Saturday, May 31, 2008

KAYA 13 Winners

I had no idea how difficult KAYA 13 would be until everyone started complaining of how hard it was going to be to execute a layout. I still insist that it wasn't my fault and someone else's fault on why the topic had to be this challenging. But then again, KAYA has never been about taking the easy way out and has always been about rising up to challenges.

A couple of brave souls took up the challenge and bared their courage, honesty and determination in facing their own personal challenges.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who submitted an entry. I wish I could give each of you a prize but please know that, in my book, you all deserve medals of valor for facing your personal challenges head-on.

I asked my husband to draw the Traditional and Digital Pick of the Crop Winners of KAYA 13 because I was too nervous to draw them myself. (If I gave the paper stubs to my four-year-old, he might have had other ideas on what to do with them.)

Without further ado, I'd like to congratulate...

MARISSA... as our KAYA 13 Digital Layout Pick of the Crop Winner!

And BJAY... as our KAYA 13 Traditional Layout Pick of the Crop Winner!

Kindly send me your postal address at cbpatena@yahoo.com as I will be sending each of you a special prize from Queen Kat Designs!

Thanks again for everyone who joined KAYA 13. I wish you all the best of luck and my sincerest prayers in life, love and whatever will come in the future. It's all thanks to God that we survive day in and day out in a world that is full of trials and triumphs. No matter how big or small our worries are, we just need to have an extra dose of faith to get through any of them.

Wings to Fly

Cel says, KAYA!

I thought about the theme real hard. I wasn't sure what to write for my journaling. Seeing all the other challenge entries, I thought, hey the hardest challenge in my life didn't seem that hard at all! But what I did value experiencing this challenge was the reason and the life lesson{s} I learned from it. So here goes...

Journaling reads:
And flew I did. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy was my ticket towards becoming a CPA. A profession my dad wasn’t able to achieve during his time. I almost didn’t graduate with this degree because I didn’t pass the qualifying exams at my old school during my sophomore year. I was a working student then and barely had time to study because of my 3pm to 10pm shift everyday including weekends. Flunking that exam was a major deal-breaker. I did not only fail myself, but I failed my Mom, who worked so hard just for me to get in to a good school. During that time, I thought the whole world is against me. I often ask why did that had to happen to me. I cried for days not knowing what to do next.

Looking back now, I am always thankful that, instead of shifting to another course at the same school, I continued on with my dream of becoming a CPA and transferred to PSBA. And now I am so thankful to my alma mater for accepting me. And I’m thankful to Ivan for never judging me and always encouraged me to follow my dream. I could still remember how my Mom shouted when I told her the good news, that I passed the board exams. I felt that day how she is so proud of me.

That challenge has taught me a lot of things in life. I learned that EVERYTHING HAS ITS REASONS. And that your family and those who truly care for you will never leave you or criticize you. That you should really know what you want in life and do everything to achieve it even it means you have to be hurt along the way. That through hard work and determination, you can achieve your dreams. And then you can now spread your wings and fly high.

Materials used:
CS (DCWV), PP (Love, Elsie), Bazzill edges, Creative Imagination paper ribbon, Prima flowers, Brads (Queen & Co., Doodlebug, All about scrapbooking), AC Thickers, Colorbox ink, Cat's Life Press stamp, others (bling, alpha stamps, butterfly-freebie from The Yellow Violet House).

About ME:
I am a senior associate in a public accounting firm. I became addicted to this hobby in 2007. Most of my layouts are about my friends, family, and me and bf of more than 10 years, Ivan. I am also very interested in photography and plan to join a beginners class in the near future. I hope I'd get to know you all and attend the EBs hopefully if it's close to Quezon City. Do visit me at my blog: Do visit me at my blog: http://scrapgurl14.blogspot.com/.

Give all to love

Me-anne says, KAYA!

As much as possible I would really take time out to join all Kaya Challenges and I don't want to miss the chance.

So here's my take:

Journaling reads:
Words can say so much and that word is LOVE. Whenever I experience rejection and criticism, it all become so empassing because after all, You're there to Love. Even if when the world turn its back against me and sems nobody would understands me... You are there beside me, holding me close, comforting me, giving me the courage and the strength to fight back and see life afterall is beautiful, inspite and despite of. Through the years I have noticed how you've form me and molded me to the kind of person that I am today. I know I'm still a work in progress and I do fail you more often than not...but You're such a loving God and understanding Father. You sought me and cared for me and want what is best for me. I only need to abide and be obedient to Your guidance and to your leading.

Thank you so much Father, I know that everytime I see fresh flowers around, I then know you will help me see and overcome. You my God wll deliver me, for you love me so dearly. Thank you for constantly reminding me of this love that gives all!

Materials used:
Collage Press Grayson Hall collection, SEI, Petaloo, K&Company tag, Noteworthy journaling pad, ribbons, flower, Prima bling, HOTP brad

Technique:
Hidden journaling

About ME:

I'm me and I love to be me, others misunderstood me because of my eyes, but there's more of me that your eyes dont see, hehehe, mysterious ba hahaha, check on my blog: http://meannesworld.blogspot.com/.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Weighing Game

Bjay says, KAYA!

I am still reeling from my experience writing my Kaya12 journaling. I really think I did a text heavy entry (yeah, obvious naman!) that's why I'll go light this time. And by light, I meant using a piece of a feather as my symbol - pun intended.


Journaling reads:
With age, gravity will begin pulling from every corner. And weight gain knows no truce. Plain vanity won't be enough to stop both.

I have decided long ago to embrace the imminent, and just concentrate on the beauty and lightness of my being.

Materials used:
All papers are from Collage Press (Seeds, Fresh & Citrus), Hambly overlay, Prima swirl bling, Cloud9 alpha stickers, Jenni Bowlin journal pad, Staedler pen, Colorbox ink, mesh

Technique:

Handcutting, "recolouring" of the feather's spine.


About ME:
I have got to stop posing like this. But I can't. It's way too much fun!

On a Wing and a Prayer

Marian says, KAYA!

Almost didn't make this challenge. Couldn't quite start on the journaling. Finally decided to simplify it and remove many details.It's still quite long though. My symbol is the Rosary/Prayer as this is what helped me get through.

