Bits of Bliss: Design Sponge fangirling

I’ve always been a super fan of design sponge for years. I had a time when I visited her blog daily and got lost there for hours and hours–I loved all the beautiful homes and got inspired by all the DIYs and interviews. I recently bought her fantastic book “In the Company of Women” and am savoring it slowly because I don’t want it to the end.

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I enjoy reading about what drives these extraordinary women, most of whom are my idols, and their journey as artists and entrepreneurs. I picked one of my favorites, Carrie Brownstein, and did a brush calligraphy piece based on what she said in her interview. Posted it on my instagram (@mabuhaydiy) account and after a few days, I got the surprise of my life. Grace Bonney herself reposted it in her instagram account! I’m still shaking and crying, I couldn’t believe my luck:

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Is this the real life is this just fantasyyyy

Thank you Universe, for consistently creating magical moments like this. 😻🙌

Something fun: Exchange gift ideas for Christmas from SM Stationery

Christmas is almost here! Have you done your Christmas shopping yet?

I’m a big fan of doing my Christmas shopping in one place. For me, it’s less stressful and more time-efficient, and all I need to do is find a store that has everything I would love to give (and receive!) and my Christmas gift list–and maybe a rest area where I can admire my purchases afterwards🙂. Lucky for me there’s an SM Makati nearby, with my fave section of all time–The SM Stationery department! I belong to that SLSB club–Stationery Lover Since Birth, and I had to remind myself when I shopped that I was shopping for gifts for other people and not myself, haha (but I got myself some goodies too as a ‘reward’ for successfully ticking off all the items in my Christmas shopping list, heh #treatyoself).
I noticed that SM Stationery had so many wonderful gift possibilities and they couldn’t be more perfect for the holiday season. I know for a lot of us Filipinos, Christmas means ‘exchange gift’ time, or ‘secret santa’, where you spread the holiday cheer by having a group of people exchange names for a secret surprise gift exchange. Categories like “something cute”, “something long”, etc. are usually decided on by the group and a set budget for each gift is also agreed upon. It’s a fun way to be creative and to bond with your officemates or relatives, and it’s something a lot of Pinoys look forward to during Christmastime.

If you’re looking for some exchange gift inspiration or you just want to see gift suggestions that you yourself would love to receive, I’ve come up with a comprehensive guide for you!
I’ve grouped them according to the usual exchange gift categories to make it quicker and easier for you. The fun part is that you can also mix and match items from various categories because the pens, which are usually “something long” are so cute that they can also be “something cute”, and I think we can all agree that everything in SM Stationery is something useful (especially if you’re a member of the SLSB club like me!). The best part is that you can buy everything in one place–they can all be found in the SM Stationery department. Enjoy, and I hope you find the guide useful!🙂

 

SOMETHING STICKY

Washi tapes, paper tapes and stickers:

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SOMETHING COLORFUL

Be fashionable when listening to your fave songs with these trendy headphones:

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They have a lot of earphones in various colors too!

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Organize your life and workspace/study area with these colorful paper clips and other office supplies:

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So many colors in one pen! Perfect for planners and journals. Multi-colored pens:

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SOMETHING CUTE/QUIRKY/WILD

I lumped them all in one category because they’re all those 3!🙂
Animal pouches and wallets:

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Correction tape, magnets and erasers:

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Animal and cupcake keychains:

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Too cute! Bunny earphones:

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Colorful storage solutions:

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SOMETHING SQUISHY

Squishy miniature luggage wallets:

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Kneadable art erasers:

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Squishy penguin wallets and squishy camera wallets:

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Squishy luggage tags!

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SOMETHING SPARKLY/SHINY

They have so many sparkly metallic pens!

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Must. not. hoard. metallic. tapes.

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SOMETHING FRAGRANT/UNIQUE

These are pens with perfume at the end!

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Scented pens, markers and pencils! Bonus: They come in Christmasy scents and I really really wanted all of them:

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SOMETHING SOFT/FLUFFY/CUDDLY:

These pens are so fluffy, they felt like clouds on my hands:

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Neck pillows, fluffy and soft pouches and keychains:

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SOMETHING MULTIPURPOSE:

This is a pen, a keychain, a penlight and a whistle! A must-have for anyone:

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SOMETHING SWEET:

Pens in the shape of lollies and fruits, won’t break any dietary restrictions:

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SOMETHING PERSONAL(IZED)/LUXE:

Help them label all their items with this labelmaker. I plan on getting that wood grain and clear tape for myself soon!

