Friday, December 25, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring 'Anything Goes/Christmas Twist' Challenge

'Twas the night before Christmas...literally, as I am writing this on Christmas Eve. We just finished eating a marvelous dinner at Shula's Steakhouse at Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino. My steak was fantastic! As was the lobster bisque and bread before my meal, the twice-baked potatoes and grilled asparagus during dinner, and the chocolate lava cake after dinner. Yegads, I am stuffed. I am not having a problem sitting up straight to type, as that is the only way I can sit right now. Otherwise, I put too much pressure on my bloated abdomen. Hmm. Not a bad problem to have though, right? Of course, I neglected to take photos of my meal. Sorry about that...

Speaking of food, I now remember why our daughter, Angela, didn't want to fix spaghetti this year for Christmas dinner. It's a LOT OF WORK! I had forgotten, since I have not fixed this recipe for at least 12 years. I was on my feet for 5 hours putting the sauce together to simmer overnight. What was I thinking? Next year, I vote for Jack-in-the-Box. If they are open. Snicker...

Well, this is my last post as a DT for The Outlawz Friday Coloring Challenge. This is our final challenge, not just of this year, but for all time. However, there will be a new challenge on Fridays starting in January, I think. So be sure to look for that. This month our sponsor is The East Wind. So good of Unky to sponsor our last challenge. Be sure to get your entries in this next week to be eligible to win the fab prize of 3 digis from Unky's shop. So many wonderful digis to choose from--go take a peek! Remember, you need to hand-color your image, with the medium of your choice, on your project. I picked another Christmas image for a card I sent out earlier this month.

My image, Sassy Cheryl Reindeer Sally, was printed on X-Press It BC. I colored her with my Copics:

Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair: YR21, Y26, E44
Antlers: E44, E47, E49
Ornament: Y23, Y26, Y28
Socks/Dress/Headband: G21, G24, G29
Shoes/Trim: E02, E08, E09

I chose DP from the Bo Bunny Silver & Gold collection, paired it with Stampin' Up CS, and used some Tim Holtz Kraft-Core Metallic CS also. I added a bit of Wink of Stella Brush Clear on the ornament, some Frantage, and Whimsy Corner die cuts. And that's it for this edition.

Do check out the fab creations by my talented teammates: Carla, Kathi, and Vannessa. I will miss working with them. However, I am so ready for a break right now. I don't expect to be around much for a bit. But you just never know. I may get totally bored and need to come back to at least shoot the breeze, so to speak. 

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! May this Christmas be your happiest ever, and may 2016 be the best year possible for all of you.

Go Cards! 

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring 'Color/Photo Inspiration' Challenge

Well, at least I am on time this week! I am finally able to take a breath. A very deep breath. I finished all of my Christmas cards and got them in the mail--with the exception of those I hand-delivered. I can only hope that I do not get any unexpected cards in the mail. Because I have no left-overs. Except for a very sexy one I have saved for Gary. That I really shouldn't give to anyone else, KWIM? (That's "know what I mean", for those of you who don't do acronyms.)

I have also finished all my Christmas shopping. Which is not too difficult to do online. Makes my life so much simpler. I feel badly for those small businesses that depend on walk-in customers, but I just can't deal with holiday traffic--auto or foot. I need to shop from the comfort of my home. It's not that I am antisocial or anything. It's just that I am...hmmmm. Guess it is because I am antisocial. They used to call me shy. Yeah, that's the reason. I am too shy to shop. Anybody else out there in the same boat, so to speak?

'K, on to our monthly sponsor. (That was a terrible segue, pardon me.) Our brilliant digi artist this month is Unke of The East Wind. She has created so many fabulous images. And our lucky winner will receive their choice of three digis. Go check out her store if you are unfamiliar with her. I am sure you will find lots of fun images to use! So play along with us this week, won't you? Just hand-color your image with your favorite medium and submit your project before next Friday. You have the beautiful palette below to use as a guide.

