Brown paper packages tied up with string.

My favorite 2006 “discoveries” in no particular order.

Photo swiped from this site.
1. Seafood Gumbo at Gumbo (SM’s Mall of Asia and The Block). Yummy — spicy, chockfull of crawfish, crab meat, shrimp and squid — and very filling. Even if you only get the petite serving (P175), it’s more than enough to feed two hungry people.1

Photo swiped from this site.
2. The TV series Heroes. If you liked the X-files, you will DEFINITELY like Heroes. Arn and I first heard about the tv series from our friend Sam a couple of months ago but we never got to watch it until last, last week.2 The series, which tells the story of several people who thought they were like everyone else until they woke with incredible abilities such as telepathy, time travel and flight, however X-men-inspired, is not your average teens-with-powers banding together kind of story. Part of the charm is that it’s written and paced like a comic — it’s composed of different story arcs that interlink to form a universal plot. Arn and I have only seen 8 chapters so far but we’ll have to give it 5 stars for managing to boggle the mind, keep us interested for 4 hours straight at a time (we would’ve watched longer if we didn’t have to work on something), entertain, and creep us out (Sylar is the scariest villain since John Doe) all at once. So if you haven’t yet, do yourselves a favor and try to watch an episode — see if you don’t get hooked3.
3. Elianto‘s Sheer Powder and Lip Treatment Duo. I hardly wear make-up since, well, I hate putting stuff on my face but I know I have to look presentable every once in a while. So I checked out the stuf at Elianto, a Malaysian brand which offers cosmetics and skincare products with the vibrancy and wholesome value of fruits. Their organic and fruit-based skincare line is packaged really nicely4, the powder feels light and fresh, and the medicated lip jellies really work to heal cracked lips *plus* they taste delightfully fruity!

Kathang Kamay
4. Ming Ong and Kathang Kamay. I “discovered” Ming via the Multiply network: she’s my good friend Tippi‘s friend and Tips occasionally gets her to design accessories for her fashion shows. What struck Arn and me about her work is that they’re all intricately done and are very unique and original — there’s nothing else quite like them in the market. Her designs are available at Souk and Mag:net but you can also ask her to make custom, one-of-a-kind pieces for you. Besides being talented, she’s really nice and has since become my friend too. See her work in her gallery and in the latest WE issue 😀
(And speaking of Tippi, did you know that her works were recently exhibited in Doha, right at the time the Asian Games were held there? More info on her site. Way to go Tips!)
Veronica Mars
5. Veronica Mars, huwat else? I have our friend Lia to thank for introducing me to Veronica Mars early last year — now I am such a huge fan of the series (and so are Nest and Buddy! We had a blast discussing the series when we visited their home yesterday). I love the storytelling, the overall direction, the characters, and the way that each entire season is one big story arc with different twists and turns that, throughout the season, will fall into place like pieces in a puzzle. A soundtrack that includes the Dandy Warhols, Ivy, the Donnas, etc doesn’t hurt either. Do check it out, although I would suggest that you watch it from the beginning because the way it’s structured has a tendency to confuse a viewer diving in midway thru the series. Incidentally, the photo I chose shows Veronica and Logan right before they kiss for the first time — a scene that, in my opinion, comes a close second in terms of “kilig factor” to the Angela Chase-Jordan Catalano Buffalo Tom hallway moment in My So-Called Life.5
Sorry for the lack of entries, it seems like the first quarter is turning out to be pretty hectic for us — what else is new? What’s keeping us sane though is the “opening” of our new Cafepress shop Poptastic.

Poptastic Groovy Graphic Tees & Gifts
More about it next time and for now, tune in to the accompanying blog for updates on new designs.

  1. It’s so heavy we never finish it and always have enough to bring home for dinner later on.[ back]
  2. Some of you might know that I actually already wrote about this here.[ back]
  3. Arn’s fave character is Matt, the telepathic cop, while I like Claire, the spontaneously regenerating cheerleader. And of course we both like Hiro… who doesn’t?[ back]
  4. Yes, that’s exactly how to attract a make-up-phobic art director.[ back]
  5. I first wrote about it in Multiply too. See our discussion.[ back]
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And so we’re told this is the golden age

Happy 2007 to all of you 😀

A few scenes from MY December:
One of my bestest friends Sheila was in Manila last month so naturally Tips and I dropped everything to meet with her for good ol’ lunch and coffee. And then of course there were the family reunions and get-togethers galore (my dad flew home for a vacation and so did Arn’s brother Jing1 so the families were complete2 once again :)): miscellaneous pre-Christmas lunches and dinners with relatives and friends, Christmas eve dinner and Christmas day lunch with my family, Christmas day dinner and day-after-Christmas breakfast and lunch with Arn’s family, our day-long wedding anniversary celebration, day before New Year’s lunch and dinner with Arn’s family, and then New Year’s Eve dinner and New Year’s Day lunch with my family. Whew!3

From left: our kitty by the Christmas tree, the last of Papa’s kaki (persimmon) pasalubong before I mercilessly sliced through it with that little knife beside it, Papa and Mama at Seven Corners, my ice cream teppanyaki being tossed together, half of the batch of red velvet cupcakes I baked for our families, and Arn and his brother Jing at the NAIA canteen “Windows of the World” minutes before his flight back to Sing.

