Monday, November 5, 2007

Love Cards

a collection of valentines day or love related cards. cyberpaperchic sez: "hope you get inspired to send a love note to your loved one even if it's not valentines day."

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Spotlight: Eiffel I Love You Card

feeling romantic and wanting to experiment with my cuttlebug love embossed small folders and my new paris stamp. turned the cb i love you folder into a tag and attached a ribbon. a very easy and fast card to do.
Keywords: eiffel, love
Paper: bazzill
Ink: staz-on jet black
Accessories: ribbon, cuttlebug
Techniques: dry embossing

Birthday Cards

Shaped Cards

Slideshow of Shaped Cards
A collection of specially shaped cards using various materials and techniques.
Spotlight: Tri-fold Card
This is a tri-fold card using recycled embossed leaves card which I cut out and transposed here. I used paper layering, collage, chalking to create this "My Dreams and Hopes" card/mini-journal. A side ribbon clasps the card. Tree braches are stamped all over the edge of the card which is chalked afterwards.
Spotlight: Wine Card

Here's a fun card to do. It's shaped like a wine and can be decorated in various ways.

Diva Cards

Slideshow: Mini Albums & Chipboard Books

a sampling of some of my altered art chipboard albums

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Rubber Stamped Cards II

another sampling of some of my designer handmade cards for charity. most of the times they look so yummy that i can't bear to part with them and just donate it to cyberpaperchic's guilt stash.

Rubber Stamped Cards I

a sampling of some of the handmade designer cards i've made for charity

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Ebay Store

DH is not very happy with all my scrapbooking and paper craft goodies taking over the house. Now I have to use another room for my hobby. He agreed on the condition that I have to get rid of some of my stuff and budget the allotted space I have. So as much as I'm very hesitant to part with my art work, I have to. I'm slowly selling some at ebay. All profits will also go towards Hope4Children, the children's foundation that I have set-up to send books and toys to third world countries. TFL!

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

BFF Chipboard Album

an intricately designed best friend album for our auction. it has several pages with many goodies embedded throughout. it has sections for journaling, pictures, some pull-outs, etc.

this one took a bit longer because of all the embellishments i included and i try to use my scraps as much as possible to be frugal. but i've learned some several helpful shortcuts along the way. for example, painting the purse handles instead of covering it with paper; having pre-made embellishments sorted out by themes (e.g. chipboards glittered, colored and ready to be affixed; titles done, etc); color code scraps in a plastic baggie for easy mat placements, among others. what about you guys? any shortcut tips in making chipboard albums?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Altered Wooden Boxes Collection Slideshow

a slide show highlighting some of my altered art wooden boxes collection

Altered Wooden Keepsake Box

Here's another altered art using a wooden box from Michaels. I like this box because it has embossed design on top which was fun to chalk. Wooden boxes are cool to paint over. Tins are tricky - you need to apply several paint layers and wait in between drying times.

The butterfly on the right is an after thought but still fit perfectly with this motif and material. Got some laser cut wooden designs from ebay and am having fun coloring them with acrylics, pastels, chalks, etc. For this project, I put fluid chalk in two shades. The paper is from K & Co's new line. For the inside, I used acrylic and pigment inks and paper. A plain inside doesn't quite look completely made!

Altered Trio of Mini Wooden Purses

Here's a cute collection of wooden purses covered with matching patterned papers and embellished with ribbons, flowers, etc. Very easy and fast to do!

Materials: wooden boxes from Michael's; imaginese papers; doodlebug alphas

Friday, July 27, 2007

Altered Posh Pink and Orange Circle Altered Tin Can

This is one of my faves!

At first I didn't like the way the project's going, so I took a day's break and then revisited it. Afterwards, things just started to gel and this ended up being one of my faves.

Materials: I used My Mind's Eye's Tres Jolie line for the body and Heidi Grace patterned paper on the top. Inside paper - specialty paper from Paper Sources

I also used ribbons on edges to partition the lid and body.

I affixed ribbons, sayings, buttons, brads for embellishment and to hide the paper cuts caused by scrap-patching to fill-in vacant segments because i didn't have enough paper!

