Monday, January 31, 2011

I fell hard....

...for Kokeshi dolls! I absolutely LOVE them, adore them, want to squish them! But they are likely made of wood so wouldn't be too squishable.

I am gonna start my parade of kokeshi's with tomiko, miyuki and kaede KOKESHI.

These come in a set of three individual stamps and I lined them all up on my block and stamped it as one image. Pretty clever, huh huh! I think these would also make ADORABLE little plain white note cards just like I did with my pixies last week. I kept the card pretty simple, an A2 size with some white mulberry paper as the background and bordering the main image with some Japanese handmade paper. It is all very tactile!

You may wonder why I love them so much, well I'm gonna show you! These are my dolls! The two wooden ones are Matrioshka dolls from Poland and I think I may have bought the little primitive cutie with the hat and dress WAY back on a trip to Barbados...I'm talking like maybe 40 years ago. I love them all and they live in a cabinet with several other antique toys. Among them, my little circa 1965 toy singer sewing machine that still works! These are a few of my favorite things!

Now that I'm done gushing about my toys, I'll give you the card recipe:

As always, I used memento ink stamping on bella's BESTEST paper. These are the colors of markers I used:
V12, 15, 17, YG25, 67, Y15, 17
YR61, 02, 68, R24, 27, 29, 59
E30, 31, 33, 35

Of course I used pencil to shade around the images, but very little pencil was used on the image itself.

I hope you like these kokeshi's as much as I do! Now, hopefully I have inspired you to get busy colouring and play along in our Valentine's Day challenge this week...let's POUR on the Stamping Bella love!

Till next time....later, Linda

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Life (and rubber) got in the way!

I had THE BEST intentions of getting these posted for Friday morning, but it just didn't happen. Then I thought I'd do it Friday night....BUT I came home from work to a haul of new Stamping Bella rubber so I spent all night admiring them. Then Saturday came along and I took my haul to Pickle and I laughed watching Kim drool over them...she said this was THE BEST RELEASE EVER! For you locals, it won't be long....Kim has placed her order! Then of course after getting home from Pickle I HAD to colour...and that's what I did all day.

So this brings me to Sunday morning. I'm sitting here at the kitchen table, looking out at the snow, drinking my coffee and admiring the things I coloured up yesterday. I have them all perched on tiny little easels with the paper I will use when they make their way onto a card. I have to tell ya, when I came down this morning hubs was reading the paper at the table and I asked him if he was admiring my work....after a couple seconds of hesitation, he said...oh yes, they are beautiful....good answer hubby!

And NOW I finally have a moment to post what was meant to happen on the Pixies, they come in this set of four and I decided to colour up all four of them and make a simple set of note cards each one with a different sentiment for any occassion. I am particularly fond of whussup? with the little pixie hovering above it!

These are all A2 size, stamped on bella's BESTEST paper and coloured with copic markers. If you are interested in any of the little sentiments, these are the ones I could find individually:
make a wish

Now, I'm off to assemble some cards and then spend the afternoon laying on the couch! It's a jammie day!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Wendy!

aka...the 'x' wendybondabella! I still miss saying that you know!

Yup, if you haven't guessed this is a Birthday Blog Hop for Wendy Bond organized by our very own 'x' KarenMotzabella! If you came her via Jodi's blog, another 'x' babe, you came from the right place. If you didn't come from there, you JUST MAY wanna hop back to Karen's blog and start from the beginning.

I decided that Wendy needed some down time on her birthday with donuts and latte (spiced up latte, if you know what i mean). So I inked up one of the more recent bella's, parkbenchaBELLA.

Now, what I really wanna know is how does that bella stay so fit and trim eating an ENTIRE box of donuts and drinking a spiced up latte! SPILL IT GIRL!!!!

Well, now that you are done can hop on over to see what kind of birthday greeting Charlene has in store for Wendy...hopefully it doesn't include 'spiced' latte! I think she has induldged enough already!

Happy Birthday Wendy!!!!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I got a new toy!

A Lifestyle Crafts Letterpress!

Seriously! How fun is this! I had read mixed reviews on it, one lengthy review said you should get a new plate and brayer to spread your ink, the plates break, etc. so I was somewhat apprehensive but I have ALWAYS loved the look of engraving and thought I'd give it a shot. I had my wedding invitations engraved and never once regretted spending the extra money to do that.

