Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Scandinavian Design for the Season's Givings Blog Hop and Giveaway

Happy New Year!! It's time for one of my favorite annual blog traditions - the Seasons Givings blog hop. This was started six years ago by my friend Latisha Yoast, and the purpose of it is just to give bloggers an opportunity to thank our readers with some art and some giveaways.

I do so appreciate all of you, and your comments. I'm grateful that you choose to spend any part of your day here, and I love reading your comments.

So I have a thank you card today to thank you! It's with some Pinkfresh Studio stamps that I adore, and I tried to recreate something from my childhood with it. You'll have to watch the video below the card to see what I'm talking about. I die cut a circle from the middle of a card front with this die, and then masked that to preserve some space around it before I stamped with this die and masking paper. This was so, so much fun to make! Their stamps are really nice - they aren't overly sticky so once you ink them up, they don't lift the paper in your MISTI. They are also very crisp, sharp images, with no fuzziness at the edges, as you can see. I see some more shopping in my future! I saw someone using these in October, and I bought them back then but haven't had time to use them until today. I actually spent part of my vacation "filing" stamps and labeling them and as I did that, this was got held out to play with before heading back to work. I'm glad I did! This card makes me happy! That stunning blue and red ink really makes it over the top.
Beautiful Scandinavian inspired card by Understand Blue

Playful animal friends 2 – Pinkfresh...
[ PNK | SSS ]
Die-namics Linked Chain Circle Frames...
[ MFT | ELH | SSS ]
Circle Infinity Dies (H)
[ HA ]
Gina K. Designs Red Hot Ink
[ GNK | SSS ]
Hero Arts Hybrid Ink - Indigo
[ HA | ELH | SSS ]
Stewart Superior Memories India Ink...
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSW | SSS | SBC ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]
Whisper White Cardstock - Thick
[ SUP ]
Avery Self-Adhesive Removable Laser...
Absorber - Synthetic Cleaning Cloth
Multipurpose Liquid Glue by Stampin' Up!
[ SUP ]

Aren't they the CUTEST??? I love those critters. Here's my video - I hope you enjoy it!

So let's talk about the hop, because you have a chance to win a TON of goodies to start your New Year with.

First - I have a gift for all of you. I spent a little time on vacation pulling together some of my favorite things I discovered this year in a few categories - books I listened to / read & podcasts I loved, life favorites - things I use every day around the house or in my planner, etc. and can't live without, food/drink favorites, websites I like, and of course crafty favorites. The lists are here, and contain links to all the things I love - click on the list title to see each one:
  • Crafty Favorites - I tried to group things in here, so all my organizational stuff is together, all my photo/video stuff is together, etc. The two stamps in this list is the one I use for my blog calendar - I have a video on how I made that here - and the stamp I use on the outside of my envelopes. I've also linked to my favorite source of custom stamps and other fun customized goodies. Other than that, I love a billion stamps, so I didn't even try to list any in this list. A note on the mat with the MISTI stuff  - I cut these down and use them in my MISTI because they are sticky so they hold your paper really well.You can get two from one mat.
  • Books I loved in 2017 - this was the year of the podcast for me - so many addicting ones - but I got a lot of books in this year as well. I grouped the links to the books as follows: Non-fiction, then fiction, then improvement/education.
  • Podcasts I loved in 2017 - I love spoken word and had been an Audible maniac for many years, but that's an expensive habit, and Serial threw me into podcast-addict status, and I found some great ones this year. The last one in the list is the only fiction one - it's an interesting full cast production with David Schwimmer. Gripping and strange - thanks for that find, Brian King! I find that listening to audiobooks/podcasts while I do design work makes me very productive and helps me not overthink what I'm doing, because I'm focusing on following the story. I could never watch anything on TV when I craft because I work with my eyes, if that makes sense - so visual content is a distraction. It also makes boring tasks like cleaning or organizing fly by. I have a little hardware apron (included) that I wear with my phone in the pocket when I'm working around the house and listening. I also can't stand those headphones that stick in your ear or cover your ear, so I've included my favorites in this list. I've never had a good experience with bluetooth headsets either. 
  • Food Favorites - some things I can't live without - I rarely eat out and love to cook, and so these are some staples I always have around to cook with. I also included some sweet treats from Hawaii that some friends brought to my retreat that are amazing. I have two salts in this list - my daily salt which is the best salt in the world, and a flaky sea salt that I use when I make my Brown Butter Fleur de Sel cookies once a year. 
  • Life Favorites - some notes on this list - the sticky dividers I use in my planner (also in the list) to flip quickly to often used sections. The little wipes in the list are for any of you who are as allergic to bandaid adhesive as I am - these are a lifesaver. All my favorite pens are here and a lot of my favorite cooking stuff. Also, an authentic German honey that's my fave. Most honey - if you read one of the books in my book list, you'll see - is counterfeit food - corn syrup and Chinese chemicals. Germany has the strictest labeling laws around honey and does not produce fake honey. I've eaten this brand since college, when a friend introduced me to the creamy variety. It's delicious and tastes very different from commercial "honey." Also I will not cook in or serve from anything made in China, so I've included some Made in the USA essentials I use to cook and serve with. Every one labeled Made in the USA their entire line is, so search for other products by them if that's important to you. I've also included a line from France that I love. 
  • Websites I enjoy - This is a list of places I frequent online, followed by some of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow. This is a good summary of my random brain :). 
You can also get 20% off sitewide at Arkon (home of my video filming stand for my Iphone) with my coupon code - UNDERSTANDBLUE.

