Another Blog

So I decided to create another blog dedicated to my D-I-Ys and artsy fartsy stuff:

https://creativechaosmanila.wordpress.com/

I know this blog gets a little confusing, with me jumping from one topic to another. I myself get confused.  I’m hoping the creation of another blog will make it all less confusing and me more focused. But I doubt it. It’s me we’re talking about here and it’s me who is now ambitiously maintaining two blogs. We’ll see.

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Come Along With Me…

… with the butterflies and bee–eees… lalalala

Image from Wikipedia

Image from Wikipedia

After Sesame Street and Elmo’s World, Spongebob Squarepants, Katy Perry’s Roar, Masha and the Bear, Cars, How to Train Your Dragon, Jurassic Park (we still watch the trilogy from time to time), Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Annie, Peppa Pig, Pocoyo, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,

— our new favorite TV show to watch to bond over is The Adventure Time. We watch the episodes every night before bed time and sing to the title sequence, the credits, and some of the weird, discordant songs.

Every night, at around 8pm, I’d turn on the TV, choose a random episode and let it play through the succeeding episodes until about 9:30pm while the Little Creatures #1 and #2 sit or lie down on the bed to quiet down and watch. Yes, the Little Creature #2 at 14 months (Wow he’s so big now! Forgot to blog about it all! tsk tsk) is also starting to appreciate the amazing worlds that TV has to offer. It’s inevitable since I’m such a TV junkie. I have no plans of banning or limiting TV watching. Ever. As long as I get to decide what to watch.

Thoughts during the first few episodes: Strange. The dog changes shapes. There are zombie candies. What’s with that purple cloud? Such an unattractive character, that cloud. The cloud is a she? So many oddly shaped beings.

What’s going on?

I don’t get it. I really don’t get it.

But after watching so many random episodes so many, many, many times for so many, many, many weeks:

I get it!

Like Masha and Mary Poppins and all the shows (and MTV!) I’ve mentioned above except for the last 3 (not liking them so much), the real reason we’re binge-watching Finn and Jake’s adventures is because I like them maybe even more than my kids do.

At first, my favorite character was Marceline because her singing voice is sooooo breezy and beautiful. Plus, she’s undead. So goth.

But Lumpy Space Princess, or LSP, the purple cloud that I thought was annoying grew on me. And she and I, well, we have a connection. I feel her and her lumps. It all began when I tried talking in her voice to annoy my son.  Whenever I say that I am LSP in LSP’s pinched, snooty voice, he’d be annoyed and insist that I’m Marceline (Ah, thank you, son. In his eyes, I may look like the undead, but at least it’s an undead in human form). I wish I could sound like Marceline. Unfortunately,  my voice range is very, very, very limited. I do have to admit that I make a good impersonation of LSP. Oh my glob!

4/20/15 Update: Now my son says I’m Finn, he’s Jake, his little brother is Beemo, and his dad’s the Ice King. If he calls me Finn, I’m expected to respond… in Finn’s voice and intonation.

Little Pharoah

D-I-Y. It seems that D-I-Y-ing is all I ever do these days. But I don’t mind. It awakens my senses and I feel great especially if my D-I-Ys turn out great. Like the Egyptian costume for The Little Creature #1.  He was assigned as Little Mr. Egypt for their United Nations Day Celebration in school yesterday. Because I’m too cheap to shell out mega cash for something that would be a one-time wear, I decided that we should just make the costume.

We did buy the headdress for P295 in Greenhills.  I should have just made one.

 There’s a set of plain black shirt with a pair of black pants and a belt and headdress which were packaged and marketed as an Egyptian costume for P1000. I’d be crazy to buy that especially when I have a closet full of black shirts. Even sillier, a pair of black toddler leggings cost P200 while an adult-size pair can be bought for P100! But why buy when I also have a closet full of black leggings?

Because Egypt is such a fascinating country and I used to obsess about ancient Egypt many years ago, it was fun to D-I-Y and I secretly wished I was making the costume for myself. 

I cut out a sort of eye shape about the diameter of the little one’s neck from a paper plate, put strips of velcro on the back, painted it with silver poster paint, and doodled on it with Pentel and Sharpie pens. Add some shiny red plastic stickers and there you have it, a Royal Egyptian neckpiece! It doesn’t look like a paper plate, right?

As for the ankh scepter, I used the following for the base: handle of his plastic golf club, my plastic hair loop for the ankh loop, and wooden stirrers as the two pointy things on the side. I taped them all together,

D-I-Y Egyptian Scepter Ankh

… wrapped them in aluminum foil and black satin ribbon, and finished them off with random swirly copper wires. My crash course on wire jewelry last August with Craft Manila came in handy!

Egyptian costume: ankh scepter and collar

If I had more time, I might have done some other prop with hieroglyphic doodles on them. And if he were a girl, I might have put some Eye of Horus-ish makeup on him.

I knew there were kids in much grander costumes so I wasn’t expecting any award. It was just a relief that he wore the costume. He refused to try it on so I had to eyeball the sizes of everything.  He even had to be convinced that the headdress and the neckpiece made him look like a triceratops.

So the last thing I expected was for him to be awarded as the Little Mr. UN! 

Egyptian costume toddler 

The little boy-king in his mommy’s clothes – my black shirt, my black leggings, my leather cuffs. Cute!

