Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Faux Pas and Softs

I know! It's New Year's Eve. I should be moving on to other card themes. But who can resist stamping up NEW STAMPS!? Among the bounty of "Bubble" items I received another PowerPoppy stamp set. Who can't love bottle brush trees!? So.. as I thought about bottle brush trees and I then thought of using Flower Soft!

I have to admit there was more 'drying time' than actual card making time with this. I employed a couple non-traditional card making items: nail polish, "tinsel", and polystyrene (Styrofoam). And full disclosure: I only had one tree-appropriate color: Green Flower Soft. I had to 'make do' with DIY "Flower Soft"...Take two pieces of white Styrofoam and rub them together and - TADA! Your very own pile of white "flower soft".  It works and it's easy and CHEAP cheep!

Has this ever happened to you? I don't see a GLARING omission or gaffe on a card until I take the photo! I had this post ready to roll when I uploaded the image only to realize I had not colored in all the tree stands. I guess I was blinded by the glare of the garland, overcome by the nail polish fumes, or low on caffeine. I would blame it on a combination of glare/fumes/body chemistry but this is not the first time I thought a card was 'complete' only to have to repair or redo when taking a look at the photo. You would think those faux pas would jump off the card stock In Real Life!


Card details: Flower Soft. Smooch. Tinsel/garland AKA Gold Mylar strip. Nail Polish.

Bottle Brush Soft
~Base card Simply Chartreuse by PaperTrey Ink
~Strip of Gina K heavy white card stock - edges distressed using TH 370 Paper Distresser  (kinda looks like snow!)
~Hero Arts Dots embossing folder
~Red OPI nail polish (ornaments on left tree)
~Smooch: Gold Lame, (ornaments on tallest white tree) Sassy Pink (ornaments on shorter white tree)
~Strip of gold metallic Mylar
~Fine green glitter (used in tiny amount on tallest green tree) 
~Green fine Flower Soft
~White faux Flower Soft (Styrofoam)
~Copics
~Sentiment: PowerPoppy Poinsettia
~Image: PowerPoppy Bottlebrush Holiday (thank you sista Gail!)
Challenges | Inspirations
Cards und More - Christmas
Inky Chicks - winter wonderland
Dream Valley - Christmas
Tip Top Tuesday - make your own (made my own white Flower Soft)

Here's to 'making do', tree groves, and keeping Christmas alive!

Thanks for clicking by!

Nancy in Iowa


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Power Practice

I got NEW PowerPoppy stamps for Christmas! I can not wait to try each and every one! So...I was 'practicing' placement of two curved flower bunches. Then I wanted to see if the placement would work in an oval die. It DID! So...not one to stamp and toss... I thought I would give it a go. This is the result of my practice session.

After the die cut, I decided that since I stamped it on 'practice' card stock... plain ol' not-heavy card stock, it might be better if I shaded the background. Which I did by masking the two flower curves. (Let me tell you THAT was a bunch of little clipping!)


One of my new PowerPoppy stamp sets and the two masks I used on the card below.




Detail of popped up sunflowers and if you look REAL close the crackle on the Chinese Lanterns.

Detail - you can see the shimmer here if you look CLOSE! 

Inside of card. So what if the signature block is a bit TOPsy turvy!  

Practice Practice Practice
~Brown card stock
~Layer of Autumn Leaves Carefree Autumn Adhesive Mat
~Two oval cuts using Spellbinders oval using Cuttlebug
~Faux stitches around outer oval
~Image stamped using PowerPoppy Sunny Harvest, colored with Copics, centers dotted with black fine point Sharpie, background 'smudged' with Hero Arts Soft Leaf, spritzed with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist Wheatfields, Chinese Lanterns highlighted with Inkssentials Crackle Accents, buds 'painted' using OPI red nail polish
~Inside sentiment Sizzix Word Labels
~Signature block flowers punched using SU Spring Bouquet Flowers using SU Early Expresso
Challenges | Inspirations
Crafty Sentiments - gold plus
Shopping Our Stash - use three pattern papers
Card Mania - anything
Eureka Stamps - something old/something new (oval die cut and adhesive mat both old; PowerPoppy stamp NEW!)

Here's to practice that turns out with a win, cracking open new goodies, and looking forward to using more of my Christmas (and birthday) bounty!

Thanks for clicking by,

Nancy in Iowa




Monday, December 29, 2014

Cuttlebug Overdrive

So...for Christmas I received lots of goodies for card making in My Bubble! I must admit - I enjoy finding them new homes in the Bubble, organizing, reorganizing as much as I do making cards! I love any reason to pull out my label maker! I embrace my OCD!

I did pull myself away from reorganizing to make a card and put my Cuttlebug to work!


Pink and Grey and Ribbons All Over
~Base card topped with layer of charcoal grey card stock
~Stampin' Up Holiday Ornaments
~Ornament tops double stamped - top layer stamped with Versamark and embossed with Ranger Silver embossing powder
~Sheer pink ribbon, one sheer pink bow
~Four ornaments stamped using Stampin' Up Ornament Keepsakes, stamped using Versamark and embossed with Ranger Seafoam White and Stampendous Pink Crystal
~Provo Craft flower die cut and Spellbinders Beaded Circle layered on grey ornament
~Large pink ornament embossed using Cuttlebug Sweet Chelsea
Inspirations | Challenges
Just Us Girls - photo inspiration
Addicted to Stamps - anything Christmas
Jellypark - ribbon/bow
Bloggers - holiday cards
Southern Girls - Christmas cheer
Pile It On - Christmas

Here's to the New Year, working ahead on next year's Christmas cards, and going back to making labels!

