Friday, August 28, 2015

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

Well, I am finally feeling like my old self. And that's a problem. Wish I was feeling like my young self again. But beggars can't be choosers. So I will settle for no longer coughing my guts out and using boxes upon boxes of Kleenex. I will probably be ready to go for a swim again sometime next week. That would feel good. Summer colds are the most miserable for me. It's just the wrong time of the year for it, KWIM?

It is time for a new challenge at The Friday Outlawz Coloring group. And we have a favorite of mine--the Anything Goes/Christmas Twist challenge. I like this because I can use it for a needed birthday card that doesn't fit into our other challenge themes. Or I can make a Christmas card like I did this week for my holiday stash.

We are still sponsored by Sweet Pea Stamps this week. Our monthly drawing will result in a lucky winner getting the choice of 3 digis from this fab shop. Hope you have joined in the fun with us already, and will again this week!

I have chosen Sweet Pea Stamps Christmas Bird by Elaine Cox for my image this week. I printed it on X-Press It BC and colored it with my Copics:
Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair: E50, YR31, YR24
Dress/Wings: V12, V15, V17
Leaves/Trees: G00, BG32, BG34
Eyes/Bird/Snowflakes: BG70, BG72, BG75

My color palette was taken from my DP, which came from the Bo Bunny Altitude collection. The paper was paired with Stampin' Up CS. I also used a Spellbinders Grand Circles die and my Zutter for this card.

I know I am keeping this short and simple. I want to get to some blogs to do some commenting again. It will be good to see your creations! 

Please check out the fab cards by my talented teammates: Carla, Kathi, Vannessa, and Karen. And then join us, won't you? All you need to do is hand-color an image for your creation, using your choice of medium. Looking forward to your entries...

Have a wonderful weekend! Stay healthy!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring 'Color/Photo Inspiration' Challenge

Hi, this is going to be super-brief. I have been ill all week with a nasty cold, but am much better today. I am well enough so that I could color my image for the week finally. I am just going to give you the details. And I want to apologize for missing your blog posts this week. I will be back commenting soon and will have more next week hopefully...

Our challenge this week comes from this photo:

Our sponsor this month is Sweet Pea Stamps. Our lucky monthly winner get his/her choice of 3 digis. So get your entries in, OK? You will love choosing from all the fab images by the talented artists in the store.

I chose Sweet Pea Stamps Face 1 by Karen Middleton. I love this image. I printed her on X-Press It BC with my Copics and Twin Touch Brush markers:
Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair: YR20, YR21, YR02, E07
Eyes: TTB66, TTB67, W00, W1

That is it for this edition. Please check out the inspiration by my talented teammates and then play along with us...

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring "At the Beach" Challenge

At the beach. I wish...

Friends of ours just got back from 10 days on Maui. I was living vicariously through them as they posted their vacation photos on Facebook. I could almost smell the sea. And feel the ocean breezes and the humidity.

Speaking of humidity, it's really, really high in the desert right now. We have had the most horrific storms this week. Thunder, lightning, lots of rain, and wind. So much wind. We saw uprooted trees and broken branches everywhere we looked the last couple of days. So sad. I hate seeing trees die like that. I read on FB that one of our friends went to the Chandler airport Wednesday to check on his private plane. Fortunately for him, it wasn't one of the 20+ private planes that flipped over. Nature can be so unnerving, can't it?

Now where was I? Oh, yeah, wishing I was at the beach. Not that I don't love my backyard with our pool and all. I do. We even had a pool party for our dinner club/fantasy football friends on Saturday. Miraculously, that day was sandwiched between storms, so we had a really pleasant day. Peeps brought pot-luck, Gary fixed yummy burgers, and we all got in/near the pool at some point in time. They said our yard looked like a resort. That was really nice to hear, as we have put so much effort into creating that atmosphere...

But, I would fly to Hawaii at the drop of a hat. Well, except for the days that we have Cardinals' games, of course. Cannot miss my football, doncha know. Speaking of that--which I was not, but now I am--we went to a practice session on Monday at the stadium. That was actually really interesting--watching the various drills that each position group does. And then to see them put it all together to pit the offense against the defense. Really enjoyed that. Might even do it again before the full season starts. We have a preseason game tomorrow night to attend. And I am so looking forward to that, even though it is just preseason. Gives us a chance to see what all our new players are capable of when competing against another team. We have Kansas City coming in this week.

