Monday, September 17, 2012

Jay ♥ Czacza: The Actual Setup

Vintage imagery + Typography + Heat transfer = His print
And as plans went, the winds leaned towards the tempestuous, especially when it applied to the reception preparations.  The fluctuations on the number of guests, tables, table configurations, etc. increased in the days leading to the big event, but Czacza was the picture of ease and grace.  Even as she dropped by the night before to see the centerpiece porcelain items and drop off the printouts of the wedding rules, she was composed (as she matter-of-factly told her groom that she couldn't deal with his shoe selection issues at the moment) despite relaying all of the last-minute concerns.

The Hers print.  :-)
I still don't have all of the photos of all of the handmade details (the "Just Married" heat transfer buntings, the fresh flower bouquets of the entourage), but let me share some items we were able document.

The boutonnieres looked like this!
The boutonnieres were made from canvas, hemp rope, dried misty blue flowers and pearl.  I had fun experimenting with the ombre effect.

Bouquet and a detail of the backdrop.
Instead of sticking to just blue, the entourage bouquets incorporated pink, so we added those hues to the centerpieces as well, with hydrangeas, berries and astrumeria.  The hydrangeas were more whitish than bluish, and since these aren't that easy to get (we had to reserve these about a month in advance), we had to make do.  The original plan for pink roses for the entourage had to be changed to pink and cream carnations and mums with berries (gosh, I have to get photos of those).

Detail and top view of the varied centerpieces.
We had varied centerpieces, incorporating the bottles with the decals, porcelain tea cups and bowls with floating candles, using vases and varied sizes of mason jars to hold the flowers, votives, and decorative ceramic balls.

Using embroidery hoops with heat transferred designs in the backdrop.
For the backdrop, we had a frame constructed, and incorporated printed designs hanging from embroidery hoops of various sizes, as well as doilies, lace, ribbon and string.

Embroidery hoops and doilies!
The beads from the original setup for the centerpieces were strung from the backdrop instead.

The floating candle waits to jump into the teacup.
We did the table numbers in embroidery hoops too.
Doilies and ribbon for the seats.
Enderun was a pretty venue.
All in all, we were pretty happy with how it turned out, and were glad to have been part of Jay and Czacza's special day.  And for a first handmade styling gig, we sure learned a lot.  This was a team effort, with Mom and Dad pitching in (making me go to bed at 5 AM), Lex being a sport in the sourcing of items, and Gemma and Nikki helping during the setup itself.

Here's to handmade details! 

PS: The awesome wedding coordinators were Jets and Rhona Battung of Canaan Celebrations.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

First Styling Gig! Jay ♥ Czacza

So a while back, I posted on silkscreening doilies for a friend's wedding.  It was also for this same gig that I prepared this sample rustic bouquet of fabric roses.  Since the fabric bouquet seemed too minimalist for her, I tried my hand at arranging a fresh one.  And since the wedding happily took place last July, I can now post pictures of how everything turned out!  :-)

First off, the sample setup.  The bride specifically requested for hydrangeas, and thankfully Lex and I were able to source these.  I learned though that fresh flowers are really tricky.  Their availability depends on the weather, the farm's disposition, transportation, etc.  For the setup, I was able to get hydrangeas that had bluish/purplish flowers.

Hydrangeas are lovely, aren't they?  They're also very thirsty flowers.  I learned though that they can last for quite a long time even when cut, as long as they're in water.
Then I tried to think of how to add a touch of charm.  And the first thing I thought of were doilies!  So I got to work having a screen made, and made a few for the setup.  They ended up in varying shades of gray, so I had to note that when I went into producing all of the doilies needed for the reception, I'd need a big batch of a pre-mixed gray.

I also thought of using stickered bottles for the centerpieces.  The decals used had nice romantic words and graphics.  I hadn't quite seen these at a setup before (then again, I don't look around that much), but then I just liked the idea.  The bride agreed.  :-)

I used jute string to hang a sparse curtain of blue beads (for the blue element of her wedding motif), and put in these decorative ceramic balls.  The bride actually suggested these in her pegs.  I love the way candles can totally change how a simple setup looks, so I learned how to make floating candles, and got some ceramics and glassware.

The sample rustic bouquet, and the setup from top view.  The bride vetoed the dried tree-stuff on the table.
I also got some succulents, put them in odd, charming porcelain and added them to the table decor.

Setup details!
And voila!  I was pretty happy with how it turned out.  Little did I know what a challenge it would be, replicating this to a reception setting of more than 120 (the guest list grew--these things apparently happen in the process).

