Sunday, March 31, 2013

I've Fixed Our Country

Well really my sister has. But since she doesn't blog, I'm taking credit for it.

We were having a pre-Easter lunch with my parents yesterday and discussing the general worthlessness of politicians, and she came up with a brilliant idea.

We are always complaining about the parties, and the star-bellied Sneetchishness of the labels, the moneygrubbing scumbags occupying office for their entire lives and becoming billionaires through the mysterious process of doing nothing except getting elected, and that the collective intelligence of elected officials in the country is just shy of that of a fuzzy caterpillar.

The simple solution to al this has been in front of us for decades.

The Selective Service.

Every American registers for the Selective Service at age 18, and we hold a draft for President, Vice President, Senator, Congressman, Governor, Mayor and dog catcher. When you are selected, you go serve, or you go to prison.

Think of the variety of leaders we'd get! Race, gender, party, age, height, width and intelligence!

We also decided that to stop the festering, rotting old folk phenomenon that the term limit for every draftee is one year. The constant turnover would make the current bribery system ineffective.

You don't get paid for your service  either. My sister suggested that the draftee should actually have to pay us while serving, but I opt for the jury duty stipend of $6 per day. Everyone would have the great experience of serving the public for one year. No one would fester in office. The constant change would be refreshing, after hundreds of years of watching the petrified political forest petrify.

One year we'd have the Rent Is Too Damn High party guy, the next year a woman who can spin plates in the circus. Think of the possibilities! The odds of getting a stamper for president just shot up dramatically!

Please start a petittion on immediately and let's get this place back on track!

Now take a gander at my Mix-Ability challenge sample for this week! It was my turn to host, and I decided on an "under construction" theme. I asked people to use metal + a coloring medium on their card. For this sample I glued tinfoil to cardstock and then embossed it. Then I painted it with Lettuce alcohol ink. Next, I tried to sand it, but it tore the foil, so I decided to beef it up a bit with gesso, more Lettuce ink, and then I sponged it with Soft Suede ink for depth. Then I sanded it to expose the shine of the foil. I love the way it turned out. I added a little watercolor birdie from Young Vermilion. Love that bird.

Maybe in our next iteration of the Selective Service Election system, birds will go in the mix. Better than bird brained humans, that's for sure.

Until then, may the odds be ever in your favor.

Easter blessings.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

An Interview With Myself

I'm not famous enough to get interviewed by anyone else, so I thought I'd just interview myself today.

It's going to be a sort of Seinfeld style interview - wandering all over and sort of about nothing.

So here goes:

ME: So, thank you for joining me today. I'd like to give our readers something to argue about. What controversial statement would you like to get off your chest?

me: So many to choose from, so little time. I guess I'll have to go with how revolting I find Nutella to be. And green bell peppers. And beets. And Nancy Grace.

ME: Well that should keep them busy for a while. Now - let's get down to business. To what do you owe your mad procrastinating skills?

me: I'm going to go ahead and go with being raised by a math professor. Math professors, like Spanish authors, do not have a linear sense of time. On my mother's side of the family there were all these type A deadline focused people, like my grandfather, king of awesome, but clearly the math professor genes won that battle. I'd like to point out that I'm far more efficient than most people, because, since I procrastinate, I get things done in about 1/10th the amount of time that those freaky planner people do.

ME: I did notice that you didn't answer any of my emails until the day before this interview.

me: Yep. But I'm here, right? Game, set, match - ME. Booya!

ME: If  you say so. What advice would you give yourself if you were able to talk to yourself at age 6?

me: Well first I'd probably scream and scare myself, because that would be hilarious. But then, I'd tell myself to quit Girl Scouts before the whole "camping" trip because there are no bathrooms - just boxes of poop in the woods, and there ain't NO badge shiny enough for THAT.

ME: Well played. Okay - cats or dogs?

me: *glares*

ME: Got it. What is responsible for the current ruinous state of our culture in America?

me: Besides Nutella? Hang on. Okay - plastic surgery. Oh - and fake cheese.

ME: What technology - besides flying cars - are we long overdue for?

me: Nano butlers. Nano butlers whose mad cleaning energy charges your cell phone. Yes. That.

ME: Who would you like your next interview to be with?

me: Duh. Grumpy Cat.

ME: Thank you for your time.

me: Thank me for my time.

Speaking of thanking people for things, I need to thank my sweet friend MariLynn DeGroot for sending me the most STUNNING bag of quilled flowers. I about fell out of my chair when I got it. They are so perfect and beautiful and I have HUNDREDS of them. I can't even imagine how long it took her to make them, so they are such a sweet, handmade blessing.

I knew I needed a super spectacular setting for them, so I whipped out my All Dressed Up Framelits and made a pretty floral dress - BOOM!

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Is that paper awesome or what? It's Tea For Two.

Now I'm off to see where they are on the nano butlers.

I hope you have a good night. Please don't eat fake cheese or Nutella.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Oops, I Did It Again!

I couldn't resist another bunny blueprint!

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Stamps: Everybunny
Paper: Whisper White

 It's awesome as awesome as this - a potrait of Steve Jobs made by injecting paint into bubble wrap with a syringe!

Or as awesome as a baby cheetah surprising a photographer, and then a fox surprising a cheetah!

Or as awesome as seeing what Grumpy Cat did while she was here in Austin - SQUEE!!!

Well - let's be honest - nothing is as awesome as Grumpy Cat.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blueprint for a Bunneh

Sometimes when your (unnamed so that he isn't publicly shamed like I want to shame him) extraordinarily squeaky animal squeaks you awake at 4:30 AM on a school day, you are in that perfect combination of comatose and annoyed that inspiration strikes.

Today was just such a day.

As I reached for the squirt bottle that has Splotchy's name (oopsie - I shamed him) on it, I was hit as if with a lightning bolt with a cool idea - blueprints.

I think that Tim Holtz's blueprint stamps had taken over my subconscious while I slept and I thought - hey - I can do that! All I need is blue and white - two things I have on hand at all times!!

I prepared the base of my blueprint with my Gelli Plate, and Golden Open Acrylics in Pthalo Blue and Ultramarine Blue - these are good because they dry more slowly than regular acrylics so you can pull multiple monoprints from your Gelli Plate with them. I brayered the paints together and then printed a full sheet of my faux blueprint color.

Then I stamped the bunneh from Everybunny in Whisper White, and traced the image with my white gel pen, which I also used for the blueprint annotations.

I used my retired Ballet Blue marker for the annotations I made on grid paper for the background. The card base is Whisper White.

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If it were that easy to make a bunneh don't you think we'd all have them? :)


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Collection of Randomly Awesome Stuff

It's nearly tax time.

Insert horrid vampire/zombie/serial killer music here.

So in addition to the normal hectic pace of life, there's that.

So today I thought I'd bring you a few random awesome things I've liked lately.

First, the Dropwords app for my Kindle (or Android). I love word games, and this one is fun and relaxing. Sometimes if I don't have the energy to read a book before I go to sleep, this is just the right combo of puzzling and soothing.

Then, my neighbor told me about the latest, greatest virus book - Rabid. I know - it's weird, but I love epidemiology and virology and disease vector stories. The Hot Zone is one of the most page turner, amazing books I've ever read.

Okay so then there's the whole marinara situation.

For the last few years, I've been super dismayed at how watery and tasteless store bought spaghetti sauce is. I don't understand what's changed so radically - they never used to be thin and watery. Yuck.

So I've settled on an awesome, simple homemade version that I love. We've eaten buckets of it so far. Especially with the AMAZING two ingredient pizza crust we are now addicted to.

So here's the recipe:

2tsp oregano
2tsp onion powder
1Tbs salt
1/4tsp basil
4 cloves garlic
2 28oz cans San Marzano tomatoes
2 6oz cans tomato paste
2tsp olive oil

I just sort of crush the tomatoes with the spoon and cook it on the stove for about two hours, or on low in the crockpot for 4-6. It's amazing and very low calorie. I grow the oregano and basil and it is so yummy fresh.

Then I saw this oddly awesome frog tape dispenser on Pinterest. Which led me to a page with a black kitten tape dispenser.

Which led me to a page with Hello Kitty page markers.


Then I saw this video where a cat adopts an orphan squirrel and the squirrel learns to purr.

At that point, my head nearly exploded from all the awesomeness.

So I made a card :).

Here it is.
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Then, I took a picture of Maddie Bat with my paper smile. 

How can the rest of your week not be awesome now?


Monday, March 18, 2013


One of my favorite Britcoms is Keeping Up Appearances.

It features a fussy lady - Hyacinth Bucket - who is all about her reputation.

