Friday, November 28, 2014

Behind Every Kote

Is a mitten :))))))))

Okay that may not always be true but anyway I made a pair of kendo mittens for Mico. These are technically the second and third pieces because the very first one went somewhere into the Fabric Scrap Mountain Region, because I messed it up after working on it for over two hours, measuring and cutting and hand-sewing and hurting my back. Refusing to give up, I went through the giant tub of medium-sized fabric again and looked for the right kind, until I found one. It is a bit thick but not too thick, and it is Soft :)

I know they look like kitchen pot holders. 

I cut the shapes out based on my own mittens which I did not make, so they are just perfect for slipping into the kote. 

Now, those mittens may look perfectly and neatly hand-sewn, but I must admit, they are deceptive mittens. 

You see, as I rummaged through the Vast Sea Of Fabric, I came across this one which came from an old skirt jumper I used to own. It was the part I cut out because I made the skirt-part shorter, thus I had the sides of the cut out fabric as the perfect "sides" for this pair of mittens :)))))))

All I had to do was fold them neatly along the stitch on the side, chalk 1/4 of an inch from the edges of my gloves as I traced them, hold the inner part of the lines with pins, cut along the lines, then sew the edges together from the wrong side using bias tape :)))))))) Then voila, such neat-looking mittens (^^U) 

I had the compulsion to confess that because I have not really sewn nice kendo mittens, especially without such "cheats" :D I shall make him another pair soon, but since I will have no more skirt-jumper-edges, I have yet to see if the mittens will even be shaped like hands at all :)))))))))))) I promise to post them when I do, whatever they look like. I just hope they are not too grotesque :)))))))))

Friday, November 21, 2014

Letters, Incoming :D

So after letters A to E, here come F to I. 

While I did the letter F, the cat was wallowing in his laziness. 

After I finished Waves and Monster, I did another piece with a girl with very strange eye-parts, but I did not like it so I am setting it aside for re-doing later on. 

What I drew and finished instead is one with a giant girl in the waters. I shall post about it soon. 

Perhaps after this I shall post first about the kendo mittens I made for Mico which I mentioned in a previous blog post about the brooches I've been making

I just had an ice cream on stick and now I feel like I need coffee, so perhaps I shall make myself half a mug then get back to work. I will be working on something else though, instead of these letters, at least for now. 

Last night I finished Tad Williams' The War of The Flowers, then gave it four stars in goodreads. I did not give it a five because there were parts that seemed to drag for quite a while, but when the action picked up and Theo's mind races, somehow you just need to keep reading on. And I love the way the story went and how it all came together in the end, and how each character is so whole and solid.

I still have a long way to go with these letters but even if they are repetitive and seemingly boring I actually look forward to the hours when I can do them. I guess that is really how things are when it is something you love doing. 

The same thing applies to the other art pieces that I just feel like repeating because I may have not liked how they turned out. It can be frustrating, but it also be exciting and fun at the same time. Perhaps because I like it. Ask me to repeat some other thing all over again (like painstakingly written ebooks or meticulously collected and analysed data reports) and I shall turn green and cold.  

And then there are things you just would not and could not possibly want to go back to, like bad-service restaurants, unpleasant company, or manipulative and selfish partners. 

Things I would love to do again: Visit Penang. Eat dessert with shameless amounts of cream. Swim. Play the Elder Scrolls III, IV, or V. Exorcise more things with Mico. 

Perhaps I shall get food as well, when I get coffee XD

There is always something festive about Fridays. I do not go to an office and work from Monday to Friday from morning til evening, but I do get that festive feeling because Fridays are thick with it. Actually, it starts around Thursday afternoon as Friday's Eve gets closer. 

I remember how my Thursdays before always merited playing "Thursday" by Asobi Seksu. And then I would feel a certain ache, but a certain courage as well. All those feels back then. Right now, I just feel mostly relieved. 

