Found! Corner Craft Punch

I’ve been looking for a corner craft punch for a while now. I have one that’s great for big projects, but not suitable for smaller pieces like postcards or calling cards. I ordered one online but due to a mix-up on the part of the shop, I never got it.

There’s a shop in Greenbelt 5 called Noteworthy. I try to avoid this shop because it’s a big temptation. Last Saturday though, I couldn’t resist going in. Guess what they had? A corner punch.

What made this so great is that it was perfectly sized for the projects I had in mind. Not only that, it already had three different sizes. I didn’t have to look for anything else, plus, no worries about twisting or moving any parts.

I didn’t buy it immediately, though I went back today to get it. I’m pretty excited to use it.

Another interesting thing about this is the packaging. The craft punch comes in a plastic shell with cardboard backing, which is standard for a lot of products. I hate this packaging, purely because it’s such a hassle to open. Most use a stapler to keep the cardboard and the plastic splitting, and removing that is a pain (literally and figuratively) if you don’t have a stable remover.

What made this ingenious is that you don’t need to use stapler or tape to keep it together. There’s a small slot in the plastic, where an extended part on the cardboard slides into, effectively holding it all together. You can either cut it off, or slightly turn the plastic back to let the cardboard slide. The latter will let you reuse the packaging if you need to.

Neat, eh?

Adventures in Hong Kong: Exploring

It was raining when Hansel and I left Manila last Wednesday. The sky was dark grey, the rain lashing against the plane’s windows as it prepared to take off. I’m a bit of a nervous traveller, so I pushed myself to sleep.

I don’t think I slept at all. I may have, but I was still too aware of the goings on around me. Plus, I was hungry.

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This trip began as a spur of the moment idea with my officemate Lud last year. He got a few others — Hansel, Rainier, Aileen — on board, and we took advantage of the seat sale. We got tickets at different times, hence our staggered arrival.

The flight took a little under two hours, with the captain boasting that we were actually early. We didn’t have much to wait as Hansel and neither had check in luggage. Grabbed a few maps and fliers, breezed through immigration and got ourselves Octopus cards. Located the queue for the A21 bus and we were off.

The last time I was in Hong Kong was five years ago. I arrived late evening, so I couldn’t see much of HK. Today I arrived with the sun still up, but by the time the bus left, it was early evening. Not much to say about the bus ride, but it was a double decker so yay. And free WiFi.

The hotel was located in Tsim Sha Tsui along the busy Nathan Road. It wasn’t a hotel that occupied the whole building, but rather a hotel located inside a building and was compromised of small rooms. My and Aileen’s room was very small, enough to fit a bunk bed and an open shelf. It at least had its own bathroom and toilet, which was considered a deluxe upgrade. The bed was surprisingly comfortable.

After stopping off my things, we headed out to find a place to eat. Lack of planning led us to one of the side streets along Nathan Rd., and ending up in a Chinese restaurant called Ming Yuen Congee and Noodle Restaurant. Thankfully they had an English menu.

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To be honest I don’t know if the food was that good, or I was just that hungry. I finished my meal, thanks to Handel’s help, and we went off to find dessert. Aileen and I ended up at Cotton On/Typo. Massive sale; massive self-control.

Walked back to the hostel. H, R, and I went exploring further, while L and A decided to get some rest. That’s where we found a side street with some cheap street food and a recommended noodle shop. Walked further up Nathan and back down again. Despite the late hour, there were still a lot of people around.

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Finally, exhaustion came. Needed sleep, because the next day we were going to Disneyland.

Komiket 2017: Post event

I’m no stranger to cons. I’ve attended a lot over the years, and have gone to so much more since I got into Doctor Who and met my Sepanx friends. However, it was my first time to sell something last February 25, at the Komiket in Centris Elements.

I can’t recall how it all started, really, but suddenly a few of my officemates and I were talking about getting a table at Komiket and selling stickers that we designed. Next thing I knew, Kate was getting us a table, and everyone was preparing for it.

As usual, I procrastinated, thinking that I had enough time. Unlike my friends, I wasn’t a designer and dabbled only in drawing and graphic design. Not only did I have to brainstorm sticker ideas, I had to learn how to create them in digital form using software like Adobe Illustrator.

