Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ang Scrapbook ni Lola - Part 1

Still here!! Very busy working on my grandmother's digital scrapbook though. 

So I've mentioned several times that I want to put all my grandmother's old photos, which I scanned a couple of years ago, into a digital scrapbook. And as a shortcut, I was using ready-made quick pages which I downloaded from several sites. Halfway through... I realized I didn't like what I had so far. The quick pages were really, really pretty. The layouts are way better than what I'm capable of. But since I can't customize them, the pages seem a little impersonal... with captions sometimes being way off. So... I decided to scrap all of them and start from scratch :(

Doing the layout from scratch and getting it to look just right takes a while! I only have 3 pages right now. Here's a sneak peak of the 3 pages that I have completed. Credits to designers and image sources can be found below the photos.

Elements from: Saphira's Scraps - Lost Melody Kit, Scrappin Cop, Russian/Dutch Heart - Precious Moments Kit
The lady on the lower left corner is my great grandmother. The original photo was small and already faded. It was taken in 1904. The writing on the notepad is a poem she wrote in 1965. It was a draft, written on scratch paper, so you can still see her corrections. 

Elements from: Granny Art, Rina Kroes - My Dad, My Hero kit, Sandra Cutts - Family Tree kit, Everyday Mom Ideas - Cozy Cottage kit, Jennifer Riggins - Old World Charm kit, Akizo - Cosmos kit, Saphira's Scraps - Lost Melody kit, Designs by Blagovesta - FB Fans Freebie Kit
This one is the only photo we have of my great grandfather. He died when my grandmother was just a baby so she never met him and she only has this 1"x1" photo of him. It's sad. My grandmother once told me that sometimes, she prays to God to let her see her father in her dream when she sleeps. But that has not happened yet.

The layout for this page took me FOREVER to finish! But this has got to be my most ambitious layout to date. I had to learn a lot of Photoshop functions to make this layout look like a table. Notice how I cast a shadow of the lamp on the wall? (Please look!!) But when it came time to cast the shadow for the ink pot... I got a little lazy so no shadow. I'll fix that.

Elements from: Saphira's Scraps - Green Like kit, A Saxon Creation - Vintage Rose kit
This last one is a very simple layout. I used photos of my grandmother as a young lady, before she got married, with the members of her family.

I provided the links for all the kits I used. I mix and match elements from different kits to get the look I like, as long the color scheme is mostly browns to match the photos' sepia tone. All the kits I used are free so you can download them too! Thank you to all the generous designers!

More pages coming up soon!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Crafting for Valentines?

I'm not a big fan of Valentine's day. Never have been. I just think the whole thing is so... um... cheesy :) So I don't really have any craft plans for it. Last year, I did a shirt refashion and hair clips for my daughter and my niece. This year... nothing yet. 

So while waiting for Valentine ideas (that may never come), I decided to use some of the free digital scrapping kits I downloaded to make a Valentine-themed layout.

These are my grandparents. And if you haven't already noticed, I'm a big fan of my grandparents (already posted about them here, and here). I have always been lolo's and lola's girl (I call my grandfather, lolo, and my grandmother, lola). The photo above is one of the few photos we have of just the two of them together. I can't believe this was taken several years ago. When I think about when this photo was taken, it was just like, you know, a few days ago. 

I used elements from Tsukushi's Love Kit (download for free from the link). And I also used the brass flower from my kit which is still in the works. That flower is on my Anthro-Inspired Wintersparks necklace. All 3 brass flowers on that necklace will be extracted and included as elements on my kit. If I complete my kit on time, maybe that can be my great Valentine's day freebie. Watchatink?

Monday, January 16, 2012

My latest obsession

Digital scrapbooking rocks!

It's my latest thing. And I say latest because even though I was introduced to the digital scrapbooking when I was asked to do the My Memories Suite giveaway last year, I never really got into it much until... well... this January.

