Sunday, October 26, 2014

Farewell to Fall, Folliage, and the Farmer's Market

My obsession with my hometown autumn beauty continues! However, I feel like I was not giving bushes their proper due! They too deserve a little love! So today the tree tribute takes a turn. I am being inclusive of my pursuit of fall foliage! Here is today's blast of color discovered on 26th St between Nebraska and Jackson Streets.

This weekend signaled the end of our lovely Farmer's Market. What am I going to do on Saturday mornings at 8 am?! I know if I wait a few weeks - that time may be spent shoveling snow! 

Stripped pumpkin anyone?

Picture perfect!

Now THIS guy has character! The gnarlier the pumpkin - the better! 

Wee cabbage! The size of tennis balls!

What the heck???? I had to ask the vendor. These are Turkish Squash. 

Loves me some Snap Peas! 

Am I out of my GOURD?

Keeping with my fascination with fall I decided stay in my autumn state of mind with this card. I am a little bit hooked on this cut away technique from a video tutorial I watched (a few times). I used it previously on some little ghosties (Ghosts Should Not Play on Fresh Asphalt). Expect to see more!
I think all the hand cutting is a throw-back connection to my days of (hours and hours of) playing with paper dolls.

Autumn's Bounty
~Base card - PaperTrey Ink Hawaiian Shores
~Frame layer of darker aqua card stock
~Layer of white card stock
~Taylored Expressions sentiment (Whimsical Wishes set) stamped using aqua ink
~Dollar bin pumpkin stamp - stamped on orange card stock using Stampin' Up Early Espresso and shaded with Copics
~Pumpkin "blossoms" printed on white card stock, cut individually, glued in place
~Pumpkins hand cut in 'frame shape" and "popped-up" using Stampin' UP Stampin' Dimensionals
Inspiration | Challenges
Be Inspired/The Alley Way - color inspiration (love the combination of teal, white, and orange)
Crazy for Challenges - photo inspiration
Sister Act - anything
Sisterhood of Crafters - fall colors

Thanks for clicking by,

Here's to paper dolls, appreciating the bounty and beauty of autumn, and anticipating snow!

Nancy in Iowa

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tissue Treasures, Sudden Stops in Traffic, and Heckling Family Members

Yes, I am fixated on the outdoor colors of autumn! Below is a clump of stunners that reside on the corner of 27th and Jackson streets. Lynn (fellow card maker and loyal blog friend) requested that I keep sharing my fall pics as she misses these down in Texas. So..... you can blame Lynn if you are tired of my tree infatuation! Check out Lynn's adorable cards here.

My family gives me a hard time for always having my iPad with me. They think I am addicted to and obsessed with my iPad. But it sure comes in handy as a quick camera! I call it my "always be prepared" moto! I have an awesome Nikon camera but don't have it with me constantly. I never know when I may NEED to pull over to capture a dose of beauty, fun, silly, or awesomeness! Since I live in a relatively small town sudden stops in traffic are rare as what we call "rush hour traffic" would make MOST people laugh hysterically! And fortunately for me the majority of this smallish town still consists of "blocks"! So I can easily "go around the block" and capture photos to my hearts content!

This is today's pick! It rained last my days of autumn fixation may need to transfer to my NEXT visual obsession!

My most recent post (Tiny Cardigans and Sneezes) was about re-purposing a Puffs hologram. And here is the last of my tissue treasures.

One image - spider (with a tongue?? they have tongues??? EWWWW I hate spiders even more now!) and BOO! 

Alternate image - not sure what is going on here - but it involves WEBS which I hate! Especially when walking through them prior to seeing/feeling them! This has a purple horned little guy, an eyeball, and a pink little 'screeeepy'.

In-between image


Spiders and Screeepy Things
~Base card black card stock
~Layer of spider web card stock
~Hologram upcycled from Puffs Ultra Tissue box
~Purple grosgrain ribbon with orange stitches
~Four purple bling
~Digi bat "tab" printed on white card stock layered with orange card stock (check out his RED eyes!)
~AWESOME shimmer Halloween card stock (too bad I only had one sheet of it...tough not to hoard!)
~Boo! die cut
~Lime green lined paper for note/signature
~Foam "Trick or Treat" bucket
Challenges | Inspirations
Digi Sketch - sketch
The Male Room - Halloween
Paper Shelter - Halloween
Creative Knockouts - Halloween
Fab N' Funky - in stitches
Tuesday Throw Down - Halloween colors

Thanks for clicking by.

Here's to obsessions, hoarding, and the ability to "go 'round the block"! Happy Halloween! Eat, Drink, and Be SCARY!

