My Arts And Craft Background...

Ciao! everyone (if there is an “everyone” out there!).  I’m just starting this page due to a lot of pressure (translation:  encouragement) from friends and co-workers.  I’ve been stamping for about 12 years now and it’s the one thing I’ve stuck with consistently.  Usually I hop from one project (i.e., craft) to the next just to say “I did it” and then on to something else.  I’ve done the Holly Hobby thing, the bread baskets, decorative flags, cake decorating, faux finishing etc. -- loved them all, but felt the need to move on.  Stamping has ‘stuck’, to put it mildly.  I just love this craft -- maybe because of the instant gratification, maybe because of all the tools, mediums, embellishments, etc. that this craft incorporates.  What fun to make a 3-dimen-
sional card with silk flowers or ribbons or paper folding techniques!  I took my love of stamping to my local scrap booking store, The Scrapbook Cupboard,  where I started out doing one class a month.  That was three years ago and let’s just say I’m doing considerably more classes per month(LOL!).  The stamping really caught on at this store and slowly the scrapbooking portion took a real back seat.  I work with some really great people who share ideas and knock around revenue-producing concepts with the owner.  I have a great following with my students and thoroughly enjoy the classes we do together.  
Now you may be wondering about the title of Ciao Bella! -- it means, of course, hello (and/or goodbye) beautiful.  It’s a phrase I’ve always liked and the sound of it tripping off the tongue is lovely -- (being Italian doesn’t hurt either) ergo, my stamping name.  It has stood me in good stead for all my stamping years.  
I am ‘retired’ and am working more than ever (now how on earth can that make sense?).  Hubby as well. He retired before me and is working more than he ever did!  The difference is -- we love what we do and do what we love and the only bosses we have are ourselves.  That’s gotta say a lot!
Before I go any further, may I refer you to that cute little guy at the top of my page?   He belongs to my granddaughter who tagged him with the unlikely (and uncat-like) moniker of Steve.  He more than makes up for his name by being so cute!  
I’m not really sure where I’m going with this blog, but hope you’ll come along with me and share some ideas, techniques, etc. and we can have some fun.  Oh, I do want to tell you about the fabulous group of ladies I have bonded with for the past 10 years.  We call ourselves the Queens of Inkland (get it?) and we meet once a month to nosh, laugh, stamp, share, commiserate, etc.  We also go away several times a year to Jamestown RI, West Newfield, ME and to Cape Cod.  These are strictly stamping getaways, but somehow along the way, we manage to incorporate some rightful shopping at stamp stores along the way.  Generally when we walk into these establishments, the proprietors  eyes start changing to green (and I swear I’ve seen little, bitty  dollar signs flashing in there too!).  Someone once asked how long a trip it was to West Newfield, Maine from where we live in MA.  No one knows, because it generally takes us about 7 - 8 hours to get there - between shopping stops, lunch, the supermarket, etc.  Actually, it’s a straight 2-1/2 hour shot if we don’t stop anywhere (you’re kidding, right?).  Oh, I’m sure I’ll be sharing some fun stuff with you along the way.  I don’t want to put you to sleep right away.
Anyway, on to the real purpose of this blog -- STAMPING!!  Oh, what a wonderful craft.  So, loosen up your mouse (and your belt if you’re wearing one) and we’ll explore some neat stuff.  Please drop me a line and let me know your thoughts.  Ciao Bella!