Award time!

Well it's September 30th....the last day of our OWH party! And it's time to give out a lovely award to all of you who hung in there with this month of challenges! We actually have two awards; one is this "One Lovely Blog Award" S&S was given by Yolanda at Imagine. Make. Share. We're supposed to pass it on to others...and since there are SO many others we could give it to, we'd like to pass it on to all those who have participated in our challenges all month long! Your cards - and your heart for our heroes - inspire us all, and we are honored to give you this award. Please feel free to post it on your blog and choose a few lovely blog friends to give it to as well!

We also have a Survivor award...it's been a CRAZY month with so much going on, and you deserve a gift for your dedication! So here we have a badge for your blog...

And a free digi sentiment...some call these 'word art." Click on the image to enlarge it, then right-click to download. Or click here to download: jpg or png file.



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One more party for our Birthday Bash

You may have thought the fun is over - but no! Not yet! MelJen Designs is hosting a Birthday Bash! Woohoo!


MelJen Designs

Melissa Jenkins, the artist behind MelJen Designs, supports OWH in memory of her father, Keith, who bravely served his country from 1969-1971, earning the Purple Heart in the Vietnam War.  Melissa has created a beautiful blog, honoring her Father with stories and memories of his life.  You are welcome to visit and learn more about this amazing man.

Several other MelJen DT members have military family members, and you can read about them on the MelJens DT blog. Our very own Sandy is a DT member there too....so go check out the fun they all have in store!




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Midweek Throwdown Challenge

Thanks everyone who entered into last weeks Easel Card challenge.  Wow, did we have some beautiful cards!  It’s so fun to travel around seeing everyone’s creations, a big thank you to everyone who played along! 

Our challenge this week is a theme challenge!  We challenge you to make cards “for the girls”.  Cards that our hero’s can send home to their female loved ones!  Big girls, little girls, any occasion, birthday, anniversary, love, miss you – I’m sure you have lots of great ideas! 

Our sample card this week was made by Heidi-Mari and I have a wonderful bio from her too so we can get to know her a little better.  

Hello, I’m Heidi-Mari Lues, I am 13 years old.
I live in Cape Town, South Africa with my parents, one sister and 6 brothers.


This is my beautiful family from left to right:
CJ (16yrs), Danika (7yrs), Michael (8months), David (4yrs), Heidi-Mari, Daniel (2yrs), Josua (10yrs) and Andrew (5yrs)
We are all home schooled by our brave parents.

With my ninth birthday my mother gave me a book on how to do Scrapbooking.
We did a few classes on how to Scrapbook and we learned a lot.
Towards the middle of last year, we ran out of scrapbook ideas, so we searched the internet. We couldn’t find Scrapbook blogs, only card making blogs and challenges!
So I tried my hand at card making and just loved it!
I enjoy card making more, because it’s much quicker to make a card than a scrapbook page.  Since my mother and I only scrapbooked once a week, for a few hours, I would get bored with a scrapbook page. I used to work on one scrapbook page for several weeks, now I can make a card in one or two nights.
We still work only once a week, but my mother gives me ideas, and I do the rest by myself.

When I wanted to start taking part in challenges, I needed a blog to publish my cards.
So I started my blog in December 2009
My mother already had a blog, so she helped me start it and now I can do it all by myself.

My little sister Danika, of 7, loves card making just as much as I do.

Danika and I also love Ballet and we attend ballet classes every week.
We had our annual ballet concert this year and my mother made our costumes.
My mother loves making clothes for Danika and myself.

I’m really honoured to make a sample card for this challenge!
Have a blessed week

Hugs Heidi-Mari

 To see more of Heidi-Mari's wonderful art work please visit her blog Heidi's Crafts .

Thank you Heidi-Mari for sharing your awesome creativity with us!
To play along in this week's  challenge, simply upload a project using this week's challenge to your blog or online gallery then leave a direct link to your project using the Inlinkz widget at the bottom of this post.  And remember, you may use this challenge at any time.  Feel free to re-post the challenge on your blog along with your card… then come back and leave a link for us so we may all see your cards!

We  encourage everyone to take a few moments to visit and leave comments for the other participants.  Comments are a wonderful way to say thank you for sharing your creative project and inspires everyone to create.  

Thanks for stopping by and hope you join in the fun!

To play along this week, please enter your name, URL and email address in the link below then press next step and select the photo of your creative project.  An icon will appear on the blog featuring the photo you selected.  If the photo doesn’t appear right away, don’t worry, it will after the page has been refreshed.

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Tutorial - Hand Stitching on Cards

Today's tutorial is provided by Julie at handmadebyjulie.com. Be sure and visit her blog to see her beautiful cards.


You don't have to have a sewing machine or know how to sew to stitch on a card. I kept seeing cute cards with stitching on them and finally decided to try doing it by hand. It was easier than I thought!




