Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Card Games and More

I think it's safe to say that I first learned my mathematics from the neighborhood tambayan. I used to play 41, Black Jack, and Pusoy (poker) with other kids. Although maybe I was the only one in school to say an "A" is equal to 11, and the "people" (King, Queen and Jack) are always worth "10s".

I am by no means a card shark but this penchant for card games held me in good stead when I first entered my first casino (and yes, I was carded but I assure you I was legal by then.) At least, it looked like I knew what I was doing when I played the games. However, I couldn't quite focus on the cards at hand because I was afraid to be seen by anyone I knew inside a casino. I'd keep looking around and ducking under the table each time I thought I saw someone I knew. I was embarassed to be seen there actually. And also, after a few hours, the noise, from the slot machines and other players, the piped-in music, can be too much for me to bear.

That is why, in this day and age, people appreciate that there are online casinos like that they can visit in the safety and relative quiet of their own homes -
click here to see - choices that suit the gamer in you.

Shopping Convenience

I curse the day when I discovered online shopping. Well, at least my DH curses it. I never realized it could be so easy! You just put your selected merchandise inside your shopping cart and because you do not see things physically piling up, you keep on clicking only to get the shock of your life come check-out time. The new shopping cart sofwares make this so simple for the merchandiser and the buyer. I cannot believe the ease by which I am divested of my money by ecommerce software! If all the transactions go smoothly, then I keep on coming back for more. (So, if you are a merchandiser thinking to build and online store the shopping cart software should be your top consideration). Not good for my budget. But then again, when my scrapbooking stuff finally reaches me (after months at sea), I couldn't be happier. And I feel a slight twinge of regret that I didn't click more. Hmmm...I think that would make a good scrapbook LO about my addiction to online shopping..."Just keep on clicking..."

It's History

A few years back, DH applied for a mobile phone line with Globe, and much to our surprise, he was declined. When I asked the sales representative the reason why, she informed me that DH had a negative credit rating that popped up in their system. DH couldn' think of what could be causing that and I could hardly believe it myself because in that year alone, we had been approved for a housing loan and then an auto loan with BPI, which is owned by the same conglomerate as Globe. I couldn't help but ask the sales representative, we were approved for millions for a housing loan and then another million for an auto loan, but we couldn't get an P800 peso per month phone subscription???

But it was then that reality set in that if you had a less than stellar credit history, it will be more difficult for you to get credit cards and loans. But, there are available resources that could help you still get bad credit loans. With a little research and awareness, you could compare offers that you receive and choose the best ones for your circumstances. To help you gain a bit more confidence as you get on your feet, qualified experts provide credit counselling from resources such as these.

In the end, I had to get the mobile phone subscription under my name. It's a hassle, but then since the bill is addressed to me, I can open it (without feeling like a snoop) and review the calls that he makes. :-)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Online Crop

Well, I'm sure this is nothing new to most scrappers, but I have never participated in one and I just have the vaguest idea how it works. I don't handle pressure well (understatement) so if there is a time limit to my scrapping, I don't know how I'd fare. But the good news is, I get to stay at home, with all my scrapbooking stuff within easy reach. No more packing up and deciding what to bring to a crop.

So this National Scrapbooking Day, I decided to participate to my first ever crop to be sponsored by Memorable Seasons. The members there are all very friendly and they make you feel right at home, so I have no doubt I will have a fun scrappy weekend. Do join us if you have the time and the inclination. Let's meet each other there this weekend, May 2 - 4. See yah!

Moments to Play

I finally sat down to scrap two days ago. I decided to play with the Radiant Rain shimmering mist that I got from Visual Creations. I usually do not buy stuff that I do not know how to use. But Mitch made it look so easy, and the wonderful LO she made using gold Radiant Rain did me in.

I just had to scrap this photo of Sarah and I because DH captured a rare moment when she has no sumpong. Well, she really is very sweet but there are days when my KiDS run away from me when they see me coming at them with a camera. Moments such as these. (Yup, I'm so bad I recorded such a moment and posted it in my KiDS blog. Hahaha.)

Moments Like These

The most wonderful rewards of being a mother are moments like these. No tantrums...just pure sweet lasting love.

