Confessions of a Craftaholic

Inspiration Thursday

Today, for inspiration thursday, I remembered to work on a journal spread.

It reads, “I choose to be happy”.

What do you choose to feel today?

I created this spread because I needed to see it there, and think it, while I painted, cut out little bits of paper. I create art journal spreads as a sort of…therapy. It’s so soothing. I like to glue in pictures, post it notes, and stubs and things. I love that. I’m not trying to create a museum quality work of art.

My art journal is just a way for me to record the thoughts and things in my head, along with ideas of how to be a better person. I like to add pictures of myself, because I’m visual that way. This particular picture is VERY old. My husband and I were in our first year of dating in this one. I know because that jacket is old. We are in Sunset park, brooklyn I believe.

Today, I choose to be happy. Why?

Choosing to be happy, I’ve said before, is not something you do when you already are happy.

Sometimes, life gives us crap to deal with. Sometimes we have pain and grief to deal with. In choosing to be happy, I’m not saying that I all of the sudden do not feel pain. I’m saying that I choose to notice the positive things in my life, because there are good things everywhere.

I’ll tell you, I decided to do this, most recently through my poems.

Most of you know, I write poetry. I’ve been writing since I was a little kid. Now, I know a lot of poets say that. But I have a corny poem from when I was 8 years old to prove it.

Anyhow, my poems came from me needing to get out how I was feeling, since growing up, I wasn’t exactly raised by people who taught me how to express my emotions in a healthy way. So I started writing. And obviously, what came out of it, was poems written from the dark places in my life as a child.

I’m a b ig fan of Paul Simon. One thing, is that in some of his earlier stuff, you hear that darkness. You hear the sadness that he felt on occasion. But then….you listen to his other stuff, more recent, and you hear…stories. You hear him telling you a story. So I decided that I wanted to go in that direction with my poems. I can’t write stories for shit. But I can tell a story in my poems.

So I decided to move on, from the shadows of the past. I mean, the past is still the past. But it is just that.

Anyway, getting back to my point. I can choose to feel. I can choose to feel anger about my lost childhood, or I can choose to be happy to have two children to provide a HAPPY childhood to. I can choose to have a grudge, or I can move on.

Life is about choices. Today, I choose to be happy.

What do you choose today? Why not journal about it today?

 

 

The Craftaholic

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Handmade Scrapbook Stickers

Today’s project was inspired by my browsing etsy. I was just looking, since I normally try to get jewelry inspiration from high fashion magazines, but this time haven’t gotten to it yet.

Anyway, I found a fun little item, so EASY, I couldn’t STAND it! I just HAD to make it. So here’s what I made.

Cute, right?

I’ll show you E A S Y it is to make these, in my upcoming LIVE video Blog! Finally! Check out the details HERE. I’m really excited about it. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time now.

I’m having a bad morning, so I’ll spare you the bad mood and cut my blog short today. Suffice to say it is a murphy’s law kind of day, all before 10am in the morning.

 

 

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Red and Green

So today, I made two things. One for me, and one for my shop, online.

I’ll show you the thing I made for me. With snazzy pics, since I’ve been practicing my product photography.

These are just for ME! For ME! Not being in too many swaps any more, it frees my time to actually practice my photography skills, and make stuff for myself and for my shop.

Here’s what I made for my shop:

This piece has pretty beads that look like little rocks, and are quite nature inspired. You can purchase this HERE.

I also fixed up the pics from yesterday’s post, check them out HERE. I’m trying.

Today feels like monday because my husband took the day off, since he has not been feeling well. My husband has to be truly feeling like crap in order to really take a sick day. So today feels like monday.

Not much else to tell, really. I got some new jewelry supplies, so I’ll be working on that this week.

 

 

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Crocheted Bead Necklace

Finally I made something JUST FOR ME.

I really love this necklace. I was inspired as I always am, by a stroll through the city. Whenever I am out and about, I always notice the jewelry that women where. I happen to have a yen for necklaces and earrings, personally.

One day I noticed a woman wearing something with a chain, and crocheted beads, but you could tell she probably bought it somewhere.

Anyway, I have a whole bunch of these from another project, and decided to make something for myself.

The beads are crocheted, and there is wire that connects the beads with jump rings, to the chain.

It’s a long necklace because I love long necklaces.

This week, I am going to bust out the rest of my swaps, and then I am officially done with mail swaps.

Why, you ask?

Without going into too much of a tantrum, I really just am not feeling it anymore. I find that people who swap more often then not, are quite greedy, and usually I do not get the same grade or quality that I give.

