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Confessions of a Hybrid Wannabe

14 Jan

First confession: I actually have just one. One confession, and it’s simply this: I am a hybrid wannabe. HAHAHAHA! πŸ˜†

It helps to think this way every time my kids have some school project that requires “parental involvement” (which basically means you roll up your sleeves and go splashing in the mud with the kiddo).

Friday afternoon when I picked up J from school, I walked into what looked like a cloud (of thinly-veiled stress) hovering over my co-mothers. The reason: we just got a letter which basically said our kids would be having a mask-or-hat parade first thing on Monday morning, and the kids had to make their own masks “with help from their parents.” It would be graded as Homework. This meant only two things: (1) “make masks” = don’t even think of making a trip to the shops to buy a pre-made mask; and (2) “with help from parents” = goodbye, relaxing weekend.

The mask had to be a storybook character, and the kids had to be able to act in their character. Hmm. Wonder what the easiest mask to make would be? Mickey Mouse, right? (I mean, really, how hard can it be to trace one big circle and two smaller circles, stick them together, and paint them black and red? πŸ˜€ ).

But my son wanted to be Optimus Prime. I tried to convince him to explore other characters but he really wanted to be the Transformers chief. So I thought to myself, oh why the heck not? Let’s just go with what he wants; after all, it’s he who has to wear the mask and act in character. πŸ˜‰

So Sunday afternoon my son J and I set to work with leftover pizza carton boxes (good thing Son No. 2 had some school friends over on Friday evening, and lemme tell ya, those boys can eat a whole truck of pizza if you dared them). We gathered toilet paper and old newspapers and PVA glue (paper machie ingredients), foil, poster paint, colored popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and whatever else we thought we’d be needing to make the mask. And just so you know? We ended up using about 10% of the loot that we collected. πŸ™„

Just in case your kid happens to come home one of these days with the same homework, I decided to share the mask-making process with you (heehee).

First order of the day: Trim the box to a more manageable size. (Also, resist the urge to order another box of pizza to eat while working πŸ˜† )

Then, roll box around the head of your kid and mark where the eyes, nose and mouth areas should be. This is to ensure that your kid doesn’t go bump in the night while he walks around with the mask, and that he doesn’t get dizzy from the leftover-pizza-smell on the box.

Cut out eye area from the carton and fit. (Be prepared to fit a lot during the process. Better to stop and fit rather than go from beginning to end without interruption, only to get into a fit when you realize the eye area is just the right fit for the… nostrils!)

Cut out the portion that will go over the nose and mouth area.

Don’t omit this most important part: Stay awake with coffee (or Diet Mountain Dew or Pepsi, if you rock that way πŸ˜‰ ). Because, my dear friend, at this point we’re not even halfway there πŸ˜›

Fueled by cafe, cut out the breathing area…

… and (behind the scenes) stick all the rest of the materials you have: more cut-up pizza carton, crumpled and squished newspaper, bottle caps from Florida Naturals juice, a couple of pipe cleaners to hold the mask in place over the head, and tape: lots and lots and lots of tape to hold it all together.

Oh, and I did say don’t forget to fit, right? πŸ˜‰

Next, check the time and decide NOT to do paper machie because your mask will never dry in the next 6 hours. So decide to take the mask outside under the stars (yes, the moon had risen by the time I got the entire thing modeled to go) and spray-paint it entirely with silver paint in a can. (It totally helps if your paint says “dries in 10-15 minutes”). Try not to sweat the small details (like when you realize that there’s a slight difference in the texture of the paint on carton versus paint on tape, just let it go… πŸ˜† ).

Then paint in details with acrylic paint. (I tried poster paint at first and almost freaked out when I realized the poster paint wouldn’t stick to the silver paint! It was doing its own kind of “crayon-resist” performance. Thank heavens for craft rooms filled with paper scrapping stuff that has been hoarded–and hardly used–over the years, mwahaha. Those things come in handy at exact times like this.)

