Sunday, April 24, 2016

Back from The Netherlands


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.

Inside: 

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!

  XOX,
Bibi


28 comments:

  1. I've been to Amsterdam 3x too, awesome place and looks like you had a great time there and back home with your new goodies. Fabulous makes, loooove the space card! Your dog is such a cutie and her name sounds so Finnish, lol.

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    1. Thank you, Sari! Amsterdam certainly is awesome :))
      My dog's full name is Ulrikke, but we call her Ulla for short - plus a number of other nick names.

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  2. And this is why I have a black keyboard...
    Next April you might want to check out one of the other 2 shows that were on at the same time: Version Scrap in Paris (if you like Amsterdam you've got to love Paris!) and Ally Pally in the UK.
    You came back full of creativity, despite your health problems, and produced some gorgeous works. Must investigate that Galaxy thing, it's a new one on me. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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    1. Aha, black keyboard sounds like a good idea in the craft room! :)
      I would love to go to shows in the UK, and the Stempel Mekka in Germany, too ...
      I'm sure you'll find info on the galaxy card out there. I can also do a step by step some day.

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  3. Why don't you leave your keyboard as is? Maybe fix it with hairspray or so? It looks so cool! So does your other artwork! I hope you are on the healthy side soon, take care! ❤️❤️❤️

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    1. Thank you, Gabi dear. The ink spray felt a bit sticky on the keyboard, so I cleaned the top of the keys off - still very colourful inbetween the keys. I don't know how hairspray would stick to the keys ..., perhaps a varnish would be cool on top.

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  4. It's so good to have you back dear Bibi. What a lovely post today full of my favourite things...good news re your surgery, flowers and wonderful crafting. Your projects are all stunning. The DI sprays are brilliant but yes you need to protect the area you're in....I use an empty pizza box. Your keyboard looks so pretty though. Happy Sunday, hugs xx

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    1. Thank you, Jane! A pizza box sounds like a good idea, besides it's been a long time since I ordered one ... :-) Dinner, anyone?

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  5. So glad you enjoyed your time in Amsterdam. I have never been there, you are lucky to live close to all the European countries

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    1. Yes, I am. Just jump on a plane and within 1 to 2 hours I can get to most countries in Europe! In fact, getting to the Oslo airport by car or bus takes longer from where I live.

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  6. Wow, what a trip. So glad you enjoyed your time there and are back safely to create envies (for us ♥)Luv ya, Sweetheart

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  7. So enjoyed ready your post today...Sorry about the postponement of your operation but always better to be safe but with all your preparation both physically and mentally ..it hurts x Loved all your gorgeous and very creative projects and you should 'sell' the keyboards lol xxx Loving the envelopes you do, always looks like you have fun!

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    1. Thank you, Mac! Glad to hear yo enjoyed my post.
      Haha, maybe I have found my niche in the keyboard marked!

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  8. Oh, my, you've had a lot going on! I was a lucky recipient of one of your lovely envelopes not too long ago. Made me smile for sure. Thank you!

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  9. Dear Bibi,
    we are probably almost Sisters in Spirit *smile
    I also was the molar tooth surgery, however, to obtain the tooth only the root and inflammation around removed.
    Now it's been 3 weeks and I have still 2 times a week to the dentist ....
    but we are approaching to the end.

    Your trip must have been great and your purchases bearable *lol
    it is always great people from the net meet in person.

    I wish you all of the still pending operation good
    hugs hellerlittle

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    1. Thank you, dear. Sounds like you are going through an awful ordeal with your tooth! I hope it is over soon. Good luck and speedy recovery to you! *hugs*

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  10. Never tried distress sprays. They look fun. Love the galaxy card. And I can assure you your teamie loved the beautiful card with the gorgeous flowers. Hugz

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    1. They sure are fun. I made some before with reinkers and water, which worked fine for a long time... but these store bought ones are better, I'll admit that. Glad you liked the BD card, huni! I was pretty sure you would ;-)

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  11. So glad you had fun and are back to play with your goodies. Sorry to hear about the tooth and the postponed surgery, that's not fun but your flowers are so pretty and all of your cards turned out smash only well. That galaxy one is on my wish list to try. Wowzers and awesome sauce! Hugz! ~Niki

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    1. Thank you, Niki! Yes, yuo have to try the galaxy card, so much fun!!

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  12. Lol, your posts are always fun to read, Enjoyed!! Thanks for sharing in detail. Take care Bibi.

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    1. Thank you, Shilpa! Glad I could make you "LOL"! Mission completed :-)))

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  13. OMGoodness Bibi!! You had me a giggling!!
    Geesh, as soon as I read about the molar, I said, she can't have surgery!!!(I was a dental assistant for 12 years) Phew- glad to hear all is well!
    Wow, those tulips are amazing!!! I have always dreamt of a visit during bloom time- lucky you!
    How cool to see your stamps the the show! Kudos to you!!
    As for the keyboard, first thing I said was, I want one!! Funny that you created it yourself! heehee
    thank you for the fun post Bibi!! xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Jackie! Glad I could make you giggle! Let me knoW if you want to order a custom made speck-tacular keyboard, OK? ;-)

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  14. Such a pitty that I didn't met you at the Art Specially Event; hope to see you next year! (I don't know how you look so maybe I have to ask Marian)
    Love the inspiration here; the mooncard is such a stunning one!
    Have a colourful week!

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    1. Thank you, Gerrina! I have made some more Galaxy card after this first one. So much fun! Next time we go to the same show, we should plan ahead for a time and place to meet.

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