Randomness

Just some random thoughts…

ChiCon 2015


Since the Supernatural Chicago Convention 2016 is just less than two days away, I thought, huh, better get last year’s convention experience written. It is just exactly the distraction that I need in order to ignore the packing and the preparations I still have to do because, haha, who needs a stress-free last-minute-running-around-my-room-like-a-headless-chicken-and-just-shoving-everything-into-my-luggage? Certainly not me.

I digress.

ChiCon 2015 was a different experience from the year before. One, because I actually had an inkling on what to do instead of whipping my head around with my mouth open in awe. Two, because I had a Gold ticket that gave me access to a closer seat, an automatic admission to the Saturday Night Concert event, and a chance to get some of the actors’/actresses’ autographs and exchange some friendly greeting with them. It was also surprisingly emotional for me, as I facilitated between deliriously happy at the convention and trying not to be conspicuously upset at some personal stuff going on with me. But we’re not going to talk about that.

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Categories: Fandom, Randomness, supernatural | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

DIY Wax Seal Stamp


Ever since discovering the art of calligraphy as a useful and immensely satisfying (and a little bit costly) hobby, I’ve always wanted to do a handwritten correspondence with someone who lives in another country. In short, a penpal. Although I have been wary of looking for penpals off the internet because, well, it’s the internet and you never know if you’re writing to a potential stalker or a creepster or a predator. I have a short anecdote that I will share in a separate post about how I learned to be paranoid about strangers over the internet. But that’s a story for another day.

Back on topic. Following the calligraphy tag on tumblr had me looking at skilled calligraphers who correspond with their calligrapher friends with their fancy cursive and flowing scripts and pretty flourishes and parchments and wax seal stamps, and of course the one thought that ran through my mind was: “Ooh, that looks fun… I want one.”

The wax seal stamp, I mean. The pretty cursives and flowery flourishes takes years of practice that both frustrates me and makes me determined. The penpal position is still open because I’m wary of creepsters. But parchment and the stamp are pretty attainable. So, I want one.

Problem was, customized wax seal stamps are really freaking expensive. And knowing that I have no use for it because I don’t have anyone to write a letter to, I gave up the idea of buying one.

But I didn’t give up the idea of having one. So naturally, I scoured the internet for do-it-yourself wax stamp seals, and I particularly liked this shank button wax seal stamp and this one made from rubber carving block. There was another really cool set of instructions from RageHaus that used wooden dowels and wood burning tools, but unfortunately, the website is not available anymore.

I haven’t done any of these, because I don’t own any wooden dowels, wood blocks, wood cutting tools, shank buttons or any abandoned chess sets lying around. But then I remembered that I grabbed a pack of bakeable clay on a whim (someone should definitely keep me away from Hobby Lobby because I could buy the whole store), and got the idea to create my own.

It took about four hours of labor (that might be because I work at the speed of a baby turtle), but the finished product, which I dub my trial stamps, came out decently:

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Clearly I need to improve my wax seal application…

I had fun making these, so I thought I’d share.

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Kato Polyclay

What you’ll need:

-Kato polyclay, or any kind of polymer clay that you prefer. This one that I randomly grabbed worked out perfectly.

-Wax paper. Or a plastic bag. Something that you can use to cover your working table with because the clay will be greasy when you start to knead it.

-Pencil

-An inkless pen. Or anything pointy. A toothpick would work, but make sure to smooth out the end.

-An oven. This is quite essential as you’re going to have to bake the polyclay if you don’t want a limp, useless wax seal stamp.

-Baking pan

-Paper

-Wax seals. So you’ll have something to test your wax seal stamp with.

-A candle. Or a lighter. Or a match. Anything save a stove that produces fire.

 

Instructions:

1)      Pinch off an appropriate or desired amount of the clay that you think you’re going to need for your stamp. Or heck, just use as much as you want.

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This is approximately 1 ounce of the polyclay.

2)      The clay is going to be firm, so you have to knead it. Knead it like you intend to give it the best massage of its life.  Doesn’t matter if your technique could be likened to a bull dancing the cha-cha on top of a person. That firm, unyielding clay would soon be like putty in your hands.

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Not putty yet, but getting there.

3)      Roll the clay into a cylinder. Or shape it into an elongated cube. Or a polyhedron, if you’re feeling that creative. Just as long as the “face” of the stamp remains flat, shape the “handle” into a kick-ass lightning bolt, if you have the patience. Just make sure you don’t make the “face” too wide.

