Challenging myself: loose watercolor portrait

I’ve realized that my number one love is still watercolor. I have been learning so much from doing daily paintings, from books, from attending workshops occasionally and from tips of helpful friends.
As a challenge to myself, I painted an imaginary lady using only two colors: alizarin crimson and yellow ochre and no pencil lines 🙂

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I want to do more! 🙂

Also, today starts my #100happydays till the next year starts and I’m glad to report that I won as the 400th customer in subway today which meant I got a free meal! I was waiting in line, thinking how awesome it would be and whaddya know the universe granted me my wish! 🙂

Hope your day is filled with good vibes, wherever you are now.

Challenging myself: Fly yoga!

Trying this has always been on my bucket list. Yesterday, I was finally able to try Flying Fitness at Beyond Yoga, Rockwell. Thanks to Almi who alerted me about the groupon deal for this! 🙂 She was also the one who took more pics, the first pic was taken by our instructor 🙂

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I can’t believe I was able to do the above poses since I haven’t been as dedicated to my daily yoga practice as before because of laziness and my current slight asthma attack. But here’s to surprising yourself, yes?

Also, it was way harder than I thought. There were some inverse situps where you had to do it while you’re hanging upside down, suspended in air, which was very challenging, and some other yoga poses that had to be done upside down. I was disoriented and a bit nervous since I was afraid my legs would unhook themselves accidentally and I’d break my neck lol so I think I overthunk some poses haha.

My body’s sore right now but it’s worth it! Fun and exciting. 🙂

Inspiration Blog hop!

I love reading and making lists and I especially love artsycraftsy wip posts. I felt so inspired after going through several tagged blogs. 🙂
Thanks to Ria for tagging me!

What are you working on?
A lot! I have a list of personal projects that I plan on tackling after work or over the weekend. But my attention span is super short and I’m a scanner, so I’m bound to start something then stop halfway when something shinier appears. It’s in my nature, so I have accepted this about myself. On the upside, I do tend to accomplish a lot when the art/craft bug attacks in the middle of the night, haha. I always update my instagram with recent projects, but here are the extra memorable ones:

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Experimenting with masking fluid. I suck at calligraphy but thought this might change my mind. This is a line from Conchitina Cruz’s poem “What is it about tenderness”.

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Books are piling up on my TBR pile and I can’t be more excited. I have this dream of having a reading nook and I’m planning to swankify a small area near the window for this. Maybe I’ll rearrange furniture or add some fluffy pillows.

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I hope the above drawing looks like Aubrey Plaza. It’s my first time to draw a portrait using colored pencils and I’m not sure if I like it. I felt a lot of anxiety that I’d ruin her beautiful face so maybe I’ll just draw imaginary ladies next time. I’m not sure if I have the guts to finish this eep.

How does your work differ from others?
I find it easier to make stuff filled with things I love, so in my works you’d probably see ladies, cats, ladies with cats, fangirling, an unhealthy amount of color, book/film/movie/tv show-inspired stuff. Cats!

Why do you create what you do?
They give me a happy. -Buffy
I feel more relaxed and zen when I create. I’m not fond of making drafts using pencil mostly because I like surprising myself hehe.

How does your creating process work?
I find nuggets of inspiration from my fave things, and then I try to coax/wrangle something out of them. Sometimes the results please me, sometimes they’re epic failures–but at least I got to learn from them. It’s all good. 🙂

Tagging everyone! Special mentions: Allie, Dy, Fran, Sab, Geli! 🙂

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?

#Create365: My Project 365 for 2014

Happy New Year! 2013 has been the most wonderful year, and I firmly believe that 2014 will be an even better year for all of us. 2013 was named “The Year of Magic and Wonder” and it was filled with so many blessings and surprises because of the awesomeness of the Universe. For 2014, I shall name it as “The Year for Great Things” to call forth good vibes and positivity. I realized that vagueness means more surprises, and I’m a fan of happy surprises, so there you go. Hello 2014!

I ended 2013 doing some crafts, like jazzing up colored pencils from Almi (thank you, Almi!) with colored nail polish, and making rubbercut stamps.

For the colored pencils, I used metallic and neon colors and I really like how they turned out:

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ImageI made a couple stamp (for Kate’s birthday), my first time to try making a portrait stamp. Quite challenging (I accidentally cut off Kate’s mole since it was so tiny, heh) but definitely exciting. I also made a grumpy cat stamp because I love her. I’m adding “Meet and cuddle Tardar Sauce” to my bucket list this 2014 *crosses fingers*. I used gold stamp pad ink for both:

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I’ve always wanted to try and challenge myself with a 365 project but I know that my attention span is ridiculously short, but maybe I can change that this year! I have created for myself this #Create365 project, where I make art/craft/write/sing each day, and then maybe I’ll share it in my Instagram account (@aphazia) for fun.

