Saturday, May 31, 2008

May Recap

This month, I managed to squeeze in 7 layouts! I feel I could have done more, but it was also a busy time with the children and returning back to work after almost two years.

I missed Scrapfest 5 - every Pinay scrappers most talked about event, but that's okey cause I got to spend that time bonding with the KiDS at Manila Ocean Park.

We fulfilled a promise to the Carmelite nuns to teach them to scrap and make cards. Thanks to Candy and Nita, without whom this would not have happened at all. And we can never be grateful enough to all you scrappers who shared your creativity in making cards, and cash and kind donations.

I started working for a small US-based communications group about two weeks ago. My official title is Senior Writer/Project Manager, but really, I'm still trying to figure out how I fit in the organization. What I love about this job is I get to work at home, with only my computer, a trusty internet connection, and Skype. No commuting and all the hassles (traffic, rushing, being late) and expenses (transportation fees, lunches out, power dressing) that it entails. I can literally work in my pajamas, without having to shower or brush my teeth first. Hehe.

Last week, I attended a 3-day workshop on fund raising (not related to the job above). Since we started helping the Carmelites raise money for their chapel, I have been kicking myself for not taking advantage of all the fund raising training that I was invited to in my former job. I kept thinking I could be more help if I had more background on that subject. But God works in mysterious ways because just a week after we turned over the funds to the nuns, I received an email from Venture regarding a fund raising course. I was quite surprised because I have had no contact with them since I stopped working. But I took a deep breath and e-mailed them that yes, I am interested to attend their course, but I cannot afford to pay the P8000 course fee, but if they like, I could offer my services to for future workshops. Amazingly, they said yes, and that's where I've been the past week, exchanging ideas with development NGOs like World Vision, Philippine National Red Cross, etc. It was really stimulating and it made me realize how much I miss my old job. Like I told the organizers after the three days, that was the most fun I had in two years (scrapbooking not included). Hopefully, I can help the Carmelites more fully with the strategies I learned.

Scary moments with Sarah yesterday as she has been running a high fever the past few days. Rashes appeared on her stomach so we brought her to the hospital. Thankfully, her platelet count was normal so we went home with antibiotics and antihistamine. However, when I was feeding her dinner, her nose bled, so we went to the ER again, and demanded another CBC. Her platelet count dropped but still within normal range so we were told to go home again. I am still closely monitoring her, praying that it's not the dreaded dengue.

This morning, I left Sarah with DH to bring Kahlo and Diego to the premiere of Prince Caspian in Glorietta. I wanted to beg off but I couldn't bear to disappoint them. We got free tickets from Sky Cable again. The organizers served delicious meals from Kitaro, Sugar House, Fish & Co. and Krispy Kreme. And Diego won a box set of the Chronicles of Narnia for answering "Who is Lucy's first friend in Narnia?" correctly. He's been begging us the past few days for the next book in the series. He already has books 1 - 4, and now he has all 7. For free!

And last, but not the least, I was featured as Scrapbukan's GDT.

So now I leave this month with an LO I haven't had a chance to post. This is based on another Page Map again.


Journaling:
You had so much fun at a field trip to La Mesa Ecopark. Being so close to nature brought out the best in you both. You laughed, you ran, you played, you had so much fun. If only all days could be like this one. (April 26, 2008)

Materials:
DCWV CS; My Mind's Eye PPS and Diecuts; Clearsnap inkpad; Radiant Rain Shimmering Mist; Ranger Stickles; Ribbon (unknown); Saunders adhesive; Staetdler Pen.

I hope I continue to be as productive in the coming months.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Scrapbukan Guest DT

What can you do with these yummy papers, ribbons and journaling stickers?


Visit Scrapbukan here and here to find out.

Thank you, Sahrie, for this wonderful opportunity.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Three This Weekend

The past week, I experienced withdrawal symptoms, as I focused all my energies on learning the ropes in my new job. I have been so used to scrapbooking whenever the whim strikes me, of course, after making sure that the KiDS have been fed and are safely ensconced in front of the TV or the Playstation. (Hey, it's summer vacation, they will be back to "no TV/Playstation during schooldays" soon enough.) It didn't help that my office is also my scraproom. So while I tried to concentrate on learning a new software and editing texts, I can hear my scrap supplies alternately screaming and whispering "you know you want to scrap." But I had to impose some discipline on myself or I would never get anything done so I purposely ignored those insidious voices.

So that being said, I planned to work over the weekend, too, to catch up as I will be officially out of the house, errr...the office in the next three days. However, DH reminded me that I have to discipline myself, too, about work-life balance. So work is from Mondays to Fridays. Me-time and family time is Saturdays and Sundays. So in short, I got me some scrappy time last Saturday.