Paper and Diecut- Daisy D's; Stamp - Prima; Ink - Tsukineko, Clearsnap, Ranger; Chipboard - Fancy Pants; Foam letters - American Crafts; Paint - Making Memories, LuminArte; Lace and rose pin - unknown; Pen - Staedtler; Thread - DMC; Adhesive - Saunders

I painted the swirl chipboards red then sprayed them with Radiant Rain. I was quite surprised that it really came out like a mist of water. I am so used to using walnut ink spray which is thick and does not spread as easy. Mitch's LO had a certain texture that you can almost touch, but I didn't get that effect. Maybe she did it by letting a first application dry and then spraying again on top of that. I will have to ask her. Anyway, the final outcome are chipboards that were way too red and goldish so I randomly dabbed white acrylic paint on the swirls. Hmmm...that's more like it. The white paint muted the red which was way too garish.

Since I liked the effect, I also sprayed on the white AC thickers. As usual, I didn't do a spot test if it would cling and just sprayed on the whole word. I'm just glad that it did dry up or that would have been bye-bye 7 letters. :-)

I must admit I like having a certain shimmer to my layouts. At first I was afraid I wouldn't find much use for this purchase. Well, I could be very wrong. Now excuse me, while I find something else to spray.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cuttlebug Embossing

What not to do when embossing with a Cuttlebug

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Should I Scrap This Photo?

I took this photo in 2000 with a fully manual camera. Notice anything unusual about it? Kindly click on photo to enlarge.

For a brief lesson in history (and why I'm saying this photo is quite unusual) visit my other blog.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cookie Monster's Dilemma

I'm taking a break from scrapbooking. I think I'm all scrapped out. So I have been surfing the net. And here's something hilarious I happened to stumble upon.

It made my day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Para sa Aking Mga Magulang

Together Forever

Journaling (Under photo):
Growing up, my parents were not my idea of a perfect couple. To my younger self, they seemed to fight alot over budgets and such mundane subjects like air-conditioning (Dad was always too hot while Mom was always cold). I understand now that I am married myself that fighting is part and parcel of a partnership. My parents may not be the ideal couple but they have a real relationship. It may not be perfect but it is solid, steady, and stands the test of time. After all, 55 years of marriage, eight children, 24 grand-children and 3 great grand-children, and they are still fighting and making up. If that is not true love, I don't know what is. (April 16, 2008)

All patterned papers and rubons - Daisy D's; metal embellishments - We R Memory Keepers; Flowers - Prima; Buttons - Autumn Leaves; Stamps - Prima; Chipboards - Craft Express; Lace - unknown; Adhesives - Saunders; Zots; Pen - Staedtler, Sakura.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Convenience Corner

I did this layout for a challenge to scrap photos of a street corner. I have always been meaning to take photos around our neighborhood. Things change so quickly nowadays. For example, in the village where I live, they are tearing down Glori's to make way for a new SM Hypermart. Our friendly neighborhood panaderia is now a Mini-Stop. I am sure, a few years from now, our neighborhood will look very different.

I am hoping therefore that this layout is just a start. It's inspired by a Becky Fleck Page Map.


After school, you four would beg me to take you to 7-11 to buy your favorite Slurpee. Ice-cold Slurpee seems to be the perfect way to beat this summer’s heat. Makes me glad that a 7-11 is conveniently located at the corner next to Lola Mama’s house.

PPS – Basic Grey, Diecuts – Basic Grey, Fancy Pants, Cuttlebug; Glitter – Prisma, Ranger; Brads – Making Memories; Adhesives – Saunders, Ranger; Stickers – Basic Grey; Pen - Staedtler

I used Glossy Accents on "Corner" to make it like epoxy stickers. When you have alot of area to cover, it's more work to use UTEE, but it will turn out cheaper. :-) I put Prisma glitter on the swirls to mute the violet a bit.

Cosmo Crickets

So, Lasting Impression had another challenge. This time to use Cosmo Cricket products - at least 3 patterned papers, journaling blocks and diecuts. So, hoping that lightning will strike twice (LOL), I used part of my Webster's Pages challenge prize to purchase the prerequisite materials. I chose stuff from the Dutch Girl collection. Nothing to lose, right? I get an LO done (in this case, two) and get 2 chances to get picked. It's like buying tickets to a raffle, except that you have to creatively work harder.


Kahlo hams it up for the camera. I remember in this photo, she tied a red ribbon (from the Red Ribbon cake box) around her waist and I couldn't get her to take it off. Well, the ribbon (not visible in this photo) did look good with the blue dress, I have to give her that. :-)

I think I used a whole small pack of Prima swirls on this LO. My first time to use them. I encountered some difficulty adhering them to the page because when I remove them from their backing, the swirls lose their shape. They are also so sticky that if you mishandled them, the blings might stick to each other. I'm sure there's an easier way of adhering this and since I still have several packs of these swirls, your advise would be most appreciated.

