Rest your mind.. calm your heart

‘Sometimes we don’t get to appreciate the healing power of words and how a simple gesture as trying to reassure a friend can do wonders for the heart.  I rendered this word art in a bigger size then photocopied it onto a card before using water color pencils to add a little color to the piece, folded the sides over and wrote my dedication inside for P.  Off to Manila it went.  I’m doing a bigger version (its original size) to use for my Art Journal.

I keep hearing a friend telling me this over and over again.  Such words of reassurance one needs during those times when things are moving too fast in one’s head, or when there is so much excitement the beating of one’s heart overpowers your mind.


I’ve been remiss in sending out the cards and letters I’ve been meaning to all these weeks. (Including half a dozen Christmas cards. LOL) But I am trying to get rolling again, and of course, first off is a handmade card for P. I had done this magazine collage with zentangling even before, then had tucked it away somewhere — losing it in the process. I just found it a few days ago as I searched high and low for a very important picture I’m looking for and it’s about time I got it going on its way to its intended recipient.

I’m trying to keep the ailing post office services of the world busy! There’s something about the written word that still beats the speed of the internet and other wireless means of communication. Personally, I like that cards and letters are something you can actually physically hold and go back to whenever you wanted to relive a thought or a feeling that came with that piece of paper. And when the card, the sender or the message being sent is special, it helps one to “reconnect” in a different way.

I am sending my thoughts, prayers and love home to P — a dear friend from grade school. I am smiling at the thought that this is one person I’ve known practically all my life. (I think we met in second grade when I was 7 years old.) One of the few people on my “people I must see” list every time I go home. And while we did get to see each other, I missed out on having a pic taken. (Must do next time: Pic with P only!) Our classmates and teachers used to get us mixed up despite her lovely, lovely curls and eye glasses. I’m flattered. =) We even made a joke of being related for a while..  (Remember that?)

She still has the same infectious laugh that rings true with joy. Her voice is still as malambing as it has always been.

I miss writing and talking to you, P.  I’m back, though! =)  I am hoping to see you the next 20 homecomings to Manila  AT THE VERY LEAST — and who knows?  You might see me very soon again — more food tripping?  Promise I won’t surprise you this time so we can plan something.

We’ve gotten this far — we can’t give up now.  You continue to be a source of inspiration and strength — and my card says “Hope” not because I’m trying to remind you not to give up — but rather to say you are “hope” personified.  You continue to remind me every day that it springs eternal.

See you soon, my friend.  In the meantime, sending love and cheer down to you the old-fashioned way…


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.

Embracing Fall

It’s officially Saturday, minutes after midnight.  I didn’t get to do much this Friday evening, choosing instead to tuck Angelo in and read him a story.  Then I let him sleep soundly with his head resting on my arm.  Bliss.

I just re-uploaded one of Angelo’s older videos which I put together after his first trip to Disney MGM (now known as Disney Hollywood Studios) way back in 2007.  Seeing him all grown up now at 7 years old in comparison to that toddler is such a revelation.

I’ve started this flower collage I’m creating using some colorful pages from an industry publication we get at work.  (Such artwork laid to waste considering it mostly ends up in the recycling bin.)  Call it my annual homage to fall.  I’ve decided to use it as my graphic for the next posts until it is completed and I complete the card I hope to make with it.

I’m using different sheets per layer, super-imposing the top layer on the page and drawing around it.  I am now on the next layer, drawing it zentangling style.

I hope that the weather improves enough in the coming days to afford me a chance to photograph the colors of fall like I did in 2008 and 2009.  My camera is falling apart and is making me seriously consider purchasing a similar point-and-shoot SLR-like (but not quite SLR) digital cam, but I’m sort of attached to all the memories this camera has captured for me.  Besides, it’s one of those “nice-to-have-but-can-do-without” kind of things, so I am going to take a lot of convincing to get a new cam.

I put my pliers down and gave it a rest tonight, although I’m raring to create more pieces even if one pair of earrings last night took me the good part of what was left of my evening.  I’m quite happy with the result, just that it took forever.   I’m in no hurry.  I liked what I created last night so much I will be creating a second pair to keep for myself. =)

Sales at the shop ( have been pretty slow.  I should be drumming up sales considering it’s my second year anniversary being on Etsy, but I’ve been very busy at work.

It’s our second anniversary, and if you “LIKE” our page, you’ll be entered to win an I HEART NY shirt in your size.. come on over!

Take Care of You

I am not sure I’ve posted anything about this just yet because this card has been sitting in my art folder for a couple of months now.  It’s the first of three that I had rendered in ink first and then photocopied onto duplicates, and decorated and painted over in different fashions.  The photocopies made it easier to paint over as there was no fear of the original black ink bleeding.  For this version, it’s all just watercolor over the wordart.

It’s the first of the series of three that is finally making its way to the post office, and I didn’t post the other two because they are still “works in progress”.  (I have a bunch of those..)  I have been remiss with my notes and letters to home, but I’m hoping to catch up again.

No matter how quick technology helps us connect, it is still lacking in terms of giving you the warm and fuzzy  feeling that holding and reading a letter or a card gives when you take one out of its envelope.  This is something the younger generation will be missing in this electronic age.

Now on its way to you…

Greeting Card version: Flowers and Henri Matisse

C R E D I T S: Papers used are from Rachel Young’s Summer Slushee Paper pack

As you can see I’ve gotten all paper crafty crazy — I’ve been busy doodling and cutting and creating cards.  I wish there was more time but I’ve turned out one every three to four days which is very prolific for me.

It doesn’t help that there are the goods for my GothamChick stores and my other hobbies.  So yesterday when I posted some 6 new rosary bracelets (!) and one necklace which takes a lot of time considering I need to take photos, edit them accordingly, do the write ups including the measurements of the pieces, price and then review.  I am just so overjoyed that Etsy has put in a new feature allowing sellers like myself to do draft postings and come back to them later.

Jasper Vine Necklace in Antique Brass

Available in my Etsy Shop

So all the more I am convinced that I have to start thinking about my Christmas cards this early so I can be ready to send them out by end November.

The polymer clay research has been going rather well.  (Hmmm… must start a new page on that one.)  The bulk of information so readily available to those willing to do the research and actually read the data available makes most anything “learnable” these days.  Whether it is through blogs, websites or videos, one can actually learn a trade or new skill just by sitting in front of the computer.

It’s scorching hot in New York City today as we hit the 100 degree mark!  I decided to stay indoors instead of braving the heat and all.  Now back to work!

Sending good cheer the old-fashioned way

Talk about hitting two birds with one stone.

I am finally doing Art Journal Every Day again, and am wrapping up my first entry for the month.  It’s been very slow in that department but I am just glad to have finally started.  (Click here for my own Art Journal Every Day page here on this blog.)

I picked up an old, old magazine I had in the house which was heading for the trash can anyway and while in the car on the way to work, I started doodling with my cannot-live-without fine point v-ball signpen.  For some reason “ONE DAY AT A TIME” stuck in my head.. I wanted to write about positive messages and words to keep my creative juices flowing.  I picked one layout for each word and doodled the word and cut them, after which I assembled them in my art journal.  I sort of ran out of space, hence TIME ended up in a different orientation which actually worked out quite well, even if it ended up on the fold of the notebook.

I had already decided to focus on zentangling again whenever possible, so I drew a checkered border around the wordart and I was just so happy with the way it came out.  I like working with watercolor and watercolor pencils, but the novice that I am, it is such a struggle and takes too much time for me to pull a decent or workable layout together.  Already, my gesso remains unused since the last time.  Maybe when I move on to acrylics.. ambitious!

Then a bright idea hit me to create a different card altogether using the same word art (copied in color and resized accordingly) and zentangled on the front face of the card.  Happiness. =)  (Let me warn those unfamiliar with zentangling that this is actually a more refined medium or way of drawing with pen and paper than what I produce, but I’m just your average crafter, trying-hard artist.)

I picked out a midweight good for card stock, but smooth to draw on because of the zentangling.  If you’re into zentangling like me, you can just print out the phrase or sentiment (which can be as simple as “HI” or “HELLO”) on a square sheet, cut the desired size, and trace the outline of that wordart as a placemaker on your blank card front.  I like putting in a border on the inside and the outer edge of the layout to help me keep my zentangling within.  Then I doodled and doodled to fill in the empty space.  Don’t you just love the way the reds and oranges of the wordart actually pop out from the middle of the whole layout?  Another way to come up with the word art is to cut out words or letters from your soon-to-be-discarded magazines.  (Saves you the time and agony of doodling your letters.)

Inside, I cut a sheet of light colored paper slightly smaller than the card, and glued its back left side to the middle of the card to position it, and there I wrote my letter to my friend.  The envelope was likewise handmade, (no instruction needed there!), addressed, stamped, and the card is now off on its journey..

Now back to my Art Journal Every Day project.. I’ve started the journaling but haven’t quite finished the whole spread as you can see in one of the smaller pictures above.  I’ll post the finished product here, soon as I get it done.  It doesn’t need much embellishing except to fill in the spaces really.

Meanwhile, I’m already beginning my next card and my next Art Journal Every Day layout which will be two separate layouts this time around.  I’m beginning to like collage work.. it’s a new experiment for me.   And it’s no fancy-schmanzy collage.. just bits and pieces of paper being glued together.

I sat in my work corner last night trying to come up with a piece or two but it was one of those nights when the inspiration just wasn’t there.  Perhaps tonight.. =)  Maybe, too, it’s art journaling time for me this time around.