Thursday, December 15, 2011

Publication alert!

Good day to all and I hope your holiday season is moving fluidly forward.  Mine has had many bumps lately and I haven't even started my shopping.  But I digress.  I just thought I'd share my latest publication with you in this month's edition of Papers and Pixels, an online digital magazine.

This is an incredible magazine that runs the gamut of scrapbooking, card making, digital imagery, tutorials on Photoshop, etc.  It's the least expensive magazine available that is jam packed with information no matter what your genre -- it's only $1.00 a month!  You really should take advantage of this crisp, clean, concise tool and go sign up.  No, I don't get any royalties on it!  I just think it's a great magazine, so hop on over and sign up at Papers N Pixels and round out your paper crafting world.

Thanks for stopping by.
Ciao for now!
Ciao Bella!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A purse full of goodies...

I just thought I'd show you a little purse card holder that I made for my hairdresser.  Besides being a great hair artist, she's an incredible interior decorator as well.  I always try and make her something just a little special.  The following is this year's gift...

This little purse is made quite simply from double sided card stock (1 sheet) and a small piece of regular card stock (the flap).  I also added a handle and punched it using a Martha Stewart border punch.  For embellishments, I simply cut out some of the candy swirls from the DP and pop dotted them on the flap and added some felt holly leaves.  Here's a better view of the handle.

I also cut some of the smaller candy swirls from the DP and added them at the ends of the handle.  Inside the box (not shown) is a half dozen greeting cards and envelopes.  You can actually fit up to 10 cards and envelopes depending on the bulkiness of your cards.

Just thought you might enjoy seeing how cute the purse looks done up for Christmas.  There are so many versions of this purse, but it takes on its own personality when you change the designer paper.  Perhaps we'll do a class on this for Mother's Day.  Any takers?

Let me know what you think - I'd love to hear from you.
Ciao for now!
Ciao Bella!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Coming up!

WOWZA!  Has this been the month for Testing-My-Mettle?  If I get one more thing on my plate, I might explode!  Well, it's my own darn fault -- haven't learned to say "no" yet. So with that being said, I'd like to update you on a few classes coming up at the Whitman Community Center and The Crop Shop.  There are still openings, so give me a shout and I'll gladly put you in.  Or you can sign up through KD Crafty Concepts and use that handy, dandy PayPal button!

First up is Saturday, 12/3 from 1 to 3.  Here are two cards I'll be doing on Saturday.  I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for different ideas for enclosing gift cards no matter what the occasion.  This being Christmas, of course,  here is one version of the mailbox by Art Impressions without the card and the other one with the "card" inserted in the mailbox.  I'll be offering their catalog for ordering, so you don't want to miss out on this!  They have so much fun stuff on their site.

This is the second card we'll be doing on Saturday.

The Gift Card actually goes inside the box and when you pull it out, there's this crazy lady popping out of the box.  I embellished her with a Santa hat that is not part of Art Impressions line.

Then on to my next class using, ta da!, Memory Box dies.  I've fallen madly in love with anything Memory Box Die related -- I'm incurable!  I need intervention!  I have several classes going with these dies.  The first set of cards will be offered at the Whitman Community Center on Wednesday, 12/7 from 7 to 9 pm.  Go to KD Crafty Concepts again and click on that PayPayl button!

Aren't these dies (well)... to die for!  These cards feature Deer Trio and La Rue Flourish. And, guess what?  I'll be able to carry Memory Box dies as well!  If you come to our Sunday Event to say hi to Bev, I should have my catalogs open and ready.  I don't know about you, but every time I look at the La Rue flourish, my heart does a little dance (I know, I'm certifiable!).

Then, to carry this one step further, I'll be offering these same dies at The Crop Shop on Thursday, 12/8 from 7 to 9!  Here's what I've done this time.  You'll have to call them as this class is not shown in their class listing for some reason.

And lastly, I used the Memory Box Ornament die and Tree die for several cards that I'll be doing at The Crop SHop on Wednesday, 12/14.  Again, you'll have to call them as this, too, was omitted from their class lineup.

Using mirror card stock with the ornament and tree dies from Memory Box made all these cards so simple!

