Sunday inspiration

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I made some vegetarian lasagna last night which might actually become a go-to recipe for me this season. Like previous years, I have opted to forego beef and pork for the Lenten season as my personal sacrifice. But the lasagna will have to wait another time. It’s not exactly from scratch and more of the semi-home made kind, and I’m pretty proud of how it came out to be. Now if only it didn’t add the pounds the night after. (And I have one more slice left.)

I’ve been taken by M. Night Shyamalan’s “Servant” which I’ve been watching since Friday. I can’t wait until next Friday when the next episode drops. I’ve always been a fan of M. Night’s work because of his story telling mastery. No matter how dark or fantastic a story he might be telling, I don’t mind watching his movies over and over again. So when I saw the series on Apple TV, I decided to give it a try. The first episode was classic M. Night. I paused. When I went back, I couldn’t stop. I’ve watched the entire Season 1 and all of the episodes of Season 2 that had been released so far. Like I said, waiting for the next episode.

I’ve tried to stay away from the postcards today, because it’s preoccupied a lot of my time the last few days. The sorting continues, (Yay!) and I’ve been weeding out the cards for destashing. I’ve also discovered some cards on Amazon to add to my New York and map cards. I’ll say it again, much as postcrossing has changed the world of postcard collecting, I still prefer direct swaps. The disappointments are not as jarring as the surprises that might come your way from some other place of the world.

I have letters to write. One has been popping in and out of my head to a long time penpal and fellow postcard collector I’ve corresponded with for many years. She is like a little sister to me — and we share various passions together. From personal art (although she is undoubtedly the more accomplished artist) to jewelry making and postcards, we have share a friendship via long distance for many years now. I am wondering how she’s doing, and hoping that she has gotten my last postcard. She and I are close enough that I send a small packet for her whenever I send something to Manila in a balikbayan box, I will start the letter tonight.

I am in the February section of my art journal. I have the layout in my head, but I’m trying to make up my mind about the way I will execute it beyond the heart pages that I’ve already cut. It’s a bit problematic with the thinner used Manila folders that make up most of my journal. I can probably use something thicker, or layered pages for the watercolor or acrylic heavy layouts.

So I thought I’d try my hand at maybe thickening the pages by doing collage. I had a color in mind — I’ve been cutting away, but after picking up some pieces decided it wasn’t the direction I wanted to go. Maybe I’ll change my mind later. But I’m keeping the magazine pages that called out to me. I started with this heap below.

Collage

The black and white pages are similar to layouts I had used in last year’s art journal. I like the black dresses which can be drawn over or written on. From this pile, I got to the cut outs below.

Collage

I use straight scissors to cut huge chunks, and a pointy smaller pair for detailed cutting. Lessons from my days with mixed media artist trading cards. While others would prefer to cut with blades or a cutting knife, I have acquired some skill in cutting finely near the border or just outside the border.

Collage

I have the hearts cut out. I had hoped to try to at least assemble the signature together tonight but some cassava got in the way. Given how the folder paper reacts to water, though, I’m thinking if I should paint them first before I pull the section together. Decisions, decision.

My Sunday has been relaxing and busy. I’m thinking of three other chores I can focus on but they can wait. I want to relax and recharge and get my personal projects going this weekend. It’s terribly cold outside but I need to do my walk in a bit. No evening walks when the temperature dips so low, and not on a day when I don’t have to worry about returning to my laptop to continue working.

Last week, I received the health certification from my primary care provider that now entitles me to be vaccinated with the next cohort of qualifiers. Even if I am below 65, the fact that I have a chronic condition that puts me at risk as an asthmatic pushes me up the line. But it isn’t quite that easy. I now have to wait for the vaccine providers to open their system to people of my situation, and then I need to get an appointment.

My letter was dated February 13, in anticipation of the opening of the next tier by the state on February 15, Still, my provider has indicated that they hope to start vaccinating this next set of qualifiers beginning February 23rd. My local pharmacy’s webpage hasn’t quite updated their website to help me qualify just yet. So like the thousands before me, we must play the cat and mouse game of trying to get an appointment. This Sunday, I’m not going to bother myself with that. It can wait another day. And that is altogether another post — soon.

I’m getting ready for Monday and the rest of the week. I think I’ve gotten into a better rhythm after almost of year of working the way we work now. The stress has abated although it has not gotten any less busier. I guess I’m just coping better. Positive thoughts about what the week will bring will hopefully bring me to dreamland with more ease later. Here’s to a better and warmer week for all.

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!

Mail Art Postcard Series: Philippine Map 1 (Zentangled Background)

I’m trying to be more focused about what personal art I indulge in.  One of the things that I have decided to keep doing is make my own postcards for trading.  It’s just that I had decided to confine the effort to drawing Philippine Map postcards, the first of which is pictured below.

Mail Art Postcard: Philippine Map 1

I have 10 templates ready for drawing and one uncolored print out for reference. You can read about the process I followed to create this and the materials I used at Gotham Chick.  It’s something anyone can come up with given enough imagination and the patience to draw in the zentangle patterns which I went to Tangle Patterns to for reference.

I have a short list of people to send the first 5 to 6 postcards but if you’re interested to be put on the distribution list, please e-mail me at postcardmailbox at gmail.com.  I’m sending out the actual artwork and keeping a digital copy for my own files.  This is a long-term project and it takes me anywhere from one hour to one day or more to complete one piece, but I’m going to try to send out at least two a week.  This plus the JOURNAL ON A JOURNEY should keep me creatively busy. 

I want to start sending the out by the middle of the month and keep going from there.  The means by which the Philippine map is shown might change in time, but being a map postcard collector, this is of special significance to me.  I had meant to be actively trading postcards again, but that has slowed down because of other swaps.  That is why I’ve made a decision to confine my swaps to minimal effort undertakings so that I veer away from the pressure.

I’ve greatly enjoyed exchanging postcards with the fellow-Pinoy postcard collectors over at the Facebook Postcrossing Philippines group.  I don’t really care much what is sent to me, but I enjoy sending back postcards to help their individual collections grow.

Postcard collecting has changed through the years — be it my own collecting method and interests to what is the norm these days.  Postcrossing has become rather popular in recent years, although this would work for those collectors who are trying to grow their collection in terms of size of postcards received or countries received from.  My collection was initially geared that way, but I had long since confined my collection to anything Philippines (meaning vintage, new, unused and stamped), anything New York, Maps, lighthouses and anything Paris.  (That’s the francophile in me.)

This is but another “variation” of my collecting method — sending out my own map postcards of the country where I was born and raised it.

That’s that

I’m nocturnal. I’ve always functioned best at night. My best works have been produced in the evening. For some reason, my brain seems to be wired to work better when the sun is shining on the other side of the world.

Tonight, though, even that part of my nature can’t beat the physical exhaustion I feel. It’s something health-related — and I’m hoping it goes soon, but it’s one of those things you have to ride out. I’d like to write more here — I’d like to stay up later to keep editing my Book of Treasures Video, but I figure I can postpone publishing that until the end of the week.

My first priority is sending out my DECORATE A JOURNAL book tomorrow. (VERY, VERY LATE!) I had taken pictures as I created the cover, but I don’t have the energy to correct the photos, upload, and do the post. I’ll do it another time. I did, however, manage to touch up the photo of a postcard I sent out today. It was a doodled PC that made its way to the post office this afternoon.

I enjoy the swaps but I am almost afraid to admit I’m hitting a swap burnout. Then Maricar stops by (THANK YOU!) who is from the same swap group. =) It is always heartening to read comments.  (Hint, hint, people!)  I know people are stopping by, but no one is saying anything and that’s like talking to the wind, or talking to myself. (Of course, there’s Lou!) So maybe I won’t quit swapping even if only temporarily at all.. I’ll slow down to a crawl instead.

I’ve tried to cut down on most things.  I’m hardly on Facebook these days (so if you actually need to reach me urgently, e-mail is best please.)  I haven’ t browsed my usuall web haunts because I’ve come to the realization that I have to start looking to other places for my daily fix.  Again, letting it go.  Even when you get used to talking to the wind, it gets tiring when even the wind refuses to blow and answer back.  Even when I think I understand, it still tires the heart to wait and not hear a thing.  That’s more than a hint to go bark up another tree.

There have been a few things I’ve come across, too, which have made me realize that some things have been set in ways which I cannot fight or question, try as I might.  It’s one of those questions you ask the universe and then you find the answer in a totally unrelated development which, by itself, has nothing to do with the question you asked.  But it answered the question.  It’s something that makes one say, “so that’s that.”

Is it human nature that makes us keep chasing that which hurts us in the hope that holding it again will make the pain go away?  Or is it just plain stupidity?  I don’t know.  It might just be my colds, the fact that not enough oxygen seems to be making it up to my brain tonight, or the pain I’m feeling in my body which I must just ride out.  Some things are better just left alone.  Better to let it go.  What is it that they say?  This, too, shall pass.

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that — because there are pains that never go away.  You just get better at living with them.  You learn to live with your mistakes and you just walk with your head bowed down.   You learn to accept the blows that life has dealt you, and you say again, that’s that.

People seem to like that I write with such honesty and brutal frankness here.  Yet I have to admit I censor myself heavily most times.  I have cautioned my younger blog friends to be careful with what and how they write because anything you put out there will always be there — forever.  Notwithstanding hitting the delete and permanently delete button.  In that sense, the web is like the human heart — it will find forgiveness, but it will not always have the blessing of forgetting.

I save much of my anger and hate, frustration and pain in a private place — although sometimes, some of it creeps out.  I’m only human.  And that’s that.

PS. If you read this far into this latest post, it would really mean a lot to me if you left me a quick comment — who is reading me from Greece? The UK? Who’s in Manila? (Definitely not my siblings who wouldn’t even know my URL if you asked them.)
Swap-bot Doodled PC No. 2: Spring 2013

Mail Art: Travel and other swaps

 I’m getting to like Mail Art swapping at Swap-bot.  Here’s one of the swaps I sent out a few days ago over to Tara — the theme was TRAVEL.

So Iprinted a vintage world map as background and added elements relevant to me personally.  A print out of my Philippine passport, a Schengen visa and I added several immigration stamps in and out of the Philippines and New York.  It wouldn’t be complete without a subway map print out which I pasted front to back.

Mail Art: Travel (Decorated envelope - Front)

Mail Art: Travel (Decorated envelope - Back)

This second set of photos shows three tags I had created for the second round of Quote Prompt Mini-Journal swap. The idea was to choose three quotes and put them on individual tags. We’re supposed to compile the tags we receive into a mini-journal by binding them through the single tage hole on each one and be able to flip through the album for inspiration.

Quote Prompt Mini-Journal #2 (Side A)

I chose three women in variosu paintings of Botticelli and then put in quotes about “self”. 

I felt more challenged to come up with something very crafty for this tag set and I tried to add embellishments that I could “laminate” with mod podge onto the chipboard collaged tag I had hand made.  Two sets went out to two partners.
Quote Prompt Mini-Journal #2 (Side B)
 

Art tags and handmade envelopes

My view at lunch 13March2013

I took my lunch in one of the smaller conference rooms with this as my view. 

Notice how, in the distance, the new tower is almost finished.  We’ve been watching the building “grow” and “take shape” in the skyline, and while it will take a while yet before the building is fully operational, it is great to see this icon of recovery rising in downtown Manhattan.

Sometimes we just need to take a break, get some quiet time, and recharge.  It’s been a good day, but it’s been busy and a little stressful.  I usually try to do a little something during the lunch break, be that at noon or much later at 3pm.

I lugged some swaps for mailing to work today: postcards in handmade envelopes (from magazines) and two sets of tags for a mini-journal.   The idea was to create a mini-journal made up of 3 tags with quotes in them to serve as journaling inspiration. This is round 2, so we’re supposed to pull the tags together into a compilation — hence, a mini-journal.  With two partners each time, we’re getting 6 tags for the 6 tags we swap out.

My first tags were rather simplistic and done with not as much effort or thought as this new batch, but I found it more difficult to come up with that trio. This time around, I attacked the project with a sense of adventure as I tried to come up with something more inspiring and worthy of a heart (I hope).

I’m a cheapskate as far as tags are concerned, so rather than purchase them, I actually make them.  I cut out 6 tags out of repurposed chipboard cartons.  I had an idea that I wanted to put on some flat embellishment (or as it turned out, almost flat — I used lace.)  I hope to do a full-tutorial in GothamChick before the week is out.  I’m keeping the tags themselves under wraps for a bit because I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

 Quote Prompt Mini Journal #2

Meanwhile, I am way behind in responding to postcards from Manila.  That one merits a post in itself because I always find it special to send out and receive postcards from collectors from home.  I don’t even really care if I get repeat postcards.  I find great joy in encouraging the hobby and have found some penfriends along the way.  And the exchange via snail mail has been very heartwarming indeed.  (I want to take pictures of the postcards to post.)  Soon.

Some envelopes went out, though, for three swaps I joined because I had postcards that suited that category without having to buy any more.  I thought I’d add a little spark to the swap by making envelopes out of magazine pages.

Handmade envelopes from Magazine Pages

And I’m saving the best for last — an advanced present from a most unexpected source.  Thank you, Rita (a.k.a. Eurocat), for the beautiful mail art envelope, and better yet, for all the goodies within.  Sometimes you get these little surprises from way out there from people you hardly know but who share the same passion as you.  I take a lot of inspiration from these “friends out there” — and Rita totally took me by surprise and left me smiling from ear to ear.  (Even as I write this..)

 MailArt Gift from Eurocat (Rita) - Front

 
MailArt Gift from Eurocat (Rita) - Back
 

Slow Saturday and my happy mailbox

It’s not even 8pm yet and I’m here in bed, typing away and yes, getting ready to turn in.  It’s surprisingly a very relaxed Saturday evening.  We grabbed burgers from our favorite Bobby’ Burger Palace before heading home, so I was spared the task of whipping something up for dinner tonight.  We even had my mother-in-law taken cared of thanks to lunch at PF Chang’s.

So I’ve tidied up, and while I could be doing yet a last errand before turning in, I’m here trying to wind down.  Not quite done yet, and hoping to get started on some long-term swaps at Swap-bot.com.

I just sent off two mail art envelopes I’m rather proud of but which I don’t want to post yet because I don’t want to pre-empt the surprise.  I took a sturdy envelope and collaged it all over as the theme for this particular swap was Collage Mail Art.  I’m really beginning to like mail art which is not as high-pressure as ATCs and which is more practical in terms of expectation.  I try to do something in line with the recipient’s profile on the swap site, then I add a few elements that relate to mine, which is usually something in reference to New York.  I will wait a few days until the recipients get theirs — might be a while longer, since one headed towards Chicago, and another for Australia.

I haven’t done my “Five Things to do this Weekend” list for two weeks now because life has been awfully busy thanks to work.  I’m looking forward to things easing up a bit the next two weeks, but Monday promises to be a chaotic day.  I usually go through a lot of motions sending off the boss to some foreign land, making sure all arrangements are taken cared of (done), all data required is gathered by his Chief of Staff (presumably done), and that an itinerary is pulled together for the trip.

For the first time, I was pre-empted by someone working for the Chief of Staff who had committed to do the itinerary, and I was more than happy to let the task go to someone else because we’ve really been very busy with a slew of other things that were  equally if not more important than the painstaking task of covering every facet of the trip.  With stops in Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Mumbai and Delhi, I could use all the help I could get.  So I was rather taken aback but not totally surprised that there was a misunderstanding about the itinerary.  They were only taking care of the Tokyo leg, with no information at all on the rest of the trip.  I had no choice but to take over.

I guess the slow weekend is a God-send because it will help me prepare for the week ahead.  I’ve done it before, it will be done, but I hate the stress of having to do something I could’ve started last week and refined in the succeeding days in one day.  But that’s life.

I’m not rushing to complete any other swaps except for one which should be a breeze.  I have a couple of chores which I can easily handle tomorrow.  More letters to write, hand washing to be done, and a piece or two to sew.  I am reminded yet again that I have a fully-functioning electronic sewing machine in the attic.  Although I’m not too sure it still works as it might need oiling after practically more than 12 years of non-use, it’s a pity that it’s sitting there gathering dust.  The truth of the matter is that my art gurus are into sewing paper — yes, paper — and adventurous crafter that I am, why not?  It’ll have to wait another day.

I just sent off this card today which was inspired by the artwork of Nicoletta Ceccoli.  Her art is rather unusual and dark, but the colors and the soft lines mesmerized me.  I’m hooked.

Printing the graphic on thin kraft paper also lends it a softening touch.

Handmade card by Gotham Chick

The kraft paper I used here was rather thin that it crinkled when I pasted it with mod podge onto the main card.  I left it at that.  I also used two coats to “seal” the collage including the simple word art.  I like the way glossy mod podge gives a linen-like finish to the surface giving it a soft gloss that seals the work flat.

