Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Commonplace Book

Hey everyone! Get a load of my peg for this post: Crafts! This is my first photo tutorial for my blog.
I got inspired by the ideas on Pinterest, especially the one about writing letters for loved ones
who live far away from you. Each letter has a theme and a specific instruction, like:"Open me when you miss being home." or even "Enclosed letter to be read when you need to be reminded of how strong you are."

I loved the concept! It's a way to make yourself felt to those separated from you by miles
of either land or sea. A way to let your words give comfort, even when your physical presence
cannot. Even the themes warmed my heart: themed letters from parents to their children away at college, themed letters from friend to friend; envelopes either exchanged whenever they get the chance to meet, or even sent through mail. 

I started such a collection of letters for my Bestie who works in Singapore. Ever since she left, I 
began writing her letters. I didn't label them with specific themes or instructions for certain 
circumstances. I wrote to her whenever I wanted to. It was the catharsis for the times when I pick up my mobile phone to text her a message, then I remember that she uses an international number now, and I didn't get to ask her what it was before she left. Writing letters, or even little notes to her helped lessen the pang of having her in a different part of Asia. We talked online every chance we got,but still I wrote and saved those letters and notes in a small folder I made.

When she came back home for a vacation, I surprised her with all the missives I accumulated and wrote while she was away. I was so happy to find out she loved it, and when she flew back to Singapore, I promised to write her a new batch of letters after I gave her the ones I had. 

On her next homecoming, I was ready with another set of letters, this time in a decorated envelope. Still no themes as to which one to open during a certain type of situation. Now, I've given those themes some thought and decided, why not make an entire compilation for her? I could still write her letters and little notes, but this time, I could put them all in one place. 

Mr. Lemony Snicket, famous author of the book series "A Series of Unfortunate Events" calls this type of compilation a commonplace book. You place in all your notes, sketches, and bits and bobs that you wish to keep for reference in a single notebook, making it the common keeping place for your work. I also found it more suited me, since I love writing, drawing, AND collecting pictures. (My attempts at scrapbooks always end up in the extremes: too much pictures and decals on one page.) The commonplace book allows me to do all the three elements I love. 

You can imagine the lightbulb shining bright above my head as I got to work on this idea one rainy Thursday. I thought I'd share with you how I made the commonplace book I crafted to use for the letters I write for my Bestie. 

Now you've seen how it's done, go make one for yourself to use! Be it for your very own,for a family member, or a friend; it's a great way to spill your thoughts and keep them all in one place. It's a journal of sorts, but the theme is UP TO YOU. 

Have fun compiling! :-D

Photos By: Me
Photo edits thanks to : PicsArt App for iPhone

Friday, June 27, 2014

Student's Pick: The Winner!

Hiatus galore from my blog for me. Once more, I am sorry for the long gaps in between 
entries. Still, I don't want to give up on this blog, so here's my latest peg:


Yes, I know, I've done a post on them before, but those were my high-heeled kicks 
which unfortunately fell into shoe ruin after getting me involved in a very 
embarrassing state of scotch-taped footwear throughout an entire workday. Believe me, 
it's awful just trying to keep the sole and the heel of your chosen shoes together.
So, it was either tape it up, or flop whenever I walk and expose my fluffy socks.

Anyway, I invested in another pair of boots (flat this time, so no heel-snap humiliations)
and made sure to take note of the proper care for them. Now that the rainy season just 
came in here in the Philippines, I brought these kicks out of their solitary confinement
and am now happily matching them up to planned outfits that I have been conceptualizing
ever since I brought this fancy pair of footwear home. 

For now, let's talk my first ensemble:

This is a dress that I thought was too ill-fitting on me at first. I looked at every angle
of it on me when I tried it on in the dressing room. Would the top mini-ruffles make me look
unecessarily buxom? Would the skirt be the right length even if I had to commute? Would the fit 
fall nicely on my body and not have any awkward bunches around my torso?

My Mom gave me the thumbs-up when she saw me in the dress. And she was right. I was thinking way 
too much. This was a dress-cut that I have yet to try and as far as she could see, there were no
problems with the fit. The boutique we bought it from even had good stock of the dress sizes they 
had available, so I was able to get a feel of each fit.

So, this dress was purchased, and I began to think on when and where I'd be able to wear it. I've
already worn it to work once before these photos were taken, so I thought it was time to play up
one part of the outfit. Check out the belt I threw over the waist. Figured I'd try the bling
effect. :-D

Oh, and this is the photo where I tried my hand at applying digital makeup. Actual makeup is not
my forte (so testament the abused eyeshadow pots, palettes, and eyeliner pencils in my hidden
satsh of cosmetics). Have a gander at my efforts. The app I downloaded as a touchup aid is not 

These next two photos have no digital makeup. I stuck to my usual baby powder. 

No regrets in buying this dress! The pseudo-denim skirt went great with my boots. 

Tell me your thoughts on this post. :-D

Photo credits to: My Mom
Photograph editing credits to: PicsArt, Photofy, and Pomelo Apps, plus Photoscape Software. 
Dress from: Cache Cache, Belt from: Y.R.Y.S., Boots: The Landmark, Boot socks: Marithe Frances Girbaud, Headband: Accessories area of local open-air markets, Watch: FURLA