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Monday, April 30, 2012

THIS WEEK'S ARTWORK FROM MY HAPPY COCOON STUDIO

PRAYER FLAGS

Still in the works, each individual flag was created from repurposed tea bags (the middle part) stamped, sealed and another one painted then appliqued on fabric, embellished with ribbon and beads.  On the back I sewed on a little note of a prayer, but one was left blank for its new owner to fill out with his/her own prayer.  A tutorial will be posted soon, so save those tea bags for your own project.  See photos below:



ON THE FLIP SIDE


ON THE FLIP SIDE. YOU CAN WRITE YOUR OWN PRAYER.  SEAL WITH GEL MEDIUM
Next, I made butterflies called "Bushnellflies", her face was based on a cute little baby who is part of the Bushnell family.  Template for this butterfly will be available on Etsy for really cheap so you can make it yourself over and over, adding your own flavor to it, like I did.  I will also have a tutorial for this  probably this week.  They are so much fun to make.  The template will have a small size and large size.  Please post them on my blog when you are done.  Just add a comment and share the link or if you can post a photo, please do.  





Watch out for the tutorial.  If you like you can sign up to get notification for the announcement of the tutorial.  I will post it here on my blog.  Simply scroll down until you see the videos, and I will also post it on YouTube under Myhappycocoon channel.

Lastly, I dabbled in making bracelets again just to get rid of the millions of beads I have in my studio.  They will also be available on Etsy under My Happy Cocoon or Anamarie Fox. I hope you like them and enjoyed viewing this week's artwork.  Till my next rant... Love one another!





Friday, April 27, 2012

EDIFICATION




I want to be honest to say that although I have been a word and spelling buff, I didn’t know the meaning of this word till of late.  Edification means to build up or strengthen morally and spiritually.

I wish that there were more people who work toward and grow in their own morals and spiritually without the help of a sort of an intervention.  I know that there are a myriad of ways one can get Christian intervention after a life of being a heathen, but it seems more and more are depending on outside assistance to get them back.  In my own opinion, your changed life for the better endures and perpetuates stronger and longer if you’ve achieved it through your own merits and hard work rather than depending upon outside intervention.  A Godly intervention is a big part of that.  Just think about it.   When everyone else has shunned you, God is the only friend you have left.  He will never leave you, whether you want him to be there or not.  Too bad, Jack!  God will use the negative and the positive events in your life to reinforce you, have you ever thought about that? You will never know that God is all you need until God is all you got.  Yes, people will be there to lead you to God but once you've achieved it, then there should be only you and Him.

I am a big believer, once I was dialed into the grace and purpose of God, that the best gift or blessing you can give another is edification.  I don’t mean faking the happiness you feel about them.  I don’t mean encouragement enveloped in envy.  I mean straight out genuine happiness for them that God is moving in their lives like He is moving in yours.  It’s infectious.  God will always uplift you, and if you do the same for someone else, GENUINELY, you will be surprised how that person will not only see God in you, but all the others around you will see it too.  It all starts with a smile.

You may ask, how do I do this?  Through encouragement no matter how small they achieve, encourage.   I love it when the news put a feature of someone saving a little girl’s life who was about to be kidnapped, or a teenager who saved someone from drowning, that’s big news and encouraging others to do the same and the teenager to do it again.  But there is so much we can do to lift someone’s spirit when we smile.  I have a t-shirt that says, “Smile.  It confuses people.”  That’s because no one ever smiles at each other anymore.  When I’m driving down the road around my lake house, and a car is going the opposite direction, we wave at each other.  It’s a small town feel.  Even though you don’t know that person, we know that we don’t live too far from each other.  That’s a good feeling.  Here in the city, we get flipped the finger when our driving is not quite up to par.  I don’t know about you but when I get the finger, my day is shot.  When someone smiles at me, it makes my day!

Edification is getting a little deeper.  When I get comments on my blog, it makes my heart blush with happiness, so thank you for that from the bottom of my heart.  That is the push and tangible reinforcement I need to keep it going.  Haters can continue hating but my prayer is that one day they will see it as I see it, how God wants to be known and loved, because he wants to love you back so much, no matter how small.  Who am I? I’m an unknown girl from California among gazillions of other people sharing this world with you who God wants to make a difference even in just ONE person’s life.  So that’s what I do.

On that note… LOVE ONE ANOTHER… Till my next rant…

Sunday, April 22, 2012

FRIENDS -- HOW MANY OF US HAVE THEM?



