Thursday, July 23, 2015

Today is a Great Day to Begin



Not many people know this, but when I started LifeAfterBreakfast years ago, I kept it as a private blog for 4 whole months. I created this as a commitment to creativity---my personal project. We all know that the beginning is always the shaky part. I wanted to make sure that this was something I could stick to, so I kept it to myself first. In those 4 months, I "holed up" in the process of just creating and experimenting, and I learned a lot about my own strengths & weaknesses.

There are those who want to declare their personal projects publicly so that they have 'witnesses' to their promise. Maybe that pushes them to keep going. But why place unnecessary, added pressure, when the thought of beginning something is already pressure in itself? You don't always have to share everything that you start. Sometimes, the sharing bit can even limit the creative process (what will others think? how many likes will this get?). Remember, this is your process, and your journey. Not anyone else's.

In private, gather your material, and document your development. Put it out there when there has been progress already. When there is already a consistent theme. When there is something to see. When there is something worth seeing. When I made this blog public, I already had 50 previous posts readers could read through.

But it's also important to have a goal, and to define a project's purpose. If learning is the only goal, then maybe it can stay in private. If sharing your work is part of the goal, then create work that is worth sharing. The creative process (learning & making) is a huge part of the reason why you create, but it should not end there. I personally believe that as makers, we all have to be responsible for what we put out into the world! Create beautiful things. Make crafts, not crap. Your works should be pang-Etsy, not panget-sy. :P

Have that purpose and goal, not for the world to know, but for you to believe in and hold on to when there are doubts and challenges and monsters in your head (and sometimes, around you :P). Whatever it may be, just begin. :)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Peek into the Process: Watercolored Rose

I recently documented my watercolor processes for my new Workshop Zines (read: upgraded handouts!). Below are two step-by-step photos from the Botanical Watercolor module. The first is the wet-on-wet technique applied to a single petal, and the second is its application on an entire flower, petal by petal.



I've opened a new Botanical Watercolor Workshop class for August 16. (The other classes have already sold out!) You may sign up at bit.ly/WatercolorWorkshops :)

Follow-Your-Art Friday: Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar


My cousins and I love getting together over good, healthy food. Whenever we travel together, we always make it a point to dine out...and dine well. :P Cool dessert places, lining up for cruffins on cold mornings, Michelin-starred restaurants, organic cafes by the beach... Noelle and I have our Ates Ria, Ricci, & Rizza (who are all based in the US) to thank for exposing us to this art of living well. We all get together for a few weeks about twice a year, sometimes more, and every time, we never fail to talk about our dreams. Future collabs. Design projects. Product lines. We have a long *mental* list. Oh, if only we all lived closer to each other.

Luckily, we were able to spend lots of cousin-time (with Tita Ditas!) during our trip to Siargao and Lake Sebu. We were island hopping---and still talking about our dreams :P ---when we really decided to push thru with one plan: a healthy and organic restaurant.

PJ had been eyeing a spot already, and we thought the timing was just perfect. With the help of Chef Raydel & the Pino group, and even more cousins (Hi, Tobit & Nico!), the Manila-contingent cousins, Noelle, Ralph, PJ and I, put up Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar along Mother Ignacia Avenue in Quezon City. A little trivia: we decided to call it Hillside because we are Hilario cousins. Coincidentally, the place is located inside CedarHills Garden Center! Everything just fell into place. :) 


Marble table tops, white brick wall, macramé wall hanging, stamped wall pattern, green surroundings. Stuff that our artsy dreams are made of...and now they've come true!


Cold-pressed juices & Comfort food.

Natural  |  Fresh  |  Local  |  Sustainable  |  Organic  |  Whole


We even have a little library filled with our favorite magazines, healthy recipe books, and our Monocle subscription. Guests are welcome to pick their read while they dine.


Wellness shots (with hand-stamped labels) that serve as energy boosters.

Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.
- Hippocrates


A rainbow of Detox Juices made fresh daily


Superfood Smoothies that are better, yummier, and more nutritious than any summer shake you've ever had!




This month, we've teamed up with two more guys who are also crazy-passionate about good food: PJ's highschool buddies Chefs Niño Laus and Isaac Bravo of Ninyo Fusion Cuisine in Esteban Abada, Loyola Heights. When passionate people unite, the possibilities are exponential!


