Tag Archives: LivE albums

The Product of a Sleepless Night

19 Oct

Sleepless yet productive. Is that even possible?

I used to be able to go sleepless years ago without feeling the brunt of it… at least not immediately. Back in college, I remember a sem when I had, oh, probably 4 or 5 major subjects, all of which required a monstrous amount of research papers to be submitted before the sem ended. I went without sleep for 3 days straight, buoyed by a constant caffeine drip supplied in numerous cups, and though I walked like a zombie on the day of submission, I did get those papers in.

Moving not too far back, about 4 years ago when I started out at JessicaSprague.com, I used to be able to function on 2 hours of sleep (earning the nickname “alien” in the process, since I seemed to be awake and on the boards at all hours). I could sleep for 4 of the 24 hours of each day and still have all the energy to live both real life and virtual life completely.

Ah yes, those were the good ol’ days. But nothing lasts forever, right?

Without warning, age crept up on me and with one sweep of its arm banished the invincible energy of youth. Suddenly I found myself at the mercy of huge yawns and eyelids that wouldn’t stay open without toothpicks to hold them up. Suddenly the siren call of the pillow was louder, drowning out whispered temptations of prowling about online, learning and teaching and creating till the wee hours of the morning. Suddenly “the spirit is willing but the body is weak” was no longer some childhood saying that I could not relate to; it had become reality.

And so now, with the odd exception or two, I find myself crawling into bed when the clock strikes 2 hours past midnight (sometimes, shame on me, even before that, if I’ve had a particularly heavy day).

But, like I said, there is the odd exception or two, when sleepless nights are called for, whether by force of circumstance (deadlines! deadlines!) or by desire (ooh, I just can’t quit pinterest when there’s just so much eye candy tonight!) or by… ahem… school projects of the kids.

That’s right. I did say school project. 😐

My son needed to submit a parent-child project for his Religion class, which required him to make a scrapbook (Ding! ding! Did anyone say scrapbook? Move aside while I do a happy dance! 😆 ). This being the month of October—which for Catholics is the month of special dedication to the practice of praying the Holy Rosary, the kids were required to make a scrapbook on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, with images and 2 prayers to be written under each image: one from the child and one from the parents.

So my son and I set to work on getting the images the week before, in between reviewing for their exams, and trying to figure out how to word the prayers we would be creating for the project. We searched high and low on the virtual highways, and we hit the motherlode when we found this site, which had the most beautiful images (and multiple ones, too, for each mystery of the Holy Rosary. Squeal!)

That turned out to be a really good thing, because over the weekend, my littlest son got hit by the sickies, which kept him in a very uncomfortable state (and his parents in a very alert, concerned state) while he nursed a 40ºC fever that wouldn’t go down much throughout the next 2 days. So suddenly the plan to complete the project over the weekend turned into a plan to complete the project at the end of the weekend. And that is how I found myself laboring over the final production of the project way into dawn of the day when it was due.

But! As the famous bard says, all’s well that ends well. Thanks to one sleepless night of extracting my kid’s penciled prayers, doing layouts, printing, trimming, and pasting… voila! My son and I were able to submit our joint kid-parent project! Thank heavens!

I just have to insert this aside: I can’t even remember the last time I created a layout (not for lack of desire but purely because of lack of time. Scrapping is many wonderful things plus delightfully therapeutic, but with deadlines to conquer, both virtual and real-life, in my case it’s also often what gets pushed aside first in favor of chasing other speeding trains. I wonder if other designers share this experience?). Well, thanks to my son’s required project, that “scrap-less” equation has been reversed.

30 layouts. One sleepless night. Love it. 😀

So here’s what we came up with:

The cover:

And the back cover:

The title page:

And because the book I was using had more pages than required to house all the mysteries, my son and I decided to include a photo of the Pope praying the rosary (thank you, Google images 🙂 ) and another image of Our Lady with the rosary.

Another extra page housed yet another beautiful quote and then the individual pages of each mystery preceded by a “chapter page.” (Warning: Be prepared to be deluged by quite a number of images :lol:).

Phew! And that’s it!

