Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ketto Blog Hop

Welcome to my blog! 
This is the Stampng Bella Ketto Blog Hop. If this is your first stop, click here to begin your journey on the Stamping Bella Blog. If you started at Stamping Bella, you should have come to me from Paula. If not, click here to begin.

If you're like me, your crafting table is overflowing with things that need to be at hand just in case you need them! I have a desk caddy that holds pens, scissors, adhesives, etc. I needed a bit more tabletop storage, but I wanted something cute and me. So for this blog hop, I made my own caddy using my favorite Ketto, Wasabi:
I used a pail from Stampendous. I stamped Wasabi Ketto's Flowers on the background with Versamark, then embossed them with CTMH's Pansy Purple Embossing Powder. I added Lilac Shimmerz to the flower petals. I colored Wasabi Ketto with Copics and Copic Spicas. I added some bling to her kimono with Lilac Shimmerz, dabbed some Pearlescent Black chalk along the edges, then triple-matted her with CTMH Petal, Pansy Purple, and Black. On the back, I added a sentiment from CTMH's Kanji Phrases. I chose this particular phrase because stamping does, indeed, bring me much happiness! I adhered it all to the inside of the pail. Here's a view of the back:
On the outside, I added Prima Daisy Doodles, with Bella's Solid Black Dots as their centers. I tied a triple-layered bow of black, amethyst, and lavender silk ribbon. And just when I thought I was done, my sweet Bella Sistah, Janie, sent me some Lavender Colorbox Rhinestones. (Thank you, Janie!) They added the perfect final touch as the centers of my embossed flowers. 
So, can you tell that I love purple and bling, especially blingy purple? LOL

Now for some fun news! There's a prize hidden somewhere along the hop: a $40 gift voucher to Stamping Bella! One of the blogs along the hop has been chosen as the "prize" blog. The owner of this blog will randomly choose a winner from those who leave comments on her blog. So be sure to comment on every blog so that you have a chance to win! The winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck and Happy Hopping!

Click here to move on to Emily's blog, which is the next stop along the Ketto Blog Hop. Enjoy!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lady Owlie Has News

This is Lady Owlie and Her Sign by Tiddly Inks for Stamping Bella. I love the versatility of this stamp~you can put anything on her sign. She's fun to color, too! I made this for this week's Bellariffic Friday Sketch Challenge, which you can see here. (Click here to see my supply list.)
Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Such a Hoot!

This week, Hope's Bella's Twisted Challenge challenge (BTC5 on SCS) was to use brown and orange, and to make a non-rectangular card. I taught 3rd grade, so I do know that a square in technically a rectangle. But I don't teach 3rd grade anymore, so I can pretend that my square card is, indeed, non-rectangular. LOL I used Branching Out Owlies by Tiddly Inks. Isn't this stamp adorable? I also played with embossing, which is a new technique for me. I tend to be really messy with glitter and embossing powder~messy as in I look like a 3rd grader when I'm done because the glitter and embossing powder are literally everywhere, like in my hair, my eyebrows, my nose, my floors and walls, etc. (So the title can refer to the card, or to the visual image you now have of me using glitter and embossing powder.) Alas, my friends Hope and Christy have inspired me to break out of my rectangular comfort zone and try new things! So I've been practicing, but I am still a 3rd grader at heart. :) 
(Click here to see my supply list.)
Thanks for another fun challenge, Hope! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kickin' Back

This week's Corrosive Challenge by Janet was to use black, red, and either kraft or white. I used Daydreamabella by Stamping Bella. Thanks, Janet~this was a great color combo! (Click here to see my supply list.)


These Shoes Were Made for Dancin'

In case you don't already know, we are having a Ketto Blog Hop in the SCS Stamping Bella forum this Saturday, May 30th, 10 AM central time. The only requirement is that you make something using a stamp from Stamping Bella's Ketto line. Come join the fun!

In anticipation, I have been playing with my Kettos, trying to decide which one to use for the blog hop. It was a tough decision! I'll be posting the "extras" here throughout the week. Here's Flamenca Ketto. I love the fringe across the top!
(You can see my supply list here.)
Can you tell that I've been practicing with the glitter? This time, I managed to use it like a grown-up instead of like an 8-year-old. I only had a teensy bit stuck to my face and hair! LOL
Thanks again for the glitter, Hope~I am having so much fun with it! Flamenca thanks you, too. 

