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Nicki Kezerian

Nicki Kezerian

Hello everyone! My name is Nicki Kezerian and I am the new intern here at Paper Crafts. I am so excited to be a part of this team! Just walking into the offices, I knew that it would be easy to soak in some of the creativity that comes from the awesome editors.

I had some great first impressions when I started here a few weeks ago. I was really excited/nervous when I came in, but the people here (especially the extremely helpful Brandy!) have been more than welcoming. And so far, the fun things I get to see and do have exceeded all my expectations. I have been impressed by the entire industry – not just the magazines and editing, but the work and incredible talent people put into their paper crafts. So much of what goes on here is made possible by the high quality (and adorable) submissions you all make!

Here are a few of the impressions I experienced when I first walked into the Paper Crafts offices (if you have ever visited before, you might have felt the same!):

  • Walking through the long hall of impressive-looking magazine covers was at first intimidating, and then exciting, because I would be able to work with the people who put it all together. (You can see pictures from Kelly’s post).
  • The setting of all the offices was so inviting and fun. There were cute banners hanging from the ceiling of each of the editors, and it was bright and cheery – so different from any offices I have been in before!
  • Everyone here is outgoing and so helpful. I never could have expected everyone to be so willing to help me with my projects; each person has made me feel like a part of the team, and every assignment has been a huge learning experience. 

I feel so lucky to be here, and I am so motivated to do more paper crafting from all of the submissions I have seen. I’m sure I will continue this hobby long after I leave the internship!

Your Paper Crafts intern,
Nicki

P.S. I will be making a few more “intern” posts during the next couple of months, so keep checking back for more!

P.P.S. And now it’s time to announce the 16 winners from Holiday Cards & More Week!

Magazine Monday – Meet Jennifer Beason:

1. Carol Metully (August 24, 11:51 a.m.)
2. Melinda Wilson (August 24, 9:20 a.m.)
3. Skeeter-OR (August 24, 11:35 p.m.)

Tuesday – Gorgoeous Gifts with a Handmade Twist:

1. J.J. Clark (August 25, 9:18 p.m.)
2. Jennifer (August 25, 8:48 a.m.)
3. Shanon Gibson (August 25, 7:59 a.m.)

With the Pros Wednesday – ‘Tis the Season:

1. Veronica (August 26, 2:53 p.m.)
2. Courtney B (August 26, 8:11 a.m.)
3. Ramona West (August 26, 2:00 p.m.)

Hang a Handmade Memory on the Highest Bough:

1. Cassi (August 27, 12:43 p.m.)
2. Jenny Matthews (August 27, 12:25 p.m.)
3. Liz (August 27, 8:44 a.m.)

Freebie Friday – Holly Jolly Christmas Cards:

1. Ann (August 28, 5:28 a.m.)
2. Jen H (August 28, 2:24 p.m.)
3. Rhonda Miller (August 28, 2:02 p.m.)

Grand Prize Winner: Alison Yarrish (August 28, 6:22 a.m.)

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

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P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday and the last day of our “Christmas in August” celebration! We hope you’ve enjoyed your sneak peek of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4 both here and on Moxie Fab World.

For those of you just joining us today, make sure to read all of our festive posts this week. From our spotlight on cover girl Jennifer Beason to getting gifty to celebrating the seasons with Wendy Johnson and dressing the tree with homemade ornaments, 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!

If you haven’t entered one of Cath’s “Stretch Your Holiday Style” challenges, it’s not too late to play! Whether your style is clean & graphic, vintage & shabby, fun & cute or classy & elegant, you’ve got until Monday, Sept. 7 to upload your project image. (Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, why not enter all five of Cath’s challenges?! Today she reveals her final one!)

Today I have the opportunity to spotlight a few of my favorite designs from the diverse cards section of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. If one of the styles mentioned above resonates with you, then you’re in luck – all of these styles can be found in the 100+ cards we feature in this merry magazine!

If youre a stamper, you cant go wrong with Alli Miles Trees of Joy Card (p. 29). Not only did this card grace our cover, it can be recreated in five steps or less!

If you're a stamper, you can't go wrong with Alli Miles' Trees of Joy Card (p. 29). Not only did this card grace our cover, it can be recreated in five steps or less!

If youre more of a clean & graphic girl (and you like to stamps!), look no furhter than Teri Andersons Trim the Tree and Joy to the World Cards (p. 16).

