Sunday, April 22, 2012

Coffee, A Museum, and A New (Old) Library

About a couple of days ago, no wait, that was actually Thursday XD ...I have somehow lost track of the weekend like last week, and last Friday until right this moment on a Sunday, I have been a bit disoriented and quite far from my schedule (^^U)

So last Thursday, my sister and I decided to pay our grandma a visit, and to meet up with our aunt because my sister had some dresses she needed to have repaired. Our cousin Jennie also came by and brought her daughter along, and this simple meet-up turned out to be a really fun and heartwarming and spectacular afternoon (^_^)

Three big cups of coffee for me and my sister and our cousin 

We all had an early lunch which our grandma prepared for all of us, then after a while our aunt had to leave for some errands, and our grandma went for her afternoon nap. The four of us (including my niece) decided to go to a nearby coffee shop called InGen Cafe which we discovered was so nice and cozy and served good coffee and delicious desserts. Jennie frequents this place with her husband and daughter, so she brought us there, and it was a nice discovery for me and my sister (^_^) We can already see future bonding moments with our cousin there, or the occasional away-from-the-city retreat which my sister and I intend to have when things get too busy at home or at work, and we need to get away. (The area is still technically part of the city where I currently live, but this is already the older part of the city which was actually our hometown, so it feels "homey" on a much deeper and totally different level XD A lot of things have changed, but most of the shops and small businesses and old houses that have been there when we were growing up are still thriving and still have that old-town feel to it ^_^)

Since we were in the area, my sister wanted to visit the old library and museum which we often visited especially in the summer when we were kids, but we discovered that the library has been transferred to another nearby location, and the museum has been renovated and improved, so we went in for a quick tour. We were not allowed to take pictures though. 

A Small Serving of Happiness: InGen Cafe offers small affordable cheesecakes so you can treat yourself to something good and sweet even if you're on a budget (or if you want to try EVERYTHING)
After checking out the museum, we took a walk at the plaza across the old church, and discovered new stores and found old houses we used to visit when we were kids. It was so nostalgic and some roads and buildings were almost dreamlike in quality. 

We passed by the garden beside the church too and remembered how as kids we ate off the santan flowers during mass XD We found a nice lady feeding a bunch of stray cats and my niece became excited because she likes "ming ming" as she calls cats XD

Later on we headed for the new library building, and were amazed at how much it has improved from the time we were kids. We still think they need more and newer books and resources though, so we might collect some for donating when we have gathered enough. Before we left, we asked for Library ID Application Forms, and decided to come back every once in a while to read or borrow books, or maybe even to work when we need to do so in a different setting (^_^)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Drawing... OTL

As you can see, after Day 12 of the Drawing Challenge which I disastrously did, I was no longer able to move forward!!! (^^U) And so this is basically how I looked like last Friday night: OTL

One thing I realized though is that having stopped drawing for a long time really kind of left me dry. I still intend to continue with the themed series of drawings that I mentioned I think on Day 12, but I will just do everything at my own pace. I guess it's better for me to do it that way, as long as I try each day, or as often as I can.

Making collages is one other thing I used to do a lot before, but stopped doing ever since I got busy with office work years ago. I still managed to do it a few years into my corporate life, but as things got busier it also stopped.

A collage I made with my sister last year for our little shop of pretty, handmade, and vintage items

So I've been getting back to drawing and collage making. I always have a sketch book (and I rediscovered some watercolour paper when I clutter-cleared this afternoon) but I need to find more materials for my collages. To get started, I decided to reorganize and clean up all the cabinets in my room (they are built-in cabinets which make up an entire wall, or one side of my room). I made it a point to rearrange everything based on how often I use them so that everything I use daily and weekly are easily accessible and I can quickly find things when I need them. After I had taken all my things out, I came to thinking, "what if I just throw everything out the window and start anew?" XD I didn't realize I had so many things and accumulated so much of what I hardly use anyway.

Summer is such a pleasant time to clean up and reorganize because it feels like the sun is cheering me on and everything in my room has a nice glow on it. I closed the curtains for a while though because the sun was cheering Too Loudly (^^U) Here I have also temporarily emptied my vision board to place fresher goals and ideas.

Eventually I was able to group my things according to how often I needed them and placed them in their respective shelves/sections. In the process I rediscovered things that I realized I owned too many of, like pens and notebooks and erasers and correction pens and purses, not because I collected them really, but mainly because they were all over the place or not stored together so I would think I either have none or only have a few of them, and then buy more. At least now I have stocks of some things, and I won't need to buy them for quite some time. Then there are some items which I will either give away or just sell at our garage sale, especially those not in my color scheme or are just an excess.

Some sticky notes I have accumulated; I forgot I still have them! I've rarely used sticky notes since leaving my office job, but I kept buying them because I thought I'd just keep "one," unaware that there are others kept away in some small box in my room.  

I also rediscovered some books and old wish-notes and doodles of Certain Japanese Names XD Anyway I have gotten rid of those which are all about stagnant energies and old unhealthy patterns and Things I Would Rather Not Recall XD

Oh look, it's a book and a candle :D

I did my clutter-clearing not only to find materials and resources and rediscover things I apparently have, but I also did it to make space for new things and to take out anything I no longer need. Next in line would be my bookshelf, as my sister passed on some Japanese language books to me and I need to make space for them. I also realized that my bookshelf also contains loads of things which do not belong in it, and they have grown in number that I cannot even see the books behind them anymore. It should be fun though, cleaning up and getting rid of clutter and putting things in order.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 12: Most Recent Accomplishment

As in, like freshly baked bread XD

Finally, some order on my finances~

Today's drawing challenge was about another challenge, which I have somehow put in place :3 There are still parts of it that I have to resolve further, but as of today, as my Most Recent Accomplishment, I have put my finances in order. I have also decided to make some resolutions in order to make things work. It has been tough since I decided to go freelance, but at least now I have specific targets in mind and I am looking at new opportunities to explore to make everything work out even better. 

PS. Okay I know I am not supposed to say this, but really, I think my drawings suck XD But I shall not give up this drawing challenge and after this 30-day series of disastrous drawings, I will continue to draw and try to learn because I really want to draw *sob* (Next month onwards I will have themed drawings :D)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mogget's Pre and Post Vet Stages

*shivers* Why do I have to go to the vet again??????? 

I hate this. I hate everyone.

But wait. My hatred will not stop time. I am STILL going to the vet! *terror resurfaces*

*endures cold vet clinic table and strange hands doing uncomfortable things to me*

That's done. Now I can continue hating all of you.

When I get home I will destroy everything. 

Day 11: Some Turning Points

Given my age XD I've had many turning points in my life, though they came in late (^^U) This morning, I just drew some of these turning points off the top of my head for today's drawing challenge:

Making a wise choice about not giving a relationship a second chance, leaving the corporate world, and finally taking control of things I used to neglect or delay. 

Choosing not to give a former relationship a second chance was one of the wisest things I have done and it has totally freed me from a bad pattern; leaving the corporate setting and choosing to work on my own has its difficulties and challenges, but it has also freed me of a vicious cycle; moreover, it has also taught me to live simply and to make the most out of what I have; to top it all off, a series of very stressful events has pushed me to finally and bravely take control and take full responsibility of everything that happens in my life. It has been tough, but at least I am sure now that I know what to do, where to go, and how to spend each day to do them and to get there. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Day 10: Skittles

Day 10 of the drawing challenge is the last of the Favorites Series. 

Favorite Candy: Skittles is the first thing I could think of. I am ALWAYS in the mood for it (^__^)

I just found out that the blue Skittles is cherry cola. I've always been curious about them because ever since I first encountered them I thought they strangely tasted a bit like sweetened tamarind, and yet sweetened tamarind flavor does not really go with grape-lime-orange-cherry-lemon group of flavors XD 

Wait, now that I think about it, I think the green Skittles I buy is green apple and not lime. In any case next time I eat a bag of Skittles I'd pay more attention to the cherry-cola-ness of the blue ones XD

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 9: Super TV

I rarely watch TV and I only get to watch certain shows when my sister has completed them and then we watch together. Off the top of my head I like Lost, Fringe, and Supernatural. However I will need to restart on Lost because for a while I associated the show with a very bad but fortunately ended relationship, so that time I stopped watching it XD With regard to Fringe and Supernatural, I am quite updated. So I just chose between them for today's drawing challenge which is my Favorite TV Show.

Yellow-eyed demon calling out to Supernatural Star Sammy. He probably wants to reminisce about That Day At The Crib :3

By the way, yes, it did make me think of breakfast food. (But instead of milk there'd be demon blood.)

Summer-Themed Felt Bookmarks

Summer is one of the best times to catch up on some reading! Whether you are out on the beach or spending a nice quiet afternoon in your porch or backyard, it's always a great idea to bring a book or two with you (*^___^*)

Felt-and-fabric bookmarks with a summer theme

So I decided to make some felt bookmarks with a summer theme to match the season (*^_^*)

Felt bookmarks in summer colors!

These bookmarks will be available when we open shop this month for a summer sale :3 

So what is everyone reading now? (*^___^*)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Day 8: Sturluson Smoke

I know I am not supposed to say "I can't!" and give up, so I will keep trying XD I will also try not to say that I suck. 

Hehe :D

Anyway *brush off the thought that by Day 30 I can be officially declared as a drawing disaster* Day 8 requires me to draw my Favorite Animated Character. 

: |

I managed :D

In fact I even have two outputs to show :D 

A closeup headshot. Of Celty :D Celty is one of the animated characters that I absolutely LOVE. 

Celty's Scythe :D Right before it dissipated into nothingness.

Day 7: Late

Yup, I know, Day 7 is late. This was supposed to be posted yesterday (^^U) I DID make this yesterday, but I was no longer able to post it because when I got home in the evening after kendo (yup I went back to kendo after a 2-week absence), I was just dead tired and my body is begging me to put it to bed. 

"Maybe he forgot your HUT NUMBER..." (He's Just Not That Into You.)

Sometimes I think these posts are not just about WHAT I put onto paper, but How Odd they turn out to be. For Day 7 I am supposed to draw my Favorite Word. So as with any other subject, I draw the first thing (or one of the first things, or avalanche of things) that seems to make sense to me in my head which is connected to the supposed subject. Like with the Favorite Animal for Day 2, I immediately thought of a cat, but somehow that cat was chocolate-flavored in my mind. And so a choco cat it became. 

The thing is, I don't really have a Favorite Word, or like a Favorite Number which is one of the weirdest things ever asked of me. When I read Day 7's subject I was bombarded with hundreds of random words that elicit any kind of positive reaction from me. I found myself doing some kind of Free Association thing until I came to Hut Number. "Maybe he forgot your hut number..." (I'm not really a fan of the movie "He's Just Not That Into You," but that part about the hut number got stuck in my head and I hear it echoing in my brains whenever I catch myself or witness any other woman making excuses for why a guy has turned invisible or cold or inexplicably unresponsive.) 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 6: Book Character(s)

Day 6 has to be a favorite book character and "can't be a movie" so I guess it means the book should not be one of those made into a movie. At first I thought about Lyra and Pantalaimon but The Golden Compass has been made into a movie, but Lirael also came into mind. Suddenly I wanted to read the trilogy again. 

Lirael and the Disreputable Dog

Of the three Abhorsen books, I loved Lirael the most. In the trilogy of His Dark Materials, it was The Subtle Knife. When I read Lirael, I cried when the Disreputable Dog left and when Mogget (the white cat not the Mogget I hug all the time) made a decision and when everyone came to fight, among other parts of the story. Anyway, even if the drawing does not do justice to the beauty of the story, I would think this is still better than if I tried to draw Pantalaimon. If I did, somewhere in the universe, Pantalaimon would find a way to come to life, just so he can attack me for drawing him even more poorly than I did the Disreputable Dog XD 

GOOD Friday

As I did this morning's Morning Pages, I realized that Good Friday is my most favorite holiday, particularly if I choose to just spend it at home. Everyone is out of the country or out of town, so the streets are so quiet, the afternoons are so peaceful, and there is practically no one around. No vehicle noises, no children screaming outside (some of them randomly ringing doorbells in the neighborhood houses), and no postmen or solicitors ringing the doorbell. The day is sandwiched between two holidays so it does not feel "rushed" or too quick to enjoy. And unlike Christmas, it is a series of free days without the need to go shopping, prepare for dinner parties, and sit through reunions. So it's basically a holiday totally free from everything. Well at least for me. :D I don't mind the malls being closed, including the small businesses and food stores in the neighborhood, because I don't really get "bored" or agitated by the unusual "silence" of the surroundings. For once, I can quietly and peacefully go about the things I need to do. Just yesterday, I was able to accomplish so much more than I normally do (handcrafted bookmarks to be posted soon). And then of course there is Being Able to Read Peacefully and enjoy the weather in the backyard without anyone playing loud music from somewhere or office ladies passing by, talking / screaming at each other at the tops of their voices. It's so quiet it's total bliss. 

While everyone is someplace else...

I enjoy my solitude :D (Flamingoes have white eyes! I just noticed! Anyway these were the flamingoes in Kowloon Park. I used to want fake ones in my bedroom. And then I'd have fake grass. Yes, in my bedroom. But I never got around to it because I couldn't find fake flamingoes and fake grass carpet, until we moved out and my bedroom preferences changed. I AM still thinking about the flamingo-and-grass-combo though. Just occasionally. Hehe.)

