Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Out of the Mouth of the Babes

This morning, at breakfast while I was showing off my LO quickly made (one hour, tops!) last night, Sarah, my darling almost 8-year old asked me.

Sarah: Why do you scrapbook so much?
Me: So that when we're older we can remember about these times. Or when I'm dead, you will remember me.
Sarah: Ahhhh...then you should make a layout about yourself so we will know what you look like.

A wise but not-so-subtle reminder for me to scrap about myself, huh.


Last week, while we were in my scraproom using the Cuttlebug for their Christmas projects, Kahlo, my almost 6 year old said.

Kahlo: When we're older can we use all of your stuff, and when you're dead, can we have them?

Sure, anak, yan lang ang tangi kong maipamamana sa inyo. Scrapbook albums at scrapbooking items. Naubos savings ni Mama diyan. Hahaha.


A month back, when my balikbayan boxes arrived:

Sarah: You have so much scrapbooking stuff but you don't use them. Are you planning to open a store???

I didn't answer this one cause it reminded me of this conversation with Diego (then 8-years old) last year:

Diego: Mama, you buy so much scrapbooking stuff but you don't scrapbook.
Me (a little hurt): Isn't it that I made a scrapbook for your swimming lessons last summer?
Diego: That's not a scrapbook. That's a scrap page.


But when I let them use my scrapbooking materials for their school projects, I am much appreciated. Diego said this a few months back when DH and I were helping them:

Diego: It's great to have an artist for a dad and a scrapbooker for a mom.


Monday, December 10, 2007

A Peek Into Yesterday

Remember this LO? Well, I submitted it to a call for layouts on Emotion at Peek and it won! Here's the e-mail I received from Pat:

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:45 am
Subject: Emotions contest

Thanks very much for entering the "Emotions" contest! Your layout, "It's Alright", is the winning entry. Congratulations!

You have won a $25 gift certificate to be used at A Peek into Yesterday.

Your layout will be displayed on the home page until next Sunday.

Once again, thanks very much for sharing your work, and congratulations for winning!

Thanks again for sharing your wonderful work with us! - Pat

This layout is really very special to me. If you'd read back to my post about it, you will understand why. It was not created for a challenge or a contest. It was made for me and Diego and Sarah. This recognition from other scrapbookers is just the perfect icing. The $25 shopping money is, of course, the cake.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Hey, Einstein!

The blog readability test has spoken. This is the level of education you must have to understand my blog.

cash advance

Kidding! LOL. Based on the actual test result, one only needs a high school education to be able to understand my ramblings. Which is good, because I want more people to understand what I write. What does blogging matter if I am so high falutin no one gets it. Hehehe.

BTW, I think this so-called test runs only your blog address through whatever criteria the purveyors have set. It is highly doubtful that in the few seconds it takes to get the result that a comprehensive analysis of your blog's content is made.

So, really, this is just for fun. Don't take it seriously. You really don't have to be a freakin' genius to read The Armchair Scrapper. LOL.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Got to scrap again after a month! My last LOs were done over the All Saints' Day weekend. And after organizing my scrapbooking stuff for Marj's RAK, I was really itching to get scrapping.

This one is for my youngest yet feistiest daughter, Kahlo. Delicate? Not really, no. :-)

Or so it may seem...You are sweet, sensitive and caring, but not quite delicate. You are assertive, brave and strong. I hope nothing ever breaks you.

Materials Used:
PPS - Around the Block She Sells Sea Shells and Pretty Flowers; Diecut - Sizzix; Embossing - Cuttlebug; Paint and Glitter - Making Memories, Prisma; Adhesives - UHU, Zig, All Night Media Pop Dots; Tag - Oriental Trading; Pen - Staedtler

First Time:
  • to use Cuttlebug (CB) embossing powder on an LO. The orange CS looked a bit plain to me so I thought I'd add texture by embossing. After running the CS through the CB, it turned out that it has white core. So I sanded the ridges lightly to get more of that white.
  • to use Sizzix Big Kickz (yes, it works perfectly with the CB).
  • to use MM glitter over the chipboard swirls. I added the glitters over the wet acrylic paint and left it to dry before removing the excess glitter. The chipboard was covered perfectly. I sprayed Kraft adhesive to prevent the glitter from falling off.
  • to try color isolation using photoshop.
  • to use my Cherish sizzlits, the thin fonts are perfect for my title.
This is my entry to Scrapbook Hawaii's Around the Block (ATB) challenge. I was lucky enough to find a few ATB papers in the stash Manang Marissa sent me.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Resolved, As It Is Hereby Resolved

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. Sadly, it brings back a time in elementary school when my Language teachers demanded that I write “My New Year’s Resolutions” after every Christmas break. The exercise made me feel that in the previous year I wasn’t good enough and that I haven’t lived to the fullest potential they expected from me.

So when our Scrapbytes Editor in Chief, Ria Mojica, asked me to write an article about this, I felt like I was transported back to the past. Sure, Ria is prettier than my grade school teacher, but still...

I guess I have to resign myself to the fact that essays on “My New Year’s Resolutions” are popular every new year. It ranks second to “What I Did During My Summer Vacation.” (I am saying the latter is more popular because it spawned a lot of movies starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. No one has ever made a movie about anyone’s New Year’s resolutions, I think.)

Anyway, as I was writing the article, my fingers flying over the keyboard, many things were revealed to me. Those of your who read my blog know that recently, I have been over-analysing how I scrap. LOL. Quite unexpectedly, my write-up helped me see a vision of myself as a scrapbooker.

So thank you, Ria, for this assignment.

And as for you, dear reader, please take time to visit the December 2007-January 2008 issue of Scrapbytes. I am sure you will pick up a new thing or two.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

RAK My Scrapbooking World

I almost went with the Eric Clapton song that goes "Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself..." Hehe. But I think the songs I finally chose are more apt and fun to boot.

Thank you, Marj for this interesting RAK. I'm glad I did it, not only for the opportunity to win a prize, but also because I got a good inventory of my scrapbooking stuff. I hope to open and use my tools more often, and to make a significant dent on my stash of papers. Here's to more scrapbooking layouts and albums.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Man Who Would Be President

Just heard the news that Senator Mar Roxas will be the Liberal Party's bet for the presidency year 2010. Dang!

I met Mar Roxas many years ago when he was a neophyte congressman. It was actually a job interview. His fraternity sister who was my colleague at the DOTC arranged with his fraternity brother (you know how it goes) to get me a job interview. I wasn't very comfortable with the arrangement because I wasn't sure if he was really looking for additional staff at that time or he just granted me the interview because of his friends. And at that time I wasn't sure if I wanted to work in Congress again. But I went anyway, so as not to let the persons who recommended me down. Nakakahiya naman sa kanila, they went through all that trouble.

Sen. Roxas was quite gracious and he did seem interested in my qualifications, particularly my being a congressional fellow. He asked me questions relating to policy and legislation, and I think I was able to give him the right answers until...

He asked me about what I thought of the foreign debt situation in the country. Now, back in the 90s, I was a card-carrying member of the Freedom from Debt Coalition, and Mar Roxas, was well, a Wharton-educated economist. So we debated. He was on one side, and I was on the other side. Now, debate is good, but if you and a legislator are to work well together, it helps if you have the same beliefs. Apparently, we didn't. That debate ended with him asking me if I had a credit card, and I said smugly, "No, I don't." By that time I was already wishing I was out of there.

