Between here and there

I don’t like that this is beginning to look like a Friday Five blog.  I’m really looking to post more often, and I do look at the dashboard and go in, but I have been lazy to write and attempt putting together a blogpost.  There are a ton of pictures to share — you can see my Instagram feed constantly being updated.  I guess it seems that the inspiration to write comes in short bursts — long enough for me to write a blurb or to tweet, but not quite to complete a coherent blog post.

A lot has been happening on my side of the world.  Manila alone has a half dozen topics in draft mode somewhere in my brain.  The thing is that it’s been a struggle pulling out those thoughts into actual words that can make up a story I can tell here.  It’s like a never-ending loop playing in my head, but not quite making enough sense for me to connect everything with a beginning and an end in words.  I am trying.

Do I sound like I’m whining again?  Maybe I am.  Monday sees us greeting June hello and that means we’re almost at the halfway point of 2015.   Where did the time go?  And yet I find myself at a good juncture and I am actually okay with how time has flown from January to June — well, in most respects.
They call this the #AvenueOfTheAmericas.  #myny #mynyc #myNewYork #NewYorkCity #NewYork #manhattan #SixthAvenue #blackandwhite #midtown #streetscene

Life is the way it is — it isn’t perfect.  There are many things which I wish weren’t the way they were, and yet I choose to dwell on the things that have somehow surprised me and fell pleasantly on my lap and somehow threw a burst of color and sprinkles and magic dust all around.  (I’m not on any medication, thank you.  It’s just the way I see things tonight.. how do you describe it..  With bursts of color.. and magic dust, yes.  Go imagine..)

Maybe it’s because New York is finally warmer… (Hit 80something today, yay!  Even with a threat of a storm hanging over our heads despite a defiant sun trying to make it through the thick canopy of grey clouds above us!)  I can finally say this is MY kind of weather.=)

Manhattan in spring

Not quite Manila but close enough.

I like this kind of weather — when the sun can unleash all its power and bathe the city with its warmth and heat and I’d feel alright — sweat and all.  When the parks and the streets are blooming all around me!  Such color, such life.. it seems to be reminding us all that life is a never-ending cycle — what dies in the fall and lays bare in the winter comes back to life in the spring.
Spring in bloom

I’m trying to continue with the journey to happy, and the biggest dilemma I have about that right now is to cut or not to cut my hair.  (I am so torn.)  I was fortunate enough to have had the chance to get it cut by Alex Carbonell over at BenchFix in Greenbelt 5, and everyone loved it!  I usually trim again after 4 weeks and it’s been 4 weeks since, but I have gotten at least 3 compliments just this week which makes me think that I can hang on to the hair just a bit longer.  Maybe another week?

I have gotten back to art journaling (yay, again!) — and that part, I am very, very happy about.

UntitledI had stopped writing and drawing in my altered book for two months now — more or less– and I’ve stopped trying to catch up and have just picked up from what’s current.  My altered book should be good for another month or two and I will have to begin a new one.  I can’t wait..

The altered book looks all worn but I will redo its binding and create a cover for it.  I am hoping to do the same size for the next one.. It feels good to be able to continue with the project and see the book almost altered to the end, and soon, will be all filled with my journaling.  It’s been quite a learning experience for me, and it continues to evolve each time I go back to it.  One thing that hasn’t changed is its spontaneity.  I go back to working on the book when the inspiration hits me.

And I’ve had a lot of creative inspiration lately.  I’m trying to do freeform crochet, I’m creating jewelry pieces and I’ve been trying to color my photographs to add some drama or change its whole composition to transform it.

Hopefully that inspiration will transform to more posts here — soon.  Almost the weekend, folks!

Art Journal Every Day – Journal First Aid

Art Journal Every DayThis really started just as another spread painted in one color, and while I sometimes edit the background before starting to write, this layout needed major first aid with the pages falling apart from each other.  Masking tape to the rescue.  Of course, I wouldn’t leave it just like that, but I wanted to keep journaling instead of editing the page before writing.

The cut out of Angelo’s picture on the right came later, as well, as it’s a new picture of him taken during the first day of school.

