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Susan R. Opel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take any sketch and make it your own!

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

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

Susan

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! Is this exciting week really over? Say it isn’t so! While all good things must come to an end, we hope you’ve been inspired by the amazing sketches and projects we’ve featured this week. If anything, maybe it’s jump-started your creative battery and you’ve found yourself viewing sketches in a whole new light. Because let’s face it…the possibilities are endless! 

Like Jennifer mentioned yesterday, we do often get caught up in “magazine” time, which is usually 6-7 months ahead of “real” time. Being able to read your comments and see the blog traffic (thank you, by the way!) is thrilling for us because we get to relive the fun of putting together Go-to Sketches. And as you’ve seen from some of the behind-the-scenes photos this week, a good great time was definitely had by all! 

Speaking of “all”…we must thank our fabulous Go-to Gals for all their hard work this week. Someone referred to them as the “Go-to Geniuses” and I think this is an accurate description. (And if we ever get tired of the Go-to Gal title, we’ve got a something else to consider!) We’re gathering for another editorial board meeting in a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to see my sweet GTGs! 

Okay, I’ve rambled long enough…you know it’s Friday, you know it’s coming…”What’s Kelly giving away today,” you ask? Well, I’ve got a special treat for all my Paper Crafts Connection peeps. On Moxie Fab World this week, Cath mentioned our exclusive Go-to Sketches sponsor: Doodlebug Design. In addition to creating some adorable ads for this special issue (in which they used their product to create projects from our sketches!), they took it one step further and are now offering the Go-to Sketches Card Companion Kit. This kit allows you to make ALL 18 Doodlebug cards that are featured in Go-to Sketches. And I’ve got three kits to give away to three lucky winners! PLUS, each winner will receive TWO copies of Go-to Sketches! One to keep and one to give to a friend! All you have to do is leave a comment naming a new blog you discovered from this week’s blog hop. All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Sunday, April 11.

Three lucky winners will take home this fun prize package!

Happy Friday!
Kelly 

P.S. The sketch fun continues on Monday when we spotlight the winners from our first ever Go-to Sketch Challenge! We picked two winners per sketch, so stay tuned to see which four projects really impressed us! And if you feel like participating in Cath’s Go-to Sketches Week Challenge, she’s accepting entries until midnight (MDT) on Monday, April 26. Click HERE for more details!

Jennifer Schaerer

Jennifer Schaerer

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

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

Oh, the laughter! The teasing! 

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

Brian Smith of BPD Studios

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

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

Go-to Sketches group shot

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

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

The audience

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

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

Checking the monitor

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

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

Maren and Jess taking a break

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

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

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

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

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

Jennifer 

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

Kim Kesti

If you’re lucky enough to already own a copy of the new Paper Crafts Go-to Sketches, then you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say “over the top inspiration”. I was totally “wowed” just by looking at the gorgeous cover!

Well, that’s nothing compared to my delight in every single page of this very special issue. Gasp, grin and giggle pretty much describe my reaction. Then, it was off to my scrap room to act on all that inspiration.

Not only are sketches fun and easy to use, they are also super versatile. Let me show you. First, I picked out this simple sketch (I love the scallops).

I have a sister-in-law who recently had a baby, so I wanted to make a small gift bag. I thought this sketch would be perfect for a baby theme. Since I had a specific size to work with, I chose to paint a scalloped square directly on my patterned paper. Then, I simply added a cardstock strip, flower and stickers. I love how it turned out.

Of course, sketches are perfect for cards, too. I’m feeling the love for the baby stuff now, so I continue on and made a baby card. This time I turned the sketch upside down for a little different look.

I freehand cut my scallops and added a little paint swoosh here and there. A ribbon tie and a few small accents are all I needed to finish this little cutie.

Why not round it out by making a little tag, too? I love having a few tags in my stash to tuck into small gifts.

I kept pretty true to the sketch by making my tag a square; then, I used a scalloped square punch, two little pieces of ribbon and an epoxy for my sentiment. This was super fast and easy to create!

Now, I know you really want a chance to win a copy of this new special issue – am I right? All you have to do is leave me a comment and tell me about the last time you paper crafted a NON-card project. What did you create? Scrapbook pages, home décor, a gift bag?  You have until midnight (MDT) on Thursday, April 8 to leave a comment and be entered to win one of three copies!

Happy Sketch Days!

Kim Kesti,
Paper Crafts Go-to Gal

P.S. Some of the other Go-to Gals are making a bag, a tag and a card from this very same sketch! Make sure you visit their blogs to see their interpretations. And I hear Cath is hosting her Go-to Sketch Challenge on Moxie Fab World today. Feel like getting sketchy? Hop on over to see the fun!

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Kelly’s Go-to Sketches Photo Shoot post!