Things turned from bad to worse, when he asked me, "What do you think of Miriam Defensor-Santiago? (Miriam ran and lost the presidency, she insists, due to massive cheating to FVR. At the time she was making alot of noise about the issue.) I answered emphatically, "Miriam is a very intelligent person and she would have made a good president but there comes a time when enough is enough." Oooppppssss...the words haven't fully come out of my mouth when I remembered they were from the same party and he was a staunch supporter of Miriam. Double ooopppsss.

Congressman Roxas became a cabinet secretary, reinvented himself to Mr. Palengke, garnered the highest number of votes that made him Senator and now, he might possibly be the next president of the Philippines.

Dang! I should have said "Yes, I have a credit card" and "Miriam is the greatest!"

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I Have the Personality of a Cartoon

Well, it could be worse. I know someone who has the personality of a box. :-)

When I was single, I related so much to Cathy. I wonder what this test would reveal. It should be fun.

A group of investigators got together and analyzed the personalities of well known and modern cartoon characters. The information that was gathered was made into this test.

Answer all the questions (only 10) with what describes you best, add up all your Points (which are next to the answer that you choose) at the end and look for your results.

I will highlight my answers in bold.

1. Which one of the following describes the perfect date?
.a) Candlelight dinner (4 pts.)
.b) Fun/Theme Park (2 pts.) - in fact, one of my DH and mine's first memorable date was at Enchanted Kingdom. Another was hiking in the Batad rice terraces.
.c) Painting in the park (5 pts)
.d) Rock concert (1 pt.)
.e) Going to the movies (3 pts.)

2. What is your favorite type of music?
.a) Rock and Roll (2 pts.)
.b) Alternative (1 pt.)
.c) Soft Rock (4 pts.)
.d) Country (5 pts.)
.e) Pop ( 3 pts)

3. What type of movies= do you prefer?
.a) Comedy (2 pts.)
.b) Horror (1 pt.)
.c) Musical (3 pts.)
.d) Romance (4 pts.)
.e) Documentary (5 pts.)

4.. Which one of these occupations would you choose if you only could choose one of these?
.a) Waiter (4 pts.)
.b) Professional Sports Player (5 pts.) - yeah, and then I'd ran for office or maybe just keep on rolling in the moolah!
.c) Teacher (3 pts.)
d) Police (2 pts.)
.e) Cashier (1 pt)

5 . What do you do with your spare time?
.a) Exercise (5 pts.)
.b) Read (4 pts.)
.c) Watch television (2 pts.)
.d) Listen to music (1 pt.)
.e) Sleep (3 pts.)

6. Which one of the following colors do you like best?
.a) Yellow (1 pt.)
.b) White (5 pts.)
.c) Sky Blue (3 pts.)
.d) Dark Blue (2 pts.)
.e) Red (4 pts.)

7. What do you prefer to eat?
.a) Snow (3 pts.)
.b) Pizza (2 pts.)
.c) Sushi (1 pt.)
.d) Pasta (4 pts.)
.e) Salad (5 pts.)

8 What is your favorite holiday?
.a) Halloween (1 pt.)
.b) Christmas (3 pts.)
c) New Year (2 pts.)
.d) Valentine’s Day (4 pts.)
.e) Thanksgiving (5 pts.)

9. If you could go to one of these places which one would it be?
.a) Paris (4 pts)
.b) Spain (5 pts)
.c) Las Vegas (1 pt)
.d) Hawaii (4 pts)
.e) Hollywood (3 pts)

10. With which of the following would you prefer to spend time with?
.a) Someone Smart (5 pts.)
.b) Someone attractive (2 pts.)
.c) Someone who likes to Party (1 pt.)
.d) Someone who always has fun (3 pts.)
.e) Someone very sentimental (4 pts.)
Now add up your points and find out the answer you have been waiting for!

Very interesting to see ‘who’ your friends are!

(10-16 points) You are Garfield :
You are very comfortable, easy going, and you definitely know how to have fun but sometimes you take it to an extreme. You always know what you are doing and you are always in control of your life. Others may not see things as you do, but that doesn’t mean that you always have to do what is right. Try to remember, your happy spirit may hurt you or others.

(17-23 points) You are Snoopy:
You are fun, you are very cool and popular. You always know what’s in and you are never are out of style You are good at knowing how to satisfy everyone else. You have probably disappeared for a few days more than once but you always come home with the family values that you learned Being married and having children are important to you, but only after you have had your share of fun times.

(24-28 points) You are Elmo:
You have lots of friends and you are also popular, always willing to give advice and help out a person in need. You are very optimistic and you always see the bright side of things. Some good advice: try not to be too much of a dreamer. Dreaming too big could cause many conflicts in
your life.

(29-35 points) You are Sponge Bob Square Pants:
You are the classic person that everyone loves. You are the best friend that anyone could ever have and never wants to lose. You never cause harm to anyone and they would never not understand your feelings. Life is a journey, it’s funny and calm for the most part. Stay away from traitors and jealous people, and you will be stress free.

(36-43 points) You are Charlie Brown:
You are tender, you fall in love quickly but you are also very serious about all relationships. You are a family person. You call your Mom every Sunday. You have many friends and may occasionally forget a few Birthdays. Don’t let your passion confuse you with reality.

(44-50 points) You are Dexter:
You are smart and definitely a thinker… Every situation is fronted with a plan. You have a brilliant mind. You demonstrate very strong family principles. You maintain a stable routine but never ignore a bad situation when it comes. Try to do less over thinking every once in a
while to spice things up a bit with spontaneity!

Wow! It's what the KiDS and I have always known -

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

Before we proceed with the unveiling of the contents of my balikbayan boxes, I have several disclaimers to make:
  • Not all two and a half boxes contained my stuff. Neither are they all filled with scrapbooking materials.
  • I bought these items intermittently in a course of one year. I'm sure that I spent less than most of you did in the past year.
  • Some of the contents were given my sister and friends, and I am grateful to them for indulging me in this hobby.

I counted 3 Sizzlits alphabets (Funky Brush, Cherish, Funky Brush), 3 original alphabars (uppercase Pigeon-Toed Charms, lowercase Doodle Block, complete set of Doodle Tag), 21 various shapes die-cuts, 2 Sizzix Bigz (I hope they work with my Cuttlebug), 3 Sizzlits, 3 embossing folders. Where in my scraproom will I find room for these?

Three K.I. Memories kits worth P500 each, containing over 600 pieces of paper, stickers, and ribbons. The design may not be the latest trend but this would be great for making albums.

Provocraft slabs, again, good for making coordinating albums and cards.

DCWV stacks - Once Upon A Time, Old World, Far East, Glitter, Pocketful of Posies and Luxury Stack. I am loving the papers of the Luxury Stack so much that I wish I had more wedding photos.

Making Memories and Li'l Davis foam stamps, self-adhesive foam stamps (certainly will come useful to my goal of making more LOs with dimension), foam flowers - lots of them.

Pearl Ex powders (can't wait to experiment more with these powders), rubber stamps, Stickles, Martha Stewart glitters (yummy), ribbons, scissors, tool kit, corner puncher, acrylic paints that I can let my KiDS have as they were so cheap.

