Featured Cardmaker: Kathy V., Olympia, WA

This week I am excited to introduce everyone to Kathy. She and her husband Chris (aka Mr. Wonderful!) are retired and live in Olympia, WA. Kathy tells me that she is a "relative newbie to this wonderful craft", though I think you'll agree with me that you would never know it by her beautiful cards. She doesn't have a blog (though she has thought about starting one — I for one hope she does!) so be sure to leave her a comment at the end of this post.

How long have you been stamping?  I was introduced to scrapbooking a few years ago, but soon discovered cardmaking, and that’s when my love affair with paper and ink began. I played on and off for awhile, but started to get serious last Christmas when I discovered OWH. 

Do you have a craft room or specific area where you stamp/craft? 
I’m lucky to have my own room. In fact, my sweet husband, who is a cabinet maker, just finished helping me redo my “studio” (really a 11’ x 13’ guest room that hadn’t seen a guest years. The ultimate in repurposing, don’t you think? LOL)  I am absolutely thrilled with the results. I like having all of my tools and supplies handy, but I don’t necessarily want to see everything all the time since I tend to get distracted by the colors and patterns of all the papers, ribbons and other goodies I’ve collected. So we managed to come up with a U-shaped configuration with lots of work surface, tons of drawers and shelving and fabulous light.  I am so blessed. 

What are your favorite stamp/craft products?  Gosh, there are so many wonderful products it’s hard to narrow down my favorites. I love to color, so I use my Copics a lot. I also love the texture embossing folders and plates can add to a project. And, of course, stamps are a mainstay, and I especially like those by PaperTrey, Inc., Hero Arts, Gina K. and Penny Black. And I love my ATG and Score-Pal!

Do you have a favorite technique? A friend calls me a technique junkie because I’m always trying new things. But there’s something magical about inking up a stamp, setting it to paper and seeing the amazing art that can be achieved.  Currently I’ve been playing with different inks and trying to learn all their various properties. Distress inks are amazing because they are so versatile. I love adding touches of metallic bling to my cards, so heat embossing, metallic inks and cardstock, gold leafing and such are favorites. And I have to confess, it’s SO hard not to use glitter on the cards I make for OWH.  Fun folds, pop-ups and sliders are also high on my list. Gee, I guess my friend was right!

A special note about this card: After coloring and glittering the butterfly in this card Kathy realized it would not meet the OWH guidelines and she decided to try covering the offending “bug” with Glossy Accents.  After it dried, it looked kinda cool and the glitter did not rub off at all. Problem solved!

Are there colors you love to include on your cards? I love to play with color, so I’m always trying new combinations. I do find the seasons often drive my color choices, though, so I tend to use pastels in the spring, brights in the summer, earth tones for fall, and neutrals for winter. The occasion and recipient can also determine my choices. And then there are all those wonderful designers and bloggers who come up with amazing combinations! So I guess the answer to your question is I love them all!  Well, except for maybe purple. I really struggle using purple.

How did you hear about Operation Write Home?  I believe I read about OWH on a blog, but I’m sorry to say I can’t remember which one. I was immediately inspired to participate, and started making my first batch of cards the same day.

What motivates you to make cards for our heroes?  I am so very grateful to our troops who are making such huge sacrifices for our country.  Living near Joint Base Lewis McChord, I frequently encounter these fine young people in stores and restaurants and am always so touched by them. I can’t think of anything harder than to be separated from family and loved ones while putting your life on the line, and if I can do something that helps bridge that distance even for a moment, I’m there. I pray with every card I make that the sender and receiver will be blessed. I love reading the thank you’s OWH receives and am always touched when they mention how much a card meant to their spouse, child or parent. It chokes me up every time. It seems like such a small thing, but then I remember that it’s usually the small things that make the biggest difference. At least that’s my prayer.

Donna Hanley  – (June 17, 2011 at 3:56 AM)  

Kathy, your cards are all beautiful. You are a very talented lady and I, too, am hoping you start a blog so we can view your creations on a more regular basis. Great idea on the glittered butterfly. Thank you for letting us view these cards.

Unknown  – (June 17, 2011 at 5:10 AM)  

Great cards! I hope you do start a blog. The titles "cabinet maker" and "Mr. Wonderful" do go great together!

Linda  – (June 17, 2011 at 5:50 AM)  

Definitely need to blog. Super cards..so good I cannot even pick one I like the best!

Kimberley Martini Young –   – (June 17, 2011 at 5:58 AM)  

Love your first card. Your studio sounds amazing. Wish we could see a picture of it.

Paula S.  – (June 17, 2011 at 6:03 AM)  

Kathy this group of cards is wonderful. Such nice details in them. I particularly like how you've used the ribbon and embellishments on them. If you're counting votes for you starting a blog I vote YES! Thanks for letting me share your beautiful cards and your OWH story today!

Marsha  – (June 17, 2011 at 7:26 AM)  

Your cards are lovely. Can't believe your new to this craft. Keep it up and start a blog. I just started one this year. You need one too so we can see your beautiful creations.

