Midweek Throwdown: Color Challenge / Brown

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014 in Midweek Throwdown Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 3 comments

Well, you all did a fabulous job with your Disney Kids’ Birthday cards. I didn’t expect anything less since Disney is the “happiest place on earth!”

Since it’s the 4th week of the month, it’s time for a color challenge. Returning to our masculine theme for the month (Remember, Father’s Day cards are due to Operation Write Home no later than April 30. That’s just 7 days away!), our COLOR CHALLENGE THIS MONTH IS BROWN. You may be thinking, “Wow, that’s boring, Allison!,” but think of all the shades of brown there are out there and all the cool things you can do with textures and wood grain and the like. Open your minds and your creativity – the possibilities are limitless. Here with our sample card this week is Valerie D. Please leave her some love in the comments. She says her blog is not really a “working blog” but more like a work in progress – I’m sure some of us can relate to that, right?!


Here’s a little about Valerie AND her card, in her own words:

“My card is based on OWH Sketch #199 from 11-17-2013, the stamp set is the “What a Guy” set featured on the SSS Blog on 11-14-13, and the only place I could find the card I CASED is on the OWH Pinterest Board, possibly posted by Sandy.

My day job is librarian and manager of a combined school and public library in NW Wyoming. I have been making cards for 3 or 4 years, but could never figure out how to customize them to each recipient. When I found OWH a year or so ago, I decided it was a match made in heaven. I could make cards with or without sentiments and didn’t have to write inside them. I also found OWH to be a worthwhile organization as many of my family members have served in the military. Both of my parents served in the Air Force and I was born on an Air Force Base. My daughter is now working for the Air Force but as a civilian. Everyone is supportive of my efforts including the children in my library skills classes who have colored many of the coloring pages for me to include with cards.”


Tools of the Trade – Border Punches!

Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in Cardmaking 101, Stars and Stamps, Tutorial, Video | 5 comments

It’s time for another Tool Time episode of OWHtv!

If you don’t yet have any border punches in your arsenal, now is the time to learn all about them and what they can do for your cards!

Border punches can be found from many craft stores, scrapbooking stores or from your favorite consultants/enablers! They start at around $8.00 each and become more expensive with larger, more intricate designs or styles. Those half-price coupons will come in handy when you start collecting these.

Please enjoy today’s episode and don’t forget to share these Tools of the Trade videos with friends who may just be getting started so that they can become inspired by the tools that we use!

Here is Sandy’s beautiful ruffle card mentioned at the end of the video that uses border punches to create a pretty, feminine design. The tutorial, from a few years ago, is still a favorite!



Click here to go to the Dimensional Ruffle Card Tutorial!

Do you have any border punch ideas or suggestions to share? Thanks for watching guys and hope that things are getting springy for you, wherever you may be!

Unyielding support

Posted by on Apr 20, 2014 in Hero Blog, Note from Afghanistan, Note from Soldier | 4 comments


I just returned from R&R Leave in the United States and actually had a box of your wonderful cards waiting when I returned!   Thank you, as always, for thinking of us!  I have already distributed the Mother’s Day cards you sent us!   The Soldiers love them and there was NOT one left!

I have about 75 days left here in theater….so I wanted to take a brief moment to just personally thank you for your unyielding support during our year-long deployment.  Although it’s sometimes intangible to you just how many lives you touch, I want you to know your cards have made all the difference here!  Folks are ALWAYS asking me when the next box of cards is coming?  Thank you!!!

I hope you have a WONDERFUL and BLESSED EASTER and again, I can’t thank you enough for your care and support during the past year!

Please continue to keep in touch…and keep the photos of Ciara coming.

In humble gratitude,



Sketch Challenge #221

Posted by on Apr 20, 2014 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 2 comments

Good Morning Peeps! All of you did an amazing job with last week’s sketch! Thank you for taking that deep breath and going outside your comfort level. I loved seeing all your interpretations, especially on the diagonal strips. Never let it be said that OWHer’s are anything but creatively talented. You Rock!

Now back to our regularly scheduled sketches… with measurements. [[grin]]221

The inspiration comes from this card by Rose. It might be just me, but the card looks square. Since OWH does not send square cards, unless it’s Any Hero mail, the sketch is the standard A2 size. That’s 5 1/2 “ x 4 ¼”. Please visit Rose’s flickr account and leave some love. The link is Here.221 sample

A lot of you are probable busy today with Easter preparations. I do hope you get a chance to try this sketch in the next day or two. Have a great day!

The glow on people’s faces

Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 in Hero Blog, Note from Afghanistan, Note from Soldier | 0 comments

Thanks for sending us the cards. My section runs the unit mailroom and we set the box outside our door with a sign “free cards to mail home.” The troops here loved them and they are all gone! It’s extremely exciting to see the glow on people’s faces as they went through the cards picking them out.

I am a mother of 5 (22, 16, 515, 5, 3) and one granddaughter. My husband is also serving in Kuwait and my kids are staying with my mom. I also have 3 dachsunds and one lab puppy! I am very grateful for my family back home. They haev taken on a lot of responsibility. This is my first time in Afghanistan; I deployed to Kuwait in 2006 and my husband deployed to Iraq in 2010.

I need to get back to work. Thanks again for the cards!

-SFC L.P., Afghanistan


Featured Friday Cardmaker, Diane V., Norfolk, VA

Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 48 comments

Helloooo  card makers!!!  I am happy it’s today, it’s my favorite day.  I have a little drawing  in my office of Pooh and Piglet walking through the woods on a snowy day. 

“What day is it? asked Pooh.

“It’s today” squeaked Piglet.

“My favorite day.” Said Pooh.


Doesn’t that say it all?

Y’all are great at leaving a little something extra for all of our FFCMs, last week was no exception.  As Diane does not have a blog, please leave a little love in the comment section below.

Let me just say, Diane ROCKS!!!! Her motivation for making cards for OWH…hankie alert. The following interview is a little different in that it doesn’t follow the question and answer format.  In the questionnaire email sent to all nominees I ask them to answer the questions as if they were sitting on the porch with friends talking about their hobby. And that is exactly what Diane did and this is what she wrote. Please sit back and enjoy this thoroughly delightful conversation.

Hello Kathy,

I must admit I got a little excited with hearing from Sandy and her considering nominating me for featured card maker. So I’ll take lemonade or iced water. Can we be inside? It is still quite cool here in Norfolk VA. I may not answer questions in order. I’ll just let my thoughts ride.


I started card making way back when it was a ”new “ thing to make your own cards. I used them for family and friends and then sold some at craft shows. I collected  paper because it was pretty and for sure I would use it someday. I used the same logic when I was quilting. Buy fabric because it is pretty.  Paper began to accumulate in my little corner of the house, my very own craft room. Books from Pizzazz were available with all the coordinating papers and I got into scrap booking. Paper kept coming in. I also bought brads and ribbons and whatever was available at the time and in the beginning it wasn’t like now.  There is so much out there.


Fall of 2010 I saw an ad in a card maker magazine for Operation Write Home. I went on site to see what that was about. Well I certainly have enough paper to get started so I made and sent a box of cards. They didn’t return them with a rejection sticker so I thought okay, I’ll make more. It blossomed into a new hobby. Now I spend my afternoons in my “studio.”


I must admit that I had lots of supplies on hand after years of collecting. So whatever I found that I liked at craft stores, I bought. Now it is flea markets or garage sales.  The deals are out there. I bought a lunch bag of ribbon spools one day for 2.00. Some had never been used. I counted 60 spools of ribbon. Another time I bought a box of old and new Stampin’ Up inks for 5.00. There were 60 pads and so far they all ink. I have people that donate leftovers and that always is a help and gets the inspiration going with “new” paper. Paper. Something I can always use.DianeV4

I try to keep my cards simple, using few sentiment stamps and print sentiments on the computer. I do look for card ideas for design and color  placement.  OWH  has been a mountain of inspiration in that respect.  Sometimes I wonder what can I do with this print. Then it’s……. that’s a good idea. Nothing goes to waste in my craft room. A 2 x 3 inch  piece will house an I LOVE YOU. I have a shoe box of scraps for that purpose.

I try to make an assortment of themes for each box. It all depends on the paper and what I think will be appropriate. I have an array of solids to match and I put out a palette of colors to help me decide which is best suited for the print.DianeV3

I think this Operation Write Home is the greatest thing going for our troops. My husband  was in Nam and sometimes the letters were few and far between. This card making community brings beautiful handmade cards to the troops giving them the opportunity to write home more often.

I entered my 7th decade last month and as long as I can and have the materials, I will continue this service. We OWHers  must until all the troops come home.





Beyond words

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Hero Blog, Note from Airman, Note from Qatar | 0 comments

Thank you again for the cards. I have been able to share them with another unit here and they have been a BIG HIT with the other unit too. The generosity and devotion of everyone involved is appreciated. Beyond anything my words can express!

God bless you, your family, and loved ones.

-E.T., USAF Qatar


Midweek Throwdown: Disney Kids’ Birthday

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Midweek Throwdown Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 1 comment

We saw all kinds of sentiments on your cards last week that all stuck to the masculine theme. Way to go!

For those of you who may struggle with masculine-themed cards, we will take a mid-month break just for you! This week your challenge is to make a DISNEY-THEMED KIDS’ BIRTHDAY CARD. This idea for a theme was suggested by Cheryl A. who had seen lots of people using the paper with all the Disney characters’ faces on it. Do you have this paper? Do you have other Disney-themed paper crafting supplies – stamps, dies, Cricut cartridges, etc.? Well, pull them out and get busy. Here is a sample card from Cheryl herself followed by a bit about her. You can see more of Cheryl’s work on her blog Gone Scrappin’.

April 16-Disney Bday-Scrappinforourtroops (1)

“Our family has a long line of military service to our country, including my son, a West Point graduate and Army Captain. In spring of 2011, many of his friends were being deployed and I was sending care packages to them. These care packages included a few handmade cards to write home on. Well, my cards needed a little “help” and I looked to the web for card ideas. I found OWH and the rest is history. I became so awe-inspired by the great work OWH was doing that I instantly wanted to make cards for our heroes.”


Cards with character

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Hero Blog, Note from Afghanistan | 0 comments

I wanted to thank you for the amazing cards that you sent us. I think I have sent out at least 10 cards to different family members and friends. I really appreciate the effort. The cards are beautiful and so neat. It was nice to have some cards with character!

Thanks again,

SrA K.R., Afghanistan


Sketch Challenge #220

Posted by on Apr 13, 2014 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 13 comments

Good Morning Peeps! It’s Sunday again and time for another Sketch Challenge. You are either going to love me or hate me. [[smile]].  Why??? There are NO measurements with this sketch. But fear not card makers, it’s not as hard as it looks. I tried it and it’s basically a piece of designer paper placed at a pleasing angle on the white cardbase. This is another exercise at thinking out of the box instead of having step by step measurements.

Here’s the sketch:


This card by the cleverly talented Penny is the inspiration. Penny said she didn’t have any measurements other than the point o the designer paper is about 1 ½” or so from the bottom. Be sure to check out Penny’s blog, Penny Ward Ink, at the link Here.

220 sample

Come on now, everybody take a deep breath and jump right in. It was so easy, honestly, that I’m going to make some more.