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P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! So glad you’ve joined us for this final day of Stamp It! Cards Week. We hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peek of Stamp It! Cards, and have been inspired to go create your own stamped masterpieces. 

Over the last few days, I’ve enjoyed reading all the reasons why you love stamping. From the versatility to the economical value to the sheer love of inking up those stamps, you’re clearly passionate about your craft. Now I’d like you to be rewarded for your craft by entering our 2010 Stamping Royalty Card Contest

Each year since 2004, we’ve inducted the crème de la crème of stampers into a posh society known as Stamping Royalty. Winners will be royally honored with a prize package containing the latest stamping products from some of the hottest manufacturers. The retail value of each prize package totals over $250! Winners will also have the opportunity to be published in the November/December 2010 issue of Paper Crafts magazine. 

To enter, please create an original stamped card for the following occasions: 

1. Birthday
2. Christmas/Season’s Greetings
3. Hello/Thinking of You
4. Love
5. Thank You

So, do you have what it takes to be crowned royalty? If you would like to enter this stamping contest, please click HERE for the full rules or turn to p. 6 of Stamp It! Cards. All entries must be postmarked by March 24, 2010.

Can you guess what our grand finale giveaway is for this Freebie Friday? Yep, I just happen to have one extra set of this royal prize package! In addition to some amazing stamps, embossing powders and mists, who here would like My Digital Studio from Stampin’ Up! and their very own set of Copic markers? And if that wasn’t a cool enough giveaway, I’m also throwing in the five stamp sets we feature in the Say it with Stamps section (p. 90) of Stamp It! Cards!

One lucky winner will walk away with this fabulous prize package...

AND Ali Edwards' Simply You set from Technique Tuesday

AND Nina Brackett's Elegant Verses set from Gina K Designs

AND Daisy Bucket Designs' Clearly Petite Stamps in I Like You, I Love Your Face and You Are My Sunshine.

AND Lisa Strahl's Birthday Centers set from Cornish Heritage Farms

AND Kezia Whitteker's Card Sentiments Stampology set by Autumn Leaves

Have you died and gone to stamper’s heaven yet? To be eligible for this royal stamping jackpot, leave a comment telling me when your love affair of stamping officially began. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, Feb. 28

Happy Friday!
Kelly 

P.S. I’m not the only one with an INCREDIBLE prize package up for grabs! Join Cath on Moxie Fab World for her fantastic “Five for Friday(x8+3)” giveaway! Make sure to bring your smelling salts…just in case you faint! 

P.P.S. If you’re having a hard time finding Stamp It! Cards in your local stores, why not take advantage of our special Stamp It! Cards Week promotion? Just visit our online store HERE and enter the coupon code “STAMPIT20” at check out to save 20%. This promotion will run through Wednesday, March 3. 

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Kim Kesti’s Grand Gradients post! 

1. Jennifer R. (Feb. 24, 9:50 a.m.)
2. Sue D. (Feb. 24, 7:13 a.m.)
3. Haidee (Feb. 24, 7:43 p.m.)
 

Congrats, winners! You’ve each won Inkadinakado’s Branchful of Birds stamp, a set of Ranger Industries’ Adirondack Alcohol Inks and a copy of Stamp It! Cards! I’ll be contacting you shortly to get your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

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P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! Has this week flown by or what? Here at the office we’ve been busy with concept meetings, submissions judging meetings and a few product previews. There’s always something brewing, and that is most definitely a good thing. 

If you’re stamper, then I’ve got a very good thing coming your way! Stamp It! Cards Week officially kicks off next Monday. Our goal is to entice you to fall in love with our new special issue Stamp It! Cards. If the love fest is already going strong, then we hope you’ve been inspired to stamp some amazing cards of your own! 

Not only will we have a ton of stamping fun here, but we’re partnering with creative editor Cath Edvalson and her Moxie Fab World blog. Both sites will be doing designer spotlights, showing projects from the issue (as well as a few new ones!) and giving away some amazing prize packages. I think between Cath and I, we’re giving away over 50 stamp sets! 

Click on the cover image to reserve your copy today! Enter the coupon code "STAMPIT20" at check out and save 20%.

