Saturday, December 31, 2011

Take THAT Wood Block!

Ever have one of those card issues - where no matter WHAT you try - the results you have in your head - don't match up with the results sitting before you? Well this stamp that sister Gail bought me just about kicked my arse!

I ended up tossing two attempts in the trash - then decided - "No!" I will not let a piece of man-made rubber and a chunk of wood get the better of me. Instead of giving up I made the same card three times. I'm still not getting the results that I have in my head...but I'm workin' on it! It is difficult (for me) because of the wood sled against the wood fence. And I can't stop myself from making the fence too dark...I keep laying down color - then more color - then more.....

Exhibit #1
~Base card - Stampin' Up cardstock
~Michael's The 12 Days (yay me! picked it up at Michael's for 70% off!) - those are flutes in case you wondered...
~Archiver stamp - Sled with Cardinal by Northwoods, stamped on Cryogen White using Memento Tuxedo Black ink, colored with Copics, cardinal paper pieced and topped with Inkssentials Glossy Accents and attached with tiny Sticky Dots, accented with Marvy Liquid Applique
~Brown twine
~Tag stamped with Joy sentiment
Moving Along with the Times - music (flutes design paper from 12 Days of Christmas collection)

Exhibit #2
~Base card Stampin' Up dark brown
~Blue plaid scrap - edges faux stitched with fine point brown Sharpie
~Archiver stamp - Sled with Cardinal by Northwoods, stamped on Cryogen White using Memento Tuxedo Black ink, colored with Copics, cardinal paper pieced and topped with Inkssentials Glossy Accents and attached with tiny Sticky Dots, accented with Marvy Liquid Applique
~Framed with blue mulberry paper
~Dark brown twine
~Punched tag with 'tis the season sentiment
Stamps and Fun = Creativity - snow
Paper Play - Christmas

Exhibit #3
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Select White
~Layer of Paper Studio Happy Hootin Holidays
~Archiver stamp - Sled with Cardinal by Northwoods, stamped on Cryogen White using Memento Tuxedo Black ink, colored with Copics, cardinal paper peiced and topped with Inkssentials Glossy Accents and attached with tiny Sticky Dots, accented with Marvy Liquid Applique
~Punched tag with Good Times sentiment
~White twine
Aud Sentiments - anything goes
Little Red Wagon - something new (new stamp)
Dutch Dare - my favorite things (love using Liquid Applique and Glossy Accents)

So THERE little block of wood and rubber!!!

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Just a quick note with another card. I think tomorrow I'll share with you a "you know you live in a small town when..." story.

Just Plain Flaky
~Base card - pre-made die cut - highlighted with silver metallic Sharpie and silver Sharpie Poster Paint pen
~Layer of Paper Studio Happy Hootin' Holidays (half price at Hobby Lobby!), die cut using Spellbinder circle scallop and Cuttlebug
~Smaller die cut of Paper Temptress Cryogen White stamped with Hero Arts Ornate Snowflake using Memento Tuxedo Black, highlighted using Quickie Glue and Stampendous Crystal glitter, outer scallop dotted with blue gel pen
Challenges and Inspiration
Dutch Dare - favorite things (LOVE LOVE LOVE Cryogen White cardstock and my Quickie Glue Pen!)
Craft Us Crazy - Christmas new (die cut cards new purchase)
Crimbo Crackers - snowflakes
DRS Designs - snowflakes

Thank you for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wired and Tired

No more whining about cleaning during my week off. Just a card before hittin' the hay!

Wired for Christmas!
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Select White
~Layer of Paper Studio Holiday Wonder
~Background Christmas tree is part of the same Paper Studio collection - highlighted with Inkssential's Glossy Accents and gold glitter, framed with red cardstock
~Gold metal charm
~Digital image by Phindy at Phindy's Place, printed on Cryogen White, colored with Copics, highlighted with Stickles Yellow and Inkssential's Glossy Accents, oval cut using Spellbinder and Cuttlebug
Challenges and Inspiration
Phindy's Place - use scraps (used a scrap of Cryogen - I LOVE this stuff - so I save EVERY teensy weensy piece)
The House that Stamps Built - sketch

Thank you for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Break Time

I work at a university so I have the entire week between Christmas and New Year's Eve off, why then I ask you, am I spending it deep cleaning? Well okay - not ONLY cleaning - I am squeezing in some time for making cards. Making a card is my break time. I tell myself - "go through ONE more box and then you can treat yourself with some time at the craft table." And it's not actually what I would call cleaning it is more of a downsizing extravaganza! REALLY...I couldn't find a better way to spend a week off!?

