Drawn with thread

My lolo Maning was an excellent boxer, farmer, and tailor. He had a tailoring shop in Gagalangin and he made the most beautiful barongs for my dad, and uniforms for me. It’s quite sad that he was shot to his death by robbers inside his shop, but I keep fond memories of our happy times together and know him more through my mom’s stories about him.

My lolo Floring was a colonel, a Bataan Death March survivor, and he also sort of led our brothers/sisters in faith in our spiritist “church”. (Yes, I am a spiritist.)
He often fetched me from school when no one else could and I have a lot of fond memories about him as well. He often sewed shut the holes in his clothes, and would ask me to thread the needle since his eyesight wasn’t that good anymore.

Don’t even get me started on my lolas and their sewing skills. My lola Nena used to help me with my sewing homework and mostly ended up doing it because my stitches were crooked and really messy. My mom used to sew outfits for me, and I remember a very cute bolero she made me, long before I even knew what a bolero was.

In short, everyone in my family can wield the needle and the thread with confidence and flair (including my dad). Except me. I don’t have the patience for it or the hand-eye coordination, it appears . I bought myself those thick embroidery/needlecraft books from Reader’s Digest and Good Housekeeping and promised myself I would conquer embroidery/sewing one day. Because, possibilities.

The day came when I was brave enough to give it another shot. I  got all my materials ready, including gold embroidery thread and other luscious thread colors. One thing was missing, though, and that was–my needle. That big embroidery needle that I might have accidentally left at that book-binding workshop I attended months ago at 98B. Oops.

So my plans were scrapped. Until now. I plan on sewing my mom’s portrait for Mother’s Day so help me Universe. Here’s my work  in progress:

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It’s also part of my #30bravedays challenge, which I’m enjoying so much! More on that soon.

Wish me luck! 🙂

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Teach yo’self!

I have this nasty habit of buying books just to have them and then forgetting about them once I’ve stored them. When I’ve unearthed my books related to arts/crafts, I’ve discovered that they’re quite a lot, which should be something that I remember each time I’m inside a bookstore, to help me curb my buying enthusiasm (which my wallet’s not supporting completely).

The recent #30bravedays challenge has been making me dream big, and I’m planning on taking a dream trip to my dream destination next year (please, Universe, please) which means NO unnecessary spending. I consider books and learning a neccesity, but this time I would have to set a strict budget for that and stick to it, no matter how hard. This means no arts/crafts workshops for me this year. 😦 If you read my blog from a year ago, you’d learn that I am a huge huge fan of workshops (I took two classes last year, printmaking and drawing, all within the same day during weekends because why not), so this saddens me a bit. But eyes on the prize, they always say, so my monies will be going to my grand travel plans, because I’ve also found a workaround.

I shall be teaching myself, at my own pace, free of charge, within my time limitations. Using these books, and maybe the internet, I will be studying everything I can using materials I hoarded and sharing it in my instagram (I’m @aphazia there, let’s be friends!) and here in my blog.

I know that I have an extremely short attention span, and having a variety of books on different subjects will help me not lose interest in this challenge, hopefully. 

Here are my books:

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For my first challenge, I used an exercise from the book “Just Draw It”, and it involved drawing on a huge piece of paper while listening to music. I stuck scratch paper using washi tape to the wall since I didn’t have a large piece of paper, and used a brush pen since I didn’t have a charcoal stick. I listened to “Your Hand in Mine”, by Explosions in the Sky and closed my eyes so I wouldn’t be too conscious re the output. I had to hold the wall constantly though, since I might accidentally draw on the edges. I took occasional peeks as well. I still managed to draw on the wall accidentally though, despite these precautions, since my pen passed through the paper gaps, lol. At the end, here’s my artwork:

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I did another exercise, which was to draw while walking and to never take your pen off the paper and I did it inside the grocery, which resulted in this:

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Wish me luck! Happy Easter! 🙂

Exploring the Universe: California-Getty Museum

Whenever I visit a new country, I try to fit a museum/library visit in my itinerary. I got lucky and got to visit not just one, nor two, but four (!!!) museums during my California trip. This museum is my fave!

The Getty Museum housed most of my favorite works of art, and the architecture is equally gorgeous. If I had more time, I’d probably stay here for a week, not running out of things to do/draw/admire. I think my mouth was open during the Getty visit, I was just too awestruck and I couldn’t believe I was seeing these artworks in the flesh!!

 

Before the trip to the museum, here are some shots from the road on our way back to LA from San Francisco:

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We stopped at Iron Skillet along the highway for some authentic diner food. They had the most scrumptious tart and sweet blueberry preserves which I ate with a bowl (!!!) of whipped cream, atop my pancakes. They had the cheeriest service, so we left our server a short note thanking her together with the tip. 🙂

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The day we went to Getty Museum! You park in the basement and take a train going to the museum itself. For security purposes, perhaps, and for aesthetic purposes as well. I really appreciated this, since we got to see the beautiful skyline. I took a snap of these trees with pops of red:

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Kunyari candid hehe:

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Here are snapshots of just some of my faves! The whole place itself was heavenly, from the steps going to the entrance (above), to the garden at the ground floor.