SURPRISE GIFT

This is my entry to Scrapperie's second chance contest. If you would recall, I was eliminated with the card, but the site owner has a continuing contests for those who are eliminated. Since I was looking for scrapping layouts with subjects or materials that I wouldn't think of doing otherwise, I decided to continue on.

The Round 3 challenge was to scrap any inanimate object.


Journaling:
It's amazing how you can be friends with someone you've never met. I met Marj online less than a year ago and it feels like we've been friends forever. She encourages me and inspires me. She is sweet and generous. Her friendship is truly a gift.

Materials:
Cardstock - Debbie Mumm; Patterned Paper - My Mind's Eye; Rubons - Autumn Leaves; Ribbon - Queen and Co.; Flower - Prima; Stamp - Clearsnap; Diecuts with Glitter - K and Co.; Pen - Uniball Signo; Adhesives - Glue dots; Saunders; Button - unknown.

This is a photo of scrapbooking stuff my online friend, Marj, gave me. I treasure these as much as I treasure her friendship.

Life Happens

This layout is entry to Nina's Kaya Challenge this month. You can read all the details here.


Look-Alike

And this one is of Sarah and DH, goofing around in Serendra. At first glance, people would always say Sarah takes after me - we both have the same fair complexion and same eyes. But if you really look closer, she is more her father than I. This is based on a Page Map.

Journaling:
I always tell the two of you that you look alike but neither of you would believe me. Sure, Sarah is fairer than Papa, but if you look beyond that you will see that you share the same mouth - have exactly the same pout. You share the same profile - almost. Sarah, you are a more feminine, softer version of your Papa. I think if you look past Sarah's being "chinita", no one will ever take Papa for a kidnapper again.

Materials:
CS - Debbie Mumm; PPS - My Mind's Eye; Stamps - Autumn Leaves; Ink - Clearsnap; Embossing Ppwder - Ranger; Puncher - EK Success; Diecuts - Bazzill, We R Memory Makers; Stickers - Pebbles Inc.; Foam - Darice; Brads - Making Memories; Adhesives - Saunders; Pen - Uni Ball.

I think I should make a follow-up LO about the time DH was mistaken for a kidnapper. Sarah was only less than 2 years old then, and she was throwing tantrums in the mall. I was in the other aisle, and when her Papa picked her up, she started wriggling and screaming. Now that was the time when kidnappings inside malls was a regular occurence. The security guard approached DH and asked him, "Sir, may problema ba dito?" (Is there a problem here?) We were surprised because guards usually ignored what must be normal incidents in a toy store. But look at it from the guard's point of view. DH is not the most nappy dresser, and often times he goes out wearing a tubao (scarf) over his head, and pants and t-shirts splattered with paint. My DH can be a dugyut (this word refuses to be translated) sometimes. And then there's this Chinese-looking kid trying to escape from his grasp. With his long hair and dark complexion, I don't blame the guard for profiling him as a bad element. LOL.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Scrapbook Page Maps

I have known about Page Maps since I started scrapbooking but it wasnt't until recently that I started fully utilizing them. It was an amalgamation of many things, including the fact that the sketches now tell you the size of the photos needed. No more guesswork! No more taking out my magnifying glass and ruler, trying to convert the small sketch into 12x12 scale. There was also the realization on my part that if I wanted to make a dent on my scrapbooking backlog, I will have to make more multi-photo layouts. And I do not want to waste my time trying to determine photo size, placement, etc., when I can have the experts do that for me. I'd rather be playing with my paper and tools than just moving things around endlessly, hoping that things will fall into place...eventually.

One might ask, why would I need to buy Becky Fleck's Page Maps book, when I can go to www.pagemaps.com for her sketches or just wait for her regular column at Memory Makers? Why indeed?

Well, for starters, the book includes 60 never-before seen sketches. It is also unlikely these sketches will be used in the website or in the magazine. So the only chance you have of seeing these sketches is if you get the book. Second, you don't have to waste ink printing out the sketches and accompanying sample layouts, they're all here for you in a durable ring-bound book that you can lay flat on your table as you scrap. No more worrying that your book binding might fall apart. Or putting your cell phone on a page so you won't lose your place. And third, you get more inspiration from the many amazing layouts, and tips and techniques included in the book.

Becky Fleck explains her, and her guest artists' approach to the sketches, which you cannot find in the website. She gives tips on how to make the sketch your own. Also scattered throughout the book are step-by-step instructions on how some techniques were used in the layouts. The layouts also want me to bring out my scrapbooking tools and start scrapping, right here, right now.

