I’ve never been what people refer to as a “creative soul”. Come to think of it, I’m the only one in the family who can’t draw anything but stick figures. It was during high school when I found my own thing. I was introduced to makeup all thanks to school play and soon after that, a person’s face became my canvass. Now, I’d like to think that everyone of us has their own medium for creating art; it’s just a matter of how we harness it.
Years before I ever owned my first lipstick, I was first introduced to cross-stitching, a hobby my mom eagerly passed down to me. I’d like to think that even before the 90’s “cross-stitch frenzy” my mom was already doing it. We actually have two huge pieces in our current house – one with six baby angels in it and my favorite, “The Creation”. My mom and I may disagree on a lot of stuff but not when it comes to her cross-stitch works. Even if the design and patterns are not all original, just the time and effort she put in them makes it her own work of art. So no, the brand DMC is not new to me. I still have old biscuit cans at home filled with them. 🙂
A few weeks ago, I was invited to an Arts and Crafts afternoon at Early Bird Breakfast Club in Makati courtesy of DMC. If you know anyone who is into crocheting or cross-stitch, I’m sure you’ve seen or heard of DMC before. But for the sake f those who have been living under a rock, DMC is a long standing brand that offers the highest quality embroidery threads and crochets cottons.
I grew up thinking that DMC only offers cross-stitching paraphernalia. It’s great to finally discover that they also have a wide range of products for different crafts. There are a lot options. There’s embroidery, knotting, dream catchers, string art, knitting, crochet and cross-stitch among others. And through this event, DMC, along with the people behind it, aims to challenge everybody to think outside of the box and find a craft by which they can express themselves.
So while attendees were munching on great food, DMC partner crafters took the floor to share their personal experiences that led them to their DIY craft. It was interesting how I got to relate bits and pieces of myself, experience and hobby with theirs. And for someone who isn’t “creative”, their stories really did inspire me to try cross-stitch again. Read on and be inspired to create something of your own. 🙂
Michelle Karla Sumulong of www.itrydiy.me
Advice: Never be afraid to make mistakes. 
Mikko grew up crafting with her mother. She was an only child which made her a bit spoiled. So much so that her cousins didn’t want to play with her. I know the feeling all too well. Haha. So to keep her preoccupied, her mother taught her how to craft. Now she makes and writes about crafts on her blog. In her website, I Try DIY, she posts tutorials, and blogs about new discoveries.
Karla Quimsing of klaylalay.com
Advice: Go for it. Be Adventurous. Create something that you love. 
Karla is now a copy writer for Life At Caresharing. She also owns Damgo, which in Bisaya means dream, an online store where she sells her dream catchers. She uses twigs from the trees in her backyard which her daughter paints. Her dream catchers are very unique and interesting just because each one has their own personality. This is by far my favorite.
Marielle Nadal-Reyes of yellowbuglove.com
Advice: See the potential in things.
Marielle is the founder of CraftMNL, a studio in Makati where crafters meet and do workshops together. They also organize small craft fairs for others to sell their own handcrafted items. The bouquet she’s holding (photo above) is not your ordinary flower bouquet. The flowers were handcrafted for her wedding. Talk about putting your personal touch on a wedding! <3 Marielle also owns Yellow Bug Love, an online store where she sells hand crafted wedding decors.
Candy Reyes-Alipio of candyreyes.com 
Advice: Don’t be afraid to try something new. You can make anything with your hands as long as you put your mind to it. 
Candy is the creative mind behind Knitting Expedition which aims to make knitted products by locals of Mt. Pulag. She also works with Ricefield Collective which is a group of women farmers from Uhaj, Banaue. Who would’ve thought that something that started as a hobby would eventually help natives create a living. It’s truly inspiring how crafting can evolve to different things.
Trey Ajusto of gantsilyoguru.com
Advice: Know the basics. Don’t be limited by the misconceptions about the craft.
Trey is a full time crafter and an entrepreneur. She sells her own line of crochet yarn and craft supplies called Gantsilyo Guru. She takes her tools of trade (her handy case of crochet hooks and yarns), everywhere she goes. She usually writes about her travels, discoveries and crafting.

The mini Christmas tree she’s holding was a school project of hers that was rejected because the teacher thought the maid did it. And she told that story animatedly. Haha. She’s very spunky and definitely full of personality! The way she talks about her crafts shows her passion for what she’s loves doing.

Lenora Cabili of filipinna.com
Advice: Start small. Don’t go for big projects and you discouraged halfway through cause it’s taking so long. 
Len owns the fashion line called Filip+Inna, where her clothes are designed with traditional Filipino patterns from indigenous tribes which are cross stitched onto the clothes. Her brand gained global recognition as featured in Elle magazine and worn by Tory Burch and Amanda Hearts. She’s gotten quite a lot of recognition for her work. And oh, the pattern on the dress she’s wearing, she made that. Interesting, isn’t it? 🙂
At the end of the afternoon, we got to take home handcrafted piece from each of DMC’s partner crafters. It was indeed a fun afternoon – something that I initially didn’t think would really peak my interest that much simply because it isn’t beauty-related. Now I have more respect for my mom’s creations at home.. and who knows, I might start doing cross-stitch again. Probably something that is more complicated than the Tweety Bird design I did when I was in grade school. 🙂
To further encourage people to try different new crafts, DMC is holding a craft fair, entitled DMC Handcrafted, to reach those who want to start crafting and those who are already into crafting. This 3-day weekend craft fair starts on January 30 to February 1 at Century City Mall Event Center.
You can buy handmade pieces or make own little projects during the event. Partner crafters will be at the fair, too, to hold workshops for those who want to learn new skills so don’t miss it!