My next post will be how the actual wedding setup turned out.  :-)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Franco Turns 1!

It isn't everyday your one-and-only nephew turns 1!  For Franco's farm-tastic party, I made barn buntings!  Well, I did it with a bit of help from Lex, and a really helpful stranger.

And here's the finished workshop drying over at the Craft MNL workshop.

So I made this design with the original intention of having it laser cut onto light blue and red pieces of paper.  My sister-in-law is an interior designer, and so she had his color-themed party all set up.  Thing is, I ran into a bit of trouble with having the paper either lasercut or plotter-ed.  So I went to the next best thing--screen printing!

The screen printing spread on the left, and Jeric, a really nice stranger who happened to be there (and who also happened to have 15 years of commercial screen printing experience on his belt).

I did the drill: prepared my design, and sent it over to Andrei and Sheina of Hocus (with my profuse apologies for having a last-minute screen burning request).  They had the screen ready in no time though, and so Lex bought some red textile paint, I cut up some extra canvas I had, and we were ready to roll.

As I prepped the table and laid out the stuff, a stranger who had been spray painting outside happened to settle on our half-door.  Feeling a bit self-conscious (as I'm hardly a pro at screen printing), I started up a bit of conversation.  Turns out the stranger's name was Jeric, and he had been helping out at his family's screen printing business for quite a long time already.  And being the helpful person that he is, he gave Lex and I some pointers that turned out some pretty nice prints.

At the farm at Hahndorf.  Franco's buntings are strung up on the side.

So fast-forward to Franco's party.  :-)  It started out to be a cold and rainy day, but it soon got brighter and sunnier.

The goodie bags Shar prepared, and the toy balloons Eleanor brought (that were awesomely shaped by some of Franco's guests).
Mum prepared her special pancit (cellophane noodle dish), and poses with Clarisse on the left.  A view of the open field facing the shed at the Hahndorf Farm.

Hahndorf is about a 20-minute drive from my brother's area in Adelaide.  It's a German settlement with a main avenue lined with quaint shops.  I loved the fact that Franco's party was at a farm!  The kids had an awesome time with the animal show, and getting up close to our furry (and woolly and feathery) friends!

The birthday boy in a semi-serious moment on the left.  And on the right, Franco poses with Daddy and the tiny pony!

Geez.  The thought of my older brother having a little boy who just turned one is kind of...nostalgic.  He's such a happy baby too (my nephew, not my brother), so Mart and Shar are doing a fantastic job of raising such an adorable little boy.  :-)

"Happy 1st Birthday Franco" spelled out on the most amazing tasting lemon tarts I've ever, ever had.  And a snapshot of inside the barn, in the area where the chickens run around.

Birthday cupcakes on the left, and on the right--our woolly friends huddle to stay warm.  The lambs are such cuties!

Mum swipes a lemon tart from the tray, not knowing they spelled out Franco's birthday greeting (those lemon tarts were that good).  And Franco leans in to his cupcake candle as Mart and Shar blow out the flame.

Franco's guests spend time with our feathered friends on the left, Eleanor and Tom after marathon barbecuing on the right.

It was an awesome way of turning 1.  And I'm really happy that the family was nearly complete, and in attendance for it.  Later that evening, we Skyped with Dad and Lex in Manila.

Dad saying hello, and Franco telling Lolo "I'm 1!".

Handmade goodies can make an occasion quite lovely, but it's the love that weaves the occasion into one that imprints itself onto your .

Monday, July 2, 2012

Yay, Home!

It's been a while!  Finally, the little voice in my head telling me I'm neglecting this blog is appeased.  Now I've got loads to tell and share, and it'll be quite a challenge putting everything down as everything goes on around me.  :-)

I just got back a few days ago from a family trip to the land down under, with a stopover in Singapore for a few days before heading back home sweet home.  It was my nephew's first birthday, so the family was nearly complete at his cute farmtastic party!  I got some help doing some screen printed buntings for that, and I'll post photos of that soon.

All in all, it was quite the whirlwind preparing for the trip, and a balancing act between work and actually being in the trip, trying not to come off as too much of a party pooper, while genuinely enjoying the time I had with my family.

