Monday Musing – Back!

MondayMusingsLogoA full week of silence is not only unacceptable but sad.  I have been trying very hard to be consistent with posting here, but juggling two corners of the web has been a bit of a struggle along with my attempts to keep two Etsy shops going.  I am giving it the effort to get back into a workable rhythm that will allow me to work all this multi-tasking seamlessly, but I haven’t quite settled into it just yet.  Trying.

They said when you don’t know what to write, it helps to revisit old habits and one of the things I’ve missed doing is writing under this banner, and to think it’s one of the easiest things to write about because it is a hodge podge of topics popping in my head as I write.  Anything goes, so they say.

UntitledThe return to Etsy.  So in the past couple of weeks, I’ve been busy setting up the return of two of my stores.  One has been my longstanding jewelry storefront, and the other, a fleeting foray into paper goods which I am now populating with handmade cards.  That’s GothamChick and PaperKrafts, respectively.

It isn’t all that difficult bringing GothamChick back up and running — primarily because I have the stocks to populate the store with.  PaperKrafts has me creating and posting simultaneously, and while it’s sometimes a mad rush to produce the items, photograph, edit and post, I’m enjoying putting out my handcrafted cards out there for people to hopefully buy and use.  It has also allowed me to revisit and use long forgotten art supplies I’ve had all this time, along with my Paper Flower Garden project I have been just drawing and cutting the last couple of months.

Coming up: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas.  I’m happy and at the same time a bit frazzled by the fact that we are now entering the last quarter of the year.  2017 is just around the corner, and there are three major holidays coming up.

Halloween basically still figures as “major” because the boy is only 12 (and still thinking about a costume) and I live in a neighborhood where trick-or-treating is taken seriously.  Last year, I wore a costume and managed to surprise myself and not just a few trick-or-treaters with what I came up with, and I had vowed to do a costume this year.  After much thought, I think I’ve come up with something acceptable and I really should get started on pulling it together soon.  (Blog post coming.)

Thanksgiving is an “evolving” holiday for my boy and I, given that we are in the midst of a major transition in our lives.  I’m trying to make it low key given that, but it doesn’t mean we will not celebrate.  “How” is the bigger question — but there’s time to figure that one out.

And finally my favorite holiday of the year is coming, and again, during a major transition.  Last year, I promised Angelo we will really decorate this time, and I’m beginning to feel the pressure right now, but this should be a breeze.  I’m all excited just thinking about it!

Those Mondays that make you wish there was a third day to the weekend.  I almost didn’t want to get up until I remembered it was a work day, and I had promised myself I will try to make it to work early.  (Which, of course, didn’t happen despite my best efforts.)  The past week has been a tough one to handle in many respects, and I am really putting in the effort to try and take things as they come, without letting them weigh me down.

So I’m making a major push to get motivated and stay motivated so that I don’t lose my way.

There are just so many things going on in the background and I am trying to stay positive by shutting out the negative or the unknown.  It isn’t easy.  I think it’s human nature to worry and give in to anxiety — even if neither one actually helps us in any way.

Again, trying.

 

 

Friday Five – Shifting gears

When I started writing this post, I didn’t feel good at all that I thought I didn’t have much progress to report this week.  But then I am here proofing the post and I realize I didn’t do so bad after all.  Last week, I aimed to:

1.  Write more letters.  Yes and no.  One of the letters I had hoped to mail got stuck with me, so I did write an addition.  Does that count?

2.  List new items. Not quite there but I am working on it.  Photographing and editing the pictures for posting can take a while.  I’ve photographed them and am halfway through editing.  Maybe this weekend?

3.  Create more polymer clay beads and additional pieces for posting.  I have another batch that has been baked and another set ready for baking.  I’m experimenting with the transluscent variety and am really liking the end product.

Polymer clay discs- experimenting

4.  Sort and store away the postcards that are “out” in the open.  They are still out in the open.  (Obviously didn’t get to this one.)

5.  Work on a THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT blog post and continue on with the project.   I feel like this should actually be struck out in bold because I did manage to make substantial progress as far as creating the postcards, but writing has been difficult to make time for.  Did you see my badge on the widget bar to the right?  So proud of that!  Again, more this weekend.  (I am hopeful.)

zentangledthankyoupostcardcolored
Should I be worried that I keep repeating the list and not being able to tick off what’s enumerated there?  I might have to rethink what I list down.  Where it was supposed to make accomplishing my tasks during the weekend easier to accomplish, I haven’t been making much progress.

