Monday, December 2, 2019

Background Video, Monochrome Notecards + Giveaway

I'm a child of the 70s and 80s, both of which I remember very fondly.

I'm not sure if this is true in everyone's life, but those first two decades were the best - holy, almost. It sort of goes downhill after that. Or maybe the news makes you think it does. 

I remember both decades as marked by overwhelmingly positive things. 

Everything had that ubiquitous yellow smiley on it. There were peace symbols on ALL the things. Tons of rainbows. Hello Kitty was in her heyday. 

The music was phenomenal in both decades, and overwhelmingly optimistic and positive in the 80s. 

One of the things that was a theme through both was - the world. The whole world. I remember a billion songs about the whole world - from John Lennon and the Beatles, to church (He's got the whole world in his hands), to We are the World, to the iconic Coke commercial of my youth.

I feel like maybe that's trying to make a comeback, like the smiley has reclaimed its hold on the world through emojis. That's right emojis - I knew you when you were babies.

So my hippie dippie childhood years are (in my mind) the inspiration for this month's Hero Arts release, which is all about our beautiful little planet, and all the life on it. It's so sweet. 

The main kit has this stunning image of what I imagine to be Mother Nature in it, and the second I saw her, I instantly thought of Flaming June - that stunning Leighton painting that sort of defined the luminous quality of oil painting for me. 

I thought I'd color her orange too, to contrast with the cool blue of the planet she's holding. The matching dies in the kit beautifully cut out all the little details on her dress, as well as the earth image.

I put her on an ink blended and splattered galaxy background in Tangerine and Mulled Wine inks. I splattered it with bleed proof white ink. I LOVE HER!!!
Do you want to hear something AMAZING??? This kit comes with bio-degradable glitter!!! Glitter has been such an issue with marine life, and this is an incredible development. Leave it to Hero Arts to bring this incredible solution out. I love those people. Here are all the wonders of the kit this month, before I move on to the rest of the release. The koi image is so classic and beautiful.

You don't want turtles eating glitter, right? Me neither! There's a STUNNING turtle set out this month, and the turtle shell has an image of the earth on it. So sweet. I colored him with Copics, cut him out with his matching dies, and then I made a shimmery alcohol ink background with a stunning new-to-me mixative I'll show you in a video below! It's not glitter, and it's magical. The sentiment is from this set.

So when I was at the NAMTA show earlier this year, I saw an incredible new mixative for alcohol inks that I literally squee'd about when they demo'd it for me. It's amazing in real life - I hope my video does it justice. It's part of their full line of alcohol inks and metallic mixatives, but this one is not like a metallic at all - it acts like a unicorn! Amazing. Check it out in action in this video.

Next, I did a DIY Verdigris color by blending two Hero Arts inks with Life Changing Blender Brushes. It's kind of miraculous what you can do by mixing inks. Here I used Summer Sky and Green Apple - inspired by the little Statue of Liberty in this gorgeous cling background stamp. I wanted something softer than black so I stamped it in Acorn - it's waterproof, so it's perfect for ink blending. I used my Infinity dies to cut the center pieces, and stamped the sentiment from this set. This is such a classic image and I love how they made it a circle, so you can get lots of different looks from the same stamp.

Last but not least, I made a notecard set with the bold and dreamy animals in this set. I did the same thing for all four cards - I colored the background instead of the image. I chose bright colors and cut them out with my infinity dies. The images are so detailed, I wanted them to shine. For this gorgeous tiger, I used the sentiment from this set, which you can see below.
The set with that sentiment is gorgeous - I didn't get to make a card with just that set, but it's so pretty - here's what it looks like. I love the florals and the scripty sentiments.

Back to the card set - the lion in the set reminds me of childhood stories - the Chronicles of Narnia or the Tolkien books. So pretty and mythical. Again the sentiment is from this set.

The last one from that stamp set is this gorgeous, tropical elephant. Since I associate them with India, I made the background a gorgeous, Bollywood fluorescent pink. Elephants are a bit of an obsession in my family - my grandmother loved them and collected many. I'd love to find all her heffalumps - some were ornate carvings that were amazing. The sentiment is from the same set I used on the other two.

The last card in the set I used a different stamp set for - this one. It's a builder set, so you can add the antlers to the deer or leave them off. There are traditional antlers, but I love these branches, so I used them instead. It's very easy to line up and stamp. The sentiment is from the same set.

Isn't that a fun themed release? There are a few stamps I didn't have time to use, but they are beautiful. Here are the remaining images. I especially love these sweet bears.

