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Kim Kesti

First of all, those of you familiar with my style know I don’t do a ton of stamping. I really need to be pushed to experiment and try new things. That’s why I was really excited (and a little nervous) to showcase gradient stamping. I think one of the best ways to learn something well is to teach it to someone else.

I know the gradient effect is really trendy in fashion and home goods; I love that we can translate that same trend into our stamping. Since I don’t own any gradient stamp pads, I decided to make my own. I choose three colors of Adirondack Alcohol Inks and grabbed a piece of Ranger Cut-n-Dry Stamp Pad Felt. (Yes, I’ve had this stamp pad felt in my stash for probably four years).

Next, I loaded up the stamp pad with the alcohol inks. I found that I needed to add even more ink after experimenting with some of my stamps. A nice saturation is important. I store the inked stamp pad in a Ziploc bag lying flat and it keeps really well.

I first used my newly created stamp pad as a traditional ink pad; meaning I choose a rubber stamp and stamped an image. But, I didn’t really have a large enough stamp that showed off the gradient effect well. Then, I thought “why not apply the stamp pad directly to my paper?” I’m definitely experimenting at this point. It worked beautifully. I swished my stamp pad left to right across my paper attempting to keep the colors from bleeding too much. This technique really showed off the three different colors of ink.

After letting the inked paper dry, I stamped a bold image in black and embossed it to make it pop a little more. I love how this turned out!

Finishing the card was easy. I printed a sentiment on cardstock, trimmed my stamped block and added it to the card front. I had a great time playing with this technique.

For more info on my Beautiful Birds Card, turn to p. 12 of Stamp It! Cards.

In fact, I didn’t stop there. Please hop over to my personal blog and see how I created another gradient stamp pad and used it three different ways on three brand new cards! I’ll also be giving away three copies of Stamp It! Cards!

Now, leave a comment here about a technique you’re nervous about trying (or one you’ve mastered) and you’ll be entered to win Inkadinakado’s Branchful of Birds stamp, Ranger Industries’ Adirondack Alcohol Inks in Eggplant, Stonewashed and Lettuce (used in my card above) AND a copy of our new Stamp It! Cards. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Thursday, Feb. 25.

Three lucky winners will take home this Inkadinkado stamp, three Adirondack Alcohol Inks and a copy of Stamp It! Cards!

Take care!

Paper Crafts Go-To Gal,
Kim Kesti

P.S. Are you feeling the Olympic fever? Today on Moxie Fab World, Cath is announcing the Olympics of Stamping with a blog hop featuring 11 of the most-published designers who will show a never-seen-before stamped card. Readers will have 12 chances to win stamps from My Cute Stamps!

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Kelly’s Meet Kimberly Crawford post!

1. Jingle (Feb. 22, 11:13 a.m.)
2. Kay S. (Feb. 22, 6:33 a.m.)
3. Denise M. (Feb. 22, 12:10 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! You’ve won Flourishes’ Cherries & Peaches stamp set and a copy of Stamp It! Cards. Kelly will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!


Brandy Jesperson

Today is January 5. It’s the birthday of my cute friend Brooke and my Papa Curtis. Apparently it’s a day for celebrating and giving gifts.  

Do you know what else happens on January 5? Why, it’s National Bird Day, of course! Yep, these chipper little creatures aren’t just for springtime. No sir-ree. In fact, January is the perfect time to celebrate these fine feathered friends.  

I thumbed through our January/February 2010 issue and found a flock of bird projects that are perfect for Valentine’s Day, Thank You, Thinking of You, Birthday and more! 

Whooo Loves You Card by Teri Anderson (Click on her blog to see her cute Mother Owl Card!): 

This hoot of a card from Teri makes me smile and would be an ideal Valentine for my handsome husband.

Thank You Card by Maren Benedict

I adore the simplicity of Maren's Thank You Card. Not only is this easy to make, but it could be given to practically anyone on my list!

 Thinking of You Card by Ana Wohlfahrt

Ana had me at glitter with this daring Thinking of You Card. A happy robin, a colorful birdhouse and sparkly leaves…what more could you ask for?

Birthday Bird Card by Kim Hughes

I can’t blog on this day of birthdays without showing a clever card all about party hats and presents. Kim’s card is quirky and weird and I love it!

