How to Start Brush & Calligraphy Hobby

I’ve always wanted to get into the brush lettering and calligraphy hobby. And finally, after practicing with just G-tech pen, I moved on to the real thing. But did you know that I only found the motivation to start the hobby after joining workshops? The truth is that I never tried the real thing because I don’t know how to start.

What should I buy? What paper should I use? Where do I even buy these things? It’s hard to start if you have no idea! I’m thankful for the workshops I joined here in Iligan because they were my stepping stones to this new hobby. Shoutout to Charlette for the modern calligraphy workshop and Patti for the brush lettering workshop. Thanks to them, I learned the basics. (shout out also to my workshop buddy, Kat! <3)


But if you want to DIY the hobby, that’s not a problem. No need to fret on where to start. I got you covered. *wink* So, okay, let’s get started!

Modern Calligraphy

You will need a nib, pen holder and ink for this. There are two types of pen holders–the straight and the oblique. Pictured below is a straight and this is what we used at the workshop to practice. I don’t have the oblique yet but it’s on it’s way. As for the difference between straight and oblique, the latter creates more angle.




Now, with the nibs, there are various kinds available. However, I’m not familiar with them yet. I’m not even sure what nib I have been practicing with. I asked Charlette about it and she said most nibs are compatible with the Speedball pen holders. So, here’s a link to where you can purchase some. Although, there are those that are really small like the brause66 ef. My awesome mentor recommends hunt 22 and hiro 41 so check those out.

I forgot to take a photo of the ink that I have been using but here’s a link to the products available at The Craft Central, an online store for all your calligraphy and brush lettering needs. I’m not sure where Charlette got the ink for our workshop but I’m guessing it’s this one (check link).

Next is the type of paper to use. Sad to say, our standard bond papers won’t do as you will need a thicker kind. Look for a paper that is 90 gsm. Pictured below are the ones I’ve been using to practice. They’re both available in National Bookstore. You can also use 100 gsm. I also recommend printing a guide sheet for practice.  Untitled-1

The basic principle

Calligraphy is basically {upward stroke = thin line} and {downward stroke = thick line}. To create thick line using nib, just simply apply pressure. Here’s a video I found on YouTube.

Brush Lettering

For brush lettering, you will need the following: brushes and ink/watercolor. I’ve been using the waterbrush pen (middle) and so far, it’s the one that best works for me. You can purchase it here.


You can use a watercolor pad that is available at National Bookstore. But since it’s a bit pricey just for practicing, you can use the 90 gsm paper. You can get any kind of watercolor. I like the watercolor palette that Patti gave to us at the workshop. Not sure where it is available but the tubed watercolor is available at Daiso.

The principle used in brush lettering is similar to calligraphy: Up=thin, down=thick.


And that’s it. You can now start writing and brushing away! I’m loving this new hobby although it’s really testing my patience. So far, so good. Practice makes progress indeed. 🙂




3 Bridal Shower Tips

My older sister is getting married in a few days and I’m actually quite excited as this is the biggest festivity in the family yet. But as you all know, before the big day, there’s always the bridal shower first to celebrate the last few days of the bride’s singlehood.



We did an early shower for my sister last month and I’m actually happy to say that though it was nothing very grand, everyone had fun especially the bride. As the maid of honor, I never realized how daunting organizing can be but I’m so glad we were able to pull it all off. So, if you’re a maid of honor or perhaps the friend in charge in putting together a bridal shower, here are three tips I can share to you:

Pick a theme. My sister requested a dressy and heels night so I thought of the theme “Beauty” to match with it. There are several ideas you can go for—I’m thinking Boho Chic, Masquerade, Lingerie Night (for the daring ones *wink), Spring Tea Party, Hawaiian & BBQ and the list goes on. You can also pick a color scheme and from there you can plan on.


Pack the party with games. This will depend on how far you can prepare but the key is to make sure everyone will have a chance to have fun—in short, everyone must be involved! In my opinion, the best one we did was the “Best Gown Ever” game wherein three teams created a masterpiece dress out from tissue paper. There are so many game ideas available online but we did simple ones which were “How Well Do You Know the Bride,” “Scrambled Words,” and “Charades.”


