Gandang Ganda sa Sariling Gawa

Last Saturday, the Gandang Ganda sa Sariling Gawa art / zine / book fair was held in the Cultural Center of the Philippines. This event was organized by Gantala Press and featured Filipino female authors and creators.

Gandang Ganda sa Sariling Gawa

Here are photos that I uploaded on the day itself, showing some of the products available there. Swipe to see everything:

It was seriously difficult to narrow down what to get because I wanted so many things! My haul includes comics, postcards and stickers which you can see below (again, swipe to see everything):

As mentioned in one of the captions above, this kind of event is a great for readers like me who are interested in supporting local female authors and artists and komikeras. I hope there will be more like it in the future!

Postcard Love: Washi Tape Postcards

Postcard Love Logo

I’ve talked about postcards and washi tape lots of times here on the blog but I realized that I haven’t talked about postcards made out of washi tape.

My current washi tape stash

My current washi tape stash

I usually just use board paper and then use washi tape to decorate it. I have fun making them and friends who have received these homemade postcards seem to like them. I started out with just using different designs and using them as strips to fill up a card:

washi postcard - Singapore limited edition

Then I experimented with this Singapore Zoo-themed postcard out of the zoo’s paper bag and the safari Singapore limited edition MT tape. I initially made it for someone who loves the tapir because I couldn’t find a tapir postcard from the zoo’s souvenir shop then I ended up making several for other friends as well.

washi postcard - Singapore Zoo

After that, I made a couple more out of gift wrappers and tape designs that go well with them:

washi postcard - tickets

Tickets

washi postcard - stars

Stars

I think one of the reasons why I like postcards and washi tape is because they’re little pieces of art. I can’t get over how cute or pretty some of the designs are and I just want to keep collecting them.

washi postcard - Picasso quote

What do you think of these washi postcards? Have you heard of washi tape before? More than a few blog friends have told me that they didn’t even know what washi tape was until I started talking about it. 😛 It’s almost midnight in this side of the world and as always, I’m wondering where did the weekend go. Hope you all had a lovely, restful weekend.

Postcard Love: Singapore Philatelic Museum

Postcard Love Logo

We have a long weekend in Singapore now and I’m hoping that I will be able to work on some reviews. In the meantime, I thought it would be nice to put up a post about the Singapore Philatelic Museum, which I visited the weekend before last. I’ve been wanting to visit the place and didn’t get the chance to do so until my mom came here for a short vacation and said that she wanted to go to a museum. While I did have a small stamp collection when I was a child, I’m mostly interested in this museum because of its connection with postcards. If nothing else, I knew that the museum shop would probably have an interesting selection of postcards for sale.

Singapore Philatelic Museum

Singapore Philatelic Museum

What is a stamp?

Description of a stamp

SPM stamps

Various stamps

SPM mailboxes

Different mailboxes

SPM postcards

Description of postcards

SPM old postcard

An old school postcard

Like I predicted, there were some wonderful postcards in the museum shop and I had a hard time deciding which ones I should get. If you send a postcard from the museum, you just have to pay a certain fee and it gets this special Singapore Philatelic Museum stamp:

SPM stamp

I finally decided to grab these reprinted vintage postcards because I think they look cool. All of them are pictures taken in Singapore back in the day. I wish we had something similar to these back home in Manila.

SPM vintage postcards

It was a fun visit, my only complaint is that while they have a lot of old stamps for sale for collectors, they don’t have any philatelic stamps that can be readily used to send postcards. I’ve asked in several post offices and it seems like philatelic stamps in Singapore are only used for collections and they can only be bought in certain Singpost branches. This makes me a little sad since I used philatelic stamps in Manila whenever I sent postcards, I think those stamps added to the charm of sending snail mail.

Book Haul: MNL to SIN Stash Part 4

Happy Labor Day, everyone! May 1 is a holiday both in Manila and Singapore. I took advantage of that fact, claimed two vacation days and flew to Manila for the weekend. I got back in Singapore this morning. I had a great time in Manila and I always feel like the time I spend there is never enough – I guess that’s usually the case when you only get to see friends and family once in a while. Anyway, I wanted to share with all of you the books that I’ve acquired the past few days.

Right before I left for my flight to Manila, I saw a package waiting for me in our mailbox. It contained a signed copy of Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork. My blogging buddy Holly is good friends with Francisco and through that connection, I’ve started exchanging emails with him some time ago. He is such a kind and amazing person that it comes as no surprise that I’ve enjoyed talking to him about random things, not just about books and writing. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I’ve never read any of his books. That’s going to change soon! I’ve heard nothing but good things about Marcelo in the Real World so I’m pretty excited to read it. I’d like to thank Francisco for being generous enough to send me a copy of it.

