December is a time of reunions, we couldn’t let it go by without seeing our good friends from New York.  We met at the Peninsula Hotel, which is always so wonderfully decorated during Christmastime :).  The H and I hope to make this another tradition with A, to have bibingka and puto bumbong at the Pen every year.

While unfortunately there wasn’t any more by the time we got there, we still enjoyed the company and the ambience very much :).

Slide16

Slide17

I especially loved this life-size gingerbread house!  It smelled so heavenly! :)

Slide18

Disney On Ice

Slide19

For our second show of the holiday season, we took the little girl to Disney on Ice. She is currently fascinated by the Disney Princesses, and by the Prince’s too! Personally, I also enjoyed the show very much :).  I remembered when I was a little girl and my parent’s used to take me and my siblings to Holiday on Ice.  I remembered being in awe of the costumes, and the gracefulness of the skaters. This show is much, much more commercialized, but I still loved being able to sing the songs, appreciate the set and dance numbers, and to give A this experience. After all, who doesn’t love Disney? :)  Their productions are as magical as ever :).

Slide20

Anvaya

Slide21

To escape a little bit of the traffic and holiday madness, we took a quick out of town trip to Anvaya :).

The weather was sooooo glorious, and it was definitely a welcome break to relax by the beach and enjoy the company of family :).

Slide22

Slide23

New Year’s Eve

This year’s party theme was fascinators and bowties.  I thought it was a fun and festive theme, don’t you think? :)  And everyone certainly got into it, which made it even more fun!

Slide24

Slide25

My brother has a huge balcony that overlooks the Marikina Valley.  We were so lucky to get a 360-degree view of different fireworks displays!  We did not even have to have our own fireworks!  Hahaha!  I must say that the fireworks this year was very impressive, and there were a lot!  I hope that means that 2014 will be good to all of us, and we’ll see that kind of abundance in terms of blessings as well :).

Slide26

New Year’s Day

Slide27

New year, new family picture :).

As you can see, our family is growing!  We had a new addition last year in the form of my nephew, K.  Isn’t he a cutie? :)

And because our family is much bigger than it was before, we thought it was high time to start documenting it by way of a studio family photo :).  The last time we had one done, my siblings and I were all single! :)

Here are my parent’s with all of their grandchildren :).  There’s a complete family picture, but will share it with you in a future post.

The photo shoot was such a riot!  But I’m glad we had it done anyway :).

Afterwards, we attended mass to commemorate the first day of the year, and had dinner out as despedida for my sister, who left for NY the next day :(.

As you can see, our holidays were choc-full of activities!  Writing this blog post and looking back at all that happened these past few weeks allowed me to remember all the wonderful memories we created and shared as a family.

Here’s to more memories, adventures and exciting experiences in 2014!  God bless us all :).

Calligraphy and Lettering Crafternoon

Now that the Christmas frenzy has subsided, I’m really looking forward to resuming a more normal, relaxed routine again :).  As I’m sure it is for everyone, the holidays are an extremely hectic time of year where everything else seems to be on hold, to make way for the shopping and the gift-wrapping, the gajillion parties and reunions, and the requisite out of town trips, especially when there are balik bayans  :).

Now that I’m back at home (we were temporarily stationed at my parents’ place over the holidays so we could spend more time with my sister who flew in from NYC) and have a bit of time to myself (hubby is asleep and the little one is exploring her new Duplo set :)), I’m taking the opportunity to catch up on my blogging, especially since I’ve been so remiss lately.

There are so many things to write about, to share, and document :)!  And despite the fact that some of them are already passe, or have happened weeks ago, I still would like to share with you some of my wonderful experiences last November and December.  Sorry, 2013.  I’m not quite done with you yet.  Hahaha!