The inside I covered with striped pink and brown pattern paper from Paper Source. Of course, other scraps were recycled to create matching tags and cards. TFL!

Tip: I think i'll stick to squares and rectangles for altered art. The circle tin was pretty unruly to wrap at the beginning!

Altered Art: Hip Skull Girly Paint Can

The fastest altered art i've done. I had only 15 mins to do this for an on the spot altered art contest because I was late to the local NSD gig. But I was one of the 3 winners and received goodies for the contest.

Here are some tips to do this under 15 minutes:

1) To hide the imperfect alignment of paper agains the edge of the can inside, I put a sticker border on the outside! This can is a bit harder to work with because you have to put the design inside the clear platic can. It's eventually cool because your work gets protected.

2) To help with organization, have pre-sorted and matching scrapbook plain and patterned papers, embellishments planned, sayings and quotes. Sometimes the hardest part is not the technique and execution, but the design, theme, and composition.

Materials: Creative Imaginations papers, stickers, ribbons. Other ribbons from various companies.

see matching girly gift baskets on affiliate company:

Altered Art: Floral and Stripes Memory Box Ensemble

This is a wooden box with handle that I altered. I originally made one for a swap hosted by a friend, but I missed that box so i made another one when when my friend and i hooked up to scrap. I got inspired some more after she left, so I made additional wooden gift bag, cards, bookmarks, and tags from scraps. I don't like throwing scraps aways. It's amazing what you can do with scraps!

Question from a fellow scraper: Did this take only 15 minutes also to make?

Answer: No, not 15 minutes! In between the chats with my friend, it took longer. If i focus, I can do the outside design in 30 minutes. the tags, i can do in 5 minutes or less. I pretty much have some standard lay-outs in my brain so i just recycle the lay-outs. The wooden purse/gift bag is so small and really easy to do in 15 - 30 minutes. don't try to cover or paint the inside - it takes too long! cards sometimes take longer, depending on how complicated Iwant the design to be. Also, there's more design surface on it. so maybe 30 minutes also. It all depends on my mood. if I'm in a rut, I redo things several times and that can take hours!

Materials: Daisy D's Purple and Floral Stripes Memory. Wooden Boxes from Michaels, Doodlebug alpha stickers

Altered Art: Yellow Floral Decor Canisters

K & Co papers (Hodges Line) were on sale so I grabbed several and made coordinating altered canisters and round boxes for future summery parties. The canisters will hold potpourri and candles. The big box can hold treats such as candy, party favors, and much more, I'm sure. For now, the set functions nicely as a home decor in my lovely craft room. The small canisters are old crafts containers. The big box was a gift box for a china.

Altered Art Passion: Cherry and Vines Lunchbox Ensemble

i've recently discovered the joy of altered art and i'm addicted to it now! i got some chipboards, paper mache's, wooden boxes, etc. to alter. i like expanding my repertoire of skills pertinent to paper crafts. here are some stuff i recently made. what do you think?

this is my cheery and sunny cherry ensemble. dh and i were grocery shopping at wholefoods one day (love this healthy store - but prices are incredibly prohibitive!) and bought tons of cherries which is one of my fave fruits. he bought me some fresh flowers also. what a nice dh, huh? i went home and made a fruit and flower arrangement. flowers, fruits, paper, art, bright colors always have a way of perking me up when i'm feeling blue which has been annoyingly quite often. i was inspired by my cherries and daisies arrangement to do an altered art using a tin lunchbox. i had extra scraps and being the frugal cropper, i then did some matching cards and tags.

i got good compliments from fellow scrappers and they also asked me some tips on how i "perfectly" cover my altered projects and what's the best adhesive to use. my answer was i approximate the length of the paper i need to cut then just start trimming edges off until i get the bext alignment. i also discovered using acrylic paints for the hard to reach places. i kept the front plain b/c i was lazy to cut around the edges of the metal clips (usually "professionals" unscrew the metal tags but that's too much work. i use pointed q-tips to help me navigate through the tricky nooks and crannies parts. the ribbon around is really a trick to mask smudges.

i'm really picky with craftsmanship so i rework areas until they look near perfect. the adhesive i like to use is glue stick., it's cheaper, lasts longer and can fill in hard to reach spaces. also, have a bone folder handy. the pointed side is good to "tuck in" the edges and the flat side helps me smooth out the air bubbles. the paper is from chatterbox's scrap walls, mistletoe vine. i also used some matching cherry stickers set from creative imaginations which go well with this line.

