Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Valentine Greeting Cards with Rubber Erasers

Here's another craft project that I made for the latest issue of Katha Magazine. Create a simple greeting card that you can give to your loved ones. You don’t need to buy stamps to decorate your card. Simply use the rubber eraser at the back of your pencil and voila!

Materials:
Ink pad in different colors
Pencil with rubber eraser at the back
White card stock paper
Heart Cookie Cutter


On a piece of paper, trace the outline of the heart template with a pencil. You can use a heart shaped cookie cutter as a template or you can just draw the heart with your own hands. Cut it and tape it on the white card stock paper that you will be using as a greeting card.


Time to decorate! Press the pencil’s eraser on to the ink pad and start stamping on to the card stock paper. Make sure to use one color at a time so you won’t mix the colors on your eraser. I used pink, purple and red ink pads for this. If you do not have ink pads, you can lightly dip your eraser in poster paint instead. This will produce stronger shades.

If you don’t want to decorate your card with plain circles, you can carve your pencil eraser with a cutter into different shapes like triangles, hearts, or squares.


You can embellish your card some more with gold circles. I punched gold paper to create shiny circles, sprayed adhesive on the card stock, and sprinkled the circles all over.


When it’s completely dry, you may remove the heart template and you can write down your message with a pen or whatever medium that you want to use. To stick to the stamped theme, I used my alphabet stamp set to write down my message.



There is nothing more special and personal than a simple handmade gift to a loved one. Hope you enjoyed this! Have a great day! :) Read more articles in Katha Magazine.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Shop The Road Less Traveled

National Geographic launched the online store called "Shop The Road Less Traveled", which features handmade jewelry, accessories, furniture and home decor inspired by the travels of anthropologist Dr. Elizabeth Kapu’uwailani Lindsey.

The three collections reflect the rich cultures, traditions, colors and landscapes that Elizabeth Lindsey encountered on her recent visits to India, Thailand and Bali. Each piece from the line offers consumers an opportunity to experience another part of the world and appreciate the work of its talented craftspeople. Items purchased from the boutique help support the local artisans as well as National Geographic’s work of exploration, research, conservation and cultural preservation.

Jewel Tones
Renew your spirits with handcrafted items in shades from teal to indigo.


Neutral Luxe
Richly textured selection of home decor and accessories, handcrafted in wood and leather, wool and stone.


Royal Accents
Tell a colorful, cultural story without saying a word. This vibrant collection of one-of-a-kind textiles, accessories and decor does all the talking.

Here are some of my favorite items from the three collections:

Jewel Tones
1. Paisley Morning Pillow Rectangle, 2. Merino Wool Striped Shawl, 3. Blue Thai Celadon Vases

Neutral Luxe
4. Thai Mango Wood Vases, 5. Hand Carved Elephant Festival Sculpture, 6. Suzani Medallion Embroidered Ottoman

Royal Accents
7. Vintage Kantha Quilts with Indigo Black and Beige Shams, 8. Kantha Quilted Peacock Chair, 9. Vintage Kantha Cube


Text and Photos via National Geographic

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Heart Shaped Rice Crispies

If you haven't read the latest issue of Katha Magazine, then check it out here. I wrote about how to make heart shaped rice crispy treats. You can try making them for Valentine's Day!



Makes: 6 hearts (about 4” big)

4 cups marshmallow
6 cups rice puffs cereal
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup chocolate melts

First, you need to place parchment paper on a 12” square pan. Make sure that the sides of the sauce pan is also covered with parchment paper. Set this aside while you start heating the marshmallows.

In a large saucepan, melt butter and marshmallow. Keep stirring until marshmallow is fully melted. Pour in rice puffs cereal and remove the sauce pan from heat. Mix thoroughly, covering all rice puffs with marshmallow. Transfer the rice puffs onto the square pan and even it out using a spatula. I was able to fill up two square pans with this much rice puffs.

Cut your rice puffs with a knife or you can use a heart shaped cookie cutter (mine is about 4 inches big). You don’t have to throw away the excess rice puffs! Just collect the excess, mould them into one big lump and flatten it with your spatula. 

Melt the chocolates with a double boiler. Do not let steam touch the chocolate or else it will seize and you won’t be able to work with it anymore. Use a spoon to scoop the chocolate and drizzle it on the rice puffs in different directions. You can drizzle dark chocolate and white chocolate and you can even sprinkle crushed nuts on your rice puffs. Let the chocolate cool at room temperature for about 15 minutes.



Serve it with love! If it’s more convenient for you, you may cut your rice puffs after drizzling with chocolate. I just prefer that the chocolate drizzles reach the sides of the hearts.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Katha Magazine - Third Issue

Leaps of faith comes in all shapes and sizes. It's inspiring to know that there are a lot of people out there who have taken that proverbial leap in life and love, and we're thankful that some of them are sharing their stories with the rest of us within this issue's pages.



Read our third issue of Katha Magazine here: http://bit.ly/katha-issue03

Monday, January 20, 2014

Make Your Own Cork Stamps

We collected the cork from the wine bottles that we had during the holidays and turned them into.... cork stamps! Valentine's Day is coming that's why we made these heart stamps. <3 p="">


You will need: wine cork, X-acto knife, pencil, stamp pad and paper. Just make sure that the cork has a smooth surface. If it doesn't, you can slice a thin layer with your knife to even it out.


