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P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday! Two weeks ago, Nicole, one of our readers, left this comment on Brandy’s Finding New Friends post:

“I’m not sure if this has been done before I started following the blog, but I would love to see a tour of the Paper Crafts office. I do remember seeing a picture of the lobby a few months back, but a photo tour would be cool.”

Well, Nicole, your wish is my command! Sit back and enjoy “walking” through the hallways of 14850 Pony Express Rd. We’ll also show you pictures of each team member’s cubicle or office. We have them decorated a little differently, so we’ll share why we have what we have and why we love it. That made sense, right?

Heres the front of our office building. The flowers are still blooming!

Here's the front of our office building. The flowers are still blooming!

Heres what you see when your first walk in our lobby. Last year our lobby got a little makeover. With IKEA literally in our backyard, it was a no brainer.

Here's what you see when your first walk through our doors. Our lobby got a little makeover last year. With IKEA literally in our backyard, it was a no brainer.

Heres what on the other side of the lobby. The digital picture frame constantly cycles through pictures of us, the Creating Keepsakes team and others in our building.

Here's what's on the other side of the lobby. The digital frame constantly cycles through pictures of us, the Creating Keepsakes team and others in our building.

If you take a right youll see a long hallway that houses pictures of all of our covers over the years.

If you take a right from the lobby, you'll see a long hallway that houses pictures of all our magazine covers. It's amazing to walk down it and see how far we've come!

Since were on this side of the building, Ill take you into our storage room. Here we store all of our magazines, supplies, Christmas decorations, etc.

Since we're on this side of the building, I'll take you into our storage room. Here we store all of our surplus magazines, supplies, Christmas decorations, etc.

The storage room also houses designers projects that have already been photographed in the studio and are waiting to be mailed back.

The storage room also holds designers' projects that have been photographed in the studio and are waiting to be mailed back.

Now lets take a quick peek into our warehouse. Not very tidy, but it definitely serves its purpose. In addition to being a very large storage room for all departments, packages are shipped and received here.

Now let's take a quick peek into our warehouse. Not very tidy, but it definitely serves its purpose. In addition to being a very large storage room for all departments, packages are shipped and received here.

Now lets go eat! Off to the break room we go... Here we eat our lunches, conduct company-wide meetings and pick up our mail.

Now let's go eat! Off to the break room we go... Here we eat our lunches, conduct company-wide meetings and pick up our mail.

This is the free table. It sits in the break room and whatever is on it is up for grabs. I once made the mistake of setting down some sweepstakes product while I grabbed a glass of water. Youve never seen so many women go crazy!

This is the "free table". It sits in the break room and anything on it is up for grabs. I once made the mistake of setting down some sweepstakes product while I grabbed a glass of water. You've never seen so many grown women go crazy!

With our bellies full, its time to go back to work. Lets head down this hallway to Jennifers office. On this wall youll see all of our black and white headshots.

With our bellies full, it's time to go back to work. Let's head down this hallway to Jennifer's office. On this wall you'll see all of our black and white headshots.

And here we are in Jennifers office. Hold for a minute while Jennifer applies a fresh coat of tinted lip gloss. (I did the exact same thing!)

And here we are in Jennifer's office. Hold for a minute while Jennifer applies a fresh coat of tinted lip gloss. (I did the exact same thing, so don't judge!)

Jennifer loves the color green, so this is her little green oasis. She even liked this piece of patterned paper so much, she even framed it!

Jennifer loves the color green, so this is her little green oasis.

Why Jennifer Loves Her Office Space: 

“I think the most obvious part of my office is the wall color – Crisp Celery (by Behr) is the color name. It’s a warm yellowish green that was inspired by my love of anything green and also by this particular patterned paper that is now framed and hanging on my wall:

The color green is known for being a restful and natural influence, providing balance and healing to surroundings. Almost everyone who comes into my office comments on how bright and happy it feels, and I even find myself studying the color as it changes with the light throughout the day.”

Right next door is Matts office. He was just promoted to art director and as you can see, hes taking his new responsibilities very seriously!