As I painted the letter H, I made myself some iced coffee (^___^)

As for Sundays, I like the silence of Sundays and as everyone rests, the air becomes really light, as everyone exhales and succumbs to the comfort of the day. Towards the evening, the air becomes a bit filmed with something like anxiety mixed with anticipation about the coming week. I guess it is because of all the idealistic mode that "this week I will make it better" while somewhere there is also that agitated omg-another-week-how-dreadful.

I do not really feel much of either state, but sometimes I do feel the dread when there is something about the week I do not like. Perhaps a dreaded task or a stressful gathering or event. Perhaps a grand interruption arising from the absence of logic. 

So when there is something dreadful about the week, I try to think of the best parts instead, and when that does not help much, I think of the day after the dreadful part. Instead of considering it done I consider it dead. Over and done with. Gone. Forever. 

Sometimes the voice of the Emperor rings in my ears: Kill 'em all. ALL of them. 

Suddenly I am thinking of ham. Like Ponyo. Quite appropriately, there is H, finished. H as in Ham. 

I am so eating ham after this. 

I wish I would have the time later to do letter J despite the workload that I still have to do this afternoon. 

Either way though, I guess it is okay because that will pay for my laundry and my phone bill and my flaky internet connection :))))

I have to go now. Things to write and images to paint and books to read. Food to eat. Coffee to drink. Yay for coffee. *curtsies and leaves*

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Waves of Eyes

So, as mentioned in my previous post, here is one with waves and monster. 

Waves and Monster (2014)

There it is, looking at you. 

This, along with several other pieces of artwork, is for sale. Leave a comment here or a PM in my Facebook (if we are Facebook friends) if you would like to support by purchasing my art. It would be a great help to me :) 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

And The Flowers and The Tofu-Bear

I don't think I ever mentioned, but the flower brooches that I make can be attached to clothing with the safety pin neatly inserted into the subtle cuts through the felt material at the back; and one actually has the option to remove the safety pin and insert a thin headband instead and instantly come up with a flower hair ornament. Perhaps I shall do that to the ones I shall make for myself :3

Meanwhile I have added three more brooches to the box of I-am-not-sure-how-many-brooches already. (From the previous batch I have sold nine.) 

There is a pink one. 

And there is a maroon one. 

I know, I keep using the same coat but it just feels... right. 

I am letting the brooches accumulate until I feel it is Time. And I did not say that in The Exorcist tone. 

This last one, I made just last night before going to bed after sewing kendo mittens for Mico for most of the afternoon (it took so long because I made a mistake and had to re-do a whole mitten), and I guess spending hours hunched over my desk sewing things caused me to lose my mindfulness in keeping the correct posture so now my back hurts like there is an evil overweight tofu-bear riding my shoulders. 

I do not know what an evil tofu-bear is. And if my orthopaedic doctor found out I threw his reminder out the window about sitting properly and leaning against the back of the chair when working on anything, he will also throw me out the window. In any case I have done about a hundred stretches today and I can still move normally for the most part, though it took me longer than usual to draw and paint the letter G because I had to straighten my back many times to throw off the evil overweight tofu-bear. 

The above brooch is actually a nice shade of orange though I know it looks a bit pink. I am thinking of making another one later after dinner. 

By the way, as I mentioned before, I shall be posting next time about Waves and Monster, an artwork with, uhm, waves and monster. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Post-nap Post

So. I just woke up from a nap *still gathering selves*

Speaking of naps, my sister takes about 50 of them during the daytime, and was requesting for an eye mask so that the daytime glare won't hurt her eyes. I have never made an eye mask before so it was a good chance for practice. 

I could have made a simpler one but she told me not to put lashes on it so of course I shall put lashes on it. After cutting out four layers of fabric plus batting, I cut out felt lids and felt lashes.  

I based the size of the eye mask on my pair of large sunglasses, then just added about an inch max on all sides. I sewed the lids on the slab of eyelash before I cut them into lashes. Then I sewed the lids onto the front and now all this talk of sewing on eyelids sounds a bit painful doesn't it. 

