Saturday, May 31

Pens, a hybrid layout, a card and some good Walmart buys...


I'd like to start with a hybrid page I did a few days ago.














I wanted to make a layout about my brother, sister and me, and I want to use a lot of photos.  With the aid of Photoshop Elements, I used KHMize's Photo Mosaic Cluster element and Art Nation's Blossom Paper 3 and 9 for the background.  I didn't want to add anything else because I want the rest of the elements to be traditional.  After printing, the 8x8 digital layout on the 8.5 x 11 photo paper looked like one of those polaroid photos.  I decided not to trim it, and just use the entire letter size.  I was having a little difficulty with this layout because my brother is in it.  It's always hard to create a layout with men in the subject. 






















































I ended up using a lot of left over ribbon that match the main background, and eyelets (with the aid of my Crop-a-Dile2).  I also used some of the Foam Stamp Set by Creating Keepsakes, stamped on white chipboard coasters.  For the title, I used yellow alpha stickers by Provo Craft.  As for the number "3", I threw away the packaging years ago, and now I have no idea what brand it is.  If somebody knows, please tell me.  I adhered it using 3D foam squares to pop out.  The donut word stickers are from K & Co.  I also used a fabric sticker roll (plaid) and adhesive backed cork strip, both bought from the 100 Yen Store in Japan.  For journaling, I used black Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker. 




And of course, none of these is possible without my Scotch ATG 700 and Duck adhesive.  When I thought everything was done, I felt like the layout seemed flat.  So what I did was print the digital layout again.  But to save ink, I only selected the three photos  that I want to pop out in the layout, using Photoshop again.  I just use the eraser tool for that, and it was easy.  After printing and cutting those three photos, I adhered them with 3D adhesive foam squares.  Can you tell which three photos are actually popping out?   

Yesterday, I finally decided to clean up planet.  My attention went to the Copic Markers I bought in Japan.  I printed the color list from the website, and made an inventory of what I have.  As I was doing this, I decided to organize all my pens and markers according to color families: 
  • Clear
  • White
  • Grey
  • Black
  • Gold
  • Brown
  • Blue
  • Blue Green
  • Violet
  • Blue Violet
  • Red
  • Red Violet
  • Yellow
  • Yellow Red
  • Green
  • Yellow Green
I was able to separate all my pens and markers successfully.  But with the new addition of Copic Markers, they just won't fit in my Pampered Chef Carousel anymore.  Off to the internet I went to search for the "perfect" pen organizer for me.  And as expected, I couldn't find any.  It's either I have someone build it for me, or I'll have to improvise.  I haven't picked which road to take, so I decided to just put the markers in ziplock bags according to color.  This is how it looks like for now. 



This morning, I was so in the mood to make a card.  I've been reading through some card making books and magazines and I got inspired.  I wanted to use my embossing folders this time (Tiny Flowers & Flowers # 2 by Sizzix; Leaves by Fiskars). 


I embossed assorted hues of orange cardstock and punched them with my Creative Memories Square Punch.  Among the four orange squares you see, one of them is an actual embossed paper I bought in Japan a few years ago.  Can you tell which one?  It's my first time to try Embassy Black Cardstock which I bought from Walmart for $3.96 (60 sheets).  I like it so far.  Then, I used Diffusion stamp by Hampton Art Stamps and the sentiment stamp is by Hero Arts.  Then I added purple flower sequins, leftover orange flowers (cut in half), brown button and leftover purple paper strip.  I also love the stand I bought for $3.47. 

Speaking of Walmart, if you happen to go there, here are some items that I consider really good buys:


Georgia Pacific White Cardstock (8.5 x 11) - if you love to create cards, this is the bomb. The quality is really good and a lot of card makers use this brand. Only $5.48 for 150 sheets.
Duck Double Sided Adhesive Rollers (4 Pack) - This is the best and economical handy adhesive roller that I've ever used. Aside from paper/cardstock, they're also good for ribbon and fabric. The price is about $9 and some cents. Plus each roller lasts a long long time.

OK, time to freshen up :)

Thursday, May 29

Chaos Rules Again

My planet was very clean, organized and peaceful when I was away for a month.  Now that I'm back, it's a total mess.... again!  I haven't put away my craft buys from the Philippines and Japan.  Despite that, I still went on and made a traditional and a hybrid layout, which made my craft desk all the more chaotic.  Can I help it if I wasn't able to create anything for a month?  It is really hard to resist.  However during the process of making those layouts, I got frustrated because I forgot where I put a certain tool and a particular embellishment.  I was so mad because I know I have them, but I just don't know where they are.  Grrrrr.

