Exploring the universe: Coco Grove resort, Batangas

I’m so happy that I was able to visit the beach twice in less than a month!

This time we stayed at Coco Grove resort, and I snapped some photos to help me remember how much fun we had.

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Had a quick lunch at Cafeño, and I really enjoyed the tamales and the adobo flakes with rice:

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So glad I was able to make some art at the beach! 🙂

What I’ve been up to: April 2017

We went to the beach! My first beach trip for the year, and it was at Laiya Coco Grove, Batangas. Spent a lot of time journaling and attempting to paint:

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Went to a Hobonichi meetup where the Tokyo Hobonichi team joined us! 🙂 Here’s our hobonichi stack photo which is more of a hobonichi wall haha 🙂

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Attended sakura gelly roll’s kawaii journaling workshop with chichi! Drew a bikini babe because summer haha:

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Joining #the100dayproject because I want to push myself again. Hope I can finish this project! Mine is #100daysofobsessions:

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P.s. Makiko, the illustrator for Hobonichi drew us in our planners! So awesome.

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I gave them a washi watercolor artwork inspired by my sherbet hobonichi. I hope they like it:

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Exploring the Universe: La Luz, Batangas

A few months ago, we visited one of our favorite resorts in Batangas: La Luz!

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I have been here several times already, but this is the first time that I got to snorkel without my family and friends with me. They were resting, and the sun was up and the sea looked so inviting, so I went on my own. Confession: I’m not really that good of a swimmer, and some fishes scare me but I decided that this was the time I was going to face my fears. After all, I was wearing a life jacket, and other people were also swimming in the area. This was also the time that I was participating in the #30bravedays challenge, so I was feeling extra brave. And competitive.

So I did what I was afraid of doing. And I was able to take photos of some pretty cool (not scary-looking) fishes. I swam up to the raft in the middle of the sea and got to see a blowfish–which was exciting, but also very surprising (and scary) so I was panic-swimming for a bit. I think I swallowed some seawater in shock.
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Here are just some of the fishes I saw:
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I had to take a selfie at the raft because it was a major accomplishment for me:

I didn’t take after my dad, obviously, who swims as far as he could each time we visit a beach, (see below) but baby steps:
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Before the sun set, I explored the borders of the resort. I reached the rocky cliff and hiked to the top of it:
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View from the cliff:
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The next morning, I had some heart-shaped pancakes which I ate with brown sugar, and some eggs:
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I collect kitty photos. I saw this lovely cat when we arrived:
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The day ended with a lovely meal at Casa Rap, but that’s another story. Happy Sunday!
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Exploring the Universe: California-Shell beach and highway 41 (or, am I in a Stephen King story?)

On our way to Sacramento, we passed by Shell Beach, CA, where I saw a pelican for a first time! Or something that resembles a pelican, I’m not sure:

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I had to camwhore with all the whales and dinosaurs because they were there, and I was there too:

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I realized recently that I quite enjoy taking landscape photos inside a moving vehicle. I like the imperfections, and there are bound to be a lot of wonkiness in the shot: blurred trees, blurred land, blurred everything mostly. But when I do get lucky and the vehicle slows down a bit when I take the shot, I get pictorial souvenirs that remind me of how I got to my destination, a reminder to always keep my eyes peeled for interestingness.
(All the photos below are taken with my point-and-shoot-canon cam, while inside a moving car, apologies for the blurriness)

We traversed Highway 41, and it was nice and peaceful—at first.

The sun was setting, the view looked lovely, and rows upon rows of trees have orange leaves (I’m from a tropical country so this was something special).

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I always read about red barns so I was excited when I saw one:
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For some reason, I’ve always associated barns and the vast expanse of the countryside with a Stephen King story so I kind of gave myself the creeps when I took that photo.

The lack of vehicles made the journey through the highway unnerving. The sharp curved roads that went on for what seemed like miles made me nauseous. There was a speed limit so we couldn’t slow down, especially since there was a car trailing us. When we finally saw a chance to stop for a bit, I had to go down since I wasn’t feeling that well. The air helped, but when I looked at the surrounding areas, I knew we had to hurry and leave the highway before nightfall. I wasn’t sure about this, but I didn’t see any lampposts in the road. My imagination was working overtime and thinking of Stephen King-y scenarios and it was really creeping me out.

