Thursday, December 31, 2009


I arrived home at around half past two this morning, a full moon smiling with me as I stepped out of the car and into the threshold. I came from an awesome night with old schoolmates from the absolutely amazing college of UP Fine arts. It was great to see them all again, all in one place, all at the same time.

I've been looking forward to a rendezvous such as this. It would be a decade since I last saw most of them (online / television / magazine sightings excluded), so you could imagine how excited I was.

We had dinner and drinks at a really cute, cozy resto in QC owned by 3 other schoolmates. Really, really lovely place. Would you believe it? - It's called Nomnomnom Happy Food. Wonderful healthy gourmet-ish food at fastfood prices. Highly recommended.

Some 60 or so folk came, UP CFA graduates from different departments and various batches of the late '90s. There was a whole lot of us from our block and we filled half the smoking area. Everyone sort of just adapted into the scene, as if simply picking up from where we left off almost a decade ago, like we were never separated by years. Most of them looked just like the way I left them.

A lot of things were pretty much the same ...

R and J were still the fist to arrive and the last to leave.
D still has the nicest camera, and is still married to R.

MB still looks like she did in college.
MD still has her subtle-funny way of telling stories .

G is still nicey and unintrusive.

A is still the pretty girl who has never had a boyfriend.

JP is still on whatever regulated substances those are.

AL is still the weird artist type (with ultraman toy watch to match), still talks like a cool geek and is still a self-proclaimed closet gay.

D is still openly gay and openly flirts with AB.
AB is still a sweet-and-sensitive toughie and is still dating C.
H is still a heckler.

L is still his heckle-buddy.

The single girls are still single.

And there was this whole confuddled commotion with paying the bill, like how things usually went when we ate at Mang Jimmy's ten years ago.

And JP hitched a southbound ride home with me like he used to.

... Though there have been a lot of interesting developments:

JP finally graduated (Centennial batch! Woot!) - big news of the evening.
D is a classy sort of sexy-manly gay who does some designing and a bit of modeling.
AB has a lot of uber-cool tatts.
MD just recovered from an operation that revealed she had a parasitic twin (oh yes, she gave us a detailed, descriptive report while everyone was eating).
MB, one of the owners of the resto we were eating at, is now a successful entrepreneur with a couple of businesses.
H is engaged.
D and R have three kids now.
R is a respected teacher at a girls' private school.
D spells his name differently now. He has a studio and does glamour photography; we see his work everywhere.
AL is a filmmaker and has a thing for K-pop.

It felt a lot like college hang-out days all over again - except that people were now more stable (in every sense of the word) and the guys knew how to handle their drinks (i.e., no drunken vomitfests). Too bad a lot of the other friends weren't able to make it.

It was a much-needed trip away from the usual everyday of present life. I'd love to call it a great night of catching up with old friends, but great is an understatement. Hoping and waiting for a second round ...

Monday, December 28, 2009

unconditional love

Found this sweet passage on a box of perfume I received.

philosophy: consider the opportunity to love the greatest of all blessings. the love you give is the love you get and it i all good no matter where love takes you. let the ability to love another belong to you forever and ever because real love stories never end.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

i finally bought me a sketchbook

I finally bought me a new sketchbook!

Well, it isn't exactly a sketchbook because I couldn't find any decent sketchbooks, just sketchpads - it's a hardbound journal with good paper and a magnetic close-flap. It was kinda pricey but I love it.

I haven't been drawing in a while and my skills have gone all rusty so I thought it would be good for me to start again. Having a good-quality drawing book will help me sustain that.

I was partially inspired by this site. I hope to fill my book with interesting, postable drawings. I'm more of a pencils person, though I'd like to get the hang of sketching with markers and watercolors. I'll get re-acquainted with my inks after I get a bit more confident with my pencils.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

bunny apartment

Pepper (foreground) and Davey (background) checking out the new bunny apartment.