On a culinary note: we had lunch with Merrilyn and Ron before we went to the football practice. Wish there was a Mika's near us. Had a fabulous spicy gyro/salad combination. Oh, yum! And then Gary took me to a cheesesteak restaurant, Forefathers, on Thursday. He used to go to this one when he worked near the place. Not impressed. At all. I had a chicken cheesesteak, which was chunks of chicken. Whaaaat? It should be shredded, like the beef used in regular cheesesteaks. And it had no flavor. Tasteless, even with onions, peppers, and mushrooms on it. Soooo disappointed. We have a much better place, Philly's Famous, which is closer to us, to get cheesesteaks. Fantastic flavor, even with the chicken ones. Love it! Last foodie mention: my friend, Ellie, and I are having lunch together today. So we can celebrate her birthday, which was the 6th. We don't see each other often enough since we moved away from Trilogy--it will be good to catch up again this month.

Totally off the point, but I just watched a little lizard running up and down my block fence. I love lizards. But inquiring minds want to know--how in the heck do they run so fast on such short, little legs???

Did I mention that this month's sponsor is Sweet Pea Stamps? I didn't? Well, I am now. And our lucky monthly winner will get his/her choice of 3 digis. You will love shopping for those--it will take a while, as there are many talented artists showcasing gobs of fabulous images! I am envious...

I used Sweet Pea Stamps Wind Swept, by Rebecca Sinz, for my beachy, (is there such a word?), image this week. I printed it on X-Press It BC, and colored it with my Copics and Twin Touch Brush markers:

Skin:  E000, E01, E11
Hair: N6, N8, N10
Wrap: N0, N2
Tail: BG000, BG53, BG57
Water: BG000, BG53
Sky: BG0000, BG000
Sand: YR30, YR31, Y26, E42, E47, TTBG3
Island: TTBG3, TTBG5, TTBG7, TTBG9

I chose DP from the Graphic 45 By the Sea collection and paired it with Stampin' Up CS. I added die cuts made with Lawn Fawn Spring Showers, Cheery Lynn Lighthouse, and Marianne Designs Sea Side dies. Voila! Fini!

Do stop by our challenge and check out the fabulous inspiration by my talented teammates: Carla, Kathi, Vannessa, and Karen! And then, hand-color an image for your project, using any medium you wish, and play along with us this week, won't you? We'd love to see what you create...

And have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring Kids/Family Challenge

A shout-out to my mom, who passed away on May 7, 2005. Happy Birthday, Mom! (She would have been 98 today if she was still alive.)

Our "Kids/Family" Challenge is this week. This is to acknowledge Son and Daughter Day, which is August 11th. I did not do a traditional "daughter card", as you will see. But I used a young girl image to make another Christmas card, which could be given to a young person. A young female person, to be sure. Like, possibly my one of my granddaughters. See how I work? Mmmhmm...

We had another fun surprise yesterday. American Express sent an email saying that someone tried to use Gary's card to charge $919.47 to the Apple Web store. Well, it certainly wasn't one of us. Fortunately, AmEx declined the charge. Which is good. However, you know the drill. Gary has to get a new charge card. Again. We went through this with American Express twice before--once with Gary's card and once with mine. I am not sure if it is because we use our AmEx cards so much, or if it is because AmEx is more likely to be compromised. Thoughts???

Last weekend was Arizona Breakfast Weekend for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We took advantage of the special pricing by a couple of the restaurants and went for breakfast/brunch on Thursday and Sunday. We tried NCounter in downtown Tempe on Thursday. If you live in the Valley of the Sun, and haven't been there, I highly recommend it! We each loved our dishes, which were completely different. I had the Crack O' Dawn, which was a combo of ham, mushrooms, onions, grilled potatoes, and melted cheese. It came with toast, which I didn't eat, as the special pricing included a breakfast pastry--and, of course, I chose a cinnamon roll--which was scrumptious. Also included was a medium latte, which was really delish. Gary had the Killer breakfast sandwich, which he loved as well. It had bacon, Gorgonzola, fresh thyme, tomato, and almost hard fried eggs. It was the first time he had been to NCounter, but he wants to go back. So that was a successful visit.

