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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.

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


Cath Edvalson

As creative editor for Paper Crafts magazine, it’s my job to make sure that the projects we show are fresh, fun and trendy. So, when I walk the showroom floor at CHA, I’m always on the lookout for what inspires, what’s showing up multiple times in multiple places and what’s getting a lot of buzz as I bop from booth to booth.

On the plane ride home, as I started to process all I had seen, I wrote down the common themes that had risen to the top of my experience. Here are they are—my CHA Winter 2010 Trends by the Dozen:

1. Doilies & Lace. Intricate lovelies straight from Grandma’s parlor:

Products from October Afternoon, Little Yellow Bicycle and Donna Salazar

2. Opaque. It’s been about glitter and twinkle. Now it’s about hard-core shine:

Products from Ranger and Pink Paislee

3. Textured Cardstock. Whether it’s custom to a manufacturer, raised or stitched, it’s all about texture:

Products from Cosmo Cricket, Bazzill Basics Paper and Anna Griffin

4. Canvas. Speaking of texture…

Products from Prima, Canvas Corp. and BasicGrey

5. Peace Signs. A return trend from CHA Summer, these happy icons were everywhere I looked:

Products from Little Yellow Bicycle, Adorn It and Reminisce

6. Altered Art. Anything Tim Holtz is hot and these new tools help seal the deal:

Products from Tim Holtz, GCD Studios and Zutter

7. Music. Carrying its own tune:

Products from Glitz Design, Technique Tuesday and October Afternoon

8. Frames. Picture this:

Products from Teresa Collins Design, Webster’s Pages and 7gypsies

9. Buttons. As in cute as a…

Products from Webster’s Pages, The Girls’ Paperie and Jenni Bowlin

10. Vintage Ephemera. Trinkets, cards, images and more:

Products from Melissa Frances, Glitz Design and K&Company

11. Background Text. These say it all…

Products from Prima, Technique Tuesday and Impression Obsession

12. Sewing—the run-away trend of the show. Keeping us in stitches:

Products from Cosmo Cricket and Maya Road

Which of these trends speaks the most to you and why? I’d love to hear your takes on this trendy dozen, friends! Leave me a comment by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, Feb. 10 and I’d be oh-so-happy to send the Material Girl collection from Cosmo Cricket to one random lucky winner!

Dealing in dozens,

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to day two of our exciting Card Creations: Start to Finish Week! We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s spotlight on cover girl Tanis Giesbrecht and are now starting to see the design possibilities for the insides of your cards.  

Today we’re spotlighting another lovely Canadian, Charlene Austin, who was positively giddy when I e-mailed her about being a featured cover girl for Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2

“My answer is a big huge YES!!! There is no question I will have time for this…I would quit my job to make time…LOL. My family is going to be sick of me asking them to take a thousand pictures for a good headshot. Haha. I knew 2010 was going to be a good year. This is an amazing way to start it off. I appreciate it and am so totally honored!” 

Editor’s note: If Charlene’s employer is reading this post, she was totally kidding about the “quitting my job” remark. She’s completely loyal to you. I promise. 

Let’s get to know Miss Charlene! 

Charlene Austin

1. Where did you grow up?   

In Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I’m still here. 

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

I work part-time as a Property Claims Adjuster {please don’t hold it against me}. 

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

I’m going to go with Jennifer Garner. Not because she looks anything like me {I wish}, but she’s a fun actress and she named her dog Martha Stewart. What’s not to like? 

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

I can’t think of a theme song for my life, so I thought I’d just give you a good laugh and tell you my favorite song of all time: Careless Whispers by George Michael. I know, the 80’s rocked, right?    

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

Most people find the fact that I have a rice phobia pretty crazy. There is no explanation for it, but I have never and could never eat rice. 

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

My BFF Wendy Bond. She invited me to a card party she was hosting. At first I didn’t “get it”, but it wasn’t long before I become obsessed passionate about card making.  

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge?  

My biggest challenge is actually getting myself off the computer and going to my craft room to make something. I get lost in cyber space for hours on end, and then I’m too tired or overwhelmed to create.  

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

Ribbon and my sewing machine. They can both be the perfect final touch to a card.  

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

I would have to say Christmas. The products and the project ideas are endless. 

10. How would you describe your style? 

I’m not quite sure I have a distinct style, but I aim to make fresh and clean cards with a touch of originality here and there.  

In Charlene's She is Strength Card, she carries the design and sentiment from the front to the inside.

11. When is your favorite time to craft?  

More often than not, I’m heading to my craft room around 11 p.m. and I stay there until 2-3 a.m. Only on my days off and weekends, of course. 

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

It’s not music, but rather my TV that is turned on while I’m in the craft room. And it’s usually set on the Food Channel. No wonder I get hungry at 2 a.m.! 

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

While he doesn’t “participate” in crafting, my husband was very supportive when he realized how much I loved my new hobby. He suggested we develop our basement, and helped me create a beautiful craft room. 

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

I’m a bit of a mess when it comes to organization of calls and deadlines, so I end up being very last-minute. My process includes a lot of photo boxes and sticky notes. It’s not pretty, people! 

