Explore, Motivational, My Life Story, travel

Albay Adventure

 

This month’s TRAVEL has been quite the experience for me. Unlike many others, this is the first time I’ve booked a ticket less than a week before our scheduled flight. Oh, little did I know this is just the beginning of all the spontaneity I’d be facing this week!

BICOL has long since been my second home, where I spent countless summers shopping at the local mall, cooking for my relatives and yes of course, eating. But I wanted this time around to be different.

Spending too much time in the metropolis just, kills. I wasn’t a shriveled prune yet from all the hustle and bustle of the city, but my soul just wanted to feel alive again. Free of routines, free of rules and free of all the rushing. I sought to find peace, to find – something.

All set and packed with a last minute plane ticket, a pair of rubber shoes, a hand-drawn map of our itinerary and a head full of hopes, we boarded the plane and on to Legazpi we go!

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A sketch of our itinerary (not drawn to scale)

 


Quitinday Hills, Camalig Albay

Upon reaching the hills, there was quite a drizzle causing the soil to be quite a challenge to walk on, especially this being an uphill climb. The weather wasn’t ideal (of course, this was expected travelling during low-season), but the view was spectacular nonetheless. The view was most beautiful upon reaching the first hill.

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For the brief moments spent atop Quitinday Hills, I breathed more than just fresh air. Within me came an overwhelming sense of awe for all the beauty I didn’t know I’ve been missing out on for so long. Looking at the 360 degree embrace of nature, there was no better feeling but to know that there’s so much more just waiting to be seen.


Sumlang Lake, Camalig, Albay

After a quick lunch at one of the best places for PINANGAT (A native dish made from Gabi Leaves and Coconut Milk), we headed on to Sumlang Lake. Pleased that the rain stopped and Mt. Mayon finally came out to say hello.

I believe it’s just beautiful how the land and the sky meet to form such a sight.

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Sumlang Lake


Cagsawa Ruins, Albay

We headed on towards the ever-so famous tourist destination in Bicol, the Cagsawa Ruins. Just imagine how much history this site holds!

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From where I stand : CAGSAWA GROUNDS

Okay I guess I have to explain why the photo below was one of my favorites (aside from Mayon photobombing quite nicely).

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Mayon ATV Experience

I am an introvert, shy, reserved and I often keep my opinions to myself (whether or not I believe it will win the argument). I was brought up that way, and I guess it came to mold the person I am now. I believe time is gold, and would never spare a second to be idle. I work from 7:30am to 8pm these days. Thus, I can be quite the control freak when it comes to planning, wanting everything ironed out, neat, tidy and on-the-dot. Sometimes I can shift from happy to angry in a snap, yes, the little things can unsettle me in ways. I am uptight, never bending my own rules and being an INFJ – I’m a downright walking contradiction. (Read more about personality traits here: INFJ PERSONALITY)

I started out scared as hell as I’ve never been lucky when it comes to vehicles (I crashed a car once, and it’s traumatizing). But ten minutes later, I revved up the engine wanting to go faster! (P.S. I was trying so hard not to overtake our guide).

Kidding aside, this short trip made me find myself. By “finding oneself” I mean to say: to know oneself better, to find one’s strengths and weaknesses and to love oneself a little more. This was the first time in a long time when I actually let loose and go wild.

I knew this trip was definitely unlike any other. With no final schedules of our own, driving on unknown roads, battling the moody weather and facing full uncertainty, it added to the thrill of what the journey brings.


Vera Falls, Malinao, Albay

The journey to Vera Falls was quite an adventure! The road reached a dead end, where the bridges were destroyed by the recent floods in Malinao. The locals were so kind to volunteer to get us to Vera Falls. I felt a rush of excitement as we hitched a ride with them on their motorbike up the lofty hills and through the quiet town.

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The rapids.

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It took less than thirty minutes to reach the falls, and behold the roar of the water came to welcome us to one of the hidden gems in Bicol.

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You know when you’re happy, when it’s not your lips that do the smiling, but your heart. Being happy is rare for me, but that’s what I felt as I sat there. Enjoying a dip in the cool water, smelling the freshness of nature, listening to the joyful chirping of the birds, and watching the violent cascade of the water.

