Sunday, July 20, 2014

latin girl.

I wonder if the wild animals living in me
Well, will they ever find freedom?

There's something, and my mind shifts
And in my eye, I slip on my ears
And I find I am face to face with none other than me
I've got the mirror up against the marquee

And all it reads is I am fine, I am divine
But there is a wild side going on behind the sign

I'm looking for the magic
I'm feeling for the right way out of mind
Looking for the alchemy to release me from my maze
I am making myself

lyrics and music Joan Wasser
Art by rei

Friday, May 16, 2014

Making Cards is Fun!

You Will Need:

8 x 11 inch paper


Step One: Fold your piece of paper in half (hamburger style) and in half once again.

Step Two: Select a stamp or sticker that inspires you or a theme represented by your magazine clippings. Sometimes I use the person the card is for as inspiration. Sometimes, I don't. Either way, you're not really losing any resources if you mess up, so have fun.

Step Three: Cut and glue clippings onto the card. Stamps and stickers are fast and easy. 

Step Four: Write a message to the recipient and deliver! The best part of the process. I made cards for Mother's Day and a couple different birthdays in this round.

A few months ago, my cousin and I got together and made cards for the New Year. I still have some of our creations! We had fun sharing ideas and thinking of people we would see soon. :)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

no limits, just epiphanies.

I had a dream so big and loud
I jumped so high I touched the clouds

Do you remember your biggest dream? Was it to travel somewhere far away? To find a comforting embrace? Achieve success in your favorite work? I bet it was big. I bet it seemed impossible.

I'm never gonna look back, I'm never gonna give it up, 
please don't wake me now.

Last month, my cousin Brian married a beautiful woman named Anna. They asked me to help them create a video to remember their day.

This project was a reward for me to work on in many ways. I was able to relive the best moments from the weekend in a more relaxed pace. It was a delight for me to incorporate my sister Alaina's point of view by using her photographs in the video. I even used footage from a camera that I let my dad, mom, and sisters play with during the reception, enabling me to have some intimate moments of recall from the comfort of my couch.

Anna's choice of song was perfect. Inspired by it's tune and lyrics, I edited the video quickly. It lifted me up to view the happy expressions of my family members. I was enamored with the humble and loving looks on Brian and Anna's faces as they stood surrounded by their favorite people.

All the possibilities
no limits 
just epiphanies

For the first time ever, I got very emotional while cutting this video.

Besides my own wandering thoughts about family, home, love, and big dreams realized, I think it was the honest expressions in their eyes that made me teary eyed.

Ready, though not perfectly prepared.
Willing, though not perfectly aware.


hopefully in love...
towards whatever person or thought that you imagine...
what dream is more worthwhile than that?

Friday, January 31, 2014

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.

A couple of years ago, my aunt asked me to accompany her to a wedding. Throughout the bride's career as a singer, my aunt and her husband Leonard were the bride's mentors.
Angela Teek has had a long career in entertainment from Star Search (the original American Idol) to Broadway and beyond. I didn't experience her entertainment side of life as often, though I always looked up to her as an independent woman, pursuing her talents day after day. When she visited, she always had interesting stories of people she had seen and places she had been.

So I went to the wedding and I brought my camera with me. I was dissatisfied with my limited set-up, but my aunt assured me that Angela would be happy with whatever I would capture.
The wedding was simple and there were some interesting guests. I met a performer from Dancing with the Stars and more people that Angela had worked with in 'the business' over the years.

During the reception, Angela got on the microphone, and I immediately started recording. Live music always brings an element of surprise and liveliness to the room. Before that night, I had only seen Angela perform once or twice live. I cut a sizzle reel for her when she was working on a cruise ship, but that wasn't the same.

For this little performance that I had the pleasure of seeing, Angela's seasoned voice caught me by surprise. Her band was wonderful and followed her lead as she entertained us all. She sang these songs at the request of her husband, in her white wedding dress, and I knew I was a part of a very special moment.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

boogie woogie on the piano.

I've had this melody stuck in my head for two days.

Sister Mary Clarence signals for the choir to smile. Their voices open and a peaceful vibration enters the church. The nuns in the front pews are surprised. The 'misfit' group they had dismissed had found a fitting leader.

Then, the choir begins to clap their hands to a new, more energized beat. Each of the singer's voices ring clear and true. Before long, Sister Mary Clarence is twirling and dancing at the front of the stage. Her arms flail overhead and the altar boys tap their feet to the rhythm. Some passersby stop in the church to hear their joyful sound.

The level of energy in the room skyrockets as the choir nears its finish. Kathy Najimy as Sister Mary Patrick is my absolutely favorite.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas on Toledo St.

Christmas was always a holiday I looked forward to as a kid.
If I was good, I increased my chances of receiving a bounty of beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree.

Each year, we exchange gifts with others as a symbol of love.
We enjoy food and time with them to rejuvenate our souls for the impending new year.

This year I bought my first Christmas tree. I never thought that something so simple could give me so much joy.

I suppose it's because I have not enjoyed Christmas the last few years. At least not as much as I used to.

I was not unhappy. I was... elsewhere. I was unsure how to enjoy the holiday when I had conflicted feelings about my year. I was always optimistic. I just had a lot on my mind.

I did remain focused. I pushed myself to find the joy, the right kind of enjoyment that I was seeking.

I am grateful to have this moment to reflect. I have so many things to appreciate in this time.

...and I always have.

Though this year, it is different.

The joy I was seeking is before me, in the simple, sparkling, plug-in tree by the window. It is in my table covered with red, green, and silver ribbon and other craft supplies. It is in spending Friday night on the couch at home recovering from a week long cold. It is in my sweetheart's warm eyes. It is in the smiley emoticons and messages from mom and dad.

It is here.

Here, at home.