Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dori, Dots, and Dreaded Mondays

Darn! It's almost Monday! I guess I shouldn't complain. It is spring break on campus - I know I'll have a rock-star parking spot. I am a little nervous about returning to campus however - there are those stupid fish I am 'babysitting'. Let's hope they took the Finding Nemo "Dori" train of thought and 'Just kept swimming'... Only two more days until their "parents" return.. Please don't call PETA - but I didn't drive up to campus to feed them this weekend. I did feed them LATE Friday night... "Just keep swimming...just keep swimming...just keep swimming..."

I wonder how my boss is doing. He took ten two-legged animals (college freshman) in a van to Louisiana to build a house for Habitat for Humanity. I guess I can't complain about feeding fish for a week.

On the subject of biological beings...did you know that every giraffe has a unique coat pattern? This one certainly does.

Cheeky Giraffe
~Base card - Gina K Designs - Pure Ivory
~Layer of Making Memories Cheeky Collection
~Coordinating Cheeky Collection stripes adhered to brown cardstock
~Layers of brown, pink cardstock with curved edges and a square scalloped layer of brown cardstock
~Image is a digital freebie from Pink Gem Designs printed on Neenah Solar White cardstock colored with Copics
~Two sided stripes and dots ribbon from Hobby Lobby and I used my Bow Easy but only after intently watching a Suzanne Dean how-to video on You Tube
~Three metal brads in the left lower corner
Little Red Wagon - animals
Sweet Sketch Wednesday - sketch
Fuzzy Wuzzy - animal and birthday
Digi Doodle - spots and dots
Shelly's Images - ribbon
Freshly Brewed - ribbons and bows
Sisterhood of Crafters - ribbon and brads
Simon Says Stamp - show some stripes

Go ahead...just get it over with...say goodbye to the weekend.
Thanks for clicking by.
Nancy in Iowa

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Let the Party Begin

Quick post before a glass of wine - making a party card makes me think I need a glass of wine...Makes sense to me!

Party Wagon
~Base card white linen
~Layer of Making Memories Cheeky Collection
~Sentiment - Stampin' Up Small Script cut using Stampin' Up Word Window
~Tissue paper flower with metal brad
~Mo Manning digital image Penelope's Party Wagon colored using watercolor pencils, Tombow Markers, and highlighted with Stickles, printed on Paper Temptress Cryogen White, matted with coordinating Making Memoris Cheeky Collection
Mo Manning - spring colors and handmade flower embellishment
Stamping 411 - sketch
Allsorts - handmade flowers
Card Makin' Mamas - happy birthday
Paper Crafting Journey - anything goes

Thank you for clicking by.
Nancy in Iowa

Bloomin' in the Bubble

It's back to VERY cold temperatures and more snow so I thought I would try for some Spring-y thoughts. To be honest I really don't even mind that it is cold and snowing - It's the WEEKEND!!!!! Hello fuzzy socks. Hello ratty-never-wear-in-public sweater. Hey hey Jammie pants! Go get Mug-O-Joe and I'll meet you all in the BUBBLE!

This wee bud flower babe is a freebie over at Baby Bud Designs. Hop over there and pick a posey for yourself. Say hello to your inner Spring.

~Base card - Gina K Designs Pure White
~Layer of DCWV Pocket Full of Posies
~Sentiment laser printed
~Orange, purple and blue glitter cardstock circular scallop die cut using Spellbinders and Cuttlebug
~Image is a freebie from Baby Bud Designs colored with Copics then topped with Stickles: Lavender, Fruit Punch, and Waterfall
~Three Prima flowers with buttons attached using Stickles Fruit Punch
~Two rows of sheer pink wired edge ribbon threaded through chipboard slide highlighted with Stickles Fruit Punch
Pixie Cottages - sketch and something cute
Crafty Catz Weekly - for a friend
Stamp Something - flowers
Shabby Tea Room - buttons and bows
Stampin' B's - flower
Baby Bud Designs - ribbons and bows
Crafty Creations - at the bottom of my garden
Paper Pretties - glittery
Crazy for Challenges - flowers
This card is headed for the "Jennie who must have bling" pile.

Gail, one of my editor/proof reader sisters, is without a computer this weekend. Let's hope eagle eye sister Judy is online SOON. I am nervously and reluctantly going to hit the "publish post" button...without my double safety net. I apologize for any goofs, typos, and grammar gaffes in advance. They ALWAYS find some error in my compositions...don't 'cha just love sisters? Well...some of them...half of them...most of them...some of the time...most of the time...some of them some of the time...half of them most of the time...??? As they say...SOMEONE has to put the FUN in dysfunctional!

