Cook Up a Storm


Earlier today we watched this movie called Cook Up a Storm and I wrote a review of it in my journal. It was a fun movie, and I like how the set was designed; a modern city slowly inching out the small neighborhoods. The old and the new buildings struggling for a foothold. Drawing people and buildings don’t come easy for me, but sometimes I manage to wrangle out something that I like enough.

Cook up a Storm

I also tried out the birthday gift my husband gave me, a digital drawing pad. I’ve never had one before, but I’ve always been curious about doing digital art. It really requires a different skill set because you’re not just drawing, you’re also puttering around a software (or two). I figured out how to do pencil drawings, but I haven’t quite figured out how to color yet. It’s so much fun doing digital drawings, once you get over having to look at the screen while you draw.

Cook up a storm

The movie was quite fun. It’s a little preachy and cheesy at times, but it’s a nice, feel-good movie with lots of great food shots. I like the values that the  movie tries to highlight. The fact that modern and traditional don’t need to be at odds with each other, and that we can all learn something from one another. That success and fame isn’t all that’s important in life, and how food can be inclusive if we want it to be. That fame can be fickle, but failure can be the path to finding new people, better people, to let in your life. It’s a nice, family-friendly movie. 🙂

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Dream Catcher 2


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A friend of mine asked if he could have the first dream catcher painting I did, but I couldn’t give it to him so I promised I would just make him a new one. Today I finally had the time to sit down and work on it. It was a pretty interesting experience, trying to recreate a piece. It resulted to different paintings, of course, I couldn’t even recreate the number of loops in the original dream catcher, but I like them both. They’re about the same subject but they’re different.

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Here’s a side by side comparison of the two. The original one on the left is in a clear folder, the light is reflecting on the plastic a bit. I like them both. Makes me want to paint a series. Maybe someday. 🙂

Beauty and the Beast


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Here’s a journal entry I wrote a couple of days ago about the Beauty and the Beast adaptation this year. I’ve been meaning to write about this but only got around to it now. I was honestly not too excited about the movie because I don’t really like the story of Beauty and the Beast. I found the animated movie to be a bit weird, but then again I didn’t like fairy tales even as a child. The animated movie didn’t make much sense to me because it seemed the basis for their “true love” was too shallow.

The movie was quite the surprise because the core of the story stuck to the traditional fairy tale plot, but the addition of Belle and Beast’s back stories made the entire thing about their “love” quite plausible. There were a lot of things about this adaptation that I liked. One is how Belle didn’t feel like she didn’t fit in to the little town’s “provincial life” not just because she’s like the odd girl out, but also because there’s a whole episode in her life that her father didn’t want to tell her about. This film’s Belle was strong, intelligent, compassionate, intellectually curious. She was also an outsider who was keenly aware of the majority of the town’s rejection of her “strangeness”. Her relationship with Beast progressed from resentment to friendship gradually, by getting to know him and his story.

Unlike the animated film where it’s almost taken for granted that it’s Belle’s affection Beast must win, the 2017 adaptation is more balanced. Both Belle and Beast needed to learn how to love each other in order for the curse to be broken. Beast didn’t automatically fall in love with Belle just because she was beautiful. He had to grow into it too.

Both found common ground with their being rejected because of how different they are from other people, both also found another common ground, and it’s probably the  best thing you can base a friendship on–a meeting of the minds. I loved those scenes where they read together. It reminded me of when my husband and I haven’t even started to go out yet. Our friendship took on a different level when we discovered that we both liked to read. We would read the same book and then spend hours talking about it, among other things. This meeting of the minds gives each other an open door, an invitation to step in and get to know each other in a deeper sense. Until now, my husband and I still love going somewhere quiet so we can sit together and read our books, and talk, and talk some more.

That kind of friendship is fertile ground for love. That kind of story goes beyond the superficiality of being beautiful or beastly.