Art Journal Every Day
Gold was my color of choice which I brushed on top of the masking tape and sort of “splattered” with the brush on the edges of the photo.  (Angelo was complaining about my doing that, but I told him it was to create a certain effect in the layout.)  I like how acrylic paint easily covers and adheres to masking tape although I think the drying time is a little longer than doing it just on plain paper.

I like acrylic over masking tape as a writing surface, though, as the pen glides through it nicely and it absorbs the ink just the same way.
Art Journal Every Day

So here’s the final page, with the entry written in another text direction.  I like doing that to separate the days when a spread accommodates several days.  I hate leaving blank spaces in my journal.

My journals are not quite as artistic or fantastic as most other art journals that make even me drool for its color and impact.  I am working with an altered book which in itself is still a work in progress, and I am enjoying creating layouts to later embellish or write on.  It is also different writing on a page you had created yourself instead of  being confined to plain journal pages.  Luckily, I am many weeks ahead of the actual journaling as far as the altered book is concerned, so I can choose to stick with plain journal entries (simply writing them) or embellish already existing backgrounds.

Some art journalers prefer to start from scratch and create the page, but it’s the writing more than the art that really draws me to the project, so I tend to be very text heavy instead of just “representative” of what I am feeling or thinking about in the art journal.

As they say, to each his own.  This is my journal, after all.

 

Art Journal Every Day Updates

I haven’t done an update on my Art Journal Every Day project for a while now and I thought I’d do that before I got too far behind.

Here’s one where I had an all white plain background, and I used one of my fancy paper napkins to cover the masking tape I had used to secure the two sides of the layout together. (My book is falling apart on me!)
Art Journal Every Day

I simply cut out the flowers from two sides of the napkin and laid them out in the middle to cover the masking tape. I drew some word art on one side and confined the journaling to the other.

The next one is part of a multi-page layout I had done a while back, with cutouts of “HAPPY MEMORIES” done over a three layout spread.

Art Journal Every Day

Here is the second page layout.  I completed the spread and even managed to zentangle on the back of the first word cutout.

Art Journal Every Day

The third layout spread still has the back of the cut out word blank.

Art Journal Every Day

I’ve even gone further with the next layout. I had the word art done a long time ago, but didn’t know where to put it unntil I came across another  all-white background.
Art Journal Every Day

As you can see, I simply zentangled around the word art and proceeded to art journal on to the next layout — and more about that for next time.

I’m trying to be consistent with the journaling and hope to finish up this book by the end of the year. I am tempted to start another one but I don’t have the energy or the time.  Sometimes even just choosing the “format” or size of the journal can be such an effort.

No matter how short my entry is, I try to write something down every day, or work on the layout surrounding the journaling somehow.  Here’s to another wonderful week ahead for everyone…

Back to Art Journaling and saying thanks

Art Journal Every dayI was hoping to be halfway done with the altered book I’ve been using for my Art Journal Every Day entries by now, but the problem is that I haven’t been too good with the “every day” bit. Weeks to even a month between posts have practically ground the art journaling to a halt. But I have picked up the Art journal again, so there is hope.

I thought I’d do a “Thank you” post, more so since I’ve been trying to kick off a project. It’s something that I’ve been playing around with in my head and something I’ve been doing some mail art to prepare for. We just don’t say those two words enough. On the other side of the spectrum, a simple thank you in our hands can make such a world of difference.

I’m pulling together a Thank You Postcard Project by repurposing old advertising free cards into mail art with a visual “thank you.” I’m using my stash of decorative/fancy table napkins, subway (and other) maps and other background materials to cover the original print. I’m even using some of my original photography in some. I’ve probably pieced together close to a hundred of my doodled flowers and I just can’t stop.

It’s not about me thanking you. I want to give you the medium to say “Thank you.”  It’s about saying thank you with a postcard.. more to come.

My Friday Five (on a Saturday)

I wanted to write this last night but I spent the better part of my evening (way past midnight) creating new postings in the shop — Finally!  I’m working two ways, doing the posts straight from the iPhone via the Etsy Sellers Ap and on the laptop where it was easier to do final tweaks.   And after finishing a post, I had to do digital marketing via Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr.

