Friday, July 25, 2014

The Outlawz Friday Coloring Anything Goes/Xmas Twist Challenge

Another week in the past. Gosh, I cannot believe how fast this year is flashing by. It is almost scary, don't you think? Anyway, it's time for our free-for-all challenge, where you can color anything with any medium. Cool. Just create whatever your hearts desire this week. I went for the Christmas theme, so I now have another card ready for this coming holiday. (Which, btw, is going to be here before you know it!)

We are sponsored this month by All Dressed Up, home of lots of delightful images. Our randomly-selected participant will be able to choose two free digi images! Again, cool! So get busy coloring and play along with us.

All Dressed up Challenge blog

This week I chose an image from Sweet Pea Stamps, a digi by Ching Chou Kuik, called Poinsettia Fairy. I really love this image, which I printed on X-Press It BC and colored with Copics and Twin Touch Brush markers:
Skin: E000, E00, E21, E11, E04, R20
Hair: Y21, YR23, E15, E18
Skirt/Arm Band/Wings: BG10, BG11, BG72
Leaves/Blouse: TTGY48, TTGY47, G43
Poinsettia/Trim: TTR14, R27, R59
Berries: TTGY48

I chose my color palette from my DP, American Crafts Kringle and Co., which was Zutterized and paired with Stampin' Up CS. I added a bit of pearl pen to the image. I made a poinsettia using Cheery Lynn's Poinsettia Strip die and added a SU brad to the center. Pretty CAS for me, huh?

Please check out the fab creations by my talented teammates: Carla, Dawn, and Kathi. And then join us this week!

Have a wonderful weekend! (We are having dinner with our dinner club tomorrow night at Los Sombreros in South Scottsdale. Looking forward to that!)

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Outlawz Friday Coloring Color/Photo Inspiration Challenge/Abby's Card

Good grief. The titles of my posts are certainly too long, aren't they? I could just use acronyms, in which case today's post would be: TOFCCPICAC. Thank goodness that didn't spell a "dirty" word! Of course, it makes no sense, either. Which is fitting for me, don't you think?

For my faithful friends who finished reading my last post--thank you! If you didn't--no problem. But, since it was a long post, I am going to keep today's short. As a reward, if you will.

Our sponsor this month is All Dressed Up, and I used two of her images today. I love the sweet images at this stamp shop. And our lucky, randomly-selected participant this month will win two free digis!

All Dressed up Challenge blog

Please join us this week, for our color/photo inspiration. I love the colors, though mine don't seem to match exactly. Which is OK for you, too! Remember, you can now use any medium to color your images for your creations! 

The two images I selected this month are: Wear With Style Girl #2 and 321 GO. I made a card for my niece as she recently moved into a new home. Of course, I had to include a little boy for Abby's son, Tristan! I printed them on X-Press It BC and colored them with my Copics:

Skin:  E000, E00, E21, E11, E04, R20
Her Hair: YR31, E33, E35
His Hair: E51, E53, E55, E57
Shoes/Shirt/Shorts: B93, B95, B97, B99
Leaves/Blouse: G20, G21, G24
Leggings/Jacket/Hat/Flower/Bows: R81, R83, R85

DP is from the Prima Engraver collection. CS is from Stampin' Up. I used a multitude of dies for this card:

MFT Fresh Cut Grass
Cheery Lynn Grass Border
Cheery Lynn Mini Italian Flourish Doily
Poppystamps Madison Park Bench
Memory Box Caserta Bloom
Memory Box Country House
Memory Box Grand Oak Tree
Memory Box Set of Swings
Whimsy Mini Ticket Die

My sentiment was stamped with two Whimsy sentiments: a Whimsy Celebration Pennant and a Whimsy Mini Ticket. I believe that does it for this edition.

Please check out the beautiful creations by my talented teammates: Carla, Dawn, and Kathi! And then do play along with us this week! Looking forward to seeing your creations!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blog Hop with a Difference/Getting to Know Me

Well, hello, Blogland! And welcome to a blog post about me! Hey, I think most of my posts are about me, but this one is really, truly different. It is meant to let you see my creative process. How on earth I am going to describe this, I don't know yet. But I have to thank my friend, Desire Fourie, for inviting me to participate. Desire has a wonderful blog in South Africa, called Doing Life. She is a very talented designer, both of cards and scrapbook pages. And her photography! Well, let me tell you, it is fantastic. She captures whatever she sees with such beauty and clarity. I love looking at her photos! Do check out her blog, if you aren't already one of her hundreds of followers! You will be glad you did!