With all that optimism and hope simmering inside me, I made this before I slept:

ImageAt my lola’s house, I made this fashion illustration:

ImageI enjoyed playing with my forgotten Prang set so much that I made another one. Then I taught my younger cousin how to make papercuttings and we played with watercolors and salt and made galaxies.:

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Here’s to another year filled with potential and boundless possibilities. I already have exciting plans which involves ticking off multiple items from my bucket list. My stomach is filled with an army of hopeful butterflies and I can’t be happier!

What are you excited for this 2014? 🙂

Gratitude list: 100 artsycraftsy items ticked off my bucket list, 2013

At the start of the year, I made a list of wishes in my crafty bucket list.

I’m happy to say that I was able to accomplish most of them! Except for “Work with glass”, which I hope I get to try on 2014. 🙂

Here are artsycraftsy items I was also able to experience, items from a grand bucket list.
2013 has been such a generous, wonderful year, and my happiness and gratefulness bucket brimmeth over as well:

1. Try air-dry clay (Made pendants out of it)
2. Try modular origami
3. Check out Pinto Art Museum (For my birthday!)
4. Try Art Attack Products (The clay: great, The oil pastels: Not so)
5. Create my own scent for our diffuser (Citrus Olive)
6. Get featured in a broadsheet for my washi creations
7. Make handmade decor for Day’s baby shower party
8. Papel Picado
9. Learn to play the ukulele on my own, and jam with the gf, and then share it shamelessly on my Instagram
10. Make my own jam (Chili Strawberry Basil)
11. Make my own solid perfume: Olive-Tangerine-Mint
12. Attend Art Fair Phils. 2013
13. Do papercuts with my own illustration, then do a freestyle one.
14. Attend a Dr.Sketchy Alice-themed sketchmob event
15. Join Ukulele Manila
16. Draw on the streets using chalk at the Fort
17. Create a handmade papercut of blog logo/banner
18. Create a series of artworks (Dream sisters)
19. Create a panda bento box for her and a strawberry one for me
20. Try intaglio printing using an old cd c/o Serj Bumatay’s tutorial
21. Do a 3d papercut
22. Do a hollow book surprise
23. Wet on wet watercolor freestyle
24. Finally start that mixed media book
25. Buy a kalimba and play it
26. Play a gamelan and other asian musical instruments in Bali and CCP
27. Buy Hello Sandwich book
28. Experience silversmithing
29. Pound coffee beans oldschool way
30. Try lontar-palm etching
31. Try hand-printing, using leaves and flowers with markers
32. Study printmaking at the Phil. Association of Printmakers.
33. Try linocut, drypoint, monotype, monoprint, block printing
34. Try making glue rubber for papercutting/rubberstamping
35. Decorate home and workstation with flowers (statis in washi’d bottles!)
36. Have a small musical studio with my guitar, uke, kalimba, harmonica
37. Try ikebana
38. Visit that library in the street
39. Make yoghurt from scratch
40. Make a felt toy (stuffed cake)
41. Join a watercolor crafternoon
42. Join Fernando Sena’s art classes
43. Learn about shading, drawing with markers, pastels
44. Make a rubbercut with a rubber sole, hand printing
45. Hand color prints with watercolors
46. Check out Ronac Art Center
47. Make a landscape painting out of pastel
48. Make a portrait drawing of my mom and dad
49. Buy myself mint pens (mmm mint Stabilo)
50. Paint using oil pastels in a huge board (15×20)
51. Paint using tempera technique, watercolor
52. Make an abstract painting using pastels
53. Try classitex
54. Be personally recommended to sell handmade crafts (twice)
55. Create pastillas wrapper art
56. Create a galaxy in felt paper using pastels
57. Attend art workshop graduation
58. Receive three medals for the art workshop: Most outstanding student, best in costume, best in group work
59. Exhibit my “artwork” in an art “exhibit”
60. Teach arts and crafts to kids (Je’s pamangkins)
61. Be the chosen leader for my art class haha
62. Get recommended by a friend to design artwork for a store (Camille)
63. Be a dj for Jea’s road trip ride
64. Earn a certificate of completion with distinction for my online Art course (coursera)
65. Get myself teal markers from Art Friend
66. Pet Chestnut from cat socrates
67. Organize arts/crafts materials
68. Give my books/art materials and stuff away
69. Buy matboards
70. Try and make my very own travel palette using airdryclay and altoids tin
71. Start an online magazine: KATHA! (kathamagazine.tumblr.com)
72. Be the virtual dj for Katha’s “mixtape”
73. Have an offer to be a dj at a bar
74. Sing my “Fries” song with gf jamming on the uke over IG
75. Try a massage from hi-tech massage chair in mall, complete with inversion
76. Make a video for my washi collage in instagram
77. Punch holes in my belt c/o Mr. Quickie
78. Check out National Museum
79. See Spoliarium
80. Check out Paper Popup
81. Cook using induction (last sale, sale in SM thanks Universe)
82. Create customized merbirds (TnS birds, a portrait)
83. Attend Bloom Arts Festival (Here’s to joining next year *crosses fingers*)
84. Join the MuniPH X moonleaf event for Katha
84. Art drive for Yolanda kids
85. Sell merbirds for a cause
86. Sell customized merbirds for a cause
87. Give my customized TnS merbird artwork to Tegan and Sara
88. Have Tegan and Sara post my customized merbirds on their Instagram page (!!!)
89. Make Tegan and Sara face masks and wear it to our masquerade-theme office party and the pride march
90. Be a brand ambassador for Pixaroll
91. Color-your-own merbird
92. Cook perfect runny eggs using induction
93. Create optical illusion stamps
94. Carve stamps using rubber sole, erasers and speedball ez carve
95. Frame my papercut artworks
96. Cover walls with my art using washi tape
97. Create trompe l’oeil frames using washi tape
98. Cover walls with artwork by friends and idols
99. Have baby plants! Rubber plant, 2 oreganos, sanseveria and marigold
100. Appear on TV for Katha!

