Wednesday, January 14, 2015

DIY #1: Chalkboard paint and mason jar mugs

For some reason I really wanted to spread some Christmas joy this year but couldn't afford to be all that generous, #brokecollegestudentproblems. So once I bought chalkboard paint... nothing within arms length was safe from me swiftly transforming it into cute chalkboard-paint-covered things. The brand I used is specifically for china and is called "Pebeo Porcelaine 150". It's water based and non toxic so I've seen people use it on top of serving trays and on rims of mugs but I didn't feel comfortable doing that. I ended up painting stripes on porcelain mugs (not photographed) and little rectangles on glass mason jars and containers. First, I cleaned and dried the mugs. Then I used painters tape to mark up the designs. This was particularly difficult on the medium sized porcelain mugs because I couldn't get perfect lines. This project might be easier with smaller cups or a simpler design lol. After taping, shake the paint before applying it. I used one coat of paint on the porcelain mugs and used three coats on the glass jars. For best results, wait 1-2 hours in between each coat to ensure the chalkboard is as smooth as possible. Remove the tape before it dries to prevent the paint from peeling off with it. Finally, let it sit for 24 hours before baking at 300°F for 35 minutes. After it's baked it becomes dishwasher friendly!

I ordered the paint through Amazon, a week before Christmas, so I expected to pay more for shipping but it usually costs around $11. I bought 4 mason drinking jars for $10 and the glass container for $3 at Target. And finally I found the gift tags and string from Home Goods for less than $5 but honestly you could make those yourself (I had a gift card so I didn't feel so bad for buying it). I repurposed my old black and white prints as notecards to include the types of teas and brewing instructions. Plus, I'm a big tea drinker so I killed two birds with one stone by buying some new Tazo teas to try and give away (Gingerly Jasmine and Iced Passion Tea not shown.) Overall, I was satisfied with how they turned out and happy I  got to do this project before the new year ended!

The last touch on the gift was figuring out what to write on the mugs. Choosing "create" served as a reminder to my friends, and ultimately a message to myself, to keep the right side of the brain more active this upcoming new year. I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets their ideas for projects during those moments of solitude with morning coffees/teas. With this mug, you can write your goal for the day or an inspirational quote and it won't leave your mind even after your morning fuel is done. This gift was personal and allowed me to start one of the many crafty and joyful Christmases  I look forward to sharing.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Let some days serve as motivation and on other days remind yourself, "I am enough."

Today I was reminded about times when I was heavily involved in community building. I quickly overwhelmed myself with regret thinking about opportunities that passed to really make an impact and of other peoples opinions about my work. I caught myself fueling with so much motivation to get back into that scene; apply the things that I learned and knew I could not fail in. But then I remembered that I established other goals that should take priority. Reflecting on how quickly I lost site of them made me wonder how many times I let other people's opinions control my actions so that I could gain their approval. This lifestyle transition will not be easy. I've been in organizations within the Asian/Filipino community since I was a freshman in high school; checking your email 24/7, having meetings every week, traveling to colleges across the eastern boarder, planning events, speaking in front of large crowds, etcetcetc. I always felt that if your life wasn't chaotic, you weren't pushing yourself far enough. But now I'm looking for different things out of life.

My underlying discovery was that I needed to learn how to validate myself. It's especially difficult growing up in a generation that thrives on instant gratification; collecting "likes" or "followers" to determine how well people are perceiving your daily life, "ootds", and hustle. Now, I came across a wikiHow on how to do this... lol it's really hard to say you don't know how to do anything when there's a wikiHow on almost everything. One suggestion was to keep a gratitude journal focused on things you appreciate about yourself. Record at least 3 things a day. Second, avoid telling painful stories through a victimized lens. You are accountable for your mistakes and once you admit them you'll become more conscious to act differently. Last, ask yourself what sort of validation you need right now. What will make you feel better, feel more balanced, or healthier? The toughest part about these questions is answering them honestly and allowing yourself to be vulnerable.

Things I am grateful for about myself during my time on eboard specifically: I never saw my peers as inferiors. I respected and took into consideration everybody's point of view even when they were physically absent from meetings. This allowed me to connect with each member and deemed me as the mother of the group who made a positive impact on their experience. The bonds and memories that were made during these times mean a lot to me. Second, I spoke up through times when my voice trembled with fear. Last and more in general, I've been working (and will always continue to work) towards restoring faith in humanity for people and helping those most in need.

Food For Thought: with under 100 days left of 2014, what do you want to accomplish?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Favorite Thrift Find #1

On one of my first adventures to Buffalo Exchange a couple years back, I found a fun looking plastic camera for under $10. Originally gave the camera to my brother as a Christmas gift until I noticed last year that it was still unopened! I decided to put it to use and test its worth. I finally developed the films dating from the beginning of last summer.

My favorite thing about film cameras is their ability to capture one unfiltered moment. This particular camera turned out to be a 4 shot. I'm still a fan, especially the motions it was able to capture. I experimented and used my sun glasses as a filter for some pictures lol.

Monday, January 31, 2011

A night of free Bon Chon and turning my brother's room into a walk in closet.. the bed was the only part of the room not covered with clothes lol. These were taken with Ngan's canon.