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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. 


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!


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!

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!

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! Hopefully you’ve heard a few good things about our new special issue Go-to Sketches. If you’re still curious about what this magazine is all about, it’s essentially 162 pages spotlighting 282 projects, inspired by 66 sketches. Got that? 

To add to all that fun, each Paper Crafts Go-to Gal has their own section (complete with a one-page introduction!) that features projects made from each of their 11 new sketches. And as Matt pointed out yesterday, the fun part about creating this issue was shooting everything on white. The result: 282 projects and 66 sketches that “pop” off the page! 

So are you ready for Go-to Sketches Week? Once again we’re partnering with creative editor Cath Edvalson and her Moxie Fab World blog to bring you five days of sketch-filled fun. In addition, because our Go-to Gals are featured so prominently in this issue, all six of them will be involved in our very special promotional week. I’d love to spill the beans, but I’m sworn to secrecy! It’s going to be THAT cool! 

In honor of Easter this weekend, I thought I would share a “hoppy” project from the pages of Go-to Sketches. The talented Heidi Van Laar created this adorable Easter Basket Card from one of Betsy Veldman’s sketches. To download the pattern for this card, please click HERE

Heidi Van Laar's Easter Basket Card can be found on p. 114.

Isn’t that just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen? And because I believe grown-ups should have Easter baskets too, I’ve got a few goodies to put in yours! Leave a comment telling me your favorite Easter candy and I’ll pick three winners to receive a fun paper collection from A Muse Artstamps, Pink Paislee’s Vintage Pop stamp set, a Paper Crafts Connection button AND a copy of Go-to Sketches! The Easter Bunny is feeling very generous this year! All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Sunday, April 4. 

Three lucky winners will take home this fun prize package!

Happy Easter!

P.S. Between now and Sunday, April 4, you can purchase Go-to Sketches through our online store and save 20%! Click HERE to buy your copy!

Matt Anderson

Hello, friends! It’s been awhile since you last heard from me. (I’ve been a little busy with my new role as art director, teaching design classes at a local college and coaching my son’s football team).

So when Kelly suggested it was time for me to blog again, I told her it had to be something I was passionate about.

Enter Go-to Sketches.

First, let me just say that Go-to Sketches is a must have for any paper crafter. It’s full of useful tips, creative sketches, big color images and personal quotes from all our Paper Crafts Go-to Gals. Plus, it was a lot of fun to create, which I had a little something to do with.

My white props played a subtle role in this graphic cover.

My concept was to go clean, simple and basic with everything shot on white. I wanted the projects and their colors to “pop” off the page. The projects, sketches and our Go-to Gals themselves were the highlight of this issue, and I wanted them to shine respectively.

The idea to shoot everything on white was simple as far as thought processes goes, and it worked really well. So well in fact that I’ve started integrating this white on white look into the columns and departments of our regular Paper Crafts issues. The fun part in creating this special issue and our very first edition of Go-to Sketches, was the preparation – even though it was a lot more extra work. I took older props and paper crafting tools from our resource room and spray painted them white, along with my arms, fingers, shoes and pants.

Can you see the fine dusting of white paint on my shoes?

When I was done painting, this was our arsenal of props for this issue.

This issue is priceless when it comes to resource and shelf value. Trust me ladies…you’re going to want to run out and get this one! If you already have it, I’d love to hear what you think of the overall design. My humble ego could use some positive reinforcement. Editor’s Note: That cheeky Kelly added that last line just to make fun of me. It’s not easy pleasing this all-female team!

Your Paper Crafts Art Director,
Matt Anderson

Susan R. Opel

In the last year, we’ve shared all sorts of crazy Paper Crafts fun with you. If you scroll through the last 12 months of our blog, you’ll see that we work really hard, but we also have lots of good times, too. Having a great job is all well and good, but when you can call your colleagues friends, that’s pretty stinkin’ cool.  

Kelly recently called me the team cheerleader (ooh, I like that title!), so I’ve gathered a synopsis of the silly, mundane and cool things that we’ve done since this blog’s inception.

Can I get a Go! Fight! Win! Paper Crafts

This is one of my favorite pictures of the Paper Crafts team.

We’ve had six interns in the last year, and each has brought her own personality to our team. I always loved seeing their blog posts with their impressions of what it’s like to work in our office. I think we’ve turned a few of them into paper crafters. But really, how can they resist? 

Thanks Courtney, Brynn, Lindy, Nicki, Melinda, and Sarie!