But let’s get to the business of my Friday Five last week and this weekend’s.  So how did I do against last week’s list?

1. Send more postcards out (and maybe a letter).. Yes, I did manage to send one and have another half dozen in the works.  Getting there, Mr. Postman!

2. Re-list at least 2 items in the shop.  No, I didn’t get to relist anything, but I did list three items!

3. Continue to wire wrap crochet undrilled gemstone nuggets.  This is where I didn’t fare too well but it was only because I concentrated on finishing pieces for the shop throughout the week. Beyond the 3 already listed, I actually have 9 more already done and photographed, just needing to be formally listed and posted.

4. Write a post over at GothamChick.  YES!!!! Read it here.

5. Go back to my Art Journal Every Day entries this weekend and hopefully do some journaling.  Another YES!  (See below.)

So as you can see, I did pretty well against my list of “doable and achievable” things to make progress through the weekend.  And now for this week’s Friday Five:

1.  Create more pieces for the shop and list more items.  I actually have some interesting pieces in my head which I need to execute.  I’m also all excited about some guage 34 gold wire I found (!) which I hope to experiment with.  (I know I’m talking Greek to you folks out there who don’t have any idea what I’m talking about..)

2.  Start reorganizing my supplies according to component type instead of material.  Instead of “Antique brass”, “Gold”, or “Silver-plated”, I am going to try doing “chains”, “ear findings”, “components”.

3. Write a letter.  This is one task which should be pretty easy but which is not going anywhere.  I’m trying.  It’s just that when I write longhand, I REALLY write, so it takes a bit of time to get the task done.

4.  Go back to reading the Bible.  We aim to read so many things but it is rare for anyone to be able to say they’ve read the Bible from cover to cover.  I have been trying to catch up with my Kerygma e-mails but I’m still behind.  I had started reading the New Testament and had finished the Book of Matthew but have stalled.  My Bible is waiting in my Nook reader and I was hoping to have progressed beyond Mark by now.  This week, I will go back!

5.  Finish my Art Journal Every Day post on Mother’s Day. — which was last week, yes, but I had already started it.

It’s nice out today after days of muggy, foggy and rainy weather.  (It poured last night!)  I’m glad I might not need to wear my fall boots out today — I hope.  It’s still cold.  Some people are saying we will not really have a real spring but will instead jump from Winter to a scorching summer.  I sure hope not..

I have so much more to write about the previous week but I don’t have the time or luxury to do it right now.  Need to get ready for the boy’s dentist appointment and there are the usual Saturday errands.

Meanwhile, check out the shop where the following items are now available for sale:

Rosary Bracelet in a Caramel Dyed Jade
Rosary Bracelet in Caramel Dyed Jade
“You are my Sunshine” Bracelet
“Prayer in my Heart” Rosary Bracelet in Red Jasper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Art Journal Every Day: My little guy turns 10

I’ve been struggling a little with getting on with the art journaling. It’s mostly been sitting on my bedside table untouched the last couple of days, so I had quite a bit to catch up on. The weekend somehow gave me the chance to do an entry and a half (the other one still in progress), and I’m happy to be art journaling again.

This page had a totally different background before I started working on it again. I wasn’t quite happy with a white page I had stamped on primarily because the pigment ink was “staining” the opposite page.  Gesso to the rescue!  I put on a thin layer to cover the previous watercolor/stamping, and although some of the blue on the right hand page seeped through, I think it covered it pretty well, allowing me to use ink spray to create a totally different background.  It was “muted” by the gesso and the direct application, but I like the effect after everything had dried.

It made the masking tape holding the page together more obvious — I needed to do some book first aid with the binding falling apart on me, but I think that added to the layout’s charm.

Art Journal Every Day: Celebrating my boy’s 10th birthday by doing a spread with his traced hand on one side and mine on the other. Still a work in progress. I haven’t been too good with the “every day” part of the project but trying to catch up.

With my little guy turning 10 last Thursday, I’ve had a very busy week.  Goodie bags had to be packed, the cupcakes bought, and then I hied down to school for a 20 minute appearance that saw him beaming.  As we walked home together, he proudly told me it was a good birthday.  That was precious..

