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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!

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Susan R. Opel

Every time a new issue of Paper Crafts magazine hits the newsstands and our subscribers’ mailboxes, there’s a surge of excitement. We KNOW all of the inspiration that’s inside each issue, but we’re also curious where the creative train will stop next. We’re eager to see what our readers do with all of the ideas they glean from every glossy page. 

Enter the Inspired By Challenge! This challenge was issued for you to create a card inspired by one that you’d seen in the pages of any Paper Crafts publication, and I truly enjoyed checking out the fruits of your labors! What fun to see your interpretations and hear your stories. 

Now without further ado, I introduce the winners of the Inspired By challenge! 

Winner #1 – Lynn Miller 

Lynn went for a pretty direct interpretation of Stephanie Muzzulin’s Thank You Tree Card. Though she used the same stamp to achieve the look, her addition of buttons for fall foliage and a decidedly autumnal color scheme are just the perfect twist to the original. 

You can find Stephanie’s card in the November/December 2009 issue.

Winner #2 – Jennifer Hansen 

Jennifer’s Many Thanks Card was inspired by Kim Moreno’s Birdie Anniversary Card. Jennifer kept some of the same design elements – the triple matting, the scallop at the top and the bird motif. She used pearls as a substitution for the rhinestones that appear on Kim’s card. By using a different color palette, less whimsical patterned paper and a more sophisticated font, Jennifer’s card takes on a totally different and equally attractive look!  

You can find Kim’s card in A Card a Day.

Winner #3 – Dee Woodland 

Even though it isn’t a thank you or birthday card, we were so delighted by Dee’s Happily Ever After Card inspired by Danni Reid’s Thanks A Bunch Card that we had to share it with you. Dee was inspired by Danni’s pretty white on white on white card and added just the right amount of color with her pink flowers. Thanks for sharing, Dee! 

You can find Danni’s card in Card Creations, Volume 7.

Congrats, ladies! You’ve each won a free 1-year subscription to Paper Crafts or special issue of your choice. I’ll be contacting you shortly to discuss your prizes and get you mailing addresses. Thanks to all who played along! 

Wanna join in on the fun? Thumb through the pages of a Paper Crafts publication (magazine or special issue) and create a project inspired by one that you see. Submit an image of your Inspired By project here, tell us where we can find the original in our magazine and you just might have your card featured in the Paper Crafts Connection section of one of our issues. Why not give it a shot? 

Show us how YOU get inspired by Paper Crafts magazine!
Susan 

P.S. It’s time to announce the winner of Brandy’s Are You Feeling Festive Yet? post! 

Debbie Fisher (Dec. 8, 3:19 p.m.) 

Congrats, Debbie! You’ve won a fun assortment of paper crafting supplies! Kelly will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing address. Thanks to all who left comments!

Susan R. Opel

Remember Grandma’s kitchen on Thanksgiving Day? She was the hostess with the mostest, and she had everything covered – even her best dress – with a frilly and functional apron.

Aprons are pretty hip these days, appearing in stylish TV shows like Mad Men and all over Etsy and Anthropologie. I think that’s why this card from Paper Crafts Go-to Gal  Kim Kesti that appeared on the cover of Card Creations, Volume 7 tugged at all of our hearts and made us ooh and ahh.

Apron Strings Card by Kim Kesti

Perhaps the trend of cute aprons coupled with Kim Kesti’s apron card inspired reader Winter Sims to create this utterly adorable card. And how appropriate! This card would be a perfect thank you for a gracious hostess on Thanksgiving Day, don’t you think?

For a Gracious Hostess Card by Winter Sims

Winter submitted her card online in response to this call:

Have you ever browsed through a Paper Crafts magazine or special issue and created a card or project inspired by one of the designs you saw in the publication? We want to hear your story and see your creation! Maybe you took the design of a birthday card and made it into a Valentine, or maybe you switched up the colors to take a Mother’s Day card to a Father’s Day card. Submit an image of your Inspired By project, tell us where we can find the original in our magazine, and you just might have your card featured in the Paper Crafts Connection section of one of our issues!

Now it’s your turn… Whip up a birthday or thank you card based on any card that you’ve seen in the pages of one of our many publications. Then, upload your card to your blog or in our Inspired By Flickr group. Be sure to tell us in what issue and on what page we can find the inspiration project. Next, use the Mr. Linky feature below to share your project with us and our readers!

