Saturday, December 31, 2011

Collecting Every Token
of Twenty-Eleven

It's the last day of the year, and before I take another ride on this old planet to another trip around the sun, I'm gonna take a moment and put a milestone on an important year in my life.

It is in 2011 that I found the strength, to follow my heart, to do what I love.

It is in this year that I found tha courage to face the risks, the sacrifices that I have to make for the life I want to live.

This is the year I embraced bohemianism. I've learned how little I have and yet how blessed I am.

This is the year I created this blog Buhay Bohemio.

This is the year I put into practice what I've learned in the screenprinting classes I took last year.

This is the year I started my first business, Blogger Shirts, with my first business partner and friend Fitz who is a great source of advice, motivation, ideas and opportunities.

This is the year that I've learned that I have many supportive friends and family. They've become my first clients and customers and I am thankful of them.

This is the year I learned how to make digital paintings on a software I've been using since 2001. I'm glad to have developed a skill that not every post-processing artist can do.

This is the year I created two online stores, and the opening of which is something I look forward to early this year.

There are so much else to count upon in 2012, like here in this blog, I hope you will see more expressions of talent from the author himself.

So, see you in 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

1920's Jazz-Pop Music
by Annette Hanshaw

I still have the Sita Sings The Blues fever so I'm gonna share some music by Annette Hanshaw. Enjoy listening. That's all... ^_^

Sita Sings the Blues
by Nina Paley

Remember the dancing statues video I shared a month ago? That video introduced me to the American animator Nina Paley and I've learned about another brilliant work of hers, the 1 hour and 21 minute animated film, Sita Sings The Blues, produced in 2008. She wrote, directed, produced and animated the multi-awarded film herself. Due to copyright issues the film was released for free download in March 2009 . Read all about it here.

I downloaded a torrent from the official website and watched it from my laptop connected with big speakers. The film is musical and I wanted to hear every single word and instrument in there.

It is actually based on the Ramayana, the story of Rama and Sita, "the greatest break-up story ever told".

Here's a trailer from Youtube (the entire film is also available on Youtube).

The film used four different animation styles to separate parallel narratives. I love those traditional Indian shadow puppet narrators talking casually about the Ramayana, also the stiff animation that resembles 18th century Indian paintings, and the cartoon style where Sita appears to be the Bollywood version of Betty Boop singing to 1920's jazz music. Actually, they are songs performed by Annette Hanshaw, a popular singer of that time. I think I'm gonna download some of her music from this film.

It's really amazing how one artwork leads you to an artist, that leads you to other artists and their works.

Anyways, if you're also a fan of traditional Indian art and culture, you'll surely love this film. ^_^

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bohemian Manifesto
by Laren Stover

Searching about bohemianism a month ago, I came across the website of a book by Laren Stover published in 2004. I browsed through the website and find Bohemian Manifestso quite interesting so I went to Power Books and National Bookstore to see if they have it. They don't. Well it was, after all, first published 7 years ago.

But yesterday I was at Fully Booked at Global City, Taguig, and lo and behold, there it was. Two copies on a shelf at the fashion section. I read a few chapters and I like the one that talks about the different types bohemians. Stover classified bohemians into 5. "There are many crossovers and hybrids," said the author, "The bohemian by nature is not easily classified like species of birds".

So there's the Nouveau Bohemian (the ones with money), the Gypsy Bohemian (the expatriate type), the Beat Bohemian (the most deviant of bohemians), the Zen Bohemian (very much into spirituality), and the Dandy Bohemian (the polished ones even in tattered clothing). I think I'm 50% Dandy, 30% Zen and 20% Beat. Hehe.

I also love the illustrations by Izak Zenou. I wish the hard-bound book was filled with those cool watercolor illustrations, as I am more into visual art. If it did, I might have bought a copy. It's around Php 850. It looks like my own bohemianism has prevented me to buy a book about bohemianism. "Not now", says the voice of frugality. Hmm time to look for an ebook. ^_^

Friday, December 23, 2011

My All-time Favorite
Christmas Song

Two days to go and it's Christmas. Just wanna share this favorite Christmas song by Dave Mathews. I love it so much that I play it even it's not Christmas season. The melody doesn't sound so "christmasy". You won't here sleigh bells, words like "halleluiah" or "presents under the Christmas tree". It simply is about the life of Jesus and his love for mankind, written in a casual manner. Enjoy!

Christmas Song

She was his girl, he was her boyfriend
She'd be his wife and make him her husband
A surprise on the way, any day, any day
One healthy little giggling dribbling baby boy
The wise men came, three made their way
To shower him with love while he lay in the hay
Shower him with love,
Love was all around.

Not very much of his childhood was known
Kept his mother Mary worried, always out on his own
He met another Mary who for a reasonable fee,
Less than reputable was known to be.
His heart full of love,
Love was all around.

When Jesus Christ was nailed to his tree
Said "Oh, Daddy, Oh I can see how it all soon will be
I came to shed a little light on this darkening scene
Instead I fear I've spilled
The blood of our children all around."

So I'm told, so the story goes, the people he knew
Were less than goldenhearted
Gamblers and robbers, drinkers and jokers,
All soul searchers
like you and me.

Rumors insisted he soon would be,
For his deviations, taken into custody
By the authorities less informed than he.
Drinkers and jokers all soul searchers
Searching for love,
Love was all around.

