Sunday, April 20, 2014

new beginings

farewell p town
i am going to miss this neighborhood

our last walk on the waterfront
so i took a leap of faith and moved about 100 miles away! i'd been in the same region for 40 years & i have never done anything like this before. things didn't work out with my job transfer so i even left knowing i would be unemployed.(i love being unemployed by the way)  it's funny how i decide to do this just when things were getting comfortable. i was great at my job. i loved my home and neighborhood. i enjoyed living alone with baxter. i enjoyed cooking for one. my living expenses were pretty much in control and not so bad. i started a new hobby, bike riding, &  i had just started with a riding group. i also had finally started doing local workshops & classes for artsy/crafty things. and then, like a magic poof, i left.

well, i moved into a house that is 94 years old! it needed a lot of cleaning, painting, and minor fix ups here and there. so i have been very busy.  i am enjoying this new adventure. it's funny how this move has forced me to realize many of the things i took for granted. i was content where i was but when i looked back on the year 2013, i noticed that i really didn't do much besides work. i don't want to live like that. this is going to be a great summer. i don't live 30 minutes from the beach anymore but when did i ever go to the beach anyway? there are so many places to see and things to do around here. right now i'm going to enjoy this "extended vacation" as i turn this place into my new home.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

every artist was once an amateur...

ralph waldo emerson said that and i think he knew what he was talking about :)

everyone knows i like taking these little workshops. i had the pleasure of meeting the couple who runs maple & belmont. they taught a hand lettering class the other night in a neat little shop called kitsch. and as usual, i was having a great time but the class ended so quickly!

it was awesome to see and hear about their process, how they work. it's refreshing to know that they actually work out their products. it's not always an instant success. i wrote my quote down and felt stuck. i didn't really know what to do or how to approach it. when she came by to assist, i could see a sparkle in her eye, corny as that sounds but she was able to visualize so much potential! i wish i could look at the words and see potential design. maybe i can, i know my biggest problem is that i do not practice and i don't take chances.

gifts, i love surprises!
a page from their sketchbook
my attempts, the blue writing was hers
another attempt, hmm
i have so many interests and so many things i want to do and learn. would it be better to focus on just one thing at a time or spend a set amount of time each day or each week on everything. this is just a small lists of the things i am currently interested in:
      * learn korean
      * paint and draw
      * hand lettering
      * hand made cards
      * photography
      * learn the cello
      * read!
      * exercise!
i know, if anyone else came to me whining like this my answer would be "just do it!"

well, hopefully, the winter is finally coming to an end and spring will be here with beautiful colors, fresh air, warm sunshine and inspiration :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

a day in the studio.....

last month i took another technique class with my friend, lisa freeman, who i call the stampin' up queen. she is pretty good at that stuff. i asked for help in making a cute thank you card for all of the people who made donations for my participation in the tour de cure. actually, lisa is the one who made the very first donation! she even loaned me the scrap paper, the stamps, and the ink pad! so tonight i finally got a chance to make those cards. 

i love making my own cards but as i sit in my studio and look at my empty easel my mind starts to wander. i am attracted to it but i always stop myself. i have ideas but my inner critique tells me not to bother because i don't really know what i am doing. i want to take more classes but how many classes can i take before i realize that i do know what i am doing? ugh, what's wrong with me? making cards is an easy clean up and cheap waste if i mess up. even in card making, like the baby shower one below, i tend to be safe and not really give it my all. and how can i be frugal when i have spent lots of $$$ on art supplies that are just sitting there collecting dust? 

one day, i keep telling myself, one day i will get organized & keep a routine. i can list the many excuses why i haven't started yet but i will spare you :) right now i am working on many changes, which for me are quite extreme. i will share them with you soon. at this moment i am very happy i spent time in my studio, my most favorite room of all ^_^
faux silk technique

this is what i found as i was preparing to make a card! i love when stuff like this happens!

my effort at making a baby shower card last month

getting ready to stamp my heart out

thank you lisa!

ah, the work has just begun but it's a lot of fun. i bet you can't tell which one lisa did for me but i can :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

do you wanna build a snowman.....

