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Susan R. Opel

Susan R. Opel

When it comes to celebrating, the Paper Crafts office is the place to be! From birthdays to Halloween to National Pink Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Super Bowl Sunday, we’re always ready for a reason to party! (Although, if you’re like us, you never need a reason to party!)

It seems only fitting then that we’ve created our very own worldwide holiday to celebrate our passion and yours – World Card Making Day!

We’d love to celebrate with you, too, (at least in spirit)! And since we love to plan parties, there are tons of great ideas of ways to spend your day HERE at the World Card Making Day web site. (Remember: it’s not too late to plan a whole day of fun-filled celebration!)

Heres some celebratory highlights from the Paper Crafts team.

Here's some celebratory highlights from the Paper Crafts team.

If you are a complete over-achiever and have all of your Christmas cards done or you’re a total procrastinator and just don’t feel like getting started yet, you could spend your day looking for inspiration online by visiting inspiring blogs on our blog tour. Cozy up at home in your jammies and fall into creative nirvana with bloggers from all over the world.

Whatever you do this Saturday, just take some time to enjoy the very essence of World Card Making Day. Creating, giving, celebrating, and sharing – it doesn’t get any better than that!

I have some fun KI Memories stickers, paper pads and copies of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4 to give away to two commenters who tell me a fun and wacky holiday they celebrate or share an unusual holiday tradition. All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Thursday, Oct. 1.

Two lucky winners will each take home this prize pacakge!

Two lucky winners will each take home this prize pacakge!

C’mon, let’s celebrate!

P.S. Make sure you hop on over to Cath’s Moxie Fab World blog! Today on her world tour of card-making, she’s spotlighting cards from Australia and the United Kingdom! G’day, mate!

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! This week has literally flown by! We had a blast at our annual Editorial Board Meeting. This was the first time all of the new Go-to Gals and the Paper Crafts team were in one room. Our Go-to Gals flew in on Monday, flew out on Wednesday and in between those short 48 hours, we found time to review all of last year’s magazines, concept all of next year’s issues, participate in two photo shoots, enjoy two dinner parties and laugh until our stomachs hurt. Who knew “working” could be so much fun!

And the fun continues because all next week we’ll be counting down the days until World Card Making Day arrives on Saturday, October 3. We’re once again partnering with creative editor Cath Edvalson and her Moxie Fab World blog. She’s taking a really fun approach that plays off the “world” title in her blog. If you thought Paper Crafts magazine couldn’t reach the far corners of the earth, wait until you see what Cath has in store! The global participation begins next Monday, so make sure you check back with us!

Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Kim Kesti turned the WCMD logo into a fun card!

Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Kim Kesti turned the WCMD logo into this fun card!

Next week on Paper Crafts Connection:

Magazine Monday– Have you ever wondered what cardmakers are like in England? Well, the wait is over because we’ll be spotlighting the UK-based publication PaperCraft inspirations. We’ll ask one of their editors all the questions you’ve been dying to know like their favorite occasions to paper craft, techniques they love and why paper crafting has such an universal appeal. And there will, of course, be a jolly good giveaway (said in my best English accent!).

Tuesday – Editor Susan R. Opel will spotlight the Celebrate section of the World Card Making Day web site. Who knew there were so many fun ways to commemorate this holiday? She also has some fun product from KI Memories up for grabs!

Wednesday – Since World Card Making Day officially kicks off the holiday card-making season, Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Kim Hughes will give us some valuable tips for mass producing cards. She’ll also talk about what retail store she’ll be visiting on World Card Making Day. And if you’re a fan of GCD Studios, she’s got some of their gorgeous product to give away!

Thursday – Managing Editor Brandy Jesperson will spotlight the Sponsors/Gallery sections of the World Card Making Day web site. She’ll also announce a fun contest, where five cards will be selected from the World Card Making Day gallery and spotlighted on this blog the week of Oct. 5-Oct. 9. If that wasn’t cool enough, she’s giving away some gorgeous Christmas product from SEI.

Freebie Friday – Join us for our “Editor Ask Around” where I’ll reveal how each editor will be celebrating World Card Making Day. I’ve also got two amazing prize packages from Little Yellow Bicycle that are just waiting to go to good homes.

Saturday– Happy World Card Making Day! We want to hear how you’ll be celebrating this special holiday. Pajama party with your closest girlfriends? Reorganizing your craft room? Whatever the answer, I’ll pick one random person to win an unbelievable prize package. Let’s just say this person will win the paper crafting jackpot!

