inspiration blog hop

discovered project lifers philippines and was glad to see individuals who shared my interest in project life in my country where PL products aren’t exactly readily available (and yet we manage!).

allowed to be tagged by Ing of first time to do something like this so bear with me. it actually feels like an interview for a magazine. haha.

what are you working on?

i am attempting to complete my first ever project life album. i started at week 14 of 2014 and have partially completed several pages until week 26. when i discovered project life in 2011, i felt it was a perfect way to document my travels. but because my family is relocating to the province, i decided to give it a try so i can document our last few months in manila.


how does your work differ from others?

it seems i have more pictures of people than objects as i find it hard to take good photos of food, ordinary everyday items, or a new place as is common in PL albums that i see online. have been trying to work on composition at the very least.


i also adhere embellishments on transparencies rather than sew on the page protectors.



why do you create what you do?

it reminds me to be grateful of the little things, of ordinary things. that in life, what matters is not what you have or what you have achieved but rather the moments that you’ve spent with those who are dear to you or what you have experienced, no matter how mundane these may be.


how does your creating process work?

i keep a journal where i write down what transpired during the day, whether i have a pic or not, and how i plan to lay out my page. i try to keep one week in one spread (2 pages).


from there, i select the pictures that would work given the lay out and post process as my printer tends to print dark. what has worked best for me is printing pictures on unlined index cards rather than on photo paper. i then add filler and journal cards. so far, i have partially completed pages until week 26 although my journal entries are up to date. partially completed as i have yet to add journalling and embellishments to all these pages (er, i haven’t exactly decided on how my week card will look like to this day!).


all done!

will not be tagging any one but anybody who would like to write something similar is more than welcome to do so.

keep creating memories, project lifers! (oh that virtual cheer. hear, hear ;-))


begin with the end in mind

best scrapbooking tip. ever.

taking this statement to heart, i decided to start with a memory keeping project roughly 7 months before i have to leave what has been my home for the past 35 years. i figured i should document how our last few weeks in manila would be like.

welcome to Project Life!

when i explain this to my friends, i say that this is scrapbooking version 2.0. and somehow they get it (or so i think. perhaps they have been simply indulging me). this wonderful system was created by Becky Higgins and i love how it can be anything you want it to be.

here’s a look at my title page:


and here’s my “prologue” page:


the pages are largely inspired by Erin Stewart‘s title page for 2014 (the use of exactly the same squared card at the exact same spot was largely unintentional. if i can show you the algorithm in my head, i would you know). i used a mix of the just add color, turquoise, and clementine editions of project life (except for the first edition which is sold out, the other two are available in Becky Higgins’ website as well as in Amazon).

instead of sewing the pockets where the bubble stickers (from Colorbok) and wood veneers (from Studio Calico ordered through the Which Craft Shop) are, i simply attached them to a transparency film (using thin double sided tape for the latter).



sewing would have driven me nuts. when you have obsessive-compulsive tendencies but do not have the luxury of time, you tend to find ways to come up with acceptable results. or a page or two for this matter.

i worked on these pages in june, a few months after i started with this project. i am on week 29 and it looks like i can keep this going until the end of the year. or, at the very least, by the time we move.

here’s hoping i can share more project life pages here!

celebrations. more fun in the philippines.

birthdays are particularly important to me. however, i haven’t felt like myself the past few months (blaming the low carb diet). so my birthday week was one of my worst and i had to skip my usual traditions for my best bud’s.

yet i still managed to create a themed party for my son’s first birthday, reminding me that as a mother, my child’s needs are at the top of the list. that, and of course, i couldn’t pass up the chance of preparing for my son’s celebration. i live for moments like this after all 😉

the theme choice was largely based on my son’s name, Dakila, a Filipino term which means great. as Filipino names are rare as well as truly Filipino celebrations (in the city at least), i decided to come up with a modern take on the Filipino fiesta.

i made postcard invitations for the occasion (had to download bunting clip art for this project. everything else was formatted using MS Word 2010 program and saved as a PDF file), with wording in the local language, and had them printed at printcity invitations.

aqil bday invite cover

aqil bday invite back

the stamp on the postcard is from team manila, which i also printed and used to seal the loot bags. i also placed stickers at the back of a salakot and an abanico to separate the loot bags for the boys from the girls.



inside the loot bags are games from my youth – lastiko (rubber band), text (mini trading cards), plastic balloon, and jackstones – as well as a colored pencil with “i heart manila” and locally-available sweets (please ignore the roll-ups and hello kitty candies).


i put together buntings or banderitas out of colored paper with the now iconic Philippine map printed on it as part of the decor.


(the banderitas with the pabitin, a typical Filipino party game – courtesy of my mother-in-law who added the trimmings – which was flown in all the way from cagayan de oro in mindanao)


i arranged locally-made snacks (boy bawang, yema, curly tops, and chocnut) on a bilao along with pictures of my son the past 12 months as centerpiece for the tables.  i also placed a toy jeepney that was stuffed with balloons beside it (not in picture, unfortunately).  all the tables were covered with banana leaves which we purchased from the wet market or palengke.IMG_1333


guests were requested to come in red or blue or in any attire that had the Philippine map or the word Philippines on it.  the birthday boy was in bahag  (click the link! click the link!) or loin cloth.

in place of a tarpaulin, i attached a picture of my son on a bilao instead and this became the main backdrop.


i had cake made too! (and, yes, this was my concept.)


to complete the theme, the merienda included puto, calamares, pancit canton, chicken barbecue, and the-now-world-famous-courtesy-of-Anthony-Bourdain halo-halo at the Filipino classic Aristocrat Restaurant.

in a few years, my son’s birthday themes would most probably be the usual cartoon character of choice, much to the disdain of the right side of my brain.

savoring this moment in the meantime 😉

keep calm and scrap on

didn’t quite make it to national scrapbooking day. was having internet issues only to realize that i was simply out of load. the perks of broadband connection.

nevertheless,  in keeping with the occasion, here is a scrapbooking tip from a newbie (technically):

do not overanalyze.

