The Last Craftambay before Commune moves

We’ve missed crafting with you, so we’re bringing back #craftambay (the huling hirit) before #communemoves. See you Wednesday, June 17, at cocktail hour (eta 5pm but let us know if cocktails come early for you!)

In case you’re wondering, Craftambay is a community effort of bringing crafters together for a night of cocktails (!!!) kwentuhan and crafting. Craftambay’s homebase has always been Commune, located at Liberty Center, 104 H.V. Dela Costa, Makati, Metro Manila. We’re excited with Commune’s move and before they do, let’s have one last Craftambay. 🙂

We’re also giving away something super special too, so see you then!

craftambayjune2015

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What a first quarter ride.

Phew! It’s been a humbling and exhausting couple of months. I’m glad it’s done and over with.
As we (anxiously) wait for the results, I’d like to thank my clients and friends who have been patiently waiting for the exam to be over with so we can continue with work and collaborate and chismis!
Hopefully I don’t have to take it again! Hahaha

First thing I did was get my dust-gathering watercolor set. I’m still a bit rusty but at least I’m…

 

Back To Regular Programming

P.S. Thank you to my latigo friends who literally stop me from talking so I can continue with studying. And thank you for all your prayers. You know who you are.

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It’s been so long

I didn’t realize that It’s been so since I last posted here. To those who don’t know, I spent the last year learning and honing my skill as a leathercraftswoman. Since then, we have launched Isa Silva Creations.

But in other news…

Nakakainggit si R! He’s been traveling around the states for the past 2 months. (1 nalang!!!! — halata bang mas excited ako sa pag uwi?) This was a long overdue Christmas, birthday and despedida gift, a customized and personalized suede and nubuck leather sleeve for his tablet. (Mukha siyang ice cream sandwich kung titingnan mo yung layers sa gilid). His name was burned (freehand) by a burning tool. Suede gives the best “burnt” look. Yung ibang leather stuff, not so much. I guess depende talaga sa leather.

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I digress. In other news, I’d like to thank everyone who’s been patient while I hibernate/study and those who have been saying, “Yeah sige let’s just talk about my orders after your exam!” or, “Go study first!” I didn’t realize studying (or re learning things) has taken so much of my time. I wish I had my siblings’ knack for studying or exam taking (Aya, Princeton, duh) but all I want to do is make art and make leather stuff. Promise, come May 25, the 2 man factory (R will also be back then) will be back and open to accept your orders. smile emoticon

So thank you for your patience (again) and thank you to my latigo friends who whip me into studying. See you on May 25!

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Recipe for my “Say a little prayer Roast Beef”

I’ve always been the “cook” for our family dinners. I’ve never had any formal cooking lessons (the ones when we were kids don’t count), so I really don’t know what I do half the time.

I wish I can say that my family has a simple palette, and that serving local dishes would suffice, but I belong to a family of very picky/particular eaters, that doesn’t give me much room to experiment (or try creative cooking).  Family dinners are more difficult to create because they want to veer away from the usual staples we have at home with “fancy, restaurant-quality dishes” without having to dress up.

We’ve always had big chunks of beef in our family dinners. We’d either grill steak or order roasts from very reputable caterers, and after several attempts of making decent marinade for our roast beef (which includes saying a little prayer before putting in the oven), I’m proud to share the recipe with you guys.

Smaller roast

Here’s a 2kg roast

“Say A Little Roast Beef” Recipe

The proportions are for a 5kg (Yes, 5 kilos!) roast. I normally buy yearling from S&R, but ask your regular butcher for the softest chunk of meat available.

 

Ingredients:

3 whole onions

1/2 garlic (around 6 cloves)

1 jar of Gray Poupon Mustard (approximately 16 ounces or 1 lb)

Juice of 1 whole lemon

1 tsp Olive Oil

Assorted herbs like Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary (Approximately 1/2 teaspoon each)

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Procedure: PREPARE AT LEAST THE NIGHT BEFORE

1. Peel onions and chop into quarters. Peel garlic.

2. Dump onions and garlic into a food processor (I don’t like chopping), and let it “process” until you get pencil eraser big chunks.