This is another card for sister Gail. Wonder how many more I have to make for to fill her 'order'?

Jingle Toes
~Base card - die cut pre-made ornament shape card, from Wal-mart; faux stitching made using Sharpie gold metallic, ornament top colored using Sharpie gold metallic
~Die cut scallop using Spellbinders Scallop Circle and Cuttlebug - BasicGrey Fruitcake
~Stamped image using Memento Tuxedo Black colored with Copics, highlighted with gold metallic Sharpie Poster Paint and Inkssentials Glossy Accents; stamp is from the dollar bin at Michael's; stamped on Cryogen White from Paper Temptress - scallop die cut; edges dotted with red Sharpie
Scrapbook Sisters - anything goes
Freshly Brewed - Christmas
Tip Top Tuesday - anything goes
Gingerloft - Winter/Christmas
Wee Memories - anything goes
Play Date Cafe - color inspiration

Thank you for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Deckled Snow

I'm still working on my mission to complete the 15 Christmas cards per sister Gail's request. I was hoping these little guys would make me yearn a little less for snow. I don't think I care for all the BROWN outside. I actually prefer the white fluffy stuff covering up the yard. It just HAS to snow one of these days...right? This is Iowa after all!

And I have a confession to make...I bought myself a Cricut! I bought a Cricut-Mini and am still in the learning process. I don't have any cartridges - but DO have a friend at work who has a very nice assortment - and was generous to let me borrow one to practice with. I was afraid I was not going to be on Santa's good girl list so I went ahead and bought it myself right before Christmas. Actually I popped a bid up on eBay without any expectation of winning...and I DID!

Most of my practice cuts are not card-worthy! I have "MUCH TO LEARN" and many tutorials to watch! I did manage to deckle cut this rectangle using the "Child's Year" cartridge. It was really scary putting an already colored image into the machine and hoping for the correct placement. I did a couple practice runs - and am very glad I did! I now know I need to print, then cut, THEN color! It will be much less nerve wracking to chop through an uncolored digital stamp than a completed one!

Oh the learning I will do...the mistakes I will make...the fun I will have!

Three Fifths Glee Club
~Base card - white linen
~Layer of Paper Studio design paper Happy Hootin' Holidays
~Grosgrain ribbon
~Cricut: A Child's Year
~Digital image by Sassy Cheryl colored with Copics, highlighted with Inkssentials Glossy Accents, snow dotted Stickles Diamond
Sassy Cheryl's - Snowman with a die cut
Tuesday Morning Sketches - layout

Thank you for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Monday, December 26, 2011

Rainy Snow Boots

Another Christmas tucked away...I know I should be cleaning, picking up, and putting away yet here I am working on a card. This is another one for sister Gail's request for 15 Christmas cards. I remain jealous that she has that many friends. I took banana bread to the neighbors (they don't count as friends). I took a gift to ONE, count - it - ONE - friend. I mailed exactly ZERO cards. Perhaps my New Year's resolution should be to make 15 new friends. (I need to have at least ONE more friend than sissy G!)

Speaking of Christmas - this is the first NOT white Christmas that we've had in a long time...I don't think I like it! Come on SNOW!

I'm watching Willow on the new HUGE flat screen TV while I make cards. (Does that count as multi-tasking?) Thank you Santa - the TV is AWESOME! The old TV - dinky screen - yet big enough to qualify as a small Buick - is now a thing of the past. My card sanctuary and a TV I can actually see from across the room - plus a Blue-ray/DVD - I may never leave the downstairs again!

Detail of vellum snowflakes.

~Base card PaperTrey Ink - Kraft
~Layer of Paper Studio Happy Hootin' Holidays
~Rectangle of more Kraft cardstock with tilted piece of design paper from Graphic 45
~Three silver snowflake die cuts topped with silver glitter
~Five vellum punched snowflakes highlighted with Stickles Diamond
~Rain boots - freebie digital image from Broken Box colored with Copics - flowers topped with Inkssentials Glossy Accents (Yes I know I'm using rain boots instead of snow boots but it is so darn unseasonably warm that I thought I could get away with it!)
~Silver metallic ribbon
~Sentiment typed and printed
Challenges and Inspiration
Ladybug Challenge - BINGO (new experience - I've never 'done' a BINGO challenge - went with middle column - die cut, flowers, ribbon)
Dutch Dare - make it shimmer
Southern Girls - celebrate
Paper Sundaes - celebrate
Pile It On - bling

Thank you for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Friend Envy

Sister Gail put in her request for ten Christmas cards for next year, then upped the request to 15. I'm jealous she has 15 friends - but since I'm so happy for her and envious of her list of friends, I will make her 15 cards. Nothing like giving me plenty of notice! Pastels aren't her favorite but I like the inspiration for color over at Our Creative Corner and she will be giving this away so I guess it doesn't matter if the card isn't her 'fav' colors. Working with pastels is a challenge for me and I think it was the unusual combination that drew me to it. As luck would have it I even had a design paper sitting at the ready in the appropriate color palette. I KNEW there was a reason to have a mountain of paper on hand!

