Here’s a documented process of how I do most of my drawings. There is a point when my battery dies, but I basically show you the basic steps to get started. Enjoy!
How do I relax after two to three hours of teaching art to kids? I sketch. Today’s “Espresso Yourself” episode is titled “Selfie-Expression”, which was based on the photo. Here’s what I used: * Bockingford A4 sketchpad * Pigma Micron pen (.08) * Faber Castell pastel in pink I did this at around 7:30pm at night at […]
So I’m still coasting on the wave of learning how to do stop-motion animation with Frameographer. So much so that I decided to make another mini movie, with my character Andie and introducing Monty, the tuxedo cat whose mood tends to border on naughty almost always. It’s roughly made, with 99% passion and intention and 1% know-how […]
I’ve been experimenting with an app called Frameographer by Studio Neat. I absolutely love it. I used it to shoot an Easter project with my Sunday school kids (more about that in another post) but also discovered its potential for bringing more life to my crafts and illustrations. So here’s my maiden feature from #EspressoYourselfbyMC2 […]
It’s almost Christmas! As I juggle the last few days of teaching for the year, I take out my colouring pages to relax. This one – of a dove with an olive leaf in its beak – reminds me of why I celebrate the season. You can check out the other designs in my online […]
Sharing a summary of this week’s #inktober posts. Hope you’re enjoying them. By the way if you’re joining #inktober, I’d love to hear from you. What have you been drawing, and where can I find your posts? Leave a comment or two below. And I’d love for you to sign up to my newsletter.
I had been mulling over a re-design of my website for months, and decided that #inktober would be the best time to launch it. So here it is – a rejuvenated mayacalica.com that’s bursting with lots of new drawings, projects, blog posts and an online store! Yup, I’m kicking off my little shop with cool […]
Unearthed this spread of my winter warming essentials. Today, with the rain falling in Auckland, it reminds me to be grateful that I can stay indoors and get wrapped up if I have to step out. For my fellow inhabitants-in-wintry-places, may the heat be with you! FYI, I used a Unipin 0.5 black pen and Sennelier […]
My “coffee and creativity” workshop debuted in a little café called Pulpo in Basel last Thursday. Called “Espresso Yourself”, it was attended by six wonderful mamas, most of them members of the Basel Mamas Club. It was such an honour to meet these awesome mothers (special thanks go to my sister Marie Schiller for spearheading this […]
One of the greatest joys of my life is being a tita (auntie). I have 12 nieces and nephews, and the reason why I took three airplane rides to Basel was to visit my youngest sister’s little girl, Malaya. She is so beautiful. I feel so blessed to spend time with her. The other day, we […]
I’m currently traveling to see my sister in Basel, Switzerland. To get there from my home in Auckland, however, it required three airplane rides including an overnight stay in Vienna. But due to my lack of planning, I had to literally have a Tom Hanks moment (you know, from the movie The Terminal). I had […]
Recently, I’ve been spending time at the hospital. While our young patient sleeps and gets better, I sketch. My subjects? People who wait along with me (like my husband). Stuff I make up (like Leminions). And photos in my iPhone photostream. Today’s #whileshewassleeping project is a portrait of my walking buddy Dianne enjoying her coffee.
Squeezed an old cliché for some new inspiration. I thank God for the gift of humour and how it has a way of smoothing over some of Life’s rough spots. A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverb 17:22, NIV)
I sketched this while visiting dear D in the hospital. It was Father’s Day (in the US and the Philippines –not in NZ – but indulge me), and I thought it was a great image of how a dad’s role involves waiting on his children. Even if it takes longer than expected.
