Category Archives: Postcards – Food for the Soul

Words of wisdom, inspiration, hope, and gratitude, from my heart to yours.

September tells us to build bridges and hold hands

Namaste, dear friends and readers!

It’s another month of hope and promises amid the challenges of our country (and the rest of the world). I ask you all to continue praying for peace and unity.

Take every chance to hold someone's hands. Build bridges! [Sketch in watercolor by M. Velas-Suarin; inspired by a work found in the Pinterest account of Natasha Dilip. Please write to me if you think that this attribution is erroneous.]

Take every chance to hold someone’s hands. Build bridges! [Sketch in watercolor by M. Velas-Suarin; inspired by a work found in the Pinterest account of Natasha Dilip. Please write to me if you think that this attribution is erroneous.]

Last weekend, I had the time to sit down and make this quick watercolor sketch. I hope this will inspire you to make small gestures of friendships. Let’s hold hands, build bridges, and pray for one another!

May our September be full of joys and opportunities!

Mei_Watermark-4

 

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This is not a paid blog. There is no request for donation but please plant a tree/s on your birthday.

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Tea time in August

Hello, dear friends and readers!

Here is my little sketch for August. This is not a new sketch but I think this is appropriate for the rainy month of August.  :) I actually gave a copy of this sketch for a dear friend of mine for her birthday so I hope she won’t mind that I am sharing it also with you all!

Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee today! [Pen and ink sketch by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin]

Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee today! [Pen and ink sketch by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin]

I hope that this sketch in ink will remind you to simply savor quick moments of tea time bonding with your loved ones. As I wrote on the sketch, “Every day brings special reasons for celebrations.”

Go ahead, celebrate your wonderful life!

Mei_Watermark-4

 

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This is not a paid blog. There is no request for donation but please plant a tree/s on your birthday.

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Painting in watercolor by M. Velas-Suarin [Inspired by a watercolor painting of Amy Hautman]

Hello, July!

Hello, dear readers and July!

Painting in watercolor by M. Velas-Suarin [Inspired by a watercolor painting of Amy Hautman]

Painting in watercolor by M. Velas-Suarin [Inspired by a watercolor painting of Amy Hautman]

I promised to work on a new sketch every month but decided to spend more time in improving my feed/gallery in Instagram so this month’s sketch is from 2014. (Please head on to my IG page if you have the time? That will really be awesome!)

I am happy with this small achievement (wink! wink!) – putting up pictures (and curating them!) in Instagram is time-consuming because I had to review hundreds of digital files, transfer the chosen ones in DropBox, save them in my tablet, and then upload them in IG. As many Instagram users know, it is quite complicated to post pictures directly in IG through one’s PC/desktop. There are apps available but most reviews do not encourage using them due to some techie issues. Therefore, I decided to use the ‘longer route’ (desktop to tablet/phone).

Anyway, this July sketch is among my favorites in watercolor (so far, that is!). As I had mentioned in my earlier posts, I am not very good with watercolor so this is somehow an ‘improvement’ from earlier attempts. ;) I have always enjoyed looking at doors and windows and I think this is because they remind me of opportunities. (Ok, you all know that popular saying about how a window opens when a door closes!) This sketch will remind us of the many opportunities around us! We just have to keep on looking!

July seems a perfect time also to hone on our artistic skills and enjoy more of our hobbies and  creative inclinations. Perhaps the “dreamy” effect of the rainy season (hear the raindrops on the roof?) enhances our creativity? Whatever the reason may be, I enjoin you to find your quiet corner, call on your creative muses, and simply CREATE!

I hope you’d treasure your creative days in July! Wishing you many more joys and blessings!

Mei_Watermark-4

 

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This is not a paid blog.  There is no request for donation but I hope you can plant tree/s on your birthday.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016 Mary Anne Velas-Suarin
June celebrates the beauty of love that commits and grows over time, as if a beauty that never fades. Sketch and text by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin  [The sketch is inspired by the work of SlashPinSlash at Pinterest]

June celebrates the beauty of commitments

Happy month of June, my dear friends and readers!

Here is my sketch for the month of June. I promised to make a new sketch every month but this time around, it is not really a new sketch. Nevertheless, I hope you will still like it.  I was browsing through my PC’s folders and came across this sketch of mine and felt instantly that this will be perfect for June! A woman epitomizes beauty and June, among other things, is a month for marriage vows and beautiful brides!