So I hope you enjoy perusing those - I always appreciate it when people share their favorite things with me - and Latisha does that very generously, so I thought I'd return the favor. Now on to the hop!

I will be giving away the following goodies on this hop:

This includes the Love Notes Stamp & Die Bundle, the Simon Says Stamp Plush Puffy Cloud die, Gina K Designs Happy Mail Set, Concord & 9th Christmas Cottage stamp set, 3x3 Whisper White envelopes, Pop of Pink washi tape stack, Mama Elephant Sightseeing Stamp Set, Tiny Treat Boxes, Pattern Party Decorative Masks, Tombow Mono Multi and Honeycomb embellishments. You can see these closer up with the links. Openwork bowl with my Christmas Ornaments not included :). In order to be eligible to win, please leave me a comment with your favorite books or podcasts from 2017. Comments must be left by midnight on January 4th, central time, and the winner will be announced with my blog post on January 5th.

If you're new to my blog, I'd love for you to subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel, and you can find me on Instagram here.

Enjoy hopping through all these beautiful blogs with amazing thank you giveaways and I wish you the absolute best in the coming year! Remember life is too short not to share - share everything - your favorite recipes, your cards, your time and your gifts. Happy New Year!

YOU ARE HERE >> Lydia Fiedler << YOU ARE HERE


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Sticking By Me

I have a rare few days off work this week, so yesterday, I spent the day labeling and putting new stamps away in their pockets. I had a large stack of stamps to file too - those just sort of pile up during busy times, and I also had a bunch of large stamps that I had never bought the larger pockets for, so I needed to do all of those. Even though I put it off, I love the process, because it lets me look at stamps I bought and haven't had a chance to use yet, so I get inspired and re-arrange what I want to create with based on that filing.

I leave them out to the side and then try to make something with the ones that catch my eye. Today, it was the adorable Concord & 9th Stuck On You Bundle. I love all things desert - I can't even tell you how many succulent and cactus sets I have. However, many of them are very small images, and I LOVED this one for how big it is - watercoloring dream.

But I didn't do true watercolor - I had my Tombow Markers on my desk from some Creativation prep, and I grabbed those. I stamped the image multiple times with Versamark in the MISTI to be sure I was making good contact with the rough surface of the watercolor paper, and embossed the image with Alabaster embossing powder from Brutus Monroe. I love this embossing powder - it's ultra fine, and it's wax-free - so it doesn't yellow and spoil like some powders can. Then I colored the image with the following Tombow markers - the sets are linked below. O76, N45, 443, N57, 946, and 947. I just put down a little color and then blend it with an Aqua Painter. I like those better than paintbrushes for the markers. In each area I used 2 colors and sort of glazed on top of the base layer - except for the sky which is just the one color.
Concord & 9th Stuck on you Bundle by UnderstandBlue
Stuck on You BUNDLE
[ C&9 ]
Brutus Monroe - Embossing Powder -...
[ SBC | SSS ]
Versamark Pad (102283)
[ SUP ]
Stewart Superior Memories India Ink...
Aqua Painters by Stampin' Up!
[ SUP ]
Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. Cold Press...
Basic Gray Cardstock
[ SUP ]
Whisper White Cardstock - Thick
[ SUP ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSW | SBC | SSS ]
Absorber - Synthetic Cleaning Cloth
Tombow Dual Brush Pens and Sets
[ BLIC | ART | CNS | SBC | SSS ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]
Scor-Pal MINI SCOR-BUDDY Scoring...
[ SSS | JGG | ART | MFT | ELH ]
Multipurpose Liquid Glue by Stampin' Up!
[ SUP ]

That was a half sheet of my watercolor paper, so I matted it in Basic Gray, and then put that on a Whisper White card base. Fun little coloring session - I love how vivid those markers are.

