Friday Five: Yay!

Friday5

So, okay, this is much delayed.

Life happens.  I’m not apologizing, and it’s another weekend so I’m feeling all chipper.

I tried to write but I seriously did NOT have the time because my real world had me in chains all week, slaving away.  But it’s Friday!

As always, we start with the updates based on the last list that appeared here two Fridays ago:

1.  Sort the fabrics I picked up from Brooklyn over the weekend.   Done!  I’ve even managed to wash a few sets just to make sure that they are good to go once crafted!

2.  Write five topics to write about here and in my craft blog.  I actually managed to complete this for both blogs, but while the idea was that the “drafts” would help me move forward with the blogging, I haven’t been able to hit the pace I was working on.  Still, it got me posting, and there’s a new post for each site.

3.  Gather the books that I hope to read in the coming days and actually write about it.   I have the books, just haven’t had the chance to list them down.

4. Pull together at least one “care package” from the things I hope to destash and send out.  So I’ve been “cleaning up” but have pleasantly rediscovered things I had made and bought over the past two years which I had misplaced.  So yes, I got the one care package started, but haven’t sent out.

5.  List 10 things in the “turning 50 good deeds” to do.  I didn’t quite hit the 10 but managed to write 6, and wrote about it here.  In addition, I have created a page with the post title, Gift of 50,  (see navigation bar on top please) to keep the updates on one page.

I think that wasn’t so bad — even if it took all of two weeks to actually make progress.  Again, I’m not killing myself over this.  So for this weekend, here’s my Friday Five:

1.  Gather the books that I hope to read in the coming days and write a blog post on it.   I might even start drafting this this afternoon.

2. Care package work-in-progress send out.  One of the sets I have to hang on to, but I think I can actually pack the second and send off before next Friday.

3.  Plan the big five-o celebration.  I’m very big on celebrating birthdays and “big” doesn’t actually mean a huge party — I just want a table of friends to toast the big day.  And it’s right around the corner!

4.  Find the loose postcards I want to work on and actually set aside time to get this project started.  We’ll start with identifying a box they can all go into and then I will write about what I hope to do with them.

5.  Draft a craft project calendar.  I’m trying t plan for the year and get things on track — scheduling christmas cards ahead of the holiday season so that they actually get sent, for one, this time around.

It’s been a very busy week work wise and I cannot be more grateful that it is finally Friday.  It’s been one of those weeks where I was too tired at the end of the day to focus on anything else but catch some much needed zzzzzzs.  But the week is over and there’s finally time to recharge and relax.  Tomorrow.

Happy Friday, everyone!

#ThingsToDoIn2016: This year’s list

16in2016 (2)I started something in 2015 which saw me going back and forth to a list I had written at the end of the year before.  It was a list of goals of things I wanted to accomplish — from the mundane and ordinary to first time things I wanted to do.  I did periodic updates and tried to be guided by that list, and while I didn’t quite get to successfully accomplish all of them, having the tasks served as a reminder of my focus for the year.  So here is this year’s list, partly taken from the previous year’s.

1.  Read six books. – Take two.  Right now I’m in the middle of reading the second book of what I had hoped would be six last year.  I have the month to finish that and hopefully get this done in 2016.  (#6BooksIn2016)

2. Plan my trip to Boston. – Boston has officially given me an invitation to visit and I am planning to do that, but hopefully when the temperatures ease up a bit.  While it has been a temperate winter, you never know how much snow is in the horizon and they get a ton of it on that side of the coast!

3. Learn something new via an actual class every quarter of 2016.  I’ve been hit with a slew of “I want to learn..” moments, and among these are (1) sewing, (2) proper pearl stringing, (3) proper knitting.  I have all these projects churning in my head and if I find the time, I know I can get to it.

4.  Watch at least 1 concert.  I will try to make this a less ambitious task by actually not specifying which one.  Maybe I will get to do it in 2016.

5.  Go to the gym at least once a week — and maybe even earn a locker!  (Go 10x the previous month and you get YOUR OWN LOCKER the following month.) – After losing half the weight I gained over the holidays in the first week of 2016, I am inspired to think this is something I can definitely do better at this year.

6. Lose another 10 lbs at least by April this year.  (Lost over 20 in 2014 and maintained my weight in 2015.) – I have a few more to get to my pre-2015 holiday weight.  I think 10 before April should be reasonable, unless I go berserk again when I eat.