Manang Marissa also sent me these unused plastic test tubes (she used to work as a clinical researcher). Perfect for storing glitters, UTEE, embossing powders that you plan to share. If you want some of these, just leave a comment here. I think I can spare five per person and I'm sure Manang won't mind. Good only while supplies last.

See, not much, isn't it? I know some scrappers who have more stuff in their boxes. Tee-hee.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sneak Peek

The whole week, from our studio-office, I would call our helper and ask, "Have the boxes arrived yet?" I'm sure I sounded like a broken record, or at the very least like my kulit KiDS when we are on a long road trip. Before we left the studio at around 7:30 pm last Friday, I called up Ate again to ask if they (you know what) have arrived. She answered in the negative, as usual.

Thus, it was a very happy surprise when I saw three balikbayan boxes in our garage when we arrived around 8 pm. Woo-hoo... I was so excited! I wanted to rush in, tear open the packaging tape and dive into the boxes. But I had to restrain myself (admirably, I might add) because I had committed to attending the mini-EB at Nita's place. I was already late as it was.

So amidst a lot of ribbing from my DH, he drove me to the EB venue where I finally met Me-Anne. I was expecting to do a lot of cutting to help Mitch prepare the mini-kits for the PS EB but they had already finished that. So to take my mind off my boxes, I persuaded the others to go to Au's house to look at the stuff she planned to put up on sale.

Major disaster for the budget and the wallet. It did take my mind off the boxes though. For awhile.

DH fetched me at around 12:30, and we got home around 1:30 am. And although we have to be up at 5 am the next day (Scouting Investiture at the school), I opened all the boxes, neatly placing all the scrapbooking stuff on top of our stereo.

What I saw astounded me, and for a brief moment, my conscience bothered me, how could I have accumulated so much stuff? I'm sure when I get to play that feeling will disappear. For now, I am literally living with guilty pleasures.

This day has been full (I've had only 4 hours of sleep). A long-winded meeting for the volunteer work I am doing followed after the investiture, and the traffic today is totally unbelievable. I still had to prepare for the EB tomorrow, so my EQ will still be placed under severe test. I hope tomorrow night, after the EB, and a work-related dinner meeting, I will finally be able to play. If, the KiDS did their homeworks as instructed. Otherwise, I will be one grumpy mommy.

Monday, November 05, 2007

A Productive Week

The past week was a welcome respite for all of us. No school, no homeworks, scrap time for Mommy. Yeah! I finished four layouts in my newly-organized scraproom. No more running up and down the house to get stuff that I need. And the bonus is, the KiDS stayed with me most of the time. They just played and read in the outer room which serves us our library. Yup! they forgot about TV. Toys and books are strewn everywhere but it's a small price to pay for some quality time together. With Mama getting some actual scrapping done.


Ever After

A mother's wish - that the three of you grow to be strong ang healthy, sensitive and considerate, loving and respectful, smart and successful. But my most fervent wish is something straight out of a fairy tale. That when the world seems large and scary, you will always be there for each other. Like the three little pigs. Or the seven dwarves. So that in the end, I could sincerely say, and they LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

PPS - Goldilocks, Broken Chair, Porridge, 7 Gypsies; Chipboard - Fancy Pants; Sticker - Craft Express; Stamp - Autumn Leaves, Gel-a-tins; Ink - Tsukineko; Colorbox; Photo Turns - All About Scrapbooking; Brads - Oriental Trading; Pen - Uniball Signo; Misc - ribbons.

The Process:
As promised, I used Walnut Ink (Eucalyptus) for the first time, to color the ribbon (originally beige) green. I learned that one long spray is better than several spurts. And that lifting the ink at least 3 inches from the object gives a finer (not blotchy) mist. There was also a very pretty negative of the lace left on the scratch paper I used giving me an idea for next time.

Ink finally touched my Gelatins and Autumn Leaves stamps. I tried to emboss the title but it turned out too thin (I don't know what I did wrong) so I just stamped it with Brilliance ink pad. I added dimension to the title by mounting them on DH's scrap illustration boards. I tested the surface and it's acid-free, but to be safe, when you cut the board (the pulp inside might not be acid-free), seal the sides with acrylic paint.

I thought the details of the title font didn't show up much. I used this color PPS and ink to keep with the overall colors of the LO. Maybe I should have used a darker ink, like black? DH thinks the E looks like an I. What do you think?


Well, somehow, the Piggy Tales papers had me thinking of far-away lands, happily ever afters and princesses. Like my little Sarah.

The Petulant Princess

ONCE UPON A TIME there lived a beautiful princess. She was kind, sweet and smart. But she had her many lightning moods. One moment she was happy and gay, smiling and laughing. The next, she was sad, angry, and throwing tantrums. Her Royal Family never knew what to expect. THE END.

(Idea for beginning and ending the journaling with Once.../The End in a different font from the main write-up came from Vicki Boutin.)

CS- DCWV; PPS - Porridge, Cozy Cottage; Rubons - Hambly; Stickers - Creative Imagination, ProvoCraft; Thread - DMC; Flowers - Prima; Buttons - Foofala; Stamp - Autumn Leaves; Ink - Tsukineko; Sticklers; Uniball Signo.

The Process:
I finally got to use my stash of alphabet stickers, hahaha. And the Basic Grey Notch and Die tool which I've had for awhile. I used it to make scallops around the circle. To add texture, I stiched (I never stitch in real life!) the arrow which I cut out from the PPS. I thought it would move the eye towards the photo.

I was worried that the colorful photo won't work with the muted PPS at first, but I didn't want to print one in black and white (umandar na naman ang kakuriputan), so I just went for it. After all, Ali Edwards said in her book about patterned papers, your colors do not have to be the exact same shade. Take the greens in this LO. It worked out well, specially after I added the flowers. Six Primas in one LO? Gasp!

I used Stickler over the stamped AL swirls. I thought when it dried it would have volume like Pebeo. It's not as thick but I liked how you really get glitters and not just dried glue with a few scattered glitters.

I am really happy with this layout. I like the photo itself and the colors of the flowers. (Thanks Nita for persuading me to get that box of Primas.) I liked especially how all the elements worked out together, seemingly on their own. No sketch or other layout followed. I just let the paper talk to me. Usually, I'm just the one who talks or bursts into song. LOL.



I just couldn't say no to Mitch of Visual Creations so the night before the deadline, I found myself staring at my few Hamblys. I had frames, alpha stickers, journaling bits, mini-graph, none of the same color or the same feel. So at the last minute, I was at Mitch's store buying rubons that I thought would work with old photos I had.

Yup, these photos are pre-digital era so pardon the faded colors and the background clutter. No time to scan and photoshop. I'm on a deadline here. But really, I'm happy that I was able to save these photos from those horrible magnetic albums.

Para masulit yung transparency I made a back to back layout. The minig-graph background is actually clear. I should have taken a photo instead of scanning the layout so it will show.

Hangin Out (front)

Diego at almost six months, saying, "Lemme outta here, please..."

Transparency - Hambly; Rubons - Hambly, Daisy Ds; Papers - Daisy Ds; Pen - American Crafts, Zig; Buttons - Japan Homes; Thread - DMC; Others - Ranger Glossy Accents, Making Memories brad.

The Process:
I tried using Glossy Accents to add dimension to the title. It is more apparent (pun intended) IRL.


Sci-Fi Fan

My Papa loves to collect toys. He is also a Star Wars and Star Trek fan. Like him, I love toys like spaceships and robots. I am so happy that he lets me play with his toys outside their boxes.

