Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Card For Damian (And a Giveaway)

I had the greatest experience yesterday.

In one of the breaks between our daily tornado watch/flash flood/hail storms yesterday, I dashed out to Whole Foods so that we'd have something for dinner. We're sort of down to the canned beans because the weather is so terrible.

I went to check out, and as I walked up to the register, the checker, a man about my age or a little older, I am guessing, said : "Are you ok? Is your house flooded?" He had sincere concern on his face - and I was really taken by surprise - pleasant surprise. It isn't often that that sort of thing happens when you're just buying groceries. I told him yes, it was fine,  and we started chatting about Wimberley and all the devastation there. I told him I was having a retreat there in a few weeks and was just beyond heartbroken for that community and the families of the missing people.

He put his hand on his chest and he said, "I know - I lost my mom in Katrina - so I know first hand how hard that is."

I was in shock. I started telling him how sorry I was - that I can't even imagine how awful that must have been.

He reached over and patted my hand and said "It's okay - it's okay - she's an angel now" with the biggest smile on his face, and genuine peace.

As I'm taking my things, he says to me "Tonight I will go home and light a karma candle for all those people and for all the people traveling to your retreat."

As soon as I was outside the store, I called the manager and asked for his name, so that I could send him a card.

I told my friends, that sometimes, in moments like these, if you can look past the hipsters and the high rise condos and the politicians, you can almost still see Austin around here. More often than not, I have Whole Foods to thank for those experiences, because as I said in this post - they value the human spirit and our quirky, Austin culture, and it shows.

I decided that I would like to see this man have his good karma come back to him.

Will you help me?

If you help me, I will give one of you the You've Got This stamp sets from the upcoming catalog. I picked this one because it says "Good things are going to happen."

Good things ARE going to happen. And probably when you least expect it. Like in the checkout line at Whole Foods on a rainy day.

All you have to do is send a card to this gentleman. Just tell him that word of his kindness got out.

Let's see how far it goes.

Send him your best wishes. Tell him some crazy lady who needed kale in a thunderstorm told you about him. Tell him thanks for making the world a better place, one good wish at a time. Tell him whatever you want, but just send him a card. Do it today. You never know what will happen tomorrow.


c/o Whole Foods Market, 

4301 W. William Cannon Dr. #800 

Austin, TX 78749

Pretty please?

Once you send a card, leave me a comment telling me you did (and karma will know!), and I'll draw a winner.

Heck - I'll draw TWO winners. :)

Your card has to be mailed by this weekend, and I'll pick the winners on Monday. Deal?

It's the little things.

Speaking of little - I have a very little video for you today with a very big (for me anyway) revelation in it about how to best use this Floral Wings host set. Here's the card I made for Damian:

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And here's the video with the revelation - it's a quick one!

(Make sure you watch in HD :) )

Now go make a card and mail it to Damian.

Do it now. Laundry can wait. 


Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Science Behind Lost Hubcaps

I've had a lot of cars in my years on the planet earth.

My first car - or the first car my dad loaned me - was a 1976 Buick Century. Rust colored. My expression of my opinion about the appearance of this car was the two fuzzy dice I bought to hang from the rear view mirror. I will say - that hulking beast did set my standards for how a car should ride. Driving a Buick is as close to riding a magic carpet as you'll ever get.

Then there was the 1968 Mint Macaron colored Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. (Yes, even older than the first car). This car was purchased from a dear friend of my mom's mother, from whom I also bought a beautiful four-poster Biggs Company mahogany canopy bed, which still graces my guest room. This was the car that taught me how to jump out at a stop sign, pop the hood, stick a ball point pen in the carburetor flap, start the car, not worry about the flames that shot out, hop back in and drive until it stalled again. Self-reliance is important. At least with these good old American cars you COULD be self reliant and get them running again. Sort of. Someone put a pipe bomb under this car, having mistaken it for someone else's car on our street, and all that happened was the tire had to be replaced. They just don't build them like they used to.

Then I moved on to the 1978 Suburban. Still my favorite car of all time.

Then a Mazda pickup truck, where I learned about Japanese reliability - that thing was amazing. Someone propped it up on blocks at my first apartment complex in Austin and stole all four wheels.

