Operation Write Home

Birthday 2013 Banner Sept25-PL

I’m thrilled to be part of  the Operation Write Home blog hop hosted by our friends at Perfect Paper Crafting. I think is hop is an amazing opportunity for us to give back to the men and women of our Armed Forces.  When the hop is over, we will send all of the cards created to Operation Write Home so they can be sent to our Armed Forces.  Even better, if you comment on all of the blog posts in the hop, you could win a $50 gift certificate from Perfect Paper Crafting!

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Because it takes a while for mail to get overseas, I made a Christmas card for our hop, using one of the sketches from www.OperationWriteHome.org. If you’re ever in the midst of a sudden and fierce creative brain freeze, a sketch is a great place to start your recovery.

For this cute little card, I used a small little stamp set from Lawn Fawn called LF434 Winter Owl.    I also used the honeycomb stencil from Dreamweaver Stencils to emboss the background of the card.  The cardstock is Kraft from Stampin’ Up! (yes, it’s old… I think it’s “Crumb Cake” now…) and Happy Go Lucky 6×6 paper from Fancy Pants.    Copics were E77, E74, E71, E35, E33, E31, Y35 and Y32.  (Links below for the inspired to shop.)

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Because I was having fun, I went ahead and whipped out this second card using all the same supplies. This time, I masked off the owl’s scarf and flipped it so that they would mirror each other.

The tool of the day for both cards was the Perfect Square.  My sons’ deny losing my small t-square, but they were forgiven when I discovered that this little tool does the job and uses half the desk space.  It’s perfect for making sure you’re placing your layers in a straight line.  I used it for both cards and it’s earned a place on top of the desk full time.  (High honors in my crafty space.)

All the cards you see in our hop today meet OWH guidelines (http://operationwritehome.org/
 ) The basics are: NO glitter, no very lumpy embellishments, and we need an A2 sized card. The cards should be easily mailable with standard postage, and glitter is a safety hazard for deployed troops!!  (Who knew?  We could end wars by dropping glitter?  Guess so….)


So, now on with the hop!

Next stop is…

Eva       http://craftingthisandthat.blogspot.com/2013/09/operation-write-home-and-perfect-paper.html 

If you’d like to start at the beginning, the complete is here:  (Remember to leave comments — it’s worth a $50 prize pack to some lucky duck!

8. Jeanie  http://www.thespottedchick.blogspot.com/2013/09/operation-write-home-perfect-paper.html

SCACD New Digi Store and Blog Hop

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Today SCACD is formally premiering the SCACD Digital site by adding over 35 images designed by Carmen Medlin!!! Carmen’s range is fun, fresh as well as elegant and will have something for everyone. Susana has added quite a few never before seen Fab images as well as taken some classic past rubber stamps and turned them into digi for this release. We’re celebrating with a blog hop!

Want this badge?

When Susana asked me if I wanted to hop along with her amazing Design Team, I jumped at the chance.  From Millan.Net

How cute is this crazy creature!!!!  The image even comes with a sentiment! My little guy is called “Love on a Limb” and I colored him with Copics on Heavenly White cardstock.  The background is embossed with folder from the SCACD store — Couture Creations’ Petal Pleasures.

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I was having fun with my much sought after crafty time, so I made another card to go with the first — this one is called Gathering Love.  I just think the girl is beautiful.  Her dress reminded me of peacock feathers.  If you love to color, this is the image for you.  I finished the card with Classic Corner dies and patterned paper from Authentique’s Be(you)tiful collection.

Reminder to Our International Friends: As you know, SCACD has stopped the sale of physical items. However, International customers can now purchase SCACD Digital images.  

Join us today to celebrate this release with the SCACD DT as well as bunch of amazing Guests (and me!)  You may have started here — or welcome if you came from Susan Dube‘s blog.  Next stop on the list is Suzanne Dean (yes, THAT Suzanne Dean — she is amazing!).

If you loose your way check out theStore Blog for the entire list.


Sketch challenge, Blog Hop and Prize


Today the design team members from Paper Craft Planet are excited to play with the Crafter’s Companion team for the weekly sketch challenge, and we would love to have you play along too. It’s been a looooooooong time since I’ve scored some craft room time and I have to share that I miss my paper therapy!

I love sketches.  I always spend about 1/2 my creative time figuring out what the heck I’m going to make.  A sketch takes all the creative pressure off, and just leaves you with the fun part of creating.  Sketches are the “top of the muffin” for card makers.

Here is the sketch that Kendra, our sketch host for this week, whipped up for us.

My card is a simplistic version of the sketch.  I created a basic shaker card and filled it with some cupcake sprinkles I had in the pantry.

You’ll need to upload your sample to the Planet Gallery and tag it with SK061413, if you want to play along.

YES ~ there is a prize!!!  For each comment left on the blogs listed below, you will be entered into a drawing for a $20 gift certificate.  ALSO, if you play along on our sketch challenge, you will be entered into the drawing also (just make sure you upload your card to the Planet Gallery with the tag SK061413).   Deadline to enter your comments or sketch challenge cards is June 21, 2013 at midnight (ET). Entries can be uploaded to the PCP Gallery ~ http://www.papercraftplanet.com/photo.

Best part of a hop — see the different options for the same sketch.  Second best part of a hop… free stuff!  Now here’s who is playing along with us today ~ don’t forget to leave some love for your chance to win the Crafter’s Companion Gift Certificate!

Have fun and good luck!!!!


Embossing 101

club cr8 cover

So, check it out, the Paper Craft Planet Super Novas and I put together a book jam packed with 64 pages of embossing tutorials and tips.  It’s FABULOUS if I do say so myself!  It includes all sorts of niftiness — like how to make your own embossing folders and impression plates, storage tips, and just tons and tons of techniques.

  • 8 projects with step by step instructions
  • Lots of tips and inspiration
  • PDF a pdf that you can print or read on your tablet.

This month is all about embossing…

  • Wet and dry embossing tips and tricks.
  • How to make your own embossing folders and impression plates
  • Wet embossing with stamps and stencils
  • and much, much more!


Remember the magic the first time you ever saw embossing?  You can recreate it those looks and make many, many more! We will walk you through  8 different techniques that will stretch your supplies and your imagination.

1 book + 7 instructors +∞  ideas = Club Cr8!

For just $8, less than the cost of 2 cups of coffee, and less than a $1 per project, you will  get 67 pages of:

  • High Quality Color Pictures
  • Supply Lists For Each Card Idea
  • Step-by-Step Instructions -walking you through how to make each card.
  • Tips and techniques for storage and more.

Add to Cart

Once payment has been made, you’ll be taken to a sign up box. Enter your information, then check your email for a link to activate your subscription.Your first PDF will be delivered instantly!

Add to Cart

Looking for more?  Check out more Club Cr8

Eight creative paper craft projects released on the 8th of every month!

You Knock My Socks Off

What do you get when My Digital Studio celebrates Digital Scrapbooking Day? An awesome online celebration (October 29-November 5) with FREE downloads, amazing discounts, tons of creative projects, digital challenges, and prizes.

I was so jazzed about free that I whipped up this “Knock My Socks” off card to celebrate.  This card was so easy, all I really had to do was hit print.  Of course, that’s TOO EASY, so I cut the image out and popped it up on some designer series paper to give it a more homemade look.  I also took a glitter pen to the clothes line for a bit of sparkle.  One cute patootie card in under 1o minutes.


One more project — just because it was so simple.  MDS comes preloaded with a bunch of quick templates for scrapbooking.  I’m waaaaay behind on my scrappy to do list, so while I was playing, I whipped up this Halloween layout.  I didn’t include journaling, but it’s so easy to go back and add it later.  You can export your page and have it printed, or order it straight from Stampin’ Up!  Got to say, I’m impressed.

Hurry and download your free goodies!

What to do with 6×6 Paper Pads


I’m often wondering what to do with the 6×6 paper pads that seem to grow in my craft room. They always seem like a good idea at the time of purchase, but I seldom use them. Finally, it dawned on me that they would be perfect for 3×3 cards and envelopes!

One envelope can be made per piece of 6×6 paper. You can get 2 cards per sheet too. This will be a fun little set to make for Teacher Appreciation.

Free Stuff from Paper Craft Planet

Ok, you guys know I’m a HUGE True Scrap fan. I love online learning — finding new techniques, ideas and inspiration in my pajamas. Where else can you attend a class with your dog and a glass of wine?!

This event is for EVERYONE who loves playing with paper. For the scrapbooker, it’s a MUST. You’ll be so inspired you’ll go dizzy. If you’re a digital stamper or cardmaker, you’ll still learn a ton. If you didn’t play the video, do it right NOW and get the 411.

I’m excited to be an affiliate for this event and to share the love with my friends. Lain Ehmann, rockin’ True Scrap grand master, gave me even more goodies to give away to my Planet members! Read on scrappy sisters….

If you register for True Scrap 3 by March 20, 2012 using the links below, you will get FREE access to not one, but TWO jam-packed stamping video classes from the incredible Jennifer McGuire. That’s Super Stamping Secrets I and Super Stamping Secrets II… but I’m not going to stop there! I’m also going to make this an absolutely irresistible offer by including a video class from May Flaum, “Stitch It. Dot It. Edge It.” That’s almost 3 hours of video, and a $30 value… FREE with your True Scrap 3 registration.

But you have to sign up here:


But wait, there’s more! (hee hee… I feel like that infomercial guy!) Students can receive a $20 discount automatically if they sign up before 3/31. (Normal price is $147, early registration price is $127).

*Bang for your buck:

  • -15 instructors, 5 make and takes, pajama party, and full replays included in price!

  • -Almost 20 hours of class instruction!

  • -They can actually learn to USE the products and tools they have instead of just buying more!

That’s right, you’ll get Super Stamping Secrets I and II from Jennifer McGuire, and Stitch It. Dot It. Edge It. from May Flaum… FREE.

All you have to do is sign up using this link, then forward me your receipt.

P.S. Jen is a True Scrap mainstay, but is unable to appear at True Scrap 3 due to a previous engagement (she’s due to deliver her second child that same week!). But you won’t have to miss on on stamping goodness because the True Scrap lineup includes the amazing Nichol Magouirk, plus 15 other fab instructors including Nic Howard, Jennifer Gallacher, Becky Higgins, and more!”

Paper Crafting Trends

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) Trade Show in Anaheim, CA.    As an avid paper crafter (and I know you are, since you’re reading this!) you can  imagine that the CHA show is a blast.  What could possibly be more exciting than getting to see three huge showrooms of brand new products?  Only one thing:  getting to share that experience with your friends!

As we walked the CHA floor, we were drawn to certain products and projects…when we discussed them over dinner, we discovered some emerging trends.  That’s what today’s paper crafting trend challenge is all about.  The Paper Craft Planet Super Novas  and the i {heart} papers design team have joined forces to deliver a showcase of the 2012 trends that we spotted at this year’s show.

Here are a few of my favorite trends, as showcased in one card.

The first big trend I noticed was CHEVRONS.  This vintage zig zag is EVERYWHERE!

Kim Crawford is a trend setter!  I know this is true because I bought this set last year before the chevron craze took over.  I used Kim’s chevron stamp from the Mint Motif Beyond Borders set and some Versamark Dazzle to create this soft background.  I loved stamping this background so much that I did several 4×6 cards and set them aside for later.  Yes, I know, I’m a big of a stamping nerd.

The next big trend:  COLOR You’ll see the Pantone Spring 2012 colors everywhere.  I found them all over this Echo Park Springtime Collection.

Here, I used a sticker as my focal image and even added another sticker as a border.   When making cards, think about all your supplies and how you can use them in new ways.  Stickers and scrapbooking kits are just for memory keeping.  These embellishments are wonderful for card making.  (Tip:  use baby powder to remove the stickiness from stickers, so that you can pop them up or use them in different ways.)

Another big trend:  TEXTURE! Pop it up and fan it out — lots and lots of layers.

For this element, I punched several circles from patterned paper and stacked them together.  I used the Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher to fasten them together and then I fanned up the edges.  They are adhered with glue dots to the flower centers.

I finished the card with some additional flower stickers on the inside (not shown) and took the time to stamp a coordinating envelope.  I used label stickers as masks to keep an uncluttered space for my address.

Ready for some more inspiration?  Check out the rest of the Planet Super Novas and our friends at i{heart}papers for some other great paper crafting trend ideas: 

ihp DT members:

and the Super Novas of Paper Craft Planet:

Of course, not everyone can attend CHA. We were quite sorely missing some of our team mates…and the general public is not eligible to attend. Thankfully, those of you who couldn’t be there can live vicariously through the next best thing: photos! Check out these in this post over on Paper Craft Planet, and several posts from MoxieFab!

Top iPhone Favorite Apps

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m an Apple junkie.  I have an iMac.  I have a Mac Book Pro.  I have an iPhone.  I have an iPad.  I bought my kids iPod Touch’s… basically, if Steve Jobs designed it, I bought it.  And you know what, I am happy.  In my opinion, Apple has the best customer care on the planet, and that’s worth it.  Not to mention that they make a hardy product.  My MacBook is 4 years old and runs like a top.  I could never say that about my old Dell.  Sometimes, you get what you pay for.

OK, testimonial over.  I get asked all the time to recommend apps.  At last count, between the 4 of us, we had 230+ apps.  We might be app-oholoics.

Here are my favorites:

  1. Google:  seriously, I use this one several times a day.  ”Mom, why is the sky blue?”  ”I don’t know, let’s ask Google!”  I use it for everything — when my favorite restaurant is open to what’s the phone number for the car repair place. Handy app.  Best part?  It has a speech recognition feature, so you can use it while driving and not have to type anything in.
  2. Facebook:  I hate to say it but I am on Facebook more than I want to be.  It’s handy to have an app for that.
  3. Skype:  This is just a fun app.  It works on iPod Touch’s so I can Skype them when we’re traveling and see their faces and show them what I’m doing.  I love that!
  4. Last Pass:  All my computer passwords at my fingertips.  Helps when I’m trying to do something remotely.
  5. Evernote:  My memory in an application.  This free service has been my favorite tool for ages.  Love keeping everything from web design ideas to recipes here.   It searches photos for text too, so it’s great for things like remembering where you park.
  6. Dropbox:  A great way to store files in the Cloud.  I use this one for work a lot.
  7. Scanner Pro:  Scan documents right from your phone.  Ask a friend for a recipe and you no longer have to write it down.  Does a surprisingly great job.
  8. MapQuest:  Call out turn by turn directions for about $1.  Why did we buy a GPS again?  This is better and cheaper.
  9. Kindle:  All my books at my fingertips.  Syncs between devices so I never have to remember where I left off on a book.
  10. Pinterest:  A visual feast.  This is a visual bookmarking tool and addictive.  Great for the iPad.
  11. Holy Bible:  I use this in church.  I’m sure people think I”m texting, but it’s easy to search and make notes on.
  12. Instacast:  No longer do you have to download your podcasts and store them!  I’m addicted to video podcasts.  This is cloud based streaming of your favorites and you can pick up where you left off online.  Love this.
  13. Stitcher:  Podcast streaming too.  This is audio only and has the Paperclipping Roundtable.
  14. Flickr:  Well, it’s Flickr.
  15. PhotoCaddy:  Do you shoot with a DSLR and you don’t know how to use it?  This is a handy guide for all situations.
  16. Photo Buffet:  Similar to PhotoCaddy but by Rick Sammon.  He shoots a Nikon and so do I.
  17. Photo Booth:  Old time photo booth strips.  Just for fun.
  18. Photo Shake:  Photo collages and borders right on your phone.  Handy if you’re blogging from the phone.
  19. Nike+GPS:  Tracks your runs (or in my case walks) and cheers you on.  Plays music too.
  20. C2K:  Couch to 5K.  Works within Nike app if you want to become a runner.  It didn’t work out for me, but I still like the app.
  21. Netflix:  Stream movies and TV shows right to your phone.  Next time your sitting at football practice, watch Dexter.
  22. Instagram:  Fun square photo app. Follow Cathy Zielske because she’s cool.
  23. Amazon:  Buy anything on Amazon at the touch of a button.  Take a photo of something you like and Amazon will find it.  Can technology get any more amazing?
  24. Groupon:  Local shopping and restaurant deals.
  25. Boggle:  Fun game
  26. Plants vs Zombies:  Really fun game.  Wish they would make more levels.
  27. Tiny Tower:  Wasted hours (perhaps days) of my life on this game….
  28. Shazam:  Listens to what’s playing on the radio and tells you what it is and who sings it.  Handy for those of us with no musical memory.
  29. TextExpander Touch:  create short cuts for text you hate typing.  It plugs it in like magic.  I use the Mac version all the time.  GREAT application.
  30. ESPN:  Really for the kids and husband, but it updates me on how our favorite teams are doing.
  31. PhotoSync:  Move those photos off the phone and into your computer.  Great for those of us who don’t use iPhoto but use Lightroom instead.
  32. Bump:  Transfer information and photos from phone to phone with a “bump”.  Supposed to work with money too, but I haven’t tried that one.
  33. PayPal:  Check on your money, split a check or send money to a friend.
  34. All Recipes Pro:  All Recipes mobile app — especially good on the iPad.  You may never buy another cookbook again.
  35. QR Reader:  for all those funny scan thingies.  (That’s a technical name).
Feel free to comment with your favorites.  I’d love to hear them.


Swimming for Katie Renz

Swimming for Katie RenzFrom October 10-12 some of the best stampers are joining together to support and encourage our friend and fellow stamper, Katie Renz, who is currently battling inoperable gastric cancer. If you’re not familiar with her, Katie’s cancer story started just before Christmas last year. This young, beautiful, healthy, vibrant mother of 3 with her infectious smile was suddenly diagnosed with an inoperable cancer, virtually overnight. A few tummy aches and then stage 4 gastric cancer. Her first post about it is here.

I’m a mom. The idea of leaving my kids without a mom KILLS me. The pain and fear that Katie and her family must be facing is overwhelming. Here’s the rub: YOU CAN HELP. Your prayers and your money are needed here. Your ability to blog and Facebook and stamp and color are all needed now. You can buy, you can spread the word, you can send words of encouragement and you can pray. I’m asking you to do all of those things.

The idea of “Swimming for Katie” came from her recent post here and this scene from Finding Nemo will really pull it all home for you.

This exclusive stamp used in my sample, designed by Becky Oehlers is available as a clear stamp, as well as a digis or a dig and SVG cut file. 100% of the profits go to Katie’s fund to help her and her young family. Her husband Kevin and her three young children need our help and support. In addition to the Keep Swimming Octopus, Marianne Walker and True =D Doodle Designs both also donated digis that are for sale. Direct donations are also being accepted. Information central is HERE. This is a permanent page that will stay active at i {heart} papers with current information and the full 3 day blog hop listing, as well as the donation button.

It’s such a cute image…. but check it out, there are lots of other options too. Here are all the items available for sale.

Keep Swimming Octopus
Peachy Clear stamp

$5.50 with free shipping

Keep Swimming Octopus DIGIstamp
$3.00 with instant download

Keep Swimming Octopus DIGIstamp with SVG cut file
$3.50 with instant download

Keep Swimming Mermaid DIGIstamp
$3.50 with instant download

Keep Swimming Ribbon Fish DIGIstamp and DIGIpapers
$5.00 with instant download

I hope you will join me in supporting Katie through a purchase or donation. The following is a list of everyone who has projects posted today. I hope you will be inspired by them and moved to purchase or donate.

If you would like to send Katie a card, her mailing address is:

Katie Renz
PO Box 5913
Bellingham, WA 98227-5913

Want to do something else? Spread the word. Here’s a link to the Facebook event. Let’s harness the power of the Internet and raise some serious awareness and money to help this family.

But wait… there’s MORE!

To help raise money for Katie, Creating for Causes (www.creatingforcauses.org) has generously donated a FREE ticket (value: $249.95) to one of their upcoming 3-day Scrap & Stamp Retreats.

The winner of the free ticket will enjoy 3 days of non-stop fun and creativity with fellow scrappers, stampers and paper crafters, and can choose between the Charlotte, NC Scrap & Stamp Ritzy Retreat at The Ritz-Carlton on October 21-23 or the Orlando, FL Scrap & Stamp Retreat at the Marriott World Center on November 4-6. Both retreats promise to spoil you and provide 48-straight hours of creating, camaraderie and fun!

To learn more about the events, please visit: http://www.creatingforcauses.org/our-events/scrapbook-events/.

Not only will you be raising money for Katie by making a donation, you get a chance to win a wonderful weekend getaway for yourself! And, because all of Creating for Causes’ events are charity events that raise money for local charities, you’ll be giving back twice!

Wow, a weekend retreat for you and two chances to help others. Does it get any better than that?

Here’s how it works:

Simply make a $33 donation (or more) for Katie and indicate that you want to be entered in the Creating for Causes Retreat ticket drawing. Everyone who makes a qualifying donation will be entered into the drawing and one lucky person will be attending this 3-day retreat for FREE! That lucky person could just be you! (If you have already donated and wish to be included, just email kate(at) iheartpapers (dot) com)

DEADLINE TO ENTER FOR THIS GIVEAWAY IS FRIDAY 9PM EST, although other donations will be accepted for weeks to come.

The following is a list of everyone who has projects posted today. I hope you will be inspired by them and moved to purchase or donate.

Amy Heller

Jackie Pedro

Julie Masse

Kecia Waters

Sandie Dunne

Susan Liles

Latisha Yoast

Laurie Schmidlin

Lisa Arana

Lisa Henke

Lisa Silver

Lydia Fiedler

Lyn Bernatovich


Maria Gurnsey

Meg Craig

Melissa Bickford

Michelle Woerner

Mona Pendleton

Niki Estes

Robyn Weatherspoon

Sarah Jay

Sarah Martina Parker

Savannah O’Gwynn

Stephanie Washburn

Susanna Boyd: You’re already here :)

Tobi Crawford

Julie Lacey

Kim Kesti

Shemaine Smith

Danielle Lounds

Debbie Carriere

DoBea A.

Fran Gumprecht

Geny Cassady

Gina K.

Holly McMillen

Jak Heath


Kimberly Crawford

Jeanne Streiff

Trudy Sjolander

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.