Wednesday, December 22, 2010



May love reign in your house this holiday season.

I received a card yesterday, and I loved what it said so I will pass it on to you:

Merry Everything . . . Happy Always

xoxo
bella

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Illustration Friday - Prehistoric

*Inspired by the works of Ces.
**Also inspired by my hands which are badly in need of Lubriderm.


Did you know, some people argue that the pomegranate was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden?


◉⃝◉⃝◉⃝◉⃝◉⃝


In the spirit of holiday shopping, I am offering a SOGO (see one, get one free)! I recently learned that my talented and crafty friend Esque shares my love for cows. Do you remember the decorated cow sculptures that paraded around New York City some years ago? It seems that some of them have made it to the Swiss hills to enjoy their own serenade. And we all know that happy cows give more milk. :)

This one's for you, Esque! Mooo!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Illustration Friday - Savour


"Is that a blowhole or a mouth?"
"Hmmm, you know, I'm not sure."


Lately, my two girls have taken to sleeping with me at night. It's the three of us, plus the pooch, snuggled in a queen size bed. Inevitably, someone steals the covers or gets a knee or elbow, but it's also warm and cozy. I am savoring these nights when I can fall asleep listening to everyone breathing.

Happy December! And Happy Hanukkah!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Illustration Friday - Burning


My kid: "What are those, chickens?"
Me: "What? No, they are not chickens! Gah!"

So last week, I invited a friend and her son over for movie night. I had it all planned. Before they arrived, I went out and got two large pies -- one combo, one cheese. And I got five different flavors of popcorn. Woohoo! To keep the pizzas warm, I shoved the boxes into the oven and turned the dial to "Keep Warm". Then I took the dog out for a quick walk before our friends arrived.

When I returned, smoke was billowing out of the oven. One of the boxes had caught on fire. I tried to whack the flames out with a towel, but that only made it jump to the other side of the box and black ash spew everywhere. Yikes! Finally, I grabbed a cup of water and threw it on the fire. Sssssssssss. Out. I shed a quick tear for the half-pie I lost and tried my best to pick out the ashes from the remaining slices. Eh, they'll never know.

As we were watching the movie, I heard my friend's son mutter, "Why does the pizza taste like smoke?"


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Illustration Friday - Afterward, ad nauseam

"Afterward!"


Lemme 'splain.

See, I was out walking the dog when I suddenly had this image of two little girls wanting to go back in time. And I thought, 'Hmmm, what would be the opposite battle cry of Forward? Would it be....Afterward?"

So then I started drawing this thing, and afterward I said to myself, "Hey dummy, the opposite of Forward would be Backward, not Afterward." Oh well, too late.

Afterward, my older daughter gave me such a look of pity and said, "Umm, yeah. You kind of messed that one up." HA!

What's that? The aardvark? Well, I just think they're cute.

My little one asked me to post this recent drawing that she's quite pleased about:



Afterward, I decided to add a few embellishments. Because everything looks better with laser eyes, in my opinion.


She's going to give me laser eyes when she sees this.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Illustration Friday - Spooky

Hanging with the Fungi

I know, I know. More creepy than spooky. But really, my laundry pile spooks me.


Last night, I got exasperated at my little kid, telling her she rushes through her homework. She promptly stomped upstairs in a huff and came back sometime later with a hand delivered message. That's her on the right, and the funny thing is, that's exactly how she looks. That's me on the left. Note my diminutive size.


Have a wonderful weekend. And thank you for your kind words of encouragement!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Vanessa!


The world is your oyster, baby!

She sings
and sews
and paints
and knows
exactly how to inspire.

She writes
and cooks
and illustrates
books
and sends my heart floating higher.

Happy birthday, Vanessa! You are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. May ALL your dreams and wishes come true.

To be whisked away to the ├╝ber-fantastic world of Miss V, click here! Hurry, whatareyawaitingfor?!



Monday, September 27, 2010

Illustration Friday - Old Fashioned

Theirs was an old fashioned love story.
Newlyweds in Central Park

This is a drawing created for a very special friend earlier this year. It was a gift for a sweet young couple who recently got married.

Wow, you guys really know how to make a girl feel good. Last week's drawing was a simple one, but I'm thrilled to the core that you were able to feel the joy that I felt while drawing it. Thank you!

Speaking of old fashioned, I've been listening to a lot of Pink Martini lately. This one's called:

Let's Never Stop Falling in Love

Enjoy.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Illustration Friday - Acrobat


Every time she saw him,
her heart did flips
like a little acrobat in her chest.


Just a quickie. Thank you so much for all your wonderful and encouraging comments on the saber-toothed deer. Have a great week!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Illustration Friday - Proverb


This image best depicts:

[ ] Look before you leap.
[ ] Let sleeping dogs lie.
[ ] People named Bella are attracted to things with fangs.



No, I did NOT make this up! There really are saber-toothed deer running around outside my head. These are water deer that reside primarily in China and Korea. Rather than antlers, they have fangs or tusks. Imagine running into this Bambi in the forest! You can read more about them here.



