Just couldn’t help myself…

I just had to scrap.

Yes, my bedroom floor resembles a war zone with wrappers and gifts (not yet wrapped) crammed into every nook and cranny. Yes. my husband has to go through an entire obstacle course to get from one end of our room to the other.  Yes, I have yet to check my holiday gift list and see whether it is 20 (or 30) more people I need to shop for. And yes, yes, yes: I do know that I have 2 days left till Christmas Eve, when the gifts that are still in their unwrapped state are supposed to be sitting under other people’s trees.

But! When the going gets tough, the tough go scrapping.


So here’s what I came up with today. I was going through the forum in my playground at Jessica’s and, after reading this ongoing thread about how our famous mom-and-daughter team are playing tug-of-war over some great shutters that daughter bought and that mom wants to buy from her, with the rest of us jumping in on the playful fray, on a total whim (crazy I know), I was inspired to create a layout that involved shutters.

It took daughter (that would be my friend, Noel) some time to search for a photo of her and mom (that would be my friend, Jackie) together. Jackie, if you’re reading this, run over to Noel’s house and get some photos taken asap! 😛 It took countless tries (and a really long, really fun chat session) for Noel to get this photo scanned in and sent to me. She is so NICE. Right, Noel? 😉

So anyway, here’s what’s waiting for them in their inbox when they get up in the morning:

Noel and Jackie

{ Click on image for larger view }


photo by stoneraven at stock.xchnge (altered) ~ flower brushes by jason gaylor at designfruit ~ photoblast action used on jackie’s and noel’s photo ~ word art by me! 😛 ~ grungy overlays (used 4 in all) by me! 😛

And since the scanning of the photo took a long time to accomplish, here’s what I came up with while waiting: my own version. hehe.


You think this could pass for one of my Daily December pages (of which I have just ONE to my name?) 😆

I wanted to give out the page as a plopper freebie, but I still have to check with stoneraven and jason gaylor if they’ll agree to that. 😉 If they say yes, the plopper is so yours, my sweeties!

Okay, now I really must get back to the holiday to-do’s. I’ve played the entire day and I need to make up for that this entire night.

Catch you again soon, my sweeties! ((((hugs))))

What was I thinking???

I must have been crazy to think that I could create my Christmas gifts this season, because with 6 days to go before The Big Day, I have NOT done a single thing (except roll ideas around in my mind… does that count?) and I have not crossed out much on my holiday shopping list either.

Talk about overestimating oneself.

Anybody interesting in renting out their services? 😆

I have several unfinished Christmas freebie items which I can’t get to though I’d love to (doing the usual self-motivation thing: No, self, you may not make any freebies until you’ve got your Christmas to-do list all checked). I do hope I’ll finish soon as there’s nothing I’d love better than to finish up that last Christmas freebie kit, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Winter Chills and Ills

Okay so it doesn’t snow where I live. But the season brings with it its fair shair of viruses. Three of my babies are sick. One worse than the rest. If he doesn’t get better today, off to the pedia we go tomorrow. I’ve been getting less than my usual 3 hours of sleep because he wakes up every hour to either throw up (uhhhm. excuse me for the graphic language), or complain that he can’t breathe, or ask for water. Poor little guy. I want to hold him and put toothpicks in my eyes to stay awake the entire time. During the day I have to nebulize him 3 to 4 times… and each time I say “Nebulize, honey?” he says “Yes!” So I know his illies are bad.

The other two babies are not so bad… thank God. But sick nevertheless. And what mom can really not worry when one of her little ducks has the slightest illness?

I Caved

Okay, so tell me I’m crazy. Call me nuts. I have NOT done a single paper-scrapped layout since I was 16 (just to give time a perspective: when I was 16, you had to use carbon paper to make multiple copies of what you were typing out on a manual typewriter, and it would be a few years before you could type <B> to get your word into a bold font on computers with green screens and pixelated fonts).

The whole underbelly of my king-sized bed is crammed with paperscrapping materials that are in their virgin state. The three shelves and scrapping tables with drawers I have? Not used. At all.

So why, why, why did I have to go and get these things at the mall when I should’ve been shopping for gifts?

