Inspire


Less is More

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This post is a bit of a novel, so please grab a cup of tea or coffee :)

First thing’s first. this is sort of a note to self post and may not apply to you. Just my personal discoveries with my #olw.

 

My one little word this year, “intentional’, has allowed me to discover so many opportunities and insights which I would never have paid much attention to. As a crafter, I have some craft supplies I’ve accumulated over the years. It gives me so much joy to be surrounded with pretty paper and tools. yes, I have a love affair with beautiful paper and pens.

I didn’t find anything wrong with it a few years back. But moving in to our tiny home, that’s where I started having problems with storage. When the husband evicted me from my then craft room which now is his study (filled with law books that seem to take a life of its own), my “collection” was all out in its glory for everyone to see. I’m a mess!

Part of being ‘intentional’ this year was to break free from that consumerism mindset of wanting it all. It’s a vicious cycle. Whether it’s craft supplies, pen, devices or what have you. Come to think of it, I wasn’t really a hoarder or didn’t want to think of myself as one until I read the book ‘the Magic of Tidying Up” and followed her advise to declutter by category, not by location. You will have to gather one category, say clothes, all of them on the floor so you’ll see how much clothes you have accumulated.

The hardest category for me  are my craft supplies. Last December, I mustered all the strength I could gather and collected all my craft supplies. Propped all of them on the floor and that was it for me! There were just way too many scraps of paper, old projects, unfinished projects, tools I had never opened, pencils, etc. I placed them all in boxes and worked on it per box. It was easier and less stressful that way than one go. Slow woman takes forever!

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It’s amazing what a simple action can make you realize. It’s not anymore in line with my goals to hoard supplies just because they’re new or everyone is raving about it. That’s how I ended up with boxes of craft supplies and half of it I wondered why I purchased or had them. I threw away bags of those that were not really my style or really outdated. Yes, tossed them. If I  would have kept them for one minute for a future destash or share those really old paper pads, I would have found a reason to keep them. It’s a downward spiral from there. So, yes toss them as quickly as possible.

As of this writing, I have finished box no. 2. Still a lot of sorting. I haven’t even proceeded with arranging them in storage. I’m still a work in progress. I still buy supplies every so often but now I’m learning to buy when I run out of supplies of pretty paper and more importantly I look at the quality.

In Mari Kondo’s book, she mentions about keeping only things that spark joy to you. I guess that helped me— and really asking yourself what do you want to be. As a crafter and a homemaker, hoarding was not in my list anymore. But that doesn’t mean I will stop buying. That will be impossible as I need a creative outlet everyday. Beautiful paper and pens will always put a smile on my face. It’s more of asking myself if it’s in my design preference and if the quality is good.

At the end of the day, it’s really looking at the end in mind. I don’t want to be surrounded by too much stuff but a few best finds would sound good.  Those that really spark joy.

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p.s.

I wrote those quotes with Zig Cocoiro Letter Pen in Brush Tip and Zig Kuretake Brush Writer. They’re my personal favorites. Feel free to print those quotes. They’re just simple brush calligraphy but those  quotes speak so much of my truth. Run them in your MINC machine for that extra shine.

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I realized that it’s not about how much stuff I have but more importantly, what I can create with it. My challenge is to ‘create more and consume less.’ I can do this.

 

What about you? Where has your one little word taken you?

 

 

 


Calligraphy + Watercolor Debut Invite

imageA couple of weeks ago, I completed my first commissioned work for 2016.  It was a debut invitation featuring my calligraphy and watercolored-florals. I post my current projects over on Instagram: marrylcrafts and apparently the client saw some of my work. I was very hesitant to do this as I am no expert in calligraphy and definitely no talent whatsoever in watercoloring.

You see, the brush and I don’t see eye to eye. I can do some calligraphy with lots of practice but the client specified a floral design in watercolor + calligraphy. So for weeks I practiced with my waterbrush. Practice. Practice.

I realized and discovered once again how forgiving and beautiful this art is. You don’t need to make perfect strokes but with constant practice, you’ll discover that perfectly imperfect is equally beautiful.

imageI’ve been meaning to get classes to learn the basics of floral watercolors. But being a homemaker just gets the better of me most days. I probably consumed a whole pack of Canson watercolor papers just to get the three designs I was comfortable with.

As for the calligraphy, I also consumed tons of my premium luxe cardstock in white ( will be made available and listed in the online shop soon) just to get her name the way I wanted. I used three kinds of Zig kuretake pen. I settled on the Zig Mangaka Flexible fine for the final design.

imageDigitizing the calligraphy probably took the longest for me. Slow woman takes forever to finish a task!  Actually, ittakes forever for me to clean and convert them to Vector files. Good thing the husband helped to make my process quicker. I have the tendency to always choose the best and longest process. It may eat up so much time but the results make a whole lot of difference. Even when designing my clear stamps, I do an extra process (another software apart from Ai) to ensure that even when the image is enlarged, the strokes are clean and fluid. Thus, it takes me forever to complete my task. tee! hee!

imageI wanted the two floral designs to be used in the final invite but thought it looked more ‘put-together’ if I used just one of the watercolor designs. I settled for the first art work and completed the layout with the client’s name in my calligraphy. All text were provided of course by the client.

I had it printed in  a 5×7  in Premium Luxe white heavy cardstock. This is also available in Premium heavy textured Ivory paper for more formal invitations.

I hope the client liked it as much as I enjoyed creating this invite.

If you’re like me and still learning to do calligraphy and watercolor, just persevere. You will get there. For me, it’s not so much about Progress but more importantly, Grace, not perfection. Just enjoy the process.

p.s. for commissioned work, please send us an email: marrylcrafts@gmail.com


The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Holiday Launch: Brewing Stories and Giving Flavorfully

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Now back to our daily routines. Back to creating some new designs for my Clear Stamp line. I had been itching on finishing the new designs. I had left some designs for final editing and now after two months, I wanted to add more details. Back to the drawing board it is. I browsed through my  notes and doodles and while leafing through the pages of my planner, particularly the Bucket List Page, I can’t help feeling so much gratefulness and joy while reading through my entries I wrote at the beginning of the year. I wrote some important Life Lists and things I wanted to accomplish this 2015. Among those was a wild and BIG dream of creating my own line of clear stamps made in the US. I had no idea how I was going to realize that little dream but I just had to write it down on paper. I’ve been crafting for so many years and one of the biggest dreams any crafter in the world would want is to have their very own line of craft products sold worldwide. Not handmade creations because every crafter has tons of DIY or handmade projects, but a real high quality product with your name on it. It was too far-fetched but I kept writing them down, tirelessly.  I realized how such short a time things change and your perspective changes. That, and some significant milestones I wrote down on the planner.

Such is my love affair with planners and journals. They’re not just notebooks nor paper. To me, they hold a very special key to one’s passion and purpose. Ha! My writing is getting melancholic probably because of the rain, pouring out the window as I write this. My apologies.

I’ve been on the lookout for new planners and journals I’ll be using this coming new year. I’m eyeing a couple but have yet to make up my mind. Lo! and behold, I got invited to the launching of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s Holiday Launch of their Giving Journal (The universe conspires!).

The little lady in tow, I arrived at the venue and it was a fullhouse. I was greeted by a presentation and listened to stories. The tone was set. I knew it was going to be a wonderful day.

The activity that followed was what got the crowd engaged. We were treated to a mini-workshop on basic watercolor and brush calligraphy led by Earl Tawny Hisoler. I met her at the first Pen Meet Cebu a few months back. She did a pretty good job considering it was her first workshop. I know the feeling. Years back when I did my first Craft workshop, I was a nervouse wreck :)

It’s so nice to see more and more Cebuanos embracing and celebrating creativity. This activity was a hit considering that calligraphy is making a huge comeback.

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I was fortunate to have been seated with the happy bunch, friends from the media and one I worked at SunStar years ago. I enjoyed doing the drills. It’s really different practicing with other people around you than doing it at home. So much happy energy around you makes it very engaging. We managed to finish the drills and wrote our ‘power’ words. Not! I did manage to write this phrase down on the watercolor paper Earl provided. I took out my phone, snapped a photo and managed to quickly digitize my work. Pretty raw but this was what I wrote: Write your story.

imageSo much fun yet so little time. The much-awaited journals were presented and I was all ears.

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The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf® hopes to give flavorfully this season in ways that warm the soul as much as the body. As a way to encourage its community to brew their best years, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf® released a new edition of The Giving Journal. It is a journal designed to inspire each individual to pursue their passions and find meaning and fulfillment in everyday moments, while at the same time providing them with the opportunities to give back by helping others.

It is the tradition of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf® to give back to the community, and it has partnered with Real LIFE foundation, the Giving Journal’s beneficiary, to fulfill this tradition by supporting the educational needs of the less fortunate. To date, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has already sponsored 38 university scholars since 2011 – giving them the chance to fulfill their dreams, help their families, and improve their prospects for a brighter future. At present, the brand is proud to share that 13 of the sponsored scholars have already graduated. Evidently, The Giving Journal is certainly not your ordinary planner; it is a gift where the joy of giving and receiving it lasts well past the holiday season.

 

imageOne of my favorite features on this journal is the Vision List. It has sections for Personal Goals, Financial, Career, Health, Self-development and even Giving Goals. That’s something special about this journal. I wanted to personalize this page as all goals are just dreams if you have no action plans. So I took out the “Joyful Planning” stamp set that I designed specifically for planners and journals, and stamped a banner on each category just to highlight the words. I used Versamagic chalk inks. I stamped the words “Action Plan” on each of the banners. Also, added some itty bitty heart bullets for my entries. This tiny heart stamp is still in the “Joyful Planning” set. No bleed-through. This journal has great paper quality. That’s something every planner / journal enthusiast looks for. I’ll be sharing more about how I personalize this journal in future posts.

 

Start collecting your stamps now at any Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf cafe and score these gorgeous Giving Journals. Part of the proceeds of these journals go to Real Life Foundation. That’s what got me sold. Pursuing your passion and giving back to the community. Big love!

 

p.s.

In case you’re wondering, I just added the embellishments and tag in my journal because I love all things pretty and planner goodies are up there on my list. Tee! Hee!  That t tag with the roses are actually stamped images using my “Happy Day” clear stamp set. This set is the first one I designed which features stamp-layering. So proud of this set and I’m still discovering new ways to use it. If you’re interested to try stamp-layering or have not tried stamping, please check our clear stamp designs. It’s available also through cliquekits.com for our friends in the US. they ship worldwide.


Of Paper Bows and Making Memories

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I’m sorry I’ve been MIA the past weeks. My in-laws are home for a month’s vacation. We’ve been pretty busy making memories together, and that’s a good reason to be MIA, right? We took a short vacation in this beautiful resort. So many firsts for me and the little lady. We went swimming during the day. A sun-kissed complexion is really a nice way of putting it. More like sun-burned! But the memories and the time spent together is all worth it. When I’m older and the sun-spots get darker then I’ll blame myself for basking in the sun all day, haha!

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It’s a joy being able to make a conscious effort to really ‘make time’  with people we hold dear. My family and in-laws are home only once a year and we always cherish the time we spend together. We practically do the same things together like doing the grocery, going to church, running errands and even reading and eating our favorite food. We are blessed to have this family time. The little lady is enjoying the time learning to play the piano/organ with Lola (GrandMa) and playing ‘tickle me’ Lolo (GrandPa).

I hardly have time to craft as we’re always out. I get to run errands and ship orders.  All I do is pack once a week then off to errands and meeting relatives. This will go on for a couple more weeks. It’s really this time of the year when the  crafting takes a backseat. But it’s a good thing to take time off from what I usually do and make time for what truly matters. However, I was able to squeeze in a few minutes last week to do some paper crafts which I’m sharing with some planner friends in Manila for their Planner Party. I think I finished 20 only though.

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I made some paper bow clips, just a little something for these ladies in Manila who will have their Planner party come 24th October, 2015. I really enjoy making handmade gifts and giving them away. Over the years, I have come to appreciate those who take their time to create something with their hands. It’s not so much what the gift is but the time that person has taken to create that gift. The same holds true about brands and small businesses and the stories behind these businesses. That has a special place in my heart because like me, I’m a homemaker and that’s my priority. But I’m also trying to keep that balance and pursuing my creative passion.

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There’s something about itty bitty glassine bags and putting goodies in it that I enjoy so much.

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I also made these layered paper flowers I’ll use to embellish my mini album. I just love this die from Maggie Holmes! I got inspired to make more of these pretties when I received the good news last week that I won in her recent Giveaway – a $100 gift card from Scrapbook.com. Eeep! I thought I’d share what my winning comment was on what inspires me: Women and their stories, that inspires me. Being a homemaker, I share the sentiments of women who keep a balance between family and pursuing their creative passion.”  Click here for the post on Maggie’s blog.

 

I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend, making memories with your loved ones.


August at a Glance in my Memory Planner

imageThe Month at a Glance is probably where I can do a little decorating and planning. The rest of the pages in my memory planner serves as my journal/memory-keeping where I add photos, memorabilia and journalling. But this page allows me to add important dates and important reminders.

This is probably the prettiest month on Heidi Swapp’s memory planner. From the month’s divider to the month at a Glance which has this beautiful floral design with gold foil details. One of my favorite pages in this planner.

imageI used stickers from the washi booklet in this collection to mark important dates. The rest are stamps from my ‘Hearstrings” stamp set. Here’s a closer look at how I use the notes section in my Memory planner.

I stamped ‘Goals” and the ‘heart’ stamp to make a checklist.  Below it I stamped FOCUS and used the Heart stamp again as bullets to write down our priorities for the month. I find it useful to do more intentional planning than just usual appointments or to-dos.

One of those in my list is being ‘hands free’. I’ve been logging off social media once a week or as often as I can stay away from devices. It has done wonders to me! Being a mom and wife is my priority and it has helped me focus on what truly matters.

 

p.s. My apologies to my friends here if I haven’t been doing a good job saying Hi! on Instagram or facebook. But know that I am inspired by all your posts and comments.

Another priority is making memories. I believe in simplifying memory-keeping and focus more on spending time with loved ones making memories.

They say your planner/calendar reflects your priorities. What’s your focus this month?