Thursday, February 27, 2014

Day Off Gridlock

Good news: I took today off! Bad news: I have to go to campus for a student government. I'm their adviser. Worst news: the meeting doesn't start until 9 pm. Crazy college kid schedules! What a way to end a perfectly good 'soft clothes' day! Oh what the heck I'm going in 'soft clothes' - it's evening - kids won't notice I'm wearing sweat pants - they will probably be wearing jammie pants!

Fun photo inspiration over at Just Us Girls! Coulda' gone with the spools - thought about the tree - but went with the colors. So many choices! Found the sketch at CAS - it is very versatile! You will probably see it here again.

Quick Hello
~Base card - orange card stock
~Layer of We R Memory Keepers - Precious Metal - Vintage Brass Treads
~Strip of aqua sheen card stock embossed with Tim Holt Gridlock; decorative end made using SU Apothecary die
~Flower stamped on polka dot design paper using Versamark and embossed with white embossing powder
~Flower and punch by Stampin' Up Mixed Bunch
~Orange brad
Inspirations | Challenges
Just Us Girls - photo inspiration
CAS - sketch
Lady Bug Crafts Ink - flowers
Milk Coffee - embossing

Here's to soft clothes, random days off, and jammie pants,
Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sleepy Super-Heroes

I didn't get as much card making done as I had hoped to this weekend. I spent time making door decorations. I promised one of my favorite university peeps that I would make his 'door decs' for the rest of the semester. I made three sets: super-heroes, mustaches, graduation mortar boards for the last month of school. I need to pick a residence floor with fewer residences! I made 40 of each of the three themes. Here is the door dec for the end of the semester:
Here are a few - imagine 40 of them. I sent him a photo of all three sets...he liked the super-heroes best. Good to know guys never outgrow Spider-man, Thor, Batman, and Superman! I made door decs last year for a girl's floor....I think it was more fun!

Once I accomplished my day of playing Resident Assistant, I got busy with a card.

Lion Sleep
~Base card Paper Temptress Cryogen White
~Layer of My Mind's Eye
~Strip of green card stock framing strip of Paper Studio Little Safari with Glitter
~Scallop circle of green glitter dot coordinating card stock from Paper Studio Little Safari with Glitter
~Lion stamped on Paper Temptress Cryogen White colored with Copics, balloon dotted with Stickles
~Sentiment - Stampin' Up So Very punched with Stampin' Up Window
Inspiration | Challenges
Fab n' Funky - sports or stripes
Crazy for Challenges - music inspired (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)
Sunday Sketch and Stamp - sketch
Gem of a Challenge - spots and stripes
Animal Friends - animal plus dots

Here's to mustaches, cuddly lions, and super-heroes,

Nancy in Iowa

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lilliputian Leprechauns you remember that wee shirt I so delicately snipped and then promptly lost? Here is the reminder of how tiny it was/is....

I decided I would find a 'home' for wee pieces. is my solution. The low-tech Lilliputian Lid! New Year's resolution: When it is cut and is only slightly larger than a pea it must be securely placed into the Tiny Top! No more pieces on the loose!

Since I was lucky enough to find the shirt (shout out to St. Anthony patron saint of lost items!) I thought I should put it to work with another card.

Luck of the Irish
~Base card green card stock
~Layer of Paper Studio Little Safari Glitter card stock
~Orange card stock square with additional piece of Paper Studio Little Safari card stock
~Strip of dry wall mesh
~Spellbinders oval with orange edges cut and embossed using Cuttlebug
~Digital image by Sami Stamps (he was so cute I had to use him again for another holiday). Paper pieced and colored with Copics.
~Three shamrocks colored with Copics and highlighted with Diamond Stickles (they are covering balloon hearts)
~Taylored Expressions sentiment stamped with black ink on circle
Card A Day - all about the green
Card Makin' Mamas - make it sparkle
Shopping our Stash - something shiny

Here's to 40 shades of green, balloons, and thoughts of leprechauns,

Nancy in Iowa

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 That Spring I Hear?

Love the inspiration challenge over at JUGs! These colors remind me of spring! The university baseball team had their first practice outdoors this afternoon! What is next? Robins? Waking to the sound of chirping birds? Crocuses popping up their cheery little heads? Come on SPRING!

