Free Printable: Tiny envelopes

I’ve always had a thing for prints and patterns, and it’s become something of an obsession. Over the years, I’ve been trying to create some in my spare time—I usually create vectors on the computer or doodle in my sketchbook then upload the sketches to my computer to convert them into workable patterns. I’ve been planning to use them for projects like screen printing and such, but so far I have yet to get on those. So instead of letting them rot away in my hard drive, I’ve decided to just apply them to cute little envelopes and offer them as freebies.

These are fairly small coin envelopes, but you can use them to put in little treats or notes to your kids, friends, or significant other. You can also put in small souvenirs or ephemera and stick the envelope in your journal.

To seal the envelopes, just use cute sticker seals, Washi tape, or glue…I’ve heard of this product called Lick & Stick that makes your envelope resealable—unfortunately, it looks like we don’t have it here. Not to worry, there’s a recipe for it! I ought to give it a shot one of these days…

The PDF file contains 4 envelopes in different patterns. I’ve included a short how-to in the PDF, but it’s very easy to make: just print (on Letter size—8.5″ x 11″), cut, fold and glue to create the envelopes. I’d recommend linen paper so that there’s some texture, but you can always use regular, good quality paper.

Here’s the link to the PDF file. Just right click on the link and save the file to your computer. You can open the file with Adobe Acrobat Reader, or with Preview (if you’re using a Mac). Kindly read the Conditions of Use below for copyright information.

The artwork in the downloadable PDF is free only for personal, not commercial, use. You are welcome to share up to one photo of this post on your blog or on social media sites, with a link back to this post or to this blog ( Please do not distribute the PDF from your website, or provide a link directly to the PDF file—instead, please provide a link to this post. Thank you!


Style inspiration: Robert Smith

What can I say? I love Robert Smith of The Cure—I don’t think I’ll ever tire of their music and as far as I’m concerned, they will still sound as fresh as they were back in the 80s (totally revealing my age, here). Here’s a guy that doesn’t give a shit about what people think—and how many of us don’t want to have that mindset, honestly?

Fat Bob makes an unlikely (and perhaps undesirable to some) style icon, but looking at today’s fashion, he’s actually not too far off the mark (well, except for perhaps the hair)—and the 80s is still in, apparently. Why, I’ll never understand—some of the things I’ve seen people wear these days are still as unflattering as they were back then. 

Robert Smith by isobelo
Photo: isobelo
Robert Smith tends to wear an oversized top (anywhere from a coat, to oversized sweaters and button-downs to sports jerseys), black denim or leggings, and bulky, high-top shoes (light-colored sneakers or tennis shoes).

Let’s also not forget the bed head and red lipstick. He’s said to use MAC’s Ruby Woo, which I think is a fantastic shade even though I don’t personally wear it—it’s unfortunately too cold on someone like me.
Now, unless you’re a hardcore goth, Sean Penn, or just really like to dress up—or, let’s face it, dress terribly—I don’t think we really want to look like Robert Smith every day. What I’m after with his look is edgy and dark (cue Wooo-ing sounds), but not scary or downright frumpy. Here, some ideas for that Robert Smith look:

1. An oversize sweater in a lightweight knit (or at least, not too heavy) is perfect for those of you enjoying the fall weather (which does not exist where I live). This one from Topshop is just a touch wilder compared to the classic cardigan.

2. A classic button-down shirt is always a good thing to have in your closet. I believe in something that’s a bit more fitted, though—to lessen the bulk. I find that loose, oversized shirts work best on those who are on the small, slim side. This one from Joie is also pretty flattering, too.

3. I notice that today’s loose, oversized silhouettes seem to call for a more streamlined or tight-fitting bottom. I’m not big on leggings (for myself) but I do like the look of this pair from T by Alexander Wang.

4. If you’re averse to high-tops, boots are always a great option. I’d wear these Rag & Bone Deacon boots if a) I could afford them and b) if it wasn’t so hot here. I’d wear them anyway regardless of weather!

Speaking of which, a good pair of boots seems pretty hard to find in Manila. I have a soft spot for Doc Martens, but I still feel that might not be enough, especially if you’re after something less rugged. Sometimes you can luck upon a good pair in boutiques during the F/W season, but I’m extremely picky about shoes so I’m never happy with what I see in stores. I find that one of the best places to find interesting boots is the ukay-ukay (thrift stores carrying clothing and accessories from Japan and Korea). If you have the cash, though, you can go all out and have a pair custom made in certain shops in Cubao or in downtown Manila.

