Mamma Mia!

Here I go again… (hehe)

I loved the movie (didn’t get to see the play)… Loved Meryl Streep, great actress that she is, and incredibly funny too (I totally get her humor in choosing to do this movie to embarrass her kids, bwahaha). And maybe Pierce Brosnan doesn’t make me swoon when he sings, but he doesn’t need to because he makes me swoon even without opening his mouth to say a word. 😆

So anyway, inspired by Mamma Mia and the Spraground Weekly Challenge last week on scrapping travel photos, I decided to pull out the 11-year-old old photos of our trip to Santorini, Greece (yep, back in them good ol’ days when long hair didn’t drive me crazy yet and I had the bravado to wear mini skirts 😛 ) and finally scrap them!

What was supposed to be a single page layout turned into a double-whammy.

Here’s what I came up with:

The Beauty of Santorini

The Beauty of Santorini

(You can click on the image to enlarge it if you wish)


AnnaAspnes-TornNTatteredTemplates; KatiePertiet-MyCountry & SpotDots3 Papers; TailedJournalers; LooselyLabeled tag (recolored); DigitalDates stamp; LedgerPieces2 Flourishes; NancieRoweJanitz-ChalkedOverlay; Diogenes & TraditionalSansXLight Fonts

And because you know I love to share, here’s the template for the double-pager for you!

LivEdesigns Santorini Double-Page Layered Template

LivEdesigns Santorini Double-Page Layered Template

Click on the image to download the 24×12 layered template (this is huge!)

Now if you’re more comfortable doing the pages on their own as two 12×12 layouts, you may want to download the double-pager as two separate sides (the left side and the right side). I’ve gone ahead and created that for you as well, just to make things easier (yep, I’m all for easy!) 😆

LivEdesigns-Santorini Double-Page Layered Template-12x12 times 2

LivEdesigns-Santorini Double-Page Layered Template-12x12 times 2

So click on the image above if you want to download the two 12×12 layered templates that make up the left and right sides of the double-pager.

Both downloads come to you as layered .psd files.

Have You Joined the Bandwagon Yet?

Everyone and everyone has joined the Stories in Hand bandwagon at our Spraground! Have you signed up? If you have, yipee-doo! You’re probably busy getting your supplies for this great event ready!

If you haven’t signed up yet, whoa! What are you waiting for? Come and join the par-tay! 😀 Sign-up is till November 8th, and I did mention the whole course is free, right? With loads of surprises! So come on, hit this image below (or the one on my sidebar) and go straight to the sign-up area! I promise you, you’re going to be in good GREAT company! 😉


Stories in Hand - SIGN UP NOW! (if you haven

Update on the final set of Fall Into Fall Freebie:

This one is coming soon. I know, it’s trudging along way more slowly than I would have liked, but I’ve been busy caring for my three sick kids (bad colds gave way to pneumonia… so I have turned my home into a mini hospital with three poor little patients… would appreciate a little prayer sent to Heaven for them! Thanks in advance!)

Have a happy, scrappy day! 😀

Photo Phun!

Wow! Thanks to everyone who left such great love in my blog and on my 4shared site; I am sooo glad that you liked the template (more of those coming soon!).

I just realized that I am sooo behind in posting my May Photo-A-Day exploits, so why don’t we sit on this porch swing, grab a cold drink, and just let the breeze play with our hair as we sit back and have a most relaxing chat? Sounds good? 🙂

Oh, and while we’re at it, maybe let’s add some music… my dear friend Linda just introduced me to this guy (who doesn’t even know she and I exist, hehe), and I looked him up on youtube and totally fell in love with this song.

A bit of an aside: since my 2 older teen sons are into music (who of their age isn’t? 😛 ), I asked them if they’d heard of Jason Mraz, thinking “Wow! They’re going to find me so cool, that I know contemporary music!”

The response? “Oh yeah mom, that song has been around for some time.”

So much for being cool. 😆

So… here we go! Maestro, play your music! (And you, dear friend, press that play button). hehehe

And now for some Photo Phun 😀

May05 ~ Do Flowers Have Faces?

May05 PAD

I couldn’t help but think Madame Florabell when I saw this on a walk around our garden grounds… Is it just me who sees the eyes and the green nose and the tuft of yellow-fuschia hair, and her ruffly collar? heehee. Sometimes nature can have such a sense of humor!

(PS. I am utterly hopeless at identifying flowers by name! All I know is that these ones are so common around here, they even grew by the side of our childhood home… and when we were kids, we’d pick them all the time! 😀 )

May06 ~ A Very Casual Love Affair

May06 PAD

What can I say? I’m a jeans-and-sneakers kind of girl, true and through! Gotta love them (try running after 5 sons in skirts and heels and you’ll understand why I live in jeans and sneakers~ROFL!)


Here’s a layout I did with the extra takes of the day. 😆

PSF Storyboard

Could these shoes count me in as a hybrid scrapper? 😆


MeredithFenwick-WildSide-DarkGrey paper (combined with KatiePertiet’s BlackBlack-Paper); AntiquePaperSwirls; AntiqueBits Postcard / Pieces of Me Sentimental Kit – Staple, Transparent Tape
FONTS: SxTalk69; Mom’sTypewriter

The storyboard was created using Jessica’s Photoshop Friday Tutorial. Very easy, very fun to use!

May07 ~ Urban Tears

May07 PAD

Urban tears = rain in the city. Ever since I was a little kid, I always thought raindrops looked like teardrops. Shot this from inside my car on my way home from another one of the daily trips I had been making to the hospital for my kids. We were on top of the bridge as I shot this, so the background is actually the tops of the buildings as we passed.

