Five things to do this (stormy) weekend (2/9-10)

The storm has hit a momentary lull — I’m not being fooled, though.  I know these things come and go, but the forecast is all night — and there is already a lot of snow on the ground as it is.

I only went to work in the morning but I feel exhausted and I had a splitting headache by the time I got home before 2pm.  Still, I managed to do some crafting creating Marian pendants, and I’m halfway through — just have to attach the glass domes into its metal settings.

Here’s my to-do list for this week:

1.  LIFE 4×6: Organize, date, journal (where necessary) and photograph the entries.

2.  Create more handmade cards (I have more brown paper bags that I’ve cut up and printed on).

3.  List more items in THE SHOP: Gothamchick on Etsy.

4.  Organize my swaps for mailing.

5.  Paint my nails.

I want to write here about my newfound friend, Kayenderes, a retired native American crafter from Canada, about what I do on Swap-bot, an interesting lunch with a work colleague..

Can we jump to summer please?

Friday to Friday… A belated list of five things to do this weekend (Feb 2/3)

I had meant to do this list yesterday but work overtook me.  I had taken the morning off to attend a workshop in Angelo’s school meant to give guidance on statewide tests coming up this April.  (Our first year as the tests are administered from third grade onwards.)

I ended up in the city noonish, lost my blackberry between the bus to Manhattan and settling down at my desk (which was replaced before I left for the day) and got home in time for my usual Friday dinner date with my favorite guy.  I also got busy sorting some crafting supplies and raring to start creating!

Here’s my progress report from the previous week’s list segueing to this weekend’s list:

1.  Yes, I successfully started the multi-page Art Journal Every Day entry which I am going to be working on more this weekend.

2.  I didn’t get to create that piece of jewelry nor post anything in the Etsy shop but I am going to do a listing before the night is out.  And I finally found the correct crystal configuration to fit this gorgeous cross setting I’ve been working hard on completing the last couple of months (!), so who knows?  I might actually get to create something for me.. and maybe for the shop.

3. I have been doing the writing and hope to keep at it.  At least one handmade card in the works, and I really need to get those birthday cards out.

4. I am into Chapter IV of Grisham’s The Associate and progressing rather well.  (Big hooray for that!)

5. I sorted a heap of vintage postcards and have identified almost a dozen vintage cards I might offer to swap in the postcard groups — antiques from Mexico, Bermuda, Miami, etc.  I’ve set aside the ones from New York or about New York, and will put them in the with rest.  (Getting there, getting there.)

I’ve been lounging on the sofa trying to watch Season 1 of “Homeland” which is all the craze these days because of the buzz and awards the show has gotten.  The thing is that it’s on cable for pay and we don’t have the channel so we’re doing a catch -up a season late and I’ve so far gone through five episodes.  I’m hooked.

I’ve always liked Damian Lewis and was sad when “Life” didn’t make it beyond its two season run, and sad that he returned via Showtime which I didn’t have easy access to.  (We prefer to pay for the Filipino channels extra. =)  But this is quite the come back.

Dinner time for me and the boy for now… and creating later!

Five things I hope to accomplish this weekend (1/26-27)

I’m almost iffy about writing a new list because it appears that while I have done a lot over the previous weekend, I left more things hanging.  So let this weekend’s list be a continuation of the previous list, and let’s see if anything actually gets ticked off.  Since I started this a few weeks ago, it has helped me to focus better on accomplishing something tangible with a goal in mind.

1. Start my multi-page entry in my ART JOURNAL EVERY DAY.  I actually have started sketching and all that but have not done the actual layout as I had hoped to.  I am hoping to do major progress on this tonight and tomorrow.

2. Jewelry crafting: Create one piece of jewelry for myself and post an item in the Etsy shopAs I had reported earlier in the week, I’ve managed to repopulate the store substantially and I intend to continue doing the same this weekend.  (So the list wasn’t a complete loss after all!)

3. Write.. to friends back home. (And one or two this side of the world.. birthdays coming up. My handmade cards are posted in in my journal.. here.  This one had some measure of success as well as you can see in the post preceding this where I showed you a handmade card I had made.  The card’s been addressed and written on — I am just hoping to add a one-page update to my friend, P. 

I’ve continued with my everyday journal with a photo a day (LIFE 4×6, info to follow), and I intend to show that here on the blog towards the end of January after I complete my first month.  This is something not very different from the popular Project Life of Becky Higgins, in a simplified less expensive way.

I’ve been “HERE” most of the week, trying to tweak my wordpress theme, and trying to come to a decision about whether or not I will migrate the craft blog here, too.

