Jevie & Cleiza (again)

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This is waaaaay overdue, so I’m going to do it now before I delay it further. Haha.

Five months ago, my ate (older sister) married the love of her life, her high school sweetheart. They’ve been together for 11 long years already; so what better destination for them than marriage, right?

I couldn’t be any happier for her! The Lord truly does not withhold anything good. The Lord gave her the man that’s best for her–the most suitable partner for her. He got her dream guy and as a great bonus, the Lord allowed her to have her dream wedding.

The celebration was beautiful. It reflected who they are as a couple: fun, youthful, and generous.  The guests were treated to a feast and we, the entourage, were treated to a no-fuss (no-cashout. haha.) participation. Apart from provision, I’ve really seen the Lord’s favor upon them through their suppliers. Not only were they spot-on with their services, they were also very generous and took the extra mile that day. The musicians voluntarily extended their performance time, the photography team unexpectedly brought with them a photography big gun (My sister had really wonderful portrait shots! Thanks to this guy!), the caterer/stylist brought an awesome photobooth backdrop, the photobooth guys extended their time too, and the wedding coordinator endeavored to make it her best gig yet . If those weren’t favor from the Lord, I don’t know what else to call them.

The Lord also moved me to help my sister as much as I can, and so I got my hands working on most of the wedding stationery and some last-minute storytelling cookies. Caleb and I also produced a short telling-the-love-story video. I also had to make sure that my excitable sister stuck to her theme all throughout. Suffice it to say, it was my biggest, most time-demanding wedding project yet. And although it was tiresome, it was extremely satisfying. There’s nothing like helping your sister get her dream wedding.

This project’s pay off is unmatched! It was also the first ever wedding that I got to really help brand! I’m so happy that everything that day looked cohesive. Oh what joy! I can’t help but end my sentence with an exclamation point!

Okay…so I’ll skip the talking and start the photo sharing.

Here’s the wedding Invitation Suite–minimal and personal just the way my sister likes it.

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And here are their storytelling cookies–twenty four cookies that told of the most significant things and moments in the 11 years that they were together.

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How quickly has time gone by! I can’t believe these photos are five months old already. My sister’s wedding definitely is the highlight of my 2016 and perhaps, the highlight of my design career.

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Photos: Nicolai Wedding Photography

Cookies: Lovelots Cakes

 

 

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To live for comfort

LEAD ME TO THE ROCK

Hi! It’s been a long time.

My life has been crazy the past five months. I left my day job after two and a half years, went back to my papa and mama’s house, did freelance work for three months, earned just enough, used up my savings, went back to condo living, had a new day job,  cried a lot over the new job, earned more than enough yet spent more that what I have, accumulated more credit card debt, left the new job just after a month, got really broke, went back to being a freelancer and earning little,  and went  back to day job hunting.

It’s been really overwhelming the past months. I’ve cried a lot because I got confused and frustrated a lot. I was 28 and I had none. No savings, no regular job, no regular income, no investments–none. I felt like I was stripped of all the comforts I used to and wished to have.

Life definitely hasn’t been great.

But God has remained good all throughout.

The past months haven’t been favorable and have made me so vulnerable. The Lord has exposed me; He has brought into light aspects of me that were long kept in the darkness.

I learned that I started to live for comfort. I tried to avoid difficulty at all cost–I just did not want to deal with it.

And so I believe that the Lord, in His wisdom, found that I needed the experience. I needed to be stripped of comfort to learn to embrace and deal with discomfort. He needed me to learn to trust Him to power me through the difficulties, because I seemed to have already forgotten.

It’s been hard. It still is hard. It still is uncomfortable. But I am relearning that it is through difficulty and discomfort–through my nakedness and powerlessness, that I can truly experience the Lord’s power.

I’m not really sure when this course will end. I’m not sure when it will start getting comfortable again; and so more than provision, I ask the Lord for peace and for joy despite the struggle. And I continue to pray through the challenging days: “From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2)

 

 

 

Jevie & Cleiza

It’s now Monday noon and I’m still so hungover from my sister’s wedding last Saturday. I just cannot contain my happiness–my sister got her dream wedding and more! God truly blesses and truly does not withhold any good thing.

I have so much to rave about but I’m going to save it for another post when I already have photos to show! For now, I leave you with the Save-the-Date that I made for them–simple and personal just the way my sister likes it. 🙂

 

JEVCLEI STD 3

 

Preppy Watercolor

I’m not married nor am I in the process of planning my wedding. I’m not even engaged. Well, not yet. Haha. Anyway, despite the absence of a ring on my finger, I already have a Pinterest board named “The Day Someday” that has 135 pins to date.

With the many pretty things that I see on Pinterest, I cannot help but wish to do or incorporate them all in my future wedding. You might consider that a good thing because of the number of ideas but no, not really. Having too many pegs can be pretty troublesome when you don’t know which to pick anymore. Actually, you scrap picking altogether and just want them all to happen.

This is why I am no longer surprised when couples send me pegs or give me design instructions that are ‘a bit of everything’. I always find it a good challenge to give them that ‘bit of everything’ without sacrificing aesthetics and of course, keeping close to their wedding theme.