Then, on Sunday, we returned to Barrio Urbano. This was our third visit. And breakfast was only $7, and included a Mimosa. (Which I really don't care for much, but finished mine anyway. Hey, it was included! Snicker.) Anyway, we had the Torrejas, which is basically Mexican French toast. And that sounds incredibly stupid. Like the restaurant we had in Whitefish, Montana in the 50's, called Frenchy's Chinese Gardens. But I digress. The Torrejas was made with bolillo, which is yummy Mexican bread. It was served with butter, piloncillo syrup--so thick and sweet, yum!--and jalapeno cured bacon. Although, if that bacon had even a hint of jalapeno in it, I'll be a monkey's uncle. It was really good bacon, but I think it was their "gringo bacon". They added powdered sugar at the end of cooking, and my platter could have used less sugar sprinkled on the bacon. That was my only complaint--otherwise, it was another wonderful meal at Barrio Urbano. FYI, when we arrived they asked if we had reservations. And that was at 8 a.m.! Shocking. I guess they do a huge breakfast business, especially on that weekend. So we will know for next time. (And there has to be a next time, so I can go back for their out-of-this-world chilaquiles!)

My sister, Merrilyn, and I went to Hummus Express for lunch on Wednesday. Just the two of us. We hadn't gotten together without our hubbies for a long time, and decided we needed a girls' lunch out. And it was really yummy. Had the $7.95 bowl special. Mine contained rice, falafel, several grilled veggies, tabouli, and hummus, served with a wheat pita. So we had great food and a fun conversation. Donovan got to go to Merrilyn's house for a play-date with her dog, Simon. Which is kind of a laugh, as neither dog really plays much anymore...

I think that catches you up gastronomically. In other news: well, football season is almost upon us. I am anxiously awaiting the first game. In the meantime, we are meeting our football seat-buddies for a preseason practice on Monday. I never would have imagined I would be doing something like that when I was younger. But, when you are retired, you can do all sorts of things for the first time. Like bungee-jumping or skydiving. (Oh, just kidding. I am weird, but I am not crazy.) And I am still reading. Quite a bit, actually. Both non-fiction and fiction. Right now, I am in the middle of a trilogy, called Daughter of Time. It's a pretty good read, if you like sci-fi.

Okey dokey, time for the card deets. We are sponsored again this month by Sweet Pea Stamps. YAY! One of my favorite digi stores, evah! So many great artists. So many fab images. And our winner gets to choose 3 of them this month. Do get your entries in! Just make sure you hand-color your image, with any medium you wish, for your project.

This week I chose Sweet Pea Stamps Home for the Holidays, by Katerina Koukiotis. (I seem to use a lot of her images lately.) I colored this sweetie with Copics and Twin Touch Brush markers after printing her on X-Press It BC.
Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair: E43, E44, E47, E49
Wood: W3, W4, W5, W6
Tree: G21, G24, G28
Lantern: W00, W0, W1, W2
Candlelight: YR21, YR24, YR27, E08
Cape: E08, E09, TTBR94
Sweater: B34, B37, B39

My colors were taken from the DP I chose--Docrafts Christmas in the Country Collection. I paired this DP with Stampin' Up CS. I added a die-cut bow using the Cheery Lynn Ornamental Wreath Bow die. I finished the image by using Pearl Pen Ice White for the snowflakes. 

That's it for this week. Please check out the inspiration by my talented teammates: Carla, Kathi, Vannessa, and Karen. And please send Karen some good energy, as she broke her ankle this past week. (At least she has more reason to sit and color now!) We all look forward to you playing along with us again this week!

Have a great weekend! 

Friday, July 31, 2015

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

Cannot believe another week has just flown by. It's not like I have been so busy either. It's just that the world has started spinning faster on its axis. Right? Anyway, we have a new challenge for you again today. And it is our end-of-the-month one, in which you can all participate. Anything Goes. Including using this opportunity to make a Christmas card. Which I did this month.

Speaking of the end of this month, I need to mention that our sponsor is the inimitable Sweet Pea Stamps, home to fabulous artists, who create wonderful digis! And our winner this month will receive a choice of 3 digis--which will be difficult to narrow down, if I am an example! (I can spend hours in that web-store, literally!)

I am in a bit of a reflective mood, so I will just go on to my card details. Perhaps next week my sense of humor, (or lack thereof), will return in full force.