Next week on Paper Crafts Connection

Magazine Monday – Designer spotlight on stamper extraordinaire Kimberly Crawford. She has 12 (count ’em, ladies!) gorgeous cards in this issue and get this…her very first project was only published a year ago – in Stamp It! Cards 2009. How’s that for inspiring? 

Tuesday – Our fearless leader Jennifer Schaerer will give you highlights from our Stamp It! Cards promotion at CHA. She’ll also dissect our most recent reader survey and give you data on one of your favorite paper crafting techniques. Can you guess what technique I’m referring to? 

Wednesday – Miss Kim Kesti will show off her Beautiful Birds card from the “Tips from the Go-to Gals” section of Stamp It! Cards. She’ll talk about how she achieved the gradient stamping look and illustrate it with a brand new card. 

Thursday – New momma and managing editor Brandy Jesperson will spotlight some diverse projects from the “Stamp It! 3 Ways” section. Then the Paper Crafts Go-to Gals will show you how diverse they can be with their own Stamp It! 3 Ways challenge. Three gals were given one stamp set; three gals were given another. Stay tuned to see the results! 

Freebie Friday – Not sure if I can top last year’s jackpot of a giveaway, but I’m sure going to try! The Big One generated more comments (763!) than any other blog post…to date. Will Freebie Friday reign supreme again? 

Since I do love my Freebie Fridays, I’ve got some great prize packages today! Stampin’ Up! recently came to our office and left us some sweet stamping goodies. Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing to stamp: focal images, sentiments, backgrounds or all of the above. I’ll pick three lucky people to win Stampin’s Up’s Vintage Vogue stamp set, a stamping block and a charm and necklace set from their Simply Adorned collection. And a little inspiration to go with it…a copy of Stamp It! Cards and our fun CHA button. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Sunday, Feb. 21. 

Three lucky winners will take home this stampy prize package!

Happy Friday!
Kelly 

P.S. It’s time to announce the winner of Jessica’s The Little Letter Sheet That Could post! 

Kimmie (Feb. 17, 5:56 a.m.) 

Congrats, Kimmie! You’ve just won a fun set of Thickers from American Crafts! I’ll be contacting you shortly to get your mailing address. Thanks to all who left comments!

Megan Hoeppner

Welcome to Magazine Monday! As a friend of the Paper Crafts family (former PC editor), I’m delighted to be guest blogging here today. My name is Megan Hoeppner and I’m the creative editor for Creating Keepsakes magazine. 

In this month of goal setting, I’m here to share an idea inspired by “Taking Inventory,” an organization idea I featured in my January “Tips & Tricks” column. It’s an easy-to-use tracking system to help you remember the supplies you have, using the Inventory Tracking Sheets below. In this example, I transformed the sheet for my supply of pink and red inkpads. 

Download your own free tracking sheets here.  

Inspired by these sheets, I want to share a few additional ways to keep track of the product manufacturers on your supplies, so you can toss the packaging but remember all the information you need. So often we sort our goodies by color or type, which can complicate replacing and/or sourcing products for projects (such as when you submit your work to Paper Crafts and CK, of course). Here are a few easy tricks for remembering where your product delights came from, long after you’ve tossed the packaging. 

Images
Thanks to digital cameras, snapping pictures is free and easy. Create a product file on your computer and take a pic of your product packages before you discard/recycle them. If you want to take this idea a step further, print small pics of these images and write the product info on the image. Here’s how I created an inventory card for photos of some of my accents before I separated them. 

Inventory card for accents

Patterned Paper
If, like me, you file patterned paper by color and occasionally find yourself wanting to reunite a collection, you’ll like this simple solution. Punch out small samples from the collection sheet (the one that comes in the paper pack) and adhere them to a note card with the collection name and the manufacturer. 

Inventory card for paper

Stamps (Clear and Rubber)
Remember which images came together in a stamp set by visiting the company web site and saving the image of each stamp set you own. Then write or type the name of the set and company on a card with the images. Don’t forget the name of the stamp set, the item number (if you want to get that specific) and the company name. This way you can keep track of your original sets, even if they get divided up over time or due to your unique filing system. 