You’ll have until Monday, December 7th, at 9 am MST to add your Mr. Linky link. Three winners will be chosen and announced later that week. The three winning cards will appear on the blog, and each winner will receive a free subscription to Paper Crafts magazine or special issue of their choice!

Make sure to take it one step further. Submit that card to us! Any time you create a project based on one you see in our magazine, submit it online here in the Inspired By section. You just might have your card featured in the Paper Crafts Connection department in our magazine. 

Let the submitting begin!
Susan

P.S. Speaking of submitting, we have a very exciting submissions call for Card Creations 8. Get creating and submit your ultimate in wowie-wow, never before seen, most amazing cards EVER.

pcmp-kelly5

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! Did you know that October 30, the day before Halloween, is known as Mischief Night? According to tradition, preteens and teenagers are known to play pranks on their neighbors as a way to kick off the Halloween festivities. Common pranks include soaping car windows, egging houses, adorning trees with toilet paper and running away after ringing doorbells.

While it always stinks to be on the receiving end of a prank, it sure is fun to pull a harmless prank every now and then – especially around the spookiest time of the year. {Disclaimer: If you are a teenager reading this right now, please don’t tell your mother that I said it was okay to egg your next door neighbor’s house. If you choose to be mischievous, be prepared to accept the consequences for getting caught!}

In the mood for some mischievous cards? I recently came across these two Halloween cards from Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Maren Benedict. Featured in Card Creations, Volume 7, they both scream mischief and fun. Leave a comment telling me a mischievous prank you’ve pulled in your life. I’ll randomly select three winners to take home Cosmo Cricket’s Haunted collection – the same collection Maren used on these fun cards. All comments must  be received by midnight (MDT) on Sunday, Nov. 1.

Maren Benedict's Spooky and Goofy Pumpkins Card from Card Creations, Vol. 7.

Speaking of mischief…our art director Matt has definitely been up to no good. Apparently all the long hours in his dark laboratory (office) have finally taken its toll. He now grunts when asked a question and lately there seems to be a lot of steam coming out of his head. To make matters even worse, he’s now taken up with seven crazy women! (well, nine if you count our impressionable interns!) Yes, Matt has become the misunderstood Frankenstein and we are his seven brides. How’s that for a team costume?!

Look for a special blog post tomorrow, where I’ll reveal pictures from our day at the office as Mrs. Matt Anderson. (Hopefully the real Mrs. Anderson is a good sport!) Congrats go out to Ellie Augustin (Sept. 22, 6:14 a.m.)! Even though we didn’t exactly go with her “Count Dracula/Vixen” idea (from Jennifer’s Merry Hallowistmas! post), she definitely inspired us to go down to the monster path. Ellie, I’ll be contacting you shortly to discuss your fun prize!

Here’s to having fun (and being safe!) on Mischief Night!
Kelly

Cath Edvalson

Cath Edvalson

I’m pleased as punch to introduce you to moxie fab Go-to Gal Maren Benedict! Maren made a big splash in our world when she started submitting just a short year ago making five first-timer appearances in our March/April 2009 issue, followed immediately by 13 appearances in our special issue Stamp It! Cards.

She’s living proof that not only can you get published in the pages of our magazine, but you can jump from first-timer to rising star to Go-to Gal in just a few short months.

Maren’s approach to paper crafting is fresh and fun. She uses colors in innovative ways and she has a great eye for balance in design. She has a clean and graphic approach to stamping that is very hip, and though this may sound crazy, she has a way of incorporating ribbon into a design that makes me gasp with delight.

Shall we get to know Maren a little better?

Go-to Gal!

Go-to Gal Maren Benedict!

1. Where did you grow up? Although I was born in Binghamton, NY, I spent the majority of my childhood in Auburn, WA.

2. Do you work outside the home? If so, what do you do? Some quarters I teach night classes at the local community college in the Early Childhood Education department. 

3. If a movie were to be made of your life, who would you cast to play the part of you? My part would probably be played by some unknown actress. Perhaps this would be her breakthrough roll!

4. What song would you choose as the theme song for your life? Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” 

5. What is one thing most people would be surprised to hear about you? My first son (now 13) was born in Japan with the help of a translator! 

6. What/who inspired you to start paper crafting? A dear friend invited me to join a monthly stamping club. Although I wasn’t very interested, I said yes, and now look where I am!

