Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

The best gift this Christmas for me is celebrating the holidays together. It has been a very long time since I spent Christmas with my mom and two sisters. I am so grateful to share this special time with my family. Our mom is definitely having "good time" with the grandchildren.

So for this week's post, I used one of my very favorite sets called English Cottage and the sentiment is from Home for Christmas set. They have both been retired. I used water color crayons for the image and just sponged the edges to soften it with Lucky Limeade ink.

Card Recipe

Stamp Set: English Cottage and Home for Christmas (both retired)
Paper: Holly Berry Bouquet, Real Red, Whisper White, Lucky Limeade
Ink: Black Stazon for the image, Lucky Limeade
Accesories: Watercolor crayons, Ruffled Ribbon in Lucky Limeade, sponge

This other card sort of happened by playing with the colors. I thought I'd challenge myself and not use traditional Christmas colors and also by using the Circle Circus stamp set (which is obviously not a Christmas stamp set). I sprayed it with the Smooch Spritz in Vanilla Shimmer. It surprisingly turned out quite pretty.

Card Recipe

Stamp Set: Circle Circus (115778), Snow Swirled (111690)
Paper: Whisper White, Calypso Coral, Lucky Limeade
Ink: Calypso Coral, Lucky Limeade, Island Indigo 
Accesories: Circle Ice Rhinestone Brads, Smooch Sprtiz in Vanilla Shimmer

That's it for today! We did not do our traditional Noche Buena aka Christmas Eve dinner and opening of presents last night because of the babies. We will do a late lunch today and then open presents.

To those we love and see each day and other loved ones far away. 
To those whose lasting friendship means so much,
and those with whom we're somehow out of touch.
Sunday, December 18, 2011

Birthday Weekend

I spent my birthday weekend cleaning and sorting my closet. I have been meaning to do that, but never seemed to have the time (or inclination) to. It's been a permanent to-do list. I have many of those. How fast things accumulate! I am surprised to find clothes I couldn't live without only two years ago, they will now be put in LBC boxes to the Philippines. I would like to simplify. I want to rephrase that, I "dream" to simplify. I imagine less clothes means I won't have to do a ton of laundry all the time. It will also be easier to find things to wear because there won't be plenty to choose from. I dream of having less and living more.

My younger sister and I have this funny memory of watching a TV show when we were kids, which to this day still get us rolling in laughter. There was this show about a girl (Bibette Orteza was the actor) who only had one set of outfit. She wore them everywhere, night and day. They were blue jeans and a maroon collared polo shirt. One day she announced to all her family and friends that she finally went shopping and bought new clothes. They were all so happy and excited to see what she bought. When she opened her closet they were the same outfits she had been wearing, just new ones. Lol. Huh! For some odd reason that didn't sound as funny as I remember. Everything's funnier when you're a kid, I guess.

I made this card to sort of just relax before I went to bed last night. Projects after a couple glasses of wine always turn out nice in my opinion. Hahaha. Anyway, 6 more days before Christmas. My kids are out of school for Christmas break. They don't realize how fortunate they are to get holiday breaks. Oh well.

Card Recipe

Stamp Set: Flores Suaves (from the Spanish catalog)
Paper: So Saffron (retired - currently on clearance), Melon Mambo, Pacific Point, Whisper White
Ink: Crushed Curry, Pacific Point Craft ink and Basic Black, Crushed Curry Stampin Write
Accessories: Heat embossing tool, Clear emboss powder, dimensionals, Pacific Point ribbon, sponge

It's hard to see in the picture, but both the background and the butterfly are embossed with the heat tool and clear emboss powder. I then colored the butterfly with Stampin' Write in Crushed Curry.

Please remember to check out the Clearance Rack Blitz My Online Store! They have sold out of many things, but still many punches and stuff. That's it for now. Have a fabulous week!
Friday, December 16, 2011

Forty Something

I am writing a special post today in honor of my birthday. I am 40 plus 1 today, how cool is that? I still remember being a teenager thinking that 30 was ancient. Here I am in my forties. I never realized the truth in the saying, "Age is only a number" until last year when I turned 40. Geez, forty is a lot of candles! However, when I look at myself in the mirror I see this older version of me, but deep down I feel that I have not aged at all. I still laugh the same, I talk the same, I cry at the same things and when people let me down...the pain is still the same. I only wish whoever keeps sending me the fines lines and wrinkles every year to stop. Hahaha.

