Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to Matt!

Happy Bugday to our son, Matt today!

Hard to believe that 35 years ago this bundle of boy came into our lives at 7.8 lbs, 21 inches tall.

He now towers over me at 6' & some inches tall ... wonder of wonders!

So as we light the birthday candles and eat some cake, I thought that maybe you would like to celebrate someone you love with a card.

Bugawumps stamps needed:

Maestro - 186E

Treble Cleff - 580C

Baby Moonbee - 303A

Happy Bugday to You.... - 7002F

1. Stamp Maestro - 186E in the lower left hand side of a piece of white cardstock (4" x 5")

2. Draw 5 lines along the top of the cardstock with a fine tipped permanent marker

3. Stamp Treble cleff - 580C once at the left hand side of the lines and Baby Moonbee - 303A

multiple times at various heights along the lines so they will look like notes on a staff

4. Draw lines on top of the Baby Moonbees - 303A so that they look like notes, i.e. see sample

5. Stamp "Happy Bugday to You..." - 7002F in lower right hand corner of cardstock

6. Color in ALL images with markers or colored pencils of your choice

7. Layer cardstock onto black and white checkered paper lining up the checkered squares

8. Randomly color in the white squares on the checkered paper, i.e. see sample

9. Layer card onto either white or black cardstock

YOU ARE DONE with the card, but not your day - so go out and celebrate the best way you can.

For Matt, he'll probably be having a beer tonight with his wife and a few good friends and a piece of his favorite German Chocolate Cake.

Bella Boo will be chewing on her favorite rawhide bone and wondering when the party will begin - again.

As for Me, well, my tastes are a little simpler - I'll have a Diet Coke spiced with lime and some of the frosting!

Hope your day is full of frosting and other sweet treats that help you create a lifetime worth of good memories decorated with great friends!

Happy Bugday to all!

Laura Anne and Bella Boo

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Sky's the Limit

As the days warm up and the sun stays with us longer, I find myself wandering out into the backyard with Bella later and later delighted to find a sky full of stars over my frosty breath.

Today I am thinking of packing up the bulkiest of my sweaters, the heaviest of my jeans and the most cumbersome over padded underwired bras that Victoria's Secret promised would make me sexy (how anyone would notice under those sweaters is beyond me) and move towards a free-er, more minimalistic life style.

Barefeet, sun kissed shoulders, freckled faces and cool citrusy summer drinks.... yummy stretched out days that melt into purple hazey evenings dazzled with the brilliance of an orange setting sun. My favorite season, summer, is almost upon us.

So for today, let's stamp the uplifting moments that define our future and leave the cold snow covered past behind.

Three stamps: OH MY bug stamp, BOOBS word stamp, and any old star stamp that you have in your drawers - we used the top portion of our CELESTIAL HEART stamp.

Add to that -Alcohol Based Markers, stickers and a little glitter glue is all it took to make this card.

Stamp the images, color in with your markers. Add a little glitz here and there with the glitter glue and top off with a few well placed stickers for added dimension.

Layer the original stamped cardstock onto colored papers or another layer of colored cardstock.

*****To make quick little flowers on your cards, just press the tip of the marker into the paper (straight down so that it makes a dot) and then add the stems with a fine tipped marker (normally on the other side of a Marvey or Tombo marker). To make the leaves, just press the side of the marker down near the stems you've just made. Easy, fun, and almost foolproof - so practise this on a piece of scrap paper first.

Well, off for a walk with my Bella Boo to see what she can find to amuse us both with today!

Bugs and Kisses and Sunny Wishes for a Great Day!

Laura Anne and Bella Boo

Monday, March 22, 2010

Checkered Past

One of my favorite Bugawumps word stamps is

"Wishing you a checkered past and a polka dot future".

Seems to me every girl should have something a little wild and crazy that happened to her somewhere in her life so that she has at least one really fun story to tell the "young 'uns" when the time comes and also so that when the time comes she can see that the road she has taken has brought her to a good place and understands that without that road she would not be the person she is today - the process of getting ourselves to that "happy place" is as important as "being in a happy state".