7. On positivity: Get the ball rolling on the Thank You Postcard Project – I must confess that the concept is there but I am a having a difficult time zeroing in on the mechanics.  So first quarter, figure that one out.  Q2 produce the postcards.  Q3 and Q4, roll out.

8.  Find a rehearsal studio and actually spend an hour just touching the piano keys again.  Hopefully in the spring.

9.  Work more earnestly on my craft blog.  It pains me to see that my last post in that corner was in October yet.  I had promised to post regularly and unlike here where I post spontanously, I tailorfit my writing to take on a certain slant over there.  52 posts in 2016.. that’s the goal.

10. Work on creating one piece every week, whether for sale in the shop, a gift for friends or to wear myself.– That means 52 pieces for the year.. easily doable!

11. Leave one pre-loved book out in the open once a month for someone else to enjoy/read. –  I am going to get this going by choosing the 12 books to give away.  I think one reason it was forgotten was that I never got down to doing that and I didn’t make a conscious effort to get it rolling.  Now that I am actually trying to declutter, I think I’ll make this a weekend project and start it off this month.

12. Write one long hand letter or card every month.  As someone who loves to receive handwritten notes or letters or cards, I actually enjoy writing them as well.  Besides trying to keep the post office relevant

13.  Start a new Art Journal.  The Art Journal I’m working on has been a work in progress since September 2012.  I think it’s about time I closed it but there are still some layouts left to be done.  I haven’t written or drawn there as much as I had hoped in the last couple of months, but I’m trying to catch up.

14. Destash: Give 5 items away from my current stash (clothes, books, art supplies, postcards) every month beginning March.  I am so ready to part with things and I had sent two balikbayan boxes home with old clothes and things I no longer have any use for.  I think for 2016, I will create little packages to send to friends who I know will enjoy them more, or to leave behind for strangers to find.

15.  Write poetry again.  I have not written any poetry since I arrived here in New York, 15 years ago.  So that’s a lot of catching up to do.

16.  Celebrate my birthday by doing 50 feel-good deeds.  I saw an ad yesterday morning which had this blurb: “Simply waking up is amazing.”  Isn’t that so true?  We really need to appreciate life more by giving back.  I’ll keep it at that for now.  But I truly believe that one good way of showing how grateful we are is by sharing what we have.  I don’t have much, but I think I have enough to keep me in good shape, and I have just enough to still be able to share.

Wish me luck on this year’s list — but somehow, I’m doubly confident that I will get more accomplished.  It can only get better.

Monday Musings: Is the long weekend really over?

Okay, we’ve been kind of wanting for a long weekend — and this is the last one until Thanksgiving, believe it or not.  At least for us of the non-Jewish faith here in New York.  I’m not complaining — just wish we had more of these ‘Is it time to go back to work?’ kind of weekends.  I’m actually looking forward to work this week — probably because it’s a short week for us.

Back to school!  I have heard fellow parents breathing out a collective sigh of relief on this one.  I just don’t get it.  Maybe it’s because I only have one, and my little guy has been on auto pilot whenever I was at work.  I’m excited more for him being in middle school now (yes, he is moving on to sixth grade!), while at the same time kind of dreading the waiting for the call to tell me he’s home, telling him to “take off your socks, do your homework, it’s dinnertime” and all that routine resuming.  (I might be part of the minority in this regard.)

In many ways, we’re expecting it to be a little different beginning this year for many reasons, but I’m looking forward to it as I see my little guy growing up.  We’re still in a mental tug of war about the cursive writing, but I’m so happy his cousin, Julia, had gotten him started on it.  “It’s sooooo hard..,” he complains.. and I know I just have to keep pushing, and push I will.

He received a reading assignment at the start of summer and has been reading in earnest but has been trying to charm me into reading the book to help him with it.  (Could this be number 2 in my “read 6 books” this year list?)  I haven’t given in, but I know it’s something I can easily do.  Maybe.

#SwirlsOfColor in #crochet using #doublechain #shellstitching for an #afghan I'm making. Love how #crochetting a #repetitivepattern can be #sorelaxing. #crochetprohect #hadmade #crafting #crafts #handmade #madebygothamchick #crafttherapyEarnestly trying to get ready to get crafting again.  I’ve been busy with the crochet hooks and have been momentarily sidetracked by an afghan project.  I like doing afghans when its a repetitive pattern and when you have a chunky yarn — and I am working with both.  I’m on my fourth ball and expect to be finished after another one plus the trim.  It’s supposed to be a surprise for a friend so other than show an itsy-bitsy swatch here, I’d rather talk about it when the project is done.