One thing I really noticed is that losing a loved one when you're older hurts so much more than when you're a child. I lost loved ones from great grandparents, grandparents to uncles when I was younger and I will always miss them. But losing my dear grandmother recently really threw me off balance. Perhaps it was because she was the one who loved me the most and losing her feels like that's a whole lot of love lost. It is in my list of regret of a lifetime that I didn't go back home to see her when she was still alive and lucid. I kept putting it off hoping she'd wait for me when I'm ready. If there's one thing I learned in all my 41 years, it's that life doesn't wait for anyone. Life moves on no matter how much we grieve or ache. Life moves on whether we are prepared for it or not. Life moves on whether we love or hate. Life just goes and it will keep going even after I am gone. I used to phone my grandma on my birthday so she could greet me. The past couple of years when she no longer knew who I was, it brought me so much pain to call so I didn't phone as often. But there were plenty of times when I'd feel sad or stressed that just hearing her voice made me feel better. She would talk about her plants, what she ate for lunch or who came to visit her and I just sat there listening to the sweetness of her voice. I'd imagine her hand clutching mine as we briskly walked around the market. She loved me the most and I know that I will always miss her in my life. But life moves on no matter how much my heart is breaking or how much I'm missing her. Grandma, I will always carry you in my heart.

So, for this birthday I want to remember and honor those who are no longer with me and cherish those who are. I am truly grateful for my family. I am grateful for my job that allows me to have this amazing hobby of creating beautiful cards.

I love this set and still sad that it has been retired by Stampin' Up! I wish they had more Asian themed stamp sets. It's hard to see from the picture, but I heat embossed it with black craft ink and iridescent ice. It really turned out beautiful.

Card Recipe

Stamp Set: Dream Garden
Paper: Crushed Curry and Real Red, DSP
Ink: Black craft ink
Accessories: Big Shot Embossing folder in Lattice, Iridescent Ice embossing powder, heat tool, Very Vanilla Satin ribbon.

Happy birthday to me!
Sunday, December 11, 2011

Serene Snowflakes

My baby sister and her family are finally back in the US from the Philippines. We stayed up late just chatting and visiting. It was wonderful to see them all again. BTW, here's my post for this Sunday. I didn't realize how much pressure came with having a blog and making the commitment to share a project / creation every week. I have so much admiration and respect for those bloggers I subscribe to. They are truly amazing and generous! Coming up with new ideas is hard work and time consuming. I love the challenge though, and once I see it published I feel this unexplainable feeling of accomplishment. So, if you are one of those very few people who visit my blog, thank you.

Card Recipe
Stamp Set: Serene Snowflakes, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Whisper White, Pool Party, Riding Hood Red
Accessories: Embossing Folder in Snow Burst, Modern Label & Word Window Punch, Riding Hood Red 1 1/4 Grosgrain Ribbon (cut in half), Basic Rhinestones, Smooch Spritz Vanilla Shimmer.
Ink: Pool Party, Riding Hood Red

I really like how this card turned out, considering I really didn't know what I was doing at first. I just kept on adding things. Hahaha. I sprayed it with the Vanilla Shimmer Smooch Spritz and that just made it fabulous to me. The photo didn't show the shimmer as good as I'd hoped, but it is gorgeous! Hey, I am getting good at this. 

BTW, my son took this photo for me. He got a nice camera as a very early Christmas present from his grandma and he was more than happy to do it for me. Bye for now and have a wonderful week. Thirteen (13) more days before Christmas.

Friday, December 9, 2011


To say it was a busy and stressful week is an understatement. Thank goodness, it's Friday. I just want to write a quick and short post today by sharing this cute baby card I made for my friend in Arizona who just had a baby girl. My camera's been acting-up lately. I took three shots and they all seem to be blurry. So, this will have to do.

It was a very simple card and didn't take much time to put together at all. Thanks to that really cute Nursery Nest DSP (122347), Pretty in Pink (100459) and Certainly Celery card stocks (105125).

This weekend is packed for me. My baby sister and her family are finally coming back home from the Philippines. I am so excited to have family nearby. See you soon!
Sunday, December 4, 2011

Traditional Christmas

Here are a few of the cards I've been working on. I need to find a way to use non-traditional colors for holiday cards, but I seem to be set on my ways.

Such a simple card with just DSP Holly Berry Bouquet from the Holiday Mini Catalog and the sentiment from Bells and Boughs.