So when a couple asked for me to design a preppy, chevron, playful, and watercolor-ed invitation for their black-tie wedding, I fist-pumped and mouthed, “Challenge accepted!”

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This is what we ended up with after a few suggestions and revisions. Yay! (Photo by Chestknots Studios, Print Production by Amis Print)

I tried to incorporate all the above-mentioned requests by first, using the couple’s choice of colors, stripes, and chevrons strongly. These three elements were enough to set the preppy and playful look.

Secondly, I made their watercolor request happen by overlaying a watercolor wash on the stripes and chevrons.

And lastly, I hinted at the the wedding being a black-tie event through the dry-sealed monogram on the ivory white envelope, and the golden, thermographed names. Detailed photos here, so you get to see it the invitation in its entirety. Haha.

S0000 there! It was a good challenge, especially for a minimalist like me, BUT anything for my client’s satisfaction! Because really, isn’t that the goal? It’s their wedding, so it should be about them and what pleases them. So if they give you 135 pegs, you either have to power through them and come up with something OR help them narrow down their choices by helping them focus on their core theme. Yes, the latter is also a great option!

I’m very grateful that this particular couple was a delight to work with and  I’d like to believe too that they felt the same towards me because they referred me to another client (whose wedding invitation I am working on right now). Yey! Thank God for talents and for opportunities that give birth to new ones!

 

Oh to be loved.

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I left the always-excited-for-my-birthday club when I turned 25. For some reason, it now makes me more anxious than celebratory. I don’t know–maybe because it makes me do a reality check whenever it approaches. I’m this age already. Where am I? What have I done? How much have I accomplished? Something about my answers to these questions disappoints me. It makes me think that only my age has progressed. It’s sad really. It’s sad that it does make me sulk. But there’s a voice in me too that whispers: there’s more to look at than accomplishments, status, and feelings of stagnancy or even regression. And each year, on my birthday, that whisper grows into a joyful scream.

I wore an all-black ensemble last Saturday. I did not plan the outfit and was not off to make a statement. I just grabbed the most comfortable pair that I have in my closet and wore it. I did not have any plan really–apart from staying at home the whole day to edit a video. Apparently, Caleb had plans. He asked me to accompany him to a meeting with a real estate agent and have lunch. It was raining; so in my effort to make my ‘look of the day’ fun, I brought my big, colorful umbrella with me. I didn’t get to use it though. Had I known that it wasn’t rain that I would be combating, I would have brought a colorful hanky instead.

Caleb handed me an envelope the moment I got seated in the car. I knew what it was: another love letter. I don’t know where Caleb gets his words; but with the many letters that he has already given, he seems to always have new things to say. His birthday letter was beautiful. Borrowing his words, “Ugh! Onion-cutting ninjas!” The letter screamed of a kind of love that I truly do not deserve yet was/is being given to me. It moved me to become grateful and to think of all the other kinds of love that I have received and all the other sources of love that I have in my life. And as cheesy and as cliche as it sounds, I have not much in the bank, have not much fancy things or experiences, but I have LOVE–I am loved. I receive and experience love everyday and if this isn’t the biggest blessing in the world, I do not know what else is.

I am aware that being loved is not the kind of accomplishment and satisfaction that would make people regard you as successful. I know that I cannot put LOVED in my resume, or deposit LOVE in the bank, or use LOVE to pay for travels or fancy things. In this world that we live in, love is not enough. But in the world I chose to live in,with a size just that of my fist, love is all that there has to be.

This year, on my birthday, the whisper grew into a loud, joyful scream. Next year as I turn a year old again and when the scream has possibly fainted, I would find the whisper and listen to it again.

Boldly Gold

Here’s a repost from our CALORIE blog to share with you my second design project:

Calorie

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I am quite hesitant to make an entry about this particular editorial because I’ve shared (about) it several times on my Instagram and Facebook accounts already; BUT yesterday, the editorial got featured in Bride and Breakfast and so now, I have a new reason to share.

A few months back, Blue Trumpet Events asked me if I would like to design the invitation suite/stationery for an editorial that they are doing. My blink response was ‘yes’—a nervous yes. When I saw their pegs, the elf workers in my head instantly moved.

Geometric shapes, black, and gold. People close to me know my love for geometric patterns, so the concept rung with a certain familiarity. I remembered the diamond paper ornaments that I pinned to my “The Day Someday” board and used it as inspiration for the main elements of the invitation suite. The foil texture, on the other hand, was inspired by Blue Trumpet’s…

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Hello again!

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It’s been ages since my last post and I figured I should get back to blogging here. I don’t think I mentioned but I also started a blog with Caleb. Anyway, 2015 was crazy—in a good way— and I cannot help but hope for 2016 to get crazier the same way.

It was July of last year when I officially embraced the role of a designer. The pursuit of creative work is something that took a long, long time for me to start. The road to it was confusing and was often times frightening. It was a battle and up to now, I still gets fits of doubt every so often. But more than anything, I am thankful that the Lord took me here. It’s pretty amazing how He led me to this, actually.

