Monday Musings

MondayMusingsLogoSo much for breaking the silence as two months passed before I could return with a blog post. Determined to break the streak, I’m back with one of my staples which has me randomly ranting here and there about anything and everything under the sun. No particular theme or flow– just anything that comes to mind.

Talk about being spontaneous.

Autumn is here. Stating the obvious, I know. I love autumn– more than the colors of spring. Definitely more than the black and white of winter. I think I stepped out of the house overdressed in a winter coat. I am going to try and get off the bus with just my sweater and a wrap.. or maybe I will walk out with my coat and wear it open. The changing of the seasons always brings me more than my share of major wardrobe dilemmas. But what to do? You just go with the flow.
Manhattan at Dusk 10.25.18
Geo chunky earrings for me. I have been feverishly trying to create and at least in that respect, I’ve been rather productive. Right now, I have around 20 pieces I have worked on the past couple of days, and I’m hoping to get the write ups and photos done so I can sell them in my Etsy shop. Onyx in black and white, agates in various colors, different types of jasper and magnesite… I’ve also gotten bolder with creating single dangles instead of having a dangle dangling from a dangle.

Pending photographing this new series, I had produced (and continue to work on) earrings using ceramic beads like those shown below.

Earrings by GothamChick
Earrings by Gotham Chick / Available at Gothamchick.etsy.com

I love you, Billy Joel.I finally got to watch my forever idol at Madison Square Garden over the weekend. Well worth the price and the wait! I was fortunate to have caught new dates announced in April, bought tickets and October is here — so off I went. I was just soooo happy to have finally been able to do this. For me. It was so good I’m actually thinking of watching again next year. THAT good!

Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden 10.27.18
Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden on 10.27.18

Sometimes the hardest thing is to try to be consistent at life.  I try.  And so here’s one more attempt at being here more often and more consistently.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Monday to Monday


I am not at all proud of the fact that a full week has gone by with nary a post here.  Not that there has been nothing noteworthy or blog-worthy that happened in the intervening days, but there has just been a lot going on.  So while I never intended for my Monday litany to become a preview of posts to come, I’m thinking I will aim to develop at least two of whatever ends up written here into a new and independent post.

I was in candy heaven. The weekend has been a blur of candies– lots of it.  I’m almost sure my hurting tonsils last Saturday were caused by an excessive barrage of sugar it had weaned itself away from in the last year.  While I still indulged in the occasional piece or, okay– a bar– of chocolate, I have been pretty good keeping my consumption to a minimum. I am sad to report that I made up for what I missed over Halloween.  But all was not lost.

imageFor the first time, I donned a costume — handmade at that– and proudly sashayed to my doorstep to give out candy.  It was a last minute idea which I would’ve done a whole lot better pulling together, had I given myself enough time to come up with something better.  Still, I got a lot of compliments from the tweens and teens who came around to knock on my door.  I told them they should try it next year.  This early, I’m declaring I will come up with something even more elaborate next year and will start work on it weeks ahead.  There are a ton of ideas and inspiration out on the web.  It’s worth considering for next year if you’re thinking of doing something different and eco-friendly.  Think a newspaper gown perhaps?

My throat feels normal again and I don’t think my gown caused me to catch a cold or what not — and I made for some new memories of Halloween.  Speaking of holidays —

It’s time to think of this year’s holiday card.  I haven’t been very good with Christmas cards except in 2009 when I came up with a doodled tree.  This year, I haven’t totally discounted succumbing to the lure of store bought cards, but if I can come up with a design I’m happy with, I’m ready to make them again.  The past few Christmases have not been quite as festive, and I am forever grateful to those who have kept sending cards even if I have been so bad with sending out mine.  This year is a new beginning in many ways for Angelo and I, and while we are not quite where I had hoped we would be at this time, we are on a journey to a new life which I am really looking forward to kicking off with a holiday card.