Yesterday, I received two goodies in the mail.  Two very beautiful double page layouts from my SCS sisters Valerie from Las Vegas and Sasha from Canada.  I'm expecting more goodies sometime soon because I went online shopping at Joann.com for my new OTT Lamp and some Oval Nestabilities dies by Spellbinders


 I have been reading about how stampers and card makers love the Nestabilities, and I have seen the gorgeous cards they have created.  I have been browsing online where I can get them the cheapest, and I'm so glad Joann.com finally carries them, way lot cheaper than a lot of scrapbook online stores ($18.74).  What I also like about Nestabilities is the fact that I can use them with my Big Shot.  I'm really excited to play with these!



Also, if you guys love those Cuttlebug embossing folders, they are coming out with new designs.  Again, I couldn't resist pre-ordering one of them.  See, I'm being a good girl because I'm getting only one!  And then, I had to buy the Swiss Dots, too.  Which means, I actually bought two.  Hee hee!  You can see the latest releases by clicking here.  I don't know, but I'm really into those embossing folders right now.   It doesn't matter what brand, because my Big Shot takes them all.  The thing is, I have been hoarding (again!) and I haven't really started creating with them. 

(Raising my right hand)  I promise to make cards with my embossing folders when my Nestabilities dies arrive in the mail.  Period.

I'm tightly keeping my fingers crossed on two online scrapbooking projects right now.  I'm not allowed to say anything until everything's final.  Please wish me luck on these two ventures :)

Time for me to eat dinner....

Tuesday, May 27

Halfway Done!!! Woot!!!

I had to race against the sunset and it was a relief to be able to finish 50% of my current cross stitch project.  I've been doing this one (Bend in the Road by Cezanne) since we were in Japan, and I can't wait to finish it. 



The reason for this "race" is because I'm tired of moving my OTT Lite True Color Lamp from my craft room to our living room, and vice versa.  And I just can't cross stitch with just any regular lighting.  I have to have the "daylight" when I do this craft because I don't want to have any eye problems in the future (especially now that I'm not as young as I used to be).  Good thing the sun sets at past 9 pm here in our area.  I love my OTT Lamp and I've been using it for years.  It increases clarity, reduces eyestrain and minimizes glare.  I don't mind hours of cross-stitching with this lamp because it really doesn't tire my eyes.  But since I'm tired of moving my OTT Craft Lamp here and there, I decided that it's time to buy another OTT Lamp.  I'm targetting on getting the OTT-LITE® TrueColorTM Folding Craft Lamp, which is now on sale for $29.99 plus free shipping at Joann.com.  I like its portability and size, so it will be easy for me to hide it away when I don't need it.  And hopefully with this lamp, I have no excuse not to work on my very "aged" cross stitch project. 




Speaking of Joann.com, it's not too late to be a member of its Free Shipping Club.  After three separate purchases of $35 each, you become a member and you have free shipping for the rest of the year.  Just remember to log in (creating an account is free) everytime you purchase.  I've done this for several years now, and I just love it!  Especially now that gas prices are soaring, and the nearest Joann's Craft Store is about 1 hour away from us.  Once you're a Free Shipping Club Member, you can still use those discount coupons with your free shipping.  Ain't that cool???




Today's a really good day, actually.  I woke up this morning with a big box on our dining table.  It has all the stuff I bought from Philippines and Japan.  I was excited to open this box, even though I already know what's in it.  All my craft buys were in this box.  My favorite place for crafty stuff is in Tabora Street in Divisoria market.  I wanted to buy so many things there, but I can only bring so much back to the US.  The price is sooo cheap and you can still haggle.  One of my favorites buys are the flowers made of very thin wood shavings.  They only cost $0.71 for ten pieces.  There were also cloth flowers for about $0.50 per pack.  The flower sequins were really a steal for about $0.25 per pack and I bought quite a bunch of them.  I love the butterfiles made of wire and stocking-like fabric.  Most of all, I can't wait to create something with the mask mold which I bought for only about $3.25.  Check out more of my craft finds in Manila by clicking here.


And because my day started out right, I was able to make a traditional layout for the month of May for my 2008 Calendar.  I know it's less than a week till June, but hey, better late than never.  I decided to make a layout about my sister, my brother and me in our family trip in Potipot Island in Zambales, Philippines.  My family hasn't been complete for over 5 years, and we finally get to be together for a month.  The three of us were like kids exploring the small island, and I just had to make a layout to keep that precious memory.  Check out the rest of the pages of my 2008 Calendar by clicking here.

OK, time to watch "So Do You Think You Can Dance?"....

