Monday, January 16, 2017

Dream Without Fear

I binge watched Leah Remini's Scientology and the Aftermath show on Saturday. It was rainy, and I had about 80 thank you cards to make, so it was a perfect time to see the whole series.

It. Was. Gripping.

I had read two books before I watched this show - Going Clear (outstanding, objective examination of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author who wrote The Looming Tower about Bin Laden) and Troublemaker - Leah Remini's book.

Leah's book was nowhere near as detailed as Going Clear - but it had a lot of personal details of her experiences, including some really wacky things about Tom Cruise's wedding.

But neither of these prepared me for this show. If you haven't seen it - I won't spoil it. But in my opinion, it's a must watch. What has happened to the families interviewed on the show is truly shocking. She's a brave girl - several times during each episode, a little worry for her safety crept into my mind - you will see what I mean when you watch. You have to watch online at - it's not available on Netflix as of now.

As always happens to me when I see or read something that is eye opening, it sort of seeps into my artwork. I was thinking about one episode in particular, and sort of unconsciously gravitated to an of peace and safety, and that's what I decided to work on.

I have my Stampin' Up! team online meeting on Sundays at 2, and so I did this project live with them. They are so much fun, and give me tips while I'm working that always make the project better. I also got a tip about an art journaling class and found out that you can use Amazon payment methods at Dick Blick! They are a wealth of knowledge. If you'd like to join these fun sessions, you can get a heck of a deal on the starter bundle right now - up to $200 worth of goodies for $99.

What I did was a no-line watercolor of the most DARLING stamp set in the Occasions Catalog - Moon Baby.

I can't think of the last time I needed a baby card - #oldpeopleproblems - but this set doesn't have to be about new babies. I knew it was the perfect image for the sort of soothing and hopeful card I had in mind.
Moon Baby Watercolor by Understand Blue
links to supplies

One of the things I notice when I teach is fear. People are so afraid to make a mistake, that they are timid with both technique and product. Fear is creativity's worst enemy, so I try to teach people to let it go - it's just paper. Deliberately screw a few things up as a warmup so that you can practice throwing things away, and that will help you be more fearless.

I want you to be the Leah Remini of papercrafters. Brave little troublemakers.

One of my favorite quotes by Van Gogh is this:

If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

That's all it takes to be brave :).

I edited the Facebook live video I did with my team - it was 65 minutes long to start with! So you can enjoy a sped up watercolor of this image that's just about five minutes. I do recommend watching on YouTube though - since Facebook live compresses the video, it's not the normal resolution and you'll be able to see better here.

I wanted to share a recipe with you all before I go. I LOVE cucumbers. I named my first cat Cucumber (because orange tabbies look just like cucumbers, right?) Cucumber used to go to Baskin-Robbins with us and eat teeny tiny ice cream cones they used to give out for cats. He was an awesome cat. After a long, happy life, he was ultimately killed by a mockingbird - they are horrid birds. Unfortunately, they are the Texas state bird, otherwise, I would operate a food trailer that served mockingbird nuggets. But I digress.

Cucumbers are really at the top of my veggie list - I love them just about any way you can have them - plain, in sour cream with salt and pepper (my mom made this a lot), in tzatziki, as pickles, in a gimlet, tea sandwiches - all the ways. They are a delight.

But one of my favorite ways to have them is in an Asian salad preparation. A restaurant that I used to work near had the best spicy cucumber salad, and I've tried for 20 years to recreate it, and I finally found a recipe I love. Here it is, with my tweaks. Most of the ones you get in restaurants are too sweet.

1 pound cucumbers (I used English), peeled and sliced thin on a mandoline
3 TBS vinegar (I used cider - original recipe calls for rice wine vinegar)
1 TBS sesame oil (My preference is chili sesame oil, but it's suddenly hard to find, so I added red pepper)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
Green onions, sliced thin
Crushed red pepper to taste - the more, the better
Sesame seeds

Combine everything except the cucumbers and sesame seeds. Add cucumber, stir and let sit in the fridge for several hours. Add sesame seeds when serving. Tip - I dry the cucumbers on paper towels after slicing - they will shed water in the dressing, so you want them as dry as possible before you start.


I am headed to CHA (Creativation / Craft and Hobby Association show) soon, so be sure and check in on Facebook and Instagram for photos and video from the show. It's always fun to see the new products and my old friends. My show pick last year was the stencil brushes - I'm hoping for something equally life-changing this year. One thing I can tell you is that My Sweet Petunia has a VERY fun new product that will be introduced at the show - so definitely follow me to see that live.



  1. Gorgeousness!!! I love ❤️ how you responded with art to what you watched.

  2. My father loved cucumbers and onions marinated in vinegar and salt. Your recipe reminds me of him. My mom made it so not sure if it had sugar or not. I did sneak some when I could but they kept it on the top shelf of the refrigerator so it was hard to reach (probably for a reason). Have a safe and fun trip to CHA.

  3. Beautifully peaceful card, Lydia. So glad you mentioned the Scientology show. Everyone should watch it. I watched it once and have been hooked since then. The things people have gone through because of Scientology, and the destruction of their families is absolutely horrific. I highly recommend that everybody watch it.

  4. YES!! I totally agree that Leah's show is a MUST WATCH! I have been watching since the first episode and am shocked at what David Miscavige gets away with in the name of religion! I personally do not believe that it IS a religion, it is more of a cult than anything else.It amazes me that so many people have bought into the bucket of poo that Scientology is selling. I knew from past articles and such that they were very controlling but did not realize the extent of it. They need to be sued by those they have gone after with false statements that have or could cause irreparable harm to them.
    Love your card! It is a sweet one and i love the image!!
    Must try this cucumber recipe! My favorite way to eat a cucumber is fresh from the garden on toasted bread with butter and mayo and a dash of salt and pepper! YUMMY! Simply delicious!

  5. Lydia, I just recently started following/subscribed to your blog. Don't know what took me so long since I "know" you from SCS. But I'm so glad I did start. I LOVE to READ your blog. You are one of two people I follow whose blogs I read from beginning to end. You have so many interesting and from-the-heart things to share. I'm sad that it took me this long to subscribe. Thank you!

  6. I just love your blog! Your life comments are fascinating and your artwork is beautiful! I did watch part of that show and it is quite scary what can happen to people's minds! I watch my little 5-year-old granddaughter and she loves everyone and is very outgoing and giving! Children start out that way and for some, they are taught to hate and be suspicious of anyone in the least bit different from what they are - sad! Thanks so much for all you share - loveyatoo!!! XOXO

  7. LOVE the card. This is the sentiment stamp you operated on? Thanks for the recipe - love cucumbers!

  8. A beautiful card.
    Your recipe sounds good.
    Have fun at CHA. I cannot image what Iliana has that could be more life changing than the MISTI was but I am certain if she has anything to do with it, it will be amazing! Travel safe!

  9. Your card is adorable and I love your message behind it. Enjoyed your video, you've inspired me to paint and silence my voice.

  10. Such a sweet card! Thank you for sharing the recipe. Can't wait to give it a try. With some of my other cucumber recipes, I season the slices with salt and let it sit for a while. The salt removes the water from the cucumbers. I rinse the cucumbers and continue on with the recipe.

  11. Love your card! Are you using a paintbrush with the pencils?


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