Let me start off with my experience at Alessa’s Calligraphy and Lettering Crafternoon :).  Alessa is Alessa Lanot, the creative force behind the blog, Life After Breakfast.  If you haven’t read her blog ever, please do!  I’m sure she will inspire you, just as she has me :).  In fact, I live vicariously through her creative projects and pursuits!  Hahaha!  I’ve been so inspired by her work, I’ve actually already joined several of her crafternoons, and have taken on to doing several crafty projects during the year :).

images

Held last November, right after Typhoon Yolanda struck, the Calligraphy and Lettering Crafternoon was a relaxing, fun, and meaningful experience for me.  I was excited to learn from Alessa, and to see her take on this skill.  As you will recall, I also attended the Ink Scribbler class of Alexis, which was also fun and exciting :).  Comparing the two, Alessa shared a bit more information on the history of calligraphy; she spent a bit more time sharing some interesting trivia; as well as the different types of fonts, inks, materials, and nib parts; and her warm-up exercises were definitely more challenging (read: major hand cramps! Hahaha!).

Calligraphy_Lettering

Image from lifeafterbreakfast.com

At Alessa’s class we were also given a very nice hand-stamped katcha goody bag that contained a set of Sharpie’s, washi tape, some paper, 2 calligraphy nib holders, ink, a nib, and a brush pen :).  Goody bags are always nice to receive, especially when the contents are so useful! :)  I felt like a kid in a candy store when I saw all my loot! :)

After the lecture portion of the class, we proceeded to do some writing exercises, then went into the calligraphy session itself.  To make the session more meaningful, we were asked to write out either a Christmas letter or a saying that would be made into a card.  The recipients of these letters/cards would be the typhoon victims.  Here is a photo of our collective efforts :

Haiyan_Printable_600

Image from lifeafterbreakfast.com

And, because we had a short session on typography, one of the exercises was to also create a postcard, experimenting with different types of lettering :

Calligraphy_01

Image from lifeafterbreakfast.com

None of those are my work, by the way.  Heehee :)  But aren’t they beautiful?

Again, as with my previous calligraphy workshop, this was indeed an afternoon that was well spent.  It was nice to meet fellow writing enthusiasts, and to lose myself in such a creative endeavor.  I also like how our output became something that we could share, in the hopes of giving others some inspiration, especially during trying times.  Like I said, it was both a fun and meaningful afternoon :).

If any of you are interested in attending this calligraphy session, please hop on over to Alessa’s blog.  I don’t think she’s posted her schedules for 2014 yet, but I’m sure she will soon :).

The Weekend That Was : Balik Bukid 4

Just wanted to share images from our wonderful Balik Bukid experience!  We spent almost the entire day at the fair, and had a blast!

Slide1

Slide16

Slide11

Slide04

Slide12

Slide02

Slide03

Slide10

Ofcourse no trip to Balik Bukid would be complete without feeding the guinea pigs…

Slide18

Slide17

…or saying “hello” to the baby pot-bellied pig!

Slide13

We ate the most delicious food…

Slide09

This brick oven truffle mushroom and cheese pizza was TDF!  And doesn’t it look too pretty to eat too? :)

Slide14

This ginger ale from Stanford & Shaw Brewing Co. was soooooo cold and refreshing–perfect for a day in the bukid!

There was also some shopping for the ladies, with several of my favorite sellers representing! :)

Slide08

Here is Anna, manning the La Pomme booth.  Don’t you just love her Pepita Doll? It’s 100% handmade with love by her!  Ofcourse I could not resist buying one for myself!  Yes, you read that right–it’s for me!  Hahahaha!

Slide07

Soft Haven makes the most wonderful baby blankets and matching plush toys. They’re also regulars at the American Women’s Bazaar :).

Slide06

Mary Velmonte and her takas from Takatak Project were also at the fair!  She brought along her new products too!  Notice that bear made out of craft board? That’s meant to be a wall hanging!  Cool, right?

Balik Bukid was truly a wonderful way to spend the weekend!  And I was happy to see how many families thought so too!  Even my family who were first-timers at the fair agreed that it was such a fun way to bond :)!  And for once, the kids did not even look for nor ask for their gadgets!  Instead, they were running around, playing with animals, taking carabao rides, and trying out the zipline!

Slide15

Slide05

This was the last Balik Bukid for this year, but you should definitely try and catch the next one!  I promise, you’ll have a blast!

Image

Shop.Share.Care

Shop.Share.Care

These past 3 weeks, both my Instagram and FaceBook feeds have been flooded with stories chronicling the various relief efforts that people have initiated to raise funds or to provide goods and support to the Yolanda victims.