I used to have this obsession with Andy Warhol and pop art, but right now, I’m obsessed with the Impressionist movement. I love Monet, Mary Cassatt, Renoir and Chagall, and was happy that I got to see some of their works in Getty. I also took some photos of new favorites:

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I’ve never seen a hummingbird before, and I was delighted that I was able to see a lot of them in LA! My aunt’s house had a hummingbird feeder which we filled with nectar for these birds. Each morning and before sunset, we’d get to hear the quick flapping of their wings, which sounded like a bee buzzing. The first time I saw one, I was reading outside their balcony while having breakfast and covered my ears since I thought there was a bee nearby (I had an irrational fear of said bee entering my ears, haha). To my amazement, it was a hummingbird! I saw several colors in several places, but I still can’t get enough of them.

At the leftmost part of the photo, you can see a blurry orange blob, which is the hummingbird at the balcony of my Tita’s house:

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I was able to photograph one in Huntington Garden, and another in this museum:

 

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I love the interactive area for kids, and could play here the whole day. Because I’m secretly 12.

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This is the view from outside the top (?) floor of the museum. More proof of the loveliness of this place. I was also able to check out the garden during the golden hour, which I’ll blog about soon!
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More shots taken on the road, on our way home from this day filled with beauty:
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30 brave days

“Brave” isn’t really a word I use to describe myself. I consider myself shameless, yes, and maybe strange, but never brave. For some reason, I equate being “brave” with grand things that aren’t really on my bucket list, like skydiving, or swimming with sharks.

When I stumbled upon the “30 brave days” challenge from Arriane’s blog: http://wanderrgirl.com, I knew this was something I should be part of. Seeing the other acts of bravery from the other participants made me realize that just going out of my comfort zone is enough to warrant it a “brave” act. It doesn’t have to be grand, and it doesn’t have to be impressive to others, but it has to be something meaningfully courageous to YOU.

I have a neverending list of stuff in my private bucket list in my listography (http://listography.com/aphazia), and each time I try something new, I add it to my “Happy Times” list.

Aside from my dream trip to Japan, I’m actually pretty surprised that the Universe helps me tick off items in that list. Slowly but surely. Mostly in surprising serendipitous ways.

One of the items there included seeing one of my fave bands, Moonpools & Caterpillars live. Alas, I didn’t have enough funds for a ticket and had to accept that I might not be able to see them this time. A few days before the event, our good friend Evee, was kind enough to give us two passes! I think I almost cried a bit with happiness.

My first entry involved me playing the short harmonica intro to their song “Summertime” because I haven’t played my harmonica in public (see it in my instagram feed: http://instagram.com/aphazia). Started it last April 9 too, coinciding with Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor). My lolo was a Bataan death march survivor and one of the bravest and kindest people I know so I am doing this in honor of him as well.

Day 2 involved me drawing using a pin and nail polish, since I’ve always admired Katie Rodgers’ artworks using a pin and paintblobs (check out her instagram:http://instagram.com/paperfashion)

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Day 3 involved having my harmonica signed by Moonpools & Caterpillars, and asking them all for hugs (thanks again, Evee! :))

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It was a great night with a lot of jumping, dancing, singing, and fangushing, heh.

Day 4 involved painting on blank wooden matryoshkas. I received this as a gift from my mom years ago and always dreamt of painting them but I was scared of messing it up, so I never did.

But the #30bravedays challenge seems to be working in making me braver, so this morning, I decided that today was the day:

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I learned a lot from today’s painting adventure:

1. Use paint that isn’t clumpy and a good quality brush. My acrylic paint was clumpy and my brush was losing its hair and it was a bit annoying.

2. Build up your layers. This is my first time to paint wood, so that’s another item ticked off my list!

3. Who cares if it isn’t perfect?

Exploring the Universe: California in film photos, part 2: Perfectly imperfect

More film photos! This was my hopeless roll, and by hopeless I mean my normal point-and-shoot film camera wouldn’t let me rewind itself so I took matters in my own hand and rewinded the film myself, inside the dark bedroom, inside a black jacket.

Surprisingly, I liked the results! I was actually surprised it had no smudgy fingerprints because I’m pretty sure my fingers were all sweaty when I had to tug the film with force because the camera wouldn’t let it go. I liked how some photos look wonky and out of focus, for me it has a certain charm, which is what I love about analog photos as well.

 

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On zines

The earliest memory I have on making zines was when I was around nine, if my memory hasn’t failed me.

I was probably inspired by that kiddie mag Cricket, since my mom bought me back issues from Booksale. Inside it were stories, poems, comics, puzzles, etc. I loved this formula so much, that I set out to make my own, but this time it would be about my obsession at that time: mermaids!

I got my multicolored ballpen, some paper, and wrote a short story about a mermaid, made a maze, drew the mermaid family, etc.etc. I stapled it and showed it to my lola.

In highschool I made a Leo DiCaprio one, inspired by Bop magazine and Titanic and delusion.

Years later I would stumble upon a local lesbian zine, and be mailed several: one about being an artist at work, another about someone’s daily routine. I would buy some local ones from the old Cubao X, that xeroxography event, and treasure a Booksale find named Invincible Summer.

My love for zines is perhaps linked to my obsessive/fangirly personality, and my love for DIY. When I make one, I always feel like I’m sticking it to the man, heh.

I made several zines years ago, which I entitled “Glittering Eyes” after a Roald Dahl quote. Recently, I made these:

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My partner and I collaborated on this one:

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Do you like zines too?