A love like no other

Everyone who knows me knows my world revolves around this little guy who has been the love of my life for the last 10 years. From the moment he came out into this world, my life was changed forever. Although I would discover later that it had changed even more than I had perceived, and it appears that his entry into my life had caused a drastic change in other parts of my world I didn’t even see, I would not trade his being a part of my life for anything else. No matter what challenges I have faced or am facing, knowing I have him in my life changes the face of the game.  I look at him and I know I’m in a good place.

I pride myself in teaching him to be outwardly affectionate and expressive of what he feels.  It’s not always easy and he is not the same way with everyone else, but that has given me precious rewards like a poster with scribblings of various declarations of love for his Mommy.
Love like no other

So forget that he missed out on a word or two — I get the point.  Unfortunately, my son didn’t inherit my penmanship but I’m not complaining.  And for my son to know my birth date and birth year shows my History professor-to-be has a knack for dates like I used to at his age.  (Dates and phone numbers were easy for me, just don’t make me do Math please.)
Love like no other

Naturally, the Dad was jealous as can be, but the boy told him there was only one poster board.  (We shall scramble for another.)

Love like no other

I like these little surprises he springs on me — for no reason at all, except that he thought of it one afternoon.  I wish I could frame the entire poster but it was half a sheet.  So I took snapshots instead and might frame one of these.  I have a knack for keeping his scribblings and projects — and even at just 10, he marvels at my memory box which contains a lock of his hair, his belly button stump, his first onesie, and all that stuff.   When I can, I incorporate his works into my art journal.

Precious words from the 10-year-old who lights up my world and warms my heart.  Forever, son. #motherhood #motherandson #dinnagon #angelogon #love #anak

A friend on Facebook commented the above was so eloquently said.  I couldn’t have phrased it better.  I am proud that my son’s heart has the eloquence to show what it feels — and I am heartened as that bodes well for him when he grows up.  That’s a precious gift that I hope I can continue to nurture.  One day, he will love others — and I want him to be able to express that love the same way he has expressed his love for his current “love of his life — his Mommy.”

Children come into our lives and we are never the same again.  After two miscarriages, I was almost ready to accept that I would not be given that precious gift until he came.  My pregnancy was very challenging with gestational diabetes and all, but when he came out into this world, I forgot about all those challenges and focused on this new life I gave birth to.

He is the reason I am still around, and hope to be around for years to come.  I look at him and I see that I have been blessed.  Forget about the heartaches and the disappointments — he makes it all worth it.  He alone makes the negative seem trivial compared to all the joy he exudes and the love he gives.  I reach out to touch him and I feel an overwhelming reassurance that everything will be okay.  I know his love is like no other.

 

International Union of Mail-Artists

My curiosity about Mail-Art or Correspondence art was so piqued that I searched for groups or websites dedicated to them and I landed here, the home of the International Union of Mail-Artists or IUOMA.  I’m still trying to navigate my way around there, and have been in awe of the serious art exchanged in the mail.  I love the whimsical, too, and enjoy reading the stories behind the postcards or other forms of mail art exchanged and posted.

I was actually surprised they accepted me, and I found that this is a very big group with a very broad membership.  I can fit into so many tiny gaps here and there among the giants.

POSTCARDS: Mail Art - FACESOne particular group that attracted me was a group called “EXCHANGE FACES” for which I painted my first “face”.  I’m not particularly good at it but you’ll never know unless you try, so try, I did.  Again, I surprised myself.  It wasn’t half as bad as I thought it would turn out to be, even if I only used highlighters in different colors and a silver oil paint based marker.  I also drew on top of a newspaper background that I had already glued onto a freecard.  I really meant to just draw what would be the “avatar” of this series in my Flickr collection of postcards.

The Newspaper collage postcards  have been coming along pretty well, too, and I’ve been good with the “creating” except that I’m missing August 2.  I remind myself to limit the time spent on creating the collage so that I don’t end up doing too much.  Two postcards tops for August 6 and 7 for a total of 4 today.  I’m going to try and make one a day at least and hope to do this as a habit.

Time for me to hit the sack now… Meanwhile, let me share with you one of the four newspaper collage postcards I made today.  Please click on the image to be taken to the set on Flickr.

[17] Mail Art: Newspaper Collage Postcard - The Wall Street Journal 06Aug2012 #1

Starting Over at Etsy

This is cross posted in my crafting blog: Gothamchick.com

I just renewed two listings for my Etsy shop, Gotham Chick, so I have reopened the store officially.  I have two new products to post but the natural light around me is too low because of the glum weather outside, so I’ll save that for later.

Meanwhile, here are two items I already had which were ready for relisting as is.

Dancing Queen Large Dark Copper Freshwater Pearl and Tear Drop Oval Earrings, $65.00



Brown Flirty Braided Cord Hoops, $15.00

ETSY TIP:   Timing as far as posting items is concerned has to be taken into consideration as new posts make your shop “current” and visible to those shopping or browsing at any given time.   So I try to post an item in the morning and an item later in the day when the other side of the world is starting to wake up.

I hope to post my two new earrings later.  I was trying to do an inventory of the stocks I can relist when I chanced upon a pair of my rather “plain” antique brass leaf filigree earrings which I decided to spruce up with some czech press flower beads.  The creative juices started flowing and I ended up doing two pairs in different styles, and I would have gone on and on through the night but my eyes were giving in.  I’m rather excited by that new idea, so watch out for it.