Journaling reads:

2007 has been the most difficult time of my life. I lost 2 persons who were very close and dear to me. In March my Tita Sony passed away due to breast cancer. She was the superwoman older sister of my mom. At 83 years old she still ran our real estate business. She also took charge of her household (which she used to share with 3 other spinster sisters though there was just one other sister left), their finances and health concerns. She could multitask and keep busy all day. When there was no driver to take her around she would bake and fix papers at home. She was a take charge person and my cousins and I thought she was invincible. I was being trained by her to take care of the business but found myself inadequate. So when she passed away, it was a big blow to me and my cousins. While still grieving, I had to take charge not just of the business but also of my other aunt, Tita Pilar, the last of my 4 spinster aunts. She fell ill with brain cancer just a few days after we buried Tita Sony.

As if this was not enough, I was also caring for my husband, Alex, who was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. The doctor told me they didn’t know what exactly caused it and treatment was at best experimental. The drugs could slow down the progression but could not make the lungs good as new. I could see his life slowly fading away. From a vibrant, take charge person, he slowly weakened and became very dependent on me. At first I would drive for him wherever he wanted to go. And when he didn’t want to be left at home and I had to go to work, he would just ride in the car but wouldn’t go down. He would wait in the car with the aircon on until I was done with work. It was stressful as I had to rush what I was doing because I was worried about him waiting alone in the car. As his breathing became more difficult, he just stayed home while I went to work in the morning rushing to finish all my tasks so I could go home right away. In between he would text me to find out what time I would be done. I had to help him take a bath and dress up as any effort would make him short of breath.

Later on I could see he had difficulty going up and down the stairs, so we moved our bed to the den on the first floor. I had to get oxygen tanks and rent an oxygen concentrator machine. Soon after this he decided he wanted to be cared for in the hospital. He called his brothers and sisters and my daughters for a meeting in his hospital room. He told them that he was dying and that he would sign a “Do not resuscitate. Do not intubate form.” In spite of this, he still had a positive attitude and high hopes that a miracle would happen and he would be healed. He also still had a good sense of humor and could still laugh at his predicament and make others laugh too.

A typical day at this time was to wake up early in the hospital due to nurses coming in. When Alex woke up, I would coax him to eat. If he didn’t like the food, he would ask me to buy halohalo or pancit palabok or whatever he thought he wanted to eat. But when the food came, he hardly ate it too. Then the orderly would give him a sponge bath. At about 10, my daughter Kate would come to take care of her dad while I went to work. I would then rush to San Juan where Tita Pilar lives and thankfully where the office is too. Once in a while if I finished early, I would go home to Quezon City for a while to check on the household, take a real bath in my bathroom, and then rush back to Makati Med by 3 or 4 pm. It was a stressful schedule. I couldn’t leave the care of Alex to a nurse or caregiver as he wanted me to be around. There was a time that Tita Pilar was in the hospital too and it’s good the rooms were next to each other. I also had to take charge of her caregivers and finances and also talk to her doctors.

My older daughter Camille would come on weekends with Sophia. She had work and a baby to attend to so I understood that taking care of her dad was not her role. Whenever she came with Sophia, it was like a ray of sunshine to brighten our day. I was always worried though that Sophia would catch some germs in the hospital so I would send them home after a short while.

Through all this time, my brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law were very supportive both financially and with moral support. My cousins were also very helpful. I could ask them to take care of certain things when I couldn’t handle it. I also had my friends who kept me sane with their calls, sending magazines for me to read and simply being there to talk to. Alex and I also prayed together every day, several times a day, the Rosary asking Mama Mary to intercede for us to her Son for a miracle. We stormed heaven with prayers to Jesus, Mama Mary and all the saints. And when Alex was asleep, more prayers for myself to be able to cope. These prayers gave me peace and the knowledge that everything would be alright. And so after almost 2 months in the hospital, Alex passed away and I was able to accept this knowing he was in a better place with no more pain or suffering.

Today I still take care of Tita Pilar, her household, finances and health concerns. I also still take care of business though not as stressful as before. I still have issues to address with regard to Alex’ business. I have decided to postpone any action as I can’t cope with it right now and actually don’t know how to deal with it. So I continue to pray for strength and guidance that I do my best and do the right things.

Materials:
Cardstock, Anna Griffin printed vellum, Queen & Co felt, ribbon, American Craft Alpha rub-ons

Technique used:
The journalling is printed on the plain cardstock behind the printed vellum. The vellum is attached to the cardstock behind the picture using repositionable glue. The layout looks busy with the print and the text behind to show that there were so many things going on at that time. I used black and purposely chose a dark picture of myself. The only bright spot is the rosary framed in red.

About ME:
I have always loved doing arts and crafts. I used to make macrame belts, paper mache, hair accessories, cross stitch, candles, beaded accessories and Christmas decor. My current favorites are card making, stamping and scrapbooking. I think these 3 are intertwined with each other. I do believe these will be lifelong hobbies as there will always be friends to get in touch with, pictures to document and stories to tell. I am learning to use Photoshop Elements by reading on-line tips and tutorials and trying to do what I read. I hope to become a good photographer through the classes I just started recently.

Amnesty

Au says, "Kaya!"

...and Au also says, "Whew!" This is not an easy challenge. The first reason being scheduling problems for me. Too many things to catch up on, too many balls up in the air...i swear some of them balls are already falling and hitting me on the head! But hey, I'm still here and still juggling so on it goes. And this is why i don't need extra baggage. Hence, despite feeling the pinch of work deadlines, this challenge is actually a good thing for me because it made me come to a decision to throw excess baggage off my ship. And so this layout is not just to document life but to make myself a pact.

My symbol: the flying bird for freedom!...because it's just too hard to fly when you're heavy with hurt feelings.

Journaling:
in all the forty two years i have spent on this earth, i have learned that people come and go in my life. some have made me happy. some helped me in my journey. yet some have disappointed, irritated, agitated, fooled me, ridiculed me, borrowed things and money yet never repaid me. some have even loved me yet eventually broke me, whether knowingly or unwittingly...

it is not easy to forget them, much less forgive...

but then again, i realized i could have done the same things to other people...whether intentionally or innocently...and so... I declare an AMNESTY

from here on i grant to all the people that i perceive to have hurt me in the past or owed me any kind of apology, extended or not and whether they are aware or not. i give complete and utter release from any blame i have pinned on them. i give to them my absolution.

...because in doing so, i absolve myself. i free myself.

...because ultimately, i only have to BE

...be at peace with myself.

Materials used:
K&Co Mira paper, Ellison Thick Cuts Filmstrip #2 and Sizzix Roundabout dies, felt fabric, Provocraft rolling stamp, Prima flowers and blings chipboard, Radiant Rain glimmer mist

Techniques used:
cheap chipboard used to cut the film die and also used for the base for the journaling painted with black MM acrylics to seal off acidity. Radiant Rain shimmer mist painted on top of black paint for some shine. Journaling was placed on top blue texture photo and computer printed. Felt fabric was used to diecut letters using Roundabout letter dies.