One thing I look for when I buy scrapbooking books - do the layouts call to me to scraplift them in part or in full? (Might just be a technique, an accent, etc.) I know that some scrapbooking purists don't think highly of scraplifting or basing their layouts on sketches. Maybe, they just do not understand it's value. In fact, when my DH bought the book for me, he texted me to make sure it was the book I wanted. Bakit daw puro diagram ang laman ng libro. Well, I said, those diagrams make my scrapbooking life easier. And contrary to purist belief, they jumpstart my creativity instead of stifling them. Following a sketch doesn't mean being boxed in.

For instance, there are 60 sketches in the book. But there are 140 layouts by amazing artists. 60 sketches = 140 layouts. And no layout exactly or even remotely alike. The math doesn't seem right, does it? Well, it only proves the versality of sketches. A single sketch can be interpreted many ways, depending on how you use it. You can flip it, rotate it, keep it as is, change the elements as you see fit. You can convert a 12x12 into an 8 1/2 by 11, or even a spread into just one page. The sketch may have been provided for you but you, the scrapbooker still has to decide on which photos, papers, embellishments, etc., to use. You still have to make sure everything goes well together, and that is where the fun lies.

If you are not still convinced, the book also includes a set of travel-sized cards that you can easily bring to scrapping sessions. You do not have to bring the book, unless you want to show off to your friends that you have the latest Becky Fleck.

Scrapbook Page Maps: Sketches for Creative Layouts
Author: Becky Fleck, 2008
Publisher: Memory Makers Books
MSRP: $24.99

Workshop with the Carmelite Sisters

Sunday morning (May 18), Candy, Nita and I went to Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac, to fulfill a promise to the Carmelites that we were going to teach them the rudiments of scrapbooking and cardmaking. Unfortunately, the other members of the volunteer team couldn't be with us due to prior commitments. We were worried about the weather at first because of the storms but when I texted Sister Teresa in the morning, she said there was no trace of the storm in their area. It was clear skies and promised to be a beautiful day.

And a beautiful day it was. While it was rainy in Manila, as soon as we were on the expressway going to the north, we were met with blue skies. It was a pleasant trip with Candy driving and Nita and I giving her (mis)directions. Wink-wink.

When Candy opened the back of her van to unload the scrapbooking materials that were donated by very generous scrapbookers from Manila, I was speechless. The van was filled with boxes and bags of materials. Even the sisters were amazed. They couldn't believe that all these stuff came from a group of people who met online and share a common passion for scrapbooking. Again, many thanks to everyone who gave their time, money, books, magazines and materials for this cause. I will not mention names anymore lest I forget anyone. There are so many of you and may your tribe increase a hundred-fold.

Anyway, we used their small chapel as our scrap area. When we opened some of the bags, we saw unassembled kits (perhaps from previous scrap activities) that were perfect for giving the ten sisters a hands-on workshop. Nita conducted an impromptu workshop using these kits. She really is a good teacher because she selflessly shares everything she knows about scrapbooking. The sisters, on the other hand, listened intently to her every word, and followed her instructions with excitement.

While Nita was busy with her session, Candy and I put some semblance of order into the many materials we received. We tried to sort everything out, and with each unpacking of a bag or a box, we would exclaim, "ang ganda nito!" Good thing I just recently had much practice organizing my scrap stuff so I was still in organizing mode. In the end, we had at least two boxes of patterned paper and cardstock, several envelopes of scraps, dozens of scissors, regular and decorative, acrylic and rubber stamps that would make you drool, inkpads, embellishments, stickers, brads, flowers... I must confess, I never had this much stuff when I was starting out.

We had a simple but delicious lunch of fried chicken, pasta, salad and bagoong with two of the lay persons. I don't think the nuns are allowed to share a meal with us. After their chores and their prayers, we continued with our workshop, this time with Candy showing them how to make a simple layout. We would all have wanted to stay longer, but the nuns had to have their Sunday mass, and we also have a long trip back to Manila. So bitin! The sisters invited us to come again, and hopefully next time, there will be more of us who will share the art and love of scrapbooking and cardmaking with the Carmelites.

And oh, of course, coming home, we had to stop and have dinner at my favorite restaurant in Angeles City. Just scrumptious - the perfect ending to a perfect day.

P.S. - If you have 12x12 albums that you can spare, the sisters will certainly appreciate such donations, for the community history as well as for their own personal scrapbooks. Please contact any of us in Pinoy Scrapbookers. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Own Scrapfest 5

I missed one of the most awaited scrapbooking events of the year. Most of my friends went but I have many other things going on in my life right now that something had to give. So I decided not to attend Scrapfest 5. I think this and the very first Scrapfest are the only two that I've missed.