I just assembled a new cage for my bunnies out of interlocking grid panels - it's a simple, see-through, 2 x 2 x 3 bunny-apartment with a small second floor. I furnished it with a toilet (i.e., a litterbox in a carboard hidey-hole), newspaper, a small towel, a plushie, a drinking bottle and some food. I asked Davey to try it out - he's liking it, so far. He just marked the four corners with his pee - that's a rabbit's way of saying "This is my space." He kept us up last night making a racket with his redecorating (i.e.,throwing and ripping the newspaper)

Our bunnies actually started out as free-roamers (i.e., not caged - because caged bunnies are unhappy and sickly) but ever since they reached adolescence, those boys have become too aggressive toward each other so we've had to keep them separated. Two big cages are out of our budget - as well as out of our floor area - so we made do with their taking turns in the 1 x 1.5 x 2 cage that we bought for them when they were babies. Eventually of course they've gotten too big for that tiny space, so we've had to acquire a bigger one. Luckily the Hubby saw those grid panels on sale - we've seen some BunSpace pictures of bunny apartments improvised from those grid panels, so we thought we'd give it a try.

So there, the bunnies have been upgraded from a tiny studio flat to a split-level loft. Since Davey isn't complaining, I thought of leaving him in there for a few more days while Pepper roams free. When the Hubby and I find a new, more spacious residence, we'll get another cage so they can both have their own apartments.

Monday, December 14, 2009

digital photography

I was musing this morning about how digital tech has made the art of photography so much easier and thus more enjoyable.

For one, it's much less time-consuming.

For another, you could immediately see your capture in the LDC-equivalent of the viewfinder, in just a second after you clicked your cam. It is certified true through-the-lens viewing. You don't have to wait until printing while tensely hoping that you got the right balance of light and color. You could view it right then and there, and have a retake immediately if you decide that you don't quite like how it turned out.

Gone are the days of trial-and-error bracketing. Thanks to the new digital viewfinder, you more or less have an idea of where to start after the first shot. No more need for a wide bracket. You no longer need to consume time on several permutations of f-stops and shutters in the hope of getting just the right exposure.

It's just as well if you don't have a light-meter. For that matter, you don't really need a light-meter anymore.

It's ultimately easier on the money. You don't need to buy several rolls of film with various speeds because the ISO-equivalent is easily simulated with the turn of the DSLR's dial. You don't need to purchase different grades of photo paper that create different contrasts, because contrast can be adjusted on the camera's settings too.

You don't need to spend several thousands on converting your extra room into a darkroom, no need for its numerous trappings - panels, electricals, plumbing, fireproofing ... enlargers tables pans chemicals canisters darkboxes curtains equipment ... Because there's no messy darkroom processing. No need for the tricky step of prying the roll with a pair of pliers in a dark box and winding the film around the coil, relying solely on touch, nor the time-consuming process of shaking-and-slamming a chemical-filled metal canister while anxiously hoping you have no kinks, sticks or bubbles in there.

No need for the meticulous methods with the enlarger - no contact prints, no test strips, none of the endless adjusting just to get the print right. No need to wait for the fixing and drying.

The digital "darkroom" is so much more convenient - plug cable to USB port and download. Contrast and color correction is a piece of cake. No need for testing various lengths of exposure against various enlarger f-stops against three different kinds of photo paper. Placing borders and watermarks - even fancy ones - is a cinch with Photoshop. You no longer have to cut cardboard for the borders or make an acetate overlay.

And when you want to create a special effect on your capture, you don't need to waste time and expensive photo paper experimenting, because you can just click on the various filters and styles on Photoshop, and easily undo if it isn't quite what you want.

Printing is just a few clicks of a mouse. Just install your photo-quality paper of choice into a good printer, click here, click there, and voila! For that matter, you don't even need to make prints. You can easily share your photos by uploading them on your site or FB account.

