Monday Musings: Exploring my neighborhood

Monday musings in paper and ink

I’m trying to make up my mind about where I should categorize this post. In many respects, it belongs to “Monday Musings,” a staple here for quite some time now, and at the same time, it also belongs under my “New York Corona Diaries.” I will settle on the former. I would like to get on with writing about an idea that struck me this morning as I was on my morning power walk before it totally gets lost in the Ethernet.

Noomin’. For the last two months, I’ve been on Noom and dieting and exercising like I had never done before. The dieting was much easier than most other diets I had been on, but that is not to say there wasn’t any effort. The fact that I’ve consistently walked every day except for one day when the rain wouldn’t let up, and that I have topped 10,000 steps EVERYDAY for the last month is a personal achievement for me. See, I was one person who always said you’d have to pay me to make me exercise. I was totally averse to any form of physical exertion. I was just plain lazy.

So although my actual weight is a state secret — I will share that I have lost 15 pounds the last 60 days. I know I would’ve lost more had I not indulged in a treat or two (or three) during this whole course, but I’m not going to beat myself up over this. The point is that I have lost THAT much — in a healthy way that didn’t see any adverse effects like hair loss or rashes or some other reaction that I had suffered with other diets. And so far, it looks like this is a lifestyle change that I can actually live with. This one is working for me.

But today is not the day when I will share with you my favorite recipes from the diet or the learnings from the new eating habits I’ve acquired. I want to talk about how my daily walks have brought me around my neighborhood and made me explore it and see things in a new light.

Reacquainting myself with Mother Nature’s domain. I have lived in this neighborhood for the last 18 years, and yet, I had never gone that deep into the hiking trails in the forest that makes up part of Alley Pond Park. I have always stuck around the periphery, but never really went into the forest.

In My Neighborhood

I had never even fully explored the path around the main park which I had viewed from the street hundreds of times.. until I found myself there maybe after the second week I had started walking. I walked the circular path around and round the main field, but I soon tired of it. I didn’t want to have to walk with my mask on 100% of the time, and so I strayed away and walked the outer periphery on the other side.

In My Neighborhood

I preferred to walk solitary so that I could pull my mask down when no one was around, and I’d pull it back up out of respect to the people I came across. I would even walk off the sidewalk just to keep my social distance — again, out of respect.

I discovered places in the park where people seemed to be so familiar — and I had to pull out Google Maps to bring myself to the right side of the park I wanted to emerge from.

In My Neighborhood

Fortunately there was enough pedestrian traffic deep in the forest that I felt I was never too far from anyone to hear a call for help, should I trip or fall.

Most days, I will walk around the park — not in it. My days are structured around work, so I am not wont to aimlessly wander and explore. Most of the time, I turn on some fast beat dance music to walk to, so that I can make good time. I walk fast, but cannot run. Even with my renewed endurance for physical exertion, I know better than to push myself and punish my feet without further priming. These two gems carry a lot of weight day in and day out and the last thing I want is to suffer some injury because I wasn’t careful. I need to be at my laptop by 9am and logged on to work. Although I can respond to emails on my phone, I don’t want to end up tripping or falling because I dared to text while walking. (Although I must confess, I do.)

I’ve managed to count the steps around and know which routes to take to rack up the numbers I need. I still end up doing it at just over an hour, but I am pretty happy at this pace.

I have come to appreciate my neighborhood more. I’ve actually walked early in the morning, under the searing heat of the midday sun and during the night one particularly busy day. The landscape changes depending on the time of day, and I see and hear things differently now, from the many nights I would find myself walking home from the bus to my doorstep.

In My Neighborhood

I’ve walked to a favorite bakeshop maybe 10-15 minutes away by car, only to discover that it took only 5,000 steps — barely. So when I walked back, I had to make up for what I owed to make 10,000 going around my block.

I have come to realize that exercise will not kill me. I may not be doing much, but given that a 45 minute work out used to be such a dreadful thought, being able to walk for hours on end like I did in Central Park a few weeks back is a feat. It’s a personal accomplishment that I now feel anxiety when I see that it’s going to rain when I look at the weather app. So I’ve taken to walking with a small sling bag with an umbrella — just in case.

I feel good that I don’t get as winded walking fast, and I can actually look at the uphill incline without worry or fear. I actually enjoy the walk and look forward to it in the mornings.

Hope lives on

Monday musings in paper and inkIt’s less than an hour to midnight, and I’m going to write as spontaneously as I can and hit “publish” before the clock tolls the end of the day. I’ve been writing blogposts right and left throughout my day in my head, but I often get stuck with the thought and end up with no post written. I am trying. But here goes..