About Me:
Hi I'm Au Lim. Pinoyscrapbookers mod and designing for Studio Azul. Mom to 5 kids, buckaroo wife to hubby Erwin, small scale entrepreneur, spiritual seeker, passionate scrapbooker/crafter and aspiring photographer. That's probably most of who I am in a nutshell.

A&K

Tin says KAYA!

My love life is hardly perfect and highly NOT recommended LOL I came home last night from watching Sex in the City, the movie; don't worry this isn't a spoiler for all your Carrie fans :-)
I 've been contemplating of an entry to my Kaya challenge, when Carries assistant said it all . . . just don't give up on LOVE. It sums up what I believe in when pain and tears were too much to bear, when you think there is just no one for you.

Nina's challenge also included a symbol in our LO's, so I chose a dragonfly. . .
"Dragonflies symbolize going past self-created illusions that limit our growing and changing. Dragonflies are a symbol of the sense of self that comes with maturity."

I've stopped painting myself roses but just see the world and love now with honesty. Change brings perhaps new fears and challenges but it is also the dawn of something good. I used to say, there's no way now but UP :-)

Journalling:

"Who will see the beauty in your life,
And who will be there to hear you when you call;
Who will see the madness in your life,
And who will be there to catch you when you fall."
Fra Lippo Lippi "Beauty & Madness"

Who WILL see the beauty and madness of my life? . . . after asking myself, my angel finally came. Almost five years down the line he has seen me at my best and my worst. Admittedly I can't help but fear the future, sometimes scaring myself more than I should.
Where are we headed?
What's waiting for us along the way?
And if we'll ever arrive to god knows where.
I have never been so sure of the unsure. But no matter how scared I might be, I just have to look at the future in the eye . . . I have to remember to steady myself and yell with all my might . . . BRING IT ON!

Materials Used: Studio Calico Kit, Flye a Kit: Sassafrass, Bazzil Yellow, MM 5th Ave. Diecut, Tinkering Ink Striata, Collage Press Margot Port Royal, Prima Rue 88, Websters Die Cut, Jenni Bowlin Bingo Card, Fontwerks Green Labels, SEI Dill Blossom epoxy, Fontwerks Travelogue, Nick Bantock Vandyke Brown/ Damson Plum/ Lamp Black, Adirondack Raisin, Rusty Pickle, Journey ribbon, 7 Gypsies Travel, Daisy D's Rubons, Bazzil Flourish Chipoard, Doodlebug black Alphas, Liquid Pearl White, American Crafts Fieldhouse Chipboard

Techniques: layering papers, stamping, accents with a gold leaf pen, distressed effect with rub-ons

About Me:
A single mom who is just lucky to have someone to take the journey with, taking it a step at a time. It's simple really, what ever love (or life for that matter) gives you, just don't give a crap and keep on chugging :-)

In time

Donna says, Kaya!
I thought I'd never make it!!! :D
Anyways, my layout is a "bit lighter" than the previous entries. It's about having a husband who's an overseas worker AND who's coming home very soon. Even my journaling is much lighter. I don't want to dwell too much on how my husband's distance really affects me. I just see this phase in our married life as a milestone, because so far so good :) And, I'm praying everyday that it stays that way. I used clock to symbolize both our time/distance apart and the waiting for his home-coming :) Thanks for looking! :)

Journaling:
"..we will be together again after quite a long time. everyday that passes by brings us closer to that day. when you left to work abroad, it didn't sink in until a couple of months went by. i never showed how much i was missing you already the day you left. i was even picking a fight while we were on our way to the airport. i guess that was my way to fight off the dreadful loneliness and the fear for you going away to a strange foreign country. i wasn't afraid you'd fool around, i trust you so much it never crossed my mind. i know how much you are sacrifing so we can have a good future. i know too that i am one of those lucky wives to have such a loving and generous husband like you. i am counting the months, the days, the hours that i'd see you and feel your embrace again. no more scheduled chats, no more limited calls. in time, you are coming home dad. i love you so much..."

Materials:
MistyCato_Inspire Me kit (paper, stitch, brad and tag), LDD_Vintage Retro kit (papers, knotted ribbon, butterfly charm), Barbderksen_Oldwatch. Fonts - Ariala and Century Gothic. Software-PS7

Techniques:
Drop Shadows, Burn tool, Bevel, Paper-tearing technique

About ME:
I am Donna Espiritu, happily married to a very supportive husband :)
Aside from scrapbooking, I also love reading. From Romance to Sci-fi to Mystical or anything in between :) Right now, I'm into collecting Nora Roberts' novels especially her trilogies :D
Visit my blog, MYSCRAPBOX.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

a messy affair

Christine says, KAYA!
i didn't think i was going to be able to submit a page for this challenge... as i was so challenged by the theme! LOL! I can't think of any serious life challenge that I am currently dealing with (and I hope that I never come face to face with it in the future) and the trivial ones that I do battle with are just that, trivial. I would check the entries every time an announcement about a new post was made and every single time, I lost hope that I was going to be able to make something as spectacular as the ones already posted. I speak about the type of challenge as well as the fab pages posted.

Not wanting to cop out on yet another KAYA challenge again though (yes, I couldn't do the digital kaya challenge, sorry), I just simply opted for the road less travelled... yes, I decided on a more light-hearted fare (maybe this would spur others who have not yet submitted their pages to document a less complicated challenge if indeed, there is such a thing. of course, that's wishful thinking on my part! ha! well, as they say, a challenge is still a challenge, right? whoever said it had to be about anything serious? hahaha

I was going to add this quote, but I couldn't find a "space" for it, hahaha:
"If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?" - Laurence Peter

the clean/linear style used for this page is my allusion to my hope that I can someday live a more simple, clutter-free lifestyle. i just know it's never too late




Journaling:
i am such a pack rat i can never bring myself to purge my stuff. ack! i hope to have the courage to just LET GO especially since I so love the clutter-free lifestyle. PS. this mess is my maid's doing though =)

Materials Used:
kraft cardstock, Hambly screen print, punchinella, staple wires, fontwerks and ma vinci stamps, stazon ink, zig pen, Jenni Bowlin label sticker

Techniques Used:
stamping

About ME:
Married, with 2 kids - DD 8 and DS 5, part-time lecturer on restaurant operations. (Learn more about Christine at cv70.blogspot.com)

So Like a Dandelion

Marissa says, KAYA

Thanks for the challenge... this is perhaps a side of me nobody knows about.