Instead, I had fun exploring the Manila Ocean Park with the KiDS. It was a great bonding time for us. We got four tickets for free. Thanks to Diego's quick eye. He caught the advertisement on TV last Friday that SkyCable was giving away free tickets to the first 75 callers. We were number 72 and I had to pick up the tickets that same day but it was all worth it. We were quite lucky as the tour was very organized - we had our own guide and there was a short program where prizes and snacks were given away by the organizers.

Still, I had a feeling I was missing out on some fun and excitement of the adult kind, so when I got home I decided to play with the stuff DH brought home for me. I pretended I had my own Scrapfest. We even had chicken (not Max's) for lunch.

Here are some of the stuff DH got me:

DH always goes to bookstores so I made sure that he got me Becky Fleck's Page Maps at Barnes and Noble. He also brought home my subscription copies of scrapbooking magazines that was addressed to my friend there. Early for once.

Some Colorbok and DCWV chipboard packs that are not on my list but are certainly appreciated. They were on sale so he got them.

Cardstocks for every season. And a Ki Memories kit. A scrapper can never have enough cardstock.


The Fiskar's circle punch and the controversial circle cutter. And an unexpected surprise - a Darice melting pot ! He said he got me the thing so that I can have my hands free while scrapping. So I won't have to hold a glue stick, I just have to simply dip any item that I have to adhere in the melting pot. So thoughtful, eh? I like those alphabet stamps, too.


He bought this discounted goodie bag from Joann's. Ssshhh...don't tell him it wasn't really a great buy. Some of the stickers were about fall, winter and snow tubing. And there were mini-envelopes in colors I can't use. But I didn't want to hurt his feelings cause he thought he got a bargain so I just oohed and aahhed.


And these are my prizes from A Peek Into Yesterday. They almost didn't make it home with DH because I gave Peek the wrong address. I assumed the family friends DH stayed with still lived in the same place. Good thing the package was forwarded to the post office and the family friend's son just happened to work there. I have to credit Pat, the owner of Peek, for being very patient with me as I tracked down my order.


And last, but not the least, yes, I did manage to sneak in some purchases from Joann.com at least a month before DH's trip. I addressed them to the same friend who receives my magazines for me. I couldn't resist the Heidi Swapp chipboards which were on sale then for less than $2.00.

Oh, happy day!

Monday, May 19, 2008

So Not a Cardmaker

When I woke up this morning, one of the first things I did was to check The Gauntlet's Card Challenge results. I was eliminated. Boo-hoo.

Well, it shouldn't have surprised me really. As I have said previously, I do not make cards. This is only the second card I've made as a scrapper. (Kaya's December Christmas card challenge was the first.) And this was a rush card, too. The deadline was May 17, midnight, CST. So Saturday at around 11:30 pm, after a tiring day at the Manila Ocean Park and a relaxing but lengthy dinner with old friends, I had to conceptualize and execute a card. I finished it in around 2 hours in between preparing my stuff for the Carmelites' workshop for Sunday.

Here's what my card-challenged self came up with.


Materials and techniques:
Prima paper cut into heart shape. Added Prisma glitter to some patterns on the paper. Inked edges with Clearsnap ink for definition. Adhere Prisma die cut with foam tape for dimension. Heat emboss Heidi Swapp stamp using Versamark and Ranger embossing powder. Cut out and adhere with foam tape. Mount whole heart on red fabric and lace.

I felt quite good when I finished it - hey, I made a card! But I guess it wasn't as good as the cards made by other participants in Scrapperie. Let's just say my gauntlet bit the dust but my knightly honor is intact. :-)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Me and My Mom

This is a layout I made for my Mommy in honor of Mothers' Day. I used only one patterned paper for this. I think layering would've been a bit much as extra paper, even if plain would have distracted from my photos. The simple elegance of the paper was just perfect.

The photo on the right is over-exposed. I tried to fix it in Photoshop but it didn't help much. But Mommy and I have so few photos together, this will have to do. For now.

I also experimented with microbeads (see photo corners). I saw it in a magazine and it looked really cool. I might have overdone the glue though as I used up more than half the tube of beads. I think it was meant to be used sparingly. So now I have to deal with these huge clumps of beads in my photos. And I have to practice making really swirly flourishes for next time. Cookie makes it look so easy!

4o Years


Journaling:
You were 40 years old when you had me - the same age I am now. We've had 40 years of a loving mother-daughter relationship despite the 40 years between us. 40 years is not enough. I want more.