Passion project in the works. An idea which hit me last week has gotten me all excited, although it hasn’t turned out as easy as I thought it would be. But I am excitedly taking baby steps towards making this project a reality. I don’t want to write about it too much because I don’t want to get ahead of myself. It’s just a good feeling to be working on something I know I can do, no matter that it isn’t exactly easy as pie. What’s more, I’m thinking about doing something I really would enjoy doing. While it is still in its infancy stage, I am very excited to be growing the idea in my head. It reminds me of a time when I was struggling to keep up with the expenses of being a law student in Ateneo and our resources were severely strained by business losses. I learned a lot during that time — and what I’m looking to do feels like a return to that first job I had, in a 21st century iteration. More to come..

Walking

I have been taking care of myself — even if it’s only walking. I’ve managed to go 13 out of 14 days straight, walking at least 5,000 steps, and getting some much-needed physical exertion in my daily routine. I’ve also been doing some mini workouts — and I know that doesn’t sound much for people who are used to spending hours in the gym or jogging miles and miles, but this is a big step for me. For someone who has abhorred the idea of exercise for decades, the fact that I’ve made this a habit the last two weeks except for that one day when the rains stopped me, is an accomplishment. I am proud of myself.

I gave in and started Noom. I am not quite comfortable writing about it yet, though, because I’ve only been on the program for two weeks. I was on the Keto diet for longer and although it did work and I lost weight, it was at a rather high price that made me drop the diet altogether. This one seems to be working just fine — and I like the way it’s structured. But more on that later..

I am picking up my tools again. It’s tax time and I get reminded during this time of the year how much I have literally invested in this business. It encourages me to try harder and I know I’ve been remiss with production, but I am hoping to get the shop going again soon.

Mask making has been put on pause momentarily. Just for a bit. I was cutting new pieces to sew last week — but I had decided to slow down, after the donations and then the batch I sent home with the balikbayan boxes. With the prevalence of Covid and the thought that this is really the new normal for the near future, I think wearing masks is something we really have to get used to. I am hoping to finish a few over the weekend. Taking my daily brisk walk around the community has also given me a chance to test which configurations work — and I’m planning to work on what I’ve discovered to make better masks.

Hope. I started this week hopeful. You know how sometimes you can’t help but be filled with dread and anxiety and all those negative feelings? While I am nowhere near giddy, this Monday finds me full of hope. Maybe I’ve found a sense of calm somehow — not that I am not affected by the rising numbers of cases in other states. New York continues to be in a cautious reopening phase, and we are nowhere near normal. But I am hopeful that no matter how difficult the challenges we face may be, the universe gives me a solution to help me pull through. The doors keep opening.

I am blessed to have that insight to find hope even when things can become overwhelming. And for that, I am grateful.

Here’s to an easy week for us — no matter what you’re doing this coming week, I hope you have it easy. I hope that you don’t get burdened by unnecessary stress. Take things one day at a time..

Happy Monday!

Monday Musings: Another week at home

Monday musings in paper and inkIt’s been a rather productive past couple of days. I’ve written here, and I’ve been busy doing other things — baking, sewing, and destashing. I am trying to do more of the latter but have been minimally successful. Still, I think I’m doing pretty much better these days. I’d hate to think that I’m getting used to working from home and sheltering in place, but it is a relief to feel a sense of being settled.

Here’s a slew of blurbs to sort out my thoughts this Monday, as my week kicks off.

Time to take the weighing scale a little seriously. I must confess that I’ve been pretty bad in this department. I weigh myself every day and like I said before, I know what pushes my weight up and yet I still indulge. Ice cream is the main culprit! I have finished what I have and have sworn it off.. Of course, all the baking of banana bread and bread pudding doesn’t help at all. I am trying to do without the rice from here on. I successfully “evaded” it last night when I opted to eat a different dinner from theadobo that the boy requested for. I tell myself it’s time to get ready for the eventual return to office — even if the date is not yet clear as of today. I know it’s looming on the horizon — soon.

Another black life lost. Last Friday, a regrettable incident took place in Atlanta where a man’s life was snuffed out by gunfire from a police officer. Rayshard Brooks fell asleep on the wheel while in line for a Wendy’s drive through. Police assistance was requested. Police came. What started out as a regular conversation followed by a failed sobriety test, a chase, failed taser shots and gun shots rang out. Then Rayshard fell. He died in the hospital.

