OWHtv: Episode 18



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Coming this weekend!


Come here on Saturday morning - we'll have bloggers hosting challenges every 2 hours all day on Saturday and Sunday. We'll link to them from here...each one will have InLinkz so you can share your creations - and enter for prizes!!

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Autumn/Fall

 What a fun challenge last week, your cards were beautiful!   
Thanks for the wonderful inspiration –

This week we challenge you to make cards for our heroes to send home to their loved ones using a “Autumn/Fall” theme.   I can’t wait to see your card creations! 

Our sample card maker this week is Debbie, to see more of her fabulous art work please visit her blog In & Out of Studio 3D.


Thank you Debbie 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 - Alcohol Ink Paper

Today's tutorial comes to us from Donna of Designing Keepsakes. We saw a card she made using the alcohol ink technique, and it was so lovely we asked her to tell us how it's done.






Materials needed: Glossy Paper, scrap paper, Tim Holtz Alcohol Ink Applicator with felt pads, two or more colors of Alcohol Inks, one Mixative Color and Blending Solution. The Mixative is optional, as you can make beautiful papers with just two colors.

You can use as many colors as you wish at once, but I normally use two colors and one mixative. The mixatives come in gold, silver, copper and pearl and need to be shaken good before use.


First lay your glossy paper placed on top of your scrap paper, then take your applicator tool with a felt pad on it and add about 10 drops of one color on one end of the pad and 10 drops of the other color on the other end and a two or three of drops of the mixative in the center of the pad. The amount of drops does not have to be exact. You can then squirt a small amount of Blending solution across the width of the pad if you wish to. This step is not necessary. It is completely up to your individual taste. It is something you have to play with to see what you like. Hint: Put the tops back on the inks right away as they will dry out if you leave them open for any length of time.


Then take your applicator tool and place in on your paper at one corner and begin to twist or twirl it to the right and then back to the left and continue this all across the paper. The colors will all blend together and if you do use a mixative a little bit of that will shine through in different spots around the paper.


If you think the colors are too bright or you are not happy with the results you can squirt some more blending solution either on the pad or right on the paper and begin the twisting action all over again. This will lighten up and blend the colors even more. Caution, if you squirt the solution directly on to the paper it will just spread the colors out and leave white spots, that's fine, just continue to twist and it will all blend together again. I usually end up going over it two or three times before I am happy with the look.


You do not have to stick with the twisting motion, you can experiment with different motions, such as stripes, side to side swirling , circles, or pouncing, each different motion gives a unique effect.




Put the paper aside and let it dry for about three minutes and you are finished and ready to make your card. If you are going to stamp directly onto this paper, but sure to use an ink that is designed for glossy paper and you may find that your stamping will take quite a while to dry. Sometimes I spray it with a fixative.


In this example I am using Purple Twilight, Stream and Silver Mixative.



Thanks so much, Donna, for showing us this beautiful technique. Everyone remember, if you see an interesting technique or if you have one you would like to share, please email me at kate@operationwritehome.org. Also, you can find archives of our previous tutorials at the Cardmaking Resources page of the OWH website, and lots of great information in the Cardmaking Glossary.



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Sketch Challenge #75

It's Sunday! That means it's time for another sketch challenge! I think y'all will like this one, it's great for using up scraps - if you're like me, you've got plenty of those.

For our new folks, a couple of quick tips: all OWH sketches are designed to be an A2 sized card ( 4.25 x 5.5 inches), and the sketch is just a jumping-off point - please feel free to adjust it as your creativity guides you!



Our sample this week was created by Cindy of Cindy's Card Co. Be sure and visit her blog to see more of her cute work. Thanks for the adorable sample card, Cindy!



Ok, cardmakers, get your scraps box out and get some cute cards going! Don't forget to link them up here when you are done so we can all see!

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 the link to that entry 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.



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Save the Date....plus Operation Thank Our Veterans

Virtual Cardmaking Party!
Next weekend is already Independence Day - where did June go!! So....we have a plan to have some major mojo kicking off the fireworks! It's a new style of challenge event, so bear with us as we work out details.

  1. Starting Saturday July 2, we'll be posting a link to a different blog every few hours. These blogs will be hosting an OWH challenge of some sort! (We're working on deciding the challenges right now!)
  2. Each of those blogs will have InLinkz for you to upload your card for the challenge. 
  3. Some may have blog candy! 
  4. OWH will be picking a prize winner from all the participants in all the challenges - the more you play along with, the better your chances. The prize? It's a secret for now, but let's just say it's an EXCLUSIVE item being manufactured at this very moment. (Hoping it's in by OWHtv night next week so I can show you!)
  5. On Monday July 4th, we'll post all the bloggers' sample cards in a FB album, and you get to go vote for them with "likes"....the one with the most likes wins a prize too!
So in between the bbq, fireworks, and potato salad, be sure to get your mojo on...it's going to be a fun virtual party!

Special Mission
We announced Operation Thank Our Veterans on Thursday's tv show, but I wanted to repeat it again if you missed it! We've added an InLinkz to this post so you can share your cards. Bloggers, feel free to post about the mission to get more folks involved!