Items needed:

  • cardstock
  • patterned paper
  • adhesive
  • pencil
  • paper piercer
  • embroidery needle
  • embroidery thread
  • ruler or piercing template
  • ink & stamps

Step 1 - Glue down any patterned paper that you will be stitching onto a precut piece of cardstock - this will become your card front.



Step 2 - With a pencil and ruler, lightly mark the paper every 1/8th of an inch. You could also use a paper piercing template for this step.



Step 3 - With your paper piercer, gently poke a hole on each pencil mark.


Step 4 - Thread your needle and start stitching, making sure to hide your loose end of thread on the back of your cardstock piece. (In the photo, the bottom piece of patterned paper is folded around to the back of the card.)


Step 5 - Simply weave your thread in and out for a dashed line effect.



Step 6 - Add some embellishments, stamped sentiment, and mat then mount to a cardbase to complete your card.




Here's another card where I used a punched flower and "free handed" some lightly penciled dots to outline the stem and leaves.

Add a button and sentiment, plus the stitching and here's a card sure to make someone smile.



Thanks again to Julie for today's tutorial! Be sure and visit her blog or leave a comment to let her know what you think. Also, if YOU would like to submit a Tuesday Tutorial, please leave a comment or write me at kate@operationwritehome.org. Thanks!







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Today is SRM's Birthday Bash!

SRM Stickers loves our heroes - and they're throwing their own online bash this week!


They're hosting a sketch challenge that closes Sept 30th - that's this Thursday! We know you LOVE sketches... so get on it quick to qualify for the prize! Here's a sample card from one of SRM's Design Team....go see the rest, they're gorgeous!


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S&S Sketch Challenge #36

Wow, can you believe it is the end of September already!  Summer is over, the kids are back in school and the holidays are coming fast!  We hope you have set aside a little time for stamping because you don't want to miss out on this week's awesome sketch challenge.

Today's beautiful sample card was created by the amazingly talented Paula. To see more of her gorgeous artwork, please visit her blog, Handmade by Paula.

Thank you, Paula, for the beautiful card!




To play along in this week's sketch challenge, simply upload a project using this week's sketch to your blog or online gallery then leave a direct link to your project using the Inlinkz widget at the bottom of this post. And remember, you may use this sketch at any time. Feel free to re-post the sketch on your blog along with your card… then come back and leave a link for us so we may all see your cards!

We encourage everyone to take a few moments to visit and leave comments for the other participants. Comments are a wonderful way to say thank you for sharing your creative project and inspires everyone to create.

Thanks for stopping by and hope you join in the fun!

To play along this week, please enter your name, URL and email address in the link below then press next step and select the photo of your creative project. An icon will appear on the blog featuring the photo you selected. If the photo doesn’t appear right away, don’t worry, it will after the page has been refreshed.

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eclectic Paperie: Partying with OWH all week long!

Today's excitement is just the beginning of a week of fun - eclectic Paperie is preparing for fun that won't end til World Cardmaking Day is done! Go shopping and get stocked up on goodies - with a sale for OWHers! Be sure to hop with them too, and leave comments for a chance at a prize.


It's truly our pleasure that we can host one last birthday hurrah for OWH! eclectic Paperie first opened in Jan 2007 and our motto is to "feed your creativity". You can always read more about eP HERE. This birthday bash is really about the E-Team helping OWH readers and fans learn how to create multiple cards in one sitting. It's a virtual card drive to get some more cards to our heroes so they can stay connected with their loved one. 

  • The eP E-Team will sharing their tips for making multiple cards. They will each have a sample card. Each of the ladies will also be offering a prize for those who leave a comment. 



  • We will encourage people to upload their own samples on the eclectic Paperie Flikr Group. They have from Sat, Sept 25 to Sun, Oct 3rd and 2 people will win a grab box filled with eclectic Paperie goodies. 



  • eclectic Paperie has a special coupon code to offer some savings in order to stock up on favorite tools, papers, stamps, and all things paper crafts. Use coupon code OWHCARDS and you will receive 10% off your entire order (min $10 order) at eclectic Paperie. The coupon code is good Saturday, September 25th thru Sunday October 3rd. Yes, the coupon code is good through World Card Making day!


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    The Stamping Bazaar is throwing you a Birthday Bash!

    Today we are so excited to partner with our brand new friends over at The Stamping Bazaar! There are some darling new stamps designed just with OWH in mind - you're going to love them!


    The Stamping Bazaar is a rubber stamp company based in Miami, Florida. We opened our virtual doors back in July featuring exclusively the artwork of Marina Neira (previous designer for Motivet, The Greeting Farm and current designer for a couple of other companies.) We are proud and delighted to have the opportunity to host a challenge for Operation Write Home!

