Bugaboo Stamps Sponsoring OWH Midweek Throwdown Challenge

 Thanks for a great challenge last week, your Mother’s Day cards were beautiful!

This week our challenge is to make cards using digital images on them for our heroes to send home to their family and friends!  We can’t wait to see your card creations! 

We have a sponsor this week!  Bugaboo Stamps has offered to provide one lucky OWH card maker with a fabulous prize package!  Here’s a little about Bugaboo Stamps:
 As if raising five children in the frozen land of the North was not enough of a challenge, Jodie Mackrell decided to dip her cold little Canadian toes into the world of papercrafting by opening an online store full of her illustrations. That was two years ago. Today Bugaboo Stamps is one of the leading companies in digital images, and we're still growing!  From seriously snarky to sugary sweet to sublimely soulful all the way over to the other side of the super sexy spectrum, you're bound to find all that you need and more to create your paper projects.  Jodie works very hard to provide New Releases and Freebies every week! 
 If your taste runs to rubber (and you know who you are), you can find Bugaboo Stamps   at Totally Stampalicious. And finally, join the Bugaboo Stamps DT   for weekly challenges at Catch the Bug


The Bugaboo Stamps design team are our sample card makers this week!  To see more of their awesome creations please visit Catch The Bug.

 Scrappy
 Amy
 Sandye
 Jen

Thank you 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 Tuesday: Heat Embossing

Let's revisit a fun technique this week, shall we? One of the "scariest" new things for me to learn was heat embossing. I often admired the heat-embossed works of others, only to shy away from the tools and beautiful powders at the craft store, for fear of not knowing how to use them. If only I had been able to see this video! I would have tried it much sooner!

Please allow me to introduce our guest tutor, Ted Mattos who hails from sunny California and his blog, Happily Ever Crafter. Watch as Ted demonstrates heat embossing and uses tools like the ani-static pillow and the clear embossing powder for tone-on-tone images. I think that what I love best is his mastery of the zoom-in views that show how beautiful a heat-embossed image can be!

Here is a recent card that Ted made using a beautiful copper powder on a dark colored cardstock. Look how masculine that metallic lion is! Thanks for sharing, Ted! Enjoy the video and please stop by Ted's blog to give him some love for tutoring us today. -Nancy K.



You can also click to go to the original blog post by Ted, that includes this video, for even more tips and tricks and a few good giggles too. Ted's blog is so much fun!






Thanks for watching! And now heat embossers, show us your skills! Post any card that includes a heat embossed image or sentiment.


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Winner's choice...man cave!

The winner for our Kite Tails prize - on OWHtv last week - is cillafletch! Please email your contact info to sandy at operationwritehome dot org...congratulations! Your prize will arrive after the order of product is complete, expected in mid to late March.

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Sketch Challenge #110

Hello, friends! It's time to announce the winner of the three free digis from Doodle Pantry! In a random drawing of all the sketch challenge Inlinz entries entered before midnight lasts night, the winner is.... Kathy T!

Congrats, Kathy! Check your email later today for info on how to collect your prize!

I have a great sketch for this week - just remember that the heart shape indicates the embellishment of your choice, it doesn't have to be a heart.



This week we have three adorable samples made by Lynn R. She has a blog called WindRyder Dreams, be sure and visit to see more of her great work and say hello. Thanks for the beautiful samples, Lynn! I love the touches of ribbon on the first two cards here...







There you have it, cardmakers! We need some beautiful cards, so let's see what you can do with this sketch! Be sure and link up your online gallery or blog post so we can all visit and share inspiration!

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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A note for you

...on the Homefront Blog!

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Featured Cardmaker, Kristie M., Puyallup, WA

Happy Friday everyone! I'm delighted to introduce everyone to Kristie this week. I have a great group of her cards to share with you but before I do that I want to remind everyone that the deadline for the Mother's Day Challenge is fast approaching. The challenge cards need to be in your shipper's hands by March 20th to be entered in the prize drawing. Now onward to the inspiration! Kristie does not have a blog but you can of course leave her some love in the comments section at the end of this post. 


How long have you been stamping? I started scrapbooking a little over 15 years ago, and that is when I first started to use stamps. But when I was pregnant with my first child, he is 9 years old now, I decided to make my own baby announcements. I really enjoyed making the cards and I haven't stopped.