His birthday will always be very special to me because it marked a very big change in my life.  While I wasn’t even aware until the last couple of months of how much more profound that change actually was, I cannot be more grateful for the blessing of having this little guy as my son.  He truly makes everything worth it.

I’ve tried to make it a habit to do outlines of his hand through the years just to show how he’s growing, and I journaled within the outline of his, and zentangled mine.  (Yes, all patterns were taken from official patterns for zentangling.)

I have only a few copic markers which I used to write the text around the actual journaling,    and while I was reluctant to “fill up” the page, it felt quite bare without the other text.  I wanted it to be busy and “full”…An entry all about my little boy who isn’t so little anymore. The palm of his hand is almost the same size as mine — but I like the feel of holding his tinier hand because it still makes me feel like the mom holding that hand in mine.

Time flies, indeed! I keep telling him I wish he wouldn’t grow up so fast. I feel like the passing of time will see him drift away as he grows up and joins the world out there. That is both frightful and terribly exciting for me as a mother.

He has been such a gift to me. Every day, I thank God and I pray He keep him safe.
Art Journal Every Day- in sequenceMeanwhile, here’s the half-done (not quite) page I’ll be working on next.  There was a three-inch gash tearing through the binding, so I thought I would remedy that by pasting these paper pieced doddled flowers I had inserted into the back of the book for use somewhere within the journal.  And here they are. More on this journal entry later.

Mother's Day layout

 

Art Journal Every Day: Just Believe

Art Journal Every Day: Spiral

This layout picks up from the previous multi-page layout, BELIEVE,  which had a dangling letter on the front and back end.  Because I had an “e” dangling from the “BELIEVE” layout, you see the back of that letter as the first portion of this next spread.  It was a watercolor background which made for easier journaling, and I played around with shapes and writing directionally — literally.  Somewhere in the midst of completing the days you see here, I wrote the passage on the right based on my daily readings as a reminder of the verse which resonated with me.

“Change my heart, oh, God.  May I be like you.”

But the title of this layout is “JUST BELIEVE” because of the admonition you see around the spiral on the left side.  I find that these days, my faith has become stronger even if I have put the blind faith hat on — where I don’t go beyond believing.  I don’t even think about it… I just believe — and trust that all will be taken cared of.

Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (Another Multi-page Layout)

Here is the second multi-page layout in my altered book which spells out BELIEVE through various pages. The totality of the pages looks like this:
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) -1
I wanted to be able to write about ‘believing in happiness’ again by reinforcing this through “happines” quotes throughout the layout. I used the MISERABLE Font and found the right size that would enable me to spread out the “e-l-i-e-v” in a two-page layout and then have “b” and the last “e” fold out from outside the two pages as you see above.

I tried to do the embellishments in the various spreads using the same theme, which were watercolor and pen layered flower doodles which I did individually then pasted onto the book. I also printed the Happiness quotes on kraft paper.

If you look at the alpha sizes, the ‘B’ is pronouncedly bigger than the rest as in a Title Case.
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 2

The scribblings in ink around the watercolor flowers came at the same time as the journaling. I had to fill in the empty space and show a more cohesive background beyond the colors, so I did this for every layout.

Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 3

I didn’t let my journaling be confined by the pagination.  In face the entry for this day continues onto the next journaling box which had to be after the middle page layout of the ‘l-i” which I filled in instead with a sun doodle which is a favorite graphic of mine.  (Easy to do and literally shines with positivity.)
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 4

 Here you’ll see the tiny journaling space which I wrote on anyway to finish the entry from the previous journaling box.

 

Art Journal Every Day: Believe
When I do my journal entries here, I don’t really care about breaking up the words in syllables or whether or not it comes out readable. I write very spontaneously, and I keep in mind that the only person who should understand what I wrote or tried to write is me.
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 6
For this next layout, I had a lot of space and decided to be more playful with the whole layout, putting in a pen outline of my face which was a reproduction from a photo.