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For scrapbooking and for crafting:

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SOMETHING POWERFUL

Everyone I know would be glad to receive a powerbank. Or two.

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SOMETHING LONG/COLORFUL:

They have shelves upon shelves of pens in various colors:

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SOMETHING COOL/LIFE-CHANGING:

True story: My life was changed when I got a usb fan–now the daily commute is a bit more bearable, despite the traffic, haha. These usb fans are cool and practical:

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Calendars and planners to help them organize their appointments and gimmicks:

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SOMETHING NAUGHTY:

This category is a tough one, but look at this lucky find: This panda sticks out its tongue when pressed. Very unique and cheeky.

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SOMETHING HANDY:

Pouches and pencilcases in all the colors of the rainbow:

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Eco bags that are very useful and cool-looking too:

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SOMETHING ARTSY:

I saw these art packs which are so convenient and perfect for giving!

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So many notebooks, journals, notepads, and sketchpads! Paper heaven!! I could spend days in this place:

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To wrap up your presents, they also have gift wraps categorized by color, which was a nice touch for me:

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If you’re too busy or in a hurry, they have ready-made pouches as well aside from the paper bags which I think is a cute and unique way of packaging your presents.

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Happy Holiday shopping!🙂

Stay updated with the latest products and promos of SM Stationery by following them on Facebook: facebook.com/smstationeryph
Website: www.smstationery.com.ph
Instagram: @smstationeryph

Journal peek! Last quarter

It’s almost the end of the year! I’m happy I got to journal the highlights of these past few months:

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I’m realizing my pages don’t have to be perfect and I’m teaching myself to journal under the keyword of abundance. I’m going to be using more stickers and washi and art materials and I’m going to be using more pages. I have this fear of supplies running out but one thing I have learned is how the universe manages to provide and deliver, in ways that surprises me (not just in art but in life in general)🙂

From her to her: A woman empowerment project

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I was reading the beautiful book by the awesome Grace Bonney titled “In the Company of Women” and it got me feeling excited and inspired. It was such a bright and delightful read that it made me wonder why we didn’t have a similar book like this here, filled with empowered and inspiring Pinays.

Kate (@thegshift) thought about how we could modify it to fit everyone’s stories and we came up with this online project for women and the wisdom they’d like to pass on. Check out tinyurl.com/fromher2her if you want to join, and do check out this site for the stories and the story behind this project.

Journal Journey series: Gennalie of @genspens

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Hi Gennalie! Tell us about yourself. What made you start journaling and when did you start?

Hey there! I’m Gennalie, but people know me as Gen for short. I’m a design student who loves stationery, journaling and drawing! I was an avid journal user as a kid, and I picked it up again last year as a way to sort out my mind. Last year I encountered the Hobonichi journal through an artist’s youtube and I was amazed by the simplicity and how flexible a journal could be used- so I bought one myself and it’s been history since.

What journal are you using right now? Do you have more than 1 for various purposes? Do you have any specific qualities you look for in a journal?

I’m currently using two journals – a Hobonichi Cousin (A5) and an A5 Leuchtturm1917 grid book. The Hobonichi is my daily journal where I write about random topics or recall about my day while the Leuchtturm1917 is my bullet journal, a rapid and customisable planning system. I like grids and good paper quality when it comes to journals. The grids help me align and centre the content on the page and good paper quality = more tools to use!

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What can we find in your journal pages?

Tidbits about my life, stories, my days and adventures in both reality and fictional worlds. If I don’t have anything for an entry for the day, I draw something instead to fill the page! The Hobonichi is great in this sense with daily pages. In my bullet journal however you’ll find lists and to-dos I need to work on for the week, including assessments and stuff I need to follow up.

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Can you share your journaling routine and journaling process? How often do you journal? 

I like to journal at the end of the day, as a way to cool off and vent and to drop off all the stress. I normally sketch out something with my mechanical pencil first and ink with either a Sakura Micron Pen, a brush pen or my fountain pen. I then colour in using either my Mildliners or my ZIG Clean Color brush pens. I like to keep my pages as monochrome as possible!

For my bullet journal, I set up the weeks (and month if needed) spread on Sundays and I write down my daily to dos the night before or morning of the day. It’s simple enough to set aside twenty minutes or less to set things up!

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What are your favorite brands for journaling and why? Do you have favorite stores for supplies?

