Artsycraftsy shenanigans, post-Easter edition

Met up with the crafty ladies for a craft tambay (we bought our fave tools!) and a mini-TWYK (Teach What You Know) sesh. Made some easter cards for them using the crayon-resist method and washi tape:


Also! I bought a new Speedball cutter and I’m sort of in love with it. Thanks, Aya! So much in love that I hand-carved a few stamps within a few days:ImageImage



Also tried linocutting! It was fun, but I was used to the soft erasers so it was a bit more challenging. I shall practice some more!: Here’s my first attempt, burnished using a negative canister;

Tippy taught me some watercolor techniques that I used in some watercolored paintings,

The day my hair became the sun:

For a friend’s birthday, she requested that I paint her a cake–I made her this cupcake, which is salted caramel, with strawberry orange buttercream icing and cherries:

Do you paint while traveling? I discovered that I like it, my waterbrush making it easier and super fun. I used my Prang set here and painted the Baler mountain view from memory, while we were on our way home. Also used some crayons for the crayon-resist effect:


I love sunsets and how it makes the world golden:


With the lovely crafty ladies:

Had a great time, girls! Sa uulitin!


Artsycraftsy interview series: Valerie Chua

Happy Easter! In keeping up with the theme of new beginnings, this here is a new series that I’m so excited about.

One of the things that I dreamt of when I started this blog was a series devoted to interviewing local artists and crafters who inspire me. The local arts and crafts community continues to grow and expand each day, and the influx of creative inspiration they provide never fails to amaze me.

To kick off this series, we have the super-talented Valerie Chua telling us more about her artistic process and sources of inspiration. I always love looking at her artworks because they transport me to a serene place filled with magic and wonder. Her use of color is gorgeous, and so are the girls in her paintings. (It’s my dream to own one!). I am in awe of her mastery of watercolor, especially since it’s a tricky medium for me. I find myself mesmerized by the intricate details in all of her pieces and her color palette with its soothing, calming hues.


A Game Over Tea




She Waited


Valerie Chua

1. What are your favorite tools in creating art and why do you love them?
I like working on paper using acrylic and watercolor. My tools are just the basic like paint brushes, pan sets, a spray bottle and paper.

2. Can you tell us about your daily routine or your artistic process?
I usually wake up at 7am. I start with cleaning my room, prepping my workspace and other morning necessities. I often start work at 9am. I take a lot of breaks in between and end work at around 5pm. Waking up early is very important for me. It makes and breaks my entire work routine so I never pull all-nighters unless it’s extremely important.

As for my process, I do a lot of thumbs and studies. I pick out what satisfies me the most and I work on this. I make color studies, enlarge it, refine it. 30% of the time it doesn’t turn out well so I repeat the entire process. It sometimes takes a while before I complete a work.

3. What inspires you? What makes you excited?
Traveling excites me a lot. When I’m in a different place I take a lot of photos. Looking at them gets me in a drawing appetite. I also like facial features. When I don’t know what to draw, I start with Aoi Yu, houses or plants.

4. Earliest childhood memory related to arts/crafts?
When I was 8, I had a cousin who drew girls a lot. I tried to copy her style. When I stopped seeing her a year later, I stopped drawing.

5. What is your philosophy when creating/making art?
Don’t think, just do.

Check out more of her work here:

All the images above were taken from Valerie’s website.

Thank you for sharing, Valerie! 🙂

Artsycraftsy exploration: Bali

Hello, how’ve you been? I just got home from my wonderful vacation in Bali. The place was filled with beautiful art and handmade artistry could be seen everywhere: from the stone and wood carvings that adorn the houses and walls to the meticulously-made symbolic offerings and luscious batik and woven textiles.

Ubud was the center of artistic endeavors in the area, and it actually reminded me of our very own rustic Vigan and the handmade items there, mixed with that Paete charm (with its woodcarvings).
Wherever you look in Bali, you’d see a melding of fine craftsmanship and their spiritual belief, which is predominantly Hindu.

I was lucky enough to be able to try silversmithing and lontar (palm tree leaves) etching.

Here I am having a go at silversmithing:Image

Lontar etching is used when they make the traditional Balinese calendar.

I thoroughly enjoyed my lontar etching experience and want to learn more about it!


Here are some of the lovely things that caught my eye:


The Nyepi had just finished when we arrived and we saw some Ogoh-ogohs (or at least that’s what I thought they were) in the area, simjilar to our higantes. They symbolize malevolent spirits, then the villagers burn it afterwards.

This is the hind of a giant Barong made of plants. Wow!


There were a lot of motorbikes everywhere, and this person’s helmet made me smile:


Sorry about the blurry photo! We passed by this house so quickly that I just managed to take a quick snapshot of it. Love how the roof has that colorful pattern:


Read more about my Bali adventure here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Wandering wonderer: Bali

DIY galaxy Chucks

I’ve been seeing a lot of galaxy prints lately in clothes, bags and shoes, and I’m glad about this trend because the cosmos has always been a source of fascination for me. Saw a nice pair of shoes with a pinkish galaxy print in Forever 21 but for around the same price, I thought it might be better to invest in a new pair of Chucks. My ratty old pair celebrated its tenth birthday recently and it’s so worn out that when I step on puddles, my heels get wet because the sole has tons of holes, heh.

