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Archive for the ‘arts and crafts’ Category


I was inspired by Wilma’s photo on giraffes and I thought of the cross stitch I did years ago on the same subject. Back in the nineties, one of the Asst. Vice-Presidents (my boss) of the bank taught some of us to do cross stitching. I was hooked making so many projects some of which I gifted to my close friends. I even joined exhibits before. My eyesight is no longer that good for those small stitches. Here’ s a frame of my own giraffe Wilma. It’s still has pride of place in one corner of our wall.

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I briefly went out to unlock the gate and a cold wind brushed my cheeks. Cold nights and cold mornings are finally here. In our corner of the world, that means Christmas is near.  I haven’t done my Christmas shopping yet but my list has narrowed down a  bit. It’s mostly for family now. Years ago, I dreamed of just baking some goodies  for our neighbors and a few close friends I still get in touch with. I guess, I know enough now to make it happen.  As you grow older, the Christmas list is a little shorter because what matters is not the material gifts but more on what you share from the heart. There was a time in the distant past (when I was still working) that I used to buy all my gifts for family and friends even at the start of the year and by September, everything is ready.  I love  it to be a little personalized keeping in mind the particular person I want to give the gift to. I used to wrap them up and lovingly embellish the boxes with ribbons. That’s when Nissa’s craft supplies come in handy. The crimping scissors, glue sticks, wrappers, ribbons and all the accoutrements we have collected over the years. I recently visited my photo albums at Photobucket and found these. I don’t have any picture on my Zoom browser application except for the latest shots of my Mokara orchids.

the fun of crafting...

the fun of crafting…

I love using local materials which are cheaper and fun to do. I have a stash of greeting cards for all occasions and I still use them now and then. One thing that I miss nowadays is receiving  hand-written cards  and letters from friends. I am reviving it this Christmas.  I will buy greeting cards and write. There was a time in our small group of online friends at Multiply before when we exchanged letters and postcards and it was fun. Every day, I would check if there is one in the mail.

and the joy of wrapping gifts...

and the joy of wrapping gifts…

I am excited. It’s 48 days to go before Christmas. Since Josef is on leave, we will visit Nissa later at her office to have lunch together.  They have scheduled a trip next week to celebrate their wedding anniversary and Nate’s second birthday and they have chosen Siquijor and Dumaguete City in their itinerary. Siquijor is a lovely island province in Central Visayas. Like Boracay, it boasts of white sands and lovely beaches. Lucky Nate to have a wide and big playground for a few days.

 

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There is nothing much to do in this rainy Wednesday morning.  Sometimes, you just get bored with so much time in your hands. Waking up early really has its advantage because you get to finish daily household chores early too. This morning, I decided to tackle the contents of Nissa’s cabinet  which was left as it was since she got married November of 2011. We have floor-to-ceiling cabinets in our bedrooms so you can just imagine the amount of things left there most of which are old clothes which she didn’t bring with her, personal effects, stationeries,  arts and crafts kits, and various  toiletries some of which were not opened yet. I disposed all of the facial creams, lotions, shampoo bottles and some used make-up which she left behind.  Despite all these junks I found some treasures though while cleaning. IMG_6162

One is  a cellphone holder still in its original box in purple color. I always call Nissa a purple girl since it is her favorite color. When she got married, all her accessories were done in three shades of purple.  Now I have a nice holder for my cellphones. I am sure she would just smile when she sees this. She is a hoarder of sentimental things like I am. Would you believe that I still have two shoe boxes of letters from friends from way back?  I am digressing again. To make the story short, I found another item that I’ve been looking for since  typhoon Ondoy and that was four years ago.  It’s a candle thermometer which my brother sent me when I was into candle-making.

This candle book is a gift from Josef and I learned so much from it.

This candle book is a gift from Josef and I learned so much from it.

When I left the bank (I availed of an early optional retirement) fourteen years ago, I was in a quandary on what to do. I had so much time in my hands so I enrolled in some arts and crafts course  including candle-making. I sourced raw materials from as far as Divisoria market and bought lots of shut glasses for my jelly candle.  Back in those days,  you can make  candles in any scent you want. I was thrilled to try chocolate, bubblegum, vanilla  and peppermint scents to name a few. I  ended up giving them as gifts to friends and relatives. Nissa’s art kit consists of several crimping scissors, paper-cutter, stamp pads for designing stationeries, beads in different colors (for making bracelets, earrings, rosaries etc.), cutters, beading wires, pens in different colors,  and ribbons. She said she misses doing crafts and she has no time now.

