Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All I Want for Christmas


Dear Santa,

I've been a good girl this year. At least I think I have. I've tried. So if you could manage to bring me what I really, really want this year, I promise I will never ever ask for anything ever again. You see, my beloved Renee is so very miserable. She has a bad case of the bats bumping around in her tummy. She cannot even enjoy a 7-Layer Magic Square cookie without getting violently ill. So what I would like, more than anything in the world, is to make those bats go away. Shoo. Gone. Please, Santa, it doesn't need to be much, just something that will chase those bats away for good. I don't need anything else. She is such an amazing and wonderful person, loved and adored by hundreds worldwide. It's not hard to see why. She could use a little help right now. And while you're at it, if you could have a word with the Big Guy about this, that would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Love,
bella

ps. I will leave an extra cookie and some carrots out for you this year.

* * * * *

Thank you for being such wonderful friends this year. Thank you for your visits and generous comments and loving support. I could not have gotten through it without you. Happy holidays to you and your loving families.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

IF - Hatch

Down the hatch. Cheers!

* * * * *

I did a quick drawing for Crunchy last week but didn't get a chance to post it. Whoa boy, when my kids got a whiff of this, they were horrified and called me evil incarnate. Ssssshhhh, don't tell them I posted this, okay?
Om nom nom nom

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Nothing's Buggin' Me


I'm still in my happy place, and you can't make me leave. I'm not listening. Lalalalalalalala.

This is a drawing inspired by my good friends, S and S and their two little s girls. They are just the most adorable little things. I saw a photo of them recently, and they were so enthralled with a grasshopper that Daddy S had caught. So I decided to build them a bug carousel.

Daddy S recently walked a marathon trailwalk in Hong Kong in my husband's honor, which I found deeply touching. He wrote that, "Peter was a true inspiration for me and showed me by example how to seize challenges, achieve through grit and determination, and live life as fully as possible." The charity walk was a nonstop 100km trek across Hong Kong, which is about 62 miles. My jaw dropped when I heard that! It took him about 33 hours to finish, walking all day and all night long. I cannot imagine and am just stunned by his stamina and determination. Daddy S is a big Sweetheart and will get a gigantic hug from me the next time I see him.

Monday, November 30, 2009

IF - Entangled


Entangled

Our vines
Intertwine
Your life and mine

Lines play
Then stray
Never really going away

Momentarily
Gently, tenderly
Become tangled with me

Sunday, November 22, 2009

IF - Music

Lured by the music.


Nona asked me once why I don't draw more realistic stuff. I guess, I answered, I'd rather live in a world of childhood innocence and fun. There's too much that I'd rather not know, too much that I'd rather un-see. Heck, I'd buy a chunk of real estate along the banks of de Nile, if I could.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sweet Nothings

How to Whisper Sweet Nothings in Your Girlfriend's Ear
shamelessly copied from eHow.com

Things you'll need: Breath Mints, Girlfriend

1. Check your breath. There is nothing that will sour sweet nothings faster than bad breath.

2. Set the mood. You can whisper sweet nothings anytime, but knowing when to do it is important. Wait for a particularly intimate moment, like while watching a movie together or when you are stroking her hair.


3. Think about not only how the mood is striking you, but also how she feels. Knowing your girlfriend is important to finding the right words. Think about things like how beautiful she is when lying next to you, or how nice her smile is.


4. Try to put your feelings into words. Think about how to vocalize your feelings and emotions.


5. Lean in and whisper your declarations of love.


Tips and Warnings:
  • Get close to your partner when whispering. Sweet nothings are an intimate exchange between the two of you. Make sure what you say is for her ears only.
  • Don’t be overtly sexual. They are called sweet nothings, and not dirty talk, for a reason.
  • Don’t be overly poetic. This should be a vocalization of what you feel, not stolen prose.
  • Try not to be corny by using lines from old movies. Chances are she has heard them already.

P.S. A Tarzan yell does not count as a vocalization.


* * * * *

Thank you for your patience and kindness and understanding during my previous post. I didn't expect to be as affected as I was. I thought I had a good handle on things, but I was blindsided. Things are good, though. I've got my cogs spinning again. Thank you.