Preparations were made for his celebration day
He said "eat this bread and think of it as me
Drink this wine and dream it will be
The blood of our children all around"

Father up above, why in all this anger
Do you fill me up with love,
Love was all around
Father up above, why in all this hatred
Do you fill me up with love
Fill me love
And the blood of our children's all around.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Heart-warming Chritsmas Carols

    The feeling is just different when you listen to Christmas tunes performed by a full orchestra. I dunno, when it's performed in another genre, like pop, blues, or rock, I just don't feel the Christmas Spirit. I'm sure you know what I mean. I guess classical music is best when it comes to old Christmas songs.

     Here's a Christmas album by the London Symphony Orchestra from 2004. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Help CDO and Iligan - Start Texting

It's gonna be a different Christmas for the many people who lost homes and loved ones by the typhoon that struck Cagayan De Oro, Iligan and other parts of Northern Mindanao last Saturday, December 17, 2011.

Christmas is the season for giving. So let us take this chance to help our fellow Filipinos in distress. Thanks to Globe and Smart we can send our donations to the Philippine Red Cross through text.

Truly, we don't need to be millionaires to reach out to people in need. To learn of other ways to donate to the typhoon victims in Northern Mindanao click here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Neil Gaiman's "Nicolas Was..."

Six days to Christmas... Here's a creepily interesting poem about Santa Claus by Neil Gaiman, video by 39 Degrees North.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Most Strenuous Shirt Printing Project

Here's this month's 2nd project and It look's like it's gonna be the last project of the year. Fitz, my business partner in BloggerShirts got us this project from a facebook group of Filipino freelancers. When he showed me the design it made me nervous because it involves the 4 colors of the Philippine flag and there's print on the front and back of the shirt. It made me even more nervous when he gave me the go signal to prepare for the printing of around 30 shirts. There's no backing out now.
I did not design this shirt but I proudly wear it because its the first 4-color 2-sided shirt that I've printed.

It's a good thing though that the production is by batch. I completed the first 10 shirts today after 3 days. It was really tedious work. I haven't done the math on how long it takes to finish one shirt, but one shirt has to be passed 7 times. The white letters that spells "pino" has a red outline and printing them with precision slows me down because my simple printing table still needs some eye-and-hand coordination (and I confess there were imperfections - well, tolerable ones). Plus the fact that I'm the only one printing and there's only one printing table, made this project really exhausting. And also, I didn't design this shirt and that took the fun and the passion away.

But in fairness, this project is something to learn from. While printing the first batch I saw problems, found ways to fix them, and figured how to prevent them on the next project (sadly, not on this project). I'm thinking of getting an assistant here in the neighborhood to do the washing of screens and squeegees. I also thought of having a long printing table made. One that accommodates 3 to 5 pallets at a time. I might not accept projects as tedious as this without that.

Well this project does bring the money. Shirts with this many colors and 2-sided prints cost more. But I can't help but think of the other projects I turned down because of this. It is possible that all 3 of them combined can equal this current project in terms of profit minus the tediousness. But I don't want to do the math. I still have the next batch to worry about.

It's 10 days before Christmas. The money's here but will I find the time to shop for gifts? Oh my, oh my!

Monday, December 12, 2011

I hoped for projects this month and here's the first. My friend Greg, who teaches English to Korean kids, wanted to give shirts to his teammates as Christmas presents.

Similar to BloggerShirt's blogosphere design, his shirts instead have the names of his colleagues, some Korean words and others office words in metallic silver ink. He ordered 12 shirts. Making them was a breeze.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Bohemian Diet:
Kuya's Lumpiang Sariwa

What is the bohemian diet? Well if it's delicious, healthy and affordable. Such as my current favorite food-court item - Kuya's special lumpiang sariwa.

What makes this fresh vegetable spring roll so special? I must say that their sauce is quite unique. Aside from the basic ingredients (carrots, heart-of-palm, lettuce and thin wrapper made of flour and egg), the generous serving of ground peanuts, the crispy something that looks like fried vermicelli noodles and a special seasoning brings this lumpiang sariwa to a higher level. All that healthy goodness for only Php45.

What's also interesting is their packaging. At the side of the box you will find a verse in the Bible about how a diet of vegetables is good for you.

"Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink... At the end of ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. " (Daniel 1:12-15)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December has Descended

And so December has landed. The month when everybody's excited about the coming holidays. Well I'm not as excited. Since I've just became self-employed, this will be my first December with no 13th month pay. But who knows? Maybe I'll have more projects this month. I'll sure be needing the money to buy presents. If not, I will have to be extra creative to make Christmas gifts.

It has been 9 months since I left my all-expense-paid comfort zone. Now I'm already feeling the downside of bohemianism. Yet I need to maintain this frugality to preserve the funds to buy blank shirts for my own online store, and frames for my digital portraits and painting business. I spent November making a portfolio, building the websites, searching for suppliers, designing my first collection of shirts, and of course, printing orders of BloggerShirts.

It is really tough starting an online business from scratch - so many things to put together! I intend that the websites be launched by January 2012. Everything must be ready by then - the supplies and the order processing system. Yeah, I will need to do a lot of online marketing once I cut the ribbons. I'm actually excited about promoting the business, knowing that they will see a nicely designed website with cool items and services that are quite affordable.

Well I guess I just need to keep working on this stuff while we all look forward to the Christmas season. ^_^