I treated myself to a new pair and chose an all-black one because I wanted to try customizing it with a galaxy print. Why buy when you can DIY, right? 🙂

There are lots of tutorials online (google galaxy print shoes. Thank you, lovely generous people of the interwebs) but this is the lazy-arse way of doing it, with cheapo materials from local bookstores. The original plan was to make a detailed tutorial but my hands got too messy and I forgot to take photos of some of the procedures because I was so engrossed with the process, so apologies for the lack of photos.

What you’ll need:

– Shoes made of canvas material, preferably black or dark blue so that it’d look more “spacey”

– Acrylic paint. I used an acrylic paint set from Color & Co, around Php100+ from National. You’ll probably just use the blues, the reds and the white tubes.

– Masking tape

– Very important: A sponge brush. I got myself this nice sponge brush from Fully Booked for around Php90, but I think you can also try using plain sponges.

– An old toothbrush



1. Cover the non-canvas areas with masking tape. I originally used yellow, but that ran out, so I switched to blue, but that ran out as well, so I ended up using brown paper tape from Daiso. It’s better to use plain masking tape, though, since the brown tape wouldn’t stick to itself.

2. Mix the paint so you’d get a nice royal shade of blue, purple, and pink. It’s up to you. I saw a tutorial that used bleach, but we didn’t have bleach so I wasn’t able to try it. The results of bleach against black canvas would be orangey, and that’s also nice. Try it in a small hidden area first to see if you like the results. Dab the paint with the sponge, spreading it gently. A small amount of paint goes a long way, so it’s better to layer them. Use alternating colors. You can search for galaxy images online and use them as reference if you want.


3. When you’re satisfied with it, dip the toothbrush in a mixture of white paint and water. Then flick the toothbrush atop your design to create stars. Another technique is to try drawing tiny stars with white paint and a toothpick, but I tried it and it messed things up so I’m not sure about this idea. Try it and see if you like the results more. Image

4. Peel off the tape and admire your masterpiece. Voila! I’m thinking of replacing the black shoelaces with something more striking, maybe shoelaces in hot pink or purple.


Feel free to ask me if you have any questions, though, and I’ll try my best to answer them. 🙂

Happy DIY-ing!

Ticking off items from my crafty bucket list and new music-inspired papercuts

It’s only March but I’m glad to report that I’m feeling accomplished lately when I check out my artsycraftsy bucket list.
I was invited by Genie to join this fab foodie blogging event called “Our Growing Edge”. Read more about it here.

It’s no secret that I love food and eating, and this year has been turning out to be a very good year for food (diet schmiet!).

Aside from being able to finally taste food items and restos that are on my gluttonous wishlist (Carmen’s Best, Echo store resto, Stella and Circles, among others), I was also able to tick off food-related items from my artsycraftsy bucket list:

1. Make my own jam. Full post here.
I was pleasantly surprised with the end-product, and although it was pinker than the usual, it tasted just like what you’d imagine a chili-strawberry-basil jam to taste like. Meaning, it was edible, which was a relief. Haha.


2. Make a bento for me and my life partner. She’s on a raw diet so it was a bit harder to come up with a meal that wasn’t too light and to think of ways to design the bento, but I took it as a challenge. Read more about it in this post.


Here’s my updated artsycraftsy bucket list (it’s still growing, by the way!)

* Try embroidery
* Embroider on paper
* Make my own chalkboard paint
* Paint chip art
* Make that wrap dress
* Paint on those wooden matryoshkas
* Make a “tribute to artists I love” post/craft
* Make a paper quilt

I also made some new papercuts! They’re inspired by songs from Tegan and Sara and Stars (I still have a concert high):
Walking with a ghost/We don’t want your body:


Tried to make a 3d/pop-up papercut, words from my favorite Stars song, and a gentle reminder to continue living with hope and a happy heart:

Alice’s Dream and my first bento

For the first time, I tried papercutting at home. I was sprawled on the floor with my cutting mat propped against my legs and cutting very slowly and carefully lest I end up slashing my legs instead. I started this at CBTL but had to leave since it was getting too late and finished it at home. Here’s ‘Alice’s Dream’, because I love Alice and her curiosity:


One of the items in my craft bucket list include preparing a nice bento lunch for my love. I always enjoy checking out bento photos online and am amazed at how meticulously prepared they are, and how they look too pretty to eat! I got what was left from my paid VL (one day? two? haha)  and rushed to the nearest Japan Home Store for some bento paraphernalia:


Decorated the jellies with handmade stickers from Richelle and some deco tape from Frances (thanks, girls!).