Sunday, November 8, 2009

IF - Blur


Happy birthday, my love. Your girls are missing you.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

IF - Skinny


Walking the Skinny Mile

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Roll Out the Red Carpet

Ces and her Oaks

"It's just squiggles and lines," she said dismissively.
"And Seurat just had dots, " I said.


I received several awards recently which mean so much to me. They each represent sisterhood. Two of them were created by my dearest sisterfriend Ces. Is there anything closer than a sisterfriend? If there is, she would be it. She offers me her hand, and it is always full, never asking, only giving. When my life took a difficult turn, she was there to gently nudge it back on course. Her squiggles and lines have intersected my squiggles and lines, and now they are inseparable, indistinguishable. She makes me laugh with her playfulness and cry with her generosity.

Ces created the following two awards:



The Deborah Award was created to honor a dear sisterfriend who is forever blowing kisses – “poet, friend, not just a mother but a soldier’s mother, too. Oh, the sleepless nights, the anxiety and worries, yet she is perpetually pleasant and cheerful, kind and gentle, diplomatic and tactful. She exudes courage, hope, and faith."



The Arija award was created to honor another sisterfriend: “a thinking, seeing, feeling, loving person who celebrates life every day. She is an artist, a photographer, a fascinating woman with great sense of humor, wise and thoughtful blogger and a loving and caring friend."




The Friendship Award was created by a new and wonderful friend, Kathi of Beautiful Mini Blessings. Kathi creates incredible miniatures and is in the process of renovating a dollhouse as masterfully as any craftsman-carpenter on This Old House. I am currently in the process of willing myself smaller so that I can live in one of her creations. On friendship, as she so gracefully put it, even though we may be far apart we are close at heart. This award is for someone who has inspired you or brought joy into your life.

I would like to share these awards with the following ladies who bring me joy and inspiration and who enrich my life. Thank you so much!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Peter Breese....LIVE!


My dear friend, the wonderfully talented and formerly headless Peter Breese will be showing his works AND his face at an exhibit in Dallas, Texas, November 7th. His retro and stylish brushstrokes and brilliant silhouettes are the crème de la crème. Take a peek at some of Peter's work, and I guarantee you will be blown away!

Congratulations, Peter!

Friday, October 23, 2009

IF - Fast

Banzai!


I'm still scaling mountains of boxes, and getting tangled up in giant wads of paper and bubble wrap. I think I must have deforested a small village with my move, alone. Oy, the guilt! But I couldn't resist the IF word this week. Plus, certain people were getting restless and resorting to language, and I feared violence would be next. You know who you are.

Have a great week, y'all!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I'll be back....


Currently lost in a canyon of boxes.
I should GPS myself.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Vanessa!


October 3 is Über V's birthday!
Break out the cake 'n' ice cream!

Vanessa just ooooozes with talent. You name it, she can do it. She draws the cutest characters, all sporting the most expressive little grins. She paints, sews amazing dolls, and sings with a beautiful voice. She can poke you with a needle without making you flinch, and afterwards make you look like a superstar by playing with your hair and makeup. She makes the world's best pineapple upside down cake. And on top of it all, she leaves the funniest, side-splittinest, bust-yo-gut kinda comments.

Plus, she is one of the most loving friends I know.

Happy Birthday, Vanessa!
May all your wishes come true.

xoxoxo

Saturday, September 26, 2009

IF - Pattern

Ker-thunk

Ker-thunk

Ker-thunk

Ker-thunk

That is the sound pattern of girls playing a rousing game of See-Saw
Xtreme. In Korea, see-saw is a traditional sport, often played by young women during festivals. It's like the typical playground game, but on steroids.


*Guaranteed you will want to wear shoes for this.



Not to be outdone at festivals, the Korean boys perform a traditional ribbon hat dance, creating flamboyant circular patterns in the air with the wobble-wobble of their heads. That's the official term, by the way. Wobble-wobble.


Good gracious! Does anyone else's neck hurt after watching this video? Quite dizzying.




