Tuesday, February 28, 2012

11 Things

My awesome blog friend Diane of Diane Writes tagged me in her post, and since I haven't participated in these activities for a while now, let's give it a go!

There are 11 questions I have to answer and after which I will tag 11 other blog friends to participate (when tagged, do not panic ladies, no pressure here... if you are not interested or you don't have time, I will understand).

Let the Q&A begin!


Q1: Do you have a favorite recipe? Which one?
Me: Um... errr... does this question mean my favorite recipe to make? If it does, then none. I can't cook :( But my husband does and I have a lot of favorites from his recipes like his Italian-style spaghetti which he says is inspired by a scene on one of the Godfather movies where one of the characters was cooking spaghetti (I haven't seen the movies in a long time so I can't remember the details). He cooked this for the first time after we watched the DVDs a few years ago. 

Q2: How many blogs do you follow?
 Me: 71 blogs, I just counted.

Q3: If you could be any character in a book or movie who would you be?
Me: Scarlett O' Hara! Love the movie, love the book, and love Vivien Leigh... hmmm... I think maybe I just want to be Vivien Leigh, haha.

Q4: What's your dream travel destination?
Me: Antarctica to see the Emperor penguins. Serious answer. Though it's something I will probably never get to do.

Q5: Do you have pets? Do you talk to them?
Nope, no pets. Every pet I have had, and my potted plants too, all died within a few months. Not sure why.

Q6: If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
You all remember that guy whose job is to live on a resort island, explore it and then blog about it? If it was for just one day, I want to have his job.

Q7: Is there any food that you wouldn't eat no matter what?
Me: Hmmm... I'm not an adventurous eater so there are a lot. The first things that come to mind are 'Balut' and 'Bagoong' though.

Balut: Egg with a semi-formed chick inside 0_o (Photo credit)

Q8: 3 items you would take with you if you were left alone in a deserted island.
One - lip balm (can't live without one); Two - toothpaste; Three - moisturizing sun block.

Q9: Have you ever pretended to be someone else?
I don't think so... not really.

Q10: What's your dream item to find in a thrift store?
An intricate vintage locket in good condition, or a vintage jade ring... which I already found once but didn't get to buy because my husband won't let me saying we didn't know where it came from, who owned it, etc. It looked really, really old... and really, really haunted according to my husband *rolls eyes*

Q11: Food: Mexican, Italian or Japanese?


Ok, now it's your turn!! I'm supposed to list 11 but I can't think of that many right now so I'll just list my friends and blog neighbors:

1. Divya of Jewels of Sayuri
2. Agy of Green Issues
3. Deepthi of My Art
4.  PC of Meijo's Joy
5. Ivy of Pensees and Privees
6. Hazel of The Best Things in Life Aren't Things
7. Jill of Creating My Way to Success

 Again, no pressure ladies! Have a great day! And thanks Diane for tagging me :)

Touch of Love: A Bed Time Story

I take back what I said on my last post... about my daughter not liking photos of her taken. I just remembered something while working on this layout last night: she does like getting her picture taken. but only during bed time while we're both lying on the bed, looking at photos and watching videos on my cellphone.

Elements from 'Touch of Love' kit by Scrapbrat Designs.
We have a LOT of photos like these, we take one or 2 almost every night: lying on the bed in our pajamas with our long hair both tied in a pony tail on top of our heads and me trying to take a photo of both of us using my phone. Usually, I only manage to get her on the image... I'm a little cropped out most of the time. I can't focus the phone very well with a squirming, shrieking with laughter toddler beside me trying her best to give me her best pose. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Beautiful Smile

I was really jealous of my niece's ability to break into a beautiful smile upon request (i.e. when you point a camera at her). Andrea is at that stage when she flat our refuses to stay still, much less, smile for the camera.

At least, until a few nights ago...

Elements from Nanet's 'So Precious' kit, and mask from Laurie R (Laurie Made Me Scraps).

I stayed very still while watching her, afraid that if I made any sudden move, she would notice me watching and stop. So I very slowly grabbed the closest camera on hand... which is my camera phone. And she did stop after that first shot *sigh*. Oh, to have captured this using my SLR (which is currently buried in a pile of stuff somewhere in our house right now... I have to look for it one of these days).

Good news though... after her practice that night, my daughter can now smile upon request. Although her idea of a smile right now is crinkling her eyes and showing ALL her teeth. We're working on toning it down a little ;)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Free Quick Page: Sweetness

I participated in another contest yet again at Coolscrapsdigital, the QP Contest for February.

