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P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday! Is everyone getting excited for St. Patrick’s Day? Make sure you check back with us on Wednesday for Kim Hughes’ Groovin’ with the Go-to Gals post. She’s designed three cards using three different shades of green and will announce some fun challenges for anyone who wants to play along.

Since we’re in full St. Patty’s countdown mode, I thought I would share some of the cards we made at our last card group. I gave everyone the option of making either St. Patrick’s Day cards or cards of a different theme. The only catch…they all had to incorporate glorious green!

From left to right: Tracy's Luck Card, Rox's Green Clover Card, Beth's Celebrate Card and Andrew's Just Keep Swimming Card.

From left to right: Becky's Thoughts of You Card, Brenda's Green and Groovy Card, Brady's Thank You Leaf Card and Kalyn's Hello Tree Card.

From left to right: Jennifer's Masculine Birthday Card, my Love Helps Card and Megan's Graphic Hi Card.

Once again, we gathered around Jennifer's dining room table for a night of crafting.

Since new momma Brandy was at home with her new little man, she sat out last month’s card group. Which means…I just happen to have an extra set of these lovely green cards. Leave a comment telling me your favorite shade of green and I’ll pick one lucky person to take home all 11 cards! All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Tuesday, March 16.

Happy Monday!
Kelly

P.S. It’s time to announce the winner of my Luck of the Irish post!

Jennifer Post (March 12, 2:03 p.m.)

Congrats, Jennifer! You’ve won Little Yellow Bicycle’s Lucky Me collection. I’ll be contacting you shortly to get your mailing address. Thanks to all who left comments!

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Holly Mills

2009 may be behind us, but the prestige of being a winner of our World Card Making Day Card Contest lives on. Since we just announced the winners in our new March/April 2010 issue, I thought I would take the opportunity to spotlight these talented card makers once again.  

With 936 submissions, narrowing the field to 20 winners in five categories was a huge challenge. Kudos to these ladies for making the final cut. We’re proud to publish your winning cards in the magazine (p.82) and honor you here.  

Let’s roll out the red carpet for: 

Birthday category: 

  • Terri Davenport (Toledo, OH)
  • Ann Marie Pultorak (Romeoville, IL)
  • Debbie O’Leary (Dingmans Ferry, PA)
  • Cindy Holshouser (Edgewood, VA)

Hello/Thinking of You category: 

  • Jenny Harper (Bear Creek, NC)
  • Lynn Kirby-Griffith (Blairsville, GA)
  • Crystal Birr (Cincinnati, OH)
  • Rachael Burdick (Portland, OR)

Thank You category: 

  • Katie McCullough (Tulsa, OK)
  • Kristie Larsen (Valhalla, NY)
  • Susan Mangum (Danville, CA)
  • Cathy List (Peotone, IL)

Love category: 

Season’s Greetings category: 

I just loved the diversity of styles in the winning cards from our Hello/Thinking of You category: 

Great job Jenny, Lynn, Crystal and Rachael!

Congrats, winners! For those of you wondering about this year’s World Card Making Day, mark Saturday, Oct. 2 on your calendars. We’ve got some fabulous ideas up our sleeves for our fifth annual celebration. And look for details on the 2010 World Card Making Day Card Contest in our upcoming September/October 2010 issue. Until then… 

Keep smiling,
Holly 

P.S. Speaking of fun contests…for those of you who aren’t afraid to get a little ink on your fingers, don’t forget to enter our current 2010 Stamping Royalty Card Contest.  

Not only can you impress your family and co-workers with your royalty status, but winners will each receive an amazing prize package of the latest stamping products (valued at more than $250)! So look into your creativity mirror and say, “I am the fairest stamper in the land.” Did I mention the 15 winners will each receive a sparkly tiara as well?

Susan R. Opel

In the last year, we’ve shared all sorts of crazy Paper Crafts fun with you. If you scroll through the last 12 months of our blog, you’ll see that we work really hard, but we also have lots of good times, too. Having a great job is all well and good, but when you can call your colleagues friends, that’s pretty stinkin’ cool.  

Kelly recently called me the team cheerleader (ooh, I like that title!), so I’ve gathered a synopsis of the silly, mundane and cool things that we’ve done since this blog’s inception.

