Hello everyone! It's Bibi here today, typing to you from my new keyboard ....
Isn't that speck-tacular? But what does my "new" keyboard have to do with my trip to The Netherlands? Keep reading and you'll soon find out ...
As our regular blog readers will know, I spent a week in The Netherlands earlier this month. The main reason I went there was so I could go to the ARTSpecially stamp show in Nijkerk to meet my Dutch retailer - Marian, who owns Hobbycompleet de Duif. But before that, my sweetheart and I spent some days in Amsterdam, one of my fave places in the world!
The huge "I amsterdam" letters on the plaza behind Rijksmuseum (National Gallery).
Any toursist with respect for herself will take 100's of photos of those letters....
It was colder in April than I had expected, and the spring was indeed late this year.
Even so, the famous Tulip Festival was on. Here I am by the pond (still at the Rijksmuseum plaza) where thousands of tulips of different species had been put out on display:
Yes, those all all tulips - some of them looked like roses and some like some sort of lily.
In addition to sight-seeing and spending time with dear friends, one of the highlights of our trip was of course the stamp show! I wish I had LOTS of photos to show you, but I forgot to take any!! Duh on me. I guess it means I have to go back next year ... ;-)
Hobbycomplete de Duif (my Dutch retailer) had a big booth at the show and it was such a thrill to see my own Rubber Dance stamps on display! It was the first time I met Marian in person, and she was really, really nice and fun to talk to.
I also got to meet Jetske from De Stempelwinkel, whom I've known online for years, and two of my previous Guest Designers: Ellie Knol was demoing at a booth and Liesbeth Fidder was teaching workshops. It was really nice to meet them - I only wish we had more time to talk! But you know, people who work at stamp shows are super busy, it's just the way it is - and should be :-)
I didn't spend a fortune at the show, in fact I stuck to my shopping list of a few items I wanted/needed, which I all found at de Duif's booth: Black Gesso (which I had never tried, but wanted after seeing many of you guys using it!), a new VersaMark ink pad (my old one must be 10 years!), some Distress reinkers and quite a few Distress Spray Stains - many more colours than those on my list, but what can a girl do when they all look so tempting? I walked around and saw most of the other booths, but it was too overwhelming for me to concentrate enough to want to buy anything! I think I need to go back to Nederland just to visit de Duif's shop in Leeuwarden, and spend a week there instead ... Oooh-yeah, sounds like a plan! :-D
So, now that you know that I bought a bunch of Distress Spray Stains, you know why my keyboard look so speck-tacular! Kids, do cover up the surrounding areas if you use ink sprays ... It is a messy thing to work with! Here's what my desk looked like after just a few minutes - the underpaper became prettier and prettier, though, so that's a cool side effect!
Some orders were waiting for me to fill when I came back from Nederland, so I decorated the shipping envelopes with my new ink sprays. I masked off the area where the addresses would go, then sprayed - waited till dry, then stamped. (Forgot to cover up the names and addresses before I took this photo, so I've whited those out in Photoshop).
More envies, this time I used stencils to spray through, all ready to decorate with stamping:
I also made my very first card using the Distress Spray Stains to create background papers in the colours I wanted (pink and green):
The text is in Norwegian and reads, "The OLDER you get, the older you ARE!" (I have the stamp in English as well). I made this birthday card for one of the women on my Design Team, and even if the text may sound a bit rude, she IS younger than ME - and she has a silly sense of humour, so I think she liked it ... (she'd better, right? Right!)
After I had stamped the flowers from Antique Botanicals, I masked the centres and gave the petals a mist of Distress Spray Stains. The centres were coloured with Inktense pencils before I added some Dimensional Magic on top.
My second card using my new sprays.
I wanted to try this new thing that I've seen a lot of lately, namely the galaxy cards:
Moon Lady stamp (Celestial Images) cut out and adhered with foam dots. Text written on the computer, hand doodled frames.
And, finally, an old cigar box I altered by decoupaging the underpaper to it:
I'm going to decorate it more - with stamping, of course - and perhaps add some embellishments
to the top of lid ... I haven't decided yet.
I made the panel for the inside of the lid on watercolur paper, some white embossed stamped images and some stamped with dark blue ink. I glued the panel to the inside of the lid after the decoupaged underpaper was dry.
If you read my post on April the 2nd, you might wonder how the surgery went ... but if you don't, you can skip the rest.
During the last couple of days of my The Netherlands, one of my molars started to hurt really badly, so much so that I called my dentist in Norway and asked for an emergency appointment on the day after we had returned home. I had a root canal in that tooth last year and it has been bugging me on and off ever since. Turned out there was an inflammation below one of the roots and my dentist agreed with me - no more fiddling about, just pull that damn thing out! Ahhhh... so much better.
I was scheduled for a surgery on the following day and I went to the hospital as planned. But when the surgeons heard that I had pulled a tooth the day before due to an inflammation, they got worried! When there is an inflammation, there are bacteria... and those suckers swim around in the blood stream and might cause infections in the surgery wounds. I had no idea! Long story short: the surgery had to be postponed for at least two weeks!! I am glad they don't take any risks, of course, but I was really down. All that planning ahead, dreading and preparation - for nothing.
It's been a few days now, and I feel a lot better. The gap after the pulled molar has closed nicely, the sun has been shining most days, I've planted out some pansies, and yesterday we had our first outdoor BBQ with some friends. Life is pretty good! :-)))
Besides, I have a bunch of new "toys" to play with - and decorate my keyboard with (it comes right off with a baby wipe, btw).
A little bit of spring in our backyard.
The "zebra striped pansy" in the back is not a pansy
- it's a plastic zebra that I always use in my decorations, it being indoors for Xmas, New Year's, Easter, etc - and then, finally, she gets to go out in the spring and stays out all summer, till it's time to make an autumn decoration indoors .... and so the cycle continues.
My dog, Ulla, is glad to have her momma home :-)
Till next time - be good, stay creative, and brush your teeth & floss at least twice a day!