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

Card Creations, Vol. 7. It wasn’t that long ago, but I think I have been all over the board and back again trying to find my “Char Card” style. 

In Charlene's There is No Doubt Card, she finishes her sentiment on the inside. We love her "Char Card" style!

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

I have just completed a design team spot with Elzybells Stamp Company UK. I’m currently part of Embellish Magazine and Perfectly Pretty. Also very close to my heart is a color challenge that my five BFF’s and I do each week called Loonie Stampers Challenge

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

  • Nichole Heady – There isn’t anything Nichole does that I don’t love. She’s brilliant!
  • Teri Anderson – I love her clean and oh, so playful style. “Meeting” her cards each day makes me smile. 
  • Jennifer McGuire – She’s incredibly talented, but what I love is that she’s just so real and down to earth in her videos. Fun stuff.

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

If you would like to see your work published in the magazines, you need to know that it IS possible and you CAN make it happen. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get immediate results. Try and try again. 

19. What was your inspiration for your Sunny Thank You card that appears on the cover of Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2?  

When I made this card I was just enjoying putting together some of my very favorite things – Papertrey’s Summer Sunrise cardstock, crocheted flowers and a new K&Company pad of patterned paper. Yummy! I also have a thing for stamping sentiments and then cutting it out to add to the card. This card is clean and simple, so to carry the design to the inside, all it needed was matching blocks of patterned paper to make it flow.  

In Charlene's Sunny Thank You Card, she carries the design (color blocks) from the front to the inside.

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

I do have a blog ( For those of you who would like to purchase Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2, please visit my blog to hear about the special deal you can get! 

Thanks, Charlene! Our friends at Technique Tuesday were nice enough to donate three sets of their Loving Words stamp set by Ali Edwards – the same set Charlene used to create her Sunny Thank You and There is No Doubt cards. Please leave a comment and I’ll pick three random winners to receive this set, plus a copy of Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, Jan. 13

Three lucky people will win this fun sentiment set from Technique Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday!

P.S. Make sure you join us tomorrow for our final spotlight on cover girl Becky Olsen!


Brandy Jesperson

All of us at Paper Crafts eat lunch together every day. When I first started working here I thought this was a bit odd. Okay, maybe odd isn’t the right word. Let’s just say I found this practice to be unexpected. 

Prior to working at Paper Crafts, I’d worked for a TV station so lunch time was when everyone would close their office doors and watch the news or the latest episode of Days of Our Lives. I’ll admit to being somewhat sucked into the plot of this cheesy soap opera, but as an excuse I was working for an NBC affiliate and couldn’t very well change the channel! However, now I can’t imagine lunch any other way than with my co-workers and friends. 

Today was an extra special lunch because we were able to visit with our cute summer 2008 intern, Ms. Kalyn Kepner. Kalyn is visiting from Pennsylvania and met us for lunch. We all had lots of fun catching up with Kalyn and exchanging our usual team banter. 

One particular topic of conversation: Christmas decorations. I typically put up my Christmas decorations days after Halloween. I’m a little crazy like that. In fact, my neighbors’ and friends’ gifts are already purchased and wrapped in their cute kraft and orange packaging. Like I said, I’m Christmas crazy! Jennifer begins setting things out on Nov. 1, but everything isn’t completely Christmas-fied until later in the month. (As a side note, I can hear Christmas music drifting from Jennifer’s office as we speak!) Cath however has strict guidelines and will not put out her holiday decorations until the Thanksgiving feast has been enjoyed by all.   

The Paper Crafts offices aren’t decorated yet, but Santa’s elves have been busy snatching up hot pink, lime green and red ornaments. As a team we’re decorating a tree for a fundraiser called the Festival of Trees. We donate a decorated tree that is later auctioned off. All the money earned goes to the patients at a local children’s hospital and the person who purchases the tree gets a one-of-a-kind creation to decorate their home. Here’s a little sneak peek of some of the ornaments we’ve purchased. Stay tuned for a pic of the final product in a few weeks!

I {heart} Christmas…and IKEA!

It seems most people have pretty strong opinions about the whole when-to-decorate topic. So, I’d like to make you all honorary Paper Crafts lunch ladies. If you were eating lunch with us today (which is WAY COOLER than watching Days of Our Lives, by the way), when would you say you begin decorating your abode for the holidays? Leave me a comment and I’ll randomly select one winner to receive this assortment of product generously donated by K&Company. All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Wednesday, Nov. 11.

One lucky winner will take home K&Company's Evergreen collection!

Yours in holiday gladness,

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! I know it’s been a long, tortuous week for our Top 5 finalists, so I’m not going to make them wait, sweat or twitch any longer. (Belinda, Lizzie, Rae, Shanna and Tessa – are you all sitting down? Good. Now take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Now let’s get on with the results!)

After eight weeks and five rounds of nail-biting competition, you the Paper Crafts online community have chosen the grand prize winner in this third season of Gallery Idol. And she is… (drumroll, please!)


