Paper Crafts

Stacking Gifts + Paper Flowers

imageIt’s three more days before we celebrate Valentine’s day 2016. I’ve been creating something special for the husband and the little lady. I’ve been procrastinating (as always) but in a good way. I’m not really stressing too much about making it perfect but just really enjoying my time to think of something special to give. I’ve been pretty busy with the mini album and I think that’s probably the best little gift I can give them. Sharing more about that mini in the next post.


Meantime, I bought my gifts for them and thinking of wrapping my gifts using some of my unused wrapping paper. Truth be told, whenever I go to bookstores or stores that have wrapping papers, I kind of buy them when they call to me. Yes. When I see gorgeous patterns, even when there’s no present to wrap, I buy them in a heartbeat. So when I started KonMari-ing the house last year, I found wrapping papers that were more than a year old! I know but I have stopped. I’ve repurposed some of them, tossed half of it, and kept only a handful. This yellow stripes had to stay.

Because yellow!

imageYesterday at National bookstore, I saw lots of gifts being wrapped and there were so many stacked together with this gorgeous white and gold damask wrapping paper and then tied in a golden yellow ribbon. I was so in love with the paper but I had vowed not to buy any unless I ran out of papers. So I went home not buying any. Hooray!

I love the look of stacked gifts as they add a bit of dimension and height vis-a-vis one-layered boxes.

Today, I took out my wrapping papers and this yellow stripes just screams pretty. Nothing red and Valentine’s about it but that’s the whole idea. Find whatever you have at home and repurpose or recycle some lightweight cardstock or even a plain white paper would be perfect!

Sure, adding your usual ribbon or bow always makes a gift look beautiful. But at times it’s too predictable, not to mention, expensive.   Consider using ephemera or even tags, whatever you’ll find in your stash to compliment the color of your wrapping paper.  I took out some embellishments I made like this pretty layered rose and some Project Life cards. Those journaling cards with gold foil accents were just perfect to add a little shine and pop of color.

I also found the oversized paper flower I made a couple of weeks ago. I was about to toss this to the trash as the center/stamen just drove me crazy. The bud was too closed and I had wanted a more open or cabbage rose of some sort. So I took out the bud and added my light pink felt rose. If you look closely, you’ll notice it’s a different material from the paper flower. I think it worked well. Tied the stacked gifts with jute twine and added my handmade paper flower.

What do you guys think?

I hope I’ve inspired you to use your scraps of paper, Project Life cards, paper flowers and other embellishments to make wrapping presents extra special. Show your love to someone you hold dear with something inexpensive but definitely unique and pretty.




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


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.


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.


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!



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 for our friends in the US. they ship worldwide.

Of Paper Bows and Making Memories


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!



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.


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.


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


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 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.

DIY Embellishments using Marryl Stamps 1

Summer is over in my side of the world. My brother came home for a vacation and we had so many wonderful times together, making memories especially with the little lady. Oh how she adores him! The two would go to the playground in the late afternoons and she would tell her friends about her Uncle who was a computer scientist. That’s how she would call him :) We went on food trips, he was a foodie like us. We went to family gatherings, short vacations, swimming…there was always great conversations and moments worth keeping. I couldn’t wait to do our Summer 2015 album.

Finally, I found time last week to visit a photolab and printed our summer 2015 pictures. I don’t have a pocket printer because I find it more economical to print tons of pictures in a studio (or I may be wrong).  I’m still on the fence if I should get a pocket printer. I don’t know which ones in the market are good. I hear a lot of good things about the Fuji Instax Share and the LG Pocket printer. What are your thoughts?

Anyways, I’ve started working on the first few pages of my album last week. I’m loving this size of the We R Memory Keepers 4×4 Instagram album. It’s not too daunting for me compared to my 12 x 12’s and I can easily slip pictures into the page protectors without worrying too much about how my layout looks. In fact, I can squeeze in a little bit of layout design even with this tiny size.

Today, I’d like to share with you how I used some stamps from my  Heartstrings clear stamp set to make your own embellishment or ephemera. When I designed my first stamp set, I didn’t just have planners in mind. Although many thought it was solely intended for planners because of the size. When I was working on the designs, I wanted to be able to use it for  different craft projects I am passionate about. Memory-keeping (Project Life) was on top of my list.

