Monday, July 29, 2013

The Outlawz Greetings Card Anything Goes Challenge

It's Monday, and I am a bit grumpy. Sorry. But I am. Had a really nice Friday night, reading my book. And the rest of the weekend held such promise. Except. We went to Diamondbacks games on Saturday and Sunday, and they lost both games. Ugh! It's not much fun when they lose one of the games we see; but when we drive all the way downtown and they lose both games, well, that just makes me grumpy.

That and my love-hate relationship with my new bedroom mirror. I love the looks of the mirror--it's very modern and cool. And it reflects our bedroom artwork into the hallway, which is also very cool. But it also tells the truth. And that is not cool, not even one little bit.

I made the mistake of looking at my bare-nekked behind in my new mirror. Un. be. liev. a. ble. I had no idea, truly, how terrifying it is to see my altogether, all together. I won't make that mistake again. Unless I lose a lot of weight, like perhaps a person or seven. Even then it may be too much for my psyche. Sigh...

On the bright side, we have an "Anything Goes" challenge this week. You can make anything your hearts desire, as long as you put a sentiment on it somewhere. 'K? 'K.

I chose QKR Stampede News Boy for my card this week. I used it on a birthday card for our local chef, Blake. I printed the image on MICBC and colored it with Copics and Twin Touch Brush markers:

Skin:  E000, TTR131, TTR139, TTYR133
Hair: E33, E35
Hat/Shoes: W1, W3, W5
Shadow: W6, W7
Sweater: E31, E33, E35
Shirt/Jeans: B93, B95, B97
Newspaper: W00, W0

The image was sponged with DI Faded Jeans. Then I distressed the image and my DP, (from the MME Lost & Found Sunshine collection), with my Zutter Distrezz-It-All. I paired the DP with Bazzill and Stampin' Up CS. I added some SU ribbon and brads, along with die cuts made from: MFT Chevron Stripes and Whimsy Corner dies. My sentiment was created with my Dymo label maker. Simple, easy peasy. Call it done. But don't look at it nekked in a mirror.

Do check out the creations by my talented teamies--they had fun with no restrictions this week! And then join us for heaven's sake. It's AG. You can do it!

BTW, have a great week. And stay away from baseball games. And bedroom mirrors.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Jellypark Friends July 26th Release and Christmas in July Challenge

So. There is that. Hi, how y'all doin'? I am feel so good now that I think I am a bit manic. Just havin' a cup of Chai, on a Thursday morning. What? Oh, yeah, it's only Thursday, and this isn't due until tomorrow. See, I told you I was a bit manic!

Pretend that it's Friday. Guess you don't have to pretend that it is, because, by the time you read this, it will be. OK, so I will pretend that it's Friday, or at least try to. In that case, I once again look lovely as I had my hair cut today yesterday, and I am still the darling of the neighborhood. Speaking of neighborhood, mine has been exceptionally quiet the past two days. As in, heavenly quiet. At least, that's my image of heaven--peace and quiet whenever you want. And no noisy motorcycles or off-road vehicles revving up across the street to make your ding-dong-dog, Donovan, bark. My friendly, but very noisy, neighbors have moved, and Don couldn't be happier. He isn't panicking every hour about the sounds from across the street. Which means I no longer hear his shrill, (ear-piercingly so), voice echoing across my tile floors. Ahhhhhhhh.....

Where was I? Ah, yes, Chai. My one real weakness, at least the only one I am going to admit to at the moment. I love it. Hot, tepid, iced, no matter. Just give me some candy Chai. It makes my heart sing, while my hips expand. I use skim milk and no whipped on mine. So. There is that. As I said to start this post. Bringing me full-circle. (Don't you love the way I wrapped that up?)

I did start sleeping in on, whatever, the new bed. It's just as nice as Gary claimed. And I haven't tossed and turned over and over, ad nauseum, trying to get to sleep. My only complaint is that I sleep so soundly that I sometimes wake up with a kink in my neck from laying on my stomach. Which I shouldn't do. Because it causes my neck to kink. Like a Slinky. Not pretty. But the bed surely is--pretty and pretty comfortable. I am a happy camper.

And my our bedroom makes me happy, too. I moved a turtle picture all by my lonesome. Yeah, I know, that takes talent. That, and the fact that Gary was in no hurry to do it. Then, when we got our new floor lamp, I put it together, all by myself. Whoa!!! It is still standing, so I believe I did it right. Apparently that guilted Gary into moving the picture above the bed downward six inches. Because our new headboard is lower than the old one, causing the picture of the trees to float rather awkwardly above the bed. It looks much better now. (I am shocked that he moved it during the week!)

And we got the wave picture yesterday Wednesday, and Gary hung it that night. So you would think the room is all done? Not quite. Because the mirror never got delivered yesterday on Wednesday like it was scheduled. I had a terrible thought about it breaking before we got it. Well, apparently, it did. Blast my vision! It was never delivered due to the package being damaged--which they notified me of at 10:30 p.m. Timely, don't you think? I got right on the Amazon web-site and chatted with a representative, who was extremely apologetic and helpful. How often does that happen in this day and age? Anyway, a new mirror is winging its way to me as we speak. Or it would be if this was Thursday. Which it is not. At least for you. Therefore, it must be on the delivery truck for today's delivery. I will take some photos of the room for you to see once everything is in place. 'K?