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge? Time is my biggest crafting challenge. I often plan for hundreds of cards but never seem to have enough time in the day to make them all! It also wouldn’t hurt to have a little cleaning elf that makes sure my crafting area is clean.

8. If you were only allowed two items to create a card beside cardstock and adhesive, what would they be? I would have a hard time making anything without patterned paper and ribbon! 

This Rainbow Stripes Card appears on p. 16 of Card Creations, Volume 7 . See what I mean with the ribbon?

This Rainbow Stripes Card appears on p. 16 of Card Creations, Vol. 7. See what I mean with the ribbon?

9. What is your favorite occasion or holiday to paper craft and why? I love crafting for Halloween. There are such fun images and great colors! Plus, Halloween is an unexpected time to send a card. I love surprising people!

10. How would you describe your style? I am mostly a clean and simple crafter. I like to play around with little details and different designs, but tend to have few layers. 

Flourish Halloween Card in Card Creations, Volume 7, p. 95

Flourish Halloween Card from Card Creations, Vol. 7, p. 95

11. When is your favorite time to craft? I craft late into the evening/early morning when all my boys are sleeping. This started as a necessity and has since turned into a habit.

12. What sort of music do you listen to while crafting? I love the silence when I craft at night. Silence is rare in my house of boys! 

13. How does your family participate in your paper crafting passion? My youngest son (4) has his own craft desk with bins of supplies that I don’t use or are retired. All three of them make their own cards for family and friends.  

14. When it comes to calls and deadlines, how do you keep yourself organized? I primarily use my Google calendar to keep track of dates. I love how it e-mails me updates of what I want to get done each day. I need those reminders!

15. Do you remember what Paper Crafts issue your first project appeared in? How has your style changed since then? My first Paper Crafts publication was in March/April 2009. My style continues to subtly evolve. I have become more comfortable with adding embellishments and sewing on my creations.

I had such an emotional reaction to this card when I saw it come through the submissions judging that I called my daughter over to the computer so she could see it, too.

I had such an emotional reaction to this card when it came through the submissions judging that I called my daughter over to the computer so she could see it, too.

16. What are you looking forward to most about being a Paper Crafts Go-to Gal? I am most excited about working with the editors and staff of Paper Crafts, as well as the other Go-to Gals. Surrounding myself with such inspiring people motivates me to push myself in new directions. 

17. Have you contributed to any design teams in the past or present? If so, which ones? I am currently on the Unity Stamp Company and Lizzie Anne Designs design teams. I have also been on the Cosmo Cricket and Jacksonbelle Embellishments design teams. 

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

  • Anabelle O’Malley has such an elegant style. She can magically find that perfect balance of adding details/embellishments without creating something overdone. 
  • Amy Rohl is so creative. She plays with colors and makes creations that are pleasing to the eye.
  • Lisa Johnson has a clean and classic style. She artfully integrates patterns and color in unique ways. Her work is inspiring! 

19. Do you have any advice/tips for someone who’s never been published or who wants to submit for the first time? Just do it! And keep doing it! Remember that we each have our own style so don’t think you have to change what you do for publications. Be true to yourself and your creations and it will happen! 

Be sure and stop by Maren’s blog and check out all her fun ideas—but leave her a comment here before you go! I’ll pick one random winner to receive this “delightful” prize package, courtesy of Unity Stamp Company. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, July 15. The winner will be announced on Thursday’s blog.

One lucky winner will take home this Unity prize package!

One lucky winner will take home this Unity prize package!

Feeling a little “zany not crazy”,
Cath

P.S. Make sure you check back here on Thursday when we reveal the identity of mystery Go-to Gal #4!

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! To say we have a lot going on right now would be understatement. In the last two weeks we’ve released our special issue Card Creations, Volume 7, announced the Top 20 in our Gallery Idol contest and welcomed six new Go-to Gals to our Paper Crafts family. Like I said, it’s been a busy couple of weeks!

And it’s only going to heat up from here. Good thing we all have this upcoming weekend to recharge our batteries and enjoy all the patriotic festivities that accompany the Fourth of July. For all of our international readers, please indulge this American girl with this red, white and blue post.

I’ve always been a fan of the Fourth of July. I guess for me it really signifies that summer is finally here. I love all the Main Street parades. I love the backyard barbecues, the dripping snow cones, the fireflies at dusk, and of course, the fireworks that light up the midnight sky. All of these traditions remind me of what a lucky girl I am to live in this blessed nation where freedom is celebrated each and every day.

