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…

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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!
 

Work in Progress: Wire Wrapped Earrings

Work in progress: wire wrapped agate earringsI’ve been trying to stir up the creative juices again.  It hasn’t been easy even if I’ve made it a point to sit at my craft corner a few minutes each night.  And then there are nights when I’m just too tired to do even just that. 

I’ve been trying to create polymer clay canes which have proven to be quite the learning experience for me, which I guess, translates to it being a hit or miss kind of thing right now.  Fortunately, it’s a very cheap medium and I have stocked up on it the last 12 months. 

The past two nights, I turned my attention to some wires I had bought before the weekend (which remained untouched because other things preoccupied me), and I started trying to manipulate the gauge 18, 22 and 24 wires just to get a feel for it with respect to what I wanted to do.

The picture you see is one of my more successful attempts at creating a wire-wrapped dangle for an earring which I am trying to get the hang of, and which I want to “execute” as a tighter and cleaner wrapping eventually.  (Like most things, this takes practice.)

You might think the earring above which is the size of a nickel (roughly) is heavy, but it was surprisingly light, using a 10mm round agate bead.  I made the earring hook from the same wire I used to wrap the gemstone. It’s pretty rough but I liked the way it felt as I wore it today. I always make it a point to “test run” my wares, more so if it’s not your ordinary beadwork piece.  My ears are rather sensitive these days but this was comfy and light and didn’t even irritate my skin one bit.  I’m looking forward to doing more of this over the weekend, while at the same time trying to continue to organize my jewelry crafting supplies.

New York is cold again.  I think Mother Nature didn’t get the memo about the forecast for temps up to 51 today so it’s a gloomy Friday that holds no promise for warmer temps.  We’re going up to 39 which is just 7 degrees above freezing so it’s not very promising.  Still, it’s Friday, so I’m going to stop the whining with that.

I have my work cut out for me over the weekend with test prep for the state tests on Angelo’s calendar and mine.  I have the organizing and cleaning up to do over the weekend and maybe I’ll try and get some serious reading done.

Day 3 into Lent and I’ve kept myself clear of red meat.  It was  a bit of a challenge last night as I cooked some spicy skirt steak for Alan, but I stuck to my grilled cheese.  By the way, did you ever try grilled cheese with an ever so thin swipe of mayo (light mayo for me) on the outside in lieu of butter?  I read about this in one of my older mags and boy, did it taste more delicious, indeed!  I’m now a convert.  Don’t overdo the mayo, though — do it as you would butter, but maybe just a smidge less.

Hope everyone is having a good start of the weekend.  Happy Friday!