Here are some snapshots from the trip.  Loads more to follow, including going nuts in Spotlight, spinning silk at Craft NSW, awesome eats, and amusing oddities.  Plus of course my nephew's adorable photos.  :-)

From Manila to Sydney.  The photo on the left is the home sweet home pic.  I got the reflectorized letters from Typo.  Gad, I kinda went nuts in there, too.
At Cleland Wildlife Park!  We got to pet the koalas.  Mom even got to hug one!
Communing with nature.  Eleanor and the koala.  Mart hand-feeds a kangaroo!
Family portraits at the airport, and Mom and Dad being kinda funny at the Changi airport.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

And away they go.

Hmmm.  My first sale on Etsy.
And off they go.

My first set of handpainted cake toppers go to a lovely Filipino couple in New Jersey.  Just to make it extra-special, I sewed two pouches (loving my sewing machine!) for these two to be kept in.  And because it took me a while to put everything together, I'm slipping into the package this lovely brooch/bracelet made of canvas, cotton lace and pearl.

I'm a fan of multi-functional jewelry.

I first prototyped this type of brooch/bracelet when I was designing something with my older sister in mind.  She's allergic to metals (though she seems to be okay with gold--quite the high-end allergy, if you don't consider fabric, wood and other non-metal alternatives)--her skin gets all red and blistery when in contact with them.  So to minimize metal contact, I prepared a bracelet with a strap made of wooden beads, topped with a canvas flower, that when detached from the strap can be used as a brooch.  There's still a bit of metal contact (the brooch clasp), but at least it isn't all that much.

So for Meliza, who ordered the cake toppers off of my Etsy shop, I made the bracelet/brooch above.  My first prototype of this kind had a smaller flower, but a friend suggested having a bigger one, creating more of a statement piece.

Personalized pouches.  Love.

And here are the heat transfer-printed pouch bags I made with my trusty sewing machine!

And off they go tomorrow on yet another adventure.  Awww.  I got kind of attached to this cake topper couple.  Sniff.  They'll be lovely additions though to someone's wedding memories, which I think is a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Craft Soiree!

A sampling of the awesome crafters that converged at Pipino over a week ago.

A belated, belated post.  As I'm getting the hang of managing my workload, my need to make stuff, and organizing workshops (plus a little work-life balance), I suppose a little documentation via more consistent posts here wouldn't hurt.  :-)

The weekend before last saw about 17 crafters converge at Pipino Vegetarian Restaurant for Life After Breakfast's first craft soiree!  :-)  It was wonderful!  The food, the vibe, meeting different crafters and marveling at all of the cool stuff everyone else does!  I think that fateful event sowed the seeds for future collaborations.  Exciting stuff.

It was also like Christmas!  Everyone brought something to exchange, so we came home with tote bags full of goodies!  Drumroll, please.

A delight for the eyes and for the tummy!

Okay, the item on the left never made it to my tote bag, because I ate it right away.  Um, I ate both of them.  Right away.  Hehe.  Thus, a picture pre-consumption.  This was a red velvet cupcake from Macy's Fields!  It was yummy.  The items on the right all came in a happily wrapped package prepared by Lorra of Stars for Dreams.  A notebook she drew on herself, a postcard and a bookmark she designed!

Prettiness all around.
The item to the left is a silver clay charm with my initial on it, handcrafted by Alessa herself.  Yay, we might be having silver clay workshops at Craft MNL, too!  Watch out for that.  The folder-full of lovely stationery on the right flew all the way in from Davao, in the artistic hands of April, who is behind Artisan Paperie.

A friendly reminder, and a load of friendly loot!

Wiji of the Curious Studio hand-lettered the postcards she gave away that afternoon, while the stash on the right is (1) an assortment of rings and a moustache necklace from Nikki of Junk Studio,  (2) a handmade wallet by Pat (whose demo of 20-ways-to-wear-a-skirt I sorely missed), (3) a coffee cozy by Kaye, (4) tiny clay charms by Anna, (5) a cute cross-stitch kit from DMC, (6) a box sample (with earrings inside) from Kilusan, a box manufacturing company based in Makati, (7) a pair of earrings from dyosaimma.  Numbers below for those without links.  

Different materials, different skills.  All craft.
The assortment on the left begins with (1) an acrylic cutout pendant from Wiji also, (2) a felt toy kit from Beam of Artwine (love her felt bouquets, too!), (3) washi tape and funky cotton rope from Mansy, (4) a pretty friendship bracelet from Mikko (I also bought the Friendship Bracelet book too!), and (5) more washi tapes from Joanne of the Quaint Desk!  And on the right, a screenprinted surfer girl tote bag from Noelle (with printed goodies inside), and personalized crayons from Koko!

Whew.  That was a feast for the eyes, for the tummy, and for every craft-gratifying pore muscle I've got.  