Just something else I wanted to mention: I was incredibly glad that I stocked up on a couple of these 8×8 white hard-cover blank books (with awesome textured paper) from one of my favorite shops, Muji (minimalist, back-to-the-basics, filled with neutral colors, stocked with a large variety of products from stationery to food to clothes and gadgets… I can spend hours and hours in this place). I think I feel the need to go back and hoard some more stuff! LOL!

Hope you have a wonderful, sleep-filled night, my friends! I’ll see you zzzzzzoon… 😉

Running After Time

11 Jan

There’s so much I want to do, and not enough time in a day to do it all! How many of you have felt this way? How do you handle it? Is there some secret you can share with me?

LOAD Day 10 & Daily December No. 6

Got this done this morning.

One of the lovely advantages of having 5 sons is that as they grow older, they eventually take over the task of getting the Christmas decor up, so that I am free to sit and watch them with a smile on my face, wondering how I got so lucky to have such great guys (and related to me, too! 😆 )

Tree Trimmers

Journaling reads:

last year there were three; now there are four of you working together to put up the tree and trim it. next year j will be old enough to join the fun as well. each christmas, year after year, i can just sit and watch you for hours, filled with quiet pride and gratitude. i am so lucky to have such great tree trimmers!

CREDITS:

Jessica Sprague’s Daily December template (altered); Michelle Coleman’s Topper & rivet (recolored); Katie Pertiet’s Grid Brush, HolidayOrnaments Brush, PostmarkedHolidays Brush, Emily Merritt’s Jolly Jingle Sparkles (recolored), Miriam Lima’s HolidayMagic paper, Atomic Cupcake actions

Word for the Month

Over at her blog, my dear friend Jessica mentioned Ali Edwards’ Word for the Year (another amazing lady there!)… with a twist: Jess has decided she wanted a Word for a Month instead. Given my own love for words, I totally agree with her! (Also, nice to have 12 words to live by instead of just one for the year! 🙂 )

I decided my word for January would be ADVENTURE.

noun: an undertaking; an unusual or exciting experience

verb, tr.: to venture upon; undertake or try

verb, intr.: to take a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome; dare

synonyms: (n)risky venture, escapade; (v) take a risk, take a chance / related words: (n) project, task, undertaking, labor; (v) chance, attempt, try, seek

I think this is a great word to start the year off with: I’ve always loved adventures, whether of the real kind (the kind that took me to places as a kid) or the vicarious kind (the kind that I take now that I’m older, which normally I gather from museum trips, reading books and magazines, surfing the net, and playing around).

I also like that the related words (project, task, undertaking, labor) are so closely related to WORK. I have such a great respect for the dignity of work. I think working to your best capacities and abilities, in the simplest thing (sure, even in tasks as simple as cleaning your bathroom or picking up that piece of tissue lying on the floor) and offering it up to our Lord, is one of the best prayers and one of the best ways to give back glory to Him who has given us all we have.

Who knows what adventures lay ahead this year? Just thinking about it is so exciting! Here are a few that come to mind:

Adventures in Design: I love learning. I love the adventure of discovery, of finding out new things, of learning something new everyday. I guess that’s why I love designing so much: every kit is an adventure into the unknown! I see something in my mind and I try to create it digitally. When the vision and what I see on my monitor match each other, it’s such a WOW moment for me that I can’t wait to share it with all my friends! (hence the freebies 😀 ) I want to learn a lot more and experiment a lot more with Photoshop and designing. I need to open those new/old software CDs that have sat in my drawer (was once too terrified to attempt them, am more adventurous now), among them: CS3 and Xarax.

Every class with Jess is an adventure: I am so looking forward to our next adventure in March, which is when our Digi: In Deep course will begin its maiden journey.

Doing something I would not normally do: take a risk = adventure. I am normally what my people would call segurista. One who does not like taking wild chances; one who finds much sense in the saying, “better safe than sorry.” But nothing big has been accomplished by staying on safe ground when you could be sailing the high seas (with WISDOM, of course). So I think it’s a good time to attempt to go back to those days of abandoning fears and just jumping in with both eyes closed and fingers crossed (uhhh. I really think my Lasik adventure last Monday is a good case in point). 😆

Another case in point:

I am normally a shy person (I kid you not; even if it may seem unlikely. 😆 ) When I see friends I haven’t seen in ages, I vacillate between saying hello and re-introducing myself and staying away so that I don’t subject that person to a blast from the past that they may or may not welcome.

