Tuesday, August 2, 2016

One Tweak Makes All The Difference

I've been having fun participating in the Online Card Classes Crafty Chats - the people in the craft industry are so interesting and sweet.

Every time we do one, I learn something super fun. I really encourage you to watch them - there have been 12 episodes so far, and each one is amazing.

One week, Kristina dropped a tip about the Zig Clean Color markers that I just kept in the back of my mind until this week. I loved the colors of the Zigs, but I was having a hard time blending them, so I didn't feel comfortable blogging about them. If I struggle with something, you won't see it on my blog. I really only blog things I love and techniques that are reproducible - not one-off accidents. We talked about this on a Crafty Chat too. If you see it here, I love it, I promise.

So the tip Kristina mentioned was how amazingly well the Zigs blended on Canson Bristol. I ordered some before my retreat, and just now had a chance to play with it. So I thought I'd try again with these markers on the Bristol before I gave up on them, and H-O-L-Y C-O-W does that make all the difference! They blended like Copics on this cardstock - it was night and day different from the results I was getting on watercolor paper and regular cardstock. NIGHT AND DAY.

As Jennifer said in the chat - a lot of times when we are frustrated with craft products, it's because we're using them wrong, or using them with the wrong companion products, etc. It just takes patience and a willingness to experiment to fix most of those frustrations. I could not agree more. This paper will make you love the Zigs even more.

I wanted to make a fun celestial-style background for Teresa Kline's Dare to Get Dirty challenge, so I just scribbled with the Zigs onto the Bristol, and then used a paintbrush and water to blend them. It was just dreamy! Then I flicked water droplets onto the background to give it those textured splotches. I love how reactive they are with water - very similar to Distress ink.

Then I used the shooting star from Shooting Star, also stamped on Bristol and colored with Zigs, and I fussy cut that out. Shooting Star makes ADORABLE slider cards - the matching dies are genius!! Such a cute set.

I used my Mini MISTI to position the two sentiments from Concord & 9th Written in the Stars around it. PS - this set just went into "while supplies last" status, FYI. I love the fonts.

What a difference the right tools make.

Speaking of the right tools, I found something totally not craft related that I ADORE!

Confession - this find was sparked by me finding some items in the pantry of, er, questionable date. And I mean really questionable date. Please tell me I'm not alone in this.

It completely freaks me out to have expired food sitting around, so after the latest "house blessing" I did by cleaning out various cabinets, including the pantry, I decided I needed a better food storage system that kept my oldest items at the front of my shelves.

In order to accomplish this goal, I did the thing any sensible person interested in food storage would do - I consulted a Mormon! :)

My sister and I ran a few options past my Mormon friend Melanie (also my amazing celebrity chef for my retreats, and custodian of all worthwhile cooking and sewing knowledge), and she told us which ones were garbage and which ones really work. And the result of all that is this AMAZING adjustable FIFO (first in, first out) can storage rack.
Now the important piece of advice she gave us was that the ones that have three levels of cans instead of two, don't really work because they get stuck and don't always rotate the cans out in oldest first order.

This thing is incredibly well made. The posts that separate the sections snap in and turn to lock and come in three different widths. Here are the widths I chose based on what we use the most often.


In a curious twist of fate, we also now have more room for cans. When they were sitting up straight, the cans you see here occupied the entire space presently occupied by the rack, and now I have room for many more cans of each type, so when I freak out and buy ten more cans of pumpkin at Thanksgiving I'll have room for them!

There's a running joke at my house about my tendency to overbuy both poultry seasoning and pumpkin in November but LOOK - STUFFING AND PUMPKIN PIE ARE MY FAVORITES.

Anyway - that's enough random rabbit trails for today. If you have other pantry organization tips I'd love to hear them. We have a small kitchen and a small pantry, but I love to cook, and so anything that makes the space more effective is welcome news!

And before I leave, here are my latest audiobooks I've loved - many thanks to my Facebook friends who give me great advice whenever I need a new book. I can vouch for both the stories and the narrators of these on Audible if you like audiobooks too.

