Yep. Lotsa buzz going on around here. Starting to feel like a real bee (not a queen, though… that’s wishful thinking. I’m more like the worker type or the drone 😆 )
BUT! It’s all good, right? There is always so much to be thankful for! And on that note, before I forget, Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! Hope you had an awesome time celebrating all that’s warm and wonderful in your life (and hope you had a great Black Friday shopping spree, too! 😀 )
We’ve got a lot to catch up on, so I hope you’ve got your shopping for the day done (at least for today 😛 ). So get comfy, sit back, grab that cold drink (or warm, if the snow outside is starting to freeze you), and put your feet up… and here we go!
The Gift that Lasts Forever
Have you gone Christmas shopping yet? You have? No fair… you can do mine. 🙂
I haven’t done any Christmas shopping, but that’s okay… there’s time to freak. Let’s see… I have exactly 19 days to go on a wild race to the stores. (And believe me, given the Christmas traffic in my part of the world, that’s not a lot of days to shop in. It’s not surprising to spend a quarter of each day sitting in traffic–and that’s if you’re lucky. *sigh* Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating. It’s just that I like traffic–any kind of traffic, any length of traffic–as much as I like … hmmm… bitter gourd. 😛 Each holiday season, I tell myself I’m going to shop the entire year next year, so that by December I would have no one left to shop for–you know, that dream of sitting contentedly, all gifts wrapped and ready to be delivered way before the 20th day of December–and of course, every year December rolls around and I wonder where that shop-early resolution got shelved during the past 11 months. What can I say? It’s an elusive dream. 😆 )
But hey, guess what? There’s a gift you can give which doesn’t require you to lock arms with the rest of the country as they run around the malls, looking at their lists and checking them twice. Better yet, this gift is truly special, the kind that doesn’t make you fat, that doesn’t collect dust on a shelf, that doesn’t get broken if dropped. This is the gift that lives on, long after the wrapper has been turned into recycled paper… (the season allows me to be cheesy, right?). It’s gift of learning, of discovery, of creating, of celebrating.
So yeah! Give the gift of digi-goodness to those you love this season! (Yes, that includes you! You can give yourself this gift too!)
There’s a huge, first-time-ever, crazy-generous gift over at our Spraground, and it’s called the Holiday Sale! Jessica has taken the best-selling digital courses and slapped on a huge discount on them, and there are even bundled offers (where you get a really, really great class 😉 for free if you take the bundle of 3 courses).
It’s so awesome that you can even divide the bundle gift between you and your friends! (You can give the entire bundle, lock stock and barrel, to your BFF 😀 or you can give one or two courses to your friend and keep the third and the free one for yourself. Oooor you can even give the four courses to yourself if you just joined us on our Spraground recently for our super-successful Stories In Hand free course and decided you like our Spraground enough to paint your name on a swing. 😉
The sale goes on till Christmas Day, so you can totally do your last-minute shopping on the web as well. You can send the gift either with a print-able card (we’ve got them on the Spraground–you just need to download them and type or write the coupon code before you give them to your loved ones), or you can send the gift via email. See? Isn’t Jes awesome? She thought of everything to make life in the fast-season lane easy for you! 🙂
(Alright, you may run to the Spraground and grab those courses now… I’ll wait right here for you to come back. >heehee< )
(Oh and PS. the image is click-able… it’ll take you right over to our Spraground! 😉 )
PAD makes a Comeback
Remember the photo-a-day we had last May, where we took a photo each day of the month, and at the end we have an entire day-by-day account of the extraordinary found in the ordinary days? We have that going on again over at our Spraground, upon the suggestion of one of my dearest friends, Lindsan. We’re taking a photo a day for each day of December (especially tricky, if you’re wrapped up in a million things to do this month, or especially exciting, if you’re one of the more organized people who’ve got their decor up and the gifts all wrapped and are just waiting for the 25th to roll around. If you’re the latter, I wanna be you. 😀 )
It’s only Day 4 and over at the special December 2008 Photo-A-Day gallery that Jes put up for all those who want to join (yes, that would be you, too, if you haven’t yet joined… COME!), there are soooo many wonderful photos and layouts coming up! I wish I had the time to leave love on all of them (yep, that’s on my to-do list too)… one of these days, I’m going to be successful at catching up with this! (There were 24 pages of photos/layouts last time I checked. )
If you want to take a photo a day and collect warm fuzzies from the awesome folks over at our Spraground but just found out about it now, come and join us anyway! (You can always post the previous days, a few days late! 🙂 )
And in case you’re thinking twice… there’s another special treat that Jes has cooked up to make our Photo-A-Day adventures more fun! Go read about it on her blog HERE.