You also got the chance to look into our daily lives with meetings, an office tour, photo shoot preparation and us just generally loving each other. We keep busy in our offices and cubicles bringing you the magazine, but we take time to chit-chat sometimes, too. 

Getting the job done, Paper Crafts’s style

But we’re not confined to the office, no siree! We’ve been out in the world together on many occasions. A crew of us visited Disneyland, four of us saw Celine Dion in concert, the whole gang painted plates at a do-it-yourself pottery place, many of us participated in card group and we even had a field trip to the Making Memories office. 

We work and play hard!

As a card making magazine, it probably comes as no surprise that we LOVE to celebrate every little holiday possible. From Halloween (oh, those polygamist brides of Frankenstein!) to St. Patrick’s Day (any reason to dress in a theme) to the Super Bowl (don’t let that Steelers jersey fool you – Go COLTS!). 

Give us a holiday, and we’ll find a way to celebrate!

And what would we do without our friends? We love having visitors stop by, and when they do it’s hugs all around. When are you going to stop by? 

We love to grab a picture when friends stop by.

So what do you want to see in the upcoming months from the Paper Crafts team? I’ve got three new Imaginisce collections and three of our Betty t-shirts to give away to three lucky commenters. Leave a comment by Friday, Feb. 5 at midnight (MST), and you might just win! 

Your Paper Crafts cheerleader,

P.S. It’s time to announce the winner from Brandy’s A Year of Giving Back post!

Jess (Feb. 2, 8:53 a.m.)

Congrats, Jess! You’ve won two prize packages! One for yourself and one to give to a friend! Kelly will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing address. Thanks to all who left comments!

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!

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.)

Melinda Dann

Does anyone remember the Sesame Street book There’s a Monster at the End of This Book? It starred Grover, and he spends the entire book trying to keep you from getting to the end because he’s scared of the monster that’s supposed to be there. He even attempts to build a brick wall to keep you from turning the page, but the reader has no problems tearing it to the ground. In the end, it turns out that he, lovable Grover, is the monster at the end of the book. 

I loved this book as a tiny tot (and still do today…I wish I still had my copy.) 

As I near the end of my time here at Paper Crafts, I kind of feel like Grover, as he was trying to keep me from getting to the end of the book. Not because I’m scared of what happens at the end, but because I feel there is so much more I could learn, and I’m going to miss everyone here. (Except Matt who I see all the time at school.) It was over so quickly, and I can’t help but wonder if there was anything I missed…any lesson that I could have learned better.

I do know that I appreciate Matt as a teacher more (and I’m not trying to be a teacher’s pet here – it’s actually true.) It’s much more fun to go into class knowing more about him and where he’s coming from. I also know that he cares a lot more about us as students that he lets on during critique. (I’m on to you, Matt.) 🙂

So, as much as I would like to build a brick wall and keep Friday from coming, I’m glad for the opportunities I had here, and I’m excited for what’s next for me! Thank you everyone for a great internship!

Your lovable design intern,

P.S. Susan tells me the submissions deadline for Card Creations, Volume 8 is TONIGHT at midnight! Hurry and submit those amazing ideas HERE!

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Kelly’s Conspiracy of Love post!

1. Nancy L. (Dec. 11, 11:18 a.m.)
2. Michelle A. (Dec, 11, 12:26 p.m.)
3. Dawnll (Dec. 11, 4:26 p.m.)

Congrats, ladies! You’ve each won a copy of Holidays Cards & More, Volume 4 and some fun paper crafting product! Kelly will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!


Jennifer Schaerer

Although I’ve poked fun at the blending of seasons that starts sometime in September and ends December 25, especially since I live life in “magazine time” nowadays, there’s something about the spirit of Christmas that warms me to my toes and makes my Elf DNA kick in waaaaaay too early. My long-suffering husband (the original Grinch) wants to box me up with my Christmas decorations when I start humming carols in August. I just can’t help it! I start thinking about Christmas when we’re about halfway there — in late June.

But based on your response to our lunchtime conversation last week, it sounds like Brandy and I are in the definite minority when it comes to getting a jump start on the holidays. Y’all have a hard-and-fast rule about the integrity of Thanksgiving celebrations and don’t ever toss the turkey and gratitude in a Cuisinart with the Christmas trees and carols.

In spite of the commercial fuel that gets my holiday engine revving, I really love this blended and extended season for the focus on gratitude and giving — large or small, short or tall, it’s all about appreciating what we have and then sharing the love wherever we can for as long as we can.

