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Jessica Witty

Six days into the new year…raise your hand if you have already broken one of your resolutions.

Come on. You can admit it here.

Yeah, I know. Resolutions just have this way of breaking themselves. 

I’ve noticed that the smaller the resolution is, the more likely it is to be kept (at least in my case!). For example, during the past year I set up some mini paper crafting resolutions for myself.

Obvious choices (for me) would have included:

  • Say goodbye to perfectionism.
  • Become proficient and amazingly talented at using unique colors and new-to-me styles. 
  • Spend no more than 30 minutes making each card. 

However, in hopes of actually keeping my resolutions, I went with these:

  • Handmade is ok.

I’ve come to grips with the fact that this recovering perfectionist is just never going to be able to give it up completely. I’m ok with that. I love details and straight lines and perfect bows and I don’t really want to give them up. But…I also want to be able to make something and be ok if the last tiny detail doesn’t work out so well, know what I mean?

So, I started embracing my mistakes.

Seriously. I made it a goal to just say…“It’s ok.” See that little sewing glitch on the left side of the tag?

It’s ok.

Makes it look handmade. And it is. So, it’s ok.

I left it. And gave it to someone. Can you believe it? (Aren’t you proud of me?)

  • Try something new.

I’m not going to conquer the world of embellishments in a day. Or even a year. And while I love the whole shabby chic, ultra-detailed project, it’s hard to fathom one coming from me. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t branch out a little bit.

So, this year, I took a few steps.

I inked a few more edges. (Occassionally.)

I added a few more layers. (Sometimes.)

I used a few more embellishments. (Still workin’ on it.)

I even tried some out-of-my-comfort-zone color combos. 

Now that one…that one was a success! I found out that hey, I actually like some of these funny colors together. Huh. Who knew? 

  • Make more, think less.

Now, this one is a biggie, folks. I’m a thinker. 

Let me rephrase that. I’m an over-thinker.

It can be debilitating, I swear. 

Which color should I use? Pink? Or this slightly brighter shade of pink?

Let me think about it.

Wait. Still thinkin’.

Basically my goal has been to simply make a decision and move on. Move on in one direction and backtrack if I have to. Make more, think less.

It’s working for me.

This little one is one of my very favorites from this year…I remember it coming together so quickly that I was shocked. And yet completely satisfied.

You can find it in Paper Crafts’ new idea book A Card a Day: Your Ultimate Resource for Inspiration, Design, Tips & Techniques.

So, what are you paper crafting resolutions for this year? I think I’m going to be keeping a few of mine from last year…somehow, I think they’re not through with me yet! And in the spirit of keeping people on track with their resolutions, here’s a few Christmas cards to get this year’s stash started! Leave a comment telling me about your resolutions for the year and I’ll pick one lucky person to win both cards! All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Thursday, Jan. 7.

One lucky winner will take home both of my cards from Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 4!

Happy crafting!

Jessica Witty,
Paper Crafts Go-to-Gal

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Kim Hughes

Winter break is such a wonderful time to sit down and create art with your adorable children.

Coloring books and crayons are a low-cost bundle of fun, and I’d like to show you a couple of ways to use them to their utmost potential.  

Even if you don’t have school-aged children/grandchildren, you can still enjoy this timeless craft and share your little works of art with your loved ones. Color and embrace your inner child! 

You can cut out images from your coloring book pages and use them as accents. Many times words are included and can be used as a sentiment.  

This is a wonderful, quick gift idea. Mat your page and create a door hanger for a child’s room. Or create a “welcome sign” for someone’s front door. 

Here’s some coloring book tips: 

  • It’s best to use clear glue when adhering coloring book pages to your project (I used Ranger’s Glossy Accents). You need to be careful that the adhesive doesn’t show through since the paper is so delicately thin.
  • When cutting out images from coloring book pages, be careful and take your time. Most scissors will glide through the paper with so much ease that you could easily ruin your image. It’s like cutting tissue paper, so cut with caution.
  • There are many free coloring pages available on the web. Just do a simple search for “free coloring book pages” and you can print them out as many times as you wish. You can also print them onto patterned paper and paper piece.
  • You can scan a coloring book page and print it so that it won’t have the other image on the opposite side. Plus, you can print onto a heavy weight paper for easier cutting.
  • Frame your child’s art and give it as a gift.
  • Coloring Pages from Crayola is where you will find fun activities, as well as coloring pages that you can enjoy with your kids.
  • Use a light box and trace the image for a hand-drawn look.
  • Print a bunch of coloring book images, bind the pages together and give them as a gift along with some crayons and markers.

