Making handmade paper

30 August 2014

I love stationery and have already spent a pretty penny amassing an extensive collection of paper, pens, stickers, cards, and the like. I also love crafting and have enrolled myself in various workshops, watched and read countless DIY videos and step-by-step instructions, and embarked on many hobbies and projects. When I did a little spring cleaning in my room last month, I found this:

The Easiest Handmade Papermaking Kit
My fingers tingled!

I got this from Papemelroti around four years ago but never got around to using it. The kit contains a mould and deckle (the frame without the screen) and an instruction booklet that also tells a brief history of handmade paper, alternatives to some steps, and other fun projects to do. I thought I'd use it one of these days, and that opportunity came during the break last long weekend. 

The steps felt familiar because I already did this before; my classmates and I made our own handmade paper for a Home Economics project when we were in high school. (-‿◦☀)

For this project, I used old press kits and credit card statements. It's an excellent way to de-clutter without feeling too guilty about dumping your trash, yes?

When it comes to making handmade paper, the most important part is the paper slurry, which is the mixture of blended 1/3 parts paper and 2/3 parts water. Since I don't have a blender specifically for non-food items at my disposal, I just soaked my torn paper in water overnight and pounded on the pieces with a pestle.

After almost half an hour of pounding and grinding, I was left with exhausted arms and this sorry looking pile of discarded wet paper:

I know I could've done better, but by that point my arms were already too tired I didn't care anymore, heh. This is difficult, you guys!

Add gawgaw to your mixture to serve as binder, and dip and scoop up away! Just make sure your basin is bigger than your mould and deckle to make it easier.

Dip mould and deckle into the basin to scoop up pulp, lift frames up and let water drain back into tub, separate deckle and lay mould upside down on folded sheets of newspaper, and separate mould from the sheet. It is important to shake gently to distribute the fibers evenly and to soak up excess water with a sponge.

Let the paper sheets dry for a day. Or in my case, for five days because it rained here all week and the sun barely shone.

I checked them this morning, and was pleased that they're finally ready!

I was able to make 16 sheets of [uneven] handmade paper on this batch. ( ⋂‿⋂’) Some sheets are a bit lumpy thanks to my not having an extra blender but I'm happy with how they turned out. I have yet to find a use for them but I'm sure I'll find something to do with them on one of my craft projects.

As pleased as I am with the results and as satisfied as I feel at having completed another crafting project, I don't think I will make my own handmade paper again anytime soon. ✖‿✖ It took so much time and effort that I think I'm better off buying ready-made handmade paper. Let me get a blender and give me more sunshine and maybe I'll change my mind. I might even do some of the suggested fun projects like embedding flowers on leaves on handmade paper! That would be hella cute. (◡‿◡✿)

What are your favorite DIY projects?

Quick and easy with Pixy

28 August 2014

Last weekend, I shared with you guys how the launch of Pixy went. This time, I'm giving you a closer look at the products I got as well as some quick notes on some of them that I've actually tried so you can decide whether you'll be interested enough to check them out at Watsons.

Pixy group photo ♥
Pixy UV Whitening Two Way Cake and Pixy Ultimate Makeup Cake
Both are housed in durable plastic with a full-sized mirror inside. I actually dropped the Pixy Ultimate Makeup Cake as I was rushing out of the event to go my meeting that I got scared to take a peek and see crushed powder and mirror inside, but I was so pleased to find everything intact. Yay!

Pixy UV Whitening Two Way Cake in Honey Beige
Lightweight powder foundation with oil-free formula covers skin imperfections with matte and sweat-proof finish. Clinically proven non-comedogenic, suitable for oily skin. Enriched with Extract Kanzo and antibacterial to prevent acne-causing bacteria. The 2-Way Whitening formula, from combination of Natural Whitening Powder, Vitamin C derivate, and Sunscreen protects skin against sun rays and makes your skin fairer.
Pixy Ultimate Makeup Cake in Natural Buff
Completed with Light Diffusing Powder which covers imperfections and makes skin look naturally smooth as well as an Oil Absorbent Formula which enables perfect makeup up to 8 hours.
I liked this powder because it doesn't feel heavy on the skin. The shade also matches my skintone perfectly. You can use this either wet or dry but I prefer using it dry using the sponge provided. Sometimes, when I'm not feeling lazy, I use my mini kabuki brush to blend it in.