So happy National Bird Day to all you tweeties out there. Drop me a line and let me know if there’s any bird product out there that really gets your wings a-flappin’. I’m always on the look-out for new products to play with and maybe even include in the magazine. Leave a comment by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, Jan. 6 to win this selection of bird goodies from Stampin’ Up (Sweet Pea Designer Series Pack, 2-Step Bird punch) and Inkadinkado (Butterflies & Birds stamp set). 

One lucky winner will fly away with these bird goodies from Stampin' Up! and Inkadinkado!

Wishing you sweet tweets,

P.S. Are you a fan of Paper Crafts magazine and this blog? Here’s your chance to tell us what you like, what you want to see more of, etc. Complete our 2010 Reader Survey and 20 random respondents will win a copy of our newest book, A Card a Day: Your Ultimate Resource for Inspiration, Design, Tips & Techniques (retail value $21.95!).

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to another Freebie Friday! Well, we’ve finally announced all six of our Paper Crafts Go-to Gals! We hope you’ve enjoying reading their spotlights and getting to know their individual styles and voices. You’ll be hearing A LOT from these talented ladies… not only in our future magazines, but right here on this blog. So start thinking of questions you have for them. No paper crafting subject is off limits!

In fact, if you happen to already have a design question, feel free to start e-mailing them at We can’t promise they will all be answered, but if we select your question for an upcoming column or blog post, we’ll definitely be in touch. These six Go-to Gals are ready to instruct, inspire and knock your socks off with their boundless creativity!

Speaking of creativity… did everyone see this week’s Gallery Idol entries? Who knew you could do so many things with your average, ordinary button? I want to commend the Top 10 for really stretching their imaginations and thinking outside the box with this theme. Truly amazing! Sadly, we must bid farewell to half of you, but five of you have made it to the final round of this competition. And you are (in alphabetical order)…

Finalist 1: Rae Barthel’s Wish Big Card

Finalist 1: Rae Barthel’s Wish Big Card

Finalist 2: Lizzie Jones’ Christmas in July Card

Finalist 2: Lizzie Jones’ Christmas in July Card

Belinda Chang’s Catch Some Rays Card

Finalist 3: Belinda Chang’s Catch Some Rays Card

Shanna Vineyard’s Give a Hoot… Don’t Pollute Card

Finalist 4: Shanna Vineyard’s Give a Hoot… Don’t Pollute Card

Tessa Wise’s Button Tree Card

Finalist 5: Tessa Wise’s Button Tree Card

Congrats, ladies! You’ve made it to the fourth and final round of Gallery Idol! By making it into our Top 5, you’ve each won a free copy of Paper Crafts Gourmet and this fantastic prize package, courtesy of K&Company!

Top 5 Prize Package: Amy Butler Scrapbooking Tote Bag, Lotus Faded China collection and copy of Paper Crafts Gourmet.

Top 5 Prize Package: K&Company's Amy Butler Scrapbooking Tote Bag, Lotus Faded China collection and a copy of Paper Crafts Gourmet.

Top 5, are you ready for your final theme? Round 4’s theme is… humor! We want you to make us laugh! Feel free to incorporate jokes, riddles, quotes or your own funny bone! The one finalist who clearly conceptualizes, designs and posts the most humorous card will be crowned this year’s Gallery Idol winner. The deadline for submissions is next Monday, July 27 at 9 a.m. (MST). All “Humor” cards must be posted to our gallery by this time. Voting for Round 4 will begin at noon!

Best of luck, Top 5!

P.S. Since it’s Freebie Friday, it’s time for knock knock joke!

-Knock, knock!
-Who’s there?
-Water who?
-Water today’s prizes, Kelly?

(I know… better stick with my day job!) To go along with Gallery Idol’s next theme of humor, I’m giving away three prize packages featuring Inkadinkado’s Tell it Like it is stamp set, You Stand Out Kid Quotes stamp and BasicGrey’s Offbeat collection (which features peas, among other things). I just love these stamps with the kiddie quotes! They don’t mean to be funny, but kids sure say the darnedest things sometimes. To be entered to win, leave a comment telling me the funniest thing a child has ever told you. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, July 26. I’ll announce the three winners on Monday’s blog.

Three lucky winners will each take home this prize package!

Three lucky winners will each take home this prize package!

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the five winners from Sue’s With the Pros Wednesday – The Baby Bunny Buggy Baggy post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Jennie Harper (July 23, 2:27 p.m.)
2. Alicia (July 22, 8:16 a.m.)
3. Linda C. (July 22, 6:26 p.m.)
4. Carleen (July 22, 7:35 p.m.)
5. Roseanne (July 23, 8:04 a.m.)

Congrats, winners! Each of you will receive one of Sue’s Bliss card-making kits (valued at $19)! I’ll be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left so many blissful comments!

Cath Edvalson

Cath Edvalson

Ask anyone here, and they’ll tell you how much they love their job. Sometimes I wake up thinking I am one of the luckiest gals in the world because of the tasks that lay ahead of me, the people with whom I get to work, and the inspiration that I’m going to find on any given day. I mean, being the creative editor of a magazine like Paper Crafts is like eating chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner without gaining any weight.

Of all my super-fun duties, however, right now I’m super-loving authoring the Moxie Fab World blog. I mean, the sheer idea that I get paid to find inspiration for readers all over the world, quite frankly, is mind-boggling to me. Take last Tuesday, for example… I was surfing the ‘net for some inspiration, happened upon a very cool modern furniture site, started digging around, and found some uber cool wallpapers.

Feathers Wallpaper from

Animal Farm Wallpaper from

Suzanne Wallpaper from

Now, in all probability, I would never plaster these patterns on the walls of my home, but they are inspiring in and of themselves. And then I started noticing that each one reminded me in a big way of paper crafting product that I was familiar with.

The fire was lit. The inspirer was inspired.

You can’t imagine my joy as I flitted from web site to web site, trying to find the matching product to each wallpaper sample. Call me crazy, but it was some serious brand of joy. Did I mention how much I love my job?

This wallpaper reminded me of this Peacock Feather Stamp from Inkadinkado.

Look at the similarities between the wallpaper and the Baby Zoo piece of paper from the Baby Cakes Collection from KI Memories.

Though they’re in a different color scheme, the resemblance between the wallpaper and the Simplicite paper from the Cosette Collection from GCD Studios is uncanny.

Here’s the cool thing. When I sat down to write the post, I didn’t have a plan, I had no idea in what direction I would go, nor where the inspiration would take me. One thing led to the next and before I knew it, I was having a quite literal blast putting the whole thing together, and I was extremely pleased with the results.

That’s the very nature of inspiration, isn’t it? A spark is ignited, the excitement is registered, there’s a flood of ideas, more excitement ensues, the work begins, and before you know it you’ve dived into an entire bowlful of magic.

What’s inspiring you lately? Who inspires you? What inspires you? Where and when do you get your best ideas? Now that you’ve heard what’s revving my engine, I’d love to hear what’s revving yours! Leave me a comment by midnight MST on Thursday, June 18 and I’ll choose a random winner to win some American Crafts fun!

Yours in sourcing inspiration,

P.S. For the full post that compares wallpaper to paper crafting product, click here.

Jennifer Schaerer

Jennifer Schaerer

We love our Freebie Fridays around here – getting product in the hands of our talented readers is one of our very favorite parts of doing this little blog of ours. I’m always entertained when I see what hoops our blog hostess P. Kelly has lined up for you to jump through in order to enter the contest.

For example, on the Friday before Valentine’s Day, she got you all thinking about love when she sent you on a hunt through our “Quotable You” feature to find the authors of a few quotes. Seek and find is one of my favorites, and judging by the dozens of entries on that Freebie Friday, I’d say it’s one of yours, too!

Winners received this heart-warming selection of love-themed goodies:

Stampin Up, Glitz Design, A Muse Artstamps, Inkadinkado, and My Minds Eye donated the items in this lovely collection.

Stampin' Up, Glitz Design, A Muse Artstamps, Inkadinkado, and My Mind's Eye donated the items in this lovely collection.

One of our winners was Kelly Marberry, who took advantage of her product right away and made this adorable card to say thanks:

Paper piecing and stamping – what a great combination!

Paper piecing and stamping – what a great combination!

But what really warmed our hearts was Kelly’s message inside:

We think Kelly is already running with a pretty talented group!

We think Kelly is already running with a pretty talented group!

The cycle of creativity, from inspiration to product to completed projects, is what keeps us going around here. Thanks, Kelly, for taking the time to show us your stuff – and we’ll look forward to hearing more from you, too!

From my heart,

P.S. Kelly wanted me to announce the winners from last week’s Freebie Friday – March/April I-Spy! Drum roll, please! Congratulations to Jaquelyn, Belinda, Jeni, Cass and Vianna! She’ll be e-mailing you shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments and played along!

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