I also do not have time for the “I never got it” or the excuse, that it’s “not going by the swap rules”. And I end up spending a lot of money on shipping things out. This is money that I realize I could be investing in advertising my etsy shop or blog.

Which by the way, I’m having a grand re-opening in August. It’s open. But I’m having a celebration to announce it next month. My new etsy shop is more a reflection of “The Craftaholic” and all the things that I create, which I want to create and carry in my shop.

This shop consists of handmade jewelry, mixed media art, and of course, my hand bound Eco-Journals. This is like, the third time I open a new shop. But I’ve been searching and searching for a sort of shop name that sticks with you, something that sounds like a fun boutique that I’d want to shop in. So finally, my husband came up with the name, Bad Toy Mural.

Neat, huh?

Well, that’s all for now.

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In Response to: Boycott American Women

To my faithful readers, I know I said I wouldn’t blog today, but I woke up with a funny comment, that I just had to respond to. Apparently there is a man who has so much time on his hands, he has decided to boycott american women, stating that we apparently what is wrong with the world today. Or something stupid like that. You can read his sad pathetic blog HERE.

In response to the excuse of a man who thought he could leave a comment bashing american women, let me explain something to you, and enlighten you, just a bit.

He says:

American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

Women who are selfish are selfish regardless of what country they come from, be it The United States, Russia, India, or China. I have mentioned before on facebook how much I cannot stand the lack of manners, and it is in part, the teaching of the media, that teaches these types of behaviors by way of “reality tv” and such utter non sense that is on what Pentecostals call,  “Satan’s Toolbox”.  I am proud to say that I do not have cable television at all, but that’s another topic for another day.

I have found that men are just as likely to “get fat” as women are, and statistically cheat on women more often, so I have no idea where you are getting your information from. Perhaps you have an ex wife who is a proud feminist.

The other thing is that I know PLENTY of american women who love to cook, and actually only know two women of ALL the women I know (who are married) both online and in person, that do not like to cook. So there goes that theory, sir.

I teach my daughter manners, and how to dress like a lady, how to carry yourself, and to respect her elders. Yes, I am an american woman.

In another part of his blog someone posts:

“Yep, America let the American woman off the LEASH, some 35 years ago. And they really showed the world what they are capable of…
lesbianism, up 250%….”

First of all, “let off the leash”? Really? I am not a dog to be put on a leash. I am a woman who births children from my belly, who loves laughter and cooking, and baking and making art.
I live for my family, for my daughter and husband, for the baby in my belly.

I am proud to be american, and am glad that I was born in a country where I have the right to exersize freedom in varied ways. Granted, the US government has quite a barrage of flaws, and I’ll admit to be a fan of Michael Moore, but I am happy to call myself an american woman.

It is sad that there is a man like you who thinks so little of an american woman, that you classify lesbianism as a negative thing here. Whether a person is gay or straight does not matter, it is the actions of a person that matters.

And secondly, a woman is capable of many things. So far, we have become doctors, lawyers, senators, governors, authors, civil rights leaders, and saints.

And if you are at all a religious man, let us not forget it is a woman who birthed the religious prophets, Jesus, Mohammad and The Buddha. It was a woman who discovered the body of Jesus.

It was a woman who birthed you.

Women are smart, intelligent and capable. You don’t have to feel so threatened by an educated woman.

If you want to read someone’s post on this same pathetic loser, click HERE.

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A Recycled Coffee Sleeve Book

Today, I had to post a little late in the day, because I haven’t had time today, to post in the morning, since my work was in progress.

I made a very fun little miniature scrapbook, which I posted a (sort of) how to, on my Examiner page, take a look, and see how I made it.

And that is that! Lucky for you, I’m not in a chatty mood here, which is good. One quick thought, though; I notice that when I make cards or scrapbooks, my desk ends up SOME KIND of messy. Oh man. Seriously. Stuff everywhere.

It’s FRIDAY!

I won’t be blogging tomorow, because I’ve got a workshop to teach, and then after that I’m going to be spending time with the fams. So instead, I’ll be blogging on Sunday.

What else? I know I keep promising you video blogs and the launching of my food blog, but all in good time. A prego lady can only do so much, you know?

 

 

 

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Inspiration Thursday

Today, I remembered my post a few weeks ago, when I promised myself I’d be working in my art journal more, and helping you with journal prompts. So this week’s inspiration thursday is hopefully not going to be alone and lonesome, and will be the second in my weekly series of journaling and journal prompts.