Is it the moon or what?  People should chill.  I’m generally very generous with my time and cheer.  Perhaps it’s wrong for me to expect the same kind of optimism and positivity from the people around me, but I can’t help but notice that there’s a lot of negativity floating around today.  What a way to start the week… perhaps it’s Halloween hangover?  Who knows.  I was tempted to go that route myself but decided that anger was not worth the energy when I have other things to focus on.  There are days when you find yourself wanting to bop the cheerful and smiling co-worker who greets you a “Happy Monday” as you get into work — well, I’m that coworker today and I don’t really care.  I had long ago decided I will decide how I feel about the day — and I won’t let anyone try to convince me a happy day is not happy, or that a gloomy day cannot be an upbeat one either.  (I’m rambling, I know..)

Fall pictures, hopefully coming soon.  This is the most photo-gorgeous season in my part of the world — and I had started collecting snapshots of autumn in 2009 when I had walked the pathways of Central Park to take photographs.  I have managed to catch up but not as much as I had hoped to in the years between then and now, and again, I am hoping to do this on my own before the leaves are all on the ground.  There is such a dramatic turnaround that you can miss out on the splendid curtains of fire that the landscape turns into if you wait too long.  This year will be my second year doing it with the iphone, but I am hoping to grab some camera shots as well.  You can always monitor my photo adventures via my Instagram feed here on the sidebar or via Instagram itself if you have an account.  I’m there as GothamChick.

I keep wanting to make my own bags.. maybe start with something small?  A minaudiere perhaps?  I’m just afraid that if I get into it in earnest, I might forget that I have the store to prop up again..

And yes, GothamChick on Etsy will be opening again soon..  I have my first batch of new pieces ready and photographed.  The Sell on Etsy app has been installed on the phones with the pictures (edited and branded), and so I hope to start posting — maybe, just maybe — tomorrow.  I keep hearing girlfriend Laine Laine telling me NOT to purchase any new supplies and to concentrate on what I have which is what I’ve been doing.  I’ve also continued with experimenting with new ways to work my findings.  My metalwork hammer has been a buddy of late, and of course, my tiny anvil not far behind.  I’ve gathered my army of pliers in different shapes and sizes, and I’m getting to some serious creating.  With the holidays just around the corner, I have to get this up and running soonest.

So it looks like I’ve started the week with quite a mouthful here, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed I get to follow through.  Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of the many things that we need to do to get them done.  (For some, lists work.. there are times it does for me.)

Here’s to a fab and happy Monday for you all — wherever you may be, whatever you may be up to.

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!

 

 

Friday Five Take 2

Two out of five isn’t all that bad:

1.  Write the letters and mail them.  

2.  Keep posting in the Etsy Shop and keep the Etsy Group going!  

3.  Destash my supplies and magazines.   I am proud to say I got started on this.

4.  Box the clothes that Angelo is no longer using.  Getting on with this.

5.  Kick off my Thank You Project.   Although I have not done any announcement or post about it, the previous week was all about starting the postcard backgrounds and the last three days, coming up with one themed embellishment set.  So yes, I’ve kicked it off.

Here’s my list for this week:

1.  Write the letters and mail them.  I will keep this here until I actually get a letter off to the post office.

2.  Keep posting in the Etsy Shop and keep the Etsy Group going!  I’ve been experimenting with new wire methods but will make sure to post at least one item over the weekend!

3.  Deal with Angelo’s leftover school supplies from the previous year and get rid of what I am not keeping.  This needs a whole post in itself and I will write about it as I do it.

4.  Box the clothes that Angelo is no longer using. I’m hoping to finish this up this weekend.

5.  Write the introductory post about my Thank You Project.  It’s been two weeks since I thought about doing this project and with all the effort I’ve put into it, might as well. Watch out for that.

My post has to be short and sweet because we’re getting ready to watch a show in one of those big reclining chair theaters this morning.  Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

 

Friday Five – I’m Back!

Pink hydrangeas

So where did I leave off with my Friday Five two weeks ago?

1. Write a letter. I started two… not quite finished.  Does that count?

2. Create a new ‘Thank You’ card for the Etsy shop. This had to take the backseat to everything that I had to do for work the past week, but it’s on my priority list this weekend.

3. Finish my Art Journal Every Day post on Mother’s Day.. An entry at a time… I finally gave up on finishing the post for another time, but I did start writing in my Art Journal again.

