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Welcome to Freebie Friday! Is this exciting week really over? Say it isn’t so! While all good things must come to an end, we hope you’ve been inspired by the amazing sketches and projects we’ve featured this week. If anything, maybe it’s jump-started your creative battery and you’ve found yourself viewing sketches in a whole new light. Because let’s face it…the possibilities are endless!
Like Jennifer mentioned yesterday, we do often get caught up in “magazine” time, which is usually 6-7 months ahead of “real” time. Being able to read your comments and see the blog traffic (thank you, by the way!) is thrilling for us because we get to relive the fun of putting together Go-to Sketches. And as you’ve seen from some of the behind-the-scenes photos this week, a good great time was definitely had by all!
Speaking of “all”…we must thank our fabulous Go-to Gals for all their hard work this week. Someone referred to them as the “Go-to Geniuses” and I think this is an accurate description. (And if we ever get tired of the Go-to Gal title, we’ve got a something else to consider!) We’re gathering for another editorial board meeting in a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to see my sweet GTGs!
Okay, I’ve rambled long enough…you know it’s Friday, you know it’s coming…”What’s Kelly giving away today,” you ask? Well, I’ve got a special treat for all my Paper Crafts Connection peeps. On Moxie Fab World this week, Cath mentioned our exclusive Go-to Sketches sponsor: Doodlebug Design. In addition to creating some adorable ads for this special issue (in which they used their product to create projects from our sketches!), they took it one step further and are now offering the Go-to Sketches Card Companion Kit. This kit allows you to make ALL 18 Doodlebug cards that are featured in Go-to Sketches. And I’ve got three kits to give away to three lucky winners! PLUS, each winner will receive TWO copies of Go-to Sketches! One to keep and one to give to a friend! All you have to do is leave a comment naming a new blog you discovered from this week’s blog hop. All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Sunday, April 11.
P.S. The sketch fun continues on Monday when we spotlight the winners from our first ever Go-to Sketch Challenge! We picked two winners per sketch, so stay tuned to see which four projects really impressed us! And if you feel like participating in Cath’s Go-to Sketches Week Challenge, she’s accepting entries until midnight (MDT) on Monday, April 26. Click HERE for more details!
We try not to, but sometimes we get so focused on publishing our magazines that we lose sight of the final product once it’s “out there.” We’re so used to Christmas in July and Mother’s Day in December that we’re always well on our way to the next inspiring issue.
That wasn’t the case with Go-to Sketches. From the very first moment we sat down to discuss the concept, we were giddy with anticipation. It all came together so perfectly, including the photo shoot that coincided with our annual editorial board meeting. As Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Teri Anderson said, it was an instant connection for our newly-minted Go-to Gals even though they had never been all together as a group before.
Oh, the laughter! The teasing!
And, of course, the primping. Since these six lovely ladies had to pose not only for their official headshots (the black and whites we use here and in the magazine), but also the colorful opener shots AND group shot for Go-to Sketches, you can only imagine the quick changes and hair brushing going on.
Then it was on to the individual shots for the section opening pages. Not only were there six boisterous Go-to Gals in the studio, there was also an audience of editors to help keep things lively.
And here’s your insider secret for the day: although the final shots in the issue are just beautiful and appear effortless, each one was meticulously arranged and checked on the monitor.
It was only after their shots were complete that the Go-to Gals remembered to have a quick bite to eat. After all, we literally whisked them straight from the airport right to the studio and then ordered them to smile pretty.
This has truly been a fun and fulfilling journey bringing this very special issue from early concept last August to the newsstand a few weeks ago. Your other insider secret for the day: we’ve got something else up our collective sleeves for later this summer, so you might want to hang around and find out more. Shhhhhhhh. Don’t tell anyone, though.
If you haven’t already gotten your copy of Go-to Sketches, you can check out our sneak peek HERE. (Psst…today’s the last day for the 20% off plus free shipping offer! Just enter the promotion code “SKETCH20” HERE.)