 

Toddler Fashion? Forget about it

EXPECTATION:

Gwen-Stefani-Kingston-Zuma

…to have a brood of Rossdale-Stefani children clones while, of course, rocking motherhood like Gwen. Kick-a** mom and kick-a** boys, right? And don’t get me started on the Rossdale dad.

REALITY:

dinosaur toddler

Baby at 7 months

It’s understandable for our little baby to wear that (one of the many hand-me-downs) especially in this weather, but for his older brother, well… That set of yellow clothes he is wearing in the picture with a print of Bumblebee, he just refused to take off. We had to buy a second set so we could wash and wear. For about a month, he refused to wear anything else… and sleep in anything else. The one other thing he wears in great reluctance is his school uniform.

Good thing he has forgotten about those hair ties. He looked like a girl but he thought it made him look like a triceratops. He also loves those ugly Nemo shoes which I bought in Divisoria so many ages ago for just P150. In all fairness, the pair is very sturdy. He wears them almost all the time.

I did get him to wear something that I liked (wheee!)… for a few hours.

Nirvana shirt toddler

But the pull of the yellow “damit” (that’s what he calls them shirts and shorts) is just too strong. 

Also, we got him a pterodactyl costume for trick or treat which he chose from the rack himself last weekend so now he wears it all the time, including in bed.

Pterodactyl costume toddler

I wanted to dress him up like some mini Johnny Depp weirdo character for trick or treat but how can one deny him his dino costume when he looks so happy? He wore the costume immediately after we bought it.

For his school Hat-Making Contest yesterday (parent-child tandem), he demanded (yes, DEMANDED) that he wanted us to make a triceratops costume. While other parents made cardboard witches and wizards and pumpkin hats, I was sewing spikes on his beanie. Due to time constraint, I was able to make a “stegosaurus” beanie:

dinosaur beanie

Yep, I took a leave of absence from work to make that.

It was crudely and untidily and hastily done but HE LOVED IT! It all boils down to that, right? He didn’t want to take it off but he had to leave it in school for the judging. We’re not going to get a prize but him thinking that it was the best hat amongst all the other hats is the best prize ever. 

It kinda looks like some punk/rock thingie, too, I just might make one for our little baby and maybe for myself. 

I got the instructions from this site:  DIY Dino Hoodie.

Toddler and baby fashion? Yeah, well, let’s forget about it for now. There’s plenty enough time to “Eliza Doolittle” the little ones when they’re not so little anymore.

 

 

It’s Raining Dominoes!

That’s not even all of the dominoes I’ve altered and decoupaged in the last couple of months. Obviously, I have no social life. But that never really bothered me anyway.

altered and decoupaged dominoes

The Little Creature #1 has gotten used to my clutter so I don’t have to growl and glower at him so much anymore when he sticks his nose and digs through my mess. I can now do my craft with him around. He has lost interest in my tools, which is a relief. He used to take my pairs of pliers which he says are pterodactyls. Now he still does swipe a couple of stuff now and then and then loses interest in a few seconds. He’d leave them wherever and all over the house so it isn’t unusual to find a stray domino or bottlecap or bead on the shelves, on the floors, on the dining table, and even on the bed. Now, Little Creature #2, is a different story. He’s at that stage where everything looks good (and maybe tastes good) so they all end up in his mouth. Husband and the nanny oversee him while I produce more clutter.

I’m planning to make those dominoes into something wearable, like a charm for a bracelet or necklace and then sell them in pop up fairs once I have enough, but yesterday, I had a little fun with some.  What nonsense! What fun!

Come and visit my library. Have a bit of wine while you read about Morpheus and his family of weirdos.

altered dominoes as little books

Reminiscences: Praise the Lord! Going on Ninety Three

It’s that time of the year when I help my grandfather reach out from the grave to make his presence felt once more. I forget most people’s birthdays, I forget even my own even on the day itself. But his is one birthday I don’t and can’t seem to forget.

Hello, Lolo, and happy 106th birthday, that is, if you were alive today. You had to grow old and die and leave me with not enough stuff to post. After this one, I only have one more piece that you have written long ago which I am saving for next year.

Check out his past “posts” here.

and here.

and here.

and here.

Below is something he wrote for his September 26, 2000 birthday.

***

Praise the Lord! Going on Ninety-Three

By Cornelio dela Rosa Sr.

 

Yes indeed! Let us rejoice and gladly welcome and warmly greet each other with “May the best of God be with you today!”

This is my first birthday in the new millennium. HURRAH! I made 92! I sense something glorious and joyous in the air that invigorates my whole being and digitalis-like, so perks up my rheumatic heart that like Eddie Cantor and Fred Astaire, I feel like dancing and “singing in the rain”.

Today I wish our computer wizards already had at their fingertips, the magic touch that would punch keys and once more let me hear the sweet, tender voice of my late elder sister Anching, singing the solemn and melodious “Ave Maria” of Francisco Santiago. Few people know that Anching was an accomplished lyric soprano. She studied voice under the then very popular and proficient Bel canto, Maestro Carrion.

Anyway, today on my 92nd birthday, to entertain you, I’m letting you in on my personal experiences, misadventures and blunders, coping against the vicissitudes of time including the Japanese occupation.

So, without further ado, I shall undrape the Botong Francisco mural of that panorama of pictures that we call “memory”. And with the music of Lucio San Pedro being played on the bamboo organ by a musing, youthful, bearded, unshod Franciscan monk, I shall ramdomly isolate vistas of events whose imprint and impact make me what I am today.