Long story short, I crammed. I finalized my designs barely two weeks before, and had things printed less than 36 hours before. Stayed up all night to cut them (because I didn’t go for the digital-cut service) and woke up early on the 25th to set things up.

Thankfully, things worked out well despite all the rush. My simple designs actually got sold, and I managed to earn back the amount I spent for printing. We even had a lady inquire about our commission prices (to which we all replied with a blank stare). It wasn’t perfect, but I’d like to think we learned a lot from this venture. We’re now planning to doing this on a regular basis, setting up a collective name and all that.

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Stickers galore!

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Here’s mine.

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Thanks for checking out our work!

Photo by @steldevera
Artists and friends

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Legit

Lessons learned:

  • Having a brand helps get people to buy from you, or at least have a way to reach out to you if the want to avail of your services and buy more of your products.
  • Have an inventory of your products, and clearly label the price of each one.
  • If you can have a system of how you sell and split the cost, that will help.
  • Signs and display cases are hella useful.
  • Promote, promote, promote!

I’m excited to see this grow. It’s a great way for me to keep creating and improve on my designing chops, and who knows how it’ll grow as a business? Too early to tell, but hey, all the possibilities!

#FeelsFest: Mamser, Pag-Ibig

You can’t read romance without having your feelings go all crazy, more so if you write it. #romanceclass #FeelsFest is all about the hugot and the kilig and everything that goes with it.

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October 22, 2016 was a long anticipated day by the community of writers and readers that make up #romanceclass. There have been many smaller events in the past, such as April Feels Day, (Trinoma thing), and workshops that helped writers be more attuned to their craft (and enjoy some time with LI and MC pegs).

The event was hosted by the Ayala Malls, who tapped the #romanceclass to help support their Little Library. Guests of #FeelsFest who donate books to the cause get to pick from a selection of ebooks, all penned by RomanceClass authors, in exchange.

Here are my Top 5 Things about FeelsFest

5: Donate a book, get a book
FeelsFest was hosted by the AyalaMalls, who tapped the #romanceclass to help support their Little Library. Guests can donate books to the cause and get the same number of ebooks from #romancelass writers, in return. It’s a great way to get something new to read, even if you’re on a budget. You’re also helping people get more books to read through Ayala’s Little Free Library.

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Just a few of the books you can get for free with your book donations!

4. Games
Registered guests can join in the games. There’s the Photo Scavenger Hunt, where you have a list of things you need to take a photo of. Mind you, it’s not just simply taking a picture. I looked through the list and some of them will require guts, if you’re a shy person like me.

Then there’s the RomanceClass Bingo. You’ll have a grid of descriptions, and you’ll need to find someone who fits those. You can’t have someone filling in more than one box at a time, so even if you know someone who can fit many of the descriptions, you’ll have to find someone else. It was a fun way to get to know the RomanceClass community.

3. Community
Turnout to #FeelsFest was amazing! I arrived past noon and there were already quite a few people going around. Past events were pretty well attended, but the venues were smaller. We had some reservations at holding it in a bigger and much more public place, but fears were laid to rest when people came, stayed, and had a great time. While majority of the crowd were friends, family, and fans (yes, there are those!), there were a few curious onlookers who came by, and hopefully got a copy of the books!

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There is no clear division between writers and readers. A lot of the writers are readers themselves, and quite a few of the readings are also diving into writing, inspired by the enthusiasm of the writers. Then there’s the people who support them: friends and family, people who contribute to the books as character pegs, knowledge resources, cover and layout artists, editors, inspirations, actors…

2. Live Readings
Mina had this idea of having parts of the book read. A year ago, she tapped the help of theater actors Gio Gahol and Rachel Coates to read excerpts. It was only for a class, but it grew and grew until now we have several actors and actresses. The first time, it was for the writers, and it was a fun way to see how their work was interpreted by other people.

