Monday, December 5, 2016


Do you know people who have birthday months?

Meaning, they celebrate their birthday every day for the entire month of their birthday?

I do, and it cracks me up.

For these people, you really need to bring your A-game for your card.

I skipped last month's Hero Kit because my life was crazy, but THIS MONTH, let's talk about A-game, shall we?

The second I saw this puppy I knew what needed to happen. I needed to put every stamp in it on the lid of my MISTI and make a pop-up box card! I stamped them all at once and colored them with the Copics listed below, and then die cut them all at once - saves a ton of time  to stamp everything together and then die cut it together. Just be sure the images are far enough apart on your MISTI to leave room for the dies. Then I made a modified version of the pop-up box - because I wanted to use the STUNNING shimmery blue paper in the kit - measurements below. That just goes to show you you can make these little guys any size you want. My photo does NOT do the shimmery cardstock justice. It's a beautiful, shimmery navy blue.

So if you want to wow one of those birthday month people, I highly recommend you do this.
December My Monthly Hero Kit by Understand Blue
How could you NOT feel appreciated pulling this out of an envelope and having all the goodies wiggling in the air? You cannot. I am certain of that.
December My Monthly Hero Kit by Understand Blue

links to supplies used

I had SO much fun making this card! I actually spent an hour filming the entire thing, and then I got a message saying my phone storage was nearly full so it didn't save the video and I almost cried. But thankfully - there's a full tutorial on this cute card at Splitcoast. I modified the measurements to fit the BEAUTIFUL shimmery navy cardstock in the kit, which is 5.5 x 8.5 - thanks to some help from Dina, who can math :). So on these pretty shimmery sheets, the vertical score lines are at 2, 4, 6, 8 - and the horizontal score line is at 2" - the rest of the instructions are as they are in the tutorial, here.

Every time I make one of these, I wonder why I don't make them more. It's one of the few 3D projects I'm just crazy about.

I'm hopping along with some amazing people today - so be sure and visit them to see what they've done with it - I've seen some peeks on Instagram - wow!

This month's kit has $65 worth of goodies in it:

  • A 4"x6" clear stamp set
  • A set of 8 coordinating Frame Cuts dies that match the stamp set
  • Two Fancy word dies - "cheers" and "party"
  • A set of Paper Layering dies for adding a sunburst or sparkler effect
  • Gold glitter embossing powder
  • Custom washi tape designed for the kit
  • A gold Uni-ball Gel Pen
  • 4 half sheets of gold foil cardstock
  • 2 half sheets of each metallic cardstock: purple, pink, dark blue and antique gold

There are also some fun add ons - stencils and other goodies - you can see the full kit here.

Now get crackin' on the hop and maybe YOU will win the kit they're giving away. Or, if you're like me and suffer from FOMO, you can just buy it.

You are here >>>> Lydia Fiedler <<<<<You are here

I hope you had an awesome weekend - I am still in shock that it's December and as usual, I'm completely unprepared, but also still have plenty of time to procrastinate :).


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Feline Remorseful?

Cats, unlike dogs, have no guilt or shame.

That's what happens when you get to the top of your particular food chain.

You'll see the same thing in CEOs and politicians and celebrities, actually.

Cats just do what they want, when they want to do it, and if you object, you just get the crazy eye.

I know it's the season for people to be mad at their kitties, because it's Christmas tree season.

Here's what I have to say about that.

When you bring a large tree into your home, igniting the ancestral memories of your domestic (ha!) cat sharpening his claws on the bark of a towering jungle tree which he has decorated with his prey, and then festoon it with dangly, shiny objects, you sort of get what you deserve, no?

No need to be mad at the cat. Just reconsider your poor choices in your life and the consequences of those choices. And perhaps give the poor, beleaguered animal a treat.

However, since cat and dog-shaming is totally a thing now, I absolutely could not resist this Technique Junkies Christmas Mug Shot stamp - I think it sums up the entire relationship between cats and the holiday season.
Feline Remorseful? by Understand Blue
links to supplies used

At least he ADMITS he knocked it down. But you can see he blames you. As well he should. You should think about what you've done.

To make the background I just did the wrinkle-free Distress technique on watercolor paper. Then I used my square framelits to cut a polaroid shape from glimmer paper and added a few pine boughs (dies and supplies linked above) sticking out from behind as evidence. They match his eyes don't you think? His green, remorseless eyes.