Congratulations, Rae! Your “Make a Wish” card received the most votes in the last and final round, therefore Paper Crafts magazine is proud to name you our 2009 Gallery Idol!

Let’s take a look at the five winning cards that propelled Rae to “Idol” status:

Open Auditions: Make a Wish Card - Birthday Theme

Top 20: Congrats Card - Wedding Theme

Top 20: Congrats Card - Wedding Theme

Top 15: Sweet Dreams Card - Around the House Theme

Top 10: Wish Big Card - Button Theme

Finalist 1: Rae Barthels Make a Wish Card

Top 5: Make a Wish Card - Humor Theme

I think this girl has a thing for pink and black! It obviously worked! In addition to the Cosmo Cricket, American Crafts, BasicGrey and K&Company prize packages, Rae will also receive this grand prize from Making Memories:

Gallery Idols grand prize winner will receive all of this!

Many thanks to Making Memories for donating all of this fabulous product!

As the grand prize winner, Rae will also receive these special perks: 

  • Winning cards published in the January/February 2010 issue of Paper Crafts
  • Name added to the exclusive Paper Crafts designer list
  • Free selection of special issues
  • Official grand prize winner certificate (our version of the golden ticket)

Prizes aside, a big round of applause goes out to all of the finalists who have stuck with this competition week after week, round after round. Your creativity, passion and dedication to excellence have really made this little contest bigger and better than we could have ever imagined! We hope to see you back next summer for Season 4!

In my very best Ryan Seacrest voice,
Kelly Out

P.S. If you would like to see how Rae reacts to this BIG announcement, make sure you hop on over to her blog. Last week she was “floored, flabbergasted and freaking excited” to have made it into the Top 5. I can’t wait to see what words come out of her mouth this week! (And make sure to check back here on Monday when Rae is our designer spotlight. She hasn’t agreed to this yet, but I’m hoping to twist her arm with that Making Memories Slice!)

P.P.S. I almost forgot today’s giveaway! It is Freebie Friday after all. I hope you enjoyed reading Cath’s farewell post to our art director Stace Hasegawa. Since Stace LOVES the color black and tattoo art like skulls, wings, guitars, etc., today’s giveaway incorporates all of her favorite things! (The only thing missing is Johnny Depp in the flesh!) To be entered to win, leave a comment telling me a few of your favorite things. It can be anything at all. I’ll pick four winners to receive an assortment of metallic papers from Rusty Pickle’s Brass Knuckles collection, as well as black chipboard and stickers from GCD Studios. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, August 2.

Four lucky winners will each take home this black-tastic prize package!

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!

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! We had so much fun with our promotional Stamp It! Week that we’ve decided to do it again with our next special issue 225 Cards & Gifts! Even though this fabulous magazine doesn’t hit newsstands until April 28, we’re going to give you a little sneak peek with our upcoming Cards & Gifts Week (April 20-24)!

Not only will we being having a ton of fun here, but 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 some great cards and projects from this “gifty” special issue.


Next week on Paper Crafts Connection:

Magazine Monday – Designer spotlight on uber talented Maren Benedict. Maren has so many projects in this issue, we just had to sit and pick her creative brain. We’ll also post one of her darling card sets from the cards section. And if you’re a stamper, you won’t want to miss this giveaway!

Tuesday – Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Schaerer will spotlight the gift cards chapter and give away fun packaging that’s perfect for those little gift cards!

With the Pros WednesdayPaper Crafts Pro Kim Kesti will show off one of her yummy projects from the Fun with Food section. And if you’re a fan of American Crafts, you’ll love this giveaway!

Thursday – Editor Susan Opel will spotlight the gift wrap chapter with her very own project that’s not only stylish, but quick and easy, too! And you guessed it – she’ll be giving away something cool!

Freebie Friday – I’ll show you projects from our home décor and miscellaneous gifts sections. And the prize attached to this day is so unbelievably huge, I think I’m gonna have to attach a disclaimer to it.

And if that weren’t enough, we’re hosting another fun online contest. The Cards & Gifts Challenge officially begins right now! To play, create a Mother’s Day gift in one of these SIX categories:

  • Card Sets
  • Gift Card Holders
  • Gift Wrap
  • Food Wrap
  • Home Decor
  • Miscellaneous (journals, gift sets, notebooks, bookmarks, etc.)

Upload your project to the Cards & Gifts Week Challenge on by clicking here. The deadline is midnight (MST) on Monday, April 27. Make sure you identify the category you are entering in the title of your project. We will choose TWO winners in each category and feature them either here on the Paper Crafts Connection blog or on the Moxie Fab World blog on Thursday, April 30. And of course, there will be prizes!

So, as you can see, we have a lot of fun blog posts (and prizes galore!) planned for Cards & Gifts Week.

Hope to see you back here!

P.S. It wouldn’t be Freebie Friday without free prizes, right? Since we have six chapters in 225 Cards & Gifts, I’m giving away six K&Company collections! Leave a comment telling me the best gift you’ve ever received. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, April 19. I’ll announce the six winners on Monday, April 20!

You could take home one of these fun K&Company collections!

You could take home one of these fun K&Company collections!

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