Friday, December 9, 2016

You Just Didn't Want It Enough

I've sat on this post for a while, because while the Olympics were happening, people were hot and bothered about a lot of things, and didn't have the distance from an event that gives you a better perspective.

This Olympics was fascinating. From the controversy about Rio being a disaster, to the mind-boggling swimming performances, the (insert nameless poor decision maker here) - it was a newsworthy event from start to finish.

To me it seemed like there were more CHARACTER moments than in many Olympics past. Usain Bolt shushing a reporter when the US National Anthem came on, for example.

But as exciting as the swimming was, the moment that really captured my heart at this Olympics was this one.

A lot of people criticized Shaunae Miller - the winner here - for this dive, which is completely legal in track and field. Uninformed people (and clearly people who are not baseball OR track fans) jumped to an unwise conclusion, in defense of who they considered the anointed winner.

But what really happened here is that that Shaunae Miller wanted to win more than Allyson Felix did.

And because of that - she won.

Up until the second that she made that decision to be "the first athlete whose torso (as distinguished from the head, neck, arms, legs, hands or feet) reaches the vertical plane of the closest edge of the finish line" - it was a horse race.

But the sheer force of her will decided it.

She wanted it more.

And quite often, the person who wants it more, wins, which is why you should really, really think about what you want. All the time. All day every day. And you should also never, ever, ever think ill of a person who wants something more than you do and gets it. You have the same opportunity. Be creative. Pull out that baseball move when everyone else is worried about form. You'd be surprised how effective it is. And someone might get an epic picture of you doing it. I love this picture. I find it very inspiring.

One of my proudest moments at my retreat this fall was getting a beloved friend of mine - Diana Gibbs - to break form and get her hands dirty. She does NOT like to get her hands dirty. She won the cleanest workspace award for the entire weekend.

Seriously - look at it.

She didn't want to get inky, and it was very out of character for her, but she bravely tried the technique, and ended up loving her card. I love it when people get out of their comfort zones and make art. It always ends well.

That's what we try to do with the MIX-Ability challenge at Splitcoast. We try to show people that mixed media can be whatever you want it to be - messy, clean, quick and simple or long and complicated. I used to be so intimidated by mixed media until I figured out that all it means is you use multiple mediums, and heck - I do that all the time.

Today, I'm hosting the challenge and I decided to do a twist on a cling wrap technique that we did at my retreat. Cling wrap (like Press 'n Seal) is WAY more fun in the studio than in the kitchen, believe me. So I made two cards with this technique - and it LITERALLY took a minute and a half. So I hope you try it.

The first card was with a bigger panel used for a background.
Cling Wrap background by UnderstandBlue
 The second card was to show you how pretty the same technique can be on a card with tons of white space if that's your comfort zone - it is mine, for sure.
Cling Wrap background by UnderstandBlue
links to all supplies used

The mediums I used were powdered watercolor. I used Paper Artsy Infusions - these are similar to Bister - they contain walnut shells in addition to just pigment, and that adds little spots of warmth into the powders. As if Tim Holtz and Brusho got married. :)

Here's a quick video of it.

This will work with any water soluble medium - ink, watercolor - whatever. Even acrylic paint - just water it down or use a fluid acrylic.

But whatever you do - experiment, get your hands dirty.

Break form.

It's how you win.


Monday, December 5, 2016


Do you know people who have birthday months?

Meaning, they celebrate their birthday every day for the entire month of their birthday?

I do, and it cracks me up.

For these people, you really need to bring your A-game for your card.

I skipped last month's Hero Kit because my life was crazy, but THIS MONTH, let's talk about A-game, shall we?

