Art Journaling and Chunky Agate Beads

Art journaling onTrying to keep a steady pace of output can be a challenge but I’m pushing myself to the limit.  The point is not to aim to finish a piece or to complete the work. You do it a little at a time.

How I envy those who can finish one whole layout in one sitting.  I’m not quite there yet.  There are days when I get swept up with all that’s happening around me and I don’t even open my altered book or pick up my tools.  So I’m grateful when I do get the chance and I begin a new project or continue something already started — because there are many days when I just end up not accomplishing anything related to the things I’m passionate about.

Chunky Agate Bead PendantI fell in love with these beads a while back and had them in my stash but they were tucked away in their leopard print brown bag. I finally figured out a way to pull them together the way I wanted them instead of the way it was strung together originally from the bead store. I’m not quite happy with the wire wrapping but I’m wearing this pendant around my neck just to give me an idea about how it actually feels when it’s worn. I think I will re-do or add more wire this evening, but I like it just as it is for now.

It’s rough on one side and smooth on the other, but the rough side has a whole lot of oomph and character.  I just need to refine the wire wrapping and the bead placement.  I’m all excited by the possibilities but even more excited by the thought that I’m creating again.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that I can get these done by the weekend so I can post one or two in the store as new offerings.

I dream of the day when I can set aside time to do only the things I want to do and not the things I need to do to be able to do the things I want to do.  That statement is meant to make sense only to me. (Reminder to self: Buy lotto.)

One of these days, I’ll set aside a whole day and do just that: do the things I want to do.  So maybe I’ll spend the day in the city or just hop on a long distance train ride to somewhere and come back — just like that.  It’s something I’ve been thinking of doing once every say — two months or so… Just me time by myself not too far away from where I actually am.  It’s a thought.




Beads and postcards on a lazy Sunday

While most of my part of the world is all agog about SuperBowl Sunday, we slept through the afternoon lazily, just enjoying the time to relax.  My back is giving me problems — and I always welcome the chance to recharge which I cannot do as leisurely as I can on weekdays.  Lunch was at almost 4pm — thanks to Pizza Hut.

I had a most disturbing dream, though, about a favorite “niece” (although she is the daughter of a friend and not a blood relative).  Stranger still, I was in Manila.  Well, thinking of Manila is nothing new.  Dreaming of it is.  So I’m making a mental note to write my dear Evita later and ask how she’s doing.

I am also trying to get my creations going, so I sorted through a shoe-box full of odds and ends I had dumped together while cleaning up my work space.  Sorting through the various head and eyepins (that little pin-like metal object that you string beads with) took the early afternoon.  I tried to set aside the half-finished rosary bracelets I had as well which I hope to post in the shop after finishing them and photographing the pieces.  By the time I finished, the sandman was calling.  At my age, I’ve learned that it’s easier to just give in rather than fight it — and it’s more beneficial to me when I let myself take a moment to recharge by closing my eyes for a nap..

I’ve learned to embrace aging gracefully by acepting my limitations while trying to continue to live a productive life.  While I have done rather poorly in terms of managing my weight, I console myself with the thought that that has been a life-long struggle for me. I’ll get to it yet, if only to try and prevent the onset of diseases relating to aging and weight gain.  Something tells me my back problem is, in part, the result of the weight my spine has been punished with.

It’s getting dark outside as the sun is getting ready to set.  The thin layer of snow on the ground is beginning to melt.  It’s still freezing cold, and I just hope that’s all the snow we’re getting.  I have never stopped to marvel how nature maintains a balance and the creatures outside seem to go on unaffected by the brutal cold, being that I can hear birds chirping outside as if it was just any other day.

My first month of Life 4×6 is done, but I’m pulling together the photos with captions and labels.  I still haven’t quite decided how I will pull it into an album.  The 12-photo spread of the regular albums really seems too big, but to go any smaller would mean doing more albums.

I had drafted an extensive post on this the last few days, but since I’m not quite done yet, I’ve held off.  In due time.

ATC: Heart ATC 1Meanwhile, I’ve successfully slowed down on the ATC swaps.  My friend CuriosaKat whom I had bumped into at a Postcrossing Philippines group on Facebook had suggested I join the group.  It’s been a most interesting ride through the last 6 months and quite a learning experience.  Postcard collecting and exchanges have changed radically in the past few years, and I’ve had my bumps and scrapes in returning to active trading but I think I’ve managed to get into a manageable rhythm now.