May08 ~ Iron Man Rules!

May08 PAD

I was going to use the photo untouched, but my two older teen sons saw me playing around with it using the WOW Watercolor and Linework Filter, and begged me to upload this instead. They said it fits the theme… and because *sometimes* my sons rule me, I let them have their way this time. hehe. (Guess the Comic Generation knows whereof they speak! LOL).

May09 ~ Ma, Look!

May09 PAD

Took this photo of my son’s hand pointing to a wooden thingie on our home grounds while he was on his (most probably) hundredth “Ma, look!”… I don’t remember seeing whatever it was he saw there (an ant?) but when the photo came out, I decided to play a bit with it, and added a little sprite! 😉 Totally played with this! 😀

And okay, so the photo is real but I added the lights and the glow, and used Stephanie Baker-Thomas’ faery figure. 🙂

May10 ~ aaaH2Ooooh

May10 PAD

Pure relief, and the best refreshing drink on a hot and humid day; and possibly the best elixir to take when you’re about to climb the walls because your internet router is dead and you can’t get to your favorite Spraground in the world. heh. 😛

Took this glass of water in my dining room… switched off all the lights except the corner lights and one on the right side. 🙂

And okay, so there are more photos to upload, but before you doze off to sleep, I’m going to save you some energy and upload those at another time! hehehe 😆

Photo Phun Means Phreebie Phun!

And since you’ve been such wonderful friends, patiently looking at my photo exploits, here’s a little something for you! 😀

My sister, who has just completed the previous Up & Running course of Jessica a couple of months ago (and promptly GOT HOOKED, mwahahahaha), wanted to create a layout but only had 2 photos to use on it. What a dilemma, huh? I normally like using photos in groups of odd numbers (say 1 focal photo and 3 little ones)… I don’t think I’ve ever used just 2 photos on a layout.

But her dilemma got me thinking: What IF there were truly just two photos snapped? Then what?

Make a template for 2 photos! 😆

So I made her a template with two choices for the title area: One with a straight honest-to-goodness regular title, and another with a curved title path that leads into one of the photo masks.

And here’s the layout she came up with (I am so proud of this work of hers! So wonderful!)

Template Sample LO cnb


AAspnes’ Web Challenge Brushes 18May, MZimmermann’s Breeze of Elegance Paper, MZ’s Timeless Journey Paper (recolored), MFenwick’s Warm Heart Paper 6 (journal spot), MZ’s Lifetime Moments Lock & Tag and Bundled Lock & Key Elements, JBolton’s Pastiche Screw, MFenwick’s Fall Fiesta Rhinestone Circle. Fonts: Lucida Blockletter and Century Gothic.

And here is what the templates look like:

You can get this template, which has a straight, no-nonsense title 😛 by clicking on the template preview. 😉

2Photo Template with Straight Title

And if you prefer a curved title path, you can get this template here (also by clicking on the preview) 😉

2 Photo Template with Curved Title Path

Both templates are psd files with clipping masks included. All you have to do is clip your photos and papers on to them, add whatever accents you want to, and voila!

Happy Scrapping, my dear friends! Oh, and thanks for the love you leave in my blog!

And… have a LOVELY day! I’ll see you again soon!

Freebie Fun!

Just a quick one, as I’ve been through a whirlwind 2 weeks of real life and digi life and everything in between…

Just wanted to leave a quick gift for everyone who passes by my porch (and there’s iced tea and cookies and freshly brewed coffee too over here too! 😀 ).

Thank you for all the prayers and all the kind words that you’ve left in my comments. Your friendship is so precious to me, your words such a balm. You are totally awesome. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I am about 7 layouts delayed… 4 for our April challenges (was too busy wrapping up the previous run of the Up&Running course, and then attending to our Digi: In Deep course that followed on its heels 🙂 ) and 3 layouts for the templates that I created for our Digi: In Deep creative challenges.

I hit two birds with one stone by combining this week’s Spraground Weekly Challenge-Designer Spotlight with my template-layout requirement (yay!) plus I got to restore and scrap with old photos. So yay, this was a great case of getting many things on my to-do list checked at one go! 🙂

The designer we spotlighted on our Spraground this week was Anna Aspnes from DesignerDigitals, who–like every single designer in that fab shoppe–has the most amazing work and best of all, they are ultra-generous with their freebies! This past Sunday she gave out the most WONDERFUL plume freebies! So that’s what we played with for our challenge!

Here’s what I made:

DIDIt-03 Template


LivEdesigns DIDIt-03 Template; Anna Aspnes – DD 18MayFreebie Plumes; MeredithFenwick-AfternoonSerenadePapers ; GrungyBabyPapers; WarmHeartAlpha; DawnWilson-BlackFridayTab;
Fonts: BeautifulES; BabelSans; Times&Times; subway photo from; AtomicCupcake & Wow actions

And here’s the template that I used:

It comes with the drop shadows to make the three blocks look dimensional (but you can always disable the shadows), and you can use it either as a 3-photo template with journaling spaces; or a 6-photo template.

Hope you find some use for it! You can snag the template HERE, and thanks for the love you leave on my blog as you download it!

Well, gotta rush back to the one million one things I need to attend to.

Oh, and PS. Just a little request for prayers:

1. for my dear, precious friend Lisa who has just lost her husband and best friend (we are all grieving with her and we keep her in our thoughts and prayers, and would love to have you join us in lifting our prayers to Heaven); and

2. for my special intentions (which have to do with V-day… will let you know all about that soon!)