Monday, May 25, 2009

So So Much!

When I ask Emma (my two-year-old grand-daughter) how much she loves me, she raises her hands above her head and squeals, "SO SO MUCH!" Yes, I ask her about a dozen times a day!

I asked my sweet and mega-talented friend, Christy Croll (aka Tiddly Inks) to make a stamp for me of Emma playing the "So So Much!" game. I am so delighted with the results! I LOVE IT! (You can view my supply list here.)
The words are separate, so I can move them around or put something else, or nothing at all, in her hands. Is this not the cutest stamp ever? Check out Christy's Tiddly Inks store here. She has so many fabulous things that you won't be able to resist! 

Thank you, Christy~you made this old grandma do the happy dance So So Much! LOL

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dollywood

Dollywood, as in Japanese kokeshi dolls made from wood~not the Dolly Parton theme park! My sweet friend, Christy, lives on Okinawa. A few months ago, Christy surprised me with the gift of a kokeshi doll and keychain. Those girls needed friends! I sent her a "kokeshi slush fund," and asked her to be my personal shopper. Thankfully, kokeshi dolls are relatively inexpensive, so my fund went a long, long way! On Thursday, I received my second group of dolls. (Click here to see the first group.) I am so delighted with them! I told Christy that I can't pick a favorite! I took photos of them, but I'm having some camera/computer issues (sigh). Christy kindly let me use the photos she took of them before she mailed them. (Thanks, Christy!)

This was the first one I opened. The moon and the cranes are hand carved. In Japan, the crane is considered a national treasure. She is a beautiful cherry-wood red, which matches my office furniture. I love the tiny little details in the carvings, right down to the teeny tiny eyes on the cranes. Isn't she pretty? Her hair is exquisitely shiny! 
Next, I opened these precious ones. I asked Christy to buy a little girl with daisies if she ever came across one. Emma's room is decorated with daisies and ladybugs, so I wanted one that would always remind me of Emma. She found these at the same time, and couldn't decide between them~so she bought both. I love the bow and umbrella on the first one. She has painted daisies and even has red tones in her hair. And the expression on her face is so sweet! But I love the carved daisies and the white hair on the other one. I haven't seen many with white hair~it's very unique and very pretty. I am so glad she bought both of them. I wouldn't have been able to choose, either.
This one was next. She immediately took my breath away! She has maple leaves, which will always remind me of living in New England. Her leaves are painted but have a 3-D effect. The main color is a very pretty orange, so representative of the autumn colors. Christy, you and Lee need to come visit me some October so that you can see these leaves IRL!
Then I opened this one. She is gorgeous! Apparently purple is a color rarely used on kokeshi dolls. (So of course that has to be favorite color.) When you look closely at her flowers, they look like hydrangeas, which I love! Her hair is really pretty and hangs down her back. And get this: she's musical! She twirls around as the music plays. No wonder she has such a delighful look on her face~she's a dancing kokeshi doll! 
Finally, I opened the grandma and grandpa dolls, which I had also asked Christy to find for me. They are so cute, they make me giggle! The goatee on Grandpa is so apropos~it looks just like Rick's! Hey, I figure that we should celebrate our roles as grandparents. That means I needed these dolls! LOL 
Christy also sent along this beautiful card for me. Of course, all of her cards are beautiful, but this one gets to be mine. :)
So here are all of my kokeshi girls, hangin' out and havin' fun, especially when the musical one gets the party going! 
Now, I couldn't ask Christy to be my personal shopper without thanking her in a special way. She gave me my very first koskehi doll, and it will always remind me of her. So I asked her to choose one for herself as a gift from me. This is the one she chose. Isn't she pretty? I like her shape and her bobbed hair.
Christy, thank you for doing such a wonderful job shopping for me! I truly love them all! Did you notice that I moved my Red Sox stuff? That should tell you how much I love them! 

