Gratitude list: 100 artsycraftsy items ticked off my bucket list, 2013

At the start of the year, I made a list of wishes in my crafty bucket list.

I’m happy to say that I was able to accomplish most of them! Except for “Work with glass”, which I hope I get to try on 2014. 🙂

Here are artsycraftsy items I was also able to experience, items from a grand bucket list.
2013 has been such a generous, wonderful year, and my happiness and gratefulness bucket brimmeth over as well:

1. Try air-dry clay (Made pendants out of it)
2. Try modular origami
3. Check out Pinto Art Museum (For my birthday!)
4. Try Art Attack Products (The clay: great, The oil pastels: Not so)
5. Create my own scent for our diffuser (Citrus Olive)
6. Get featured in a broadsheet for my washi creations
7. Make handmade decor for Day’s baby shower party
8. Papel Picado
9. Learn to play the ukulele on my own, and jam with the gf, and then share it shamelessly on my Instagram
10. Make my own jam (Chili Strawberry Basil)
11. Make my own solid perfume: Olive-Tangerine-Mint
12. Attend Art Fair Phils. 2013
13. Do papercuts with my own illustration, then do a freestyle one.
14. Attend a Dr.Sketchy Alice-themed sketchmob event
15. Join Ukulele Manila
16. Draw on the streets using chalk at the Fort
17. Create a handmade papercut of blog logo/banner
18. Create a series of artworks (Dream sisters)
19. Create a panda bento box for her and a strawberry one for me
20. Try intaglio printing using an old cd c/o Serj Bumatay’s tutorial
21. Do a 3d papercut
22. Do a hollow book surprise
23. Wet on wet watercolor freestyle
24. Finally start that mixed media book
25. Buy a kalimba and play it
26. Play a gamelan and other asian musical instruments in Bali and CCP
27. Buy Hello Sandwich book
28. Experience silversmithing
29. Pound coffee beans oldschool way
30. Try lontar-palm etching
31. Try hand-printing, using leaves and flowers with markers
32. Study printmaking at the Phil. Association of Printmakers.
33. Try linocut, drypoint, monotype, monoprint, block printing
34. Try making glue rubber for papercutting/rubberstamping
35. Decorate home and workstation with flowers (statis in washi’d bottles!)
36. Have a small musical studio with my guitar, uke, kalimba, harmonica
37. Try ikebana
38. Visit that library in the street
39. Make yoghurt from scratch
40. Make a felt toy (stuffed cake)
41. Join a watercolor crafternoon
42. Join Fernando Sena’s art classes
43. Learn about shading, drawing with markers, pastels
44. Make a rubbercut with a rubber sole, hand printing
45. Hand color prints with watercolors
46. Check out Ronac Art Center
47. Make a landscape painting out of pastel
48. Make a portrait drawing of my mom and dad
49. Buy myself mint pens (mmm mint Stabilo)
50. Paint using oil pastels in a huge board (15×20)
51. Paint using tempera technique, watercolor
52. Make an abstract painting using pastels
53. Try classitex
54. Be personally recommended to sell handmade crafts (twice)
55. Create pastillas wrapper art
56. Create a galaxy in felt paper using pastels
57. Attend art workshop graduation
58. Receive three medals for the art workshop: Most outstanding student, best in costume, best in group work
59. Exhibit my “artwork” in an art “exhibit”
60. Teach arts and crafts to kids (Je’s pamangkins)
61. Be the chosen leader for my art class haha
62. Get recommended by a friend to design artwork for a store (Camille)
63. Be a dj for Jea’s road trip ride
64. Earn a certificate of completion with distinction for my online Art course (coursera)
65. Get myself teal markers from Art Friend
66. Pet Chestnut from cat socrates
67. Organize arts/crafts materials
68. Give my books/art materials and stuff away
69. Buy matboards
70. Try and make my very own travel palette using airdryclay and altoids tin
71. Start an online magazine: KATHA! (
72. Be the virtual dj for Katha’s “mixtape”
73. Have an offer to be a dj at a bar
74. Sing my “Fries” song with gf jamming on the uke over IG
75. Try a massage from hi-tech massage chair in mall, complete with inversion
76. Make a video for my washi collage in instagram
77. Punch holes in my belt c/o Mr. Quickie
78. Check out National Museum
79. See Spoliarium
80. Check out Paper Popup
81. Cook using induction (last sale, sale in SM thanks Universe)
82. Create customized merbirds (TnS birds, a portrait)
83. Attend Bloom Arts Festival (Here’s to joining next year *crosses fingers*)
84. Join the MuniPH X moonleaf event for Katha
84. Art drive for Yolanda kids
85. Sell merbirds for a cause
86. Sell customized merbirds for a cause
87. Give my customized TnS merbird artwork to Tegan and Sara
88. Have Tegan and Sara post my customized merbirds on their Instagram page (!!!)
89. Make Tegan and Sara face masks and wear it to our masquerade-theme office party and the pride march
90. Be a brand ambassador for Pixaroll
91. Color-your-own merbird
92. Cook perfect runny eggs using induction
93. Create optical illusion stamps
94. Carve stamps using rubber sole, erasers and speedball ez carve
95. Frame my papercut artworks
96. Cover walls with my art using washi tape
97. Create trompe l’oeil frames using washi tape
98. Cover walls with artwork by friends and idols
99. Have baby plants! Rubber plant, 2 oreganos, sanseveria and marigold
100. Appear on TV for Katha!

