24 April 2017

How About Some Leather Crafts?

I haven't really worked with leather that much. But when I was looking for fabric in the garment district, there was a plastic bin at a store that I could not ignore.

It was filled with all kinds of leather scraps! From neutrals to metallic, even animal print. They were priced based on size and thickness. I just had to get a piece.

I settled for this tan pebble finish. I paid $3.00. I guess that's expensive for this little piece...but this is New York City. So if you're lucky to be working with leather products, always keep the remnants. 

Le Sud Tassel
via Cuyana
For today's blah to TADA! transformation, I'm going to make a tassel key chain. I've seen these in shops and thought to myself (like I do many times), "Why buy when I can DIY?"

These are what we'll need: a hot glue gun and glue sticks, a pair of scissors (or an X-acto knife and self-healing cutting mat), and a key ring (this came from an old keychain).

Cut yourself a piece of leather and even out the sides turning it into a rectangle (you can eyeball it or use a ruler and pencil).

Cut one long strip of leather that will become the handle. Cut it as long or as short as you want it. 

For the bigger piece of leather, cut fringes, making sure that the size of each fringe is uniform.

Insert the leather strip into the key ring and hot glue the ends together.

Attach the end of the leather strip to the top of the bigger piece of leather, also with hot glue.

Tightly roll the fringed piece of leather, adding a bead of hot glue every so often.

Secure the end with more hot glue.

An easy to make tassel key chain. TADA!

Use it for keys or as an embellishment for bags and purses.

Have a good week!

17 April 2017

Spring into Crafting

A new beginning.

That's the message of springtime. Vibrant green leaves, blue skies, lush floral yellows everywhere! Every year I witness it and I never get tired of it.

Spring is also a fun time to learn new things. Can I share with you what I've been up to?

I discovered Kremer Pigments through Instagram. It's a shop selling raw materials like dyes, solvents, and tools to make your own paint. Make my own paint? I never thought that was possible. I'm used to going to the art store to pick up what's readily available. But I can make my own paint?! 

I attended one of their workshops taught by Roger, the shop manager and an artist himself. We learned how water-based paints like acrylic and watercolor are made (essentially mixing pigments with a medium, putting these in a paint pan and letting them dry). I was fascinated with all the information from working safely, which materials to use, and that personal technique affects the outcome of the paint. I know there's so much more to learn but I was happy to dip my toes into it. 

This is Eric Ripert. I got to listen to him at an event launching a memoir he wrote entitled 32 Yolks. He's a very accomplished chef and here's a well-written article about him. I admire him because while he's at the top of his game, humility and kindness have not escaped him. It's always good to surround yourself with inspiring individuals, don't you think?  

This year, I will keep on crafting. It's one of my greatest passions. I have a long list of crafts I want to learn and I promise to feature them here on the blog. Have you seen these DIY kits from Brit + Co. in collaboration with Target?

Such cool projects (and this isn't a sponsored post)! There's something for the beginner or intermediate crafter. I'm still deciding which one I want to get. How about you?

And finally, while scrolling through my Instagram Feed, I was seeing the hastag #the100dayproject. The 100 Day project requires the participants to choose an action and do it for 100 days (from April 4 to July 12, 2017). It can be "painting", "hand lettering", or "encouragement". Anything you want. As long as you practice it everyday for 100 days and document your progress on Instagram with the tag #the100dayproject and your chosen hashtag (ex. #100days of painting). On day 101, you would've become a better person and a body of work to be proud of.

The past few months have left me tired. So tired that I stopped looking at the beauty of the everyday. The quote above, "Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." really hit me. 

And also because I'm up for a challenge, I'm taking part in it! 

My action is "100 Days of Crafts and Confections". My goal is to learn new crafts, cook and bake sweets that I've never tried making before, and when the opportunity surfaces, to learn from masters in these fields.  

Wish me luck!

10 April 2017

A Chocolate Bunny

Easter is coming right up and I thought I'd make something in the kitchen.

I bought this chocolate bunny mold sometime ago and thought maybe I'd play around with it.

I melted some chocolate using the double boiler method.

Once the chocolate was melted and smooth...