Chefs Niño and Isaac created six new reasons why you must plan your next visit to Hillside :)

OAT & RYE CRUSTED SMOKED LABAHITA
with mussel emulsion, organic baby arugula relish and agli olio pasta

ROASTED POTATO AND GLOBE EGGPLANT
glazed with miso, set on a bed of organic arugula drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette, topped with beancurd chicharon

CORNED GRASS-FED BEEF SHORT RIBS
braised corned beef short ribs , polenta, and buttered vegetables

ORGANIC ROASTED CHICKEN
with mashed sweet potato, tapenade, soy-honey sauce, and roasted vegetables

PESTO CRUSTED CHICKEN PARMIGIANA
with cassoulet of chickpeas, edamame and sweet corn, set on zucchini spaghetti aglio olio

PAN-SEARED GRASS-FED HANGING TENDER STEAK 
with organic fried rice, pumpkin sour cream sauce, and roasted miso roasted vegetables 


Good food = Good life.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 


Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar
at CedarHills Garden Center
#57 Mother Ignacia Avenue, Quezon City
between Sct. De Guia & Sct. Dr. Lazcano
(beside St. Mary's College & Crossfit Infinitas)


Open DAILY, 11:30am-9pm

Call (02) 374-1117 for table reservations & food pick-up / (02) 87878 for delivery

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Peek into the Process: Watercolored Kingfisher

Working with watercolor requires lots of patience---not so much for the amount of practice required (because it actually can be a forgiving medium if you follow the right steps), but rather patience for the times you are waiting for the layers to dry! It's always tempting to dab your brush into the work in between layers, but if you do, it will take longer for the layer to dry, and you might even end up scarring the paper. I always tell my students not to worry if, in the beginning, their works look like blobs of water. Unless you're doing quick watercolor painting, it almost always does start out light, without any detail.

I've broken down the steps for painting a Kingfisher.

1. SHAPE
I always start with underpainting my works. And instead of using a pencil, I use a light mixture to create the shape of the bird. Allow this layer to dry.

2. COLOR
You can go over the initial shape you painted, but this time, with slightly stronger mixtures using the wet-on-wet technique. Allow this layer to dry a bit.

3. MORE COLOR
Waiting for each layer to dry, and then adding color on top of it is called glazing. You can layer on shadows by creating darker mixtures (I added some black to the blue). Work on one hue at a time to make sure that the colors don't bleed into each other.

4. DETAIL
It's only at the final step that I apply the details with a heavy consistency of pigment (very little water). I used only the tip of a very thin brush to 'scratch on' the details. 

Used a #6 round brush for steps 1-3, and a 5/0 brush for the details in the final step.
Paint is Sakura field sketch box on Canson Torchon paper.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Dipped Pen Doodles: Everlong


Freehand letters & flowers using hunt101 nib and black star ink on hot pressed watercolor paper. Sunflowers, marigolds, and chrysanthemums + words by Dave Grohl.


Come join me for a Dipped Pen Doodles Crafternoon on August 8!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

DIY Watercolored Phone Case

Rainy weather means I'm forced to stay indoors...and craft! I have a cupboard (or two...okayfine, THREE closets) packed with art supplies in our tiny condo (priorities!), and whenever I have extra time, I just open it up and see what I can make. Fuuuun, right? ;)


I found some clear iPhone cases at Saizen (that P88 Japanese store), and a bought a few to test before hoarding. Here's what else you'll need for this craft:

gouache or watercolor + bleed proof white (available at Craft Carrot)
spray sealant / fixative (available in National Bookstore)
brushes & a palette

Painting your designs can be quite tricky because you have to think about it in REVERSE. You start with the details that you want to see on top of the design, and then work down to the background part of the design. In this case, the 'background' parts are the petals and leaves.

First step is to prepare your colors on the palette.

Gouache is basically watercolor with an opaque base. You can buy gouache in tubes, or you can mix some yourself using watercolor + bleed proof white. The amount of bleed proof white you add depends on how light/dark do you want the pigment to be.

Do NOT add water to the paint because you want the cream consistency to stick to the plastic. I started with the centers of the flowers.

Then I added the highlights and shadows. 
Yes, highlights and shadows first, before the actual petals.

When applying the paint, it's best to dab the pigment in (as opposed to swiping the brush).

Allow each layer to dry before applying the next layer.
Here's what it looks like from the back and front.

When the flowers were done, I painted the veins of the leaves.
Again, veins first before the actual leaves! Once dry, fill the leaves in with color.

I ended up painting all three phones so that my hands could work on something while letting each layer dry, haha.

Afterwards, I sprayed a few coatings of sealant (or fixative) and let it dry. The sealant created a speckled texture on the once-glossy phone case, but it definitely will protect your phone from the paint. That's it! All done in an hour or so.