Transparency - Hambly; Rubons - Hambly; Papers - Bam Pop, Daisy Ds; Diecuts - Bam Pop, Daisy Ds; Pen - American Crafts; Buttons - Japan Homes; Stickers - Joann Crafts

The Process:
I had to make sure that the elements on this side exactly match the edges on the other side.

Photos of the Hambly LOs. Can you see clearly now? LOL.

That's my red scrap table right in front of the window. I have a nice view of my neighbors' rusty corrugated rooftops when I scrap. :-)


And this last layout is one I actually did for the elimination round of the Idol challenge. It's a scraplift of Vicki Boutin.


You were not born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but when you had your first meal (Cerelac), Lola Mama and I used her silver bowl and silver spoon. If you can't be born with it, eat with it.

Paper - Basic Grey; Rubons - MAMBI; Chipboard - Scenic Route; Acrylic paint - Making Memories; Ink - Colorbox, Ranger.

Promises, Promises

I know it's not yet the new year but let me share with you some promises I made to myself.

1) I will not buy any more papers until I make a significant dent on my stash. Keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed.

2) I will be more experimental with the tools I already have. (More like, I will finally break out the tools from their boxes. Hehe.)

3) I will actually use the embellishments I had bought. Stop thinking magastos cause really, I had already paid for them and they're costing me more (think opportunity costs) not being used.

4) I will find ways to add more dimension and texture to my layouts.

5) I will take more pictures of our everyday life so I can scrap the seemingly mundane, too.

6) I will scrap more and be online less.

7) I will keep my stuff neat and organized.

8) I will continue to join challenges so I can improve my layouts, but not strive for perfection all the time.

9) I will remember that I am scrapping to remember and be remembered.

10) I will play and have fun.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Criticism, Self-Criticism

When I was in college, my org (student organization) had a process for resolving disputes and misunderstandings. We called it Criticism and Self-Criticism or CSC, for short. We would all sit down in an intimate circle and start by criticisizing ourselves, then the persons to the left and right of us. While the critic is talking, no one else is allowed to speak. The person being criticized should just listen, until his/her turn comes.

When we say criticism though, we mean constructive criticism. No personal attacks, or no critisizing just for the sake of putting another person down. I think this process has Marxist roots but in time, we used it to foster relationships between friends.

The process requires maturity and self-confidence. Maturity to accept your friends' critique and enough self-confidence to take it for what it is. A word of caution. This process should not be undertaken without those two basic requirements. I tried to apply this process in one of the offices I worked in before. It didn't work. Other staff took the comments about their performance as a personal affront such that instead of promoting inter-office relations, the atmosphere turned from bad to worse.

I have been thinking alot about CSC lately, in relation to scrapbooking. When we share our layouts with other scrappers, we always only mention the positive. And that is alright because certainly, we want to reinforce the good. Nobody ever mentions the negative though. What if, design-wise, we see ways that the layout could be improved, should we just close our eyes to that?

I recall that in Pinoy Scrapbookers, Au tried to start a trend of giving both positive and negative feedback to layouts shared in the group. Some brave scrappers came out to express their honest opinions, but it didn't really take. I guess, because, generally, we Filipinos cannot be so brutally honest, and as scrappers, we know most everyone in this community, and we don't want to say anything negative lest we hurt feelings.

But I, for one, would like your honest opinion. I would like to improve in this craft, and sometimes, I can be blind about my own layouts. I welcome your constructive criticism because I believe it is a way for me to learn and improve. So what do you say, shall we do this together?

Here is my CSC:

My strengths:
  • My journaling (people say I'm a good writer, and I am thankful that I can get the message across).
  • My photos (thanks to the advent of digital cameras I can take as many photos as I want, thus increasing the chances of getting really good ones).
  • A working knowledge of Photoshop, enough to be able to crop, blur cluttered backgrounds and convert colored photos to black and white or sepia.
  • A supportive family, a sister who unselfishly gives me scrapbooking stuff, a husband who encourages me, KiDS who cheer me on,
  • Friends who unabashedly tell me what they think about my LOs, good or bad.
My weaknesses:
  • My LOs don't have much texture
  • LOs lacking in dimension
  • I am afraid to experiment with new things and make mistakes kasi sayang
  • I don't like using too many embellishments kasi magastos
  • I don't use too many techniques kasi matrabaho (can you see the trend here? hahaha)
  • I try to finish LOs in one seating while other very good scrappers I know take their time, letting ideas simmer and boil.
I am sure I missed something, so I would appreciate your thoughts about this. And next time I post my layouts, I really hope that you will be honest with me and give me both the good and the bad.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I'm So Excited

They were supposed to arrive last week but because of the holidays, Customs didn't release the balikbayan boxes. I was sooo looking forward to playing during the long break. Konting tulog na lang.

Thank you, Manang Marissa!!!

Friday, November 02, 2007

You Know You're A Scrapbook Addict If....

for their school pre-Halloween party, you dress up your DD as a scrapbook layout.

School Sarah

Home Sarah

We were hoping to get at least "Most Creative Costume" but non-scrapbookers actually thought she was a book. Or worse, an I.D. card. LOL.

Surprisingly, it was my other DD who won both Most Creative and Most Unique Costume Awards. See her costume here.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Finally Posting... Scrappin Moms' Idol Challenge Layouts. (Thank God for school breaks.)

ELIMINATION ROUND: (August 1-8, 2007)


The toughest part of this challenge was deciding who my idol was. When I browse through online galleries, books and magazines, I would often be drawn to particular layouts for various reasons, never minding who the designer is. This challenge forced me to thing if I was following in anyone's artistic footsteps. I don't think I am. Not yet, at least.

by Kelly Goree

I chose this LO because of its simplicity, the colors and the serenity it exuded. Here is my take on Kelly's LO. I turned it sideways. I just love this photo and was just happy to finally scrap it.

New Kid on the Block

ROUND 1: (August 10 - 16, 2007)


Scrapbooking using CS only??? Just when I have learned to love patterned papers. I stitched on the sides to add texture. The cute buttons were my DH's idea. It's like I made my own patterned paper, isn't it? Another photo I love. This one was a bit blurred because I used my camera zoom in a low light room but when I converted the color to sepia it worked out well.

Sandwich Kiss

Round 2 Challenge - (August 17-23, 2007)


And then they wanted us to scrap in one color only. I called this the monochromatitis challenge. Here I used paper-tearing to simulate the vibrations caused by noise, acrylic flowers from Japan Home and cocktail toothpicks. Would you believe that this photo was captured by my then 5-year old DS?


ROUND 3 (August 24-30, 2007)


This was my toughest ever that had even my DH and KiDS puzzled. Not only did we have to alter a household item, we had to repurpose it. My DH asked me several times, "what does that have to do with scrapbooking?" What, indeed. I altered an egg carton box and a dozen eggshells into a beads and ribbons holder. I think, looking back, trying out transferring photos on packaging tape and having buttercake for dessert were the most fun parts.


ROUND 4 - (August 31 - September 6, 2007)

THEME - What's in a Photo

No photo of living things allowed, we had to use two fabrics and limit ourselves to four kinds of embellishments only. The photo of a significant object threw me for a loop because except for food and scrapping stuff I usually take photos of people who are dear to me. Thanks to my DH for being game and posing (his hands, at least) so I can get a lovely photo of our wedding rings. As by this time, I had reached my personal goal of reaching Round 3, I wasn't so jittery. At least, not until Her Royal Cabbiness showed me her LO at 2:30 in the morning. And then I panicked and had to re-think everything.

