Monday, October 31, 2011

Yeiy, A Mood Board

I have been putting together mood boards for quite some time, and they are often mood boards on clothing and rooms in the home which follow a specific theme or color scheme. But I have never created a mood board that is supposed to show more of Me - what my personal style is, what I like, what would illustrate my character more.

So I'm just supposed to make one, taking from things I already own, putting them into one limited space so that I do not end up all over the place. Excited, I began "shopping for fluff" around my room, until I had so many things in my hands and thought, I'm not supposed to illustrate my life and all the activities I do onto one rectangular space. I'm supposed to find things that really interest me and inspire me and which are main manifestations of what I like and what I am.

To make it easier, I took note of three elements that NEED to be present in the mood board. These three elements are among the most common things present in most, if not all, my choices for almost anything.

1. Cute (or Pretty) Oddities
2. Japanese elements
3. Colors in My color scheme (I keep a palette which I refer to all the time)

I ended up making three mood boards, stopping at the third one because it was the one that felt Right, at least until its next evolution. The first two did not feel they were It yet. The first one had too many small elements; there are so many things that they look like the random thoughts partying in my brain.

A Colorful Festival of Random Cute Elements

It had all the things I like, mostly things which people who know me would say are "So Peachie." However, I was not satisfied because it looked like a messy shared cork board of cute, random stuff and I do not know where to look exactly. The colors I love are all there, but the Japanese and the Odd are not distinct and are having Way Too Much Group Hug in there.

So I decided to just use one specific background instead of several layers of varying colors and designs, and placed fewer small items.

A Slightly Tidied Desk of a Busy Teenager

It still did not come out right, as it just looked less messy, but still chaotic. But this time I realized I do want to include at least one or two of my own handmade items, to add more of the purple color too. I also realized that since the colors are all already there, I just need to assign where the Japanese and the Odd elements would go. So I decided to make the board have a Japanese feel to it, with the Oddities as main elements. 

Cute Oddities Wrapped in Japanese Elements

I also used bigger pieces and avoided layering them so much. Now, the Treedweller is more visible, and Kaonashi (Mr. No Face on the shelf) and Totoro (and his dust bunnies and vegetables) have more room to themselves. On the sides are more of the pretty, Japanese, and other odd elements. 

By doing this mood board, although it took me some time, I was finally able to put together various things that show my personal preferences and style, which I will then use as a reference to keep my blogs and various accounts consistent in terms of personality and character. I think this will also help me decide when choosing designs for anything else so that I am not scattered all over the place. So I think more people should make mood boards, especially those who have yet to find their personal style and how they can make their character emerge or be more visible, i.e. have a stronger presence and statement. Then, as everyone goes along, the mood boards can evolve too! (^^,)

(Looking at my mood board now, I think I will need to tweak some of my older mood boards for clothes and rooms in the house ^^U It's good though, because they're all getting clearer now ^_^)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Color Cutouts

Years ago, when I still used large planners to keep track of my schedule, I would recycle them by turning them into scrapbooks when the year was over and I would have a nice new neat planner for the new year. The planner-turned-scrapbooks were often a collection of my drawings, unfinished attempts at painting, flattened packaging of favorite products, maps of my invented worlds, and images of pretty things torn out from magazines, all put together in pages after pages of colorful collages. 

Eventually though, I stopped using these large planners especially when I started using a PDA phone. Most of these planners spent their following years sleeping in the shelves, dreaming of these fragments of the past. Many of these planner-turned-scrapbooks also contained bits and pieces of the relationships I had back then. Much later on, the scrapbooks lay forgotten, thick with dust, as they were placed in parts of the shelves with other old files and not-so-interesting books. 

When I learned about clutter clearing, the scrapbooks soon found their way out of the shelves and into their own form of judgment day. I spent hours sorting through all of them and realized some were too angsty for me to keep and while some images looked nice, they also presented unhappy memories or moments of resigned sadness. So after their judgment day, most of them found their way into the trash. (^^U)

I saved a few images though, including a set of "small paintings" which I cut out from several pages. I cut them out because some were glued with images I did not want to keep. I do not remember anymore when I made these little attempts, but I would guess it was some time in the early 2000. I remember though that it was a time I discovered some coloring materials and I wanted to see their colors, so I doodled away on small pieces of paper which I stuck to the scrapbook, which I eventually cut out for keeping. 