Digital photography is so easy, that anyone can be a "photographer" these days (That's not exactly a good thing though :p ) . But lemme just say not everyone can be an artistic photographer.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

daytrip to sonya's garden

I've been wanting to go to Sonya's Garden for a long time, and I finally got to do it last week with the Hubby's family. On our way to Batangas, we stopped by Sonya's for lunch and it was utter bliss. Here are some of my favorite captures from that daytrip.

I love the lush, natural greenery nestling the entire site. It provides a relaxing atmosphere that distracts you from the stressors of day-to-day existece.

I love the scent of herbs, flowers and honey and the sound of birds that waft through the air.

I love that there are fresh flowers all around, some of them oversized. Some of them I don't see in the city anymore.

I love the architecture and interior of the bed and breakfast.

I love the 19th-century Fil-Spanish style combined with early 20th-century Art Nouveau. It gives off a romantic, slightly surreal ambience.

I love the oversized windows that let the sunlight and scented air in, even the diaphanous white curtains they are trimmed with. I love the crisp, white linens, the fresh flower arrangements, the glass chandeliers and the knicknacks and reading materials purposely choreographed to create a place like a home.

I love how things were cleverly repurposed - wineglass bases in the stained glass windows, old wood beams that have survived termite attacks and have been reincarnated as flooring or paneling, antique calesa chasis as benches, colored perfume bottles as windchimes, authentic capis latticework panels as sliding windows.

I love how everything is shabby-chic yet pristine and uncluttered.

I love the bathrooms and washrooms with the beach-mimic baths, charmigly furnished with organic soap and rosewater. Not a single inch of mildew or stains anywhere.

I love the restaurant snuggled in the middle of the greenery.

I love the menu. The dalandan juice with mint leaves. The bread and kesong puti. The salad with fresh-picked greens from the very garden, including rose petals. The make-your-own-sauce pasta. The tarragon tea (I never knew tarragon could be made into tea)

I love the serene feeling it left in me.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

i learned a new skill: fishing ^_^

I mean, actual fishing - real fish. I don't mean the other kind(s) of fishing (because those aren't exactly new skills).

On day two of our trip to Batangas, the Hubby and I spent a whole block of daytime on a decent-sized boat with his Uncle J and our brother-in-law D. Good thing I brought sunblock. Well, not that i needed it much; it was cloudy and cool the whole day, and we had sufficient shade on board. Uncle J taught us - uh, me (I was the only first-timer there actually) how to put together a line and cast it. The knotting business was kinda tricky since it required a special kind of knot, but I caught on quickly and had my line ready promptly.

And oh, I got my fingers and arm nicked a couple of times by those nasty little hooks.

Things were uneventful at first, but picked up pace when we got to reel in some. It was pretty exciting to see an occupied hook after another. I caught three serving-sized threadfin bream or bisugo. I was surprised to see that live bisugo are a bright orange and patinum, with neon-yellow streaks (no kidding, NEON). I've only seen them cooked or cleaned before, and I never thought they were this pretty when fresh. (I also caught two small, yellow fish, but they don't really count since I put the first one back, and I used the second one as bait since the hook went through its eye already anyway).

Fishing turned out to be a lot more fun and a lot less complicated than I thought it would be. It would have been more fulfilling if we started our day earlier (my bad - got up late and delayed the whole schedule), but it was nonetheless a satisfying experience. I mean, even with the nausea and lightheadedness that lasted until bedtime.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

old photos and old phriends

My bunny Pepper got tired of his usual play space so he ventured into that hollow under the dressing table. At the end of the day I noticed that he left two slightly-yellowed sheets of paper on the floor, something I assumed he yanked out from under there. The corners were chewed out. Upon inspection, I realized that those were figure drawings I made as a college student - some stuff I forgot about in the past years. As when a window opens to let in light, I remembered some other stuff that should be under there with the old sketches - old watercolor drawings, technical plates, a plastic drawing board. A whole lot of photographs.


I decided to dig out the photographs and see what they bring back.

