Jun 1, 2020

Uninformed and Ignorant

The tag line of this blog is "cards and talk." Today is talk.

It's hard to say anything meaningful about the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota from the living room of my almost entirely white neighborhood. The protests and riots in Dallas are a safe 5 miles from our house. I have little at risk, except perhaps my heart and soul.

I never really thought seriously about the phrase "white privilege." I think of myself as a caring, kind person (don't we all?), so I flew right past that one. But, after the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, at the recommendation of a friend, I began to read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. DiAngelo is white and she's addressed her book to white people.  I can't comment on the book yet because I'm still reading, but here's a quote from the beginning of the book that I've been thinking about a lot this weekend.

I am a white American raised in the United States. I have a white frame of reference and a white worldview, and I move through the world with a white experience. My experience is not a universal human experience. It is a particularly white experience in a society in which race matters profoundly; a society that is deeply separate and unequal by race. However, like most white people raised in the US, I was not taught to see myself in racial terms and certainly not to draw attention to my race or to behave as if it mattered in any way. Of course, I was made aware that somebody’s race mattered, and if race was discussed, it would be theirs, not mine. Yet a critical component of cross-racial skill building is the ability to sit with the discomfort of being seen racially, of having to proceed as if our race matters (which it does). Being seen racially is a common trigger of white fragility, and thus, to build our stamina, white people must face the first challenge: naming our race. OUR OPINIONS ARE UNINFORMED I have never met a white person without an opinion on racism. It’s not really possible to grow up in the United States or spend any significant time here—or any other culture with a history of Western colonization—without developing opinions on racism. And white people’s opinions on racism tend to be strong. Yet race relations are profoundly complex. We must be willing to consider that unless we have devoted intentional and ongoing study, our opinions are necessarily uninformed, even ignorant. 
DiAngelo, Robin J.. White Fragility (pp. 7-8). Beacon Press. Kindle Edition.

I'm not sure what I will think about the rest of this book, but this passage resonates.

My dear friend Susan Raihala linked this article on white privilege on her blog. It's also an excellent opportunity to listen and learn and become informed.

May 30, 2020

2 Cards Using Circle Dies + Some House Chat

I've got a couple of cards I made using no stamps -- just dies, paper, and adhesives.

Circle die (Hero Arts) and a Hello die from Right at Home. The Circles are popped up. Those hellos may bend in the mail, so I'll be sure to try and protect the card before I slip it into an envelop. The next size circle die was too big for 6 circles on an A2 card, so I went with the smaller one. Hope it works!

Cut some cardstock strips, die cut with a circle die and then cut the circles in half. (Note: using striped paper would have been a LOT easier.) The hello die is cut with gold glitter paper (not sure of the company that made the die).


I like the idea of these cards, but they didn't quite meet my hopes.  I'm not sure if it is the colors or the layouts, but I'm not giving up on these geometric cards.

I've been spending a lot of time watching videos on YouTube and finally decided that IG + YouTube + Facebook + Blogs = too much social media, so I deleted my FB account. I thought about it for about 2 weeks and was concerned that I would miss it. But so far I don't. Better to spend that time on cooking videos (HA!).

And, for no reason at all, I took a picture of part of our house, which was built in 1930! I'm standing in the doorway between the breakfast room and the dining room, looking towards the living room at the front of the house. It's a sunny day, and even though no sun comes through the front, the picture is a bit washed out. I kind of like it! We were on the hunt for a painting for over the fireplace but the virus put an end to that. Someday.

In any event, that blue plastic tablecloth is on the DR table because that's where we are putting together jigsaw puzzles. Otherwise, I like to see the beautiful wood table underneath.

Speaking of art, see those 3 paintings on the wall?

They are made with encaustic wax. We bought them at a craft fair in Northern Virginia a few years ago and fell in love with the artist. I tried to take one off the wall to look for her name but they are on tight! Those walls are plaster over rock solid ship lap (or something like that). I am so tempted to buy some encaustic art supplies, but that's another rabbit hole in which I am not falling!

And that's it from Dallas. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

May 11, 2020

Memory Box English Rose Collage

Purchased the beautiful Memory Box English Rose Collage die and made these two cards. A few things  about this die --

-- I got it from Starlit Studio. This is a great shop to buy Memory Box, Poppystamps, Penny Black and a few other manufacturers. They are always sold on a discount and shipping is lightening fast.
-- I tried to link the die but no longer see it in the shop. I'm sure it is available elsewhere.
-- The die is detailed and prepare to spend some time using it. I needed a metal shim and patience!

The first time I used the die I ran it through white cardstock and then through pink, red, yellow, and green cardstocks. Adhered the white panel to a white card and then painstakingly glued each leaf and petal into the die cut spaces. Had The Godfather** on in the background and I'd say it took from the opening wedding scene until the tollbooth massacre to finish!

Since I had the die out, decided to make another card by watercoloring underneath the die.

Die cut the panel and gently placed it over a watercolor panel to eyeball where to color. Used some Zig pens to color through the design and then lifted the design to finish the watercolor. Lots of placing the die panel down, touching with color, lifting and finishing it off. Popped it up with teeny pieces of cut foam tape. Got me to end of the Baptism scene!