Friday, May 22, 2009

Uptown Girl

Janet issued an awesome challenge this week: her theme was "Rock Music." Well, I have been a Billy Joel fan for 30 years. (Yes, I really am THAT old! LOL) My first Billy Joel concert was when I was seven months pregnant with Brittany. Yes, our seats were in the very top row. Yes, I had to use the ladies room every twenty minutes. Yes, I finally gave up and just sat on the bottom stair. And yes, Brittany is now a Billy Joel fan, too! A few years ago, the kids bought Rick two tickets to see Billy Joel. Thankfully, Rick chose to take me. :) Let me tell you, Billy Joel can still rock and roll! It was the best concert we have ever attended!

Anyway, I knew I had to make a card for this challenge based on a Billy Joel song. Is this Bella (ipodabella) not the perfect "Uptown Girl?" (Click here to se my supply list.

Janet, thanks for a fun challenge!

Classy and Fabulous

Em provided a great sketch for this week's Bellariffic Friday Challenge. Here's my interpretation of it:
(Click here to see my supply list.) 

This stamp (Peekaboobella by Stamping Bella) totally reminds me of my mother. I well remember her silk stockings~the kind that required garters. Although I never saw her in it, I know she had a corset (or the 50's version called a girdle). In fact, there's some funny story about a small-claims lawsuit and my father parading her defective corset through the courtroom. Yes, she's gonna kill me. But she won't see me until August, and maybe she'll forgive by then, right Mom? I love you!
Anyway, my mother really is classy and fabulous. This is one of my favorite old photos of my parents and my dad's mom, taken in the mid-1950s. I am sure she was wearing those silk stockings, but I doubt she needed a corset. Look at her!
She is still beautiful, still classy, still fabulous!
Love you, Mom~see you soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Show Us Your Stuff!

That's the title of this week's Bella's Twisted Challenge by Hope. Her challenge was to decorate the inside of the card to match the outside of the card. I had so much fun doing this, but please don't ask how many tries it took!  It was one of those stamping days. I kept flubbing the sentiments. Still asking? Okay, I'll tell you~I stamped them 13 times! Wearing my glasses may have helped. I finally thought of that after flubbing 12 times. Yup, grandma brain~that's my story and I'm stickin' to it! LOL So here is the card front:
It flips open from bottom to top. Here's the inside:
I made a larger version of the butterfly from the card front, and I stamped the English translation of the Japanese Kanji phrase. I like that you can still see the Kanji phrase and the small flowers when you flip it open. The sentiments are the CTMH Kanji Phrases. The images are Wasabi Ketto and Papillon Ketto by Stamping Bella. I used CTMH's Pansy Purple and Sweet Leaf cardstock.

Thanks for a fun challenge, Hope!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tea for Two and Two for Tea...

For Mother's Day, Brittany made this beautiful card and invitation for a traditional afternoon tea. She used JavaBuggs (by Tiddly Inks for Stamping Bella).
The Teapot Cafe in Boxborough, MA shares a building with a the cutest quilting shop! We went early so I could browse. The shop sells some of the prettiest quilt kits for wall banners. Brittany chose one that I am going to make for her birthday, and I found a pretty one with tulips for my bedroom. I'll post those when I make them. 
And then there was the tea. And the finger sandwiches. And the mini pastries. And the scones with clotted cream. I don't know how many Weight Watchers points it all cost me, but it was worth every one of them! 
Thank you, Brittany~I had a delightful time! I love you, and I am so blessed to be your mother. You bring so much joy to my life!
And yes, I really do have dimples. My father always liked them, so when I see a photo of myself with my dimples showing, I always think of him. Love and miss you, Daddy!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Best Buggs Forever

You know how much I love the HuggABuggs by Tiddly Inks! Here's one of her new ones. Isn't this simply the cutest? Hey, Christy~maybe they can be you and me! Can you guess which one I am? LOL (Click here to see the supply list.)

This card if for CCBJ11. Thanks for a fun sketch, Janet!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Daisies and Ladybugs, Ladybugs and Daisies...