So the song goes.  People come and go throughout our lives and some stick around.  But what defines a true friend?  How easily would you call someone your Best Friend?  Is it because you have a lot in common?  You may have common goals, common interest, a common sense of humor? 

I believe the commonality lies in a common heart.  Remember the movie “Beaches” and “Brian’s Song”?  Dramatic and tragic as they movie were,  embodies the whole concept of a true friendship.

However, those were movies that invoke these following questions.  It is easy to watch one and empathize but if you analyze each and every friend you’ve got at this moment, would they do the same for you?  Would you do the same for them?  Perhaps you already know the answers.

It’s a touchy subject, you say?  Something you're not very comfortable to readily speak about or even think about.   We love certain people, friends and family alike, so we tend to think that nothing bad will ever happen to them or even ourselves.  That’s nice, but unrealistic.  One day a friend will be in dire need and you will have to be faced with a decision.  What will you decide?

As I get older and as people around me become more and more engrossed in their own lives, I find that there are times when I feel alone.  Although when I am alone, I never feel lonely.  We all feel blessed, the ones with someone to share our everyday lives with, but I had also been on the other side and on the days when no one was around, I had a true friend in God.  Yeah, yeah, I know some of you may think I’m out there.  That’s ok, you have every right.  However, for those of you who know what I am talking about, it is the best feeling in the world to feel it ever so strong when there is only you and God.  God IS unconditional love.  Once you’re able to tap into that realm, you’re good to go.

One day I will tell you the story of how God sent me flowers.  Till the next rant, LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

SELF-MOTIVATE



Raise your hand if you are just like me when it comes to self-motivation.  I have to push, sometimes shake, myself to achieve what I had set out to do.  Also, inconsistent.  So, for me to be effective for others, and without further ado, I think it's time for me to apply the following steps on how to be self-motivated in order to successfully achieve whatever it is that we planned to do:

1)      Put your plans down on paper.  Preferably in a journal that you would revisit regularly to be reminded.  I choose to type it in big bold letters and tape it in front of the place where I spend much of my time, such as my computer desk.

2)      Break big tasks into smaller, more specific steps.   For example, “look into selling my art at art festivals” I would break this down into a) researching the towns where they are b) contact each one and ask as many questions so I can compare them.

3)      Decide how I want to start:  Do you want to prepare the marketing side of your task?  Research?  Make a list and you can make changes as you go.

4)      Establish checkpoints to check my progress:  Make a chart and check off completed tasks.

5)      Know the difference between "I can’t" and "I don’t".  Our success is only limited to our own perseverance.  We have to desire to achieve them head-on and give it our best.

6)      Remind yourself of the benefits of completing the job.  There is nothing more satisfying for me than seeing all the crossed out items on my list.

7)      Do a small part of it right now.  Give yourselves a deadline but make sure you are giving yourself reasonable time to reach your goal.

8)      Be optimistic.  Don’t let the negative inner voice overcome the positive voice.  If it takes awhile for God to give you answers to your prayers, be patient.  He will eventually give you what you need.  Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things thorough Christ who strengthens me.”  Isaiah 40:31 “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up with wings like eagles, run and not be weary, walk and not faint.”

9)      Establish an action environment.  Visualize yourself putting those goals into action.  Use your time efficiently and effectively.

10) Use the stimulation of good news to do extra work for God.  Let’s just put it this way.  Anything that happens to you that is positive, which makes you happy, find ways to do something positive for someone else so they can experience your happiness and recognize that God works thorough you to send them positivity.

11) Recognize when indecisions is causing apathy in your life.  Apathy is defined as a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion.  In other words, only you can make the wheels turn.  Analyze the matter with deep focus, ask God to help you get to a conclusion then make the decision.  What’s exciting is, God already knows what’s going to happen so whatever He says to you, you might as well do.

12) Give yourself the right to make mistakes.  Nothing is certain in life.  This is what makes life interesting and exciting.  Has the world stop yet because someone made a mistake?  Well, there you go!

13) Enlist a partner.  Two heads are better than one.  Don’t ever feel afraid or too proud to ask for help. 

14) Read and do whatever it takes to increase your skills.  To quote Dr. DeMartini, “when you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe, you rot.”  Stay green, especially when you get older, it keeps you young.  Ecclesiastes 10:10: “using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade.  That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.”


Start today, whatever goal you are trying to reach.  On that note… I gotta get some work done! 