And now I will turn to my card for this fortnight. Team B was tasked with the new images being released today. And they are such fun! You need to get yourselves one or five. Love them! I chose JP Children Building Snowman, which I printed on MICBC and colored with my Copics and Twin Touch Brush markers:

Skin: E000, TTR131, TTYR133, TTR139
Hair: E25
Clothing: R24, R27, R29, R30, R32, E81, E84, YG21, YG23
Bird: YG21, YG23
Snowman: C00, C0, C1, C7

I added a bit of Diamond Glaze to the berries on the hat, some white Gelly Roll pen for polka dots, and a bit of Spica Lipstick, Melon, and Clear to a hat, scarf, and bird beak. Then I put the card together using distressed DP from the Crate Paper Sleigh Ride collection, a Create with TLC sentiment, Stampin' Up CS, gathered ribbon, SU ribbon, burlap ribbon, a snowman button, a mitten button, and die cuts made with the following dies: Cheery Lynn Mini Italian Flourish Doily; Spellbinders Classic, Scalloped and Lacey Circles; and SCACD Classic Corners. 

While you are checking out the darling cards made by my teamies for both today's release and our Christmas in July challenge, I will be reading another of my scifi/fantasy novels. Or lounging on my new bed. Or reading and lounging on my new bed.

We are all looking forward to your entries in the new challenge. Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Outlawz Greetings Card Embossing Challenge

Yup, it's another Monday. And I am so happy that this past week is over. I caught a cold from someone, somewhere, and was sick most of the week. So, if you didn't get comments from me on your blogs, that's the reason. But I will get back to commenting today, so expect a visit, 'K?

Did not have the granddaughters this past weekend, because, obviously I wasn't well. (I'm never truly well in the head, as my family will testify, but that's another matter entirely.) I wasn't up to cleaning or company, and didn't want to infect them with the bug, either. However, we will have them in a couple of weeks instead. I hope they weren't too disappointed. Grandma would have been much happier being well and having them over, for sure.

The bedroom rearranging still went on, and the pick-up of our old pieces happened before I started to feel the sore throat. Gary saved my bacon on the arrival of the new furniture, as I was really sick by that point in time. He came home for the delivery, so I could stay in bed and cough and sneeze. (Unfortunately, he didn't notice a ding in one of the chests; but he did tell Copenhagen about it, and they are replacing the piece on the 26th, so there is that.)

The new furniture is just gorgeous, and we are both really happy that we made the purchase. I have yet to sleep on the new bed, as I am still coughing at night and hate to awaken Gary with that. So I slept on the couch for two nights after we took the old stuff apart, while Gary had the guest room, (only fair since he needed quality rest to go to work). Once the new stuff was here, I moved into the guest room. And soon I will be able to sleep on the new bed. Gary said he is getting better sleep than he has in ages, because the mattress feels so much better to sleep on with the new bed system.

Of  course, now we have to get a couple of decorator items to "finish" the room. You know how that goes, right? I am not complaining, mind you, not at all. We saw a floor lamp and a full-length mirror that we loved at Copenhagen, and I managed to save 50% by buying them through Amazon instead! Cool beans, huh? Then we also found a wonderful art piece on Amazon that I ordered for a 1/4 of the cost of the inspiration piece at Z-Gallerie. It is a giant wave, but in a size better suited to the space we have available than the more expensive version. Those pieces will be here on Wednesday with free shipping, courtesy of our prime membership. Oh, and I saw a decorator pillow at Copenhagen that I thought would be fabulous on our bench. I nearly choked when I saw the $230 price tag. So we found a very nice $20 one at Target online, and Gary went to our local store and bought it. It is the perfect shade of turquoise. Our bedroom will be finished shortly, and I will be such a happy camper. Let your fingers do the shopping. That's my motto. Especially when you don't feel well enough to go out and shop in person.

I am doing quite well now, though, with just a bit of the congestion and cough left. I attribute my speedy recovery to lots of rest and drugs. No, not really. Well, really on the rest, but I didn't take any drugs. Well, not unless you count Airborne as a drug. I chewed plenty of that, which I think did help my immune system fight off the cold. Years ago, when I worked and smoked, (yes, gasp, I actually did both), it would take me a good three weeks to feel as well as I do now in less than a week. So rest, drugs Airborne, and not smoking are good for recovery. That's my tip for the week.

Now to my card for the week. We are once again sponsored by Bugaboo Stamps.


I chose the Bugaboo Gus Going to Town image and sentiment set. I find Gus to be a kindred spirit. My kind of guy. Kind of like Gary. Except with hair. (And don't tell Gary that I said that. Although I probably would.) Anyway, I printed Gus on MICBC and then colored him with my Copic and Twin Touch markers:

Skin: E000, TTR131, TTYR133, TTR139
Suit: R24, R29, R59
Bottles: YG61, YG63, YG67
Bar: E25, E27, E29

Then I added Diamond Glaze to Gus' glasses and the bottles, Liquid Applique to his hair and suit trim, Wink of Stella Brush Gold to his belt buckle, and Pearl Pen around the image. My DP came from the Jillibean Soup Winter Tortellini and Spinach Soup collection, and was paired with Stampin' Up CS. I wet-embossed a city image from SCACD, called Street Views City Skyline by Victoria Case. I added Frantage to that image. I distressed my DP and images with my Zutter and some SU ink. I created a ticket using Whimsy Holiday Ticket Sentiments and my Whimsy Ticket die. I cut bottles with my Memory Box Vintage Bottles die and then dry-embossed them with a Cuttlebug folder. I distressed them and the little house, (made with MB Country House die and Frantaged, if that's a word), with some SU ink. My other embellishments are: a SU button, a brass token, a Tim Holtz Corked Vial filled with baker's twine, an Embellish It metallic corner, some lace, and a MIC chipboard dragonfly, which was brushed with Wink of Stella Gold. And I would have added the kitchen sink if it had fit. But it didn't when I tried. So I gave up and called it a card. Amen.

