Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fruits of Craft & Kitchen Experiments

Any chance I get, I try to squeeze in some time for an artwork. Or two. Or four. :P


Sometimes, I join in the workshops and paint together with my students. Here are some birds (kingfisher, woodpecker, doves) that I painted during a private watercolor workshop last weekend. Other times, I experiment with new craft supplies (I have a closet full of new materials, hehe!) and play around to see what I can do with them.


I recently experimented with gouache on canvas and wood. These were all done in one night...while all the paints were out. Quite a hassle to clean up (which is why I prefer paint in pans) so I made the most of the mess. The thing with paint that comes in tubes is I can never squeeze out just the right amount! I always end up wasting so much paint, so I use these nifty little craft tubs to store the paint, instead of squeezing them directly onto a palette.


Gouache is opaque watercolor, and can be used on more surfaces other than paper. It contains gum arabic, and dries quickly, with a matte finish. You can use a lot of water to achieve the transparent watercolor effect (like on the canvas above), but ideally, you use its opaque-ness to glaze on colors and layer them on top of each other. It's fun to use, especially for quick paintings. You get the opaque effect without the thickness of oil or acrylic.

With all the craft experiments that I've done, I've accumulated quite a number of artworks. I decided to put some of them up to decorate Pipino's new wall! Watercolor, weaves, macrame, embroidery, stamps, calligraphy, lettering and leafing--all made by hand.


The resto renovations are just in time for Pipino's 5th birthday. It was in April 2010 when we launched Pipino as a 6-item line under Pino's menu. We were experimenting, testing out the market, and then decided to open the actual restaurant 6 months later.

Copper leaf on Muse Watercolor Paper

We went back to the kitchen last week and did more experimenting. I'm so excited for these new dishes: Squash Arrabbiata and Lentil Bolognese. Both are gluten-free!


Champorado-Suman topped with Mango Mint. These will be available starting April 22!


Another thing I tinkered around with this week was Pipinoveg.com! I am sooo not a web designer (I get dizzy when I see terms like DNS and CNAME) so this is a real labor of love. :P

The site has all the basic information about the resto, including a map, and the menu.

The thing about 'experimenting' is that most of the time, you need to have an end-goal in mind. There are times when it's okay to just create anything 'for art's sake', but if you want to (or in most cases, HAVE to) create something useful, then it's important for you to have an idea of the final outcome, so that all you have to do is fill that gap in between. And that gap is basically the whole creation process. I'm obviously the calculated type (I don't like wasting materials!), but I try to let go a bit during the creation process, welcoming little unplanned strokes here and there, to see where it takes me. As makers, remember that you have a responsibility over the things that you produce. Create beautiful things! And never stop experimenting. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New Schedule: Gold Leaf & Calligraphy Workshop


What's on your summer to do list?


Learn something new at this month's Gold Leaf & Calligraphy workshops.


April 25, Saturday, 9am-12nn at Hillside Cafe QC [Class is full!]

April 25, Saturday, 3-6pm at Boho Bazaar @ CommerceCenter Alabang

June 20, Saturday, 3-6pm @ Bungalow300 Alabang

June 21, Sunday, 9am-12nn @ Hillside Cafe QC




Friday, April 10, 2015

Watercolored Kicks

I bought a new pair of AJ's the other day, and as I was putting it on my shoe rack next to my other sneakers, I realized that I really do tend to go for retro styles. And because I was so excited over this new purchase (that dorky feeling of wanting to just hug the world), I translated it into... watercolored kicks. WHY would anyone want to do this? Haha. I just needed to do something non-work related because I've been in slaving front the computer all week!


Meet the ones of current rotation: all white air force 1  |  air jordan 1 high strap  |  abstract-patterned gray blazers  |  camel-colored tiempo '94 mid  |  air flight condor for basketball (that i just recently had to let go because it's so old already). What didn't make it to this painting are my low dunks! (No more space on the pad :P)

Started by sketching the shoes in pencil.


Then filled it up with washes, and used Dr. Ph Martin's Bleed Proof White.


Thinking of turning this into a pattern later on!:) 




Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Stamp Addict

So stoked that my stamps are featured in the
April 2015 Printmaking Issue of Uppercase Magazine!
The writeup reveals my favourite stamp carving tool. :P



I love making stamp collections. Whenever I carve stamps for fun, I tend to make a couple of other designs to go with the stamp, and then play with them to make patterns and prints.