I have used my East Wind digi this week. I chose one of the cutest, craziest images possible for Christmas! I love her--she is called Aurora Hair Tree. I thought she was perfect for a card for my hair stylist, Hayli. So I gave it to her on Wednesday when I got my hair cut.

I printed this image on X-Press It BC and colored her with my Copics and Twin Touch Brush markers:

Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair: E04, E07, TTR1
Dress: TTBG3, TTBG5, TTBG7
Eyes: E25, E29, TTBG1, TTBG9

Since I didn't have DP to match, I simply used Stampin' Up CS. And added some die-cut stars made with Memory Box Star of Wonder dies. Voila! 

I found myself creating a lot of CAS cards for Christmas. Not just to save time, (though that was important, too); but to save on postage, as I was mailing so many cards this year. Didn't want to have too many layers to worry about. Again, KWIM?

Well, our Cardinals have been flexed again this week for the Sunday night game. They are playing in Philadelphia, which is much cooler than Phoenix normally. However, our weather has been really chilly lately, and Philly's weather has been unseasonably warm. So the Cards shouldn't have too much difficulty playing in the cool evening weather Sunday night. At least I hope not. If we are lucky enough to win this game, we will have clinched the NFC West, which would be a really big deal. I will keep my fingers crossed. (But not my eyes. That's too uncomfortable.)

We went to our younger granddaughter's birthday party on Sunday. Brynn turned 12. Heaven help us, she has turned into a Batman freak. So she wanted everything Batman for her birthday and Christmas. And I, being a fabulous grandma, have obliged her. She received all manner of Batman things for her birthday. And I have several more being delivered for her for Christmas. At least she made shopping for her easy for me. Snicker...

One thing I forgot to mention last week was that my sister, Merrilyn, and her hubby, Ron, adopted a new dog into their little family. Lexi is a mixed-breed rescue, with some Shih Tsu in her background. Blended with unknown. But she is very cute and so totally sweet. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 2+ years old. Trained even for tricks--she sits and shakes hands. (Or paws. Whatev.) Cannot figure out why anybody would give her up. Except for the fact that Merrilyn really needed Lexi in her life right now. And Lexi settled into her new life so readily. Just a perfect match. I can see the sorrow easing for my sister. I hope it is for my BIL, Ron, too. 

Oh, here's a bulletin for you. Our daughter always has Christmas dinner. She requested that years ago when her girls were babies. It made it so much easier for Angela's family to not travel anywhere on Christmas Day. Well, last week Angela said she was not making Italian spaghetti for Christmas dinner. Horrors! Her older daughter, Kelsey, and I were devastated! How could we celebrate Christmas without our traditional meal? Somehow, Gary got the dinner moved to our house with me making the Italian spaghetti. Hm. Not really sure how that happened, but Angela was thrilled. She said it was a wonderful Christmas gift for her. Okey dokey. It's been literally years since I have made the family recipe. Hope I remember how to do it...

Gary and I always go out for dinner on Christmas Eve. Since I am fixing dinner the next day, it is even more important this year. He picked Shula's for our meal, and I am pretty happy about that. We have several friends who swear by Shula's steaks. That they are the best in town. So we are finally going to find out if our friends have been smoking dope or really know what they are talking about. 

I am wishing each of you a lovely Christmas Eve. I should have another post here on Christmas Day. But if you don't see it, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas also! 

In the meantime, be sure to check out the wonderful creations by my talented teammates: Carla, Kathi, and Vannessa. And, if you get the time, please play along with us! 

Have a great weekend! Go Cards!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring 'Gifts/Gift Packaging' Challenge

I'm late, I'm late, I'm late for a very important date! And I am so sorry! But I got so busy with the Cardinals' game, and staying downtown overnight, and having our friend, Vicki, here for Friday day and night, that I just didn't have time to write this up! I deeply apologize if you came to my blog page only to find last week's post. And how boring it would have been for you to have re-read that! 

