Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Close to My Heart

Grab you favorite beverage I feel a rant coming on! I will eventually get to the card info but first I MUST vent some steam!

Is it just me or is finding the perfect (hey I'd even settle for ACCEPTABLE) bra too much to ask for? I feel like I am on an eternal quest for two items: The perfect purse and the perfect bra.

What is it with BRAS!? The minute you think you have found your 'sole mate' in foundation garb - the manufacturer redesigns or deletes it - so replacing it is out of the question. So...what do you do? Well in MY case I continue to wear 'my favorite bra' until it can hardly contain its original shape let alone contain MY shape! At this point it is almost pointless (no pun intended) to even wear it...but going bra-less is not an option (most of the time...)!

Sadly my "best" bras are rapidly gaining the dreaded "weekend" bra status!

Why is it so darn difficult to select THE PERFECT BRA? Why can't one bra have all the desired features? I can have this strap on that bra - but not that strap on this bra.... And what the heck does THIS mean? "Minimizes size not shape". WHAT? Is "shimmering microfiber" a good thing? What are "supportive inner slings"? I suppose that piece of engineering is less obvious that an "outer supportive sling"... Did you know there are bras that "reduce bust projection"? Did you know you can purchase bras with "wings"? I certainly didn't!

I will be honest I am not a fan of under-wires. The concept of hard plastic or metal next to my skin does not sound like a match made in heaven. Sounds more like a medieval torture item (well...except for the plastic...I am smart enough to know that there were no plastic cudgels, maces, jousting armor, or gauntlets. Or ....were hammered breastplates the precursors to under-wire bras? Hmmmm... Or the precursor to MINIMIZING bras....

I have watched bra fitting video tutorials! I have learned new terminology: quad breasts; mono boobs...Did you know there are more than 260 'names' for breasts?!

Suffice it to say after a failed trip to two specialty stores, and a box store, and failed online ordering I am still on the hunt for THE PERFECT BRA! My dear husband looked quizzically at "mountain" (pun intended) of bras I had to return to the store. I gave him "the look" and told him, "you would NOT buy underwear in packages of 6!"

In the meantime I will treat my one and only GOOD bra with kid gloves, respect, and reverential kindness. It will ONLY be hand washed. It will receive NO dryer time. I may even give it it's own drawer! I may pad the drawer with silky soft quilting!

Okay! Rant over! On to the card. Speaking of too big and too small...the heart shape doily was too large so here it is .... sideways. Don't mess with me DOILY! I've had a rough couple of days!

~Base card Kraft card stock
~Red card stock square embossed with Sizzix Frame, Hearts, and Vines
~Vellum embossed with heart stamp from the $Tree using Versamark and red embossing powder; faux stitches (pin holes) across top; ends of vellum "ribbon" cut using deckle square punch
~Heart shape doily turned on its side
~Two white buttons with red embroidery floss
Challenges | Inspiration
Just Us Girls - photo
Retro Sketches - sketch
Pile It On - hearts/flowers
Sunday Stamps - colors
Shopping Our Stash - love

Here's to ranting, continuing my search for the Holy Grail of brassieres, persistence, and questioning the genetic pool that endowed me with more than my fair share of "beacons", "coconuts", "oompas",  "twin peaks"....

Nancy in Iowa

Monday, January 19, 2015

Its a Tag! Its a Card!

Full disclosure alert! I don't personally use the cards I make to send. It is RARE that I send a greeting card. Ironically I am one of the WORST card senders on planet earth. I 'gift' my cards, in bundles, to 'card-worthy-friends'. I love making tags. But they are not greeted with enthusiasm by my usual card receivers...My sisters and 'card worthy friends' can't think outside the card evidently! This is my attempt at a 'compromise'. A a an envelope.

Looks more like a card than a tag. Right?

Surprise! A tag! (The "card" is more like a pouch.)

Front of that pesky tag. 

Back of tag with place to write a note.

