Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Color, Curry, Coffee

I've been practicing with my waterbrush by documenting my days. Below is for last Saturday's. Since Saturday is training day for kendo, everything written is kendo-related lol.

Last Sunday, my friends and I went to try CoCo Ichibanya curry house. The last time I was in Japan, I wasn't able to try it so I'm very glad that it's here in the Philippines. I absolutely love Japanese curry.

I ordered a chicken cutlet curry and went for the level 5 spicy. (It's the spiciest available in the Philippines. In Japan, they get up to level 10). Unfortunately, it wasn't spicy enough to make me sweat lol. However, it was really, really good!

After lunch, we went to Epic Coffee Roastery in Kapitolyo for coffee and to chat. I ordered a toasted marshmallow latte. The toasted marshmallow flavor was not very prominent but it was very good latte. I have no photos but the place is very beautiful and I'd really like to go back.

Epic's toasted marshmallow latte

Yesterday, I had dinner with a couple of my friends from UP Aggregates. We had dinner at Rib City (a new restaurant along Maginhawa Street) and then had coffee at Magpie Cafe (also in Maginhawa Street). I also brought them some homemade vanilla bean cheesecake.

my vanilla bean cheesecake and Magpie Cafe's mocha latte

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Things That Need Practice

This week, I received the pastry blender that I ordered online and I couldn't resist not using it so I made Portuguese egg tarts today. Unfortunately the hot and humid weather made it difficult for me to attain a flaky crust but it tasted good nonetheless and my parents really liked it. Though I think I need to practice pie-making more!

Last Saturday, my friends and I went to Magpie Cafe in Maginhawa Street. They had a freedom [glass] wall and some glass markers there and I wrote this:

Needs more refinement/cleaning up but I'm proud of it haha

I also bought a new water-dispensing brush so I had some practice with it.

The writing above means "kiai". It's the term for the shouting that happens in martial arts. You know when martial artists yell "Hiyaaaaaah!", that is kiai. The idea is that the kiai releases a person's fighting spirit and I believe it also aids in proper breathing. Kendo is no exception from kiai.

I've been told by a couple of my seniors in kendo that my kiai is not loud enough. It was actually pretty funny for me because I've been told many times by friends that I have a loud voice. Then again, my friends were referring to my conversational voice haha. However, apparently, I don't shout loud enough, at least not enough for kendo. That's why I have to add kiai practice to my routine practice at home so that I can do louder and better kiai during the next training sessions. 

Yeah, basically, I need to practice shouting at home. I hope our neighbors don't get alarmed lol.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Crafty Weekend

Since it was Pi Day (3.14) last Saturday and we had lemons in the fridge, I made a lemon meringue pie with oatmeal-graham crust. I say it turned out pretty well, especially for a first time!

In the afternoon, after kendo training, I went to Cubao to buy materials for a padded shinai bag I've been meaning to sew. I was really tired when I got home but I was so excited to make the new shinai bag so I did.

It took me five hours to finish. I found it difficult sewing with thick padding and I must have abused my sewing machine. The bag looks a little bulky because I bought the thickest padding available. Nevertheless, it's so nice to look at and I love it. I love the adjustable strap as well!

The next day, Sunday, I was resolved on getting rest. However, I could not resist not using the leftover fabric because the amount was just perfect for a knee-length skirt and of course I want a new skirt!

Gathered in front, garterized at the back and has ribbons on the side that can be tied at the back. It probably would have been nicer if I used a wider waistband haha but no regrets!

I'm pretty excited to wear it to class this Friday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spring and New Beginnings

Last week, my dad went to Benguet for field work and because strawberries are in season, he brought home some strawberries from Baguio. My natural instinct, of course, was to do a strawberry baking spree.

Though I arrived home late last Friday night, I made these strawberry cheesecake muffins. They were quite tiring to make but they were a hit so I guess my staying up late and the headache that came the next day were worth it.

Sunday came, there were still strawberries in the fridge so I made strawberry shortcake. However, I didn't have whipping cream on hand (plus I don't exactly like whipped cream either) so I used Swiss meringue buttercream instead.

Last Saturday, I also bought a new sketchpad and since it's springtime (not that we have spring here in the tropics), I painted these flowers. It looks like a kid's work but I'm happy with it.

As for new beginnings (which spring signifies), I started learning something new: kendo (sometimes called "Japanese fencing"). Two Saturdays ago, I did a trial kendo class at the dojo where a couple of my college orgmates train. It was tiring and the muscle pain was terrible that it didn't go away until Thursday. However, I enjoyed it and it's stress-relieving. Last Saturday, I went to class again, signed up for membership and bought my own shinai (the bamboo stick/weapon that represents a sword). The muscle pain is much much less now  and I've been practicing my swings at home too.

This is the case of my shinai. I sewed a sakura charm into it so that I can easily identify which is mine whenever we're in the dojo. I'm planning on sewing a padded case because I take public transport and I might bump the shinai into things. I just need to buy some nice patterned fabric and padding material and then I can start sewing!