Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sightseeing in Paris of the Middle East

Are there still 24 hours in a day? I personally can't believe so. Somebody must have taken some off and I must have missed the news! :D Sometimes time can fly so fast and you just can't keep up with it. What do you do then? Well, you just grit your teeth and push on anyway. Because that's the only option. :)

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I've been looking for so long for the right kit to scrap those pictures I took from the old souk at Byblos, the ancient port town in Lebanon. This week I found one and it couldn't be more perfect. The kit is Mademoiselle from Paris by Lilipruneau.

I made a double pager with the kit about our day at the souk. The page is called "Paris of the Middle East". (Please click on images for bigger views. It will open in a new tab/window.)

Journaling reads:
When Lebanon is not too busy with wars, travellers know Beirut well as 'Paris of the Middle East', a culture-rich, artsy holiday destination full of beautiful scenery and also a shopping paradise. We never fully realised how true that was until we visited the restored medieval souk (local market) of Byblos.

{1} A stone-paved alley leading you to the heart of the souk {2} All kinds of local art and crafts can be found here. Other than colorful toys for children, one popular souvenir seemed to be the hookahs -- oriental tobacco pipes that filter smoke through water {3} One fabulous shop specialised in potpouri had buckets of dried colorful petals on display next to the sidewalk {4} Most cute cafe were still quiet in the strong heat of that afternoon {5} Our rare family picture taken after the huge shopping spree

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Coincidentally it's also my turn to host the Template Challenge this week (May 28 to June 4) at Digital Scrap Cafe forum. So I turned this double pager into templates to give away for the challenge. I hope you like them!!

Please click on the preview image to go to the challenge thread. The download link is waiting for you there. And if you like the template, would you let me know and leave some comments here at the blog or on 4shared or, even better, join the challenge, please? :)

I hope you can find time to play with me! The winner of this challenge will win $3 coupon to Lilipruneau's Store at Digital Scrap Cafe. Thank you so much, Lili, for your generosity!!!

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. If you visit Lili's blog, you will find 2 QP freebies from the kit Mademoiselle in Paris too. Enjoy!

Tata for now. See ya at the challenge thread! :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Let's take a Trail to the Past and have some Outdoor Fun!

A little personal note from me:

I'd like to say thanks to all friends in the scrapbooking community who (after noticing that I've been scrapping like a maniac lately..LOL) saw the news about Thailand and asked through forums, PM, facebook messages, etc., if I and my family are safe from the violent situation. I'm touched by your concern. Thank you so much. :)

Where we live is quite far from all the actions and for the most part it doesn't really affect us. But emotionally it's taking its toll on everyone. Even Neill's school is closed until further notice. I've actually been avoiding the news and talking about it, for it could be so sad and depressing beyond words. That's why I'd rather stay in my little world, and scrap. I just want to escape.

Anyway, we are hoping that it will be over soon and we can get a chance to put our lives back on track. Please keep your fingers crossed for us! :)

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We took a whole lot of pictures from during our stay in Lebanon and I've always looked for a chance to use them in layouts. So I think you can understand why I screamed out loud when I saw Anita's latest kit, Outdoor Fun (available at 2LP and MScraps and now on sale for 25% off!) The kit is perfect for all outdoor activities and still "quiet" enough to scrap scenery and let the pictures shine. I just love it.

Another Anita's product coming out at the same time is Cracked Masks, a set of 6 masks with cracks and teared edges. Love the grungy feeling they give the page!

I use both products for this double pager with our photos from a trip to Baalbek, a World Heritage site in Lebanon. The page is called "Trail to the Past". (Please click on images for bigger view.)

Journaling reads:
Baalbek, Lebanon - The Baalbek museum was housed in a large vaulted tunnel. It is very well designed and full of replicas and real artifacts found among the ruins. What I like the most was actually the delicate drawings of all architectural designs. These are some of them.

Journaling reads:
It was hot and sunny that morning the day we visited Baalbek - the ancient World Heritage site in Lebanon. But then as soon as we arrived, it rained.We were totally unprepared for the coldness and the rain made it hard to take photos, but we decided to brave the weather. And we weren't disappointed in the least.
These 20m. tall granite Roman columns have been standing through wars and earthquakes since the first century B.C. The sheer size of them is intimidating enough. However, the most astonishing thing about the whole Roman temple ruins is the determination and engineering ingenuity of those ancient builders.
It was such a memorable and humbling experience for all, especially for Neill and Michael who looked just like tiny ants comparing to the gigantic Roman pillars!

