My Awesome June 2015

The end of July is fast approaching and I am behind with my posts.  I should have written down the thoughts in my head. I try not to dwell on the should’ve, would’ve , could’ve so here I am trying to write a decent post.

The highlight of my June was the Coron trip.  I am grateful for friends who made the trip more memorable. We all had fun. Some of them met for the first time in this trip but left the place as friends.

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While in Manila, I met other friends, too. These are my high school classmates.

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And these are my elementary friends. Technically, only two of them are. Mitzi became my friend way after college but she was already friends with Shirly and Wilbert. Gail is a friend from high school. I like introducing my friends to my other friends.

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Lunch at Mom and Tina’s with Mitzi, Gail, Shirly and Wilbert.

In June, I fulfilled my longtime wish… to visit the Rizal Monument in Luneta! I had to have my picture taken at this angle to avoid showing the Torre de Manila in the background.

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 I got gifts from friends. How awesome are my friends?  Grace sent me workout clothes and some cute stuff.

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I got layers of leche flan from Erns and egg pies from Teram. Yes, I love anything custard.

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I made homemade halo-halo and healthy ice cream.  The other colorful candies in the glass are just for the photoshoot.

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I did some fun art stuff. This is a random  art stuff which I did not use pencil. I started with watercolor and just added colors upon colors.

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I sent mail exchanges for the Flourish Forum friends.

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Because of all the fun things I did last June, I cannot remember working. I think it is a good thing when work does not feel like work at all.

May 2015 Roundup

It is almost July and I have a blogging backlog. I cannot start writing about the past month without this gratitude post to everything that happened. May was a busy month. (What month isn’t?)  My month was filled of activities- some creative, some fun, some experiments and some fun, creative experiments.

May was pretty hot and humid. I had to move my workarea to one closer to the window so I could feel some breeze.

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Our dog  who used to hang out  near me went to find a cooler place to rest. She was in my aunt’s house under the table.  It was that hot.

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Even with the hot weather, we had to move and prepare because May is fiesta month! Buntings in the park were up as early as the last week of April. My cousin who would not be able to attend the celebration posed for photo near the church.

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She was around for the alumni homecoming of her high school  and she also helped my other cousin prepare for the different activities since our cousin’s batch is the silver jubilarian. They had a fairy theme in one of the parties.

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Of course,  I had to try the headdress, too.  I hang around while they were preparing.

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Because fiesta was coming up, we experimented on some recipes.

We tried kutsinta.

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We had mango-sago dessert.

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I tried to cook leche flan.

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Since I only used egg yolks in the leche flan, I had to look for desserts that use egg whites in the ingredients. I tried Pavlova. I cooked this in the microwave.

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Not all the food we made were meant for the fiesta celebration. I tried to make homemade ice cream for the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight which turned out to be a comfort food rather than a celebratory dessert. We all know what happened.

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Some good food are not experiments but gifts from generous friends. In one Saturday, we had laing and dried squid for lunch.

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Some lunch food are made by  my aunt’s former cook.

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My May was also spent bonding with friends.

My high school classmate from General Santos City visited me.

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My friends and I had a breakfast get-together with a visiting friend.

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We went to our grade school alumni homecoming.

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We also attended my friend’s parent’s wedding anniversary.

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I was the designated photographer at the wedding. A 50th wedding anniversary deserved to be celebrated!

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May was also mother’s day and this year is also mama’s 10th death anniversary. I said a prayer and offered mass for my mama.

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Of course, I practiced some calligraphy. I joined the Flourish Forum and there is a birthday exchange where we mail birthday cards to celebrants for the month who enlisted in the exchange.  My calligraphy is still shaky but I made the cards anyway.

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I learned how to do zentangles. It’s fun.

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All in all, May was a great month and I am thankful for the memories, experiences  and blessings.

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6 Memorable Things of My April 2015

Time flies so fast when you are having fun and I cherish every moment spent with love ones and friends. I invest a lot on memories and on learning about things that interest me. I do not mind not having a fat bank account, new car, new gadgets and other bright new things. As long as I have stories to tell and I learn new things, life is worth living.