Right next door is Matt's office. He was recently promoted to art director and as you can see, he's taking his new responsibilities very seriously!

Matt really is just a big kid. Even though hes only been in his office a couple of weeks, hes already lined up his prized Star Wars figurines.

Matt really is just a big kid. Even though he's only been in his office two weeks, he's already lined up his prized Star Wars figures. May the force be with you, Matt!

Why Matt Loves His Office Space:
 
“Well, seeing that I just moved from cube to an office, I like having four walls around me. I feel I can concentrate more and focus on the project at hand.”
On the other side of Jennifers office is our beloved Brighton conference room. All the conference rooms here are named after Utah ski resorts. We have Brighton, Sundance and Alta (although Alta went away to become someones office!). Here we hold all of our concepting and submission judging meetings, as well as our weekly staff meeting called Rendezvous.

On the other side of Jennifer's office is our Brighton conference room. All the conference rooms are named after Utah ski resorts. There's Brighton, Sundance and Alta (although Alta went away to become someone's office!). Here we hold all of our concepting and submission judging meetings, as well as our staff meeting called Rendezvous. Looks like someone needs to clean the white board!

Now lets go back down the hall to Brandys office. She decided to paint her walls a soft, buttery yellow.

Now let's go back down the hall to Brandy's office. She decided to paint her walls a soft, buttery yellow. The rose picture is from IKEA. And yes, it's always this neat!

Heres a close-up view of some items in Brandys bookcase.

Here's a close-up view of some items in Brandy's bookcase.

Why Brandy Loves Her Office Space:

“My office doesn’t have any windows, so the first thing I did before I moved in was paint two of the walls a soft yellow. This helps bring the sunshine in even on the dreariest of days. I don’t work well in a messy or cluttered environment, so everything in my office is neat and tidy. My magazines are stored in chronological order in matching holders. I have two magnetic boards from IKEA (love that store!) that are used to display cards from designers, magazine covers in progress and little mementos. My office is often the storing place for projects while I’m preparing assignments for writers and final editing. To keep the chaos to a minimum, I have lots of empty shelves that can easily be filled with totes and binders. I’ve found that using the vertical space around me keeps my desk and floor clutter-free and in turn keeps me sane in a sea of cards, gift wraps and home décor items!”

From Brandys office, we walk down an aisle that houses the rest of our cubicles. We first stop at Caths cube.

From Brandy's office, we walk down an aisle that houses the rest of our cubicles. We first stop at Cath's cube, aka Ms. Edvalson. As a former teacher, she still uses her teacher voice every now and then to keep us in line.

 
Why Cath Loves Her Office Space:
 
“What I love most is the wall of ephemera in my cube. I have trinkets from shows, cards that have been sent by industry friends and photos that I’ve accumulated over the four years that I’ve been here at Paper Crafts.”
  
Behind Cath sits Susan. Like Brandy, Susan is very tidy, too. And she LOVES the color orange!

Behind Cath sits Susan. Susan is also very tidy. And she loves the color orange!

Heres a few of Susans favorite things. See what I mean about the color orange!

Here's a few of Susan's favorite things. See what I mean about the color orange!

Why Susan Loves Her Office Space: 

 
“The obvious thing that I love about my cube is its juicy orangeness. Orange is my favorite color, and I try to incorporate it in as many ways as possible from scissors, file folders and push pins to monograms, storage bins and flowers. It’s an awfully happy little space to read, write and create! I’ve also peppered my work area with fun photos and memorabilia from my teaching days as well as things I’ve picked up while working for Paper Crafts magazine. I definitely like to keep things neat and tidy in my area!” 

Next on our tour is my cube. I sit right across from Susan and behind Brenda.

Next on our tour is my little cube. I sit right across from Susan and behind Brenda.

My favorite wall is this one. I, too, collect quotes, cards, pictures, etc.

Here's my wall of memorabilia. Like Cath, I also collect quotes, cards, pictures, etc.