Here’s some ideas of what you can do to jazz up your coloring book images: 

  • use paint, colored pencils, markers or crayons
  • add glitter
  • stamp a pattern on them and then cut them out
  • pop them up to add dimension
  • apply ribbon stiffener to the paper and make barrettes or magnets
  • add brads to the center of paper flowers

Enjoy the magic of coloring with your kids. I’m sure that it will be a rewarding experience for all of you! 

Happy Holidays! 

Kim Hughes,
Paper Crafts Go-to Gal 

P.S. As my gift to you, I’d like to give away three of my Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4 designs to one lucky winner! Leave a comment telling me your favorite color in the crayon box. All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Saturday, Dec. 26.  

One lucky winner will take home all three of these cards!

Sarie Smith

Christmas week is finally here! Are you excited? Are you ready? I’m one of those people who shops all year long to find the perfect gifts. For me the joy of Christmas is in watching the people I love be excited upon opening my gift. However, I married to my true opposite. He doesn’t like to shop for himself, let alone go figure out what someone else would like, so he procrastinates Christmas shopping until this week.

If you are like me, then you’re probably just counting down the hours until your dad or brother or child has that special how-did-you-know-I wanted-this smile spread across their face!

If you are like my husband, then you’re probably wishing you had a few more days to figure out your shopping list and then time to go out and find it all. So, I poked my head around the office to see what people were giving this year to give you some inspiration. 

  • For the book nerd: A bestseller book from this year and a personal bookmark. 
  • For the cowboy in your life: An awesome belt buckle.
  • For the little princess: A purse filled with goodies.
  • For the movie junkie: A movie basket with movies, treats, popcorn and drinks.
  • For the neighbors: Cookie cutters with sugar cookie mix.
  • For the one who has everything: A donation in their name to their favorite charity.
  • For the one who lives in the snow: A scarf and mittens, possibly tied up with some hot cocoa.
  • For the sporty boy: Any ball: football, basketball, soccer ball, etc. 
  • For the woman you appreciate: Jewelry – a nice necklace goes a long way.
  • For the moved-out child: A nice serving dish for special occasions.  
  • For the stockings: Batteries, postal stamps, gum, popcorn balls and nail polish.

Of course, all presents should be accompanied by a handmade card to show how much you care, but I’m sure you’re already all over that. If you have all of your shopping done and are feeling creative, try making cards that match the gift and the season. I just love Dawn McVey’s festive card from Holiday Cards &  More, Volume 4!

Wishes for Your Christmas Card by Dawn McVey

I wish you a wonderful week with family and friends. Merry Christmas and good luck!

Your Paper Crafts Intern,
Sarie Smith

P.S. And let’s not forget the perfect gift for the paper crafter in your life…Subscribe or renew your subscription to Paper Crafts at our special low rate and we’ll give a one-year gift subscription to a friend absolutely FREE! That’s two subscriptions for the price of one! This special holiday offer won’t last long…so click on over today! Offer valid in the U.S. only.

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Kelly’s “Sweet” Holiday Memories post!

1. shyone (Dec. 18, 11:31 a.m.)
2. conniemelancon (Dec. 18, 7:59 p.m.)
3. Donna VW (Dec. 18, 6:47 a.m.)

Congrats, ladies! You’ve each won a fun holiday collection from Bo Bunny! Kelly will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who shared their favorite holiday sweets!

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! I love this special time of year. Not only am I mesmerized by the magic of the season, but I love how everyone seems to have a little more patience, a little more kindness and a little more love for their fellow man. 

Just this week Brandy announced our new joint venture with Creating Keepsakes magazine called “Creativity Heals”. The objective is simple: donate your time, creativity and supplies toward improving the lives of others. We’ve partnered with Operation Write Home, whose mission is to support our nation’s armed forces by sending blank greeting cards to write home on, as well as cards of gratitude to encourage them. Thanks to all who have already sent off cards to OWH and to those who are organizing their shipments right now. 

Around the office, we also get into the spirit of giving. Last year a few of us participated in a Secret Santa exchange. My little elf just happened to be “Matthew McConaughey” and every day he would leave me a gift, along with a cute note. What was so remarkable was how well he knew me…he left me bottles of Coke, KitKat candy bars and even little treats for my dog Lexus. 

