When there's not enough time to letterpress print something, there might still be time to create something just as beautiful and effective. Last month we created these minimal cards for an intimate dinner hosted by ALC. gathering about a dozen influential women from different industries.
They needed some quick paper goods and within 2 days and we design and printed these cards to help set the tone for the event. They were printed digitally and we chose a paper stock called Plike which has a silk touch coating to help capture the tactile essence of a print.

The quote they chose says it all -

3.52 billion women in the world and here we are together

Littlemeats LA, a secret Sunday Supper club

I've been lurking around Littlemeats LA since Robin + Johanna, the husband and wife team behind it all, hosted their first dinner. It started as a "let's try and see" experiment to a full on incubator for chefs. Every Sunday 30 guests arrive to a loft where chefs who work at well-established LA restaurants (we're talking Melisse, Lukshon, etc.) get to experiment and try other recipes on their off day. These guys are passionate about food.

The first Littlemeats LA + Presshaus LA menu

The first Littlemeats LA + Presshaus LA menu

While at one of their events, I couldn't remember what I was eating so I suggested a menu and since then, Littlemeats LA has given me creative freedom! No clients but ok, these menus are also a labor of love as a pro-bono for the amazing meal they provide for me every Sunday evening. 

As a letterpress printer + designer,  I constantly design within 1 or 2 colors. Designing for digital printing felt awkward. Creating these menus was a design exercise outside the norm but it also meant having turn around prints within 2-3 days on top of the usual workload.

Now, Littlemeats LA is on Sunday Supper 24 or 25 and I barely learned that the name comes from the Spanish word "carnitas."  Carne means meat, the ending "-itas" makes it little so it means "little meats." I had no idea all this time!

Littlemeats LA
Get on their list here
See their food pics on IG


Special thanks to Brian Feinzimer for sharing his images!

Menu from a Yuna dinner hosted by Grand Performances at Littlemeats. Photo by: Brian Feinzimer

Menu from a Yuna dinner hosted by Grand Performances at Littlemeats.
Photo by: Brian Feinzimer

Photo by: Brian Feinzimer

Photo by: Brian Feinzimer

Moth Collective


by Moth Collective, an animation + illustration studio

Beyond the story, this animation short inspired me with color, style, and movement. Every scene could've been a still art print. Take a minute (or few) to watch this story about a mother's coat.

They also have another video up on NY Times' Modern Love column in a similar styling.

Gradients, ombres, oh my!

When a client asks for something special, we have to at least try it out!

Ludlow Kingsley, a favorite to work with, asked if we could do gradients on edges.  Sure! Why not?

Wait, there's a catch? The catch was to edge these business cards for design firm Play & Co with their 2 Pantone colors to get both colors on ALL sides. We had to make sure the blend was just right to get that occurring third color right in between.

It took a few tests a tries but we're so excited with how thees tuned out that we might have to a set of prints for fun to do more gradients on paper!

The Philippines, the Motherland

I've been taking all of this for granted. All of it.
I didn't realize what a privilege it is to be born in the United States until this trip.
It was my first time going to the Philippines and for my mom, 28 years had passed since she had been back to her hometown.
Raised with a single parent, I was so curious about my roots and where my mom grew up.
I finally got my answers.

Easy Diving resort in Sipalay, Negros Occidental

Easy Diving resort in Sipalay, Negros Occidental

For a long time the Philippines had been so far in my mind. My mom always brought up her memories of growing up on a rice farm in a household with 7 other kids, scrubbling floors with coconut husks, ironing with an iron that stored hot coals for heat, going to school because they had to and ultimately choosing to go to nursing school simply because the look of the uniform. She liked the white uniform with that signature hat. Her nursing is what lead her to this country. I'm so grateful for her tenacity and for my grandmother's sterness when my mom approched her to quit to study nutrition instead. Lola, grandmother in the Philippines, pushed her to keep going.

We were the only ones that made it to the U.S. All of her family is still in the Philippines and now they're becoming older. Her siblings are grandparents and my cousins are years older than me. I even have grandnewphews and grandnieces!




Our 14 hour flight from LA, a 4 hour layover in Manila and another 1 1/2 hour flight to her island Negros Occidental seemed all worth it at the first sight of her surviving siblings. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a huge clan of family and my aunts had tears of reunion and joy in their eyes. They had not seen their sister, my mom, in almost 30 years. I was meeting real blood family for the first time. Real cousins that weren't just my mom's friends' kids and aunties and uncles that could share stories with me of what my mom was like as a kid. I felt truly connected.

We stayed with family the entire duration of our stay being shuttled house to house and constant bombardment of Filipino hospitality, and with this I mean "Did you eat? There's food. Go eat!"

We stayed in Bacolod and even had the chance to see some main areas like The Ruins which is an architectural shell of a home from a sugar plantation owner. Notice the Spanish influence even on the buildings?

Here are more pictures of Bacolod in the gallery below




As we traveled the 4 hours by car from Bacolod to her hometown of Hinoba-an, I kept asking my mom, "How'd you make it out of here?"
This place is off the grid. The pace of life is slower out here. There are kids playing outside, there's vast farmland spread throughout with stretches of little convenience store stands, the roosters are crowing and the elderly are playing majong on their porches.

Mona, mom and me in Hinoba-an

Mona, mom and me in Hinoba-an

Staying here was my favorite part of the trip. We walked house to house visiting all the places my mom knew and we ate at home all the time eating meals made with love using local ingredients like seafood, pork, eggplant, banana, coconut, moringa greens, squash, okra, rice and mangos.

Local bananas

Local bananas

Fresh jackfruit

Fresh jackfruit

 I loved hearing the stories although I needed some help translating since I don't understand Illonggo, the local dialect. I loved hearing it even though they poked fun at me for a lot of jokes I didn't get. I tried to look for physical similarities between me my aunts and cousins and then I would see connections with my mom and her sisters. They had the same legs and ankles.  

Because we were so far from the main city, this area is rich in beaches. I kept wanting to see the coastline and longed to see the sunset so I can see the continuous scenery with that was so different from California's. Sure, the sun sets beneath our ocean too, but the water here was warm and clear with coconut trees everywhere. 

Happy Valley Beach - Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental

Happy Valley Beach - Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental

The time went by so fast.

The bugs still freaked me out and I was still not enjoying the rooster's morning call every morning but my body was becoming used to the heat and the way of life here. I was just starting to feel comfortable - no fancy coffees, no overloading on media / tv, nothing was styled or trendy, no fancy shops or cafés. It's simple here. The people are what make it. My family made me feel so warm and welcome here. I'll never forget my time there.

 I come away with new perspective admiring my mom much more than I ever did before. I knew she was strong having withstood some family tides of the family with me and my sister, but I had no idea my mom was a determined and driven young woman.  Now I know why she is the way she is, why she thinks the way she does. I love it when she speaks her dialect that much more.

Los Angeles and Hinoba-an are worlds apart but I feel like I straddle both like my mom does in some way.

Here are more OF My photos from Hinoba-an and surrounding areas