I live each day trying to balance between earning a living and doing what I want to do in the hopes that one day both will become one and the same thing.  I try to explore the world as often as I can and if I can’t, due to some constraints, there are always books I can read that enrich my imagination. Life is too short to get bored.  I try to fill my minutes and hours with things that matter and  important to me like exercise, prayer, walking with the dogs, conversations with my loved ones and learning something new with art.  These were the things that kept me busy this April and there are 6 things that stood out in my memory.

1. Vacation. When my cousins and  I here in the Philippines learned that our cousin from Canada was coming home for a short vacation, we were already looking forward to the first week of April. It was a short stay but a fun and relaxing one.  I will talk  more about this trip in the coming days.

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2. Cousins. This is my  Canadian cousin’s 4th trip to the Philippines so I have to post a then-and-now photo to mark the event.  The photo on top was  taken more than 10 years ago.

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3. Art. I started to explore The Flourish Forum and The Postman’s Knock. Both are excellent resources I can use to improve on my calligraphy. I am interested in joining their mail exchanges that I signed up for June. I also made some birthday cards. My friend’s birthday was coming up so  it was an opportunity for me to practice calligraphy.

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I also made a lot of artworks to catch up with friend requests.  I am just happy that many liked my work. There are only two that are left unwanted. Poor artworks.  I will open an online store soon and I hope somebody buys my artwork.

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4. Flipping Ships.  Below is a photo of a junk boat that I posted here. Remember Edwin McCain? He was the singer behind “I’ll be”, a relatively popular song in the late 90′s (I think). He will star in a new reality show called “Flipping Ships” where he and his team revive old boats to their sailing glory. The show premiered last August 24 on Animal Planet. One of its associate producers emailed me to ask permission to use my photo of a junk boat as reference photo for an episode which might be aired on May 29.  It is cool that they made efforts to get in touch with me to ask permission to use the photo.

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5. Fixing the faucet. I have allowed my faucet to drip for a week until I made an effort to replace it myself. My cousin promised to fix it but forgot to return and finish the job so I mustered some courage to do it myself. And I fixed it! I am proud of this accomplishment.

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6. Photoshoot. I will have a photoshoot with a friend which I reluctantly said yes because if I say no I might be saying no to possibilities and challenges.  Besides, I think it would be a fun morning of catching up with a friend. We might even forget we are doing a shoot.   I am just thankful for the trust given to me. I hope I can meet expectations.

As I write this post, it is already almost the middle of May.  So far, May is treating me well. How’s your April and May?

8 Relevant Quotes for My Awesome February and March 2015

John Lennon is right. Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. All the wonderful things that happened the past two months seemed like a blur now as I try to go back to my regular routine.  I finally had the time to reflect on those things. I am thankful for all the opportunities the past two months.  Here are some quotes that proved to be true for me:

1.  ”You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C. S. Lewis

One of my aunts was the youngest in the family. She never took interest in cooking since someone else in the family took charge of that task while she was growing up. My aunt is almost 60 but when there was a TESDA culinary training program in our barangay, she enlisted and learned to cook.  We were just too happy to be taste-testers.

This is the pasta dish she cooked.

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Because she gained confidence in kitchen, she cooked caramelized bananas.

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2.  ”No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.”

 I read this quote somewhere. I am not sure who originally said this. I have several projects for the past two months that sometimes, it felt like I needed a break. Sometimes, I fear that I might not be able to perform well.  But the trick was to just show up, do the best work and you get your rewards. Mine reward was in artwork and chocolate.

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3. “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world”. -Gustave Flaubert. In my case, I was a small girl near a big tree.

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4. “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” – Malcolm Gladwell. I found time to practice watercolor painting, drawing and calligraphy. I tried a little poetry, too.

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5. ” The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart”. -Elizabeth Foley  

I got to go out with my longtime friend in Manila. I got to bond with my college roommates in Laguna. I have not seen them in 12 years.  I also visited my good friend in Singapore.  I met up with my college classmate here in Butuan.

