4

New Year New Project

December came and went just like that.

Well, maybe not really since I was in a frenzy trying to finish handmade gifts that I said I wasn’t making. However, when funds are tight, it’s amazing how it becomes possible to shift the minutes so that there are pockets of it for keeping on track with the business of the day-to-day (read: eat regular meals and such) and still finish up gifts in time for handing over on Christmas Day.

I’ve been asked about the why of this craziness that comes when there are special occasions. Standard answer is that even if the giftee might not like the gift, there is, at least for me, the idea that when I made it, I put a bit of myself in whatever it was I made. The other more obvious one is that the gift will be unique to that person because it’s not something that will be found in any shop or bazaar. The third reason is that I really just like making things so I figure I’m sharing the joy of that in some way.

Something came out of making those four bags. I decided that 2015 will be the year I make bags. Here’s a little back story.

I’m normally a very calm person–ask my sisters. Most disastrous events in my life have come and gone without very much public drama from my end. I came to the conclusion that since I can have the attention span of a hummingbird, it may happen that I move on instead of dwelling.

But I had something happen to me that occupied my thoughts most of my waking hours. It got so bad that one day, I found myself talking to a picture I have on my cork board of the Divine Mercy. One of the things I do is to stop whatever I’m doing at 3:00 and say the short chaplet followed by a short novena. That particular day, I didn’t stop with the novena. I did what might horrify some staunch Catholics. I started berating God.

Yup, there I was, blubbering and sniffling and accusing Him of not paying attention. I went on and on about how He promised this and that and what more does He want–the usual rants of someone who won’t listen to reason because no answer will do.

Then I started answering my own questions. This happened very spontaneously–there was no lull in between the ranting and the answering where I could have thought things through. I just segued from demanding answers to giving them.

When I paused to blow my nose, my eyes shifted from the picture of the Divine Mercy to a large note I had pinned above it months before. I had written it because a friend suggested the idea sometime in the Spring. In large letters, I wrote: CAN YOU START THINKING ABOUT MAKING BAGS?

So I sat there, holding my tissue, and I said, “Oh.”

The Christmas gifts post printing and just before sewing.

My Facebook post showing the pieces I had painted.

The half-finished bag that I decided would be for my own use.

The finished bag with outer pockets that I love but proved to be more work than I intended!
Poetry by Virginia Lichauco de Leon that’s always been one of my favorites because I need more bouquets, I think.
The inside of the bag that I customized to suit my preferences.

A new bag in the making.

A close up of what the other side of the bag and handles will have.
I also began listening to Kari Chapin’s podcast just to keep the fire going. On Facebook, I told one of my friends that my project for 2015 is to be a geriatric Kate Spade. I should  have said middle-aged. I don’t think I’m geriatric quite yet.
As for the Divine Mercy, He was probably shaking His head and smiling, thinking I deserved to have a good cry anyway. 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

0

Flight

2014 is turning out to be quite a ride. This must be the year when, in my old age, I have to decide what I really and truly want to be when I grow up.  Focus, focus, focus! I keep telling myself that specially when I find myself illustrating one day then wanting to try out making a doll the next, then discovering a whole new way to do art two days after. Whenever I see a technique or style or craft that gets me all excited, I feel that I just have to try my hand at it.

It harks back to my childhood when I used to always take things apart to see how they worked. I inspected my dolls’ clothing to see how they were sewn and one of the first things I used to do whenever I had a new doll was to see if it had underpants. It might sound crazy but it was important to me that they weren’t painted on or skipped altogether just because the doll came in pants.

So yesterday, while I was working on my Butt In Chair entry for the day, this craziness I put myself in kept popping in my head. If you happen to follow me on Instagram (under my paperwitheverything profile), you’ll see that I ended up taking off just to get away from it all. I went to the mall, found that some things had changed since I’d been there, and then got myself a flourless chocolate cookie and coffee.

Yesterday was the last of the 3-day class with Kari Chapin on CreateLive. It was all about having a handmade business so most of the attendees were artists, designers, and crafters. I skipped the last day because of the need to get away and take stock of things. I needed to be where I wouldn’t pick up a pencil or fabric. I didn’t even bring my iPad so I wouldn’t start sketching.

Now this is not an easy thing for me to do given how my mind flits from one thing to another but sometimes when I’m in a different environment, I can actually focus. So I did.

In the end (and after I found myself in a part of Macy’s I’d never been to before where I walked away with a couple of baby clothes for my granddaughter, Sophie), it was all a matter of making the surface design, illustration, and writing work with one another. I couldn’t seem to walk away from any of them so I might as well put all them together to work for me.

I also had to face up to the fact that I needed a dependable income to support this endeavor and that I’d have to just squirrel away hours that I can dedicate to losing myself in all that can be magical and wonderful–at least to me. So I applied at retail stores. I’m not sure I’m even employable but well, a job means income. Maybe I can bring some magic in whatever work environment I wind up in. Whatever it is, it’s something to do while the right agent or publisher hasn’t yet discovered how fabulous I am.

I wrote that with a straight face too.

Meanwhile, my Butt In Chair entry will be a bit delayed today because of this post. Besides, yesterday’s entry was brewing in my story-telling lobe all day yesterday and resulted in this sketch over breakfast. He’s not the main character, though. Those are still just bits and pieces that haven’t resolved themselves just yet.

All in all, it was a good Wednesday. I’m not sure if I can say that about 2014 when it’s all done but getting away and taking stock makes things a bit more manageable. I even got home in time for the Modern Family reruns.