Friday Five for Memorial Day Weekend

Friday5

Five goals. Five tasks. Five things I hope to do over this long weekend up ahead.

I’m stoked. My day ended at just after lunch because despite the early close (2pm), the boss bid me to log off at noon as she was fine to go. I was grateful for that, even if I knew I would probably not really log off then. Just the thought was enough to help me start the weekend.

So I went to the post office and shipped out a sale, then did my usual stop at the community bake shop to get some treats, but more to help them out with a sale and a bit of extra tip. It’s a small operation but it’s been around for a long time, and the type that makes all the good stuff.

And suddenly the disposable masks are available aplenty! While I have been busy making my masks, I thought I’d buy just a box or two for the possibility of a second wave when sanitizers, masks, alcohol and toilet paper disappear from the shelves. Just enough to be ready– not hoarding. I could’ve bought from the chain pharmacy, but I figured again, I’d like to help the mom and pop stores around. So many businesses are hurting, and every little bit helps.

Here goes my Friday Five–

(1) Produce and post at least one item in the shop. Perhaps it’s because of the stress of working from home and the masks, but I haven’t really been paying attention to the shop. Lo and behold, I didn’t realize I was getting a lot of traffic and actually made some sales in the last week or so. I want to be able to take advantage of that spurt of activity and the best way is to keep posting. I’m being modest so I will aim for only one, but who knows?

(2) Work on my art journal. I actually started working on one spread already but want to get going with my journaling again. It’s a very therapeutic form of self expression for me and I have several ideas brewing in my head.

(3) I’m going to get busy in the kitchen. I plan to bake and cook and I’m particularly excited attempting a rather complicated Filipino / Spanish dish after I picked up one of the essential ingredients from the grocery earlier this afternoon. And there’s my oatmeal raisin cookie craving that needs attending to!

(4) Take the first step in replicating a favorite house dress. First thing’s first– have to create the pattern! I already made some measurements and just need to translate it into paper. I’m not going to attempt the actual sewing just yet. The pattern is one big project as it is.

(5) Start writing those letters I’ve been meaning to write. Talking about snail mail here. Earlier while I was looking for the padded envelopes I ship my jewelry in, I came across more stationery I had made a while back that I have yet to use. One letter at least.

There you go. I’m suddenly intimidated reading through that list, but I think I’ve got my work cut out for me. Like I said, I’m all excited by the weekend, even as I end Friday ready to start relaxing.

Here’s to a restful weekend for everyone.

Long weekend by design

I’ve been writing this post in my head since Saturday morning, but I thought I’d chill and really enjoy the weekend by not doing anything. And I loved it! Although Columbus Day is really just a banking and school holiday (which means we labor on!), I decided to give myself a long weekend and took the day off Monday.

Monday and almost noon saw me still on morning mode. I actually got to sleep in — and then I remembered I forgot to turn my “out of office” on. It’s not really a work holiday for us but it is for my big guy so I thought I’d just enjoy the day off. Turns out he has plans with his Dad but I’m not complaining. I get to be here when he wakes up. He actually woke up before I did!

Work is light this week but I didn’t want to push it. I have the days in my vacation bank and I really need to use up the ones that will not carry over. Why do I need a reason for a day off? Resting and recharging is enough reason. I’m all for taking a break, more so after having quite a challenging week.

I didn’t make any specific plans. At first I wanted to take a day trip this Saturday but decided I’d do that another weekend. I wanted to not have to stress about anything. And there were shows to watch and things to do at home. (Like bedding that needs washing.. 4 comforters washed, thank you!)

I wanted to take a walk in the sunset but then the couch and the comfort of a warm and cozy perch was too good to give up.  My feet refused to carry me out the door.  The scented candles had me all hypnotized and set.

It was a productive weekend, and I got to rework and semi-finish two triangle scarves I’ve been crocheting. (I will write about that more in the craft blog.)

