With the coming drawdown, OWH will be in need of fewer cards in the future – that includes upcoming holidays. PLEASE READ THIS PAGE before proceeding to make cards, organize events, etc – it’s really really really really important. Did I say really important? :)


Keep changing lives

Posted by on Mar 1, 2015 in Hero Blog | 0 comments

I wanted to thank you for the latest batch of wonderful cards – they are fantastic! Please pass my appreciation to all the others. Please share our appreciation at home from the teams like ours who you support. It makes a difference!

Keep changing lives there, and we’ll stay alert and safe here.

Best regards,

-LCDR J.I., Afghanistan, US Navy


Tears in my eyes

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in Hero Blog | 3 comments

I received my package of cards today and I was so grateful. I had no idea what I was really signing up for but your program is AWESOME! Not only am I impressed with the cards for me to use to write home but I sat at my desk with tears in my eyes (but hiding them from my coworkers) as I read your card and all the other cards and notes in the package! I shared a few with my coworkers but I selfishly wanted to keep them ALL for me.

I hope you are blessed and extremely happy because of the joy you bring to those of us doing very difficult jobs very far away from friends and family. I will definitely become one of your biggest supporters when I return home!

Thank you for all you do!

T.D., Qatar



Sketch Challenge 249

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 2 comments

Wow! There were some great interpretation of our last sketch! Thank you so much for all the wonderful cards you made for our deployed troops to send home. 

We have another fabulous sketch, inspired by another wonderful card. First the sketch.

Today’s sketch offers the opportunity for a strong focal point accented by several layers of embellishments. It looks a perfect sketch to use some scraps and snippets of paper. With a deadline of March 31 to get Mother’s Day cards to Sandy, I’m thinking some pretty floral papers may be just the way to go for those scraps and snippets. Of course, cards with more general mom sentiments could be sent for other occasions, such as mom’s birthday, and would have a longer shelf life.  :)

OWH Sketch 249

The cards below are the inspiration for today’s sketch. I love that they are so bright and cheery… and masculine! And, now I know what to do with my bitty banner punch! Unfortunately, we don’t know the name of the talented card-maker who made these great cards. If you made these cards, or know who did, please let us know. We’d love to give credit where credit is due. 

OWH Sketch 249 -- sample

As if a great sketch and two wonderful sample cards are not enough, our friends at Doodle Pantry are back to sponsor another challenge. One lucky card maker will receive a mini shopping spree with a value up to $10.50. (Thanks again, Laurie!) To qualify for the Doodle Pantry prize drawing, please link up your card by 11 P.M. EST on March 12.

Without further ado, here are a few inspiration cards from the uber-talented DP team.

Sketch 249 - DPDT2_28_2015Sponsor

Sketch 249 - Get Well Critters

Sketch 249 - IMG_8200

Sketch 249 - OWH Feb 28

Did you know that sponsoring sketch challenges is only one way in which Doodle Pantry supports OWH? Doodle Pantry generously donates a portion of the profits from several adorable digital sets to OWH. Click here to check out these OWH fundraising items, including the two newest additions: Bath Ants and Funky Sock Monkey!

Featured Friday Card Maker Ruza R, Northern Illinois

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 21 comments

TGIF! Is anyone else ready for a weekend? It’s crafty time, and this week you get to meet Ruza. She lives near the Wisconsin border with her loving husband of 30-years and their Special Needs Daughter. Her son and his family live within 20-minutes of our home….how fortunate is she! Ruza is also fortunate to have a ton of talent – she’s been blogging at Ruza’s Craft Corner for 4-years! Be sure to leave her some love here, and go follow her blog…you’re going to love her creations! -Sandy

How long have you been stamping/card making?
– I started my card making journey 4-1/4 years ago after visiting the CHA Show in Rosemont, IL. I started out making cards for family and friends, and never stopped.

Do you have a craft room or specific area where you stamp/craft?
– Yes I do. It’s a combination craft/laundry room (picture below). We just added the craft section to my laundry room last year over the Summer so I create while the laundry is going. I do my coloring of images at my kitchen table during the evenings, and then hit the craft room while the laundry is going OR when my daughter is at her Day Program 3-days a week.

Ruza New Digs

What are your favorite stamp/craft products?
– I can’t just pick one or even a few since there are sooo many! Some of the products I use on a regular basis are Technique Tuesday, MFT, Papertry Ink, SRM Products, Enamel Dots, Bling, Copic Markers, Chalk Pencils for extra shading, etc.


Do you have a favorite technique?

– I love coloring with my Copic Markers, and have started playing with Faber-Castell Gelato’s to create backgrounds. I prefer creating Clean and Simple cards so that extra postage is not required for mailing my cards.


Have any particular OWH sketches or tutorials served as inspiration for your cards?

– I’ve used several of the OWH sketches, but am inspired by many different Sketch Challenge Blogs in cyber-land.

RuzaR5Do you prefer digis or stamps?
– I have both digital and stamps. I love how easy it is to change the size of digital stamps or flip them to meet my needs. However, working with regular stamps does have its advantages.

Do you have a favorite theme?
– No. It depends on the image I’m working with.


Are there colors you love to include on your cards?
– Not really. I have tons of design paper and just but don’t use it very often.

RuzaR2How did you hear about Operation Write Home?
– I heard about OWH thru PaperCrafts Magazine. I discovered that the cards that were entered into the World Card Making Day Challenge that didn’t get chosen were sent to OWH.


What motivates you to make cards for our heroes?
– I have been on over a dozen different Digital Design Teams since I started my blog 4-1/2 years ago. That means creating a LOT of cards! I don’t sell my cards, and had boxes of them just sitting on a shelf. After hearing about OWH I went thru my cards and pulled out all of the cards that met the OWH parameters. I know that they are appreciated and would be put to good use. Now when I design a card I create them to meet the OWH parameters as much as possible.