I still took some snaps of the area though:

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When we finally got off the highway, these ravens bid us goodbye:

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The day ended on a happy note, with my newfound love, Jack In The Box’s Sourdough burger. Mmm, burger:

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Vivitar-ing beaches

I miss the beach and the feeling of sand between my toes. To channel the beach vibe, I’ve been staring at my trompe l’oeil beach view (tutorial here) and eating lots of tropical fruit and drinking coconut juice.

Since I’ve only gotten my film prints developed recently, they’re nice time capsules, reminding me of my past trip to Boracay with my partner and beach-hopping all over Laiya with my family.

Good times.

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DIY: Miniature trompe l’oeil beach view and papercutting attempts

Happy Friday, everyone!

I was checking our old beach photos and getting a bit nostalgic. I miss the beach and that summery vacation vibe, that excitement of looking forward to exploring our glorious islands and being one with nature–when it occurred to me: why not bring the beach to me? I’d love to be able to imagine that each day the beach is just outside our window, within my reach.

It’s an easy way to brighten your walls and remind you of how lucky we are to be living in a tropical paradise:

What you’ll need:

-A colored printout of a beach photo (or any photo of nature, or what you want to see), I wanted it to be miniature so I printed it in a super small size, but it’s up to you

-Washi tape (preferably brown to mimic windows or white or gray)

-Lace tape (optional)

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STEPS:

1. Place a washi tape border on all sides of your photo:

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2. Trim evenly and cut a thin strip of washi to be pasted in the middle to mimic a window. I did it three ways here: horizontally, vertically and both ways. I also added a strip of real lace tape to mimic lace curtains. You could also stick real fluttering fabric if you want, for that whimsical effect:

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Enjoy your beach view!

In other news, I have my list of crafty challenges and papercutting is one of them. Inspired by Rob Ryan’s intricate papercuts, I have attempted to make my own papercut art several years ago and failed miserably. I sucked at it, and almost nicked myself so I stopped and decided that it just wasn’t for me. Fueled by the new year and inspired by local crafters, I challenged myself today to try it again and made a merbird for my first attempt:

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I felt more satisfied with the results now than the results before so I made another one:Image

I felt like doing another one without thinking of a design in mind. I just wanted to cut shapes that are angular since I discovered that I didn’t really enjoy cutting curves, but then out of the blue this forest was formed and this kitty emerged. And then the fishes arrived:

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I surprised myself with this one, I never imagined I would like the act of papercutting, but now I do. Can’t wait to create other papercut designs in the future. 🙂

DIY: Pattern stamps, sea glass pendants and calligraphed washi cards

I drank a lot of tea yesterday and couldn’t sleep. Since I knew I didn’t have to wake up early the next day (yay!), I brought out my craft supplies and crafted the night away. Alessa‘s pattern stamps had me so inspired that I tried and made some of my own. Before carving though, I tried to make a rainbowy stamp pad first, using tube watercolors. Pink is my favorite color so there has to be pink there too:

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The first pattern stamp I did (lower right) reminded me of Mexican bunting or Papel picado. I got so excited by the results that I made another one. This time I didn’t plan a design, I mostly wanted to test the wood carving tools Rox so generously lent me. I actually like the results, which looks like a galaxy (leftmost).Image

The other day I found my sea glass stash. I got it from our Laiya trip years ago with office friends. It was rainy and I saw that the shore was filled with sea glass, which I adore. When they saw me scanning the shoreline for these, my office friends went searching for them as well, and I ended up with more than a fistful because of their help. 🙂 For our assignment in fashion design class last year, we were tasked to design gowns for a wedding. My wedding was sea-themed, and the bridal gown was light and lacey, the color of sand,  embroidered with accents that mimic the sea: tiny coral-colored beads, and intricate wire-wrapped bits of sea glass.

I painted the sea glass with acrylic paint, and am planning on making it a pendant. Here they are inside my handmade stoneware that I made in pottery class:Image

Made some washi cards with calligraphy the other day too!

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Craft snack: Oranges, my favorite fruit after Philippine mangoes. Look how Lanelle Abueva’s stoneware plate made them look all the more appealing and yummy:Image