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

Monday, November 17, 2014

There is No Such Thing as Too Much Bling

So...I mentioned, in a previous post, my history of basically "growing up" at the local dance studio. Well early Saturday morning, "Miss Shirley" my "dance mom" called saying that she had two tickets and they had my name on them if I was interested. Well the tickets were for a performance by the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes! The tickets ALSO included charter bus transportation to the Omaha Orpheum Theatre! Well of course I said YES! Two hours later dear husband and I were on the snowy interstate along with a bus full of young, local dancers (all members of the Siouxland Civic Dance Association), a few of their moms and Miss Shirley's daughter (now dance teacher/choreographer) Tracy.

First off...let me tell you I had tears streaming down my face while watching this show. I was just enthralled by the pageantry! It was such a beautifully and professionally done extravaganza! I was MOST enamored with the fact that it was called a Christmas Spectacular...not a HOLIDAY Spectacular....not a WINTER Spectacular. An actual homage to Christmas! The show even includes, in Scene 11 The Living Nativity told reverently in pageantry and music. (In New York they actually parade camels and donkeys in to the hall.) I sincerely told my husband, "this show was good for my soul".

The show also included a photo montage of the history of the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes - it was so interesting! This precision line of high kickers has been dazzling audiences since 1932!

How many hours of practice must it take to have THAT much precision?! The entire show was stunning and made me reminisce a wee  bit about my long-forgotten tap shoes! I know...I should have been one of the 500 women to audition annually...oh wait...I don't meet the 5'6"-5'10.5" height requirement....

I will share my thoughts about the charter bus ride with dozens of young girls in a follow up post.

Now about this card...It has nearly as much BLING as a Rockette costume! My daughter's lifelong friend Jennie made her annual request for 5-6 Christmas cards. Her only requirement is that they have BLING...lots and lots of BLING! So here is the first one. Jennie's mantra is, "There is no such thing as too much bling"!

Detail of the "gummy gems".
Gingerbread Gems
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Pure Poppy card stock
~Layer of Paper Studio Cozy Little Christmas
~Two strips of wired edge Christmas ribbon
~Three layers of green/red card stock - embossed with Tim Holtz Dot Matrix embossing folder (reminds me of a Lego building plate) but hope it looks more like more gummy dots... edges curved with punch
~Layers of green and red card card stock
~Pre-printed (re-purposed store bought Christmas card image) highlighted with Stickles (on the ground gummies and around the door), Crystal Effects (on the peppermints), and several faux gems

Inspirations | Challenges
Sketch Saturday - sketch
Perfectly Rustic - embossing
Sisters of Craft - anything
Crafty Cats - Christmas

Thanks for clicking by!

Here's to high kicks, bling in bulk, and acknowledging Christmas!

Nancy in Iowa

Friday, November 14, 2014

Catholic Girl Uniforms, Peter Pan, and Vacant Stares

I didn't notice it until I posted these card photos. This card TOTALLY reminds me of a cardigan with a 'Peter Pan' crisp white blouse! HOW OLD AM I!?! In my "defense" I am a product the local parochial school system which (even today) requires uniforms. I grew up in white blouses of many collar types! So as an additional tangent to the cardigan sweater tangent I had ANOTHER throw-back moment.

Check THESE out!!! My OLD kitty cardigan clips complete with "pearls"! I think these were last worn when I was about 6 years old! I'm sure I was truly rockin' the shoulder-draped-cardigan-look! (Whatever!) Okay - lets be honest these are REALLY odd!

Even more odd is that I still have them. Just ask my sisters or my husband I am NOT a saver/hoarder. I delight in tossing out 'stuff'! I think the only reason these still exist is because they were 'saved' by my mother - who then "transferred " them to me in some deviously covert manner.

Vacant googly eyes, sequin noses, faux pearls. felt ears, fake fur and re-purposed GIANT earring backs! HEY- I should TOTALLY 'pin' this to PINTEREST as a DIY project! (NOT!)

 On to the "Peter Pan/Cardigan Sweater" card! (Glad I didn't line up the sequins or it would REALLY scream SWEATER). But that does give me an idea for a future girly card.... The ornament dangles so I embossed both sides with two different reds. I posted two photos so you can see the "flip side".