Back from a Short Respite

glad to have the inspiration again to start posting on my blog. sometimes i feel stuck in a rut and the creative juices just don't flow as freely. but when i get the inspiration and spark, i feel very creative and productive. okay time to upload some new info and work samples. tfl!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Reflection: Final Farewell

Mother's Day from now on will always be bittersweet. This Mother's Day, the usual joy and festivity associated with this special day was marred by the burial of our dad.

Our dad's coffin was transported to his hometown provincial church, the Basilica of our Immaculate Conception. It was a long drive to the countryside as our motorcade of cars followed the somber music of the lead car carrying the coffin on our dad.

We arrived noon time at the historical and ornate Basilica. This was the church dad was baptized and where he received his first Holy Communion, Reconciliation, and Confirmation. It was a homecoming to the city he grew up. My children, born in America, have never been to this place. It was good to know they were getting in touch with their heritage and geographical roots.

The burial mass was officiated by the Cardinal of the Philippines, Cardinal Rosales, who was a dear childhood friend of dad. The Cardinal just arrived from Rome less than 24 hours ago when he heard the news of the demise of dad. He said that dad somehow prepared for this day by approaching him to make a final request that the reverent Cardinal officiate his burial mass. It was a promise the Cardinal could not not fulfill.

The Cardinal shared personal stories about dad when they were growing up in Batangas. Many of them I haven't really heard of. The Cardinal said that dad was very athletic and strong. After mass, he and the boys would play volleyball in the church lot. Dad was very intelligent and excelled in school. He was a good soccer player in his youth. He was devoted to his mother until the very end.

After the mass, we trekked one car at a time along a narrow dusty road to the provincial cemetery where many of our dead relatives lie in peace. A final blessing was given to dad in the small humble church where one by one, mourners viewed dad's remains for the last time. The thought thta this was the last time I will ever glance at the physical remains of my father sent despair all over me. I wanted to tell him a lot more about my life's problems and successes and my dreams, but that was no longer possible. My whole family huddled in front of him, crying altogether, saying our silent good-byes, and most of all, thanking our Heavenly Father for giving dad to us. Then the coffin was closed and transported to the family mausoleum nearby. We threw flowers on the coffin prior to it being sealed forever. I was the last one to leave. I didn't really want to go. I wanted to sit there for a long time and keep him company and talk to him. I touched his tomb for the last time and said good-bye.

The last vision I had was the "Tree of Life" bonzai plumeria plant my husband and I bought for dad. Farewell, dad. Rest in peace. Be an angel over our shoulders, keeping us safe and guided in the right direction. We love you and will never forget your goodness. Praise God almighty for the gift of you in our lives.

Thank God for the gift of faith and the support of family and friends. I have accepted dad's demise and am at peace with this now. Somehow, the thought of him keeping a watchful eye on us, especially on me, as I face life's successes and challenges, makes me feel more confident in my life's journey.

Dad, your spirit will always be in my heart. You have given me essential values for life which no one can take away. You taught me to live a life of integrity and honor and to stand up for my beliefs despite adversity because the Lord will always be there as my protector against oppressors. And now I also have you as my protector and guide. You know what's in my heart now and the key justice struggle I am undertaking. May your spirit give me continued wisdom and perseverance to see this challenge until the very end. I love you, dad.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Reflection: Miss Me Some, But Let Me Go

The day prior to the burial, we had a mass at the funeral parlor. It was a beautiful mass attended by family and friends. It was con-celebrated by three priest friends of dad - Fr. Nick, Fr. Noni, and Fr. Rene.

After communion, my grieving mother approached the casket of dad and sobbingly whispered a good-bye message to dad. I faintly heard, "Wait for me, I will follow you soon so we can forever be together in life eternal." It was heart wrenching to see my mom mourn the loss of the love of her life.

