S&S Sketch Challenge #2, Ribbon Tutorial

This week's sketch is provided by Karen (visit her blog, Feline Creative, to see her pretty cards!)...and she created the sample card below too. If you'd like to create a sketch and sample for an upcoming week, email Karen at challenge@operationwritehome.org ... she's helping to coordinate bloggers to add content on this blog! *biiiiggg thanks to Karen for helping out!**

Cardmaking 101: Ribbon Tying
To help with this week's sketch, here's one method for tying a bow, courtesy of Wikihow!

The "one loop" method that most people use with shoelaces doesn't produce the most symmetrical bow when used with ribbon. But, with a little tweaking of your technique, you will learn how to perfect making a bow using ribbon.

STEP 1 - Cross the two ends of the ribbon and loop one end under. Do this the same way as when you start to tie your shoes.

STEP 2 - Make one side of the ribbon into a loop. If you are tying a ribbon, make sure that it doesn't twist.

STEP 3 – Make the other side of the ribbon into an identical loop.

STEP 4 – Cross the two loops and pull the loop on top through the hole that exists between the two loops.  This is the same motion you made in step 1.

STEP 5 – Pull tightly.  The bow will look messy at this point.

STEP 6 – Adjust the loops.  Loosen the ends of the bow and keep adjusting until the loops sit evenly.

1. Deloris
2. Cazz
3. Teza
4. Jeanne
5. Kajikit
6. Teresa
7. Susie
8. Rhonda Miller
9. mbickford54@gmail.com
10. Martha
11. Nancy
12. Linda
13. Martha
14. Erica
15. GiGi
16. Seongsook Duncan
17. Stephanie
18. CAFExpressions
19. CAFExpressions
20. Lauri
21. Sandy
22. Caro
23. Wendy P
24. Dixie
25. Amy


Spread some happy...

Pass on a smile!


Weekend CASE Challenge

Are you planning on spending some time crafting this weekend? If so, here's a challenge...pick any of the bloggers listed in our blog roll, and pick any of their cards - and CASE it! (CASE stands for "copy and share everything" - some people call this "Scraplifting" in the scrapbooking world!)

You may decide to copy it exactly, but CASE-ing is generally meant to give you inspiration or a challenge, especially when you're 'stuck'! Often we don't have the same supplies, stamps, or papers, but can make something that reflects the things we liked in the other person's card.

Here are just a few options you can try to alter the card you choose:
  • Just match the color combo.
  • Change the theme/sentiment.
  • Flip it horizontally.
  • Match how they used an embellishment.
  • Try the technique they taught.
  • Use their card as a "sketch" to start with.
Below, post either a link to the card you CASEd, or the card itself if you acquire permission from the blogger (if the image doesn't have a watermark on it, please be extra-sure you credit them with a link in your post!) Post your card by next Friday, the 5th!

One easy way to repost their card:
  1. Go to their blog.
  2. Click on the card photo; if it opens larger in a new window, copy/paste that url into the "web address" portion on your blog when you've got your post ready.
  3. If the image doesn't open in a new window, rightclick and see if there's a "Copy Image Location" option; then go back to your blog and paste it in the "web address" line.
Another way:
  1. Click on the card photo, and when it opens in the new window, right-click and download it.
  2. Repost on your blog, with appropriate credit and link.
For non-bloggers:
  • Post your card on Facebook, with a link to the blogger's card in your comment. or.....
  • Post on another online gallery, and leave a link here. 
Have fun!


Cardmaking 101: Cardstock

In an effort to help all our new cardmakers, we're going to begin a series of "101" tutorials, exploring basic supplies and techniques to help new folks get started! We'll also have "201" ideas for intermediate cardmakers, and some "301" techniques for the advanced folks. Hopefully that means we'll have plenty of inspiration for everyone!

To make a nice card, start with nice cardstock.
Flimsy or lightweight papers can make your cardmaking process so much more challenging, so it's important to begin with a good weight of cardstock. Some cardstock is very heavy and can be challenging to fold, others are somewhat thinner; they're sold at paper stores, stamping stores, office supply stores, scrapbooking stores, and through "demonstrators." (These are individuals who represent a product line—they often have parties in homes like Tupperware parties, where you can sample the company's products and purchase them.) Be sure you can look at one of the pieces of paper inside the pack before buying it, so you know if it's too lightweight for cards.

Some common paper texture terminology. (see this Paper Zone link for more)
  • Felt Rough, looks like the texture of speckled walls
  • Laid Rough, linear pattern
  • Linen Embossed pattern, looks like fabric
  • Smooth Just what it sounds like
  • Vellum Basically flat, but with a little bit of tooth
A letter-sized sheet makes two cards.
Most packs of cardstock measure 8.5 x 11, and they come in "reams" of various sizes from 50 sheets to 500 sheets. Cutting the cardstock in half on the short side makes a card of a different style than cutting it the other way. Neither is wrong—it just depends on what kind of opening you'd like for your card. Both cards, when folded, are "A2" size, which is what OWH prefers...4.25 x 5.5 cards fit perfectly into the A2 envelopes we purchase.

A tip on folding.
You might find it helpful to purchase a bone folder. These come in many shapes and sizes, but with the same purpose: to crease your fold nicely on your cardstock! You make a partial fold using your finger, and then crease it using the smooth edge of the bone folder. Some people find an object they already have in their home that has a smooth, hard edge to it to use for the same purpose, so you may not have to buy a tool to achieve a nice edge.