Then after I got married we bought a pickup in 1992 - just a plain, white work truck that ran forever and was SO cheap. Then my first ME car I ever bought was a 1994 Firebird - red. The first of the new body style. I loved that car. Then we had two more pickups, a Yukon, a used BMW (the worst purchase I've ever made and the worst made cars on the planet. If I could have blown that one up myself, I would have.)

All that to say I'm on my 11th car. And not once, in all these decades, all these brands, being rear ended EIGHT TIMES in Austin (city of the world's worst drivers), running over various foreign objects, driving 80 billion miles across the state for work and to Santa Fe for fun - not ONCE have we ever lost a hubcap.

However, I see people with missing hubcaps all the time. And I wonder - what did they DO? How could this be statistically possible that no one I know has ever had a hubcap go missing? Do we have something in common? I don't think anyone in my extended family has ever been missing a hubcap either - so now we are up into the THOUSANDS of vehicles and hundreds of thousands - maybe millions of miles traveled.

I'd love to hear your theories. I wonder this every time I see a sad hubcap on the side of the road, or see someone with 1 or more missing. I just don't get it. I wish the X-files would have addressed this.

I'm spending this Memorial Day weekend listening to tornado sirens and playing with the new host sets. The Floral Wings multi-step stamp was calling to me last night after we were told to take cover in an interior room, so I thought I may as well go out doing something I enjoy.

This new paper makes me SQUEE! LOOK at that writing back there! It's part of the new Neutrals Patterns pack - and it not only comes in all the neutrals, but in SILVER AND GOLD! 4 sheets in each color, two sheets each of two double sided designs. Seriously awesome. Available June 2 if you want to hop in on my open house. (Use hostess code EDU9X7MK at checkout to be included in door prize drawings, no matter where you are!)

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Fun, clean images.

This was SO quick too  - it's a 3.5 minute card, which I detail in the video, along with my easy trick for getting the shadow on the vase. Enjoy!

In other news, we had my team video call today, and I have to say - one of my team members just switched to a MacBook and holy cow - we can see her AND her cards now! Before, she would show us a card and it was just like 8 giant, fuzzy pixels. So if you want a good video chatting device, Mac is definitely the way to go. All of us chatting on a PC don't look nearly as good!

Today we've gone about 6 hours with no rain. It won't last, but it sure was a nice break.

Here's a photo shot in Terlingua yesterday from the porch of the Perry Mansion. This, my friends, is what it's like to go through a storm in Texas.

Photo by Gabriel Campos, via Traces of Texas

Stay dry my friends!


Friday, May 22, 2015

Link Scraping, Hyperesthesia and Other Wonders of Modern Life

This week, I completely geeked out over a solved problem.

I LOVE problem solving. I loved Nancy Drew and have always considered myself to be a pretty good detective. I'm good at what a friend and I call pattern recognition.

Most things that need to be figured out follow a pattern. If you can see the pattern, you can solve the problem, be that problem some psychotic human behavior, psychotic animal behavior or mechanical or software issues.

I won't bore you with the details of the solution to my problem, but if you run a business Facebook page (or a dozen, as do I), you've dealt with the issue of link previews being generally bolloxed 9 times out of 10. By some small miracle, I crossed paths with someone who knew a workaround and I was all...

Really. That's footage of me.

I have little to no self control.

Anyway, as if to humble me, what immediately followed this discovery was my corrupted video file, so the universe was all - BOOYA - even Steven, lady.

But I rallied, and re-filmed for you today. We can't let the electrons keep us down.

Now I'm kind of a dingbat and I initially forgot to pre-order the sneak peek host sets from the new catalog (email me if you need one) - and so I had to place a second order to get this GORGEOUS new set called Best Thoughts. It was screaming out for some no line watercolor.

So I screamed back.

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Isn't that a great image? I love how big it is and all the coloring possibilities. After I was done, the image sort of reminded me of a heat map, and this card I did some time ago. You should read that post anyway, because it has an important message in it. :)

Here's the rest of the set:

These new scripty fonts are the bomb. And I love big, bold images.