Do you have a craft room or specific area where you stamp/craft? I have always had a space set aside for crafting. In our current house, I used to have the entire 3rd bedroom all to myself with custom cabinets installed. However, 2 years ago, when my daughter was born, I lost my space and was crammed into the corner of our family room. It wasn't working out well, so last year we converted our garage to the family room. Now the former family room has been painted my favorite color combination, pink and brown, and is home to my crafty supplies. Although, a corner of it is set aside as my daughter's playroom. However, if she sees her mama crafting, she insists on sitting on my lap to "help".

 
What are your favorite stamp/craft products? I have a very strong addiction to patterned paper, but recently have been purchasing more of the mini 6 X 6 paper pads. I enjoy having a variety of coordinating papers all together in one handy pad. I also love to use the Spellbinders Nestabilities.

Do you have a favorite technique? I really love to use the dry embossing plates to add texture to my cards. And I am also a huge fan of adding a bit of ribbon to finish it off. (Which makes it hard for me to make masculine cards.)

 
Are there colors you love to include on your cards? Pink is always my favorite color to use. But I also really love to use the autumn hues. I do try to challenge myself to use colors out of my comfort zone. Lately, I've also been using black for layering my cards to add that little extra something.


How did you hear about Operation Write Home? When I really started making cards, I felt the need to use the entire piece of patterned paper, so I would end up with a dozen or more of the same card. Since I continued to make cards and was only giving a small amount away, I ended up with boxes and boxes of cards sitting under my bed. One day I was reading on a scrapbook blog (can't recall which one) that mentioned giving cards to Operation Write Home. So I went to the website and learned how I could help out with my cards. Last year was the first year I started making cards for OWH.


What motivates you to make cards for our heroes? In a day of electronic communication, I believe having a physical card in your hands with writing from your loved one is irreplaceable. Our heroes and their loved ones deserve the best. They sacrifice so much for all of us everyday. This is one way I can help show my support and love to them.


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OWHtv: Episode 44: Kite Tails

I met a brand new company at CHA last month....Kite Tails Designs! They've got some really fantastic masculine papers, and though they didn't have samples they could send me home with...they did give me the papers that had been hanging on their booth! lol. They were curled (to show both sides) so I had some flattening out to do. But oh how cute. Ribbon/ricrack/trims to match, stickers too!


Kailyn, the owner--and designer!!--is sweet enough to be offering us some candy! Go leave a comment on YouTube (you can comment here but winners will be chosen from YT) by Sunday night, and let her know which of her three lines are your favorite. The goodie pack will be from that line!

PS Give Kite Tails a "like" on Facebook too!
A bit of a challenging use of stickers...we see this a lot with colors that just don't pop off each other.
See below to find out how much difference layers can make!






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OWH Midweek Throwdown challenge

Sorry for the false start this morning OWH friends!
I need to apologize to my sample card maker Sherry and all of you too.
My challenge theme wasn't an appropriate theme for this time of year so that's the reason for the quick change.  We can't do snowflakes in the springtime so I'm changing our challenge to support our OWH Half & Half challenge below: 



This challenge is to help us gather enough cards for our heroes to send Mother's Day cards home to their moms - as well as fill the rest of the box with other themes too! Be sure to include a packing slip with your cards, and write "Mother" on the challenge line, and your shipper will enter your cards for the prize drawing.
Grand prize: A medium flat-rate box filled to the BRIM with goodies!

A note about Mother's Day cards: Please separate your "Mother's Day" cards from "Mom" cards in the package you send in; the "Mom" cards have a longer shelf life, and our shippers will be sure to get any cards that say "Mother's Day" out quickly.The more generic "Mom" cards are great because they can be used anytime, even past the holiday.

***The FINAL deadline for cards that say "Mothers Day" is actually March 31. This challenge will help us get started mailing the boxes out in midMarch, which helps to assure all our heroes get them in time. Thanks!***

To help you get started, we've got free digis you can download here; the cards for the challenge do NOT need to use these digis - but you can certainly use it if you like. Click once to enlarge the image, then right-click to download. Need a tutorial on using digis? Click here!



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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Tuesday Tutorial

Wow, the response to the last tutorial for Sandy's Funky Fold card was amazing! Weren't those funky cards fun? Let's keep the ball rolling with those differently-shaped cards with this fun tutoral by Jodi. Her cute coffee cup card is just too irresistable in this cold weather that I know a lot of us are still experiencing! My favorite part about this card is the little lip print at the top... it looks just like my coffee cup every morning!


Jodi used all Stampin' Up! products to make this card but I know that you guys will figure out ways to make this card with your own alternates if you like. Also, let's see who can come up with the cutest coffee sentiment for their card??? Or, think outside the box, and make this cup for tea or cocoa! Here's the tutorial. Now go, make, and share!   -Nancy K.