Anonymous –   – (June 17, 2011 at 8:49 AM)  

Your cards and story are beautiful!!

Betty T

Lee Mae  – (June 17, 2011 at 9:47 AM)  

Your cards are beautiful! I really like the way you used buttons on your cards. I also vote for you to start a blog! :)

Susan S  – (June 17, 2011 at 9:49 AM)  

Kathy, you may be a newbie but you create like a veteran. Your cards are absolutely lovely!!

Anonymous –   – (June 17, 2011 at 10:04 AM)  

Your cards are so beautiful! I love your colors, embellishments, layouts...everything about them. Please start a blog..you work inspires me! Pat K.

Ann  – (June 17, 2011 at 11:11 AM)  

What a great set of cards. Thank you for sharing. I love the poppy card, wonderful colors.

Ann K - Seattle

Bev E  – (June 17, 2011 at 12:10 PM)  

Wow you are really talented! The are really beautiful. On your 1st card with the flowers, are the flowers stamped & colored? If so what stamp is that? I really love it,

NanaConnie  – (June 17, 2011 at 12:25 PM)  

Kathy, Your cards are so incredible! You do lovely work and it's definitely time to get your own blog up and going. I started blogging only last February and it's a wonderful way to touch base with other card makers and those of us who are dedicated to OWH projects! Please, do a blog. We need your input and inspiration!

Sherry H  – (June 17, 2011 at 12:39 PM)  

Kathy, this is a beautiful selection of your cards! I love blue and white, so I must say that one really caught my eye! You do wonderful work. Believe me, if I could set up my blog anyone can. We're all here to help each other!

Anonymous –   – (June 17, 2011 at 12:56 PM)  

Kathy, beautiful cards. I can only aspire to your level of expertise. As your sister in law I am proud to have been on the receiving end of your work. Keep it up. Carmen

Kathy V. –   – (June 17, 2011 at 4:38 PM)  

Gosh, thank you all for your kind words of encouragement. You'll never know how much they mean to me.

After reading all your wonderful comments, my sweet husband offered to help set up a blog for me (yes, he is wonderful, and yes, I'm gonna keep him!!) Anyway, I'll give it some serious thought. I'd love to know how those of you who have one got started, how often you post, what blogger do you use and any other words of wisdom you'd like to share.

Someone asked about the Poppy card. The stamp is by Hero Arts. I embossed it with white EP, then used distress inks with a water color brush to color in the flowers. Its a quick, fun technique that looks much more complex than it is. Glad you liked it.

Rufus  – (June 17, 2011 at 8:31 PM)  

Kathy, all of your cards are lovely! Couldn't pick out a favorite. Very glad that you found card making and OWH!

Sylvia/Georgia –   – (June 17, 2011 at 9:43 PM)  

Love your cards! Please add me to the list of those hoping you will start a blog that I can follow and see more of your beautiful cards.

Seongsook Duncan  – (June 17, 2011 at 10:23 PM)  

What such a beautiful set of cards! I love the Poppy card, too. Thanks for the inspiration.

When I first started my blog two years ago just to participate in the OWH Memorial Day Bloghop for the first time, I was not sure how I can keep it up. I have been enjoying it and learned a lot through the OWH fellow cardmakers.

Look forward to seeing your creations in the near future.

jperr  – (June 17, 2011 at 11:26 PM)  

Kathy your cards are lovely.I can't imagine what you will do after you have a few more year of card making.
I sure hope you start a blog,can't wait.
Thanks for sharing.

Linda  – (June 18, 2011 at 1:42 AM)  

Kathy, your cards are beautiful, and so much variety. I would love for you to start a blog.. pic of your room your hubbie made you? A little technique junkie sharing?
(Junkie to junkie.. it is quite addictive to try new techniques!!)

Thank you for sharing

mmwilken  – (June 18, 2011 at 5:26 AM)  

Thanks for sharing your gorgeous cards!! So glad to hear you are with OWH, as all of us love doing what we are doing!

Nancy Keller  – (June 18, 2011 at 8:12 AM)  

Wow Kathy! I love your cards and I agree that you need a blog. :) Thanks for sharing all of your great work with us!

Cindy Ryan Sleeth –   – (June 18, 2011 at 4:56 PM)  

Beautiful cards Kathy, thanks for sharing.

ThePurplePlace  – (June 19, 2011 at 9:32 AM)  

Wow wow wow! All of your cards are wonderful and very creative.

I love the idea of using Glossy Accents over the glitter. Not only do it keep the glitter in place, but it also adds more dimension!!


Thanks so much for sharing you talent!!

Just A Pac Rat  – (June 20, 2011 at 10:02 AM)  

Beautiful cards, I love them all! TFS


TK  – (June 24, 2011 at 2:05 AM)  

I can't believe you are a newbie. Your cards are awesome, and like everyone said, such loving detail in each and every one. I love the colors and the designs. I too would like to see your craft room, what a super husband you have! Please continue to share your cards with us.

Jodi  – (June 30, 2011 at 4:07 PM)  

On the white card with blue flower, is the white background with the squares an embossing folder?

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