She is a dictator in a floral dress and she is HYSTERICAL. Her family is the British version of white trash, and they are always embarrassing her at the most crucial moments. Her husband is so beaten down by the dictatorship, but gets in a good jab every now and then.

It's right up there with Fawlty Towers and The Vicar of Dibley.

At least once an episode, she "corrects" the pronunciation of her last name - Bucket - to what she insists is pronounced "Bouquet", much to the amusement of everyone.

So now, every time I see a Hyacinth, I hear "BOUQUET residence, lady of the house speaking!!" in her high pitched voice.

Cracks me up.

We didn't have hyacinths in our yard where I grew up (or cranky British ladies) but we did have hydrangeas. My mom would stick a rusty nail down in the soil near them to make them super blue. They are such insanely beautiful flowers. I don't see too many of them in Austin - it might be too hot and dry. I do miss them.

Luckily - I have stamps :)
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Ink: Early Espresso, Memento Pear Tart
Accessories: Touch Twin Markers: G48, GY48, PB73, PB75, PB76

I used the no line coloring method (sort of) for this card with the Best of Flowers set and some Memento Pear Tart Ink, and Touch Twin Markers. The green ink mostly disappears after you color it and leaves you with softer edges.

I thought I'd hop along with some of my friends today too - wanna see their cards?

Touch Twin and More Blog -
Elaine Hughes -
Lydia Fiedler - << You are here :)

After you're done hopping around, you should seriously download Keeping Up Appearances. I guarantee you'll see a friend or relative in those characters :)


Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy Birthday, You Old Elephant!!

Not you, of course.

I'd never call you an old elephant.

Unless you made me mad, and then I might.

Either way, I'd make you an awesome birthday card.

Today's Mix-Ability challenge on Splitcoast is to splatter. So I thought I'd use a cute Polaroid™technique I saw on Pinterest to create a little old timey circus themed Polaroid and splatter it with my Color Spritzer Tool.

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I did a quick video on this card, which you can see here if you don't see a player below. If you want to play along with the challenge, use keyword MIX7 when uploading to Splitcoast.

When you're done - check out a few little springy sights from my yard.

This is the most beautiful two week period of the year. I plan to spend most of it outside.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What if a Giant Picked You Up?

I was thinking this morning how shocking it must be for my little tigers when I pick them up.

Imagine that you are just taking a nap - on what you consider to be your bed, and a GIANT creature that you can't communicate with - except through biting, maybe - PICKS YOU UP with its giant, bald hands, squeezes you and kisses you on the head. For all you know, kissing is what these giants do before they eat you. These giants do this whenever they want to. Sometimes they flip you on your back and make sounds you don't understand while they rub your belly.

How do you get used to a thing like that?

It's really weird when you stop and think about it.

It's not like large cats in the wild were ever picked up and cuddled by anything.

It's a relatively recent development in their history too, so they've adapted quickly.

Would you?

This is what happens when I don't have caffeine until 9 AM, people! My mind wanders!

Now speaking of my mind wandering, I saw this idea on Pinterest and I had to make my own version.

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Cute, right? So easy and fun. I think my class just loved it. You just need flower trim, Itty Bitty Banners, Itty Bitty Banners Framelits and Red Glimmer Paper.

Oh - happy Palindrome day!

It's a red letter day!

3-13-13 is a palindrome.

13 is my lucky number.

I was eating bacon at Bacon for lunch when I found out we had a new Pope!

First from the Americas!

AND, named for my most beloved saint - St. Francis.

I have a life sized statue of St. Francis carved from Mexican mesquite in my living room. It's my most beloved possession. I was born on St. Bartholomew's day -  but that was a mistake, because the patron saint of animals is indeed the saint I identify most closely with.

And the one Splotchy identifies most closely with.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hot Dog Inspired Butterfly, and GRUMPY CAT

Yep - hot dog inspired! You never know when inspiration will strike, right?

I've actually been a hot dog fan all my life.

Don't freak out, but I thought for many years when I was a kid that Vienna Sausages were the best food on the planet. Well Taco Doritos might have given them a run for their money, but still, they were up there.

Then I started eating real hot dogs after we moved to Texas and I was hooked. I used to get special presents from the butcher at our grocery store, like a beloved Oscar Mayer ring - haute couture for a 6 year old - and other goodies, because of our frequent visits to the salted, cured meat counter.