Nature truly holds a cure for the city-living, it heals all the senses and revitalizes the mind. It shows us how simple life should be, and how difficult we all choose to make it.

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In this Bicol adventure, I found a piece of myself. One where I learned to embrace the uncertain, let loose and live one day at a time.

 

 

XO,

Pearl


 


I’ve been reading through “Steal Like an Artist” (Austin Kleon) this February, and came across an enlightening tip for creatives. Here’s an excerpt that inspired me to get up and go.

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RULE # 8 : GEOGRAPHY IS NO LONGER OUR MASTER

LEAVE HOME.

“At some point when you can do it, you have too leave home… Your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings.”

“You need to make it uncomfortable. You need to spend time in another land, among people that do things different than you.Travel makes the world look new, and when the world look new, our brains work harder.”

“It helps to live around interesting people, and not necessarily people who do what you do. You have to find a place that feeds you – creatively, socially, spiritually and literally.”

“Distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything.” -Jonah Lehrer

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Motivational, Random, Thoughts

2015 Wanderlust

Hello everyone!

How time flies! It’s been such a long time since I last wrote. December has been a month for last-minute 2015 memories and adventures, for me. Oh! Before I forget, I’d like to take this chance and this post to greet you all (albeit very late) a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 🙂

Before 2015 came to a close, we figured it would be a wonderful way to end the year with new memories. I thought it would be a good time to refer to my bucket list!

One of the few items on it are:

  • A visit to the Pinto Art Museum
  • Relaxed brunch at Rustic Mornings by Isabelo.

…and so we became adventurers!

The abundance of malls in Manila get tiresome after a while. Being a nature person, the city scene not quite the place to be. So we set out on an adventure, in search for a quiet respite from city living.

The one and a half hour (WAZE-less) drive to Antipolo became worth it, after witnessing the beauty of the Pinto Art Museum.

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Captivated by the rustic and mysterious ambiance of the museum.

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The building housing ancient Filipino sculptures and figures.

Situated among hectares of lush greenery, the small buildings’ architecture is reminiscent to that of Santorini.

 

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A little church, beautiful both inside and out.

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Yup, I’m particularly fond of this balcony! You could see the entire place from high up. You don’t see this much greenery in the city. Nature lovers, this is the place to be.

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The museum holds endless artworks from various Filipino artists: Paintings, String art, Installations and Sculptures. I stand in awe, marveling at the beauty that human hands can create.

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My comedian over here…

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..and my emotions right there.

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The biggest painting I have ever laid my eyes on. Beautiful. Amazing.

 

A stroll through the museum was an adventure in itself, by the end of the tour, our stomachs were begging for a good meal!

So, I thought of the second item on my bucket list, Rustic Mornings!

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Artsy-fartsy friends, this is the perfect place for a quiet brunch. 🙂

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I don’t normally take photos of food, do you think I should start to? I suppose the food and the ambiance here, is something that would be best experienced first hand. 😉

2015 did end wonderfully, in the presence of both friends and family. These two places topped it off really well, too. The year has been full of both laughter and sadness, both trials and victories too. With new memories and new lessons learned last 2015, I can’t even begin to imagine what 2016 has in store for me.

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There is always beauty for those who take time to look around. It’s still a lesson for me to learn to see the beauty in everything. It takes practice, it may even takes years, but when our eyes are open, I believe life CAN really be pretty amazing.

Cheers to new adventures this 2016.

Until next time!

 

XO,

Pearl

 

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Motivational, My Life Story, Products

Find Beauty Among the Ruins

Last summer, I went on a journey to explore the beautiful country of Greece. Little did I know that I would be overwhelmed with how seamlessly ancient ruins could weave itself beautifully into the fabric of modern Greek society.

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The majestic temple of Zeus standing tall and proud in the heart of Athens. Just look at how those columns have stood the test of time. Imagine how every piece have been put together by the ancient Greeks. It never ceases to amaze me.

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At Syntagma Square with these hungry pigeons.This first stop was followed by a magnificent trip to learn the history of the Acropolis Stadium. This was just my first glimpse of Greece.

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We were walking around the city of Athens during the first day and I couldn’t help asking: “What’s that structure on top of the hill?” My question was answered the next day when we climbed up to see that what is there is so much more than what I had expected.

