Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Illustration Friday - Journey

Charlotte and Roland take a journey through Europe

Have you ever played with a roly poly pillbug? They are so cute!

Thank you, my dear friends, for your outpouring of support for our Japan disaster relief fundraiser! Thank you for your generosity, not only with your funds but with your kind words and cheers as well. Ces and I were overwhelmed and deeply touched by the show of solidarity and encouragement. I knew many of you had already donated or contributed in another way, and I honestly did not expect much given it was already a few weeks past the disaster. But to date, Ces and I have received direct donation receipts to the Red Cross Japan disaster relief fund totaling $925! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Without question, the people there will need help for a long time, and we will continue to send out thank you packages to anyone who emails a donation receipt (please click here for further details) to either Ces or myself.

And Jack Foster! Come on down! You are the lucky winner of Ces's beautiful pen and ink Quercus Glauca. We will get that off to you very soon. You will absolutely love it, guaranteed. Congratulations!

In other news, my computer has been acting wonky again. First the video card and cable went kaput. Then the internal mic cable came loose. And yesterday, I swore my internal hard drive disintegrated. I tried everything to repair it, to no avail. I was fed up and ready to take the computer back to the shop where, by now, we are all on a first name basis. I tell you, I feel like Norm from Cheers when I go there.

Now here's where things get a little interesting.

See, when my husband passed away, I inherited his computer. He was a whiz with computers, absolutely loved them. So this morning, while doing the dishes, I silently scolded him for pranking me and futzing around inside the Mac. A little while later, I decided to turn it on one last time before taking it to the shop.

And lo and behold..... It's working perfectly!

"Hmmmmmm..... Very interesting," she said, stroking her Fu Manchu mustache. "Very interesting, indeed."

I hope you have a wonderful week full of small miracles.



Ces said...

Ah, Mr. Fu Manchu, the details on this here illustration is absolutely wondrously stunning. I adore every cobblestone. You know how it tickles my insides every time I see rocks, stones and bricks! This has everything I need to make my day, week, month, year, until another Bella illustration comes up. This is beautiful.

Ces said...

Oh, I may need to send you an "anting-anting" to set on top of your computer.

Thank you again for the privilege of working with you on the fundraising.

trudette said...

Super cute illo , great story too !

Jack Foster said...

Hey Bella... and Ces! Wooo Hoo! I can't believe I won. You guys ROCK! I had a sneaky feeling I might win because my middle name is Quercus :o) It was fate :o) But really, you guys have such compassion and love.... all the kudos for your selfless efforts and time. God bless......Oh and your illustration is so wonderful. we called those roly poly bugs, drillers...I don't know where we got that name, but they are cool. I love the angle in your illo. Looking down slightly on the European street. The cobblestone is superb! What detail! And I like the potted plants on the sills.... nice touch. Your characters are always so lovable. The way they are posed just adds to their lobableness ;o)

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Wonderful illustration Bella, and yes, mom and I used to play with roly-poly bug! I've not thought of them for years....thank you for the smile. :-)
Your computer story is most interesting...the words "ghost in the machine" come to mind....
A good one at that!
Take care~~


Sarah said...

LOL Bella...I loooove this one! We have a bonified "Bug Team" here each summer..run by Fox my son..pillbugs..are favorites. Nonni will love this one!!
I love that you scolded him ..even more that it fixed the problem. I am the computer geek here.
Congratulations on the fundraiser hon! That is so wonderful of you two!! WOW! I wish I could have added to this one..maybe soon I can though. Jim has gotten an engineering job....WHOOOHOOO! So things are looking up!
Hugs and love to you hon, Sarah

yoborobo said...

Bella - I adore rolly polly bugs. And beetles. And most spiders (the jumping ones freak me out a little). I used to have 'pet' rolly polly bugs when I was little. Your illustration is perfect! I would love to have a Roland! And I'm betting the gas mileage is better than I am getting on the beast I drive. :)) xox! Pam

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Bella,

Such an incredibly darling illustration you have done, I love it.
Everything is so sweet. I do not know of this beetle but have been watching the series "Life" with David Attenborough and if you get the chance to watch this it is amazing.
Lovely story about the computer and glad you got it going again.

Happy Easter, dear friend to you and the girls.

Nina Crittenden said...

Such a sweet illustration! Bella- you have a real gift for imagining larger-than-life situations!!! :) Hope that you have been well!

lilly blue said...

Very happily just stumbled upon your beautiful blog!

heidi aldin monteleone said...

