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Brandy Jesperson

Brandy Jesperson

As many of you know, several of us from the Paper Crafts team get together once a month to swap cards. We make our cards ahead of time and take turns gathering at one another’s home. We swap cards, eat tons of unhealthy food, make a project, and jibber jabber into the wee hours of the night. I love being a part of this group and I look forward to it each month. Not only is it a great way to stock up on my cards, but it’s a great excuse to get crafty with friends.

Last month we met at Beth’s gorgeous home (thanks Beth!). For our activity we decoupaged wooden frames. We used pretty patterned paper, ribbon, and embellishments to transform basic dollar aisle frames into works of art.   

Here is a peek at our completed frames. Don’t they look fabulous?!

Here is a peek at our completed frames. Don’t they look fabulous?!

A quick picture of the group. We had lots of fun and missed those who couldn’t be there.

A quick picture of the group. Even Jennifer's daughter Catherine joined us for the night! We had lots of fun and missed those who couldn’t be there.

I know I’ve said this before, but if you’ve never swapped, you should totally try it! Get together with a group of co-workers, neighbors, or friends and let the creative juices flow! Also, if you’ve never paper crafted a wooden frame, you should try. I’m going to make it easy. I’m giving you everything but the frame. That’s right, leave me a comment and three lucky people will each win a SEI collection to use on a wooden frame (or any other project). The winners will be announced on Wednesday, April 22.

Up for grabs: SEIs Lovebirds, Green Apple and Grapefruit collections.

Up for grabs: SEI's Lovebirds, Bridgeport and Mimosa collections

Happy crafting (and commenting),
Brandy  

P.S. If you live in or around Mesa, Arizona, make sure you visit Paper Crafts Pro Kim Kesti and all the other fabulous teachers at the Creating Keepsakes Convention.

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Alisa Bangerter

Alisa Bangerter

I just love the Just Desserts feature in the May/June issue of Paper Crafts. It’s so yummy, delicious, sweet, divine… well you get the idea. Every project is eye candy and many of the projects look literally good enough to eat. As I took a closer look, I was reminded of how many supplies I have in my stash that would add the perfect finishing touch to sweet-themed projects:

  • Glitter, beads, small brads or tiny punched shapes can be used as faux candy sprinkles.
  • Embossing powder, especially the puffy kind, makes great icing, cotton candy or marshmallow crème.
  • Buttons or rhinestones can be used as candy or that perfect “cherry on top”.
  • Texture paste makes great frosting on a cupcake.
  • Rickrack makes a great faux icing trim.
  • Dimensional glaze placed over brown cardstock looks like gooey chocolate sauce.
  • Felt works great as a scoop of ice cream.

The possibilities are endless. Sometimes by looking at our supplies in new ways, we’re inspired to create some really awesome projects. Here’s the “Sweet Soda Card” (p. 56) I made for the Just Desserts feature:

Isn’t that tiny soda die cut adorable? Makes you want to take a big sip!

Isn’t that tiny soda die cut adorable? Makes you want to take a big sip!

And if I haven’t made your mouth water enough already, make sure to check out our amazing book Paper Crafts Gourmet – complete with actual recipes and coordinating paper crafted projects.

Here’s my Ice Cream Party from p. 173 of PC Gourmet. The chocolate sauce is made with dimensional glaze.

Here’s my Ice Cream Party from p. 173 of PC Gourmet. The chocolate sauce is made with dimensional glaze.

So whether you heading to your kitchen or your paper crafting studio, you now have plenty of ideas to whip up something delicious!

Enjoy!
Alisa, Paper Crafts Pro

P.S. If you’re still looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, make sure to enter our Just Desserts Sweepstakes valued at more than $100. Click here to enter online! (Make sure you click on the “Submission” tab for the online entry form. It’s across from the “Welcome” tab.)

P.P.S. Congratulations go to Carol (ScrapMomOf2) for her comment on Cath’s Variety and Versatility blog post last week. Thanks to everyone for leaving great comments on how to change up projects to suit your needs! Carol, your prize will be put in the mail shortly!

Susan R. Opel

Susan R. Opel

It’s time for another edition of Tips, Tools, & Techniques trivia! Crack open that lovely May/June 2009 issue of Paper Crafts to page 86 and answer the following questions for two chances to WIN (and who doesn’t like to win?):

  • Look carefully at the glue dots on page 87. How many total Mini and Craft Glue Dots are in the two boxes pictured?
  • On page 88, what three things do I say that the Bind-it-All can cut through besides acrylic?
  • How many times are the words “clear” and “clearly” used in TT&T? Oh, yeah – making you work for it!
  • In what city and state is Vera Bradley headquartered? I lived there for 13 years!
  • What idea is your favorite from this issue’s Tips, Tools, & Techniques column, and why?