Pixy Volumizing Waterproof Mascara and Pixy Perfect Eyeliner
Pixy Volumizing Waterproof Mascara in Black
Makes eyelashes look fuller and each strand thicker. The waterproof formula keeps its intense black color stay longer and not fade off easily.
When it comes to mascara, it's always one of two things: either it works or it doesn't. The Pixy Volumizing Waterproof Mascara does everything it claims to do: makes lashes look fuller and thicker, and stays the same from the time I applied it to the time I remove it at night with my eye makeup remover.

Pixy Perfect Eyeliner in Black
I have to admit I am not that adept when it comes to eyeliner application, especially when it's in liquid formula. I never know when it's dry enough for me to open my eyes so I always end up with some liquid eyeliner on my eyelids! -_- I wasn't really sure when I tried this one, but whoah, it gave me the perfect lined eyes I wanted! See photos on my sample look below. 

Pixy Eye Shadow in Sparkling Gold 09
The micro-pearl ingredient produces a soft texture to naturally blend colors. The two-color combination of each variant is easy to use and can be freely combined with colors from other variants.
The eye shadows were just okay for me, nothing to be really excited about. Though not necessarily chalky, you might still want to use a primer first before applying these to make the colors pop. 

Pixy Blush On in Passion Roses 04
Gives a softly-blended, natural highlight on cheekbones. Choose from our collection of brown, pink, or purple shades for your desired look.
Now this blush, I liked. A quick look at my makeup case and I realized that all the blushes I currently have lean on coral shades, so this color is unique. I also liked its tint on my cheeks.

Pixy Silky Fit Lipstick in Autumn Apricot, Pixy Silky Fit Semi-Matte Lipstick in Misaki, and Pixy Lasting Matte Lipstick in Peach Delicacy
Pixy Silky Fit Lipstick in Autumn Apricot, Pixy Silky Fit Semi-Matte Lipstick in Misaki, and Pixy Lasting Matte Lipstick in Peach Delicacy
Aaah, my favorite part - the lipsticks! I loved Pixy lipsticks because they fit the criteria I have for lipsticks lately: natural-looking and not too loud. These all look dainty and perfect for everyday wear. Suitable for students and for those who work in conservative offices! 

Pixy Silky Fit Lipstick in Autumn Apricot
Pixy Silky Fit Semi-Matte Lipstick in Misaki
Pixy Lasting Matte Lipstick in Peach Delicacy
These lipsticks are all worth checking out because they're extremely affordable, wearable, and very easy to wear. They're also non-drying on the lips. Of the three, the Silky Fit Lipstick in Autumn Apricot is easily my favorite because it's almost a perfect match to my own lip shade. MLBB material alert! As for the Lasting Matte Lipstick, well, I was actually expecting it to be more matte judging by its name but I'm afraid it fell short. My Revlon Matte Lipstick in Pink About It is more matte than this. Still a pretty color, though. 

Meanwhile, I made a super quick and easy everyday look using Pixy products. My face went from looking like this:

Completely makeup-free Krissy
to this:

Pixy'd Krissy
What a difference a few products make, yes? The second photo has me looking a lot more polished than the one above it, heh.

I used the Ultimate Makeup Cake in Natural Buff on my face, the light color of the Sparkling Gold Eye Shadow as lid wash and the darker color as brow powder, Volumizing Waterproof Mascara and Perfect Eyeliner, both in Black, Blush On in Passion Roses on my cheeks, and the Silky Fit Lipstick on Autumn Apricot on my lips.

See what I mean about the eyeliner?

I wish I looked like this on college, heh. I don't like putting a whole face of makeup on on ordinary days so unless we have client meetings or events, I just look like this almost all the time. Maybe I'll try Tokyo Kawaii and Tokyo Glam as well?

