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Susan R. Opel

I can’t remember the last time I was so inspired! Last Tuesday I cruised around the Go-to Gals & Friends Blog Hop like many of you, and what a spectacular hop it was! Seeing so many different styles and takes on each sketch was like unwrapping gift after gift at an extravagant birthday party.

That night I opened Go-to Sketches and marked over 20 sketches that I can’t wait to use. The funny thing is that I’ve worked on this issue since its inception last September, but seeing your reactions has been so exciting. I’ve created an album on Facebook where I’ll share my Go-to Sketches Quest.

And you know what? I really needed this push. I’m afraid I’ve become more of a supply collector, organizer and purger than an actual paper crafter. It’s been a long time since I set up a challenge for myself (honestly, I haven’t had a good goal for myself since I tried out for Creating Keepsakes magazine’s Hall of Fame and Scrapbooker of the Year contests). There’s a bit of a misconception that we are creating cards in the office every day. And the answer to that is: not so. There’s much to do in our corporate office environment.

Here’s a card I created for my Go-to Sketches Quest.

It’s based on Go-to Gal Teri Anderson’s sketch on pg. 16.

While I know that this special issue with 66 sketches will keep me busy for a while, you can be assured that the ideas will never run out. Go-to Sketches is actually based on a regular column in the magazine. Each issue offers two new sketches and ten examples of the sketches in use (eight in the magazine and 2 online). As a matter of fact, here is one of the sketches in the May/June 2010 issue that is officially on sale today!

I love this sketch (designed by Go-to Gal Jessica Witty), especially for the balanced design. By using the rule of thirds, the sentiment ends up in the “sweet” spot in the bottom right third of the card front.

And as you learned last week in this post over at the Moxie Fab World blog, sketches can be turned every which way! I love how designer Sarah Martina Parker rotated the sketch 90 degrees to the left, not to mention her gorgeous color combination and heart-stopping houndstooth butterfly!

Take any sketch and make it your own!

How would you like one last chance to win a copy of Go-to Sketches so that you can join me in my Go-to Sketch Quest? Leave a comment telling me about any of your paper crafting goals, and one person will win this sought-after issue! All comments must be received by at midnight (MDT) on Wednesday, April 14.

*Shhhhhhh!!! Don’t tell anyone, but I think I might sneak out of the office early to create!*

Susan

Jennifer Schaerer

Jennifer Schaerer

We try not to, but sometimes we get so focused on publishing our magazines that we lose sight of the final product once it’s “out there.” We’re so used to Christmas in July and Mother’s Day in December that we’re always well on our way to the next inspiring issue. 

That wasn’t the case with Go-to Sketches. From the very first moment we sat down to discuss the concept, we were giddy with anticipation. It all came together so perfectly, including the photo shoot that coincided with our annual editorial board meeting. As Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Teri Anderson said, it was an instant connection for our newly-minted Go-to Gals even though they had never been all together as a group before. 

Oh, the laughter! The teasing! 

And, of course, the primping. Since these six lovely ladies had to pose not only for their official headshots (the black and whites we use here and in the magazine), but also the colorful opener shots AND group shot for Go-to Sketches, you can only imagine the quick changes and hair brushing going on. 

Brian Smith of BPD Studios

Brian takes a test shot and looks back at the monitor to check the lighting.

Luckily, our intrepid photographer Brian Smith of BPD Studios is not only talented but a really good sport. He and Matt are the Dynamic Duo of girly stuff whenever a Paper Crafts issue heads for the studio. It might even bring out the best in him, but he’ll never admit it…right, Brian? Hee hee! He definitely brought out the best in our Go-to Gals, though.

Go-to Sketches group shot

One of many attempts at a group shot. Can't you just hear the laughter?

Then it was on to the individual shots for the section opening pages. Not only were there six boisterous Go-to Gals in the studio, there was also an audience of editors to help keep things lively. 

The audience

Is it any wonder there are dozens of outtakes for each one of these shots?

And here’s your insider secret for the day: although the final shots in the issue are just beautiful and appear effortless, each one was meticulously arranged and checked on the monitor. 

Checking the monitor

Matt, Brian and stylist Claudia Daniels check the all-white set on the monitor.

It was only after their shots were complete that the Go-to Gals remembered to have a quick bite to eat. After all, we literally whisked them straight from the airport right to the studio and then ordered them to smile pretty. 

Maren and Jess taking a break

Maren, is that a little lettuce between your teeth? Just kidding!

