Last year’s troubles are so old fashioned

Halloo, I’m back. This site was down again all weekend so I finally left Affordablehost, my home for five years, for the it – seems – to – me more reliable Axishost. You can read about — and possibly learn from — why I did so on this page.

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My Arn turned, umm, another year wiser last weekend! 😉 How did we celebrate it? Why with food, food, and more food of course. See the phlog for more pics.

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I got him a dress watch and the first season of the 1970s series The Incredible Hulk on DVD and I’ve been watching along, which is a first since I usually get him DVDs for his birthdays1 but I don’t last long watching them. I didn’t think I’d actually get hooked on Hulk since I never got to watch it when I was young2 but it’s very engaging and the way it’s produced makes the situations look so real — bellbottoms, sideburns notwithstanding.

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Hanging out and spending time with good friends has become extremely difficult now that everyone’s always busy nowadays. Thankfully though, most of us were able to sync our schedules these past couple of weeks. Again, more pics in the phlog.

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Check it out, the great komikero himself, Gerry Alanguilan made a short video featuring an interview with Arn in time for his birthday, no less. Thanks “cousin” Gerry! 😉

You can view — and learn from — all his videos here.

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By the way, for those of you looking to find extraordinary works to experience, I made a list of graphic novels that are big in heart — basically, stories that made me fall in love with the medium of graphic storytelling. These exemplify what I think has just the right mix of narrative and pretty pictures: not too artsy that the stories don’t make sense anymore, and not too wordy or high falutin that there’s no room to appreciate the story and illustrations. Let me know what you think. 🙂

  1. Last year it was The Alien Quadrilogy, the other year it was Flash Gordon and Battlestar Galactica, and the year before it was the collector’s edition of 2001: A Space Odyssey.[ back]
  2. Wonder Woman and The Bionic Woman being whom I considered superheroes[ back]
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Who will buy this wonderful feeling?

Encouraged by a sudden increase in sales in my Cafepress shops1, I decided to open a few more last week. Four are wedding-related since (1) I’m immersed in the industry hence it’s the easiest to make designs for; and (2) guess what, 80% of my sales are coming from the bridal shop2.

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iDo shirts for the iPod-loving couple! (Hello, Carlo and Nina 😉 )

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“Always a bridesmaid, finally a bride” tees for the been-waiting-for-mr.-right bride.

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And because I didn’t want to totally sell out, I made “Tsinelas (flip-flops) Addict” and “Bayong (basket bags) Addict” tees and knick-knacks as the second part of my Pinoy series.

Pinay Style

You can see all the other new shops here3.

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My Arn recently received a really nice email from Jasper Lloyd Tan of Cagayan de Oro-based Christian pop-rock band Thoughts and Notions4. Jasper says that (Arn’s book) After Eden inspired him so much that he wrote a song about it called “Earthbound Angel”5

Excerpt:
I could choose to soar above the skies
And be one with the flight of angels
But I am here in this world for one purpose
To be with you and be your guide
And be your earthbound angel.

Band info and streaming audio here.

  1. Most of the buyers are US-based. I have a feeling it must be because school is about to start and everyone wants new shirts to wear. Alright![ back]
  2. Plus according to Cafepress’ newswire, the “weddings” tag is among the most sought after, well well well![ back]
  3. You won’t believe it but Arn has shops of his own too, and his products sell even faster than any of mine! He wants to keep them secret for now but someday I’ll share the links with you. 😉[ back]
  4. They play music in the tradition of Jars of Clay and Sixpence None the Richer.[ back]
  5. I was really touched when I learned about it — I’m sure you can tell how proud I am of my husband’s work and I know how much he’s inspired his readers but inspiring someone to write a song with a wonderful message, now that’s a first.[ back]
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To being an ‘us’ for once, instead of a ‘them’

Anyone who has the time and patience to make anything handmade is definitely a hero in my book, and as some of you know, I’ve been posting about everything-DIY for years1 so I thought, ok, for once I’ll show (and not just tell).
Project #1: Purse organizer

A 2003 issue of Real Simple2 featured a Purseket, an organizer that you can transfer from bag to bag and I thought “what a brilliant idea!” since I, just like every other girl, switch bags whenever the mood strikes me. (And I hate being out on the road and then realizing that oops, my license is in my other bag!)3 It looked fairly easy to make too so I rummaged for unused fabric and proceeded to make my own version… tadah!
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There’s a pocket for everything I need when I go out: my cellphone, palm pilot, wallet, license holder, hairbrush, powder compact/tissue/blotting paper, and pen. The best thing is that it can conform to any size bag.

Here’s how to do it, it’s as easy as 1-2-3!
You will need two sheets of fabric (any kind but ideally, the stiffer, the better4), approximately 25″ x 6″; needle and thread; and velcro fasteners.
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Get the measurements of each of the items you want to put inside the pockets.

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Plot the layout and then cut the fabric to size, doubling the height so it can be folded over. Baste to hold the folds in place. Make two of these sheets and then form pockets by stitching them together along the lines according to your measurements.

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Stick velcro fasteners along the edges and voila, you now have your very own purseket-a-like.