In the meantime, I’ve started organizing my materials and hope to start finishing up some of the pretty bows I have designed now that the French Barrette Style Hair Clips I ordered are here.  More on that later but can I just say I love Amazon Prime?  I had tried it a year ago and then cancelled my membership — and then recently signed up a couple of months ago and have been loving it since.  If you order from Amazon a lot, then you will appreciate the free two-day shipping for Prime eligible products (caveat: not all products on Amazon are covered!) — and there’s the Amazon free streaming of all these fab original material plus classics to new releases.

But back to trying to get back into crafting.. so I have tried to start getting organized again but have barely made progress because I have quite a stash to go through.  The shop has been dormant for a bit but I’m hoping to get it ready for the holidays — and I will be around this time.  In my cleaning up, I managed to find a box full of items previously listed, so it’s a matter of relisting those first few pieces.  I am excited to try out some new techniques, though, and will try to carve out regular time to post and create again.

I invested in a dozen Sterilite 16428012 6-Quart Storage Box, White Lid with See-Through Base just to be able to sort the items that have just been thrown together.  I am planning on creating a crafting corner from now to the end of the year to help me get everything together in one space, hidden from view except when I want to do crafting.  So in the meantime, I need to sort through what I have.

And as I sort, I have made a decision on which items to find a new home for.  During my last trip home, I promised my friend, Raine, that I will send her my Artist Trading Card collection to keep or dispose off as she would wish.  I had a fun time creating and receiving some outstanding pieces, but I think my current collection of postcards, Starbucks mugs and pencils are more than enough to keep me happy.  I am trying to find other things I can find a new home for as I try to get myself organized.

The “BER” months are here..  which means thinking of the holidays, holiday cards and holiday presents.  I want to make this year special for my little guy and me because we have so many new things to look forward to.  I want to make the house very festive — and I want to make a special holiday card to send out to friends.  I am already updating my address book — and trying to think up of something nice to do.

The holiday season has officially started in Manila — and I think it would be nice to keep in step with “home” this year.

Just a few more hours of the weekend left — so let me get on with some last minute errands and chores, like a 20-minute walk around I’m supposed to start making a habit of from here on.

Happy Monday, everyone!!

In the middle of…

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I have spent the better part of a half hour trying to fix these photos and I know when it’s time to give up.  More so after I had written a whole post which disappeared on me without saving on the same topic.  Let it be, I tell myself.

I created these pieces between the weekend and the past couple of nights — and although I haven’t gotten back to them to give them a more definite form, “beginning a piece” is a welcome development.  Beginning something means having something to finish.

The top most piece is a necklace which I will probably do lariat length — to be worn double looped around the neck. It’s simply a random rosary-style stringing of 8 types of blue beads from agate to dyed jade. I left it with around a third undone. So almost there.

The second is a design I am trying to follow from Bead Magazine and I’m just so thrilled to be able to finally use these serpentine beads I had bought a while back. I had around 3 strands because they were on sale, and although they’re not flashy nor colorful, I like the muted green and how earthy it feels when I look at them. Still in progress as I try to decide what I will put in the middle as a suitable focal.

The earrings above, believe it or not, came upon me half an hour before midnight — and no, I didn’t hesitate to go back to my work station and try to do what I thought up in my already sleepy head.  It’s an initial idea — not quite the finished product.  I have quite a few of these top-drilled faceted tear drop beads which I had purchased in the hopes of pulling them together into colorful dainty pieces.  These are the earth-tones.  I have a few pastel colored beads to play around with as well.

And I’ve been art journaling again. Or simply journaling, actually. Too many things to write about and I want to seriously catch up after slacking off the past couple of weeks. I really felt bad about not being able to touch my altered book that I had foregone my Friday Five the last week (or is two?) but it will be back tomorrow — promise.

Another weekend is here and school’s over. And after Monday, half the year is gone. Has it been that long since we greeted 2014?

I feel like I’ve been stuck — but time continues to fly. Next year, Angelo will be in Fifth grade.. can you believe that? Sometimes I watch him and look at him from afar and I actually say it out loud — please don’t grow up too fast.

Unfortunately, that is something we parents have no control over. My little guy is growing up so fast. I am grateful for that and also wistful at the thought that my baby is no longer the helpless little child he used to be.

