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IMPORTANT NOTICE!

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? :)

READ ME FIRST

OWHtv Week 157

Posted by on Aug 30, 2014 in OWHtv, Stars and Stamps | 4 comments

Hi everyone! Only two episodes for you this week…..I’m travelling and visiting family, and the housesitter doesn’t do videos – lol! Travel continues for a while, so if you’ve sent in cards recently, your patience in receiving courtesy e-receipts is appreciated, thanks!

The first video shows the hard way to create a card:

And the second shows the most common card design seen in OWH boxes:

Featured Friday Card Maker Jeanann, Mission, TX

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 22 comments

Hey there everyone, hope all is well with you.  Had a bit of an adventure last week when a thunderstorm went through Gainesville. Miraculously a 40 foot hickory tree fell away from the house.  Chris the tree guy came out the next day to asses the situation, took a look at it, the house and me, shook his head and said “Kathy do you realize that when trees are on a forward sloping bank they fall forward and not backward?”  I said, “Chris, I figured God in His infinite wisdom and mercy reached out His hand and  just pushed it backwards.” He looked at me solemnly and “I think so, ma’am, I think so.”

Huge heartfelt thanks to all who left comments last week—wow wasn’t that a thrill not having any photos for a short time? NOT!! When Sandy loaded the interview onto  WordPress the interview was intact, then the weird web took over acting nutty and didn’t load the photos. Our fearless leader (who never sleeps BTW, cause I sent that email early, east coast time) wrangled with WordPress and fixed it for us. You just never know what is going to happen in cyberspace. Anyway, all the comments were great and thank you very much for leaving them.  Let’s continue this week and leave some OWH love in the comment section below for Jeanann as she doesn’t have a blog.

So many things to note and mention about Jeanann and her cards.  I really like the contrast with the purple and black cone flower card, the train card is a great example of how to tone down a busy designer paper, really like the softness of the purple birthday card and that soft theme is carried out with the ink color, the image and ribbon.  As usual, I’m just mentioning a few aspects to whet your appetite and know y’all will pick out others that I’ve missed.  Time to sit back, get comfy and let’s learn about Jeanann in her own words…..

How long have you been stamping/card making?

Probably about 7 years. It was a natural progression from the scrap booking I did while our kids were growing up. In the over 55 mobile home park where we live some of the ladies taught card classes of all types and I attended. Of course I needed supplies so I found a small independent shop where they not only sold products but had classes and carding nights. Those hooked me. Every Friday night I’d have to be sure I had my checkbook with me so that I could buy some new-to-me, wonderful  product and of course, lots of paper. It’s a shame but that little store closed down. Our ladies suffered withdrawal until one of our group found us a place to meet. Now we’ve grown to over 30 ladies during the “winter Texan” months. I love making cards. It’s something that can be done at any age. Sleep is no problem, I can even dream up card ideas then.

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

I started carding in a corner of the living room of the mobile home we live in.  After my area grew so large that there was only a trail from the front door to the other rooms I knew I had to find another place. We cleared out my sewing room because who wants to sew when you can make cards?  I moved in there. My super helpful and capable husband made me a ribbon rack and a table top where I put my machines. One wall is shelves from floor to ceiling. Those hold all types of items, buttons, embellishments, flowers, etc. Another wall holds two sets of the 12 x 12 paper drawers. One set contains plain colored cardstock and the other is filled, and I do mean filled, with printed paper. I never see a piece of paper no matter what size that I don’t think I need or will need at some time.  I have a large sheet of peg board which holds various stickers  and such. On the door and one wall there are three over the door shoe bags. These hold most of my punches. My honey made me a large bulletin board that I hang all my thin dies on. That way I can easily see them and choose the ones that I need for my project. Some drawers for stamps, low shelves for my embossing folders, and a desk to work on, yes it still fits, and a shelf holding the CD cases I put my clear stamps in pretty much complete the room.

What are your favorite stamp/craft products?

I love using punches and dies. There are so many new dies that are easy to use and really make the card.  We’re no longer tied to the big, thick, Sizzix dies although I still have my old, red Sizzix machine and many of those dies (and use them). I know some of the new machines will cut those dies but habits die hard and I still love my old stand bys.  As far as stamps go I use lots of  brands. I just type what I need into my trusty computer and I have so many choices, in fact, too many.  My friends are big into Stampin’ Up and are so great to share with me so I use them a lot.

