Magazine alphaThere are days when I catch myself just vegetating on the sofa, not doing anything in particular.  Maybe because it’s been a busy day.  I just stayed at home and put things away, trying to get rid of the things I don’t need anymore.

I can’t seem to throw away old magazines because I always see something which I feel I can use somehow, somewhere for a future project or layout.  But the old magazines have to go.  I used to zero in on words, but today I just focused on usable alphabets.  I picked brands, headers and titles in larger alpha, cut them close in a rectangle or square, picked a dark background to paste it on as a frame and then cut again.  What for?  I intend to use these for my art journal entries.

I’ve been watching TV.  Everyone else is asleep in the house.  I’ve put away what needs to be put away in the kitchen, and even if it’s midnight, I’m taking a quick hot shower before turning in for the night.

I get a break tomorrow.  No Religious Ed for the boy, so I get to sleep in.   It’s soooo cold, though.  Even with the heater on full blast, I’m feeling a little chilly in the living room.  The bedroom is comfortably warm, but father and son always want the electric fan on at the highest setting.

Time to hit the sack.


Freebie Alert from The Shabby Princess

One of my favorite digital scrapbooking resources is The Shabby Princess and The Shabby Shoppe.  Not only is The Shabby Princess’ blog oozing with inspiration but free kits (as in practically complete kits) are made available for free from her website subject to their terms and conditions.  (Strictly for personal use only.)  I just happened to stop by today and found this gorgeous new kit sampler: MEMORY LANE.   The full version is available for purchase at their Shop here.

Please note that I am in no way connected with the two sites mentioned above, but I am a fan and a customer.  I have always believed in sharing resources with fellow crafters out there.  There were at least three other samplers and even a free 2013 calendar or two so go and visit while it’s still available.


Our 2010 Christmas Card

So the greeting cards were sent (most of them, at least) — and although I had gotten caught up in the holiday frenzy and ended up sending my cards a tad bit late — from the looks of it, they made it to those I managed to send one.

The Gonzalez Christmas Card 2010

(Apologies to those who didn’t get it this year.. next year, I’m making the cards in October!)

I had made up my mind a year ago that I would use this snowman artwork Angelo had done in Kindergarten, but typical of such long-distance planning attempts, I forgot.  That is, until someone picked up the artwork in Flickr and asked for permission to include it in’s display of children’s art.  I was floored.  It was but an innocent attempt of a proud mom to showcase her little boy’s masterpiece.  I was very, very proud.

As of today, Jan. 13, Angelo’s snowman can be seen here.

I have been making my christmas cards off and on for several years now.  There is something different about actually taking the time to make them, no matter how elementary they may be, and then sending them off.

This year I decided to do a collage of sorts, pulling five different elements together and then arranging them on the front of the card in different ways.  The card to the right is one of the set, each one unique.

I used digital scrapbook elements and cut them up in rectangular shapes in more or less uniform, but not exactly uniform sizes.  I then picked up a snowflake paper punch from Martha Stewart’s collection of paper punches and cut up leftover red and gold giftwrapper. (I even used some from a gift I received.  What a waste to just throw away those gorgeous gold and silver and sparkly red gift wrapping!)

I used my favorite paint swatch chips from your regular home improvement store which I printed with either Happy Holidays, Maligayang Pasko and later, Happy New Year, but instead of pasting them directly onto the collage, I attached them to the whole collage via mounting tape to make it “float” above the graphic.

I was also fortunate enough to have come across a roll of laser cut MERRY CHRISTMAS red ribbon at the dollar store (!) which I cut up and used as the greeting on the front.

I don’t have a picture of the inside here, but I rendered the snowman in washout mode and then typed our message on it, with the URL for Angelo’s snowman typed up for the free plug. (Proud Mom, I told you!)

I would have used buttons and more embellishments, but I had so little time!

View a selection of the cards I managed to photograph here to see how I created one-of-a-kind cards using the same set of embellishments and elements over and over again.  No two cards were exactly alike which added to all the fun.

Credits for the elements used in the card:
* Red and white stripe: Journalers from Designer Digitals by Katie Pertiet
* Paper Dots and Striped Paper from the Happy Go Lucky Freebie download by Shabby Princess

In search of…

I am searching for a 1″ square punch which should be relatively easy to find but which is proving to be quite a challenge.  (audible sigh)  For something so simple and non-fussy, it seems to be so hard to nail it down.  Even Michael’s in Garden City (MY Michael’s store) didn’t have it in stock.  So I went off to my last resort: Online. has it and can give me free shipping with it’s usual $25 minimum, but for some reason, even the big and might cyber retailer cannot commit to next day shipping as “item might need 1-2 days to process”.  No good. Toys R’ Us offers scrapbooking supplies but alas, no square punch in the right size, and no, the product is NOT offered in store.  And even FAO Schwartz, our esteemed NY toy store to visit offers the line, but again, NOT in store.  And what’s worse, it takes 2-3 days for the item to leave the store, so it looks like there’s no way I will get this in time.  (Another audible sigh.)

I am thinking of braving the Michael’s store in Manhattan but it’s in the 90s, and then there’s the one in Woodside, but I’m stuck commuting so I am not too sure I want to brave that kind of an adventure on a flurry-laiden day like today.  (Twiddling fingers on the table..)

Google, though, brought something totally unexpected my way which, in turn, brought me here.  It was THAT good a find.

I stumbled across Balzer Designs which is just a treasure trove of ideas and creative inspiration.  While I don’t consider myself anything or anywhere near this artistic genius, I thought it was worth sharing to those who might look to this space for ideas.

Go visit when you have the chance.  I have to keep this short because I need to do my own browsing and try to get to know Julie!

Creative Inspiration Stop: Balzer Designs

Digital Scrapbooking Alert: New Freebie from Shabby Princess

One of my favorite ever digital scrapbooking sites is, which also makes one of my favorite digital scrapbooking Online stores.

For the uninitiated, digital scrapbooking is the use of digital media (graphics, papers, etc.) to create scrapbook layouts.  Hybrid scrapbooking, on the otherhand, is the use of digital scrapbooking elements for hard copy or printed scrapbook layouts which I am into.  (There’s just something different about the way memories come back when you actually turn the pages of an album, and having bits and pieces of mementos clipped to the pages like tickets, brochures, articles or magazine write ups.)

I usually go and visit the Shabby Princess to find new ideas and inspiration for my scrapbook layouts.  Her shop produces very good quality digital scrapbooking kits which are unique and professionally rendered.  When I first got into digital scrapbooking some 6 years ago, her site provided me with a treasure trove of digital freebies which are available on the website.

Today I just discovered they had released the Plentiful Collection which you can get by clicking here.  (The link will take you the page where the download links are available. )

The kit is a good sized download but it has been broken up into 8 batches for those who might have difficulty downloading huge files.

Free Digital Scrapbook Kit available from Shabby Princess

Give me a few days to come up with a layout using this kit!

Kraft Scrapping

kraftscrapSo I’ve finally gotten down to creating my Kraft Scrap logo, and I’m hoping to complete one layout this week.  (Keeping my fingers crossed I don’t end up postponing this.) 

“KRAFT” was spelled using the font “LetterPress Inverted” and handcolored with markers. “SCRAP” was printed as “outline” and in grey in “Hotel Coral Essex” and then colored within the lines and outlined in black marker.  the byline “by PINAYNEWYORKER” was printed using “Adler” font.

The idea is to come up with my own elements and attempt to prepare digitally downloadable versions to share (!) — given my limited resources, that is.

Crafting, as it has been for a long, long time, remains to be a good way for me to unwind and de-stress.  It’s like an ongoing conversation with the inner me, as I color, sketch and sometimes just doodle.  Have you ever given thought to how the little things actually help to pull you through the craziness of the day as you go about your regular routine, be it at work or at home?   Sometimes I find that some of my most creative ideas come to me when I’m doing my chores which come to me mechanically.  Perhaps it’s the monotony of what we are used to doing day in and day out that provides a good springboard for the generation  of new creative ideas.

Wish me luck on this one.

Remembering Paris..

Alan is spending the last 5 days of  this two-week business trip in Paris.  Angelo and I miss him dearly and just can’t wait to have him back in New york again by Wednesday.

I pulled out my two scrapbook tomes of our trip to Paris in 2006.  Angelo excitedly looked at the pictures we took as I skimmed through my layouts.  It was like being transported back to a favorite place and a favorite time.  I sighed with a smile on my face as I heard Angelo ask – “Mommy, when are going there?”

I remember how we kept talking about how one day we would walk the streets of Paris with Angelo.  He was too small to bring with us in 2005 and again in 2006.  When we finally travelled to Europe in December of 2007, it was Brussels and Bruge instead.  I have fallen in love with Paris twice over and hope to one day renew my affair with the City of Lights.  It’s a tough sell to Alan because he’s there at least once a year, but I might get lucky.

Meanwhile, I am looking at photographing my scrapbook layouts and digitally uploading them so I have them hard copy and also digitally.  It’s rather tricky photographing the 12×12 layouts and converting them into jpeg files.  The bigger problem is being able to properly acknowledge artistic credits for the various components of digital scrapbooking elements I used.  After all it’s the very point of having spent all that effort creating the scrapbook layout: to preserve the memories.

Every time I go through the layouts and see the photos now digitally reproduced and the bits and pieces of mementos I kept during the trip arranged in a 12×12 paper mat of sorts does indeed bring me back to the feeling and to the sights.  It brings back the feeling of awe, the exhaustion through all the walking, and the longing to go back there.  In time, I tell myself.

Angelo also asked where the scrapbook for Manila happens to be.  Oops.. time to start those scrapbooks, I guess.  Not enough hours in a day.  But they will get done.  More so since I am starting to experiment with creating my own background paper as I am getting into crayons and watercolor.  I am not totally giving up the digital scrapbooking resources I have been relying on but I am beginning to have the confidence to create my own.

I have managed to create some watercolor background paper for inchies which I intend to use as scrapbook and card embellishments — using my growing photo stock. 

I can’t believe the weekend is over.  I had meant to work on posting more items for sale in my Etsy store but I wasn’t able to get that done.  (Keeping my fingers crossed I can get something up between tonight and tomorrow.)  I did manage to pull together two new pieces to sell and a third for myself.  (Happiness is a cluster earring of assorted pink glass crystals.)  Meanwhile I have to clean up and get ready for the coming work week.  Another Monday is here.. hopefully not as wet and windy as the weekend has been.

My first attempt at photographing a scrapbook layout from my Paris 2006 Book
My first attempt at photographing a scrapbook layout from my Paris 2006 Book: Used the front page of a local Paris Magazine, my airline ticket, and captions printed and assembled from paint color chips