Just a few of the goodies my Secret Santa left under my tree.

Since I know you’re all dying to see the “note”, here’s a close-up view: 

Who knew Matthew had such a sculpted...sense of humor!

It turns out my Secret Santa was actually the sneaky Miss Susan R. Opel. At the big reveal, she presented me with a gorgeous card she had made. Inside was a gift card to one of my favorite stores. And while I was sad to see my daily visits from “Matthew” disappear, it sure made my holidays a little bit brighter. Just another reminder that gift giving can be so much fun – especially when it comes from the heart. 

I recently stumbled across our Simple Sentiments from Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. One of my favorite quotes by Hamilton Wright Mabie is: “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” And, of course, you can’t go wrong with good ol’ Dr. Seuss… 

If you would like to download these festive sentiments, please click HERE. Ready for today’s giveaway? I’d love to hear all the fun ways you’ve spread Christmas cheer to your fellow man. Leave “Santa” a comment and he’ll pick three winners to take home a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 4, plus some fun paper crafting product. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, Dec. 13.  

Happy Friday!
Kelly 

P.S. It’s time to announce the two winners from Teri’s Christmastime is Ornament Swap Time post! 

1. Savannah O’Gwynn (Dec. 9, 9:12 a.m.)
2. Shirley K. (Dec. 9, 7:28 a.m.) 

Congrats, ladies! You’ve each won a snowman ornament from Teri! I’ll be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments! 

P.P.S. Here’s another freebie for everyone! This holiday, we invite you to share the inspiration of paper crafting with a friend or relative–at a GREAT DEAL! Subscribe or renew your subscription to Paper Crafts at our special low rate and we’ll give a one-year gift subscription to a friend absolutely FREE! That’s two subscriptions for the price of one! This special holiday offer won’t last long…so click on over today! Offer valid in the U.S. only.

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday! I don’t know about you, but here at Paper Crafts we’re in full Christmas countdown mode. Today we’re decorating our hot pink, lime green and ruby red tree for the Festival of the Trees, a fundraiser that benefits Primary Children’s Medical Center. Make sure you stop by the Paper Crafts Facebook fan page to see pictures of our tree in all its yuletide glory.

If some of you are still needing a little push to get you in the holiday spirit, I thought I would bring in an expert on all things Christmas. She had so many gorgeous cards in Holidays Cards & More, Volume 4, I just knew she would be the perfect designer spotlight for this most festive time of year.

Grinches beware…let’s get to know the talented Becky Oehlers!

Becky Oehlers

1. Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in Bryn Athyn, PA , which is right outside of Philadelphia.

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

I am a professional opera singer and sing in many ensembles both in Philadelphia and New York City. I am also on the voice faculty at Drexel University.

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

Judy Garland, if she were still alive. 

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

This is a hard one for me…I love all types of music from Bach to Alison Krauss to newly composed music, but I would have to say that Beethoven’s 7th Symphony would be a pretty great theme song. 

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

That I was a double major in college for both voice and french horn performance.

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

Nichole Heady. It was her blog that started it all. 

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge?

I think my challenge and my strength at the same time is trying to be innovative and really mold myself to the design of each stamp set that I work with. I try to let the style of the set dictate the art that comes from it.

Jingle All the Way Card by Becky Oehlers

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

A well-designed stamp set and Copics. You are only as good as your tools.

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

That’s easy! Christmas. Definitely. I love getting the house all cozy and dramatic, and I think that comes across in the work I create. I think I always do my best work around Christmastime. 

Warm Winter Wishes Card by Becky Oehlers

10. How would you describe your style? 

Whimsical elegance

11. When is your favorite time to craft?

Very late at night. I have been guilty of staying up until 3 a.m. several times in my crafting life.

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

None. It actually distracts me. 

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

My girls Emma (11) and Sophia (9) have often had card making sessions with me on the side. They have a little table in my studio. They even have their own small set of Copics!

My husband is too busy collecting his own stamps. He is a philatelist.

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

This is a weakness of mine. I am learning to print out all assignments and keep them in a book. I have gotten much better, but organization is a learned task for me.

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

Yes! It was Paper Crafting with Kids, 2008. I have become more consistent in my style since then.