I chose Sweet Pea Stamps Behold the Lamb, by Katerina Koukiotis for my card this week. I love this image--it is so sweet! I printed it on X-Press It BC and colored it with my Copics:

Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair: E21, E25, E29
Lamb: T0, T2, T4
Shawl: RV93, RV95, RV99
Jacket: BG70, BG72, BG75

I used Bo Bunny Altitude DP and paired it with Stampin' Up CS. I added some die cuts using Memory Box Star of Wonder dies. And that's it. I hope you play along with us this week, and have the chance to win the digis! Be sure to check out my talented teammates' inspirations; Carla, Kathi, Vannessa, and Karen have created some wonderful pieces! 

Have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring "Dance" Challenge

Yes, we are paying homage to National Dance Day, (July 25th), this week. I am a dancer from way back. Well, of course, I would have to be if I danced in the 50's. Which I did. As a wee child. And as a pre-teen, which is a very strange, hormonal mess. Anyway, I had older sisters, Barbara and Merrilyn, to teach me to dance. Not that I can really remember that they did. But they did let me know about a lot of "other" things, so I would expect dance must have entered into that somehow. To watch dancing, I tuned into American Bandstand--I wanted to be on that show so badly. I had a really big crush on what's-his-name. You know, the really cute blonde guy. Gee whiz, wish I could remember his name without looking it up on the internet. But I can't. Sigh...

OK, I looked him up. Bob Clayton. Really thought he was the "ultimate" boy. Until I didn't. Yeah, girls can be so fickle. Good thing I lived too far away from that show. I would have broken Justine's heart by luring Bob away from her. And then I would have broken Bob's heart when I found somebody else. Yeah, dream on, Grandma!

Anyway, back to the theme: Dance. You can use any image you wish to hand-color, with your choice of medium, for your project. But it must relate to dance somehow. For inspiration, look at the fabulous creations by my talented teammates: Carla, Kathi, Vannessa, and Karen. Love what they did this week! Not dance, dance cards, mind you. Cards related to dance. Just so that is perfectly clear. As mud, I am sure. Anyway, we really hope you will join in the fun, and play along with us again in this challenge!

Our sponsor this month is still Sweet Pea Stamps, thank goodness! It would have been a travesty to have changed sponsors before someone won the 3-digi prize that Lynette is offering our monthly winner. Who is randomly selected, btw. The lucky winner will get to select those 3 digital images from bazillions of fabulous ones that are carried by the SPS store! I have mentioned, though, that you will be spending a LOT of time picking those images, as there are so many wonderful ones drawn by a host of talented artists! It is hard to pick just three. Not that I would know, of course...

Gary and I went to a vacation club presentation yesterday. (Well, actually it was today, but this doesn't come out until tomorrow, at which time it will be today, and today-today will be yesterday. Raise your hand if you can follow this convoluted logic. Good for you. Sorry there is no reward for that.) I didn't want to go, but they were giving away two airline tickets and a two-nights stay at a Marriott if you went through the presentation, whether or not you bought anything. Well, good for us for not buying into their "club", which is a rip-off, if truth be told. I hope Gary doesn't talk me into any more of these things. The whole point of telling you this is to bore you silly. Which I am sure it did. It bored me writing about it. Yawn...

Actually, I told you that so I could mention our lunch stop at Richardson's in Phoenix before the presentation. To try another Mexican restaurant. And to meet John and Carol for lunch. They were not there ahead of us, which was significant. Because they are almost always the first to arrive anywhere. For them to not be there before us gave us a real clue. Yes, they had forgotten us. Tell me, are we that easily forgotten? Don't answer that. I chalk it up to older age. (Notice I didn't say old age. Because we are the same age as they are.)

Anyway, the place is gorgeous inside. Really comfy, too, with pillows for your back in the booths. As a shortish person, (vertically challenged), I appreciate the nod to my comfort in a big booth! We both had wonderful Margaritas for lunch: mine was a Cadillac and Gary's was Almond. But, we didn't just drink our lunch. Guess that's what it sounded like at first, huh? There were chips with chili con queso, which had spinach and chorizo--yummy! Then we both had a late breakfast, or a brunch--take your pick. I had Carne Adovada Benedict, which I highly recommend! The country potatoes were good, not great, but the beans were beautifully seasoned and the pork underneath my perfectly-cooked eggs was scrumptious. Tender, juicy, spicy, and very flavorful. Try it if you happen to be in the neighborhood! Silly me forgot to take pictures again. I blame the Margarita...

