Featured Cardmaker: Sheila L., Medina, OH

Hello everyone and happy Friday! The deadline for Mother's Day cards to be in your shipper's hands is tomorrow so I hope you sent yours on their way in plenty of time! Our next holiday deadline is for Father's Day cards on April 30th and other upcoming deadlines can be found over in the OWH Mailroom.


Now on to our Friday dose of inspiration… it's my pleaseure to introduce you all to Sheila, this week's featured cardmaker. Sheila blogs at Sajludwig where you can see more of her work and of course you can leave here a comment here at the end of this post.


How long have you been stamping? I have been stamping for more than 15 years. My sister-in-law was on a quest for a stamp on a visit, so I took her to a local stamp store. I had never been in the store, so I had no idea what to expect. As she was searching, I became instantly hooked on all the wonderful things you could do with stamps and all the great images! I ultimately went to work in that stamp store to ‘subsidize’ my habit! I also have been scrapbooking for nearly 25 years. When the stamp store started carrying scrapbook papers, I was done for!


Do you have a craft room or specific area where you stamp/craft? I am lucky enough to now have a dedicated craft studio, which was previously by son’s bedroom. When I started scrapping, I was working out of a tote. Adding all my stamping finds to that became too much, and I set up a small space in our partially finished basement. The area that I was in had no windows or natural light, so it wasn’t very inspiring (not to mention cold). Moving to a room with a fabulous view of nature is wonderful!


What are your favorite stamp/craft products? I try to play with new things as they come along, but find myself coming back to cardstock and patterned paper. I tend to do CAS cards, so the use of dimensionals adds interest. I also like using punches for sentiments for a focal point. I have been playing with Copic markers – I love the way they blend! I have not been able to find a Copic’s class in my area, so I just play to learn!


Do you have a favorite technique? I find myself using layers quite often. I am always looking for new techniques to keep my cards fresh and challenging my brain. Taking the online CAS Card class recently was great for making me think outside my box and habit. I also follow some blogs that are great for inspiration and ideas that I would never come up with on my own.


Are there colors you love to include on your cards? I love teal and burgundy, but make a concerted effort to use all kinds of colors. Since the vast majority of our Heroes are male, I have been trying to work in more ‘masculine’ colors and designs. Even though they may be sending cards to wives/mothers/girlfriends, I try to make cards more neutral for those whose taste runs in that vein. I have also been making an effort to make more kid-centric cards that Heroes can send to their children. (I’ve been using my Cricut to cut out kid friendly images using licensed cartridges.)

How did you hear about Operation Write Home?
I saw it online but can’t, for the life of me, remember where!


What motivates you to make cards for our heroes? My motivation is two-fold. My son-in-law is on his second deployment with the Ohio Army National Guard. I see firsthand how difficult this time is for him, my daughter and his family. My other motivation is having been in high school/college during the end of the Vietnam war and remembering all too well how horribly those veterans were treated, not only while they were deployed but after they returned home. It is heartwarming to see that people are now able to separate their feelings about a war/conflict from those who choose to serve. Our Heroes deserve nothing less. 



Read more...

OWHtv: Episode 49!




Read more...

Cute Characters

Thanks for a great challenge last week, your Yellow & Green cards were fun!

This week our theme is Cute Characters in honor of Hambo Stamps!  Hambo Stamps has partnered with Operation Write Home with some of their new release images by Asela Hopkins, you can see them here:    http://hambostamps.com/digishop/hop-art-designs/
Hambo Stamps is also having a blog hop that starts here you won’t want to miss!


Asela Hopkins has designed some sweet images and ALL proceeds from the sale of these images will go directly to benefit Operation Write Home!
 
Our challenge is to make cards using cute characters for our heroes to send home to their family and friends!  We can’t wait to see your card creations! 

Our sample card makers this week are some of our very own OWH blog team using the new Hambo OWH Stamps! 

 Jan
 
Thank you ladies 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.



Read more...

Tutorial Tuesday - Stamp Anatomy

Recently, our very own Julie posted these great before and after photos about stamping a crisp image for better card making:
Oops!
A better image! Great job!
And what a great card! Thanks, Julie!