Starting my PolyClay Notes

The past few days have seen me doing research on Polymer Clay or polyclay upon the suggestion of my sister, Ofie.  It was something I had long thought of trying to learn more about, but which had taken a back seat to freshwater pearls and gemstones.  I was sort of daunted by the fact that it requires a raw material (the clay) that needs processing and certain equipment which I was afraid to procure lest I end up not doing this after all is said and done.  Ofie’s interest, though, gave me an “out”.  If it doesn’t work out for me, I can pass on to her the  things I get to pull together in this new experiment.

I have always held on to the mantra that anything can be learned.  I can do this if I take the time to learn how to do it.  Case in point: I didn’t know I could cook until I had to cook for Alan.  I would scan magazines at the Barnes and Noble behind our apartment in Bayside when I first moved to New York and actually surprised myself when I discovered I COULD do it.  I researched about substitutions and methods.  I must say that in my quest not to poison my better half, I can actually say I not only cook to survive, but I cook to enjoy food.

After two weeks of research, I have come across quite a wealth of information that I have read, watched, printed out and actually tried.  The problem with online technology is that bookmarking is not always a good option to keep track of all the information because of the various hardware used to access it.  What I have bookmarked on my PC would not be bookmarked on my laptop.  Although I found similar listings where people who had undertaken Polymer clay research had provided links, there are those that I have no use for and some which I believe would be very helpful to novices like myself.  Hence my PolyClay notes page.

While my polyclay notes will find its main home here in my personal  blog, I am creating a page for it in my other blog dedicated to my exploits as a crafting entrepreneur, GothamChick.  I want to be able to provide a forum for other like crafters who are also into polyclay, more so those who are just starting out like me.  There is a ton of information out there and a lot of ideas to spur on the novices.  The possibilities are endless.

Thinking about garlands and winter in the summer

I was cleaning up some “working folders” in my hard drive when I came across a bunch of pictures which, if I recall, I had edited precisely to put on this blog, but which for some reason, never got published.  (I could be wrong..)  So as I do when I want to post a picture or pictures here, I uploaded to my flickr account and picked it up from there.  Gorgeous, don’t you agree?

This was sometime in the winter late 2010, when the skies take on a different hue depending on whether snow was coming.  I don’t know if it is just me or if the skies indeed become luminous when they are heavy with snow.  And this is that part of the year when the days are shorter.  Sunset before 5pm, and complete darkness by then.

It’s almost July and I’m already thinking about Christmas.  Yes, December.  I’m thinking about holiday cards, gift tags, and maybe gifts.. handmade.. or at least partially.  Now is the best time to work with my paper baskets and woven paper frames.  I’d love to get into papermaking but I am in no position to purchase more materials to experiment with, so any projects requiring “capital investment” in any shape or form, no matter how small, will just have to wait.  Besides, there are enough new projects to get started with.

Last night I sat down way past midnight (again) and started to create these fabulous garland earrings which I ultimately finished this morning — something I’ve been meaning to do but which technique I was having a tough time with.  The bunch of beads would look too bulky, seemingly out of synch, and the long and short of it was I just wasn’t happy with the way it came out.  This time around, though, I think I nailed it.  One single strand of chain forms the base, but the depth of the beads attached to every other chain link was what made the difference.

I’m going to create a couple more pairs in different shades/combinations using the same technique so watch out for additional new pieces.  Coming soon!

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!

Our 2010 Christmas Card

So the greeting cards were sent (most of them, at least) — and although I had gotten caught up in the holiday frenzy and ended up sending my cards a tad bit late — from the looks of it, they made it to those I managed to send one.

The Gonzalez Christmas Card 2010

(Apologies to those who didn’t get it this year.. next year, I’m making the cards in October!)

I had made up my mind a year ago that I would use this snowman artwork Angelo had done in Kindergarten, but typical of such long-distance planning attempts, I forgot.  That is, until someone picked up the artwork in Flickr and asked for permission to include it in drawingdreams.org’s display of children’s art.  I was floored.  It was but an innocent attempt of a proud mom to showcase her little boy’s masterpiece.  I was very, very proud.

As of today, Jan. 13, Angelo’s snowman can be seen here.

I have been making my christmas cards off and on for several years now.  There is something different about actually taking the time to make them, no matter how elementary they may be, and then sending them off.

This year I decided to do a collage of sorts, pulling five different elements together and then arranging them on the front of the card in different ways.  The card to the right is one of the set, each one unique.

I used digital scrapbook elements and cut them up in rectangular shapes in more or less uniform, but not exactly uniform sizes.  I then picked up a snowflake paper punch from Martha Stewart’s collection of paper punches and cut up leftover red and gold giftwrapper. (I even used some from a gift I received.  What a waste to just throw away those gorgeous gold and silver and sparkly red gift wrapping!)

I used my favorite paint swatch chips from your regular home improvement store which I printed with either Happy Holidays, Maligayang Pasko and later, Happy New Year, but instead of pasting them directly onto the collage, I attached them to the whole collage via mounting tape to make it “float” above the graphic.

I was also fortunate enough to have come across a roll of laser cut MERRY CHRISTMAS red ribbon at the dollar store (!) which I cut up and used as the greeting on the front.

I don’t have a picture of the inside here, but I rendered the snowman in washout mode and then typed our message on it, with the URL for Angelo’s snowman typed up for the free plug. (Proud Mom, I told you!)

I would have used buttons and more embellishments, but I had so little time!

View a selection of the cards I managed to photograph here to see how I created one-of-a-kind cards using the same set of embellishments and elements over and over again.  No two cards were exactly alike which added to all the fun.

Credits for the elements used in the card:
* Red and white stripe: Journalers from Designer Digitals by Katie Pertiet
* Paper Dots and Striped Paper from the Happy Go Lucky Freebie download by Shabby Princess