Here’s one simple and quick project you can do using my “Heartstrings’ stamp set to make your own embellishment for memory-keeping or your planners.

imageI took my scraps of cardstock from Heidi Swapp’s My Favorite things 6×6 paper pad and stamped Beautiful on to paper. For those who are not familiar, the words at the bottom 2 rows in this stamp set are in my handwriting :)  I love including handwritten sentiments in the stamp set especially those positive words that I use on my planner or on other craft projects.

Here I used Versafine Smokey Gray and Onyx Black inks.

imageI also used the Love round stamp  using Versamagic Persimmon, Versamagic Java, Versafine Smokey Gray and Onyx Black inks onto cardstocks. I love how the different colors of the ink and paper gives it very varying results. My favorite is when it’s stamped on this turqouise paper and using the Versamgic Persimmon ink. It looks a little distressed or rustic.

imageI used a 1/2 inch punch to cut the love stamped image. The size of the punch is perfect for the inner circle of the stamped image. I hand-cut the words beautiful.


I took a small piece of paper , inked the edges and used it as a photo mat.

imageI took a small piece of paper, punched one side to be added as a layer for the layout. I then took the stamped words and did simple layering on one side of the layout. Surprisingly, I had a lot of fun making this layout despite the tiny size.. The different ink colors, papers and simple overlapping of the stamped and punched-out sentiments tied all of it together because of the colors. It probably would have looked differently had I used too much bright ink colors. I may have used scraps of paper but it was from the same paper pad collection so I guess I need to keep that in mind when doing this DIY embellishments. You could also ink the edges of the all the embellishments if you want a more distressed look.

imageimageSo here’s my simple DIY embellishment/ephemera using some of my stamps. I hope you’ll try doing this simple project and share your pictures. Please give me a link back so I can see your project.


Big love,


DIY Personalized Tissue Paper



I’ve shipped out all the “Heartstrings” stamps for the first batch of orders and I thought I’d share how I packaged them. It was a very simple packaging that I did myself but lots of love and DIY went into every little package. I made a simple thank you card and had a little fun adding texture to the paper and embossed the edges. Unnoticeable to most people, but not to me :) Because they say ‘love is in the details.’



imageA great way to personalize wrapping your gifts is to use clear stamps and design/decorate your tissue paper. Featured here are stamps from my “Heartstrings” clear stamp set.

I took some white gift-wrapping tissue and stamped my “happy mail” stamp all over the tissue paper. I tried stamping on both the glossy side and the matte side of the paper. Both sides took on the stamped images quite well. but I prefer the glossy side as it takes on crisper images of the stamps. I used Versamagic inks and it really looks pretty good. These inks have great coverage and gives me crisp images. Below is a close up of how my stamped images look on the tissue paper. You can still read the word ‘happy’ which is pretty tiny on the stamp.

imageIf you’re not familiar with this stamp, the happy mail stamp is part of my ‘Heartstrings” Clear Stamp set that I designed (my very first set!) and is meant for planners as well as different craft projects. I’m showing here how you can use it to personalize a gift-wrapping tissue paper. I used muted tones here but you can experiment with bolder or brighter shades of the Versamgic inks. I’ve also used Versafine and they render very crisp images of the stamps.imageSO that’s how my stamps were packaged using my DIY personalized tissue paper. I hope you try doing this quick and simple project using my stamps. Please give me a ping back so I can see your work.

p.s. The “Heartstrings” stamp set have sold out but if you’re from the Philippines and wish to pre-order, please email us, your name and city and we’ll contact you as soon as the next batch of orders arrive. For those outside the Philippines, thank you very much for your support and patience. We have received all your queries, emails and messages on Instagram and Facebook. Just warms my heart to know you find our stamps adorable!

We are trying to get a reseller in the US to help us distribute the “Heartstrings” stamp set and make it available for everybody. We’re working to arrange this very soon for all of you. Again, we thank you for your encouragement and support.

This has my heart!




June 2015 at a Glance


imageMay went by so fast but it was such an amazing month for me and the entire family. May had a lot of firsts for me including the release of my first stamp set that I designed. We also got to spend a lot of time with my brother who came home to the Philippines for a vacation. Nothing beats spending quality time with the family.