Unahan na sa Saizen. :P

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Botanical Watercolor Workshop - 06/30/15

When I started the LifeAfterBreakfast Workshops in 2012, they were just informal 'crafternoons' where participants gather to create projects, and to learn a little bit more about a specific craft. The primary goals then were to set some time to create, to get out of our little crafty shells, and meet other artists and create/co-work. I eventually created modules for each craft, and the crafternoons evolved into more formal classes. 200+ workshops later (!!!), the classes still feel like the first craft gatherings back then, now leveled up with food + awesome kits + handouts. The workshops are great way to meet new friends as most people come alone for their own 'me time', while some bring friends/sisters/moms/boyfriends/husbands for some bonding time. This is my way of helping both creatives and non-creatives: by sharing with them a new hobby, a chance to forget about the real (and digital) world for a while, and by making art more accessible / the creation process less intimidating. :) After teaching arts & crafts to kids for 8+ years, and crafternoons for almost 4 years, I realize that crafting is my passion just as much as teaching is!


Last Tuesday's workshop was my first public weekday class. When the crafternoons began in 2012, I set the modules to be 3 hours long on Saturday afternoons, so that more people could attend. But after teaching weekday evening courses in the US this past year, I thought, why shouldn't Manila have weekday classes as well? Besides, people are out already during the week days, so they can just go straight to the classes from work (and leave their weekends for family time and rest). In short, here begins a new era of weekday evening craft workshops!:) The weekend workshops will still be there of course, and you can check out bit.ly/LABWorkshopSchedule for the updated list of classes.


The first Botanical Watercolor Workshop was held last Tuesday evening at Prism Gallery in Salcedo Street, Makati. While waiting for the rest of the class to arrived, the students had their early dinner and unboxed their new watercolor sets. 


If you've been reading this blog, you'll know that I'm a sucker for craft supplies shopping, so my workshops are my sneaky way of hoarding craft materials...and sharing them with other people. :P I loooove putting together the workshop kits, and creating new modules. At this class, I gave out a new Workshop Zine on Botanical Watercolor!


Happy to see the participants appreciate the kits!:)


In case you're wondering, the workshop kit includes:
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Sets
Arches 300 gsm & Montval 185 gsm Watercolor Paper
Workshop Zine
#8 & #20/0 Brushes
plus other tools, and of course, food & refreshments.


The first part of class was a lecture on the basics, and then we moved on to the mixtures & washes.




After discussing the step-by-step watercolor process, and a primer on botanical illustration, we dove right into painting the projects for the night. I included my watercolored flower samples in the handouts as reference for the students. In the beginning, everyone was scared to put brush onto paper, so I went around the room to help some students with sketching first. Because of the intricate petal details, this is the only watercolor class where I allow my students to use pencil before the actual work. :P

Everyone did such a great job, and I've never been more proud of my students. Check out their works and works-in-progress below!

Succulents

Poppies and Peonies

Roses

Some of them posted their finished works on Instagram, too!:)


Thanks to everyone who joined, and to Prism Gallery for having us over! Next Botanical Watercolor classes are on July 8, Wednesday and Sunday, August 2.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 2015 Printable Calendar

Do you realize that today is the hump day of the year? Haha! Can't believe we're on to the next half of 2015! Currently in a meeting to fix plans for LifeAfterBreakfast for the last quarter of the year, and for next year (whuuuut!). There will definitely be more workshops, more giveaways, and more craft events! :)



This month's calendar features dipped pen doodled flowers, for you to fill in with color during your free time. :P Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Free Rubberstamp Carving Workshop Giveaway!

Dainty lavender stamps & wooden stamp handles


There's a FREE Rubberstamp Carving Workshop giveaway happening on Instagram! Head on over to instagram.com/lifeafterbreakfastph to join!:)


UPDATE:
Congratulations to the winners!:)


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday7: Sweet Surprises & Craft Play


ONE: Chunky KitKat Caramel
If Milky Way & KitKat had a child, this would be it. I bought a bar at citysuper in HongKong to take on our plane trip back home, but not I regret not tasting it earlier! Aaah. If you chance upon this anywhere in the world, go grab a whole box! :P


TWO: Beyond Borders Blanket
I love collecting local handwoven fabrics, and I really do use them for our home and for some craft projects. This blanket that we use to cover our sofa bed is from Beyond Borders.


THREE: Chika with a capital CH
Met up with one of my fave brush letterers Christine Herrin last week. The afternoon was spent chatting about random things and work lives, followed by a quick craft exchange. I finished my piece too late, so I took a photo of the stamp I made before I mail it to her. Lettering by CH. :)


FOUR: Foil Foliage
Dipped pen doodles with copper foil. I have a crush on everything copper right now.


FIVE: Peony Practice
Currently creating new handouts for the upcoming Botanical Watercolor workshops!:)


SIX: Bread Coasters
Made custom bread coasters for Pi Breakfast & Pies. Chanced upon speckled cork in the bookstore--it reminds me of multigrain bread!:P


SEVEN: Takoyaki at Home!
Made use of our ebelskiver pan and made takoyaki from scratch. Filled it with cheese & veggies instead of octupus.


Hope you all had a happy Sunday. Happy Father's Day to all dads! :)