And the last class using dies will be at the Whitman Community Center on Thursday, 12/15  While I know you can't see it, inside the mitten is another gift card and the slots for the gift card are made using another Memory Box die.  The snowflake card is made using Damask Dies from Papertrey Ink (another company I'm addicted to).  I'll be putting this up on the KD Crafty Concepts blog shortly.  So say tuned and get ready to hit that PayPal button.  I happen to know that this class is more than half full so you'll want to act quickly.  You can always email me in the meantime at

Well, that was a lot for one post!  I hope you've enjoyed seeing what's coming up and that I'll be seeing you at some of these classes. 

Ciao for now!
Ciao Bella!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A few spots left!

I still have a few spots left for Friday's class and due to time constraints, I can't accept any late sign-ups (after Thursday nite), so it you're thinking about it...

This class is called a "House is not a home..." gift box and is only a $15.00 class.  Bound to please the recipient when filled with goodies.  Take a peek and then sign up at KD's Crafty Concepts blog (my post of 10/19) with the PayPal button.

Isn't this neat?  Not only can you use it for a Christmas present, but change out the card stock and you've got a great housewarming gift!  Actually, this template has no bounds when it comes to gift giving.  I'm thinking baby, get well, new apartment.... got the idea?

Ciao for now!

Ciao Bella!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Class at The Crop Shop...

Hello followers!  I just thought I'd post a class that I'm doing at The Crop Shop (see note on this below) on Friday, December 2nd.  Many of you may have seen the new Authentique paper line -- it is really too, too beautiful.  Although they carry many somber colors, they definitely lend themselves to doing masculine cards, so that's what I did!

Underneath each card you will see the 6x6 pieces of Authentique that inspired me.  The great thing about this card stock is that you can purchase individual pieces.  So hop on over to The Crop Shop and grab some -- there are soooo many different designs -- you 'll be thrilled!

So about that "note" as mentioned above.  The Crop Shop has announced that they will be downsizing.  What this means is that a good portion of the retail section will no longer exist.  However, you will still be able to choose from a great selection of products as well as attending crops and card making classes.  They have a wonderful, large classroom with big comfy office chairs to sit in.  They will also be known as Creation Destination and dropping The Crop Shop name.  It will always be The Crop Shop to me, so if I slip up in a post once in a while, you'll still know what I mean.  And, by the way, they're having a fantastic sale right now so that they can consolidate their merchandise into smaller quarters.  So get on down there right now!

Ciao for now!

Ciao Bella!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hop on over to the Crop Stop...

...and there you will see this card I created for their Halloween Challenge as a Design Team member.  I had more fun doing this card.  The background is a brayered technique using all the Distress inks mentioned on the Crop Stop post.  I started at the top brayering with Mustard Seed, then placed a post it note cut in a circle shape for the moon and brayered once more with Mustard Seed.  I then proceeded to layer Spiced Marmaladr over that blending toward the horizontal center of the card, then used Fired Brick and Rusty Hinge to top it off.  The bottom "murky" layer was done using Weathered Wood and brayered and blended into the top colors.  Brayering is so much fun once you get started.  I stamped all my images using Versafine Black ink and penned in some bats over the moon.  A black punched border placed at the top finished off this spooky card.

So drag out that brayer that's collecting dust and experiment!  It really is a lot of fun!

Ciao for now!

Ciao Bella!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

November 12th class at the Community Center...

Hi all,
Just in case you haven't checked KD's Crafty Concepts blog, this is what I'll be offering for my November 12th class at the Whitman Community Center (WCC).  We'll be doing three cards in this class.  You can do it!  We've got some great combinations of different dies & punches from several companies.  It's so much fun interchanging dies with different companies to see what you can come up with.

So here are the three we'll be doing.

Spellbinders and MFT.

Martha Stewart and Memory Box.

Spellbinders, MFT and PTI.

So, pop on over to KD's Crafty Concepts and click on the PayPal button under the October 12th post.  This class is almost half full now, so you'll want to get a seat!  And there are still openings in my October 21st class for Halloween and Fall cards.

Hope to see you there.  Caio for now!

Ciao Bella!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Classes at the Community Center...

