Featured Friday Cardmaker: Tammy W., Lakeland, FL

Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 11 comments

Hey everyone—y’all doing okay?  Hope so, I’m just sittin’ here in front of the computer trying to figure out what to write about and my mind is drifting over, in and around strange phone calls.  I’m thinking about the day my cell phone range off the hook for HOURS and every time I answered it, I’d get that annoying high pitched FAX noise in my ear.  For the LIFE of me I couldn’t figure out why that big box store based in Arkansas was calling my cell phone 3 or 4 calls an hour for like 8 hours.  Calls were from all over GA and TX and were all the same, that dadgum fax beep. The stupid phone calls went on into early evening.  Finally I called the local big box store and asked for the pharmacy manager, related the story and asked if there was a District Manager I could speak with regarding this annoying situation, as the local pharmacy manager didn’t have a clue as to why I received 87 phone calls from all these other stores, I was given Josh’s name and number.  Progress was being made!!!!  So I called Josh and the conversation went something like this…..

Me:  Hello?  May I speak with Josh?

Josh: Hello, this is Josh

Me:  Josh, this is Kathy Ashworth and you don’t know me from Adam, but for some reason I’ve been getting phone calls from ALL the WM pharmacies from south Georgia and even a few from Texas, are these stores in your territory?

Josh: Excuse me, who are you again?

Me:  I’m Kathy Ashworth, I live in Gainesville, GA and I’ve been getting fax machine calls from all the big box store pharmacies down in south GA and from TEXAS—is there some sort of monthly report due today?

Josh:  Are you serious?

Me: Yes, I’m serious, this is starting to get annoying, would you like for me to read off any of these bazillion numbers to you?

Josh: (dumb founded silence)

Me:  Umm, Josh? 

Josh: Yes ma’am, I’m here.  I just don’t know how this happened, there is a daily report that needs to be faxed to me.

Me:  Did you get any of those reports today?

Josh:  Well, no I didn’t, but I did send out a memo with my fax number and my phone number…..oh no…wait a second, (I saw the light bulb flash over his head) let me find that memo…Ma’am, what is your cell phone number?

Me:  123-456-789

Josh: Oh my…dead silence…I don’t believe this….I transposed the phone number with the fax number which made it YOUR cell phone number. (what ARE the odds?)

Me:  Well, how fast can you send out another memo to all the stores in south Georgia and TEXAS with the correct fax number?

Josh:  I’ll do it right away, I am so sorry about this.

Me:  Josh…

Josh:  Yes ma’am….

Me:  Don’t do this again, no typos this time

Josh: Yes ma’am, I’m so sorry…..(don’t you know I just made his day!! laughing)

Six months later (I kid you not, my hand on a Bible)—–

Me:  Josh, this is Kathy Ashworth from Gainesville, GA. Do you remember about six months ago when you sent out my cell phone number to all the pharmacies in south Georgia (I hear a groan)

Josh: Are you kidding me?  (I think he remembered) I’m on my way back to the house from taking the kids to school, hang on just one second, I’m pulling into the driveway.

Me:  Josh, it’s starting again, 5 calls in past hour, Josh get it stopped

Josh: Ma’am I am on this, I promise I’ll get it stopped…….

Me: Thank you Josh….

Thank you for leaving all the wonderful comments for last week’s FFCM, it was most appreciated.  Tammy doesn’t have a blog, so please leave some of that wonderful OWH love in the comment section below, which won’t be hard once you take a gander at these cards!!  Love, love, love the EF used on the heart card, I’ve got to get it, really like how it makes the card masculine; the purple monster card is too cute; the beach scene—is just that—it more like a picture than a card-such detail, just amazing; the plaid football card reminds me of my Pastor—his favorite color is plaid.  Yup I’m stopping there, “but wait there’s more” (I’ve always wanted to use that famous infomercial line) of Tammy to share!  So sit back, relax, get comfy and let’s read about Tammy in her own words….

How long have you been stamping/card making?