Let's try to be nicer to our cats this holiday season.

This message brought to you by Maddie & Splotchy.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

(S)he Who Has the Standards Does the Task

I explained a philosophy to a friend of mine recently and she loved it and professed that she would adopt it.

This philosophy is a way of life for me - sort of like Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying has become for many of us. It governs behavior in many areas of my life, most weightily - the area of housekeeping.

I call it (S)he who has the standards does the task.

Here's an example.

Let's say you consider your job finished when the spices and cans in your pantry are in your pantry - that's it. They're just in there. Whatever.

But what if you are married to a person whose eyeballs will shoot out of their head in a dramatic fashion and roll down the street if the cans are not all facing the same direction and in size, color and alphabetical order, in that order?

In my world, person B is not allowed to shriek and rend garments if a can is turned sideways, because that person is the person with the higher standard. That person is the one who will suffer mental injury if the cans are not as he/she psychically NEEDS them to be. So that person, instead, is the person solely in charge of that task. They have full, free reign over the pantry and its contents and are responsible for putting all the things in there in that way that they find fulfilling. Everyone else is absolved from pantry responsibility.

In my house - I have a strange need to have clothing and T-shirts (not that I don't consider T-shirts clothing, but you know what I mean) hung in rainbow order in the closet. This means I'm the person in charge of hanging up the clothes.

I am 100% immune to ironed clothing though, and have not used an iron for anything other than encaustic in about 30 years, and so that task does not fall to me.

If you ever find yourself saying "YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG" - just became the owner of that task and you shall do it henceforth, and enjoy peace and harmony for ever and ever, amen.

It also works with people who live with people who are chronically late or early. The key to peace here is never get in a car with a person of the opposite persuasion. Early people go early and late people go late. Problem solved.

You're welcome.


It was nice to have the long Thanksgiving weekend, and for once, I actually took a break from work. Most weekends, or holidays, just to preserve my sanity, I check in and do some things so that I'm not overwhelmed when I get back.

But I love Thanksgiving the most, and I just cut the cord and enjoyed myself. I had two art sessions with my sister - one where I did about 120 of the main "arty" portion of my Christmas cards, and one where I did the cards I'm showing you today.

My teammate Bev made cards with this technique at my October retreat and I was so wowed I had to give it a try. It's so easy to make a ton of gorgeous cards really fast, and preserve just a moment in the universe at the same time. Really super fun. So here is one of the cards, for a friend who just lost her kitty. :(

Duoprinting with plants by Understand Blue
links to supplies used

And here is a quick video of the process.

This was so much fun - no two were the same but I love that I got two card fronts with each pass, and that it's a way to preserve a specific moment of the year - like a small, ephemeral art journal.

Very fun and very relaxing.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving as well.

I'm off to work on my DSP online class that you'll see soon, and my team event on Sunday - where we will get to make a project together online - in our PJs! The joys of the internet.

Hope you can find some pretty plants to make cards with.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Give Thanks, Little Turkeys!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

This morning I am prepping the last few dishes for our midday feast tomorrow. I love this holiday. It's all the fun of Christmas without the stress and shopping. Although we haven't shopped in years, since we opted for 100% handmade or re-gifted Christmas many years ago. But more about that later.

Today I'm hopping with some friends on a Thankful for the MISTI blog hop.

The MISTI has changed my stamping world forever.

It has removed all the frustration from stamping. It helps me make multiples more quickly. It eliminates waste from trashed cards that were poorly inked or had crooked sentiments.

But more than all that, it has brought amazing people into my life.

The inventor is an amazing woman who I'm proud to call a friend. I've learned a ton from her and hope to learn more. Her engineering brain amazes me daily.

A dear friend with Parkinson's can enjoy stamping again, thanks to the MISTI, and another friend could stamp through hand surgery recovery with this amazing tool.

I honestly don't remember how I stamped without it.

So for my project today, I decided to turn a winter/Christmas stamp into a fall/Thanksgiving stamp with the MISTI. I love this Scandanavian design, but the little wheat-like elements made me think of fall, so I did an offset stamping technique.

Even with intricate images, you can have fun with offsetting an image in a different color. The trick is not to offset by much.

I made a quick video for you here! Excuse my froggy voice! It's November in Texas, which means I can't talk at all. This is just a fact of living here since 1990.