Santa Scroll
~Base card Bazzill Guava Sensation - faux stitching
~Layer of Paper Studio Happy Hootin' Holidays faux stitching
~Sentiment by Stampendous punched with Stampin' Up Word Window
~Black scroll with light blue cardstock and pink brad (the black scroll is a re-purposing of a label background from a Papertemptress order)
~Santa stamp Anita's, colored with Copics, highlighted with Marvy Liquid Applique puffed up using embossing heat gun, and Stickles Yellow and Waterfall, image popped up off the blue cardstock using dimensionals. Stanta stamped with Versamark and black embossing powder. Shoes topped with Stampin' Up Crystal Effects.
Challenge and Inspiration
Our Creative Corner - color inspiration

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fruitcake Brother-in-Law

I just love it! My brother in law is in charge of mailing all the Christmas cards at my sister's home. During the year I gift hand-made cards to my sister Judy. Then every year he ends up sending us a Christmas card that I made. So I promptly turn around and re-purpose pieces-parts from the card he mails.

The first year he did that my sister yelled at him...his response was..."well you told me just to use 'Nancy cards' for special people...she's special isn't she?" This year he wrote the usual Merry Christmas note with an added "nice card, huh?"

I'm thankful he sent the card when he did - as the image is just what I needed to play along with the color inspiration challenge (red/olive/kraft) over at JUGS (Just Us Girls)! I pulled apart the card, added some red, some dry embossing, a little bit of this and a little bit of that...and poof! New card!

Fruitcake Wreath
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Kraft
~Rectangle layer of Bazzill Burgundy, embossed using Cuttlebug Swiss Dots
~Square layer of rectangle layer of Bazzill Burgundy
~Square layer of white cardstock
~Square layer of design paper from Stampin' Up
~Free digital wreath image from Addii, colored with Copics and, highlighted with Stickles, Stampin' Up Crystal Effects, and Flower Soft - printed on white cardstock, die cut using Cuttlebug Scallop Circle, scallop dots using Pigma Micron 0
~Sentiment stamp from a Michael's dollar bin - punched using Stampin' Up Word Window

Who knew my brother in law would help me create a card?! This one will stay in the family...other sister Gail requested 10 Christmas cards for next year. So Gail when you get this one...think of Guy! You could even reserve this one to mail to Judy and Guy. Or you could mail it to niece Linda and SHE can re-purpose it into an even different card...and she can mail it to me....and ...well you get the picture. This card could be the new fruitcake!

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Shabby Socks

Quick post. Simple card. Started this card because I was inspired by the photo and samples over at Shabby Tea Room.

The Stockings
~Base card - PaperTrey Ink Dark Chocolate
~Stocking stamp - from the dollar bin at Michael's colored using Copics and dotted with glitter
~Gold metallic floss - (transfer of crap from sissy Gail)
~Design paper: BasicGrey Infuse
Challenges and Inspirations
Shabby Tea Room - photo inspiration

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rainbow Snow

I only have time for a quick post I have to head back up to campus tonight. It's FRENCH TOAST FRENZY night! It's the night when staff and faculty take over the cafeteria and cook eggs, bacon, French toast, and cinnamon rolls and serve the students who are supposedly taking a break from studying for final exams. The semester officially ended Friday - this week is finals week - then it is Home for the Holidays for the 'kids'.

The veteran students LOVE French Toast Frenzy. It's always fun to see the freshman experience their first FTF! Somehow seeing the dean of students serve up bacon and the university president serving up cinnamon rolls delights them! There is also karaoke going on and massages from a local spa. And my duty for the evening? I cook scrambled eggs. Actually - I bail half an hour into egg cooking to go take photos of the students wolfing down 'brain food' and belting out a song or two on stage. It is a fun night for all!