I just wanted to let some of you know that I'll be holding my first class at the Whitman Community Center  next week and in the event that you had forgotten Kim's and my joint blog, KD's Crafty Concepts, then you can catch up here.  But all students should definitely be putting KD's Crafty Concepts into their Favorites to stay abreast of what we'll be doing in the upcoming months.

I've scheduled the first class for Friday, October 21st from 7 to 9pm and my second class will be held on Saturday, November 12th from 1 to 3pm.  I'll be adding more classes as we go along.  I've just had a few commitments to take care of before I fill the schedule up.

So, here's what you'll be doing on October 21st:  a little Halloween and a little bit of Fall...

And here's a sneak peek at one project for the November 12th class:  a jump start on your holiday card making...

So make sure you check KD's Crafty Concepts for my schedule -- we've made it convenient for you to use PayPal when signing up!

I hope to see you soon!

Ciao Bella!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

That old saying...

...when one door closes another one opens.  There's something to say about truisms rather than groaning.  I know, I know, I'm the first one to put down these sayings or "mom-isms" as I like to refer to them.  However, with the closing of the Scrapbook Cupboard, I have been invited to teach at The Crop Shop in Rockland and my first class is coming up this month on Thursday, the 20th from 7 to 9 pm.

I'd love to see my students from the Cupboard in my new venue and invite you all to call the store at 781-792-2767 and reserve your seat.  It would be a homecoming of sorts just to see you all again.

So without further adieu, here are the cards I'll be doing at The Crop Shop.  I thought I'd choose a holiday theme using several sets of Spellbinder dies in a different way and using some of these new gorgeous papers just in -- can you pick out ALL the different patterns used?

The Crop Shop newsletter will be going out this week and I look forward to seeing some familiar faces!  Ciao for now!

Ciao Bella!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Feline Frazzled?

Just a little play on words.  This funny cat image is from Stamps by Judith and his name is Frazzle.  This has got to be one of my favorite images in my stamp collection.  He's so versatile and will fit just about any occasion.  Here are two examples of Frazzle that I did for one of my last classes at the Scrapbook Cupboard.  People had been asking me for years to please duplicate the Frazzle series.  So I picked these two out of the dozen or so that I've made.  It was a really fun class and we had a blast.

Here's Frazzle!  This is one of my favorites and is in the Stamps by Judith catalog.  It was too cute not to copy with a few added twists of my own.

And for those difficult "guy" cards...  I know, I know -- the colors are quite girly, but they still work so well with the theme, don't you think?

Check out what the inside says (below).

There was a lot of laughter at class that nite.  Soooo many of you had the perfect man in mind to give this card to.  

Stay tuned for more info on future classes and where you can find me.  Ciao for now!

Ciao Bella!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Last Hurrah...

Well, it's been a roller coaster ride this past week with 5 classes in as many days.  I am plumb tired.  I have one more class this week at the Scrapbook Cupboard (it's full as they all have been) and my LAST class forever at the store will be next Monday (big sad sigh!).  Since I just got the product to work with, I had to throw something together really fast in order to advertise this class.

The product I'm using is a new set of heart dies from Cheery Lynn Designs and it was worth the wait.  I just wish I'd had more time to put something together and not be rushed.  I really have lots of ideas for these dies, but time has been my enemy with all these classes and late product arrival.  So, without further ado, here are the two cards I put together.  How fitting that they are hearts as my heart will miss my students in a very big way.  We've had 8 years together and have had more fun than I can ever tell you.

This first card is a cupboard fold (how appropriate) to which I added some designer panels to jazz it up and then edged them using a gold leaf pen.  I then put a very different twist on the smallest of the heart dies and created this flower and decided to push it toward the holiday look.  The large white heart is the largest of the dies and after cutting it out, I ran it through a holly leaf embossing folder and edged it in gold leaf.  Next was die cutting the hearts for the petals and constructing it in a flower shape.  It went a lot faster than I thought.  A few die cut holly leaves, a little glitter and it was done!