So let’s try another tack this week.  I’m making the list very specific.  Measurable, as they say.  Here’s my new Friday Five:

1.  Write on the postcards I meant to send out to friends in Manila.  I have the postcards on my desk, just have to find my stamps and the addresses.

2.  Work on the hem of at least one pair of pants.  What can I say — I’m cheap.  I don’t see the rationale behind paying someone close to $10 per pair of pants when the nuns taught me how to sew well.  (Plus, I just bought some pins to help me keep it together — “aspile” as we used to call it back home.)

3.  Create my first THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT teaser video.   I have over a hundred slides to play with but I am being too meticulous with the timing and in picking the slides to actually use.  (Too much going on with this project!)

4.  Create a pair or two of earrings from my polymer clay discs.  I actually can’t wait to do this for myself!

5.  Go back to reading and praying with my daily Kerygma literature.  At the end of the day, this one is ready to be ticked off the list.

Not bad, after all.

Friday Five (after a week-long silence)

For some reason, I haven’t been “here”, so my last post was last week’s Friday Five.  This is becoming a bit staid, don’t you think?  I think it just reflects how my life has been.  Not particularly busy, but moving in all directions.. or not.  It’s hard to explain, so before I blabber on, let me put down my progress report on last week’s Friday Five:

So let’s move forward with our usual list.. Last week, this is what I had set to do:

1.  Write more letters.  I managed to finish at least another one.  And that’s good enough.

2.  Post more than just relisted items in the shop. Uhm.. next please.

3.  Finish at least one more background at the end of my altered book. Believe it or not, I did this background as I hit “publish” on the previous week’s post.  I took out a plain white paper napkin, tore off the second layer and sprayed and waited for it to dry.  See below.

I think it’ll need at least a coat of Mod Podge — to follow.

Friday five, The Thank You Postcard Project

4.  Create more polymer clay beads.  I got busy making pieced flower doodles.  So this’ll be something to do this weekend.

5.  Continue building my THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT blog and completing more pieces.  No on the blog, but yes to more pieces…  I’m not too happy about the ones you see here, but it’s a start.  At least I know now what I don’t want to do.

This weekend’s Friday Five:

1.  Write more letters.  

2.  List new items. (Meaning to create one of my multi-charm necklaces per Lou’s query on pricing.  Coming soon!)

3.  Create more polymer clay beads and additional pieces for posting.  I am determined to work on my transluscent clay this weekend. I tried creating a transluscent cane midweek but wasn’t happy at all with the results.  So I’m trying something else.  I also stacked the beads and discs that have been baked and it makes me want to create more..

4.  Sort and store away the postcards that are “out” in the open.  I haven’t been good with this but hope to send out what I can and store what I should.  The postcard collector in the Pinay New Yorker has been in exile… bring her back!!!

5.  Work on a THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT blog post and continue on with the project.  I must confess that this project has been a very good “escape” for me, be it in its very essence (trying to spread some kindness to the rest of the world postally) or in working on its elements (like doodling and cutting and assembling the pieced paper flowers).  Will it ever get off the ground?  Hopefully.

The thank you postcard project

Not for anything but I might not be back until next Friday.  I will try.  This is not a good week for me but I am trying to stay positive.

Robin William’s passing has made me think of many things I want to write about.  As a fan, a parent, someone struggling against her own bouts of being lost.  But that’s another blog post altogether.  It might be too hard to write right now, but I will get to it.

There are many things I am reflecting on after finding myself celebrating yet another milestone here — 15 years in the US.  It feels like half a lifetime.  I don’t feel there is anything to celebrate, but there are many things to reflect upon.  So reflect, I will.

I am trying to conquer the angry demons in my heart.  I don’t like how negative thoughts weigh me down.  So I think of being thankful — I try to concentrate on that.  I don’t like how my anxiety creeps up on me as I sleep.  I end up staying up so late trying to avoid closing my eyes.

I wait until I cannot postpone sleep any longer so that when I put my head down, sleep comes quickly.

Have a restful weekend, everyone.

Friday Five – Getting there

Can you believe summer’s almost over?  It’s August!!  I think I’ve done pretty well for summer although there’s still a lot that I need to take care of.  Soon enough.  I know trying not to stress about it has a tendency to get me complacent and totally behind.  But the intention is there.