Here’s one of my favorite Fourth of July memories. My family was up in beautiful McCall, Idaho in 2006 and we snapped this photo in front of this gorgeous backdrop.

Another tradition I follow is I make a delicious flag cake every Fourth of the July. I love fresh berries (apparently all of you do too!) and they’re even better on top of a moist, yellow cake with whip cream frosting!

This is my take on the traditional Fourth of July flag cake. Not as pretty, but I swear it tastes just as good!

This is my "take" on the traditional Fourth of July flag cake. Not nearly as pretty, but I swear it tastes just as good! My secret ingredient: dust the top with cinnamon!

While I can’t make all of you a yummy cake for the Fourth, I can give away some red, white and blue product! Leave a comment telling me your favorite Fourth of July tradition. I’ll pick four winners to win some paper and stamps from Imaginisce’s Teacher’s Pet collection. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, July 5.

In honor of the Fourth of July, four lucky winners will each win this prize package from Imaginisce.

Four lucky winners will each win this prize package from Imaginisce.

However you spend Independence Day, I hope it’s a memorable one!

Kelly

P.S. Make sure to check back here at noon on Monday when voting begins for Round 1 of Gallery Idol. Come support our Top 20 as they show off their wedding-themed cards. Who will get your vote?

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday! Sounds like everyone enjoyed our CC7 blog hop last week. Thanks so much for supporting our fabulous designers who all came together to bring you 15 different, yet very engaging blogs. All in all, I’d say it was a huge success!

Make sure you check back with us tomorrow to see who took home the 10 amazing prize packages we featured last Friday. I will be announcing five winners here and Cath will be announcing five winners on Moxie Fab World. You’ll also want to visit the blogs of our 15 designers to see if you won a free copy of Card Creations, Volume 7. This special issue is bursting with creativity and inspiration – just like our newly appointed Gallery Idol Top 20!

Yes, the results are in! Summer can officially begin because the next four weeks are going to be hot, hot, hot! We were blown away by not only the amount of submissions, but the quality as well. This year for our “Open Auditions” round, 276 members submitted 1,254 birthday cards for 20 coveted spots! It was an agonizing decision, but we’re confident we got it right with this batch of talented gals who are ready to bring their “A” game. Would you like to meet them? Drum roll, please…

Finalist One: Chris Severs (chrys23)

Finalist One: Chris Severs (chrys23)

Lizzie Jones (Gallery Idol 2008)

Finalist Two: Lizzie Jones

Finalist 3: Heidi Vanlaar

Finalist Three: Heidi Van Laar

Finalist 4: Christine Penaflor

Finalist Four: Christine Penaflor (ca_scrappin)

Finalist 5: joey_73

Finalist Five: joey_73

Finalist 6: Tessa Wise

Finalist Six: Tessa Wise

Finalist 7: Natasha Trupp (trupptastic)

Finalist Seven: Natasha Trupp (trupptastic)

Finalist 9: shortcakescraps

Finalist Eight: Candice Cruz (ShortcakeScraps)

 

Finalist 9: Carla Peicheff (moraliaweblog)

Finalist 9: Carla Peicheff (moraliaweblog)

Finalist 10: Ashley Newell (anew19)
Finalist 10: Ashley Newell (anew19)
Finalist 10: Vanessa Menhorn (vanessa.1978)

Finalist 11: Vanessa Menhorn (vanessa.1978)

Finalist 12: Beatriz Jennings

Finalist 12: Beatriz Jennings

Finalist 13: Ashley Harris (ashersjane)

Finalist 13: Ashley Harris (ashersjane)

Finalist 14: Lucy, England

Finalist 14: Lucy, England

Finalist 15: Debbie (countryheartandhome)

Finalist 15: Debbie (countryheartandhome)

luluinlove

Finalist 16: luluinlove

Finalist 16: Shanna Vineyard

Finalist 17: Shanna Vineyard

Finalist 17: Belinda (dreamybg)

Finalist 18: Belinda (dreamybg)

 

Finalist 19: Rae Barthel

Finalist 19: Rae Barthel

Finalist 20: Julie Fei-Fan Balzer (milkman2007)

Finalist 20: Julie Fei-Fan Balzer (milkman2007)

Congrats, Top 20! Since all of you made it this far, here’s a sneak peek at your prize package, courtesy of:

Top 20 Prize Package: Cosmo Crickets Early Bird collection, plus free current issue.