4. READ.  On this front, I’ve done something I didn’t think I would do again which is go back to my Kindle. It’s been “offline” for over a year and the battery is giving me a big headache, but I’m confident I’ll get it up and running soon.  The iPad is just too heavy to lug around in my purse on an everyday basis, and sometimes it’s simply easier to go small.  I’m trying to decide which book to go to first, and looks like Grisham will win out this time.

5. Gather 100 postcards I want to find a new home for. (100 a week, a little at a time.)  After the previous weekend, I’ve had time to reconsider this goal because while it seems it should be easy enough, 100 postcards isn’t all that easy to assemble.  I’ve decided to give myself a month to get the 100 postcards together and maybe raffle them off in one of the Facebook groups I’m part of.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Five things I hope to accomplish this weekend (1/19-21)

It’s a long weekend for us this weekend, so maybe I’ll get down to doing my list of five things to do this time around before I have to start another week on Tuesday.

Despite the extra day, I’m trying to work in small buckets of time to make sure I get to do some cleaning up this morning and start my weekend with a blogpost.  Morning breakfast of coffee in my favorite mug and pancakes with melted caramel.  (Yum!)  I’m sort of indulging in my favorite food treats because I have made a decision to start dieting after the weekend for a myriad of reasons — which is another blog post coming some time in the coming days.

This week, I hope to

Art Journal Every Day cover as of 1/18/131.  Start my multi-page entry in my ART JOURNAL EVERY DAY.

2. Jewelry crafting: Create one piece of jewelry for myself and post an item in the Etsy shop.

3. Write.. to friends back home.  (And one or two this side of the world.. birthdays coming up.  My handmade cards are posted in in my journal.. here.

4. READ.

5. Gather 100 postcards I want to find a new home for.  (100 a week, a little at a time.)

Five things I hope to accomplish this weekend

One reason I like Fridays: Saturday is really the only day I can sleep in and I like waking up just a little later than usual — closer to 9am.  I’m not going to stretch it to that late tomorrow because we need to start doing errands early, but I’m going to try and NOT wake up til after 7am.

Setting goals to keep my focus straight over the weekend.  So what do I hope to accomplish?

ATC: Zentangled Q with watercolor background1.  Send out my only ATC due this weekend – Zentangled “A”.  I do my zentangled Artist Trading Cards a certain way which I guess is meant to give it my own signature.  I use a pre-painted watercolor background, zentangle the background and then do the actual letter in plain black and white.  I don’t render the actual letter in tangle patterns but instead use the “shell” of a font in outline form and draw within.  I’m almost done with the background, so it’s just the alpha.  The one pictured here was submitted to a similar swap last year.  I’m hoping to do the whole alphabet with this group so soon as I’m done with the “A”, I’m starting the “B”.

2.  Finish the cards I hope to send and at least one letter to write.

3.  Close the box of Christmas Ornaments and tape it up for next year.

4.  Post a new item for sale in my Etsy shop.

5.  Work on my Art Journal Every Day cover.

I’m keeping it short and sweet to make it more doable and achievable.  Can’t wait for my weekend to begin!

12 Things I am grateful for in 2012, the year just passed

As I always say, I try to count my blessings instead of looking at the negative things and the hurt and pain.  I still can’t believe another year just passed.  In the midst of our everyday toil, the days and weeks felt like an eternity, but now as we look back on it, there are times when it feels as though everything went by so quickly.

I am thankful for…

… the gift of faith, because I knew that God was always with me.

…  family.

… the gift of words.

… friends, old and new.

… art.

… good health.

… the strength to face life’s challenges.

… humility to accept defeat and loss.

… happy memories to help me forget the sad ones.

… 46 years of being able to be who I am.

… life.

… the ability to be happy and find joy where I am and with what I have.

Here’s to 2013…

12 Things I learned in 2012

So here we are at the end of 2012.  Again, I am not going to make any resolutions or promises.  I am looking forward to 2013 with hope and faith in a brighter and better 2013.  I have always tried to start the year with a positive outlook, champagne or no champagne (looking forward to the bubbly but keeping my fingers crossed we will pop open a bottle tonight..).

If we lose hope, all is lost.  Let’s welcome the new year with open arms and a wish that things will be better.

I’m compiling several lists, and here’s my first: 12 things I learned in 2012 which have brought me to where I am right now.

It has been a rewarding and fruitful year despite the challenges.  I still feel fortunate not to be mourning any loss or suffering brought on by the many events that had brought so much pain to others.  I have had my own struggles through the year, but I’d like to think I have held my head up high in trying to get up again from each fall, and moving forward  beyond the challenges I have faced.

