Monday, August 17, 2015

Art Unto Others™ + A Giveaway

Just a little note about the gift of time today.

I had my team video chat yesterday - which is something I look forward to each week. It's a hilarious bunch of talented artists and I just love hearing what they've been up to during the week.

This week we talked about making video tutorials, and the obstacles that that can present. It rolled around in my skull for a bit and then when I worked on one of my own videos later, I felt like there were some things I should probably say.

People who give the incredible gift of many of the minutes they have to spend on earth to freely share their art and instructions are such amazing people - and they all get my utmost respect and heartfelt thanks.

Many years ago, I trademarked the phrase Art Unto Others™ because I have always had a conviction that service is a huge part of art.

You serve other artists when you share your art and your techniques, inspiring MORE art and thus making the world a better, prettier place. You serve everyone that you give your art to - especially all you cardmakers, who light up people's mailboxes and lives daily. You serve the quiet people, who learn from you purely for their own enjoyment, and who never have the courage to post their own work online. You serve the industry you work in, because you generate excitement for products someone worked hard to bring to life.

And, I believe, you serve the balance of good vs. evil, because you are adding to the good side of the scale, which is never lost time.

And adding to the good side of the scale is my mission in life.

To give you an idea of what it takes to produce a 7 minute video, I decided to document the process this weekend. Here's how it breaks down.

  • 27 minutes to film and complete cards.
  • 20 minutes to shoot and edit stills.
  • 30 minutes to edit video and  insert stills.
  • 8 minutes to record a voiceover.
  • 75 minutes to edit the audio. (Note - I have asthma and so I tend to take deep breaths between sentences, and I have to edit out each of those, which is pretty time consuming. It would annoy the heck out of you to listen to it :) )
  • 10 minutes to export the video.
  • 20 minutes to upload the video to YouTube. 
  • 50 minutes to add closed captions to the video - I have a lot of hearing impaired viewers, and the auto captions are gibberish. I'd rather have everyone be included, so this is so worth the time.
  • 10 minutes to add annotations and links.
  • 20 minutes to blog the card, video, upload to all the galleries I'm a part of and post to social media.
That's 270 minutes - 4.5 hours - to share a 7 minute video. And I've done a lot of them, so I know the steps and shortcuts. THIS is why it's hard for people to start sharing. Add to that people's insecurities about their hands, their accent, their workspace - and you can really appreciate the tiny percentage of people who overcome all that to share their tutorials with you.

And MOST importantly, THIS is why we need to lavish nothing but love on the people who DO invest in us and share their talent and time. I don't even know WHAT kind of work I'd be doing right now if it weren't for the tutorials people freely share, and the amazing videos I'd watch all day long every day if I didn't have to work and do super boring things like laundry and sleeping.

So I would like to do an Art Unto Others™ love bomb today. I want everyone that all of us watch regularly to know how much we appreciate them.

What I want you to do is to pick a YouTube channel that you love (or choose from one of my favorites below), and I want you to go comment on one of their videos and tell them that you love and appreciate them, their time, their quirks and their art. Then come back here and leave a link to their video in the comments so that we can all share these great people with each other.

I will do a drawing on Friday from the people who play along and I will give away my newest online class - the postal version including the PDF instructions, the Wild About Flowers stamp set and the card kit. EVERYONE WINS!!

Here are some of the people whose videos I adore:

  • France Papillon - stunning art journaling, which she makes look easy.
  • Mel McCarthy - she elevates everything she does. INCREDIBLE gifts in every post - you will just die if you haven't seen her stuff yet. She is a kind person and a cat lover :).
  • Jennifer McGuire - incredibly approachable and generous instruction - true heart for service - how she does what she does AND be a busy mom is a bit of a mystery. I suspect magic.
  • Kristina Werner - the first person who ever made me think about DESIGN - sweet and generous. She also is a fellow cat lover and an infectious giggler.
  • Dawn Woleslagle - she is so gifted at watercolor it will just make you pass out.
  • Brian King - he makes me laugh, which is pretty much my favorite, but his CAS design is the ultimate in class, and he is a kindhearted and generous person.
  • Maureen Wong - she is a crafty engineer - she does AMAZING things with the MISTI and just has such a soothing presence on video.
  • Tiffany Lovering - a completely mesmerizing Zengtangler.
  • Debby Hughes - I remember when she didn't think she could do videos. She is completely awesome and just as sweet and charming IRL.
  • Dina Kowal - this is my sweet friend and coworker - our Artist in Residence at Splitcoast. She is fearless, and has really helped me loosen up my approach to supplies and their use. She is a patient and kind instructor. 
  • Vicky Pappaioannou - AMAZING mixed media artist - her cat cameos crack me up. She is a patient and precise instructor and her voice and accent are beautiful.
  • My Serenity Crafts - another incredible art journaler - I love her because she composes on camera like I do so you get to learn along with her, which really appeals to me.
Anyway - I love everyone and could go on for days - but I want to see who YOU love, and I want them to feel loved, so share away!

