Crafting in the time of Corona

1D194D4D-0EE0-4B49-8BBD-46396D693D4AI actually started a similar post in June but that draft never went anywhere. Silent since April. That is a personal disappointment since I haven’t stopped crafting. (I just literally let out an audible sigh.)

I am hoping the coming weeks and months will finally get this blog going. I am going to try to do regular updates to chronicle my crafting journey. It isn’t always easy given all that’s been happening in the world. While crafting has been a form of escape for me, coping with working from home and all the chaos and uncertainty around us has affected me more than I care to admit.

But I’m here now. And I have to say, I’ve had a bit of creative rebirth of sorts in the last couple of months.

My art journal has come to life. I was stumped between my last journal ended in 2017 and this latest one I managed to start working on in March of this year. I have kept going.. and am still going. I am already planning

next year’s journal while making sure I have enough to keep this one going to the end of the year.
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I have become a mask sewing maven.(Love the sound of that!). Although I haven’t sewn any masks in the last four weeks or so, I consider this an ongoing project. I think it’s time to look at upgraded or improved patterns this time around and finish what I have.

With the pandemic still raging, I think masks are going to be an accessory of necessity for quite a bit of time ahead. I am actually looking to make a few for friends as holiday gifts this year..

Excited about new ideas for the shop! I am heartened that traffic has increased and that I have actually had sales come in. So I’m trying to get ready for the holidays with more listings and hoping they bring in some revenue. People are shopping online more now, given the situation and I am hopeful!

I have been organizing my supply inventory. This is really long overdue. And with this comes some much needed destashing. The worst is when I come across supplies I forgot I had, because then I feel bad that they have lain dormant and untouched when I could’ve thought up of something to create using them. The reality of it is, there is always the problem of finding time to actually make pieces these days. But I am trying to get better organized so I can get this going!

I am grateful that I am able to continue my creative pursuits even during this very challenging time. It has helped me to cope and helps me to stay optimistic and hopeful about the months to come.

2020

And so a new year is upon us and the first two months have ended. That I haven’t been here doesn’t mean I haven’t been crafting. On the contrary, I feel that 2019 was a very productive year for me craft wise. My writing may be in stops and starts, but crafting has been a constant in my life. It is a source of comfort, relaxation and never ending learning.

I have a 20 for 2020 list in my personal blog, listing 20 things I want to accomplish in the year.. So the idea came to me to come up with something slightly different in this crafting space: a 2020 craft wish list.

I’m looking to write up a list of 2020 projects I want to undertake in the coming year. And from there, see how it goes.

Art journaling
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1. Begin and finish an art journal in earnest. I completed my first art journal/altered book in 2015. It took me 3 years to finish it and it was a true labor of love. Since that time that I decided the last post was my last, I have tried to start another art journal at least 6 times. I am, however, currently working on something that might actually get me where I want to go with this project and that will be one of the next posts following this. I am inspired!

2. Rebind my art journal. I chose to an altered book which meant literally painting and doing my entries on an existing book. It has fallen apart at the seams literally, but I have done my best to keep it in one piece. The cover is off the spine and I really need to give the binding serious attention to preserve the book.

3. Do an art journal reveal video. I’m trying to figure out how to do this but I think it’s best done after the rebinding.

Sewing: sew the following pieces:

4. A spring coat

5. A dress

6. A topper

7. A blazer

8. A tote bag

9. A make up bag replicating the one I’m using

10. A denim painted dress or jacket

I have acquired patterns and fabric and the sewing machine has been silent for most of the previous year. It’s time to get it going again!

Jewelry

11.Create the broken shell necklace I bought a set of shells for

12. Create polymer clay beads and figure out how to cast stones in clay

13. Create fabric beads

14. Use my labradorite cabochons to create a statement piece.

15. Embellish a purse with semi precious stones and shells.

Mixed media

16. Work on my rose petal collages

17. Finish one photo transfer project

18. Create mixed media accessories made out of paper

Crochet and needle craft

19. Crochet a cardigan

20. Learn how to knit properly and follow patterns.

It seems like quite a long wish list but I’m optimistic that I will get most of that done. I will do a regular check in here to see where I am periodically and let’s see how this goes.

 

Crafting Haitus

So I fearlessly proclaimed (more than) a month ago that I was back, and then there was silence.  Yet again.  I am the first one to be totally disappointed that the next post comes so long after the much-vaunted return (of the come back like we joke around back home in Manila) which  never really happened.

Another false start?  Perhaps.  But there is much to write about because I think I’m getting my fourth wind this year.  I haven’t quite given up even if it appears it’s such a struggle to keep this corner of my web presence going.   (Plus, I have the domain name and I will NOT let this domain name go dormant yet again.)

I have been crafting that I have not been.  There are a bunch of half-finished projects and work in progress that have been momentarily stalled by other more pressing concerns like life catching up on me.  (Excuses, excuses, I know!)  The past 4 weeks have been very interesting and have forced me to redefine my direction, but I have decided to continue with the projects already in the works, one at a time.