Do a final fit to make sure everything’s fine (and make sure the tape at the back of the mask is patted down without any areas peeling off because you definitely don’t want parts of your kid’s eyebrows to come off together with the mask πŸ˜† ).

Let mask dry overnight, and reassure your kid that you both did a great job together, and it doesn’t really matter whether you win the mask contest or not because you had a lot of fun creating it together anyway, and that is what matters. πŸ˜‰

Then go do some work on the Spraground (if you live there like I do, lol!) and then force yourself to sleep at 3am because you’ve got a big day tomorrow watching your kid in his mask parade.

D-Day:

Optimus Prime meets Captain Hook meets Bugs Bunny meets two Cats in the Hat and…

A hop, a skip, and a jump…

And we’re done! πŸ˜€

PS. The kids in the primary grades voted for the winner. Guess who won?

Whoopee-doo! Whodathunk, huh? πŸ˜†

Et cetera

10 Jun

Latin: et (and) + cetera (the other… things)

So. I have been trying to get my head focused on the one million and one things that need to be done (is your to-do list any shorter? Fancy trading yours with mine?), and I figured the best way to get my motors revved is to … procrastinate! bwahahaha. πŸ˜† just kidding. Of course, what I really meant is: the best way to get me energized to do the ton that needs to be done is to sit on this porch, have a little chat with you, and when it’s over, I’d have amassed the energy and inspiration I need to go and attack that workload!

Let’s play catch-up, why don’t we? Here we go! πŸ™‚

Something to look at:

Last week I got the biggest surprise of the year. See, there was a thread on our Spraground forum with a cryptic message from my friend Dawn who said something about “great seeing you ladies on p. 37!” (not verbatim, but you get the picture). It was a fabulous way to trigger the curiosity antennae… so I soon found out that my dearest friend Jes had done a layout of our beta Spragfest held in Chicago last year (lots of happy memories, that one) and it came out in her column in the June issue of the Creating Keepsakes magazine!

How awesome was that!

Of course I found out about this close to midnight. Of course I got out of bed in my pajamas, drove to the house of my regular magazine-stand girl, and demanded that she check the most recent shipment of CK for the June issue so I could get my hands on p.37 and savor the sweetness myself!

Well, not really. But I came close to it (ask Jes, she’ll vouch for it). πŸ˜†

So… a day or two after the thread came up, I got my own copy of the mag, and yippee! There we were, the Chicago babes! And there was Jessica’s AWESOME layout! Never mind if I looked like a dorky kid. To be a glue dot on Jessica’s layout is honor enough! ROFL. So here’s the page:

ckpage

And here’s a close up of the fab layout that Jes made:

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And here’s a funny:

I showed the page to my nanny. She took one look at it and said, eyes peering closely at the photo, “Oh, it looks like you, Ma’am.” I said, “Yep, cos that’s me!” Her response: HAHAHAHAHAHA!

No, she still doesn’t believe it’s me. To this day.

Something to marvel at:

My 7-year-old son J, who loves drawing so much that he’s going to make trees quiver in their roots once he’s done recycling all our paper at home, has just recently discovered that broken crayons can be taped together so they don’t go to waste. And he’s been using that discovery to mend all his little colored friends.

One day last week, he came to me all excited. “Mom! Look! I found triplets!” he said, holding up a crayon broken into three. “This crayon is going to the crayon hospital!”

Five minutes later, he comes to me and says, “Look, Mom! All better!”

crayon

Voila. Crayon Operation, folks. Who’da thunk you could actually staple a crayon together? Did you? I didn’t either.

Amazing, kids are. Makes you wonder just how much we could achieve if we adopted the same kind of brave, nothing-is-impossible attitude toward all that life throws our way, doesn’t it?

Something to be grateful for:

Remember that whole post about multitasking a few days back?

A friend of mine emailed me with this question: Can you download two or more things at the same time? (Cute, isn’t it, the innocence in that question? πŸ˜€ )

This is my answer:

download

Oh yes, my friend, you can. And boy, do I thank high technology all the time that indeed, we CAN!