Okey dokey, on to today's card. I chose Sweet Pea Stamps Ballet de Papillon by Katerina Koukiotis, which I think is a beautiful image. So, so sweet, too, don't you think? I printed her on X-Press It BC and colored her with my Copics:
Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair: C5, C7, C9
Shoes/Leotard: BG70, BG72
Tutu: RV00, RV52, RV55
Tights: RV00, RV52

My palette came from my DP--part of the SEI Sunny Day collection. I paired the DP with Stampin' Up CS. Then I added a bit of Clear Wink of Stella to the tiara, but you can't really tell in the photo. I also used some Frantage Chunky White and Stampin' Up ink on the bg. I added a few die cuts made with Cheery Lynn Mini Butterfly and Stampin' Up Sizzix Embosslits Beautiful Wings dies. And finished it with a Copic-dyed bow. Guess that about does it for me. 

Do play along, won't you? And stay tuned for more Mexican restaurant visits. We have sooo many good ones in the Valley of the Sun!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring "Color/Photo Inspiration" Challenge

We have another color/photo inspiration for you this week. It is similar to the challenge that we had the first week of the month--red, white, and blue--but we hope you will find it a fun challenge as well. And we are sponsored this month by the fabulous Sweet Pea Stamps! So many digis to choose from, so little time. Snicker. But, seriously, do play along with us this month so that you have the chance to win the prize--3 digis of your choice from among all the fabulous artists in this store!

Before I go ahead with my card deets, I want to mention that we had such a nice weekend. We were treated to lunch at the Persian Garden Cafe on Friday by my sister and her hubby. (It was another birthday celebration, doncha know!) The food was really good. I had the Purple Shoots, which was a combo of eggplant and asparagus--totally wonderful! But, after thinking about it, Gary and I decided that Hummus Express was even better--another restaurant that Merrilyn and Ron have taken us to. And Hummus Express is much closer, so we will probably go there for Middle Eastern or Mediterranean food treats in the future. 

Then, our daughter, Angela, came over Saturday afternoon to spend the night with us. (We were having her daughter's birthday party here on Sunday.) The three of us went to dinner at The Bistro and had some really delicious food. Gary had his favorite panini, Angela had a flatbread pizza, and I had a marvelous shrimp salad. And a fabulous Cappuccino for dessert! Yum, yum, yum.  We watched the movie "Gone Girl" together afterward. What a crazy movie--full of twists and turns, but I did figure it out before all was revealed. Glad I hadn't read the book first, or it would have spoiled the suspense for me.

On Sunday we had the family over for our granddaughter's 13th birthday party. Kelsey seemed pretty happy with her party, food, (Gary made great burgers!), and gifts. And most everyone got in the pool and had a nice swim. Our yard looked so pretty with all the furniture out and the umbrellas up. A veritable turquoise paradise! We will have to have another party here before the summer is out. It was really fun...

I also want to mention the fabulous book I am currently reading. I have been devouring novel after novel on my tablet. But I actually bought a "real" book with a Mother's Day gift and started it this week. It is One Mind, by Larry Dossey, M.D. I am finding it a fascinating read, even though there are a few parts that are a wee bit hard to understand. (I am not a physicist, for sure!) Lots of intriguing chapters...

We are going to Kona Grill to spend my last birthday gift certificate today. Not sure what I will eat, but I am sure it will be pretty good. I have always enjoyed my meals there, even though it is a chain restaurant. (They do not make good Mai Tais, however! But there is a good wine list, fortunately.)

Okey dokey, time to 'splain my card, Lucy. First of all, here is our color/photo inspiration:

I found a fairly good match with my DP, from the Carta Bella It's a Celebration collection. I paired this with Stampin' Up CS. I added a couple of die cuts made with the Memory Box Star of Wonder dies. And that's about it, except for the wonderful image, (Sweet Pea Stamps Snowflake Fairy, by Charmaine Flannery), which was printed on X-Press It BC and colored with Copics and Twin Touch Brush markers:

Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair: YR02, E07, E09, E29
Dress: TTBG5, TTBG7, TTBG9

I certainly hope you will stop by our challenge to see the fabulous inspiration by my very talented teammates: Carla, Kathi, Vannessa, and Karen. Then please play along with us--all you have to do is hand-color an image with the medium of your choice for your project. Remember our monthly prize is the choice of 3 Sweet Pea Stamps digis! Lucky for one of you! So do enter this week. Looking forward to seeing your creations!

Have a wonderful weekend!