Sneaky Tag
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Kraft card stock - top edges distressed using TH 370 Paper Distresser, edges smudged with pink
~Washi tape
~Hero Arts Garden Flowers stamp/die set (Christmas gift!!!) colored with Copics, highlighted with Sharpie white paint pens, and Smooch
~Flower button tied in place with white/green twine (quit hoarding 'cute' buttons Nancy! USE THEM!)
~Tuft of some really cool green 'stuff' I bought at a floral shop (came in a 20ish"  x 30ish" sheet - paid a whole dollar for it!) It's HUGE - why am I 'hoarding' it!? I bought it last summer on a sister's trip...finally putting it to use. If we would just plan another sisters trip I wouldn't have to hoard stuff! #AlgonaRocks
~Tag base - Kraft card stock
~Tag design papers: Ki Berry Blast (back of tag); Prima Madeline Collection (front of tag)
~Assorted ribbons
Challenges | Inspirations
DRS - colors
Craft Hoarders Anonymous - create your own: ink; twine; Copics coloring, Tim Holtz 370 Paper Distresser; button
Crafty Cardmakers - something old | something new (old: button | new: stamp/die set)
Fairy Tale Stampers - flowers
Ladybug Crafts - flowers
Die Cut Diva's - anything
All Sorts - spring flowers
Docerela Creations - red or pink + embellishment

Potential future musings: There are actually Bed Bath & Beyond tips? Who knew? This is where my small-towness rears its small town head! 
Sharing one of my New Year Resolutions (Warning! It's a harsh one!) 
And ribbon prohibition.
Stay tuned for details!

Here's to thinking outside the tag, trips with sisters, cool shops in small Midwest towns, and keeping New Year Resolutions!

Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mulligan of the Week!

So....this happened a couple of weeks ago....

What a lovely surprise and honor! Sweet!!! Now...on to today's card. I wanted to play along with the Just Us Girls color combo of orange, blue, and green. I had a little difficulty pulling it off. But I guess that is the intention of a challenge! To make it CHALLENGING! I couldn't quite pull it together so I made one card then called a 'mulligan' when I remembered 'rescuing' orange mesh from the bag of produce I purchased yesterday. I decided I needed to put it to use!

This first one - I TOTALLY 'pinched' the stitching idea from JUG designer Vicki Dutcher

Celebrate Orange
~Base card - Cryogen White
~Navy blue and green plaid card stock layers
~Orange card stock - split using die cut
~Stampin' Up Perfectly Penned sentiment stamped on white card stock using Versafine Onyx Black
~Stitches across the top
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - colors
Sisters of Craft - anything
Naughty or Nice - use something new (die)

Here is the second attempt at using orange, green, and blue. I'm longing for the Farmer's Market...can you tell? Yes. I am well aware it is only January. And yes. I live in Iowa. Farmer's Market is MONTHS away...

Market Fresh
~Base card white linen
~Layer of navy and white polka dot card stock
~Washi tape (present from daughter Amy)
~Sentiment by PaperTrey Ink
~Carrot image by TPC Studio - Victory Garden, stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black, colored with Copics
~Image stamped on white card stock, die cut using Cuttlebug and Spellbinders oval
~'Bunch' of green floral mesh and orange mesh from my huge bag of Clementines
~Three metal brads
Challenges | Inspirations
Sentimental Sundays - new (Washi tape)
Crafty Hazelnuts - anything plus design paper

Here's to rescuing produce bags, dusting off my sewing machine, and calling 'mulligan'!

Thank you for clicking by,

Nancy in Iowa

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Frozen Flowers

Time to ignore the brutal cold and think spring!

With all the cleaning, purging, and downsizing I have been doing recently I was really glad to discover that I didn't toss a folder of stencils! The question is WHY in the HECK do I even HAVE stencils? It must be a throwback to when I "did crafts"! These technically should have been disposed of years ago! But...there it was. a folder marked "stencils". So I got to play along with the challenge at Just Us Girls. Stencils! Stencils? Now that was truly a challenge for me!

Since I was going retro by dusting off stencils I decided to go all in and use a Dynamo label maker for the sentiment. I prefer my P-Touch for labeling during my crazed must-organize-right-now-OCD-moments. I wonder if you can still buy the plastic label tape for this DYNA-Saur!?

