Thursday, April 10, 2014

If Your Website Does This, Please Have Someone Punch You In The Throat

I was trying to read a news article the other day.

I can read quite well. I've been reading since I was three, thanks to my sister. I love to read. I'm good at it. I was an English major, for Pete's sake.

(Who is Pete by the way, and why are we always doing things for his sake, for Pete's sake?)

But for the life of me I could not read this danged article, and that's because it looked like this.

How is anyone supposed to concentrate on ANYTHING when a "news" story looks like this?? And by the way, the title of the article is "YouTube needs a competitor" which I found interesting. But then I went into this ridiculous mash-up of disruptive "see also" non-relevant ads, intra-article social sharing buttons and finally a completely irrelevant video and my face just hurt. Also, I can assure you that Yahoo is not going to do anything anyone cares about.

About 10% of the space is devoted to anything remotely approaching the supposed topic and that 10% is remarkably data-free and clearly designed just to have the user load the page.


I'm all for online advertising. In designated spaces, and without hostage content.  But this is complete garbage.

I think sites like the TechCrunch (example) do a great job of presenting news, WITH ads. Without interrupting an article.

I would like designers of other websites to please begin having people punch them in the throat for giving us all internet-induced ADD. I could probably get a grant to study cognitive disruptions from such horrendous marketing practices.

Sadly, I have neither the time nor the patience for grant writing, probably because of the cognitive disruption presented by interruption marketing. I managed to read War and Peace after all before the internet looked like this...

You know where I have zero cognitive disruptions? Outside, in my backyard, in my after work outdoor coloring sessions known as #backyardhappyhour.

It's a happy hour indeed. Birds tweeting, coloring practice, sunshine, watching my tomatoes grow.

Lately I've been trying to practice a different, specific technique each day.

Yesterday, I was practicing working with complementary colors.

I first stamped the images from Peaceful Petals onto watercolor paper in Groovy Guava. Why use Groovy Guava for the base outline? Glad you asked! It's because my craftastrophe is horrendous right now and that's the ink that I could reach. Keeping it real here. Remember - perfection is for serial killers.

Next, I used Derwent Inktense Pencils - in Shiraz, Cadmium Yellow and Bark to very slowly paint the flower. I was out here for two hours maybe? Mostly because I threw away my first attempt that I spent an hour on, and I was much more careful the second time.

I was perfecting a technique I'm teaching in my Love What You Have class at my retreat in Salt Lake. So obviously I can't tell you what it is yet :).

I'm really happy with the way it turned out - it looks very different from the image you see when you buy the stamp.

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I posted the work in progress on Facebook and one of my friends described the colors as vintage, which I think is accurate. I like the warmth of them and how they are a little more subdued than what I normally do. A wee bit more natural.

I couldn't bring myself to add a sentiment because if I'd stamped it crooked I'd have cried.

Well I'm sure that some of you are probably getting text messages from people who need you to punch them in the throat, so I won't keep you.

God speed - and remember - punch from the shoulder.



  1. Then you'll be happy to hear I was watching a TV program on (The Good Wife, if you must know), and there are 5 ads in a row to make me feel like I'm watching TV and hating it. Then, one of the ads paused, because ... there was a fly-over/pop-up ad ON THE AD ITSELF that made it pause. I actually had to click the X on the pop-up to resume the annoying ad 3 of 5. I only did that to get through the darned things to get back to the show.

    PS: I leave sites that annoy me with ads.
    PPS: I love your flower. I have not the patience to color like that.
    PPPS: perfection is for serial killers - bwahahahahahahahaha!

  2. Ohhhhhhhhh this is beautiful! I'm so glad you kept the vintage-y-ness intact on this flower. And I totally agree with you on the awful news articles nowadays. Don't even get me started on the horrible spelling and grammar errors - these are supposed to be "respectable" news sites and they can't afford a spell check??? OY!

  3. "Perfection is for serial killers." Stealing it!

  4. I think you should replace David Letterman. People could laugh so hard they would pull a muscle and learn to make beautiful crafty things! What could be better than that? I would even stay up late to watch the show. BTW, your flower is gorgeous!

  5. You know the first thing that stood out when I looked at that article? Assholes. Seriously. Mashable assholes. That's effective marketing of truth right there. I cannot have episodes of backyardigans you enjoy. Dad is constantly tinkering, mowing, yelling across the yard at me. Generally about whether or not I'm "in there" (the studio) as opposed to being anywhere else within reach of screaming. It's ok, though. I calm the song of his people with an offering of art du jour. Yours would totally soothe the savage beast. But watch it. Once soothed, he expects lunch in rather the same way a baby bird manages to screech, wail, sob, and cry for a worm from mom. Poke something in there to make it stop! Now. Let's talk about making lawn dimensions fall under the purview of the City of Ambiguity.

  6. what a gorgeous flower! i won't be at convention so i hope you share your technique when you get back!

  7. Good morning Lydia (Vietnam - remember Robin Williams?). Sorry, I'm flashing back now. I love the Peaceful Petals flower you shared today. It does have a rather neutral or soft look to it. I love to see things done originally. Anyone can copy the same colors, but it takes someone special to make their own. I totally get the not wanting to add a sentiment. This way it can also be used for anything. :>)

  8. Excellent take on Internet ads, Lydia. Agree totally.
    Your coloring is absolutely stunning! Love it! I am glad you have a peaceful backyard to play in.

  9. You said it!! Couldn't agree more. And oh me-oh-my that flower... You're simply incredible (at art and writing). And a fellow English major!? No wonder you have always felt like a soul mate. :) Thanks for the constant inspiration & eye candy. P.S. Have you read Anna Karenina? Probably a silly question, (but if you do read or re-read it, it pairs nicely with Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Strange but true. ;)

  10. Stunning flower Lydia - now I'm feeling all inspired to stamp in all different inks, just so I can try the effects with new colour combos ;) (Not just becuase my space is a craftastrophe, too) Rx

  11. Gorgeous card!

    I love your rant about ads on the internet that totally disrupt what you are trying to read. I especially dislike the ones that are annimated; it doesn't matter if they are in the center of the page or in a sidebar, they are distracting. I resent the ones that pop up while I'm reading my own email messages. That space should be sacrosanct; it's mine. I with they would stop inserting advertisements into TV programs I'm watching that are thinly disguised as a part of the storyline. Just stop and show us the ad. I wonder how the actors feel about being used that way.

    Thanks for the space to do my own rant. You made my day.


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