Tuesday 29 January 2013

Wedding Project 1: Cake Topper (WIP)

WIP means "Work In Progress," by the way :p

This year (so far), I am fortunate to have my crochet be part of 2 weddings. Both of them will be in March, but both of them are 2 different crochet projects. One is a crocheted pouch for the arrhae and the other is a crocheted cake topper.

The latter is not just any crocheted cake topper. It is an amigurumi version of the (soon-to-be) married couple! This is highly customized: from the hair to the gown and suit and tie. It'll be (I hope) like a mini-me of the couple on their wedding day!

This is a picture of my WIP last week. It's a cacophony of strings and body parts. From this pic, you kind of doubt if it will look like people :p
This is my WIP a day after I took the pic above. See the difference? Ain't it making sense now?!?
And yes, I gave my bride some dignity by giving her underwear :p The bride even has knees (even if it will eventually be covered by the long gown)! As of this afternoon, I'm already done crocheting the bride's dress and styling the hair on her head. The hair took me almost a day to style. I was following a specific style (imagine me looking at a picture of Maja Salvador, say, every 5 minutes). 

The cake topper will be around 8 inches tall. Watch out for the big reveal next month! 

Sunday 27 January 2013

At Home With Crochet: A Workshop

I had my first private workshop last Jan. 25 (Fri.) at a beautiful home in Dasmarinas Village. This is a basic crochet workshop for 5 ladies.
It was a beautiful morning! Having a workshop in a house has a laid back feel to it. I also love the fact that I heard birds chirp while holding the workshop :p
The goods.
I taught them the basics stitches and how to read a pattern.
Loving the colors of the yarn!
I hope this workshop has gotten them interested in crochet. In fact, some of them went to Dreams Yarnshoppe to check out yarn and hooks right after the workshop. I guess that's a good sign :)

My thanks to Raquel, Jacqueline, Angelique, Luz, and Jasmin for being patient throughout the entire 3+ hours of crocheting!

Thursday 24 January 2013

Coming Full Circle With Craft World

When I was a student in Poveda and when our car was parked in Robinson's Galleria, I usually tell the one who picks me up that I will pass by National Bookstore or Craft World. I go to National Bookstore to buy school supplies or books, but I go to Craft World to stare and salivate at all the crafty tools they have. I wished I had more allowance back then to buy those crochet magazines or imported hooks. I used to always ask the store attendee what those mysterious tools do or what can be done with all those things displayed on their shelves. There was always this hunger in me to create, and Craft World always kept me excited.

Fast forward to 2012, I decided to become serious with crochet. I met people and discovered the bigger world of crafting in the country. I met Asther, a hardcore crafter, who told me about the Craft World garage sale. I checked it out and blogged about it just last October. I had no idea that because of that blog entry, people discovered the store and came in herds and bought almost 80% of their entire loot in just 3 months.

Fast forward to this week, I got a text from the storekeeper Ate Fely, telling me that Zeny Perez, the founder and owner of Craft World, wants to meet up.

Fast forward to yesterday, we finally met.
The starstruck me meeting Zeny Perez of Craft World. This is shot in the room where she used to conduct craft classes.
I really didn't know what to say when I saw her coming down from her car. I felt quite starstruck. One of the first things she said to me was like "Ikaw pala si Trey. Ang bata mo pa."

Zeny is already based in Toronto, Canada. She's in the country for a quick visit. She told me she was thankful that I got to feature the sale in my little blog. I told her, "No, thank you!" I don't think I reiterated my thank you enough to let her know that I want to thank her for her contributions to crafting in the country.
We had a quick chat about her store. Back in the 90s, there was this craft boom in the country. At that time, cross-stitch was the "thing." Students would flock to her stores to buy cross-stitch kits. Oh, those kits. They made crafting accessible and affordable. They assembled those kits themselves. They expanded later on to candle-making, soap-making, glass-etching, quilting, needlework, and so much more. They had workshops lined up and people signed up for them.

I "unearthed" 2 articles from 2001 from the Philippine Daily Inquirer featuring Craft World. I encourage you to click on the images so you can be directed to the material. They will make you appreciate Craft World even more.
Feature on the April 29, 2001 Sunday Lifestyle, Section C2, issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
(source: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=9VQ1AAAAIBAJ&sjid=bSUMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1109%2C27388492)
Feature on the November 18, 2001 Sunday Lifestyle, Section D4, issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
(source: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=BqhjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=hiUMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1433%2C8334346)

Then at some point, support for crafting dwindled. There were many reasons. The economy shifted spending priorities. Gadgets replaced crafts that used to "kill your time." Mall rent became pretty steep. Many reasons, I guess.