So, are you getting excited yet? We’ve been planning all year and can’t believe that the big day is almost here! To get the ball rolling, I’m happy to announce an exciting addition to our World Card Making Day blog tour! Susan mentioned last week that absolutely anybody could participate. As long as you plan on celebrating World Card Making Day in some fun way, we would love for you to add your blog URL to our growing list of passionate supporters (We’re at 154 and counting!).

The addition is we’ve asked 25 of our most popular bloggers to take part in a fun promotion. In exchange for posting a card to their blogs, they will each give out a 25% off coupon code that’s good for ANYTHING in our online store! So click HERE to see the 25 designers, then go visit their blogs and finally, go shopping! The coupon expires at midnight (MST) on Oct. 12, so don’t delay!

For today’s giveaway, I have three Technique Tuesday stamp sets and a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. Leave a comment telling me why YOU think card making has such an universal appeal. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, Sept. 27.

Three lucky winners will take home this fun prize package!

Three lucky winners will take home this fun prize package!

Happy Friday!

Wendy Johnson, Founding Paper Crafts Pro

Wendy Johnson

‘Tis the season for ribbons, paper galore and homemade gifts tied up in pretty things! As we celebrate an early Christmas this week on the ol’ Paper Crafts blog, I’m excited to share with you a tag I created for this very fun special issue that is overflowing with amazing holiday creations. 

The little diddy shown below and featured in Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 4 was made with love from the super cute KI Memories collection, “Festive.” I love the bright colors and whimsical design that captures the fun side of the holiday season, and I’d love to give away a set of this collection along with a copy of this extra special holiday issue. Just leave me a comment by Friday, August 28 at midnight MDT and I’ll choose three winners.

Christmas Heart Tag (p. 106)

I can’t believe that we’re already gearing up for this season and all that it brings. It seems that every season sneaks up on us whether we are prepared for it or not! I also know that along with the seasons of fall, winter, summer and spring, there comes other seasons in our lives… all of which serve a purpose and shape who we are. I love this little reminder that is perched on my mantle that helps me remember that there truly is a season and time for every purpose in our lives. 

This lovely quote greets me each and every day.

Six years ago, seeds were planted during a time of my life that has grown and flourished and become one of my most bountiful seasons. Those seeds were planted in the rich soil of Paper Crafts and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have grown and flourished within the pages of this magazine, as they themselves grew from a single issue. I was there in the beginning and have thoroughly enjoyed this little season of my life. My greatest accomplishment has come within the pages of The Joy of Card Making and The Joy of Card Making: A Second Helping special issues.

I’m so grateful for Valerie Pingree and Jennafer Martin for their vision and belief in me as we worked together to bring you little card recipes for you to use in your card making. I will never forget the late night hours with two sleeping little ones tucked in their beds, as I worked on sketches and cards to share with you, our beloved readers. After the success of both issues, I was then asked to become a Paper Crafts Pro and continued to share with you my love and passion for paper crafting each month. I have also traveled across the country to Canada and even on a Caribbean Cruise to teach eager students who are ready to learn and share in this amazing hobby! 

As this season of my life comes to a close, I can’t say goodbye without saying thank you to those that have helped shape my life during this season…