Last year, I planned to give my grandmother a photobook with the photos I scanned from her albums and laid out like scrapbooks. Since I'm not very good at digital scrapbook layouts, I decided to use quick pages and have been searching online for free ones. Quick pages are ready-to-use templates created by designers. You simply have to insert your photo into the quick page image (using a image editing software like My Memories Suite or Photoshop) and you're ready to print. In the process of searching, I stumbled upon a lot of free digital scrapbook kits. Kits contain background images, frames, and other embellishments you can use to create digital scrapbook pages. The images are almost always in high resolution, and really, REALLY pretty. 

So I have been downloading. And downloading, and downloading and downloading and now I have quite a stash of images on my hard drive which are taking up gigabytes of space. And when I got back from vacation, instead of simply printing my daughter's photos for her album, I decided to create digital scrapbook images first. I was hooked. Especially after I had them printed and saw how beautiful the pages are!
Here is an example of one of my layouts.

I used elements from Everyday Mom Ideas' Memories of a Mother kit. I love the soft colors in this kit. This is actually one of my best pages and as it is, it still needs some work. Notice how the flowers seem to be floating on top of the page and not attached to the page? *sigh* A few more clicks and I could have added shadow to make them look like they were attached to the page. I created a lot of layouts already, but since I'm new to this, the others didn't turn out so well (which I realized AFTER I printed them.. aarrrgh! Waste of money and ink).

I need more practice and practice I will! In fact, I was so inspired with all the free images I downloaded that I got this idea to try making a digital scrapbooking kit using the images of my projects (I do have a lot of fabric flowers), sewing supplies, and home decor and have the kit available for free download here. I'm not a digital artist but I do know the basics of Photoshop and I do have a camera at home. Possible. Definitely POSSIBLE! I can't wait to start!

NOTE: During my search for freebies earlier, I stumbled upon 2 blog trains! Blog trains work like this: You start from one blog, and then click the link there to go to the next blog. And each blog you visit on the blog train offers a freebie!! If you want free images, be sure to visit these blog trains:
- Wilma4Ever: Their theme this month is 'On the Farm' (farm-related images and some cute farm animals)
- ScrapsnPieces: Their theme this month is 'In the Kitchen' (kitchen and cooking related images)

We are LIVE!

So I had this project at work which I've been involved with since around June-July of last year. It consumed most of my thinking hours, drastically reducing my crafting time (notice the lack of posts from October to December?), contributed 90% to my stress level, and basically sucked all the happiness out of my office cube for a while (just kidding! Never happens... I am, by nature, a happy person).

And last Saturday... our project went LIVE! Go check it out.

Our project team redesigned the whole website! The new 'look' is more organized and easier to navigate.

The new landing page for Home & Home Office support.
I had nothing to do with how the website looks, by the way. That was the work of the members of our very talented Web Team. I designed the back-end features which you don't really 'see' but is needed to make website work (like that little drop down list on the image above).

I can breathe... at least for today. Tomorrow, I have my first meeting for Phase 2 of this project. We are not done yet (darn! I can't get our Web Team to help me redesign my blog yet! haha).

But for now... hmmm... I wonder if I can post this project in link parties??? ;)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Posh Tykes Giveaway WINNERS!

A big THANK YOU to everyone who joined our giveaway! We had a total of 30 valid entries (deleted comments were NOT counted) and from those 30 we now have 2 winners!

Ready to find out who got lucky this Friday the 13th?

Our first winner is...

And comment number 18 is from Mae of I am Super Nanay who said:

And our second winner is...

And comment number 3 is from Alex of Cheeky Wee Brat who said:

Congratulations Alex and Mae for winning Posh Tykes' Washi Tapes giveaway! 

And THANK YOU Jo of Posh Tykes for sponsoring this giveaway! 

I will be sending both winners an email shortly.

Isn't this exciting? My first giveaway for 2012! I hope to have more awesome giveaways for you guys this year so keep coming back. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Coming up next week: more tutorials!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Layout!

Some of you have noticed my blog's changing 'look' the past few days. Thanks so much for all the lovely comments! I didn't really have any plans to update my blog. Only every time I look at it, it looks too... PINK. 

Can it be??? Am I getting tired of PINK???

My blog has always been PINK. Here's a look back at my previous banners.