With the number of stamps I've made (some of which didn't even have an end goal or purpose when I started making them), it's safe to say that I'm a stamp addict. The process of carving is suuuper addicting and relaxing! And that high you get after successfully making the design you had in mind is priceless. I'm really excited for the weekend, because I'll be teaching students how to carve wreath stamps at the Rubberstamp Carving Workshop in FullyBooked BGC and the upcoming June workshops! :)


Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Egg Challenge

I can't remember the last time I was in Manila for the Holy Week holidays. The crafter in me is geeking out with the possibility of all this free time with my art supplies. :P The challenge this weekend lies not in egg-hunting, but rather in decorating the eggs. I experimented by using gouache (opaque watercolor) and an 18/0 round brush to paint them. The good thing with using gouache is that is dries quickly, which allows you to handle and rotate the egg faster.

It was after the first stroke when I realized what a difficult pattern this was to make. Painting right angles on spherical things is NOT EASY. But like many artworks and craft projects, it's only until you're almost done when the piece starts looking okay. So no matter how much of a "failure" you think it looks, you just gotta keep pushing. Never judge an artwork that's not yet finished, and YES, that includes your own work. :)


Before I started painting the eggs, I poked holes at the top and bottom of the egg using one prong of a fork, and then blew the contents out (to make scrambled eggs). I'm putting so much effort into these painted eggs, so might as well make them last a bit longer than the Easter holidays, right? I collected and cleaned these eggshells for about a week.

Since there are holes at the top and bottom, I decided to cover them up with gold foil caps. Is there anything that you CAN'T add gold foil to? :P


You can also check out the Watercolored Easter Eggs that I did last year!:)


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Watercolor Lettering + Gold Leafing Workshops in SF & NY


I'll be back in San Francisco and Brooklyn for more workshops this May!

Catch my workshops at Makeshift Society and learn

Watercolor Lettering + Gold Leafing





I'm looking forward to sharing my love (and addiction) to watercolored typefaces :P These are some tearsheets of my watercolored alphabets, which I use in a lot of my design projects.





We'll be using Dr. Ph Martin's Radiant Concentrated Watercolor
so you don't have to worry much about mixtures, and can focus on the painting process.


In class, we'll go over different typographic styles and learn creative lettering basics.


The workshop kit includes an assortment of brushes, liquid watercolors, a watercolor pad, and lettering supplies.




'San Francisco' is based on art deco style type Cassanet



'Brooklyn New York' is based on Akzidenz-Grotesk BQ Light Condensed


And of course, I'll be offering this class in Manila as well!:)



Hope to see all of you letter lovers!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Crafted: Lap Loom Weaving

Once upon a time, the weave on my frame loom was 3 inches tall. :P

Like many of my craft projects, this was a little experiment, so finishing it right away wasn't at the top of my priority list. Whenever I could find the time, I would weave a few rows in. I had no previous looming experience, and had no pattern to follow. Not having a plan takes longer, I've learned, because you're designing and weaving at the same time. Don't get me wrong, though! I totally fell in love with the weaving process.


I used DMC's gold metallic thread, some locally farmed multicolored cotton yarns by Nooks, and my favorite slub silk yarn from India.


Yesterday, I finally finished the piece! The finished size is around 10 x 13 inches.


Can't believe I wove a piece of fabric! :) Still basking in that high you feel after completing a complex craft project. 


I love feeling the bumpy textures created by thick and thin threads


Excited to weave more! Let's see where this new addiction goes. :P


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Female Network's Amazing Filipinas 2015


Thanks to the folks at FemaleNetwork.com for including me int the list of 50 Amazing Filipinas 2015! It's such an honor to be alongside other incredible human beings, all who are so inspiring!





You know, when you've worked freelance all your life, it's things like these that give you the 'pat on the back' that you need--that validation that you are doing something right with your life! :P I've been crafting since I was a kid, been teaching since I was 16 (bagets!!!), and have been organizing craft workshops for over a decade now. I'm just so glad this digital world still embraces the handmade.


Hop on over to their site to check out the other wonderful women on the list!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Workshop Schedule: April 2015


Excited for my new workshops this summer!

Click away and sign up for




:)