I gave Postcrossing a try, but to those used to the more defined method of collecting postcards, it can get tiring and costly without the satisfaction of acquiring that which you collect.  It’s good if you are after volume, but I’ve been there, done that.   It would have been something I would’ve embraced enthusiastically when I started collecting almost 30 years ago, but at this point, I want to confine myself to the particular collecting interests I have identified.

Volume is one way to find satisfaction in trades, and if the idea is for you to collect from every possible postmark or country, then Postcrossing is for you.  But if you prefer to receive your postcards unstamped and “naked” in an envelope, then you’re better off with the private swaps or in swap forums like .

I participate in the swaps mostly to help me find a new home for the postcards I don’t need.  New York is such a tourist haven that we can never have enough supplies of the so-called touristy postcards, but when you’re sending out to a select group, it makes it imperative that you get a little creative sourcing your postcards.  It also gives me a chance to check out the different offerings for my own collection of “anything New York,” be it modern or vintage.

Postcards from Philippines, The: Map 3So what do I collect?  Maps have always been of special interest to me, although even that particular collecting interest has been “refined”.  Some postcard map collectors will accept street views as “map postcards”, and I used to include that in my collection.  In fine tuning my “wants”, though, I have decided actual state or city or country maps which shows a land formation or routes instead of those implied by streets on a postcard were what I wanted.

To date, I have at least one map from each state (yes, even the more elusive ones), but I have come to discover that there are multiple variations to each state, not only terms of design, but also in size.  So there are states which I have a half dozen different designs for.  Even the Philippines where I come from has produced several map postcards, beyond the very first ones we used to trade in the 80s.  I am still trying to find the time to photograph (as against scanning) the collection, but I’ve managed to upload a few in this album on my Flickr account.

If I were to identify which part of postcard collecting I find most fulfilling, I would have to say it’s going through my vintage postcard collection.  Browsing the prices on Ebay makes me think of putting up my postcards on the auction site, but that is also what makes me want to keep them all the more.

Although my vintage postcard collecting interest is confined to Maps, Lighthouses, New York, The Philippines, Paris and the places we have visited (like Bruge and Brussels in Belgium and Chartres in France), I have somehow amassed a pile of other vintage postcards I need to find a home for.  Soon enough.  I just sent one I successful dated to a fellow postcard collector in Pampanga in the Philippines, something printed in the 30s. (!)

Collecting?  Drop me an e-mail at my postcard collecting account aptly named

Divisoria and Quiapo, anyone?

I started writing this post originally on March 18, 2012

It was a real adventure for me as I returned to a familiar place which is now so different and still the same.  I decided to take the jeepney like I used to, hailing one right at the corner of our street.  I was the only passenger at the beginning of the ride.  I didn’t know how much the fare was so I handed the driver a P50.00 bill and he returned a change of P30 something.  P14 apparently.  I had brought my old camera and snapped a few pics for the length of the trip covering San Juan, as I thought it was more prudent to keep it in my tote the rest of the ride.

The day was pleasantly warm and traffic was still good as I left the house early enough in the morning.  I couldn’t help but remember someone promising to drive me, but that was a while back.  I sat at the end of the row, by the “estribo”.  It has been ages since I rode the jeepney for any length of time.  If my brother os some other friend wasn’t driving me, I always took the cab.

It felt liberating and good and it made me feel nostalgic, bringing me home as in “home”.  I had taken this route many times almost 27 years ago when I had gone back and forth and up and down the streets of Tabora and Ylaya way back when I had gone into crafting hand-made ribbon hair accessories.  I did the jeepney route both ways back then.

Today was a lot different in that the landscape in that part of Manila has changed drastically.  You now have Tutuban Mall (which used to be a major train station) and 168.  I knew what I needed so I headed straight in.

I’ve always been proud of the fact that I can walk blindfolded into Divisoria and find my way out.  Through the years, I’ve gone in through Abad Santos at the back by car, via jeep, via taxi and pedicab.  I know the way the streets were mapped so well that I could determine which side I was on just by seeing which street came before which.  I know where to find the tapioca (sago) and the spices and condiments, as well as the towels and white sandos we used to wear under our Paulinian uniforms.