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Do you have a favorite  technique?

I don’t have just one favorite technique. The ladies in my card group are very creative and wonderful to share and teach so I keep trying the new techniques that they bring.. One of my favorites is inking or chalking a background and then adding a solid stamp.  That makes a simple stamp just pop out. Speaking of popping out, I love to use pop dots to give the card dimension. Right now my group is into the flip cards and slider cards . We just did box cards which were a lot of fun. (Editor’s note: flower/moon card was made at one of the winter Texan gatherings, actual creator unknown.)

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

No, I like to try different sketches. They help me keep from falling into the “sameness” trap.  I watch tutorials from time to time but often think I need to buy something special to create the same type of card and I already have so many things that I need to use .

Do you prefer digis or stamps?

I like both but since I’m not good at coloring I usually choose solid stamps. I told my husband that I just couldn’t color well. His comment was “you used to color with the girls when they were little didn’t you?” “Not the same”  I had to explain. I download some of the cute, free digi’s offered on OWH.

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Do you have a  favorite theme?

Are flowers and butterflies a theme? I love both of those but I guess my favorite themes are “miss you” or “I care“. Those just seem to be so “right” for those away from home. I like my cards simple and not too busy.

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Are there colors you love to include on  your cards?

Bright basic colors, soft, spring colors, and the fall colors are some of my favorites. . Oh yes, black and white. I don’t think I ever met a color I didn’t like to use. I seem to like colors that match. I wish I was better at contrasting.

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How did you hear about Operation Write  Home?

I really can’t remember. I think a friend told me about it and I’m so glad I found it. Since then I’ve seen it featured in some of my magazines and I’ve spread the word. Now some of my friends are making cards and sending them to OWH.

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What motivates you to make cards for our  heroes?

I love making cards and sending them for someone to enjoy. I consider those cards  my way of making life a bit easier for our heroes. In my imagination I can see a person in the military picking out a card and sending it to someone they love. I feel thankful for having played a little part in that. I hope that one of my cards will be that card. I’m often asked if I’m bored since I retired. I tell them “no”. Every day is filled with new challenges as I survey all the wonderful things I have to use making cards to send to those who allow me to do the things I love to do and keep me safe while I do it …our military

The cards you sent

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Hero Blog, Note from Afghanistan | 0 comments

I received your box of cards a couple of days ago—thank you so much.  The cards you sent will be provided to Headquarters United States Forces-Afghanistan and soldiers  here in Afghanistan.

The picture you sent of your golden retriever warmed my heart—I have one waiting for me to come home.  15 year olds is very old for a golden retriever, but Ciara looks like she’s doing just fine as a mascot.

Thank you again and all the best!

 I.T.D., Capt, USAF

Thank you for the boxes of cards

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in Hero Blog, Note from Afghanistan | 0 comments

I just wanted to say thank you for the boxes of cards I have received. I also wanted to let you know I will be leaving theater so there is no need to send anymore.

Thank you again for everything you and your organization does. It has been greatly appreciated.

v/r

M.J.D., 1LT, QM

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Your cards have greatly helped me

Posted by on Aug 25, 2014 in Hero Blog, Note from Afghanistan, Note from Soldier | 3 comments

Thank you very much for the awesome cards. I received them yesterday. We really appreciate all of them. At this time, that will be enough. We are in the process of tearing everything down around the base.

We have been receiving several care packages for our soldiers and I was in desperate need of cards to write Thank You letters back for each of them. So your cards have greatly helped me and other soldiers.

Thanks again for all you guys do!!!

J.E.G.

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Thanks so much for caring

Posted by on Aug 24, 2014 in Hero Blog, Note from Soldier | 6 comments

I just received another box of those beautiful cards from you. Thanks so much for caring.

I’ve implemented a great system of sharing them with the Troopers here. Everyone appreciates them and loves sending their family hand-crafted cards. Thanks again. These cards really make a difference to those of us that are deployed here.

Sincerely,

Y.C., CDR, USN

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Sketch Challenge #237

Posted by on Aug 23, 2014 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 2 comments

Good Morning Peeps!  Goodness gracious, I don’t know about your neck of the woods but mine has had lots of rainy days. Last night ‘ole Mother Nature sure was riled up! We had rain by the truck loads, constant thunder and lightening, what a ruckus. As my grandma would say, a good ‘ole gully washer! Today was beautiful with nice blue skies and no sign of rain.