Why I Love My Office Space:
 
“I have a wall of memorabilia that greets me each and every day. Here I store all of the memories I have created at Paper Crafts. A lot of the larger pictures are ones where our former graphic designer Photoshopped my face on some famous actresses’ bodies. So far in my career I’ve played Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind and Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner. And yes, that’s a REAL autographed picture of Matthew McConaughey sitting on my desk. Now you know where all my inspiration comes from!”
And last on our tour is Brendas cube. Its been said many times before, but she is the glue that keeps us together. If you have a question, just ask Brenda!

And last on our tour is Brenda's cube. It's been said before, but she is the glue that keeps us together. If you have a question, just ask Brenda!

Heres what inspires Brenda... her three cute kids!

Here's what inspires Brenda... her three cute kids!

Why Brenda Loves Her Office Space:

“I love my little corner of the office called my cube. It is my home away from home. I have collected little momentos along the way that remind me of fun events we have celebrated here at Paper Crafts. My favorite is my collection of little crafts that we have done throughout the years, most recently our name plates.”

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed your three-hour tour of the Paper Crafts office. Remember to collect all personal belongings, exit carefully from the bus and tip your driver generously!

See ya around the water cooler!
Kelly

P.S. It’s time to announce the two winners from Jennifer’s Foot Stompin’ Enthusiasm post and the three winners from my Got Vintage post! Here they are in no particular order:

Jennifer’s winners:

1. Kelly (August 14, 5:56 p.m.)
2. Erika (August 13, 2:27 p.m.)

My winners:

1. Steph (August 14, 9:04 p.m.)
2. Katie M (August 14, 8:06 a.m.)
3. Sherry Campbell (August 14, 9:01 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!

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P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! Has everyone found some time to paper craft this week? I myself will be spending the weekend making two sets of cards (20 total!) for our upcoming card group. Like many of you, I often struggle with “Where do I begin?” With so many pretty papers and endless embellishments, I often spend more time conceptualizing than creating. And while that’s important, I’d much rather be “playing” than “thinking”.

Lucky for me (and all of you!), our fabulous creative editor Cath Edvalson just returned from the CHA trade show with her top picks for products and trends. If you didn’t get a chance to read her CHA Trends by the Dozen post this week, it will definitely whet your paper crafting appetite!

And while Cath cited a dozen tasty trends, she said the runaway hit of the show was the vintage look. We recently featured this timeless trend in our July/August 2009 issue. I love the fact that people are now incorporating antique lace, buttons, ticket stubs, game pieces, costume jewelry and a million other priceless finds into their paper crafting. It really gives a whole new meaning to the word recycling!

And for those of you who scrapbook, there’s finally a plethora of vintage product to complement those heirloom family photos. Here’s a few of my favorites from the Smith family vault:

My great-grandmother Ruth Turner Smith. She was born January 1, 1900.

My great-grandmother Ruth Turner Smith. She was born January 1, 1900.

Here she is a few years later with her husband and two young sons. The youngest is my grandpa.

Here she is a few years later with her husband and two young sons. The youngest is my grandpa.

That little baby grew up to marry my grandma (seen here) with my uncle, aunt and dad (far right). Circa 1963.

That little baby grew up to marry my grandma, seen here with my uncle, aunt and dad (far right). Circa 1963.

Aren’t these photos amazing? Last year my grandma went through all of her old photo albums and slides and put close to 1200 pictures on CD’s. She then gave one to each member of the family for Christmas. What a memorable gift!

Are you ready for today’s vintage-inspired giveaway? If the vintage trend is one that speaks to you, leave a comment telling me why. I’ll pick three random winners to receive either Graphic 45’s Playtimes Past, Botanicabella or Times Nouveau collection. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, August 16. I’ll announce the three winners on Monday’s blog.

Three winners will take home one of these fantastic vintage collection from Graphic 45.

Three winners will each win one of these vintage collections from Graphic 45.

Here to making old new again!
Kelly

P.S. It’s time to announce the winners from Cath’s CHA Trends by the Dozen post and Kim’s My Creative Process post! Here they are:

Cath’s winner:

Jing-Jing (August 11, 10:42 a.m.)

Kim’s winner:

Lindsay (August 12, 8:36 a.m.)

