Sunday, December 30, 2012

Is it really going to be 2013?

Hello World, it has been another long while since I last posted. There are many changes approaching other than the fact that 2013 is right around the corner. I guess it is time to reflect on the last year as one should when the new year arrives.

It is sad that I do not have to scroll very far to see the first post for 2012. I clearly have not been productive on my blog - which was one of my resolutions for the year.

Oh my, look at my list- it is very disappointing.

1) Exercising more - did not do
2) Save $$$ - sort of did
3) Blog more - did not do
4) Apply to more job openings - sort of did, I ended up with the job
5) Be more organized - sort of did, I am still a mess
6) Worry less - nope
7) Enjoy Life - hmm, this may be the only success for the year or I at least attempted to try
8) Try new things - I have to think about what I can consider "new"
9) Lose weight - definitely not, I am pretty sure I gain lots
10) Proofread more carefully of my writing - haha, I cannot believe this is on the list
11) Write more often (blog & journal) - yeah.... did not happen
12) Stress less - um, still stressing

So it is very clear to me that setting resolutions do not motivate me. I have to think about it for the next couple of days how to be more productive. In the meantime, greetings from Basel, Switzerland.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Exercising My Right Today

Today is a day to remember. I, Mandy Szeto, have voted for her very first time. No, I did not just turn eighteen. I have had this ability for awhile. But I chose not to because politics just 'weren't my thing'. It still isn't. However, this election did look extremely important- so woke up before 6 a.m. got ready and went to the polls as early as possible before heading to work. Making my selection was easy; I pressed a few buttons and submitted my vote. I hope you did too.

Moving on...

I rarely make a double page layout. On occasion I would if the right pictures present themselves. The way I make a double page layout is to have similar pattern paper if I cannot use the same one. Then I have strips of  the same paper on both pages to share borders or elements. The frames worked well to add emphasis on the pictures and dimension to the page. For a very long time, I had held on to these embellishments about love and wedding events. I am glad I was able to use them on this project.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hello, New Jersey!

I am home! As unplanned as it was, I did have a week's worth of vacation by accident thanks to Sandy. It was really nice to spend more than two days in a row with Martin in North Carolina. I was able to meet more of his co-workers at a social event his department was having. Tomorrow is back to reality and this  blog will once again take the back seat. Hope those of you still recovering from this unfriendly are hanging in there. 

Moving on, I try to  do something different every time I make a page. I am not much of a technique kind of a person. Most of the time, I enjoy surrounding the photos with pretty embellishments. That is the fun aspect for me in scrapbooking. Lots of people are extremely intense with this hobby. For them, techniques are a big deal. 

My big button heart probably is not a technique, but I like how it was a new idea to create a shape with the buttons. I have gotten the myself a silhouette cameo, but I haven't had a chance to take it out to use. I could have cut out a massive heart with paper. The buttons give it more dimension. I thought the big yellow button was really neat as well, it came in a mystery box. I did not find a good home for it until this layout. 

Friday, November 2, 2012


I am in disbelief that I am still in North Carolina. It will be one entire week by tonight around 11:30 pm. That is when I landed last week to visit Martin for the weekend. Funny enough, I am coming down again next weekend. I will be home for a little more than 5 days and then I will be flying again. Other than that, I have been able to reach my parents- thank goodness. Everyone I know is okay. Hope you are not in this terrible mess left by Sandy, and if you are stay safe and stay 'Jersey Strong'.

On to another layout,

On most occasions, I have a title for my pages. But every now and then I would create something and cannot think of a good title for. Below is one of them. I love the circles and the flow of the photos and embellishments. I did not want to color up the pretty design on the pattern paper. Along with badges, plastic buttons and foam circles,  I used two rub-ons on this layout as well. It was a nice soft touch to add a little bit of writing. There was a sort of mixed materials on this page. The commonality was their circular shape.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Missing Sassafras

So I officially got a week plus in North Carolina. Hurricane Sandy, now known as Superstorm Sandy, cause my airline to rebook my flight  five times. I still haven't reached my parents. I hope they get in touch with me soon. Since I have had time to sit in Martin's apartment to do whatever I want, I wrote another blog entry.

When Sassafras closed their manufacturing doors, they did an entire box sale. They gave a few pages of pop up flowers. I love using them because it gives so much dimension to a layout. It also helps fill an empty page fairly quickly. These have also been used a few times for the shadow boxes I had created. I think I enjoy this page the most because the color combination. They had awesome products. It is so unfortunate that they are no longer producing, however they are still designing with other companies. I am sure The nice pastels are bright and color, and soothing to the eyes. The dark purple alphas pop out really well against the pastels.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Typical Embellishments

For those that were not in the path of Hurricane Sandy, lucky you. As I sit here waiting to hear replies from friends and family in the area, I anxiously wait for some news. I know that there is no power in my home town. I will have to wait patiently to hear from my parents and friends that they are all right. 