Divisoria is like any wet market in any town — the streets are grimy and slippery, stagnant mud in the street smell, and you see the different wares spread out in the streets.  People sleep and live where they do their business.  I would have loved to have taken out my camera, but I felt that would’ve been intrusive.  To just snap away would have meant invading their home, their world.  So I went about my business instead and left the cam in the tote.

I try to dress as nondescriptly although it is sometimes difficult to stay inconspicuous despite the t-shirt and cropped pants and lipstick only get up.  I don’t even wear any jewelry or accessories.  I somehow feel like I stick out like a sore thumb in the crowd but I try to blend in as best as I can.  So I walked towards Tabora where the main wares sold were notions.  Wellmanson’s was closed but Morning Glory was open.  I walked in and loved that the airconditioner was on full blast.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything interesting to buy.  I looked for a building with a clearly lit alleyway and walked in.

Most of the stalls between Ilaya and Tabora sell textiles and ready made formal wear.  I chanced upon a roll of canvas and picked up two meters.  The sales clerk asked me if I painted — I told him I was going to use it for jet ink printing.  (Yet another experiment.)  You have to be patient and navigate the alleys indoors, keeping in mind that most of the alleys are constructed in grids, and if you keep your head about you, you can head forward and find yourself out in the succeeding street.  So out I went into Ilaya.  I came out through the alley leading to the cotton textiles and saw some Angry Birds which I thought would make great pillowcases for Angelo.  Two yards each please.

Deep into Ilaya is a native supplies alley where I pick up wooden beads and assorted paper and handicraft supplies.  I wasn’t too keen about buying beads here, reserving my budget for that for when I hit Quiapo, so I simply picked up some round, oval and square coconut discs I am hoping to use  polymer clay on.  On the way back, I found a notions store and bought two metal crochet hooks, not really planning on buying any thread at this point.

I lugged my loot down to the nearest Chow King where I had a breakfast of buchi (sesame balls) which continues to appall me for being so outrageously expensive but which I just truly love!  The sesame balls here at my New York Mart, one of the bigger Asian groceries in my area are twice as large yet cost as much but don’t taste quite as good.  After breakfast, I walked back to the main street where a jeep for Quiapo happened to be slowly cruising by picking up passengers, and I jumped on as it was slowly moving forward.  (Yes, I can still do that despite my age and girth and the plastic bags with loot in tow.)

Next stop was Quiapo.  The jeep turned around two blocks from Quiapo Church.  The last time I was here two trips back, Abril had driven me over and we parked in Isetann then we took a pedicab to Church.  This time, I walked.  I stopped by the church first to pray.  I am not a Nazarene devotee like Abril and how Papa was when he was still alive, but I have always been moved by the faith of the people who worship here.  And any church of Christ is a place of prayer for me where I can just stand in one corner, close my eyes and just be.

I didn’t stay long.  I walked out to Villalobos street and headed for my two favorite stores:  Pot of Gold on the left and Wellmanson’s on the right.  There are a smattering of other stores in the area that I visited but which I wasn’t able to note the names of, but there is now more variety in this row of streets with a more diverse offering of gemstones and findings.

Pricing and product offerings can be confusing to the uninitiated, so it pays to know what you need and want when you walk into the stores, otherwise you will get overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed can mean grabbing more things than what you actually need which translates to going over budget, or just being paralyzed into not grabbing anything at all.  I knew what I needed — just a few findings from Wellmanson’s, some pliers, and their handy bead organizer.  I was going to help Ces make a full length rosary, so I picked up a suitable crucific and center joiner, but their silver plated headpins were not shiny enough.  I decided to pick the headpins from the store across the street.  I walked over to Pot of Gold where I got the right sized glass crystals and some dyed agate beads.  I went to two more stores on this side and picked up more beads and findings before deciding I was done.

I wasn’t able to head to either Divisoria nor Quiapo last December for lack of the opportunity to go there — since the family stayed in Pasay at one of the hotels there.  Besides, Christmas would’ve been a crazy time to brave the crowds doing their own holiday shopping.  I had made up my mind I would make sure to stop by this time around.  You just can’t beat the prices here — and while my crafting has been put on hold since I got back from Manila over the holidays, I had to take something home.  So when my brother Abril couldn’t take me, I vowed I would go on my own before the weekend was over.