Snow Buddies
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Rustic White cardstock
~Layer of red cardstock
~Layer of The Paper Studio Holiday Wonder
~Digital image by Di's Digital Downloads colored using Copics, snow highlighted with Stickles Diamonds, hat fur embellished with Marvy Liquid Applique (see? it's PUFFY!)
~Silver snow flake drop is re-purposed earring - hanging on silver metallic embroidery floss (transfer of crap from sister Gail)
~Red flocked snowflake trim (from my blogging friend across the pond Julie at Rainbow Days - THANK YOU JULIE!!) (More regarding that at a later post - LUCKY me!)
Challenges and Inspiration
The Pink Elephant - snow and sparkles
My Sheri Crafts - let it snow
Totally Gojuss - let it snow
Glitter Geeks - let it snow

Thank you for clicking by!
Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stepin' Out

Again, I wonder why I don't have time for making cards! Here is my most recent time sucking project. As a college dorm floor parent one of the projects we decided on was to make the 'door decs'. Door decs are placards with the student name. The decorations are usually season related - and are created by the resident assistant monthly. We already made the door decs for the guy's side of the floor - and they are in place. I forgot to take a photo of them - but they did turn out well.

For the girl's side of the dorm - we are providing the door signs for the month of April. So...with the idea of April showers - I went to the one person I know with a Cricut. She mass produced the 50+ parasols - each individualized with the student's name. I added the bling - lots of sequins, glitter, and stickers - and added shine to the rain drop. I showed these to Jenna the resident assistant for the girl's wing...she loves them and can't wait to use them. She did, however ask if I could 'super-bling' hers. So Jenna's umbrella is back on the craft table. (There are three spellings of the name Hannah!)

Here is a card I put together this weekend. I've never made a card like this before. I popped over to the JUGS site and saw that the challenge was for this center step technique. I almost opted out but thought - hey why not?! Why not 'step' out of my comfort zone? It's not the finest example of a step card but it was my first. I had to 'whittle' down the cutting measurements because of the size of the envelopes I have on hand.

~Base card - PaperTrey Ink Berry Sorbet
~Design paper - DCWV Rainbow Stripes (used horizontally and vertically)
~Front fold has layer of green cardstock and a strip of Berry Sorbet threaded through a Stampin' Up Hodgepodge metal buckle
~Two brads
~Freebie image by Elizabeth Dulemba colored in with Copics and highlighted with Stampin' Up Crystal Effects
Challenges and Inspirations
Just Us Girls - technique
One Stitch at a Time - use a digital image
Creations by Gill - red and green
Crafty Catz - anything goes

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas or Not So Much

I mentioned to dear husband that there was a string of lights out on the Christmas tree. He proceeded to try to remove the offending string without first taking down the ornaments. Rather than listen to him moan and gnash his teeth over the difficulties he was experiencing I quietly worked ahead of him to remove ornamental obstructions. So...project for the nite is on hold until I bring new Christmas lights. He offered to figure out which of the bulbs didn't work - I explained he could sit and replace bulb by bulb - or we could just use the two new boxes of bulbs I bought at Hobby Lobby. After twenty minutes of bulb in bulb out...he agreed to pop for an additional string of lights and to trash the offending string that started the whole cabal.''

Not sure this is actually a Christmas card. I think it could be used as a card for Christmas but I think it could also be used as a generic card.

Christmas or Not?
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Vintage White
~Layer of white cardstock, background image Stampabilities Composer's Dream embossed with Versamark and Ranger Clear Embossing Powder, background smudged with red and green inks
~Leafy branches stamped and die cut using Taylored Expressions
~'berries' punched using office paper punch
Challenges and Inspirations
Come and Get it - Anything Christmas
Gingerloft - Christmas / Winter
Kenny K's Krafty Girl - add texture
Let's Ink it Up - Christmas
2 Sisters - punches or diecuts
365 Cards - red/green not Christmas
Kraftin' Kimmie - embossing
2 Sisters - punches or dies
Frosted Designs - music

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

And I Wonder...

As promised here is the end product of the Franciscan Team tree on the university campus where I work. For those of you new to my blog here are the links to the previous Franciscan Team tree...fruits and berries and bread 'cookies'. The bird topper was made by a coworker with a Cricut...I think I'm jealous! She is going to give me a Cricut lesson so I can decide whether or not to put one on my someday wish list.

I'm hoping our team wins the Christmas tree competition - but - even if we don't win...the fauna will appreciate the nibbles when we move the edibles from the artificial tree to a real tree outdoors. And I will admit the 'team' is me. I tried to do a bonafide' team' tree one year...but I can't be creative by committee. It was just easier to do it myself.

Next I will share a picture of the 'door decs' I made for 'my kids' at college. And I wonder why I don't get many cards made and look at dismay at the state of chaos in my house....

