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P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! I hope you’re enjoying this first week of March as we inch closer and closer to spring. Even though a lovely snowstorm greeted me and my unprepared wardrobe today, I’m still confident that warmer weather is right around the corner. And that makes me a happy girl! 

Do you know what else makes me happy? Cosmo Cricket’s three new CHA releases: Material Girl, Joy Ride and Garden Variety. If you haven’t had a chance to preview these delightful collections, they’re quintessential Cosmo Cricket: bright, happy and full of paper crafting potential. 

Do you know who makes me happy? Our talented Paper Crafts Go-to Gals who are so supportive of our magazine, each other and you, our loyal readers. So it was no surprise at all when I rattled off an e-mail yesterday saying, “Has anyone played with Cosmo’s new lines?” And Maren instantly chimed in with, “I have cards with all three collections. I’ll send them your way.” And now you understand the “go-to” part of their titles!

Maren used Material Girl for her Happy Together card.

Anyone feel like a Joy Ride? Maren used this fun line for her On the Road card.

Who doesn't like smiling peas? Maren used Garden Variety for this card.

Way to go, Maren! I love all three of these collections for different reasons, but I think Garden Variety is my current favorite…at least for today. I especially love the product description on the Cosmo web site: “Here, the strawberries smile, the peas are friends and the chicks wear bonnets.” And all I can say to that is…well, wouldn’t they smile and be friends? It’s a Cosmo kind of day!

And since you’re all my friends and I want to make you smile, today I’m giving away all three Cosmo Cricket collections! Leave a comment telling me which product line is your current favorite. Are you a Material Girl, out for a Joy Ride or just another Garden Variety paper crafter? All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, March 7.

Happy Friday!


Teri Anderson

Mark my words.

Crepe paper will be one of the next big things in paper crafting.

Lately, I’ve seen projects pop up in the blog world. Just check out this cute house by fellow Go-to Gal, Betsy Veldman. Look at those cute curtains she made with the stuff. Neat!

I also saw it at the recent CHA trade show. Heidi Swapp and demonstrators at Tattered Angels changed the color of crepe paper by applying Glimmer Mist to it. Make ‘n takers in another booth decorated boxes with crepe paper ruffles.

Let’s just say all these sightings have piqued my interest in crepe paper. So I recently picked up a couple rolls of crepe paper and spent an afternoon playing with it. My mission: to figure out just what I could do with the stuff.

I was pleasantly surprised with the results:

I used crepe paper to make the flower on this card.

I simply rolled a piece of a piece of crepe paper in a circle, scrunching it as I went. I adhered the completed circle to the card with glue.

I also used it on this heart here.

I cut several squares of pink crepe paper and then glued them onto the chipboard heart.

I also used crepe paper to:

  • Make a pleated ruffle. I took a strip of crepe paper and folded pleats into it. I placed two-way tape on a piece of cardstock and set the top of my piece of crepe paper right on it.
  • Sew with. I laid a piece of crepe paper on cardstock and then hand stitched a line right down the middle of it. I used my fingers to crinkle up the paper’s edges.
  • Stamp on. I stamped a solid image on a piece of it over and over again. If you do this at home, be sure to place scratch paper underneath your paper before you stamp – just in case the ink bleeds through.

The beauty of crepe paper is it’s forgiving. You can crinkle and scrunch it again and again without it looking too worn or tattered. It’s also just plain fun. Have you tried paper crafting with crepe paper? I’d love to hear what fun ideas you’ve come up with!

Yours in crepe paper playing,

Teri Anderson
Paper Crafts Go-to-Gal

Jennifer Schaerer

It used to be that we only got a peek into the craft rooms of our readers via the survey we circulated once each year. That information was, and still is, like spun gold to us.  

The reason? It’s important that we bring you a series of regular issues and special interest publications showcasing just what you want to see, exactly when you want to see it.  

That right there has always been our challenge, mainly because we work about six or seven months in advance to orchestrate the perfect symphony of new products, trends and paper crafted projects that come together in a way that’s music to your ears.  

But now with this blog, Facebook, meet-and-greets at trade shows and very engaging message boards, we hear what you think on a much more frequent basis. And sometimes? We get feedback within minutes. Minutes.  

One thing we know for sure: you are STAMPERS.  

Lots of stampers swung by our booth at CHA to celebrate the release of Stamp It! Cards.

According to our most recent survey, 85% of you use stamping most often. Naturally, right behind that on the list of techniques is inking and aging, heat embossing and coloring images with markers. You stamp alphabets and backgrounds, but mostly it’s more like images and sentiments.  