Have you ever looked at someone’s artwork and said, “I’d love to do that, but I don’t have the time!” Well, how would you like to find the time to get creative? All you need: a stopwatch that lets you measure 10-minute blocks (I used my Fitbit Timer). Any un-lined notebook (my cute one is a $3.50 […]
Shortland Street isn’t your typical adventure spot, but I made it one during my Japan visa run. Following my coffee and walk-the-dog (and cat) ritual in our neighborhood, I hoofed my way to the bus stop and caught a bus (two actually) into the Auckland CBD. Made my way to Shortland Street from Britomart, and headed to the […]
Chanced upon this old-ish photo in my Photo Booth files. You could caption it any way, really, but what I was doing was getting my hands in different positions so I could draw depth – this was for a drawing assignment on Sketchbook Skool with artist Koosje Koene. Turns out I never did the assignment (argh!) […]
This isn’t my first visa run to Wellington. I was there in 2014 to apply for my Turkish visa (the Embassy of Turkey and most foreign embassies are HQ’d there). So when I planned to visit Switzerland, I braced myself for yet another day trip to windy Wellington. To be perfectly honest, I was dreading […]
Every time I take our dog for a walk, I always find something worthy of drawing. Today’s Friday Find is a Golden Amber maple leaf. Isn’t it pretty? I find weathered leaves – red, dappled, even brown in parts – much more interesting to paint than perfectly green, blemish-free specimens. I used watercolour paints, and […]
Even if I am a day late. Winter has come in New Zealand, and the cold just makes me want to draw, write and blog again. See you tomorrow.
I love hats. I used to have a huge collection of them. When I moved countries, I gave them away to loved ones. Now I am thinking of starting a new collection – but this time as illustrations on my beloved animals. What’s not to love about a furry cutie in a beret, fedora or other […]
As I mentioned yesterday, here’s a sample of my drawing with a red ballpoint pen for my #sketchbookskool course with illustrator Andrea Joseph. Taking her cue, I added shading with a red watercolour pencil for the tomatoes and the shadows. And please pardon the recipe – it’s not a real recipe. I just wrote ingredients that I […]
I’m addicted to Sketchbook Skool! This week’s tutorial is all about drawing everyday objects with whatever pen is handy courtesy of tutor Andrea Joseph. I will post a few of my ballpoint pen creations – my pens are so bad though my drawings are dotted with ink blots! I’ve slipped in opportunities to draw, and realised that […]
This week’s Sketchbook Skool lesson is about drawing nature scenes. And birds. I have yet to draw a nice one, but watch this page! Yesterday, I took my sketchbook and portable painting set to the garden so I could paint on the grass. Naturally, Monty was at my heels, wanting in on the action. As […]
Today’s illustration is of a beautiful creature I photographed during last year’s Spring Festival held at our neighbourhood park. My homework with artist Cathy Johnson was to draw a bird, but because I couldn’t find a bird who could sit still (I had no photos from my gallery), I decided to draw this sheep (from one of my […]
I don’t do watercolour, but am learning from Sketchbook Skool. Today’s subjects: apple, lemon and a ceramic ice cream plate designed like a paint palette. I got the palette from Baguio. Anyway, while doing this, I remembered my Mom. Today is her birthday. She loved fruits and always made sure our home had fresh fruit […]
I bought this ancient coffee grinder from my friend Apol, who lived in the South of France at the time. I love it. Although I can’t use it to grind coffee beans, it sits above our kitchen and reminds me of one of the things I love: coffee. I love everything about coffee. How it smells, […]
Thought I’d sneak in this selfie from a photo snapped at my September 2011 farewell party from my old publishing company in Singapore. Back then I had long digitally waved hair, wore red lipstick and lash extensions I had refreshed every three weeks. These days, however, I can’t be bothered to sit down for a […]
Posting it a day late. 🙂
A quick selfie using a fine point pen. I drew it without lifting my pen again – I wanted to add colour but my husband said it looks good as is. It’s been a long, wonderful day and thankful I still have time to enjoy takeaways with the family, a rugby game on TV, a movie […]
I couldn’t end the day without a sketch! Been a very busy day, but thankful that I got to do this daily exercise. I had no photo, no mirror – just drew from what I think I look like. But I look more like my eldest sister Mica here. 🙂
For today’s selfie, I snapped a photo of myself pulling a face, and then sketched it on special paper. Here’s my photo…I just used a 6B pencil to do the shapes and shading. I only coloured my lips with a dab of water-colour. Just for fun, I did this composite that is part photo, part sketch. […]