Something to think about:

I keep this guy on my desk (among other “guys” πŸ˜‰ ).

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First of all, I love that my teenage son thinks I’m a cool mom because I have this… this creature… on my desk. (He has about 5 of his own. It’s apparently the in-thing with kids these days. )

Secondly, I love that it says 23:59. In fact, that’s what made me take it on its short journey from shop shelf to cash register. Initially, I loved that the time and all those (what are those anyway, veins? πŸ˜† ) spindly things seem to empathize with me when I’m rushing against deadlines (which I seem to get a lot of in regular doses).

But this little thing has evolved, and today I found that 23:59 stands for more than just deadlines. It makes me think about time running out (one minute left, lady!). It makes me think about how this life is temporary, how we really are just travelers passing through, making our way to our final destination. It makes me think about how all we really have is now, and how we need to grab Now by the collar and do all the good that we can and give all the love that we have… NOW.

Amazing. Little did I think when I picked up this little guy in the store that day, that he would stand for so much more than four numbers on his little face.

Something too precious for words:

heart

I hope I never run out of love letters like this:

luv

Something to laugh about:

Okay, so I think it’s been established that google reads our emails (or at least their robots do). My friend Jes and her carrot cake addiction will attest to that.

But nothing prepared me for finding this in my spam folder when I went to clean it up…

blogfunny-jun02

I mean, seriously? French Fry SPAM Casserole.

Right.

And yes, I fell off my chair. Rolled on the floor, in fact. Laughing out loud.

Have a wonderful, laugh-out-loud day too, my sweeties! Over and out!

Hopping off the Roller Coaster

27 Mar

This is pretty much what I looked like the entire month of March:

scaryride_sundstrom-sxc4

… and what a ride it’s been!

I have two sons graduating this month and embarking on new journeys: one is going on to university (can you believe it? Am I feeling the creak in my bones? Uhm… yeah. πŸ˜† ) and one is going on to high school. Of course we are incredibly proud of them and we celebrate this additional feather on each son’s cap. Never mind if that means that there are a ton of only-in-March obligations to attend to (all school-related: baccalaureate masses, enrolment in the new schools, buying new outfits, getting the required medical and dental sheets filled up by the pedia and dentist, attending all these “no, they are not optional” parents’ meetings which are included in the acceptance requirements of the new schools… and wait, I’m not even half done, but let’s end it there before you doze off).

But hey, that’s not too much to attend to, right? So let’s throw in a number of family reunions (ah, now we’re talking really happy stuff!)Β  My darling brother, two years older than me, whom I have not seen in almost 10 years, finally came home with his family for a couple of weeks, and because there’s just so little time before he has to fly back, naturally we’ve been trying to get together as often as we can. My aunt, whom I haven’t seen in just a little less than the time I haven’t seen my brother, also came home with my cousin, so it was just totally wonderful to get together with family this month. (The only thing I regret about my brother coming home is that I just know I’m going to miss him and his family soooo much when he flies back in a week’s time. >sniff<)

Since in my family I have the most kids, and most kids = most home space, it was decided by majority (we’re a democratic family πŸ˜‰ ) that the reunion dinner be held in my home. I love having visitors over. I love having family over. I love having friends over. I love having company over. I love hosting dinners, impromptu or planned.

But wait. Did I mention that our home is currently undergoing *major* renovation?

πŸ˜†

So. That’s why I’ve been absent for such a long time. I received your sweet, sweet emails and notes, my dearest friends, asking why I’ve been quiet… I am so grateful for the hugs you sent my way and so moved by your sweet concern, and I am so so sorry for having been unbelievably remiss in keeping up with my new year’s resolutions. (Yep, No. 5 – I will blog at least 3 times a week. I am so pathetically behind. Tsk tsk.)

Lots to catch up on.

Home on the Range

… or should I say Range in the Home?

Remember the photo of the undone kitchen some time back? Well, work on it is finally done. (Yay! Score 1 for the rooms in the home!)