3. Add the mustard into the food processor, and after a few buzzes, add the olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper, until you get a chunky paste.

4. Generously slather all over your roast, even in nooks and crannies and cracks in between. It looks like one great big yellow goop, but it will look and taste great after roasting.

5. Wrap in plastic and store in freezer. Remove from freezer approximately 6 hours before roasting to thaw.

6. Preheat oven to 350-400 degrees Farenheit.

7. Say a little prayer and put the roast in the oven. Since I’m paranoid android, I check after 40 minutes to see if everything is going smoothly. It will give a nice medium rare after 1 1/2 hours. This site is useful in finding out exact measurements, temperatures and cooking time.

The marinade with create a nice burnt crust and the keeps all the juices locked in.

Big 5kg roast

This is the first roast I made with this marinade. Whopping 5kgs!

So far my family approves of this type of roast. I hope you guys enjoy!

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The Creative Process behind building Borge Aloba’s Portfolio

I met Borge in one of Photoshoots I produce. He is one of the most sought after hairstylists in the country so working on his portfolio was such a treat.

Yes, I also fix professional portfolios. 🙂

Borge needed to compile his work. Like all the other portfolios, he wanted to showcase his best work. He had quite a number of photos and tear sheets, so we had to filter them with these tips in mind.

Tip number 1: Know the purpose of your portfolio. Borge knew from the moment he called me up what his portfolio was for. “I need to present to (insert company here). He’s not based here so he doesn’t know local celebrities.” So with that I had these in mind: Lessen celebrity photos, showcase variety and FOCUS ON HAIR. Average photo with great hair > Amazing photo with so-so hair.

Tip number 2: Less is more. Like most readers, our attention span (mine too) is slowly decreasing. Weed out all the photos that seem to be redundant or too similar.

Tip number 3: Categorize. Borge wanted something different for his portfolio. He didn’t want the regular categories like: Print, Tear Sheets, Celebrities, Avant Garde, etc. Instead, he wanted to use words that describe the feeling one will invoke when looking at the photos. Pretty deep stuff, but it makes a whole lot of difference.

Tip number 4: Put variety. Put the strong photos at the first, middle and last. Like any good story/movie, there should be an establishing point, scenes that lead to the climax, climax and end. The eyes tend to get overwhelmed when you showcase one strong photo/item after the other. Parang BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM! Masakit sa mata.

Tip number 5: Know your medium and use it to your advantage. This really helps with the layout of the photo. I used a free HTML5 web builder called Wix and used the barest template to give me the most creative freedom. Since the strongest photo is Ornussa’s blonde afro, we decided to make it the focal point in the middle.

The result is a clean, simple and easy to navigate website where the photos represent the talent that Borge has. And what’s better news is the clients loved his presentation, website included. 🙂

Congratulations, Borge! So proud of you! Check out his portfolio at www.borgealoba.com.

Here's a screen grab of Borge's site.

Here’s a screen grab from Borge’s site.

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Pen Tool Practice Results

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been practicing on my pen tool as part of my skills training. Here are some of what I’ve done so far.

1/3 done. Of course I practice my name first!

1/3 done. Of course I practice my name first!

After some tweaking and editing, here's the finished product!

After some tweaking and editing, here’s the finished product!

Just a little bit of freehand hello. I didn't put a scanned sketch under.

Just a little bit of freehand hello. I didn’t put a scanned sketch under.

The last but not the least is this face! I used the Width Tool (shift+w) for the hair!

The last but not the least is this face! I used the Width Tool (shift+w) for the hair!

Have you been practicing? Email me your work at blog@isabelsilva.com. Yay!

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The Pen Tool on Illustrator

Ugly confession: I’ve been using Illustrator for years now but never really got the hang of using the pen tool. I never took classes so I just learned as I went along the way. I would cringe whenever someone would suggest I use the pen tool to illustrate or make typography.

Learning it is long overdue. The need for me to learn this skill was 5 years ago. I needed to learn fast.

Luckily, I found Philippa Berry Smith’s youtube channel  containing links on how to use the pen tool. Out of the dozens (?) of videos I saw, hers are the ones that I found most informative and useful.

Find them here.

Will post my practice pieces in a bit. In the meantime, enjoy!

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