the coffeeshop

Continuing the Coffeehouse Tradition of Supporting Starving Artists


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Crib to Coffin

For an art assignment where we had to use text as form, I created a watercolor painting illustrating a verse from Emery's "Crib to Coffin". Great song!!!!

The girl in the picture is a super awesome stock provider on deviantart:
check out her site!

There was a bird
whose wings were crushed
by a windshield.
So fast to the ground
the roadside it found
as its eyes closed.
I heard the driver say,
as she pulled away,
"What could I have done?
The worst now is over."
I thought to myself,
with risk to our health
No one ever offers me help.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I carved my first pumpkin!!!

You see, we don't really have pumpkins in the Philippines. I have considered trying it with a squash, but rumor has it that it's not quite the same. We did, however, have squash pie at one point, which was quite delicious.

I suppose that my dear little pumpkin friend is a little...unusual. Seeing as he is a panda... I'm not really sure why my roommate and I decided to carve a panda. But hey, everyone likes pandas!

He started out way too cute. Not to say that he isn't cute now (I for one still find him very cute) but he was happy and had a little smile. And my roommate reminded me that jack-o-lanterns are supposed to be scary. So I decided that scared, if not scary, would be more appropriate.

As for tools...

We didn't have any of those high tech little pumpkin saws, only a butter knife, and a slightly sharper but unserrated knife.

And chopsticks.

Chopsticks should be appropriate for our arbitrary Asian theme...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tagged and Treasury!!!

I was tagged by Chokingonstatic Designs! Sorry it took me so long to respond, haha. :)

Here are the rules
  1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
  3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their name as well as links to their blog.
  4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are the 7 random facts about myself:
  1. I have two passports, Philippines and U.S.
  2. I have eaten bat, dog and lizard. Bat and lizard are YUMMY! :) Dog makes me a little sad...
  3. I played three years of touch rugby in high school.
  4. I made a self portrait of myself using sand and glue. So much fun!!!
  5. I have played football (soccer) on the Women's Philippine National Team. And I scored a goal in an international tournament. :D
Graceful Moments


My photograph made it to a treasury! This is my third treasury item, yay! Hurry and take a look here, it expires tomorow! :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Music is the language of the soul. In the fullest of joy one can only open their mouth and sing at the top of their lungs, and in the deepest of sorrow one finds comfort in bittersweet strains that echo the tears of the heart.

Music is divine.

God weaved music into the very frame of the heart. A beautiful melody tugs at our core, a single song triggers a flood of precious memories. Music heals and revives broken and thirsty souls. On the other hand, a symptom of a dead soul is immunity to the power of music.

With music we praise kings, and with music we ride into battle.

With music a mother tenderly rocks her child, and with music we lay our dead to rest.

With music God speaks, and with music we bow to Him and worship.



At the top of your lungs.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Falling in love with fall

Fall! I love fall. We don't have it in the Philippines. It just doesn't exist. I love all the leaves and the glorious crunching sounds they make when you jump on them. Because you simply have to jump on them. And it's getting colder but it's a nice kind of cold. It's the kind of cold that allows you to wear a scarf and fuzzy boots, the kind of cold that is perfect for playing soccer in.

And I hope I'm not just another California girl with Ugg's and a black and white scarf, because I'll have you know that I bought my boots for $4 at Goodwill and I wear the scarf because I miss my friends from the Czech republic who have the very same one (and Europeans know how to wear scarves).

I bought my first pumpkin yesterday, coming back from Santa Barbara. The closest I got to buying a pumpkin in the Philippines was either a squash or canned pumpkin pie filling. I can't wait to carve it!

I just posted these fall photographs along with a couple others on Etsy if you like them. :) They were all taken when I was out buying the pumpkin. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


AAAHHH! Yes. That pretty much sums it up. Life has been pretty crazy hectic lately. Biology is killing me...blech.... It's only the second week of school and I just took my first bio midterm. At the same time I'm trying to stay up to date with Etsy and also fit in my sports medicine club.

This weekend I'm off to Santa Barbara for a soccer tournament, woohoo! I'm definitely bringing a pillow for the car ride...

Last note before I head off to bed:
I have a new assignment for my Art 1: Visual Cultures class, and I'm so excited! We're studying the use of text as/in art, and our assignment is to make our own art incorporating text. My idea is to have a stanza from Emery's From Crib to Coffin (an amaaaazing song!):

There was a bird
whose wings were crushed by a windshield.
So fast to the ground,

the roadside it found as it's eyes closed.
I heard the driver say as she pulled away,
"What could I have done? The worst is over."
I thought to myself with risk to our health.

No one ever offers me help.

And in the left frame of the picture, in the foreground, I'll have a girl looking down, a lot of her in shadow made mostly of the text. The text will run into the background, and the background will actually be the focal point. In the background I'll have the fallen bird and the lyrics around the bird will be in drippy red paint, like blood. And maybe I'll incorporate some shattered glass in there. I'll post pictures as soon as I get started. :)

Oh, and the picture of me yelling here is a self-portrait I did my sophomore year in high school using oil pastels.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Underlying Lines

In black and white we see the smudges
The stains and splatters of ink
The fingerprints and scratchy pencil lines

It's wrong, it's all wrong, and we scream
We scream for the injustice, the disappointment, the shattering of dreams and expectations

Unless we see in color.

Layers and lay
ers of blood and light
Glorious streams of beauty

No less painful and no less harsh
But we realize that the black and white

Was simply the outline underneath the paint
And suddenly we see the masterpiece over the sketch.

