Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's a great feeling to be noticed!

What did you do during the Christmas weekend?

Nothing much for us. I actually enjoyed the quietness but also felt quite bad for Neill, because we're alone here in Thailand this time of year without Papa. That means there's basically no Christmas Celebration going on for him as opposed to a huge one that we would have been enjoying if we're in South Africa. So I took him to lunch with my friends and we both had a blast!!

One great thing about Neill is that he gets along with new people easily. He's polite without being shy and capable of having good conversations with adults without my holding his hand the whole time. At the lunch he volunteered to write down all the names on scraps of paper for our random gift exchange. His spelling is quite good for a 6-year-old!

In the end we both drew gifts that we really like (a big, big box of pineapple tart for him and a compilation CD set of songs from the 80's for me...hehe.) However he told me later that the best thing was that his present (the one he picked and helped wrap for the event) was picked up by a friend of mine who came with her 5-year-old beautiful daughter! Yeah, that's my son, always aiming to please ladies. :)

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Got some layouts to show you! Today is pretty special and it's the reason why this blog post has that title. The 4 pages that I scrapped most recently were all mentioned as Gallery Standouts (GSO) in forums! Yes, ALL FOUR! I still can't believe it myself!

Starting with this one. I made it from my dear friend Lisa's (Aprilisa Designs) part in her new collab kit Family Ties. I also used Chelcee's (Pure Creativity Designs) template for DSC's 18-25 Dec. Template Challenge.

Here's what I made with them: It's called "Exhilarated" and it was mentioned in GSO at ScrapMatters!

(Please click on image for bigger view)

Template by Pure Creativity Designs
All papers and elements from Aprilisa's part in kit Family Ties

Journaling reads:
"exhilarated - when the brothers are united": 10.26.09 Pretoria, South Africa

These are my son Neill, and my stepson Michael. They just can't get enough of each other. :)

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Next is a layout made from a kit that couldn't have come at a better time for me. LOL!! It's a bright and fun boy kit designed by Double Dutch Designs called Touchdown. I know it's American Football themed but it's also perfect for Neill's latest passion: his football (soccer) lessons! I also used one of DDD's Template 2 pack with it.

Here's my page called "Football Lessons" and it's mentioned in DigiShopTalk's GSO!

(Please click on image for bigger view)

All papers and elements from kit Touchdown by Double Dutch Designs
Template from Template pack 2 also by Double Dutch Designs

Journaling reads:
Neill had been asking repeatedly for a while whether he can take football lessons instead of Tae Kwan Do. At first Mama was skeptical but after a few sessions, it became clear that this suits him better and he's obviously happier. His techniques have also noticeably improved over time. We only hope he wouldn't get bored and fall in love with something else too soon.

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The last 2 layouts are from the same kit: a collaboration between Designs by Anita and Angé Designs, Éclosion. This is such a classically beautiful kit and I really wanted to portray that in my layouts. I chose the pictures and the stories carefully and I was very satisfied with the outcome. The pages are about how proud we are of Neill.

Both pages I made from the kit are called Bloom. The first one is on GSO at DigiShopTalk, while the second one made it to ScrapMatters' GSO.

(Please click on each image for bigger view)

All papers, elements, and wordart from collab kit 'Éclosion' of Designs by Anita and Angé Designs
(For Bloom 2) Scraplift of Memories by Kriszta anyu (Thank you so much!)

Bloom 1 - Journaling:
Since he was very young, Neill has been encouraged to study and practice both Buddhism, which is his Mama's religion, and Christianity, which is his Papa's. We want to give him the freedom to choose and believe, and teach him to respect other people's choices at the same time. He's doing really well so far. We couldn't be more proud.

Bloom 2 - Journaling:
The love of reading runs deep in the family.
Growing up in a house full of books has no doubt turned Neill into a bookworm like his Papa and Mama.

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Not only my layouts that were noticed in the past week, my freebies as well!

I looked through the blog traffic and saw that some visits were from forums that I'm not familiar with. That's how I found out that 2 forums (other than
DSC's Scraplift challenge that I told you about before) are running challenges using my template freebies right now; one for Simply Secured layered frame template (there's a lot of great layouts there so far!), and another for Be You template.

I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for noticing my works. If they can inspire you in any way, it'd be an honor to me. I can't post at those forums because I'm not a member and don't understand French but I would be so happy if any of you there would drop a word or say Hi here sometimes. And I just LOVE seeing your pages there!

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I'm ending this post with my RAK results!! Congratulations
Åsa and Lulutoo!!! You BOTH won my Simply Secured layered frame template set as a CU product. I'll contact and send you the download link soon after I've published the post. Thank you so much for playing with me!