Have an AWESOME weekend!
Nancy in Iowa

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Book of Guppy

It's spring break on campus. The parking is bloody AWESOME! I had a rock-star space this morning! Even though most of the 'little darlins' are heading home, on tour or community service trips - I won't get the chance to miss them. I got 14 texts from an assorted batch of kids and stupidly managed to say 'yes' to babysitting fish.

I now have 'Mollie, Bob, Sally, Kevin, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and Stanley' swimming in a large bowl on my desk. My task would seem simple - feed them. I was also instructed on how to 'talk' to them. Each of the fish 'personalities' were described in detail to me. REALLY? They are 98 cent FISH!

Mollie, Bob, Sally, Kevin, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and Stanley have collective owners - they belong to Kayla, Jenna, Mary, and Allison. Kayla flew home to Colorado while Jenna, Mary, and Allison left for the "Mighty Midwest Choir Tour" on a tour bus. The choir will make stops in Omaha, Kansas City, and St. Louis...HOURS upon HOURS on a bus. (A bus with LOTS of singing - I almost (ALMOST) wish I was with them...)

Last night when the three fish 'parents' brought the Fish Family to my office - Allison decided Mollie Fish was - in her words, "preggers'. She 'got on the Google' and researched the details letting us all know in her best  "I'm almost a grade-school teacher" voice that it was official - Mollie was pregnant! According to one of the Internet resources, to validate the pregnancy, one should try to observe "a dark triangular spot near the anal vent." Mind you...Mollie is the size of an uncooked lima bean and rarely slows to a stop. Here are four 'girls' (young ladies) craning their heads to find the appropriate 'vent' while laughing uncontrollably. Somehow it refreshing to know that even techno-savvy, helicoptered, educated and pampered young women still find any reference to seldom mentioned-in-public body parts hysterically funny.

I was given strict instructions to text all four of them "at the SAME time" when the blessed event occurs. I reluctantly told them, "you do realize that 'house fish' frequently feed on their young... They were HORRIFIED! The "I'm almost a grade-school teacher" got back on the Google to verify my gruesome fish fact. They instructed me to diligently watch for the birth and then swoop in to save the 'youngins' from a fish feeding frenzy. SURE! I'll just video stream the bowl for the next two weeks to my iPod watching every nano second for the crowning and birthing of diminutive GUPPIES!

This morning one of my several texts was from one of the 'prospective parents' inquiring of the status of Mollie mom-to-be. I texted ALL of them at the same time, "Mollie appears to have either just had a severe case of constipation or she has given birth. Mollie is looking quite slender but the rest of the crew looks very satiated. If you don't know what satiated means - 'get on the Google' or ask the 'I'm almost a grade-school teacher'". Reply texts included: "I bet Kevin ate the babies I never did like that Kevin"; "that is epically sad", "please try to comfort Mollie"...

Little do they know I separated Mollie from the rest of her 'fish family'. On the off chance that she is actually "preggers" she now has some privacy and clumps of rocks to hide the wee ones. If a birthing is eminent she better hurry up because I will need to de-fish-a-fy, scrub, and fill the candy dish before "the children' get back from break. (Before YOU become horrified - I only fill it with individually wrapped candy.) Why did I hit them with such a sad and untrue texted tale? Well...this way when they get home if there a guppy-ettes they will be thrilled. If no guppy off-spring...they were already braced for it... AND I won't get hourly texts requesting a labor and delivery update!

And there you have a day in the life of a Career Development/Dorm Mother...

This card is for Sara, the research librarian, on campus. We have bonded over our  love of books - the weight in your hand...the smell of the pulp...the cracking of the spine when you're lucky enough to be the first to read it... and our contrasting love of technology and e-books. And we both like 'really, really NICE paper! Since she is a paper 'freak', like me, I thought I would make her a set of cards. This is the first one.

The Borrower's
~Base card - Gina K Designs Pure Ivory - edges distressed using the edge of a metal ruler and smudged with Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip and Distress Ink Antique Linen
~All four layers of design paper are Basic Grey Basics Manila and Basics Kraft collections
~Chipboard photo corner
~Images are from Stampin' Up Stamp of Authenticity set using Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip and Really Rust
~Brown cardstock tab created using tab punch and held in place with staple
~Vintage seam binding (a gift from sister Gail)
Do You Stack Up - anything goes
4 Crafty Chicks - photo inspiration
Simon Says Stamp - Coffee and Cream
Anything Goes - distressing
Party Time Tuesday - anything goes
There She Goes - lined art only - no coloring, no shading