    Our Challenge:
    The theme of this challenge is simply to make a Christmas card to be mailed to Operation Write Home. There are no restrictions as to which stamps you can use --all manufacturers/stamp companies are welcome!

    To enter, simply comment on our blog and include a link to a post on your own blog which features the card you are entering in the challenge. Please make it clear in your blog post that the card is for the OWH challenge and include a link back to the TSB blog.

    The challenge goes on until Friday, October 8th, 11:59pm EST and of course there will be PRIZES!! The Stamping Bazaar is introducing two new digital stamps, Patriotic Eagle and Soldier Pug, to be given as prizes to our challenge winners and designed especially for this occasion:


    Here are some beautiful cards from our Design Team featuring these brand new digis (and there's plenty more in our blog!)



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    Featured Cardmaker: Lynn R, Canada

    Lynn blogs at WindRryder Dreams where you can see more of her beautiful creations!

    How long have you been stamping? My first real experience with stamps was a CTMH party held at a friend's scrapbook store. I was a scrapbooker for years and had only actually stamped at the parties. I did take a few classes with Michael Strong in San Diego and fell in love with the creativity of these mini pieces of art, but, never felt drawn to making cards until a few years ago.

    Do you have a craft room or specific area where you stamp? I have a very small room, about the size of a walk in closet. I have it packed full of everything from my card supplies to quilting and beading as well.

    What are your favorite stamp products? I think I like the shimmery inks, embossing powders and Perfect Pearls. OH, yes, I really do like the clear stamps as well. What a great invention!

    Do you have a favorite technique? I don't know a lot of techniques, but, I do like chalking, applying ink directly to the paper and heat embossing. I also love to use anything and everything to make my cards, my favorite being magazine images mixed with stamping, using recycled items and everyday things like split peas, silver coffee seals and sawdust.

    Are there colors you love to include on your cards? I am drawn to blues, purples and greens, but I do try to just go with the right color for the subject or theme.

    How did you hear about Operation Write Home? Actually, last October I did a search on the internet to find a charity or program that was related to helping Vets or deployed servicemen and women. This came at a great time since I was laid up with a broken femur and had very limited supplies to play with.

    What motivates you to make cards for our heroes? I am a Vet as well and I make cards to let Heroes and their families know they are not forgotten. I am part of a military family, my uncle, my father, a brother and now a niece who just returned from Afghanistan. She was lucky enough to get cards from OWH and appreciated them beyond words. I think it is important that Americans everywhere (I actually live in Canada) make every effort to let them know that they matter. Cards are the least I can do.




    Lynn's cards are so cute, we know you're going to want to use one of hers as your inspiration today! Pick one to CASE - colors, design, whatever inspires you! Leave a link here so we can see what you've created!

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    Sparkle Creations is hosting OWH!

     Oooooh I am so excited to share today's challenge blog with you! It's a personal friend - with a fantastic new stamp company too! Sparkle's in my (Sandy's) monthly stamp group - we call ourselves the STD's - Stamping Together Divas! You are sooooo going to love what Sparkle has planned for you!



    Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps is a new company that just opened this summer. We sell rubber stamps and new stamps are released on the second Saturday of each month. The rubber stamps are deeply etched and come un-mounted. This gives you the option to mount your stamps any way you would like.

    Be sure to check out the Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps blog to see creations with newly released images and our weekly challenges on every Tuesday! While you are there, sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop about upcoming images, get coupon codes, and advance notices of sales! You can find us on Facebook and Twitter as well.

    We are so excited to be participating in the Operation Write Home Birthday Bash. I (Sparkle) am so privileged to live close enough to Sandy and enjoy spending time with her each month at our monthly crafting group gatherings. It’s been wonderful getting to know her and really appreciate getting to be a part of this celebration!

    To celebrate, we will be giving away a $20 store credit to one random winner of our challenge! Also, we’re giving a 10% off coupon for all of those who participate in our challenge. After you have uploaded your card on the Sparkle Creations Rubber Stamps blog, use the code OWH10BASH. The code will be good until Thursday, September 30th.
     
    A sample card by Sparkle herself!



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    Dutch Dare Features Operation Write Home!

    Dutch Dare is featuring Operation Write home in honor of our first birthday!

    A little about our friends at Dutch Dare ~

    The Dutch Dare blog is a challenge blog that I have recently taken over.  We have a new challenge that runs every 2 weeks and is sponsored by some fabulous companies.  Our challenges range from sketches, to color challenges, themes, etc,.  We have an awesome design team ready to share some inspiration with you,  so come on over for some Dutch Dare fun!

    Kelly has made our beautiful sample card, if you'd like to see more of her art work please visit her blog Crafting Creatively.
    Here's a link below so you can play along in the challenge!


