Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gina's Birthday

Today is the birthday of a friend, Gina, who thinks like I do in many ways. That's actually pretty scary for both of us! For several years we went to various events that expanded our thought processes. We took several seminars together. It was very entertaining, and we did learn a lot about ourselves. Gina went on to attend the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, while working full-time outside her home and part-time in her own business. I went on to scrap booking and card making, while being retired. What's wrong with this picture?

I would say that Gina is quite the over-achiever! She moved to Arizona by herself at the tender age of seventeen. She put herself through college. She owns her home. She is uber-responsible and very independent, but sweet and kind as well. She has done some of my bucket-list-but-will-never-do items: she has swum with dolphins in Hawaii, she is certified for scuba-diving, and she has been zip-lining. In short, she does things that I am too chicken to attempt. I admire Gina for her zest for life and her innate ability to just "go for it". The girl has got "guts".

Today I want to wish Gina a very, very Happy Birthday! I hope Robert takes her out for a lovely dinner! And I hope she enjoys the Dancing Queen card I gave to her; it seems to fit her personality to a "t".  :^)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blog award, etc.

I am the lucky recipient of a sweet award from Dawn today. Thank you, Dawn, for thinking of me for this! :^)

"Liebster" in German means "dearest" and the idea of the Liebster Blog Award is to spread the love from one small blog (under 200 followers) to other small blogs, which helps to spread knowledge and readership.

To accept the award, you must:
1) Link back to the person who gave it and thank them for thinking of you.
2) Post the award to your blog.
3) Give the award to 5 bloggers (with less than 200 followers) that you appreciate and value.
4) Leave a comment on the blogs of the five people you have chosen to let them know.
I did find more than five that I admire and wanted to include on this list. In the end, I basically tossed a virtual coin, (yeah, I just made that up), and below are the blogs I am sending an award to, in no particular order.


So glad to send these awards. These ladies are really talented! :^)

On another topic, our dinner club went to brunch today. To Cork Restaurant in Chandler. Yum! That pretty well sizes it up. But I did have to mention that they serve bottomless Mimosas and Belinnis at their brunches. Yeah, but, my glass apparently had a bottom. A very firm bottom. I had one very small Mimosa. What the heck? How dare they? LOL! Guess I must have looked like a one-drink granny. Oh, well, it was a lovely meal to share with friends. And I guess that was the whole point, right?

Hope everyone everywhere has a wonderful week! And I may even get a card done that I can post at some point. (But please don't hold your breath.)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dancing Queen

Just found out tonight that my Valentine for Gary was featured on the Outlawz for this week. Wow! What an honor! Goes to show that you just never know, huh? :^) Now, if I can just figure out how to get the badge for my blog! I am so technologically-challenged!

Last night Gary and I went to the Deli for dinner. Big shock, I know. (Insert Craig Ferguson's shocked expression here.) We had a delicious fish dinner and custard dessert. We shared. The dessert. Not the dinner. It was all wonderful. But the best part of the evening was when the bartender, Barry, (better known as "Poppy"), got out his accordian and started playing and singing. He's from New Jersey, of Polish extraction, and used to play at home while his kids were growing up. His daughter said they would dance around the house to the polka music Poppy played. I thought that was so cool. And he is pretty good at singing and playing his accordian.

The entertainment did bring up memories of my dad, who had a beautiful voice and played a mean trombone. He often sounded like Bing Crosby when he sang. And he played music by ear. I never could do that, darn it! But I remember enjoying it when Dad got his trombone out to play some new song that he had heard on the radio. One song in particular, that I remember, was "Stranger on the Shore". Gosh, that was a beautiful song then! Of course, Dad could light it up with jazzy tunes, too! Like "When the Saints Go Marching In", for instance. Fun days, those. (Insert big sigh here.)

