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P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday and the first day of Stamp It! Cards Week! The one thing I love about stampers is their enthusiasm. While I was reading through the 330+ comments from Friday’s post, I laughed out loud when I stumbled across Sharon Totton’s motto for stamping and for life:  

“If it sits still long enough, Stamp It. If it doesn’t, chase it down and Stamp It.” 

Now why didn’t we think of that tagline? Genius! It really sums up our latest edition of Stamp It! Cards. In addition to the 152 inspiring designs, we’ve even included fun sections like “Tips from the Go-to Gals”, “Stamp It! 3 Ways” and “Say it with Stamps”. We’ll touch on each of these sections this week, as well as show some amazing stamped cards from the magazine.  

Speaking of amazing stamped cards…when we were discussing who should be featured as our designer spotlight for this week, all we had to do was look at the editorial spreadsheet for Stamp It! Cards. One name kept popping up over and over. Actually 12 times! Yes, Kimberly Crawford has 12 gorgeous cards in this issue. Quite a feat considering her first ever publication was last year’s Stamp It! Cards. How’s that for a full circle moment! Go Kimberly!

Kimberly Crawford

1. Where did you grow up?    

On a lake, outside a small town called Moose Lake, MN. But as of 12 days ago, I became a resident of Iowa.  

2. Do you work outside the home? If so, what do you do?   

No, I have the privilege of staying home with my newly four-year-old son.  

3. If a movie were to be made of your life, who would you cast to play the part of you?   

I am going to continue the Jennifer Garner trend because if she was busy working on a film, I could flirt with her gorgeous hubby Ben Affleck. 

4. What song would you choose as the theme song for your life?   

A theme song? I really can’t think of one, but I have a song for everything. I am one of those people.  

5. What is one thing most people would be surprised to hear about you?   

That I used to be a high school softball coach and can throw a softball 72 mph, over hand. I also love to golf and watch hockey. I am a sports nut.  

6. What/who inspired you to start paper crafting?   

My husband. He mentioned this “stamping thing” his mom did when we were getting married. She sent me some supplies and the rest is history. And I don’t let him forget it.  

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge?   

Finding time to experiment with all the crazy ideas in my head.  

8. If you were only allowed two items to create a card beside cardstock and adhesive, what would they be?   

A stamp and watermark ink. You can do a ton with backgrounds, cutting images out and mounting them with foam tape.  

9. What is your favorite occasion or holiday to paper craft and why?   

Christmas. I am a Christmas girl at heart. Bring it on in October!  

10. How would you describe your style?    

Fresh and classy with a tendency towards shabby chic and cutesy on some days.  

Kimberly's Take Care Card, p. 53

11. When is your favorite time to craft?   

Naptime and bedtime for my little man. If I didn’t have a four-year-old son for an alarm clock, I would stay up until all hours of the night because after 10:30 p.m., I really get creative.  

12. What sort of music do you listen to while crafting?    

Everything. I love all music: country, rock, Christian, southern gospel, musicals and orchestral.  

13. How does your family participate in your paper crafting passion?   

My husband sweetly supports my obsession passion. He looks at all my projects and provides wonderful feedback. My son has his own stamps and ink pads, and he even knows to clean the stamps off between colors!  

14. When it comes to calls and deadlines, how do you keep yourself organized?   

Outlook on my computer. I enter them all in and then a little reminder pops up every time I check my e-mail. I also keep a printed copy of calls on my desk. You can never have too many reminders or lists!  

15. Do you remember what Paper Crafts issue your first project appeared in? How has your style changed since then?   

It was last year’s Stamp It! Cards, and what a thrill! I am still a pretty simple girl, but I like to think I have learned how to add better finishing touches.  

Kimberly's Always Card, p. 79

16. Have you contributed to any design teams in the past or present? If so, which ones?   

I am currently designing for Spellbinders Paper Arts, Stampendous, Pink Persimmon and am a reporter for The Scrap Review. In the past I have designed for the Flourishes blog team and for two online stores: ScrapLovers and Stamper’s Dream.  

17. Name three designers whose styles you like and why they appeal to you.     

18. Do you have any advice/tips for someone who’s never been published or who wants to submit for the first time?   

Submit, submit, submit. And then submit some more.  

19. Out of your 12 cards in Stamp It! Cards, do you have a favorite? Please talk about the inspiration/design/techniques for one or more of your cards in this publication.  

It would be my Live the Sweet Life Card from p. 17. I love how the card came together. I had this gorgeous peach image that I wanted to use, but didn’t have the correct color markers. So, I had to get creative. I knew I had the right color ink, but how could the ink be applied? Then the thought of letter pressing came to mind. Yay for the results! Sometimes I think I have too much stuff. My best ideas come from being forced to be clever with what is on my desk. 

Kimberly's Live the Sweet Life Card, p. 17

20. Do you have a blog or online gallery? If so, please provide the URL.    

Yes, I do! My blog can be found at www.kimberly-crawford.blogspot.com.  

