Project Mona Lisa with Kris’ painting

Kris and I never ran out of creative ideas. I have been a fan of make-up tutorial transformations but haven’t really tried it yet. I marvel at how they copy someone’s face by just using their make-up. I enjoyed watching them and sometimes I show Kris some of the funny videos and we laugh at it together. Some of the girls looked as beautiful as dolls but very different from how they actually look like in real life when the make-up is washed off.

We have seen people in facebook post about themselves copying famous artworks and thought we could do that as well.

Today, we decided to make something challenging yet fun. The challenge was to copy Mona Lisa’s face to model one of Kris’ paintings! I got really excited and went to my make-up box to see what I needed. I didn’t have the contouring foundation but hey being creative means trying to use whatever is available so I used my dark brown eyeshadow.

Mona Lisa photo from Wikipedia (left) | Aileen’s version with Kris’s painting (right)

Let us know what you think by posting your comment. We welcome any suggestions on the transformation you want us to do next .

Enjoy!

Handwashing Technique

Hi everyone, as we all know the world is facing a tremendous challenge amid the global spread of corona virus.

It’s hard to fight an unseen enemy. The Coronavirus or COVID-19 has affected hundreds of thousands of people. Our lives will never be the same again especially for those who are unwell, those whose jobs and business were jeopardised, and those who lost their loved ones due to this pandemic virus.

Kris and I, being nurses, are advocates of good health. Good handwashing is an old but one of the best ways to lessen the spread of diseases. Today we are sharing a video on how to wash our hands properly. On top of this, we encourage everyone to be diligent in their daily hygiene and to constantly spray or wipe disinfectants to the commonly touched household furnitures/fixtures such as doorknobs, tables, the tap handle and everything that we constantly use.

We hope and pray that you are all safe. Remember to check in on your families, friends and neighbours. Share kindness to those in need such as food and perhaps rolls of toilet paper if you have more than enough.

God bless and take care.

Toilet Paper Craze in Australia

“Too – late Paper”

There were viral videos circulating in the news and in Facebook where people are seen fighting in the Supermarket just to get a pack of toilet paper rolls recently… People are panicking and hoarding toilet papers due to coronavirus scare which leaves other shoppers with none. So, I went to investigate if the news I was seeing in TV is real.

It is indeed!

But why toilet paper? Why not over canned goods or food? I don’t understand at all.

To the hoarders/shoppers out there, please be considerate to the needs of other people especially to those who need it most such as our elderlies and people with physical disabilities.

As an alternative, we can always get back to the basic of using soap and water which is the best way to clean ourselves.

Always remember to clean your hands effectively for at least 20 seconds to stop the spread of harmful viruses and bacterias.

Let’s Paint Together

Bird of Paradise

Few weeks ago Kris and I went to the City to buy his art supplies.

I look forward doing art supply shopping with Kris as I love looking at those beautiful display of colors in every corner of the art shop plus I get to buy tiny bits of pieces for myself such as color pencils and pens.

I won’t be doing anything that afternoon anyway so I randomly picked a table top easel, paint brushes, a small canvass and a few pieces of paint on sale.

My husband is a very talented artist who has done a lot of art shows and sold hundreds of paintings. He has been encouraging me to get back to my passion in drawing and painting so we could share the same hobby together. Wouldn’t be fun to paint and exhibit together as a couple? So, with no questions asked he’s gladly added my stuff to his cart.

I was so excited to get started as I opened my bag of art goodies. Kris set up my table top easel and taught me color priming techniques. He is a very good art teacher.

Looking for inspirations is not really that hard. I thought of things that makes me happy and for some reason I chose to paint the bird of paradise plant because of it’s brilliant colour that reminds me of tropical places like home in the Philippines.

Sketching on the plant was not that hard as I have been doing it before but I got a bit nervous picking up my new brush and dipping it to the acrylic paint then brushing it to the canvass. Kris taught me not to be scared as I can just cover mistakes with another layer color on top and just relax and enjoy!

True enough, I finished my painting that day and was very proud of my achievement. Thanks to my incredible art teacher/husband.

I came to realise it’s not too late to re visit an old passion and talent. It has always been there inside of me but I was just busy with some other things as well.

For some of you reading my blog, my paintbrush could be your book, a novel, a ball of yarn and needle, a fishing rod, it can be anything you love doing but somewhere sometime in the past you forgot about it.

Well, why don’t you re visit your old passion and re-connect with the things that you love doing most? It’s definitely worth the try!

If you wanna check my husband’s art pieces just visit his website at krisancog.com or search Kris Ancog on Instagram and Facebook.

Lots of L.O.V.E.

