Friday, September 23, 2016

Why are Tigers so Delicious?

I was on Pinterest the other day doing some work for Falliday Fest, and I stumbled across some holiday treats that were made of tigers.

Well not really MADE of tigers, but CALLED tigery things, because apparently Tigers taste like peanut butter.

I first learned that tigers tasted like peanut butter in the late 70s, when my mother discovered the insanely delicious Tiger's Milk bars. I freaking LOVED those things and was quite glad that tigers produced milk that tasted like peanut butter.

Then there's Tiger Butter fudge, Tiger Bark and Tiger Bars.

These many tiger-themed recipes, all of which contain peanut butter, cannot be a coincidence. Tigers clearly taste like peanut butter. God help the first people who discovered this. I imagine it was quite terrifying to get close enough to a tiger to give him a lick.

Now that that mystery is solved, let's have a card, shall we?


A few weeks ago in my stamping class we made a card with the detailed Santa thinlits die - WHICH I LOVE. And I had a few cuts left over after class that had been lurking about my desk until I decided to use one as a mask for one of my Falliday Fest samples.

I brushed three colors of ink over the mask onto the card base with my Clarity Stencil brushes and deliberately made the top left near his face the lightest part of the card - I wanted to make him part illusion and part reality to go with my sentiment.

I used the Sophisticated Script set from Concord & 9th to stamp "believe" - I actually started with the last letter of the word and worked left (pro tip - write the word down before starting if spelling backwards is not one of your spiritual gifts!). I love how no matter what you're spelling, all the letters link up.


Links to supplies:




He's so very cool in blue. :)

This would make a great Christmas card because start to finish it was five minutes to make. Speaking of Christmas cards - I have a new online class up using the Christmas Pines bundle if you are interested!

About three minutes of this card are captured in a quick video for you!





Now I'm off to find a delicious, peanut buttery tiger for a snack!

But speaking of delicious, I have to share my new favorite recipe of all time - Coconut Almond Granola. I'm not typically a granola fan because I find it too sweet and too polluted with cinnamon. (Cinnamon should be confined to cinnamon toast, Big Red gum, toothpicks and pumpkin pie, in my opinion!) This, with a touch of salt and not too much sweet stuff for the quantity of oats is AMAZING. I like it on Fage 2% plain yogurt. This recipe is via my friend Bev Rousch - bevmom on Splitcoast.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole almonds, divided (I used roasted, salted almonds)
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    Other ingredients as desired - I added dried cranberries the second time - amazing. 
     
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor or blender, pulse half of the almonds until they are very finely chopped. Pour them into a large bowl. Then chop the other half of the almonds coarsely, and pour them into the same bowl.
  3. Pour the oats, salt, and brown sugar into the bowl with the almonds and stir to combine.
  4. In a small microwaveable bowl, combine honey and coconut oil, and heat for 40 seconds. Stir to dissolve the coconut oil, and add the vanilla and almond extract.
  5. Pour the honey mixture over the oats, and stir so that they are evenly coated.
  6. Pour the oat mixture evenly onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet (helpful if it has sides).
  7. Bake for 7 minutes, and then stir and spread back to an even layer. Return to the oven for 7 more minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. I actually then turned the oven off and left it in there for another ten minutes or so - because the first time I made it it wasn't crunch with the original cooking time.
  8. Pour the granola and onto a piece of wax paper to cool. Spread it out into a thin layer - about 1/2 inch thick.
  9. After it cools completely, break the granola into clusters and store in an airtight container.

No tigers were harmed in the making of this granola.

Loveyameanitbye.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Clown That Never Was

Sometimes things don't turn out like you expect them to.

For example, sometimes you sit down to watercolor a beautiful vintage Santa image and you end up having the living daylights scared out of you by a Google image search for "French clowns." True story.

This Santa image is super detailed and sketchy. I had a rougher textured hot press than my normal Fabriano - (I love the size of this block - 5x7 because I can get two cards out of that if I'm painting small images) so I stamped him 3 times with my Mini MISTI in black, knowing that I was going to stamp him again after I painted. Some watercolors have opaque pigments in them - like the peachy one I used for his face - and if you don't overstamp, the lines of the image will look dull when you're done. So I left the stamp set up on my mini MISTI while I painted so that I could just pop it back in, stamp a few more times and crisp it up after it was dry.