Nancy in Iowa

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tiny Cardigans and Sneezes

Trying to talk my "down south" sister in Atlanta, GA to come "up north" for some sista time with me and my 'just down the road a piece' sister in Omaha, NE. This will be me when we get together!!!! Actually it will be all three of us when we have our SISTA'S GATHERING!!! 

There is so much I love about this photo! Who can't love a wee cardigan!? And a mix of horizontal and vertical stripes - HECK YES!!! 

Lately, I have felt compelled to share photos of local trees 'flaming' with color! Here is today's installment. I found this lovely mix of greens and golds on Jackson Street. Notice in the mid and lower left of the photo...the trees from both sides of the streets extend to reach across to form a canopy of delicious deciduous decadence (how is THAT for alliteration?) I just can't get enough of the richness of the colors this year. Must be a perfect climate combination!

And...I do have a card to post. You may remember this card.... I re-purposed a Hobby Lobby gift card into a wedding card. I was preparing to toss a box of tissues away I realized one of the sides was a hologram. So of course I 'spared its life'! I removed it from the tissue box and put in in the box marked Halloween Embellishments in my card room (known as The Bubble). Well here it is SPOOKY time - perfect time to put the tissue box hologram to use! I had to photo it a few times to try to get both images. I will have to pay more attention to tissue box selections in the future as this was fun!

This is the 'in-between' shot of holographic images.

Split Personality
~Base card black card stock
~Layer of pumpkin design paper
~Layer of sheer glittery ribbon
~Holographic image
~Ceramic witch button (Omaha Transfer of Crap - but don't know if it was transfer from Nila(-Wafer) or Sista Gailey)
~Gold floss (all the embroider floss in my stash is Transfer of Crap from sissy Gail!)
~Tiny piece of washi tape to cover up a lot or serial number on the hologram
Inspiration | Challenges
Mojo Monday - sketch
Cards 4 Guys - Halloween
Shopping Our Stash - Halloween
Pumpkin Spice - Halloween
Order of the Opus Gluei - Ghostly Goings On
Glitter N' Sparkle - use some orange
AAA Cards - Halloween

AND!!! I have ANOTHER hologram to for it in a future post!

Thank you for clicking by,

Here's to sneezes, runny noses, Puffs Ultra Tissues, and re-purposing!

Nancy in Iowa

Monday, October 20, 2014

Myrtle, Benjamin, and Donna

Just a card. Well... maybe a little more than a card. On my way to the west side of town I drove past this tree on the corner of 28th and Myrtle Streets. Nearly ablaze with color, I just had to park long enough to snap this shot with my iPad. (And my family gives me grief about toting my iPad EVERYWHERE with me!) While I'd love to say that a picture is worth a thousand words...This is NOTHING compared to seeing it up close and personal! Even as a photo it is too stunning not to share! 

It is definitely the time of year that encourages stops long enough to enjoy the splendor! I love spring but here in the Midwest they are so brief and sometimes extinguished by late (or continuous and sometimes tedious) winters. That's not to say we haven't had the occasional prematurely arrival of winter serving up a blanket of arctic white over what would normally be called "autumn". There was the Halloween a few year back that was officially cancelled because of a blizzard! But this year! Autumn has been just what you might dream about! (If anyone actually DREAMS of autumn!) It's the little things that fuel me! 

On to the card...I was inspired to dredge out this oldie but goodie stamp because I saw it used in such a lovely way by another Nancy! I love how she colored the leaves! 


Colors of Choice
~Base card - navy card stock
~Layer of chevron olive green card stock by BasicGrey
~Two layers of sheer purple ribbon
~Two purple Prima flowers (not sure why they look more magenta here than in real life) and on Prima leaf
~Two navy blue brads for flower centers
~VERY old stamp - bought it a a Ben Franklin store in Dennison, IA (yes THE Dennison - home of Donna Reed and the Donna Reed Foundation for Performing Arts.) {Donna Reed is probably best known for her role in It's a Wonderful Life; and she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in From Here to Eternity.} Image stamped twice - one flower and set of leaves colored, fussy cut, and popped up with foam dimensionals. Center of flower stamped on navy card stock with white ink and dotted with white Sharpie paint.
~Cryogen white for image die cut with scallop circle with back ground navy circles
Inspirations | Challenges
Just Us Girls - Color Week - navy, olive, purple
Addicted to Stamps - anything plus stamp
Crafty Hazelnut's - anything plus patterned paper

Thank you for clicking by,

Here's to indescribable fall colors, Myrtle Smith, Donna Reed, and Benjamin Franklin!