Cause us to keep in touch more

Posted by on Feb 25, 2015 in Hero Blog | 0 comments

Sandy and volunteers,

I just wanted to send a note to let you know how much your cards are appreciated and used! I am stationed in Bagram, and when a new box comes in, I place it in the break area of the barracks and they are gone in a few days. They are all so nice! Very creative and pretty. They cause us to keep in touch more with home.

Thanks so very much for doing this!
D.H., Afghanistan



Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

My staff and I have gone through the first box you sent, and into the second! I am sharing this third box with other departments. Folks are gobsmacked at the beauty of the cards and the kindness behind each one!

Thank you!!



OWHtv Week 179

Posted by on Feb 22, 2015 in OWHtv, Stars and Stamps | 3 comments

Another week of fun while I’m away…hope you all have been enjoying the videos I made ahead of time for you! This first video shows some challenges with this week’s sketch – and how we can adjust our designs to make sure we’re not producing sneeze on our cards. If you can’t see the videos below in email, click on the blog post title to go see it on the blog.

And in the second video, I show you how I re-did a card similar to the sample card!

The office reopens next week – but it’ll still be a while til things are their “normal” level of busy again, lots of catchup to do! :)

More beautiful than ever

Posted by on Feb 21, 2015 in Hero Blog | 0 comments

Greetings! Thank you so much for sending the beautiful cards. They arrived very fast and as always more beautiful than ever. My office truly appreciates what you do.

God bless!



February Mid-Month Throwdown – Cards for Kids

Posted by on Feb 21, 2015 in Challenges, Inspiration, Midweek Throwdown Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 2 comments

Welcome to the February Mid-Month Throwdown! I enjoyed seeing all the wonderful Thank You cards from last month’s challenge. Such a great variety of cards for our heroes. Don’t worry if you haven’t linked up your card yet, because there is no deadline for Mid-Month challenges.

It may still be winter, but in the OWH world, it’s time for spring cards. And if you’re still working on Easter cards, the deadline to have those at OWH headquarters is February 28th. That’s only 1 week away! You can always just play it safe and make non-Easter cards with fun spring papers or bunnies using the requested 5 themes. Miss You, Love, Thank You, Birthday, and Thinking of You. Our heroes are always looking for the perfect card to send to their sweet kiddos. So, this month’s theme is to make Cards for Kids.

Our sample card-maker this month is Patricia H. who blogs at Thinking of Inking. I just love her sweet super hero card. Her stitching is absolutely perfect!

OWH-blog-hop-10-4-2014Here’s a little about Patricia in her own words:

I’ve been crafting in one form or another pretty much since I was old enough to manage crayons, scissors, and glue.  I used to do a lot of embroidery and cross-stitching, but I had to put those on the back burner when I had curious toddlers who wanted to climb into my lap when I was crafting. I started stamping in 2002 when one of my friends became a Stampin’ Up demonstrator and I wanted to help support her business.  I enjoy using stamps, designer papers, and embellishments from a variety of companies now.  Although I love the look of stitching on cards, I don’t think to do it often.  It’s always a happy surprise when I can look through my embroidery floss and find colors that match my cardstock!

Featured Friday Card Maker: Liz G, Gilbert, AZ

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 22 comments

Hello everyone, and TGIF! I’m excited today to introduce you to Liz, who doesn’t have a blog, but she shares some of her creations on Pinterest on this board. (Did you know that Pinterest is a great solution for nonbloggers? You can post your pics there and enter in our challenges using those for links! woohoo!)  Liz is pretty new to OWH – so she’s just learning about our tutorials, sketches, and OWHtv! Leave her lots of love in the comments – and share with her what your favorite resource is here on our website! Thanks everyone, and have a great weekend! -Sandy

How long have you been stamping/card making?     

I started stamping about 25 years ago. Then got into scrapbooking and about 5 years ago, I started making cards.

Do you have a craft room or specific area where you stamp/craft?     

I have a beautiful craft room where I work on all my crafts. Mini scrapbooks, cards and I enjoy decorating cigar boxes.


What are your favorite stamp/craft products?     

I like to mix different techniques on my cards like watercolor resist, die cutting, embossing. And now I’m coloring with alcohol inks and water colors. Love it. You do such beautiful work. I watch your videos all the time. I think I’m getting better.


Do you have a favorite  technique?   

Kristina Werner, Jennifer McGuire and Sandy inspire me. I watch videos and look at Pinterest for my ideas. I may use the similar materials, but I never make the same card twice. 


Have any particular OWH sketches or tutorials served as inspiration for your cards?     

Operation write home is very new to me and I’m still finding resources. I did see one video that showed how to cut the cards stock to maximize time and materials. I did follow her advice. 

Do you prefer digis or stamps?    

I prefer stamps ( since I’m not sure what a digi is)


Do you have a favorite theme?     

I have no favorite theme, but love cards are fun to make. 


Are there colors you love to include on your cards?     

My favorite colors are red and black. And I guess I use then very often. I feel black grounds my cards and keeps them from looking too froo froo.


How did you hear about Operation Write Home?    

One day I happened upon a video on Operation Write Home. It sounded perfect to me. I had quite a stockpile of cards and I had already given cards to everyone and their grandmother. So I found your guidelines and altered a few cards and put them in the mail. 

What motivates you to make cards for our heroes?

My husband was in Vietnam and my son was in the Navy and my grandson is currently in the Navy. That all the motivation I need. These young people deserve all the help we can give.