Please join us this week with your embossed piece, which must have a greeting on it somewhere. And check out the inspiration by my talented teamies. And then go do whatever it is that you do best. I plan to rest some more. That's my special talent.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Outlawz Greetings Card Christmas in July Challenge

Yes, we have Christmas in July this week at The Outlawz Greetings Card challenge. I, for one, am thrilled, as I now have two whole Christmas cards ready for my mailing list. Only eleventy billion to go. But at least it's a start! And this week we are being sponsored once again by Eureka Stamps:


I chose two stamps to use on my card: 'Christmas Bell with Ribbon' and 'May This Holiday Season'. I also chose a sketch to try, #SSS219, by The Sweet Stop:

I didn't modify the sketch much. I did turn it into a square card. I shall try to remember to enter my card into their challenge, if my fuzzed-out brain will allow.

So I printed my image onto MICBC, and colored it with my Copics:

W0, W1
BG13, BG15
E18, E19, E50, E51, E53 
YG91, YG93, YG95, YG97

My colors were inspired by the DP from the Basic Grey Aspen Frost collection. The DP was distressed with my Zutter and paired with Stampin' Up CS. I added Wink of Stella Brush Clear to the golden parts of my image and to two MIC chipboard dragonflies that I added to my card. I also added some die cuts, using the following dies:

Whimsy Corner
Spellbinders Classic Circles
Spellbinders Scalloped Circles
Memory Box Classic Ornament
Memory Box Snowflake Ornament

I believe that's all she wrote! No, it isn't. She is going to write a bit more about her last birthday celebration. (Who is "she" anyway?)

My sister, Merrilyn, took me to lunch on Friday to the Herb Box in Scottsdale at Southbridge. If you get the chance to go there for lunch, by all means stop in. Darling place and well-lit by tons of windows. (I say that, not knowing really how much they weigh.) If you like healthy foods, expertly prepared, reasonably priced, and beautifully presented, you will love the Herb Box. M & I went there about two years ago for lunch and there wasn't much to choose from. They've come a long way, Baby! 

We shared a wonderful Avocado Love, which was comprised of three toasts covered with wild arugula, shaved fennel, serrano, and lemon-honey. I am drooling just thinking about it again. So, so good! 

Then Merrilyn had the Albacore Tuna Salad Pita, which had no mayo, but again had wild arugula, with jicama, tomato, warm pita, and a lemon-caper vinaigrette. I tasted it, and it was delicious. M loved it.

I ordered two small salads, both of which were so flavorful. One was a tomato-mango olive salad with sweet onion and basil. The other was quinoa tabbouleh with apricot, avocado, parsley and mint. I loved everything I ate, and it filled me up. We were good and did NOT order dessert. Gasp! I know, I can't believe it either!

After that we stopped in to Frenzy Stamper, so I could replace my Copic C5, which was beyond all hope. It's the only marker that I have had to replace, but I couldn't even get the nibs out of it. Weird. Oh, of course, I had to buy some new Washi tape while I was there, too. 

And then we headed up north a bit to Phoenix Wines, which is actually in Scottsdale. Go figure. I managed to nab two bottles of the wine we loved at the Kai wine dinner. Got a 2003 vintage instead of the 2006 that we'd tasted, so don't know if it will be as good. But the owner said she would get some of the 2006 in this next week. Yay! 

Not sure when I will pick that up, though. I am going to be zippety-do-dah busy this week. I have to get my stuff out of our bedroom furniture and sort through it. I have stuff in those drawers that I never wear and need to donate. We need to get the furniture into the garage Tuesday night, as it is being picked up on Wednesday. And then our new furniture arrives on Thursday, so need to set that up. On Friday we get our granddaughters for the weekend. So won't be doing much crafting this week, except for my DT card for next Monday. 

My weekend was busy, but fun. Saw our Dbacks on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday they won, barely. Sunday they lost, badly. But at least they are still in first place in the NL West leading into All-Star week. Surely hope they stay there the rest of the season! I have enjoyed going to so many games. However, truth be told, I am more excited about the NFL season starting up next month, than I am about the end of the MLB season. 

Well, I have bored you long enough. Please stop by The Outlawz and check out our DT inspiration. And, if you are not a member, do sign up. It costs nothing, and there are challenges for every day of the week. Also, we have a great bunch of peeps in the group. We'd love to have more new members!

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Jellypark Friends Give Thanks Challenge

Good morning, afternoon, or evening to you, depending on wherever and whenever you are. It's time for another Jellypark Friends challenge, and this time we want to see you giving thanks. However you want to interpret that. I decided to create a thank-you card, using JP "Girl with Thank You Bunting". All proceeds from the sale of this stamp will go to charity.

I wish you could be here to see me typing this right now. You would feel really badly for me, as I am making a bazillion mistakes and have to keep backing up and re-typing. Hellllllllllllllllllp!

I think I got too much sleep last night. Which was because I got too little sleep the night the night before. Oh, gosh, but I am typing this Thursday, which means that you need to add another day to be current. Ugh. Sometimes I wish I could actually do my blog posts on the day they come out. But then I would be late in posting, so I just have to keep confounding and confusing you and me. 

OK, so my birthday celebration is still on-going. I am being taken to lunch today by my DS, Merrilyn; we are going to the Herb Box in Scottsdale, where the food is delish and the ambiance is fantastic. So don't cry for me, Argentina. Instead you can cry for yourselves because you don't get to enjoy your mid-day meal the way I will be. 

Today you can also envy my fabulous post-birthday-birthday dinner that Gary treated me to. Tuesday night we went to Arizona's incomparable 5-star, 5-diamond restaurant, Kai, for their last wine-dinner of 2013. We went to the last one last year as well. We got a bit intoxicated last year, (a bit?!), resulting in Gary booking Kai's limo service for this year's dinner. (However, it was not an actual stretch limo--it was a large SUV, unfortunately, which was difficult for me to enter, as I am very short and had a long skirt on. Picture me pulling up my skirt delicately, grabbing onto the pull-up grab bar thingy, and hoisting up my big, fat behind, while trying to keep my mammoth purse on my shoulder. It wasn't pretty. But, on the bright side, I now have a new item in my bucket list: an actual ride in a stretch limo.)