Thank you for clicking by,

Nancy in Iowa

Monday, December 22, 2014

Peace....Until the Board Games Start!

This will most likely be my final card and final post until after Christmas. I really do need to get busy! I have my daughter's menu request list to prepare for! The apple crisp, pumpkin pie, wild rice chicken soup won't make themselves! I MUST now vacuum up the Bubble and walk away...for a few days.

I hope you all have a fabulous holiday. Merry Christmas! Happy Hanuka! Happy family time. It's about the gift of family and friends not the gifts under the tree. (Unless those gifts are card making goodies...) No, seriously, I am kidding! All I want for Christmas is my family. Those who will be here. Those who will be 'skyped' in and those we will talk to on the phone!

Along with family time I am SO looking forward to board games and 'app' games...Heads Up...Catch Phrase, UNO, Win, Lose, or Draw anyone? Not to mention daughter Amy's famous seasoned Chex Mix! But I could do without all the games, all the electronic devices, all the gifts, even the Chex Mix...bring on my family!

Still having fun with one of my new PowerPoppy sets. I got this idea from a sample in her shop.


Peaceful Poinsettia
~PaperTrey Ink Kraft card stock
~PowerPoppy Poinsettia stamped with Versamark and embossed with Ranger Seafoam White colored with Copics and layered
~Sentiment stamped with SU Soft Suede from PowerPoppy Poinsettia set
~"Lace" is actually a sticker from the Dollar Tree!
Challenges | Inspirations
Card Mania - Christmas
My Besties UK - poinsettias
CAS on Sunday - Christmas
Tuesday Throw Down - Christmas

Here's to family, friends, dreaming of a white Christmas, and family time around the table! Let the board games begin!

Merry, merry, merry Christmas!

Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Winter Solstice Merry Mulligan

Happy Winter Solstice! As a born and bred Iowan...may I say.... "What"? It's just now winter? What was yesterday? An unseasonably cool summer day?

I received an awesome pre-Christmas present from one of my sistas! (Thank you Gailey!) Not sure why I got them early - but I ripped right into them! I absolutely love all the stamps by Marcella Hawley at Power Poppy!

The Omaha early gift giver left the note and 'packaging' so I could see how cute it was when it arrived. Check this out! A hand written note by the artist! Not to mention a bit of twine and orange vellum/wax like paper. (Going to have to find some of this colored wax/vellum paper!) With personal service like this I should probably send her an email and get a response.

Twine, Washi tape, orange cool paper, hand written note...PLUS stamps! Whhhhoottt!!!

Washi tape to hold the tag! This woman rocks! Hand written and hand drawn flowers!

A trio of awesomeness! Thank you Sissy Gail!

Since I was on the receiving end of awesomeness I decided to put one of these lovelies to work! FULL DISCLOSURE...I have to be honest. This was not my first attempt at using this poinsettia stamp. Let's just say...the first attempt ended up in the trash heap. I tried to resuscitate it...it got worse the more I tried. Honestly...it was HORRIBLE. I can't even bring myself to share the card! Suffice it to say it included embossing powder and watercolors...(Sounded SO beautiful and achievable in my head....) I salvaged the base card and that is all! 

I frequently send my 'review board' (my sisters) a preview of the cards I plan on posting here on my blog. Not sure why I do - but I do. In a previous post I shared some of their (vastly positive) and delightfully honest responses. Well I sent them a photo of the currently-residing-in-the-trash
card noting that I wasn't happy with it. One of the "Review Panel's responses was, "have an adult beverage and go back to the drawing board".
Don't you just LOVE siblings!? I do. (Well SOME siblings...) 

Agreeing that a mulligan was in order I took the card apart and after a failed resuscitation effort - it was put to rest in the trash. So! Here is the do-over. I wanted to use the color challenge at Just Us Girls and was determined to use my new stamp set in a manner more worthy of this gorgeous 'power flower'!



Merry Mulligan
~Base card - Gina K
~Layer of pink card stock
~Layer of teal card stock
~Image, Marcella Hawley's PowerPoppy Poinsettia, stamped using Memento Black, colored with Copics, center dotted with Smooch Gold Flame then Moonlight
~Sentiment, Marcella Hawley's PowerPoppy Poinsettia, stamped with Stazon Teal
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - color week
Pile it On - Christmas
Sweet Stamps - nontraditional Christmas colors
Come and Get It - Christmas

Stay tuned for a view of the stampin' goodies my Atlanta sister sent me! I will post that bundle once I use one of those treasures!

Here's to pre-Christmas gifts, December birthdays (even though I am not a fan), mulligans, and brutally and refreshingly honest sibs!

Thank you for clicking by,

Nancy in Iowa 


Friday, December 19, 2014

Questionable Color Combinations & My Personal Island

So...I made the first card...then stood back and wondered...WHAT WAS I THINKING? I colored this little gal a long time ago and she sat languishing in the "colored images" basket....now I know WHY she languished. I must have been low on sugar or perhaps had one too many adult beverages? Talk about non-traditional Christmas colors! YIKES! In her defense she is seriously cute!

I took a bunch of stamped/printed images with me on my "sisters holiday" to Shellman Bluff. This was one that I did at that time. So she is special to me even if she has no fashion sense! I've decided coloring images with no idea what you want for back ground design papers...never a good idea (for me anyway).