I’ve been making cards for about a year and a half. My friends Ann and Linda, got me hooked when I visited them one weekend at a crop in Ft. Myers. They sent me home with a lot of supplies, die cuts, and stamped images. They always feed my habit when I visit.

 All images by Cricut "Create a Critter" Cartridge; sentiment by Stampin Up "Crab and Company"

All images by Cricut “Create a Critter” Cartridge; sentiment by Stampin Up “Crab and Company”

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

I have a craft/sewing room. I am an interior decorator and I do my own sewing. I’m supposed to share the space with my crafting but sometimes the card making takes over and the sewing gets moved out to the dining room. Having the room is a little bitter sweet. I’m an empty nester and it is one of the spare bedrooms. As much as I love having the space to work, I’d rather have a house full of kids.

What are your favorite stamp/craft products?

One of my favorite things to use is embossing folders. I love the texture and detail they add. I also love heat embossing. It never gets old watching the embossing powder melt and get shiny. My daughter calls it sorcery. As you can see by the cards Sandy chose to share with you, I’ve been playing with an original Cricut machine I bought at a yard sale. It’s easy to cut multiples of things quickly and in different sizes.

Embossing Folder by Provo Craft; Cricut hearts; sentiment by Hero Arts "All Occasion Messages" 

Embossing Folder by Provo Craft; Cricut hearts; sentiment by Hero Arts “All Occasion Messages”

Do you have a favorite  technique?

I love to color. It is very relaxing and therapeudic for me. Prisma Color pencils are my favorite and I’m praticing with Copic markers. Not very good with them yet. I used to keep coloring books and crayons on hand, but now I can color adult style.

Monster by Paper Smooches "Falling For You"; sentiment by Hero Arts "All Occasion Messages"; Cricut Balloon; Cloud die by Memory Box; Grass die by Die-namics

Monster by Paper Smooches “Falling For You”; sentiment by Hero Arts “All Occasion Messages”; Cricut Balloon; Cloud die by Memory Box; Grass die by Die-namics

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

I don’t think I can say any particular ones have inspired me but I do use them often. The sketches are great when I have a stamp or design I want to use and can’t come up with a layout. I can lay out and design your room but I sometimes can’t picture the card. I’m not opossed to CASEing cards I see on blogs or Pinterest. I’ve watched most of the OWH tutorials. They have so many fun ideas and techniques to learn from.

Do you prefer digis or stamps?

Although I use digi’s I prefer stamps. I’m not very good on the computer changing colors and mixing digi images but I like that I can change their size. Stamps are fun because you can use different inks and emboss them. There is also just someting about having the physical stamp in your hand.

Sailboat digi by Stampin Up; sentiment by Hero Arts "All Occasion Messages"

Sailboat digi by Stampin Up; sentiment by Hero Arts “All Occasion Messages”

Do you have a  favorite theme?

Christmas is my favorite, but I try to use Sandy’s recipe for a box full of all the OWH accepted themes, and I always check to see if she is requesting anything she has a shortage of. Patriotic Any Hero Cards are also a favorite and my friend, Tonya, helps me write them to the Heros.

Image cut from DCWV "All About Boys" paper stack;  sentiment by Stampendous "Happy Messages"

Image cut from DCWV “All About Boys” paper stack;  sentiment by Stampendous “Happy Messages”

Are there colors you love to include on  your cards?

There aren’t really any colors I prefer over others. I love them all. Brights, pastels, earthy tones. Sometimes a stamp just calls for a certain  color or I work with the papers I have. I have a lot of papers. So may papers. I bet most of you can relate to not leaving the craft store without paper.

How did you hear about Operation Write  Home?

It was either through SplitCoast Stampers or the Free Digital Stamp blog. One of them linked me to someones blog where I saw the OWH logo and clicked on it. I knew immediately that I had to particpate. And to be honest, it gave me something to do with all the cards I had been making. It’s a win/win.

Flower by Cricut "Free Cut of the Week";sentiment by Hero Arts "All Occasion Messages"

Flower by Cricut “Free Cut of the Week”;sentiment by Hero Arts “All Occasion Messages”

What motivates you to make cards for our  heroes?

