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P. Kelly Smith

Welcome to day two of our exciting Card Creations: Start to Finish Week! We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s spotlight on cover girl Tanis Giesbrecht and are now starting to see the design possibilities for the insides of your cards.  

Today we’re spotlighting another lovely Canadian, Charlene Austin, who was positively giddy when I e-mailed her about being a featured cover girl for Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2

“My answer is a big huge YES!!! There is no question I will have time for this…I would quit my job to make time…LOL. My family is going to be sick of me asking them to take a thousand pictures for a good headshot. Haha. I knew 2010 was going to be a good year. This is an amazing way to start it off. I appreciate it and am so totally honored!” 

Editor’s note: If Charlene’s employer is reading this post, she was totally kidding about the “quitting my job” remark. She’s completely loyal to you. I promise. 

Let’s get to know Miss Charlene! 

Charlene Austin

1. Where did you grow up?   

In Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I’m still here. 

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

I work part-time as a Property Claims Adjuster {please don’t hold it against me}. 

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

I’m going to go with Jennifer Garner. Not because she looks anything like me {I wish}, but she’s a fun actress and she named her dog Martha Stewart. What’s not to like? 

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

I can’t think of a theme song for my life, so I thought I’d just give you a good laugh and tell you my favorite song of all time: Careless Whispers by George Michael. I know, the 80’s rocked, right?    

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

Most people find the fact that I have a rice phobia pretty crazy. There is no explanation for it, but I have never and could never eat rice. 

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

My BFF Wendy Bond. She invited me to a card party she was hosting. At first I didn’t “get it”, but it wasn’t long before I become obsessed passionate about card making.  

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge?  

My biggest challenge is actually getting myself off the computer and going to my craft room to make something. I get lost in cyber space for hours on end, and then I’m too tired or overwhelmed to create.  

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

Ribbon and my sewing machine. They can both be the perfect final touch to a card.  

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

I would have to say Christmas. The products and the project ideas are endless. 

10. How would you describe your style? 

I’m not quite sure I have a distinct style, but I aim to make fresh and clean cards with a touch of originality here and there.  

In Charlene's She is Strength Card, she carries the design and sentiment from the front to the inside.

11. When is your favorite time to craft?  

More often than not, I’m heading to my craft room around 11 p.m. and I stay there until 2-3 a.m. Only on my days off and weekends, of course. 

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

It’s not music, but rather my TV that is turned on while I’m in the craft room. And it’s usually set on the Food Channel. No wonder I get hungry at 2 a.m.! 

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

While he doesn’t “participate” in crafting, my husband was very supportive when he realized how much I loved my new hobby. He suggested we develop our basement, and helped me create a beautiful craft room. 

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

I’m a bit of a mess when it comes to organization of calls and deadlines, so I end up being very last-minute. My process includes a lot of photo boxes and sticky notes. It’s not pretty, people! 

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

Card Creations, Vol. 7. It wasn’t that long ago, but I think I have been all over the board and back again trying to find my “Char Card” style. 

In Charlene's There is No Doubt Card, she finishes her sentiment on the inside. We love her "Char Card" style!

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

I have just completed a design team spot with Elzybells Stamp Company UK. I’m currently part of Embellish Magazine and Perfectly Pretty. Also very close to my heart is a color challenge that my five BFF’s and I do each week called Loonie Stampers Challenge

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

  • Nichole Heady – There isn’t anything Nichole does that I don’t love. She’s brilliant!
  • Teri Anderson – I love her clean and oh, so playful style. “Meeting” her cards each day makes me smile. 
  • Jennifer McGuire – She’s incredibly talented, but what I love is that she’s just so real and down to earth in her videos. Fun stuff.

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

If you would like to see your work published in the magazines, you need to know that it IS possible and you CAN make it happen. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get immediate results. Try and try again. 

19. What was your inspiration for your Sunny Thank You card that appears on the cover of Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2?  

When I made this card I was just enjoying putting together some of my very favorite things – Papertrey’s Summer Sunrise cardstock, crocheted flowers and a new K&Company pad of patterned paper. Yummy! I also have a thing for stamping sentiments and then cutting it out to add to the card. This card is clean and simple, so to carry the design to the inside, all it needed was matching blocks of patterned paper to make it flow.  

In Charlene's Sunny Thank You Card, she carries the design (color blocks) from the front to the inside.

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

I do have a blog ( For those of you who would like to purchase Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2, please visit my blog to hear about the special deal you can get! 

Thanks, Charlene! Our friends at Technique Tuesday were nice enough to donate three sets of their Loving Words stamp set by Ali Edwards – the same set Charlene used to create her Sunny Thank You and There is No Doubt cards. Please leave a comment and I’ll pick three random winners to receive this set, plus a copy of Card Creations: Start to Finish, Vol. 2. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, Jan. 13

Three lucky people will win this fun sentiment set from Technique Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday!

P.S. Make sure you join us tomorrow for our final spotlight on cover girl Becky Olsen!

Paper Crafts Calendar

July 2020

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