Aileen and Kris

Overcoming creative block

It’s quite strange whenever I’m having one of those days feeling ambivalent regarding my art. Those are the days when in my heart I wanted to paint but my mind seems uncooperative and picking up my brush seems too much work as though the magic is all gone. A lot of artists call this as the ‘creative block’, which I believe happens to everyone without any exception (it’s only a matter of when). These are the moments when I feel stuck. And the challenge, of course, is how to get unstuck and be productive. I tried different strategies over the years and here are five of those that I found helpful:

1. Just pick up your brush

A lot of times all I need to do is start that very first brush stroke and the rest follows. It’s like a domino effect– you only need to do one thing that will jumpstart your creative process. This is particularly helpful when you have a deadline for a show (or a commission) and you won’t have time to procrastinate.

2. Review your workspace and reorganize if necessary

I normally work on multiple paintings and chaos is inevitable. I realized that one of the reasons why I couldn’t execute my process easily is because my workspace is not set up ergonomically. What I mean by this is my paint tubes could be scattered everywhere I may have trouble finding the color I wanted. I have limited space in my art room and when the space feels too tight it affects my ability to be totally free in creating the brushstrokes essential for my pieces. Little things could add up and I start telling myself that I couldn’t be “creative”.

3. Step away

Your creativity could be stifled if you have been working non-stop or procrastinating for too long. You need to break it and do something different to defibrillate your negative creative rhythm. Physically stepping away from your work either briefly to have a shower or going out for a walk in the beach can make a significant difference in developing new ideas or making you feel refreshed to be creative. 

4. Perform your ritual if you have one

If you are like me who likes my cup of coffee and good breakfast before starting a painting session, then have your coffee and eat your breakfast. If meditation is what you do to go into the “creative zone” then meditate. Some artists have certain attire they need to wear, and some make sure they have brushed their teeth. It may be the only things that’s missing and needs to be done before you go deep in questioning what happened to your creative genius. 

5. Write it down. 

Journaling my thoughts and frustrations is quite cathartic for me. Sometimes the answers of those hard questions reveal themselves after I have written a few pages of reflection. Other times I just feel better after writing and feel free again to execute my passion.

How about you? What do you do to overcome your creative block?

This article was reblogged from Kris’s website. Click here to view the original post.

We Support Plant Parenthood

Me and my Monstera

Have you ever had the same kind of problem like me whenever I see delicious looking plants on sale?

I swear Kris and I never comes home empty handed whenever we go out for a ‘window’ plant shopping.

That sort of “must have that plant” feeling is real especially when it’s rare and on sale!

There was a time when Kris and I saw a small banana tree in Bunnings Warehouse. We were so surprised to see a banana tree in New Zealand! We didn’t think it was possible. We love the thought of owning a banana tree and got excited about the idea of growing it in our place but our trolley was full so we thought of coming back for it.

By the time we returned the following week they’ve already sold the last banana tree. If only we bought it the first time we saw it! I think our plant gang would have look amazing!

Since then, we never let any chance to pass by. We’ve bought and grown plants we really desired to have. Plants are such a joy to have in the house. They are a good investment and they bring in a lot of health benefits such as improving air quality by increasing oxygen supply and decreasing air pollution, reduce stress by making people calm and happier. They turn your place into a safe oasis where you can enjoy it together with your family and friends.

Our “plant gang”

Our plants are like our babies and we are proud to be ‘plant parents’. But just like having real kids I think we just have to save more for our “Plant Fund”.

How about you? What plant babies do you have?

Follow our plant parenthood journey via Instagram @theplant_kingdom

Taking Yourself Out For Coffee

Last Friday , Kris was at work and I was on my day off. I went to our favourite Cafe to enjoy a good cup of coffee.

I felt guilty going there alone and not waiting for Kris to be free so we can have coffee together. I really love my husband’s company that going there alone is a bit weird. I stopped myself from thinking that way and said out loud that going out on solo is not an entirely bad idea.

I placed my phone on silent mode and placed it inside my bag. I opened my journal and started writing in my thoughts and think about my life and our life together. It has been 6 months since we have moved to Australia. Moving on with our lives meant leaving but not forgetting our past. New Zealand will always be home to us but we are meant to move forward and continue with our adventure. It felt good to know that each chapter of our lives is authored by God and that there are no mistakes in His book as long as we walk according to His will.

We can easily become busy in our jobs and in social media that we sometimes forget to pause, reflect and meditate.

Life can become a routine at times. It can be tiring but giving yourself a break to observe everything happening around you from a different perspective can give you a fresh start. It can also be a powerful opportunity to be reminded of God’s never ending faithfulness in our lives.

I believe that having your “me time” is not selfish but rather a special of way giving yourself that kindness and love so you can have the capacity to be kind and loving to those important to you.

How about you? How do you spend time alone to recharge?