I continue to be pleasantly amazed that there hasn’t been a shortage of generosity for our Visayan kababayans since Day 1. People just keep on giving and giving! :) Even the international community has been extremely charitable and supportive of our country. The image of a US aircraft carrier navigating our seas, bringing with it soldiers, supplies, helicopters and planes, will forever be etched in my mind.

If you, like me, are looking for more ways to personally contribute to this world-wide effort, please consider supporting Shop.Share.Care. It is a fund-raising online sale by the top Filipino accessories designers to benefit Typhoon Yolanda survivors.

The brainchild of Ken Samudio (one of my favorite designers), other featured designers in the sale include Vida Lim, Ann Ong, Lally Dizon, Joyce Makitalo, Amina Aranaz, Miadore, Dennis Lustico, Anne Marie Saguil, Eric Manansala, Adante Leyesa, and many more! What powerhouses, right? And this is the perfect opportunity to own one of their pieces because the proceeds will go to a wonderful cause!

Sale begins on Wednesday, November 27, at 6pm. For more details, visit their website, http://www.shopsharecareph.com.

Dine For A Cause : #YolandaActionWeekend #ReliefPH

If you’re thinking of dining out this weekend, why not try one of the establishments listed below.  These generous food purveyors have pledged a portion of their proceeds this weekend to relief efforts of The Philippine Red Cross.  It’s a simple way of showing your support for the victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda, as well as your solidarity with the rest of the country, as together, we work to help rebuild afflicted areas in the Visayas region.

yolanda

A Scribble Workshop with Ink Scribbler

Ever since I was little, I’ve always been drawn to calligraphy.

I first learned about it from my cousin in the US who had his own set of calligraphy pens–a Schaeffer with 3 nibs and attachable ink.  He used it to create such beautiful handwriting in his journal.  Or sometimes he’d use it to write letters to his mom, or to our grandparents.  The envelopes would sometimes be addressed in calligraphy as well.  I remember being so entranced by the writing, by seeing how it could be transformed into one that flowed and curled and flourished…*sigh* quite romantic, if you think about it :).  I knew I just had to get my own set of calligraphy pens, and learn this craft.

Slide03

Photo from eBay

That summer, I ended up buying exactly the same set as my cousin’s :).  Haha! I remember how excited I was to open the box, and to put my new pen to use :).  I recall studying the little booklet it came with intently, trying to remember the way to hold my pen, angle the nib, and the steps on how to do the various letters of the alphabet.  And the first time I put my pen to paper and saw the flowy colored ink strokes –it was like magic!  Am I sounding just a bit geeky right now? Hahaha!  I kid you not, calligraphy really does this to me–it makes me feel warm and fuzzy and all kinds of excited!  Hahaha!

I was so excited that I used to practice really often until I got pretty good at it.  I’m not talking expert levels here, but good enough that my calligraphy almost looked like the one in the Schaeffer instruction book already!  Hahaha!  Again, my disclaimer is that it was actually a very simple font–without the flourishes–so it was easy naman to master :).  And I’ve always had pretty nice handwriting so that also made it easier for me :).  But anyway,  I got pretty good at doing calligraphy that even at a young age, my parents would already ask me to do the calligraphy for their party invitations! :)  I would also get requests from relatives to write names on gift tags, in books, to make signages, etc. etc.  If only I had seen the commercial value of my skill then.  Hahaha! ;p

From my Schaeffer set I graduated to a Speedball.  At that time, I thought I was pretty hardcore already.  Haha!  Not only did the set come with so many different types of nibs, but the ink was bottled–as in you had to dip your nib into it.  Quite different from the the Schaeffer nibs I was used to wherein you had to attach the ink to the nib.  These Speedballs had such an “old school” vibe to it.  Hahaha!   All it needed was a plume attached to the end of the pen! :)  Everytime I used it, I always felt like such an expert :)  Even the booklet it came with had ten times the amount of fonts than the Schaeffer book.  And these were not just your simple Chancery fonts.  These were the really complicated ones–like the type you’d see on diplomas or really old certificates :).

