Of Hibiscus Bubbles

imageIt feels like it’s been ages since I last released new clear stamp designs. I guess mommy duties really get the better of me. Which is a good thing, right? Being a homemaker is on top of my list. But creating and designing some new products for my small business is just icing on the cake.

It won’t be long now and we’ll be releasing two new designs very soon. Hopefully they arrive before the end of February. One of the challenges of being a clear stamp designer in the Philippines is having to wait longer for the stamps to be manufactured in the US and shipping it here to my side of the world takes longer.  I’m sorry if I’ve shared this too many times but I actually read my posts after a year or two and I just want to remember the triumphs and the challenges I went through for every design I released.

These new clear stamp designs I was working on late last year is quite special. I’ve collaborated with a very talented calligrapher who also happens to be one of my Creative Team members. Yes, Aina’s beautiful calligraphy is featured in one of the clear stamp sets I designed. Also featured in that collection is another layered flower that kept me pretty busy the last month of 2015.

I was looking for a flower inspiration from my Aunt Joy’s garden. This flower caught my attention as she had them in different varieties. This flower actually brought back so many fond memories of my childhood. Back when the neighborhood was filled with Gumamelas and we would make Gumamela bubbles. It was  passed on for generations.

You would take the flower’s petals and grind them using a stone on a flat surface. It’s easier on a mortar and pestle. Add the paste to one part detergent soap or powder and one part water. We would use straws to blow bubbles. This was how we would make bubbles back in the days.

That flower is known here in the Philippines as Gumamela. In other countries, this is popularly known as Hibiscus.

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Thus, the inspiration for this new clear stamp collection I designed.  Apparently, my clear stamp designs are not dictated by themes but by memories or things related to telling stories. I think it’s surprisingly interesting how I go about the process of designing and creating them.

One thing that makes me so giddy with excitement for this collection, apart from Aina’s beautiful calligraphy, is the fact that it is so versatile to use. Here, I used it for memory-keeping. The word prompts are just perfect for telling your story and documenting it through Project Life.

imageI stamped the words on to a 3×4 premium luxe white cardstock. You can mix and match the words to tell a story and journal on those pages. I just added a line using a pen to create this very clean journaling card. I find myself drawn to clean layouts, with lots of spaces for journaling.

Please do keep posted for more updates on the two new clear stamp designs and how I use them in different projects.

 


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


Planner Love Arm Candy 2 comments

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I’ve been swamped with work and mommy duties since the beginning of the year. January definitely feels like a Monday all month long. But a good kind of busy for my little business and for the family. It was a good start of the year in as far as designing new products and collaborating with my husband and brother. They have been key to realizing my plans and ideas and making it happen. Well, truth be told, being a homemaker is on top of the list but when I do have a little downtime, I enjoy creating craft products for my little online shop. Collaborating with the husband adn my brother only happened once or twice at the beginning of this year. But it was a great kick off this year.

This is going to be a very interesting year for our family. It seems like everyone has their hands full for 2016. I can hardly wait for what’s ahead of us this 2016! Meantime, I’m consumed by mommy duties lately. Running errands, follow-ups on orders, supplies and the never-ending decluttering at home. Yesterday was a very long day of running around  the city. I hardly have time to do some crafts. But I did manage to squeeze in some simple DIY accessory.

I used to sell and do bead-jewelry making about ten years ago. Arm candies were my favorite then. Ironically, I can’t seem to find any accessories for planner nerds like me. I thought I’d make one just to amuse myself!

I hardly use fashion accessories but when I do, it’s something I made or something I’m fond of. Of course, you could always pick up one in your favorite shops but making one and customizing it is so much more fun. And I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly easy this is to make!

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1. Polymer Clay Charms from BitsToPieces

2. Jump ring

3. Suede Cord about a meter long

Here’s the quick process for creating this simple bracelet:

1. Take your favorite Polymer Clay planner charm and cut the chains (using a jewelry cutter), leaving the eyepin that connects the chain to the charm.

2. Attach the jump ring to the eyepin using your jewelry tools. There are a lot of simple tutorials online on how to properly attach jump rings to your accessory. This ensures that your charm is durable and will not slip off over time.

