Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap!

I realized yesterday that I didn't miss the news while I was gone. When I got home, I got debt ceilinged to death. Thank goodness I'm listening to a fantastic audiobook right now that I can break up the insanity with.

But I have been thinking about the economy.

It still completely amazes me that people don't associate their desire for cheap products with all the things that come with cheapness. Like low paying jobs, or jobs that go to China. I think people just think - "Yay - I can get 80 of these for a dollar - who cares if they fall apart after one use? I have 79 more!" You can't pay someone a lot to make something that costs a dime. That's an impossibility.

We need to go back to appreciating things that cost a little more so that we have jobs that pay a little more. It's okay if there are fewer of those nice things.

Here's a great example of a failing mindset that I saw on my walk.  There are companies that have the nerve to call themselves "landscaping" companies. What they are, in actual fact, are armies of mindless, chainsaw wielding cheap laborers that are given general instructions including a vague shape of the landscape and nothing else.

This is the result. Vast swaths of bushes mowed back from sidewalks, with no regard for the plants OR the aesthetic.
Oh yeah - that's so much better than a few branches sticking out a little, right? Those mangled sticks are exactly what the neighborhood likes to see.

 Beautiful, no?

Then I saw a little bird nest that they nearly sawed in half.
These bushes usually chirp and rustle when I go by, all buzzing with little finches. Now where are they?

This isn't landscaping.

This is cheap.

I don't like cheap.

There are lots of nice things you can do with very little and a little time - all stampers know this.

For example, I was lucky enough to be a sample maker for Bev Gerard's Dare to Get Dirty challenge this week. She is one of my favorite people in the WORLD and an incredibly talented stamper.

I decided to keep my card simple and focus on techniques, to make the most of what I had. The stamp set is Raining Flowers, which I got free at convention. I stamped the open flower image in white craft ink on vellum cardstock and heat set it.

Next, I flipped it over, and put it on my piercing foam mat and started to gently dry emboss the little circles with my embossing stylus. On some circles, I embossed a lot for a bright white, raised look, and on some, I just did a little, for a more chalky look. Then I pierced little holes all around the flower.

I put the embossed and pierced piece on some Poppy Parade for contrast, and then finished the card with white twine, Just Add Cake DSP and the greeting from It's Your Day, also free at convention.


You can add a lot with a little time and technique! That's one of the many ways stamping is better than a chainsaw.

Wanna play along with Dare to Get Dirty? There's still time, and there are tons of prizes to be had! So come challenge yourself, learn some new techniques and have a little fun with the Dirty Dozen.

I think I'll go put out some finch food. :)

8 comments:

  1. I think you've hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately it's a neverending cycle as the lack of good jobs and pay leads to people not being able to buy quality goods and then it all just gets worse. Of course, if the government would consider making doing business here at home more lucrative instead of just watching corporations slide away, that wouldn't hurt either. All in all it's a frustrating situation... and one that makes me change the channel on the news every time anymore. lol

    In other news? Lovely new project!

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  2. I agree with your landscaping statement. It drives me crazy when landscapers smother the base of tree trucks with mulch....it only sets up a home for pests and disease.
    Now on to that lovely card.
    It is so pergamano - ish . I love working with vellum and should pull some out and play.
    thanks for the inspiration

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  3. my hubs went out of business. he couldn't complete w/the scalp & run companies. He wanted to do quality work for small businesses and homeowners. he had a few accts that would pay late or bother him on his time at their house. the small biz accts were lost to the scalp & runs.
    boo. hiss. that is not landscaping. it's butchering with no thought or care in methods of pruning for proper growth. grrr.

    on another note. I love that card! :)

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  4. OH YES--this is a PET PEEVE of mine that's done on an even grander scale of ugliness ALONG OUR HIGHWAYS in GA!! are you kidding me?!? how in the ever-lovin' world were you EVER convinced that taking a mower and rotating it on its side and shearing off tree limbs and bushes with it would be MORE ATTRACTIVE?!?! you go, girl! i'll vote for you as beautification director of austin! great card, too!

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  5. So beautifully done Lydia. With all the techniques I've tried over the many years of papercrafting, I've never tried this one. It will make it to the top of my crafting to do list.
    I hear you on the economy and cheap stuff. I try to avoid going to WalMart. Even tho things are very inexpensive there, everytime I buy somthing I think about the person (or, sadly) child, that had to work 10 hours at slave wages to make it. I would gladly pay a few dollars more for things so that they could be made in the USA.

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  6. I agree 100%. There's no regard for wildlife, just cut it down! Terrible. Also, I received an email about buying USA products. Even FOOD, like canned pineapple, made in China on the can. What?! Ridiculous. This morning on ABC's Good Morning America I was informed we might have ANOTHER recession. Does anyone know when we got OUT of the 1st one? Perhaps they can ask all the unemployed people that question or the people who have lost thousands in stocks? ABC must reside in lala land because as far as my wallet and I are concerned, we never got out of a recession. That statement this morning just ticked me off. There are people who bought houses for $500,000 and now they're worth half of that. But, hey, the recession ended right? Hmm, don't think so.

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  7. Poor lil finches.... I hope they had moved on before the chainsaw arrived! Lovely card, my dear.... Forgot all about that great embossing trick, thanks!
    PS I'm following Emily now, too... Here dresses are beautiful! Thanks for the Twitter tip!
    Cindy

    WV: blext
    I text from Understand Blue is a "blext." Lol.

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  8. I have turned off the news and deleted every poltical email I get w/o opening it. I am so sick of this mess and you are right, those bushes look awful and where are the birds? Nuff said! Your card is fantastic, what a neat idea with the vellum.

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