Top 20 Prize Package: Cosmo Cricket's Early Bird collection, plus free current issue.

Top 20, we absolutely loved all of your birthday creations and can’t wait to see what you come up with for round one. We thought long and hard about the theme and since summer has officially arrived, so has the season of weddings! The theme for round one is weddings! The deadline is next Monday, July 6 at 9 a.m. All wedding cards must be posted to our gallery by this time. I’ll be e-mailing you in the next couple of days to go over the specifics for posting and answer any questions you might have. It’s time to start to creating!

Hopefully you’re hearing wedding bells!
Kelly

P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Susan’s Lucky Card Creations 7 post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Kathy Kohner (June 25, 10:41 a.m.)
2. Carol (June 26, 10:53 a.m.)
3. Pat S. (June 25, 8:43 a.m.)

Congrats, winners! You’ve each won a copy of CC7 and a GCD Studios/SIStv prize package! I’ll be contacting you shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

P. Kelly Smith
P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday and the last day of our Card Creations 7 Week celebration! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed your sneak peek of Card Creations, Volume 7 both here and on Moxie Fab World. We’ve had so much fun spotlighting this incredible issue and hope you’ve been sufficiently inspired to go make your own little masterpieces of wonder.

For those of you just joining us today, make sure to read all of our fun posts this week. From talking blossoms and buttons with designer Carla Peicheff to being tickled pink to tying on aprons with Kim Kesti and hitting the jackpot with Susan R. Opel, 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!

Today I’m going to spotlight a few of my favorite cards from CC7, which is really hard to do since there are so many amazing designs! But this first one has a special place in my heart since it was created by a humble editor whose named rhymes with “jelly” (little inside joke around here!).

Yes, little ol’ me pulled out her scraps and created this card that features one of my favorite Emily Dickinson quotes. I made it for my dear 88-year-old Grandma who lost her sweetheart this last February. Since she has the most beautiful singing voice, I knew SIStv’s Music in the Morning paper would resonate with her and “hopefully” put a smile on her face and in her heart.

P. Kelly Smiths Hope Has Feathers Card from CC7

P. Kelly Smith's Hope Has Feathers Card from CC7

My next two favorite cards are all about friendship. These are the kinds of cards I would love to give my best gal pals. And, of course, I would be thrilled to be on the receiving end too! I think it’s the punch of orange and the simple use of the word “friend” that works so brilliantly here.

Maren Benedicts Friends Tree Card and Dawn McVeys Friends Card from CC7

Maren Benedict's Friends Tree Card and Dawn McVey's Friends Card from CC7

And because we’re all friends in this wonderfully connective industry, I’d like you to meet 15 of my friends who just happen to have gorgeous cards in CC7:

  • Charlene Austin                                
  • Ashley Newell                                  
  • Teri Anderson                                   
  • Kim Hughes                                        
  • Carla Peicheff                                   
  • Dawn McVey                                    
  • Betsy Veldman                                 
  • Kim Kesti                                            
  • Alli Miles                                            
  • Maren Benedict                              
  • Melissa Phillips                                
  • Sherry Wright                                   
  • Debbie Olsen                                    
  • Layle Koncar          
  • Beatriz Jennings                             

These talented ladies are also directly related to our big giveaway today! Yes, we’re having another blog hop! Each of these designers will be spotlighting one of the cards they created for CC7. They’ll be talking about products, techniques and anything else their little creative minds desire. Each time you comment on a different blog (one comment per blog, please), your name gets entered to win a free copy of CC7 (there’s 15 up for grabs!) AND one of the ten amazing prize packages we’re giving away here and on Moxie Fab World!

Here on Paper Crafts Connection, we’re giving away five fabulous prize packages! Each prize set contains a collection from Doodlebug Design, Autumn Leaves, Anna Griffin, SEI and Sassafras Lass.

This is ONE prize package! We actually ran out of room on the table, so you can’t see the product from Sassafras Lass!

This is ONE prize package! We actually ran out of room on the table, so you can’t see Sassafras Lass' product!

On Moxie Fab World, Cath is also giving away five amazing prize packages! Each of her prize sets contains a collection from Pink Paislee, My Mind’s Eye, Fancy Pants Designs, Imaginisce and KI Memories.

And this is ONE prize package! Imagine this spread out on your own table!

And this is ONE prize package! Imagine these paper crafting morsels spread out on your table!