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Here are the books that were read:

  • The Hometown Hazard by Dawn Lanuza
  • Sweeter by the Second by C.P. Santi
  • Tempting Victoria by Mina V. Esguerra
  • What You Wanted by Mina V. Esguerra
  • Save the Cake by Stella Torres
  • Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano
  • When Sparks Fly by Ines Bautista-Yao

It also proved to be a great marketing tool, because people flocked the book merchandise table to buy what has been read, and more! Some of the books were sold out halfway through the event!

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1. New Releases
FeelsFest was the venue for eighteen new books. Considering that there was no recent romanceclass held, this was a big thing. Many were new releases from romanceclass veterans, but some were from first timers. It was awesome to see their works being snapped up and gushed over.

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Here’s the list of new releases. You can get ebook copies from Amazon.

New #romanceclass releases

Here’s to more feels!

Travel Flashback: Sydney, Australia

It’s been a year and a half since my visit to Sydney. It was a surprise business trip slash holiday, one I never expected to have when I signed on to join Canva.

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We’re off to Sydney!

I knew a little about Sydney thanks to my aunt Ruth and her daughter Miel, both of whom visited the coastal city before. I learned a lot about kangaroos, koalas, and Cadbury chocolates, but none of their stories prepared me for the awesomeness of the place. I had fallen in love with the city from the get-go.

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In front of our hostel, before exploring Taronga Zoo. Photo by Thea Cinco.

I suppose part of the attraction had something to do with the fact that our trip wasn’t purely a tourist thing. We had plenty of locals (our Sydney counterparts) who took us around their favorite places, often away from the usual tourist destinations. Sure, we did what tourists did, but we also did what locals did.

I loved every place we went to, but my favorite places were Katoomba, Newtown and Surry Hills. Katoomba reminded me of Baguio, only smaller, neater, and much colder. Newtown was like Cubao X on steroids. Surry Hills was near the CBD, but still laid back enough for you not to feel hurried.

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Sightseeing in the Blue Mountains

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Bondi in autumn. Empty and cold.

In fact, Sydney on the whole didn’t feel very much like a city I’m used to. The whole vibe was laid back and chill. By day until the evening, people went about their business. However, since shops closed by 5 pm, there were less people around. On our last day we walked along the streets and was surprised that it was empty by 2 am. In Metro Manila, things were just starting to get lively by then.

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Walking along the streets of Sydney at 4 AM

The best part of the whole trip of course was getting to know the Sydney team. As a newbie then, it helped me become more familiar with the people I was working with, not just the local team, but also the one across the ocean. We totalled to about fifty or so then. Now, the number has doubled.

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When we could still easily fit into one frame

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Selfie before heading back to Manila

More than a year after, I still can’t forget Sydney. I’ve done a lot of things in the two weeks but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Here’s to another opportunity to visit.

The Book Stop by WTA Design Studio

Last May 6, Kate and I went to Ayala Triangle to check out the Book Stop.

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This is a project of the WTA Design Studio as part of their Architecture of Ideas project. From their website:

As part of our Architecture of Ideas campaign, we have launched a non-profit initiative to build a free public library called The Book Stop. The Book Stop serves as an open library and book exchange where everyone is invited to come and grab a book. It will be placed in venues like malls, parks, commercial centers and other similar public grounds.

This pop-up library will provide a space where people can enjoy reading, interact in lively discussions with fellow readers and share their love for books by donating their own. Eventually, it can provide data to measure the need for more public libraries in the country.

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I love the idea of a reading nook in a public space like a park. The idea of being able to go to one, grab a book and have a safe spot to read it is very nice. We don’t have enough public spaces like parks, and goodness knows we don’t have enough public libraries where people can indulge in reading without having to spend money to get a book.

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Nancy Drew!

We got to talk to some of the team behind this, which resulted in them interviewing us. I told them that I was a library & information science student and that I used to work in a library. We talked about the idea (like I said it was very good), the collection (it was a mish-mash of random books that they don’t take inventory of but just count at the end of the day), and what things they can do to improve on it (the idea that people can freely take books builds a trust among the people).

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I would definitely love to see more places like this around the metro. I think it would be a great idea for the firm to partner with librarians to plan more spaces that are bigger, more accessible, and have more services that people can avail of. Come to think of it, that would make a great thesis. Hmm.