Journaling:
The Dandelion: very ordinary. So ordinary that people don’t pay attention to its beautiful bright yellow bloom. It is mowed down before it starts blooming; or before its seeds are scattered by the wind. It struggles to grow in corners and crevices; in the shade, trying to be inconspicuous; among the beautiful flowers trying to compete for attention.

I am like one; always struggling to prove myself. I struggle for people to consider my suggestions and ideas; for people to believe I have the knowledge and the expertise. Most of the time my ideas are squished before they bloom into extraordinary things. Sometimes I wonder - is it ME and the way I present myself? Is it my age? the color of my skin? not having a title after my name?

I grow in the shade comfortable of being an observer. I am friendly but painfully quiet and shy. I overcome these personal struggles in writing. I am smart and witty, giving and forgiving. I make people laugh...and cry.

I am like the dandelion - unnoticed...full of knowledge that is blown into the wind shared with everyone who'll take the time to listen.

Materials:
elegant swirl from [v.vv] Framboise mini-kit; bow by Schnecki; frames by Supersuzi; bracket by Mandy Mystique Designs; purple tie by July [Pathwork kit]; Lauren Faczan, Amy Brever/The Polka Dot Plum, 2008: background paper, lined note paper; stapler, bow; Font: Mistral; Program used: Adobe CS3ext.
Dandelion seeds flying into air pic from blueridgeblog.com;
dandelion clock pic from English-country-garden.blog;
dandelion close-up from ermann-uwe;
dandelion pic by tree-by CraftFairy1;

Technique used: layering, re-sizing, re-coloring, drop shadows

About ME:
You can learn more about dandelions here
And visit me here, there, everywhere

Monday, May 26, 2008

Let Go

Diane says, KAYA!

This is the hardest challenge that I made for the KAYA challenge. Lagot si Nina sa akin kapag naka luwas ako ng Manila kasi pina iyak nya ako sa paggawa ng LO na ito. :) But coming up to this LO made me realize that it is healthy to be feel this. It is healthy to cry. I also realize that there are a lot of people who still loves me. Specially Jun. And thanks to my scrapbook friends I am slowly letting my feelings out and shared via scrapbooking. I am so happy to belong on this group. Thanks Nina my dear friend for this challenge! I miss you!

Symbol: White and Blue Balloons. I chose the photo from the burial of my son which we let go of the blue and white balloons. Because it symbolizes on how will I let go of the feeling I am keeping inside my heart. It is very hard to let go of a simple flying balloon on that day and that day I think is the same as everyday for me -hard to let go but I need to.

Journaling:
I am not ok right now. You may see a lot of happy posts and pictures of me smiling and laughing on my blogs but you only see the physical side of me. The wound is not completely healed and I think won't be completely healed. And it hurts me a lot. I miss my little darling so much! I still cry every night with out my husband noticing it. Yes I am strong but I just keep my soft side. I hate crying. I hate other people see
me cry. I hate being weak. And this is also what I hate about me. Not letting out what I really feel. The guilt is still here in my heart.The blaming, the scenes in the
hospital, the face of Huey inside the coffin, the crying people surrounding me, the burial and that hurts me a lot. How am I going to let go of this? God help me! 10-03-07

Materials:
Adobe Photoshop CS2, In My Mommy's Dream Kit by Jofia Devoe at Thedigichick.com, Worn Photo Overlay by Danielle at Catscrap.com, Glittery Alpha by Leora Sanford at Littledreamerdesigns.com, Tape Measure by Tia Bennett, Font: Amaze

Technique:
I made this LO with Adobe Photoshop CS2 software, Add some drop shadows to make LO pop. Blended the balloon photo on the background. Layering.

About ME:
I am Diane, 24 years old from Bicol, Philippines. I am happily married to Jun for 4 years. Blessed with an angel up in heaven named Huey. He is my inspiration to scrap. I am still on the recovery stage on his passing but I think I am slowly accepting it. I do scrapbooks because of him and I want to continue scrapping for him. I am a paper and digital scrapbooker. I am also a proud owner of Nikon D80 and I am still learning how to use it. I hope to scrap more beautiful photos this time. To know me more and be updated on my life please visit my blogs A handful of Surprises and My Paper Scraps. Thank you so much!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Healed

Alby says, KAYA!

When I read this month's challenge, I immediately knew what story to share. The big question for me was whether I am ready to share it. After delaying for a few days, I typed my journaling. True enough, writing about it brought tears to my eyes. It was still difficult for me to think about that experience. I debated whether I should share it. I considered other options but I thought someone might learn something from my experience so here it is. The symbol I chose to use is the sunset. While sunsets bring forth darkness, it also reminds me that the sun will rise again the following day. It gives me hope of a new and brighter tomorrow.

Now, making the layout is another challenge. I knew I only have this weekend to work on this layout. I knew I wouldn't have time to do a paper layout so I decided I'll go digital. Last minute, my hubby decided to go to my in-laws' place. I just brought my computer so I can work on the layout. Lo and behold, I didn't bring our external hard drive where my digital kits are saved. So, I had to improvise to come up with this layout, which looks more like a newspaper clipping.

Brace yourself for a long read.


Journaling:

Early 2005, during a routine check up, my OB Gynecologist felt bilateral masses on my breasts (lumps on both breasts). She recommended an ultrasound where breast cancer was ruled out. However, just to be sure, I was asked to undergo ultrasound every 6 months. In 2006, shortly after my 3rd ultrasound, my dad was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was caught early and he recovered well from it. He didn’t even have to undergo chemo. Praise God for that. However, because I now have family history of breast cancer, I had to do a mammogram as well – just a baseline read. Before my 1st mammogram session, I started feeling a bit of pain in my breast. I really worried. I thought I might have breast cancer, too. So, I dreaded having that mammogram. There are instances when the fear of being sick was so intense I would have palpitations, shortness of breath, cold sweats and a bit of tightening in my chest. I thought I would have a heart attack. This didn’t happen just once. It happened on several occasions, mostly at night, while driving alone, or in the middle of the night when my hubby is already fast asleep beside me. As a Christian, I knew I shouldn’t fear death so I am not afraid of death itself. I' m afraid of how my death will affect the people I love. Mostly, I am afraid of leaving Ariel alone. I also feared that I’d have a heart attack while I’m alone driving and I would crash my car and injure other people. I thought about how Ariel will receive the news. Will strangers come to my rescue? When I feel it coming while I’m driving, I’d call Ariel and tell him that I’m not feeling well and if he could stay on the phone until I get home. I didn’t want him to get worried so I didn’t tell him how bad those “episodes” were. I just told him I was having "bad" palpitations every now and then.