Thanks, Kimberly! Our friends at Flourishes were nice enough to donate three sets of their Cherries & Peaches stamp set – the same set Kimberly used to create her card above. Please leave a comment and I’ll pick three random winners to receive this set, plus a copy of Stamp It! Cards. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Tuesday, Feb. 23.   

Three winners will take home this gorgeous stamp set!

Happy Monday!
Kelly   

P.S. Cath is featuring Technique Tuesday in her Moxie Monday post today! Head on over for a chance to win six different stamp sets!

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from my Countdown to Stamp It! Cards Week post!    

1. Paulina (Feb. 19, 8:41 a.m.)
2. Viola Miller (Feb. 19, 8:03 p.m.)
3. 
Anya (Feb. 19, 12:58 p.m.)  

Congrats, winners! I’ll be contacting you shortly to discuss your prizes and get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

Jennifer Schaerer

Sometime during the months leading into December, my life becomes one that is characterized by Christmas carols because I start thinking in lyrics. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and it’s definitely the most wonderful time of the year

Although I love the drama of the decor, the sweet sounds of singing voices and the promise of tasty pastries and other festive holiday foods, it’s the spirit of giving that really helps me dance my way through the season. There’s nothing better than the feeling of helping those who need it most. 

In the spirit of giving, the elves in the Paper Crafts workshop have been busy the last few weeks. Monday was decorating day for our donated tree for Utah’s Festival of Trees, and this year’s labor of love is now complete. 

This was Holly's very first Festival of the Trees. Judging from that big smile, she really enjoyed herself.

Cath, our moxie fab elf, helped us wire ornaments.

Our chief wire elves Brenda and Kelly whistled while they worked.

Brandy became our chief garland elf and did a great job.

Susan was our chief bag elf since she went around and picked up little bits of trash. After all, every artist needs a clean workspace!

And every artist needs a canvas to paint on. I happily took on the role as chief tree elf. Does it look straight?

Ta da! What do you think of our finished tree?

This event is an annual fundraiser for the patients at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, and every penny raised at the event goes directly to the children at the hospital who couldn’t otherwise pay for treatment. 

Brandy Jesperson, our managing editor, has been involved with this fundraiser for 10 years after being a patient at Primary Children’s as a teenager. She urged us to get involved, and we decorated our first Paper Crafts team tree a few years ago and have been doing it ever since. 

Here's last year's "Home for the Holidays" tree.

This year’s tree was auctioned off to the highest bidder and we’re certain that it brought a generous sum for the hospital. All of us at Paper Crafts are grateful to the manufacturers who helped make this tree possible with their heartfelt donations: 

We’d also like to say a very special thanks to all the designers who sent in handmade card sets for us to include with the tree: 

All of our lovely donated cards!

It’s definitely the most wonderful time of the year!
Jennifer

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday! I don’t know about you, but here at Paper Crafts we’re in full Christmas countdown mode. Today we’re decorating our hot pink, lime green and ruby red tree for the Festival of the Trees, a fundraiser that benefits Primary Children’s Medical Center. Make sure you stop by the Paper Crafts Facebook fan page to see pictures of our tree in all its yuletide glory.

If some of you are still needing a little push to get you in the holiday spirit, I thought I would bring in an expert on all things Christmas. She had so many gorgeous cards in Holidays Cards & More, Volume 4, I just knew she would be the perfect designer spotlight for this most festive time of year.

Grinches beware…let’s get to know the talented Becky Oehlers!

Becky Oehlers

1. Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in Bryn Athyn, PA , which is right outside of Philadelphia.

2. Do you work outside the home? If so, what do you do?

I am a professional opera singer and sing in many ensembles both in Philadelphia and New York City. I am also on the voice faculty at Drexel University.

3. If a movie were to be made of your life, who would you cast to play the part of you?

Judy Garland, if she were still alive. 

4. What song would you choose as the theme song for your life?

This is a hard one for me…I love all types of music from Bach to Alison Krauss to newly composed music, but I would have to say that Beethoven’s 7th Symphony would be a pretty great theme song. 

5. What is one thing most people would be surprised to hear about you?

That I was a double major in college for both voice and french horn performance.

6. What/who inspired you to start paper crafting?

Nichole Heady. It was her blog that started it all. 

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge?

I think my challenge and my strength at the same time is trying to be innovative and really mold myself to the design of each stamp set that I work with. I try to let the style of the set dictate the art that comes from it.

Jingle All the Way Card by Becky Oehlers

8. If you were only allowed two items to create a card beside cardstock and adhesive, what would they be?

A well-designed stamp set and Copics. You are only as good as your tools.

9. What is your favorite occasion or holiday to paper craft and why?

That’s easy! Christmas. Definitely. I love getting the house all cozy and dramatic, and I think that comes across in the work I create. I think I always do my best work around Christmastime. 