I went to the office on Tuesday with less of a “wish it was the weekend still kind of feeling”.  With only so many weeks left to the year and knowing that some of my vacation days will not carry over, I think I will plot my next few long weekends just to make sure I get the most of my “me” time.  I find that I need more “relax and recharge days” at this age — and it’s not just the physical — sometimes I just need a mental break.

I even allowed myself the luxury of whole wheat bread toast slathered with butter and mango calamansi (calamondin) jam.. for breakfast.. and then lunch.. and whenever.  I let the diet go and went on vacation mode, only to switch back when the work week began.  And that felt good.. pounds gained notwithstanding.

I have always said that we must be forgiving of ourselves first, so yes, I gave “me” a pass.  Can’t wait for the next long weekend by design.. hopefully soon.

 

 

 

 

Crafty Long Weekend

We are rarely blessed with four day weekends like this year’s Fourth of July (last week) and I had long ago decided I will stay home and try to deal with sorting out my craft supplies and projects, with ample time for catching up with the writing here and in my craft blog, Gotham Chick.  In fact, I managed to write something about my return to Polymer Clay there even before I started writing here.  I am trying to apportion my free time between the thousand and one things I want to take care of.. and whatever gets done, gets done.  What I don’t get to do, I will go back to another time.

I used to stress about keeping up and posting all my post-worthy pictures and blurbs all over– and then one day I just paused and stopped.  One thing I found out was that doing that wasn’t actually so bad.  It wasn’t the death of me.  Sure, the instagram followers stayed steady at just over 700.  But I never really set out to be a media influencer with thousands of followers.  I was happy to have a media presence.  And I am keeping it that way.

I can’t be holding my phone typing away when I want to find new ways to do crafts– and to actually make something of the many supplies I had acquired through the years.  I can actually keep crafting without buying anything with the way it is, unless I decide to change the medium of my crafts.  And I’m not planning to do that anytime soon.

I have enjoyed going back to my unfinished projects and planning how to make something new and different from that which I originally intended.  Projects I had discarded as epic fails can now come to life as something else.  It helps that I never throw things away unless I completely ruined it.  The crafty side of me always insists that even something already twisted or baked or formerly wound up can be fashioned into something new and beautiful again.
Work in progress

I found these round or donut-like beads I had made from polymer clay scraps.  Not quite there yet, but I think I’m ready to start working on the next phase.  Photographing them from this angle gives me new ideas to rework or use them, and I am taking this as the “before” pic.

While I have pushed the limit on sleeping late and waking up even later, I feel like I’ve had ample time to recharge and get things done at the same time.  

I finally finished hand rolling one of my silk scarves I had bought a while back.  Thanks to YouTube, I found a nice way to hand sew the edges of this panel fabric featuring a giant flower print.  Considering this was my first attempt, I’m quite proud of the way it came out.  It tells me what to do and what not to do for the next one, but I think it came out neatly even if there is some unevenness in the project.  I will write about that more in the craft blog soon.

I like the quiet pace of a staycation because then going back to work come Wednesday won’t be such a drag.  I’m actually looking forward to it as I prepare for a new chapter at work.  

The weekend has been all about taking care of me and that has given me a chance to breathe.  No special spa day or what not, but simply taking the time to do the things I want and care about at the pace I want to do it has been treat enough.  That’s my kind of a vacation.

Take care of you… 

Grateful (#5ThingsToBeThankfulFor)

Long weekends get back at you the day when your week officially begins, and mine started today.  Tuesday = Monday.  Forgot to reload my metrocard so there I was fishing for coins on the bus.. solution found: paid off a fellow passenger for a swipe.  Terribly cold day in New York City, and bundling up meant I felt the heat enveloping me and I was just feeling hot.  It went to my head, and my morning got off to a rocky start.

When things aren’t turning out the way you wish they would, it’s always good to try to steer your way towards something positive.  I thought I’d start by counting my blessings today, sort of as a natural pick me up.  A second cup of coffee might not work – so I’m improvising.