I went into this with no great expectations and decided to use the equipment that came in the box and my first attempt was no less than this was my second attempt...the b'day card I sent to my mother in law last week. Ya, the brayer could be better, but it worked fine and I tried it both on the supplied soft cotton paper and then on some hot press watercolor paper. I admit, the letterpress cotton paper worked MUCH better, but the watercolor paper wasn't too shabby either. I'll try again on a cold press paper and see how that turns out.

Look at this closeup, you can REALLY see the ink sitting in the debossed impression! IS THIS YUMMY OR WHAT! I have several sets of plates and think it is time for me to take a day off to really get inky with my new toy.

That's it for today!

Later, Linda

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A long, long time ago...

I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.

Remember that Don McLean song, American Pie...oh my it is a classic and one of those songs that just makes EVERYONE sing along....well, my generation anyway! hmmmm....I think I may have to just hop on over to iTunes and get that one for my iPhone.

What does this have to do with a card? Well, a long, long time ago I took a class with Paulabella and this was one of the images we coloured. Lilly bittybloom is one of my ALL TIME fav Stamping Bella images and YES, I coloured it ENTIRELY in pencil. I told Paula I was gonna blog it and she growled at me so I'm hoping the statute of limitations has run out by now because I stumbled upon it the other day and thought it was just too pretty to leave in a drawer.

I paired her up with some Basic Grey Wisteria paper, a pretty little bow and lots of stitching....and I KNEW I was planning on putting a bow in the upper left corner, so why I started and ended the stitching on the opposite side I'll NEVER know! Well, I do know, I was doing this really late in the evening and I was probably tired. I do everything better in the mornings!

Now don't forget, no challenge this week but ALL the new CHA releases will be LIVE at Stamping Bella dot com on Tuesday and while you are waiting for your new rubber to arrive you can get busy on our challenge for Feb 4th....can you guess....VALENTINE'S DAY! Make something cute for the love of your life and get it to Emily by Thursday Feb 3rd.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Free Form Friday!

And a Happy Friday it is! ...Really, aren't they all!

This week our challenge was a free for all! whatever you want and I decided to make a bright and cheerie birday card with Little Peep's BIRTHDAY CAKE.

As I always do, I stamped on bella's BESTEST paper and coloured with copics. I didn't think to write down the colours but they were likely RV00, 10, 11 and BV02, 04. I used pencils for the grass and sponged some VersaMagic Thatched Straw chalk ink around the edges.

A little tip on sewing those tight rounded corners. First off, go ONE stitch at a time slow. On my machine, a Bernina, I have the bonus of setting it to stop with the needle up or down. So I set it with the needle to stop in the down position, sew one stitch, stop, turn my paper slightly, then sew the next stitch. Keep doing this until you have made it around the curve. If you aren't able to stop with your needle down, you can always do one stitch at a time by manually turning the wheel.

That's it for this morning and we won't have a challenge next week because Emily will be at CHA but be sure to check out the Babe's blogs because we just MAY have more cards to showcase! AND...did you read on Em's blog that the new CHA release will be up LIVE on Tuesday Jan 25th!!!! I'm thinking she did that to keep Dena busy while she was gone!!! hehehe!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

more from the archives!

If you know me, you probably know that I really only stamp, colour, and make cards on the weekend! I just CAN'T find the energy to do it in the evenings because after I have worked all day and come home to make dinner, I just don't have the energy to start anything at 7 or 8pm. So when I do have a good weekend to get 'carding' done I try and make 4 cards just in case I don't have time the following weekend.

Well last weekend I was 'swamped' with plans...not necessarily fun plans but shuttling one of the boys from London to Chatham and then back to London. (it could have been worse though...hubby did the longer trek between Chatham and Hamilton twice!) Why this weekend? So they could all go to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit! CA-RA-ZY!!!! But they enjoyed themselves and unlike years prior when they were younger I do not have to 'live' with propaganda FROM every make of car on the planet! They were more 'selective' in what they brought home, and THEN took it back to school with them! BONUS!

Between the driving and errands and getting some sneak peek cards done for Emily to bring to CHA there was NO time left for anything else. If you haven't checked out any of the sneak peeks, you might just want to check out Emily's blog cause there is some REALLY cute stuff there! Personally, I am DYING to get my hands on the recipe cards and icons! OH my...I see a 2011 year long project in my horizon!

