Monday, February 29, 2016

Mama Bear, Papa Bear and Baby Bear....and a Whole Lot of Sweetness

I recently visited a nice little LSS not to far form where I live.
I do most of my crazy shopping on line...and the truth is...after decades of creating with paper and stamps...I no longer feel the need to go to the "big" name craft stores..
I have my favorite web sites
and ...I am dedicated to them.

I am also all about supporting small business owners....
whether it be a small business on line...or a small business right here in my own town.
So taking a ride to this little scrap shop was something I have been wanting to do since it opened
not long ago.

I found lots of nice things in that shop that day...
and this stamp set from Mama Elephant was the one stamp.die duo that I bought
I did buy oodles and oodles of paper....of course! 
Me? Buying oodles of Paper?

This stamp set is just so sweet...
the images are sweet...
the sentiments are even sweeter.
and...while I succumbed to the sweetness overload...
I got carried away making cards with the stamps and dies.
and....the images and the sentiments make them perfect for Mother's Day and Father's Day.

I paired the stamps from the set with some Kiwi Lane templates..
for a change of pace...and to bring some new lines to my cards...
I like to work with Kiwi Lane templates every so often.
I Binge on them every once in a while.
Because, as I mentioned...they bring more to a card that a straight line
or a die cut shape.
But the big attraction for me is....
that I find that I REALLY use a 6x6 pad of paper almost to completion...
and I LOVE the fact that when working with Kiwi lane...
you NEED to be bold...
and a paper pattern risk taker.
It's not unusual when using KL to mix 3-4 coordinating paper patterns and colors  on one card. works!

So these are the cards that I created with the Mama Elephant stamp and die duo
and some Kiwi Lane templates
I grabbed a pad of 6x6 form my stash that had colors and prints that felt happy...
But..I never paid attention to "who" makes the pad..
So.. you won't find that info in the supply last below.

Alrighty it's time to take a look at these cuties..
the heart-touching sentiments..
They are all, the epitome of sweet...

I was only going to post 2 of each of the stamps that I used...
but there all so cute...
and I wanted to show you how the mixing of multiple different paper patterns 
from the same pad  
(There's one more image in the set..also very sweet....I haven't inked it up....yet) we go....
Mama, Papa and Baby Bear

Oh..I almost forgot to tell you something...
I DID NOT want to color...and I DIDN'T want a traditional looking bear (i.e. brown)
and so I stamped the bear images out on bright, happy card stock colors
Listen up people...
This may be a new trend for me..
You heard it here first 
THIS is one of my fave things to do..
and I have a strong suspicion that I will be doing this often...
Stamp and image on colored card stock
and working it into the color palette of the card.
And.does a sentiment get any sweeter and send out more love than this

Look at those cute little tails on their chubby little butts.
And look!
They're holding hands!
...and the little bay bear is looking up at the mama bear.
I am on sweetness overload.
Hearts are floating out of my eyeballs as I look at this...

And if that wasn't enough sweetness....look at that teeny tiny little heart...

This paper makes this card masculine....
How do you like the Papa and Baby in red?
I didn't use a die for the sentiment banners...they're so easy to cut by hand...
I'm so glad that the banner trend is still going strong..
I LOVE them for sentiments on card fronts.

Love on the outside of the card...and love on the side...

Another masculine card...
Look at the smooth lines and layering 
Thanks Kiwi lane!

Uber sweet
Uber cute.
This one also has  I love You inside with the heart

Time for hearts come flying out of my eyeballs again...
Look at these 2!
Mama and Baby sharing a......BEAR HUG
(Alas...the image that portray the name of the stamp set....BEAR HUGS)


This one also has I Love You inside...with that tiny little heart....
Sweetness overload!!

So what do you think?
I say Yes!
Sweetness galore!
and...I have a feeling that this may be my first Mama Elephant stamp set...
But it definitely won't be my last!

Card Loving friends: All of these cuties are available now in the Bellissima card Shop HERE.
LOCAL FRIENDS...If you plan on picking up your card purchase...don't forget to use coupon code LOCALPICKUP at that shipping charges won't be applied.

Card making friends: You'll fin a simple and basic supply list below. You already know the I won't include that info

Thanks for visiting....
Now it's time to give someone that you love a big bear hug! 