Warm Winter Wishes Card by Becky Oehlers

10. How would you describe your style? 

Whimsical elegance

11. When is your favorite time to craft?

Very late at night. I have been guilty of staying up until 3 a.m. several times in my crafting life.

12. What sort of music do you listen to while crafting?

None. It actually distracts me. 

13. How does your family participate in your paper crafting passion?

My girls Emma (11) and Sophia (9) have often had card making sessions with me on the side. They have a little table in my studio. They even have their own small set of Copics!

My husband is too busy collecting his own stamps. He is a philatelist.

14. When it comes to calls and deadlines, how do you keep yourself organized?

This is a weakness of mine. I am learning to print out all assignments and keep them in a book. I have gotten much better, but organization is a learned task for me.

15. Do you remember what Paper Crafts issue your first project appeared in? How has your style changed since then?

Yes! It was Paper Crafting with Kids, 2008. I have become more consistent in my style since then.

Season's Greetings Card by Becky Oehlers

16. Have you contributed to any design teams in the past or present? If so, which ones?

I am currently on the senior design team at Papertrey Ink. I have also worked for Kitchen Sink Stamps, Starving Artistamps and Inque Boutique.

17. Name three designers whose styles you like and why they appeal to you.  

  • Debbie Olson – She is a true artist. My husband even says he wants to be like her when he grows up! 
  • Julie Ebersole – I really like her simple and playful approach to card making. That really appeals to me.
  • Jeffrey Rudell – He doesn’t stamp, doesn’t have a blog, but what this man can do with paper completely inspires me and blows my mind! Google him!

18. Do you have any advice/tips for someone who’s never been published or who wants to submit for the first time?

I think in any situation like this fear is the only thing that will hold you back. Don’t be scared. Submit and submit. If you never try, you will never succeed. The worst thing that they could say is “no”. Oh, well! Try again!

19. Do you have a blog or online gallery? If so, please provide the URL.

I do have a blog (www.hemidemisemiquaverdesignblog.com). Please hop on over!

Thanks, Becky! I’m definitely in the Christmas spirit now! Leave a comment for Becky here and one lucky winner will take home all of Becky’s Holiday Cards and More cards (pictured above), plus two other surprise gems! All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Happy Monday!
Kelly

P.S. Since we know all of you like a good deal, make sure you take advantage of our huge Warehouse Blowout Sale at ShopScrapandPaperCorner.com! From now until midnight tonight, save 60% off select product, PLUS get free shipping and handling (on U.S. orders only) if $25 or more is spent. (Hint: The delicious–and I do mean delicious!–Paper Crafts Gourmet cookbook is only $17! Buy one for you and one for a friend!)

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the two winners from my Black Freebie Friday post!

1. Chris S. (Nov. 27, 9:54 a.m.)
2. rap (Nov. 27, 7:40 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! You’ve each won a copy of Holiday Cards and More, Volume 4 and Making Memories Flowers stamp set. I’ll be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday! I hope everyone is in full Halloween countdown mode. Like I mentioned last Friday, here at Paper Crafts, we’re anxiously counting down the days until we can reveal our team costume. It’s going to be a real scream! (Hint: That may be a clue!)

Since little gremlins will soon be creeping up your walkway, I thought I would bring in an expert on all things Halloween. With two of her four daughters celebrating birthdays near this frightfully fun holiday, I just knew she would have some spooktacular ideas to share. Not to mention, I’m just batty for this designer, and have been wanting to spotlight her for many moons now…

So without further ado, let’s get to know the bewitching Lisa Johnson!

Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson

1. Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in Alaska – the Chugiak/Eagle River area. I was born in California though, and spent a lot of time there also.

2. Do you work outside the home? If so, what do you do?

Nope, but I volunteer in schools and am very involved in my church.

3. If a movie were to be made of your life, who would you cast to play the part of you?

My girls wouldn’t hesitate to say Reese Witherspoon – with brown hair. (I don’t see any resemblance beyond us both being short.) I can’t imagine them making such a boring movie though. LOL!

4. What song would you choose as the theme song for your life?

I have to laugh…my girls screamed out the theme from Mission Impossible! LOL! (Should I be offended?) I think it’s more like Singin’ in the Rain. I do try to find the happy in life.

5. What is one thing most people would be surprised to hear about you?

Most people are surprised when they hear me sing…I have a very full alto voice. My talking voice is more on the Minnie Mouse end of the spectrum!

6. What/who inspired you to start paper crafting?

My good friend Joan invited me over for a stamping party…that was the beginning of it all!

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge?

Scrapbooking! I’ve just never found my groove. I recently took a great photography class so that might change!

8. If you were only allowed two items to create a card beside cardstock and adhesive, what would they be?

ONLY TWO? Sheesh…Okay, um…stamps (and ink since you have to have ink to stamp, right? So they really are one in the same!) and a synthetic sponge. I usually add depth by lightly sponging my cardstock edges. LOVE IT!