Can I get a Go! Fight! Win! Paper Crafts

This is one of my favorite pictures of the Paper Crafts team.

We’ve had six interns in the last year, and each has brought her own personality to our team. I always loved seeing their blog posts with their impressions of what it’s like to work in our office. I think we’ve turned a few of them into paper crafters. But really, how can they resist? 

Thanks Courtney, Brynn, Lindy, Nicki, Melinda, and Sarie!

You also got the chance to look into our daily lives with meetings, an office tour, photo shoot preparation and us just generally loving each other. We keep busy in our offices and cubicles bringing you the magazine, but we take time to chit-chat sometimes, too. 

Getting the job done, Paper Crafts’s style

But we’re not confined to the office, no siree! We’ve been out in the world together on many occasions. A crew of us visited Disneyland, four of us saw Celine Dion in concert, the whole gang painted plates at a do-it-yourself pottery place, many of us participated in card group and we even had a field trip to the Making Memories office. 

We work and play hard!

As a card making magazine, it probably comes as no surprise that we LOVE to celebrate every little holiday possible. From Halloween (oh, those polygamist brides of Frankenstein!) to St. Patrick’s Day (any reason to dress in a theme) to the Super Bowl (don’t let that Steelers jersey fool you – Go COLTS!). 

Give us a holiday, and we’ll find a way to celebrate!

And what would we do without our friends? We love having visitors stop by, and when they do it’s hugs all around. When are you going to stop by? 

We love to grab a picture when friends stop by.

So what do you want to see in the upcoming months from the Paper Crafts team? I’ve got three new Imaginisce collections and three of our Betty t-shirts to give away to three lucky commenters. Leave a comment by Friday, Feb. 5 at midnight (MST), and you might just win! 

Your Paper Crafts cheerleader,
Susan

P.S. It’s time to announce the winner from Brandy’s A Year of Giving Back post!

Jess (Feb. 2, 8:53 a.m.)

Congrats, Jess! You’ve won two prize packages! One for yourself and one to give to a friend! Kelly will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing address. Thanks to all who left comments!

Brandy Jesperson

I know it’s cliché, but time flies when you’re having fun. I distinctly remember talking with the Paper Crafts team and dreaming up a blog full of interactive challenges, beautiful pictures and prizes galore! Sure enough, two blinks of an eye and one year later here we are! 

One of our goals when we concepted this blog was to encourage people to serve those around them. After all, card making is innately generous. We make cards for our loved ones to celebrate events, give condolences and simply say “hi.” 

As I think back over the past 12 months, we’ve not only had the chance to give back, but we’ve also had a lot of fun doing it. So put on your magical time machine hats (you’ve all got one, right?) and join me for a quick trip down memory lane.  

Last Fall Kelly joined forces with some crafty friends to crop for Cystic Fibrosis. Not only did all the proceeds go to a great cause, but it was also a chance to meet new people and create into the wee hours of the morning!

Here's Roxanne (Becky's sister), Kelly, Megan, Brenda and Becky.

In November we continued our tradition of decorating and donating a tree (complete with oodles of donations from manufacturers and designers) to the Festival of Trees. All the money raised at this event goes to the patients at Primary Children’s Medical Center, and over the past three years our trees have made more than $5000 for this great cause. 

Ta da! What do you think of our finished tree?

Even our Go-to Gals got into the act this year! Ms. Maren shared a delicious assortment of chocolate-covered creations (accompanied by a hearty dose of papery goodness) ideal for teacher gifts. With two former teachers on our team, we love and respect the fine people who teach our children each day.

Switch out the tag and you've got a yummy Valentine's treat!

In December we joined forces with Creating Keepsakes magazine and Creativity Heals. This program encourages people to donate time, creativity or extra crafting supplies towards improving the lives of others. We invited all of you to donate cards to Operation Write Home and were blown away by the generosity you showed on our blog and Facebook pages. We’ve been associated with this charity for years and love their support for our nation’s armed forces. We also donated hundreds of cards to this charity following our World Card Making Day Card Contest in October.  

All of these cards were sent in to Operation Write Home.