For the longest time, my works sat on my hard drive and on pages of notebooks that I’m pretty sure I stored somewhere. The blessing came in the form of a wedding coordinator who was my sister’s student-turned-friend; she gave me my first design job. Thinking of it, my sister is the bigger blessing because she touted my skills.

So my first paid stint was to design a wedding invitation. For a first, I was understandably anxious. But I love paper and I love stationery, so it also got me really excited. The wedding theme though was a rather odd mix, beach & black-tie; so yeah, it was challenging to make it work. I started by making watercolor washes for the background and some calligraphy for the names and headings. I’m pretty happy with how my initial design turned out but it got rejected. FIRST DESIGN REJECTION EVER! I usually don’t handle rejection well, but I surprised myself this time. I just shrugged it off and revised as instructed. After a lot of exchanges, changing of layouts and minds, the final output was this:

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Print Production and Photo by PRINT CAFE

It isn’t much but you know what they say about firsts, and this started it all. I cannot say that an avalanche of design work came after; but for somebody who still has a day job, I got a manageable number to work on.

It’s true that you have to give it a go before you’re ready. When my sister’s friend gave me this project, I listed and recited in my head a number of reasons (read: excuses) not to take it. If I continued with my resisting and arguing my unpreparedness, I probably would not get my work out there EVER. Again, it was scary. It was uncomfortable. It did not give me enough sleep. I still get little sleep up to now, but it’s totally worth it. In my more than six years of jumping to and fro jobs and companies, I never found myself truly delighted in what I am doing—never looked at a computer screen with real sparkles in my eyes (not glare!) until I did design.

Today, I continue to do mostly wedding invitations. As I try to keep this blog alive again, I will try to share each of the works that I come up with. Hopefully, you guys get to enjoy them!

So there. HELLO AGAIN.

 

Thank God for Talents

I’ve been trying to self-learn watercolor painting recently. My works are far from great so far; but they are good enough to amaze me. Why? It’s because I never really thought I could do it and so, each nicely done stroke makes me giddy.

“Am I really the one doing this?” I’ve asked that quite a lot of times recently. Again, not that my works are oh-so-good but because I am in awe of how the Lord has enabled my hands. I look at them and I often see them as empty. The Lord sees them differently though, and I believe He wants me to see them the same way. He wants me to see them as hands filled with His enabling—hands that are able to do as much things as the Lord wants it to. AMAZING! What a privilege it is to be equipped by the King!

How about you? When you look at your hands, what do you see?

What to Do When You Hate Your Job

Out of frustration, I entered “Lord I hate my job” in the Google search field today.

All honesty, I can count the number of times I came to work excited with my fingers. This doesn’t mean though that I usually work begrudgingly. I fight my disappointment most of the time and just try to wait patiently. I acted and felt pretty normal the past months but today’s a fluke. I came to work wanting to throw every office equipment I lay my hands on. I brought zero patience and zero enthusiasm to work today.  I feel as if the things that I’ve been trying to set aside are starting to take a toll on me: Saturday work, top guns who do not honor the very thing that they make you do, being misplaced, etc. I went out during lunch and didn’t want to come back ever.

Just when I was about to lose it though, the Lord was quick to rescue. He led me to this article: What to Do When You Hate Your Job. It spoke to me so much! SO MUCH.

If you are feeling the same way as I am, do yourself a favor and read it. And oh, Psalm 37 brought me to tears.

From weeping to rejoicing

Four years ago, the Lord placed me in a group of women who looked just like me. We all had wry smiles, woozy heads, shattered hearts, filled bitterness tanks, ringless ring fingers, and earnest desires to find sense in what we’re going through. We’ve all just come from that place—that place nobody ever dreams of going to. It’s that place where your heart gets stabbed a hundred times and gets ripped into a million microscopic pieces—or gets powdered. Yes! Powdered seems a lot more accurate. In our group, it had always been mentioned with welling eyes and shaky voices: “We broke up.”

Our break-up reasons were different but we knew that for all of us, God’s reason was one and the same: He has something better in-store.

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

It was good, glorious news amidst the turmoil in our hearts and onto it, we hung tight as a group.

It wasn’t easy. Our weekly meetings were never complete without a ply of tissue getting pulled out of the box, but this made us alive. The more that we cried, the more we were emptied out. The more empty we became, the bigger our need for God grew. The bigger our need for Him grew, the bigger the space He filled up in our lives. The bigger the space He filled up, the bigger He became to us.

One day, we just woke up with hearts that are new—as if not pierced, as if not pulverized. They weren’t only new, they were also better—perhaps, bigger and more capable. With the new hearts came ear-to-ear smiles; peaceful minds; emptied bitterness tanks; “we broke up” said nonchalantly; and four years later, one ringed finger while two are already with godly boyfriends and the other, waiting in joyful anticipation.

As we look back, we all agree that we wouldn’t want for things to happen any other way. People had to be taken out of our lives so the Lord can bring Himself in and eventually, let better men tag along with Him. We thank and praise the Lord for the incredible course!

In confidence, I advise: Entrust your brokenness to the Lord for He is the only one who knows exactly what to do with it.

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy. – Psalm 30:11