Thanks for clicking by.
Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ain't She Sweet

Dear Weekend,
I'm going to miss you. I hope to see you again in five days. What do you do all week while I am waiting for you to arrive? I miss you already.
That is all,

Pansy Daisies
~Base card - Papertrey Ink Kraft cardstock
~Layer of My Mind's Eye jumbo pad - edges smudged with Color Box Blue Lagoon
~Horizontal piece of Papertrey Ink Kraft cardstock and a coordinating strip from My Mind's Eye
~Three melon colored metal eyelets
~Two circle punched pieces of more My Mind's Eye - edges smudged with Color Box Blue Lagoon
~Digital image by A Day for Daisies, colored with Copics
Just Us Girls - colors: kraft, melon, aqua
I Did it Creations - anything goes

All good wishes,
Nancy in Iowa

Muse-less Bling

Ever have one of those card making days where it is almost a chore to pull something together? My muse must have taken the day off. Daughter Amy's friend Jennie requested a few cards with bling - I hope this fills the bill. Jennie is all about the BLING.

Image detail.

Birthday Bling
~Base card white confetti
~Layer of K & Company Happy Birthday 2U random dots topped with Stickles
~Rectangle layer of pink then black cardstocks and a coordinating Happy Birthday 2U
~Layer of green and turquoise cardstocks - with three glitter metallic brads
~Image purchased from Mel Jen's Designs printed on Cryogen White from Paper Temptress, colored with Copics, and highlighted with Stickles
~Assorted ribbons and bouquet pearls
Craft Your Days Away - sketch
One Stop Craft - birthday
Card Makin' Mamas - birthday
MelJens Designs - birthday
For Fun - birthday
Dutch Date - bling

I'm off to channel my Muse and remind her that her day off is Monday NOT Sunday.
Thanks for popping by.
Nancy in Iowa

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Judy Garland Crush

I had the best Valentine's Day ever yesterday. I got kiddy valentines from 3 students, several hugs, a Tootsie Pop, 2 Orange Crush cans, and was serenaded. Why Orange Crush cans? It was a fundraiser for one of the campus organizations. You paid a dollar to give an Orange Crush Soda can to your Valentine. The recipient Valentine then receives an email stating someone 'has a crush on you - you can pick up your Orange Crush Monday at the table outside the bookstore." But HERE is the stickler - to find out who paid the dollar for the 'crush' - the recipient has to pay a dollar per Orange Crush to find out who 'sent' you the crush(s). Or you could just pick up your Crush can(s) without paying the dollar - and just wonder forever who sent you this effervescent Valentine. Cute...huh???

Because I had to thank my 'Valentines' (and I'm a sucker for campus club fundraisers) I of course paid the two dollars to find out which two kids sent me the 'crushes'. FUN!!!!

And a serenade? Yes the best tenor in the choir - sang to me - a solo, full volume, and in the middle of the student center over lunch. And what did he sing? "You Made Me Love You" (He knows I am a Judy Garland fan.) I soaked up my tears with my sleeve and he soaked up the applause. A little humiliating...but was this a cool Valentine's day or what!?

Warm Thoughts
~Base card - Papertray Ink Kraft
~Layer of K & Co Amy Butler AB Lotus
~Layer of rust cardstock then a layer of coordinating K & Co Amy Butler AB Lotus
~Rust color grosgrain ribbon threaded through Stampin' Up Hodge Podge hardware
~Layer of blue cardstock and hot chocolate background smudged with rust and polar blue ink
~Vintage button (transfer of crap from sister in law Jayne)
The Shabby Tea Room - Color inspiration and warm theme
Sketch and Stash - sketch
Southern Girls - Blue and Chocolate

Thank you for clicking by.
Nancy in Iowa

Monday, February 14, 2011

Church Dinners and Diamonds

Monday night! You know what THAT usually evening at my 94 year old mother's home. Time for the weekly ritual of vacuuming, bathroom scrubbing, and filling of the three bird feeders. Tonight also included threading of the needle on the sewing machine. Being totally blind in one eye and mostly blind from macular degeneration in the other eye - threading the Bernina needle is impossible for her to do. She is a woman with a mission and needs that machine in working order!

Every spring and fall church dinner she appliques a simple fruit or vegetable to ten flour sack kitchen towels. She has done this for YEARS! The church's spring dinner is approaching fast and she has one towel left to complete! In addition to the applique - each towel is machine embroidered with 'Sacred Heart Church' - just in case a dishonest church dinner volunteer would think about taking one of the drying clothes home with them. It will be ever so easy for the towel police to identify the stolen sack cloth! Also the parish priest gets his own towel - his name embroidered and a special applique. This year his towel sports an appliqued blue ribbon with a #1 embroidered in the medallion of the ribbon.