Pinterest is your best friend. For all your design, game and whatnot needs, the good old site will be there for you. If you want to go all out, Pinterest has awesome ideas. If you just want to keep things simple, you can always improvise. You can also check out Google for extra ideas.


Here’s my Bridal Shower outfit of the night—a print on print ensemble. It may look like a one piece but they are actually two pieces of clothing that are just match made in heaven. .


Can’t wait to blog about the actual day. Countdown is one week from now! ❤

(Closed) Fashion Giveaway!!

I’m not a fashion blogger but I am so privileged to be part of this little giveaway collaboration featuring my friend and fashion blogger Katrin Lapeña of Katwinvasion and Iligan’s most trusted online shop, Xina Maldita.


Xina Maldita is actually owned by Sheena Prete. She started her online shop when she was just in college. And though she’s a nurse by profession, she chose to pursue the business life because her customer base kept growing and growing. It goes to show that a lot of ladies, including myself, love her items so much. I’m actually an avid buyer because aside from the cute and trendy pieces, the price range is the bomb. Everything is affordable yet very worth the purchase.


When Sheena asked me to pick one for the giveaway, I had a hard time choosing. Thankfully, Kat recommended this cute gray Kylie Jenner-inspired semi-cropped top. It just goes to show this friend of mine knows her trends. So to those who are looking for some fashion inspiration, do check out Kat’s blog. She has also blogged about this giveaway already. Check it out here.



For the giveaway, get to win this gray top and Kat’s navy cropped top and skirt coordinates. All you have to do is:

  1. Follow Xina Maldita on Instagram: @xinamaldita
  2. Follow Min Montes (Cup of Thoughts) on Instagram: @cminmontes
  3. Follow Katwinvasion on Instagram: @katrinlapena
  4. Like Xina Maldita on FB:
  5. Like Katwinvasion on FB:
  6. Comment below your name and email address in this post.

And that’s it! With six easy steps, you get one entry for a chance to win Xina Maldita clothing! We will close the giveaway on March 5 and randomly draw one winner on March 7.  Good luck girlies!  (This giveaway is open to Philippine residents only.)



Single Is Not Equal To Ugly

Hello beautiful single ladies!

I hope you had a blast celebrating LOVE day because I sure did! I went on an eat-all-you-can sushi buffet at Ramen Yah with the bf/bff and we were so stuffed I thought I promised not to eat sushi for a month after (but of course, that promise is all gone now that I’m hungry again).


Anyway, I hope that whether with or without a date, you had looked your best last Sunday. Not because you’re trying to impress someone or you’re on prey mode (say what?) but because you know that single is not equal to ugly. What am I trying to say here?

Well, have you ever had that notion wherein as a single lady, you just don’t care with how you look? You don’t give a care because you’re not trying to impress anybody anyway. Perhaps you have a firm confidence that you are beautiful no matter what. If you are that person, let me say that your notion is very right.

Inner Beauty > Outward Beauty

It’s true that we should never try to impress people with our looks. It’s also true that we need to believe that we are beautiful no matter what others say because that’s what God says about us. He said that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made..” and His “works are wonderful.” He also said in His Word that:

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:3,4)

It means that inner beauty is still the most important thing no matter how cliche it sounds. Outward beauty can never surpass a beautiful heart especially one that is aligned with God’s.


One becomes greatly beautiful on the outside regardless of flaws because the beauty on the inside is radiating through. And the thing is, we can never find this kind of security anywhere else except in Jesus.

Inner Beauty + Outward Beauty = Desirable

But does this mean that it’s okay to not care about our physical looks? I don’t think so. We also need to do our part. Just like what Michelle McKinney Hammond wrote on her book titled “What To Do Until Love Finds You”:

“A lady-in-waiting should always look the part whether a knight is in sight or not. After all, you never know when he’ll appear. And when  he does, spiritual plus beautiful equals highly desirable.”

I wish I can write down the whole chapter of the book here because there are so much things that I wanted you to read but since that’s obviously impossible, I urge you to grab a copy of the book and read the entire thing. I promise you won’t regret it.

So what now?

