Journal Journey: Ria of Imfeelingcraftytoday


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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:


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.



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:




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. 🙂



Welcoming 2017 with a new planner calendar from @parvousph :)

2016 is almost over and you know what that means–it’s the season for 2017 planners and journals! Haha. Being a stationery fiend, this is something I really look forward to during the last quarter of the year.

I really love planners and journals (sew my previous post about my journal journey). I’ve found an obsession that combines my love for art, writing, stickers and scrapbooking and my adoration for notebooks. I tend to forget things unless I track them down too, so this is pretty useful.

If you like decorating your journals and planners, here are some ideas:


I used the notes pages of my 2016 @parvousph planner calendar for this, and beside it is the 2017 version (for orders, visit @parvousph and @inabinablog—it’s super affordable, only php220!) 🙂

Here’s how I decorated my October spread. Loving how there’s enough space for decorating:


I personally recommend having it in your workspace for daily tasks. The monthly spreads can give you a quick overview of activities and tasks for the current month. You can also decorate the boxes for stress relief during lunchbreak heh. 🙂

Thanks, @parvousph! 🙂

The very first #ladiesdrawingnightPH (remote version)

It’s been my dream to organize a local version of #ladiesdrawingnight when I saw it in the feed of @juliarothman, @leahreenagoren and @rachaelcole a year or so ago. 🙂 It just seemed very cool and fun and I tried to organize one with willing friends but the unpredictable weather and traffic proves to be hindrances. I thought of having it online instead, using direct group messaging so I pitched this idea to tita @ella_lama who was game as well and to a few other friends. With her help and support we were able to push through with the first session a few minutes ago!

Our themes were desserts (using pink and yellow) and drinks (using brown and blue).

We had to finish our work within 45 minutes per theme and this is what everyone came up with:


To see and follow the artists who made each work, kindly see my instagram (@mabuhaydiy) for the tags. 🙂

Here’s mine!


If you want to join the next from the comfort of your home, it’s this Sunday, October 23, 9pm Philippine time. I’ll be posting the next theme in my instagram around that time as well so we can make art together at the same time. 🙂

What I’ve been up to: October 2016


I painted these and tried embossing for the first time for #YOUniverse! You can see some of it inside Local Edition coffeeshop, and I feel so grateful that the stars aligned and made my wishes come true: I finally got to try embossing and I was able to fulfill that dream of having some of my art displayed in a shop/store (even if only for a while!) Thank you, lucky stars, and friends @gelibalcruz and @kimilulifecoach for this opportunity. 🙂


Remember when I attended Valerie Chua’s floral painting workshop last year? I found the drawn peony template and I colored it using my new van gogh watercolor set. Loving this set and how great and pointy the brush is. I wanted to practice coloring so I did that last night. 🙂

These two below were painted using tutorials of @inkstruckstudio! I really had fun playing with the van gogh set and that’s what I used here as well. The pigments are smooth and highly saturated, just a bit goes a long way:



Happy Halloween in advance! Here’s a hipster manananggal for you:


Journal Journey series!

Hi everyone! I’m starting a new series here inspired by my journaling adventures. It’s no secret that I absolutely love journaling, and recently I’m happy that I got to meet friends who adore it as much as I do. You’ll be seeing their answers in this blog very soon, but I thought I’d begin it by answering the questions myself haha. I hope this inspires you to start journaling if you haven’t yet! If you love journaling and would like me to feature your journal, kindly email me here: 🙂
I’ve been featuring a flip through of my journals in my instagram (@mabuhaydiy), if you want to take a peek.
Let’s start!
1. What made you start journaling and when did you start?
When I was a kid I’ve always been obsessed with notebooks and paper. My mom is a writer and my aunt is an animator so I grew up hearing typewriter clacks and playing with my aunt’s art materials (shh). I guess you could say they inspired me to have this desire to write and to make art. Everyone in my family loved books and reading too and I am forever grateful that this lifetime allowed me to be surrounded by books and comics and magazines and paper since birth haha. I was given a diary with a lock for my 7th? 9th? 12th? birthday (I cannot remember exactly when, sorry haha), and I made that diary my BFF. I was a bit shy and very awkward in social situations so that diary was everything to me back then. I wrote on it daily and shared all my feelings and all the highlights of my day in it. I still have it, btw. A few years later before I graduated highschool I was also given a very colorful planner and a barbie scrapbook because everyone was very encouraging and I filled those two as well: the planner with quotes and song lyrics, the scrapbook with news articles I liked (spice girls and leonardo dicaprio interviews lol) and letters from pen pals and other evidence of obsessions. Those are my journaling roots, in various forms. I also was very devoted to my sticker and stationery collection at that time. I considered my sticker book one of my most-prized possessions. My spiral notebooks from class had some leftover clean pages so I removed the wire and bound them using yarn. Used some to begin ambitious YA novels, some as journals, some for art journals. Some of the pages made it till today:
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 1! I have a bullet journal for work and lists and quotes and tracking habits, a midori that I use as my travel journal/scrapbook/highlights of my day journal, a starbucks moleskine planner for daily gratitudes, and several little ones and thick ones for writing down self-help tips from podcasts, books and magazines haha. I haven’t included my sketchbooks because that’s a different story, heh. I’m quite in love with notebooks and paper in general.
My planner pages:
Some of my journals! I am not exaggerating when I say I probably have more than 50 filled journals for the past 10 years hahaha. I go through notebooks like popcorn:
3. What can we find in your journal pages? 
Everything! I write, experiment with art materials, document my days and highlights of my week, use it as a scrapbook, experiment with collage, etc. etc. I’m not too particular with what I can or cannot include there, I just like compartmentalizing so I have a bunch of journals half-filled all the time. I’m training myself to finish filling up the pages in my journals before I open a new one which is challenging (because #hoarder) but so far, so good! 🙂


