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Jennifer Schaerer

It used to be that we only got a peek into the craft rooms of our readers via the survey we circulated once each year. That information was, and still is, like spun gold to us.  

The reason? It’s important that we bring you a series of regular issues and special interest publications showcasing just what you want to see, exactly when you want to see it.  

That right there has always been our challenge, mainly because we work about six or seven months in advance to orchestrate the perfect symphony of new products, trends and paper crafted projects that come together in a way that’s music to your ears.  

But now with this blog, Facebook, meet-and-greets at trade shows and very engaging message boards, we hear what you think on a much more frequent basis. And sometimes? We get feedback within minutes. Minutes.  

One thing we know for sure: you are STAMPERS.  

Lots of stampers swung by our booth at CHA to celebrate the release of Stamp It! Cards.

According to our most recent survey, 85% of you use stamping most often. Naturally, right behind that on the list of techniques is inking and aging, heat embossing and coloring images with markers. You stamp alphabets and backgrounds, but mostly it’s more like images and sentiments.  

Your favorite projects to make are cards, followed in distant second place by scrapbook layouts and then by gifts. If you were in charge of the magazine, you’d be sure that projects were more plentiful than anything else but techniques would be the thing that gave project count a run for its money.  

Here’s what we like best, though — you look through our magazine and decide to make a project you’ve seen because you’re inspired by the style. It’s an added bonus if you have the supplies on hand already.  

So I’m going to make it easy on you, and be sure that you’re both inspired by the style AND have the supplies on hand. How about some bright and cheerful stamps from American Crafts?  

Could you, perhaps, be inspired by the Herbs collection of clear stamps from American Crafts?

And since you’re all about heat embossing too, maybe you need some Zing:  

Meet the color Leaf -- it will be joined by friends Rouge, Wave, Apricot and Silver!

All you have to do is tell me what your stamp style is. Are you more fun and cute, clean and graphic, classy and elegant or shabby chic/vintage? I’m going to snag three of you who comment and send you not only the stamp set and Zing colors I mentioned above, but also a copy of Stamp It! Cards and one of our super duper extra special Stamp It! Cards buttons from CHA Winter. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, Feb. 24.  

Maybe you’ll be inspired to the highest level and find your next project on one of our covers, just like Lynn Ghahary did with Stamp It! Cards.  

Cover Girl Lynn Ghahary with her very first showing!

Happy stamping, my friends!

P.S. It’s time to hop over to the Moxie Fab World! I hear the Tuesday Trigger this week comes directly from the pages of Stamp It! Cards. Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Kim Hughes gains inspiration from one of Kimberly Crawford’s 12 gorgeous cards. There’s also an opportunity for two commenters to win four different Gina K Designs stamp sets!

Jennifer Schaerer

Jennifer Schaerer

The energy wave from CHA is still rolling through our world, and we really enjoyed being able to connect with you in real time right here on our blog, on our Facebook fan page and with Twitter updates (Paper Crafts Go-to Gal Teri Anderson sure was busy with her tweets, wasn’t she?). Cath was updating the Moxie Fab World fan page on Facebook as well, so we hope you felt like you were at least right there with us in spirit. 

But spirit isn’t touchable or wearable, now is it? It sure would be nice if you maybe had something of your own from the show to make it all better, right? 

Shhhh…don’t tell anyone…I was just a little bit sneaky at the show and told a few teensy weensy itty bitty white lies about being out of certain buttons and t-shirts. And I also tucked away some card kits from our workshop…you know, just in case I might need them for something…something like a share-the-CHA-love giveaway right here on the Paper Crafts Connection blog! 

Whaddya think? Should I? 

Okay! Let’s do it! I’ve got t-shirts: 

Paper Crafts t-shirt

The shirt that advertises your priorities for all to see!

 I’ve also got some of each button we handed out: 

It's definitely time to get stampy!

Not now honey, I'm reading my Paper Crafts

Just in case the t-shirt doesn't say it all for you!

Paper Crafts Connection blog

Your home for all things paper crafty -- the Paper Crafts Connection blog!

And, to bring you right into the touch-it-feel-it part of CHA, I’ll also toss in the five card kits from Kim Hughes’ workshop so you can whip up some of your own: 

That's a custom sentiment drawn by Go-to Gal Kim Hughes!

Such a sweet gift card holder!

A quick and cute hello -- with another custom Kim Hughes drawing that you can color with markers!

A fun card using Cosmo Cricket's Early Bird collection

This card is simpler than it looks!

If you want one of these yummy CHA care packages, just let me know. Raise your hand and yell “Me! Me! Me!” or whatever it takes to get my attention. Leave a comment by midnight this Saturday, January 30 (which also happens to be the deadline for our 2010 Reader Survey — have you completed it yet?) and I’ll pick 10 random winners


P.S. Cath is featuring Kelly as an Editor’s Choice over on Moxie Fab World blog today. Click HERE to read all about her secret love affair with buttons! (And, yes, there’s a button giveaway!) 