- 1st banner -
*major cringe*
This was the first banner I made. This was the time when my blog was still a personal blog and apparently, I didn't have much taste when it comes to choosing colors :-/ I will not even show you what my background looked like. You might go blind from all the bright pink colors.

- 2nd banner -

This was me playing around with Photoshop brushes and fonts. And all the bright shades of pink I can find. 

- 3rd banner -
*another major cringe*
Yes, I really did put my photo in the banner. And yes, I really did look like that once upon a time. And no, I never really used it... I think it was up on my blog for only 2 or 3 days before I couldn't stand it anymore and took it down. What made me do it? Well... one of my friends from our Web Team taught me how to do that fading effect on Photoshop and I wanted to try it and use it somehow for my blog header. At the time I didn't have any nice graphic I can use so I used what I had on hand... my photos :-/

- 4th banner - 

This one wasn't really a banner so I don't have a photo. It was the one most of my followers know since I was using it since I started blogging about crafts. I was using one of the default themes of Blogger and used Google Web Fonts API to get a nicer font than the ones available at the time. And then I added a silhouette image of Tinker Bell.


When I was formulating my blog's new look... I didn't have any idea what I wanted. I first tried to create a header using images of my projects. The palette generated from that was still too PINK.

So I tried a different approach. I browsed for color palettes on COLOURLovers and found one that I liked. It's still a little pink (technically, it's more like peach, but I can be flexible) but all the colors in the palette are soft and toned down.

I'm still using a default Blogger theme which I customized a little. That new banner I'm using, I made using Photoshop Brushes and different fonts. My new look is softer and cleaner and I like it that way... for now. So tell me, watchatink? :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Embellishing a Craft Jar with Washi Tape

Are you excited about the Washi Tapes giveaway? I've been reading the comments and you gals have a lot of great ideas!

When I first saw Washi Tapes, I immediately thougt about my jars and bottles. I love working with empty jars and bottles (remember these projects?) because, well... you can get them for free, and they are like a blank canvas you can work your magic on.

Today's tutorial involves an empty jar and Washi Tapes.

For this project, you will need:

 - an empty jar with a cover. I used my last empty Gerber jar.
 - A piece of fabric cut into a circle that is around 3 to 4 inches wider than the cover of the jar
 - Washi Tape
 - polyester fiber sheet (or batting, like the one used on quilts or comforter) cut into a circle the same size as the jar's cover.
 - trim (lace, ribbon, beads, etc... not shown on the photo)
 - glue gun and glue stick (not shown on the photo)

STEP 1: Take your circular piece of polyester fiber sheet and glue to the top of the cover. You can use more than one sheet if you want the cover to be really puffy. I used 2 layers for mine.

STEP 2: Lay out your circular piece of fabric right side down. Put glue on top of the polyester fiber sheet and glue to the center of the fabric.

This will make it easier to center the cover on the fabric.
 STEP 3: Apply glue to the sides of the cover and press the excess fabric to the side of the cover. You should have something like this after you go all around the cover.

STEP 4: Glue the trim around the side of the cover. I used my favorite cream lace for this. It's the same lace I used for my Easter Egg holders here and my Flower Pot pin cushion here. Your finished cover should look like this.

I added a charm to hide the part where both sides of the lace come together.
STEP 5: Now let's take the jar and Washi Tape. Apply Washi Tape around the jar. My Washi Tape (from Posh Tykes) has the text "Made with Love" written on it. Cute huh?

STEP 6: Put the cover on the jar and admire your work :)

Now what to put in it? Something "made with love" of course! I think this bracelet fits the description.

I'm loving the yellow and the small kitty charm.

And here it is, all packaged and pretty and ready to be received by someone special.

This is my first tutorial for 2012... yey! Working on more stuff to share with you!