4. Throw away the old, old magazines that I have no use for. This went as far as three magazines, but there’s more to throw out.

5. Concenrate on Necklaces and Earrings this week – production wise. Success!  posted almost 10 products in the shop over the course of the previous week and looking to do more this coming week.  Although around 4 were relisted, the fact that I’m creating again and moving on to populate my Etsy Store bodes well for the shop if I can keep at it.

It’s supposed to be a nice weekend and we had planned to go to the waterpark but the boy said no.  We are, however, planning to do an early screening of Transformers and have already secured the tickets.

This week’s Friday Five:

1. Finish the letters I had started and mail them off..

2. Create a new ‘Thank You’ card for the Etsy shop. For printing next week!

3. Continue art journaling and finish at least an additional layout at the end of the book for future posts.… The latter can be as simple as painting a spread or starting to spruce up an already painted spread to prepare it for journaling.

4. Finish the items already started and keep creating!   I have taken to brainstorming my pieces when I’m away from home and working on them when I finally find the time to sit.  With the three pieces in the works below (and a fourth  – a pair of earrings – I had started last night along with an almost finished necklace), this should be easy to tick off my list for next week.

5.  Start doing mail art again.  I have boxes of freecards or ad cards in the attic that, as a postcard collector I am not wont to just throw away.  The solution is to turn them into something — and maybe send them out.  I’m toying with an idea in my head, but I want to go and get a headstart before I kick it off — literally.  Five pieces — goal for the weekend.  I’m trying to see if this is ambitious or easily doable.  Let’s see.

The birds are chirping outside my window which means it’s actually possibly going to be a nice day — but the skies are grey.  Please don’t rain until I get to work… =)  It’s Friday… that’s a good enough reason to smile.  I hope you all have a great weekend!

My Friday Five (on another Saturday)

Last week’s Friday Five went well for the first two but the last three are staying on my list.

1. Create more pieces for the shop and list more items.

I have actually been on a creative streak all week.  It has me all excited because I’m actually being creative and not just pulling things together using the styles I had used through the last couple of years.

New ideas are coming to me which has me looking at the whole process of producing my pieces differently.  More to come in the shop!

Inspiration to create - The previous week has been a buzz of activity as I started experimenting with the materials I already have for pieces to post in the store.  All unfinished pieces but soon to be completed.  #bracelets #agate #etsy #creativity #insp

2. Start reorganizing my supplies according to component type instead of material.

3. Write a letter.

4. Go back to reading the Bible.

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

Hence this week’s Friday Five is as follows:

1. Write a letter.  Why could something be so simple so difficult to do .. hopefully this weekend.  (A loooooong weekend, at that!)

2. Go back to reading the Bible.  I’m actually hoping to tick this off of next week’s list by carving out regular time every day.

3. Finish my Art Journal Every Day post on Mother’s Day. — It comes in stops and starts and I haven’t touched the art journal for a while now.  Hopefully that will change with a three-day weekend just started.  I really can use the extra day to the weekend to recharge.

4.  Sort the clothes that Angelo has outgrown.  Right about the only person who doesn’t realize how much he’s growing up is the boy, and I hate having to make him change from a shirt he’s already obviously outgrown to somethings that fits better.  I’ve been culling the smaller size shirts/jeans from his wardrobe through the winter, but I think I can do another sweep through.  His hand-me-downs go to a box I send home for an impoverished community where my Mom stays most of the year now.

5.  Start reading again.  Where will I find the time, right?  But that was one of the things I wanted to do this year — read more.  Like every year.  And reading the Bible doesn’t count.  There is just so much literature out there — and even on my book shelf and digital library, unread.

It must seem like I keep listing things down and not actually getting things done.  It feels like the last 8 months of my life has had me just in limbo — floating in space.  I feel the ground under my feet most days now.  I can look at the sunset and see beauty instead of sadness that the day has ended or relief that it has.  I haven’t quite landed on my feet solidly just yet.. but maybe soon.  Hopefully soon.

 

My Friday Five (on a Saturday)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone!