Thursday, June 28, 2012

Preppy

There are other ways to decorate plain envelopes, cards, notebook covers, and gift tags, apart from sticking pretty origami designs on them. You can begin by finding thread of two of your favorite colors, preferably those that are contrasting, like red and blue or blue and pink or orange and yellow green, you get the idea.  

Finding buttons and wraps to match

Then look for buttons, beads, or any small decorative pieces that match or blend in with your chosen colors. Find a piece of light, thin fabric or special wrapping paper that will go well with your thread and selected decorative pieces; this is where you will sew on your designs using your colored thread. After this, just glue the wrapping paper and let it dry before storing or using the envelope. 

Ta-dah~ preppy envelope design. Can also go well as a theme for a party invitation card or cover for a small notebook.

This design is very simple; you can make your creations so much more colorful and interesting by using unique decorative pieces you can find around the house, or matching brighter colors :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Origami Designs

Making origami patterns like one piece-dresses, yukata, or hearts, among others, is quite fun and can make you feel productive. However, after making 10, 20, or even 30 dresses or several origami hearts in various shapes and sizes using different colors of paper, some pause and start wondering where everything they just cheerfully  made might end up. Unlike origami envelopes or message containers which have immediate, obvious uses, other patterns might require more creative ideas on how they can be put to good use. After all, they often look too pretty to be simply stored someplace. 

Yukata origami on a gift envelope

So that all those carefully and neatly folded finished origami will be put to good use instead of going to waste or gathering dust in some drawer or cabinet, you can use them to decorate different things with plain surfaces or covers: 


  1. Plain, lifeless envelopes (see above - I just added some printed circular patterns to add life)
  2. Blank cards or gift tags
  3. Notebooks and planners
  4. Folders and labels
  5. Blank frames (on the frame itself or within the frame)

You can also use them as additional decor for collages and mixed media artwork. Some origami patterns such as the popular cranes, butterflies, and moths can be used as part of a hanging decor. 

I used to do a lot of origami projects until I realized I had too many of them lying around or resting in boxes (^^U) So I decided to use them up in designing envelopes, cards, and bookmarks. Most of these have been sold, given away as gifts, and kept for my own use :3 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Agent Lee, Artist Version

I was telling my sister:

I want my own Lincoln Lee, except that he won't be an FBI Agent, so that he won't be out there constantly at risk and hardly at home. So maybe it's going to be a Lincoln Lee who is probably a writer, so that he is home writing most of the time, or we would be reading together, or maybe he'd be a painter, or a sculptor, or anything along those lines XD

Ah, the crazy ideas that come to me sometimes.

(Sometimes?)

Anyway, since there is no Lincoln Lee or a Last-Exit-associated nice decent man, Junko has decided to give all her love and attention to this generous serving of strawberry lassi. 

Stawberry Lassi from Cafe by the Ruins

Speaking of strawberries, I've been craving since last week for berries - strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries - in any form: fruit, ice cream, pie, beverage. Oh these are the times a Lincoln Lee (artist version) would be great to have so that someone can bring me berry pies and ice cream as I laze around at home on my rest day XD

Exit

Cleaning up my external drive. 

"Last Exit" by Pearl Jam plays.

Suddenly, a voice inside my head says,

Let's go out the last exit **** take my hand and take me out take me away take me take me~

For a while it was like the rapture of love. (Oooh rapture :D)

I don't know guys I don't know. 

:D

Note: The above is just one of my occasional ramblings. The name under the asterisks belongs to a man whose laughter amuses me. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Flower Can Change Everything :3

Redesigning clothing pieces can be very entertaining and even addictive - addictive because it is so much fun and you feel like you have a few new pieces all of a sudden, especially if you decided to redesign those you rarely get to wear anymore.

The tiny black ribbon on this pretty tank has been worn out, so I replaced it with a handmade giant flower of black velvety ribbon, adding a final touch of small glassy beads at the center :3

If the Wow & Friends shirt just became funkier, I think this tank just became lovelier :3

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wow

When the weather is great like today it is always fantabulous to do or make something that you can marvel over later on. 