Season's Greetings Card by Becky Oehlers

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

I am currently on the senior design team at Papertrey Ink. I have also worked for Kitchen Sink Stamps, Starving Artistamps and Inque Boutique.

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

  • Debbie Olson – She is a true artist. My husband even says he wants to be like her when he grows up! 
  • Julie Ebersole – I really like her simple and playful approach to card making. That really appeals to me.
  • Jeffrey Rudell – He doesn’t stamp, doesn’t have a blog, but what this man can do with paper completely inspires me and blows my mind! Google him!

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

I think in any situation like this fear is the only thing that will hold you back. Don’t be scared. Submit and submit. If you never try, you will never succeed. The worst thing that they could say is “no”. Oh, well! Try again!

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

I do have a blog (www.hemidemisemiquaverdesignblog.com). Please hop on over!

Thanks, Becky! I’m definitely in the Christmas spirit now! Leave a comment for Becky here and one lucky winner will take home all of Becky’s Holiday Cards and More cards (pictured above), plus two other surprise gems! All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Happy Monday!
Kelly

P.S. Since we know all of you like a good deal, make sure you take advantage of our huge Warehouse Blowout Sale at ShopScrapandPaperCorner.com! From now until midnight tonight, save 60% off select product, PLUS get free shipping and handling (on U.S. orders only) if $25 or more is spent. (Hint: The delicious–and I do mean delicious!–Paper Crafts Gourmet cookbook is only $17! Buy one for you and one for a friend!)

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the two winners from my Black Freebie Friday post!

1. Chris S. (Nov. 27, 9:54 a.m.)
2. rap (Nov. 27, 7:40 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! You’ve each won a copy of Holiday Cards and More, Volume 4 and Making Memories Flowers stamp set. I’ll be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Black Freebie Friday! I hope everyone had a fabulous feast yesterday and was able to find a few minutes to reflect and “give thanks”.

While many of you will be dressing your Christmas tree today, I’m sure there’s just as many who will be starting their day a tad bit earlier than the rest of us. For those of you who are braving the crowds for all the Black Friday sales, I tip my hat to you. I am most definitely NOT a morning person. Unless you refer to “morning” as 12 a.m.!

Since I know many of you get your creative mojo in wee hours of the night, I know how precious those few uninterrupted hours can be. And since we’re entering the busiest time of the year, we all need to make the most of our creative time. After all, Christmas is less than a month away!

Which is why I love our Gift Trios feature in our November/December issue. If you’re looking to save time and supplies, why not make a matching tag, bag and card? Incorporate the same product into three different projects and take the guesswork out of the equation.

Paper Crafts Pro Wendy Johnson's Poinsettia Trio appeared in our November/December issue.

I love how perfectly these projects coordinate with one another. Who wouldn’t love to receive these gems for the holidays? If you’d like to download the pattern for Wendy’s cute box, click HERE.

In honor of Black Friday, I’ve got two prize packages that you don’t even have to leave the house to fight over! Leave a comment telling me if you plan on shopping ’til you drop today or taking it easy and enjoying the long weekend. I’ll pick two winners to receive a copy of Holidays Cards & More, Vol. 4 and Making Memories Flowers stamp set. (I can totally see these stamps used as snowflakes, wreaths, poinsettia flowers, etc!) All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Sunday, Nov. 29.

Two lucky winners will each take home these prize package!

Happy Black Friday!
Kelly

P.S. Since we know all of you like a good deal, make sure you take advantage of our huge Warehouse Blowout Sale at ShopScrapandPaperCorner.com! From now until midnight on Monday, Nov. 30, save 60% off select product, PLUS get free shipping and handling (on U.S. orders only) if $25 or more is spent. (Hint: The delicious–and I do mean delicious!–Paper Crafts Gourmet cookbook is only $17! Buy one for you and one for a friend!)

P.P.S. Here’s another freebie for everyone! This holiday, we invite you to share the inspiration of paper crafting with a friend or relative–at a GREAT DEAL! Subscribe or renew your subscription to Paper Crafts at our special low rate and we’ll give a one-year gift subscription to a friend absolutely FREE! That’s two subscriptions for the price of one! This special holiday offer won’t last long…so click on over today! Offer valid in the U.S. only.