Marcelo_signed copy

During the weekend, I had dinner with a good friend and she mentioned that she hasn’t given me a gift for my birthday yet and that we should drop by Fully Booked so I can pick something. No arguments from my end!

Fully Booked Fort

My favorite branch of Fully Booked – several floors of bookish goodness.

She ended up getting How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr, a washi tape roll featuring sea creatures and plain old scotch tape for me. She couldn’t resist adding the scotch tape to the mix, saying that “it’s a classic” compared to washi tape.

Belated birthday gift_how to save a life

Now this isn’t book-related but most of you seem to enjoy seeing my washi tape rolls so I wanted to show these as well. I asked some of my friends to order washi tape rolls from Hey Kessy and Bee Happy Crafts and we had a washi swap (my friend made the washi-covered clips):

May 2013 Manila washi tape haul

More rolls to add to my collection! Which one is your favorite?

Pretty cute, aren’t they? When I have some free time, I’m going to try and make washi postcards. Moving back to books, I’ve noticed that lately, I’ve been reading more contemporary than fantasy novels so I grabbed these three titles from my own bookshelf to bring back with me to Singapore:

MNL to SIN May 2013

Rebel by R.J. Anderson
Arrow by R.J. Anderson
Elfland by Freda Warrington

I now have way too many unread books in my bookshelf here in the flat. Which is why I only grabbed three books from my bookshelf even though I could have fit more in my luggage. I found it a bit surprising that I didn’t end up buying books even though I visited several bookstores. But then again, I haven’t even read all of the books that I brought from my last trip home.

I got a book in Yosemite for my six-year-old godson and he liked it so much that he gave me a card to thank me:

Allen's card May 2013

When I got back to the flat, I also had a Hawaii postcard waiting for me:

Hawaii postcard - May 2013

What about you, got any interesting books, postcards or washi tape lately? 🙂 Hope you’re having a good week so far. The great thing about this week is I only have to go to the office for two days. By the way, I’m planning to change my blog header soon so watch out for that.

Of Postcards and Washi Tape

What is it with retail therapy? I don’t know why it’s so much fun, at least for me, to go shopping. Even if I don’t have a goal in mind, I still end up buying stuff that I WANT but don’t really NEED. One thing I’ve noticed about my purchasing behavior is that I tend to obsess about other things when I don’t shop for books. I’ve given up on the idea of limiting my book purchases a long time ago. I mean I don’t usually get crazy when it comes to buying books (yeah, right) but I let myself indulge from time to time. It’s such a comfort to have books around even if I feel like I don’t have enough time to read all of them. But since books are so expensive here in Singapore, I’d rather not buy unless I’m ordering online to take advantage of more affordable prices. Or I’d wait and then just buy books the next time I fly home to Manila.

With food, I’ve also given up on feeling guilty whenever I eat something that I want to eat. I believe that food is a necessity and if you can afford to buy food that you’re interested in or eat out when you feel like it, then go ahead and do it. I usually want to eat something good during the weekends, especially when I’m out with friends because that’s my way of unwinding and relaxing. Or there are times when I feel like hanging out somewhere to read instead of just heading back to the flat. Special occasions like birthdays are also good excuses to treat yourself.

So basically I don’t say no to food and books. I also have a hard time saying no to clothes on sale (because clothing is a necessity as well, right?) What I’ve realized about myself is that I tend to compensate in other things now that I don’t get to buy books as often as I’d like. Let’s take my fondness for postcards as an example. I think we can pretty much agree that in today’s digital age, getting a little something in the mail has become a novelty. It’s always nice when you feel like someone was thinking of you and was generous enough to send snail mail. It breaks the monotony of only seeing bills in the mailbox. What’s funny is that I’ve become so engrossed about postcards to the point that I even started my Postcard Love feature here on my blog. To be fair, more than half of my postcard buddies are fellow book bloggers. It’s a reasonable assumption that blogging buddies would enjoy seeing postcard-related posts. Plus, I like postcards with book-themed designs more than anything else. So it’s still somewhat related to book blogging. Singapore also makes it easy to collect postcards because so many stores here sell postcards with cute designs. Even free postcards here usually look nice.