Our Special Mission launched during the show
Operation Thank Our Veterans!

Bonnie asked about thank-you cards for veterans they worked with at an OWH cardmaking and cardsigning event. So we'd like to shower WeR with AnyHero love they can pass on! Be sure to watch the show to hear more. You can write them out to "Dear veteran" if you wish. Send them, marked clearly as cards for VETERANS, by July 15th to: 
We R Memory Keepers
Attn: Operation Thank Our Veterans
631 North 400 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84103

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Featured Cardmakers: Mary P. & Meadowbrook Christian Church, Mount Vernon, IL

This week I have something a bit unusual in that our Featured Cardmaker is actually a whole group of card makers. It's my pleasure to introduce you all to Mary P. and the cardmakers at Meadowbrook Christian Church. Be sure to leave them a shout out in the comments section at the end of this post.


I'll let Mary tell you all her OWH story…

I heard about OWH in Card Maker magazine and my dad (age 93) thought this would be a good hobby for him to get involved in. I have been making cards for about 5 years and Dad and I started working together last year in about April.


I approached our minister, Michael Sheets, about the idea of some of the ladies of our congregation helping us and things took off from there.


Daddy and I did most of the prep work and the ladies glued, stamped and stuffed. My Dad passed away in November 2010, so my sister-in-law took over helping me with all the prep work for the cards.



Debbie, my sister-in-law,  is a "Stampin Up" demonstrator, so most of the supplies we use come from them. They have the best card stock in our opinion.


I have a room dedicated to stamping, card making and scrapbooking. Debbie and I do all prep work at my house. We take card kits to church the last Saturday of each month to complete them.



We always have a good time socializing and doing this small thank you project for our military. Our group numbers range from 4 - 8 women.


Many thanks to Mary, Debbie, Minister Sheets and everyone at Meadowbrook Christian Church for being a part of the OWH family!
SPACER

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OWHtv: Episode 17 - We R Memory Keepers

Many thanks to our special guest this week, Bonnie Randall from We R - you were a fantastic guest! Our apologies for losing the feed midway...we're posting the show in 2 parts.


Our Special Mission launched during this show: 
Operation Thank Our Veterans!

Bonnie asked about thank-you cards for veterans they worked with at an OWH cardmaking and cardsigning event. So we'd like to shower WeR with AnyHero love they can pass on! Be sure to watch the show to hear more. You can write them out to "Dear veteran" if you wish. Send them, marked clearly as cards for VETERANS, by July 15th to: 
We R Memory Keepers
Attn: Operation Thank Our Veterans
631 North 400 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84103






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Love You!


What a fun Back To School challenge last week, your cards were beautiful!   
Thanks for the wonderful inspiration –

We have a prize winner to announce today, congratulations Paula S. InLinkz has picked lucky number #13, that's you!  I'll be talking with you soon!  

This week we challenge you to make cards for our heroes to send home to their loved ones using a “Love You” theme.   I can’t wait to see your card creations! 

Our sample card maker this week is Jen, to see more of her fabulous art work please visit her blog The Sparkle Within.



Thank you Jen 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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Proud of our peeps

Sandy here. I know it's Tuesday. You just got your tutorial (AWEsome job on it, Angela!) and tomorrow we'll be ready for a brand new Midweek Throwdown challenge from Jan and with some inspiring samples from Jen. (I just peeked - I love this one! I hope we get a RECORD number of players!) But...I had to pop in to say a lil something:

I am so proud of our OWH peeps.

Seriously. Not only your amazing creativity, your love for country and our heroes, for your generosity.... but I am so proud of the community that OWH has become. More like family. You all are the most encouraging, kind, and compassionate people. I watch you comment on each other's blogs and facebook posts, answer questions, try out new ideas and experiment together, research for each other, and inspire each other to do amazing things. You even travel silly distances to meet up with each other. Yes, you crazies know who you are! I have no idea how this OWH family has come to be, in some ways....we've put the blogs and FB out there, but it's all of you who have come together to make this happy little family.

I'll be speaking about Blogging to Build Community in about a month. It'll be at a conference for nonprofit leaders, and I want to help them do just what we've done here, with their own flavor. And I would love to have some of your advice to pass on to them. In our July newsletter I'll post a survey with some specific questions, but would love your ideas to kickstart that survey.

Thanks so much, ladies and gentlemen!
Sandy

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Tutorial - Paper Roses and Quilted Flag

This week's tutorial comes to us from Angela at Midnight Crafting. Many of you will remember her card from the Memorial Day blog hop. I frequently get requests for tutorials about how to make flowers, and I heard from several of you that you loved the ones on Angela's card! She put the tutorial together for her blog and has agreed to let us post it here as well. She writes...


My card was inspired by the Martha Stewart Mothers Day Show - the one with the First Lady and the baby shower for all the military wives - I watched last month. Literally every part of the card, now that I look at it... I was struck by the woman who wore her own set of dog tags with an inscription, to keep her husband close to her heart. And the show had this massive baby shower for wives expecting a baby while the father was deployed, so I thought back to my baby blanket cards, and thought the technique would work for the flag, it was a really patriotic show with Joining Forces featured. So there you have it - a flag quilt with the missing you tags. Oh, that was a good show!