I am linking to the following parties:
We Did It Wednesday at Sew Much Ado | Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Designs | Your Whims Wednesday at My Girlish WhimsShow Me What Ya Got at Not JUST a Housewife | Shine on Fridays at One Artsy Mama | Commercial Break Thursday at Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom | Catch a Glimpse at A Glimpse Inside | A Crafty Soiree at Katie's Nesting Spot | Craft-O-Maniac Monday at Craft-O-Maniac | Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative | Making Mondays Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T | Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do | Made with Love Monday at Sew Chatty | Motivate Me Monday at Keeping it Simple | A Round Tuit at Creating My Way to Success | Market Yourself Monday at Sumo's Sweet Stuff | Ta-Da Tuesday at Mommy by Day... Crafter by Night | Take a Look Tuesday at Sugarbee Crafts | Show Me What Ya Got at Not JUST a Housewife | Get your Craft On at Today's Creative Blog |

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Layered Ruffle Skirt

I was shopping for clothes for Andrea last December and I saw this cutest 4-layer ruffle skirt at the mall. I didn't buy it (i.e. EXPENSIVE!!!), cute though it was. For a few days after, I had to restrain myself from going back to the mall to get it thinking it's something I can sew myself, if I can find similar fabric.

The skirt at the mall was made of 2 prints of complementing black and white fabric. In my stash, I had 2 black prints with flowers on them which looks cute when used together (that's why I bought them together a few months back). I started the skirt last year and wanted to finish before Christmas... but that didn't happen. Instead, I finished it yesterday.


It was a rushed project so I wasn't able to take pictures of the process. 

I love the prints on the fabric. I still have some left and I'm thinking I might make me a skirt too. 

Now Andrea needs something to go with this skirt... and for that, I have a tutorial (FINALLY!!!) in the works for you so stay tuned!

I am linking to the following parties:

Monday, January 9, 2012

CLOSED: Washi Tapes Giveaway by Posh Tykes

- This giveaway is now CLOSED -

While I was on vacation, I was contacted by Jo, the mommy behind the Posh Tykes online shop* based here in the Philippines. 

She started selling Washi Tapes here and was surprised with how popular they are. Her initial inventory sold out within 10 days of being posted on her shop.  To celebrate the success of her business, she generously offered to give away 3 rolls of Washi tapes to 2 Of Pinks and Fairy Tales readers!

Not sure what Washi Tapes are? Washi Tapes are decorative masking tapes that originated in Japan.  It's like regular sticky tape, translucent, and comes in plain colors or decorative patterns.
Washi tapes can be used for scrapbooking or other craft projects. Here are some beautiful projects I found online.

Wedding-themed projects from Martha Stewart
From left: guest book, favor boxes, candle holders. (image source)
You can also make beautiful cards.
Image sources: here and here.
Are you excited yet? 

This giveaway is open to EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE!

To join:

STEP 1: Visit Posh Tykes online shop to check out the beautiful designs available.
STEP 2: Come back here and leave a comment telling me how you plan to use your Washi Tapes in case you win. Please do not forget to include your email address in your comment!

Only one entry per person. 

For example:
I will use Washi Tapes to turn my plain bottles into beautiful vases. My email address is ofpinksandfairytales at gmail dot com.

Two winners will be drawn on Friday, January 13th, 5PM my time (in the Philippines) via Random.org. I will contact the winners after the draw and endorse them to Jo of Posh Tykes so they can choose their prizes and finalize shipping details. 

Note to international winners (if any winner will be from outside the Philippines): shipping of your prizes will be done via postal service and will take 2-3 weeks. Shipping within the Philippines will take 1-2 days.

So let's get started! Comment away!

*The Posh Tykes online shop is hosted in Multiply. In the Philippines, Multiply is the more popular site to start an online shop. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2011: Year of the BLOG

I finally got around to it! But I'm a little depressed actually... I reviewed the list I made last year of stuff I want to do for 2011 and I realized, I didn't end up doing MOST of them.

What I planned to do in 2011:

1. Buy at least 3 small bags. - FAIL! I didn't buy even one small bag. If anything... I think my bags are getting bigger.

2. Get that flu vaccine. - FAIL!

3. Get Andrea a new car seat... and make sure she gets used to it and stays there during road trips. - SUCCESS! Andrea is so used to car seat that she finds it weird when we ride cabs or other cars where we can't take her car seat. She always looks for a seat belt. I think that portable DVD helped (yeah, we did get her one though the first one broke already so she's on her second DVD player already).