So this video actually worked. You can see a little more about the Zig Clean Color markers and this stamp set (and my name for the flower), finally. It's a quickie - so tell your boss you're on a conference call and just watch it.

Listening to Splotchy attempting English words at the top of his voice as I type reminds me of another discovery this week. Splotchy has hyperesthesia. (This is not the discovery - I knew this just a few weeks after we got them.) We suspect that their mom or dad was Siamese, because of their facial features and the hyperesthesia. We always thought that Maddie didn't have it because she doesn't have the twitching/rolling coat part and some of the other symptoms, but I finally found an article that explains that her obsessively grooming the tip of her tail until she looks like some weird punk rock cat with poor salon care - that's hyperesthesia too. We always thought it was anxiety, but this makes so much more sense.

The genes never lie.

I just thought some of you pet owners would want to know about that odd quirk in the Siamese gene pool - even as remote as it must be with these two little knuckleheads.

OH - and things are happening in the garden - we have both tomatoes and squash already.

These are lemon squash - a variety we've never tried before.

And these are my beloved Sun Gold tomatoes - they are the best tomatoes on earth in my opinion. We loved our Sweet Millions last year too - especially because we were getting 30ish per day - but the Sun Golds are the best flavor I think. We also have two Black Krim plants - which I think is the best flavored full size tomato. Last year I bought a plant which was labeled as a Black Krim but was a horridly dull, bland beefsteak cousin. This year, we've grown from seed, because that was a waste of water and time.

Our yard is nearly completely shaded, so it's really amazing the difference in progress between my plants and my sister's plants - she has a spot in a full sun community garden and is much farther along.

Our salsa garden is also progressing nicely - and my Thai pepper plant has about 100 chiles on it - so I'll be making some sweet chile sauce soon.

We learn things every year, so I'm looking forward to what this year brings.

I hope you have a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend, and enjoy all the blessings of the price paid.


A Moment Of Silence

Let's have a moment of silence.

For this card:
Doesn't that card make you sad?

If not, it should.

It's the You've Got This set from the upcoming catalog, colored lovingly with my new Zig Clean Color water-based markers, that I got enabled into by Jennifer McGuire.

There was a detailed video explaining how they worked, showing you how they blend - similar to the way alcohol markers blend, there was witty commentary - we laughed, we cried...

And then the file was corrupted.

What the heck??

Sadness. So all I have is a photo of the card. Please try to imagine learning all about marker blending on watercolor paper.

To recover from my despair - I tried a different technique with them - layering. They remind me of Inktense pencils, actually. If you work with them marker on marker while they are still wet, they blend just like alcohol markers. But you can let them dry a bit and then do a little layering, which is very fun for a water-based medium.

You'll see what I mean in the video below.

I'm hosting today's Mix-Ability challenge, and my challenge is Quads - use FOUR mediums on your project. So I used the Zig Clean Color Markers, white gel pen, gold embossing powder and Golden High Flow Acrylic fluorescent pink paint for a fun, abstract splash of color.

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That awesome greeting is from an upcoming hostess set called Best Thoughts.

When I re-shoot the coloring video I'll be using the flower from that set. But I don't have the heart to do that tonight. #sadpanda

So please enjoy the video of the Mix card and trust me that the missing video was awesome.

And come play in the Mix challenge!

And give me a moment of silence for my video that crossed over.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Don't Be a Prepper (Except for the Zombie Apocalypse)

It's still raining y'all.

My tutorials may soon devolve into Doestoevsky-tinted poetry readings, with verses about despair, and prison metaphors. You'll hear raindrops in the background, and perhaps Air Supply songs.

Or Lionel Richie. Yes, I think Lionel Richie.

Maybe that inspired the design for today's card - moving out of grey. You never know what gets into your brain when you sit down to make something.

Speaking of sitting down to make something, I mention this in the video, but I thought I'd explain how I prepare for my videos.

You ready?

I don't.

In general I'm not a fan of preparation. Except for the zombie apocalypse - I do think you should prepare for that. But other than that, I find preparation to be a bit of a burden.

So when I make a video, you are seeing my entire process - the design process, the decisions I make, the mistakes, etc. The only thing I decide in advance is what stamp set I'm going to use, because that is where I start all my designs - with an image. I'm incapable of starting with color or layout - my brain just doesn't work that way.

So today's design will play out live for you in my video, with two fun new sneak peek sets - Bohemian Borders, and You've Got This. I would say I'll try not to use You've Got This on every card for the next six months, but I don't want to tell a lie. I LOVE the font & the message. I most definitely have a recipient in mind for this card!

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Here's the video - be sure you're watching in HD. :) 

Here is the printable grid paper I reference in the video - great site! This is another site where you can specify the units of measure. The grid on the MISTI is in 1/4" increments. If you prefer the quilting templates I use, they are here.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Being a Bird is Hard

I love birds.

I know some people are afraid of birds - and that's okay. I'm afraid of monkeys. I get it.

But being a bird is hard. Harder maybe than being a mammal.

Yesterday, I was working and I heard a terrible bird commotion out front. Usually when I hear a group of birds freaking out it's because there's a big snake in the yard, and my curiosity gets the better of me, and I have to go look. Bluejays ALWAYS tell me about snakes. Mockingbirds are worthless, but I could go on for months about that, so I'd best leave it for another time.

These weren't jays. These were the tiny sparrow-like birds that inhabit our bushes out front. They are so cute. I've never heard them "commote" before. But oh dear they were commoting.

So I went up front and opened the front door.

I stood on the porch for a second, looking at all of them squawking in the trees and the bushes by the doors. I looked for a threat (snake) and I didn't find one. It was raining, so I would have been surprised to see a rattlesnake - I've never seen one in the rain.

Then I looked up - and I remembered - we have a bird nest in our recessed porch light fixture.

We haven't messed with it for a year because - well, all creatures great and small and whatnot.

So then I looked down.

Right next to my foot was a sweet baby bird.

He was so cute - sort of fluffy and spastic. He sensed that I was looking at him, I guess and he flopped around a bit. I tried to stay still and think of what to do. The birds all around us were screaming. Then - he struggled around a little - and then flew a short few feet (awkwardly) to the bush by the door.

Later that day I went out and saw him struggling again to fly - this time from up on the downspout of our rain gutter. He was okay and eventually flew a longer distance.

But man - being a bird is hard. You're born. You're blind. You don't have any feathers. You depend on your parents to stuff worms down your gullet. Then, at some point, you fall out of the danged light fixture - the equivalent of a person falling 50 stories or so - onto the ground and then you're all - well what the heck? Now I have to learn to fly because some giant monster is staring at me???

You have to respect the bird life.


I made some thank you cards today for you sweet people who have been placing orders in my store. Thank you SO much! My fingers are crossed hard, and every little bit helps. You guys are awesome.

I got out a fun new alphabet set called Layered Letters. And, as I confess in the video - I love to buy alphabet sets, but I don't use them often enough. I think this one will be an exception, because I love the shadow stamps that match. With the MISTI it was easy to make a big set of these cards really fast.

I sped up the video so you could see the process for the whole set - these are very easy and fun - I think I will make more tonight during Dr. Who.

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So here's the video if you want to take a peek.

Since I'm finalizing prep for my June Wimberley retreat, I'll probably be closing registration soon. If you're thinking of coming, carpe diem! Also, any member of my team is welcome at the Friday team event, you just need to join before I close registration. (Registration for the Salt Lake retreat is still open.)

And next time you see a bird that has made it to adulthood - salute. Respect the bird life.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bridge May Ice In Cold Weather - and My MISTI Winner!

Suddenly all over my swelteringly hot Texas city, signs have been popping up, saying Bridge May Ice In Cold Weather.

A few observations.

Back in the old days, people knew that cold weather - strangely enough, seemingly ALWAYS below 32 degrees - produced ice.

I'm quite sure my grandfathers didn't need to be told that bridges would ice in cold weather.

Apparently we are far removed from this knowledge now. We've forgotten. We need signs to tell us it's cold outside and water freezes, quite predictably, at the same temperature since forever.

And while I understand that we live in a warm place, we are not STUPID. We still understand that cold weather freezes things. At least some of us do. (The obvious exception here is politicians.)


That's even more baffling - who the heck is going to SEE these signs? Foreigners? No native Texans will see them. We will be cowering inside with our hoarded milk and bread, binge watching Breaking Bad if the temperature falls below 70.

I just find it insulting to drive past these things with my AC at full blast, knowing that some state senator's brother-in-law owns a sign company, and is sitting on a beach somewhere while I commute past his stupid signs, sweating and wearing sunglasses, and forfeiting 70% of my income to fund their boat drinks.

I'm onto you, bro. I'm watching.

I joined a Pocket Letters swap on Splitcoast last week. Have you heard of these? They are ATC swaps, where you end up with a 9 pocket page filled with ATCs or other art. This is the brainchild of Janette Lane - a beautiful girl with a big idea.

One of my teammates - Ceal Pritchett - and I are both teaching technique series classes right now, and using some Project Life Pockets to keep the technique swatches in, and so this week I've been very pocket obsessed.

So I decided to try out the We R Memory Keepers Fuse Tool to make my own pocket page for this swap - I needed 9 pockets, and my Project Life pages weren't big enough - so I DIY'ed with a page protector (These are my favorites - heavy weight and very clear).


I love this thing and am about to start fusing everything in my path. I saw this in action at a class in January and just now ordered it and played with it - what was I thinking??? I'm always late to the party. But I do stay late. :)

It's seriously so fun and easy. We sell our Project Life pages in multi-packs, but now I can change the size and shape of those pockets to fit my technique class needs and I am STOKED.

You can get the tool - which is pretty inexpensive - here.

So before you watch the video with a demo of this tool, here is the ATC I'm swapping.

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And here's a closeup of the shimmer, that you can't see in the main pic.

That's gold and clear Wink of Stella.

Sparkly, eh? That beautiful image, thankfully, carried over to the new catalog - it's called For All Things.  Here's the rest of it.

So here's the video on the fuse tool. Before you watch though, a few important notes.
  • I'm within striking distance of earning my first trip ever with Stampin' Up! and I'm really hoping I can make it. If you enjoy my blog and have gotten $10 worth of value from me, would you consider placing a $10 order with me? You can do that here. If you use hostess code EDU9X7MK when you place your order, you will be entered into a drawing for all the new In Color Ink Pads, the refills and the assorted cardstock. Thank you! (You will be asked for the code after you add products to your shopping bag and click to view your bag.)
  • I have a winner for the MISTI giveaway! Thank you to everyone who suggested techniques in your comments - I will try hard to bring you those techniques this year. I really loved your answers and read them all - the winner is below. 
  • My Convention Retreat registration is open - space is limited, so register quickly to ensure a spot - you will see the link below my header or click here.
  • Please watch this important video on how cats help mock you while you exercise This could save lives.  
  • I made an awesome dinner tonight. Both recipes were new to me. See them below. Delicious and low carb and gluten-free and sustainable and low carbon footprint and pro-Yeti and BPA-free, dolphin friendly, sweatshop-free, local, organic, whole trade and all that jazz. 
  • Please, whatever you are doing, stop and watch the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom. It's a fantastic story about shining your light wherever you are on earth - told by the backup singers of all of your favorite bands. The music is amazing, but the women - they are fierce. It was very inspiring and a great lesson about what a spotlight really means. It's on Netflix. 
  • If you're done with that movie -  - please listen to or read the book, Still Alice. A beloved friend recommended this to me, and it's amazing. If you know anyone who has a friend or family member who has experienced having a loved one with Alzheimer's disease - or even if you haven't, and you're worried that forgetting where you put your car keys means you're coming down with it, I think this book will really be an eye opener. It reminds me of Oliver Sacks' books. Very well told story.
Okay - so first the recipes. I started with this Lemon Butter Chicken recipe. I tweaked a few things - the original wasn't very lemony at all, and was a little too fatty, so I messed with it, and my version is below.
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Real Salt (the best salt in the world) and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup organic chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 4 TBS fresh thyme (Please grow this - also perennial and very low maintenance)