Mom and dad had a special bond. They were faithful and committed to one another. Dad's the only one that mom has no problem "obeying" orders. You see, my mom is the original dragon lady of the family. She is a self-made successful entrepreneur who did not get any dole out from anyone to start her business. It was all due to sweat and tears and yes, lots of prayers. She is assertive, independent, and indomitable in character. But with dad, she knows how to make him the head of the family and our business, even if dad was a "Mr. Mom" who took care of the kids (with the able assistance of nannies) and the home. Dad always joked that "My wife makes all the money and I spend it. She spoils me rotten." Theirs was a special partnership that worked well because its foundation is their shared deep faith in God.

After the final blessing, I, as the eldest, had the opportunity to provide a short eulogy about dad. I shared how my father lived a life of devotion to God, his family, and others. His generosity was remarkable; his intellect, astounding; his care for his family, exemplary. Most of all, his love and devotion to mom was extraordinary, second only to his love of God. Dad did not like to dwell on sadness, tears, and regrets. I reminded our guests that if dad were around, he would tell us that it's okay to miss his some but then let him go and rejoice because he is with our heavenly Father. He is in a much better place now, bound free from the shackles of sickness, misery, and other worldly concerns. A sense of peace and serenity enveloped me as I reflected and shared this memory of dad.

I then glanced to mom and told her, "Mom, dad will be eagerly awaiting the day when the two of you will be reunited in the kingdom of God. He is preparing a special welcome banquet for you for that day when God will deem is the day for you to join dad. Until then dad wants you to take care of yourself, not to mourn, but enjoy everyday of the rest of your life on earth. Just remember his last words to Sophie (my sister) prior to his fatal surgery was 'Go and feed your mom for she has not yet eaten. Don't let her go hungry. Take care of her.'" See, even in his last hours, mom was all he could think of. I'm sure such is his main thought now even in afterlife." Theirs was a pure love that knew no bounds - neither distance, time, space, nor materiality can sever the love they share.

(last photo courtesy of Vic Magsaysay, a talented photojournalist friend)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Reflection: Death is Like Thief in the Night

I'm back in my home, lying on my bed, trying to comprehend what just happened.

I still remember about two weeks ago, at about 4 am, when the phone rang and I felt a queasy jolt in my stomach. My husband answered the phone and I could hear my mom sobbing and telling us that our dear dad had just passed away. "Oh God," I said to myself. It's the call I've never wanted to receive. I remember letting out a cry of denial and pain. I didn't know what to do or where to go. I wanted to just hug my papa's remains and whisper in his ear how much I loved him but I can't because I'm thousand of miles away.

We immediately proceeded to pack and get a flight to Manila. In the plane, tears continued to roll gently on my face. I remembered the airplane flights we took as a family to trips abroad and how he would assure us that we have nothing to fear when there was turbulence because he would protect us. I looked out the window and it was all darkness and stillness. I wondered whether my papa was out there in the cold dark abyss with no one to care for him? I drowned my sadness by sleeping.

I was awakened by the serving of brunch. But I didn't have any appetite. After our meal, I looked out the window again. It was dusk - the sky was softly lit with muted tints of early sunrise reminding me of rebirth. Then the sun slowly inched its way in the sky, rendering the soft, billowy clouds with a majestic glow of warm hues, this time reminding me of new hope.

Somehow my papa was consoling me to not despair because he is in paradise - the ethereal backdrop of the resplendent skies was nothing compared to where he is right now. A faint smile grazed my face at that sweet notion.

I saw my dad's casket for the first time and there laid his lifeless body with eyes serenely shut. I used to be afraid of dead bodies, but I didn't have any fear when I gazed upon my papa's resting countenance. He had a peaceful look in his face with an enigmatic Monalisa-like smile which seemed to remind us that he has been freed of his worldly cares and has gone to a better place. Papa looked majestic in his intricately sewn native barong shirt. He was holding rosaries and prayer cards on both hands.