The Impulsive Loot

Simple. There they sat on the shelf, making droopy eyes at me, calling out softly “Take me home, take me home”… how could I resist??? Poor lonely things were calling out for a home.


But I can justify, actually. The Heidi Grace Designs punchboard items? Need them to make the homemade recipe box my eldest sister requested from me as her Christmas gift this season. The K&Co. little bragbook? My dad would just love it when I send him this with layouts inside (not yet created, by the way… LOL). The Fiskars squeeze punches: the corner rounder? Never mind that I have 3 corner rounder punches (and the fourth, which is the only one I’m really using, is Jessica’s corner rounder brush… loooove digital!!!). But this one is the coolest among the paper-scrapping punches I have because you can see exactly where you’re punching! The large circle squeeze punch? Well… I’ve been pining for its 3-inch big brother, but since the store didn’t have that, I had to settle for my unrequited love affair by getting this 1.5inch one. The DCWV 6×6 chipboard blanks? Hey, you never know when you’ll need them.

I wasn’t so bad, actually. I did get some shopping done. (Some being the operative word).   😉


And speaking of shopping…

Here’s the latest addition to our Santa family… hubby and I couldn’t resist adding them to our 2 santas in groovy black shades (one has a guitar and the other has a sax, and both play a guitar and a sax version of Christmas songs) and the reindeer that taps his foot in total rhythmic accompaniment to the music.

The New Santas

See, we were hoping our two youngest boys , j (who’s turning two at the end of December) and S (who’s 3), would find these new Santas less frightening. See, the group of three jazzy folks I just described had the strangest effect on our two boys: when we turned on the music and the Santas started strumming and blowing on the sax and the reindeer started tapping, my two boys stared in disbelief and ran away.

So enter these new two: Santa on his sleigh with Rudolph behind him (though you can’t see him too well in this shot) happily bob along on the sleigh as the music plays. Then the other Santa’s legs grow and shrink as he says “ho-ho-ho!” and Jingle Bells plays in the background. He gets tall and short and tall and short.

Come to think of it, as my friend Noel said, why SHOULDN’T it be scary for the kids? A growing and shrinking Santa who can only utter repeating 2-letter syllables Ho Ho Ho… hmmmm. Words of wisdom from a dear new friend whose daughter Emma used to cry on Santa’s lap each Christmas.


And what am I doing…

having the fun of my life sitting on this porch swing with you while the mountain of unwrapped gifts looms before my very eyes and the holiday shopping list is crying out “Hey, look at me! Look at me and DO something!” ???

Gotta get running!!! Six days! Six days!

Does anyone know how to freeze time? All I’m asking for is double the number of days left!

Catch you later, my sweeties!

Oh… and when I get around to doing the creations I crazily thought of making this Christmas, I am sooo sharing with you whatever it is I have… whether they’re templates or instructions. 😉

The Best Compliment

photo by somajinn at stock.xchngthat you’ve ever received: could you name it? Do you remember it word for word? Can you recall exactly when and where you heard it?

I want to remember this (and my friends will readily attest to how (t)RUSTY my memory is… so I decided to tell all of you so that you can remind me when I grow old and grey… or maybe even next week (which is the soonest time I may forget).


My 3-year-old son S has taken to attaching himself to my body as best as he can (read: can’t go anywhere without him stuck by my side). It’s usually no big deal because he’s very light and thin and easy to lug around. 😆 However, it becomes a problem when he needs to meet with Mother Nature and do his thing, you know what I mean?

So anyway, tonight, after he did his thing (okay, I confess… he still wears diapers at night), his yaya (in English that would be nanny) tried to take him to his bathroom to get him cleaned up. Of course he put up a huge protest and well… let’s just say my heart totally melts in his tears. So I took him to my bathroom to clean him up myself. Protest over.

When we came out, my 5-year-old son J, declared proudly:

Mama, you are the very best poo-cleaner in the entire world!!!

Don’t know about you, but for me, that’s about one of the very best compliments I’ve ever received in my life.


Have a nice day, my sweeties! Working on a freeb, but you know how the holidays go… will try to have it up soon! 😉

Could you have foretold…?

Your Holiday Stress Level Is Low

You take it easy over the holidays, and you only take on what you can handle.
You know the holidays are about celebrating and fun – not standing in line at the mall!