Anyway, back to the Dancing Queen. By Abba. (I am dating myself, I know!) The challenge this week for the Outlawz Copic Group was to create something inspired by a movie, song, or book. And I just happened to have the cute Magnolia stamp "Dancing Queen Tilda". So, I figured I could create a card using her for the "Dancing Queen" song by Abba. Make sense? Well, it did to me at the time. LOL!

Outlawz Copic/Promarker Challenge

I stamped Tilda on Cryogen CS with Memento ink. I used Stampin' Up CS for the card and die cuts. The patterned paper is from Authentique's Blissful collection. Flowers are by Prima, with one die cut from a Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die. The brad is from Stampin' Up. I used oval and oval-scallop dies from Spellbinders. The flourishes were made using Spellbinders Floral Flourishes dies. The paper doll border was cut from a die by MFT. I used a Signo Uniball white gel pen to accent Tilda.

The copic markers used were:  W1, W3, W5, Y11, Y13, Y15, E0000, E000, E00, E11, E13, E50, E53, E57.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! I know I am. I get to go out to lunch with my siblings tomorrow. We are meeting our cousin and her hubby at a great little luncheon spot in Scottsdale. Our cousin in just in from Wisconsin, getting some R & R from the cold! Of course, to us in the Valley of the Sun, it has been just a bit wintery for our tastes. :^) It's all in what you get used to, I guess. Have a great tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My funny little Valentine

Just have to say that I had a wonderful Valentine's Day. Gary gave me a beautiful card with a lovely sentiment last night, along with yellow roses and Adele's CD. Then today he sent me Paul McCartney's song, "Valentine", which we heard on the Grammys. And tonight he took me to the Deli for a delicious three-course dinner. What a guy, huh? I'm pretty lucky, and don't I know it! :^) Oh, and he also bought one long-stemmed rose for each female server at the restaurant. Wasn't that sweet? Honestly, he is getting more generous with each passing year. 

He and I are both really looking forward to our trip to Maui in April. And I must, I repeat, I must, see a whale or two. Please, dear Universe, send me a whale in Maui. It's on my bucket list. And I may not have that many more opportunities to see whales. After all, I do live in the desert. Last time I checked, whales don't visit the desert often. If at all. Of course, there's always a first time for everything. I would imagine that when the ginormous earthquake hits California, and Arizona becomes beach-front property, there is a chance that whales will be seen near the desert coastline. Oh, sorry, Californians, guess that wasn't very nice to say. It probably won't happen for eons anyway. So don't sweat it. OK?

I am trying to find some images to use for next month on the Outlawz challenges. I have one picked out for the first week, so hopefully the next one will come to me easily after I get the first card done! Okey dokey, then. (We can only hope.)

May you all have a magnificent rest of the week! And I hope each of you had as lovely a Valentine's Day as I did!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Gary's Valentine

Well, I finally finished Gary's Valentine. Fortunately, I finished it before Valentine's Day! Who would've thunk? Hey? Not me, that's for sure! I figured I wouldn't get much time to work on it over the weekend, since we were having the granddaughters for a night. But, Gary took charge of them for me, and let me retire to my craft room to create his card. (I wonder if that wasn't entirely altruistic on his part!)

I have also finished the second of the Silver Trilogy books. I feel drained. It is a mesmerizing, but totally uncomfortable series. I repeat, read at your own risk. I do not recommend it. I hope to have the third book finished this week so I can rest and recuperate. R & R. Like Gary had from Viet Nam. I wonder if they still do that for the soldiers? Like in the Middle East--a brief 5-day respite from the war. And where do they go? To China? Russia? Hmmmm....in our days it was Thailand, or, as in Gary's case,  Hawaii. Yeah, I could use a trip to Hawaii right after I finish this series. Too bad I have to wait until April. Oh, yeah, I'm sure you're thinking, wah, poor baby. Aren't you? LOL. Probably not.