Miss Flake
~Base card white card stock PaperTrey Ink
~Strip of shiny lavender card stock
~Layer of gold card stock embossed with Hero Arts Dots
~Digital sentiment by Bird's Cards printed on white card stock colored with Copics, spotted with Stickles Diamonds
~Digital snow-gal a freebie - sorry only have "Kim" for a name
~Spellbinder Labels II and Cuttlebug (image card stock and layer of Ki Berry Blast olive green card stock)
~Petaloo Christmas 2012 green flower with faux gem
~Stitched felt ribbon
Challenges | Inspirations
Mojo Monday - sketch
Digitally Sweet - anything 
Fussy and Fancy - snowflakes and ribbon
Sassy Studio - let it snow

I'm not the only one with a stack of lonely ready-to-use-already-colored images am I? Who knows why they get relegated to "the basket"... As I was taking this photo I noticed many of the images are holiday leaning...what's up with that? It's my own version of the Island of Misfit Toys

Poor little images...hoping to one day make it to a card! (By the way I have a container for printed/stamped images that have no coloring...yet.) Hey! There is a color
version of the image below!

With all the hodge-podge of color of Miss Flake above I decided to give minimal a try. No coloring at all. Embossing powders plus OPI nail polish....DONE! 


Merry & Bright
~Base card white card stock
~Hampton Art image stamped using Versamark embossed with Ranger Super Fine Detail Gold; nose dotted with Red OPI nail polish
~Image strip of card stock top and bottom edges distressed with Tim Holtz 370 Paper Distresser
~Sentiment by Power Poppy Poinsettia (thank you for the pre-Christmas present sissy Gail!) stamped with Versamark embossed with Ranger Rich Red embossing powder
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Add Ink - photo inspiration
Crafty Mess - anything plus Christmas colors
Brown Sugar - Christmas
Card Concept - photo inspiration
Christmas Card Challenge - clean and simple
Tracy's Monday Mood Board - photo inspiration

Here's to admitting I have a basket to corral my nearly discarded images, running the gamut from colors gone wild to minimalism, unabashedly showing my dependence on my label maker, and great memories of sissy vacations!  

Thank you for clicking by,

Nancy in Iowa

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sibling Advice

After yesterday's dark and somber card I decided to 'lighten up'! In defense of yesterday's card...it is much richer and better looking in real life. Today's card I like! And "the sisters" my personal card review board...gave it a 'thumbs up'. And in usual fashion...the Omaha sister indicated her positive input with "I want it." So this snow-lady goes into the "Omaha basket" for the next Transfer of Crap.


Snow Lady
~Base card Paper Trey Ink Pure Poppy
~Layer of Doodlebug Design North Pole
~Stamped image by Hampton Art colored with Copics and highlighted with Stickles; stamped on white card stock; snow flakes individually embossed using SU embossing pen; white card stock framed with red card stock
~Strip of green card stock topped with ribbon
~Glitter green chip board evergreen
Challenges | Inspiration
Little Red Wagon - Christmas
Tuesday Morning Sketches - layout
A Random Fan - anything
Crafty Sentiments - winter
Creative Colors - vintage green, deep red, white, glitter

Thanks for clicking by.

Here's to traditional Christmas colors, adorable snow-people, and always taking my sisters advice!

Nancy in Iowa

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Finding My Marbles and Rescued Nail Polish

I really wanted to enter the Just Us Girls 'trend challenge' which requires use of multiple mixed media so...a new (new to me) technique I saw on Gina K Stamp TV.

The marble technique. I had never heard of it so I watched the tutorial and gave it a try! It was fun and easy! I will try it again with other colors! She uses re-inkers in the tutorial. I substituted acrylic paint (two dots) and Distress Stain.

I frequently send the cards I am going to post to my sisters to preview. They are my blog proof-readers so they get a 'heads-up' on the cards. They are always complimentary yet brief: "Cool!" "Cute." "Fun!" "So sweet." And from one sister in particular - her affirmation is simply: "I want this one."

So imagine my surprise when I got an actual critique! Her input: "Put a red nose on one of them - it needs some color." Well!!! To be fair - I was only marginally happy with the card - but was an instant fan of the marble technique.

I gave it some thought. Tried a few different sizes of red bling. But I wasn't liking the look. So I scrapped the blue dot of the "i" in the sentiment and the blue center of the sequin "snowflake" replacing them with red. I just didn't have anything small enough for a 'nose'. So using red nail polish and a toothpick I gave one of the fellows a wee beacon of color.

Detail of the white and bronze 'marbling'. 

This is the "needs color" preview card.

This has arrows pointing to the 'blast' of color. A dot of OPI Red Nail Lacquer on a nose and for the "i" in the word 'wishes'; a red faux gem in the center of the sequin faux 'snowflake'.

Here is the "colorful" and final version.

I have to admit the spots of color do make for a positive change! Thank you sissy Gail!

No Denying Rudolph
~Base card PaperTrey Ink card stock
~Layer of black 'marbled' using Liquitex Medium Viscosity Acrylic Iridescent Bronze and Tim Holtz Picket Fence Distress Ink
~Strip of My Mind's Eye Signature Christmas Holiday Glitter Book (whole punch for wreath center)
~Taylored Expressions Seasonal Wreath die and Cuttlebug
~Taylored Expressions Snowflake Wreath stamped with Versamark, embossed with Ranger Enchanted Gold embossing powder
~Satin ribbon
~Snowflake charm
~Sequin snowflakes - blue and white with red faux gem
~Sentiment from Taylored Expressions Snowflake Wreath set stamped with Palette Beaux Arts Blue with "i" dotted with OPI Red Nail Lacquer (I almost tossed this unused red nail polish..then thought...might work for a card!)
~Top left 'nose' dotted with same red nail polish

Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - trend week - mixed media (acrylic paint, nail polish - dotted using a toothpick, stain, charm,)
Creative Knockouts - tis the season
Pile it On - Christmas
Sentimental Sundays - anything plus sentiment
Tuesday Throw Down - Christmas

Thank you for clicking by!