The weather this week has been mostly sunny and very windy, which is great (^_^) This was the bright cloudy dojo sky last weekend :3

Usually my peak time is in the morning, but I realize that on certain seasons, particularly towards the end of summer, it shifts from the morning to the middle of the afternoon, when the sun is making my whole yellow-green room ablaze, and then I am at my peak until around eight or nine in the evening. So it is on these hours that I think it is best for me to either work on a day job or focus on something creative or requiring a lot of focus. 

Like maybe putting more life into an otherwise simple (but cute) shirt.

Turning a Super Edition into a Sequined Edition - I chose the copper sequins partying on Wow's name

Other than wearing a cute shirt to make it cuter, you can also go through your closet now and dig out some pieces you might want to liven up a bit with some sequins or beads like what I did with this Wow & Friends top. 

Wow is now wowed by his own name. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Smells Like... Fruit Candy (and other Blog Scents)

My blog. It smells like fruit candy. Like Tropical Flavor Skittles or something like that. 

It would, if blogs had smells. 

Smells like strawberry-scented erasers and children's pretend lipsticks 

Yesterday I felt like taking a picture of some of the pink and purple items that I have just lying around, and looking at their entirety now, I start to smell strawberry-scented erasers and those way-too-red or way-too-pink pretend lipsticks that come with beauty-parlor-gift-sets or Barbie-makeup-kits for kids. 

I think these blogs or digital images having a Scent is just like people looking like certain types of fruit or wild animals having certain quotes showing in their faces. 

Anyway I decided to randomly look at five of the blogs I follow, and sniff out their scents, at least based on what I think. Or smell.

decor8blog - like a well-lit upscale shop where the temperature is always perfectly cool, and everyone who shops in it are perfectly well-dressed

Herbert and Friends - like the smell of a brand new store with wooden walls painted white, mixed with a hint of scented stationery 

The Black Apple - like a pot of freshly brewed flower tea, with a hint of cinnamon

The Purl Bee - like fresh fruit juice and freshly baked bread or fruit pie

Baul Abuela - like black coffee, with hints of dark chocolate somewhere... perhaps someone who ate loads just passed by...? 

And yes I know that the last blog on the list is so distinct from the others, but I do follow it because I like looking at the images. 

By the way my sister's blog smells like vanilla cake. 

Mmmm vanilla cake. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Books > TV

Before anything else I would just like to say I love these buttons and I think they'd look just as pretty if they were in lilac or pink or yellow-green. Will be on the lookout for more like them. 

One of the pretty tops we sold last year (^_^)

Today is my free day and before catching up on some old anime and then exploring Lyra's Oxford, I would just like to share that I have decided to give up my cable subscription. Each month I pay for it but sometimes months would go by and I would never even have turned on my TV. On the few occasions that I did decide to watch, or at least turn the TV on, I brought a book with me, or collage materials, or anything that needs sorting and organizing, and just read or made something in front of the TV. Especially now that I am in the process of more strictly managing my finances, I think paying for a cable connection that I very rarely get to use is not something I should be doing at all. Eventually, perhaps, when I actually have the time and luxury to just sit in front of the TV and actually watch, I can re-apply for a connection. But for now, whenever I get to have a break or before I go to sleep, I would still much rather catch up on my reading. As my sister put it last night "madaming nakapila sa mata ni pitsi." :D Especially now that I got tons of new books in my Kindle, it would be lovely to just sit and read beside my window. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Road to Recovery

So far my mom has been showing signs of recovery although it is not as quick as we thought. It's a good sign though that she almost finished the meal I prepared for her during lunch. (Yup I am taking care of meal preparation and cleaning and feeding the pets and putting away the laundry I am actually playing mom to my parents omg :3 So far things are quite in order so I guess I'm doing fine. My other to dos are just kind of... mildly suffering.) 

We tell my mom to eat what we set before her so that she recovers faster and won't have to go back to the hospital anymore *horrorspital stories*

During the moments when I can actually sit down and find time to check things from my original to do list, I go back to re-organizing some Evernote notebooks. I am going through compiled notes of crafting and drawing ideas and identifying which ones I actually intend to do. I also write down ideas about how to modify them according to my personal (odd) style. 