Your favorite projects to make are cards, followed in distant second place by scrapbook layouts and then by gifts. If you were in charge of the magazine, you’d be sure that projects were more plentiful than anything else but techniques would be the thing that gave project count a run for its money.  

Here’s what we like best, though — you look through our magazine and decide to make a project you’ve seen because you’re inspired by the style. It’s an added bonus if you have the supplies on hand already.  

So I’m going to make it easy on you, and be sure that you’re both inspired by the style AND have the supplies on hand. How about some bright and cheerful stamps from American Crafts?  

Could you, perhaps, be inspired by the Herbs collection of clear stamps from American Crafts?

And since you’re all about heat embossing too, maybe you need some Zing:  

Meet the color Leaf -- it will be joined by friends Rouge, Wave, Apricot and Silver!

All you have to do is tell me what your stamp style is. Are you more fun and cute, clean and graphic, classy and elegant or shabby chic/vintage? I’m going to snag three of you who comment and send you not only the stamp set and Zing colors I mentioned above, but also a copy of Stamp It! Cards and one of our super duper extra special Stamp It! Cards buttons from CHA Winter. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, Feb. 24.  

Maybe you’ll be inspired to the highest level and find your next project on one of our covers, just like Lynn Ghahary did with Stamp It! Cards.  

Cover Girl Lynn Ghahary with her very first showing!

Happy stamping, my friends!

P.S. It’s time to hop over to the Moxie Fab World! I hear the Tuesday Trigger this week comes directly from the pages of Stamp It! Cards. Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Kim Hughes gains inspiration from one of Kimberly Crawford’s 12 gorgeous cards. There’s also an opportunity for two commenters to win four different Gina K Designs stamp sets!

P. Kelly Smith

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! 

Click on the cover image to reserve your copy today! Enter the coupon code "STAMPIT20" at check out and save 20%.

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. 

Three lucky winners will take home this stampy prize package!

Happy Friday!

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!

Cath Edvalson

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:

Products from October Afternoon, Little Yellow Bicycle and Donna Salazar

2. Opaque. It’s been about glitter and twinkle. Now it’s about hard-core shine:

Products from Ranger and Pink Paislee

3. Textured Cardstock. Whether it’s custom to a manufacturer, raised or stitched, it’s all about texture:

Products from Cosmo Cricket, Bazzill Basics Paper and Anna Griffin

4. Canvas. Speaking of texture…

Products from Prima, Canvas Corp. and BasicGrey

5. Peace Signs. A return trend from CHA Summer, these happy icons were everywhere I looked:

Products from Little Yellow Bicycle, Adorn It and Reminisce

6. Altered Art. Anything Tim Holtz is hot and these new tools help seal the deal:

Products from Tim Holtz, GCD Studios and Zutter

7. Music. Carrying its own tune:

Products from Glitz Design, Technique Tuesday and October Afternoon

8. Frames. Picture this:

Products from Teresa Collins Design, Webster’s Pages and 7gypsies

9. Buttons. As in cute as a…

Products from Webster’s Pages, The Girls’ Paperie and Jenni Bowlin

10. Vintage Ephemera. Trinkets, cards, images and more:

Products from Melissa Frances, Glitz Design and K&Company

11. Background Text. These say it all…

Products from Prima, Technique Tuesday and Impression Obsession

12. Sewing—the run-away trend of the show. Keeping us in stitches:

Products from Cosmo Cricket and Maya Road

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,

Jennifer Schaerer

Jennifer Schaerer

The energy wave from CHA is still rolling through our world, and we really enjoyed being able to connect with you in real time right here on our blog, on our Facebook fan page and with Twitter updates (Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Teri Anderson sure was busy with her tweets, wasn’t she?). Cath was updating the Moxie Fab World fan page on Facebook as well, so we hope you felt like you were at least right there with us in spirit. 

But spirit isn’t touchable or wearable, now is it? It sure would be nice if you maybe had something of your own from the show to make it all better, right? 

Shhhh…don’t tell anyone…I was just a little bit sneaky at the show and told a few teensy weensy itty bitty white lies about being out of certain buttons and t-shirts. And I also tucked away some card kits from our workshop…you know, just in case I might need them for something…something like a share-the-CHA-love giveaway right here on the Paper Crafts Connection blog! 

Whaddya think? Should I? 

Okay! Let’s do it! I’ve got t-shirts: 

Paper Crafts t-shirt

The shirt that advertises your priorities for all to see!

 I’ve also got some of each button we handed out: 

It's definitely time to get stampy!