Then one night, while driving home, in the middle of another “episode”, I cried out to God to help me because I knew something was wrong with me. I suddenly remembered a friend who shared with me about her “panic attacks”. She started having these after a traumatic experience of getting robbed in a taxi. She’ll wake up in the middle of the night fearing for her life, palpitating, and breaking into cold sweat. She sought the help of a psychiatrist to help her cope and over time, she was able to deal with her traumatic experience. I called her right away and asked what her symptoms were. When she described them to me, my tears started falling. Finally, I knew what was happening to me. I had no idea that I was so affected by my dad’s diagnosis. While I had complete faith that he will be ok, I didn’t know that I needed healing too. I believe God whispered my friend’s name that night to me so I will realize that the fears are all in my head and I had nothing to worry about. I finally had the courage to see a doctor, do the mammogram and even an ECG, and all tests confirmed that I’m ok and I have nothing to worry about. I never had a panic attack after that. I really thank God for rescuing me from what was probably my darkest hour. I finally had peace. I was finally healed.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Do not be afraid." John 14:27

Supplies Used:

Software: Adobe CS2; Font - American Typewriter, Distressed Alphas by Michelle Coleman, Century Gothic

Techniques Used:
Dropped shadow, color burn, blending modes - I experimented a lot and used the undo button about a hundred times. :)


About Me:
Hi I'm Alby! I'm married to Ariel. Been scrapping since 2005 but only got to know about acid-free scrapping since last year. I love scrapping because it helps me showcase my photos creatively. It is my stress buster and my "me time". You may see some of my work at my blog.

Meaning of Life

Cabbie says, KAYA!

Life has many challenges and the most difficult ones are not only curved into one ball but I think they are all interrelated. And so i decided on making a mini brag-accordion book to compile them into one whole challenge in my life...the meaning of life for me.

The Heart symbolizes strength and love. It is because of love that we learn to sacrifice.






Journaling:

Sacrificing for my kids is the most difficult challenge I have to endure. This entails my time to them and leaving my career life. Until now, I still could not accept not working and just staying at home. I know God will lead the way for me.

The Heart is a symbol of endurance, passion, sacrifice only a mother could give to her family.

Aedan's vision made me realize that he needed me more than anything. He has to bear so much but we have to understand.

cardstock sticker- fill in the blanks: Cabbie always wanted to have a small family. Well, she got what she wanted! With 4 superactive kids, her hands are full!

Thanks: for giving aedan a chance with his vision; staying at home is a big sacrifice; letting go of one's career.

Materials used:

colorbok brag about kit album ( given to me by babette); wrmk chipboard; MM acrylic paints and alpha foam stamp ( philadelphia); rub ons -- crate paper, fancy pants rubons, melissa frances; technique tuesday textile sticker; autumn leaves stamp and buttons; staz on; MM heart chipboard; Creative imagination epoxy sticker; dcwv adhesive ribbons; cosmo cricket blackboard chipboard; kaiser craft flower; MME buttons; maya road swirl chipboard; krylon leafing pen; stickers- rouge de garange/7 gypsies/KI family/webster pages/melissa frances; heidie swapp stamp; pebeo fabric paint; stickles; zig pen; abaca string; AC chipboard

Techniques used:

stamping; painting

About me:

i am cabbie lopez, mom to 4 boys. you can visit more of me and my works here i am currently designing for an altered challenge blog (artzdescrap) based in singapore. I also enjoy reading books, surfing the net. i love journals, cafe, tincans too! i have been scrapbooking acid frees since 2006. i am also the co-moderator for pinoyscrapbookers egroup.

Life Happens

Lee says, KAYA!

The first thing that came to mind when I was thinking of a title was S**t Happens, but I didn't think it's appropriate for a scrapbook my grade school KiDS have access to. But still, the sentiment is there - things happen in our lives that may be unexpected, unwanted, unwelcome, but we have to accept it. Just because life happens. And one negative thing is not going to stop the world from turning.

Which brings me to the symbols I used in this layout. I started with a photo of my wedding rings and DH and my clasped hands, to symbolize that whatever happens, we are in this together. That we can draw support from each other and that since we got married, we are like two entwined circles, never knowing where the other ends and where the other begins. So his challenges are my challenges, his happiness, my happiness, and vise-versa. I will also be trite and say that life is like a circle. Gulong ng palad kumbaga (hmmm....maybe that's a more appropriate title). One moment you are down and the next you are up. Because life evolves, and this trying moment too shall past.


Journaling:
We have been married 10 years and I think we are facing our biggest challenge yet. Life has thrown us a huge curve-ball, and you, as the oldest son in your family have to deal with most of it. Sometimes I resent that our plans for our own family have to take a back-seat. Still, I try to be understanding and supportive. Because that is what I promised you when we got married. I know that we will be able to get through this as long as we continue to have faith - in love, in each other, and in God. Life happens. So let's deal! Things can only get better. 3/22/08

Quotation:
"Every day is a winding road, we get a little bit closer to feeling fine." - Sheryl Crow (I love this song!)

Materials:
CS - Fabriano; PPS - My Mind's Eye; Chipboards - Heidi Swapp, Colorbok; Paint - Pebeo, LuminArte; Quote - Deja Views; Adhesives - Saunders; Pen - Uni Ball.

Technique:
I made our hands pop through photoshop. I also used Coluzzle circle templates to cut the outer part of the circle. After adhering the cut-out PPS to the circle chipboards, I cut the inner outline with a cutter. (The measurements of the templates and the chipboards are not the same.) I sprayed gold Radiant Rain on the black CS for texture.

About ME:
Sometimes I wish I were an ostrich and bury my head in the sand. But life will continue to happen regardless, so I just face it head-on and try to make things go my way. It's not easy, but whoever said life is? We could just pray and work hard. Speaking of which, I just started working full-time again, so wish me luck. I hope I will still have time to scrap. :-)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

ABROAD - To Go or Not?

Ching says, KAYA!

Most people think about how overseas travel can affect their life, but few of us have the opportunity to really immerse ourselves in another culture. The big question mark symbolizes the decision, I was facing in leaving my home, family and friends to what only God knows. It was a darkened road that I chose to go abroad, not knowing whether I was moving forward or backward. But my financial situation at home, almost automatically, insisted that I seek work abroad. Luckily, my decision to go abroad took me off the darkened road, with its many risks, to the place where I am now, I can say now I live an exciting and rewarding life.