Another weekend and he has been saying no to half the things we propose to make it an interesting weekend for all of us. He said no to the waterpark… which means no outlet for me. And I don’t really mind that. I am happy to see him developing his preferences. It shows that he has a mind of his own now.

I will hopefully be able to finish a necklace or two and photograph it for the shop. I am craving to photograph the pieces on a live model, but that’s a little tricky to negotiate. My necklace display stand is upstairs, or I can stick to a simpler studio set up just to show how it hangs. Maybe.

Sleep beckons. That’s it for me. Or else I might yet get another half-hour-before-midnight flash of inspiration and get creating. Happy (almost) Friday to all!
 

Coasting by

I’m breathing with a little heaviness which bodes of an asthma attack, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it won’t get to that.  It really hasn’t been as bad as previous episodes, but my body is obviously fighting something as my back is beginning to feel some strain.

I’m trying to catch up with all the time I lost over the weekend.  I’m waiting for the gesso on my blue pressboard folder cover for the DECORATE A JOURNAL book to dry on one side so I can paint the backside.  I’m going to cover this with a fancy paper napkin later.  I just need to “blot out’ the blue.  I tried doing it straight and the semi-opaque paper napkin in beige didn’t quite look as I wanted it to look on the blue board.  Do over: I gessoed the blue and now have a white base for the paper napkin to cling to.

I also had the chance to play with some stencils and acrylic paint on printed paper which came out rather nicely. 

Stencil Experiment: Acrylic on printed paper (1)

I used less paint on a foam brush this time around, trying to control the direction that I swiped the brush down on the stencil, and I think I’m getting the hang of it.

Stencil Experiment: Acrylic on printed paper (2)

I like the effect it had on the paper and now that I’ve figured out that taping the stencil onto the paper is indeed necessary to keep it in place, I think I’ve gotten around my previous problem of having the stencils move when they should been stationary.

Stencil Experiment: Acrylic on printed paper (3)

I plan to use these stenciled backgrounds in some cards I’m sending off to P.

I put my hand on the “drying” gesso and it felt cold.  I don’t feel chilly but I know it’s cold.  I’ll give it a few minutes more and put on the napkin cover.  That way, if it doesn’t work, I have time tomorrow to redo it.  (Keeping my fingers crossed it will so I can just concentrate on taking the video reveal.)

I’ll try other methods of applying color to the stencil in future projects.  For now, I’m just happy they turned out great. 

I had looked forward to doing a lot of creating and organizing and doing more cutting with my Spellbinders Grand Calibur Die Cutting Machine more so since some Heartfelt Creations Exclusive Dies had arrived Friday.  I kept coming back to their booth for their demos at the Allentown crafts fair, but I didn’t have any die cutter to use any dies for, so I had to wait.  They have a unique stamp and die set that you buy separately that produces such gorgeous paper flowers.  Because I’ve been feeling under the weather, I’ve been unable to take my machine out of the box this weekend.  When I finally get this swap out, I intend to try and make some paper flowers of my own.

One more layer of glossy mod podge to seal my book cover.  I’ll leave it overnight to dry and I will trim it tomorrow.  Time to call it a night..

My 3 passions (30 days of blogging prompts 8)

I had originally written this post long-hand for my Shared Journal Experiment swap, photocopied the pages before sending off the journal and then misplaced the photocopies. Hence, the delay in posting..

1.  Motherhood.  (A common theme in everything about me.)   I married late (age 34) and suffered 2 miscarraiges before my son was born when I was 37.  Maybe I would have had more children if I married younger, but I am happy with my number one guy, Angelo.  He is, literally, the light of my world.

People always say that parenthood changed the way one looks at life, and I cannot agree more.  For the last 8 1/2 years, my world has been rocked by this little tyke who brings out the best in me.  His very presence makes the world a brighter and better place.  He is my anchor.  Because of him, I know I can go on and on and on.  (Like the energizer bunny.)

I never thought I would end up raising a family here in the US.  I had grown up in Manila where we had nannies and house help.  Here in the US, I did it all by myself after my mom returned to Manila when Angelo turned three.

We do homework, I cook dinner, bathe him and tuck him to bed.  I pull together snacks and do homework checking before he leaves for school.  I am very hands-on, although not by choice.  If we were in Manila, I’d have help.  But I cherish the thought that I know every inch of his body.  So when I see a bruise or a scratch, I know.  Even if it means getting all exhausted at the end of the day, his hugs, kisses and profession of love are more than worth it.