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

Jennifer Schaerer

Jennifer Schaerer

I spent the better part of yesterday thinking back on my first year here at Paper Crafts (I know! It’s been a YEAR!), and one of the most satisfying parts of being part of this community is the enthusiasm and support for this oh-so-creative hobby of paper crafting.

And last week my cup, um, overfloweth with enthusiasm when I got to attend the annual convention for Stampin’ Up! demonstrators. Ever seen clips from a Hannah Montana concert? Yeah, it was sorta like that, but with grown women in the audience.

Before the tidal wave of energy arrived

Before the tidal wave of energy arrived

With a theme of Inspire. Create. Share. and some vibrant colors and set design to go with it, there was plenty of all three to go around. The most exciting part was hearing about the new design software being released Fall 2009: My Digital Studio. Let me tell you, this is one powerful and versatile tool, my friends. Keep an eye out for more information when the product is released.

Stampin’ Up! also unveiled its partnership with Build-A-Bear, releasing dies, designer paper and stamp sets that delightfully capture the charm of these furry do-it-yourself critters in paper crafted form.

Kelly Smith, Brittany Beattie, me, Megan Hoeppner and Brenda Peterson “sharing” the fun!

Kelly Smith, Brittany Beattie, me, Megan Hoeppner and Brenda Peterson “sharing” the fun!

After the general session broke for lunch, we (Kelly Smith, Brenda Peterson, plus our Creating Keepsakes peeps Megan Hoeppner and Brittany Beattie rounded our group) wandered through the lunchroom to see the project displays. I somehow managed to pick up my jaw from the floor and dig out my camera to start manically snapping photos of each color-themed section.

Until my battery died. And I’m not even kidding you.

But I was able to capture a good dozen shots, and I’m here to share the wealth. Get set to scroll through some catchy color combinations and lovely layering ideas. Ready? Go!

The lunch area was packed with hundreds of enthusiastic demonstrators refueling for two more days of Stampin’ Up! fun, so we gave a big inspired sigh and went back to our magazine world for the rest of the day.

Looking forward to another year as enjoyable as the past one,
Jennifer

P.S. I’d love to hear what aspect of paper crafting makes your cup overfloweth with enthusiasm. Leave a comment and I’ll pick two winners to each receive a Stampin’ Up! stamp set. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Friday, August 14.

Kim Kesti

Kim Kesti

Since you’ll be hearing from all the new Go-to Gals in the coming months, I though it would be fun to share a little bit about my creative process, a bit about “me”. I’ll be asking you about your process later, so keep that in mind.

Almost invariably, I reach for embellishments first when I start my card making process. Sometimes I am inspired by a fancy sticker, sometimes a great piece of chipboard, and other times by a pretty flower. Today, it was a “to die for” pack of felt Woolies from BasicGrey.

I chose several colors cardstock that matched the Woolies and grabbed a few buttons, too.

I don’t always use patterned paper, but in this case I had a great piece of matching paper that also had a small scale print (which is great for cards), so I added that to the pile.

Step three is the easiest. I decided to make four coordinating cards, so I cut all the card bases the same and creased them to size with a bone folder. Done.

Next came the fun part. I was intrigued by the scallops on the Woolies, so I pulled out a few of my newer dies that feature scallops, outlines and journaling blocks. I cut a bunch to experiment with.

Now, I begin to assemble my cards. I’m having a blast at this point, merrily matching up colors and shapes. Then the dreaded happens…I realize that I forgot to plan out my sentiments. Sentiments are my biggest challenge. At this point I can cop out and pretend these are supposed to be blank note cards, or I can dig into my drawers and see what I can find.

I don’t have any decent rubs, but I do have a pretty good supply of rubber stamps. I should rename them “lifesavers”. So, I grab my brown ink pad and a brown journaling pen and finish up my cards.

Here are the four cards, stamped and outlined.

That pretty sums up my creative process. What about yours? Where do you start? What challenges do you face? Leave me a comment answering any of these questions and I’ll put you in a drawing to win these cards! Let’s spread the creativity around, gals.