I hope these photos and notes have been helpful. Tell me if ever you decide to check these Pixy products out at Watsons! ♥

"Head in the clouds but my gravity's centered."

25 August 2014

I literally just stepped inside my house from a day swimming trip with my friends when the rain poured down so hard that I was reminded that summer does end. We were supposed to go the beach with our other friends but that's what happens to plans when you make them months in advance - they get cancelled.

Anyway, doesn't it feel like forever since we last went to school or the office? I really enjoyed the long weekend because I got lots of rest, watched a couple of movies, finished reading Love, Rosie, finished the first season of Arrested Development, got to hang out with my friends, and made handmade paper. I got to make 16 sheets but I'm still waiting for them to dry (something that this rain is making it more difficult to happen), so I can't say yet whether my attempt at recycling was successful. So, yes, I got lots of rest and I cherished not having to worry about work for the last couple of days, but now [at the risk of sounding like a total dork] I'm also excited to go back to work. I've already prepared my bag, making me feel like an excitable teacher's pet on the night before the first day of school LOL.

This was meant to be a quick post so pardon my rambling, but I only just meant to share this song with you guys.

Sweater Weather by The Neighbourhood

That voice. Those eyes. Those tattoos. The way he seems to make out with the mic. I mean, Fun.'s still my ultimate favorite band and I still want Nate Ruess to marry me but come on. That voice. Those eyes. Those tattoos. The way he seems to make out with the mic. I also love their Say My Name/ Cry Me A River mashup. I love you, Jesse Rutherford. ♥

Cue accompanying photo.

I took this photo one rainy afternoon a couple of weeks back. Fitting, yes?

Wishing you a great week ahead, hopefully not one filled with flooded streets and terrible traffic jams because of the rain. (◡‿◡✿)

Book review: Love, Rosie

24 August 2014

So I noticed that most of the books I read lately deal with depression or some other forms of psychological disorder and that it was affecting me more than it should. (I get affected way too much by fictional characters, I think.) I decided to stop reading Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar halfway through and look for a more "cheerful" book to read in the meantime.

Since the Love, Rosie movie is coming up soon and I absolutely adore Lily Collins and Sam Claflin, I thought I'd give it a go. The only other book of Cecelia Ahern that I have read is The Book of Tomorrow and I must admit that was quite a hit with me. Meanwhile, I have seen [and cried buckets over] PS I Love You but I actually haven't read the book yet. 

Published nine years ago in the UK as Where Rainbows End and then printed as Love, Rosie in the US, the book tells the story of Alex and Rosie, their entanglements, and all the many ways fate played with them. They have been best friends since they were five and discovered they're in love not soon after, but as with other friendships with the same dilemma, they are both scared to lose what they currently have. Besides, Alex had to move to another country and Rosie got pregnant just before she was supposed to follow. What now?

I wish I read this book sooner.

Written in epistolary structure, readers follow what happens to them through a series of letters, emails, IMs, and newspaper clippings shared and sent among them and their family and friends, making the story feel even more personal; it was so conversational that it felt like I was one of the intended recipients and I should send a response about what's been happening with my life! The format worked and the novel wouldn't have been as effective if not told this way.

I have to be honest: the book can get frustrating at times especially when you just want them to 'fess up and end up with each other yet it seems like something always gets in the way, but I LOVED it, I really really loved it. It's funny, witty, endearing, and filled with a set of charming and believable characters and the missed connections just makes you appreciate what happens in the end.

I found the way Alex deliberately spells 'know' as 'no' freakishly adorable, and the way Rosie's daughter Katie adopted the same practice in her letters is a nice touch
I also got giddy when my country was given attention as one of the countries Rosie's parents visited on their cruise
Rosie goes through a lot and [understandably so] almost surrenders to despair lots of times, but her character is so strong. I loved rooting for her and I loved that she has friends and family rooting for her. There are no real villains in this story, aside from fate maybe. Fate indeed works in mysterious ways.

I wish I read this book sooner. Still, I'm glad it only took me nine years to finally get to it.