You know, it still amazes me that we can keep in such immediate touch with people on the other side of the world. I grew up in the '50's and 60's, (yes, I am older than dirt), so I have seen many surreal technological changes, and I do appreciate them. They have made it possible for me to get to know talented people like Desire! But it's still a bit discombobulating to think about how much things have evolved since the 50's.

When I was little, here's how your mom called you home for dinner: she would stick her head out the back door and just holler your name, and you would come running from wherever. (Or, if you were like me, you would answer when someone else's mom called, pretending to be that kid, thereby getting him/her in a great deal of trouble later. Yes, yes, I really did that.) Nowadays, you call the kids on their mobile phones. Or text them. Crazy. That is, if you live in a location where you can let your children play in the neighborhood. Sadly, some areas are too scary for that now...

As a youngster, we played our music on a turntable. My dad had breakable records, so we had to be careful. Now we have digital music that we carry around and listen to with earphones. In between those times we went through iterations of tape players. More crazy. How things have changed...

And shopping. I am an expert at internet "click-and-buy". The remote shopping we did when I was a child was to order from the Sears or Spiegel catalogs. You would mail in your choices and wait weeks to get your order. Now, it's Amazon Prime, Baby. That's what I'm talkin' about...

OK, I am certainly digressing. Unfortunately, it's the way my mind works, (or misfires). Anyway, now we can create something and share our projects with the world instantly. If I think about that too long, it makes my head hurt.

I have been asked why my blog is called 9 Hawks and a Dragonfly. That's a good question, but you may be supremely bored with the answer. Here goes anyway: several years ago, when I was driving into town, I saw a lot of hawks. (I do live in a town, but at the outskirts of it. And I live a long way from Phoenix proper.) Anyway, there was an abundance of hawks soaring above me that day . Unusual to see so many along my route. So I started counting them and realized there were a total of nine. And then, when I was at a stop sign, a dragonfly buzzed my windshield. I happen to love dragonflies, as well as hawks. So I thought to myself, "Self, you have just seen 9 hawks and a dragonfly." And the thought stuck with me, for some reason. So, when I decided to start a blog a few years later in 2011, I figured that title would be golden. No one else would have tried to use it. And, you know what? I was right! Imagine that...

Here's a fairly brief creative history:

I began crafting in the 50's when an old lady in Whitefish, Montana taught me how to knit. I would tell you her name, but now I am an old lady, and I can't remember it. I taught myself how to crochet. Over the years I have made many knitted and/or crocheted items. You know, before knitting was "cool". I seem to be out of sync with the times. Surprise, surprise...

I also made hobby horses in the 60's for my nephews. I believe I used boot socks for the heads, yarn for the manes, and broom handles for the bodies. I also made Beatles' dolls. I embroidered John's, Paul's, George's, and Ringo's faces on the dolls; I gave these to the four nephews I had at the time. I was a teen-aged Beatles' nut fan. (Although I didn't scream when my sister, Barbara, took me to a Beatles' concert in Minneapolis in the 60's. I was a restrained fan.)

I took a portrait class in junior high, which got me started with sketching. Loved that class, but after framing one portrait I seemed to have lost interest. Was I just on to other things? Your guess is as good as mine...

I must have been fascinated with paper mache. I say that, because I made sculptures out of it, both in junior high and high school art classes. In junior high I made a one-eyed-one-horned-flying-purple-people-eater, as in the song of that era. It was purple and orange and shaped like a fat flying saucer on a neck. A few years later, as a senior in high school, I created a bust of a boy I was dating. Oddly enough, it looked a lot like the sculpture from junior high, except it was brown and had a definite nose. My junior high sculpture was submitted to an art fair. I have no idea where it landed after that. My boyfriend's bust, (that's a weird visual), was given to us by my parents after Gary and I were married. I guess Mom and Dad got tired of looking at the monstrosity. Gary and I carted it from one home to another until at last it fell apart.

I wanted to take some art courses in college, but they were all filled by art majors. Which I wasn't. I got a science degree instead. What can I say? My left-brain won that battle. The only regret I have regarding my education was that I never got that interior design degree I truly wanted...