At each turn we have been struck by the kindness and willingness to give all of you readers have shown. Thanks for making 2009 a year of giving back. As a thank you I’d like to give ONE lucky person two copies of our new special issue Stamp It! Cards, two Fiskars stamp sets and two of our sassy Betty t-shirts. All that I ask is that you keep one prize package for yourself and give the other to a friend. To be eligible to win, please leave a comment telling me how you like to give back to those around you. Perhaps we’ll be able to take something YOU do and work it into 2010. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Thanks and love,
Brandy

P.S. It’s time to announce the 10 winners from Jennifer’s Sharing the CHA Goodies post and the five winners from Kelly’s January/February I-Spy post!

Jennifer’s winners:

1. Diane S. (Jan. 29, 7:59 p.m.)
2. Carisa (Jan. 28, 3:17 p.m.)
3. Brandy Jarvis (Jan. 28, 2:12 p.m.)
4. Tammy Wisterman (Jan. 28, 8:08 p.m.)
5. Carol (Jan. 28, 3:31 p.m.)
6. Iris Soscia (Jan. 28, 1:48 p.m.)
7. Diana N. (Jan. 28, 6:40 p.m.)
8. Sue B. (Jan. 29, 7:56 p.m.)
9. Letisia Chubbuck (Jan. 28, 6:43 p.m.)
10. Jennifer Hansen (Jan. 28, 11:15 p.m.)

Kelly’s winners:

1. Carol H. (Jan. 29, 9:53 a.m.)
2. cards4ever (Jan. 29, 10:39 p.m.)
3. Wendy M. (Jan. 30, 8:47 a.m.)
4. Kerry A. (Jan. 31, 9:43 a.m.)
5. Mary Ashby (Jan. 29, 8:04 a.m.)

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

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to our third and final day of Card Creations: Start to Finish Week! I want to give a big shout out to those who left such sweet comments for our cover girls Tanis Giesbrecht and Charlene Austin. I know they really appreciate the love. Keep them coming! 

We may be wrapping things up here, but Cath is just getting the party started on Moxie Fab World. And guess what? You’re all invited to three more days of inspirational cards from our latest special issue Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2. And if you know anything about Cath, she loves to give away moxie fab prizes! 

Today we’re spotlighting our third cover girl, Becky Olsen, who just happens to live right here in the great state of Utah! Every now and then, she’ll pop into the office to drop off a project, and she’s usually just come from her daily workout on the tennis court. (In the summertime, she gets really tan and is the envy of every girl in this office!) Did I mention she’s also an accomplished skier? Click on her blog to see her cute Ski Ya Later Card.

I also get to see this sassy lady every month at our fun card group, which exists mainly of office staffers. We like to think we’re all amazing paper crafters, but there’s nothing like having an actual published designer in your midst to remind you otherwise. Let’s just say that we’ve all stepped up our A-game since Becky’s joined us! And that is most definitely a good thing! 

Let’s get to know Miss Becky!  

Becky Olsen

1. Where did you grow up?    

Ashland, Oregon 

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

I used to be a ski instructor at Deer Valley, but my knees complained a lot, so I had to give it up. 

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

Jennifer Garner (Editor’s Note: Could Becky and Charlene be a part of a secret organization of paper crafting spies that mirror Jennifer Garner’s kick-butting character in ALIAS? Hmm…) 

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

We Close Our Eyes by Oingo Boingo 

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

I love to play tennis and have the goal of becoming rated as a 4.5 in the next couple of years. I am very competitive and hate to lose. 

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

It started with a magnetic photo album in my teens. I could keep memorabilia in it with my pictures. I was always looking for opportunities to improve the process of memory keeping. As a young newlywed, I saw the magic of embossing (over a light bulb, LOL!). Products and projects have improved significantly since then! 

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge?   

Enough time to get my ideas created. 

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

Patterned paper and a sewing needle with some embroidery floss. 

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

This is a tough one! Probably Christmas…the products are always so fun and diverse! 

10. How would you describe your style?  

Simple and whimsical are the two words that come to my mind. If anyone has a better description, I would love to hear it! 

Becky's Sweetest Moments Card carries accents and the sentiment to the inside.

