Friday, December 21, 2012 a journey!

Happy Bellariffic Friday Folks! You might have noticed that I've been MIA this past month. I've been having a bit of a health issue that has taken up most of my time. For those of you who follow my blog or have met me personally, you might have heard me speak about my Rheumatoid Arthritis. It's a joint disease that I found out I had while living in Michigan, 4 years ago to be exact. It was in late fall of 2008 that I noticed things weren't working quite right for me. I couldn't turn the key in the car without my writst being in excrutiating pain, I couldn't brush my hair without it killing me, I couldn't bend over to put my pants on, I couldn't lift myself off the couch or out of a chair. Girlfriends - I was in my early forties and felt like I was 100.

I wondered how I could continue to live with that amount of pain. But after finding an excellant Doctor that treated not only the physical pain but also my wish and desire to live a normal life things got so much better. It took us about a year to come up with right cocktail of drugs to ensure that the pain was gone and I could go about everyday tasks with ease. I've lived with that same formula for the past 3 years and my RA has never been better! I've been riding my bike all over the back country roads in my new town with the majestic mountains as my back drop. I've pushed myself to climb mountains (ok they are actually real high hills that seem like a mountain when you're sitting on a bike trying to pedal your weight up the darn thing)and have exalted in the joy of making it to the top without jumping off. I've learned to pace myself and realize that 5 mph is an achievement and 15 mph (on the hill) is unthinkable (just yet). I've watched the pros go wizzing by as they train in my playground and thought - I'm going to get there someday. Folks - I've loved the feeling of accomplishment and contentment in improving my overall health. And this summer I was the happiest clam around as I tackled Pike's Peak on bike (down of course, but still there were 3 assents and I was the only female and only adult to actually make all three without walking my bike to the top. Now THAT was the greatest feeling knowing that climbing all the mini mountains in my playground gave me the strength and endurance to beat the Peak!) I would actually rant in my head - "I have RA and I can do this". Beating the disease and doing the activities I loved left me with a feeling of elation.

Well while I was trudging along on my bike I noticed some new pains. It took the Doctors about 5 months to finally put the pieces together but not before my new disease took over my stomach and my ability to process food. Yup, the most basic survival process no longer worked for me. I could get food in but the plumbing had shut down and I couldn't get it out. Two stints into the hospital later and we've learned that the drugs that helped me survive the pains of RA have given me gastric Lymphoma. When I heard that an Oncology Doctor would be coming to visit me I about died in fear. But that was a mini-moment. I'm learning to embrace this new chapter in life! I've started chemo and everyday brings "new" symptoms or side effects. My cycle is 3 weeks and I've made it one and a half - pretty easily. I mean I get tired very early and head to bed but I'm breathing and eating again and living life with my family. The second chance thoughts are empowering and have me rushing forward rather than sitting back and waiting. I've got a lot of life left to be lived and I've been blessed with so many wonderful people to cheer me on and encourage me. Which is really why I decided to tell you all about this today.

I haven't been able to make it to my craft room in weeks. As I said, a few stints in the hospital and then the whole not being able to process food kinda got in the way but Emily and Bella crew have been so understanding and have given me the time to tackle the "devil baby growing in my stomach". Then they went and made today's recently added Bella challenge all about me with their "Thinking of You" theme. Dagnabit they brought tears to my eyes. You really couldn't ask for a better crew to be working with! Dana has been checking in on me - and making fun of my Yankee accent too I might add as I pester her with yet another design team excuse - but I think this time I really have the Doctor's permission slip - hehe. And I'd like to thank everyone that was able to participate during this very busy time of year - to send me such wonderful thoughts. Your support, prayers and well wishes have been a Godsend and you are all such a blessing to have!

So, I'm choosing life! I have some things to figure out still and my health is improving. I'll be back to Blogland in January once I finish this cycle and start in on round 2. I think by then I should have a better handle on what to expect.

Hug your family, enjoy your Holidays and choose life too! There is so much left to see and do and everyday really does matter!

I Love you all!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Theme Red

When given a challenge to use red in the month of December I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to color my favorite holiday image - Santa. This is Magnolia Santa and I've had him for a few years now but unbelievably he's never seen ink! I know - as crazy as it sounds, I hardly find time to get all the shopping done yet alone cards to send to family. But I'm on track and taking some time to just relax in the holiday moments. It was wonderful to color this. And better yet ~ it's for a purpose. First, I've been asked to participate on the Oozak Design team. Oozak is a Michigan online company that I've used to buy my copics and my favorite designer papers. Not having a local paper/crafting store has sent me to the internet and Oozak is fast, competitve and convenient. I'll be participating with the monthly challenges through March. Second, I get to send this to a great niece. I'm sure she'll be thrilled to get it.

So, I stamped the image onto my Bella's Bestest paper and colored with copics. I then added surround shading with prismacolor pencils blended with gamsol. Glitter abounds in the fur and santa's beard - just for some holiday cheer. I stamped two additional snowflakes using a Judith stick stamp. The sentiment is from Stamping Bella. Design paper came from Oozak this summer - it's October Afternoon Holiday Style and I was thrilled to find it in stock. I love October Afternoon papers and Oozak stocks them woohoo. The edges of everything were dipped in Quickie Glue and Charcoal glitter. Love all the sparkle to this card!

Here's the link so you can join in on this month's challenge and link up your card for the chance to win a collection of 6 books from Annie's, and a value of $90.

Thanks for stopping by and hopefully you have a Merry Christmas season.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Henry has a plea....