Another list?  I’m trying to resist the urge but I do have my “Five Things to be Thankful for” here.  I had fun with my new app, DrawingDesk, which has been a little testy but has been a refreshing graphic application on my iPhone to help me spice things up here.  Pardon the roughness of the scribbling but I’m too cheap to spring for a stylus.  That’s my fingertip doing the writing, but I’m pretty happy with how that turned out.  (Finally settled on one that was good enough after over two dozen attempts.)

Thankful.

Gratitude is something that we very rarely indulge in – but which is something we would do well to make a habit of. (#gratitude)

Top of my head:  I’m thankful for being a “Medium” (size) now, for hot coffee that I can drink iced, for twitchy noses, a long weekend that allowed me to sleep til 9am (!) and pancake breakfasts that I missed and will begin missing again.  (Back on the diet!)

I see the sun shining brightly outside but the temperatures are unbearably cold.  Snow is forecast for the weekend, and I’m already thinking of the supplies I will need as I have no intention of heading out beyond my immediate neighborhood.  After 15 years here and seeing mild to wild winters, I am not such a fan of snow anymore.  (More so in the aftermath of a snowstorm!)

But I’m not going to start complaining now.  Trying to stay positive by basking in the feeling of being blessed.

Friday Five Update

Happy Friday!  Looking forward to the loooooong weekend! #happyfriday #longweekend #summer #sunflowrtIf I had been ticking off my Friday Five from two weeks ago, I would be able to make quite a progress report.  Off of last week’s list, though, I don’t have much.  So rather than confuse myself between the two weeks, I’m foregoing the progress but going on with my list for this weekend. And it’s a loooong weekend, at that.

1.  Write on the postcards I meant to send out to friends in Manila.  I’m further simplifying this.  I brought home two postcards — should be easy enough to send out.

2.  Work on the hem of at least one pair of pants.  This is priority because I don’t want to end up not wearing these new pairs again until the next spring!

3.  Report on my progress with the THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT.  I’ve been working on this and there is much to report.  If only I could find the time to sit down and write.

4.  Create a pair or two of earrings from my polymer clay discs.  Already in progress and ready for assembly this weekend.  I’ve been stacking them on headpins while trying to make up my mind on the composition of each piece.

5.  Create a non-polymer clay piece.

It’s Labor Day on Monday and just about the end of summer.  School begins again on Thursday.  So there is much to savor over the next three days.

Have a good weekend, everyone…

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.

 

I love, love long weekends

My bistek was still simmering on the stove when I started writing this.  I began the post while waiting for the onions to cook and the meat to tenderize just a tad bit more.  We had a relaxing dinner in front of the TV, all warm and toasty at home.  It’s been crazy windy outside — I could hear the gusts hitting the walls violently.  I’m also looking forward to writing letters tonight before turning in.  We’re off tomorrow because it’s President’s Day.  More three day weekends, please.

It’s been a rather productive Sunday as I took out a bunch of thunder polish glass crystal and other earrings I had crafted months back for a craft fair.  They never really made it onto the etsy storefront, but I decided to pull them out of the box today and embellish them further.  Two years ago, I was very strict with myself in ensuring that I used the same color crystals in my pieces, but today, I was bold and daring and mixed them up.  A lot of them were rather short so I extended them for more drama by adding a bead or two.  Not quite shoulder dusters, but long enough to present some sexy swagger when you turn your head or when you walk.

GothamChick on ETSY: Mocha bitsI also wanted to take advantage of the sunlight and took photos.  I’m hoping to post them in the shop tomorrow.. or starting tomorrow.   These days I’m going either ‘tiny’ or ‘long’.  When I watch my favorite shows, my eyes tend to focus on the earpieces worn by the ladies — and I noticed that tiny simple earrings looked as fab as the long and elaborate pieces.  I’m still keeping away from the ‘big and bold’, though.  Just not my style.  This freshwater pearl and aventurine cutesy is a current favorite of mine.  I am going to make one for myself one of these days.

I also finished a batch of my glass domed pendants featuring Marian images.  (Thanks to bebs1 aka Lou for the idea and the inspiration.)  I’m trying to create a necklace based on a design she showed me, and while it is not an exact replica, the idea is similar.

 Marian Images as glass dome pendants

I currently have four images in three sizes, and I’m working on getting an additional two in this same format.  The idea is to use one of the larger pendants as the focal point in a 5-pendant charm necklace, using other religious metal charms.   I am still trying to see if it will work to have five of the smaller pendants in the same fashion.  Might be a bit too much, so I’m sticking to the original idea.

Mary: Four Images

I did get my LIFE 4×6 in the sleeves (!) and am now in the process of completing as much of the journaling as I can.  I am hoping to photograph and finally post about it before the week is out.  First month done!  And here we are in the middle of the second month of the year.  Where did the last couple of weeks go, right?  Time flies by so fast..

It would have been nice to have gotten away to somewhere — but work beckons.  New York State had reduced the winter break to two days instead of the usual week-long stretch to make up for the days lost during Hurricane Sandy’s onslaught and after, so he goes back to school on Wednesday.  Add to that the fact that Angelo had been afflicted with the flu the previous week, so we’re just resting and recharging on a “staycation”.  Besides, it’s back to work for us on Tuesday.

Long weekends are precious for working moms like me.  Work and motherhood equals a double job, literally.    Even now, in the middle of my long weekend, I’m here in front of the TV watching a favorite show, The Mentalist, and I’m also thinking of the leftover bistek I need to put away.  At least I get another day to “rest” tomorrow.  They let me sleep til closer to 9am today, then we all remembered the boy had a haircut appointment at 10am.  (Even I forgot and I set it up…)  More time to just sit and hug my boy.. and laugh.. and just be mother and son.

I feel like I accomplished a lot.  At the end of it all, I might even have an art journal entry in..

Five things I hope to accomplish this weekend (1/19-21)

It’s a long weekend for us this weekend, so maybe I’ll get down to doing my list of five things to do this time around before I have to start another week on Tuesday.

Despite the extra day, I’m trying to work in small buckets of time to make sure I get to do some cleaning up this morning and start my weekend with a blogpost.  Morning breakfast of coffee in my favorite mug and pancakes with melted caramel.  (Yum!)  I’m sort of indulging in my favorite food treats because I have made a decision to start dieting after the weekend for a myriad of reasons — which is another blog post coming some time in the coming days.

This week, I hope to

Art Journal Every Day cover as of 1/18/131.  Start my multi-page entry in my ART JOURNAL EVERY DAY.

2. Jewelry crafting: Create one piece of jewelry for myself and post an item in the Etsy shop.

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.

4. READ.

5. Gather 100 postcards I want to find a new home for.  (100 a week, a little at a time.)

Artist Trading Cards, etc.

I’ve been cutting up extra freecards (of which I have quite a lot!) into the denominated size of 3.5 x 2.5 inches with my paper trimmer, and have been creating sets of backgrounds, much like I did with my mail art postcards.

I have a few that have been gessoed over, some have been pasted with used brown paper bags and book pages, and tonight, I tried to do watercolor and acrylic paint backgrounds straight on the matte side which is the side you are supposed to address and write your message on. Those pieces are currently drying. I did them in between cooking the rice, frying the petite fillet and heating the roasted potatoes on the stove. Ha! I’m just happy to have had the chance to put together a home-cooked meal for the family which even my usually picky mother-in-law liked.  It’s not that easy to serve her up savory dishes when she has her diabetes and heart condition. We try.  I’d have done more if I wasn’t feeling under the weather. I’m ready to do my first batch of Artist Trading Cards.

And I have my altered book resting on my lap right now. I just can’t stopp myself from going page to page even as I have yet to start with the dedication which I will work on tomorrow.

Except for photographing and sorting postcards in my collection, I did manage to keep away from trading or dealing with the trade like I had promised myself yesterday. I had dropped off quite a bunch of postcards at the post office Saturday with the majority of the cards heading for the Philippines.