I am here in my kitchen on the breakfast counter, watching cable on the  iPad  and looking forward to welcoming the new year later on the sofa, watching the ball drop.  I have taken the stress out of the new year’s eve preparation by offering up a dinner of pre-cooked ordered-from-the-Filipino-bakery sweet ham or lobsters steamed fresh on my own stove.  The latter won initially but we have now made a reservation at a favorite restaurant which is in all likelihood offering a special New Year’s Eve dinner.  8:30 at Erawan.

But back to the learnings from the previous year..

1.  “Work” translates to a paycheck, it is not the be-all and end-all of life.  It is a place to earn a living which you leave behind when you walk out the building.  It is best to do one’s job without expectations and you cannot be complacent about things being great between you and the boss despite the accolades, the praise and your dedication to your job.  In the end, it’s how much (in dollars) that translates to.  I enjoy my work but don’t look to it for friendship although I have been fortunate this year to find some colleagues who have become friends.  It is good to have a job, and to have friends at work makes it a bigger blessing.

2.  Self expression is one’s best therapy.  I discovered art journaling in a deeper sense and hope to continue this in 2013.  I used to think I best expressed myself in words — but the previous year has taught me that I have other ways and means to find an outlet for my thoughts and emotions.  Here’s to more layouts, more art, more self-expression in 2013.

3.  People change, and while we cannot do anything about that, we can either accept it and cope, or just pull away and move on.  I, too, have changed a lot in the past year and while I have fallen several times over, I’d like to think those experiences have made me a better person.

4.  We’re all human beings with a tendency to make mistakes, but mistakes are part of growing up.  It is how we pick ourselves up again after the fall that we take that matters in the end.

5.  Change is constant.  It is uncanny how many of the things I thought, believed in and felt in the first part of 2012 are totally the reverse of what It think, feel and know now.  But we adapt, accept, and do the most and the best with what we have.

6.  To forgive is never easy, more so when it it is forgiving yourself.  We are our harshest critics and judge — I know I am of myself — but I continue to try.  Perhaps, Joel Osteen said it best in Sunday’s sermon when he said we must tell our hearts to beat again… to find that passion.. to find that reason to go on.

7.  We have to learn how to seek happiness and choose happiness, because it is not something that will just fall in our lap.  Some have been fortunate enough to have found it but to be happy is a choice we make for ourselves, not for others.  If we do not choose it, we will not have it.

8.  Life is short.  So many people have lost their lives in the many tragedies of 2012, both natural and man-made.  We never know if someone will push us off the subway ramp, if we will find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, or if our bodies are growing things they are not supposed to.  We have to learn to cherish each day and try to live as if it were our last.

9.  As Lou had reminded me, some people walk into our lives to stay, and some are simply passing by.  We have to take that as a fact of life and just go with the flow, so to speak.  We can only make decisions about whether or not we stay or we go, not if others choose to do the same or not.  I have seen friends who come and go, and friends who have always been there through the passage of time — even between long lulls of no communication.  I am grateful for those friendships that have stayed strong, and grateful for whatever I had learned from those who have come and gone.

10.  There are things I simply have no control over, and if I let go and just leave those things be, I will find myself getting frustrated less.  I can teach myself to just let things pass.. have the things I hear go in one ear and out the other.. to hold my tongue instead of saying something in retort just to end the conversation.. to just be.  To stay still and just be and not do anything.

11.  It is always good to have an open heart to welcome new people into your life.  Friends pop up from the most unexpected places.. like people who stray into this space of mine, and whose space I stray into out in the blogsphere.  Friends come in all shapes and ages, and I have learned a lot even from those who are much younger than me.  The younger ones think they learn from us, but in truth, we learn much from them as well.  I know I have, like from a young man so full of hope for his homeland, and “MD (med student)”  facing his first year in med school and hoping to make his town a doctor richer in a few years.  Or that young lady who writes as part of a class assignment but whose straight-from-the-heart posts about the essence of living show a very positive outlook despite her setbacks early on in life.

12.  Counting your blessings will pull you through the worst of times, and magnify the joy of the happy moments.  I had long ago taught myself that looking at what I have instead of pining for something I don’t gives me an arsenal of courage to keep going.  While it is true that I still find myself thinking about the grass on the other side of the fence as being greener in my moments of weakness, I pull myself back down to earth and I just have to look at my son to find a million reasons to be thankful.

So as I say goodbye to 2012,  I wish that my heart let the non-happy thoughts and feelings go so I can make more room for happiness.  It is my hope that 2013 will bring in more joy, less failures, and see a better and wiser me.  The way things the previous year had gone, it cannot go any other way.  I look forward to the sunshine and not the darkness, but I don’t fear its coming because I know that soon enough, the sun will rise again.