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Seen from the city is Acropolis, the highest point of Athens. Beautiful isn’t it?

Sometimes in life, you can’t see the breathtaking view until you muster the courage to climb the mountain.

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During our day-trip, we ventured on a boat ride to see the different islands surrounding Greece. One of them is this quaint island called Hydra. This little island is a town in itself, with little shops and cafes near the water. What’s fascinating is that the townspeople here have donkeys to get around, nope, no cars!

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This breathtaking view where the sky meets the beautiful Greek dome-shaped architecture was taken from the island of Santorini. We stayed here a couple of days, and if I could, I would’ve stayed much longer. There were numerous mini-shops greeting passersby along the alley, from nifty book nooks to one-of-a-kind trinket stores.

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The town of Nafplio. Bustling with life through it’s diversity in art, music and delicacies.

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I love the bliss whenever I draw my adventures on my journal. It helps me remember not only the place, but also the little memories that come with my travels. When I look back, it’s the little moments that touch my heart to this day. Such as the time my mom and I shared a large Greek pretzel-like dessert, the ice cream cone I had in Athens despite the biting cold winds or the fact that not a day goes by without a serving of delicious Greek yogurt (yummy!), and the time when I looked down from the highest peak of Greece and thought to myself:

“All these man-made bricks, statues and temples  are truly majestic, but nothing compares to the beauty of nature that my God has surrounded it all with”.

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I am often asked how I find time to draw during these trips. Despite the hustle and bustle during the morning tours, I try to find time to relax in a cafe as a short pit-stop to write down the events that happened during the day. Always remember to write down the important details, you can sketch them later in the evening (if you aren’t too tired!)IMG_4458

The Greeks have a habit of drinking Frappe every now and then. I find that I also belong to this place where it is bursting with art, history, culture…and yes, coffee!

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The mystical trail of Delphi, after a hike atop the mountains of Greece.

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The Dyonisus Theater. It’s size and design is jaw-droppingly (if that is even a word) – incredible! It may be huge, but dropping a coin or stomping your feet at the center circle of the theater can be heard throughout the entire stadium.

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For those who are wondering, what is Greek food like? Three words. Fresh, Simple, Flavorful. This is my favorite, which I have learned to make at home. The Traditional Greek Salad. (Bell Peppers, Onions, Lettuce, Olives, EVOO, Tomatoes and Cucumbers, Generously topped with Feta Cheese!)

Aside from the Greek Salad, I have enjoyed the Greek Yogurt, to which none can compare. Not a day passed in Greece without us having a portion of this!

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Travelling is a perfect opportunity to experience something new. I give myself time to think when I travel, knowing that the adventure that lies ahead is so much greater than what I have left behind. It’s such a memorable experience when you put your thoughts and emotions down on paper, because every step of the journey is an adventure.

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I’m opening classes once more for a basic lettering workshop, and since vacation is just around the corner, I thought a travel journal would be perfect! If you’d like to learn the art of handlettering and how to start your own travel journal, you can

Register for the workshop here:

2015 TRAVEL JOURNAL WORKSHOP

Hope to see you soon!

Say yes to new adventures. 🙂

*All photos taken with an iPhone5

XO,

stamp design

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Products, Tips and Tricks

Tools of the Trade (Features and Reviews)

Hello everyone!

I’ve been having a lot of inquiries regarding the materials I use for my art and lettering. This has inspired me to create a blog post for the materials I’ve tried throughout my journey. These pens, inks and watercolors are truly portable little rainbows that have brought much color into my life!


 

PENS

FILED NEOFINE FINELINER

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Review:

The Filed NeoFine Fineliner Set is truly a box of rainbows. Here is an artwork I made with the fineliners. The tip of these pens (0.40mm) enabled smooth writing and doodling. However because these pens are water based, make sure you don’t keep coloring / shading on the same areas as the ink will seep through the back of the paper (I used 80gsm paper). Using thicker surfaces such as vellum and 100+gsm might work better with this water-based pen. Overall, it’s perfect for note-taking in class. I’m sure I’d write with this in school to keep my notes fun and colorful!