  • Valerie Pingree – who saw something in me the very first day and captured the vision of The Joy of Card Making from the first moment she laid eyes on it. I owe this all to you!
  • Jennafer Martin – oh, how I have missed her! The e-mails and phone calls over the years as we worked together on The Joy of Card Making series and other special issues when she was managing editor of Paper Crafts.  Jennafer, you are one of the most amazing and influential women in the editorial department and I’m so proud to have worked with you. You deserve your new title more than ANYONE, and I’m a better person for having known you!
  • Nichole Heady – we became Paper Crafts Pro buddies from the very beginning. We’ve shared moments of laughter and late night talks as we discussed everything from our children, snakes that roam her Tennessee backyard and the latest and greatest in paper, ribbon and stamps. I’m so proud of you and your risk to make your dreams come true… Papertrey Ink. I love ya, friend!
  • Alisa Bangerter – There isn’t anyone that is more genuine, honest and sincere than this dear friend. Alisa, you are so very talented and I’m so proud of you! I love watching your segments on KSL as you have taken flight in your own new adventures. I will be the first in line to buy your book… so you better get it written!
  • Melissa Phillips – Seriously, can there be anyone sweeter than you?! Oh, sweet Melissa, how I love ya, girlie! You are THE MOST talented gal I know and best little mommy! Thank you for always being there, listening to me and being a part of this season in my life!
  • Sue Neal – If you haven’t taken a class from Sue, then you are truly missing out! She is one of the best teachers I know and is so full of life. I’m so glad we share some Idaho roots and that we have become such good friends! Best of luck with your cute card kits and I’ll see you at the conventions!
  • Stacy Croninger – There was no one better to take the helm of Paper Crafts after Valerie stepped down than you! I have missed your Laffy Taffy jokes and fun sense of humor! I’m so grateful that you are still a part of this huge family and that I get to see you at the Creating Keepsakes Conventions… I’m such a lucky gal!
  • Cath Edvalson – There really aren’t any words to adequately describe this amazing lady! We have spent several years working together and I have learned so much from her! Cath, I will never forget when you told me you had an “emotional reaction” over a picture frame I created years ago… that is my greatest compliment from you. Thank you!
  • Brenda Peterson – The glue that holds the entire Paper Crafts family together. I have worked with Brenda since that very first day and she is still here to keep everyone going! Thank you for your hard work and making sure I get paid!
  •  Jennifer, Brandy, Kelly and Susan – The rest of the gals that round out the amazing editorial staff of Paper Crafts magazine. Although our time spent together was very short, I’m so grateful that I have had the opportunity to have known and worked with you. Brandy, thank you for your wonderful home where we met many times to brainstorm, laugh and enjoy good food! Kelly, you have taken the blogging world by fire and you are amazing with what you do. Susan, you have added a whole other element to this family… thank you for your presence and hard work! Jennifer – everyone is in good hands with you leading the team. Thank you for your help and understanding during very difficult times.
  • Paper Crafts Loyal Readers – all I can say is… thank you. Thank you for your loyal support every month as you read the pages of this amazing magazine. We all love you!

As with every season in our lives, when one comes to a close, another one begins to come to life. And so it is with my own little journey in life. Although my season with Paper Crafts magazine has come to a close, I’m beyond excited and thrilled for my new season that is just beginning to sprout. As the new Education Coordinator for Piggy Tales, I will be designing classes and traveling across the country doing what I love the very most… teaching! I will also be designing projects galore through our monthly kit club, PTA, and many other assignments and adventures that are about to unfold. So, drop by our web site and you will be able to continue to see me in all that Piggy Tales has to offer… you don’t want to miss out!

And last, but not least, I must thank my sweet husband. He was there that very first day when I had the idea to submit my work. He has encouraged me every step of the way, washed dishes, mopped floors and wiped runny noses from two little faces when I have been buried in deadlines! If it weren’t for him, my dreams would have never come true! I love you, babe!

May we each remember that there truly is a “season and a time to every purpose” as we each journey through life… may you live each season that comes your way to the very fullest!

Wendy, Founding Paper Crafts Pro

P.S. If you’re a new reader and interested in learning more about The Joy of Card Making special issues, we’re currently offering a “Buy One, Get One” sale. If you buy the first volume, you’ll get “A Second Helping” for FREE! Click HERE to reserve your copies today!

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson

Wild blackberries have fully ripened and been kissed by the sun around here. Every year we go out along the Sacramento River banks and bring home these delicious berries for shakes and cobblers. I just finished making our last batch of our favorite strawberry jam and it’s tucked away in our freezer to be enjoyed during the long winter months.

Another favorite around our little home is fresh berry trifle! I layered cake, whipping cream and scrumptious raspberries, strawberries and blackberries in a beautiful trifle bowl for our family to enjoy after dinner the other night. If you haven’t ever made a trifle, you’ve got to try this yummy dessert! 

And speaking of these cute little plump berries… they are EVERYWHERE in our paper crafting world as well!  

KI Memories Strawberry Fields paper

KI Memories Strawberry Fields paper

Doodlebug Tutti Frutti Brads

Doodlebug Tutti Frutti Brads

Basic Grey Bling It Accents

BasicGrey Bling It Accents

4.	Sizzix Die-cuts

Sizzix Die-cuts

Sassafras Lass Accents

Sassafras Lass Accents

Cosmo Cricket Cherry Pie paper

Cosmo Cricket Cherry Pie paper

One of my favorites in the Green Thumb stamp set from Papertrey Ink. Oh, how I love the crisp image of the strawberry! 

I used this cute berry to create this card to give to friends and neighbors with a jar of jam and a warm loaf of bread. I love bringing warmth to those around with me with a little handmade gift and card! 

So, with all of these berry-inspired products and berries spilling over at the farmer’s markets and fruit stands, I would love to hear what your favorite berry is and why!

Have a “berry” wonderful day!

