P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday! Thanks for joining us as we officially countdown to our fourth annual World Card Making Day on Saturday, Oct. 3. I already feel the love and support for this holiday. Last Friday I left the comment prompt: “Why do you think card-making has such an universal appeal?” Here’s a few of my favorite comments:

“I can’t imagine there is anyone in this wide world of ours that doesn’t enjoy receiving a handmade card that let’s them know that they matter to someone.” ~Mary Lou

“It’s something that everybody can do no matter their age, income or skill level. It comes from the heart and is always appreciated. Cards are like little kisses. They’re little packages of happiness.” ~Sheila

“I think card-making has such a universal appeal because deep down all of us have times when we’ve needed a little pick-me-up from a friend and I think all of us hope, that at some time, we can be that for someone else when they need it – cards are a simple but effective way to say you’re thinking of someone – no matter what the occasion.” ~Cathy

And since we’re all about sharing the love of card-making, we’re once again partnering with creative editor Cath Edvalson and her Moxie Fab World blog. Today on her worldwide tour of card-making, she’s featuring some beautiful cards from Europe. Make sure you find a comfy seat on the”Moxie Fab Express” because each day this week she’ll be taking you to new countries and introducing you to cards and designers you’ve never seen before! Who knew stamping your passport could be so easy!

Today I have the opportunity to spotlight the UK-based magazine PaperCraft inspirations. I got the chance to pick the brain of one of their willing staff members, a Miss Jennifer Phin. Even though our magazines are literally worlds apart, I was surprised by her answers to my questionnaire. Card-making really is an universal hobby that bridges all cultures, languages and people. So without further ado (what a nice British word!), let’s go inside the pages of England’s PaperCraft inspirations!

Heres PaperCraft inspirations November 2009 cover.

Here's PaperCraft inspirations' November 2009 cover.

1. What is PaperCraft inspirations magazine?

PaperCraft inspirations is the UK’s best selling card magazine! As well as lots of card projects for our readers to try, we share paper crafting tips, tricks, inspirations and the latest craft products.
2. What types of projects does your publication predominantly feature? Cards? Scrapbook Layouts/Mini Albums? Gift Wrap? Home décor?

We focus mainly on cards of all kinds ­– paper pieced, 3D, pop-up, stamped and more! But we also regularly feature gift boxes, tags and wrapping, as well as scrapbooking ideas.

3. What occasions do your readers like to paper craft the most?

Birthdays and Christmas are the major occasions for card makers, but we know that our readers also make cards to say “Congratulations”, “Good luck”, “Thanks”, and “Get well”. In our recent survey, we discovered that on average our readers make a whopping 226 cards every year!

Heres an cute example of a card that appears in PaperCraft inspirations.

Here's a cute example of a card that appears in PaperCraft inspirations.

4. What techniques are your readers most interested in?

Our readers love to learn new techniques; we have a Master Class every issue to introduce them to more specialized areas of paper crafting. They also enjoy using our free templates to make layered and paper pieced cards, and are mad about stamping, stickers and decoupage, too!

5. What differences in style do you notice between UK readers and American readers? How are they similar?

We think UK and American crafters have very similar tastes and passions – in fact, we’ve heard from some readers here who have crafty pen pals in the U.S.! They swap cards and ATCs and really enjoy sharing tips.
6. Would you say card making has risen in popularity in the United Kingdom?

Card making has always been popular; the difference now is that crafters have access to more exciting new products thanks to the Internet and specialist stores like HobbyCraft. Crafting groups and clubs have definitely become more popular, which has played a big part in making the craft community more visible.
7. Why do you think paper crafting has such universal appeal?

Handmade cards are such a personal way to send special messages – we know that our creations will be cherished for years to come. Every creation is unique, low-budget and given with love – what could be better?
8. How will your publication be celebrating World Card Making Day on Saturday, Oct. 3?

We trumpeted the good news of World Card Making Day in our October issue, so we hope our readers will be joining in by making cards with friends and family, visiting the official web site and generally crafting their socks off!

9. Why is it important to have a holiday that commemorates paper crafting?

Everyday life is so busy with work, kids and chores that it’s important to take time to celebrate the skill and talent of card makers, and to dedicate a little time to our favorite hobby. Giving over a whole day to crafting might feel quite decadent to many card makers, but – hey! – we deserve it.

I couldn’t agree more, Jennifer! Thanks so much for sharing your magazine with us and answering some of our burning questions. We wish everyone in England a very merry World Card Making Day!

Are you ready for today’s giveaway? I was blown away when Jennifer revealed that PaperCraft inspirations readers make 226 cards each year! I love to hear how many you make a year (rough estimate, please). Leave a comment and I’ll randomly pick two people to win Dream Street Papers’ Wonderland and Angel Heart collections, PaperTrey Ink’s Polka Dot Basics stamp set and a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Two lucky winners will each take home this prize pacakge!

Two lucky winners will each take home this prize package!

Happy Monday!

P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from my Freebie Friday – Countdown to World Card Making Day post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Tina B. (Sept. 25, 10:17 a.m.)
2. Jaquelyn (Sept. 26, 1:26 p.m.)
3. Amber (Sept. 25, 6:11 a.m.)

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