11. When is your favorite time to craft?   

Total night owl. Staying up until 1 a.m. is pretty common for me. 

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

Usually silence. We have a busy house, so my mind appreciates the quiet when it occurs. 

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

It is mandatory that everyone participate as a sounding board for projects in our house. All of the different perspectives on design appeal, trends and color keep things fresh! 

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

I have a paper calendar on my desk that is in a weekly format. It has lists for the week and all submission deadlines that are approaching, along with due dates for projects and paperwork. 

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

Oh I so remember…such a huge thrill! I was asked to contribute a hybrid project to the June/July 2008 issue. I also had some holiday projects picked up at about the same time for the Holiday Cards and More, Volume 3. Not sure how or if my style has changed…I think I am pretty eclectic to begin with. 

In Becky's You Make My Heart Melt Card, the inside sentiment supports the shaped ice cream design.

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

I have been fortunate to work with some really nice teams in the past and present. Currently I work with Zva Creative and Ellen Hutson

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

This is so tough to narrow down! I so appreciate many different designers and their styles. 

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

Don’t be afraid to try new things, play and have fun with the creative process. You’ll have projects that you love and want to share when you are done. Also, don’t get discouraged – submit, submit, submit! 

19. What was your inspiration for your Proud of You card that appears on the cover of Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2?   

Eeek! Now my brain hurts from thinking too much! I honestly don’t know what inspired me to try making a little pinwheel. The idea that we could make any interactive component for this call just made me so happy! I loved pinwheels as a kid, and I thought it would be a wonderful piece that could come off of the card and actually be played with by a child or adult who had just given some big effort and maybe not succeeded, but needed some encouragement for giving it a go. The sentiment came from the pinwheel “whirling” with a breath of air from the recipient. It takes a little effort to get it to whirl, but it’s worth it! 

In Becky's Proud of You Card, the inside sentiment supports the interactive pinwheel design on the front of the card.

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

I do have a blog (http://lifeasathreeleggeddog.blogspot.com/). For those of you who would like to purchase Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2, please visit my blog to hear about the special deal you can get!  

Thanks, Becky! Our friends at Cosmo Cricket were nice enough to donate three sets of their Early Bird collection – the same collection Becky used to create her cover card above. Please leave a comment and I’ll pick three random winners to receive this collection, plus a copy of Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Thursday, Jan. 14.  

Three lucky winners will take home this fun collection from Cosmo Cricket!

Happy Wednesday!
Kelly  

P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from my Meet Tanis Giesbrecht post! 

1. Barbara M (Jan. 11, 9:35 p.m.)
2. Jimmi Mayo (Jan. 11, 7:30 a.m.)
3. calonghorn (Jan. 11, 10:01 a.m.)

Congrats, winners! You’ve each won the Tiny Giggle Grove stamp set from Unity Stamp Company and a copy of Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2. I’ll be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to day two of our exciting Card Creations: Start to Finish Week! We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s spotlight on cover girl Tanis Giesbrecht and are now starting to see the design possibilities for the insides of your cards.  

Today we’re spotlighting another lovely Canadian, Charlene Austin, who was positively giddy when I e-mailed her about being a featured cover girl for Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2

“My answer is a big huge YES!!! There is no question I will have time for this…I would quit my job to make time…LOL. My family is going to be sick of me asking them to take a thousand pictures for a good headshot. Haha. I knew 2010 was going to be a good year. This is an amazing way to start it off. I appreciate it and am so totally honored!” 

Editor’s note: If Charlene’s employer is reading this post, she was totally kidding about the “quitting my job” remark. She’s completely loyal to you. I promise. 

Let’s get to know Miss Charlene! 

Charlene Austin

1. Where did you grow up?   

In Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I’m still here. 

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

I work part-time as a Property Claims Adjuster {please don’t hold it against me}. 

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

I’m going to go with Jennifer Garner. Not because she looks anything like me {I wish}, but she’s a fun actress and she named her dog Martha Stewart. What’s not to like? 

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

I can’t think of a theme song for my life, so I thought I’d just give you a good laugh and tell you my favorite song of all time: Careless Whispers by George Michael. I know, the 80’s rocked, right?    