COFFEE CUP CARD OR GIFT CARD HOLDER
Cardstock used: Certainly Celery, White, Crumb Cake and Expresso

CARD STOCK IS CUT AT THE FOLLOWING:

CERTAINLY CELERY: 10½ x 4"
WHITE: 1” x 4 1/8"  (top edges are rounded to make the "lid")
ANOTHER WHITE STRIP: ¼ x 4 1/8"  (part of the "lid")
CRUMB CAKE: 2” x 4” (the crimped "cup holder")
EXPRESSO: 5” X 3” (the insert)
You will also need 4" of ribbon, and whatever bits you want to make your sentiment.

ASSEMBLY:
The green card stock is folded in half to make the base of the card. 
The front of the card is run through a diecut machine with an embossing folder of your choice.
At this time, cut a strip from each side diagonally, making the  \_/  shape of the cup.
Using red-line tape or choice of glue, glue the inside edges of the card shut and set aside.  
  (This step makes the green part a "pocket" that the inside of the card slips into!)
For the band on the cup, use the crumb cake cardstock and run it through a crimper. Trim it to fit the green part of the card and adhere.
Stamp the sentiment and punch or cut out if a punch is not available. The ribbon goes around the crumb cake band and the label is mounted over it using dimensional adhesive.

For the insert, mount the Expresso 5x3" carstock to the very top on the back side of the white cardstock "lid" that is 1 x 4 1/8".  Make sure to leave enough space for the Expresso piece to slide down into the card. Then turn it over and adhere the small strip to the white piece and give it a kiss! Slide this into the card and you are done. (This part also requires a bit of trimming, to get the edges to match the "cup" shape!)

Thank you, Jodi, for the awesome tutorial! Jodi doesn't have a blog, so please... leave her some love in the comments, and be sure to share your cup cards here!




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Sketch Challenge #109

We've got a surprise for you this week, folks! The sketch challenge today is sponsored by the nice folks at Doodle Pantry, makers of great digital images.


Here's what that they had to say..."Doodle Pantry is honoured and excited to be sponsoring an Operation Write Home Challenge! We have a nice variety of all styles of digital images at the shop with a full freebies page. We hope you like what the challenge DT has created to inspire you with our images. We look forward to seeing what everyone creates this week!"

They are offering a prize of three free digis (winner's choice!) to a challenge participant, based on a random drawing. Make a card that meets OWH guidelines and uses this week's sketch by midnight Pacific time on Saturday, February 25th and link it up on our Inlinkz below to be eligible for the random drawing. I'll announce the winner next week!

Here's our sketch...remember that the heart shape indicates the embellishment of your choice, it doesn't have to be a heart.



And our samples this week were provided by folks from the Doodle Pantry design team! Click on each link to visit their individual blogs and leave them some love! Aren't all three of these cards just adorable?


Made by Lori at Lorianna's Corner



Made by Pat at Stamp, Paper and Ink



Made by Dawn at Stamp-n-play


Okay, folks, let's see those entries! I can't wait to give away a prize!!

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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What I do

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Featured Cardmaker, Dotti H., Maple Valley, WA

This week I'd like to introduce you all to Dotti. She's recently joined the OWH Blog Team and will be working behind the scenes at OWH on the Board of Directors too. Dotti's told me that she spends way too much time looking at all the great cards on other peoples blogs to have time to keep up her own blog! (I know that feeling!) Be sure to leave a hello in the comments section of this post for her.



How long have you been stamping? Since 2000, when my hubby gave me a birthday gift of a Basic Stamping class at a local stamp store. Wow, I was immediately hooked!

Do you have a craft room or specific area where you stamp/craft? Yes, in fact I've "taken over" (as my hubby calls it) four separate rooms in our house. I don't craft in them all, but they all have lots of craft supplies in them! I end up doing all my crafting at the dining room table because it's in the big open area between our kitchen and living room - so I can "hang out" with my hubby while I'm crafting! :)


What are your favorite stamp/craft products? I love my Cuddlebug with the dies and embossing folders. I also love embellishments and ribbon and all kinds of paper...LOTS of paper!


Do you have a favorite technique? I love learning new techniques because I get bored doing the same thing over and over! I really like dry and heat embossing though - love the depth that it creates. So, I guess, I like anything that "pops" off the card and gives it some dimension! I also like different textures on cards, like fabric, ribbon and specialty papers.