So you might have seen that I hacked Hannah on last week's Bellariffic Friday challenge. Yup, so with her twin Henry, I decided we needed to color the whole image. I stamped Henry with Wreath, a Mo Manning image released in rubber through Stamping Bella onto Bella's Bestest paper. I then colored him with copics and cut him out. I mounted him onto Graphic 45 Christmas Past 8x8 design paper. I know - it's an older paper pack but I end up buying every holiday pad I can find and end up with lots of paper to use from season to season. Crazy but I jsut gotta have a ton of paper. I picked this piece for the santa's in the design. This card will be going to my one year old nephew - Henry and his three year old brother John Patrick and they're perfect Santa age.

I used and EK Success bunch to create the border and mounted hand cut flags from scrap paper along with a quirky computer generated sentiment - "I was nice Santa". I could hear my nephews making this plea as they sit on Santa's lap. Hehe! I tied the flags with natural hemp twine and topped it with a black button.

Wanna see a close up? Love, Love, Love the way this turned out. Looks so similar to my own little Henry. Now I'm off to work on my Tag card for this week's Bellariffic Friday challenge. Hmmmm what image shall I use????

See you back here on Friday!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's Snowing Outside!!!!

Yipee, I woke up to snowflakes gently falling from the sky! It's so darn pretty and it's our first of the season. Puts me in the perfect mood to make a holiday card. I wanted to go a wee bit more simplistic than I usually do but I saw a few ideas in cyberland that had me thinking.

I pulled out my new Bella Kraft cardstock, red ink pad, white paper scraps (I have a ton of these), some red and white twine a red button and two Bella Stamps - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year sentiment and the Reindeer and the Birdie where I just stamped the small pine trees.

Sometimes ya just need the quick and easy and this foot the bill.

I'm off to try some holiday shopping. Enjoy your weekend folks!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Hannah brings sentiments

Happy Bellariffic Friday folks! This week we had a sketch to work with. I've been watching my fellow babes hack the heck out of images and decided to give that a whirl here since I wanted to ink up the lovely Hannah with Wreath image designed by Mo Manning and released in rubbah through Stamping Bella. She was just a little too big for the circle sketch we had today.

I stamped her onto Bella's Bestest paper and colored her with copics then cut her with a Nestie circle die but left the tails of the bow to trail outside the edges. Then I backed her with a red cardstock scalloped circle and a rectangle scalloped piece of Bazzil cardstock for my sentiment. The sentiment comes from the Happy Family snowmen set by Rheea and I just pieced it to fit in the space with my stamp-a-ma-jig. I have no idea where the design paper is from. It was in my Holiday stash and I just loved it.

Always a sucker for ribbon and snowflakes I added those as well and since the design called for it, I also added three rose colored dew drops. This was quick and easy and I thought it could work as a thank you or for holiday wishes. Just what I like, a double duty card!

Next week our challenge is to use a tag ~ either to your card of just decorate a tag with a Bella image ~ your choice. We also have an anything goes challenge on the Splitcoast Stampers Forum going you should check out. It's a chance to win $25 in Bella Bucks ~ perfect for Holiday giving or for presents for you...simply click my highlighted "challenge" link above to learn all the details.

Have an awesome weekend!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Peaceful wishes

Hello folks. I promised you my second holiday card from last week's Bellariffic Friday post. I've been eyeing the Peace On Earth sentiment stamp from Stamping Bella for a while now and finally added to the shopping cart with my last purchase. Here it is showcased with Reindeer Circle, another one of my all time favorite holiday images.

I've kept this a soft pallet using the design paper from Stampin' Up! as my inspiration. Pretty easy card - and it would be perfect to duplicate for mass production. I stamped the sentiment with a sage green ink onto cream cardstock and cut with a Sizzix die. The Reindeer was stamped onto Bella's Bestest paper and colored with copics. I added glitter for the appearance of snow and stitched up several circle dies to layer with Bazzil cardstock scraps. A sheer green ribbon bow was added to finish it off.

See, pretty easy right?

I have another one coming using the Merry sentiment so stayed tuned.

Have a great week.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Woodland Snowman

Happy Bellariffic Friday folks! This week's challenge was to make a Holiday card. Holiday's for me bring snow and a festive down home spirit so I choose to ink up Frostier from Stamping Bella's newest release. I just loved the rustic feel of this image and the not so perfectly round shape.

I stamped him onto Bella's Bestest paper with Memento Tuxedo black ink and colored him with copics. I've used Warm "W" copics for the body and Cool "Cs" for the hat. Shading around the image is Tim Holtz Vintage Ink Distress Ink. The image was cut with a Nestie and matted with black Bazzil cardstock. The dp is from the Jovial Basic Grey 6x6 pack.

Frosty's buttons were accented with a Black glaze pen and a Signo white pigment pen. The vine on Frosty's hat was accented with Viva Decor paper pens in red and green. To add to the rustic feel, I've added real birch tree bark that's as thin as paper (found along the trails in the Catskills) across the background and then topped it with a button with red hemp. Of course, how could I not add glitter right? So I dusted it all over the edges.

Next week's challenge is a sketch. Hope you find time after all the leftover turkey and Black Friday shopping to create with us too!

I'll be back tomorrow with my second holiday card - I had a hard time picking just one image to color.

Ciao for now,

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Posh drops in with Presents...Again!

Hey all!! I have a quick post to share with you. We were invited to a Sweet 16 party today and I decided that Uptown girl Posh has a Present would make the perfect card. So I started by stamping the image onto Bella's Bestest paper and colored her with my copics and then I cut her out. I couldn't help it, I love the way it looks!

