Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Being U.P.

When I first entered U.P. decades ago (I don't mind that my age is showing, with ageing gracefully, hopefully comes wisdom), I was taught to observe, to ask questions, to be vigilant, and to say what needed saying. I learned that in the classrooms, in FGDs, and in rallies. I learned it well, and as I lived my life I found that that could be a blessing...or a curse.

At a blind date in a bar in EDSA Shangri-La mall, there was a promo for condoms (I forgot which brand). These pretty girls dressed in skimpy clothing gave the guys in my table condoms. When I asked, "What about me?" The girl answered, "Oh, it's only for the boys." And I replied (years of conditioning and working at a very progressive foundation), "You should give the girls, too." She looked at me like I was crazy. By this time, my blind date was turning apoplectic with embarassent at my audacity, I presume. I looked him in the eye and tried to explain myself. "Women should have that choice. It is after all, our bodies." He stared at me like he has never seen a thinking female before and said, "U.P. ka nga!" It sounded like a curse when he said it. He was obviously from "the other university" and needless to say, I never saw him again. Now, that, was a blessing. LOL.

At work, I earned the ire of some my officemates when I didn't agree to something they wanted to do, because I was following office policy. Sure, I have been known to bend policy now and then, but not when it meant the destruction of the foundation's and my core values as a human being. Those who didn't get that are still not talking to me now. That could be a curse or a blessing, depending on your point of view. Because I continued to work with them for a time, it was a curse pretending that everything was honky-dory.

At a social event with GMA, when my daughter Kahlo, loudly asked, "Mama, where is the President?" GMA, graciously bowed down in front of her, and said, "I am the president." I had to bite my lip to refrain from saying "Not for looong..." (This happened at a time when there were many rallies against her.) My eyes met my husband's and I knew from the quirk of his mouth that he was thinking the same thing. U.P. din siya. Hehehe.

So what is my point? Well, I guess I'm just saying that it's second-nature to me to ask questions and demand answers...until I'm satisfied. The words that toppled a dictatorship still run through the back of my mind everytime. "Kung hindi tayo kikibo, sino ang kikibo? Kung hindi tayo kikilos, sino ang kikilos? Kung hindi ngayon, kailan pa?" That is why I live my life in constant danger...Of being booted out of parties. Hahaha. So sa mga nakukulitan na sa akin, pasensiya na. U.P. kasi ako, eh. LOL.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ding...Round 3

As early as 10 PM, Thursday night, I learned my fate in the Scrappinmoms Idol Challenge. I get to move on to the next round. I immediately tried to figure out (their names are not announced, their photos just disappear from the gallery) who were the three scrapbooking artists who were dropped, not because their LOs were not good, but just because for this particular round, their LOs were at the bottom 3. Does that mean that the other LOs were way better? I wouldn't know. For all I know, it might just be a mere tenth of a point that separates them from the Top 24. But this I do know for sure, everyone submitted artistic creations that are their own, and that no one can take away from them.

I am happy I am moving on because I am particularly pleased with my entry, Noise. This LO took a long time coming because I had the photo printed, my title chosen and journaling written as early as March 2007. It took this monochromatitic challenge for me to finally put my ideas on paper. For that alone, I am rewarded. I am sad though because the SMI journey of my friend Nina ends with this challenge. Nina is a creative sensitive soul and I always admire her layouts. I continue to look forward to what she will come up with next.

The next challenge has also been announced. Altering a household item. You think that's easy? Try the restrictions. It's really mind-altering. LOL. When DH heard the next challenge, he asked, baffled, "What has that got to do with scrapbooking?" What, indeed. Ahhh...the things we do for our craft.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Blog!

I started this blog the day after I joined the Pinoy Scrapbookers e-group so that I would have a venue to share my scrapbooking journey with people who would appreciate and understand. As many of you know and have experienced yourselves, not everyone is a scrapbooker, and they could never get why we are so passionate about photos, paper, and glue.