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The kiddos’ room is also done. Score 2 for the rooms in the home!

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Finally found another use for all those beloved (accumulated) figures. dsc_0095_shelf

Monsters, Inc., anyone? πŸ˜†
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None of the other rooms in the house are completely done yet, so this is all I’ve got on the homefront for now. πŸ˜›

This Week’s Funny

Preface: We walk around our home in bare feet because we’ve got wooden floors, andΒ  then there’s the fact that the kids (and I) will jump at any excuse to walk without shoes πŸ˜†

So a couple of days ago, I was feverishly working on my latest kit while my newly-7-year-old J and my soon-to-be-5 S were sitting on the floor of my bedroom a couple of feet away, playing with toys together with their nanny.

Suddenly, J half-screamed in shock and distress: “AAAACK! Mama! Yaya’s feet are bleeeeding!”

I turned around and said, “Whaaaaat?”

Yaya (their nanny) was totally calm, and with a very embarrassed look on her face, she whispered (loud enough for me to hear): “That’s nail polish. I polished my toes.”

Without missing a beat, S ran to me, anguish written all over his face: “Mama! She punished her toes!”

Hmmm.

This is probably the biggest disadvantage of having a mom who keeps her fingernails and toenails short and unpolished. My poor boys have absolutely no exposure to such feminine toys of vanity. hehehe. (Seriously though? I can’t grow my nails simply because I find they get into the way of everything I love doing: working on my compy, taking photos and changing lenses, holding my kids’ hands without fear of scratching them accidentally, giving my scalp a good massage as I shampoo my hair… ya know, those kinds of things. πŸ˜† )

Humor and Cuisine, Filipino Style

Two things that are very basic Filipino food fare: adobo and puto (though not necessarily eaten together).

Wikipedia says this about adobo:

In Filipino cuisine, adobo refers to a common and very popular cooking process indigenous to the Philippines.

When Spanish colonizers first took administration over the Philippines in the late 1500s and early 1600s, they encountered an indigenous cooking process which involved stewing with vinegar, which they then referred to as “adobo,” which is the Spanish word for seasoning or marinade. Dishes prepared in this manner eventually came to be known by this name, with the original term for the dish now lost to history.

Thus, the adobo dish and cooking process in Filipino cuisine and the general description “adobo” in Spanish cuisine share similar characteristics, but in fact refer to different things with different cultural roots. While Philippine adobo can be considered adobo – a marinated dish – in the Spanish sense, the Philippine usage is much more specific.

Typically, pork or chicken, or a combination of both, is slowly cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, crushed garlic, bay leaf, and black peppercorns, and often browned in the oven or pan-fried afterward to get the desirable crisped edges. This dish originates from the northern region of the Philippines. It is commonly packed for Filipino mountaineers and travelers. Its relatively long shelf-life is due to one of its primary ingredients, vinegar, which inhibits the growth of bacteria.

The standard accompaniment to adobo is white rice.

Outside the home-cooked dish, the essence of adobo has been developed commercially and adapted to other foods. A number of successful local Philippine snack products usually mark their items “adobo-flavored.” This assortment includes, but is not limited to nuts, chips, noodle soups, and corn crackers.

This is what adobo looks like:

adobo

(image courtesy of rasamalaysia.com)

Then there’s puto.

Wikipedia says this about puto:

Puto is steamed rice cake popular in the Philippines. Rice, the main ingredient in this dish, is an important staple in the Philippines. It is typically eaten in most meals and has been known to be featured in all types of sweet and savory Filipino dishes. Puto is usually eaten as dessert, but can also be eaten for breakfast dipped into or paired with a cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate.

There are many variations to the recipe ranging from the type of rice used to the method in which the rice is prepared. In its traditional form, puto is of a plain white color. Adding certain common Filipino ingredients like ube and pandan (made from pandan leaves or Pandanus amaryllifolius ) slightly changes the flavor and completely changes the color of the finished product. Likewise, food coloring can be added to change the puto’s color but still keep its original flavor.