Turns out that we didn't need the ride for our inebriation. Neither of us overindulged this year, because the wine providers didn't refill our glasses as we finished them. Which was a good thing, since the initial pours were generous enough for each meal course.

The evening began in the restaurant lounge with a happy half-hour. We were given a glass of yummy white wine--though I never found out what it was. And then we were served various bites to eat that literally melted in your mouth. Imagine a tiny puff pastry filled with delicious duck confit. Or a deconstructed miniature cherry pie. Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about. Are you drooling yet? I was. Good thing I had napkins at the time. 

We then went into the restaurant, which was set up with three long dining tables. Our friends, Bob and Connie, had joined us for this most auspicious meal, so we sat across from each other. I have to say, Connie and I do giggle when we get together. A lot. Like non-stop. And our hubbies mostly sit and listen. Because they couldn't get a word in edgewise if they tried. So they wisely don't. Try, that is.

So here is a scanned menu, (with an art piece on the front, then the menu, then the art credit on the back), that we were given prior to a short talk by our evening's maitre d'hotel. He let us know a bit about Kai and the historic Gila River Indian Reservation on which it is located. 

I will admit that I was horrified when I read the menu for the evening: I don't care for fresh tuna, I was afraid of wild boar meat, (as I dislike the gamey taste of wild meat), I don't like lamb or beets, and I didn't want to eat foie gras again, (based upon the way it is obtained). So I was figuring that I would concentrate on the wine portion of my wine dinner. Boy, was I off-base! 
Our first course, an amuse bouche, was phenomenal. In fact, I must admit that everything was phenomenal. Yes, even the parts that I normally don't like. Silly me. The amuse bouche was comprised of several different kinds of beans on one side and a delectable fish bite on the other. Unfortunately, we somehow neglected to photograph this course. And I must apologize in advance for the photos of the food. Gary took them and, hmmm, how do I put this nicely? He is not really experienced at using my phone camera. Ahem. 

OK, the second course, was the Duo of Land and Sea, served with the first wine of the evening. (The wines were all very good, btw. And the chef is absolutely spot-on at pairing the food with the wine. The best wine was the one served with the boar. OMG! We have to find a bottle of this somewhere! One of the best wines I have ever had--we all felt the same way! I think the guys loved it, too, but didn't rave like we women did.) Anyway, I loved both tartares, much to my surprise! Who knew that really high quality tuna would be sooooo yummy? Not me, obviously! In the photo the beef is on your right and the tuna is on your left.

Our third course, Braised Wild Boar Raviolis, just blew my mind. I was so prepared to hate this course. But I couldn't, because the meat was so expertly prepared that it was just bursting with delicious flavor. I already knew I loved pork belly; I never order it because it is too artery-clogging. But I certainly ate this bit, and all I can say is 'wow'!  I seriously dislike beets, but that stripe of beet root was incredible. The raviolis were really thin and delicate--they just melted in your mouth. Mmmmmm..... And that wine, OMG! Have. to. get. some. 

Now we came to the Intermezzo. Which was a little scoop of lemon-ginger sorbet with a drizzle of cherry sauce. My photographer got a picture of the darling little dish it came in. Alas, the sorbet had already been inhaled.

On to the main entree, Pistachio Crusted Dry Aged Rack of Lamb. Well, let me tell you, I was totally prepared to turn my nose up at this. But how could you, when it was utterly scrumptious? Connie is a lamb aficionado, and loved the pieces sans sauce. (She is a meat purist and doesn't care for sauces on them.) I enjoyed all of the lamb bites, but preferred the piece with the mole sauce, (or chocolate demi emulsion, if you will). The potatoes were just melt-in-your-mouth, and the mushies sinfully delicious. The foie gras was puddled below the potatoes and the mushrooms--and it was heavenly.

Now, none of the courses were huge up to this point. I cleaned all of my plates--my mother taught me to do that years ago. (But, believe me, I wasn't finishing each course just to be polite!!) So now we have "Petite Bites". Petite Bites, my ample derriere.

Just look at this assortment. I had to sample each one, too, much to my stomach's chagrin. (Yes, I had major indigestion that night from overeating. Which is why I got so little sleep. That'll teach me to binge. At least for a week or so.) First there was this darling frozen dessert of melon and prosciutto. And then they used liquid nitrogen to freeze some sort of honey dessert that they plopped in the middle of an enormous glass tray, which was full of the 'bites'.

Now do you see why I had indigestion late that night? I had one of everything. Baaaaaad Penny. I deserved to hurt. I hate to think how many calories I ingested. Probably enough to sustain a small village for an entire week.

In a word, this meal was awesome! Totally! I'm so glad we went to this dinner even if we both overindulged. Oh, btw, when you leave the restaurant, they put a large bottle of Voss water in your vehicle for each person, as well as a small box of chocolates, along with a thank you card. A real class act, Kai is.

If you are ever in the Phoenix area, and want to splurge, the food at Kai is well worth the expenditure! So is the service! And if you take photos of your meal, I hope they turn out better than Gary's efforts! (Don't tell him I said that, OK?)

Wish I knew how to segue into this next topic. But I don't. So I'll just tell you. We had a member of The Outlawz using other people's cards to enter into our various challenges. She was an equal-opportunity thief--she picked photos from various creators and entered them with her name. They had not been watermarked, so it was easy for her to copy and paste. Apparently, it is very important to watermark your creations. So I finally made a watermark, which I first used on this blog post. I hope to remember to use it in the future! I hope that all of you use one, too. (And, yes, fyi, this person did get expelled from The Outlawz, though she tried to profess her innocence. Gag me.)