Hobonichi for sure- the Tomoe river paper is a beauty and can withstand a lot of materials! It’s not too bulky as well and the covers allows you to carry additional stuff like stickers around! I also like the Leuchtturm1917, however the grid size is something I have to tolerate as I prefer the Hobonichi’s tiny grids. My favourite stores are Kinokuniya, which is a bookstore that also sells Japanese stationery, and Dymocks Stationery, where they sell popular western brands- Both can be found in the Sydney CBD!

What are your favorite journaling tools?

I absolutely love my Kakuno fountain pen, Sakura Microns and Zebra Mildliners. The latter two have been my tools since the beginning, and the first is a versatile, but great tool to work with! I also love the Sakura Gelly Rol White Gel Pen to touch up any additional details. Washi is also great to journal with- as it fills up the page easily with cute designs. I have a stash of washi in my drawer waiting to be used!

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 What’s the best thing about journaling that you wish everyone knew?

Journaling is a very therapeutic practice and is a great way to look back on how you’ve grown or developed. Writing down my concerns and issues really helps my psyche and it’s fun to see how I have dealt with situations. Journaling is also very inexpensive if you wish it to be- a lot of journal enthusiasts are also stationery enthusiasts which is why a lot of people have a lot of supplies. I used to journal with just a pencil and a cheap scrap notebook!

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Any tips on how people can get started with journaling?

Stop worrying about getting things perfect or pretty and just start writing. No matter what, just write. I guarantee you that if you start writing for two minutes, you’ll fill up the page in no time. Journaling, like other arts and crafts is very subjective! There are so many types for you to explore- if one doesn’t work, just change it up!

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What is inspiring you right now in your journaling journey?

Right now I’m in the midst of a gaming phase, and it’s motivating me to keep journaling and jotting down my adventures so I can remember little things in each game- Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Pokemon moon! Those little successes really brighten up my day. Also the community itself keeps my inspiration up high. There’s so many creative people out there it astounds me and excites me to see what others are up to with every page!

BONUS QUESTION:

If you’re restricted to journaling using only 2 tools, what would these 2 tools be and why?

This is one of the toughest questions I’ve had yet….. I’d probably go with my Pentel Fude Touch Brush Pen and either my ZIG Clean Color Brush Pens or my Sakura Koi watercolour palette (so I can work on my skills of course!). I love all my journaling tools so much, it’s too difficult to choose!

 

Thank you Gennalie! You can follow Gennalie via her instagram account:  @genspens

Do check out her tumblr as well!: http://genspen.tumblr.com

 

All photos provided by Gennalie.

Journal Journey: Sharon (@ronnycakes)

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Hi Sharon! Tell us about yourself. What made you start journaling and when did you start?

Hi everyone! My name is Sharon and I’m a wedding photographer and calligrapher based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I started journaling in mid-2015 and I started mostly because of two reasons – I was very inspired by some journalers on Instagram and also because I had a lot of left over maps and ticket stubs from my trip to the US in 2014 and I was looking for something meaningful to do with all of it!

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What journal are you using right now? Do you have more than 1 for various purposes? Do you have any specific qualities you look for in a journal?

I’m currently using a Midori journal with 3 inserts – a monthly schedule insert,
a blank insert (for art and daily journaling) and I’ve recently picked up a weekly insert that I’m using as an inspiration/thought-log. I’m really enjoying it!

I don’t really look for anything specific in a journal, but I can’t stop talking about how much I love the Midori system for its flexibility and customizability. One thing I love about it is it gives you so many options for inserts and there will always be one that suits your style of journaling. Also, a leather cover will pretty much last you forever unless you’re like me (a straying eye) and find yourself wanting to collect all the colours…

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What can we find in your journal pages? 

I mostly post photos of my journal pages on my Instagram account (@ronnycakes) but this year some of my pages have also been published in a Taiwanese journaling publication alongside some other fantastic journalers that I am a huge fan of – so it’s definitely been exciting!

Can you share your journaling routine and journaling process? How often do you journal?

I usually journal at night, after my day’s work has been done, and if I have no other work to do for the day. Or if I’m feeling a bit lethargic and bored I’ll pull out all my supplies and have a field day playing with them.

For a standard art page, I’ll start off with sketching and painting in my illustration and then fill in the rest of the entry with stamps, washi tapes etc afterwards. I usually think ahead to how I want to arrange my page and work from there. I used to journal almost on a daily basis but I think I got bitten by the lazy bug! Now I journal maybe 3 or 4 times a week and paint even less than that!