Supply list:
Paper: SU and PTI card stock....(print unknown..sorry)
Ink: SU
Other: Kiwi Lane Templates, SU Candy Dots

Sunday, February 28, 2016

WW = Water Color Withdrawal

I don't know...
What has it been?
Maybe 4 days since I've water colored?
Remember the other day when I posted about retiring my brushes for a bit?
That didn't last too long.
After that moment of insanity (re: putting the brushes away)
and making hollow promises about using "other things" for a while...
I crumbled
I couldn't take another day without water coloring...
I missed it too much.
I needed to water color.

My moment of weakness all started when I opened one of my stamp drawers
to look for a particular stamp set.
And there it was..
Right in front of my eyes...
It spoke to me....
"Take me out...Take me out"
"I am bland and blah right now, but with a little bit of color....I could be amazing"

And so....
I took out the Sheena Douglass ~A Little Bit Sketchy "Milestones and Moments" stamp set.
I just couldn't resist.
this is what happened.

The little bit of sparkle that you see in the lines of the image is how fine detail black embossing powder  looks when heat embossed.
It's even nicer in person..and the slightly raised lines of the embossing add a little it of texture...along with the water color paper, which also has some texture to it

And then....this happened right after that up there that happened....
Same image...with a slight color variation on the hilltop and house detail

I felt so happy to get out all of my water coloring "stuff"
After just a few days I was really missing it.

For me..water coloring is many things...
But's magical
I know, I described it in the same way last weekend when I was doing a lot of water coloring and posted about it here at my blog ...
But it's true...
The moment when the ink and water come together is magical...
The way it moves...and merges with other colors is what I love most, I think.
...and as if that's not enough...
If you are patient enough to let the piece dry on it's own...without hitting it with your heat gun to speed up the drying....
The end result is.....magical....(there's that "M" word again!)
The way the colors settle in...and amazing...and beautiful...
For's always so exciting.
I am never anything less than awed by what ink colors can do when water is their vehicle.

So now....I've picked up the brushes again....
That was one very short-lived retirement....don't you agree? will never again hear me say something as ridiculous as...
 "I am retiring my water color brushes for a while"
Looking back...I can only say that I must have had a moment of insanity.
What the heck was I thinking?

My brushes and all that goes with them formatter colorin,  will always be my fingertips...
Where it all belongs...
Because I am now convinced of it....
We are meant to be together...
and so, we shall be....

Card loving friends: I created a few of these cards and they are  now available for purchase at The Bellissima Card Shop HERE . Each card is listed separately because the cottage and hillsides are each  a bit different from the other.

Card making friends: I won't list the basic supplies (inks..brushes..water receptacle..card stock etc because you already know all of "that")
But I will post a few of the supply items below....the more specific ones, that you may be interested in.

As always...thanks for visiting...
I'm always happy to share what I love here at my blog...
After not creating cards...or blogging about my card making for a few really feels great to be back!

Paper: Stampin Up, LCI and Crafter's Companion Water Color Paper (a must have ....the weight and texture are phenomenal...and it accepts misting beautifully pilling....thinning etc)
Stamp: Sheen Douglass Milestones and Moments from the "A Little Bit Sketchy" Collection of stamps
I buy my Sheena stamps at Crafter's Companion HERE 
(same place that I order the water color paper from)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Oh, those Crazy Crazy Birds!

Firstly....before I share a card....
I'd like to say THANK YOU to everyone who visited and/or purchased cards yesterday...during the Grand Re-opening of the Bellissima Card Shop (at ETSY .com)
Your support, enthusiasm and ALL of the kind compliments about my cards filled my heart!
I look very forward to bringing many many many more cards to the Card Shop on a regular stay tuned..and be sure to check in at the Card Shop often, to see new additions!, now...onto today card....

Well, I am about...oh I don't know....maybe 8 months behind everyone else with inking up my Crazy Birds stamps...
Yes, I purchased the set..the dies...the accessories..
the sayings...
I've had all of them.
Sitting here.
Since each one first came out.
Yep...Just sitting here.