At some point, the business of Craft World was not sustainable anymore, that's why it closed its doors.

Fast forward to today, here we are, hungry for crafts. Hungry for something like Craft World to come back again. I guess the garage sale is Craft World's way of letting us know that it's our time now to keep crafting alive. 

I saw these binders for sale. Only P150 per binder. This used to be Zeny's binder for teaching crochet and sharing the love for this craft. The contents are mostly vintage patterns. We actually talked about our appreciation for them. I asked her how she got those vintage books and magazines. She said she used to frequent garage sales too, especially when those garage sales have items owned by grandmas. So she got these from grandmas! Don't you just love grandmas?!?! And garage sales?!?!?
I will treasure these finds forever! It's my turn, or rather, our turn now to share our love for crafts. Mine happens to be crochet.

And as if meeting her was not enough, she even gave me a pasalubong! A pack of yarn! It's my first time to get this kind of yarn. I will definitely make something special out of this.
This experience was overwhelming. Really. From finding out about the sale to meeting the owner and being encouraged and inspired to pursue my crochet, this is definitely one for the books. 

Monday 21 January 2013

Lo and Behold, I Have More Crocheted Earrings!

When I was in the middle of renovating my room, I had to transfer this cabinet that had my books and trinkets in it. I also had to remove some stuff before moving it from the old room to the new room to reduce weight for easier lifting.
I picked up one of the small boxes and opened it just to check what was inside. Then I got surprised.
Just the sight of what was inside the small opening was reason enough for my heart to skip a beat :p Lo and behold, I still have those crocheted earrings I made years ago! I thought I had given or sold them!
I guess work got in the way that's why I forgot about them. I have so much! I think I have more or less 20 pairs in this box!
These earrings are smaller than my "Cant Wait For Summer" earrings. After selling out those earrings, I guess I have more to sell now! I will be posting details soon here in my blog and my Facebook page.
Gawd, these things I crocheted before just pop out of nowhere!

Friday 18 January 2013

Ate Fely: The Craft World Rockstar

I made this pink shawl for a very special lady.
She's the infamous Ate Fely of the Craft World garage sale! Ever since I featured the garage sale on my blog, she has been receiving a gazillion texts from crafters wanting to go to Craft World. She's that small lady, with the loud voice, who answers your questions on all the items for sale - what this thing is for or what this tool does. I enjoy her stories of crafting adventures back in the day when Craft World used to have branches in different locations. When they would conduct many workshops. When they would assemble all those kits so people can easily learn a new craft.  I learned a lot from her stories and I always enjoy her company every time I visit the garage sale. I usually stay longer (and spend much more) than planned just because she has something to say for every item I ask about.
I gave this shawl as a thank you gift to her. It just so happened that I gave this a day after her birthday.
When I came to this place last October, the garage was overflowing with stuff.
October 2012
It's been almost 3 months since I discovered this store and you can see now how much has been sold.
January 2013
The difference might not be noticeable in the pictures above, because all the items stored in the other room were already moved up front. Check out the room I'm talking about.
See the difference?!?! So many have gone to this store since then. I'm glad a lot benefited from this sale. I hope the legacy of crafting from Craft World continues to thrive in all of us! There are still a number of items for sale. They still have so many of those kits. They will only close until supplies last or until the place itself is sold in the market. Find time to visit this place if you haven't been!
Check out my feature on the Craft World garage sale here.

Tuesday 15 January 2013

My Sofabed Spread

I finally found a use for the motif spread I did before. Check out my previous blog entry, "The Project I Had Nothing In Mind For" about this.

It just so happened that I was packing this project and I realized that it would look good on my new sofabed. Dang, it was really meant for this!
It's my first crocheted piece in my room (oddly enough)!
Another hooray for crochet! I'm so happy that this motif spread finally found its place!
Check out the makeover this room went through in my blog entry, "New Year. New Room. New Beginnings."

Monday 14 January 2013

Workshop 5: Basic Crochet on Feb. 23 at Craft MNL

Get ready with a new hobby for the coming summer by learning crochet! This workshop will be your introduction to basic crochet techniques.

It will also be our goal for you to finish a granny square at the end of the workshop. Even if takes some time for your hands to get used to the motion of manipulating the hook and yarn, it is possible for you to accomplish something :)

This is my only basic crochet workshop at Craft MNL for February. Check out some outtakes from my previous workshop last December 22 at Craft MNL here.