I had to draw this while looking at myself in a mirror, looking up, and then shading instead of drawing distinct lines. I have so much to learn! But one upside to all this is that my drawing is quite pretty, but she doesn’t look like me. She looks more like my youngest sister, Marie! […]
Today’s selfie is of my feet. My boots, to be exact. I bought them four years ago in Singapore. They are by a brand called Fit Flops, known for their flip flops with a special heel that is like a “gym in a shoe” because it gives you a real workout while you walk. My boots are […]
How do you see yourself? As I begin a week of selfies, I’d like to kick it off with one of me on my less-than-pretty days. Unwashed hair, check. No make up, check. Slight cold, check. As you can see, my jaws are not the same size. Someone told me her eyes are “creepy”. Truth […]
A little late in the day, but I couldn’t miss a day of my “A Sketch a Day” commitment. Here are a few of my tools for creating art (I didn’t know what else to draw in a pinch!). No deep thoughts to go with this – it’s a new set of watercolour paints, so there’s […]
I used to be very insecure about taking photographs. Whenever we had a family reunion, my father – who was crazy about cameras – would tell us, his kids, to snap photos. I always passed the camera to someone else for fear of making a mistake. Back then, we had no idea how a photo would […]
I bought this dainty blue and white milk jug from a flea market in Basel, Switzerland for four euros. It was a hot day in July, so right after our little shopping spree, my sister Marie and I decided to take a dip in the Rhine River. I changed into my bikini, then tucked this milk jug […]
A ball of yarn can be different things to different people. To a cat, it’s a toy. To a gift wrapper, it’s the colourful way to tie up a present. To a kindergarten art teacher, it can be used to hang children’s artworks on – like a clothesline. To a doll maker, it can be used […]
As part of an online drawing course I am doing on Sketchbook Skool, I’d like to share an image a day for the next 14 days. I am on holiday from art teaching and this is my way of “sharpening the saw” (thanks, Stephen Covey). Today’s challenge: Toast. Yes, the one you eat for breakfast […]
“Wow how do you find the time to do that?” “Shucks, I have no patience to do what you do.” “I’d love to do that BUT I am too busy.” I am not a full-time employee anymore. I work 8 hours teaching art each week, spend a few hours each week for writing projects and my wrap […]
Clutter has a way of building up, one scrap/piece/paper at a time. Until one day, that clean table you vowed you’d keep nice and tidy as your temporary workspace has become a pile of…stuff. Craft materials. Books. Paper. Pencils. Brushes. Fabric. Needles and thread. And projects. Unfinished projects! So this morning, after clearing my cluttered workspace, I […]
Do you have a pair of jeans that are ripped in parts you’d rather not reveal? This pair of my hubby’s has that been-washed-gazillion-times softness and just-pale-enough shade of blue to draw on. So I turned it into wall art. All you need: • Old jeans • Scissors • Gel roller fabric pen • A […]
This term, I’ve been teaching kids about symmetry. It’s not easy as I’ve had to practice techniques so that I can relay it to them. “What you do on the left, you do on the right.” I said that line over and over that one day, when I said the first half of it, the children were […]
I love how Tasmanian artist Sonia Singh takes Bratz dolls destined for the landfill, and transforms them into new toys. She erases the dolls’ heavily made-up eyes and lips with nail polish remover, and draws on more natural-looking faces on them. Her mother, a knitter, creates their new outfits befitting of young girls who love camping […]
This week is the start of Term 2 for my Art Academy students. Although I enjoyed my downtime during the two-week holiday break, I really looked forward to seeing my kids. What’s not to love about this job? Let me count the ways…. 1) The joy of anticipation Whether it’s the twinkle in the eyes and voices […]
As Easter approaches, I blogged about how a little drawing project somehow generated a super short story called The Warrior and The Dove on my blog, Bliss Me Once.
Twelve years ago, Summit Books published my first novel. The Breakup Diaries – which centred around the journal of a naive, sheltered barista named Monica – became a Philippine bestseller in its first seven months of release. In late 2008, it was adapted into a TV series on ABC-5. It is still the book I get the most fan […]
Happiness is teaching a class of almost-5 to 12 year olds how to draw a realistic peacock from scratch…and seeing that they got it. I love my job.