Cutouts of the Little Paintings

I am not sure yet what to do with them, but I am likely to use them as material for other handmade crafts, using their colors instead of the actual images on them. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Enthusiastic About Eaton

So we stayed in Eaton Smart Hotel, where everything is clean and comfortable and where everyone is accommodating and able to make our stay a very comfortable one. Location-wise, it was perfect because we just practically walked to the places where we wanted to go, and there was a 711 just right across. At the end of each day or late in the afternoon, going back to our room was totally like going back to a Hong Kong home XD Some comments and feedback we found online prior to booking said that the rooms were too small, but we think the size was just perfect. There was no wasted space and the lighting was the perfect balance of bright and cozy. The room also had a big window so we had natural light during the day time. We also did not need to ask for anything else as everything is available in the room and are efficiently replenished. One morning we woke up super late and the whole time I left the Do Not Disturb light on outside our door, so they just left a message card that we can just call them when we wish to have the room cleaned. I did not make the request anymore since we were hardly in the room that day, but when we came back in the evening, they still took the time to clean our room and put everything in order. The hotel room was so comfortable that I loved coming "home" to it as much as I loved going out and getting to know our area's day-to-day. 

Superior Room

I only remembered I forgot to fill out their feedback form when we were already in the taxi on the way to the airport. I wanted to give nice comments (^_^) Fortunately, they emailed me and sent me a feedback survey which I gladly answered! (*^_^*) Mostly, I picked the Strongly-Agrees except for those which I cannot say much about since I either did not avail of the service or I did not have the opportunity to experience. Generally I gave a good review. On the last part were some questions about suggestions and I just wrote down one, but said that otherwise, our stay was perfect and everyone, especially the nice guy who brought us to our taxi for departure, was very nice. Minutes later, I received an email from Stan Chau, Eaton's manager, saying that they will make the suggested change some time in early 2012. (^_^) I was so pleasantly surprised because I thought my comment was so tiny and irrelevant (coffee mugs) compared to whatever other guests might have suggested and was not expecting them to even consider it (*^_^*) 

Mr. Mug is happy to be included (although not this particular mug of course) XD (image from kaboodle)

Because of its perfect location and its very comfortable setup, we are already very likely to stay in the same hotel next time, but now it has an even warmer and more homey feel for me XD 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Last Quarter Travel (^_^)

Yay (^_^)

My sister and I thought our trip would not push through due to lack of projects and writing assignments. But after fixing budgets and receiving help from unexpected sources, we will be able to go this coming week (^_^) The flight has been booked as early as February or March and we only needed budget for accommodations and daily expenses, since we do not really intend to shop big time. We are going more for some quality away-from-everything time, as with most of our other trips. We can also simply enjoy cheaper yet good and substantial meals like we did in Singapore (^_^)

Noodles! (image from Pusheen)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Pixlr

I remember a recent conversation with my sister about the time we first became hooked on reading. In her case, it was a summer, and a friend told her about visiting the town library and borrowing books during the summer since there were no school books to read. Being curious about a new source of learning, she ventured into the library of our childhood hometown, and discovered the never ending worlds she can explore through books. I think she was in 6th grade. 

Books brought her everywhere (image from we heart it)

Being six years younger, I just tagged along, curious about the library but not really the books. Eventually I grew to like the silence and the lazy motion of the people in the library, and the smell of the books. I was still not very much into reading though. I preferred to look at the picture books from the children's section, but I eventually grew bored looking at more or the less the same kinds of images. I tried reading grown-up books, but I found the stories too heavy or too grown-up, so I would go the section with the hardbound books with lots of pictures. I came across several books of diseases, felt sick after seeing all the photos, and decided never to go back there again. 