VISTA No. 1: The three R’s bannered our search for knowledge. In grade school, ‘Rithmetic proved to be my Blue Ribbon. If I told you today that my Grade 5 report card shows that in three separate monthly grading periods, I got 100 and in one period I got 99, you will only look askance at me and repress a smile breaking on your lips and shake your head.

Even my own flesh and blood, my children and grandchildren, were emphatic and unanimous in their disbelief. “Impossible! Not allowed!” they chorused.

Unfortunately for them, by a quirk of fate, among the very few mementos of my student life I have kept is that report card. The card is already brown with age but the digits 1, 0, 0 and 9 are still legible for them to read and believe. Shame on you, doubting Thomases!

VISTA No. 2: In contrast, ‘Riting proved to be my Achilles heel in high school. Our Physics teacher had just returned our quiz paper and I noticed that he marked wrong one answer, which I knew was correct. So I went to his table and showed him his error. After a few agonizing seconds, he blurted very loudly: “Cornelio, you will never be valedictorian with your handwriting.”

Was this not a curse, pure and simple, on a youth, his aspirations and dreams? From the teacher’s blast, the riddle will show that I was a candidate for top honors. In the parlance of San Lazaro and Santa Ana aficionados, I was the heavy FAVORITE. But like in those places, many a favorite loses. Want to know what the losing jockey says n apology to the horse owner? “Boss, binundol tayo sa rekta.” But in my case, I bowed out fair and square because two other classmates were more deserving of the top honors.

VISTA No. 3: As a boy, I wanted to be a doctor of medicine (Does not my handwriting qualify me?) But my family could not afford to send me to medical school and so, I took the next best thing, Civil Engineering and went to the University of the Philippines (UP) for the entrance exams. One week before enrollment, I went to the UP registrar to ask him if I passed. He looked at a long list in his hand but instead of answering me, he asked “Are you a valedictorian?” Then, he told me to go to the College of Engineering. Here I got the same treatment. The clerk in charge, after looking at the list he had, also asked me before answering me, “Are you a valedictorian?” Then he told me I passed. It was not until a few days later when the Philippine Herald published more than a full-page list of those who passed the UP entrance exams. With that I found out why they asked me if I was a valedictorian. My name was on top of the list and in the process, I bested all valedictorians of both public and private schools that took the test.

When I met some of my former teachers, they were unanimous in saying “We knew you should have been valedictorian.” Consuelo de bobos.

VISTA No. 4: True to my elder brother’s promise, the next day after graduation, I was on the job. They were rushing the completion of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. I was assigned as Assistant Engineer in the construction of the track and field, and the football grandstand. The complex was completed in time for the Far Eastern Olympic Games. And I was able to see the games for free. I was witness when some members of the Japanese baseball team wept when our team beat them. See, at that time, we were the best in baseball in the Far East.

VISTA No. 5: I was then sent to Batangas for my next job. This was the first time I would be away from home. To be truthful, I was a mama’s boy, and I felt terribly homesick, especially when in the middle of the night, our night watchman would break into singing “The Boulevard of Broken Dreams”. He had a fine tenor voice. He looked funny in his outfit. He had on a bonnet with earmuffs to cover his ears, a thick woolen sweater and trousers to fight the cold evening habagat.

Every time I went home on Saturday afternoons, my niece Charito would meet me with “Ang itim ni Tio Nelling!” (“Uncle Nelling is so dark!”) Working under the sun on the seashore gives you this tan.

VISTA No. 6: Speaking of night watchmen, we had one in Zambales who swore he never slept a wink during his tour of duty. But the next morning, where would you see him? In front of some workers, unashamedly relating his salacious, erotic dreams the night before. I could not fire him because he was once our family’s houseboy.

VISTA No. 7: In the construction of the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) College of Medicine Building, we had a carpenter surnamed Paris. He really was ‘walang ka-paris’ (no equal). The pockmarks on his face were unusually deep and big. One time, while he was working, he failed to hit the nail on the head (perhaps forgetting the saying) and the nail ricocheted right into his eye.

I took him to the emergency room of the nearby hospital. On the way, he was bawling like a boy. “Mr. Dela Rosa, what will happen to me now? I am already ugly and I’m going to be blind! I’m sure my wife will abandon me!” Shakespeare came to mind and I said aloud, “Juliet, wherefore art thou?” Paris heard me and between sobs said “Hindi ho si Juliet and misis ko!” (Juliet is not my wife!) Fortunately, his eye healed and was soon on the job again. This time, he remembered the saying and hit the nail right on the head.

VISTA No. 8: In 1966, we joined Fishback and Moore for the construction of “Project Bamboo” in Concepcion, Tarlac. I was sent to Washington to represent our company in the bidding. The first thing I heard upon entering the San Francisco Airport terminal building was “Paging Engineer Dela Rosa! Please report to the Philipine Airlines counter!” And as I went over, a middle-aged couple came to meet me. The man was the Vice President of Fishback and Moore and before we could shake hands, he said to me: “I can always spot an engineer when I see one.”

The charming couple invited me to dine with them but I refused. I was afraid I might miss my next flight to Washington. I checked in at the Sheraton Park Hotel.

Even in the middle of the night, contractors would call me and make inquiries. At that time, there were no calculators yet so I had to do my computations by long hand and slide rule. The truth was, when I left for Washington, our bid was not yet complete. I had to complete it alone in Washington. Fortunately, we won the bidding. When the Fishback and Moore VP Glen Conley met our president, this was what he told me: “I liked Engineer Dela Rosa the first time I talked to him.”