And just to show you what a win-win situation we have here, at the end of December not only will you have had the chance to win a great prize, not only will you have experienced the special brand of Spraground warmth in our community, not only will you have had something exciting to do with your camera for every single day of an entire month, but–best of all–you’ll have 31 photos worth of wonderful memories, preserved forever either in photographs or in layouts!
How awesome is that?
Totally! Here now are my first four days of December PAD (with stories interspersed):
Day 1: Bread for Breakfast
A few weeks ago, some close friends of dh and mine invited us to a joint-birthday celebration at this little deli where they sell the yummiest and freshest French bread ever! Since then, I’ve filled our table with all the different types of French bread (and yes, with the cheese and the sausages to go with it! Mmmmm!)
Warm bread and Christmas warmth… it’s a perfect fit!
Day2: Igloo, Southeast-Asian Style
When I was a kid, I wanted to have my own playhouse. I had a nipa hut in our backyard, complete with ladder and windows that you kept open with sticks (authentic!), but I didn’t really like spending time in there because it was hot and it made me itchy (and between me and the teddy bear family I kept in it, there just wasn’t enough space). And to my little mind, it wasn’t cool. hehe. What was cool for me and my brother, 2 years older, was having our own treehouse. There was just one tiny problem: though our backyard was full of trees, they weren’t members of the treehouse-strong-branch family. The closest we ever got to making our treehouse back then was hanging a floral blanket over the branch of the aratilis* tree. It probably looked pathetic to the adults, but for us, it was treehouse-teepee heaven. 😀
(*aratilis – For those with green thumbs: I did a google search for aratilis, and found out that it belongs to the genus Muntingia, and is a close relative of the Jamaican cherry. It’s tinier than the first joint of your pinky finger; it’s green and hard when it isn’t ripe, and red and squishy when it’s ripe. Never enjoyed eating it, though my sister loved it. 😆 )
So… this yearning for a playhouse–is it genetic, you think? Is it something that all kids pass through? Because all my kids passed through a stage of trying to build their own playhouses (never mind that there are Little Tykes ready-built playhouses; there must be a primal urge to build a cave with one’s own hands).
My fifth son just built his a few days ago. Right in the comfort of our living room.
Yep. I knew those huge floor throw pillows had to be good for sumthin’. 😆
Day3: Oh Happy Day!
Oh happy day! Oh happy day! My package finally came in! My long-awaited Bind-It-All, accessories, space bar, acrylic and chipboard covers, and o-rings, finally in my home! Yabba-yabba-yeah-YEAH!
Okay, so maybe I kind of went overboard with all those o-rings… shhhhh. ( Wouldn’t you, if it took about a month for the supplies to get to you? 😆 Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m justifying it. heehee).
Of course, since I happen to be a gadget queen, it should come as no surprise that I totally love this tool?
A corner rounder that can cut through chipboard and other thick stuff! Mmmmm! It’s like a long-lost relative of my beloved Cropadile! 😆
Now, all I have to do is learn how to use these. Unlock the Power of the Tools! Indulge in the Gadget Love Affair! Let the hybrid games begin! bahahahaha!
Oh! Along with the BIA, I also got a bunch of books (to read during the Christmas break–yay!), ordered from both Amazon and ideabooks4u.
Love these two stores, amazon & ideabooks4u. The best part? Great customer service. I ran into a snag with Amazon (Ali’s book was listed as available, and then not), and they fixed it up as best as they could. Gotta love that. This was the first time I ordered from ideabooks4u (to get that Ali book which wasn’t available in Amazon), and they did an awesome job of delivering quickly and shipping the items wonderfully.
I am a sucker for great customer service. The product, whatever it is, has to be fabulous–of course, or else, why buy it, right? But even if I’ve got an excellent product staring me in my face, if it isn’t accompanied by excellent customer service, I can easily turn around and march right out, empty-handed and wallet-full, without an iota of regret.