Ever have one of those cards that - as you make it - you think - oh this is so much fun and it is soooo coming together. Ever make one of those cards that have to be given to someone special? Or does every card you make give you that HOOOPPTT feeling? This one looses something in the digital is very yummy in person.

And the theme is perfect since it has been snowing, and snowing, and snowing...

Let it Snow
~Base card - Cryogen White
~Layer of DCWV Solid Glitter White (I really like this - wonder where the heck I bought it - I may need some more!)
~Rhinestone satin ribbon (one of those purchases that I made that is SO hard to cut into because I like it so much!)
~White paper doily
~Chipboard tag painted white with acrylic paint
~Iridescent Christmas tree tinsel (for tag tie)
~Free digital image from Meljen's colored with Copics, dotted with Stickles Diamond - two of the 'rhinestones' ended up on the edges of the ribbon so I popped them off and added them to the image
~Cuttlebug die cut flower sparkled-up with Stickles Diamond with a center rhinestone
Challenges and Inspiration
The Shabby Tea Room - Winter Picnic photo inspiration
Our Craft Lounge - tag
Lady Bug Crafts - white on white
Designed 2 Delight - snow
One Stop Craft - snow
Totally Paper Crafts - snow

I'm off to do a bit of cleaning...the chaos is calling!
Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Flats

A quick trip to and from the Sioux Falls, SD airport and I'm back at the computer posting a card. While on my journey to retrieve a college student returning from Thanksgiving break back home (in Texas) I had time to survey the landscape. There was nothing but country western songs on the radio and well...nothing but...flatness to look at. I've made the trip north on Interstate 29 several times but didn't realize until today how flat this portion of South Dakota really is. Iowa isn't mountainous at all but it does have its share of rolling hills.

The flatness must have felt like home to my Texan friend because he told me that when he came for a campus visit during his senior year of high school he asked the track coach, "are those mountains?", referring to the adjacent Loess Hills  which rise 200 feet above the flat plains forming a narrow band running north-south 200 miles along the Missouri River. He said, 'yes this is as flat as home - except - you can't drive this far without seeing houses and cities and cars...and people!" Oh those big city kids!

Dillian's mother did not disappoint him and had plenty of greens and neck bones waiting for him when he got home last Tuesday. He said he only wished he could have packed his suitcase with greens, neck bones, barbecue, and an assortment of other home cooked goodies.

Here is another card for the Jennie stack. Her request is for 5 Christmas cards and 20 assorted any occasion cards.

Oh Christmas Tree
~Base card - PaperTrey Ink Kraft cardstock
~Layer of the Paper Studio Happy Hootin' Holidays
~Eight buttons with metalic floss
~Felt Christmas tree with lights and a smattering of snow flakes and a glittered star
Gingerloft - Christmas or winter
Fairy Tale - Christmas
Poodles Parlor - Christmas
Our Creative Corner - Christmas tree
Twisted Sketch - sketch plus glitter
Phindy's Place - a sprinkling of snow
Crazy 4 Challenges - snow

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Penguinies and Greens!

One of my students texted me last night. His ride, back to campus, from the Sioux Falls, SD airport fell through. He wanted to know if I would pick him up. Sure...why not? I asked him before he left for Thanksgiving break what he was most looking forward to when he got back to Texas. He said, 'my mama's cookin'. She's gonna have greens and neck bones waitin' for me! I can already smell it - greens and neck bones..." Then he got rather dreamy eyed and unfocused.

I love hearing stories from the students...what is the first thing they plan on doing...what food do they miss the most...what family activity are they most looking forward to...are they going to get all their homework done while on break...!

I have to leave soon for the drive to Sioux Falls but want to post this card that I put together early this morning. It is another one for the Jennie series. Every year I make cards for daughter Amy's BFF (since grade school). Amy and Jennie have weathered middle school, high school, undergraduate school, graduate school, Amy's Hodgkin's Lymphoma, trans-continental travels, California, and everything else that life tosses in the air. I look forward to Jennie's annual request because it reminds me that she is really part of our family not just Amy's friend.

Upon further reflection - this card could end up in the sister Gail pile...she is crazy for penguins. 'Penguinies' as we call them (an homage to friend Mary Lee's granddaughter moniker for penguins). I will just make another card for Jennie if Gail lays claim to this one.