I am sure that at first, few read my blog, but as our number grew and more scrappers got their own blogs to document their own journeys, we visited each other, learned more from and about each other. Truly, blog-hopping has become such a part of my routine that my day is not complete if I didn't read about Nina's latest ATC, Nita's scrapbooking bloopers, Christine's shopping finds, Airee's Monday mosaics, Cabbie's newest creation, Au's deconstruction, Jenn's creative calisthenics...Oh, my, I never should have started this. Even if I failed to mention your name, rest assured, that if your blog is written on the blog roll at left, I never fail to read you. Never. So Leirs, I know the latest about your lost (and found) cellphone. And I didn't leave a comment because you warned me. I try as much as possible to leave comments to your blogs, as well as respond to your comments to mine because I think the blogging's best reward is that you provoked someone to pause and think. Thankfully, except for a spam message that was written in Portuguese, I have never read a negative comment on my blog. Although negative comments, especially about my layouts are most welcome. Just be warned that your blogs are free game, too. LOL.

So anyway, this past year has been a blast. I started hoarding stuff in October 2005 and I really thought I had more than enough. But as Au was telling me last night, one could never have enough scrapbooking stuff. (When will it ever end?) I finally made my first layout in June 2006. Yes, took me that long to gain courage (not confidence yet). In August 17, 2006, I joined Pinoy Scrapbookers and life (and my wallet) was never the same. I slowly gained confidence, enough to join challenges. I have had my altered photo box win me a Canon Powershot camera, but most of all I won friends. You guys are just great.

As of today, I have scrapped 42 layouts. Not much compared to most of you, I know. But considering that I didn't scrap at all for more than a year since I was gifted my first set of decorative-edged scissors and 12x12 albums, 42 is quite an achievement.

And today, I also learned that my Scrappinmoms' Idol journey continues, having made it through Round 1. My entry is called Sandwich Kiss and you can view it here. Congratulations (good news or bad news?) to all of us who made it to next round. Kudos, too, to Phylline, Pam and Marix. Your layouts are all very creative. Whoever invented the rule that three scrappers be dropped every week should be...commented for being such a brave soul. Hehehe. Kung pwede lang sana lahat tayo nasa finals... Pero parang ayoko yatang umabot dun. Di ko na kaya ang stress! Waaahhhh...

But anyway, happy birthday, The Armchair Scrapper. May you blog more, live, love, laugh and scrap more in the years to come. And dare I say, that you have successfully moved your b**t from your armchair. Hahaha.

Note: Cupcake by Sonja. Her shop is at Serendra. Been wanting to get me one of this since they opened last year. She just celebrated her first year anniversary, too.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Guess Who's on You Tube?

That's part 1, here's part 2:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Journey with Me

Yup! It's official. The non-stop "dings" and "to-toots" of my YM and cellphone confirmed yesterday that my audition layout made it to the Top 30 of the Scrappin Moms' Idol Challenge.

My first reaction was to shout, "Papa! I made it through the first round!" Then, "Oh, my, I am in very good company" as I saw the names of the other contestants. It read like (except for the judges themselves) a who's who of local scrapbooking. Familiar names, many of whom have won challenges before and some new ones who show much promise. But when I saw the next challenge, I could only mutter, "S..t. What did I get myself into?"

What, indeed.

I like joining challenges because they inspire me to make layouts that I would never have thought of making otherwise. Case in point, the Kaya! challenges. They also push me to create as soon as I have thought of them because they have deadlines. Otherwise, they would have stayed just as ideas until they are eventually pushed to the back of my mind. Sayang naman. I recently viewed my album and I realised that I have created most of them for challenges. I don't think I would have been able to fill two albums in less than a year otherwise.

I am usually always satisfied with my creations. Once I finish and I slip the finished LO into the protective sheet, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. I do not think of winning while I am making an LO. I only think of putting my ideas into paper, so to speak. It is when I have submitted my LOs to challenges that I begin to think of the possibilities of winning or losing. I guess that is human nature. Show me a person who doesn't have any expectations when s/he joins a contest and I will show you a person...who is not me. Haha. I do not stress myself out making an LO - I do not consciously set out to make a winnable LO. My LOs are personally meaningful and not just for show. But I do stress myself out when I see my LO side by side with other LOs, knowing that I have put part of me under relentless scrutiny.