I don’t know about you, but today is a good day to make a card using the new sketch! It’s a great sketch and an adorable sample card.

 

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This ‘tweet’ inspiration comes from the creative Cindy. She had it on her facebook but is going to have something on her blog. Cindy’s blog is Cindy’s Card Co., and the link is Here.

 

237 sample

Before I get back to making cards I’m going on the porch to have some coffee, soak up some rays, and relax. Have a beautiful day!


OWHtv Week 156

Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 in OWHtv, Stars and Stamps | 5 comments

Whew! Has it been as crazy a week for everyone else as it has here? I’ve had hundreds more emails this week than usual….so many questions, so little time to answer! Yeesh! Perhaps it’s because I’m leaving next week and trying to get double the work done before I go….I’m excited to go see Mom, though! If you send cards in the next couple weeks, please be patient – I’ll be back in action by September 11th. Receipts will go out as soon as I can get to opening and processing all that mail. :) But rest assured, I’m getting a couple episodes of OWHtv to keep you going while I’m gone…leave lotsa love so I know you’ve been ’round! And now without further ado…this week’s videos!  

And the winners are:

  1. Lil Hoot: SOOZIE4HIM!
  2. Missing you: MELANIE SMITH!
  3. Surprise gift: JOANN POLLOCK!

Email your addresses to sandy at operation write home (dot) org and I’ll get ‘em in the mail to you!

And I guess “it’s a thing” is a thing. lol.

Featured Friday Card Maker, Andrea F., Gore, VA

Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 63 comments

A couple of summers ago I was given the opportunity to spend a week in Washington, DC, hands down the very best vacation ever.  I wandered around the mall, paid tribute to the monuments, sat in the Jefferson Memorial wondering how in the world did these men know how to start a nation? I wandered through the museums, was mesmerized by the original Star Spangled Banner, smiled at Dorothy’s red slippers, was wowed by the First Ladies dress exhibit, thought the mummies, otherwise known as “real live dead people” were the coolest thing ever, and kept expecting the giant elephant/mastodon to come to life. Then I went to the U.S. Marine monument of the flag raising at Iwo.  There my friend pointed out the path of the hijacked plane as it  flew over the monument into the Pentagon.  The next day I visited the Pentagon memorial and quietly took it all in.  I read the 184 names which includes a woman from Gainesville, GA.  Explained why some “wings” pointed toward the Pentagon and why others pointed to the western sky to other tourists. The “wings” are granite benches with the names engraved on one end, when reading the names if you are facing the Pentagon, the person died there, if facing the sky, the person died on the plane. I didn’t get to see and do all that I wanted, there is just so much. I hope one day to go back.

Thanks so much for the wonderful comments left last week for our FFCM.  Andrea doesn’t have a blog, so please leave a little OWH love in the comment section below. Okay, hands down the sailboat card is the cutest card EVAH—it’s just the cat’s meow!! Finally realized the clouds must be a stamp, then die cut in order to get that perfect blue line.  I don’t have a cloud stamp, but I do have a die and will try for the same effect.  Okay confess—how many of you have ever jumped in a rain puddle? I know I have, yup just last week hoping no one saw me acting goofy as I walked through the Lowes parking a few weekends ago.  The memories the rain girl card evoke are just amazing and you can tell that’s going to be a great splash!  Also the soft water color background on a couple of the cards is just fantastic; Andrea you aced that class.  Okay so those are just a few quick random thoughts and details I noticed.  What about y’all?  Let Andrea know the details you picked up on, what got your fire going.   Andrea’s motivation will make you stop for a second and catch your breath.  Let’s sit back, get comfy and enjoy her story in her own words….

Oh, dear. Where is home? I started out in South Dakota, then moved to Minnesota to teach Spanish after I finished college. Then it was on to Colorado, Guam, North Dakota, Alabama, New Mexico, California and Georgia. I bet you have already guessed that I married a military man between Minnesota and Colorado. He was wandering around looking lost, so I took pity on him. Home, now that he has retired, is the boonies near Gore, Virginia, at the very top of the state.

 How long have you been stamping/card making?