5. Red lipstick will never be out, as far as I’m concerned. Lipstick Queen is my favorite brand, which I was only able to find during a trip to Hong Kong. I love the way Sinner Red looks on me because it’s a true red—not too orangey (warm) but not too blue (cold), either. If you find matte lipsticks too heavy, Lipstick Queen has a Saint line, which offers the same shades in the Sinner line but with less pigment. Medieval is also a great alternative if you want to go with a stain.

Other great red shades can be found in Manila at NARS, Chanel, and of course, MAC. For those of you not looking to splurge, I hear good things about Revlon’s red lipstick shades, but I’ve yet to try it. My mother swears by their Just Bitten line.

Tousled, wavy hair completes the look, but I like the idea of wearing one’s hair in a tight ponytail or bun for contrast and drama.

A few of my favorite things: Washi Tape

Washi tape (also called paper tape) is pretty difficult to find here in Manila. I’ve seen some fabric tape and some Cram Cream tape in Divisoria (which makes me wonder how “authentic” it is) but washi tape? I do remember seeing a few in the bookstores but they’re still not quite what I’m after.

I found that washi tape is not exactly cheap. I got some in Japantown in San Francisco (a set of two) and if I recall correctly, the set cost somewhere between US$5.00-10.00 (that’s around PhP200++ to PhP400++). I don’t go to the US often and I also don’t have access to washi tape (I avoid shopping online whenever possible because I don’t want to overspend), so I thought I’d better get at least a couple to play with. The thing is, just as you think you don’t want a particular color or print, you realize later on that you do.

This lovely set comes courtesy of one of my best friends, Mahala, who gave it to me as a birthday present:

I’m also a sucker for good packaging, and I love that this one also serves as a dispenser.

All this fuss over glorified masking tape, you ask? Well, it’s a great addition to your stationery and scrapbooking materials. Also, if you’re into unique gift wrapping styles, you can use plain craft or even coated white paper and then decorate with washi tape. Oh Joy shows an example of what you can do with them:

Photo: Oh Joy
There are even more creative uses for washi tape, like creating unique journals or notebooks. This photo is from mer mag‘s tutorial—which is an excellent idea for crafting with kids:

MerMagForGapKidsJournal4 by mer mag
Photo: mer mag

This one showcases a sophisticated look from designlovefest:

There are some really great ideas at this website, too. I’ve yet to try these—so far, all I’ve done is to apply tape to some of my things, like my external hard drive. Hahaha! Oh, and I did use it for the topmost image. I hand lettered the words in my sketchbook to see what shapes work, did the digital version in Illustrator, then after printing it out, applied tape to parts of each letter. Easy peasy.

An introduction

Who am I? I’m an independent graphic design professional.

I’m not Stefan Sagmaister or Jessica Hische—I’m not a graphic design rock star, complete with matching talent.

I’m not Martha Stewart—my attempts at crafts are never as neat as hers.

I’m not Donna Hay, either—I’m a lazy cook.

I am, however, an admirer of theirs, and of anyone who creates beautiful, amazing, unusual things—anything that makes me pause in my tracks and stare. I’ve been posting most of the inspiring things I find on Tumblr and Pinterest for some time now, so I figured, why not expand to a proper blog and actually talk about some of these things?

I know I’m just one voice of many, many bloggers, and this sort of blog has been done before (and better). With that in mind, I’m treating this blog an experiment—one where I will attempt to work on and talk about self-initiated, personal projects. I’ll also talk about the things that really grab me (or things I really want to grab), anything from fashion, art, design, and beyond.

Because I’m just starting, I’ll be focusing on myself and my own work for now. *hears the frantic mouse clicks of people going elsewhere*

Maybe with some luck, this little blog will take me places. Who knows? I’m not really the most confident person but I will do my best, anyway.

P.S. I’m in the very slow process of making the blog look the way I want. I think I should let people know right this minute that my expertise is in print (not web) design. If there’s anyone who’s following me, I hope you will bear with me as I attempt to edit my blog layout.