There are several ways that we can do to look after our physical appearance and it varies from one woman to another. The important thing is that we never lose the willingness to fight the good fight of personal upkeep. So, here are few of the ways I think we can do to keep our outward appearance on fleek. *wink*

EXPLORING THE WORLD OF MAKEUP. Don’t get me wrong. I still believe that natural beauty is better. But let’s be realistic and admit that makeup is almost every woman’s weapon against stressful nights, haggard days and archenemy pimples and breakouts! If you’re not into all those cosmetic stuff, I understand because I too sometimes have no idea!


But get your basics on (read: eyebrows, blush, foundation, lipstick) and you’re good to go. Don’t be afraid to explore! Also, I bet my sisters out there would agree that MAKEUP is FUN! The key is not to overdo it and to remember that your identity is not in how good you look with it

KEEPING IT HEALTHY. Okay, I’m guilty with this one. I don’t have a healthy lifestyle and I’m not proud of it. But once in a while, I do try. Sometimes, I go to the gym to get me some exercise. I try to control my eating habits.


I try to eat healthy. I try to sleep early…okay…I fail at that most of the time…but the point is, do something to stay healthy! Feeling good on the outside should start with feeling good on the inside and sometimes that’s all it takes. I better start living on this one too.

PAMPER & BEAUTY TIME. When was your last salon visit? When was the last time you had your nails done? When was the last time you visited the spa? I know this can be expensive but once in a while (if you have the budget), treat yourself to some pamper and beauty time. Or if you think you can DIY, why not? Don’t let the busyness and stress of the world drain out the beauty in you.

PASSION FOR FASHION. Well, not really passion. I just wrote that because it rhymes and I personally think that the way we dress up plays an important factor in our overall look. The truth about fashion is that it’s a personal thing so it should never make you look like you’re dressing up as someone else.

But try doing a wardrobe check and see if you ought to need a wardrobe update. I’m not saying throw out all your clothes and buy new ones (although you can actually do that if you have loads of money. lol). Just try experimenting or exploring according to your style and preferences. And if you need help, there are thousands of sources out there that you can turn to for reference.

Here’s a good news:

I’m going to hold a giveaway and it’s going to be a collaboration with my fashion blogger friend Katrin Lapeña of Katwinvasion and Iligan’s most trusted fashion online shop Xina Maldita by Sheena Prete. Fashion pieces are at stake so stay tuned for the official giveaway announcement.

Until then, stay beautiful ladies! ❤





Women With Vision

It’s finally 2016! Hooray for the new year! I know many are excited by this time with what’s ahead or what’s in store. Some are probably planning already or listing down goals to achieve. Perhaps others have visions of what to do in the next 12 months.

If you are one of those people, that’s good! But if you haven’t even thought of doing such, it’s not too late yet!



“Do I really need to have goals or visions in my life?”

I say yes! Don’t worry if you answered “no.” I used to think that way too. I’ve never been so particular about achieving goals or envisioning my future because I’m a very steady person. But now that I’m a bit older and I know bigger responsibilities will pile up soon, I realized that I need to change–from being a “just go with the flow” to “woman with vision.”


To inspire us to start our year right, we gathered over coffee to talk about the power of vision. It says in Proverbs 29:11 (KJV), “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” 

Vision plays an important role in determining our future. Sometimes we base our decisions on it and take steps because of it. But while we have our hearts and minds set on things already, it’s essential not to forget that our vision is defined by God.

He is the one who gives us a clear picture of what He wants us to be and how He wants us to get there.  And with the right vision, we will:

  • Know our purpose in life
  • Set our focus on the goals
  • Ignite our passion
  •  Know our priorities
  • Remain on the right track
  • Overcome any obstacles or trials

It’s not easy to think about the future especially since we have no idea how things will turn out for us. It’s exciting but at the same time scary. But may we never forget that the future is bright already because of what Jesus did on the cross for us.

So ladies, get your pen and paper and start being a woman with vision!

When we have a clear vision from God, we will also see that God has given us every resource we need to accomplish the task.

If we have a vision, we will remain clear on our priorities and keep ourselves on the right track.

Vision fuels our passion, creates momentum, and keeps us focused on the goal.

We can only know our purpose when we know our God and receive His vision for us.



You’re Lazy and You Know It

It’s been a while since my last blog entry and I think you can tell why—yes, I’m lazy and I know it. I’m actually aware of how lazy I can be but the past few weeks had me thinking twice of the enormousness of my idleness.


