terracotta, suede, apricot, champagne, honeydew, moss, straw, capiz, onyx, and gold

June 2, 2012 § 3 Comments

They have something in common!  They will all belong in our wedding ceremony and “desserts in the desert” picnic reception on the bluffs of the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  Hooray, it’s all coming together!

We didn’t just want a color scheme.  We wanted items that are beautiful in their natural color, tactile in their form, and above all, significant in their purpose.  Alas, we found a theme that meaningfully bridges our two unique cultures and our spectacular venue.

Given the earthy surroundings, there will be plenty of terracotta.  These items were first to be purchased, as they are the focal point of our picnic.   Conveniently, minimal crafting is required with our plans for these ready-made pots and saucers.  However, I also picked up 5 pounds of self-hardening terracotta clay and have been busy sculpting away.  More on my terracotta sculpting in another post!

The culture of the Grand Canyon considered (we are getting married in the lands owned by the Hualapai Indians), suede is a must!  O.T. is a fan of camel suede (and not afraid to wear it in blazer form).  I love camel suede just the same (and also wasn’t afraid to wear, with great frequency, a pair of camel suede pants in my college years).  I struck luck when I found camel micro-suede on sale for $12/m.  With even more amazing luck, I found a beautiful apricot sorbet shade of micro-suede on clearance for $4.75/m (I could not love it enough!).  Lots of items will be made with these.  Some are already done, which I will be showing soon!

What’s a picnic without straw mats?  Equally important, straw is such a significant part of Philippine craft and export.  But to bridge our cultures, these mats will don a Turkish persona!  Big things (Turkish things) are about to happen to these modest dollar store mats.

The pride of Philippine craft, the capiz will make some appearances, too (thanks, Mom!!!).  These flat, thin, opalescent shells will give a sparkling contrast to the terracotta, suede, and straw.

Of course, apricot, honeydew, and champagne are beautiful colors, but they’re meant to be eaten and drunk.  This will be, afterall, a desserts-in-the-desert picnic!  I have planned my best to use the apricot and honeydew in creative and edible ways (among a list of desserts I plan to develop and make, because I’m crazy like that).  And to swallow it down?  Champagne.  O.T. and I are actually not much of drinkers, but our helicopter service happens to come with champagne — so who would refuse?  I’m sure someone in our small party would be happy to drink it all down (namely, my brother)!

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grand wedding plans

May 15, 2012 § 14 Comments

Finally.  PLANS.  Plans as small and grand as small and grand can be.  Plans that absolutely make me the happiest bride-to-be!
It took a while to get here, as you’ve known.  A lot of options, opinions, and operatics (that, mostly from me).  Now all is clear (dare I throw the word, opacified?).  O.T. and Iwill be getting married at the bottom of the Grand Canyon on the 3rd of July!  It will be small — our parents and my brother only.  And it will be kept that way — the only way to the bottom is by helicopter and O.T. and I have arranged for two private helicopters to take us and our small party there, along with a minister and photographer.
It’s miles away from the San Francisco City Hall wedding I initially wanted, isn’t it?  I’m glad we got here.  The process was worthwhile though prolonged.  Nothing was making anyone happy.  The prospect of City Hall dampened most of everyone’s celebratory mood.  But the grand plans expected of us were not catered to us, and definitely not to me.  I don’t care, never cared, for the big party and will not be throwing one.  One day in March, O.T. suggested we get hitched in Las Vegas, where we met for the second time after our serendipitous meeting in San Francisco.   Then it hit me — we can get married in the Grand Canyon!  Afterall, our first road trip together was to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas back in 2008.  It all makes sense.  And this is so much more exciting than City Hall!
 
For the first time in our year-long engagement, EVERYTHING makes sense.  The past month has been one big happy DIY brainstorm.  And what’s great is O.T. is letting me do my thing (which, to a chronic crafter like me, is a relief!).   I’ve started to make all the little items that will make our wedding the best the Grand Canyon did see!
Over the next 7 weeks, I will be posting all the tutorials of our wedding DIY, in unfinished pieces, of course — you will see the big picture when it is all put together in July!
It’s crafting time!

bad blogger. bad.