Now for the fun part. Two winners will be selected at random to win the following:

  • The Bind-it-All from Zutter shown on page 88 as well as three pieces of sheet stock from Creative Acrylics.
  • The Take Note Tote and the Celebrations! Card Organizer by Vera Bradley on page 88.
Bind-it-All from Zutter

Bind-it-All from Zutter

Sheet stock from Creative Acrylics

Sheet stock from Creative Acrylics

Take Note Tote and the Celebrations! Card Organizer by Vera Bradley

Take Note Tote and the Celebrations! Card Organizer by Vera Bradley

Now how ’bout that?  There’s not much more to do before you are qualified to win!

  • Send me an e-mail with your answers to sopel@ckmedia.com. Put “TT&T Blog” in the subject line of your message. Be sure to leave a comment on the blog, and let me know which prize strikes your fancy!
  • Entries are due no later than midnight MST on Sunday, April 19th (which just happens to be my 40th birthday!). From the correct entries received, two winners will be selected at random and contacted via e-mail. Once the winner has been notified, I’ll post his/her name in the comments section of this blog. Note: Due to the number of e-mails received, I’m unable to respond to each message individually. Please know that I do read your comments and totally appreciate your participation. Thanks!

So… What are you waiting for?

Good luck!
Susan

TT&T Trivia Update: I will be giving away one Bind-it-All to one winner and the Vera Bradley organizational products to another winner. Sorry for any confusion this might have caused! Thanks!

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday! Was the Easter Bunny good to you this year? My basket is still hopping its way from Texas, so hopefully it will be on my door step tonight!

Today I thought I would give you a behind-the-scenes look at one of our recent fieldtrips to Color Me Mine. For those of you not familiar with this colorful franchise, it’s a paint-your-own ceramics studio. You pick your ceramic piece (they have over 400 options), pick your paint colors and then paint! Once you’re done playing Picasso, they fire it in their kiln and your masterpiece is ready to take home!

The purpose of this fieldtrip was to finally paint our name plates. (I say finally because we’ve literally been trying to schedule this outing since Christmas!) Back when Jennifer and Matt were still relatively new on the team, we decided it was time to update our name plates. Jennifer thought it would be cute if we actually painted our names on real ceramic plates. Get it? Name on plate=name plate. Oh, we’re a creative bunch!

Here’s all of us in the party room of Color Me Mine. Word to the wise: if you’re bringing a large group, call ahead to reserve a room. The manager wasn’t too happy with us just stopping by!

Here’s all of us in the party room of Color Me Mine. Word to the wise: if you’re bringing a large group, call ahead to reserve a room. The manager wasn’t too happy with us just stopping by!

Before we even picked up a paint brush, our talented designer Matt sketched our names and designs with a pencil. The pencil marks actually burn off in the fire, so they recommend you draw with pencil first and then paint over it. I like to think we’re all artists at heart, but some of us need a little extra help!

And here’s our painted plates! They’re actually pretty good representations of our quirky personalities. And just so you know, Stace drew that insanely detailed skull herself – she really is that good!

And here’s our painted plates! They’re actually pretty good representations of our quirky personalities. And just so you know, Stace drew that insanely detailed skull herself – she really is that good!

If none of you have ever done the whole paint-your-own ceramic thing, I highly recommend it. It’s a great way to scratch that artist’s itch and create something you can admire (or laugh at!) for years to come!

Kelly

P.S. It’s time to announce the 10 winners from last week’s Freebie Friday – May/June I-Spy post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Marianne Gonzales (April 12, 6:31 p.m.)
2. Pat S. (April 12, 4:01 p.m.)
3. Jennifer Scull (April 10, 12:09 p.m.)
4. Karen U (April 10, 2:36 p.m.)
5. Kelly Marie (April 10, 2:56 p.m.)
6. Golda Peterson (April 12, 6:03 p.m.)
7. kimberlee (April 11, 8:13 p.m.)
8. Gian de la Rama (April 10, 7:09 p.m.)
9. Jennifer Hansen (April 10, 11:37 p.m.)
10. Thespoena McLaughlin (April 11, 7:12 a.m.)

Congrats, winners! Each of you will receive some dessert-themed product! I will be e-mailing you shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments and played along!

