Former ANC anchor takes on one-woman ‘crafts show’

RAZZLE-DAZA - Pat-P Daza - The Philippine Star
Former ANC anchor takes on one-woman �crafts show�
Eliza Romualdez Valtos: Wife, mother, certified burdadera and calladista.
STAR / File

Eliza Romualdez Valtos and I have been friends since she was an ANC news anchor in the ‘90s. She is now a wife and mother to two grown boys, not to mention a certified burdadera and calladista. I asked Eliza if I could share with our readers the projects she began during the pandemic, and she gladly agreed.

It was because of the pandemic that Eliza tried to keep herself busy by doing lots of arts and crafts. Forced to stay home, she was finally able to act on ideas that were initially in her “ideas” folder. Because she had loads of arts & crafts materials and fabric at home, she started creating. She began making beaded flower wreaths and transformed upcycled old socks into sock dolls with positive messages embroidered on them.


She crafted hand rosaries and bag charms which she calls her “prayer express” beads, and upcycled the phone directory’s yellow and white pages by turning them into envelopes that were decorated with assorted flora and fauna prints. (The technique she employed is known as “decoupaging,” which is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects.)

Her hand-embroidered face masks are hand-sculpted and 90 percent hand sewn.

She even beaded an old airline toiletry bag with her husband’s initials and turned it into a cigar case.

When the first lockdown eased, her instincts as an Archaeology major were put to good use when she ended up sorting through a forgotten attic containing ternos (the national dress of the Philippines) from the early part of the last century until the 1990s.

As a hand-embroidery enthusiast, she found herself in heaven and discovered the almost forgotten art of callado, a traditional style of embroidery where threads are pulled out from certain areas of the fabric. She was able to track down an 80-plus-year-old calladista, who gave her restoration lessons via SMS. Thanks to an exchange of text messages and photos that served as learning sessions, Eliza was able to restore the ternos.

Using the phone directory’s yellow and white pages by turning them into envelopes using decoupage. Eliza created this beaded flower wreath which will look so nice in any wall.

She then began making face masks. At first, they were gifts she made for frontliner friends. Later though, when she’d go out on errands, she noted how drab the surgical facemasks which others were using. She was thus inspired to start her “moving garden” face masks, in the hope that they would bring smiles to people’s faces and lift their spirits.

Eliza’s masks are hand-sculpted and 90-percent hand-sewn to create the sturdy form her masks are known for. She can make three to five masks a day, depending on how intricate the embroidery is. Her embroidered masks range from P1,200 to P1,800 a piece, while the non-embroidered printed-fabric face masks are P450 each. When the exacting work requires her to rest her fingers, she puts the masks down and fulfills commissions for her upcycled yellow and white pages cards and envelopes.

Because she constantly posts her DIY adventures on her Facebook and Instagram accounts, it isn’t surprising that family and friends have started to inquire how they can get hold of her creations. She opened @mommylovesyou_crafts, which is a one-woman operation where she creates her designs over and above taking orders and scheduling them for delivery. Lately, however, she has asked her dear friend Cez Jarlyn Young to help her with orders. This way, she has more time to create new designs and pursue new ideas.

When she’s not busy using her hands to restore ternos or create beautiful face masks, you will find Eliza trekking and traveling because these are what keep her sane. But when she’s at home, you can bet she’ll be absorbed in her wonderful arts and crafts, the passion for which was honed when she volunteered to lend her oh-so-creative helping hands to her children’s school events.

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