Trendy Hello
~Base card PaperTrey Ink Simply Chartreuse
~Layer of pink card stock
~Polka dot ribbon
~Stamps and die by Hero Arts: Garden Flowers Set, colored with Copics
~Dynamo sentiment
~Stencil - used a daisy stencil to create a 'sun', colored with blending foams, additional 'petals' individually cut and glued in place
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - Trend Week: stencils
Crazy 4 Challenges - blank slate : NEED dies and Cuttlebug
One Stitch at a Time - new (flower stamps and coordinating dies)
Gem of a Challenge - new (Hero Stamp/Die set)
Paper Minutes - flower power
Through the Craft Room Door - anything

Here's to dusting off crafty tools, thinking about flowers in the midst of sub-zero temperatures, plans to follow Kensington Palace on Twitter!

Thanks for clicking by!
Nancy in Iowa

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Gadgets and Gifts

In a previous post I noted that I am a reluctant December baby! December birthdays are rough on kids. I am SO not a kid anymore and I have many wonderful adult December birthday memories and gifts. One of my awesome birthday gifts from this year was a treadmill! It is housed in my Bubble so there is NO excuse not to take a walk-break between card creating and posting!

As much as I love my new treadmill....I can't seem to motivate myself enough to 'walk the walk' unless I can have my iPad tuned to Netflix or Amazon for a movie or TV episode, or audio file. If I don't have something to distract me...I spend each step watching the disbelief that I've only been 'exercising' for....WHAT??? 3 minutes??? That's ALL?!?

So...I had to devise an iPad holder! I was NOT willing to spend actual money on a 'store-bought' holder. So I turned my card making creativity to gadget creation. Here is my very cheap, very easy, very utilitarian, and might I say INGENIOUS!

2 plastic hangers

Hack saw or your favorite Ginsu knife
Cost: 2 plastic hangers (which if you are like me - you have more than enough to 'sacrifice' for this holder!)

That's it! That is all you need for this handy dandy make-shift device holder! Here are a few tutorial-pics.

Here is a shot of the hanger slice. By the way - I didn't tape them back together.
There was no need to do so. (Physics and laziness at work.)
The slice allows you to place the hangers over the display panel.

Here is a shot of both hangers in place.

TaDa! Handy holder! Great angle for viewing.

Side view.

As an added bonus - I have a place to hang my headphones!

Now if I could just figure out a way to walk on the treadmill while making cards... This one I made while SITTING in my Bubble at my craft table. Still using NEW stamps! Another PowerPoppy stamp. I am surrounded by gifts! Treadmill! Stamps! Whooooot!!!!!

Sunshine Bouquet
~Base card white card stock
~Layer of dark green card stock
~Layer of olive green card stock
~Power Poppy stamp on SU Crumb Cake card stock, stamped using Versamark and Ranger embossing powders Seafoam White and Enamelware (Enamelware used on the wrapping)
~Bleach technique used on bouquet flowers and leaves to allow for coloring using Copics
~Marvy File Tab punch stamped with PowerPoppy sentiment using SU Old Olive ink
~Oval die cut and Cuttlebug
Challenges | Inspirations
SplitcoastStampers - color combination
Retro Sketches - sketch
Clear it Out - anything (stash item: embossing powders)
Loves Rubber Stamps - anything
Crafty Boots - use something new (stamp)
Sweet Stampin' - new

Here's to creating cards and gadgets in the Bubble, the thrill of using new stamps for the first time, and working on a plan to make cards while while I'm on the treadmill!

Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Is It Cold Enough for Mittens?

Another PowerPoppy stamp. Another Christmas gift put to use. Perfect for today cuz it is COLD!

WHAT?!? Poor Sioux City. We get no respect. We are the Rodney Dangerfield of cities!
First the FFA gives us SUX as our airport designation. Then this is all the Weather Channel
can muster up for us today? Well..maybe NOT knowing the temp is better than the real deal!

AND the first snow of 2015 fell last night!
Sioux City's WPA  Band Shell today.
Not in use today but just wait! Concerts and warmer weather are on the way!