One day during the construction, I was seated on my table solving the crossword puzzle of the Manila Bulletin (It was not yet time for work). A Mexican-American engineer named Mellado (I used to call him Mechado) approached my table and said to me, “Cornelius (that’s what the Americans call me), you are conceited!” Surprised, I asked him why. He replied, “why don’t you put it in pencil first?” You see, when I solve crossword problems, I use a ballpen.

After my trip to the US, I had an unspent balance of more than $1,500. And in the absence of our president, I turned over the amount to his son Vince who, upon receiving the amount exclaimed “Talagang honest ka!”

VISTA No. 9: After the liberation of our country from Japan, I worked as Price Control Investigator for the Provost Marshall of the American Army. We would make arrests but to our surprise when we reported in the afternoon, I found that some of my arrests were not listed. And you know why? Because even at that time there were already “lagays”(briberies). One time on Villalobos Street, I went inside a store and before I could say anything, the owner wept and said, “please pity me! Many of your companions have already been here.” He was kneeling, offering me something but I refused and left him right away. Afterwards, however, whenever I pass by his tore, ne never recognized me and completely ignored me.

VISTA No. 10: It was Japanese time, the name given by the people to the Japanese occupation years. The Japanese authorities were conducting surprise visits in all the houses in search of guerrillas. They come any time of the day. One day, at lunchtime, I was feeding my daughter Nina, who was then barely a year old. Because she was so young, we gave her the luxury of eating rice. The rest of us ate boiled corn and/or kamoteng kahoy. Suddenly, two Japanese soldiers barged in and made a thorough inspection of our place. When they were through and about to leave, one of the soldiers came back, took Nina’s plate from my hands and ate Nina’s lunch. Who can ever forgive and forget such a cruel act?

VISTA No. 11: When retired Manila Executive Judge RTC Judge Rosalio Dela Rosa (Aling) was a 6th grader, I took him with me to Kulasi, Capiz. We were then constructing a marginal wharf. One early morning, before breakfast, Aling asked permission to go to the hillside, about a hundred meters from our place, to answer the first morning call of nature. After a short time, Aling came back, all pale, panting and gasping and blabbering: “Du-du-du-wen-de! Du-du-du-wen-de! (Elf/Dwarf).

After we calmed him down, he related that while he was squatting, some ten duwendes appeared, dancing and prancing around a big tree. So scared he was, he ran home for dear life. The people in the area believed Aling and so did we. You know what Capiz is noted for. I wish Aling’s duwende friends were celebrating with us.

Aling, tell them to make me win in the coming lotto draw!

Craft-All-I-Can

That’s what I’ve been up to these days. Writing has taken a backseat. Not that it has ever been on the driver’s seat these days… or riding shotgun. Whatevs.

I’ve had so much fun that I joined a couple of other craft workshops after the Resin Tile Making at Craft Manila. What’s up with the D-I-Ys and the crafting lately? Let’s just say I’m building my capabilities and a safety net, too, for when my life as a corporate worker bee ends. We’ll never know when it is going to end.  Also, I’ve been hit with the crafting bug and has been going on since June, when I started with the bottle caps. I usually just trudge through life indifferently like a zombie but now, I am excited  to make more stuff and learn techniques. My outputs are often crude and I’m an impatient, messy and sloppy crafter but I’m having so much fun. Crafting is costing me some moolah and moolah is important but it is still a small price to pay for being high with motivation and excitement.

Anyway, here are the workshops I’ve joined last August:

Leather cuff making. The workshop was taught by two young ladies from Soul Flower. I learned to make the magic braid and to mount the buttons.

 

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Additions to my fast growing tool set: puncher, setters, and another hammer:

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We went overtime so we didn’t get to finish practising. We did get to bring home as much leather we wanted to practice on.  So far, here are the rest of what I did:

Pattern courtesy of Soul Flower:

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Ah, so proud of mama’s work!

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Wire Jewelry Making by Wire Guru Ana Gonzales.

 

Wire Jewelry Making @ Craft Manila

 

Here are some of what I did.

A cross bracelet…

wire jewelry: cross bracelet

 

…a swirly swirly ring…

wire swirl ring

 

…a distorted star bookmark/paperclip. The silver one was done by Ana herself. I tried to copy it but my gold star turned out weird. I just pretended that I was actually going for an abstract star/magic wand.

Wire star

 

Did several others, too. These wire works won me gift certificates from Tokyo Tokyo!

Wire jewelry

There were just four of us in the class, but still, I’m so flattered! Thanks to blogger Arnie Villanueva for choosing my stuff.

I’d love to join more arts and craft workshops but for now, I am focusing on my new-found craft: decoupage and altered dominoes and bottlecaps. So far, I have not encountered anyone who does the domino thingies yet.   I’ve been splurging on inks and rubber stamps to create backgrounds for the dominoes and bottlecaps rather than printing them or snipping them from magazines. I’ve been stamping here and there and here and there… not as easy as I thought. And now, the whole process of making an altered domino tile takes much longer because of the stamps. One of these days, I need to write down the steps before I forget them.

The Little Creature #2 @ 7 months

And now for some family time. We’ll get back to crafting in the next few days.

Here is bitty baby Rohan doing the downward dog yoga pose just like his older brother. Looks like he’s more advanced. Big Little Creature #1 didn’t do the downward pose until his 9th or 10th month of existence.