Lisa Johnson's Swirl Boo Card

Lisa Johnson's Swirl Boo Card

9. What is your favorite occasion or holiday to paper craft and why?

This may sound strange but I love Just Because. There is something so inspiring about creating a project for someone with the sheer intention of brightening their day!

10. How would you describe your style? 

This is always a hard question for me to answer…I don’t think I have a specific style. I like clean and simple, vintage, detailed, glam…I pretty much love it all! I’ve heard recently from my friends that my style is clean and classy though.

Lisa Johnson's Boo Gift Box

Lisa Johnson's Boo Treat Box

11. When is your favorite time to craft?

After lunch and reaaaaaaly late at night!

12. What sort of music do you listen to while crafting?

None! I start dancing and singing and can’t create or design. I do listen to audio books and watch movies though.

13. How does your family participate in your paper crafting passion?

Well, the mere fact that I have four daughters sort of answers that! I have supplies set aside in a drawer just for them, and an area in my studio. We make everything from cards for their friends to birthday gifts. We are a bunch of busy bees!

14. When it comes to calls and deadlines, how do you keep yourself organized?

I print them and put them in order on a clipboard that I hang from my studio desk. I also add the dates to my computer calendar and send myself e-mail reminders the morning of the call so I don’t forget to actually submit my projects! I pretty much assume I will forget unless it’s e-mailed in a reminder to me…so I do it with every appointment and deadline!

15. Do you remember what Paper Crafts issue your first project appeared in? How has your style changed since then?

Oh my…this really ages me! My first project ever published was for the 2005 Stamping Royalty Card Contest. I think my style may have become just a little more detailed since then.

16. Have you contributed to any design teams in the past or present? If so, which ones?

Yes, I currently work on the following design teams: 

I have been blessed to be able to work with We R Memory Keepers, Webster’s Pages and Prism. I’ve also done contract work for Tsukineko, 7gypsies and a few other manufacturers.

17. Name three designers whose styles you like and why they appeal to you.  

  • Debbie Olson – Everything Debbie creates is so full of depth and exudes a solid sense of design. I’ve watched her for so many years in awe. Her work is full and decadent!
  • Nichole Heady – When I first started being published, a friend pointed out to me how amazing this Paper Crafts designer was. I started taking notice and fell in love with her immaculate and innovative creations.  Always perfection in paper!
  • Melissa Phillips - Have you ever seen someone’s style that was so different from your own and fell in love? Melissa’s warm, eclectic, vintage touches and candy sweet creations exude her equally sweet personality. Guiltless pleasure!

18. Do you have any advice/tips for someone who’s never been published or who wants to submit for the first time?

The best thing to realize is that just because it’s not picked up doesn’t mean it’s not good! Have faith in your work and keep trying. It just might not have met the editorial needs at that time.

19. Do you have a blog or online gallery? If so, please provide the URL.

I do have a blog (www.poppypaperie.typepad.com). Please hop on over!

Thanks, Lisa! Your Halloween projects are simply boo-tiful! If any of you are looking for something sweet to put in your treat containers, make sure you check out Lisa’s “Spooky Sweets” post. Leave a comment for Lisa here and I’ll pick three lucky winners to win a sweet surprise! All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Here’s to the sweet life!
Kelly

P.S. If you’ve been inspired by Lisa’s Halloween projects, why not make your own and upload them to our October Gallery Challenge? The deadline is midnight (MDT) tonight, so don’t delay!

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Cath’s Meet Our New Graphic Designer post and the three winners from my Boo Crew post!

Cath’s winners:

1. Darlene L. (Oct. 22, 4:20 p.m.)
2. Connie Wright (Oct. 22, 3:50 p.m.)
3. Shari (Oct. 22, 3:23 p.m.)

My winners:

1. Kelly (Oct. 23, 7:40 p.m.)
2. Sharon (Oct. 23, 3:50 p.m.)
3. Denali (Oct. 23, 2:38 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! I’ll be e-mailing you shortly to get your mailing addresses and discuss your prizes. Thanks to all who left comments!

P. Kelly Smith
P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday and the last day of our Card Creations 7 Week celebration! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed your sneak peek of Card Creations, Volume 7 both here and on Moxie Fab World. We’ve had so much fun spotlighting this incredible issue and hope you’ve been sufficiently inspired to go make your own little masterpieces of wonder.

For those of you just joining us today, make sure to read all of our fun posts this week. From talking blossoms and buttons with designer Carla Peicheff to being tickled pink to tying on aprons with Kim Kesti and hitting the jackpot with Susan R. Opel, we’ve had a grand ol’ time! And special thanks go out to all the manufacturers who’ve donated their fabulous product for our daily giveaways! As always, your generosity is much appreciated!

Today I’m going to spotlight a few of my favorite cards from CC7, which is really hard to do since there are so many amazing designs! But this first one has a special place in my heart since it was created by a humble editor whose named rhymes with “jelly” (little inside joke around here!).