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Before I wrap this up, just want to let you know that there's a Scraplift Challenge going on at Digital Scrap Cafe's forum hosted by Brooke. She chose my layout "A Gentleman's Game" as the subject to lift. Please visit the thread and play with us. I can't wait to see what you can do with the page! :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bavardages and Say What?

First things first. :) I just want to let you know that you can click here to read this blog in French, thanks to Google Translate.

I include the translation because I'm excitedly anticipating a number of French-speaking visitors today. I had a chance to work with
Lilipruneau (who is French) for her new kit "Bavardages" (available at Lili's store at Digital Scrap Cafe). And, along with a group of amazing scrappers, we are having a blog train to share some free goodies with you!! I have a feeling that I might be the only non-French speaker on the team, so thank you so much for tolerating my English. :)

Here is this super cute and creative kit we are so thrilled about.

Like all kits of Lilipruneau, this one is full of unique elements and patterns that give you so much joy to create with. I made a double page with the kit that works as single pages too.

(Please click here to see the bigger image of this double page. It will open in new tab/window)

All papers and elements from kit Bavardages by Lilipruneau
Fonts are Homework by Colorful Typhoon and Ikusuteito by Extate

Journaling reads:
In the span of 5 minutes. Mama managed to snap more than 2 dozen pictures of you racing toy cars with Papa. Yet I was constantly asking for more. Your ever-changing facial expressions were so delicious through the camera's lens that I just couldn't get enough of them!

Lilipruneau is the Designer in the Spotlight at Digital Scrap Cafe during this last 2 weeks of May! So don't forget to stop by her store and enjoy this special sale. Then hop on to DSC forum where you can take her Template Challenge and win some fabulous rewards!
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Now let's talk freebies. LOL! For this stop of the blog train, you are getting not one, but TWO sets of goodies! One would be from me and another from Åsa (who's busy running a party for 22 kids today! Well, good luck with that, Åsa! I hope you make it out alive! LOL)

Let's start with Åsa's first! She has these two fun quickpages for you. Click here or on image to download. :)

I took the concept and colors of the Bavardages kit and created a set of 7 word arts (a total of 22 variations of them) for you. It's called "Say what?" You can download it here or just click on image below! (Need I remind you how much I love reading comments? LOL)

That's it for me! The next stop is Melany's blog, and she would have some goodies waiting for you as well.

Please be patient if the others on the blog train are not ready yet. Our train has to travel across time zones and continents so it might take some time for everyone to catch up. You can always visit Lilipruneau's blog for the whole list and check back later! I hope you enjoy the ride! :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Gentleman's Game and a Boyish Blog Train!!

Hi all. I know, it doesn't seem like me to be blogging so often. LOL! Well, I have to! I have something to share with you and it can't wait. It comes on a train!! :)

Yes, it's May 15 and we have a date with the Digital Scrap Cafe's May Blog Train! This month the designers at DSC got together and created this wonderfully HUGE and FUN kit called "Boyish" for all boys and outdoors activities! I fell in love with this kit at first sight.

I made a double page with this kit. I was so inspired by all the papers and elements that I couldn't help myself. I would probably use the kit again to scrap in a near future.

Here is the double page, it's called A Gentleman's Game.

Please click here to see bigger image of the double page. It will open in another tab/window.

Papers and elements from
Boyish, a May collaboration by Digital Scrap Cafe
Template by Le Pingouin Designs, included in the Boyish kit
Clear acrylic alpha from
Alphabet Soup: Basics by Dunia Designs
Fonts: Gill Sans MT, Felix Titling

Journaling reads:
Neill has been playing golf since he was tall and strong enough to hold a junior club. And that was when he's two and a half. His golf game improves a lot from then although he still has so much to learn, starting from the most basic thing like how he stands.

But the only thing that we think is keeping him from playing better now, is his age. He still has the mentality and emotions of a six-year-old. He is so exhilirated after a good shot that he couldn't concentrate enough on the next.
Then he cries after losing a ball in the water. And can we really blame him for that? After all, he is indeed a six-year-old!

There is yet a lot of time to grow up and be a gentleman. For now, just enjoy a gentleman's game and have fun!!!