Cardstock isn't always expensive.
There are many many places to purchase cardstock; but one of the most cost-effective white cardstock we've found is the Georgia-Pacific 110, sold at most Wal-Mart stores. It's only a few dollars for a huge ream of paper—what a deal! It only comes in white. If you want to use colored cardstock and don't want to sink a lot of money into it, find a cardmaking friend to split it with; then you can pick out a few colors and divide and conquer!

Experienced cardmakers: Where do you purchase your cardstock? Are there types you find work best? Are there drawbacks to certain types? 
New cardmakers: What other questions do you have about cardstock?


Cardmaking party: Mass production!

These are cards made at a cardmaking party this past weekend in Marysville, Wa....the video was shared first on our Facebook Fan Page, so become a "fan" if you want first dibs! :)

A number of cardmakers prepped designs ahead of time; most of the stamping and cutting was done ahead of time, so those who came for the party were assemblers! A little coloring was needed, but it was mostly gluing, dry embossing, and tying. Here are the individual designs:

What are your tips for mass producing cards, especially at a cardmaking party? Do you create extra-easy designs for novice cardmakers? Sample techniques for everyone to try?


S&S Sketch Challenge #01

Welcome to our first S&S (Stars and Stamps) Sunday Sketch challenge! You can use this as-is, tweak it, turn it sideways, layer like mad if you wish—it's an idea-starter! Bonus applause for you if you incorporate a star into the card, in honor of our new blog's name!

ETA: Here are the cards created for this sketch in just one week! Way to go, ladies!

Sketch Challenge 01 Participants

1. Julie S
2. Sandy
3. Cindy Elam
4. Celeste S.
5. Erica
6. Tammy
7. Linda
8. Dixie
9. Seongsook Duncan
10. Wendy P
11. Becky
12. Kate
13. Kajikit
14. Judianne
15. Caryl P
16. MarthaB
17. Karen Howard
18. Amy
19. Rhonda Miller
20. Caro
21. Lauri
22. GiGi
23. GiGi
24. Deloris
25. Cathy
26. debb
27. Teza
28. Marianne
29. Stephanie

ETA: Feel free to continue using this sketch and leave a link in the comments; Mister Linky has been disabled so we can start next week's sketch challenge!


One Two Three Four...let's go!

Four things for you to do by Friday night....

1. Leave a link with your url. We'll start following everyone, and you can do the same!
2. Vote for a name. We could go round the mulberry bushes for quite a while....so let's get 'er done. Here are all the sugggestions, and what we'd buy for urls....please vote with a comment!

  1. Crafters of Operation Write Home (http://owhcrafters.org)
  2. Operation Write Home Artists (http://owhartists.org)
  3. Operation Write Home-base (http://owhhomebase.org)
  4. OWH Bloggers Circle (http://owhbloggerscircle.org)
  5. OWH Cardmakers Community (http://owhcardmakerscommunity.org)
  6. Patriotic Stampers (http://owhpatrioticstampers.org)
  7. Patriotic Cardmakers (http://owhpatrioticcardmakers.org)
  8. Send Them Love (http://owhsendthemlove.org)
  9. OWH with Love (http://owhwithlove.org)
  10. OWH Stampers (http://owhstampers.org)
  11. Stars and Stamps (http://owhstars-n-stamps.org) (I like the 'ring' this one has! Cool!)
  12. OWH Stampers' Circle (http://owhstamperscircle.org) (niice)
  13. Operation Make Cards (http://owhmakecards.org)
  14. OWH Artists Circle (http://owhartistscircle.org)
  15. OWH Ideas and Inspirations (http://owhideasinspiration.org)
  16. OWH - Challenge Yourself Today (http://owhchallengeyourselftoday.org)
3. Sign up for a challenge—and a commitment to play along!

Let's get things rolling with other ideas too....would y'all like weekly challenges? Who wants to write up the first one for us (and create a sample!?) If we got four people willing to get us started, we can slowly get some momentum up.....I'd love to see us get one challenge posted for this weekend so we can launch the new name and get started crafting together!
  1. Sketch
  2. Color challenge
  3. Supply challenge (three brads and a button, etc)
  4. Tutorial
These can be repurposed from something you've already posted elsewhere — or can be a re-posting of a challenge elsewhere, as long as we give the originator some credit and a link!

 4. Subscribe and follow this blog!
Hopefully both will remain intact when we change the url of the blog. :)


Content ideas

What would you like to see here? Weekly challenges? Cardmaker features? Sketches? Product reviews? Tutorials? Blog banners? The return of Red Fridays? And would you be willing to host any of these things?

We'll put together a small team of administrators for this blog who can help manage the content—converting other peoples' content if needed, posting videos, helping new bloggers get started. (If you're an experienced blogger with lots of time on your hands, let us know!)

Our hope is to rotate hosting of blog features: having a team of folks who take turns picking a sketch, deciding on a challenge, etc. It'll be a great way to get to know and inspire each other, get us to regularly visit each other's blogs—as well as encouraging new bloggers to get started sharing their work online!

Leave some of your ideas in comments below!


Need a name

This is a new startup blog for Operation Write Home...and we need your help to get it going!

Content will be generated by our cardmakers....whatever you'd like to see. This blog will be able to do things like host challenges (weekly? monthly? whatever YOU want!), inspire you with tutorials, and encourage everyone to follow and visit each other's blogs. Help us think up what else could be done here!

The first thing we need is a name—list your suggestions in comments on this post, and we'll put them up for a vote amongst our bloggers when we get a list....and then we'll purchase a url, and decorate up the blog accordingly! Once we get some plans going, we'll put a link to this blog on our website.....let's pick a name!


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