I LOVE the roly poly! I think they would win the cutest bug contest!
Fab job to you and Ces on the fundraiser. I've had a gremlin in my computer this week, can't get the comments thru etc... I'll be contributing lickety split!
You guys are awesome!! :)

Arija said...

Dearest Bella, signs from beyond happen more often than most people realise. He was just letting you know that he is still looking after you. It was just his way of showing you. As soon as you finally twigged, it was fixed. You must be even more special than I thought (which is pretty impossible) for him to be able to show you in such a distinct way that you are not alone.

Love is the only thing that surmounts death dearest Bella, with all the trouble you have had with your Mac, he has been trying to get through to you for a long time.

rachel awes said...

i love that tour through europe!
& it sounds like there are some
additional great travels between
worlds going on! ..between here
& japan,..between you & your love.
oh bella, lovelovelove to you!

Andrew Finnie said...

Oh Jack ! BIG CONGATULATIONs! seriously couldn't happen to a nicer man

Bella, wowee, it's great that you are back, this is a ownderful piece you have done, it's a sublime composition, so well balanced, gives us that nice warm fuzzt feeling that all is right in the world...

so that's what those things are called.

Well I never knew that! (Did you know they crawl in your ear at night when you are asleep, especially on windy nights?)

That's amazing about your computer! I'm impressed.

Mine does similar, but I kick it and it works :)

see you, welcome back!

Steve E said...

Bella Sinclair. I have started messages to you and to ces four times today (each). Every time when it gets mushy, I delete and begin again.

So maybe this will just have to do: I felt SO overwhelmed last night (Monday) with my Care Package of drawings sitting by the front door, I called Ces, woke her up. I'm so ashamed...grin!

She likely will not even remember it happening, i H O P E !!!

Before I get mushy in 'comments', let me just say THANK YOU BOTH for your hard work, my heart was touched (Now it matches my 'touched' head!) and I am MOST appreciative. Your gifts FAR exceed in value anything of our gifts to the Red Cross.

HUGE success, all around are pleased Peeps, and one of them now sends you
Steve E

Andrew Finnie said...

Oh congrats and raising so much money, you two are just excellent HB's (human beings!)

Steve E said...

Oh, what a way to 'see' Europe, with Roland as her guide. I simply LOVE your work!

Congratulations to Jack Foster for winning 'the BIG ONE' this time.

Shierly Po said...

It's so sweet.. I love your roly-poly! :D

laughingwolf said...

grats on the donations, simply awesome!

grats also to jack!

excellent pillbug [aka sowbug] stuff, as well :D

like i keep saying: once you go MAC, you never go back ;) lol

Krista said...

Ahhh... I think this must be the most perfectest way to navigate those cobbly, wind-a-bout streets!

Those bugs remind me of trips to visit my grandparents! There is also a smell that reminds me of them (the bugs not the grandparents! Well, I dunno....) but I think it's not the bugs themselves, it's the hot Texas nights and the whirrr of the air conditioner. (Oh, for heavens sake, I'm lost on Memory Lane-- all over a pill bug!)

Anyway, thank goodness for small miracles and pranksters from the other side!

Kathi said...

Love your illustration! My kids and I have always played with roly polys. They are so forgiving and harmless too. :D

Barbara said...

Used to love playing with those pillbugs, Bella! And your illustration made me smile. What a lovely way to wind your way down that narrow street!

Hmmm. I think your hubby is still looking after you, Bella!

And congrats on the huge fundraising success. Bloggers are so supportive!

k.h.whitaker said...

Where on earth do you come up with these ideas? I love this, traveling on the back of a rollypolly! how fun is that? I'm so proud of you and Ces!

Lori ann said...

gorgeous bella! what fun rolling down those cobblestone streets on the back of a rolli polli bug!

computers are such a mystery, i'm glad yours responded so nicely to a little scolding!

how wonderful you recieved so many donations, that was such a huge thing for you and ces to do. i am sorry i can't contribute at the moment, being on unemployment takes the fun out of some things!

Linda Hensley said...

Lovely illustration! Why don't I ever think of such things? I guess it takes all types, right? Such a cute illustration. Congrats to Jack and especially to you and Ces for doing such a wonderful thing for others.

So nice of your husband to fix your computer. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Maybe the people we've "lost" aren't really lost after all.

Emily said...

Noo! These guys used to creep me out! But Roland seems so sweet I may change my mind.

theartofpuro said...

Amazing illo as always:)A journey like this is fantastic in all way:)

Rubin Pingk said...

Love it. It is cathartic to see new Bella art!