I just love this card. Making it made me feel like I was one of the carolers from Charles Dickens' Christmas Story. I used Christmas Collage (121279) and Bells and Boughs set. I aged it by using More Mustard ink (103162) and a sponge. I colored some of the background with Stampin Write markers. I also like the Glass Stampin Glitter in Champagne (120997) around the bells.

I sooooo adore this paper and I have been trying to control my impulses to hoard it. I tend to do this with pretty papers and ribbons. Auuuughh! I need help.

That's it for this weekend's post. My chores await. Happy stamping everybody!

Christmas Stocking Stuffers and Giftables

I had two classes yesterday: Christmas cards and Giftables so I would like to share what we did. Aren't they just so adorable and perfect for little sweet gifts to family, co-workers and friends?
 Gift Card Holders
 Hershey Bar Sliders
 Wrapped Ghirardelli Chocolates
I learned how to do this from the really amazing Frenchie. Here's her site to watch her tutorial.
 Post it Notes Pad Holder
I learned how to do this from Kerry. Here's the link to see how awesome she is.

  Hershey Nuggets Treats

I am so thrilled about the upcoming Occasions Mini Catalog 2012 and the SAB (Sale-a-bration) catalog. I have been literally looking at them for days. It's so great to be Stampin' Up! demonstrator, because I can preview the new catalogs before everybody else and I can order before the release. You can, too! You can find out more details by going to this site.
Sunday, November 27, 2011

Winter Post Stamp Set

For the very first time ever we celebrated Thanksgiving just the four of us, hubby, my son, my daughter and me. We've always been with extended family over the years; this time around it was just the four of us and it was very nice. It was a clear message to me that my life has evolved around us four the past 18 years and I am very grateful. I cannot imagine a world without any of them. We put up our Christmas tree and I have the presents wrapped under it. I have not gone out all weekend to shop. I used to do Black Fridays, but as I got older I got wiser and realized to just watch out for good deals all year round so I'll always be ahead of the game. I had more time to watch Friends reruns with my daughter and to make cards. I am so thrilled that one of my favorite stamp sets from Stampin' Up! is 50% off. If I didn't already own it, I would have bought it. I hope you are taking advantage of this sale. It will end on Wednesday, 11/30. So, I am sharing the Christmas cards that I made (made 30 of this) to send out to friends and relatives.

Card Recipe

Stamp set(s): Lovely as a Tree, Winter Post and sentiment from Bells & Boughs

Paper: Crumb Cake, DSP Deck the Halls (retired from last year), Very Vanilla

Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Craft Whisper White and Chocolate Chip

Accessories: Big Shot Bigz Top Note Die, Heat tool, Cherry Cobbler Seam Binding ribbon, Chantilly Crochet trim ribbon, hemp twine, hardware flower ribbon slide (retired), Extra large oval punch.

Thanks for stopping by! 

SALE ENDS 11/30/2011!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday before Turkey Day

It will be a very busy Sunday full of errands and to-do list because next week is Turkey Day. So, I am going to sneak-in and post a short entry. Also, I am dying to share a couple of cards I made. I just love Thanksgiving. Growing-up in the Philippines, we didn't celebrate it. Each town back home celebrates "Pasalamat" on a certain date once a year which is a day to honor their town Saint or something like that. Each home in the town prepares a feast and they invite family, relatives and friends to come and join their celebration. I guess it is similar in some aspects, but I like how we celebrate it in the US more. Thanksgiving to me is all about getting together with the family and being grateful for all our blessings. I am so very thankful!

I just love fall colors. It is so rich and welcoming. I used French Foliage stamp set, More Mustard, Old Olive, Tangerine Tango, Perfect Plum and Very Vanilla card stocks. Ink pads of the same colors as the CS.

I am not too happy with this one because it turned out to be too shiny and that's not my idea of autumn at all. I copied this from one of the projects I made when I attended a Stamp Camp last September. I used the Gently Falling stamp set from the Holiday Mini catalog and the DSP Spice Cake paper. 

That's it for today. I am going to enjoy my coffee and Sunday paper before I head out to run errands.
Tomorrow is the start of Online Extravaganza. There will be tons of sales and clearance in the Stampin' Up! website. You will kick yourself later if you let this one slip by. Take advantage of it! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Still Here!

Just a really quick post to let the world know I am still very much alive. I want to share a few cards I have created recently. I promise to write a longer entry soon to summarize what I've been up to the past few weeks. BTW, I have a website now!  


I am so in-love with the Stitched Stockings stamp set and coordinating punch. I love the simplicity of this card, and so easy to make, too. The glimmer paper is so amazing and has many uses. 

