Photo Credits: clairelyhappy


I drew inspiration for my recent paintings from my recollection of summers past. Sketching my owls, I think ahead of bright cerulean skies in the months to come. Blue, orange, and green… I swipe colors that keep me in union with the earth.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Working on leather material.

I feel the owl’s eyes stare back at me, round and smiling, cooing. I am pulled toward it, as if it has its own stream of consciousness, and I am reminded of my days as a young girl in Butuan City.

In my hometown, during summer, my brothers and the boys would have their hair shaven. They would run in khaki short shorts, and the girls and I would play in the park in floral dresses and ponytails that exposed the back of our necks- thin and looking elegant against the light, the green of the trees and the balmy weather.

Summer isn’t far away now. I can sense my owl smiling back at me. I’ll be hanging out with my friends soon, preparing for our homecoming, and the family will be bonding at the beach. It shall be golden.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Done with two owl themed leather bags.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Clairelyhappy Owl themed leather bags.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Autism: Owl we need is love

We were on our way to visit my brother’s family when the rain started to pour. I haven’t visited their home for years and decided the rain wasn’t going to keep me from dropping by on the holidays. It was getting heavy, and we heard the news of a storm coming. I wavered a little, supposed I should defer my plans and go the next day. But I started to feel guilty for not even keeping in touch with my family as much as I ought to over the years.

Peering through the windows of Dunkin Donuts that have become dense in the cool weather, I started to evaluate lost time. Mark talks about his family often, about how he loves to hang out with his brother and his kids. He always says it’s great to be able to spend time with people who are literally a reflection of your person-hood. No matter the differences, physically, or of opinion, you’ll still see yourself somehow in each and every one of them.

I didn’t know exactly what to expect the moment we stepped inside their home. I’ve heard few stories about kids with Autism and, lacking sufficient knowledge on the disorder (ASD), I thought their eldest son, Raphael would reject my presence the very moment he sees me.

He doesn’t look directly at anyone, nor did he say a clear word at me the whole time we were there. I think he mumbles and makes grunting sounds regularly, but I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant. Mark says that’s usually how kids with ASDs are misunderstood in public places, and many get bullied in school for it. Most of their peers and teachers may think they’re naughty or a nuisance, when they only do not know how to respond at the same wavelength, nor socialize properly.

I do not like to refer to it (Autism) as a disorder. I look at Raphael and I see a child who’s different, yet aren’t we all from each other? I look at him, and I somehow see myself in him just as Mark said he does with his own family in one way or other.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

With my nephew Raphael.

Like our dear Raphael- whose skin is white as milk, whose brown hair flows smoothly over his forehead, who likes to flap his hands on the table and against the wall, but does so with the purest of intentions- I long for my family’s attention too. I love to be loved, and that’s how we all learn to love ourselves. I like it when people try to understand me when I fail at comprehending my emotions. At times when I prefer to be alone and not talk, just as when our Raphael does not utter a word, I wish for people to sympathize with what I am going through no matter how illogical that may sound.

I don’t slam our table or hit a wall, but if I ever do something uncharacteristic I am happy to know I have someone who’d hold my hand and not highlight on my personal oddities. How we love to be accepted for who we are.

Love is beyond comprehension. We just love without being able to pinpoint exactly why, like a malaise. It’s illogical, encompassing, a disorder. I guess we’re not much different from Raphael.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Finishing touches. Watercolor painting. This is a manifestation of how Raphael inspired me to work on Owl We Need Is Love.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Autism: Owl we need is love. Thanks to my nephew for inspiring me to create this painting, which is now displayed at our home. It’s all about understanding, acceptance and love. 


Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Denim Art

It was a perfect day to be out and about. We decided to go to the city to watch the movie The Secret Life Of Pets. We had our late breakfast of the usual bacon and eggs, and we talked about our cat. We wished she were as fat as a cartoon character and colored blue, or green, or, any color that suited her temperament.

And then it rained. Hard.


The Secret Life of Pets Movie

Mark was devastated. He wanted to go to Sugbo Merkado at the Cebu Business Park after the movies, and drink beer and relax. He wants things smooth and predictable, and the rain ruined it all right. But I felt it was nothing new. The weather here is almost always unpredictable, and you can’t let it run your day.