There are days when it’s hard enough to get one foot in front of the other so to speak.  When you think about the so-called “big picture”, you realize there are so many cogs and wheels running through your whole life.  So many little things making up the “whole”.  Baby steps, some say.  It’ll eventually get you moving forward.

So let’s move forward with our usual list.. Last week, this is what I had set to do:

1.  Write those letters.  Yes, I got one done, but I hope to write more!

2.  Post the almost finished bracelets and necklaces in the shop.  This will have to go to the following week.

3.  Finish at least one more background at the end of my altered book.  I tried, but I’ve been journalinlg!

4.  Create more polymer clay beads.  In progress..

5.  Complete a bunch of THANK YOU POSTCARDS.  Does one count?

Zentanglef, Black and white postcard
I still have the weekend to accomplish something.  But here’s my next Friday Five:

1.  Write more letters.  

2.  Post more than just relisted items in the shop.  I have a bunch of items that expired over the last couple of days which I have relisted, but I want the shop to continue to grow.  I need to create more pieces.  I think one stumbling block is that I keep wanting to create “new” designs but I have a ton to work with by using what I already have.

3.  Finish at least one more background at the end of my altered book.  Work has been busy because of my vacation last week so I haven’t had much free time.  Things will hopefully ease up this coming week and I will be able to take this off my list next week.

4.  Create more polymer clay beads.  I’ve done great progress here although I’m waiting until the weekend to bake them.  Instead of concentrating on ‘pieces’, I’m trying just focus on “beads” and I’ve had more success there.

5.  Continue building my THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT blog and completing more pieces.  I’m still a little hesitant to “launch” the project because I want all the little pieces to be ready.  I think I’m doing okay as it is.  There is really no deadline for the project and I’d rather wait when it’s ready rather than scramble to pull something together and then have it all blow up in my face.

There are times when I want to just keep going and keep drawing or creating through the night.  I literally have to drag myself back to bed as I remind myself there’s work the following day.  But at least it’s Friday!!  Weekend’s here…

Friday Five Progress

I’m seriously thinking of renaming this the Saturday Five because I always end up doing them on a Saturday.  But it doesn’t sound quite right.

Some progress this week:

1.  Write those letters.  will still try.

2.  Post those earrings!    I actually managed to post five items and these are now available in the shop.

Fotor_20140726094922899
Available at Gothamchick.etsy.com

3.  Work on the Thank You Postcard Project page.  Been working on it but not the the site itself iwhich s private for now and I have it as a separate blog from this, but I have started uploading to its Instagram Account.  Below is one of the first few I’ve uploaded and you can search for it via hashtag. (#thethankyoupostcardproject)  These are also available on my Pinterest account.

The Thank You Postcard Project - #theyhankyoupostcardproje ct

4.  Send some test postcards out.  I’m pulling back on this for now because I want to make some specifically to test with.  I don’t want to touch what I already have in the 200+ postcards with backgrounds ready to be worked on.

5.  Bake some polymer clay pieces this week.  I’ve been pouring a lot of work into polymer clay and so far I’ve managed to make maybe half a dozen beads and molds, but my major polymer clay experiment fell flat.  But that’s what experiments are for, so I’m glad to report that I am at least working on it.

So here goes this week’s Friday’s Five:

1.  Write those letters.  will still try.  I am working on some handmade cards and might even come out with a tutorial in Gotham Chick (my craft blog),  so at least one card, I think will go out.

2.  Post the almost finished bracelets and necklaces in the shop.  I have some mother of pearl bead bangles that are ready for posting but need some finishing because of the extender chain with charm I wanted to add.  That should be done this weekend, and he posts up before next Friday.

3.  Finish at least one more background at the end of my altered book.  I’ve gone back to art journaling and was just finishing one layout for an entry, but I have around 20 spreads in the book that are still plain book pages.  The idea is to create journal ready spreads as I go along.  One or two more entries in the back of the bok would be nice.

4.  Destash more magazine by going through them and getting what I need.  I have been cutting out letters connected to the Thank You Postcard Project and hope to do that with the other magazines I mean to throw out.

5.  Create more polymer clay beads.  I worked on some molds last night meant to help with textures and I hope to create more this weekend.  (Has to be this weekend.)

It might seem like I’m rehashing the previous week’s list but that’s the whole point of this.  I created this list to help me focus on deliverables that are achievable, and I like that it’s kept me committed to ticking off something each week.