The second I saw this puppy I knew what needed to happen. I needed to put every stamp in it on the lid of my MISTI and make a pop-up box card! I stamped them all at once and colored them with the Copics listed below, and then die cut them all at once - saves a ton of time  to stamp everything together and then die cut it together. Just be sure the images are far enough apart on your MISTI to leave room for the dies. Then I made a modified version of the pop-up box - because I wanted to use the STUNNING shimmery blue paper in the kit - measurements below. That just goes to show you you can make these little guys any size you want. My photo does NOT do the shimmery cardstock justice. It's a beautiful, shimmery navy blue.

So if you want to wow one of those birthday month people, I highly recommend you do this.
December My Monthly Hero Kit by Understand Blue
How could you NOT feel appreciated pulling this out of an envelope and having all the goodies wiggling in the air? You cannot. I am certain of that.
December My Monthly Hero Kit by Understand Blue

links to supplies used

I had SO much fun making this card! I actually spent an hour filming the entire thing, and then I got a message saying my phone storage was nearly full so it didn't save the video and I almost cried. But thankfully - there's a full tutorial on this cute card at Splitcoast. I modified the measurements to fit the BEAUTIFUL shimmery navy cardstock in the kit, which is 5.5 x 8.5 - thanks to some help from Dina, who can math :). So on these pretty shimmery sheets, the vertical score lines are at 2, 4, 6, 8 - and the horizontal score line is at 2" - the rest of the instructions are as they are in the tutorial, here.

Every time I make one of these, I wonder why I don't make them more. It's one of the few 3D projects I'm just crazy about.

I'm hopping along with some amazing people today - so be sure and visit them to see what they've done with it - I've seen some peeks on Instagram - wow!

This month's kit has $65 worth of goodies in it:

  • A 4"x6" clear stamp set
  • A set of 8 coordinating Frame Cuts dies that match the stamp set
  • Two Fancy word dies - "cheers" and "party"
  • A set of Paper Layering dies for adding a sunburst or sparkler effect
  • Gold glitter embossing powder
  • Custom washi tape designed for the kit
  • A gold Uni-ball Gel Pen
  • 4 half sheets of gold foil cardstock
  • 2 half sheets of each metallic cardstock: purple, pink, dark blue and antique gold

There are also some fun add ons - stencils and other goodies - you can see the full kit here.

Now get crackin' on the hop and maybe YOU will win the kit they're giving away. Or, if you're like me and suffer from FOMO, you can just buy it.

You are here >>>> Lydia Fiedler <<<<<You are here

I hope you had an awesome weekend - I am still in shock that it's December and as usual, I'm completely unprepared, but also still have plenty of time to procrastinate :).


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Feline Remorseful?

Cats, unlike dogs, have no guilt or shame.

That's what happens when you get to the top of your particular food chain.

You'll see the same thing in CEOs and politicians and celebrities, actually.

Cats just do what they want, when they want to do it, and if you object, you just get the crazy eye.

I know it's the season for people to be mad at their kitties, because it's Christmas tree season.

Here's what I have to say about that.

When you bring a large tree into your home, igniting the ancestral memories of your domestic (ha!) cat sharpening his claws on the bark of a towering jungle tree which he has decorated with his prey, and then festoon it with dangly, shiny objects, you sort of get what you deserve, no?

No need to be mad at the cat. Just reconsider your poor choices in your life and the consequences of those choices. And perhaps give the poor, beleaguered animal a treat.

However, since cat and dog-shaming is totally a thing now, I absolutely could not resist this Technique Junkies Christmas Mug Shot stamp - I think it sums up the entire relationship between cats and the holiday season.
Feline Remorseful? by Understand Blue
links to supplies used

At least he ADMITS he knocked it down. But you can see he blames you. As well he should. You should think about what you've done.

To make the background I just did the wrinkle-free Distress technique on watercolor paper. Then I used my square framelits to cut a polaroid shape from glimmer paper and added a few pine boughs (dies and supplies linked above) sticking out from behind as evidence. They match his eyes don't you think? His green, remorseless eyes.

Let's try to be nicer to our cats this holiday season.

This message brought to you by Maddie & Splotchy.

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