Happy Things Life

Happy Things #15

Baked Goodies

Gumawa akong banana bread. Masarap naman pero mas sasarap sana kung matamis yung saging na ginamit ko. Pinahinog ko naman sya pero hindi talaga gaano matamis ang mga saging dito. Pero ang moist tapos ang dami kong nilagay na chocolate chips. Pag dumating na yung inorder kong pagkamahal-mahal na sea salt flakes, may bago akong ita-try na cookie recipe.

Art Career

Happy 1st Anniv As a Full-Time Artist!

Today marks my 1st work anniversary!🥳

I thought being a full-time artist was all painting and fun and endless flow of creativity—but it’s not. Well yes, it’s sometimes that—but it’s also discipline when you’re not in the mood to create, not getting discouraged even when your relatives have no clue what you’re doing and why you chose to do this, consistency, self-compassion when you feel you’re not good enough and (the most hassle) filing your self-employment tax. But I know all that now and I accept all the complexities that go with it. It’s not at all easy and I’m trying to be patient.

Thank you to everyone who showed their support (whether through DMs or likes or actually hiring me for projects) especially to my husband who really believes that I can achieve whatever it is I want to achieve. It’s just my first year and I’m still trying to figure things out while continuously learning and improving. I gave up my full-time job and a formal art education believing that I can do this all on my own. And I still believe that. Maybe that’s the most important thing of all—believing that you can do it.

Sabi nga ni Emma Stone:

I’m a person who relies very heavily on intuition and feeling out the situation. So I’ve never really made a five-year plan or anything like that. If it’s right, it will fall into place and if not, I understand.

I’m following my own timeline.



Sleep is Magic

When I sleep, I sing songs I’ve never heard before. I see places and things so bizarre that it would make a great art piece. My creativity flourishes. But then I’d wake up. And all I’m left with is my boring, conscious thoughts.

Art Canada Career Life

My Lucky Streak

I just noticed (my aunt and uncle noticed it too), during these past few months in Canada, that I had been quite lucky. Here’s a couple of lucky things that happened:

  • We went to the casino and I won $100 playing Blackjack. I had gambling issues and used to go to casinos all by myself. But that was before and I stopped gambling ultimately when I had my losing streak. So when we went to this casino, I was playing just for fun. I wasn’t even playing my own money. My uncle gave us $20 each. When I won $10, I was planning on stopping. But I decided to just continue and didn’t care if I lose. But then I didn’t. 😉

FullSizeRender 2
Kept this as a souvenir

  • We were shopping in this store and I bought some stuff and this nice (pricey) wrap-around jacket that’s perfect for fall. Only I didn’t buy it. When I checked the receipt, the salesperson didn’t scan the tag on the jacket so I got it for free. I know that wasn’t the right thing to do; but I am jobless and a person who sometimes gets tempted so…
  • After just a month here, I already got a job. It was only a 2-month placement so it isn’t really something that’s permanent but still, that was pretty lucky. Unfortunately, I was having some health issues and I’m sorry, no disrespect, but I just loathe the job. I will certainly miss the residents and most of them are sweet but that’s just isn’t enough for me to stay.
  • So after working there for 2 weeks, I quit and hope that I will immediately find another job. And luckily, after a couple of weeks, I received several interview invitations. Then I got interviewed for this certain position (which is kind of similar to my previous job back home) and got an offer a few days after the interview. I was sooo happy and was jumping for joy nonstop. But that’s not it! It was a double entendre because not only I got hired, they hired me for a higher position! Which means higher salary! I can’t help but smile thinking about it.
  • Over to Dust Designs news (my graphic art business), I just got a client who needed some tags and things for her wedding. So I am currently working on it and like how things are going.

Their two options

  • I almost forgot the iPad. It wasn’t totally free because the bank let me chose if I’d want to have free monthly banking fees for a year or I’ll pay the monthly fees but I’ll get an iPad. I chose the latter because I’m planning to get an iPad anyway so it’s like I’m paying it in installments. Apparently, “24-month installment for zero interest!” is not a thing here. So that worked out. Also, the bank manager offered us free monthly fees for the first 2 months. So it’s like I got a discounted, 10 months to pay iPad. Yes!

