Saturday, March 11, 2017

Please Wear This Tube Top

My sister and I were talking about food the other day.

We talk about food a lot, actually - mostly trying to find real food and spices that aren't adulterated with floor sweepings from some factory in China. I just finished reading this book about counterfeit food, and it was fascinating. I highly recommend it.

But we both also have food allergies - a few are serious enough that we have to carry Epipens, so we are always nervous about eating out or especially about eating at other people's houses. Austin is a very allergy-conscious town, and so you're not considered to be a difficult diner if you have life-threatening food allergies, and many restaurants have explicit allergy info listed on the menus.

But still, it can really produce a lot of anxiety centered around food, and we were discussing how mean people can be about food. For example, making fun of people for being "picky" can increase people's anxiety about eating with other people, and often times "picky" is the result of either allergies or people who really have sensitive senses of taste and smell. Letting people say no to things in your home without making a big deal about it is really nice, too. There's nothing worse than being at someone's house who is serving 100 things you're allergic to or just don't like and having the host bellow across the  room "YOU'RE NOT EATING ANYTHING - IS EVERYTHING OKAY?" There's no need to call out people who decide not to eat, because you have no idea why they might not be eating something, and they don't need to feel like a freak for not doing so.

Everyone should be in total control of anything they decide to, or not to, put in their bodies, and the less food-shaming the better.

We were laughing about how maniacal people are about making other people EAT things - and decided it would be like inviting someone over to your home, and when they step inside, you saying - "here, now I need you to change into this tube top." It's a perfect example of how over the top ridiculous and invasive it feels to be pressured to eat something you don't want to eat. So let's all agree to quit doing that, okay? Food should bring us together. No one wants to wear a tube top. These are all true facts.

Okay - so when you reach a million dollars in sales, Stampin' Up! lets you help design your own stamp set for the catalog. My friend Susan Nygaard (I love her) designed an ABSOLUTELY stunning one that I just love, called Mediterranean Moments. It's gorgeous just in black and white, but the watercolor style calls to me, so I took a few moments to paint with it last night.

Mediterranean Moments by Understand Blue
links to supplies used:

And oh yes, in case you're wondering, that IS Ballet Blue cardstock. I probably have 8 packages of it still. Still the best blue we've ever had. And yes, I still have the inks and refills too. :)

I chose Ballet Blue because it's SUCH a good match for Daniel Smith Ultramarine, which is what I used for the sky and the flowers. The other colors I used are Enviro-Friendly Red Oxide, Quinacridone Gold and Sap Green - linked above - that's it. I like limited palette watercolor practice.

The sentiment and die are from one of my fave Altenew sets - Halftone Circles. Tasnim and Jenn are such a good mix of modern and classic - they always surprise me.

I'm doing some Daniel Smith watercolor splits right now and these three colors were in our first split - it's fun playing with these 26 colors and seeing what they do together.

That Quinacridone Gold is just dreamy.

Speaking of palettes - the palette I bought for the split - and I will buy more - it's awesome and very inexpensive - comes in several options - I chose the 48 WITHOUT half pans. Buy your half pans from Blick - the ones that come with the palette are Chinese garbage - a weird plastic that is thicker walled and looks to be absorbent. They definitely hold less paint and are very strange. I know it's weird to have such strong feelings about a half pan - but look - I'm weird. Not tube top weird or anything. Just normal weird. I CARE ABOUT MY HALF PANS.

I cut a piece of watercolor paper the size of the tin, rounded the corners and swatched out what I had in the palette. You can see what that looks like here. I might laminate it at some point, but now it's just paper because I have room for 15 more pans in this palette.

It's raining here and I have to do my taxes this weekend - UGH. But I do have one more book for you that I LOVE - it's absolutely riveting. I just clicked on it in the non-fiction section of Audible - and I think that it's one of the best books I've read in several years. It's a story I'm surprised I never heard about because I lived and worked in Maine when it was all happening - in an are where there are many summer Mainer cabins, and it was only about an hour from where I was.

It's an incredible story, and you definitely will get your heart broken a little bit - but it's really a must-read. Or in my case, listen - I listened to it on Audible - and the narration could not be more perfect - it adds a lot to the story, I think.

You will not be disappointed.

I need to set up a Go Fund Me for Audible credits - so many great books! Feel free to share your current favorites in the comments.

Hope you have a great weekend and that your taxes are behind you. I will be the guest tutorial author on Splitcoast this week, so be sure you are subscribed to the Weekly Inkling!

A few reminders - Sale-a-Bration is almost over, which means the starter bundle sale is almost over - don't miss out on the chance to get ~$200 worth of goodies for $99. And registration for my September and November retreats are now open - the November retreat is before OnStage in Salt Lake.



  1. Lydia, I am listening to the Maisie Dobbs mysteries by Jacqueline Winspear. They are medium light with good description...take place in early 30' least the first 3 books...lots of references to WWI...quite delightful. For extra credits, I like their 3 for $39.00. Best regards, Charlotte

  2. Btw, your water coloring is lovely...I do like that stamp. And I have a good story about eating at a friend's house when I was a girl that taught me a valuable lesson. I will try to remember to tell you the next time I see you.

  3. I LOVE this Lydia ... your watercolouring is devine.

  4. Love, love, love your watercolored card. Absolutely gorgeous!

  5. Your art is awesome. Thanks for a great blog! Mr. Finkel and non-fiction, ahem.

  6. I soooo miss Ballet Blue, and Midnight Muse, and Brilliant Blue, and Cool Caribbean...all the discontinued (hate that word) SU blues! My stash of Ballet Blue cardstock is almost gone...clutch the pearls! ;-)

  7. beautifully coloured, caught my eye right away on facebook so I had to pop over and see the whole card...stunning

  8. Your art is so serene and peaceful. I feel I am being transported there.

  9. WOW - 8 packs of Brilliant Blue... I'm green with Envy! It was one of my favorite blues, as well... D'ya suppose we could convince them to bring it back? So many high schools around here use that blue as a school color - it was a very popular CS color for me!

  10. This is gorgeous! And I am so happy I got to meet Susan N. In Atlanta......she's terrific! And I just finished processing The Stranger book at the library this week (where I work once a week processing books 😊 ) and hope to start reading it during our upcoming nor'easter this that word nor'easter. AND on behalf of picky eaters everywhere thank you for understanding. I may do a blog post now on some of the crazy experiences I have had ......since childhood .......because I said "no thank you" to something being served! Could be very

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  12. It would be nice to honor the Stampin' Up Demonstrator who gets to design a stamp and put her name in the catalog under the stamp. I had no idea that was a stamp design by one of us! and not an "paid" designer!


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