My LOs have never won (notice I said LOs, not "I"), and I am disappointed. Who doesn't want to win? For a few moments I forget that I have already been rewarded. Again, it is human nature to sometimes question yourself when this happens, but I bounce back. It is in acknowledging disatisfaction that you learn to be satisfied.

This is my rather long-winded explanation on why I chose to submit an LO to the Idol challenge. (Well, aside from the fact that I respect and admire the organizers and that I want to do my part in making our small community flourish.) I know that I will be putting myself through a wringer but if it would make me test my capabilities and limits, why not? I am never one to back down from any challenge. And besides, it would ensure me at least one LO a week. I have a very supportive DH who respects my "Me" time (he even gives me days off when he knows I have a deadline to meet) and KiDS who love my scrapbooks no matter what. I have never heard them complain that I scrap too much. If anything, they complain that I don't make enough LOs about "us." Oh, Diego did complain once that I buy too much stuff but I don't use them as much. :-)

Also, as I said earlier, I am in good company. It would not be an embarassment to be eliminated amidst such very good scrapbookers. But my pride hopes I don't get eliminated early. Sana umabot man lang ng week 3. Hahaha. But this I say, if and when I am eliminated, I will continue to create LOs for the challenges. LOs that only you, dear readers, will judge. So come, journey with me.

Click here to view the layouts for the elimination round.
And this is my layout about our New Kid on the Block, Jazmane Marie. She is the daughter of our yaya of 5 years. We treat both of them as members of our family. Incidentally, today is Jazmane's first birthday.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Kaya 4 - No. 1 Fan

When you're inspired, things just seem to fall into place. This month's Kaya! is on using ephemera in a layout. As a mom of three KiDS and a DH who collects just about everything (even the instructions that come with Happy Meal toys), it should have been easy for me to find something to scrap. Wrong! I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of items that I have saved through the years. But inspiration hit me when I found this sweet note from my daughter, Sarah.

Journaling Reads:
(A conversation between Sarah and I while I am reading my scrapbook magazines and she is peeking over my shoulder):

Sarah: Mama, why are your scrapbooks not in the magazines?
Mama: Why? Do you want our scrapbooks to be in magazines?
Sarah: Yes...except the one where I was crying.
Mama: I don't thing my layouts are good enough.
Sarah: Oh, but they're very nice, Mama. Promise!

Lots of hugs and kisses ensue and my place in scrapbooking history is assured.

Materials Used:
Paper - Daisy D's; Cardstock - unknown; Ribbon - Michelle's; Stickers - Scenic Route; Stamp - Autumn Leaves; Ink - Colorbox; Distress Ink; Puncher - Paper Shapers Corner Adorner; Diecut: Cuttlebug; Pen - Uni Ball Signo white; Adhesive - UHU.

A note from Sarah where she wrote " I "heart" you Mama. You are a great scrapbook artist." (It's exactly as she gave it to me except that I inked the edges. Nobody told her to write that and there was no particular occasion. I'm just sorry that I failed to note the date.)

The Process:
This is one layout where I concentrated more on my thoughts and feelings rather than on making it good. I scrapped this mainly for me and my daughter. A reminder to myself that I do not have to put myself through unnecessary pressure and fear of relentless scrutiny to come up with a good LO. I am scrapping details of our lives and my family (and their families) wouldn't care that I didn't follow basic principles of design. I know they will smile, awashed in fond memories, when sometime in the future they will look at my scrapbooks. Our love for each other will last, everything else is ephemeral.