I wasn’t about to take another jeepney ride with everything I was lugging, so I hailed a cab and took the easier way home.  When I got inside the house with everything I was holding, my siblings and my mom were aghast to find out I had gone to Divisoria and Quiapo unaccompanied.  (I told you they think I’m a walking target for every snatcher and other thug in those parts.)  But I managed to accomplish what I had set out to do in record time and all in one morning.  We had lunch and I retreated back upstairs.

I was exhausted by the time I brought everything up to the room.  Jetlag eventually caught up with me.  I skipped dinner and by the time I woke up, it was midnight.  Time to get ready for the sojourn North to a place I had visited many times through the years — where I prayed and my prayers were answered.


My 2011 Christmas Card
Work in Progress

I don’t know why the word just came to mind as I took a picture of my zentangled Christmas background so I could talk about it here, and as I am waiting for my e-mail to reach the server and help me transfer my photograph to my laptop, the word just popped up, and two people in particular.

First, though, here’s what’s become of my Christmas card — still a work in progress, but you can see that save for the inside portion of the Christmas tree were the front caption would be and a patch on the upper right hand, the background has been completed!  You can see 7 parols or lanterns in the background, and around it I filled the spaces between with different patterns.  I tried starting with the middle portion but that proved very wasteful as far as paper was concerned, so I’m putting it off for until I am done with the whole thing.

I think I might make my after-Thanksgiving-mailing target after all!

Back to the business of forgiveness.  I have always been honest about my inability to easily let go of a grudge.  If not a grudge, pain.  I consider myself pretty liberal and tolerant when it comes to accepting others for who and what they are, so when someone falls of my “good” list, it is almost next to impossible and definitely improbable to get back on.

That’s why I would think that the people who know me very well would know that to lose me is to lose me forever.  I know, that sounds so final.  But it should be when you consider how I forgiving I am.  So I am not a saint after all, because while I seem to have a bottomless supply of forgiveness, when one loses the right to be forgiven, it never comes.

To be someone’s sister she never had

I have someone who used to be a very dear friend who was practically like a sister to me.  The feeling was mutual — or so I thought.  I thought this was one forever friend.  In fact I would go out of my way to help her out and to listen and encourage her.  But one relationship she had and my opinion of it didn’t quite sit squarely with her personal opinions — and that meant the end of “you’re the sister I never had,” and all that love.  I had thought it would pass — that we would eventually find our way to each other again, until I got an invitation to her wedding two weeks before it was to happen on the other side of the coast.  So forget about the 14-day advance booking or saving for a gift or getting the right dress.  My heart shattered to pieces.  And what hurt the most was when I was told “only my family” knew about the preparations — so I thought a “sister (one) never had” was “family”.  I felt as though I had pictured our friendship to be something it was not.  Reality check.

She tried to renew ties several times, but when you tell someone you have hurt that you hope they will one day learn to accept what had happened, it feels like a slap in the face — and an affirmation that you were wrong about the kind of friendship you thought your shared.  I did learn and accept that I wasn’t that important a person to this “friend” after all.

I am not mad.. I wish her well.  But the past four years have seen us as strangers.  I think it is best to keep things that way.  I don’t know how I would react if we sat in front of each other.  I don’t want to cause her nor myself any more pain or disappointment.  We are just better off not being part of each other’s lives anymore.  Forgiven, yes.   But I am human, I am no saint as I said.  The chasm that has grown between us is no longer bridgeable.

On my end, I feel grateful that it happened when it happened, painful as it was.   Sometimes it takes forever to find a friend and nurture a friendship — and it may take as long or even longer to find out who one’s true friends are.   Better to have realized what I thought wasn’t there was really not there, rather than keep believing in something that wasn’t real.

I have no ill will or feelings — I am hoping the choices made were worth it and have brought this person happiness.  Just as I have found myself feeling truly blessed with what I have right now.

I just wish people would realize that forgiveness does not always result in reconciliation.   There are things just some things that once broken can no longer be put together and made whole again.

Craft fair

I love going to craft fairs because it just brings out the child in me. It’s like going to the carnival — you can’t wait to sample the goodies and the treats.

This time around, I’ve been invited to participate in a craft fair by one of the ladies at work who believes that I can actually sell something there. I was rather ambivalent about the decision to jump in on the whole thing, but I decided it was as good a time as any to try and showcase my wares while at the same time trying to do some good.

So it’s mid-April and I have time. I’ve been trying to find ways and means not to incur more expenses except for those occasioned by creating more items to sell. I don’t want to spend on incidentals, so I’ve been trying to plan how I can come up with (1) a signage, (2) packaging, (3) display, (4) how much change I should bring.