Inventory card for stamps

Ribbon
Ribbon scraps oftentimes end up in jars, which can make sourcing them a challenge. Remember who made your favorite trims with cards containing small scraps of the ribbons. 

Inventory card for ribbon

With the new year upon us, I hope these tips get you off to an organized start. Speaking of organized, I’m always on the lookout for fresh organization ideas to feature in my “Tips & Tricks” column. I’d love to read your ideas in the comments section of this blog. I know you Paper Crafts peeps are a super creative, organized lot, so I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity while I’m here visiting. Thanks for letting me stop by! 

Cheers!
Megan Hoeppner

Brandy Jesperson

Today is January 5. It’s the birthday of my cute friend Brooke and my Papa Curtis. Apparently it’s a day for celebrating and giving gifts.  

Do you know what else happens on January 5? Why, it’s National Bird Day, of course! Yep, these chipper little creatures aren’t just for springtime. No sir-ree. In fact, January is the perfect time to celebrate these fine feathered friends.  

I thumbed through our January/February 2010 issue and found a flock of bird projects that are perfect for Valentine’s Day, Thank You, Thinking of You, Birthday and more! 

Whooo Loves You Card by Teri Anderson (Click on her blog to see her cute Mother Owl Card!): 

This hoot of a card from Teri makes me smile and would be an ideal Valentine for my handsome husband.

Thank You Card by Maren Benedict

I adore the simplicity of Maren's Thank You Card. Not only is this easy to make, but it could be given to practically anyone on my list!

 Thinking of You Card by Ana Wohlfahrt

Ana had me at glitter with this daring Thinking of You Card. A happy robin, a colorful birdhouse and sparkly leaves…what more could you ask for?

Birthday Bird Card by Kim Hughes

I can’t blog on this day of birthdays without showing a clever card all about party hats and presents. Kim’s card is quirky and weird and I love it!

So happy National Bird Day to all you tweeties out there. Drop me a line and let me know if there’s any bird product out there that really gets your wings a-flappin’. I’m always on the look-out for new products to play with and maybe even include in the magazine. Leave a comment by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, Jan. 6 to win this selection of bird goodies from Stampin’ Up (Sweet Pea Designer Series Pack, 2-Step Bird punch) and Inkadinkado (Butterflies & Birds stamp set). 

One lucky winner will fly away with these bird goodies from Stampin' Up! and Inkadinkado!

Wishing you sweet tweets,
Brandy 

P.S. Are you a fan of Paper Crafts magazine and this blog? Here’s your chance to tell us what you like, what you want to see more of, etc. Complete our 2010 Reader Survey and 20 random respondents will win a copy of our newest book, A Card a Day: Your Ultimate Resource for Inspiration, Design, Tips & Techniques (retail value $21.95!).

Kim Hughes

Kim Hughes

Hello, friends! World Card Making Day is drawing near…have you made plans for this special day yet? I will be teaching at Scrapbooks to Remember in Anthem, AZ, which I’m beyond excited about. I hope to see some of you there! I’m also hosting a fashion/home decor challenge at Ellen Hutson’s CLASSroom blog, which is where I post a technique-based class every Wednesday. Please come say “hi”!

I will also be contributing a card to the Scrapbook & Cards Today blog. They are a Canadian-based magazine that is found in local scrapbook stores and can also be seen online. That’s the wonderful thing about “World” Card Making Day…it’s a day where friends and strangers from around the globe can come together and enjoy what they love…creating heartfelt cards.

This is a great time to get ready for the holiday card-making season. Mass producing holiday cards can be an intimidating task, but there are ways to make your experience an enjoyable one:

  • Creating a card that is flat, light weight and standard size (4 ¼” x 5 ½”) makes it easier and more cost-effective to mail.
  • Additional postage is required for square and odd-shaped envelopes. 
  • You will also need to add postage for ribbon knots and even the tiniest of brads. (Be prepared because this can add a lot to your cost, especially if you are mailing a ton of cards. Might want to rethink that delicious bow!)
I designed this holiday card specifically with mass producing it in mind.

I designed this holiday card specifically with mass producing it in mind.