June celebrates the beauty of love that commits and grows over time, as if a beauty that never fades. Sketch and text by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin  [The sketch is inspired by the work of SlashPinSlash at Pinterest]

June celebrates the beauty of love that commits and grows over time, as if a beauty that never fades. Sketch and text by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin [The sketch is inspired by the work of SlashPinSlash at Pinterest]

For many people, June is a perfect time to get married. In fact, many women dream of becoming or had become a “June bride”. The tradition of getting married in June was said to have began in the Roman times, when people celebrated June 1 to honor the deity Juno and his wife Jupiter, the goddess of marriage and childbirth (Malone, 2015).

We need to understand that June is the start of summer in most regions of the north (we in tropical zones do not really experience four seasons) so it is fair to say that a primary reason for the popularity of the June weddings is convenience. This is perfect for long holidays and when the weather is still relatively comfortable even for outdoor or garden weddings.

Nevertheless, even in countries like the Philippines, June is still a preferred month for many couples. Statistically though, the most popular wedding months for Filipino couples are February and May (PSA, 2011). Interesting, isn’t it? My guess for this preference is that February is the “love month” and still comfortable enough for weddings. Meanwhile, May is the last month of the usual 3-month (March-May) break from school (at least in the general sense because some schools are now beginning to follow the western academic calendar). May also ushers the rainy season in so while there are risks for a rainy wedding day, the weather is not as unpredictable as in the months of July to October. (For those of you who got or intend to get married in May, please feel free to write to me and let me know your thoughts and reasons!)

I then want to wish would-be June brides the most beautiful and memorable weddings and all married and soon-to-be married couples the most loving, exciting, and inspiring marriages–bound in everlasting love, profound kindness, and strong faith in the divine.

For my hubby, my dear Papa Bear, happy 7th anniversary! We are beginning our 8th year together as a married couple (and 10th as friends!) and my heart is forever full of gratitude for the wonderful memories that we have created and are still creating every minute of our life together! Thank you so much! It is definitely not a joyride all throughout but we know that with God as our navigator and torch bearer, we will never ever be lost.

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This is not a paid blog. There is no request for donations but I hope that you can plant trees on your birthdays!

References:

Malone, S. (2015). The tradition of the “June Bride”: Why are summers weddings so popular?. Retrieved from Huffingtonpost(dot)com/sandy-malone/the-tradition-of-the-june-bride-why-are-summer-weddings-so-popular_b_6752812(dot)html

Philippine Statistic Authority. (2011). Marriage Philippines: 2011. Retrieved from psa(gov)gov(dot)ph/content/marriage-philippines-2011

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May’s flowers and showers

Just keep on swimming! (and biking!) [Sketch in watercolor by Mei Velas-Suarin]

Just keep on swimming! (and biking!) [Sketch in watercolor by Mei Velas-Suarin]

Happy month of May, everyone!

For this month’s attempt at watercolor sketch, I’m inviting you to savor the joys of May – the time of the year when we hold the traditional “Santacruzan” (Sacred Cross) and “Flores de Mayo” (Flowers of May) and, of course, it is also the time when we’re beginning to enjoy the first rains. This  summer had been excruciatingly hot so I think many of us (especially our hardworking farmers!) really looked forward to the rainy season.

There is also a special reason for this sketch. Many people close to me know that I am graduating from my master’s course work this year (with God’s graces, this December!) and so I am also busy preparing for my Special Problem (almost like a thesis). I decided that I didn’t just want to go through it because it’s a course requirement. I really wanted something that will have a special meaning to the community–sorry, I didn’t want that to sound so ‘cliche-ish’ but you get the drift, right?

I wanted my work to focus on a real and urgent problem and while the Philippines, for sure, has a lot of them, I decided that my work should address the horrible traffic situation in Metro Manila…and this is why I sketched this vintage bike! It’s the image that I am now using in the homepage of my dream, Project: SKY BIKE LANES. [Please visit to get to know more about this dream project so that, together, we can make it come true.]

Before I end this brief post, I’d like to congratulate our President-elect Rodrigo Duterte (and all those who voted for him) for this sweet victory! As early as November last year, I already knew he was going to be the next President. There are many reasons why I voted for him but among the most important traits that my husband and I saw in him is his genuine love for this country.  His patriotism is genuine. Indeed, he curses a lot, makes really bad jokes, and is not a good communicator but beyond the bad mouth is a good heart that inspires nationalism.  I think this is something that our country seems to be losing over the years and many are hopeful that Duterte’s victory will slowly break the cycle of apathy and lack of nationhood. Indeed, change is slowly coming.