I will do the drawing on Monday the 24th - that's my birthday so it's a good time to give a gift to one of you!

So onto the cards, shall we??

I wanted to send cards to my online class customers, and I wanted to do something really bright and happy and fun, so I thought I'd do a reinker background.

I feel like in the new focus on watercolor and ALL the amazing products that are out there for watercoloring, that reinkers get overlooked. I never buy an ink pad without a reinker and they are so great for watercolor techniques, I thought I'd give them the spotlight.

The cool thing about reinkers is that they are already coordinated with your paper, ink, etc. AND they are a very inexpensive medium. The pigments are very saturated and even diluted, they are quite vivid, as you can see. 

Pin It
 And I've been trying hard to take +Jennifer McGuire's advice lately to just make multiples while you have your supplies out. I had prepped for my Sleigh Ride Edgelits Stamp-a-Stack so I had a lot of little strips of the Neutrals Pattern Pack DSP left and they were the PERFECT accent for these colorful cards.

The other fun thing about this background is that every one is different.

What's fun about this technique and using the MISTI for the sentiment (from Thankful Forest Friends) is that the entire process of making all these cards only took 27 minutes. We can all find 27 minutes to say thank you, right?

Here's the video - I hope you enjoy it!

Have fun spreading some love on YouTube, and good luck in my drawing! I love the class I'm giving away and I hope you do too!



  1. You make it look so easy, because it IS. We just forget.

  2. You too? I absolutely LOVE limedoodle and I tell her so on a regular basis. I'm pretty sure I HAVE TO see her if and when I get to Scotland.

  3. I just adore your HUGE heart!

  4. Awwwww ~ Sweet Lydia! I speak on behalf of the WHOLE Understand Blue Team (and I know that they would agree) when I say that YOU are very much loved and appreciated! We couldn't have asked for a better person to lead and guide us. You are always so giving of your time, patience and instruction. Your words of encouragement ALWAYS lifts our spirits and is so greatly appreciated. You truly have brought this team together and have made us a family. Words cannot come close to truly say what you mean to all of us ~ You bring love to all of those you come into contact with. You are a true blessing and I (we) are forever grateful. Thank you for being you!

    BRB ~ gonna go leave some love on some videos ;)

  5. I watch her and participate in her swaps. She is a great teacher. ELONQP is my channel. Thanks for all the time you take to give us such great videos.

  6. Wonderful idea, Lydia! I don't watch too many videos but Sandy Allnock doesn't do a thing I don't like and can't learn from. This is one of my all time favorites.

  7. i am so thankful for Kristina W too! this video of her doing watercolor calligraphy is amazing:

    Lydia, you embody Art Unto OthersTM and i'm thankful for YOU!

  8. i just want to share one more for those who enjoy photography. alicia paulsen lives in portland and creates quilts and hand-sewn projects and photographs her life so beautifully that i want to go live with her, her husband Andy, and their adorable daughter Amelia.

    her writing is so real and wonderful too that it inspires me when i write.

  9. I just want you to know that YOURs is one of my favorite YouTube channels, but since that wouldn't really be in the whole spirit of your love bomb, I left some love on Mynn Kitchen's channel. She has a calm, easy manner (even when she makes a mistake) of presenting concise and clear instructions - I always feel confident that I can do that, too, whatever she's showing.

  10. Lydia, first I just want to apologise for always calling you Lynda. I must have sped read it and it has never clicked till now. Shame on me......anyway now I know. I dont want to go in the draw as its too expensive to send stuff to Australia. Most of the links you have I follow so I will check out the others and leave some love. But just wanted to say thank you for oyur videos, I am hearing impaired and use captions always so I truly appreciate when someone takes the effort to caption. Cause it can be hard to try and work out whats what without sound. You are wonderful.