Hooray for Penguinies!
~Base card - PaperTrey Ink Ocean Tides
~Scrap of Kaleidoscope design paper - stripes laid vertically
~Smaller scrap of same design paper attached to PaperTrey Ink Ocean Tides scrap - using stripes horizontally
~MelJen's Design freebie image laser printed on Papertemptress Cryogen White (having a sale - best cardstock ever for Copics - but could possibly win an award for worst website ever...but who cares! I love the paper!) Image colored with Copics - bling and glitter enhancements. White cardstock attached to more Ocean Tides - edges of both curved using curve punch.
~Grosgrain ribbon
~Three buttons - attached with glitter glue
Card Patterns - sketch
Dutch Dare - recipe: ribbon, embellishment, layers, image, design paper
Sarah Hurley - buttons
Craft Your Days Away - buttons or bows
Lilypad - button

I'm now on my way to South Dakota. Can't wait to hear all the details of Dillian's Thanksgiving break and time with family and friends.  (Don't tell him but I hope he doesn't bring me any greens and neck bones!).

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Snow Place Like Home

Just a quick post before I get ready to turn in for the evening. Jennie, daughter Amy's BFF, requested her annual groupings of cards to give to her co-workers. Here is one that will make it into the 'Jennie pack'. Amy told me not to make them too 'blingy' or Jennie will keep them for herself. Jennie is as 'blingy' as daughter Amy is not - complete opposites those two!

No Place Like Home
~Base card Stampin' Up cardstock
~Layer of Paper Studio Happy Hootin' Holidays (vertical stripe)
~Layer of Paper Studio Happy Hootin' Holidays  (same stripe placed horizontally)
~Die cut sentiment sticker from Paper Studio Happy Hootin' Holidays
~Layer of pink cardstock topped with another selection (snowflakes) from Paper Studio Happy Hootin' Holidays
~Layer of pink cardstock - topped with house recycled from a last year's Christmas card
i{heart} to stamp - sketch
4 Crafty Chicks - snowflakes
Creations by Gill - recycling
Scrapbooks Sisters - Christmas

Thank you for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Braced for Christmas

The work on the Franciscan Team 'edible' Christmas tree continues. Here are the latest creations. (Note to self - "when taking photos of ornaments drying on the kitchen rack dust the rack prior to taking the photo.")

Orange 'butts', cranberries, and pretzels.

Tonight a few of the college kids are coming over for a night of laundry, "homework", and movies. Little do they know that they will be put to work during movie time - stringing cranberries! I'll snap a shot of the tree once it is all decorated and post it.

Here is a card I put together for one of my special 'peeps' at school. She gets her braces off on Monday. Every day for the past month she pops by my office heralding the days until her straightened teeth are unveiled for all to see. I've known Trayna since her first day on campus, as a wee freshman, prior to the braces. I've had the updates of tightening, rubber bands, what happens to caramel when you 'cheat' and eat them anyway...we traveled the road of braces together. I thought she deserved a card. This is what I came up with.

A Smile Fit for a Princess
~Base card white linen
~Layer of pink cardstock American Craft Weave: Taffy
~Layer of Colorbok Rhapsody design paper
~Cuttlebug oval die cut/embossed of American Craft Weave: Taffy cardstock
~Grosgrain ribbon loops with aqua brads
~Sentiment printed on white cardstock using laser printer
~Freebie digital image by Melon Headz, printed on Cryogen White cardstock, colored with Copics, crown highlighted with gold glitter glue and rhinestones, heart on dress coated with Smooch Sassy Pink, polka dots and shoes highlighted with Inkssentials Glossy Accents
2 Sisters - let it sparkle
Cardmadfairy's - digi plus texture
Stampin' for the Weekend - sketch
Freshly Brewed - anything goes

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Friends, Flora, and Fauna

I am making ornaments for a nature friendly, 'edible' Christmas tree. I am part of the Franciscan Team at work and I volunteered to decorate one of the twenty Christmas trees scattered throughout the student union. It is a competition between campus organizations. As un-Christian and un-Franciscan as it might sound...I WANT TO WIN!!!! But mostly - I REALLY need to learn how NOT to volunteer.

Since St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and the college I work for is a Franciscan university, I wanted to incorporate our native wildlife without me having to prowl the 100 acres of native prairie grasslands adjoining campus for sprouts, sprigs, and other such makeshift 'ornaments'. So then I thought  -  why not have the animals come to us? What better way to do that than with smorgasboard tree? We share our campus with dozens of deer, turkey, squirrels, and many, many birds of flight on a daily basis. We might as well give them a Merry Christmas meal too!

Here is my plan: star shaped cookie cutters of sliced white bread, orange slices, cranberry strings, and some nuts. In keeping with the all natural theme - I'll be using 100% cotton thread and jute twine to string up the creations. The tree will be inside until the Christmas break - then I'll move the 'yummy' treats off of the artificial tree to an outdoor tree for 'all God's creatures great and small'. Here is a picture of the stars. I'll keep you posted on the rest of the produce ornaments. Let me know if you have any other suggestions for me to add to the edible list!