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I also did some spring cleaning and found an old pair of jeans that I don’t wear anymore5 so I fashioned it into a vest for our dear little kitty.
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It’s a bit crude since I got too lazy to hem the edges but Abbas seems to like it anyway.6 The red satin ribbon “belt” is from a gift we received last Christmas and the button is from one of Arn’s old shirts.

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And finally, I also want to share with you my humble attempt at graphic storytelling — in fact it’s so far been my only attempt. The comic appeared in Ramon de Veyra‘s Hey Comics! anthology that came out in 2004. Um… hope you like it. 🙂

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(It’s only 3-pages long, click here.)

  1. Maybe even before the term DIY caught on locally[ back]
  2. One of my all-time favorite magazines — I hound Booksale outlets for back issues at least once a month. 😀[ back]
  3. It’s actually happened to me a couple of times. When it does, I just drive ever-so-carefully and pray that I don’t run into violations.[ back]
  4. Mine’s kinda flimsy as you can see, but hey, it does its job.[ back]
  5. Well, they don’t fit anymore, sigh. Besides, it’s baston.[ back]
  6. Abbas: “Lies! All lies!”[ back]
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Everyone keeps asking, what’s it all about?

Yahoo, the Wedding Essentials team’s newest baby, Beautiful Weddings 2006, will be available at all leading bookstores and mag stands starting this week.

WEBW

So, just what is Beautiful Weddings? It’s a collection of wonderfully inspiring stories celebrating beautiful beginnings by real brides and will be sold for only Php 120.00 – a real steal for something almost as good as love!
It’s been a little over two years now since our EIC Marbee called me to discuss the possibility of building1 a wedding magazine together. From scratch! It’s been her wish to come out with something like it and I guess it took her by surprise that it was a dream project for me too. And whaddya know, since then, we’ve released four thick volumes and I can wholeheartedly say that yes, with equal parts passion and determination, and a whole lot of crazy logic, it can be done.
Every WE issue is as exciting to work on as the last one. How is that possible, you ask? I guess it’s because (1) both Marbee and I have a love affair with weddings (well you can tell by how I obsessively lovingly planned mine); (2) I can’t ask for a nicer team of girls to work with – Marbs, Charlene and Ria are always full of fresh ideas and are a ton of fun to be with. More importantly, we share the same vision about what we want to convey through the mag: that “beautiful weddings” are not restricted to celebrities and people in high society. That no matter what budget you have, you can have the wedding of your dreams.; and (3) I get to flex my dormant – now – that – I’m – out – of – advertising creative muscles. Planning the design and layout of 250+ pages ain’t no picnic, my friend, but it’s a great big challenge each time.
That said, I know you’ve heard this enough from me but please, please support Wedding Essentials and WE Beautiful Weddings. We may be novices in the field but you can be sure that everything we do comes straight from the heart.
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So how have you been? After I finished working on the magazines, I wanted to be away from the computer as much as possible so I took the chance to catch up on Veronica and the gang at Neptune2 and it’s official: I’m hooked. The following video is for Lia and Neva and everyone else who loves the show: Go, watch, and sing-along.
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By the way, I’ve somewhat been busy at the Phlog and in Multiply.

  1. Yep, the task daunted us very much since both of us are from advertising and have had no experience in the world of magazine publishing, ever.[ back]
  2. I finished watching both seasons already! I want more! More, I tell you![ back]
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Hey little sister who’s your superman?

Hip-hip-hurrah! Yes, there is reason to rejoice because the fourth issue of our magazine, Wedding Essentials (July-Dec 2006), is now available at all leading bookstores and magazine stands. Hope you can check it out (pretty please?) Marbee, Charlene, Ria, the staff, and I have been working on it since January this year.

WE4

In this issue, we celebrate sometihng close to home, the Filipiniana wedding.

Who says it has to be confined to pina, jusi, and barongs? Who says there is only one true Filipina? Wedding Essentials explores what Filipiniana is in this issue. Four beautiful brides, each representing a Filipina archetype (chinita, dusky, mestiza, and morena) grace the gorgeous fabric (yes, fabric!) cover of this constantly innovative magazine. Be inspired by over 250 pages containing gorgeous bouquets, top designers’ beautiful reflections on what Filipiniana is, picturesque setups and venues, and dream themes ranging from Victorian Elegance to Romantic Hacienda. Truly the quintessential guide for the modern bride, Wedding Essentials, as always, has happy stories from recent brides, tips from industry experts, and many ideas for every detail of your dream wedding…from the invitation to the honeymoon.
For those who’d like to experience the making of WE4, I’ve just uploaded a ton of behind the scenes photos.
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For the past few weeks, WE4, the Beautiful Weddings special, Veronica Mars1 and life in general2 has kept me away from this blog. Regular programming will resume as soon as time allows it.

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UPDATE: There are new pics in the phlog!

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  1. Thanks to Lia for giving me a copy of the entire first season of the series, I am now a devoted follower. Go pirates![ back]
  2. Of course I’d rather spend my free time with Arn, Abbas and with friends and family rather than the computer, diba?[ 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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