MOOD WHEN DONE: Great. Life goes on in this new and extraordinary way. I hope you are all doing well.

** The Godfather and The Godfather II are my favorite movies. I have them on record and often put them on in the background when I'm stamping. If you haven't seen them, get out from under that rock and watch!

May 4, 2020

Penny Black Bouquet Ballet

Last year I was privileged to do some design work for Penny Black and they sent me a generous amount of stamps. Now that I have thoroughly cleaned my craft room (AT LAST), I "found" a few things that I had forgotten about and Bouquet Ballet was one of them.

Watercolored with some long retired Ranger Adirondack Reinkers. I bought a set of 12 over 10 years ago and most of the bottles are still full. Such a great way to watercolor as the color stays pretty intense. Used ONE drop Raspberry and Sunshine for the top card, and one drop of Sail Blue reinker for the second card.

MOOD WHEN DONE:  Excellent!

We continue to be fine. Our reactions to staying at home pretty much mirror a lot of our friends -- it's old, but we are grateful for all we have.

Apr 28, 2020

My Top 10, Ok 15, Current Favorite YouTube Channels

Happy Monday Tuesday! (Do you have to remind yourself what day it is? I do...)

I've always enjoyed watching youtube videos, but especially now. In case you looking to broaden your viewing, here my current favorites (mostly cardmaking). I know I'm leaving out a ton of fantastic cardmakers and a million fun channels, but these are the ones that I'm currently enjoying all the time. You may already be watching many of these folks, but just in case....

1. Laura Bassen -- Laura's techniques and colorful cards are fantastic, and her breezy, funny, commentary is a joy. (I basically stalk her channel.) Now that she is living in Germany, her stories are even more fun. Laura is also featured on several companies' youtube channels, so keep an eye out for those videos as well. 

2. Julie Ebersole -- I so look forward to videos from Julie! She always explains how and why she places things on her card (something I struggle with) and her (almost always white) backgrounds with a pop of bright color appeal to me muchly! Julie's voice and commentary are delightful. I could listen to her chuckle all day!

3. Koren Wiskman -- My friend Francie recommended Koren to me and I am so glad she did. Go for the cards, stay for the fun. Her cards are crisp and clean and beautifully made. Plus, her hair! 

4. Cathy Zielske designs fantastic products for Simon Says Stamp and has a million other projects going. Recently, she started a series on card design and it is the best!! Ten minutes on different design elements. Cathy does a terrific job of explaining why her cards "work." Addicted.

5. Penny Black Stamps -- Their products are fabulous, but their cards are even better! Jill Foster is so talented and is behind most of the videos. Her coloring, layouts, and her voice are all just beautiful. And the other artists on the channel are also amazing. I watch every video and learn something every time.

6. Natasha Valkovskaya  -- Natasha is fairly new to youtube, but you may know her as Craft Away With Me on Instagram. She's got a "simple" style that I love and her videos are great. I learn a lot. BTW, she is now featuring on Instagram a lot of hand drawn sketches that she watercolors and they are amazing!!!

7. Yana Smakula -- Yana is just plain wonderful -- all of her cards and videos teach me something. Plus, I have to admit I love her Ukranian accent (my mom spoke Ukranian as a child and, while she didn't have an accent, Yana's voice is reminding me of something!).

8. Mary Polanco -- I tend to scan the offerings looking for her product reviews. Sometimes Mary comes across some new to me things that are cheaper than what I might have bought. I like that!

9. Amy Schulke -- Amy runs Vanilla Arts and specializes in teaching Copic coloring. Her approach differs from many cardmakers and she is quick to criticize a lot of what we have been taught. YIKES. She posts free videos on youtube and they will definitely make you think twice about the way you color an image!

10. Gina K Designs -- Gina is a gem. I adore her. Honest, kind, and super hardworking. Her warm personality and classic cards are so soothing! She does a beautiful job explaining each step. Plus her products rock!

11. Jenny Can Cook -- A former comedian, her recipes are simple and there's always some subtle snark. Love me some snark. Haven't actually tried any of the recipes yet -- watching youtube is better than actually cooking.

12. The Toe Bro -- Didn't see that one coming, did you? Mike thinks I'm insane. You are either going to love this or be totally repulsed and never read my blog again. If you turn on the sound, you'll hear a very caring fun doc. He is so kind to these folks. But, DON'T CLICK ON THE LINK UNLESS YOU LIKE GROSS PICTURES OF TOE NAIL REMOVALS.

13. The Stay at Home Chef  -- Great set of cooking videos! Most of them are pretty simple. I've tried several and there's been some hits and a few misses. I really like this woman. She's got Addison's Disease and is often quite sick (you can read about that on her blog or IG account) but she keeps on rolling. So popular, she turned down an offer from Food Network for her own show.

14. CreationsCeecee -- Oh, these are some awesome videos on loose watercoloring and doodling. Warning: she makes it look easier than it is!! I know, I've tried.

And last, but not least ....

15. The Makeover Guy -- quick before and after photos of people getting makeovers from Christopher Hopkins. So fun and sometimes touching stories. Feel free to fast forward to the after pics if you don't want to hear the backstories.

Do YOU have any favorites? I'd love to check them out.