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So now, my gift for you. For the DSC's May Blog Train, I turned my double page into 2 quickpages! You can either use them seperately or together as you wish. Would you consider leaving a word or two here if you download? You know how much I like reading them. :) Here's your download link or you can just click on the preview image below.

Next stop on the blog train is Loni (Lingovise). She's happily waiting for you with her freebie. Please send her my love as well! :) If you got lost or fell off the train along the way, you can always go back to the DSC blog to find out where all the stops are. Enjoy!

I'll be back here in the next 24 hours for another freebie. !?!?! Yes, it's true. No kidding! See ya.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Embrace Life

We're back in Bangkok!!! It might sound cliché but I've just really realised how friggin' hot my country is. LOL! The weather is steaming and everyone (especially Neill) is walking around sweating like a pig! :(

Since I'm now blogging in the oven, I hope you would understand why I want to keep this as short as possible. (As if I can do short. Haha! We'll see...)

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I told you two posts ago about joining Designs by Anita's CT, and in that post I said I already finished 2 LOs using Anita's new kit. Wrong!!! Now I have three! LOL! I can't believe myself either. This kit brings out the creative juice in me like nothing else!

Here it is, Embrace Life, the new collab kit between Anita and Sabrina's Creations, available @ Two Little Pixel and MScraps:

Like I said, in the end I finished 3 pages using this classically beautiful kit. And I just found out that for all the 3 layouts, each with its own concept, I haven't had to use the same papers or elements twice! That's how versatile the kit is.

Here are my pages. This first one is called 'Laugh or Cry'. I use Embrace Life with a template in Simply Joy add-on by Anita and Val C. Designs, also available at 2LP and MScraps. Journaling was part of the song 'Angel in My Eyes' written by Blair Daly. The page brought me such joy. It was featured in 3 (!!!) Gallery Standout (GSO) threads: at ScrapMatters, DigiShopTalk, and MScraps forums! (All images are clickable for more detailed viewing.)

For the second page I used the fabulous photos of Dunia's gorgeous twin girls, Rafa and Duda.

And then for the last page, which was actually done first, I picked a scene from Tyre (rhyme with 'ear'), Lebanon, to scrap about. The page is called 'Calm among Chaos', and it's absolutely one of my favorites.

Journaling reads:
You can see cables and power lines everywhere in the town of Tyre, Lebanon. We don't know whether it is because there are too many or not enough electricians here, but no matter where you go, there will be uncountable amount of cables crisscrossing from one pole to another, from this roof to that balcony, and so on.

Although undoubtedly dangerous and scary, it actually looks amazing, like a piece of three dimensional abstract art that happens to be hung over your head, with the sky as the canvas.

One day we drove into town and noticed this minaret (mosque tower) standing tall above all the confusing lines. It's such a great reminder that peace can be found anywhere, even among chaos. You just have to look, and work hard enough for it.

I'll be back on May 15! Yes, that soon!! Digital Scrap Cafe's May Blog Train is gonna be chugging along that day, bringing you nice freebies again! See ya! :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Charity and Gallery Standout

As Dunia's CT, I've had an amazing opportunity to work with a fabulous kit that came from a heartbreaking situation. I won't be able to tell you the story half as well as the wonderful ladies who created this kit. So, please take a few minutes to read this. The text is from Deca Designs' blog:

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Let me tell you a story.

Leonardo was a healthy bright and smart 4 years old little boy, who went to school and had a quiet life with his parents and twin little brothers, Lucas and Alexandre, until his mother Ana Paula started noticing that something was not going very well with him. As he became a sad boy, had a distorted sight, complained about headhaches, and he wouldn't walk the same way and no longer had much coordination.

Leo went through several doctors before being diagnosed with a brain stem tumor in late September 2009.

In October 2009, they moved to Sao Paulo to begin his battle against cancer. First a brain surgery to remove the tumor, followed by chemotherapy sessions.

After several sessions and much struggle, in April 2010 Leonardo needed a bone marrow autograft, because the chemotherapy had to be so aggressive that destroyed it, leaving him very weak.

Right now the doctors are very hopeful with the treatment and the response given by the body of this admirable little warrior.