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! I hope you’ve been enjoying our week-long promotion of World Card Making Day, both here and on the Moxie Fab World blog. If you haven’t yet boarded Cath’s “Moxie Fab Express”, today her magical train is touring the grand ol’ U.S.A. We’re making some picturesque stops in Cardstock City, Ribbon Falls and beautiful Buttonville, so make sure you board early to get a good seat!

I still can’t believe that tomorrow is the official day! This little holiday just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It seems more people are recognizing the need for a day that celebrates the art of card-making. We’d like to thank all of our loyal readers who have embraced World Card Making Day and have been so willing to share their time, talents and enthusiasm for this holiday.

Have you ever wondered if the Paper Crafts editors celebrate World Card Making Day? Well, we most certainly do and today we’re revealing our plans!

Jennifer: I’m unveiling my newly designed and organized craft area – it’s amazing what a difference it makes in my creativity and ability to actually make projects instead of just think about making them. Hop on over to my personal blog tomorrow for the big reveal!

Brandy: I can’t think of any better way to spend World Card Making Day than curled up on the couch with a cookie sheet on my lap. Let me explain. Some of my holiday cards are already designed, the pieces pre-cut and my handsome husband is sure to be at my side (he’ll just be watching TV instead of trimming paper). I’m going to make my cards assembly line style so I can get them done in a holiday hurry (that means efficiently and with a big smile on my face). 

If you love this card featuring American Crafts’ new Merriment collection, check out the CKC web site. A holiday card class featuring this very project (designed by yours truly) just might be coming to your town!   

Home for the Holidays Card by Brandy Jesperson

Home for the Holidays Card by Brandy Jesperson

Cath: I’ll be spending the day mass producing some of my favorite cards from my old card business, Cards by Cath. This wedding card was a top-seller and I still love it!

I Thee Wed Card by Cath Edvalson

I Thee Wed Card by Cath Edvalson

Susan: In my house, every Saturday is an opportunity to get creative, but this Saturday I’ll be making Christmas cards in honor of World Card Making Day. I’ll also be watching the college football game between Michigan and Michigan State. M go Blue!

Heres to my favorite team!

Here's a toast to my favorite team!

Kelly: My sister happens to be in town this weekend, so we’ll spend part of the day driving through her favorite mountain canyon. After I’m sufficiently inspired, I plan on finishing the friendship cards I still owe our card group!

Who wouldnt find inspiration in these surroundings?

Who wouldn't find inspiration in these surroundings?

Well, now you know how the Paper Crafts editors will be celebrating World Card Making Day. We hope that in whatever country you call home, you’ll find some time to be inspired and create a card or two. For today’s giveaway, I have two prize packages featuring Little Yellow Bicycle’s Zinnia collection and a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. Leave a comment telling me how you get your creative juices flowing. Music? Chocolate? Blog Hopping? All comments must be received by midnight on Sunday, Oct. 4

Two lucky winners will each take home this prize package!

Two lucky winners will each take home this prize package!

Happy Friday!
Kelly

P.S. Make sure you join us tomorrow for a special Saturday blog post! We’ll be celebrating World Card Making Day by giving away one giant jackpot of a prize! Will you be the lucky person who strikes gold?

P.P.S. Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Maren Benedict is a guest blogger today over at Creating Keepsakes! Click HERE to read her fun post!

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! This week has literally flown by! We had a blast at our annual Editorial Board Meeting. This was the first time all of the new Go-to Gals and the Paper Crafts team were in one room. Our Go-to Gals flew in on Monday, flew out on Wednesday and in between those short 48 hours, we found time to review all of last year’s magazines, concept all of next year’s issues, participate in two photo shoots, enjoy two dinner parties and laugh until our stomachs hurt. Who knew “working” could be so much fun!

And the fun continues because all next week we’ll be counting down the days until World Card Making Day arrives on Saturday, October 3. We’re once again partnering with creative editor Cath Edvalson and her Moxie Fab World blog. She’s taking a really fun approach that plays off the “world” title in her blog. If you thought Paper Crafts magazine couldn’t reach the far corners of the earth, wait until you see what Cath has in store! The global participation begins next Monday, so make sure you check back with us!

Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Kim Kesti turned the WCMD logo into a fun card!

Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Kim Kesti turned the WCMD logo into this fun card!