I will be starting Gary's birthday card early. I have five cards to create for the Outlawz Copic/Promarker Challenge group as their March guest designer. I figured I might as well make use of the cards for the family-member birthdays I have during that month. Unfortunately, I won't be able to show them on my blog until the dates that they are posted to the Challenge, (which are March 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30). So, I may be blogging less, or blogging without cards; I haven't decided yet. At least I know I will have five cards to show you during the month of March! :^) Hopefully, they will all be Challenge-worthy. (I am really thrilled, but also nervous, about being a guest designer.)

The image I chose for Gary's Valentine is Magnolia's Tilda with Cozy Heart. I think she is so sweet! I picked a Magnolia sentiment that I think fits perfectly with this Tilda. Patterned paper, from the Paper Heart Collection by Crate Paper, was distressed (using my Zutter Distrezz-it-All), and inked with Stampin' Up ink. I used Stampin' Up CS for the card and the die cuts. Speaking of die cuts, I used a doily die by Cheery Lynn; a key, heart border, and lacy heart dies by Memory Box; and classic hearts dies by Spellbinders. I applied Star Dust Stickles to the key, the hearts, and Tilda's hair ribbons and shoe laces. Rather generously, I guess, but I like the effect for a Valentine. I accented Tilda with a Signo Uniball white gel pen.The largest heart has been colored with Copics and then treated with drops of Copic blender solution. A shout-out to Dawn of the Outlawz for this color-blocking technique! 

Tilda was colored with Copics as well. The colors used on the card: YR21, E0000, E000, E00, E11, E13, E15, E18, E70, R0000, R00, R11, R20, R22, R24, R29, R30, R32, R37, R46.

I am entering this card into one challenge: 

Outlawz Copic/Promarker challenge with a twist

Hope everyone everywhere has a fabulous Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

GRRRRanddaughters' Valentines

Can you tell, from the title, that I had a bit of a problem with these cards? Actually, 'bit of a problem' is a 'bit' of an understatement. BTW, they are identical; well, as identical as they can be, when they are not mass-produced.
Ahem. It has taken me three days to make two cards. Really. I am not sure why I have been so conflicted on the design for them. I tried so many combinations that I was sick of it. Sick of it. Then I  just completely reversed direction on what I was trying to accomplish and came up with what you see below. Not truly happy with this design, either; but, what you see is what you get. I hope the girls are happy with them.

I am wondering if my creativity is on hiatus right now due to my reading material. Yes, I am still reading--like a fiend. Somebody help me. And the series I am now reading is sooooo dark, it is unreal. It is science-fiction at its best or its worst. I haven't yet decided. But I am not recommending this series to anyone. I will say that Paul Hughes is a sick puppy, but a brilliant one. And his Silver Trilogy is definitely an illness. But brilliant in the most inhumane way. Arrrrrgh. Don't read it. Unless you want to have weird dreams and difficulty focusing on anything else.

So I am now putting the finishing touches on these cards. I will only show one, because they are basically the same. And, as soon as I am done, I will be back to let you know what went into this design, besides my sanity.

OK, I'm back. This is several hours later, though you wouldn't know that, would you. :^)  I was almost ready to load my photo and finish this up when I discovered something else not quite right with the design. So I redid a portion, and I hope this finally will be done. Please. Be done.

I used Magnolia's Wild Tilda image and sentiment. I stamped them with Memento ink and used Cryogen CS, as well as Stampin' Up CS for the card. The DSP is My Mind's Eye Love Me. I used several dies again (what a surprise). The small oval and the musical pieces are by MFT. The large oval is by Cheery Lynn. The small heart border is by Memory Box. The heart is by Spellbinders. I used Stampin' Up ribbon. Flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts and Prima. I accented the image with a Signo Uniball white gel pen. I decided against adding any bling. Who knows why; only the Shadow knows. The image was colored with the following Copics: R81, R83, R85, YR20, E0000, E000, E00, E11, E13, E31, EE35, E40, E41, E42.

I am planning to enter a few challenges. If I remember to upload this to all of them. You know how that goes with me. Bwaaahahahaha!