I strung up the buntings from Quaint Desk at Craft MNL!  And here's Nikki and Alessa.

We also had bracelet-making with DMC after the craft exchange!  Although my creation ended up being NOT a bracelet...

...but mismatched earrings!  These later evolved with rivets.

I was also happy to see some of the crafters wearing the little fishie earrings I made (perhaps because I wasn't able to package them properly too, boohoo).  But it was nice seeing the fish floating about.

I must admit though that Koko's dimple steals the show.

Yay!  Here's to more craft gatherings!  :-)  This handmade adventure just got bigger.


Kilusan Box Mfg. Company


Friday, May 4, 2012



The past couple of weeks have been crazy busy with the my regular communications design load and the opening workshops at Craft MNL.

So there went my NaPoWriMo attempt.  :-(  I'll still be posting poems nevertheless.

This Saturday, I'm really excited for the craft soiree organized by Alessa!  We're supposed to bring 15 craft items to give away, and at first I was totally torn between heat transfer prints and flower accessories.  In the end, the fish won out!  Palm-leaf weaving inspired, these little fish are fun accessories.  Will still be sneaking in crafting more of these in between deadlines!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Fresh Flower Arrangement!

Fresh and pretty...a day after getting the flowers!

Yay, so I was finally able to finish the fresh flower bouquet sample for a friend's wedding.  Her theme is more on the blues, but for lack of blue-hued flowers, I went with purples and whites and greens.

I learned something from Lex on why there's a scarcity of blue flowers.  Apparently, bees can't see the color blue all that well, so blue flowers aren't pollinated as much, and thus they aren't as prolific.

Anyway, the bouquet above is assembled from purple and white paper roses, the delicate misty blue (I heard they dry to the same color, so I'll tie a bunch together and hang), and some berries.

Flipping through a bouquet book at National Bookstore, I learned that this type of bouquet is the "natural" type, a less calculated arrangement as opposed to the more "finished" types of bouquets.

Glad they were happy with this.  :-)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Project: Heat transfer signage!

We're having our first workshop by the end of the month!  :-D

The Craft MNL workshop is well...almost open!  We still have to get our schedules down pat to have someone there most of the time, but in the meantime, we're cooking up all sorts of workshops for everyone to enjoy!  Watch out for screen printing, art collage and bookbinding, with possibly friendship bracelet making in the works!  I've been so excited these past few days, I've been getting up extra early in the morning in anticipation.  :-)

Of course, as part of the excitement, I prepared a rather quaint, rustic signage for the workshop.  Of course it has to be handmade!

So I prepared he designs.  I used a public domain graphic, and modified it, making sure it was an appropriate size for the embroidery hoop I bought.  I then had the designs printed with a laser printer.  When it was printed out, I traced the circle of the embroidery hoop with a pencil, and cut out the round trace.  I then taped the design onto katcha cloth while my Creative Versa-tool was heating up.

When I felt the Creative Versa-tool tip was hot enough (I tested the heat by applying it first on blank paper), I rubbed it on the back of the printout (with the printed side facing the cloth) while applying even pressure, with a circular motion.  At this point, it would be good to note that the design I had printed was a mirror image, so that it would come out right-side facing when the image is transferred.

I learned that the quality of the transfer depends on the pressure you apply, so make sure the surface under the cloth is nice and even (and heat resistant).

In my zeal to make sure the print came out dark enough, I took my time rubbing the moon image in the "Closed" sign, resulting in the paper moving a bit, and the moon getting a bit burned (yes, make sure your cloth will not burn!).  Making the most of it, we figured the damage lent a more vintage-y effect.  Haha!  :-)

So now for the attaching to the embroidery hoop part.  

I first laid the cloth printed with "Closed" over the inner hoop, and wrapped the cloth around it, evening out the surface while positioning it inside the outer hoop.  I then taped down the excess cloth and sewed the cloth down.  When the stitching was done (no photos for this, sorry), I removed the tape.

I then removed the inner hoop (now covered and secured with the "Closed" print), and laid the cloth printed with "Open" over the other side, also stretching it taut over the inner hoop, and securing it by placing it tightly within the outer hoop.

I then trimmed the excess cloth from the "Open" side that stuck out on the other side.

Yay, reversible!

If you look closely, you can still see some of the excess cloth sticking out.  I don't mind keeping it there, because it still goes with the whole rustic effect.

And now since the signage is done, the workshops are to follow!  :-)  Just came from the 10A Alabama Craft Fair earlier today.  Exciting things coming!