Lastly, just for kicks, I thought I'd share with you what the image looks like without the original pencil drawing. Whenever I color in a drawing, I like to see what all the mess looks like underneath. Kinda neat.


Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

Monday, September 13, 2010

What I Did on My Summer Vacation


Hello! Hello, hello, hello! Can you see me waving my hands wildly in the air? I hope you've had a spectacular few months. The girls and I had a marvelous summer spending time with family on the beach, hugging my nieces and nephews, receiving friends from all over, visiting Mickey Mouse, racing with my best friend, and just having a wonderfully lazy ol' time with each other. It's hard to see it all come to an end.

But it's good to be back. My pencils have been rather lonely, they tell me. They can be...rather dull. (ba-dum bum) And I'm eager to see what everyone has been up to!

⌘ ⌘ ⌘

My dear friends recently had a new baby, so I drew this piece last week to welcome baby Sadie. These are their three beautiful little girls in a poppy field (poppies, I have learned, are the flowers for August birthdays). My daughters were their flower girls when they got married, so I think it's only fitting that I made their daughters part of my flower girl crew as well.



Now, off to work on my IF piece...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

SUMMER!


What was I thinking? Art and blogging in the summer? Say WHUT?

Nope, I can't do it.

Between spending time with friends and family, secretly poking my kids in line at amusement parks, combing the beaches for sand dollars and freaking the girls out with crab claws, and eating pretend spaghetti and drinking pretend tea at my kids' pretend cafe, I can't seem to find the time. But that's okay. After all, it's all about the kids, isn't it? I intend to soak up as much of their laughter and happy faces while I can this summer.

And hey, thank you all so much for your heartwarming wishes and beautiful sentiments on my last post. You made the event that much more meaningful, and I'm glad I could share it with you.

See you all in a couple of months! Hope you have a ridiculously fun summer (or winter, as the case may be).

XOXO

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Very Special Day

The Fourth of July is just around the corner. It's a very special day for me, and not just because it's a holiday or the birth of our nation. It's the day Peter and I began dating, and as such, it had more meaning for both of us than even our wedding day. It was our beginning.

We met in college through a mutual friend. I was taking extra courses, and he was working on campus. A month after we started dating, he asked me to marry him, and I laughed. I didn't think he was serious, but he was.


You and me, under our tree where you carved our initials.

When Peter formally proposed, it was in a restaurant called Sign of the Dove in New York City. It's no longer there, and I don't remember much about the menu or what we ate. But I do remember how adorably agitated he became when the waiter interrupted just as he pulled the ring box from his pocket. And I remember the delicious loaf of olive bread that the waiter gave us as we left, as much an apology as a congratulatory offering.

Last year, after Peter's memorial service in midtown Manhattan, the girls and I lingered behind a few days in the city. It was the Fourth of July once again, and the first year that the grand Macy's fireworks show would be displayed over the Hudson River. I brought the girls up to the rooftop deck of our hotel where we could see a narrow patch of sky between the tall buildings. When the first firework boomed, hundreds of startled pigeons took flight into the sky. In the darkness, they looked like a flock of white doves, soaring and swerving overhead in graceful unison.

It was the sign of the dove.



Happy Anniversary to my love.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Illustration Friday - Ripple



⌘ ⌘ ⌘


Thank you to everyone for all your encouragement and support and friendship. I do appreciate all your visits and comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave a few words. Visiting you keeps me inspired and itching to be better and do more. Thank you!

xoxo

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Illustration Friday - Trail


She was relieved to see that the strange kid had lost her trail.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ces!


HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY

you make me so very

HAPPY!

Happy birthday to a most darling Sisterfriend whose depth of passion, intelligence, talent, and generosity are among the greatest known to humankind! Thank you for not getting a restraining order against me. Thank you for letting me push your beautiful buttons. Thank you for your pen lines that have traveled to the moon and back a hundred times over. But thank you, most of all, for your loyal friendship and love.

I love you!!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Illustration Friday - Slither


It slithered toward her outstretched hands and
inspected the shimmering droplet.


Apparently, I have monsters coming out the wazoo. This piece actually started out several months ago with a hummingbird, inspired by the many that zip by my window. However, I just was not happy with it. So I obliterated the bird and snuck in a steampunk dragon. Thankfully, I don't think the girl noticed the change.

Happy weekend, everyone!