Today marked the official first day in my life as an art tutor to kids. It was an amazing experience meeting these boys and girls so eager to put pen to paper, and to create works of art with me providing instruction. But since they are of varying levels of artistic expertise, my challenge was to provide the […]
I’ve been out of commission from sewing and crafting since December 26. I did manage to squeeze in a doll named Celini the Yogini, for a Las Vegas-based schoolmate and friend, Celine, who is a yoga teacher and all-around healthy human. Here she is! So happy that Celini has been welcomed by her new family with […]
This year, I decided to add “art teacher” to my growing list of “things I do” (writer, embroiderer, illustrator, kindie teacher, Sunday School teacher… it’s a living, breathing list!). As of last Saturday, I received my certificate as art tutor. For 10 weeks, I trained and apprenticed with Art Academy, honing my realistic drawing skills (such […]
Eversince I reacquainted myself with a sewing machine in 2011, I haven’t bought ready-made Christmas decorations. During my first Christmas in New Zealand, I sewed stockings, hearts, birds, wreaths and even placemats and coasters! I have since added just a little every year, tweaking them with new skills (and ideas) I have gained from my sewing experiments. But you don’t have […]
My dear friend Mae Young has a yearly project of printing a date book for family and friends. That project was on hold for a few years till now – and i was honoured that she asked me to do the cover. She wanted Colossians 3:12 as the cover theme: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, […]
There is a crafty soul in every one of us – even those of us who don’t sew. Case in point is my sister, Pinky Vierra, a film editor and lover of all things Hawaiian (most especially her hubby!). Anyway, she spotted this man’s T-shirt in Uniqlo Singapore with a cool Hawaii graphic on it, and […]
Ooh, can you tell I am thrilled? So thankful for the interview with Real Living, which talked about my August exhibit on narrative embroidery, “Sew and Tell” which I talked about on my blog here. To read the entire interview online, click here.
I love sewing. Since life has gotten busier however, squeezing in the time to stitch has been quite a challenge. Aside from training to be an art tutor, I also work part-time as an Early Childhood Teacher. I love art and teaching kids, so my recent involvements are blessings I thank God for. However, that means carving out […]
I love reading. Fiction, non-fiction, inspirational, thriller, historical. You name it. But when I’m busy crafting or sewing or doodling or writing, my eyes and hands are too busy. So I’ve discovered the joys of audio books. Two I’ve recently tuned into: Nora Ephron’s side-splitting novel Heartburn — about a cookbook author whose seemingly perfect marriage sinks […]
This is not a cooking blog. But I couldn’t resist. As a certified salad ignoramus (my repertoire is limited to tomatoes, salad greens and onions), I was thrilled to discover the joys of grated cauliflower when it was served to us at our friends’ home last Saturday. At first, it looked like rice with mint leaves and […]
I’ve recently taken an interest in sketching freehand on canvas as an additional medium for my fabric art. At first, I resorted to using a laundry marker, which is designed to stay on after many washings. I found the Pilot Laundry-Tec pen for NZ$5.50 at Stationary World Direct, but the nib wasn’t as fine as I […]
That saying “Write what you know” applies to all creative pursuits — even drawing. Why else do I pepper my illustrations with cats, coffee, and now canines (sorry, alliterationitis attack back there). But as I type this, I am thankful that my morning has kicked off with a walk (sans dog though), workout and a […]
Accountability is a wonderful thing. Thanks to a dear friend who lives a street or two from where I live, I’ve been getting up at 6.40am daily for morning walks. The hardest part is getting past that initial tug of war (stay toasty under the sheets vs. brave the cold and get out of bed). But once I’m up, I […]
Here goes: I am a proud, library card-bearing citizen who loves borrowing books from the local library. Not only is it a cheaper alternative to buying books from the bookstore or Amazon, I’ve learned to exercise some EQ with my Auckland Library card. By borrowing books, I get to read of titles that pique my interest for […]
Confused my fairy tales with nursery rhymes back there. Nevertheless, good practice for the day.