My motivation comes from a couple of things. My husband is retired from the Coast Guard. Although he was never deployed to another country, he spent much of his time on ships that were gone a lot. It was hard on me, and on our children, to go extended periods of time without hearing from him. Making and sending these cards is a way I can help make a difference for our Heroes and their families. Also, I have received cards and emails from some of the service men and women who have used my cards to write home or who have received Any Hero cards. It’s hard to read their heartfelt thanks and not want to go straight to the craft room to make more cards.

Midweek Throwdown: Color Challenge/Red, White, and Blue

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

Well, your AnyHero cards with stars were fabulous…so fabulous that I’m STILL seeing stars! This is the fourth Wednesday of the month which means it’s time for a COLOR CHALLENGE. With our AnyHero theme continuing, why would you expect me to choose anything other than RED, WHITE, AND BLUE?! As usual, you may choose to use white or kraft – it’s nice to have some creative flexibility, isn’t it?!

Our sample card maker this week is Sybrina K who blogs at There’s Always the Other Side. Sybrina used red, kraft, and blue but what I really love about her card is the way she made the pattern paper the focal image.

July 23-red kraft blue-Sybrina K

Here’s a little about Sybrina in her own words:

I first learned about Operation Write Home at a card making class in the winter of 2010. In the spring of 2011, I teamed up with the amazing OWH group at Scrapbook Art in Lewis Center to host a huge card making party. I’ve been hooked ever since!

For me, making cards is a way to pay it forward. My ninety-year-old father-in-law was a World War II bomber pilot, flying missions over Germany. In the Vietnam era, Uncle Charlie and Uncle Ken served in the Navy and Army, respectively. (As you can imagine, the Army-Navy football game is a pretty big deal in their households!) And, during 63 combined years of high school teaching, hubby and I have taught many young men and women who have joined the Armed Services following graduation. Making cards for OWH is a way to give thanks for the safe return of loved ones and pay tribute to those currently serving our nation.


Reading some of them to each other

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in Hero Blog, Note from Sailor | 3 comments

Dear Sandy,

You should see the group of young sailors gathered around the box of cards that you recently sent. Not only are they picking out ones they like, but they are also having fun showing and reading some of them to each other. So once again, they are a hit. Thank you also for your prayers, and yes that is us in the news standing ready*. Say hi to Ciara for me.




Adorable, thoughtful and clever card designs

Posted by on Jul 20, 2014 in Hero Blog, Note from Afghanistan, Note from Soldier | 1 comment

I am a recipient of the wonderfully creative cards from your organization.  I am based in Bagram, Afghanistan and we have come to love your cards.  I just wanted to pass on a note to thank you for what you do.  Not only do we enjoy sending handwritten notes home, the adorable, thoughtful and clever card designs make it all the more better.

 Thanks again, you do a wonderful thing to support the troops here,



Sketch Challenge #234

Posted by on Jul 20, 2014 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 8 comments

Good Morning Peeps! Today I want to take the time to say “Thank You” to all of you who participate in the weekly sketch challenges. You all do such amazing work and I’m constantly being reminded of all the talent and creativity each of you possess. I also admire your dedication to making sure our heroes have so many beautiful cards to send home.

This week’s sketch has a cute little banner to play with.


This adorable inspiration card comes from the creatively talented Ellen Parker. Please visit Ellen’s blog, “in a world of craft”, and the link is Here. You’ll want to see the great tutorial on how Ellen used a die for the 2-1/2” square and allowed part of the flower to be outside the square.

234 sample

Enjoy your day Peeps, and “Thank You” again for all you do for OWH!!

A warm Thank You

Posted by on Jul 19, 2014 in Hero Blog, Note from Afghanistan, Note from Airman | 6 comments


Our Team here will like to send you a warm Thank You for the box of cards! We all truly appreciate all the work our citizens put in to make these creative beautiful cards for us to send to our love ones. Having these blanks cards personally allow me to write hand written note to my family and friends at home, and everyone really adore the cards.