Journaling (written on Fabulous card):
Well, no one can ever tell me that I'm raising a fashionista. Quite the opposite, in fact. I buy most of your clothes from the sale rack (specially after I discovered scrapbooking :-)). Or wait until Ate Kayla gives you the clothes she has outgrown. No, you are as comfortable in the dresses Lola Tita sews for you as you are with Kuya Diego's old jeans and shirts. But baby, whatever you wear, you make it work. You don't care what others say (me included). You've got a style all your own. Something definitely "Kahlo" that no one can ever take away from you. And what can I say? You are simply FAB!

Cosmo Cricket - Audrey, Anna, Strip Tease PPS, Journal Card (Fabulous), photo turns diecuts. Others - Prima flowers and crystals, Autumn Leaves buttons, Tulip fabric paint; Clearsnap ink, Ranger Glossy Accents; Saunders glue; Glue Dots.

The Sweet Things in Life

Have you noticed how in scrapbooking, you are just patting yourself at the back for successfully trying something new, and when you look around, other scrapbookers have moved on to something else? What you just did is now passe! This always seems to happen to me. Hahaha. I have just gotten the hang of layering many patterned papers all over the 12x12 background and when I checked, everyone else is doing tight LOs where the photos and embellishments are tucked in a corner, or compressed in the center.

That's what I tried with this LO, and I was so impressed at myself (pats in the back) for doing it, that I forgot I was in a contest. I like this LO as it is, simple and the focus is on this sweet sweet photo, but I know it will never win. In contests, the rule is, the more, the better. More techniques, more materials (of course, atrfully put together) are more eye-catching than simple layouts like this one. Right now, I could think of other things I could've added to this stark layout but I think I'll leave it as it is.

Journaling (written on journal card):
You tell me that you felt very happy when you saw Jazmane Marie for the very first time in August 2006. You love touching, kissing, and playing with her. I guess that was to be expected because you always wanted a baby (other than yourself) in the house. You consider Jampong as part of the family like her Mama, Ate Juliet, who has taken very good care of you since you yourself were born four years ago.

Cosmo Cricket - Audrey, Anna, Strip Tease PPS, Journal Card (The Sweet Things in Life), parenthesis diecuts. Others - Fancy Pants felt,; Clearsnap and Tsukineko ink, Saunders glue; Glue Dots, Lace and butterflies (unknown)

There are alot of wonderful layouts in the gallery. And I know for certain that lightning will strike twice...thrice...more times...but not on me. Good luck to everyone.


It seemed like a good idea to use these colors when I was working on this layout. But now that I take a closer look at it, it just seems so violet-y or more precisely, red-violetey. I can't even blame this on the vertigo because I actually finished this before its onset.

To everyone who texted me, e-mailed me their concerns, left notes in the comments section of my vertigo post, I am feeling much better now. Not yet 100% balanced (my DH would day I never was) but definitely better. Thank you for your concerns and I'm sure you'd understand if I don't take any of your medical suggestions if you don't have an M.D. afer your family name.

Anyway, here is the layout I was talking about. It's a layout acknowledging this phase in my life, a phase I never thought I'd find myself in. I never even knew there was such an acronym as SAHM. I knew DINKS (double income no kids) but I wasn't that for long. Now, I am SAHM.

I have worked all my life. Even when the children came, I continued to hold a job. I was afraid I would lose who I was, all that I studied and worked for, if I stopped working. I successfully balanced a career and a family. I was happy.

About two years ago, the foundation I worked for closed down. I was at a loss. My job defined such an integral part of me. I rushed to find another job. It was difficult to find a job that was comparable to my last one. I was getting desperate. I felt that everyday I wasn’t working I was losing a part of me.

Then my husband told me to enjoy my “forced” vacation. To consider myself lucky to be out of the rat race. The kids were growing up, he said. Way too fast. He told me to enjoy these precious moments with them because soon they will be living their own lives. And I was calmed and I felt blessed.

