Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cuttlelola GO!

At my retreat, as you know, we all got bitten by the Pokemon Go! bug HARD. It's SUCH a fun game, and I love that suddenly I now see - wait for it - LIVE HUMAN CHILDREN OUTSIDE.

Prior to this game, it would have been impossible to detect the presence of any children within a ten mile radius of my house. Since the game launched, I have discovered that my neighborhood does, in fact, have some live young in it, and they have now discovered the OUTDOORS.

It's so strange to me that kids here never go outside, and so different from my childhood experience. I worry about their imaginations and their vitamin D levels and their lack of contact with animals. Our days were filled with lizards and snakes and ants and all manner of wildlife. I could have done without the hot water we drank from the hose, but other than that, pretty much all we knew as kids was outside, and it was delightful. I still don't consider a day to be well spent if I haven't had a walk.

On my daily walks I NEVER saw kids and teens on the trails - now the trails are full of the Pokemon hunters - and I love it.

Bravo, Nintendo. The perfect blend of today's technology and the real world. Someone in that company has a lot of soul, a lot of brains, and now, a LOT of money.

Before you get the urge to fun-squash by coming up with a story about how someone fell off a cliff playing Pokemon - stifle yourself. There were stupid people prior to this game. Shoot - I see a woman on Mopac - our expressway - SEVERAL times a week, eating soup while she drives. Just like Facebook and beer don't make you stupid, Pokemon doesn't make you stupid. These people were stupid before they downloaded the app. Now they're just famous and stupid.

You know what's not stupid? Any new technology that brings us together and gives us common interests - across every sort of cultural or temporal divide there is. That is truly the wonder and value of things like this game. People who are quick to write off or criticize these unifying fads, whether serious or silly, are missing the opportunity to find joy in unexpected places, and I think everyone can agree that the world could do with a bit more joy and wonder. 

So try looking for Pikachu and just see if you don't find a little more.

Speaking of technology - I am in love with my newest toy - an early birthday present I bought for myself, along with an art journaling class that I'm LOVING. More on that one later.

But the toy is the Cuttlelola Dots pen. It's basically an electric pointillism machine! And I LOVE stippling/pointillism, but on large projects it can be time consuming and a bit fatiguing.

So I was THRILLED to run across this little wonder and it jumped instantly into my cart. I tried it out for the very first time on this card and filmed the process, so you will see in the video how easy it is to use right out of the box. Check out this stippled version of a rose I did with it.

Cuttlelola Dots Pen Sample by Understand Blue
It's just a thicker pen body, with a little lithium battery inside that powers the stippling motion of the pen. Incredible! Just press the little button (mine is blue, not red), and you're off to the races!
I used the ArtOGraph light box and an image stamped from Rose Wonder to trace the image with the Dots Pen. To finish it off, I used the Hero Arts prayers die for the sentiment for a friend who lost her mother recently.

SO easy and fun and it just took a few minutes - it would have taken me forever manually. When I showed the etched and Zentangled Blended Bloom samples at Convention a few years ago, I had done a stippled version, and just had to show the finished card because it took so long to do by hand. You can see the video on those samples here, and here is my video showing my first time with the Cuttlelola.

I hope you enjoy that - this is quickly becoming an obsession.

So go outside with what's left of the weekend and meet your fellow Pokemon Players. Enjoy the little things. Life is too short to be a fun squasher!



  1. That's really neat! You can turn anything into a thing of beauty! I currently have a Nigerian prince in my class so be careful!

  2. Wow! Just wow. So cool. Le Grande Jatte is at the Chicago Art Institute and is one of my very favorite paintings there. It is huge! Great example of painting with dots! Now I must go and research this pen!!!! :)

  3. I, too, worry about the children of today, stuck inside with their noses to their electronic devices! It is WONDERFUL to see them outside...even if I have no idea what they're doing, LOL! It's a good thing! Who knows, maybe they'll even put down their phones and PLAY! And your rose is amazing...what a cool tooL!

  4. Technology is amazing especially when it is used to make a healthier world. The Dots pen is clever too, I just donated my light box recently due to lack of using it. But your comments on technology made me think (careful) and sure enough there is an iPad app for that. Thanks for sharing, I love your positive outlook

  5. Just put that crazy pen on my Christmas list! Love your card!

  6. WOW! This is totally awesome!! Would love to get one of these cool pens but the price tag is a little high for me! Maybe it will go on sale! TFS!

  7. Hi Lydia! I have to tell you, I love your voice, and your spirit. Both so soothing and peaceful and positive. A real pleasure to listen to you and watch you work.

    And THIS new discovery (Cuttelola Dot Pen) is AMAZING!!!! As soon as I am done leaving this comment I am going to research! And of COURSE, I recently donated my little light box because I hadn't used it at all in YEARS. Darn! Oh well, have to research your lovely light box too. I too did drawing/stippling in college art classes (with a nib dip-pen and India ink!), so can REALLY appreciate the saved effort with this pen!

    Thanks for the lovely positive posts you make AND for the info on this new item.

  8. That machine rocks. Takes out the annoying bits of pointillism for sure.

  9. Hey, I just thought I would pass this along to you Lydia and to your other watchers/commentatoris! I found a great deal on the Cuttlelola DotsPen and the refills AND cheap shipping at this website!

  10. I love your thoughts on pokemon go - in Denmark so many people are thrashing it, without really understanding what it is all about, and I totally agree with you about getting kids to actually play outside instead of sitting inside in front of a screen! YAY for you!! :)


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