if you haven't seen it yet, disney's frozen is an awesome movie! ever since the snow came 2 nights ago the song from that movie (do you want to build a snowman) has been stuck in my head. anyway, there is something really peaceful in the air when it snows. winter is not one of my favorite seasons but i do love them. i am fortunate to live in an area where we somewhat experience all four seasons.

so i have been on house arrest for the past 2 days, i really don't like to drive on ice! i live in an old building (most buildings around here are at about 100 years old) and it sucks trying to keep the place heated but i'm fine as long as i stay closed up in one room.

baxter does not like to get wet. he wasn't really impressed by the snow either. we couldn't walk far before his little paws turned bright red. i always end up carrying him back home. and i never knew this before but walking through 6 or more inches of snow carrying a 20 pound dog is a great workout! 
i've been having fun in my kitchen too. i have been cooking random stuff and cleaned out my ice box. i also found things like those trader joe's cha siu bao (chinese style pork buns) in my freezer and had a yummy snack. i am about to go on another adventure and see what i can discover for tonight's dinner.

i really did want to make a snowman but my laziness and reluctance to get wet and frozen kept me inside :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

i did what?

American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure
i was invited to join a bike team and i said yes!

i really didn't think about it before i answered. it is for a great cause and i have a yearly new year's resolution to be more active and thought this would be a great way to achieve that goal. i think it's been almost 3 years since i've been on a bicycle. and when i took that ride it was only around one block! i am so out of shape. i've only committed to the 10 mile route. maybe after some weeks of riding i will decide to do the 35 mile one instead. who knows? anyway, it's for the american diabetes association TourdeCure. if you go to my web page you can make a donation, click here. any amount would be greatly appreciated! sorry, i have to try, right?  :)

one of my personal bad traits is the inability to make decisions. i was introduced to a guy who is passionate about the tour de cure and has done measurements to fit me for the perfect road bike. it is causing great anxiety because the lowest price i've heard so far is about $1700. and then i have to get a helmet, bike shorts, special bike shoes, and who knows what else. can you hear my complaining? that is personal bad trait #2, i know how to complain and make excuses! i have a very heavy beach cruiser but apparently it's not suitable for this kind of riding. (i didn't know that when i agreed to join). so i've wasted a lot of valuable time pondering over should i buy an expensive bike, should i really do this, should i, could i, would i, etc. did i ever mention how much i despise those words, should have, could have, or would have?

anyway, i am going to overcome my apprehensions. i remind myself that it is for a great cause. but i will not and cannot buy a bike that expensive! i am a registered nurse and personally know many people who have diabetes. i have treated and cared for many diabetics and unfortunately have witnessed many pass away due to complications. my mother was just diagnosed with being prediabetic, i think. she doesn't seem to understand the specifics but right now she is supposedly only watching her diet. i considered becoming a diabetic educator many times but have yet to make that final decision (refer to personal bad trait #1).

please send your good wishes and prayers that my clumsy, uncoordinated, out of shape body will not get injured, at least not too seriously ;)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

bah humbug?

stamping may not be my thing. it's messy. it is not for the perfectionist. ironically, i hand cut the letters, trying to go for a non perfectionist style since the card was so plain & simple, but the ink! the ink! everywhere! and i only stamped one thing! how does that happen? after one card, i gave up. it's ok. i only have one person in mind to send it to. (maybe, i'm still wondering if it's good enough)

i have been wanting to make this card for about 6 years now. sad, huh? but just like every holiday, the time goes so quickly, i never really got a chance to do it. so i found the snowflake rubber stamp in the dollar bin the other day and have been determined to try it ever since. i wanted to make the snowflake with my embossing powder, i had my heating gun ready. well, things don't always work out the way you want them to. i couldn't find the glittery powder! it's been so long since i've worked in my studio.but even just doing one card brought me so much joy!

it's kind of crazy thinking about technology. why send a card or call when i can text or email someone. and it seems the majority of people do not find this method impersonal at all. why call someone and ask them how they are doing when i can just login to facebook and voila! i see pictures and read updates. within a short period of time, i learn all about their current life. no need for that conversation anymore.

i used to take pride in my tradition of sending out christmas cards on the day after thanksgiving. each year my list grew and grew. i always wrote a personal message as well. for some reason, i became selfish. my disappointment grew and my gratitude decreased. my outgoing mail grew larger each year but my incoming mail got smaller. i also did not appreciate a simple signature on the card especially from those i hadn't talked to in a while. at one point, i felt many of the cards i received were just because i sent them one first. this is a terrible way of thinking and i am so very sorry (my perspective has changed by the way) but for a very long time i did not look forward to the holidays not just because of the card thing but i was tired of trying to please everyone. having to coordinate my schedule to accommodate my ex husband's family, my parents, and my brother with his apparent priority going to his wife's family. i selfishly got tired of buying gifts for others, carefully and thoughtfully selecting items for people who did not think the same for me. i would also buy gifts for others just so i didn't hurt their feelings when i gave gifts out to those who i actually wanted to give to. that need for being liked, accepted, blah blah blah, such a sad way to live. i used to tell myself that it was a good deed to give like i did. but in my heart it would hurt because they did not feel the same about me & again, the giving always outweighed the receiving. so every january, i would add up all of my receipts & ponder over the extra $1000+ i'd spent on others. sad, lonely and in debt. betcha didn't know i could be so narcissistic huh? so short story long.....i hated the holidays.

unfortunately, the holidays still don't excite me much. it's a work in progress. life during the holidays (actually all year long) is so much easier without the ex around. i can list all of the negative aspects about it, such as how horrible the traffic gets this time of year or how people become so rude & aggressive, and blah blah blah. but  today i finally bought a tree. my girls decorated it. i bought some presents & need to wrap them. i love love love wrapping presents by the way. i spent time in my studio and i made that card i have wanted to do for so long. i am spending a relaxing evening at home. i am appreciating many things right now instead of worrying about pleasing others or feeling like i am not turtlely enough for the turtle club.

next year i am going to disney world! it has been a dream of mine to go there for christmas and i plan to make it happen :)

thank you everyone and i hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

visiting the past

a coworker discovered today that i want to be an artist when i grow up. as we talked, i ended up showing off some of my old work. i entered this drawing of "george's shoes" (george was a classmate) into the 34th annual student art show  and it won the award for drawing!!!
it was done in pen & ink. when i first looked at it today, all i could see were my mistakes and then i remembered how much fun i had doing it! talk about going into the right brain mode. it was fascinating! what's crazy is that i did this in 2005. that seems like a long time ago. i can't really explain the emotion this visit into my past created...regret? sadness? disappointment? regret and disappointment in myself for not following through with that dream. sadness for being so close to something i wanted so badly and then letting it go so easily! but i realized i really like this piece and i am very proud of myself! and i know the dream is still there. i don't think it's too late yet ;)

Monday, October 28, 2013

new york vacation

i really didn't want to come home and i have decided that i will take a vacation every 3 months. it is mandatory :) so i went to new york to attend a creative cursive writing workshop with one of my favorite bloggers: elvie studio. she is an amazing and talented woman!

my oldest daughter came with me and we stayed in manhatten. i had a great time!

day 1:
     *on the way to new york we had dinner at white castle in new jersey
     *checked in the hotel then got a salad from the fresh & co
     **received a 3 hr service in the middle of the night at a 24 hr spa in korea town (and it was awesome)

day 2:
     *watched the movie 12 years a slave at a loews/amc theatre in kips bay area
     *walked around k town then had lunch at seoul garden
     *did lots of walking
     **visited the MOMA
     *shopped at uni qlo
     *did more walking
     *ordered sandwiches from spreads & got dessert from pret a manger
     *ate & watched tv @ the hotel

day 3:
     **rode the subway by myself (spent extra 40 min cause i went the wrong way)
     **attended the workshop & had lunch at city diner on the upper west side
     *picked up some goodies from baked by melissa
     *with the help of a classmate, found my way back on the subway (thanks so much chi)
     *back to the hotel & rec'd surprise gifts from my daughter (she shopped & walked while i was away)
     *spent an hour online trying to find & decide on an italian restaurant
     **ate a fantabulous meal at trattoria
     *passed out (2 cosmos with dinner was probably too much, tee hee)

day 4:
     **walked back to k town, shopped and browsed then packed a lunch from the woorijip (awesome!)
     *picked up lunch from kyochon for my coworker/friend who graciously let us bum a ride to NY with him
                            (thanks so much darren!)
     *checked out of the hotel & ate our take out
     **walked to and around chelsea in search of banksy (ran out of time but did find one!)
     *got picked up by my friend & it was bye bye new york!

