Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Topic No One Wants to Talk About!

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I have a very uncomfortable situation to talk to you about today - it's really almost taboo. So I'll introduce it gently and mostly by avoidance - I will first distract you with some pretty things!


I 100% understand if you mock those of us here in God's country for our intolerance of our 3.5 days of "winter", but look - everything is relative.

MUCH more important to my mental state than temperature is sun, and it's been a bit scarce here this year. So being able to sit out back at the end of the work day the last few days has been a small mercy that I appreciate.

I'm a plant loving freak. I think gardening is really better when you are older and more patient and willing to accept unexpected things.

When I was in college in upstate NY, spring was SPECTACULAR. Especially the tulips and lilacs. Tulips like I'd never seen - white ones, black ones, every color you could imagine. It really was your reward for just surviving the HELLISH winters there. So they have a very special place in my gardening heart and I can resist no tulip stamp.

This big, splashy tulip is no exception. It's really a background on its own, but half the set is sentiments, too.

I wanted to recreate what was in my head from my college days - the tulips that were white but streaked with color, so I pulled a Kathy Racoosin trick out of my hat. I underpainted the tulips with pink Copic markers, and then added all the details with Polychromos pencils. Such a fun image to color!

The rest of my cards today are ocean themed! This gorgeous angelfish set of masks spoke to me. I put two of them down, facing opposite directions (sprayed with Pixie Spray to keep them in place), and brushed on Oxide inks. Then, with them still in place, I put down the Mermaid Scales Stencil, and used my wet stamp shammy to lift ink out for a subtle background pattern behind them. The sentiment is from this set.

Then I went all mixed media. I took some Ocean Poppy and Succulent Green Paper Glaze and created a background on a card front with an old credit card. After that dried - patience mode engaged - I put down the beautiful, zen Current of Fish stencil and used the same credit card to apply Golden Rose Paper Glaze through that for the fishies. On a separate piece of paper I had applied Golden Rose Paper Glaze to, I die cut that with the I Miss You die, and glued that in the center. IT'S SO SHIMMERY IN REAL LIFE.

And finally, the card that brings up the uncomfortable topic. And that topic is DIE HAIRS. We all know about this but we just don't want to talk about it. Those little fragments of paper that hang on when we die cut something - it happens more with some cardstock than others. It also happens if the die or plates shift a bit while going through the machine. But they are unsightly and embarrassing. And I've tried everything - an exacto, little sanding sticks, etc. I finally found something that works, and I have a video quick tip for you below, featuring this STUNNING whale cover plate die - WOW.

And my apologies - YouTube caption editing is not working this week, so I do not have captions on this video :(  - I have a support ticket in with them. It should be pretty obvious what I'm doing even without captions, but please email me if you are hearing impaired and need further instructions!

Here are all the supplies I used today.

Whale of a Tail Cover Die
[ PFS ]
Every Good and Perfect Gift
[ PFS ]
Early Tulip Bouquet
[ PFS ]
I Miss You Word Die
[ PFS ]
Mermaid Scales Stencil
[ PFS ]
Tropical Angelfish Stencil
[ PFS ]
Current of Fish Stencil
[ PFS ]
Paper Glaze - Succulent Green
[ PFS ]
Paper Glaze - Ocean Poppy
[ PFS ]
Paper Glaze - Golden Rose
[ PFS ]
Therm O Web PIXIE SPRAY iCraft...
[ SSS | ELH | THR ]
[ SSS ]
Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils and...
Artist's Choice 110lb White Card Stock
[ GNK ]
Coloring Glove - Anti-Smudge
Derwent Battery-Operated Eraser
Ipoint Orbit Pencil Sharpener, Turquoise
Global Art Classic Leather Pencil Cases
Staedtler Mars Plastic Erasers
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
Art Anthology BIG CRAFT MAT 24x36 311473
[ SSS ]
Heavy Base Weight Card Stock- White
[ GNK ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSP | HA | SSS | ELH | MFT | UNT ]
LightView 2in1 LED Magnifier for...
[ BRG ]
Mudder 10 Pack White Buffer Sanding...
Teflon Bone Folder - Ellen Hutson LLC
[ ELH | SSS ]
Crafter's Companion GEMINI...
[ SSS ]
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 ]


15% off the Art Toolkit at Expeditionary Art through March 31 - WCSPLIT. 
15% off anything at Marker Universe or any of their other sites - Understandblue15. 
10% off the whole store at A Colorful Life Designs - LydiaFan10


  1. awesome cards Lydia and I totally agree about the tulips, it's our treat for putting up with winter, which is still in full swing up here.

  2. Brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I feel like we were teased with one day of sun, I walked 4 miles that day, and it’s back to overcast and rain for days. I miss all the green in PA, along with all the flowers. I love seeing my friends posting the crocuses popping up. I’m happy to have a leaf starting on my hydrangea.

  4. Lovely cards!
    Thanks for the amazing tip
    with the dies.

  5. Wow, wow, wow!!! Those tulips are gorgeous!!! The whale cover die is stunning! I like this entire release, and your cards are fantastic! Thanks for the tip on removing paper hairs, I have the sanding blocks so I will give it a go.

  6. We share your love of tulips in my garden and sigh every year looking at the 5 million different bulbs...all the colors, the frilly, the minis, the short, the tall, the striped, the early blooms and late ones...Queen of the Night is so finicky. Sometimes she will show up and sometimes not.

    I have to say though before they arrive we get the hellebores and the snowdrops and the crocus and the star magnolia and daffies (which is another whole spectrum)...

    Those are beautiful Lydia. Really looks just like them.

    I think you need a trip to Holland. Seriously. I give you permission when it is safe again. :)


  7. Your tulip card is stunning! Thanks for the manicure block tip. So simple and clever.

  8. Oh. My. Goodness. The peppermint tulips are amazing!!!!

  9. Amazing cards, Lydia! Each unique, and arty in it's own way. I 'took' your online tulip class, and learned so much, as I usually do from your toots! Thank you for selflessly giving your time and talent, and caring about your fellow humans enough to help ease the burden of this uncertain time. I loved the class, and am practicing the techniques. I just wanted you to know that your kindness has touched my heart, and the hearts of many. And you have inspired me to carry it forward. I have felt myself starting to sink into depression, and your class was my impetus to pull myself up and out of it. Thanks for inspiring me, us, with your example. I am making a list of ways I can help others, now, rather than focusing on myself. If we all let our little lights shine, this world will be a better place, in spite of what the enemy throws at us. I will let my light shine! We can do this together. Thank you, Lydia.

  10. When I first saw the blog title, I thought it said 'The Copic No One Wants to Talk About'! I was like is it a really terrible shade of green or orange? Lol.
    I love all the cards in this post, but the tulips are just gorgeous.


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