Thank you so much in advance, and do visit again soon!


Well, hello there…

…good old friend(s) of mine… (are you singing along with me? :P)

Man, it’s been AGES! I am soo soo sorry for being absent from my porch swing… I’ve gotten a number of emails asking me why I’ve been quiet… I’ve been wanting, panting, hankering to come here and post freebies but ~sigh~ life has just been moving at full-speed ahead!

The kids are out of school, with summer officially here for the past month… and you who have school-age children just know how that means mom is also officially the Boredom Buster and Head Entertainer and Day Planner. It’s a total pleasure and it’s really my first job description (being wife and mom, hehe), so “working”  on the “peak period” of this job has been keeping me busy… 😛

Then of course, there are the fabulous courses at our Spraground! Now that’s what keeps me on my Summer Mom toes! WHAT FUN!

We just finished up with the March run of the Up & Running beginners course… and I love that we have a lot of new Spraground family members who are joining us on the Dark Side! heehee! (And that includes my own sister and her three friends! Whoopeedoo!!! 😆 ) I have to say I looove moderating because nothing beats the pleasure of working with the incredible tandem that Jes and Jared are, and being able to helping others and being part of the incredible A-ha moments! It’s totally awesome to be part of the learning journey of new (and some old) friends, to see them grow in their Photoshop skills, to marvel at their creations and to be privileged to see them enjoy telling their life stories… the joy is just so overwhelming.

Right after wrapping up the U&R course, we began (and are now heading towards the end of the first week) of our beta Digi: In Deep, my dear friend Jessica’s advanced course for digital scrapbooking. I have to say, each day, when that email comes into my inbox, I am floored by the AWESOME activities and lessons that Jessica has planned for us! It is just so FABULOUS, so wonderful, and geez, I could run out of all the superlative adjectives, and still that wouldn’t come up to describing how much I love this course! Wow!

It’s an action-packed course, and I love every minute of it! But it also means that no matter how excited I am to design new stuff for you (got a whole list of things I want to create for you!), it’s going to have to wait a little bit till I’ve gotten hang of my time management. (Yo, that big compound word that really just mean I-would-give-anything-for-more-than-24-hours-in-a-day 🙂 )

We’ve also come up with our Spraground Weekly Challenges, which are open to everyone who’s registered at our Spraground (registering is free; come play with us!) We’ve been seeing a whole load of awesome layouts coming up on our galleries, and, really, nothing beats playing AND learning at the same time!

As if to tease me for my long absence, I open the door to this little place of ours on WordPress, and I am astounded. WHOA. This is totally rocking! A whole new face, beautiful clean colors of cool blues, greys and whites, a totally modern interface… WordPress is ROCKIN! Whoopee!!! 😀

Anyway, today I’ve pushed aside all other pressing matters to sit with you a while… because I’ve been suffering withdrawal symptoms from not having been with you for what feels like forever!!!

I do want you all to know that I have been keeping you in mind and missing our porch conversations for the longest time! So I’m so glad to be with you today!

Layin’ It All Out

Here are some layouts I’ve come up with since the last time I posted:

Jammin’ in My Jammies:

Jammin' in My Jammies


Lisa Whitney – ArtsyFartsyPaper ; Katie Pertiet – StarGazers Flourish; Michelle Coleman – Glow Gold Dust Edge ; Chere Edwards @ – Scribbles Alpha


This was done for our Spraground Weekly Challenge Designer Spotlight, where our designer was none other than our fabulous Jessica Sprague! The challenge required us to use nothing else but her Home Away from Home kit, which is fabulous, and the theme “Home”. You can get it Jessica’s fab kit for free on her blog! (Link is on my right sidebar!)



Jessica’s Home Away from Home Kit (papers slightly recolored); FONTS: Zapfhumnst BT, Tagettes

The Magic of a Child

This was done for our Spraground Weekly ColorLift Challenge, where we are required to do a scraplift (this one by heathert at DD) using a particular color scheme. Totally had fun with this one! (Then again, I have fun with each one! 😆 )

The Magic of a Child

Journaling (Quote by Francis Thompson):

Know you what it is to be a child?

It is to be something very different from the man of to-day. It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear. It is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into everything, for each child has its fairy godmother in its own soul.


One of my few top favorite designers, Meredith Fenwick’s AfternoonSerenade Paper & Antique Paper Swirls; Jen Wilson’s ExtraSmudges (recolored) & Variety Alpha; NatashaWhiteley’s DiffusedGlow action (used on background curtain)

Simple Joys

This was done for our Spraground Merry Go Round Challenge, which required us to use photos that were taken in available light:

Simple Joys


everyday you teach me the beauty of simplicity. you reveal to me the treasures that hide within the smallest things. you run free and carefree, the afternoon breeze playfully tussling your soft hair, the crunchy grass embracing and cushioning your little feet, the warm glow of the sun bouncing on your chubby cheeks. you teach me that true happiness doesn’t cost a thing. it’s found in purity and innocence and, yes, simplicity. you need nothing more than empty space to frolic in to have the time of your lives. and i need nothing more than simply being with you for my heart to be filled with pure, unadulterated joy. ah, true happiness at its very best… yep, it really is that simple.


Meredith Fenwick – EasySilence apple paper; TwilightDreaming Butterfly, JapaneseTree; CrazyBeautiful-PaintedFrame (recolored) & Alphabet
Annie Manning/Paint the Moon: Charmes d’Antan – Butterfly (altered) & Butterfly Wings
KimChristensen – Spelling101 Kit: Black Inked Overlay

DID I Say…?