So I've had the dp for about 2 years now, it's a soft purple and pink plaid 12 x 12 sheet from My Mind's Eye on Kraft called Life's Stories. I added a little shading with Tim Holtz Antique Linen Distress Ink around the edges after cutting it with a Nestie die. The background is cut with another Nestie and I inked the edges of that too!

The sentiment comes with the image so I simply distressed around the edges again and placed it over Posh's legs - hated to hide them but I needed to put it somewhere. Of course Posh wouldn't be complete without some glitter so I piled that on too!

Hope you're doing something fun this weekend too!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Decisions, Decisions!

Happy Bellariffic Friday folks! It's been a busy week in Bellaland. Let's start with our weekly challenge. This week it was a sketch. I've flipped it so that I could color up one of the latest release images. This is Uptown Girl Winona Loves Winter. In fact she loves it so much that she's skating and sledding all at the same time. Hehe.

You probably know the basics by now, I stamped Winona onto Bella's Bestest cardstock and colored her with copics. The Nestie Petite Oval die classic and scallop pull the image center stage. The snowflake border on atop the blue dp is an EK Success punch.
A red and white ribbon take the place of the vertical panel in our sketch - I just really wanted to add a ribbon. In the lower right corner I added a felt snowflake from my stash and topped it with a half pearl. Glitter makes the snow glisten.

Next up is all the Bella activity - Elaine is keeping us busy on all the Social Media's where your decision comes into play...would you prefer to see us in blogland or on Facebook or on Splitcoast stampers Forum? You've got choices. Lots of you have joined in on the fun in multiple locations, so pick the venue that works best for you and check out all the chatter and ideas being shared.

Last, we have a new Babe in the house. Kim O'Connell officially starts on December 1st but she's playing along and even has a blog give away to celebrate coming on board. Check out her work, I'm sure you're going to love her fun style!

And if you're still with me you might want to know that next weeks challenge is Holiday Wishes or a Winter Themed card.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 9, 2012

New Winter Rubbah...

Happy Bellariffic Friday folks. Mr. UPS man arrived on my doorstep yesterday and that meant I was able to delve into some new rubbah!!!! And you will love the new stamps. They come pre-cut and mounted for ease of stamping. They're even a real pretty blue too!

So with this week's snow theme, I pulled Ramona Loves to Glide. I stamped her onto Bella's Bestest paper and colored her with copics. I cut out a little ice rink using a Nestie Petite Oval die and then hand cut the rest of Ramona out to be added to her skates. With the snow theme, I decided to incorporate paper die cut snowflakes using a combo of Memory Box die and Martha Stewart Arctic Snowflake puch topped with a rhinestone, snowflake paper and a snow sentiment.

Design paper is from the My Mind's Eye Be Merry 6x6 pack and cardstock is Bazzil and Bella's delish Kraft. Glitter adorns the ice rink and machine stitching was added to the seams. For a little extra pop, I topped the buttons on Ramona's coat and the dots of her scarf with a Sakura Black Glaze pen. Her fur bordered hat was given a little extra fluff with white flocking adherred atop Art Glitter glue.

If the Nor'Easter storm we had on the Eastern coast didn't reach you, I hope you can find some snow enjoyment from the rest of the sisterhood. Head on over to Em's blog to see more snowy creations. If you find some time to create with us next week we're back to a sketch. And here it is...hope you can find some time to play along. And I'd love to see what you come up with so don't forget to send a photo of your creation to by Thursday night.

Keep a look out for Mr. UPS man in your neighborhood...your orders should be arriving soon and I can guarantee that the wait was worth it.

Enjoy your weekend and Ciao for now!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cold Weather is coming....

Hope you've had a productive weekend! I spent lots of time in my craft room. First organizing and finally taking things out of boxes. Now that the house is ours, I thought it was time to see what I have and what I've been missing. What I found is that I still have LOTS of stuff that I just don't need anymore. So I filled a box of items to donate to my local Girl Scout Daisy troop. It's perfect for an activity box when they need fill in time.

I also spent time up on the mountaintop today. There were spots of snow hiding in shady areas but it was mostly just COLD. It was the first time I pulled out the hat and gloves of the season. And I rode my bike for the first time in two months. It felt awesome even if it was cold. No worries, I had a down coat on and the fur hood even fit over my helmet so my head stayed warm. The adventure became the inspiration for this afternoon's creativity session in my now organized craft room. I pulled out Stamping Bella's Hat and Mitts. Ya know that I stamped them onto Bella's Bestest paper and colored them with copics. It was pretty easy actually and I only used 5 copics - R39, R37, R35, R32 and YG97. For the fur I did breakout W1 and W3 and then applied Flocking onto Quickie Glue. Also couldn't resist adding some glitter to the mittens. Of course, I then cut them out and popped them up onto Dimensionals. The side embellishment is paper cut using Memory Box Frosty Border die. I topped it with Kaiser half pearls.

Fellow Babe Marybella is probably loving that I made this into a circle card. Pretty easy with Nesties. I used circles and squares to make the base and image panel. The sentiment is from the Uptown Girl Christmas Tree set. I applied it with VersaMark and then added black heat embossing powder. Design paper is Simple Stories Generations 6x6. And here's a quick view of the inside. This was easy too - it was from the paper pack - Woo Hoo.

Now I'm off to work on Friday's Bellariffic Challenge card....add SNOW. Hope you find time to play along!

Ciao for now,

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Royal Couple...

Happy Bellariffic Friday Folks! This week we had another great sketch to work with. I used it as an opportunity to color up Queen Mille and King Milo from Stamping Bella. I can't believe it's taken me this long to put some ink to these two. And even better is that daughter came in while I was making it and she fell in love. She has a friend from school getting married this month and she asked if she could give them the card. I love when a creation can serve a purpose too.