  • Also, I get to experience snow. I consider that lucky because not everyone has the chance to experience snow. 😊

And that was it! I should be happy but… No wait, I am happy. But I am also worried. I’m worried that something unlucky will happen because of all these lucky-ness. I will be watching out.

Art Career Life

Why Are You Doing This?

I’ve just encountered a great video on Youtube about photography but it actually applies to everything that I am trying to learn nowadays:



The phrase that struck me most is, “Learn and understand why you are doing this particular thing, and not just how to do them.” Aannnd I’ll leave it at that.

Art Career

9-5 Job VS Graphic Artist

Ang ayoko sa office work ko, alam ko na kung anong gagawin ko from start to finish. It’s a matter of gano ko lang sya katagal matatapos. Parang nagsisimula pa lang ako, gusto ko na mag-fast forward sa finish line. Atat na atat na kong matapos para petix na ko. Pero ang gusto ko sa graphic artist side job ko, once mag-start ako, hindi ko alam pano sya tatapusin. Wala akong idea kung anong magiging final result. Parang masusurprise na lang ako sa huli kung ok ba or kulang pa. Ang bawat minuto ay discovery and experimentation. At pag tumigil ako, pwedeng tapos na or bukas ko na lang ulit ipagpapatuloy. At kahit nakakapuyat, masaya ako. Basta bayad. 😅



Nakakatuwa lang. Bigla ko naisip yung past na ako pag naniningin ako ng IG feed ko tapos nakikita ko yung mga post ng magagaling na calligraphers tapos ang gamit nila eh  oblique pen holder. Like diz:

Photo not mine. Kay Google.

Sobrang sobrang naa-amaze ako sa kanila. Una ko agad naisip, “Never ko to magagawa. Sobrang hirap nyan hindi ko yan ita-try.” Pero ngayon minamani ko na lang. Wahaha! Minamani daw ulul! Ok yung totoo, ngayon eh kaya ko na. Tamang kaya lang. Pero hindi pa ko magaling. Pero nagagawa ko sya. Kaya ang lesson dun, bago mo sabihin na hindi mo kaya, i-try mo muna ng mga three times. Kase sa case ko yung una kong try, nakaka-frustrate. Pero nung umattend ako ng workshop, kaya naman pala. Kelangan mo lang matuto from the expert para ma-practice mo yung tamang way. Same thing nung nag-try ako ng watercolor and drawing. May tamang way pala talaga sya. Kaya worth it naman yung mga pera kong pinambayad sa mga workshops na yan.

At ngayon, sana worth it din ang pagbili ko ng MacBook Pro. Haha! Graphic design naman ang trip ko ngayon. Magkaka-connect pa din naman. Pero mejo lito pa din ako kung ano ba mamasterin ko. Ok lang. Mafi-figure out ko na din yun along the way. Nag-apply na nga ako sa mga companies na kailangan ng mga graphic artists. So far, merong isang nagkamaling company na gusto akong interview-hin. Haha. Pero mejo parang ang engot ko kasi nagdadalwang isip pa ko. Choosy pa. Makati kasi ang layo. Pero nag-try ako magpa-resched para lang ma-experience ko pano ba sila mag-interview ng graphic artist applicants. Ngayon na kasi yung interview eh nahihiya pa ko mag-leave kasi bago pa yung boss ko and kaka-approve lang nung super requested ko na shift (mid shift). So sana pumayag sila na i-move. Mag sick leave na lang ako if ever.

