How I decorate my planners and journals

It’s no secret that I adore stickers and washi tapes. I used to try and use as little of them as possible because I didn’t want them to run out so fast.

This year, though, that all changed. I met my fellow #artitas who are as addicted to washi tapes and stickers as I am and met a lot of planner-loving friends who even use planner stickers specifically made for planners. 🙂 Inspired by them, I vowed to make this year the year that I’d use my hoarded stuff to make each day happier and more fun. I also discovered how some of my old stickers lost their “stickiness” which means that I better use these babies up. And fast.

I used to have a rule that confined my sticker usage to my daily gratitude planner (take a peek into my planners in my instagram: @mabuhaydiy) but I scrapped that rule because seeing cute stickers everywhere makes me so happy. 🙂

For my gratitude planner, I highlight a memorable happy thing that day using brush lettering and then list down other faves from that day. I use washi tapes and stickers to fill up spaces:

image

Sometimes I use the stickers or stamps as bullets:

image

A tip I learned from my planner-loving friends: Decorate a page or a spread in the future with washi and stickers and then just jot down notes on said page/s when that day arrives to save you time on decorating. I do it sometimes when I have plans or events.

For my “anything goes journal/planner” (which is basically filled with bigger illustrations and detailed descriptions of food I ate lol), I use the stickers/stamps/washi tapes for borders and for sticking ephemera or food labels:

image

I also do brush calligraphy of quotes in my journals and doodle or paint food.

My good friend Ella uses her stickers for decorating her gadgets and walls and project life scrapbook, so you can also consider those as additional use of the stickers and tapes you’ve hoarded, haha.

You can buy these stickers, washi tapes (loving the foil ones!) and stamps from my new fave online store: @beehappycrafts (They have so many artsy craftsy stuff there–you can easily lose precious hours just from ogling their sticker options :)). The stickers, foil tapes and washi tapes I used in the photos above are all from beehappycrafts loot btw. 🙂

P.s. I just had to take more photos of my haul. Can’t get over how pretty the stickers and foil tapes are! Also getting addicted to clear stamps, heh. Thank you for existing and making this sticker fiend very happy, beehappycrafts! 🙂

image

image

Beehappycrafts
Instagram: @beehappycrafts
Online store: beehappyph.com

Advertisements

30 brave days

“Brave” isn’t really a word I use to describe myself. I consider myself shameless, yes, and maybe strange, but never brave. For some reason, I equate being “brave” with grand things that aren’t really on my bucket list, like skydiving, or swimming with sharks.

When I stumbled upon the “30 brave days” challenge from Arriane’s blog: http://wanderrgirl.com, I knew this was something I should be part of. Seeing the other acts of bravery from the other participants made me realize that just going out of my comfort zone is enough to warrant it a “brave” act. It doesn’t have to be grand, and it doesn’t have to be impressive to others, but it has to be something meaningfully courageous to YOU.

I have a neverending list of stuff in my private bucket list in my listography (http://listography.com/aphazia), and each time I try something new, I add it to my “Happy Times” list.

Aside from my dream trip to Japan, I’m actually pretty surprised that the Universe helps me tick off items in that list. Slowly but surely. Mostly in surprising serendipitous ways.

One of the items there included seeing one of my fave bands, Moonpools & Caterpillars live. Alas, I didn’t have enough funds for a ticket and had to accept that I might not be able to see them this time. A few days before the event, our good friend Evee, was kind enough to give us two passes! I think I almost cried a bit with happiness.

My first entry involved me playing the short harmonica intro to their song “Summertime” because I haven’t played my harmonica in public (see it in my instagram feed: http://instagram.com/aphazia). Started it last April 9 too, coinciding with Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor). My lolo was a Bataan death march survivor and one of the bravest and kindest people I know so I am doing this in honor of him as well.

Day 2 involved me drawing using a pin and nail polish, since I’ve always admired Katie Rodgers’ artworks using a pin and paintblobs (check out her instagram:http://instagram.com/paperfashion)

image

Day 3 involved having my harmonica signed by Moonpools & Caterpillars, and asking them all for hugs (thanks again, Evee! :))

image

image

image

It was a great night with a lot of jumping, dancing, singing, and fangushing, heh.