So I started by stamping these two onto Bella's Bestest paper using Memento Tuxedo black ink and colored them with copics. I added some Bronze and Red Viva Decor paper pen for the rhinestones in their crowns. The image was cut using a Nestie die and then backed with the scallop compliment. Cardstock is Bazzil and the design paper is a combination of Cosmo Cricket Tea for Two Mini Deck and Authentique Gathering 6x6 paper pads. The sentiment is one of a couple included with the image. I stamped it onto Bella's Bestest paper and then cut it out with a Nestie Tag (from the Ribbon Tags Trio). In following the sketch I then tied it on with seaming binding ribbon and added a bow.

Too, too cute!

Next week our challenge is to add snow to your card. I'm not quite ready for it to be added to my landscape but it should be fun to add it to a card. And of course there's Bella Bucks up for grabs if you email a photo of your creation to by Thursday or if you visit the blog and leave a comment. Won't you join us?

Enjoy your weekend!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenstorm is on its way...

Hello folks. I hope you are home safe hunkering down with your family or friends if you are in the path of Hurricane Sandy. I happen to be in that path and I must say it was a very wierd day. The commute to work today had very little traffic, most schools and business were closed, the stock market was closed, and the highway was very empty. Alas they let us out early and we've been lucky to maintain power so far. Of course Sandy isn't expected to hit land until around 10 pm but some areas have already lost power. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this isn't a repeat of Irene.

I have another card I made this month that I haven't shared yet. If you follow Bellariffic Friday on Emily's blog you might have seen it. Halloween wouldn't be the same without me coloring one of my favoritist Cristy Croll images - The Mummy, the Witch and the Pirate. They are just so darn adorable. I again pulled the Bo Bunny Apple Cider 6x6 paper pack and Kraft cardstock. Can you tell how excited I am to see Stamping Bella carry this???? Love it.

Ok I stamped the image onto Bella's Bestest paper and colored with copics. I then used a Nestie to cut it out and layered with Bazzil Cardstock. Embellishments are a simple black satin ribbon and Viva Decor paper pen in black.

Stay Safe and hopefully you can use your storm holiday to spend some time in your craft room.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Spooky Stella sends Halloween Greetings

Today's Bellariffic Friday challenge was a little tricky...three papers, three embellishments and one image. I couldn't miss the opportunity to squeak in another Halloween image so I chose Stamping Bella's Spooky Stella. Annnnd par for the course these days, I stamped her onto Bella's Bestest paper, colored her with copics and added additional shading with Prismacolor pencils blended with gamsol and then cut her out. I just love the way images pop when you do this.

I placed the image onto a circle Nestie with a computer generated sentiment flag - that's one of the embellishments for me. Number two is the trio of black brads in the upper left hand corner and number three is the orange ribbon bow.

You might see that I've added some glitter to Stella's dress, her crown and star wand. The paper all came from the Authentique Enchanted 6x6 collection. Cardstock is Bazzil and Kraft - have you seent that the Bella shop is now stocking Kraft? Soooo excited about that. Oh and the border was cut with a Martha Stewart Spider Web punch.

Yeah - it feels so good to be creating again. Now I hope you can join us next week. We're going to make it easy for you and give you a sketch. Don't forget that there are Bella Bucks up for grabs for one lucky commentor and one lucky contributor. Head to the Bella Blog to see what the rest of the sistahs have to share.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm Alive!

Hello folks! It feels like ages since I have joined blogland. So sorry to have deserted you. About three weeks ago I came down with Shingles. I have been in a tremendous amount of pain and have barely found the energy to make it through my work day only to return home, dive into my sweats, take a pain pill and hit the hay. I've finally been able to forgo the drugs to get through the night and made my way into my craft room for the first time in 3 weeks. My word I've missed it and you!

To get me back into the swing of things, I decided to color an image perfect for the season....Fall! I've colored up the basket of apples from Stamping Bella's Lulu's set of Fruit 4 pack. I found the perfect designer paper - Bo Bunny Apple Cider collection and paired it with Bazzil cardstock.

Nestie dies helped with the scalopped square and the image panel (Labels 18). I started by stamping the image onto Bella's Bestest paper and colored with copics then cut it out. I added it to the image panel with a sentiment flag I hand cut and trimmed it with a hemp bow topped button.

Now that I'm getting my mojo back I have to tackle this week's Bellariffic Friday challenge - 3 papers and 3 embellishments - with of course 1 image. Too bad I couldn't fit that all into this card. Drat!

I'm off to create some more.

See you back here on Friday!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Charlie's waiting on the Chimney

Here we are once again celebrating Bellariffic Friday. Today's challenge was a sketch and I've stretched some boundaries with this one. First I flipped it. Then, the center had two layered rectangles but I used a circle in a square. Annnnd I cut the image out because I love doing that.

I started by stamping one of Stamping Bella's newest Uptown Girls, Charlie Waits by the Chimney onto Bella's Bestest paper. I colored her with copics, added glitter and then cut her out. She was placed atop an Oval Nestie cut from Red cardstock and then mounted again on a circle. Design papers are by My Minds's Eye. I've tied the center of the card with a red seam binding ribbon bow. Last embellishments are a trio of red half pearls across the top and bottom.

Here's a closeup...

Next week our challenge is Halloween - Image or Colors. One of my most favorite challenges because I LOVE this time of year. Hope you can play along with us.