Most varieties often include the addition of coconut milk and this influences the flavor.

This is what puto looks like:

800px-putoricecakes-e

(image courtesy of Wikipedia)

And here is the reason why we have this little lesson on Filipino cuisine. Because it’s the preface to this showcase of Filipino humor at its finest.

I was riding the car on my way to a dinner hosted for my brother-back-from-abroad and his family when I looked up and saw this little diner with the funniest name. And I had my camera with me, whoopee-doo! So of course I turned around the block just so I could come back to this little resto by the roadside and snap a photo of it.

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Isn’t that such a hoooot? πŸ˜†

I am so inspired to travel around the city, heck even the entire country, searching for more of these hilarious signboards, showcases of the ever-amazing sense of humor of these people on my side of the world. πŸ™‚

Okay. Time for bed. It’s 4.30am and I’m going to crawl through tomorrow if I don’t hit the sack right now. But it was just *awesome* sitting with you on this blog porch after such a long time! I have totally missed you and am so glad to be back!

More tomorrow, including a wonderful announcement about an upcoming course or two (wink, wink, wink!).

Have a happy day, my sweeties! (((hugs)))

Greetings from the Chicken Coop!

21 Feb

Wow! It’s been a looong time, hasn’t it? I’ve been missing you!

Forgive the absence and the total failure to live up to Resolution No. 5! Tsk tsk. But real life happens, right?Β  So in real life, I’ve been running around pretty much like a headless chicken (refer to blog title πŸ˜€ ) attending to one million and one things all crying out my name at the same time.

Uhm. In retrospect, I think I’ve been much more of a duck (“calm on the surface but paddling like the dickens underneath”).Β  There’s a funny part of me that hopes that being calm and collected on the outside will somehow seep into the inside by osmosis. hehe.

So. Lots of reasons why I hope you’ll forgive the long absence, but I won’t bore you with all the details. In a nutshell, this is what kept me away from my porch these past weeks:

  • dealing with medical emergencies ( one of which was major and took me out of the home for an entire week)
  • starting a crash course in Nutrition and Cooking Duty to answer the diet and lifestyle changes required by the medical emergencies (see above). Uhm. I have to confess: when God was distributing kitchen talents, I was way over on the opposite side, lined up in the Digital Addiction area πŸ˜†
  • working on the construction of a new annex to our home and remodelling of the existing one
  • helping the younger kids with their school work for this last stretch before summer (blissful summer!) comes
  • attending to the graduation needs of the two older ones (including graduation balls, graduation practices, and all those major class activities that seem to get scrunched up in the last few months of the school year)
  • writing my usual column for our community newsletter (and editing the whole thing too)
  • and…(I’ve saved the best part for last)…
  • working with Jes on our new shoppe. That’s right! We now have our very own little shoppe on the Spraground! Woohoo! πŸ˜€ (more on this below)

Extreme Makeover, Home Edition: The Kitchen

Did I mention that our home has been undergoing a major makeover since late December? We added an annex to our home (when you have five boys, you realize you need *lots* of space) and what that translates to is, basically, building a house all over again. Or at least it feels pretty much like it. Repainting, acquiring more furniture (luckily, we have access to a carpenter who can translate my designs into wood so we don’t really have to buy too many ready-made pieces of furniture), sorting through accumulated junk and trying to decide what goes and what stays (and having to deal with “No! We can’t throw that away!” from all corners of the home), ripping out flooring material and … you get the picture. πŸ™„

The good news is, with the additional space, dh and I get to have our own workroom. I’m still trying to decide which shelves and cabinets to move from our bedroom to the workroom over there (separation anxiety from my scrappin’ goodies, hehe).Β  Funnily, the kids refuse to get their own bedrooms (which is one of the main reasons we added the annex); they prefer to sleep together in their own shared bedrooms.Β  What this means is we get to have a guest bedroom (you’re all invited to come over for a sleepover! YAY!) and another bedroom turned into a playroom for the kiddos (which serves as a second guestroom if needed so come over and bring your entire fam!) πŸ˜† . Oh! It also means I finally get my own veranda, which I’ve turned into our art nook! The kids’ art table is now there, and my oil paints and canvases and my easel and palette and paintbrushes and…