This is beautiful. Maybe this could be Nausicaa's grandchild playing happily in a bug/human cohabitation city.

Love the colors. Love the composition. Hope your computer works forever.

Cheers! (Norm!)

Janine said...

Dear Bella I am not a friend of Pillbugs, but this one is so cool, you reaqlly made up my mind ;0)
You must have a secret source of inspiration. And you a ´source of inspiration for me.
I made a comment under your latest post.
I couldn´t donate but I want.
But since I have no credit- card I had some difficulties.
Can you send me the bank account?
Maybe I could send money via paypal.
I wish you happy easter.
A big big hug

Shirley said...

Ahhh..love the Fu Manchu mustache, Bella..on you I'm sure it's striking! Oh goodness, this post is so delightful and I am now taking a break from my work to enjoy it all and sink my teeth into it. YAY for the efforts..you and Ces are stars right here on earth. Yay for Jack who won Ces's glorious piece!

Poly bugs..my kids and I love them..we are never to step on them..it's a fact. Love that your little Roland is having a ball with Charlotte down that gorgeous street. Oh your fun names, too..you are just too cool, Bella you know that?

And, biggest YAY yet, for your dearest above! xoxo

Captain Dumbass said...

My middle son loves those bugs, I think their called Wood Lice. And congrats to Jack (grr, why didn't I do my donation sooner?!)

Tammie said...

I love your computer story, yea, husbands that help from the beyond. I know my father has helped from the beyond.

i love your rolly polly! So cute and fun as is the path it rolls along.

So lovely how you have raised money, inspired donations and shared your beautiful arts (both you), thank you!

Amalia K said...

Aww, Miss Bella, you are like a mini vanilla cupcake with passion fruit icing! Sweet and unpredictable, especially when it comes down to your art. I just love this one! Now the bug, however, not so much. Sorry, I'm just very picky about befriending bugs and all insects alike. :D

I'm so happy to hear that you and Ces raised such an astonishing amount of money in such a short time. Well done! Love you guys to bits. oxx

thewillowsnest said...

Good grief.. perspective of the utmost perfection AROUND A CORNER!!! brilliant!! And exquisite cobbly-stones.. and a rolypoly..awwwwww... amazing little armour plates on the little fella.. in NZ we call them Slaters'.. I like your version better!! Lovely to visit as always ..Love Helen

The Original Drama Mama said...

Yay for the "one more try" technique! Glad it's working :)
And I would adore to tour Europe at a leisurely pill bug's strolling pace :)

Sarah Melling said...

What an absolutely original concept, and so beautifully rendered!

Ces said...

I missed mentioning the flowers and plants on the window sills. I especially love the dangkling leaves. Delightful, dearest Bella!

tweed fox said...

This is really gorgeous! you always do some great work. i get those buggies in my house occasionally. never tried to ride one though!

Mónica said...

I´fell happy to turn and see your beautiful works and colours. Adore this scene. Hugs and have a nice week with your new computer mac.

fizzyjinks said...

that is a fantastic illo! What gorgeous colours and wonderful concept. :)

martinealison said...

Je rentre à l'instant de chez mes enfants où j'ai profité de mon petit-fils et je suis heureuse de vous retrouver tous mes chers amis blogueurs... Ma chère Bella tes illustrations remplies de charmes, de délicatesses me manquaient beaucoup...
Cette dernière est sublime et me ravit...
Je suis heureuse pour votre ordinateur... le mien parfois e rend un peu folle! (je le suis certainement un peu!!!)
Gros bisous et à très bientôt.

Karin Bartimole said...

fabulous post, from pill bugs to miracles :) congratulations for all the wonderful work you and ces have done to inspire us all to give more of ourselves!! you made it easy :)
love, miracles, and happy Easter to you and yours!

Megan Coyle said...

Too cute! What a way to travel - by roly poly :)

get zapped said...

It was my pleasure and a BIG thank you to you and Ces!
I love this piece. I want to join her in her journey.

Happy Earth day!

Steve E said...

Bella, you are a 'doll'...and I will come right back at you with...HAHAHA! Girls just gotta have fun.

1. That (your comment on my blog) gave me my "laugh-of-the-day"

2. You are the one Peep who REALLY GOT MY MESSAGE! Your sense of humor is like (you-know-who, starts with C**) and also mine, that's why I like!

Thanks...and TSUP!

Steve E said...

What's a "an ting-an ting" to be set on top of computer?

(Whatever it is, I want one--grin!)

encaracolada said...

So original concept! I used to play with this bugs when I was a kid. I hope the Mac keeps sane!!!
Big hug

deepazartz said...