For my daughter Sarah, a reminder that she loves (or loved) me, the works that I create(d) and that she is my No.1 Fan.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Challenged! Part 2

As I mentioned earlier, I had bought papers for specific challenges so to silence the twinge of guilt I feel each time I look at my scrap bill, I had to make LOs. And not just any LOs. But LOs that at least have a chance of winning the challenges. Otherwise, why would I scramble to meet the deadlines when I can surely scrap much later, at my own pace and leisure?

There were three more LOs that I finished last weekend of July.


When I went to buy the Scenic Route papers and monograms in Vivian's store, I didn't have the faintest layout idea in mind. There were too many patterns and colors to choose from that I just decided that I would do a layout on my two girls. Thus, I chose the flower patterns in in rich pink/orangey colors.

In Dad's Arms

My initial title for this was "Wrapped in Dad's Embrace" but I didn't have the right diecuts or stickers. Besides, it was too long that there wouldn't have been any room. Thus, after much deliberation, I settled for "In Dad's Arms." I love this photo of my DH and the girls. It shows how comfortable they are with each other. Sarah and Kahlo truly are Papa's girls, while DH has no qualms about showing his affection in public.

We know we are safe, secure, warm, loved, treasured, so adored. Sarah, Kahlo and Papa.

Note: It was Nita's idea to use that specific PPS (the backside of the flowers) and write the journaling that way. I had initially written my journaling on a Hambly screen print but it didn't work out. It commanded too much attention away from my photo.

Materials Used:
Papers - Scenic Route (I say 'rowt', you say 'root'. Is it 'to-ma-to' or 'to-may-to'?) Charlotte, Stickers - Laurel ABCD Monogram; Flowers - Bazzill and Prima; Button - K&Co.; Rub-ons - American Crafts; Diecut - Cuttlebug; Ribbon - Divisoria; Swirls handcut by Nita Ang.

The Process:
This was the first LO I started during the past week and I finished it last Friday. I brooded over it for a while but there wasn't much else to do, so here it is. Plain and simple.

The layout below is quite especial to me. It is one of the very first LOs I worked on last year, albeit using different papers. I finished this LO at Nita's house, at a precursor of our Friday mini-EBs. She and Au helped clueless me how to start scrapbooking. It was good but I wasn't quite happy with it. And I am glad I waited to scrap this photo because when I saw these Scenic Route papers, I knew they were perfect. I know they are the "old" designs but to be honest, I like the originality of the early released SR papers.

I so love this photo of Diego beside one of his Papa's clay model for a monument in Pagsanghan. It is supposed to depict Shooting the Rapids.

Papa's Works of Arts

At this YOUNG age, you are soft and pliable like clay.
Like a SCULPTOR to his MASTERPIECE, let me...
MOULD your values and your character.
FIRE your imagination with the endless possibilities.
BOND you with love and pure affection.
CAST your spirit with courage & determination.
BUILD you a strong foundation.
You are God's work of perfection.
Papa's work in progress.

Materials Used:
Papers - Scenic Route Leonardo's Creation, ItalianScript Cream, Stripe with Patter; Stickers: Laurel Monogram ABCD; Hambly screenprint; Diecut,- Cuttlebug; Stamps - Fancy Pants Bella Brush (thanks Mia); unknown (thanks Tin); Rubons - American Crafts; Perfect Pearls pigments; metal brads.

The Process:
I wrote the journaling last year. I mulled over it for the longest time with the help of my DH. I wanted to show that the clay model and Diego are his Papa's works of arts. Thus, the title. I believe that our children are there parents' creations. So we have to be caring and loving to make sure that they grow up with strong foundations. Following that train of thought, I used the techniques that DH has to go through to make a sculpture. From clay moulding to finally putting up the sculpture on its pedestal.

For the word WORKS, I used the Aged Patina pigments for the first time. I am supposed to simulate the color and texture of bronze, I am not sure if I succeeded. I impressed the stamped images on transparency at the PS July EB and they fit perfectly here.

*Many thanks to Cabbie for uploading these LOs to the Lasting Impression gallery. Since I left the upload at the last minute, I wasn't registered in time for the gallery.