I don't want to forget this unrelated bit either. Two weeks ago Gary drove into a parking lot. Another old guy just backed out as Gary's car was passing by. He backed right into the rear passenger side of Gary's car. The damages were $500. Well, the guy admitted it was his fault (duh), and his insurance picked up the tab. Gary got his car back a week ago Wednesday. One week later, to the day, he and another guy backed into each other in a parking lot. This time his car sustained $1800 worth of damage. You want to know why? Because Gary's back-up camera was damaged. Yes, he has a back-up camera complete with a warning beeper. And he totally ignored both the visual and audio warning system. Egad. This time both insurance companies will pay 50/50, because both "old" men were at fault. But this time we have to fork over the $250 deductible.

Which wouldn't be so bad--but our hot water heater went out this week, too! Just three years of use. The warranty was for five years, so the new heater didn't cost us a dime. The service charges, however, were $280. Then add in the cost of the fancy, shmancy dinner, and this week was really expensive for us. We should possibly go on bread and water for a month. Or ten. And I think I should take Gary's driver's license away from him. But then I would have to chauffeur him to and from work. And get up really early every day. Naw, on second thought, that is a terrible idea. Maybe he should retire so that he doesn't have to drive to work every day. Oh, heck, that's an even worse idea. Never mind...

So here are the details on my card for today. I printed my image on MICBC and colored her with Copic and Twin Touch Brush markers:

Skin: E000, TTR131, TTYR133, TTR139
Hair: YR20, YR23, E31
Bow, Trim: BG70, BG72
Stockings, Banner (bunting): RV21, RV23
Dress, Shoes: E74, E77, E79

I chose DP from the Carta Bella Cool Summer collection and paired it with Stampin' Up CS. I have added Washi tapes, a bow, a chipboard dragonfly, a bird trinket, some pearls, and a bit of twine. I added Wink of Stella Brush Clear to the 'fly. I used the following dies to make my die cuts: Whimsy Corner, Poppystamps Simple Banner, Memory Box Resting Birds, and MFT Oval Decorative Doily. And that's it. That's all she wrote. (If only.) Finito. That's all, folks. The end.

Not quite. I must implore you to check out all the fun creations in this challenge by my talented teammates. And then, please be sure to check out our new release images, which my other teammates have used beautifully. It's a good day at Jellypark. Make it a good one where you are. Or else. (Or else what, I have no idea. But it sounds authoritative, doesn't it?) And, lastly, have a wonderful weekend. That's an order. From the girl with the bunting/banner.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Outlawz Greetings Card Cookie Theme Challenge

Ah, another Monday. Aren't we all just thrilled? Well, I am, because it means I'm still on this side of the dirt, which is a good thing. Plus, I don't have to go to work, so Monday is no different than any other day. Except that it is the day for a new Outlawz Greetings Card challenge. And this week, the focal point is cookies. Who doesn't like cookies? I know for a fact that Santa does, and since I needed to get started on Christmas cards, I picked Bugaboo Gus Got Cookies? for my image. Yes, we are once again being sponsored by Bugaboo Stamps:

I am running a little late writing my post. I had a really busy 4-day weekend. Celebrating my birthday, doncha know. We had such a good time during our "staycation" at The Phoenician, where Gary took me on the 4th. We ate at J&G Steakhouse there for my birthday dinner, and I had some wonderful lobster. (Not as good as the lobster I had at JG's restaurant, Cafe Martinique, in the Bahamas. But then this lobster didn't just jump out of the ocean. Well, that lobster probably didn't voluntarily leave the Caribbean, either, but someone did nab him for my meal. And I thank that person profusely.)

Anyway, when we arrived at the resort, the man at The Phoenician gate told me Happy Birthday. So I accused Gary of setting me up, and he said he honestly didn't tell them it was my birthday. Apparently, when you are a Gold member of SPG, they pay attention to those details. For I was also told Happy Birthday by the parking valet, the desk attendant, the hostess at J&G, my waitress at J&G, and the guy giving me water at J&G. They comped our dessert, too, and gave me a birthday card. Oh, I forgot to mention that the pianist played "Happy Birthday" as we walked into the resort lobby. Crazy. And, when we were out exploring the resort grounds, (in the lovely 105-degree heat--are we crazy?), the management left a half-dozen chocolate-covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne in our room. Geesh! They do know how to make you feel important there, that's for sure! 

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that before going to the resort, I asked Gary to stop at Chico's. I had a $10 birthday gift card from them that I wanted to use toward a pair of earrings. Because I forgot to wear any. And I felt vulnerable, as in naked, without earrings. And, of course, Gary took me to Chico's, where he bought me more than earrings. He also got me a new skirt and three new tops to wear with it. I am so lucky. And so spoiled. Happy sigh...

Did you see fireworks on the 4th? We did, from the comfort of our table at J&G. A really beautiful display. And didn't have to be in the heat to enjoy it. Still spoiled, aren't I?

On Friday we ate breakfast at the resort and then I dared to ask Gary to take me to Glendale--which is quite a distance from the resort. But it is even farther from our house, so I thought I could save time by going there from Scottsdale. And did he oblige me? Well, of course he did! But he asked if we could visit Pier One first, to find a couple of decorator items for our great room. I wasn't sure what we would find there, but I said sure! 

And then we ended up at Copenhagen. Which is where he wanted to go, but couldn't remember the right name. Funny. I never do things like that. Well, at least not between the hours of midnight and six a.m.

So we found four wonderful pieces of turquoise glass to add to our shelving unit. Three vases and one very cool fish. But wait. There's more! Gary spied a bedroom set that he fell in love with. As in, he had to have it. Really? Yup, really. He hates the one we have so much. (It was inexpensive, but modern. So it fit with our modern home that we bought in 2010. But he has never been happy with it.) A new bedroom suite was the LAST thing I expected to buy that day.

Well, technically we didn't buy it that day. We reserved it. So we could wait until we got home on Saturday to measure the pieces we already had. That way we would know what could replace them. So we actually bought the set Sunday. I think I am still in shock. Mind you, this new furniture is exceptionally pretty, and will look fabulous in our room. But it was not something I ever anticipated getting.