I'm going to take some Tylenol now. Tell me when the room stops spinning. Hope you have a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Goody Goody

How cool is it to meet so many wonderful people from all over the world!

A while ago, an entrepreneurial and talented, crafty blogger in Australia contacted me about turning some of my doodles into stamps. Andrea has since become a terrific friend, and I greatly admire her dream and ambition of starting her own company.

Well, I was more than happy to give her some drawings, and viola! Look what I received in the mail yesterday!



I have to tell you, I was enormously impressed with the quality of these stamps. They are made from photopolymer and look like those gel window clings, only much sturdier and of higher quality.






You just peel the image off the acetate backing and stick it on the lucite block. Once you've conditioned your stamp, simply ink, position and BAM! What's even more wonderful is that the stamping block and stamp are both clear, so you can see exactly where you are positioning the image. This enables you to mix and match elements to create your own custom design.



Couldn't be easier! Andrea has more stamps created by different designers, each with its own unique style, and more stamps are being introduced monthly. I encourage you to visit her site and give her your support. Congratulations on the launch, Andrea! And thank you so much for the opportunity to collaborate with you.

(Good grief, the girls think they are famous now. Hahaha!)

Friday, September 18, 2009

IF-Infinite


Infinite Love, Infinite Spirit, Infinite Peace

For Renee

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

IF - Welcome

Bringing out the welcome wagon.

My wonderful and extremely talented brother-in-law Jeff recently started his own blog about painting. Jeff's beautiful oil paintings have a pensive and passionate quality. They stir me, emotionally. He works hard at honing his already innumerable skills, which I find highly admirable. Please welcome Jeff to the blogging world of artists.

Hey ya, Jeff! Yo yo, bro!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pffft



*original illustration by Ces, vandalized by...someone.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

IF - Strong


Suzy Sullivan could suck a sockeye salmon through a straw, if she wanted to. Her lungs were that strong. But she preferred milkshakes.

Spent some time making sucky faces in the mirror for this one.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Swimming in Sunshine


Look what's on the other side of the rainbow.

I was recently inspired by aimee's gorgeous photographs of a field of sunflowers and her adorable flower girls.

Summer is beginning its gentle fade, the bustle of a new school year is just over the horizon, and a new home is blossoming around the corner. If all goes well, we will be moving into our new home in about a month's time.

Hope you are having a sunny day.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hope, Magnified


Dedicated to a certain brave warrior lion up in Winnipeg.



And in the distance, evidence of brush fire.



* sigh *



Sunday, August 9, 2009

Providence and Gratitude


How can I ever thank you enough for your compassion and prayers. I have read each and every one of your warm and loving messages and have held them to my heart. And one by one, they have helped to fill the void.

I am blessed to have found so many wonderful and dear friends in the blogging community. Perhaps it was Providence. Perhaps the Fates, knowing they would take my beloved husband, were merciful and gave me good friends to soften the pain. Hundreds of hands to catch me when I fell. Hundreds of balloons to lift me upward again. I will not question it. I am just ever so thankful to have you in my life.

My girls and I are doing well. We miss him, and think of him, and still shed some tears. But we are, for the most part, at peace. We are rebuilding our lives and are holding each other up with the help of loving family members and friends. I intend on visiting each and every one who left me kind words on my last post to give a personal thank you. It might take me a while, but I will do it.

In the meantime, please keep my dear friend Renee, and her sister Jacquie and nephew Sheldon in your prayers.



xoxo
bella

Monday, June 15, 2009

How Life Unfolds

My Dearest Friends,

My heart is heavy. My darling husband, my best friend and partner, my love and father of my children, passed away suddenly this past Saturday. Nona, Emma and I love him and miss him so very deeply.

We are days away from returning to the States, preparing ourselves to start a new journey with the knowledge that we are short one very important member of our family. This summer will be a busy one, with new starts in ways we did not imagine. But we will get through this. We are survivors.

I may be away for a few months, getting my girls settled into their new life, but I did not want you to wonder where I went. I hope I will feel the urge to pick up my pencil again soon.