And then, there’s the kitchen. Which is being made over. Which, in this state, pretty much represents what the rest of the house looks like while it’s undergoing plastic surgery:

kitchen

A bit of a side story: We had wooden floors here, which we ended up removing because we realized on Year 2 that wooden floors and kitchen spills don’t mix well. Now that we’re doing major work on the house, dh and I decided to replace the flooring with the more friendly Italian tiles. So he brought home 5 large square tiles for me and the kids to choose from: there was one amazing tile that had a wood pattern very much like our old kitchen’s wooden floor–very tempting, except that it had a slight pink-orange tint to it that disturbed me (heehee). There were 3 wonderful textured tiles of the warm-color family, the kind that make you think of Tuscany… and these seemed the perfect ones to choose from. But then there was this lone Zorro. The black italian textured tile. Very sleek. Very cool.

Hubby and I looked at each other and had the requisite “should we do black, knowing that dark colors make areas look smaller?” conversation. But then he said:

“Look at our black granite counters. And all that stainless steel…”

I thought of the black tiles. And the silver. And the black. And then the flashing marquee: Totally Sleek. Gorgeous. Yum.

So. Black it will be. πŸ˜‰

And now, moving on from the kitchen, let’s go to…

The Little Shop on the Block

I love little towns. I love the concept of having everything within walking distance. I love the thought of walking on late afternoons and passing by the butcher, waving at the baker, nodding at the corner grocer, smiling at the florist… I love the completeness of small towns where you can get everything within walking distance and where every corner oozes with warmth and sense of family.

If the Spraground were a tangible place, this is exactly how I imagine it to be. There’s the hotdog man in his rolling stall with the children around him; there’s the flowershop with tulips and carnations and chrysanthemums in full bloom; there’s the playground right smack in the center where everyone gravitates, and … oooh! in the corner! Look at that! It’s a little new shoppe!

πŸ˜€

If you’ve been around to my uber-amazing friend Jessica’s blog or to our wonderful Spraground homepage, you probably already know that we have our very own little shoppe on our Spraground! Woohoo! If you haven’t heard about it, come, run skip and jump right over HERE and consider yourself our very special guest!

Jes and I have been so excited working on sharing our creations with our uber-loved friends! For the record, I will state (again) how awesome a friend Jes is, and how grateful I am to her, and how awed I am by her uncanny ability to pluck a dream of mine from the sky, a dream I didn’t even know I had, and put it in my hands. What a girl. A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

And of course, nothing could come out from the most awesome digi goddess than the best stuff, right? Have you seen Jessica’s templates? They’re all to-die for! These templates are the most amazing, most wonderful things to work with because not only do we get to use Jessica’s stellar designs but… listen to this… her templates aren’t just templates, they’re Templates PLUS!

What this means is when you get Jessica’s templates, what you’re getting is really much much more than just a template. You get a lot of goodies as well that come with it. Goodies that you can use over and over again on different layouts! How awesome is that?Β  So buying a template from Jes is like getting a template and a host of element packs as well, all with the mark of excellence of Jessica’s great design and creativity and genius! Does it get any better than that? πŸ˜‰

Here’s a preview of one of her awesome single-page templates:

template03preview

When you open up this template, you’ll see that you get not only the template design but every part that you see on the template, including the circle embellishment, the frame, and the torn paper effect! Now that’s a huge PLUS, right?

And here’s an example of one of her terrific double-page templates:

template07preview

Yummy! Don’t you just love this?

Oh, and have I mentioned that Jes included a tutorial on her blog last week, together with a free template and video tutorial on how to use them? Her blog tutorial tells you how to take the items from the template and separate them into their own files so that you can find them easily and use them later on your layouts without having to go find them in your templates? Awesome, isn’t it?