4. Can you share your journaling routine and journaling process? How often do you journal? 
I basically journal when I’m not in a hurry. I like taking my time and preferably with some tea as my companion. I fill up my planner before I sleep and insert my ephemera in my midori journal so I can fill a page when I have free time. Mornings are spent on painting practice (right now am doing my #inktober project every morning).


5. What are your favorite brands for journaling and why? Do you have favorite stores for supplies?
Right now I’m loving the Midori Traveler’s Company number 13 refill. I got this from Scribe and I also love the stickers and foil washi tapes I got from beehappycrafts. I buy stickers from local makers too–from The Craft Central and Common Room.


6. What are your favorite journaling tools?
 Zebra brush pens, my waterbrush which is the best thing to have when you travel or want to make quick artworks (I have various waterbrushes from different brands like Pentel, Derwent, Craftdoodle, Craft Central hehe) and washi tapes, stickers, stamps. I also love brush pens for writing down titles or highlights of my day. And mildliners!
7. What’s the best thing about journaling that you wish everyone knew?
It’s the best gift for your future self. I’m forgetful and am thankful  my journals help me put things in perspective and remind me of how I should be grateful, always. They also serve as time capsules! You’d notice that if you draw something that you’re seeing in your journal on the spot, you’d remember everything about that moment when you see the image you’ve drawn sometime in the future. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be done, and it just has to be done by you. 🙂 I find that super magical, like an easter egg from the Universe.
8. Any tips on how people can get started with journaling?
Do it now. Just buy a notebook/sketchbook that is right for your budget and if you like writing, find a pen that you like so you can write on your journal a lot. If you want to fill your journals with art you can start with considering the medium you like best. Figure out when you want to journal. While waiting in line? While waiting for your food in restos? At home, while the baby sleeps? During lunchbreak? You’d discover that deciding when you want to journal and where you want to do it will highly influence the types of materials you will want to use. For example, I do my journaling in milktea places, without sockets mostly, so a heat gun and all the embossing paraphernalia might not work out for my journaling session, haha.
Start with what you already have, like a pen or pencil and maybe a basic 3-12 colors watercolor palette. Expand your toolkit when you’ve figured out what you want to record in your journal. But don’t stop experimenting! Remember that you’re doing this for yourself, and your eyes. It’s up to you if you want to share your pages or not.
Bring it with you all the time, everywhere. You never when inspiration might hit you. Consider having a small travel journal if you’re a commuter like me just so you can have it with you on the go, and one for home use.
Don’t be afraid to use it. Sometimes this is challenging especially if you’ve invested in a pricey, high-end journal. But remember why you started this journey, when you’re hesitant to use your materials. Your future you will be forever grateful you too the time to document your life right now. What I usually do when starting a new journal is to skip the first page. I just put the date there and move on to the next page. Always add the date somewhere in the beginning of your journal. Some people advice adding the date you filled it up at the last page as well. You’d see the benefits when your  filled journals have accumulated and you want to track your progress (or your life story).
9. What is inspiring you right now in your journaling journey?
I really love listening to podcasts by The Accidental Creative. They’re helpful and give tips for all aspects of life and I find that they’re soothing to listen to while I journal. I also enjoy artambays with friends where we meet in some place, have tea or dessert while working on our journals and while showing each other our journals.
If you’re restricted to journaling using only 2 tools, what would these 2 tools be and why?
Definitely my waterbrush and DIY watercolor palette. I can write using the brush and paint, because I like writing and making art in my journals. 🙂
Do let me know if you have additional questions you want me to add in this series, and just email me: if you want to be featured or if you want to request for me to feature a certain journal-keeper. 🙂
If you want to read more about the journaling journey of other creatives, please stay tuned! 🙂
Thanks for dropping by!

Hello #inktober 2016!

Last year I drew birds and this year I wanted to draw people. Specifically, I wanted to make more fashion illustrations. 🙂 So this year I’m doing my #30daysofpeopleinink project. 🙂 I use magazines for drawing reference because I do it every morning before work so I need something quick.




See more using the hashtag #30daysofpeopleinink in instagram 🙂

Artsycraftsy interview: Ella Lama

I was able to meet Ella through my good friend Geli and am so grateful our paths crossed this lifetime. Thank you Geli for introducing me to your “sister” Ella haha. I admire her work ethics and her creativity and she’s one of the people I look up to when it comes to marketing one’s services and products. Her playful and colorful designs always makes me smile as well!