With a pencil, draw your design on the cork's surface. I'm not so much of a stamp carving addict, so I can only do basic shapes. Haha!


Cut around your design with a knife about 3 or 4 millimeters deep, then slice the excess part cross wise. Be careful, do not slice the whole thing or you might cut off your design.


Is the heart shape too difficult? Try making triangles! I didn't struggle too much with that. How about just leaving your cork as is? Then you will have a circle stamp!


Cork stamps are not perfect because they are not even and sometimes they have deep holes that you can't really fix. That's why this heart stamp has an uncolored area in the middle. But that's okay. I still like how it turned out!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spruce Up Old Boxes With Wrapping Paper

Hi all! Do you have old boxes in your house? You can jazz them up with wrapping paper. I'll show you how:

I have this iPad box that is large enough to put my growing collection of nail polish, so I decided to use it for this project.

This beautiful wrapping paper is from the Hallmark warehouse sale. I like that the blue flowers are made of felt paper. You can also use fabric with nice patterns.

Just follow the template down below. Solid lines mean fold and dotted lines mean you have to cut them.

I only wrapped the top cover of my box. Brush the underside of the wrapping paper with Mod Podge or office paste.

Then wait for it to completely dry. And that is it!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hot Chocolate on a Stick


I wanted to have a craft project involving chocolate, so it's a good thing we received a ton of those last Christmas. I read somewhere on the internet that you can make your own hot chocolate... on a stick. It's a fun concept that you should try!


You will need:
- Silicone ice cube tray 
- Chocolate (dark chocolate, milk chocolate... whatever you have there)
- Paper straw
- Sprinkles

First, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Once it's completely melted, pour the chocolate on to your silicone ice cube tray. Shake the ice cube tray so that the trapped air underneath would rise. Then let it cool for a couple of minutes.

Once it's cooled, place the paper straw on each cube. It doesn't have to be a paper straw, by the way. You can use popsicle sticks, plastic spoons, or any kind of stirrer. 

Next step is to decorate your hot chocolate! I used sprinkles just to add color. You can add small marshmallows, or crushed candy cane for a minty flavor. 

Then wait for it to harden. It takes about one night for it to completely harden. When it's ready, remove the chocolate from the silicone tray. Pour hot milk on a cup then stir the hot chocolate until it's completely melted. 




I hope you guys try it and let me know what you think! :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

At the Lettuce Farm

I will continue my story on what we did during our vacation in Tagaytay. There's a lettuce farm right across the flower farm and we were welcomed inside as Toti knew the owner. All I saw was green. Green everywhere. It smelled fresh and everything looked nutritious!

The farm grows nine types of lettuce. Nine types? I only know Iceberg and Romaine. Anyway, here's a photo of cute baby lettuce leaves. 

I know kale is not widely available in the Philippines. I've been reading about it in the internet but I just couldn't find it at the supermarket, not even at the palengke. But lo and behold! They have fresh kale in this farm. My sister picked a lot. As in a lot. As if we were on a shopping spree.

It's not only lettuce that they grow. They also have herbs like rosemary, and other vegetables like cherry tomatoes. The owner gave us a pot of rosemary, how generous of him! And oh, I really love the smell of fresh rosemary leaves. 

If there's a cat at the flower farm, there's a dog at the lettuce farm. Don't worry, he doesn't bite.

We were so blessed to have been able to bring home fresh herbs and vegetables. It was like a sign that I should eat healthy this 2014! So from that day up until now, the lettuce in our salad is from this farm. It's been what, 10 days? And we're not yet short of supply. Haha. Of course we shared some to our family friends. 

And so that ends our trip to Tagaytay. Yay! I'm looking forward to more adventures this year.

Friday, January 3, 2014

At The Flower Farm

During our stay in Tagaytay, we also visited a flower farm owned by Toti Faner, who is a family friend. It is only less than a kilometer away from Ilog Maria along Balite Road in Silang, Cavite. Of course the most excited person was my mom, who loves arranging flowers. Upon entering the vicinity, the first thing we saw were two ladies preparing buckets of beautiful flowers for a wedding.


They wrap newspapers around the head of the flower so that the petals won't get ruined when they're on the road. They remind me dog cones though. Haha!


Another client ordered sunflowers for her wedding. They're so beatuful! Toti said if you want to order flowers for a wedding, you should inform the flower farm at least 3 months in advance so they can schedule the planting and harvesting.


And then Toti led us to the place where they plant all the flowers. There were huge greenhouses arranged in rows, complete with irrigation system. And each greenhouse is classified according to stage. As you can see here, the flowers in this area are not yet in full bloom.


Toti went to Israel to work and to know more about the technology on flower farming. When he came home, he applied the technology that he learned and started his own flower farm.



Then this kitty showed up and followed us the whole time we were walking around! So cute.

These are some of the flowers that we saw. 




Can you imagine how fresh and sweet smelling the flower farm was? It was such a nice experience :)



Toti was happy to have us there, and he gave us 4-5 bunches of colorful flowers. After the visit to the flower farm, we went to the lettuce farm which was just across the road and I will writing about that tomorrow. :)
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