Thursday, April 23, 2009

getting into the swing of things

being dormant for practically half a year can get one rusty but really... once a scrapbooker, always a scrapbooker... i do have to give credit to attending the Scrapjam and recent mini-meets at Visual Creations to get me going again, plus, of course, the scrapbookers' perennial source of pleasure and inspiration -- retail therapy! If one gets more stash, one has to justify the purchase. So here is a product of the recent get together at Mitch's VC. Thanks to Mitch for thinking up challenges just to get the juice going. She made us do a layout using only dotted paper AND provided the paper and embellies for it. As part of the challenge, we also had to use stamping and make it prominent on the layout. Great excuse for putting my under-utilized (but well-loved) stamps to good use. of course i wasn't able to finish it at Mitch's so i completed it at home.

Reine, give me a pose... I'm testing my new lens.
Reine: [thinks a while then pulls her bangs across her face]
Reine: here, Mama...
ME: what's that?
Reine: EMO, mama...
ME: huh? [clicks anyway]

where do 5-year-olds learn those anyway? in case you're wondering what "emo" means (like me) here's what Wiki says it is.

Materials used:
assorted dotted paper, Prima flowers, Autumn Leaves letter stamps, Image Tree letter stamps, velvet rickrack, Quickutz swirly dies, Radiant Rain glimmer mists.

speaking of stamps, i recently acquired one, Hero Arts Kanji Poem, which was put to VERY good use. my first ever paid scrappy work! i've done this for friends before but this is the first time i'm getting money for it. i was commissioned to do 60 pcs. of debut invites in a Japanese-style theme. couldn't be timelier as i am in an oriental mood.

This is my prototype and currently completing 59 more. so... here's hoping these projects help me STAY in the scrapping swing.

Monday, April 6, 2009

scrapjam @ clarkfield

hey! finally a reason to post! been a bit busy with life and photography such that i lost my mojo for a while. i've been itching to get to my glue and cutter for a few weeks now so i decided that going on a scrapbooking slumber party is probably the best way to get the juice flowing. i think i'm more than a bit rusty because it took me a long while to get the engines going but i'm only too happy that i completed a layout. here's what i finished over at the scrapjam.

there were also some projects that we got to do, a couple of mini albums and 3 cards (i failed to complete the other card which is why there's only 2 on my picture. these were totally stress-free activities because all we had to do was follow instructions on how to construct them. just pure fun. i especially love the little project made from a single sheet of 12 by 12 that turns into 7 page minibook with little pockets.

fabulous PANiZZa

before we even got to Clarkfield, we already planned to eat at C' Italian. friends Nita and Lee highly recommend the place kasi masarap daw talaga... so delicious it haunts you, as Nita puts it. i was curious so as soon as we put down our things when we reached out destination, we headed out again. the actual fine dine restaurant was outside of Clarkfield's premises but there was a C'Italian deli inside. we opted to eat there. and goodness...they were right! their specialty, called a Panizza (i'm guessing it is called such because it is a cross between a panini and a pizza) is absolutely scrumptious!

it is served as a pizza on a plate but sliced in strips instead of the usual triangular shapes. it comes together with a bowl of alfalfa and arugula.

i followed Nita's instructions on how to eat it one takes a strip slice, puts the alfalfa and arugula on top and rolls the whole thing up so it looks like the pic below.

of course, when one wolfs down a lunch like that, one needs to wash it down with something so we had italian fruit sodas. mine is strawberry.

we also had a cheese platter which had 3 kinds of cheese which i could not identify except for the swiss cheese that had holes, some crispy grapes, walnuts and bread. there was also a couple of delectably exotic salads (at least to me). they were so yummy i forgot to take photos of them except for this one.

are you hungry yet? the only thing i don't like about all of the these is the price. the average price of a dish at C' Italian there would be around Php 450.00 but i guess something as good as that definitely has a premium.

scrapjammin' with friends

time inside the villa was spent on scrap shopping, project making and eating. i was so engrossed i forgot to take photos. as a matter of fact, once i was inside the villa after lunch, i didn't even venture outdoors till the next day.

that night too, we were the last people to go up to the rooms to retire-- around 1:30 am. i wasn't even sleepy yet so i took a couple or so beers (kasalanan ng kunsintidor na Yoyin! hehe...) up to the room to help me sleep. i don't usually fall asleep easily in a strange, new place so sakto yun. We chatted a while over the beer and Jack and Jill potato chips then it was beddy bye.

next day, after breakfast, we had a few minutes to spare before we started the mini album projects so we went out to take some photos. that was the first time i emerged from house and out of the scrapbooking mode.

the street fronting the villa we were staying at

lampost at a nearby park

feeble attempt at an HDR photo

i love the treelined walks. uy, may naglalakad!... bespren pala!

after this, we had to turn back to make it to the lessons in time. we finished a couple of minis just before lunch and then it was time to take a group shot before we need to pack up and head home.

the jammers ...

...the jammers in their true from!

except for my bad tummy, the weekend retreat was totally fun. the ride home was pretty uneventful. a last hurrah was eating a Zapata's, a Mexican restaurant that reminded me of Tia Maria in Manila. It's another eating-spot-cum-watering-hole must-visit place this part of Pampanga. don't know if i forgot to take photos there due to the disturbed tummy or the yummy tacos i ate anyway inspite of it.

having seen the Clark villas and these 2 restaurants, i'm now looking forward to the next Hot Air Balloon Festival. i plan to do a sleepover with the family that time around so here's a loud shout-out to Yoyin: i'll be baaack! :-D and to Scrapbooks Hawaii, thanks for the cool scrappin' weekend!

dreams of Provence

what person who have even the slightest dreams of traveling the planet has not included in her list of places to visit the South of France? since i had my first taste of travel outside of this little group islands i call home, i couldn't stop thinking of which places to see next. a European vacation tops the list and if i were to choose where to go first, it would be on a lovely beach holiday in Provence.

so i went on the net to do some searching on this area. even if i cannot just hop on a plane soon does not mean i cannot start my research on my next dream vacation. after all, they say the first step to making dreams come true is to visualize it. since budget is always the first concern in planning trips, i have to find someplace that i could afford the soonest. and this is how i came across self catering holidays in Mallemort en Provence.

hotels are always an expensive alternative especially for family trips. hotel rooms usually have strict limits as to how many it can people it can sleep understandably because of a very limited space. therefore, house rentals are a better and cheaper alternative especially for a big family like mine. not only is there more space for my kids to play in, there's also more privacy because i don't have to worry about who goes into the hotel room to do housekeeping.

looking through the choices available on the net from the smaller 2-bedroom houses to large fairy tale villas in Mallemort, i couldn't help but be awed by the lovely French countryside photos. it's truly looks like one gets a sampling of decadent French living at luxurious Mallemort with proximity to the Pont Royale golf course and the French Riviera (Cote d'Azur) which is famed for being health vacation resorts for the British since the 18th century. it is also a favorite area for artists like Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Now that decides it for me! This definitely one spot that goes on my bucket list.
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