Note: I wrote this peom back in June, but I just finished an alchemy request for someone on Etsy, to paint their boyfriend as Mal from Firefly (which is an amazing show and such a tragedy that they cancelled it...). For the first time, I recorded all the steps in my process. I never like it when people watch me work, because it always looks ugly in the beginning, and they, unknowing, tell me that it doesn't look right. Well, of course it doesn't look right. I can see it in my mind, where everything will go, how it will work out, and I fix things up as I go. It's part of a larger process, but the casual observer only recognizes what is right there before them. Well, to me, that's encouraging. Because with God as our artist, we are simply the ugly sketches and first puddles of paint thrown on the paper, but He sees the masterpiece He is making, the finished product.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What Superpower?

We've all participated in those awkward "ice-breakers" before, where they ask you questions like, if you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring? And you think to yourself...but...I'm not stranded on a desert island. And how would I bring three things? And why would I have that choice? And for all those people who say their TV or there electricity on desert islands? And you grunt and cross your arms and say typical things like...a TV and an ipod.

But the question I would like to focus on is, If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have? And personally, that blows my mind because there are just sooooo many options, and I'm quite indecisive. Lately I've gotten into Heroes, and all the ideas of the different superpowers make my brain start hurting with all the awesome possibilities. I will do a painting based on one of these images of Peter Petrelli, because he is just that awesome. I photoshopped the original to look blue. What do you think? Which one is better?

But back to the question. What superpower? Maybe regeneration like Wolverine from X-men or Claire from Heroes. But who would want to live forever? And as a side note, Claire has got to be the biggest masochist if she voluntarily subjects herself to the kinds of pain that she does in the show, e.g. cutting off her toe with scissors or plunging her hand into boiling water.

I'm choosing to get distracted again, but the reference to X-men reminded me of it. I was banned from watching X-men cartoons when I was about seven because my brother and I were "playing X-men" with our friends (three boys about 4, 9, and 11) and we were dueling each other. My brother and the other two older boys fought, as Gambit, Cyclops, and Wolverine (this is how my brother got so good at throwing cards, which was not to my advantage when he decided he would chase me around the house at times launching cards at my head). This was all very well for them, but I was faced with a four year old to duel. I don't even remember which X-man he was. I also faced a dilemma because I was Storm, and how exactly was I supposed to call up lightning and zap the kid? Left with no other choice, I promptly walked over and sat on him.

He started crying.

I darted behind the couch to hide, but it was too late. His mother and my mother gasped and scolded and exaggerated and banned us from X-men. And that was the end of X-men for us. My bad.

But back to the best superpower. I think I would have to choose telekinesis. This is a very broad category of powers, but no one ever said that there were limits to the answers, so I would choose telekinesis and everything that falls under it. This way, I would never have to get up again. I could do everything while sitting/reclining/lying down. And it would be awesome. And theoretically I could even make myself fly. Some skeptics told me that I couldn't do this, because after all, Jean Grey aged pretty fast when she tried to do too much, and she was the Phoenix! But hey, it's a simple ice-breaker question, and no one ever said there were limits.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Yellow is unsightly in large can be grossly overwhelming.
Washed out or pale, it is lovely, like the warm glow of candlelight on a tablecloth.

Yellow is a jealous tyrant, dominating and enslaving the eye. One must exert authority over its unruliness, rationing it to small portions. Take for instance, the sun. To our eyes it is minimized to a tiny, pretty yellow dot in the sky. Maybe God's way of telling us to use yellow sparingly was to fling that burning ball far away from the earth.

In small portions, yellow is sunshine (literally) and happiness. Like my yellow Mary Janes. They peep out from under my jeans like shy little canaries, the one on the right with a childish appliqué sun stitched on, a reminder of how the Creator uses His pallet.

I think Emily
Dickenson says it best. And I found this poem after I wrote this, so it was just that much more perfect.

Nature Rarer Uses Yellow
by Emily Dickenson

Nature rarer uses Yellow

Than another Hue.

Saves she all of that for Sunsets

Prodigal of Blue

Spending Scarlet, like a Woman
Yellow she affords

Only scantly and selectly
Like a Lover's Words.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Patchwork Quilt

Once upon a time, there was a college girl who was a patchwork quilt. She was made up of a whole bunch of different things awkwardly stitched together. After all, everyone else was a neat little two-toned or three-toned quilt. She was just a mess. Some of the other quilts were shocked to see the patches of piano keys although she was covered in patches of soccer balls, baseballs, and rugby balls.

"But sports quilts don't usually play instruments..." they pointed out. This didn't help the college girl. She tried to hide the splashes of paint that had gotten all over her, hoping people wouldn't notice that she was an artist too. Unfortunately although likely fortunately, the patch with a camera kept popping up, so she wasn't able to hide it.

The variety of patches that made her confused her and she tried to pull her seams apart.
Thankfully, it is difficult for quilts to pull themselves apart.

During her second year of college, she became tired of being all scrunched up and trying to hide her patches. She smoothed herself out and fixed up the seams she had tried to tear. She changed her major from biology to studio art, joined the club soccer team, and made regular visits to the piano practice room. She still is minoring in biology because she wants to be a physical therapist, a good occupation for a quilt like her. During the summer she opened up an Etsy shop, hoping to sell some of her paintings and photographic prints. It's a brand new world for this little patchwork quilt.

If you check the tag on the quilt, you will find that although it is an American brand, it says, "Made in the Philippines." She's quite proud of the "Made in the Philippines" part, especially since she was only shipped to the U.S. last summer, for college. Her dad was "Made in California" and her mom was "Made in the Philippines". She may just join the Mixed Student Organization this year...

And who does this little quilt love most? Well...the one who created her. She's starting to be happier about who He made her to be. As a craftsman herself, she understands the love and care that the Crafter puts into His creations. She only hopes she can be everything He created her to be.