I remember those cross-stitches  I did  before but was not able to have them framed.  I am into rosary-making now and give them as gifts to friends. Maybe one of these days,  I will try candle-making again. It would be nice to prime wicks, find lovely molders and wax fragrance and wax dyes too.  Maybe when I’m done with my fascination for baking cookies, bars and simple cakes, when I am done reading all those books on my TBR list, I will try other crafts.

How’s your morning? Is it also rainy in your area?

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Can't get enough so I made two Dragon Scale bracelets last night.

Can’t get enough so I made two Dragon Scale bracelets last night.

A reversible Sailor's Pinstripe bracelet. It was a challenge doing this.

A reversible Sailor’s Pinstripe bracelet. It was a challenge doing this.

 

My kids are really spoiling me. Josef bought more rubber bands in pastel and assorted colors while Nissa gave me this bracelet organizer to display the things I made. I feel like a child given her new set of toys. Some designs are really challenging to make and it is lots of fun to decide on color combinations.

Sorry, this is a bit too short, just to let you all know I am still alive and kicking and   enjoying looming.

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I think I am getting addicted looming my way to this supposed to be for kids of eight and up.  I have given away around four earlier works to my niece and to a friend. But wait, after a week of surfing the net for instructional videos, I am now in the intermediate stage…hahaha! I am just frustrated that there are no available colors that I like  where my son buys our supplies.

Yeay, making one is really a stress buster....

Yeay, making one is really a stress buster….

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The box is labeled 8 and up. So I say I am 8 going 50 plus plus.

Josef bought this for me yesterday from Toys Are Us. We saw it when we had lunch on Mother’s Day and I told him, “I wonder if I could make something like that” and he said, “If an eight-year old can do it, why can’t you?” But then it is so pricey for a DIY starter kit. I had fun sorting the colors last night and starting on my first Rainbow Loom bracelet.

I was pleasantly surprised when he came home with this lovely box and he said it is for me.  Hey, anyone could start another craft which is, I understand, the craze for the last few months. I told him it looks complicated but when I read the manual, one can visit YouTube and take it from there.  We spent the night sorting the different colors included in the kit and attempted my first fishtail bracelet using the enclosed shorter hook.  A perfect stress buster if you ask me.

The starter kit is priced at P987.75

The starter kit is priced at P987.75

Rainbow Loom was created by Cheong Choon Ng, a Malaysian immigrant of Chinese descent who came to the United States in 1991.

Rainbow Loom was created by Cheong Choon Ng, a Malaysian immigrant of Chinese descent who came to the United States in 1991.

Always look for the embossed loom and hook. There are so many imitations in the market.

Always look for the embossed loom and hook. There are so many imitations in the market.

Our first projects - two fishtail bracelets and a single band done in one color.

Our first projects – two fishtail bracelets and a single band done in one color.

Try it for size - that's Josef's arm...hahaha!

Try it for size – that’s Josef’s arm…hahaha!

Josef bought an additional plastic pack of rubber bands  in purple color. My daughter is a purple girl – she loves everything purple. I showed her what we did last night and she said she is excited to try to make one.

 

 

 

 

 

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For quite some time now, Josef and I were toying with the idea of repainting the house (retouches would be more like it). I asked him,  “Will we be  able to do that?” and he said, “Sure, why not?” 

Easier said than done.  About two weeks ago, Nissa sent me several pictures of Nate and I  was of course excited to have them printed  and had three of them enlarged and framed. They’re now occupying pride of place between our sala and dining area. And since our house is a free open plan, it’s quite easy to get them painted in the same color all over to maximize space and make it look larger than it really is. We have an accent wall though where our family pictures are displayed. And when son suggested that we retouch it, I readily agreed and went to the paint center to have the color mixed  in the original tomato red. It’s complimentary to the almost peach look of the walls and the off-white ceiling and dark peach color on the cornices and base boards.