The second card was based solely on this beautiful designer paper.  It just begged me to use it.  So I constructed this card using the various dies in the set.  I knew I wanted to use silver mirror paper, but gee, I seem to have run out of it.  What do to?  Aha!  Go grab the tin foil, glue it to a piece of cardstock and die cut the heart.  It worked great and continued the inspiration for the remainder of the card.  I topped the entire image off with a triple-loop silver bow made with my E-Z BowZ of course!

Well, if you haven't signed up for this class, you'd better pick up the phone!  It's bound to be a full and fun last night for me and my students.  

That's it for now -- all but the crying part, that is.  Ciao for now!

Ciao Bella!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Learning to say goodbye...

Many of you know that I have been teaching at the Scrapbook Cupboard for about 6 years and many of you know that the store is closing  at the end of this month.  Bev has valiantly struggled to keep the store afloat in these hard economic times and we managed to help keep it going for another year as Kim and I pulled together for her.  I hate change as I'm sure many of you do so it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to Bev, my fellow teachers and, most of all, my students.  I have so enjoyed our times together.   We've had many a wacky class -- those that I lose total control over especially.  I don't know what you guys do to me, but it turns into a lunatic night of good-hearted insults and crazy stories and many laughs.  I've wondered some times how we ever managed to complete our projects.  I love you all.

So, to change this from maudlin to upbeat, you need to know that Kim and I are trying to work something out where we can continue to instruct you in the world of rubber and mixed media.  For those of you who do not know, Kim and I established a separate website last year when Bev was originally closing her doors.  It's where we plan to keep you updated on our next move.  So put into your blog lists and become "Followers" so that you'll be first to know what's happening in Kim and Donna land.  We may have a few surprises for you and that's all I'll say right now.

We're also on FB, so you can Friend us there and catch up on all things K&D.
Ciao for now!

Ciao Bella!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I LOVE Memory Box Dies!

I have been having more fun than a barrel of proverbial monkeys with these dies.  I have a few new ones on order and I can't wait to get them!  I got some really cool Fall ones and some Christmas ones as well.  Okay, okay, here you go.  This die is called Pristine Border and I've probably just hit the tip of the iceberg on how to use it.

Here's one I just did for a very quick card using Harvest Berries from Papertrey Ink and the Pristine Border.

Now, most of you know how I'm always complaining that I just can't seem to put a simple card together.  I don't think it gets any easier than this!  I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

This second card using Pristine Border and a stamp from Penny Black was a bit more detailed, but "uber" simple nonetheless.  See what you think.  You can click on any card to make it bigger to see the detail.

Well, I hope you enjoyed today's post -- please drop me a line -- I'd love to hear from you!

Ciao for now!

Ciao Bella!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Butterfly Award...

Oh, my goodness!  I just got awarded the Butterfly Award by my dear friend Barb Bruder over at Art and Soul Creations.  I never even heard of it, but I LOVE IT!!  Thanks Barb, and definitely right back at you.  For the uninitiated, here's what it looks like and the series of questions that go with it.

As part of this award I have to answer the following 12 questions and pass this on to 5 people. Here are the answers to my questions: 

Name your favorite color? 
Blue, pink, purple - Oooh don't make me choose!  I love them all!

Name your favorite song?

The Prayer- by Josh Grobin & Celine Dion

Name your favoirte dessert?
Creme Brulee (but that's only at the top of my list)

What wizzes you off at the moment? 

Blatant fraud.  (don't ask!)

Your favorite pet? 

Gabby, my sweet kitty

Black or white? 

Black is slimming, my dear
Your biggest fear? 
Bridges -- HATE THEM!

Best feature? 

Sense of humor

Everyday attitude? 

People pleaser (only cuz I want to!)

What is perfection? 

A day with my kids

Guilty pleasure? 

chocolate - is there anything else?

When you're upset? 
You REALLY don't want to know!

So now I pass this on to you, dear blogger friend.  Some of you may not even know who I am, but I am a definite fan of yours!


Ciao for now.

Ciao Bella!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Just checking in!

No card pics today.  But I do have a short tale to tell.  I had signed up to do the convention in Troy, NY this past weekend with my E-Z BowZ, so we left on to set up for the show.  All went well and we had a slow, but steady stream of people stopping by the booth -- be sure to pop over to the E-Z BowZ blog for a lookie-loo.  Well, as you know, Irene hit with a vengeance and day two of the show got cancelled (ugh!).  So what do three women do while holed up in their hotel room weathering the storm?  Here's one pic of my friend, Chris.

