Saturday, January 2, 2016


So I like to walk.

A lot. Like a freaky amount. My fave distance is 7 miles. Years ago I did the Susan Komen 3 Day - which is a 60 mile walk - 20 miles a day for three days. It was awesome. I trained my arse off for it - if you think you can show up to something like that without training, you are nuts. The long distance runners - including a Marine who went down hard on day 2 - thought running prepared them for a 60 mile walk - it didn't, and most of them dropped out. You have to have your muscles do that specific task for a long, long time to train.

What I found when I was working up to my final training walks - between 13 and 17 miles - is that after a certain number of miles, the walk is effortless. I think the same is true of running - you hit a point where you're all warmed up, your endorphins are working, and it's just you and your headphones and the sunshine.

Now what I really like is to walk in the woods. I don't mind street walking (not streetwalking, street walking, you naughty people!) but I really like the woods and trails. I love seeing the bunnies and hearing the birds over my audiobook, and just that silence and filtered light through the trees. Especially the filtered light.

On one of my favorite routes, there's an even one mile loop I can do - I usually do it two or three times, as the getting there and back is already four miles.

But after doing this for a while, I started to notice that I was the ONLY person that did this loop clockwise. Everyone else did it counterclockwise.

I didn't understand this. I asked people - if you were walking a track, how would you walk? They all said counterclockwise. They're defective, clearly. But I didn't get it - is my brain wired backwards? (Hold your comments please.)

But today - a SERIOUSLY glorious day - perfect Texas December day - about 70 this morning and sunny - I realized why I'm the square peg in the round hole.

I was holding my hand up to shield my eyes so I could see the dog hurtling towards me - it's a greyhound that is one of my fave walk dogs I see a lot - and it hit me. Not the dog - the answer.

I'm the only one who walks into the sun. Everyone else has their back to it in the morning. I bet in the evening, people walk the other way. On this loop only par of the walk is in full sunlight, and it's really, really bright for that part, so it makes complete sense.

Mystery solved.

There is NOTHING I love more than walking directly at the sun. I guess I don't understand why other people don't like it. It just makes me happy.

Anyway - that's my random thought for the day.

Today I'm filling in for Audrie as the host of the Inspiration challenge. I love this challenge, because she picks such interesting inspiration sites - I felt a lot of pressure to find something as cool as she does!

I had seen a shop on Etsy before Christmas that I just loved, and I chose that site because of the beautiful atmospheric watercolor prints. It's called The Wildlands, and it's gorgeous. Take a look around and then come play along. Keyword/hashtag is IC526.

For my samples, I used Frog tape for a negative and positive mask with the Leaflets Framelits, and Koi Watercolor.

That Frog tape is amazing - look at those CRISP edges! Love it! The sentiment is from a Sale-A-Bration set called Hello. Looks so perfect when I overstamped it with my Mini MISTI. PS - the Mini is a finalist for the Hot Product at CHA - I hope she wins. I can't wait till you try one. It's the perfect size for just normal everyday cardmaking and adding greetings.

For the second one, I did the reverse with the other piece of tape left from cutting the first mask. Again - I'm in awe of the crispness and performance of the Frog Tape.

And even though I have ten million things to do before I leave for CHA, I had to video this one for you - because it's so easy and fun, I thought you'd enjoy trying it. 

Now before I go, I made some dip for New Years, and I'm now shedding a tear for every potato chip that has ever been wasted on store-bought onion dip.

I cannot BELIEVE I have never made this before - I have so many regrets right now.

Stop everything you're doing and make Alton Brown's Onion Dip. STOP. Do it.

Alton Brown’s Onion Dip (Adapted)

  1. 3 tablespoons butter
  2. 1 pound 1015 onions, diced (This is 1 onion if you use a 1015)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  5. 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  6. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (I omitted this)

  1. Place the butter and onions in a saute pan over medium heat.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown and carmelized - I cook mine for a LONG time on a 3 on my gas stove - I like them super carmelized and dark. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Place the remaining ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, add the cooled onions and stir to combine.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and stir again before serving.
  1. This dip is even better when made a day ahead. Just make sure that you cover it well with plastic wrap because fats (like sour cream) take in flavors and aromas hanging around the refrigerator like crazy old grandmas collect leftover gift wrapping.

I weep for the cartons of dip I've bought in my life and am fully repentant. Join me and repent.

Speaking of weeping over store-bought food, while I was searching for holiday recipes on my staycation I came across an AMAZING site - it's called the  Family Cookbook Project. I had found a fantastic recipe there through a random Google rabbit hole for Nuts & Bolts - something my sweet friend Kim brings me every year at the holidays - and then I saw that one of the services they offer is to make your own custom family cookbook. I always think I'm going to do this myself and then I never do. It's so much work. I'm thinking of making one for all the recipes on my blog. For those of you who are weekend Iron Chefs - check it out.Our favorite cookbooks are the church lady and family cookbooks we have - it's rare that we refer to a professional cookbook for our faves.



  1. Beautiful cards! And continue walking toward the sun! :-)

  2. I love this card, Lydia! The colors you've chosen to paint on this leaf are gorgeous! I am not a huge "sun-in-my-eyes" fan. There's that. :)

  3. Lydia - these are lovely. Do you have a video on how to die cut with the Frog tape? You are so amazing!!

  4. I always try to walk away from the sun because I prefer to not squint. Don't need any more wrinkles than life has already given me. LOL. Love the card! Just beautiful!!!

  5. That is too funny, I walk towards the sun, always. Love the heat. Yes, it's true about the running, like you said. After a certain point you just run. I need to get back into it. Once I do, I will start walking first, lots of walking. Love this technique and it's perfect since I was looking for something fun to do today.

  6. Okay, I bought the frog tape on your's sitting on my table staring at me. Do believe you convinced me to try it. Hopefully soon because I love the results you got from it. If it starts catching flies, it will have sat too long. Thanks for the onion dip.

  7. Your cards are soooo pretty! And, I live in Texas (Houston) so I get you! Walking towards the sun just feels good!

  8. Gorgeous I must say Lydia - I also very much enjoyed watching your video. Thank you.

  9. Very interesting cards. Love❤️ Looking at the recipe ingredients, #3 …1/2 teaspoon ??

    1. HAHA OOPS - just fixed that - 1/2 tsp kosher salt.

  10. Lydia, this is gorgeous and beyond! I recently purchased the Frog Tape. Now I have a great reason to try it. Quick question, how did you do the cutting out of the leaf and mask? Doesn't the tape stick to the paper and loose it's stickiness when put on the card base? Hope that makes sense. hehe Just curious and so want to try this. Thanks! :0)

    1. To cut it I put it on a piece of colored cardstock, peel it up and stick it on the watercolor - and you can see how perfectly it still works - it's amazing!

  11. OMG girl, the randomness! Walking in circles, beautiful splattering and a mind boggling recipe? What the heck is #3? Am I supposed to throw half a teaspoon into my dip?

    1. Bahhh! Thank you for catching that! Yes - the spoon adds crunch! No - it's Kosher salt. haha.

  12. I love reading your post Lydia. You are just a bucket of happiness to me. Love this card too. You're an enabler, yup I purchased the tape. LOL

  13. Beautiful cards. Love the colours and the grunge splatters.

  14. Beautiful! What size silver brushes do you recommend?


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