Here are the two layouts we worked on for the first week of DID… Absolutely ROCKIN course!!! 😀

Lesson 1A: Of Friendships & Brotherhood

Of Friendships & Brotherhood


how totally wonderful to see the three of you working together, helping each other. one minute your faces are scrunched up in intense concentration; the next minute your eyes crinkle delightfully as you brust out in silly, boisterous laughter. today you build sandcastles; tomorrow you’ll build even greater things. what i hope remains the same is the spirit of love and friendship that you have for each other as you work and play together. because, my dear sons, more than any tangible thing, you build best when you build bridges of love.


Everything from the DID Course Materials by Katie Pertiet, Jen Wilson, Trish Jones, Linda Gill Billdal, Nancie Rowe Janitz, Mary Ann Wise, Lynn Grieveson. Fonts: Texas Hero, One Fell Swoop, Problem Secretary, English111 Presto BT

Lesson 1B: My Everyday Miracle

We had to create our own layout from scratch, using the techniques we had learned in Lesson 1. Here’s what I came up with:

My Everyday Miracle


Meredith Fenwick-GrungyBaby papers(blended);Cowboy Papers; CrazyBeautiful-stitched eyelets/Paint-the-Moon Annie Manning-TheNaturalsRibbons-LeavesTie&Shadow/ Dani B-BlackFriday Button/Mary Ann Wise-AlaMode Flourish/Fonts: Porcelain, BeautifulES, SandraOh

As you may have noticed, I am very into Meredith Fenwick’s stuff… that’s because she just re-opened her store at and when I went to get her grab bag (among others, hehe) that celebrated her return (man, was that AWESOME!) Mer was soooo generous that I got an additional 50-off coupon to go crazy with in her shoppe again! Woohoo!!! Of course I got all that I could manage to get my itchy digi hands on. hehe.

I asked Mer if I could show you here the items I bought from her SBG shoppe, and she said YES! So… here’s what I’m totally loving right now!

From her Posh Collection:

The Posh Collection

The Posh Collection

The Posh Collection

The Posh Collection

I also got her Everyday Inspiration collection, her Grungy Baby kit, and her Legible Notecards set. They’re all as wonderfully textured and beautiful as the Posh collection you see here!

And since you made it this far…

and because I’ve been gone for so long, I have a little something for you! I’m sharing with you the circle template that I created for our DID Lesson 1B class. It took me a huge amount of time trying to translate what I saw in my mind onto my monitor… but I am so thrilled that I was able to get it done!

This is a very simple template: I have not added strokes to any of the items (because it’s better to add the stroke after you’ve pulled in your papers and photos to clip on), and I’ve left the drop shadows out so that you can have absolute freedom in deciding where your light source is. I’ve also left the entire thing very basic so you can choose which accents you want to add into your own layout. I hope you find some use for this, and thanks for the love you leave right here on my blog! 😀

Here’s what you’re getting (the layout I made with it is above):

LivEdesigns DID It Circle Template

And you can click here to get it!

EDITED on October 14th:

I’ve received word that the old link is no longer valid. I’ve re-uploaded and changed the link upon request… you may now click on the image of the template to get the new link for it! 😉

Now I really need to get back to my work on the DID course… so I hope to see you soon!

Have a great day, my sweeties!!! I promise I’ll do my best not to stay away so long again! 😀

Spraground Fun!

Before anything else, I’d like to give the most HUMONGOUS hugs to all my friends who’ve left love and prayer wishes for my son here on my blog and on our playground… I wish I could put into words how infinitely grateful I am for the time you took to send a little note to heaven for my little one. He’s still doing the meds and the nebulization rounds,  but as of yesterday his coughing fits have significantly lessened and I attribute the improvement TOTALLY to all the prayers of my dearest friends — that’s right, YOU — all over the world.

Hand on my heart: I love you all. Thank you soooo much.

(These words don’t come an iota close to expressing the extreme gratitude and affection I have in my heart for you… but it’s all I have now, unless I can clone my body and come to you one by one to give you the greatest, warmest hugs).

Please continue to keep him in mind till he gets over this health hump. Thank you again!

And now… for the fun part:

Next week our Weekly Spraground Challenges begin officially… in the meantime, we’ve been continuing the excitement and fun of playing on our playground! For this week, we will have a template challenge (read all about it on our Spraground!).

Here’s what the template that we’ll be playing with looks like:

LivEdesigns Spraground Challenge Feb25 Template

Download the template here. (Thanks for joining the game, and thanks for the love you leave!)

Been quite busy…

taking care of a million and one things. Not really different from the rest of my friends on the playground, who seem to be quite swamped with the demands of real life as well (funny how 2008 really just shot off like a race car wanting to set a huge lead ahead of the rest, huh?)

So I won’t stay long today… have yet to continue work on my LDD application kit (yesterday I played around and came up with around 20 papers and I was happy with… ONE. 😆 So I really need to play some more. Isn’t it funny how self-imposed pressure can make everything seem not good enough? 😆 )

Also need to care for my little sick duckie. So I’ll catch you around again soon, okay?


I Caved…

DH came home last Saturday with the most sumptuous feast from the Italian resto by the corner… totally no consideration for wide-eyed, famished, spaced-out women. 😆 I could not resist.