I hope your summer is winding down with a bit of fun in it. Our tomato plants are toast now, so I know it's time for a change in season soon.



    1. LOVE YOUR CARD!!!!! I use my Canson pad that is the same that I sent to you, big pads. It made me not sell my zigs! I am GLAD to hear your review of the cans as I've looked at those racks and wondered! YOU ROCK!

    2. HA! I saw that tip by Kristina on the Crafty Chats. The Bristol paper makes ALL the difference. I haven't watched the last two chats; I need to get on that.
      My daughter informed me this weekend that I've "read" 33 books so far this year, according to Goodreads. Audio books & books on cds have been instrumental in upping my book consumption. Haven't read that many books in 10 years. And anything by Neil Gaiman is always a good read/listen.

    3. I have never used my Zigs with Bristol so I must give it a try! Thanks for another great post!

    4. Oh, so pretty, and thanks for forwarding on that tip! I'm going to pull out my Bristol pad from 20+ years ago and do a test, right now. I'm baffled that you have more room after getting that FIFO storage!

    5. Fantastic card and thank you for all the useful info in this post!!!!!! Even the can holder thingy!!! You're NOT the only one - I'm really bad about getting rid of spices.. found one the other day from 2004!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT is wrong with me!?! I'll never use them, so God only knows why I keep them..

    6. Tell me about the Carson Bristol....will work well with SU markers?

    7. I am enjoying your Crafty Chats immensely, Lydia!! ♥ I'm certain that I will listen to them all again, too. When I heard Kristina's tip about the Bristol Smooth I was so grateful. Although I had tried to use my Zigs on and off for an entire year, I just wasn't successful at blending. The Bristol Smooth has made ALL the difference!! I finally love my Zigs! Love your pantry tip today! I learn something wonderful here every time I visit! ♡Dawn@Petals.Paper.SimpleThymes

    8. Well, now this is a post with a lot of information, and I know by now how you only post things that work and that you like. Thanks for all of today's tips!

    9. I am loving everything about this card and you are right, Mormons know food storage!

    10. I have managed to watch each and every one of the Crafty Chats! They are Must.See.TV as far as I'm concerned!! I'm learning so much and it's expanded my list of "must-go-to" blogs!! Such talented (and kind) artists out there! Thanks for introducing them to us!

    11. First, your card is totally beautiful!! Love the background colors. Secondly, no way are you the only one with outdated crap in the pantry! LOL! I have my own "please tell me I'm not the only one". Last month I ordered some Bristol smooth card stock and could not remember why--please tell me I'm not alone in buying something and then wondering why! As I read your blog post the light came on and TADAHHH--THAT's why I ordered it!! Thank you for jogging my brain! Hahaha! Thanks for the other tips too!!

    12. Haha... we're pretty much a fresh produce and grilled meat household now. But, I love to try new recipes and will pick up an unusual ethnic ingredients and then, for whatever reason, it doesn't get made and I end up throwing out that expensive ingredient because I forget why I bought it or can't find the recipe. But what is even more frustrating is buying beverages for family gatherings... we personally no longer drink pop and prefer microbrews rather than the run of the mill lagers... but we'll buy them for family gatherings based on individual's preferences... who knew that beer and soda have a fairly short shelf life! Love your card!

    13. I may have to get one of these Bristol pads because even stamping(I don't have the Zig markers)I have trouble with the texture of the paper on some of my watercolor paper.
      Also on the book list - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is one of the best books I have read for a while. The rest of your list I have not read so now I have some to look for!

    14. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, Lydia,!! I love your posts! So many goodies in it that are inspiring and helpful! Plus I love your style of writing. It's like you're right here talking to me. I just love your blog!!

    15. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, Lydia,!! I love your posts! So many goodies in it that are inspiring and helpful! Plus I love your style of writing. It's like you're right here talking to me. I just love your blog!!


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