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners of Teri’s Stamptastic Storage Solutions post! 

1. Jan B. (Jan. 20, 7:54 p.m.)
2. Diane S. (Jan. 21, 4:05 a.m.)
3. Shelly Abbs (Jan. 20, 9:55 a.m.) 

Congrats, winners! You’ve each won a copy of Stamp It! Cards! Kelly will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

Maren Benedict

I’m writing from CHA! I love capturing the spirit and excitement that comes from this event. 

It’s all about AMAZING new product and reconnecting with people from all over the world who ‘get it’. 

I am, as many attest, always taking photos at these special events. Here are my top three so far:

Lovely ladies! From left: Teri Anderson, Ashley Harris, Kim Hughes and Kim Kesti

Check out Susan's sparkly tank top...GORGEOUS!

Hmm…I wonder why I like this one so much?

I promise to share hundreds more in the next few days, but until then, I’d love to hear what caption would go perfectly with them. Leave a comment by midnight on Thursday, Jan. 28 and I’ll pick one person to receive some goodies from CHA. Be sure to tell me which picture you’re commenting on!

Maren Benedict,
Paper Crafts Go-to Gal

P.S. If you just can’t wait to see my hundreds of pictures, hop on over to the Paper Crafts Fan Page on Facebook. The editors have been posting some product sneak peeks, plus a few incriminating ones of us after-hours!

Sarie Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday! I love the start of a new week. The time when you can forget your mistakes, incorporate new strengths and move forward with renewed motivation and energy. 

Soon I’ll be leaving Paper Crafts to explore other endeavors, so I’m also doing a little reflecting today. I have learned so much here, and truth be told, I’ll be sad to leave. 

However, I’ve been thinking about a Facebook thread that started last week on the Paper Crafts Fan Page, and since I previously promise to reveal more office secrets, I think I’ll let you all in on some great tips that go right along with it. 

The thread asked the question, “How do you use the supply lists that appear in all of our issues?”  

Many readers replied with comments like: 

  • “I love to see new products and find out more about them”
  • “I look at the supplies so I can find the manufacturer online and buy it”  
  • “I always look at the supplies list and take the magazine with me when I go shopping”                                                                                                

I loved reading all of these comments because I spend A LOT of time writing them to ensure their accuracy. However, there were a few readers who commented that: 

  • “Most of them [are too] confusing to sort through”
  • “I do get frustrated when I find out that paper(s) used are last year’s and hard to find”

Whether you fit in with the first group of commenters or the second, I think you will find these tips very helpful. Of course, every manufacturer (MFR) is referenced, so that’s the first place to start. 

First I am going to break down this online bonus card from our January/February issue as an example:  

Turtle Love Card by Maren Benedict

SUPPLIES:  Cardstock: (Ocean Tides) Papertrey Ink  Patterned paper: (Cheerful Charlie, Handsome Henry, Elements from Lil’ Man collection) Cosmo Cricket  Rubber stamp: (turtle, heart from You + Me = Happy set) Unity Stamp Co.  Dye ink: (Tuxedo Black) Tsukineko  Rub-on: (sentiment) Cosmo Cricket  Fibers: (red ribbon) Michaels  Finished size: 5 1/2″ x 4 1/4″ 

  • The category of the supply is always italicized. Highlighted in yellow.
  • The product name or description and the collection or set it comes from are always in parenthesis. If there is more than one patterned paper from the same company it will be separated by commas in the parenthesis. If there are papers from different designers there will be more than one set of parenthesis in the same category. Products highlighted in green, collections/ sets highlighted in pink.
  • The MFR always follows the parenthesis that has their product in it. Highlighted in blue.

More tips for a few tricky categories: 

  1. Patterned paper is referenced by name and collection, so when you look up the manufacturer the easiest way to find it is to look for the collection. This way you can find the specific paper used and a lot of other great coordinating papers and elements as well.
  2. Stamps are listed by name or description and set. Some companies sell stamps individually, so a set name won’t be listed. Don’t worry…just find the manufacturer and use their web site search engine. Also, if you search a keyword (“Love” instead of “Love Your Face”) on their site, other stamps along those same lines will show up and you might even find a different one that fits your style better.
  3. Embellishments are usually commonized and just listed with the MFR because we want you to know you can really use anything like it. If there is a certain element that you thought worked perfect with the papers and you see it’s the same manufacturer that made the paper, look at the embellishments from that same collection—it’s probably there.

***If you still can’t find the item you are wanting because it’s older product or the manufacturer doesn’t sell product on their web site, Google the item name or collection and the company. Then click on the shopping results link. This usually brings up the right product and gives you several options of places to buy from. You can find great deals by doing this. 