My dear friend Joan doesn’t like talk about diets 😉 but I will say this: there are a lot of things that I’ve learned in the past few days from this attempt to diet: Two, to wit:

1. Three hours of sleep and an empty stomach do not mix well. Nope. I was feeling quite spacey and ditzy, and had trouble focusing. At one point, dh said “do you realize you’ve been sitting there staring at your compy for the past X hours?”… I was “working” on a layout and here I use the term working very loosely because I have a sneaky suspicion that what I was really doing was sleeping with my eyes wide-open. 😆

2. Maybe I need to spoil myself less and deprive myself more. I mean, really, how bad is it to limit your intake? A very dear wise friend of mine, who was also my confessor for a good part of my life (and he baptized the last 3 of my children), once told me: “If you feel completely satiated and stuffed after a meal, then you know you’ve eaten like a pig.” Ouch. I need to learn to eat like a bird.

Thing is, I realize, this applies to a whole lot of other things in life also. We don’t really have to have everything to the maximum limit. In most cases, it must be good for the soul to restrain oneself for greater strength in the things that really matter. Balance is a good thing. A very good thing.

Now, Joanie, I will quit this talk and move on. 😀

Tagged! Again!

I’ve been meaning to do this tag from my dear friend Jackie, and while I was thinking of what to put in my tag, my friend Jeanne tagged me as well! So there I go: tag times two! Sorry, my dear friends who may not be fond of tags but are about to be tagged anyway by me 😆

Jackie’s Tag

These are the rules: You must post the rules before you give your answers.You must list one fact about yourself for each letter of your middle name. Each fact must begin with that letter. If you don’t have a middle name, just use your maiden name. After you’ve been tagged, you need to up-date your blog with your middle name and answers. At the end of your post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they’ve been tagged and need to read your blog for details.

(Jackie is lucky: she has 2 letters to her middle name. I have SEVEN. But one letter repeats so I’m going to count that as one. There’s nothing in the rules that doesn’t allow that, right? hehe)

M – Mom. This is half of a huge part of what defines me (the other is Wife). For me there is no greater gift than being able to be mother five times over to the most adorable sons (even when they’re not being that adorable, I am ever thankful for them). Of course I can’t be mom without being wife, so that kind of works itself out pretty well in the gratitude department, doesn’t it? 🙂

A – Addict. I am addicted to digital design, digital scrapbooking, photography. I can sit for hours and play, play, play. Can’t help it. I’ve been pulled over to the Dark Side and have absolutely no regrets! Thank you Jes! 🙂

R – Rebel. The good kind though (I think). This must be the after-effect of being the youngest kid of 6 for 15 years (the only weapon of the designated siblings’ slave is rebellion). I know for a fact that if you want me to do something, you need to let me feel that it’s my choice; otherwise, I rebel. (Okay, so maybe I should have said Brat instead, but there’s no B in my middle name). Maybe R should also refer to Relent–yeah, yeah, after I rebel, I relent. hohoho. Does that make me a fake rebel? 😆

L – Lover of Life. Oh yeah. Love life and all there is to it, peaks and valleys (though I prefer peaks, thank you very much). I will always be grateful for my life and the lives that have touched mine, and grateful to have been granted the grace to see, and therefore be grateful for, all the bountiful blessings that have been given me and the people I love. I really don’t get it when some people complain about having a rotten life: I think there are always two sides to the coin, and one can choose to see the dark side of things and be frustrated, or seek the lighter side of things (no matter how difficult this may be at times) and be happier.

E – Explorer. I love learning. I love dissecting things, trying to understand what makes things work, trying to find a better way of doing something so that it’s more efficient and makes better sense. I love discovering the world. I think I would just die if a day passed where I didn’t learn something new. This is the reason I totally adore books, and why I can spend hours playing with Adobe. There is just such a wealth of information to be bitten, chewed, mashed, swished around, and digested. Mmmmm. Burp!

N – Night Owl. I can function on 3 to 4 hours of sleep (well, as long as I don’t have an empty stomach). I love the quiet time and the darkness around; so conducive to thinking and creating art. Maybe this has something to do with having a buzzing household with five rambunctious boys when it’s daylight… or maybe I just like burning the midnight oil. Or maybe I just love my playground friends so much that I make it a point to be awake when they’re awake on their side of the world. 😆

E – (okay fine, I’ll be fair and do the other E as well 😆 ) Everything-that-happens-is-good Believer. (Is this really pushing it? 😆 ) Did you ever notice my blog header? Take a look above: Right over there, at the top right side, you’ll see my mantra: “It’s all good.” It really is! Sure there are some really yucky things in life, can’t avoid that. (After all, will one know the sweet joy of laughter without having tasted the saltiness of tears?). But I really believe that behind every cloud there is a silver lining. I guess it all stems from faith, that precious gift: I truly believe that my father God loves me with a personal love (just as He loves you with a personal love), and that He will allow unfortunate events to happen to His beloved ONLY if there is a greater, better good that can come out of it. It is our task, therefore, to find what that greater, better good is.

Alright! Jackie, you would be proud of me! Got all seven facts done! Now I tag my dear friends (who I hope will still love me after I’ve tagged them 😆 ) Veevs, Linda, Laurie, Heather, Ann, Dawn, and Kelleigh (welcome to the playground tag game, kel!!! 😛 )

Jeanne’s Tag

Jeanne’s tag is a different kind, a very heart-warming one:

The idea behind this tag game is different from other tag games. Rather than look inwardly, we look outside ourselves and bless, praise and pray for three blog friends. By participating in this endeavour we not only make the recipient of the blessing feel valued and appreciated, but we are having some fun too. We’re going to see how far the bloggin’ blessings can travel around the world and how many people can be blessed! Recipients of a bloggin’ blessing may upload the above image to their sidebar if they choose to do so. In addition, be sure to go to the blog of those you are blessing and leave a comment on their blog to be sure they check yours!

