Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cross the Stitch

Angel of Hope, finished May 19, 2013
I learned how to cross-stitch when I was in grade 4 when our home economics class made us accomplish our respective samplers based on the different cross-stitches taught by the teacher. But my sisters and I really got into it when we were in college/working already but stopped when it became too much for us to maintain.

I started the piece on the left towards the end of 2008 when I was nearing my pregnancy term and re-discovered it when I was nesting. It took some time before I was able to finish it as I stopped for awhile as I went back to school and was busy taking care of my son. However, I recently discovered my cross-stitch stuff early this year and resolved to finish it. I finally did last May and it was a great achievement. Actually, the point I finished something is an achievement already. I've always struggled with "Ningas Kugon" while growing up so finishing something means a great deal to me.

When I posted this pic in my facebook page, my mom asked for it and I readily gave it to her. She told me that she already has a place of honor for it in her house and will no doubt make a good conversation piece for her visitors. My mom has always been proud of my crafts and I remember her displaying that doilies that I did back when I was in high school.

This somehow encouraged me to try other pieces and to be not content in just stitching relatively small pieces. I then searched for my next project.

I read that DMC partnered with the estate of Amorsolo and painter Baldemor to transform their artworks into cross-stitch patterns. The pattern on the right caught my eye as it's quite colorful. It's a painting done by Baldemor of the famous Pahiyas festival at Quezon province. The colors are just so vivid and it definitely translated itself well in the threads that are to be used. When finished, the whole thing will measure 26.0" x 20.0" probably my biggest piece so far.

I did not hesitate in buying the complete set and though it was rather pricey, I did not mind as I do not relish going back to the craft store buying threads. There's no store near our office or house so hopefully the threads I bought are enough.

Here's a recent picture taken of what I have accomplished so far. The pattern is divided into 9 frames and this is barely half of the frame that I'm doing right now. I estimate that this will take me almost a year to do considering I only have an hour or two everyday just to do this. I returned to teaching and that will take much of time already.

I still have to figure out what will I do with it after I'm done. The lady at the craft shop said I can sell it. In fact, one was sold for P10K! Not bad considering the initial investment on the materials is P2K. But the labor that will be put into it is price enough. I should probably price it to what I earn per hour and compute the total number of hours I spent making it. I have probably invested more than 12 hours based on the recent picture (sigh). I doubt though that somebody will buy it based on that computation. :) 

Make-up Love Affair

I never thought I'd say this but I love make-up. When I was in my formative years, I abhorred the idea of slathering on make-up. I would find it a waste of my time in sitting down in front of a mirror prettifying myself when I can spend that same amount of time reading a book or playing games. Even when I started working, my beauty regimen would consist of moisturizer and if I remember to do so, sunblock.

I would say that I only started my love affair with make-up was when I left my job at a multi-national company and started work at a local bank. One of my colleagues was a former schoolmate in high school and apparently is a big fan of cosmetics. I would sit with her watch her as she puts on her daily make-up early at work. I would spend more time with my high school bestfriend where she further enhanced my basic make-up education where she passed off the stuff that she learned with me. The rest I learned from youtube and constant practice.

Nowadays, people at work would find it an oddity if they catch me without any make-up on. I also managed to work up the courage to put on my own make-up in some of the formal events that I attended. Fortunately, it brought on positive comments but I would still find something lacking when I would look at the pictures. Suddenly, the hours that I spend in the front of the mirror seem worth it.

Here are a sample of my works. Of course, I can only put make-up on myself but still lack the courage on trying my skill on other people.

Leader's Night 2013 Make-up (Feb 16, 2013)
First picture on the right was my most recent attempt. It was taken last February 16, 2013 for an office event. I still have to master the contouring thing as my nose still looks huge. Also, I was trying a different style for my eyes to have that dramatic effect that I saw in youtube but I can't seem to copy it. At least the outcome was not half as bad as I thought it would be. I had to make do as I was running out of time. Good thing the event was just 5 minutes away from our village. But my colleagues who lived further was there already and was looking for me.

