Sunday, July 9, 2017

Friendly Fossils & Fried Food

So...recent road trip! We went to Ashfall Fossil Bed State Historical Park. It was a dear hubby bucket list item. It was no where to be seen on my bucket list. But my bucket list is so shallow that I decided to say one of my bucket list items was to check off one of his bucket wishes!

This place was so interesting! We really enjoyed it! It's a place of wonderment, enlightenment, and for reflection. The process alone is mind blowing. The discoveries vast - from algae to fragile plant life to massive horned four legged creatures. All quiescently preserved for study and appreciation today.

It was a beautiful day for a drive to Royal, NE
home of Ashfall Fossil Beds.
(Or it's alternate home: Orchard, NE...
long story...all has to do with post office...)
 
Informative markers line the trails.
 
The work lab is staffed with UNL paleontology students
who were passionate about
answering all our questions!
 
An outdoor, gridded, fossil bed.
 
The indoor, gridded, fossil bed. The UNL paleontology students
rotate from the inner lab to this area to work and answer questions.
Such a ton of work...all done with soft paint brushes and tiny picks!
 
Every area is instructive and educational.
 
Check out THIS bad boy!
 
Discovered and revealed in their original place of demise.
 
And a huge variety of natural floral!
 
We would both highly recommend a trip to Ashfall! Friendly, knowledgeable staff, walking trails, areas for kids to play paleontologist, cell phone dial in for walking tour narratives, educational, and FUN! And the gift shop is filled with goodies! I HAD to buy a lapel pin, pencil, and a magnet! Just HAD to!

 We topped off the day with a stop for dinner at Bob's Burgers in Martinsburg, NE. (I've blah blah blahed on a previous blog about Bob's.) ##WashYourHands #EverythingIsBreaded&Fried and the burgers are significantly larger than the buns.



From fossils and fried foods to friends...........

 
 
 
Star Friends
~Base card - kraft by The Paper Studio
~Background - Anthologie by We R Memory Keepers
~Three stars
~Sentiment printed on laser printer
~Die cut - Spellbinders Scallop Circle
~Blended smudges around circle using SU Crumb Cake & Memento London Fog
~Washi tape by The Paper Studio
 
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - Trend Week - blending
Freshly Made Sketches - sketch
Just Add Ink - color combination
 
Here's to fossil's, friends, regional interests, staycations, Midwestern skies, and hubby time.
 
Nancy in Iowa
 




Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Patriotic Preserves

Happy birthday USA!

What is there about Mason/Ball jars? I just love them! I use them for storing all kids of goodies, for crafty items, for vases...Notice I didn't say I use them for canning! Nope! Not me. The thought of heating up my kitchen on a hot summer day...forget about it. I also love these glass beauties when they are filled with jam at the Farmers Market...YUM!!! My favorites have a little bite of jalapeno or a kick of  horseradish! So good!!!



Preserved Celebrations
~Base card - kraft cardstock
~Playtimes Past Graphic 45 design paper
~PaperTrey Ink die cuts
~Stars
~Gold glitter washi tape
~Tim Holtz Just Sayings sentiment

Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - word week - celebrate
Fusion - photo
Shopping Our Stash - flag colors
Cards in Envy - Patriotic RWB
Paper Sweeties - photo

Here's to homemade jams, celebrating, and being proud to be patriotic!

Nancy in Iowa

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Junky Rotary Phones

Quick post!

Heading to Junkstock this weekend so must go pack! Note to self: take plenty of sunscreen! Can't wait...great music, dozens of food trucks, and more than 150 vendors with JUNK (and antiques and collectables)!

Not sure about this....it is SO ....I don't know. I'm not a fan of that plain white!

 
 

 Hello
~White cardstock
~Die cuts: RG Noteworthy collection: Phone Notes
~Rotary center highlighted with Stampin' Up Crystal Effect

Challenges|Inspirations
Just Us Girls - word week - dies
Fusion - card sketch

Here's to great music, food trucks, miles of treasures (AKA junk), and staycations.

