#ThingsToDoIn2016: This year’s list

16in2016 (2)I started something in 2015 which saw me going back and forth to a list I had written at the end of the year before.  It was a list of goals of things I wanted to accomplish — from the mundane and ordinary to first time things I wanted to do.  I did periodic updates and tried to be guided by that list, and while I didn’t quite get to successfully accomplish all of them, having the tasks served as a reminder of my focus for the year.  So here is this year’s list, partly taken from the previous year’s.

1.  Read six books. – Take two.  Right now I’m in the middle of reading the second book of what I had hoped would be six last year.  I have the month to finish that and hopefully get this done in 2016.  (#6BooksIn2016)

2. Plan my trip to Boston. – Boston has officially given me an invitation to visit and I am planning to do that, but hopefully when the temperatures ease up a bit.  While it has been a temperate winter, you never know how much snow is in the horizon and they get a ton of it on that side of the coast!

3. Learn something new via an actual class every quarter of 2016.  I’ve been hit with a slew of “I want to learn..” moments, and among these are (1) sewing, (2) proper pearl stringing, (3) proper knitting.  I have all these projects churning in my head and if I find the time, I know I can get to it.

4.  Watch at least 1 concert.  I will try to make this a less ambitious task by actually not specifying which one.  Maybe I will get to do it in 2016.

5.  Go to the gym at least once a week — and maybe even earn a locker!  (Go 10x the previous month and you get YOUR OWN LOCKER the following month.) – After losing half the weight I gained over the holidays in the first week of 2016, I am inspired to think this is something I can definitely do better at this year.

6. Lose another 10 lbs at least by April this year.  (Lost over 20 in 2014 and maintained my weight in 2015.) – I have a few more to get to my pre-2015 holiday weight.  I think 10 before April should be reasonable, unless I go berserk again when I eat.

7. On positivity: Get the ball rolling on the Thank You Postcard Project – I must confess that the concept is there but I am a having a difficult time zeroing in on the mechanics.  So first quarter, figure that one out.  Q2 produce the postcards.  Q3 and Q4, roll out.

8.  Find a rehearsal studio and actually spend an hour just touching the piano keys again.  Hopefully in the spring.

9.  Work more earnestly on my craft blog.  It pains me to see that my last post in that corner was in October yet.  I had promised to post regularly and unlike here where I post spontanously, I tailorfit my writing to take on a certain slant over there.  52 posts in 2016.. that’s the goal.

10. Work on creating one piece every week, whether for sale in the shop, a gift for friends or to wear myself.– That means 52 pieces for the year.. easily doable!

11. Leave one pre-loved book out in the open once a month for someone else to enjoy/read. –  I am going to get this going by choosing the 12 books to give away.  I think one reason it was forgotten was that I never got down to doing that and I didn’t make a conscious effort to get it rolling.  Now that I am actually trying to declutter, I think I’ll make this a weekend project and start it off this month.

12. Write one long hand letter or card every month.  As someone who loves to receive handwritten notes or letters or cards, I actually enjoy writing them as well.  Besides trying to keep the post office relevant

13.  Start a new Art Journal.  The Art Journal I’m working on has been a work in progress since September 2012.  I think it’s about time I closed it but there are still some layouts left to be done.  I haven’t written or drawn there as much as I had hoped in the last couple of months, but I’m trying to catch up.

14. Destash: Give 5 items away from my current stash (clothes, books, art supplies, postcards) every month beginning March.  I am so ready to part with things and I had sent two balikbayan boxes home with old clothes and things I no longer have any use for.  I think for 2016, I will create little packages to send to friends who I know will enjoy them more, or to leave behind for strangers to find.

15.  Write poetry again.  I have not written any poetry since I arrived here in New York, 15 years ago.  So that’s a lot of catching up to do.

16.  Celebrate my birthday by doing 50 feel-good deeds.  I saw an ad yesterday morning which had this blurb: “Simply waking up is amazing.”  Isn’t that so true?  We really need to appreciate life more by giving back.  I’ll keep it at that for now.  But I truly believe that one good way of showing how grateful we are is by sharing what we have.  I don’t have much, but I think I have enough to keep me in good shape, and I have just enough to still be able to share.

Wish me luck on this year’s list — but somehow, I’m doubly confident that I will get more accomplished.  It can only get better.

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…

Friday Five – Shifting gears

When I started writing this post, I didn’t feel good at all that I thought I didn’t have much progress to report this week.  But then I am here proofing the post and I realize I didn’t do so bad after all.  Last week, I aimed to:

1.  Write more letters.  Yes and no.  One of the letters I had hoped to mail got stuck with me, so I did write an addition.  Does that count?

2.  List new items. Not quite there but I am working on it.  Photographing and editing the pictures for posting can take a while.  I’ve photographed them and am halfway through editing.  Maybe this weekend?

3.  Create more polymer clay beads and additional pieces for posting.  I have another batch that has been baked and another set ready for baking.  I’m experimenting with the transluscent variety and am really liking the end product.

Polymer clay discs- experimenting

4.  Sort and store away the postcards that are “out” in the open.  They are still out in the open.  (Obviously didn’t get to this one.)

5.  Work on a THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT blog post and continue on with the project.   I feel like this should actually be struck out in bold because I did manage to make substantial progress as far as creating the postcards, but writing has been difficult to make time for.  Did you see my badge on the widget bar to the right?  So proud of that!  Again, more this weekend.  (I am hopeful.)

zentangledthankyoupostcardcolored
Should I be worried that I keep repeating the list and not being able to tick off what’s enumerated there?  I might have to rethink what I list down.  Where it was supposed to make accomplishing my tasks during the weekend easier to accomplish, I haven’t been making much progress.

So let’s try another tack this week.  I’m making the list very specific.  Measurable, as they say.  Here’s my new Friday Five:

1.  Write on the postcards I meant to send out to friends in Manila.  I have the postcards on my desk, just have to find my stamps and the addresses.

2.  Work on the hem of at least one pair of pants.  What can I say — I’m cheap.  I don’t see the rationale behind paying someone close to $10 per pair of pants when the nuns taught me how to sew well.  (Plus, I just bought some pins to help me keep it together — “aspile” as we used to call it back home.)

3.  Create my first THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT teaser video.   I have over a hundred slides to play with but I am being too meticulous with the timing and in picking the slides to actually use.  (Too much going on with this project!)

4.  Create a pair or two of earrings from my polymer clay discs.  I actually can’t wait to do this for myself!

5.  Go back to reading and praying with my daily Kerygma literature.  At the end of the day, this one is ready to be ticked off the list.

Not bad, after all.

Friday Five (after a week-long silence)

For some reason, I haven’t been “here”, so my last post was last week’s Friday Five.  This is becoming a bit staid, don’t you think?  I think it just reflects how my life has been.  Not particularly busy, but moving in all directions.. or not.  It’s hard to explain, so before I blabber on, let me put down my progress report on last week’s Friday Five:

So let’s move forward with our usual list.. Last week, this is what I had set to do:

1.  Write more letters.  I managed to finish at least another one.  And that’s good enough.

2.  Post more than just relisted items in the shop. Uhm.. next please.

3.  Finish at least one more background at the end of my altered book. Believe it or not, I did this background as I hit “publish” on the previous week’s post.  I took out a plain white paper napkin, tore off the second layer and sprayed and waited for it to dry.  See below.

I think it’ll need at least a coat of Mod Podge — to follow.

Friday five, The Thank You Postcard Project

4.  Create more polymer clay beads.  I got busy making pieced flower doodles.  So this’ll be something to do this weekend.

5.  Continue building my THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT blog and completing more pieces.  No on the blog, but yes to more pieces…  I’m not too happy about the ones you see here, but it’s a start.  At least I know now what I don’t want to do.

This weekend’s Friday Five:

1.  Write more letters.  

2.  List new items. (Meaning to create one of my multi-charm necklaces per Lou’s query on pricing.  Coming soon!)

3.  Create more polymer clay beads and additional pieces for posting.  I am determined to work on my transluscent clay this weekend. I tried creating a transluscent cane midweek but wasn’t happy at all with the results.  So I’m trying something else.  I also stacked the beads and discs that have been baked and it makes me want to create more..

4.  Sort and store away the postcards that are “out” in the open.  I haven’t been good with this but hope to send out what I can and store what I should.  The postcard collector in the Pinay New Yorker has been in exile… bring her back!!!

5.  Work on a THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT blog post and continue on with the project.  I must confess that this project has been a very good “escape” for me, be it in its very essence (trying to spread some kindness to the rest of the world postally) or in working on its elements (like doodling and cutting and assembling the pieced paper flowers).  Will it ever get off the ground?  Hopefully.

The thank you postcard project

Not for anything but I might not be back until next Friday.  I will try.  This is not a good week for me but I am trying to stay positive.