Seeing him very good-antured and always cheerful is comforting because I know that when he grows up, he’ll be fine even when his Dad and I are gone.  I want to show him how to be a good parent so that hopefully, he’ll be the same if not better when he has his own family. 

Motherhood has given me purpose.  I try to give it my best but I know I am far from perfect.  We always say we try to be better than our parents were, but I cherish the lessons in parenting that my parents taught me as a daughter.  They weren’t perfect either, but they tried very hard, and I owe them who I am today.  I don’t look back at the pain, I look back at what I am today and I know I’ve made them proud.

I hope my son will say the same thing when he is older.

2. Writing.  I have always loved to write.  Even in grade school, I wrote stories and dialogue in an unstructured way.  I wrote tons of poetry until around 12-15 years ago.

Even when I worked, I wrote press releases and materials which saw print, but never under my byline because they were treated as generic press releases.  I ghost-wrote articles and always dreamt of seeing myself published.

On the personal side, I have always longed to write my stories — that is why I blog.  I am being tempted to write to earn off my space on the blogsphere, but I’ve noticed it loses the character of my tone.  It’s not the same.

Words have always come easy to me.  I write spontaneously but I do edit along the way.  I don’t overthink my writing — much of it comes from the gut.

I am hoping to get a writing project off the ground sometime in this lifetime to write profiles for 100 ordinary people I’m entitling “100 voices”.  It was originally supposed to be a joint effort with my BFF who writes well, too, but that idea fizzled out.  But I still want to write it.  I  want it to be about ordinary people.  The bagel vendor at my corner.. the maintenance guy.. the barrista at my coffee place, etc.  Like me, everyone has a story.

I’ve done bios and write ups about people so many times in my previous life, but I want this to be a different slant.  I want it to be about something different that makes us unique from one another.

Maybe one day.. The thought that I am still thinking about it gives me hope that I will get to do it — as I said, in this lifetime.  I hope to come up with stories that touch others the same way other stories have touched me.

I go more for the non-fiction type of writing because that is what I do.  I marvel at the fertile imagination other writers display and I have never really gone that route because I am afraid that my ideas might just end up copying others and then the comparison would be made.  (One fear I have is that my work will always have a “better” to its “mediocre”.)

I can go on and on and on … writing is my best outlet and form of expression.  Even song-writing, once upon a time.  But that would take forever to write about again.

3.  Crafts.  My top three passions were not difficult to narrow down, but I just hope I’m not sounding all self-centered because I don’t have a cause I’m championing.  I am after the greater good, and I believe that starting off with a better “Me” will lead to a better world.

I’ve always been doing crafts when I wasn’t writing.  So I’m grateful to Swap-bot because they got me into Artist Trading Cards (ATCs), Mail art< zines and now journals.

I also continue to try and get better at my jewelry making although I am far from being an artisan.  I always say I’m a crafter more than I am an artist.  I’ve been making jewelry for almost 4 years now and I see a marked improvement in the design and style of my crafting.  It’s a never-ending learning process for one.  (PERSONAL MANTRA: I learn something new everyday!)

I resisted polymer clay for the longest time but now it’s one of my favorite crafting materials to work with.  I also like experimenting with other materials and look to crafting not just as a form of relaxation but a way to create for myself and earn as well.  I usually create pieces and wear them to see the kind of reactions the pieces get.

Motherhood, writing and crafts.  They keep me forever on my toes, and I hope they’ll help me to grow old graciously and whole.  These are the things I pursue with a passion that stay with me whatever my state of mind is, or whatever challenges come and go.  They have stayed with me through the years, and all, except motherhood, have been part of my entire life.

More Newspaper Collage Postcards

[09] Mail Art: Newspaper Collage Postcard - The Wall Street Journal 03Aug2012 #4
Mail Art: Newspaper Collage Postcard - The Wall Street Journal 03Aug2012 #4

I’m really enjoying creating my Newspaper Collage postcards.  I have around 6 works in progress in the hopes of stocking up on items to trade — but with the weekend edition papers in, I think I’ll have to limit myself to 4-6 postcards per edition.  The good news is that I finally got the hang of modpodging the collage to flatten and “seal” it, and I did the “pressing” correctly this time by inserting the collage postcard between a “card” of parchment paper.

