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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!

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Brandy Jesperson

Brandy Jesperson

Are you all enjoying meeting our Go-to Gals as much as we are enjoying introducing them? Tuesdays and Thursdays have taken on a whole new meaning in our parts. Well, I don’t want to tease you any longer (we are pretending you haven’t already read the title and you are desperate with suspense).

Today I have the great privilege of introducing the amazing Ms. Jessica Witty! Jessica is an uber talented stamper with a brilliant way with both words and paper. Jessica is the proud mama of three bitty Wittys and has a personality that is dynamite (just wait until you read some of her responses). If being amazingly talented and intelligent wasn’t enough, Jessica is also a fountain of fabulous tips and tricks (get the perfect bow every time by flipping your project upside down and then tying your ribbon… I’ve tried this and it TOTALLY works!).  

So, are you ready to meet this long lost sister of Punky Brewster? 

Go-to Gal Jessica Witty

Go-to Gal Jessica Witty

1. Where did you grow up? I spent most of my growing up years deep in the heart of Texas. In fact, my husband and I still live a few miles from our childhood homes.

2. Do you work outside the home? If so, what do you do? In my pre-SAHM days, I worked as a radio script editor and writer for an internationally broadcast radio ministry. I’ve been a SAHM for a few years and I enjoy the craziness that defines my life now!

3. If a movie were to be made of your life, who would you cast to play the part of you? Oh, good grief… um… the girl who used to play Punky Brewster? Punky and I used to be twins back in the 80’s. 

Jessica and Punky...separated at birth?

Jessica and Punky... separated at birth?

4. What song would you choose as the theme song for your life? “Walkin’ on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves. And for a more serious choice, “Be Thou My Vision”.

5. What is one thing most people would be surprised to hear about you? I have three first-born children. Seriously! Two of my three kids are adopted, and both times we had no idea we would be adopting before we were asked to. With baby #3 (Noelle) we only had seven days time between being asked to adopt and being at the hospital for her arrival. That was only 11 weeks ago, so my head is still spinning!

6. What/who inspired you to start paper crafting? Like so many of you, I’ve always been crafty. However, I *cannot* draw. At all. No sketching skills whatsoever. I always struggled with that because I felt like it meant I couldn’t really be “artsy”. I was totally intrigued when a friend of mine invited me to a stamping party seven years ago. Creative expression using paper and ink but not requiring the ability to draw?! Sign me up!

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge? In this season of life… TIME! I have three kids (two of them under the age of two) and all that comes along with it, so my time is definitely limited. That means that I have to be ready to create right when I sit down at my table… and that’s hard for me. Perfectionism is my other battle, and a lack of time + perfectionism just do not equal good results! Honestly, I like to plan out my entire project, down to every detail, before I even put one stamp to paper or make one cut. Lately I’ve been trying to focus on being willing to make mistakes for the sake of getting started and letting my creativity come out during the process.   

8. If you were only allowed two items to create a card beside cardstock and adhesive, what would they be? Stamps and ink, no question! My one embellishment necessity would be ribbon. Followed closely by buttons. Huh… apparently I need more than I thought!

I love the way Jessica transformed plain kraft cardstock into this amazing card with a few stamps and a little ink – now THAT is talent!

I love the way Jessica transformed plain kraft cardstock into this amazing card with a few stamps and a little ink – now THAT is talent!

9. What is your favorite occasion or holiday to paper craft and why? Lately, that would be thank you cards! (I still have many, many to make!) Generally, I’d say either all occasion/friendship or thank you cards. 

10. When is your favorite time to craft? Naptime! (The kids’ naptime, not mine!) I used to pull a lot of all-nighters to craft, but that habit went by the wayside as more kids came along and I passed the 30-year mark.

11. What sort of music do you listen to while crafting? None! And for the record, I am so technologically disabled that I could actually be the last person on earth to get an iPod. My work table (a.k.a. dining room table) faces the living room, so I’m generally listening to the oh-so-soothing sounds of my children.

12. How does your family participate in your paper crafting passion? My oldest son now has an obsession for paper as well… he says he is going to be a “paper collector” when he grows up! He likes to make his own books and art projects at his little table while I’m working at mine. At Christmas, my husband pitches in with what we affectionately call The-Witty-Family-Christmas-Card-Sweatshop.

13. When it comes to calls and deadlines, how do you keep yourself organized? To be honest, organization is really not my middle name. I finally got a daily planner specifically for my design work and that works really well for me. I track due dates on the monthly layouts, print out any assignment and call details and paper clip them in the appropriate weeks. I also use the daily sections to write and sketch out my project ideas.

14. Do you remember what Paper Crafts issue your first project appeared in? How has your style changed since then? My very first issue was November 2006 when my first and second submissions ever won spots in the Stamping Royalty contest that year. I’ve definitely refined my style since then… I tend to use much more white space now. 

15. What are you looking forward to most about being a Paper Crafts Go-to Gal? You know, the fame… fortune… paparazzi, etc. HA! I’m so looking forward to getting an inside glimpse into the inner workings of Paper Crafts, the challenges that come with our assignments, and continuing to be inspired by what has always been my favorite magazine. This is a long-time goal realized for me and I’m so grateful and excited for the opportunity!