This has truly been a fun and fulfilling journey bringing this very special issue from early concept last August to the newsstand a few weeks ago. Your other insider secret for the day: we’ve got something else up our collective sleeves for later this summer, so you might want to hang around and find out more. Shhhhhhhh. Don’t tell anyone, though. 

If you haven’t already gotten your copy of Go-to Sketches, you can check out our sneak peek HERE. (Psst…today’s the last day for the 20% off plus free shipping offer! Just enter the promotion code “SKETCH20″ HERE.) 

I’m sending heartfelt thanks to our fantastic group of Go-to Gals for making this week so much fun with all the blog hopping and exclusive new projects using some of the sketches from this issue, because we sure couldn’t have done this without the group effort. You ladies are the very best! 

And since our readers are the very best, too, I’ve got three more copies of Go-to Sketches to give away! Leave a comment telling me your favorite aspect of this promotional week (so far!). All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Friday, April 9. 

Jennifer 

P.S. The fun is just beginning! Hop over to Moxie Fab World as Cath talks about stretching a sketch to suit different styles, purposes, occasions, holidays, gender, age, etc. And the Go-to Gals each take a single sketch and turn it six different ways to create six unique new projects!

Cath Edvalson

Who’s ready for some fun?

I’m always up for a good time, and I know you are, too, so let’s get this party rollin’! 

In celebration of our new special issue, Go-to Sketches, the Paper Crafts Go-to Gals have got some fun up their sleeves, beginning with these inspiring projects from this ultra inspiring issue. Check it: 

Soaring by to Say Hi Card by Betsy Veldman, p. 125

Thanks, Dad Card by Teri Anderson, p. 14

Nurture Today Card by Maren Benedict, p. 147

Brilliant Flowers Card by Kim Kesti, p. 96

Miss You Birdie Card by Jessica Witty, p. 147

Girly Girl Purse Card by Kim Hughes, p. 78

Since Go-to Sketches is all about gaining inspiration from a sketch, the Go-to Gals have not only posted the sketches from which these cards were created, but they’ve got a brand new project created just for you based on the same sketch. AND, they’ve asked five of their friends to do the same thing! 

So, leave a comment here saying which of these projects inspire you the most and why, click on each of these links: 

…then click on the five links of each of their friends. Visit all the blogs, gain a TON of inspiration and leave a comment on each blog for a chance to win one of three copies of Go-to Sketches. If you do the math as I have, that gives you 37 chances to win! 

As in, leave a comment here + 6 comments on the Go-to Gals’ blogs + 30 comments on their friends’ blogs = 37 big chances! 

The comment-to-win ends at midnight (MDT) on Wednesday, April 7, so you better get hoppin’! 

Let the inspiration begin,
Cath

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday! Today we’re kicking off our exciting Go-to Sketches Week here, on Moxie Fab World and each of our Paper Crafts Go-to Gals’ blogs. 

All week long we’ll be taking you inside the pages of our new special issue Go-to Sketches. We started with 66 sketches and then let our designers go to work in creating 282 unique projects. Who knew one sketch could have so many possibilities? We were blown away by all of the different interpretations and couldn’t wait to share them with all of you! 

Click on the cover image to order your copy today!

Today we’re going behind the scenes of one very “colorful” photo shoot. By now you probably know we work 6-7 months in advance. Hence our current call for submissions for Holiday Cards & More, Volume 5. So because of this strict production schedule, it was last September that we were concepting Go-to Sketches. Fortunately, our yearly editorial board meeting just happened to fall around this time. With our six Go-to Gals flying in for the meeting, we decided to make the most of our 48 hours together and threw in a photo shoot. 

I think this is my favorite picture from the photo shoot.

But I love Kim Kesti's laugh in this one!

And the cute playfulness of this one! I think they like each other!

We knew Matt had an all-white theme planned for this issue, so we told each Go-to Gal to come dressed in a bright, vibrant color. The editors were removed from this conversation, but apparently there was much discussion between them about who would wear what color, how they would wear their hair and just how big they should go with the accessories. (From Jessica’s post last week, we know her philosophy on this topic: the bigger, the better!) 

To see more individual and group outtakes, make sure you visit each of the gals’ blogs. They’re also talking about the photo shoot from their own perspective, so I’m sure it will be interesting and full of juicy details! (Hopefully they’ll be kind to us editors…especially since we were all in the background saying things like, “Smile, Kim! Turn your head, Teri! Stop giggling, Maren!” 