We loved the picture of the Ciara enjoying the car ride…as long as she don’t try to drive ha ha ha!  I attached a recent picture of our team.

We also love all the Thank You cards from the wonderful children!

Thank You,




OWHtv Week 151

Posted by on Jul 19, 2014 in OWHtv, Stars and Stamps | 0 comments

And Casual Friday’s video (not linked here) had a simple purpose of showing you Heather’s video here:

So personable and creative!

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in Hero Blog, Note from Afghanistan | 2 comments

Hi, Today I found a box of beautiful cards from you guys in our laundry room where people put boxes that they want to share with everyone. Thank you so much! I like to write my Dad, my sister, and my best friend once a week. And let’s just say, the cards they have here are pretty pathetic! lol So I was so happy when I found your cards. They were so personable and creative! I can’t wait to start using them. Thanks again,
SSgt JW, currently serving in Bagram, Afghanistan.


Featured Friday Card Maker Michele S., New Albany, Mississippi

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

Hello card makers and a very happy Friday to you!!!!  Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Well let me tell you feta cheese and goat cheese are NOT the same thing by a different name and I like Kalamata olives. YUP!  Those are my discoveries for the week, the new things I learned. I subscribe to a recipe service which has many meal plans to choose from such as low calorie, low carb, portion control (Weight Watchers), Paleo, gluten free. classic, easy gourmet,  etc., there are plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  You can also choose from a family plan for five or plan for two, and some of the meal plans also let you pick which grocery store.  Those recipes for the week are based on that specific store’s sale items.  Currently I subscribe to the plan for two, low calorie and each Wednesday I download the meal plan for the week, 7 entrees and sides and the shopping list.  There is always a mixture of beef, chicken, pork, seafood/fish, vegetarian (pasta or some sort of salad).  This is so great because someone else has figured out that a pork loin roast can be a roast for meal 1 and pulled pork BBQ sandwiches for meal 4.  Sorta how Mom and Grandma figured out the weekly recipes.  Usually I skip the Mediterranean based recipes because those have Kalamata olives as an ingredient and I just decided I didn’t like them even though I’ve never tasted one.  Gee that’s great logic!  So I picked out the recipes I wanted to eat for the next several days and cooked up a storm on Sunday.  Do not read this list if you are hungry as I am dining on: Pasta w/Zucchini, Tomatoes & Bacon (to die for), Mediterranean Pasta Salad w/Shrimp (will make this again), Skillet Chicken Curry (found out I like coconut milk, this is a fave), Lemon Baked Flounder (easiest recipe in the world), Beef & Spinach Enchiladas (oh my granny, a fave), Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff (another repeat fave) and finally Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwiches—but I have to purchase more basil. I’ve been using this recipe service for four years and it’s the best thing since sliced bread.  Talk about getting me out of my box, experiencing new foods and trying new things—love it.  The recipes are easy to follow and don’t take hours to make.  The stroganoff was in the slow cooker by 10:30 and I was finally finished about 3:00 which includes washing dishes, pots and pans about three times, dividing the meals up into the correct portions and amounts and eating lunch. Enough about marathon cooking let’s talk about card making!!

The comments were great last week as always—thank you very much for taking the time to comment.  It really is appreciated. Michele has a blog,and you may leave comments there or in the section below.

As you will read, Michele has been making cards for about three years, to which I say “yeah right, sure if you say so”—her cards are great!!!!  I so like the blue shadow on the eagle card—I always think that technique is so cool and wish it looked good when I try it!  Soccer bear is just adorable, love the simplicity of the sailboat card, the scallop edges on the masculine deer card work and who knew there was such a thing as pebble paper that looks just like the embossing folders!!! Y’all sit back and get comfy as we are about to read about Michele in her own words…..

I was born and raised in Tupelo, MS, the birthplace of Elvis “The Pelvis” Presley.  Yep, he used to climb the fig tree in my grandmother’s yard and pick them.Now I live about 25 miles from Tupelo in New Albany, MS.