However,  I also wrote this in my Facebook page, “no president can ever save us if we will not change. Real change comes from each one of us.” I hope and pray that Duterte’s victory will make us all commit to that change that we direly need.

Mabuhay ang ating Inang Bayan! Mabuhay tayong lahat!

Mei_Watermark-4

 

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This is not a paid blog. There is no request for donation but please do plant a tree/s (the right ones) on your birthdays.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016 Mary Anne Velas-Suarin

April lets you walk on sunshine

April lets me walk on sunshine_Meilbox_lo-resHello, beautiful people!

This is my first post for the month so as usual, there is a little art work that goes with it. This is rather quick (again!) as I had used pentel pens only and painted directly on paper, skipping the initial pencil-sketching stage. As I had shared early this year, I wanted to go back to sketching again and perhaps by doing these very quick drawings, I’d be able to paint seriously again.

What moves you about April? It’s usually among the hottest months in this part of the world but what is there not to love about having sunshine everyday?! So go ahead, indulge yourself to some quiet time under the shade of your favorite tree, head to the beach or forest, or maybe read a book in a nice little corner with your cool drink.

Yesterday, our class in Sustainable Tourism Development (I am completing my master’s course work in UPOU) had a chat with our mentor and our discussions covered Sagada. I won’t preempt my next post (upcoming!) but please remember to be caring and considerate when you’re doing your R & R this summer break.  Let’s always be  nice tourists and travelers, ok?

Walk on sunshine!

Mei_Watermark-4

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March forward

March forward...and realize your dreams! [Sketch and calligraphy by M. Velas-Suarin]

March forward…and realize your dreams! [Sketch and calligraphy by M. Velas-Suarin]

Happy month of March,  dear friends and blog readers!

I am doing my best to keep the promise to post a sketch or painting before the start of each month so here is a quick one for March! For this sketch and simple calligraphy work, I used a B4 nib only. I like how versatile a B4 is. For beginners like me, it is really very easy to use. I finished the sketch above in less than 10 minutes!

I hope that the month of March will be good and joyful for you! In the Philippines, we are at the beginning of the hot summer months.  Although, technically, we really have no “summer”–being in the tropical zone–March is a fun-filled time of the year with many graduating from school, running to the beach, and simply savoring lots of sunshine.

I remember my childhood when we would play “patintero” or  “taguan” on an evening of a summer full moon.  :) I hope the young (and even the not-so-young) people of today will rediscover those simple joys of outdoor games – and the chance to really run and play outside in full abandon (and perhaps forgetting about Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for a while?).

Well, this will just be a brief post. Remember, “March” forward with your dreams, knowing that inside you is a beautiful and brave soul.

Namaste!

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Create and enjoy  a charmed and authentic life!

February loves you

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Chinese New Year!

This is a day for celebration so I am sharing with you another simple sketch and calligraphy work. Don’t forget, February loves you! This is also the Valentine’s month so don’t forget to embrace your life and loved ones.

Create and enjoy  a charmed and authentic life!

Create and enjoy a charmed and authentic life!

I checked the direct translation of Gong Xi Fa Cai and found out that it means “Wishing you to be prosperous in the coming year” (Translation by Goodcharacters.com). And so, this is my wish and prayer for you, my dear readers. May this year be another year of blessings, inspirations, good health, and strength of spirit!

As I have shared in my first post for this year, I will do my best to create little art works at least once a month. As you will notice, I have really become a little rusty in the art department so I need to practice more. :)

You will also notice that the blue ink here looks “thick”. I guess this is one proof that I must practice more calligraphy because my first batch of ink is now beginning to dry up! Many artists recommend adding water to ink (depending on the ink brand) but I sort of liked the “oil-like” effect so I tried using it. I enjoyed the small improvement in my stroke because I no longer needed to write the letters in pencil first so it may mean that I am more confident now in doing calligraphy. Of course, more practice is necessary!

I decided to surround the theme with positive words and phrases so when you read this, you will be inspired and reminded again about the gifts and promises of this universe. See if you can read all of them (it might be a good way to exercise your brain and eyes)!

I hope you have enjoyed this simple gift. Thank you for dropping by! Enjoy your life and be a blessing to others!

Mei_Watermark-4

 

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This is not a paid blog. There is no request for donation but I hope you can plant a tree on your birthday/s.

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016 Mary Anne Velas-Suarin