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday and Paper Crafts latest installment of I-Spy! Are you ready to win some really yummy prizes? I mean really yummy!

If you’re a fan of cupcakes and ice cream cones (and who isn’t?), you won’t want to miss this sinfully delicious giveaway! Get ready because I’m picking 10 winners this time!

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

May/June I-Spy Questions:

1. I spy Jennifer’s Editor’s Note where she shows off a Father’s Day card she made for her husband. What quote is on the front of the card?
2. I spy our Paper Crafts Connection column. According to the Paper Crafts High School Yearbook, what team member was a varsity cheerleader?
3. I spy our Ask the Pros column. What fake address is written on Wendy Johnson’s Floral Envelope?
4. I spy our Online Corner column. On what significant day was I given my new title Online Editor Extraordinaire? (Thanks, Carol!)
5. I spy Cath’s Moxie Fab column on The Wonderful World of Wood Grain. What furry creature is the focal point for Kim Kesti’s cute Hedging My Bets Card? (Hint: If you can’t tell by the picture, look at the supplies list!)
6. I spy a Paper Crafts Connection ad on p. 27. What names are printed in the thought bubbles? (BTW, these were actual quotes left for me when we launched our new blog!)
7. I spy our Motherhood Through the Years feature. How many different kinds of moms do we mention in this feature? (Hint: Look for the purple text boxes above the projects.)
8. I spy our Just Desserts feature with real cupcakes and ice cream cones for props. What other sweet props were used in this photo shoot? (Hint: I spy at least two more. “Props” to those who find three!)
9. I spy our Father Knows Best feature. What real quote did designer Dawn McVey use on her Remember This Card?
10. I spy Kim Hughes’ adorable Birdie Gift Bag in our A Stitched in Time feature. What black numbers are shown on the white measuring tape next to her bag? (FYI: This also happens to be the date in which this magazine went on sale!)

TEN random people (that answer five or more questions correctly) will win a selection of dessert-themed 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. All comments must be received by midnight on Sunday, April 12. I’ll announce the 10 winners on Monday, April 13.

Ten lucky winners will receive a selection of this yummy prize package!

Ten lucky winners will receive a selection of this yummy prize package!

Good luck!
Kelly

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

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson

Every Easter, while growing up, my mother would sew me a new dress. Often times it would match my other three sisters, and we would go to church with new twirly dresses, white tights and white patent leather shoes. This is one of my favorite Easter memories, along with decorating eggs and finding egg-shaped bubblegum in the bottom of my basket. Many of these traditions have followed me into mommyhood as I now get to buy a new dress, tights and shoes for my own little girl. 

Oh, how I love this time of year! Pink blossoms on tree branches, yellow daffodils on the sidewalk and birds chirping in the distance, as they build a new home. There is so much to look forward to with a sense of renewal and fresh beginnings. Spring cleaning has begun in my home, and it feels wonderful to finally reach the bottom of closets and the highest shelves in the bathroom linen closet. 

Spring is such a wonderful time of year as everything wakes up after a long winter’s nap. I am grateful for this time of year as I get to reflect on my own blessings and create new beginnings in many aspects of my life.

Here’s my little Easter wish for each of you… I hope you have a wonderful holiday this Sunday!

Wendy, Paper Crafts Pro

P.S. What are you looking forward to this spring?

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

Lindy Brown

Lindy Brown

Well friends, today marks the beginning of my last week here at Paper Crafts, and I can’t tell you how much fun it has been! This internship has been incredibly rewarding, and though I’m sad to leave, I am positive it will help me in my future career goals.

There are so many different things that I have learned while working here. One major lesson I have learned is to ask questions about anything and everything that I might be confused about. While I may look a little ignorant for a minute, that’s so much better than making a huge mistake on something important and looking ignorant for much, much longer. And every time I asked a question, I learned something new, and I wouldn’t have to ask that same question again.

I also learned that though the writing assignments are difficult and time consuming, it is so satisfying to finish an article. I also have learned to enjoy hunting for supplies-when I finally find a paper collection or stamp set I’ve spent twenty minutes searching for, I feel like I’ve found some sort of hidden treasure. I’ve gotten quite good at searching through manufacturers’ web sites.

But I think the most important thing I’ve learned is that even though there are things about magazine editing that aren’t so fun, and even though writing can often be stressful, and deadlines are always looming, I still love what I do. I love being a part of a publication, knowing what goes on behind the scenes, being a part of the hustle and bustle around getting an issue out. It’s good to know that actually working on a publication hasn’t soured my taste for the publishing industry. I still love it.