Over the years I have designed and sewn many things from cotton and/or muslin, like cats and rabbits, for craft fairs. I have also designed my own mohair bears. Never made a dime selling anything. Supplies cost me more than what I brought in. So I gave up on crafting for money. And I never got into sewing clothes. My experience in Home-Ec in high school ruined that for me. (It took me an entire week to put a zipper in the dress I made--I had to tear it out so many times I almost ruined the fabric. It literally gave me nightmares.)

I did take up One-Stroke painting for a time. Had a lot of fun with that during my "country" phase. Painted some murals in our home and in the nursery of our granddaughter, Kelsey, as well as a few in the homes of other people.

Then I eventually got into scrapbooking, thanks to our daughter, Angela. I enjoyed it, but Gary asked me "what good is it?". Angela made albums for our granddaughters with the same sets of photos I had to use. He saw no sense in duplicating the effort. At the time, I belonged to a scrapbook club at the community center in Trilogy, where we used to live. And my club friend, Ellie, introduced me to card-making. Gary seemed to appreciate the change--I was now making things I could give to others, which I guess made more sense to him.

Anyway, I love making cards. And somewhere along the line I went from simply stamping images to coloring images. About the time I started my blog, I guess. And I invested in Copics. The whole set basically. Except for a few grays. (I have those in my hair now instead.)

I think I have come quite a long way in my coloring. That's thanks to lots of practice, and to a couple of Copics classes, the classes I have taken from Suzanne Dean, and now the classes I am taking from Alyce Keegan.

July 2011:                                         July 2014:


I wish I could tell you that I have a particular design style. But I don't. Sometimes I am moved to go overboard with embellishments, and sometimes I actually do CAS. It depends on which of my many personality disorders has control at the time. I don't consciously copy anyone, but I am sure I am influenced by all the fabulous creations that I see each day, while commenting on challenges, blogs, or Facebook. I like to create cards for people's birthdays, etc. for my weekly DT assignments. That seems to have worked out really well for me so far.

I have been on several DT's, (design teams), and am currently on only one--The Outlawz Friday Coloring Challenge. This is because I wanted a bit of time to vacation and breathe, and to work on the coloring class I am currently taking from Alyce of Kit and Clowder. I may apply for another DT in the fall, after our trip to Cancun. We'll see. At the moment I am enjoying my down-time, which I use for lots and lots of reading--I am a reading addict. (I go through spells where all I do is read. Until I become super-saturated, and then I do other things as well. Like sleep. Or eat.)

I love taking photos, especially when we are on vacation, (hopefully near the ocean), or out to dinner. We are foodies, for sure, and really appreciate a good glass of wine and an amazing meal. And I do have fun with my blog. I know my sense of humor is a smidgen weird, and not for everybody, but I hope you have enjoyed it. I keep promising to blog about our May trip to Kaua'i, and I still plan on doing that. In the meantime, here are a couple of photos from that trip. I so miss that ocean, and can hardly wait to get back to it!

I have tagged three amazing women for this blog hop! They will be blogging next Monday about themselves. I do hope you spend some time visiting their blogs. It will be well-worth it!

I have known Kathi all my life. No, just kidding. But it seems like it. She is a friend who "gets" me and my sense of humor, (or lack thereof.) She is such a talented, creative soul. Love all of the "artsy" creations she has for you to see on her blog. And love the fun way Kathi describes how she went through her creative process for each item. She uses so many fab techniques it makes my head spin. (Of course, that could be due to old age, too.) Do stop by her blog and, if you are like me, you will learn a thing or twenty.

I have known Sharon for at least a couple of years. We met on the internet, admiring each other's work. She is another wonderful crafter from across the pond. Sharon has made some of the most gorgeous cards you will ever see. Her style is enchanting, and she always adds such fabulous embellishments. She also has the cutest granddaughter evah! I enjoy seeing Sharon's lovely photos of both her creations and Evie Maie. Oh, and Sharon has a cool dog named Abbie, so do check her out as well. 

Shelly and I have cross-commented on each other's blogs for many, many moons. I do so love to see each card or ATC that she posts on her blogs. Shelly is another accomplished crafter, who tries out so many cool techniques for her creations. She is a "Technique Junkie". I learn new things on her blog each time I visit, though I am not patient enough to try most of them! Shelly loves to create Asian-inspired pieces, as her daughter lives and teaches in China. Do drop in to see her beautiful work!