Okay, this is really hard to do, limiting the number of people to three, because there are truly just too many people who need to be counted on this list (and a good number of them don’t even have a blog). Maybe the tag limits us to three so that we can remain in the blessings of those whom we haven’t tagged? 😆 just kidding. Couldn’t resist that. >heehee<

Seriously though, Jeanne, thank you for your oh, so kind comments on your blog. It is always a GREAT thing to receive warm fuzzies unexpectedly, and you gave me warm fuzzies enough to last an entire year and then some. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart too.

Alright, my three people (and those whom I’ve left out… you’re in my heart, you know that).

Lisa. Lisa is a darling friend, whose latest venture has been taking up the cudgels of providing the playground challenges. Lisa is my personal hero, because despite her battle with trying to keep from losing weight (what I would give to be able to donate my excess to her), she is nonchalant about her health battles, never drawing attention to herself, and manages to maintain a great sense of humor and a matching concern for others. Where others would’ve withdrawn and buried themselves in concern and worry that could be justified, Lisa is amazingly brave and continues to live life to the fullest. She is awesome.

Deb. Deb is just a fountain of never-ending warm fuzzies and is my most constant blog-bench visitor, there from the very start when there were just a handful who would come sit on my blog-bench. She is so generous with her kind thoughts and her kind comments, and she never has a negative thing to say. I love positive people! Deb, like me, has a houseful of children (well, okay, she has more than me), and counts them all as blessings. I love that about her. She has had more than her fair share of trials and tribulations, and has just been through so much these past months… yet she continues to struggle against the raging winds. This aint no weak woman here. She’s a wonderful girlfriend, and she knows she’s going to get humongous hugs from me the moment we meet. She is awesome.

Kari. Kari is The Boss. Man, can this woman get things done! (Okay, actually by tagging Kari I need to tag Laurie and Tori as well, because they complete our PP group, but I’m so generous, I’m going to leave Laurie and Tori for Kari to tag, hehe). She is way organized (OCAR Queens, unite!) and takes it upon herself to make things happen. I love that. Way back when she took the U&R course and I was moderating, I already knew she had The Boss in her. She’d also most likely win Mom of the Year award, the way she takes on 15 children in her home at one time (and not for a birthday party of her child, noooo, just a regular generous thing to do, you know?), the way she bakes cookies for everyone, and continues to do her one million and one motherly things to do. Seeing her photos of her Christmas tree up on her blog inspired me to get my butt into action putting ours up as well. 😆 Kari is amazingly thoughtful, and she’s quiet when she does her generous acts: love that too! She is terrific.

Note now that I would tag everyone on my playground if I could, including my two dear friends who flat-out refuse to have blogs except the virtual ones (Joan and Jana, you know who you are) and darling Veevs (except I already tagged her above, so it would be cruel to do it again, hahaha!). I would tag every single one of you who have taken the time and effort to leave such kind words on my blog and on my 4shared site. I would tag every single one who has deemed my freebies worth working with; it is a true honor that you choose to download them. I would tag every single person who has crossed the path of my life, because I truly believe there are no accidental meetings, that everyone you meet even for a split second changes your life and adds to it in ways you cannot even dare to dream of. But because we are limited to three, I hope the rest of you realize that you are dear, dear, dear to me and I love you to little pieces.

The Latest

Here are the latest layouts I’ve come up with. Not very productive compared to my LOAD January days, hahaha! But you don’t want me to go on and on with why… so without further ado, here they are:

J’s School Page

NOTE: My son’s school required mom-and-child collaboration to do a page of his Artwork for their school yearbook (he graduates this year from Senior Kinder… man, does time fly!!!). It was easy scanning in his artwork, but extracting each letter of his penmanship was not. (And yes, Kari, send me your kids’ penmanship and I’ll extract them for you… in exchange for Jessica’s new book. LOL!!! just kidding. I’d do it in a blink for a song, you know that).


Kim Christensen’s Spelling101 Papers, Overlay, Stitching; Katie Pertiet’s Folder Frame, Special Tag, On the Edge Flourish; Andrea Victoria’s LoveFrame freebie (heart extracted); Amber Clegg’s Postage Date Stamp; Lisa Warren’s Staple; Sara Carling’s Aero Leather Tags

DD Scraplift Challenge

Journaling reads:

high five, n. slang … 1. a gesture of greeting, elation, or victory, in which one person slaps an upraised palm against that of another person; 2. a group of five adorable boys with the uncanny ability to make their mother’s heart soar high up in the sky every single moment of every single day


Amy Teets’  Whity Tighties paper; Katie Pertiet’s Ledger Grid; SnapFrameEdgers; StampedMoments (Loved); JenniferAdams Donelly’s accessories (recorder buttons) – recolored; Deanna Patterson’s Stitched Ribbon; Raechel Knight’s Black Friday Stitching (recolored); Michelle Coleman’s AntiquatedSwirl; Pattie Knox’s BasicFeltAlpha; Andrea Victoria’s Nutrition stamp; Atomic Cupcake

NOTE: This was done as Lisa’s first PSF challenge, which was a scraplift challenge from Designer Digitals (one of my top favorite sites and shoppes!)

