Sunday, August 9, 2015

Breaking Stepford

I drove through a new neighborhood that completely freaked me out the other day.

Every house was 100% identical. Not even a TINY amount of variation, other than the cars in the driveway. Even the one builder tree (don't get me started on THAT - you'll be here all month) was exactly the same height, and placed in exactly the same spot in the yard.

It really gave me anxiety - I felt like I couldn't breathe driving past house after house that looked exactly the same, and when I was safely out of there I realized that it is because that degree of sameness is extremely disorienting. Forget about the creepy lack of individualism - how in the world would you not come home every evening and feel like you had dementia? What if you were slightly impaired by cedar fever or a large meal and you just wandered into the wrong house?

It was very unnerving, and sort of 1984ish.

I hope no friends move into that neighborhood - I'll never be able to come for a visit. At least not without being medicated.

That strange experience inspired today's card. I'm still completely obsessed with the Sleigh Ride Edgelits. (You still have time to sign up for my online class using these. Registration closes at the end of the month!)

But I wanted to do something different because I thought it would be fun to add color to them. And make each little house unique. So I cut them out of watercolor paper and used my FineTec watercolor for a 10 minute card.

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And, just for you, a tiny video showing the process and some of my strange observations, as well as a tip for cleaning your die cuts.

This is the perfect card for today because it's hotter than a pregnant mouse in a wool sock outside.

It's so hot my hair is sweating.

It's so hot the trees are whistling for the dogs.

You know - hot.

But I'll take hot over rain any day - so let it hot. :)



  1. Which neighborhood? Just so I don't accidentally wander in there.

  2. Ok you might of been in my neighborhood. My house is now pale yellow but everyone else is basically tan. It used to be a brighter yellow before sun lightened it. I would move into neighbor hood and change things up. I love your card.

  3. OMG I can pucture a dream of driving and driving (insert maniacal laughter) and never getting anywhere and IT is getting closer.... SCREAM super cute and will keep these thinkits forEVERRR

  4. I think Cindy Lou Who might live in this neighborhood :) totally delightful card and oh so sweet!

  5. Such a sweet card, Lydia. Thanks for the tips about the shadows too.
    Di :-)

  6. Ahh Lynda we had a rerun of the stepford wives on the other day so that automatically came to mind, some of these estates that spring up are rather scary especially as those who choose to live in them even have things like the colour of the house, roof tiles etc dictated by the corporate body.
    Love your card, it reminds me of now where we wait for the icy winds coming off the snowy mountains to abate. Ahh spring where are you

  7. Love your posts! They always brighten my day. I call those neighborhoods "mushroom mansions" as they seem to spring up out of nowhere - large rows of sameness. Your card, however, is so unique. Love it! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Those Stepford neighborhoods make me itch. I need variety. Plus, I'd never find my own house.

    And your painted houses are adorable.

  9. Thanks for the laugh and the inspiration!

  10. Sweet and love those little houses. Thank God, they're not all the same...that's just...sick. Anyway, clever that you added those shadows in the snow.

  11. oh my, I lived in a neighborhood just like that last year (not by choice, that's what was available after our garage burned and damaged our house). I thought it was totally creepy, but I couldn't describe why; 1984ish is exactly right! And, there were rules! You couldn't leave your car outside your garage at night, couldn't put wind spinners or anything in the yard, holiday lights had to be "tasteful" - ugh - I was so happy to get out of there, even when we had to live in a rundown, overgrown, '60's era group home with garish decor and half-working electric heat! ps - LOVE your card with all the lovely unique little houses ♥

  12. Eek! I totally know what you mean about those streets where every house is identical... how do you find your house at the end of the day? I picture myself going up to a strange persons house and making myself at home before realizing I'm in the wrong one... Not cool.
    The thing that IS cool is that I found your blog - and it's hilarious. I laughed and now I am following... You have some stunning cards on here!

  13. I am so blessed to live in an older neighborhood--without an HOA!--where the houses are all different!!! When I read about your experience, I immediately thought of the movie "Pushing Tin." In one scene towards the beginning of the movie, one of the main characters comes home from his all-night job as an air traffic controller. He lives in one of those cookie-cutter neighborhoods. He pulls into his driveway, looks at the house, looks at the house next door--and then pulls out from where he parked and into his REAL driveway! LOL I actually did that once, picking my mom up from a friend's house at night--and immediately thought of that movie. Thanks for sharing your multi-colored, as-they-should-be houses, and for the giggles! :) ~ Andrea


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