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.

 

 

Monday, Monday

Monday musings in paper and ink

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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: 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!!

Free form crochet project: Flowers (Work in progress)

I learned to crochet when I was in Grade V (or fifth grade as they would say here in the US), thanks to the private school I went to which made it a point to introduce me to various crafts as part of my Work Education class.  I didn’t do too well with the sewing machine, but I did pretty good in other needle craft.

I have always been drawn to yarn, and while I have made a vow not to acquire any new spools, seeing a ball of yarn going for dirt cheap in the discount store is just irresistible, more so when it’s in my favorite color.  (What else?  Pink.)  I was tempted to pick up a ball of each of the 5 colors available, but I didn’t want them ending in my yarn bin (or yarn “coffin” considering they usually end up untouched and unused).  So I stuck with the pink and I thought I’d grab a beige ball, too.

While I can read both written and diagram crochet patterns, I wanted to experiment with doing my own rosette or flower, hoping to create pieces for a bib necklace and/or a brooch.  It has been a struggle trying to find the right crochet pattern so I thought I’d give it a go just winging it.

I actually came up with three different versions, but I am happiest with the one shown above which solved my dilemma about having multi-row petals to give the flower volume and make it “pop out” so to speak.  Voila!

So over the weekend, I will be decorating them with pearls, beads and maybe even  buttons.  Watch out for the pictures of the finished products which I hope to post in my GothamChick shop on Etsy.  It looks like the brooches will make it to the shop sooner than the bib necklace because the pieces I’ve managed to create right now are a tad too big and bulky to use as a bouquet to adorn your neck.  Pricing will also make it very affordable because the yarn and the effort put into it have been modest.   These would be perfect to use on your coats or jackets, or even a hat.

I am still moving at a snail’s pace as far as the shop(s) is/are concerned, but I managed to post a new bracelet using a variety of czech pressed glass and czech fire polish beads in coffee-tones. (Hence, the name “Coffee medley”.) I used a new technique to “string” the beads on antique brass headpins, creating my own chain in the process which is a little trickier, but it surely saves me the cost of the chain and the hassle of worrying about beads falling through the open links.  Check it out at the shop before someone grabs it!