I inspected them one by one -the dog-eared, dust-mottled, faded prints. I let my mind venture into its storage area to pull out whatever i could remember about each image. I tried to clean them up and took photos of them with the borrowed DSLR, aiming to make digital copies. I downloaded into the laptop and tried restoring them via Photoshop but most of them are beyond bringing back to their original clarity - unless of course I slaved for hours and days on end with the brush and clone tools, but I didn't want to do that.

I shelved that project after getting bored with all the tweaking.

Then a few days ago, a Facebook contact posted photos of us and some common friends, circa 1998. The people tagged in the photos had fun tagging other people, as well as reminiscing what they can about the time the pictures were taken. Of course we couldn't help observing weight gain, weight loss, the awkward '90s hairstyles ...

Then other friends posted other old photos, and the fun multiplied. I wanted to add to the reminiscing, so I returned to the to-be-restored old images in my hard drive and worked on them (I tried not to be obsessive so I would finish fast; I just did what was necessary to improve on the color and contrast and removed the big stains). Pretty soon I had my own nostalgic photos to pool into the fun. I must have had around a hundred images of friends from several different circles. I just put them all in one album and tagged who i could.

I received comments almost immediately. Reminisce here, reminisce there - it was fun. Pretty soon my friends tagged our common friends who weren't my FB contacts, so I easily got to reconnect with them by clicking their "add as a friend" button.

It was fascinating - and funny - how we remembered trivial things about the captured events. What was amusing is how people remembered details about each other, and even bothered to remember. That was kind of touching. We had a blast chatting away and making fun of each other. It was a catching up of sorts.

Even if I haven't even seen or contacted most of them in a decade or more, it felt like we never really moved apart - with the familiarity we addressed each other, the unabashed fun-poking, the humor not to take offense at the childish comments and the incriminating photos. It reminded me that - though I've quite isolated myself from most of them - I've had some real friends in the past who still care somewhat about the friendship we shared back when ... whenever that was.

But I guess that was the whole point, right? ^_^

Thursday, November 26, 2009

girls talk: fave gift

This week on Girls Talk, it's about Fave Gift!

My most beloved gifts received ever (so far) are my two bunny-wabbits, Davey and Pepper.

I received them summer last year as a no-reason-at-all-gift from one of my favorite boys, G (assisted by another one of my favorite boys, K). The bunnies must have been 2 to 4 weeks old then.

They're HUUUUGE now at age one year and a half, around 2.5 kilos each.

I can't really say I'm an animal lover, but loving a furry friend is a cheerer-upper, a stress-reducer and a lesson in unselfishness. I'm really glad they came into my life.

This meme is hosted by Girls Rule.

Monday, November 23, 2009

today's current fave: mascara

It's been a year or so that I think I forgot such a product ever existed. Go figure. I've been using mascara since I was a college kid so it isn't really a stranger to me. But I really can't remember why i stopped brushing gook on my lashes. It's not even that i didn't have any - in fact I realize that I've had had two half-consumed year-old tubes in my makeup stash.

When my sister-in-law arrived from the 'States the other week, she had with her an assortment of makeup samples - including tubes and tubes of mascara. When i saw the sleek little packages, I imagined how it would feel like to put on some of that gook on my lashes . . .

So anyway, I got dibs on the mascara. When I got to being alone, I though of brushing some onto my lashes - just for fun. Itfeltsoooonice. And I looked so nice. I picked up my forgotten eyelash curler (that may need to be replaced, haha) and dolled my peepers away.

So I tell myself I will be using mascara every time i leave the house from now on. At least until the next time I forget that such a product exists.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

beach wedding weekend

This past weekend was a sweet one.

First of all, I attended a wedding.

I generally like weddings because they give me a reason to girl up more excessively than usual, and I get my paws on some free yummy food. This particular wedding was of the Hubby's second younger sister to her significant-other-for-three-years.