I have taken a great deal of liberty with this assignment. I did not answer the general questions in any particular order or come up with cohesive thoughts. But that's what you get with a demented mind like mine. I do hope you were not bored. Thank you for visiting, and I hope you come back again!

Have a very pleasant week!

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Outlawz Friday Coloring "At the Beach/Pool" Challenge and Blake's Birthday Card

Ooooh, it is hot here again today. If you live in the Valley of the Sun, you know what I am talking about. Desert heat with the added monsoon--ain't nothin' like it. Egads! Hot, humid, dusty. How fun. Really would love to get away right about now, but that's not in the cards. Soooo...on to today's challenge:

We are sponsored this month by All Dressed Up, the home of really darling stamps! Our randomly-selected participant will win two free digis of his/her choice. Lucky you! Please join us this week. Remember, you can use any coloring medium! We love to see what all you talented peeps out there can create, and this week's theme of beach or pool is a fun one.

All Dressed up Challenge blog

This week I am using two different digis for my scene. I made a birthday card for our local-chef friend, Blake, whose birthday is on August 1st. It's nice to be ready in advance for a change! I combined Make It Crafty Tropical Beach and LaLa Land Crafts Summer Luka, printed them on X-Press It Blending Card, and colored them with my Copics:

Skin: E000, E00, E21, E11, E04, R20
Hair: C5, C7, C9
Swimsuit: Y02, Y04, Y06
Water/Floats/Fins/Goggles: B12, B14, B16
Snorkel: YR12, YR14
Turtle: YG21, YG23, YG25, YR12, YR14
Palm Leaves: YG21, YG23, YG25
Coconuts/Shells/Palm Trunks: E41, E43, E47
Sand: E0000, E30, E40, E42, E43, E50, E70
Sky: B0000, B000
Clouds: C0, C1

I went for a simple design on this, so I only added some Stampin' Up ribbon and Candy Dots. My DP is from the Best Creation Inc. Splash Fun collection,and I paired it with Stampin' Up CS. Hope Blake likes it. 

Gary took me to J&G Steakhouse at the Phoenician for my birthday dinner last Friday. We had marvelous watermelon gazpacho, Au Gratin potatoes, and filet mignon. Then they gave me a birthday dessert, which I selfishly did not share with Gary. It was delicious, and here is a photo of it:

Also, Gary gave me a lovely wine-dinner gift this week. We ate at our only Arizona AAA 5-Diamond restaurant, Kai, on Tuesday. Was it good? Does a bear poo in the woods? Sorry, that wasn't very classy of me, was it? Anyway, we were joined by our friends John and Carol and Bob and Connie. The meal took 4-1/2 hours, a bit longer than it should have. Our wines were OK; I really loved two of the 5 we were served. But the food was spectacular! I even ate the venison! And I hated venison when I grew up in Montana--the wild, gamey taste did nothing for me back then. However, this venison was superb--prepared beautifully, (no gamey flavor, thank goodness), and so tender you didn't even need a knife to cut it! So here are the courses, skipping the Amuse to start the meal--which was foie gras, as well as some other little bits that were delicious, but I have no earthly idea what they were! Forgot to take a photo of that. And pardon my photos--I was trying to take them quickly, so I didn't disturb everyone at our table with the flash. I didn't get the best shots, but oh, well...

1st Course: Citrus Olive Oil Poached Dover Sole, Escabeche of Summer Root Vegetables, Lettuces of Arugula, Grapefruit Buerre, Tobiko Caviar:

2nd Course: Sweet Grass Smoked Squab Breast, Santa Cruz and 60 day Corn Bread, Pickled Cherries, Cafe Dulce Foie Gras, Charred Asparagus: 

Intermezzo palate cleanser. Oh, there were such flavorful layers to this. Of what, I am not sure. But it was sooo good, and definitely cleansed the palate!

Main Course: Mole Adobo Rubbed Venison Tenderloin, Pommes Dauphine, Golden Chantrelles, Sobrasada Emulsion, I'itoi onions:

Dessert:  Light and Dark, Dark Chocolate Sponge Cake, White Chocolate Crumble, Roasted Marcona Almonds & Goats Milk Butter, Wild Strawberries and Huckleberry:

They also did the most unusual thing. They brought out small arrangements of flowers and herbs, and then added liquid nitrogen to them. Really unusual effect!