Valentine’s Day kahapon (mga 3 hours ago). Super sweet and thoughtful nung gift ni Kennetski. Art related kasi. Isa na to sa mga pinaka-favorite kong gift kasi wala ako idea tapos related pa sa art-art ko. Usually kasi pag magreregalo yun magtatanong sakin ano gusto ko tapos ako pa mismo yung bibili. Kaya medyo once in a blue moon tong nangyari. Tapos sabi pa nya kanina saka na daw yung mga susunod. Aba may susunod pa?? Wow talaga. Eto pinagpractice-an ko na agad. Ang gandaaa.

Yung black na calligraphy pad yung gift nya. Kung eto ang pangunang bilang, excited na ko sa mga susunod! Hahaha.


Back to Being a Student

Yesterday, I finally started my graphic design career track. I enrolled for a package course in PCCI (Philippine Center for Creative Imaging). A training center for Adobe applications (and others) with Adobe certified instructors. At first I had second thoughts in enrolling; but I decided that this kind of environment, where there are instructors and hands on activities, would be more beneficial for me rather than self studying everything.

I would be taking up the Adobe classes next month; but yesterday, I attended a 1-day class about the fundamentals of digital imaging. It was like an intro class before you get to deal with the main Adobe stuff. It was really informative and I learned that digital imaging is sooo complicated than what it seems. That’s when I realized that enrolling with them was worth it.

Funny thing about attending classes (in my experience), you will get to meet different kinds of people in each class. I had this same feeling when I attended my drawing and watercolor workshops last year. I feel intimidated by them because most of the people that I meet in every class are the so-called yayamanins. Kung hindi coño, English ng English. It’s very obvious that they were brought up differently. But in fairness, they are very friendly. I’m just not used to being around with those kind of people.

This one friendly girl approached me because she noticed that I wrote my name in calligraphy. We started our conversation from there. Syempre napapa-English din ako. English sya eh. Haha. Then at one point in our conversation when she learned I was a nurse, she asked me, “You graduated from UST?” I’m not sure how she assumed that. Maybe most of the nurses she knows graduated from that school? Haha. So I said no. May naalala tuloy akong kwento ni Benson na may isa kaming batchmate from highschool na nagppretend na hindi sya sa probinsya nag-graduate ng highschool. Poser much. 😅 Even though the people I commonly meet are not my kind of crowd, they were very amusing to talk and listen to (a sample topic that they had were their trips in Europe 😄).

So going back to the main topic, I’m so excited for next month. I would get to learn Adobe Illustrator first. I’ve been using Illustrator for some time now but I know that I have so much to learn still. I can’t wait to include these trainings in my resume.

Last week, I painted this:

I received many good feedback so I was very pleased. I hope tomorrow I get to paint again.

Also (another thing that I’m very excited about), I will be joining BGC Art Mart!!! My very first bazaar! That’s why I need to create more products to sell before April. Hihihi. Participating in a bazaar is one of my goals late last year. I can’t believe that it will happen real soon. ❤️

Thank you Kenneth for being supportive in everything I do. He lets me do all of this without question. The Adobe classes were pretty expensive but he was still really encouraging. Thank you! 😘

PS: My Christmas gift might arrive today! 😁

Family Life Pals Travel

2017 Highlights

I’ve been meaning to do this kind of post to just put everything that I want to remember for 2017 in a nugget. So here it is:

  • Spent the New Year with F Buddies at our place. My parents were pretty strict back then; even after I graduated college. So having my friends over for a drinking session for the very first time was very unusual and memorable for me.
  • Jen, our previous LNC teammate, was back from Abu Dhabi (or was it Dubai?) and so we got together and went to our favorite spot (Rue Bourbon). It was another rare occasion.
  • Summer was spent with friends at a private resort. Loads of fun.
  • After 8 years, I finally went back to Singapore! Singapore was my first out of the country experience. It was 2011 and Nick, Xali, and I were fresh grads when we decided to try our luck to work there as nurses. We were there for three weeks and stayed not at a hotel but at Xali’s uncle’s apartment so we kind of felt like a true local. I enjoyed every minute of it. We did our own laundry, bought groceries, cooked almost everyday, watched a movie (my first 3D movie), played the lottery, etc. I even learned how to ride a bike there. So when I had the chance to go back to Singapore to visit Kenneth’s dad, I was really really excited.
  • Tricia, our youngest sibling, graduated from college. Our parents’ pride and relief were pretty apparent since all four of us were already finished with school. Finally.
  • Our dear grandfather passed away. I get teary eyed thinking about it now. We loved him so much and we extremely miss him everyday. 😔
  • Our relatives from the UK had a 1-month vacation here in the Philippines. Our cousins grew up so tall and cute and lovely. I miss them so bad.
  • We got married again, at a church this time. It was a bittersweet moment because our grandfather just passed away. It felt wrong having to celebrate our wedding when we were still mourning.
  • Attended 3 weddings and 1 christening this year
  • This was the year of “artventure”. I rekindled my passion for art and experimented with watercolor, digital design, and calligraphy. I missed being in a school-like setting so attending those art workshops were really fun and refreshing.
  • Celebrated Miguel’s 7th birthday, our cutest cousin yet. I’m still hoping for a baby boy from Ate Beng2.
  • DIY takoyaki at some resto and tried making homemade gyoza but failed. It was bland.
  • Went back to Japan (my favorite country) with Nick, Benson, Bryan and Irving. I feel like I would never get tired of this country. There’s just so much to see and explore! They have the most helpful and friendliest people ever. I purchased my first professional watercolors here as well.
  • Discovered I have gall stones. Boo!
  • We had our so-called honeymoon in Korea. It was our first time there and it was an extremely cold November (as low as 6 °C). It was a fresh experience but we can’t help but compare it to Japan. And there was a time when we got really mad at each other and separated for a while. So for me, memories of Korea were not that enjoyable. But I got to experience autumn (one of the things in my bucket list). It was breathtaking. ❤️
  • I sold my first artwork! It was very satisfying. I’m really proud of myself and I’m so excited where this artventure takes me.
  • Had our F Buddies Christmas Party/open forum. Everybody cried except Xali (boringgg 😂). I think I’ll reserve another post detailing the events and explaining why there was a lot of crying involved.
  • I got a Kindle for Christmas! It doesn’t get here until mid-January though.
  • Isabelle and Illysa, our cute cousins, hosted our 2017 Slumber Party. It was amusing how the two sisters really prepared for the party (prepared the plan of activities, invitations, balloons, snacks). Activities involved were a modeling showdown, watching a scary movie (but we ended up watching their parents’ wedding), blind makeover challenge, sharing secrets, etc. The party ended after the blind makeover game when Illysa cried because her makeup was “ugly”. It was still a lot of fun and I can’t wait for next year’s slumber party. They keep me young (channeling Regina’s mom 😂).

Paalam 2017!

Art Health

Art Day Fun Day + I’ll Be Careful on October 2020

I originally wanted to study Interior Design (Accountancy being the runner up) but ended up studying Nursing to grant my family’s wishes. I can’t study Interior Design anyway since I already made up my mind that I won’t study in Manila because of my then boyfriend (LDR issues). Love can really be limiting sometimes. I took up nursing to please my parents but mainly to challenge myself because they all said that Nursing is a very difficult course. I wanted to prove to them that I can do it and that I can easily pass the board exam (puro yabang). And pass I did. But who am I kidding, really.  Joke’s on me because I could have studied something that I really wanted but I ended up studying something else.

Even if being a nurse delayed my plans to pursue my true love (being artsy and creative), I didn’t regret it. I didn’t regret the people that I met and the experience of working in a hospital. But I promised myself that that would be the last time I will listen to other people on what I should and shouldn’t do; the last time that I will let my ego take the best of me just to prove to other people that I can do this and that, even if those things doesn’t really interest me.