We’ve heard that saying so many times. “Go with the flow” is our cue to relax, chill, allow flexibility and surrender to surprises. That was my action plan when I visited my sister Marie in Switzerland last July. My husband and I and all my sisters made our way to Basel — which is where the Swiss, […]
It’s the first day of the week, and a rainy one here in Auckland. The antidote to a wet start of the week? A visit to Antidote Cafe in Takapuna. It’s easy to park yourself for hours inside this pretty café/art studio/yoga studio/retail therapy hangout. Their doors open at 7am – perfect for an early bird like me! […]
Here’s a little video of photographs from Sew and Tell (taken by willing guests and myself). It sums up the joy of the occasion, and the words of the song (“Write Your Story” by Francesca Battistelli) is my own heart’s wish. Although my husband Nigel and a huge chunk of my family and friends couldn’t be […]
After nearly six months of drawing, sourcing supplies, and sewing till midnight, my first art exhibit will be unveiled on August 20. It’s called Sew and Tell, a collection of narrative embroidery pieces that all tell a story. It will be held in La Pomme, an adorable shop of plush toys owned by my friend Apol […]
I am definitely way past my chick-lit days. I was browsing around the bookstore, and was instantly smitten by this children’s book. Mouseton Abbey: The Missing Diamond by Joanna Bicknell and Nick Page (Make Believe Ideas Ltd) has so much going for it. The characters — all amigurumi crocheted mice — are based on Downton Abbey’s cast. Each […]
Yesterday morning, my husband and I were roused from sleep by a little intruder. Diane, one of our cats, had caught herself a little friend — a rat— and was cornering her in one of the bedrooms. My hubby got up, hoping to catch the rat himself. But then, rodents do have the speed to […]
While preparing for my Sunday school teaching — a lesson on “do not envy” — I found this brilliant tutorial on how to make a Gratitude Tree, which I’ve renamed the Thank You tree. Again, this was meant to be a project for the kids — but like all good ideas intended for others, it […]
I know, I know. I’ve been a bit lazy with my Cat-toon Thursdays. But I snapped this photo of little Diane sprawled on our Stand Up Paddleboard and couldn’t help the pun! This week, amidst the flurry to do all you have to do, may you find time to rest and stretch and sprawl on […]
Part of the thrill of a new creative project is brainstorming for ideas. These past few weeks have been an adventure in generating ideas. This embroidered artwork was my experiment during yesterday’s cyclone here in Auckland. I stayed indoors, surrounded by my fabric, threads, needles and sketching paper. I actually dyed this canvas in very […]
This morning, I drew today’s cat-toon before I went for morning tea with my sister Rina. When we returned home, I was greeted by the sight of Monty with a sparrow in his mouth! My expression was nothing like my cat-toon reaction – more like a high-pitched scream and violent arms flailing/shooing my cat away. […]
I’ve been thinking about the new things I want to try this year. Have you? I’ve come up with a list, not just for myself, but also for those of you who are looking for something new to do in 2014: 1. Try your hand at stand-up comedy (just like Monty!). 2. Write a book. […]
Here’s a great crafty project to do on a rainy day (like today, here in Auckland). You’ll need: • 1 plain canvas bag • pencil and eraser • scissors • Sharpie permanent marker in black • scraps of cloth • fabric glue • alphabet stamp set and ink pads (black and red) • iron (with […]
They know, they just know where to grow, how to dupe you, and how to camouflage themselves among the perfectly respectable plants, they just know, and therefore, I’ve concluded weeds must have brains. –Dianne Benson, Dirt, 1994 Over the last few days, I’ve been getting my hands dirty uprooting some pretty pesky weeds from our garden. […]
I love New Year’s Lists. They signify wonderful beginnings and a chance for a fresh start (or a much-needed jumpstart). While I will agree that I’ve made a few MTBB (Meant To Be Broken) ones, I have kept quite a few. And I believe that the few that have stood the test of time and […]
Today’s post is inspired by the Christmas Gift Drive spearheaded by my sister Rina, who worked with Rush de Silva – a teacher at Rongomai School – and her friends from the Upper Room Church, Newmarket. On December 12 – after months of gathering gift donations from friends – my sister, a few volunteers and […]
I decided to sketch this week’s cat-toon by hand, and gave it a vintage-y feel with an Instagram filter. As Christmas draws nearer, may we find joy in the little things.
I love it when people reinvent themselves. After a long, successful career as a magazine editor and writer, An Mercado-Alcantara unearthed another way to tell her stories – she pinches clay into beautiful storyteller dolls! I instantly fell in love with her Clay Carollers – not only are they intricate and amazing, they depict a Christmas […]
The things I think of while doing laundry. Have a lovely day!
What if you could take your cat to a coffee shop, the way you would a pet puppy? Here’s what I think would happen to Monty and me.