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (This is NOT the temperature that freezes bridges, FYI)
  • Season chicken thighs with paprika, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large oven-proof skillet or Le Creuset over medium high heat. Add chicken, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  • If needed, add butter in the skillet (I didn't need to). Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, heavy cream, Parmesan, lemon juice and thyme.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until the sauce has slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet.
  • Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

I served this with spaghetti squash "hash browns".
  • Cook a whole spaghetti squash in the oven at 350 until it's soft. Stab it a few times before cooking. This lets out any unnecessary aggressions brought on by politicians. I cook it on a cookie sheet. 
  • When soft to the touch and slightly brown on the outside, cut it in half and let it cool. Scoop out the gross squishy part around the seeds and also the seeds. Then separate into "spaghetti" with a fork, and put on paper towels to cool and drain. 
  • Squish cooled squash between dry paper towels until all excess moisture is removed. This takes a while - be patient. Roughly chop it. No finesse needed. 
  • Mix in chopped fresh chives (I grow my own - they are easy to grow, perennial and delicious), salt, pepper and parmesan cheese as desired. Be sparing with the salt if you use the cheese - I love salt but these don't need much. 
  • Form into thin patties with your hands - the thinner the better. 
  • Fry until crisp in a skillet with oil of your choosing (I use Whole Foods' Safflower oil because it's one of the few that comes in glass)
  •  - they are delicious if you let them get browned and crispy. I bet they'd have been even better with a bit of sour cream, greek yogurt or creme fraiche on top.
  • Whisper my name.

Here's who my magic random drawing machine selected!

LeAnne - please use the "email me" link on the sidebar to email me your mailing address and Iliana will ship you the most amazing stamping tool in the world. :)

Thank you all for your kind comments and your input on what you'd like to learn - I will consider this my to do list for 2015 and try to touch on all the things you mentioned. 

So anyhoo - here is my video of the Fuse tool and my ATC for the swap. Hope you enjoy it. 


Friday, May 8, 2015

A Theory About Feline Echolocation

I had an epiphany while being deprived of sleep by my tortie feline the other night.

One of the things Splotchy always does is make a little trilling sound before he jumps up onto a surface (surface can be a chair, a table or our shoulders - owning a tortie is a lot like having a howler monkey.)

Lying awake at 4 AM listening to the little monkey chirp at something outside, I wondered if maybe the reason that the little kittiot does that is not that he is warning me that there is a 7 pound multicolored furry missile headed towards my face, but just maybe he's echolocating, like a bat.

It would be just like a cat to use that chirp to benefit CAT and not PERSON.

I expect my Nobel Prize for revealing echolocation in cats to arrive any day now.

When I receive it, I'll build a soundproof room I can sleep in.

I decided today was a good day for watercolor. When I asked you all to answer the question about a technique you'd like to learn the other day, a lot of you said watercolor.

So I thought I'd do a video for you showing you my process from start to finish of no line watercolor, using the You've Got This stamp set from the upcoming catalog - which you should totally buy from me. :) (Available June 2, or if you're coming to my catalog open house & BOGO sale, you can order there.)

The key to watercolor is to let go of every OCD and uptight tendency you have. I think the reason a lot of people think they can't do it is that they think there's a right answer.

There's not.

You have to let it surprise you and learn what it WANTS to do so that you can TELL it what to do, if that makes sense.

It's also not rocket science, and you shouldn't be intimidated by it. I painted this card in half an hour, and enjoyed every minute of it, and if I can do this, you can do this. You've got this. #seewhatididthere

Now isn't that fun? Looks a little different from the stamp, but the stamp guides the painting.

This is a lot of fun, and I want you all to watch the video and then try it. And don't try it ONCE. Stamp out ten images and paint ten in a row - that's the only way to get better. Every time I try a new coloring medium, that is how I practice, and that's how you should practice.

I'll know if you're lying to me and you don't do this. I promise.

Here's the long version of the video: (Be sure and click the little gear on the bottom of the video player and choose 720p/HD to view the highest quality version).