Day 4 involved painting on blank wooden matryoshkas. I received this as a gift from my mom years ago and always dreamt of painting them but I was scared of messing it up, so I never did.

But the #30bravedays challenge seems to be working in making me braver, so this morning, I decided that today was the day:

image

I learned a lot from today’s painting adventure:

1. Use paint that isn’t clumpy and a good quality brush. My acrylic paint was clumpy and my brush was losing its hair and it was a bit annoying.

2. Build up your layers. This is my first time to paint wood, so that’s another item ticked off my list!

3. Who cares if it isn’t perfect?

On moving and attachment

A few months ago, we were blessed with a fantastic opportunity, which we immediately grabbed. This blessing would mean we’d have to move and we accepted that with giddy hearts. We’re not yet truly done with the whole moving shebang, but I couldn’t resist decorating the new place even when it’s not the top priority–eep!

The previous tenants used extra-strong double-sided tape in affixing stuff to the wall, so there are some unsightly adhesive spots. Since I had to cover these spots, I stuck some of my artworks and art/snailmail that I received from awesome people to the walls using my ever-favorite washi tape.

Image

Image

Image

ImageI’m happy about the numerous white walls I can affix stuff to and our bookshelf! I’ve always wanted a tall bookshelf with a glass panel so that it won’t be too dusty (asthmatic problems hehe) and hard to clean, and so that I can admire them books–my preciousssessss.

But! We’ve also invested in some under-the-bed storage boxes and filled four (!!) of them with books and magazines. We’ve also converted some cabinets that should be for shoes into bookshelves, cause for me and my partner, books trump shoes.

Our former home didn’t have an elevator, so it was quite a challenge moving with these babies. These are only half of what I’ve decided I couldn’t part with.

book

ImageI’m a morning person and I love the sun. However, the afternoon glare is a bit too wild in this new place. I didn’t like the flimsy white curtains sold at the mall, and couldn’t find dainty lace ones (any leads?). The thick white ones were too pricey. Good thing I was able to buy a fabric shower curtain that had this nice metallic gold and white pattern in one side, and silver and white in the back side. I wasn’t able to buy curtain hooks so I made do with what I had, and used safety pins. Success!

I want to hoard those shower curtains, but the one I saw seemed to be the last piece. Heh.

Speaking of hoarding, the main lesson I’ve learned with this move (this is the third time I’ve moved) is that I should lessen my hoarding and my attachment to material things. I gave away more than thirty books and more than fifty magazines that I loved and cherished to people who might be able to give them better homes than just throwing them. I wanted to donate them to charity but I don’t have a car and it’s a challenge lugging them around. I also considered selling them since I could use the moolah, but it was a bit more complex setting that up, (bank deposit, coordination, shipping, meetups, etc.) and I needed all the time I could get, so I decided to just give them away. For weeks I’ve carried some to work for office friends who might be interested. I hope they like them, and that they’re well taken care of. 🙂

I also realized that I’ve accumulated quite a lot of arts/crafts materials, since I tend to forget that I already bought this brush/card set. My goal starting now is to organize my supplies more, so this won’t happen again. I should also use these hoarded materials, which is what I’m doing now with my washi tape. If you’ve taken a peek at my Instagram account, username’s @aphazia, you’ve seen these already:

ImageImage

I like the designs of Cath Kidston so I used my pretty floral mint green and pink washi tape and used it to decorate the cabinets. I’m happy I got over my fear of using the pricey washi tapes and realized how life quickly changes and how each day should be filled with things that make you happy. So go on and use that nice perfume before it evaporates, dress up (you never know what possibilities await you!), go wild with your expensive art supplies and make beautiful art, or make a mess–just use it now if it gives you joy. 🙂 Have fun creating!

PixaRoll magnets and endless possibilities

I got another snailmail surprise from PixaRoll yesterday!

Remember how delighted I was with my PixaRoll prints a few days ago? Well, that joy was multiplied (9 times to be precise, haha), when I got my 9 magnets from PixaRoll, yay!

