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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

TODAY'S ART - CORNELIUS

THIS IS CORNELIUS, AND HE INVENTED LONG DIVISION.... TODAY'S ART

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

THE EVOLUTION OF A MESSY STUDIO

I am a self-admitted OCD when it comes to organization of my creative space.  However, when I focus solely on the creative side, putting supplies back to its original place sometimes get out of hand.  This results in an artist block.  So, this last weekend I decided to put my plan to reorganize my studio into action and complete some unfinished business that hangs over my head.  This is what My Happy Cocoon looked like before (gasp!):



For the first order of business, I removed all the rubberstamps from the shelves and painted them red, green and blue.  I thought about painting the pegboard a main color but I decided to just paint my signature face.  Here are the photos for those.




She's finally finished, now to put the shelves back in and fill them back up with stamps!


Now for the prayer flags.  I decided to pin them to the curtains.



Three days later, finished finally!





Until my next rant (or project)... LOVE ONE ANOTHER!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Strong Morals and Good Parental Instructions


 

A hat is tipped for every parent today who gives good discipline and gives moral guidance to their children.  Ages 0-7 are a child’s most formative years in a child’s life when it comes to moral values.  No matter how much outside influence the world has waiting for them, as long as their core values are tightly woven and dictate how they function as good human beings.

My imperfect parents were strict; it seemed we were not allowed to do anything, at least in the mind of a reckless child.  Like all young people, we didn’t have the concept of “brakes” in our lives.  I guess this is why we have parents.  Parents are responsible for guiding us to know when to apply our brakes.  Although my parents were strict, I learned to discern the difference between good and bad decisions.

Imagine someone who grew up in a very innocent place such as the Philippines where there was no concept of “rights” or personal liberties such as it is here in the U.S.  When exposed to it at a young age (19), the transition from teenage to the “party” years, I was faced with dangerous influences from time to time.  At a party once, I was offered some hard drugs and although a little intoxicated from the already taboo gin and tonic, I still had the presence of mind to refuse it.  I quickly understood that my parents were strict for a reason, and now when that reason manifested itself, I was very grateful that they were.  One bad decision could have led me to a life of regrets.  But I’m pretty sure that my reaction to their discipline was very distasteful to them.  I realized and felt the same wrath from my two children when it was my turn to do the same.  As they look back to this when they become parents, they would realize the same.  And so on and so forth.

I’ve always taught my kids to share, care, sympathize, respect, pray, love, show affection, discipline etc.  I’m proud to be the parent of two children who possess all of these, and more, and it calms the worries that a parent has about their kids after being flung into the mix as they come of age. 

I have a little story about my son Jordan at the age of 6, when I was going through one of the worst phases of my life.  I believe I was upset at that time sitting on the couch when he sat next to me and rubbed my back with his little baby hand and said, “Mom, don’t cry, let’s go!  I have $26, I’m taking you out to dinner.”  Imagine the instant shock and joy from this unprompted invitation!  We got dressed and went to a little Chinese buffet and when the waitress came to hand me the check, I motioned for her to give it to the little cutie across the table.  She handed him the check and he reached into his pocket and pulled counted out $8 from the money he had been saving and proudly handed it to her.  What a special boy!  I don’t worry that Jordan will make someone a happy wife one day and be a great father. 

It is undeniable that good parenting is a difficult feat that is not to be taken lightly.  It is a great responsibility to be a parent.  It is not a business to have more so that the government can support the family whose heads just don’t want to work.  This almost always leads to sheer catastrophes.  At first I was shocked to hear about the horrible and tragic stories in the news about how people with children handle theirs, but it seems to be happening daily lately, that the shock value has diminished.  We need to realize that just because our parents had done us wrong, it is important to break the chain and make the change for our own children.  It takes a mature and rational thinker to do so.   Can you just imagine if children everywhere were as respectful as they were in Beaver Cleaver era?  Even the obnoxious Eddie Haskell was overly polite when dealing with June! 

Till my next rant…. LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

 

 

Monday, August 20, 2012

ARE YOUR PRAYERS AS BIG AS GOD?



What does “Praying” really mean?  In dissecting its meaning, I would define praying as a reverent and intimate conversation with God.  Was the word “pray” created because we were to converse with God differently than we do with each other?  Perhaps.  As a catholic child, we were taught to pray with rosary.  Each bead represents a script as if to unify the prayers not even to God specifically but to the Virgin Mary.  Personally, it sounded like chants going through each of the 60 beads and the cameo of the Virgin Mary in the middle.  I found it to be restricting and difficult to feel God in this way.  I mean no disrespect to the Catholic ways but I find that my direct conversation with God, through Jesus (who God affirms to be the Way, the Truth, and the Light), is more effective for me.