Regarding the sequins. I have been inspired over and over by a dear blog friend who has a knack for using sequins on her cards! Every time I see one of her cards I tell myself ....NEXT card - I am using sequins! So Lynn! Thank you!

Flip side of the ornament.

WARM Greetings
~Base card PaperTrey ink Pure Poppy
~Layer of Bazzill red card stock embossed with Hero Arts Dots embossing folder
~Three red sequins (transfer of crap from my mother's craft stash)
~Stampin' Up Ornament Keepsakes stamp and die cut - stamped with Versamark and clear embossing powder
~Spellbinders Beaded Circle - white card stock with red card stock single punches
~Spellbinders Scallop Circle embossed with Hero Arts Dots embossing folder
~Sentiment by Stampendous stamped with Versmark embossed with red embossing powder punched with Stampin' Up Word Window punch
~Top of ornament stamped with Versamark embossed with gold embossing powder and fussy cut
Inspiration | Challenges
The Sketch File -  sketch
Little Red Wagon - shades of _____ (6 shades of red used here)
Crafty Mess - anything goes (This is their FIRST CHALLENGE! Check them out!)
Christmas Stampin' All Year Long - anything Christmas
Sister Act - anything (card)
Winter Wonderland - Christmas decorations

Thank you for clicking by!

Here's to crisp white blouses, school uniforms, and COOL six-year-old kids!

Nancy in Iowa

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Friendship Pie and Full Disclosures

What? You think subzero weather can keep me in? NO WAY! I am braving the elements for a dinner with friends this evening. Well I am combining an errand with a meal and with friends...so who cares what the temperature is! I will be having dinner with a grade school/high school friend and another long time friend. That is just one more "thing" about growing up (and staying) in a small town. I don't have to wait for a school reunion to get together with buddies! I just send a text and off we go!

The 'errand' component of this evening's adventure has to do with picking up a pair of slacks that my grade school friend (we call each other Pie as in math Pi --- I'll get to that in a moment). KarenPie is an AMAZING seamstress! She can sew ANYTHING! She will be at the local fall craft fair with her 75 toddler size fleece coats and matching hats again! She is always the 'on-call seamstress' for any celebrities "in concert" in the area (to prevent or correct wardrobe malfunctions)! I have known her since we attended St. Boniface Grade School....back in the day. She probably could hem slacks in her sleep. She made a cover for a Rolls Royce and a horse costume. Her granddaughter is the best dressed kid EVER.

Pi's granddaughter in her grandma-made Frozen Halloween costume! 

And how did it come to pass that we refer to each other as NancyPi and KarenPi? KP and I not only journeyed through school together we spent YEARS at the same dance studio. (Go ahead - get your laughter out of the way...I'll just sit here gazing longingly at my piles of ballet/toe/tap/jazz shoes AND baton while you get it out of your system!)

Well...in high school we both struggled with geometry (full disclosure here: I am TOTALLY MATH CHALLENGED - NOT just geometry). During a heated tutoring session with a YOUNGER (okay - he was still in grade school) tutor I rebuked his "whaa whaaa whaaa" (insert Charlie Brown listening to his teacher) nonsense about Pi squared with my very sensible knowledge that "PIE ARE ROUND PIE ARE NOT SQUARE"! I felt I stood on steady ground as my mother was well known for her pie making prowess.... ALL of which were ROUND! HELLO!!!!! Well...the monikers stuck. From that moment forward we were referred to KarenPie and NancyPie and are still greeted as such when returning to the dance studio of our youth!

Since I ended up on a math tirade I will continue with this 'number card' which will be part of the "pal pile" for KarenPI. I'm putting together a "pal present pile" for her - which is no match for her sewing talents...but it is a craft that does not require much math! She will understand....

Not much stamping going on here. I let the awesome paper do the work!

TIME to Celebrate
~Base card PaperTrey Ink
~Coordinated design paper Simple Stories
~Two eyelets (rarely used but always enjoyed)
~Yellow twine
~Celebrate stamp with Versamark and embossed with Ranger Red Embossing Powder
~Scallop and corner punches
Challenges | Inspiration
Paper Nest Dolls - anything goes
Sparkle N Sprinkle - embossing

Thank you for clicking by,

Here's to life long friends, square cakes, round pies, standing my dessert ground, and braving the cold in the name of friendship!