 


 

BRUSH PENS

TOKYO FINDS BRUSH PEN

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Review:

These bright-colored pens are dual-tipped. It’s versatility makes it the perfect go-to for calligraphy and lettering.The two tips give an advantage for shading in large areas (brush tip) and for creating details too (slim tip). The ink is bright and not too thick that it would seep through the paper.

Shop: TOKYO FINDS

MARVY LE PLUME BRUSH PEN

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Review:

The Le Plume brush pen possesses a lighter hue compared to others. The ink is pretty thick and more water-based than most, it will seep through thin paper. Though I love the way it slides through the paper smoothly, and how closely it resembles the feel of using an actual brush.


MARKERS

SHARPIE FINE POINT

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Review:

One of my favorite brands! The all-around marker! These markers provide bold and bright colors, perfect for the creative at heart. Best to use thicker boards or paper, and all other non-porous surfaces when using Sharpie.

DONG-A PLAYON

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Review:

Although not the typical artist go-to, I love the black (twin tip) marker of Dong-A. I used this one for outlining and for shading, more often than not for my watercolor illustrations and lettering works.

ZEBRA MILDLINER

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Review:

This one is meant to be a highlighter, but I always find a different purpose for my coloring materials. I bought mine from Japan.


WATERCOLORS

KOI WATERCOLOR

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Review:

I love, love, love my koi watecolor set. Although it’s a bit more costly, it’s a purchase I didn’t regret. The colors are bold and bright, just the way I like my palette. The watercolors are concentrated as well, use sparingly for softer tones.

KURETAKE GANSAI TAMBI

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Review:

I knew I should’ve bought myself a set of these during my trip to Japan last year! Luckily my boyfriend got this for me as a birthday surprise. The palette is very concentrated, meaning you can use just a little and have a solid texture.

PRANG WATERCOLOR

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Review:

The most affordable and has found it’s way to be called the “sweet” watercolor. Why sweet? It’s thick consistency makes the colors bold and bright. The watercolor has a syrupy thickness when added with a little water. Most people say that ants keep finding their way to their Prang palettes. Despite all that, yes, it’s also an artist’s must-have.

Shop: National Bookstore


FOUNTAIN PENS

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Review:

My first ever fountain pen. Also a gift from my boyfriend when he came back from Germany almost a year ago. I love that they have branches here in the Philippines so you could simply buy the refills (it comes in lots of different colors too! Next time I’ll try the neon yellow!).

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Review:

Very handy and writes smoothly. The tip is smaller than the usual fountain pen, but it’s the perfect travel fountain pen. I got mine from Japan and took home a couple of refills too, just in case I don’t get to visit Japan anytime soon!


For a complete list of tech-pens that I use, you can visit my other blog post about them here:

TOOLS OF THE TRADE (Part 1)


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Motivational, My Life Story, Thoughts

Find the Blessing in Everything

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It troubles me, how to begin this post.

How can I give something I don’t have? How could I share a lesson I have not yet fully learned?

How does one learn the value of finding the blessing in everything?

In our lives, there comes a time when we find ourselves in the wilderness. This is when we constantly search for answers, hoping to finding the road map to teach us which way to go next. Oftentimes we travel, hoping that time away from the city would clear our thoughts. We try to unplug and disconnect from social media, expecting that distance from our outside noise would enable us to focus better. We think we finally have what we’ve wanted – TIME: Time to rediscover ourselves, time to do what we love and time to think things through.

Sometimes this is enough to find our way back.

But sometimes it’s not.

No matter what you do, no matter how much time you have in your hands, things still don’t seem to make sense. It’s never a pleasant experience – because it isn’t meant to be one. It means it’s time to learn a new lesson; one we could not learn on our own.

For a couple of weeks now, the Lord has been teaching me this valuable lesson:

When you find yourself in the wilderness, when God is silent, when nothing you do seems to help you get back on track…

When life is as dry and hopeless as the desert, learn to rejoice even for a single drop of rain.

In the midst of crossroads and confusion, learn to be thankful when there is nowhere to go but down on your knees in prayer.

Everyone around you may have left your side, but don’t forget to look up because you are never truly, completely, alone.

Trials and temptations that meet you along the way may be difficult to overcome, but know that it is never impossible.

Closed doors and missed opportunities are certainly not dead ends, rather see them as blessings in disguise.