Thanks for stopping by today. Hopefully some of these tips have been helpful to you. I’m off to write my next supply list! 

Your Paper Crafts Intern,
Sarie Smith 

P.S. If you’re not a member of the Paper Crafts Fan Page on Facebook, then you’re missing out on lots of great conversation and tips from designers alike. You should take a quick break from reading this and become a fan RIGHT NOW! (I hear the editors are posting lots of fun sneak peeks from CHA!) 

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners of Kelly’s Off to CHA We Go post! 

1. Christy Q. (Jan. 22, 6:44 a.m.)
2. Rose (Jan. 22, 11:29 a.m.)
3. Chris (Jan. 22, 4:55 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! You’ve won one of our sassy new t-shirts! So many of you said “Betty” was the ideal name, so stay tuned to see if this becomes official. Winners, Kelly will be contacting you later this week to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

Susan R. Opel

This morning when you awoke, did you feel a certain tingle in your toes? Were you feeling more chipper than usual, too? You know why that is, right? 

Oh, yes, Stamp It! Cards goes on sale TODAY! 

On the Paper Crafts Facebook Fan Page we asked our readers what their favorite special issue from 2009 was. Why, Stamp It! Cards, of course! And it really does make sense. If you’re looking for card making inspiration and you love to stamp – this issue is the be-all end-all of stamping and paper crafting nirvana. 

Click on the cover to order your copy today!

Do you hear the angels singing with joy? 

Our reader survey (Have you taken it yet? There’s still time!) tells us that almost all of our readers use stamps, but even the non-stamper will be inspired by the colorful, trendy and inspiring cards. There’s so much to love! 

Do you like what you see so far? Silly question, right? Be sure to mark your calendar for the week of February 22-26th where we’ll host a Stamp It! Cards promotional week here on Paper Crafts Connection as well as on the Moxie Fab World blog. Kelly and Cath will share all sorts of insights and fabulousness from this amazing issue, and I’m pretty sure there will be some prizes involved. 

Since Stamp It! Cards is one of our most popular issues, we’re even throwing a little party next week at the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Trade Show in Anaheim, CA, to celebrate. We’ll be giving out these awesome buttons. How cute are they?  


Do you want to win one of these buttons? Read on… 

To win one of these limited edition Stamp It! Cards buttons and a few stamps to get you stamping, I’d love to hear your answer to one of the following questions

  • What was the very first stamp you bought?
  • If you could create your very own stamp, what would it be?

Leave me a comment by Wednesday, Jan. 20th at midnight (MST), and you might just win! We’ll announce three winners on Monday, Jan. 25th

Yours in Stamp It! Love!

P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Kelly’s He Said, She Said post! Kelly’s own sister picked these as her favorite card sentiments and said reading them made her feel instantly better.

1. Summer Braxton (Jan. 15, 8:18 a.m.) 

Picture #1: speech bubble over Lexus’ head: “Get better soon ‘cuz this guy’s a mess without you.” 

2. Michelle A. (Jan. 15, 11:39 a.m.)  

Picture #1: “Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. Wish I could offer you my blanket but Charlie back there stole it!” 

3. Patty (Jan. 15, 4:15 p.m.) 

Picture #2: “Oooh – you’re sick. Want company in that big bed of yours?” 

Congrats, ladies! You’ve each won a copy of Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2. Kelly will be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

Susan R. Opel

At this very minute, I am in my home state of Michigan for Christmas, and I’m seriously giddy! There’s nothing like being surrounded by family and friends, you know?

Today I am getting together with my college roommate and suitemates for a little reunion. The four of us had some hilarious and fun times at Concordia College, Ann Arbor, MI, in the early 90’s jamming out to EMF and Vanilla Ice. Now 18 years later, it’ll be exciting to share our experiences since then.

Tomorrow, I’ll be gathering with all sorts of old friends from my alma mater, Valley Lutheran High School for a night of karaoke and reminiscing. We’re all a little older and grayer (underneath the hair color), but we still know how to rock!

And the rest of this week and into the weekend I’ll be basking in the Christmas joy with my sweet family. My brother Kurt and his family spent the last two Christmases in Istanbul, Turkey, so I’m awfully thrilled to spend time with my cute nephews (and my brother and sister-in-law, too, of course!). My brother Paul is coming from upstate New York, and my sister will arrive from Utah on Thursday. My adorable parents will have a houseful! We’ll spend time celebrating our Lord’s birth at one of my favorite places on the planet, St. John Lutheran Church.

Yes, spending time with family and reconnecting with friends is one of my all-time favorite parts of the Christmas season. One way that we can stay connected all throughout the year is to send handmade cards. That personal touch makes all the difference in saying, “You mean the world to me!”