We actually got to spend an entire day doing NOTHING!  My other friend, Regina, was also with us.  After spending a weekend with them, I've decided that we have gone totally techno -- they both have iPads, I have a Kindle, two of us have cell phones and between the 3 of us there were more darn rechargers in that hotel room -- it looked like a room full of snakes!  So we played Words with Friends, and 7 Little Words, watched TV, called our loved ones from time to time and then ran next door in the wind and rain to a sports bar to grab a bite to eat.  When was the last time I did absolutely nothing??!!

On Saturday morning we got up early as we had seen a fabulous looking diner on the way to the convention center.  I just HAD to take pictures of it for my favorite granddaughter.  I think she'll get a kick out of it.  Here they are:

And, yes, the clock is right -- it's 7:10 a.m. when we were there!

I was so impressed with the pristine look of this fabulous diner.  It was a jewel!  And the food was to die for!  I got a bowl of oatmeal that you could have floated a small yacht in.  Mmmm!

And here's a foggy view from our hotel parking lot.  The hotel sat on a knoll looking down into the valley and across to Renssalear I think.  This is just outside of Albany.  Can you see the pockets of mist here and there?  And you can barely make out the city through the haze.

We had a great time in spite of Irene, but it's really great to be home again.  Thanks for stopping by!

Ciao for now.
Ciao Bella!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

M'Lady's Slipper

Hi Ciao Bella followers!  Wow!  I don't know where I've been this past month, but I hope I had fun wherever it was!  I can't believe it's been this long since I've posted anything.  I must have been busy (and I hope I figure out what it was.).  So, my apologies to m'ladies and here's a set of cards to go along with that apology.

We've been using quite a bit of the micro fine glitter at the store and I had to run a few more of these classes to keep people happy.  Not that it was a drudge -- believe me, I loooove working with this product by Elizabeth Crafts.  It's the smoooooothest, finest glitter anywhere.  There's a certain technique involved when doing these cards and it involves very wide tape, transfer tape, peel-offs and, of course, glitter.  Here's a look at both the cards:

For those of you who are not familiar with this technique, it's called Burnished Velvet.  I always get a kick out of my students when they start to burnish the glitter and you always get the same reaction:  "oooh!  look at that sparkle!".  While it's a bit time consuming to do the larger image, it's still a really fun project to do because it's like a puzzle revealing itself one piece at a time, but unlike a puzzle, you have complete control over what goes where.  It is such a fun techique!  The purple card was done using one of the smaller images in the peel-off package.  Here I used a square scalloped (Spellbinders) backing to show it off and I used the same technique using my wide tape and the Glitter Ritz glitter.  It was topped off with a lovley quadruple loop bow made on my Craft-Dee BowZ bow maker which you will find on my other blog.

Here's a close-up of the larger "slipper".  Hopefully, you can see how fine the glitter is and how it sparkles in a "hushed" way, so to speak.  You'll notice how I left a lot of the black peel-off in place to mimic patent leather.  Click on either image for a close-up.

Well, I hope you'll forgive me for my lapse in time and that you have enjoyed these cards.

Ciao for now!

Ciao Bella!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Playing catch up!

Hi there!  Sorry, but I've been a wee bit busy catching up on life after CHA.  I think I'm ready for the next round!  I had a class and a demo to do this past week and another demo tomorrow in RI, so for me, this is catching up!

First, let me tell you that I was published in the new issue of Vamp Stamp News.  They were looking for techniques using mostly solid stamps.  Mine is on page 11 in the center if you care to charge out the door looking for an issue (LOL).  Actually, if you click on the link above, you'll see my card in the "blinker" at the right hand side of their main page.  It was fun to do.

I thought I'd share a few more pics from CHA that you might enjoy.  It will be a hodgepodge of different vendors and I'll try and be as accurate as I can so that you can do some web searching on your own.

First, let's start off with more Spellbinders.  These are really cute (and big dies!).

Then we're off to Heartfelt Creations.  Oh, boy!  They had some unbelievable "stuff" there!  This little basket is their newest die and you can actually make a stand-alone basket with it.