Materials:
PPS - My Mind's Eye; Flowers - Prima; Buttons and metal brads - unknown; Chipboards - American Craft painted with Lil Davis acrylic paint; Fancy Pants stamp; Microbeads (unknown) adhered with Ranger Glossy Accents; Pebeo Fabric Paint; Making Memories metal tag; American Craft pen; Saunders Adhesive; Clearsnap Inkpad.

I don't know, maybe life was simpler and easier then, but I couldn't fathom having a child at 40. I can't imagine having a baby now! Would you believe I have a brother who's three years younger than me? So I salute my parents, especially my Mom, for raising us, and raising us well. I could only hope to be half as good a mom (and grandmom and great-grandmom) as she is.

Tag Time

Cabbie tagged me.

Here are the rules I’m supposed to follow.

1. Link back to the person that tagged you. (Done!)
2. Post these rules on your blog. (If you're reading this then I must have done something right.)
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself. (Nothing is ever unimportant about me. Hehehe.)

a. i sent out a message to the universe that i'm ready to work again and the universe is responding. (sweet!)
b. instead of attending scrapfest 5, i'm bringing my kids to manila ocean park tomorrow. on free tickets. (yeah!)
c. it's 10 pm and i haven't had dinner yet (not cool!)
d. dh got upset with me this afternoon. (not my fault!)
e. i missed most of this season's American Idol (and i survived)
f. i think these tags were invented by people who need back links to their blogs (LOL!)

4. Tag six people at the end of your entry. Next...

I am tagging Jenn, CH, Nita, Marissa, Cosette and Issa.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

DH's Home

Christmas in the summer. Well, that's what it felt like when DH arrived home last Monday night. He brought home two balikbayan boxes full of toys (yes, scrapbooking and otherwise). The KiDS had a marvelous time diving into the boxes and surfacing with one toy or another. I dove in with them, too, lest they crumple my scrapbooking papers that I knew would be there, of course. I felt kinda guilty when I saw that most of the stuff were for us, but that quickly passed. Hehehe.

If you have been following this blog, you would know that I sent DH out on a mission. A mission to infiltrate all the Michaels' and Joann's stores in San Fernando Valley. You'd think that armed with photographs and descriptions, this would have been an easy task, but nooo.... Let me tell you why, and I assure you, it's not for his lack of trying.

1) The aforementioned scrapbooking stores don't necessarily have the same stock that you see in their online stores. In fact, I would guess that they have more stuff online. I should've taken the suggestion of a fellow scrapbooker and just ordered online and addressed it to where DH was going to stay. Unfortunately, DH was in the US for a very short time only and I was worried the shipment would not reach him before he had to leave.

2) Different branches have different stocks, and have different items on sale. If I were to believe DH, he visited around 4 Joann's and 1 Michaels. He said Michaels items were more expensive than Joann's.

3) Not all the sales personnel know what they are selling. "If it's not in the racks, we don't have it." So, DH had to manually search for the items on my list. Kawawa naman siya, dinugo daw ang ilong niya sa Joann's Superstore. I though he was being sarcastic but our friend, Uncle Johnny told me on YM that it really happened. Hmmmm....must find really nice way to say thank you to DH then. :-)

He didn't get me all the items on my list, but he got me more than enough (must...say...thank you...in a very nice way.) He got me DCWV cardstocks which were on sale. A scrapper can never have enough cardstock. The horizontal paper organizers he got me didn't turn out so bad, although I think I will use them to store the discounted embellishments he got me. And oh, he did manage to get me the Fiskars punchers I asked him to buy. Although I am still not sure what I would do with the Fiskar's circle cutter.

I will try to post photos later, but in the meantime, with all he brought home for me, I feel it's almost okay that I am missing Scrapfest next week. Almost...not quite. Hehehe.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Taking Up the Gauntlet

I have to make a confession. I used to read a lot of historical romance novels. Some of my favorite authors were Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey and Jude Devereaux. There was just something about the past - dashing knights in armor, ladies wearing cones (some fashion statement, eh?) on their head - that appealed to me.

So when Scrapperie issued a challenge called The Gauntlet, I just couldn't resist. In medieval-speak, a gauntlet is a glove worn by knights, and if they want to challenge another knight, they remove their glove and throw it down on the dusty arena. Thus, the expression, throwing down the gauntlet. If the challenge is accepted then the challenged takes up the gauntlet. And then the fighting for the fair maiden or for honor begins. Sometimes to the death.

I couldn't help but smile at the visions in my head of scrapbookers throwing their scissors or adhesives on a dusty floor to take on Scrapperie's progressive 7-round challenge. And much as I don't like progressive challenges (seriously, I don't think I can take any more pressure after Scrappin' Moms Idol), I just had to join this one.