So it’s time to go visit my friends! Once you’re done with your blog hop, come back here and leave a comment telling me your favorite project from the 15 designers. And then hop on over to Moxie Fab World and tell Cath whose project you thought was the trendiest. To be eligible for the 10 prize packages, our two Paper Crafts blogs should be the last on your tour. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, June 28. The 10 lucky winners will be announced on Tuesday, June 30!

Happy blog hopping!
Kelly

P.S. Since it’s never a dull moment around here, make sure you check back here on Monday when we announce the Top 20 finalists in our Gallery Idol 2009 competition! Get ready for some summer fun!

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Kim’s It’s All Right Here post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Linda (June 24, 9:11 a.m.)
2. Tracy T (June 24, 4:51 a.m.)
3. Emma O (June 24, 12:52 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! In addition to winning a copy of Card Creations, Volume 7, each of you will receive BasicGrey’s Bittersweet collection. I’ll be contacting shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

Susan R. Opel

Susan R. Opel

I’ll never forget the day that I first talked to Brandy Jesperson on the phone before I moved from Indiana to Utah to start my job at Paper Crafts magazine. I accepted the position on April 1st but had to finish out the school year and fulfill my duties at my teaching job before I headed west; however, Brandy wanted me to get my feet wet by writing a couple of sections of Card Creations 6.

One day a box arrived on my doorstep with a VERY large binder inside. Tucked in ten protective sleeves I found cards from Jennifer Hansen, Ashley Harris, Kandis Smith, Tracey Odachowski, Stefanie Hamilton, Davinie Fiero, Becky Olsen, Danielle Flanders, Michele Boyer, and Debbie Olson – the entire Congratulations and Easter sections of Card Creations 6. It was pretty amazing to be able to touch these beautiful creations that would be going into this special issue.

Before I could get to work writing, I had a garage sale to conduct, a house to pack up, and finals to give, but when my good friend Tina Albertson (a talented scrapbooker and card maker whose card was on the cover of Card Creations 5, BTW) came to my garage sale in Fort Wayne, IN, I pulled out that big binder, and we looked at everything with awe.

I slaved over writing the instructions and supply lists for my two sections giving each card a snazzy and befitting name and trying to very carefully follow all of the directions. Brandy would probably agree that it wasn’t stellar, but it was such a whole new ballgame to me! And I was trying to write it all while administering final exams. Shh – don’t tell my former principal.

Fast forward to early June of 2009… and it’s time to introduce Card Creations 7 to the world, and now I am a full-fledged part of the Paper Crafts team. It’s been so fun seeing this issue through from the concept meeting to the call for submissions to the submissions judging to the projects rolling in to the writing (which I am MUCH better at now – I did more than 20 cards this time!) to the hand off to the proofs to the copy of the issue on my desk. And what makes it SUPER cool is that this time I have 12 of my very own creations in this issue. I thought I’d share three of my favorites!

Susan R. Opels Fabulous Card from CC7

Susan R. Opel's Fabulous Card from CC7

I’m pretty darn dramatic (if you hadn’t already noticed!), so this Heidi Swapp damask sticker really spoke to me. I decided to pair it with some lustrous damask paper from Hambly, black satin ribbon, and some sassy red alligator paper from Fibermark. Pop on some contrasting and cute American Crafts letter stickers and you have a great card to send to your long distance BFF!

Susan R. Opels Good Luck Card from CC7

Susan R. Opel's Good Luck Card from CC7

This card was totally inspired by the cherries (also from Heidi Swapp). I tried to think out of the box on this one and steered clear of “Life is a Bowl of Cherries” or “Happy Birthday with a Cherry on Top.” Instead, I channeled my inner Vegas girl (I lived there for three years) and went with a casino theme. The inside of this card reads: “Hope you hit the jackpot!” I sent this to a friend who recently started a new job.

Susan R. Opels Life is Good Card from CC7

Susan R. Opel's Life is Good Card from CC7

Pair this amazing graphic paper from GCD Studios with some bling and a fun phrase from Scrap In Style TV (one of my favorite spots on the web), and you’ve got yourself a quick and funky card for many occasions. Hmmm, looks like I was on a little bit of a red, white and black kick, huh?

From the three cards I shared, you can probably tell that I like dramatic and graphic cards best. But you’ll find a multitude of styles in Card Creations 7 – that’s what is so AWESOME about this definitive card idea book. From shabby to girly to fun and cute to classic to pretty to simple, we’ve got what you’re looking for!

Leave me a comment and tell me what YOUR favorite style is. I’ll choose three lucky winners who will win a copy of Card Creations 7, as well as the Label Love, Morning Milk, and Window Shopping paper collections (all used in CC7!) and the Rainbow Sushi Phrase Stickers used in my Life is Good card from Scrap In Style TV and the delicious Chianti paper collection (used in my Life is Good card) and epoxy stickers in Ravishing Reds and Shades of Black from GCD Studios. Get those responses in by midnight MDT on Sunday, June 28, and Kelly will announce the winner on Monday!

Three lucky winners will take home this fabulous prize package!

Three lucky winners will take home this prize package from SIStv and GCD Studios!

Bravo for Lucky Card Creations 7!
Susan

P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Brandy’s Tickled Pink post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Laurel (June 23, 7:20 a.m.)
2. SMK (June 24, 2:58 p.m.)
3. Amber R (June 23, 2:58 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! Each of you will receive a copy of Card Creations 7 and Making Memories’ Rouge Paperie collection. Kelly will be contacting you shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left so many pink comments!

Kim Kesti

Kim Kesti

Are you enjoying Card Creations 7 Week? I sure am. If you missed my fun “Q & A” with Cath yesterday, make sure you head over to Moxie Fab World to read up on why I love clean and graphic cards. There’s also several other card styles mentioned (plus, a really cool giveaway!), so definitely check it out!

It was a pleasure to contribute to Card Creations, Volume 7; it’s seriously my favorite “special” of the year! Maybe it’s the fact that all the reasons why we make cards are represented so beautifully. Sometimes it’s for a special holiday and other times it’s just to celebrate friendship, but whatever the occasion, it’s all right here.

You still have three more days to buy CC7 for 10% off. Click on the magazine image to reserve your copy today!

You still have three more days to buy CC7 for 10% off. Click on the magazine image to reserve your copy today!

Two cards that came together really easily for me are my “Apron Strings” (it made the cover!) and “Kitchen, Stove, & Mom” cards. Mother’s Day is such a special day, even more so as I’ve had kids of my own.

Since I’m kind of a “plain cardstock” type of gal, I pulled out some vintage-inspired colors for both of these cards. For my “Apron Strings” card, I printed my sentiment on solid-colored cardstock and adhered it to my card base. Then, I added some fun embellishments. The fabric apron was fun to stitch up and became the focal point of this card.

Kim Kestis Apron Strings Card from CC7

Kim Kesti's Apron Strings Card from CC7

For my “Kitchen, Stove, & Mom” card, I used tiny scissors and a craft knife to make three old fashioned utensils. These “served” me well in highlighting the cooking theme of this card.

Kim Kestis Kitchen, Stove, & Mom Card from CC7

Kim Kesti's Kitchen, Stove, & Mom Card from CC7

I want to share one more card from this fabulous issue. (I know, I can’t stand making you wait.) This Valentine’s Day card would be quite appropriate for anyone you love. It’s simple, direct and would be really easy to reproduce. Once again, plain cardstock for the card base, then I added four cardstock stickers from BasicGrey’s Bittersweet collection to another matted piece of cardstock. It was so quick and easy, but quite stunning (if I do say so myself!).

Kim Kestis SWAK Card from CC7

Kim Kesti's SWAK Card from CC7

If you’d like to copy this card exactly, here’s your chance! Leave a comment about your favorite card making occasion and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Card Creations 7 and BasicGrey’s Bittersweet collection! (So many of you mentioned this collection as your favorite pink product yesterday! Now we’re giving it away!) All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Thursday, June 25. The three winners will be announced on Friday’s blog!

Three lucky winners will win BasicGreys Bittersweet collection!

Three lucky winners will win BasicGrey's Bittersweet collection!

You can’t beat that. Just like you can’t beat Card Creations 7!

Good luck!
Kim, Paper Crafts Pro

P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Kelly’s Magazine Monday – Meet Carla Peicheff post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Carol (June 22, 6:36 p.m.)
2. Kimmie (June 22, 8:29 a.m.)
3. Sandra Shelton (June 22, 10:56 a.m.)

Congrats, winners! Each of you will receive a copy of Card Creations 7 and American Crafts’ Romance collection. Kelly will be contacting you shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left so many comments for Carla!

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