Sunday, May 25

Pullip Play

I couldn't sleep last night.  I already turned the computer off, so I was looking for something else to do.  Then I saw my Pullip Doll still nestled in its box in the corner.  I have been back almost a week and I still haven't laid my hands on this doll.  So I took a cutting knife and carefully cut the top plastic.  I felt like I was a little girl, slowly, but very excitedly, opening a present.  I want to keep the box as it is as much as I can.  There were lots of twist ties in the back of the inner box securing the doll in its place.  I took my time and took each one off.  When was the last time I owned a doll?  I used to love Barbies and I couldn't get enough of them.  And now it seems I'm going back to that phase. 




The Pullip doll is really something.  It has movable joints in the arms, legs, hands and feet.  You can pose them in different ways.  I love the way the eyes can move from left to right using a lever in the back of its head.  Either eye can also wink.  I love the hair, too.  Which makes me think what kind of comb should I use for it?  Should I use a Barbie comb or a regular human comb?  My mind was racing on what kind of clothes I'll make for my doll.  And maybe I can make some furniture with my ceramic molds or something.  I saw on the internet that some of the popular dolls' clothes can fit the Pullip doll.  You can check them out here.  While browsing, I found that this Pullip hobby is serious.  There are quite a bunch of Pullip community websites and even swap meets are being held.  You can actually change the doll's hair and eyes, and that there are 3 Pullip body types.  Some people even go to the extremes and customize their Pullips.  You can find out more about it by clicking here.




What I like most about the Pullip is that it's really a collectible item.  They don't mass produce this doll, and they release a different doll style or theme every month.  It is not cheap, and therefore I would really think that this doll would be more appreciated, and well taken care of, by adults.  I will never give a $100 (or even more) doll to my own 10 year old (and below) daughter, if and once I have one.  If I become rich, I'd like to buy as many of the different styles as I can.

Having this Pullip doll in my hands brought a sense of amusement I've never felt in years.  It's like I'm young again.  I enjoyed changing its clothes and posing the doll in different forms then taking photos.  I wonder what my husband would say if he saw me playing with my Pullip last night.  (Check out the shots I took by clicking here.)

Thanks to this doll, I went to bed at 2:30 am.

Friday, May 23

Trip Report

It sure is hard when you've been away from your craft epicenter for over a month.  I don't know where to start.  Thanks to jetlag, I am taking advantage of waking up early this morning to start writing something. 



I was actually happy to see some goodies waiting for me in my craft room after my visit to the Philippines and Japan.  There were 3 magazines, StampingBella stamps and a two page layout from Caroline Eckel of SplitCoastStampers.  For a moment there, I was trying to recall what other tools and supplies I have.  Which ones are new and which ones are not.  That's kinda exciting, don't you think?  I sometimes like it when I learn that I actually have a certain tool or product - talk about the effects of hoarding!



Anyway, my trip was a blast.  After being in the Philippines for a month, I realized that the scrapbooking scene there is not really as fun as in the States.  Scrapbooking supplies are not as accessible and they're a bit more expensive, because they're basically imported.  There are some local suppliers, but they are not as appealing when you already have a lot on hand.  However, I think that is a good thing for scrapbookers in the Philippines because it's more challenging to make do with what is available.  Their creativity pot is stirred up a little bit more,
and their page layouts are really amazing.  I enjoyed shopping for crafting stuff, not in the malls or department stores, but in the market.  Divisoria to be exact.  There are so many craft finds there, you just have to know how to look.   I am so excited with the stuff I was able to buy there, not to mention the price.  My favorite spot is Tabora Street, where you can find a lot of stuff you can use for crafting.  I so wish I can show you the photos right now, but all the stuff I bought are still in the mail.  I'll blog more about it in detail when they arrive.  So, my goal of being able to create a traditional layout while in the Philippines wasn't met.  However, thanks to the internet, I was still able to make one (yeah, only one) digital layout.  I used Memory Mixer entirely for this one.  IThis is actually a sample I made for my cousin who wants to give digital scrapbooking a shot.  I can't wait to see her first layout :) 

While in the Philippines, I was able to contact a good artist:  Stakkkato.  He's really good with digital caricatures.  I just had to ask him to make a caricature of me and my husband.  I so love the final product!  The price is very reasonable too :)  I wish you all the best in this business of yours, Stakkato!  And thanks! 

I have to admit that I was more excited to go shopping in Japan than in the Philippines.  To tell you the truth, my Japanese shopping list was a lot longer. 
Even though Japan doesn't have a lot of the popular scrapbooking brands from the US, they still have a lot of their own products which a lot of American crafters are so crazy about.  Take for example the Copic Ciao Markers



Stampers are so crazy about them here in the States, and they are not cheap.  Each marker costs $3.95 from the original website.  Some select online shops sell it for $2.99. 