Here's to using a toothpick to 'paint', learning new techniques, and finding my marbles!

Nancy in Iowa 




Monday, December 15, 2014

Coney Island - Iowa Style

Yes, it is officially winter in Iowa but when you are used to frigid temps...buying a fountain soda...walking from the shop to your car....having the seeped-out soda on the lid freeze before getting to your car! Yes. That is winter in Iowa...usually! So when we hit a 'balmy' 47 degrees it is time for: shorts, discarding of coats, scarves, mittens...and OUTDOOR DINING! Iowans assume that if the sun is shining...it must be time to shed the layers and head outdoors. Here is a shot I took on my way to the quilt shop. BTW it is the BEST hot dog shop in town! Door open. Outdoor seating available! (Who cares that it is December!?)



The card image is MORE of what we do and feel in Iowa.... Hot cocoa! Scarves! Mittens! Chapeaus! I've used this cutie a few other times. Here and here.


Detail of off-set card edge and Marvy Liquid Applique as fur and foam.

Outdoor Cozy
~Pre-made card, off-set bottom edge with stripes...This would be easy enough to do- might have to try it once I have used all these Target cards
~Paper doily
~Sami Stamps image colored with Copics and paper-pieced, outer edge accented with faux stitches
~Liquid Applique used on mitten and hood as fur and as whipped cream on the mug
~SU Apothecary die cut twice - once for image one for red card stock 'shadow'
~Sentiment laser printed
Challenges
Basteltanten - anything
Challenge Up Your Life - Christmas without Christmas stamps
Sami Stamps - add Christmas embellishment
AAA Cards - plaid (cocoa mug)
Sister Act - anything
Crafty Little Fairies - holly or ivy

Thanks for clicking by!

Here's to hot cocoa, outdoor dining in December, and having a reason to use a doily!

Nancy in Iowa




Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Unearthing Merry Stuff

Thanks and kudos to my blog pal Lynn for reminding me of this sentiment stamp! I forgot all about it. I saw her use it on these two cards and knew that was my next inspiration starting point! I really admire her clean cards. She is  a pro at the use of white card stock and has perfected the use of single sequins!




Be Merry
~Base card - Papertrey Ink Pure Poppy
~Layer of white card stock embossed with Paper Studio Wood-grain embossing folder, lightly smudge with inks
~Red/white twine
~Strip of Paper Studio's Cozy Little Christmas design paper across top of card matted with dark brown card stock
~Red check pennant paper from same Cozy Little Christmas collection framed with dark brown card stock
~Three stamped and hand cut pine cones dangling from gold metallic floss Martha Stewart Clear Christmas Tree stamp set
~Stamp sentiment: Stampin' Up Warm Words/Small Script
~Stampin' Up Word Window punch
~Four red sequins
Inspirations | Challenges
Fusion - photo/sketch
Holly Jolly Christmas - anything Christmas
Loves Rubber Stamps - winter or Christmas
Through the Purple Haze - use a sentiment
Use Your Stuff - red | green

Thank you for clicking by!

Here's to scooping up inspiration and gentle reminders from blog-buddies, unearthing long-forgotten stamps, and the simple pleasures of Christmas!

Nancy in Iowa

Monday, December 8, 2014

Gossamer Wings...Just One of Those Things


Just a card this time. No personal sharing about my crazy but loving sisters! No whining about DIY projects gone awry! No more grousing about over use of bling! No more griping about creating a Christmas card homage to Star Trek and Star Wars!

Today, this post is just about the card! Oh and inspirational friends! My sweet blog friend Julie at Rainbow Days reminded me that there is a challenge at Lavinia Stamps to create something using a Lavinia image and incorporating flowers. Well her work is ALWAYS over-the-top gorgeous! So getting inspiration from her is always easy peasy! While I doubt I will ever manage to create 'gossamer wings' I did manage to incorporate flowers while using a long neglected item from my stash: Flower Soft. Thank you Julie!

What with a shop dedicated to 'wands and wishes' this could only be a birthday card for someone who appreciates gossamer winged fairies and sprites!


Soft Flowers
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Autumn Rose
~Layer of DCWV mat stack Once Upon a Time
~Strips of coordinating Once Upon a Time as frame to striped ribbon
~Lavinia digital image colored with Copics; die cut and embossed with Spellbinder Labels Two - edges smudged with Hero Arts Soft Sand
~Flower Soft
~Vintage button from 'the button bowl'
Challenges | Inspirations
Lavinia Stamps - add a flower
Retro Sketch - sketch
Crazy 4 Challenges - color inspiration
Scrappy Hands - birthday

Thanks for clicking by.

Here's to unearthing long-unused had-to-have items in my Bubble stash, mentally playing Sinatra tunes, and banning whining (at least for a post or two)!

Nancy in Iowa 


Sunday, December 7, 2014

13 Years

As I was switching out the tablecloth this morning. I acknowledge to myself that my sister Gail had made this quilted goodie! Okay...so it's not really a tablecloth - it is a quilt - probably intended for a nap and a lap. But I like it as a table covering!