Collecting crafting ideas = discovering so many ways to use mountains of fabric and craft supplies

My 16 hours are still mostly spent taking care of things around the house, but while it moves back other to dos to a later time, there is a quiet satisfaction from finishing chores and then retreating to my room afterward to do my own thing. I remember what I read one time about how day jobs or chores ground you and then you can go back to your own thoughts and your art with a refreshed perspective, and how they highlight the pleasurable experience of retreating to your own world, especially after you have efficiently done productive tasks which help others or keep your connection to them. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

One Step At A Time

I've been away for oh so long (**U) I would like to say though, that after slicing up my 16-hour pie, the days that followed have been so easier and I found myself calmer about where my time actually went, and I found surprising pockets of free time which make me happy (^_^)

And so I was able to stick to my new way of scheduling things and allocating my time, but only until Monday. When the week began, my mom suddenly became very sick, until we eventually had to rush her to the hospital.

My sister puts on some rose-scented hand lotion on my mom's hands and arms (^_^)

And while she was away I had to take on a lot of things at home. I found it quite pleasant though. Even if I had less sleep and less time for work and had to drop whatever I was doing when it was time to cook and prepare meals for my dad (during which I also took care of laundry and the garden), I really find doing chores quite calming and it helps reset my mind for the next time I need to work or write or plan something. (I also realized that more than just wanting to be a housewife with a comfortable life and earning from my art on the side, I am also Ready to be one XD)

Eventually, Saturday came, and my mom was discharged from the hospital, with loads of medications that she has to take until her next checkup. My dad and sister went to take care of things, because I was away at kendo.

Oh look, they seem very eager to play kendo with me! :D

In kendo I had bursts of happy moments (^_^)

After kendo practice I had to go home right away to take care of things, so I was no longer able to join dinner with some friends who had invited me the previous week. By the time I climbed to bed, I was so exhausted that I just lost consciousness when my head hit the pillow. Actually it has been that way for most of the week (>.<) Hopefully I get a full night's sleep later or tomorrow night.


One step at a time

Moving forward, I am still making adjustments with my daily schedule especially with this unexpected turn of events just as I made a major change in how to go about my daily to-dos. I feel though that I am still going in the right direction and things are clearer in my head. Even on my busier days I feel like I can pace things more efficiently and I can focus more on whatever task I am doing at the moment, instead of doing one thing and panicking about another. It also helps to remember to take just one step at a time. So now it is just a matter of sticking to what I have identified as the current best way to do things :3

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Slicing Up My 16-Hour Pie

And so I am kinda ill T_T

Have not been feeling well since yesterday morning when I woke up. My throat hurts and my back felt tired and sore. Towards the evening, I started having more feverish symptoms so I decided to take some medicine. (Which reminds me it is time to take one now :3 *takes medicine*)

I also had this weird symptom when I woke up yesterday of being shaky and Extremely Anxious. Eventually of course I figured out what I had to do, which sort of helped me calm down. I had to redo the way I do things each day. So with shaky hands and sore throat and occasional dizziness, I took out my notebook and pens and started rethinking and making experimental plots (wow omg) on paper on how I can maximize the hours in my day. 

I have been drinking loads of water each day so my coffee intake has decreased remarkably. (That's just a phone strap by the way, I will not survive with coffee that tineh! :D)

It is not that I am not able to maximize my hours. It is more like too much time goes to work or errands or chores or preparations needed prior to each Must-Do, that I barely have time anymore for other things that I Want to Do each day even for just half an hour. And lately, having read so much about doing what you want, managing your to-dos, and balancing your day so that you have time for some leisure, exercise, reading, etc., the more I noticed that the things not ticked off my to do list are the ones I would rather do if I didn't need to spend a lot of time preparing for, going to, and doing work. And then there is also the matter of Procrastination, snippets of evil inserted in between to-dos. 