I selected some artworks I’ve done, some nice places I want to always remember, and even a cheesy photo of myself and my partner on our 6th year. Memories immortalized in cute little magnets. I used the magnetic borders and collaged them with washi tape to create faux moveable “frames”. You can stick them side by side to create a panoramic view if you want. Stick a flat tin pan in your wall and use it as a memo board, with magnets instead of thumbtacks. Give them as gifts to people you love this holiday season. Stick them in a circle to enfold a love note in your ref. If you have a magnetic poetry set, you can combine it with witty text about the photo for quirky home decor. How about covering the whole ref door with personalized magnets? These magnets are made for fun times, I tell you.

Image

Image ImageImageAs of now, the PixaRoll PH Facebook page already has 800 likes. Just a few more to reach 1000! When it does reach that target, the prints would be cheaper–wouldn’t you like that as well? 🙂 Let’s spread the word and like the page! 🙂

Thanks, PixaRoll!

DIY: Quick, cheap, and easy monotype prints

The other night I made some monotype prints. A monotype is a print that’s made by pressing paper against an inked or painted surface.

It’s slightly different from a monoprint. Basically a monotype uses a featureless plate that would result in one unique print, while a monoprint uses a plate with permanent features like texture or lines that will persist in each print, depending on how the plate was inked before the printing process. This link explains it in more detail.

Since I have little patience and even less moolah, I’ve revised the usual way of doing monotype print (meaning it usually involves a brayer and a glass sheet/plexiglass which I don’t have). I’m sharing my quick, easy, and cheap monotype tutorial with you!

What you’ll need:

– Watercolor paint in tubes. Or if you want it to not dry up so fast, try oil paint.

– Palette knife (optional-you can also use a chopstick, a straw, a blunt knife, old credit cards or old call cards, ballpen cap, matches, or none at all, since I primarily used my fingers heh)

– Flat plastic packaging (recycle! I used the plastic from the art paper but if you have extra plastic cover that will also probably work), use only one side, so for the plastic packaging, cut it so that you’ll have two plastic sheets

– Sturdy tape (I used strong paper tape which I got from Daiso)

– Paper for making prints (I used plain oslo paper, and neon construction paper)

– Newspaper for the mess

– Brush (optional)

Image

HOW TO DO IT:
1. You’ll be using the plastic sheet as your pseudo-plexiglass surface. This is your printing plate. Stick it to the newspaper and stick it again to a smooth surface using your tape. Or not. I stuck mine to the newspaper atop my yoga mat since that’s where I craft (and eat and do yoga but that’s another story)
Image

2. Squeeze your paint directly onto your plastic sheet. Or you can mix up the colors that you want first, but this is how I did mine:

Image

I squeezed all the colors I wanted here onto the plastic sheet:

Image

3. Now the fun begins! Using the palette knife or whatever tool you want), move the paint around the plastic sheet to make your design. Work fast, or the paint might dry! I just made random swirls. Imagine you’re the great artist Rafael Pacheco and try finger painting, which is what I did. Highly enjoyable and relaxing as well. I like the feeling of making a creative mess with my hands:

Image

Interlude: My messy hands:

Image

The top of my paper tape was waxy, so that’s what I used as a makeshift mixing plate:

Image

4. When you’re happy with your design, it’s time to create your print! They often said that the paper should be damp, but I didn’t have a spray bottle for the water or a huge flat pan so I used dry paper. Try working with damp paper next time, and make sure you pat it into a semi-dry state using a towel, so it’s not that drippy. In printmaking class, we sandwiched the dripping paper between a folded towel. You can try that if you want, experiment and see which technique you like best.

I used dry oslo paper. It helps if you hold the two diagonal corners while pressing it down to your design so that there are no air bubbles. Work quickly, before the watercolor paint dries! Which is what happened to me, oops. Press the paper against the paint with your hands or the back of a wooden spoon or a brayer if you have one, but what I did was to use my body weight for less effort. Meaning: I stomped on top of the paper (but to be more effective, you must walk slowly in every area of the paper. Careful not to drag the paper accidentally!). I read about this technique from this wonderful printmaking book called “Hand Printing from Nature: Create Unique Prints for Fabric, Paper, and Other Surfaces Using Natural and Found Materials” by Laura Donnelly Bethmann. A must-read if you’re interested in creating your own prints!