Yes, little ol’ me pulled out her scraps and created this card that features one of my favorite Emily Dickinson quotes. I made it for my dear 88-year-old Grandma who lost her sweetheart this last February. Since she has the most beautiful singing voice, I knew SIStv’s Music in the Morning paper would resonate with her and “hopefully” put a smile on her face and in her heart.

P. Kelly Smiths Hope Has Feathers Card from CC7

P. Kelly Smith's Hope Has Feathers Card from CC7

My next two favorite cards are all about friendship. These are the kinds of cards I would love to give my best gal pals. And, of course, I would be thrilled to be on the receiving end too! I think it’s the punch of orange and the simple use of the word “friend” that works so brilliantly here.

Maren Benedicts Friends Tree Card and Dawn McVeys Friends Card from CC7

Maren Benedict's Friends Tree Card and Dawn McVey's Friends Card from CC7

And because we’re all friends in this wonderfully connective industry, I’d like you to meet 15 of my friends who just happen to have gorgeous cards in CC7:

  • Charlene Austin                                
  • Ashley Newell                                  
  • Teri Anderson                                   
  • Kim Hughes                                        
  • Carla Peicheff                                   
  • Dawn McVey                                    
  • Betsy Veldman                                 
  • Kim Kesti                                            
  • Alli Miles                                            
  • Maren Benedict                              
  • Melissa Phillips                                
  • Sherry Wright                                   
  • Debbie Olsen                                    
  • Layle Koncar          
  • Beatriz Jennings                             

These talented ladies are also directly related to our big giveaway today! Yes, we’re having another blog hop! Each of these designers will be spotlighting one of the cards they created for CC7. They’ll be talking about products, techniques and anything else their little creative minds desire. Each time you comment on a different blog (one comment per blog, please), your name gets entered to win a free copy of CC7 (there’s 15 up for grabs!) AND one of the ten amazing prize packages we’re giving away here and on Moxie Fab World!

Here on Paper Crafts Connection, we’re giving away five fabulous prize packages! Each prize set contains a collection from Doodlebug Design, Autumn Leaves, Anna Griffin, SEI and Sassafras Lass.

This is ONE prize package! We actually ran out of room on the table, so you can’t see the product from Sassafras Lass!

This is ONE prize package! We actually ran out of room on the table, so you can’t see Sassafras Lass' product!

On Moxie Fab World, Cath is also giving away five amazing prize packages! Each of her prize sets contains a collection from Pink Paislee, My Mind’s Eye, Fancy Pants Designs, Imaginisce and KI Memories.

And this is ONE prize package! Imagine this spread out on your own table!

And this is ONE prize package! Imagine these paper crafting morsels spread out on your table!

So it’s time to go visit my friends! Once you’re done with your blog hop, come back here and leave a comment telling me your favorite project from the 15 designers. And then hop on over to Moxie Fab World and tell Cath whose project you thought was the trendiest. To be eligible for the 10 prize packages, our two Paper Crafts blogs should be the last on your tour. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, June 28. The 10 lucky winners will be announced on Tuesday, June 30!

Happy blog hopping!
Kelly

P.S. Since it’s never a dull moment around here, make sure you check back here on Monday when we announce the Top 20 finalists in our Gallery Idol 2009 competition! Get ready for some summer fun!

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Kim’s It’s All Right Here post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Linda (June 24, 9:11 a.m.)
2. Tracy T (June 24, 4:51 a.m.)
3. Emma O (June 24, 12:52 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! In addition to winning a copy of Card Creations, Volume 7, each of you will receive BasicGrey’s Bittersweet collection. I’ll be contacting shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

Susan R. Opel

Susan R. Opel

I’ll never forget the day that I first talked to Brandy Jesperson on the phone before I moved from Indiana to Utah to start my job at Paper Crafts magazine. I accepted the position on April 1st but had to finish out the school year and fulfill my duties at my teaching job before I headed west; however, Brandy wanted me to get my feet wet by writing a couple of sections of Card Creations 6.

One day a box arrived on my doorstep with a VERY large binder inside. Tucked in ten protective sleeves I found cards from Jennifer Hansen, Ashley Harris, Kandis Smith, Tracey Odachowski, Stefanie Hamilton, Davinie Fiero, Becky Olsen, Danielle Flanders, Michele Boyer, and Debbie Olson – the entire Congratulations and Easter sections of Card Creations 6. It was pretty amazing to be able to touch these beautiful creations that would be going into this special issue.

Before I could get to work writing, I had a garage sale to conduct, a house to pack up, and finals to give, but when my good friend Tina Albertson (a talented scrapbooker and card maker whose card was on the cover of Card Creations 5, BTW) came to my garage sale in Fort Wayne, IN, I pulled out that big binder, and we looked at everything with awe.

I slaved over writing the instructions and supply lists for my two sections giving each card a snazzy and befitting name and trying to very carefully follow all of the directions. Brandy would probably agree that it wasn’t stellar, but it was such a whole new ballgame to me! And I was trying to write it all while administering final exams. Shh – don’t tell my former principal.

