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.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Altered Perceptions

Well, the past week was a week for "egg" jokes in our house as I made my entry to Round 3 - Alter It of SMI. As I mentioned before, I am not really into altering. I still think my winning the Altered Photo Box Challenge last Scrapfest was a fluke. So this round is really a challenge for me.

The first thing I did was to walk around the house from the third floor down looking for an item to alter and repurpose. I ended my occular inspection in my pantry where I eyed my baking equipment with evil intent. Practicality won over, however, so my Wilton cookie sheets and muffin tins remain safe. I decided to alter and repurpose, instead, an egg carton, including the empty eggshells to make "Eggs-tatic." I'd hardly call the process of creating it eggs-hilirating. More like eggs-asperating. I felt that I would eggs-pire anytime. And most of all, I really felt that my being an Idol contestant would not be eggs-tended. See what I mean about the egg jokes? Eggs-cellent!!! LOL.

This particular round opened my eyes to many things.

First, it confirmed to me what I have always known. That the Pinay scrappers are remarkably talented. And we ain't seen nothing yet.

Second, that this is no regular challenge. It doesn't let up. One minute you're celebrating the fact that you made it through and the next, you are murmuring expletives as you read through the rules of the next challenge.

Third, many people take this seriously. Man, those are serious work in the galleries. This has gone beyond, "I joined so I am forced to make at least one LO a week." Who am I kidding? If that was all there was to it, any LO I come up with should suffice. Instead, I come up with an idea, and then I try to second guess the other challengers. Not necessarily to top them but to at least ensure that my entry would hold its own.

Fourth, as David Hume said, "Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them." Or more prosaically, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I do not envy the judges as they review each and every entry. It is a daunting task. But in this contest, three contestants are dropped every week and one project is Pick of the Week. If you think your work should be pick of the week or that you really deserve to still be in the running, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Don't let anyone question your faith and belief in yourself. It doesn't mean that you and/or your work are not good enough. It's just the rules of this particular game. (I tell myself these many times as frail human that I am, I have massive attacks of insecurities.)

At this point, I do not know what the fates or the judges have in store for me so let me now post this -

because next week, my photo might no longer be in the contestants roster and except for my creations in the galleries, it would be like I was never part of this.