Also worth mentioning were the breads. Several kinds were given to us. And, if our bread plate was empty, they came by and added more. My fav was a roll with a salted-honey glaze on the top. (You can barely see it on a plate next to my venison course.) Yum, yum, yum. So that was a great deal of fun. The food was paired brilliantly with the wines; the chef made all of the wines taste even better than they actually did without food! Loved the conversation and the atmosphere. If you ever get the chance to dine at Kai, please do. Expect to spend a goodly amount, (including your first-born, just kidding), but it is soooo worth it! 

We stayed overnight at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort, which was really a good idea after drinking all of those wines! (Although I never had them refill any of mine!) And our little Donovan had a short staycation at my sister's house. Thank you again, Merrilyn & Ron, for taking care of Don.

Oh, forgot to mention that our daughter, Angela, took me to Vintage 95 in downtown Chandler for brunch this past Sunday for my birthday treat. And, it was a treat! Really yummy food, there, too--salmon wraps, chilaquiles, and shrimp lettuce wraps. My favorite were the scrumptious chilaquiles shown below. Do you think I got enough fabulous food to eat in the past week? Yeah, I think so, too! And now I have to lose weight yet again. Sigh...will I never learn? Apparently not in this lifetime!

I'll leave you with my photo of Blake's card. Do check out the wonderful creations by my talented teammates: Carla, Dawn, and Kathi! And, please join us this week with yours! 

Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Outlawz Friday Coloring 'Red, White, and Blue' Challenge/Kelsey's Birthday Card

Yes, we have changed our challenge from using alcohol markers to any medium for coloring. We are hoping that will draw in more of you to our coloring challenges! We love to have entries, and we offer some wonderful prizes each month for our randomly-selected winners. This month our sponsor is All Dressed Up, and the prize will be two digis of your choice. These are really darling stamps, and I have seen so many wonderful cards made with them. So please color up your image and show us what you created with it. Remember, you can use any coloring medium!

All Dressed up Challenge blog

Well, today is the day. The big six-five. Yup, I am officially a "Senior Citizen". C**p. I mean, really? Do I have to be old? Obviously, it is better to be on this side of the dirt, so I guess I will just have to deal with the age issue. Sigh...

On the bright side of things, we just made our reservations for Maui next year, and our airline tickets were cheaper because we got "senior" rates. So there is that...

This year we are scaling down my birthday celebration. No, we are not going to the Phoenician for a "stay-cation". We are, however, going to J&G Steakhouse at the Phoenician for dinner. Which will be nice, as we will be able to see fireworks around the Valley from the restaurant windows. I guess the resort is having their own fireworks display tomorrow night, but why would you do it after the 4th? What's the point then? Ya got me. Anyway, I hope this weekend finds all of you having something fun to do.

Speaking of birthdays, our granddaughter, Kelsey, is turning 12 on the 7th. I used a Tiddly Inks image to make her card this week. (She is a dragon-lover, much like her grandma.) And this image, Dragon Friend, is just too cute! I printed it on X-Press It BC and colored it up with my Copics and Twin Touch Brush markers:

Skin: E000, E00, E21, E11, E04, R20
Hair: Y23, YR23, E15, E18
Dress: R00, E08, E09, TTBR94 
Shoes: E08, E09, TTBR94
Dragon: B91, B93, B95, B97, B99, BG0000, B00, BG01, B52

My DP is from the We R Memory Keepers Red, White, and Blue collection. I Zutterized it and paired it with Stampin' Up CS. For finishing touches, I added Stickles Star Dust to the dragon's body, Spica Baby Blue to the dragon's toenails, and Crackle Accents to the girl's shoes. Then I threw everything but the kitchen sink on the design, so that Kelsey has lots to look at: a safety pin, heart charm, Tim Holtz chain tassel, a frame charm, Stampin' Up baker's twine, Stampin' Up ribbon, lace from my stash, cheesecloth, pearl sprays, Tim Holtz alpha cards, Tim Holtz film strip ribbon, a Whimsy Fun Life Tickets 2 sentiment, and die cuts made with the following dies:

Memory Box Victorian Frame
Memory Box Palace Oval Frame
Cheery Lynn Nautical Wheeler Doily
Whimsy Ticket 

Again, I hope you will join our challenge this week! Please check out the fabulous creations by my teammates: Carla, Dawn, and Kathi! 

And, have a wonderful weekend!