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Day 149: Carpentry!

29 May

We got new beds! And today I assembled them. It took me the entire day. I’m really slow.


Assemblage! And yes, our screwdriver has christmas tinsel wrapped around it. Problem?

Finished product! We also got new sheets and the ones I got are a very particular shade of purple and black, which may or may not be based off of a certain sexy purple shirt of sex belonging to a certain consulting detective. It's sexy.

And this is what the foot of my bed looks like. I will get a proper desk soon I swear!

That is all! My hands hurt! See you tomorrow!


Day 75: Shamrock Origami

17 Mar

I actually made this last night in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day (today), but I passed out before I was able to write this post. I don’t know why but I’ve just been very sleepy a lot lately. I’m sure it’s nothing more than stress but I sometimes like to think that I’ve come down with a special case of narcolepsy where I only fall asleep when I have to post entries for this blog.

It is St. Patrick’s Day! This day is such a big deal here that the usually black-clad throngs of people I see everyday on my walk to work are wearing bright green. There is an Irish pub on my street and there is a line of people trying to get in because it’s a party inside. This was 9 in the morning, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was going on since the clock struck midnight last night. It is such a huge deal in this country that my younger brother’s middle name is Patrick because he was born here on St. Patrick’s Day. So, happy birthday, JP! Today’s task is dedicated to you!

I wanted to have something festive to display on my work desk today, so I decided to make a paper shamrock (with stem!), but I forgot to bring it to the office this morning. Nice going, me. Anyway, here’s proof that I did what I said I did.

Materials: two square bits of paper.

I followed instructions that I found online. It was overly complicated and at the halfway point, it looked like this.

After what felt like many hours of trying to reason with this tiny bit of paper to please cooperate (because the paper I chose may have been great for an old printmaking project that I had, but not for origami), I somehow managed to make it look like this.

Then I had to do the stem/base and I swear this project was almost more trouble than it's worth.

But then you see the finished product and you just forget the 17 hours you spent making it. I mean, look at that wonky little thing.

So that’s that. I’ll see you later tonight for another St. Patrick’s Day-themed thing!

Days 71 & 72: Starry, Starry Umbrella

13 Mar

Look. I know I post stupid stuff here most of the time. But it in light of the recent earthquake/tsunami in Japan, it seemed insensitive for me to make the usual stupid drawing of a superhero or another stupid birthday card to a celebrity. So I thought I would make something pretty for once. And if I was going to do this right, I needed time to plan things and carry out the task in an un-rushed manner. It would have to be a two-day task.

Saturday was spent planning out the project. I knew what I was going to do. My sister has this umbrella made out of clear vinyl and it was just begging to be painted. It was just a matter of what to paint on the inside of it. And so I was thinking about pretty things or things that my sister likes. Like cherry blossoms or the color pink. But somehow it needed to be more. So I thought, “what is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life?” and the answer to that is this:

Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night

And so when I decided that that was it, the rest of the day was spent with much self-doubt and whining at my sister. “It’s an impossible task! It can never be done! Etc, etc.”

This morning was more of the same. Until I just figured that it doesn’t have to look as good as the original. It just has to resemble it somehow. And so after I’ve set very low expectations for myself, it was very easy to just do it. I then set out on painting my version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night onto the inside of my sisters clear vinyl umbrella. Here are some pictures.

Materials: paint, umbrella.

When I realized I had to take pictures, I had already painted on the moon and all of the stars.

Blurry detail shot of the cypress trees.

The Finished Product: Side A

The Finished Product: Side B

What the inside looks like.

So there you have it. The Starry, Starry Umbrella. It’s not as awesome as the original but it looks better than I ever thought I could possibly make it. So hurrah.

That’s all, folks. See you tomorrow.

Day 50: Wear Heart on Sleeve

19 Feb

Wordplay is one of my favorite things in life ever. I think puns are the cleverest things. I love it when idioms are interpreted literally. I think spoonerisms are a hoot! I don’t know why. These things just give me intense enjoyment.

So I decided that spending a considerable amount of time sewing a heart onto the sleeve of my favorite jacket just so that I can claim that “I am wearing my heart on my sleeve” seemed like an excellent way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Interestingly, in the checkout counter in the fabric store I bought thread from, I stood next to Diana Eng from Season 2 of Project Runway. I really wanted to tell her that the camel dress she made for Chloe Dao’s final runway show was one of my favorite things out of the entire season. But I was too shy.

Anyway, here’s what I did.

Materials: a needle, some thread, graph paper, a pen, and my favorite jacket. You can use anything with a sleeve, really.

Step 1: Draw out a heart on graph paper and mark the outline with x's.

Step 2 (The Emo Step): Poke holes wherever there are intersecting lines within your drawing. This is not some metaphor for how love hurts. It's just a very important step towards transferring your pattern onto the fabric of your jacket.

Step 3: Affix your bit of graph paper onto the sleeve of your jacket with the needle.

Step 4: Poke your pen through the tiny holes of your heart, making sure to go through each and every single one of them, so that your sleeve is filled with pen marks.

Like so. Don't worry because all of this will be covered up eventually. I'm sure there is a better, less messy-looking way of doing this, but this way worked well enough.

Step 5: Cross-stitch. If you tell me you need more specific instructions for this step, I won't believe you. Everyone knows how to do this.