Slide01

Slide02

Photos from eBay

It’s too bad that I never really pursued calligraphy as I got older.  Life and other interests somehow got in the way.  But I never lost the skill as I would still get requests once in a while to hand write on invitations (I did my own calligraphy for my wedding :)).  I  guess I just didn’t practice as much as I needed to.  Calligraphy  is the type of craft that really needs a lot of disciplined practice.  I guess it has something to do with training your hand, and familiarizing it with the various strokes and flourishes :).

It is so nice to see calligraphy making a comeback nowadays, and in a big way too! In fact, for such an old craft, it seems to be having its revival amongst the younger set, which is a pleasant surprise for me, given the tech-y age that we are in :).

Last week, I actually attended a Scribble Workshop, hosted by Ms. Ink Scribbler herself, Alexis Ventura.  Formerly a brand manager at L’Oreal, she quit her job to do calligraphy full time!  *Sigh*.  Don’t I wish.  Hahaha!

Slide05

The workshop was held in a photography studio on the 5th floor of the Vasquez Madrigal Building on Annapolis Street.  Since I got to the venue early (I was the first), I got to chat with Alexis a bit, ask her some questions, and look at her collection of nibs, before the other participants started trickling in :).

Slide06

Slide07

Slide04

Slide08

My intention for joining the workshop was really to learn the basics of calligraphy, especially the free-hand style–my biggest frustration.  Because I’d been used to doing a very “structured” font, and am very OC about my loops and curls, free-hand has always been a struggle for me.

Here were our “tools” for the day…

Slide1

We started off with some rules, some basics, and practice sheets…

Slide10

Slide09

Slide2

…then at the end of the workshop, we were asked to write out our own favorite quotes!

Slide11

I still have a lot of practicing to do, but I’m pretty happy with the results! :)

To be honest, I didn’t realize how difficult it was to do calligraphy with an actual, proper nib–writing with my Schaeffer one is a piece of cake compared to this!  And my past experience didn’t prepare me at all for this workshop–I practically had to “unlearn” everything I taught myself before!

It was challenging, but a LOT of fun, though :).  And despite the hand and finger cramping, I felt so relaxed and “lost in my own world” that afternoon.  Definitely, this was a weekend afternoon that was well spent :).  I only felt the teensiest bit guilty not spending it with the H and the little one :).  Hahaha!

For those of you who want to learn or are interested in calligraphy, I highly recommend this beginner’s workshop :).  Not only was it a lot of fun and personally fulfilling for me, but it was nice to meet other calligraphy enthusiasts as well :).  Alexis is also very engaging, friendly, and patient in teaching her “students”.

Slide12

To know more about the Scribble Workshop, follow Alexis on Instagram at @inkscribbler, like her on FB at facebook.com/inkscribbler, or go to her website, http://www.inkscribbler.com, for schedules and details :).

The Best One Yet!

Ever since my first ManilaFAME experience, I’ve been hooked!  Imagine an event showcasing two floors of the best locally made furniture, home accessories, bags, jewelry and fashion–gosh, this is what heaven looks like for a girl like me! Hahaha!  So I’ve made it a point to troop down to SMX for every show since, for a little dose of happy and inspiration :).

And even after 3 expos, the giddiness I feel every time I visit has not died down one single bit.  In fact, after the recent show held last Oct 17-20–their best one yet–I’m still on a high and totally inspired by everything I saw!

As expected, the furniture and home furnishings were truly extraordinary!  No wonder our local artisans are considered to be design trendsetters, and have truly sparked global interest in and demand for our products :).

Slide26

Slide28

Slide27

Slide31

While I think there were less participants this time around compared to last March, the booths and the products were definitely nothing short of spectacular! Here were some of my personal favorites… :)

Slide21

Ito Kish

Don’t you just love the wall treatment?  And those Busilak Jars are LOVE :).

Slide23

Kenneth Cobonpue

I have nothing else to say but his booth was impressive as always :).  This shot was my paparazzi moment.  Hahaha!  Was hoping to meet him but this interview took a while :(.

Slide25

Balay ni Atong

Those lamps made from pieces of inabel cloth and wire were TDF!!! I also fell in love with a woven blanket, but it was a bit out of my budget :(.

Slide24

Catalina

Those colorful stools/side tables made me drool!!!  I want one badly!!!

Slide22

Schema by Kalikasan Crafts

The pendant lamps are a project for our dining room next year!  Excited!