Are there colors you love to include on your cards? All of them! Of course, it depends on the theme of the card. If it's not theme specific, it seems like I gravitate to browns and greens. But I also really like black and white, with a splash of a bold color...yeah, all of them! LOL! :)


How did you hear about Operation Write Home? A friend invited me to an OWH Card Making party at a Federal Way scrapbook store that Sandy hosted in June 2011. We stayed the entire day and I just loved it...the mission of OWH captured my heart.


What motivates you to make cards for our heroes? I have a passion for encouraging people to use their gifts and talents to serve others. One of the ways I love to do this is by making cards to encourage people, and have wanted to find a way to impact others with this gift for years. I was so excited to have found OWH with an organized way to support and encourage our troops to stay connected with their families using handmade cards! I knew right away that this was the opportunity to serve others that had been on my heart for so long (I just didn't have any idea of how to accomplish it!). I am blessed by the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our heroes and their families by serving them through OWH!

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OWHtv: Episode 43






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Charity focus: The Portable Playhouse

Each Thursday we'll be blogging about a different charity that we met at Winter CHA 2012 and sharing with you what they do - and how you can get involved. We want to share the love, since we know lots of our readers do lots of different kinds of crafting!

The Portable Playhouse is a fantastic organization we'd like to introduce you to this week. Maryann, their CEO, is such a charismatic woman, and impressed us to no end! Their organization provides a specialized and unique art program to pediatric units in hospitals and outpatient cancer centers. They create a happy, healthy environment for children & women to nourish their spirit through artistic expression.

Their well-trained volunteers go to hospitals - visiting people in the midst of often the scariest parts of their treatments - and get out a toolbox full of beads, Silly Millie, and a smile...and let the patients make a bracelet or necklace for themselves. The patients pick out their own beads, and make the item themselves if they're able...or the volunteers do it for them. Then they have something truly beautiful to wear, and every time a doctor, nurse, or family member enters their room and comments on their beautiful beaded piece, they absolutely light UP! Over and over again, they have a reason to smile. Please take a moment to watch this video - but go get kleenex first!

At CHA they had an amazing giant necklace, pictured alongside us, and they allowed people to put a bead on for a donation - they register a name for each bead, and we have an OWH bead that is #12,883!!




The beads that the Portable Playhouse uses with the patients aren't those cheap ponybeads either. They are really really nice expensive ones, and make gorgeous jewelry!! They follow our same principle in that way: they provide only the best for their patients, just like we only send the best to our heroes!

I personally plan to clean out that bead box I have from the days when I used to make jewelry, and I'll send them to Maryann and her team. I'll give my ponybeads to another group - but all my expensive gorgeous beads go to the Portable Playhouse! Please join me in doing so - or go make a financial donation to help them in their work.

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VCMP winners!

I'm excited that I at least get to pick the winners....even if I wasn't here for the party!! You guys were awesome and kept yourselves busy while we were at sea....our heroes thank you! Congratulations to the winners....please email your address to sandy@operationwritehome.org, with the VCMP challenge number in the subject line. Thanks! -Sandy

PS Extra thanks to those who took time to go VISIT all the players....so much inspiration to be had, and your encouragement of each other is a wonderful thing to see in our OWH family!

Don't forget...OWHtv is back tonight! 6:30pm Pacific, on uStream live,
then the recorded version will be posted here on S&S.



Challenge #1 - Hot Tropics winner: Ellen, In a World of Craft gets the fruity drink stamps
Challenge #2 - Masculine Nautical winner: Sara P at Sara's Creative Adventure gets the All the Time set

Challenge #3 -  Funky Fold 2 winners get the scene stamps!


Challenge #4 -  Beachy Thinking of You winner Margaret G at Cards and Cats wins the birdhouse stamps!


Challenge #5 -  It's A Party! winner Carol L at Our Little Inspirations gets the birthday stamps!

Challenge #6 -  Sand & Sea  winner Valerie at One of those Alaskan Girls gets Flower Soft!

Challenge #7 -  CAS: Clean & Simple winner Kristie M on Flickr gets the floral stamps!


Challenge #8 -  Jungle Animals 2 winners get bird stamps!
and Holly I at Homeschool Crafter


Challenge #9 -  Cut It Out! winner Sharon S at Desert Rose Outpost gets 2 stamp sets!

Challenge #10 - Vintage winner SF Crafter on Flickr gets the vintage stamps!

Challenge #11 - Rainforest Color Challenge winner Lisa at The Purple Place gets the bug stamps!

Challenge #12 - Boats & Ships 2 winners get stamp grab bags!
Linda L at Creepin Along
And Lee Ann B at Greyt Paper Crafts


Challenge #13 - Embossing winner Sherry V on Flickr gets flower stamps!

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