Now that I'm grown up, I love Hebrew Nationals, crisped black on the grill. I love Super Dawg in Chicago, and I love a good, old fashioned ball park dog with a can of Old Style on a rooftop at Wrigley.

But I digress.

You never outgrow a hot dog, people. My neighbor recently gave me some of her old New Yorker magazines - I stopped subscribing years ago - and this one caught my eye.

I loved that pop art look to this illustration by Wayne Thiebaud. I love the pastel, chalkboard style and that fun blue glow.

Since I don't have a hot dog stamp - an outrage, don't you think? - I chose the next best thing. My beloved Swallowtail stamp.

I clear embossed her on Midnight Muse and then colored her with my Caran D'Ache Pablo pencils: White, Mauve, Light Lemon Yellow, Flame Red, Scarlet, Fast Orange and Light Blue. Finished it off with a greeting from Word Play.

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Funky, pop and fun.

You'd never guess it got its start in a lowly hot dog :).

Only 12 days left to take advantage of Sale-A-Bration, and to get more than $200 worth of stampy goodness for $99 so don't wait!

 I'm going to use this stupid, short, sprung forward day to clean. Awful, I know. At least I got to meet Grumpy Cat this week :).

She's the cutest cat in the whole world, and her owner is beyond sweet. Safe travels home Grumpy Cat! Austin loves you and I love you more!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Why You Should Keep Scraps For Ten Years

If you keep your scraps long enough, the perfect scrapportunity will present itself!

I'll work backwards into my scrap story.

I saw a post on Facebook about some paper that you can use with any medium at all and nothing will show through on the back - NOTHING - not even alcohol markers! I was intrigued.

The paper is called RENDR by Crescent Arts. I HAD to try it myself of course so I ordered some from Amazon.

I colored an image up with my Touch Twin markers, and sure enough - NOTHING on the back - amazing! It's the same for inks, watercolor, paint - you name it. It's kind of freaky!

So it's PERFECT for a sketchbook/art journal because you can have art on every page that won't show through to the next page. This might actually get me to work on one. I hated the idea of adding extra paper to an art journal or creating the art outside of it and sticking it in.

Then, I saw this unbelievably beautiful tag by Lollyrot. I loved how she had those little splatters of white all around the image, so I set out to create that.

After I'd colored my image and covered it in "confetti" with my white gel pen, I looked for some paper to put the image on. While ruffling through my Pretty in Pink bin I found a piece of cardstock I had bleached with a pencil eraser TEN YEARS AGO!

Paper hoarding vindication! It's PERFECTION!

It's also a birthday wish and card for my friend Leslie, of Crooked Stamper fame! Happy birthday, fellow paper hoarder!! I hope your day is filled with crafts and treats and Bobra! :)

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Stamps: Best of Birthdays Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa Paper: RENDR, Pretty in Pink  
Accessories: ShinHan Touch Twin markers: BG178, G58, Y164, RP9, YR33

So stifle those urges to purge your space. When the student is ready, the paper will appear!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hello, Hello, Grumpy Cat!

I'm so excited I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight.

Because tomorrow is the day - God willing and the creek don't rise - that I GET TO MEET GRUMPY CAT!!!



I hope I don't pass out or cry like those crazy girls who saw the Beatles. I might have to do yoga first.

I can't wait to meet you Tardar Sauce!! Feel free to hate me little kitty!! :)

Here's a quick card I made for last week's Mix-Ability challenge on Splitcoast - Mask-erade Ball. For my mask, I just used our bitty butterfly punch to punch out some butterflies from post-it notes.

Then I used our spritzer tool, filled with Regal Rose and Pool Party Ink and rubbing alcohol and lightly spritzed the card front. For best results, if not using watercolor paper, hold your card a foot away from the spritzer to get a light mist and no running.
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I finished it off with this AWESOME bold greeting - Hello, Hello - which is one of our single stamps.

Now don't forget - you only have until March 10th to sign up for My Paper Pumpkin and not miss one kit! If you enter my name as your demonstrator - Lydia Fiedler - I will send you a free exclusive tutorial each month that you can do with your kit. So don't wait!

And if you want to see what I did for this week's Mix-Ability challenge, be sure and click over to Project Reanimate tomorrow morning - I think you'll like it! :)

Now I'm off to dream of Grumpy Cat...


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