I’m sending heartfelt thanks to our fantastic group of Go-to Gals for making this week so much fun with all the blog hopping and exclusive new projects using some of the sketches from this issue, because we sure couldn’t have done this without the group effort. You ladies are the very best!
And since our readers are the very best, too, I’ve got three more copies of Go-to Sketches to give away! Leave a comment telling me your favorite aspect of this promotional week (so far!). All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Friday, April 9.
P.S. The fun is just beginning! Hop over to Moxie Fab World as Cath talks about stretching a sketch to suit different styles, purposes, occasions, holidays, gender, age, etc. And the Go-to Gals each take a single sketch and turn it six different ways to create six unique new projects!
Who’s ready for some fun?
I’m always up for a good time, and I know you are, too, so let’s get this party rollin’!
In celebration of our new special issue, Go-to Sketches, the Paper Crafts Go-to Gals have got some fun up their sleeves, beginning with these inspiring projects from this ultra inspiring issue. Check it:
Since Go-to Sketches is all about gaining inspiration from a sketch, the Go-to Gals have not only posted the sketches from which these cards were created, but they’ve got a brand new project created just for you based on the same sketch. AND, they’ve asked five of their friends to do the same thing!
So, leave a comment here saying which of these projects inspire you the most and why, click on each of these links:
…then click on the five links of each of their friends. Visit all the blogs, gain a TON of inspiration and leave a comment on each blog for a chance to win one of three copies of Go-to Sketches. If you do the math as I have, that gives you 37 chances to win!
As in, leave a comment here + 6 comments on the Go-to Gals’ blogs + 30 comments on their friends’ blogs = 37 big chances!
The comment-to-win ends at midnight (MDT) on Wednesday, April 7, so you better get hoppin’!
Let the inspiration begin,
Welcome to Freebie Friday! Hopefully you’ve heard a few good things about our new special issue Go-to Sketches. If you’re still curious about what this magazine is all about, it’s essentially 162 pages spotlighting 282 projects, inspired by 66 sketches. Got that?
To add to all that fun, each Paper Crafts Go-to Gal has their own section (complete with a one-page introduction!) that features projects made from each of their 11 new sketches. And as Matt pointed out yesterday, the fun part about creating this issue was shooting everything on white. The result: 282 projects and 66 sketches that “pop” off the page!
So are you ready for Go-to Sketches Week? Once again we’re partnering with creative editor Cath Edvalson and her Moxie Fab World blog to bring you five days of sketch-filled fun. In addition, because our Go-to Gals are featured so prominently in this issue, all six of them will be involved in our very special promotional week. I’d love to spill the beans, but I’m sworn to secrecy! It’s going to be THAT cool!
In honor of Easter this weekend, I thought I would share a “hoppy” project from the pages of Go-to Sketches. The talented Heidi Van Laar created this adorable Easter Basket Card from one of Betsy Veldman’s sketches. To download the pattern for this card, please click HERE.
Isn’t that just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? And because I believe grown-ups should have Easter baskets too, I’ve got a few goodies to put in yours! Leave a comment telling me your favorite Easter candy and I’ll pick three winners to receive a fun paper collection from A Muse Artstamps, Pink Paislee’s Vintage Pop stamp set, a Paper Crafts Connection button AND a copy of Go-to Sketches! The Easter Bunny is feeling very generous this year! All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Sunday, April 4.
P.S. Between now and Sunday, April 4, you can purchase Go-to Sketches through our online store and save 20%! Click HERE to buy your copy!
We’re a tight-knit team around here, and because of that we all feel like we’ve just had a baby.
Okay, not really.
But ohmygosh…we were so excited when Brandy let us know it was finally our turn to meet Cooper Kaleb Jesperson! Yesterday was the day, so we swung by a local restaurant to grab Brandy’s favorite meal and headed over to her house for lunch.
We were so enthralled with this little man that we almost forgot to eat.
Hunger calls, though, and Cooper let us know when he was more than ready for Brandy to be back on duty.