Nancy in Iowa

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Whole New Meaning to Retail Therapy

So...I donated some cards for a "Pink Tea" last March. The lady who "won them" via the auction sent my friend an email saying she wanted to buy a card assortment. I have never sold any of my cards. I give them to family and friends and to organizations for fundraising. I have, over and over, said I do NOT want to do that! I am afraid my "therapy", my happy place will become stressed! Maybe it won't. I think my compromise (with myself) is:  I will sell her an assortment bundle. As is. No custom requests. No .... "I like this part but could you change the color of the frog to pink?" I sound a little cranky don't I? I'm blaming a "crabby gene" on that! is an inheritable trait and I know it to be TRUTH...that I inherited the little 'bugger'!

Maybe I'm being overly pre-defensive. I love that she enjoyed the cards. I love that she actually mails cards! I'm humbled that she wants to purchase more. I know many of you do custom cards. GO YOU! (My initial reaction is - "Here just take these" and if I knew her personally I would totally do that.) I'll let you know if this transaction happens. Let me know if you have any words of advice!

Enough of my retail angst.... On to the card! I bought this sweet owl from Sami Stamps quite awhile ago. Since then he has been used for several occasions! (Under the bat/pumpkin/spider are holly leaves - shhhhhh don't tell anyone!)

Little Owl has sported flowers, more flowers, tiny flowers, shamrocks, valentines...who knows what may be in this little guy's future...

SERIOUSLY!!! The inside stamped sentiment is ORANGE IRL (in real life).

Hocus Pocus
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Royal Velvet
~Layer of white glossy card stock
~Layer of purple polka dot paper
~Digital image - Sami Stamps - paper pieced with three different design papers
~Three strips of design papers framed with black card stock
~Punched tap with "spooky" hand written
~Spider, bat, pumpkin die cuts
~Inside (left) is pre-printed tag
~Inside (right) sentiment stamped using orange ink, die cut using Cuttlebug, edges dotted with fine point black Sharpie
~Pre-lined signature block area
Inspirations | Challenges
{Pin}spirational - photo inspiration
Digi Chooseday - Halloween
PDE Linky Party - Halloween
Robin's Fetish - Halloween
Sami Stamps - use Sami Stamp + orange

Thanks for clicking by!

Here's to seasonally happy owls, magical hocus pocus, craving candy corn mixed with Spanish peanuts, and retail therapy!

Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Chili Dogs...Hold the Chili

Since a popular challenge is for fall colors.... I decided to inject some of the bounty and colors of fall into my lunch! Told my husband he was on his own for lunch and gave him the list of options. He saw my salad and said, "That looks really good!" I offered to make him one. He declined my generous offer opting instead for chili cheese dogs! Sounds dreadful...

Don't get me wrong! I love hot dogs! But only when it is at the local hot dog shop! My favorite is Coney Island. Coney is followed closely by Milwaukee Wiener House. Both of these have been in business for YEARS! Ate at both of them as a kid. Still love to order soda in a bottle with a straw! Ahhh...childhood memories. That reminds me of a sisters Coney Island story! That tangent will have to wait for a later post! I'm a hot dog, mustard, sauerkraut and a FEW onions purist!  Chili does NOT belong anywhere in the scope of hot-dog-ness!

Since hubby didn't offer a trip to a one true hot dog shop....I stuck with my salad creation! My salad of mixed greens, baby carrots, orange peppers, shredded Parmesan, cherry tomatoes, a few croutons, some sliced turkey, a little balsamic vinegar mixed with grape seed oil....PERFECTION! Yummy AND photogenic! Hubby has no idea what he missed out on! Notice my lunch location:  My Bubble!

Ombre Salad
~Base card - Papertry Ink Orange Zest
~Layer of white card stock embossed with Sizzix Branches with Leaves smudged with Orange and Yellow
~Tag stamped with script background stamp, color blast on white glossy using alcohol ink and dryer to spread the wet ink, then run through printer using Lavinia Zen Tree, dotted with three Smooch colors, and yellow Tulip paint
~Ombre colored flowers - used white card stock and yellows/golds/oranges
~Flower die cuts: Tim Holtz Tattered Flower Garland and Cuttlebug
~Three flower brads
~Two foil gold leaves (unearthed while cleaning and organizing)
~Ribbon assortment
~Hello sentiment stamped on white card stock, cut using Stampin' Up Word Window punch
Inspiration | Challenges
Just Us Girls - technique week - ombre
Lavina Stamps - autumn colors
Fairytale Stampers - ribbon, flowers
Jellypark Friends - autumn
A Creative Need - yellow, orange
Fresh Brewed Designs - tag
Pile it On - use two or more die cuts

Thanks for clicking by!

