Porcupine Puffer Fish Still Rules !

The WP annual reports came out earlier this month, and this little blue-eyed fellow was the most popular post again.  That’s two years in a row!

Another favourite, the ‘Money Tree‘ was also in the top five most-viewed posts for the second time.

By the way, I used this same idea for a fund-raising tricky tray for the soccer club – it was a semi-hit.  The boys could only see the one-dollar bills on the tree, even though I told them there were other denominations on the tree.  Next time they’ll know!

A surprise post – my diamond strip afghan – was the most viewed in a single day.  I still haven’t found where on the internet world it was posted, that brought the visitors to the blog. But thank you again to whoever that was.

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Visitors came from 122 countries, most from the USA, with UK and Canada close behind.  Let’s see … from far away as New Zealand and as far north as Iceland.  So I got visitors from each continent!  Great!

I posted about half of what I did in the previous year and uploaded only a third of the number of photos from the previous year.  I could have told them that.  Last year definitely sped by me.  I’m going to try and slow down this year – meditate a little more, go out and enjoy nature more so I can get back to taking photos of my favourite models – the flowers!

See you more in 2015 !

Trying to Get Out of the Box

New year greetings to you all – it’s not too late for that yet, right?  Another year gone, and a new year to fill in again with life and memories … new resolutions … new ideas … How’s your year been?

This year hasn’t been so productive for me with the blog.  Planning – again! – to do better this year. I thought I was finally making some progress towards the end of the year, then everything went boom! again.  Ok – new year resolution – better time management, so that I can get stuff done.

My first doodles for the year – I was falling asleep in a meeting.  Note to self: do not eat/finish lunch right before a meeting – you will surely feel drowsy … So, after being nudged a little more awake by a colleague rocking my chair, I picked up my pen and paper.  All I had was an orange post-it, but it will do.  Note to self:  next time, bring your doodle pad with you – or would that be too obvious?  lol

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This is what I came up with.  My first free-hand mandala drawing.  It is a mandala, isn’t it?  or is it just a drawing?   I decided it was time to get out of the box, and make my first attempt at drawing mandalas, instead of just doodling, or drawing line and geometric patterns.   I enjoy looking at everybody’s drawings and mandalas, but at the same time, I don’t want to look anymore, because I want to draw it instead.  The more I look, the more ideas I see that I want to do, but I don’t want to copy other works.

I think I’m getting there.  I’m slowly coming out of the box with the drawing and the designs and the tangles.  I showed Justin a tangled doodle, and he said it was all lines.  I thought there was a design and pattern to it – and there was, for me – but for others, it came out looking like all lines, so clearly, there was something more that had to be done and changed.

I’ll work on this some more in the next meeting – fill in some of those spaces, add a curl here and there, add shading … I’m getting there …

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Black on White on Black

I had an inspiration last week, while looking for more drawing pens at Michaels (arts and crafts store).

I saw black drawing paper … ideas came to mind … so I picked it up and went looking for white ink pens.  I found them over at the scrapbooks section, and bought two different types/brands.  One was a Manger opaque white, and the other the Sakura Gelli pen.  Here’s what I came up with:

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I started to fill in the spaces with the white, but didn’t like the effect.  I’m leaving this as it is – I’ll probably do another version later.  It’s harder to cover up mistakes with white pens, I find.  It doesn’t translate to the same shading effect as when I am using black ink.

Also, I didn’t like working with the opaque white pens – as you can see, blobs of ink would come out, or else there was no ink coming out, and then I would have to retrace the lines.  The Sakura Gelli pen works so much better for me.  I’ll have to look for more of those … do they come in different point sizes?  hmmm …

 

Weekly Writing Challenge: Digging for Roots – Eight Generations

I’m on a roll here … the Weekly Writing Challenge now.  Digging for roots.  Who am I.  Where I came from.  How I am related to others.  Ancestors and ancestries …

Tracing family roots is an on again off again project.  My father is one of fifteen siblings – seven from his natural mother, eight from his step-mother.  My mother is one of ten siblings.  I only have two siblings, and when I was younger, I would often think of how it would be like to have more than three of us running around.

I don’t exactly know when I started to get interested in tracing the family roots.  Perhaps it was because my father would make a comment every now and then about something that reminded him of the past … but then would not elaborate. So as the years went on, I would try to collect all the little bits and pieces that he would talk about … which again was not much.  And so the project lay dormant, until the next comment that would revive it.

I made a great breakthrough about four years ago.  *sigh* Not much progress since then, and the blog that I had started to document this journey is also sadly dormant.  I need to squeeze this in to the remaining minutes of my day to work on it as well.  Anyway, I obtained a copy of a handwritten family tree from my aunt, who in turn had been given the document during a business trip to the ‘ancestral’ town.  Not sure exactly how it happened, but it seems that upon hearing her maiden name was Feliciano, a distant-distant relative came up and gave her the document – ten wonderful handwritten pages of the Feliciano family tree, of which I got a copy.

OCD that I am, I mapped and charted out the document … and now I know that I am the seventh generation, and my children are the eighth generation of what seemed to be the founders of the town.  And not just any founders … they were the stuff that urban legends are made of … they were famously killed by a couple of crocodiles.  And not just any regular crocodiles either .. the crocodile couple actually had names too!

Wow.  Can’t get any better than that.   I really must get back to researching this family tree …

Excerpt from PalawanFeliciano: The Beginning

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Photography 101: Glass – From the Outside Looking In

Today’s photo101 subject caught my eye … glass.  And I had a photo for it.  I know I know … these topics are supposed to encourage us to improve photo-taking skills, not to go through archives for one that fits the topic.  But I’m going to forget to take a photo if I don’t do it now.  So … here’s me in a self-portrait … from the outside looking in.  These are all reflections, on the glass.

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I was walking around the balcony of a hotel in Nagarkot, Nepal, and came back to my room.  Noticing the curtains were drawn and that I could look in, I decided to take a self-portrait with my reflection in the mirror.  Well … it didn’t turn out as I thought it would.  I fiddled with the settings some more, but still couldn’t get a good photo of me in the mirror.

But I like this accidental shot better.  There’s layers within the image … layers in the meanings … in layers of glass.