In case you didn't get what you wanted for Christmas, there are some great crafty sales happening!

  • 20% off at Arkon Mounts - code UNDERSTANDBLUE. Shop here.
  • 20% off the whole store at MSP - no coupon needed. Sale info here.
  • 10% off at SNS, no coupon needed, excludes starter kits and holiday bundles. Sale info here
  • 20% off Clearance at CC - coupon CLEAR1217, sale info here
  • 15% off all Ranger products at SSS - coupon BXDY985 sale info here
  • 20% off Christmas stuff at - no coupon needed, sale info here.
  • 20% off at MFT - no coupon needed, sale info here
  • Free shipping over $100 at Organize More
  • Free quilted heart die with purchase at C&9. Sale info here

Non-crafty sales:

  • Up to 80% off at Land of Nod - one of my faves I discovered at a previous job - sale info here.
  • 60% off, 50% off, 40% off etc. at Zazzle - no coupon needed, info here, but also 15% off sitewide with code ZENDOFYEAR60. This is where I get a lot of the promotional items for my retreats etc. but also customized gifts. 
  • 50% off clearance items at B&N, but also $5 for every $50 with code CHEERS. Sale info here. I got some of those Kate Spade notebooks from this sale. 
I plan to spend the next few days organizing all the stuff I took out of my ScrapBox when I sold it. I'll probably be making lots of trips to Kinko's to get paper cut, as that is the majority of what I had in there. But I'm also toying with using my RAK database to send some things out. Don't forget to sign up for that!

What are you doing with the rest of your holidays - aside from eating pie, of course?

Thanks for sticking by me! :)


Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017!

Merry Christmas blog friends!!

Normally on this day I post my Christmas card. Technically, I'm doing that this year too - but a little bit differently.

I hope your holidays are peaceful and joyful!

Please enjoy a video of this year's cards. While you are watching, jot down the numbers of any cards you might want to recreate or learn more about, and the links to details about the cards will be below the video.

As you'll see in the video, I turned my MISTI blue with these awesome tapes she sells. You can get white or turquoise. The MISTI made it easy to do this video because each card was in exactly the same place.

Merry Christmas!

  1. Happy Winter - retired stamp set, this embossing folder. No blog post.
  2. Merry Christmas - blog post here
  3. Merry Christmas Deer - blog post here
  4. Russian Blue Bird - blog post here
  5. Bells - blog post here
  6. Car - blog post here.
  7. Ornaments - blog post here.
  8. Sparkle of the stars - blog post here.   
  9. Nature listens - blog post here
  10. Oh joy - no blog post - dies here, stamps here
  11. Trees - no blog post - Derwent Artbars and water.
  12. Santa - blog post here
  13. Merriest Wishes - blog post here.
  14. Furry & Bright - blog post here.
  15. All the trimmings - blog post here.  
  16. Merry & Bright - blog post here.
  17. Jingle all the way - blog post here.
  18. Peace - blog post here.  
  19. Peace 2 - blog post here
  20. Christmas Cheer - blog post here.
  21. Blue snowflakes - blog post here.
  22. Skater - blog post here
  23. Red bird - blog post here.
  24. Merry - no blog post - dies here.
  25. Oh joy - blog post here.
  26. Magic of the season - no blog post, retired product.
  27. Cozy Christmas - blog post here.
  28. Blessings - blog post here.
  29. Christmas Sweaters - blog post here.
  30. Cherish - blog post here
  31. Friendship - no blog post - stamps here, punch here, embossing folder here.
  32. I can explain - blog post here
  33. Cat Santa - blog post here
  34. Peace Joy Love - no blog post, stamps here
  35. Good Tidings - blog post here
  36. Merry Christmas - no blog post, retired product.
  37. Melody - no blog post - stamps and dies here
  38. Joyful Christmas - no blog post - stamps here and dies here.
  39. Christmas blessings - no blog post - stamps here and dies here.
  40. Oh so nice - no blog post - stamps here, punch here
  41. Birch trees - no blog post, retired product.
  42. Eskimo kisses - blog post here.
  43. Mischief - blog post here.
  44. Season of joy - no blog post - no blog post - stamps and dies here
  45. Inside - no blog post - stamps and dies here.
  46. Foxy - blog post here.  
  47. Happy Christmas - no blog post - stamps and dies here.
  48. Wonder of Christmas - blog post here.
  49. Happy Heart - no blog post - retired product
  50. All is Calm - blog post here.
  51. Deck the halls - blog post here.
  52. Our house to yours - blog post here.
  53. Noel - blog post here.
  54. Polar bear - blog post here
  55. Happy Christmas - no blog post, stamps here.
  56. Christmas Blessings - no blog post, stamps here and dies here.
  57. Be Joyful - no blog post, stamps here and dies here.
  58. Santa's list - blog post here.
  59.  Merry - no blog post, retired product.
  60. Christmas Cheer - blog post here.
  61. Joy to the world - no blog post.
  62. Beautiful Season - no blog post - stamps and dies here.     
  63. Merry Everything - blog post here.
  64. Happy Howlidays - blog post here.
  65. Peace - blog post here.
  66. Season's Greetings - blog post here
  67. Wishing you joy - blog post here.
  68. Sparkle - blog post here.
  69. Fragile - blog post here.
  70. Merry - blog post here.
  71. Fa la la - blog post here.
  72. O Christmas tree - blog post here.
  73. Elfmoji - blog post here
  74. Merry - blog post here.
  75. Peace & Love - blog post here.
  76. Hearts Come Home - no blog post, stamps and dies here.   
  77. Meowy Christmas - blog post here.
  78. North Pole Sign - blog post here.
  79. Nice List - blog post here.
  80. Merry Christmas - no blog post, retired product.
  81. Merry Christmas Watercolor - no blog post, retired product & Brusho. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Don't Forget the Peacemakers