I edited this photo in Photoshop, blurring the background and making the colors more vivid. I wanted to popout the shades but there was no time for me to learn how to do it. The KiDS had just bought these visors cum shades from an ambulant vendor and I just love the goofy grins on their faces. Pure happiness over such cheap treats.

3 Shady Grins

A picnic at Rizal Park, Manila
Cheap plastic visors in shades of pink & blue
Lots of grins and laughter.

(I didn't think the layout called for lengthy journaling as the photo speaks for itself.)

Materials Used:
Paper - Tres Bien Birthday Boy stripe, Birthday Boy Circles; Tag - Mademoiselle Princess Quote; Arrows - American Crafts; Stickers - American Craft Thickers; Stamp - Autumn Leaves; Pen - Uni Ball Signo white; Ribbons, Buttons, Cardstock.

The Process:
Can you say beating the deadline? I started this LO at 2 pm last July 31. I love the MME papers so it wasn't difficult to conceptualize a simple sketch. I was in the zone, loving every minute of it when the phone rang as I was about to stamp an image (U Make Me Laugh) on my LO. I was going to test the color of the ink first to check if it contrasted enough with the cardstock. But hearing my MIL's strident voice on the line, I unwittingly stamped on my LO. The image didn't come out completely (I tried to salvage it by pressing again) but the color was all wrong! For some it would have been easy to cover it up with a Prima but I didn't have the right shades. I hastily looked through my drawers and found the flower diecuts from last May's Scrapfest. I know the Scrappin' Moms will forgive me for not using them to make my She layouts. Some ink still showed around the edges so I used ribbons.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Seven weeks no scrap. Crazy, indeed. I've been beset by ennuiand I haven't scrapped for more than seven weeks. Fifty days to be exact. It's enough to drive a scrapbooker loco. And for a scary minute back there, I actually loved not scrapping. No rush, no pressure. I was really comfortable in my rut, I could have stayed there forever.

But, the irony is, being in a rut didn't stop me from scrap shopping. (I think the guilt of spending way too much on scrap items added to it. Talk about digging myself into a deeper hole.) Even if I didn't have the drive to scrap anything, I bought materials for challenges that our local stores have been offering.

And finally, wonders of wonder, last week, with the encouragement of my DH (he actually gave me several days off from mommy duties) I finally sat down and began cutting and pasting paper. I'd like to share this feat with you. I don't want to jinx this this time, so I won't say what I said previously.


The stamping challenge over at the Pinoy Scrapbookers Challenge blog really had me stumped. But as a member of the core team, I had a commitment to submit layouts to all the challenges in a timely manner. Well, it hadn't been timely, kinda last minute actually, but I made it! It felt good to be scrapping again, not to mention to be with close scrapping friends. I finished this LO at our regular Friday mini-EB. I wasn't able to attend the mini-EBs for as long as I was unable to scrap.

Big Bad Mama

This was inspired by an article by Panjee Gonzales which Leirs posted in her blog last June 30. I totally related to what Panjee had to say about being a mother. Especially as I had to make many difficult adjustments and meet many challenges (nope - not scrapbooking related) during the last two months. It had been difficult and I questioned my capacity to always be a loving mom. Making this LO made me realize that I don't have to be super-SAHM . To my credit, when I showed this to my KiDS, they were puzzled by the title and they assured me between hugs and kisses that I am not not a bad mom. Although I distinctly heard my DH pipe up in the background, "Yup, but she's big." I decided to ignore that.

Journaling (on tags which I have had for the longest time and was happy to discover are acid-free):
Check that KiDS have healthy "baon"
Read PATECON notes re schoolwork
Remember to check homeworks
Supervise KiDS' meals
Referee quarrels/fights
Have lots of patience
Clean up/listen up
???put the KiDS up for adoption

Want to Do List
Read books for grown-ups
Computer (blog/surf)

It's not easy to be a SAHM. You are on call 24 hours a day. It is particularly hard now that my yaya decided to take a permanent vacation. I have a long list of "things to do" for my DH and 3 KiDS everyday. But sometimes I forget and the entire household runs amok. Many times I lose it. I become upset...mad. I lose my patience. I raise my voice. I turn into a bad mama. And when that happens. I don't like myself at all.