So how’s everyone’s internet connection doing since the great, year-end quake4? We’re on PLDT-DSL and it’s been buggy for the past week to say the least. There are days when Google and Gmail loads quickly but then I get stuck loading my own webpage for 10 minutes5. I wonder how it is in other Asian countries. Shei? It’s comforting to know though that repairs are under way and here’s hoping that normalcy is restored in a week’s time.
By the way, the January-June 2007 issue of Wedding Essentials is set to come out this month — it may even hit the newsstands this weekend. Please watch out for it because it might be our thickest and most comprehensive issue yet.
UPDATE: I just received a hot-off-the-press copy from our ed Marbs and the girls and holy guacamole it’s dooper thick! See the pic.


It’s 285 pages thick, not counting the ads (with the ads it clocks in at 340 pages). It’ll be on newsstands by next week so pretty please grab a copy if you can. It’s still at P250 and I promise you it’s worth every centavo (hey it’s less than one peso per page!). Will write about the issue in detail once it’s officially out. 😉

Last but not least, a big hearty THANK YOU goes out to everyone who’s bought shirts and merch from my Cafepress stores! As of this writing, I’ve sold a total of 97 986 997 1008 shirts and when it reaches a hundred I’ll be listing down all your names so you can send me photos of yourselves wearing them, alright? 😀

  1. Who’s been based in Singapore since October[ back]
  2. I’m sure my other brother Christopher was with us in spirit, literally, like I’ve always believed…[ back]
  3. So yes it’s true, when you get married you will eat twice as much as you did when you were single because there are now two sets of families to eat with. 😉[ back]
  4. Thank goodness nothing but our internet connection got hurt.[ back]
  5. My official excuse for not updating 😉[ back]
  6. As of today, Jan 5! I know it’s not that big a deal since others are selling 10x as much but to me it’s already *huge* considering all I’m investing is a bit of computer time and design savvy.[ back]
  7. As of Jan 5, 6:23 pm, I can’t believe it. You readers must be my lucky charm. 🙂 One more to go…[ back]
  8. As of Jan 7, 2:10 pm. Hip-hip hooray!![ back]
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No need to hear the music play,

Your eyes say all there is to say
The stars can fade and they can shine
‘Long as your face is next to mine.

I don’t need a crowded ball room
Everything I need is here
If you’re with me
Next year will be
The perfect year.

Arnold & Cynthia
Thank you for making these past three years nothing short of perfect, baby. 🙂

And may 2007 be perfectly wonderful for all of us 😀

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Johnny played guitar, Jenny played bass

There’s an excellent feature on pop-up books and artists including paper engineer extraordinaire Robert Sabuda over at Pingmag1. I’m a big fan of his as I’ve been fascinated with pop-ups ever since I was a little girl.2 That fascination naturally manifested itself in our wedding invitation (have you seen it?) and my book collection which consists of dozens of children’s books, a fraction of which just happen to, you know, pop up.
pop-up books
In case you want to build a pop-up book collection too, here are my three favorite pop-up books of all time for your consideration:
Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Commemorative Pop-up by Robert Sabuda
Arn gave me this book as a gift while we were still dating so I keep it in its original plastic packaging for protection 🙂 The abridged text is true to Frank L. Baum’s original, and the pop-ups and illustrations don’t distract and rather enhance the unravelling of the story. The paper sculptures I featured in the above photo are, clockwise from left: (1) the glittering green and gold Emerald City (complete with 3D glasses!); (2) Dorothy meets Glinda; and (3) the launch of the hot-air balloon.
Botticelli's Bed & Breakfast
Botticelli’s Bed & Breakfast by Jan Pienkowski
This is pure genius! You open the book a full 360 degrees, tie both ends of the book covers together using the attached ribbons and voila, it’s a 3D “bed and breakfast”. And mind you, it’s not an ordinary B&B but a fictitious inn supposedly belonging to the great Botticelli. Fifty-six great artworks are scattered throughout the ten “rooms”: try and find paintings and popular icons (like Whistler’s mother and Michelangelo’s David), and the masters themselves (clue: Vermeer is in Van Gogh’s bedroom). You can pull-out tabs, open secret doors, and unlock underground hideaways to find all hidden artworks; or you can take a guided tour courtesy of a little guidebook (but where’s the fun in that? 😉 ) This book was a lucky find at Strand Bookstore3 sometime in ’98.
The Elements of Pop-up
The Elements of Pop-up by David A. Carter and James Diaz
This book is for the aspiring (read: wannabe) paper sculptor/engineer. The title says it all: the book contains all the building blocks you’ll ever need in constructing whatever kind of pop-up you need or want. It lists the different types of pop-up techniques and “mechanisms” in pull-apart form in order for you to better understand how they’re made. Even if you’re not in the stationery business and simply just want to make cute greeting cards for your friends it’s a really good buy.
By the way, I know I owe you a list of my web design heroes but for now, why don’t you check out BP’s list of The Best Designed Filipino Blogs for 2006.

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  1. One of my favorite online mags![ back]
  2. It all started when my parents bought me a Sesame Street pop-up book when I was 8 which I’ve kept all these years, never mind that it’s now all dog-eared and dirty.[ back]
  3. My favorite haunt in lower Manhattan.[ back]
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I'm Cynthia Bauzon-Arre, a Filipino watercolor artist & graphic designer. I live in QC with my talented graphic novelist husband Arnold and our friendly marmalade tabby Abbas. This blog has been chronicling my life, likes, and loves since 2001. [ more ]

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