I also broke out some brand new...never used
Spectrum Noir Blendable Pencils
My critique of the pencils?
I like them.
Not quite AS much as my Prismacolor pencils
But it's a close contest between the two...I have to say that.
There is a definite difference in how the color gets laid down in comparing one to the other..
The Spectrums feel a bit waxier (?)...I think that's a good way to describe them.
I, like them though.
So that's a good thing.
...and the colors are beautiful...
and...nicely separated into 5 specific color palettes
Nature, Primaries, Essentials, Marine, Floral
(I'll post a photo in the supply list the end of this blog post)

All of the being's time for those Crazy Birds....
(for those of you who are not card makers/stampers....Yes...
these little guys with bulging eyes, exaggerated beaks and expressive faces 
are actually called ....Crazy Birds.

So.... here are 2 of the Crazy Birds that I enjoyed working with 
and coloring with the Spectrums.
*and, although it's not showing in the photos...
 there's a little bit of Wink of Stella no the ribbon and bow on the gift...and on the birthday hats.
I usually create in multiples...
but this time...this is a one of a kind...
(and it is being sent off to my Etsy Shop  and will be available for sale momentarily)
oh...I almost forgot to mention......there's a simple Happy Birthday sentiment stamped on the inside.

These 2 crack me up...
Just look at their expressions...
How can you not smile....
and wonder about what they are up to. 

Card loving friends: If you like these 2 Crazy Birds , they can be purchased at The Bellissima Card Shop...which you can access by clicking on the Card Shop link at the top of the page.

Card Making friends: The supply list for this card is posted below

Thanks for visiting....and don't forget....
I love please take a sec to leave  a comment below

Supply List: Does not include basic tools...trimmer.. ink and other basic tools and supplies needed for creating any/all cards

Paper/Card Stock: SU It's My Party Paper Stack (12 x 12), LCI regular  and shimmer , Papertrey Ink 
Coloring: Wink of Stella Pink and Green, Spectrum Noir Blendable Pencils


Tim Holtz Crazy Birds Stamp set

Sizzix Thinlits/Crazy Birds

Tim Holtz - Crazy Talk Stamp Set

Tim Holtz Cling Mount Stamps - Crazy Things

Friday, February 26, 2016

Grand Re-Opening of The Bellissima Card Shop and a Giveaway!

I can hardly believe it myself!
The Bellissima Card Shop is finally re-opening! heard it here!
Today is the Grand Re-opening of The Bellissima Card Shop

I have hoped and planned for this day since Hurricane Sandy 
put a halt to normal life more than 3 years ago.
Then, last Winter, just as life was getting back to normal...
and the Card Shop was on the horizon...
some health issues came my way...
and once again...the Card Shop took a back seat.

I'm back!
Bellissima Cards is back!
And the Bellissima Card Shop is back!

I've  been busy creating cards for the re-opening
and the Shop has lots of beautiful cards ready for purchase.

Special orders for 5 Card Gift Boxed sets can also be placed via the Card Shop.

You can visit the Shop by choosing the tab at the top of this page 
that says "The Bellissima Card Shop"

The Card Shop ships to  US addresses and can also accommodate orders placed for local pick up

Purchases made for LOCAL PICKUP require a coupon code to prevent  shipping charges from being applied to your order during checkout
The Coupon Code for local pick up is: LOCALPICKUP
Now that's easy to remember....isn't it? 

Keep an eye out in the near future for the Bellissima's "Send a Card" option.
When you purchase a Send a Card...
you'll feel like you have a personal secretary taking care of your card sending! 

Because no Grand Re-Opening is complete without something extra special....
The card Shop is doing a "Giveaway"
Each time you make a purchase at the Card Shop from re-opening day (today) through March 31st, your name will be entered for a chance to win a 4 Card Sampler of Bellissima Cards!
*Winner will be announced on April 1st, 2016

I am looking forward to bringing you beautiful cards, reconnecting with past customers and meeting new customers , as well

Thank you for visiting the blog today
Don't forget to choose the Card Shop link at the top of the page to visit the Card Shop now!
and please be sure to check back often, as new cards are added almost daily...and for the launch of Send a Card!


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Some Simple Botanicals

Sometimes, when I attend a crop...or go on vacation...I like to take along a card making project that doesn't require me to pack up my entire stash of supplies...

Weeks before a trip, I usually think about something to work on...and plan it out...and bring along what I will need for that specific project...and that specific project only

This usually means that I bring along a small group of stamps that I'd like to work with..and things to "color" them supplies etc
I'll also pre-cut a nice big stack of  1/4 sheets of card stock or water color paper...and use each 1/4 sheet for one image...