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

Most people find the fact that I have a rice phobia pretty crazy. There is no explanation for it, but I have never and could never eat rice. 

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

My BFF Wendy Bond. She invited me to a card party she was hosting. At first I didn’t “get it”, but it wasn’t long before I become obsessed passionate about card making.  

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge?  

My biggest challenge is actually getting myself off the computer and going to my craft room to make something. I get lost in cyber space for hours on end, and then I’m too tired or overwhelmed to create.  

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

Ribbon and my sewing machine. They can both be the perfect final touch to a card.  

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

I would have to say Christmas. The products and the project ideas are endless. 

10. How would you describe your style? 

I’m not quite sure I have a distinct style, but I aim to make fresh and clean cards with a touch of originality here and there.  

In Charlene's She is Strength Card, she carries the design and sentiment from the front to the inside.

11. When is your favorite time to craft?  

More often than not, I’m heading to my craft room around 11 p.m. and I stay there until 2-3 a.m. Only on my days off and weekends, of course. 

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

It’s not music, but rather my TV that is turned on while I’m in the craft room. And it’s usually set on the Food Channel. No wonder I get hungry at 2 a.m.! 

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

While he doesn’t “participate” in crafting, my husband was very supportive when he realized how much I loved my new hobby. He suggested we develop our basement, and helped me create a beautiful craft room. 

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

I’m a bit of a mess when it comes to organization of calls and deadlines, so I end up being very last-minute. My process includes a lot of photo boxes and sticky notes. It’s not pretty, people! 

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

Card Creations, Vol. 7. It wasn’t that long ago, but I think I have been all over the board and back again trying to find my “Char Card” style. 

In Charlene's There is No Doubt Card, she finishes her sentiment on the inside. We love her "Char Card" style!

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

I have just completed a design team spot with Elzybells Stamp Company UK. I’m currently part of Embellish Magazine and Perfectly Pretty. Also very close to my heart is a color challenge that my five BFF’s and I do each week called Loonie Stampers Challenge

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

  • Nichole Heady – There isn’t anything Nichole does that I don’t love. She’s brilliant!
  • Teri Anderson – I love her clean and oh, so playful style. “Meeting” her cards each day makes me smile. 
  • Jennifer McGuire – She’s incredibly talented, but what I love is that she’s just so real and down to earth in her videos. Fun stuff.

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

If you would like to see your work published in the magazines, you need to know that it IS possible and you CAN make it happen. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get immediate results. Try and try again. 

19. What was your inspiration for your Sunny Thank You card that appears on the cover of Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2?  

When I made this card I was just enjoying putting together some of my very favorite things – Papertrey’s Summer Sunrise cardstock, crocheted flowers and a new K&Company pad of patterned paper. Yummy! I also have a thing for stamping sentiments and then cutting it out to add to the card. This card is clean and simple, so to carry the design to the inside, all it needed was matching blocks of patterned paper to make it flow.  

In Charlene's Sunny Thank You Card, she carries the design (color blocks) from the front to the inside.

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

I do have a blog (www.willowandpaisley.typepad.com). For those of you who would like to purchase Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2, please visit my blog to hear about the special deal you can get! 

Thanks, Charlene! Our friends at Technique Tuesday were nice enough to donate three sets of their Loving Words stamp set by Ali Edwards – the same set Charlene used to create her Sunny Thank You and There is No Doubt cards. Please leave a comment and I’ll pick three random winners to receive this set, plus a copy of Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, Jan. 13

Three lucky people will win this fun sentiment set from Technique Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday!
Kelly 

P.S. Make sure you join us tomorrow for our final spotlight on cover girl Becky Olsen!

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday and the first day of our exciting Card Creations, Start to Finish Week! Like I mentioned last Friday, we’ll be “starting” our promotional week here and “finishing” the week with Cath on Moxie Fab World. Doesn’t that sound just moxie fab

Since we have these first three days on Paper Crafts Connection, we’ll be spotlighting all three of our talented cover girls: Tanis Giesbrecht today, Charlene Austin tomorrow and Becky Olsen on Wednesday. 