With These Rings

ROUND 5- (September 7- 13, 2007)

THEME - No Photos Allowed

Since my train of thought was on the wedding rings in the previous LO and our 10th wedding anniversary that month, it seemed logical to scrap our wedding ephemera. The downside is, the dolls were so bulky, my album won't close properly.

The Story of Us

ROUND 6- (September 14- 20, 2007)

THEME – Words from the Heart

A 12x12 spread! The last time I did spreads was when I started scrapbooking a little more than a year ago. And when I discovered the beauty and ease of scrapping 5x7 photos on a single page, there was no turning back. Or so I thought. I wasn't very hopeful in this round but I was encouraged by scrapping friends who told me that journaling is my strength. (Thank you for your belief in me - you know who you are.) And this round gave heavy points to the journaling. I decided to take a novel approach. Quite a gamble since I knew most of the other entries would be sentimental and heartbreaking.

Parenting 101: Wild, Wacky, Wonderful

FINAL ROUND - (October 6, 2007)

THEME – What Makes Me Happy

I never hoped it would come to this. Scrapping on the spot with eleven very talented scrappers. Oh, the pressure. I have written about this before but this is the first time I am posting the layout. I didn't plan this layout beforehand even if we were given clues as to what to expect and there lay my downfall. Even my journaling was written on the spot. And the materials came as a complete surprise to us. That I finished within the time allotted made me breathe a huge sign of relief. As I told the Scrappin Moms when they asked me "What makes me happy?" during the interview, I am soooo happy this is finally over. :-)

Happiness Is....

So, would I be doing something like this anytime soon? Only the scrapbooking goddesses know.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Back to School

Whew!!! It feels like I have been put through the wringer this past week. The KiDS just had their second quarter exams and I have been playing tutor/grand examiner in one. I am not bragging when I say my KiDS are smart (hehe - medyo lang), but I have to be be smarter! Otherwise, it will be the dreaded "but teacher said..." And who is Mama to argue with teacher?

Is it just me or are kids learning more advanced stuff these days? My five-year old who is in Prep just had an exam in Filipino at Sibika about yamang lupa at yamang dagat. I don't think I even had a Social Studies (yes, that was what it was called way back when) until I was in grade 4. My grade 2 student is learning about life cycles and food chain. I know I learned about the food chain from a cartoon show. Fish eat plankton, shark eats fish, man eats shark. (I love the line in Jurassic Park which goes - God creates Man; Man creates dinosaur; Dinosaur eats Man; Women rule the earth. But I could hardly use that as an example.) I had trouble explaining pangngalang basal at lansak, tuwirang layon, etc. to my 4th grader because I could hardly understand them myself.

And don't ask me about the Mathematics! I am not enamored with Math but I couldn't tell my KiDS that, lest they dislike Math, too. So I pretend that Math excites me. I even have a spiel that goes, "Your Papa finished Architecture and your Mama finished Economics, both math-intensive courses so you are genetically predisposed to Math. It is not hard." Yup! I am just waiting for lightning to strike me, night after night of reviewing fractions, multiplication and division...without a calculator.

Motherhood really isn't just vetting our kids' viewing choices, or reading children's literature before passing it on to them. We have to learn along with them, too. I remember approaching Diego's teacher to teach me finger math when he was Prep so I could check if he was doing it correctly. Our stock knowledge that tells us Pluto is a planet is insufficient. If we want our kids to excel in school, we have to go back to school, too. Ahhh...the things we do to raise our childen well.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fatness First

Two days ago I was surprised to receive a letter from my gym. I have never received a letter from them, not even a birthday or Christmas card. My first reaction was, hmmm...maybe they're checking up on me and asking why I haven't been to the gym for quite a while.

Ehhhhh!!! Wrong! They wrote me a really nasty letter saying that I was still within the minimum commitment period and that I should pay my dues or else they will endorse my account to a collection agent and a credit rating agency for blacklisting. And that they reserve the right to take legal actions against me to enforce collection. Really nasty especially since this is the first time in my life that I am threatened with a lawsuit and this is the first letter I have ever received from them.

My monthly gym membership is auto-debited from my credit card every month. And two months ago, I decided not to renew this card because I found I was using another card more often. I had forgotten that my gym membership was attached to this card, and so when they were charging the fees, of course, it didn't go through. Thus, the nasty letter. No gentle reminder from this gym, that "you may have forgotten to pay your dues for the last TWO months" or an, oh, BTW, we haven't seen you in the gym for the past SEVEN months, so please come see us soon. No, sir, only a threat will do.

As long as they were getting paid, they didn't care that you weren't using their facilities at all. But the minute you miss out on a payment...wooh...lawsuit!

Well, it is my fault that I haven't been to the gym since February so I can't blame the gym for that. (I blame losing a good yaya and driver). But still.

I could probably contest this because I am two years past the minimum commitment period of one year, but who needs this headache? (Which is probably what they are counting on.) So yesterday, I trooped to the gym, paid my dues and tried to cancel my membership. Tried, because while they accepted my payment, they said I could only resign from my home club. I asked if I could just fax a letter but I was informed it has to be a personal appearance. (Yey! Look at me, I'm still as fat as when I joined your gym in August 2004.) Talk about inconvenience. And I have to give a 30-day notice. As if the past 217 days of non-use of their gyms weren't notice enough.

So, I still have 42 days of gym membership should I decide to finally cancel my membership. (I was always hopeful I could get back into my 4-days-a-week-at the-gym groove.) Might as well put it to good use. I know, sayang yung aking previous payments. Oh the scrapbooking stuff I coud have bought with those.

Do you think I could lose some pounds in less than 50 days?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm Fabulous! (Walang kokontra...)

Donna thinks I deserve this

because, in her words,
"I love her spunk and I love how her mind work. I admire her fabulous dedication in everything she does.. yes Mommy Lee that is how I see you! Mwuah!"

Still feeling down in the doldrums because of persistent cough and colds (more than a week already), this is a great picker-upper. Despite my red runny nose, dry lips and less than perfect bedroom voice, somebody, who is not related to me, thinks I AM FABULOUS. Hahaha!

Thank you very much, Donna. Here's to all the FABULOUS women out there!

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Idol Showdown

I have a confession to make. I never wanted to make it to the Scrappin Moms Idol Challenge Top 12. Those of you who have been with me in this journey know that my goal was to at least make Round 3. That came to pass. Still, I did my best in all the remaining challenges because, 1) I was making layouts that I will be placing in my albums and I will always have to look at them, so they at least have to look nice, and 2) I can't say that I am a very competitive person, but it just isn't in me to back down from a challenge. Still and all, I had hoped that some other scrapper makes it to the Top 12. I do not want to seem ungrateful for the opportunity and the privilege, but I know my limitations. I have never completed a layout under time pressure and in public, to boot. And really, what are the odds? Eleven other extremely talented scrapbookers, three winners, you do the math. I'd rather spend Scrapfest jamming with friends and shopping.

It didn't help that a week before the Scrapfest, I got sick with the flu. To make it more difficult, all my KiDS, and the yaya, got sick as well. DH has been sick the week before, I think we all got it from him. So I didn't really have time to plan out a strategy until the night before. My goal was to just have a decent showing and to finish an LO in time.