The rain faded to a drizzle, and we made it to the city.

“See?” I told Mark. “You got to think positive.”

But Mark hates positivism. He likes things predictable and estimated like a punch and a counter-punch.

“You can’t expect me to jump out the window and grow wings, right? Don’t lecture me about Paulo Coelho, and all that. I’m not delusional.”

“Are you saying he is?” I asked.

“Well, it’s fiction, so, of course not. But the idea makes me nauseous. It’s too doggoned corny. Let’s talk about ‘papa’ instead. I’d love to talk about realists more. I love how they strike it as it is. It reminds me of how I felt when I punched the heavy bag and predicted its return. There’s so much beauty in all that, you know? It’s all about flow and counter flow.”

“I miss boxing, and it’s not far from reading a work of realism.”

But he calmed down when I mentioned our cat. He likes pets. He loves our cat. He misses his dog that passed away the day he came back from Manila. He thinks dogs are noble and cats are royalty.

Looking out his window the next day he saw our cat facing the same direction. It was a bright day with refulgent skies above, and who knows if it’d rain in an hour or two. The weather here is always unpredictable. It’s what’s bad about it, but on a positive note, it’s what makes it fun too. Unpredictability makes it more fun, and it adds more whims to a rather boring day.

I say, dress for the occasion. Dress for what’s unforeseen. Dress for the unpredictable.

Rainy days aren’t solely about gloomy skies or muddy pathways. It could mean pleasant conversations over tea, or play board games with a friend; go watch old episodes of Frasier all over again. For me it’s an opportunity to finish my artworks. Rainy days are not that bad at all.

My hand-painted work on denim shorts from start to finish:

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

My work in progress.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Working on the final touches.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

My finished product! Hand-painted owl design on denim shorts. One of Clairelyhappy’s Owl-mazing Collection.

No matter your style choice, denim shorts are a must-have. Whether it be light wash, dark wash, cuffed, or distressed, it’s easy to find a pair that suits your preference. And since they’re an essential piece, they can be styled with practically everything. Denim shorts helps you achieve the perfect combination of comfort and style.

Below are three cool ways to wear denim shorts on rainy days. I styled my hand-painted owl-themed pair of denim shorts. From comfy denim fur jacket and long sleeves top with scarf, to colorful cardigan.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Three different ways I styled my hand-painted owl themed pair of denim shorts.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Style No. 1

Denim Fur Jacket: Relaxed Jeans

Pink Plain Tee: Penshoppe

Denim Shorts: Clairelyhappy Owl-mazing Collection

Watch: Baby-G

Shoes: Dr. Martens

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Style No. 2

Black Long-sleeves Top: Penshoppe

Pink Scarf: SM Accessories

Denim Shorts: Clairelyhappy Owl-mazing Collection

Watch: Technomarine

Red Shoes: People Footwear

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Style No. 3

Yellow Cardigan: Five & Co.

Graphic Tee: Penshoppe

Denim Shorts: Clairelyhappy Owl-mazing Collection

Watch: G-Shock

Shoes: Converse

Rain should never compromise fashion. Everyone should feel comfortable while still looking fabulous!

Don’t be afraid to wear something bright and fun on a rainy day. Bad weather can be depressing, but it doesn’t mean you have to look that way too.

You can look cool under the rain, or under the shade of a coco tree in the sun. Don’t let rainy days be an excuse to look down. It may be an opportunity to use your styling expertness and creativity to brighten up the mood by wearing the right clothes and accessories for whatever season.

How do you like to style denim shorts? Let us know in the comments below!





Photo Credits: Mark F. Villanueva/ clairelyhappy

Sally Brown

It’s been raining all week, so we decided to immerse ourselves at home in a flood of work. One time we came back all drenched, and decided to stay indoors for days ‘til we needed to go back out and refill our provisions. Then all we’ve ever done was work, and watch Charlie Brown’s Peanuts movie.