3. Slip your suede cord right through the middle and tie a knot to hold it in place.

You may do multiple strands and colors, and do braids. But I prefer mine simply wrapped around my wrist.

So quick and easy arm candy! No one in the bank probably knew what that pretty little mint thing was dangling on my wrist! haha!

Only a #plannernerd like me will swoon over how pretty that little thing is. Oh, and I made a pendant too! Yes, I was running around Cebu City with these accessories.

The husband was just shaking his head and smiling!

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p.s. Head over to the etsy shop of BitstoPieces and use coupon code MARRYLCRAFTS to get a discount when you purchase. You will find my friend Kay’s beautiful handmade polymer clay creations. She’ s one of the best polymer clay artists I know. Do tell her I sent you!


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.


Crop and Plan Party Cebu 2015

imageAfter much prodding from my fellow planner and journal enthusiasts in my city, I am organizing the much-anticipated and the first ‘Crop and Plan Party Cebu 2015’. This is happening on the 6th of December, 1;30-5;30 PM at Brique Modern Kitchen, Lahug, Cebu City.

More than just a Meet and Greet , I’m organizing this event to create a community and bring together crafters, artisans, designers, planner enthusiasts and makers – all to CELEBRATE CREATIVITY. This is my little way of spreading kindness and sharing the love for crafts, journals and planners. But Why Crop and Plan? Planning nowadays has evolved not just plain writing to-do’s and errand lists. Planning and journaling now involves lots of creativity through decorating them using stamps, stickers, journaling cards to name a few. So Crop and Plan it is!

One of the highlights during our event is a ‘planning/crop together’ activity which will hopefully focus on goal-setting for the coming year. What I’m so giddy about is the overwhelming support from this amazing community of designers, artisans, plannners and crafters both local and abroad. They have shared some of their products which will will be included in each goodie bag the attendees will receive. I’m over the moon excited for this! we will be posting some sneaks over on our Instagram account: marrylcrafts for our kind sponsors.

I’m also looking forward to the “share your planner spread” activity. Each attendee is expected to share one of their planner spreads and one planner inspiration they can share to the group. It can be anything from the type of inserts they use, to word prompts that they regularly use or decorating tips they want to share. Therefore, all attendees must bring at least one planner they’re currentlyusing and share one planner spread.

 

Registration fee is only P750 which covers food and drinks from Brique Restaurant, event kit which includes goodies from our kind sponsors, event suplies and other incrementals. Please fill out the registration form and pay the registration fee (ticket)  to guarantee your seat.  Click on the link for the registration Registration Form

See you soon!


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.


Marryl Crafts 2015 Creative Team Call – Philippines 5 comments

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Creative Team Call – Philippines is on!

It’s only been four months or so since we’ve launched our Marryl Crafts clear stamps and it has brought so much joy to create these stamps and connect with other crafters, planners and Creatives all over the world. We’re just so grateful for the opportunity to do this. We’ve been very blessed to have two of our Creative Team members: Rachel of therachmark on instagram and The Rachel Mark.  We also have Ruthie of threadofhearts on Instagram. Both have shared so much valuable planner inspiration for all our planner friends. Incidentally, both are from the US. We’re just so lucky to have these two lovely ladies on board our small family of Creatives.

With the release of the two new stamp sets: Happy Day and Joyful Planning, we thought it would be fun to have another Creative Team member from the Philippines to join our family. For the first Creative Team Call a couple of months ago, all our Creative members that were chosen were from abroad. Since we are based here in the Philippines, we thought it’d be appropriate to also add another member from our country.

This time, we’re looking for someone not just into planners but also into papercrafts, card-making and pocket-scrapbooking / memory-keeping.

We are looking for someone who loves to take good quality pictures of his/her project. Someone who is passionate about creating and sharing inspiration.  It’s all about taking bright,well-composed pictures and sharing inspiration on social media,

 

HOW TO APPLY

 

1. Send us your name, address and email address.

2. Links to your:

  • blog (must have a blog where you share tutorials and inspiration)
  • Instagram (must be actively sharing on Instagram)
  • youtube (if applicable)
  • facebook page  and other social media accounts.

3. Links to a blog post and  video / Instagram and other social media post of your planner pages, cards, Project Life layouts, etc. We want to see projects that show your style/techniques.