Your mind may be filled with doubts and fears, learn to find rest in the Lord, when did He not guide you through?

Stay strong as you journey through the wilderness.

Be an optimist. Learn to find the blessing in everything.

“Cast all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

READ MORE: God Accomplishes What Concerns You

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Motivational, My Life Story, Thoughts

Passion & Profession

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I’m utterly and indescribably thankful for how far the Lord has brought SnapperDoodles in a span of one year. When I left corporate, I never would have thought that passion, when pursued could open so many doors and unexplored possibilities.

On April 19, 2015 (Sunday), the article about how SnapperDoodles began was out on the newspaper! I recalled the events leading to this opportunity and I can only say one thing: “God is Good!”


Passion & Profession

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Pearlyn Choco, creator of SnapperDoodles Design and owner of Tiny Treasures PH, documents her thoughts and musings through typography and doodling.


MANILA, Philippines – It has been said that when you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

This rings true with 22-year-old Pearlyn Choco, the lady behind the well-loved Instagram account @snapperdoodles where she documents her thoughts and musings through  typography and doodling. This journey later on became her ticket to going full-time as an artist.

Pearl, who is also the creator of Snapperdoodles Design and owner of Tiny Treasures PH, found her passion in lettering, art and design. With her unique works posted on Instagram, she generated more than 14,000 followers in just 10 months. Pearl now continues to showcase her distinctive artistry online and social media platforms.

A petite lady with a contagious sweet smile, Pearl carries a reserved and innocent vibe. But the moment she opens herself up, one will see a strong and motivated person ready to tackle life’s challenges.

Pearl grew up in an environment where financial stability and security are viewed with high regard. So in college, she took up Management of Financial Institutions at De La Salle University. Even before she graduated, Pearl found a job at a multi-national company where she worked hard sticking to the “corporate routine.” A couple of months later, she left for another banking career but again, the 9 to 5 job didn’t allow her to have creative freedom. This fueled her desire to explore the field of arts more. So she mustered all her courage and decided to exchange the security of a stable employment for a chance to start fresh and become a freelance artist. “I took the matter to prayer and fasting because I was so desperate to find my purpose in life,” says Pearl.

SnapperDoodles, which Pearl personally defines as her life in snaps (photography) and doodles (typography), became her way of giving glory to God through the talent and skill He has given her.

In just a few months, Pearl was able to launch her own product lines, participate in bazaars and conduct basic typography workshops. Through her art, Pearl has inspired a handful of individuals to explore their own artistic sides while working on wonderful collaborative works with people whom she shares the same passion with. “If you think you can’t do something, you really wouldn’t be able to accomplish it. I was like that before but I learned to choose to think otherwise,” she explains.

Pearl finds beauty in simplicity, which is evident in her art. Lines, curves and a bit of color here and there reflects her simple personality. Like her art, Pearl believes that every girl is beautiful the way she is. “Nobody is perfect, and that’s one thing to accept,” she assures.

For Pearl, a confident woman is a beautiful woman but a little help from one’s trusted makeup brand doesn’t hurt. She uses Careline products to prep up and complete her look.

Starting with the face, Pearl uses Careline BB Cream as a base to hide imperfections and keeps skin fresh-looking. This BB Cream has three shades — Natural, Fresh and Nude — that perfectly matches the Filipina skin tone.

Pearl emphasizes her beautiful eyes using the Careline Color Pencil. Formulated to glide on smoothly, it can be smudged for a soft smoky effect or to create bold lines that will make the eyes pop.

Finally, Pearl opts for a soft natural flush using the Careline Oil Control Blush-on. It comes in 10 shades that will match her day-to-day activities.

“I believe that makeup helps enhance our beauty. Simple makeup helps us stand out,” Pearl adds.

As someone whose confidence shines through her simple, unique personality, Pearl is a good role model to teens who are finding their own place in the world. Through her experience, Pearl leaves a strong message to teens, “Do not live for other people’s approval or conform to someone else’s standards. Instead of hiding behind insecurities, find what you are best at and shine,” she says.

Looking back, Pearl is thankful for being part of the corporate world where she learned many things, acknowledging that it was a stepping stone to her higher purpose in life. “By the grace of God SnapperDoodles came to be and thank God my mission on earth has begun,” Pearl concludes.