Speaking of behind-the-scenes… The Paper Crafts team got together with our favorite peeps from Creating Keepsakes for our April Fools’ Day Potluck last week. The goal was to bring a food item with a funny name or serve it in an unique way. Below is dirty dish water punch, puppy chow, cupcakes and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Look closely at the cupcakes... Theyre actually not cupcakes, but individual meat loaves with whipped potatoes dyed to look like frosting! And the grilled cheese sandwiches are actually slices of pound cake with yellow frosting in the middle!

Look closely at the cupcakes... They're actually not cupcakes, but individual meat loaves with whipped potatoes dyed to look like frosting! And the grilled cheese sandwiches are actually slices of pound cake with yellow frosting in the middle!

And I have to thank the editorial staff here at Paper Crafts for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I don’t know where else I would have gotten the experience of working on a real magazine, and the people here are so much fun! So thanks, everyone, for letting me be a part of the Paper Crafts culture. Paper crafting will forever have a place in my heart!

Your Paper Crafts Intern,
Lindy

P.S. Kelly wanted me to announce the 12 winners from last week’s Freebie Friday – Get Your Blinkies Here post. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Wendy (April 5, 12:33 p.m.)
2. Marlene (April 4, 3:36 p.m.)
3. Andrea Schultz (April 3, 6:16 p.m.)
4. Angel S. (April 3, 5:17 p.m.)
5. Kim Marie (April 3, 3:27 p.m.)
6. Elaine (April 4, 12:34 a.m.)
7. Christina (April 3, 12:05 p.m.)
8. Toni Storie (April 3, 10:13 a.m.)
9. Shawn Wenrich (April 3, 9:51 p.m.)
10. Katie (April 3, 11:37 a.m.)
11. Kristin Orth (April 5, 10:35 p.m.)
12. Claude (April 4, 6:34 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! Each of you will receive a package of American Crafts Flair! Kelly will be e-mailing you shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left so many great April Fools’ Day stories!

P.P.S. It looks like most of you we’re able to post the blinkies last week. If you’re still having trouble, shoot Kelly an e-mail at ksmith@ckmedia.com. She’ll try to “blink” you in the right direction!

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to another Freebie Friday! Can you believe we’re already in April? It was just two short months ago that we launched our Paper Crafts Connection blog. Here’s just a few stats to show you how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time:

  • 45 posts
  • 2,649 comments
  • 45,184 hits

Not too shabby, right? And these numbers can largely be attributed to our loyal readers who keep coming back for more “connection” day after day and week after week. So as a way to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts, I’m giving EVERYONE access to our Paper Crafts Connection and Moxie Fab World blinkies! How’s that for a giveaway!

i_heart_pc_banner

mfw

If you’re a fan of either of these blogs and would like to show your support by uploading one or both blinkies to your personal blog, here are the direct image URLs and HTML codes you’ll need:

DIRECT IMAGE URLs:

Paper Crafts Connection:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3550/3346438311_3b510722d8_o.gif 

Please link to: http://www.papercraftsconnection.com/

Moxie Fab World:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_d6AOexH2JKU/SbfwktGjF7I/AAAAAAAAAkw/5HDwSJfdUaI/S220/MFW_Banner.GIF  

Please link to: http://www.moxiefabworld.com/

HTML CODES:

Paper Crafts Connection (Please link to: http://www.papercraftsconnection.com/):

<a href=”http://www.papercraftsconnection.com/” title=”I_Heart_PC_Banner by Paper Crafts Photos, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3550/3346438311_3b510722d8_o.gif” width=”150″ height=”189″ alt=”I_Heart_PC_Banner” /></a>

Moxie Fab World (Please link to: http://www.moxiefabworld.com/):

<a href=http://www.moxiefabworld.com title=”MoxieBanner_mca (3) by Paper Crafts Photos, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3512/3237909444_9d4c4c5a74_o.gif” width=”150″ height=”150″ alt=”MoxieBanner_mca (3)” /></a>

 

And if that weren’t enough, I just happen to have some really cool product to go along with today’s theme – 12 packages of American Crafts Flair! In honor of April Fools’ Day this week, leave a comment telling me the best prank ever pulled on you. All comments must be received by midnight on Sunday, April 5. I’ll announce the 12 winners on Monday, April 6.

Can’t wait to see all of your blinking blogs!
Kelly