If you're more of a clean & graphic girl (and you like to stamp!), look no further than Teri Anderson's Trim the Tree and Joy to the World Cards (p. 16).

Or if youre into the vintage & shabby chic look, why not gain some inspiration from Renee Lambs Partridge in a Pear Tree Card.

Or if you're into the vintage & shabby style, you'll definitely find it in Renee Lamb's Partridge in a Pear Tree Card (p. 55).

And these amazing designs are just a sampling of what graces the pages of 8-82. I told you it was a big section!

Knows what else is big? Today’s giveaway! I’ve been wanting to spill the beans all week long, but then I would surely end up on Santa’s naughty list. And since I’ve been a pretty good girl (up until this point), it wasn’t worth the risk! But since Friday is officially here, it’s time to unload Santa’s sleigh!

Since this is our fourth volume of Holiday Cards & More, three winners will each receive:

  • Technique Tuesday’s Peace, Joy, Love, Holly Jolly Christmas and Frayed Ends stamp sets (Teri used these sets on her Joy to the World Card.)
  • Making Memories’ new Mistletoe collection
  • A copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4
But if random integer happens to draw your name as my fourth winner, you will take home this grand giveaway, courtesy of Close to My Heart:
How would you like to unwrap this present under your tree?

How would you like to unwrap this present under your tree?

To be entered to win, leave a comment telling me the best present you’ve ever unwrapped. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, August 30. I’ll announce ALL of the winners from Holiday Cards & More Week on Monday’s blog!

Have a happy “holly-day”!
Kelly

P.S. Just a quick reminder… If you’re looking to buy Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4 for you or a friend, today is the last day you can purchase this special issue for 10 percent off the retail price. You might as well start your Christmas shopping early! Click HERE to reserve your copies today!

Cath Edvalson

Cath Edvalson

As I sat down to write this post I could swear I heard the song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” It sure does feel like we’re having a merry little Christmas this week as we celebrate the fact that our beloved, tried-and-true, ultimate resource for paper crafting the holidays, Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4,  is finally on sale. And not a minute too soon, for as we all know, a paper-crafted Christmas takes some time and attention to prepare!

Cover

Inspiring your holidays since 2006

I’m here today to give you a sneak peek at the ornament section, and I couldn’t be more thrilled because ornaments are totally my thing. Since the birth of my oldest child 23 years ago, my family has been adding a unique, special ornament to our tree. We choose a Sunday a couple of weeks before Christmas, we load up the car’s CD player with our favorite carols, and we drive up the canyon to Park City where we have breakfast at our favorite joint and shop the quaint snowy streets for the coveted, group-decided-upon, most memorable ornament for that year.

How memorable would it be, however, to create handmade ornaments like these this year? I wouldn’t give up our tradition, of course, but the inclusion of handmade ornaments would be a lovely, heartfelt addition to our tree of memories:

Three Vintage Sign Ornaments by Joanne Allison, p. 157

Three Vintage Sign Ornaments by Joanne Allison, p. 157

Jingle Bell Christmas Ornament by Beatriz Jennings and Happy Holiday Co. Star Ornament by Sherry Wright, p. 151

Jingle Bell Christmas Ornament by Beatriz Jennings and Happy Holiday Co. Star Ornament by Sherry Wright, p. 151

Don’t these conjure images of a Norman Rockwell Christmas? And this is just the tip of the proverbial treetop, if you will, friends. The ornaments section of Holiday Cards & More is chock full of ornaments in every style and color palette you can imagine—something for everyone, as jolly ol’ St. Nick might say.

And because we’re all in the Christmas spirit this week, I’d love to give away the stamp set (below) from Cornish Heritage Farms that was used to create the Three Vintage Sign Ornaments. I’ve got three sets to give away, along with a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. Just leave me a comment that tells us one of your family holiday traditions by Friday, August 28 at midnight MDT, and Christmas could come a bit early for you this year, like it has here!

Leave me a comment to win this great stamp set!

Leave me a comment to win this great stamp set!

Before you go, don’t forget to stop by the Moxie Fab World today! We’re stretching our holiday style in Holiday Cards & More Week with a week’s worth of challenges that you won’t want to miss! I’ve got some g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s classy and elegant sneak peeks for you today!