It was beautiful yesterday but the clouds are back.  Not a happy morning outside but I’m not complaining because the sun is going to be tolerable.  Hope everyone is having a good Saturday!

Friday Five Take 3

I could’ve written this post yesterday but I sort of felt bad that I had not much progress to report.

Here’s my list for the previous week:

1.  Write the letters and mail them.  The funny thing is I keep making the stationery.  Time to write!

2.  Keep posting in the Etsy Shop and keep the Etsy Group going!  I’ve put this in the backburner the previous week but hope to do at least one post this weekend.  You can read more about my creative pursuits in this post from my craft blog, Gotham Chick.

3.  Deal with Angelo’s leftover school supplies from the previous year and get rid of what I am not keeping.  This is something I enjoy doing every year.  Unlike other moms, I don’t throw away his composition notebooks.  I actually cut out the seam and take the cover off, and I cut the sheets that have not been written on.  I use it for scratch paper and shopping lists.  The ones I can’t use I’ve already thrown away.  I always keep his old crayons and marker sets for use at home working with next year’s school homeowork.

4.  Box the clothes that Angelo is no longer using.  While there are a ton of charities here in the US, I keep Angelo’s old clothes and send them with the balikbayan box I send home periodically for my mom to distribute to the poor families in her community in Bulan, Sorsogon.  I don’t send it right away but box them when I can so that they can “compress” and become easier to pack when the bigger box is being assembled.

5.  Write the introductory post about my Thank You Project.  I’ve created the video channel on YouTube and have actually created a separate blog which is still private, but I want to do this right so I’m taking it slow.  Over 100 + postcard backgrounds, 50+ flower embellishments cut and drawn, and other embellishments coming.  I haven’t quite decided the tiers for the group funding project that will accompany it but I’m getting there.  If you’re on Instagram or Twitter, this one will be #thethankyoupostcardproject .

So I guess I was wrong to think that I hadn’t actually accomplished much against last week’s list.  Here’s this week’s list:

1.  Write those letters.  I must confess that one reason this is taking a while to get off the ground is that I like to write spontaneously but I feel like there is so much I’d like to keep out of those letters.  I have never been one to edit myself but at this point, there is so much about what I think and feel that I need to keep close to my chest.  I will still try.

2.  Post those earrings!  I do have three to four ready for posting — after attaching the earwires and photographing them.  I also have two to three necklaces.  The sun’s been shy this Saturday so I will wait for it to come out a little more just so I can have better lighting.  I like the way that natural light plays with the pieces I have been creating.

3.  Work on the Thank You Postcard Project page.  One thing that I have found helpful is writing things longhand instead of waiting to be in front of my laptop or finding time to draft a post on the iPhone.  And it helps me organize things better visually.

4.  Send some test postcards out.  I’m wondering if this should be part of #1.  I have printed some of my own photos and treated the front with mod podge but I’m afraid of how the pieces will “travel” or deal with the wear and tear of handling in the mail.

5.  Bake some polymer clay pieces this week.  I’ve been trying to get back to polymer clay a while now but it’s always taken a back seat to everything else.  Yesterday I started “conditioning” clay in the pasta machine and even worked on creating molds.  One of two came out well which inspires me to keep going.  The thing is working with clay and actually producing a baked piece can be quite a production, but I’m hoping to get moving with this this week.

A bit of the old and some new ones.. keeping it at five so that it’s not too overwhelming.  Have a great weekend everyone!

 

 

In the middle of…

20140626-092729-34049748.jpg

20140626-092729-34049517.jpg

20140626-092729-34049098.jpg

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!
 

Yet a little colder

Snow today againYesterday, we woke up to around an inch of snow which only meant continuing cold temperatures in an already very cold New York.  I snapped this picture up on the way out to the bus stop.  The sun was already peeking out but it was cold..

No snow this morning but still below freezing temperatures so I’m all layered and bundled up. It doesn’t help that I seem to be coming down with something although I’m self-medicating as always.  (Not quite there yet — but so far my meds are holding up.)  “Meds + tea” seem to be working.

Meanwhile, I’ve been journaling on my Altered book. Showing the actual spreads as done here is a bit of a challenge because I’m trying to keep the journal entries private. Much of what I had written there were very personal. So instead I’ve been posting additions and add-ons I’ve been working on over at Gothamchick. One of my more recent posts is about some Filofax pages and Rolodex blanks I spray painted which you can read about here.