And here's the short version of the video:

Abstract Watercolor (Short Version) from Lydia Fiedler on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoy one of those. This card is for this week's Mix-Ability challenge, which is all about texture. I cheated and rubbed my texture off :). Here are the things I used:

Also - I wanted to answer a question I got last week about Stampin' Spots and the little Ranger Distress Ink Minis tin. Yes - they fit like a dream. That's how I store mine - they are exactly the same size as the Ranger minis. Now we don't sell the spots individually any more, but they come each month with your My Paper Pumpkin subscription if you have one, and they are GREAT for using with the MISTI. So get yourself a subscription and a couple of these cute little tins.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sneak Peeks!

Dear UPS:

True confession - my driver Robert has NEVER been stalked so hard :)

He came through for me at about 9:58 this morning and I got to play and walk through about half of what I got in a quick video for you. OH - and I also got these amazing powdered raspberries from Utah - that my mom found - THIS STUFF IS AMAZING. If you are a smoothie person, look at this powdered food line FAST. It was so delicious in coconut LaCroix this morning. I got the coconut, the kale and the mixed berry too - I've tried the mixed berry and it's awesome. I want to use the kale in soup.

BUT - even more important - after a few mixups with the hotel - my room is all set for the retreat and happy hour at Convention - so when you register this week, be sure you come in on Wednesday for that. My room is a tad smaller this year, so it will be first come, first served. Details TBA.

Here's the form to sign up: (use the scroller on the side to scroll down and fill it out.)

Now - on to the sneak peeks!

I made this card with our ADORABLE new Tree Builder Punch, as well as the Boho Chic embossing folder and the You've Got This sentiment in Tip Top Taupe. Fun, eh?

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And here's a quick video tour of a few more products. I'll do more reveals over the week!

How about that?

Don't forget - if you come to my new catalog open house, you will get one retired stamp set, die set or punch for every new stamp set, die set or punch you purchase from the new catalog, as well as some fun door prizes and other goodies.

Check out my last post for a chance to win a MISTI package from My Sweet Petunia - you'll love it for the Sprinkles of Life stamp set that matches the Tree Builder punch.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Calm Sea, A Skilled Sailor, a Cactus and a MISTI Giveaway

I did my Stampin' Up! pre-order last night. That meant I had to stay up reallllly late - it opened at 1 AM my time - so to try to stay awake, I decided to film a video. That's a nice quiet activity that doesn't bother anyone and it was actually really nice because I had no distractions - radio, etc.

I wanted to use the little boat from the Greetings From set - and make it look more realistic, and less graphic so I thought no-line watercolor would be fun with such a tiny image.

It was fun - took about half an hour start to finish - you can see the whole process in the video below.

I paired it with that awesome HUGE greeting from Adventure Awaits. I love this phrase - it's so true.

I read a great article the other day (which I've now lost) about the culture of perpetual offendedness we seem to be creating.

People want to start their day with outrage, for some reason.

I don't want to start my day with outrage. I want espresso, bacon and an art project.

There's also a great quote making the rounds on Facebook right now - "The world is full of cactus - but we  don't have to sit on it." ~Will Foley

So true. And every now and then if you run into a cactus, like I did last summer while geocaching, and you spend 15 minutes pulling 40 prickly pear thorns out from two inches into your thigh, you learn some VERY valuable things. Also, that reminds me - I probably need a tetanus shot.


It's all about the lessons.

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Isn't that a fun combo? I was really pleased with it when I was done. Then I placed my order and was even MORE pleased. My catalogs are on the way, so hit me up if you need one. I'll show some peeks in the next few days.

Here's the supply list for the card:
So since you'll see in the video how this whole card might have gone into the trash without the MISTI, Iliana was kind enough to offer to give one of YOU darling people a MISTI package - a MISTI, a paper pad, the Novus cleaner and two magnets. I appreciate her kindness and generosity - I suspect she knows that you all are the nicest, smartest, best looking people on earth. 

Want to win? All you have to do is leave a comment on this post answering the following question:

What is the one stamping technique 
or skill you'd most like to learn?

Leave your answer in a comment below before 11 PM on Monday, May 11th to be entered in a random drawing for the MISTI! And be sure and stop by the My Sweet Petunia Forum and say thank you for this generous gift for my readers!

Now - enjoy the video, which happens to feature Bruce Willis. Really. Watch! :)


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