Currently, the family moved to Sao Paulo, because it is there that Leonardo is being monitored medically, Leonardo and his family have fallen on hard times because Leo's mother left her job in Dourados to devote to her child, and his father who worked in South Africa, also had to leave his job and return to be able to take care of he twins as mother and Leo would have to spend long periods at hospital and they didn't have no one else that could take care of the twins that were only some months old at the time.

They are now facing serious financial problems for the payment of all treatments and costs with the struggle of Leonardo.

Above all the struggle and hard times, this family is an example of love, strength, courage, unity and faith to be followed by all of us!

This is our little and precious Leonardo, before and after.

Inspired on Leo's life, this month we are starting a new project at Digiscrappers Brasil. It's a charity project that we called Charity with Love and our idea is to have a new one every three month.

This is a project that aims to help needy people of the Brazilian community. With so many projects like this that happen in digital scrapbooking stores outside Brazil, we thought, "Why not create something like this also to help people in Brazil?". And so, with the will, commitment and effort of our designers we created this wonderful kit.

Charity with Love for May is this absolutely stunning childhood themed mega kit. My Wish for You! So this is our newest kit for you.

Help us HELP Leo and his family by purchasing this wonderful MegaKit and Album which was created by many wonderfully generous scrappers. Or you can purchase both products in a big bundle, available at 20% discount at
Digiscrappersbrasils store.

Please help and spread the word if you can. They are counting on us.

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I made a page with this kit. It's a page I'm very proud of.

(Please click on image for bigger view.)
Credits:Journaling is from a part of "I wish you love" lyrics by Albert A. Beach
All papers and elements from
Charity with Love Project: My Wish for You maga collab kit by Digiscrappersbrasil designers
Fonts are PS Pimpdeed III and JaneAusten.

I thought having the chance to create with this kit was special enough, but good news didn't stop there. Yesterday I put this layout into galleries and went to bed. This morning, I found out that the page was mentioned in Digishoptalk (DST) Gallery Standouts thread. I was totally over the moon!!

But that's not it! I went through my emails and found that there's a message in MyScrapbookArt (
MSA) gallery telling me that the page has been featured in THE Gallery Standouts blog as well!!!! I can't believe my eyes! It felt like winning an Oscar for scrapbooking or something. (If Oscars were handed out daily, that is. LOL) All the time I've been doing this, the blog has been a huge source of inspiration. So, no doubt, I feel so honored and flattered.

I'm gonna stop talking and go make myself a celebratory cup of coffee now. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

The last time you did something for the first time..

When was it? :)

Well there's one this week for me. I was asked by Anita (of Designs by Anita) to be her guest CT. (I would have begged to be on her team later but she beat me to it. LOL!) I have done many layouts using her kits as DSC store CT but this is the first time I'll be on Anita's own team. I'm so excited!

And I was even more excited to learn that the first kit I got to work with as her CT is this super gorgeous one which is a collab between Anita and Sabrina's Creations. Take a look at this sneak peek!

The kit will be at
Two Little Pixels and MScraps from May 7. I have finished 2 pages using this wonderful kit and I can't wait, I repeat, CAN't WAIT to show you. LOL! But I still have to sit on them until then. Hmmph!

In the mean time, Anita is holding
a RAK at her blog!!!! You will have a chance to win this beauty for FREE. And even better, you can participate in both Anita's and Sabrina's blog to double you chance to win the kit! It's such a fun RAK too, you just have to go there and read what Anita plans for you. :)

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There's another first thing that we did during our stay in Lebanon. Seeing and touching real snow!!! Let me show you how excited we were with this double pager (which is mentioned in
ScrapMatters GSO! Woohoo!)

Journaling reads: When was the last time you did something for the first time? For Neill, Michael, and Mama, it's March 23, 2010, when we got to see and touch real snow for the first time in our lives! Papa drove us high up on the winding roads to the Cedars area of Lebanon, almost 2km. above sea level. Since it's already the last days of winter here, there wasn't a lot of snow left. We enjoyed ourselves nontheless. Neill kept on running up and down the tiny teeny snow slope then fell on his bum over and over. We vowed to come back in winter next year so we can learn to ski. Can't wait to try THAT for the first time!

The layout was created from Designs by Anita's A New Morning kit, now available at 2LP and MS!

More stories and scrapbook pages from our experience in Lebanon to come. When I have time, that is. LOL! We're going back to Bangkok very soon, though. Right now I'm taking pictures like crazy!

Don't forget to visit Anita's blog for her RAK! :)