Three Bloomin' Jugs
~Base card aqua card stock
~Layer of card stock (the Paper Studio Little Safari with Glitter)
~Flowers: Sizzix Framelits die set with Hero Arts Flowers and Butterflies - colored with Copics, stamens dotted with Stampin' Up Crystal Effects (I promise the leaves are NOT the green that photographed - they are NICE green - for real!) I hate it when a photo gremlin takes over!
~ Attached the flower stems directly to the card - popped the blossoms up with Stampin' Up Dimensionals
~Dry wall mesh colored with  a Sharpie (I haven't even put a small dent in the massive roll I have)
JUGs - three colors
Crafting from the Heart - anything goes/flowers
Cuttin' and Stampin' - spring is here
ABC Challenge - flowers
Der Challengeblog - spring flowers

Here's to robins, flowers, and gremlins,
Nancy in Iowa

Monday, February 17, 2014

Dragon Flies, Pole Vaulting, and Almond Patties

It's an 'anything goes' challenge over at {PIN}spirational! I was given a digi by A & T Digital Designs. Her name is Bindie. Isn't she cute? And her friend the dragon fly is too sweet!

Speaking of things that fly by...
I made my annual trip to an indoor track and field invitational. Except for basketball games (which are on campus) I make it a point to attend at least ONE of every athletic event just to show my support. I don't mind going to track meets. We don't have a track on campus so attending an indoor meet requires a road trip. I just happened to pick my favorite track meet road Sioux Center. Going to 'dutch country' in Sioux County is a slice of heaven! All home to a cute quilt shop (Roelofs), an incredible Dutch Bakery (Casey's) with Almond-Butter Windmill Cookies, Almond Patties (almond puff pastries), and my all time favorite coffee Douwe Egbert's! A slice of heaven I tell you...

More about the track meet....I am intrigued by the ebb and flow of activities. A group of students lying on their bellies chatting or texting, two student over there helping each other to stretch - pushing limbs to their limits, some students running the track, others warming up to long jump. It is like a 6 ring circus - you just never know where to look! Throwers, long jumpers, pole vaulters, sprinters, relay runners, triple jumpers....After attending these for a few years I know to watch for signs that someone is about to compete. Distance runners jog early, then stretch.... You can also get hints from their layers of clothing. All suited up with long pants and jacket and stocking cap? They won't be 'on' for a long time...then you see them shed their long pants...warm up time....loose the jacket....and you can feel the energy, the nerves, the excitement of competitive champions! And they were breaking records left and right! Yup - I really do like track meets (especially when it ends with quilt fabric shopping, almond bakery items, and DE coffee!)

Close up of fairy and dragon fly shimmery wings.

Reading Friends
~Base card Stampin' Up cardstock
~Layer of Prima Doodle Deux design paper
~Black Spellbinders Scallop Circle die cut and embossed
~Blue Spellbinders Beaded Circle die cut and embossed
~Sentiment stamped with Versamark and embossed with black embossing powder
~Strip of Prima Doodle Deux framed with black cardstock
~Digital image (Bindie) by A & T Digital Designs colored with Copics; wings, book heart, and firefly highlighted with Stampin' Up Crystal Effects
{PIN}spirational - anything goes
Digi Galore - things with wings
Crafting Cafe - embossing
Winter Wonderland - fairies
Through the Purple Haze - embossing
Atlantic Hearts - sketch
Created with Love - friends

Fairies, runners, jumpers, and almond paste heaven,
Nancy in Iowa

Monday, February 10, 2014

Stained Klutz

Here I am keeping to my new year's resolution of being loyal to some of my favorite challenge blogs! I do admit got a little nervous when I saw it was technique week at JUGs!

So several attempts, a pile of used baby-wipes, seven stained fingers later I came up with this Valentine Day card. I rarely make a card that doesn't have a design paper background....note to self: work surface and finger tips MUST be clean to pull this off!!! About the technique...I still haven't mastered either version but I got LOTS of practice trying! I am a klutz when it comes to this die cut edge inking! So this was way out of my comfort bubble - no back ground paper, stamping the sentiment directly on the card, and inking the all put ME on the edge!

At least I had running water to clean up the ink mess and stained fingers. The university that I work at has been without water all day...imagine 500 residential students with no running water! Last report, after back hoes had dug 4 enormous holes with still no idea of where the water main leak is. No water also means no heat (steam heat). So with the kindness of neighboring stores allowing access to bathrooms, the YMCA opening up for showers...the 'kids' spent most of the day in the academic building - the only building on campus with heat. Outdoor port-a-potties were brought up to campus ....but REALLY...the temperature was not even in the double digits....can you imagine...??? Tonight students will be sleeping at a middle school on cots provided by the Red Cross. There are no classes tomorrow so students who went home for the weekend - have an extra day back home. I have four students at my house. They are downstairs laughing, giggling, watching movies, eating snacks and doing their laundry. The first thing they did was make fresh guacamole!