So I spent the whole morning yesterday figuring out how to maximize my hours and having a Reasonable Length of to dos. I tried different ways and combinations and order of doing things, but I found I always had to either leave one out, but I didn't want to. And of course I had to eat so I redid the experimental daily schedule for the nth time when I realized I totally unknowingly removed all meal times XD 

In a nutshell, I came down to really carefully slicing my 16-hour pie. Sixteen hours should be enough, if not plenty of time. I immediately sliced off eight hours which should go to a complete and restful nighttime sleep. I think having enough sleep will contribute greatly to overall health and Productivity. In the event that I slept for only six or seven hours, then that immediately converts to additional slices to my 16-hour pie. However, sleeping-less-so-that-I-get-more-waking-hours should not be the goal, because I already have 16 hours to gobble up. (I always try to think that 16 hours is enough, and not way too short and quick as I have always felt.)

From those 16 hours, I first set aside the hours that should go to work, and then to exercise, and Morning Pages, and kendo, and everything else. Each day had its own set of jobs and schedules so I can adjust depending on what has to be done for any specific day, but at least I have a good idea of how much time actually goes to which. As I did this, I realized a lot of time actually goes to meals and baths and getting dressed and putting away things, so that even if you only had like, ten things in your to dos, it seems time is moving too fast, but it's really because of all these Other Things you need to do on the side. 

In any case, I had to make everything fit inside one day, or in my case, 16 hours. I had to make adjustments with some items, like alternating drawing and crafting each day rather than trying to squeeze in both of them into one day. I had to adjust my Japanese study materials so that I still get to use them, though not on specifically assigned days as before, wherein I would often skip some anyway. I also had to really time exercises and yoga so that my morning does not pass me by when I unintentionally fall asleep during Corpse Pose. Basically my daily schedule became sort of tight, but I have already factored in the hours that go to the in-betweens of tasks, and I rounded most of them off to chunks of 30 minutes or to hours, so it should not be crazy-tight. I also made sure there is about half an hour to an hour of reading before bedtime. 

So that I don't feel harassed about having this kind of schedule six days a week, I decided to make my one rest day completely free of scheduled to dos. Until this week, my rest day still has its first part filled with a few must-dos, but I guess I just really had to maximize my other days so that I can fully enjoy a Do-Nothing-Day. 

Today is the first day with this New Somewhat-Tighter-But-Suppsed-to-Be-More-Efficient Way of going about with my to dos, and the only reason I can write a blog post this long explaining it is that I woke up less than a couple of hours earlier than my supposed wakeup time (sunrise), which means I've had plenty of time to do and check my first to dos :D Otherwise, if I woke up at sunrise as planned, at this hour, I should be having my breakfast (which I already had an hour ago :D *slightly smug look*) and might not have this much time for writing a long post. I think with the New Somewhat-Tighter-But-Suppsed-to-Be-More-Efficient Way of going about with my to dos, I can still have time for long blog posts, but only if I finish tasks at a shorter time than planned, or I wake up earlier, or I suddenly find some free time in my hands. I'm sure that later on, I will find a way to work that out better too. For now, my currently New Somewhat-Tighter-But-Suppsed-to-Be-More-Efficient Way of going about with my to dos should do great. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What Gets You Out of Bed? (Other than the cat. Or the kids.)

The other day was my self declared rest day (I work Sundays too) and apart from obsessive-compulsively organizing my blog tags, I was able to do pretty much of the things I've been wanting to do on regular days but couldn't due to the current load of urgent work. On that day too I promised my mom I would take care of the afternoon's mac and cheese, since I've been away a lot during my working days, so I guess being more visible around the house is kind of comforting for them.

Somebody's excited about all that cheese. 

As with most rest days, I would get a bit agitated towards the evenings because a part of me knows that the next day means back to work, but at the same time an even greater part of me is eager to move forward and get things done, so whenever I go to sleep on the night of my rest day, it always feels like the next day is going to be the first day at school and I can have a fresh start, or sometimes, like it's another chance for me to do things better the "second time" around. 

On the next morning of course, a huge chunk of that promising feeling would still be asleep and sometimes I suspect it all turns into this giant adhesive that grows on my skin so that I couldn't get out of bed. 