So let the battle to the death, err...to the finish begin. I hope it doesn't get bloody. Don't point your scissors at me. :-)

Round 1 - An LO that tells a little bit about you, what makes you happy, sad, complete, whole, what you do when you're down or bored or when you just need time to think. Must not be of you being a wife or mom and must include real journaling (i.e., not just words like "scrapbooker", "friend", etc.)

And here's my take. I knew I'd make an LO about this as soon as I read the requirements.

DESSERT COMES FIRST



Journaling:
I believe that dessert should be served first at every meal. Cakes, ice cream, chocolates - anything sweet makes my day. Whether sad, happy, angry, everything is better with these yummy goodies. Yes, indeed, dessert comes first!

Materials:
CS - DCWV; PPS and Rubons - Fancy Pants; Stamps - Provocraft, Studio Azul; Ink - Tsukineko, Clearsnap; Brads - Oriental Trading; Diecuts - American Crafts; Pen - Zig; Adhesive - Saunders.

I apologise for the distortions on the layout, I still have to get a hang of photographing LOs instead of scanning them.

PS - If the photos make you hungry, that cake display was taken from one of my favorite pastry shops along Tomas Morato - Fleur de Lys. I find it extremely ironic that it's right beside Vicky Bello's liposuction clinic. LOL. And that's me gobbling down Cold Rock ice cream, and of course a morsel of my favorite Frango mints. Truth be told, the most difficult thing for me was not choosing papers but choosing which food photo to use. I have so many of them and each one brought back wonderful memories of delicious scents and tastes and being fully sated. Yummy.

There was no elimination in this round, so it's all onto the "anything but round, sqaure or rectangular Card Challenge" for us. Heaven help me, because I don't do cards. Wish me luck.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day To All

I woke up this morning to this:


Kahlo put this all together using her Jenga blocks while I and her siblings slept. She even put up the card she has been making for days above it.

Here's a photo of the card. She's now experimenting with pop-ups.


This is another card from Kahlo. Note the cute drawing of me and her.


Sarah and Kahlo have been working with fabric paints, glitters and beads the whole week, much to Ate Juliet's consternation. Below is Sarah's card. A great way to use my scraps, don't you think?


I don't know yet if Diego is making me anything, but he told me earlier today not to leave my scrap room. Something's a-brewing. Will keep you posted.

I think this is the first time that DH is not with us on Mother's Day. I chatted with him a bit this morning. And in a few hours, he will be boarding a plant to come home. Woo-hoo!!! Can't wait. Kasi I miss him, di ba? (Wink).

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Scraplifting A Master

This is my entry to Studio Azul's challenge to scraplift one of Iris Uy's amazing layouts. Now that is a tall order. It is no wonder that it took me so long to finish this layout. I usually finish a layout in one sitting (note that that sitting might take the whole day). I like my LOs tucked into my album before I tuck myself in bed. This one took me almost a week to finish but I finally did it. Here's how.

1) Take a deep breath.
2) Look at Iris' layout. Let out breath in one long whooossh.
3) Take a deep breath again, this time with matching closing of eyes, so you can focus on the layout (baka kasi namamalikmata ka lang). Look at all the fine details, each technique used, each master stroke. Start palpitating. Reach for paperbag, breathe in and out, deeply and slowly.
4) Leave your computer for a few hours and do such mundane things as washing the dishes to distract you from the task at hand.
5) Return to the computer again, stare at the LO until you get eye strain.
6) You get tired and decide to take a nap. Dream of Iris' LO and wake up in sweat.
7) Go to your scrap area, choose photos and papers. You decide your scrap area needs major cleaning, so you do.
8) Procrastinate enough yet?
9) Decide that you can never out-scrap a Master and maybe the point of this entire exercise is just to have fun.
10) Make your own LO without once looking at the original lest you feel pressured.
12) After so many days, declare your layout finished, take photo and submit by e-mail.
13) You resist the temptation of placing your LO beside Iris' on the computer and instead tuck it in your album.
14) It doesn't matter. Iris' LO is firmly imprinted in your brain so you see it and yours clearly, so you can't help but compare.
15) Shout "I am not worthy!" out loud. Whew! Apologise to the neighbors for making their dogs bark and their baby cry.

So here is my humble interpretation of a Master's work. Please be gentle. :-)

All About U

Materials Used:
DCWV CS; Ki Memories PPS and epoxy stickers; Craft Express, Provo Craft, Fancy Pants Chipboards; Tulip Fabric Paint, UTEE; Radiant Rain; ribbon; ric rack, Darice foams; Saunders glue; Tsukineko

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Never Send a Man to Do a Scrapper's Job

As some of you may know, DH is now in the U.S. on official business. I thought of joining him but since he will only be there for 10 days, it isn't worth it. My airfare would be better used for buying scrapbooking stuff. And to be honest, we don't have money set aside for an unplanned trip. He is being sponsored as it is.