Just a quick reminder today to remember the people who help make your holidays what they are - your UPS drivers, postal workers, Instacart shoppers and your cleaning people. I call them peacemakers because they buy me time to do the things that bring me peace, not drive me crazy.

I have a wonderful cleaning lady who sings while she cleans, and she is a big part of why I enjoy being in my home the most. When you work from home, and spend so much time at home, you really appreciate an organized, clean and peaceful home. And because I have long workdays and teach on weekends, I just don't have time (or the desire) to do what she does for me. It helps me be good at the things I need to be good at to have that off my plate.

So I made up a quick gift card holder for her for her Christmas present - and I have to confess - the reason it's a quick gift card holder is that exactly zero of my creativity lies in creating 3D objects out of paper. My brain just doesn't work that way.

Lately I have been creating a ton of smaller cards - the 4 Bar size of the Stampin' Up! Notecards and envelopes. Smaller spaces have always been easier for me. And I noticed that that size is not much bigger than the gift card, so I just used Tear & Tape on three of the inside sides to create a pocket. I didn't even have to cut that! WINNING.

The front is stamped with this beautiful stamp set (don't worry - it will be back in stock soon - just bookmark the link) from Concord & 9th. Then I made a loop of Petal Palette DSP to wrap around the gift card, stuck the gift card to it with a glue dot, put more Tear & Tape on the top to hold the loop closed, and stuck a mini bow on it.

To stamp the scene, I inked up the tree image in Marina Mist. Then I selectively added Lemon Lime Twist with the MISTI marbling technique. Finally, I added Night of Navy the same way - just inked the whole stamp and removed some with my Absorber for some final depth.

LOVE the tiny deer in this set. I stamped him and the sentiment in Versafine. Then I tore some masking paper and brushed light snowdrifts and a shadow under the deer in Soft Pool ink with Stencil Brushes.

Christmas Cottage Stamp Set
[ C&9 | ELH | SSS | SBC ]
Christmas Cottage Dies
[ C&9 | ELH | SSS ]
Whisper White Note Cards & Envelopes...
[ SUP ]
Lemon Lime Twist Classic Stampin' Pad...
[ SUP ]
Marina Mist Classic Stampin' Pad...
[ SUP ]
Night Of Navy Classic Stampin' Pad...
[ SUP ]
Claritystamps Clarity Stencil Brushes...
AF146 Soft Pool Ink Pad | Hero Arts
[ HA | ELH | SSS | BMS | SBC ]
Tear & Tape Adhesive (138995)
[ SUP ]
Mini Gift Bows by Stampin' Up!
[ SUP ]
Mini Glue Dots by Stampin' Up!
[ SUP ]
Tsukineko VersaFine SMALL ONYX BLACK...
[ SSS | ART ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSW | SBC | ELH | SSS ]
Absorber - Synthetic Cleaning Cloth
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]
Bone Folder by Stampin' Up!
[ SUP ]
Avery Self-Adhesive Removable Laser...

And now I'm ready for a clean house for the holidays!

Who are your peacemakers?

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