Image

5. You now have your finished one-of-a-kind print! What’s great about the monotype technique is that the results are wonderfully unpredictable, so if you like surprise artworks, you’d definitely like experimenting with this printing technique. 🙂 If you’re using watercolor paint, you have to keep in mind that you have to work pretty fast or else the paint will dry up in the plastic sheet. Some details did not appear since they were already dry, but that’s okay.

Image

Here’s my first attempt. I did abstract works for now, but am looking forward to making monotype merbirds in the near future!

Image

P.S.
I poured a lot of water atop the plastic sheet and pressed paper against it and loved the wash I got:
Image

Take a peek at my other tutorials here. 🙂

Read more about my printmaking adventures here.

Artsycraftsy shenanigans, April-May

Printmaking activities–my first collagraph:
Image
Here it is with color, Mariposa’s dream. I created a papercut and added additional elements from nature:

Image

With my classmates and instructors:

Image

Aside from the glorious sunset after class, I also enjoy chasing this elusive kitty:

Image
After last week’s class I was able to see my very first real sunflower! I’m not from UP so this is magical for me, heh:

Image

We ate at ROC and met a playful kitty who stood up on her hind legs just to play with the string on my shirt hahaha. That same kitty kept on meowing for our attention and which woke up this sleeping beauty:

Image

I ordered a Speedball E-Z carve rubberblock from Aya and made a mini rubbercut print of an elephant, because I love elephants:

Image

Aside from learning about Printmaking from the PAP, I’m also learning about basic art concepts from the great master Fernando Sena. I wish I took up art classes from him when I was younger but oh well, it’s never too late! I’m learning so much, and I’m planning to take more lessons until I finish the entire course. Maybe after that I can finally achieve my dreams of having my works exhibited hehe (hint, hint, Universe! 🙂 ).

I learned about shading:
Image

…and drawing portraits. Here’s my dad and mom:

ImageImage

I also learned figure drawing. We were given scantily-clad muscled men drawings to imitate and we were instructed to dress them up. I chose to make them women:

Image
Pastel never really appealed to me, until I learned how to use it properly. The trick is to really push it hard against the paper and not leave the white trace of the paper underneath. I always get amazed when it blends smoothly with previous colors, but my hands are really sore recently because of the muscle strain. I’m a bit pressured when drawing in class and I get shy when people check out my work but tell myself it’s part of the learning process.

Our assignment was to draw a local landscape scene and I chose a photo I took of Mt. Pinatubo’s crater, when we climbed it several years ago. The crater lake is originally just blue because the sun was too hot and didn’t cast shadows on the lake but the teacher repaired it and added shadows, which gives it more depth. I tell myself it’s a collab between me and the master and I get the giddies hahaha.

Image

Before that, we had to draw this landscape scene involving this bahay kubo:

Image

My classes have inspired and motivated me to keep on drawing and crafting, and I find myself with that growing desire each day, which leads me to overstuff my bag with materials I think I might use like these mint-colored pens and pencil, ready for the muse’s call. Or maybe that’s just an excuse to hoard, and look (and use when there’s time) at these pretties:

Image

I’ve been drawing my food more often.

Pink apple mangoes, painted using watercolor:

Image

Pondering Pon de ring donut ponders how YOLO:

Image

Pon de rings I drew with pastel before I ate them:

Image
I’ve stopped cutting paper temporarily because it also hurts my hand (and it’s still achy from the pastel dorkwings) but I kept on thinking of making something like this so I made it anyway. Papercut and watercolor:

Image

Quick watercolor sketches:

Image

Drawing hair fascinates and challenges me:
Image

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

IMG_0223

HOW TO DO IT:

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.

Image

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.

IMG_0222

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

Happy DIY-ing!