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I shaped mine into a Rook in order to have two “faces” in one stamp. This is intentional. No, I didn’t choose this shape because I tried and thoroughly failed to shape a human head and instead ended up with a weirdly-shaped blob. What are you talking about?

 

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…Okay, fine. I don’t know, okay? It was supposed to be a head, I swear, but it ended up like this. Rooks are much easier to shape.

4)      Pencil out a design for your stamp face. Make sure that the design will fit within the stamp face.

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For the 1st face, I chose “W” for Winchester. Why? Because Supernatural, that’s why.

*Tip 1: One way to do this would be placing your stamp on a paper and tracing the edges to determine the boundaries.

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Please ignore the fact that this isn’t the same clay.

*Tip 2: If you want something more complicated than a simple monogram (for example, a lamp, or a human transmutation circle, idk), copy it from the internet, paste to MS Word, resize if it’s too large, and print it off. BUT don’t be a douche and claim the design as your own.

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I chose the anti-possession tattoo symbol from Supernatural for my 2nd stamp face. I printed this off after three failed attempts on drawing it on paper.

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When I finish this, I’ll have a wax seal stamp that will ward off possession on anything that I stamp it on. Letters that you don’t want altered? Slap on an anti-possession symbol and see if Crowley comes near it! Mwahaha!

5)      Darken your design with your pencil. Like, really darken it. Trace your design with enough pressure that when you put your face on top of it, it will leave an imprint. The darker, the better.

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It looks easy enough, right? Wrong.

6)      Take your clay stamp and place it on top of your design. Turn the whole thing upside down, with the paper now on top, and scratch it to make sure that the clay takes up the pencil imprint.

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Slap the pattern onto the “face,” and then lightly scratch the surface.

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You barely see it from the photo, but the imprint is there.

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Here’s the “W” for my 1st stamp face.

7)      Take your pointy tool (a pen, a toothpick, or anything that you can try and poke somebody with and they respond with “ow!”) and start carving your stamp face. The image will naturally be reversed. Try not to make it too shallow that it won’t show on the wax seal when you try it out, or too deep that the wax may break off inside.

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My pointy tool is my mechanical pencil. It works out wonderfully.

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Carving this took about two hours in total and I was ready to puke by the end of it.

8)      When you’re done carving your clay, smoothen out the edges, wipe out fingerprints, make sure the rest of your stamp face is relatively flat.

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I sliced off the edge in order to get rid of the unintended outer circle. So now it really looks like a chess piece.

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Save yourself the trouble and just carve out monograms. This only took me fifteen minutes.

9)      Preheat the oven. Place a wax paper on top of the baking pan, put the stamp clays face down. According to the Kato polyclay directions, it must be baked for 10 minutes in 300 degree Celsius. If you have another brand of polymer clay, then follow its specific directions.

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*CAUTION:   Be careful in taking the pan out of the oven. I know it sounds noble, but “suffering for your art” doesn’t mean suffering 2nd degree burns because you got so excited that you grabbed the stuff straight from the oven.

11)   Let the clay cool off and make sure you’ve baked the malleability out of it.

12)   Voila! Your stamp is ready to be tested!

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Here goes nothing!

To test your stamp:

1)      Grab a piece of paper, melt the wax seal onto it.

2)      Immediately stamp your…er, stamp onto the wax seal, hold still for a few seconds, and then carefully lift up your stamp.

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Okay, let me try that again.

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Took a couple of tries, but hey, it works!

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Seriously, just do monograms. They’re a whole lot easier to do.

Is it successful? Alright, time to color!

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Bam! Rook = Impala because chess rooks are powerful towards end games and the Impala turned out to be the most important thing in the universe.

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S.W. and D.W. on the side. I’m so clever I didn’t even know it. *preens*

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The Winchester Family Motto

WHAM! Have a letter that you don’t want demons to get a hold of? Slap an anti-possession symbol on it.

I like to think The Men of Letters have a variation of this somewhere in the bunker that Sam has yet to find.

Of course, I made this before season 9 finale aired, so sorry Dean. Guess you won’t be sending anyone any letters any time soon.

Or opening any letters. Sam can totally start a diary now.

Okay, I’m done.

If you ended up with an unrecognizable blob of clay, I apologize profusely for wasting your time.

***

[ETA: I posted this months ago in my Tumblr. It was still sitting in my drafts here for some reason. Eh, posting it now.]

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First Post of the New Year


To tell the truth, for a few months now, I’ve been thinking of deleting this blog.

I’m not a regular updater, that’s for sure. One of the main reasons is that nothing interesting ever really happens to me. I don’t travel, I don’t have a lot of friends that could tell me stories, and I’d rather stay curled up in my bed with a good multi-chaptered fanfiction rather than going outside for a stroll.