Oh!! And I must say THANKSSSSSSSS to all the lovely ladies who left comments at the end of last post. I love you girls! I replied to you there. :)

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Next blog update is on 1st of January. I'm set to be hosting Digital Scrap Cafe's template challenge of the week starting that day, and of course there'll be a template freebie to share there as well as here. It'd be my first time as challenge host! I'm so excited!!! Woohoo!!!

See you again in 2010! Stay happy and be safe!! :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Christmas gift to you

Many things to write about today so I'd better jump right in or this is gonna take all night!

A little personal note here. Christmas is everywhere now in the scrapping world and that makes me think of South Africa a lot. No snow there during the time of year but the Christmas brunch is no less impressive! I actually think that it's one of the reasons why I turned vegetarian. LOL. South Africans love their braai (barbecue) so much and the sight (and smell) of 8 different kinds of barbecued meat, all in one meal ,sort of put me off a bit.

Nonetheless, I absolutely miss being there with the whole family, handing out the presents, and even calming the dogs down when people lit the fireworks! I do hope my dear hubby can take Christmas leave next year so we can all go there together.

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Great news! Well, for me at least. I've booked 2 more CT gigs!

I wrote to Chelcee (Pure Creativity Designs) a short while ago to apply for CT position at Digital Scrap Cafe. I've always felt at home there. All the ladies in the forum are so friendly and their products excellent. (They give away a lot of freebies too!) If I could be their CT member, that would mean a whole lot of opportunities to learn and improve myself artistically through wider range of design styles.

That's why it's such a dream come true for me when Chelcee said they would love to have me on their team! It's official now as you can see that I'm wearing their blinkie on the right side of the blog as my badge of honor!

Did you notice too that there's another new blinkie there? Yes! I am also a CT member of Alamama's Pressed Petals Designs! Last week I created a page for her I'm Bored kit and she asked if I'd like to join the team. I couldn't believe my luck! I love her creative ideas and I've always impressed with her constructive comments at ScrapMatters forum. No doubt I quickly said yes and am now on the team!

So you see, I've got my Christmas presents early. I am super happy right now to be working with Rachelle (Rachness Designs), Dúnia (Dunia Designs), DSC, and Alamama. I certainly won't be looking for any more calls in the near future, rather make sure there's enough time to scrap my heart out for all these talented designers! Wish me luck please.

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As part of my Christmas gift to you, here's a little reminder from me that it's a great time of year to be shopping!!! DSC is having a HUGE year-end sale like you won't believe it. Let me lay it out for you briefly one by one here. (All images are linked to related webpages.)

-- Starting with a store-wide sale. Everything including CU products is 30% off!

-- Then there's Ju Oliveira's sale. All her products on sale for only 1.50$

-- Val C. Designs's Spotlight sale is also going on until end of year. All her stuff 50% off plus a whole lot of freebies!

-- Laurie's Scraps has a clearance sale where 20+ items are marked down to just 1$. On top of that, you can use this coupon code to save $$$ even further!

-- And as if all of the above are not enough (LOL!), DSC is giving away 5$ gift certificates to 2 lucky fans every week!!!! Just become a fan on DSC facebook page and cross your fingers, that's all it takes!

Still need more information? Go to DSC main page for all the details. And while you're there, why don't stop at the store and the forum as well? Click around and you'll even find loads of freebies scattered here, there, and everywhere. Have fun!!

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I've created new pages from a few amazing kits that I wanted to show you, but it's gonna have to wait. This is getting too long already. :( I'll just make another blog post later for them then. Let's move on to my freebie for today.

In the previous blog post I told you about Val C. Designs' Spotlight challenge and her free kit My Wish. I made a page from the kit as my challenge entry, which I've now turned into a template for you. (I love it when many more talented scrappers turn my templates into pages much, much more beautiful than mine. LOL!) The page is called 'Be You' and so is the template. Here they are:

If you like the template, please click on the image to download from 4shared, or here if you prefer mediafire. It's available in .xcf (GIMP), .psd, and also .png files.

I hope you enjoy my gift and I wish you peace, love, happiness, fortune, and a lot of wisdom for the year to come! Happy Holidays!! :)

P.S. Be back soon with layouts and RAK results!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bored? Look at Neill in 2009!

I didn't know what to call this post so I just put the names of the 2 layouts I made recently in the title box. Not very creative, huh? LOL!

This should be a short one since I don't really have anything to say much except to show you the layouts, pass on news about a great freebie, and update the status of my RAK. We'll see later if I can really keep it short. (I doubt that myself.. hehehe.)

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Don't you just love seeing year-end layouts in the galleries? For me, in a sense, it's like a "greatest hits" kind of page. It's where people put in the cutest photos that show the best expressions and write the journaling that highlight the most interesting moments of their children in the year. How can you not fall in love with that?