Then I layered the first lining, the batting, and the second lining, then placed the main fabric on top of the pile with their right sides facing each other. I just hand-sewed the pieces together, following the line I traced around my sunglasses, leaving a third of the lower edge open so I could turn the whole thing inside out. Before turning it though, I "cleaned up" the edges by cutting off excess fabric and batting close to the stitches, so that they also do not bunch up later on and so that of course the whole thing feels "clean." :D 

I was supposed to sew the whole thing with part of the garter inside but there was some kind of confusion because I just tried to imagine the whole thing happening :))))) So after turning the eye mask inside out, I proceeded to stitch along the edges to make it look more "defined," closing the bottom part and attaching the garter along the way :D 

Finally, after gloating to myself that it is not so bad for a first time and for a totally experimental project, I sprayed it with some citrusy sanitiser and gift-wrapped it with pink wrapping paper and a grey lace ribbon, then I threw it down the stairs towards my sister :))))) In the evening she wore it on her forehead so I guess she would be having two pairs of eyes on some nights. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

A to E

So this is one of the things I have been up to. 

Drawing the alphabet. 

A for Andante, which I am currently listening to. 

It is quite fun to do them, but I must admit it is also hard work especially on the hours I am overcome by the lethargy of the windy afternoons. 

It is great to be working on them though, especially on moments when I feel frustrated about anything else. Doing this grounds me. 

B for Bulldoze. It has been a while that I have been bulldozed, even if all the while I have been pretending to be unbulldozed and unflattened. It was just this afternoon when I finally had the B as in Balls to admit that this recent B as in Bulldoze Incident has kind of made me feel like Tipping Over To The Other Side. See, there was this woman whom the world always loves and to whom life is always kind to, and she asked me to paint something for her in such a sweet manner that I tasted sugar in the air. She was even so excited about it I thought she was going to jump. To make the short story shorter, she handed over the commission to someone else after asking me. 

C for Competition. Or Crazy. Curving towards the crazies, I know. Just let me say, surround yourself with people who truly support you. It takes a level of skill and loads of experience to discern which is which, so just learn as you go along. Sometimes people will cheer you on loudly and speak of dreamy future states, only for you to realise you were being lulled into a state of halted dreamy promise so that you would not get too far ahead, because you are so trusting these people to go along with you so you kind of give them the time they supposedly need - people who praise your work and criticise their own and yet suggest exhibits together so that you would hold off your plan to hold your own. And then next thing you know they have turned everything into their own exhibit, totally leaving you out and only playing "nice" to you again when they have gotten ahead or, as in their minds, "winning in this important competition." 

D for Dreary, which is what this post has become and I promise that was not D for Deliberate.  I apologise profusely

E for Eggs. Scrambled. Let us pretend it is morning and time for breakfast so that we can pretend that the previous letters came from a dark dark dreary night and that it is all over now :D Well at least I had taken the step to admitting I was bulldozed and flattened, and now I can start moving towards Solutions instead of the Straitjacket or towards the Sunset, Screaming, and Disappearing along with it. I cannot possibly swim in sugar.

So what can anyone do when one feels attacked or manipulated or brushed aside or flattened? Well, get up of course. And fix one's hat upon getting up.

Sometimes we get to that point of feeling like we are Tipping Over To The Other Side, but I guess the things that cause it need to happen so that we can just finally exhale, let go, and get back to whatever it is we can only do at the moment anyway. Oftentimes, during the points we most feel that things are hopeless or pointless, we start filling up with some kind of renewed energy or courage or inspiration to either go forward again or create a new path altogether, since we have begun to feel like we have reached such a low point we have become acquainted with the taste of earth. We are not sure where that renewed vigour comes from, and usually we doubt it will ever come, but wait for it; listen carefully, do not forget to breathe even if lightly, and soon enough, you will hear it. The quiet sound of you filling up with this renewed vigour and courage. Perhaps it will be mixed with a tiny bit of element from having partially Tipped Over To The Other Side, but that is okay because you would not have that added flavour if you had not reached that Tipping Over point. 

E for Ending. This blog post has ended, but I am sure more lessons shall be coming. I am calm now. I think. Okay, I am calm now. Sipping my black coffee. Unflat. Renewed. Trusting. Albeit selectively.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Food, Naps, and Long Walks

Eating heartily, napping countlessly, and taking long walks leisurely are among the things Mico and I do best, and we had our chance to do that when we went on a mini-break recently in Tagaytay. 