Thursday, May 13, 2010

IF - Fearless


Fearless means not caring whether your friends will tease you for playing dress up and dolls with a girl.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

IF - Cocoon


Dedicated to Arija,
Mother Nature's most beloved ambassador
and rose enchantress.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sugar High





I could use some potato chips right about now.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jelly


I don't know if this is a joy ride or a daring rescue mission.
You decide.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

IF - Linked



At the encouragement of a good friend, I squeezed out one more Totoro, which wasn't difficult considering how much I adore the works of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. There are friends who stimulate me with love and laughter, friends who inspire me with incredible art, and friends who challenge me to push further and step outside my comfort zone. I am lucky to have all types, often within the very same person. I started drawing again two years ago, and I probably would have packed the pencils away after a few short months had I not been adopted by such an extraordinary second family. Cheers to you all.

p.s. Initially, my daughters looked at an earlier version of this and thought the girl was being blown away by a Totoro fart. Aaah, I love my little art critics.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hippity Hoppity


Don't tell me you've never worn stockings on YOUR head.

Thanks for all your wonderful comments and words of encouragement. And for those of you who remarked that Frankenbunny had a Totoro resemblance, you absolutely floored me! You were spot on. He actually started out as a Totoro, but elected to have species-reassignment surgery at the last minute. I'm so grateful none of you thought he looked like Pikachu.

Skipping out of town for a few days. I hope you all have a blessedly wonderful week!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

IF - Rescue


Frankenbunny says Ooops

Sunday, March 21, 2010

To market, to market, to buy a fat....pachyderm?


Thank you for your sympathies for my spine. I'm up and about, but I have been banned from the tennis courts for a while. Probably more because I suck at it, though.

This is a doodle I did for Illustration Friday's Perspective a little while back, but did not get around to posting it. If anyone knows where I can buy a little pink elephant, please let me know.

Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

IF-Subterranean


This weekend, I hurt my back and had to stay in bed for a couple of days. And today, this came out of my head. Hmmmmm..... connection.....

(I'm doing much better now, by the way. Thanks!)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dreaming


I close my eyes and dream of you,
Oh, the wondrous things we do.


It has been a solemn week. Our beautiful friend Renee passed away, and hearts were heavy with sorrow around the world. My deepest sympathies for her husband and children and grandchildren and siblings who have endured so much over the past year.

On a lighter note, today I get to make a wee little girl feel like a princess on her birthday. I am so very lucky. Happy birthday, Emma. I love you.



Searching the heavens for new stars

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Journey Home

Renee, Ces, and Bella dance beneath the bluebells.



Thank you for all your heartfelt thoughts and prayers for our dearest friend Renee as she prepares to make her final journey home soon. Travel well, my darling. Your loved ones await to greet you with open arms. We miss you and love you.

xoxo

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Forget Me Not

Renee and Josephine and baby Domenic

I am thinking of you, my beloved Renee. I miss you fiercely. My time with you has been one of the richest in my life. It has been much too short, but I am grateful for every single second. Thank you for making a home for me in your heart and for taking up residence in mine. Thank you for showing me how to love openly and honestly. In the past year alone, I must have said, 'I love you,' to more people, more times than in all my years combined. Thank you for extending your hand and offering me comfort and wisdom when I was confused and distraught. Thank you for making me simultaneously burst out in laughter and blush as we speed-tagged through comments. I miss your sharp and quick wit. I miss your har hars.

Last year, you described how you and Josephine pretended to flit and fly like butterflies on the lawn. How I loved that image. That is how you live in my mind now. Not sick, battling bats or lying in a hospital bed. In my mind, you are free and happy and oh so full of love.

Do not forget me, my dearest. Save me a seat next to you, and I shall come find you. I always do. Ces will join us, and we shall have a riotous time and probably get kicked out the pearly gates for being too bawdy. But we won't care, because we will be having the best time, and then they will have to let us back in because you are the best angel and the life of the party.

I love you, darling Renee. Forever and always.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

IF - Adrift

Adrift on the Love Float


I have to admit, I kept humming the theme to Love Boat while drawing this. As a kid, I used to pretend I was boarding the Love Boat. I made paper tickets and everything. But we weren't headed to Mexico, oh no. We were sailing to....that's right, Fantasy Island. De boat, de boat!

Come on now, sing it with me. You know you wanna.

Love, exciting and new
Come Aboard. We're expecting you.
And love, life's sweetest reward.
Let it flow, it floats back to you.

The Looooooove Flooooooaaaaat.....

Hope you are all enjoying the most love filled day. And Happy Chinese New Year! And Happy Birthday, Mr. President.

Monday, February 8, 2010

IF - Muddy

Her heart raced faster as they dove down into the muddy depths.


Oh boy, where have I been. Missing all the fun, it seems. I apologize for the dearth of posts. Still trying to find my sea legs, but I promise to be better. I do miss all of you and am eager to catch up.

This is dedicated to my favorite Lost Boy.

Monday, January 18, 2010

IF - Wilderness


Sheesh, I go away for a little while, and my doodles have gone feral. Serves me right.

I read about three little kids in Germany last week who waited until their nursery school teacher wasn't looking. And as soon as they saw their chance, they made a break for it, off to catch a plane to the wilderness of Africa! Seriously, that was their plan.

But!

Their plan was foiled, because they first had to stop at a toy store...presumably to stock up on supplies. Hahahahaha!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful start to the new year. Long live the spork.