Blogging about my woes when I’m feeling depressed seems ill-fitting here–those are better done in my private journal where I can be as vulgar as I want to be.

All my fandom stuff are on Tumblr, which none of you people who know me in real life will ever find at the risk of me dying in mortification. My calligraphy stuff is over there,too, and so is my knitting stuff.

My fanfiction stuff is over at livejournal, which I also have not been updating as much as I would like to.

I haven’t made much progress on the novel-writing stuff, and complaining here about my severely lacking skills with going on about it is unappealing.

And I don’t really have profound wisdom to impart about an interesting/controversial topic. Not saying that I’m as shallow as a puddle, but because I feel like everything I have to say has already been said by someone much better at expressing what I would have liked to say.

The point is, apart from the occasional poems, this blog is virtually useless. Also, Bahay Kubo as a blog name is misleading, because I don’t write about nipa huts, and I don’t post folk song guitar chords.

So.

To delete or not to delete?

…Nah.

I’m changing my blog title though. But I’m leaving out the Bahay Kubo page because it seems like people are finding it helpful for their MAPEH projects.

From now on (or until I’m finished customizing, anyway), this blog will be called “Don’t Quote Me On That.” Why? Because I said so. Do I really need a special reason?

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Greetings, blog that I haven’t updated for several months!


SmileyBunny: Several months? Several months?! I haven’t seen hide nor hair of you for almost a year!

(SB throws a chair. Ikang dodges the flying chair.)

Whoa whoa, let’s not get violent here, shall we–

SmileyBunny: No letters, no words, not even a peep! And you dare show your face here with a pretentious ‘Greetings!’

(SB throws a table. Ikang barely dodges the flying table. She nervously laughs.)

Look, SB, calm down–

SmileyBunny: Don’t you dare tell me to calm down! 

(SB looks around for anything else to throw, but finds nothing, and so settles for throwing self on a couch and glaring ferociously. Ikang sighs in temporary relief.)

 

Ahem. So. Hello, blog that I haven’t updated for several mo–

SmileyBunny: Abandoned. ABANDONED FOR ALMOST A YEAR.

Look, it’s not my fault! See, there’s this website, it’s called Tumblr, and it’s taken over my life–

SmileyBunny: Oh sure, blame the website and not yourself, why don’t you?

No, seriously, it’s addicting. See, it’s a blogging platform that lets you blog, re-blog, like posts and tag and–

SmileyBunny: I knew it! I KNEW IT! YOU WERE CHEATING ON ME!

…Uhm…

SmileyBunny: First it was that LiveJournal hussy, and now THIS?

It’s not actually cheating since you’re a blog, not a person–

SmileyBunny: Oh. OH. So you’re using that excuse, huh? Yeah, demean me to soothe your guilty conscience, you… you three-timer!

 SB, you and me, we’re not in any kind of relationship for me to be three-timing you–

SmileyBunny: And now you’re denying me! All those years we had, all those DBSK posts I had to endure, all those times I spent mocking you when you were angst-ing about them, you’re saying they didn’t mean anything to you?

You’re not exactly helping your case here, SB.

SmileyBunny: This is just– You know what? I give up. Go back to your stupid Tumbler–

It’s Tumblr. Without an ‘e.’

SmileyBunny: Go back to your stupid Tumblr-without-an-e and blog yourself out. Yeah, you heard me. BLOG YOURSELF OUT.

Now that you mention it, I have around 1,400 posts there and I regularly blog practically everyday. I have 25 people following me, which by Tumblr standards isn’t really anything but– Uhm, SB, why are you so red? What are you doing— SB, wait. No, I’ll shut up about Tumblr, I promise! Just, please drop the couch, please! SB, have mercy–OOF!

 

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POV


They say that there are two kinds of special bonds in this world— two kinds of strings that tie people together.

One of them is the red thread, the bond that signifies romantic love: True love, fated chance of two people destined to be together. It roots from the very core of a person’s heart. It is like an addicting drug, like fire igniting a passionate connection that can only be defined with hearts being bonded together. Most common but hardly ever unbroken, it is a bond that could either mean a person’s happiness or destruction. It is a fragile string that will either stand out the test of time, or simply be cut.

The second one is the silver thread, the bond that symbolizes a different kind of love. It signifies friendship: true friendship that forms from the very roots of the soul. It connects two strangers together by the essence of their person. It is like water— calm, enriching, warm and easily molded, adjusted and shaped. Most rare but hardly ever broken, it is a bond that becomes the definition of a person. It is a piece of string that is the hardest to find— but once tied, it remains timeless ly strong.