I do not remember much of the event last Saturday. It was really all a blur to me. I think I was on automated function. I was breathing, yes, albeit with difficulty, not only because of my colds and cough but because of the challenge itself. We had to scrap on a 1212 acrylic base. I had never even used any of Au's acrylic products! I had to remind myself to treat the acrylic as just another 12x12 paper, albeit clear. I was just happy to finally declare myself done.

The happiest part was learning that the top scrapbookers are three of my closest friends in scrapbooking.

Congratulations to Cabbie, who really deserves to be THE Idol. She is always consistent in her layouts, contest or no contest. Her projects always have heart.

Congratulations Tin, who has amazed me since I saw her Fancy Pants entry early this year. She continues to amaze me with her fun and wonderful layouts.

Congratulations Au, who has always declared that she was only in this because she couldn't say no to Joanne, but of course, that has snowballed to aiming to be Pick of the Week (twice!), and making it to the Top 12 (for the discounts) and finally, landing in the Top 3. Her layouts are as always, very creative.

And congratulations, to the nine of us who scrapped our hearts out last Saturday. We are all winners for having gone through and surviving all the challenges.

And most of all, congratulations to the Scrappin Moms for coming up with a very successful Scrapfest and the Idol contest. I'm sure you will see me in the next Scrapfest. Don't bet on another Idol-like contest participation soon though.

When I'm feeling much better, I will post all the layouts I made for this contest.

Woo-pee!!! It's finally over.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Wedding Cues (Part 3)

So we were married and all, but no honeymoon yet. There was still plenty to do before the September 28 main event. (Though I have always wondered, after weeks of preparation, endless concerns, sleeplessness, etc. do newly weds actually have the energy to have a honeymoon imemdiately after the wedding? Will they even be in the mood?)

From Smokey Mountain, DH took me to my apartment to pick up my wedding gown. He was going to drop me off at a hotel where I will be staying the night. Purportedly to get a bride's beauty sleep.

So he carries the long box containing the wedding gown, puts in on top of the car to help me in the car, gets in the driver's seat, and off we go. At the hotel parking lot, we both alight. He turns to get the gown, and suddenly there was this most ridiculous expression on his face. With nary a word, he gets in the car again and speeds off, leaving me in the darkened parking lot.

You surmise correctly. He forgot to put the wedding gown in the car. Although it was a relatively short drive from the apartment to the hotel, alot could happen in those few minutes. And he has to slowly track his way back to the apartment in the dark.

Lucky for him (I would have torn him from limb to limb otherwise), he found the gown lying in the middle of Kalayaan. Because of it's ivory fabric, the gown sort of glowed in the dark, and the few passersby there were were eyeing it warily. Thankfully, no vehicle ran over it or I may have marched to Pachelbel Canon with tire marks running down my gown. DH must have sighed a huge sigh of relief before bringing the gown to the hotel. Me? I just had the sneaking suspicion that maybe, just maybe, his subconscious was trying to stop the wedding from happening.

"All the things that can go wrong will go wrong." I could kill Murphy - if I knew his last name and he were still alive.

The makeup artists one of my Maids of Honor commissioned arrived late. So the whole bridal entourage was late to the wedding. The traffic didn't help any. And oh, this would be a good time to thank Honeytess who chauffeured us to the venue in her metallic lilac car. No chauffeur has ever been sexier nor a bridal car cooler.

Meanwhile, until the last minute, DH was busy making sure that the reception was flawless. An hour before the wedding, he went to his best man's house (he lived near the venue) to shower and change. Thirty minutes before the wedding, he was trying to break into his own car because he left his barong and the car keys inside. His Best Man advised him to just smash the windows in, because they would be late. Fortunately for the car, a passersby was an expert in picking up door locks with a clothes hanger. (I hate to think what he does for a living.) Dressed in his barong, DH was all ready to step out, when he realized he left his shoes at home. (Sabotage, I tell you.) No Best man has ever been asked to live to his role fully, down to providing shoes for the groom.

DH aged so much during the past nerve-wracking week, that when my aunt saw him at the reception, she thought she was introducing herself to the groom's father! "Good afternoon po, kayo po ba ang tatay ni Toym? Haha.

Thankfully, everything went well after that. We didn't even know that the priest from the chapel tried to stop the wedding - because he thought that we were proceeding with the marriage rites without proper authorization - until later.

As we couldn't have the actual marriage rites, Fr. Remigio changed the script. He asked all the wedding sponsors to say a few words about the bride and the groom instead of holding a mass. But we still had the traditional lighting of candles, veils and cords, exchanging of rings and vows. After all, we had the complete line up.

More than complete in fact. We had two best men and two maids of honors. My groom's idea of a joke. If you knew the best men, whom I have known long before I knew DH, you would be in on it too.

Most of our family and friends didn't know that a wedding already happened before the September 28 formal event. It was like getting married again, with all the trimmings this time. And oh I now know the answer to my questions about honeymoons. Ask me when we see each other.

And so it came to pass that we celebrate our anniversary two days in a row.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wedding Venues (Part 2)

So everything was ready for the big day. The gowns have been fitted, the invitations sent out. Nothing more to do but worry about the things that could go wrong.

We had decided to get married at Tito Billy Abueva's residence. In his gardens, he built a Temple for the Child Jesus and filled it with sculptural interpretations of biblical persons and events. He made floor upon floor of artworks and statues. Indeed, it was the perfect setting for our wedding.

A few days before the wedding, the priest who would marry us, a close family friend of DH asked if we had secured permission from the Catholic Church to have a garden wedding. Now being first-timers in this wedding thing, it didn't occur to any of us that we had to secure permits for the venue. Apparently, the Catholic Church has banned weddings outside the church. You needed special dispensation from the Bishop if you wanted a garden or a beach wedding. It was too late to get that, not to mention difficult.

We tried to talk to the parish priest of the subdivision if we could have the wedding at his church and then move to Tito Billy's house for the reception. But he was so put out about not being part of the original plan that he absolutely refused our request. And oh, there were those usual reasons like posting of the bans and marriage counseling sessions that we were supposed to undertake with him but didn't.

Some people confess to experiencing wedding jitters. I would admit to complete numbness. I knew I was really out of it when this piece of news didn't even make me panic. That was a big wrench to throw in the works don't you think? We can't change the venue, all the preparations have been made. And this close to the wedding, what alternatives did we have?

Our priest, Fr. Ben, was parish priest of Smokey Mountain and he came up with the perfect solution. He invited us to marry in his church the day before the wedding was supposed to happen. And so it was that on September 27, DH and I, together with his closest friends found ourselves in a classroom-like chapel in Tondo. We got married during the youth mass so our witnesses were the young people of Smokey Mountain. One young girl sang with the most angelic voice, backed by the church's combo. The choir was composed of a band complete with drums and electric guitars. Parang bandang pang-fiesta.

At the end of the rites, Fr. Ben reminded us to love and care for each other. That we shouldn't forget our commitment to each other, most especially to our community. And to forever remind us of our obligations to the community, he requested, the band, errr, the choir and the congregation to sing Bayan Ko. I almost burst out laughing despite the solemnity of the occasion. The only time I had ever sang Bayan Ko was during rallies pre-EDSA revolution. It was all it took not to raise my clenched fists while we sang the song. "Ibon mang may layang lumipad...." Well, obviously, this bird has been caught and caged.