I’ll choose a winner by midnight (MST) on Thursday, August 13th, so post a comment before then.

Happy Crafting!
Kim, Paper Crafts Pro

Cath Edvalson

Cath Edvalson

As creative editor of Paper Crafts magazine, it’s my job to identify the trendiest trends at each show I attend, and even though the show was smaller this summer, I’m happy to report that there was absolutely no shortage of trends.

In fact, I’ve got a delicious dozen for you to drool over, so grab some napkins, for it’s going to be a sweet and tasty treat!

1.  Vintage. The runaway trend of the show:

Products from Crafty Secrets, Graphic 45, Jillibean Soup, Making Memories, and Unity Stamp Co.

Products from Crafty Secrets, Graphic 45, Jillibean Soup, Making Memories and Unity Stamp Company

2. Cameos. Showing their best sides:

Products from Sassafras Lass and Websters Pages

Products from Sassafras Lass and Webster's Pages

3. Fruit. Juicing things up:

Products from October Afternoon, BasicGrey, and Sassafras Lass

Products from October Afternoon, BasicGrey and Sassafras Lass

4. Patchwork Patterns. More mix than match:

Products from BasicGrey and Die Cuts With a View

Products from BasicGrey and Die Cuts With a View

5. Line-drawn images. More than just reading between the lines:

from Crate Paper, Bella Blvd., Technique Tuesday, and Die Cuts With a View

Products from Crate Paper, Bella Blvd, Technique Tuesday and Die Cuts With a View

6. Clouds. Always a silver lining:

Products from My Little Shoebox, Crate Paper, and Cosmo Cricket

Products from My Little Shoebox, Crate Paper and Cosmo Cricket

7. Lace. It’s all about the finery:

Products from Hambly Screen Prints, Graphic 45, Kodomo, Webster's Pages, Bo Bunny and BasicGrey

 8. Letterpress. Straight from your local stationery store:

Products from Spellbinders, Ellison, and QuicKutz

Products from Spellbinders, Ellison and QuicKutz

9. Bingo Cards. Take a chance on these:

Products from Unity Stamp Company and Melissa Frances

10. Peace Signs. Keepin’ it groovy:

Products from Die Cuts With a View

Products from Die Cuts With a View

11. Holiday Lines with Yellow Pop. A moxie fab surprise:

Products from Crate Paper, American Crafts, Cosmo Cricket, and Bella Blvd

Products from Crate Paper, American Crafts, Cosmo Cricket and Bella Blvd

12. Smaller scale products for card makers. These are just for us!

Products from Jenni Bowlin, May Road, Cosmo Cricket, and Pink Paislee

Products from Jenni Bowlin, May Road, Cosmo Cricket and Pink Paislee

A dozen delicious delights, yes? Watch for these tempting trends in the aisles of your local scrapbook store… and coming to a magazine near you, I’m sure!

I’d love to hear what trend tempts you the most, so leave me a comment by midnight (MDT) on Thursday, August 13 and I’ll whip up a tasty treat for one random winner.

Delighting in the dozen,
~Cath

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday! Can you believe summer is almost over? I swear it just seemed like June the other day. I guess all good things must come to an end. Even fun vacations in paradise!

Last month I had the opportunity to join my mom and grandma in San Diego for a little R&R. (I swear summer exists here all year round!) One beautiful night we were invited over to my mom’s cousin’s home for dinner. While we were dining under the stars (and next to their lemon trees!), I got to talking with Sandra’s ten-year-old granddaughter Kayla. When I told that I worked for a card magazine, her little eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning. I guess Kayla is known for making cards for special occasions like birthdays and Father’s Day. Gallery Idol was going on then, so I got on her grandma’s computer and showed her this blog and some of the entries (I believe it was button week). She immediately printed them out and went around showing everyone all the pretty cards from “my” magazine. Clearly this child was hooked!

Seeing an opportunity to mold a promising young mind, I told her that I would send her a copy of Paper Crafting with Kids when I returned to the office. When I explained it was a magazine full of paper crafting ideas for kids, her eyes, once again, glazed over with glee.