In addition to making the cover, all three of these ladies have multiple cards in Cards Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2. Since they have their own unique way of carrying the design from the front to the inside of the card, we thought they each deserved their day in the spotlight. So, without further ado, let’s get to know Miss Tanis a little bit better! 

Tanis Giesbrecht

1. Where did you grow up?  

I grew up playing near the woods and the water in Kenora, Ontario, Canada. 

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

I’m a teacher turned stay-at-home mom. I teach piano at home. Next year my baby goes to grade one and I’ll be SLOWLY dipping my big toe into that pool again after 14 years (yikes!). 

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

How about Zooey Deschanel? She looks nothing like me and is a “few” years younger than me, but I totally loved her in Bridge to Terabithia and Elf

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

Getting to the core of who I am, it would have to be “Let My Life Song Sing to You” by Casting Crowns. 

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

That I’m short. And I play a mean defense in hockey (he he). I think it’s funny when people assume you’re tall from your headshot, but I’m only 5′ 1”. 

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

Ever since I was young, I loved art and crafty things. I dabbled in many INTERESTING crafting possibilities as a teen and young adult (think homemade scrunchies and poofy fabric-covered trinket boxes), but finally found a passion for paper and stamps in 2003 at a stamping party. 

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge? 

Getting out of a creative slump is the hardest thing for me. My creative life is pretty wavy. After a few days of GOOD crafting, the slump hits. I usually just take a day or two off and I’m good to go again, but it helps loads to have easy access to great inspiration, both online and in magazines. 

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

Patterned paper and my sewing machine. 

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

I enjoy making cards for all kinds of occasions, but I feel the happiest when I make something I really love for my house. 

10. How would you describe your style?  

I let the papers or stamps I’ve chosen decide what my style will be. But usually my projects have a whimsical, homespun feel. 

We just loved the design of Tanis' Happy Birthday to You Card.

11. When is your favorite time to craft? 

When I have spare time! It can really be any time of the day, as long as something has inspired me to create. 

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

I have noise around me ALL day long. I prefer silence! 

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

Mostly just by giving me time to create! My two older girls sometimes join in and make something of their own. And they all join in the “Yes mom, it’s very cute” chorus when I ask for an opinion on a finished project. 

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

I use Google Calendar. It’s really simple to use, always available and I can’t lose it under a stack of papers. 

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

My first card appeared in the March 2007 issue as a winner of the Birthday Blowout contest. After getting the news that I had won, I jumped right on the current call and had my first card accepted in the April/May 2007 issue. I’m not sure I HAD a style back then, but I really enjoyed distressing my projects. I still enjoy that technique if it suits the project I’m working on, but my favorite cards now are usually bright, happy, clean and simple. 

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

I’ve been a part of the Odd Bird Planet and Queen Kat Designs teams over the past couple of years. I’m currently on the DT for Caardvarks (a card challenge site) and I draw stamp designs for Unity Stamp Company

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

  • Teri Anderson for her FUN spirit which seeps into her cleverly designed cards.
  • Dawn McVey for her amazing use of color and FINE stamping abilities.
  • Julie Campbell for her homespun, warm style and personality.

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

Don’t be shy, don’t give up and enjoy the process! I’ve seen many comments from people saying “I’m not ready” or “I’m too nervous”…but really there’s no need! And if you enjoy the process of creating to submit, there is nothing to lose. The biggest rewards for me have been the many things I’ve learned about paper crafting and how I’ve grown as a designer and as a person in the process. 

19. What was your inspiration for your What Hill? card that appears on the cover of Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2? 

My project idea started with a sheet of birthday sentiment rub ons, which gave me a head start on the design and the inside of the card. The hill was an obvious starting point for me and once I found the perfect stamp set, the rest was all downhill from there. 

Tanis' What Hill? card carries the design and sentiment from the front to the inside. Nice job, Tanis!

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

I do have a blog (http://papercanvas.wordpress.com). For those of you who would like to purchase Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2, please visit my blog to hear about the special deal you can get!

Thanks, Tanis! Our friends at Unity Stamp Company were nice enough to donate three sets of their Tiny Giggle Grove stamp set – the same set Tanis used to create her cover card above. Please leave a comment and I’ll pick three random winners to receive this set, plus a copy of Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Tuesday, Jan. 12

Three lucky winners will take home this fun Unity stamp set!