Then I started painting, trying to be careful around the details, not putting too much color on anything but his coat.

And then I saw it.

If you were watching a horror movie of this scene, you'd be screaming at the screen right now.

I noticed that hanging from the left side of Santa's belt was....

a French clown

Specifically a Pierrot-ish creature. 

Because I was immersed in my audio book, without thinking, because I couldn't remember hideous little Pierrot's name from my childhood, I grabbed my phone and Googled "French clown," in an attempt to color the little monster accurately.


and then I clicked "images".

never, ever, Google image search French clowns.

Trust me on this. You're welcome. I am typing this from deep inside the Institute for PTSD, just FYI.

After I regained consciousness and changed my drawers, I decided just not to color that part at all. And honestly you don't even notice that there's a little face eating clown there at all with the detailed image and the watercolor paper. Except that now you know. So in essence, this could be a Halloween OR a Christmas card, you choose.
Father Christmas Watercolor by Understand Blue

Links to supplies



Anyway, I really do love the vintage Father Christmas who is about to have his face eaten off. He's so innocent and sweet. And doomed.

I stuck him back in the MISTI and overstamped a few more times to get the most out of the image. Then I paired it with a sweet sentiment from Forever Evergreen. This is a 4 Bar Card (3 1/2" x 4 7/8"), so that gives you an idea of the size of the image. It's pretty tall. This card is actually a sample for one of our Falliday Fest challenges - I hope you'll join us!

Anyway - speaking of the Mini MISTI - we did a review of it at Splitcoast today, and in conjunction with the review - there's a coupon code! Use code SCSKIND to not only get a 15% discount, but she is also donating a portion of the proceeds from the coupon code sales to the Kind Campaign - an anti-bullying organization. Click here to use the code on anything in her store!

The coupon is good through the 15th. Go forth, without searching for clowns, and shop.

Don't search those clowns.

Don't.

Loveyameanitbye.


Friday, September 9, 2016

What, Exactly, Is Hogwash?

I like colorful language, in general. I'm a born New Yorker, moved to Texas when I was three, back to New York for college - I think you can deduce that I know some colorful words, even without the Irish component.

But Texas especially prides itself on over the top descriptions of things. You might recall Dan Rather's election coverage ridiculousness, wherein he invoked all the delightfully ridiculous things we say down here during everyday conversations.

If it's not a hyperbolic florid description, well, then you are either a quitter or a Yankee. True fact.

But the other day I found myself questioning something that came out of my own mouth.

I said "THAT IS HOGWASH."

This is something I've said just forever. It's a tried and true exclamation.

But maybe this week I was tired or feeling off my game because suddenly I had no idea what it meant!

Here's what I went through.

If my hog is dirty - which hogs are, generally - then washing him would be amazing, right? Then I'd have a clean hog.

So I would think if I saw something super amazing and unexpectedly clean, I might proclaim - THAT RIGHT THERE - THAT IS HOGWASH!

But that's not how we use it. Hogwash implies a lie!

I know for a fact it's possible to wash a hog. Look how clean Wilbur was!

I would think we would have developed something more along the lines of "THAT'S AS DELICIOUS AS A BEET" for something that's clearly a falsehood. Or maybe "THAT'S POLITICIAN TRUTH" or "THAT'S TAX REDUCTION" OR "LAUNDRY IS FUN".

But no - we ended up with hogwash. Some things just make no sense whatsoever. But if you're interested in the actual history of the word, it's here.

Anyway - today is the MIX-Ability challenge on Splitcoast and I adore it - Polly is hosting. The challenge is to confine yourself to black and white. I'm so beyond fine with that. I heart working in black and white and monochrome. It's pretty much my fave.

So what I did was started with a piece of cotton watercolor paper. I stamped the image numerous times with my mini MISTI to overcome the texture. I added a few pieces of crepe tape for texture - I have really enjoyed doing this in the art journaling class I'm taking - it adds texture without distraction. Then I lightly applied gesso over the whole image to fade it a bit. After that I applied a warm white acrylic paint in the area I was going to stamp the train so that it would pop. Since the background and train are both super detailed I didn't want them to fight with each other. So I just added enough to remove the detail.