After our Copenhagen experience, we went to The Occasional Artist in Glendale. Barbara Thompson, on our DT, told me about the shop. She had gotten the cutest eyeglass trinkets there. Unfortunately, the shop didn't have the eyeglasses. Fortunately, there were lots and lots of other trinkets to choose from. So I basically got one or two or five of each. Gosh, that was fun. And Gary was right there, patiently waiting for me to spend more of his money. Yes, I know. I repeat: I am so spoiled. 

Then we stopped at Kiss the Cook and had a yummy lunch--I had a wonderful spinach salad and Gary had a sandwich he really liked, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was. After that we went back to the resort and got a glass of wine and read our books. Just chillin'.

Later we met my sister, Merrilyn, and BIL, Ron, at Tarbell's for dinner. OMGosh! What a fabulous meal we had there! Had wonderful kale chips and pepper poppers for appetizers. Ooooh! Soooo good! And then Gary, Ron and I each had the fresh catch, halibut, (so yummy), while Merrilyn had salmon that she loved. And then we were all bad and had dessert. At least we shared them with our respective spouses, so we weren't totally naughty. (G & I had peach melba, that was at least partially good for us. Yeah, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)

And, on Saturday, we ate breakfast at the hotel again--this time I had the most wonderful Eggs Benedict. Oooh, I'd get those again in a heartbeat. And then we read for a while before checking out. Guess what we did after that? If you thought, more shopping, you're a winner! Of nothing. Sorry. But at least you were right!

Yes, we went to another Copenhagen store to look around. And then to another Chico's so Gary could get me another outfit. See, there was a skirt at the first Chico's that was really cool. But they didn't have my size. And the second Chico's did. So, Gary had to buy it. Honestly, I didn't ask for it. He wanted to give it to me. The skirt was a bit too long, so I told him that it would either need hemming, or I would need new heels to wear with it. So, off to Macy's we went to buy shoes. Do you believe this story? I don't, and I lived it! I got some cute shoes at Macy's that will go so well with the skirt/top. 

Why do I mention this outfit? Because....Gary also is gifting me with another wine dinner at Kai this Tuesday. Yup. Part of my birthday present. And he wanted me to have new clothes to wear for all my birthday meals. (I am giggling right now--wouldn't you be?) Btw, we are riding to and from Kai in a limo. Yes, so that if we imbibe too much wine we will still get home safely. And I have never ridden in a limousine. Ever. What fun! It's part of the Kai treatment this year. 

OK, so after Macy's we went to The Breadfruit for dinner in downtown Phoenix. Quaint little place with really good food. Had the most wonderful Pina Colada evah! I swear! If you love them go try one at The Breadfruit. You won't be sorry! For dinner I had the fresh catch, which was Alaskan Salmon. Oh, wow, was it fresh and delicious--cooked Jamaican jerk style, so it was a bit spicy, but, so yummy! Gary had the jerk pork, which he loved. Lo and behold, we were good and did not have dessert! Saturday ended with a Diamondbacks game. Which I didn't expect them to win, as badly as they played on their recent road trip. But they not only won, they annihilated the Rockies, 11-1. Wow! What a pleasant surprise! 

On Sunday we went to our DGD's 11th birthday party--it was a lot of fun! Good to catch up a bit with family members. Our DD fixed several delicious vegetarian dips, with chips and/or veggies. Also she bought a really good cake! And our GD, Kelsey, is so growing up! A bit scary, but also cool. And that, Ladies and Germs, was my birthday weekend. To be continued...

So, on to my card for the week. It was printed on MICBC and colored with Copic and Twin Touch Brush markers:

Skin: E000, TTR131, TTYR133, TTR139
Belt, Shoes: C6, C7, C9
Cookie: E53, E55
Ornament & Cookie Jar: G21, G24, G28
Suit: R24, R29, R59
Ornament: Y26, Y28
Gloves, Shadow: C0, C1, C3

I used Liquid Applique for his hair and suit trim, Diamond Glaze for his glasses, Wink of Stella Brush Clear and Gold for his belt buckle and ornaments, and Pearl Pen around the image. I mounted the image on Stampin' Up CS. And there you have it. My first Christmas card of 2013. I'm on a roll.

Do check out the other creations by my talented teamies! And then go get your cookie on! Have a great week!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Jellypark Friends Spotlight - Dancing Fairy

This is my first foray into spotlight cards for Jellypark Friends. I don't expect it to be my last. Each spotlight features one image, (this week it is Dancing Fairy), that team members can create with, if they so choose. It gives us a chance to show you more ways to use JP images during the middle of our fortnight challenges.

I printed this sweetie on MICBC and colored her with markers:

Skin: E000, TTR131, TTYR133, TTR139
Hair: YR20, E31, E35
Belt & Trim: RV21, RV23, RV25
Wings: BG000, BG01, BG02, C0, C2, C3, G0000
Shoes, Dress, & Star: Y21, Y23, Y26

I added Stardust Stickles to her wings and wand. My DP is from the Authentique Splendid collection, distressed with my Zutter, and paired with DCWV and Stampin' Up CS. Corner die cuts were made with a Whimsy Corner die and embellished with rhinestones. Other dies used were: Spellbinders Classic Stars, (yeah, lots of those!), Spellbinders Classic Circles, Memory Box Victorian Frame, LaLa Land Crafts Wings, and Cheery Lynn Burlap Border. I also added a bit of lace. My sentiment comes from Create with TLC. And that wraps it up! 

"Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?" Yup, I am. Celebrated the big six-four yesterday, while the rest of America celebrated the country's birthday. And everybody else just had another Thursday. I think I had the nicest day, although I can't really tell you about it now. Since I am writing this on Wednesday. Because I could. And because I was going to be very busy yesterday, what with birthday celebrating, dinner at J&G Steakhouse and fireworks to see. So I had no time yesterday to write this; hence, my blogging on Wednesday for Friday. Is that clear as mud? I hope so. I don't want to be the only one whose brain is mired in muck. But at least I have an excuse. I am 64. Holy cow. What happened?

DD, Angela, took me for a wonderful birthday lunch on Sunday to The Dhaba in Tempe. Oh, my, was that delicious! Had a fantastic appetizer platter and then Chicken Tikka with naan and basmati rice. Got so full, I thought I would burst. Yeah, that's good for my waistline. But it was hard to stop eating, as the food was so fabulous. And it was fun spending some quality time with our child. Even though she is a grown woman, she will always be my baby, KWIM?

We are going to dinner tonight with my sister, Merrilyn, & BIL, Ron, to Tarbell's in Phoenix. Yes, yes, I am eating out a lot. So what else is new? (No wonder I sport such a hefty hind end.) I will have to tell you how good our food was on my next post.

Tomorrow is a Diamondbacks game, though I am not sure if it will be very entertaining, as they have been playing Little League ball for the past two weeks. Gag. Somebody help them. Please.

And then Sunday is the birthday and party for our older DGD, Kelsey Meghan. She will be 11. Again, what happened?

Hope your weekend is lots of fun, if not as busy as mine. Do check out the other fun spotlight creations by my talented teamies! And be sure to enter our current challenge here.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Outlawz Greetings Melon and Mango Color Challenge/Kelsey's Birthday Card

OK, another Monday, another Outlawz Greetings Card challenge, and this one is a color challenge--to use melon and mango colors. We are sponsor-less this week. Which means that the team could use any images their little hearts desired. And my teeny, tiny, microscopic hollow muscular organ that pumps blood throughout my body decided to use Lacy Sunshine this week. I heart Lacy Sunshine. Heather is a really talented artist; love her images, and my favs are those with Eleanor and Pickles.

I had another birthday card to get done; this one for my older granddaughter, Kelsey Meghan, who is turning 11 on the 7th. And she just so happens to be enchanted with all things dragon. Dragon this and dragon that. So I had to put a dragon image with an Eleanor and Pickles image, right? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight! So there you have the reasoning behind my card this week. And now I am going to digress a bit.

Oh, actually I'll probably digress a lot. Right now it's Sunday night, and the wind is blowing like a son of a gun. So our front door rattles slightly and our darling Donovan, (cough, cough), is also rattled, to say the least. He keeps getting up and whining at me. He thinks somebody is at the door. Sigh.....this could be a very long night.

I have been asked what book I was reading that kept me from my duties as Most Inane Blogger on the Planet. And I really did not want to admit that I am a sci-fi/fantasy junkie. But there it is. I am. In the worst way. So I am reading a series by Scott Rhine, called "Temple of the Traveler". And, yes, I know you are supposed to underline the title of a book. But technically this is not a book title, but a series title, so I put it in quotation marks. Because I could. And so that I could tell you why I did that. Again because I could. Aren't you glad I am taking the time to blog tonight today? Yeah, we've got that stupid thing going again where I am writing like it is today, tomorrow, but it is really today, tonight, the day before tomorrow. I'm so confused.

I wanted to mention the snorkeling trip that Gary and I took while in the Bahamas. We were a little disappointed that there was no snorkeling on Paradise Island itself. Because we like to just swim out from shore to the reefs. One, because it is cheaper than hiring a boat to take you snorkeling. Two, because Gary gets seasick when on the snorkeling boats. Three, we can go snorkeling more often. Four, well, actually I can't think of a four right now. But if I remember one, I'll be sure to let you know. Just don't hold your breath.

Anyway, we each paid $70 for an all-day, (which means 5 hours including a large lunch), snorkeling excursion on a sailing catamaran. Fortunately, we didn't sail the entire time, because it was much slower and rougher than when they used the engine. However, we did have to sail most of the way back because some mechanical difficulties developed with said engine. I loved the sailing bit, but Gary, not so much.

I stayed in the interior of the boat, so I could avoid being in the sun too long. Yeah, after having that skin cancer removed, I plan to take really good care of my glow-in-the-dark exterior. I do not want to tempt fate with a senior-citizen-sunburn. No, no, no.

Anyhow, there were some sweet people from Mongolia in the interior with us. Two couples. Parents and daughter with spouse. And, apparently, the daughter ate rice for breakfast. I know this because she urped it up right next to me, on the floor, and on the three steps, in her attempt to go topside to feed the fish. I hope you aren't eating as you read this. If you are, you have my sincerest apologies. (Just kidding. If I had been really concerned for you, I would have warned you ahead of time.) OMGosh, my evil twin is at it again, isn't she? So sorry.

I wish that had been the only time the poor young lady had gotten ill. It was not. However, the crew was Johnny-on-the-spot, (where on earth did that expression come from anyway? More importantly, why am I using it?), and they she, (are you kidding, when would a guy help with this?), jumped up with towels to wipe up the mess while giving the unfortunate creature a barf bag. Which she promptly filled. (No, not the crew member. The snorkeler. Who didn't snorkel to my knowledge.)

Oh, and btw, her stomach contents may have fed the fish, but not where we actually snorkeled. We moved a long way away from that spot in the ocean. Thank heavens. But the girl didn't start feeling any better. She sat with her head under a towel so we wouldn't have to watch her filling bag after bag. And my word, how did she have anything more in her tummy after her first great launch? Or her second? Have no idea. Possibly she was doing dry heaves. Aren't you glad I cleared that up for you. (Snort.) Oh, and her mom was ill, too. But she had the barf bags in time, luckily for her and us, don't you think?