One time I was looking at my favorite pairs of shoes and I can’t help but
cringe at how dirty they were already after being used so frequently. Every
after use it’s either they’re just outside collecting more dirt or inside on
the shoe rack but not even brushed or wiped. I picked up one shoe and examined how grimy it was, but instead of grabbing a rag, I just said under my breath, “Someday, I’m going to clean you.”

By just the word “someday”, I knew my laziness had gone too far already. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t take me an hour cleaning them up but I resorted to staying in my comfort zone—wearing dirty shoes. And more often than not, when we let laziness get to us, it causes us to be dissatisfied with ourselves and our lives in addition to being unproductive. The bible tells us:

Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person
will suffer hunger. [Proverbs 19:15]

A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. [Proverbs

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied. [Proverbs 13:4]


Apparently, the Bible has a great deal to say about laziness. Proverbs is
especially packed with wisdom pertaining to laziness and warnings to the lazy person. This only reminds us that there is no room for laziness in the life of a Christian especially because we are in a big mission of telling others about the gospel.

There was this one time when I was just at home when this person I am doing one2one with spontaneously messaged me. She asked if I was available so that we can continue on to the next chapter. Oh, I was free alright, but I felt a surge of laziness in me because of three main reasons:  1.) I live about 20 minutes away (when commuting) from the city, 2) Public transpo from our house is just exasperating and 3) I’m still in my pjs. Can I just stay home, pretty please?

But deep down inside I knew I was just being plain lazy. And considering
this person was most of the time busy, I knew I just had to take the chance of meeting up with her, whatever it takes. An invitation to do one2one only signifies this person’s hunger for more of Jesus. How can I possibly let the moment slip through my fingers just because I’m “feeling” lazy? So, of course, I replied with a “yes, let’s meet” after contemplating.

For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. [2Thessalonians 3:11-12 ESV]

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. [Hebrews13:16 ESV]

I’m still trying to overcome this prominent laziness in me and I guess one thing I’m ticking off my to-do list is to get back to writing in this tumblog. Hoping I get to keep this up.

So, is there anything that you are really lazy of doing right now? When are
you going to do it? How can you possibly deal with it? Whatever it is, try to
remember what God thinks about it.

And oh, by the way, I’ve cleaned my shoes. “Someday” isn’t so far away after all.

I’m Tired Of This Life

These past few days have been a crazy whirlwind of emotions for me and I believe I have my monthly hormonal changes to blame for. Ladies, I think many of you would agree when I say hormones plus what the world is throwing at don’t make a great combination at all. It’s like walking through Jurassic park only you’re the T-rex roaring and chomping on anyone who gets in the way. Of course, that’s just exaggerated but I think you know what I mean here. Can I get a yes?


Anyway, with heightened emotions, I’ve been pressuring myself lately with earning money and it’s silly because I don’t know where this is all coming from. It’s like as if I have kids to feed (although I do have bills to pay) and I felt like I need to earn, earn, earn, get that extra money or else they go hungry. And then there’s the reflecting about the future before gong to sleep or when I’m on my alone time:

“What’s going to happen to me?”

“Where am I going next?”

“What’s in store for me?”

“Is this how life going to be?”

“What am I good at?”

“Why am I so worried?”

Thinking about all these things, I am brought to the entire book of Ecclesiastes. It says in Chapter 1, verse 1-9:

The words of the Teacher,[a] son of David, king in Jerusalem:

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”

What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
    and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
    ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
    yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
    there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.

I felt like King David trying to make sense about everything. But as the week ends, I learned a lot from this whirlwind. I learned that it’s about turning to God when we’re worried because He cares (1 Peter 5:7). It’s kneeling down before Him, worshiping in spirit and in truth even in adversities (John 4:24). It’s trusting Him that the sufferings we have now is not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18). It’s finding rest in Him when everything’s just so stressful and chaotic (Matthew 11:29). And most of all, it’s making Him my strength, my ally in everything I do (Psalm 28:7)


Life isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to be tiring, draining and even frustrating. But when you have Christ in your life, you can have a storm-proof life wherever you may go. Going through a storm right now? Don’t give up, instead, look up. 🙂