I couldn't help but continue to sob and cry at the same time. I wanted papa to hear my regret that I was not able to say good-bye to him. Most of all, I wanted him to know how much I loved, cared, and respected him. I slowly lifted a portion of the transparent sheath covering our dear papa. I was not afraid - I lovingly put my palm on his chest, to physically bid him good-bye for the last time, even if it was a little too late. I wanted him to breathe and show life even for a moment, to acknowledge my presence. It was wishful thinking that perhaps he was only sleeping and resting because his medications made him weak. But this time there was no sign of life ever coming back, even of life faintly fighting back, just as dad did for so long.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Paper Crafts' Gallery Idol Contest Musings by a Newbie

paper craft's gallery idol contest was fashioned after the current american idol contest. so i was thinking, in accordance with the spirit of AI, maybe only newbies or amateurs should have participated. would have been nice to have this contest as a venue to discover budding artists, just as AI, its "progenitor" designed its show to be.

don't get me wrong and hope the pro finalists don't get offended. there were many talented artists and i've tremendously benefited from seeing various styles. but being a "cyberpaperchic," i'm very techie and subscribe to many blogs and online shops (altho i'm a newbie myself) and found out that many of them are designer team members, published, hall-of-famers, and even do this for a living! now that doesn't seem like a leveled playing field.

okay my motto is, don't just be a part of the problem, but the solution as well. so here are my 2-cents worth of suggestions, if you would indulge me:

  1. have a gallery idol contest for amateurs and have expert practitioners in the contest's moderating panel who are charged with giving feedback to finalists on what the former liked about the finalists' creations and what can be improved upon;
  2. have another contest for pros only which will have a more challenging format; maybe readers/amateurs could have a side contest to suggest challenges - e.g. design a card with a $2 budget or something;
  3. make it mandatory for contestants, esp. the pros, to post all materials and basic steps - we're here to learn from their expertise;
  4. what about contests that pair a newbie with a pro? i mean a newbie puts the project together, but the pro/mentor provides ideas/constructive criticisms.

    i think if the industry leaders or entrepreneurs want to halt the decline and stagnation of this industry (have you heard of ch 11 bankruptcy filings of major companies who did not anticipate the market's analogous boom bust?), opportunities for collaboration, sharing of passion, technique/style improvement should be afforded by them. personally, i don't want to see this industry go bust - why? just like the stock market analogy i've alluded to, yours truly has made significant investments in scrapbooking stocks (aka stashes) and i'd like to get some ROI (return on investment) by making sure products i like don't get discontinued, my fellow "paper passionistas" don't dwindle so i can find more scrap buddies who will nurture my passion, and maybe get something published at least within 10 years (lol! we all can dream)...of course, my most significant ROI is the keepsake i have created for my posterity which will long endure after i'm gone.

    what do you guys think? would like to hear from both newbies and pros! ok, nuff of my didactic rumbles. can u tell i was a teacher/principal before?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

CKC April 07 Mesa Round-Up

Convention Stash and Goodies!

some of my loot during this trip. love those kits; love those flowers! my poor baby dog, tiffany, does not know where to go with such an obstacle course! what a mess!

Oh Where, Oh Where Should I Put Them? Craft Room

Here's a picture of one of my organizer armoire which is begging me, "No more goodies, please! We're overcrowded here!" As if that's a problem for me???? As you can see from above, it ain't always this clean and organized. It's creative chaos.

Convention Recap: Raves, Rants, Tips

Had a fun time at the CKC Mesa convention last week. It was my first CK convention. Here are some highlights and comments.