1. Cynthia B. (April 5, 11:22 p.m.)
2. Melanie Gleisner (April 5, 3:27 p.m.)
3. Nicole Maki (April 5, 10:03 a.m.)

Congrats, ladies! You’ve each won a copy of Go-to Sketches! Kelly will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

P. Kelly Smith

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

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

Click on the cover image to order your copy today!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Monday!
Kelly 

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

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

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

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

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!
Kelly 

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!

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday! Hopefully little traces of spring are popping up in your corner of the world. April is almost here! 

Normally we spotlight our Gallery Challenge winners on the first Monday of the month, but next Monday, April 5, we’re kicking off our highly anticipated Go-To Sketches Week! Expect a ton a fun here, on Moxie Fab World and each of our Go-to Gals’ blogs. 

But before visions of sketches dance through our heads, let’s pay tribute to our three March Gallery Challenge winners. These three ladies reminded us how sweet it is to welcome a new little one or congratulate the happy couple. 

Winner #1 – Agnieszka Malyszek:    

We fell in love with Aga's sweet Onesie Baby Card.

Winner #2 – Nina Brackett:   

And what couple wouldn't love to receive Nina Brackett's Congratulations Card.

Winner #3 – Lynn Miller:   

Lynn Miller's cute Welcome Home Card could double as a baby or wedding card.

Congratulations, ladies! Each of you has won either a one-year subscription to Paper Crafts or the special issue of your choice. I’ll be contacting you shortly to discuss your prizes. If you’re interested in seeing all the baby and wedding-themed projects from the March challenge, please visit our gallery HERE.   

Wanna join the fun and participate in our next challenge? We just launched our Go-to Sketch Challenge last Monday. This two-week challenge will run through midnight (MDT) on Monday, April 5. We’ll also announce the theme for our April Gallery Challenge next Monday, so stay tuned for more details. 

Happy Monday!
Kelly   

P.S. It’s time to announce the winner from Betsy’s Playing Dress Up post, the winner from Susan’s Happy Little Easter Eggs ala Kim Kesti post and the three winners from my Marvelous Markers post! 

Betsy’s winner: 

Carolyn G. (March 24, 6:39 p.m.)  

Susan’s winner: 

Cheryl Sims (March 25, 11:35 a.m.) 

My winners: 

1. Charlene (March 26, 1:53 p.m.)
2. Shannon (March 26, 6:09 a.m.)
3. Kelly Climer (March 26, 9:58 a.m.)
 

Congrats, ladies! I’ll be contacting you shortly to discuss your prizes and get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments! 

Jennifer Schaerer

I admit it — I struggle to write the editor’s note in each issue. Not because I’m ever short on words (just ask my long-suffering husband), but more that I want the message to be useful and relevant since that page is some pretty valuable real estate. I’m sure it would be better used on featuring a project or three, right? 

When I started doodling the figures for our newest special issue, hoping the numbers would tell me a story that translated into something worthy of this spectacular publication, I realized that the issue is really beyond the term “special.” 

It’s turned out to be what we hope will be a true collector’s item – a collaboration between 6 Go-to Gals, who each created 11 sketches, which were the inspiration for 60 other contributors that resulted in 282 magnificent projects. So, my sketchy math says that 6 x 11 + 60 = 282. 

So now you have 282 great reasons to get yourself a copy of Go-to Sketches

Get your own copy of Go-to Sketches at http://www.ShopScrapAndPaperCorner.com today!

There’s fun in every page, and talent at every turn. There’s more to come (you DO know that we like to throw little promotional parties here and on the Moxie Fab World blog when we have a new special issue, don’t you?) so I won’t reveal everything, but I will say that we had an absolute blast at the photo shoot for this one. The giggling, preening, teasing, and overall friendship between this energetic group of women was something to stand back and soak in. Getting a group shot was…well, probably as challenging as you imagine it would be. 

The good news is that we've got PLENTY of outtakes for future use!

We’ve heard that the issues are on the newsstands and in your LSS already, so run (don’t walk!) to the nearest one to get yourself a copy. You know I’ve probably got one to give away, right? And that I’ll probably ask you to leave me a comment for a chance to win it, right? And that you need to do that by midnight (MDT) this Thursday, March 25, right? 

Guess what? 

You’re right. 

Stay tuned for more fun to come,
Jennifer

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday and Paper Crafts latest installment of the trivia game I-Spy! Just in time for spring (the first day is tomorrow!), today’s giveaway is all about lovely, blooming trees!  

Get ready to play because I’m picking five winners this time! (Each winner’s prize package is literally growing right before my eyes! If you win, you will not be disappointed!) 

You must have a copy of our spring-infused March/April 2010 issue in front of you. All 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. She mentions that there are 19 first-timer designers in this issue. Name the three designers whose last names begin with the letter “S”. 