There are a lot of other things I loved about the movie, but this part about them discovering kindred spirits in each other is my favorite. 🙂

Dream Catchin’


Dream catcher

I made this little painting a few weeks ago. I’ve made other dream catchers before but this is the first I’m actually happy with, despite the simplicity of the design of the strings. It’s kinda hard to make them all line up exactly as they should. It’s a slow month for watercolors, considering it’s World Watercolor Month. I wish I had more time to play, but I guess we just squeeze in as much fun as we can manage. ^_^

Coffea Arabica


Coffea Arabica

I managed to squeeze in a bit of practice today, and somehow I ended up making a painting of a coffee plant. It’s probably because I’ve been reading Coffeehouse Mysteries non-stop these past few days, haha. It’s a cozy mystery series that’s very easy to read and has decent plots. I think the first book was published back in 2002, and you can really see how things change through the years. Palm pilots were all the rage during the publication of the first book. Social media wasn’t what it is now. The treatment of female characters have also changed a lot from book 1 to book 11.

What I love most about the book series, though, is all the information about coffee and the food that goes well with or are cooked with it. It’s a nice read, especially if you’re a coffee lover. I just started book 11 today (A Brew to a Kill), and it’s interesting that there are elements of Filipino culture inserted in the story.

Autumn Leaves


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I took a short break from my Coffeehouse Mystery binge yesterday to practice a bit of watercolor. I realize I haven’t really sat down to paint for several weeks already, things have been quite busy. I’ve always found the color of autumn to be quite beautiful, so I made autumn leaves.

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This uses Sennelier 300gsm, 100% cotton watercolor block. I really love this paper. It has a way of making the color pop, the paint remains brilliant and vivid on it after it dries. I also love the texture of the paper, it makes creating textured paintings a lot easier. My watercolor block’s a bit small, though. After finishing this, I wanted to practice more kinds of leaves, so I opted for a slightly bigger watercolor block, my Hahnemühle 200gsm rough paper.

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I do like the texture too, although it looks more like lines of little squares. Sennelier’s texture feels more organic, somehow. It takes a bit more work to make the color pop. After the watercolor dried on it, the colors looked dull so I had to apply more layers to brighten it up. It was pretty difficult to achieve a result close to what I got with the Sennelier WC Block.

I still had fun with it, though, and I learned a lot in the process. Mostly about being patient and working on values.

Colors used for these paintings are all by Sennelier:

  • Indian Yellow
  • Venetian Red
  • Raw Umber
  • Warm Sepia
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Payne’s Grey
  • Ivory Black
  • Pthalo Green Light

Travelers Notebook Olive


Traveler's Notebook Olive

I knew I wanted one the moment I heard that Traveler’s Company is coming out with an olive green TN. I got this from Everything Calligraphy last month, and decided that I would use it as my calligraphy and watercolor journal.

Traveler's Notebook Olive

The color is a little hard to photograph. It always comes across darker than it actually is in person. The color is a dusky green, more like the camo green in my opinion, rather than olive green. It’s a deep color that I think will become more interesting as it ages. In photographs, it looks more like black than green. In person, the color is a bit ambiguous, depending on the light. I’ll post more photos of it in the future as it develops a patina. I’m curious how the texture and color will change once I start applying leather balm on it (maybe next month). My brown TN became shinier and the brown color became deeper and richer.

Traveler's Notebook Olive

I decided to keep it thin with only two inserts so that it won’t be so heavy. I use my brown TN as my primary journal anyway. I made those monkey fist charms and bookmarks with the elastic bands from an old TN repair kit that I haven’t used yet because I only used the dark-colored bands. I thought the bright colors popped pretty nicely against the color of the leather. If you want to know how to make your own monkey fist knots, this is the tutorial I used.

I made my own watercolor insert from 200gsm Canson paper. Here’s the cover I DIY’ed for my first insert.

Traveler's Notebook Olive

I didn’t realize that it had a rough side and a smooth side, so some pages have the textured side on the left, some on the right. It’s alright, though, it can handle light washes on both sides, albeit with a lot of warping.

Travelers Notebook Olive

Traveler's Notebook Olive

I enjoy bringing it around with me. It’s comfortable to hold and gosh, it’s so pretty in person. Next time I’ll try and find watercolor paper that’s textured on both sides, though. Overall, I’m pretty much in love with this TN. It’s a great addition to my EDC.