Fast forward to early June of 2009… and it’s time to introduce Card Creations 7 to the world, and now I am a full-fledged part of the Paper Crafts team. It’s been so fun seeing this issue through from the concept meeting to the call for submissions to the submissions judging to the projects rolling in to the writing (which I am MUCH better at now – I did more than 20 cards this time!) to the hand off to the proofs to the copy of the issue on my desk. And what makes it SUPER cool is that this time I have 12 of my very own creations in this issue. I thought I’d share three of my favorites!

Susan R. Opels Fabulous Card from CC7

Susan R. Opel's Fabulous Card from CC7

I’m pretty darn dramatic (if you hadn’t already noticed!), so this Heidi Swapp damask sticker really spoke to me. I decided to pair it with some lustrous damask paper from Hambly, black satin ribbon, and some sassy red alligator paper from Fibermark. Pop on some contrasting and cute American Crafts letter stickers and you have a great card to send to your long distance BFF!

Susan R. Opels Good Luck Card from CC7

Susan R. Opel's Good Luck Card from CC7

This card was totally inspired by the cherries (also from Heidi Swapp). I tried to think out of the box on this one and steered clear of “Life is a Bowl of Cherries” or “Happy Birthday with a Cherry on Top.” Instead, I channeled my inner Vegas girl (I lived there for three years) and went with a casino theme. The inside of this card reads: “Hope you hit the jackpot!” I sent this to a friend who recently started a new job.

Susan R. Opels Life is Good Card from CC7

Susan R. Opel's Life is Good Card from CC7

Pair this amazing graphic paper from GCD Studios with some bling and a fun phrase from Scrap In Style TV (one of my favorite spots on the web), and you’ve got yourself a quick and funky card for many occasions. Hmmm, looks like I was on a little bit of a red, white and black kick, huh?

From the three cards I shared, you can probably tell that I like dramatic and graphic cards best. But you’ll find a multitude of styles in Card Creations 7 – that’s what is so AWESOME about this definitive card idea book. From shabby to girly to fun and cute to classic to pretty to simple, we’ve got what you’re looking for!

Leave me a comment and tell me what YOUR favorite style is. I’ll choose three lucky winners who will win a copy of Card Creations 7, as well as the Label Love, Morning Milk, and Window Shopping paper collections (all used in CC7!) and the Rainbow Sushi Phrase Stickers used in my Life is Good card from Scrap In Style TV and the delicious Chianti paper collection (used in my Life is Good card) and epoxy stickers in Ravishing Reds and Shades of Black from GCD Studios. Get those responses in by midnight MDT on Sunday, June 28, and Kelly will announce the winner on Monday!

Three lucky winners will take home this fabulous prize package!

Three lucky winners will take home this prize package from SIStv and GCD Studios!

Bravo for Lucky Card Creations 7!
Susan

P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Brandy’s Tickled Pink post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Laurel (June 23, 7:20 a.m.)
2. SMK (June 24, 2:58 p.m.)
3. Amber R (June 23, 2:58 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! Each of you will receive a copy of Card Creations 7 and Making Memories’ Rouge Paperie collection. Kelly will be contacting you shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left so many pink comments!

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday and day one of Cards & Gifts Week! As mentioned last Friday, we’ve once again teamed up with Cath and her Moxie Fab World blog to celebrate our latest special issue 225 Cards & Gifts!

On sale April 28th, this magazine features heartfelt gifts for family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, teachers, coaches, and anyone else you’d like to acknowledge in your life. The six chapters include card sets, gift cards, gift wraps, food wraps, home décor, and miscellaneous gifts. Each day this week we’ll spotlight one of these fun chapters and give away some fantastic prizes.

 

Today we’ll be spotlighting the “Best Cards Come in Batches” chapter and the uber talented Maren Benedict, who has NINE glorious projects in this issue. It’s hard to believe Maren is relatively new to our publications. She first popped up in our March/April 2009 issue and most recently in Stamp It! Cards, where she had 13 cards! Not too bad for a newbie! So sit back, relax and enjoy getting to know Maren Benedict! She’s actually going to reveal what intimidates her!

Maren Benedict

Maren Benedict

1. What is your most difficult paper crafting challenge? 

Scrapbooking. I would love to do it more, but I’m intimidated by the space and time it takes for me to complete a page. Plus, it is never ending and I feel so behind already (sort of like laundry)! Luckily, I have discovered mini albums! They are the perfect way for me to document my children’s lives as I slowly get more comfortable with scrapping.

2. What is your favorite paper crafting supply?

I am a proud paper girl! Bold, subtle, flower prints, stripes, polka dots, grid… I love it all! Manufacturers continue to feed my love by coming out with amazing new lines. Fabulous paper makes me happy.

3. Name three Paper Crafts designers whose styles you like and tell me why they appeal to you.

Alisa Bangerter – I have always loved Alisa’s designs. Her projects are the perfect balance of elegance and creativity. 