 

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What a little delight… especially when you compare him to his stubborn older brother who is, yaiks, turning totally terrible three next month.

We can spot some differences between the two creatures. #1 is used to co-sleeping. I couldn’t put him to sleep if we weren’t nose to nose on yhe bed. He loves to snuggle even until now. #2 is used to sleeping in his crib. When we co-sleep, he kicks me away because he wants the space.

He’s not as fussy (yey). He’s a crawler, and a fast one, too. Older brother didn’t get to crawl because there was no place to crawl on before. He just sat up one day. Now, we have the play area at home where #2 gets to crawl and roll and tumble whenever he pleases.

He smells so yummy, too. Older brother smelled funny and stinky at that age because he perspired a lot so I thought all babies smelled that way.

 

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A couple of baby pearlies. Sweet.

Magazine Cut-Outs

I’ve been snipping this and that from magazine pages lately — whatever stuff I think would look nice in a bottle cap or on a domino. I don’t usually read the articles before. Usually, I only drool over the clothes and shoes and makeup. But because I have to, I began reading some of the texts.

Wow. The words, the phrases, the paragraphs, the articles — how very, ehhh, ornate. Excessively ornate, if they could be described as such. And confusing. Literally.

Use “literally” in a sentence.

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That’s from a local fashion magazine. “Literally” was literally used to emphasize somebody’s shining rockstar-ness. Literally a vague intensifier, that one. And that third sentence which literally began with “Her style…” literally feels off, as if there’s literally a word missing or, that another punctuation should have literally been used instead of a comma in the middle of the sentence.

But who am I to snootily correct a popular magazine? I’m really no grammatist. I have committed grammar crimes that would send chills down the spines of my English teachers. Plus, I literally only have two grammar rules: if it sounds and looks good, then it must be correct; and, if you’re not sure, google it. Like, literally.

I’m just feeling bitter and resentful and jealous of those who landed jobs in the field of fashion just by literally stringing 10 superlatives together in a single sentence.

I should be grateful. To be fair, the texts are over-the-top that I have literally more than enough cut-out words stashed for future projects. And also, I came up with this without meaning to — literally a wake up call.

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There’s an exacto knife. But why? It does go well with her red complexion. The knife makes me feel paranoid sometimes. It’s so sharp that it seems as if it literally has a life of its own and I’d get stabbed with it by it one day.

D-I-Y: More Altered Dominoes

I bought an additional dozen set of dominoes. Last Saturday, Husband and I searched for the stall where my dad bought them for Php25 each in Divisoria but we couldn’t find it. Just when I had thrown in the towel and admitted that my dad indeed knew Divisoria better than I did, Husband and I came across this toy store which sells the set for only Php20! El Cheap-o! 

And right after I bought the dozen sets, Husband and I stumbled upon the toy store that was just across 168 Mall which my friend Celina told me about before when I asked where she bought the dominoes for also Php20 each set. At least, now we know, in case I need more dominoes. As
If I don’t have enough.

I’m glazing and turning them into something else but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with them after that. It’s so much fun though, and they’re so cute after they’re glazed.

 

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I still don’t know what to do with the microbubbles. I can’t pop them with pins. I try to scoop them out before the glaze dries but there are still bubbles that I miss because they were so tiny. I read somewhere that I could pop them by heating them with a hair dryer. Must try that some time.

 

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I learned that I get cleaner holes when I drill on them AFTER glazing.

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The hole above, I drilled before glazing so I had to work around it, trying not to fill it with glaze.  The hole below, I drilled after the glaze has dried.

Here’s one that I’ve spray painted and embedded with beads.

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I’m still product testing and so far, the color has not faded and stained my clothes.

This one below is a picture of a place in Italy which I tore off from the local fashion magazine, Metro. I don’t know what to do with it.

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But pretty, yeah?

Here are more. I got the floral images from the border of an invite from one of the local hotels that my colleagues and I conducted an ocular inspection in a couple of days ago.

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Pretty, yeah? And so mushy. It’s a little early for Valentine’s Day. IMG_4824.JPG

I’m giving these to some lucky lassies because I took their invitation cards.

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At home, beads, bottle caps, domino tiles are scattered not just in my work area but all over the house, no thanks to the Little  Creature #1 who loves to swipe and play with my materials and then leave them wherever.

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I do try to keep my mess confined to my corner but I hate being organized. I feel like my brain is being restricted or restrained. Plus, cleaning up afterwards takes time. I love seeing my materials all over in a huge, crazy jumble because that is when I see all the colors and become more inspired to create something.

This is part of a Lancome ad that I cut out from a mag. I embedded the mushy word. More lovey dovey. Cute.

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D-I-Y: Altered Tin #2

This used to be an old Kiehl’s tin which contained 4 tubes of lip balm (I gave away a couple) and I may have had the tin for ten years or so (quick review: lip bummed so thumbs down).

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A tribute to Lillian Gish. I cannot recall watching any of her movies, but I do love old Hollywood and she looked really beautiful in this picture.

Again, I had no design in mind, just like my first try at altering tin. I just kept adding and adding and adding, mostly to hide the mistakes like the wet spots and dry glue. I had to stop somewhere because I might end up covering everything. Again, it’s more shabby than chic.