Me? I'm going to bed. I had a rough day with the finger staining card making do-over-mulligan-try-it-again-you-can-do-this valentine card!

Oh and a weather update from here in the midwestern tundra...tomorrow's high temperature is predicted to be a whopping  12 degrees ABOVE zero!! Double digits! Both of them above zero! Whoooooottt Whoooot!!!!!  Have a spare 23 seconds? Watch this video - this little guy cuts right to the chase!

Heart Hugs
~Base card - white card stock
~Sentiment Taylored Expressions (this is actually two sentiments "Big Hugs" and "Sending you love" I masked off the 'love'...ask long as my fingers were stained red anyway - what's a little more skin smudge!) I can't seem to pull off inked masking tape with out a mess on my fingers. As I share all this I realize what a KLUTZ I am!
~Image stamp by Taylored Expressions colored with Copics, highlighted with Smooch and Stickles
~Heart punch with red card stock
~Horizontal stripe of red card stock and Ki Wild Berry design paper
~Paper banner tab upper left corner with heart/flower sticker
~Spellbinders scallop circle - please note the INKED EDGE!!!
Just Us Girls - technique
Ladybug Crafts Ink - the one I love
The Sweetest Thing - sketch
Addicted to Stamps - hearts
Gem of a Challenge - heart

Water, stained fingers, and avocados,
Nancy in Iowa

Friday, February 7, 2014

+ 2 News Items /// - 11 Thermometer Notches

Two pieces of good news! Both have to do with Sami Stamps. First item: she has a New Release! It is called "A Little Love Struck". Check it out! I love her simple and elegant line drawn images.

And now for Sami Stamps item number two: TaDa  What an honor! I was selected as a guest designer by Sami at Sami Stamps! 

This has NEVER happened to me before! I casually popped over to her site to see if she had a new challenge and saw this card that I made using her digital image:

I make a lot of cards and I never mail them to anyone. I give them in bunches to friends and family for them to stick in the mail. I did have a hard time giving this one away because I really love how it turned out and I love the image. I like how her shoulders are all hunched up trying to brace herself from the cold. It has been so cold here in Iowa that I think we are all going to have to have our shoulders pried from our ears by the time spring arrives. (Spring WILL arrive - right?)  I really liked how the paper piecing turned out on this and love the background card stock. Well sissy Judy in Atlanta, GA ended up with this one. You know down there the temperature dips below forty and they cancel school, board up windows, stock pile fireplace logs, and buy entire grocery store inventories...Just to put it in perspective I was greeted this morning to a -11 degrees (yes....MINUS 11 degrees Fahrenheit, with an unmentionable wind chill factor!). Note to guys on the radio. When you announce the temperature is AGAIN minus ANYTHING please do NOT include the windchill factor...isn't MINUS anything bad enough!? SERIOUSLY - I do not want to start my day hearing that the windchill factor is negative 32 degrees!

Anyway...back to the awesome honor of being a guest designer.... Sami sent me this adorable little guy and I got to work straight away! Again I paper pieced...what is there about snipping teeny tiny pieces of paper? Is it a throwback to playing with paper dolls? Is it the immediate satisfaction of snip-snip-trim-trim? Is it because I am too lazy to color the entire image? Is the thinking that is required to decide where to cut - what to leave - and what order the layers need to be glued into place? I don't know but I really like paper piecing. It does make it necessary to have just the right design papers with teeny tiny prints. I hope Sami likes what I did with her little guy!

Down side to paper piecing? The pieces are small...really really small! I printed and cut his shirt. Stepped away to put in a load of laundry. Came back to the craft table. Could NOT for the life of me or St. Anthony find that wee striped shirt. Determined he would have a striped shirt I returned to the Fiber Bubble tonight to reprint and re-cut his diminutive t-shirt. I did and as soon as I finished cutting t-shirt part two I reached for the Copics and POOF out of nowhere the first tiny garment floated to the table top. (I think it was stuck to the bottom of the Copic crate). (I blame the laundry.) Well, a quick thank you to St. Anthony, and I now have an extra, long sleeve tiny-T for a second card.

Sami's Friend Part One (watch for another friend of Sami's when I use the duplicate tiny shirt I cut out)
~Base card red cardstock
~Layer of BasicGrey Oliver Paper Pad
~Strip of blue from same BasicGrey collection
~Layer of dry wall mesh (I have enough of this stuff that I could use it on every card I make for the next 15 years and STILL have enough to put up a 12' x 12' wall!)
~Spellbinders/Cuttlebug embossed oval - edges distressed with Ranger Blending Foam and Tim Holtz Fired Brick Distress Ink
~Image by Sami Stamps colored with Copics and paper pieced using My Mind's Eye Lost & Found II (striped shirt) and BasicGrey Oliver Paper Pad collection (balloons)
~Sentiment is by Taylored Expressions from Wreath of Love stamp set
~Dots of Stampin Up Crystal Effects on balloons
Tuesday Morning - sketch
Little Red Wagon - love
Cuttlebug Mania - a touch of red
Flourishes - love and red
Love to Scrap - use word love
Cute Card Thursday - lots of love
Digi Stamps 4 Joy - heart

Just in case you don't believe how stinkin' cute and small his shirt is.... here is the found (thank you St. Anthony) spare shirt....

Lost, found, and tiny shirts,
Nancy in Iowa

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Readin', Sippin', Stayin' Warm

Photo challenge over at {PIN}spirational!  Books! I LOVE books!!!! It would be so great to be able to stay in where it's warm and read books, make cards, and maybe a sip or three of vino! It is disturbing to realize that I actually was happy to see the thermometer only one degree from double digits as I was headed to work. The high topped out at a whopping 15! Come on Spring!

These lovely gold edged books are the photo inspiration at {PIN}spirational.

I used one of my favorite Elizabeth O Dulemba digital images.  Sign up for her free Tuesday Coloring Book page!

Detail of her shimmery wings.

Sittin' and Readin'
~Base card vanilla linen
~Layer of green K & Company Life's Journey and coordinating strip of red K & Company Life's Journey
~Digital image colored with Copics, highlighted with gold Smooch, printed on Cryogen white - edges distressed using my new Tim Holtz paper distresser; wings highlighted with Stampin' Up Crystal Effects
~Grosgrain ribbon
Card Mania - Fairies, Angels
4 Crafty Chicks - anything goes
Drunken Stampers - anything goes
Fairy Tale Challenge - more than two colors
{PIN}spirational - photo challenge
Deep Ocean - fantasy
Papertake - anything goes

Stay warm, sip cocoa, and believe in fairies,

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Resolutions

Just got home from a Super Bowl gathering of friends. We had more fun playing board games than the Bronco fans had watching that sad blow out....

I had to take time to make a card yesterday because I just love the challenges over at Just Us Girls. My New Year Resolution is to be loyal to my favorite challenges. No weight loss/exercise/healthy eating resolution for me!!! I wanted to make a resolution that I would look forward to keeping!

I actually used my Cricut mini for this. What could be more appropriate than hearts since I have a love/hate relationship with the evil little white and green machine. It sits on the corner of my craft table ... glaring at me. It mocks me. It strikes fear into me every time I attempt to use it.... I am no techno weenie... I create videos, know my way around an iPad, have conquered social media, use a digital camera...but my Cricut? Terrorizes me...makes me weak...sends me to You Tube searching for the perfect Cricut tutorial. It makes me love my good ol' dependable Cuttlebug all the more! I may need therapy.... The Cricut definitely did NOT make it to my resolution list! Evil temperamental little machine!

I want to crank out some Valentine Day cards for some of my favorite peeps at school. So this is a start.

Heartfelt Resolution
~Base card Cryogen white cardstock
~Layer of design paper Playtimes Past Collection by Graphic 45
~Red cardstock heart cut using Criciut
~Smaller heart cut with polka dot design paper Material Girl by Cosmo Cricket
~Red card stock heart edged with red embossing powder
~Red sheet ribbon and bow (some "Transfer of Crap" from sister Gail - not sure what it came from...but hey - the ribbon was already made? Yes. Don't mind if I do)
Just Us Girls - sketch
Pile it On - ribbon
Robyn's Fetish - Valentines
That Craft Place - Valentines
The Pink Elephant - Love

Resolutions, therapy, and cupids,
Nancy in Iowa