Thanks, Universe!

How about you? I’m thinking of new artsycraftsy goals for 2014, any suggestions?

Artsycraftsy interview: Fran Alvarez

I think I was blog-hopping when I first saw the artworks of Fran. I listed her as one of my fave local artists in my listography site. Months later, much to my surprise and delight, I actually got to meet her in person in some event, where I fangirled like a creeper haha. I love the way she combines color and layers images. I like staring at her detailed artworks and admiring the meticulous brushwork. They’re all so lovely and inspiring!ImageImageImageImageImage

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your art/craft.
Hello I am Fran and I am a restless graphic designer and illustrator who likes merienda time, likes making things, and who is trying to do everything.

2. What are your favorite tools in creating art and why do you love them?
Watercolors, in different opacities. I love the medium first because of how it looks on paper: sometimes it’s barely there, sometimes it’s really heavy. I used to hate it and couldn’t handle it to save my life but it taught me how to be patient. It’s one of the most challenging mediums I had to teach myself to get used to but I love it now.

3. Can you tell us about your daily routine or your artistic process?
I work as a graphic designer at Studio Dialogo, so I guess my routine generally revolves around this. Having a day job has helped me become more disciplined with my work and manage my time better. Bonus talaga na sa creative field ako nagtatrabaho, with wonderful people I really admire.

When working I like having music on, preferably an album or artist I haven’t heard before, or an audiobook. Basta bago, so I don’t fall asleep haha! I work the best when the sun is out, right after I’ve had my morning Milo fix. When I’m stuck in a creative block, I do something non-drawing related para ma-reset utak ko. I play a song on the guitar, kahit isa lang. Or I read something with no pictures at all. Or I eat *whistles*.

4. What inspires you? What makes you excited?
I always get something out of traveling, kahit jeepney rides lang. Natutuwa ako sa iba’t ibang combination ng mga tao at a given place and time. My friends inspire me, their dedication to craft in the different fields they’re in. I also like nature very much, especially flowers and leaves, because every one is different.

5. Who are the local and foreign artists you admire the most?
Naku, how do I even mention everyone haha. In no particular order:
local: Robert Alejandro, my work mates at Dialogo Rommel Joson, Liza Flores, Abi Goy, Electrolychee’s Bru Sim and Marcus Nada, Serg Bumatay, Riel Hilario, Farley del Rosario, Marina Cruz, the talented Santoses Soler, Mona, Luis and Carina, Nona Garcia, Geraldine Javier. A lot more!

For foreign, Brecht Evens, Chris Ware, Oliver Jeffers, Jon Klassen, Lisbeth Zwerger, Shaun Tan, Carson Ellis, Chris Van Alsburg, Wolf Erlbruch, Chun Eun Sil, Albrecht Durer, David Wiesner, Louise Fili, Christopher Corr, Ernst Haeckel, Paula Scher, Maira Kalman, Sara Fanelli, Aya Kato.

6. Most inspiring place in the Philippines?
Wherever the ocean is.

7. If you were stuck in an island and could only bring one art/craft tool with you, what would it be and why?
Depende, may wilderness ba sa island na ito? Haha. Unstretched canvas, to keep me warm, to catch fish, build a fort, climb trees. And…I would eat some if I needed to.

8. Favorite snack/s while creating art?

9. Earliest childhood memory related to arts/crafts?
When I was in kinder they made us color pages off coloring books. My cousin, who was also my classmate, colored the atis page on his book all black. Also, when I was four, I used to watch Grease everyday in the morning. Grease is a piece of art, right? Right?

10. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Whatever I thought would make everyone happy.

11. What’s your current job now?
What I do best, and what makes me happy. 🙂 I do graphic design, sometimes illustration, most of the time crazy shenanigans at Studio Dialogo.

12. Favorite books and/or movies?
“You Shall Know Our Velocity” by Dave Eggers
“Strange Pilgrims” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“Fruitcake” by the Eraserheads
“Smaller and Smaller Circles” by FH Batacan
“Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Caroll
the GoT series.

Sukiyaki Western Django
Chunking Express
Rocket Science
The Town
Spirited Away
Sandalang Bahay

Grease. :p

Bonus uncalled-for music favorites: The Eraserheads and Leslie Feist.