Onward and upward. As I mentioned last week, our monthly sponsor for December is The East Wind. Our winner will receive his/her choice of 3 digis. And will this person ever have fun picking out the digis! So many wonderful ones to choose from! Please play along with us this month. All you need to do is hand-color an image for your project with the medium of your choice. I will be using my image next week.

This week I used LaLa Land Crafts Christmas Present Luka. I love this image, and it gives me another Christmas card to use for my list of recipients. (Which is getting so long, it's scary, to tell you the truth!) I have been working like a mad fool this past week to get cards ready. And I shall this next week, too. I should be able to get all the cards done. Thank goodness!

OK, I printed my image on X-Press It BC, and colored him with my Copics and Twin Touch Brush markers:

Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair/Boots: E21, E25, E29
Trim: E50, E51
Ribbon/Pants: BG10, BG11, BG13
Hat/Sweater: R24, R27, TTR1
Gift: YG61, YG63, YG67

My DP comes from the American Crafts Kringle & Co. collection. It was paired with Stampin' Up CS. I also chose a Cheery Lynn Christmas Knick Knacks die for my die-cut embellishments. Then it was finished off with DecoArt Glistening Snow Writer, which you can barely see in this photo. If you squint your eyes almost shut. And use your imagination. I thank you.

Please check out this week's wonderful creations by my talented teammates: Carla, Vannessa, and Kathi. And then join in the fun won't you?

Before I go, I have to say a couple of things. Thursday Night Football was just downright frightening. We did not play our best, by any stretch of the imagination. The Vikings actually outplayed us, but we were lucky enough to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. I am so relieved. We are 11-2 now, and are definitely in the playoffs. So there is that. And the NFL has flexed our game a week from tomorrow, so that we will once again be on Sunday Night Football when we  play the Eagles in Philadelphia. I am wondering if the rest of the country is getting tired of seeing the Cardinals on nationally-televised games. This will make 5 this year! Keerazy! Oh, and then the Green Bay Packers come to town right after Christmas. Help!!!

Also, I want to thank Vicki for spending Friday day and night with us. We had so much fun catching up! She leads such a busy life, being a world-traveling cat judge, and one of the best at that! It is hard to see her often. Hopefully, we will get up to the Bay Area and spend some time with her and Tom next summer.

Oh, I also want to apologize for not getting around to your blogs. I will catch up as soon as I get the chance!

Do have a great rest of your weekend and a wonderful week ahead. I will be madly coloring images for my last group of cards.

Speaking of cards--Go Cardinals!

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring "Let It Snow" Challenge

My mouse batteries are low. Just thought I would mention that, since my computer has that message posted on the home screen. Hm. Scary how smart technology is, isn't it? Hope it doesn't notice all the items I own that have low batteries! Wink, wink! Oh, just kidding...

So, it is Friday again. And time for another challenge. Since winter officially begins this month, we are starting December with a "Let It Snow" challenge. Anything snow-related on your creation is fine. Just make sure you hand-color your image with the medium of your choice. And our sponsor this month is The East Wind, home to fabulous digi images. Love this store! Our monthly winner will receive his/her choice of 3 digis. So be sure to get your entries in, OK?

I will be using my image later in the month. For this challenge I chose Snowy by Conie Fong. I bought it through the now-defunct Sweet Pea Stamps. Pause for a sob or two here...

Anyway, I printed Snowy on X-Press It BC and colored her with my Copics:
Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair: E51, E53, E37
Wings/Snowman: E40, E41
Coat/Headband/Hat/Scarf: BG000, BG53, BG57
Trim/Boots: N0, N2, N4, N6

My DP comes from the Echo Park Hello Winter collection. It was paired with Stampin' Up CS. I added some Wink of Stella Brush Clear, DecoArt Glistening Snow Writer, and die cuts made with Cheery Lynn Christmas Knick Knacks and Memory Box Frosty Border dies. That covers it.

Be sure to check out the fab cards by my talented teammates: Carla, Kathi, and Vannessa. And then play along with us, won't you? We'd love to see your snowy creations.