Looking forward to hearing about your traditions,

 ~Cath

Wendy Johnson, Founding Paper Crafts Pro

Wendy Johnson

‘Tis the season for ribbons, paper galore and homemade gifts tied up in pretty things! As we celebrate an early Christmas this week on the ol’ Paper Crafts blog, I’m excited to share with you a tag I created for this very fun special issue that is overflowing with amazing holiday creations. 

The little diddy shown below and featured in Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 4 was made with love from the super cute KI Memories collection, “Festive.” I love the bright colors and whimsical design that captures the fun side of the holiday season, and I’d love to give away a set of this collection along with a copy of this extra special holiday issue. Just leave me a comment by Friday, August 28 at midnight MDT and I’ll choose three winners.

Christmas Heart Tag (p. 106)

I can’t believe that we’re already gearing up for this season and all that it brings. It seems that every season sneaks up on us whether we are prepared for it or not! I also know that along with the seasons of fall, winter, summer and spring, there comes other seasons in our lives… all of which serve a purpose and shape who we are. I love this little reminder that is perched on my mantle that helps me remember that there truly is a season and time for every purpose in our lives. 

This lovely quote greets me each and every day.

Six years ago, seeds were planted during a time of my life that has grown and flourished and become one of my most bountiful seasons. Those seeds were planted in the rich soil of Paper Crafts and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have grown and flourished within the pages of this magazine, as they themselves grew from a single issue. I was there in the beginning and have thoroughly enjoyed this little season of my life. My greatest accomplishment has come within the pages of The Joy of Card Making and The Joy of Card Making: A Second Helping special issues.

I’m so grateful for Valerie Pingree and Jennafer Martin for their vision and belief in me as we worked together to bring you little card recipes for you to use in your card making. I will never forget the late night hours with two sleeping little ones tucked in their beds, as I worked on sketches and cards to share with you, our beloved readers. After the success of both issues, I was then asked to become a Paper Crafts Pro and continued to share with you my love and passion for paper crafting each month. I have also traveled across the country to Canada and even on a Caribbean Cruise to teach eager students who are ready to learn and share in this amazing hobby! 

As this season of my life comes to a close, I can’t say goodbye without saying thank you to those that have helped shape my life during this season…

  • Valerie Pingree – who saw something in me the very first day and captured the vision of The Joy of Card Making from the first moment she laid eyes on it. I owe this all to you!
  • Jennafer Martin – oh, how I have missed her! The e-mails and phone calls over the years as we worked together on The Joy of Card Making series and other special issues when she was managing editor of Paper Crafts.  Jennafer, you are one of the most amazing and influential women in the editorial department and I’m so proud to have worked with you. You deserve your new title more than ANYONE, and I’m a better person for having known you!
  • Nichole Heady – we became Paper Crafts Pro buddies from the very beginning. We’ve shared moments of laughter and late night talks as we discussed everything from our children, snakes that roam her Tennessee backyard and the latest and greatest in paper, ribbon and stamps. I’m so proud of you and your risk to make your dreams come true… Papertrey Ink. I love ya, friend!
  • Alisa Bangerter – There isn’t anyone that is more genuine, honest and sincere than this dear friend. Alisa, you are so very talented and I’m so proud of you! I love watching your segments on KSL as you have taken flight in your own new adventures. I will be the first in line to buy your book… so you better get it written!
  • Melissa Phillips – Seriously, can there be anyone sweeter than you?! Oh, sweet Melissa, how I love ya, girlie! You are THE MOST talented gal I know and best little mommy! Thank you for always being there, listening to me and being a part of this season in my life!
  • Sue Neal – If you haven’t taken a class from Sue, then you are truly missing out! She is one of the best teachers I know and is so full of life. I’m so glad we share some Idaho roots and that we have become such good friends! Best of luck with your cute card kits and I’ll see you at the conventions!
  • Stacy Croninger – There was no one better to take the helm of Paper Crafts after Valerie stepped down than you! I have missed your Laffy Taffy jokes and fun sense of humor! I’m so grateful that you are still a part of this huge family and that I get to see you at the Creating Keepsakes Conventions… I’m such a lucky gal!
  • Cath Edvalson – There really aren’t any words to adequately describe this amazing lady! We have spent several years working together and I have learned so much from her! Cath, I will never forget when you told me you had an “emotional reaction” over a picture frame I created years ago… that is my greatest compliment from you. Thank you!
  • Brenda Peterson – The glue that holds the entire Paper Crafts family together. I have worked with Brenda since that very first day and she is still here to keep everyone going! Thank you for your hard work and making sure I get paid!
  •  Jennifer, Brandy, Kelly and Susan – The rest of the gals that round out the amazing editorial staff of Paper Crafts magazine. Although our time spent together was very short, I’m so grateful that I have had the opportunity to have known and worked with you. Brandy, thank you for your wonderful home where we met many times to brainstorm, laugh and enjoy good food! Kelly, you have taken the blogging world by fire and you are amazing with what you do. Susan, you have added a whole other element to this family… thank you for your presence and hard work! Jennifer – everyone is in good hands with you leading the team. Thank you for your help and understanding during very difficult times.
  • Paper Crafts Loyal Readers – all I can say is… thank you. Thank you for your loyal support every month as you read the pages of this amazing magazine. We all love you!