So Brandy, in her deft and impossibly comfortable way, let Cooper join in the lunchtime occasion. And boy, can he ever mow through a bottle!
Although we would have spent the entire afternoon at Brandy’s house, just admiring her little miracle and getting our Brandy “fix” until she returns to the office, we still had the small matter of a few magazines to produce.
So, we did what tight-knit teams do and grabbed a quick group shot with our new #1 little man.
I spent the visit at a distance to protect Cooper from my late-season sniffles, but just being with Brandy and absorbing her happiness as a new mom was more than enough for me.
Since it really is the season for babies (and brides, too!), if you’re inspired to join the fun during our Babies and Brides Gallery Challenge, please do!
Basking in the baby bliss,
In the March/April issue of Paper Crafts magazine, we always feature both babies and brides. Springtime is a good time to be thinking about new beginnings and whether it’s a baby just coming into the world or a bride and groom starting their lives together, these events are some of the most important milestones in our lives.
In addition to finding an entire feature on this topic in the magazine (see pages 48-57), we thought you would also enjoy showing off baby and/or bride projects you’ve created yourself.
Join us in our March Gallery Challenge where you can submit cards for brides and grooms, babies, and new moms and dads. But your creativity doesn’t have to stop there! We’d love to also see shower ensembles, décor for the nursery, gift bags and tags, gift card holders and any other non-card projects you’d love to whip up! Click HERE for all the details on how to enter and scroll down for some heartfelt inspiration straight from the pages of the magazine:
We can’t wait to see what you’ve got up your sleeves for this challenge! You’ve got until Monday, March 22!
Yours in celebrating babies and brides,
P.S. Speaking of babies, the Paper Crafts team gets to meet baby Cooper tomorrow! Stay tuned for this much-anticipated love fest!
P.P.S. It’s time to announce the two winners from Susan’s Tips, Tools, & Technique Trivia post!
1. Anita Young (Winner of the i-top, punches)
2. Lori Beseke (Winner of the glitter package)
Congrats, winners! Susan will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!
Welcome to Magazine Monday and the first day of Stamp It! Cards Week! The one thing I love about stampers is their enthusiasm. While I was reading through the 330+ comments from Friday’s post, I laughed out loud when I stumbled across Sharon Totton’s motto for stamping and for life:
“If it sits still long enough, Stamp It. If it doesn’t, chase it down and Stamp It.”
Now why didn’t we think of that tagline? Genius! It really sums up our latest edition of Stamp It! Cards. In addition to the 152 inspiring designs, we’ve even included fun sections like “Tips from the Go-to Gals”, “Stamp It! 3 Ways” and “Say it with Stamps”. We’ll touch on each of these sections this week, as well as show some amazing stamped cards from the magazine.
Speaking of amazing stamped cards…when we were discussing who should be featured as our designer spotlight for this week, all we had to do was look at the editorial spreadsheet for Stamp It! Cards. One name kept popping up over and over. Actually 12 times! Yes, Kimberly Crawford has 12 gorgeous cards in this issue. Quite a feat considering her first ever publication was last year’s Stamp It! Cards. How’s that for a full circle moment! Go Kimberly!
1. Where did you grow up?
On a lake, outside a small town called Moose Lake, MN. But as of 12 days ago, I became a resident of Iowa.
2. Do you work outside the home? If so, what do you do?
No, I have the privilege of staying home with my newly four-year-old son.
3. If a movie were to be made of your life, who would you cast to play the part of you?
I am going to continue the Jennifer Garner trend because if she was busy working on a film, I could flirt with her gorgeous hubby Ben Affleck.
4. What song would you choose as the theme song for your life?
A theme song? I really can’t think of one, but I have a song for everything. I am one of those people.
5. What is one thing most people would be surprised to hear about you?
That I used to be a high school softball coach and can throw a softball 72 mph, over hand. I also love to golf and watch hockey. I am a sports nut.
6. What/who inspired you to start paper crafting?
My husband. He mentioned this “stamping thing” his mom did when we were getting married. She sent me some supplies and the rest is history. And I don’t let him forget it.