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa



Sunday, April 30, 2017

Lazy Walks and iPhone Stops

Spring has FINALLY arrived in the Midwest! (I won't mention the dusting of snow on Friday...) I love to walk in the morning before work. I don't love to walk hills. Since I live in a hilly area of the city I drive my five minutes to work. Park in the ramp. Leave all my work junk in the car. Go for a walk in the relatively flat area surrounding the hospital. Go back to my car. Get my work stuff. And then start my day.

Along the way I stop to take photos of flowers, trees, and oddities. Are you getting the picture? I'm really a lazy walker. Flat landscape. Stopping to smell and take photos. Clearly I'm not working up a sweat!

I tried walking to work. I live close enough (5 minute drive) but did I mention my home is nestled in a HILLY area? And if the hills aren't bad enough...when I am done with my work day... I want to be HOME in 5 minutes NOT 25, 30, or 40 minutes.







 
 
Anyway, those are some of the pleasures I enjoy on my morning travels. Pretty good way to start the day! Lucky for me the hospital that I work at is situated in a very residential area of town. Now on to my card.
 
 

Birthday Butterfly
~Kraft cardstock base
~Sheet music - sponge painted
~Washi tape
~Sizzix die cut sentiment highlighted with Wink of Stella
~Fan folded butterfly by Pebbles
Challenges | Inspirations
Fusion Card - Musical Butterfly
Crazy 4 Challenges - include music
Crafty Friends - anything goes

Here's to my iPhone camera, stopping to smell the flowers, and cheering on all lazy walkers!

Thanks for clicking by.

Nancy in Iowa

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sea Me Bloom

Spring is beginning to SPRING forth! There is lots of brown - but these guys managed to pop up and show their greens! Daffies in my front yard - hello cuties!





Sea the Journey
~White base card
~Masked torn cardstock technique
~North/South stickers
~Blue twine
~Tim Holtz stamps and dies
Challenges
Just Us Girls - Sea
Shopping Our Stash - tie one on

Here's to the first blush of spring, daffodils, and revisiting a long forgotten technique.

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Squirrly Sponge

it was play time in my craft space - My Fiber Bubble. I spent a little time at the sewing machine working on a quilt. All because I was looking for a seam ripper (yes - I needed my UN-SEWER).  sometimes spend more time unsewing than actually sewing!

While on the hunt for my seam ripper...I KNOW - you'd think with my deplorable sewing skills my seam ripper would be readily reachable - but for some reason - it was 'hiding'.

While pawing through the area that I was SURE my ripper would be holed up in I glanced around and what caught my eye? A round sponge! It still had the label and price tag on it. Unused. Sad little sponge. How many years ago did I buy that? WHY did I buy it?

So in true "squirrel" fashion. I quickly forgot about the seam ripper, grabbed the sponge, and ran for my acrylic paints! (Acrylic paints that were 'transferred' to me from my sista Gailey. Yes "transfer" is the correct verb. If you've read my blog posts in the past you may be familiar with ToC - Transfer of Crap.) It is a genetic affliction that is deeply embedded in several of my family members...

Forgotten. Forlorn. Forsaken. The Sponge AKA Porifera.

Since I had the paint out and was getting acquainted with my porous little sphere I made several backgrounds to be used at a later date. After I made four of these using random colors. I remembered a fan-folded butterfly set that I bought in the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby. It had nearly identical colors to one of the backgrounds. Whooop! Whooop!


Butterfly Wishes
~White base card
~Sponge painted background using acrylic paints
~Coral cardstock die cut flourishes
~Party Butterflies by Pebbles
~Sentiment by Jen Long (Sizzix)
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - photo inspiration (butterfly teapot)
Case This Sketch - sketch
Alphabet Challenge - anything with wings
Daring Cardmakers - up in the air
Southern Girls - use a die

Here's to discovering unused treasures, going with my inner squirrel, and using transfer of crap (ToC) items!

Thanks for clicking by!

Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Bleached Snow

Spring...right around the corner. Right? The promise of a jumble of color, buds bursting, birds singing, walking to work, and one of my favorites - the sound of children playing outdoors.