As with every season in our lives, when one comes to a close, another one begins to come to life. And so it is with my own little journey in life. Although my season with Paper Crafts magazine has come to a close, I’m beyond excited and thrilled for my new season that is just beginning to sprout. As the new Education Coordinator for Piggy Tales, I will be designing classes and traveling across the country doing what I love the very most… teaching! I will also be designing projects galore through our monthly kit club, PTA, and many other assignments and adventures that are about to unfold. So, drop by our web site and you will be able to continue to see me in all that Piggy Tales has to offer… you don’t want to miss out!

And last, but not least, I must thank my sweet husband. He was there that very first day when I had the idea to submit my work. He has encouraged me every step of the way, washed dishes, mopped floors and wiped runny noses from two little faces when I have been buried in deadlines! If it weren’t for him, my dreams would have never come true! I love you, babe!

May we each remember that there truly is a “season and a time to every purpose” as we each journey through life… may you live each season that comes your way to the very fullest!

Wendy, Founding Paper Crafts Pro

P.S. If you’re a new reader and interested in learning more about The Joy of Card Making special issues, we’re currently offering a “Buy One, Get One” sale. If you buy the first volume, you’ll get “A Second Helping” for FREE! Click HERE to reserve your copies today!

Jennifer Schaerer

Jennifer Schaerer

Holiday Cards & More Week is a little slice of early holiday heaven for me.

I’m the one who keeps my Christmas playlist on my iPod all year long (I’ve also been overheard humming carols in May). I also just bought two new ornaments last weekend for our Christmas tree. And it’s only August, but I’m already working on a few ideas for neighborhood and teacher gifts for Christmas.

Seriously, I think there must be at least one branch of elf DNA in my family tree.

Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 4 has an entire section of handmade gifts, and the elf in me wants to make cookies for this canister by Wendy Sue Anderson for my daughter’s teacher: 

Mmmmm...some holiday cookies and peppermint wishes!

Mmmmm...some holiday cookies and peppermint wishes!

Alicia Thelin came up with the perfect combination of fun, cute and simple for my neighbor gifts this year: 

Whip these up assembly-line style and youll have neighbor gifts in no time at all!

Whip these up assembly-line style and you'll have neighbor gifts in no time at all!

But vintage (especially the retro-ish 50s era) always gets me, so I’ve got to jump right into this adorable tin by Anabelle O’Malley

A retro Santa with vintage style makes this tin and tag set something extra special

A retro Santa with vintage style makes this tin something extra special.

If vintage is your thing too, you need to know that Cath is having some vintage fun (with shabby chic thrown in for good measure) over at Moxie Fab World today. Stop in and say hi, maybe even take on her vintage/shabby chic design challenge. Tell her I sent you!

Yep, thanks to the Holiday Cards & More Week celebration here at Paper Crafts Connection, I’m totally in the early holiday spirit. If you’re like me and want to get a jump start on inspiration for the holidays, hop on over to our online store HERE and get your very own copy of Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 4 because it goes on sale TODAY…for 10% off! All this week! REALLY!

Or, if you’re feeling especially lucky, go ahead and leave a comment and let me know what kind of cookies you make around the holidays. I’ll pick three random winners to receive a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 4 PLUS a great prize package from Stampin’ Up! that you can use to make Alicia’s cute project shown above.