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I used old and crumbly and crispy and yellowing pages from Freud’s “Introduction to Psychoanalysis” which I found in the shelf at home. It was probably a 60’s publication. No one is going to read it, I most certainly won’t, and time has almost destroyed it but I still felt a little guilty tearing some of the pages. There is no profound or psychologically-related meaning as to why I used the pages from the book. It was just there. And it was falling apart anyway.

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materials used: old book pages, fabric flowers, satin ribbon, lace, a wooden stirrer for the frame, distress ink for the stirrer, acrylic pearls, glass, and metal beads, rhinestone stickers, a couple of freshwater pearls, domino tile, dimensional magic, mod podge.

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I did this project a couple of weeks ago. Mod Podge is still sticky. I need some sort of sealant.

Looks like I’ve inspired someone to get crafty as well.

Dat face.

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He did this a few days ago and he brings it with him at all times. He’s so proud of it that he even brought it to school to show to his teacher. I mod podged the stickers on the plate because he gets bothered when they fall off.

D-I-Y: Resin Tiles

Joined a Resin Tile and Coaster Making Workshop @ Craft Manila last weekend. The instructor was artist Nikki Abelardo.

Crafting is taking over my life. Again. Am not even making an effort to prettify my writing. I just want to post pictures of the stuff I did so that I will have memories of them before they crumble or get destroyed by the Little Creature #1.  Who is taking care of the kids while I hide from the world in my sweet, sexy B.O.D. (Bubble of Denial – it’s my version of the Tardis)?  I am not sure anymore… What kids? haha.

It was a two day workshop because we had to wait for the resin to dry overnight.  There were just 3 of us students.

How to get to Craft Manila:

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Cool, but was I in the right place?  Was my initial thought. Yes, I was.

 

Day 1: Preparing and priming the pieces. This took me some time.  Teacher Nikki said, “minions, choose your designs,” and she pointed to this big plastic box filled with old magazines, scrapbook papers, and other papery junk.

Ehmagahhhd, the pressure! I rummaged through the papers in silent panic. What designs?

I thought of going for the sweet, feminine, shabby chic look for lack of other ideas so I initially grabbed a pile of floral scrapbook papers. But that semi-goth-semi-grunge- straight-edgy -part-of-me-that-I keep-burying-deep-deep-deep-down-which-I-thought-I-had-gotten-over-by-now-because-I-am-getting-too-old-for-that-sh**-eh-I-mean-stuff, was struggling to get out, as usual. So, it got out and led me back to the plastic box until I got the images that just felt right but made me feel a bit conscious because the others might think that some were a little odd… and scary.

Busy-busy-busy, mix-mix-mix.

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The worktable. I’ve poured the resin over the tiles. Those microbubbles, they ruin everything!

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Day 2

They’re far from perfect, with the microbubbles and the wet spots, but I’m happy with the images. The random words actually fit nicely with the random pictures.

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These are my favorites:

“Escape the everyday” – sounds Doctor Who-ish to me, you know, the Tardis thing and well, “books! The best weapons,” he said)

 

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“Sweet dreams,” I realized afterwards, seemed a bit sarcastic and sinister, as if the creepy baby was saying it with malicious glee. Sort of reminds me of Dave McKean’s surreal art (I do flatter myself as I compare my amateur art with his). Then there’s the naked guy with several legs and his twiddledeedee hanging out. I swear, I did not see the twiddledeedee until after the resin has dried (we-ell, it was tiny!).

 

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No text for this one. I shall call it “The Watcher”. And that framed painting on the left with the person sitting like he/she is sort of scared? Kind of disturbing for me but I don’t know how to work it out of the picture. Shuda covered it with something.

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“Here’s to the Brave Girl”. Got the text from a Keds ad with Taylor Swift’s pic. It actually says “here’s to the brave girls”. A dear friend once wrote me a note saying I was brave. Am not entirely convinced but it was my the best compliment (and my favorite, too) I have ever received. Love the vivid blue.

 

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Now these, unfortunately, did not turn out well. Latex paint + resin = ugly blobs.

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Next week, I will join the Leather Cuff Making class! EXCITED. MUCHO.

D-I-Y: Doctor Who Designs

Husband and I are thinking of having these printed on t-shirts for personal use and WHO knows, maybe for business. I don’t claim to have designed everything from scratch and obviously the quotes aren’t mine but I did mash-ups of several images and did a little “fonting” so I could at least claim certain parts as my own. I don’t know where the original parts of the images came from anymore because I just got them from re-re-re-re-repins in Pinterest. But I will gladly remove any image if contested. And I apologize in advance. I did have fun redesigning the images. Yaiks, I haven’t outgrown my fan-girliness after all.

Anyway, here are my attempts at t-shirt or maybe shopping bag designs using Powerpoint (I never really got to my yearly resolution to learn How to use Photoshop):

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I love the picture of old Hollywood star Mary Pickford. The mashup with the Tardis image worked.  The look on her face… longing, wishing, hoping … I probably have that look whenever I’m alone.IMG_4577.JPG

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Challenge Accepted! D-I-Y: Altered Domino Tiles

My friend Ciel over at Happy Blue Thoughts is also a fan of that Doctor and that Blue Box that’s bigger on the inside so I made this for her and a couple of other stuff.