Photography by Mot Rasay • Makeup by Mary Jane Arpa of Ever Bilena Cosmetics • Clothes by Jellybean

LINK TO THE ARTICLE: Passion and Profession


Here are some behind the scenes photos of the shoot with Ever Bilena for The Philippine Star’s Allure.

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It has been such a memorable experience, being interviewed by a fellow Christian too! It made us both so happy to see how God works amazingly in people’s lives. Getting all dressed up is definitely something new to me as well because I don’t normally wear anything as fancy as these!

Maybe I should start doing so now? 🙂

Amidst prosperity and loss,

Successes and trials,

There is only one thing that remains true:

God is Good!

XO,

stamp design

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Motivational, Random, Thoughts, Uncategorized

SnapperDoodles Studio

 

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Whew February has been such a whirlwind of adventures!

Admittedly, I haven’t had much time to create new lettering artworks nowadays, so I figured I might post something different!

Recently, in an interview, I’ve been asked about what it’s like working in a “different” setting. It gave me an idea to give a quick tour around here! Oh! Just in case you were wondering, it’s not a legit “studio”, it’s just my happy place, my work space a.k.a the attic.

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When I began the design for the studio, I couldn’t stick with one theme        for my room. I wanted something modern, yet I also tend to go for a        more rustic feel. I have a thing for florals and pastels, but white seemed        to be a “cleaner” alternative. There are so many things I wanted for a      space to call my own, but because of my indecisiveness, eventually I    stopped thinking about how to do it, and just let the room transform     itself.

Being the DIY-er that I am, I wanted to repaint my boring black swivel   chair. I chose bright yellow as it matches my closet (not shown in photos).     I thought it might look cute with a little “drippy” ice cream effect on the    top.

 

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When we started renovating the house, my old room was turned into an office so I had to share a room with my siblings. It took half a year before the portion of the attic was completed. For the longest time, I’ve always wanted  white wall where I could stick colorful postcards and artworks. Here it finally is, my own inspiration wall. 🙂 The best part about it is how it began as a bare, white wall and is constantly growing into a colorful mosaic of memories.

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My work space pretty much looks like this on most days. Notebooks scattered everywhere. I have several notebooks that I use on a daily basis: Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Planner, Muji notebook and a To-Do List Notebook. I’m such an OC freak, I don’t think I can survive working without planners, post-it’s, calendars and lists!

Music. My work area is never complete without some tunes. Nope, my bluetooth speaker isn’t top of the line or anything, but I’m happy with what I’ve got. Spotify is another creative workplace staple.

Why do I have so many pen holders? I segregate my brushes, tech pens and colored pens. I’m OC that way. Haha!

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Aside from the notebooks I use everyday, I have some lined up on my table, too.

From left to right: Unlined Floral Notebook (Paper St. Ph), Pink Daycraft Notebook, Unlined Journal (Sketchnotes), Dotted Spring Notebook (Muji), Eiffel Tower Travel Notebook (Gift) and Floral Hardbound Journal (Gift).

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I saw the tiny macaron photo holder while browsing through a store the other day. It was pricey for such a little thing, but it was so cute, I couldn’t resist!

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I designed this shelf myself, its construction took a while, but it was definitely worth the wait. I just wanted a place where I could store little, yet significant mementos. The little cat figurines are from my recent trip to Japan. The blue Eiffel Tower on the upper shelf is from Paris.  The porcelain cupcake is a memory from my first job after graduation. Next to this is a mini canvas which I bought from Guam, the brown bracelet hanging from it is a handmade craft from Istorya. Last but not the least, the Instax on the topmost shelf was a gift from someone close to my heart.

My attic isn’t the best “studio” there is, but it’s what I’ve got and it’s my own happy place. It took a while to bring together, but it made me learn to value the PROCESS that had brought it to its completion. When life seems like a bare, white wall, trust the process and see how things will unfold in His perfect time. Life has been teaching me the value of PATIENCE these days, but I’ll save that for a different post. 🙂

There is no such thing as a messy workplace. If that is where you are comfortable, where you feel most free to be yourself and to spread your wings, that is YOUR creative space, let no one take that freedom from you.

Related article:

10 Messy Desks of Successful People

 

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