Let me digress a bit and mention that (based on my experience) all digi shoppes are awesome and I have not yet met a designer who wasn’t a really, really nice, generous, sweet person. But I need to give a shout-out to my friend, Becky, who handles customer service at Scrapbook-Graphics.com. Each and every time I have run to her for help, whether it’s a tiny issue or a huge concern, she has always treated my pleas for help with much gentleness, concern, kindness, and immediate action. If there was an award given for excellent customer service in a digi shoppe, I’d vote for Becky any day. She’s definitely one of the reasons why SBG is among my favorite digi-shoppes! 🙂
I think it’s totally great to take an ordinary day and make it special by celebrating people who do their jobs with much heart and dedication. Just appreciating them is enough to put a smile of gratitude and quiet contentment on my face! (Among these people would be the three security guards who serve at my sons’ school. They are such a joy to meet every morning! Everyday when I take my kids to school, I’m greeted with big smiles and warm “Good morning!” greetings… every. single. day. Rain or shine. No fail. I love that, you know? That cheerfulness in the morning that lasts all the way till later on in the day when I come over to pick up my kids–it’s so precious! They’re definitely one of the best things I love about my sons’ school! 🙂 What about you–whom would you like to celebrate today? 😉
Day4: Belen on a Deadline
Ever tried crafting on a deadline?
Last Wednesday afternoon, my son R came home with news:
“Mom, my teacher wants me to submit a belen for extra credit.”
Belen is the Filipino term for the nativity scene, which can be found at Christmastime in every Filipino home (that, and the ubiquitous parol, or Christmas star). 😀
I noted the information and… promptly forgot about it, thinking there’d be the weekend to deal with it.
Well. Yesterday afternoon, R came home with news again: “The belen is due tomorrow.”
And: “It has to be artistic.”
Whaaaaa? You need this is less than 24 hours?
Zoom. Off we rushed to the malls to look for a nativity scene that could be bought off the shelves. Shouldn’t be a problem, right? After all, this is standard Christmas decor fare.
Wrong. Six stores and two pairs of tired legs after, I decided to buy a nativity scene figure and some raw materials and c.r.e.a.t.e. the nativity scene. I had absolutely no idea how it would come out; I only knew that it was our only option, since the bookstores we went to had absolutely no books with a nativity scene of the paper-doll kind; and none of the toy stores had any toy nativity scenes.
Here’s what the preliminary stages of the nativity-scene-creative process looked like:
The bare naked facts:
(jumble of rice lights peeping on the right side)
And let’s not forget the recipe:
extra thick chipboard, leftover unused chopsticks from Japanese-food takeout, some strapping tape, glue sticks, PVC glue, brown crepe paper, glittery fronds, a set of tiny rice lights, leftover animal toys borrowed from children’s toy box, and one store-bought Holy Family figure
glue gun, cutter, cutting mat, and yer good old trusty Cropadile 😉
Mix together, pulling cobwebby strands of glue from the glue gun (which manage to find their way all over the stuff). Cut some, measure some, laugh a lot. Plug in the lights when done, and voila!
The finished product, and my Day 4 Photo-a-Day accomplished as well! 😆
And since you made it this far, I thought it would be really nice if I could reward you with a little freebie, right?
This is just a tiny one… I have found that if I wait till I’ve got a fuller set to give away, I end up not blogging for days while working away on my designs. Then I end up torturing you with these long, long, looooong posts! 😆
So I decided to try a different route and give off little freebies now and then… that way I get to see you more often, and you get to download more (albeit smaller) freebies! Does that work for you? 🙂
So here’s what we have for today:
This is a 6×6 chipboard journaling block… just type (or write, if you’re doing hybrid 😉 ) your journaling on the lines, and voila!
Click on the image to download the journaling block (or should I say journaling circle?) 😀
PS. 4shared no longer allows comments on the download page unless you have an account with them and are logged in… so I would totally embrace you if you took the time to leave love on my blog as you download. 🙂
And before I go (it’s mid-dawn once again!), I have a little riddle for you:
Question: What could a 14-year-old teenage girl and her middle-aged aunt possibly have in common?
Answer: A love for Jason Mraz! Well… more specifically, absolute adoration for the boy by the teenage girl, and absolute love for the music (not the boy, LOL) by the aunt.
And because my niece is in Paris, this one is especially for her, in hopes that she manages to bump into the boy of her dreams while he walks along the streets again, someday in the future. 🙂
Enjoy, and I’ll see you soon, my sweeties!
PS. I can’t believe the guy just chased those pigeons down! Ooogy! I remember the first time I was in Paris, and dh wanted to take a photo with all the pigeons on the street… and I love birds. NOT. I think you can tell from my hunched up shoulders and the body-tilt (away from the birds, far far away) in the photo below. bwahahaha! 😆