So....these mittens are perfect for today! It is so much fun playing with new Bubble items! Even more fun than organizing new items in the Bubble! Which...geek that I am! I LOVE organizing! 

After seeing the photo of the card I decided it needed some faux stitches.

Mitten Mitten Who's Got the Mitten?
~Base card PaperTrey Ink: Soft Stone
~Layer of My Mind's Eye:Out & About
~Strip of charcoal grey card stock
~Sheer ribbon
~Snowflake charm
~Bridal spray pearls
~SU Labels Collection
~Gem brad
~Image by PowerPoppy: Bough Wow Wow; using Copics, Stickles, and Moonlight Smooch
Challenges | Inspirations
Fusion Card - photo and sketch
Just Us Girls - word: winter
Our Creative Corner - Christmas leftovers (snow flake charm)
Oddball Art - winter
Scrap It Girl - snowflakes
The Crafter's Cafe - new (stamp)

Here's to unknown temperatures, 1935 Band Shells, and living in an under-appreciated small town!

Nancy in Iowa

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Frog Blog: Hoppy Merry Birthday Christmas !

Happy New Year everyone! Or as I grew up saying it: Bonne AnnĂ©e!
Before I start this post it is Full Disclosure Time! I have NEVER been a fan of December birthdays. January birthdays probably aren't much better!

Even though I am most likely, permanently, emotionally scarred by the poor gestational planning of my beloved parents I try my best, exhausting as it is, to be an amiable human. I won't bore you with the whining that just naturally, and understandably, is associated with sharing a birthday month with...of all people... JESUS! Some may think "oh what a heavenly and humbling blessing".

REALLY!? Well let me tell you, as a kid, sharing your birth month with the BIG tend to get lost in the hustle and bustle of "the season". And by "season" I don't mean my personal birthday season! I doubt any of my summer-birth-month friends ever received a birthday gift from  their 'parental unit' amending the birthday greeting to include "happy birthday and merry Christmas!" I bet none of them ever received a Christmas tree as a birthday gift!

I must admit - December birthdays are much better as an adult than they were as a kid! All whining aside...I got this delightful package from my Georgia sister! It also included $$ - I feel a Hobby Lobby gift card in my NEAR future! A bonus: she found a shop I'm sure I would love in Marietta. I also feel a trip to Georgia needed!

While in Marietta we must chow down at the Marietta Diner! YUM! I have a really good story to share with you sometime. It involves the Marietta Diner, a sisters holiday, a certain Nilla Wafer, and asking strangers for cheese! More on that in a later post...

Goodies from sista Judy! I need to find a HoneyPOP tutorial!

Here is my first card made using my 'hoppy birthday' present! Frog - a perfect reminder of the fabulous sisters holidays we have shared in Shellman Bluff! Got rain? Got frogs? There is something about rain and frogs... I stamped this little guy on a green 'hounds tooth check' paper. Hmmm...does that make this "frog tooth check' or 'hounds frog check'?

Detail of googly eyes and partial pop-up of frog. Feet glued directly to card stock
with only the head popped-up.

Hoppy Birthday
~Base card PaperTrey New Leaf
~Three design print papers from Pebbles Family Ties paper pad
~Five metal brads
~Image, Inky Antics, stamped on design paper; froggy 'warts' colored in with black fine point Sharpie; partial pop-up of frog using SU Stampin' Dimensionals
~Pair of googly eyes
~Scalloped circle die - white card stock
~Inky Antics sentiment stamped using Versafine Onyx Black (Oh my gosh! This is the BEST ink for sentiments! So happy I had it on my Amazon wish list! Thank you Santa!)
~Sentiment die cut using Spellbinders Ribbon Banner
Challenges | Inspirations
Techno Stamper - sketch
ABC - anything goes
Always Something Creative - something new (stamp set and Versafine)
Country View - use something new (stamp set and Versafine)
Crafty Hazelnut's - patterned paper (used 4)
Die Cut  Divas - anything plus die cut (used 2)

Here's to justified whining, awesome sister presents, and any opportunity to use googly eyes!

Bonne Anne

Nancy in Iowa