That's not to say the 'snow days' sprinkled throughout winter don't provide a cacophony of muted gleeful sounds through tightly closed windows. This is a product of last week's snow day. Snow and snow paint, energy and some ingenuity! The sun is taking it's toll on it but as I said...spring is a'comin'!


I revisited the bleach technique for this card. I should use it more often because I really like the effect and enjoy doing it.

 
 

Winter Thaw
~Base white cardstock
~Red dot design paper
~Dark green cardstock
~Stamp - Sunny Harvest by Marcella Hawley's Power Poppy
~Stamped with Versamark and white embossing powder on red cardstock - I bleached the daisies then colored with white, greens, and yellows
~Moonlight Smooch dots on flower wrap
~Faux stitches
 Inspiration | Challenges
Just Us Girls - photo inspiration
Sketch Saturday - sketch
 
Thanks for clicking by.
 
Here's to daffodils, buds on trees, grass kneed children and bleach!
 
Nancy in Iowa
 
 
 
 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Just Cards

Melancholy day today. A prayerful theme seemed appropriate. I ended up with two of them because I hate to toss the negatives and just use the positives from die cuts. (And I don't like to toss the positive and just use the negative...sounds reasonable...right?) Not sure if that is me being frugal or me being lazy...

 
 
 
Just Prayers
~Both design papers from Paper Studio The Pink Navy
~Hero Arts Prayers Stamp & Cuts
~Stampin' Up Labels Collection die
~Stampin' Up Word Window punch
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - color week - navy, pink, grey
Aud Sentiments - anything + sentiment

Thanks for clicking by.

Here's to positives, negatives, and prayers.

Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Blue or Green Bunnies

Ice storm seems to be on the way. Or so the weather-people have predicted. I love snow. I think it should snow all winter long. Ice? I can live without that! Nothing worse than an ice storm! Trees split and fall, cars crash, people slide...

Okay - maybe a tornado is worse. And a tsunami. I'm sure a tsunami is worse. And an earthquake - that can't be good. Alright... I guess I won't whine about the impending ice storm. I will just hunker down. Work from home. Have all devices supercharged and keep the quilts handy in case the electricity goes out (oh the perils of an all-electric-home). And hope that the weather people are wrong.

Hunkering down would be more awesome if I could spend the day in my Bubble - but I brought lots of work and the laptop home with me so I can work from home tomorrow. (Insert cranky face.)

Yes I do love winter. I love the Midwest change of seasons. I love snow. I just got back from a recruiting event in Brookings, SD. They have LOTS of snow right now! Did you know that SDSU (South Dakota State University) has and internationally recognized Agriculture and Ag Biology College? Well...one of MY favorite researching that those delightful students spend their time doing is ICE CREAM R&D! Ice Cream AND Cheese! Well...I can't visit that campus without a trip to the Dairy Bar for an ice cream cone - no matter what the temperature and weather conditions.

I am normally a VERY loyal Wells' Blue Bunny Ice Cream fan (made in the Ice Cream Capital of the World - LeMars, IA). But put me in the SDSU campus Dairy Bar...and I can't even remember that silly bunny's color... Green? Pink? Purple? I'm not even sure it's a bunny....Call me fickle but in reality I am just test tasting future Wells' Blue Bunny flavors as MOST of the R&D staff are SDSU graduates!

You must be from the Midwest if it is NEVER too cold (the temp at the time of this
purchase was 8 degrees Fahrenheit). So your mittens get a little sticky. They wash! This was so creamy and delicious I feel like driving back up north right now for a second scoop!

Enough about the cold and food! I did get a card made. I wanted to join in the Just Us Girls challenge. It really was a challenge. I love the look of OTHER crafters all over work I just don't have what it takes to make it work. I'm not sure I pulled it off here but I gave it a go! Nothing better than a challenge that actually challenges! Right?



