Sunday, December 6, 2015

Treasures and Mulligans

Today I put up the Christmas decorations. A couple of years ago I culled the herd to a manageable two totes (plus tree). It was time to put out the time honored treasures!

The tree skirt sissy Judy made in 1984. She made one for herself and one for me!
ALL THAT applique! YIKES!
No I haven't wrapped the gifts yet. That will come later.
It is usually delegated to my husband's to-do-list.
Here is HER skirt. I don't even like making
two identical cards because I get bored - can't
imagine making an entire quilted tree skirt twice! But I sure am glad she did!

My "seasonal table" made the switch from autumn to Christmas. I bought this table a couple years ago. It is my place for holiday/seasonal decorations. This way - all the decorations are located in one area - and I don't end up putting away stray holiday trinkets MONTHS later. Oh those orphaned ornaments and tchotchkes! No more finding a heart shaped ceramic in April. No more random snowmen sitting still grinning at me on a seldom dusted shelf in June! So the Seasonal Table is my answer to admitting I don't dust very often!

Autumnal look.

Regarding the was mulligan time! Ever notice how different cards look In-Real-Life vs. a photo? Sometimes IRL is SO much better than what the photo represents. with this wasn't until I looked at the card in the photo that I realized the IRL version was sadly lacking.

So last week's post (Ginny's card for her Wall, SD granny) gets a mulligan! I added some faux stitches. I'm not sure it is what it needed but now it doesn't look quite so "flat".


Mulligan Dove
Now on to today's card...Christmas continues to be the theme. Serendipity played into this one. I was reaching for the embossing folder when a tin of colored paperclips fell onto the craft table. I noticed the teal one and decided the card NEEDED something clipped to it!

Merry Little Paperclip
~Base card Cryogenic White
~Layer of American Craft Foil embossed using Hero Arts Dots Embossing Folder
~Merry die cut using Foil teal
~Circle punch and snow flake punch
Challenges | Inspirations
Southern Girls - use something you love (I love my Cuttlebug! It may not be high tech, the handle is broken, the plates are warped...but it is true love - warts and all!)
Fusion - color inspiration
Just Us Girls - word week - Merry
The Card Concept - let it snow
Gem of a Challenge - anything Christmas
Inkspirational - flake
Christmas Cards All Year Round - CAS

Thank you for clicking by.

Here's to serendipity, mulligans, and admitting to the finding better things to do than dust!

Nancy in Iowa

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Just want to start off with this:

Yes! The University of Iowa Hawkeye football team not only managed to defeat their border state nemesis the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers they completed the season undefeated.
But best not to tread into sports teams or political waters here...but who can blame me I LIVE in Iowa, It is understandable to show a little state pride...right? PLUS...They BEAT the NEBRASKSA Cornhuskers!!!
I promise not to bring up the subject of the Iowa caucus. Or maybe I shouldn't promise. Who knows what blog worthy fodder there could be with Iowa's first in the nation claim with our local-yocal-ness of the caucus...
On to the neutrality of a card....what better icon of peace than a dove? This one is for a request by daughter Amy's friend Jennie. Jennie loves all things BLING. Naturally I went with metallic and glitter! When I bought these glitter ornaments at a post Christmas deep discount sale I was thinking of cards to make for the annual Jennie request. Last year the cards I made her were themed cards...Not my finest hours but she loved this Yoda, Captain Janeway, and Hobbit cards! This year - no theme request so going with her signature BLING IS THE THING!
She requested a Christmas card for her grandma who lives in Wall, South Dakota. Yes. People actually LIVE in Wall, SD. I bet you thought it was ONLY home to Wall Drug! Granted the "drug store" IS the principal industry and employs more than 1/3 of the population of Wall. More than a million people stop at Wall Drug annually! A MILLION plus every year!!!
Wall Drug - home of the Jack-A-Lope and international billboards!
Merry Christmas Grandma
~Base card PaperTrey Ink black
~Glitter dove Christmas ornament
~Stampin' Up die cut ornament using American Craft metallic cardstock - two layers - hot pink and silver
~Metallic and rhinestone brad
~Metallic cording
 Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - photo inspiration
Crazy 4 Challenges - square card
Always Playing with Paper - nontraditional Christmas
Shopping Our Stash - no stamping
Thanks for clicking by, 
Here's to Iowa pride, grandmas who live in Wall, SD, and always being on the lookout for bling!
Nancy in Iowa 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Christmas Hawks

Time for a really short post. Very abbreviated! I have to work tomorrow so need to get a few things done around the house. No Black Friday for me...went with black on a Christmas card instead!