  • Get your children involved and design a card that uses punches (I used a large circle, snowflake and small folk heart punches). 
  • Create an assembly line by pre-cutting/punching papers and let your family lend a helping hand. 

I used papers from the Merry Days of Christmas collection by My Mind’s Eye. I like using a holiday paper collection because the colors coordinate perfectly. The Cold & Cuddly stamp set by Stampin’ Up! is absolutely adorable, and it can be used year after year (use the bear or walrus to create a different card entirely).

Santas Holiday Cheer Card is only five steps and perfect for mass producing!

Santa's Holiday Cheer Card is only five steps and perfect for mass producing!

This card was published in the recent Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4 and is easy to replicate. Just cut two slits in a square and add black paper through it to create Santa’s belt. The base papers are by Core’dinations cardstock and the sentiment can easily be created with a bracket die cut. Just stamp a holiday sentiment and add a jingle bell accent.

If you are digital savvy, add special touches to your family photo and use them as your holiday card. Many photo-developing stores offer great printing rates during the holidays. You just have to shop around!

When designing a card to mass produce, use the K.I.S.S. method (Keep It Simple Silly). Keep layers to the minimum and purchase embellishments that come in multiple packs, if possible. That’s a big reason why stamped cards are ideal – you can use the stamps over and over again. You can assemble them while cropping with friends or sitting in front of the television. I love the feeling that I get when they are all completed and sent, don’t you?

I have a fun giveaway today! Two winners will each take home a GCD Studios paper pad, two packages of their die cut chipboard and a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4 (which is my favorite special publication this year). Please tell me if you make your own holiday cards and about how many you send out. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Friday, Oct. 2.

Two lucky winners will each receive this prize package!

Two lucky winners will each receive this prize package!

Let the holiday card-making begin!

Kim Hughes,
Paper Crafts Go-to Gal

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 the Dominican Republic, Japan, Morocco, the Phillipines, Puerto Rico and Singapore!

Jennifer Schaerer

Jennifer Schaerer

Holiday Cards & More Week is a little slice of early holiday heaven for me.

I’m the one who keeps my Christmas playlist on my iPod all year long (I’ve also been overheard humming carols in May). I also just bought two new ornaments last weekend for our Christmas tree. And it’s only August, but I’m already working on a few ideas for neighborhood and teacher gifts for Christmas.

Seriously, I think there must be at least one branch of elf DNA in my family tree.

Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 4 has an entire section of handmade gifts, and the elf in me wants to make cookies for this canister by Wendy Sue Anderson for my daughter’s teacher: 

Mmmmm...some holiday cookies and peppermint wishes!

Mmmmm...some holiday cookies and peppermint wishes!

Alicia Thelin came up with the perfect combination of fun, cute and simple for my neighbor gifts this year: 

Whip these up assembly-line style and youll have neighbor gifts in no time at all!

Whip these up assembly-line style and you'll have neighbor gifts in no time at all!

But vintage (especially the retro-ish 50s era) always gets me, so I’ve got to jump right into this adorable tin by Anabelle O’Malley

A retro Santa with vintage style makes this tin and tag set something extra special

A retro Santa with vintage style makes this tin something extra special.

If vintage is your thing too, you need to know that Cath is having some vintage fun (with shabby chic thrown in for good measure) over at Moxie Fab World today. Stop in and say hi, maybe even take on her vintage/shabby chic design challenge. Tell her I sent you!

Yep, thanks to the Holiday Cards & More Week celebration here at Paper Crafts Connection, I’m totally in the early holiday spirit. If you’re like me and want to get a jump start on inspiration for the holidays, hop on over to our online store HERE and get your very own copy of Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 4 because it goes on sale TODAY…for 10% off! All this week! REALLY!

Or, if you’re feeling especially lucky, go ahead and leave a comment and let me know what kind of cookies you make around the holidays. I’ll pick three random winners to receive a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Vol. 4 PLUS a great prize package from Stampin’ Up! that you can use to make Alicia’s cute project shown above.

Hearing sleigh bells already,
Jennifer

P.S. Need some inspiration? Check out the CREATE gallery at the World Card Making Day web site. It’s growing by leaps and bounds, and October 3 will be here before you know it!

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! It may only be August, but I’m suddenly in the mood to decorate my Christmas tree while sipping eggnog and listening to Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song”.

Hmm… I wonder where this surge of holiday cheer is coming from? Oh, yeah, now I remember… We just got our crisp new copies of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4! Get ready to join me in singing those carols!

Hitting newsstands on August 25, we’re bringing you another spectacular issue with 292 holiday creations bursting with paper perfection. Discover creative new ideas for holiday cards, seasonal home décor, gift wrap and festive party ensembles for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s.

To coincide with its release date, all next week we’ll be giving you a sneak peek of our fourth (and my favorite!) volume of Holidays Cards & More.  

In addition to all the fun we’ll be having here, we’re partnering with creative editor Cath Edvalson and her Moxie Fab World blog. Both sites will be doing daily giveaways, as well as spotlighting projects from this festive issue.

Between today and August 28, you can buy Holiday Cards and More for 10% off. Click on the magazine image to reserve your copy today!

Between today and August 28, you can buy HCM, Vol. 4 for 10% off. Click on the magazine image to reserve your copy today!

Next week on Paper Crafts Connection:

Magazine Monday – Designer spotlight on the talented Jennifer Beason. We knew people would be talking about the unbelievably detailed nutcracker (seen on the cover), so we decided to go right to the source and interview the artist behind this masterpiece. We’ll also show two additional projects from the home decor section of Holiday Cards & More. And if you’re a fan of Pink Paislee (and who isn’t?), you won’t want to miss this fantastic giveaway!

Tuesday – It’s never too early to start on those holiday gifts! Editor-in-chief Jennifer Schaerer will spotlight three projects from the gifts section and give away some merry and bright product from Stampin’ Up!

With the Pros WednesdayPaper Crafts Pro Wendy Johnson will show you how easy it is to wrap your gifts in style as she features projects from the gift wrap section. Her adorable gift tag can literally be made in four steps! And you guessed it, there’s another fun giveaway up for grabs!

Thursday – Creative editor Cath Edvalson will join me in dressing the Christmas tree as she spotlights our ornaments section. If you’re feeling the pinch of the economy, we’ll show you how to make your own beautiful ornaments that you’ll treasure for years to come. And to aid you in your quest, we’re giving away some very cool product!

Freebie Friday – With over 100 fabulous card designs in this special issue, I’ll share some of my favorites! So whether you like to stamp, you’re into shabby or the clean and graphic look, I’ll give you a little taste of our diverse cards section. And since this is our fourth volume of Holiday Cards & More, I will award three winners a pretty fantastic prize package. But if random integer happens to draw your name as my fourth winner, well let’s just say that Christmas will be coming a little early for you!

So, are you ready for a little holiday cheer in August? I guarantee you’ll be humming along to Nat King Cole by week’s end!

Here’s to Holiday Cards & More Week!
Kelly

P.S. If some of you simply can’t wait for Monday, here’s a sneak peek at two cards that both feature My Mind’s Eye Snowed In collection.

Julia Staintons Merry & Bright Card

Julia Stainton's Merry & Bright Card

Rae Barthels Birdcage Seasons Greetings Card

Rae Barthel's Birdcage Season's Greetings Card

Like what you see? Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about the holidays. I’ll pick two winners to take home this versatile collection from My Mind’s Eye and a copy of Holiday Cards & More, Volume 4. All comments must be received by midnight on Sunday, August 23. I’ll announce the two winners on Monday when we officially kick off Holiday Cards & More Week!

P.P.S. It’s time to announce the three winners from Sue’s Prepartion Meets Opportunity post! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Scrapcandy (August 19, 11:07 a.m.)
2. Jen Madsen (August 19, 9:21 p.m.)
3. Christine (August 19, 12:19 p.m.)

Congrats, winners! You each win a copy of Card Fashion! I’ll be contacting you shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left so many comments!

Jennifer Schaerer

Jennifer Schaerer

I spent the better part of yesterday thinking back on my first year here at Paper Crafts (I know! It’s been a YEAR!), and one of the most satisfying parts of being part of this community is the enthusiasm and support for this oh-so-creative hobby of paper crafting.