Materials Used:
Papers - Basic Grey Sublime Collection; Stamps for title - Making Memories Mixed Font foam stamps; MM acrylic paint - Espresso; Stamp on photo - Autumn Leaves "Invent Yourself It's Up To You"; Stamp on paragraph - Making Memories Magnetic Alphabet (thanks Nita for lendingf me the MM tools); unknown tags.

Paper tearing, lots of stamping. And lots of mistakes. It's not easy to stamp letters or words. Sometimes they come out baligtad. So to make sure, I stamp on scratch paper first. To illustrate, I mistook the "G" to be an "A" and stamped it on "Mama". I cut a piece of the patterned paper to cover up my mistake. I then did the same for the last letter "A", hoping against hope that it would look intentional. I still have to get the hang of stamping. But at least I tried and now I can say, Kaya!


Would you believe I was actually able to make two entries for this challenge? Let's just say I love Val's sketches. Also, I made a deal with myself that I will join all of Val's sketch challenges over at My Scrapworks. And, I was able to use 4x6 prints! I have to mention that my 8x11 photo printer ran out of ink and I didn't have money to buy the six cartridges yet so I was forced to use my HP Photosmart which only spewed out regular prints. I think it turned out well because my memories of these events needed more than one photo.

Beautiful Dancer

Sarah, oh, how you love to dance. You hear music in your head and you dance to it. Continue to dance your way into our hearts.

Materials Used:
Papers - My Mind's Eye (Wild Asparagus, Tres Jolie); Tag - My Mind's Eye Quotes; Flowers - Prima and Bazzill; Stickers - Creative Expression; Stamps - Bam Pop; Technique Tuesday; Ink - Colorbox; Button - K & Co.; Diecuts - Cuttlebug Vintage Corners; Brad - All About Scrapbooking; Chalk; ribbon and shoe embellishment from Divisoria; Software - Adobe Photoshop CS.

I was able to use both sides of only two patterned papers. (Yey for thrift!) It was also my first time to use my new Cuttlebug and I loved it. I sanded the edges of the papers, even the journaling strips. It wasn't easy and and dust (and expletives) colored the air. The violet ink was too bright for the papers so I muted it with chalk. First time to use this palette that has been in my stash forever, too.

When Did You Grow Up?

I know my eldest is no longer a baby but neither is he grown up (at least in mama's eyes) already. But I have noticed and sensed many changes in his demeanor recently. Including, his resistance to join the other children in the kiddie chairs when there are parties. He has become reticent about joining parlor games. He would rather watch from his chair beside us in the adults' area. I chose different pictures of him in past parties, the biggest one being the latest.

You used to be excited over kiddie birthday parties. Yu can't wait to join in the games. But lately, I noticed you don't want to be with the other children anymore. You hesitate to join in the games. May I remind you that you are only nine. It's OK to be a play...don't grow up too fast. Time enough for that.

Materials Used:
Papers - Daisy D's; Stickers - unknown epoxy stickers, Creative Expressions; Stamps - Technique Tuesday; Diecut - Cuttlebug Red Tag Sale.

I took my inspiration from the photos. Since Diego is wearing a plaid shirt, I chose a plaid PPS. It was serendipitous that the matching PPS had circles on it as it echoed the balloons in the photos. I retained Valerie's circles as it fit perfectly with the circular patterns. Although the photos are colorful, it was lucky that the colors complemented each other. I had fun with the bright orange accents. I didn't think to use flowers for the LO as I want it to be fun and all boy. So I cut the different colored circles from the paper and adhered them in the upper-left corner with foam and pop-up dots. Also, by this time, I had practice using the sketch for Beautiful Dancer so it was quicker. I like it's simplicity as the focus is on the photos.

I joined two more challenges and I will posting them soon. Thanks for reading cause I am defintely back!!!