Have you read!? Project life is partnering with American Crafts. Sounds like a very good idea, I would be very interested to see what comes about from this partnership. I have been printing my project life photos, unfortunately I haven't gotten a chance to work on it. Hopefully, I will be able to work on it again before this year ends.

When I scrap, I notice I use the same few types of embellishments over and over: flowers, ribbon, and  gem stickers.  I never thought I had a style, but most of my are consistent with surrounding the photos with flowers, ribbon and gem stickers. I really like the larger die-cut shapes to layer with the 12x12 patterned paper. I really like the pearl swirls; I think they are over priced, so I wouldn't buy them. I received these in a mystery box from other designers. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Hurricane Sandy Post

Hello everyone,

Hope you are staying warm and dry indoors from this crazy storm. Who knew, rain and wind would close down my office. So now I have time to update my blog. Real world has been tiring me out; updating has stayed at bottom of my list of priorities.

Although my blog has taken a back seat, my scrapbooking hasn't stopped. I have been working on a few things thing during my spare time. Below is a layout I made for a birthday album. Photos were supplied and some had details about when it was taken, so I made it a title for this page.

Some of the details I like about the layout are the background and the title. I made the background with die-cut triangles to make a diamond pattern. I was really trying to make a chevron pattern. I will succeed next time. As for the title 'Dec 1992', I had pattern paper that had numbers on it and I was able to spot the 1-9-9-2 in the proper order to color in with a marker and have those numbers pop out.

Hope everyone stays safe the next few days while Sandy passes through our east coast.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

To Be Grateful

Every now and then I hit a low. Today a quick set of negative thoughts ran through my head:
I dislike how I have allergies.
I dislike how far I have to drive to work.
I dislike how my eyes are easily infected.
I dislike my boyfriend being so far away.
I dislike how I have so little vacation days.
I dislike how small my room is.
I dislike how expensive NJ turnpike tolls are.
I dislike how I get bug bites.
I dislike how I feel fat.
I dislike how I didn't travel much when I was in college.
and so forth...

But I countered just as quickly with positive thoughts:
I have a roof over my head.
I have food to eat. 
I have a job.
I have a paycheck every two weeks.
I have a car to drive.
I have a family to be a part of.
I have an awesome boyfriend.
I have money to spend.
I have money saved up. 
I have my mom making lunch and dinner. 
I have my dad doing my laundry.
and so forth...
Life really isn't that bad. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Birthdays

After starting my recent job, I have met some really awesome people. Two of them had their birthdays on the same day. I made them each a card. I had some cards semi prepared. All I had to do was add final embellishments and embossing the birthday message. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wedding Bliss

I had a special request for wedding cards. Instead of making generic ones, I customized them with the special couples' names. My cousin had (has) quite a few weddings to attend; she requested four customized wedding cards. It was a nice change from making thank you cards and birthday cards. It was hard to not make them too girly. It was even harder to find enough alpha stickers to spell out everyone's name. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Little Boys

Matthew and Benjamin are new brothers. This a recent shadow box I had created. I am always challenged when I have to make something for boys. I couldn't quite figure out what type of embellishments to use. I did find printed robots and spaceships. It is very stereotypical but appropriate for these two boys. Having their names as the title would have been too long. I settled on "Brothers".

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ahoy There

Oh dear. My last post was in May and it is already September. It has been way too long since my last post. There have been many changes going on recently, that my blog has taken a back seat. I have been making things, but I forget to take pictures of them. I am fortunate enough to have the recipients of my projects to send me photos.

This cute darling girl named Arya was the focus of this shadow box. I had received dimensional flowers and I was saving to use on a shadow box. Added buttons to the center with a matching yellow badge on the photo completes the first frame. Girls are so much easier than boys to make projects for: flowers, butterflies and bright colors. In the last frame, the fold up flowers purchased from Sassafras' closing sale adds dimension really easily. I am just glad the recipients liked it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Good Memories

Other than slowly working on Project Me, I have been working on other projects. I still have to start my scrapbook of my summer vacation 2012. I think the summer vacation album will be the last 8x8 album I will make for myself. They are a lot easier to do, but there is is not enough room for the details I want to add.