I have quite a hefty inventory at the moment which means I just need to maximize the opportunity to sell by actually adding more stocks. That much is taken cared of, but I have to think about my “set up”. I felt bad that I couldn’t submit a photo of my set up because I have never participated in a craft fair or bazaar. A bright idea hit me sometime last week and I’ve decided to do something that combines my current doodling passion: zentangling, or what I try to pass of as just that.

It took me a while to make up my mind about how big or how small it will be, but I know that I will create the letters on separate sheets and then either string them together or mount them on a single signage. I’ve settled on doing the letters on individual sheets of unlined 5″ x 8″ index cards, and rendered in black on white. Simple enough. It will allow me to get my signage ready which continuing to indulge in one of my new favorite de-stressers which is freehand doodling.

Packaging is another thing I must decide on in the next day or two. My current packaging makes use of handmade boxes I craft along the way. While I do have a few on hand, I am thinking if it would work better for me to buy them either at the dollar store or at my crafts supplies wholesaler. As for the actual paper bag, I know I will definitely grab some of the older rolls of wrapping paper in my attic and create them.

Displaying my wares is a little trickier, given that this is my first attempt at attending a craft fair. It would have been great to be able to create my own standees but I can only succeed as far as the necklace standees are concerned. Displaying the earrings and bracelets in a professional way will need an actual showcase. Fortunately for me, I have access to my wholesaler who sells these items dirt cheap. I am not going overboard though and have decided to keep things rather simple. After all, it’s not like I’m carrying a truckload of items for sale. So other than one bust for the necklaces, I’m still making the rest by hand.

Change? I have no idea about how big this craft fair will be, but I’m thinking I’ll need a hefty bundle of singles and fives. Most of my items are priced under $20, so I should be good with a hundred or two in change. A bright idea hit me, though, to offer to accept Paypal, which can be a way to entice buyers to buy more if they are willing to log into their account and pay me electronically. I have Paypal on my blackberry and I can bring a laptop with my wireless card. That’s a thought.

I’m actually excited.. it’s not something I’m looking to doing regularly but it’s a good way to move my merchandise and also to be in a different market. I guess I’ve made up my mind. I even told Alan that as far as Spring break planning goes, we’d have to leave on Sunday (IF we are leaving at all) as I’m participating at this craft fair. I think he thinks I want to visit a craft fair — and not participate in one.

I’ll give more details closer to the date, but here’s to GothamChick in the craft fair! (Wish me luck!)

Happy Valentine's Day

I don’t know if it’s all the snow but people are suddenly all into feeling warm and fuzzy and greeting everyone Happy Valentine’s Day.  This is news to me only because I used to be the only one heralding this day of hearts.  Not today.  And happiness and cheer is always cause to smile. 

Although it’s a little difficult being all cheerful given the fact that I’m feeling a bit under the weather still (although showing signs of getting to being fully recovered soon), I feel a marked improvement.  So I’m trying to hydrate with more lemon tea with honey, and I’m weaning myself from the medication.  One thing that I’ve had to live with all my life is an allergy-type asthma which is not as cumbersome a condition as those who require an inhaler on hand, but which can still sap me of my energy when an attack comes upon me like now. 

My valentine dinner last Saturday turned into a take home dinner part 1 followed by another take home dinner part 2 last night.  So it’s our typical more than one-day celebration, and from all indications, there’s part 3 to look forward to tonight.  The tyke is demanding a valentine’s day card which I tried to shirk away from by insisting his Dad was my valentine, but I have a feeling I won’t get off that easily.

Moonstone and Silver Dangle EarringsI picked up my plyers over the weekend and managed to come up with a few pieces — some half finished from ages ago.  Others were long-forgotten ideas I had to set aside due to some other projects.  I had come across this prertty hand-cut faceted moonstone ovals that I had tried working with along with some amethyst roundels, but this one came out quite nicely, so much so that I might actually make a pair for myself!  (The curse of creativity and trying to make a business out of it is the struggle to resist the urge to keep the pieces that might actually successfully sell!)

My discount promo codes expire tonight, so I’m holding off putting this pair up in the shop until tomorrow.

I have thus far successfully resisted the urge to get any more new supplies and instead have been working around what I have.  No sense in amassing more raw materials when there is enough to work with as it is.    It has worked to my advantage, forcing me to be more “creative” and “imaginative” as far as pulling together the materials I already have. 

