“Bullet Journaling in February 2018”

I started my first bullet journal in January as a bit of a New Year’s resolution to get more organized.

So far I have kept to it and it has helped much to my surprise. I usually don’t make New Years resolutions because I figure if I can’t keep it, I see no point.

I’ll have to admit, after looking at other fancy spreads, it was a bit overwhelming, to say the least. But after a late light bulb moment, it finally hit me that a lot of it is actually if you want to go above and beyond to make it uniquely you. It is actually not necessary.

You can be as minimalist as you want if that’s what makes you comfortable.

This is an entirely different level of creativity that I have no experience in despite my background in art. It’s a bit contradictory, I know. So I did what I thought I would never do.

Go for a more minimalist approach.

I figured I’ll figure out the fancy smancy stuff when I get the hang of the steps and basic layouts down. After the first few pages, I got the hang of it.

Sort of…

Here is my weekly layout. There’s not much to it. The only thing that I’ve been practicing consistently is the calligraphy aspect of it.

This one is one of my more personal spreads. So far it lists Bible Scriptures that I hold dear to my heart and others that I have been reviewing to keep memorized. There’s a lot more. I just haven’t added them yet.

Don’t judge my lack of doodling skills. My exercise log is pretty much a list of exercises to add to my workout regimen and others that I do daily.

So there you go.

I finally figured out what spreads are. They are whatever you want it to be whether it is your hobbies, lifestyle, responsibilities etc. Duh, now I know. Don’t look at me like that. That’s why I said it was a late light bulb moment.

Anyway, this spread is self-explanatory. I’m tracking my bookworm list.

There you have it. My second-month update on my bullet journaling journey for 2018.

Let me know what you think in the comments section and what ideas you have for your own bullet journaling journey. Also, I am thinking of doing an art YouTube channel to complement my blog sometime in the future so let me know what you think of the idea as well and what you would like to see.

Until next time. God bless you and yours.

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“Restoring a Bible and Other Challenges”

Bookbinding is kind of therapeutic.

Ok, you’re probably wondering, “how can you think it is? You’re insane.”

So far, my bookbinding projects haven’t been too bad. I learned how to sew and tinker books together a while back, but book repair is an entirely different animal. Don’t worry. It’s a good animal!

There’s a rhythm and a process just like everything else. Cleaning the house can be a rhythm for those Mr. Cleans out there. (OK maybe not a such a fun example but you get where I’m going with it.) There’s a reason for the cheesy house pun. I’ll explain in another post. I promise and cross my heart.

Stitch, stitch, switch the page. Add some glue, stitch, stitch. Then add background music and you’re good to go. That’s just me though. Everyone who book binds probably goes about it differently. I just happen to add music and dance in the process of my projects when I work. It’s not that weird, I promise.

Aside from rhythms and possible oddity musicals you’re probably envisioning going on in my workspace, this past couple of weeks have been really busy with bookbinding repairs.

My first major one of the new year was putting together my fiancé’ s Bible, which happened to be his Abuela’s/grandma’s Bible originally before she passed. So of course, there’s a lot of sentimental value behind it.

Some of the pages were falling out and I had to somehow figure out a way to cut out the rest of the pages without damaging the ones still stuck to the inside of the cover.

I kept praying and thinking over to myself, “Lord, forgive me. I’m not trying to desecrate your sacred Word. I’m just trying to fix it.”

Being that the cover was leather, it was a bit tricky but I managed to put it back together again.

It was pretty much back to its original condition. Dealing with the delicate pages was a bit worrisome.

Just recently, the next project I had was to repair a thousand or more page construction book.

This was a bit more difficult than I anticipated because of the book’s size. I’ve always been used to making itty bitty books so seeing this one in person made me recalculate the measurements for the supplies that I needed to cover it.

Measuring is the difficult part. Putting everything together, not so much.

It may not be much, but it was a bit time consuming and a good experience. In other words, this animal was tamed! (The repair itself not the book in case you’re wondering. Books are not animals, inspiring and empowering yes, but animals? No.)

Now onward to the next challenge that may await. God bless you and until next time.

“Book Review of ‘The 5 Love Languages’: How to Use Various Non-Art Media to Draw out Inspiration for Art Pieces” 

I am a glorified bookworm.

There, I said it. I have more books than I will ever read in one sitting and I got even more for Christmas courtesy of my loving fiancé. The first one I chose to read was “The 5 Love Languages” which has a pretty self-explanatory title. Plus, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, I figured why not?

I give it about four and a half out of five stars for its informative nature and easy to understand approach. It talks about five loves that we all have and long for naturally while incorporating Bible verses and other Biblical examples.

The main reason for so many failed relationships is due to us not speaking our loved one’s love language. In a way, it makes sense if you think about it. I’ll let you read it and find out the rest for yourself so I won’t be giving out any spoilers.

As I read through the book, it painted itself in a magical way. There are ways to use non-art media to get inspiration.

  • Pray or meditate.
  • Read anything and everything. The written word is powerful.
  • Listen to music.
  • Observe other artwork different from your own.
  • Now pick your poison ahem I mean art supplies.
  • Eat some good food. Ok, maybe it’s just me because I’m always hungry.

In the next post, I’ll explain some nifty, handmade, and artsy gift ideas with “The 5 Love Languages” in mind.

God bless you on your artistic journey and until next time.

Art Therapy? What’s That? 

You have probably seen the word thrown around here and there lately in grocery stores, bookstores or people may have brought it up casually in conversation.

What is art therapy really? People think of it as simply coloring away mandalas in adult coloring books. Others see it as a simple certification that you can get after taking a simple test.

It has been around in the U.S. since the 40’s but started to be used in hospitals and mental health settings in the mid-twentieth century.

Art therapy degrees actually take at least three to four years of study that hits the subjects of mental illnesses and life’s difficulties to better help others along with honing aka polishing up their craft. They just happen to be artists too sharing their passion in the process. Every art therapist goes about it differently.

It’s not just all coloring books, but more than that. I repeat..it’s NOT just about coloring books. Nothing makes me twitch more than when someone thinks or says that it seems really easy or that you just give a patient a coloring book and that’s it.

It is about using various art mediums as a way of healing for all age groups and walks of life meaning it can help anyone and everyone.

It ranges from learning disabilities, mental disorders, to medical illnesses in hospitals, criminals in prison, and elderly concerns such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

What drawing and painting will help with one group may not help another. Soft mediums that are fluid may speak to and help a patient that has suffered abuse express his or her self in the piece. An angry patient will easily be able to work with crumpling up a paper and drawing images from the shapes he or she creates with charcoal or pastels of his or her choosing.

What can’t be expressed through words can be said through art pieces. Sometimes it is through the finished product and other times it is meditative through just the making process.

What do you know about art therapy? Do you have any experiences with how art has helped you heal? Do you know of any art therapists or are you one yourself? What are ways that you’ve explained art therapy to others?

Let’s have a discussion and leave your comments below.

God bless you and until next time.

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“First Bullet Journaling Adventure: How to Get Started”  

I am not the most organized person in the world, yet I am extremely punctual with appointments and outings. When it comes to my art supplies, I’m a stickler for how they’re stored and where. It’s as contradictory as a starburst I know but it is what it is.

If you know exactly what I’m talking about, you have maybe tried writing down memos while having them within easy reach to read daily or instead keep a planner. Some people enjoy planners for the sheer repetitiveness and can keep up with them and that’s ok kudos to them.

I’ve used planners for a while and can never keep up with them from day to day. I usually see it as something to fill out if I have things to do or scheduled that day. If there isn’t anything, it’s left blank.

Don’t get me wrong. Many of them have beautiful designs and weekly quotes to keep me motivated, but I feel there’s not much room for anything else. Even trying to be tech savvy and leaving reminders on my Google calendar on my phone doesn’t really help. By this point, you know it’s really bad.

As a sort of New Year’s resolution, I’m trying something a little different with my art and blog organization, well with everyday life mixed in it of course. We can’t forget that now can We? If you keep up with YouTube and Instagram, then you’ve seen a bunch of beautiful spreads and notebooks just gleaming with different colored calligraphies and ink.

