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