That’s a long intro. I just wanted to share what happened last week. 😄 I attended a free workshop from Valerie Chua (one of my inspirations) called Essential Watercolor Tricks. I felt so lucky to be a part of that workshop. She’s really good in explaining the step by step process, plus I like that she’s kind of “kalog” as well which made her less intimidating. Then I was able to meet Abbey Sy too (another inspo)! It was a great event and I received a lot of freebies. Hihi. But the main highlight is really being able to meet Valerie and learning from her. She even replied to my IG story thanking me for being there at the event. *kilig* Okay, that’s enough fan girling.

So after that event in Shang, we (Kenneth) went straight to Burgos Circle to attend another workshop (not free). It’s about brush calligraphy this time and it’s with Paolo Tugano. We (Dyn) were able to learn a different font (he corrected me and said that the correct term is letter form, not font). One activity that I suggested is I’ll write a quote using my own style and layout then he’ll rewrite it using his own style. Here’s his creation:

My favorite quote at the moment

He was so good. I didn’t even bother to take a picture of what I did. 😅 But Art Day Fun Day didn’t stop there. Out last stop is at BGC Art Mart to checkout some handmade goodies. Booths lined up with artists selling their creations (shirts, toys, paintings, etc.). I bought some cute washi tapes for my journal.

Something else happened. Right in the middle of my watercolor workshop, I felt this stinging pain in my right upper abdomen. I just kept ignoring it because I’m having a hard time focusing on what Valerie is trying to teach us. I figured I was just hungry because the only thing I ate is a hotdog and a bite of brownie and it’s already 4PM. I asked Kenneth to buy me shawarma. I didn’t wait until the end of the workshop to eat it, thinking that food will relieve the pain. We came home at around 9PM and the pain is still there. Before sleeping, I rubbed some Vicks (naturally 😂) on my belly and tried to sleep the pain away. When I woke up in the morning, the first thing I noticed is that the pain is still there. I’m beginning to worry because I’ve never experience this before. I knew something was wrong.

I asked Kenneth to bring me to the ER so I can have an ultrasound and get this thing diagnosed. Turns out, I have calculus gallbladder (stones in my gallbladder). Another surgery? Please, not again! I underwent bilateral oophorecystectomy (December 2016) and open appendectomy (April 2015) already. Please please I don’t want another surgery. But unfortunately, I have no other choice. The only treatment for gall stones is to remove my gallbladder. I felt really sad and started to pity myself. I was like, “Ang weak ko. Feeling ko mabilis akong mamamatay kase andaming aberya ng katawan ko, kung ano-anong tumutubo sa loob.” But talking to Arien turned out to be therapeutic. She told a story about their 90-year old patient who underwent a lot of surgeries in her lifetime. The patient even joked, “Wala na nga akong lamang loob.” That made me chuckle and made me feel a bit better. I’m planning to have the surgery done on January next year. Hays.

I also discovered something really weird. I checked out the “On This Day” section of my Facebook and I saw that:

  • Oct 22, 2011 – I discovered that I needed to wear eyeglasses. Okay sure, no biggie. But I still find it a hassle wearing glasses.
  • Oct 22, 2014 – I posted a photo of myself showing my stitched wound that I got from a snatcher’s knife. Still the most traumatizing thing that ever happened to me.
  • Oct 22, 2017 – Yesterday. The day I found out that I need another surgery. Grrr!

These dates are exactly 3 years apart. I’m beginning to think what will happen to me on October 2020. This coincidence is so weird and scary!


Mariyang Glinez

At last! I finally had the time (and will) to do it. I’ve been meaning to create a header for my blog since I started learning calligraphy. I like how it turned out. ❤️


The photo that I used in the background is the one that I took when we were in Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto Japan.

And now I’m off to painting. I’m feeling so productive today.

Art Japan Life

Dust Designs

Haven’t done any blogging lately and I’m hating myself for it. It always crosses my mind but I wasn’t getting myself around to do it. I almost didn’t want to write now because I’m about to sleep already. My neurons are still kind of recuperating from the art class that I took this morning (I took an art class! Yay!). But so much stuff has been happening lately and I need to talk about it. I want my future self to go back and remember these things. Let’s have it as a list.

