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,

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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!).

PILOT PETIT

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

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,

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Motivational, My Life Story, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Three Months to Go

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It is when your days are numbered that you begin to hold on to what little time you have left, savoring every minute, and making the most out of every millisecond.

As I was walking home from a client meeting, my thoughts went back to the three months I have left. Although I am ready to return to the office life, I still have many thoughts as to whether or not this is where I truly belong. It has been a wonderful experience, my one-year with Snapperdoodles. If I hadn’t left the corporate world, I might have a sum of disposable income in my hands, but I asked myself one question that justified my decision: After all that you have experienced since you started SnapperDoodles, would you trade it for the amount of income you would have earned if you stayed in the office? I stopped and thought about it, and here is my answer:

“Over the one-year period, there had been so many things I never would have had the chance to experience had I not taken the leap of faith to pursue my passions – full time. Since June when I began, I mustered the courage to go beyond my comfort zone, being the wallflower that I am, I was able to conduct workshops and enjoy the company of new people, I have met fellow artists who are tremendously talented, I have made collaborations with various organizations, by the grace of God He has helped me launch my own product lines such as postcards, stickers and tote bags and I have been able to help people through the verses and quotes I write about on Instagram. I would never trade all these for a large sum of money. The definition of success varies for different people, and to me it’s about being able to turn your passion into something more, being able to live for something above yourself and glorifying God in everything you do.”

I’ve had many people say how brave it was that I have decided to pursue a full-time freelance career. I’d like to take this chance to say that it was one of the most difficult choices I’ve had to make in life. Growing up in a Chinese family, it was never, and is still NOT what parents would have in mind for their daughter. I’d say I’m pretty reckless and unconventional, all this and more, but nothing close to brave.

They say that when it is God’s will, everything will just fall into place. I am a witness of this reality and I am not ashamed to declare that my life is a proof of God’s unending faithfulness.

 

Three months left, but I know God’s work in my life won’t end there.

It takes a lot to jump out one’s comfort zone, but trust that where God leads, there He will surely provide.

Press on in faith,

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Motivational, My Life Story, Thoughts

Nowhere Else I’d Rather Be

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I have a friend who is going through a difficult stage in life right now, one with much sorrow and heartache – but a pain that is necessary nonetheless. I’ve been through the same thing two years ago in December, when the person I held dear left me in the pit of despair. That is why I’m secretly afraid of  January 1st, because that New Year’s Eve, was the loneliest day of my life. During those dark days, I sat and cried, asking God “Why” this happened and “What” I could have done to avoid it or just to have another chance. I didn’t find solace in the comfort of my friends, but rather, found it in the loving arms of my parents, whom I have rebelled against during my teen years.

Despite the feeling of having my heart ripped, trampled on, crushed and abandoned, I praise and thank God for that humbling experience. All my life I’ve been looking for the kind of love we read about in novels. I thought that by finding someone, it would help me find happiness. I went in and out of relationships, eventually realizing:

“Why did I end up exactly where I started… and worse?”

It’s both funny and wonderful how God gives us trials to wake us up and get us out of the cycle, at one point or another.

A few years have passed, and I’m here: Writing a blog post about the excruciating and indescribable pain of heart breaks, creating artworks for Him, living each day by faith and proud to be SINGLE. I’ve had enough of finding a little fling, no more commitments because of the butterflies in my stomach and it’s the end of finding happiness in the wrong places. I’ll keep my ears closed from empty words, and my eyes open for actions that speak much louder. Ladies, don’t ever lower your standards, stand by what you want in a man, and wait… Wait patiently.  The best things in life could take a while, well, isn’t true love worth the wait? Why risk your heart going through all that pain again?

Don’t over-analyze, we’re not Sherlock and enough with the guesswork. If a man loves you truly and faithfully, you WILL know. Don’t settle to be someone’s “Maybe“.

And most of all, don’t stop praying for God’s Best in your life. Aim to be nowhere else, but in the center of His will. 🙂 Trust me, this place is AMAZING.