Here's to Coney Island memories, bottled soda with a straw, lunch in My Bubble, and all the bounties of fall!

Nancy in Iowa

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ghosts Should Not Play On Fresh Asphalt

WARNING! This is going to be a lengthy "you know you live in a small town - when"....story.

So...this morning I was finishing up the inside of this card. My dear husband announces he is taking his truck to the neighborhood service station for a scheduled oil change. I take his trip into my Bubble with the pregnant pause about taking the truck in as a not so subtle hint that he MIGHT appreciate a ride home from the service station.

The mom-pop-shop service station is in a residential area. It has actually changed from mom-pop to pop-son-shop to son-grandson-shop. (Can you tell I live in a small, corn-surrounded, town?) Well this service station - which by the way - also is a gas don't even THINK about pumping your own gas there! As you drive to the pump that archaic and quintessential ding-dong of the bell cord that you drive over signals your need for assistance! A full or partial tank of gas includes an oil check and windshield scrubbing! And of course an inquiry into your day! I guess this is actually a "pay-at-the-pump" kind of gas they take your charge card from you and bring you back a little receipt to sign on a wee clip board.... So TECHNICALLY you are paying at the pump.... Or when you forget your charge card because it is sitting at home on your laptop as a result of a little online shopping...they will just mail you a bill or 'catch ya next time you're here"...

ANYWAY...the pause and not so subtle hint from dear husband was to see if I would follow him to the station and bring him home. SO.....I saved him a walk of 7 blocks. Thinking about all this reminded me why I do love living in small town America! I get to talk about getting somewhere in terms of blocks or miles. I can drive to anywhere in/around town in less than 25 minutes. When I ask my sweet sissy in Atlanta 'how far away' something is the reply always comes in "time" or "no we can't go to those two places in the same day!" "They are in opposite directions!"

I love living in a place where children actually play outside and that, when the windows of my house are open, I can hear the sound of their squeals and laughter. All of this does bring me back to the card. Halloween is just around the corner. And with a neighborhood filled with children and grandchildren it should be a 'spookacular' night!

In this crazy world of horrors and threats I needed to stop and count my blessings and appreciate the little things that surround me every day - like high school age gas station attendants, watching for errant bouncing balls in the streets as I drive, kids on bicycles, actual (non-box style) hardware stores (within walking distance to my home), and all mom-pop shops/cafes that remain in business.

NOW! On to the card. These little ghosties - must have been outside playing! What is the deal with their messy faces!?! I use an embossing 'buddy'....but you would never know it looking at these little fellas! I was going to pitch them and start over but then I decided to come up with a "ghosts frolicking on a fresh asphalt road" story...???

Inside detail. Doesn't every Halloween card NEED a dangling spider?

Boo to You
~Base card - Papertrey Ink Select White
~Layer of black card stock
~Layer of orange card stock
~'Ghosties' (Papertrey Ink Friendship Jar Fall Fillers) stamped with Versamark and embossed using Ranger black embossing powder, hand cut and attached with pop up stickies (I like the shadows made by the ghosties!)
~Outside sentiment Studio G (a dollar bin find!)
~Inside Provo Craft die cuts
~Orange brad for spider to hang from gold metallic floss (floss was ToC item from sissy Gail!)
~Die cuts used for signature block and inside sentiment

Inspirations | Challenges
The Card Concept - clean and layered with color challenge
Sister Act - anything
Sunflowerfield - Halloween
Bloggers - Halloween
Fairy Tale - Halloween
Simply Create Too - Halloween or orange

Thanks for clicking by!

Here's to anything within walking distance, children's laughter wafting through kitchen windows, and 'olde school' pay-at-the-pump gas stations with tiny clipboards!

Nancy in Iowa

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Re-Gifting a Used Up Gift Card

My great niece in Atlanta is getting married soon. I was tasked with making cards for my sisters to give to her. Sista' Gail had a particular request (which is MUCH appreciated as making wedding cards give me HIVES!) They are my LEAST favorite card to make. Probably because I don't do 'traditional' very well. I do "mushy" even less well! Ask any family member...I did not inherit any sentimentality gene. I have no "Woo". My Omaha sister requested a 'celebration explosion' card (here).

My 'usual' response to a wedding card request isn't "pretty". As those around me know...I would rather make a card for a tampon factory retiree or a card congratulating someone on making it into a roller derby team than a wedding card. You would be hard pressed to find a wedding card post on this blog that does NOT include a fair bit of whining about making the card....