Nancy in Iowa

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

24 Hours in the Midwest

What a difference a day makes!

This photo was taken yesterday by a photographer friend of mine. Just 24 hours ago the local farmers were putting the finishing touches on harvest time! (And I'm sure a little snow didn't put a stop to their work today!)

Photo by GR Lindblade

Today THIS is what we woke up to! Temperatures promise to remain in the teens for the foreseeable future. It was 63 degrees yesterday. Today's high? 20! And WINDY!!!! 

A mix of green grass, autumn leaf, and wintry snow!

The beauty of fall is now filed away as a rich and vivid memory. Here are some of the last glimpses of autumn in my fair town! 

Corners of Grandview and 14th Streets.

Nebraska Street

Tree at St. Thomas Community Garden - Pierce Street.

Trees on the corner of my childhood park. Isabella Street. Good memories all...hot pad anyone?

Tree up the street from my house! Corner of Pawnee Place and Indian Hills Dr.

Right around the corner from the local mechanic/gas station. Corner of Jones and 35th Streets. Love the contrast of "skeleton trees" green leaves, evergreen and POP of color!

And then there are these PINKISH tones of lovely on the corners of Jackson and 27th Streets.

My days of tree stalking are over....watch for SNOW PHOTOS in the very near future!And by the way...I do have a card to yak about! 

~Base card brown PaperTrey Ink Dark Chocolate
~Layer of white card stock
~Flower stamp, by Rhonna Farrer on Bazzill cardstock, shadded with Copics, centers dotted with Sharpie White Poster Paint, popped up with Stampin' Up Dimensionals
~Sentiment stamped using Stampin' Up Early Espresso
~Green leaves
Inspiration | Challenges
Love to Create - anything
Crazy Challenge - favorite technique ("lattice" from Gina K Stamp TV)

Thanks for clicking by.

Here's to the arrival of winter, the departure of fall, and farmers who feed a nation and beyond!

Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sheep, Chalk, and Breakfast

I have written more than once about life in my smallish town and today is no exception. Following church this morning my husband and I decided to go to one of our favorite breakfast spots. Harvey's! It is a NO AMBIANCE, mismatched furniture, mismatched dishware, horrible artwork, mom-pop shop that has been serving up home-cookin' for YEARS! Even though it is a breakfast favorite - ordering is always a toss-up: Harvey's Special (awesome breakfast) or lunch (fabulous gyros or a hot beef sandwich)! I am not a fan of the hot beef sandwich as I don't like gravy...but my husband sure does like it!

Anyway back to my "home grown" story ...on the way to Harvey's we stopped by this pastoral scene to take a photo. A hillside of sheep...another reason I love living in this agri-based smallish Mid-American town/city. Are we a citified farm town or a countrified city? A flock of sheep in the heart of the "city"... it is so us!!!

It's the Sabbaaaaath! Give God some Praaaaaaaise! 

I have been out of "the card making business" for a while because I have been working on a secret project! I will share what I have been up to with you once the secret has been revealed to the recipients! Here are a few hints - this project required: a key, a jar, a peanut butter label, a sponge, a Q-Tip.... And MORE!!! While this covert activity was time consuming I did enjoy it. But now that it is "complete" I had time to make a card.

Chalk Talk
~Base card - grey card stock
~Layer of design paper - Prima Madeline Collection
~Strip of aqua card stock topped with musical note design paper - Prima Madeline Collection
~Tag covered with black lined note paper - edges smudged with white ink for a chalk board look
~Sentiment die cuts highlighted with Wink of Stella
~Butterflies hand cut from design paper
~Grosgrain ribbon
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - trend week - chalk board
Fusion - sketch/color
Aud Sentiments - sentiment on a tag
Delightful - pattern paper
Amusing - focus on text

Thanks for clicking by.

Here's to Sunday breakfasts, citified farm animals, always taking time to appreciate the under-appreciated, and short-term secret projects! 

Nancy in Iowa