Stampin' Joe
~Vanilla cardstock (PaperTray Ink)
~Variety of stamps using Versafine Onyx Black
~Ribbon
~Spellbinder die Hipster 1
Challenges | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - Trend Week

Here's to ice cream treats, not icy streets, washed mittens, looking forward to my next trip to SDSU (even if that goofy state refuses to use salt on snow/ice covered roads), and challenging challenges.

Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Shiny Squirrels and Dotted Eyes

Blogger! You let me down! I had a post all ready to go! It was a great post! I hit "save"! You didn't save it! You wouldn't post - you didn't save...What were you doing for the last 24 hours!

It had to do with Bubble angst....should I "clean" or make cards? Not so much clean but put away the business of Christmas. I hauled all the Christmas goodies down to the family room table. And there it sits glaring at me.

I can sit here in my Bubble - at my craft table- and with a simple glance to the right and I can see the stack Christmas pretties that are begging to be put in their off season storage. I'm not procrastinating. I'm managing my valuable time. If I wait one more week...I can put away the Christmas decorations as I get out the Valentine decorations out. Now THAT is  just plain brilliant multi tasking time management! (Okay...you are right - it is just straight up procrastination!)

But my card space and my card making Christmas presents are calling to me. So my solution? Just don't glance over to the right! Not even once.

It must be a day for distractions. One look to my left and I spied my sewing machine. I decided I needed to sew! So....I embellished a few kitchen towels to have on hand for gifts. I'm embarrassed to say I actually had to dust off my sewing machine before I got started! Poor neglected Pfaff!



I did get a few cards made. Today only the Bubble won out! No Christmas business was completed today. Oh well....cards and laundry - sounds productive enough for me!

Ever find a goof-up only after you upload a photo of it? I just realized I owe the card below a dot for its "i". I didn't notice the 'cherish' sentiment is missing the dot over the 'i' until I uploaded it. I better get out my smallest single hole punch and glue!




Cherished Thanks
~Black cardstock
~"Thanks" Lawn Fawn die
~"Cherish" Tim Holtz die
~Wildflowers stamps - Tim Holtz (Christmas present!)
~Versamark and Ranger embossing powder
~Flower die cuts - Tim Holtz
Challenge | Inspirations
Just Us Girls - Word Week - 'New'
Color Throwdown - black, green, pink

Here's to my mad time management skills, my attention to shiny squirrels, and my lack of attention to dotting my "eyes"!

Thank you for clicking by.

Nancy in Iowa


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Just for the Joy of It!

I really like shopping at Target. I mean I REALLY like shopping at Target (or as my friend Lisa calls it "the hundred dollar store" - no matter what you go in for....you can't leave without spending a minimum of a hundred dollars.) I ESPECIALLY like the dollar aisle!

I found these kind of odd wood-look chipboard snowflakes. There were 6 of these oddities in the package so I decided to make six cards with simplicity, texture, and "joy" in mind. I hesitated in buying them as I wasn't sure what I would do with them. I think it was ONE WHOLE DOLLAR well spent!

Side view of the chipboard snowflake.







Joyful Joy
~Chipboard snowflakes
~Joy die cut
~Various embossing folders
Challenges | Inspirations
Shopping Our Stash - Winter Wonderland
My Time to Craft - Something new (chipboard snowflakes)
Cute Card Thursday - anything goes
Southern Girls - anything goes

Here's to Dollar Aisles everywhere, favorite department stores, bustin' out a dollar, and keepin' it simple!

Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Tree Skirt Selfies


It is officially Christmas tree season! Bringing out the tree skirt that my sister, Judy, hand made with layers upon layers of applique always makes me feel a little melancholy. Each of the Twelve Days of Christmas have their own wedge of this skirt that looks practically new even though she make it (with love) in 1984. I love this tree skirt! I even pinned it together and wore it for a selfie! Okay Okay - so there was a SUBSTANTIAL gap in the back... Selfies are taken from the FRONT! I will spare all of you and won't post my tree skirt wearing, shades of Bernice Clifton on Designing Women.