Heres a picture of Kayla and me. Could she be any cuter?

Kayla's grandma snapped this picture of her and me before we said goodbye. Could she be any cuter?

As promised, I sent Kayla her magazine and I threw in some miscellaneous product. About a week later I received this e-mail from her grandma:

Dear Kelly,

Just a quick note to thank you for sending the wonderful surprise package to Kayla! When I walked in their front door yesterday morning, she was about to bust all her buttons to get me into their family room to show me what you had sent. She was one very excited young girl! She had her “craft table” set up in the middle of the room and was already busily crafting new cards, etc. And this was only 7:00 a.m.! The floor was covered with bits of paper, so I have to assume she had been hard at work for sometime prior to my arrival!

Again, thank you!
Sandra

And then about week later, I received a thank you from Kayla in the form of a handmade card. (Clearly button week made quite an impression!)

Pink and Green Thank You Card by Kayla Marchand.

Floral Thank You Card by Kayla Marchand.

And there was a sweet message inside thanking me “so so so much” for her care package. Apparently she had already read the magazine cover to cover!

And so the addiction begins… I take full responsibility for leading Kayla down the slippery slope of  6 a.m. paper crafting. At least she now knows there’s a huge support group out there!

Here’s to the creative kiddos!
Kelly

P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from my Freebie Friday – September/October I-Spy post and the two winners from Susan’s Travelin’ Adventures of a Paper Crafts Editor post! Here they are in no particular order:

My winners:

1. Lindzie H (August 7, 1:08 p.m.)
2. Tanya T (August 7, 8:29 a.m.)
3. Betty Lou (August 8, 11:26 a.m.)

Susan’s winners:

1. Denise Schnarr (August 7, 8:26 p.m.)
2. Ann (August 6, 2:31 p.m.)

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

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday and Paper Crafts latest installment of I-Spy! If you enjoyed our “Around the House” round of Gallery Idol, you’re going to love today’s prizes! We’ve got some very cool product featuring all of your favorite household icons. So pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee (or if you’re like me, Coke over ice!) and settle in at your table for this fan favorite trivia game.

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

September/October I-Spy Questions:

1. I spy our Paper Crafts Connection column. How many projects were created by someone named Kim or Kimberly? Name the four K’s.

2. I spy our Paper Crafts 101 column. What tip do we give for making your own epoxy accents?

3. I spy our Photo Finish column. How many kids are pictured in Davinie Fiero’s Boo Crew Halloween Decor project?

4. I spy our Things That Go Bump in the Night feature. What does Matt say is his biggest fear?

5. I spy an ad for our 2009 World Card Making Day Card Contest. What is the deadline for entries?

6. I spy our Graphically Speaking feature. What two numbers are the bookends on Angie Hagist’s How Old? Card?

7. I spy a card in our Bundled Up feature made by our new Gallery Idol winner. What is the title of her card?

8. I spy our Around the House feature. What sentiment did Teri Anderson pair with her rolling pin card (from Kitchen Note Card Set)?

9. I spy our Tips, Tools, & Techniques column. Melissa Phillips incorporates six textures into her beautiful tags. What texture did she add to her butterfly tag?

10. I spy our Get Inspired column. According to Courtney Kelley’s invitation, when does apple picking begin?

Three random winners (who answer five or more questions correctly) will win a selection of product we feature in this issue’s Product Parade column. (Just turn to p. 78 for a closer look!) To play, please enter your answers in the comment field below this entry. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, August 9. I’ll announce the three winners on Monday, August 10.

Good luck!
Kelly

P.S. Some news for our international commenters… Due to the transition after the sale of our company from CK Media to New Track Media, we are unable to ship prizes outside of the U.S. HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean that you can’t participate in all the fun. You absolutely can comment, but if your name is drawn, instead of winning the prize that is being offered, you will receive a one-year subscription to Paper Crafts magazine. So keep your comments coming, friends! We love hearing from ALL of our loyal readers! 