Wonderful and Amazing illo as usual Bella. The bug looks really cute:)
Happy Easter to you and ur family!

caren@kdottiedesigns.com said...

Of course he is watching over you :)))))


AtelierBrigitte said...

Lovely illo!
Congrats Jack, winning the wonderful drawing.
A 'strange' story about that computer...

Raluca said...

just to wish you and all dear to you a happy and full of light Easter,dear Bella!
Now i just saw your and Ces fundraising for helping Japan!

Steve E said...

Thank you, thank you Bella! You gave me my "laugh-of-the-day...no, laugh-of-the-WEEK!" HAHAHAHA

"...Steve was not sleepy until he started conversing with you??? Hmm."

Do you ever get to 'That City' in Texas? I could think of no better way to spend an hour or two, with you, Ces, and coffee! (It IS a long bike ride--see, I'm already backing away...)


Ces said...

$975.00 as of 4/24/2011 7:08PM.

Twenty five more and we will reach the grand I set as a goal!!!

Draffin Bears said...

Happy Easter dear Bella, to you and your family.
Hope that you are enjoying a few days holiday.


Rabbit Town Animator said...

Happy Easter and I love your new piece! makes me want to play with a roly poly bug ;).

aimee said...

oh, i want to go rollin' through europe with roland! that's some risky business on those cobblestone streets!

i love that your computer is working again -- goes along with my theory that if something electronic is broken, the best way to fix it is to turn it off and then on again. but i think in your case, a very special hand was involved in fixing this one :) xoxo

aimee said...

and CONGRATS on the fundraiser effort!! xoxo

cindy k said...

yes, i believe you do have a technology fairy 'godmother' to watch over you! yes, indeed!

jcdillustration said...

Bella and Ces: that is a wonderful thing you are doing to support the relief effort. Hugs!

And Bella for reminding me of roly-polys (polies?) - Thank you. =)

Andrew said...

Thank you Bella and Ces. I got the art work and it is just so perfect. It is easy to see the love, the care and concern that came with it. I came back here to refresh my mind about 'Nana karobi ya oki', and see comments from just a few hours ago. Once again, thank you ladies.

You are very talented people with hearts big enough to hold the universe.

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

Hey Honey Bunny!!! I came out of my little mole hole to say hello and there is all kinds of wonderfulness going on here. I miss you soooooooooooo much! It's super duper crazy around here as we continue to pack and move. I haven't had a chance to slow down, but I had to come and see all the beautifulness that was going on over here!!! Don't you just love rolley polely bugs?? They are so cute. Not like the bugs I had to fight last night. Stink bugs are on the rise here in NJ and the centipedes are showing up. It's crazy. You illustration is most beautiful and fun! Love it.
Big hugs to you darling.
Love you so much!

Red Dirt Lattes said...

I just found your blog. Your illustrations are amazing! I will be visiting frequently.

Jack Foster said...

Hey Layer Cake! Thanks for stopping by for a visit. You always brighten up my comment section with your wit and charm :o) I hope you had a nice Easter! Did you dress the girls up in skirts and bonnets? Take care....hugs back atcha!

Amanda Dilworth said...

You have such a great imagination Bella, such an original and cute illustration:)

Andrew Finnie said...

A rolly polly pill bug?.... that is ingrained my mind, next time I'm laying in the grass outside my bedroom window and one crawls inside my ear and I have to go to the doctor I will know what to tell her...

HeatherU said...

I love that word WONKY and thought I was the only one who used it. Guess not :)

ps as always I love your drawings

Ces said...

Nightingale tongues actually sound better than chicken feet and chicken heads which are still major ingredients of some cultural dishes here in Texas. My husband once bought a pack of chicken feet (claws) from a Mexican grocery store. When he got home, he and his friends tacked the chicken-feet to the door of another friend. They were lucky. He had a great sense of humor but that was creepy to see rows oc chicken feet clinging to the door.

Marie S said...

I love your roly poly, that is the cutest roly poly I have ever seen!
Only you could do that my Dear Bella.
So sorry I haven't been around, Madi has me running hither and yon.
Maybe I will loose some weight.
Love and hugs,
PS. you and Ces are so awesome.
I love that your computer works now.
Maybe he felt you needed to talk to him more.

Ces said...

WHAAAAATTTTTT???!!! Her dress has a floral pattern! I cannot enlarge the image on this post but her dress has a floral pattern!!! Aaaaahhhhh! I thought it was just shading. Then there is a flower pattern above the window on the circle - I was so blind and then each leaf on the ivy plant is defined. and on the window sill. This is pure ecstasy. THANK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!! TSUP! TSUP! TSUP!!!

laughingwolf said...

did you see its big cousin in my 'don't bug me' post?