For you Americans... Happy Thanksgiving! For the rest of you...any day is a good day to be thankful! And if it involves pies, turkey, and family...well all the better!

Tag Your It For Christmas
~Base card - PaperTrey Ink Black cardstock
~Gold metallic tabs
~Black tag with gold metallic cord from the Target dollar aisle
~3 metal brads
~Red/green Paper Studio Old World Winter
Just Us Girls - it's color week! red, green, gold
Retro Sketches - sketch
Southern Girls - use patterned paper
Inky Impressions - traditional Christmas colors
Ruby's Rainbow - Christmas with metallic

Thanks for clicking by!

Here's to feeling grateful, anticipating Christmas, and PIE!

Oh! And by the way....

Just couldn't help myself...I do after all sign my posts,
Nancy in IOWA

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Christmas Dahlias

So...I started walking to work. Wait! Before you congratulate me on my road to fitness....I have to be totally honest. I walk PART way to work. I DRIVE to a nearby park (Leif Erickson Park). I leave my car there and walk the rest of the way to work. I am TOO lazy to walk ALL the way to work! But the fall weather has been so incredible and the threat of sub-zero temps looms large so I decided to enjoy the weather and add a few (about 2000 one way) steps to my daily FitBit log. I also don't walk all the way from home to work because - when I am done at work - I want to be home SOONER rather than later. The park is about half the distance from my home to my place of work.

And to be even MORE parking at the park....I am walking the bulk of my journey on flat land....another declaration from lazy ol' me!

Walking has given me an up close and appreciative look at fall foliage. AND one of the last blooms of summer. Thought I'd share with you the splendor of autumn in Iowa.
The final days for this lovely dahlia.

Love the mix of colors on this prickly bush!
Cardinal bush....I have a thing for these beauties.
Can't drive/walk past one without snapping a picture!
I need to get me some of these!
 AND another one!
 I realized most of my tree photos were the orange, red, rusts.
Lets hear it for the yellow hues!
I love when you can see the line of demarcation between the leaves that are protected from the cold and are the last to give up their green!
Early morning sun on the tree and the corner of the Catholic church rectory.

Now on to the card. Even though I am soaking up the final days of autumn (yes we did have snow one day last week) I know that winter and Christmas is just around the corner.

Another admission: I checked in on the challenge over at Just Us Girls.  The challenge struck fear into my soul! Watercolor!?  Oh dear! I can NOT get the hang of watercolor! I end up with MUD. I should call it MUDCOLORING. GEEEEEZZZ!
 Card detail.
Mudslinging Poinsettias
~Base card Cryogen White
~Layer of Paper Studio Cozy Little Christmas
~Two strips Washi tape
~Brad painted gold
~Watercolor paper for poinsettias die cut using Cuttlebug and Tim Holtz Tattered Poinsettias 
~Sentiment punched using SU Word Window
~Star bling
~Martha Stewart dove punch gold foil cardstock
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - Trend Week - Watercolor
Just Add Ink - sketch
Crazy Hazelnuts - red and green must be seen
Crafty Addicts - anything + die cuts
Simply Papercraft - anything goes
Thanks for clicking by!
Here's to the last remnants of autumn, walking (half-way) to work, my obsession with Cardinal/Burning bushes, and my addiction to my Fitbit!
Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Alien Sightings

On the road again...driving home one evening last week. And what do I see off the side of Highway 20? ALIENS!  How tired am I?! Have aliens actually landed? But the bigger question is why would they choose Iowa!? (But then again...why not!?)

But I'm a farm kid at heart so I knew better. Those lights off in the distance - but getting persistently closer are farmers on combines. Its harvest time and a "little darkness" is not about to stop these high tech agronomists! They have crops to bring in! I couldn't help but stop the car and try for a few photos using my cell phone. They look even MORE like Little Green Men Martian Mobiles in the photos than they did in real life.

Just when I was thinking how tired I was feeling...I changed my mind and decided driving home in a luxury rental car and only a couple hours from my own comfy comforter and bed was much less fatiguing than harvesting to feed a nation. Its all about perspective!


Yes I did manage to get a card made. I'm not happy with it. But here it is...warts and all. WARTS!? Maybe I should have made a Halloween card instead of a Christmas card! Or better yet...a Halloween card with wart-faced aliens! In keeping with my little green friends from Mars in mind I went with a green glitter ornament!

Christmas Staples
~PaperTrey Ink cardstock base
~Layer of Cryogen White cardstock
~Striped washi tape
~Glitter ornament to/from gift tag
~Merry Christmas sentiment stamped using Versafine Onyx on red cardstock punched using SU Word Window
~Ribbon held on with green staple (I love it when I find a reason to use colored staples!)
Challenges | Inspirations

Just Us Girls - Word of the Week: Stripes
Retro Sketch - sketch
Crafty Hazelnuts - Christmas sparkly
CAS-ual Chic - metal (green staple)

Thank you for clicking by!