    1. awwww you are so sweet! And I'll answer to anything, so no worries! xxoo

  11. Lydia, I know I'm not following the rules and that's OK because I'm not saying this to win a contest. I just want you to know that I love and appreciate you, your time, your quirks and your art. I look at a whole lot of blogs every morning, but yours is about the only one I read through completely. And now today I have even more reason to love you. That you for being you and for appreciating all those others who are not you : )

    1. You said this so well. I do read Lydia's full blog posts. Love you Lydia.

    2. Guess I didn't say it that well because I typed That instead of THANK, but THANK you, and THANKS again Lydia : )

  12. Lydia, Lydia, Ly-ly-ly-ly-lydia. I love you so much - and love you even more for this incredible post (and even more because my name was mentioned in the middle of these amazing artists). Thank you for supporting an amazing artistic community. You are beautiful!

  13. How fun is this post! I just happened to check out the Dirty Dozen gals yesterday and saw Audrie had placed a link to her video. The Inspiration Challenge is one of my faves but I really didn't know much about Audrie until I checked out her video. How fun to get to know her a bit more and then I left some love and subscribed to her channel!

    I love your videos, your humor and the sound of your voice! During one of my stamping sessions recently, I clicked your channel and just had you playing the entire time, not quite as good as stamping with a friend in person but still fun and laughs.

    Carolyn Dube is one of my faves! I love her voice (yeah, voice is a thing with me apparently!) I love her approach to art! She doesn't worry about doing a technique perfectly or cleaning up perfectly, something this plodder needs to be reminded of frequently. I left her some love this morning!


    Oh goodness, that's a lot of time spent on a video! Thank you so much for sharing your talent, humor and time with us.

  14. In addition to your wonderful videos (I had NO idea the work that went into them! So thanks.) I have been enjoying Nikki Boyd's videos on decorating and organization. Check out her amazing crafting space here:

  15. I love your blog, tutorials, your art and, most of all, your fabulous sense of humor! Thank you for all you share.
    I also like K Werner's tutorials - just watched this one

  16. What a lovely technique. Can't believe I've never tried it. Love the thought of the day as well. Very glad I subscribed.

  17. I enjoy your blog and your tutorials: I always learn so much. Here is another artist, Joanna Munster, who designs and sells her own stamps. They are wonderful! Her company is Inspired by Stamping.

  18. I love all the bloggers, splitcoast stampers, SU! demonstrators who share their fabulous talent with all of us talent-challenged stampers. All the cool new techniques I've learn through other's videos and blogs and you just can't get that anywhere else. I use to take classes at Archivers and loved it then they closed. How else are people suppose to learn how to use all the new tools and products out there....I'm a demonstrator now just for that reason - I love to share what I learn.

  19. Lydia,

    You are AMAZING and I love your blog and videos!!! :) THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your time and talent with us!!!! I knew that it takes a long time to blog and even more so to make videos, but my guesstimate was still way under. ;) We are so lucky and grateful for all you're truly an inspiration!!!

    Crafty hugs,

    partridgelu at yahoo dot com

    P. S.
    I'll be back with a link! I love so many You Tubers but the one that comes to mind for 3d items is Pootles from the UK (a fellow SU demonstrator).


      Thank you for sharing your favorites with us! :) I checked out Maureen Wong's You Tube channel and can't wait to make time to check out the others! ;)

  20. Wonderful idea. I would like to recognize Sam Donald, aka "Pootles" in the UK. She has the most amazing 3D projects that she does without framelits, etc. she shares her videos freely and is a delight to follow. Here's her YouTube link:

  21. Lydia, you are such a blessing to the crafting community. I love your videos and I especially enjoy reading your blog. You just crack me up! Thank you for spreading joy and goodness sprinkled with some good old fashioned common sense.

    I love so many of the same talented and generous designers that you've already listed as well as those listed in the comments. One of my favorites is Julia Altermann in Germany. Not only is she talented, she's very funny. This is one of my favorite videos, but please check out her other videos as well.

    1. Oh my GOSH - I love this video - thank you! She is amazing!!!

  22. I follow many of the people on your list (and will be checking out the others) but never realized how much went into making a video. Just knew that it wasn't something I could even thing about doing. Thank you for what you do. My link is to Jennifer McGuire who does wonderful videos and new techniques.

  23. I visit Dawn everyday. I love her tutorials. She's amazing. So are you. HAPPY Birhtday!!! My daughter's birthday is monday the 24th also.... She rocks too. :)
    Thank you for all you do. U enertain me with your thoughts and art! Lia S

  24. Hi Lydia, yes you are appreciated more than you know for your very large heart. I have visited for many years. A bubbling SU sharer that posts weekly. I am aghast at how much time it takes to put a video together, all that time you could be stampin, yeah! I enjoy your blog and everyone in the stamp world that is so willing to share.

  25. I agree with your outlook with our gifts giving them freely to others, your words held compassion and humility that's seldom found today.

    Thank you again 😘

  26. I wanted to add a shout out to Susan Itell of "Simple Stampin". Although she doesn't VLOG, her daily blog posts are detailed photos of how to do steps in card making. She also is a very giving person and shares what she knows freely. Her blog is :

  27. Your video was so inspiring. I frequently make 12 cards at the same time (have a long list to send them to), but you blew me away with making 20+ cards in such a short time! And the cards you created are gorgeous! The colors are so breathtaking.

    One of my favorite video personalities is Sandy Allnock, founder of Operation Write Home.
    Sandy is generous with her videos, free downloads, advice, and has emailed me back when I have questions. She definitely fits the definition of giving Art Unto Others!

  28. Oh Lydia, someone just came and left me a Love Bomb prompted from here!

    I do what I do, freely and willingly, and love to share everywhere every day. My husband is quite happy I do so because I'm sure there are only so many times he can say "yeah, that's lovely Sam" before his eyes would glaze over....

    But I truly believe in giving as much away for free as possible. Inspiration goes out, but it comes back to me too....

    Thank you for this post!

    Sam - aka Pootles... xxx

  29. What a nice thing to do :-) I always watch the videos from a lady called Karita Vainio. She is awesome with distress. But she has not to many wievings, so maybe thats why she dosent put one out that often? Anyway, i left here i comment about missing he videos, and that i apriciate the time she puts in them. I also apriciate what you are doing here ;-) So now i will check out all the suggestions here :-)


  31. I follow my friend and crafting therapist Erin Gonzales:

  32. Ok... there are far too many people to choose from. Should I choose myself? LOL No. So, here's a lady I adore because she is so very different from my style. Linda Parker from Papercraft with Crafty: Her videos are soothing and the projects are very feminine and just perfect for those tea-times. You know, a bit of Victorian charm. Thanks so much for helping us reach out to one another with encouragement. What a fantastic vision you have with Art Unto Others! Love you!

  33. I have learned so many things from so many people. I love to learn and try new things especially when I can watch a video if I am having trouble with something. I visited all the people you listed and found a few new people to follow. Thank you for everything you do! I really appreciate you time and talent and I am very thankful for all you do. I never realized how long it took to make a video. I love this video by Maureen Wong and this video by Jennifer McGuire

  34. There are so many I watch and appreciate and look forward too! One is you! I love your blog and your videos and your sense of humour. And of course the fact that you are a fellow cat lover. For the sake of completeness, here is a link to your channel! Another favourite is CreaBoetiek's channel and blog are so inspiring. She is a mixed media artist and I really enjoy watching her create. Thanks!

    1. are so kind! thanks so much for your shout out. I really appreciate it a lot

  35. I had NO IDEA how much time and how much effort goes into making a video. I want to thank YOU so much and all the generous people who share so very much. I am awed by the creativity and the generosity of all the folks who share their videos. This lady, Brandy, is one who I often watch. The last one I watched of hers I left a message. I hope you will check it out sometime. Here is the you tube address
    Thanks Lydia

  36. I just recently found your blog. Not quite sure what rock I have been under. Just glad I fond my way out through your blog. Thank you Lydia for taking the time a effort to have a wonderful blog that makes me smile :> You are so very talented. I am a little late to the party. But, still would like to share my love with You for what you do. And for Brian King. I can't even begin to tell you how much he has inspired me on my creative journey. And Laura Bassen, she always is creating something fun And I learn so much from her videos. There are so many others. I could be at this for a while. This was such a great Idea!!!! Love you for sharing with us.

  37. have you picked a winner? I visit everyday and didn't notice.... Lia S

  38. well, Lydia...I can't think of a better place to start "sharing the love" than right here on your posted video/ are amazing and I knew that even before I read the details of how long it takes to make and post a blog video! I am sooo not a techie and just getting a watermark on a photo and getting it uploaded is such a laborious process that I tend to blog on a quarterly basis...more or less! A video is out of the question.....and I have never actually done one but I am convinced!


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