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    Midweek Throwdown Challenge!

    Are you ready for your next challenge?! 

    We’d like to thank everyone who entered into last weeks Birthday challenge.  Wow, you make beautiful cards!  It's so fun to travel around seeing everyone’s creations, a big thank you to everyone who played along! 

    Our challenge this week is a technique challenge!  We challenge you to make an Easel card for one of our hero’s to send home to their loved ones!  In case you’re new to making easel cards I’ve provided a link to Splitcoaststampers where you'll find a wonderful step by step tutorial by Beate Johns as well as a video! 

    Our sample card this week was made by Ann, to see more of her gorgeous art work please visit her blog AnnFran.


    Thank you Ann for sharing your awesome creativity with us!
    To play along in this week's  challenge, simply upload a project using this week's challenge to your blog or online gallery then leave a direct link to your project using the Inlinkz widget at the bottom of this post.  And remember, you may use this challenge at any time.  Feel free to re-post the challenge on your blog along with your card… then come back and leave a link for us so we may all see your cards!
    We  encourage everyone to take a few moments to visit and leave comments for the other participants.  Comments are a wonderful way to say thank you for sharing your creative project and inspires everyone to create. 
    Thanks for stopping by and hope you join in the fun!

    To play along this week, please enter your name, URL and email address in the link below then press next step and select the photo of your creative project.  An icon will appear on the blog featuring the photo you selected.  If the photo doesn’t appear right away, don’t worry, it will after the page has been refreshed.

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    Birthday Present from Hodge Podge: Free digis!

    Today we bring you some more free digis, today from a brand new site...Hodge Podge!



    Let's meet our friends at the Hodge Podge Shop:

    The Hodge Podge Shop is a new digital image site. Currently we have two artists, with a third to be added soon. We offer a wide range of images.


    Michael Oesterreicher, is a photographer. He takes his photos and converts them into images to be used for card making. Some are left in color and others he converts into a pencil sketch so they can be colored. He has anything from nature scenes with squirrels to buildings and barns.


    Margaret Oesterreicher, (Mike's mom), is a fantastic artist and has been drawing and painting for most of her life. Her images are hand drawn. Right now we have some awesome Halloween images to choose from. She has been working on adding some terrific animals to her collection.

    Here are your free digis:


    Hodge Podge has a brand new DT forming...visit their blog for details!
    Hodge Podge Shop 


    Some folks might be wondering about the flag digi. How would you use it on a card? Here are two examples - as a main image, layered with a sentiment, and as a small focus image with 'regular' card design and embellishments added:
    A few notes on using photographs:
    Photos are something you *may* use on your cards, with a few caveats...please follow these guidelines:
    1. You must have the rights to use the photo or illustration. That means you took the picture, or you have explicit written permission from the person who did. Please don't violate any copyrights for OWH! Magazine images and photos from storebought cards count as photographs too - if you didn't take the photo, please don't use it. There's a photographer behind that picture who didn't get paid, and we don't want something with OWH on it that violates their rights.
    2. You have to do something else on the card - please don't just print a photo on cardstock. Our heroes don't differentiate between that and a storebought card. They won't use ones that are simply printed on paper. So layer and embellish away!
    3. Be sure the photo paper sticks well to your other paper goods. We get some with gluesticks, and they do not hold permanently on a card. Liquid adhesives also work poorly, as the photo paper buckles. Use tape runners or ATG tape.

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    Tutorial - Distressing

    Today's tutorial is brought to us by Beverly, who recently included this beautiful card in a shipment to OWH. We thought you would enjoy seeing how she made it.



    This is a great technique that Shari Carroll shared at the Hero Arts website. It’s easy, fun to do, and looks great. For this sample, I used the Hero Arts Friends Definition and the Hero Arts Three Ferns rubber stamps, clear embossing powder, Versamark Stamp pad, Tim Holtz distress inks, and Ranger’s Cut N Dry Foam pads.

    First I stamped the leaf stamp with Versamark onto uncoated white cardstock. Sprinkle with clear embossing powder and heat emboss.


    Apply Distress inks to the cardstock (direct to paper) using the foam pads, going over the embossed areas and overlapping the colors as desired. I started with Antique Linen, the lightest in color, then the Peeled Paint and lastly the Rusty Hinge.






    When you get the desired effect, ink the Hero Arts Friends Definition with Pumice Stone Distress ink and stamp over the embossed image.




    Using a moist paper towel, wipe the embossed areas to remove the ink.



    Cut the image down to 3 ¾” x 5” and mount on a 4” x 5 ¼” piece of white cardstock. Wrap with hemp and mount onto a 4 ¼” x 5 ½” card.






    Beverly doesn't have a blog, so be sure and comment to let her know what you thought about today's tutorial!





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