Debbie Olson – Debbie never ceases to amaze me with her artistic style. She has a way of making each card look like a masterpiece. 

Jessica Witty – Jessica is another favorite designer of mine. She is so hip and fun. Her creations put a smile on my face. 

4. You’ve had the opportunity to work with a number of different publications. How do you keep yourself organized? 

In order to keep track of deadlines for calls and sending submissions off, I use an online calendar. I love how it e-mails me a schedule every morning to keep me on top of things! I also have two photo boxes: one for cards to submit and another one for cards that have been accepted. These serve as a visual reminder of what I need to get done for the day. 

5. Do you have any advice for someone who’s never been published or who wants to try submitting for the first time? 

Go for it! Don’t have too high of expectations, but do put yourself out there. You never know what the editors are looking for and your creation could be the perfect fit for a call! Also, be sure to submit cards that are uniquely yours. Don’t feel like you have to make cards that don’t fit your style. Create and submit creations that make you happy! 

6. What is your favorite thing to paper craft and why?

I love making birthday cards for friends and family members. Each one is uniquely theirs, with colors and images that they would enjoy. It lets them know how special they are to me.

7. What design teams are you on?

I am fortunate to be a member of some amazing design teams: Unity Stamp Company, Cosmo Cricket, Lizzie Anne Designs and Jacksonbelle Embellishments

8. How would you describe your style?

I continually try to push myself to try new things so I am not sure I have a definite style, although I consider myself fairly clean and simple. I like to play around with colors and have a hard time not finishing cards off with a bow! 

9. What do you like about working with Paper Crafts magazine? 

I adore working with the Paper Crafts’ editors. They are so supportive and helpful. You can tell that they love their jobs. This enthusiasm for the paper crafting industry spills out in each publication!

10. Do you have a blog or online gallery? If so, please provide the URL.

http://www.zanynotcrazy.com/

Thanks, Maren! And here’s one of the nine projects Maren has published in 225 Cards & Gifts:

Maren Benedict's Hello Trees Card Set

So hopefully you’ve enjoyed getting to know Maren Benedict! Unity Stamp Company was nice enough to donate three Tiny Trinity stamp sets – the set Maren used to create the card set above. Please leave a comment below and I’ll pick three random winners to receive a stamp set and a copy of 225 Cards & Gifts. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Tuesday, April 21.

And make sure you head over to Moxie Fab World! Cath is spotlighting some gifty items from Maya Road and yes, giving a few of them away! And get ready for Jennifer’s post tomorrow on new ways to package gift cards!

Kelly

P.S. It’s time to announce the six winners from last week’s Freebie Friday – Cards & Gifts post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Deerrun (April 18, 9:44 a.m.)
2. Esther (April 17, 4:54 p.m.)
3. Elaine R (April 17, 9:29 a.m.)
4. Cassi, San Diego (April 17, 1:09 p.m.)
5. Kadebug (April 18, 3:34 p.m.)
6. Terriavidreader (April 19, 8:14 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! Each of you will receive one of the K&Company collections shown last week! I’ll be e-mailing you shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments about the best gift(s) they’ve ever received. Who knew there were so many sentimental husbands out there?!

Cath Edvalson

Cath Edvalson

One of the things I love the most about Paper Crafts magazine is the inspiration that it offers. No matter what the season, you can pick up any magazine and be visually motivated to create any number of projects for a variety of occasions.

Typically we organize our magazines seasonally—that is, in January/February we show Valentine’s Day projects, in the March/April issue we celebrate spring, Easter, babies, and weddings; and in the May/June issue we talk up Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and graduation.

But really, any of the projects in either of these magazines can be transformed into whatever it is that you need on any given day. Take the May/June issue, for example. Each of these projects can be transformed to meet your needs by changing little things like the sentiment, the color scheme, or something as tiny as an embellishment.

Check it out:

While this Flower Gift Box by Kim Kesti on p. 30 wasn’t intended to be an Easter basket, it sure could be either as is, or if you’re interested in a pastel color palette, change the color of the cardstock and use a different embellishment.

While this Flower Gift Box by Kim Kesti on p. 30 wasn’t intended to be an Easter basket, it sure could be either as is, or if you’re interested in a pastel color palette, change the color of the cardstock and use a different embellishment.

I love this stamped Mother’s Day card by Debbie Olson which can be found on p. 45. It would also make a great Easter card, birthday card, or thank you card—all I’d have to do is change the sentiment. Even better, I could make several of these cards, all for different occasions!

I love this stamped Mother’s Day card by Debbie Olson which can be found on p. 45. It would also make a great Easter card, birthday card, or thank you card—all I’d have to do is change the sentiment. Even better, I could make several of these cards, all for different occasions!

Talk about versatility! Can you imagine all the possibilities this Birthday Cake Gift Box Tower by Cindy Gilchrist (p. 49) offers? You could use it as a baby gift wrap, putting a cute pair of booties at the top or as an Easter brunch hostess gift, putting a little nest of jelly beans at the top.  Or how ‘bout changing the color scheme and using it as a Father’s Day gift wrap?