I know it doesn't look like it, but really that card is almost as simple as can be.
The quilt style uses strips of paper and a Sizzix Top Note Die. You have seen this technique before, its a couple years old at least - but its usually done with a Square Punch instead of cut strips. I've not seen a design done in paper strips, now that I've gone and googled Top Note Quilt, but I figure that I can do almost anything in paper that can be done in sewing (naive novice sewer that I am) so I decided to make a quilt-style picture of the flag!


I cut a white card stock to 4" x 5.5". I picked a blue Designer Series Paper, 2 rose red Designer Series Papers, and used my retired black and white pattern Designer Series Paper. (Seriously - the toughest part - choosing paper!) I cut the colors into strips that were 1/2" x 2" and laid them out on the white card stock, trying for a brick-pattern in the layout while maintaining the feel of the stars & stripes of the flag and using the different patterns on the paper (love double-sided DSP!). Once the pieces fit, I glued them down. No need to trim any edge-hangers - you just run the whole thing through the Big Shot with the Top Note Die, and its cut perfectly!


The back ground paper? Well now, that may be Cheater Crafting at its best! I will admit, I do not have a "Missing You" sentiment stamp. I have some close alternates, but I really wanted it to be the more stark emotion of "missing". So I made my own paper. I know, you hate that. But its easy: you open a word processing program, type Missing You in a font you like, a bajillion times - well, you can copy and paste! then you only have to type it once or twice - until the whole page is covered. I printed it onto my card stock. And then... had to cut the card out of the middle, so I could get just the right part of "Missing You" at the edges. (I don't obsess, I think intensely). If you are not so picky as Some People, you could get two cards out of the 8.5 x 11" sheet.

But then, it needed that Something Extra. I didn't want to add bling, I tried some ribbon and it was not good. And then I looked at my extra strips of DSP and said AHA! I'll make some roses to go on here. Red of course for true love, and blue for valor and honesty. --yes, I really chose them that way, I am that nerdy. But look - you liked it! Its very patriotic and has a touch of romance. Since I had scraps from cutting the card out, I used my adorable Tiny Tags punch to get the Missing You dog tags from my extra paper.

I am proud of how it came out, and I plan to make some more! (I already have, as the pics used in this post are from new cards!)

How to make the paper roses: 
I suppose these are more of ribbon style roses made of paper than the traditional rolled paper roses, you can google both techniques and decide for yourself.


Your mantra: Fold and Smile
Your supplies: clear-drying liquid glue, glue dots, paper strip, patience, and a smile

1) cut a 1/2" strip of paper - I used 6" length for the smaller, 12" for the larger (you can vary the size of the rose by the length of the strip)
2) crush and mangle that strip until its soft and pliable as.. well, as ribbon, I guess! *NOTE: this is really importand so the roses can smash down for mailing purposes for OWH. :) * I ran mine through my crimper, then rolled them into balls in the palm of my hand. You need to break the paper fibers down so you can fold and bend the strip easily. This also gives it the "shabby chic / distressed / vintage" feel.
3) practice your smile


4) crinkle the corner into a nub, and then fold and wrap the strip around, forming the "petals" of the rose around as you go. Sometimes you will just wrap, sometimes its a fold and a wrap to maintain the circular direction - or to get some different color or texture.
The rules clearly state you may unwrap and restart as many times as you wish, as long as you smile!


5) once you reach the end of the strip (yay! and it looks like a rose!), you need to have a glue dot or some clear-drying glue to dab on the free end to secure it to the underside of your flower.


6) then you'll want to fluff/smush the flower into a pretty shape, and add glue between the petals to keep it intact (as needed). Your roses will vary - some are blooming, some are buds. Enjoy the variety.


Experiment with different widths and lengths in the strips - some will come out much more folded and compact: maybe perfect for a scrapbook or mini album or card; others will be tall and proud: great for frames or shadow boxes or making wreaths.


---

Everyone let Angela know how you loved today's tutorial! Remember if you see a cool technique or if you have one you would like to share, please email me at kate@operationwritehome.org. Also, you can find archives of our previous tutorials at the Cardmaking Resources page of the OWH website, and lots of great information in the Cardmaking Glossary .


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Sketch Challenge #74

Happy Father's Day to the Dads out there! I hope your day is relaxing and fun.

Before we get to today's sketch, just a quick reminder that your Second Million Challenge cards need to get in the mail ASAP to reach a shipper by June 30th! And don't forget your packing slip so you can have a chance to win one of the great prizes!

I want at least a few thousand of those Second Million cards to be from sketches, including this one:



Your samples this week were provided by the fabulous Barb, a member of our OWH admin team! Barb coordinates some of our special blogging events, like the Blog Skips. She also has a blog of her own called Paper Therapy Ponderings (isn't that name a hoot?) so be sure and go visit to see more of her great work. Thanks for the cute samples, Barb!





Okay, cardmakers, have you got a good idea for this sketch now? Go get busy! Don't forget to come back here and link up your card so we can all 'ooh and ahh' over it!

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 the link to that entry 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.



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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.




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