Slide20

Vito Selma

*Sigh* His Geo coffee table has been on my wish list for like forever!!!

Slide19

Masaeco

I always love their booth display, and this time was no exception :)

Slide18

Tadeco

Aren’t those light installations gorge? :)

Slide17

Industria

They won the Katha Award for Best Booth Design :).

Slide16

Triboa Bay

Another favorite of mine.  Their pieces are so well designed, yet very functional!  Their trestle table is another one on my wish list!

This time around, there was also a special showcase called The Red Box, featuring the work of the rising stars of local design.  These designers are part of a developmental program “aimed at harnessing Filipino creativity with the use of sustainable raw materials to produce design-forward products for the world.”

Slide30

Loved these tables and the lighting by Leah Sanchez.  Incidentally, aside from being an architect by profession, Leah is also one half of the duo behind Resurrection and Found Objects Gallery :).

Slide29

It was so nice to see the work of my favorite ladies from Bungalow 3oo on display during the show!  Bravo!

Even the Manila Wear section, now on its second year, had such a strong showing from its participant artists.  I noticed a lot of fashion designers combining regional craftsmanship with their own unique aesthetic and style, setting the stage for next year’s trends and must-haves :).

It truly makes me happy to see the Philippine aesthetic finally having its time in the spotlight :).  I’ve always been a fan of native arts and crafts, and it is quite wonderful that many designers have started incorporating not just local materials into their products, but traditional elements into their designs as well. Coupled with a modern twist or interpretation, the results are exquisite artisanal items that are really something to be proud of! :)

Here is a small sampling of my favorite brands at Manila Wear…

Slide15

Slide14

Vesti

These bags are not just so “now”, but I love the use of the traditional fabric!  It was so nice to meet the designer and owner of the brand, who truly impressed me with her style and go-getter attitude :).

Slide11

Slide12

Slide13

Such beautifully crafted accessories from last year and this year’s Katha Award winner, Ann Ong.  I’m not sure if I could wear the grasshopper on wood neckpiece, but I was definitely wowed by the intricacy of the design :).

Slide10

It was so wonderful to bump into Dennis Lustico!  I am a longtime fan of his dress designs, and it is so nice to see how he has branched out into accessories–specifically, bags!  Aren’t they bee-yoo-ti-full? :)  I super loved that yellow “bayong” he is standing next to with the acrylic handles, as well as the blue beaded clutch at the bottom of the picture.  Ang ganda!!!!

Slide08

I also finally got to meet accessory designer, Ken Samudio, and had a fan-girl moment!  Hahaha!  To say I love his stuff is an understatement.  More about it in my next blog post! :)

Slide06

Slide07

Another uber wonderful and cool accessory designer is Adante Leyesa.  Not only does he have talent by the bucket-loads, but he’s super humble too!  I just love his statement neckpieces and clutch bags!  They are definitely showstoppers!!!

Slide05

Slide04

I think my most favorite accessory designer of all time has to be Joyce Makitalo, though.  Actually, between my mom and I, we have 5 of her gorgeous necklaces!!!  I can’t wait to see her new collection which is coming out very soon!  I am so sure it will be amazing!

Slide03

These barong dresses by Amarie first caught my eye at the MaARTe bazaar.  I would love to own one of these someday too :).

Slide02

Filip + Inna’s booth, and the various pieces they had on display totally took my breath away!  Not only did I love the colors, but the embroidery designs were so exquisite!  Hard to believe these are traditional designs from the tribes in Lake Sebu–they look so modern and contemporary!  Again, more on this in another blog post :).

To be honest, I could go on and on about the amazing things I saw during ManilaFAME, but it would be even better if you guys had a chance to see the expo for yourself (watch out for it in March 2014!!!)!  These pictures are but a fraction of all there is to see!  As it was, I actually didn’t have much time to go through the entire show :(, so I had to breeze past other sections such as the OTOP (One Town, One Project), which features products from various regions all over the Philippines.

Don’t you agree, though, that Filipinos are soooo talented and creative? :) Coming to a show like this will truly make you feel proud of our culture and heritage!  I’m sure it won’t be long before the world starts appreciating it as well :).