Sunday, May 21, 2017

What REALLY Goes Into a Blog Post

So you want to start blogging, eh? "Go blog" they said! "It'll be fun" they said!

Well it is fun. And very rewarding. But, like much of social media, you only see the highlight reel, not the cutting room floor.

I made a card that took 45 minutes today on my Sunday call with my team. But that is such a tiny fraction of what I'm bringing you today that I feel the need to enumerate the steps. Here's what it actually took to get here today.

Step 1: 4 PM yesterday. Think about what you want to stamp for the one card you will make this weekend. Instead of starting, begin an insane process of swatching 268 watercolors in a very precise and unusual day, because you don't have 85 things that are ACTUALLY on your to-do list waiting for you. Tell yourself that this will make you more efficient!

Step 2: Eat three lifesavers for dinner because you're only halfway through this insane process at 8 PM and it's time to be sociable.

Step 3: Arise at 6 AM and get everything ready for the door installers that were re-scheduled for today because of rain last week. Notice that it looks like rain. Text installer. He says everything's fine.

Step 4: Go back to swatching. When installer arrives, chat about bacon for a while (it's a long story.) Listen to three hours of drilling and hammering. Realize that your teeth are now welded together from clenching at the noise. Inspect door work and let installers go, after some more bacon talk. Go back to swatching. Finish the swatches, but not the grand design, because it's time for your team call. Put everything in a folder for "later" - and by that I mean two years from now when you remember.)

Step 5: 2 PM (22 hours later), hop on team call with favorite peeps. Start working on card, which uses the watercolors you were swatching. Complete design, with their help and advice and lots of fun chat.

Step 6: 3 PM - start dinner, which will be at the senior citizen hour because no one in the house has eaten all day except the cats. Wash and peel potatoes, wash and trim green beans, saute leeks, clean all the things. Soak grapes.

Step 7: Show cats the new door, now that they've awakened from their customary 10 hour post-breakfast nap. Experience the complete boredom that can only be radiated from an unimpressed feline.

Step 8: 5 PM - finish dinner prep and eat. Clean up. Get text from installer about a credit we'll be getting on some unused material and also - wait for it - bacon.

Step 9: 6 PM - glue card together and attempt to photograph. Remove cat from photo tent 47 times. Take photo.

Step 10: Hear thunder, and run frantically around the house emptying trash to take outside for trash day before it rains. Forget about the card completely and delete old stuff of DVR because someone on Facebook told you that there's a new Food Network Star tonight and the DVR is full.

Step 11: 7 PM - edit photo with cat #2 on neck, freaking out over the storm, and cat #1 under desk freaking out over the storm.

Step 12: 26 hours later, finish editing and come to blog it. Pray the power stays on.

That's the reality of a 45 minute card, people. Real life. Right here.

I bet  this isn't how Patty Bennett's process works. She probably gets dressed by bluebirds and then sits down and makes a perfect card with no interruptions, other than the occasional glance at the magical creatures that frolic outside her window. Or that's how I imagine it working. But for all I know, that's how she imagines me making cards. Incorrect, Patty Bennett. Incorrect.

But speaking of Patty - it was HER million dollar stamp set that I wanted to play with today - after starting the process basically last week.

I decided to get out of my comfort zone and use very, very pastel colors. My happy place is brights, so this was a stretch I needed to try. I embossed the ribbon image first in white on some Bristol vellum, and then watercolored it. (Note - this is cardstock, not vellum - that describes the finish. See link below. It's a great cardstock for light water media, and if you have Zig markers - it should be your one and only.)

Just five colors on the ribbon, and a pale yellow, hopeful glow and I was done! It was so much fun, and I love chatting with my team while creating - it's like an e-retreat! And they are hilarious :).
Ribbon of Courage by Understand Blue

I love this doodly image, and the possibilities for making it any color, or multi-colored, or just black and white and zentangly. She did a great job choosing what she wanted for her stamp set. I just love Patty. Bluebirds and all.

This stamp set will be available on June 1st when the new catalog goes live.

And now, I'd probably better shut this 26 hour blog post down before the storm hits.

It's always an adventure! And I wouldn't trade it for anything. :)



  1. LOL you crack me up!!! I love this gorgeous card and the pretty pastel colors. Now do tell me...what's up with all the bacon 🥓? LMBO

  2. Beautiful! That is a gorgeous ribbon! The sentiment is so pretty with the little swirls! I like the way you highlighted the ribbon with yellow. I used yellow last week to highlight a mushroom image, it turned out kind of quirky and I like it! Your creative timeline cracked me up. Pretty much looks like my timeline for every card I create except replace the door with people wanting me to drive them places. I can't figure out how artists stamp 10 different cards in a day? My cats know the exact time of each photography session and insist they must plop down in the midst of staging. Knocking things off, getting cat hair all over the card but very subtly so that I only notice once I am in editing! Oh, the joys!!! :)

  3. Great card. Ah, life,gotta love it. It's nice to hear that even though the results look effortless to us, you go through the same maddening things that we all do. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Lydia, your card is very moving .... I felt a BIG WARM HUG emanating from your beautiful creation! Patty's stamp set is just wonderful! It was fun getting a peak into your blogging adventures, too!

  5. Well, I have a stomach ache from laughing! And, the process is so true, even though I don't have the cats, I have a bird trying to steal my paper at every opportunity, or climbing up my bare leg as I sit and try to create! It is all part of the daily process of a card maker, but you tell it so well. And you know I love this card ... so pretty.

  6. (1) love your write-up. So true. (2) Love this card. Your coloring of it is absolutely amazing - but that's my response to everything you do. (3) You amaze me.

  7. SO TRUE! And this is precisely why I am not ever consistent on my very neglected blog. I agree with the previous comment by Brian. Lydia, your coloring is gorgeous and your writing is the best (always!). Love this new stamp set too. Thanks for the sneak peek!

  8. Absolutely GORGEOUS!! love the soft glow!!
    Thank you for the smiles today... I'll be watching for those bluebirds to come help me get dressed today.. oh wait, I'm dressed.. maybe they'll do the laundry, vacuum, go to the Post Office and fix dinner for me... I'll keep you updated. :) hugs my friend!

  9. I hear ya! My 18 minute videos take two days. I'm sure yours do too! :) I miss you so much!

  10. Beautiful post!!!
    I'm not a blogger but i understand that "behind the scenes" there's lot of work! Thanks for sharing!!!
    Your card is pretty amazing!!! <3

  11. And that is why I will never be a blogger! LOL You gals & guys amaze me. Like Brian King, I am pretty sure he has a full time job too - how on earth, makes my head spin!

  12. Love your post, and your awesome sense of humor! You always make me smile!

  13. Thank you for all you do to continue your blog - I find it so inspirational! Love this card!

  14. I laugh till I cried. Then I saw your card, then I cried because it's so beautiful. No I suddenly don't think I want to have a blog anymore.

  15. 😂 nice to hear real life stories. Best wishes with a cat on my desk


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