P. Kelly Smith
P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday and the last day of our Card Creations 7 Week celebration! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed your sneak peek of Card Creations, Volume 7 both here and on Moxie Fab World. We’ve had so much fun spotlighting this incredible issue and hope you’ve been sufficiently inspired to go make your own little masterpieces of wonder.

For those of you just joining us today, make sure to read all of our fun posts this week. From talking blossoms and buttons with designer Carla Peicheff to being tickled pink to tying on aprons with Kim Kesti and hitting the jackpot with Susan R. Opel, 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!

Today I’m going to spotlight a few of my favorite cards from CC7, which is really hard to do since there are so many amazing designs! But this first one has a special place in my heart since it was created by a humble editor whose named rhymes with “jelly” (little inside joke around here!).

Yes, little ol’ me pulled out her scraps and created this card that features one of my favorite Emily Dickinson quotes. I made it for my dear 88-year-old Grandma who lost her sweetheart this last February. Since she has the most beautiful singing voice, I knew SIStv’s Music in the Morning paper would resonate with her and “hopefully” put a smile on her face and in her heart.

P. Kelly Smiths Hope Has Feathers Card from CC7

P. Kelly Smith's Hope Has Feathers Card from CC7

My next two favorite cards are all about friendship. These are the kinds of cards I would love to give my best gal pals. And, of course, I would be thrilled to be on the receiving end too! I think it’s the punch of orange and the simple use of the word “friend” that works so brilliantly here.

Maren Benedicts Friends Tree Card and Dawn McVeys Friends Card from CC7

Maren Benedict's Friends Tree Card and Dawn McVey's Friends Card from CC7

And because we’re all friends in this wonderfully connective industry, I’d like you to meet 15 of my friends who just happen to have gorgeous cards in CC7:

  • Charlene Austin                                
  • Ashley Newell                                  
  • Teri Anderson                                   
  • Kim Hughes                                        
  • Carla Peicheff                                   
  • Dawn McVey                                    
  • Betsy Veldman                                 
  • Kim Kesti                                            
  • Alli Miles                                            
  • Maren Benedict                              
  • Melissa Phillips                                
  • Sherry Wright                                   
  • Debbie Olsen                                    
  • Layle Koncar          
  • Beatriz Jennings                             

These talented ladies are also directly related to our big giveaway today! Yes, we’re having another blog hop! Each of these designers will be spotlighting one of the cards they created for CC7. They’ll be talking about products, techniques and anything else their little creative minds desire. Each time you comment on a different blog (one comment per blog, please), your name gets entered to win a free copy of CC7 (there’s 15 up for grabs!) AND one of the ten amazing prize packages we’re giving away here and on Moxie Fab World!

Here on Paper Crafts Connection, we’re giving away five fabulous prize packages! Each prize set contains a collection from Doodlebug Design, Autumn Leaves, Anna Griffin, SEI and Sassafras Lass.

This is ONE prize package! We actually ran out of room on the table, so you can’t see the product from Sassafras Lass!

This is ONE prize package! We actually ran out of room on the table, so you can’t see Sassafras Lass' product!

On Moxie Fab World, Cath is also giving away five amazing prize packages! Each of her prize sets contains a collection from Pink Paislee, My Mind’s Eye, Fancy Pants Designs, Imaginisce and KI Memories.

And this is ONE prize package! Imagine this spread out on your own table!

And this is ONE prize package! Imagine these paper crafting morsels spread out on your table!

So it’s time to go visit my friends! Once you’re done with your blog hop, come back here and leave a comment telling me your favorite project from the 15 designers. And then hop on over to Moxie Fab World and tell Cath whose project you thought was the trendiest. To be eligible for the 10 prize packages, our two Paper Crafts blogs should be the last on your tour. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, June 28. The 10 lucky winners will be announced on Tuesday, June 30!

Happy blog hopping!

P.S. Since it’s never a dull moment around here, make sure you check back here on Monday when we announce the Top 20 finalists in our Gallery Idol 2009 competition! Get ready for some summer fun!

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Kim’s It’s All Right Here post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Linda (June 24, 9:11 a.m.)
2. Tracy T (June 24, 4:51 a.m.)
3. Emma O (June 24, 12:52 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! In addition to winning a copy of Card Creations, Volume 7, each of you will receive BasicGrey’s Bittersweet collection. I’ll be contacting shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

Cath Edvalson

Cath Edvalson

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

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

Feathers Wallpaper from

Animal Farm Wallpaper from

Suzanne Wallpaper from

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

The fire was lit. The inspirer was inspired.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours in sourcing inspiration,

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

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