Wanna win a copy of Go-to Sketches? Go visit their blogs and then come back here to tell me your favorite juicy detail revealed. From your comments, I’ll pick three people to win a copy of Go-to Sketches! All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Tuesday, April 6. And check back with us tomorrow when Cath announces the Go-to Gals & Friends Blog Hop. There will be lots of inspiration and lots of chances to win more copies of Go-to Sketches

Happy Monday!
Kelly 

P.S. We just launched our April Gallery Challenge! Since diamonds are a girl’s best friend, we want to see your projects that incorporate bling, glitter and anything else that sparkles. For inspiration, please turn to the “Shimmer & Shine” feature in our March/April 2010 issue. This two-week challenge will run through midnight (MDT) on Monday, April 19. Click HERE for all the details! And don’t forget…today is the last day to enter our Go-to Sketch Challenge #1! All entries must be submitted by midnight (MDT) tonight! 

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from my Countdown to Go-to Sketches Week post! 

1. Le Anne (April 2, 7:03 a.m.)
2. Sonja (April 3, 4:46 p.m.)
3. Tami (April 2, 2:20 p.m.)
 

Congrats, winners! You’ve each won some fun goodies from the Easter Bunny! I’ll be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

Jessica Witty

If you’ve met me, you’ve probably seen them. They’re hard to miss. I mean…I’m kind of a small person, but they just keep getting bigger and more colorful. 

I can’t help it.
These days I just love ‘em.  

Accessories, people…accessories! 

Hair clips (usually flowers), necklaces (the bigger, the better), bracelets (why have just one when five is better?)…it goes on and on. Personally, I notice that I like to keep my accessories similar to how I design my cards…only one big statement at a time. 

For example…my latest love… 

I love it. Love it. It goes with everything and always makes me feel great. 

Now, let me be clear; I wasn’t always like this.
I would not have considered myself super girly by any stretch. 
I had two kids…both boys, and that seemed to contribute to me staying on the non-girls side of things.
Boys don’t require accessories other than a stylin’ necktie or cap on occasion.
And I liked it that way. 

And then I had a daughter.
I’m blamin’ it on her. 

She came as quite a shock after five years of mothering those two very boyish boys. 

And then there was the fact that this kid came with a head full of hair right from the get go. Another shock after mothering two very boyish, very bald boy babies. 

And so it came to be that I began noticing a few changes. 
I started to see the reasoning in having accessories to perfectly contrast all of her outfits. {And mine; but that’s a different story.} 

I had to wise up pretty quickly…those tiny little pieces of cuteness aren’t cheap, my friends.  

But I am a paper crafter.  
I have skills.
I have creativity.
And what else do I have? 

That’s right.
Embellishments.  

Ah…the perfect little accessories, right at my fingertips.  

For example…the flower. 

These little sweeties were made with Basic Grey’s Fabric Bloomers and they could not have been easier. Just cover a little clippie with some strong adhesive and stick ‘em on. Done. 

 

How about in felt? 

This is the same idea, just using a different type of clip and a flower from Little Yellow Bicycle

What about in chipboard? 

This cutie chipboard is from Melody Ross’ Artsy Urban line from GCD Studios. I just pulled the flower off of the backing and glued the slide clip directly to the back.  

I’ve even found that brads are super simple to work into hair clips.  

Just put a little adhesive on the clip, then stick the prongs of the brad through the hole in the center of the clip and fold the prongs flat against it. I covered the back with a little circle of felt as well. (The flower brad is from K&Company…I am loving the vintage look on that one!) 

Or, in this case, I was able to just pull the prongs off the back and adhere the top of the brad right to the clip using some foam tape. 

Now that I’ve honed on cutie pie clip-making skills, I’ve moved on to headbands.  

I was able to use a length of wide ribbon that I have been saving for, oh, years on this one. I just took some colored elastic and stitched the ends together. Then I pinned the ribbon in ruffles stitched one line down the center to hold it in place…super easy. 

I’ve noticed that my new obsession has caused me to see products a bit differently. When perusing the Prima booth at CHA, I was so overwhelmed by all the accessory possibilities that I could barely stand it!  

And then there was Webster’s Pages…I am totally imagining Noelle all decked out in a sweet headband using these: 

How about you? 
Have you ever crafted some handmade accessories for yourself or your little one? 
Tell me all about them!
I’m on the search for new accessory ideas, so I’d love to hear yours! 

Later, friends! 

Paper Crafts Go-to Gal
Jessica Witty

Brandy Jesperson

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a bargain shopper. I love stretching a dollar and getting the best possible deal I can find.  