April 13, 2012 § 2 Comments

Slap on the wrist.  Make that two.  I have two hands for typing afterall.  Apparently, I’ve been blogging since the early 1980’s at the age of 2… Image

Updates are to follow!  I want to share the verdict about the wedding once it’s written in stone — hoping to have it booked by next week.  I have my fingers crossed! There better be no blotches in the fine print, otherwise my super fantastic wedding of a lifetime will have to be put back to the drawing table.

Thank you SO much for all of your support and thoughtful replies and wonderful emails since my last post.  I have started to reply to comments from the previous post, but my eyes are now drooping.  1:00 am here and I am driving a whopping 750 km to New York tomorrow afternoon directly from the office (not the first time I’m doing this crazy solo drive since I last blogged).  I will continue with my replies when I’m back from New York.

Have a great weekend and enjoy my catch-up crafts coming right up!

canadian living february 2012 issue: valentine candy heart boxes

January 9, 2012 § 8 Comments

On Friday, as my co-workers and I spent our lunch hour wandering the aisles of a nearby Walmart, I spotted the February issue of Canadian Living Magazine already out on newsstands!

I did my rounds of grocery shopping on Saturday and, indeed, the issue is available everywhere magazines are sold in Canada.  So if you’re in Canada, please head over to your closest newsstands to pick up a copy and turn to pages 66-67.   For those of you beyond our Canadian borders, you can find the article at canadianliving.com. (I will update once the craft is available for viewing online).

Here it is!  Treat boxes in the likeness of candy hearts for you to make for your sweetheart this Valentine’s!

Am I giddy!  My first print publication.  Well, my “first”, unless considered are my monthly column for our local Parish newspaper at the age of 13 and my dreadful illustrations in the high school newspaper, but they simply won’t (shan’t) count.  So yes, this is my first print publication.  Ever.  And of the year.  I am so blessed.  I didn’t imagine when I started this blog not so long ago that my first print publication would be a two-page spread in a national magazine.

I cannot wait to share with you other publications to follow in 2012 (and, praying for a bit of luck, beyond).  I could not have more gratitude for the opportunities being given.  Thank you!

NYE in NYC

January 8, 2012 § 3 Comments

After Christmas with the folks in quiet suburban Michigan, I was so eager to loudly ring in the new year last weekend at the world-famous countdown in Times Square, now that O.T. has officially moved to the Hudson Valley in New York.  Well, this is an experience only worth attempting once — and the operative word is “attempt”.

We made the clever choice of taking the subway into Manhattan and arrived in Columbus Circle by 8:00 pm.  From here, there isn’t glaring evidence of the mess that is Manhattan on New Year’s Eve, until we turned the corner and started walking south along 8th Avenue…

Nearly all streets were closed.  Crowds were being corralled like cattle.  Seriously.  Our walk along 8th, from Columbus Circle to 53rd (where we missed a dinner reservation because the street access had closed), and redirecting ourselves back to 59th to be able to cross to 7th — took an hour, including a ten-minute pizza break to calm my nerves (p.s. New York City has the best pizza in America…so sorry, Chicago).

At 9:00 pm, the time we made it to 7th, we found our line of sight on Times Square.  We were sandwiched between the Wellington and Park Central Hotels at 56th.  With a crowd this large, this was the absolute closest we could be to Times Square — a whopping thirteen blocks away from the festivities and with three more hours to spare,  standing still like grazing cows, except without the open green pastures or the elbow room.

Maybe, the 7-footer man standing directly in my line of sight was the deal-breaker.  The view of his head, though shiny, was not an ideal replacement of the New Year’s ball.  O.T. and I decided on a recourse…

Back to 8th Avenue.  9:30 pm.  It wasn’t so bad.  The crowded coral on 8th had a huge TV screen with semi-audible sounds.  remiding us to “Don’t Stop Believin'”.  When I looked up, we were at the foot of the beautiful blue Dream Hotel, under a clear message.