2. I spy our Paper Crafts Connection column. In honor of World Card Making Day, how many international bloggers participated in Cath’s World Tour of Card Making on the Moxie Fab World blog? 

3. I spy our Go-to Sketches column. How did designer Aly Dosdall create the sun rays in her UR My Sunshine Card? (It’s pure genius!) 

4. I spy our Color Play column. How many green pearl accents are on Layle Koncar’s Spring Card? (Look closely!) 

5. I spy our Shimmer & Shine feature. How did designer Kimberly Crawford get her rhinestones to perfectly match the yellow umbrella in her Cheer Up, Buttercup Card? 

6. I spy our Thanks & Congrats feature. Name the two designers who each have three-step cards in this feature. 

7. I spy an ad for our 2010 Stamping Royalty Card Contest. When must entries be postmarked by? (Hint: There’s still time submit!) 

8. I spy our Designer Challenge Your Choice: Pick Any Three feature. What three supplies did designer Maile Belles use to create her Thank You Button Card? 

9. I spy our Lovely as a Tree feature. What quote is featured on Go-to Gal Maren Benedict’s Plant Hope Card? (BTW, this Unity stamp set is up for grabs today!) 

10. I spy our Tips, Tools, & Techniques column. Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Kim Kesti paper crafted six REAL eggs – just in time for Easter! Name two of the six techniques shown in the column. (To find out how she achieved this eggscellent look, click HERE!) 

Five random winners (who answer five or more questions correctly) will win a selection of product we feature in this issue’s Product Parade and Sweepstakes columns. (Just turn to pages 80-81 for a closer look!) To play, please enter your answers in the comment field below this entry. All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Sunday, March 21.  

Five lucky winners will receive an assortment of this tree-licious product!

Good luck!
Kelly

Susan R. Opel

Last month while teaching at a Creating Keepsakes Convention in Kentucky, I had the opportunity to meet Windy Robinson, a talented card designer who’s been published in Paper Crafts magazine. She told me an inspiring story about how she became the paper crafter that she is today, and I knew that I wanted to share it with all of you! So, read on for Windy’s story…

Windy’s story: Every year my best crafting buddy and I attend a CKC event. We’ve been fortunate enough to attend CKC-Louisville just two hours from our hometown of Cincinnati for the past two years, but I’ll admit that we’ve gleefully driven 5-6 hours to hit CKC-Nashville. You just can’t beat a weekend of quality crafting time with your girlfriends, abundant new products to buy and new things to learn by taking great classes from the pros.

It’s amazing what can happen in a very short period of time. I say this because it’s hard to believe that it was only a little over a year ago when I made my first card…ever! I entered it in the Paper Crafts Card Contest at CKC-Louisville.

Windy created her You Make Me Smile Card using product she bought at the CKC vendor faire last month.

Prior to making my first card, I was die-hard scrapbooker. I made my first scrapbooks over 12 years ago when I was in college, with magnetic albums and construction paper–yikes! After making that first card and taking a few classes at CKC, I instantly became addicted to card making. This addiction has been one of life’s little surprises for me. I never would have dreamt that I’d be a card maker, but what I hadn’t realized was that card making and scrapbooking naturally go hand in hand.

I began a blog where I shared cards that I’d made from the remnants of my scrapbook pages. Within a few months of sharing my work, seeing others’ inspiring work and playing along with the challenges at Paper Crafts Connection and Moxie Fab World, my card designs started to take over as the inspiration for my scrapbook layouts.

Windy’s classy and elegant style often includes a big dramatic silk ribbon.

As the months progressed, I started developing my style as a designer, submitting my work to Paper Crafts for publication, and building fabulous relationships with paper crafters from all around the world. The end result is that now I am a die-hard card maker (who scrapbooks), and I’ve even been asked to join the design teams for GCD Studios and Piggy Tales Academy

I love to share and learn, and this wonderful craft enables us all to do that on so many levels. Better yet, I have learned how to define my scrapbook designs, and I’m loving my layouts even more now. The moral of this story is that you can surprise yourself, but only if you give it a shot. So submit, share and most importantly, don’t stop creating!

Windy and I pause for a photo after the Paper Crafts Card Swap at CKC-Louisville.

Thanks for sharing your story, Windy. And to think that it all started because of a fun and crafty weekend with her girlfriends!

Have you ever attended a CKC event? Follow this link and see if there’s one in your neck of the woods. It might well be a weekend you’ll never forget (for all the right reasons!). 

Join me in giving Windy some Paper Crafts love!
Susan

P.S. You can see more of Windy’s cards in our current issue, as well as our May/June and July/August issues. Her projects will also be appearing in our upcoming special issues – Go-to Sketches (on sale March 23) and Card Creations, Volume 8.

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