Thanks, Universe!

How about you? I’m thinking of new artsycraftsy goals for 2014, any suggestions?

Graduation and experimenting with new techniques

It felt so great when I finally graduated from Master Fernando Sena’s art class a few weeks ago. 🙂 It was legit, complete with entrance of colors and a march and speeches!

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I was able to tick off another item in my bucket list, which is to exhibit my artwork:

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Met a lot of new friends and gained lots of new knowledge. I’m glad I attended this class. Thanks for the photos, lovely Jianina!

I’m planning on attending the advanced art classes but since I’m a bit busy with work lately (and low on funds heh), I’m teaching myself as of now with the help of books and trial and error.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with various techniques and art materials. I think pastel and I are friends now. Here’s a nude drawing work in progress. based on a reference photo from my beloved book of vintage lesbian pulp fiction covers. There was text near the butt area so I was a bit confused about the shadowing and contours in that area haha.
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I’m obsessed with grumpy cat! Below are drawings using Mongol Inkjoy ballpoint pens. Fun and challenging!

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Mixed media collage using magazine cutouts and watercolor. I call this “Imagined galaxies: where flowers explode in bloom and the seven suns wander freely”

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I’m learning so much from the online art course in coursera! For our first assignment related to Surrealism, I made this using pastel and magazine cutouts:

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I didn’t realize that there were so many surrealist techniques! I like cubomania:

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Quick fashion sketches using my fave pens:
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Daily drawings and my summer workshops

Hello lovely friends!

I’ve been a bit busy with work lately but I promised myself that I should draw/craft each day since I discovered that it’s what I really enjoy doing–a gift to myself, in a way.

Some watercolored flowers:

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I was reading the book Tikim by Doreen Fernandez and was delighted to read a piece about pastillas wrapper art, something I’ve always dreamt of owning, making. Armed with my leftover papel de japon and scrapbooking scissors, I made a freehand merbird cutting:

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Now to make pastillas. Hmm. I used to be obsessed with no-cook pastillas as a kid, and even drew the steps so I won’t forget. It involved condensed milk and powdered milk and dayap rind and I would often make it since it was so easy and yummy.

My printmaking workshop ended last week! My last piece was a kitty I drew in plexiglass using the drypoint technique:

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Since I love cats, it’s also what inspired me for our class exhibit piece for our graduation day in Mr. Fernando Sena’s art workshop. This is done in pastel, 1/4 illustration board:

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I practiced learning watercolor using a painting by artist Thomas Kinkade as reference, which made it even more challenging, considering that manipulating the medium is already a challenge, and we worked on plain sketchbooks (I was afraid I might tear the paper when I got it too wet):

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Learned about abstract painting too! I name this “Sayaw ng Sirena” (Mermaid’s dance), also done in pastel. I think I might be in love with oil pastel:

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Artsycraftsy shenanigans, April-May

Printmaking activities–my first collagraph:
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Here it is with color, Mariposa’s dream. I created a papercut and added additional elements from nature:

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With my classmates and instructors:

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Aside from the glorious sunset after class, I also enjoy chasing this elusive kitty:

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After last week’s class I was able to see my very first real sunflower! I’m not from UP so this is magical for me, heh:

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We ate at ROC and met a playful kitty who stood up on her hind legs just to play with the string on my shirt hahaha. That same kitty kept on meowing for our attention and which woke up this sleeping beauty:

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I ordered a Speedball E-Z carve rubberblock from Aya and made a mini rubbercut print of an elephant, because I love elephants:

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Aside from learning about Printmaking from the PAP, I’m also learning about basic art concepts from the great master Fernando Sena. I wish I took up art classes from him when I was younger but oh well, it’s never too late! I’m learning so much, and I’m planning to take more lessons until I finish the entire course. Maybe after that I can finally achieve my dreams of having my works exhibited hehe (hint, hint, Universe! 🙂 ).