I have to mention a couple of things. Well, I don't have to, but I am going to. First of all, our Friday Coloring Challenges will go through December, and the prize will be awarded in January. However, this will be our last challenge month. We are discontinuing the Friday Coloring Challenge, and The Outlawz will make room for a new, fun challenge group to take over in the near future. So, stay tuned for that. Don't feel sorry for us, however, as our DT members are all ready for a change of pace. I, for one, am suffering from a bit of burn-out, and need some time to just be me. Whatever that shakes out to be. Could be a bit frightening for those nearest and dearest to me. Snicker...

Secondly, I have to mention that our Cardinals are still on top of the NFC West, and I dearly hope that continues until the playoffs arrive. I cannot fathom this team being eliminated from playoff contention. Stranger things have happened, but I truly believe that we will contend for a chance to go to San Francisco for the Super Bowl in 2016. OMG! The new year is less than a month away! How did that happen? Can someone please 'splain that to me???

Thirdly, which is more than a couple of things, if you were keeping track, Gary got a new toy yesterday. His Christmas present. For several years to come, I might add. We bought a beautiful 2016 Honda Civic Touring car yesterday. It took hours to go through the buying process, as you may have experienced. Poor Donovan was at home, crossing his little legs to keep from peeing in the house. (Was that too much information? Snort.) But we ended up with a fab new vehicle with all the bells and whistles for Gary to play with. My favorite one is the safety-sensing group that will let him know when he is too close to another vehicle. Better the car tells him that than I. Now, I just have to train myself to keep my mouth shut as a passenger. Which will be really difficult to do. (I love being a back-seat driver in the front seat.)  The new car is a gorgeous black and black. Inside and out. Love it. We put almost 100,000 miles on Gary's Fusion that we traded in. I wonder how long it will take him to put that many miles on his new car. Hopefully longer than four years!

And, fourthly, we have much coming up for us. We are going out with our dinner club to breakfast tomorrow to The Henry. Switching it up a bit, but I love eating breakfast out, so I expect this to be a yummy, fun experience. Then, on Sunday, we have a Christmas concert by the Transiberian Orchestra, which is supposed to be wonderful--really looking forward to that. And next week I am going out to lunch on Wednesday with my sister, Merrilyn, who is still feeling badly about her dog, Simon. But she is getting a bit better, I think. It will be good to see her! It's my turn to pick out a restaurant, so I will put my thinking cap on. Oh, wait, I lost the darn thing. Well, hopefully, something will strike my fancy out of the blue. I hope so for Merrilyn's sake. And then, our beloved Cardinals are playing at home on Thursday night. We play the Minnesota Vikings, which just happens to be the team that our daughter cheers for. I hope we throttle them. Oh, dear, did I just say that out loud? Hardeharharhar.

What else? Oh yeah, next Friday we pick up our friend, Vicki, from the airport so we can spend the day/evening with her. Haven't seen her in two years. She is a CFA cat show judge; she'll be in town to judge the cat show in Mesa that weekend. Will take her to the cat show on Saturday and see some old friends at the show. We used to raise Persians and showed them around the USA. Even had a national win with one of our cats. Many moons ago. When I was actually middle-aged. Now my daughter is that age. Oh, I don't even want to think about that.

And that Sunday we go to our granddaughter's birthday brunch/party. She is turning 12 on December 20th. Holy moly, Rocky. The girls are growing up too fast. Would somebody mind asking Superman to slow the rotation of the earth, so time slows down a bit? I'd ask him myself, if I knew how to reach him. 

I think that is enough activity to keep a young person spinning. At my age, I'll probably get dizzy and take a nap. In between making the rest of my Christmas cards. (gulp.)

So there you have it. An update of sorts. Remember, our DT is looking forward to your entries this week.

Have a great weekend! Go Cards!

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring Anything Goes/Christmas Twist Challenge

I wrote this yesterday on Thanksgiving. It was another bittersweet day for me. Sweet, to be sure, because I got to spend quality time with my daughter, SIL, and two granddaughters. We had another delicious turkey dinner at The Deli in Queen Creek. With many wonderful left-overs. Bitter, though, because Gary was sick and couldn't go with us. I did take an entire meal home for him in addition to my own left-over food. And a piece of pumpkin pie, because, after all, what is Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? 