I’ve also experimented on printing straight onto newsprint — as in literally onto a sheet folded to size from a newspaper (my printer has regular paper limitations, unfortunately, ) and the result has been magical.  It seems to ‘magnetize’ the paper, though and makes it initially difficult to handle, but it gives a glossy sheen much like what we see in glossy magazines.  (I had always thought that it was because magazines were printed on glossy paper, which is the case — but it produced the same effect when I printed straight onto newsprint.)  My next batch of mail art used this printed newsprint but again, I cannot as yet post any samples until they have reached their intended destination.  I plan to do this with my personal photography which should make for some interesting compositions.

Meanwhile, here is the mail art I received from my partner, Roxanne (roxswapbot).

Mail Art: Sender's Choice from Roxanne 1 (Front, uncovered)

The “envelope” she used was quite a “teaser” because she had used a soft plastic CD case, giving us a peek into what was inside.  My interest was immediately piqued by the very revealing packaging.

Mail Art: Sender's Choice from Roxanne 2 (Back, unopened)

The packaging was very playful and I didn’t want to just open it although I was dying to see the contents within.  I waited patiently for the chance to be able to do it when I could photograph it as the little presents within were revealed to me.

Here are some close up details of the outer packaging before I opened it:

Mail Art: Sender's Choice from Roxanne 3 (Close up of removable sticker at the back)

Mail Art: Sender's Choice from Roxanne 4 (Detail in front)

She had used tape extensively, so I knew that once I opened there would be no putting it back together again.  So what was inside?  Have a look:

Mail Art: Sender's Choice from Roxanne 5 - metal alpha

My name spelled out in a very unusual metal die-cut alpha.  That alone made me happy already.  And there was that turqoise-tissue wrapped teeny-weenie package… what could possibly be in it?

Mail Art: Sender's Choice from Roxanne 6 - first package within uncovered

Ta-da!  Inside were two pewter charms of a pair of dice.. (Someone read my profile extensively!)  So next I opened the tiny envelope which revealed a mini-treasure trove of its own..  More goodies!

Mail Art: Sender's Choice from Roxanne 7 - Envelope within

And she could’ve stopped with the metal beads!  Yet another package…
Mail Art: Sender's Choice from Roxanne 8 - tiny package within upclose

And inside was yet another present —

Mail Art: Sender's Choice from Roxanne 9 - another charm within

This unique charm of a token-like charm with a cupcake imprint that said  “good for one Birthday Wish”.  (Closing my eyes to make that wish now even if it wasn’t until April!)

Happiness.. you can see that she had put together a truly well thought-out package for her partner… and I can only imagine what the second of two partners had received.  But I have no cause to be envious because I got quite a present.

I am often tempted to feature the items I receive in the swaps, but I’m afraid to start a precedent which might lead to other senders feeling bad if I don’t post their items here.  I am often pressed for time posting my own work — and that would give me a major backlog given the swaps I’m in.  This was an exception because I learned a lot from what Roxanne had put into my envelope and because it was truly a delight opening each “layer” of the package.

We usually rate with a 5 and a heart for such outstanding swaps like this one, but I would’ve wanted to rate her with a dozen hearts but I can’t.  The least I could do was share the joy here in my little corner because joy indeed, is what she had brought me.

Mail Art by Gotham Chick

I’ve been a member of Swap-bot.com for a half year now and I’m still learning.

I principally joined upon the urging of Kat (of CuriosaKat) who I had bumped into in the Postcrossing  Philippines group on Facebook.  I initially resisted the urge to do Artist Trading Cards or ATCs but I eventually gave in and have enjoyed it.  Mail art, however, is something new.  I did try to join a decorated envie (or envelope)  swap at the start, but I got scolded for not understanding the instructions.  I had made the envelope, decorated it, and sent it in another envelope.  I didn’t realize (stupid me) that I was supposed to decorate the envelope, stamp it and send it on its merry way.  (Lesson learned..)  I had to resend, and I got my rating of 5.

Sometime in December, though, I had gotten overwhelmed, overcommitting myself — and I ended up with delays that caused two ratings of 3.  (Ratings are important to join other swaps.. it’s the equivalent of street cred in the swap community.)

The two below were mail art I created for a recent swap.  I’m going at it again with another swap this weekend, and I think I”m getting the hang of it. Some very interesting mail art have maid it to my box and if my pictures come out okay, I will be posting them here soon.

