"About Me" updated

I don’t know about you but when I visit someone’s blog and read what they have on their site, I make it a point to read the “about me” page just to get to know the writer better.  This page had stood as is since 2010 which is a long time to keep an “About Me” Page not updated.  So today I gave it a shot.

I’m Filipina  (hence, the PINAY which is slang for FILIPINA in the vernacular.)

I’ve called the big apple my home the last 12 years. (Before that, I was in Manila where I was born and raised in Erap Country. And yes, I do live in New York City in the borough of Queens in a beautiful community called Bayside.)

I like to do crafts.
(That’s why my second blog, Gotham Chick, is about crafting — jewelry making, polymer clay, papercrafts.)

I love to write.
(It’s my form of self expression and therapy…keeps me from doing a “Sisa”.)

I dabble in personal art.
(At the moment, it’s zentangling and paper crafting)

I have a collection of postcards, pencils and Starbucks mug (but actively collect the latter only at this point in time.)

I always have my point and shoot DSLR-like camera in my purse, and I love to take pictures of anything and everything under the sun (and stars).

I love to read. (although I don’t do it as much as I would want to)

I’m trying to be an online entrepreneur via ETSY.  (Although my shop is currently on vacation.)

I dream of winning the lotto and just lounging around in the house instead of slaving away in the office.
(Yes, I do have a day job.)

I can play half a dozen or so musical instruments although I don’t own one right now.
(Anyone giving away a magic piano that can fit into a suitcase when not needed? And I mean a REAL piano, not an electronic keyboard please.)

I’m a mom to a charming and bubbly 8-year-old who wants to marry me.
(Already told him not possible.)

Feedback on Feedback: Again, thanks…

I really appreciate those who take the time to drop by and leave a word or two.  I’d love to hear more from those who stop by here even if only accidentally, so I at least know who has been keeping my visitor counter moving.  (Not that it matters because I will keep blabbing on here come what may… or not.)

Marcia had stopped by to comment on the Feedback on Feedback post preceding this leaving such kind words:

“your art is really inspiring,especially for me. I do this same kind of art. I love pen and ink. Thanks for sharing your talents .. I hope its okay that I use you as a muse and for reference.. always giving you credit.”

And the Pinay New Yorker says: Marcia, thank you so much for the compliments — thank you, thank you, thank you.

Another comment from Shay:

“Thank you so much for the kind words..meant a lot. One day somewhere in New York or maybe back home, we get to meet, I will be able to say “Salamat” ha. :)

And the Pinay New Yorker says: Walang anuman, Shay. =)  And yes, I do hope to one day meet you — you never know when I”ll end up in the windy city, or maybe you’ll come and visit me here.. or maybe in Manila?

 And again from Shay, who is one of those who continue to egg me on to keep writing, who commented on Weekend Musings:

“an uneventful weekend is sometimes what we need from a hectic week having said this, is it weird that whenever a weekend comes and I don’t have anything to do I tend to get nervous? Good Morning Dinna! Sending you warm hugs and here’s to a fruitful week.”

And the Pinay New Yorker says:  No, Shay, not weird at all.  Happens to me all the time, too.. like this is too good to be true…!  But through the years, I’ve realized that we just have to take it as it comes and appreciate it for what it is.

So keep the comments coming.. and again, thanks for stopping by.


Art Journal Every Day with Angelo

For the 2 most recent Art Journal Every Day pieces I’ve worked on, I’ve decided to incorporate Angelo’s art/school work into my layout which I’ve found great inspiration in, not just for journaling, but more for the fact that it allows me to do something together with my son, even if not spontaneously. 

Art Journal Every Day with Angelo: Angel of my heart

This first collaboration was one of three ‘monsters’ Angelo rendered after reading a related story in school.  I picked up one of the 9 x 14 pieces and worked on it as  a background to do an entry about my 8-year-old.  I filled the spaces with phrases and did a journal entry:

“There are no works to describe how much you mean to me.  You were the answer to my prayers and I pray that God always keep you in His care.”

Art Journal Every Day with Angelo: Tomorrow will be a better day

I had wanted to do a piece on “Tomorrow will be a better day” (as a reminder for myself) and I cut out a rainbow from a sheet that Angelo drew for me for Mother’s Day 2012.  I put it in as the first element and worked the layout around it.  Instead of drawing on a plain sheet, I also tried something different by using one of my digital background papers and drew the rest of the entry around it.  The flower-like journal “bubble’ on the lower right hand corner was supposed to be a cloud which ended up looking more like a flower.  (Hey, I try.. LOL)  In it I wrote:

“There are days when I need to remain optimistic and hope that there will be another morning and things will turn out fine tomorrow.  There is always HOPE.  We just have to get past the bad days.”

The entries are simpler and more spontaneous these days… My journal has come back to life again.

If you want to see more of my art journal, please click here or you can always visit it through the page directory on the top of this blog anytime.  The Art Journal Every Day FLICKR group is found here.

Art Journal Every Day : Rest Your Mind, Calm Your Heart

I was cleaning up my stash in my work area when I found this piece unfinished.  It had just the wordart and the blue background.  I had meant to create an Art Journal entry for it for the longest time but had “forgotten” about it.  The word art is something I’ve photocopied in black and white and painted in various forms and sizes to use as cards or what not.  One time I was experimenting with my watercolor, I ended up with a lot of the blue so I thought I’d paint the background ahead and work on it another time.

When Angelo saw me photographing the finished work, he asked me how long it took me to render it and I told him the story of the background, but the zentangling and the journaling, I told him, took one sitting in my corner the other night.  “Impossible!” he said.  And that’s my biggest fan being incredulous about my work timetable.  I try to be as spontaneous as can be so it is truly expressive of what is “top of mind” to me at the moment.  In this instance, the word art was already there, and I just needed to “reflect” momentarily on it and I wrote:

Sometimes we have to allow ourselves to be still so we can hear our heart and give our mind the chance to listen… In the silence, the answer will come.


Art Journal Every Day: Rest Your Mind, Calm Your Heart

I try not to think when I do my Art Journal Every Day pieces.  (Click here for the Art Journal Every Day page from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blog.)  I haven’t really been doing it every day, but this project of Julie’s is what has inspired me to do simple drawings and scribblings as a form of self expression.  Highly recommended!

I found that the signpen glided nicely on the watercolor so it went very well together.  When I started the journaling, I didn’t have any idea how much I was going to write or what I was going to write.  I like doing my lettering this way — it’s very free flowing.  The choice of the flowers as “filler” was easier.  (My favorite zentangle subject.)

I used to get daunted by the great artists who participate but I do it more for myself now and have gotten a lot of support from the Flickr Group where we share our work.  For previous posts from Pinay New Yorker, please click here and visit my Art Journal Every Day page which has a special link on the top left.

Here and there

Work in Progress: Long Shot of the Chrysler Building ZentangledI am still struggling to come up with a Father’s Day post in large part because I wanted to write about my Dad.  Maybe in a day or two.  Although I have said that I now think about Papa with a smile, the sadness remains.  It’s almost two years now since he left us, but some things never really go away — time just helps us to cope with them better.

Meanwhile, I took the picture on the left last Friday and it has progressed rather well since then, so I’m doing finishing touches and filling in some gaps.  I’ve also attached the bottom and the middle portions and will be ready to “stitch” the pieces together once I figure out how I’m going to “fill in” the remaining “blank spaces.”

My next project was a toss up between the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Place (Paris vs. Brussels?) — but I am still looking for my CD of pictures of Belgium, and I found the ones from my first trip to Paris, so Paris wins.  Besides, doing the Grand Place is no less ambitious than doing a portion of the Manhattan skyline given the guild housees that line one of its sides…  We’ll see.  I really would like to stick to zentangling images based on my own photos that is why it’s important I find the actual pictures I snapped of the subject matter.

As always, I’ve had a lot of time to de-stress and think while doing the repetitive patterns.  This is what I like most about zentangling — it actually helps me to focus without pushing myself too hard.  Effortless almost.  These days, everything seems to take twice the effort so it helps when I can do something more fluidly with ease.  Life is difficult as it is… why make it harder? I’ve had to do some “patching up” but nothing too drastic a do-over.  And that’s another thing I love about zentangling — that it is such a “forgiving” art that allows me to redo something I might’ve messed up or changed my mind about.  Once done, this would’ve taken me four weeks to complete.  (Unless I get stalled in a major way in the next day or two.)

I haven’t really done much else with other things — haven’t been reading and I have been crafting at a snail’s pace.  I just realized today I haven’t been “here” in a week, although I’ve been writing elsewhere.  (For an audience of one: me.)  I haven’t managed to write any of the snail mail I’ve been meaning to write, and while I have been fixing my paper stock at home and generally trying to get organized in all sorts of ways, I haven’t made any cards of late.  I did find what was meant to be a background piece for an “Art Journal Everyday” entry, so I pasted it onto my book, trimmed the paper to size and will try and get going tonight on the art journaling.

Let’s see how that goes.

It's a "whoopie pie" kind of day today

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie from CRUMBSThere are days when you just find yourself unable to lift your shoulders to stand up straight, or to muster a real smile on your face — sometimes for reasons you cannot explain, sometimes because the weather is overcast like it was in Manhattan today.

I tried to be good with the diet.  Then lunch came.  I’ve taken on a new project of evaluating the different street vendors hawking lunch fare around me and I will come up with my 3 BEST and WORST when all is said and done — or something like that.  Today it was middle eastern (halal) chicken.  Yum.

I don’t know if it was the flavors and spices that I took in only with the white sauce and sans any pita bread or vegetable salad but I couldn’t shake this feeling that I needed a whoopie pie.  (Whoops! LOL)

The whoopie pie (alternatively called a black moongobblack-and-whitebob, or “BFO” for Big Fat Oreo) is an American baked good that may be considered either a cookie, pie, or cake. It is made of two round mound-shaped pieces of chocolate cake, or sometimes pumpkin or gingerbread cake, with a sweet, creamy filling or frosting sandwiched between them.  (See Michelin Maynard’s article in the New York Times Whoopie! Cookie, Pie or Cake, It’s Having Its Moment for a more indepth discussion of this heavenly treat.)

So forget that it was raining and I would need to cross the street to the nearest Crumbs bakeshop, but I was in and out of there rather quickly and got back up here before anyone noticed I had gone.

Life’s simple pleasures.  There are days when you need a pick me up.  I guess, though, I am not eating until tomorrow… LOL

I have always considered myself fortunate enough, even in the midst of a crisis, to have the means to find a solution.  I think it’s the Big Boss upstairs or the universe paving the way — whichever way you want to look at it.  Still, I get weary giving it the effort.  Sometimes I wonder how much more I can give.  I just want to go to sleep and never wake up.. and stay in a dream state forever.  Remember that feeling that takes you over when you realize it’s time to get up but you don’t want to get up?

I am thinking of friends of old — and the comfort their friendship brings.  They are too far away.  I will probably try Jonathan later.  I spoke with Fe last night… need to pick their legal brain.  No matter how others disappoint, there are still those who will stick by you through thick and thin.  (Or thick and thicker…=)

I think about those who have turned their back on me, or who have forgotten the promises they made.  I just close my eyes in acceptance.  It is what it is.

I had my whoopie pie.. I’m good. =)  At least for another night.  Tomorrow, after all, is another day.

So it goes

I was trying to be good with my diet on day 2 but it was one of those “I need a cheese danish” kind of day.  So for the most part, I’ve been good with the non-fat dairy, Greek yoghurt, protein infused diet.  (I’m turning yellow with all the scrambled eggs I’ve been eating).  I would’ve had my “sweet” fix with the iced decaf hazelnut I made for myself, but as I said, I needed an infusion of sugar and comfort please.

It was one of those days that made a red velvet whoopie pie from Crumbs sound so tempting, but I held back.  (So the cheese danish was actually me being good…LOL)  And as if that weren’t enough,  I have a little wound on my pinkie toe that makes it difficult to walk.  And surprisingly, the most comfortable shoes today are my three-inch heel booties.

Paperkrafts: Zentangling and paper collage flowerI haven’t been able to do much “me” stuff today because I’m swamped with work.  I did manage to create the paper flower collage on the left a while back, but it got buried under some other paperwork.  One of these days, I will do a “how-to” (another promise to impart my “knowledge”) but probably in the Gotham Chick blog.  Speaking of which, I would’ve been ready to start writing about my hand-molded beads, but the pictures were blurry.  I am still trying to get used to my DSLR-look alike camera and I am having problems doing the macro shots with no flash.  But that’s another post for another day.

I don’t know if I should be glad the day is ending.  It’s an early end for me today as the boss is off networking somewhere.  I want to take advantage of these rare occasions when I can leave the office before 6pm which is my usual end time.  (Although these days, I’ve been working at trying to leave closer to 5:30.)

On the otherhand, there is still much work.  I know my sister is waking up on the other side of the world, probably grumbling about a “bump in the road” we discussed last night (my morning today).  It’s business that it’s not — and it’s tricky because sometimes you expect friends to deliver and they don’t.  The crazy part is I am not surprised at how a friend is transacting business, but I am disheartened and saddened at the turn of events.  Still there are things that are simply beyond our control.  I’m done grumbling myself — time to move on.

Perhaps I’ve had good practice at being disappointed these past few weeks.  I am generally a very pragmatic friend.  I don’t consider myself needy — I actually think I’m generous to a fault.  But despite how people think I’m stronger than I think I am, I am generally dependent on the support of the people around me.  And I have been very, very lucky in many respects in terms of friends and family, more importantly.  I think I have very reasonable expectations of people, but perhaps my giving nature makes me expect something in the same lines in return.  I know — not healthy.  Still, I think I’m generally very tolerant of others.  My mother had long ago taught me that I should not look for my strengths in others — otherwise, if everyone were as good as I am in the same way, no one would be doing the menial jobs or the less-cerebral tasks in life.  (Very humbling lessons from my Mom, indeed.)  So when the disappointments come — and they do — they generally hit me not as hard as they would others.

But on days like this when I can use a laugh or two or a  hug — there’s Fe and there’s Ofie.  I don’t even want to think beyond this debacle, because if I go to the other aches and pains and kinks in my day (and my life), I’ll find myself going back to the feeling that I’ve been fed to the dogs.  (I don’t want to go there because I don’t want to have to get a whoopie pie!  LOL)

I had to literally pause writing, take a deep breath, close my eyes..then I smiled.  Acceptance, perhaps?  As Fe quotes our dearly departed friend Mar, “Eh, ganun…”

I have been disappointed by friends too many times to count, and I don’t count.  But when it’s the people who matter who do, then it’s not a matter of keeping score, but of recovering from the disappointment.  I don’t bear grudges, but my heart can grow weary of being patient and tolerant.  So I let go.  I have one ex-bestfriend I haven’t spoken to for five years, I believe.  I’m not mad at her, and the pain caused by the reason of our parting is gone, but I am comfortable keeping the distance.  (“Distancia Amigo,” Fe says.)

There are simply people who are not meant to be part of our lives the way we want them to be.

I look at these challenges as lessons in life.  I keep saying that ten years from now, (if I am still around), I will say this is one of those junctures in my life when I grew by leaps and bounds and I changed in so many ways.  Not always painlessly,  but at least hopefully for the better.  I was never wont to say “these people will realize one day… blah blah blah”… instead I dwell on what lesson I learned from the pain and hurt they brought my way.  I wish Ofie would look at it the same light — she’s still recovering from surgery and she’s getting very, very aggravated.  (That’s my little sister!)

What is that they say?  You go and pick up the pieces and start over.

You have to stop and wonder if these people who hurt you actually realize what damage they are doing to someone else’s heart.. sometimes, they don’t know they’ve ripped your heart to bits by their nonchallance or sometimes even noble intentions..  That is a sad thought, but it is again, beyond my control.  Sometimes we keep wishing for an apology, or a heart-felt “I’m sorry.”  But that is something we cannot demand or draw out of someone — it comes when it comes… or not.


(This post was drafted yesterday, June 5.)

I usually start with a title but today all I could do was sigh before deciding what the heck.. it’ll come to me.

I’ve been floating through my day.. (Why was I thinking it was Monday when it is a Tuesday?)  Angelo’s class had their Earth Day performance and I took a film clip I’m uploading to his YouTube channel (TheAngeloReport) in a day or two… (Need to edit the clips… by the way, check out his channel whose most viewed video is now hitting almost 49,000 views…! – me the proud mommy..)

So I went to work a little late… glided into the office, sat down, and grabbed my black pen.  Through the lunch break I zentangled (yet again), but had to do some do-overs because of some poor decisions on my rendering.  (I tried.)  One particular section of the piece is proving to be problematic, but I think it’ll turn out to be the most ornate portion of this zentangled work.  I’ve tried to patch it up as best I can without making it obvious, until I finally gave up on deciding on a pattern acceptable to me because I was driving myself crazy.  The zentangling was supposed to help me relax… so I have put it away for now.

The sun came out for a bit but it’s cold in New York again.  It’s not as gloomy as the past week, but there is a heaviness in the air.  I went out to get a sandwich from my favorite deli at 2pm.  Late, I know. Almost forgot except that I glanced at the boss’s calendar and I realized he was coming back from a meeting soon.  These days I’m a “subway” girl.  (6-inch roast beef with provolone on flat bread please.)

The weirdest thoughts hit me at the oddest times.  But it’s during those times, I think, that the big ideas hit me, or when the bigger realizations suddenly come to the fore.

Sometimes I think I’m doing too much and trying to get too many things done all at once.  When I wash the dishes, it hits me.  (Another weird thought at an odd time.)  Or when I sit and flip through the on-demand shows as I try to catch up on my current favorites, a lightbulb lights up in my head or one dies, depending on the thought. Sometimes in the morning, on my way to work, when BFF Fe isn’t online chatting me up as I paint my face on the bus, I stare out the window and just let my mind go blank and rest. At times, I succeed. Sometimes, I just go numb.

Sometimes I chide myself for not just being happy with what is. Well, I can keep working on losing weight, I know. I can try to be more organized. I can work on being creative with the cooking. I can go back to studying French again. I can go back to creating pieces and populating the store and maybe make money again. Back to what I always did. That thought gave me pause. I had to stop a while and just stop and think.

Eversince I finished reading Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, I’ve tried to answer this question that Elizabeth Gilbert, the author, posed to her readers as an after thought to the soul-searching she chronicled in her book. “What do I really, really, really want? I have written an answer every day for a month and can honestly say I haven’t figured it out. Per Gilbert’s suggestion, rereading the entries through time should help me do that (figure things out), but I guess I haven’t written enough.

She also encourages writing a “Happiness Journal” which I’ve been meaning to do but which I haven’t gotten to, where I’m supposed to write what made me happy each day — so that I can have a journal of those happy moments which I can go to for comfort when times are tough. (Maybe I’ll start one today.). Somehow, trying to unconfuse (or confuse) myself has been easier than trying to find a happy moment during the day.

A day at a time, a step at a time…

Weekend musings

Work in progress: Chrysler Building 2 (as of June 2)I didn’t get to do much this weekend.  I brought home my second zentangle project but have had no opportunity to work on it.  Maybe later.  (Please refer to the Flickr widget on the sideboard to see current progress, or click here to see my Flickr Photostream.)  I have finally photographed my finished close up shot (Zentangle project 1) which I am proudly displaying on the side bar as well, although I need to work on getting it framed.

No crafting for me this week although I had hoped to do a how-to in pictures of a polymer clay pendant on antique brass.  I did manage to organize my polymer clay (polyclay) beads but failed to create anything.  Maybe this week.

It’s been a quiet and uneventful weekend.  No reading either.  (I’ve been lazy.)  There are times when it’s better to just sit and let things come as they come, and let the universe speak.   I’m trying to catch up on my favorite TV shows on cable TV.  My brain (and my body) is all fatigued from a busy and eventful past week at work.

Long, long days.  The week promises to be as busy but at least there should be a day or two when things will be “lighter”.  I am looking forward to a special performance in school by Angelo come Tuesday.  My big boy is growing up soooo fast.  I know when I put my arms around him, or when I let him sit on my lap or lean against me when we relax, he’s no longer a “little boy”.   There are days when I wish I can slow time down a bit, but there are also days when I wish I could see him a grown man trudging through college.

I’m trying to clean up my dormant blogs and take down those that have been inactive for ages.  I’m still quite torn about Pinay Francophile, but I have put that special interest aside for quite a while now.   I can’t even remember where my log in for the Motherhood blog is.  (I think I had closed it but now can’t remember my log on details.)  I want to concentrate on the web logs that I can keep writing for.   I keep coming back to Pinay New Yorker every time.  This is where my home is, this is where I will stay. =)  Gotham Chick shows promise and helps me chronicle my shop which I hope to activate again perhaps next month.

Here’s to another week of musings, art, work, motherhood and a host of other things… I want to take things easy.  I look forward to just sitting in the park and just doing that: sit.  And listen.  And see what the universe says as Fe would say. =)