These days I’ve been thinking a lot about polymer clay, my Etsy store and getting that store going again. And yet jump starting things has taken a backseat to life in general. Thinking about it, I guess, is a start

I try to condition the clay when I can but actually setting aside time to work on them has been difficult. I keep going to Polymer Clay Daily for inspiration and ideas. Getting there.

Daily Prompt: State of “Me” Post (SOMP – or My Year Thus Far)

Daily Prompt: Write up a mid-year “State of My Year” post.

First of all, this is NOT inspired nor related to P-Noy’s State of the Nation Address which has been front and center in Manila.  The Daily Post put this up as it’s latest and greatest daily prompt and I thought I’d give it a shot.

stateofme

I’ve been too busy to write of late.  This is my third draft of a blog post (all three different topics) and I am  hoping it sees the light of day.  (Or of the blogsphere.). The current state of “Me” is “all over the place,” but in a good kind of way.

Today sees us officially halfway through the year, and although I don’t have any monumental news or milestones to report, I think I’ve done pretty good so far.  I can definitely say I’m in a better place today compared to the same time period last year.  But with the challenges that 2012 threw my way, anything past those very trying times qualifies as progress. 

Of course there are always things we wish we did more of, or things I wish I had accomplished by now — little milestones or goals I had hoped to chalk up in my to-do list, but one of the lessons of the last year year is that lowering one’s expectations or not having any expectations at all is a big help in managing one’s outlook in life.

I’m happy to report that I finally finished Inferno: A Novel (Robert Langdon) by Dan Brown, and while I am tempted to write a blog post about the infamous mention of Manila in this novel, I’d rather hold off.  I’m just happy to be able to list one book read at least although I wish I had the time and the energy to read more.  I’m trying to get back to Grisham’s The Associate which hasn’t been quite the page turner so I’ve been going in an out to read it for a couple of months now.  I still have a few e-books I really must get to soon, but I’m hoping to do that in the coming weeks.  To make it easier, I’ve gotten back to my good old Kindle which has been easier to lug around. 

Craft-wise, I’m taking things easy and trying to pace myself better.  I am doing a project at a time and no longer stress about projects that have not gotten off the ground.  They will when they will.  Much as I had enjoyed Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s Art Journal Every Day and my Altered Book project, I have put these on hold for now.  I am trying to get my own “Journal on a Journey” on it’s way and hope to send out these journals before the year is out.

I’m back to polymer clay and enjoying it.  I have been enjoying trying new things and researching and learning more about this medium and hope to come up with pieces to wear and sell soon.  It helped that I had committed to make my niece, Andreanna Lux’s first birthday souvenir.  (Read more about it here.)

On the business front, my attempts to revive my store, GothamChick on Etsy have been moving at a snail’s pace, and I’m trying to gear up for the holidays by focusing more on repopulating my listings and hopefully creating more.  (Emphasis on “HOPEFULLY”.)

As for the state of this space on the blogsphere, I’m happy that I’m posting more regularly but hope to post more often.  I wish I could get comfortable with just posting a picture with a blurb, but just as I am very outspoken, it’s  a little difficult to just leave it at that.

Phew.  That sounded like quite a list but the truth of the matter is, I’m just happy I’m here.  I’m happy that I have what I have.  I count my blessings just by looking at Angelo and hugging him, or by looking up at the sky as I walk out of the house to start yet another day of toil.   Every day is a blessing whether it’s scorching hot, gloomily grey, or just gorgeous.

My year so far, to my mind, has been good.  Nothing fantabulously great — nothing outstanding.  “Good” is a good place to be.  I’ve learned not to gripe or rant about the negative, because doing so would only magnify them and bring forth feelings not worth dwelling on.

It’s quieter.  It’s simpler.  The first 7 months of the year continue to be a time of growth and realization for me.  One thing I like is that it’s helped me to get to know myself better. 

Last year, I came to terms with many of my failings and shortcomings.  I realized and accepted the many things I couldn’t do, and I saw those parts of “me” that I wasn’t.  Some people walked out of my life — and I chose to make myself scarce from some.  I’ve learned that there is really no holding on to people — the choice to come and go is always theirs to make, not mine.  The only thing I really have control over is my own presence — so there were doors I walked out of, quietly.

I’m in a better place because these days, I can go back to a painful memory and push it into a far corner instead of allowing it to take me over.  I don’t torture myself as much anymore because I’ve learned to lump the good and the bad and just tuck them away.  I used to be deluded into thinking that you pick the good and keep it and discard the bad.  But the truth of the matter is, they are intertwined.  One eventually leads to the other.  I flip a switch in my brain and I pull a black screen — much like those transition screens or slides we see signalling an end.