If you are at ALL familiar with me and/or my musings you will know that I am very much like the moose in the lovable kids book, "If You Give a Moose a Muffin". Here how the mind works...Nancy style:

I was thinking about my sista Gailey making the quilt/tablecloth...this resulted in me thinking about my loved and appreciated appliqued Christmas tree skirt that my other sister, Judy, made me (in 1986)...then I realized my annually hung Christmas tree panel was also made by Gail...and my outdoor ornament (vintage 1984) was made by my sista Judy! (Are you picking up on the moose/muffin thing?) So I decided to make a little photo collage of the generosity of my sissies!

They make me lovelies that I use year-to-year. I make them cards - that they give away - and probably end up in a landfill. I find myself wondering about giving something a bit more durable?????!!!!!!!





I promise I will get to the card - but FIRST...

I just finished these for THE SISTERS! I finally made something durable! I started with (really rather un-attractive) 'art' that I bought at a local "Bargain Center" and then hand lettered the 'saying'.

This one is for my Atlanta, GA sister - she has a party-size deck that holds memories of kids on tree swings, grilled meals, sisters sittin', and more than an occasional adult beverage. 

This one is for my Omaha, NE sista. She would sleep on her porch if she wasn't afraid that raccoons would come up and snuggle with her in the night. Her porch is for sewin', knittin', meals, snacks, sister sittin', and of course the occasional (okay....semi-regular) adult beverage consumption. 

And THIS is what REALLY started this. I can not believe I am showing this to you! I did some "deep" cleaning and found this tattered/printed email from Gail. There are many things to note about this correspondence.

Most glaring is THE DATE!!! I swear I HAVE cleaned my house a few times since July of 2001! I absolutely did NOT remember this email but I must have had good intentions since I printed it out...Right?

I DO remember walking past the porch that held this declaration - it was in our beloved Shellman Bluff! I can picture the cottage and the porch! Also note the 'sisterly love' that oozes from this email:
Gail: "Remember this? Make it for me!"
Me: "Sure I remember....now let me print this and totally forget about it for 13 years!"

THAT is how we sistas roll! No gloss. No soft edges. Just blunt. Just us!

At the time of the email printing I hand-wrote the "deck for Judy" - knowing that WHEN I made one for Gail I would of course NEED to make one for Judy! It's not on old lumber - but it is completed - 13 YEARS LATER!!!! Good thing they both still have a porch/deck and that we are still speaking to one another! Good thing I finally wondered what was in the "important stack of important papers"!

How embarrassing! 2001!!!!????


Finally - on to the card. This one, while it has embellishments - does NOT have any glitter! As you may have noted in previous posts I had a "blingy" request for 5 BLING-laden Christmas cards. I am DONE with glitter and bling for awhile! This one is more representative of "my style". Much more representative than sparkly members of the Star Trek or Harry Potter casts


String Not Bling
~Base card - PaperTrey Ink Hawaiian Shores cardstock
~Layer of kraft card stock stamped with Stampabilities Le Script background stamp using Versamark and one of my favorite embossing powders: Enamelware by Ranger; also stamped with Hero Arts Dandelion Frame using 4 Tim Holtz stains
~Twine (it is aqua but sure doesn't look like it in the photo!)
~Burlap flowers with wood bead centers
~Prima leaves
~Stems created with raffia (transfer of crap item from Omaha)
Challenges | Inspirations
Challenge Up Your Life - turquoise and brown
Alphabet Challenge - V for variety (3 different embellishment) 
Crafty Creations - embossing
Ruby's Rainbows - just because (just because I had to make something without glitter!)

Thanks for clicking by!

Here's to sisters who can be blunt and still love each other, sisters who don't mind waiting 13 years for a request to be completed, and sisters who surround each other with love even with miles in between!

Nancy in Iowa






Apologetic Trails of Glitter and Fear of Judgement

Before we  start...Please don't judge! This first card, especially, is so NOT my usual style! This is a card that I reluctantly share with you!

These are the FINAL installments in the MUST BE BLINGY and SPARKLY request for daughter Amy's friend. I like bling as much as the next bling-lover - bling wasn't the difficulty - it was the THEMES that had me flummoxed. Star Trek + bling AND Harry Potter + bling. Happy to have this request completed!

This card will NEVER make it to my list of personal favorites...but Miss Jennie will LOVE it! It is for her Voyager crazed brother. That is what is important! Right? My apologies to Captain Janeway of the USS Voyager! I know her purple glittered crew-neck, glittered com-badge, and Swarovski earring are all completely NON-regulation! And I'm sure that Starfleet would NOT approve of the "blinging-up" of their starship! They can take it up with Jennie! Yes, I will throw her under the flag-ship faster than Geordi can stoke the warp drive engines!

I had to tweak a Janeway quote to work with my Christmas theme. Again...forgive me Katherine!

"I'll give you the field emitter but not until I've inspected the...

{Christmas Gift} you're offering - to make sure it's genuine." ~ Captain Janeway

Christmas on Voyager
~Base card - aqua card stock
~Layer of snow flake design paper (Stickles added)
~Photo of Captain Janeway - blinged to the max with glitter, Stickles, and Swarovski crystal (Swarovski crystals were a transfer of crap item from my sissy Gail!)
~Gold glitter stars
~Large blue sequin star
~Inside flourish using sparkle adhesive and Spellbinders Floral Flouishes and Cuttlebug
~Sentiment (inside) printed on laser printer die cut with Stampin' Up framelits, two green rhinestones
Challenges | Inspirations
Kitty Bee Designs - unusual Christmas colors (how about unusual Christmas card!)
Sister Act - anything
Daring Cardmakers - color combo - red/blue
Creative Knockouts - festive flouishes (inside flourish)
Open-Minded Crafting - unusual Christmas card (welcome to world of Christmas request cards!)
Nutcrafters - all that glitters

And then there is THIS sparkle monster! Also a Jennie request-card. This one is for Jennie to give to my daughter Amy. Amy is so NOT a bling girl but she will understand the sparkly love that this was made with and given with. Shhhhhh....don't tell Amy about her card! And...yes I found a home for my OOPS poinsettias! The sentiment is a reference to them yelling "FRIEND" to each other as a greeting.


Friend!
~Base card white PaperTrey Ink card stock
~Layer of blue Sparkle Adhesive vinyl sheet (from Wal-Mart)
~Poinsettias stamped and embossed using Verve Poinsettia Christmas
~Centers of flowers dotted with Gold Lame Smooch
~Edges of poinsettias embossed with red embossing powder
~Sentiment die cut with Elizabeth die and Cuttlebug; exclamation point hand cut
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - sparkle
C.R.A.F.T. - Christmas
Delightful - twinkle, twinkle, sparkly
Pile It On - anything Christmas
Sentimental Sundays - embossing (poinsettias)
Moo-Mania - poinsettias

Thanks for clicking by.

Here's to wondering if I will ever get all the glitter vacuumed up, looking forward to making a bling-free card, and hoping Jennie likes her cards!

Nancy in Iowa

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Targeted Tags

I really like shopping at Target. I always start out in the dollar aisle. I found a package of pre-printed kraft tags. Well.. I like tags...I like kraft cardstock...I like funky fonts....the package was a DOLLAR. It was meant to be! Check this out! Six 2.5" x 5 " pre-printed, eyelet-ed tags! Did I mention tho whole lot was ONE DOLLAR!?!?


Here is the first Target-Tag card...watch for other tag-you're-it cards!


Targeted Cheers
~Kraft card stock by PaperTrey Ink
~All design papers by Paper Studio Classic Christmas
~Grosgrain ribbon
~Tag embossed using Hero Art Dots embossing folder
~Flowers with rhinestones
~Die cut leaves
Challenges | Inspirations
Mojo Monday - inspiration
Fusion - photo inspiration (red plus pine cone - kraft card stock similar to pine cone color)
Delicious Doodles - non traditional Christmas
Really Reasonable Ribbon - tag with ribbon
Southern Girls - celebrate

Thank you for clicking by,

Here is to dollar aisles everywhere, shopping at Target, and finding card items in non-card shopping spots!

Nancy in Iowa

Friday, December 5, 2014

Indoor Mountain Climbing and Past/Possible Future Painted Carpeting

My love|hate relationship with Pinterest continues! I encountered a "pin" regarding yet another DIY project.

Let me back up a bit...the stairs to our family room (and more importantly the path to My Fiber Bubble) were, long ago, decreed to be, by daughter Amy, "the stairs of death". She hates them, my husband hates them, no one really likes them. I wasn't bothered by them but then, again in the words of daughter Amy, I have "freakishly small feet". So the fact that the carpet layer installed big-fat-foam-padding making each step very short and SQUISHY. Let's just say people-in-the-know have years of experience putting the hand rail to good use!

Back to Pinterest... I read a DIY on how to spruce up previously carpeted stairs. So...with ample enthusiasm and a head filled with "know-how" I began this "do-it-myself" endeavor! I started ripping up the carpet. Something NOT mentioned in the tutorial but understood by this "quick learner" was where to actually START pulling up a continuous piece of carpet.

Note to self: always start at the TOP! Regretfully, I began at the bottom. (A novice and doltish decision). I ended up "spelunking' up the now flat and steeply angled carpet. I found myself wishing for a pickax and a repelling gear! And thanking whoever the contractor was who installed the 'strong-enough-to-hold-all-my-weight' hand rail!

Had my sister been here to help me this would have ended up being a what we call "another Lucy and Ethel moment". Since I was alone...I will claim this as my "Lucy moment".

I eventually made it to the top of this indoor "Mount Kilimanjaro" and removed all the carpet and 2 inch padding. Imagine my dismay to discover that UNDER the layers of indestructible carpet and fatty foam that the original layer of carpet remained! Seriously carpet dude!...Really?!?  I didn't know that there was yet another layer of carpet. Carpet that is GLUED down...

This wouldn't be SO bad but when I painted the stairwell years ago I knew that new carpeting was soon to be installed so...did I BOTHER with drop cloths? NO! Was I careful NOT to spill or splatter sunny yellow paint on the 'old' blue carpet? NO!!! So now my Pinterest project of a LITTLE pulling, puttying, painting, and varnishing has turned into a TIME SUCK VORTEX!!!! This may have to wait until AFTER the holidays. And for now...I'm sticking to cruising only CARD boards on Pinterest. No. More. DIY. Pins!

Wait...I wonder if there is a DIY project on Pinterest on PAINTING old carpet....????



Merry Wreathness
~Base card - red card stock Pure Poppy PaperTrey Ink
~Layer of white confetti card stock
~Silver card stock (actually re-purposed from a received-long-ago Christmas card) die cut and embossed using Spellbinder's Circle Scallop and Cuttlebug
~Green card stock cut using Taylored Expressions Seasonal Wreath for the base of the greenery
~Shades of green card punched using Martha Stewart Fern Branch punch
~Red rhinestones
~Fine silver glitter
~"Snow" on fern branches created with Marvy Liquid Applique
~Green satin bow (OLD stash item!)
~Merry die cut - using  My Mind's Eye 12 Days of Christmas
Challenges | Inspirations
Freshly Made Sketch - sketch
City Crafter - wreath for this season
Clear it Out - theme: circles; stash: glittery/sparkly
Dazzling Diva - photo inspiration/snow


Thanks for clicking by.

Here's to never starting another Pinterest DIY project this close to the holidays, wondering if I should FOREVER stay away from Pinterest, and a fond farewell to "the stairs of death"!

Nancy in Iowa

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sparkles and Shine for Picard and Dumbledore

I continue my mission of making Bling-laden customized cards for my daughter's friend Jenni. Jenni's dad is a HUGE Star Trek fan! As I mentioned in my previous post - I got my Sci-Fi's confused and initially made him a Yoda Christmas card. What can I say...Star Trek...Star Wars... at least I had the celestial body correct!

To be fair...I KNOW that Yoda is a Star Wars character NOT Star Trek! I just didn't remember WHICH Star series Terry (the card recipient) is infatuated with!

If this is your first time to my blog...please believe me that these are not my 'usual' type of cards! They are all OVER blinged, glittered, Stickled because that is what was requested. Jenni was more adamant about BLING than theme. I have tried to hybridize the two...

The results? I'll let you be the judge. Just know that with each additional sparkle I would have internal stress - thinking - "no that is over the top" and then remembering Jenni's mantra - "there is no such thing as too much bling!" Also...I may NEVER get all the glitter vacuumed and dusted up! Even my husband had a bit of the iridescent shine on his face last night. NO idea how THAT happened as he is rarely allowed in my Fiber Bubble! A school teacher friend of mine said, "glitter is the Herpes of craft making." I think she banned it from her pre-school classroom...what kind of depraved person won't let 4 year old's utilize glitter!!!???

Not sure where to start with a Star Trek Christmas theme - I looked though images and thought that their comm badge/insignia has a shape that might lend itself to a TREE SHAPE!  So that is where I started. In case you aren't familiar with this Trekkie insignia (yes - I'm talking to you Gail and Judy - my sistas!)  I'm including a couple of pics with the MOSTLY famous left chest badge.

From there I thought of the iconic quote, "Beam me up Scotty". Alliteration lead me straight from beam to bling...hence the Bling Me Up sentiment. (Sharing a bit of how my mind works....or how my muse works....yes! I blame it on my muse!)

Ahhhh...Captain Jon Luke Picard! Stark Trek Next Generation

Captain Katherine Janeway sports the newer version of the cult-famous insignia. Star Trek Voyager

So now...you see what I was working with.... All this....PLUS the addition of bling. Bling is VERY important to Miss Jenni! Bling is her signature look - all year long!


Bling Me Up
~Base card - green card stock
~Layer of Christmas design paper blinged up with rhinestones and Stickles
~Christmas ribbon
~Two layers of Christmas design paper framed with black card stock
~Rectangle of red cardstock
~Oval of gold metallic card stock die cut with Spellbinder/Cuttlebug
~Hand cut green card stock shaped to resemble Star Trek insignia stamped with a tree image - glittered with green and 'snow' highlighted with Marvy's Liquid Applique
~Star bling
~White card stock for sentiment - printed with laser printer - die cut with Spellbinder label and Cuttlebug - highlighted with Stampin' Up Crystal Effects
~Inside sentiment: It's Time for Christmas!
Challenges | Inspirations
Retro Sketches - sketch
Crafty Sentiments - use dies
Party Time - anything
Crafty Boots - star(s)
Dream Valley - anything

Now on to the card for Jenni's mama! Both mother and daughter are HUGE Harry Potter fans. To be honest, I've seen the movies...but was not sure where to start with conjuring up a mix of HP, Christmas, and dose of bling. I went with a Dumbledore quote...changed socks to stockings and of course....ADDED BLING!


A Very Harry Christmas
~Base card - green card stock
~Layer of striped card stock The Paper Studio Happy Hootin' Holidays
~The three stockings were actually "to-from tags" purchased after Christmas for CHEAP and yes they have been stashed away until the perfect time to use them presented itself
~Red/white check ribbon for stocking loops
~Red cording (transfer item!)
~Over the top bling: glitter, Stickles, too many rhinestones, and rhinestone brads
~Sentiment printed on laser printer using Harry Potter-like font and die cut with Stampin' Up Framelit
~Inside sentiment mirrors the outside sentiment (shape, font and bling) "One can never have enough bling". ~ Jennifer D.
Challenges | Inspirations
Cardz 4 Guys - Christmas stockings
Shopping Our Stash - use something that was free (you call it FREE - I call it Transfer of Crap! - the red cording was "transferred" to me FREE!)
Creative Card Crew - stripes
Try It On Tuesday - Christmas is coming

Jen's brother Ryan's card is my next challenge. Not sure I'll post it because it is so weirdly un-Christmasy but VERY blingy! He is a fan of Star Trek Voyager.... Why can't these people like shows like White Christmas, or Frosty the Snowman, or Babes in Toyland!!!???? It could be worse...they could be Terminator fans....

Thank you for clicking by,

Here's to stockings filled with bling, apologies to all Star Trek/Wars genres, and the magic of Harry Potter!

Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bling Me Up Scotty

When I get my annual request for cards from my daughter's life long friend I know that it goes without saying that the cards MUST have bling! Boat loads of bling! When I was last with Miss Jennie I asked if I should personalize the cards for the 5 recipients. She thought about it then declined saying that she didn't want to 'sacrifice' theme for BLING! I gave that some thought then decided I would try to meld the two ideas.

Her dad is a huge fan of Sci-Fi. So I decided to go with a Star Wars theme "blinged-up"! After I finished this I sent a photo of it to daughter Amy. I was so proud of my blinged-up Yoda! Amy loved the card and said,  "Nice mama but Terry likes Star TREK. But I want the Yoda card for a friend at work!" Star Trek...Star Wars...it's all the same....Right? Well when you're a FANatic - it does make a difference. So this one is destined for another recipient.

I'm really happy that Amy said she wanted it. There is a bunch of cutting and waiting for 'stuff' to dry! Quite a bit of time 'with Yoda I spent'!

Now that I know which show to work with I'm off to work up a Star TREK Christmas card. Followed by a Harry Potter Christmas card for Jennie's mama hmm....do I go with muggles....magic....owls...train station....??? (Can you tell I'm more knowledgeable about HP than Star Wars/Trek?) Then I need to make a Star Trek "Voyager" card for her brother. REALLY? Now we are parsing types of Star Treks?!?  I think I have opened a can of Christmas worms (or should I say wormhole?)!


Yoda One For Me
~Base card green card stock
~Layer of My Mind's Eye 12 Days of Christmas card stock
~Yoda - colored with Copics, robe paper-pieced, ascot colored and highlighted with Stickles, belt colored with red Sharpie and highlighted with Stickles, buckle highlighted with gold Smooch, cane striped and colored with red, highlighted with Stickles, color puffed up with Liquid Applique
~Yoda (from a color-book) printed on Cryogen white card stock and framed with red and green card stocks
~Sentiment printed with laser printer - die cut with Spellbinder die and Cuttlebug - red and green bling added
~Large sequin green star topped with red faux rhinestone
~Strip of Christmas wired ribbon
Challenges | Inspirations
The Sweetest Thing - sketch
Jelly Park Friends - festive
Robyn's Fetish - use a digi
Crafty Hazelnut - patterned paper
That Craft Place - anything goes
Crafty Calendar - all about Christmas
Sister Act - anything goes

Thanks for clicking by.

Here's to keeping my "stars' straight, thinking outside the Christmas box, and looking forward to muggles, magic, and "voyaging" where 'no card-maker has gone before'!

Nancy in Iowa

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Red & Blue = PURPLE

Just a quick post - card info only. I will blah blah blah on my next post. I'm just under the wire for posting this over at Just Us Girls!!! Time is ticking!

They have an awesome color combination challenge! Turquoise, Red, Gold.

I'm also including a FAIL! You would think I would remember that red and blue make PURPLE! My first plan (aka fail) was to use turquoise as the flower base with red embossing powder...turn on the embossing heat gun and POOF - my RED outlines became PURPLE! Where was my kindergarten teacher when I needed her!? (Not to mention...I have an undergraduate degree in Art....ya...let's NOT mention that at all.) Too much cutting/snipping to toss this so watch for this "fail" on a future card.


Here is the completed version with a closer version of the challenge colors.


Just Merry Christmas
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Pure Poppy
~Layer of PaperTrey Ink Harvest Gold
~Layer of turquoise card stock
~Poinsettia Christmas stamp by Verve stamped with Versamark and embossed with Red Embossing powder - some colored with Copics - centers dotted with gold Smooch
~Stamp by Stampendous punched with Stampin' Up Word Window
~Two rhinestones
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - color week
Aud Sentiments - December holiday sentiment
Red Rubber Inspirations - repeat yourself
Time Out - embossing with sparkle
Crafter's Cafe - anything



Thanks for clicking by!

Here's to mixing colors, accepting failures, and meeting deadlines!

Nancy in Iowa



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wedding Jitters and the Mushy-Free Zone

If you are a not a stranger to my blog you will know that a request for a wedding card makes me go weak in the knees! My palms sweat. My heart races. My mind goes numb. What is there about wedding cards!!!???

Well - just ask my family - I did not get the sentimental gene. What I call "mushy" cards...NOT in my 'wheel house'! So my wedding cards tend to be mostly non-traditional. My most recent card incorporated a voided gift card....I've gone with confetti...I've created a mini "brooch bouquet", and then there were these (musical scores, maps, and the he/she card) with hardly any reference to traditional wedding!

I had a 50% off coupon along with a gift card burning a whole in my pocket when I saw this tandem bicycle stamp. I thought, "Perfect"! I will use it forever on every wedding card request! No more wedding card angst. I have a "go-to" stamp! Whoooooo!!!!

Just for the record the stamped sentiment card stock is actually very turquoise in color. It looks more cobalt here for some reason.


Daisy! Daisy!
~Base card - PaperTrey Ink Orange Zest
~Layer of Colorbok Veranda pattern pack
~Strip of Colorbok Board Walk pattern pack
~Hero Arts stamp using Stampin' Up Early Espresso
~Two metal brads
~Spellbinders oval die cut
~Stampin' Up sentiment and Hero Arts die cut
Challenges | Inspiration
House of Cards - sketch
City Crafter - one word sentiment
Clear it Out - anything goes (those aqua brads...probably the first ones I ever purchased!)
Dream Valley - anything
MelonHeadz - add sentiment

Thank you for clicking by!

Here's to "go-to" stamps, wedding jitters, and using up stash!

Nancy in Iowa