Secondly, the Hubby's brother flew in from Singapore, and sister #1 and her hubby flew in from the U.S. just to be at this wedding. I thought that was an extremely sweet and special surprise for the bride and groom. Besides that, it was quite refreshing to see them again.

Of course I also appreciate the pasalubongs I got from the balikbayans. :)

Thirdly, this wedding was held at the beach.

I loooove the beach. And this beach we were at was a clean, pretty one that i happen to like - the light-sand Laiya in San Juan, Batangas. We stayed in one of the nicest resorts.

Just a few months ago when the Hubby and I spent a few days at another establishment in the same stretch of beach. I would walk along the sand and look at the other resorts. I stopped by this particular one and mused about staying in it next time. Well, I got my wish.

Fourthly, this wedding was one of the nicest ones I've ever been to. The bride and the groom obviously spent a lot for this, but it was well worth the cheer and the memories. The ceremony was held right there on the sand, facing the stretch of sea.

The reception followed right there beside the makeshift outdoor chapel. There were these creative flower arrangements garnished with vegetables.

The guests took part in launching these fire-lanterns that shone as beautiful orange orbs in the sky.

The buffet was wonderful, the food voluminous. There was a non-cheesy video presentation. Then they had a live band to come in and entertain the guests.

And of course, the cake - the cake was in the form of a sandcastle, with little sand-bucket cakes for giveaways.

Fifthly, i had a rad time snapping photos with the cam. I took over 200 raw ones. It's not that often that i get to go out of town, and i really love having the opportunity to take shots of things other than the same old same old city things.

Lastly, it was the first time in years that the Hubby and I got to do something different while somewhere different on a Sunday. It was quite a treat, quite a treat.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

girls talk: i'm a chocolate fan!

I realize i haven't had any chocolate in weeks because I temporarily gave in to another food craving. I can't believe I haven't even noticed!

Anyway, i chanced upon this sweet idea at Girls Talk:

The point i guess is to share about our favorite chocolate. Here are some of mine:

Reese's rules.

m&m's have got to be one of the most brilliant chocolate innovations.

Hershey's is my default comfort food.
I love it in Kiss form, too.

I've actually tasted this only once - when I was ten years old.
I never forgot about it and I still crave for it from time to time until now.
I thought it was that good.

Another unbeatable classic.

This is something I really can't afford to splurge on;
I only happened to try it when a friend brought some.
Halleujah, Royce potato chip chocolate is just heavenly!
It's a unique combination of two of my favorite happy thawts eats.
Who would have ever thought potato chips went well with chocolate?

This cute meme is hosted by Girls Rule! Drop by and share.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Wish More Days Can Be like This One

Staying home on a rainy weekday.
Snuggled in bed with a thick blanket.
While watching a series on DVD.
After having breakfast in bed.
With the Hubby.
And the bunnies.
And a laptop and a good connection.
And a good book for later.

I love. <3

Monday, November 2, 2009

suddenly-free saturdays

One great thing about graduating from youth pastoring is that the Hubby and I have our Friday evenings and Saturday evenings free! woot! woot! Instead of spending it at church like usual, we - for the first time in years - had no preachings, meetings or altar calls to worry about. We happily spent the afternoon looking for duds to wear to a beach wedding, and the evening watching an ultracute movie. The mall was crowded (it was a payday weekend) but I really didn't mind. Instead of hanging out with the church kids or their parents, the Hubby and I spent it with each other.

The suddenly-free Saturday p.m. schedule is a much-appreciated change that I could and would gladly fill with other things. We can date, we can come early to those family parties that are always held on Saturdays, we can meet up with old friends who are free only on Saturdays, we can stay home and read. We have Saturday p.m. now!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I can't believe I forgot to blog about this...

The other Thursday (the 15th), The Hubby and I had a shoot by our photographer friend Tracey. She and her family flew in from Canada to visit relatives here in the RP, and during their stay here she did some shoots and meets. We took advantage of course and had our pics taken; . Here's her blog entry about it and some stills of us she took that day.

