Wednesday, November 19, 2014


A surprise gift to dad who loves words so much. :)

As the season of gift-giving approaches, I think about the countless personal stories that come with everything we give someone. So much thinking goes into just deciding what to give, and it can be hard. I recently had a hard, but meaningful, time deciding how to design a pillow (with my twin sister!) meant to be given to my dad. I wanted it to be something that would remind him of everything lovely and beautiful in his life--people, memories, books, movies---all those details that sum up that he is always remembered. Designing requires a great deal of listening to everything the person (who will be using the item, or wearing the garment) is, and not just seeing what's visible. Sometimes, you have to listen to all moments that involve that person.

I did, and this listening took me to my growing up years of dad endlessly answering crossword puzzles, and playing word games. He loved words so much.

With this pillow, I hope we can remind him everyday that the names he finds here--the words that spell his family--also love him back.

My twin sister and I completed this crossword puzzle to be stamped on the pillow cover.

Sewing the puzzle lines. :)

Grateful for fathers,

Sunday, November 9, 2014

HEY MICKEY!: Baby Eli's Mickey Mouse-themed 1st Birthday.

Baby Eli with daddy Dave and mommy Lhen during his 1st birthday celebration. :)
Costume by Louberry. Photo by Star Baby Photography. 

I love how a child can remind us so eloquently of the beauty and simplicity of life---of how we once were---endless explorers of our little universe and corners of our play pens, giggling our way to the hearts of the people around us...most especially our parents.

I believe that parents play an important role in nurturing a child's love for life. Throwing a birthday celebration for a firstborn, for instance, speaks so much of this love for a precious God-given gift. No matter how simple or grand the celebration may be, the message comes across: We are thankful for this life.

I first met baby Eli last July in Singapore. It was my first time to work with a person so cute and tiny, his parents had to hold and stand him up while I take his measurements (I have previously made clothes for Miles before he turned one but I have not personally taken his measurements; his mommy would measure him for me and send me the measurements online).

I made two designs for this little angel. I remember the process most happily because I sketched away in this quaint cafe called My Art Space Cafe near Dhoby Ghaut station. I was with my twin sister and we got lost trying to find another cafe...and ended up here instead. What a happy accident it turned out! Happy because it was the perfect, most conducive space to think and be creative!

Menu book and Picasso at My Art Space Cafe approve creative thinking! :)

Mommy Lhen chose Design 1!

Three months later and a Mickey Mouse costume on, Eli celebrated his first birthday with the people who love him here in the Philippines.

Photo by Star Baby Photography.

Little Mickey Eli turns one! (Photo by Star Baby Photography)

I was also asked to make the Cake Smash costume for his pre-birthday shoot:

I say this to myself I think more often than I catch myself actually saying it (hehe): Clothes should always be meaningful. They should carry with them stories and memories that we can celebrate even after all the birthday candles have been blown out and all gifts have been opened. I am grateful to always be given the opportunity to create things that mean something very important to people. Working with high regard to quality and time and accuracy and all thoughts beautiful is my way of saying "THANK YOU" to the parents of Eli for entrusting me with his first birthday costume. Although I was not there to celebrate with him, I did celebrate God's gift in all the moments I dedicated to the design, pattern-making, and sewing of this dashing Mickey Mouse-inspired costume. :) Thank you daddy Dave and mommy Lhen! Baby Eli is indeed fortunate to have loving and thoughtful parents (Years from now, when he is older and this blog is still up, I hope he reads this and know that this has always been has been documented. :P)

A behind-the-scenes look at making these costumes:

All pattern pieces happily laid out on the table!

For the hood, I started with a prototype to see how the ears would look. I eventually altered the pattern to make the ears look bigger! :)
Hand-stitching the hem of Mickey's red shorts, for a clean finish. :)


Walt Disney has something very interesting and profound to say, which is worth sharing with this post:

 "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse."

I hope that all parents impart this same kind of thinking to their children. I hope they inspire them to always see what's beautiful and possible. To always dream. To always dream more. Like Picasso did. Like Walt Disney did. Like we ALL did. When we were young. :)

As long as there are more birthdays to come, then there will be more love and dreams to pursue.

Cheers to parents and life celebrations that fill our photo albums with joys incomparable.