I am no stranger to such random disregard for life — but it doesn’t make it any easier to accept. I am sad for all the parties concerned that this had to happen. Sadder still that it only stokes the fire of dissent from the thousands out in the streets chanting “Black Lives Matter!”. It is ironic that this happens just as the whole country is waking up to the stark reality that racism has no good side to it. For a country that prides itself as being the greatest country on earth, the stain of racism in as many years as it has existed stains the United States and magnifies how it is so fractured at its roots.

I am outraged that time and again, lives are lost with such wanton disregard for its sanctity. The discussion goes on. And the anger simmers.

It feels like quite a disconnect after I wrote those three paragraphs up there. I think I’ll stop here today, and write another day when the emotions are not as raw.

Black lives — ALL LIVES — matter.

Monday Musings: Another Stay at home week

Monday musings in paper and inkI’ve been writing posts and they are hanging out in my drafts folder. There are so many things I want to write about but writing has been mostly in my mind — but I’m determined to get this all out here. More than a month into the stay-at-home deal, I’m still anxious about many things and now have to think about preparing for the return to work. I thought it would be a good idea to go back to something I’ve usually turned to when I’m in a writing rut — my Monday Musings which spew out blurbs and shorts of anything that comes to mind the moment I’m writing here.

Yes, we will be returning soon. Probably not until the month is out at least — So I’m thinking June. While the work-from-home situation has been a challenge, I consider it a blessing. I appreciate the fact that I still have a job and have a paycheck coming regularly, which come with the benefits and all those blessings. It’s been difficult because I don’t have the resources I have when I’m physically in the office, and I’ve had to devise new ways and means to do my work. But I have managed, and I really have no complaints. Well, maybe save for the fact that we are busy as ever, and the work from home deal hasn’t really meant less work. I am also thankful that I don’t have to worry about the commute in this kind of a situation. And when life returns to a sense of normalcy, we will adjust — we will cope.

I am already working on my personal face covering but that has been sidelined by my efforts to contribute to this Herculean task of beating the virus. We all do what we can. Still, I need to start thinking of the commute, and how we will be operating with the new safety precautions which, I am sure, we will be told and be constantly reminded about in the weeks to come.

Art on pause. For a first quarter that saw my art journal zooming into life, I have actually put the project on hold for the month of April. Not that there wasn’t anything to draw or write — I just burned out, I guess. Or maybe things just caught up with me. Or maybe I found the balance I was looking for in feverishly working on it the months before. My pages are waiting. I have the signatures all set. I have the sections figured out. I just need to pick it up again. This week, I promise.

My Art Journal: Grateful

Jewelry projects revisited. I did pick up a cab that I wanted to attempt to encase in crocheted artistic wire. I’m not quite happy with how it turned out but the attempt was a start. I am going to try to create a few pieces one of these evenings. I have tried to get on with the organizing here and there — something you’d think I’d have so much time to do. Not quite true. But the thought is there.. and in fact, I just might attempt to string some beads I am fancying and within reach here. If only there were more hours to the day.

A week of celebrations, it will be. My big guy will be 16 this Friday. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the tomahawk steak I ordered will arrive on time. He’s not one for cake but I just might bake him one. And on Sunday, it’s Mother’s Day. A whole lot of celebrating up ahead!

Congratulations are in order for the successful examinees who passed the Philippine Bar Exams of 2019. A topic near and dear to me — the feelings never gets old.. and personally, the wave of gratitude that takes me over every time as I look back to my own legal journey decades ago. (Oops.. dating myself here. LOL). But we celebrate all those victories — one of the highest, if not the highest passing rate in many years. To all those who made it, congratulations.

Let’s be kind and practice social distancing and wearing a mask. It’s the new way of saying “please” and “thank you.” With all the deaths and hardship that the whole world has witnessed in the past few months, a little kindness can go a long way.

Monday Musings Boos

Monday musings in paper and inkI can’t believe that October is almost over — what with Halloween just around the corner.  Wow.  And before you know it, we are celebrating Christmas and then bidding the year goodbye.  We always find ourselves caught unaware although the passing of time and the arrival of the end of the year is a given.

Life just takes us over.  So back to the Monday ritual of writing random thoughts here.  (I know, I’ve fallen silent yet again.)

My Art Journal: A new beginning.  Yay!  I’m trying to keep it small and simple — and I’m working off of upcycled paper.  (Size: 5.5″ x 7″).  I managed to create the cover page and completed around five 2-page spreads to journal in later.  I am determined to get this going before the year ends, and I think for the first time in what must be around a half dozen tries, I’m going to get one going — FINALLY!