Journaling reads:
FEARFUL; Taking an emotional step to the unknown, but we know strength comes from
adversity.
EXCITEMENT; Will my new life or the old one be worthy of pursuit and will success come in unexpected ways.

Materials used:
k&Company Basic Grey Sublime Scrap Kit and
DCWV patterned papers, Colorbok Chipboard
letters, Making Memories Brads, Ribbons, Hole
puncher, Scissors edger, glue stick & tapes

Techniques:
Cropping and layering patterned papers
Mounting photo
Punching holes to insert ribbon and brads
Printing question mark symbol
Jou
rnaling

About M
E:
Ching, a stay at home mom to a 15 years old son and married to a wonderful man. We live on the Southeast coast of USA. I started scrapbooking in 2004, but like most, I have more supplies than pages, done. I eagerly began scrapping again when I joined the PinoyScrapbookers group in January, 2008 and quickly did some albums of layouts for my family. I love to make double layouts with 2 to 4 photos each.

Leave childless couples alone

Susie says, KAYA!

Happy Anniversary Kaya!

Here's my take on the challenge. All my friends and relatives know that I wanted to get pregnant for 8 years that I am married, what they didn't know was how i felt and did all these years, I cannot voice it out so I wrote it down on my blog 2 years ago. This challenge is "easy" as I copied my past blog entry. If anyone is going through this challenge, have faith, there is hope.

Symbol: I chose flowers as I know there is hope every time I see a flower blooms.


Journaling reads:
I was married for eight blissful years, I was not giving up hope that one day God will grant me the blessing to have a child. It was a struggle month after month, year after year, I was not just facing the challenges of medical problem, but also have to face real challenges socially, emotionally and psychologically. I had to constantly put up with remarks like,"Still no baby? You are not young anymore." Most often people ask WHY I am not pregnant yet, at the back of my mind, I want to shout, "I don't know, the doctor doesn't know it too." I have heard numerous comments, some of it were below the belt. A religious Aunt asked me if I still know how to pray, oh well, she thinks that not having a baby is God's punishment, and thought that if you pray for something, God is gullible to grant your prayer in a snap. I had never prayed in my life like when I was in TTC (trying to conceive) stage. And the mother of all insensitive questions, "Are you doing it correctly?" It is exasperated answering people that we were working on it.

Childbearing is a personal matter. If you are already a parent, remember that childless couples are happiest when left alone. We do not need you to advise us on childbearing techniques, or know when you intend to have your next baby when we are still struggling for a hit. I DO NOT WANT YOUR SYMPATHY, I NEED YOU TO BE SENSITIVE. Maybe my husband and I had a mission to fulfill to each other, that is why God bless us to have our own time spent together for a longer time, mind you, not having a baby yet after marriage is something, we spend quality time together, travel anytime, anywhere, we can go out at the spur of the moment. I don't envy those who had baby after their marriage.

No family members or friends know about what I have been through, the difficulty we dealt with infertility and childlessness. You can call me desperate who would give anything and everything to have a baby. I had tried for many years but to no avail, I had exhausted the full spectrum of medical science...IUIs, IVFs (note the plurals). IVF is only for the patient and the brave. Patient because the process takes months, and brave not so much because of all the injections you have to undergo, but because the results are not always positive. Your butt and tummy receive enough shots to fill up a connect-the-dots page, not to mention that I always poke at the wrong vein so I ended up with lots of bruises in my tummy. You have to accept and be prepared for the outcome. I've never cried in my life like I did when my treatments failed. IVF drains both your energy and your pocket. We spent a fortune on this. This is the part of my life that has taught me a lot of lessons, how to stand up and try again after each failure. I was holding out for a miracle.

They say if your problem is not having a child, then you are doing well with your life. If I count our blessings, it is overflowing! It is demeaning to complain to God on what I have accomplished, I have a responsible and loving husband, living a comfortable life, nice home, having lived in different countries, money to spend on whatever we need, good health, friends in almost every corner of the world. We cannot ask for more. Having a baby is a bonus for us. I absolutely have no regrets if this was my fate and destiny. I will choose the same path if given the chance, I sound like I am a phony, but that's the truth. If not for TTC, I will not be the same person as I am now - stronger, prayerful, appreciates life to the fullest, and thankful for all the small and big blessings. I had done my best and i leave the rest in God's hands. On the last month that I was ready to give up hope, I became pregnant naturally, all goes well with my pregnany and birth, we now have a happy, healthy, God-fearing baby. People now ask me when will I have baby #2.......oh well.......c'est la vie.

Small stickers text: Winners never quit and quitters never win. No Pain, No gain.

Materials used: MM papers, MM sports stickers, American craft stickers for title and glitter glue. Sketch copied in Becky Fleck PageMaps' book.

About ME:
I'm Susie, 38 years old, living in Hongkong, married for 10 years, with 18-month-old son. Been scrapping since 2002. SAHM with part-time job as a mystery shopper.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Being single and loving it?

Marix says, KAYA!
Happy Anniversary to Kaya!

This is another challenge for me as I was not born a writer nor a dancer *lol*, nonetheless I didn't bat an eyelash on what to write the moment I saw this challenge. I've been writing about this topic in my blogs so it kind of sunk into me so I was able to write the journaling in 10 minutes. I only had trouble finding a photo, not sure if this fits the theme but it captured my sense of free spirit or something like that (just ignore the flabby belly). Finally I was able to scrap it to remind me of what I currently feel just in case I get married someday *fingers crossed*. I also chose the butterflies, not only because they are pretty *I'm not saying I am hahaha* but because they also symbolizes freedom and fun.




Hidden Journaling:
I'm turning 35 years old this year, still single and very much available. Ever since my elder brother got married 12 years ago I have always been asked with this passe question, "How about you? when are you going to settle down?", year after year whenever I go back home for a vacation, relatives and friends and even my mother kept bugging me about my lovelife. Email after email I start with something like this, "How's life? Me? Still the same, single as ever", I point it out before they even ask. My friends are giving birth one after another, a few of their kids are already in highschool and one of my goddaughter even joked that she'll settle down before me. Darn those kids! *lol* But it's true, with the way my lifestyle is going I think I'm more than half way of being a spinster. I know that your partner in life wouldn't just drop from heaven, I know that I should also be taking intiatives, don't you think I didn't try? My dating days are over... for now, unless of course somebody drop from heaven. *lol* And no, I'm not stopping my friends and family to bug me about my lovelife, it's good to hear that they care about me, I do get affected sometimes, all of us have those sensitive moments right? But for now I'm contented that I'm still single, I may not be always loving it but I'm taking it one day at a time.

Materials:
SEI, HOTP, MM pp; KI lace cs; MR trinket butterflies; K&CO, Doodlebug, AC letter stickers;


I'm Marix aka Benga currently residing in Singapore but a true blue Pinay, heart and soul! I love to scrap, create cards, alter and do anything crafty. I'm also a bloghopper who constantly looks for inspiration, new techniques, latest trends and even the latest chika in the colorful world of scrapbooking. I'm a co-founder of ScrappersatSG and currently a DT of Scrapdragon. You may visit my blog to know more about me. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Crash

Mich says, KAYA!

Here is my take on Nina's challenge. I could only think of the accident my Dad & Sister had as the most difficult challenge that I have faced so far. I hope this qualifies for the Kaya 13.

The symbol that represents me is the Heart for love and Wings to fly. Wings could help you fly and be happy and wings can bring you down as well to face reality.
The journaling is pretty long. Am not sure you could post it all in the blog. I wrote the story of the accident. This is the first time i have written it and i cried while doing it. The memory cannot be erased even if we are all okay now. I have created a pocket at the back of the LO to store the folded paper where my journaling is written. You could pull it from the ribbons that i have attached.

Hope you like my take on your challenge.
Happy Anniversary Kaya!


Journaling:
Gilbert and I were enjoying a quiet night in Mall of Asia last Sept. 14, 2006. We dined in Kalye Juan and we just started eating our dinner when I got a call from my sister who was traveling with my dad to Manila. Mom arrived a day earlier because Dad had to pick-up Achi Raki in Abra. Achi Raki was frantic, screaming telling me that they had an accident and something exploded in front of them. There were 4 cars involved. It was horrible. Honestly, I was waiting for her punch line. She is known to drop jokes at anytime of the day. I was waiting for her to say that they have safely arrived in Manila. She continued screaming. She couldn’t be understood. She was saying “my foot, dad, his back, his spine, pick us up, we are in NLEX. Dad looks bad, the driver is okay. Hurry!” I couldn’t fathom it.

I called her up again and she was more understandable now. They had a car accident. Something exploded in front of them. The van turned to the other lane and fell on a ditch. Dad was bad. The rescue was there and they are taking dad to Angeles Hospital. She is going with Dad; the driver will have to stay in the Van. Dad had millions in the bag. We have to look for the check, her bag it has money. It has to be found. Are we near? How can you tell a hysterical sister that you are on the other side of the map and it will take time before we could be there? I just told her that we’ll have them picked-up and that we will be there. When it comes to family matter, I could say I was the strongest. As a child, I have seen so many painful things in my family. Some I have witnessed it. This was probably the reason why God chose me to get that phone call from my sister.

Hubby and I had to leave with the unfinished dinner. The valet parking took so long to retrieve our car. It gave me time to contact my other sister and drop the news to her. I told her that we were on our way. She has to call our brother since they are nearer to NLEX. Achi Mari has to stay with mom. Delay telling mom the news. I was beginning to be so afraid and yet there is a strong power in me that said that I could not stay afraid. I had to face it as I was facing the greatest battle in the office. I had to stay strong for the family. We drove home to Sta Mesa. I called my yaya to prepare the kids and that they were going in Grandma’s house. I had to make sure that Mom has a company. We had so much in our hands right now. Mom has to be strong too.

Going to Angeles was a bad move for me. It would mean that we have to see the crash site. It was terrible. Anyone who has seen our Van would assume that nobody lived. I couldn’t erase it from my mind. My brother & his girlfriend were at the crash site when we arrived. We had to change places. We had to stay at the crash site to retrieve whatever we could and accompany the van to the NLEX Tow Garage. God! They were so lucky that their lives have been spared. They were going towards south and a truck tool box was in the middle of the fast lane. Dad was hit first and then 3 other cars. Dad was driving the Van while the driver took a nap. When they hit the toolbox, dad lost control of the steering wheel and they went to the other lane towards North. He couldn’t control it anymore until they fell in a deep ditch. The driver had to hold my dad from the back to stop him from being thrown out. Half of Dad’s body went out of the windshield. My sister’s foot was stuck by the car seat. It was a miracle that she was stuck because it prevented her from being thrown out. She sprained her foot. The driver had minor face bruises. Thank God nothing serious happened to him. Dad was the main casualty. He sprained his spine. There was a crack. It was bad. He was in pain. He couldn’t move. He has to be given high dose pain relievers. When I saw him at the hospital, he was mumbling. He wants mom but we can’t have mom yet unless we know what was happening. We had to bring the others home especially my sister who was on cast already. Gilbert and I had to stay with dad. We slept on the floor because the ward room was only available. I didn’t want a ward room for my dad especially that he too is a Doctor but we didn’t have a choice. There was just no room.

Morning came and dad was awake. I was alone with him. Being the doctor that he was, he knew how serious the damage was. If the sprain would lead him to be vegetable forever, he preferred to die. That’s what he told me. He even went to a point to tell me how he wanted his wake and burial to be. He asked me to let everyone who wanted to see him be welcomed in the house. He didn’t want the wake to be done in our main sala, he wanted it to be done in the Garage (which mom converted into a nice receiving area). He said that he was worried that mom’s collection might be stolen. He wanted a simple and quiet wake. He told me how he felt and he told me to take care of mom and my children. He explained to me that he doesn’t want to live if it means he has to sit on a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He would rather die.

I quietly listened to Dad and just holding his hands. Nagbibilin na si Dad. It hurts but I had to listen. That was the least thing that I could do as a daughter. When my mom arrived in the hospital, they both cried. Dad explained to her that she has to be strong because the journey will be long and hard. He wants to die but mom won’t let him. We assured Dad that we will do everything we can to make him health again. He has to be healthy again.

When Dr. Benson, dad’s friend who was the owner of the hospital where he was admitted to insisted for an MRI to see the extent of the damage, we all agreed to it. The prognosis gave us a little hope that Dad had a chance that he could recover. We had to look for a Spine Surgeon willing to take Dad as his patient. It was important that they take him. It was only Dr. Catbagan of East Avenue who took Dad as his patient. East Avenue was in the least of our list but that was the only hospital that could have him. We transferred Dad to East Ave. A spine surgery has to be done for them to install a titanium plate in his spine to protect it. The surgery took 10 hours to be finished. They nearly lost dad while he was on the table. They had to revive him. He was their Mega Patient because he was a Doctor too and has an influential connection to all including the Director of East Avenue. Mom nearly collapsed when she saw Dad in the recovery room. He looked so pitiful. We scolded mom for seeing Dad. My brother who is also a Doctor briefed us what to expect. The surgery was successful…. but not for long. When the tube that sucks extra blood from the back of dad was removed, a piece of it remained in Dad’s back. They had to re-operate again to remove it. If the tube has been infected, they had to change the titanium plates. That would mean another 100 thousand for the plates but thank God the laboratory tests proved that there was no infection.

It was walking time. He was a persistent patient. He wanted to prove that someone who had a car crash, punctured spine and undergone a spine surgery can recover and live a normal life. Two weeks after, we were packing our bags and bringing him home. It was after all a Welcome Home Papa day for all of us.

Personally, that part of my life was very trying. I could only get my strength from the love that we have for each other. We have always been a close-knit family. We shared everything. We get our strengths from each other. I never knew that I could be that strong. I cried after everything has happened and see Dad walking and playing with the kids again. It has been one year after the accident but the memory of what I have seen and experienced will forever stay with me.
Being the youngest, Dad wanted me to have a normal life. A happy life! When we moved him to East Avenue, Scrapfest 2 was the latest buzz in the scrapbooking community. My dad wanted me to attend it. He knew that it would de-stress me from what has been going on. Hubby drove me there and we stayed for only about two hours. When Dad was undergoing his first surgery, I was busying myself with a scrap page. It made me sane, strong and it made me realized that Love for the family was so strong that even in the darkest days, the love keeps us going. I am scared still of fast cars, express ways, ambulance and hospitals but there is a deep thought that I have become stronger.

Dad is now back in the Medical field living a normal life! We are all back with our normal lives but that experience has made us a better person.

[Mich, May 13, 2008]

Materials Used:

About ME:
I'm Mich Sonza, married to a very supportive husband - Gilbert; with 2 kids Dominique (4) and Benedict (2). Been scrapping since I was little but just started achival scrapbooking last 2006. Since then I have been addicted to this craft because at least now, I share it with people with the same passion that I have. I have committed myself to restore and document family events. I have disciplined myself to only scrap only when there is a dead time on my hands. Family time is still my priority. So far, everything is just so great!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dada's Home

Nina says, KAYA!

Being married to someone who works in the airline industry, I can tell you that it's not always about the nice benefits like free flights. It's also about dealing with being alone with a four-year-old all day, doing housework, and trying to come to terms with choosing to be a stay-at-home mom rather than in the working world. There are days I wonder what would life be like if I hadn't married at 24, what if I hadn't had a kid right away. But then, I know AR is the only man for me and I know that we took this journey of faith, hope and love together and it couldn't have been any other way.

I derive strength from the idea of a butterfly, not just as a symbol of moments, transition and change, but as personal symbol that I too will emerge to become a better person and mom because of this. I can say I would never have grown so much as a person if not because of my experiences. There's a saying that goes, "Sometimes we need to give up who we are in order to become who we can be."

Journaling reads:
I wanted to capture what it's like when Dada's home. A new SONY digital camera, scrapbooking goodies and new Cars toys are new additions to the house. I realize I can never capture what it really feels like - the gamut of emotions runs from anger, loneliness, frustration, anxiety and angst. This li'l fellow has to deal with his mom's crazy emotions and runs excitedly to his dad for some sanity, as if seeking salvation. I'll never get used to AR traveling so much because of his job. I sometimes wonder if I'd have gotten married at 24 knowing what sacrifices I'd have to make as a wife and mother. But I do know I wouldn't have married anyone else. I'm lucky, I know. But, honestly, I'd be a li'l bit happier if packed suitcases weren't as much a part of our life. But, well, faith is the only thing that makes me believe everything will be okay in the end.

Materials used:
Cardstock - Bazzill, DCWV; patterned paper - Love, Elsie, All About Scrapbooking; die-cuts - Foof-a-La, 3 Bugs in a Rug; stickers - Love, Elsie, All About Scrapbooking; butterfly metal charm - All About Scrapbooking; stamps - Hero Arts, All About Scrapbooking; pen; ink.

About ME:
I'm a 29-year-old stay-at-home mom to 4-year-old Matt.

You can find me at my blog over at Creating in Solitude.

KAYA 13 - Scrapbook or make a project on a personal challenge

As scrapbookers, we undergo daily challenges in our lives as mothers, as working women, as individuals. It gets to a point that we sit down and make a scrapbook page or a project because we have something to say and it needs to be documented as a little part of our personal history.

Whether it makes us happy or sad, angry or sentimental, we have these personal challenges that come and go in our lives, which are sometimes not completely under our control. We either sink or swim but, as the saying goes, "Hindi ibibigay ng Diyos 'yan kung hindi mo kaya."

On KAYA's first anniversary month, in KAYA 13, we challenge you to scrapbook or make a project on your most difficult personal challenge. Whether it was circumstances regarding your birth or you are facing a personal crisis right now, we ask you to share it with us.

In KAYA 13, with the topic of your personal challenge, we also challenge you to find a personal symbol that gives you strength. Whether it is a cross for faith or a butterfly that symbolizes a metamorphosis, use a symbol in your layout or project that has helped or is helping you through your personal challenge. It's not necessary to include the explanation in your journaling, just include the explanation in your introductory paragraph before you post your layout on why you like that symbol so much and what inspiration it gives you.

Deadline for KAYA 13 is on May 30, Friday, at 11:59 PM.

What do we learn from sharing our most difficult personal challenges? We learn that every single one of us has to go through something difficult in order to lead the lives we have. We learn what a relief it is to be able to share it and say it out loud and, maybe someday (if not now), we can say, "I survived. I emerged a stronger person because of this." And of course, what better environment to share it than in the warm camaraderie of our fellow Pinoy Scrapbookers, friends we have gotten to know through the past year's KAYA challenges.

We have laughed and cried through the past year as each KAYA challenge has revealed a little bit more of who we are, not just as scrapbookers, but as real people with responsibilities, families and beliefs. With KAYA 13, we hope that we have earned your trust and faith that you can share a topic a little more difficult than usual.

Isang taon na po ang Pinoy Scrapbookers' KAYA Challenge Blog! Happy anniversary to everyone and thank you so much for joining the ride with us all this time! We hope that our friendship becomes stronger and more significant because of what we share here.

We look forward to seeing your creations!