It was a professional shoot of sorts, but Tracey isn't the studio type. We just walked around the village and spontaneously posed us in capture-worthy nooks and crannies. It was pretty fun. It was kinda pricey, but we didn't mind since proceeds went to Gentle Hands mission work.


I look out and observe that the sky is a flat, pale, dirty blue. As I was about to remark that "The sky is a flat, pale dirty blue," I consider that there really is no sky. What we call "sky" is an imaginary field superimposed on the atmosphere as viewed from the earth's surface . It's an illusionary perception of color and form effected by reflected and refracted light, defined differently by observers from their respective perspectives.

So I might as well say "The sky is a vibrant pink with flaming orange stripes," or "The sky is scumbled with a neon lightshow," or "The sky is the blue-black of the deep sea, accentuated with crushed pearlescent shell," -- because I'm sure it is true, as viewed from some other latitude or longitude. It's still much more romantic than saying"The sky is a flat, pale, dirty blue," though that is what I perceive right now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

i can't get over cupcakes

I had another episode of cupcake craving.

I got over my loyalty to the usual cupcake shop that I go to and finally ventured to check out another one. Instead of snacking at Cupcakes by Sonja, I satisfied my craving for sweets at Marta's Cakes.

The first thing I noticed was the brightly-colored interior that slightly echoed Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, only without the Burtonesque edginess. I imagine that if you took out the greens and whites and replaced them with black, put in some carved pumpkins, it'd be a cute, twisted Halloween funhouse.

Marta's unique concept cakes were on display. It contributed to that overall cheery atmosphere good for cultivating happy thawts. The Hubby and I were actually tired and not-so-happy that day, but being in that shop cheered us up quite a bit.

I love those jelly-like lamps. It's like they're floating overhead, waiting to be caught.

Anyway, yeah, the cupcakes. They weren't as fluffy or as decorated as Sonja's, but that didn't bother me because they were nonetheless yummy and much less expensive. They weren't that spectacular so i forgot to photograph them, but they were good enough to satisfy. Two thumbs up.

Another cute feature of Marta's is that they sold cupcake decorating kits (and cookie decorating kits as well). For P105, you got two plain cupcakes, tubes of brightly-colored icing and candy sprinkles. It's something not only kids would enjoy but adults would too. The time we were there, a young couple was spending their date decorating cookies. I thought of bringing my discipleship group here for an outside-church session over a cookie-painting activity.

Next time, I'll be checking out the chocolatey goodies in Xocolat. Hope i like.

level up

As of last Saturday, our youth pastoring days are officially over. We turned it all over to our friend and ministry partner J, who gladly and readily accepted.

I'd have to admit that it's rather a sad thing to have to end that chapter, but I'd also have to admit that in the mix of sentiments, excitement is prominent. I'm not all "praise the Lord" in denial about the sadness that I feel, but on top of the sadness is a rich optimism that we're on our way to something bigger and better. I think of it as a level up, flipping to a new exciting chapter of our lives that brings us closer to the climax.

And of course it's not really goodbye - we are still after all in the same church, and our relationships with the kids will be forever, except no longer as youth pastors. We will always be a part of their lives and they ours. In a way it is also a level up for them; as i explained it to them two weeks ago, now that they will be under J's leadership, and now that they are grown-up and well-trained, they are no longer spiritually-starved kids who come to church to be fed but co-workers with J to feed the younger, hungry kids.

As for the Hubby and I - well, as of this point anything is a possibility. We still have no idea what to do next, so we'll be taking time the next two months to pray and think about it. We can't see ourselves anywhere in the new structure of the church - yet - but that isn't such a bad thing because it opens up our options. We know we (both and individually) are cut out for full-time ministry, that's for sure; but that doesn't necessarily mean full-time employed in our local church, and it doesn't necessarily mean now, after 5 years of youth ministry. I've been feeling like a big fish in a small pond already, and though it scares me to move to a bigger pond - maybe even the sea - I'm quite excited.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

much ado about photos

On our day off on the 28th of September, the Hubby and I happened to volunteer for a medical mission for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy.

