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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!

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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!

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday and day one of Holiday Cards & More Week! As I mentioned last Friday, we’ve once again teamed up with Cath and her Moxie Fab World blog to celebrate our latest and greatest special issue: Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4!

On sale tomorrow, this festive magazine features nearly 300 holiday projects for everyone on your list. And since Christmas is only 123 days away (yikes!), we know you need to get started on those holiday cards. This year we added more pages to the cards section, so you now have over 100 designs to jumpstart your imagination!

Each day this week we’ll be spotlighting projects from this merry magazine, as well as giving away some fantastic prizes (including free issues of Holiday Cards & More!). As always, make sure you check back with us for our grand Freebie Friday giveaway.

Between now and Friday, you can buy HCM, Vol. 4 for 10% off. Click on the magazine image to reserve your copy today!

Between now and Friday, you can buy HCM, Vol. 4 for 10% off. Click on the magazine image to reserve your copy today!

Today we’ll be spotlighting the talented Jennifer Beason, who is the creator of the gorgeous nutcracker that appears on the cover. Can you believe this is her first published project in Paper Crafts?! When we first set eyes on this little piece of holiday heaven, we just knew it had to appear in THIS magazine. And truthfully, it wasn’t hard to pick it as one of our three cover projects. Who wouldn’t want this jovial little guy in their home around the holidays?

So without further ado, let’s get to know Jennifer Beason!

Jennifer Beason

Jennifer Beason

1. Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in England and then moved to Florida with my family when I was 16.

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

No, I’m lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom.

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

I would cast Jada Pinkett-Smith. We don’t look anything alike, but I’ve always loved her.

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

“This is Heaven to Me” by Madeleine Peyroux.

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

I’m not sure… maybe that I’m only five feet tall.

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

I’d have to say my kids. After my daughter was born, I began scrapbooking all of the photos I had taken of her. I then started making cards, and now I’m doing altered projects as well.

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge?

Not having enough time!!!

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

A knife and patterned paper.

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

I love to decorate my home at Christmas time with things that I’ve made. I also enjoy making gifts for my friends and family. Christmas is the perfect time for homemade gifts.

Heres Jennifers Festive Nutcracker that can be found on p. 133 of HCM.

Jennifer's Festive Nutcracker can be found on p. 133 of Holiday Cards & More.

10. How would you describe your style? 

Playful and fun!

11.When is your favorite time to craft?

Late at night… when the family is asleep.

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

Anything soft and mellow – Sade, Madeleine Peyroux and Melody Gardot are some of my favorites.

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

They give me great ideas, especially the kids. Both of my younger kids enjoy making crafts, so I have a specific area in my craft room just for them. We are now able to work together.

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

I have one of those huge desk calendars hanging up in my craft room. I write down all the calls that I want to try out, along with all my assignments. This way I can see at a glance what’s due and when.

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

My nutcracker was the first to be published in your magazine. My style really hasn’t changed much. However, I’m consistently trying to improve my technique.

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

I have been on the following design teams: 

One Heart One Mind, Eyelets Etc. and Helmar USA. Currently, I am on the Pink Paislee design team.

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

  • Danielle Flanders – she has a knack for making everything she creates simply gorgeous. 
  • Linda Albrecht– her work is beautifully detailed. I saw some of her altered projects at the recent CHA in Orlando, FL. I’m definitely a fan for life. 
  • Rachelle Anne Miller’s illustration style really inspires me because it’s so whimsical and cute.

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

Just go for it! What you create may be just what the magazine is looking for. You won’t know unless you try.

19. What was the inspiration for your nutcracker that appears in Holiday Cards and More? How long did it take you to create it? Any tips for people who want to recreate it? 

The patterned paper was actually the inspiration for the piece. I was planning to make something different. Then the pattern in one of the papers started to look like a beard to me. I had the nutcracker laying around, so I started playing around with it. It took me a while to make, over the course of several days, and between other projects. One tip I would offer is to try and avoid covering large areas of the nutcracker with paper all at once. Use small sections of patterned paper instead.

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

I do have a blog (www.jenniwren32.blogspot.com). Please hop on over!

Thanks, Jennifer! Our friends at Pink Paislee were nice enough to donate three sets of their Tinsel Town collection – the same collection Jennifer used to create her nutcracker above. Please leave a comment below and I’ll pick three random winners to receive this collection, plus a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Tuesday, August 25.

Three lucky winners will take home this holiday-infused prize package!

Three lucky winners will take home this holiday-infused prize package!

P.S. Because I’m feeling so jolly, I just had to share a couple more projects from the home decor section of Holiday Cards & More. It looks like hot pink and lime green are going to be the “it” colors this holiday season!

Heres Davinie Fieros All Hearts Come Home Frame (p. 132).

