Susan R. Opel

Susan R. Opel

Are you a scrapbook paper-aholic? Come on! Raise your hand and repeat after me: “My name is {fill in the blank} and I have a paper obsession.” It’s okay. I’ll be standing right next to you uttering the very same words. This is a common problem among paper crafters, and I want you to know that you are not alone.

Patterned papers come in so many gorgeous and luscious varieties, and I have to admit that the large patterns often knock my socks off with their vibrant color combinations and bold statements. As a scrapbooker, I knew how to tame those papers to use in my layouts, but with a card maker’s even smaller canvas, some of our favorite papers and patterns become only another piece of paper in our vast and unused collection.

So maybe we need to make a change! Maybe we need to find a way to use those papers and actually SHARE them with our favorite people through gift giving.


I created this quick and eye-catching gift bag using some of my favorite large patterned paper from American Crafts. It appears on p. 41 in 225 Cards & Gifts.

In three easy steps, you can doll up a kraft bag and be the envy of every gift giver.

1. Choose your paper, give it a little hug for being so pretty, fussy cut a section that is particularly appealing, and adhere it.
2. Pop on a premade rhinestone sentiment (mine is by Me & My Big Ideas).
3. Slide a sparkly ribbon slide on a ribbon (mine is velvet) and staple it to the bag.

Simple, elegant, versatile. This bag could be used for a birthday, a retirement, a bon voyage, or a wedding shower. And why not a graduation, an anniversary, a bachelorette party, or a hostess gift? Switch out the sentiment and the pattern, and you could turn this into a bag for a graduation, a thank you, a baby shower, or a child’s birthday. And the best part of all? You actually USED that gorgeous paper! I’m so proud of you!

Now, I’m particularly fond of gifts this time of year since I just celebrated my 40th birthday last Sunday. My sister and I took a road trip to San Francisco last week to celebrate. Allow me to share some highlights of our trip! 

San Francisco and its environs have so many iconic sites and activities: wine-tasting in Napa, AT&T Park (Home of the San Francisco Giants), Muir Woods, the Painted Ladies (you might recognize them from the opener of Full House), The Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

So, what would you say if I said that I’ve got a fancy little prize package all lined up for three lucky commenters who tell me what she’d like to receive in this little gift bag? Your wish can be big or small (it really doesn’t even matter if it would realistically fit in the bag or not because it’s a wish!). And money is no object! Please respond by midnight (MDT) on Sunday, April 26. We’ll announce the winner on Monday’s blog post. Good luck!

Three lucky winners will receive the following prizes: A copy of 225 Cards & Gifts, an assortment of patterned papers, some pretty embellishments from Me & My Big Ideas, and two Simply Sent Card kits from Stampin’ Up! which each include one stamp set, three colors of ink, pre-scored cards with envelopes, and ribbon. Why not make a set of cards and give them as a gift? 

And if that weren’t enough, I just happen to know Cath is giving away some super cute crafting kits from Cosmo Cricket on Moxie Fab World today! You better hop on over!

Yours in festive gift-giving (and receiving for that matter)!

P.S. It’s time to announce the two winners from my May/June Tips, Tools, & Techniques Trivia post from last week! Here they are:

1. Katherine R. Wilson
2. Kim Handville

Katherine won the Bind-it-All and Acrylic Sheet Stock and Kim won the Vera Bradley organizers! I’ll be e-mailing you shortly for your mailing addresses! Thanks to all who left comments and played along!

P.P.S. It’s also time to announce the three winners from Brandy’s Get Your Free Product Here post from last week! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Hanne (April 16, 1:47 p.m.)
2. Jennifer Carter (April 16, 4:14 p.m.)
3. Jess (April 20, 8:57 a.m.)

Each of you have won a SEI paper collection! Kelly will be e-mailing you shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!