Tardis pendant: bottle cap

 

She wanted this art nouveau Tardis by someone named Koroa below in a bottle cap but it doesn’t fit the round bottle cap frame. It was just too pretty to discard. I also wanted one trinket with this design for myself, so…

Tardis Nouveau Art - Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey

 

 as Barney Stinson would say,

Barney-Stinson-barney-stinson

 

I remember coming across altered dominoes in Pinterest while searching for inspirations. So I rummaged through my junk and saw the set which the Little Creature #1 received from a friend’s son’s birthday last year as one of items in a huge box of party favors. The theme was something-something-science (read: geekozoid).

Aha!

domino tiles-mod podge-dimensional magic

From those…

To this…

Tardis Altered Domino Pendant

Doctor Who Tardis pendant

 

and these!

 Alphonse Mucha Art Nouveau

 

 

Art Noveau by Alphonse Mucha. It’s hard to make just one or a couple. And Alphonse’s art work is just so beautiful even in miniature. Don’t think I stopped at that. I asked my Dad to buy 8 more sets of dominoes in Divisoria. One set costs just Php25.  I’m ashamed to admit that he seems more familiar with Divisoria than I am. When Husband and I went there on the same day my dad did, we didn’t find a single set.

So now what am I supposed to do with all those tiles? Maybe I’ll have them framed. Or maybe I’ll wear them all as pendants.

D-I-Y: Altered Tin Can Using Mixed Media

Underneath all that junk is an image of Spiderman. I’m not really a Spidey fan so…

 

altered tin can: steampunk

This is my very first attempt to “steampunk” an item. It looks more “shabby” than “chic”. I may have used almost all the materials I could find, that’s why it looks very messy, and I really didn’t have a design plan in mind, but it was so much fun to do!

Materials used:

tin lunch box

shimmery blue spray paint (it’s not sealed yet. I was too excited to stick all that rubbish on the tin)

book mark

printed paper

wrapping paper

acrylic pearls

washi tape (it’s somewhere there)

spray painted and flattened used bottle caps

ribbons

double-sided foam tape to add dimension to some of the pictures

assorted metal beads

rhinestone stickers

mod podge

Elmer’s glue

Distress Ink in Walnut Stain

and even some shimmery brown eyeshadow to add to the aged look! (I used Stila, haha). I have to figure out a way to seal the eyeshadow.

 I started this project last weekend while waiting for some other project to dry up. I had to do this in snippets of time, switching from being the Bratty Mom to the Crafty Mom whenever the Little Ones are asleep or distracted.

I’m not too happy about that shimmery blue spray paint but it was the only one available at that time. It looked too shiny and new.  I also ran out of it. I may have had too much fun spraying. Inside the box, Spiderman comic scenes are peeking through a thin coating of the paint.

To create that shabby-chic, aged look, I used Distress Ink which I recently just found out about and which I bought from Memory Lane Store. (OMG to the maximum! I wanted to buy everything in that store!)

distress ink in Walnut Stain

I’d like to try out some more of those Distress Inks but they’re too pricey.

D-I-Y Bottle Cap Pendants

So now we’re back to bottle caps.  I have hundreds of them now and it’s such a shame to just throw them away. I did these a couple of weeks ago. I’ve already experimented on some stuff since then but for now… 

Version 1: I hammered…

flattening bottle caps

 

and spray painted (and nail-polished! I used OPI Liquid Sand on the glittery ones)…

spray painted bottle caps

 

and layered the back with cardboard. Thor I’m not, so even if the inside part looked ok, the outer part of the cap was deformed. It looked like this:

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Bits of the newspaper which I used as a mat also stuck to the paint which wasn’t fully dry when I turned the bottle cap over to spray paint the other side. So I covered it with cardboard… and spray painted once more. It lost the gloss but at least the surface looked more even.

Then I mod podged…

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and dimensional magicked and attached it to some chains…

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end result: a multi-layered chain necklace with a bottle cap pendant

upcycled bottle cap

 

Version 2: I used epoxy sticker instead of dimensional magic and a factory-flattened bottle cap and attached it to some chains: 

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Life was easier with Version 2. And it looks better up close because the bottle cap was flawless and all I did was put the sticker to add dimension to the image. 

The first pendant took time to make. The spray paint alone took almost two weeks to dry because of the muggy weather. It was also harder work since I started from scratch with the used bottle cap and the hammering and the spray painting and the mod podging. And the bottle cap was flawed. But it felt more fulfilling to make!

D-I-Y: From Toilet Paper Rolls To Teeny Pillow Boxes

Here are my inspirations for this project:

From Sweet Charli:

toilet paper rolls

 

From Roadkill Rescue:

 

toilet paper rolls into pillow boxes

 

My Did-It-Myself project:

With the following materials: toilet paper rolls, used cupcake doily, scrap ribbons, glue, stickers…

toilet paper rolls and scraps

 

I came up with these:

Ta-DAAAA!

toilet paper rolls pillow boxes

 
Great for trinkets (like bottle cap thingies)! There are just so many fabulous inspirations in Pinterest.  Next projects to try: altered tin cans and domino tiles.

Happy Little Creatures

Happy Little Creature #1 + Happy Little Creature #2 = happy mom!

 

 

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Behold! The Little Creatures have been generally agreeable and sweet these days.  There are occasional tantrums coming from the bossy #1 which we sort of  just ignore  know how to deal with now but generally, all is well — and quiet (the calm before the storm, maybe).

Also, I am not being the typical bratty mom these days. In fact, as is evident in my recent posts, I am even able to squeeze in some itty bitty time for arts and crafts.

The Little Creature #1 is a happy little schoolboy who is constantly surprising us with the new things he learns in school.

