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?!

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