Not now honey, I'm reading my Paper Crafts

Just in case the t-shirt doesn't say it all for you!

Paper Crafts Connection blog

Your home for all things paper crafty -- the Paper Crafts Connection blog!

And, to bring you right into the touch-it-feel-it part of CHA, I’ll also toss in the five card kits from Kim Hughes’ workshop so you can whip up some of your own: 

That's a custom sentiment drawn by Go-to Gal Kim Hughes!

Such a sweet gift card holder!

A quick and cute hello -- with another custom Kim Hughes drawing that you can color with markers!

A fun card using Cosmo Cricket's Early Bird collection

This card is simpler than it looks!

If you want one of these yummy CHA care packages, just let me know. Raise your hand and yell “Me! Me! Me!” or whatever it takes to get my attention. Leave a comment by midnight this Saturday, January 30 (which also happens to be the deadline for our 2010 Reader Survey — have you completed it yet?) and I’ll pick 10 random winners


P.S. Cath is featuring Kelly as an Editor’s Choice over on Moxie Fab World blog today. Click HERE to read all about her secret love affair with buttons! (And, yes, there’s a button giveaway!) 

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners of Teri’s Stamptastic Storage Solutions post! 

1. Jan B. (Jan. 20, 7:54 p.m.)
2. Diane S. (Jan. 21, 4:05 a.m.)
3. Shelly Abbs (Jan. 20, 9:55 a.m.) 

Congrats, winners! You’ve each won a copy of Stamp It! Cards! Kelly will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

Maren Benedict

I’m writing from CHA! I love capturing the spirit and excitement that comes from this event. 

It’s all about AMAZING new product and reconnecting with people from all over the world who ‘get it’. 

I am, as many attest, always taking photos at these special events. Here are my top three so far:

Lovely ladies! From left: Teri Anderson, Ashley Harris, Kim Hughes and Kim Kesti

Check out Susan's sparkly tank top...GORGEOUS!

Hmm…I wonder why I like this one so much?

I promise to share hundreds more in the next few days, but until then, I’d love to hear what caption would go perfectly with them. Leave a comment by midnight on Thursday, Jan. 28 and I’ll pick one person to receive some goodies from CHA. Be sure to tell me which picture you’re commenting on!

Maren Benedict,
Paper Crafts Go-to Gal

P.S. If you just can’t wait to see my hundreds of pictures, hop on over to the Paper Crafts Fan Page on Facebook. The editors have been posting some product sneak peeks, plus a few incriminating ones of us after-hours!

P. Kelly Smith

As you’re reading this post, the Paper Crafts editors and Go-to Gals are jet-setting to California for the Winter Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) trade show. Here we’ll see all of the manufacturers’ new product lines and mingle with designers and those who share in our paper crafting passion.   

At the show we’ll be holding several booth events. We’ll be promoting our current January/February issue, Stamp It! Cards, our two blogs, as well as greeting fans and giving away some fun prizes.    

If you happen to be in the Anaheim area, we’d love to meet you! Here’s a schedule of CHA events for Friday, Jan 22 through Tuesday, Jan. 26:   

  • SuperShow: Friday, Jan. 22: 6-7 p.m. /Sat, Jan. 23: 11 a.m.noon, Booth #834: No trade show credentials? No problem! Join the Paper Crafts editors as we mingle with readers, introduce our sassy new t-shirt (that’s available for purchase!) and hand out issues and buttons.  
  • CHA: Monday. Jan. 25: 11 a.m.-noon, Booth #2777: Come meet the Paper Crafts editors and Go-to Gals! We’ll be talking about our new columns, taking photos and giving away free copies of our January/February issue! A few will also walk away with our new t-shirts!  
  • CHA: Tuesday, Jan. 26: 2-3 p.m., Booth #2777: It’s time to get stampy! We’ll be promoting our new special issue Stamp It! Cards, as well as giving away free copies of this highly anticipated magazine.  

Want a sneak peek at our brand new t-shirt? Based on the Moxie Fabs column in our January/February issue, we had so much fun pairing this sassy sentiment with a vintage image. Very Anne Taintor-esque!  

Paper Crafts proudly presents the next big thing in fashion: our sassy t-shirt!

Here's a close-up view of this cute sentiment.

Can you guess what today’s giveaway is? Yep, I’ve got three t-shirts up for grabs! To win one, leave a comment telling me what you think we should name this sassy girl. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, Jan. 24.   

Hope to see ya at CHA!

P.S. Just a friendly reminder that our January Gallery Challenge ends on Monday, Jan. 25. If you’d like to enter this marker-themed challenge, please upload your projects HERE.   

