I received an email from Sahrie, owner of Scrapbukan, congratulating me that I won the Scrapbukan challenge. I was surprised - really surprised! - but most of all, I was very happy - so happy that I was laughing myself with amazement from the news (and earned a lot of stares from my Singaporean co-workers). This news comes unexpected to me - I really wasn't expecting to win at all.

The reason I joined the Scrapbukan challenge was for several reasons. First and foremost, I just love to scrapbook - I refrain from going out in the weekends or staying out late in the evening just so I could marvel at my papers, tools and embellishments (which is really not that much here in Singapore - believe me), create something that will make me happy. To me, scrapbooking is heaven! Second, I joined the 2nd Scrapbukan anniversary challenge last year - I did not win, nor did I garner any honorable mention - but I loved the challenge and I enjoyed the process of doing the layout. I loved the process so much that when it was announced that there will be another anniversary challenge, I told myself 'hey!' I might as well make a layout and make it a yearly tradition for me.. Third, as I mentioned in my previous post, how COOL was it that your layouts will be judged by a product founder and famous international scrapbookers? I wanted them to see what I can do, if they liked it then that's really great and if they don't then that's okay too. Time and again I would say it is not easy to show your layouts to others - let alone having your layouts be subjected to 'judging' - but that's a risk you take. In any competition, whether you win or not, the only thing you lose is the monetary prize. But there is also so much to gain: experience, learning, wisdom.

And as in any competition, there are rules. If you don't follow the rules or broke one of the rules, a lot of eyebrows will be raised. But if you didn't follow the rules and you won, hands and feet will probably be raised in the air. I intentionally used the Scenic Route paper because it felt right to me.. Had I been dying to win this challenge, I would have adhered 100% to the rules and easily used the required paper brand. But if in the end if you are not satisfied with what you have done, what's the point in scrapping?

In as much as I want to thank everybody (you know who you are) for the congrats and encouragement in my affiliated scrap groups by posting a message, I can't because I don't want some of them to assume that I was gloating.. So I can only post it here. Thanks guys for the encouragement.. I will try to leave personal messages to all of you to thank you for the kind words and non-judgement..

But most of all, I am grateful to Sahrie. Read her post here regarding this issue. She could have easily disqualified me but she didn't. Her explanation made me teary eyed (as in!). I'm over the roof happy that despite garnering a zero in the challenge requirements category, I still had the most number of points. For someone like me who only scraps out of sheer bliss and happiness, I must be doing something right.. And although this such a long shot, my thanks to Marcia Cornell, Jamie Waters and Joy Uzurraga (if in your lifetime you get to read this - big hugs and thanks to all of you). And Sahrie... Congrats Scrapbukan is 3! I wish you more and more success.. God bless you! Here's a big big hug to you!!!

For the whole week, the top 5 layouts of the challenge will be posted in the Inspirations section of Scrapbukan . How cool is it to be in the same gallery as Pia, Ria and Iris?

Despite this, nothing can rain on my parade... Finally, I am validated.

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