Tuesday, December 22, 2015

One Tape To Rule Them All

I've found my preciousssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss....

I'm so excited to have found a masking tape that WORKS with watercolor.

I've tried it all. Painter's tape. Frisket tape, you name it. They all leaked, especially with my more abstract watercolor where I like to put down a good amount of water in shapes and then let the colors run.

Painter's tape I found to be the worst, along with "artist's tape" I bought at art supply stores. It has ridges and texture that lend themselves to inviting under-tape leaks.

But THIS TAPE - Frog Tape (Delicate Surface) - is perfect for that clean, sharp, edge. I'm in love.

Dina used it in her watercolor ornament tutorial and I was intrigued. But I never take anyone's word for anything - I have a scientist's heart - so I bought some and tried it. It's amazing.  PLUS - they make it in SHAPES, like chevrons - SQUEE! Check that out here.

Here are my test studies on the worthiness of the tape. The watercolor I used is Koi, the brushes are Silver Brushes and the sentiment is from So You (retired).

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And here's my video tutorial.

And I wanted to share what might be my last recipe share of 2015. If you came to my Customer Appreciation Christmas party, you already know how amazing Mandola's caponata is. We ate buckets of this at the party and it was simply amazing. AND it's garlic-free, which is unusual for Italian recipes, so if you are garlic-averse, you'll love it even more. It's one of those things you cannot stop eating, so if you're having a holiday party - this is a great recipe people will rave about.

Mandola’s Caponata

½ C Olive Oil
1 medium Eggplant, skin on, cut into ½” dice
2 C Celery, cut to ¼” dice
1 large onion, cut to ¼” dice
2 TBS tomato paste
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
⅓ C red wine vinegar
1.5 tsp sugar
1 C water
kosher salt, black pepper to taste
¼ C pitted halved kalamata olives
¼ C pitted halved green olives
1 TBS capers
2 TBS roasted pine nuts
1 C chopped fresh Italian parley
2 TBS chopped fresh oregano

  • Heat olive oil on high in a large pan until it sizzles - about 3 minutes
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add eggplant, and leave on one side to cook for 4 minutes. Stir, and cook another 4 minutes until it’s very tender. Remove the eggplant, and set aside.
  • Add celery and onion to the same pan and add more oil if necessary. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Return the eggplant to the pan with the celery and onion.
  • Add tomato paste, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat another 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and add the olives, capers, pine nuts and parsley. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate overnight.
  • Bring to room temperature and serve with sliced rustic bread.
And remember - eat eggplant during the day - or if you have an extreme nicotine sensitivity like I do (eggplant is a tobacco cousin and you can read about that here) - you'll be awake for days and ruin your holidays :).

Or if you need to study for an exam - eat a large bowl of this at 10 PM.

Hope your week is going swimmingly.



  1. It was delicious like everything you served.
    How did you manage to get the recipe? I don't think I am brave enough to make it so I will have to go there.

    1. It was actually up at the counter on a postcard at one of my classes! I think they sell it at their little deli counter - it is sooooo yummy.

  2. Wow! Amazing tips! I didn't know that about eggplant so that will be off my diet too.

    1. I didn't either - I did research after having insomnia every time I ate it. I love it but I have to eat it for lunch, not dinner. :)

    2. Thanks for ending my frustration too with painters tape etc. I will have to look for this or order from Amazon. Thanks also for the recipe. Interesting about it giving you insomnia. Will have to try for lunch not dinner as well.

      Merry Christmas, Lydia.

  3. Oh this is gorgeous Lydia. You know I've ordered the tape while I was watching the video. lol

  4. Your cards are sooo pretty. Thanks for the tip about the frog tape. I used painters tape twice on my blue and gold Christmas card for your VSN challenge. Paint seeped under the tape twice and it was so dark that the gold couldn't be seen so I had to give up, stamp and cut the image, lightly paint it and pop it on the card. Frog tape and watercolor paper on my list for next Amazon order!

  5. Thank you for the great tips. Beautiful card. Your email was the first one of the day for me and I went shopping at Amazon. What a fabulous way to start the day. Merry Christmas.

  6. Love the masked lines on these cards and I have to say...the title of the post cracked me up! I'm a huge LOR's fan!

  7. Brilliant video Lydia ♥ I can't wait to try this tape and your painting technique on flowers :*


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