And now I'e like to share with you the newest Babarooni...Mary Johnson. Mary has been one of my most avid commentors this past year. I've been following her blog and love all her wonderful creations...and boy can she color!!! Imagine my surprise when I received an email welcoming Mary to the Bella Family. You could have heard me screaming WEEEEE all the way to the UK where Mary lives. So Mary, welcome once again. Now head on over to her blog "Where's My Creativity" to check out her work for yourself.

Ciao for now,

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October Release...

Hey Stamping Bella fans, have you seen all the new images Emily released yesterday? I have another card to share with you using a new stamp by designer Rheea. It's called a Little Something for You. I wanted to go a little non-traditional and used teal, burgandy and green as my color palette.

I started by stamping onto Bella's Bestest paper and colored with copics. She was then cut using a Nestie Petite Oval die and then backed with Nestie Floral Ovals. The edges were sponged with first Wheat Versamagic Chalk ink and then Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Weathered Wood. The balloons were given a heaping coat of Stampin' Up! Crystal Effects so they'd shine and I sprinkled glitter in the skyline. The background paper is Cosmo Cricket Mitten Weather and matted in Bazzil. A ribbon bow from my stash was meant to wrap this in yumminess and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to add a big rhinestone to anchor the sentiment panel.

If you haven't seen all the new images, head on over to the Bella Blog or the Shop to see. I know that my order will be going in today so you'd better leave some inventory for me ok? And in case you needed a little help paying for it all, Em has a special offer through Monday - get 15% off your entire order. Just add code: October2012.

Ciao for now and have a super fantastic day!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fall Birthday Bling

Happy Bellariffic Friday - again! Today's challenge was to bling it on! Ya know what I've learned, if you tell me to use bling - I can't quite get it to work in - just sayin! Same with color, ribbon and other embellishments. Give me a free spirit and I can come up with lots of ideas. I guess that's why it's called a challenge. Hmpf!

Today I colored Bessie Lulu from Stamping Bella. She's one of my favorite original Lulu's. And in the tradition of fall, I brought in some golden yellows, rusty browns and teal. I stamped her onto Bella's Bestest paper, colored her with copics and cut her out. She's sitting atop a frame cut with my new Nestie Resplendent Rectangle die. The dp is Authentique Gathering - and it's stamped with a sentiment from my old Stampin' Up! stash.

The background dp is from Simple Stories Fabulous 6x6 pack and it's matted with a rusty red/brown from Bazzil. Glitter adorns the sunflowers and rhinestones embellish the lower right corner. I topped that with a ribbon to match and made a simple bow. Bessie's dress is decked out with teal half pearls from Recollections.

For a little change of pace, I rounded all the edges with a corner punch. The center mat was cut with an EK Success border punch called Fancy Flight.

There ya go, now head on over to the Bella blog to see the other Babes came up with. If ya have time to play along next week we have another sketch for you. Hmmm, what should I color? I'm thinking - are you?

Enjoy your weekend and keep checking Em's blog - her new release is due out soon (not even we know the images or date) and I've seen quite a few I've put on my wish list already!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Caitlin is bringing on the cupcakes...

Well I guess everyone knows my love of cupcakes...even Bella Boss-lady Em, for she sent me this great image to color for the new release. Yes, Stamping Bella is having another release soon, this week I hope!

Meet Caitlin, the newest member to the Uptown Girl family by designer Lulu. Isn't she fun? The image and all the cupcakes are so fantastic that I wanted that to be the focus of the card...I know I have tons of paper around and I had tons on my desk as I was making this but the papers moved and I was left with the image bordered in Bazzil cardstock and simply loved the simplicity. So I hunted down a sentiment from Uptown Girl Posh has a present and added some red half pearls. There's a ton of glitter sparkle on the skirt, present and Caitlin's hem as well.

The table cloth was stamped onto Authentique 6x6 bundle - Carefree. I found about 8 new paper packs on my trip to Mary Maxim in Port Huron, MI over the weekend. Of course, this one seemed perfect for a table covering and the contrasting bright blue seemed to pop.

I know that the rest of the babes are showcasing new images too so keep checking their blogs as well...I can't wait to shop.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Warm Hugs

Another week has flown by and as the wind came whipping across my neck of the woods it brought some cooler temperatures too. Kind of put me in a hunker down and nesting mood. So for this week's Bellariffic Friday sketch challenge I decided to pull out Lulu's Snowman. I know it's a little too early for the white stuff just yet but when snow is upon us there's never enough time to get all the cards done I need.

This image makes me smile. I remember building snowmen as a kid and now have the pleasure of some pretty cute neighbors that dress theirs up in high fashion! To build this one I started with Bella's Bestest paper, copics and prismacolor pencils blended with gamsol. The image panel was cut using layered Nestie circle dies. The edges were sponged with Tim Holtz Distress Ink for a soft pink glow. The sentiment was cut using layered Nestie petite ovals classic and scalloped. The snow is a combination of Glitter applied over the top of liquid pearls and Viva Decor Paper Pen in cream.

The papers are Cosmo Cricket Jolly by Golly. They're actually from a sheet of 12x12 that I've been hoarding and thought it was time to break in to. The scalloped border was made with a Nestie and it's the back side of the pink paper. The black cardstock is Bazzil and there's some Neenah classic crest white and Kraft as well. Did ya notice the button bedecked snowflake? I made that with a Martha Stewart punch.

Next week you can play along by adding lots of BLING to your creation. Em's got a new release brewing so some Bella Bucks to spend might just come in handy! I'll have a picture to share with you in a few days...we're traveling yet again for another wedding and I need some time to get my creation done. Head on over to the Bella blog though and see quite a few new images from the other babes and don't forget to leave a comment for yet one more chance to win Bella Bucks. If you're playing along for next week email a photo of your creation to

Ciao for now.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

BeWitcheda 'Tude!