So now on to Gary's Valentine. Gosh, at the rate I am going it may be a miracle if I get it finished before Tuesday. Nawwww, just kidding. I have plenty of time. Um, come to think of it, he is home on Saturday and Sunday. And we do get the girls overnight Saturday. Uh-oh. Help. I really am running out of time. Keep the faith for me, somebody.

And, everyone everywhere, have a terrific weekend! (And don't read the Silver Trilogy. By Paul Hughes. You have been warned!)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Angela's Birthday Card

This is going to seem strange, but I didn't post this yesterday when I actually wrote it. I had to take a photo of the card, and I waited until today to do so. Does that make sense? Didn't think so. Sorry about that. So, this was yesterday's post today.   :^)

Oh, gosh, I am really out of it today. I stayed up until 4:15 a.m. working on Angela's birthday card. And it is not done yet. At some point, before midnight, I decided I didn't really like the color of the little girl's shirt. So I tried to lighten it up and made an ungodly mess out of it. You ever do that? I was so ticked off at myself. So I tore it up. Into little pieces. Yeah, just like that. And then I picked myself up, brushed myself off, and started all over again. By the time I was done coloring and messing with different elements for the card, it was 4:15. Imagine my surprise! I had no idea. I wasn't even yawning.

So forgive me if I make no sense on this blog. I feel like I am running in reverse. Oh, and I have a small confession to make. I didn't list all of my "ingredients" for my sister's birthday card. I neglected to mention one. You see, I used Glossy Accents on one item, and waited for it to dry before mounting the image. And when I went back to check on it, I noticed that it hadn't dried evenly. It had pulled away from the edges and pitted a bit. Crap. So I added another layer of Glossy Accents and waited again for it to dry. OK, so it was a little better, but still not the usual results. What the heck? I reached for the Glossy Accents bottle again, and realized that it was actually a bottle of glue. Duh. What? Oh, good grief. Giggle. No wonder it wasn't working like usual. Slap to the head. Giggle some more. And then actually use the Glossy Accents for the right effect. Giggle again. I checked it later, and was very relieved that it looked much, much better. Wink.

Have you ever done that? Used the wrong item and gotten the wrong result? I did--many, many years ago. (So this is not, I repeat, not, due to old age.) This happened in the early1960's when I was in grade school in Whitefish, Montana. Lovely town then. It might be now, too, but I haven't been back since 1964. Anyway, our water in Whitefish was extremely hard. Like a brick. Well, not really. But it was hard enough that we had to add softeners to it. And so I did before every bath I took. (We didn't have a shower in those days. But the tub was porcelain, not tin. I'm not that old)! So one night I got into the tub, and I sat down. On grit. Yew. Yucky. And after sitting in the grit, I realized that all the moisture was being sucked right out of my skin. What the heck? OMG! I had used Ajax cleaner instead of Calgon water softener! No wonder the bottom of the tub was gritty. And my skin looked like someone had used sand paper on it! Yeah, see?  I did it when I was just a kid. Chalk it up to carelessness, not Alzheimer's. Yeah, that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!

Back to our regular programming. Angela's birthday card. Where was I? Gosh, I'm tired. Oh yeah. The image. I redid it. A cute image, don't you think? It is Lucy and Kitty from the Stampavie Sarah Kay collection. I stamped the image with Memento ink on Cryogen CS. I also used Stampin' Up CS and Basic Grey Sweet Threads DSP, which I distressed with my Zutter Distrezz-it-All. I die-cut leaves with a die by Marianne Designs, a doily and flourishes with dies by Memory Box, a doily with a die by Cheery Lynn, and a leaf with a die by Spellbinders. I also used a border punch, a tag punch, and a sentiment stamp from Stampin' Up. I inked the edges of the image with VersaMagic Dew Drop chalk ink. Flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts, Stampin' Up and Prima, with a pearl center from Martha Stewart Crafts. I found a bit of miscellaneous ribbon from my stash to add to the flowers. I accented the image with a Signo Uniball white gel pen. And, of course, as always, the image was colored with Copics: R81, R83, R85, G40, G82, G85, YR20, E000, E00, E11, E13, E31, E35, E42, E43, E44.