 

For everyone who is hurting inside, may this song help you soar higher than the height you’ve fallen: Life Me Up

 You lift me up when I am weak
Your arms wrap around me
Your love catches me so I’m letting go
You lift me up when I can’t see
Your heart is all that I need
Your love carries me so I’m letting go

XO,

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Motivational, Thoughts

Live with Passion

Last month I had a workshop with Mariane from Drawn to Life. In her I saw the person I was two years ago. Back then I kept my artworks a secret, I avoided drawing while people watched over my shoulder and I never thought it would be something that would come to define me someday. I don’t know her entire life story, but from what I see, Marian had so much talent and all that was needed is to bring it out of the box. One of my blog posts last August was dedicated to her, as well as other artists who are shy about showing the world how much they are truly capable of.

Today, I’m featuring her amazing artwork and review of the SnapperDoodles workshop. I can’t be more proud to see her finally coming out of her shell and shining like the star that she is! Thank you so much for all your time and effort here, Marian!

One of the many reasons I’m excited to have my workshops, first and foremost is because of the people I meet. I love the fact that art brings so many people, from different places, different personalities, stories and experiences, together. I may not be the best art teacher in the world, but I give what I can give, freely just like He did. 🙂

For everyone out there who is afraid to show their passion.. you’ll never know how far you will go, if you don’t try. I’m not prompting anyone to leave their day jobs like I did, (not the best route to take, honestly!) but I promised myself one year for SnapperDoodles; if all else fails, I would be glad that I got rid of the “what if’s” that have been haunting me. The future might be uncertain, but maybe we should just ride the waves and make the most out of each day.

Don’t fear. Live one day at a time.

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Be brave!

XO,

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For more adorable doodle diaries by Marian, visit:
Drawn to Life Blog : drawntolifeblog.tumblr.com
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My Life Story, Random, Thoughts

A Year of Many Firsts

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I’ve been posting this photo on my social networking accounts because it is another first for me this 2014. I only ever share the whole story here on my blog. 🙂

Two days ago, I was at home and a thought randomly came to mind:

“It is in my hands to give it my very best in every project I do. But it is up to the Lord how He will bless the business.”

A few hours later, Joanna of Istorya referred me to a news channel to be featured in one of their segments. After a brief phone call with the channel representative, I was all nervous and being the wallflower that I am, I wanted to back out of the spotlight. Now, who wouldn’t want to be on television to bask in that few minutes of fame? Me.

I’ve been a wallflower for as long as I could remember. No, I didn’t hate the spotlight, it’s just uncomfortable having all eyes on me, all attention focused on what I do and what I say. I have been too used to working behind-the-scenes, during class projects I would do the artwork and have someone else discuss, during gatherings I would sit and watch other people mingle, all my life I was an observer. It has been a fear for me ever since high school, living too long in the background has it’s disadvantages, evidently.

Don’t worry, I’ve also asked myself how crazy I would be if I didn’t take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But what kept me from letting this pass was this simple thought:

“Pearl, when will you step out of that comfort zone? The fear, the anxiety you feel right now isn’t what matters. Rather, it is how you would feel AFTER.”

The day came and I was nervous beyond belief! Imagine a fish leaving the water, or a vampire going into the light or something! After a short chat with the interviewer, my nerves calmed a little, it was fun sharing my life and the story behind SnapperDoodles (though not as elaborate as my first post on this blog).

 

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True enough, the shoot went far better than I had expected. Sure, I stuttered A LOT, lost for words A LOT, and I probably mumbled and rambled on A LOT, which was embarrassing (for the lack of a better term). But all in all I praise God for another new experience this 2014. It is the THIRD month of SnapperDoodles and TinyTreasuresPH but for all that has happened, and all that will happen, I can only give all the glory to Him.

It brings me great joy right now, to remember once again the promise He gave me:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Life will definitely have ups and downs, but you gotta hold on tight for the ride by holding on to THE Promise. 🙂

Praise God!

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My Life Story

When God Gives Surprises

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Every new year, I dread seeing the clock strike 12:00AM and the fireworks don’t add to the appeal of “new beginnings”. It’s a phobia I have, January 1. I don’t really know what caused it, the fact that everything is made new, a chance to start over, false resolutions make me want to hide in my hermit hole and wait for the celebrations to pass.

A few days ago I’ve been having doubts with my future and my career. Life just becomes so much more complicated without the support of the ones dearest to me. I told myself I would begin fasting again because I needed to refocus and find my path once again.