Till my next rant, have a blessed week and LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Repurpose damaged Cds don't throw them away!

http://m.youtube.com/?reload=2&rdm=m2d6f07g6#/watch?client=mv-google&v=i3xtWPe7WLM&rdm=m2d6f01dx

BONUS -- LUMPIA RECIPE (FILIPINO EGGROLL)

Just a bonus for everyone... complete demonstration to make Lumpia (filipino eggroll), my recipe, the best eggroll ever! :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO_ThAYWAR8

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

PUPPETMASTER


It is a myth to me that puppetmasters (aka manipulators, controllers, black widows, etc) only prey on the weak and vulnerable.  I believe everyone is subject to manipulation as everyone has a weakness no matter how strong of a personality.  A puppetmaster is cunning, instinctive and pours all his energy into molding someone into their puppet masterpieces.  He is miserable and finds a host to feel comfortable in his own misery when he sees someone trusting slowly lose themselves.  A puppet is enamored, and has fallen into her master’s deception wherein common sense is paralyzed but her life is compromised.  A puppet will give up every sense of self and will allow another to mold them while surrendering and giving free access to her master. 

When you unknowingly become prey to a puppetmaster, your very existence revolves around him.  You eat, sleep and breathe him and he becomes content in his superiority.  But the price you pay is dear.  You become a tragedy in your own life.  When you have to ask yourself who you are and who your life defines and the answer is not YOU, then you are being played.  In any relationship, whether it is physical, mental, emotional, financial, you have to be in charge of YOU.  Let no one steer you away from your own benefit.  Let no one maneuver you away from your own personal growth.  Better yet, steer your own life, be the boss of yourself.  Let God make the important decisions of your life.  You are not a puppet.  Cut the manipulation and control stings off.  You are way better than that.  Even God gave you free will which he doesn’t interfere with.  Why waste it away by giving it to someone who is basically after his own welfare?  Think about that.  The only one who can control you is YOU.  While you’re at it, LOVE ONE ANOTHER.  Till my next rant...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

RISEN

In many ancient cultures, eggs were a common symbol of new life.  In medieval times, Eggs came to represent the Lord's resurrection.  Just as Christ broke out of the tomb on Easter morning, the yolk of the egg breaks out of its shell when cracked.  The decoration of eggs for Easter is part of the folk traditions of many cultures, although it has little or no religious significance any more.

Despite the symbolic meaning of easter eggs associated with the resurrection of Christ, the fact still remains that Jesus rose from the dead.  God is amazing, awesome, and... well, I have no words really.  God is everything, he is ever powerful and at the same time a very humble God.  He could have said well, I have the most power so I will always show myself as better than everyone.  Instead, he chose to humanize himself in the humblest of humble.  Mary and Joseph were from a poor family.  Jesus grew up poor and worked to earn his keep, and stayed humble until his death. 

Even though he was surrounded by rich characters throughout his life, he proved that it doesn't take someone with earthly power and stature to enter the kingdom of God.  He always sided with the underdog, like Magdalene, the prostitute, Barabas, the criminal... the list goes on and on.  Solid proof that no matter how far we have separated from him, as long as we come back to him in the end, we will be winners.  Life on earth is but a flicker of a candlelight, what we have on this earth is not even an aota of what we will have in paradise, for eternity.  Whoa! eternity is a very very very very very (infinity) long time.  Our time on earth is nothing compared to the time we will spend after we take our last breath.  It makes you think, doesn't it?  I won't be standing in the middle of Pier 39 with a big sign and a loud speaker screaming, REPENT REPENT! but I'm sure each one of us at one point or another has thought about it.  We can think all we want, but doing something to earn it now is another thing.  Remember this line, "you reap what you sow."  You will be surprised that those five words can make a huge difference in the way you treat people, no matter how they treat you.  Start with that, and the door of answers will open wide for you.  

Be blessed and love one another!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

NO REGRETS, ONLY CHOICES



Every generation asks, “What is wrong with kids these days?” As a young girl I’ve often heard older people say.  Now that I’ve earned that right, I understand what they meant.  I am living it. 

The most basic human unit is the family.  The family is where one develops character, personality, intellect, and social skills.  Why are teachers blamed by parents when their kids are at sub-par learning level and not passing a grade?  I grew up in a different space and time. Education was as important as breathing.  Getting less than an A in my family is unacceptable.  My parents did not give props for a B, thinking, it is a passing grade.  If we got a B, you strive to get an A.  I remember once when a film producer offered me a part in a movie to be Nancy Kwan’s sister, I was so excited and prayed my parents would allow me to do it.  I was disappointed when my dad told me to choose between that film or school.  I didn’t even think twice.  School was the winning decision for me.  I didn’t have a choice, it was ingrained in my brain.