Happy Monday!
Kelly 

P.S. It’s time to announce the winners from Susan’s Tips, Tools, & Techniques Trivia post and my Card Creations: Start to Finish Week post!   

Susan’s winners:   

1. Julie E (Jan. 7, 8:40 p.m.) Winner of the unfinished MakeMemo Board!
2. Pam of Memphis (Jan. 7, 10:22 a.m.) Winner of the Fiskars circle cutter and three Marvy punches!

My winners:  

1. Karen (Jan. 8, 5:11 a.m.)
2. cards4ever (Jan. 8, 8:38 a.m.)
3. Janet Zeppa (Jan. 10, 3:29 p.m.)
 

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

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! We may only be a week into the New Year, but it’s clear that the readers of this blog have one important goal for 2010: paper craft more! 

Whether you want to try new techniques, a different style or (finally!) submit your designs for publication, we hope this year will be one where you “start” and “finish” many projects. 

If you’re looking for a little inspiration to get those creative juices flowing, look no further than our latest special issue, Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2On sale now, this magazine boasts over 300 ideas for the front and inside of your cards!

All next week we’ll be spotlighting this inspirational magazine right here and on the Moxie Fab World blog. Since this issue has a unique “start to finish” premise, we’ll be following suit by starting our promotional week here on Monday and finishing the week with Cath on Moxie Fab World. Fabulous cards, daily giveaways…doesn’t that sound like paper crafting paradise?

Here on Paper Crafts Connection, instead of just one designer spotlight, we’ll be interviewing all three of our talented cover girls from Monday to Wednesday! Each one will have their own day to share their unique design secrets, as well as talk about the inspiration for their individual cover cards. Make sure you join us as we get to know Tanis Giesbrecht, Charlene Austin and Becky Olsen just a little bit better! 

Click on the cover image to buy your copy today!

Ready’s for today’s giveaway? Our good friend Anna Griffin is off to a very good “start” in 2010! Anna is set to make her HSN debut Tuesday, Jan. 12 with the launch of her brand new show, Anna Griffin Designer Paper Crafting. Featuring exclusive papers, embellishments and crafting accessories, each is designed by Anna to celebrate memories with elegance and sophistication. If you’d like to tune in, Anna’s segments will air at 1 a.m. and 4 p.m. (EST). 

Anna has graciously donated three of her new clear stamp storage binders – an item that will debut on HSN! These stamp binders feature 12 individual plastic pockets with tab tops and 66 total stickers for organization. To be eligible for our random drawing, leave a comment telling me a project you would like to “finish” in 2010. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, Jan. 9. 

Three lucky people will win this two-binder stamp storage set!

See ya back here for Card Creations: Start to Finish Week!
Kelly 

P.S. It’s time to announce the winners from Brandy’s Tweet, Tweet…Happy Bird Day! post and Jessica’s Resolutions in Paper Crafting post!  

Brandy’s winner:  

1. Jenny McGee (Jan. 5, 6:29 a.m.) 

Jessica’s winner: 

1. Mel (Jan. 6, 8:42 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!

Jennifer Schaerer

Sometime during the months leading into December, my life becomes one that is characterized by Christmas carols because I start thinking in lyrics. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and it’s definitely the most wonderful time of the year

Although I love the drama of the decor, the sweet sounds of singing voices and the promise of tasty pastries and other festive holiday foods, it’s the spirit of giving that really helps me dance my way through the season. There’s nothing better than the feeling of helping those who need it most. 

In the spirit of giving, the elves in the Paper Crafts workshop have been busy the last few weeks. Monday was decorating day for our donated tree for Utah’s Festival of Trees, and this year’s labor of love is now complete. 

This was Holly's very first Festival of the Trees. Judging from that big smile, she really enjoyed herself.

Cath, our moxie fab elf, helped us wire ornaments.

Our chief wire elves Brenda and Kelly whistled while they worked.

Brandy became our chief garland elf and did a great job.

Susan was our chief bag elf since she went around and picked up little bits of trash. After all, every artist needs a clean workspace!