Last night, as hubby and I were walking (killing time while waiting for our dear friends Jun and Abby to arrive–we were having dinner together), I happened to see a guy who was very good friend of mine back when we were in university… but we happened to lose touch over the years (I distinctly remember the exact time we last spoke: it was when he invited me to his wedding to this sweet girl, who just happened to be a Philippine actress… and I do get really shy [almost reticent] around showbiz personalities, so I stayed away. And we lost touch after). Anyway, hubby said to me, “Well, why don’t you go over there and say hi?” So, very uncharacteristically, I walked up to A., said hello using the petname we in our group of friends used to call him back then, briefly saw a look of non-recognition pass in his eyes, and right after I gave my name. My maiden name, of course (we lost touch even before I got married). And with the mention of my name, there was recognition. It was quite funny, actually: watching his eyes was like watching the aperture opening of a camera, first small then becoming larger and larger. He said “Hiiiiiiii!!!!” and turned to the lady friend he was with, introduced me, and said “We’ve known each other since she was like ten years old!” I said “Yeah, we go waaaay back.” We exchanged cellphone numbers, and voila!

Fun. Always good to reconnect.

And as if that wasn’t enough: after dinner, on the way to our cars, Jun, Abby, hubby and I were walking and we chanced upon J.M., who was overseeing the opening of the Paul Smith store at this new mall. He said hello to Jun and Abby, and when Jun turned to introduce me and hubby, he looked at me and said “Hey, I know you!” to which I answered, “yup, we were at the beach together years back, with C., T. and L.”

Another blast from the past. That makes two in one night!

And then… not five minutes after… as we were standing by the driveway of the center of the mall, the car in front of us drove up, and who was about to get into it? Another friend from college days, now married to another showbiz personality. I had briefly spoken with him at the launch of the Our Father book, and reintroduced myself then… (one of those rare bold moments I had, but I was extraordinarily courageous then… after all, that was OUR launch. haha!). Anyway, he and his sweet wife were about to get into the car, and I said hello. And this time, I didn’t have to reintroduce myself!

And that, folks, completes Round Three. Three amazing blasts from the pasts. Hey, I should’ve been in Vegas. Maybe the slot machines would’ve made me rich tonight, given the three hits at adventure I got in just one night! 😆

Connections. We are all connected to each other in various ways. I think it’s amazing when events like this happen one after the other; makes you really consider what a small, small world this is.

Capturing images is an adventure: I want to play a lot with my camera and learn a lot more about what I can do with it. I drive my hubby crazy when I attempt to lug my Lowepro slingback wherever I go. The few times I am successful at resisting the urge to pick it up before I go out the front door, I end up regretting it (“Oh wow, do you see the lines that those eaves make? Geez! Wish I had my camera with me! See the pattern of the leaves’ shadows on the pavement! Geez! Wish I could take that, if I had my camera with me!” ). Yesterday, of course, was one of the few times I left Cameran at home (and regretted it), and so I was demoted to taking photos of lines and lights that amazed me with my cellular phone. Oh, the humiliation! 😆 But, it was the best I could do at the moment!

Speaking of Photography…

Have you seen this take of Annie Leibovitz’ shoot with the Queen of England? I found it very interesting, mostly because it IS the famed Annie Leibovitz, amazing woman photographer, best known for her photo of a very pregnant Demi Moore in her birthday suit on the cover of Vanity Fair way back. Another reason for my interest: it took me back to the time when I was in the fifth grade and knew all the trivia there was to know about the Royal Family (this coincided with the engagement of then-Lady Diana to Prince Charles, and with my first attempt at a short hairstyle a la Diana… eeeeuw! how embarrassing! 😆 )

Oh… have I introduced you to the royal fam? That’s Anne, Charles, The Queen, Prince Philip, Andrew, and the Queen Mum… and me, in front, with my very proper, English, royal smile. (Long hair tied at the back will tell you this was way back in ’97)

Meet the Royal Family

Okay… so maybe the photo was taken at Madame Tussaud’s. Makes for some great laughs though, doesn’t it? 😆

Hey, you think my friend Veevs, royal relation to this family, would approve?

😆

Enough playing around for now… I’m off to attempt some freebies! woohoo!

See you in a bit, my sweeties! (((hugs)))

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