Workshop fee is P1,000. This is already inclusive of your very own crochet kit: 2 sets of acrylic yarn, 3 balls of mercerized cotton, double-ended steel hook, scissors, and patterns.

To register for this workshop, please go to this link

Craft MNL is at Unit Y, The Collective, 7274 Malugay St., Brgy. San Antonio, Makati City. To see where The Collective is, check out its location on Google Maps here.

Sunday 13 January 2013

New Year. New Room. New Beginnings.

"Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are." (Excerpt from Paulo Coelho's blog, "2012: Closing Cycles")

I worked hard the last few days of 2012 and the first few of 2013 to finish my new room (check out my blog entry about this project here). I know it's such a cliche to do something "symbolic" for the new year that would somehow define the direction you want to go to, but it just made so much sense for me. You know it and feel it in your gut that change is in the air, and you want to take advantage of that feeling. And somehow you know, as Coelho would say, that the "universe is conspiring" to lead you to this point.

New Year. New Room. New Beginnings.
Yes, I have a lot of yarn. My room is pretty much my craft space, studio, sleeping space, and feel good place. Here's what this side of the room used to look like when it was my brother's room.
I just chose white as my wall color. It brings out all the colors of the stuff in my room. Beside my wonderful shelf of yarn goodness is my desk. The desk and chair are vintage and I had them fixed and painted to make them my own. It used to belong to my grandma. It's nice to work on the same desk she spent hours on creating opportunities and making them happen. I love the decorative paper I placed between the glass top and the table. I bought it from an old bookstore here in Pasig that doesn't exist anymore.
On one side of the room is a small kitchen countertop. This room used to be a small apartment unit, that's why it has that. I am using this area as an extended workspace. These are the before and after pics. 
I had the cabinet panels painted to a dark blue. I think the color matches the tiles. I didn't want to destroy the tiles so I based the color of the panels on them.
I also found a way to organize the trinkets and small stuff I have.
Now this is the side of my room with the windows.
Here's the before and after comparison.
The sofa I bought is also a bed. I'm not really sensitive about beds. Besides, who needs a bed when you can just lull yourself to sleep staring at all those yarn just across the room? :p
I decided to keep the original wood furnishing of the wall you can see above. I like it. My next project is to put something on that bare wall. Maybe some big painting, or better yet, a crocheted piece.

Here's my door (and my shoes). I also placed my old mirror by the entrance.
This room will still "evolve." I'm very satisfied with it. I love how everything found its place in it - both the old and the new. I hope I create great things in this room. Definitely.

And now, let us pause for a moment to listen (and also watch, coz he's cute like that too) to Ben Sollee cover Sam Cooke's classic, "Change Is Gonna Come." It will make you jump and skip and hop on the path to change. Awryt!

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Baby Maya + Crochet = Super Adorbz!!!

This is adorable baby Maya wearing my crocheted headband and flower accent. Believe it or not, it's because of her that I decided to crochet baby headbands and beanies :) Thank you, Louie Arcilla of *nyaps for the lovely pictures! This is definitely not your average baby picture :)
She's too cute!
Reminds you of an Anne Geddes picture, noh?
The crocheted headband and flower is definitely not getting in the way of her sleeping :)
She's too cute. Yeah, I said that earlier already :p
 Again, I would like to thank Louie Arcilla of *nyaps for the wonderful pictures. Of course, my thanks also goes to Maya and Marga! Great job! She's a pro! :)

Also, check out baby Lima Bean having fun wearing my crocheted pieces here!

For orders, proceed to this link for details.

Saturday 5 January 2013

My Bedspread On An Actual Bed

Thank you, Tyzia (of Noah's Nest), for taking this beautiful picture of the bedspread I made on an actual bed! 
There's no such thing as a color overload when they all look so good together!
Check out my previous post on my bedspread here.

Thursday 3 January 2013

Grandma Series 4: The Motherload of all Crocheted Creations

To end my Grandma Series on Lola Viring and to start 2013 with a bang, I will be showing you the motherload of Lola Viring's creations - her crocheted wearables.

Just look at what I'm talking about.
These crocheted clothes were the only ones she kept for herself. I asked her if she can recall how many blouses and skirts she crocheted. She said she probably made 10 truckloads of them. I believe her. People used to come to her house and order these clothes. Some of her clients were "balikbayans." They'd bring them to other countries and give them as "pasalubong" or sell them at higher prices.
Lola Viring is amazing. She made all these without following any pattern. She said she doesn't even know how to read or write crochet patterns. She made these clothes from pure technique and imagination. I love the way the sleeves fall on this blouse.
Want to see the rest? Click the link below!