Now that I am done my whining about not having enough colouring time I'm gonna pull out THE LAST card from my archives. This is Mavis has a daisy and I coloured her up back in August just after getting the cast off my arm. YES, I have been holding on to it THAT long!

Although we are getting a thin blanket of snow here today, this card makes me dream of spring so although it is from the archives, it is bringing warmth to my kitchen table as I type this up!

Speaking of warmth...I should have a pair of tall chocolate brown uggs to encase my feet in warmth this time tomorrow! boots make me SO HAPPY!

Monday, January 17, 2011

love grows

That is one of my fav 'love' sentiments and after 23 years of marriage I can say with a fairly high degree of certainty it is true. I think hubby thinks the same because when I showed him the four valentine's day cards I made and asked him to pick a fav, this was it! You know what that means don't you! It's his, and will remain in my stash forever.

I started by stamping hearty grass onto a twinchie...yup, I used a twinchie here! Have you ever stamped on them, they are absolutely a dream to colour on whether you use copics or pencils. I did use copics for the hearts and grass blades, but pencils for the shading. And again, I used the Basic Grey sugar rush paper for my background. Why? Well, it was on the table, and the colours worked!

Then I cut out 'love grows' with a quickutz alphabet called Rollerskate, but I'm thinking now I should have used a more contemporary font. Oh well...can't turn back now! I cut them out on some white adhesive backed Quickutz chipboard that I bought a while back on a visit to the Stamping Bella HQ's. It is always fun making a trip to that store because I always  find little treasures that make their way home with me. This was one of them. Finally I finished it up with some glitter in the grass and ranger glossy accents on the hearts. It is one of the cards that won't be making the trip to CHA.

Did I say CHA? Well, you must know that Emily is setting up booth there in less than a couple weeks and although I won't be there in person, I will most definitely be there in spirit and just plopped a whole pile of cards in the mail to her today for display. Actually, all of the babes will have cards on display at her booth so if you are there, pop in and say hi to Emily for me...and tell her I wish I was there! Give my cards some love too won't you! I'm really gonna miss some of them!

Later, Linda.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Do you like mice?

Actually, I think they are ADORABLE! Rats on the other hand, not so much! There is something about a rat that just creeps me out.

Mice remind me of working at our old office location because there were mice AND, if you've read my blog for the last little while you KNOW what I think of those nasty 'pedes' but my work pod mate at the time, Colleen, had just about the same reaction to mice! We worked some late nights back then and if you know pedes and mice, you know they come out at night! Ya, I can laugh now, but then...oh my did we have some frightful encounters! I'm laughing just typing this...and Colleen...I know you read this sometimes, hope you are getting a good chuckle too! Remember that plastic bug that would rear it's ugly head from time to time? Well, I still have it! You NEVER know when it might show up! ROTFL!!!

I digress, let's move on to a really cute mouse. This is Eunice, a Christy Croll image available at Stamping Bella.

I chose Basic Grey's sugar rush paper as my colour inspiration and didn't have to stress over the layout because this week it was given to us by our Bella team member Kimabella. These are the copics I used:

W00, 1, 3, 4
R22, 24, 27, RV00, 02, R00
E50, 51, 53, 33
YR31, 21, 23, Y00, 11

I did add some prismacolor pencils to shade the mouse but the only one I specifically remember is Tuscan Red to deepen the skirt. I used a colour called sand to shade around the image then when I sponged with some Versamagic Thatched straw and Wheat around the edges I realized it exactly matched my sand color pencil and although I have no definitive shading around the image I was pretty happy with the end result. The sentiment comes along with the stamp and I cut it freeform into a retro shape. For me, this card screams Micky and Minnies house that we toured at Disney in Florida many years ago. If I recall, for mice, I thought their house was very retro chic!

Next week our challenge is FREE use your imagination or take advantage of one of the great sketch blogs out there, but just use a bella image and submit a jpeg of your card to Emily by next Thursday. Let's show her some luv because she up to her curly haired head in CHA prep and I KNOW seeing cards flood in to her inbox will put a big grin on her face!

Later, Linda.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

do you have snow?

We do!