Granny Square crazy.  I thought I would do this project for spring next year, but now it looks like I’m going to finish my sweater in a week or two.  My crochet needles have been put to good use and if I could only start taking photos, I might actually be able to complete a post in the craft blog about it.  (Neglected space… I am not proud about that.. but will get to it soon.)  Crocheting has been very therapeutic for me, and I’m already on my 6th or 7th project for the year.  (Three hats, two triangle scarves, one still in progress, and now, a granny square cardigan.)  My hands have been busy, and I just love what I’ve come up with.

Back to meditating.  One habit I’ve been trying to get back into is meditating — but sometimes it can be such a struggle to find the time, but at least I am trying and will hopefully get back to it with more regularity. Not because I’m particularly feeling stressed– I just want to get into the habit consistently. Fingers crossed.

 

 

Autumn Monday

Monday musings in paper and inkIf you have been following my 10 Day Writing Challenge, you will see that I’ve been on a roll. This is Day 6 and I haven’t missed a post and have been writing as I had hoped to, and it looks like the personal deadline worked!

I am already planning a longer iteration after I finish with this one. (Uh-oh)

How can I miss out on my Monday Musings? It has always been a go to writing tool for me when the inspiration to write was running low. I would pick 3-5 random topics to write a short blurb on — no theme, no rhyme, no reason. And sometimes the topics became full posts at a later time.

Autumn, I feel you. It seemed like summer was having a hard time deciding on whether or not to stay or go– we were having some rather temperate weather when it should’ve gotten much colder already. Well today, I think autumn officially gave summer the boot as we woke up to lower 60s weather topping out at 69. I think I walked out the door underdressed in a thick long cardigan sweater over my dress , but I can always pin it closed later. The good news is, I brought the proper scarf.

Crochet break. I have been crocheting like there’s no tomorrow, although working on three pieces simultaneously has left me without a finished piece— yet. I tried to work with my current yarn stash for the first two, and I am venturing on working with a multicolor ombré yarn for the third. I ran out of yarn for the first two and I’m picking up new skiens to work with, and I’m running short on the third and have decided to wait for the next skiens. I am actually relieved to have been forced to take a break because my hands were beginning to feel the strain. I am very excited with this project and will write more about it in the craft blog. Soon.

To write or not to write about my Keto experience. I have been on the fence about this, but it has been on my mind. As someone who has tried several diets which have worked and some of which did not make a dent, I’m hoping my personal experience with it will help someone thinking of doing the keto diet or someone who might have a parallel experience with mine. So yes, I lost the weight, and yes, I gained some of it back. And finally, yes, I’m off of Keto. (To be continued..)

Getting ready for the holidays. I’m actually seriously thinking of sending Christmas cards again– something I haven’t done in ages. Every year, I try.. and every year, I have failed. I think for starters, I need to update my address book. Then I have to decide (1) if I will make my Christmas card or (2) if I will buy a boxed set or (3) order a printed one for the boy and I. Decisions, decisions. Let’s put it this way, if I don’t get this all decided and done by the end of October, I think I will skip this year again.

And we are searching for another Christmas tree. I bought one last year but it was practically the same as the one I was hoping to replace. I will write about that later but I need one of those hopelessly artificial looking plastic ones because I can’t do the real thing. Allergies, asthma.. so Christmas tree hunting we will go.

Celebrating you. I’m one person who’s very big on birthdays. Most people my age would rather not celebrate and just chalk up another year to just another one of those things that come to pass. But I like setting up parties, getting the cake, doing decor, wrapping presents and picking the birthday card and writing a dedication in it. There were a couple of birthdays the last couple of days that were special.. I tried my best. I always wish I could do more..

I’m trying to remain positive about the week ahead. I have a lot to do, that, I know. Here’s to a productive one for us all.

#10DayWritingChallenge Day6

Monday, Monday

Monday musings in paper and ink

Disclosure: Clicking on certain links in this post might mean a commission for me upon visiting the site it brings you to or if you make a purchase.

I am trying to write with more regularity here and I am happy that Mondays find me with enough energy to write, but I don’t want a Monday Musings blog. But thinking more positively, at least the words are coming.

So how was your weekend?

Mine was productive craftwise. I managed to finish crocheting three winter hats, although technically, it was 2.25. The third hat only needed some finishing with the rim. All done with yarn already on hand, and I’m raring to make more.

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Carnival Row. I heard of the show in this article from my hard copy TIME magazine. Since I had an Amazon Prime Membership anyway, I thought I’d give at least one episode a try. It came free with the membership and I try to maximize my benefits given the price of being part of it, so I watch when I can.

Although the review had given me a rather biased point of view, that it lowered expectations helped me to appreciate the film more. I ended up watching 4 episodes and would’ve watched the 5th, but my teen came home daring to play his new video game. So I ceded the TV. But I am looking forward to continuing the series.

Staying in the know. I’ve picked up a morning habit which I’ve found very helpful in staying up to speed with the news. Check out 5 Things from CNN. They promise to be your new favorite morning fix – and in all of 5 minutes.

While I do browse The New York Times and Apple News, the requirement for a subscription to most other service providers limits my reading to an occasional click.

Thank you, CNN.

Weekend binge. While I didn’t go anywhere this weekend, I did go home with some goodies which meant a carb splurge beginning with rice and adobo on Friday evening. Blame it on the food I took home Wednesday night from the visit to Woodside where there are Pinoy carinderias aplenty. I also managed to score a cheese bread loaf from Maison Kaiser near my office which became brunch on Saturday. Rare at the end of the day given that they usually run out, so that was a real treat! (And it comes with my favorite President butter..)

And on Sunday, I made some grilled mango calamansi jam sandwiches for breakfast. Totally yum on all fronts.

Mango Calamansi Jan toasts

Don’t ask me about the pounds gained because I surprisingly kept it within reasonable bounds. I just need to be good from here on out.

There are just those times when I need to loosen up a bit with the dieting and think more of what I need and want. Otherwise, losing weight becomes a chore and it’s harder to stick to my regimen.

More than Monday musings. Goal for the week: write at least one post before next Monday.. fingers crossed.

Monday Musings on a Tuesday: Those precious long weekends

Monday musings in paper and inkHow was your weekend? I started writing this yesterday, the end of my long weekend, and of course it got lost in the nuances of closing out what would be our last holiday for a while.  We don’t have another holiday coming soon until Thanksgiving, so this is it for a bit.

Like most holiday weekends, I found myself catching up with housework and things I normally don’t get enough time to do on the regular break from the workweek.  I indulged in much needed longer mornings, stretching out and just laying still even when my mind was already wide awake.  Still, I found myself getting out of bed earlier than normal, but I did go about my mornings at a more leisurely pace.

Motherhood.  I got to spend Saturday being Mom — going with my teen to get his hair done.  (And I must stop there lest I end up getting a disapproving look again when he finds out I gave out too much information here.)  And Sunday was momhood again, shopping in the city.  No, not for me, but for the teen (again), what with the school opening just around the corner.  I can’t help but marvel at how much he has grown.  I have captioned our latest picture together as “Mom is indeed shrinking.. ”

And September is here.  And just like that, we are almost at the end of the year.  I have become more attuned with the passing of time.  So I no longer ask where it has gone — I just know it slipped through my fingers like grains of sand.  I’m three quarters done with 2019 and I must say I feel good about where I am.  There is a quiet stillness in my heart amidst the hustle and bustle of my everyday life.  It helps to keep me focused and calm when the excitement gets too much.  I can take a step back, close my eyes, and just find my center again by disappearing into that place within.  Some would say it’s escapism.  I think not.  It’s just me, dealing with life and keeping up.

Decisions.  Summer saw me taking a trip home to Manila, with a stop at one of my other happy places — Sydney.  It was tight and literally short and sweet — but that’s about the only real vacation I take every year.  I don’t go anywhere local, save for an occasional staycation with my favorite date in the city.  This year, we didn’t do anything of the sort.  And even looking back, I don’t really go anywhere else besides home, and places I visit in conjunction with those trips to be with family.  Right now, I’m trying to decide on whether or not I will take another such trip at the end of the year — or more precisely, the beginning of the year.  I am almost 75% sure to go, but there is that part of me that is holding back and vacillating between saying yes and no.

I said I leave it to fate.  And fate keeps nudging me to go as doors have opened.  So I guess I ought to seriously start planning this one.

Writing those letters.  I have the stationery and I have pens aplenty.  I have a list of people I will write and some, I have actually been writing in a journal of sorts.  I haven’t had much luck with those journals but I keep trying, and those letters I hope, will find themselves on their way soon.  I even have the stamps already!  It’s just one of those things which I don’t want to do on the fly.  I want to be able to sit down and take pen and paper and write.  Like really write.

At the start of the year, I had hoped to write at least one letter a month.  I’m 8 letters behind.  I know it shouldn’t be so difficult so I know that at the end of the year, I will be able to count 12 letters sent — and maybe even more.

So that’s my Monday on a Tuesday.  I try.

 

 

 

Monday Musings (on a Tuesday)*

Monday musingsSome Monday mornings are easier than others, and I think today is one of the better ones. No school so I don’t have to herd out my high school freshman, and traffic looks light. Three of my buses have come one after another in a 15-minute span. That can only mean they are in sync with their schedule. (Fingers crossed). I’m starting this post on the bus and hoping I get to finish it and publish by the end of the day. (I’m trying to be optimistic and hoping to get my posts rolling.)

Through the years, I’ve occasionally hit Monday with blurbs or short posts within a post, and it helped because it took the pressure off to write something coherent about a single topic. It also helped me shape future posts because one or two would eventually become one. So here goes this week’s random thoughts racing through my pretty little head.

Planning for a trip.. somewhere. Much of my free time these days has been focused on planning a trip. I am not one those who save the shopping and packing for last minute, and I try to plan a flexible itinerary way ahead. Much excitement about this one– and I am counting the days to when I head out to this adventure.

Writing letters again. At the start of the year, I had set out to write a letter each month. I have drafted and written two but have not mailed it. Since it’s June already, I have 6 I need to send out to catch up. Some people are having birthdays this month so at least two will get a missive from me. 2 more then.

I am also sending out postcards again but in a selective manner. I have never stopped collecting– it’s just that there are years when I am more active than some.

Giving the gift of a little sparkle. I’ve been working on creating some simple pieces to give away to a not-so-affluent town where earrings would be the last thing women would spend on. And if they chose to, would not have much variety to choose from. In my mind it’s a means of empowering women to believe in their inner beauty, because each one of them IS beautiful.

Just giving. This is a bit of an emotional subject and one I can’t write and elaborate on, but there is a profound sense of gratitude in my heart for being able to give in whatever small way I can. Sometimes we hesitate, and sometimes we are cautious. But I was raised to appreciate whatever I have and to share what I have with those who need it most. I only wish I could give more.

So I got busy yesterday and ended up forgetting about this draft, after I started two others. Even if it didn’t get published until the day after, I’m on a roll. I think I’ve said that a couple of times, but this time, it just might just stick.

Here’s to a wonderful rest of the week ahead.

Monday Musings (on a Tuesday): I have been a busy bee

Monday musingsI promised myself I wouldnt write about how cold it is so I will skip to what i’ve been up to. Yes, I have been busy.

Busy. Since I do have a day job, most of my waking moments have been preoccupied with a task that actually helps to pay the bills. When my focus is required, I tend to drift towards these things that actually translate into cash at some point or other, and it has been busy enough that I have gone home exhausted and sometimes I just choose to sit and rest. So things like writing tend to take a backseat. Half a dozen drafts started but none finished — and I don’t think it was for lack of trying, but rather because my brain was too tired to get anything coherent together.

Bead busy. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve actually been deep into organizing my craft supplies. I had hoped to start creating again for the shop, but between the mental and physical exhaustion from work, I haven’t had much of a chance to really sit and create. I do think I’m making progress. I had a tendency to separate working supplies into bins and then forget to return the left over pieces to their original trays. Then there are the bits and pieces and parts of a strand that fall out of the tray that never find their way back. So for now, I’m sorting by kind. (Glass crystals, Czech pressed glass, freshwater pearls, gemstones, metal findings.).

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I am also trying out a new way to pull the beads together, basically vine wrapping the wire to form a branch of something. I pulled it together into a brooch and I wore one last week for a test run, and I think it held up well and got a few nods. I’m getting to that point where I will be working on more pieces for the store. More to come!

Art journaling reboot. Funny how I wrote my first post today and it was about the gigantic headache I was having and mom being sick. You think of journaling in terms of profound brush strokes and big tapestries and you find yourself going back to basics. At least it’s moving.

UntitledSimple gestures that make their mark. I know it’s Valentine’s and no, this is not from an admirer or a suitor. It’s a spontaneous gesture from the boss who saw it in one of flowers shops here in Grand Central when she went for her afternoon coffee. I am grateful. I think it’s the universe speaking to me.

I had been rather restless the past couple of weeks and I have been told time and again to not stress about things. Doubts crept up and overtook me — and they were difficult to shake off. Countless questions raced through my head — many remaining unanswered. And then this.

I hear you.