This week I created a spread based on a conversation I had with someone. I was chatting with someone about the things I’ve endured as a child, and as an adult, and something they said, really got to me. The woman blurted out, wow you’ve been through hell! And to that, I said, well I suppose I have. Anyway, it made me proud of me.

I may not be perfect, but I know I’m a good mother, and I know I’ve come out of what I went through in a positive way.

Things I am proud of: my daughter Dakota, and the baby in my belly, my art, my blog, and my poems, my marriage, and my art group.

I mean….I don’t like to brag, but you know…I feel like I came so far, so very far in life.

When  having this conversation, the woman asked me how I came out of it in such a sane manner, and I told her the truth; I do not know if I believe in god, but I do know that I felt at times like something was carrying me through it. It could be the owl spirit. It could be some idea or notion of a god. Or it could be my determination to just get through it. Somehow I had convinced myself that I was meant to get through that hell alive. I knew it. I had to be strong. I had to be tough.

Anyway, I got through it. I didn’t just get through it, though. I have a child that I do NOT ever strike not ever not for anything in the world, nor do I need to raise my voice at her. I am not repeating the cycle in any way.

I married ONE person-my soulmate. I told him once that I think I’ll be like Yoko Ono if heaven forbid anything ever happen to him. You just…can’t have what we have, twice in one lifetime. At least, that’s how I feel about it.

I am proud of myself for breaking the cycle, and for not following in the stupidity that I was raised with. I am proud of myself for standing up for myself.

Anyway, I know I’ve been awful chatty lately. I normally stick to the art and that’s that. But lately I just have a lot to say. It could be my being pregnant that did it.

What things are YOU proud of? Why don’t you work in your journal today, and write down the things you’re proud of about yourself and your life.

I wrote a poem, actually. I hope you like it.

To the person who hurt me the most,

I

used to be

afraid of you

scared and

I actually believed you

when you told me

I was nothing without you

worthless

without you, yes

I

used to be used

to you

your threats and your way of making everyone around you

walk on eggshells

I used to be used to you

and the way that you’d make me cry

I used to be used

to the feeling of being alone

I used to be

and I used to be used to you

and the feeling that perhaps you where right

that perhaps

I was

worth nothing

and when you’d call, I’d

jump and answer the phone

in fear of you

I used to be afraid of you

and the way you’d prance about

with a belt around your neck

and your threats

and your angry way

I

used to be

in fear

of you

BUT

I

I’m not used to you anymore

and your phone calls to me, with your empty promises and falsey broken heart

do not make me

afraid of you

anymore, I

found

strength where there was no strength, I

found hope where there was no hope, I

found something within me,

that gave me

the strength to move on, and that something

 

is the absense

 

of you

 

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Small Sculpted Beads

My husband and I just finished up a few more beads that I thought I’d share with you.

This is a smaller version of the large bead we’ve got.  It’s the third eye, resting on a cloud.

Click HERE to purchase.

An all seeing eye. And of course…..

Click HERE to purchase.

The owl. Of course.

Click HERE to purchase.

And that’s that! On another note, I was reading the post of  one of my favorite blogs, and she was talking about something that really got to me: spanking. She is against it, of course.

But what really bothered me is not the story she told. What really bothered me, was reading how many people put her down, justifying their actions of abuse. It truly concerns me that in this day and age, the “information age” we cling to such arcaic beliefs such as hitting and spanking. These things are wrong, and do not teach our children anything. Spanking only makes the parent feel better.

It really concerns me because we pride ourselves in being so educated, so knowledgeable, and yet….we just live in these arcaic and caveman-like ideas.

The sad thing is, most of the people I know, who spank their children, have been in abusive relationships, or are controlling abusers themselves. It’s sad to hear a member of my race, ask me if my husband is really latino, when I tell her he was never once hit, spanked or screamed at. This is what is saddening to me.

I wish that the members of my race would stop clinging to these stupid ideas.

Let me explain something:

Being a latina does not mean that I know how to dance. It does not mean I have good rythymn. It does not mean I like salsa music. It does not mean I spank my child and am big boned and wide hipped.

In fact, I can’t dance for shit, have horrible rythymn, and very tiny hips. But I like old classic salsa from 1980s. My mother in law got me into it.

Being latina….

What is being latina?

