Sunday, November 29, 2009

Snowflake Christmas

For some reason, so many shops carry the same theme as ours... that of snowflakes. Our theme is a little diversified because I put a wreathe around the snowflake and it resembled a parol.

Walking around the malls, you'd find that Starbucks, Mango, Crabtree and Evelyn have this same look this year. I wonder why all the brainwaves have been pointing to the same direction.

To be in solidarity, I made some snowflakes today and hung them all around our home. I didn't put up the usual age-old decor that we have for the tree but rather put up paper snowflakes as well. Here I put them above our dining table.

My sister had the same idea but jazzed up her snowflakes by spraying silver over them and adding pictures. Neat idea!

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Weekend Making Jewelry

The family just came back from an enjoyable 3 days at the beach. My brother in law Charlie was wondering why of all things to do, I was fiddling with beads and chains while my 2 other sisters were making artist trading cards.

I guess it just goes to show that our fulfillment comes through the work of our hands! I made quite simple pieces this time. They reflect the casual style I like, almost bohemian really. I've been trying to make more asymmetrical ones that convey a sense of randomness.I cannot make this piece again since I can't find the middle bead anywhere I look. The stone is quite expensive so it's really the centerpiece of them all. The funny thing about the earrings is that shortly after I finished a pair, the one got lost. After a long time looking for it and even asking St. Anthony to help me pray I find it, it was found by my sister who was cleaning up the house before we left.
As I was taking a picture of it, the pair was lost again so my other "heart" is again nowhere to be found! Curious thing isn't it?
This was the first necklace I made and my mother and sisters liked it. We might replicate this and sell in the shop. I made a nice matching bracelet and pair of earrings to go with it. It looks quite nice even with simple inexpensive beads and components.

The only splash of color I made was with this piece. It reminds me of Murano glass that can easily be found in Venice. It's so enchanting and playful.

Here's another matching set that really goes well with any type of look.

Here's my attempt at having a double chain look that is so popular nowadays. It's still a simple piece held together by a very thin cord but the assortment of beads that do not repeat is made all the more special with the single plain chain I added.

This is one of my favorites from the whole bunch. I used to like silver on everything but now I go for the vintage look this copper wire brings. I don't know where I found these wooden beads that don't let your wire through the middle. I like the fact that you can get an assortment of beads in one string and just see where the mix takes you!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Treasure from Trash

In my trip to Detroit last month, I was just awestruck at one man's way of expressing his life change. I'm not sure what this place is called but it's pure art and it has a strong message.A man torn by drugs and alcohol finds a way out and as difficult as this transformation is, shares it with those who are still in its clutches. In the heart of the inner city where homelessness, prostitution, addiction and crime is rampant, is a "living space museum".Putting together scraps of metal and wood, he made homes into giant dramatic works of art.

Our guide to this strange drive through was missionary and songwriter Ed Conlin who is a lay brother from Servants of the Word. His life is dedicated to help rebuild the lives of the people of Detroit who have "lost their way".
This is the first time I've seen street art this huge. It's quite powerful the way it is. My apologies for some of the pictures being so blurry. I wish I could have had more time to really look through them all but we had to rush to our next destination.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vintage Manila - Part 2

To continue our tour of the old Manila, here is a General Elwell Stephen Otis in 1898. He was the one leading the U.S. army during the Battle of Manila. Otis's response when Emilio Aguinaldo tried to stop the war by sending an emissary to General Otis to appeal for an end to the fighting in the Battle of Manila was, "fighting, having begun, must go on to the grim end.".

We now turn to a more domestic scene. Two daughters help their mother wash clothes by balancing on a block of wood!

A fairytale sight was Luneta Park in the 1900s with ladies in dresses up to the ground and huge buildings in the horizon.

This is Pasig in the 1900s when the river was still clean. Today the Pasig river is still scarred from the traumas of the war. It is said that all of what was left of Manila when it was burned down by the Japanese and bombed by the Americans, they shoved into the Pasig river. Bodies and buildings were piled on top of each other and the river was never the same again.

Sampaloc, Manila does not have a nipa hut anymore. Concrete structures have long ago replaced these charming little huts.

The San Sebastian Church, shown here is the only all-steel church in Asia. It is near Hidalgo St. The church has a Gothic style and has been here since 1621.

Unfortunately, this tram has long been extinct replaced by buses and jeepneys littered all over the city.

Finally here is MalacaƱang when it had no need of a gate or guards.
I hope you enjoyed our little adventures here!