  • CANADA We’re done with our medical test and we passed! All we have to do now is wait for the passport request. Once we get notified of this, it means that they’re going to stamp our passports with PR visas (finally)! So keeping our fingers crossed for that. It’s kind of bittersweet though because that also means we’re leaving our families here in the Philippines. 😢 Oh well.
  • ART VENTURE I’m becoming more serious in pursuing my passion in art. Last week, I took my first ever art workshop about water brush calligraphy and it was a lot of fun. It was kind of bitin and pricey (Php 2,000 for 2 hours) but I enjoyed it. What I liked most about the experience is meeting the artist. I saw firsthand how she works and just listening to her tips and insights made me feel really good about this art venture. Seeing how good she is at what she does motivated me more to be as skilled as her. And then earlier this morning, as previously mentioned, I attended another workshop. This time, it’s about the fundamentals of drawing (Php 1,950 for roughly 5 hours). I guess I’d have to reserve a separate post for this because I’m thinking of writing every detail that happened today because it’s still fresh from my memory. To cut things short, I learned A LOT today. Didn’t think of actually being able to draw this (pictured below). I felt more confident than yesterday and I’m actually glad that I’m taking the necessary steps to improve my skills (even if it comes with a price). It’s definitely worth it! The instructor (Joms de Mesa) said something that I want myself to always remember. He said something along these lines, “If you were able to do this on your first try, just imagine what you can do if you keep on doing this for a year.” And that’s very true and a really good reminder to keep on going. To tie this all up together, I made an IG account dedicated to my art called @dust.designs (hence the title of this blog post). I hope to see a transition (from noob to expert) on my future posts so I need to keep on learning and practicing.

  • TRAVEL Hope everything goes well when we apply for our Japan visas next week. We’re hoping to go back there again this coming October. Nick should better be approved this time! I’m excited to stroll around the districts of Osaka then maybe go back to Kyoto. Not sure. Haven’t made an itinerary yet. I’m also looking forward to go visit some art stores in Japan. I hope I won’t get overwhelmed and start buying everything that looks kawaii. I also notice that most of the quality tools that’s being recommended in art blogs are from Japan, so I think I can buy it cheaper there. More better reasons to go back!
  • LIFE IN GENERAL I’m actually in good spirits right now. Mainly because of me trying to do the things I love like drawing, watercolor and some traveling. I feel happy whenever I produce a decent work and see myself improving. It’s an extra boost if I post it and somebody likes it (sometimes ❤️ or 😲 if I’m using Facebook 😄). Although in hindsight, I sometimes worry and think about some negative things. Thoughts like, “What are you planning to do with art? Are you going to get money from it? There’s a lot of people better than you.” and “Why do you keep on traveling? Traveling costs a lot of money. Do you have a lot of money? No you don’t! Why not save it instead and use it for things that really matter? You’re being selfish.” Stuff like that. I try not to think of these things because it dampens my mood and it demotivates me. I know that this “art thing” isn’t something that’s certain to make me earn money; but I’m loving every minute of it! What’s important is that I’m doing what I’m passionate about and for me, that matters. But it doesn’t mean that I’m going to quit my job (for now) and just do art. Of course I’ll keep my job (for now 😁) while doing stuff I like on the side. I’m just now in a state where I fully understand that life is really short. Yes, earning money is necessary to live. But making art and traveling is what I live for. For me, it gives more value and quality to my life. I’m just thankful that I finally know what I want to do. I felt very lost before. I was in a position where I’m very discontented and don’t know what I’m doing. I wan’t someone to tell me what to do and give me the answers because I have no clue what I’m supposed to be doing.

    And then, just like magic, I finally figured out who that someone is. That someone who will give me the answers. Me. Finally, I was able to figure it out. And I’m not gonna stop now.

My logo!

Okay, that’s it. Got kind of emotional back there. Haha. I hope I can blog more frequently. I almost forgot that writing feels soothing and therapeutic. It also keeps my mind in the right perspective. Until then!