This is precisely why I love the Stamp It! 3 Ways section of our latest special issue Stamp It! Cards. I’m always drawn to the creativity and diversity of three projects that all use one stamp set (talk about stretching your supplies AND your dollar).  

Our designers are experts at thinking outside the box when it comes to techniques and occasions that seem to magically appear from a single stamp set. Take the Grow Love, Plant a Tree set from My Favorite Things:    

Grow Love, Plant a Seed set from My Favorite Things

Michele Boyer, Angie Hagist, and Laura O’Donnell were able to take this stamp set and create their Lonely, Hi Tree and Grow Love cards in three distinctly different styles – genius! 

Turn to p. 85 in Stamp It! Cards for a closer look at these 3-Ways cards.

Have I converted you to the ways of saving money while still making oodles of cards? If not, I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve. The Paper Crafts Go-to Gals have joined forces to show you the diversity of two more stamp sets. Three gals made cards from one stamp set and three gals made cards from another set. Visit each of their blogs and discover how easy it is to maximize your stamps with a bit of technique and a lot of creativity!  

And since this week is all about celebrating stamping, I can’t leave without offering one whopper of a prize. One lucky winner will win ALL SIX STAMP SETS featured in Stamp It! 3 Ways. That’s right, someone will win: 

Everyday Button Bits stamp set from Papertrey Ink

Harmonious Sprig stamp from Unity Stamp Co.

On the Desk stamp set from Cornish Heritage Farms

Margaret stamp set from Kodomo

Spiro Garden stamp set from Technique Tuesday

If that’s not enough, you can enter to win SEVEN TIMES! Please leave a comment here and on the blogs of all six Paper Crafts Go-to Gals. Each time you leave a comment you will be entered to win. As an extra incentive, all Go-to Gals will be giving away copies of Stamp It! Cards on their blogs. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Friday, Feb. 26. 

Happily stamping,
Brandy 

P.S. Today on Moxie Fab World, Cath is featuring an “Ask Around” with Jennifer McGuire. There’s also a chance to win some fabulous Hero Arts stamps! 

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Jennifer’s You, My Friends, Are STAMPERS post! 

1. Kelly Sas (Feb. 23, 7:32 a.m.)
2. Rebecca MI (Feb. 23, 8:31 a.m.)
3. Bev J. (Feb. 23, 7:20 p.m.)
 

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

Jessica Witty

Have you ever seen that TV show called Hoarders?   

I haven’t.   

And let me say, for the record, that I’m not like that.   

But I can appreciate the urge.   

The desire to keep.   

And keep.   

And keep.   

Until you think to yourself, “Now, Self, why exactly was I keeping this?”   

In an effort to ensure that I never start meandering down the little path to Hoarderdom, I’ve challenged myself as of late to use up the various scraps that I can’t bear to part with. Use it or lose it, I keep repeating to myself.    

I also tend to approach products from a “What else can I do with this?” kind of perspective. I gravitate towards items with multiple uses, whether that be stamp sets with themes I can use endlessly, products in colors I always gravitate to or tools that really give me a bang for my buck and lots of function for the space they take up.   

I also make living against veritable Craft Hoarderdom a sort of way of life. My cozy little dining room/craft area will soon be moved to a house a few miles away and relocated in…yup…the dining room. Some customized storage plans will make the space work just fine for me and my commitment to keeping things pared back. {As soon as there are pictures of that little life-changing project, I’ll share, I swear.}   

But…even after all that…there are some things that still confound me with this whole use it or lose it idea.   

Maybe it’s because I’m really a stamper at heart.   

Therefore, scrapbook supplies like letter stickers can still trip me up a bit.   

I mean, how do you ever use them all? Has anyone ever actually used up an entire sheet? Down to the q’s and z’s?    

Just how in the world am I ever going to be able to throw the sheet away if I can never use them all up?   

And, therefore, I attempted the impossible: the use of an entire sheet of letter stickers.   