The red and silver threads are the strongest bonds a person could ever form in a lifetime…

But if you are forced to cut one to keep the other… which would you choose?

… Man, who writes prologues like this in a story that’s titled “Choices?” It’s cheesy, it’s corny, it’s against everything that I believe a good introduction should be, it has freaking similes! Similes!

I know I should just hack it away from my draft, but I can’t bring myself to. I love it, but I hate it. I love that I wrote it, but I hate that I wouldn’t even give it a second glance if I was the reader, not the writer.

I’ve been writing “Choices” since 2008, and I still haven’t managed to get it past the editing process. Four years of labor, and I still haven’t finished it, which is pathetic because it’s just a fanfic and it shouldn’t take this long, but it’s my baby and I’ve been developing it endlessly from a four-page drabble into an almost one hundred-page draft.

And now I’m having thoughts about changing the POV from first person to second person, except that I’ve written the entire thing in first person and though I hated it for a while, I relentlessly edited it until it worked. And it was fine like that. But then, recently, I rewrote a section, one measley section and changed it to second person, which turned out ten times better than it was. And the thought of rewiring everything is exhausting, and the first person POV is how I wrote it. I don’t know what to do.

Who said writing was easy? It’s like pulling a tooth. Without anesthesia. And with a plier.

I need advise. And a beta. Where can I find those?

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JYJ Impromptu Song


Yoochun on piano, plays a random tune. Junsu hums along. Jaejoong starts singing about Junsu, stringing up lyrics as he goes along. Junsu, delighted, sings along with him. The staff just helplessly laugh.

Jaejoong plays the piano and starts another impromptu song about… how cold he is. And their manager’s eating habits.

I bet there’s never an uninteresting day when you’re with these guys.

And it’s not fair how they can make a song in seconds when it takes me months (years even!) to come up with a good enough melody for one.

>.<

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Duel!


When my fandom of obsession is unerringly thrown to chaos and handling everything about it any longer might cause spontaneous Meriken combustion, where do I turn to? Of course, good ol’ anime. Oh, yes, overused plots, cliches-that-really-should-die-soon, ridiculous exagerations and disproportionate bodily statistics galore! What more could you ask for?

Ahem.

So I really thought I’m over my obsession for anime years ago… Which, I am, I guess. However, it has become one of those things that I keep coming back to for stress/boredom relief even though I often snort and find myself cringing at the plot ridiculousness (how many animes have I seen that has the protagonist stumbling to protect the world over something so trivial?), many exageration,  and disproportionate body statistics (can you imagine having those unnaturally BIG eyes in the real world? I mean… they’re cute and all, but…). Of course, those things are what makes animes… anime. And I admit I do enjoy them very much.

The most recent anime I’ve watched and loved and am currently writing about is YuGiOh. Continue reading

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Unimportant ramblings. Ignore if you must.


TVXQ5…. It’s frustrating. Whenver I want to refer to the 5-member group, I always feel like I have to tack on a 5 since only two is still using it right now. I’ll just call them HoMin and JYJ.

I’ve been thinking for a long time that they’re probably never going back together, and I’m okay with that. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but I’m finally learning to accept that. I’m just all for supporting both HoMin and JYJ, even though admittedly I follow JYJ more zealously, but that’s just because of my personal bias with Jaejoong. The split was painful, but I’m healing. Stopped torturing myself with waiting for things to get better and just resolved to deal with what comes next. It’s much easier than being disappointed again and again and again. I’m just dreading the time where they’d have to face against each other on stage. Fanwars will explode left and right, and the fight will be vicious. It’s sad to see Cassiopeia, a fandom almost legendary with their devotion, split in these ugly terms. I feel sadder for those who continue to support the five who’re left in the middle, playing referee between JYJ and HoMin fans.

On the bright side, since I’ve stopped listening almsot exclusively to Asian Pop Music, I’m rediscovering American mainstream which is more diverse and a bit more competitive. I can finally relate to my friends— oh joy! — who have finally heard me sing a non-Korean/Japanese song. I want to listen more into OPM, too, and it makes me sad that bands like Sugarfree and Bamboo have disbanded, too… The lack of lawsuits and petty fighst were a relief. I swear, it’s like I’m now allergic to the word “lawsuit.” I’m allergic to the letters S and M, too, especially when they’re together with E, but that’s just me.

I haven’t rambled in a long time. Ha. Though I think my sentence structure and organization went from half-way decent to downright atrocious. Oh, well…

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