They also don’t take a lot of time.  I can quickly go through one complete edition with all the sections intact, pick out backgrounds, headlines and then assemble it in a matter of minutes.  The finishing takes less than half an hour which I would have to do at home.  (Still owe on the “how-to”, I know.)

So for the latest four I posted on my Flickr account set Mail Art: Newspaper Collage Postcards, I used a Mod Podge  Glue, Matte Finish and applied it with a make up sponge I got from the dollar store as a set.  Very fine application which was just perfect.  I used approximately 3-4 coats on each postcard and it came out nicely, except that the matte finish seems to have muted the intensity of the print on the original clipping.  But the upside was, it looked flattened and sealed the edges of the clippings.   Unfortunately I’ve run out of the Mod Podge Gloss Finish so I can’t experiment right now, but I plan to get more over the weekend and be able to compare the finish I will want to use.

Meanwhile, I’m continuing uploading my postcards a few at a time to my Flickr Collection, although I haven’t quite gotten to the section of duplicates available for trade.  I’m also trying to apply to postcard groups for future exchanges.  Sorting through them has also given me a chance to start taking stock of what I have in the collection, and the duplicates I have for trade.

When I buy postcards, I usually buy at least one extra postcard (or two) of the same more so when I know of a particular trading partner who collects that type of postcard specifically.  (For example, I have quite a stash of stadium postcards but I don’t personally collect them.)

I also do duplicates of maps.  I have a New York map which, unfortunately, is drawn and not photographic.

You’ll have to pardon the quality of the photos of my postcards.  As they are meant to represent the collection and are not really “the collection”, I’ve tried my best to take decent pictures, but definitely not printable or enlargeable.  The idea is to create a body of photos showing what I have.

The captions for each photo in Flickr are the captions at the back of the postcards.

Again, if you are interested to receive one of my newspaper collage postcards, art postcards, viewcards of New York, or just want to start a general trade, please e-mail me at postcardmailbox@gmail.com.  I will do postmarked exchanges or sets in an envelope.



			
					

Sansa's Bouquet and my long weekend

Antique Gold Polymer Clay on Antique BrassThe greatest fulfillment I get from crafting my own accessories is when I come up with something I can wear and I get complimented for it.  I had stopped working for quite a bit since the start of the year but have started fixing my supplies and trying to get organized again.

I’ve been concentrating on creating pieces I can wear and sort of “experimenting” on new designs for the shop (for whenever I will open it again.).  Here’s my first antique brass and polymer clay necklace completed last week.  The pendant has been with me for quite a while, having been completed earlier this year.  A polymer clay cabochon was set over an ornate antique brass pendant, and the outline of the inner setting was lined with glass bugle beads.  (Crafter tip: I line the base of the cabochon with polymer clay to have the cabochon and any embellishments a medium to attach to.)

Filigree connector: Antique Gold Polymer Clay on Antique BrassFor polymer clay embellishments put atop the antique brass filigree, I press slightly to let the filigree’s pattern sink into the base of the clay, then I glue it from the back by painting superglue over the holes in the pattern to secure it.  I used a double-sided rose bead to connect the filigree.

I did three each of the filigree connector but it came up too close to the nape, so I am going to reduce this to two filigree connectors per side.  It’s an elegant yet understated piece perfect to wear over a turtleneck or a low cut blouse.

I’m thinking of calling this Sansa’s Bouquet, from a favorite series now playing on HBO entitled “Game of Thrones.”  (For more pictures, click here.  How-tos on the beads and filigree to follow in my GothamChick blog in the coming days…)

Why do I even work with polymer clay and all these?  I like creating.  I like doing something productive.  Some people bake.  I craft.

I like learning about new things.  I really got into polymer clay because of my sister, Ofie.  They have yet to work with the clay I brought home and all the tools I brought her last December, but I’m hoping that she can start experimenting, too, to create the souvenirs they were hoping to create and maybe start a business with.

I make my own molds from actual cabochons and assorted findings.  Buttons are a good source for shapes and textures, too.  Some pieces I create freeform by molding the clay by hand.  I’m hoping to one day create a collage pendant made from different elements instead of a singular cab.  Getting there.