I felt totally useless that day because I was neither a doctor nor a nurse, and I didn't think there was much need for "counselors" (at which I would have been useful) because people needed practical aid. But good thing I brought a camera.

At that little operation, we met Ptr. R - he usually does the collecting of stories and a bit of documentation. His camera got drained, and seeing I had a good camera, he asked me to take photos for him. I took a lot of photos and had a blast.

Pastor R recently e-mailed me to let me know that some of the photos I took were posted on their website, accompanying a featured story. He also sent me a link to the page of course.

It makes me glad to see my photos made a valuable visual contribution to a worthwhile website (and of a good organization at that). My camera and what I thought was my insignificant presence turned out to be my two-loaves-and-fish, like in the Bible story. ^_^ The Lord found it useful and "multiplied" it somehow.

Aside from the photos, I realize I made another little contribution. The story featured on that page was that of Mang Antonio, who I just happened to bump into while I was wandering (I thought I got lost). He was repairing his home and asked me if I wanted to see what happened to it. We chatted a while and then I prayed for him. I thought he had an interesting story so I shared a bit of it with Ptr. R. and our team leader Dr. W. They became interested in interviewing Mang Antonio so I led the way to where he was and introduced them. That of course led to Mang A's receiving Christ. His story is now posted on Operation Blessing's website.

I also smile at the thought of being somehow appreciated, particularly after we were put down. You see, a day or two after the Hubby and I volunteered for the medical mission, a certain Sister D from our home church sent an e-mail of complaint to the Hubby and some church higher-ups. She expressed her displeasure at how we volunteered at another organization instead of helping out at our home church, and further at how I shared my photos on my FB page. She might have wanted to promote loyalty to the church or something like that, probably organizational values or whatever. But the way I saw it, the whole country was in crisis brought about by Typhoon Ondoy; people everywhere needed some sort of help, and churches, organizations and local governments were urgently working toward the same end, which is to bring relief to typhoon victims. It shouldn't matter where we did the work as long as the work got done well. Considering the state of emergency, it isn't really the time for protocols and policies. I believe the Hubby and I did a noble thing, choosing to do volunteer work instead of go on with the date we planned months ago. It's a huge shame that some other Christian's legalism, narrow-mindedness and control-freakism would find fault in something good.

I must admit that upset me somehow, but seeing a few of my photos on OB's site is a vindication of sorts. It's a kind of stamp of approval - though not from the home church, but from God - that cheers me up immensely this evening.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

beads beads beads

I have several small creative hobbies that I rotate; today's current favorite is making bead fashion accessories. After having my beads and supplies gather dust for over a year, I recently had a burst of inspiration (and apparently, budget) and I started making a new batch of wearable sellables.

I like making pretty things, I like making things that make people pretty, and I like it when people find what I make pretty.

"Pretty" of course is a relative term. ;D

I'm quite proud of the new stuff I've come up with; it's the best batch ever so far.

My improvement is not only due to "practice" but also due to the fact that I've decided to invest in the prettier, more expensive materials such as semiprecious stones and stainless or rhodium-plated findings. I've crossed out plastic beads (that look cheap) from my inventory and I am currently phasing out cheap, "eventually rustable" metal materials.

I'll be updating my shop-site soon, posting my newest designs for sale. Most of the old stock were handed to a friend for selling at a bazaar. I'm hoping I get a lot of stuff sold in both places.

I hope I won't focus on making money too much though, because that just takes the joy out of the creative expression. I need to remind myself that it isn't primarily about making money; it's about finding joy in making visually appealing objects. I'm not a starving artist anyway, and I can still afford to choose to do something I enjoy.