4. Post at least 3 blogs about crafting in one month. - SUCCESS! I almost failed in November because that's when things got crazy busy at work but I managed to squeeze in 3 projects to blog about :)

5. Lose the pregnancy weight I gained in 2009. - FAIL! Aaaarrrrrggggh!!!! Nuff said. 

6. Buy a new TV. - FAIL! I was supposed to last December but we got a little busy to go looking for one.

7. Participate in at least one volunteer activity/support a charitable activity. - SUCCESS! I really should do more this year though.

8. Go to church at least once a month. - FAIL! This admission is so full of guilt I will not even try to justify it. But a good Christian parent I should be so this year, we are going even if I have to hire a driver every Sunday to drag us there.

9. Save up for another investment account. - SUCCESS! But Andrea starts school in June so we need to work more at this goal.

10. Get rid of the bookshelf in our spare bedroom and all the books in it. - FAIL! It's still there... complete with books :-/ And worse... that spare bedroom has become like a storage room for junk that my husband doesn't want to get rid of but can't find a place for. We need to get it clean and organized again in time for my sister-in-law's visit with her family this summer. 

11. Sew at least one dress for Andrea from scratch. - SUCCESS!

I've had 5 successes out of 11 goals. NOT a good number. However, I've had other successes which I never planned for but came my way anyway. And I am calling 2011 the Year of the BLOG because a lot are related to this blog.

What I accomplished instead:

I earned 200+ followers! When I started my blog, I had less than 10 followers for about  2 years. Now I have 200+. Sometimes, I still find it hard to believe that there are that many people interested in what I have to share. Thanks ladies! You inspire me to be more creative. You really do!

I didn't just gain followers, I gained FRIENDS too: PC, Divya, Kelley, Dianne, Karen, Deepthi, Agy and the list goes on! You know who you are! Thank you ladies for your consistent support and encouraging words.

I got to work with some amazing ladies hosting a worldwide blog hop, Creating Success Around the World. Jill, Suzy, Adepeju, Yaga, and Dolly. And through the blog hop, I got to meet and get to know a lot of talented ladies from Asia.

I was given the opportunity to host my first giveaway! And I hope to have more this year.

I was featured in other blogs. Who would have thought??? Certainly not me. I admit that I get all giddy whenever someone emails me to tell me they featured me on their blog. Like I can't stop smiling in my little office cube. 

I was asked to guest post on other blogs. Again... who would have thought? A big thank you to the ladies who gave me the opportunity to share my thoughts and projects on your blogs. I am honored :)

My projects are pinned an re-pinned on Pinterest. Geeky admission... I get this big smile on my face when I check out Pinterest and see some of my projects pinned so many times on Pinterest :D

I've had a few personal successes too. I got a promotion at work early last year and was given the opportunity to work in 3 major projects within the year. I conquered my fear of falling and tried riding a zip line for the first time. And what do you know? My husband tried it too! I learned how to sew. I learned how to crochet. And I was able to try knitting for the first time! (I wasted one small ball of yarn knitting a square but I felt elated all the same!).

So overall, still not bad. And now 2012... I formally welcome you! :)

Slow down 2012! - Part 2

You're probably wondering about the title... why do I want 2012 to slow down? Well... because I'm not ready to start the new year yet!

  • One of our suitcases is still unpacked.
  • I haven't done my 'Year in Review' of 2011 yet.
  • I haven't taken down ANY of my Christmas decor yet... and I have no idea when I will be able to. I think we're going away this weekend... and then I need to work next weekend... and then I will visit my dad in the province the next weekend... and so on, and so forth.
  • ...
My list just seem to go on forever! It's not your fault really, 2012... so you just go on your merry way and I will manage to catch up. Soon, I hope.

And enough of my whining :) How did you guys celebrate New Year? We spent New Year's Eve and had Media Noche at my grandmother's house with my family. And these little girls seemed so happy to be reunited after 2 weeks apart.

Andrea, with cousin Helaena
And then we watched fireworks from the terrace. Taking photos of fireworks is a little tricky but after a hundred tries... my husband caught a few great ones.