I've seen the trailers over and over and I am looking forward to watching the movie. From the trailers, I have a feeling there will be some drastic differences from what happens in the novel. Still, I hope they don't make it into another silly and mindless rom-com because we already have more than enough of that. It will be such a waste of actors if that happens.

More than Alex and Rosie's love story, I loved reading Love, Rosie because not only did it make me appreciate my friendships even more, I also identified with Rosie so much; particularly whenever she wonders and asks her sister Stephanie when she can expect to feel she has grown up. It's true what she said: When you were a kid you wished you were a teenager so you could be wiser. When you became a teenager you discovered you're none the wiser and wished you were an adult because maybe then, you could make sense of life. But then you grow up, and you realize that even adults don't really have a clue.

Read the book if you like stories with missed connections, destiny, and best friends transitioning to being lovers. Love, Rosie is perfect when paired with a rainy afternoon and a cup of hot chocolate.

Have you read this book already? What did you think about it?

A welcome overdose of pink with Pixy

22 August 2014

On the first week of August, I was invited by Liz to join an event to welcome Pixy in the Philippines. Not to be confused with the UK-based brand Pixi, Pixy is a Japanese-formulated and Indonesian-manufactured makeup line that aims to bring us the best of truly Asian beauty.

Whitespace was transformed into a venue for a pink and white cherry blossom-themed picnic party. The place was filled Japanese lanterns, sakura trees, and an intricate table setting. It was beautiful.

Top and skirt - SM Woman | Neckace - SM Accessories | Watch - Sperry | Shoes - gift from Alex 
I'm glad my outfit did not feel out of place. (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)

Hosted by Patty Laurel-Filart, the event introduced the Mandom Corporation's President and CEO Hiroyuki Mitsuoka and General Manager of Sales and Marketing Hirotsugu Ohashi to the press. I feel bad that I had to miss the rest of the program because I had to run to a meeting, but Xeng Zulueta also gave tips and tricks on how to achieve Tokyo Kawaii and Tokyo Glam looks using Pixy products.

We all got to take this bucket filled with Pixy products home
Forgive my prejudices, but I have to admit that when I first learned about Pixy, I dismissed it as a so-so brand because... I don't know, maybe I dismissed it as too cutesy for my {newly-acquired} preference for more "age-appropriate" things? Boy was I so wrong. I tested the products given to us and I found myself falling in love with this drugstore brand! The Ultimate Makeup Cake and Silky Fit Lipstick became instant favorites. ♡ Pardon my zit, it was that time of the month when I took this photo, but here is a simple everyday look I came up with:

I used the Ultimate Makeup Cake in Natural Buff on my face, the light color of the Sparkling Gold Eye Shadow as lid wash and the darker color as brow powder, Volumizing Waterproof Mascara and Perfect Eyeliner, both in Black, Blush On in Passion Roses on my cheeks, and the Silky Fit Lipstick on Autumn Apricot on my lips. I am SO HAPPY with that eyeliner, btw.

Pixy products are affordable, extremely wearable, and incredibly easy to use. Personally, I would recommend it to students and makeup newbies who are just starting to build their own makeup collection. Those who already have an extensive collection might also want to check this brand out because when it comes to cosmetics, Japanese-formulated brands are always winners.

I will publish a more comprehensive post concentrating on the products I got, but for those who would like to see and test the products themselves, Pixy products are now available in Watsons branches. You may also check out their Facebook page here. Seriously, you have to try the lipsticks! My only lament is that I wish this brand was already around when I was in college because my old makeup kit totally would've rocked these pink tubes and palettes.

Full Metalmouth

21 August 2014

Today is a special non-working day for us Filipinos to commemorate the death of Benigno Aquino, Jr. He is considered a hero because his assassination paved the way for the people to revolt and overthrow Martial Law and the Marcos regime.

Anyway, aside from working from home for a bit, I also got to be productive by going to the orthodontist.