Candice, photographer *and* creative woman extraordinaire, is also selling projects at the shoppe. Have you seen her Valentine Garland? It’s awesome!

And little old me… I create kits and all the other bits and pieces. πŸ˜†

Here’s the latest kit that I’ve got up in the shoppe:

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My absolute favorite thing to make is papers… so I’ve got a coordinating paper pack that goes with the kit (papers in this pack are different from the ones that come with the kit):

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And here’s the latest bit-and-piece I’ve uploaded:

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One of the things I love about this country I live in is the fact that textures abound everywhere! I can step out of my front door and find literally hundreds of texture sources! (This, by the way, is how I justify to my DH the need to bring my camera with me everywhere I go. heehee πŸ˜† )

And because you know I love ya…

Here’s a freebie for you!

This one is a complement of the textures pack that I have in the shoppe.Β  What you’ll get here are three photo texture plates, ready to use because they’re sized at approximately 5.5 x 7.5 inches. All you need to do is pull the texture plate onto a layer above your photo and then play with its blending modes and opacity levels. Try duplicating the texture, combining different textures, applying different blending modes, etc etc etc. The thing about textures is that they’re great toys to play with, and there are absolutely no limits to the amount of playing you can do with them!

Here are some examples of the freebies at work:

(You can click on the images if you want a closer look)

live-freebiesample1-img

CREDITS: photo by bjearwicke @ stock.xchng

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CREDITS: photo by lusi @ stock.xchng

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CREDITS: photo by jaquesi @ stock.xchng

Do you want to play with textures too? Here ya go!

livedesigns-photoplayfreebie-img

Click on the image to download.

Thanks for the love you leave on my blog as you download… and if you haven’t paid a visit to our shop yet, do drop by and have a look around, and pass by the general forum as well and say hello!

Phew! That’s all for today, folks! More updates tomorrow! Gotta get back to the saltmines! πŸ™‚

((((hugs)))) to you!

PS. Want free tuition to a really awesome photo-editing course?

Head on over to my dear friend Jessica’s blog and find out how you can win! πŸ˜‰

Caving?

11 Jan

Owing to some arm-twisting and bullying by my good friend Noel, it seems I have caved (for today, at least) to the peer pressure of participating in Project 365 (Quick, say that fast! ::peer pressure of participating in Project 365:: Now tell me, do your lips feel like they’ve just had a workout? πŸ˜†Β  ).

So for today, I’m playing catch-up and working backward on my photos that I’ve taken since the first of this year. (I knew there’d be a time when shooting in RAW would get me. It would’ve been so much easier if I just shot in jpg, but I just keep thinking, what a waste of pixels! … yeah, it must be photography pack-rat tendencies. >heehee< )

I’ve found a way to deal with the little nagging alter-ego imp sitting on my shoulder asking me “Yeah, sure, go ahead and do the Project 365, but can you sustain that for the entire year?” πŸ™„ Well, here’s what I’ve decided to do.

I’ve decided to commit to taking photos (as I really shoot practically everyday; I just don’t upload them into my compy everyday. hahaha! ). And… that’s about it! hahaha! I’ll shoot my photos as I usually do and not worry about whether I’m uploading daily or creating layouts immediately, as long as I shoot a photo everyday and upload them eventually. Now isn’t that much less threatening? (So take that, you little imp-on-my-shoulder! hahaha!)

Anyway… so here’s the first one for the first day of this year. I took it in that fab place we stayed in as we welcomed the new year. The teenagers and my sisters and brothers and DH were playing with sparklers and confetti bombs, and of course I just had to grab my monopod and shoot (Have I said that I am afraid of getting near any fireworks? tsk tsk. Pathetic=Me, right? πŸ˜› )

I’ve always wanted to attempt to shoot a slow-shutter-speed fireworks photo, and what better time to have a first try at it than the first minute of the first day of the year, right?Β  So, many thanks to my very cooperative subjects who obeyed without question when I called “Write 2009!”… here we go! πŸ˜†

(Bea, darling, this is for you! πŸ˜‰ And for you too, Noel! heehee )

Photo #010109 – 12:01 on the First

dsc_0041-live-010101-w

(Click on image for larger view)

P.S.