The best part of today is that this blog hop comes with some awesome giveaways. If you comment on all the blogs participating by Sunday - Monday My Sweet Petunia will choose a winner. The winner gets one MISTI (original or mini) for themselves, and one for a friend they are thankful for. So leave me a comment about why you are thankful for the MISTI and who you would gift your extra to to be entered to win! Comment by Sunday, and winners will be announced Monday :)

you are here  >>Lydia Fiedler << you are here

I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving if you are in the US - and an amazing weekend if you are not.

This is the weekend that I design and begin my Christmas cards, so I'm looking forward to inspiration striking me in between turkey sandwiches, My Christmas cards are my opportunity to give a gift to people I don't get to see often, so it's a joyful creative process.

I am very grateful this long weekend to be an American, a crafter, and the recipient of  your friendship. Thanks for coming by today.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Hey Millennials - Listen Up!

I was at a gas station the other day - which is where many of my very deep thoughts occur, naturally - and I came up with a list of things that millennials need to do to restore their besmirched reputations.

When you think of millennials you think of lazy kids who got a trophy for everything and live with their parents until they're 40. As a matter of fact, you might enjoy this song about them, which pretty much sums up most people's feelings about them.

But I know how they can fix it. They have to tackle twelve simple problems that plague us all and they will be revered as other generations have been for their accomplishments.

  1. Abolish tags in clothing. Yes, I know I just ranted about that here. But there's no way that a sensitive young chap with a man bun and a vegan satchel wants to have his neck chafed off by a tag in his (insert protest message here) T-shirt. I'm sure of it. Take up this flag. 
  2. End the war between sunglasses and backlit screens like phones and backup cameras. This may not be a problem everywhere, like in Seattle, which I do believe is where the millennial factory might be located, but in Texas, some of us would like to BOTH shield ourselves from the blazing sun AND not back over a family in the parking lot. I don't think it's too much to ask.
  3. Build a social network with keyword filters so that people can remove things like animal cruelty, politics and the CMA awards from their feeds. AND LEAVE EVERYTHING IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER LIKE GOD INTENDED. Is Mark Zuckerberg a millennial? If so I might have to rescind my hopefulness. 
  4. Invent a cell phone battery that outlasts a level of Candy Crush.
  5. Fix "wireless". If I have to have 36 things plugged in to make something "wireless" I believe we call that a fail. I hate cords, and yet every room in my house looks like the engineering room on the Starship Enterprise. 
  6. MSG. Why is this still a thing? And while we're at it, Aspartame.
  7. The lack of a "credit" button on POS terminals at stores. There you are, using your debit card as credit, and all you want to do is hit a credit button, but at one store you hit the red X, at another, the green check, at another the yellow snowman button, at another the clown mouth button - it's ridiculous. This is a common thing - have a danged button that says credit for Pete's sake. 
  8. Airplanes - give us real seats again and put storage UNDER the seats so that people aren't blowing out vertebrae hoisting their 75 pound carryon six feet over their head or unceremoniously dropping it on someone's skull. 
  9. School pick up lines. I don't know why this has turned into a national crisis, as it was not an issue when I was in elementary school, but it has. Fix it. 
  10. Fake news. Find a way to drone spammers and fake news sites.
  11. Passwords. Fix it. This alone will exalt the millennial generation beyond anything we know.
  12. Daylight savings time. Make America as great as Arizona. Thank you.
You kids are welcome. Now get off your mother's couch and get busy. 

If you can do this - great things are going to happen.

This card was made with a crazy fun technique from Jennifer McGuire. She calls it easy distress inking - you smoosh and spritz some distress ink on a craft mat, and then apply it to your watercolor paper with your fingers. Very fun. I dried each layer before adding another color, and that helps give you those hard edges. But basically it's a finger bokeh technique and super fun. And as the result of observations from my retreats, I have to say - get the Ranger Craft Mat for ink techniques. Oven liners from Amazon leak, and ink does not bead up properly on freezer paper - I've tried them all, I promise. If you really want to do fun ink techniques - it's worth $16.

First I heat embossed the medallion from Moroccan Nights onto watercolor paper and then did the finger bokeh with three ink colors listed above. I wanted the medallion to look like a snowflake in a sea of blue. The sentiment is from You've Got This, because - come on, millennials, you've got this!

And before I go - here's the most amazing thing I saw this week. Worth every second. Really will make you think before using the word "nothing" again.


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