The introvert in me :3 And the joy of unusually finding peace and silence while living in a normally busy and noisy city :D I guess it also helps that everyone's energies are in Relaxed Mode (like Rilakkuma) and that there is a mutual understanding among people Not To Disturb One Another XD

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vintage LPs

I intend to open shop some time soon, and since it's been really hot and humid, I am choosing some LPs with sunny or summery covers and use them as store decor too while we try to sell them (^_^) 

Vintage LPs

Opening shop also means there's going to be lots of work for me, especially for today and tomorrow, as I listed Must-Dos for myself in order to get things done! 

Day 5: Best

Right now, the person I could call my best friend is my sister (^_^) So I (kind of) drew her for today's drawing challenge XD

I made her "invisible crown" visible here XD 

She likes reading books and writing poetry, and I just had to place a cup of coffee next to her because it reminds me of one of her drunken states which never fails to make us laugh :D Besides, a lot of our procrastination happens over a cup of coffee (^^U) In reality though, it would never really be procrastination because we end up realizing so many things after we process various topics and issues and come up with resolutions and important insights that could change our lives forever :D

With my sister, I have the best conversations, the best travel times, the best meals, the best thinking-out-loud times, the best walks, the best workshops, and the best moments of laughter. Maybe not the best sleep because I end up not getting enough sleep whenever I sleep over at her place or whenever she sleeps over at our house (except when I finally get to nap in the late morning when she has started to work at the computer). But most of the other things we do together are among the best in my life (^___^) And yeah, and there are our invented words and names :3 And adjective clusters and profiling skills XD And our very creative scenarios for certain people *witchy* :3 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 4: Favorite Indeed

This was the first thing that came to my mind when I read the drawing challenge for Day 4 :3 I also thought about the flag of Japan, a colorful with teepee which shelters Us, a reading chair by the window, and my bed.

Favorite Place: Anata no tonari da yo! XD

But I decided to give this drawing a try and though it would normally serve as "scratch" for me, I still chose it as my Day 4 Drawing :D 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day 3: Tough Choice :3

It's "Favorite Food," the challenge said.

It made me think of Food in various forms. Food we eat. Food for thought. Food for the soul. Food for the animal in me. Rowr. 


So it's onigiri with tuna inside, not a triangle man with one-hell-of-a-goatee. 

Makes me think of the onigiri at the 711 beside Harbour Plaza

I just had chicken for lunch though, and later this afternoon it's gonna be spaghetti with LOADS of mushrooms :3 For Day 3 of the drawing challenge, I first thought of drawing a cupcake, but I only have cupcake moods, and then I thought about watermelon, then mugcake, then fish, but I might end up drawing a PET fish XD Then I remember I might never say no to onigiri *remembers Koji-san offering me a whole plate of huge purplish onigiri though I was bursty full* (^^U) 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 2: Favorite Animal

Day 2 of my drawing challenge now requires me to draw a favorite animal. I struggled between cats and turtles, but I felt more catty.... that relating to cats not the spiteful-catty XD And so a cat it is. (And a flavored one at that.)

The point is, it has my favorite animal. (And it is the presence of the Favorite Animal that matters.) 

Cats really take a rest in that sort of position. It is not a cat pretending to be human-like by resting his elbows on some invisible surface. I just had to say it because I also thought the same thing. And the longer I stare at him, the more he seems to "respond" with those eyes. I will now stop staring at him and seeing him become less cat-like.

And yes, it is a He. Feel free to name him and let me know so I can consult with him if he likes it.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 1: Myself

For the first day of the drawing challenge that I decided to take on, I am supposed to draw myself. Well, I assume I can draw myself any way I want as long as there is My Self in it XD At first I thought about drawing myself peeking from inside a giant tea cup, then I thought about drawing myself asleep while fully hidden under the blanket, then I decided to just draw myself, Underlined, as you would underline important things to remember in a book or clever lines you wish you wrote or want to mark for going back to later on. 

Myself, Underlined.

Oh yeah, that face. Who is that? Hahahahahaha :D Oh but the hair, that long, unkempt hair that flies in all directions, that is mine. 

Melted Chocolate

Today I posted the last of the Choco and Mint story, where Choco has melted :3 Posting everything from the old blog took longer than I expected, because there were days I was not able to post anything at all. Anyway it's all here now, and their story has ended (^_^) 

Choco and Minty Kisses! (Image and Recipe for this DIY Mint Chocolate Lip Gloss by  Jaclyn of Food Plus Words)

I still have other blog content to screen and move here though, and one of the older posts I came across and which also amused me was about some obsessive list of collected objects from Me & My Katamari. I'm so crazy about the game that after playing it for the nth time, I just had to check my collection list and blog about it XD 
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