I am entering this card into an Outlawz greeting card challenge:


Now I need to get busy and make Valentine cards. Yikes! I haven't got much time left for those. Wish me luck; I have a feeling I'm going to need it!

Here's hoping everyone everywhere has a wonderful week! And a very Happy Birthday to both my sister, Merrilyn, and my darling daughter, Angela. And remember, Angela, 40 is just a number. You look much younger than that, and you have years left ahead of you! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Merrilyn's Birthday Card

OK, Sister Merrilyn, do not read this blog post until after your birthday. That way you won't see your card before I give it to you! Fair warning!

I was going to start on my Valentines this week, but then realized that I'd best get moving on the two birthday cards I have coming up on the 10th. Both my sister, Merrilyn, and my daughter, Angela, were born on the 10th of February--although in very different years! HAHAHA! I remember when Angela was born; I was so excited that she was born on my sister's birthday. HOWEVER, my sister wasn't quite so thrilled. You see, that meant that our mom would not be fixing Merrilyn's favorite meal in Minnesota the following weekend for a birthday treat. Instead, Mom would be coming down to Georgia to help me with the baby after I got home from the hospital. So Angela and I ruined Merrilyn's birthday dinner. What a pity, huh? I was bitter at Merrilyn's reaction to my daughter's birth, (can you tell?), but I guess I can now let bygones be bygones. (What the he** does that even mean?) And I bet Merrilyn doesn't even remember all of that!  :^)

I know what Merrilyn would have asked to have for her birthday dinner that year. Mom's Italian spaghetti. Yes, the very same spaghetti that my daughter fixes for Christmas dinner every year. It is such a great recipe! Interesting that both Merrilyn and Angela have a thing for that spaghetti. Must be something to do with being born on February 10th. Or not. Remember, though, that Angela has put her own stamp on the recipe by putting veal in the meatballs. Gag me. I see that as nearly criminal. Really. Poor baby cows.

BTW, I did create a page for my Smashbook, as I mentioned on my last blog post. But I am not going to upload it to my blog because it is so dorky-looking. How dare I! Making a dorky-looking page. The nerve. Hopefully, I will create a page for the next month that reflects my true artistry. Oh, what a load of crap. My apologies...

Back to Merrilyn's card. I chose a darling La-La Land Crafts image: Beach Marci. Merrilyn swims every day for an hour, so the image seemed really appropriate. (I got such a kick out of the name of this company: La-La Land. In the 80's Gary and I were raising and showing Persians. We went to many cat shows in California. No offense to Californians, but after spending so much time there, we called it "La-La Land".) I digress. Sorry about that. Anyway, I had purchased some Best Creations glitter paper last summer called Splash Fun, which I thought worked really well with the Marci image. I decided that the Memory Box Elegant Scrollwork die looked really cute with the paper. I also used some Spellbinder's #4 Labels dies, and two dies from MFT: Double Scallop Border and Vintage Flourish. Cardstock is Cryogen for the image and Stampin' Up for the card and diecuts. The ink used for stamping was Memento. The sentiment is from Stampin' Up's Teeny Tiny Wishes. Stampin' Up Basic Rhinestone Jewels were added for a little sparkle. I accented Marci's flower with Star Dust Stickles, her inner tube with Glossy Accents, and also used a Signo Uniball white gel pen on her. She was, of course, colored with Copic markers:  YR00, YR12, YR15, R81, R83, R85, B0000, B12, B14, B16, Y11, Y13, Y15, E0000, E000, E00, E11, E13, E25, E31, E50. 

I am entering this card into the Outlawz Friday Copic challenge:


Here's wishing everyone everywhere a great weekend. And, if you're watching the Super Bowl, go Giants! :^)