How long have you been stamping/card making?

I guess you could say I have been “practicing” for about 3 years. I am not a pro by any means but I learn a little something new with each attempt. The 1st card I ever made was for OWH! I have a photo of every single card and oh my gosh!! You know how I said I learn a little something each time? Those 1st cards are pretty much a disaster compared to the ones I make today. So thankful to Sandy and OWH for creating 100s of tutorials and sketches to help us improve our crafting and design skills. Pretty much anything you can imagine….there’s a tutorial for. If not, send OWH an email and I am fairly certain a tutorial will magically appear in the near future.

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

Yes, my sweet husband painted an extra bedroom a beautiful shade of blue. It’s so soothing and relaxing, I can’t help but get in the mood! I have a kitchen table on bed risers so it’s waist high. I stand up most of my creative time so this helps eliminate back pain. All of my stamps, inks, papers and embellishments line each of the 4 walls so I am surrounded by inspiration! And if that’s not enough, I have vinyl wall art that reads “Do what you love, love what you do” which I read every day and think of our Heroes. They volunteered for this. They weren’t forced into it. They do it because they love this country and what it stands for.

Image by Doodle Pantry “Freedom Eagle; Sentiment by Hero Arts “Happy Birthday”  

Image by Doodle Pantry “Freedom Eagle; Sentiment by Hero Arts “Happy Birthday”

What are your favorite stamp/craft products?

My name is Michele…..and I am a craft supply hoarder! I love them all and could never pick a favorite.  I have a variety of supplies ranging from whimsical for kids & silly cards to elegant for adult cards. I love a good challenge that gets me out of my comfort zone so I want to be prepared and have things on hand that I may not be particularly fond of but it works awesome for this particular challenge. Other than that…..anything on sale is my favorite for that  week!

Image by Stampavie,  Penny Johnson Clear Stamp “Sporty”; Banner strips DCWV Pebbled paper,  Circle Die by Spellbinders; Sentiment by My Favorite Things set unknown

Image by Stampavie,  Penny Johnson Clear Stamp “Sporty”; Banner strips DCWV Pebbled paper,  Circle Die by Spellbinders; Sentiment by My Favorite Things set unknown

Do you have a favorite  technique?

I love, love, love heat embossing. The texture that it creates really makes the card stand out. It doesn’t always turn out perfect but I will continue practicing. I did learn from Sandy Allnock in one of her fabulous videos that for best results, heat from the bottom first so the powder doesn’t get blown around.  I have also learned the huge difference layering your sentiment and image makes.  It really adds a quality finished look to the card.

Image by TPC Studio, “The Great Outdoors”; Scallop Rectangles Die by Spellbinders; Sentiment by Hero Arts “Happy Birthday” 

Image by TPC Studio, “The Great Outdoors”; Scallop Rectangles Die by Spellbinders; Sentiment by Hero Arts “Happy Birthday”

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

200+ sketches, 100+ tutorials….we don’t have enough time to tell you about ALL of the inspiration but let’s see if I can narrow it down to 1 or 2. I prefer not to make multiples of cards. When I send in a box of 200-300 cards, each and every one is different….just like our Heroes. This can take a lot of time to complete one box. The 1-sheet wonders and 6 x 6 pad templates were a wonderful way for me to make 10-24 cards at a time, yet they were all different! Love that!  The most recent spark of creativity was the inlaid die tutorials. What an awesome way to add a little something extra to the card but not add any bulk. I can’t wait to try this one!  Sketches? I printed the PDF of all sketches to date that OWH provided , put them in a 3 ring binder and now use it for just about every card I create. I put an OWH photo of our Heroes holding up the Operation Write Home signs on the front of the binder for extra inspiration.

 Do you prefer digis or stamps?

I prefer stamps because they give a cleaner, better quality look to my projects. I will admit that I have tons of digis pinned on Pinterest. There are some really great ones out there and the advantage is that you can resize the images to fit your needs. Of course, you can do that with stamps too. Simply stamp, scan to your computer and resize as needed but it’s quicker to stamp and go on to the next task.