First, I’m sad to report the loss of my iPhone mid-October, and although the iPhone was a business gadget, losing it meant losing 5,000 photos that weren’t on my cloud.   The iPhone was replaced (sans an upgrade =(..) but the pictures are forever gone.  All save for the 300 or so on my Instagram account (GothamChick) and the ones that landed on Flickr (where I am as Pinay New Yorker).

One of the sets lost contained snapshots of my  of my altered book.  I had managed to take pictures of the backgrounds that were already finished so that I could do a “before and after” shot.  The good news is that one thing I haven’t stopped or slowed down totally on is my altered book and my art journaling.  I’ve mostly concentrated on word art or lettering, compressing entries into simple phrases or single sentences.

I’ve also started working on a multi-page layout with windows, painting a varied mix of backgrounds with only the cut out window as the unifying theme.

Work in Progress: my altered book

The word art at the end of the set is slowly revealed per layout, giving me flexibility to work around it and play around the reveal.
Work in Progress: my altered book

It’s a long way towards the end of the book so it will be a while before I actually start journaling on it.

In the meantime, I’m approaching a multi-page layout I had done sometime last year, and I am really excited to start journaling on this spread.  It took some crafty cutting to get the letters down, and when I did, I had to do some patchwork.
Work in Progress: my altered book
What is most striking to me is the difference between my perspective on “happiness” at the time I created the multi-page layout and now that I’m getting ready to fill the altered pages with journaling.  But that’s a totally separate blog post in the works altogether.

I am hoping to get back to polymer clay again but I can’t find the handle of my pasta machine.  (Duh!)  It happens.  I am trying to find it, and it’s probably stuck between boxes on the floor or in one of my bins.  (Give me a break, it IS a detachable part of the contraption although it is also an indispensible part of it.)  With the holidays fast approaching, I want to create more pieces this November, more so since it’s one holiday month I am not going to close the shop for a vacation.  (Did that in 2011 and 2013.)

My Thank You Postcard Project is back on track and will be up before the month is done.  (Sending out prototype postcards soon.)

So while I am not starting any new projects soon, I’m picking up the ones I managed to get off the ground in recent months.  I am happy that no matter what distractions have come my way, I never totally shelved any of these undertakings, just setting them aside in the meantime until I can pick them up again.

This time, I mean it — I AM BACK.. and I’m already drafting the next post to prove that.

 

Celebrate Life through Art Journaling

UntitledI often find myself drooling over Art journal entries done by others, more so since I find myself doing more actual journaling than art. But I am learning to let my creative energy loose and hoping that words will figure less and I will be more visual.

I want my colors and doodles to speak the emotions I feel, or to help me remember the feelings when I leaf through my book.

I’m not quite finished with the entries for this layout yet, so I’m just focusing on one part of the page speaking about “Celebrating Life”.

I kept leafing through my altered book’s pages last night, and an idea hit me minutes to midnight which made me grab one of the many signpens in my bag. I am doing the lyrics of a song I listen to over and over again these days, and I scribbled the phrases in the bare pages of maybe 4 layouts. I colored in one before I finally turned out which came out pretty well. It’s a whole new process because I’m letting the ink bleed through, after which I will “cover” the reverse side with color.


I’m not too worried that I am not working in sequence.  The book, after all, need only make sense to me.  I brought the book home last night and left it there, and I’m looking forward to doing some work on it even as we go on a long weekend to Atlantic City.  (Thanks to Martin Luther King, Jr.!)

Another way for us to celebrate life.. for me to celebrate life.. =)

Trying to stir the creativity within

Trying to stir up the creative juices againI’m trying to jumpstart my creativity again. These days, I see my tools and my supplies and all I can think of is “putting them away”. Packing them up. Hiding them from sight.

I’m hoping Instagram will help inspire me.  Look for me there as GOTHAMCHICK.  

I’m trying to grab inspiration from my artistic muses like Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.  Maybe I’ll even start art journaling again.  Julie is such an inspiration to me not just as an artist but as a person.  She has gotten to a very good place where I hope to find myself in as well soon.

The shop has been on vacation. I’m trying to push myself to start again.  I have so many things I can create with right now I don’t even have to buy any additional supplies to start anew.  Oh, okay — have to get with the packaging again.  I had started with handmade boxes but now realize that perhaps regular boxes are the way to go.  It took me so much time and effort to create the packaging that it robbed me of time to create.  More on that later.

I want to be able to sort my things and get rid of those things I don’t need.  I have taken to getting rid of five things at any given time, whether I’m ruffling through the contents of my purse (Are you like me who keeps every receipt thinking they might be good for something like a refund later?)

I want to get organized.

Let’s see where the weekend leads me.  I wanted to at least open my altered book and either start a new entry or just get to the pages I’ve already created and start writing on them.  That might get me started.