Well, that led to a great deal of discussion about stamping tips and techniques for getting the best results from your stamps! There is no better time than Tutorial Tuesday to share these things and so, here are a few basics about stamps and a few good tips too.

Stamp Anatomy 101

Stamps have parts. Just like people. :) I never gave much thought to the names of the parts of stamps, until recently...
Basic Rubber Stamp by Studio G
The main parts of the rubber (or acrylic) part of stamps are the floor and the surface. The surface is the part that you ink up. The part of the stamp between the floor and surface is actually called a "shoulder."  As a general measure, stamps with a taller shoulder stamp more clearly.

Stamp anatomy - side view.
 Looking from the other direction, you see the "cushion" or foamy, squishy layer that is in between the stamp and the block that it is adhered to. Blocks are traditionally wood, plastic, or acrylic. Beware of rubber stamps that are mounted to wood without any cushion in between!

A rubber stamp mounted on a foam block.
Some inexpensive stamps are even mounted on a foam block. While not my favorite kind. . . foam block stamps can actually produce a very crisp image! The reason for this, is in the foam. The foamy, squishy layer acts as a small spring... when the stamp is applied to paper, the foam ensures an even pressure for a more crisp, even image. See how the "shoulder" area of this stamp however, is not as tall?

These stamps are from Stampin' Up!
These Stampin' Up stamps, and some other kinds of stamps, come ready to assemble. (Those blue rubber stamps come to mind...) You have to mount the rubber to the foam by yourself. Sometimes this requires some cutting, labeling and mounting to your own blocks or whatever you prefer to use. In my case, it also usually involves some cussing. :) I like my stamps best, when they are ready to use! But I do love them all... I love that some companies give you the option to choose for yourself if you want to purchase your stamp in traditional rubber, or clear acrylic.

Clear acrylic stamps by Close To My Heart
Many companies also offer acrylic stamps and you can find them in many stores. They are usually less expensive than traditional, wood mounted rubber stamps. Their big allure is that their transparency also makes it very easy to see exactly where your stamp is placed on your project. No more guessing if that sentiment is going to come out crooked or close enough to the image... clear stamps make it very simple to see. They also store nicely because you just peel and stick them to your own re-usable acrylic blocks. Here is what a lot of people forget about when using their clear stamps though... there is no squishy cushiony foamy layer! In the photo above, you can see the foam pad that this company includes in the packaging with each stamp set. For best results, the foam pad is placed underneath the paper that is being stamped on. At first, this seems very awkward and backwards from the usual rule of stamping on a smooth, flat surface but it is very effective! Many clear acrylic stamps are sold or packaged without any foam pads or instructions for using such a thing. I can't tell you how many beautiful acrylic stamp sets I got frustrated with for not "stamping right" before I realized the missing foam layer. Some manufacturers suggest stamping with their acrylic stamps on a self-healing mat or rubber mat, others find that a mouse pad is a great surface for stamping on to get that clear, even result. Experiment, and find out what works best for you!

Paper Tips

While this may seem pretty self-explanatory, a flat-surfaced paper works best for stamping on. Don't expect to get a very clear image on paper that is textured, even lightly so. Sometimes stamping on textured paper is fun for making textured stamped flowers or shapes... but when stamping a black-outlined image, a sentiment or using embossing powder, smooth-surfaced paper is the very best option.

Don't add your stamped image as the last step of making a card - in other words, building the perfect card with lots of layers and then stamping your sentiment or image on it last... is a recipe for disaster. Always stamp your sentiment and image first, then add them to the completed card after you are satisfied with the finished result.  It's ok to stamp your image many times, and choose the one that turns out best! Stamped images are sometimes like snowflakes, no two of them turn out exactly the same. Especially when you are just learning!

Inking

When working with a brand new stamp, it is always good to clean it first, or just wipe gently with a damp cloth to clear away any manufacturing residue or shipping dust. Some manufacturers suggest "priming" the stamp first. One sure-fire way to do this is to stamp first with a solvent or permanent ink like StazOn or Memento. (Here's a tip - permanent inks have a smell to them... like a Sharpie or permanent marker!) Tap the stamp gently on the surface of the ink pad many times. There is also a tap-tap-twist method that ensures that all of the surface area of the stamp is covered. Do not mash your stamp down roughly onto the ink pad, or rub it vigorously. When you are done, only the surface area of the stamp should be inky. If you got ink on the floor, shoulder, foam or block surface of the stamp, you're doing it wrong! :)


Priming a new stamp for first-time use.

Stamp with the stamp on a piece of scrap paper. Note where areas are that may need more ink or pressure. Do not rock your stamp around when stamping with it. Put it down on the paper with even pressure and avoid moving it around. Pick the stamp back up without rubbing it across the paper... and yes, this does take practice!  Your primed stamp is now ready for using any kind of ink. You will find that priming first with a solvent ink will make a water-based ink stamp more evenly. Give it a try!

Would you like to learn more?

While surfing around for some stamping information, I found this video by our friends from Hero Arts about how stamps are made. Fascinating!

Feel free to also offer your own thoughts, suggestions, questions or advice about stamps by commenting below. Now that we are all inky and we played with all of our stamps, how do you like to clean yours? Are you a washer? A wiper? A scrubber? A stamp-until-the-ink-is-all-goner? Discuss! :) By helping each other out, we make even better cards for our heroes!

Read more...

Sketch Challenge #114

Hi cardmakers! Did you see that we launched a new challenge? We need some guy cards!



Maybe you can use this sketch to get your challenge boxes started...



We have three great samples today from cardmaker Lee Mae. She (and her dogs!) have a blog called Boxes of Dogs where you can see lots more of her beautiful cards. Thanks so much for the awesome sample cards, Lee Mae! Love that skateboarder!





Do you have an idea? What will you put in the diamond? A sentiment? And image? An embellishment? Lots of possibilites here! Be sure and come back to link up and show us what you make!

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.



Read more...

It's time for a new Challenge!

You all rocked our Mother's Day Half and Half Challenge! You sent in 9,558 cards! Way to go! Check out the stats and find out the prize winners on OWH TV. 

Now it's time for a new one--The Muscle Card Challenge! To qualify for the prize, your package of half masculine/Father's Day cards and half general cards will need to be to your shipper by April 30.

Go to our challenge page to pick up a badge for your blog so you can help spread the word about the need for Dad cards!

Grand Prize: A medium flat rate box FULL of goodies! Two winners will be chosen.

Here are a few terrific samples from our Facebook photo albums. You'll also want to check out the masculine album in our card gallery. It's a great place to get inspired!



And don't forget the young ones!

But, of course, this is the best inspiration of all!


Ready... Set... GO! Share some of your masculine cards with us!



Read more...

Featured Cardmaker: Glenda F., Renton, WA

Happy Friday everyone! I'm so excited to be able to introduce you all to Glenda this week and to share some of her wonderful cards with you. Glenda does not have a blog, but I'm not above shamelessly suggesting she simply must consider at least a Flickr gallery so we can see more of her work. In the meanwhile soak up all the inspiration you can from these card shares and leave her some love in the comments section at the end of this post! 


How long have you been stamping? 
Less than two years. I still consider myself any amateur! I am one of those people, though, who has done crafts all my life: I sewed my own clothes back in the ‘60s when girls still had to wear dresses and skirts to school. I dabbled in crochet and made those flower child vests in the ‘70s. Then I did cross stitch and embroidery for quite a few years. In 1989, I got into quilting and still enjoy that. I worked at a quilt shop for 5 years and have a HUGE fabric stash. Now I am working on my card-making stash!



Do you have a craft room or specific area where you stamp/craft? I use the family room and the kitchen island counter (good height). A lot of my quilting stuff is in the family room, too, so it’s always messy--but creatively so, right? My husband has his own “office” with TV/surround sound, so he never complains about the clutter. He also wholeheartedly supports OWH.




What are your favorite stamp/craft products? Copic markers are my new favorites. I recently took my first coloring class at my local Impress store and am enjoying using them very much. Sandy’s tutorials are a wonderful resource and have taught me so much. Things I use all the time are my ATG (pink one), acrylic stamps, Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad and Tonic paper trimmer.