Robin William’s passing has made me think of many things I want to write about.  As a fan, a parent, someone struggling against her own bouts of being lost.  But that’s another blog post altogether.  It might be too hard to write right now, but I will get to it.

There are many things I am reflecting on after finding myself celebrating yet another milestone here — 15 years in the US.  It feels like half a lifetime.  I don’t feel there is anything to celebrate, but there are many things to reflect upon.  So reflect, I will.

I am trying to conquer the angry demons in my heart.  I don’t like how negative thoughts weigh me down.  So I think of being thankful — I try to concentrate on that.  I don’t like how my anxiety creeps up on me as I sleep.  I end up staying up so late trying to avoid closing my eyes.

I wait until I cannot postpone sleep any longer so that when I put my head down, sleep comes quickly.

Have a restful weekend, everyone.

Friday Five – Getting there

Can you believe summer’s almost over?  It’s August!!  I think I’ve done pretty well for summer although there’s still a lot that I need to take care of.  Soon enough.  I know trying not to stress about it has a tendency to get me complacent and totally behind.  But the intention is there.

There are days when it’s hard enough to get one foot in front of the other so to speak.  When you think about the so-called “big picture”, you realize there are so many cogs and wheels running through your whole life.  So many little things making up the “whole”.  Baby steps, some say.  It’ll eventually get you moving forward.

So let’s move forward with our usual list.. Last week, this is what I had set to do:

1.  Write those letters.  Yes, I got one done, but I hope to write more!

2.  Post the almost finished bracelets and necklaces in the shop.  This will have to go to the following week.

3.  Finish at least one more background at the end of my altered book.  I tried, but I’ve been journalinlg!

4.  Create more polymer clay beads.  In progress..

5.  Complete a bunch of THANK YOU POSTCARDS.  Does one count?

Zentanglef, Black and white postcard
I still have the weekend to accomplish something.  But here’s my next Friday Five:

1.  Write more letters.  

2.  Post more than just relisted items in the shop.  I have a bunch of items that expired over the last couple of days which I have relisted, but I want the shop to continue to grow.  I need to create more pieces.  I think one stumbling block is that I keep wanting to create “new” designs but I have a ton to work with by using what I already have.

3.  Finish at least one more background at the end of my altered book.  Work has been busy because of my vacation last week so I haven’t had much free time.  Things will hopefully ease up this coming week and I will be able to take this off my list next week.

4.  Create more polymer clay beads.  I’ve done great progress here although I’m waiting until the weekend to bake them.  Instead of concentrating on ‘pieces’, I’m trying just focus on “beads” and I’ve had more success there.

5.  Continue building my THANK YOU POSTCARD PROJECT blog and completing more pieces.  I’m still a little hesitant to “launch” the project because I want all the little pieces to be ready.  I think I’m doing okay as it is.  There is really no deadline for the project and I’d rather wait when it’s ready rather than scramble to pull something together and then have it all blow up in my face.

There are times when I want to just keep going and keep drawing or creating through the night.  I literally have to drag myself back to bed as I remind myself there’s work the following day.  But at least it’s Friday!!  Weekend’s here…

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!

 

 

Friday Five Take 2

Two out of five isn’t all that bad:

1.  Write the letters and mail them.  

2.  Keep posting in the Etsy Shop and keep the Etsy Group going!  

3.  Destash my supplies and magazines.   I am proud to say I got started on this.

4.  Box the clothes that Angelo is no longer using.  Getting on with this.

5.  Kick off my Thank You Project.   Although I have not done any announcement or post about it, the previous week was all about starting the postcard backgrounds and the last three days, coming up with one themed embellishment set.  So yes, I’ve kicked it off.

Here’s my list for this week:

1.  Write the letters and mail them.  I will keep this here until I actually get a letter off to the post office.

2.  Keep posting in the Etsy Shop and keep the Etsy Group going!  I’ve been experimenting with new wire methods but will make sure to post at least one item over the weekend!

3.  Deal with Angelo’s leftover school supplies from the previous year and get rid of what I am not keeping.  This needs a whole post in itself and I will write about it as I do it.

4.  Box the clothes that Angelo is no longer using. I’m hoping to finish this up this weekend.

5.  Write the introductory post about my Thank You Project.  It’s been two weeks since I thought about doing this project and with all the effort I’ve put into it, might as well. Watch out for that.

My post has to be short and sweet because we’re getting ready to watch a show in one of those big reclining chair theaters this morning.  Hope everyone is having a good weekend!