13. What is your philosophy when creating/making art?
Do all things with great love.

BONUS question:
The Universe starts from scratch and you’re given the chance to be reincarnated as a famous artist. Which artist would you choose and why?

Ang hirap! Can I be a bougainvillea instead?

Where can we see your awesome work? (plug away!) is where everything is at, awesome, ugly, in progress, ramblings 🙂

Thanks Fran!

All photos are taken from Fran’s website (

Best night ever: Metric Live in Manila 2013

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I dreamt of attending a Metric concert. I’ve been listening to them for around ten years (I found out about them through an lj music community), and I can just imagine how wonderful it must be to see them perform live.

When I heard the news that it was confirmed–Metric would be having a concert in Manila, I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was. This incredible opportunity presented itself after the realized dream of watching a Tegan and Sara concert and it felt too serendipitous. I listed Metric right after Tegan and Sara in my grand bucket list of “Bands I want to see live in Manila”. This is turning out to be one of the best years of my life.

My partner would be abroad during the concert and I was prepared to watch on my own. Good thing new friends Karen and Evee would be watching too–I felt like I’ve been friends with them for the longest time haha, they were really fun to be with. I was in Aura around 11 am, like the true addict that I am, but when I went up there was no line yet so I visited all the stores in Aura and ended up buying some calligraphy pens heh.

Flying Ipis was the opening act, which gave me a happy because I love the band and their energy. (Emily Haines apparently did too–She said: “I love Flying Ipis, I wish we could take them with us”, or something like that). She attempted to speak a few Tagalog lines too, which made me love her even more.

Watching them perform live was nothing short of magical. I want to be Emily Haines when I grow up. She’s lovely, charming, superkind and super-talented. I took some videos for the gf but mostly I danced my heart out and sang/lip-synced (my Tegan and Sara vids are overpowered by my off-key singing so lesson learned haha). I was dancing so vigorously during Gold Guns Girls that I mistakenly jumped off the ledge and fell on a girl beside me, dragging Karen with me (Sorry!).

I couldn’t stop sobbing like crazy during “Breathing Underwater”. When I listened to Synthetica, this was the song that instantly leaped at me from the album. It was similar to the effect of first hearing “Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It” from Stars, in which I claim favorites from their latest album and listen to it till kingdom come. When Metric played this song I was probably pms-ing but the tears just came out in buckets and I felt all the feelings in the world. Mostly elation, and gratefulness. They’re playing one of my faves! Right here! Right now! I cannot express how lucky I felt at that time, even if the song is a bit melancholic. The live version sounded better than anything I could have ever imagined. Right now I am listening to Metric songs on repeat and this song still makes me tear up a bit, haha.

My fave songs from Metric are: Parkdale, On The Sly, The Police and The Private, Breathing Underwater, Raw Sugar and Gimme Sympathy, Gold Guns Girls, Speed The Collapse and The Wanderlust. They played a good mix of old and new songs and I loved their acoustic rendition of The Police and The Private. That acoustic Gimme Sympathy was perfect as well, and my vids stop halfway because I couldn’t stop myself from clapping my hands, or dancing and singing along. When Emily Haines went down the stage I got to touch her and I couldn’t stop staring at my hands filled with gold fairydust. Evee got the setlist too! Yay!

There was a meet and greet portion after the concert and the floor tickets were allowed to mingle with the band members. I wanted a photo with everyone, of course, and some fangirling, heh. The whole band (James, Joules, Joshua, Emily) was really accommodating and nice and they all got to hold my pink pen (which I kinda regret not giving Emily when she marveled at how it can write with both ends) and calligraphy pen during signing. I was starstruck and a bit flustered because of too many emotions and how fast everything was happening, haha, that I was not able to get a photo with Emily. I did get to hug her for a long time when she went out the second time. She asked me where her bandmates were and I think in my shock I mumbled a soft “I dunno” or “I’m not sure”. HAHA. One of my fave local artists, Mich, gave the band an excellent customized artwork and I was so happy for her! I regret not making one but I did not expect this great opportunity and I hastily made her a merbird.
I gave her the customized merbird of herself singing using a blank index card I found in my bag (I wasn’t prepared!). I explained that it was a merbird, a bird that could swim, and she asked “Is it breathing underwater?” OHOHO Emily y u so witty? She was so gracious about it, and she said she has a place where she keeps all the artwork she receives, and asked if it was okay to fold it. I think I was so in awe that I just nodded with my jaw to the floor. True story. She folded it and placed it in her back pocket. A piece of me is there, you guys! ETERNALLY.

I followed her around and got to hug her a second time when we talked a bit about “Live It Out” and how it was my fave, and she said it was hers too (OMG we were talking about their albums asjdkajsfkjskfjd), and and and

I have no words for how happy I was when I went home that night. Thank you so much, friends, and thank you, Universe, for being a great big enabler.

Now for the photos! Sorry for the crappy quality, these were taken using my phone– it was dark and I was trembling with excitement:





Yay new friends! 🙂