Prayer lets God know you trust His plan for your life.  We are merely human beings who rely on a power we can’t see but there is a reason for that.  We only believe what we DO see which supports the saying “to see is to believe”.  This does not apply to Faith.  When we pray with gusto and ardor, it gets God’s attention because as much as our small prayers are granted, when we pray BIG, it gives God joy because He has gigantic plans for your life so we all should line up our prayers to our potential. By that I mean not just asking God to heal an illness, but asking Him for a long and healthy life.  Not just asking God to encourage your children to go to college, but to give your children a happy, protected, and prosperous one.  God wants us to use Him because from faith, comes blessings, from blessings comes testimony, from testimony causes other non-believers to come home to Him.  We effectively live by example, not by preaching.

What is your truth about the Holy Spirit?  Do you wonder why we get goose bumps when praising and praying to God?  When I became aware and began to develop an understanding and confirmation that God is very real as a young teenage girl, I used to try to wrack my brain about what our Religion teacher meant when she referred to the Holy Trinity as God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit being one person.  I sat for hours trying to figure it out in my head but arrived at the conclusion that if I spent one more minute doing so, my brain would surely explode.  It occurred to me that my God is big, powerful and perfect so how could I possibly know everything about Him right now.  After all, I was only 13.  But the other day God revealed to me, that the Holy Spirit is our own spirit, the spirit that is the direct connection with God.  God created Jesus as Himself with skin on for us to witness on earth, to confirm He is real.  When we go to heaven, we will SEE God as the bright light and Jesus for sure.  But have you ever wondered why the Holy Spirit wasn’t mentioned as a tangible out of the three?  Will we see the actual Holy Spirit in heaven?  Could it be that maybe WE, as God’s children, have a common denominator which collectively makes up the Holy Spirit?  Perhaps this has been revealed to someone else as well, maybe even you, but his revelation to me was an “AHA!” moment. 

How do you pray?  Praying for you may be chanting on your rosary, or  having a quiet moment, spending some alone time, maybe together as a family, or just the way you have a heart to heart talk with someone you trust.  Whatever the system that works for you and where you really feel God’s presence and Jesus spirit to spirit, keep on!  If you haven’t felt that presence, dig inside and you’ll find it, you will feel God.  Pray for BIG things because with God, everything is possible.

Until my next rant…. LOVE ONE ANOTHER!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE TEXTURE

Along with my fab vacation to the Mediterranean last month, I scouted some of their art and noticed they were big on texture.  So, I would like to pay tribute to this medium and made the following to get my texture jollies out!

Little Scarecrette went trick or treating but kinda lost her way.  Will she find her way back to score some candy?


Eclectic Chic, she's still a baby but she's already a fashionista, fancy free!


Boquetia Croatia is ready to spend the day at the Medieval town to sell the gorgeous flowers from her garden.

I love texture.  It gives my art more umph!  Thanks for checking them out.  These pieces will be available for prints on FineArtAmerica.com (here's the link
).  Half the proceeds will be sent to Philippine Red Cross to help the flood victims.

Until my next series...LOVE ONE ANOTHER!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

HAWAIIAN ROLY POLY (meatballs)

Anyone who knows me knows I love sweets.  However, it doesn't have to be a dessert!  I love hawaiian food because it's predominantly sweet and sour.  Here's a recipe for Hawaiian Turkey Meatballs I lovingly call roly poly because it's cuter to say!!! :)  Also, it's sweet and playful with the tangy taste of barbeque sauce.  If you don't slather your rice with the sauce, this meal is very low in calories!  Indulge and delight in this party in your mouth food!!!!


Ingredients:

Ground turkey (regular package)
Salt and pepper to taste (I use garlic salt to add that zing)
Red bell pepper slices skinny
1 8oz can of pineapple slices in juice
3/4 c. barbeque sauce - Sweet Baby Ray's is awesome!


1) Season ground turkey with salt and pepper.  Form 1 inch balls and set aside


2) In a deep frying pan, heat the pan for about 2 minutes before you add the olive oil.

3)  Fry the roly polees until brown on all sides

4)  Remove from pan and drain in paper towels
5)  In a separate medium sized pot, mix the barbeque sauce and the juice from the pinapple slices




6) Stir and bring to a bubbling boil, then add the roly polees.  Turn your heat to medium and let simmer.