For now, I’m feeling all pretty wearing my latest creation.  I still have to get back to practicing stringing beads, and I have been pooling my rose quartz beads together.  Rose quartz has been said to be a “soothing and very happy stone.”  Crystals and Jewelry further says:

Emotionally rose quartz brings gentleness, forgiveness, compassion, kindness and tolerance. It raises one’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It helps balance emotions and heal emotional wounds and traumas, even grief, bringing peace and calm. Rose quartz removes fears, resentments and anger. It can also heal and release childhood traumas, neglect, and lack of love, in part by enhancing inner awareness. It can help with reconciliation with family and others. Overwhelming or unreasonable guilt is eased by rose quartz.

In the psychic and spiritual realms, rose quartz is often used to attract love, and for love spells. It is also used to ease the process of transition in dying. Rose quartz can be helpful for dream recall and dream work.

Physically rose quartz is used in crystal healing to benefit the heart, the circulatory system, fertility, headaches, kidney disease, migraines, sexual dysfunction, sinus problems, throat problems, depression, addictions, ear aches, slowing signs of aging, reducing wrinkles, spleen problems, fibromyalgia, and reaching one’s ideal weight / weight loss. Rose quartz is also helpful and protective during pregnancy and with childbirth. It is also sometimes said that rose quartz is helpful for supporting brain functions and increasing intellect.

So in the meantime I keep a stone or two always in my tote.  Need to keep my brain cells and my heart healthy.  (Ha!)  I’ve always liked it because it was pink.  Just hate that it reacts to silver-plated findings, so I cannot use silver plated pins to string it with.  (Again, taking care of me.)

Monday… I liked the long weekend but sometimes staying home is even more tiring.  I’ve whipped up a bistek dinner, ginisang chayote (sayote) for lunch the next day, a lobster dinner yesterday, and negamaki for lunch today, so after three and a half days of cooking, it’s time to do leftovers.  (Thank God!)

Time to get dinner ready.

Early Monday, Late Night Sunday

It IS officially Monday already as my computer clock reads 12:45am.  I really should be making sure the little tyke’s bookbag is all set and ready for school tomorrow and I have my various bead organizers on my feet for stacking in the closet.  (Time to call it a night!)  But a magazine caught my eye and I ended up browsing and here I am logged on, blogging.

My brain is getting into holiday mode.  That’s one reason I’m feverishly trying to get as many items in the store as I can.  I successfully created two earrings which have left my finger tips a little sore but I’m happy with what I managed to produce.  I’m thinking of keeping at least one of the two pairs, though, so I don’t know how that computes for my Etsy store.  I did manage to work on some fabric and freshwater pearl flower brooches, but I need to sit down to finish them.  I even got to blog about it at the GothamChick blog next door, so my weekend wasn’t totally a blog blank.  And here I am now!

I was looking at all the tags and cards and wrapping suggestions from Ms. Martha Stewart and her Living magazine (can’t quite find the proper link except for the subscription page) so much so that I was hit by the idea to park her a minute and type away.

I’ve always loved paper and I thought I’d work on that little fancy of mine and start another store on Etsy (yet to be unveiled) to sell — you guessed it — paper goods.  The store’s set up but empty.)   I’ve even taken to looking at videos and websites in my research about paper making.  Everybody seems to make it sound soooo easy, but being a veteran crafter, I have tons of experience telling me it’s not as always as easy as the experts make it appear to be.  But paper making might have to wait until next summer —  one important lesson I’ve learned about working with paper is that the humidity and general clime affects the workability and quality of paper as a medium.  Still it hasn’t stopped me from rolling up some paper strips in the hopes of coming up with my woven kraft paper frames.  (More on that if and when I start working on it.)

More importantly, with the holidays here, I’m working on producing small quantity tags and gift cards.  (I see a ton of them on sale on Etsy — so why not?)

If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering where in the world will I find the time to do all this???!  My simple answer: why do you think am I blogging at 1am?  This is normal for me.  My “me” time usually doesn’t begin until 10pm, and with all the things I want to do, I have to “squeeze it in” between putting away the dishes from the rack and putting away leftovers from the night’s dinner.

I actually feel a little disappointed at what I’ve managed to produce over the weekend considering the time I managed to sit around holding my craft pliers in my hands.

I am trying to resist the urge to get any new supplies as I really want to “convert” what I have in store as supplies into stocks for sale.  I am thinking I should be good for the rest of the month.  I have bits and pieces of items now denominated as “work in progress” which I really want to convert into something to sell.  So far, I’ve been good at making progress in that department and hope to get more, more, more stuff online in this season of gift-giving.

Okay, the sandman beckons.  It IS Monday tomorrow — or today — and I’m looking forward to a productive one ahead.