Check out her lovely works below:

I felt very honored when she included my desk (well, a cleaner and neater version of it haha) in her #100days100desks project in instagram! I love that it had milk tea and my book tower in the artwork haha.


1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your art/craft.
– My name is Ella and I like drawing things. I started illustrating letters in 2012 and now I’ve expanded my drawing interests to include wildlife and everyday objects (I don’t have the guts to draw people yet!). I also have my own line of paper goods (with fabric products  coming soon!) which I sell at art fairs and at Common Room.

2. What are your favorite tools in creating art and why do you love them?
– I can live with a pencil, a brush pen (Zebra super fine tip), a sketch pad and tracing paper. I am having a digital phase right now, so all of my drawings are black and white and then I color them on the computer. When I do go analog I like playing with markers and more recently, gouache.

3. Can you tell us about your daily routine or your artistic process?
– I usually start my day with admin work so I don’t have to think about them anymore: replying to emails, paying taxes, making deliveries, etc. Then I do client work or if I don’t have any pending commissions I work on designing and prototyping stuff for my line. I finish the day by working on personal projects.

I work pretty long hours (from 10am to 2am sometimes) with multiple breaks in between. I also find that I take direction better in the morning so I choose to work on client commissions then.

4. What inspires you? What makes you excited?
– A lot of things! Nature, travel, milk tea, cute and fluffy animals, candy, books, product packaging, Japanese culture, sweets, basically anything! I always take notes of things that I find interesting and whenever I feel stuck I go over my notes to get ideas.

5. Who are the local and foreign artists you admire the most?
– Locally I admire Risa Rodil for her color sense, Kat Santos for her passion for learning and improving, Drea Dela Cruz and Denver Garza for their willingness to try new things, Cynthia Arre for her adaptability, Roma and Maan Agsalud for their work ethic, and Marcella Suller for her distinct drawing style. I also am inspired by (though not stylistically) Valerie Chua, Alexandra Paredes, Fran Alvarez, John Ed De Vera, Leigh Reyes, among many others.

I have an equally long list of foreign artists that have influenced me in my journey as an artist: Anna Bond, Lauren Hom, Jessica Hische, Mary Kate McDevitt, Katie Daisy, Julia Rothman, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Aiko Fukawa, Toshiyuki Fukuda, Bodil Jane, Mike Lowery, Helen Dardik, and many, many, many more.

6. Most inspiring place in the Philippines?
– Whenever I go to Baguio (or anywhere high in altitude) I feel relaxed and inspired. My friend, a meditation teacher, says it may have something to do with literally elevating my energy to meet the energy of the cosmos or something like that. I like to think in simpler terms: that I function better in cool weather.

Whenever I feel the need to ward off self-doubt or an impending creative block, I go to UP Diliman. I went there for college and it has taught me a lot about humility and hard work.

7. If you were stuck in an island and could only bring one art/craft tool with you, what would it be and why?
– I may be overthinking this, but I’d bring a camera with me, so I can make art out of materials in the island and digitize that with the camera. (What happens after the battery is drained? I haven’t considered that!)

8. Favorite snack/s while creating art?
Milk tea!!!!!

9. Earliest childhood memory related to arts/crafts?
– When I was in grade 4 I made dresses for my paper dolls (the selections that came with the package were too limited!). I liked drawing clothes so much that I made a coloring book featuring a girl named “Kate” for my younger sister.

10. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
– An astronaut! And then I got into journalism and wanted to become a writer. Then in high school my dreams became really vague: I just wanted to be filthy rich!!! To make the long story short, when I was a kid I didn’t dream of being an artist hahaha

11. What’s your current job now?
My official job title is “Punong Abala” in my own small creative business.

12. Favorite books and/or movies?
My recent favorites include Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, If on a winter’s night a traveller by Italo Calvino, The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin, So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport.

I don’t watch a lot of movies but my interests vary greatly from Inception to Begin Again to Spirited Away to Paddington.

13. What is your philosophy when creating/making art?
– “The outcome does not matter.” I’ve got this from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. As someone who is making a living through art, sometimes I get too conscious about and let the market decide what I make. I constantly need to remind myself that the act of creating is what’s important, and eventually my work will find a market for itself.

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?
–  If I have the chance to be reincarnated as someone else, I’d probably choose to live as Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press. I have so much love for print that I cannot imagine my life without paper and ink. He may not be an artist technically but the technology he introduced to the world enabled a lot of people to express their thoughts and to reach a wider audience.

Where can we see your awesome work?
– I am on Instagram (@ella_lama) and on Facebook ( I also (irregularly) talk about my work and process on my website (

My merch is sold in art fairs, at Common Room in Katipunan and Rockwell, Buku-buku Cafe in Las Piñas, and soon at The Craft Central in Greenbelt.

What are you working on right now?
– I am working on new items for the holidays and my new 100-day project, #100days100desks.

(Note: Ella and @hueandai started a color challenge called #colorexploration in instagram too! I joined them and so can you–just check out @colorexploration or #colorexploration)

All images are from

Thanks, Ella! 🙂