4. A short paragraph on how  you celebrate Creativity.

 

DETAILS

We will select 1 from the applications. Philippine residents only. The selected Team member is expected to:

  • use Marryl Crafts clear stamps / products and actively
  • actively promote it by posting regularly on social media, as well as participate in cross-promotions whenever possible
  • Submit a minimum of 3 projects per month
  • Post a minimum of 2 blog posts on your blog per month using Marryl Crafts products

 

Creative Team Member Perks

  • Team member will receive the three Marryl Crafts Clear Stamp sets and upcoming designs
  • Member will also receive Marryl Crafts Stamp Blocks and other new products that might be designed /created
  • You will also get exposure through our social media accounts

 

If this is something that interests you, please email us at marrylcrafts@gmail.com with “Creative Team Call – Philippines” as subject. We can’t wait to get to know you. Applications accepted until September 25th, 2015.

Thank you for considering this fun invitation.


“Happy Day” Stamp Layering Guide

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Florals and botanicals on paper craft projects is always a classic. Whether on planners, journals, memory-keeping or cards, they always make a plain cardstock look pretty. I’ve wanted to create floral stamps to create projects using different techniques. It took some time to do my homework and finally it’s here!

We had just released the two new stamp sets this week. Yay! It took a while to have it produced. It’s a bit challenging for  a new clear stamp designer like me from the Philippines to have it manufactured in the US. Production costs are very costly. The time difference is one big factor. I stay up very late to the wee hours in the morning to communicate and get updates from my manufacturer in the US. Also, designing them takes me and my husband longer as we go through at least four (4) softwares to create the design. But even if it takes longer, we prefer this long process because our original designs render very crisp and clean stamped images. It’s definitely hard work and a true labor of love.

Finally, the two new sets were released in the US this week. As for me and my friends in the Philippines, we will hopefully receive the stamps next week, I can’t wait!

One of the new clear stamp sets released this week is “Happy Day.” I’m so excited about this set not only because of it’s cute icons but it features floral stamps that you can use in different projects using differenttechniques like stamp layering, watercoloring and heat-embossing. I love the stamps in this collection and the many projects you can create with it.

We took a real rose flower pictured and created the layers all from scratch. I took longer to create the layers as I was learning this new program my husband taught me. Well, most days he gets frustrated as I was working too slow. Slow woman here takes forever to figure out these programs. Creating the shadows to form layers was very tedious but after seeing the finished flower, I couldn’t help but admire this simple but beautiful rose.

Below is a guide on how to create the layered images. There’s just a bit of a learning curve the first time you use the rose stamp set. The only thing to keep in mind is to align the base stamp of the rose – number 1 in the illustration below  (that whole rose shape) to stamp no. 2. Take note of the bottom curved lines. Stamp no. 2 is the shadow creating highlights and outlines of the petal. You may want to use a darker shade of ink for this. Stamp No. 3 gives a more detailed layer of the rose. You may opt to use this or not. This uses a much deeper and darker shade from your base stamp ink.

The inks I used differ depending on the paper I use for a particular project. For planners, I use Versamagic chalk inks and Brilliance. This dashboard is made from parchment paper. I love how this kind of paper takes on chalk inks. For card-making, I prefer to use premium dye inks. Experiment with different brands of ink when layering stamps and see which give best results.

 

Happy Day Guide

Equally important is using small stamp blocks appropriate for the sizes of these tiny stamps. This is to avoid ink smears on your block which may transfer on your paper. Here I used my  itty bitty stamp block from my own line of acrylic blocks. It’s approximately 1.5 x 1.5 inches. This is listed in the shop but only for shipping within the Philippines. There are many brands and stores in the US who sell tiny stamp blocks.

How beautiful is that dashboard using the rose stamp layering technique. It’s so easy once you get the hang of it. You are limited only by the shades of your inks :) I hope you’ll have fun using the two new stamps in your projects: planning, memory-keeping, card-making and other paper craft projects. It’s available in the US and other countries through www.cliquekits.com. For our friends in the Philippines, you may place your order here in our website. Just click the shop button to find our stamps.

 

Please do share it using hashtag #MarrylStamps or #MarrylStampArt and tag us on Instagram @marrylcrafts.

Happy Stamping!


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?