I had a pretty tiring and emotionally stressful string of days last week. We lost someone in the family and though I am not particularly close to this person, it was very heartbreaking nonetheless. Aside from that, almost everyday, I received word about people I know or friends of friends who have also passed away or getting seriously ill. To top it all off, social media was, and still is, filled with the devastating news of Robin Williams’ death. I tried my best to cheer up for the sake of my kids and the unborn one in my belly, knowing full well that they get affected by my mood and emotions. However, I still found myself breaking into tears. Sadness still crept in. And I knew, somehow, I had to let go and let myself grieve over our family’s loss.
So I gave myself some time to just cry while at the same time reminding myself of that passage in the Bible that says, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”
By Saturday, I knew I had to simply get out and get some fresh air, get myself nourished and rejuvenated. So Kayo and I spent good, quality time together, just the two of us, away from home and without any kids in tow.
God also knew just how to lift me up and turn my mood around completely because on Sunday was the Hey Kessy Craft Gathering. I was so happy I got to be part if it, not only because I badly needed the break, but also cause I got the chance to meet and do crafts with some of the best. It was a free event, open to a limited number of people, hosted by the super talented lady behind Hey Kessy, Mansy Abesamis. It was also a celebration of her newly opened store and studio at 71B E. Abada, Katipunan.
Coming in, I was greeted by friendly and excited faces. There was an energy about the room that was totally infectious. Even if none if us knew exactly what was in store for us (except for maybe Mansy!), everyone was obviously eager and ready to make, create and have fun.
We all shared one long table, which was filled with pretty crafty things and there were freebies laid out before us as well, including the “I’d rather be crafting” stickers, some lovely vanilla goods from A Vanilla Story and tea from Tea Tox PH. Also, each of us got a sealed white paper bag which contained that afternoon’s craft project.
The event started with Mansy asking us to introduce ourselves one by one and talk a little about what we do, our shop (if we owned one) and what our favorite craft is. I was surprised and a little starstruck to discover that some of them were the people I closely follow on Instagram and whose handicrafts and products I adore! To name a couple, I met Alexis the Ink Scribbler and Tippy of Googly Gooeys for the first time while a few others I have already met before in other art events and handmade bazaars, like Abbey Sy and Mikko of I Try DIY. Some I’ve only met or seen for the first time but each of them equally talented and brilliant in what they do. It’s tough not to get inspired when surrounded by such people!
Afterwards, Mansy told us to open the paper bags to reveal our project and it contained three immaculately white clay plates in different sizes. Our mandate was to paint and decorate them however we wanted, using the materials available to us. The fun had just begun.
Once we started, it was hard to stop. Everyone just kept going at it while chatting and exchanging endless craft stories. Most of them owned online businesses so we also talked about the many different experiences of dealing with clients and other shop issues. I have less experience compared to most of them so it was quite educational for me to hear what they had to say. It was also interesting to hear about how they ended up doing what they do now.
The transformation of the clay plates was wonderful to see. I took time to just walk around and adore what the others have created. Everybody did something different and reflective of their personalities but all the plates turned out beautifully.
It was also awesome to finally see Mansy’s studio. It’s very simple, neat and there is something creative and inspiring going on in every corner and on every wall. I just loved what she did with the space. She obviously thought things through.
Towards the end of the workshop, we drew lots and did a plate swap so each of us got to take home one that was by another participant. I picked Ninna Notabo and she chose my Hello plate which I’m glad she really liked. I, in return, received a plate that says “Hope” made by Iona of CoffeeAID.
I know I should end this post soon because I could just go on and on, very similar to how I felt being at the Craft Gathering. It was difficult to stop working on our little clay plate project and it wasn’t easy to stop the animated and interesting conversations either. I just loved every moment in that place with those people!
Later on, Kayo came by to pick me up and before heading home, we looked inside the Hey Kessy store. I lost my mind a little, seeing the many awesome things they had for sale. There were craft punchers, leather stamps, rubber blocks, ink pads, craft books, paper straws, a table displaying rolls and rolls of washi tapes, handmade jewelry, tote bags, Speedball carving kits and so much more! I wasn’t financially ready to shop so I dragged myself out before I lost my mind completely! For sure, I will be back!
As we drove home, I excitedly bombarded Kayo with a detailed account of what I experienced at the workshop, told story after story about the wonderful people I met and how much fun I had. It was nice to finally be in a genuinely pleasant mood. Again, I was reminded by that quote from duo street artist, Herakut: “Art does not help people. People help people.”
Group shot grabbed from Hey Kessy
Yes, I did enjoy the crafts and it can really be therapeutic. However, nothing heals a soul better than community and the company of other people. I may not know these people well enough and they didn’t even have a clue what I was going through, but spending that brief time with them, sharing bits and pieces of our lives with each other while doing something we all have passion for was deeply refreshing. I slept that night very happy and grateful.
Thank you, Mansy, for a wonderful event! I look forward to more craft gatherings in the future. I also thank all the participants for being so friendly and generous with your skill. Looking forward to bumping into you girls again. Let’s keep crafting!
To know more about Hey Kessy, visit the website.
To see a list of upcoming workshops by Mansy, go here.
The Hey Kessy store is located in 71B E. Abada St, Loyola Heights, Quezon City and is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 11:00am to 7:00pm (Lunch breaks at 1:00pm to 2:00pm)