What’s Your Holiday Stress Level?

Not sure if I could’ve guessed this. Hmmm… no shopping done? Check. No wrapping done? Check. Designed Christmas freebies instead of going to the malls to get some items on the gift list ticked? Check. Busy making layouts instead of working on Christmas gift projects? Check. Accepting a writing assignment for People Asia magazine, due by the end of December, instead of planning the menu for Christmas Eve? Check.

Perhaps that’s what “you take it easy over the holidays” means? 😆

Maybe I should take this test again a week before Christmas. It just might change to its exact opposite.


What’s your holiday stress level?

Layout Fever (and fevers of the other sort)…

Okay, I put off designing for a little bit so that I could indulge in my other love: digital scrapping! (It’s been so long since my last three four layouts, with 3 done in the span of 2 hours… a big first-timer for me, as it usually takes me AGES to make one layout. hehe. But I can’t mention any of those 4 layouts because they have to do with a certain surprise that we’ve planned for a certain ultra-special someone and while that surprise hasn’t been sprung, my lips are sealed. :D… My friends from my regular playground know what I’m talking about, and I promise you, as soon as the surprise has been revealed, will let you know all about it as well! 😉 )

Daily December

This is a wonderful project that I have been wanting to sink my teeth into, so to speak, as soon as Jess gave it to us in our last NWR course. The idea is to do a layout each day in December (hence the “daily”) so that at the end of the month, you will have scrapped an entire album’s worth of this most special month in the year!

Funny that I get to do December 1 on December 11th (exactly 10 days after the day I should’ve done it)… but the daily photos somehow got stuck in my camera’s memory card with pure intentions to scrap them when the time was right. I decided I’d better start on them or the intentions might remain intentions by December 1st next year. hehe.

So here’s the first, and I hope there’ll be more to come:


Daily December Everything by Jessica Sprague (with recoloring done) PLUS
Black Friday Kit papers of Amy Cheeseman & Kari Hentzelt
Katie Pertiet’s Ledger Grid Brush
Michelle Coleman’s XmasStar & Swirl Topper
Anna Aspnes’ Red Mat, Swirl
Retrodiva/TracyCollins-TistheSeason Ribbon (recolored)

Cameran was happy too! 

Last night I spent 6 hours at Sara Black’s studio for a photo shoot of my dear Jun de Leon and his wife Abby and their son Ijah. I was there to do the interview for an article that will appear in one of the major magazines next year (by special request of Jun that I write the article, a request that totally touched me and gave me the warmest fuzzies). Of course Cameran came with me, as she always does (Cameran is my best friend, otherwise known as my Nikon D40x ;P ), and since the lighting was right and the studio was there and the subjects were wonderful, of course I could not resist taking a few shots myself. It was quite trying, though, because I didn’t want to interfere or get into the way of the real photo shoot (after all, I was supposed to be there armed with my pen and notebook, not a lens, heehee), so that meant that I couldn’t use my bounce flash, or any flash at all. That was pretty much of a challenge, as this was like 9PM (try shooting at that time with available light… oh, and have I said that in my part of the world, midnight light comes at 6pm at this time of the year? I always hear America’s Ventura Highway playing in the back of my mind: “when the days are longer, the nights are stronger than moonshine…” except in reverse… 😆 )

Buuuut. I think I got a few great ones, which I hope to turn into some sort of Christmas gift layout for them, along with other shots I’ve taken at other times. Hold on tight… when I’ve completed that (if I ever do), I’ll be sure to let you know! Now why would you be interested in that? Because, my sweeties, if I end up making a calendar-gift, I’ll share the template with you if you want it! 😀

Here’s one of my favorite subjects, Ijah (so blessed with good looks and such a natural in front of any lens!)

Night Games

Fevers of the other sort

I knew it would just be a matter of time till I caught that nasty virus that seems to come with cold weather. My son J first had it; then my baby j got it as well… and so as of today, I have it too. Funny that I was just posting on Jessica’s blog, wishing her comfort and health because she has the illies, and now here it’s come to my home as well. Oh well. What’s cold weather without the sniffles, right? (just totally annoying though to be sneezing every 5 minutes or so, hahaha).