As my cell phones ring, the tv's blare, and Bella barks, I sometimes feel like the world is out to get me and ask myself, "why is life so complicated?" It is that moment when I need to step back and realize no one promised me a perfect life (or body for that matter) and that it is up to me to change what makes me uncomfortable, unhappy, or overwhelmed.

So as I take a deep breath on this cold, sunny, and yes, snowy Monday morning I will start my day rationalizing about the reality of what I can honestly accomplish in a 24 hour period (no, a 15 pound drop in weight will not happen today nor a Picasso-esque masterpiece) and be happy with a playful puppy at my side, a load of laundry that needs to be done, and a good cup of coffee to see me through the mundane chores that make up my life.

This is the "stuff" that gives the polka dot future a chance to emerge. As the possibilites of my day unfold, my friends call, a challenge steps forth, and a cookie calls my name, I will remember that these are the moments that will color my story for generations to come - how I choose to tell the story is mine.

Make today's yours!

Laura Anne and Bella Boo

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wearin' O' the Green

If you aren't smiling today, you are not Irish!

In a world not to long away or far away our family started going on leprachaun hunts after dusk on St. Patty's day.

Our son Matt, who was almost 6 years old at the time, started the tradition. He insisted that he had seen a leprachaun riding on top of a neighbors car and that if we hurried we could catch the leprachaun and the pot of gold would be ours. He truly believed he could catch a leprachaun and I didn't have the heart to tell him that in actuality, catching a leprachaun was harder than one would imagine. So the tradition of going out on a cold damp night in March (sometimes in a foot of snow) became ours and eventually the neighborhood's as well.

I play well with others and not wanting to disappoint our young children, I made a run to the grocery store for anything green that would suffice as Leprachaun booty.

Rushing up and down the aisles of our neighborhood grocery store, I found some green M & M's (minty ones, yummmm) that I thought I could pass off as something leprachaunish and then what to my wondering eyes did appear but "GOLD" wrapped Passover coins for the upcoming Jewish holiday ... no, we are not Jewish, but anything will work when the imagination is at play.

As I drove home, more and more excited at the prospect of my kids finding the leprachaun gold, I began to think about how to make the leprachauns appear without really appearing. Throwing the coins out the car window up and down our street, the plan began to take shape.

Armed with flashlights for saftey and healthy imaginations bundled into heavy winter coats, the hunt began. Under bushes, the old leaves became leprachaun hair that had been caught in the branches while the wet spots on the pavement became footprints left behind and the gold .... we were so close so many times .... and of course, everyone knows that if you don't catch the leprachaun first, his gold turns into chocolate

Arriving home, their pockets filled with magical chocolate gold, our children began dreaming, "maybe next year" ... and then as they scampered down the hall to get ready for bed telling each other how tricky those leprachauns could be, the real fun began. While we had been out searching, those playful leprachauns had come into our home, jumped on the beds, and left hundreds of green shamrocks and M & M's sprinkled throughout the house. Later that night, long after the hunt was over, my husband and I heard the soft, sweet, sleepy, giggles as our not so big children slept in a place made of green and gold chocolate covered dreams.

Wishing you and your family well loved traditions that come out of blue or even green that will make golden memories that will never get lost in what should be the most important thing in our lives - our children.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Laura Anne and Bella Boo

Friday, March 12, 2010

Look Out - It's Friday

Ever feel like a kid who just got out of school - finals completed, no homework due, no schedules, nothing to do but have fun for a week of spring break?

That is how I am feeling today. The sun is out and it is a warm day in Chicago's suburbs. It feels like SPRING is finally here!

After 6 months of cold and rain and snow and just plain gray, the greenery that is sprouting through the muddy spots in my back yard as well as the cardinals playing hide and seek in my bushes are giving me the lift that even my underwire bra can't.

These are the small moments when life is great.

So "LOOK OUT", the small card above is yours for the making.

Materials needed:

1 Bugawumps "Look Out" Stamp
2 Small decorative brads
1 piece of ATC white cardstock
*** assorted small pieces of decorative background cardstock


1. Stamp only the top portion of Bugawumps "Look Out" stamp on your white ATC
sized cardstock.

Color in the stamped image with markers - alcohol based or water based.
Shade in the images with your colored pencils for depth and detail if you want.