Vintage Manila

Manila is my city. It is a bustling, vibrant city and much like the Big Apple, it never sleeps! During the 1800-1900s it was the place to be and had the highest standard of living! Here are some glimpses of vintage Manila!

Binondo used to look this way like a rural community! It is now one of the busiest commercial places in Manila where a lot of stores are and not a square meter of space is vacant. Escolta Street, 1884, had European architecture adapted to the Philippine climate. People dressed up quite elegantly on the streets and I suppose the weather was not as humid otherwise attired with long sleeves and maria claras, fainting would have been rampant. In the late 1800s, the gate to Intramuros still looks as it does now. We have kept the kalesas going for the tourists only now there is a golf course surrounding the gate. Here is the gate to Fort Santiago. It curiously holds up a Freemason symbol. What is that all about? Incidentally, this is where my hero uncle has been laid to rest. He was beheaded along with others who wrote insurgent material against the Japanese government. You rock Uncle Dever Alejandro!

I'll post more Vintage Manila when I have more time.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Earrings Contest

I love so many Etsy sites. It is my dream to win a piece of jewelry from Etsy!!! Here's my chance!

Thanks to Sweeter Than Me Site, these brass earrings may just be mine.
If you want to win these too, click to

If you browse around you'll find so many delightful jewelry pieces. My favorite is the Navya...
but the others are all so charming as well!

May the best woman win!


Monday, August 24, 2009

Sun Shine

Some days, the sun is just too bright. Just like today. But it's always like this in Manila. Every day the sun just has to peep out. It's rare to find an all out cloudy day. I guess that's why ManileƱos just keep smiling!

I made this ATC with some textured paper, watercolor, gel pens, paper cuttings and a whole lot of sunshine!

Hold a True Friend

A true friend is someone who stands by you through the sunshine and the rain (and the cloudy days when it's neither here nor there). A true friend will tell you if you have a piece of lettuce in between your teeth and all your wide grins were not adding anything to your overall image.
A true friend is someone you can call at any time of the day just to pass the time with nonsense musings. A true friend can make you laugh during the times you just want to bury your head in the sand.

What is a true friend to you? Do you have such a friend?

I made this ATC using textured paper, cloth bits, gel pens, sticker transfers and painted paper. I almost got addicted to making round faces and using smudgy pens that turn into watercolor ink!

You are Loved

When the world is all just a splash of color dancing in the wind, think of this thought... you are loved.

You are someone well thought of and finely crafted and every part of you is a unique gift of the Creator.

There is always something to smile about and more to laugh about. Each eyelash is there for a specific purpose and it is yours to remind you that you are loved.

Each thought and each word that comes from you can only come from you so don't hold back in showing the world that you are loved.

Flower Faces

This is the first of the Flower Face series of pieces I made. It so delights me to see their big eyes and smiling wide lips.

Isn't it that in every one of us we have a flower face?

It could be that we put on a happy face today for we feel we got a sunflower when we woke up in the morning. Then we have a rosey face when we feel aflush with life's beauty and are filled with awe. Then we may want to snap at someone and give them a snapdragon smile?

Yes this is all hogwash but it still gives me joy to think that behind every flower face is a true and natural emotion!

The Present Moment

The title of this ATC or artist trading card is "Now". There's something about the here and now that is so precious.

We must value "now" and treat it with reverence don't you think? If we don't we lose sight of how important it is and it passes by in a blur...

Now I am giving a part of my thoughts to you, thus giving you a part of myself. Isn't that something? That was then, now I am giving the visual representation of that thought to you too... that's a part of what I see...

New Eyes to See

I suddenly have new eyes to see the world and I just had to reflect it in my artwork this weekend. Having your eyes lasered is quite unnerving and yes I thought of what would happen if something went wrong and went blind!

But thank God everything went smoothly and even my doctor Dr. Timmy Tan told me my eyes were healing quite quickly!

It's clearly a better quality of vision now despite the glare of new surgery! Incomparable to contacts and spectacles.

I am now thankful for the red, irritated and itchy eyes I was frequently having despite buying new contact lenses... and the red blotchy skin I'd get from wearing glasses... or else I wouldn't even consider having this procedure done.

This is truly an open door that though frightening to go through has certainly turned out to be the best decision I've ever made in my life!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beguiling Women

Since I was very little, I've been fascinated with drawing beguiling women. Women with large piercing eyes seemed to always be the stuff of heroines and wherever they went, adventure and mystery went too.

I used to keep a sketch book of women and each had a description in the bottom. Their personality and lives all products of my imagination.

Even now my doodles mostly contain women. I hardly draw men. If I do, it's just so my women drawings have companions on paper.