These were made by printing over repurposed brown bags… they came up very grungy which was the effect I wanted to produce, and some printed stickers I picked from the web.
Mail Art by Gothamchick

Mail Art by Gothamchick

Mail Art by Gotham Chick

Newspaper Postcard Collage: Almost caught up

Between the Altered Book and my postcards, I am slowly catching up with the backlog.  I’m actually missing only one date now in August, and by the weekend, I would’ve completed my first month of Newspaper Postcard Collages.  Wow.

I actually like going through them when I can, and I’m trying to “seal” them with mod podge to protect them from getting damaged.  I like that these projects that keep me on my toes are actually not that time sensitive, to the point that I get stressed out about it.  A day at a time, I tell myself.

Below is an exception to my headlines which is actually a collecting category of and by itself: Recipes.  I don’t collect them and only do them on the postcards thinking that there might be someone who might become interested some day to get one of mine.  Hmmmm…  For now, I’m enjoying “chronicling” the headlines from day to day between THE NEW YORK TIMES and THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

[57] Mail Art: Newspaper Collage Postcard - The New York Times, 29Aug2012 #2

Click HERE to view the Album on FLICKR

Postcard Weekend

I had hoped to get some art journaling done, but the whole weekend has been POSTCARDS, POSTCARDS and more POSTCARDS.  I’m not complaining.  The return to collecting has been rejuvenating, and while I have received postcards, I’ve started getting rid of some of the mint postcards I have which are not within my collecting interests.  More importantly, I’ve started sorting out my collection and putting them together in a more organized fashion.  I’m still missing some important portions of my collection which must be in an unmarked box in the attic.

Postcards from Philippines, The: Map 1I spent late Saturday afternoon sweating it out up there and went down with what I know is my “secondary” map collection.  I have quite a task ahead photographing them for the my Flickr set on Map Postcards.  I also found my more recent Philippine postcards.  (I have around 50 postcards to upload so as of tonight, I only have one Philippine map there.)

The weekend was quiet but productive.  I didn’t go to Michael’s Friday but managed to go Saturday.  I didn’t grab much — just more acrylic paint dabbers which I hope will get me going on the art journaling.  I’ve also started an altered book.  Figured I have so many “junk” books — books that I grabbed from clean ups in the office which were brand new but which are of no interest to me.  So today, I started painting the pages with backgrounds, experimenting with watercolor, gesso and acrylic paint.  I’m learning.

Lessons learned:

– Watercolor seeps through the page which made it necessary for me to gesso the next page.

– Gesso does stick — although just a little.

– Acrylic paint on a blank ungessoed page will cover the text

– I have to learn to work with a protective backing between pages as I paint (and so I cut a plastic folder in two, putting one sheet under the current sheet I’m working on).

I took off the dust jacket and covered the hard cover with masking tape.  I haven’t quite decided what I will do with that for the cover, but I do know that I had to protect it from the paint.

In sorting through my materials, too, I found some old printouts of pictures taken during one of my trips to Paris.  I had printed out some pictures with a lot of motion in them as there was a time I was fascinated by the images you caught when the images were blurred, or when the lights formed lines in the picture as the lens attempted to capture as much light as it could.  I have cut them up and will try to incorporate them in some mail art.  The pressure is on as some colleagues from IUOMA are going to start sending mail art, so I have to start producing.

I didn’t get the tools out but I did start sorting my findings again.  (Getting there.)  I have emptied two containers to make room for more to store away.  I have put the polymer clay in a box.  The best thing is, I relisted at least 5 items in my Gotham Chick shop on Etsy.  Hooray for that!  I want the store to be fully stocked in time for the holidays…

It’s another Sunday making me wish there was another day to the weekend, or that tomorrow wasn’t Monday yet.  But it is.  Work awaits.  I’m hoping I wake up early enough and that I don’t have to be stressed out about making it to my 8:30am start.  Monday’s here again.  I’d like to think of the start of the week with positive vibes — no matter how I really feel about it all.  One thing I’ve learned is that my outlook on things can change the way things look or feel — and that’s what keeps me going.

I can let a joke slide and tell myself that though that hurts, I cannot say anything.  I shouldn’t say anything.  Mistakes I have made have put me in that position, so as they say, I have to just suck it up.  In one ear, out the other.  It’s something I owe that I will never get to pay back — even through my lifetime.  So I don’t say anything.  I take a deep breath, and I go on.

My latest Newspaper Collage Postcard