I sent a picture of it on a group (family) text. Her grandkids (my great nieces) were bemoaning that they didn't have one, while one of the married one's bragged (or exclaimed) she "wasn't even born then". Was that a slam at my age? Hmmmm......

Handmade Christmas Tree - circa 1984.
 
Here is Stella posing in Judy's daughter's tree skirt down in Atlanta, GA.
 
I really need to ask her how many of these she made! On to the card....
 
Shiny Tree
~Layer of green American Crafts Foil card stock
~Die cuts - tree and star - Sizzix Jim Holtz - using same green Foil card stock
~Strip of gold glitter Washi
Challenges | Inspiration
Just Us Girls - word week - Christmas tree
Glittern N' Sparkle - Christmas colors
Fusion - Christmas

Here's to family, Christmas memories, and evidently VERY young nieces!

Thanks for clicking by,
Nancy in Iowa


Monday, November 28, 2016

Klutzy Bling

Daughter Amy's bestie always has a Christmas card request. I have created cards "where no {cardmaker}  has gone before" with a Star Trek themed Christmas card and uber laden bling cards....not my best work but I have to admit they were fun to do!

No theme requested this year so since BLING is her signature 'color' that is the direction I went with Ginny's cards.

 
So...the center of this was from my last post. I am SUCH a KLUTZ with all white cards. I don't know what I did I don't know how I did it but I got a HUGE smudge of black ink on the front of it! So I had to mulligan it and used it to create this. Geeeezzzz! #KlutzMuch?

 
 
Purple + Glitter = Ginny Favs
~Paper Studio Chunky Glitter
~Purple glitter tag outlining a silver Merry Christmas tag
~Silver embroidery floss
Inspiration | Challenges
Just Us Girls - photo week challenge (silver & purple)
Brown Sugar - anything
 
 


I hope Ginny likes these. I don't think I can bling it up much more than this. Maybe I should have gone with a Christmas Harry Potter theme...or Christmas Anne of Green Gables...or Christmas tennis theme.... So there is a tiny glimpse of Ginny!

Here's to bling on bling, annual requests for cards, and my daughter's eclectic besties!

Thanks for clicking by.

Nancy in Iowa

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Joyfully Short

Quick post for a quick card. This is not nearly as wonderful as the card I saw that inspired me to hunt for my Tim Holtz Thinlits scribbly circles.


Joyfully Quick
~Die Cuts for sentiment and circles
~American Craft Foil cardstock
Challenges | Inspirations
Fusion - layout & photo
Just Us Girls - color week (purple, teal, gold)
Little Red Wagon - sparkle and shine
Southern Girls - anything

Here's to family time for the holidays, loose fitting comfy clothes, and over-eating!

Thanks for clicking by and Happy Thanksgiving!

Nancy in Iowa

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Tiled Cards

Card time! And tile time! I saw some tiles painted using alcohol inks. I decided to go home, pull up a tutorial or two and give it a go. The first stumbling block was not having any alcohol inks to play with. So...I searched for DIY alcohol inks. Seriously...there is a DIY for anything and everything! NOT that I would recommend using any old DIY project... Be sure you look at the reviews! Some of them are hilarious! There was one about how to make your own wipes with paper towels and some kind of liquid. When they mentioned them molding...I laughed, moved on, and decided I would continue to buy baby wipes at the store for my stamp cleaning.

Several tutorials later...a trip to the store for rubbing alcohol, Sharpies, and plastic cups and I was almost in business. A trip to Habitat for Humanity's ReStore for assorted tiles and I was ready!


Colors are not as deep as they are in real life. It was fun to do this!

These will be separated and made into little magnets. #StockingStuffers
 


 
 
 

Envelope of Thoughts
~White base card
~Three layers of DCWV design paper
~Stamp and die - Noteworthy by Richard Garay
~Butterfly stamp
~Paper clip
Inspirations | Challenges
Fusion - sketch
Just Us Girls - word week

Here's to trying new things, drinking wine while working with the kind of alcohol you CAN'T drink, finding tutorials that you can actually stomach watching and supporting my local ReStore!

Thanks for clicking by!

Nancy in Iowa