Since I have always been naturally drawn to pretty and colorful things, I sought enjoyment in looking at the rows of books in different colors, and occasionally picked one to read, though I never finished anything. All those times, my sister fattened up her brain by reading hundreds of books every summer since that first time, while I tagged along and fattened up my eyes by looking at colors and pictures that I could find in various parts of the library. Sometimes, I pretended to be a nameless girl who happened to wander into some mansion and then I would look for some Secret Door. One time I did, and it was ajar, and I got scared, so I stopped. 

It was until a few years later when I was in 6th grade myself that I got hooked. It was Anne of Green Gables that did it. It was the first book I ever read and finished in a short span of time. After that I read all the seven books that followed it. I even read Anne of Green Gables twice before I had the chance to read the second book. It was then that I discovered the Joy of Reading. 

One of the many depictions of Anne (image from ladies in waiting book club)

Since then, I have always looked forward to summers when I had more time to read. I looked forward to going to the library, and I looked forward to the evenings when all is quiet and I can just read and read until I fall asleep. I would always get that tingling sensation when I am on a comfortable chair and I am about to start a new book. I knew that even if they were not picture books, I would still see different worlds and people and things that are pretty in their own way, and they are even better in these books because I get to see them clearly in my mind. 

In the Anne series, I saw how pretty the fields are and how pretty their dresses were. In another book about a Chinese girl, I saw how pretty her silk dresses were and how beautiful her hair was. Even in the Stephen King books, I saw how beautiful the story was weaved so that I could not sleep at night, wondering if another me will call me on the phone or I will wake up someplace without a smell and be chased by eaters of the past. 

When I became a high school student, until I got to college, I hardly had time to read, because I was at that point when I was too busy reading the actions of people around me. I only got to read leisurely again when I started working, but as I moved upward, I lost time again. 

For the past couple of years I have allowed myself more time to read. As for my sister, she has read mountains of books. She reads much faster and is more addicted to books than I am. 

Even with the availability of books and sources online and the ease and practicality of Kindle, my sister and I still want to have our own personal library - filled with books that we love - books that we want to collect and would love to read again. Given all the technology that we have now, there are books we still want to keep the old-fashioned way - as regular books that will eventually turn brown in the pages and smell funny. This is also why I still include bookmarks among my handmade crafts. We will always be able to use them. Also, apart from us, I'm sure there are other book lovers out there who want to preserve their favorite non-digital books. Maybe I can share some bookmarks ~ even books, thoughts, and ideas to those who want to share too (^_^)

Handmade bookmark I recently gave my sister, made "Anne" (coincidentally) via pixlr (^_^)



Monday, October 10, 2011

"Nothing Happens Without A Purpose"

"Remember you crossed that path because you had to cross that path. Nothing happens without purpose."

A line shared to me by my sister from a letter written to her by a friend. 

I have been hearing and reading this and different versions of this since I was young, but only as I grew into an adult that I have begun to understand it fully. When I was young, I was always resistant to anything that I did not like, especially if it went against my plans. Now, it is not that I always cheerfully accept when something does not go my way, but I begin to see more and more the role of each thing, person, or situation as part of a whole bigger picture. I look back and see how even the seemingly most "horrible" experiences in the past played their part into creating what is in the Now. So now, even if I still feel disappointed or disheartened by some things, most of the time, I realize sooner that it is something that has to happen or I have to go through in order to make way for where I should be or where I want to be. Sometimes, even without thinking about things as they take place, I just realize later on how things effortlessly worked out on their own. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

More Pages on My Time Book

Starting today, I have more pages on my Time Book. 

I took them from Facebook. 

This morning, I deleted my last few maintained games in Facebook. I used to have a lot when I was new to Facebook over a couple of years ago. Eventually, I started taking out some because I was either bored with them or they ate up too much time. Then, the last few that remained, have already been removed from my Facebook Apps as well. So I left a Sims group I was part of, and said goodbye to all my Game Neighbors, thanking them for all the fun I had with them. 

Then I just deleted everything. 

The chunks of time which went to them before will now go to other things. Even if they were small chunks of time, they could easily build up to much larger chunks. So they might as well go to More Important Things XD

If I want to spend more time crafting, reading, studying, and finishing my Playstation, DS, and Wii games, the smaller things will just have to go, especially if they are not really contributing to anything right now. Back then, when they were all new to me, they played a role in my then busy life, which they no longer play now in an even busier life. And it's busier in a Good Way. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Inspiration

This morning, I picked from a spread of mantra cards.

