I always wondered why DIY and hand drawn things are getting more and more common these days but I never really sat down and bothered to find out what was fueling the handmade movement.
Then, I realized the need for this in my last blog post. I mentioned that I’d rather go back to writing things on scraps of paper just so that I can focus on a task instead of getting tempted to check all my social networking accounts every chance I get. These days, there is a need to spend more time offline.
Thank you Que for lending me your hands. Hahaha
Last Tuesday, we were invited by DMC for a refreshing afternoon about crafts at the inspiring & colorful Early Bird Breakfast Club. I just felt that the timing was right. The local handmade scene has recently become monotonous and DMC has shared with us some new ways by which we can introduce something exciting into our crafts.
They also shared stories of 7 women who loved working on do-it-yourself (DIY) projects and here are some of the insights that I have learned.
Each of the crafters that they’ve introduced has a unique story and DMC definitely shared a lot of new arts and crafts ideas.
Mikko currently loves making friendship bracelets out of DMC threads.
Mikko Sumulong of I TRY DIY started crafting with her mom since she was a kid. She said that we shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes.
I’ve been holding workshops lately and I also share this reminder with the participants. We’re all so OC (Yes, myself included). We’re always so keen on getting it right the first time. We’re trained to color within the lines to the point that when we’re trying out something new, we’re frozen with fear and the possibility of getting judged by the netizens. (Oh, did I just describe myself? Hehe.)
Alessa Lanot of Life After Breakfast is encouraging us to combine the ordinary with the unexpected to produce something EXTRAordinary! These days, with so many pegs going around the net, it’s so hard to tell which one was inspired by which work and it’s getting more and more challenging to be unique, right!?!? But, with this formula in mind, we can all porbably make our way through this labyrinth of ideas and come up something we can call our own. Alessa has incorporated sewing with DMC threads into her lettering work—a twist to the usual cross stitch associated with needlework.
Left: Karla makes dreamcatchers with crocheted centers using DMC yarns. Right: DMC threads for sewing.
Next, Karla Quimsing of Damgo Cebu shared how she has passed on her love for crafts to her kids. Quite honestly, I didn’t really understand the dynamics behind teaching. I always thought that sharing of info meant cultivating competition. But, after holding some workshops, I felt how rewarding it was to get one’s insights and ways about going things. Messages like “Thank you, I’m not afraid to create anymore” are truly touching and it gives your life a bit more purpose.
Sorry if I sound so serious and pensive but it’s true!
Oh wait, this blog post is about the 7 crafters and not me. Woops!
Above: Len of Filip + Inna, Marielle of Craft MNL & Candy of Knitting Expedition
Next up is Len Cabili of Filip + Ina. I think she is doing such an awesome job. After being away for almost a month last year, if there’s one thing I wish for us to have in the Philippines, those are more books, postcards and other products that celebrate the Philippines–the kind that will help us love our country more. Enter Len who is already a step ahead as she has tapped the talent of local communities to create world renowned design already being worn by Tory Burch and even recognized by Elle Magazine.
Marielle Nadal Reyes is the founder of Craft MNL and I must say, this was one of the first workshops I attended years ago. At that time, I was doing all my lay-outs purely in digital form. One day, I got injured and since I had more time to sit down, I rediscovered how to create things with my hands again.
Above: Mariel plays with strings. I swear, this is such a fun project for weddings. Mariel did it all on her own but personally, this is also a nice way to get the hubby / boyfriend / guy friend / best friend/ potential boyfriend to help you with arts & crafts
Just like me, Mariel also incorporated a lot of DIY projects into her wedding. She said that handmade details contribute a lot to the personality & character of the celebration. It’s true. It’s as if these tiny details are screaming “handmade with love” and it makes a lot of difference in weddings.
The next crafter is Trey Ajusto of Gantsilyo Guru. I always heard about how she has infected a lot of people with her love for crocheting. This is a craft that is usually associated by many to our grandmothers. Trey’s guy friends even told her not to share with people whom she’s dating that she’s into this sort of thing. However, Trey encourages us not to be limited by people’s misconeptions about the craft.
I encountered a similar challenge when I was preparing for our wedding 3 years ago. It was all about put-together & polished weddings at that time and here I was trying to insert elements of DIY here and there. But, not a lot of my ninangs, entourage & suppliers understood why. My gown designer even laughed at me when I told him I wanted to make the groomsmen’s boutonnières out of felt and spare buttons. Despite these, I still managed to make my way with DIY but I always envy brides these days who have an easy time executing these kinds of weddings.
Last but not the least, Candy Reyes-Alipio loves knitting with these huge DMC Hoooked threads. She says that it’s a good way to get bigger pieces done and that the material she uses are recycled so they’re environment-friendly. She mentioned that her favorite knitting place is Baguio. When she said this, my daydreams about working remotely from Metro manila resurfaced. Admirably, she is currently working with women farmers in Banaue. This gives them an extra avenue of livelihood while still allowing them time to attend to their farms.
Well, I hope that at least one of these women’s stories has inspired you as they have inspired me. January is all about resolutions and I wish that this 2015, we will all have enough will and courage to Dare our Minds to Create. Infusing colorful DMC threads and yarns into our work will definitely give our craft projects a refreshing new look as well!
Having said that, don’t miss the Handcrafted Arts & Crafts Fair from January 30 to February 1 at the Century City Mall event center for free workshops & live entertainment at night!
A fun afternoon spent with these lovely ladies: Shari of TheMistyMom, Tracy Ayson, Camie Juna & Helga of Ditz Revolution. I swear, I really need to learn how to pose.
P.P.S. Learn more about our featured crafters here:
Facebook: Knitting Expedition
Instagram: @DamgoCebu; @Klalalay (verify Instagram handle)
Facebook: Filip Inna
Marielle Nadal Reyes
Michelle Karla Sumulong