More importantly, it was a truly bittersweet Thanksgiving for my sister, Merrilyn, and BIL, Ron. Their dog, Simon, had been ill with Cushing's disease for a very long time. He had the usual ailments with that disorder--increased thirst and hunger, pot-bellied abdomen, obesity, lack of energy, among others. He did the best he could, and his parents kept him going for as long as possible. However, last Saturday night he developed heart failure, leading to his demise on Tuesday. They tried oxygen and drug treatment to help him, but it didn't work. So, as many of us have experienced, they made the decision to euthanize Simon. It is so hard to make that choice. But there comes a time when the animal is ready. And I can say unequivocally that he was ready to go. I saw him on Monday and I just knew. So, even though Ron and Merrilyn had their children and granddaughter with them for the holiday weekend, (which is such a joy to them), they had to say goodbye to their dear friend and family member first. To add insult to injury, Wednesday was Ron's birthday. OMG. Wish I could express how badly I feel about the whole thing, but words just fail me now. Like Charles Dickens' classic said: "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times...", and I know no other way to describe it. I do know that time does smooth the rough edges of grief, as it will for them. In the meantime, they will miss Simon terribly. I will miss him, too... 

In other news, our sponsor this month is Vera Lane Studio. This is the home for unique and quirky images. I have used mine this week: The Winter Sisters. I chose this image for two reasons. One, I needed to make another Christmas card. And two, there are three sisters in my family. I am thinking I will give this card to my brother for Christmas. He needs to be reminded of his sisters, don't you think? Do go check out all the fun digis in this shop. The prize this month is one digi set. So be sure to play along--just hand-color your image on your project with your choice of medium.

Sorry this is such a short post. But I am having a great deal of difficulty writing anything at all. There is so much in my life to be thankful for, and I am, believe me. But it all seems to take a backseat when your loved ones are in so much pain.

So, on to my card deets. I printed my image on X-Press It BC and colored it with my Copics:

Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair: E51, E53, E37
Clothing: BG70, BG72, BG75, R02, R05, R08, B34, B37, B39

My DP is from the Bo Bunny Elf Magic collection, and it was paired with Stampin' Up CS. My die cuts were made with MFT Fishtail Flags Stax and Cheery Lynn Merry Christmas dies. That wraps it up.

Do stop by our challenge and see the fabulous creations by my talented teammates: Carla, Kathi, and Vannessa. Then please play along--it is an easy challenge this week!

Have a great weekend! Go Cards!

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring Thanks/Thanksgiving Challenge/Jon's Birthday Card

Well, well, well. A very deep subject. To be sure. Or, as said by Tuf, (the main character of George R. R. Martin's Tuf  Voyaging), "Indeed". BTW, I highly recommend this book if you like sci-fi and humor. Because it has both in spades--loved it!

Had a really fabulous meeting and lunch on Monday! Our fearless leader at The Outlawz, Colleen Holmes, was in town for a Copic Bootcamp over the weekend. Before her flight home, she and I got together and had lunch. It was so much fun to meet Colleen after being a part of her DT for such a long time. She is a funny, warm, generous lady, and I look forward to seeing here again in this neck of the woods. As tired as she is of traveling, that will probably be later rather than sooner. Shout-out: do come back and see us Arizonans again next year, Colleen!

In case you are interested, (and even you're not), our Arizona Cardinals went to Seattle last weekend and defeated the Seahawks. We are now 7-2 and lead the 'Hawks and the Rams by 3 games with 7 left to play. We are in a good place right now. Our schedule is difficult the rest of the season, so only time will tell if we remain on top of the NFC West. But I like our chances. We have another Sunday-night game this week, at home, against the Bengals. I intend to scream my fool head off at the game. It isn't just a matter of contributing to crowd noise. Nay, Nay, I say. It is a tension-reliever. Gets rid of my anxiety at the game by screaming as loudly as I can. (With my earplugs in, mind you. I am not a total idiot. Woe be to all the peeps who sit near me.)