I’ve found it very heartening that people are now into postcard trading even if it feels different because of the preference for cards being sent postmarked. Back in the day when I was actively collecting, I preferred to get my cards in an envelope.

With new online projects like Postcrossing where postcard trades are randomly assigned on a pay-it-forward basis (it is not an exchange but rather, participating means you will get a postcard from someone else you don’ t know), I see more and more people participating more for the experience of the exchange rather than seriously collecting postcards. As for me, I am happy to have received noteworthy additions to my maps, lighthouses and Philippine postcard collection. (I am still eagerly awaiting the postcards from the Philippines, which, given the literal snail’s pace that the postal office moves at, should be arriving in my mailbox any day now.)

I’m still trying to learn the basics and rudiments of ATC trading.  Unlike postcards which can be bought to add to your collection,  ATCs are traded.  Postcards are usually chosen, too, by the intended recipient and traded for something the sender prefers.  ATCs may be traded blind, meaning with no agreement as to which piece or pieces will be exchanged.  Swaps can also be of multiples and are sent to and then sent out by the swap host.

Well, I’m still a long way away from trading — give me a couple of days more.  For now, it’s cutting and creating…cutting and creating.

Sabado (Saturday) Morning

I’ve been busy with the postcards (yet again) and addressed three Sesame Street postcards to three Filipino fellow postcard collectors. This was a postcard I had gotten a couple of years back from Sesame Place, back when my now 8-year-old was starstruck by the sight of Elmo, Ernie and Bert and Super Grover. These days, it’s the postcards from Disney Hollywood Studios  showing Star Wars that gets his attention.

The Sesame Street Gang (Sesame Place Postcard)

I already have a copy of this which I had sent home addressed to my son, and remember that I had bought it to trade away.  I haven’t been trading for the last 8 years but have continued to collect postcards.  Alas, it’s time to weed out the postcards which don’t belong to my collecting interests so I offered them to Postcrossing Philippines on Facebook of which I am a part of.  All three have been picked up and are on their way.

It’s a sunny Saturday here and I guess we’re going out for errands after the usual family lunch.  I’m not too upbeat about it because I’m not feeling well.  (Something we ladies have to deal with on a monthly basis.)  This time around is particularly painful, but I’m trying to think happy thoughts to chase the pain away.    (The boy was sitting on the sofa shoulder-to-shoulder with me waiting for me to finish with the laptop so he can play an online game that he can’t do on the iPad.  I gave him a look and told him it takes me longer to write if someone’s waiting on me.  I think it worked.)

Three day weekend on our side of the world as the United States celebrates Labor Day.  We have no special plans.  Just stay home, do errands, relax and recharge.

I plan to continue organizing the postcards, work on my Art Journal and my Altered book, write a few letters (penpals and friends await!), and maybe, just maybe, read a chapter or two more of my current book which has been mothballed a couple of months now, A STORM OF SWORDS: A Song of Fire & Ice Book III.  “Kindling” (hahaha!) used to be a comfort, but nowadays, I’m not that close with my e-reader anymore.  Maybe it’s time to renew the friendship, specially since I always have the work Ipad with me.

Three day weekends are going to be scarce and precious now that school is opening this Thursday for New York.  My little guy is trying to enjoy what’s left of summer, but isn’t particularly excited.  (Or he’s just trying to hide it.)

I just want to be able to sit down and paint, do collage, and try new things.  And I’m doing one of my favorite things right now which is writing here.  =) Literally, it made me smile.

I’m thinking Steak Fajitas at Chili’s this afternoon.  =)  Yet another smile.  No guacamole for me, though.  Everything please BUT the guacamole.  I Except when served at Dos Caminos, I’m not particularly fond of avocados except as a dessert like we make it in the Philippines.

Lunch time for the mother-in-law so have to go and get a-heating in the kitchen.  Here’s to a fruitful long weekend for those of us here in the US.