He then introduced us to the congregation as Mr. and Mrs. DH's Surname. And just that like that, in a matter of a few minutes, after a lifetime of being, I stopped being Ms. Myself and became Mrs. DH's Surname. September 27, 1997. That's the official date of marriage on the marriage certificate.

But there's no time to mourn, still alot to do for the wedding celebrations with family, friends and guests the next day.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Roll Call of Thank You's

DH and I are spending our tenth wedding anniversary this September 27 and 28. Yes, two dates. It has its advantages. Like when the dates fall on a weekend. We have a fine excuse to have a romantic weekend getaway. But otherwise, it's just plain confusing.

Ten years ago, DH and I decided to have a DIY wedding. Being in our late twenties, we did not ask for financial support from our parents. Instead, we leeched on the kindness of our friends. We invited them to the wedding, but not without volunteering them in the wedding preparations.

I was catatonic before, during and immediately after the wedding, so better late than never, I would like to thank the following, who made the wedding ceremony a success:

My Maids of Honor and Bridesmaids, for paying for their own gowns. Of course, I chose the color and the fabric, in my first ever trip to Divisoria. I wanted it bronze but had to settle for a paler color due to sheer exhaustion from battling the crowds in Divi. Lucky Suzie, a friend I met during a seminar on Soulmates, Karma and Reincarnation served as our tour guide. She may not be my soulmate but we are both sure we share a karmic relationship. We call her lucky because she always wins in raffles. In fact, she managed to furnish her house, including the garage with her winnings from all those contests. When she met and married Gerry, she sure hit the jackpot! :-)

My former officemates from Congress, who contributed the wedding cake. I just gave them a copy of the cake I wanted, and they looked for a baker. Red Ribbon couldn't do it with fresh flowers, so they used grapes instead. The cake looked great and instead of feeding each other slices of cake at the reception, DH and I fed each other, grapes. You gotta admit, that is hmmm...less messy.

Honeytess for the Precious Moments "Wishing You Roads of Happiness" featuring a bride and groom in a car. (I was a huge Precious Moments collector before the children started coming.) Red Ribbon used it as the wedding topper. I'm sure she didn't realize it would be that expensive until she finally had to pay for it.

My Craft Fairy sister who sewed the little bride and groom dolls for giveaways. The groom doll also had long hair. And to my former officemate Gary, who handcarried the items from New York to Manila.

Sweet Melissa, my former officemate at the PICC, who's also a part-time florist. She was supposed to cover the reception area with cut flowers. Unfortunately, the flowers failed to bloom (this is not a portent, believe me) so she just lent us her vases. The flowers are courtesy of my cousin Hope who sent them from Baguio through Dangwa Transit.

DH's high school friend Jessie, who at that time owned a printing press (now he's a nurse) for making the invitations. Much inspired by the book Griffin and Sabine, DH designed a series of postcards chronicling our courtship and wedding. (Nick Bantock's books fed many of our conversations when we were just getting to know each other.) I wrote the words because DH is hopeless with names and dates.

National Artist Napoleon Abueva for opening his house to us. We got married in his garden filled with religious statues and monumental columns. Until the day of the wedding, he was working on the pathways. Most memorable of all, when the priest asked the wedding sponsors to bless us, he sang us a love song he composed himself. Not only did he open his house, he opened his heart.

PUP's Grace Canteen for the catering, and Freedom Bar waiters for the, well, waiting. Actually, my in-laws used to run a canteen and a catering service so they took care of that part. The food was aplenty and delicious, or so I was told, and I thank them for that. (Honestly, except for the grapes, I can't recall I ate anything at all.) DH was a partner in Freedom Bar where we first met. E-mail me if you want the whole drunken story. :-)

Our friends from PETA who documented the entire affair on video. Their singer friend (sorry I don't recall her name) who sang the my favorite song "With You" from the musical Pippin and who called the wedding "the weirdest I have ever attended", but NOT in a bad way, I am sure. I marched to the altar while she sang that song. DH marched to a taped version of his own poem, which incidentally, I know he wrote for another woman, but who cares, he was marching to marry me. And the rest of the entourage marched to Pachelbel's Canon in D Major, something I had planned since I could dream up a wedding.

DH's college friends for hosting and emceeing the program. DH's photographer friends who are now so much in demand by the glossies, that I am sure we won't even be able to afford reprints. I hope they find our negatives soon. Butch The Technologist for giving me the only photos I have of the wedding.

My sisters, nephews and nieces, for putting the flowers the give-aways together at the last minute. They also gathered the sheaf of palay, which we used in place of the traditional arhae of golden coins, from our farm in the province. (We did many non-traditional things in our wedding.)

My family for being so gracious during the traditional pamanhikan dinner. So gracious in fact that when my future mother-in-law asked what kind of dishes I could cook, they stifled their laughter until they were red in the face. My mother could just look to the heavens for supplication.

My former housemate's recommended make-up artists, without whom I wouldn't have been late to my own wedding. And Manila society's couturier before they discovered Joe Salazar, et. al. for my gown. Unfortunately, I cannot remember her name but she did marvelous work.

And of course, DH for spending days and nights physically preparing the venue for the family, friends and guests who gathered together at the big night.

My apologies to all whom I may have inadvertently forgotten. Ten years may not be a long time by Hollywood standards, but it is to us. (A poor excuse for memory gap.)

*Photos of wedding memorabilia taken this month when DH surprised me with the box containing them. I thought we had lost them when we moved houses.

NEXT: Why the two dates

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sharing Smiles

Cabbie said I make her smile. Well, she makes me smile, too, but I don't think she intends for me to tag her again. :-)

But lots of SMILES to go all around, so I am tagging Marix, Christine, Nina, Manang Marissa, Alby, Airees, Leirs, Nita and Jenn. You make me smile each time I see your works and everytime you leave a comment in my blog. :-)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Kaya 5 Entry

My response to Idol Cabbie's challenge to use six pieces of patterned paper. The end result is not quite Cabbiesque, but it's a start. :-)

See all the details at the Kaya! challenge blog.

I'd love to scrap all the other photos from that shoot. Hope to, soon...

Photos by DH, kasi, hindi nila ako isinama! Waahhhh.... I think it was almost 10 am when the pics were taken, thus, the shadows.

Any suggestions how I should scrap these photos? Thanks much.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Shared Stories

Words from the Heart - that's the title of the final round of the Scrappin Moms Idol. The remaining 15 contestants were asked to create a two-page spread about "Life's Joys and Challenges and the Lessons Learned From Them."

Many joys and challenges flitted through my mind as I prepared to write my journaling but I chose to zoom in on just one - the joys and challenges of being a parent. I approached the subject with a dash of humor, as I believe that is the best way to deal with raising a family (and surviving.) I took inspiration from the writings of Robert Fulghum, Erma Bombeck and Bill Cosby. All the lessons learned, however, are mine and apply specifically to my family. You can see those Parenting 101 lessons here.

Please do take time to view all the wonderful entries in the gallery. You will not only learn lessons, but you will be touched, inspired and amazed by the stories all the 14 other contestants have to share. I applaud them, not only for their artistry, but for their willingness to share their stories. They are courageous souls because many of these stories are very personal, and some may have also been painful to write about.