So, I am freezing now. I saw a cartoon on FB that showed a guy with icicles on his face, complaining about 60 degrees here in AZ. Hey, that's me! Well, not with the beard and 'stache, but that's certainly the way I feel. I wear socks to bed at night. My hands are so cold I can barely type. I am making many, many mistakes, because I can't feel my fingers. That's my excuse, and I am sticking to it!

Bragging moment: Granddaughter Kelsey won the Most Valuable Cross-Country Runner at her middle school. I am so happy for her! Imagine Angela's daughter winning an athletic award. I am amazed--where did those genes come from? Angela has never been limber enough to bend over and touch the floor, for goodness' sakes. And when she tried to take up running this year, she ended up with stress fractures in her foot. Angela, if you are reading this, I hope you have a sense of humor about it...snicker, snort. With a mom like me...yeah, I am that supportive. Geesh.

Okey dokey, Smokey. Time for a word from our sponsor. For November we have a really fun one, Vera Lane Studio. She sponsored us last year with her darling images. She is offering a digi set for the prize this month. Do check out her Etsy shop for her unique digi sets.

I will be using my sponsor's image next week, so stay tuned for that. This week I needed to make a birthday card for our SIL, Jon. I cheated a bit on the theme--so sue me. I found a sentiment that should make Jon chuckle, I hope. And it actually says "thanks". It works with the Mayzy Art image, Texting Teen, that I used this week. Fortunately, Jon is not a teen--that would be really weird on so many levels. But, he does text. And tweet So the image fits him to a "t".

I printed the image on X-Press It BC, and colored it with my Copics:

Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair: E51, E53, E57
Jeans: B32, B34, B37
Shirt: BG70, BG72, BG75, C2, C4, C6, B32, B34
Shoes: C4, C6, C8, BG70, BG72, BG75, B32, B34, B37
Phone: BG70, BG72, BG75

My DP is from the Carta Bella Wildflower collection. It was paired with Stampin' Up CS. And that's it. Jon has been a graphic designer, so simplicity seems to work best for his card. He is turning 49 tomorrow. His last year in his 40's. OMG. Next year my SIL will be in his 50's. (help)

I hope you all check the fabulous creations by my talented teammates: Carla, Kathi, and Vannessa. Then hand-color your image with your choice of medium on your project and play along with us. 

Have a really wonderful weekend! Go Cards!

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Friday Coloring 'Color/Photo Inspiration' Challenge

We have another color/photo inspiration challenge for you this week. And our palette is a really pretty one for autumn/Thanksgiving, so you could take advantage of that for this month's holiday cards. I have used an image for my card that I have had for many months. It is not an image by our monthly sponsor, but I will use that image at the end of the month. Speaking of which:

Our November sponsor is a really fun one. Vera Lane Studio. She sponsored us last year with her darling images. She is offering a digi set for the prize this month. Do check out her Etsy shop for her digi sets. 

OK, my image this month is Aurora Wings Tempest of Ice. I printed it on X-Press It BC, as usual, and colored it with my Copics and Twin Touch Brush markers:
Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair: E21, E23, E27
Wolves: E42, E44, E47, E49, E02, E08, E09
Clothing: E02, E08, E09, TTYR133, TTYR33, TTYR24, G40, G43, G46

I used DP from the Basic Grey Life of the Party collection and paired it with Stampin' Up CS. I also chose to add some die cuts to the scene, which were made with Lawn Fawn Spring Showers dies. That's about it.

This is quite short for me. Many of you will cheer. Some of you may be bummed. I apologize to those of you who expected something funny today. I am not depressed, but so thoroughly invested in reading right now, that I am not taking the time for writing. Perhaps next week. 

In the meantime, please check out the fab creations by my talented teammates: Carla, Kathi, and Vannessa! Then hand-color up an image, using our palette, and play along with us!

Have a great weekend! And, go Cards!