Paper: Real Red (102482), Lucky Limeade (122926) and Whisper White (100730), Red Glimmer Paper (121790)
Ink: Real Red Classic Stamp Pad (103133), Lucky Limeade Classic Stamp Pad (122935)
Stamps:  Stitched Stockings (123782 Wood or 123784 Clear), Serene Snowflakes (115438) for the background, Grateful Greetings (116511) for the sentiment
Accessories:  Lucky Limeade 3/8 Ruffled Ribbons (122977) and Real Red 1/8 Taffeta Ribbon (119251), Stampin' dimensionals (104430)

For supplies, you can shop online 24/7


Don't you just love the simplicity and elegance of this card?

Paper: Rich Razzleberry (115316), and Whisper White (100730)
Ink: Rich Razzleberry Classic Stamp Pad (115658)
Stamps:  Contempo Christmas (118734 Wood or 120594 Clear)
Accessories:  Whisper White 5/8 Satin Ribbons (114616), VersaMark Pad (102283) Stampin Emboss Powder Iridescent Ice (101930), Stampin' dimensionals (104430), Snow Burst Embossing Folder (124096)

I made this card for my co-worker who's having twins in a couple of months, a boy and a girl. Isn't it just darling? I don't make baby cards often enough and it was not easy coming up with the idea for this one. Thank goodness Stampin' Up! makes such cute paper that once I opened the paper pack, it just came to me.

 Paper: Bashful Blue (105120), Pretty in Pink (100459), DSP Nursery Nest (122347), Certainly Celery (105125) and Whisper White (100730), Red Glimmer Paper (121790)
Ink: Black StazOn Ink Pad (101406), Stampin' Write Markers in Bashful Blue and Pretty in Pink
Stamps:  Stitched Stockings (123782 Wood or 123784 Clear), Serene Snowflakes (115438) for the background, Grateful Greetings (116511) for the sentiment
Accessories:  Whisper White 5/8 Satin Ribbons (114616), Certainly Celery 1/4 Grosgrain Ribbon (109031), Stampin' dimensionals (104430), Subtles Brads (119738)
Sunday, October 16, 2011


I apologize for being MIA for the past couple of months. It's just life, that's my only excuse. We sneaked in a short family vacation before the kids went back to school in August, then school shopping and although they have been back for over six weeks now getting back into schedule is still challenging most mornings.

September has always been a busy month for me because I know many people whose birthdays are this month, plus this month is the Tenth Year Anniversary of 9/11 and I find myself grieving all over again that that even occurred, more so that it has been ten years since. I still recall where I was and what I was doing the morning that happened. I believe most of us do. Oh well, today I plan to slow down and try to have a lazy Sunday with my family in memory of all the people that we lost ten years ago.

My maternal grandmother died on September 11, 1984 and my grandfather died on September 11, 1994 - so it brings me back to those sad moments when I lost two of the most influential people in my life. Also, my dearest paternal grandmother who brought me home straight from the hospital after I was born and raised me died September 27, 2011. It was one of the saddest days of my life - when I received that phone call from my aunt telling me she has died. I sobbed uncontrollably at work. I promise to write a longer entry about my grandma and my unplanned trip to the Philippines after 8 years. Here's a photo of my Inang the day before we left for the US in 1989. I will miss her for the rest of my days...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Why Madame Wu?

Good morning! My mom woke me up with a phone call. Isn't it grand to have a mother who lives 2,300 miles away to get you up at 6:00 on a Saturday morning? God bless her. She is an amazing woman and you will find out more about her in my future entries.

My ten year old daughter asked me last night why I used the name Madame Wu. Obviously, that is only a pseudonym hoping that at 40 I can still create a little bit of mystery. Whenever any of my kids ask me a question I couldn't whip out the response from my pocket, I am compelled to ponder at how accurate I can explain myself. I am not one of those parents who will say, "you will find out when you're old enough." I am the kind of parent who knows enough most of the time, and I am never ashamed to admit when I simply just don't know. I use that opportunity to encourage them to help me research and then, we learn together. Parenting is an ongoing education for both the parents and the children, is it not? 

So here it goes: actually, Madame Wu is "the" character in one of my most favorite books of all time. The book is titled, Pavilion of Women by Pearl S. Buck. I was introduced to the wonderful works of Pearl Buck in my early twenties sort of by accident. Fortunately for me, the very first one I read was Pavilion of Women. It was during a very dark and turbulent point of my life. Have you ever felt like you were in a black hole? You see all these familiar friendly faces walking by and telling you that things will get better, to just hang in there...and deep down you know the hole is shallow; but you just didn't know how to get out or how to gauge the height you have to climb in order to live again. I was in that state for many years.