Next week on Paper Crafts Connection:

Magazine Monday– Have you ever wondered what cardmakers are like in England? Well, the wait is over because we’ll be spotlighting the UK-based publication PaperCraft inspirations. We’ll ask one of their editors all the questions you’ve been dying to know like their favorite occasions to paper craft, techniques they love and why paper crafting has such an universal appeal. And there will, of course, be a jolly good giveaway (said in my best English accent!).

Tuesday – Editor Susan R. Opel will spotlight the Celebrate section of the World Card Making Day web site. Who knew there were so many fun ways to commemorate this holiday? She also has some fun product from KI Memories up for grabs!

Wednesday – Since World Card Making Day officially kicks off the holiday card-making season, Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Kim Hughes will give us some valuable tips for mass producing cards. She’ll also talk about what retail store she’ll be visiting on World Card Making Day. And if you’re a fan of GCD Studios, she’s got some of their gorgeous product to give away!

Thursday – Managing Editor Brandy Jesperson will spotlight the Sponsors/Gallery sections of the World Card Making Day web site. She’ll also announce a fun contest, where five cards will be selected from the World Card Making Day gallery and spotlighted on this blog the week of Oct. 5-Oct. 9. If that wasn’t cool enough, she’s giving away some gorgeous Christmas product from SEI.

Freebie Friday – Join us for our “Editor Ask Around” where I’ll reveal how each editor will be celebrating World Card Making Day. I’ve also got two amazing prize packages from Little Yellow Bicycle that are just waiting to go to good homes.

Saturday– Happy World Card Making Day! We want to hear how you’ll be celebrating this special holiday. Pajama party with your closest girlfriends? Reorganizing your craft room? Whatever the answer, I’ll pick one random person to win an unbelievable prize package. Let’s just say this person will win the paper crafting jackpot!

So, are you getting excited yet? We’ve been planning all year and can’t believe that the big day is almost here! To get the ball rolling, I’m happy to announce an exciting addition to our World Card Making Day blog tour! Susan mentioned last week that absolutely anybody could participate. As long as you plan on celebrating World Card Making Day in some fun way, we would love for you to add your blog URL to our growing list of passionate supporters (We’re at 154 and counting!).

The addition is we’ve asked 25 of our most popular bloggers to take part in a fun promotion. In exchange for posting a card to their blogs, they will each give out a 25% off coupon code that’s good for ANYTHING in our online store! So click HERE to see the 25 designers, then go visit their blogs and finally, go shopping! The coupon expires at midnight (MST) on Oct. 12, so don’t delay!

For today’s giveaway, I have three Technique Tuesday stamp sets and a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. Leave a comment telling me why YOU think card making has such an universal appeal. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, Sept. 27.

Three lucky winners will take home this fun prize package!

Three lucky winners will take home this fun prize package!

Happy Friday!
Kelly

Kim Hughes

Kim Hughes

To me, back to school time means making new friends, reconnecting with old ones and starting a fresh new year. Anything is possible. I admit that I feel a bit like a school girl as I begin my journey as a Paper Crafts Go-to Gal. 

I turn to my Paper Crafts magazines for inspiration whenever I hit a creative wall. Every issue is filled with immeasurable ideas, but let’s not limit ourselves to the beautiful projects within the magazine. I’d love for you to take a closer look.

Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4

Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4

I can say in all honesty that Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4 blew me away. Pure creativity at every turn. How much time do you spend looking at the cover? At first glance, I notice the incredible nutcracker that Jennifer Beason created…seriously, WOW! The time and love that went into that masterpiece is obvious. Secondly, I notice the overall color scheme. It speaks to me. It’s fresh and inviting. I then notice the cuteness of Alli Miles card and how clever Claire Brennan’s tree is, and I am instantly inspired. Lastly, I read what the cover has to say. It offers everything that I want in a magazine and more.

How exactly do I use a cover to motivate my creativity? My favorite place to start is the color scheme. Hot pink, soft pink, some natural browns and beautiful shades of green…yummm.

My Mind’s Eye has a fantastic new collection called Abbey Road. The colors worked perfectly for my project. Even though this is a holiday publication, there’s no reason why I can’t create a card that is perfect for a friend, sister, co-worker, etc. for any occasion. I kept the bold green on the top, like the cover and added a graphic brown stripe in pen to help the colors pop! I pulled the orangy color from the tree’s star and the brown from the nutcracker’s face as well.

Hi There Card by Yours Truly

Here's my Hi There Card.