I present to you, Exhibit A:   

This card would be the sort of entry example into using letter stickers, right? Pick a phrase, design a card and stick ‘em on. {Obviously, I should have picked a longer phrase…something like “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways?”} Ah, but wait…I did get a bit creative on the scalloped borders. Those little cuties came courtesy of all of those 3’s, 8’s, B’s, p’s, q’s, etc. Just lay them all down in a nice little line and cover up the edges with another layer. {Yeah, I’m totally on my way to using the whole sheet.}   

And now, for Exhibit B:   

Now we’re getting somewhere. A little town called Letterific, if I do say so myself. This one is sort of a modern take on using up those stickers…white on white, simple design, nothing fancy. I did use my noggin just a bit and tried to take the letters from just one section of the letter sheet, because I already had Exhibit C in mind…   

Ah, the piece de resistance of using up those letter sheets. Obviously, I was using a letter sheet where the negative image is still left on the backing that the letters come on. I just peeled the backing up, stuck it down onto the card base and trimmed off the overhanging edges. {I will admit to going with a smaller 3 ½” x 5” card base because I was not sure how this little experiment was going to turn out and I figured smaller might = easier.} I colored the “hi” in using a marker and yes, I am digging that little brain wave.   

I’m pretty happy with the little results of my experiment. One small letter sheet gave me three cards and three very different paths to using them. However…after all that…I still have something like 1/3 of the darned sheet left. {Oops.}   

Apparently this little Letter Sheet That Could is the sheet that is going to live on in my craft room for all of eternity.    

Any brilliant ideas on how to use them all up?!   

I’d love to hear what all of you do to make the most out of your products…stamps, ribbon, stickers…whatever! Leave me a little message with your brilliant double-duty ideas and I’ll pick one person to win this entire set of American Crafts Thickers. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Thursday, Feb. 18.   

One lucky winner will take home this whole sticker set!

Me and my letter stickers, signing off…
Jessica 

P.S. A little birdie told me that my cards above will be featured as a free make ‘n take at this year’s Creating Keepsakes Conventions! Click HERE to find out if a CKC is coming to a city near you!

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday and day one of Paper Crafts Connection’s Blogiversary Celebration! Tomorrow, February 2, marks our official one-year anniversary, and I don’t about you, but time sure has flown by!

It was just over a year ago that I started building this blog, page by page and link by link. We knew we wanted it to be an extension of the magazine, and because we’re not limited to page count here, we knew we could give you more of everything you love about Paper Crafts. And because of its viral nature, we knew there was potential to reach paper crafters from all over the world on a daily basis. No pressure at all!

So, a year later, I’m sitting here trying to sum up 263 posts, which collectively contain 26,872 comments! And while certain posts are more memorable than others, in a way, all of them are like little babies that I’ve created and sent out into the paper crafting world for love and acceptance. And you’ve all embraced each and every one. Even the ones that were silly and lame and had nothing to do with paper crafting. Does anyone remember our Return of the Jedi Braid post? Like I said, there’s been some random ones!

That said, there’s also been some amazing ones. Too many to individually mention, but I went through our archives and pulled my favorites. In true Letterman style, I bring you PK’s Top Ten Paper Crafts Connection Blog Posts of 2009:

1. Happy World Card Making Day – Oct. 3, 2009 (Of course this would be my #1! So fun to celebrate this holiday with the whole wide world!)

2. Freebie Friday – Giving Back – Sept. 18, 2009 (You may think I picked this as one of my favorites because it features a scrumptious Johnny Depp card, but the real reason is because I so enjoyed giving my time to a wonderful charity. Brandy will talk more about our inspiring Creativity Heals campaign tomorrow!)


3. Magazine Monday – The Paper Crafts Office Tour – August 17, 2009 (As a request from one of our readers, I went around the office and took pictures of our lobby, break room and all of our individual cubes. It was a lot of fun!)


4. Freebie Friday – And the Gallery Idol Winner Is – July 31, 2009 (Oh happy day for Rae Barthel!)


5. Welcome Go-to Gal, Teri Anderson – July 23, 2009/Welcome Go-to Gal, Jessica Witty – July 21, 2009/Welcome Go-to Gal, Betsy Veldman – July 16, 2009/Welcome Go-to Gal, Maren Benedict – July 14, 2009/Welcome Go-to Gal, Kim Hughes – July 9, 2009/Welcome Go-to Gal, Kim Kesti – July 7, 2009 (July, 2009 was a very busy month in Paper Crafts land! In addition to the weekly Gallery Idol challenges and posts, we also welcomed six talented ladies to our family – the Paper Crafts Go-to Gals!)


6. Tickled Pink – June 23, 2009 (National Pink Day just happened to fall during our Card Creations 7 promotional week in June. In true girly fashion, Brandy spotlighted some pretty pink projects, gave away some pink-alicious product and then posted a picture of us in our finest pink garb.)


7. The Lone Design Man – May 7, 2009 (Matt, our lone man on the team, dishes secrets on what it’s like to work with seven hormonal women. He also shows some of his amazing openers that are featured in our magazine!)