So now I stay at home and take care of my little family. My friends and colleagues cannot believe I traded a career for motherhood. All they see are the wasted opportunities. But I am happy. I may have lost a job but I found my joy. I am SAHM. SAHM I am. (April 1, 2008)

CS- DCWV; PPS - Prima; Diecuts - Craft Express; Stamps (crown, nightingale, flower) - Inque Boutique; Ink - Clearsnap, Tsukineko; Watercolor - Twinkling H20s; Adhesive - Saunders; Fiber - Making Memories; Font - Times New Roman.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Attack of The Vertigo

So last Monday, after an extremely interesting visit to the Carmelites, a delicious lunch, and a restful sleep, I struggled to my feet and wobbled on to the bathroom. There was nothing unusual there as I am admittedly not a morning person and waking up early is a constant struggle with my Mama-conscience and my DH. I did feel I was wobblier than usual though but I chalked it off to me rushing to the bathroom, my feet barely touching the floor.

When I got out, however, I fell inside the closet, much to my DH's amusement. He thought I was joking around. Lucky for me I fell on a stack of clothes. I pulled myself out, only to fall again, this time on the floor. This time, DH was not laughing.

When I say fall, I do not mean swaying gracefully on my feet and then slowly falling to the floor. I wasn't even dizzy or anything. It was more like, me moving my head and falling down, without my brain even comprehending that I was falling until I actually hit the floor. It was like having the rug pulled out from under me. I couldn't even hold out my hand to break my fall, simply because, my brain didn't process that tiny important detail.

I was scared...this has never happened to me before. DH advised me to lie down and not move around so much. A few hours later, I received a text from Nita excitedly telling me that "It's a holiday today so we can scrap to our heart's delight." I texted her back to tell her that I couldn't scrap because I seem to have lost my balance. She asked me what my symptoms were and she confidently declared I had vertigo. She also gave me the name of a medicine I should take. I believed her because she said she had the same symptoms before and this medicine helped her. She told me about this wonder drug twice. "Zyrtec lang yan!"

Since DH was not around and I wanted relief from the falling sensation, I asked our driver to buy me the lowest dose of the medicine. Nita said in about 20 minutes the medicine will work. It didn't, but I did fall asleep, providing some modicum of relief.

When I woke up, I was still feeling wobbly, but at least I wasn't falling all over the place anymore. It was only bad when I looked up or down suddenly. This lasted the whole week. Yesterday, I finally ventured out with the KiDS and I felt nauseous in the car. I am still not feeling that well right now and blogging is quite a strain. So pardon me if I'm just going round and round, blame it on the vertigo.

And here's a funny thing. I was chatting with Au and she told me I should take Serc. I said Nita advised me to take Zyrtec. Au replied, Zyrtec is for hives, Serc is anti-vertigo. Suddenly, I heard DH's doomsday voice in my head, "Sigurado ka ba sa gamot na yan, doctor ba siya?" while I explained in a small voice, "Sanay na siya sa gamot. I trust her."

Yeah, right. Trust someone who can't tell Basic Grey from My Mind's Eye. Someone who has admitted to not knowing her scrapbooking brands. Who knew that extended to medicines? It turns out that Zyrtec is indeed for hives and Serc is the right pill. Nita apologised to me profusely because they "sounded alike." Well, she was only being helpful...and she did promise me she will never recommend medicine to anyone again. (Peace, Nita.) And I will never take prescription from a non-MD again. I should've known better.

Well, at least that day, I was assured I wasn't getting hives.

Acts of Kindness

Well, I confirmed recently that acts of kindness do not always have to be random. They don't have to be just a freebie that you give away to posters in your blog. It's not just the smile you give to a stranger as you go malling. Yes, acts of kindness can be deliberate. And while random acts of kindness are all well and good and what we need in this crazy world of ours, deliberate acts of kindness are even more important. Why? Because they are conscious efforts to make this world a better place. And we do them with our hearts and souls.

I know it's late, but I would again like to thank everyone who participated in the fundraiser for the benefit of the Carmelite nuns of Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac. With your deliberate acts of kindness, we raised almost P45,000. This amount, and the beautiful cards that you made were turned over to Sr. Teresa last April 6. Candy, Jenn, and I went to visit them at their monastery in Tarlac. You can read about Jenn's account in her blog.

The money we raised was initially intended to help fund the nuns' unfinished chapel, but when we arrived there, we saw that there is still alot of work to be done. Here are some photos of the chapel which is being worked on sporadically, depending on the inflow of funds.

The money we raised is but a drop in the bucket compared to the amount they still need. Their estimate is around P2M. (Any more philanthropists out there?) Thus, they requested, and we agreed, that they use the money we turned over to finish up their reflectory. And what do you know, it's just the exact amount they need.