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the five winners from Alisa’s School Supply Savvy post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Charlene (August 6, 4:51 a.m.)
2. Nikki Schmaltz (August 6, 8:36 p.m.)
3. Samantha T. (August 6, 7:12 a.m.)
4. NWFlamingo (August 5, 10:06 a.m.)
5. Golda (August 6, 10: 12 p.m.)

Congrats, ladies! You each win an assortment of school-themed paper from Imaginisce, as well as some jewel brads from American Crafts. I’ll be e-mailing you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

Susan R. Opel

Susan R. Opel

It’s no secret that I have a serious case of wanderlust. As a matter of fact I think that I was born with it. And now that I work for Paper Crafts magazine, I get a pretty regular chance to feed my travel addiction. This year alone I’ve been to Anaheim, Louisville, and Manchester, NH, for work-related adventures (as well as trips to San Francisco and an upcoming one to Michigan for pleasure). And I still have one more business trip to Nashville in September. Last week work took me on an odyssey of sorts all over the USA.

Early last Monday morning (July 27th), my sister escorted Cath and me to the Salt Lake City airport for the first leg of my trip. Cath and I were headed to Orlando, FL, to see what was new and hot in the land of paper crafting at CHA (the Craft and Hobby Association trade show). And let me tell you, it is pretty hot in Florida in July. Whew! It was a mistake to attempt doing my hair with hot rollers. Okay – and now for a random side note… Cath and I both pulled out the exact same book (Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan) on the airplane. How wild is that?

One of the best parts of CHA is hanging out with the talented manufacturers and designers! It’s fun to give them all a big old hug in person!

One of the best parts of CHA is hanging out with the talented manufacturers and designers! It’s fun to give them all a big old hug in person!

Cath and I walked the show floor for two solid days (Tuesday and Wednesday) at the Orange County Convention Center, drooling over new products and glad-handing with manufacturers and designers alike. It’s a dirty job, but somebody needs to do it. 😉

Here’s a little peek of what we saw on Tuesday at the trade show.

Here’s a little peek of what we saw on Tuesday at the trade show.

Thursday morning was a super early one for me since I had to be in the lobby of our hotel at 5:50 a.m. to catch a shuttle to the airport. Now I will admit I am a morning person, but not quite THAT much. I didn’t sleep well at all worrying that I might miss my alarm, so I developed quite a headache. But the Paper Crafts show must go on! My Thursday morning flight was headed north to Philadelphia where I’d catch another shuttle to Valley Forge, PA, to teach classes at CKC (Creating Keepsakes Convention).

Once in Valley Forge, I was delighted to find a comfy bed to rest my weary head, a jetted tub for a rejuvenating bath, and complimentary Internet service so I could catch up on Facebook. Huzzah! It was a welcome bit of solace and allowed me to gear up for the two days of teaching that lay ahead.

On Friday and Saturday I taught eight fabulous classes to countless eager students (men – yes, that’s plural – and women alike). I can only hope that I instilled a little bit of card making love in their hearts. They certainly seemed to enjoy every last minute of it. And I’ll admit the teaching came back to me in a hurry. Those 16 years of teaching junior high and high school really paid off.

One of my eager students was adorable Kalyn Kepner.

One of my eager students was adorable Kalyn Kepner.

You might remember Kalyn as our faithful Paper Crafts intern last summer. She and I had a delightful and chat-filled dinner after my classes on Saturday.

On Sunday, I finally headed back to Utah after quite an eventful week of work-related fun. First I had to brave a pretty fierce thunderstorm stranded in a plane on the tarmac in Philadelphia for almost two hours, which meant I’d miss my connection in Denver. But I gotta send a shout out to Southwest Airlines for squeezing me in on the next available flight to SLC.

Whew! So my triangle trip – SLC to Orlando to Philly to SLC – was complete. What a week! It was definitely fun, but I am pooped!

How would you feel about getting your hands on some of the brand new stuff that debuted at the CHA summer show? You’d like that, wouldn’t you? I have two sets of some brand new papers from Pink Paislee to give away. Leave a comment by midnight MDT on Friday, August 7th for a chance to win.