(if you think about it of course, this applies to everything else in life.)

before my only completed scrapbook album to date, i attempted to make one by compiling the letters my best bud and i exchanged through the years. the inspiration was nick bantock‘s griffin and sabine (as this has always been my dream), which, in my opinion, elevated scrapbooking to an art form. i spent sleepless nights putting pages together, only to tear up all seven i had made as i felt it  had no style, no character, no framework, no format, blah, blah, blah….(oh, you get what i mean).

and then i took it easy. kept it simple. and came up with pages (well, around 3) which i did not attempt to destroy (but, er, i might change soon given the new scrapbook system i discovered).


lesson definitely learned (or so i think).

so to all the scrappers out there,  just keep at it! happy, happy!


p.s. here’s a peek at ana’s first letter to me.  this was sometime 1990 or 1991.


product credits (click on the image to view product details)

White Out Collection - Promenade - Parasol Paper

we r memory keepers white out collection paper kits promenade

on a rainy day

was supposed to run errands yesterday but it started to rain. so instead, i looked for one of my unfinished craft projects and decided to finally tick it off my things-i-will-finish-someday list.

had to re-orient myself to this project since it has been years since i last made one. to the uninitiated, this instruction sheet (if you can call it that), does not make sense. for a few seconds, i couldn’t figure it out either.


my “craft-y” sense finally kicked in and i started cutting the sheets like i should. halfway through though i noticed that: (1) two parts are missing (i’ve cut some of it ages ago) and (2) this is not the best project to get into when i am expected to take care of my 9 month old son every so often, given how tedious it can get.

in less than an hour, i completed my third paper tole.


this should have been number three in a series of prints i have made. except that the first two were all in landscape (epic fail).



good thing i had one set left as i needed it to practice for an idea i have been toying with for some time now. you see, i plan to make paper tole gift cards for christmas.

wish me luck!

our story

same time last year, i made what is my only completed scrapbook album to date. this after more than 10 years of hoarding various scrapbook papers, tags, and embellishments.

i was on my second trimester and, in spite of the negative internal dialogue during the first three months of pregnancy, i found myself inspired enough to start on this project. i started january 2011 on this album – which was about the years my husband and i were together before we got married – and finished it, coincidentally, during the love month (not intentional. at all.).

i used a 5.75″ x 5.75″ cardstock album and paired it with various scrapbook papers and accessories (all of which were purchased from Simplejoys).

i selected pictures to represent the years before we finally tied the knot and printed text on vellum.









i also refurbished a box as storage for the album i made, in line with the theme of my pages, and placed our initials on the cover.


not bad for a first attempt, i think.

and so here’s to the cheesiest time of the year!


product credits  (click on the image to view product details)

Memory Book Glue Dots

Gracie Dream Street Square Cardstock Stickers

Gracie Dream Street Alphabet Cardstock Stickers

in review of the most wonderful time of the year

had to wrap more than 150 gifts last christmas, single-handedly, a third of which I had to “let go”, that is, release to the world with nary an embellishment nor ribbon. that felt wrong. but after two straight days of sleeping for only two hours (on top of taking care of my six-month old baby), i figured collapsing due to exhaustion was not an option.

i went a little crazy (as usual) during the holidays. i discovered free christmas tags online (printed two different sets: gold-purple-holiday-gift-tags from and 1204 gift_tags from; got packs of sticker labels from three separate shops (Living Well, S&R, and National Bookstore); bought Paperline silver and white cardboard tags (SM) and various green and red board tags from Filstar (National Bookstore); all on top of handmade Kirkland gift tags from the US my brother gave me two years ago (which I used as embellishment instead). roughly eight sets of christmas gift tags in total.

i used christmas wrappers in 5 different designs from Hallmark (National Bookstore); gold wrapper from Paperline (set of three from SM); scrapbook papers (plain and glittered) from Simple Joys; old gift wrapper which my sister-in-law got me from Malaysia; Best Buy white Japanese paper; Hallmark silver damask on mint green wrapper (National Bookstore); and Kirkland tissue paper. roughly eight types of gift wrapper in total as well.

i had to replenish my stock of cloth ribbons as i apparently used up the ones i’ve collected through the years (most of which were recycled from past gifts). i’ve added white and light gray to my array of ribbons in the usual colors of the season. i didn’t use much paper twine (Wrap em Up from Hallmark in National Bookstore) as it takes time to unwrap it and tie it around a gift. it actually takes me ONE hour to put paper twine on ONE gift, regardless of size (yes, I timed it once); lesser time with cloth or wired ribbons (or so i think). i retained my signature snowflake embellishment (originally a christmas tree garland which i cut into pieces) in some gifts for lack of an appealing alternative.

i put them all together and here are how the gifts turned out (would have wanted to show more but have not gotten the hang of taking pictures after i make something):





opted for a streamlined look for most gifts given the (lack of) time. of course, every year, i always plan for something more grand.

there are still a few gifts left in my christmas box that i have yet to wrap. hoping to make it in time for christmas this year.

i’m keeping my fingers crossed.