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.