a little bit of playing in my JOURNAL this weekend

Hiya sistahs!  hope you had a great weekend 🙂

I couldn’t resist stealing one of my JAVA SPILLS stamps.. first to make sure the quality was amazing (hehehe).. and second of all I am always the shoemaker with no shoes so I swiped it.  hehehe.  Im so sneaky..

Anyway here’s the report

THEY ARE FREAKING AMAZING…. can you hear me through your monitor?  FREAKING AMAZING!!!  Not only do I stare at the colour to inspire me but to stamp with them??? DEEEVINE!

I will make a card with them shortly but just wanted to play around in my journal and show you what they looked like in walnut stain distress ink… gesso… num num

See you tomorrow for AJ TOOSDAY!  STICKER THEME


it’s AJ TOOSDAY on WEDNESDAY and october2012 code for 15% continues!

Hiya sistahs,

I hope you are enjoying the release!  I just love it and it is obvious you do too 🙂  so thank you!

Now for AJ monday on TOOSDAY on WEDNESDAY  LOL

The theme this week was COLOUR… so let’s see what our sistajournalhood came up with shall we?

Here is my page!

heather's page

Angelique's page

here is Violet's project!

here's mary;s page

and here is Heather's page from graphite pencil 2 weeks ago!


So for next week’s theme let’s document our week this week ..  basically collect stuff from eveywhere you go.. starbucks, michaels, gas station.. and glue it in your journal and write about it.


LOVE aj toosday.. LOVE my sistahood

Love releases




Phenomenal Woman

Hiya sistahs!

I hope you had a great weekend. we had a long weekend here in Toronto and it was just beautiful.  We were invited to our friend’s cottage and this was the view.  Breathtaking.  OF COURSE they had beautiful weather UNTIL WE GOT THERE.. I was called “the black cloud” LOL.. but we had fun nonetheless

It was my BFF’s birthday this weekend and she had a splash at her home that her hubby hosted for her.  On the invitation it clearly said NO GIFTS.  She always admired my paintings and was my cheerleader for so long and she has been begging me for one for such a long time, so about two weeks ago, I started on my painting adventure.  And here it is.. raw and true friendship

I have been researching poetry for the last little while and I came across a beautiful poem by Maya Angelou which I HAD to include in the painting for her. And this was what the inscription looked like on the back

When I read this poem, I felt a bit of a sigh of relief.. I can’t explain it… It all came together.  This is what feeling 40 feels like 🙂


Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Need I say more?

here here to all da PHENOMENAL women in my sistahood and in my life 🙂




my mornings..

hi againnnnn… sick of me yet?

Just wanted you to have a little peeksie into what I try to do every morning ;).. also try to fit it in at night as well… I wish I could show you a yoga pose or a treadmill sprint.. but ALAS… it’s not in my cards these days..LOL!

So after rushing with breakfast with the kids, packing their lunch and taking them to school, I come home to peace and quiet…

and my kitchen table

my little journal .. collage papers.. and my COFFEEEEE

here's my little art supplies tin (so cute no?) which is full of bits and bobs and scraps and shmaps... this is it CLOSED hehehehe

here's my little box OPEN.. with all my goodies in there 🙂

and here's my page using a TERESA stamp (YOU'RE ALWAYS A STARBURST to ME set). And used my prismas to color it in.. and just STUCK all sorts of things I had in my box

After I do my collage I feel SO much better… sometimes I write, sometimes the title says it all.. sometimes there is no title… there aren’t any rules 🙂

I am going to really make sure this becomes a TRUE morning routine 🙂

Mwah to da sistahs who love to glue and stick


just found this video

on Mary Ann Moss’ blog (I love her and all her classes BTW).. It is a video showing Danny Gregory sketching.  He is a wonderful self-taught artist.. who has amazing books out to make you see the world in a different way. Danny has gone through some tragedy.. but all along has kept his spirit and his artwork

This is a sweet sweet and extremely inspiring video
please watch and enjoy 🙂



just another lovely day….

I’m talkin’ about da STAMP sistahs.. I LOVE THIS STAMP!  I was so inspired that I made anuDDah (OOOHHH  a new word I LOVE!) canvas…

This little girl, “nina” is fishing… and HOPING… and she caught da hope! LOL… I just play with whatevah comes in DISS head of mine.. and this is what came out..

layers and layers of glazed paint.. and I mean LOTS…some fluorescent pink paint to add a bit of whimsy to da vintage..  vintage 1890 ledger paper and a vintage receipt she was stamped on..vintage stamps (postal stamps..LOL).. and a little scribble here an there to make my mark..LOL and of course.. our new stamp “JUST ANOTHER LOVELY DAY” by Rheea..

and this is what fell out of my paintbrush.. LITERALLY..LOL

and when I tell you that I embrace imperfection and wrinkles in da PAYPAH.. I really really do! I am even showing them off here! LOL

and here's a crinkle closeup

Hope you love it.