But...whatca' gonna do? Requests from my dear sissies for a sweet niece... Can't say, "NO!" That would never do....  I might want to pull the "tit for tat" card. Gail...a fabulous quilt maker... and Sista' Judy....well her talents include not only outstanding applique and quilt-making, but man can she cook!!!! I'm happy to make a card per her never know when I may NEED a heaping helping of my favorite meal of her meatloaf and cheesy taters!!!! Or an emergency quilt from Omaha! So when they request a card...I comply. I may grouse about it (and for some reason this does not surprise either of them) but I do get their cards made.

The card I made for Judy to give to Tori  (here) was inspired by all the broach bouquets I saw on Pinterest.  I then realized I would also need a card to send down "Georgia-way". I made my niece a card. It sits near the unwrapped gift. I was unhappy with the card but had NO ideas what to do to replace it. After all...I was SPENT! I was DONE IN! I had completed TWO - yes...count them TWO wedding cards. My brain was fried. MY muse had checked out! So there sat the card...Every time I walked by it I would target it with disparaging thoughts...You are an ugly, uninspired, tired, crappy card - you are more appropriate as a DIVORCE card than a wedding card! You are not worthy of a stamp! Tori deserves something better than THAT! Yes...I had mental conversations with this hapless inanimate item... Go ahead....JUDGE!

And then...this happened. Sissy Gail gave me a Hobby Lobby Christmas gift card for Christmas. I admit to being a "Gift Card Hoarder"... Not sure why. But I savor EVERY swipe of the card! I finally used the last coins of the card and actually LOOKED at the card. First I pondered why the heck she picked this particular card. Then for some reason I put it back in my purse instead of letting the store clerk toss it in the trash.

While cleaning out my purse I found the sadly depleted gift card. And THEN experienced a nearly EXPLOSIVE collision of thoughts! Depleted but very cute gift card...Nagging dissatisfaction with the card I was planning on sending.....then BOOM!!! Why not put the cute image to work! My only hope is that Tori doesn't think...uuuuoooooo....yeah!!!!! A gift card!!!! hehehehehehe...

So....this is the zero balance gift card.....

This is what happens when ideas collide: very cute, too cute to toss but very depleted gift card + very unsatisfactory prior card = idea light bulb!

Bye Bye Previously Unloved Card
~Base card - white PaperTrey Ink
~Layer of Colorblok Pattern Paper
~Layer of PaperTrey Ink Pink Patterns -  gift card framed with black card stock
~Layer of black card stock from DCWV Glitter Stack framed with pink card stock
~Black card stock flourishes using Cuttlebug and Spellbinders dies; highlighted with Wink of Stella
~Silver glitter washi tape
~All used up Hobby Lobby gift card - with store name covered with pink card stock punched with SU Word Window, stamped with "always" sentiment (let's hope that NEVER pops off!)
~Two pearls

Challenges | Inspirations
Mojo Monday - sketch
{Pin}inspirational - anything
Double Click - use  pink
Sisterhood of Crafters - pink
Sentimental Sunday - bling + sentiment
Milk Coffee - lots of layers
Crafty Hazelnuts - anything + pattern paper

Thanks for clicking by!

Here's to repurposing, whiny weddings, talented sisters, and adorable gift cards,

Nancy in Iowa

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Maters & Taters

It's Wednesday! That means up and out the door early enough to get in on my favorites at the Farmer's Market! The cherry tomato crop is really slowing down so you have to get there early! My breakfasts, recently, consist of a microwaved sweet tater! YUMMY! Not to mention healthy.

One of the Farmer's Market vendors has lovely and large sunflowers for sale every Saturday as soon as they are "in season".  My favorite flower vendor spent her last Saturday of the season LAST more cheery bouquets of zinnias for me... Until NEXT summer that is!

Hello Sunny!
~Base card - Papertrey Ink - Lemon Tart
~Two layers of design paper from K & Company Wild Saffron (OLD stash!)
~Brown card stock - dotted edges with Sharpie white paint - die cut with Spellbinders/Cuttlebug scallop circle
~Stamp by Anita's (transfer of GOODIES - not crap) from niece Linda (hmmm...wonder if she wants it back since she is now also making cards?) Stamped with black ink and colored with Copics - die cut using Stampin' Up Floral Frames edges dotted with black Sharpie pen
~Hello sentiment by Elizabeth Craft
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - photo week
Fusion - sketch and sunflower
Die Cuttin' Divas - anything plus die

Here is to taters, maters, sunflowers, and the beginning of fall!

Nancy in Iowa