Although it isn’t anything like the watercolor photos decribed by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s blogpost/tutorial on Super Easy Watercolor Portraits.  It was easier, too, that I had used a ‘line drawing’ version of the photo I chose for this.
Art Journal Every Day: BELIEVE (multi-page layout) 7

Much of the right side was watercolor on a book page which would have made it difficult to write the entry, so I pasted one of my grid watercolor backgrounds onto the page and journaled there.  This whole layout made room for a total of 3 days’ journaling which was an added bonus.  I could’ve done a fourth on my face but I liked the way I traced the impression on the page and decided to keep it as it.

So can you believe all that evolved from this?

 Art Journal Every Day-BELIEVE original

Art Journal Every Day: “Life isn’t fair but God is”

My journal entries are very raw and frank that is why while I used to share my journaling openly, I’ve opted to blur the journaling this time around. I’ve also used my entries to encourage myself to move forward and be more optimistic. For the most part, it’s a continuing effort. But at the end of the day, just seeing the entries that are already done gives me a sense of accomplishment. To me, it’s a very concrete manifestation of physically moving forward which helps me motivation-wise.

Art Journal Every Day: "Life isn't fair but God is"-close upsHere’s a layout that I rendered by doing layers of text. First, there’s a highlighter background rendering of the lyrics of a favorite song of mine by Rupert Holmes, “Touch and Go”.

There are two main lines here (totally unrelated to the song) but they are really visible only when you look closely it have the book in your hands.

On the left is the title of this post: “Life isn’t fair but God is.”
Art Journal Every Day: "Life isn't fair but God is"-close ups
Then under the main journal entry which I wrote using a black fine sharpie, I write “It will get better.”

Art Journal Every Day: "Life isn't fair but God is"-close ups

It’s very busy but that was the whole point of layering the texts with minimal drawings. I had started doodling these type of flower scribbles when I was in high school and haven’t really used them in any layout so I did on this one.

This is how it end up looking once done:
Art Journal Every Day: Life isn't fair but God is"

Til the next entry..

Art Journal Every Day: HOPE (A multi-page layout)

I have several of these multi-page layouts in my altered book but I tried to think of words which evoked positivity and then executed it in different ways.

This layout started out as this:

Art Journal Every Day: HOPE - original multi-page layout before journaling
The left hand page was a watercolor layout I pasted on the book page, and I picked out four different fonts for the individual letters of “HOPE”. I painted the pages and concentrated on the fourth of the right side page that I needed and then traced the letters onto the page and cut them.

Because the pages with the letters had acrylic paint, I had to use permanent ink to draw and write on them.  Note that ordinary black signpens will not adhere to the paint and tend to stain the other page. As this was already a rather “colorful” layout, I decided I’d stick with an all-black border and background theme.

I did the first layout with doodled flowers and hand-drawn dates.

Art Journal Every Day -HOPE

After I finished the first entry, I then started drawing on the empty spaces behind the letters to make the multi-page layout more cohesive. I also made sure each journal block had a distinctive border to frame the entry.

Art Journal Every Day: HOPE - a multi page layout

I also maximized the blank spaces behind the letters as much as I could. Black worked for the most part but I needed to use silver and/or gold for the darker page painted with violet. I kept the floral embellishment to black, though.

Art Journal Every Day: HOPE - a multi page layout

For the final layout below, I decided to use some spray painted
filofax grid pages I had sprayed with ink. I simply pasted it onto the blank center and wrote on it.  I wanted to do more journaling than drawing on this particular spread, and it was just easier writing on a water-color or ink painted journal space than the practically whole two-page spread that was painted with light purple acrylic paint.  I drew randomly on the other blank spaces to fill it in.Art Journal Every Day: HOPE - a multi page layout

I am very heavy on the written journaling and have yet to move on to symbolic or art-based entries. I am trying, but this works better for me.

I’m finishing another multi-page layout again right now and will probably be able to share that next week. (If not sooner.)  Some of the entries are short and other go on from page to page.  I don’t necessarily choose to confine my entries on one page.  I let it flow and just move on to the next page if I’ve run out of space.

I’ve tried to work on part of a layout or a layout every day but I don’t stress about “catching up” if I miss out on a day or two.  If I do, I just write when I can.  I write in the “now” so whatever day it is when I finally write again, I pick up from there.

Time to do today’s entry.