I poured it into the mold, filled in the little crevices, and tapped the mold on the table to get ride of any air pockets. Then I let the chocolate harden inside the fridge.

After an hour, it was time to unmold my bunny.

Did I tell you it's made of dark chocolate?

I think it's a perfect surprise for the adults because they deserve Easter treats, too. TADA!

Have a Happy Easter!

03 April 2017

Word Games

Spring is here and I can't wait to spend time outdoors!

One of the things I most like to do is to go to flea markets like the Brooklyn Flea. One day, I'd like to visit flea markets across the States, but for now, it'll be somewhere close to home. I love the thrill of the hunt and always, always I find something at a flea market!

This was my most recent find: scrabble tiles. I've crafted with scrabble tiles before to make a necklace. But this was a treasure trove because there were enough letters to spell out names!

I was able to spell out my name and my husband's name. I purchased the tiles and went straight to the craft table.

This is a simple project involving very few materials: an empty frame (I took out the glass), scrapbook paper, a hot glue gun, and the scrabble tiles. 

I chose this paper design that looked like Polaroid photos. I think each square added visual interest. I positioned the paper inside the frame.

Lay-out the tiles and once satisfied with the arrangement, attach them to the paper with hot glue. 

And look at that, instant art! Add more names as the family grows (including pets, too). It also makes for a thoughtful present for an engagement or anniversary. TADA! 

27 March 2017

A Corkboard Makeover

Our home office has a blank wall above the desk. It's where my husband and I stick Post-its with lists or scrap paper filled with reminders attached to the wall using Washi tape

It was blah to look at. It needed a TADA! solution.

I found this corkboard at a thrift store. It was a steal at $3.00!

But because I didn't want the teenage bedroom or college dorm room look, I gave it a new face using paint.

Black paint.

I painted it entirely using about 5 coats.

It looks a lot more grown up now.

I found an excuse to go shopping for some push pins. These owl-shaped ones are from Target. They were less than $5.00.

I liked how elegant the gold looked on the black bakground.

This corkboard now hangs on our wall. It's beautiful and functional. 

Blah to TADA! indeed.

20 March 2017

A Project Full of Patches

Hi guys! I hope your weekend went beautifully. 

I love me a good cappuccino, most especially if it's topped with gorgeous latte art (it's a skill I wish I had). That is why when I saw this little patch, I knew I had to have it: 

Isn't it cute? It could also pass for hot chocolate with a heart-shaped marshmallow. 

Many posts back, I made this pouch. It's a plain linen pouch that I got from the dollar bin at Target. I made it my own with iron-on patches

Each patch tells a story -- of my favorite things and some that I picked-up from my travels

There are still blank spots on the pouch for new acquisitions! 

With just a little bit of ironing...

My new patch is attached. 

It's a unique pouch that's a work in progress. TADA!

It's something I like to use for mini craft projects, keeping me organized and can be taken wherever I go. 

15 March 2017

Crafting Away the Sadness

Hello everyone, how have you been? Apologies for my absence. 

My sweet mother Eloisa passed away on January 31st. 

It was one of those days that I feared -- when you receive THE phone call and you scramble to get to the hospital. But the hospital is half way around the world from where I live, involving a 15-hour plane ride to Hong Kong and another two-hour plane ride to Manila. Luckily, my husband and I were able to book our flights (without having to pay an exorbitant fare), pack our suitcases, and tell our respective bosses that we had to take a break from work for a medical emergency. 

My mom suffered a massive stroke. And while the loss and sadness is apparent, I am most grateful that I was able to say my goodbyes and "I love yous". And that she didn't suffer. And that she was surrounded by the whole family as she journeyed home. 

Dealing with loss is something I'm still trying to navigate. But just like on good days, when I have bad days, I craft

My mom owned this locket (I do have a fondness for lockets).

I chose a few pictures that I resized on the computer. It's wise to have a variety of photos, sizes, and color saturation as options. 

I cut around the photos and put them inside the locket. 

The first one is of my parents on their wedding day. The second is of my mom and me. I chose these because she looked very, very happy in them. Of the many roles she juggled, being wife and mother was her priority. 

I put the locket on a chain that I own, for me to wear as frequently as I can. TADA!