Hearing sleigh bells already,
Jennifer

P.S. Need some inspiration? Check out the CREATE gallery at the World Card Making Day web site. It’s growing by leaps and bounds, and October 3 will be here before you know it!

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday and day one of Holiday Cards & More Week! As I mentioned last Friday, we’ve once again teamed up with Cath and her Moxie Fab World blog to celebrate our latest and greatest special issue: Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4!

On sale tomorrow, this festive magazine features nearly 300 holiday projects for everyone on your list. And since Christmas is only 123 days away (yikes!), we know you need to get started on those holiday cards. This year we added more pages to the cards section, so you now have over 100 designs to jumpstart your imagination!

Each day this week we’ll be spotlighting projects from this merry magazine, as well as giving away some fantastic prizes (including free issues of Holiday Cards & More!). As always, make sure you check back with us for our grand Freebie Friday giveaway.

Between now and Friday, you can buy HCM, Vol. 4 for 10% off. Click on the magazine image to reserve your copy today!

Between now and Friday, you can buy HCM, Vol. 4 for 10% off. Click on the magazine image to reserve your copy today!

Today we’ll be spotlighting the talented Jennifer Beason, who is the creator of the gorgeous nutcracker that appears on the cover. Can you believe this is her first published project in Paper Crafts?! When we first set eyes on this little piece of holiday heaven, we just knew it had to appear in THIS magazine. And truthfully, it wasn’t hard to pick it as one of our three cover projects. Who wouldn’t want this jovial little guy in their home around the holidays?

So without further ado, let’s get to know Jennifer Beason!

Jennifer Beason

Jennifer Beason

1. Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in England and then moved to Florida with my family when I was 16.

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

No, I’m lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom.

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

I would cast Jada Pinkett-Smith. We don’t look anything alike, but I’ve always loved her.

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

“This is Heaven to Me” by Madeleine Peyroux.

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

I’m not sure… maybe that I’m only five feet tall.

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

I’d have to say my kids. After my daughter was born, I began scrapbooking all of the photos I had taken of her. I then started making cards, and now I’m doing altered projects as well.

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge?

Not having enough time!!!

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

A knife and patterned paper.

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

I love to decorate my home at Christmas time with things that I’ve made. I also enjoy making gifts for my friends and family. Christmas is the perfect time for homemade gifts.

Heres Jennifers Festive Nutcracker that can be found on p. 133 of HCM.

Jennifer's Festive Nutcracker can be found on p. 133 of Holiday Cards & More.

10. How would you describe your style? 

Playful and fun!

11.When is your favorite time to craft?

Late at night… when the family is asleep.

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

Anything soft and mellow – Sade, Madeleine Peyroux and Melody Gardot are some of my favorites.

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

They give me great ideas, especially the kids. Both of my younger kids enjoy making crafts, so I have a specific area in my craft room just for them. We are now able to work together.

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

I have one of those huge desk calendars hanging up in my craft room. I write down all the calls that I want to try out, along with all my assignments. This way I can see at a glance what’s due and when.

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

My nutcracker was the first to be published in your magazine. My style really hasn’t changed much. However, I’m consistently trying to improve my technique.

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

I have been on the following design teams: 

One Heart One Mind, Eyelets Etc. and Helmar USA. Currently, I am on the Pink Paislee design team.

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

  • Danielle Flanders – she has a knack for making everything she creates simply gorgeous. 
  • Linda Albrecht– her work is beautifully detailed. I saw some of her altered projects at the recent CHA in Orlando, FL. I’m definitely a fan for life. 
  • Rachelle Anne Miller’s illustration style really inspires me because it’s so whimsical and cute.

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

Just go for it! What you create may be just what the magazine is looking for. You won’t know unless you try.

19. What was the inspiration for your nutcracker that appears in Holiday Cards and More? How long did it take you to create it? Any tips for people who want to recreate it? 

The patterned paper was actually the inspiration for the piece. I was planning to make something different. Then the pattern in one of the papers started to look like a beard to me. I had the nutcracker laying around, so I started playing around with it. It took me a while to make, over the course of several days, and between other projects. One tip I would offer is to try and avoid covering large areas of the nutcracker with paper all at once. Use small sections of patterned paper instead.

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

I do have a blog (www.jenniwren32.blogspot.com). Please hop on over!