Living in an age where beauty is altogether given too much importance is thought-provoking. From childhood, one is already stereotyped in school plays as either a heroine or a supporting character. There are too few spaces for the leading role in life. I'm sure many little girls have been thus traumatized by being cast as a witch or even a background tree.

In my case, I remember begging to be a witch and another time, a tree. My classmates were always putting me in the limelight. I was always the princess or other. Maybe it was because I was averse to contradicting others and they knew I wouldn't put up much of a fight. Maybe because all of them, like me, hated being in the limelight!

Women are strong. Women are beautiful. Women are sensitive and have an intuitiveness that can save lives. Here's my little tribute sketch to women like me! :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Strung Memories

Beads delight me. It's fascinating how one bead can seem so different from another yet look so good together. Combining different materials and pulling it off to make something beautiful is a gift. I've been experimenting with what I have and discovering what makes my eyes happy.

I found out that I like old things. They make me think and feel fuzzy all over. They make my imagination soar to far off places impossible to visit.

A thousand stories can be found in a single bead, specially if it is worn out, rusty and dusty. Here I combined silver with pearl, brown with gold and photographed it atop a vintage doily.

The metal square with glass cover has two sides with images. The pictures encased were designed by my sister Peggy. She loves making ATCs (artist trading cards and has her own blog at

I like combining metal with a cord so that it is more interesting. Butterflies also fascinate me. I cannot duplicate this piece anymore since the beads are just from odds and ends.

One day, another sister saw this first before she saw me! I was wearing it to our community assembly and it caught her eye. It's a lot like the ATCs that she also makes. She is the Queen of ATCs in our family and my other sisters are close behind. Her blog is found at

My third sister is the best at jewelry making among all of us. Her work inspires me to make my own. In fact this necklace is very similar to her designs just because I love it so much! Her blog is found at

Ever since I could remember, my sisters have been crafters. They seem to always have something cooking (but not in the kitchen). They are always learning about some new art form and sharing about fresh ideas they've seen.

We are a lot like beads that are so different but look very well together. We have the same interests and have so many things to talk about. We are also growing old through time yet the memories we share become more precious as the years go by.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Win a Summer Set!

If you love winning things from blog contests, try joining this one! This is a simple way to receive a nice package in the mail from all around the world without leaving your computer.

Papemelroti Gift Shops is offering a Summer Set - a set of scrapbooking notebooks for artists (like you?) if you just leave a suggestion (it can be about anything) for the shop. They will use a random number generator to choose the winner so even late comers will have the same chance.

Just make sure you join before June 10th, 2009.

Click over to for the contest!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Light in the Darkness

My pilgrimage to France and Italy this past Holy Week went well. It gave me a lot of time to journal and clear my thoughts about my personal direction. Many times I was surprised by God in the way I'd find answers to my questions in a bible passage or two. Or the time when I confessed and the priest gave me divine advice that had nothing whatsoever to what I confessed to him.

This is one of my most favorite pictures I took inside the Vatican. It exemplifies light in the darkness.

In such a grandiose space, the light soothes and pacifies and makes everything simpler. It gives a stark contrast emphasizing the intricate grill work that is found in many places all over Rome (and that I love).

Many prayers have been said at this spot and I'm sure many of them have already been answered.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Blogger Tricks Contest!

I'm joining Blogger Tricks Contest!

Hopefully I get the chance to win some cash I can spend online mainly for books... who knows right? The trick is to earn at least 10 points blogging about this contest, leaving a comment on every site (on earth) :)

The link is here
Go visit the sponsors too!
Directory Submission Service :
She Told Me :
Discount Codes :
Make Money Online :

Blog contests are really fun. Winning 2 items that just arrived is quite encouraging too! I am the type who has never won anything in supermarket raffles so I was just thrilled when I learned about Blog contests. So let me know if you caught the contest bug too but don't tell me if you won (and I didn't) har har.

Win a Papemelroti Summer Set!

Papemelroti is my favorite shop. Well, I do work there, ha ha.

Want to share with you the current blog contest of our shop. All you have to do (very simple) is to put a suggestion on the bottom of this page and you will be included in the draw this coming June.

The prize is a coordinated pack with the newest Summer design by artist Peggy. It includes a journal with recycled paper pages with coptic binding, small full color notebook with lined pages and a lovely notelet. Great for journaling, scrapbooking and note-taking. I hope you will win and enjoy this set!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Prize from One World One Heart

Did I tell you I won a prize (actually many little prizes) because I joined the One World One Heart Giveaway Blog Event?