For base, I used Revlon Photoready compact make-up. Based on the picture, I think the name lives by its reputation as it is photoready. :) To set the base, I used Revlon Photoready powder compact. As usual, my eyebrows needed more work and I still have issues with the contouring on my nose and jaw. I highlighted my eyes with ivory eyeshadow under my eyebrow.

Everyday make-up Beaufort (Dec 7, 2012)
Next picture is a sample of my everyday make-up. This was taken December 7, 2012. Actually,  I've already reduced my daily make-up regimen to eye primer, eye liner, mascara, eyebrow powder, cheek tint and lipgloss. But for the make-up below, I  used my Revlon foundation (which I truly love) and mineral powder to set it (also Revlon). I used ample eyeliner to highlight my rather small eyes and maskara. I still have to master my eyebrows but I'm getting there. I remember using lots of beige eyeliner under my eyes to liven it up to detract attention away from my eyebags. I don't think I got enough sleep that night.

Co-Evangelista wedding (Jul 28, 2012)
Next picture on the right was on Mark and Jen's wedding on July 28, 2012. I had my regular stylist at David's Salon here in Alabang do my hair and I applied my own make-up. I think I went heavy on the eye make-up but I justified it saying it was an evening event anyway. However, I was not very satisfied how I looked. Either I used the wrong foundation or I was too heavy with the blush. I loved my dress though. It was quite short and the heels were highly uncomfortable but I enjoyed being with my friends at work.

It would be remiss of me if I don't showcase make-up that was done by the professionals. I hope that someday, I will be able to copy their output.

H&MU by Maribel @ Piandre Greenbelt (May 26, 2013)
Picture on the left was taken at the baptism reception of the son of one of my friends. Actually, I was attending a wedding afterwards but due to time constraints, I was forced to have the make-up done early in the day. Good thing they had a  photographer at the reception and my husband bought a copy of the picture when I already left.

I had my make-up done at Piandre but it was more than 7 years ago during the wedding of my brother and the output was wonderful. It was the nearest salon to the reception and since the wedding was an hour after the lunch, I decided to have my make-up there as I had no time to do it myself. Good thing my gamble paid off. I asked for natural make-up and Maribel exceeded my expectations. She used false eyelashes and it removed the need for heavy eyeliner to make my eyes pop out. The lipstick that she used complimented my outfit and my make-up. I wish I can find that shade as I didn't know it would look good on me. I will definitely be returning to her when I have an event in Makati again.

Hair by Rene at David's Salon Alabang; Make-up by Tryx
Syjuco (Feb 2, 2013)
I got the contact of Tryx Syjuco from our local village magazine. She has been offering make-up classes but I have not had the privilege of joining one. I love her studio as it's just located within the village and inside an art gallery at that. This was for the wedding of my friend Agnes. She asked me to be the host of reception and since I don't trust my make-up skills for this event, I asked Tryx to do my make-up and I'm glad she was able to accommodate me.

I'm very happy with what she did to my face. Again, a natural look suits my profile best. These make-up artists really have the uncanny ability to match the shade of my face with the rest of my skin. I wish I could learn how to do that some day.

Hair by Rene at David's Salon Alabang; Make-up by
(+)Rene Joaquin (Apr 3, 2011)
The picture on the left was taken after the wedding of my good friends, Marvin and Mai. Hair was done by my usual hair stylist at David's Salon. Make-up was done by Rene Joaquin who was a former colleague who pursued his dream of being a make-up artist. Unfortunately, he passed away last December due to sudden sickness. It was a sad loss as his talent definitely abounded. :( I'm glad I was able to immortalize his talent with these pictures.

Again, we went for the natural look and somehow, he managed to highlight my cheekbones wonderfully. I wish I'll be able to do that. This was taken afterwards so the make-up has faded somehow but nevertheless, it still looked beautiful.

I hope someday I'll be as good as these make-up artists. I guess it's true when they say that practice makes perfect.