It has been a while since I went on a mini-break, and it is great to be doing it again with a person who is actually great to go around with :)

Sometimes, Usually, Sometimes, I make Mico choose food for me, as long as it is not liver, parking ticket, or hairy gourd. I remember our first few dates when I made him pick whatever for me, and he was a bit anxious if I would like what he picked because he had the impression I am hard to feed but soon enough he realised I am So Easy To Feed. Think Pusheen. Anyway everytime he picks food for me and I would have no idea what it would be, it is always like a tiny surprise meal which I would always like :D Speaking of food, we finished that giant bowl of bulalo above. Along with the other dish we ordered. For a while there, two male bouncers were on the table in the form of us. 

We stayed at Tagaytay Country Hotel and there were Hardly Any Other People when we went so I totally liked it. Think wide open spaces and empty hallways and yes, Silence. Wait, not the Doctor Who kind of Silence. Otherwise I would not be remembering, right :))))) I mean the nice, totally-not-creepy-kind of silence. And the weather was great too. Sunny and chilly at the same time, and totally not in a fever-sort-of-way. 

And so we took a lot of really long walks, stopping for coffee and ginger snaps, and it felt really great to be talking for hours without worrying or thinking about work or the time or schedules or being interrupted. 

The mini-break was so much fun in a quiet, cozy, elderly-people sort of way, because everything just flowed. I guess it is how things are when you are with someone whom you do not just get along with, but is someone who shares your values and is able to connect with you in odd, almost-creepy ways, but in a good way, of course. So it was easy to just decide to talk a walk, go for coffee, stay indoors and nap, or eat countless pieces of bread and cheese almost not shamelessly. It was easy to just flow and not over-think on itineraries, just as when we take walks here in Manila and decide to go "where our feet take us," and we just somehow naturally find ourselves on the path to delicious chicken. Unintentionally. 

I just took random photos throughout the trip, using either my camera or my phone, clicking and just stashing the gadget away, because I did not want to spend more than half the time fussing over selfies and other photos and filtering and trying to document every inhale and exhale, thereby missing out on what we went there for. Photos taken with my phone, most of them, were uploaded to my Instagram the day after we came back home. 

The above photo is the same hallway as in the photo before it, except that I had to zoom it in because it was creepy the first time I saw it. I wanted to sit there with Mico and be creepy except no one would take our photo. If I were with my sister we would probably do something along the lines of The-Shining-Twins, but it would be awkward if guests came out of the rooms and saw us being totally wtf. 

Our phones, being all sweet and romantic and honeymoon-y. 

We went to the spa and it was such a treat especially since it rained in the evenings, so it was all just cozy and nice. There was a pool actually but since we have no death wish of course we did not swim given the cold weather. 

What's great about the timing of our trip is that there were hardly any other guests so when we ate at the hotel's restaurant there would only be one or two other tables occupied, and they were not noisy people. 

We ate in the room, we ate at various restaurants, we ate as we walked, and we ate during bus rides. Remember, bouncers. Pusheen. Pusheen bouncers :))))))

The hotel had plenty of sitting areas, most of which were unoccupied most of the time, so they also became stopover spots for lengthy conversations and thinking aloud. Not too loud, though. 

We are looking forward to more trips like this, even longer ones or farther ones. This particular trip is great for me because it is one other thing Exorcised, along with a particular Family Mart branch (long story which I do not really want to dwell on so shoo), and soon enough along with many other things and places and movies and such. More happy memories are surely going to be made. 

Now, I have no idea what the above insect is, but I think it is some kind of moth. Can anyone tell me what it is? After a while it started to Kind Of Have Wings Sort Of Spread Out, which is how I came to assume it was a moth. I searched it on Google but its "similar" images were pale-coloured monogrammed stationeries :))))))) Anyway it was over the doorway of our room, so I kind of just wanted to know our too-close flying neighbour. 
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