Sunday, February 22, 2015

Washes and Wishes

I got a few new paint supplies this week, and in between work, workshops, and meetings, I test them out. Here are some sketchpad shots.

Watercolored Carnations

My current favourite detox drink at Hillside: the Colada Cooler!

Used a 10/0 round brush for this entire piece (a bit lazy to switch brushes, haha) and tried out my new Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor set. Still getting used to the sticky pans, but I'm loving the pigment!

While we were in LA over the holidays, mu husband PJ gave a goal-setting workshop for our family, and it really helped in defining the things I want to do in the next couple of years. I'm making this one of my top priorities for this year:

PJ celebrated his birthday last Wednesday! His only wish was to spend it with family, so that's exactly what we did, starting with lunch at Pino, and then followed by an impromtu jam with Papi, our nephew Isaiah, and Tito Armenio. Thanks to Tita Nene for taking our photos!

Not many people know this, but back in high school, I used to play the guitar for our school masses and extra long prayers before each class (hehe delaying tactics!). I even made the music for our graduation song then! haha *cringe*.

Oh, and I surprised PJ on his birthday by designing and printing this fold-out Zine containing his Wattafriend Instagram Posts and online jokes! Check out @PJLanot on Instagram and Facebook for more laughs!

We ended the day by going to Ash Wednesday mass, dinner with family, and drinks with friends. Happy birthday, Love! :)

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Breakfast Club: Valentine Edition

It's a wonderful thing to share my favourite meal of the day with other people who equally love it. The Breakfast Club was (unofficially) formed during Em & Euge's Batanes Wedding, followed by a breakfast couples cook-off in our little condo. The idea is we all pitch it to bring ingredients and cook our favourite breakfast food, and share it with the whole group. It's actually a fun couple activity because each husband-and-wife couple works together on their potluck meal.

We decided to make Valentine's Day this year extra cheesy by 1) holding Breakfast Club exactly on v-day, and 2) going all out! :P Aside from cooking the main dishes from scratch, we also took couple souvenir photos and made placecards!

Fresh Strawberries with Dulce de Leche. Grilled Cheese by Em & Euge.

Veggie Inasal Chunks, Potato Hash Cakes, Spinach & Kale Salad by me and PJ.

Chicken Tocino by E&E, and Beef Tapa by Jean and Eric.
Thanks for hosting it at your place!

"Guam bread" and Baked Bacon from Dar and Dokes.

And then for dessert, we had coffee by Kape Komunidad (c/o Ryan, Jean's brother) Jello in Jars, and Tsokolate Batirol.

Hope you all had a great Valentine weekend!:)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Macro Macramé

I've been experimenting with different types of weaving, and for a recent shoot for Lifestyle Network Global, I thought of challenging myself by trying out macramé. Macramé is the art of knotting rope, string, or cords in a specific numbered pattern, to create decorative pieces. I used to have a macramé craft book when I was younger, but most of the instructions were for friendship bracelets. This time, my goal was to make a decorative piece to hang on the wall.

All you need is some rope (I used cotton, because I'm thinking of dyeing it later on), a pair of scissors, and a stick/branch/rod. Didn't have time to go to Divi, so I got my supplies from the Kamuning Market. When using fallen branches/sticks, make sure they're completely dry already!

After about a hundred knots, this is what I came up with! I frayed the edges also (see first photo above) just because the tips looked so weird, like they all didn't know where to go. Haha :P Warning though, fraying the tips take FOREVER. Well, ok, I was eventually able to finish the piece, but it took muuuuch longer to fray the ends than to knot the main body.

And then I decided to make another piece for our friends at Limbaga77.

The creation process is super fun and easy (the rhythmic counting makes it almost mindless), so I'll be sharing this craft at the upcoming Craft Retreat on March 28-29.
Sign up below if you're interested to join!

Saturday, January 31, 2015


Mid-week beach break   |   Breakfast with best friends  |   Jayson (our go-to mac specialist) who literally resuscitated my laptop   |   Conversations in the car with (PJ, Star, Del and Clems) to keep you awake, i.e. Sinong artista ang gaganap sa'yo kung sa MMK ang buhay mo?   |   Nice cab drivers who don't complain about taking you from Makati to QC at rush hour   |   Exchanging cars with dad when ours is broken and Mom lending me her driver   |   Tita Ditas and Papi taking home stuff we left behind   |   PJ re-delivering the sketchpads I forgot for the workshop   |   Leftovers for breakfast

Grateful for my lifesavers this week! :)

Grumbacher watercolors on 425gsm cold-pressed paper, using 3/0 and 18/0 brushes.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Leafing & Weaving with Gold

Instead of new shoes (like my husband :P), my suitcase full of new art supplies from our trip. Every morning, I pick out something new to try. (Having something to do at 2am was really helpful while fighting jetlag!) I'm inspired by materials. I love experimenting with new things, and love how trying something new can be both scary and exciting at the same time. 