In Yuzawaya Craft Store near Yamato Station in Japan, I was able to get each marker for $2.38, based on the current dollar-yen rate.  So I bought 50 of the popular colors.  You should see the big smile on my face.  This alone made my trip oh so worthwhile.  Yuzawaya is my favorite craft store in Japan.  You'll find everything there - from stained glass, beads, wood crafts, scrapbooking, sewing, needle crafts... name it.  You can even take craft classes, but being in Japan, they are not cheap.  If you become a member (for 500 Yen, about $4.85 yearly), you automatically get 10% discount on most of your purchases.  Because I was by myself, I took my time and feasted my eyes on each of the four floors.  I wanted to live there. 


Of course, my trip to Japan won't be complete without going to Daiso, a very popular 100 Yen Store.  However, I already bought a bunch of stuff there before we moved to the States, so I didn't have to buy so much this time.  If ever you guys go to Japan, make sure to visit the Daiso Giga Machida Store, as it boasts a floor area of 35,500 sq. ft. of goodies.  That's the one I go to frequently way back when.  I just learned that the biggest one is the Daiso Giga Funabashi Store with 71,000 sq. ft. of shopping area.  I'll make sure to go there next time I go to Japan (I wonder when???).

Another goal of my Japan trip is to buy me a Pullip Doll.  I blame it on Marie Montero, for her blogs about the darn doll (hehehe).  Thanks to my dear friend Atsuko, she was able to find a shop that sells Pullips.  The one we went to is Sunny Side Up in Valley Vanguard of World Porters Mall, Yokohama.  I was actually surprised to see how big the dolls are.  I thought they're the same size as Barbie dolls. 


The one I bought is Zuora, which was released on my birth month (October) 2006.  I really want to have the Youtsuzu, to be released in July or August this year.  I have a feeling I'll be having a new collection....  I can't wait to crochet some clothes for my Pullip doll.  Who knows what else I can make for this doll???

OK, that's it for now.... 'till next blog!

Tuesday, May 20

I'm Back!!!

My one month vacation in the Philippines and three days of stay in Japan are finally over!  Each day was a blast.  I just arrived home yesterday, and the 13-hour plane ride drove me crazy.  I have lots of things to share, fellow crafters.  But for now, I'm just checking in because I have to unpack a lot of stuff.  Brace yourselves for a lot of updates :)
Meanwhile, back to reality for me...

Friday, May 2

It's Our Day

Happy Scrapbooking Day!!!  What are you scrapbooking enthusiasts going to create on our special day?

This event makes me miss my planet more :(  

I haven't done a layout for more than a week.  I purposely left some blank pages on my sister's scrapbook, so I can make some pages here in Manila.  I have been here for two weeks already but I haven't done any major craft shopping.  I'm looking forward to our Divisoria trip so I can buy craft materials for a good price.  It is going to be a challenge making a scrapbook page here with limited supplies, especially when I'm used to having everything I need in my craft room.  I did look around SM Megamall today because they are having a 3-day sale.  I first saw the Simplejoys shop.  They sell beading and scrapbooking supplies.  And because it's a mall-wide sale event, a lot of their items are on sale.  A variety of scrapbooking embellishments/materials are P50 (about $1.25).


None of them I've ever seen in the states, and it seems to me that the quality can match those being sold in the US.  I did try to stop myself from buying so much, because there are still a lot of shops to explore.  I just decided to buy one ribbon set because I like the color combination.  Six 1 yard ribbon strips for that price is really not that bad.I saw another craft store, but I wasn't impressed with their items.  Then I just had to go to Papemelrotti again.  I saw these notebooks perfect for sketching scrapbook layouts.  It's only P14.40 after the 20% discount (originally P18).  That's only about $0.59. 




These notebooks can be altered too!  I bought quite a bunch of these :)This week, check out your favorite scrapbook stores (online too!) and they might be having special deals for National Scrapbooking day.  I'm kinda sad because I'm not in the US for this.  But in a way I'm glad because I'm actually saving money.  QVC is celebrating this event and they have a lot of cool scrapbooking stuff.  Check them out here, here, and here.  They will be having two more scrapbooking shows consecutively at 5 pm and 6 pm Eastern Time.

For you digital scrapbookers, Scrapbook Elements has close-out specials which you can browse through here.  Another favorite of mine, Designer Digitals is having their quarterly sale where everything is 30% off using the coupon code 148694.  This offer expires on May 6th, Tuesday at 7 am ET.  They will also have an all day chat event tomorrow, May 3rd, Saturday where they'll be giving away freebies and other goodies every hour.  Also on Sundays and Mondays, they have 2 items for only $0.25.  If you're reading this on a Sunday or Monday, click here now for that really good deal.

By the way, check out Scrap N' Art Scrapbooking and Papercrafting Ezine's premiere issue by clicking right here.  I have seen it and it's really cool :)  Try submitting some of your work for their September/October issue and take a shot on being published.  For more information, click here.

Chat with you all on my next blog :)

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