Monday, November 23, 2015

9 AM Is Not Too Late For Tacos, Brian

So I was talking to Brian King this morning while I was on my way to get the traditional Sunday breakfast tacos.

He was mortified that we were being so Bohemian as to have breakfast tacos at such a late and slothful hour, so I justified myself by telling him about the 8 million other Bohemians in line in front of me - nearly every one of them with a dog in their car. Seriously - everyone that I saw this morning had a dog in their car - everyone at the Starbucks drive through and everyone at the taco drive through and many cars in between.

I wondered out loud what kind of strange looks I'd get if I packed up the cats every Sunday morning and just started driving around town with them looking out the windows at people.

Why are dogs considered normal car companions and cats are not?

It seems discriminatory.

Although, in reality, a cat would never sit in a seat and look happily out the window at passersby. It would scream like its soul was being sucked out by Voldemort, poop, barf and then shoot onto the accelator or under the brake, killing us all.

Perhaps I have answered my own question.

Today I'm playing along with the Global Design Project - CASE The Designer challenge - and the designer is the decidedly un-Bohemian early riser himself. The inspiration project from Brian is this cutie:
As you know, I'm not a red and green Christmas person, and I love holiday designs with aquas and reds instead. So, since I was already braving the frigid 41 degree temps this morning, I decided to take inspiration from Brian's frosty theme, and his beautiful color combo to make my card.

I like trying to use the images in a new way - my rebellious streak - so I used the berry images to create an emboss resist snow in the background. Then using a ruler and my Versamarker, I created an echo of a window shape to frame the bird in, and embossed those as well. I sponged the entire background with Pool Party and then used my MISTI to stamp the bird body from Joyful Season - first in Real Red, and then in Cherry Cobbler - I like the mix. With a blender pen and Tangelo Twist, I created a beak, and I used the blender and Cherry Cobbler to draw in an eye and the darker area near the beak. I didn't want the outline image of this two step stamp to break up the softness of the overall card so I just left it off. But I did want him to have legs, because otherwise that would have just been awkward, so I masked my finished bird, and again with the MISTI, I stamped the legs from the outline stamp image onto the bird. The glimmer paper snowflake is from the retired snowflake card dies. And because I'm in denial about Cool Caribbean being retired, that's the card base.
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I think this would make a fun card for winter birthdays too.

This was really fun to do, and a  nice Sunday diversion before I dived into part one of the annual Alton Brown Fruitcake ritual. This is a million dollar recipe, both figuratively AND literally - these organic dried fruits are expensive little suckers and you use quite a bit of rum and brandy. The whole process takes from now until Christmas, at which point these exquisite little gifts are ready to package up and make people happy.

My grandfather on my mom's side made amazing holiday treats - notably rum balls, which is to this day one of my favorite recipes, and one I have yet to share outside our family, like our closely guarded cheesecake recipe. And he LOVED fruitcake. I did not share his love though, because at that time, fruitcake was made with those hideous, gummy fluorescent candied "fruits" that sit in those plastic containers at the store, boring their evil into you while you're trying to buy oranges. I was always repulsed by those red and green sort of bitter, gummy things - WAIT - maybe THAT is why red and green give me the twitchies at Christmas!

Anyway, I never bonded with it. Until I watched the show where Alton Brown made this free range fruitcake. It has real fruit in it - and real fruit that I liked, and not jellied or dyed anything. Add cake and rum and brandy spritzing for a month and I am a total fruitcake convert! It's seriously amazing. If I can be converted, anyone can.

I make three full batches so that I can divide them into mini loaf pans for a precious few gifts.

We are doing our traditional handmade or re-gift only Christmas again this year, so a few lucky people will be getting these amazing cakes! And I try to mail at least one to a faraway friend each year.