So for you, the members of the Paper Crafts family for whom we are so very grateful, I bring you Melinda’s hard work and gift to you.

If you’re scanning this post in a reader or RSS feed, you might want to click on through and check out our new look:

Just for you! A new banner for Paper Crafts Connection!

And this will be the gift that just keeps on giving…since some of you may know that our Lone Design Man Matt likes to help Cath mess around with the banners over at Moxie Fab World, you can keep an eye out for the same attention to design detail here as we continue to make personal connections through the art of paper crafting. Maybe we’ll change the wallpaper. Or the mug. Or the look of her outfit. Stay tuned!

Whether your gratitude is the centerpiece of a table laden with turkey and stuffing or a holiday that’s all about giving and sharing, I’m right there with you in spirit.

Happy Merrygiving,


P. Kelly Smith

Happy Halloween! Yesterday I revealed the theme of our highly anticipated team costume: The Seven Brides of Frankenstein. (Well, technically it was nine brides since our two interns agreed to join in on the fun! The more the merrier, right?)

Jennifer was kind enough to make all the brides these amazing black and white tulle veils. Add a wardrobe of black fish net stockings, a little black dress and some ghoulish make-up and hair, and we’re ready to meet our handsome Frankie at the Paper Crafts alter.

Here comes the brides! What do you think of our official wedding portrait?

Frankenstein a.k.a. Matt Anderson

Black Widow Bride a.k.a. Jennifer Schaerer

Creative Bride a.k.a. Cath Edvalson

Somber-But-Not-Sober Bride a.k.a. Cath Edvalson

Bun-In-The-Oven Bride a.k.a. Brandy Jesperson

Diamond Ice Bride a.k.a. P. Kelly Smith

Fiery Vixen Bride a.k.a. Susan R. Opel

Don't-Mess-With-Me Bride a.k.a. Brenda Peterson

Happy-Go-Lucky Bride a.k.a. Holly Mills

Mysterious Vamp Bride a.k.a. Melinda Dann

Not-So-Sure Bride a.k.a. Sarie Smith

As you can see, we had a very good time at the wedding! A special thanks goes out to “Frankie” for putting up with nine crazy, hormonal bridezillas!

Here’s hoping your Halloween is a memorable one!

P.S. Make sure you check back with us on Monday when we spotlight the three winners from our October Gallery Challenge! With 469 submissions, there was a lot of spooktacular projects to choose from!


P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! Did you know that October 30, the day before Halloween, is known as Mischief Night? According to tradition, preteens and teenagers are known to play pranks on their neighbors as a way to kick off the Halloween festivities. Common pranks include soaping car windows, egging houses, adorning trees with toilet paper and running away after ringing doorbells.

While it always stinks to be on the receiving end of a prank, it sure is fun to pull a harmless prank every now and then – especially around the spookiest time of the year. {Disclaimer: If you are a teenager reading this right now, please don’t tell your mother that I said it was okay to egg your next door neighbor’s house. If you choose to be mischievous, be prepared to accept the consequences for getting caught!}

In the mood for some mischievous cards? I recently came across these two Halloween cards from Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Maren Benedict. Featured in Card Creations, Volume 7, they both scream mischief and fun. Leave a comment telling me a mischievous prank you’ve pulled in your life. I’ll randomly select three winners to take home Cosmo Cricket’s Haunted collection – the same collection Maren used on these fun cards. All comments must  be received by midnight (MDT) on Sunday, Nov. 1.

Maren Benedict's Spooky and Goofy Pumpkins Card from Card Creations, Vol. 7.

Speaking of mischief…our art director Matt has definitely been up to no good. Apparently all the long hours in his dark laboratory (office) have finally taken its toll. He now grunts when asked a question and lately there seems to be a lot of steam coming out of his head. To make matters even worse, he’s now taken up with seven crazy women! (well, nine if you count our impressionable interns!) Yes, Matt has become the misunderstood Frankenstein and we are his seven brides. How’s that for a team costume?!

Look for a special blog post tomorrow, where I’ll reveal pictures from our day at the office as Mrs. Matt Anderson. (Hopefully the real Mrs. Anderson is a good sport!) Congrats go out to Ellie Augustin (Sept. 22, 6:14 a.m.)! Even though we didn’t exactly go with her “Count Dracula/Vixen” idea (from Jennifer’s Merry Hallowistmas! post), she definitely inspired us to go down to the monster path. Ellie, I’ll be contacting you shortly to discuss your fun prize!

Here’s to having fun (and being safe!) on Mischief Night!

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