Yes, the banana belt here in Chatham got dumped on last night. Nice light fluffy stuff and with the wind direction, everything that fell across the street easily blew onto MY driveway! Where are those boys when I need them! hmph! But I struck a deal! I shovel and Mark buys me a pair of tall chocolate brown UGG's! LOL! I failed to tell him though about the new outfit or two that I'll need to go along with those yummy chocolate brown UGG's! hehehehe! Nice tweed long gored skirt is in my future! I'm such a devil!

So now that I am sore in places that I never knew existed I'm just gonna make the rest of this post short and sweet and move on to something fun and funky! Do you consider yourself hip? maybe cool? sort of not the traditional mushy pink or red hearts sort of gal? Then THIS is the card for you to make for your better half this valentine's day!

This is a Jessica Rose image from Stamping Bella called row of lamps and the sentiment even comes along with the image! BONUS! As always, I stamped my image with memento ink on bella's BESTEST paper and coloured with the following copic markers:

BG93, 96, 99
YG21, 03, C00, 1, 3
E40, 42, 43, 44
B52, 95, 97

I did use some pencils to add some shading to the lamps, and of course I used pencils to create the soft yellow glow around those lit up shades. And if the base of the lamp looked like it might be ceramic (or glass like the lava lamp) they got a nice heafty dose of some Ranger glossy accents! The sentiment was stamped then cut out with a Spellbinders die, but I have NO CLUE what it is called so if you are interested I would suggest you browse thru the Spellbinders website for it.

As I always try to do, I stuck to my process and after picking my image I chose the Basic Grey marjolaine paper for my colour imspiration because I loved the retro feel of the smokey blue and olive green combo!

So that's it for today! I'll be back on Friday with my first Bellarific challenge card for this year! Let me just say, it is REALLY CUTE!

Later, Linda.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Blooming hearts

I coloured my little fingers to the bone this past weekend and thought I'd spend this week highlighting some Valentine's Day cards. I'm way ahead of the game too so if something catches your eye you will have plenty of time to add some rubber to your collection and get that card made before the big day!

I'm gonna start off with Heart Garden by Stamping Bella (of course!).

I stamped it on bella's BESTEST paper (of course!) and coloured with copic markers (of course!). Pairing it up with the Basic Grey Infuse paper gave it a nice vintage feel so I sponged the edges with Distress Ink in antique linen and some tattered rose. I also added some tattered rose to the pink Bazzil paper just to tone it down a bit. I LOVE the way distress ink sponges on the textured paper.

I didn't write down the colours I used but if you read my blog often you could probably guess I used G40, 12 and 24 for the green hearts and most likely R20, 22, 24 for the reds! I do remember that I wanted to tone down the reds a bit so gave it an initial base layer of E0000. And shocking, but I only used pencils for shading around the pencils on those hearts.

Wednesday I'll be back with something a little fun and funky and most definitely not your typical pink and gushy Valentine's Day card! Hope to see you then!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

How 'bout a cup of tea...

...delivered to you by lovely Alice!

This is a sneak peak of a card for my upcoming class at Pickle. No dates yet, so stay tuned to the Pickle Blog because I think Kim will be posting the dates this week. 

Alice made her way home with me on a recent trip to Stamping Bella....and I LOVE her hair! It was a bit of a challenge for me though beause I had to alter my typical hair style a bit but I was still pretty pleased with the result.

If you are planning on taking the class, or just want to tackle this are the markers/pencils I used:

E0000, 000, 00, 11, R20
E30, 31, 35
BV0000, 00, 01, 02
YG21, 93

1008 Parma Violet
996   Black Grape
1090 Kelp green
1005 Limepeel
1096 Kelly green
988   Marine green
904   Light Cerrulean Blue

Before I sign off here, I'll leave you with a little reminder of our sketch challenge this week....have fun with it and get your card submitted to Emily by Thursday.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hidi Ho Neighbor!

Remember that line from Home Improvements! Oh how I was addicted to that Tim the tool man Taylor! That was back in the day before reality shows when there was something good to watch on TV! Ya, you might have guessed, I am NOT a reality TV show lover. I think I stopped watching TV when reality shows took over, but now there is Criminal Minds! Now THAT is good TV! Oh and of course, Dexter! And the Today Show and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. And if none of those are on the tube, I resort to the weather network, CNN or Criminal Minds on DVD...ya, I know I am kinda weird! Mark has said that if televison became extinct I would not suffer all that much, and he is probably right!