Here are three of the 120 stars.

While I had the stars in the oven for some dry-time I managed to put the finishing touches on this card.

Friends in the Garden
~Base card PaperTrey Ink - Kraft cardstock
~Layer of Colorbok Cafe' au Lait
~Layer of light green cardstock with coordinating layer of Colorbok Cafe' au Lait
~Three purple brads
~Layer of purple cardstock
~Sentiment stamped on vanilla cardstock
~Taylored Expressions Friendship Blooms leaf stamp
~Taylored Expressions Leafy Branch die cut
~Taylored Expressions Friendship Blooms flower stamp embossed with purple embossing powder and die cut using Taylored Expressions Friendship Blooms
~Three green brads
Scrappy Frogs - kraft
Challenge Up Your Life - friendship
Crafty Ann's - floral frenzy
Frosted Designs - embossing
Paper Crafting Journey - embossing

Thank you for clicking by,

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Baskets of Food and Flowers

Today was the annual canned food drive on campus. Two hundred plus students descended from "The Cliff" to the surrounding residential areas to collect canned food for the Foodbank of Siouxland. It is another outreach opportunity for our students at Briar Cliff University. The freshman always look a little skeptical but come back with smiles on their faces, bags of food in their arms, and stories of the human condition called generosity.

A co-worker of mine is on medical leave with a knee replacement. With the physical therapy he is going through I thought a card with an image of a bicycle would be just perfect!

Bicycle Built for One
~Base card - PaperTrey Ink Kraft cardstock
~Layer of Colorbok Cafe' Lait
~Three strands raffia
~Blue and orange cardstock - edges smudged and corners curved
~Bicycle is stamp from Unity Stamp 'A Basketful of Wishes', colored with Copics, fenders and brace topped with Inkssentials' Glossy Accents, flowers in basket topped with Flowersoft
~Two silver metal brads

Fashionable Stamping - In Times Gone By
2 Sisters - anything goes
Just Some Lines - orange and blue
Inspire Me Fridays - anything goes
Divas By Design - metal

Thank you for clicking by,

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankful for Squash

Spent the day cleaning the basement...yuck! Also baked a chicken and squash. It is now my 'break-time' so thought I'd post a card. Friend Nila shared part of her squash harvest with my sister Gail. Gail in turn shared her squash gift with me hence the baking of the squash and creating a thank you card.

It is rather minimal but gets the message across.

Lots of Thanks
~Base card - PaperTrey Ink Kraft - edges smudged with brown ink
~Off white cardstock embossed using Cuttlebug and Cuttlebug Thanks embossing folder - edges and raised lettering smudged with Tim Holtz Distress Inks
~Brown ribbon - re-purposed from a flower bouquet
The Crafter's Cafe - thankful
Stamp, Scrap & Doodle - thankful
Card Makin' Mamas - thankful
Fussy and Fancy - thankful
Phindy's Place - thankful
Aud Sentiments - thankful

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Thursday, November 10, 2011

With This Ring

Still working on the Mary Lee request for two 'second-time around' wedding cards... She sent me an email wondering if she should stop issuing 'difficult' requests. I wouldn't say the requests are hard - just challenging. I have to admit I enjoy a good card challenge. A challenge to start exercising - or go on a diet...not so much!

I'm still not sure I've nailed the challenge but here is this evening's effort. Here is card number one.

With This Ring
~Base card PaperTrey Ink - Kraft
~Layer of dark brown cardstock
~Layer of Tim Holtz Idea-ology
~Assorted vintage seam binding (a present from sister Gail)
~Two jewelry pieces (transfer of crap from sister-in-law Jayne)
DYSU - inspired by a song (Mendelssohn's Wedding March)
Southern Girls - inspired by a song (Mendelssohn's Wedding March)
Heart Song Inspirations - anything goes
Catch the Bug - anything goes

Thank you for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Magic and Marriage

Every year on campus we host a Christmas party for persons with special needs. Most of the guests live in group homes with a variety of mental and physical disabilities. It is my favorite day on campus. I believe it is the best thing we do all year. And I am proud to say we do many good things in the community. A room full of excited special needs adults, on a field trip, anticipating the arrival of Santa and his elves, live choir music and gifts from Santa - it is truly a magical day.