“I want to be a philanthropist.” This was my mother’s standard answer whenever people asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. The first time she told this to my sisters and I, I didn’t even know what the word meant. But as I got older, I learned that all my mother […]
My good friend, writer and crafter Apol Lejano-Massebieau of La Pomme wrote me a few months ago. A friend of a mutual friend wanted to have a little Filipina doll made for a little Spanish girl, and would I take on the project? My answer was a resounding yes! Not so resounding, however, was my action plan. […]
My take on Dr. Seuss. I drew this cat-toon (to quote my friend Candy Cruz Datu who coined the term for me!) following a course I did on Writing for Children and Young Adults this year. The course, conducted by award-winning New Zealand author Janice Marriott, got me into reading picture books, including The Cat in the Hat […]
I grew up in Manila, so strawberries weren’t the crop of choice to grow. In the Philippines, the best place for these heart-shaped berries to flourish is the mountain province of La Trinidad, Benguet because of the cooler climate. I took my nieces there in March, and they loved it (especially little Ada at right). […]
Earlier today, I was overcome with emotion over the devastation that struck the Philippines. A delayed reaction, but a much-needed catharsis. The tears came while I sat on our porch, praying. I had barely wiped away the tears and blew my nose when our next door-neighbour here in Auckland came over to ask after my […]
My former flatmates and dearest girlfriends in Singapore have launched a fundraiser to help those ravaged by the typhoon. If you’re in Singapore today, November 11, do head to The Hub at Somerset. These Red Velvet Cupcakes are for sale, with proceeds going to charity. Diane Jorolan, Itsy Dazo and Tara FT Sering, thanks for […]
My friend Merlin ordered this nativity scene for Christmas. Now all I need to make is one farm animal (sheep? cow?) and the manger, to be made by my carpenter/hubby Nigel. All I did was dive into my stash of fabrics, doilies, ribbons, lace trims, and threads. I didn’t use any pattern, but simply cut […]
During a recent sail onboard Wish You Were Here, we sailed alongside these beautiful tall ships modelled after the ships of yore. I felt like we were transported to another era.
For the past three weeks, I’ve been going to a weekly writing course on Creative Writing for Kids and Young Adults under Janice Marriott at Creative Hub. As a bonus, I had the chance to listen to writer/editor Geoff Walker (former chief editor at Penguin) and author Tui Allen one Saturday. That was the […]
A year after signing with Adarna Books — the foremost publisher of children’s books in the Philippines — the book of my mother’s childhood stories is now out in bookstores. Called “Good Night, Lala” (Lala is what she was fondly called by her grandkids), the book first came about as a way to remember the […]
This two-toned hessian bag (wine in front, light brown behind) has a crocheted applique in front. I made this to go with my frock for a wedding this weekend. The lining was made from rescued linen hand towels — it goes so well with my label 🙂
From paper to fabric. Here’s my rendition of a personalized bag for my dear friend Candice. I sketched her something a week ago, then translated it onto cotton twill in an oatmeal color. I used a combination of fabric paint, fabric, sewing, and hand stamping to achieve the overall look. I incorporated her love […]
I am thrilled that it’s out again. I had been receiving emails from readers, asking where it’s available. Now you can buy it in bookstores in Manila, Philippines for PHP175 a copy. Will update about the details of the e-book…
I made this plushie upon the request of my dear friend, Cathy, who wanted this as a present for her mom, the Filipina actress Caridad Sanchez. It was my pleasure. On the left is my visual peg, and my finished product is on the right. Ms Sanchez’s photo courtesy of www.showbiz-portal.com
I had the pleasure of working on the cover story of this month’s issue. Entitled Panglao Gets Personal, it’s a look into the boutique establishments on this island of Bohol that have make it quite a gem to visit. Above is a screen-grab of the website, with lovely Maike Evers gracing the cover and cover […]
I’ve always called myself a writer first. It was the one thing I loved doing and — thanks to the affirmation of my parents, sisters, teachers, friends, publishers and later on my magazine and book readers — something I did well. As of late, however, I have been drawn to other art forms: sewing, silkscreen […]
With the Candy team, version 20.12 (left to right): Angel Constantino (features ed), Marla Miniano (deputy EIC), Jed Gregorio (fashion/beauty assistant), me, Mimi Tiu (one of my fave interns back in the day, and now managing ed), Steph Yapnayon (art director), and Sam Potenciano (fashion ed). Popped into the Summit Media office yesterday to visit […]
I just had to share this bit of news, which came out a few days ago. Who would have thought our little magazine would make it to CNNGo’s Top 12 List? Go, Team Smile!