Thank you for all your good wishes. Please know that your friendship brings me great comfort and joy.

With love,
bella


Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Little Music Maker

A few weeks ago, my older daughter Nona had a violin recital. She played Concerto No. 2, 3rd Movement, by F. Seitz. For weeks, I had listened and tapped loudly in rhythm as she tried to master a particularly difficult part of the music and the dog ran neurotically in circles. I'd watch, heartbroken, as she would grimace in frustration and whip her bow angrily through the air, threatening to break it in two. But on the big night, she held her composure and aced it, every single note. I was so proud and so happy and so relieved. As luck would have it, though, my camera ran out of juice, so I have no pictures, no video, nothing but the vision in my head. So this is my tribute to my daughter Nona, my little violinist.

Thank you all for your visits and wonderfully uplifting comments. I appreciate them all. We're busy preparing for our trans-pacific move and making the rounds at sayonara events, so I haven't had time to visit all your blogs. Please forgive me. I will hopefully return to normal in a few weeks. Thank you, thank you!


Bryce Canyon, Utah

And thank you, Yoon See, for the adorable Hello Kitty figurines! Can you believe it? She made and painted them herself! She is talented in so many ways and always, always generous. We love them, and I couldn't wait to climb them!

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Very Special Day

*From my moleskine. Tree and birds by Ces.

Today, I celebrate the birth of an amazing human being. Her crackerjack wit makes me laugh until my sides feel like splitting. I will find myself giggling at inappropriate locations and inappropriate times, just remembering our sometimes-ribald conversations. She makes my brain light up like Christmas lights and undergo contortionistic feats, like a cerebral Cirque du Soleil. Her incredible art makes my eyes dance and my jaws succumb to gravity, and I have to reach for a paperbag to keep from hyperventilating. Sounds like quite a painful friendship, but I assure you, it is not. She elevates me and holds me up when I feel like crumbling and inspires me to reach new heights. Happy birthday, my dearest Ces and her Gemini twin sister. I celebrate you.


Ces, her Viking who loves to fish,
Epsilon 1 who caught a ginormous catfish,
and Epsilon 2 who starred in a musical production of Don't Rock the Boat.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

IF - Adapt

She waited for her eyes
to adapt to the darkness.





Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

モレスキナ (mo-re-su-ki-na)

What's in my new and treasured moleskine:




I've been having fun adding to Ces's artwork in the breathtaking moleskine she sent to me.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I am not worthy.


My heart is a hard lump at my throat. I have just received the most delicious goodies from the gift fairy. First, a collection of adorable knick-knacks from Caren at kdottie designs: pink napkins to wipe pink smiles, a baa-baa to add to my collection of rescued sheep, a dainty pink hook to hang my hat, and a gorgeous keyhole that, when unlocked, will lead to someplace mysterious and magical.

And then -- ohhhh, and THEN! I unwrapped layer after layer to reveal the most beautiful treasure! My very first Moleskine, embellished with incredible pen and ink illustrations by Ces, my darling sister-friend with a heart of gold. I was literally floored by her beautiful, astonishing artwork. I don't want to mar it with my doodles, but I promised I would use it. Perhaps, with Ces's permission, I will give you a peek at the drawings over the course of time.

Thank you, Caren and Ces! My cup has runneth over and now sits at the bottom of a sea of happy tears. Dang, somebody throw me a life preserver.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

IF - Parade


We are approaching our final five weeks here in Tokyo, and I find myself mentally cataloging all the things I will miss about this wonderful country. One thing, surely, will be the sight of little Japanese schoolchildren on their way to school or on field trips in their adorable uniforms. The sight of brightly colored hats bobbing up and down in a wobbly line like a parade never fails to hypnotize me with delight.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bo

This is Bo. No wonder her sheep keep running away.

I went to the rodeo once in Cody, Wyoming. What an experience! Thrilling and nail-biting exciting and painful to watch all at the same time. Little boys as young as eight or so even competed on bucking sheep. Yikes!

Adorable dough sheep courtesy of Carolyn from Draffin Bears. Thanks, Carolyn!!!