I learned about shading:
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…and drawing portraits. Here’s my dad and mom:

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I also learned figure drawing. We were given scantily-clad muscled men drawings to imitate and we were instructed to dress them up. I chose to make them women:

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Pastel never really appealed to me, until I learned how to use it properly. The trick is to really push it hard against the paper and not leave the white trace of the paper underneath. I always get amazed when it blends smoothly with previous colors, but my hands are really sore recently because of the muscle strain. I’m a bit pressured when drawing in class and I get shy when people check out my work but tell myself it’s part of the learning process.

Our assignment was to draw a local landscape scene and I chose a photo I took of Mt. Pinatubo’s crater, when we climbed it several years ago. The crater lake is originally just blue because the sun was too hot and didn’t cast shadows on the lake but the teacher repaired it and added shadows, which gives it more depth. I tell myself it’s a collab between me and the master and I get the giddies hahaha.

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Before that, we had to draw this landscape scene involving this bahay kubo:

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My classes have inspired and motivated me to keep on drawing and crafting, and I find myself with that growing desire each day, which leads me to overstuff my bag with materials I think I might use like these mint-colored pens and pencil, ready for the muse’s call. Or maybe that’s just an excuse to hoard, and look (and use when there’s time) at these pretties:

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I’ve been drawing my food more often.

Pink apple mangoes, painted using watercolor:

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Pondering Pon de ring donut ponders how YOLO:

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Pon de rings I drew with pastel before I ate them:

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I’ve stopped cutting paper temporarily because it also hurts my hand (and it’s still achy from the pastel dorkwings) but I kept on thinking of making something like this so I made it anyway. Papercut and watercolor:

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Quick watercolor sketches:

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Drawing hair fascinates and challenges me:
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Summer is workshop season

As a kid, summer equals “reading season”. My friends and cousins would be out there, having taekwondo lessons and music and art lessons while I chose to stay at home with my book-related adventures. Asked if I wanted to learn something new, I’d answer no, I’d rather stay in bed and read, and I was pretty much content with that, but deep down in my heart I knew I wanted to learn more about arts and crafts.

But–I was afraid. I was too shy and awkward and I feared failure and rejection too much that I didn’t even bother trying at all.

My fears overpowered my desire and that was a shame because if I really think about it, workshops are meant to be fun and not competitive–which is why I’m making up for lost time by joining as many workshops as my budget and time and schedule could allow. It’s challenging myself to follow through with that desire to create, to learn about various processes and techniques that are all transferable in the lovely world of arts and crafts. It’s also a neverending process of discovery, and I am learning about the techniques and materials that are suited for me and my short attention span. I also have the scanner personality, so there’s this huge urge to just try everything that interests me, even for a short amount of time.

Printmaking
I learned about this workshop from various friends, who all told me how they really loved their experience. Held at the headquarters of the Philippine Association of Printmakers, near CCP, you get to learn about basic printmaking techniques. I discovered that I am much too excitable which results in overinking (oops) and mismatched prints (shaky hands!) but this teaches me to see beauty in imperfection and to temper my excitement when using the press haha.

For my first monotype print, I made a merbird! Here are the other prints I made:
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I also tried drypoint, a mermaid! I bought an old xray I had and used it to make this print:

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Also stalked some kitties. I like that the area is shady and windy and has a nice unobstructed view of the sunset:

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Creativity + Level 2 Watercolor Crafternoon by Alessa from Life After Breakfast
Been wanting to try this set for the longest time, and I was so excited when I opened the box!
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Attempted to paint some shells. Lesson to self: Find an easier angle for intricate objects heh.

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Enjoyed the group “collab”:

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Met a lot of new friends and learned about color mixing here! Here’s the group:
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Yay to artsycraftsy learning! Photo taken by new friend Mars, thanks Mars!
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P.S. I got myself some statis flowers to spiffify the house. PLaced it inside jars decorated with washi tape. They make me smile each time I see them. I also have a vase with the same flowers in my office desk, to add cheer to my workstation.

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