Below is a sneak peak into the first of my many adventures with gold leafing & weaving!

I'll be sharing this gold-leafing technique at the next lettering workshops. I'm in love with all things gold right now, so I'm thinking of doing the workshop with an all-gold theme. New workshops, new materials, and new kits! THAT's what 2015 is all about! :P

Oh, and I. Can't. Stop. Weaving! Starting something and laying out the foundation is always the toughest part. But once the system is set, it's easier to plan your next move. I like the idea of being creative within boundaries. It's a lot like my philosophy in design and creative problem solving -- having the right questions to create the boundaries, in order to get the right answers. That's the reason why I don't believe in having to wait for inspiration to strike before you can create anything. If you can narrow it down and simplify the task, you'll find that the answers or the "inspiration" is right in front of you.

Was finally able to use this multicoloured slub silk thread from my trip to India last year. Mixing it with hemp, wool, and metallic threads that I collected over the years. Excited to see how this weave will turn out!

And what about this gorgeous glass of golden fruit! Haha. So much drama in a drink. But it tastes just as good as it looks! My cousin Noelle is a juicing genius, and she's in charge of all our juices and smoothies at Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar.  This one's the mango & beet smoothie topped with superfoods. 

Hope you all have a great week ahead!:)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stone Clay & Basket Weaving

Every morning for the past couple of weeks, I've been experimenting with new materials. This week, I played with some self-hardening stone clay. I used this type of clay before when I taught kids through my summer art school Art Adventures. It's perfect even for kids who have sensitive skin and sand/clay allergies (but still best to do an allergy test!).

I made some mini planters, and punched holes in them to string later on.

I painted them by spraying different shades of walnut ink (terra cotta, walnut, and eucalyptus).

And then using raffia, I tried to do a simple basket weave...
...which was not so simple because I was working with 26x2 strands!

After a few rows, it looked pretty decent.

The basket isn't done yet, because I'm still thinking of how to finish the top off. I think little projects like this are perfect for exercising creativity, just like this "rainbowl" I made using DMC threads.

I'll be sharing this basket weaving project at the Handcrafted Arts & Crafts Fair on January 31, 3-6pm! To register for this class, e-mail your name and contact number to with the subject: Rainbowl Weaving. :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Travel Diary: FanMode, ON!

5 flights, 3 road trips, 9 cities. Our US itinerary was packed, so we decided to plan it one city at a time. In between holiday get-togethers and touristy trips, we made sure to check out some concerts and NBA games. Here's a little scrapbook of the celebs we saw!


Our first stop was LA, and with my Tita Ditas' house being so close to Universal Studios, I took a chance and signed up for free tickets to The Voice. The day before we left Manila, I got the confirmation e-mail, and found out that they gave us priority tickets! We got upgraded to the mosh! :)

It was a quick show being elimination day, but lucky us, because Taylor Swift was the special guest, and she sang Blank Space! On the bottom left of the photo above, the 4th light beam is shining over my fuzzy head-- oh em gee. Adam. Pharell. Gwen. (And sige na nga, Blake & Carson). Gaaaaahhhh.


We had two nights in Seattle, but we made sure to visit the EMP Museum. Local heroes (and arguably the biggest musical hero in PJ's life) NIRVANA had an exhibit there. It was just an exhibit, I know, but Kurt Cobain's guitars and the cardigans that he lived in were all there!

We ♥ Museums!

So far, we've visited LACMA, SAM, MoMA, and Norton Simon Museum. 

Geeking out over Magritte, Miro, and Van Gogh. :P


And of course we had to watch some NBA games!

Rockets vs. Warriors & Mavs vs. Knicks


I also visited a few craft fairs, and got the chance to buy artwork from awesome illustrator Jill Bliss, and felted toys from Moxie at the Urban Craft Uprising fair in Seattle! Also met weaver Maryanne Moodie in New York.