Hello, my friends. We meet again.
The thing I feared would happen four years ago has happened: I am now wearing braces. Again. I wore braces all throughout high school to fix my misaligned teeth and underbite. I used to get bullied for my teeth back in elementary (kids are cruel!) so it felt so good when the teasing stopped. I wore my retainers diligently at first but stopped wearing it when (eeep!) I got lazy. And then, my ortho at the time migrated so I had no one to ask dental advice from.

Fast forward to this year, my teeth that used to be perfect seemed to lose direction again. My lower chompers developed gaps and I had the beginnings of another underbite. Since my sister also has braces, I decided to just see her orthodontists, who are a happily married couple. They put separators on my top molars last weekend.

Today, this happened:

This feels like high school all over again.
It's Throwback Thursday for realsies, y'all. May I remind you of my photo from my 18th birthday?

I know, right?!
Oh well. Kids, that's why you listen to your dentist.

I didn't opt for colored bands because I'm no longer in high school because I feared colored bands will clash with my lipsticks. But who knows, maybe I'll be in the mood for baby pink or baby blue bands next time. I know I'll be avoiding those neon-colored ones, though. Here's hoping it won't hurt as much this time since I should already be used to the pain, LOL.

Have you found Wally yet?

19 August 2014

My Kindle has become such an indispensable part of my life and I will forever hail how it has made reading a lot more convenient, easier, and cheaper for me.

Still, there are some books that a Kindle or any other ebook reader can never replicate, and although I hardly have space in my room to contain my books anymore, I still keep on buying them. Example situations are when I loved the book so much or when the cover is so exquisite (bonus points if it's a limited edition cover) that I must have a copy that I can hold with my hands. I am a frequent trawler of local bookstore chains, indie bookshops, and second-hand bookstores always nosing around for new buys. For books that are not available locally (like my The Dark Knight Trilogy and screenplays of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Before Sunrise/ Before Sunset), I order online from Book Depository. They ship worldwide for free!

I have mentioned the website in this blog and recommended it to my friends countless times already that I feel like I should be a stakeholder, heh. I can't even remember how many times I've purchased from them! Anyway, I'm sharing this because one of my three orders from a couple of weeks ago arrived today. I'm so happy! 

From Sweden to the Philippines in eight working days
Multiple orders are not shipped together because some of them come from different merchants. Let me share with you what came today.

The Where's Wally Phenomenal Postcard Book
I'm sure kids from the '90s can remember this bespectacled beloved character with the red-and-white striped sweater and blue jeans because he used to be featured in a TV show! In some countries, he's known as Waldo. For the uninitiated, Where's Wally? is like a 'look for the hidden gem' game where you have to look for Wally amidst a flurry of busy and extra-colorful scenarios. Oh gosh how I loved that show. I even had those giant Where's Wally? books and I always got a kick out of beating my playmates to look for Wally!

This postcard book is exactly like those giant Where's Wally? books, except instead of being huge, it's postcard-sized because they are meant to be torn and sent away as postcards! 

Of course if you want to keep all 30 postcards to yourself then you are also free to do so. 。^‿^。 Here are some sample cards. Can you find Wally?

The Cake Factory
The Deep-Sea Divers
Once Upon a Page
Clown Town
Checklist of three additional things you have to look for at the back of the postcard 
Area for the stamp and address of the postcard's recipient
FUN, RIGHT? I am going to keep some of these postcards for my personal collection while some will be sent to my friends. 

Another bonus of ordering from them is getting random bookmarks designed by Book Depository customers included in your order for free.

This bookmark was designed by Simon Kneebone from Australia
You may view the full set of bookmarks for this year here.

Now I am eagerly waiting for the other two books I ordered: a Pixar postcard book and a How I Met Your Mother mini kit with a mini Barney Stinson bobblehead! I am so excited!

By the way, this is not a sponsored post. It's simply a book-lover's kind advice to kindred souls. ♥ 

30 years of Burt's Bees

18 August 2014

Is it the #TBT and #SentiSabado hashtags? Is it the notion that everything that goes around comes around? Is it the opposite of one of Barney Stinson's mottoes that "new is always better"? I'm not exactly sure why really, but there seems to be a constant clamor for nostalgia these days. Almost everything we loved from way back is staging a comeback, and I for one welcome it especially when it concerns one of my favorite beauty and skincare brands.