Will see you tomorrow for Bellarific friday

mwah mwah mwah to da sistahs who EMBRACE da WRINKLES.. and KRINKLES..


it’s AJ MONDAY sistahs!

Hope you had a great weekend!  Did you get to Stamp?? hmmmmm?  Cuz you need to enter this week’s Bellarific Friday challenge.. k?  See Friday’s post for the sketchypoo


This week’s AJ monday challenge was to create a border around your page!  I love the entries this week.  If you are on the fence.. and really want to try a technique or to make a simple page, please don’t hesitate to email me any question or to put it in the comments for the sistahood to reply.. promise?

Here is Cindy's page

here is my page

Here is Mary's page

here's Violet's page

Gorgeous no?

Next week’s challenge?  hmmmmmmm  ..Found this prompt on a website.. looks cool!

Fill a blank page with shapes. Paint or color them in.

Have a great day sistahs!

“speak” tomorrow


is it a moon? is it a SUN? are those flowers?

who cares..LOL.. it’s what I INSTINCTIVELY drew or felt like putting on the canvas 🙂  We had an AMAZING canvas class today , and this was the sample that I worked on .. everyone’s results were PHENOMALICIOUS!

I had no plans at all when I started this piece.. first thing I did?  I took a pencil and transposed everything going on in this NOGGIN (love the word NOGGIN.. nogginnogginnoggin) and wrote it on the canvas… it was LIBERATING!  I knew it would be covered up with all the layers so I really wrote what was going on in my life. 

Then I gesso’d

Then I TUMBLE DYE INK’D (have I mentioned HOW MUCH I LOOOOVE those inks??? Thank you so much ROBEN MARIE for introducing me to them :).  If you haven’t read her blog or taken her classes, I recommend them highly.. she is PHENOM!  These inks are waterbased but when they are heat set, they don’t move! so you can see hints of stencil through all the layers.  I especially love the neon colors (SISTAHS, mark my words, NEON will be back shortly.  I KNOW IT)…  all the colors in the tumble dyes are amazing


then I STAMPED.. bubble wrap.. my favorite I AM SCRIPT and music background and the ECLECTIC #8 BACKGROUND stamp and the ECLECTIC ELEMENTS GRID that I cut apart :)..  cuz I am smart in da NOGGIN’ (LOL)



I used FABER CASTELL big fat juicy PITT PENS for the shading

and voila.


see you tomorrow for BELLARIFIC FRIDAY!

mwah to da sistahs who will scribble on a canvas



ho hum… it’s wednesday

Hiya sistahs,

hope you’re having a great week.  I am feeling better but still feel a little “off”..

Just a few things to share..

It’s a little quote that is

(1) hilarious and

(2) shows how underappreciated artists are and makes you think about how important our crafty geniuses really are.  PLEASE appreciate our artists :).. without them, we would have a VERY boring world.

Another thing to share is that our secret “PROJECT” is moving along and we will have a launch date of January 13th! and I will let you know the venue so perhaps you can participate!

Maybe there will be a little release again coming soon

and here is a prepped art journal page I worked on that all I need to do is journal in.. ENJOY!


mwah to da sistahs who are contributing to bellarific friday AND AJ monday!


intro to Art Journaling – the BELLA way (long post)

Hiya sistahs,

Today I wanted to talk a little about ART JOURNALING and how it has changed my life.  Honestly, it really has.  I want to show you that it is not something to be scared of, intimidated by, nor is it something you should avoid.  I am going to talk to you about how I started, what triggered it, what keeps me going, who inspires me etc.  So grab your Starbucks, have a seat and enjoy the journey.  ok? OK!

Approximately 2 years ago, we had an event in Bellaland and one of our friends/customers Anna W. (I will always “blame”/”hug” you for this obssession sistah!) showed Dena and I a VERY empty journal of hers that she brought with her.  The pages were sporadically done (you don’t have to start at the first page.. I just open my journal and start from wherever I open it), different mediums used and at the same time, quite impressive.  Dena and I immediately ran to the book store to get some books that Anna suggested we start off with.  My first reaction was.. “ARE WE CRAZY??”… what are we getting ourselves into???  I am the FURTHEST thing from an artist… let alone a writer (although I do enjoy writing :)).

Well, of COURSE, since I immediately became obssessed, I immediately began doing some research.  Some MAJOR research.  One thing I do love to do is learn everything i can about the subject I am interested in.  I swear I am a walking encyclopedia at times.. (do Encyclopedias still exist?)…  The great thing about art journaling is the inspiration you can find everywhere.. artists who have different styles who can teach you different techniques.

First and foremost I have to thank KELLY KILMER as she was my first and continuous stop on this journey.  Her journals are BEEYOOTIFUL.. and she expresses herself via collage which is so LIBERATING.. finding images that pertain to you.. using your embellishments.. YUMMMM.. she teaches amazing online classes too which I have taken 🙂  I recommend Kelly HIGHLY!