For this contest, we were given this kit:

The task is to create a Quick Page freebie from the elements of this kit only. And here is my Quick Page.

There are a lot of other really pretty Quick Page templates on the forums, in case you're interested.

Now that that's over and done with... I want to share something that dissipated all negative energy that has been surrounding me for the past weeks. And here it is... Today, I was able to fit in my pre-maternity jeans again. YES!!! After 2 years!!! A couple of friends asked me if I lost weight, and though I doubted it, I decided to try some of my old jeans last night when I got home to check. I was in a mild state of shock when I was actually able to close the button.

Anyway, that's it for this week for me. I have to do general cleaning at home tomorrow... Aaarrggh! Hate it but it has to be done. Hope you guys enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

CSD Cool Motto Challenge for February

I'm like a regular stalker of the Coolscrapsdigital forums now. And I joined another challenge. I am having so much fun with digital scrapbooking, can you tell? :)

This new challenge is called Cool Motto challenge. We were given this quote:

"All of us need to grow continuously in our lives."
by Les Brown

And this mini-kit to work with:

The challenge is to create a layout using the quote and the mini-kit, and here is my layout:

I'm not so fond of the font I used, but I'm not really very good with designing Word Art (or clusters, for that matter) yet. Something I need to work on.

I love working on these challenges because I think my image editing skills has improved a LOT since I got into this.

Anyway, I mentioned some bad news yesterday... Well yesterday, I thought I lost my phone. It wasn't in my purse when I got to the office and it was already unattended when my friends tried calling it.  I'm not too attached to gadgets, cellphones even. My primary concern was that my phone has a lot of my daughter's photos in it and I don't feel comfortable thinking it was in the hands of some unknown person. If I did lose it, then it's gone, I will not stress about it. I was already moving on the the 'Acceptance' stage in the Stages of Coping with Loss by evening and was resigned to the thought that I need to get a new phone.

However, for some good news... it was not lost after all. My husband found it with our daughter's messy pile of toys on the bed. So all good! (though the feeling of wanting to get a new phone now will not leave me!).

Hope you are all  having a great day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

CSD Color Challenge for February 2012

I am participating in Coolscrapsdigital's Color Challenge for February.

They gave us this kit from Kaklei Designs to work with:

And we have to create a layout using this color palette from Design Seeds:

And here is my layout:

Take Flight, by Janelle (Of Pinks and Fairy Tales)

I'm trying my best to distract myself because I think I may have a little bad news to share. Need to confirm it though. More on that tomorrow. 

If you want to join the challenge too, you can visit the Coolscrapsdigital Forum.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sample pages from my first kit

I wanted to use my first kit to make a layout so I used photos of my daughter while playing in her lola's (my mother-in-law) garden last Christmas.

If you want to download the kit, the download link is on this post.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Free Scrap Kit: Sweet Serenity

I joined my first challenge!!

There's a CU Challenge over at Coolscrapsdigital. The sponsor for this month is Addies Designs. She provided a beautiful CU pack and all participants are asked to make PU digital scrapbooking items from it. 

Here's my entry:

This is the first kit I finished ever! I'm so excited about it. You might remember some of the elements I used for this kit. I used the silhouette I made of my daughter here, and my silhouette for the logo :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Redesigning my Twitter

Still feeling a little out of sorts but I decided to embark on a very simple project today. I decided to redesign my Twitter background. 

Yeah, you can do that. On the Settings page, there is a 'Design' tab where you can upload a background for your Twitter page. Now figuring out what size of the image to use is a little tricky. The way your image displays varies for every browser (and I only tested mine using Internet Explorer and Firefox). Anyway, when you upload a background image in JPEG, the image will be top left aligned. So better put the focal design in that area to make sure it will be displayed when someone visits your Twitter page.

I dug around the free digital scrapbooking kits I've been downloading to look for a design element that looks like the Twitter bird. Here's a preview of my new Twitter background:

I used elements from Gail's Daybreak kit. You can download the kit free from her blog: Gail's Moments in Time.

I hope you all are having a great week!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

You are loved.

Something I read on my news feed when I opened Facebook this morning:

"Valentine's day is not just for lovers but for all the loved ones."
- posted by my Aunt on her daughter's (my cousin) wall

This is so true, right? So for all you 'loved ones' (and I'm sure we all are), happy Valentine's day!

NOTE: No Valentine crafts. I am on crafting hiatus. No excuses... just feeling a little uninspired lately.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Creating digital "Papers" and more Fantasy Layouts

Since my husband was away all day last Saturday, Andrea and I spent the day at my mom's. While we were there, I was showing my mom and my niece the digital scrapbook pages I've been making when my niece made a request: Can I make one of her with fairies?