Speaking of faraway friends - all my faraway friends can now get my newest online class - featuring the Reason For the Season bundle. I have some fun, surprising designs with this set that can be used all year - not just at the holidays - so even if you're done with holiday cards, you won't want to miss this. AND, this punch matches a NEW adorable stamp set you'll see in the Occasions Mini, so it's a great value.

Here's what the bundle looks like. And if you purchase the bundle from me, the class is free :).

Please feel free to play along with this challenge - and if you share your card in the Splitcoast gallery, please use keywords GDP and GDP012.

And don't forget - the Online Extravaganza starts today - and it's a great sale - get the details here. If you use host code SWQG4DAV when you are shopping you will be entered into a drawing to win a stamp set from the upcoming Occasions Mini! All orders of $30 and over are eligible!

Then go make yourself some fruitcakes! You will not regret it!



  1. So fun to see our very private conversations blasted to thousands upon thousands...I adore you, Lydia, and love that you played along with my challenge at GDP. What fun! Your bird is as sweet as can be, and I love that you've perched it on a desconstructed window pane. Love, too, that you used the berries for snow and the shine of your glimmer snowflake. Thanks so much for playing along with this challenge - I'm honored that you created such a great card from my silly, but adorable, penguins. Also...neither penguins nor birds would enjoy a trip to the drive-thru. :)

  2. What a great way to start my day! Love your inspiration ... love the challenge ... I wanna stamp!
    And "that", my dear, is exactly why I adore what we do! It's so easy to cause more smiles, more joy, and get those creative little wheels rollin' for someone else!

  3. This is gorgeous! And yep I am one of those dog people......Around here the dogs lean out the window and the window folks hand out treats. My baby girl loves the pepperoni at the pizza place the best......hmm wonder if the guy washes his hands between dog treats.....probably drive through has to keep moving!

  4. Lydia, I am glad you blasted your conversation with Brian - we get to know him better that way, lol!! I also cracked up at your cat in the car theory. You had that spot on, as that would be my cats reaction! I adore your CASE card. Picking the colours that Brian used and turning it into a creation all your on. Your bird is regal without the hard outline and the snowy background is a great backdrop for him. Thanks for playing at Global Design Project this week.

  5. I love all the thought you put into your background Lydia! It's just so gorgeous. Thanks so much for joining in the GDP fun this week!

  6. FREE-RANGE FRUITCAKE, FTW!!!! Once a year, it's soooo worth it.

    And you are correct about free-range cats in the car. I suspect we'd all die.

  7. We have a superstar playing along this week at Global Design Project. Your Brian story made me giggle and funny enough now I want a taco. Your card is stunning, I love the background you have created, which is soft and compliments the bold Cherry bird.

  8. Pretty card! And you had me laughing about the cats in the car part - yea, not car creatures.... Ha!

  9. I had a travelin' cat once. She loved car rides... She'd go look out all the windows before settling in to lie across my shoulders behind my head and watch the world go by. She made a nice soft headrest. LOL. The secret of travelin' cats is to get a cat you've rescued from the streets... They already know how hard life without servant humans can be, so they don't leap out of the car run away at first opportunity for an adventure. ;)

  10. Your CASE of Brian's card is stunning. You had me at "cardinal", that being my all time favorite bird...but how you simulated that snowy window is brilliant.

  11. that white line across the background - I am saving this in my bag of tricks! great idea

  12. Beautiful card, Lydia. I love the frosty window pane you created for the cardinal to perch. Too cool. (gah I just heard the pun). Thanks for playing with Global Design Project this week.

  13. Gorgeous card! And you are SOOOOO correct about cats in cars!!! My Smokey had to ride in a cat carrier whenever he went to the vet, and he would howl every inch of the way there! He HATED being in the car. And when he was a kitten and I tried to hold him on the way to his first visit to the vet, he clawed me all pieces and peed on my lap! Hence the need for the cat carrier. LOL

  14. Lydia, your card is amazing...but of course, I love everything you create. It was so good to see you in Dallas. Thanks for playing along this week at Global Design Project.


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