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners of Teri’s Stamptastic Storage Solutions post!   

1. Cheri Howard (Jan. 21, 12:46 a.m.)
2. Danya Johnson (Jan. 20, 10:31 a.m.)
3. Carol Metully (Jan. 20, 5:57 p.m.)

Congrats, ladies! You’ve each won a copy of Stamp It! Cards! I’ll be contacting you next week to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

Susan R. Opel

This morning when you awoke, did you feel a certain tingle in your toes? Were you feeling more chipper than usual, too? You know why that is, right? 

Oh, yes, Stamp It! Cards goes on sale TODAY! 

On the Paper Crafts Facebook Fan Page we asked our readers what their favorite special issue from 2009 was. Why, Stamp It! Cards, of course! And it really does make sense. If you’re looking for card making inspiration and you love to stamp – this issue is the be-all end-all of stamping and paper crafting nirvana. 

Click on the cover to order your copy today!

Do you hear the angels singing with joy? 

Our reader survey (Have you taken it yet? There’s still time!) tells us that almost all of our readers use stamps, but even the non-stamper will be inspired by the colorful, trendy and inspiring cards. There’s so much to love! 

Do you like what you see so far? Silly question, right? Be sure to mark your calendar for the week of February 22-26th where we’ll host a Stamp It! Cards promotional week here on Paper Crafts Connection as well as on the Moxie Fab World blog. Kelly and Cath will share all sorts of insights and fabulousness from this amazing issue, and I’m pretty sure there will be some prizes involved. 

Since Stamp It! Cards is one of our most popular issues, we’re even throwing a little party next week at the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Trade Show in Anaheim, CA, to celebrate. We’ll be giving out these awesome buttons. How cute are they?  


Do you want to win one of these buttons? Read on… 

To win one of these limited edition Stamp It! Cards buttons and a few stamps to get you stamping, I’d love to hear your answer to one of the following questions

  • What was the very first stamp you bought?
  • If you could create your very own stamp, what would it be?

Leave me a comment by Wednesday, Jan. 20th at midnight (MST), and you might just win! We’ll announce three winners on Monday, Jan. 25th

Yours in Stamp It! Love!

P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Kelly’s He Said, She Said post! Kelly’s own sister picked these as her favorite card sentiments and said reading them made her feel instantly better.

1. Summer Braxton (Jan. 15, 8:18 a.m.) 

Picture #1: speech bubble over Lexus’ head: “Get better soon ‘cuz this guy’s a mess without you.” 

2. Michelle A. (Jan. 15, 11:39 a.m.)  

Picture #1: “Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. Wish I could offer you my blanket but Charlie back there stole it!” 

3. Patty (Jan. 15, 4:15 p.m.) 

Picture #2: “Oooh – you’re sick. Want company in that big bed of yours?” 

Congrats, ladies! You’ve each won a copy of Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2. Kelly will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

Brandy Jesperson

Brandy Jesperson

I love the weeks surrounding CHA! Even if I don’t get to go to the show, I get to see many exciting new lines that always leave me more inspired than when I began my day. 

We’ve had several local manufacturers pop over to the Paper Crafts offices to show off their wares and occasionally we even have the chance to visit with a manufacturer on their home turf. 

Last week we drove to Centerville, UT to get a look at the latest and greatest from Making Memories. Their new Vintage Findings collection is fabulous and their upcoming Halloween and Christmas lines are sensational (but honesty, are you really surprised?). 

As always, we had to pose for a picture before we left.


Here we (the Paper Crafts ladies) pose for a picture with some friends from CK, the Events team, and Making Memories.

Here we (the Paper Crafts ladies) pose for a picture with some friends from CK, the Events team, and Making Memories.

The gals at Making Memories were very generous and sent us all home with a bundle of product! Since I don’t want to be a product hog, I figured I’d be nice and share some of my goodies with you. Leave me a comment telling me which CHA release made you squeal with glee (check out this link if you need a little inspiration) and I’ll randomly select one winner to take home some Making Memories product. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Friday, August 21.

Someone will take home some of these goodies that Kelly and I received.

Someone will take home some of these goodies that Kelly and I received from Making Memories.

Happy commenting,

P.S. I want to send out a quick reminder to you international commenters. We are no longer able to ship prizes outside of the U.S. HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean that you can’t play. You can absolutely comment your socks off, but if your name is drawn, instead of winning the prize that’s being offered, you’ll receive a one-year subscription to Paper Crafts magazine. So keep your comments coming, friends!

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