Talk about versatility! Can you imagine all the possibilities this Birthday Cake Gift Box Tower by Cindy Gilchrist (p. 49) offers? You could use it as a baby gift wrap, putting a cute pair of booties at the top or as an Easter brunch hostess gift, putting a little nest of jelly beans at the top. Or how ‘bout changing the color scheme and using it as a Father’s Day gift wrap?

There’s no end to the inspiration that you can find in the pages of Paper Crafts magazine. I hope you find yourself exploring all the versatile possibilities!

Speaking of which, I’m sure we’d all love to hear a way that you have changed up a design to suit your purposes. Leave a comment by midnight MST on Sunday, April 26 and I’ll rustle up a prize for a random winner!

Yours in knowing variety is the spice of life,
~Cath

Jennifer Schaerer

Jennifer Schaerer

Spring has sprung here in the Paper Crafts editorial offices, and not a moment too soon since Easter is this weekend. Thanks to the inspiration I got from Cath’s Moxie Fab World Five for Friday last week (lovely spring dresses…did you see it?), I figured out that my daughter’s an Old Navy kinda girl. I’ll be hoofing it over there later today to grab a not-so-frilly frock for my little tomboy.

When I need ideas, I go web-hopping. And we know from our reader surveys that you do, too. Connecting with you when you visit our blog is one of the big reasons we come in every day with a spring in our step and a smile on our faces.

And we are positively giddy when we hear about the ways you’ve been inspired to create something after reading our magazine or visiting our blog. Shelah Harris made our day with this letter:

Dear Editor,

Paper Crafts is my favorite magazine for creative ideas and cards. I have used many of your ideas to teach paper crafting classes at the Simi Valley Senior Center. The “Sugar & Spice Dress” cards in the March/April issue (pp. 64-65) were just the cutest. So I just had a mini class at the Scrapbook Club that meets at the center and had to send you the photo of some of the gals with their dresses. They absolutely loved making them and became quite creative. It was fun to see the results.

The group is facilitated by Karen Kalsman of Simi Valley Department of Parks & Recreation.

Sincerely,
Shelah Harris
Simi Valley, CA

Karen Kalsman, Sandra Preece, Shelah Harris, and Ida Magitt show off their own sweet spring dresses!

Karen Kalsman, Sandra Preece, Shelah Harris, and Ida Magitt show off their own sweet spring dresses!

Thanks for taking the time to share that with us, Shelah! And we’re so lucky to have inspiring designers like Debbie Olson contributing to our magazine. If you want to try your hand at some sweet spring dresses with Debbie’s lovely card design, you can download the pattern here.

Hopping down the bunny trail,
Jennifer

P. Kelly Smith
P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday and Paper Crafts latest installment of I-Spy! This game has always been a fan favorite, so I’m happy to be bringing it back! Are you ready to win some really cool prizes? Get ready because I’m picking FIVE winners this time!

You must have a copy of our March/April 2009 issue in front of you. All I-Spy questions will be directly related to this issue and this issue only.

March/April I-Spy Questions:

1. I spy Jennifer’s Editor’s Note where she shows a project from our 2008 World Card Making Day card contest (see p. 80 for our 20 winners). How many total entries did we receive?
2. I spy our Paper Crafts Connection column. According to our March/April calendar, there will be a Creating Keepsakes Convention on April 24-26. Where will it be held?
3. I Spy our Ask the Pros column. How does Paper Crafts Pro Wendy Johnson organize her stamps?
4. I spy our Joy of Card Making column. What tip does designer Julie Ebersole recommend for her “How Ya Bean?” card?
5. I spy Cath’s Moxie Fab column on the trendy color combination of yellow and gray. What sentiment is on designer Melissa Phillips’ mini album?
6. I spy Susan Neal’s “Perfect Pair” card in our Paper Crafts 101 column. In addition to Arial, what other font did she use to create the sentiment?
7. I spy a “Safari Clock” in our Photo Finish column. What country is spelled out in letter stickers?
8. I spy our Here Comes the Bride feature. What names are written on the frame from the “Umbrella Bridal Shower”? (FYI: the couple in the photo is actually Brandy’s brother and sister-in-law Jared and Cassidy Olsen!)
9. I spy our Baby Animals for Baby feature. The cute opener shows nine different baby animals. Name three.
10. I spy Susan Opel’s Tips, Tools & Technique column. Designer and master piercer Debbie Olson offers five tips for “Piercing Like a Pro”. What is her #3 tip?

Five random people (that answer five or more questions correctly) will win a selection of butterfly product we featured in this issue’s “Product Parade” and “Sweepstakes” columns. To play, please enter your answers in the comment field below this entry. I will draw my five winners on Monday, March 9 and announce them in Tuesday’s blog.

Good Luck!
Kelly

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