Before you know it, June is here! June means back-to-school for the little lady. Yes, in my side of the world (in the Philippines) school starts in June and ends in March.

Here’s a quick look at my first week on my Heidi Swapp Memory Planner’s June at a Glance.

I did some back-to-school shopping on the first day. Here I used my shopping bag stamp. This stamp was a simple doodle I did last March which is now one of stamps in my ‘Heartstrings” stamp set. When I go shopping, it almost always makes me happy (go figure), even grocery shopping! so I just had to add that smiling face in there. June 2nd was the first day to ship the first batch of orders for the stamps. I stamped the “happy mail” to remind me of that special day in June. I was smiling from ear-to-ear, packing and shipping my own clear stamp set! Oh happy day!

There are 2 sets of hearts in the set. The bigger heart can be used to decorate or add a heart embellishment on your planner or project. Here, I used it as a background for June 3rd just to make a written sentiment or reminder pop.

There are also sentiments (in my handwriting) in my stamp set. The word ‘today’ is stamped on June 4th. It was a little reminder for me and I just like mixing both stamped doodles and words. I think it looks pretty and looks like handwritten but it’s actually stamped.

imageOn the other side of the page, I used the hot air balloon stamp to decorate the top which was bare. I colored it using Uniball pink pen. It starts out wet which looks like paint but dries out quickly. I also stamped the word ‘Grateful’ (in my handwriting) because I had every reason to thank everyone who encouraged and supported me with my first stamp set that I designed. I sold out in 5 or 6 days!

I have two chibi girls in my stamp set and this one stamped on June 6th with smiling eyes is the one I use when I’m excited about something or feeling the love. :) I filled the tiny bow with pink ink from the same Uniball pink pen.

On the right, I stamped the word Focus, still from my stamp set, so I can write down things I need to work on for the month of June. I used Versafine Onyx Black in all the stamped images shown here. Those were just a few of the stamps in my ‘Heartstrings’ stamp set and some ideas how you can use them on a planner. I’ll be sharing more ideas on how I use them in other projects.


As mentioned, the stamps have been sold out. But we’re doing a pre-order for all my friends in the Philippines. Please email us with your name and city. For those of you from other countries who’ve been asking how to purchase my stamps, please bear with me as I am finding a way to get a reseller in the US. I hope we can arrange that very soon.

Paper Flower Boutonnieres 4 comments

imageI have a love affair with paper flowers and lately I find myself making more paper flowers and using them in simple home decor, gift wrapping and scrapbooking among others.

I thought I’d make some Keepsake Boutonnieres made of paper flowers for the Monday Challenge – For the Love of Plants.

I tried out different kinds of paper which gave very varying results in terms of texture and ability to take on color. The coffee filter flowers and recycled paper bag flowers were very interesting to use but I need to practice more with those kinds of paper.  I enjoyed parchment paper and handmade paper the most. I suggest you try out different kinds of paper and see what works for you.

Here, I used thin handmade paper and some kind of parchment paper (It wasn’t stiff but has the same texture as that of the parchment). I used Tim Holtz Picked Raspberry Distresss ink, It’s Orange Glimmer Mist, Summer Glow and Ruby Slippers from Tattered Angels. I also used Spun Sugar and Dried Marigold Distress Paints from Tim Holtz. You may want to experiment with different distress inks and glimmer mists and just see what color works for you.

I accented the paper flowers with paper leaves attached to a floral wire, wrapped it with jute twine and tied a bow.

If you want more floral and plant inspiration, hop on over to Simon Says Stamp blog for the Monday challenge and see beautiful paper crafts from their design team members.


Be bold. Take action. 4 comments


Some time in March of this year, I was leafing through the pages of my Simplified Planner and I came across a quote that really hit home. This quote from Mark Twain speaks so much of my truth (and my husband).

 “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

For our family and friends who know us personally, we have been notorious for taking that leap of faith. I did, a couple of times. And I’m so thankful I dared so many years ago (15 years ago to be exact. Wow, that long). I couldn’t see myself taking that path I was in even if it was so convenient and financially rewarding. Looking back, life truly is about the CHOICES we make. I  had an Aha! moment and that was my turning point :) What about you? Have you had an Aha! moment? Are you taking a leap of faith?

The husband is the best example ( real person :) ) His story never fails to inspire me, Every. Day.

He’s pretty good with computers and heads the company of a European firm that makes programs sold in Europe. Computers was his life but one summer day he just blurted out he’s going to law school! Law school? Yes, he did!  Now, he’s on his last year in one of the most prestigious Law schools in my country. We’re supporting him all the way. I’m still jealous! (I don’t think I could pass even first semester.  Too nerve-wracking listening to his stories + my memory fails me :(

Recently, I’ve been more bold in writing down my Bucket or Life lists. I’ve realized that setting high expectations and having an action plan is the key (just like setting deadlines at work or school). If we do it at work, why can’t we apply it in our own lives? When we actually have a time table and stick to it, chances are it’ s really going to happen. Just start something.

Do you want to start selling something, learn a new program, get a new degree or even shift careers?

Whether it was my Master’s degree, working in the US or even this new venture – my little wish of designing my own craft products, I just wrote it all down on my lists and just worked on it. My lists are specific and has a deadline (Slow woman here takes forever to finish something.Lol). My new venture of designing my first clear stamps didn’t happen overnight. It took me months to figure everything out. The whole time I was working like crazy on the designs and concept. It will be my first and will have my name on it so I wanted it to have my mark. I used up a pile of papers just to practice my doodles and handwritten words. Yes, tons of paper because I am no artist or calligrapher. Just my regular handwriting and simple doodles.

But I realized I work best with a deadline because they say it’s not just a dream but a plan. Sometimes, the universe conspires and sends you angels to inspire you :)  But seriously, just step out of your comfort zone and just start now. Stop wishing and write it down on paper. Be bold and dare to dream big. What’s your plan?


p.s. I’m writing this article for my future self, in case mommy/wife duties get the better of me and I forget to chase my dreams!

Don’t mind my paper flowers. I love making them! They never fail to put a smile on my face. This was on my list some years ago – to make my own kind of 3d paper flowers (not just  regular die cuts) but using different techniques I experimented on which gives a life-like curled petals. This may not be big of a deal to some but for a crafter like me, being able to create something with your own mark is a feat. I practiced, did my homework and today I look back and these paper flowers remind me that just starting and being eager to learn will get you somewhere. More importantly, dare to dream boldly and take concrete actions.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

“A GOAL is a DREAM with a DEADLINE.” – Napoleon Hill


UPDATE: My “Heartstrings” clear stamp set is now available for pre-order through

If you’re from the Philippines, please send us an email with “Heartstrings Pre-order” as your subject. Please include your name and number of sets you wish to order.

Thank you for your support! This has my heart!

2015 Creative Team Call


It’s the second day since we finally released the stamps and you guys are amazing! We only have a few stamps left on stock.  Thank you all for your support. This may just be a small project but this is big on memories to last me a lifetime. Working on realizing this little wish of mine to create and design my own clear stamps is not as easy as compared to if I was living in the US. Logistics and costs to have this manufactured in the US is a bit of  a hurdle. But now that’s done, there’s much reason for me to celebrate and be grateful for.

That being said, we’re looking for 2-3 persons who are interested to join our small family of Creatives and use our stamps on their projects.

We’re looking for people who are passionate about planning, using planners and making it pretty;  crafts and all things handmade;  curators and those willing to enable others to celebrate their creativity.

It’s all about inspiring others and celebrating your creativity with us.



What inspires you?

1. Send us your name, city & country and email address.

2. Links to your blog, Instagram, youtube and other social media accounts.

3. Attach 1-2 pictures of any projects or posts.

4. What inspires you? Please keep it short but sweet.



We will select 2 or 3 members. This is open worldwide.


Team members will use the ‘Heartstrings” Stamp set from Marryl Crafts and will post on social media how they use the stamps in their planners and/or other projects.

Team members will be given the “Heartstrings” stamp set for free.


If that is something that interests you, please email us at with “Creative Team Call” as subject. We can’t wait to get to know you. Applications accepted until June 2, 2015 GMT+8 (Philippine time).

Thank you for considering this fun invitation.