Hello there folks! If you haven't noticed, I'm kinda in a Halloween - Fall mood. And today's card follows that theme.

I share with you another image by designer Christy Croll released in rubber through Stamping Bella. This is Bewitcheda 'Tude. She looks more like a kind and gentle witch to me... not so scary or sassy. One of my all time Halloween favorites from the Bella shop though. I paired her with a combination of design papers from My Mind's Eye - Michievous and Lost & Found Halloween. You might notice that I've applied a bit of Tim Holtz Vintage Photo distress inks to the edges to give everything an aged dark feel too.

The image was stamped onto Bella's Bestest paper, colored with copics and glued her to the image panel. I hand made the sentiment rosette - fanfolding a strip of dp. The banner, another Cath favorite, was hand cut from the dp. The black bats were cut using an EK Success border punch.

I thought this needed one more thing to catch your eye so I also added some hemp twine tied with a brown button. (It was on my desk and caught my eye.) He he sometimes things just fall into place that way.

Ok - now I'm off to work on this week's sketch challenge. What to color? What to color?

See ya at the end of the week!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Boo to You!

Hello folks. It's starting to get closer to my favorite time of year ... fall! And with fall comes Halloween. I love to decorate for Halloween. I love all the little kidlets getting dressed up too! So for this week's Bellariffic Friday challenge, I decided to pull out Cristy Croll's image Everyday Princess released in rubber through Stamping Bella. She is the perfect girly Halloween image and I love to deck her out.

For starters, I stamped her onto Bella's Bestest paper and colored her with copics. I added surround shading which is coming out pretty light in this photo - sorry - using prismacolor pencil PC1012 Jasmine blended with gamsol along with French Grey 50% and 90% for the ground. I then combined various papers from a pack I bought at the end of last year by My Mind's Eye called Mischievous. I loved this because it had rusty oranges and teal blues. I little different color palate for the holiday. The image was cut using another new Sizzix die I picked up called Tags Rounded. Machine stitching holds it all together.

Our challenge was to use ribbon and/or buttons, and I've used both. The orange pattern that separates the wordy paper on top and the teal polka dots on the bottom is actually stick-on ribbon by Martha Stewart. It was a pack of fall colors I picked up at a yard sale. Score! The top border was cut using a Nestie scallop edge and then topped with a sheer black ribbon bow. I topped that with a bat button from Little Yellow Bicycle company and tied it with twine from Queen & Co.

The image was adorned with Charcoal glitter applied with a Quickie Glue pen and some Sakura black Glaze Pen for her shoes. The sentiment is also from Bella and I stamped it with Memento Tuxedo black ink.

Next week we are back with another sketch challenge. We hope you can play along with us. There are Bella Bucks for one random contributor and one random commentor so head on over to the Bella blog and share what you think. Ya just never know when those Bella Bucks will come in handy.

Enjoy your weekend. I'm participating in a walk/race for a local charity and then look forward to pulling all my fall decorations out. Woo Hoo!

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Seize the cupcake!

Hello folks! If you've followed me for a bit then you've heard my rantings about loving cupcakes. Stamping Bella carries quite a few images for the the cupcake lover and one of my favorites is Izzie with a Cherry on Top designed by Cristy Croll.

Now I must confess that I cased this card, the design that is. I'm inspired by many things - in the places I visit, cruising blogs, store windows and magazines. The paper and layout design for this caught my eye as I was checking out ex-Bella Babe Jeannie - The Spotted Chick's blog. I really liked the tall layout and the mix of October Afternoon papers which I happened to have.

So I stamped Izzie onto Bella's Bestest paper using Memento Tuxedo black ink and colored her with copics. The cupcake was topped with glitter to give the impression of ultra fine sugar and the cherry was given a glaze with a clear Sakura Glaze pen. Prismacolor pencils blended with gamsol were added for surround shading. The sentiment was computer generated and cut using Nestie Petite Ovals. Red brads, a grossgrain ribbon, along with black machine stitching are additional embellishments.

I hope you'll find this inspiring too! And thanks Jeannie for giving me such a wonderful design!

Enjoy your week!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Life's too short... make sure you take the time to enjoy the ride! That's what Uptown Girl Vienna and her Vespa are doing. Vienna is my kind of girl. I saw Vespa's on our recent trip out west and was inspired..I'm telling ya, if only I had my craft room there I would have had a ton of cards to make - now they're in my head just itching to come to life.

Vienna, one of the newer Stamping Bella images by artist Lulu, was stamped onto Bella's Bestest paper and trimmed up using my Fiskars swivel hand trimmer. She was colored with copics and highlighted with glitter applied with a Quickie Glue pen. The background cardstock was cut with a Circle Nestie die and Fleur De Lis Motifs. I then put the light pink trough the Cuttle Bug Polka Dot embossing folder. I even distressed it a little with Tim Holtz Tea Dye. The design paper is from Echo Park This & That 6x6 paper pad. (I told ya, I got a ton of new papers - and I'm so excited to use them).

The sentiment comes with the image. I placed half of it on the front and then used the rest to decorate the inside...Leslie do you see that I'm borrowing some ideas from you? I must say, I really like the way this looks. It kills me to not color the image but for the inside it's subtle and flows...I like it.

Thought I'd share a few photos from our trip out west too. I spent my Birthday biking down Pikes Peak. This is a view of the mountains from our hotel in Colorado Springs - The Antler's Hilton.

And this is Hubby and I decked out in our bike gear. We had the ride of a lifetime on this mountain. Our young guide didn't know how much gravity was going to be on our side...we cruised down that mountain!