So when we finally got to Rose Island and the reef, I was more than ready to get off that boat. Just get me in the water, please! I think I was the second one in, although I became the first because the first got right back out--he was having trouble with the mask they supplied him. (So glad we have our own gear. And my mask is prescription, so I can see really well in the water.)

Speaking of the water, it was rough. As in two-foot waves. Lordy. I have never snorkeled in water that rough. It played heck with taking underwater pictures with my new camera! It was really tough to try to hold still to take photos of the fish, which were being dragged around by the surf, too. But I persevered and stayed in the water for the full hour--they had to ring the bell to get me out, don't ya know. But getting out was a lot tougher than getting in. There was a suspended stairway into the water, which moved like crazy with the waves. The boat went one way, and the steps went another. I turned and backed my big fat Greek butt, (just kidding, I don't have an ounce of Greek blood in me, but I do have a rather large derriere), onto the first step. And then was bounced up and down, in and out of the water for an eternity. (Well it seemed like it anyway.) Fortunately, my wet-suit held my boobs in place, or I could have gotten a concussion. I was finally able to get myself pulled up to the next step, while holding my fins and my camera. I needed a third hand. Possibly a fourth. And then it took me as long to get up to the next couple of steps. But after that the ocean didn't drag me back down, so I managed to salvage my dignity, (who am I kidding. I had none left by then. At least I wasn't vomiting all over the boat.), and climb the rest of the stairs.

Oh, forgot to mention that Gary was OK until after he'd been in the water for a while. The motion of the ocean was so fierce that he became nauseous and had to get out long before I did. And he got in quite a while after I did. Which means he's a wuss. But we knew that already, didn't we? (Insert evil grin here.)

Gary had brought Dramamine with him, so he took one. And offered one to the Mongolian mother/daughter combo--they were so grateful. And they all lived happily ever after. Well, at least the nausea abated. They kept their ginger-ale down. Along with the Dramamine. And I had lunch. Before we pulled up to the seawall on Rose Island. Where most of us climbed out--with the help of the crew--guys this time--to check out the beach on the other side of the island, (yes, it is quite narrow). Couldn't take any photos though--the wind was blowing too hard and sand was flying everywhere. Which is too bad, because you could see Gilligan's Island from the beach, and I wanted to get a shot of it. Oh well....

By the way, or btw if you prefer, I noticed several bruises on my left arm after the dolphin encounter and the snorkeling trip. It took me hours to figure it out. But then I finally realized that it was from the young men "helping" me on and off the boats. When you're older than dirt your skin bruises easily, see?

Back to the snorkeling. I will say the reef was just gorgeous! Some fabulous coral that I have never seen in Hawaii. And beautiful fish I have never seen before this trip either. So it was well worth the boat ride, in spite of the hives I got. Yes, hives. I get them on my face whenever I am near cigarette smoke. I may have mentioned this previously; I hate being redundant, so pardon me if you already knew this. And there were three smokers on the boat. And, of course, they were situated just right for the smoke to blow into the area where I had parked my generous behind. I knew I would break out, but what could I do? It was out of my control. So I looked lovely for the next week or so. And yet, I am so glad I had the experience. Quite the conundrum. Which reminds me, I love Conundrum wine. FYI. 

OK, time for the photo show. If you don't want to see them, close your eyes.

There are little tiny fish in several of the shots. We had some cloud cover while snorkeling, which didn't make for the best photos, so I have enhanced each of these in Photoshop.

These two are looking toward the edge of the reef.

And the seagulls were out fishing while we were there. They tried to fly off with me, but I was a tad too heavy for them. (Just kidding. About the too-heavy part.) See how rough the water was?  

I have lots more, but I think this gives you an idea of just how cool is is to snorkel in the Caribbean waters.

And here are some of the hovels on Paradise Island. Surely glad I don't have to live in one of them.

That's all the photos for now. I have to skedaddle. It's late and I need to describe my card. Yikes. I think I will wait until I get up in the morning. I'm tired. So I will actually finish this later today. (Yes, it is after midnight now.) To be continued...

OK, it's now later today, and I am ready to finish this post with my card deets. I printed my merged Lil' Dragon/Eleanor and Pickles Catching Butterflies on MICBC. Then I used the following markers to color the image:

Skin; E000, TTR131, TTYR133, TTR139
Hair: Y21, YR23, E33, E35
Bows, Dress, Butterflies: YR00, YR01, YR02, R05 
Flowers: R01, R02, R05
Frog, Dragon, Grass: G20, G40, G82
Sky: B0000
Clouds: B60, W0, W1
Eyes: B41, B45 or E33, E35
And a bit of W5 and BV23 for shadows underneath the "kids"

I chose Prima Songbird for my DP and Stampin' Up CS for the card base. I also used scraps of MICBC for die cutting the butterflies, banner, (which were colored with YR01), and the sentiments and doilies, (which were not). I used the following dies: Whimsy Ticket Die, LaLa Land Crafts Heart Banner, Cheery Lynn Mini Italian Flourish Doily, Cheery Lynn Mini Sofia's Heart Doily, and Cheery Lynn Small Butterfly.

The sentiments came from Whimsy Treasured Moments Sentiments, Whimsy Ticket Sentiments, Whimsy Good Life Sentiments, and Whimsy Celebration Mini Ticket Sentiments.

Then, since Kelsey loves cards with lots of layers and embellies, I added the following to the Zutter Distrezz-It-All layers: SU Ribbon, frog button, WOC flowers & pearl stick pin, floral pearl sprays, cheesecloth, Washi tape, lace, a Prima Junkyard Findings Trinket, and a Tim Holtz Wishbone. 

I am actually going to enter a couple of challenges this week! Shocking, I know, it surprised me, too:

OK, that's it. Hoping you will join us this week. Do stop by and check out the fab creations by my teamies. And have a wonderful week--that's an order from Donovan, the demented dog. (Anyone want to give him a home? Pretty please?)