No Place Like Home

{ You can click on the image for a larger view in case you want to read the journaling… }

CREDITS: Multi-photo Template, PerfectMoment Frame by me; Everything else from Paint-the-Moon aka Annie Manning’s Chloe’s Treasures kit. Many of the photos of my country are stock photos from various sites, including gettyimages, wayfarer, lonelyplanet and corbis.


This layout was my answer to Lisa’s other challenge to do a layout on our hometown (amazing layouts on our playground gallery!) Just wanted to put in a few details about the photos, for the benefit of all my playground friends who want to come visit (you’re welcome, and it’s an invitation that has no expiration date, remember!)

Top Row:

1st photo – cobbled streets of Vigan, Ilocos (northern part of the archipelago)

2nd photo – Banaue Rice Terraces, which has been called the 8th wonder of the world (sorta in the same league as the pyramids?)

3rd photo – the famous Manila sunset

4th photo – a wonderful expanse of beach in Palawan

Second Row:

1st photo – Tagaytay, southern getaway about 45 minutes from the city, with great mountain air and lots and lots of greenery; love this place!

2nd photo, top: Taal Volcano, in Batangas, known as the world’s smallest volcano (it also is a volcano in a lake with another lake in its crater, and yes, it is active)

2nd photo, below: Intramuros, once called the Walled City, which is like the fort used to defend Manila during the 300 years when we were a colony of Spain

3rd photo, top:  diver with a pawikan, or sea turtle (great, great marine life in our country!)

3rd photo, below: map

4th photo: Manila Cathedral at night (one of the biggest and oldest churches in the city, standing there since the time of the Spanish occupation)

5th photo, top: Bibingka, one of the most delicious Filipino delicacies (I could make a whole layout and then some on Filipino food!) – this is a sweet rice cake which you eat piping hot, with butter generously spread (and immediately melting around it), with lots of melted cheese, including kesong puti ( or “white cheese,” made from the milk of carabaos… extra special around here), and salted red eggs, and with ground fresh coconut meat on top to complete the gustatory experience. Mmmmm!!!

5th photo, below: “Dinagyang Festival” in Iloilo (I initially thought this was the Ati-Atihan festival… but with all the feasts and festivals around here, the constant is the beautiful colors and merry spirit that fills the town).

Third Row:

1st photo – Mayon Volcano, known for its perfect cone (well it used to be completely perfect; now some eruptions have made it not so perfect, but it’s still the closest to a perfect cone in the entire world)

2nd photo: Palawan huts by the sea

Fourth Row:

1st photo: city lights at night showing the Makati skyline

2nd photo: Boat on its way to Boracay, a famous tourist spot known for its talcum-powder-like grains of white sand and long stretches of calm blue waters… it’s not as private and unoccupied as it used to be more than 20years ago when I visited it as a newly-out-of-college kid, but it’s still awesome anyway

And because of this…

layout, I made a multi-photo template that I want to share with you! (Thank you to all those who have left comments on the items that they normally use; I hear ya!!! So here’s one for those who said they like templates! 😉 )

{ Click on image for larger view }

LivEdesigns Multi-photo Template No. 1

I tried to make it as versatile as possible, so it’s a really simple template: has the grid and the photo blocks which you can clip your photos to so that you can crop-without-cutting (hit CTRL-G to form a clipping mask if you’re using PSE; hover your mouse between the mask and the photo layer and ALT-click if you’re using full version).

I’ve also included the text path in the freebie… just double-click on the text, CTRL-A to highlight the entire text and type in your own text. You can change the font size, the font color, and the font type as you wish, using the usual way.

Oh, and of course it’s a layered template, so you can shift things around to make it work for you as you want it to. (Just remember to give credit! 😉 ) Don’t worry about the black background layer; just pull in your own paper and turn off the eyeball icon on my background layer so that it’s just your paper that shows through.

Hope you like it!!! Here’s where you can download the template. Thank you in advance for the love you leave on my blog.

Now… this has been another looooooong post, so I need to get back to doing the stuff of real life. 😉

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


I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I last sat on this little porch of mine…

Been very busy lately, trying to juggle real life with completing the last week of LOAD at bigpicturescrapbooking, playing with the challenges of the 2peas photography course, and moderating the January batch of Now We’re Rockin’ with Photoshop (NWR) at… so please, please forgive me for being absent, my sweeties! You know I’ve missed you!

I’m here now, and so elated to be, so come sit on the swing beside me and set your glass of iced tea on this table here… and let’s catch up on missed time.

LOAD is Done!

Together with the end of the first month of January, LOAD ended as well. 31 layouts in 31 days… well, almost 31 days (I uploaded my 31st layout at 12:02 of February 1st. But who wants to be technical, right?  😆   ) My only objective in doing the LOAD was to get kick my procrastinating butt in gear and get into the habit of scrapping at least once a week. I was scrapping a layout practically every single day this January (except for those few days when real life didn’t permit it), and that’s a huge accomplishment for me!

What an amazing and super fun ride… thank you, Lain, and thank you, Stacy. What a great start to the new year!

LOAD is also what gave me the push to get this far with my Daily December album! I loooove Jessica’s Daily December template, and I love playing around with it (The only templates I’ve ever used were from Jessica’s courses, and this was one which I simply could not resist!)

Here are the LOADs I was busy with:

Hiding Place

Journaling reads:

a stone’s throw away from my home, i find my other home, where i can run to You in times of joy, sorrow, confusion, elation. You are always there, waiting for me with open arms. You are my first love, who so generously gave me my greatest treasures in life–my husband, my children, my friends. i can never thank You enough; i can only offer to You this humble and contrite heart of mine, seeking to love You more and more each day.