Singapore postcard sets

Postcard sets I’ve collected since moving to Singapore

I just find it funny that whenever I see a postcard set that I like, I’m always tempted to get two sets – one for sending and one for keeping. I keep thinking that some of these postcards will look great when they’re framed, but who knows when I’ll have a place of my own to put up things like that? Anyway, another thing that I’ve been obsessing about recently is washi tape! Some of you may be wondering what washi tape is – basically, it’s masking tape that has prints and patterns that make it ideal for crafts. It originated from Japan, which probably explains why it’s not as cheap as one would expect. I like decorating the postcards that I send out – either by using stamps or stickers. Now, I mostly just use washi tape because I’ve started collecting rolls of it ever since a friend gave me some for Christmas last year.

washi tape collection as of April 2013

My current washi tape collection

Talking about postcards and washi tape is my way of leading up to this question – what do you spend your money on when you’re not buying books? If you have extra cash to spare and you don’t feel like buying any books (or books are super expensive where you are), what do you buy? Or maybe I should be asking what your other hobbies are aside from reading?

postcards with washi

Postcards decorated with washi tape

Postcard Love: Sending Postcards from Singapore

It’s so much easier to send postcards here in Singapore than back home in Manila. In the Philippines, I had to swing by the post office to buy stamps and drop off postcards. Over here, I can buy postage labels from conveniently located SingPost machines like this one:

SAM machine

postage labels

I just wish I could choose different label designs because using the same one gets boring. I haven’t had a chance to buy philatelic stamps from the post office yet. To send off the postcard, I can just drop them in mailboxes all over Singapore:

SingPost mailbox

Pretty easy, right? I’ve also mentioned that there are so many quirky stalls and stores that sell cute postcards. Here are some that I’ve picked up since I got here:

postcard set and stamp stickers

illustrated postcard set and stamp stickers

letter animal postcards

Alphabet animal postcards from an indie bookstore

Huge postcards from the Singapore Art Museum

Huge postcards from the Singapore Art Museum

Shooting Stars postcards

Another illustrated postcard set, mostly featuring girls and cats

What’s the procedure like for sending postcards in your country? I know the system is pretty similar in the US and Singapore – from what I’ve experienced so far, those two countries are the most convenient places to send postcards from. Also, feel free to share pictures if you’ve come across any nice postcards lately.

Postcard Love: Free Ad Postcards

I find it funny that I haven’t done a Postcard Love post in a while even though I’ve been actively buying and sending postcards ever since I got here in Singapore. There are so many stalls and stores that sell pretty postcards and I’m always tempted to buy whenever I see nice ones. I can’t even remember the number of postcards that I’ve bought here. I should do a better job of posting about them here on the blog. To start things off, I thought I’d show you guys some of the free ad postcards that I’ve picked up all over Singapore. I’m amazed at how nice most of them are and I’ve already started sending them to friends. Here’s the first batch that I grabbed:

I think the romantic rainy scene on the upper right looks like a cover of a YA novel. Here’s another batch which I got near the office, love the artsy pet paintings:

Here’s a postcard sent by my pen pal Steph of Steph Su Reads, it’s a free ad card from Shanghai:

Isn’t it great that all of these postcards are free? I think it’s a good way of encouraging people to share and send postcards more often. Yay for snail mail!

Singapore Art Museum

I dropped by the Singapore Art Museum last night with a couple of friends to check out the Night Festival event that only happens once a year.

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Even the tiles on the floor look nice:

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They had such pretty postcards in the museum shop so I decided to get a couple:

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I haven’t decided if I’ll keep these for myself or if I should send them out. I have a feeling I can build a collection of postcards from the various stores that I visit all over Singapore. I can’t seem to help but buy postcards when I see cute designs. I also grabbed some free ad postcards (I have no problem sending these off since I can always just get more of them):

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Woods in the Books

Found this cute little indie bookstore called Woods in the Books. It’s located in Millenia Walk mall. They specialize in books for children. Too bad they don’t allow customers to take pictures inside the store.

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I wasn’t able to buy any books but I did get these adorable postcards:

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I’m planning to put them up in the office, just need to buy some magnets. Books here in Singapore are a lot more expensive than books in Manila. I probably won’t buy anything until I finish going through the tiny pile that I brought with me. I love that there are several indie bookstores here – so far, I’ve seen this and BooksActually. Will try to look for more so I can feature them here.

BooksActually

Tucked in a quiet street in Tiong Bahru is a lovely indie bookstore called BooksActually. I’ve been hearing a lot about this bookstore from fellow readers who have visited Singapore. So when I had some free time yesterday afternoon, I decided to drop by and check it out. Aside from books and other bookish paraphernalia, they also sell some vintage knick knacks.

Of course, I had to take pictures of these bookish postcards:

While I wasn’t able to buy any books (there weren’t that many YA or fantasy novels in the store), I have a feeling I’ll be back to visit and just look around because it’s such a charming bookstore. BooksActually is located at No. 9 Yong Siak Street, Tiong Bahru. Feel free to drop by whenever you’re in Singapore!