While enjoying my breakfast on the deck, I heard the courier van pull up. I ran to the door, and there it was — the package from my friend Apol in France. It arrived on my birthday morning! Opening it was like a matroyshka doll: inside the package were gifts and other little gifts from […]
Nigel and I had lunch at the nearby café and ordered our perks of choice: a small flat white for me and a large cappuccino for him. We are what we drink!
I have a confession: I am afraid of riding a bike in the open road. I have a fear of falling off, of making a fool of myself, of getting mowed over by a moving vehicle. While I won’t go to the extent of regression to get to the bottom of this phobia, I did […]
Over a flat white coffee at my nearby café, I read through a new book I had borrowed from my friendly neighborhood Mobile Library (it’s a bus filled with books that comes around once a week!), my mind began to spark so many ideas. There I was, reading through A Circle of Quilters (yes it […]
Online lifestyle magazine Lifestyle.com.my recently interviewed me, and published it this week. It’s under the Words of Encouragement section, which I am thrilled about. Thanks to editor Nazri Noor, who did the interview.
I am a day late at posting this, but this is NanoWrimo season, and I am going for my two-days worth of word count today!
As I write this, I am parked with my MacBook Pro inside a funky little café called The Strawberry Alarmclock on Parnell Road in Auckland. One side of the shop is painted aqua and blue with scribblings of “Please don’t smoke” in many languages (the Pinoy translation is “Masamang manigarilyo” (“smoking is bad”), and the […]
I’ve been writing in journals since I was 13. These days, although the ones I write in aren’t pink nor come with lock and key anymore, the ritual of journalling is something that l never grow tired of. While going through the pages of some of my teenaged entries, I laugh at similar themes: Unrequited […]
My sister Pinky was walking in the mall when she passed by this young lady reading a copy of my book, Undercover Taitai. Pinky stopped to ask to snap this photo, and Keena obliged. Thanks Keena! This came around the time I contemplated turning my rough manuscripts into jewels. Hmmm, could this be a nudge […]
I wish I knew how to quit you. So for now, I won’t.
My niece, Erin, 10, has always wanted to be a writer. She’s handwritten her stories in books, and we’ve worked together to bring her tales to life with photos and slide shows when she was six. Most recently, she’s taken her storytelling to a different dimension, using her Sylvanian Family toys as animated characters in […]
After doing a quick tweak of my Walastik Holistic blog (to kind of match the design of this website), I also decided to start a 30-Day Blog Challenge beginning today, 14 August 2011. Here’s a link to Day 1’s entry. I’ll match it with an instagram.
I just finished a personal piece about my first 21K run at the Laguna Phuket Marathon last June 12, 2011. I’ll send a link once it’s out. But while shooting my running shoe to go with this blog post, the phrase on my laces struck me. Lace up, save lives. You can take that on […]
My friend Itsy took me to this little art café called The Orange Thimble in Tiong Bahru a few days ago. She had chanced upon it, thinking it was still the sewing supplies store she used to go to (the sewing connection is in the name and logo — check out the stitching). What a […]
This was the topic I was tasked to teach in my niece Faith’s class in Meadowbank School, Remuera, Auckland. I was on vacation, and was asked to do a 30-minute talk. Since I’d do anything for Faith, and love kids, I said yes. Then I thought to myself: How do I teach better sentence building […]
I am currently working on a book project which will need illustrations. I am drawn to the style of vintage children’s books. I found this in the Flickr site of childrenbooksillustrations. Love the color of the paper (I can almost smell the pages), and the ink drawings that make me feel good — and eight […]
I just watched Letters to Juliet, a light-hearted love story about the power of the written word. I myself am partial to writing notes to people I love — a trait I’ve inherited from my parents. My dad used to write my mom missives of love during their courtship. Mom did this too, writing letters […]
As I type this, there are three book manuscripts sitting in my hard drive, waiting to be polished and hewn into finality, and about three percolating in my head. It’s time to start the process of getting my thoughts organized for new babies.
per·co·late (pʉr′kə lāt′) 1. to spread throughout; permeate 2. to become active or start bubbling up, as coffee in a percolator
My mother passed away 15 days ago, an event that moved me to author a eulogy to celebrate her life. She was a gifted writer, who inspired me to take up pen and paper and scribble poetry and short stories at a very young age. She was my biggest fan and cheerleader. She read everything […]