Looks like there's a battle going on in the sky.


Some were really colorful, like this red one.

And red and green ones.

Like a flower blooming in the sky.
I mentioned a giveaway yesterday and guess what? I already finalized the details and I have a GIVEAWAY for you guys on Monday, January 9!! Make sure to come back next week to check it out!

P.S. I noticed I am posting too much pictures, and too little crafts. Don't worry... we are still a craft blog. I will be back to regular programming by next week with new craft ideas and tutorials for you.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The day I willingly got pushed off a mountain

Guess what? I tried riding a zip line for the first time! Though at the time I agreed to do it, I had no idea what I was in for.

See, I had thoughts of zipping from one tree to another and I thought that was not so bad. So off we went... high into the mountains of B'lakayo in General Santos, Mindanao (Southern Philippines). When we finally got there, my heart nearly gave out when I saw the cable... it was stretching out from the top of one mountain down to somewhere on the other mountain!

But since we already went all the way there... we decided to get harnessed and start hiking up that mountain to get to the starting platform.

It was the 7-minute hike that felt like forever. I am so out of shape. When we got to the top, I didn't want to move anymore... but this was waiting for me...

See the cable?
 Heart, don't fail me now... courage, don't desert me...

Photo taken by my husband (he had the camera). This is the view as you are about to jump off the mountain.
According to the resort owner, the entire ride will only take 35 seconds. It is currently the fastest zip line ride in the Philippines... and we had to pick this zip line for our first try huh?

And soon, it was my turn... *gulp* I held on for dear life and gave the go ahead to be pushed off.

That white speck in the middle... that's me :)
The first 5-10 seconds felt like falling... and falling very fast. I swore to myself I will not disgrace myself my screaming but... I totally DID! :-/ Ten seconds has never felt so LONG! But after that, the rest of the ride was fun. 

And the view was spectacular!
From top left: the mountains; the path on the way to the hike trail to the mountain.. other people were going to try the zipline; the view of the launching platform where we came from; view of the trees down below.
And then the first ride was over too quickly. Yeah... you heard that... FIRST. Because you have to zip down the SECOND cable to go back to the mountain where we came from.

The second ride also takes 35 seconds on a shorter cable, which means the speed is slower and the incline less steep. I enjoyed this second ride better.

View of the other side of the mountain. And then the tree tops.

And our adventure was over and it was time for a somewhat long walk back to the resort's receiving area to have lunch.

That's hubby!

What a great way to end 2011!

PS. If you're wondering where our daughter was while all this is happening, we left her at grandma's ;)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Slow down 2012! - Part 1

Happy new year friends, guests and everyone who happens to browse over!

It's the 3rd day of January and I have a TON of stuff to catch up on. Vacation is OVER, I'm back and  and it's time to go back to WORK. And back to work I've been since yesterday. I have so many things to share I don't know there to start. 

Let's start with what this blog is all about... a project!

I made a bubble skirt for Andrea shortly before we left for vacation and she wore it on Christmas Eve. This is actually a clothes upcycle project. It was made from an old pair of slacks (yes... I used to have shiny navy blue slacks). I cut off the lower part of both legs, removed the side seams, sewed all sides together to form a tube, gathered the top and bottom before attaching to the skirt lining.


It's been a while since I posted a tutorial and one of these days, I swear I will surprise you with one :)

We spent Christmas eve at my husband's aunt's house, where we spend it every year. 

 His aunt's house is right in front of the Catholic church where everyone in his family attends mass. The church was packed on Christmas eve.

The streets were busy too.

After mass we had our Christmas dinner, Noche Buena, and then exchanged gifts with the cousins. I didn't get a proper photo of the dinner table because I was too busy running after my little girl (which pretty much describes my whole vacation... me running after that little girl).

I planned to finish a crochet project over vacation but we got a little busy and I totally forgot all about it. Anyway, more on our vacation in the next few days and what better way to celebrate the new year than to have a GIVEAWAY right?? RIGHT! I'll be announcing the details soon so stay tuned!