I recently created this sparkly thank you card using the brand new L Letterpress from Lifestyle Crafts, and I think I just might send it to a fabulous friend in 2010 just to say thanks for being so awesome.

This year I’m particularly thankful for Facebook! Both my college and high school reunions came about because of our contacts there. And did you know that you can be connected to Paper Crafts magazine through our Facebook Fan Page? Become a fan and join in the rollicking good time!

So now I want to know, who are you looking forward to seeing during this festive time of year? Leave me a comment by Friday, December 25th at midnight MST, and you can win this stash of goodies to create your own cards for someone special. We’ll announce the winner on Monday, December 28th!

Festive goodies courtesy of TaDa Creative Studios and American Crafts.

Wishing you a Christmas filled with family and friends,

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Magazine Monday! I don’t know about you, but here at Paper Crafts we’re in full Christmas countdown mode. Today we’re decorating our hot pink, lime green and ruby red tree for the Festival of the Trees, a fundraiser that benefits Primary Children’s Medical Center. Make sure you stop by the Paper Crafts Facebook fan page to see pictures of our tree in all its yuletide glory.

If some of you are still needing a little push to get you in the holiday spirit, I thought I would bring in an expert on all things Christmas. She had so many gorgeous cards in Holidays Cards & More, Volume 4, I just knew she would be the perfect designer spotlight for this most festive time of year.

Grinches beware…let’s get to know the talented Becky Oehlers!

Becky Oehlers

1. Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in Bryn Athyn, PA , which is right outside of Philadelphia.

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

I am a professional opera singer and sing in many ensembles both in Philadelphia and New York City. I am also on the voice faculty at Drexel University.

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

Judy Garland, if she were still alive. 

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

This is a hard one for me…I love all types of music from Bach to Alison Krauss to newly composed music, but I would have to say that Beethoven’s 7th Symphony would be a pretty great theme song. 

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

That I was a double major in college for both voice and french horn performance.

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

Nichole Heady. It was her blog that started it all. 

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge?

I think my challenge and my strength at the same time is trying to be innovative and really mold myself to the design of each stamp set that I work with. I try to let the style of the set dictate the art that comes from it.

Jingle All the Way Card by Becky Oehlers

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

A well-designed stamp set and Copics. You are only as good as your tools.

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

That’s easy! Christmas. Definitely. I love getting the house all cozy and dramatic, and I think that comes across in the work I create. I think I always do my best work around Christmastime. 

Warm Winter Wishes Card by Becky Oehlers

10. How would you describe your style? 

Whimsical elegance

11. When is your favorite time to craft?

Very late at night. I have been guilty of staying up until 3 a.m. several times in my crafting life.

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

None. It actually distracts me. 

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

My girls Emma (11) and Sophia (9) have often had card making sessions with me on the side. They have a little table in my studio. They even have their own small set of Copics!

My husband is too busy collecting his own stamps. He is a philatelist.

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

This is a weakness of mine. I am learning to print out all assignments and keep them in a book. I have gotten much better, but organization is a learned task for me.

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

Yes! It was Paper Crafting with Kids, 2008. I have become more consistent in my style since then.

Season's Greetings Card by Becky Oehlers

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

I am currently on the senior design team at Papertrey Ink. I have also worked for Kitchen Sink Stamps, Starving Artistamps and Inque Boutique.

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

  • Debbie Olson – She is a true artist. My husband even says he wants to be like her when he grows up! 
  • Julie Ebersole – I really like her simple and playful approach to card making. That really appeals to me.
  • Jeffrey Rudell – He doesn’t stamp, doesn’t have a blog, but what this man can do with paper completely inspires me and blows my mind! Google him!

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

I think in any situation like this fear is the only thing that will hold you back. Don’t be scared. Submit and submit. If you never try, you will never succeed. The worst thing that they could say is “no”. Oh, well! Try again!

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

I do have a blog ( Please hop on over!

Thanks, Becky! I’m definitely in the Christmas spirit now! Leave a comment for Becky here and one lucky winner will take home all of Becky’s Holiday Cards and More cards (pictured above), plus two other surprise gems! All comments must be received by midnight (MDT) on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Happy Monday!

P.S. Since we know all of you like a good deal, make sure you take advantage of our huge Warehouse Blowout Sale at! From now until midnight tonight, save 60% off select product, PLUS get free shipping and handling (on U.S. orders only) if $25 or more is spent. (Hint: The delicious–and I do mean delicious!–Paper Crafts Gourmet cookbook is only $17! Buy one for you and one for a friend!)

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the two winners from my Black Freebie Friday post!

1. Chris S. (Nov. 27, 9:54 a.m.)
2. rap (Nov. 27, 7:40 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! You’ve each won a copy of Holiday Cards and More, Volume 4 and Making Memories Flowers stamp set. I’ll be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

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