It must have been over 20 years ago that I started stamping. My step-daughter and I are in a years-long argument over which one of us introduced the other to stamping, but since she’s not here to defend herself, I’m going to say that she started it. I began with Christmas cards and added birthday cards for my kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews. I used to do quite a bit of quilting, but I really like the more instant gratification of card making. To be honest, I was kind of a middling quilter, but it taught me a lot about color.

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

Since I got the chance to design our current home, you can bet there is a craft room, known around here as my play room, or when I’m feeling snooty, my office. It has a big closet with shelves for my supplies, a large credenza-like cupboard about the height of a kitchen counter, that is great for stamping, and my sewing machine. I’m pretty sure there is a desk in in here somewhere, too, but right now it is so piled with colorful paper and scraps that it looks like a rainbow threw up on it.

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What are your favorite stamp/craft products?

I like a wide variety of stamp styles, but I do love good quality clear stamps for easy placement. I’m a huge fan of dies and embossing folders. Gina K cardstock is a favorite, because of the quality of the paper and the vivid colors. I’ve also been enjoying the challenge of the monthly card kits from Simon Says Stamp. They take me out of my comfort zone, and I always end up with lots of cards for OWH.

Do you have a favorite  technique?

Right now I’m playing with watercolor a lot, and it is so much fun.  The online watercolor for cardmakers class I took in the spring really got me interested, and the unpredictability of the medium fascinates me. I’m never quite certain what I’ll get when I watercolor a background, but I sure enjoy finding out. I love to watercolor flowers and other images with large open spaces. Getting better at Copic coloring is next on my list, because my Copic work still looks a little pre-schoolish. Okay, a LOT pre-schoolish.

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

When I’m stuck or not feeling creative, I watch a tutorial or check out the sketches for ideas. It almost always kicks my backside into gear even if I don’t copy anything exactly. I like the Copic tutorials, and find them really helpful.

Do you prefer digis or stamps?

I prefer stamps, mainly because when I have tried to download digis onto my MacBook, I end up saying certain words loud enough for the neighbors to hear. I won’t be specific about exactly what those words are. I’m usually pretty good at figuring things out on the computer, but not this time. I do use my computer for some of the sentiments for the cards. It’s nice to be able to size them to the card and to be able to use different fonts.

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Do you have a  favorite theme?

Kid cards are right up there, as are masculine cards, but my short attention span leads me to skip around to different themes as well as styles and techniques. I want to try it all!  It’s hard for me to make multiples of the same card. Sometimes I pack a box and realize I’ve not done any of a certain theme, but it’s never the same one from one box to the next. I think my choice of theme must hinge on which sentiment happens to fit a card, both in style and size. I often have the idea for the card, lay it out loose, then decide whether or not there will be a sentiment, and what it will be, before I tape the parts together.

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Are there colors you love to include on  your cards?

Bright colors and strong contrasts are what I’m naturally drawn to. I like the images to stand out and draw your eye to them. I do notice a lot of red accents on my cards, but I don’t really plan it that way. I’m learning to incorporate more patterned papers in my designs, which was a real challenge for me.

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How did you hear about Operation Write  Home?

I was at a stamp show in York, Pennsylvania last fall and saw a flyer lying on a table at one of the vendors. I went home and found OWH online, read the guidelines, and started making cards.

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What motivates you to make cards for our  heroes?

My husband was in the AIr Force for 25 years, including two tours in Viet Nam, my son-in-law is retired from a long career in the Navy, and my daughter works for the DOD and was working at the Pentagon on 9/11. As part of a military family, I am happy to have a chance to do something that might brighten the day for those who are deployed and for their loved ones back home. My family is very supportive of my efforts to make cards for OWH, and they swear I’m in a better frame of mind since I started doing it. Creating something really is more fun for me when it has a purpose.

We have enjoyed all of the beautiful handmade cards

Posted by on Aug 21, 2014 in Hero Blog, Note from Afghanistan, Note from Soldier | 2 comments

I wanted to take a minute to thank  you for your continued support.  We have enjoyed all of the beautiful handmade cards, and families have enjoyed receiving handwritten notes.  This is a great service that you provide.

As a unit we are drawing down and are not being replaced.  So the last box that you sent will be the last one that we need.

Again thank you for your support to our service members that are deployed.

 C.J.P.

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