The partner’s on a diet and can’t eat a lot of fried food so I made what I think is a healthy mix of savory and sweet: Panda egg with cucumber bamboo forest, herb-y steamed young corn with olive oil, orange wedges and apple with orange juice and freshly-cracked pepper for zing, and raisins as a pebbly surprise:Image

For me, almost the same thing, in a nifty ichigo bento box:


The night before that, I pretended to be Alice and had myself a wee tea party. My tea pot is smiling (because she likes washi too, apparently) and I filled her with healthy malunggay tea which I drank in my handmade stoneware cup and saucer set from Crescent Moon.

I also adore the beautiful packaging of Vanilla Cupcake Bakery! I wanted to treat myself to a cupcake after a long day at work and was so pleasantly surprised when I saw the teapot box:



Check out the scallops on that handle! Lovely.Image

New papercut banner and a selfie

I’ve been planning on making my own banner for this blog for the longest time and I was finally able to do it today!

Incorporated some DIY elements like stitches, DIY tools (pencil, scissors, a paintbrush) and my very own merbird and cursive handwriting. It’s also inspired by balloons because I like ’em and they commemorate my eternal state of hyperactivity. I’m hoping they’d remind me to stay hopeful and positive eternally too.


Inspired by Mansy’s self-portrait and that I Made Face app, I made a papercut version of mah face and my favorite expression:


I’m planning on challenging myself by making a papercut of one of my favorite quotes. To be honest, I’ve always had the worst handwriting ever, and it pulled down my average grade back in grade school because I always got seventy somethings in penmanship, haha :

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.“- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wish me luck!

Artsycraftsy bucket list weekend

An Alice-themed Dr.Sketchy Sketchmob, joining Ukulele Manila and trying sidewalk chalk art! All those items were ticked off my bucket list today, Yay!

I’ve always wanted to join in the events of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School Philippines and I was able to join them today in a sketchmob at the fort today (another item in ze list!). I got even more excited when I found out that the theme was Alice, which I loved.

While waiting, I was able to try Carmen’s Best Salted Caramel ice cream at the Echo Store (new fave tambay place!) while I did this papercut entitled “Amihan’s Dream”:


The other day I made another papercut that I called “Lyra’s Dream”. Am planning to make a series of papercuts revolving around the themes of dreaming, flights of fancy and feminism. Maybe I can make that “Have my works displayed in an art exhibit” dream come true some day soon? (Hint, hint, Universe) Haha. 🙂

Met up with a friend from fashion school and we got to know the awesome people behind the event.


Free tattoo stickers!


Here’s the first pose:
Which I tried to draw using my favorite drawing tool, my calligraphy pen, and then I realized that using it to draw in less than 15? 20? minutes was more stressful than satisfying. Especially when I couldn’t erase errors and had to draw hands. I really have a hard time drawing hands. Must practice more:


Did the next drawing using a normal pencil this time:


After that I got to meet some of the great guys from Ukulele Manila. I shamelessly introduced myself to them and told them I wanted to be part of their group and they were very gracious and welcoming. (I’m now a part of their group too!). The partner and I have been jamming with my lolo’s pamana ukelele each night (that I covered with washi in this post and I can’t wait to learn more about playing it and jamming with the group. 🙂
Saw beautiful lampposts at BGC:


Got to try another item from my bucket list: Sidewalk chalk art! Huzzah! The Doodle Art Enthusiasts group was there at the BGC walkway, doodling with colorful chalk and accommodating doodle requests. Was able to doodle as well, some LSPs and my merbird!
‘Twas a lovely, artsycraftsy day. ❤ Happy Sunday!

DIY solid perfume, homemade jam and Art Fair Phils 2013 preview

So happy I got to tick off several items in my craft bucket list today!

1. Create my own scent, make solid perfume:
Got my recipe from BUST magazine, and tweaked it to my liking. Ended up with this rollable solid perfume, which smells like that Olive spray from Body Shop with tangerine notes and a hint of mint.

2. Make my own jam:
I got the recipe from BUST magazine as well! I tweaked it again, and the result is this Chili Strawberry Basil jam:

Here are my handmade homemade items, decorated with washi, lace tape, and a calligraphed label:


3. Make my own decorative tape:

I also made ,my own fabric tape using nice trim! It was a bit tedious though, since I hated cutting straight lines, so I’ll probably just do this to the amount that I have to use at that moment:

Today I also attended Art Fair Philippines 2013 (post about it soon!) and left it feeling inspired and fangirly.
Everything was incredible. All the artists are so talented and creative–go see it for yourself, the exhibit’s still up till February 10.

Here are some of my faves:
“Dream Awakening” by Daniel Dela Cruz (metal sculpture)


“Cessation of Birds’ Song (Dusk)” by Geraldine Javier


“Untitled 1-10” by Bernardo Pacquing


This piece made with thread on silk by Eugenia Alcaide


“Moon Roof” by Louie Cordero (with a shell frame)


P.S. I’m working on a project involving another item in my grand bucket list, which is to self-publish a book. This time it would be filled with some flash fiction that I wrote and handmade mixed media collages involving crafts I made recently. So excited about this, stay tuned!

P.S.S. Just saw more than ten sets of fireworks, it felt so magical. My year of Magic and Wonder has been unfolding like a very good dream recently, thanks to the Universe. Happy Chinese New Year!