The list of names of those who will be attending along with their first and second choice of present is made available to staff and students. Students and staff take the name and wish list for an individual and select a name for purchasing a Christmas. The limit for expenditure is $10.00 per person. Here are some of the items that are being dreamed about for this Christmas: anything Iowa Hawkeye, University of Iowa Sweatshirt, warm socks, winter hat and matching scarf, beads, hand lotion, a soft blanket, an Iowa Cyclones t-shirt, a cooking pan, kitchen towels, a Faith Hill CD, a Tim McGraw poster...and the item that caught my eye? That would be Kelly C's, a male client at one of the residential homes. All he had on his list was 'fireman scrap booking items'. I've never met Kelly and I don't know what the relationship is for Kelly and firemen - but he evidently has a story to tell using scrap booking and I intend to get him just what he needs to tell that story. I'm looking forward to my trip to Hobby Lobby and possibly Michael's to scoop up all I can to make Kelly's Christmas a scrap booking delight!

These special guests are greeted by students and elves. Lunch is served by the students (the students volunteer a guest meal or two or three for the visitors). The full complement of 100+ college choir members will perform traditional Christmas carols, there will be a sing-along for the guests to join in, with the final song being 'Here Comes Santa Claus" - during which Santa magically appears! This year sophomore student Ethan will portray Santa - picking up each gift, reading the tag, and announcing the recipient. The student elves than scurry around the room delivering the greatly anticipated gift to each of the eager guests. They are frequently shocked that Santa knew what it was, exactly, that they wanted.

It is such a dear and heartwarming experience. I look forward to it every year and even more so this year as I will be purchasing paper craft items for someone's special adult child, Kelly.

Now...on to the card. Friend Mary Lee put in a request for two non-traditional wedding cards. She knows me well enough to know I don't do fru-fru, sentimental, mushy, or sappy cards. She also knows my palms get sweaty and I freeze up at the thought of making wedding or anniversary cards. Also this is a second marriage for both of her friends so a traditional card was not going to be the ticket. This request said something about her friends being up to the challenge of going down this road (marriage) for a second time.

I always have to really think about what to put together when Mary Lee makes a request. When my sisters ask for cards they simply state..."I need some birthday cards", or "I need a graduation card"...."do it"! They take what I crank out. My daughter's friend Jennie requests cards to give as Christmas gifts - all I need to do to make Jennie happy is to put lots and lots of bling on the cards. Daughter Amy's signature request for cards is anything with a cupcake on it. Mary Lee on the other hand...she makes me THINK!

For the first card I'm going with a 'journey' theme. Marriage is a journey...sometimes it is a 'wash-board' dirt road...sometimes it's a flower bordered cobblestone path. I'm confident Mary Lee will come up with an appropriate sentiment for the inside of the card.

Up to the Challenge
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Kraft
~Layer of Bazzill cardstock Herbal Garden Dark
~Three design papers from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology collection - all the edges smudged with ink
~Three Prima flowers with center metal brads
~Medallion metal brad
I Brake for Challenges - no white or ivory
Ladybug Crafts Ink - love and marriage

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pfaffs and Flowers

Granddaughter Olivia turned one. My daughter in law must have spent hours decorating and even more hours un-decorating. Here are a few pics from the big day.

The princess is granting audiences now.

Banners and fringed crepe paper.

Flowers on the over-head light.

Banners and goodies.


Banners and clothespins.

I think I'll wear my tutu with my dress plus
I'll just casually toss my new leggin's
and sweater over my shoulder.

We found out that all this one year old wanted was clothes. I've never seen a kid more interested in clothes than toys (or empty boxes).

Here is a card I popped together. I found out doing all the fancy stitching that my Pfaff sewing machine was in dire need of a spa day so it is at the sewing machine repair shop in Omaha. I may even try a bit of quilting when I get it back. Sister Gail took one look at this card and snatched it up. I even put a little effort into the inside of the honor of my blogging buddy Julie! Her cards are so beautiful - inside and out! Check them out over at Rainbow Days.

In Stitches
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Kraft cardstock
~Two design papers from Colorbok Faded Denim collection
~Taylored Expressions stamp stems/leaves stamped on vanilla cardstock - edges smudged with ink
~Taylored Expressions die cut flowers using Colorbok Faded Denim scraps - button centers
~Machine stitching
Inside of card:
~Taylored Expressions die cut fence
~Flower punch
Craft Your Passion - anything goes plus brown
Heart Song Inspirations - anything goes
Lollipop Crafts - Thanksgiving/Fall
Craft Your Days Away - Autumn
Creative Inspirations - anything goes
Incy Wincy Designs - stitching
Ohh La La Creations - stitching
Totally Paper Crafts - stitching

Thank you for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa