Sketch Challenge #119

Are we ready for a new sketch challenge, friends? We've got a great one for you today! I think this is another good one for using up scraps, along with the other bonus sketches that Sandy posted on Tuesday. Click here to check them out if you missed it!

 


Our samplemaker this week is the awesome Samantha of Expressions of a Craftaholic. Be sure and stop by her blog to say hello and see more of her work. I love the way she layered up the star and sentiment for her focal point on this card, don't you? Thanks so much for a great sketch sample, Samantha!


There you go, sketchers! Can you put some scraps to use on this sketch? Give it a try and be sure to come back here to link up your blog or online gallery picture 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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Featured Cardmaker, Mary S., Taunton, MN

Hello everyone and TGIF! This week I have the pleasure of introducing you all to Mary and sharing some of her lovely cards with you. Mary does not have a blog so be sure to say hello and leave a comment for her here at the end of this post. 

As a side note... in the exchange of emails that typically takes place while I gather information for these posts Mary mentioned to me that she and her husband have just celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary, so I wanted to take this opportunity to say Congratulations! 


How long have you been stamping? 
About 7 or 8 years, every since I retired from my job. I still have a lot to learn. 

Do you have a craft room or specific area where you stamp/craft? 
Yes, my office/craft room.


What are your favorite stamp/craft products? 
I love them all. I have a lot of SU, Angel Company, Flourishes. Mark's Finest Papers Heinrich, Hero Arts, many more. I love my Cuttlebug and the Spellbinders embossing folders and my Copic markers.


Do you have a favorite technique? 
Embossing, coloring with Copics. 

Are there colors you love to include on your cards? 
Any color that fits the stamp that I used.


How did you hear about Operation Write Home? 
My daughter-in-law and then I checked it out on the computer.


What motivates you to make cards for our heroes? 
I had an Uncle that lost his life in the WWII, also my son was in the Air Force. I knew the young men from our area that was in the service. I love to make cards and I donate most of what I make. 




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OWHtv: Episode 53







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Sweet Summertime

Thanks for a great challenge last week,
your color challenge cards were wonderful and will be so appreciated!

It's been over 100 degrees here in Arizona so this week our theme is Sweet Summertime! 

We're challenging you to make cards with a summer theme
for our heroes to send home to their family and friends!  
We can’t wait to see your card creations! 

There is no sample card maker this week!
If you’d like your card where it says “card photo here” be the first to upload a card for our challenge and I’ll add your card below! 

 
Our first entry is Linda,
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 101: Using scraps

Scrap Wrangler here to help you get that stash of useless scrappy bits of leftovers under control!

Now first, get paper and a pencil. Estimate the number of sheets of 12 x 12 patterned paper you have, multiply it by 6 (the number of cards you can get out of a sheet) - then divide that by how many cards you make in an average week.....you have enough to make cards for years to come without touchin' your scraps. Eh?? Am Iright??? 

So WHAT is our obsession with scraps? 

I challenge you, in honor of earth day, to recycle scraps this week. Anything smaller than a card front, that's my rule, pardner! I did this with some huge boxes of scraps sent my way....and I turned piles of random scrappy pieces into a huge table full of cards, and some tubs that are all organized. Things you'll need to do what I did: a paper trimmer, a pizza box for donations, a big recycle bin, and a small sized box appropriate for card-sized papers.


SOLID scraps
  1. Separate out the white and cream from colors. The light ones are good for stamping and sentiments, colors are good for layering. 
  2. Do not keep ANYthing that's diecut or punched out - cut it to a rectangle. Recycle those messy bits! 
  3. If it's a color you know you won't use since it matches nothing, put it in the pizza box for the school...not teensy pieces, just stuff big enough a school could use on a bulletin board.
  4. Cut all the papers into a variety of sizes. The longest we ever need to keep of any scrap is 5-1/2 inches, since in making A2 cards, that's the biggest you would ever need. Cut them all straight, so when you get them out to use, it's a quick stamp-and-go. A size range for sentiments could be
    1. 1 x 5-1/2 
    2. 1.5 x 5-1/2 
    3. 2 x 5-1/2
    4. 1 x 3
    5. 1-1/4 x 3
    6. 1-1/2 x 3
    7. 2 x 3, 3 x 4, 3 x 5 could be added or subsituted when trimming colors so you have bigger pieces to layer things. 
  5. Stamp sentiments and be ahead of the game when it comes to making cards!
PATTERNED scraps
  1. First, address your old stash. Tell it that you loved it when you bought it, but that it's going on a wonderful trip. It was left behind the rest of that stack from 1998, and its day has finally come - a local school will LOVE it! You'll be left with the rest of your decent paper - nice enough to stir up that mojo and inspire you to make fantastic cards.
  2. If you're not sure if what you've got is what I refer to as "decent" paper, take a trip to your local scrapbooking store. Not the big box ones - they carry little except the flimsy paper. Look for companies like My Mind's Eye, Basic Grey, Echo Park,  Lawn Fawn, and Graphic 45 - touch and smell their paper - mmmmm!!! 
  3. Get in the habit of only keeping card base size scraps, unless you commit to making a card with it within one week. If it sits in the pile longer than that, into the recycle bin it goes.  When you use a new sheet of 12 x 12, cut it into cardbase sizes - 6 cards from a sheet - and figure out what you'll do with the leftover strip & cut it to the right size and put it away.
  4. For all the scraps already in your stash - pick out an idea that you can stand to make a lot of, print out that sketch, and cut the paper scrap bits down to the right size as you sort through your stash. Put them in baggies marked with the size, tape it to she sketch, and next time you're mojoless, you can sit and assemble. 
  5. Do NOT be tempted to punch 1000 flowers or hearts! Agh! When you need flowers or hearts, just go pick the right small paper for the project....not sort through bags and bags of punched scraps. 
I've put together some ideas that work well for the small strips of paper: 
  • Strip sketches - three or four or five, all work well!
  • Dimensional ruffle - border punching strips can be done while watching tv....and assembled later with popdots under the leading edges.
  • The "smalls" - 3 x 4 rectangles offset 
  • Gift box cards - works for birthday, Christmas, or anytime!
  • And now the pinwheel of summer 2012: Kites - tutorial
Paper Piecing: http://www.owhstarsandstamps.org/2011/07/tutorial-paper-piecing.html
Pinwheels: http://www.owhstarsandstamps.org/2011/04/tutorial-pinwheel-ii.html
Dimensional Ruffle http://www.owhstarsandstamps.org/2011/04/dimensional-ruffle-card-tutorial-live.html
"Smalls" - see sketch.
Starburst: http://www.owhstarsandstamps.org/2011/06/tutorial-starburst.html
Gift boxes: Measurements provided in sketch. Recommended: Attach layers to card, then attach patterned rectangles on top.

Strip sketches: See image
Kite tutorial: see image


Using these sketches and more, I wrangled my scraps into a lot of cards in a short amount of time. And now that the scraps are organized, I'm more likely to actually USE them.  

Now if you can bring yourself to wrangle, purge, recycle, and donate, you'll be freed from that guilt of all the hoarded paper scraps, our heroes will get awesome cards, and our earth will be happy - because all those scraps that you really never WILL use can now be recycled into .... MORE PAPER!

That's all from the scrap wrangler......link up your scrap solutions below!

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Sketch Challenge #118

Hello, sketchers! If you haven't gotten your Muscle Challenge box in the mail already, be sure and do that ASAP - they need to be in your shipper's hands by April 30 - one week from tomorrow!

We have a great sketch for you today! Just a reminder for any new folks: all OWH sketches are designed for A2 sized cards (4.25" x 5.5") since that's what we prefer to receive!


Our samples this week are from the wonderful Patricia of Thinking of Inking. You're definitely going to want to visit her blog to see her other great cards! Thanks so much for these adorable sample cards, Patricia! I love the mailbox image with the little red bird!


Here you go folks - this one looks ideal for a crisp and clean card, what do you think? Be sure and link up your blog or online gallery picture so we can all see what you come up with!

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: Trish C., Spring Valley, MN

Hey there fellow cardmakers! Are you working on getting the last of your Father's Day cards ready to go? The April 30th deadline is fast approaching! This week's featured cardmaker Trish has some terrific Dad cards to inspire you to get it done. Trish blogs over at Mouse Print Creations where you can see more of her wonderful cards. Be sure to say hello and leave her a comment here at the end of this post.



How long have you been stamping? My sister-in-law got me hooked on stamping about 12 years ago, but after several moves my supplies were left in boxes very neglected. In 2005 a friend introduced me to scrapbooking, which re-ignited my love of paper, markers, scissors, and ink. Currently I make more cards than scrapbook pages, and even give cards to my sister-in-law as a continuous thank you for my favorite hobby. :) 


Do you have a craft room or specific area where you stamp/craft? I have a craft room, not very big, but perfect for me and my mom (who crafts with me). When I was looking to buy a house, I told the realtor that the house had to have at least 2 bedrooms, a garage, and a separate room for crafting. He laughed, not taking me seriously. But by the time I closed on my house, he believed me and even gave me a gift card to a local scrapbook store as a thank you gift!!


What are your favorite stamp/craft products? PATTERNED PAPER!!! Can't get enough paper. Recently discovered 6x6 paper pads. My ATG gun is always close by as is my Creative Memories photo trimmer and my Tonic Studios 12" guillotine trimmer. Digital stamps are great.


Do you have a favorite technique? I use embossing folders some, but don't really have any techniques that I use a lot.

Are there colors you love to include on your cards? Brown is my new favorite color. Can't get enough browns in my papers. Blue is a favorite color also, and I like to mat with black.


How did you hear about Operation Write Home? I read an article/ad in a crafting magazine and thought it was a great way to support the troops.


What motivates you to make cards for our heroes? I picture how the person who sends it and who receives it will feel. I picture the look on the children's faces when they get a card from mom or dad with a hand written note. When I was away at college, my dad wrote me a couple letters and they meant the world to me. If I could I give that feeling to someone else by making cards, then I am being blessed too.