So I gave him a list, complete with photos, description and prices of the things I wanted him to get for me. All he has to do is go inside a Joann's or Michael's, and he will be all set. (Too bad there is no Hobby Lobby in California. I heard from Marj that the latest Basic Grey releases are 50% off! $10 for a collection pack and I can't get my hands on them. Waaahhhh....)

Since DH left, I wait for him to go online every morning and the second I see him on YM, I buzz him to ask, "what did you get for me today?" Grabe, di man lang kinumusta muna, ano?

I asked for the Fiskar's circle handheld punch. He got me a Fiskar's circle cutter. Hello? Punch? Cutter? Sabi ko, ay di ko kailangan yan (imbes magpasalamat), isoli mo! Now, even if returning or exchanging merchandise is fairly common and accepted in the U.S., DH hates it. So sabi niya, hindi akin na lang. Ako na ang gagamit. At ano naman kaya ang pag-gagamitan aber? Mag-scrapbook din siya?

He also proudly told me that he got me 12x12 paper trays (not on my list). I asked vertical or horizontal. He said horizontal, with lids. Now I don't know about you but I don't like horizontal containers for papers because you have to pull out your entire stack just to choose paper. I prefer the vertical type where I can easily flip through the pages to find what I want. So guess what I said? And guess what he said?

I guess I should be thankful I have a DH who indulges me in this hobby. See? He even thought of getting me something he thought I might like even if it wasn't on my list. But maybe I should have gone with him instead. That could have saved us more money...not...hehehe.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Following the Rules

I received feedback about the recent disqualifications at the Kaya blog. While there were those who accepted that they inadvertently missed some of the requirements there were a few who felt that some layouts should have been part of the draw still. After all, isn't Kaya about creativity and fun?

I agree that Kaya is all about being creative and having fun. However, Kaya is a challenge blog. That is, fellow scrappers challenge you to stretch your limits by issuing parameters by which those who respond to the challenge create their LOs. It is still about having fun and being creative - within the criteria set by the challenger. That might be as difficult if not more difficult than creating a layout that has no rules and no boundaries.

Someone raised the question, shouldn't we consider the scrapper's creativity in the equation? But we do consider the scrapper's creativity, only in this case, the scrapper must be creative within the limits of the challenge. I think that is more difficult to do. And we have to be fair to those who went into the extra effort of working creatively within the parameters of the challenge. That is why we call it a challenge.

I will have to confess that I found it difficult to weed out layouts that didn't comply with the requirements. As a scrapper myself, I know how much time and heart we put into our creations. I know the feeling of satisfaction that we get when we finish an LO, and then to have someone come in and say, your LO is not qualified? Man...that sucks! I also feel guilty - if we had caught the mistake sooner, maybe we could have informed them and they could have made the necessary adjustments and revisions before the deadline. But we also have to live our lives and we do not always catch these details immediately. And then I got to thinking, shouldn't it also be the scrapper's responsibility to read and understand all the rules?

The Filipino scrapbooker is very talented and creative. Many of us join international challenges and competitions and win. We have our own MM Master right here. Do you think they got their laurels because they didn't follow the rules of the game? Think Kristina Contes, a very talented scrapper who was removed from the CK Hall of Fame because she didn't comply with one rule. She supposedly claims that she didn't read all the requirements.

I'd like to believe that through challenges like Kaya, we are helping train scrapbookers to be mindful of the rules. I am reminded of the Scrappin' Moms Idol challenge, wherein we were always reminded to follow the rules lest we be disqualified from the competition. We all took that to heart so much that to be sure we were doing the right things, we bombarded the message boards with questions. The Idol competition trained me to read, understand, and ask questions.

So let's do it well. And do it right. If you are not sure, ask.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Second Chances

When my youngest brother who is now based in Florida migrated, one of the first things my oldest sister helped him with was to get credit. While Nani never owned a credit card here in the Philippines, my sister advised him that it was crucial for him to get a credit card in the U.S. to build his credit history. If plans go smoothly for my brother, soon he will be applying for a car loan and a housing loan for his family. The first thing banks and creditors will look at is his credit history.

My sister firmly reminded Nani to take care of his credit history or he will never be able to get another loan in his life. While it's good advise to take to heart, it is not exactly true. There are companies who do still give credit to individuals with bad credit history. I hope that this never happens to Nani, but in case it does, there are bad credit loans that he can avail of. But since he will be working to rebuild his reputation (so to speak) and his confidence, he would need advise on the best options he has for credit cards, car loans, and housing loans. He will need assistance in comparing the pros and cons for every bad credit loans he receives. If ever the unfortunate happens and he has no other recourse, it will then be my turn to advise him to look to such informative sites as this one.