Your expert Paper Crafts traveler,
Susan

P.S. In all my whirlwind travels, I forgot to announce the five winners from my Welcome Go-to Gal, Teri Anderson post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Gina (July 23, 12:09 p.m.)
2. Janet L. (July 23, 5:51 a.m.)
3. mloukirby (July 23, 9:06 a.m.)
4. Yvonne C. (July 24, 8:56 a.m.)
5. Julie Masse (July 23, 6:37 a.m.)

Congrats, winners! You each win three sets of Art Declassified stamps! Kelly will be contacting you shortly for your e-mail addresses. Thanks to all who left so many welcoming comments for Teri!

Alisa Bangerter

Alisa Bangerter

It’s that time of year again. With school fast approaching, there are registrations to send in, clothes to buy and supplies to find. I’m always amazed at the great deals you can get on school supplies, as stores try to lure you in with the hopes you purchase other items there. I have seen school supplies for a few cents each. What a deal!

What do school supplies being on sale have to do with paper crafting? A lot! Many school supplies are perfect for you paper crafted projects and for embellishments on mass-produced cards for swaps. Some items that I always like to stock up on, and work great in paper crafting are:

  • Lined notebook paper
  • Wood rulers
  • Wood pencils
  • Paperclips (these come in lots of fun colors!)
  • Staples
  • Brads
  • Markers
  • Glitter glues
  • Glue sticks
  • Colored pencils
  • Gel pens
  • Colored tape
  • Lined note cards
  • Composition notebooks
  • Pocket folders
  • Spiral mini notebooks

With the economy now, I’m always looking for a great deal. Look at the card I made with lined notebook paper, brads and a wood pencil. I just added some whimsical chipboard letters, ribbon and silver Glimmer Mist. A quick and easy back to school card was made just like that!

So make sure to keep an eye open for those unique school supplies you can stock up for yourself while you’re shopping for the kids.

Happy paper crafting from A-Z!
Alisa, Paper Crafts Pro

P.S. Kelly told me she has some leftover paper from Imaginisce’s Teacher’s Pet collection. Leave a comment telling me your favorite school supply and I’ll pick five winners to receive an assortment of school-themed paper, as well as some jewel brads from American Crafts. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Thursday, August 6.

Brandy Jesperson
Brandy Jesperson

To call the people I work with co-workers just doesn’t seem appropriate. No, we’re much more like friends who all happen to work together. We can talk about nothing for hours. We love gathering at one another’s homes for long lunches, holiday parties, and most recently, parades. Yep, we enjoy each other’s company and the same goes for the brilliant designers published in the pages of Paper Crafts

We love the fact that we are constantly meeting new designers. ANYONE can be published in the pages of Paper Crafts magazine, which means we’re always finding new friends. Most recently we had two amazingly talented designers stop by our offices. Go-to Gal Kim Hughes popped by a few weeks ago for a little chatting and lunching (the two things we do best). Even though Ms. Kim has been living in Utah for years, this was the first time we’d really sat down with her and picked her brain. After having such a fun afternoon, we were all so sad that she won’t be close by any more (she’s just moved out of state).

Posing for a picture with the fabulous Kim Hughes.
Posing for a picture with the fabulous Kim Hughes.

Last week we were pleased that the adorable Becky Olsen decided to stop by and drop off her projects for an upcoming issue in person. It just happened to be Becky’s birthday, so we had to send her lots of birthday wishes and pose for yet another photo.

Happy be-lated birthday to the very tan and talented Becky Olsen.

Happy be-lated birthday to the very tan and talented Becky Olsen.

I’ve never been much of a collector. I don’t get mini shot glasses, bells, or spoons when I travel, but I do collect friends. And don’t think you have to appear in the pages of our magazine to be considered a friend. Nope, we all have near and dear places in our hearts for all the wonderful followers of this blog. We love reading your comments every day and learning more about you in the process. Thanks friends, you are appreciated and loved.

With gratitude,
Brandy

P.S. If you’d like to stay current with our six new Go-to Gals, we just added links to their personal blogs under our team blogroll. Now staying connected with friends is easier than ever before!

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