This works well for me...
I never feel overwhelmed with packing..
and I use what I do bring....which is nice
and....I am usually very productive.

The cards below are simple botanical images that I colored (pencil and baby oil blending) on a getaway about 2 years ago....when most of our house was packed for construction..and I didn't have access to all of my card making "stuff"

I recently unpacked a box and found these images.....and made them into some CAS (Clean and Simple) cards....
I like a clean neat crisp look with a little bit of the white background works for me...
My feeling is....not every card has to be a whoop-dee-do half day long project
Sometimes...(most times for me) simple is nice...and can also be pretty.

I'll be taking a weeks vacation soon..and plan on bringing a few stamp sets...embossing heat SU Marker set...aquapainter....and paint that I can enjoy some watercoloring while I am away.
...and the bonus: I'll come home with a little sack of images that will be ready to be made into cards!

Cards loving friends: All of the cards featured below are available, for purchase, at the Bellissima Card Shop (ETSY)...The direct link to the etsy shop is at the top of this page.

Card making friends: real supply list today....I don't remember which stamp set this image came from....and you already know the supplies ( oil..blending stumps...)...I can tell you that I use Prismacolor Pencils...and very smooth card stock that's got some heft to it. (Smooth is key for this type of coloring)

Thanks for visiting....and don't forget to let me know what you think of these (Very) CAS cards. 
(you know how I love and appreciate your comments)

So, now, here are a few very (emphasis on VERY) CAS cards
(I love the sentiments on these cards.....the words..and the font...both)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I Love It.....I Love it Not....I Love It.....

Before I temporally retired my watercolor paraphernalia, I got out a new Stamp set (Stampin Up's ROSE WONDER) and put the brush to the paper to see what I could come up with.

Truth be told, I wasn't a big fan of this stamp set and was on the fence about getting it.
I'm still not sure if I am loving it....but I like it...enough...I guess.

Actually, I wasn't thrilled what it when I stamped it out and embossed it.
It just wasn't exciting me.

Then I water colored the images...and exciting.
I knew right  away what it was....why I wasn't loving this image...
The rose petals were lacking detail.
They were too bland.
I like rose images that have curled petal edges...some detail.....a more realistic shape
This Rose WONDER set had the right name...
I WONDERED why I bought it in the first place.

But I had embossed a stack of images...mostly in gold..and a few in white...and I am a woman of my I water colored each and every one.
And love affair.

(I think that I may have been having separation anxiety after spending a few days with the gorgeous hydrangea images I had watercolors this weekend....
I LOVE those hydrangeas...
Emphasis on L O V E
Now THAT'S what I call a card making love affair.
This rose, though?
I just wasn't feeling the love.

I didn't throw in the towel though....and water colored each and every rose that I had embossed.
My hope for finding some love was to add some nice sentiments....some lovely words...

I trimmed the images.....cut some mats from the gorgeous shimmer card stock that is my current  paper addiction...Got out my MISTI..and started the card making part of this lack luster relationship between me and the roses.

And then....
I  THINK that I MAY have heard harps... birds chirping & singing....hearts were floating in the air before my eyes.....and my heart was pitter pattering a little bit....I think that I may have even seen Cupid floating by in my studio....

Love was in the air...I think.
As each card was put together...I was feeling the love!

and so I am happy to share with you....the object(s) of my affection...

Card loving friends...all of these beauties are available for purchase in my etsy shop (link at the top of this page)

Card Making friends: if you read the prior blog post  you'll see a photo of the supplies used for yesterday's cards...The same supplies were used for the rose cards that follow below...
I've had a lot of inquiries about which ink colors i mixed on the I'll post the info above each photo pair below

So, while I am not head over heels in love...I am loving this stamp set a little bit...
No more regrets about buying it.

Thanks for visiting....and if you have a sec...please leave  a comment below....I always like to hear what you think!

And here we go....
presenting....The Roses....
and some lovely sentiments

All of the leaves in all of the photos were done with assorted greens and some yellows


Ink: Yellows

Ink: pinks and coral

Ink: pinks

Ink: pinks

Ink: pinks

Ink: yellow, coral, pink

Ink: pinks

and so...that's my adventure with Rose Wonder...
In the end...I wound up loving this stamp..a little bit....
How about you?