Less is More



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!


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 I threw away bags of those that were not really my style or really outdated.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.



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.


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?




Creative Planning with Minimal Supplies 2 comments


Planning has been one of my creative outlets especially when time does not permit me to do crafts that i truly enjoy like scrapbooking, felt crafts, jewelry-making, paper flowers and so much more. Creative Planning is sort of my on-the-go creative outlet. There’s really no right or wrong way of doing it. I think it’s more of a personal expression and whatever style works for you.

Today, I want to share how you can do a quick creative planning even with just a few planner goodies.

This is my Getfiled camper planner that I use as our family planner. Most of my days are filled with mommy duties and my small business. That actually leaves me with little time to do creative planning and crafts. But I still manage to squeeze a little time doing those because I need that outlet, everyday. How do I find time? I try to make it functional, most days it’s just minimal decorating but always fun! Apart from it’s primary purpose to write your agenda, I actually do it for the process. Writing down my thoughts and plans is my therapy as much as it serves its purpose. They say there is power in writing down your thoughts. The husband and the little lady thinks I need to write it down or it won’t happen. Forgetful woman, haha!

I used to go crazy with my planner stamping last year and use tons of inks in different colors. Come to think of it, it was too festive for my taste. More like, all over the place, haha!

Lately, I find myself streamlining my decorating a bit. Blame it on the Konmari method or probably reading too much design books. I kind of slowly eased to my design preference I think: clean, functional but always fun design elements. With that in mind, you can still get creative with your decorating even if you only have a few colors of inks in your stash. Here, I’m using only three colors of inks: Versafine Onyx Black which is my go-to ink for texts or stamps with tiny details, Versamagic Pink Grapefruit and Sea Breeze.

Instead of using washi tape for borders, I like using stamps to have control on the color and size. Using a few colors actually allows you to have a visually appealing layout. It looks more ‘put-together’, aesthetically. So don’t worry if you only have a few inks in your stash. You can still do creative planning sans the hoarding tendencies. (guilty*).

I hope you are inspired to get creative with your journaling and planning even with minimal supplies.


Stamps used are from Mommy Lhey, LoveCynthia and my designs from Marryl Crafts.

Those cute paperclips are handmade by my friend kay of  BitstoPieces. Use code MARRYLCRAFTS to get a discount when you purchase from her shop on Etsy.

Itty bitty stamp clock is from my shop here.

Week 8 on my Giving Journal


Here’s week 8 on my The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s Giving Journal.

Like most planner enthusiasts, I own several planners for different purposes. However, I find myself drawn to vertical layouts. It works for me and the style I prefer which is more into functional planning and documenting. But the horizontal layout of the Giving Journal from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf seems to work well for documenting those little everyday moments.

I do Project Life and I need my memory planners to help me remember specific dates and details. I don’t know about you, but I need to write them somewhere or I will forget those details.

It’s always fun to add some stamping on my planners and journals. Here I used some stamps from LoveCynthia, MommyLhey and some from my own line of clear stamps , Marryl Crafts. I tend to gravitate towards clean and functional layout. Also because I have no time to really be playful with my spreads as I have more things on my mommy-duties to-do list than I have enough space on my planners. So it’s usually just one or two-color schemes for me. Lately, I’ve been seeing some pretty planner stickers and I might give it a try soon.

Clean and functional layouts seem to work for me and my planners are serving their purpose well (for now), haha! That’s probably how I design my clear stamps too. Functional but playful at times. Take the ‘peeking panda box’ for example. This design is part of the new sets releasing soon. I kind of want a cute box for an important reminder, so I took the panda from the Happy Day set, tweaked it a bit and came up with the ‘peeking panda box’ stamp.

LoveCynthia has a lot of positive quotes and they are perfect for journaling and planning. same goes with Mommy Lhey‘s clear stamps with her fun and kawaii designs.

Whatever design style you are drawn to, memory-keeping or planning is always fun. They say gratitude is the memory of the heart. So, write your story and be filled with gratitude in your everyday moments.

Don’t forget to share your work using our stamps, uisng the following hashtags:  #MarrylStamps or #MarrylCrafts.

For more inspiration, please follow us on Instagram: marrylcrafts.


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.




My DYL Planner in a Ringed-Binder

imageThis year, more and more planners produced locally has caught my attention. The DYL planner, particularly the Back to Basics has been one of the planners I’m using this year.

I use it for my Small Business. I use it to record orders, sales, reminders, etc. I love the quality of the paper and the vertical layout. However, because I’m right-handed and because I use it regularly,coil-bound planners just don’t cut it for me. I have a hard time writing entries on Wednesday. Also, I do a lot of stamping on my planners, and the coils really get annoying as it gets difficult to stamp on it.

I figured I must do something about the coils. I decided to take out the pages, trimmed off the sides with the coiled edges and transferred it to my Macaron Planner I got from Finding Nana.

imageNow it feels like I have a completely new planner. I get to stamp more on my entries and I can write with no annoying coils! Yay!

Stamped images are all from our Marryl Crafts Clear Stamp Designs. Some of the designs are from the new collection which will be released soon. Stay tuned!

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.


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 2 comments

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


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!

 imageYou’ll need:

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!



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


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 cliquekits.com for our friends in the US. they ship worldwide.