And then there's some of Heartfelt's  flower dies

Then these last few are from Just Rite.  Oh, Lordy, I could have spent the day in their booth!  

Well, that's it for CHA!  Hope some of these cards teased the creativity in you.  

I'll try and be back a lot sooner with some other stuff I have going on here.  Until then, ciao for now!

Ciao Bella!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Back from CHA!

Hey bloggers,  I'm baaaack!  And glad to be home -- it's true what they say -- there's no place like home.  I really hate living out of suitcases.  But aside from that, we had a grand time, great flight, wonderful company and soooo much to look at.  It's a good thing they didn't plant columns in strategic places in the convention center because I KNOW I would have slammed head on into them with all the gawking I was doing.

So let me give you a rundown of some things that went on.  This may be a long post, but I'll try and incorporate pictures that I think you will enjoy.  I took soooo many pictures!  I'll start off with a picture of the convention center in Rosemont (outside Chicago), IL so you'll feel like you are there with me.  We stayed right across the street from the convention center so it was an easy walk each day.  But the heat!!  It was 99 degrees several days - that cloying, heavy, yucky kind of weather that left you gasping for air.  So here's a picture of the convention center:  (you can click on any picture to enlarge it)

And a picture of the inside entrance.  Oh, were you expecting to see thousands of people?  I believe the next few pictures will give you an idea of how the economy has effected this industry.  You've all heard stories of the thousands of people, the crushing crowds, the elbowing thru the aisles, the waits to do make & takes.  Well, these next few pictures will tell it all.

This is the entrance into the show.  Hello!  Anybody home? 

A picture of the "thousands" of people crowding the aisles.

This will kill you -- My Minds Eye?  ONE person in the booth?  This was a little scary to see.  Nice comfy, come-on-in booth, though, don't you think?

Kim and Sue by the pink flamingo just inside the door.  Some of the decorations were over the top, but this caught my eye because I wanted to match it to Kim's hair!

You are most likely wondering what in the world is going on here?  We had gone to the Hilton for supper one night around 10pm and the temps were still in the mid 90's.  When Kim and I stepped out the door from the hotel, we got hit with the humidity and this is what happened to our glasses.  We couldn't see 2 inches in front of us.  We're holding hands and stumbling on the walkway laughing our heads off.    This had to be one of the funniest things the entire trip!

Okay, so on to a few sample cards.  I took so many pictures of card samples and was so inspired that I can't wait to get my hands on some new stuff!  These two are some cute boy images from Flower Soft.  They have their own stamp line starting as well.  

Okay , I guess you can tell these dresses are made of paper, specifically Bazzill.  Aren't they clever?

Move over Cricut!!  This is one phenomenal machine put out by eCrafts and is available now in retail stores.  The price point is only $299 and (read this carefully) IT NEEDS NO MAT OR TOOLS to cut and remove your images!!!!  It has an optional tray that you can put an entire roll of vinyl on and the cutting width is 12", but it's as long as the (huge) roll of vinyl (not shown in this picture).  And the best thing is NO CARTRIDGES to buy!  You can download from their website.   These are the same people who make the new eBosser which is basically an electric Cuttlebug (oh, boy!).

No show would be complete without a tease from Spellbinders...
Some new flower dies!  These are actually for the Grand Calibur.
Will you check out these borders?!  They can be used in the Grand Calibur as well as your other die cut machines - you just don't achieve the length that the Grand Calibur allows (8-1/4 x 11), but who cares?  The samples I saw were to die (pardon) for!
I don't want to put you to sleep thru this post, so I'll sign off with a few pics from a few different stamp companies. 
La Blanche Stamps

Believe it or not, the above two samples are from the same company, Kan Ban.   Quite a dichotomy, aren't they?

This is just a tiny sampling of the many pictures I took.  So I'll sign off with a few poses of our crew as we were leaving Chicago.  Such adults, aren't they?

I'll be happy to answer any questions that this post may generate.  Feel free to comment!  Hugs to my traveling companions, Sue, Kim, Nancy and Dee (Terry left a day later than we did).

Ciao for now!
Ciao Bella!