Then I put the whole thing back in my Mini MISTI and stamped the train several times in Versafine until it was crisp and popped against the background. I added a strip of silver glimmer paper since that wasn't cheating :).








What's funny about this card is night before last (we are re-watching Breaking Bad for like the millionth time - such an incredible show) we watched the train robbery episode. I woke up in a complete panic yesterday at about 5:30 after dreaming that I was in a big glass building by the ocean (this is a recurring nightmare in which various terrible things happen to me, including the building filling with water) and suddenly I noticed that a train was plowing through the building. I start screaming at people to get out of the way and it's just crashing through the lobby. Then I wake up, hearing a loud train-like sound and realize it's the time of year when the flight patterns from our airport change, and I was hearing a jet in my sleep.

Sleep is a strange, strange thing. It might actually, technically, be hogwash.

You decide.

Loveyameanitbye.

OH PS - for those of you who commented about my hand - it's okay - it was just a little minor surgery to remove a few spots that were bothering me from my right hand. Just all part of being a freckly Irish girl who loves to walk outside on the surface of the sun. Nothing serious at all - just not attractive for a while. :) Thank you for your comments. It's all good.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Are You My Mummy?

I am a recent convert to Doctor Who. I have been instructed never to type "Dr. Who" as it angers the natives. So I'm trying to be compliant. Which is not in my nature, so you may have noticed that I did, actually, type "Dr. Who" (twice). That's what you get for trying to tell me what to do.

Ask my parents.

Anyway, the absolutely most terrifying episode of this fantastic show is The Empty Child. I'm telling you - do NOT watch this episode if you are at all prone to fainting spells.

I hear that ghastly child saying "are you my mummy?" in my nightmares!

BUT, because I have a dark, Irish soul, I also kind of love it.

Sometimes when Splotchy is screeching his little eyes out at 4 AM, I imagine (since some mean person tossed him out on a busy street when he was three weeks old) that he is actually just saying "are you my mummy?" and it allows me to forgive him, and just drink more coffee when I finally resign myself to the fact that I won't be getting any more sleep.

I love all things mummy. If someone makes a mummy stamp, I can guarantee you I will buy it.

Mummies are delightful because their scariness comes wrapped, like a present. Also, the bandages make them seem sort of vulnerable. You want your monsters vulnerable, after all.

My friend and fellow Texan Jen del Muro (who owns Reverse Confetti) came up with an ADORABLE mummy recently and a FANTASTICALLY inventive treat topper thingy that I HAD to play with.

As you know, I am not a DIY 3D person. So I will never create a template from scratch and build something. HOWEVER, I will get all up in a die that lets me make a cute treat, and holy cow did she come up with a good one.

This thing is like a Christmas cracker! It's GENIUS. So you cut two of them, and in ten seconds, pop them onto the matching clear treat container for such a cute gift.

I am notorious around my neighborhood for giving things like these at my Starbucks and other drive throughs so I'm super excited about this.

It holds a lot of candy - I used nearly all of two 3 oz. packages of Jelly Belly candy corns (I don't really eat sweet stuff but these are the best candy corns I've ever had) with a little room to spare.

I die cut the toppers from the new Pumpkin Pie Glimmer Paper and adhered them to the matching treat container with Tear & Tape. Then I added some Halloween Night Twine - WHICH I LOVE - to each end. I fought with myself hard about whether to use the orange/black twine or the grey/black, but ended up with the classic. It's really pretty and fun.

Links to supplies:




I finished it off with the little mummy I colored with grey and purple copics and a sentiment. Maybe I'll give this to MY mummy for her birthday!

All of these are part of Jen's newest release - so if you like it, head over to her blog for details on how to get it all at midnight on the 8th. Midnight - you know, when the mummies are out stumbling around. .

I'm happy to be in Texas with so many talented ladies I call friends.

Now - are YOU my mummy?

Muahahahahhahah.

PS - I had some minor surgery on my right hand so until it looks less awful I am holding off on videos, although I'm considering a fingerless glove. It might be a week or two before I get back on camera. Thanks for your patience. 

Loveyameanitbye.


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