Yup, I've got a thing for them. Before Brittany knew that she was having a girl, she asked me if I would design and make a custom crib quilt. If it was girl, she wanted daisies and ladybugs. If it was a boy, she wanted a Red Sox theme. You know how much I LOVE the Red Sox, but I must admit that I was thrilled to get to play with daisies and ladybugs! This is what I came up with for Emma's room. The quilt background is actually cut from one of her crib sheets. It's light green with white polka dots. I designed it (and bought extra fabric) so that it can become the centerpiece for a twin or full-sized bed quilt when she graduates from her crib. I also made some extra little pieces to hang on the wall above her crib.
So imagine my squealing-like-a-little-girl delight when I saw this new spring Tilda! She hit my cart in record time! I made this card front to match Emma's room. I think I'll hang it on Emma's matching ribbon board.
I can't wait to color her with different colors. So if you all start getting ladybug Tilda cards from me, you'll know why! LOL

Have an awesome weekend!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sittin' on Top of the World...

For this week's Bellariffic Friday challenge (www.stampingbella.com), Emily asked us to use gold and bling~what fun! I used this delightful new Tiddly Inks stamp called Altee'tude. The paper is CTMH's Key to My Heart. 
I love her shimmery sleeves and her hat! They remind me of my favorite movie, Hello Dolly. What can I say? My parents instilled in me a love for those old time musicals! I love the old Judy Garland musicals, too: The Harvey Girls, Meet Me in St. Louis, Easter Parade, etc. And how can a girl not love those beautiful dresses and hats? Though I am thankful that I don't have to wear those heavy dresses or feathers and fake fruit on my head. LOL

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Simple Pleasures

For this week's Bella's Twisted Challenge (BTC3), Hope asked us to use any blue and any yellow. The twist was that we couldn't use designer paper. That was truly a challenge for me, as I love DP! This was another fun challenge, Hope~thank you!

The CTMH cardstock has a white core. After I ran the blue through the Cuttlebug in embossing folders, I lightly sanded the embossed surface. This exposed the white core beneath the color. I like the effect. Of course, I had to add some bling! I went for two different colors of Stickles and some Bella's dots. (For a list of supplies, click here.)

As I strolled through The Boston Garden last weekend (see the following post), I was reminded of the pleasure to be found in simple things: duck families, cherry blossom trees, the sounds of birds singing and of children laughing, the joy that the scent of a single flower can bring, the simplicity of the startling beauty of a tulip. May you take a moment or two today to enjoy one of life's simpler things. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Come Tiptoe Through The Tulips With Me...

The Boston Garden is one of my favorite places. Did you know that it was the first public garden in the country? That's one of the cool things about Boston~it hosts many of this country's "firsts." Everyone knows how beautiful the famed New England autumns are. Springtime is almost as gorgeous, especially in The Boston Garden. That's where Rick, Brittany, Emma, and I spent Saturday afternoon. 

I don't know why I have a thing for taking photos through tree branches, but I do. It must be  because I like the lighting effects and cool angles I can find. This one is of the Customs Tower in downtown Boston. It was my favorite branch shot of the day.
The cherry trees, pansies, and tulips in The Boston Garden were in full bloom~a palette for the eyes and soul!





Emma loved walking on the "special sidewalks."
Make Way for Ducklings is a famous children's book written by Robert McCloskey in 1941. It won the Caldecott Medal in 1942, and has sold over 2 million copies! It tells the story of a pair of Mallard ducks who raise their family on an island in The Boston Garden's lagoon. If you have ever been to Boston, it really is a must read! Here is the island feautured in the book, inhabited my numerous ducks and their families.
Emma enjoyed pointing out the mama ducks and their ducklings.
The city added bronze statues of Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings, depicting an illustration from the book. Every child who walks through the garden feels compelled to sit on the statues. Some of the adults do, too~but I played nicely and let the real kids enjoy them. :)
The infamous Swan Boats give you a short ride across the lagoon, circling the tiny island. They were closed when we got there, so we definitely have to go back!
 This is my favorite photo~the three girls and the purple tulips!
I love the expressions in this photo! Emma is having the time of her life, and Rick is thinking, "You're STILL taking photos?" This was literally my 137th photo of the day! LOL
We didn't actually tiptoe through any tulips~though at one point Emma did fall into one of the tulip beds, so does that count? Either way, Tiny Tim's rendition of "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" is gonna be playing in my mind for days!