1. Vendor Exhibits:

a. Rave: I felt like a kid running amuck in a candy store! Gosh, the stores were filled with new and awesome goodies. Made a serious dent in my retirement funds ... yikes, still don't know how to tell my DH what happened. Maybe something like "A Papercraft witch overtook me and made me do things I didn't like such as buying all the Technique Tuesday chipboard set!" Do you think that will work? Other suggestions?

b. Rant: The lines for paying were way too long and wasted precious convention time for us. People were getting grumpy. Vendors should invest in scanners to make transaction paying faster. Or open more cashier lanes. Or have cashier savvy staff man the payment lines. This was VERY frustrating! ... Bad news for stampers - CKC didn't have much goodies in this department which is disappointing. Even Rusty Pickle hardly had distressing inks available. Why the discrimination for stampers, CKC? I'd like to see varied inks (pigments, chalks, vintage), Tim Holtz distressing inks, daubers, sponges, pearlescent chalks, etc!

c. Tip: After lunch seems to be a lull time in shopping. So sched your shopping within this time.

d. Rave: Good freebies from some stores. CKC offered online coupons.

e. Tip: Look at the online coupons for discounts and freebies. Arrive early for the early bird freebies. Mark the zones where these vendors will be. Attend the Thursday night pre-convention classes such as mini-album class, pre-crop night. The vendors give freebie coupons.

f. Rant: Some stores were grumpy when customers traded their freebie coupons. Tough! They offered this and I was determined to get all my well-deserved freebies!

g. Trends: Kits galore abounded. Shop around and compare. Now you're no longer wedded to a year of monthly kit purchases. Some allow you to only purchase 3 months out of 6 months contract, such as "Heart Strings" Company. Canvas, frames, chipboards, glitter, home decor extensions, clear stamps, flowers in all colors and sizes are the rage.

2. Classes:

a. Rave: Varied classes were offered by companies and usually reflected their styles. I liked Technique Tuesday's stamp classes, Lickety Lick, Lil davis, SEI, Rusty Pickle, Heart Strings, etc ... Papercraft classes were the best. I especially liked Wendy Johnson's swap card class. learned new techniques. I took the Thursday album class. The album inserts were all coordinated to match together. It was good class because we finished an album at the end of the night. It's not high end designer album pages, except for some like Technique Tuesday's, but still okay for fast crop ideas.

b. Tip: Make sure you have the basic supplies listed in the class info - I didn't bring distressing inks because I wanted to buy supplies there, but the stores were not open on Thursday night. Hey, CKC, why not sell stuff on Thursday nights as well? ... Everyone seemed to be carrying the crop open tote bag. That seemed handy for the classes. Check out the skill level and coordinate your style with the style of vendors ...well sometimes, expanding your comfort level helps also.

c. Rant: I participated in the swap card. But I was disappointed when some traded with me haphazardly made cards and I felt it was not fair to trade with them because I put so much effort in mine. But then they zoom to you when they see your well-made cards, it's awkward to say no to them! ... Vendors/Demonstrators - make sure your materials match your instructions! It's confusing when there are last minute changes in materials that demonstrators don't know. Have pictures of end product or 3 main steps so advanced people can work on their own pace. CKC - invest in high end projectors that do not look washed out with lights on. Images were projected onto the screen but it strained our eyes because we couldn't see the images well. Better still, get 3d projectors so your steps can be projected to the class as you go along!

3. Crop Nights:

a. Rave: I met some awesome ladies - we called ourselves the Scrappin Divas - Robyn 1, Robyn 2, Liz, and Val - you guys are the best! Had a blast with our cheerleading competition led by the only guy scrapper in the room - my son, Michael (there, you know how valuable early training can be!) Keep posted for more info and hilarious pics on this Cheer Night! ... Cool prizes and raffles. Thanks, sponsors! ... The "room service" while you crop offered by Marriot in the ballroom was kewl! Nice waiters also. Lastly, the massage service was a hit! We need more of this. Have a massage chair available also throughout the sessions.

b. Rant: The light in the ballroom was not adequate. I'm quite young (yeah, right) and don't really wear glasses and was squinting, so what more for the oldies? Hey, CKC - why not have a crop night contest as an incentive for the croppers to stay behind and get a well-deserved prize, not just via raffle. What about a tool section/table to test new supplies or use supplies we forgot from home. They had this at the Scrapbook Expo and it was very helpful.
c. Tip: Attend the Saturday night crop send-off. Why? Willing vendors give deep discounts on their goodies! Also, stay behind a little later - there was a mass get what you can table give-away. Good thing my son came and hustled his way along to get my good freebies. Thanks, Mike!

That's all for now. Keep posted and your comments are very much appreciated.