It started with pure serendipity and a most opportune one at that. By a fortuitous turn of events, while browsing at the many attractions of last month’s Kawaii Convention, I bumped into a friend at Whitespace Manila. (See us below saying “hello” to each other):
Ms. Ingrid Guerrero, the artist behind Provenance 1800 Designs and Crafts, was holding a clay workshop for attendees of the convention that day. I was not aware she was one of the events participants and finding her there, amid a throng of young people, was such a pleasant surprise!
We barely managed a conversation because of the noise and din of the crowd, but in those short minutes, Ingrid planted the seed for what would turn out to be a Sylvanian clay workshop. When she suggested having one for collectors like me (and her), I jumped at the opportunity to organize it for PH♥SF, my Facebook-hosted community of Sylvanian collectors.
I have to confess, though, that in the process of organizing the event, I had my moments of doubt. Would I be able to pull it off? Would people come? Would they pay to learn this craft? The initial interest generated was enthusiastic but in the course of the month’s preparations, I began to run into stumbling blocks. There were people who had confirmed and reserved slots, only to change their minds when payment was due. There were also cancellations at the very last minute. All these gave me a serious case of angina. However, when I thought long and hard about the help and generosity of the people who stepped up for the group, and yes, for me, I knew giving up was not an option.
There was Ingrid, who had whittled down the price of her kits to accommodate our group, even as she would be doing most of the work during the workshop. Another friend, Blooey S., had generously allowed the use of their office space in Makati for a very minimal fee. And Ban Kee Toys, our country’s official local distributor, had said yes right away when I sent Mr. Joseph De Leon, Brands Department Manager, a request for assistance. Ban Kee even had ToyTown personnel set up a pop-up store just for us. I owe these people a great deal of gratitude for their support and help.
Despite the difficuties of planning and getting everyone on the same page, we- Ingrid, Bloeey, Ban Kee, and I- made it happen. It turned out to be a great day for learning and fun, as also for fostering old friendships and making new ones. As a crafter wannabee, I had expected dismal results in my first foray into clay, but what do you know? I made a reasonably looking (read: not ugly) mango cream pie (inspired by Bizu’s mango chiboust, my favorite)! Yay for Kittymama!
This was Blooey’s handmade welcome bunting for PH♥SF! It’s so pretty!
Our first guests were Ayen’s lovely girls. They were so well behaved!
Loot bags and clay kits and dolls, oh my!
Sylvanian Families sold at a discount! *dances for joy*
Ms. Love of Labor of Lovewas our special clay guest and supplier. Thank you for coming, Ms. Love!
Teacher Ingrid started the lessons with an introduction of the projects we were going to be making that day. There were three in all: ice cream cones, pies, and sushi! Nom nom nom nom nom.
We were all ears.
I loved the mommies and kids’ table! Our youngest participant was only six, followed by an eight year-old, a nine year-old, and a tweener (twelve).
I borrowed this photo from Ingrid’s page to show you that I was as engrossed as everyone else in our little crafts. I was a bit nervous and unsure of how mine would turn out, but they didn’t look so bad in the end, heehee.
While we all listened to Teacher Ingrid (you can see Ayen at the background), Nimes was doing a fashion shoot with Cecil Mace, the Sylvanian photographer.
Fashion credits: blouse and jacket from Jenny Dolls/shorts from Manuheali’i Blythe/boots from eBay/styling by Kittymama
You can see the little ones bent on perfecting their craft projects. They definitely made their mommas proud!
V made itty-bitty, tiny cones.
His sister, V, wasn’t feeling well at the start of the day but the workshop cheered her up! (I hope you’re well now!)
Little J has grown up since I last saw her and she was even better at this than I was!
A worked with full concentration, despite the critters she brought along to play with. These kids worked as hard as the adults. Bravo!
We took a break halfway through the lessons. The break allowed us time to stretch, get a drink and a snack. It also turned into shopping time!
Our pies all turned out well, though, we had to admit, some were naturals at it. Blooey even had time to make chocolate chip cookies. (Now why didn’t I think of that?) The really nice cherry pie in the middle was Jeng’s. I wonder who made that really nice pie with the braided crust?
Kittymama admired my pie. “It’s the sweetest thing there is” she declared.
Our ice cream cones came in all flavors and looked delicious!
Nimes and Kittymama posed with their imperfect, albeit still delicious, cones. (Now how will they ever eat it if their elbows don’t bend? Heehee.)
Our sushis came out last from the oven and each one looked scrumptious! While others stuck to the prescribed lessons, the more adventurous and more industrious of us made waffles, pork buns (siopao), hotdog sandwiches, and hotdog on a stick! Amazing!
Our industry was well rewarded. Aside from the lessons and the kit, we brought home a special gift from Ban Kee. We love our loot bags!
We ♥ Sylvanian Families! We ♥ Ban Kee!
We had our picture taken as a group to remind us of this fun day and our new friends.
Our critters and girls also had a special group picture to commemorate this wonderful day. (Nimes eyed her cone with envy while Ayen’s girls tasted theirs.)
Thank you, dear friends, for making this day a success! Shall we start planning for another one soon?