I wrote a poem a while back, called “The Sound of Speaking Spanish”, where I described a particular neighborhood in brooklyn, ny. Okay, okay. Sunset park, 5th avenue brooklyn. Picture it:

 

The

sound of speaking spanish

sounds like

palm trees and

80 degree winter weather

church bells on sunday, and

old viejas fanning themselves

it sounds like

botanicas and

corner stores

superstitious mothers in law

the sound of speaking spanish

we speak in a sing songie kind of way, like

“Ay bendito, pero que chulo”

it

sounds like

big hips and fertile women who

love to cook

cute little boys with curly hair

the sound of speaking spanish

reminds me of the

crowded parade my father would take me to as a child, and

sounds like heineken beer and

flags waving

the

sounds of speaking spanish

sounds like

verduras y bacalao

like

empanadas

like

arepas with strong coffee

like

la cocina

criolla

like

old bachata music in

El International Restaurante

like

tight jeans pushing coches

like

the smell of perfume and colonge, mixed together

while you walk down 5th avenue in brooklyn

the sound of speaking spanish

it sounds

like home

 

 

This is the latinism that I see. But what being a latina truly is, is something that is…indescribable. You can’t “try” to be latina, just like you can’t try to be an artist. You are who you are, because that is what you are. I am latina. My parents came here from another country, and taught me to speak spanish first. My grandmother taught me to cook, taught me about my culture, and who I am. My husband taught me that being latina does
NOT mean the stereotypes that go with it.

My hope is that more people learn what it is to truly love, and truly be a parent, for it is not spanking. Or hitting. Or screaming.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Merveilleux, Remade

Reently I hosted an Anthropologie inspired jewelry swap, on swap-bot. I love hosting these because the jewelry creations that come out of it is amazing.

Here’s what I made for my partner:

 

Well, I wish I would have taken better pics. These beads were made by me, with Polymer Clay. I modeled the necklace after THIS design.

Hmmm. You know, living in New York is quite an experience. You may or may not know, that I’m originally from New Jersey. New Jersey has changed a lot since I lived there, but when I did reside there….people were curteous.

Living in New York, people here….they act like sheer animals. Really. New York City has some of the rudest most obnoxious people on the planet. There is competitiveness in EVERYTHING. Even stay at home moms are competive, competing over who’s kid watches less tv and drinks less fruit juice.

The other day I was sitting at a pizza place with my daughter, and an older gentleman sitting at the table next to us, lets out this disgusting, loud belch. It was so gross. He of course, did not say excuse me. That is just nasty. I’m sitting here with my kid.

Then yesterday, I’m at the supermarket with my family, and a woman is on her cell phone, not watching where she’s going, as she’s almost backing up into me. So, I say excuse me and smile. She looks at me like I just killed her cat, and is ready to start a fight.

It’s so annoying. Really. People in New York need to meditate or just…re-fucking-lax! You’ll excuse my potty mouth, but it’s just really annoying. It makes me, at times, think about moving somewhere where people don’t stick out their middle finger to an ambulance driving a veteran to a hospital, or somewhere where people say excuse me. Or at least, somewhere where the rent is not so stinking high, that it’s higher than what your friend upstate pays in MORTGAGE for a HOUSE.

Okay. That’s all. I had to vent. Now, I feel better. I do like living here. It’s lots of fun, and there’s always things to do. But I just encounter so many rude people that it often annoys poor pregnant me. You know?

My daughter is sick today. Poor thing. It’s so sad when they are sick, isn’t it?

 

 

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Hand Sculpted Beads

Today, I want to share something I am SO proud of. I recently inherited a stock pile of polymer clay from a friend who was de-stashing. My husband, being the “classically trained” artist, is pretty good at sculpting. So, I put him to work, and together we’ve created this really cool beads that I hope you love.

This is a hand sculpted bead that I call the “The Third Eye. It’s bold, and is accompanied by four tear drops.

Cool, right? I decided to put them together, and make a pin:

You can buy this lovely set, on our etsy page HERE.

And here’s another item we’ve designed:

This is a lovely hand sculpted heart, with an eye that is crying. Perhaps the eye is crying out for love, and to be loved.

You can purchase this lovely art piece HERE.

It’s so much fun working with my husband. We have more pieces, too! Stay tuned in to my blog, and you’ll see more lovely goodies this week.

Yesterday, my husband and I went out on a hot date. Some friends of ours were playing a show, and we wanted to see them. They live up in rochester, NY and it is always a rare treat to go out and see them play. They were playing out in the city, so Jose asked his mom to babysit, and we went out for dinner, walked around a bit, and then went to see them play. It was so much fun.

One thing though: while crossing the street with my husband, I went and grabbed his hand to hold it, and then caught myself just about to say, “hold my hand, and be careful crossing the street”. Of course, this is due to motherhood. I am so used to telling my daughter this, that I almost told my husband, a grown man! Haha, I didn’t though.

That’s all for now.

 

 

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