I was surprised when I wrote the date on my journal, I realized I that the day started fasting was September 1st. I wrote a list of things I will be asking and praying for during the fast, one of which is my future. Being used to having every single detail of my day planned out, thoughts of the unknown future just scare me.

Reading through the Bible that morning, I praise God for the comfort of His words that came at the perfect time:

…we do not lose heart” -2 Cor 4:1

 

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed,but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” -2 Cor 4:8

 

Therefore we do not lose heart.” -2 Cor 4:16

Do not lose heart” turned up twice in the passage. Have you ever had that feeling of amazement? How things feel like a mini-coincidence but it never is? Well my story doesn’t end here.

Many months ago, I’ve been looking for someone in the Philippines who could make me a stainless steel ring with my life verse engraved inside. Most of those I have asked offered PHP 12,000 which was way beyond my budget, so I let that little thought go knowing I couldn’t afford such a pricey item. (I’m not the richest artist of course!) A couple of weeks later I offered to do a free lettering art for Istorya, who I found on Instagram. Joanna offered to make me one from her shop in return 🙂 I was so thankful that when the door for a personalized ring was closed, a new window of blessing came so I could have my life verse written on an accessory (and I didn’t have to shell out 12K!), God is amazing in many, many ways!

On September 1st, the package from Istorya came, just when I started my fasting, and exactly when I had some doubts about my future.

 

On the front is my name… and engraved at the back is my life verse. This would have been enough to surprise me…
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But God has something amazing (yet again) up His sleeve. Joanna from Istorya even gave me a handmade bookmark from her shop, with my life verse as well!

During the time of doubt, God reminds me with this verse on the bookmark:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

When God gives promises, it is essential to claim it and believe it, lest you fall into doubt like I did.

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On September 1st, SnapperDoodles finally moved in to the new attic-studio! After a year of waiting and seven hours of re-organizing, I finally have a place to call my own. It isn’t the perfect artsy-space yet, I know, but I believe the inspiration wall on my desk here will grow eventually! 🙂 The day ended with a simple family house-warming party with a bottle of Pepsi and some Vegetarian Chips haha! The last surprise were some house-warming gifts from my lovely parents, the flower on the photo is one of them. It’s a treasure, especially for a flower-lover like myself.

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During the Chrissy Costanza concert last August 30, out of nowhere a still, small voice asked me this one, simple question:

“Are you ready?”

Until today I don’t know what that was really about, love life, career, a new challenge to face, but maybe, just maybe… It might have meant if I’m ready for a new beginning.

Being through rough waters two years ago, this new room felt like a new beginning. Because of January 1st’s, I’ve never been a fan of “starting fresh”. But today is a day I live to embrace, the newness of it all, the unknown future as well as the wonderful  feeling TRUTH of being loved so dearly by God.

Oh September 1 has been a day of many surprises! I tell you, when God gives surprises, He gives it abundantly. Don’t worry about the closed doors in the past, look forward to the day when He leads you to the right door, there lies blessings in abundance.

 

Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

 

Maybe new beginnings aren’t so bad after all?

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Istorya :  Facebook Profile

SnapperDoodles : Instagram

 

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Motivational

When did He Go Wrong?

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It’s funny how old songs never fail to touch hearts sometimes. Yesterday, this unfamiliar song “Trust His Heart” has got me listening intently to the lyrics….

The past week has been terrible, with lots of thoughts eating away my hope for SnapperDoodles. I thought of how my works are nothing compared to the light of other artist’s successes. I felt like I haven’t been doing good enough on my workshops. I didn’t think I could get through this one-year promise anymore because of all the challenges of being a full time artist. This is the danger when one is a thinker; definitely prone to overthinking.

When the message of the song slowly became clear, I felt my resolve begin to crumble.

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don’t understand
When don’t see his plan
When you can’t trace his hand
Trust His Heart

Full lyrics HERE

It’s amazing how God chose us, though not always the affluent, nor the most influential. To have someone Who sees how much we are capable of doing someday. It is not a mistake that He chose us, we are worth something, and born for a purpose. Sometimes we are led to the narrow road, but always be sure that He knows what He is doing. Life’s roads may get rough, but rest in the promise that He has only the best in store for us.

Look on ahead.

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