One day, I was killing time at the mall and walked into a discounted book store and immediately the first book I picked-up was Pavilion of Women. I read the first few pages and dropped my last ten dollars. Looking back now, I think Madame Wu distracted me from what was going on in my life. It was a nice entertainment and from then on I have read most of Pearl S. Buck's books and I love all of them. Madame Wu was a very good source of strength for me then, but as I aged and I have discovered my own strength and courage I have since learned to draw power from the wonderful women around me, such as my two younger sisters, my grandmother, my mom, and my very inquisitive but smart daughter. However, I still love Madame Wu and I still visit with her once every so often. My second favorite is The Good Earth. Once a year I read Pavilion of Women just like I read The Great Gatsby. My kids ask how I can read a book more than once. I tell them it's like visiting old friends. Each and every time I discover something new to love about them.

To read a book for the FIRST time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is TO MEET AN OLD ONE.

I don't want y'all to think all I do is write about myself :-), so I am sharing a couple of cards I made last night for my SAS (stamp-a-stack) class next weekend. Have a nice day - my chores await.

Don't you just love the colors on this one? I used the Big Top Birthday DSP, Real Red/Whisper White/Tempting Turquoise cardstock, Create a Cupcake Stamp set and Punch. I popped out the cupcake with dimensionals and added glitters on the frosting. Yum!

I just love Elements of Style. It is so elegant and beautiful. I used black craft ink and then embossed it clear with a heat gun. I then added a hint of Pretty in Pink with the stampin write markers.
Friday, July 22, 2011

Finally Out of the Closet

Hello world!

I resisted the idea of creating a personal blog for so long. Everyone does it nowadays, right? They put out their thoughts and feelings in the world wide web hoping what they write is interesting enough to create followers. I am old-fashioned in many things. While the rest of the world do not hesitate to share via blogs, I still keep a diary. Yes, yes...I do. It's supposed to be called "journal" now because I am old-er and I no longer write in a red Hello Kitty notebook. However, I still find myself referring to many events in my life as, "dear diary moments", so I am not ashamed to admit that at the ripe age of 40, I still keep a diary. 

I fell in love with the written words in second grade when our Religion teacher, Miss Mendiola assigned us to keep a "Good Deed" diary. Our project was to do good deeds each day and write them down. I was pretty naughty as a child and doing good deed daily was quite challenging to say the least. So, what would a naughty little girl do when forced to do good? I stole canned goods from my grandma's pantry and gave it to the old lady who used to beg every day by the gate of our school. I even gave her rice and a little bit of my allowance. It made me feel good to know I was helping her. I am sure a part of me knew I was doing a "bad deed" by taking from my grandma because I don't remember writing that part down in the diary project. This Robinhood crusade went on for a few weeks until one day I saw that same old lady walking toward the church and there was a little boy who asked her for a piece of the bread that I gave her and she was completely mean to the boy, didn't even share. I was eight years old at that time and realized she didn't deserve my good deed. Heck no! That was all I needed to stop playing Robinhood. I turned in the project and kept my love for writing and reading and everything else that has made me the odd person that I am today. Haha.

So, here I am joining the millions of bloggers sharing their hearts, thoughts and talents with the world. Perhaps this is why I also love to scrapbook because it is my way of marking the special events in my life. I love to stamp and make cards for friends and relatives. I love the feel and smell of paper and the ink stains on my fingers after I pull an all-nighter working away with a bottle of wine while everyone are asleep. I love cutting and making tiny ribbons and adhering beautiful embellishments. I often imagine what the recipients would say when they get my card in the mail. Do they gasp when they open the envelope and see my card? Do they feel happy to be remembered? From time to time I encounter very strange individuals who ask me (and unbeknown to them I want to poke their eyes with a glue gun) why I go through so much trouble to make a card when I could just walk into a drugstore and buy one for a dollar. My answer is always this - I love making them and I love to make people smile. Just the thought that I brightened someone's day or lifted someone's spirit up is reward enough. Surely a sincere thank you is always nice.

I put a lot of work on the cards I make and I hope that I can keep doing this for as long as I can because it really has been a very healthy therapy for me. So here I am, finally out of the closet and hopefully, this is just the first of the many entries I will have the courage to share with the world.