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6. “OHANA means family, family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten”. -Lilo and Stitch My aunt volunteered to repaint my living room.

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 This was after I came back from a trip and found my entryway colorfully repainted.  I am blessed.

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7. “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.” Robert Collier

I have been religiously exercising in February and it felt great. Travel got in the way in March. I am trying to get back to the routine this April.

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8. “Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.” ― Arthur Schopenhauer.

 I got to know Johanna Basford through a Facebook post by Patricia. I kept telling myself. Why did not I think of that? Johanna is an artist who creates intricate drawings using inks (pen). She published 2 coloring books for adults and I want a copy but they are sold out at Amazon.  The following are her books:Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book and Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book. I just made my own coloring page inspired by her artistic skills.

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I also discovered Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye. Such refreshing talents.

Thank you, God, for the awesome two months!

Happy Valentine’s Day: #10daysofcrushing

Happy Valentine’s Day! I have combined my love for food, photography and lettering in this photo. My next post will be about that popsicle in the photo.  I did  the lettering  on paper, took a picture and did some tweaks on Photoshop.

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On Instagram, Fozzy started the hashtag #10daysofcrushing. If you join, you post a line from a song or a quote for your crush once a day for ten days.  Although I do not have a crush, I wanted to join to practice lettering, typography and calligraphy.  On the first day, I already listed  the lines from the song. There is nothing romantic about the process but it did bring me back to those kilig (rough translation: giddy, smitten) moments  when I had a crush on someone.

Before I even knew Fozzy’s #10daysofcrushing, I already posted this one on Facebook because I kept singing Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud in my head.  I posted this on Instagram a little later.

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Since I only own a 0.04 mm technical pen, I thought about just sketching the next song line. I have always loved melody of this song. It makes me happy. 

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Since I also see a lot of watercolor calligraphy, I wanted to try, too. My strokes are a little shaky.

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I love this song from the movie, “Anastasia”. My friend, Erns, introduced us to this song. For me, this talks about friendship more than romantic love because it was the theme song I used for the photo montage in one trip with friends.

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I found  sample sketches of flowers as embellishments to graphics. I wanted practice so this is the output.

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I wanted variations in the style I post everyday so I came up with this design.  The dried rose is just an added touch.

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While rummaging though my drawer, I found a purple pen so I wanted to use it this time.

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Finally, I got my brush pen from Daiso but I think I incorrectly inserted the ink. I might use up all the ink soon.  Uh-oh.

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I  am still in the process of learning how to do good calligraphy.  It is fun to combine it with regular handwriting.

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I ended the exercise with my own handwriting. This is my penmanship when I try so hard to make it nice.  hehe

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I suddenly thought of writing all those lines into one poem.

That maybe we found love right where we are
And I’m sailing through the sea to an island where we’ll meet
We can be them two birds of a feather that flock together
Unexpected, what you did to my heart
Though you never knew it was of you I’ve been dreaming
Who knows how long I’ve loved you, you know I love you still
Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep, dreaming about the things that we could be
And who knows I might feel better if I don’t try and I don’t hope
And I know it’s only in my mind that I’m talking to myself and not to him
A totally amazing mind, so understanding and so kind.
You’re everything to me.

It does not make sense!

Hope your Valentine’s day does.

===== Addendum

Priscilla flipped around the lines to add sense to the  entire “poem”. Pretty cool!

Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep, dreaming about the things that we could be
We can be them two birds of a feather that flock together
And I’m sailing through the sea to an island where we’ll meet

Though you never knew it was of you I’ve been dreaming
And I know it’s only in my mind that I’m talking to myself and not to him

That maybe we found love right where we are
Unexpected, what you did to my heart

And who knows I might feel better if I don’t try and I don’t hope
Who knows how long I’ve loved you, you know I love you still

A totally amazing mind, so understanding and so kind.
You’re everything to me.

Thanks, Priscilla!

 

 

 

 

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