Do you have a favorite technique? Coloring! I also like paper-piecing, and want to start embossing. I like CAS as a style. Someone involved with OWH compared it to “the little black dress” of cards. I love that.

Are there colors you love to include on your cards? Blue is my personal favorite, but I use any and all colors. I like to coordinate with a nice design paper or whatever image I’ve colored. 




How did you hear about Operation Write Home? I met Sandy at a care package packing party (for military) at the large church we both attend. She brought sets of beautiful cards and hero letters to add to each box. The first cards I ever made were from kits Sandy created for an “assembly” party. What a start, huh.




What motivates you to make cards for our heroes? My relatives have served in the Army, Navy and Air Force; I lived the move-every-two-years lifestyle for my first 11 years. But, it was when 911 happened that I really felt a need to support those fighting for our country and its freedoms. I’m so thankful for our heroes, at home and abroad.









Read more...

OWHtv: Episode 48 - DAD!

Leave your comments on YouTube to qualify to win...but you can chat here too, of course!
If you aren't into fussycutting....try a rectangle like below! :) Much easier to do.



Read more...

Color Challenge

 Thanks for a great challenge last week, your Miss You cards were wonderful!

This week we have a color challenge, our challenge is to make cards using the colors yellow and green for our heroes to send home to their family and friends!  We can’t wait to see your card creations! 


Our sample card maker this week is Cora Jean!  To see more of her beautiful creations please visit her blog Cora Jeans Paper Playtime.


Cora Jean 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.



Read more...

Tuesday Tutorial - Faux Leather


A very special thanks to Kris Allan today for sharing this technique that the cruisers got to enjoy while card-making out on the high seas! Won't faux leather cards be great to make for Father's Day cards? The deadline for Dad's Day is April 30th! Enjoy this fantastic tutorial!

Thanks Sandy, for these faux leather card samples!

This is a very simple technique…one that you can do while watching TV, in the car while waiting for your children to finish one of their many activities or while hubby is driving to you to a vacation spot.

Materials needed:

  • Roll of masking tape
  • Cardstock……great technique to use that lightweight cardstock up
  • Ink in the color of your choice
  • Clear embossing powder
 
Cut your 8 ½ by 11 cardstock into quarters. You could leave it a full sheet but it would seem like it is taking you forever to cover it with tape so at least in the beginning cut it down.


Now take your masking tape and rip off a piece about an inch long. Place down on the cardstock in one corner with some of it off the paper to stick to your work surface. In this picture I have some black cardstock underneath the project so it showed up in the picture.

Continue ripping pieces of masking tape and placing on the cardstock. You want the pieces to overlap a bit. Change the direction you place the tape as well.

 Once you cardstock piece is covered, trim the masking tape hanging over the edges off.Now comes the fun part. Take your ink in color of your choice and rub it over your tape covered piece. This is where you get to experiment. You can rub on a little bit of color……..

Or a lot of color. If you are daring, try a couple different colors for a rainbow effect.

Once you have the amount of ink on that you want, cover the entire piece with clear embossing powder. Because of the tape, the ink will NEVER dry. So you need to set it with embossing powder. Make sure you cover the ENTIRE piece……now is not the time to be stingy with the embossing powder. On the cruise we used these meat trays (yes they were new and CLEAN!) to catch the excess powder.

Once you piece is covered, tap to remove the excess powder.
Now it is time to heat up the embossing powder and watch your piece become an interesting piece of faux leather. From this point the possibilities are endless. You can cut this with your nestabilities for layering pieces, cut it down to be a full layering piece on your cardfront, or whatever else you can think of.

Try putting your pieces of tape down in different directions. On the cruise, Cindy B. from Michgan (Hi Chicka!) put them down in straight rows with the ends overlapping. Her piece looked like a brick wall to me while to someone else it looked like bamboo.

So it is now time to dust off that roll of masking tape that has been hiding in the back of the junk drawer and get to work! Can’t wait to see what you all come up with.

Let's see those faux leather cards here! Don't forget to leave a comment for Kris for helping us learn this fun new technique!!





Read more...

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP