Friday, July 31, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring "Dance" Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring "Color/Photo Inspiration" Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring "Chocolate" Challenge

Hi, there! Our new challenge is to honor National Chocolate Day, which, as it turns out, was July 7th. So we seem to be a wee bit late, but, if chocolate is in the mix, better late than never! I heart chocolate. In just about any form or sweetness level. You say chocolate, and I say how high? Oh, wait a minute, I think I have my metaphors mixed up. Let's try that again. You say chocolate, and I open my mouth. Like a baby bird. A very large baby bird. With no feathers, and no wings. Oh, unless you count my angel wings. But they are invisible. As is my angelic personality. Where on earth was I going with this? I have no idea. But then, neither do you, so we are in the same boat, so to speak. Chalk it up to being a real senior citizen. At last.

Yeah, like I was eagerly awaiting the day I turned 66. Not in a million years, my friends. But, the benefit is that I get to start drawing Social Security, so I am worth a little more than I was in June. Certainly more than a penny. See what I did there? Haha. You knew I would do that, didn't you? Snicker and snort...

Oh, and btw, for those of you who wonder why I say snort. It is NOT because I do anything up my nose. Far from it. (I just typed 'fart from it', so you know where my mind is.) No, I do not snort things up my nose with a rubber hose, or otherwise. I do make an ungodly noise out my nose when I laugh. Not always, just when I am truly tickled. Yeah, I snort like a piggy. Which annoys Gary to no end, (poor baby). I will admit it can be embarrassing, especially when I do it in a venue that frowns on such things. I will leave that to your imaginations.

On to our challenge. As I said, it is to celebrate National Chocolate Day. And I chose another Sweet Pea image to use--good for me, as Sweet Pea Stamps is our sponsor for July--YAY! I not only heart chocolate, I heart Sweet Pea Stamps, as well. Love the many artists in the store, along with all their fabulous images. I am getting quite a collection now. You, can start yours, too, if you win the draw this month--which is for 3 images of your choice. So do play along with us! Pick the medium of your choice, and hand-color your image for your project--something to do with chocolate this week. OK? OK.

As I was saying, my image is Alice by artist Helena Reis, and can be found here. She is a sweet thing, isn't she? I will admit to having a baaaaaad week of coloring. I colored this image 7 times, before I was satisfied I could post it. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Biorhythms, maybe? Or lack, thereof? I do not know. I only know I became really exasperated, because I had been ahead of schedule with my cards, and now I am barely caught up. Arghhhh! But I printed her, (several times, as it turned out), on X-Press It BC, and colored her, (over and over again), with my Copics, (which I had to refill):

 Skin: E000, E01, E11
Cupcake/Hair: E21, E25, E29
Bow/Dress: BG70, BG72, BG75, BG78
Watch/Pinafore: E30, E31
Sleeves: BG70, BG72

Okey dokey. I added a few die cuts, which is such a shock, I am sure you need CPR to get your hearts back in sync. Snicker, snort...

My DP is from the Graphic 45 Steampunk Spells collection, (no, it is not just for Halloween!), and I paired it with Stampin' Up CS. I also stamped and colored a cupcake from House Mouse Stamps Make a Wish 2 rubber stamp, and then cut it out and popped it onto my design. The dies I used are: Cheery Lynn Steampunk Pocket Watch, Cheery Lynn Polynesian Sails Oval, and LaLa Land Crafts Steampunk Corner. Hi-yo, Silver! Away...

I actually just thought of that Lone Ranger quotation because I called teammate Kathi, Kimosabe, on an email a moment or two or ten ago. Don't ask me why. Again, I have no idea. Perhaps I am in my second or tenth or thirtieth childhood. It's a pleasant place to be. Life was much slower then. I was faster, but life was slower. Now life is so much faster, but I am so much slower. Is that the way it was meant to be? Inquiring minds wish to know...

Oh, btw, I thought we were going to Paz Cantina for breakfast last Friday. As it turned out, their website misstated the hours, and they were not open at 9. Which put a crimp in our breakfast plans. But never one to give up where food is concerned, I said we should go to Barrio Urbano, which is the #1 place for chilaquiles in Phoenix, according to Phoenix Magazine. So off we went, and boy, howdy, were we ever happy with our meal. Fannnnntastic! If you get the chance, this is a definite "must-try" for breakfast. Absolutely scrumptious, from the flavorful black beans, to the beautifully seasoned potatoes, to the downright delicious chilaquiles, which are tortilla chips covered with a beautifully spiced tomatillo sauce and topped with two fried eggs. Oh, my, too much to eat, as the portions are huge. But you will gorge yourself with a grin on your face with this dish! So glad we went there! The Bloody Maria you see in the photo was delicious, but so very, very hot--it had the following ingredients: House infused Serrano y chile de arbol Chinaco blanco, house bloody mix, fresh lime, tajin, nopal. (Just FYI--serranos are five times hotter than jalapenos. It's no wonder that Gary is suffering this week with stomach issues!) So the next time we go there, we will forgo the Bloody Maria. 'Nuf said.

We also got to go to FnB for dinner Saturday night. I had a Greek yogurt soup that was so flavorful and cooling in our Arizona heat. My main course was King salmon that the owner had just caught in Alaska, so it was mighty tasty! And a huge portion, which I couldn't quite finish. (Had to save room for dessert, don't ya know!) I ate the entire, wonderful riccota tart to finish my birthday dinner. (Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos again!) Anyway, it's still hard to be me! 

I also mentioned last week that Angela was taking me to Wild Thaiger for dinner on Sunday night. We had Dragon's Eggs, which are fabulous pork, crab, and shrimp dumplings. We couldn't decide on steamed or fried, so we got a combo. I preferred the steamed and Angela preferred the fried, so that worked out perfectly. Then we shared some yummy Tom Ka Gai soup and a platter of Candy Shrimp, which was almost too good to eat! I hate to admit it, but we also split mango and sticky rice. (I think I have had more than my fair share of desserts lately! And my waistline shows it!)