Enjoy your week!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Even Cinderella Gets Married...

Happy Bellariffic Friday folks! I have another non-traditional wedding card to share with you. And in all honesty I have to tell you it didn't come out like I had hoped. We have a fall wedding to attend and it's for another young couple. The bride is a college roomie of our daughters and they have a fetish for princesses. My initial thought was fall colors and an opportunity to use Stamping Bella image Stella's Chariot. Eek - I don't see the image in the shop anymore though. Oh drat!

I had a vision after seeing a frame painted on the side of a building. With my inspiration I set out to bring it to life. I started building the frame using Authentique Enchanted dp and a new Sizzix die (finds on my adventure out west - what's a vacation without a trip to the local paper crafting store). Anyhoo, I built the frame and then stamped the image onto Bella's Bestest paper using Memento Tuxedo black ink and colored with a combination of copics and prismacolor pencils blended with gamsol. I then applied glitter using a Quickie Glue pen. The bottom of the frame was cut using the Tim Holtz "On the Edge" die. I loved the ornate flourish and layered the paper to give it additional interest. I then hand cut some paper flowers using additional patterns from the dp and centered them with Kaiser flat backed pearls. The sentiment comes with the image and I thought it was perfect for my Cinderella gets married theme.

Since this week's challenge was a sketch I had some parameters to meet. And I have to admitt that I loved everything about this card until I went and put the paper, rhinestones and ribbon in the upper left hand corner. I don't know - it seems to clutter it up a bit. But glue and tape were against me and I'm stuck with it. Give me your honest feedback - what do you think?

Want to play along with us next week and have a try for some Bella Bucks? Simply make a card or project using a Stamping Bella image and add buttons or bows. Pretty easy - eh? Don't forget to send a photo of your creation to by Thursday night. Now hop on over to the Bella blog to see what the rest of the sistahs have created.

Enjoy your weekend.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to School Blues

Happy Bellariffic Friday Folks! This week we're preparing for the return of all the kidlets to school. I know that some have already gone back and some are still sleeping in until after the Labor Day holiday. I have been saving this image for just this occasion! She joins the rest of her Uptown Girl Tessie the Teacher one of the newest images from Stamping Bella.

I loved Katarina's release card so much and had nothing but black board images in my head but thought you might like to see another way to use this stamp. My first instinct was to pull red and black papers but as I searched my stash, I decided to go Fall burnt reds instead. I was inspired by the My Mind's Eye Union Square design paper. I stamped the image onto Bella's Bestest paper using Memento Tuxedo black ink and colored with copics. Prismacolor pencils blended with gamsol were used for the ground shading.

Extra's are machine stitching, EK Success border punch, dimensionals, upholstry pins with the stems cut off and applied with Helmar Scrap dots. The sentiment comes with the image and was made into a banner (my favorite thing to do).

Good luck to all parents and kids experiencing back to school for the first time! If you're home alone and need something to do, check out the Bella blog for some more inspiration. Maybe you'll find some spare time to participate in next week's challenge which is a sketch. Don't forget to send Em a picture of your card to by Thursday night to be included in the Friday lineup and for a chance to win some Bella bucks!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Non-Traditional Wedding

Hello Folks! Today Hubby and I are flying to Colorado Springs to attend a wedding. I can not tell you how super psyched I am. I love visiting mountain states...and because we celebrted our 10th Wedding Anniversary last month, we decided to stay for a week so we could explore galore!

In honor of the wedding, I knew I had to make a card. The bride and groom are young and we didn't want the classic card. Yes, I say we because Hubby felt he had a say in the design since it's his family. So I pulled out Arthur and Annie, a Cristy Croll image from Stamping Bella - masked them into one image onto Bella's Bestest paper, colored them with copics and cut them out. I was again inspired by My Mind's Eye papers - this one is Lost and Found Two Breeze. If you look in the lower right corner there is a sentiment framed that I thought was perfect - Today, tomorrow & forever.

I even decorated the inside. I framed "Mr & Mrs". Because that's what we wish for them - Today, tomorrow and forever as Mr & Mrs.

Enjoy your week and I'll see ya back here on Friday for our Bellariffic Friday sketch challenge.

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The sentiment works...

Hello folks, today I have a card with no coloring to share. Now, there is lots of color on it but I didn't have to do any coloring. Here's the story. I was invited to my cousin's son's High School graduation party this summer. I have a ton of girl images I can use for graduation but none for boys. As much as it killed me, I set off to the store to buy a card. I know husband about died - he says I have so many supplies in my aresenal how could I not have something appropriate. Well, I came home empty handed. What I found was cheap paper and corny sentiments and no design. And it was like $5 a card. No way - I KNEW I could make something that was appropriate and was better than the lamo cards I found in the store.

So I used the sentiment from Mabel is reaching for the Stars - from Stamping Bella. I stamped it with VersaMark, black embossing powder and heated with Darice Heat gun. I then framed it in design paper cut using labels 21 dies from Spelbinders. Design paper is My Mind's Eye Lime Twist Fly a Kite 6x6 pack. Mat is Black Bazzil cardstock and it's mounted onto Kraft cardstock. The stars were also cut using Spellbinders star dies and topped with Dew Drop half moon embellishments.

So, what do you think? Not so bad for a boy graduation card. I'm sure you all have a ton of sentiments that can be mounted and framed with no coloring or ribbons to work simply fine for the boys/men in your life. And I know you have all the other supplies just waiting to be used. (And if it's used, it's a free ticket to buy more!)

Hope you are enjoying your day!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Brigitte the Beautiful Bride!