This year I have a chance to make that kind of page myself. And how lucky it is that I have the most perfect ingredients for it. I'm not talking about the bizaar photos (well, I have endless supply of those anyway, thanks to Neill, LOL). By 'perfect' I mean the combination between this oh-so-creative 2009 in-Review layered template (available at DSB - ZZ) by Dúnia and the most joyous Warm Woolen Mittens paper pack that Jaime (Three Paper Peonies) is giving away on her blog.

Here's what I made with them:

Please click on image for bigger view.

Template 2009 in Review by Dunia Designs (Dúnia Acauan)
All papers from Warm Woolen Mittens kit by Three Paper Peonies (Jaime Choi)

This also marks the first time I made an element-free page! Well, not exactly. I cut the papers to decorate the layout as elements anyway. I like the result and it helped to remind myself to put "just enough" in the page, keep it clean, and let the photos and journaling tell the story. I'm also glad that people seem to like the page as well, as it was mentioned in both DST and SM's GSO! Woohoo!!

Okay, a little disclaimer here. You know well that I'm a CT member of Dúnia (coz I bragged about that fact here so often! LOL) so I receive her products for free to scrap. But let me tell you. You can NEVER go wrong with this template. I would love to take the credit of making the forums' GSO myself but I honestly can't. It's the totally amazing template that made it for me. Thank you so much Dúnia!!

* * * * *

There's also another first thing that I did this past few days. This one is answering an OKC (one kit call) at DST forum.

I dropped by the forum just to look around and I saw this one from Alamama on top of the Calls threads. She's calling for someone who's willing to play with her new kit called I'm Bored. Well, I'm SOLD!!! The idea was so creative and when I clicked to see the kit preview, I just loved it!

Here's my layout using I'm Bored:

Please click on image for bigger view.

All papers and elements from
I'm Bored kit by Alamama's Pressed Petals Designs

Scraplift of [ Space ] by Kel-- Thank you so much!

A little about the photos. Neill was at a school parade where he was chosen to dress up in a traditional Thai attire. He looked like an angel that day but was bored out of his mind with all the waiting. I find that quite amusing, of course. LOL!

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Did you stop by Digital Scrap Cafe recently? If you haven't checked it out for more than 5 days, I'd recommend going there to take a look now. They've just gone through a makeover and now the whole site looks FABULOUS!!! The new color palette is so bright and refreshing. Every little detail compliments each other so well.

That's not the only thing new and exciting there. DSC has a new Designer in the Spotlight and this time it's Val C.Designs. Not only that all her products will be 50% off during the spotlight (til the end of the year), Val is also hosting the Designer in the Spotlight Challenge where she is giving away this amazing kit My Wish for free. Plus, everyone who's participating in the challenge WILL get 2$ gift certificate, and also have a chance to win her WHOLE STORE!! WHAT???

So, if you love freebies and like being challenged, hurry up! Feel free to tell them I sent you but that's not gonna win you any brownie points anyway. LOL!

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Speaking of freebies and winning, I just want to remind you that my RAK here is still going on until Christmas day. Remember the one that where you can win a cut-and-insert layered frame template set as a CU product? Right now Åsa and Lulutoo have sent me the links to their layouts. And I love both pages so much!

As everyone who's also designing knows, it fills you up with so much pride to see people using your stuff. (Should I add "legally" too?) That's why I was so happy to learn that Zibr1 has chosen my Simply Secured layout as the subject of DSC's latest Scraplift Challenge. As usual, the winner of the challenge will receive store GC from a designer, but I decided to make it more interesting by adding another RAK there. That means, everybody who submits an LO will also have a chance to win my Simply Secured frame set as a CU product as well! Isn't that fun? So far all the layouts posted in the thread look totally amazing!!

So now there are 2 RAKs going on for the frame set; here and at DSC. Choose one to participate, or you can even make 2 LOs for both places to up your chance of winning! Ooohh, so excited. Good luck everyone!

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Freebie next update. See ya!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Simply Secured

First of all, I just want to say Thank You to Lisa and PaMam for their kind support. I guess I confused you gals a little? :) Anyway, there's some answers for you at the comment part of the previous blog post here.

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Are you also a fan of Three Paper Peonies (Jaime Choi)? I looooooove her works. I wish she has more free time so we can see her new designs more often. LOL! She is now giving away a new paper pack called Warm Woolen Mittens for the holidays. Go check out her blog right now and be merry. :)

There is also a challenge going on there. Jaime shared a classically beautiful Adored paper pack with us and asked us to create a layout focused on our loved ones. Here's what I made for the challenge:

(Please click on image for bigger view)

Credits: All papers and flower from ADORE paper pack by Three Paper Peonies
Brad from Lamonade IttyBitty kit by Three Paper Peonies
Word art and layered frame template by Pom's Breathing Room

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In the layout above I used the cut-and-insert frame technique that was originally planned for blog and web use. I thought it should be fun to have a frame style that plays with shadows to make it look like you have to cut the web background, insert a picture through the slits to who-knows-where behind the screen and back again. Then it dawned on me that this should be useful for scrapbooking as well. So I turned the idea into a 300dpi layered frame set of three that looks like this:

Since the pictures are going to be simply secured to the background by a few slits in this frame set, I named it Simply Secured and created a word art to match it. To use the frames you just have to fill the frame layer with the exact same color/texture/pattern you're using for web/blog background (or paper, if you use it for scrapbooking) to blend the frame seamlessly with the background. You can go to my previous blog post to see this frame effect on the web. I made them in .psd, .xcf and also .png format so you should be able to use them in any program.