In New York, PJ got to see his fave Ewan McGregor live. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cynthia Nixon, and Josh Hamilton co-starred with him in The Real Thing.


On New Year's Eve, we met up with my cousins Ria & Marc and our friend Mel in Vegas, to party with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at 1-OAK!


And then on the first day of 2015, we watch Justin Timberlake's concert (the 2nd to the last show of his 20/20 Experience tour). Been staying *NSYNC for many years now (haha!) but this is the first time I've seen his solo concert live!


While I was randomly looking for gigs to watch here in LA the other day, I saw the listing for the People's Choice Awards. We just decided to go at the last minute! 

Got to see Ellen DeGeneres, Betty White, Two Broke Girls Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, Entourage cast Jerry FerraraKevin Connolly, and Adrien Grenier, the whole Greys Anatomy (current season) cast, the whole Big Bang Theory cast, Ben AffleckIggy AzaleaAmy AdamsChris EvansAmy AdamsViola Davis, and Robert Downey Jr! Craaazy!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Travel Diary: That Grilled Cheese Sandwich from The Movie 'Chef'

In between museum trips and touristy spots, I try to squeeze in a bit (okay, a LOT) of craft shopping. On our first week in LA, we visited the trendy Line Hotel along Wilshire Blvd (Koreatown) to check out Poketo.

This was part of my "as-seen-on-Instagram" list. Haha, yessss, I actually made a list of craft and stationery brands to stalk during this vacation.

I actually just window-shopped at the store. :P

After that, we headed up to the pool level for dinner at The Commissary.
The sight was a feast for my green-loving eyes.

The restaurant, which has a view of the city's nearby skyscrapers, is housed in an actual greenhouse with hanging and potted plants everywhere.

The Commissary is by Roy Choi of Kogi food truck fame. And in case you didn't know, he was the consultant for the movie Chef. (If you watched the movie's credits, you'll see Chef Roy Choi teaching Jon Favreau how to work the kitchen.)

One of my favourite parts of the movie is when Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) creates the grilled cheese sandwich with so much passion (who didn't drool while watching that?!?). If you didn't see the movie, here's the link to that scene

The waiter handed us a mailer envelope with photo cards for a menu. This one sheet had all these veggies in them! Haha, it's always a treat for vegetarians when they can order ANYTHING (and everything) off the menu.

The menu doesn't say how the veggies are cooked, so I didn't really know what to expect.

I ordered the Broccolini.
And of course, the Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

The sandwich tasted just like how I imagined it to be. You don't even need to order tomato soup because it already comes with marinara dipping sauce on your plate. And that broccolini with pesto...Amazing. Now I want to go back to taste the rest of the veggies on the menu.

After downing their famous "Pimp's cup" made of gin and beet juice, PJ and I played a match of table tennis. I lost (booooo.) but my taste buds were too happy to care! :P


The Line Hotel
3515 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90010

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Best of 2014

A little roundup of the awesome year that was.

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76 workshops in 2014!!!

Aside from Manila, I held workshops in Cebu, Davao, and Tagaytay,

We had Coldstone Ice Cream and FatFingers Macarons at some of the workshops!

Also did a few tandem workshops with my husband PJ.
We'll be having more workshops together this Feb!

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Became brand ambassador for Canon Pixma!

This year was speckled with crafts, workshops, and videos using the Pixma :)

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My cousins and I opened Hillside Organic Cafe & Juice Bar!

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The Candy DIY Book with these crafty crazies: Mansy, Macy & Mikko!

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An R2R Bag was named after me!:P

Was happy to be part of the design council for the R2R Ampersand collection!

Also designed a duffle bag for Punchdrunk Panda!

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The first out-of-the-blog event that Patty, Kelly and I organized:

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Traveled to Tokyo, Lake Sebu, Siargao, and Hong Kong.

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Was a speaker at Design Talks at ManilaFAME last October.

Also exhibited my stamps at HallOne!

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My favorite people Muffin and Don got married!

Did a few fun things for their wedding :)

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Sold out workshops at Makeshift Society in San Francisco, CA and Brooklyn, New York!

Taught watercolor + calligraphy & hand-carved rubber stamps.

Workshop photos by my super talented cuz Ralph Hilario.

I also connected with other amazing crafters this year:

Ros of Polkaros in Japan
Geneva of in Hong Kong
Maryanne Moodie in New York

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Wish you all an amazing 2015 ahead! :)