This one is all about natural wonders of the world. 
 This one is the architectural wonders of the world, which are also represented on the larger cling background stamp I used above.
 And finally, these beautiful whales. I'm a bit of a whale stamp collector and I have no regrets.
I can't imagine how much work it is to put together these beautifully themed releases, but I'm glad they do it! I guess my age is showing with my affinity for this theme, and I also have no regrets about that! They'll be giving away a $50 shopping spree, so be sure and leave me a comment to be entered! 

As always, you can get all the add-ons this month at a discount! All of those plus everything I used today is listed below, and below that, the pie recipe I promised you all on Facebook!

Hero Arts December My Monthly Hero...
[ HA ]
Carry The World
[ HA ]
Marabu Alcohol Inks | BLICK Art...
[ BLIC ]
Marabu Alcohol Ink - 510 Rainbow...
[ BLIC ]
Carry the World Frame Cuts
[ HA ]
Universal Woman
[ HA ]
Nature's Beauty
[ HA ]
Wonders of the World Bold Prints
[ HA ]
Staggering Branches
[ HA ]
Beautiful World
[ HA ]
Natural Wonders of the World
[ HA ]
Architectural Wonders of the World
[ HA ]
Celebrate Earth Whales
[ HA ]
Celebrate Earth Bears
[ HA ]
Get Them All December Add-Ons
[ HA ]
Circle Infinity Dies (H)
[ HA ]
Tsukineko VersaFine Clair ACORN Ink...
[ SSS ]
Green Apple Bold Ink | Hero Arts
[ HA ]
Summer Sky Bold Ink - Hero Arts
[ HA ]
AF333 Tangerine Bold Ink - Hero Arts
[ HA ]
AF336 Mulled Wine Bold Ink - Hero Arts
[ HA ]
AF345 Intense Black - Hero Arts
[ HA ]
Life Changing Blender Brushes. 4 Pack...
[ PFS ]
[ SSS | ELH ]
Art Anthology BIG CRAFT MAT 24x36 311473
[ SSS ]
Heavy Base Weight Card Stock- White
[ GNK ]
Dr. Ph. Martin's Bleedproof White |...
[ BLIC ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSP | HA | SSS | ELH | MFT | UNT ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]
LightView 2in1 LED Magnifier for...
[ BRG ]
Teflon Bone Folder - Ellen Hutson LLC
[ ELH | SSS ]
Crafter's Companion GEMINI...
[ SSS ]
Cut Align
[ MSP ]
Scor-Pal MINI SCOR-BUDDY Scoring...
[ SSS ]
Essentials by Ellen Storage...
[ ELH ]
Die Storage - Clear Storage Pockets...
[ CHC ]
XL Stamp Storage Pockets
[ ELH ]
Mermaid tidy towel case and glue...
[ ETS ]
Lawn Fawn STAMP SHAMMY Cleaner LF1045
[ SSS | CST ]
Airtable: Organize your stamps & dies
[ ART ]

Okay so last year was the first dairy-free Thanksgiving after I developed my dairy allergy. As a pumpkin pie and whipped cream fanatic, this was a horror.

Every variation of pie I tried last year was a miserable failure. First, I tried sweetened condensed coconut milk, since instead of sugar and evaporated milk in my pie I always just did the one step sweetened condensed milk.

FAIL. It was terrible. It's odd because the sweetened condensed coconut milk tasted good on its own, but the pie was the first pumpkin pie in my life I've ever thrown out.

The second attempt also went into the trash. That one I used unsweetened full fat coconut milk and sugar. The pie didn't set up very well and something about the texture was just all kinds of wrong. I gave up for the year at that point, and almost resigned myself to life without my favorite pie.

But I'm no quitter. I have these FIFO can dispensers in my pantry - my friend Mel told me about these because they are popular in Mormon food storage rooms and I am always looking to organize my pantry. The other day, I was grabbing a can of black beans, and what to my wondering eyes did appear but a can of coconut cream!

So that's just the thick part of coconut milk that you can scrape off the top. AHA! I said! Directly behind that can was a can of pumpkin and it was like a sign from God! So I made my third attempt at the pie and the heavens opened up and glory rained down and it was good. So here is my perfect, dairy-free pie. I've already eaten half of it.

