Learn how to emboss.

It's no doubt that calligraphy and hand-lettered artworks have resurfaced in the scene for the last 3 years and it's amazing how there are a multitude of tools that can be utilized to create such works of art. I have been experimenting and shuffling different techniques in calligraphy from nibs, ink, brushes, paint - down to embossing. But what exactly is embossing? My former intern, Maki, and I will give you a quick rundown on our take on heat embossing.

Heat embossing is the process of creating a raised image on a surface, usually paper, using heat. Heat embossing is easy (but could be a little messy). Ideally, you can emboss on any paper surface but based on experience, I found that smoother paper yields a better embossed effect. Based on multiple attempts, porous materials, such as canvasses and cloth, absorb the ink and powder when heated so the output becomes flat. Oiled leather prevents the ink and powder from adhering so the output gets peeled off easily. Applying heat to paper makes the paper curl. Hence, it's best to use a thicker gsm for your paper embossing projects. 

Here are some tips on how you can get started on your embossing projects:

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MATERIALS:

1. Embossing pens / Embossing ink pads

2. Embossing powders

3. Heat gun

4. Pencil / Eraser

5. Paper

 

STEPS:

1.       First, think of the layout that you want, and then lightly draw it onto the surface.

2.       Using an embossing pen, trace your design. Write fast or trace your design segment by segment since the embossing pen can dry up after a while.

3.       Sprinkle some embossing powder on the traced design.

4.       Tap excess powder on separate container. You can see that the powder has stuck and will be ready for the next step.

5.       Tip: use tiny soft round brush to clear the smaller details of the layout.

6.       Use the heat gun to melt the powder until it has a shiny raised embossed effect.

7.       Let it cool down for a few seconds to prevent the molten powder from spreading.

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DO'S AND DONT'S

1.       Do store the embossing pens with dual tips horizontally to avoid one tip drying up.

2.       Do return the excess embossing powder on the original container.

3.       Do have a different paper bin for each color of the powder that you use. Don’t mix them so that it will be easier for you to return them back to their respective containers.

4.       Don’t use hair blower as it will literally blow the embossing powder away. Use the appropriate embossing heat gun for your project.

5.       Don’t expose embossing powder under direct sunlight since it melts upon too much contact or exposure with heat.

6.       Don't touch the tip of the heat gun. You don't want to burn your finger. 

7.       Do let the heat gun rest after every 2-3 embossing projects to prevent it from overheating. 

8.      Do have fun. You can use stamps and embossing ink pads to add decor to your project.

9.      Do keep the heat gun about 2-3inches away from the paper while heating the powder.

10.     For children, don’t emboss without adult supervision.

 

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WHERE TO BUY (PHILIPPINES)

National Bookstore, Scribe Writing Essentials, Craft Carrot, Craft Central

 

HOW MUCH (PHILIPPINES)

1.       ZIG Emboss Scroll & Brush Pen  – Php 95

2.       ZIG Emboss Fine & Chisel Marker – Php 75

3.       ZIG Emboss Writer Marker – Php 75

4.       ZIG Emboss Calligraphy Marker – Php 75 

5.       Tsukineko Embossing Powder – Php 199.75 

6.       Kuretake Embossing Heat Gun – Php 1,654.75 

 

Here's a timelapse video of one artwork I made using embossing tools. Now it's your turn to try, experiment, and have lots of fun! Enjoy xoxo

 

P.S. If you have other tips to share, drop a comment!

Personalize your skincare.

My friends would always nag me about skincare and I, being the lazy one, would always shove off the idea of putting gunk on my face. But, as one ages, skin changes too. Pollution, temperature, climate, stress, etc. are also factors that affect how one's skin looks like. I've noticed that at the end of the day, my face gets a little bit oily. On days wherein I am mostly outdoors, my face gets dry and dirty (no thanks, pollution!). There's probably more than a dozen of skincare products that, if I start researching now, would confuse the hell out of me. Fortunately, I found out about My Blend and it made my whole battle for skincare way easier than expected. 

My Blend (by Dr Olivier Courtin) is a line of skincare product that is personalised and more precise. I took a skin diagnosis test online that took into consideration my lifestyle, quality of sleep, climactic environment, as well as stress levels. For me, skin care diagnosis goes beyond the usual age and skin type.

After the diagnosis, I was sent the formula so I can mix my own blend of skincare (hence the name, My Blend). My "Day" cream consists of the following: Balance of Power (essential formula, base cream) with Radiant Burst and Anti-Jet Lag boosters. The "Night" cream, on the other hand, consists of Balance of Power (essential formula, base cream) with Antioxidant and Vitamin Power boosters. The best part about this whole skincare line is that I mixed my own day cream by adding the boosters to the essential formula and I felt like a mad scientist concocting some secret formula to rule the world, hahaha *geeks out* <3 AMAZING!

Balance of Power is for normal skin that gets a few shiny patches during the day. 

Radiant burst is for people who lack sleep and/or drink too much coffee *guilty as charged* so this booster aids in making the skin have that healthy glow.

Anti-jet lag is for people who always travel and experience weather changes, as well as frequent exposure to airconditioning that tends to make skin dull.

Antioxidant is for people who smoke or are exposed to pollution thereby increasing free radicals that causes premature skin ageing.

Vitamin Power is for people with unbalanced diets so this booster gives the skin nourishment.

I'm currently making it a habit to constantly take care of my skin and you should too, no matter how old you are. If you have the proper skincare, then you don't need to waste so much time and money applying bazillion products on your face! Start your My Blend skin diagnosis here.

 

P.S. Don't forget to wear sunscreen too!

Stories of the heART

Have you ever felt the need to express your emotions but you don't know where to start? Did you ever feel frustrated about life? Do you want to absorb positivity and live in peace?

On most days, with the multitude of ideas that I want to do and implement all at the same time, I get frustrated. I am pissed off. Instead of lashing out that negative energy out where people absorb it and affect them, I paint. I paint, and paint, and paint. The strokes will always tell stories. Might as well convert that negativity into something beautiful, right? This is what I painted a couple of days ago as a result of that stress and frustration:

 

Kimi Lu (life coach), Geli Balcruz (calligrapher and mandala artist), and I have prepared a half day art retreat for people who want to express stories of their hearts through art. There will be guided abstract painting sessions, mandala making and calligraphy writing, and temperament life coaching. Together, let's start pushing for a more positive form of art!

If you want to join, check out the event page link here