In any case, I was able to get up yesterday, with the thought of Finishing a Significant Amount of Work pulling me out of bed. Really, it got me out of bed. Sometimes actually, on other days, odd, random things make me get out of bed, like the Thought of Going to Japan (like if I get up and get started early, I can finish a lot of work and earn more and save up for Japan), the Thought of Spending a Whole Day Playing Games (like if I finish a lot of work I can give myself a whole day reward of playing any PS3 game), the Thought of Shopping, the Thought of Reading All My Books, or sometimes, I am just really eager to get out of the house and run in the park. (Which makes me think - what made me get out of bed this morning? *tries to remember* Oh. The Thought of Losing Weight XD It made me get out of bed and exercise. So what makes YOU get out of bed?)

So eventually I was out of the house and walking to my sister's place to work, and before I started she gave me a (non-occasion) present (^_^)

My sister gave me a nice pen, with two and a half bottles of ink thrown in :3

The fountain pen I am currently using was given to me by my dad a long time ago so it's kind of old, and I am using turquoise ink. I've been wanting that auburn one and she also gave it to me along with an unopened bottle of indigo, when she gave me a nice new green fountain pen. ありがとう!!! (^___^) 

Today, I intend to finish more work than I did yesterday :3 Sometimes, working with my sister entails snippets of conversations that occasionally lead to lengthy ones which we later on regret (^^U) But today I intend to finish a lot more than I did yesterday :D Oftentimes, whatever gets me out of bed in the morning motivates me throughout the day, even if it is something that is totally not connected to the work I need to do nor its outcome, but it somehow works (weird). Maybe it is all about the idea of getting work done and being able to move to doing things I really want or working on things that will yield some desired result or the fulfillment of more personal goals. So maybe whatever it is that inspires you to get up in the morning becomes your sort of secret pill throughout the day that will boost your energy and keep you going. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ten Tags

I have been trying to figure out the best way to limit my tags / topic categories in the blog so that I do not end up with like 5 million tags which I forget to select anyway so that there are about 3 million of them with only one relevant post. I also want to limit my tags / topic categories because I think it will also help narrow down what my blog is about - what one can mostly find in here. Of course they are bits and pieces of things from my life but no one would really want to read about what I had this morning or how cute I think my crush is, like everyday in every post, so I rarely write about them, and to make that clear (thus make the blog more relevant to readers) I decided to just have ten tags (oh a huge jump from three million) which you can soon (Soon, like later - but days from now you can already find it there. Wow it's like talking to people now AND later. My selves are busy.) find on the sidebar under "10 Things to Love in This Blog." (By the way I know that this post will be totally irrelevant when I make other changes in the future but by then this would be a really old post :D Well at least for now and for a long while I hope it will be relevant because the changes I intend to make are long-term so that things will be in order and will make much more sense.)

The "Crafts" tag covers everything handcrafted, sewing, DIY, origami, paper craft, repurposed, redesigned, among other things. Witchcraft would be under this category too if I were still in my college years. And in these posts you will find pictures of charming boys with hearts and mean girls with pins. I am kidding about the last part of course. What were you thinking? :3 

Is it obvious I am in lost and floating in some kind of Blog Bubble omg. It is like a midlife-crisis-blog-version.

This whole midlife-crisis-blog-version has been in my head but it started springing into life in one of my conversations with my sister at her place. Sometimes, Mogget keeps my shoes hostage so that I cannot go home. 

So when asked, oh what is your blog about? Oh it's all about these ten things *takes a swig of wine and appears breezy* (And all the men in their tux stare in awe. Yup, that'll happen.) 

I actually wanted it to just narrow down to five things but I will lose all my hair figuring out which ONES to select so ten should be fine. Besides these are TAGS we are talking about, not To Dos, so ten should really be better than just five. Long enough for me to keep my hair and my sanity, and short enough to clearly show what I have to share in this blog. 

Gelatin made with milk. My sister made them. You will find more food posts under the Food category. (That sounded a bit like the categories in Me & My Katamari.)

Although some horror movie background music plays in my head because I will have to go back to all previous posts and properly tag them, a part of me is cheering at the obsessive compulsion of it, because things will be In Order. *squirms in straitjacket* 
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