Jessica Sprague Echoes of Asia Kit: paper (blended with Miriam Lima’s paper); Katie Pertiet’s Dirty Web frame; Web frame brush; JournalStamp-grunge; Michelle Coleman’s Grungy Rivet; Capris Flower Brush; LivEdesigns GrungyOverlay2

NOTE: This is one of the chapels that my brother, an architect, designed. I used Jessica’s double-photo effect with one photo Computer Tricks tutorial from CK January (you can find it here; it’s awesome. If you haven’t tried it out yet, do!)

And here are the rest of my Daily December pages that I did for LOAD:


For all the Daily December layouts, I used Jessica’s fabulous Daily December template, together with Katie Pertiet’s grid brush and Michelle Coleman’s topper. You’ll find the additional individual different items I used per layout in the credits under each layout.

The Message of the Manger

Journaling reads:

every christmas, we put up the nativity scene but leave the manger empty till the eve of the 24th, when the Christ Child is gently laid on His humble manger. i hope you always remember the deeper message behind this simple tradition of ours:

our own hearts can be the greatest thrones, but only when we fill them with Christ’s humility and gentle love for everyone around us.


Mindy Terasawa – papers; star patches; flower sticker; Atomic Cupcake; Photoblast EZ Actions

12 Year Old Christmas Gift

Journaling reads:

yo dude, i would really like to know what you did with the little boy i carried in my arms 12 years ago. if you ever meet him again, tell him that i loved him then, but that i love this bigger, sweeter, bolder, funnier version of him even way much more…


DigitalDivaDesigns, Jen Lessinger, MaryAnn Wise, Jessica Bolton, CanDee at CanDesigns – Papers; Sara Carling – leather tag; Amber Clegg – Postage Date Stamp; DanaZarling – Adchallenge Life Is Good Sign

First-Class Mail

Journaling reads:

look at you, honey, so intent on writing your own letter to santa. if doesn’t matter at all if you’re writing on toys; i’m sure santa would be absolutely delighted to receive such novel, first-class mail!


Michelle Coleman – paper and glitters, Miriam Lima – papers

Lyrical Laughter

Journaling reads:

there are few things more heartwarming than seeing the cousins gather around the piano, filling the christmas air with laughter more lyrical than the classical music emanating from their fingers deftly playing on black and white keys.


Leora Sanford’s NoteClips; Petit Moineux’s paper; Stacy Carlson’s heart tags; Heidi Larsen’s swirl; Anna Aspnes’ paper; Michelle Coleman’s ribbon wrap; Jason Gaylor’s brushes


Journaling reads:

twenty-eight years after graduating from high school and the friendships are still holding strong. what better time than christmas to celebrate the gift of solid connections?

ADDITIONAL CREDITS: Paper, doodles, and flowers from Maria Designs

Good Food & Home

Quote by Edith Sitwell:

winter is the time for comfort, for good food & warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand, and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.

ADDITIONAL CREDITS:   AnnaBen @ ScrapbookGraphics – paper, flowers; Miriam Lima – papers

This is my dinner table, all dressed up for Christmas. 🙂 The chair wraps are silk, held together with capiz shells. Love how the chairs look like ladies with shawls! 😆

Must Not Forget…

… this funny tonight.

My 2 older sons, A & R, were teasing me about how my camera has become my appendage. Of course dh could not resist joining in the fray. The downside of being the only female in the family is: when the boys decide to gang up against me, there usually is just me against all the testosterone. 😆

But my 2nd son, ahhh, this boy is such a funny, loving guy (actually they all are, but he’s the one quick to come to my defense all the time. ha! gotta love that! 😆 ). When dh and A were going on and on about how I’m forever whipping out my camera, he said “No, Mom doesn’t take photos when we’re eating…” then he turned to his older brother A and whispered just loud enough for us to catch, “Now who’s going to win the Offspring of the Year award, huh?” and the two boys burst out laughing.

Offspring of the Year award. That’s one for the scrap pages!

(It doesn’t sound so funny now, but trust me, it was hilarious when it happened). 😆

And you thought there was no freebie…

but there is! If you’ve made it this far, you’ll find it right here!

I decided to experiment with making a Valentine card as a freebie, so I hope it’ll come in useful for you and your kids…

Here’s what it looks like:

{ Click on image for larger view }

LivEdesigns BearHug Preview

It’s a .png file, a plopper really–it’s going to be a really quick download 🙂 So in case you’re in a rush, you can just open the file in PSE or in CS3, hold down the CTRL key as you click on the new layer button in your layers palette (on a mac that would be the Command key) so that your new layer comes in under the plopper. Then pull in your photo file, resize it using the transform handles, and voila! Instant Valentine’s card! 😀

Note that I just placed my text on the journaling chipboard tag, but you can put your own journaling text on it in your plopper… I’ve left the tag empty of course 🙂

Oh, and the size of the card is 5″ x 7″ but you can always change the image size to make it smaller or bigger. 😉

You can download the BearHug valentine card plopper here. Thank you for the love you leave on my blog! 🙂

I’ve also decided to make a teeny tiny Bear Hug mini kit which will have the items that you see on the card plus 2 additional papers… just in case you want to make a layout instead of a card. 🙂 I’ll upload it tomorrow (because it’s 4AM now so that means it’s time for Lala Land!).

And that’s all for today, folks! 😀

Humongous hugs to you, my sweeties!!! 😉 And I hope to see you again tomorrow!