Getting crafty

gianna g. maniegoANYBODY who knows me knows how gung ho I am about do-it-yourself arts and crafts. Why? Because anything that allows me to create with my hands and does not require too much math or analytical thinking is my bliss.

I mean, what’s not to love? You’re creating something with your hands, you’re allowing your creative instincts to fly unfettered, and if you’re doing it right, you’re also letting go of tons of stress.

It’s fun, relaxing and totally therapeutic. I find it more soothing than a back massage. Some people go to spas to de-stress.

Me, I twist some wire around a few beads when I got no chill. That’s how I calm down and come to my senses. Sometimes I even end up creating a bracelet in the process.

No, I’m no artist, none of my creations will hang in a museum or are even suitable for public display—in fact, most of them are tucked into a plastic box inside my closet—but the fact that I made them gives me a sense of accomplishment. For me that’s enough.

Not alone

AND based on the number of handmade soaps and “artisanal” art projects I’ve seen in bazaars and various social-media outlets lately, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. Back in the day, arts and craft projects were territories of housewives and school kids. But in the past few years, more people have been getting into arts and crafts, especially young professionals who have also found their bliss doing the crafty thing, and turned coloring books into a craze and calligraphy into a legit hobby. (In my day, calligraphers were mostly employed to write on diplomas.) The good news about this uptick in interest is that it has made arts and crafts mainstream and accessible.

Now, if you’re like me, you probably have a hard time finding arts and craft supplies in the metropolis. Here’s a tip: check out the Shangri-La Plaza Mall stat.

Craft maniacs unite

FOR the next two weekends, Shangri-La Plaza is hosting a series of arts and crafts activities, dubbed Craft Mania 2016. The arts and crafts fair will feature a lineup of workshops and lectures on different kinds of craft projects, like calligraphy, card-making, clay molding, etc.

Parents can bring their children to the East Atrium where they can join various art activities, like stamp calligraphy card-making (where they can make special cards for Mother’s Day) or coloring projects.

Art-supply depot

AT the same time, Craft Mania 2016 will be hosting an art bazaar at the Grand Atrium. If you’re looking for art supplies, make a beeline for this one-stop fair as it offers top-of-the-line arts and crafts materials from some of the leading arts and crafts merchandisers in the city. These include some of the mall’s retail partners like Build City, National Book Store, Ogalala, Powerbooks, Scribe Writing Essentials, Tie Me Up Buttercup and Hobbes & Landes.

A number of independent sellers are also expected to join the bazaar, including Art Nebula PH, Caboodle Box, Craft Department, DoItYourself Stained Glass, Everything Calligraphy, La Pomme Home, Pens Galore PH, Plume Anciennel, Sunday Paper Co. and The Best Impressions.

Art Workshops

FOR those who want more than an afternoon of doodling and coloring, there will be lectures and workshops conducted by crafts experts. Many of the workshops seem interesting, though some of them sound foreign to me (or maybe it’s the newfangled terms they’ve coined to add pizzazz to the activity).

For example, the schedule for tomorrow, Saturday, April 23, includes a workshop on Embossed Calligraphy by Fozzy Castro-Dayrit (2 to 3 pm), Creative Coloring: Pencils Over Markers by Vermailene Joyce Barrios (3:30 to 4:30 pm) and Stamp Calligraphy and Card Making by Paola Esteron (5 to 6 pm). Sunday’s workshops include one on Illustrated Lettering Workshop by Richelle Macapagal (2 to 3 pm), Kaleidolines (this sounds interesting) by Mark Dean Lim (3:30 to 4:30 pm), and one on Journaling (apparently that is now a word) by Aina Kristina Laurel Pavo (5 to 6 pm). Next week’s lineup promises to be more interesting (and more along my line of interests.)  The weekend sessions will begin on Friday, April 29, with lectures on Basic Bead Accessory Making by Cathy Limson (3:30 to 4:30 pm) and DIY Taka Painting (which you might think is some kind of Japanese painting technique, but is actually the craft of painting papier-mâché, invented by a lady from Paete, Laguna) by Mary Velmonte (5 to 6 pm).

On Saturday come early because there’s a Plush Toys Workshop conducted by Apol Lejano-Massebieau at 2 to 3 pm, followed by a Calligraphy Demo using fountain pens by Ever Camua at 3:30 to 4:30 pm. Rounding up the day’s series is another demo on Watercolor Lettering by Imma Frias at 5 to 6 pm.

Sundays workshops start at 2 pm with a Colored Pencils demo by Iris Babao Uy. If you like making little figurines or jewelry out of baked clay, you’ll likely get a kick out of the Polymer Clay Molding Workshop to be conducted by experts from Build City at 3:30 pm. Follow this up by checking out the succeeding Ceramics Painting Workshop, also by the Build City team, at 5 pm and you’ll probably be creating whole miniature Smurf villages in no time.

For the extra challenge, you can show off your works of art and compete for exciting prizes. Take a photo of your artwork and post it on social media with the hashtag #ShangCraftMania to qualify. Three winners will be chosen on each craft day. For more details, go to

Craft Mania 2016 will be held on April 22 to 24 and April 29 to May 1. Workshops will be conducted at the Shangri-La Mall East Atrium at the East Wing (near TWG), while the Crafts Bazaar will be stationed at the mall’s Grand Atrium in the Main Wing in front of Rustan’s Department Store.


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