Tartan in my scrapbook

Cross posted on my PinayFrancophile and Friendster blogs

I’ve spent most of my free time the past few days “stitching” together scrapbook paper for my Paris scrapbook.  I had mostly blues and a few reds and beiges.  A paper store website gave me some paper samples which I have been able to weave into loud floral borders.

I tried to put together an orange pair and a pink pair as well, but now that I found a website that had free scrapbook background papers for download and one of the packages I downloaded was tartan (or what most people refer to as plaid) backgrounds.  They are such a breeze to “stitch” together even if they download onto regular letter (8×11) pages.  Three sheets will make a 12×12, and the stitching is seamless given the straight lines in the various pages.

Meanwhile, I’ve designed various sheets in shades of blue and printed them onto 12×18 sheets via color laser.  One sheet I’m particularly proud of because it looks as though it had been bought from a store.  I had also managed to scan parts of the two Paris maps we had used and pasted the various parts together into one solid graphic (given that the flatbed could not scan the whole map), giving me additional background graphics.

In my spare time, I try and cut out the flowers and other embellishments I’d pulled off the clipart collection of Microsoft online which I intend to paste into a floral collage as borders, frames and spotholders.

I’ve also collected a sizeable bunch of border artwork which I resized or pasted onto 12 inch strips.  I have saved cutting it into pieces for when I actually find a use for it.

My sewing kit has an assortment of threads and buttons which I intend to use as additional embellishment, and I have always had a penchant for collecting fabric swatches from IKEA and the color swatches from the hardware store.  It’s just that at the time, I was concentrating on reds and greens with just a smattering of blue (because I intended to use them to make my own Christmas cards sometime in the future), but now that I know my color theme, I intend to go back to the IKEA in Hicksville to collect more swatches in my color scheme. 

Browsing scrapbooking sites has also given me a lot of ideas about what I can do for this project, and it’s basically what has convinced me to stick to one color scheme.  I’m glad I did this before I used up the other colors in my paper stock. 

This weekend, I’m piecing together basic pages per tartan pattern, and I’m going to start writing up the captions and journal entries for the scrapbook.  Hopefully before Monday, I’d have been able to put together the first few pages of my Paris sojourn.

I have two friends to credit for the inspiration – Kate and Pier who I sat down with for dinner some two weekends ago.  Kate has even invited me to a scrapbooking event in Manhattan on December 5 which I hope to attend.

My scrapbook has definitely started to take shape — and I’m getting very excited to see my Paris trip unfold again.  Now if I can only find a French dictionary that shows the intonations and definitions, not just equivalent English words, I have red tags to put them on to deck the various pages.  It’ll not just be a trip down memory lane but an elementary lessong in French as well.

Working on the scrapbook has been very relaxing for me — it has even made blogging a second passion only because I’ve devoted a lot of my time online to surfing for scrapbook resources, downloading fonts, artwork, background paper and actually resizing and creating something I can use for my project.  So I guess the books I’ve been meaning to read will have to wait for later..

The things I'm thankful for

Below is a post I started drafting on Thanksgiving day itself but didn’t get to finish until Sunday after Thanksgiving while writing a missive to my bestfriend, Fe..

Today is a big holiday weekend for Americans as they celebrate Thanksgiving.  For someone who has lived here the last 5 years, I’ve learned to live as they do and consider myself adapted to the spirit of this holiday.  Of course Christmas is still my favorite holiday — in fact we are going to decorate the house this weekend.  But in the meantime, more than just looking forward to the family feast, I want to stop and think about the things I’m thankful for on this day of giving thanks.

A loving husband and a healthy son.. Although it was at the cost of giving up everything back home, I wouldn’t trade the life I have with my son and my better half for anything — challenges and all.  All I have to do is flash a picture of Angel’s disarming smile in my mind and all my worries and aches and pains go away, and I’m reminded of how truly blessed I am.

The love of my parents, siblings and friends.. We have our share of soap drama in the family but I feel lucky to still have my parents with me.  Even if my siblings and I have different personalities, we grew up very tight and remain very close to this day.  My sister would have no qualms borrowing my toothbrush if we had no choice and my brother would have no qualms running to me for help — and I would be the same towards them.  We have had our disagreements but we have always held on to the bond of family.  I feel equally blessed by the presence of the people who have become true and dear friends through the years.  I have been fortunate that even if we are 10,000 miles apart, we have remained true to each other.

There are many things I say thanks for with each passing day.  I thank God for the fact that He has given me another day.. I thank Him for the wisdom to deal with the challenges I face — for the little miracles that give me the big ones.  I thank Him for His presence in my life — something not everyone is fortunate enough to have in theirs.

Yes, I give thanks to Him for everything I have and will have in my life.