Bullet Journaling is apparently now “a thing”. Well, it has been for awhile, but silly me just recently stumbled upon it looking for organization tips. Check out Boho Berry and several others on YouTube whenever you get the chance. Boho Berry’s journals, in particular, are absolutely stunning!

In this random makeshift journey, I’m going to give bullet journaling a try. After several videos and articles trying to figure the format of it later, I have come up with my own. Granted it’s not that fancy or detailed, but I feel it’s getting the job done at this point.

Join me on a bullet journal journey. Get yourself a notebook of your choice: lined, dotted or blank. Your next item is a good fine point pen and a few colored gel pens for variety. Some people add stickers to their pages, but again that’s up to you.

The second thing you need to do is set up your Index and Key. The index helps you stay on track with pages which will be a lot of and the key is a basic sign system to keep track of appointments, chores etc.

This is what I have done so far. So let’s get organized together and learn along with me.

Until next time.

 

 Christmas Giving: Handmade Gifts have been Brought Part 2

Merry Late Christmas and a Happy New Year, everyone. I hope it continues to be filled with plenty of love, tasty goodies, and giving. Also, if you happened to be at the 300th year anniversary of the founding of San Antonio, I hope you all had an amazing time aside from the cold weather! There was definitely goodies a plenty on my end, buñuelos and plenty of caldo.

I mentioned in my last post sometime before Christmas that handmade gifts should make a come back while leaving a bit of a cliffhanger. Plenty was given out and others happily devoured.

Baked goods are always a must and we all have recipes tucked away in our kitchens. If not or you’re not much of a baker or cook and possibly set things on fire, it’s ok. You’re not alone. (I’ve caught water on fire and have split atoms in the process, but that’s a story for another time.)

If you are brave enough to do some homemade baking and just don’t know where to start, well find a grandma or aunt. Seriously, we all have one and if you don’t, borrow one (No, I don’t mean kidnapping, just ask your friend.)

My traditional family recipes were passed down from my great grandma. Pumpkin bread, repostarias also know as Mexican Christmas cookies, and tamales fill the air in my house every year.

Sadly, I won’t be sharing my family recipes with you because they are..well, secret. Not to worry, though. There are two easy and not so structured recipes that I can and will share with you.

This year we added something new..buñuelos and Sugar Cubes and not just any sugar cubes, but gourmet sugar cubes.

Now on to the fun part; buñuelos are as easy as deep frying tortilla dough and dipping it in cinnamon in sugar. Think of it as a flatter version of a churro but crispier.

  • Flour Tortilla Mix
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • Anise
  • Canola Oil
  1. Heat up a skillet filled a half inch deep with canola oil and heat until small bubbles start to form.
  2. While the oil is heating, pour out half a cup of tortilla mix and pour in water to desired consistency. (It’s a bit of trial and error to get it right.) Form several balls and roll them out to the size you want.
  3. In a flat dish, pour in and mix cinnamon and sugar together. This will be the coating.
  4. After the dough is shaped, put one buñuelo at a time in the oil and fry both sides until crispy. Dip it in the coating and repeat. There you go, you have buñuelo. Just don’t eat a whole bunch in one sitting. They’re not exactly the healthiest desserts on the planet.

    The sugar cubes are a bit more simple. Thanks to Shirley on the “Home and Family Show”, there is a more in-depth recipe.

    1. All you need is some herbs of your choice and of course some regular white sugar. It can be Mint, Peppermint, Rose petals, Oranges etc. Just put in a cup of sugar with the herbs of your choice in a chopper and mix them together.
    2. Empty out the sugar into a bowl and add a tablespoon of water and mix until thick. Now, this is where it gets fun. Get silicone molds of whatever shape strikes your fancy and spoon in the sugar mixture into them, packing them down tightly.
    3. Let them set for twenty-four hours and take them out after the time is up. Boom! You have cute little sugar cubes to use for coffee or tea! You can give them out or horde them all for yourself. The choice is yours.

    More Squats=More Food 

    This season is a joyous time and what I like to call slightly fattening. With all of the goodies everywhere you turn, it is a bit difficult to politely decline or just say flat out, “No, thank you.”

    But then, there is one conundrum. How do you keep a consistent workout schedule with all of the festivities and the tamales? (Yes, I said tamales. They’re a staple during the Christmas season for my family and not exactly the most healthy, but they’re oh so tasty!)

    Another conundrum is, how do you control an ever-increasing appetite when you lift weights? When I’m seated at my easel, I usually don’t get that hungry. It’s only after I work out, especially after doing squats and lunges.

    It’s a bit of a struggle during the holiday season because of my huge sweet tooth, but, there is a way around it. While trying to balance out my sweet tooth with working on art pieces to working out, I’m gradually learning as I go. Take it from an artist that is learning along with many of you. After much trial and error, this is what I have come up with so far:

    • Limit your sugar to a bite here and there. Meaning, control your cravings with small bites instead of whole servings.
    • Keep track of caloric intake with a fitness app. The MyPlate app is pretty easy and free to use. If you prefer tracking macros, it does that too.
    • Write down your workouts in a planner to stay consistent.
    • Relax, ’tis the season to eat and be merry. Don’t be hard on yourself if you indulge for a day or two. So take one cookie without feeling guilty.

    These are my ways of going about staying healthy during the holiday season so enjoy and tweak these how you see fit.

    Most importantly, have a Merry Christmas.

    “Art and Christmas: Bringing Back Handmade Gifts for Everyone on Your List to Enjoy”

    Christmas is a wonderful time of the year for giving and receiving, but it should mostly be for giving and good will towards men. It is a bit self explanatory right?

    This may sound a bit “Bah Humbug” but buying gifts for everyone on your list is not all that’s cracked up to be. No I am not referring to the concept of giving presents. Shopping trips are chaotic almost like zoos and the closer to Christmas Eve even more so.

    Why not give a handmade gift instead? It has more sentiment and thought going into them than anything else. Bake homemade cookies. Draw or paint a picture. Make individual cards. Crochet or sew scarfs, hats, or bags (I do not possess this skill unfortunately.)

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    I will go over some gift ideas a little bit more after Christmas since I am in the process of making gifts myself. But where there are bows and paper, there is always a mischievous kitty lying in wait to see what she can steal. Like Night..who has been caught red handed trying to steal an ornament.

    May your spirits be bright and merry. Merry Christmas to all.

    “Art Studio Experiment: The Ins and Outs of Using Recycled Materials to make Organizing Easier”

    What area do you use to get your creative juices flowing? If you are among the league of artists that have their own art studio, good for you. You lucky duck.

    For the rest of us, we make do with what we have. Dining room tables, countertops, bedsides, desks, dressers, ironing tables (I don’t know about this one, just throwing it out there.) You name it. These and many other makeshift uses have been done.

    Now here is the tricky part. With limited space, what can be used to organize and store art supplies to keep them in tip-top condition to continue creating? I believe that’s where innovation and creativity at its finest come in.

    Do you have a corner? Claim it! A kitchen table? Use it! A TV dinner table? You get the picture. Anything can be used.

    This here is my little art nook which is a corner of my living room. It only shows my main art supplies that I use the most. I recycle items for storage such as:

    • Wylers Tea/Koolaid Tubes for storing gouache paint tubes and paint brushes
    • Cardboard box for storing larger acrylic paint tubes
    • Plastic Water bucket for storing acrylic, sable, and taklon paint brushes
    • Reusable eco bags from the store to hold paper, pencils, and fixative spray
    • Plastic laundry detergent bucket for ceramic and sculpture supplies
    • Mason jars for storing paint thinner

    These are the main objects that I use for the organization or at least try to. It does not exactly look like something out of a magazine or some of the artists’ studios that you see on YouTube, but it is a sure fire way to recycle products and bring life back to old plastic and cardboard ware that would easily end up in the trash.

    Whatever your art-making situation is, there are ways to keep your art supplies in one place and out of the hands of furry creatures and munchkins if you have them. (My cat Night has stolen my paint brushes and has tried chewing on my paint tubes on more than one occasion.)

    Artists and crafters, what uses can you think of to store your supplies? I really love the idea of us bouncing ideas off of each other and would love to hear what you have to say.