1 can pumpkin puree (I use Libby's)
1 C. Coconut Cream (I use this one, grabbing my cup from the thickest part)
2 tsp. Garam Masala (I use this one, like curry, each blend is a little different)
1/2 tsp. salt (I use Real Salt - this is less salty than iodized salt so adjust if needed)
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. white sugar
2 large eggs, beaten with a french whisk until very blended
1 tsp. vanilla
Pie crust of choice

So since I had texture issues, I beat the eggs pretty well before adding to the other ingredients. I also whisked the coconut cream pretty thoroughly, but if you see little lumps, don't worry - they cook out. Add the rest of the ingredients together and whisk some more. I use a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust - dairy-free, easy and delicious. Put that in the pie dish, and add the filling. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, lower to 350 and bake about 50 minutes or until set in the center. Please NOTE - garam masala makes your pie much darker than pumpkin pie spice (and taste much better) so your pie is not burned, it's just a darker color. The judge of doneness is no more jiggle in the middle, but don't be concerned if it's a darker brown when set. THIS PIE IS PERFECT! There are three dairy free whipped creams that are a delight - Coco Whip (similar to cool whip), and the almond and coconut versions of Reddi Whip.

My life is complete again.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!



  1. Your Sending My Love card is incredible. That is my favorite stamp from this collection!!!

  2. You obviously had a blast with these new products - so many wonderful samples and ideas - LOVE them all - thank you so much for sharing

  3. not sure if my early comments went through, but just wanted to say what fabulous cards you have created - so inspired:)

  4. Love the orange blended background and how Mother Nature matches in color and beauty!

  5. Oh my goodness!!! That turtle is adorable!!! And that glitter stuff to alcohol ink!!!! WOW! This whole post was amazing. Also, I am glad you have pie again. Life is much too short to not have pie!!!!❤

  6. Such beautiful cards with these nice stamps.Thanks for sharing.

  7. Gah!! Now I want some sparkly mixative! You get me every time! :) I love all of your wonderful cards. I also love how Flaming June inspired your coloring of the kit card - very cool!

  8. Wow - you made some amazing cards and inspired me a lot.

  9. Wow that mother earth card is a beauty. You really stepped out with that one. Beautiful

  10. These cards are amazing! What a variety. Love them.

  11. Interesting looking pie recipe-I'll have to try it. I've always made one using a vegan sweet potato pie recipe I found years ago. It took me a few years to realize duh! I can sub a can of pumpkin for the sweet potatoes! It uses soy milk, cornstarch, molasses, sugar, plus traditional pumpkin pie spices. It doesn't set up completely until after it's been refrigerated. Looks like my son can't have the Coco Whip (peanut cross contamination), but maybe the coconut Reddi Whip. I didn't even make pumpkin pie this year; it's not my favorite, and I had lots of fresh peaches in the freezer so we had peach pie! BTW - love your cards!

  12. SOOOOO many amazing cards! Your coloring and background is OUTSTANDING!

  13. Yes that rainbow mixstive is to die for. All the others in the line are great too. Love the new HA stuff.

  14. I continue to be so amazed at what you create. I generally want to sit down and make something just a touch as wonderful. Thank you for continuing to inspire as you share your creativity.

  15. beautiful cards; love your backgrounds

  16. Those are gorgeous! Love the difference the sparkly mixative makes! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Oh I was star stuck with your first card of Mother Nature. What a perfect blend of colors to make her alive on your card! Simply my favorite. Although the mama bear and baby are my absolute favorite when it comes to protection and love!

  18. The lady is beautiful. She is ethereal,
    holding the world in her hands. Glad you
    found a good pumpkin recipe. I can't
    imagine what it's like having to monitor
    the foods you are eating - I know it's
    a job. thanks for sharing.

  19. Your cards are absolutely amazing. Love your colors.
    Thanks for sharing...

  20. I like all the cards with just the stamping and no coloring.

  21. +These are all simply stunning!!

  22. I love all things sparkly!!! Your cards are amazing and the kit is my favorite of all time, it's the first kit that has me wanting all the things. You are so creative with your recipes.

  23. Wow! But do you remember the very first Earth Day? I remember wear jeans to school...(gasp!) and picking up trash! Love this release and all your cards!

  24. Beautiful collection of cards! I had the same thought when I saw the lion that it reminded me of Narnia!

  25. I'm so happy you created a delish pumpkin pie dairy free recipe, I will be trying it for sure. Thank you for sharing the HA release, great cards!

  26. I love all your cards. I may have to give those alcohol inks a try.
    That blended ink background for the goddess is fabulous.

  27. Love the color schemes, just gorgeous!

  28. Wow, I am loving the simplicity of some of these cards! And biodegradable glitter is terrific news! Beautiful job on these images!

  29. Dear Lydia
    You have taken great effort to showcase abunch of cards and they are all super duper pretty Sorry i cannot chose one. Love them all. blessings to you and your family


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