I am slowly coming to terms with my mortality.  For the first time, a birthday hit me and I felt the years fall to the ground and the reality hit me that I am getting older.  Not that it’s a bad thing.  I just didn’t quite feel myself pegged to an age until I hit 47.  “Life is short” has taken on a new meaning which hasn’t pushed me one way or the other, but which now looms overhead when I think about the things I want and hope to do.  It hasn’t quite pushed me to do a bucket list — stepping back has meant going with the flow and just enjoying life as it comes.  Lists tend to grab me by the neck and instead of motivating me, gives me a source of frustration.  At my age, I can do with less of that.

I know that I will close the year an even better person than I started it.  Notwithstanding the fact that I started at rock bottom, I know I could’ve stayed there and wallowed, but I chose not to.

Things have fallen into place, and I know this is my place because “here” is where I’ve chosen to be.

I love, love long weekends

My bistek was still simmering on the stove when I started writing this.  I began the post while waiting for the onions to cook and the meat to tenderize just a tad bit more.  We had a relaxing dinner in front of the TV, all warm and toasty at home.  It’s been crazy windy outside — I could hear the gusts hitting the walls violently.  I’m also looking forward to writing letters tonight before turning in.  We’re off tomorrow because it’s President’s Day.  More three day weekends, please.

It’s been a rather productive Sunday as I took out a bunch of thunder polish glass crystal and other earrings I had crafted months back for a craft fair.  They never really made it onto the etsy storefront, but I decided to pull them out of the box today and embellish them further.  Two years ago, I was very strict with myself in ensuring that I used the same color crystals in my pieces, but today, I was bold and daring and mixed them up.  A lot of them were rather short so I extended them for more drama by adding a bead or two.  Not quite shoulder dusters, but long enough to present some sexy swagger when you turn your head or when you walk.

GothamChick on ETSY: Mocha bitsI also wanted to take advantage of the sunlight and took photos.  I’m hoping to post them in the shop tomorrow.. or starting tomorrow.   These days I’m going either ‘tiny’ or ‘long’.  When I watch my favorite shows, my eyes tend to focus on the earpieces worn by the ladies — and I noticed that tiny simple earrings looked as fab as the long and elaborate pieces.  I’m still keeping away from the ‘big and bold’, though.  Just not my style.  This freshwater pearl and aventurine cutesy is a current favorite of mine.  I am going to make one for myself one of these days.

I also finished a batch of my glass domed pendants featuring Marian images.  (Thanks to bebs1 aka Lou for the idea and the inspiration.)  I’m trying to create a necklace based on a design she showed me, and while it is not an exact replica, the idea is similar.

 Marian Images as glass dome pendants

I currently have four images in three sizes, and I’m working on getting an additional two in this same format.  The idea is to use one of the larger pendants as the focal point in a 5-pendant charm necklace, using other religious metal charms.   I am still trying to see if it will work to have five of the smaller pendants in the same fashion.  Might be a bit too much, so I’m sticking to the original idea.

Mary: Four Images

I did get my LIFE 4×6 in the sleeves (!) and am now in the process of completing as much of the journaling as I can.  I am hoping to photograph and finally post about it before the week is out.  First month done!  And here we are in the middle of the second month of the year.  Where did the last couple of weeks go, right?  Time flies by so fast..

It would have been nice to have gotten away to somewhere — but work beckons.  New York State had reduced the winter break to two days instead of the usual week-long stretch to make up for the days lost during Hurricane Sandy’s onslaught and after, so he goes back to school on Wednesday.  Add to that the fact that Angelo had been afflicted with the flu the previous week, so we’re just resting and recharging on a “staycation”.  Besides, it’s back to work for us on Tuesday.

Long weekends are precious for working moms like me.  Work and motherhood equals a double job, literally.    Even now, in the middle of my long weekend, I’m here in front of the TV watching a favorite show, The Mentalist, and I’m also thinking of the leftover bistek I need to put away.  At least I get another day to “rest” tomorrow.  They let me sleep til closer to 9am today, then we all remembered the boy had a haircut appointment at 10am.  (Even I forgot and I set it up…)  More time to just sit and hug my boy.. and laugh.. and just be mother and son.

I feel like I accomplished a lot.  At the end of it all, I might even have an art journal entry in..