And last week my cup, um, overfloweth with enthusiasm when I got to attend the annual convention for Stampin’ Up! demonstrators. Ever seen clips from a Hannah Montana concert? Yeah, it was sorta like that, but with grown women in the audience.

Before the tidal wave of energy arrived

Before the tidal wave of energy arrived

With a theme of Inspire. Create. Share. and some vibrant colors and set design to go with it, there was plenty of all three to go around. The most exciting part was hearing about the new design software being released Fall 2009: My Digital Studio. Let me tell you, this is one powerful and versatile tool, my friends. Keep an eye out for more information when the product is released.

Stampin’ Up! also unveiled its partnership with Build-A-Bear, releasing dies, designer paper and stamp sets that delightfully capture the charm of these furry do-it-yourself critters in paper crafted form.

Kelly Smith, Brittany Beattie, me, Megan Hoeppner and Brenda Peterson “sharing” the fun!

Kelly Smith, Brittany Beattie, me, Megan Hoeppner and Brenda Peterson “sharing” the fun!

After the general session broke for lunch, we (Kelly Smith, Brenda Peterson, plus our Creating Keepsakes peeps Megan Hoeppner and Brittany Beattie rounded our group) wandered through the lunchroom to see the project displays. I somehow managed to pick up my jaw from the floor and dig out my camera to start manically snapping photos of each color-themed section.

Until my battery died. And I’m not even kidding you.

But I was able to capture a good dozen shots, and I’m here to share the wealth. Get set to scroll through some catchy color combinations and lovely layering ideas. Ready? Go!

The lunch area was packed with hundreds of enthusiastic demonstrators refueling for two more days of Stampin’ Up! fun, so we gave a big inspired sigh and went back to our magazine world for the rest of the day.

Looking forward to another year as enjoyable as the past one,
Jennifer

P.S. I’d love to hear what aspect of paper crafting makes your cup overfloweth with enthusiasm. Leave a comment and I’ll pick two winners to each receive a Stampin’ Up! stamp set. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Friday, August 14.

P. Kelly Smith

P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to Freebie Friday! As I was reading Jennifer’s post yesterday, it had me reflecting on all the great teachers I’ve had over the years. My mom likes to tell the story of how patient my kindergarten teacher was with me. Apparently I had a fear of my lunch box. Yes, I said lunch box. I guess my tiny fingers hadn’t quite figured out the mechanics of how this locked box magically opened for others, but not for me. (I guess we didn’t cover lunch boxes in preschool!) The first few days of kindergarten were a little traumatic, but after some gentle instruction from sweet Ms. Munie, I mastered the art of opening my lunch box while the rest of the class cheered me on.

Then came Ms. Dowell in third grade. She used to keep a candy dish on her desk filled to the rim with brightly colored Skittles. Every time we would “do well” in class (get it…her name was Ms. Do-well), we would get to pick out one Skittles candy from her tall dish. (I’m convinced she refilled that thing every day because it never seemed to disappear!) I would always pick red (strawberry) and happily munched on it all the way back to my desk. To this day, whenever I open a bag of Skittles, I always reach for the red ones first and I think to myself, “You deserve this. You did something well today.”

With the end of the school year rapidly approaching, I’m gearing up for my cousin’s high school graduation next week. I’d love to make her a card that not only recognizes her achievement, but also leaves her feeling hopeful about her future. As I was flipping through our May/June issue, I came to a stop on p. 74. Maren Benedict’s Over the Rainbow Card and Kim Kesti’s Colorful Imagination Card immediately jumped out at me. These two cards so perfectly complement each other. Both have black bases, both are dripping in every of color of the rainbow and both remind me of Ms. Dowell’s shiny jar of Skittles!   

These bright cards would work well for a new grad or an inspirational teacher.

These bright cards are perfect for a new grad or an inspirational teacher.

So to pay tribute to my favorite teacher and my favorite color of Skittles, I’m giving away this red-as-a-schoolhouse prize package to two lucky winners! Leave a comment telling me the name of your favorite teacher and why she/he was so inspirational. All comments must be received by midnight on Sunday, May 24. The winners will be announced on Monday’s blog.