Having children these days seem to have become a big business, a way for people to survive.  Welfare recipients use children to pay for rent, expenses, and sometimes sadly, their drug habits.  Young girls have been known to get pregnant to get out of a dysfunctional home and even worse, a school fad.  Children grow up emotionally broken.  These children grow up to be desensitized, unfeeling, unappreciated and the list goes on and on.  OUR FUTURE.  The obvious solution, give it a name like, attention deficit disorder, bipolar, sociopath, etc. and give them a pill for it.  Parents blame society, friends, situations or whatever will create a smoke screen for their own shortcomings.  By no means do I call myself a perfect parent, after all, who is?  However, children have very basic needs.  First, they need love.  Lots and lots of love.  They need quality time with their parents but not forced as children would sense it.  They need discipline.  Children will push parents to their limits to see how far they can control the situation because they need to be taught and guided to do the right thing.  Some parents often tiptoe around their kids, trying not to hurt their feelings but subconsciously doing them a disservice in the process. Children need to be guided with their education.  A passing grade of C should not be acceptable, shy of pounding them to study, parents should be firm and ingrain in children how important education is.  Education is the most basic of tools necessary to survive in a working society.  So what if the government makes a cut.  I do not agree with it either.  But just because the government no longer makes education a priority, it doesn’t mean parents should too and put an end to educating their children. 

I am concerned about the world that we live in.  I am concerned that children are relying on the idiot box because it is the only thing that is constantly in their face all day, every day.  I am concerned that people callously procreate for the wrong reasons because of lack of guidance from their parents and pass it along to their kids and the vicious cycle continues.

Let’s get back to basics.  Only have the kids you can afford to support.  Only have enough kids you can give a lot of attention to.  If you do choose to have children, ingrain it in their character to make education just as important as breathing.  Lastly, love and encourage them to develop their creative genius so they can have an outlet for when life happens to them instead of popping a pill.  These are the most important legacy you can give the generations to come. 

Applause to those parents who help their kids excel in school.  The parents who hold themselves and their children accountable for bad behavior.  The parents who struggle financially but still stay strong in guiding their children to make a better future for themselves.  The parents who came to this country to give a better life to their children by collecting cans at the crack of dawn to dusk so they can send their son to Stanford and see him graduate. 

Just saying…. 

Love one another, and most importantly… LOVE YOUR KIDS!

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/253333/lifestyle/people/homeless-teenage-girl-in-manila-graduates-from-high-school

Sunday, April 1, 2012

WHAT HEALS YOU?

video

Here's a tutorial for the Charm Girl that I am giving away this week.

P.S. The two things I didn't have a name for was "clasp" and "eyelet" lol!!

Art heals.  Well for me, at least.  We all have a way of letting off steam.  I don’t mean just when we’re angry or frustrated, that is a given, but also unwinding after a hard day’s work, or just unwinding from the wiles of day to day living.  Some play golf, others go out dancing, etc.  For me it’s flinging paint around on a blank substrate.  When sleep eludes me, I make art.  It instantly sends me to a magical place, whether it is just after a sketch or just applying gesso on my substrate. My Therapy.

At the end of it all, I feel so much better, defragged. 

When I feel like the woes of the world bear me down, I release it through art.  The feeling manifests itself in the final illustration. Art is my link to God.  I concurrently have a deep conversation with Him.  The connection and the result of my work represent it. 

We are NOT robots.  Regardless of our past, we are innately strong, we get over it, and move on.  In my relationship with God, I find that His love gets me through whatever it is I am whining about.  For instance He said in His word, I am all you need, and I will provide, these words always ring true for me.  As long as I believe that He is behind the wheel, I’m ok.  As I go on, He does take care of me.

Like everyone’s life, mine is a roller coaster too.  Highs and lows, but Faith carries me through.  I love capturing those moments in my art and creating something positive out of something negative and hopefully evoke some kind of tug in those who view them.  That is where I get my true happiness and validation as an artist when someone says, your art made me smile, or it made my day, etc.  When they say you’re a talented artist, it is appreciated more than they ever realize, because God’s beauty is appreciated.  But the true grit for me is the emotions evoked by my art within them that makes it all worthwhile.