Steve E said...

Reminds me of the Christmas Carol, which has a line, "DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE...?"

Ces, I SEE it, the floral pattern on the dress, AND the defined leaves...AND OMG, that circle above the window! "I SEE WHAT YOU SEE" (when you tell me what to look for...grin!)

Oh what an artist you ARE--
Yes, Bella. YOU!
With the Fu Manchu.....

Oh How I L O V E these blogs. Thank you, Peeps for making this part of my life feel SO worthwhile

Silke said...

What a wonderful post, Bella - all of it! Your illustration (I LOVE roly polies), the money you have raised (yeah!!!) and the story about your computer. I love small miracles like that... Keep 'em coming! Love, Silke

Johanna Urban said...

Oh! love this post!

Amaing and stunning illustration!

I playd a lot with these bugs as a little girl, they are adorable! But I hate spiders ;P


johanna, sweden

Valerie Lorimer said...

This illustration is simply delightful! Love roly-polys too.

Ces said...

See? I am not even spamming you and I have to scroll so much my thumb is contracted! Tsup!

Vilt og vakkert said...


Oh, what a great job you do. I have been busy traveling without visiting your blog the last weeks.
I will support your people trough our national Red Cross.

I must tell you, I melted watching your sweet illustration. I didn't know that these bugs could roll!
Have a nice weekend ;:OD)

Shannon said...

Hi sweet friend! So happy to reconnect w/ you. Love that you are raising funds for Japan, too. And happy to hear your husband is looking after you and your computer! Big hugs your way...

BT said...

Well how wonderful and eerie and strange..... I'm so thrilled about all the donations. Brilliant. Now we have all the trouble in the Georgia area and all the devastation there.

I love your little illustration adn those bugs are so cute! We have been invaded by millipedes here! Hugs to you across the miles special lady.

lyptis said...

Cute miracle! I don't like these bugs but your illustrations are as always gorgeous.

Caroline said...

79 comments??? Scrolling, scolling.. thought I'd never get to leave mine! Well, what can I say, but I LOVE it! I love visiting your blog, Bella - you always have THE most wonderful creations to view!

Ces said...

I think this blog needs another comment. In fact I think it ought to be more than 100, it's not going to be unusual after all, you have a post with more than 1000 comment.

Ces said...

That would be 1000 commentSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

Andrew Finnie said...

haha was that my probiscius or my prosthetic? Hold on or was it my prosthetic probiscus? Ahh I cannot spell probiscus! AAAArghhh :)

I just found out dilettante has an adjective- "dilettanteish"

see what I learn here!

Ces said...

Hehehehe! Patti and I are setting privileges and I read to her your last statement and we both busted up laughing. Thank you.

Ann Pilicer said...

Beautiful and so well done! have not ck'd in for a while. Your work always makes me smile! I should have done that sooner! Congrats on all the donations! it is so needed.
Yeah Jack won! how wonderful. Beautiful illo's from Ces! You guys are the best! :D Never stop!

Shelley Whiting said...

Wow this picture is so cute and whimsical. I want a roly-poly of my own!

Francisco Martins said...

OMG I always loved this little curly bugs! :D and yesss I used to play with them when I was a kid :D
Gorgeous illustration as ALWAYSSSS Bella! I love how your mind works :d
I'm glad your mac is working again. I pray I pray that mine never goes kaput because apple's technical assistance is terrible in my country and NO ONE else knows how to fix a mac, they only do pcs, how frustrating is that??

Majoni's Illustrations said...

Hi Bella!
I do not like Roly-poly's, but my daughter loved them, and wanted to keep them for pets as a little girl, which thankfully her older brothers agreed with me, wasn't OK in the house! : ) But, I LOVE your "journey" illustration! Imagine how fun! : )

justdoodleit said...

Lovely. You are on a roll along with the bug in the picture :)

Jenn said...

Hi! I came across your blog today and love your illustrations! I have a 3 yr old daughter who loves roly polies...wanted to see if I would be able to purchase this one from you?

Bella Sinclair said...

Hello, Jenn.

I hope you come back to read this. I could not access your profile from your link. Thank you so much for your inquiry. I'm very flattered. Every 3 year old should have her very own roly poly!

I will be sure to make an 8x10 print and list it in my etsy shop within the next few days:

Or, if there is a particular size you need, please let me know via email at:

Thank you so much!