O.T. and I left long before the clock struck midnight.  We were in his car, driving north on the Taconic, when the ball dropped and he honked the horn and flickered the lights and we could not be happier.

NYE in NYC provided me with early lessons in 2012.   Always be prepared.  If things don’t go as planned, it’s okay — take alternatives.  Always find some fun out of the journey (at the least, find a pizza joint).  At the end of the day, no matter how rough, the most significant are those you love.  And, always look up higher and dream (big, like New York City).

christmas with the folks and holiday handcrafted decor

January 8, 2012 § 4 Comments

Here we are — me with mom, dad, and my older brother — posing inside the Compuware building before gorging on meat at Texas de Brazil in downtown Detroit.  As you know, my parents are Michiganders and all holidays of the year are spent south of the Canadian border.

I also want to share with you pictures of the wonderful handcrafted treasures adorning my parents’ house during Christmas each year, and hope you will find some inspiration in these pieces for your own handmade decorations.

The craftiness of my culture is something I take much pride in.  At your next décor jaunt to, say, Pier One for example, if you take a good look you will discover that many of the “earthy” products are crafted in the Philippines.  Craft is a huge part of Philippine export and culture, specifically crafts made out of natural products such as wood and fibers.  My mom has traveled many trips to Manila only to haul back luggage filled with holiday handcrafted décor.

My parents’ nine-foot tall tree is peppered with a number of unique handmade ornaments, out of molded pulp and embellished with rhinestones and large opalescent red beads.  They remind me of fashion earrings, except about four times the size (I tried to wear them once for amusement, however, until oversize earrings reaching past the collarbone become fashionable, I will leave them on the tree).

My parents also have a spectacular Philippine-made crèche on their fireplace mantle.  Each character is up to 10 inches tall and carefully crafted using native fibers.  The material is similar to the decorative mesh bought at craft stores.  However, these fibers have finer lattice and are more pliable.  Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the three kings, and the angel all don garments sewn out of these fibers.  I love the added details, such as the ropes and tassels, and especially the fluffy feathers on the angel’s wings.

The set is a gift from my aunt who bought it at a craft show in Manila ten years ago.  The following year, my uncle found a near-identical Philippine-made crèche at a boutique at the tony Yorkville neighborhood here in Toronto.  He laughed after his sticker-shock — each character was being sold at $100 a piece, putting the whole set in the $700 mark.  My aunt paid only a fraction at the source in Manila.  If you are inspired, perhaps you can make your own this year!   Sew some decorative mesh for the garments and bake some polymer clay for the faces, hats, crowns, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and you have yourself a substantial project for 2012!

“digital” magnets for your new year affirmations and resolutions

January 5, 2012 § 9 Comments

Have you got a list started?  If not, now is the time to start.  In fact, now is my affirmation and resolution for 2012.

No big lists for me this year.  No other word best encapsulates energy, exigency, and urgency as now.  No lofty goals.  No unmet expectations.  Now is critical.  If we can muster every bit of effort on what we are doing now, then everything to follow is a whopping sum of our best efforts and therefore the best outcome.  Work hard now, reap success to come.  Workout now, ripped biceps to come.  So make and do, and make do — now.  It is so simple!

And just as simple is the effort to make these digital magnets for your new year affirmations and resolutions, should you want to expand your list now (apart from “now”).

I spent $5 on five rolls of 1/2″ adhesive magnet strips at the dollar store, each roll being 24″ long.   With just $5 and a bit of glitter from my craft drawer, I was able to make fifty-five 2″ strips and ten 1″ strips to make a set of digital magnets that can make sufficient characters on the fridge or whiteboard.

Just cut the magnet strips into 2″ strips, then make a few 1″ strips.  Cut each end into a point.  Then peel the adhesive backing and dip into glitter for a glow.

Arrange on the fridge or whiteboard with words and phrases that will remind you of what’s most important this year!  Make those resolutions stick (if not for the remainder of the year, then at least on your fridge)!

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