Projects in the works

So I’ve been putting together christmas gift tags,  cards and other paper goods to sell at another store I’ve put up.  The idea is to come up with tags that are economical and yet worth using to dress up your holiday gifts.  Why plaster a plain sticker onto the gifts you give away when you can actually put something creative that has character to add your personal touch?  (Okay, I’m trying to sell my stuff already..)

It’s a little tricky trying to come up with a two-fold card when you think you put a label on the backside on the right side of the paper, and when it comes to that time when you have to cut it up, you realize you misprinted something.  After using what I thought was the right template, I proceeded to create several pieces and just discovered that one such side was skewed, so I will have to discard one layout and luckily, the second of two can be salvaged.

I’m working on vintage images of Santa Claus that I converting into quaint gift tags.  (Why is Dinna going through all the trouble?  Because there are people who buy it on Etsy. )

Speaking of which, I’m in the process of creating another necklace using this enchanting antique brass curved leaf focal I’ve fallen in love with.  I just got two more from my supplier and am working on creating it using my chunky dark brown freshwater rice pearls which, as always, makes me want to keep it for myself.  (I like, I like!)   The Mocha Feather Sweetheart Freshwater Pearl Necklace is currently still on sale and will soon be joined by my Dark Copper Feather Sweetheart Freshwater Pearl Necklace.  It’s almost done save for the extender chain.  I’m still trying to make up my mind about what I will use for the third one.

But back to my paper projects for the moment, I’ll hopefully be able to upload a picture soon.  I’m handcutting around the images so it looks very vintage-y and yet the print is vibrant and stands out.

It’s me getting into the Christmas spirit and trying to get another business off the ground.  It never hurts to be ready for the holiday rush.

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.

Almost Friday and thinking of Dad

Written on Thursday

I think I know how Angelo feels now when he asks if the weekend is near on a Monday morning.  I’m looking forward to the weekend because of two reasons: we’re going to get 80s weather, and more importantly, Alan is coming back from a week-long business trip in the City of Lights again.

It was easier this time around, and I’m glad he’ll be here after just another “sleep” (Angelo speak there..).  I’m already planning dinner.  (Reminder to self: FreshDirect!)  For some reason, my mother-in-law would always have a hospital emergency each time Alan leaves for Europe, and it was just such a relief that this wasn’t the case this time around.

I am already thinking about the different things we can do over the weekend, and I’m starting a list of things I hope to accomplish in those 48 hours.  I haven’t even started writing that down yet and I’m already wishing I had an extra 24 hours to go.

Two days ago, I called my Dad to find out how he was doing.  It was something I had been postponing for a while now, and we last spoke during my birthday at the beginning of the month.  He seemed to be doing better judging from the tone of his voice.  He said he’s doing okay, his bedsores have healed and he is still unable to go down to the ground floor but he is walking around his room little by little.  He has also been able to extend his “two-oxygen-tanks-a-week” to one tank a week.  It went well and it was a heartwarming conversation except that he started asking when I would visit again.

After taking three trips to Manila in a span of 17 months, it was not hard for me to say I cannot make any immediate plans because I haven’t quite recovered from the financial burden of those three trips.  I didn’t even mention that there is the additional obligation to catch up to the costs of his two hospitalizations.  I just wanted to dwell on the fact that he was doing better.  He seemed to be in high spirits.

I haven’t stopped thinking about his words since we spoke — I keep hearing him saying “Hindi na pala tayo magkikita..”  I didn’t even push the subject matter because I know Dad can get emotional and he seemed okay as we spoke.   The thought has weighed heavily on me, but I feel helpless in the face of all the obligations I have to meet.  I could’ve made a promise to try, but that would be an empty promise that I know is next to impossible to keep.  All I can do is pray that he lasts until I get to go home again.

Although my own mother-in-law who is turning 80 years old in a few days is pretty mobile and is not bedridden like my father, I try to do my part in caring for her by making sure her food supply is current, and that I prepare healthy meals for her.  There are moments when I cannot help but wish it was my own Dad I was taking care of instead.  I wish..

I don’t even want to think about when I will see my father again.  I just know I will try to talk to him more often.  This just one of the many adjustments of being so far away from everyone else.  I try to convince myself that I had two chances to take care of him when he was weakest.

Try as I might to figure out a way to pay Dad another visit soon (meaning in the next 12 months), the thought of it is simply beyond me.  Of course there’s that one in a million chance of actually snagging some price or other in the lotto, but realistically speaking, crossing the oceans to my other favorite part of the world is just out of the question.  (Big sigh.)

The thought makes a knot form in my chest which I wish away with a prayer.  I cannot ask for more after God had so generously afforded me not one but two chances to be with Dad.  I have been luckier than most, I know.  Others pine and cry in the face of the same circumstances but I cried and yet was able to hold his hand.

So will I be brave and resign myself to the fact that the next time I will go home will probably be to bring Dad to his resting place?  The eternal optimist in me says no.  God works in mysterious ways as He had shown by way of the miracles both big and small that I have been witness to.  All I can say is, His will be done.

It’s late and the bus drivers are all griping about the traffic jams they waded through to get back to Manhattan.  I’m finally on my way home but I’m going to be very late.  I will get  home soon enough to one of two reasons that convinces me my life and place is here in New York.  I cannot hold Dad, but I sure can hug my son.. And tomorrow evening, my other half.