People making lists, buying special gifts…

Now that one is half me, half not me. This season, I think I’m going to be buying less and making more. 😀 Last Christmas, before Jess and her courses pulled me over to the Dark Side (and introduced me to the dearest, most lovable friends and playground-sisters I have ever had), my homemade Christmas gifts were social cards that I designed and printed and created gift packaging for. This year, I’m pretty excited to move beyond just cards (hehehe) and expand my horizons to include a crafted recipe box (per my eldest sister’s request) and framed layouts and maybe even calendars! (Time will reveal if these will ever come to fruition or not. But, in the wise words of Belva Davis: Never fear the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.

Let us so dream that I can make it.


And part of making that so means I need to get off this porch swing and back to the salt mines! 😀

Have a happy day, my sweeties!

And if you drop by tomorrow, maybe I’ll be so happy that I just might have some freebs ready! 😉


I was so amused that my dearest friend Deb asked who that dude was with Pavarotti in the video, so here he is again, Deb: (His name is Sting and in the rebellious, idealistic days of my youth, I loved that there was this rocker who could sing songs of substance and with deep messages… their kind don’t come around often, so when they do, I fall in love 😆 Isn’t talent just soooo attractive?)

For you, Deb, and for everyone else who has a thing for Sting 🙂 :

And here’s the classic Sting song:

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

why, yes, even in my own home, as of last night! 😆

Christmas, my friends, has officially arrived in our home as of December 8th, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. 🙂

It’s a good thing that my dear hubby does not believe in filling every nook and cranny of our humble home with Christmas decor, because it makes my job of decorating that much easier. 😀 Also, it totally helps that I have five sons who can help me put up the Christmas decor (well, okay, four… 😛 )

What I really love is that I now have some real Christmassy photos to use for my Daily December album, which has been up in the air (or more correctly, stuck in my camera’s memory card), instead of the daily-any-month photos that I’ve been taking since December began. 😆 I’ve been trying to decide whether to post the photos here or maybe make a layout and post THAT here (need a push to actually start scrapping those photos, and this might be it! haha)… but while I make up my fickle mind on that issue, here’s something again for you!

(And some nice music by two of my favorite people to keep you entertained as you download 😉 )

This freebie is actually a spin-off from the Winter Shimmer kit, so you might notice that the papers are similar to some in Winter Shimmer, except they’re in more playful, brighter colors (and the striped one is new, and the creamy one has a different texture). This came about because my dear friend Jana loves pink christmases, so I decided to go ahead and make a pink version. The elements on this mini kit are not the same, though, so you might want to snag it as well. 😀

Since this is a mini kit, you’re getting all of it in one download. Aside from the four papers, I’ve made a chipboard arrow with a snowflake accent, a Christmas tree calendar transparency accent, and three silver-bookplate tags with gemstone brads. One of the tags has wordart on it. Thank you’s are in my TOU! And that’s the whole kit, my dears!

Thank you for letting me know that you can still do with more Christmas kits; this one is for you and you and you, and all of you, my sweeties!

{Click on image for larger view}

LivEdesigns Jolly HollyDays (Winter Shimmer Spin-off) PReview

Download Jolly HollyDays here. Now much as I’d love to sit on this porch swing with you, I really must go to bed as my fingers are frozen from the cold and it’s almost 5AM in my part of the world. 😀

ETA: Sorry, download link is no longer available.

Love to all, and to all a goodnight! (((((hugs)))))

Winter Goes Metallic!

with the last set of the Winter Shimmer Kit!!!

It’s getting pretty busy around here, with all the preparations for the holidays. How are things in your home? Have you done any shopping yet? (If you tell me your list is all ticked off, I’m going to sit on the floor and bawl! Or… hmm, since that’s not very productive, maybe I’ll send you a ticket so you can come and do all my holiday preparations for me! Does that sound good to you? 😀 😆 😀 )

Only 17 days to go till The Best Day of the Year, and in some places where my friends are, they’ve got snow bringing on the brrrrs!!!

