Featured Cardmaker: Kyra S., Aurora, IL

Hello Everyone! I am excited to be able to introduce you all to Kyra this week and share a wonderful group of her cards with you. I find it particularly inspiring to meet cardmakers like Kyra, who were raised in military families and can help the rest of us relate to what it's like  and just how much a hand-written card sent home can really mean. Kyra blogs over at The Bunny Nest where you can see more of her terrific work. Hop on over and pay her a visit and don't forget to leave her a hello here at the end of this post too!

How long have you been stamping? My mother introduced me to stamping through her sale finds at Michael's while I was away at college, way back in the late 1900s. There has been such a huge change in the stamping industry since then! I started experimenting with stamps in the early 1990s, and bought some Stampin' Up supplies from a needy friend in 2001. I was hooked, though, when I found Unity Stamps and I've lost a lot of income since then! Happily!

Do you have a craft room or specific area where you stamp/craft? I own the ArtLab where I encourage experimentation with all sorts of art supplies. It's my little hide-away, and IKEA has contributed to my organization. It has taken years getting to this point, so please, readers, don't lose hope! My Lab shares purpose with art journaling!

What are your favorite stamp/craft products? I adore things that are original. Gina K Designs is my current *FAV* cardstock and image company. Ranger is my go-to ink supplier (but I have a huge building crush on Memento!); and I would be lost without my Copic markers!

Do you have a favorite technique? There are three techniques that I turn to when I need something stunning, and fast. First - dry (or pressure) embossing creates great, fast frames for the perfect image. Second - glossy cardstock turns STELLAR with some metallic mixatives and alcohol ink. And, third, I love *LOVE* using watercolors or distress inks with big-crystal salts (Kosher, Rock, etc.) to create stunning backgrounds! Oh... and the bonus, 4, I love using inks to create a scene. It's easy when you learn - you can use inks for so many great backgrounds!

Are there colors you love to include on your cards?
I try to use masculine colors on most of my cards. I think there are a lot of feminine cards (beautiful ones!) put out there for our troops to use. Masculine cards, and enabling the masculine correspondence, is more difficult. Sometimes, it take me hours to make a card that I think my husband could send to his family. Being raised in a military family, I know first-hand how those messages are received. I want to give our military personnel everything they could need to connect with people back home.

How did you hear about Operation Write Home?
I first heard about OWH when I discovered Unity stamps. There were ladies who made such beautiful cards, and when I asked what they did with them, they said OWH. It was a natural fit!

What motivates you to make cards for our heroes? My father served, proudly, in Korea and later we were stationed in Scotland, Turkey, and throughout the states. While we followed him to all stations, occasionally we spent time apart. Those letters were a lifeline. We saw the plane my father was supposedly on, blown up on TV during a newscast. We thought we had lost him then, but his letters were a physical symbol of hope. I wore a bracelet for a man missing in action in Vietnam. I was continually exposed to the human element in every conflict our country attends. We may not agree with the conflict, but we *must* support our men and women who are sent forth. I am humbled by those who supported our family when we faced automatic weapons just going for groceries. I am honored by those who allow me to go to market without fear of being attacked. They have my undying support. They are people, with people at home. They deserve our dead-level best. I give it. Our military members are the highest of heroes in my eyes.

Linda  – (December 30, 2011 at 5:08 AM)  

Wonderful cards...so hard to pick a favorite! I agree that we must always support those serving their country. Thanks for sharing you story and talents.

AllisonG  – (December 30, 2011 at 5:49 AM)  

I love all of your cards, Kyra, but especially the one with the train. It looks like that train is going to drive right off the card - so cool!

I agree with you 100% - our military heroes deserve our best.

adele holcomb  – (December 30, 2011 at 5:49 AM)  

Love these cards, and especially the stories you shared about growing up in a military family.

Sandy Trefger  – (December 30, 2011 at 7:08 AM)  

Beautiful, beautiful cards, Kyra! That train one is stunning I'd love to be able to create something like that. I really appreciate your sharing about your military life, it helps me (one not from a military family and not having anyone in the military) to understand and stay focused on why I've started making cards for OWH! Thank you!

Paula S.  – (December 30, 2011 at 8:08 AM)  

These cards are all fabulous Kyra! Whether it's the buttons, jewels, ribbon or stitching, each and every one contains such nice details that make it stand it out. The love and care put into each one really shows and will inspire many in the OWH family. Thanks for letting me share your OWH story with everyone this week. Happy New Year!

StampTramps  – (December 30, 2011 at 8:39 AM)  

Your cards are beautiful and inspiring and so is your story! Thanks for sharing everything!

Anonymous –   – (December 30, 2011 at 10:22 AM)  

Thanks for sharing your story, and your cards. I love the train card also, but tehy are all beautiful.

Lee Mae  – (December 30, 2011 at 1:43 PM)  

Kyra, Your cards are wonderful! I especially like the train card. I also like the colors you use in your cards to give them more of a guy feel. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Missy  – (December 30, 2011 at 4:59 PM)  

Kyra, Thank you so much for sharing your cards and story. I love all the cards and the die cuts you used on them. Perhaps you could do a tutorial on the salt/ink backgrounds you make.

Anonymous –   – (December 30, 2011 at 6:01 PM)  

Your cards are all stunning, and I KNOW the men and women who receive these cards are extremely grateful! I loved reading about your experiences as the daughter of a military father! Thank you for sharing your beautiful cards and beautiful words!


CARO  – (December 30, 2011 at 6:31 PM)  

I love all of your cards but that train one.. gorgeous, just stunning!

Cora  – (December 30, 2011 at 6:53 PM)  

Very special story you have shared. Thank you. I would love to learn more about your techniques. Your cards are stunning

Kris Whittaker  – (December 30, 2011 at 7:11 PM)  

Your cards are stunning and your story is beautiful, as well. I would love a tutorial on using the salts and distress inks!

Barb Turpin  – (December 30, 2011 at 7:46 PM)  

You have a great style...love the shading on your labels.

Cindy O  – (December 30, 2011 at 7:55 PM)  

Thank you so much for sharing your story and your beautiful cards!

Unknown  – (December 30, 2011 at 8:10 PM)  

A special thanks to your family for your service. I love the "wishing you a happy day" card. I need to learn more about how to use inks. Maybe a tutorial sometime...

Marsha  – (December 30, 2011 at 8:58 PM)  

Beautiful cards. Love what you did with the train card.

Dotti's Hobbies  – (December 30, 2011 at 11:41 PM)  

Wow, Kyra! Those are all great cards and each is so different from the other...I love that. It looks like you have a lot of creativity to come up with completely different designs - that's wonderful! I try not to get stuck in the same type of style, but it's very hard. Great work! TFS

Christine  – (December 31, 2011 at 5:09 AM)  

Thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful cards. I really love what you did wth the train, it is gorgeous!

Sharon Huffman  – (December 31, 2011 at 6:54 AM)  

Beautiful talent and wonderful stories you've shared. Being an Army Brat and an Army veteran it means so much to me knowing that there is so much support out there for our troops!

Katie  – (December 31, 2011 at 8:13 AM)  

Kyra - lovely cards and a great story. Thanks so much for sharing!!

Dolores A.  – (December 31, 2011 at 8:48 AM)  

Thanks for sharing your wonderful background and cardmaking here. Beautiful work!
Love the missing you card with the train... that background looks like your own handiwork.

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