7)  After it has simmered for about 5 minutes, add the red bell peppers and the pineapple slices. 





8)  Let simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Best served with a little brown rice and lots of fresh veggies!!!

Mangia!!! Bon Appetit!!!  But most of all, share it and LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

UNITED? STATES


A week after the novelty of the vacation has worn off, I analyze the difference in the feel of their culture against ours here in the states.  I wonder what has happened to us and why it is that our human relationship with each other is almost non-existent.  It seems we all pretty much treat each other with ire most of the time, separated and standoffish. 
 
In Barcelona alone, besides the fame of the great Gaudi, this city is peppered with churches that are still open all day to the public and surprisingly well attended whether there is service or not.  Sadly, in California, churches are closed unless there is an event, so it shuts itself off from someone who would maybe just want to sit in God’s house and have a conversation with him and His aura surrounding him/her. 



I was educated about these churches.  The guide said that the wealthy Spanish families showed their wealth by building elaborate churches, the more money one had, the more intricate the church was.  The Sagrada Familia is one of them.  Gaudi was its architect.  This church is phenomenal with its intricate, ornate and very detailed depiction of every phase of Jesus’ life.  Its adornment is something one cannot possibly absorb all in one day.  The next time I visit this church, I will certainly bring a chair and sit in front every section and marvel every detail.  Not to mention I have not even entered it and I was told that the interior is already completed.


I didn’t know a soul in Barcelona, but yet, there was a feel of unity.  I am not sure if it was their siesta (mid day nap hours) that makes them more relaxed as a culture and that despite the supposed economic crisis they face, life goes on, maybe because in their culture, they are not defined by how much money they make.  Again, it is my keen observation.  People are soft spoken, much more approachable.



What have we done to our culture?  That is, if we can even call it a culture?  Somehow, it seems we have forgotten where we came from.  To boot, take the heads of our churches, the catholic priests and their reputation.  A number of Christian churches whose leaders commit the worse crimes against humanity.  I am not one to lose hope but the realization is overwhelming.

Ask yourself this question, what could one person do (YOU) to make a change within him/her to at least get us back to basics?

So on that important question and until my next rant, please…. LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

LAST STOP -- MESSINA AND TAORMINA, SICILY

(to see all the photos, visit my facebook page My Happy Cocoon, and while you're at it, please "like"!  Thanks!!)

Physically back in America but my heart still in Europe, I bring you my insights about our last stop, Messina and Taormina in Sicily, Italy.  This last island is in a shape of a slice of pizza perched beside its mainland where the scenes of The Godfather Part 1 and 2 were filmed.  Messina is an old town that we unfortunately were not able to fully discover due to the short time we were afforded.

On the way to Taormina, we were given a brief tour of the city center.   There is a statue that sits solo by the port surrounded by water with and around its base are the last words in Mary’s (the mother of God) letter to the city after Jesus’ death telling them that it will always be blessed.  How humbling it was to be in the same place where Mary was!  Suddenly, it all became real.

The view of Messina’s shores was breathtaking.  The blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea were alluring.  Arriving in Taormina, you feel the town’s mystery.  Not because of the Godfather, but just the feel of its history, the friendliness of the people forced to entertain the sometime unruly tourists but without a choice in the matter, feeling a tinge of just wanting to be left alone to enjoy their unspoiled land.  Who can blame them?  However, fate endures and we should feel lucky enough that they are able to share their graces with us.

This little town was the home of the cannoli.  It is the place where I tasted the best ├ęclair my whole life!  If you ever get a chance to go, I got it from Etna Pasticceria Corso Umberto, 112.  No, this is not a plug, I just want to share with you the place where you can get the best ├ęclair of your life!

The local artists are full of whimsy and elaborate in their art.  It is not surprising as the inspiration surrounding them daily is plentiful!

Mount Etna is an active volcano.  You can still see smoke billowing out of its mouth all day.  In the morning I saw puffs, but by the afternoon, it was full on smoking, as if to say Prego! (welcome) to all its visitors.  The guide informed us that because they didn’t have plains to plant their harvest, they had to plant them on the slopes of the mountains.

At a local bar and ristorante, we had bruschetta and all it was is a piece of large white bread with marinara sauce, turkey, cheese and thousand island dressing!  Who woulda thunk?  It was delisioso!

I even saw a balcony with a grapevine… yes it was alive with grapes!  It was sad to leave this beautiful city.