Friday, December 16, 2011

You Might Think I Don't Remember, But I Do

You were counting on me not remembering, I know.

But you're out of luck.

You see, I happen to be old enough to have been alive BEFORE plastic bags.

In the olden times, all there were were paper grocery bags. And it was good.

And then someone got their freak on and started telling all of us who were grocery shopping that we clearly hated kittens and baby seals and that's why we used paper bags. And that it had to change. For the kittens. And the baby seals.

Then, they introduced plastic bags to the stores. For the earth, they said. It's for the earth.

They kept the paper bags, though. This was so that they could ask you "paper or plastic?" and then judge you with a beady you-hate-seals stare when you chose paper. They didn't care if your jar of sauerkraut busted right through the bottom of the cheap, thin plastic bag and landed on your toe, permanently disabling you. They just glared at you and your paper bag and heaped planetary destruction onto your shoulders.

Trust me, I hated plastic bags before hating plastic bags was cool.

So let me attempt to describe my surprise, when suddenly, it is decreed from on high that plastic bags are bad for the environment. My city is considering banning them altogether. Clearly, they have determined that the world is about to abruptly end. And once again, it's my fault.

If I'd woken up with my HEAD sewn to the carpet, I couldn't be more surprised. (source: Christmas Vacation)


I actually always knew plastic was bad. 

However, we are now at war with Eastasia instead of Eurasia and people think we don't remember.

But we do.

So ban whatever you want. Freak out all you want. But paper bags always ruled. We were right. Even when you were judging us.

Line up for apologies here beady glarers. I am waiting here with a smirk, and a lovely recycled brown paper bag.

I thought I'd bring you a little something different today in honor of the new paper friendly world order.

This is an encaustic painting I did in one of my classes, and I think it's my favorite.

It reminds me of Santa Fe, and I love that warm, desert color. It's amazing how much variation you can get with just a little iron. Maybe if my clothes looked like this when I ironed, which I don't, then I actually would. But they don't, so I won't.

Maybe I'll have time to make some more encaustic art over the holidays. This painting maybe took 15 minutes from start to finish. I should tell you it took days or weeks or months, but that would be a fib. And Santa is watching!

Here are some resources if you want to try it yourself.

This is my favorite encaustic technique book. I used this to form my classes. 

Here are some of the waxes. I prefer the opaque colors, but that is just because I'm a newbie. You don't need many colors because you mix them.

Any craft iron (must be smooth - no holes) will work.

You need glossy cardstock, which you can of course buy from me :).

So, I must ask you, "paper or plastic?"



  1. I need a craft iron so that I can try encaustic!
    We're back in the land of Orwell again, I see.
    They didn't actually ban plastic here, but at least ten years ago they introduced a levy on them, with a very few exemptions. So most people buy either heavy-duty ones that certainly don't last *forever* as they say, but last a reasonable time, or they get cloth bags. It reduced the number of bags that you'd see caught in the hedgerows or blowing from tree branches hugely, and I'm sure the wildlife appreciated it too.
    But a cheap paper bag is still a health hazard when you put too much in it. And when you live in a wet country, you can't put paper bags down on the sidewalk with impunity. Not even the good heavy ones from department stores!!
    Ega(d I am )witr(ing on - WR).

  2. You crack me up! I remember before plastic bags too. I was a kid grant you but I remember carrying in many a paper bag from my moms trunk. Now a days I like the recycled pop bottle reusable bags. I bought about 10 of them a few years ago for $1.00 each and I use them every time I go to the store. They are a kin to the paper bags - hold a ton and the bottom doesn't fall out. Not to mention they are awesome for hauling stuff at other times too - soccer snacks, preschool treats, etc. LOVE them!

  3. I love your encaustic art. I used to have everything to do it but ended up giving it all away :o( I should know better, all things come around again.
    I also remember paper bags and would love if they came back. There was something we used to use on the paper bags, glue and then burn it, but can't really remember, as I am really old :o) But I have a couple of fabric bags I use all the time. Hugs n' Stuff, Lynne

  4. I always "knew" paper was better, but the sheeple will believe the latest environmental buzz, whether there's any basis in scientific fact or not. I am now using the reusable totes, too - have some nice ones from Stampin' Up! :)

    Sphyni is the plural form of sphynus.

  5. However, we are now at war with Eastasia instead of Eurasia and people think we don't remember
    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate plastic bags too.....always have. I used to think it was so cool to have the paper bags when I was a kid. Groceries just looks awesome in them!

  6. P-A-P-E-R!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have always LOVED paper bags! I would use them as wastebaskets all over the house, and would use them over and over and over! Plastic... goes right into the trash after I reuse it once! Our curbside recycling won't even take them!

    Beautiful painting, Lydia!

  7. PAAAAAAPER! I always ask for paper and make them go hunt around all the other check-out lanes to find them. I'm bad like that. Plus, you can't recycle in plastic bags, so we "paper" people were always better than THEM anyway. Pffth.

    Love encaustic. Must learn.

    wv: ounke
    When the sauerkraut fell on your foot, I'll bet you shouted OUNKE!

  8. Love this look! So...when do we get to view your video tutorial on it? I love your tutorials, Lydia! They are always so detailed...and always leave me feeling like I could do it, too!)

    P.S. (Ever dream of a sexy cheer-leading team, inspiring an enormous group of spectators, in a wonderful "bag chant"...
    "Paper bags, paper bags! Give us only paper bags!
    Paper bags! Paper bags! Not those brati, plastic hags!")

    (Hey! It's the best I could come up with using my spam verification word, "brati".) LOL -Micki

  9. This card is so lovely that it was featured in my dream last night! I was at a card class at what appeared to be your home but the class was working in complete darkness. Lol. I think it was because my psyche thought this technique was something to do with cameras and developing film. Heehee.

  10. as if.... paper all the way baby!!
    What a great piece of art!!


    wv: cythenda
    The cynthenda was in full bloom, and has no stinky plastic bags wrapped around the base.

  11. The landfill archeology digs proved it long ago...plastic just ain't gonna recycle itself! You had me going there expecting to see glorious paper bag art at the end of the rant...well...glorious art was there for sure (reminds me of the pueblo & anasazi ruin villages I've visited) though it doesn't sound like a paper bag was the basis. Love the colors and must learn this technique...How about coming to soggy Oregon to teach a class? Now to find my travel iron that has no holes and might do double duty as a craft iron.

    Oh...and Oregon...the spiritual home of recycling actually has some stores with nothing BUT plastic bags! Go figure!

    Thanks for the geography lesson...somehow I never equated Vietnam with plastic bags...guess I better relearn the history I lived through. :D

  12. I worked in a supermarket and we only had paper..I could pack shopping carts neatly and stuff stayed put. We could reuse them over and over...Cover books with them instead of buying covers, drain food on them etc...I always used lunch bags for lunch too.. And yes, I love baby seals.That line cracked me up.. Now, I use my store bags and string bags...


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