With Burt's Bees, it's not so much as a reemergence as a renewed interest for the brand locally. I've known of Burt's Bees ever since I could remember, but it is only now that they got my full attention, especially since my ultimate favorite lip balm is from them. I have a lot in my stash, yes, but I find myself reaching for my Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm more frequently than any other in my makeup kit. Well, did you know that Burt's Bees is celebrating its 30th birthday this year?  Why, it's only two years older than me!

I was invited to their anniversary party held at Seda Hotel last Wednesday, and of course I had to go.

A natural and healthy-themed buffet table welcomed us where we were asked to mix our own detox water with cucumber slices, citrus fruits, mint leaves, and honey. For my own concoction, I put ice, water, three slices each of lemons and oranges, and a dollop of honey. So refreshing!

Inside the Satin Room, Burt's Bees' Classics greeted us.

Our tables were also decked with an elegant table setting and our favorite Burt's Bees products based on the questionnaire they made us answer from the Daisy White event. What a sweet and thoughtful gesture!

During the short program, we were told of the three pillars where the Burt's Bees brand is built on: the bees, the beekeeper, and ingredients you can spell. Back in the '80s, co-founder Roxanne Quimby started making candles from Burt Shavitz's leftover beeswax. This eventually led to their bottling and selling of honey, until the company evolved as a corporation. From then on, other products using honey and beeswax including edible spreads and furniture polish were sold, until it moved on to providing personal care products we know today. Everything is still sustainable and cruelty-free as they don’t test on animals. Their goal is to "bring out and enhance your natural beauty without the harmful effects of chemicals and hard-to-read ingredients," and I think they're doing it well, at least for me, as I have been using the Daisy White line for almost three months now and haven't encountered any issues or breakouts so far, aside from my once-a-month regular visitor that comes at least a week before Aunt Flo comes.

During the event, Liz also gave a mini watercolor workshop which I found very helpful and informative. Tsk, too bad I have next-to-nothing art skills. I mean, I am a big crafter and tinkerer but I can't do art. p(´⌒`。q)

Seated beside pretty Mariana, pretending I know what I'm doing.
I didn't get to take a lot of photos with the other guests, but I was really glad to see my friends from the beauty blogging community! I like their company not only because they're always so beautiful, they're also always good-natured and pleasant to be around.

Krissy and Tellie
Two Kristel Anns born one day apart! Creepy but awesome, yes? I have this theory that we were meant to live in alternate universes but somehow there was a glitch or something and we ended up in the same galaxy LOL.
Fun event! Now let's move on to another fun part... Would you like to see my current Burt's Bees stash? Of course you do! Haha. (‾̴̴͡͡▿•‾̴̴͡͡ʃƪ)

Burt's Bees for the lips
Honey Lip Balm | Tinted Lip Balm in Blush Orchid and Red Dahlia | Lip Shimmer | Lip Gloss | Super Lip Gloss
Burt's Bees Daisy White line
Moisturizing Cream | Facial Toner | Facial Cleanser | Serum | Eye Cream
Burt's Bees for the face
Garden Tomato Toner | Orange Essence Facial Cleanser | Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream | Facial Cleansing Towelettes
Burt's Bees for the body
Peppermint & Rosemary Body Wash | Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream | Honey & Grapeseed Hand Cream | Coconut Foot Creme
Of all these, the Garden Tomato Toner, Orange Essence Facial Cleanser, Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream, Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Coconut Foot Creme, and Honey & Grapeseed Hand Cream are considered Burt's Bees Classics. It means they are the products that have spearheaded the birth of Burt’s Bees as we know it today. I'll post an individual and more comprehensive review of these products soon!

In the meantime, I suggest that you check your skincare products and see whether you need to update it. You might want to visit the nearest Burt's Bees counters at all Beauty Bar branches nationwide and go back to basics.