Today, I will be: Inspiration

I do not know whom I am inspiring right now, if any (^^U) But I think this is an important reminder for me to Be in such a way that can be inspiring to others, and ultimately to myself. It's like living and practicing what I tell my mom, my sister, or my friends so that more than just being able to give them advice and guidance, I can also Show them, and other people, the same advice and guidance. I guess it's like what is said about Teaching Without Words. 

Kendo-wise, even if I am not in a position to be anyone's inspiration (^^U), I can still Be in a way that can possibly inspire others. This is where everything I have read and shared with others come in, in the form of my own actions:

  • Leaving "baggages" outside the dojo
  • Focusing on what I need to learn and doing things as best as I can
  • Seeing and appreciating what others can share
  • Finding joy in what I do
  • Finding peace inside me

These are just general examples since I need to prepare soon and I don't think I really need to Go Into Details. (=^_^=) But basically, it's about being the person who, if I were someone else, would inspire me to be the best that I can be. 

It is not really about Trying To Be A Person Whom Others Want To Be Like, but it's being someone who inspires others to be their best selves. If this sort of Inspiration Energy got around from one person to another, think of the marvelous thing that can do to a place full of people. (^_^)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mr. Tenki

First there was Mr. Time, and then there was Mr Tenki. XD

My sister said when I started talking about Mr. Tenki she suddenly had this image of Mr. Time and Mr. Tenki looking like variations of (the coolest) Death:

Death (image from nerds in babeland)

Anyway, Mr. Tenki came into the picture (and into my life in Mr. Tenki form) when I was trying to make a decision about where I will take Mr. Time today. Because I slept Super Late because of Supernatural, and I woke up Super Early, I had to adjust some To Dos because I was just not in the right condition to do some of them (hence I am here right now, instead of practicing kendo OTL). But during my decision making process, Mr. Tenki started raining hard, cheered on by Thor. And then he said to me:

Oh look, I am so strong. I am ruining some schedules. Just like last week. 

He did not mean that in an I-am-enjoying-ruining-schedules-sort-of-way though. It was more matter-of-factly. 

And then I asked, so should I go? If I go tonight, I will need to take a nap in order to practice properly. But if I take a nap, Mr. Time will leave me again and anything that he leaves behind will be my only time to finish my articles. I shouldn't have slept so late. 

Mr. Tenki: *rains*

So I promised myself, next week, no matter where I sleep (Tuesday night I slept over at my sister's house, and when I sleep over there or she sleeps over here, we find ourselves immersed in Deep Conversations, like Sims characters, and Mr. Time would have totally left us for a long time by the time we realize it), I will sleep on time so I can wake up by sunrise and feel like a person instead of a zombie. 

Some time during the promise-making and the time my sister suggested (the first part via instant messaging, the second part via text message, since... see next part) that I just use up today for working and doing other things which I can manage to do without taking a nap beforehand, Mr. Tenki screamed at me and the car alarms in the neighborhood seemed to go off, and there was a sudden power outage at my sister's area, cutting our chat conversation short. 

I might ruin schedules today *rains* But if yours is ruined, I have nothing to do with it. It's all just you. 

Like I didn't know that.

So next week, and the weeks after that, are promises of following my schedule. Last night's Castiel dream was not even worth it because I just briefly saw him and he was alone... not with Dean XD ...or with me. I think he was just passing by. You know, like Mr. Time. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Catching Up with Mr. Time

Last night, I got a wee bit sad because I felt that Mr. Time ran off again and did not even pause to wait for me to catch up. I know I had a conversation with him before wherein he said (in a nice, manly voice :D) he has always been with me except that there were lots of occasions when I'd be too busy paying him any attention and I find myself having wasted so much of him on less important things. Since then, I have been more conscious when he sits by me and I make sure I make it all worth his/my time. 

However, yesterday seemed to fly by so fast, that I felt like he barely even said hi, and next thing I know, it was night time, and I was scrambling to finish many things. It's like there is not enough time in a day all of a sudden. 