I thank each and everyone of them for sharing their stories, for touching my life, albeit vicariously, and most specially, for the privilege of getting to know them better.

Thank you, too, to the Scrappin Moms (I was almost tempted to make an LO about the trials and tribulations, sige na nga, joys na din, of being an Idol contestant hehe) for brewing us this contest. It has made us see ourselves and others in a different light. Kudos to all of you.

Now the real test begins in a few weeks...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

More Ephemera

When it rains, it pours. It all started with the Pinoy Scrapbookers Kaya Challenge when I needed ephemera to scrap. I dug up all my boxes of stuff in the bodega and found, ephemera galore. Truly, my DH and I are such pack rats that sooner or later, our "collectibles" will run us out of the house. Can you imagine the headlines, "Ephemera bury husband and wife. Wife can't scrap fast enough." Hahaha.

But I am enjoying these mini-trips down memory lane. And if I can't scrap just yet, I can scan and upload them in this blog. So be warned. Ephemera coming!

This is a brochure for The Alcove, the photo gallery of the Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL) in Makati. The upper left most photo is of Sarah at less than two years old. It is one of my first photos using my Nikon FM2, my first (and only) fully manual camera, which I bought in 2001. I enrolled at FHL to improve my photography skills, such as they were, a few weeks after I got it. I wanted to learn how to best use my equipment (note: my DH finds this statement funny) to maximize its features. Up until then, I had only used autofocus cameras. At the end of the 4-week workshop, we had to submit photos to our instructors Kat Palasi and Vir Montenegro for critiquing. My photo was chosen one of the three winners and it was used in the FHL brochure.

I kept this because it marks the beginning of my official (it feels more official if you're somewhat published hehe) foray into the wonderful world of capturing images. Now I have to look for the original rolls of film so I can have them scanned to digital files. I wonder under which broken-down piece of furniture I will find the box that contains them?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Spread Too Thin

Whew! I think I passed the Scrappin Mom's Idol "No Photos Allowed" round by the skin of my teeth. Truly, my co-contestants outdid themselves again as you can see from the gallery. Me? I was just glad to get to scrap some wedding memorabilia that I haven't seen since the day I packed them ten years ago.

Story of Us features our wedding invitations and wedding souvenirs. My journaling is an open letter to my DH. I think it was a bit stilted because I knew other people will be reading this missive. Medyo na-shy ako. Hehe. I made another postcard similar to the wedding invitations and handwrote my letter at the back.

The next challenge is a spread. The first and last time I did a spread was over a year ago when I started scrapbooking. Yup! Because I wanted to put in as many photos as possible, my first two layouts were spreads.

My Very First LO

My Second LO (Notice any improvement over the first? Hahaha.)

I hope whatever I come up with are better than these. Otherwise, I will be singing "Na na na na hey hey hey goodbye" next time around.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Twice Mentioned

Maybs saw it first from Jessica Sprague's blog. From there there was a link to blogher, where the author asks why we scrap. I guess I answered that in a previous entry in this blog, which she happened to read, and so she cited it in hers.

Next, came the Madcropper who picked me as her layout of the week for September 8. She cited the same layout.

Wow! So this is how it feels like to have your work featured anywhere. And it's not even a full-blown layout.

Thank you, Blogher and Madcropper, for reminding me with my very own layout why I'm into this in the first place.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Desiderata for Scrapbookers

So this is what happens when you're nose is clogged and your mind is fogged - rewrite one of the most famous poems ever. I apologise to everyone who might not find this funny, it's the Benadryl talking.

But first, a bit of trivia. Did you know that “desiderata” is Latin for “desired things”? Quite appropriate for us hoarders, I mean, scrapbookers, isn’t it?

Desiderata for Scrapbookers

(with my sincerest apologies to Max Ehrmann)

Go placidly amid the aisles of Michael’s and Archivers,
and remember what peace there may be in knowing that
you do not have to have everything.

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all scrapbooking salespersons
and store owners. (That 10% discount is your reward.)

Speak your comments on LOs quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the newbies;
they too have something to share.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
(Somehow, all that comes to mind are Au and Nita.
And the exact opposite is true. They are loud
and spirited, but hardly annoying.)

If you compare your layouts with others’ layouts,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser layouts than yours.

Enjoy your finished layouts as well as the process.

Keep interested in your own stories, however humble;
they are real possessions that should be scrapped in time.

Exercise caution in buying scrapping supplies;
for the world is full of trends.
But let this not blind you to what a good sale is;
many stores strive for 49% discounts;
and everywhere the web is full of online stores with free shipping.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign scrapbooking styles.
Neither be cynical about your layout;
for in the face of losing at challenges
your acid-free materials are as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of other more experienced scrapbookers
but do not gracefully surrender the things that make you, you.

Nurture kindred scrapbooking spirits to crop with.
But do not distress yourself with trying to “keep up”.
Many fears are born of fatigue and wanting.
Beyond EBs and crop parties,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a scrapbooker of the universe,
no less than the Memory Makers Masters and the CK Scrapbookers of the Year;
you have a right to scrap.
And whether or not it is as clear as a Hambly transparency to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding like an accordion album.

Therefore be at peace with your partners,
whatever s/he may think of your scrapbooking,
and whether in Scrapfests or Scrapmeets,
in the noisy confusion of shopping keep peace with your wallet.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Scrap it.
Strive to be real.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Well, what do you know? I'm still in the running for Idol. (Obvious ba, hinintay ko ang results, hehe.) One part of me loves the idea and am actually feeling proud of myself right now. The other half is filled with dread and trepidation.

The past few weeks have been a rollercoaster ride. While I love the process of creating for Idol, I can certainly do without the stress that comes with it. (Just ask any of the challengers.) My world has been completely turned upside down. Whereas before, I looked forward to weekends so I can scrap in peace, I now claim Saturdays and Sundays as my days-off from scrapping! LOL.

The movers to the next round are announced on Thursdays, so are the details of the next challenge. Of course, as I fall asleep, ideas fleet through my mind. But I refuse to fully entertain them yet, as I won't be able to scrap until the weekend anyway. But weekends are supposed to be stress-free so come the end of the week, I refuse to think about Idol at all. Ergo, I don't go anywhere near my scrap room. Crazy, isn't it? Sunday evenings I let my mind plan and strategize and hopefully, if all went well, I'd be done by Wednesday morning.

Not so this week. First, I had no file photos of any objects that may be significant to me. Except perhaps, food. :-) Got loads of those. So that means I have to stage a shoot. I'm pretty much "spontaneity" when it comes to my photography. Then, my significant objects are so small that my point and shoot can't quite hack the exact angle I wanted. Good thing serendipity came to the rescue. I finally had my photo but needed fresh inks for my printer. Finally got around to buying those, Wednesday afternoon. And I don't have to tell you about moving everything around until things fell into place. In my case, things didn't fall into place until 4:00 am Thursday morning. Talk about cramming. But I have to thank Cabbie (she showed me her LO past midnight) for inspiring me to do better. I literally had to start over again because I felt my LO was not good enough. The final outcome is very different from what I have been working on the whole night. But I'm glad I took the extra effort, not to mention the extra hours because as usual, all the other entries are something else again.

And have you seen the next challenge? Ephemera! I sucked at that in the KAYA! Challenges. Waaahhh...And no photos!!! And I just bought new inks.