When I made the trip to the farm implement store to purchase the towels I bought an extra package for me. She handed me my bundle and I said, "What? The church people get fancy towels and you expect your own daughter to use plain unadorned sack towels? You just get busy and decorate mine too. It'll keep you out of the street gangs and away from the bars!" In response I got the expected response of, "Well NANCY!"

When I was over there tonight she already had the fruits, veggies, and one giraffe, iron-on appliqued on to MY towels. Once she completes the zig-zagging of the final church towel she will finish up mine. Ahhh...great memories and great TOWELS!


Bloomin' Diamonds
~Base card  - Papertrey Ink Kraft
~Layer of DCWV The Pocket Full of Posies
~Layer of fabric eyelet trim (transfer of crap from my mother's house)
~Free digital image from Just Some Lines colored with Copics, highlighted with Stickles Diamond, tallest flowers dotted with rhinestones, bottom of cardstock smudged with lime green ink, top of white cardstock smudged with blue ink
~Prima flowers embellishments with sparkle metal brads, tips of flowers dotted with Stickles Diamond
Aly's Sunday Challenge - Bling
I Did It - Bling
Bunny Zoe Crafts - Spring
Craft Your Passion - Use Pink
Alphabet - O is for Orange
Mami - flower

Thanks for clicking by.
All good wishes,
Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Singin' Gang

The sun is shining and we are on our way to the Briar Cliff University's Cliff Singers and Chamber Choir Winter Concert. The works will range from classic choral gems by Mozart and Bruckner to arrangements of African-American spirituals, as well as contemporary pieces by modern masters. I can't wait!!! They will be singing a few 'rock the house/part your hair spirituals' and I can't wait!! These kids are FABULOUS!

The Gang
~White base card
~Layer of red cardstock
~Layer of American Craft The Goods design paper
~Three rhinestones
~Red square slide metal brad with assorted ribbons
~Green tree slide metal brad with red plaid ribbon
~Gina K Designs white cardstock and Spellbinders label die cut edges smudged with red
~Image is Stampabilities stamp Peanuts Gang Caroling (a transfer of treasure for daughter Amy) using Memento's Tuxedo Black, colored using the Spotlighting Technique and Copics, highlighted with Stickles, ovals of black and white cardstock cut using Spellbinders oval die
Just Us Girls - use Spotlighting Technique
Sweet Stop - sketch
Little Claire's - anything goes

I had decided to give the Spotlighting Technique another go... I don't think I have it nailed just yet. I don't think the stamped image is black enough. Might need to try this with a digital image instead of stamped/inked.

Garden Thoughts
~Base card Papertrey Ink Kraft
~Layer of black cardstock
~Layer of My Mind's Eye Wild Asparagus
~Layer of black cardstock
~Layer of Wild Asparagus coordinating design paper
~Large scallop Papertrey Ink Ocean Tide using Spellbinders circle scallop die cut and Cuttlebug
~Image stamped on Papertrey Ink Vintage White cardstock, stamp is Anita's brand, spotlight colored with Copics and topped with Stampin' Up Crystal Effects
~Spotlight cut using circle punches
~Layer of scallop floral trim
~Three buttons with twine
Sweet Sketch Wednesday - sketch
Stampavie and More - buttons and lace (okay - it's technically fabric trim not lacey lace)
Stampin' B's - okay - busted again technically not a bird - but by the look of the nest one is close by!
Secret Stamper - stamped flower
Our Creative Corner - use a cutting technique

Thanks for clicking by.
Nancy in Iowa

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bossy Bethie

Another of my favorite artists is Mo Manning. The challenge at her blog is the theme of Love incorporating buttons, a bow, and lace along with one of her images. Since I've been very busy with Mo's Bethie lately I decided to use her again for a Valentine card. While Bethie doesn't scream girly bows and frills she does usually have a message of some sort to scream out. Last card I made with her she was trying to sell her little brother. This card she is demanding someone - anyone within earshot - to be her Valentine. So here she is sans fru-fru.