8. Freebie Friday – Get Your Blinkies Here – April 3, 2009 (Here we showed readers how to upload their very own Paper Crafts and Moxie Fab World blinkies! If you still don’t have them on your blogs, what are you waiting for?)

9. Freebie Friday – The Big One – March 20, 2009 (This post related to our Stamp It! Cards promotional week generated more comments than any other to date. I wonder if this jackpot of a giveaway had anything to do with it!)


10. Happy Birthday, PK – March 12, 2009 (As a Coca-Cola fanatic, this post literally leaves me feeling effervescent!)

Can I tell you how hard it was to only pick 10 posts?! Luckily, we still have the rest of the week to touch on highlights from the past year. And since no celebration would be complete without presents, today I’m giving away three fun prize packages! Leave a comment telling me one of your favorite Paper Crafts Connection blog posts from 2009. I’ll pick three random winners to each receive one of our new “Betty” t-shirts, a Paper Crafts Connection button and Cosmo Cricket’s Earth Love collection. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Tuesday, Feb, 2.

Happy Monday!
Kelly

P.S. We just launched our February Gallery Challenge today! Since it’s the season of love, we want to see your best Valentine’s Day projects. For inspiration, please turn to the Valentines for Everyone on Your List and Vintage Valentines features in our January/February 2010 issue. This three-week challenge will run through midnight (MDT) on Monday, Feb. 22. Click HERE for all the details! (January’s winners will be spotlighted next Monday, Feb. 8.)

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

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday and 2010! I hope all of you are enjoying the first day of this brand new year. I thought I would ask the Paper Crafts editors and Go-to Gals what they’re looking forward to the most in 2010.

From family vacations to a first-time mama to puppy school graduations, all of us at Paper Crafts are also looking forward to another year of inspiring publications and, of course, the opportunity to connect with all of you. Take it away, Jennifer!

Jennifer Schaerer - After a few years of chaos and rollercoaster livelihood, I’m looking forward to the relative calm that 2010 promises to bring. We don’t have any milestone birthdays or other occasions, no major travel plans, and our house project list isn’t very long. Ahhhhhhh. I’m feeling better already!

Brandy Jesperson - I’m looking forward to being a first-time mama. I’m envisioning a perfect baby who sleeps through the nights and loves to give cuddles. You might want to check back with me in a few months when reality has set in. I know I’ll love my son with all my heart, but I also know he’s his mother’s son, so he’ll probably have a stubborn streak in him!

Cath Edvalson – I’m looking forward to a romantic week in Key West with my husband. We’re going in February to ward off the winter blues. I’ll drink to that!

P. Kelly Smith – I’m looking forward to our family reunion this summer, which will be held on a cruise ship! Thanks to Grandma Smith for her generosity in bringing 25 people together!

Susan R. Opel – On July 10, 2010, I’ll be singing in the wedding of one of my former students in Indiana. I’m so honored that she asked!

Teri Anderson – I’m looking forward to my puppy and I graduating from puppy training school in February. He currently is living up to the name “Marley” with all his mischief.

Maren Benedict – I’m looking forward to traveling to Italy with my husband in late spring/early summer. This will be only our fourth trip without kids in over 14 years, so it’s very well deserved!

Kim Hughes - I’m looking forward to taking a couple of mini vacations that will revolve around the CKC locations that I will be teaching at for Paper Crafts. I’m anxious to see my brother and his family, and meeting so many wonderful new people along the way who love the paper crafting industry as much as I do.

Kim Kesti – Since this year marks our 25th wedding anniversary, I’m looking forward to a little getaway with just Keith and me! Imagine that. We don’t have reservations yet – any ideas out there for a fabulous (but not super expensive) stateside getaway?

Betsy Veldman – I’m looking forward to a diaper-free 2010 (being slightly optimistic here…) and an end to the terrible two’s! I’m also looking forward to traveling a bit for Paper Crafts and hopefully taking another family vacation this summer — destination to be determined! 

Jessica Witty – I’m looking forward to more SPACE! 2010 looks to be the year that this Party of 5 will find a new home. The thought of our 8-month-old finally able to sleep in a room other than our closet makes me very happy!

Ready for the very first giveaway of 2010? Tell me what you’re looking forward to the most in 2010. I’ll pick three lucky winners to receive a copy of our new special issue Card Creations: Start to Finish, Volume 2, which we’ll be spotlighting on Jan. 11-15! All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, Jan. 3.

Happy New Year!
Kelly

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