IMG_5328See, the framed pics are almost all of our baby Nate, some family pics and the Papal Blessing from Rome which Nissa applied for when she got married two years ago and a cross stitch I did several years ago.

Last Friday, Josef and I visited Wilcon Home Depot  to buy paints for our project. I had written the exact shade and paint colors that we have to buy. Four years ago, I blogged about our house renovation after typhoon Ondoy destroyed most of our cabinets and furnitures,  so I took note of the colors that we used in the painting job. Davies’ Bio-fresh paints are odorless and easy to apply. Almost Peach for the walls and True Blue for the bedrooms but we didn’t touch the ceiling though because it is hard to paint the cornices and the ladder is not long enough for the job.  We have finished one bedroom, done with the comfort room and I did retouches on the kitchen walls including the dirty kitchen adjoining it.  It’s quite fun when you get engrossed in a project and you finally see the big difference once it’s done. Last summer, we did the same with the concrete fence and our two gates outside.  My only frustration is I still have to hire a painter to do our roof. It’s a difficult job if you ask me because you are at the mercy of the heat of the sun.  Josef  suggested we’ll  have it done after Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, I have put up some decor that I recently bought at National Bookstore, four  small stockings for the family, and a Merry Christmas wall decor in silver.  I am not so keen in putting up our seven-foot Christmas tree, it’s hard to remove all the trimmings when the season is over. I have my favorite Nativity set inside a large water globe which has been with us for a number of years but I still dream of buying the real thing which is the Belen, which I think is more symbolic of Christmas than the tree itself.

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Last year, I was so excited to make these Christmas decor.  Let’s see how I could fashion something else with old  Christmas decorations  which we  have plenty of. Recycling is the key and a simple DIY project won’t hurt, my wise son says.

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louie

Louie, my sixteen year old nephew sent me this early this morning. It’s  a part of his artwork collections that he posted on his timeline in FB.  It’s a pencil sketch of two kids with hook and lines.  It reminds me of those serene afternoons I spent with mom going fishing during school breaks when I was in grade school and the times I spent with my cousins looking for green beetles to play with.  Another artist in the family. My younger brother is into architecture, my other nephew paints too (he’s a Fine Arts graduate) and my daughter is into arts and crafts and makes her own greeting cards complete with drawings and cut-outs. I’m truly impressed because I could not even draw a stick figure much less make something like this.

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Hmm…I think it’s more than that.  My Don Manuel plant lost its leaves and eventually died more  than a month ago, but  I didn’t think of replacing it with a new one. I thought it would be perfect as a Christmas tree for my small garden. And since I am into recycling old decor, there won’t be a problem with using the small ones in decorating it. I just bought some garlands and more small bells for a song when we had our twice a month marketing this morning. It’s crude I know but I love it. I even thought of spraying the trunk of gold paint but eventually abandoned the idea.

And I love the background…..clouds. they are my favorite subjects in photography. And that lamp-post you see has its own attached lantern in a shape of a bell, our whole street have this uniform decor.

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We normally put up Christmas decorations at the end of November each year but since my artistic daughter is not around to help, I persuaded my son to bring down some of those decorations we have accumulated over the years. Every year, we buy something new, a trinket here and there, new colors of Christmas balls depending on the color theme that we want to achieve. This time though, I want to recycle some decor that we seldom use. My morning was filled with memories of Christmas past.

Yesterday, I found these lovely wooden carts made of bamboo and rattan and I thought they would be perfect for those old decorations we have. There’s nothing like giving a new face to old things 🙂

Does it look like it was recycled? Except for the wooden cart, everything is old.

We have these flowers two years ago when we decided to have the old green and red motif for our Christmas tree.

It’s all red. I wonder where the other decor got to. I could not even find Christmas lights.

And this is an old jar which I used for  candies at Christmas time. I am giving it a new look too.

The final touch of that small vase I had earlier. I think it deserves a place along with my other Christmas decorations.

This is an all time favorite decor – a musical waterglobe with revolving outer globe by Kirkland, a regular fixture during Christmas for the last ten years or so.

Just a friendly tip, don’t throw away the original boxes of your Christmas decorations, they are easier to organize and keep after the holidays are gone. Even those nice shoe boxes and plastic biscuit tins come in handy for those small and delicate decor. Label the boxes for easy storing and identification.

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