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What are your favorite brands for journaling and why? Do you have favorite stores for supplies?
I don’t have a particular brand that I favor, I buy things based on aesthetics. I like interesting and whimsy designs – for example the La Dolce Vita range of washi tapes are one of my favourites!
We’re quite fortunate in Malaysia to have many stationery shops that cater to journaling and some of my favourites have got to be Stickerrific (@stickerrific), Tabiyo Shop (@tabiyo_shop_) and Scrap’n’Crop (@scrapncrop).

What are your favorite journaling tools?

My favourite journaling tools… that’s quite a tough one. I would have to say my watercolour sets, watercolour sable brushes, and TWSBI fountain pen.

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 What’s the best thing about journaling that you wish everyone knew?

That looking back on your journal gives you two things – a wonderful sense of accomplishment for all the pages that you’ve decorated, or done up (and for those who are like me – a sense of accomplishment for being able to stick to a hobby for this long!); and the incredible feeling of reading your past entries and remembering things that you’ve forgotten, or feelings that you’ve forgotten. I find that really meaningful.

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Any tips on how people can get started with journaling?

Just start! Before I took the plunge I would flip through people’s journals and tell myself I could never do what they do, but when I started then I thought – wow this is quite fun and therapeutic after all. And I re-discovered my creative side after journaling – which I think everyone will too! 

What is inspiring you right now in your journaling journey?
I’m inspired by the whole journaling community as a whole – I’m constantly in awe with everyone’s journal layouts!

 BONUS QUESTION:

 If you’re restricted to journaling using only 2 tools, what would these 2 tools be and why? 

Wow this is a REALLY hard one – I think I’ll have to go for my Pro Arte Sable Brushes and Holbein Portable Watercolour Set (customized by Stickerrific!).

Thank you very much Sharon! See more of Sharon’s beautiful journals in her instagram page: @ronnycakes. You can also check out her site: wilsonsharon.com/calligraphy.

All the photos in this post are from Sharon.

Read the other Journal Journey entries here.

Finishing #inktober 2016

I did it! I am happy to report that I was able to finish all 31 days of #inktober this year.🙂

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Left side was done October one, right side was done October 31. Some realizations after doing this challenge:

– I like drawing androgynous ladies, and ladies with wavy hair.
– I don’t really enjoy drawing full bodies but I love figuring out where shadows go for faces
– Working with just one pen, a brush pen and a waterbrush has made me consider darkest tones and highlights.
– One month creative challenges work best for me. After that I sort of lose my interest and it’s not as fun anymore.
– Inktober is best done with something you want to get better at, for me it’s drawing fashion figures originally but I realized I wanted to paint faces more.
– Doing this and knowing that a lot of people all over the globe are doing it too made it more enjoyable.
– Just start. Sometimes you are too tired to make one but just soldier on and when you’re actually doing it you’ll realize you just had to put pen to paper.
– There’s nothing wrong with starting over.

Journal Journey: Ria of Imfeelingcraftytoday

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1.) Tell us about yourself. What made you start journaling and when did you start?

I’m a mom of 2 boys.  I love documenting our family adventures through scrapbooking and journaling.  I had kept a diary (from papemelroti!) when I was in high school.  I didn’t write everyday, only on those days when I had something interesting to write about my crushes.🙂

After high school, I didn’t write much except during moments when I felt sad or angry.  Then, I realized I didn’t want to have a record of those sad/angry moments lying around for someone to read, so I stopped again. I picked up journaling again a year after my second son was born as a form of therapy to combat the stresses of daily life.  This time,
it was more than just a “dear diary” thing, because I added some art into it.

2.) What journal are you using right now? Do you have more than 1 for various purposes? Do you have any specific qualities you look for in a journal?

I have more than one because I like to compartmentalize.  I have separate journals for food, patterns, travel, planner, recipe, bucket list,  #listersgottalist, etc.   I like buying journals with plain covers that I can personalize by adding stickers or stamping.  The binding is also important for me; I noticed that handsewn journals are better than stapled ones because they have less tendency to collapse.  The journal has to be able to withstand the wear and tear that stickers, watercolor and other materials can bring.  I almost never use lined paper.  I like blank pages that can handle even just a little watercolor. I don’t use the back pages because I don’t like bleed-throughs or show-throughs.

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3.) What can we find in your journal pages? 

I like documenting our family adventures.  When we travel, I journal about our trip by painting the places I visited and the food I ate and then I also write down my memories of the trip.  I like sticking the memorabilia like plane tickets, brochures, etc.  to make it even more authentic.  I’m also obsessed with drawing my meals.

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4.) Can you share your journaling routine and journaling process? How often do you journal? (What time of day you do it, your journaling setup in terms of materials, etc.)