During our visit, we were also able to discuss some fundraising strategies with Sr. Teresa. They are going to use the cards you made to write to individuals who would be willing to donate to their community. But, since they are cloistered in their monastery, except from their relatives and friends, they do not know that many people. Thus, IF YOU KNOW PEOPLE WHO WOULD LIKE TO HELP, KINDLY EMAIL ME THEIR NAMES AND ADDRESSES SO WE CAN SEND THEM A CARD. Rest assured that their names will be kept confidential and their donations will be duly acknowledged by the nuns in writing and in prayer.

When they saw the beautiful and extremely creative cards you made, they were awed and impressed. It was gratifying to see them ogling, and caressing the cards. They were so child-like and sincere in their praises that I, who is not a cardmaker, almost rushed home to make them more cards. :-)

They also saw my scrapbook and immediately, they asked us if we could teach them how to make cards and scrapbook layouts. The cards, so they can sell them, and scrapbooking, so they can make their history book creatively. We said yes, of course, as deliberate acts of kindness don't just end with one act.

Thus, a request for more assistance:
1) If you would like to volunteer to teach cardmaking and scrapbooking, please coordinate with us at the PS group.
2) Donate scrapbooking stuff that you do not use or need anymore, anything to get them started. If you are spring-cleaning and you cannot sell all your items, they will surely serve a good purpose in the nuns' hands.
3) Cash donations are still welcome, you can e-mail me and I can give you their bank account number where you can deposit.

Thank you very much. God bless you!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

In the Map

Since yesterday this silly little ditty has been running through my head. "I'm the map...I'm the map...I'm the map." Okey I know that wasn't really helpful but readers with toddlers should be able to recognise that as the Map song in Dora the Explorer. Talk about LSS. And I'm talking about "last song syndrome" not "local scrapbook store." (Wink.)

So which particular map am I talking about? Why, Page Maps, of course.

Late last December 2007, on a whim, I sent Becky Fleck an e-mail saying I would like to contribute an LO to her site. Becky keeps all the names of "applicants" in a jar and she randomly draws names to choose contributors. Knowing her newsletter is very popular, especially since she has a new book coming out, I prepared myself for a long wait. I was pleasantly surprised (and sufficiently rattled) when on February 20, I received an email from Becky asking me to contribute to the April newsletter. What a wonderful opportunity to work on a fresh, never before seen Page Map.

I have been a follower of Page Maps since Nita introduced me to it. But it wasn't until recently that I fully utilised the easy to follow sketches. I love that it cuts my scrapping time by helping me choose and print the right size photos for my layouts. While some people might think it removes the originality and creativity from scrapbooking, I assure you, it doesn't. You still have to choose your photos, write your journaling and match your papers, which I believe are the very heart of scrapbooking. I scrap to preserve my memories. I do not have to reinvent the wheel each time so I appreciate any outside help I can get.

This month, I am lucky to be featured in the April Page Maps with other very talented scrappers and Pinay scrappers Khei and Mich.

Here is my LO which has me singing..."If there's a place you want to go, I'm the one you need to know, I'm the map...."


I have scrapped this photo before and while I love the original layout I feel it didn't quite tell the whole story of Sarah's first day at school. The Map provides room for more photos and lengthier journaling so it was perfect.

While you may look vulnerable and uncertain in this photo, you were actually excited to be going to school for the first time. You saw how much your Kuya Diego enjoyed school so you couldn't wait to find out what wonders awaited you, too. With Teacher Ana looking out after you, you settled right in. I knew I didn't have to worry. But can you blame me if I felt a little bit anxious? At only 2 years old you were just a baby! But there you were - bravely and happily exploring a brand new world called Nursery. Without me. - Mama (3/22/08)

P.S. You are 8 years old today. Just about to finish the second grade. And you still love going to school. But I know now, wherever you may be going, I am always with you.

Materials Used:
PPS - DCWV, Making Memories; Diecuts - Craft Express, Fancy Pants, American Crafts, We R Memory Keepers; Ribbons - Unknown; Stickers - Provo Craft, K & Co.; Paint - Making Memories; Template - Coluzzle; Pen - Staedtler; Adhesive - Saunders; Paper clip.

This was in the Page Maps April Newsletter. Does this mean I'm "published" now? :-)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Read This Now!

Kaya 12 - "Read This When..." is up! Please visit the Kayang-Kaya Kaya challenge blog for more details. Please do join. I would love to read your letters. (Voyeur ba? Hehehe.)

Here is my sample layout. You can read my letter here.

I am loving these Basic Grey papers. They are so yummy!