This card is one of my most favorites! I love when that happens. First off, I had been hinting to Emily to release a new Uptown Bride image since she came out with the Uptown Girl line. I knew it would be gorgeous and loved and used tremendously in my craft room. I don't know if she listened to me, had the thought in the back of her mind from the get go or Lulu just designed one and she fell in love with it - but regardless, we have an awesome image to play with, Uptown Girl Brigitte the Bride.

If you've seen the full image you know that her dress extends pretty long. I wanted to show case her a little differently and thought the oval image in this week's sketch would be perfect. And when all was said and done...I really felt that way. I started by stamping Brigitte onto Bella's Bestest paper and colored with copics - E50 and E51. Then I added prismacolor pencils blended with gamsol to fill in and add the additional shading. Glitter galore was applied on top using a Glitter Glue pen. I wanted the feel of a natural silk dress with a ton of bead work. I would never have been able to pull this style off but I sure love the way it looks! To keep the image soft - I colored the hair in pencils too. It's been a while since I've used my pencils for more than depth shading and I had fun playing.

The image was cut using Nestie Petite ovals small layered onto large and then the scallop oval behind it. The panel behind that was dry embossed with a Sissix folder and then I machine stitched it all. A sheer ribbon bow and sentiment tag aren't exactly as the sketch had them but I really didn't want to take away from the elegance of the image. You'll notice that I also left off the surround shading and opted instead for the simplicity of the image.

Next week our theme is Back to School. I know that most of the kids around here head back the Wednesday after Labor Day. This might be a great opportunity to prepare a note for a new teacher or even your favorite student! Hope you can find the time to play along. Don't forget to send a photo of your creation to by Thursday night.

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Daisy Lion

Hello folks, today I share another card using Daisy Lion stamp by Stamping Bella. I love this little guy. He's perfect for circle layering. Last year I colored it on Kraft, but today I used Bella's Bestest paper.

Of course, my coloring medium was still copics while the ground shading was added using prismacolor pencils blended with gamsol. The surround shading is VersaMagic chalk ink applied with a sponge while still left in the Nestie die. I then layered circle dies with cardstock.

Design paper is from some older 12x12 paper I've had in my stash for eons but I don't have the manufacturer name. This card is heading to my 1 year old nephew and I thought the lion engineer on the design paper would tie to the lion stamp perfectly. I love the carefree feel of this ... right down to the wacky machine stitching along the edges. The sentiment was applied with Versamark, black embossing powder and a heat gun.

Simple and yet colorful enough for any young child (I hope).

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cupcakes are in!

I don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods but cupcakes have become the "in" thing around here. There are quite a few bakeries that have opened by us that are dedicated to cupcakes. Personally I love them! They're a few bites of luciousness and then you can move on to the next flavorfull medley. This image titled Cupcake Thief and designed by Mo Manning to be released in rubber through Stamping Bella had me wishing my birthday would come a little quicker. And since this week's challenge is Birthday's - it was a winner!

I started by stmaping the image onto Bella's Bestest paper and colored with copics. As you can see, I then cut the image out and placed it onto a panel cut with Nestie Petite Ovals dies - large and small. I then distressed the edges with Tim Holtz Distress ink in Tea Dye and finished it off with machine stitching. The design paper is a combination of October Afternoon - the yellow is Farmhouse and the green is Campfire. They were matted with kraft colored Bazzil cardstock. The sentiment is also by Stamping Bella and was cut using the edge of a Nestie Labels 25 die. A bright green ribbon and twine adorned button finish it off. I did add some glitter to her wings and mask and some Clear Glaze pen to the cherry and stars on top of the cupcakes. You'd better protect your cupcakes or you never know who will come stealing by.

Next week we're back with another sketch challenge. Give this a try and send a photo of your creation to by Thursday night to be included in the Friday blog lineup and a chance for some Bella Bucks. Just want some inspiration, head on over to the blog and leave a comment - Em loves to hear from you and she gives away $10 each week to one lucky commentor.

I have a packed weekend ahead. Some family from home stopping in and dropping off their puppy for us to dogsit while they enjoy the lovely Catskill mountains, a party on Saturday and a trip to NYC on Sunday to see some of our Michigan friends. Enjoy yourselves and I'll see ya back here real soon.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer means Treats!

I promised you another before the weekend came to a close and here it is! Hope you likey! With Summer whipping by I decided to color up an image that has always had me thinking of summer's treats. These are the Turtle Tots Summer Girls by Stamping Bella . See even Emily thought they reminded her of Summer!

I stamped the girls onto Bella's Bestest paper using Memento Tuxedo Black ink. I then colored with copics. Ground and surround shading was done with prismacolor pencils blended with gamsol. Now I've had quite a few questions about how I add the surround shading. I accomplish it in two steps. First I add color with pencils around the image. There are quite a few really great tuitorials out there and some from my fellow Bella Babes but here are some pictures to help you out.

First I apply the pencils in circular motion around the image. Like this...

Then I add gamsol to my blending stump and in a circular movement swirl the into the upper area and pull out and across. This will blend the color and allow you to stretch it across the white space. It will end up looking like this...

Then I put the image panel back into the Nestie Die and onto a mat.

Then I dip a sponge into VersaMagic Chalk ink in Wheat and start by swirling in a circular motion on to the mat and then pull on to the image to fill in the white space. Move the image around as you go - I like to pull down so the image is always below and the sponge is always on top for me. But do what feels comfortable for you.

And then when you take the die off it looks like this! Phew. Hope that helps you guys!

Ok now I'm off to watch the Olympics Closing ceremonies. See ya back here later in the week.

Thanks for stopping by,