Here’s something to keep you company while you scrap by the fire:

Winter Shimmer Set 3:

{Click on image for larger view}

LivEdesigns Winter Shimmer Set 3

There are 4 papers here; one is patterned, the other has a frosty, icy row of white snowflakes at the top, and the 2 are shimmery blue and lavender almost-solid ones. All are highly textured, as usual. I went crazy with the elements (and the snowflakes too, heehee), so you’re getting a metallic blue snowflake border which coordinates with all the papers in the entire kit (I tried putting it on each paper and it goes well!). There are 3 gem-centered pewter hanging accents, and so that you can hang them on your layouts, I’ve included 2 metallic snowflake brads–the ones you see on both sides of “Christmas 2007” which is a pewter Christmas label. There’s also a snowflake paper clip and 2 journaling sheets (to write your Christmas wishes for Santa? 😆 )

To make the paper clip look realistically attached, just CTRL-CLICK on the layer thumbnail of whatever element you’re attaching the clip to. You should see marching ants around it. Then target the layer that the paper clip is on. Take your eraser brush and start erasing the paper clip parts that should be behind the element. Voila! 😀

Hope you like this last set of the Winter Shimmer kit. I’ve got some exciting ideas for more freebies, but do let me know if you’re sick of Christmas freebies already (there are so many going around, right? Have you had enough? 😆 ) Download Winter Shimmer Set 3 here. There is no zip password this time.

ETA: Sorry, download link is no longer available.

I decided to do away with the zip password, as that is the reason for the orange sign coming up on my 4shared site. The only reason I placed zip passwords was to make sure that those who snag the freebies do pass by to say hello on my blog (I always love having you visit! 😉 )… but I really don’t want to give you unnecessary hassle and I can’t help thinking that those of us who have a deathly fear of viruses (who doesn’t?) may just have their fears stoked by that sign, even if it only means that 4shared couldn’t check my files for viruses due to the password. Phew!

To make a long story short, download and extract without hassles, my dears! 😀  😀  😀

Have a happy day, and thank you so much for the love you leave! (((hugs)))

Ahh… relief. Finally.

Thank you so much, darling Deb, szilvia, and Tina for your oh-so-reassuring comments (And thank you so much, Tina, for testing this phenomenon out on your own 4shared site). And thank you veevs.

Finally got a response today from 4shared…

Finally 4shared

So the whole reason for that strange orange sign was because I have passwords protecting my file. Phew! (Amazingly, this is what my three darling friends figured out before I received my email). Thank you, 4shared, for your response. And thank heavens that I can now resume my freebie uploading without a worry about strange messages cropping up. Thought you’d like to know why that sign is there.

I asked support how I could solve this problem (i.e., get rid of that message) while still being able to protect my files with passwords. The solution is to password-protect the whole folder. I’ll figure out how that works and let’s see how it goes from there. If it’s just too difficult, I may forget passwords altogether (what? and lose the creative thrill of thinking up passwords? 😆 )

Working on Set 3 of Winter Shimmer as we speak… and going back now to the salt mines.

All is right with heaven and earth… and my 4shared site! Woohoo! 😉


Here it is. Zip password is itworksnow

ETA: Sorry, download link is no longer available.

I can’t begin to tell you how frustrated I’m feeling about this kink. I have spent the last 2 and a half hours trying to contact 4shared support to shed some light on this. I tried Live Chat help, and twice I got them on the line, and twice they just poofed out on me (there was no response and the chatbox just ended). However, I was able to give them the link so that they could check it out… and after waiting and waiting for more than 2 hours, there still was that –as veevs would say–blooming message on my download link.

Out of frustration and after 2 emails to 4shared support (with no response yet up to now), I decided to take out the link and reupload a new zip file (did the whole usual round of zipping, virus-checking, and test-extracting before uploading to 4shared). Well, I lost all the lovely notes left by all those who were able to download earlier without that blasted orange note there, and I totally feel bad about that.

And that’s not all. I checked the link and AGAIN there’s that orange message.

4shared, if you can read this, please please please fix that up! please!

As for you, my sweeties, do try to download this file and see if you can do it notwithstanding the sign there. I’m downloading it myself to test it again as we speak.

So so so sorry for the hassle. I hope you understand that this is not within my control, and I thank you immensely for your patience and kind understanding.

Make some wishes for me, please, that 4shared will fix this up real soon. Thank you so much.

sniff, sniff, sniff, sob, sob, sob