And every artist needs a canvas to paint on. I happily took on the role as chief tree elf. Does it look straight?

Ta da! What do you think of our finished tree?

This event is an annual fundraiser for the patients at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, and every penny raised at the event goes directly to the children at the hospital who couldn’t otherwise pay for treatment. 

Brandy Jesperson, our managing editor, has been involved with this fundraiser for 10 years after being a patient at Primary Children’s as a teenager. She urged us to get involved, and we decorated our first Paper Crafts team tree a few years ago and have been doing it ever since. 

Here's last year's "Home for the Holidays" tree.

This year’s tree was auctioned off to the highest bidder and we’re certain that it brought a generous sum for the hospital. All of us at Paper Crafts are grateful to the manufacturers who helped make this tree possible with their heartfelt donations: 

We’d also like to say a very special thanks to all the designers who sent in handmade card sets for us to include with the tree: 

All of our lovely donated cards!

It’s definitely the most wonderful time of the year!
Jennifer

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Even though we’re still a few days away from Thanksgiving, a massive snowstorm blew in this weekend reminding us that Santa Claus will be here very soon. Luckily, a few of us magazine editors are well-prepared because we just swapped Christmas tags at our monthly card group.

Our little group (which just celebrated its one-year anniversary!) met at Jennifer’s house on Saturday. Since there’s always so much going on in December, we deliberately don’t meet this month – which means we swap Christmas tags in November. We each made 12 tags of the same design, swapped them with our fellow card group members and took home 12 different designs. I know I’m a little bit bias, but I think our tags are gorgeous!

Here's all of our lovely Christmas tags...just waiting to be swapped!

After we swap cards/tags, I like to have some crafty activity prepared for us to do. In the past we’ve paper crafted calendars, wooden picture frames, recipe books, gift bags, magnet boards, treat containers, etc. Since we’ve been meeting for a while now, it’s getting harder and harder to come up with new activities that are not only fun, but can be completed in a couple of hours. Lucky for me, I stumbled across this inspiring blog post from designer Lisa Johnson. Her little holiday planners immediately put me in the Christmas spirit and made me think, “Let’s make these in card group!”

Lisa Johnson's cute holiday planner was all the inspiration I needed.

Lisa Johnson's holiday planner was all the inspiration I needed!

The icing on the cake is I just happen to stock up on composition books during all the back-to-school sales. I found them for 53 cents a piece! What’s great about this project is you can adapt it for so many occasions. In addition to holiday planners, these make great journals (pregnancy/weight loss/travel), sketch books, appointment books, etc.

Once again we gathered in Jennifer's cozy dining room to unleash our creativity.

I had everyone bring their favorite Christmas-themed paper and I provided the “Christmas Lists” title and the stamped envelopes that said “Coupons” and “Receipts”. (Just paste the envelopes in the front and back covers!) And it was so fun incorporating a pen into the design of the planner. Who doesn’t need a pen when they’re making their “naughty” and “nice” lists!

Here's Brenda and her completed holiday planner.

Here's Brenda and her festive holiday planner.

Sarah and Brandy show off their cute planners and Brandy's baby bump!

The Three Musketeers (Jennifer, Beth and Tracy) proudly display their planners.

Megan arrived a little late to the party, so she missed our fun activity. She kindly agreed to stand up with me to show you the "before" and "after" look.

So there you have it…November’s card group is in the bag! If you’re itching to do a fun project, I highly recommend these cute holiday planners. Why not make a whole bunch and give them away? Tis the season, after all!

Happy Monday!
Kelly

P. S. It’s time to announce the two winners from my Freebie Friday – I’m Thankful For… post!

1. Kellie B. (Nov. 22, 12:43 p.m.)
2. dahlhousedesigns (Nov. 21, 5:27 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! You each won Reminisce’s Autumn Forest collection! I’ll be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

P.P.S. There’s still time to upload your holiday treat containers to our November Gallery Challenge! Three winners will receive a 1-year subscription to Paper Crafts (or a special issue of their choice) and be featured on this blog on Monday, Dec. 7. You better act fast…this challenge ends at midnight (MDT) tonight. Click here for the details!

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