Another way to spark creativity is to take ideas from each of the featured projects. I decided to pull elements from each one to create my own unique card.

I pulled the stripes from the nutcracker, the clever ribbon triangles and scalloped edge from the tree and I stamped on a white panel and paper pieced the tree circles. I also tied a brown polka dot ribbon around the card. The nutcracker has a whimsical feel to it. I felt the same way about the curly tree, so that’s why I chose that image. I kept a similar color scheme for this card, but next time, I might choose a blue and green color scheme and create a baby card. The possibilities are truly endless.

Heres my Tweet Tweet Card.

And here's my Tweet Tweet Card.

I am thrilled that you joined me today for week one of my “Back to School” blog series. I will be back next week with another way to utilize your Paper Crafts magazines to their utmost potential.

Kim Hughes,
Paper Crafts Go-to Gal

P.S. I’d love to hear ways you’ve been inspired by a Paper Crafts cover. Leave a comment and I’ll pick three winners to receive a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

P.P.S. Paper Crafts just launched a new gallery challenge today! If you’re a fan on the clean & graphic look, click HERE to learn more about this fun challenge! And make sure to check back here tomorrow when Cath spotlights clean & graphic cards!

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday and the last day of our “Christmas in August” celebration! We hope you’ve enjoyed your sneak peek of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4 both here and on Moxie Fab World.

For those of you just joining us today, make sure to read all of our festive posts this week. From our spotlight on cover girl Jennifer Beason to getting gifty to celebrating the seasons with Wendy Johnson and dressing the tree with homemade ornaments, 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!

If you haven’t entered one of Cath’s “Stretch Your Holiday Style” challenges, it’s not too late to play! Whether your style is clean & graphic, vintage & shabby, fun & cute or classy & elegant, you’ve got until Monday, Sept. 7 to upload your project image. (Or if you’re feeling really adventurous, why not enter all five of Cath’s challenges?! Today she reveals her final one!)

Today I have the opportunity to spotlight a few of my favorite designs from the diverse cards section of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. If one of the styles mentioned above resonates with you, then you’re in luck – all of these styles can be found in the 100+ cards we feature in this merry magazine!

If youre a stamper, you cant go wrong with Alli Miles Trees of Joy Card (p. 29). Not only did this card grace our cover, it can be recreated in five steps or less!

If you're a stamper, you can't go wrong with Alli Miles' Trees of Joy Card (p. 29). Not only did this card grace our cover, it can be recreated in five steps or less!

If youre more of a clean & graphic girl (and you like to stamps!), look no furhter than Teri Andersons Trim the Tree and Joy to the World Cards (p. 16).

If you're more of a clean & graphic girl (and you like to stamp!), look no further than Teri Anderson's Trim the Tree and Joy to the World Cards (p. 16).

Or if youre into the vintage & shabby chic look, why not gain some inspiration from Renee Lambs Partridge in a Pear Tree Card.

Or if you're into the vintage & shabby style, you'll definitely find it in Renee Lamb's Partridge in a Pear Tree Card (p. 55).

And these amazing designs are just a sampling of what graces the pages of 8-82. I told you it was a big section!

Knows what else is big? Today’s giveaway! I’ve been wanting to spill the beans all week long, but then I would surely end up on Santa’s naughty list. And since I’ve been a pretty good girl (up until this point), it wasn’t worth the risk! But since Friday is officially here, it’s time to unload Santa’s sleigh!

Since this is our fourth volume of Holiday Cards & More, three winners will each receive:

  • Technique Tuesday’s Peace, Joy, Love, Holly Jolly Christmas and Frayed Ends stamp sets (Teri used these sets on her Joy to the World Card.)
  • Making Memories’ new Mistletoe collection
  • A copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4
But if random integer happens to draw your name as my fourth winner, you will take home this grand giveaway, courtesy of Close to My Heart:
How would you like to unwrap this present under your tree?

How would you like to unwrap this present under your tree?

To be entered to win, leave a comment telling me the best present you’ve ever unwrapped. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, August 30. I’ll announce ALL of the winners from Holiday Cards & More Week on Monday’s blog!

Have a happy “holly-day”!
Kelly

P.S. Just a quick reminder… If you’re looking to buy Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4 for you or a friend, today is the last day you can purchase this special issue for 10 percent off the retail price. You might as well start your Christmas shopping early! Click HERE to reserve your copies today!

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