Thanks, Jennifer! Our friends at Pink Paislee were nice enough to donate three sets of their Tinsel Town collection – the same collection Jennifer used to create her nutcracker above. Please leave a comment below and I’ll pick three random winners to receive this collection, plus a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Tuesday, August 25.

Three lucky winners will take home this holiday-infused prize package!

Three lucky winners will take home this holiday-infused prize package!

P.S. Because I’m feeling so jolly, I just had to share a couple more projects from the home decor section of Holiday Cards & More. It looks like hot pink and lime green are going to be the “it” colors this holiday season!

Heres Davinie Fieros All Hearts Come Home Frame (p. 132).

Davinie Fiero's All Hearts Come Home Frame (p. 132)

Claire Brennans Christmas Tree (p. 135 and on the cover!)

Claire Brennan's Christmas Tree (p. 135)

Are visions of sugar plums dancing in your head? If not, head on over to Moxie Fab World for some more holiday inspiration. And make sure you check back with us tomorrow as Jennifer spotlights the gifts section of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4!

Kelly

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the two winners from Susan’s Tips, Tools, & Techniques Trivia post, the winner from Brandy’s Memories Made post and the two winners from my Holiday Cards & More Week post! Here they are in no particular order:

Susan’s winners:

1. Jenn Coker (August 18, 10:15 a.m.)
2. Sue Blondin (August 19, 5:27 a.m.)

Brandy’s winner:

Jamie Greene (August 20, 6:46 a.m.)

My winners:

1. Nancy L. (August 21, 10:41 a.m.)
2. Leslie (August 21, 11:42 a.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! It may only be August, but I’m suddenly in the mood to decorate my Christmas tree while sipping eggnog and listening to Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song”.

Hmm… I wonder where this surge of holiday cheer is coming from? Oh, yeah, now I remember… We just got our crisp new copies of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4! Get ready to join me in singing those carols!

Hitting newsstands on August 25, we’re bringing you another spectacular issue with 292 holiday creations bursting with paper perfection. Discover creative new ideas for holiday cards, seasonal home décor, gift wrap and festive party ensembles for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s.

To coincide with its release date, all next week we’ll be giving you a sneak peek of our fourth (and my favorite!) volume of Holidays Cards & More.  

In addition to all the fun we’ll be having here, we’re partnering with creative editor Cath Edvalson and her Moxie Fab World blog. Both sites will be doing daily giveaways, as well as spotlighting projects from this festive issue.

Between today and August 28, you can buy Holiday Cards and More for 10% off. Click on the magazine image to reserve your copy today!

Between today and August 28, you can buy HCM, Vol. 4 for 10% off. Click on the magazine image to reserve your copy today!

Next week on Paper Crafts Connection:

Magazine Monday – Designer spotlight on the talented Jennifer Beason. We knew people would be talking about the unbelievably detailed nutcracker (seen on the cover), so we decided to go right to the source and interview the artist behind this masterpiece. We’ll also show two additional projects from the home decor section of Holiday Cards & More. And if you’re a fan of Pink Paislee (and who isn’t?), you won’t want to miss this fantastic giveaway!

Tuesday – It’s never too early to start on those holiday gifts! Editor-in-chief Jennifer Schaerer will spotlight three projects from the gifts section and give away some merry and bright product from Stampin’ Up!

With the Pros WednesdayPaper Crafts Pro Wendy Johnson will show you how easy it is to wrap your gifts in style as she features projects from the gift wrap section. Her adorable gift tag can literally be made in four steps! And you guessed it, there’s another fun giveaway up for grabs!

Thursday – Creative editor Cath Edvalson will join me in dressing the Christmas tree as she spotlights our ornaments section. If you’re feeling the pinch of the economy, we’ll show you how to make your own beautiful ornaments that you’ll treasure for years to come. And to aid you in your quest, we’re giving away some very cool product!

Freebie Friday – With over 100 fabulous card designs in this special issue, I’ll share some of my favorites! So whether you like to stamp, you’re into shabby or the clean and graphic look, I’ll give you a little taste of our diverse cards section. And since this is our fourth volume of Holiday Cards & More, I will award three winners a pretty fantastic prize package. But if random integer happens to draw your name as my fourth winner, well let’s just say that Christmas will be coming a little early for you!

So, are you ready for a little holiday cheer in August? I guarantee you’ll be humming along to Nat King Cole by week’s end!

