Currently…

A collection of small things I want to share.

Being a somewhat studious student.
My last semester of university life, and I’m both dreading it and looking forward to it at the same time. I’m somewhat proud of myself that I’m being somewhat studious this semester, compared to the past year and half, in which my interest for being studious went downhill since exchange. I can’t really tell if it’s me, or it’s what I’m studying, but I’m really feeling the hardworking vibe, though compared to most people, it’s probably still not that hardworking. But at least I’m feeling good about it, and also proud of myself. Of course it helps that my grades so far this semester have been very promising, so that probably kept my morale up for studying.

Listening to classical music again.
I’m a classically trained musician, and I play the piano and occasionally play the double bass in the orchestra. Ever since university started (that’s years ago), my piano playing generally because weaker because I had less time and incentive to practice or simply touch the piano. I got to play more double bass though, because I joined the school’s orchestra, until I reached a point that I burnt out, and didn’t want to deal with classical music in any form during my free time. I’m happy that I have moved past that, and can genuinely enjoy listen to classical music again during my free time at home. (It also helps that my family is away on holiday and I can blast music from my computer and have the music just surround me.) I think the message here is to take a break from things when you feel like you are not enjoying things as much as you used to, even if it’s something that you love. It helped me refresh myself, and stopped myself from hating the things I used to love, because it was bringing me a lot of emotional distress. Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately: Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 & 5, Schubert symphonies. This video of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 also made me stare wide mouthed at the screen, but it was so thrilling to listen to.

Playing games I used to play as a kid (or younger anyway)
I’ve been (re)playing several version of the Pokemon games that I played before – Emerald, Diamond, Y. I really love Pokemon, and the only ones I never played is Black & White and Black & White 2, but I’m hoping to convince my friend to lend me her copy of the game to play soon. I’m really trying to enjoy the game now, and really explore using Pokemon I’ve never used before, which is an interesting and refreshing experience. Right now, I’m eagerly waiting for the latest version to be released, and also baiting for time to buy my own copy of ORAS, if and when I overcome my economic sense. Of course there’s also the latest hype of Pokemon Go that I’m playing on and off. There’s also Yoshi Island, which I love but never gotten around to completing because I don’t own it (my cousin did), so it’s nice to go back to what I missed when I was younger.

Craft products that recently caught my eye
I have been trying very hard not to look at new products, because my wallet will complain. But recently saw this new frame punch board by WRMK and I’m just so awed by it, mostly because I’ve been hoping for an easier way to create frames for scrapbook and stuff.  While browsing through the Simon Says Stamp website I also saw these layering stamps by WRMK, which I felt was pretty cool, particularly the CMYK colours, even if I’m unlike to purchase them. I’m also contemplating actually investing in embossing powders, which I have been putting off because it’s not really my thing, since I don’t do that much cardmaking. But I think just the white and clear would do great for some techniques, without going all out into embossing.

Some crafty videos to share
I recently started subscribing to Shayda Campbell and Kristina Werner on YouTube. Shayda does illustrations and lettering on her channel, which is something I like to look at and hopefully learn. It’s rather different from the channels I have subscribed to so far, so it’s going to be a refreshing change. Kristina is a card making enthusiast that many people should be aware of if they are in the scene. I’ve known of Kristina and her works for a while now, but resisted subscribing to her because I didn’t want to subscribe to too many cardmaking channels. I have this uneasy feeling regarding the cardmaking industry, because they are always coming up with new products, particularly stamps. Maybe it’s my geography training kicking in, but I can’t help but feel like it’s wasteful to be always chasing the newest products, when older products also work well (in a practical sense). Anyway, I started following Kristina because of her letterings and envelope videos, which is something different from what I’m used to. There’s also this video from Jennifer McGuire on getting more out of your acrylic stamps by using the back of it, and this video that I randomly clicked on that showed new ways on using the WRMK envelope punch board, which I own. It’s always good to get new ideas and ways to use your tools and get more out of your money!

Hope you enjoy this little sharing on what’s going on in my life and the things that caught my eyes. Maybe I’ll keep a shorter interval to posting the next currently post. Until next time!

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Restlessness, consumption and where’s the production?

Recently feeling in a little bit of a rut again, not least because deadlines for school don’t leave me with much time for craft. That would be a legit excuse/reason, except that never actually stopped me from creating something before. If I am to be really honest to myself, then I need to admit that I actually don’t know what I want to create and thus have not been creating. On other days, I might have just sat down, pull paints out and slap down some colours, but I’m restless so I don’t feel like doing it (or maybe my subconscious is reminding me of the troublesomeness of washing up after the paints).

Maybe saying that I haven’t been crafting is too much of a stretch, because it was only last week that posted about the digital art I created. I guess what I’m really lamenting here is how I haven’t been working on my art journal much. Art journal for me is a very therapeutic exercise, as they often come from deep inside me, rather than the random drawing/art that I have created as with my digital art. I often use my art journal to pour out my thoughts and feelings, and just write streams of unconsciousness. Sometimes, the process helps me start anew, as I leave everything behind in the journal pages. But even if that doesn’t happen, I still feel lighter before I start, and I can attempt to move on after verbalising it and having done something about it.

I will share a page that I did a couple of weeks ago, after a round of restlessness. It was something simple, and I purposely took some time with it so I can enjoy the process longer. I know most people prefer fast and quick art journal process (or at least that’s a common rhetoric I’ve seen), but I personally prefer spending a little bit more time on my art because it makes me feel more satisfied and doesn’t leave me hanging, as have happened a few times

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Pre-painted background, gesso, alcohol markers and some journaling

I tend to get a perpetual need to consume something creative when I’m in a restless rut – blogs, but most YouTube videos. It’s often a sign of restlessness when I’m watching recommended videos from YouTube when I run our of videos to watch on my subscription list. It’s not exactly healthy, because I’m constantly consuming but not actually producing anything in return. Sometimes I find some good ideas or it sparks inspiration of what I can do, but I don’t do it because I’m restless. It’s kind of a waste of time spent watching those videos, that could otherwise be more inspiring when I’m in a better state. I’m still figuring out how to go around that.

I started off this post as a pondering, but as I write, I realised I’m more rambling than anything. Sigh. Well I still need to get this out there, and maybe I can move on from my rut. Hope you aren’t in a rut too, but if you are, you have a kindred spirit in me and here’s to hoping we will get out of it soon.