The animated film reminds me of brighter days, but I’m not sad at all. Mark loves it when we’re at home ‘cause he detests crowded places, and big crowds in general. Actually, we both do, and that’s why we love to work at home more than in a formal work space.

I picked up the Peanuts movie characters I purchased from a nearby McDonalds fast food restaurant, and started to draw Sally Brown. Mark wanted me to sketch Snoopy, but instead ended up telling me about his first dog ever named Tulip. But I’m his cat, and cats naturally stay away from dogs.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Busy week painting and laying out graphics.

Like Sally Brown we chose to take an “easy approach to life” during the rainy days. With the cool pitter-patter sound of the rain against our tin roof we ended up dozing more than usual, but since we never went out we still ended up working more in a day.

Mark wrote in the morning with a blanket draped over his back, watching the rain. My painting took more time to dry up in the cool weather, but no one’s in a hurry to do anything.

“Do you want to go out later?” I asked.

“What for? Unless we’re out of food supplies I’d rather stay at home, veer away from people. Too many people everywhere, I swear, sometimes it feels like an epidemic.” Mark replied in a way I expected.

“Why don’t you paint Sally Brown some more? Or some stuff that reflects the good old days. I miss my dog Tulip. I miss my dog Snow Ball after her, and Snoopy. Did you know Hemingway’s cat was named Snow White?”

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Painting Sally Brown on a canvas tote bag.

I painted Sally Brown, and thought about how appropriate her personality was to our innocent chatter in our small house under the rain.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Stages of my work from sketch to the finished product.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Happy Sally is finally done!

Photo Credits: Mark F. Villanueva/ clairelyhappy


After considerable delay due to regular rainfall I finally got to finish my work, starting earlier in the morning than usual for a couple of days. When I woke without the pattering sound of the rain I quickly headed outside to set things up for a long day of work.

Photo Credits: Mark F. Villanueva/ clairelyhappy

The artist (Claire C. Fiel) outside the house finishing her work.

The sun was up gazing friendly rays, filtered by the leaves of the trees where I started painting right underneath. A few steps behind me, Mark was working by the window, probably well into his first thousand words.

The day was young, and I envisioned an owl in the wee hours of dawn out there somewhere. I looked around the surrounding woods, and imagined where it ought to be with the background foliage.

Oh! I’d like to be like you dear owl. But it’s mighty unfair that people hold a doleful impression of you. If given a single supernatural power I’d pick yours, no doubt, I thought. You’re owl-mazing, see. Yes siree!

There you go, I thought, as I dabbed some summer colors to make her a happy tubby creature. You sure like to eat, just like me- us, your creators- I mumbled. The atmosphere was cold, the air sharp in my nose.

I like you, owl, because you see things we don’t. You are wise and mysterious, now please allow me to make you cute, and it’ll all be perfect, you’ll see. I want to be a bit like you. Your clairvoyance draws me near you.

Too bad most people think you’re sad and alone at night when you coo. Nope, not anymore. I’ll make you happy, colorful as the days we spent last summer. Do you want me to name you Summer? Now here’s a bit of orange for that feathery feet with a body hued like cocktail.

You’re the happiest owl in the world I know, Summer. Happy just like us. Just like how Mark feels after he finishes his coffee.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Materials used

One of the reasons I was excited to do my sketch work- to use the Smiggle pencils! Thanks to my high school friend and classmate Russel Tomboc-Aumento for giving me a huge box of them and color pens from Australia. Now unto the next step: playing with colors on the mixing plate to achieve the best shade in mind.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Canvass Tote Bag with a pencil sketch I have drawn over.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Started painting using textile paint to the Canvass Tote Bag. Pausing in between to think of colors to jive in.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

My finished project. Hand-painted Canvass Tote Bag. I would have finished it much earlier, but wasn’t able to under unfavorable weather. My ideas are finally actualized on my bag.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Hand-painted Canvass Tote Bag.

Photo Credits: clairelyhappy

Owl-mazing! Finally enjoying some sunshine in the woods right outside our home. Hey there little fellas!

Finally finished my first two artworks, but this is just the start for us. I hope you will re-visit ClairelyHappy for my next projects.

Thank you.