Here’s to Holiday Cards & More Week!
Kelly

P.S. If some of you simply can’t wait for Monday, here’s a sneak peek at two cards that both feature My Mind’s Eye Snowed In collection.

Julia Staintons Merry & Bright Card

Julia Stainton's Merry & Bright Card

Rae Barthels Birdcage Seasons Greetings Card

Rae Barthel's Birdcage Season's Greetings Card

Like what you see? Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about the holidays. I’ll pick two winners to take home this versatile collection from My Mind’s Eye and a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. All comments must be received by midnight on Sunday, August 23. I’ll announce the two winners on Monday when we officially kick off Holiday Cards & More Week!

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Sue’s Prepartion Meets Opportunity post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Scrapcandy (August 19, 11:07 a.m.)
2. Jen Madsen (August 19, 9:21 p.m.)
3. Christine (August 19, 12:19 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! You each win a copy of Card Fashion! I’ll be contacting you shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left so many comments!

Brandy Jesperson

Brandy Jesperson

I love the weeks surrounding CHA! Even if I don’t get to go to the show, I get to see many exciting new lines that always leave me more inspired than when I began my day. 

We’ve had several local manufacturers pop over to the Paper Crafts offices to show off their wares and occasionally we even have the chance to visit with a manufacturer on their home turf. 

Last week we drove to Centerville, UT to get a look at the latest and greatest from Making Memories. Their new Vintage Findings collection is fabulous and their upcoming Halloween and Christmas lines are sensational (but honesty, are you really surprised?). 

As always, we had to pose for a picture before we left.

 

Here we (the Paper Crafts ladies) pose for a picture with some friends from CK, the Events team, and Making Memories.

Here we (the Paper Crafts ladies) pose for a picture with some friends from CK, the Events team, and Making Memories.

The gals at Making Memories were very generous and sent us all home with a bundle of product! Since I don’t want to be a product hog, I figured I’d be nice and share some of my goodies with you. Leave me a comment telling me which CHA release made you squeal with glee (check out this link if you need a little inspiration) and I’ll randomly select one winner to take home some Making Memories product. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Friday, August 21.

Someone will take home some of these goodies that Kelly and I received.

Someone will take home some of these goodies that Kelly and I received from Making Memories.

Happy commenting,
Brandy

P.S. I want to send out a quick reminder to you international commenters. We are no longer able to ship prizes outside of the U.S. HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean that you can’t play. You can absolutely comment your socks off, but if your name is drawn, instead of winning the prize that’s being offered, you’ll receive a one-year subscription to Paper Crafts magazine. So keep your comments coming, friends!

Susan Neal

Susan Neal

As I travel and teach for Paper Crafts magazine, the most common question I hear is “how can I get your job?” I thought I’d take this last opportunity to answer with the long version, basically a synopsis of my time here at Paper Crafts… let’s go back in time!

In  2001 I started a relationship with Creating Keepsakes magazine. I had entered a few contests, one of which I won, and the other which led me to doing some design work, including this first cover:

The July/August 2001 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine

The July/August 2001 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine

In conversation with the CK editors, they discovered I was a designer/painter. They quickly got me in contact with the managing editor (Jennafer Martin, who is now the editor-in-chief of CK) of their new sister publication Crafts magazine. Literally, within a few days I had design assignments. I spent the next few years designing and painting for Crafts, but my heart was turning to paper. I was done with wood!

Fortunately, Crafts magazine and Valerie Pingree (the founding editor of Paper Crafts) also made such a change and in February of 2004 Paper Crafts magazine was launched and I was along for the ride. And what a ride it’s been!

Heres where it all began: the Febraury 2004 issue of Paper Crafts.

Here's where it all began: the February 2004 issue of Paper Crafts.

At the time I had just sold a paper crafting retail store/web site I had started in 2002. I suddenly had two very important things necessary to contributing to Paper Crafts magazine in a big way: time and plenty of paper crafting supplies. 

In short order I was asked to fill the role of Paper Crafts Pro for the magazine. It was very much a job that evolved over time, and one that was exciting and creative and really, just fun. We (the PC Pros) became contributors not only in design, but at editorial boards meetings; we helped to critique past issues and plan for new ones. We researched trends, brainstormed and got super creative.

Early on, I conceived a special issue idea that turned into Card Fashion; using fashion to inspire card design. I got to concept, write, assign, organize and I loved every moment of it. I have to thank Jennafer M. and Stacy C. for giving me that opportunity.

Card Fashion, 2006

Card Fashion, 2006

It was such a joy to work for Paper Crafts that I don’t think I’ve ever said no to any request in all the years I’ve worked there. I’m sure I’ll hear about it if I did!

We soon got opportunities to teach; which has been one of my most beloved responsibilities and one that I’ve carried through to a new business I started last fall, Q’s Creative Card Classes. I love to travel, meet new people and share in our mutual paper crafting passion. I was just in Valley Forge a few weeks ago and will be in Tulsa again this weekend – hopefully I’ll see some of you there!

CKC-Valley Forge, 2009

CKC-Valley Forge, 2009

We travelled to CHA and other industry conventions, representing the magazine, doing research and creating relationships with manufacturers. Many great memories are associated with these trips and I dearly miss them.

In 2006 I was asked to represent Paper Crafts on a local morning show KSL Studio 5. I clearly remember the butterflies that first day, but oddly enough they quickly disappeared and I left the show that day thinking, “I think I can do this.” I’m sure a large part of this was the ease of interaction with the hostess of the show, Brooke Walker.

Heres one of my appearances on Studio5. Love that Brooke Walker!

Here's one of my appearances on Studio 5. Love that Brooke Walker!

Surprisingly, the most intimidating thing I’ve been asked to do is video tape instructional videos. I know this sounds very similar to live TV, but actually, it’s much, much harder, as you have nothing but a camera (or two) to relate to. No cute hostess to play off of or fill in your blanks – just you and the camera. Fortunately, I was very prepared and despite my nervousness, was able to create some successful teaching segments. The second time I did this was much easier, which just goes to show you that some things just have to be done to be learned.

Practice makes perfect!

Practice makes perfect!

You can see me in this video!

You can see me in this video!

It has been my absolute joy being an ambassador and cheerleader for Paper Crafts Magazine and one I don’t plan on stopping. I continue to devour each issue and share that love with anyone I come in contact with. As a founding PC Pro, I’m hoping you’ll still see me on occasion.

Working for Paper Crafts has given me a whole new set of skills that I want to use. Q’s Creative Card Classes has become a huge part of my life. I’ve also continued my relationship with Studio 5 and am now a regular cooking and paper crafting contributor for them. I still freelance design and consult in large part because of the treasured friendships and valuable relationships I’ve gathered over the years. 

I’m sure it’s easy to see the opportunity part of this equation. I want to thank every one of you who gave me those moments… you know who you are!

I prepared for those opportunities by working. Really, it’s that simple. I love this hobby so much that work for me was a joy, but it was still work. Lots and lots and lots of design, educating myself on techniques and even creating some along the way. And of course, staying on top of trends and reading Paper Crafts magazine! The editors at Paper Crafts are so good at communicating just what they need, so read closely and don’t give up! Keep submitting and persevere. I’ll be looking for your name soon!

Your Founding PC Pro,
Sue Neal

P.S. If you’re intrigued by the concept of Card Fashion, I just happen to have three copies from the secret Paper Crafts vault. Leave me a comment and I’ll pick three random winners to receive their very own copy! All comments must be received by midnight on Thursday, August 20.

Susan R. Opel

Susan R. Opel

It’s time for another edition of Tips, Tools, & Techniques trivia! Crack open your spook-erific copy of the September/October 2009 issue of Paper Crafts magazine to page 80 and answer the following questions for the chance to WIN (and who doesn’t like to win?):

  • Look carefully at the Twist Trimmer blades on page 80. What does the orange blade do?
  • On page 81, I stated that I wanted one of each of four types of sweaters? Name the four sweater types.
  • Read through the Microsoft Word section on page 82. What key do you push on the keyboard to create the spider on the Keep it Creepy Card?
  • Check out the caption below the Bubble Blast Office Set on page 82. Which two places might be brightened by these colorful organizers?
  • 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 one of the following:

  • The Twist Trimmer and Magnetic Mat (plus the blades you see on page 80) from We R Memory Keepers shown on page 80.

  • The Bubble Blast Office Set by Home Essence on page 82 (including four matching bonus pieces that aren’t even in the photograph!).

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@papercraftsmag.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 MDT on Friday, August 21st. 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