16. Have you contributed to any design teams in the past or present? If so, which ones? I was previously a designer with Paper Salon and I currently design for Emma’s Paperie

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

  • Julie Ebersole was the very first designer who totally struck me years ago with her designs and is still inspiring me to this day. I love her ability to pair brilliant ideas with an editorial eye. 
  • Nichole Heady always grabs me with her simple elegance. 
  • Melissa Phillips and Anabelle O’Malley simply because their styles are so different than mine! I analyze their work to see how they layer and put things together and try to incorporate the feeling of whimsy they have into my own designs.

18. Do you have any advice/tips for someone who’s never been published or who wants to submit for the first time? Focus on your strengths and refine them! Figure out your comfort zone, become  proficient at it, then move beyond it. And submit every project along the way! It’s been said before, but you just never know what will be a winner. 

19. How would you describe your style? I am definitely a less is more, simple and graphic with clean lines and lots of white space kind of designer. My goal is generally to do more with less, to use what I have, to edit as much as possible while keeping a big visual punch, and to do all of that in a short time frame. Layering and embellishments are definitely a challenge for me… two layers on a card is a lot of layers to me! White space is my friend. 

I’d say white space is Jessica’s friend!  The white space on this gem (from Stamp It! Cards) really lets the swirly flowers and simple sentiment do the talkin’.

I’d say white space is Jessica’s friend! The white space on this gem (from Stamp It! Cards) really lets the swirly flowers and simple sentiment do the talkin’.

20. Do you have a blog or online gallery? If so, please provide the URL. You can find my work at Emma’s Paperie and I still work with my designer friends from Paper Salon. You can also see my gallery at splitcoaststampers.com. I just launched my blog, and it’s still a little bare but I’ll be posting links and other good things very soon. I’m on Facebook, too.

I told ya… tons of personality in this one! Thanks, Jessica for answering these questions. I for one can’t wait to see all your brilliant projects and read your great tips in the upcoming issues of Paper Crafts

Make sure you leave sweet Jessica a comment before you run off to check out all the cool stuff she mentioned in her answers. In honor of her three itty bitty Wittys (I just love saying that!), I’ll pick three winners to win a copy of Stamp It! Cards and an assortment of itty bitty stamps. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, July 22.

Loving big reveal Tuesdays,
Brandy

P.S. It’s to announce the five winners from Kelly’s Freebie Friday – Gallery Idol Top 10 Announced post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Laurie Takens (July 17, 4:51 p.m.)
2. Melissa (July 17, 1:02 p.m.)
3. doverdi (July 19, 5:31 a.m.)
4. Kelly R (July 17, 11:42 a.m.)
5. Bonnie (July 18, 3:53 a.m.)

Congrats, winners! You’ve each won two bags of Papertrey Ink buttons! Kelly will be contacting you shortly for your mailing addresses! Thanks to all who left comments on their favorite way to use buttons! Speaking of buttons… that’s the theme for Round 3 in our Gallery Idol competition. Click here to view these 10 amazing button-infused cards. And make sure you cast your vote for your favorite design!

P. Kelly Smith
P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday and Paper Crafts latest installment of I-Spy! This game has always been a fan favorite, so I’m happy to be bringing it back! Are you ready to win some really cool prizes? Get ready because I’m picking FIVE winners this time!

You must have a copy of our March/April 2009 issue in front of you. All I-Spy questions will be directly related to this issue and this issue only.

March/April I-Spy Questions:

1. I spy Jennifer’s Editor’s Note where she shows a project from our 2008 World Card Making Day card contest (see p. 80 for our 20 winners). How many total entries did we receive?
2. I spy our Paper Crafts Connection column. According to our March/April calendar, there will be a Creating Keepsakes Convention on April 24-26. Where will it be held?
3. I Spy our Ask the Pros column. How does Paper Crafts Pro Wendy Johnson organize her stamps?
4. I spy our Joy of Card Making column. What tip does designer Julie Ebersole recommend for her “How Ya Bean?” card?
5. I spy Cath’s Moxie Fab column on the trendy color combination of yellow and gray. What sentiment is on designer Melissa Phillips’ mini album?
6. I spy Susan Neal’s “Perfect Pair” card in our Paper Crafts 101 column. In addition to Arial, what other font did she use to create the sentiment?
7. I spy a “Safari Clock” in our Photo Finish column. What country is spelled out in letter stickers?
8. I spy our Here Comes the Bride feature. What names are written on the frame from the “Umbrella Bridal Shower”? (FYI: the couple in the photo is actually Brandy’s brother and sister-in-law Jared and Cassidy Olsen!)
9. I spy our Baby Animals for Baby feature. The cute opener shows nine different baby animals. Name three.
10. I spy Susan Opel’s Tips, Tools & Technique column. Designer and master piercer Debbie Olson offers five tips for “Piercing Like a Pro”. What is her #3 tip?

Five random people (that answer five or more questions correctly) will win a selection of butterfly product we featured in this issue’s “Product Parade” and “Sweepstakes” columns. To play, please enter your answers in the comment field below this entry. I will draw my five winners on Monday, March 9 and announce them in Tuesday’s blog.

Good Luck!
Kelly

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