Be My VALENTINE!~Papertrey Ink base card
~Layer of white glossy photo cardstock stamped with hearts from a dollar bin at Michael's and embossed using Ranger Rich Red embossing powder
~Square scallop of red cardstock using Spellbinder's Nestibilities, dry embossed using Cuttlebug Swiss Dots and Cuttlebug, edges dotted with Sharpie white poster paint pen
~Another layer of glossy photo cardstock square scalloped and dotted with Sharpie red pen
~Image purchased at Mo's Digital Pencil, colored with Copics, wheel centers topped with Stampin' Up Crystal Effects
~Hearts in wagon from assorted (three are from Stampin' Up Love It)
~Sentiment framed in Stampin Up Word Window
Mo Manning - Lots of Love
Bunny Zoe's Crafts - Love is in the Air
Cupcake Craft Challenge - Seeing Red
Do You Stack Up - Red Hot
Simon Says Stamp and Show - Embossing
The Pink Elephant - Be My Valentine
Crazy for Challenges - Valentine's Day Card

This also Mo Manning's Bethie from a previous post (Ahhhhh Siblings). Although she is interested in bartering away her brother he looks perfectly content to get a free wagon ride and eat the cookies she no doubt bribed him with.

I have another Bethie card to post, but alas, work is calling. Another day on The CLIFF awaits me.

Thanks for clicking by.
Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Layers

Super Bowl Sunday! Whoop Whoop! I'm not a big football fan but my boss is from Wisconsin - so in order for a happy Monday - I'll be rooting on the Packers.

I'll be attending the Super Bowl party on campus. I promised to take photos of the boys who are participating in the Super Nacho Eating Contest. Two weeks ago it was the Monster Pancake Eating Contest. Four big strapping college 'boys' competed to see who could completely devour a two pound pancake cooked on a 14"  pizza pan in the shortest amount of time. Add about a gallon of maple syrup and for the reigning champ Tony...well he was given a 'food handicap' of a layer of 21 sausage patties and you have a hilarious college memory.

There were several techniques employed...Parker used his fork for the first three bites, then employed the 'just use your hands and shove it into your mouth' method. Tony used gulps of water to assist with the downing of the prepared breakfast batter and assumed a standing position to facilitate creating digestive room. The winner quietly and steadily forked his way to the prize.

Today is an opportunity for another winner to become KING of the Super Bowl Super Nacho Eating Contest. I'll keep you posted on the results.

I went 'stampless' for this one and opting for layers of 'stuff'.

Simple Layers
~Base card Papertrey Ink - Kraft
~PTI Ocean Tides - smudged with Hero Arts Shadow Ink Soft Sand - with layer of lace
~K & Company Life's Journey
~Corner 'clump': pieces of 'vintage' seam binding, Prima polka dot flower smudged slightly with Hero Arts Shadow Ink Soft Sand, beige Prima flower smudged with Tim Holtz Distress Ink Vintage, chipboard star, K & Company die cut pre-printed circle, metal brown brad, repurposed necklace
Jugs - sketch
Etsy Inspired - Daisy Petal Designs
Little Claire's Designs - anything goes
Creative Belli Blog - use jewelry

Thank you for clicking by.
Nancy in Iowa

Dear Friends

This was so much fun to make. I spent yesterday working on one of my favorite artist's work. I really wish I was better at muted tones. However, I was so excited to find cardstocks that complimented each other so well. BasicGrey and a little Papertrey Ink with a little smudging help from Tim Holtz Distress Ink. Thank you Bubble muses!

Detail of die cut/embossed vellum with white dots and blue smudge highlights.

Best 'Bud'dies
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Kraft
~Layer of BasicGrey Romani Patchouli
~Three metal flower brads
~Sentiment printed on Kraft - edges smudged with Color Box Fluid Chalk Blue Lagoon, bottom Kraft curved using punch (thought it mirrored the puffy bottoms of their snow suits).
~Spellbinders scallop circle die cut of vellum  - edges dotted with Sharpie white poster paint and dry embossed using Cuttlebug Divine Swirl - embossed swirls highlighted the swirls using Color Box Fluid Chalk Blue Lagoon

~Rectangle of PaperTrey Ink Polka Dot Parade - smudged up a bit using Tim Holtz Distress Ink Old Paper
~PaperTrey Ink Ocean Tides (my FAVORITE color cardstock) die cut and edge embossed using Spellbinder Labels Two and Cuttlebug - edges smudged using Color Box Fluid Chalk Blue Lagoon and dotted with Sharpie white poster paint
~New Baby Bud darlings (Max and Molly) printed on Paper Temptress Cryogen Iridescent cardstock colored with Copics
Gem of a Challenge - sketch
Baby Buds - friends
BasicGrey - Basic Grey + hearts
Raise the Bar - hearts
Totally Papercrafts - friendship
ABC - N is for Nesties
Little Red Wagon - Kraft

Thanks for clicking by.
Nancy in Iowa