These Project Life photo pockets are meant to be easy, but for some reason I take forever to fill them. There is great inspiration online; I never run out of ideas. My favorite part of this is the spread of the golden gate bridge in the middle of the page. 

Monday, May 28, 2012


Here is another one of my favorites. For Mike's birthday this past year, Brian planned a rock climbing trip which I blogged about on Michael Sarshad's Birthday Celebration. It was super fun. I like this layout because I tired to have it resemble the rock climbing wall. Thanks to Diana, I have a picture of Martin and me at the top of the wall. Good memories. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Recent Birthdays

There were a couple of birthdays this May. My Godsister and Martin's Mom. The two cards below are the ones I made for them. I can make two cards from a 12x12 pattern page. It worked out well that I made one birthday card and one graduation card for each pattern. The designs do not overlap. I ended up using the pink embossing powder on all four but it worked will with the patterns and designs. 

There was a birthday in April, that I had not gotten to share. It was a card for my former Chinese School Principal. I do not think I blogged about the brunch I had with my old classmates, but it was fun catching up with everyone.

Friday, May 25, 2012

New Album in Gallery

Quick teaser on a new album I recently finished for my Godfather. He requested an album for his father's 80th birthday. I was very excited to so this because it allowed me to do something different than 'about me' pages. These pictures were also all scanned, so I was pleasantly pleased with the quality of the photos. I even received positive feedback from the party attendees.  You can see the full album in my galleries section.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Graduation Congratulations

Lots of my friends are graduating this year. That list includes myself even though I consider my time has past. The ceremony was last week so I guess it did not feel official until now. The first card below I made for my former roommate Roxi. She just finished Pharmacy School - clearly she is the smart one. The second and third one was for my cousin Joyce who just received her Bachelor Degree in Communications. I had to make one for my Mom to give to Joyce too.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

15 More Months

It is official; Martin will be staying for another 15 months. There is lots to do before he starts work, but I am sure we will be able to take care of it all. I am just excited to create more great memories with him like the one below. I am selecting a few of my favorite layouts from a recent album I made. I really like the flocked pattern paper. Sometimes, it is difficult to work with brown. I really like the brown-blue combination. The stitching on the blue circles adds a bit of detail.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Life Goes On

Things aren't perfect, but I guess they would never be. This past week and weeks leading up to it, was filled with busy work and stress. But everything is calming down again. As my title goes, 'Life Goes On'. As I have mentioned, I have been working on Project Me. While most people are doing weeks, I am just doing whatever days are filled with memories. My pages are simpler than most others, but this already took me awhile to do, so I guess it is best I keep them simple.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hiding Things Well

I have disappeared for a bit, gone long enough to have a few good entries for a week or so. Most of them are going to be about Project Me. But today, I will share a shadow box I made. This was a present for my Cousin's father-in-law. Feedback says that he really liked it, which is very important to me.

For the first section of this shadow box, I thought I was clever in hiding the string to hang the chipboard. The pictures below show how I hide them with out taking out any major tools to drill holes. I tried to add lots of dimension to each frame. I guess that would be the point to to having a shadow box.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Gallery is Up

I have been meaning to show my layouts in a gallery setting and I finally got around to it this week. You can select on the 'Gallery' tab in my menu bar and it will take you to another page where you will find most of my work. I have place them in reverse chronological order of when I made them. The few albums made in 2006 were the beginning stages of my obsession for this hobby. Many of the layouts are simple and plain. But I think it shows how far I have come with my layouts. I am proud of all of these albums I have made. Most are were for friends, but a few will be of my own projects. I am embarrassed to admit it, but when you go through them, you will find MANY spelling and grammatical errors. It is too late to fix or change them now. As I uploaded some of them, I realized some layouts didn't have titles. I tried to add some as I went, but I think I had finished some of these really quickly. But I am sincerely excited to have found Issuu to help me display my work.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lent Commitment

I am sure I have failed this year's Lent miserably. During the last 40 days, I did not buy any clothes. However, because I had committed to helping my cousin create presents and new scrapbook albums, I had no choice but to purchase scrapbook supplies. I also had to return my Project Life sleeves because the set that arrived did not contain all 60 pages. Therefore, I had to reorder them from Amazon. My godfather, the former lawyer, helped me rationalize these purchases as work related. Apparently the reasons worked too, because it did not stop me from buying whatever I thought I needed. I haven't been spending money on all the crafting supplies; yesterday, I received another giveaway that I won. I can't wait to create new projects with them.

I also purchased an organizer for my mini spools of ribbons. Originally, I placed all my mini spools in this large glass holder. But I always had trouble selecting ribbon I could and want to use on my projects.

Now I have this organizer to help me see a bunch of my ribbon at the same time. Currently, my washi tape collection is small. When I acquire more, I will purchase separate case for those.

I also received a sweet treat in the mail yesterday. Every girl likes flowers, and every boyfriend that sends his girlfriend flowers is an awesome boyfriend. Thanks Martin!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Project Life - Project Me

I am so excited to share the first page of my Project Life. Becky Higgin's Project Life has the taken paper crafting industry by storm. It is the 'it' thing to be doing as a scrapbooker. Many has stated how it has made their memory keeping easier because of its versatility. I would say the same, but for some reason or another, I take a very long time to complete a layout. So this project has not made my life all too different, but it does assist me in keeping everything in chronological order. I am considering going backwards after I catch up on my current year. Instead of calling it Project Life, I am calling it Project Me. After doing a few pages, I am concerned I will no longer create large layouts. The ease of slipping in the photos and a few journal cards surely lightens the load. But I am going to try to continue making larger layouts. 

This is my very first page of 2012. I didn't really do much days one through five other than wait for Martin to come to the States. But on Day Six, we flew to California. It is well documented on my blog. So the album starts off with my Twenty Twelve Resolutions and the start of my winter vacation. On this first page, I have so many favorite parts. I loved how I was able to find a clear of the USA, so I could punch out a plane to fly across the country in the background. I loved how I was able to add a quote on top of the picture of the view from my window on the plane. I loved how I found these calender cards from Paper Source when Martin and I were down in Princeton; I bought a full set to mark the start of a new month. I loved how my memorabilia can be incorporated into the layout. Is that enough love for you?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Woohoo 18 Months!

It has been eighteen months since Martin asked me out! And he makes me as happy as he did the very first day I met him. The photo was taken when we were in Hawai'i. I just loved the coloring of the photo. They were a nice match to the Miss Caroline Collection from My Mind's Eye. This was also one of my submissions for a design team call.

You can't read the journaling I have written, but it is just a bunch of quotes I liked, combined together. I rarely journal on my layouts, but I find that it is crucial to have journaling if I ever want to be published. These colors are suited for the upcoming spring weather. I am dying for a little bit of warmth these days. Aren't you?

Friday, March 30, 2012

So Many Babies

I am not sure if it is Baby season or Wedding Season. But there are many requests for these types of cards lately. Or maybe I am just getting to the age where I know people getting married and having babies...odd.

Have I ever mentioned that I like balloons? Balloons for birthdays, balloons for babies and probably some balloons for weddings. I have no shame when it comes to taking center pieces home from parties. Unfortunately, I have surpassed the age that is acceptable to fight with my cousins' children to take them home. On occasion I like to think I am a good aunt and is always up for letting them enjoy their youth as much I probably did not.

Anyways, I have made another Congratulations baby card. I use the same sticker set, but I had a different design. Below is a card requested by my god-sister. Another baby boy! Lots of bundles of joy coming into the world. Do you see my inspiration of balloons?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Making My Own Kit

I did not order any other item from Becky Higgins other than the sleeves. Nothing against her products; I am super excited about my sleeves. As for the other items available, I am trying to convince myself I do not need them. One item that caught my eye was these 3x4 grid journal cards. They were not that expensive; it is priced $3.99 for 100 cards. It looked really cool with the grid paper, but it reminded me of engineering paper. Immediately, I thought I could make them myself. I still have stacks of engineering paper. (Apparently being an engineering student has come in handy for my hobby.) I purposed bought the Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper to mimic the rounded corners of the Project Life products.

Step 1: Looked for my stacks of engineering paper. Not to jump the gun, I chose a small stack to sample with. So thank you URS for supplying me with this paper. Now it is going to turn into my journal cards.

Step 2: Trim them to the standard size of 3in x 4in. You can really make them any size. The pockets for Project Life sleeves come in different sizes. 4in x 6in or 4in x 4in.

Step 3: Use the Crop-A-Dile corner chomper- size of 1/2 on all four corners. If you wanted them smaller, there is always the option of size 1/4. Use your creative license. I think the standard is the 1/4 size for Project Life.

You end up with your own personal stack of grid journal cards. And it did not cost me extra to make. I already had the paper and all the tools to make my own.Hopefully, this sparks some creativity for you to make your own embellishments and journal cards.

I am super excited to be finally working on my Project Life. I know it is the end of March; but hopefully I will be able to catch up in a few weeks. There are a ton of photos I need to get through.