The Little Creature #2 is almost 6 months old and he’s just the sweetest thing. It may be too early to say but he seems milder in temperament (and easier to take care of) than his older brother. He seems content to play on his own most of the time. He would scream when he’s hungry, of course, but there are times when I would wake up in the middle of the night to find him playing with his pillow or a plush little toy quietly. I would have no idea how long he has been awake. His older brother was never like that. At that age and up until now, upo waking up, he would immediately look around for an audience and demand attention.

I am relishing the temporary peace and quite although I have to admit, this Mother – Toddler & Baby Ceasefire is a little boring. I can’t think of anything to whine write about.

D-I-Y: A Stab at Typography Messaging

I’m hopping on the typography messaging bandwagon (via powerpoint, it’s the only thing I could do for now). Here’s my first attempt:

typography message: Be happy with who you are

 

Also, this issue about my weight (yesterday’s rant) must bother me more than I let on and more than I realize because I actually spent some precious time creating that message (credit to Doctor Who for the “wibbly-wobbly” and that sort of Tardis blue shade).

 

And I actually have already written something about my skinny arse in 2010.

 

Which reminded me of a funny thing —

There is this popular riddle in the Philippines —

“Buto’t balat pero lumilipad.” Skin and bones yet it flies.  The answer: a kite.

— which my dad modified… to suit my specs, of course:

“Buto’t balat pero ‘di lumilipad.” Skin and bones but doesn’t fly. The answer: ME. duh.

 

I thought it was silly. But for some strange reason, I liked it. A riddle about me. Cool! 

Hmmm… he also used to say I looked like Yoda. I loved it.

I guess it’s how he said these things. He wasn’t being insulting. And like I said before, it’s just a matter of perspective.

My weight is not your problem

And it’s not mine.

My favorite Doctors –  The Doctor and Doctor Seuss – think it shouldn’t be either.

The Doctor said, “It does not matter what you look like — you can be a hero, a fantastic person and eternally cool.”

I’m skin and bones and I’m ok with that. People should be, too. Anyway, why should it even matter?

The second time around, it took me about two weeks to deflate back from preggy size to almost normal me size, it was almost scary but still, it’s fantastic and I’m cool with that (yes, I’m humble-bragging).

I don’t go on diets. I eat whatever and whenever I want (and no, I don’t puke it afterwards). I don’t gain weight which is also a little scary. I had myself tested previously in case I had some thyroid thingie going on. But I’m cool, folks (more humble-bragging).

Whenever I wear a pair of leggings or tights, or even skinny jeans, I look like I’m channeling Spongebob Squarepants and his skinny legs. But I’m cool with that because my son loves Spongebob.

And so what? Even Dr. Seuss agrees. He said, “You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.” Oh, yes I am! (now shamelessly bragging)

What’s not cool?

Those people who have issues with my weight and who keep bringing it up so I can’t help but think about it. To be fair, I sometimes hear genuine concern in some of the voices of close friends. But

–here comes a mouthful–

–for the rest of the inhabitants of this planet who can’t seem to think of anything to say because they don’t feel good about themselves and I’m bad at making small talk so I may be making it difficult for people I’m small talking with to come up with small talk topics (gee, I’m soooooo sorry) so there’s nothing else to small talk about other than my super hot and fantastic bod. If they think it is socially acceptable to say something about my super hot and fantastic bod, can’t they at least say something a little more original? or witty?

Over and over and over and over… These jokes and supposed compliments (no, I’m not flattered, but I am, yes, flat on the front) may be directed at me but the only thing they do is to draw attention to the speakers’ own issues.

  1. “Kumain ka naman!” (“You should eat something!”) They wouldn’t stop judging and presuming that I have some kind of an eating disorder. It’s. Just. Insulting.
  2. “Kumakain ka ba?” (“Do you even eat at all?”) They think I’m like that real life Barbie, Valeria Lukyanova, who claims to exist on light and air alone.
  3. “Kumakain ka pala.” (Oh/So, you actually eat.”) I replied, “surprise!” to this annoying sarcastic remark. Beats me why people have to be sarcastic about my eating habits.
  4. “Bakit ‘di ka tumataba?” (“Why aren’t you getting fat/gaining weight?”) This, I learned, is just some sort of an expression. People ask the question, but they don’t really want to hear my answer, which is, in a way, all right, because I don’t really have an answer.
  5. “Nakakainis ka. Bakit ‘di ka tumataba?” (You’re so annoying. Why aren’t you getting fat/gaining weight?”) Refer to #3. Yeah, I’m deliberately not-getting-fat to offend the humankind.
  6. “Buti ka pa (You’re so lucky) you don’t get fat. Me? I’m this and I’m that blah-blah.” This always reminds me of that scene in “Mean Girls” when Queen Bee Rachel McAdams and her minions each took turns to lament about something they hated about their bodies and Lindsay Lohan’s character felt obligated to say something icky as well, so she talked about her bad morning breath. I used to appease the whiners so I would bring up my very intricate varicose veins. Now my response is, “I know, right?”

Filipinos. Sigh.

People. Sigh.

Heed my words, people (This is me channeling The Doctor and Dr. Seuss) —

to folks, y’all: short or TALL,

BIG or small,

w i d e or narrow,

wiBbly-wObbly

or straight as an arrow,

BE HAPPY with what you have,

And with who you are.

Make the best of what you have

and be the best of who you are.