Sunday, October 13, 2013


another attempt at something new.
i attended an intro to zentangle class at the MOCA today. very interesting! i guess m.c. escher was already a pro at this stuff :)
supplies for class was provided in this cute little bag, i love surprises!

getting lost tangling :)

first tiles of all classmates

Saturday, October 5, 2013

meet my new baby!

isn't he cute ^__^

this was my first attempt at wheel thrown pottery. my friend bought a kids wheel almost 10 years ago and we decided to give it a try since i happen to have a lump of clay in my studio of stuff that never gets used :)

it really was a lot of fun and i'm looking forward to taking a class and using a big girl wheel. i was simply trying to make a small bowl. i discovered that i really have heavy hands. there were a lot of "ah-ha" moments as my friend directed my actions like feeling the difference the water made or lack of it, and how the position of my hands made a different shape in the clay (using palms vs. fingers), etc.

now i must wait patiently as it dries. i think i'm going to use it as a ring/jewelry cup for my friend the chef to put near her kitchen sink. i don't think she has one yet and her birthday is coming up :)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

art on the vine

a friend bought a groupon to this class for us.
the owner/artist at takes photos and transfers the image to a canvas. she provides the acrylic paints and 2 hours of her space. it's a b.y.o.b. event too :)

those 2 hours went by at the speed of lightning! i really thought my picture would come out boring because i felt i was simply just coloring within the lines and it'd been about 10 years since i'd used acrylics. but before i knew it, i was adding ranges of values, trying to create chiaroscuro, i was changing the colors up a bit from the original photo source, etc. and then i realized it no longer mattered where the initial drawing came from. i kinda made it my own and i had so much fun! (and i didn't even bring the booze) tee hee

Thursday, July 25, 2013

another lovely stampin' up day

i spent the evening with a friend i call the "stampin' up queen"  she makes this stuff look so easy. if only i could buy everything in the catalog but i need to use the stuff i already own, right? i could have kept going on and on all night but unfortunately it's just an hour class. maybe one day i can talk her into a card making marathon, wouldn't that be awesome?  ^__^

i found the first card she ever made and she had a lot of the initial cards she made years ago. i thought they were cute and innocent. nothing fancy. she kept saying how much they sucked and how she was too embarrassed to give them to anyone. i laughed when i thought about it but i give away all of the cards i make and thought "should i be embarrassed too?". but then i said to myself, "heck no!" i make those cards with loving intentions, they mean a lot to me and i'm going to keep making them. i really enjoy it!

Friday, July 19, 2013

trying to awaken the child within

i seem to have a problem, i buy art supplies & stuff and never use them. for some reason i'm always attracted to those crayons every fall when all of the school supplies are displayed. i actually found 2 packs of the crayola 24s in my studio, never used of course.
i found that cute little book "32 ways to dress a piggy" in a store called franklin goose. (please don't mind the grease stain from the mary janes i added to the bag. by the way, i actually like bit-o-honey's better) anyway, all of those cute little books i have intimidate me. they are cute and "perfect" just the way they are, why would i make marks in them and mess them up? i feel the same way whenever i buy a neat notebook or cool composition book.
i am pleased with my little frogs, the pig's dress is really ugly and coloring the hello kitty was quite boring. i'm going to try again but maybe with pens instead. the crayons seemed different some how, probably not made the same as they were when i was little. i realized i probably need to be more adventurous and try something crazy with the boring hello kitty pages but i think i'm going to have fun with the doodle book   ^__^
i actually caught myself biting my lip as i colored. i think i even had my tongue sticking out the side at one point.

unfortunately, i'm one of those who "always" colors within the lines.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

meanwhile, back in the studio.....

i seem to go through these phases where time just passes me by and it seems to go in full speed. i was thinking of times where i felt my day was longer or more fulfilling. usually those are days where i don't go in to my "day job". doing creative projects, reading, writing, or spending time outside always made my days feel longer, more relaxed, and more productive.

it's been a long time since i've worked in my studio. first thing i did today, cleaned and organized it. then i completed a project i've wanted to do for months. a good friend of mine recently became a grandmother and i wanted to make a gift. she has a great sense of humor so i hope she likes them.

i had the bright idea of using puffy paint. i don't like puffy paint :) it's difficult to work with. everytime i thought i had a smooth and steady hand, a puff of air would burst out and mess things up. maybe that's why it's called "puffy" paint, tee hee. but i must be maturing because i did not get frustrated. i just continued and got it done. i'm not sure what they will look like when they are dry.

i'm sitting in my studio now, my favorite room of the place. i'm really happy right now. i love having all of the messy and colorful paint spots on my hands and fingers. now i'm just wondering what i should do in here next.....

Sunday, May 12, 2013

happy mommy's day!

i just received this card in the mail yesterday. it's the best! i am proud to have daughters who are all very artistic :) she's studying animal science and her self portrait is pretty awesome, she even included the missing tooth in the front :) happy mommy day to all the mothers out there!
i had to put it on the fridge of course

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

김 밥 (kim bap!)

anyong! this is one of my favorite korean dishes. i found a recipe on a website that used ground beef. silly me was amazed, i've always used ribeye for korean beef. i've only tried to make this once many years ago. this turned out really good. my tummy is very happy right now :)
here's the website: aeri's kitchen. i like how the author of this site adds in korean vocabulary to each of her posts. my favorite recipe from aeri is the tilapia with korean sauce. absolutely awesome!
sea weed, spinach, carrots, fried egg, marinated beef, pickled radish, sesame oil & of course rice

get ready to rollllllll!

i love the colors

yummy! i mean,  masheetdah!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"all children are artists."

"the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up" -- pablo picasso

i had a meeting at work today and at the end we were given an activity to perform. i painted a flower pot and i had so much fun! i felt like i was in an elementary school art class! it was awesome!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

is it spring yet?

i hope everyone had a fantabulous easter weekend!
creepy bunny and carrot cookies
the weather was good today despite the rain. i'm tired of the cold now and i'm ready for spring! i finally baked the cookies i want to send to my usual group for easter, so actually today was not a good day for the weather to warm up because i was hot in the kitchen all day! just my luck, huh?  i'm really glad i never wanted to be a pastry chef. maybe i don't have the patience. but oh well, i still have lots of fun making them. the cookies in the picture are the best ones out of the group, tee hee. by the looks of them, you wouldn't think i actually know how to draw. besides lack of patience, maybe i'm a little lazy too ^_^

Monday, March 11, 2013

a little sunday fun

i really enjoy making these name tags for gifts. 
it's funny how i can look at those cards and see all of my mistakes and imperfections. i'm always complaining that i'm not creative enough. i just need to practice. i have so many books on being creative (and no, i haven't finished any of them yet). i finally realized that it's not that i'm not creative, i don't practice! i give up and i don't allow myself to make mistakes.
i need to correct my vision. there was a time where i did art full time and i was able to see differently. i was always seeing spatial relationships, colors, tonal values, negative space, etc. i don't know when i lost it but i really want to find it again. i miss it. i think it came before because i was always drawing, i was engaged and passionate about it so i guess it was natural. it's like riding a bike, right? :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

stampin' up again

i went to another technique class given by my stampin' up diva friend lisa.
it was suppose to be a one hour class but before i knew it, 1 1/2 hours flew by. don't you just love how you lose track of time when your brain goes into right sided mode? i know i do. she let me make my cover page for the book too. i tried to show off my lettering skills :) i still need more practice! i'm just excited she had a hummingbird stamp, i love hummingbirds! i've written my list of cards to make. i'm a little behind with my thank you's and i have a wedding and baby shower coming up soon. so i better get busy!