Davinie Fiero's All Hearts Come Home Frame (p. 132)

Claire Brennans Christmas Tree (p. 135 and on the cover!)

Claire Brennan's Christmas Tree (p. 135)

Are visions of sugar plums dancing in your head? If not, head on over to Moxie Fab World for some more holiday inspiration. And make sure you check back with us tomorrow as Jennifer spotlights the gifts section of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4!

Kelly

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the two winners from Susan’s Tips, Tools, & Techniques Trivia post, the winner from Brandy’s Memories Made post and the two winners from my Holiday Cards & More Week post! Here they are in no particular order:

Susan’s winners:

1. Jenn Coker (August 18, 10:15 a.m.)
2. Sue Blondin (August 19, 5:27 a.m.)

Brandy’s winner:

Jamie Greene (August 20, 6:46 a.m.)

My winners:

1. Nancy L. (August 21, 10:41 a.m.)
2. Leslie (August 21, 11:42 a.m.)

Congrats, winners! I’ll be e-mailing you shortly to get your mailing addresses and discuss your prizes. Thanks to all who left comments!

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! It may only be August, but I’m suddenly in the mood to decorate my Christmas tree while sipping eggnog and listening to Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song”.

Hmm… I wonder where this surge of holiday cheer is coming from? Oh, yeah, now I remember… We just got our crisp new copies of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4! Get ready to join me in singing those carols!

Hitting newsstands on August 25, we’re bringing you another spectacular issue with 292 holiday creations bursting with paper perfection. Discover creative new ideas for holiday cards, seasonal home décor, gift wrap and festive party ensembles for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s.

To coincide with its release date, all next week we’ll be giving you a sneak peek of our fourth (and my favorite!) volume of Holidays Cards & More.  

In addition to all the fun we’ll be having here, we’re partnering with creative editor Cath Edvalson and her Moxie Fab World blog. Both sites will be doing daily giveaways, as well as spotlighting projects from this festive issue.

Between today and August 28, you can buy Holiday Cards and More for 10% off. Click on the magazine image to reserve your copy today!

Between today and August 28, you can buy HCM, Vol. 4 for 10% off. Click on the magazine image to reserve your copy today!

Next week on Paper Crafts Connection:

Magazine Monday – Designer spotlight on the talented Jennifer Beason. We knew people would be talking about the unbelievably detailed nutcracker (seen on the cover), so we decided to go right to the source and interview the artist behind this masterpiece. We’ll also show two additional projects from the home decor section of Holiday Cards & More. And if you’re a fan of Pink Paislee (and who isn’t?), you won’t want to miss this fantastic giveaway!

Tuesday – It’s never too early to start on those holiday gifts! Editor-in-chief Jennifer Schaerer will spotlight three projects from the gifts section and give away some merry and bright product from Stampin’ Up!

With the Pros WednesdayPaper Crafts Pro Wendy Johnson will show you how easy it is to wrap your gifts in style as she features projects from the gift wrap section. Her adorable gift tag can literally be made in four steps! And you guessed it, there’s another fun giveaway up for grabs!

Thursday – Creative editor Cath Edvalson will join me in dressing the Christmas tree as she spotlights our ornaments section. If you’re feeling the pinch of the economy, we’ll show you how to make your own beautiful ornaments that you’ll treasure for years to come. And to aid you in your quest, we’re giving away some very cool product!

Freebie Friday – With over 100 fabulous card designs in this special issue, I’ll share some of my favorites! So whether you like to stamp, you’re into shabby or the clean and graphic look, I’ll give you a little taste of our diverse cards section. And since this is our fourth volume of Holiday Cards & More, I will award three winners a pretty fantastic prize package. But if random integer happens to draw your name as my fourth winner, well let’s just say that Christmas will be coming a little early for you!

So, are you ready for a little holiday cheer in August? I guarantee you’ll be humming along to Nat King Cole by week’s end!

Here’s to Holiday Cards & More Week!
Kelly

P.S. If some of you simply can’t wait for Monday, here’s a sneak peek at two cards that both feature My Mind’s Eye Snowed In collection.

Julia Staintons Merry & Bright Card

Julia Stainton's Merry & Bright Card

Rae Barthels Birdcage Seasons Greetings Card

Rae Barthel's Birdcage Season's Greetings Card

Like what you see? Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about the holidays. I’ll pick two winners to take home this versatile collection from My Mind’s Eye and a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. All comments must be received by midnight on Sunday, August 23. I’ll announce the two winners on Monday when we officially kick off Holiday Cards & More Week!

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Sue’s Prepartion Meets Opportunity post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Scrapcandy (August 19, 11:07 a.m.)
2. Jen Madsen (August 19, 9:21 p.m.)
3. Christine (August 19, 12:19 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! You each win a copy of Card Fashion! I’ll be contacting you shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left so many comments!

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