(Tips on using the frames for scrapbooking: Decide where you want to put the photo first. Link all the layers given -- frame, shadow, photo -- then drag them to the spot. Select only the frame layer then use it as clipping mask to copy the background paper. Paste the copied part as a new layer on top, it would blend in with the rest of your paper, like in my layout above. Don't forget to adjust the shadow layer's opacity to your liking as well.)

This will be the exclusive gift that I have long promised to my first blog 'followers': Lisa, Heather, Mörjike, Angie, PaMam, and Suzy. And, yes, you'll have it as (gasp!) a CU product! :) Please write to me < bkkpom at gmail dot com > as soon as you can (preferrably within a week) so I can send you the download link.

Of course, the rest of you also get to play with it. Here is a layered frame plus one word art freebie for you (PU/S4H/S4O -- though not CU, sorry.) You may click on the image to download from 4shared or here if you prefer mediafire, and take a few seconds to leave me some love here please?

Wait, that's not all!! I'm in the mood for a RAK!!

If you want the whole Simply Secured frame set plus CU right just like my first followers, you still have a chance. Just make a layout that has one of the freebies I have shared here so far in it (your choice -- choose any of them.) When you're finished, post it in your blog or a gallery with the usual credits (a link there would be much appreciated) then come back and leave the link to the layout in the comment. I'll randomly choose one (or two -- if there are many people playing with me) to get this gift on Christmas day. So please be back here before that. :)

Ooh, I can't wait to see what you can do with my stuff. Please don't let me wait in vain, will ya?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

a quick update

1. I'm back in town, exhausted.

2. Neill didn't win anything at the tournament but had a blast! I took loads of pictures though still don't know when I'd have time to post or scrap them. Speaking of which, I haven't even started scrapping the pictures from our South Africa trip in October yet!?! LOL!

3. Last night I went to DST forum and read some threads there. Got disheartened a little about the expectations people have for designers (seasoned or newbies alike), store owners, CT members, and even fellow scrappers and freebie givers. Any of you ever felt the same?

4. This toothache is killing me. I'll go see the dentist now.

5. There's something to give away here tomorrow, plus an exclusive gift to my first 'followers' as promised. I just have to get un-disheartened first. Haha!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Out for a run!!

Such a great time of year to be scrapping, don’t you think? Greens and reds everywhere! I find it a very refreshing change from months of fall/autumn colors. Love it!

I’ve been playing with some greens and reds myself. My ever-busy friend Rachelle’s new Christmas kit will be in the shops very soon while she’s still having a great time putting together all DIY crafts for her friend’s coming wedding. (You can go to
her blog and see for yourself why so many people are ooh’ing and aah’ing over Rach’s hybrid stuff!) I should be able to show you the layout I make from her kit next week!

But I can show you this now, with a bit of good news for myself. I’ve been promoted! :)
Dúnia asked me to stay on as her permanent CT, not just guesting anymore!! Yayyy!! I’m so excited and flattered and honored, all at the same time. So I made a layout as a thank-you gift for her and her son Yuri, using her new and fabulous collab kit with Loreta Labarca “Christmas Wishes” (available at DSB and ZZ.)

Here’s my LO, called “Wish List?”

(Please click on image for bigger view) A gift for Dúnia and her son Yuri

Credits: All from Christmas Wishes collab kit by Dunia Designs and Loreta Labarca

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I'll be out of town for about 3-4 days. My son Neill is in his school's running team and he has to participate in an inter-school sports tournament. (He’s not fast, but -- like everything he does –- once he decided he’s gonna be on the team, he puts his mind to it. For me, I’m happy already that he gets to exercise regularly.)It will be a 6-hour drive so I’d better be in bed soon.

I really hope Neill does well at the competition. He’s been practicing hard for it.

(Please forgive me for those blurry and grainy pics. Hubby has promised me a DSLR camera for new year’s gift. I can’t wait to play with that!!)

How do you like the cut-and-insert frame effect for the pictures? Those are not blogger’s or Live Writer’s new function. I made them for a layout and think others might find them useful too. I’ll be sharing them here when we come back from the tournament. :)