This prize package ie red hot!

Thanks to Stampin' Up!, American Crafts, Making Memories and Heidi Grace for this red hot prize package!

Here’s to teachers! May you inspire your students to always “do well!”
Kelly

Susan R. Opel

Susan R. Opel

Are you a scrapbook paper-aholic? Come on! Raise your hand and repeat after me: “My name is {fill in the blank} and I have a paper obsession.” It’s okay. I’ll be standing right next to you uttering the very same words. This is a common problem among paper crafters, and I want you to know that you are not alone.

Patterned papers come in so many gorgeous and luscious varieties, and I have to admit that the large patterns often knock my socks off with their vibrant color combinations and bold statements. As a scrapbooker, I knew how to tame those papers to use in my layouts, but with a card maker’s even smaller canvas, some of our favorite papers and patterns become only another piece of paper in our vast and unused collection.

So maybe we need to make a change! Maybe we need to find a way to use those papers and actually SHARE them with our favorite people through gift giving.

 

I created this quick and eye-catching gift bag using some of my favorite large patterned paper from American Crafts. It appears on p. 41 in 225 Cards & Gifts.

In three easy steps, you can doll up a kraft bag and be the envy of every gift giver.

1. Choose your paper, give it a little hug for being so pretty, fussy cut a section that is particularly appealing, and adhere it.
2. Pop on a premade rhinestone sentiment (mine is by Me & My Big Ideas).
3. Slide a sparkly ribbon slide on a ribbon (mine is velvet) and staple it to the bag.

Simple, elegant, versatile. This bag could be used for a birthday, a retirement, a bon voyage, or a wedding shower. And why not a graduation, an anniversary, a bachelorette party, or a hostess gift? Switch out the sentiment and the pattern, and you could turn this into a bag for a graduation, a thank you, a baby shower, or a child’s birthday. And the best part of all? You actually USED that gorgeous paper! I’m so proud of you!

Now, I’m particularly fond of gifts this time of year since I just celebrated my 40th birthday last Sunday. My sister and I took a road trip to San Francisco last week to celebrate. Allow me to share some highlights of our trip! 

San Francisco and its environs have so many iconic sites and activities: wine-tasting in Napa, AT&T Park (Home of the San Francisco Giants), Muir Woods, the Painted Ladies (you might recognize them from the opener of Full House), The Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

So, what would you say if I said that I’ve got a fancy little prize package all lined up for three lucky commenters who tell me what she’d like to receive in this little gift bag? Your wish can be big or small (it really doesn’t even matter if it would realistically fit in the bag or not because it’s a wish!). And money is no object! Please respond by midnight (MDT) on Sunday, April 26. We’ll announce the winner on Monday’s blog post. Good luck!

Three lucky winners will receive the following prizes: A copy of 225 Cards & Gifts, an assortment of patterned papers, some pretty embellishments from Me & My Big Ideas, and two Simply Sent Card kits from Stampin’ Up! which each include one stamp set, three colors of ink, pre-scored cards with envelopes, and ribbon. Why not make a set of cards and give them as a gift? 

And if that weren’t enough, I just happen to know Cath is giving away some super cute crafting kits from Cosmo Cricket on Moxie Fab World today! You better hop on over!

Yours in festive gift-giving (and receiving for that matter)!
Susan

P.S. It’s time to announce the two winners from my May/June Tips, Tools, & Techniques Trivia post from last week! Here they are:

1. Katherine R. Wilson
2. Kim Handville

Katherine won the Bind-it-All and Acrylic Sheet Stock and Kim won the Vera Bradley organizers! I’ll be e-mailing you shortly for your mailing addresses! Thanks to all who left comments and played along!

P.P.S. It’s also time to announce the three winners from Brandy’s Get Your Free Product Here post from last week! Here they are in no particular order:

1. Hanne (April 16, 1:47 p.m.)
2. Jennifer Carter (April 16, 4:14 p.m.)
3. Jess (April 20, 8:57 a.m.)

Each of you have won a SEI paper collection! Kelly will be e-mailing you shortly for your mailing addresses. Thanks to all who left comments!

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