I do my journaling late at night when everyone is asleep.  I can only work on my journal when it’s quiet and there are little distractions.  Doing it at the end of the day always feels like some kind of therapy to counter the stresses in my daily life.  My materials (stickers, pens, watercolor, stamps, inkpads) are all within reach so that I can start working immediately.

5.) What are your favorite brands for journaling and why? Do you have favorite stores for supplies?

For journals, I love using Labrador and the Hobonichi planner.  I also like using traveler’s notebooks from Traveler’s Factory and Airees Creates.  I use a lot of scrapbooking stuff from American Crafts, Kelly Purkey, Studio Calico and many more.  For stickers and stamps, I like buying from online stores like Saffy Tenten, Bee Happy and Hobby Depot.  I get project life cards from Life Documented Manila.  For items bought abroad, like from Studio Calico or Kelly Purkey, I join a monthly group buy hosted by my friend, Nicole Chua of Scrap Happy.  For physical stores, I love Lasting Impression in San Juan which has everything!!! National Bookstore and Scribe Writing Essentials too.

 

6.) What are your favorite journaling tools?

I like using acrylic stamps because they’re so versatile and reusable.  I am also crazy about stickers.  For illustrations, I use watercolor.  For writing, I just use a waterproof pen or any ordinary black pen.

 

7.) What’s the best thing about journaling that you wish everyone knew?

It’s a good way to record memories.  It always feels good to flip through an old journal and remember the past. It also inspires me to go out of my way to make my life more interesting to document.

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8.) Any tips on how people can get started with journaling?

Don’t think that you need fancy art materials to start journaling. All you really need is pen and paper and commitment.  You can start with something as easy as writing “A Word a Day” to describe how your day went.  Then you can move on to doing “A Sentence a Day” and more until such time journaling becomes a routine.  I recently started journaling in a planner; I love that the pages are small so there’s no fear of the big blank page or the fear of having to fill a huge space.

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9.) What is inspiring you right now in your journaling journey?

I follow a lot of journalers like you on my instagram feed. I always feel inspired to create after seeing other people’s work.  I also enjoy going on art tambays or any art event because it feels good to be around people who share the same interest.

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BONUS QUESTION:
If you’re restricted to journaling using only 2 tools, what would these 2 tools be and why? 

It would have to be my Sakura Koi Watercolor Field Sketch Box because you can do anything with watercolor like paint, do lettering, etc.  The other tool is a Uni-Pin fineliner waterproof 0.1 pen so that I am free to write as much as I can.

 

 

Thanks Ria! Here’s where you can find more of Ria’s art:

Blog: https://imfeelingcraftytoday.wordpress.com/

Instagram: @imfeelingcraftytoday

All the photos in this post are from Ria.

The 2nd #ladiesdrawingnightPH session!

We just finished making our artworks for the 2nd #ladiesdrawingnightPH session (the remote and local version of the original #ladiesdrawingnight). I wasn’t able to compile the works of everyone but you can see them on instagram using the hashtag: #ladiesdrawingnightPH🙂

Posted this theme around 8.50pm Manila time today (Sunday). The next one will be done around that time as well so if you want to join us, do check out my instagram page around that time.🙂

Here’s what I came up with, using watercolors and markers. I love using watercolors and my #inktober project and the previous #colorexploration challenge really helped me become more confident with painting. It becomes easier if you make it a daily habit. My strokes feel looser and I am not too stressed out when I have painting mistakes–that’s part of the charm of watercolors anyway.

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Dog photos as reference from google images. I’m really happy about the turnout of this challenge and I hope next week more people would join! Join us if you like! It’s a fun way to practice and get to know more friends.🙂

#inktober 2016 realizations

It’s day 23 of #inktober already! I haven’t missed a day which I consider a feat in itself, and am still having fun in this challenge. I started with the vision of illustrating fashion poses in magazines but halfway through the 31-day mark it got a bit tiresome. I noticed that I enjoyed drawing larger portraits though, and had fun shading the faces. I’ve decided to focus on that nowadays:

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More than 3 years ago I studied fashion illustration at FIP because I wanted to learn about how to draw fashion figures and illustrate females. There weren’t a lot of workshops back then (unlike today which I’m really happy about) so that was a great experience for me and I got to meet a lot of new friends as well. As years went by I realized how much I enjoyed portrait painting and I want to focus on this instead. Will attend 2 more portrait workshops in a few weeks so I’m really excited for that.

The drawing on the upper left side was done on my 1st day and the drawing on the lower right was done the other day.🙂

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