Here's to farmers who work long hard hours, taking time to pull of the road, and always being on the lookout for aliens!

Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Wooly Willy Windmills

I went to Pella last week. Pella, Iowa: founded in 1847 by 800 Dutch immigrants; home to Pella windows; Heritage Lace; the childhood home of Wyatt Earp; and site of the annual Tulip Time. It is also home to Central College - which was the reason for my visit to this fair city - to recruit at a career fair. The town was too charming not to mention in my blog. I guess I think my cards don't stand on their own so they need a little story to make them blog-worthy!

Driving or walking by ordinary things I usually have on my internal blog-worthy vision. Some people see an autumnal splendiferous tree and "have a moment with nature'. I see a tree bursting with color and ASSUME everyone I share it with will enjoy it as much as I do! Not sure what that says about me....let's just save that discussion for a sofa and a shrinks office or a booth and some drinks!

This is the view visitors are greeted with! Vintage car with potted mums and green space. Well!

Tucked in the middle of town - there is this...Some bergs have alleys...not the Dutch in Pella!

Pretty fancy "alley"! When they boast about "old world charm" they seem to be very serious!
Pella is home to Heritage Lace! I 'discovered' them when I realized they make Downton Abbey goodies! Yes indeedy! Heritage Lace, in Pella, is the proud owner of the Downton Abbey license.
My daughter is the proud owner of one of their Downton products. A gift from my sister. Both are Downton junkies! Who wouldn't want to own
a Violet Crowley quote?

One of several windmill features in town.
I did NOT know Pella sports an Opera House!
If you hurry you can catch "Three Men and a Tenor"! Or rent it for your next wedding!
Old town store fronts - well manicured and cared for. Not a Wal-Mart to be seen for miles!

And what do you find in olde-time stores? Olde-time awesomeness! I wandered into an honest to goodness Variety Store - it was so much fun!

Candy buttons! YUM! Except when you get a wad of paper with a button!

So HERE is where you can buy all things Dutch! Souvenir anyone?

I am stunned that you can still buy candy cigarettes! REALLY!? And they are 35 cents! THIRTY FIVE CENTS!?!? Where AM I? Did I drive into a time warp?

 How many hair nets can one town POSSIBLY need!? There were TWO racks of these! HAIRNETS!?  I didn't know they came in color/size choices!
The toy aisle is filled with good-old fashioned NON-tech selections. No batteries required.

How many of you owned one of these little guys!?
There must be a windmill full of people who knit and crochet in this town! Peg board!
When's that last time you saw sheets of plain peg board?

And what self-respecting Dutch community Variety Store would be complete
without paint-your-own wooden shoes in the craft aisle?
Okay that is enough sharing! On to my card. Thank goodness for card challenges! They keep me motivated! Thank you to the challenge blogs and their dedicated and talented designers!

~Base card Kraft card stock stenciled with TCW Mini Chicken Wire Template and Tattered Angels Shimmer Mist
~2 layers of The Paper Studio The Great Rock Island Route paper pack
~Office note book punch; curve punch
~Layer of cream card stock stenciled
~Sentiment stamped on olive card stock using Sizzix Word Labels stamp and die
~Brown and green punched circles
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - photo inspiration
Fusion Card - layout
Crafting with Friends - anything goes
Creative Fingers - anything no digital

Here's to Old World Charm, appreciating small towns, pondering hair nets, and acerbically wonderful quips from the Dowager Crowley!

Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Harvesting Treats

Another crazy work week ahead of me so thought I would post a quick note.

We traveled to Norfolk, NE this weekend and was thinking about all the work that farmers have yet to do! We passed field after field of crops yet to be harvested. God bless the farmers! I did manage to capture a shot of a harvested acre or two.  What a beautiful crisp blue autumn sky! Wide open space!

Not a bad shot, out an open window, considering we were traveling at 60 miles an hour!

This week I will be traveling to central Iowa - who knows what I will post next time! Maybe a shot of a windmill farm! Stay tuned...!

Tricky Stuff!
~Kraft card stock
~"Trick or Treat" is from an acetate treat bag
~Pumpkin brad
~Inside layer of striped card stock
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - color challenge
Shopping Our Stash - acetate
Crafting with Dragonflies - use something not normally found on cards (treat bag)
Alphabet - R is for ribbon
Fusion - all hallows eve

Here's to a bountiful harvest, farmers, and appreciating them both!

Nancy in Iowa