We’re supposed to get more sunshine in the coming days which I guess is a good sign that we will indeed have an early spring.  At this point, any signs of improving weather are most welcome given all the snow we’ve been buried under the previous weeks.  There are still clumps of snow where we live, although there are hardly any visible leftover mounds in the city.  (Enough snow already!)

So here’s to a warm valentine’s day celebration for all those celebrating with someone special and by themselves, remembering someone special.  Remember, Happiness is a choice..

Craft Experiment: Paper Beads from old newspapers

I’ve always wanted to experiment with making beads from recycled paper but didn’t want to end up doing the usual rolled paper beads most crafters used.  I also in the process of experimenting with doing hand-crafted paper but I need to go through the stuff in the attic to find my old and discarded blender because I can’t use my working one which we still use for the kitchen and for food.  (Number one rule in crafting: do not use any equipment used in crafts to cook or handle food.)

A few days ago, I chanced upon a post which pointed me here: A Storybook Life where there was a different way to create paper beads and which I have done in two batches over the weekend.  Below you will find photos of my beads after drying:

Paperbeads from newspapers All dry: Paperbead from newspapers

I expected the beads to be darker but the procedure where boiling water is poured over the torn bits of newspaper and allowed to sit for an hour or so causes much of the ink residue to separate (literally) from the paper.  The two batches were necessary only because the first was a means for me to gauge how big I want the shreds of paper to be and how big a size of lumped wet paper makes how much of a size of a bead.  I added my own variations to the method, particularly in mixing in the glue.  Instead of mixing it in with the paper as a whole batch, I added liquid glue per bead I rolled into a round between my fingers.

I used two full spreads of a section of the New York Times, and I found that the smaller bits are necessary for smaller size clumps or beads.  (I wanted to produce smaller than 10mm so I tried to rip the paper into 1-2cm bits.  Ripping or tearing them apart as against cutting them allows the paper to be more maleable and adheres to other paper more smoothly.  I used two cups of water to fully submerge the bits of paper and let it sit.  I poked the clumps of torn paper in my metal pan and saw the ink particles separating from the paper.

I grabbed the paper by hand and squeezed the water out before putting it in a wire sifter.   The two full spreads come up to around a cup of clumped wet newspaper bits.

I cut out bits of the paper clump and squeezed the excess water out, and I found that although the water got squeezed out, it sometimes stuck to your fingers and it was more efficient to actually squeeze and rest your fingers squeezing the clump of wet water on a paper towel.  If your clump is too wet, it will be very difficult to mold it into a bead, glue or no glue.  Some of the moisture will continue to be “squeezed out” as you roll the beads.

I then spread open the tiny clump of wet paper and put enough glue on it to cover the surface and then squeezed and mashed the clump together.  The glue actually helped to smoothen out the outside.  I used my fingertips rather than my palm to roll the ball to as close to a round bead as I can.  After it had dried, the shrinkage was approximately 5-10%.

The original instructions gave instructions to “sand” the bead to a smooth finish, but my next project is to try to decoupage the round base BEFORE putting a beadhole into it.  (More to come…)

The beads came out rather solidly and are very light.  I’m already excited by the different possibilities!  Part II soon!

Bead and Resin Experiments

I have a favorite wholesaler, Firemountain Gems and Beads, who offers assortable pricing, meaning discounts are offered depending on the volume of your purchase.  The pricing tiers change from 1-14 items, 15-50 and 51-200.  They have some fantastic sales which make me wish I had more flexibility to purchase as much as I want because when they have a sale, it is a true sale in every sense of the word.

During one of their more recent sales, I had gotten these giant yellow turquoise beads in blue and green because I was thinking of doing something with them like I was doing with the large flat oval agate beads I had brought home from Manila.  But when I received the beads, I was a little disappointed with the lack of sheen, then I reminded myself these were “chalk” turquoise, so I guess it was the “chalk” in the bead.

This afternoon, I mixed up  a small glob of my resin and “painted” one surface, with the intention of repainting the other side tomorrow.  The beads are still drying but the change in the sheen is promising.  I just think that I forgot to properly prep the work surface the beads are resting on right now, so that might mean more work tomorrow when I work on the other side.  Using paper plates to hold the beads wasn’t a good idea when I usually use wax paper which the resin doesn’t adhere to.

Lesson learned.

Well, we’ll see tomorrow.  Although resin cannot essentially be “undone”, there is always hope of adding another layer or two to “correct” what needs correcting.

Hopefully, I can post pictures of the work in progress tomorrow before I apply resin to the other side.

Creative Streak

It’s minutes to 1AM and I’m just about ready to turn in but I suddenly got the urge to log on and write here.

Three bracelets posted for sale, one sold. Four bracelets later (for posting tomorrow), and I’m actually trying to think of new things to make so I can spend the day doing my write ups. Creating the pieces is actually easier and more spontaneous than trying to write a blurb while measuring the materials used to make the description as accurate as possible.

I’ve started a fanpage and am trying to decide which piece/s I will give away as prizes for those who choose the fanpage as a “like”. (15 so far.. no stats to boast of yet, I know.)

My wholesale supplier just concluded a huge sale and I was able to pick up a few items, but I have fallen in love with this gorgeous dark copper dyed freshwater pearls selling originally for $14.95 which went on sale for $2.00 (!) per 15-inch strand. They are 9-10mm rice pearls, some perfectly smooth and some ringed. How I would love to get 10 strands to create a long continuous necklace. I am hoping I can snatch up a few more strands after I sell a few more items on the store. Ideas, ideas!

Seriously Sleep Deprived

Alan and I turned in after 4am, but had to heed the alarm clock when it rang at 5:30 because the contractors were coming at 8am.  Breakfast done, the boy got dressed, Alan brought my mother-in-law to her sister’s house — and I had to do some last minute taping of drop cloths and builder’s paper on the carpet.  Then I hit the shower.  After dropping off Angelo at daycamp, I found myself on a bus to the city heading for work.  I was so terribly exhausted I ended up rushing through my usual “paint me a face” routine in the last 5 minutes of the ride, well after the bus had exited the Midtown Tunnel.

And I’m almost dozing off.  I used to have better endurance — literally coming in at almost 4am from some late night out and getting up at 6:30 to head for work the same day.  But that was over 10 years ago.  I guess I have to come to terms with the fact that I just cannot do that anymore.  The spirit might be willing, but the flesh is definitely older.

I sat on the bus and typed up five tasks I wanted to accomplish today, none of which I have had the chance to take care of just yet.  (And to think I had a sale at Gotham Chick!)  I still haven’t had the chance to post anything, and I am trying to figure out to copy a design I saw which I think I can still improve on, if only I can decide what material to use.

Getting off the bus at the first stop, I decided to walk into M&J Trimming located at 1008 Sixth Ave (Ave of the Americas) between 37th and 38th street.   No, I didn’t really intend to buy anything — as I told the solicitous sales clerks who greeted me, I was just browsing and looking for inspiration.  If you’re a crafter or a dressmaker (do we still call them that?) — you would love to walk into this place which showcases shelf after shelf full of trims and notions.  For those who grew up in Manila like I did, think about the best stores of Ilaya and Tabora in Divisoria and Carolina’s in Mega Mall all combined!  It was crafts beyond beads!

I was eyeing some feathers which I thought I could probably work into one of my pearl brooches — and while I know natural is best, I was kind of hoping they were actually artificial.  Unfortunately, they are not.  The asthmatic that I am saw me returning the pretty little findings back on the rack.  (Maybe another time?)

I have bought faux and real leather trim to replace some straps that had gotten worn from a Burberry Blue Label bag I had, and some fancy cords for use with some funky earrings I made a while back.  They have lace in all colors, and all types of ribbons including some fancy dyed ones which I have never seen before.  Inspiration galore!  Colors and textures come alive when you are able to see them in front of you, and better yet, touch them so you can configure a design using the material in your mind.  There were pretty tassles with acrylic crystals but I don’t work with acrylic beads.  They would have made some pretty dangling earrings, but then it would’ve been pretty scandalous to sit next to drapery bearing the same gems..

I finally had to walk out as work awaits!  Still sleep deprived, I dragged myself to the elevator with my shades still on, hoping I didn’t look like a zombie because I certainly felt like one.  I’ve been doing odds and ends here since, answering e-mails, setting up meetings and trying to catch up with work.  My brain power is at a low 65% which is no good, so I thought I’d do something to “wake” me up. 

So here I am.  It’s just the same as “thinking out loud” when you want to clear your head.  I’m still sleepy though.