I’d like to give everyone HUGE hugs for all the warm fuzzies you’ve left in my comments portion. Hearing from you really makes my day. I can’t even begin to tell you how much it means to me that you take the time to type in a few (or more!) words. Love ya, sweeties!

There are some questions that I received from some of you, and while I normally reply via individual email, I’ve seen in some blogs that the replies are written in the comments section too, so that others who may have the same questions can see the answers as well. Is this the right thing to do? What do you who blog do? πŸ™‚

Anyway, for you, my dear friends, who asked me about stitching and the frame I used for my leaf-insect photo, I have the answers in the comments section here.

Now… gotta get back to the photos! (Will come back and edit this post to include the rest as soon as I’m done. )

(((hugs))) to you, my sweeties!

Where We’re At (and other W’s)

25 Aug
Technorati Tags: digital scrapbooking,freebies,Type+Writer

This is where we’re at right now… in other words, this is what you’ll see in any given room at any time of the day if you walk through our home:

Wall-E & Friends

Wall-E & Friends

In fact, even other toys are transformed into Wall-E Wannabe’s: (Sound byte: “Mom, look! I made my own Wall-e!” )

Wall-E, Version 2

Wall-E, Version 2

(That’s actually a toy that can be transformed into virtually anything, but its basic parts allow you to create dinosaurs and vehicles. Cool toys. We only had Lego when we were kids. hehe)

Work

I’ve been totally wrapped up in work on Type+Writer, our up-and-coming first-ever journaling and typography course on our Spraground! I’m extremely excited to be team-teaching the Type+writer course with the ever fabulous Jessica Sprague!

If you love making layouts but struggle with putting down the words to go with the photos, this course is for you! If you love writing, and journaling on layouts comes easy to you, this course is also for you! If you want to explore new techniques for getting those words onto your layouts with Photoshop’s awesome arsenal of tools, this course is for you! If you’ve taken any of Jessica’s online courses, you’d know that she is the absolute Best at everything she does, and you wouldn’t want to miss this latest course that she’s teaching! (Yep, in other words, you, you, and you… we’d love to have you in our course! πŸ˜€ )

So if you haven’t heard about it yet, read all about our Type+Writer course here! Registration will be on September 1st and our first day of class will be on September 8th! Jes and I promise that it’s going to be a fun-filled, very inspiring, creative two weeks that you’ll be spending with us when you decide to sign up for our course! So come, hop, skip, jump, run to the Spraground on September 1st and be counted among the beta Type+writers! πŸ˜€

Where Is He?

My sister left a comment asking me where the photo of Jun was on my blog… the one that he loved, the one that he said he’d use for all publications that request a photo of him. Well, sister dear, this is for you πŸ˜€ :

The Photography Master

The Photography Master

The Photography Master, Take 2

The Photography Master, Take 2

Wow, It’s About Time!

I’ve been wanting to release a freebie for the longest time… I took a break (a mental breather) and found some time to design a little paper pack for all you sweeties!

These aren’t the usual kind of papers that I normally make, but it’s always nice to push the envelope and explore horizons, right? (To my friend, Veevs, if you’re reading this, I hope I’m not too far off the mark when I say that I think these would be the kind of papers you might want to use! πŸ˜† )

So here is a mini paper pack for all of you: highly saturated and textured, for all those layouts that need an extra punch!

LivEdesigns Wild Grafix Paper Pack

LivEdesigns Wild Grafix Paper Pack

Click on the image to download.

Thank you so much for the love you leave on my blog as you download! I totally love reading your comments! πŸ™‚

Well, that’s all for now, folks! It’s back to the saltmines for me! πŸ˜†

Have a happy, scrappy day, my sweeties!

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