Well, my prize, a little Junque Bird arrived! I'm so very very happy and excited! At first I was afraid it would get squished traveling all the way from the USA to the Philippines but it arrived unscathed!

It came with several other goodies that I chose from Cindy's Website or
It is fondly displayed on my desk at work beside another win of mine, this time an own (saving this information for another blog).

Incidentally over the past week, people have been giving me stranded baby birds to take care of. I've had success with 3 birds and have lost 1 so I can tell if it is likely they will survive with me or not.
Both baby birds that were given to me to take care of were old enough to shout for their mothers and had low-flying skills they could use to flee predators so I decided to leave them in the vicinity where they were found. Actually "they" decided this as they flew away.
Which brings me back to my Junque Bird. It is so precious to me all the more since it was made for me by Cindy and in the color I requested.

Other items from my win were a ring binder notebook, some craft paper and embellishments for projects.

If you want to win something this May, there is a similar contest with a Summer Set available as a prize. Click on over to and see if you want to join!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Feel Empowered!

I like using bold colors in my collages. They give a dramatic feel to the piece and the contrast makes the piece stand out. I like the fairy angel vintage photograph on this as the lady seems to be telling us that she can do anything she puts her mind to!

My sister Patsy is the ATC (artist trading card) queen in our home though my second sister Peggy is following close behind!

She taught us how to put texture on paper and provided lots of cuttings, vine shapes, stamps, pens, sticky words and so much more!

She has what we call a "magic book" which has all different cutouts in a wide variety of colors and styles to put into the masterpiece of the moment.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

French Farmhouse

Up on a castletop lives a little farmhouse where very important people once lived. This place saw the popularity of the an obscure town into a world destination. All because a poor, simple girl with a pure heart saw a beautiful lady in white.

The girl was named Bernadette and the place, known all over as Lourdes.

Though the dwelling area of the powerful in a small village, the ancient castle showed an otherwise far from ostentatious way of living. What more so if you visit the saint's home, a former jail.

So charming in its tiny proportions. I put a bit of color into the sky.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blinking from Bois de Boulogne

I was in Bois de Boulogne, Paris for a few days and I couldn't contain my excitement. It is perfect for a recuperating artist as it is the called the "lungs" of Paris, filled with nature, botanical gardens and parks.

Blinking women have in some way a half mystery to tell. They have one eye closed to reality and one eye wide open to whatever may come. Just another day will come and whether or not I am in Paris or in Manila, I'll be in both places at once with my blinking woman.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Let me introduce you to a little French gypsy girl I made while in my sister's beach home. She is definitely a sassy girl with a huge earring on her right ear and green shadowed eyes!

The family had a pile of art materials in the middle of the dining room and we all surrounded it with our own imaginative pieces of square art! We will probably use this a lot for our stationery products in the shop though this piece has never been used yet. You are the first to view it!

I hope you like it!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Collage Art for a Magazine Article

I was commissioned to do work for Baby Magazine as they did a feature on us siblings last December. Since it was difficult to schedule a time when all of us could be together on a photo shoot, this was an excellent replacement. It shows us as children using our imagination mostly rather than toys.

Growing up, I remember my siblings making me a paper doll out of paper and cardboard as well as its numerous clothing. My brother Robert made "Patrick" and my sister Peggy made "Pamela". These well-loved paper dolls are with me to this day, preserved with love.

The article was about how creativity grows when children have to make up their own toys, recycling different things laying about in the house (like making a horror house out of headless dolls) or making up games that amuse (like throwing wet tissue paper and see whose sticks on the ceiling longest... ugggh).

I get ribbed a lot since I am the youngest and "richest" of all. When I was born, the family was considerably more well off and could afford a few niceties for me. Still, I was too little for the "Funny Company" and could only go "gaagaa googoo" so I missed a lot of that growing up. I had to content myself with torturing my yaya (I was the only one who had one).

We are arranged from eldest to youngest and what we are doing tells a story of its own. Can you guess what we are doing?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One World-One Heart 2009 Giveaway

This contest has closed.
The winner of the customized jewelry is Karla Rosendall from Michigan, USA
Visit her fantastic artsy site at

Congratulations Karla!


This is my first time to join the One World One Heart Event for bloggers all over blogland!

My giveaway will be this wooden decoupage necklace with metal accents on a leather cord.
I will make a one of a kind design for you by personalizing it with your name and your name's meaning. I hope you like it!

All you need to do is comment at the bottom (you don't need to have a blog) and you will have a chance to win it! Please be sure to include your e-mail address so I can reach you.
I also suggest you visit the other blogs signed up with giveaways and bookmark the beautiful ones that inspire you! Enjoy!


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