Using the tiny dots as a guide, cross-stitch the outline first and then fill in the rest of the heart afterward. This actually took me a long time to do. I watched the entire 2nd season of The Mighty Boosh from start to finish while doing this. It was not a bad way to spend the day.

The Finished Product

And a photo of me wearing the jacket just to show you how big my heart is.

The Week of Love may be coming to an end, but this heart will, erm, go on. (I’m sorry I couldn’t resist.)

See you tomorrow!

Day 21: Hand-painted Window Treatments Part 2!

21 Jan

Remember how my sister wanted me to paint a sakura tree on the paper drapes for the bedroom? Of course you do. That was yesterday. Anyway, that’s what I did today. Here are pictures!

The giant window in the room is about 6 feet tall. And there I am. Hello!

Look at our colorful cups and bowls! And look at how tiny our kitchen is!

I have fashioned a take-away lid into a makeshift palette because my actual paint palettes are in the bottom of some boxes that haven't been unpacked yet. I bet you didn't know, but MacGyver is my middle name. I'm Carinia MacGyver C. Cayaban.

And of course, I go and mess up the folds in the pretty paper because I am incapable of keeping things nice and clean and perfect. It's how I roll.

This was when I was watching the paint dry. A lot of the flower placements were determined based on which spots needed to be covered up because I have somehow managed to smudge paint on them with my filthy hands. Great going, me.

And here it is posing with its best friend, the giant window. They look pretty together!

This post makes me happy because the pictures make the thing look prettier than it is in real life.

It makes me look like a pro.
See you tomorrow!

(See that last minute rhyme I wrote on the spot? I am on fire tonight!)

Day 20: Hand-painted Window Treatments

20 Jan

As you know, my sister and I are moving into a new apartment. The buildings in the area are so close together that we could see into other people’s apartments in the buildings next to ours. So it was imperative that we get ourselves some window treatments as soon as possible so that by the time we (finally) move in, we’d be safe from pervy eyes. We got these inexpensive paper shade things that look really nice and asian (like the people who live in our apartment, ba-dum-tssh) called Redi Shade Window Sahdes. This is what they look like.

This photo is from the Redi Shade website. The view from our window is not a garden but somebody else's kitchen.

The deal with these things is, they are sold at pre-set widths so you buy them depending on the size  of your window and then you can easily cut off the excess bit because it is made of paper.

Like so. (Another photo from the website. I'm afraid my hands do not possess the well-manicured daintiness and poise that this man's hands do.)

We got ourselves four of these things that we had to cut down to size. And so we ended up with these little bits of excess Redi Shade that I felt where a waste to throw away.

I apologize for not even attempting to take a well-composed photograph. But look! That's our floor!

It just so happens that the door dividing the living room and dining room has these glass panels that are almost exactly the same width as the excess bits. It looks a little something like this.

Except our place is a whole lot smaller and not quite so upscale.

And so we decided to use them for said door. Only, to make it a little more unique, I wanted to paint something on the paper. And this is what I did.

Working on the floor like a boss.

I went with birds because they are inoffensive enough and everybody loves them, but mainly because they are easy to draw. And we love to do things that are quick and easy here at the Epic Year Project. They turned out to look like they were hatched near a nuclear power plant though (notice the hunchbacked one in the middle) because I didn’t even bother to sketch with pencil first. This is what the final product looks like.

Mutant birds! (Speaking of mutants, have you all seen the cast for the new X-Men movie? James McAvoy and Nicholas Hoult are in it. This pleases me intensely.)

I am sure that we will get tired of looking at these ugly things soon enough and when that happens, I won’t feel guilty about throwing them out because then I would have a legit reason to do so.

My sister likes the idea of painting the drapes though and she wants me to paint a sakura tree on the one in the bedroom because she likes sakura trees. I might make a blog entry about that as well because that would be another easy post to make.

Alright! See you tomorrow!

Day 2: Make a snowman.

2 Jan

I hate winter. I think it is unnatural. People shouldn’t be subjected to this kind of torture.

Having spent almost my entire life living near the equator, I had become accustomed to the way the atmospheric temperature wavered between hot and extremely hot. Moving here three years ago made me realize that i would rather die from boiling in the sun than from hypothermia. The cold is evil. My feelings about this are very strong.

This is why I never spend any more time outside than is necessary for me to get from one place to another. I do not frolic in the snow. I do not participate in snow ball fights. I do not make snow angels. Sure, snow is pretty and I like watching it fall, but I would rather do it from inside my relatively warm apartment, preferably with a mug of hot chocolate.

So please understand that today’s task was especially difficult for me. But I did it. I went outside in layers upon layers of clothing, and made a snowman. Here it is.

I know it's tiny. But it was very cold, okay?


When I took this picture, I realized that I had created a very angry looking snowman indeed.

Snowman is pissed.


Then it dawned on me that the snowman is not angry. It’s crazy.

Snow: the stuff of nightmares.


So there. Mission accomplished. If you are one of my friends who are concerned about my sanity and are supporting this little project of mine to keep me away from television, thank you for reading! Bye!

If you are a Doctor Who fan, however, look at what I did! I made a tiny little fez and a bowtie and a makeshift mop from scrap paper and a chopstick for my Extra Special Doctor Who Snowman!

I am so proud of myself.


Compare with the actual Doctor.

The resemblance is uncanny.


And there you have it. I braved the cold and did something productive. All in a day’s work. See you tomorrow!