God bless him, and I hope he is not getting into debt because he is buying scrapbooking stuff for me. Although I must confess I sometimes borrow his credit card to shop online. Shame on me. :-)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Ready to Crop

Sigh. Yesterday, I was all geared up for a cropping night at Mitch's Visual Creations. I prepared my photos and my scrapbooking gear. I was all excited to finally use my new AMM tote which I have had for months and haven't used. That tote can really hold alot of stuff, and it's stylish to boot. I just wish that it came in green like my big bag on the left. But that's OK, I like pink, too.

But alas, it was not to be. After a long day which started at 5 am, I had to take the KiDS to their PETA recital. The plan was for me to go to Mitch's after the recital but alas, in the middle of the shows, I received the Royal Summons. That is, my MIL requested that the KiDS be brought to her house since some relatives were there. Since DH is currently out of the country I had no choice but to bring the KiDS to her. One, you can never ignore a Royal Summon lest it cause a rift between you and the Royal Pain, I mean, your DH. And two, we find that we indulge MIL more about her requests these days. Which is just fine because she doesn't often demand anything anyway.

When we finally got home, I was still psyched up about scrapping so I joined an online crop were challenges were issued every two hours. I thought that I would be able to keep up but I managed to complete only one project. By the time the second challenge was issued at around 11 PM, I was already too tired and sleepy so I decided to turn in.

But still, I managed to make a project I wouldn't have attempted otherwise. I'll embellish it some more when I have the time, but with the imposed time limit, this had to do.


The challenge was to recycle a product for a layout or a dimensional memory project. I used the packaging of Autumn Leaves stickers, ribbon from a gift bag from The Body Shop, Fancy Pants PPS, Prima flower, button, American Crafts Thickers, Craft Express alphas, and UHU glue.

Well, now I have a door hanger to place on my door. I think I'll add "Creative Mind at Work" at the top portion later.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Take 1!

As you know, I issued the challenge for April's Kaya! and I had the task of randomly picking a scrapper's name, too. I decided to enlist the help of DDs Sarah and Kahlo, and much to my surprise they were quite agreeable. I usually have to bribe them with computer time if I want them to smile for my camera. Maybe it's because they were also excited over Diego's recent VTR for a Disney show.

The DDs did quite well. Thank you for those who left messages about how adorable and smart my DDs are. I let them read you comments and they were very flattered. I know, they wouldn't stop giggling for a very long time.

BTW, we only had blooper and I'd like to share it with you. They got it right in just two takes even if I just told them what to do. Of course, I had no control over what they actually did once the camera started rolling. And yes, that is so Kahlo.


video

April Recap

I planned to post this two nights ago but I had to help DH pack for his upcoming trip. It seemed he brought alot of stuff, not all of it his. I also had to attend several meetings with him in the past few days because I have to take care of business while he is away. Grabe! Ang daming bilin. But that's OK, madami din akong bilin na scrapbook stuff sa kanya. Hehehe.

Anyway, this month marked the official beginning of summer vacation! We hadn't gone to the beach yet, it's much too hot for that. Instead, we enrolled the KiDS to PETA workshops which they enjoyed. Their final showcase is tomorrow and DH is sad he will miss that.

The KIDS are now allowed a few hours of TV, Playstayion and DS every day, so I use that time to scrap. I kinda missed them hanging around with me in my scraproom but I am more productive when their electronic toys keep them occupied. So I shouldn't complain, right?

This month's goal was for 5 layouts. And I completed 8 layouts, not including the 4 layouts I did for a GDT assignment for Scrapbukan. I hope the mojo sticks with me.

We finally met the Carmelite nuns in Tarlac and we are going back this May to give them workshops on scrapbooking and cardmaking. They were so impressed by the cards my fellow scrapbookers made for them , and they got interested, too. They're thinking maybe they could earn some money from this.

Speaking of earning, I'm sure regular readers would have noticed that I started to write up "Awareness Campaigns." Please humour me. I could certainly use the extra income to support this hobby. I will try to keep my awareness posts truthful, entertaining, and most specially anecdotal. That is, I will relate them to actual things and events that have happened to me or someone I know.

I also finally updated my KiDS Meet World blog (about the KiDS and my family's misadventures) and Food Envy (food cum travel blog). I hope I can continue to update them because I neglected them so much since Pinayscrapper was born. Please do visit them as they are also good reads and you might pick up bits of information that may be of use to you.