I used my alcohol based markers to completely fill in the background. You could
also sponge in your background or brayer it. Remember, this is YOUR card!

2. Cut the stamped cardstock so that you have only an 1/8" on either side of it.

3. Layer the colored card onto a second piece of decorative cardstock cutting the
right side of of the cardstock approximately an inch wider than the other three

4. Punch two holes for the decorative brads and add them to the top two layers of
the cardstock. Add a few more layers by attaching them with your favorite choice
of glue, tape, Xyron adhesive, etc. cutting as you go until you are happy with your
choices. Just try to keep it small, easy and under 5 pounds.

The easier we make our life, the more joyful it will become. "KISS" - Keep It Simple, Silly or even Sunny - just make it yours!

As for me, first a good cup of coffee, a walk with my favorite puppy, and then off to the office to finish up an order or two and I will be able to call the day my own .... 4 steps .... that's all anyone needs !

Laura Anne and Bella Boo

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Spring is here!

The birds are a chirpin' and the bunnies are a playin' in my backyard.

I just had to pull this stamp out and make a quick card with one of my newer designs...yes, I draw more than just bugs :)

This card took less time than a hop down the bunny trail with Bella Boo.

Materials Needed for Project:

1 Large bag of your favorite Jelly Beans

1 Bugawumps "Peepers" stamp

1 3" x 4" piece of white cardstock

1 brown paper bag

***** assorted pieces of colored cardstock for layering

HOW TO: Stamp "Peepers" four times on to a piece of cardstock. Color "Peepers".

Eat a few jelly beans.

Using a VERY LARGE Oval punch, punch out 3 ovals onto a specialty paper (brown
paper bags work for me!)

Now eat just the red jelly beans.

Cut the Oval in 1/2 so that it looks like a cracked egg.

Give your brother all the green jelly beans.

Now, tape, glue, whatever you normally use to stick things on to paper and stick the
egg shells over the chicks as seen above.

Grab a handful of jelly beans and go for it. YUM!

Layer onto cardstock and you have one fun spring card to send out before the jelly
are all gone!

Admire your card and have a few more jelly beans.

Congrats! You did a great job. Finish off the bowl of jelly beans - you are on your way to a very happy creative day!

Laura Anne and Bella Boo

P.S. CAUTION - DO NOT give your dog the black jelly beans. It could be a messier day than
than you want .... this is another story for another time, it involved my son, black jelly
beans, our puppy, BJ and a very loooong car ride.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No Parking Zone

How often do you wish you had your camera ready?

I went all the way back home to get mine when I saw this. It was so worth the trip!

I am not sure the owner of the porcelain vehicle realized where he had parked it as it was at the bottom of a driveway, but it sure was a fun sight.

Which gets me to thinking, cameras have become so small that keeping one in your pocket or purse at all times could be the most creative tool you can use on a daily basis. The only drawback is that if you must have it with you to utilize it.

I will admit, I am guilty of not thinking ahead and wish more than once I had my camera on me. While my cell phone has a camera in it, it is an older model and the resolution is so low that if I want to use the photo later the quality is too poor (I resist new technology and its high cost) so once again, it is normally in my car and turned off as I journey down the streets of my town or someone else's. I probably shouldn't worry about the quality of picture, it is the image that should be the reminder of where I was creatively thinking at the time I took the photo.

Still....think of all the fun, wonderful sights that pop up between here and there on a normal day in your life, trucks with signage, kids in the parks with parents, puppies, squirrels, flowers blooming, bloomin' onions, rain droplets on anything, sidewalk chalk art, rocks in the road, sandy beaches, snowy days, poolside fun.....etc.

Being creative does not mean that you have to always be productive.

For me, creativity is experiencing the usual in an unusual way. What you do with the information you have collected is up to you to use whenever you want.

The main focus is that if you never see the "unusual" in the ordinary, you will have a difficult time creating something that you can call your own.

Looking at life through a different lens may in fact change yours.

So at least for today, I am seriously going to put my digital camera (new batteries included) into my coat pocket and see what the world has to offer.

Off I go wishing you a fun-filled day - just be careful where you park!

Laura Anne and Bella Boo