I am also inspired by one of the pioneers in art journaling- TEESHA MOORE.. you can detect her style from a mile away!  Also involving collage, paper piecing of sorts, image altering.. so colourful.. so amazing!

Julie Balzer is a WEALTH of information and so talented and the fact that we have her designed stamps makes me so proud.  Her use of color, her boldness, fearlessness, her product knowledge is incredible!

Christy Tomlinson– has just hosted 2 online classes which are life changing as well.. playing with product, color, stamping, paper piecing  .. you name it!  Take a look and see! you will not be sorry! and she has a 3d class on the way!

Daisy Yellow – lots of fun and also extremely inspiring..

Ihanna– is so much fun!! so full of information

Now please forgive my definitions, opinions etc.. they are VERY subjective.. I am speaking from my perspective only so I am not sure whether I am right or wrong in describing what art journaling is but I am definitely going to tell you what it means to me and what it has done for me.

Some people are not comfortable with writing/journaling yet they still feel like they need to express themselves somehow.  Enter VISUAL journaling or ART journaling where you can express yourself via an artistic process..  The greatest thing about art journaling is that it is YOUR place to dive into.  You are not being judged for your work, you are simply enjoying the process and MORE IMPORTANTLY, ALLOWING yourself to enjoy the process.  Accompanying your art, you can write as well.. whether it be a word, a quote.. something to symbolize your feelings and mood but there is no necessity for prose.  no pressure at all.

An art journal can also be a place where you test out product.. you know those bags you have brought home full of product that you have yet to touch because you don’t know what the results will be?  Well, you can test it out in your journal!  colour, splotch, spray, scribble, dab, wipe, color, stamp, paint, glitter.. you name it.. again, it is YOUR own place to hang out in… it doesn’t have to be perfect.. it doesn’t have to be a “layout”.. the process of  “designing” your page should not be stressful.. should be fun , exploratory, and exciting!

Ok so how does one get started in this mysterious Art Journaling bidniss?

Well, the first thing you need is an Art Journal, of course! A journal is a very subjective thing.. you need to love it when you look at it.. when you hold it.. when you hug it.. so the only thing I recommend for one is that it has heavy pages in it so that it can take the “abuse” of mixed media….  you will see if you like a spiral, if you like “connecting” pages like in a moleskine.. or simply loose water color pages you can bind later on!

The STRATHMORE VISUAL journal is one option.. they have different types of papers for different things you want to play with!  Not only that, but if you explore the website, there are amazing art journalers on there giving FREE classes for inspiration!  Take a looky! Explore! have fun!

As I mentioned, you can also use an old book, a MOLESKINE journal (my FAVORITE in SKETCH and in WATERCOLOR), a leather bound journal etc.

I don’t have my journal here.. but take a look at DENA’s SCRUMMY YUMMY DEELISH moleskine (this picture does not give it justice).. OMG I want to marry it..(see I am already going back to my baby roots…LOL)

Now if the pages are thin, you can always coat them with a coat of GESSO.   Gesso is a primer for your page.. makes the page stronger and thicker while creating a white background with ‘tooth’ to grab on to whatever media you decided to layer on top of it!

Now I don’t want to give EVERYTHING away, as I am going to make this a regular post.. every monday we will discuss… now not only will we discuss, we will be INSPIRED.  And what I mean by that is that I would like an excuse to play more often in my journals, rather than thinking about what medium to buy next (I can’t help it!!). and in order to do that, I need to CHALLENGE MYSELF.. and along with CHALLENGING MYSELF, I was thinking of challenging da sistahs as well.  So, every monday I will post an art journaling challenge and the following week, if anyone wants to share their work (no pressure at all as this exercise is meant not to stress you) I will post on my blog with PLEASURE.. and I will post my work as well.

The first challenge will be to use children’s CRAYONS on your journal page.  Now I am not going to limit you.. you can use paint as well, cut out words, scribble etc.. but I want at least one element of your page to have crayon on it.  Think about what you can do with crayons besides scribble?  Sharpen them and take the shavings and glue on your page randomly or in the shape of something?  Sharpen, place on your journal page, lay a piece of wax paper over it and iron and see the results! play play play!

The reason why I want to start this with crayons is because I want us all to go back to our childhood.  How happy were we when we opened a brand new box of crayons.. the smell, the colours etc..Some artists actually keep a box open next to them to inspire them..

The most amazing thing about children is that they are not intimidated by colour, paint, paint brushes.. they hold the brushes as they wish to, they dip in any colour that they feel like at the moment.. and I want YOU to become like that as well!

So that is this week’s challenge.  I don’t want you to be scared.  I want you to enjoy.. relax and take this journey with me.  I am here for all questions as well.  Now you may feel *ahem* weird scribbling with crayons or doing any of the prompts I will ask you to do.. but I want you to get all of that out of your minds.. forget it.. just DO.. I promise you will feel SOOOO GOOOD… PLOMISE!!!

So who’s in?