So, for my next birthday celebration, my sister, (Merrilyn), BIL, (Ron), and hubby, (Gary, of course, who did you expect?), and I are going to Persian Garden Cafe for lunch. Today. Neener-neener, I get to go and you don't. I expect to have some fantastic Purple Shoots, which is a dish of eggplant and green beans. Sounds scrumptious to me, with all the Persian seasonings that he uses.

And I still have my birthday coupons to Kona Grill and Gordon Biersch to use up. Then I shall be birthdayed-out. If there even is such a thing, which I doubt. But I will try it and let you know...

So, do stop by The Outlawz Friday Coloring Challenge to see the fab, new inspiration by my talented teammates: Carla, Kathi, Vannessa, and Karen. And then play along with us this week, won't you? We are looking forward to your creations! 

Have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Outlawz Friday Coloring "4th of July/Patriotic/Red, White & Blue" Challenge

A hot hello to you all. Unless, of course, you are in the southern hemisphere. Then, maybe not so much. But it certainly feels like July here in the desert! I have to say, though, that our temps in the 100-teens didn't last too long. So now we are at least below 110. Which is still hot, but what a difference a few degrees make in the summer! Maybe it is just psychological, (or psychotic, on my part), but it feels so much more comfortable at 107 than it does at 115. OK, enough about the weather!

So, do you have wonderful plans for this weekend? Or, are you already on a mini-vacation? We are going out to breakfast today to a new place in downtown Phoenix. Yes, it will be a late breakfast, as we do not want to get into rush-hour traffic. But we are going to try Paz Cantina, which is supposed to be a fabulous Mexican restaurant. And they are supposed to have wonderful chilaquiles. So we will find out.

This is part of a quest I talked Gary into. Our Phoenix Magazine came out with a Mexican food guide in their May issue. And our quest is to try food from all the restaurants that were given good mentions. With the exception of those listed for hard-core cuisine--I have no desire to try pork stomach, cow stomach, brains, eyes, or tongue. Sorry, those just gross me out. I know, I know, I am a pansy. But I have tried more adventurous cuisines than I ever expected to--just leave out the offal, ok? No, thank you...

And, for my birthday dinner tomorrow, we are meeting friends at FnB in Scottsdale. Supposed to have fabulous farm-to-table food, and they carry a great number of Arizona wines. I am a huge fan of a number of Arizona wineries--have had some yummy varietals and blends from several of them. So I am really looking forward to this meal!

Last, but certainly not least, our daughter, Angela, is taking me out for a yummy Thai meal on Sunday. I know it will be yummy because we are going to Wild Thaiger, and the food there is just amazing. Really fresh and flavorful. When Angela asked me where I would like to go to dinner on Sunday, I suggested Wild Thaiger--she has not been there, so it will be a treat for her, I am sure! And we are going to go shopping at Changing Hands Bookstore before dinner. I have a couple of gift cards to use, and am looking forward to shopping as well.

Speaking of shopping, (second in my book only to eating), I just spent the birthday gift card that our daughter, SIL, and granddaughters gave me for my birthday gift. It was for crafty items at 7 Kids. What fun! I got three new dies to use and a few packs of designer 6x6 paper. Can hardly wait for the package to arrive--hopefully next week! So aren't I a lucky duck, though!

And, then I get to celebrate my birthday all over again next Friday with my sister, Merrilyn, BIL, and Gary. We will be going to Persian Garden Cafe for lunch, and I am really looking forward to the Purple Shoots. (It is an eggplant and green bean dish--yum, yum, yum!) Oh, and I also have a couple of free dinners coming from Gordon Biersch and Kona Grill from birthday coupons. So I will have to use those soon, too. Just a veritable foodie, aren't I?

OK, on to my card for the week. We are being sponsored this month by Sweet Pea Stamps again. YAY! I love shopping for digis there--so many great artists with so many fabulous images! And our monthly winner will receive 3 digis of his/her choice! Kewl! Have fun checking out the shop, but, as I have said before, plan to spend some time doing so--there are so many images to see!!!

I chose a fun image, Sweet Pea Stamps Maltese Girl, by Charmaine Flannery to color. This is a tribute to our dog, dingbat Donovan. I must say, he does not look like these show dogs! Maltese grow actual hair, which is very fine, and tangles easily. So we keep Don shaved down. I hated it when we tried grooming him with long hair--he cried so easily when we would comb him. So this is much better for all of us! (Of course, he hates his monthly grooming appointments, but that's another matter.)

Oh, and btw, I do not look like the Maltese Girl. I certainly do not have a cute little nose or long red hair. But I chose to color the image in red, white, and blue to meet the challenge this week. I printed the image on X-Press It BC and colored it with my Copics:

Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair: YR02, E07, E09, E29
Dogs: B91, B41, B21
Hair Beads/Eyes: B21, B23, B26

I used Bazzill and Stampin' Up CS and one die cut made with the Memory Box Tessatina Border die. And that's it! A CAS card for me, for sure. There are times where I really do enjoy doing them! I see the cross-hatching on the hair again, drat it all. The only way I can get rid of it is by making the image really, really large, like the original size. I think I have been saving them in too large a file, but I don't know why I have never had the cross-hatching problems until now. Oh, well...

Do stop by and see the fabulous inspiration by my teammates: Carla, Kathi, Vannessa, and Karen. I am so fortunate to be part of such a great DT! Remember, we'd love to have you join us this week. All you need to do is hand-color an image for your project that meets the challenge--using any medium you wish. Looking forward to seeing what you do!

Have a wonderful weekend!