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OWHtv: Episode 52 - Flu!

Sorry for the abbreviated (by 5 minutes!) show - the flu got the better of my voice! And the link to get on the email list for the big fun coming May 1: http://operationwritehome.org/email.html

Toooootally forgot to announce the winner of the Ciara stamp: JoAnnRoss725!!!




Click on a photo to enlarge it. If you're ever in doubt about the thickness of one of your cards, make it a thankyou card and write a note in it - put a stickynote on it and ask your shipper if that dimension is too much or not. Turn "mailfail" into "AnyHero mail!"




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Color Challenge

Thanks for a great challenge last week,
your Father’s Day cards were wonderful and will be so appreciated!

This week our theme is a Color Challenge! 

We're challenging you to make cards using a Brown & Turquoise color scheme
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 Donna, to see more of her beautiful artwork 
please visit her blog Crafty Colonel.


Thank you Donna 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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Tuesday Tutorial - Paper Ribbons

Hello! Here is a fun new tutorial brought to us by the nicest lady - Rô Philippsen who actually hails from Brazil! She is a designer over at the Imaginisce Blog and graciously agreed to share this fun technique with us. Have you ever been mid-card and discovered that you need a ribbon or bow - only to be frustrated because you can't find one to match? I know that this happens to me all the time! Here is a fantastic solution - make a pretty bow out of coordinating patterned paper! Genious! Please enjoy this fun, easy and fast tutorial and share your creations too! And now, proudly presenting. . . the paper bow tutorial.  (*drumroll*)
 - Nancy

Paper Bows - by Ro Phillipsen

I love bows! I always use bows on my projects because I think they
add an extra charm and beauty to my design.
I use different types of bows, from ribbon, and several models of paper!
So, today I would like to share with you how to make a beautiful paper bow for your projects.

It's very easy, let's go!

Step 1 - Cut 4 strips of paper measuring 1 x 6 inch.
Step 2 - Fold each strip in half.

Step 3 - Fold the half of each strip to the opposite, and then adhere
 the end the backside of the loop where they meet.
Notice in the picture:
Step 4 - Do the same to all strips and this is what they should
look like when you are done.
Step 5 - Glue one piece behind the other.
Step 6 - And now glue the two pieces together, like the image:
Here is a card that Rô Made with this kind of paper bow:

Fantastic, right? You too, can make paper bows to match any card by following these easy steps. You can certainly make your bows thinner, smaller or add different things to the centers for embellishment. Since they are made of paper, they also flatten down nicely for mailing. . . perfect for our OWH cards!! Now go, make, share! And leave Rô some love for sharing with us today!





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Sketch Challenge #117

Hello cardmakers! Did you have a good time laughing at all the funny, punny cards from yesterday's Make 'Em Laugh bloghop? Be sure and check it out if you haven't seen it - lots of great cards to inspire you!

For a little more inspiration we have a great sketch for you today...



Our samples for this week were made by the awesome Jen from The Sparkle Within. Be sure and visit her blog to see more of her beautiful work. I just love the butterfly image she used for these samples! Thanks so much for the lovely cards, Jen





Okay, folks, get inspired and make something beautiful. Or funny! Or punny :) Just be sure to come back here and show us!

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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OWH Make Em Laugh bloghop!

Welcome to the Make em Laugh Bloghop! We're celebrating "International Moment Of Laughter Day" today by getting together with some of our company partners - and sharing cards that make our heroes - and their recipients - laugh!

Take some time today to go visit the blogs, leave them some love....heck, you may find some shopping you'll need to do?!? Be sure to tell them OWH sent you in the notes in your cart :)

Are you new to OWH? Welcome!! We're so glad you're here! The first thing to do is order a FREE red rubber OWH stamp for the backs of your cards - that can be on the way to you while you make your first batch! Then check out the guidelines here, and shipping addresses here...and sign up for our monthly eNews too! Our website has lots of other great ideas for you too, including:


Feel free to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest- our community loves to chat about cardmaking and share creations with each other!

Our blog team has some funny punny cards to share with you to start us off, then the list of bloghop stops is below...happy hopping!



Barb

Jan

Julie

This last card sports a brand new Ciara image - in red rubber! You'll see her available for sale on one of the hop stops, so keep your eyes peeled. She'd love to come to YOUR house! And pop over to Sandy's blog when you're finished hopping to see a tutorial on coloring this darling little stamp :)
Sandy Allnock
And now...get busy hopping! *Note: search around on some of the blogs to find where to comment; sometimes it's at the *top* of posts. Don't miss your chance to leave some love to these companies who support our heroes!
  1. Stars and Stamps 
  2. Hero Arts   
  3. Graphic 45 
  4. Market Street Stamps   
  5. May Arts 
  6. Hambo Stamps 
  7. Sizzix  
  8. Lawn Fawn 
  9. ScorPal 
  10. Art Impressions 
  11. Fiskars *to comment, you need to be a Fiskateer.  
  12. SRM Stickers 
  13. Stampers Best 

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