Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Ninth Level of Hell - CHECK!

I was going to do this blog post yesterday, but I was busy occupying the ninth level of hell.

Why, you ask?

Well I'll tell you.

I had to go to the Apple store to get my dying phone replaced. I've had to do this twice with a 6S, because the batteries degrade to nothing, and they can't really replace them so they replace the phone for the price of a battery.

The Apple Store is bad enough. It's ugly, too bright and it STINKS. Not the store itself - the ungodly amount of unwashed people in it at all times. It's soooooo gross.

However, its grossness is dwarfed by the grossness of thing in which my Apple store is located - A MALL. Malls are so 1984. First of all, the air inside is polluted in several ways. WAY too much perfume and candle fragrance - you get a brain tumor within your first few steps - a migraine if you're lucky. But also it feels humid and stale like the air in an indoor pool enclosure. So there you are, breathing in BathandBodyWorksYankeeCandleNordstromDillardsCinnabon scents in this dense, humid air. It makes me lose my mind.

There are few places more disgusting than a mall, and yes, I've been in a gas station restroom. But this week's experience was really surreal for a lot of reasons.

When they repair your phone, they send you out into the timeless void of the mall while they fix it. I wrote about that on my last trip to the store last April, and how unnerving it is to be without a sense of time.

However, as I wandered the timeless void this time, I came to a stunning realization. This mall (and every other mall) LITERALLY has not changed since the 80s, with one exception - the addition of an Apple Store.

The same Footlocker from the 80s is there. The same Chick Fil-A is there. The same Cinnabon, Bath & Body Works, JC Penney, Brookstone, kiosks, Claire's is still there, but is now called Icing - but it's the exact store in the exact spot with the exact merchandise. There's a Spencers, Banana Republic, a Dillards. The more I walked, the more creeped out I was - it was like walking through a hideous, stinky retail museum on an episode of the Twilight Zone. How could malls not have changed in more than THIRTY YEARS?

Also, I started to notice that there actually weren't any other people anywhere. Except in the Apple store, of course. The only people in the mall were the ones working in the stores, and they looked bored out of their minds. I thought about all that lighting, all the inventory, and all the employees in this empty box of smells and despair. How long can these bizarre places survive? I don't think just the Apple store and mall walkers can sustain that entire mall. Oh - and at one end of the mall, the escalator was ripped from its moorings in front of Dillards and was lying on a pile of garbage on the level below. Like I wasn't already terrified enough.

It's time for something new. Something that isn't a box of 80's smells with an Apple store jammed in it. I've never been a willing shopper, but the open air malls are so much better than the scented brick box of doom.

I'm still shuddering at the thought, but I at least was able to make a card this week.

I did this card on Sunday with my team on Facebook Live. I wanted to show them an inking technique I featured in my Hearts Come Home Online class, but also how to use that bundle to create non-holiday cards, which in my mind, cuts the price of any holiday bundle in half.

So, using my MISTI, I created an ombre ink effect by stamping the house images in the set multiple times. (Inks listed below.)

On the left, on our team call, I tried to stamp a tree from In the City on the left WITHOUT the MISTI - dumb - and ruined it and had to cut that off. Oh well :). It ended up way cuter with the solid ombre trees from the bundle anyway.

The sentiment is from Happiest of Days. Don't you love the little rocks? Those are from In the City. These two sets play so well together.

We had a ton of fun playing with this set in last weekend's stamp-a-stack. If you want the online class with this bundle, check it out here. And remember - if you buy the bundle from me, you get the class free! I'm a poet and don't even know it!

And until we meet again - please don't get sucked into the cosmic 30 year stinky timewarp known as a mall.


You can enter my September giveaway of an Arkon Pro Live Streaming Stand - the one I film all my tutorials with PLUS a ring light for the perfect lighting awesome selfies and live streams one of two ways:
Place an order in my store any time during the month of September for an automatic entry.

BONUS - use host code M2U9DE6V on your order to be entered in a drawing for free Stampin' Up! products as well!

Comment on this post and you'll be automatically entered. If you place an order in my store AND comment on that post, you'll receive two entries!

And remember - you can always use my code - UNDERSTANDBLUE - at Arkon for 20% off. They sell all sorts of mounts - hands-free phone mounts for the car, GoPro mounts, tripods, you name it. and they are GREAT people and provide great service.


  1. I haven't been to a mall in years. The last time I went was because my mother needed a grandmother-of-the-bride dress. Being the dutiful daughter that I am, I suffered through all those various levels of hell that you mentioned. I also suffered through the food court. UGH! Not fun!

  2. I agree with you about malls. The thought gives me a migraine. I love your card.

  3. Funny story about the mall. I thought it was just the mall I took Elisabeth to for a little Birthday shopping trip this summer. Dead, dead, dead. And probably smelled but I wasn't paying attention. We have an out door one here that I love. It's not very large and other than Barne's & Noble I don't really go there very often but I like it when we do need to shop. I have very fond memories of the Acadiana Mall! What a place for poor kids! A waterfall and fancy cobblestone floors. Our little escape from darkness & poverty. I have heard that they have taken out the cobblestone floors. People complained too much that their feet hurt. I have no idea if the waterfall is still there. Probably not. Ahhh the 80's! I love your card! So bright and happy! Cute trees!!!

  4. Lydia, your ombre In The City card is really pretty! I am not a fan of malls (I don't like to shop), either, especially the scented assault - which has gotten so strong it can trigger my asthma in addition to the awful headache.

  5. You certainly have a way with words and I agree whole heart. Cute card the way.

  6. I love this super-happy card with its super-happy colors. Opposite of the mall. i agree - the smells are overwhelming. I love to peruse a Williams Sonoma - except when I have to pass the candle store or Auntie Anne's.

  7. I have never been to an Apple Store and never plan to. I had my original cell phone so long that they sent me a new one because mine was not going to work with all the new upgrades they added. They sent me a phone that is smarter than I am and I only use it about once a month because I can't figure it out! LOL I would much rather have my old flip phone that I knew how to use!
    Love your colorful card! The ombré trees are cute! TFS!

  8. I hate to be the dissenting voice here but outdoor, open air malls aren't good in every part of the country. They are foisted upon us and then they can't figure out why people in the Midwest don't want to deal with the wind, rain, snow and heat to shop a these places. And the fact that brick and mortar stores are dying in general makes me sad. I don't want to buy shoes on Amazon! I want to go to a store and try them on. Feel the materials. End of rant.

  9. Usually I agree with your sentiments but I have to admit I prefer malls to big box open air shopping. When you live in the frozen north like I is the walking outside from store to store that is the Ninth Level of Hell in the winter. I lament the demise of stores where you can see and touch the merchandise before buying. I do understand that the closed in smells can be awful for those with allergies. Oh, I love your little village card too.

  10. You have such a way with words LOL. That was such an accurate description, and the look only gets worse as stores within the mall close, adding to the look of desolation. Love your cute and colorful card.

  11. What an ADORABLE card! I have that set - and the City one too, so I'm going to CASE your card! I'm with you on malls. The only time I've gone in the past many years is to purchase an iPad (I'm on my 3rd iPad, and they're all currently working still!). Our mall was the BIGGEST one in the WORLD back in the early 1970's when it was built! I've bought so many different things on Amazon, including clothes and shoes. Free easy returns!

    Susan, aka Soozie4Him on SCS
    moot96 AT aol DOT com (I don't use the gmail email addy)

  12. Another Midwesterner chiming in against open air malls! When the windchill is -40 it is SOOOO nice to not have to fight it to go shopping. :)

  13. This is a great card, the ombré effect is stunning !

  14. Oh my! I can't believe it! It's insane this situation! So, I can think that In italy we're lucky because malls are quite modern and new. Only in the last 15 years they were built. They're very hot during winter because lot of people and heating and very cold during summer because air conditioners.

    Anyway, your card is adorable! Love your colouring!!!


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