This also made me feel panicky and sad because I have been working so hard to save up for this month's Hong Kong trip, and since time seems to move so fast, I feel like I do not have enough time to raise the amount I need. So many other things in my To Do list seem to eat up the time I need for working and writing, and sometimes by the time I need to sit down and write, it is as if my brain has been sucked dry and even More Time is used up just trying to squeeze out words from me. 

I read though, that things happen, even if they do not seem good at first, to give way to something else. So I guess I had to go through that phase, which happens rarely anyway, for me to do even better in making the most out of the hours I have. Maybe I needed that push for me to keep going even when I feel tired or mentally dried up, and I will eventually be able to catch up again.

And then to inspire me to work as much as I can for my Hong Kong trip this quarter, Asobi Seksu sang to me as I took my early morning walk today, while enjoying some chilled dragonfruit. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Into the Second Week

It's the first day of the second week since the workshop, when we started implementing changes into our routines and schedule. There were some things I was able to finish, particularly those that I just need to fix or create at the start, and the rest would just be updates and maintenance. I was also able to stick to some daily Must-Dos. However, the incorporation of these changes resulted to my lack of sleep since I was still adjusting, and I got too excited about many of them which sometimes added to erratic scheduling. By the end of the first week, I was feeling spent and I felt all the effects of the sudden adjustments catching up. It's still a good thing, though, because I know Things Are Happening. However, because there were some targets I set which turned out to be too high, I spent the weekend kind of resting from the new routine. Hence, yesterday's supposed craft day will be moved to this coming Sunday. I did not feel bad though for moving it, nor for not being able to make all the initial changes with many things, since they all take up time. But I know that after this stage, things just need to be maintained and updated. And because I took the time to recharge, I have more smoothly eased into this new week with its changes :) Plus, I made some changes too with regard to the order of doing some things, to see which one would be most efficient for me. 

So, now I'm off to do some writing. Happy Monday!! (^___^)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Nice Start

I realize that it's the first day of the month (or was, since it is technically almost 1 am of October 2nd) and I started the month with kendo XD (Well actually it was first mainly organizing my tumblr accounts but that was supposed to be for tonight, but I did it in the morning because I had the compulsion to do that instead, which I let myself do, because it is in line with some bigger things.)

Practice was great as usual and I am glad I lasted considering I hardly did any exercise for the past couple of weeks, as I mentioned. But it does help when I let myself go into some kind of trance-like state during waza, and I am totally focused, that my opponents become faceless and it is just all about Doing Without Doing. Actually, as early as the time I got in, or at least after I recovered from the Temporary State of Kilig upon running into someone in the rain, I was immediately on a somewhat different state, and I don't know if it has to do with being away for a while, but perhaps it does. From the start to the end I just felt.... peaceful, for lack of a better term.

There was also a minor surprise which reminded me immediately of having faith in the way things are. I also remembered what we learned in the workshop - that when we shift our energies and focus to more important things, we may also notice that some things will change, even if a little, because perhaps we will also change how we are perceived to be, which in turn will help with how people connect to us. Of course I acknowledge that things are not always instant, but it still feels good to know that at least I know which direction I am going and why I am going in that direction. With regard to this minor surprise, I would like to take it as a good sign, that things will eventually fall into their proper places, and that includes me - being in the place that is right for me.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Way Things Are... Now

Today I am going back to kendo practice after skipping three practices. I have been taking care of things which I believe will set a better path to where I intend to be eventually. So I took the time to attend to those other things. And while I was at it, I hardly did any other exercise so good luck to me later (^^U)

Each day I read something from my inspirational books, something that I bring with me all day, and think of it especially when I am not quite handling something well. But generally I use it as something to keep in mind all day, to help me and guide me in various ways.

Today it told me to have faith in the way things are. And while I know I should be focusing on my practice and nothing else, sometimes I start having thoughts on how certain things are. But in any case, today, I shall do my best in just focusing on what I have to do and how I am doing it. Anything else beyond that should not distract me or discourage me from striving to do well. And then, of course, I should have faith in the way things are - that there are reasons why some things take place, and that things have their own way of working themselves out.
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