Image from Pinterest (unknown source); Circle Die by Spellbinders; Sentiment by My Favorite Things, set unknown

Image from Pinterest (unknown source); Circle Die by Spellbinders; Sentiment by My Favorite Things, set unknown

Do you have a  favorite theme?

My comfort zone is sweet or inspirational but the Mid Week Throwdown, Sketch and ODBD challenges really helps me explore other areas that normally I wouldn’t have tried.  My awesome mother constantly provides me with ideas from something she saw in a magazine or read in the newspaper which really helps spark the ole creativity!

Are there colors you love to include on  your cards?

If I could have 1 wish granted….it would be to live on a tropical island. So….my go to colors are blues/teals/peach, etc. It depends on the image I am working with or the mood I am in that day.

Sentiment “Everything Love” by Unity Stamps

Sentiment “Everything Love” by Unity Stamps

How did you hear about Operation Write  Home?

Several years ago, one of my crafty friends on FB had posted a link to the OWH live broadcast that used to come on every week. I watched it to see if it was a real organization and have been hooked ever since.  I loved how down to earth Sandy was and that she was just herself whether it be serious or silly, she kept me entertained and motivated to “give back” to those men and women who were serving our country. At the time, OWH only had about 4,000 followers on Facebook. Now, there are over 15,000! Whoot whoot!

Image by La La Land Crafts “Koala Luka”; Labels 1 Die by Spellbinders

Image by La La Land Crafts “Koala Luka”; Labels 1 Die by Spellbinders

What motivates you to make cards for our  heroes?

My son enlisted with the National Guard a few years ago. I remember making him some stationary with the National Guard  logo for him to write home on. Some letters he sent home were just written on plain notebook paper. I have them all in a scrapbook, along with the envelopes, and will cherish them forever! I remember opening the mailbox and seeing a letter from him and immediately began crying before I even opened it!  I can imagine how the recipients of OWH cards feel when they see a beautiful card with an endearing message in it.  OWH does such a wonderful job of sharing feedback from our Heroes, you can’t help but get excited.  I especially love how OWHers respond to a call of duty when a special request is made by a Hero.  I don’t make cards for recognition, for a pat on the back or to make me feel better about myself. I do it because our Heroes have left their family, friends and country to protect us. That is time away that they will never get back. It’s the least I can do to help make their absence a little more bearable for them and the loved ones back home.

To Sandy Allnock, the OWH Volunteers, the Federal Way Postal Workers and the 1000s of OWH cardmakers….YOU ROCK!!!! Keep up the good work and let’s see how quickly we can get to the 3 Million cards sent milestone!!!

Midweek Throwdown: AnyHero with Stars

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Midweek Throwdown Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 2 comments

Wow, I loved your AnyHero Thank You cards last week. We’re definitely on a roll, so let’s keep it going! This week’s challenge is to create an ANYHERO CARD WITH STARS. That’s right, you can stamp, punch, emboss, embellish or do anything else you can think of with stars this week. Don’t forget to write a note to our heroes in the card. They love to get mail just as much as they love to send it!

This week’s sample card maker is Heather N. who blogs at Creative Blessings. I just LOVE the simplicity of her card! See the link below – she’s got a video to show how she made her card.

July 16-Stars-Heather N

Here are a few words from Heather about her card and what motivates her:

Operation Write Home holds a very dear place in my heart. My grandfathers both served during the Korean War and/or WWII. My dad and uncle served in Vietnam. Making cards for our troops is my small way of giving back to those who serve in our military as well as their family and friends back home. My friend Sherry P. introduced me to OWH and I am so glad she did. I’m so grateful that Sandy Allnock and all her volunteers have given me a way to serve those who serve our country.

My card was made using an inlaid die cutting technique. I even made a video showing how it is done. I chose to make a thank you card because I can either use it to write an any hero card or send to the troops to use. Hopefully it motivates others to join this fabulous cause.