I just downloaded glass container images from Osa Honey Designs and I remembered the only fairy toy Andrea has: her Tinkerbell lantern (a toy lantern with Tinkerbell inside). I decided to make something like that and ended up with this:

Elements from: Granny Art, With A Russian/Dutch Heart, Osa Honey Designs, Pspgirl's Place
I also downloaded a this Dragonfly Dreams quick page from NumbBumm. It's so pretty and I loved Sue's suggestion of extracting an image of a baby and placing it on the lily pad so...

The quick page is pretty isn't it? That's my niece at 7 months I think... and yeah, that's a beer can she's holding. We were staying at a resort on vacation and we wanted to mess with my sister so we took this photo of her daughter when she went to the bathroom. Removing it from the photo for this layout was taking me too long so in the end, I let it stay there.

Anyway, I spent all of Saturday studying all the other features of Photoshop I have never used before. I've been using Photoshop since early 2000, I think... and this is the first time I have ever tried to use styles and effects. And I discovered that you can actually make a lot using the default presets that come with Photoshop. I was able to create digital "papers" or backgrounds using default Photoshop CS3 textures, brushes and shapes:

I was planning to include these as papers when I release my brass elements set but when I was putting it together... they don't match :( And my handmade paper texture paper (lower left image) still needs work. I thought it looked fine last night but looking at it this morning, I don't like it much. I hope to work on these more again this weekend. 

It's Monday morning and I wish you all a great week!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fantasy Layout

Andrea fell asleep early last night which means... hooray for me! Free time! I should be working on other pages for my grandmother's scrapbook but I got a little distracted by a folder of scanned old photos of my husband's family. I saw his baby pictures and can not help noticing again how much Andrea looks like him. I ended up making a layout using one of his baby pictures instead.

All elements in this layout are from Granny Art
Yep that little boy is my husband at 2 years old. The scanned image is grainy and textured and I have no idea how to fix it so I let it be. All elements in this layout is from Granny Art which you can also download for free, if you want to get into digital scrapbooking. 

I also have a few fun things to share... I stumbled across four blog trains earlier! Yes, FOUR!. So what you do is click on all the links to go to the sites of designers participating in the blog train and they all have freebies! These blog trains usually just run for a month so you have all of February to visit all the sites to get all the freebies. FUN!

DigiScrapConnect Blog Train for February - Full of Heart

Digiscrap Forum February Blog Train

Since these are high resolution files, the file sizes are quite big so it will take some time to download for slow internet connections.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Trip to the Zoo and a FREEBIE!!

A few weeks to ago, my mom and my stepfather took the little girls (my daughter and my niece) and their nannies to the zoo. 

The girls with their guardian angels.
I tagged along too, of course. We went to the Avilon Zoo in Montalban Rizal. The girls wanted to see a giraffe and an elephant but alas... this zoo does not have big mammals. They have a lot of other fascinating animals though and we all enjoyed the trip. Except maybe for Andrea, who fell asleep on the one-hour road trip we had to take to get there, and just woke up when we arrived so she was cranky.

I created digital scrapbook pages of some of our photos from the trip. I used elements from Everyday Mom Ideas' Wild Ways kit. You can download the entire kit for FREE!

Alpha used for this layout is from The Scrappin Cop
Me and the girls.
I asked Julia, the designer behind Everyday Mom Ideas, if I can post Quick Pages of my layouts made with her elements as freebies for my readers. She said yes, YEY! Thanks again Julia! So here's my first Quick Page freebie. 

(File Size: 21 MB)

The file contains 2 quick page layouts: One for a 12x12 page, and the other for a 8x12 page (can be printed as a 4R size or 4x6... which is the standard size I use for printing photos for our photo albums). I removed the text so you can add your own (I also do not have a commercial license from The Scrappin Cop to distribute her elements). If you have any issues with the download, please feel free to contact me. This is my first time to use Google Docs so I have no idea how reliable it is.

I'm still working on my elements set. I don't think I can make a whole kit just yet. Getting the images to look just right is hard! It looks like I might have to take photography lessons to get great photos for extraction. Anyway, here's a preview of my elements set. 

Coming soon!!!
Of Pinks and Fairy Tales Elements Set
NOTE: Only the 3 brass flowers are mine (extracted from photos of my rings and pendants). The other elements used in the preview is from Granny Art (vase, window, small gold flowers spray). I'm still in the process of extracting some more images to add to set before I make this available for free download.