7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge?
Finding time to experiment with all the crazy ideas in my head.
8. If you were only allowed two items to create a card beside cardstock and adhesive, what would they be?
A stamp and watermark ink. You can do a ton with backgrounds, cutting images out and mounting them with foam tape.
9. What is your favorite occasion or holiday to paper craft and why?
Christmas. I am a Christmas girl at heart. Bring it on in October!
10. How would you describe your style?
Fresh and classy with a tendency towards shabby chic and cutesy on some days.
11. When is your favorite time to craft?
Naptime and bedtime for my little man. If I didn’t have a four-year-old son for an alarm clock, I would stay up until all hours of the night because after 10:30 p.m., I really get creative.
12. What sort of music do you listen to while crafting?
Everything. I love all music: country, rock, Christian, southern gospel, musicals and orchestral.
13. How does your family participate in your paper crafting passion?
My husband sweetly supports my obsession passion. He looks at all my projects and provides wonderful feedback. My son has his own stamps and ink pads, and he even knows to clean the stamps off between colors!
14. When it comes to calls and deadlines, how do you keep yourself organized?
Outlook on my computer. I enter them all in and then a little reminder pops up every time I check my e-mail. I also keep a printed copy of calls on my desk. You can never have too many reminders or lists!
15. Do you remember what Paper Crafts issue your first project appeared in? How has your style changed since then?
It was last year’s Stamp It! Cards, and what a thrill! I am still a pretty simple girl, but I like to think I have learned how to add better finishing touches.
16. Have you contributed to any design teams in the past or present? If so, which ones?
I am currently designing for Spellbinders Paper Arts, Stampendous, Pink Persimmon and am a reporter for The Scrap Review. In the past I have designed for the Flourishes blog team and for two online stores: ScrapLovers and Stamper’s Dream.
17. Name three designers whose styles you like and why they appeal to you.
- Nichole Heady because she is clean, classy and creative
- Betsy Veldman for her amazing color combinations
- Debbie Olson because she makes me want to color everything and tie beautiful bows
18. Do you have any advice/tips for someone who’s never been published or who wants to submit for the first time?
Submit, submit, submit. And then submit some more.
19. Out of your 12 cards in Stamp It! Cards, do you have a favorite? Please talk about the inspiration/design/techniques for one or more of your cards in this publication.
It would be my Live the Sweet Life Card from p. 17. I love how the card came together. I had this gorgeous peach image that I wanted to use, but didn’t have the correct color markers. So, I had to get creative. I knew I had the right color ink, but how could the ink be applied? Then the thought of letter pressing came to mind. Yay for the results! Sometimes I think I have too much stuff. My best ideas come from being forced to be clever with what is on my desk.
20. Do you have a blog or online gallery? If so, please provide the URL.
Yes, I do! My blog can be found at www.kimberly-crawford.blogspot.com.
Thanks, Kimberly! Our friends at Flourishes were nice enough to donate three sets of their Cherries & Peaches stamp set – the same set Kimberly used to create her card above. Please leave a comment and I’ll pick three random winners to receive this set, plus a copy of Stamp It! Cards. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Tuesday, Feb. 23.
P.S. Cath is featuring Technique Tuesday in her Moxie Monday post today! Head on over for a chance to win six different stamp sets!
P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from my Countdown to Stamp It! Cards Week post!
1. Paulina (Feb. 19, 8:41 a.m.)
2. Viola Miller (Feb. 19, 8:03 p.m.)
3. Anya (Feb. 19, 12:58 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!
Welcome to Freebie Friday! Has this week flown by or what? Here at the office we’ve been busy with concept meetings, submissions judging meetings and a few product previews. There’s always something brewing, and that is most definitely a good thing.
If you’re stamper, then I’ve got a very good thing coming your way! Stamp It! Cards Week officially kicks off next Monday. Our goal is to entice you to fall in love with our new special issue Stamp It! Cards. If the love fest is already going strong, then we hope you’ve been inspired to stamp some amazing cards of your own!
Not only will we have a ton of stamping fun here, but we’re partnering with creative editor Cath Edvalson and her Moxie Fab World blog. Both sites will be doing designer spotlights, showing projects from the issue (as well as a few new ones!) and giving away some amazing prize packages. I think between Cath and I, we’re giving away over 50 stamp sets!
Next week on Paper Crafts Connection:
Magazine Monday – Designer spotlight on stamper extraordinaire Kimberly Crawford. She has 12 (count ’em, ladies!) gorgeous cards in this issue and get this…her very first project was only published a year ago – in Stamp It! Cards 2009. How’s that for inspiring?
Tuesday – Our fearless leader Jennifer Schaerer will give you highlights from our Stamp It! Cards promotion at CHA. She’ll also dissect our most recent reader survey and give you data on one of your favorite paper crafting techniques. Can you guess what technique I’m referring to?
Wednesday – Miss Kim Kesti will show off her Beautiful Birds card from the “Tips from the Go-to Gals” section of Stamp It! Cards. She’ll talk about how she achieved the gradient stamping look and illustrate it with a brand new card.
Thursday – New momma and managing editor Brandy Jesperson will spotlight some diverse projects from the “Stamp It! 3 Ways” section. Then the Paper Crafts Go-to Gals will show you how diverse they can be with their own Stamp It! 3 Ways challenge. Three gals were given one stamp set; three gals were given another. Stay tuned to see the results!
Freebie Friday – Not sure if I can top last year’s jackpot of a giveaway, but I’m sure going to try! The Big One generated more comments (763!) than any other blog post…to date. Will Freebie Friday reign supreme again?
Since I do love my Freebie Fridays, I’ve got some great prize packages today! Stampin’ Up! recently came to our office and left us some sweet stamping goodies. Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing to stamp: focal images, sentiments, backgrounds or all of the above. I’ll pick three lucky people to win Stampin’s Up’s Vintage Vogue stamp set, a stamping block and a charm and necklace set from their Simply Adorned collection. And a little inspiration to go with it…a copy of Stamp It! Cards and our fun CHA button. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, Feb. 21.
P.S. It’s time to announce the winner of Jessica’s The Little Letter Sheet That Could post!
Kimmie (Feb. 17, 5:56 a.m.)
Congrats, Kimmie! You’ve just won a fun set of Thickers from American Crafts! I’ll be contacting you shortly to get your mailing address. Thanks to all who left comments!
As creative editor for Paper Crafts magazine, it’s my job to make sure that the projects we show are fresh, fun and trendy. So, when I walk the showroom floor at CHA, I’m always on the lookout for what inspires, what’s showing up multiple times in multiple places and what’s getting a lot of buzz as I bop from booth to booth.
On the plane ride home, as I started to process all I had seen, I wrote down the common themes that had risen to the top of my experience. Here are they are—my CHA Winter 2010 Trends by the Dozen:
1. Doilies & Lace. Intricate lovelies straight from Grandma’s parlor:
2. Opaque. It’s been about glitter and twinkle. Now it’s about hard-core shine:
3. Textured Cardstock. Whether it’s custom to a manufacturer, raised or stitched, it’s all about texture:
4. Canvas. Speaking of texture…
5. Peace Signs. A return trend from CHA Summer, these happy icons were everywhere I looked:
6. Altered Art. Anything Tim Holtz is hot and these new tools help seal the deal:
7. Music. Carrying its own tune:
8. Frames. Picture this:
9. Buttons. As in cute as a…
10. Vintage Ephemera. Trinkets, cards, images and more:
11. Background Text. These say it all…
12. Sewing—the run-away trend of the show. Keeping us in stitches:
Which of these trends speaks the most to you and why? I’d love to hear your takes on this trendy dozen, friends! Leave me a comment by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, Feb. 10 and I’d be oh-so-happy to send the Material Girl collection from Cosmo Cricket to one random lucky winner!
Dealing in dozens,
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?
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?
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.
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.
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!).
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?
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,
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!