Alrighty, television commentary aside, I do have something LOVELY to show you! This is BEEBEE Bitybloom from Stamping Bella and just in time to get your groove on for Valentines Day.

I could just eat this one up. I coloured it last Sunday afternoon when Paulineabella stopped by for a visit. We were chatting about our card making process and I thought I would share mine:
  1. pick an image and stamp it ...on Bella's BESTEST paper of course!
  2. then I sift through my VAST collection of 6x6 pads and look for a paper that works with the image. NO going back here! Do it fast! Flip through them quickly, pick out maybe 3 or 4 possibilities then go back through those and pick one. That's it...DONE! It took me less than 5 minutes. The key here is to do it quickly and pick the first ones that catch your eye. If nothing catches my eye in the 6x6 pads, I go to my 12x12 papers but I KNOW that will take me longer!
  3. pick out 2 or 3 papers from the pad to use as your colour inspiration
  4. now you have your image, you have your paper, so start colouring. DO NOT think of the layout yet. Just colour!
  5. now I have my 6x6 pad and my image coloured so I will look at my image again and flip back through the pad to see if there is something better than my original choices. Sometimes, I will pick something else, but will stay within the papers of that pad 99.9% of the time. I usually pick 3 papers but may not use them all.
  6. now you have your image coloured, your final paper choices so NOW it is time to think about layout. Either work it yourself or go to the VAST number of challenge blogs out there to give you inspiration. Mojo Monday and Taylored Expressions are my two favs for layouts if I need a jump start. But most often I stick within my own style and comfort zone and do something really simple. Otherwise, it doesn't feel like 'me' if you get my drift.
So that's my process! Before Christmas when i was busy on all my cards I would colour like a mad woman and had several little 'packages' of coloured images matched up with paper stacked up and ready to be made into cards. I also find it more productive to spend a day or weekend just colouring, then the next day or weekend just putting cards together.

Now another reason to have a heafty stash of coloured images and matching papers on hand is that when a great sketch comes along you can just go through your 'reserve' and find one that works well with the sketch! Just like this week when we have a FAB sketch created by our one and only Kimabella!

Sadly, right now I do not have a stash, so that means I'll spend Saturday colouring, and Sunday making cards! And ONE of those cards will land in this sketch! Some of the other 'babes' have already posted the sketch so you've got a good head start! Get you finished card to Emily by next Thursday for your chance at some bella bucks and with a new BIG release for CHA those bucks just might come in handy!

Hope your weekend is productive! Later, Linda.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Did anyone party hard last night, or did you fall asleep on the sofa at 9pm like I did? It might have even been earlier than that, I'm not sure! I saw on the news that they were expecting close to a MILLION people in NYC's Times Square. I cannot even imagine! That is well over TWENTY times the entire population of Chatham!


In my own quiet way, I thought I'd ring in the new year with a card that just oozes with celebration of another kind. This is from Stamping Bella's latest release called sneakysneakybirthdaybella. While I was sorting thru my 12x12 papers the other day I came across these from the Girls' Paperie On Holiday line and thought they would be perfect for this image. It reminds me of a patterned rug and striped wallpaper!

I used mostly pencils on the chair but did start with a base of B0000, BG000 and BG10 (or 11?). The hats were all done using copics...and LOTS of glitter!!! The penants were cut from one of the pieces of DP which actually HAD penants on it, so it really wasn't my idea to 'create' them. Then I glued them onto a piece of cotton twine and adhered them to the card with Helmar Liquid Scrapdots so I could gently push them into place with the 'tails' popping out further than the tops. The sentiment is also Stamping Bella which probably came with another stamp. I really wanted to use Surprise! but didn't have it in my stash. will be going into my next order for sure and I just might gently remove the one that is there and replace it! Yes, I HAVE done that!

Our regular Bellarific Fridays will resume on January 14th and as soon as I find out what the challenge it I'll let you know! Thinking of Bellarific Fridays, have you been to Emily's blog lately? She has been a busy blogger in the last couple days revealing her goals for 2011 and the new filofax system that is gonna get her there! Stop by and give her some encouragement!

Later, Linda.


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