Officially Saturday

It’s twenty minutes past midnight which makes it officially Saturday on my side of the world.  Meatless Friday done and passed… and I’m exhausted and fighting off sleep.

I had actually successfully napped next to the boy earlier this evening which gave me my second wind.  It didn’t do much, though, as my womanly ailments are getting the better of me this time of the month.

Productive day… I printed off some pictures for my LIFE 4×6 February.  I am still working on completing January but I wanted to photograph the layouts while in a sleeve.  (Target this weekend!)  I even did some print over print experiments but used my photo printer instead.  I must say the result wasn’t surprising but I loved what came out.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will show the final product as close to actual when I photograph it tomorrow.

It’s been a long week.  We’ve been very busy at work.  Thankfully, the weather hasn’t been as bad.  It was a great improvement from last Friday’s snowstorm.  Can we move on to summer please?

I’m skipping my list of five things to do this weekend in this post but will put it up tomorrow.  My brain isn’t quite in the mood to think about other things that need to be done when I just want to go to la-la land.

Meanwhile, here’s one of two sets of journal tags inspiration that I made for a swap.  I used three of my favorite “Happiness” quotes.

 Journal Tags

Beads and postcards on a lazy Sunday

While most of my part of the world is all agog about SuperBowl Sunday, we slept through the afternoon lazily, just enjoying the time to relax.  My back is giving me problems — and I always welcome the chance to recharge which I cannot do as leisurely as I can on weekdays.  Lunch was at almost 4pm — thanks to Pizza Hut.

I had a most disturbing dream, though, about a favorite “niece” (although she is the daughter of a friend and not a blood relative).  Stranger still, I was in Manila.  Well, thinking of Manila is nothing new.  Dreaming of it is.  So I’m making a mental note to write my dear Evita later and ask how she’s doing.

I am also trying to get my creations going, so I sorted through a shoe-box full of odds and ends I had dumped together while cleaning up my work space.  Sorting through the various head and eyepins (that little pin-like metal object that you string beads with) took the early afternoon.  I tried to set aside the half-finished rosary bracelets I had as well which I hope to post in the shop after finishing them and photographing the pieces.  By the time I finished, the sandman was calling.  At my age, I’ve learned that it’s easier to just give in rather than fight it — and it’s more beneficial to me when I let myself take a moment to recharge by closing my eyes for a nap..

I’ve learned to embrace aging gracefully by acepting my limitations while trying to continue to live a productive life.  While I have done rather poorly in terms of managing my weight, I console myself with the thought that that has been a life-long struggle for me. I’ll get to it yet, if only to try and prevent the onset of diseases relating to aging and weight gain.  Something tells me my back problem is, in part, the result of the weight my spine has been punished with.

It’s getting dark outside as the sun is getting ready to set.  The thin layer of snow on the ground is beginning to melt.  It’s still freezing cold, and I just hope that’s all the snow we’re getting.  I have never stopped to marvel how nature maintains a balance and the creatures outside seem to go on unaffected by the brutal cold, being that I can hear birds chirping outside as if it was just any other day.

My first month of Life 4×6 is done, but I’m pulling together the photos with captions and labels.  I still haven’t quite decided how I will pull it into an album.  The 12-photo spread of the regular albums really seems too big, but to go any smaller would mean doing more albums.

I had drafted an extensive post on this the last few days, but since I’m not quite done yet, I’ve held off.  In due time.

ATC: Heart ATC 1Meanwhile, I’ve successfully slowed down on the ATC swaps.  My friend CuriosaKat whom I had bumped into at a Postcrossing Philippines group on Facebook had suggested I join the group.  It’s been a most interesting ride through the last 6 months and quite a learning experience.  Postcard collecting and exchanges have changed radically in the past few years, and I’ve had my bumps and scrapes in returning to active trading but I think I’ve managed to get into a manageable rhythm now.

I gave Postcrossing a try, but to those used to the more defined method of collecting postcards, it can get tiring and costly without the satisfaction of acquiring that which you collect.  It’s good if you are after volume, but I’ve been there, done that.   It would have been something I would’ve embraced enthusiastically when I started collecting almost 30 years ago, but at this point, I want to confine myself to the particular collecting interests I have identified.

Volume is one way to find satisfaction in trades, and if the idea is for you to collect from every possible postmark or country, then Postcrossing is for you.  But if you prefer to receive your postcards unstamped and “naked” in an envelope, then you’re better off with the private swaps or in swap forums like Swap-bot.com .

I participate in the swaps mostly to help me find a new home for the postcards I don’t need.  New York is such a tourist haven that we can never have enough supplies of the so-called touristy postcards, but when you’re sending out to a select group, it makes it imperative that you get a little creative sourcing your postcards.  It also gives me a chance to check out the different offerings for my own collection of “anything New York,” be it modern or vintage.

Postcards from Philippines, The: Map 3So what do I collect?  Maps have always been of special interest to me, although even that particular collecting interest has been “refined”.  Some postcard map collectors will accept street views as “map postcards”, and I used to include that in my collection.  In fine tuning my “wants”, though, I have decided actual state or city or country maps which shows a land formation or routes instead of those implied by streets on a postcard were what I wanted.

To date, I have at least one map from each state (yes, even the more elusive ones), but I have come to discover that there are multiple variations to each state, not only terms of design, but also in size.  So there are states which I have a half dozen different designs for.  Even the Philippines where I come from has produced several map postcards, beyond the very first ones we used to trade in the 80s.  I am still trying to find the time to photograph (as against scanning) the collection, but I’ve managed to upload a few in this album on my Flickr account.

If I were to identify which part of postcard collecting I find most fulfilling, I would have to say it’s going through my vintage postcard collection.  Browsing the prices on Ebay makes me think of putting up my postcards on the auction site, but that is also what makes me want to keep them all the more.

Although my vintage postcard collecting interest is confined to Maps, Lighthouses, New York, The Philippines, Paris and the places we have visited (like Bruge and Brussels in Belgium and Chartres in France), I have somehow amassed a pile of other vintage postcards I need to find a home for.  Soon enough.  I just sent one I successful dated to a fellow postcard collector in Pampanga in the Philippines, something printed in the 30s. (!)

Collecting?  Drop me an e-mail at my postcard collecting account aptly named postcardmailbox@gmail.com

Five things I hope to accomplish this weekend (1/26-27)

I’m almost iffy about writing a new list because it appears that while I have done a lot over the previous weekend, I left more things hanging.  So let this weekend’s list be a continuation of the previous list, and let’s see if anything actually gets ticked off.  Since I started this a few weeks ago, it has helped me to focus better on accomplishing something tangible with a goal in mind.

1. Start my multi-page entry in my ART JOURNAL EVERY DAY.  I actually have started sketching and all that but have not done the actual layout as I had hoped to.  I am hoping to do major progress on this tonight and tomorrow.

2. Jewelry crafting: Create one piece of jewelry for myself and post an item in the Etsy shopAs I had reported earlier in the week, I’ve managed to repopulate the store substantially and I intend to continue doing the same this weekend.  (So the list wasn’t a complete loss after all!)

3. Write.. to friends back home. (And one or two this side of the world.. birthdays coming up. My handmade cards are posted in GothamChick.com).. in my journal.. here.  This one had some measure of success as well as you can see in the post preceding this where I showed you a handmade card I had made.  The card’s been addressed and written on — I am just hoping to add a one-page update to my friend, P. 

I’ve continued with my everyday journal with a photo a day (LIFE 4×6, info to follow), and I intend to show that here on the blog towards the end of January after I complete my first month.  This is something not very different from the popular Project Life of Becky Higgins, in a simplified less expensive way.

I’ve been “HERE” most of the week, trying to tweak my wordpress theme, and trying to come to a decision about whether or not I will migrate the craft blog here, too.

4. READ.  On this front, I’ve done something I didn’t think I would do again which is go back to my Kindle. It’s been “offline” for over a year and the battery is giving me a big headache, but I’m confident I’ll get it up and running soon.  The iPad is just too heavy to lug around in my purse on an everyday basis, and sometimes it’s simply easier to go small.  I’m trying to decide which book to go to first, and looks like Grisham will win out this time.

5. Gather 100 postcards I want to find a new home for. (100 a week, a little at a time.)  After the previous weekend, I’ve had time to reconsider this goal because while it seems it should be easy enough, 100 postcards isn’t all that easy to assemble.  I’ve decided to give myself a month to get the 100 postcards together and maybe raffle them off in one of the Facebook groups I’m part of.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Journaling on

Bryant Park Subway StationWe have been promised a “better and warmer” day today — although “better” is a relative term if you ask me. What might be better for me might not be good for you. Or what might be better for you might otherwise be worse for me. As long as another day comes, and I get the end of the day in one piece, and the family is good, I’m okay.

Today is one of those days that “family” extends to friends, too, more so P who posted on Facebook that she is undergoing tests again. I literally had to pause writing there as I felt a knot form in my chest. She is always in my thoughts and prayers — but there are times when all I can do is pause, close my eyes, and say one word in prayer.. “Please…” I know He hears… and P knows that as well. Thinking about her and the struggles she has had the previous years make me grateful that she is still here.. every time I go home, she is one of those I put on my list of “MUST” see people… and I am looking forward to spending time with her yet again next time I am in town.

I’ve been busy at work and on the side, trying to catch up with my art. The Art Journal Every Day project is going well and I’m working on three layouts right now. (1) The cover (background done, alpha to follow), (2) the first entry (background collage done, first pass of acrylic paint in) and (3) I’m doing mental sketches of a multi-page layout inspired by my altered book.

The Altered Book still goes from page to page and while I had put together a film clip of where the book stands as of today, 11 minutes was just too long so I am trying to flip the pages faster to make it fit into one of my current favorite songs running for4 minutes or so. I will upload it here to share with you to show how far I’ve come as far as prepping the layout backgrounds, finishing practically 3/4th of the book. (Note to self: look for more happiness quotes.)

While these projects may seem a lot, they are not things I work on on an everyday basis. One thing I like about these undertakings is I can pick them up when I want and then just go back when I have time again. Sometimes just brushing paint on a page can do wonders for therapy. The sense of finishing something or moving forward with the project even if only in baby steps can be a good way to end the day.

Inspired by Balzer Designs’ Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s Project Life, I have started LIFE 4×6. It’s a series of 4×6 entries which I’ve started on pre-printed digital scrapbook backgrounds in my stash. No rules. Anything about the day, or anything that inspires me during the day. Like a short blurb of a diary entry. It doesn’t have to be written on the card, it can be a piece of notepad or a notebook page cut to size. I’m not too crazy by my current project cover but I’m sticking with it for now. It can be a simple snapshot — or a group of them. While the project that inspired this revolves around a photo subject, this is even more free-wheeling and can be about anything and on anything.

For example, today’s card has a quote I found from a Grateful Dead song which had been used in an article in an industry magazine. (I was browsing it only because it used nice paper and was printed with great graphics.)

“Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.”

– from Scarlet Begonias by The Grateful Dead.

It’s one of those quotes that make you go “hmmmmmmm….”.

MOVING UPDATE: Well, to move or not to move? Or keep two sites? My blog server has written, apologized and fixed the problem. Still, I get hit with “Server is busy” and I think other people get the same page when trying to access my space. For now, as I am still tweaking the other site, I will cross-post and just maintain it until I get pulled to develop one over the other. Pinaynewyorker.com hasn’t moved just yet, but if you encounter problems with the usual URL, please go to https://pinaynewyorker.wordpress.com

See you there … (or here..)