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Sketch #257

Posted by on Jun 27, 2015 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 0 comments

Hello and happy Saturday! Hope everyone had a great week.

I know I must sound like a broken record, but another huge thank you to everyone who made cards inspired by Cindy’s wonderful card and Sketch #256. Our heroes and their loved ones will love receiving your lovely works of heart.  :)

Today’s sketch is the first horizontal one we’ve had in a while. And, it seems to have a few more elements than our last few sketches. I’m seeing an opportunity for lots of interesting embellishments.  :)

sketch 257

Our great sketch was inspired by this cheerful thank you card made by our very own multi-talented Kristie. Yes, that would be Kristie who brings us OWH’s ODBD and Mid-Month Challenges. Kristie’s paper choices and fun embellishments make for such a happy card! More of Kristie’s work, including her famous 6″ by 6″ pad tutorial, can be found at The Best Things in Life are Pink.

sketch 257 - sample

It’s hard to believe that we have just over a month before the August 1 cards-to-Sandy deadline. Looks like today’s sketch is perfect for adding a few more cards to our finishing-strong boxes.

Maybe you’ll use the sketch to make a Missing You card for the current June Our Daily Bread Design challenge. When I last checked yesterday, we were a mere six cards short of having postage paid for a second box of cards. Regardless of the theme you choose, I can’t wait to see how you interpret today’s sketch!


June Mid-Month Throwdown – Banners

Posted by on Jun 20, 2015 in Challenges, Inspiration, Midweek Throwdown Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 3 comments

Welcome to the June Mid-Month Throwdown! Thank you to all who participated in the May His & Hers card challenge. You ladies just continue to provide inspiration to us all. Let’s just keep sharing our card creations throughout the Finish Strong Campaign.

The June challenge is to include at least one Banner on a card. I personally love to use banners. In fact, it’s rare for me to not have a banner on my cards lately. There are some fun die cuts that cut out perfect banners, or even ones with faux stitching on them. Or if you are like myself, you can just cut them by hand. Our sample card maker is Ellen P. She blogs over at In a World of Craft. She makes some really amazing cards, so make sure to visit her blog and leave her some love.

CIEDT2_2_2015[3]Here’s a little about Ellen in her own words.

Hey, my name is Ellen.  I am an old southern girl from North Carolina and with all of the bases here, I just grew up very patriotic and loving our soldiers!  I married the love of my life 30 years ago, and way back in the day, he was in the 82nd Airborne. My card addiction started just before I retired and grew exponentially when I did retire! I knew I had to find a way to use all of my cards, so I started looking on line for a way to donate cards to the military. It didn’t take too long to find OWH! I’m sure my first cards were ones that made Sandy pull out her hair!  I’ll just say I was slow to adopt flat cards!!!! But watching Sandy’s videos helped me learn a TON about card making. I now have a blog and a shop on Etsy! I learned firsthand how important our cards are to military families when our son came home and told us he had joined the Army. We were blessed that his deployment was just to Kuwait. Now he is home, just married and will be leaving the Army later this year.  Proud of my two soldiers and happy the young one is coming home in the near future. God bless our military and keep them safe wherever they may be!

Featured Friday Card Maker: Angie G, Bel Air MD

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 50 comments

Hello everyone! I’m happy to introduce you to cardmaker Angie today…such great cards! I love her layering :). And I love that a simple invitation to a card workshop got her going – same here! Angie blogs at Paper Paws, so go give her a visit and scroll through some of her posts – and follow her on Pinterest too! Now let’s get busy meeting her – and leave her some love on this post! -Sandy

How long have you been stamping/card making?  

A little over 10 years now.  A neighbor invited me to a card workshop. The rest, as they say, is history.  I tease her that she created a monster – and I love her for it because we became wonderful friends.


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

Yes, a bedroom, but it’s still a work in progress – and sometimes looks like a tornado went through…sigh.  It’s mainly for my card-making.  I also have loads of craft stuff in the basement such as my embroidery machine and related supplies, my hoard of cigar boxes (for my altered cigar box making), and assorted items I’ve gathered for Pinterest-inspired projects I pretend like I’m actually going to make someday.

What are your favorite stamp/craft products?  

Oh so many!  I love my Scor Buddy, ATG, most things Stampin’ Up!, embossing folders, doilies, dies, Copics, oh…and I hoard scissors and 6×6 paper stacks :)


Do you have a favorite technique?  

I am all over the place!

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

Yes…I enjoy making Starburst/Sunburst cards and found the tutorial on the OWH website some years ago.  It’s still my go-to tutorial when I want to make that type of card.


Do you prefer digis or stamps? 

Definitely stamps.  But I do use some digis for coloring with Copics.


Do you have a favorite theme?  

Not really, but I do like to do funny cards whenever possible.

Are there colors you love to include on your cards?  

I am a big neutrals fan.  Nevertheless, I try real hard to step out of my box and use all of the colors.


How did you hear about Operation Write Home?  

I met and became friends with a group of Maryland stampers I met on the Splitcoaststampers online forums, and I heard about OWH through one or more of those awesome ladies.


What motivates you to make cards for our heroes?  
So many reasons. I like to give back.  I am in awe of the sacrifices these fine men and women – and their families – make for all of us.  When I heard about OWH, I knew it would be a win-win situation since, as a card maker, I make a lot of cards and can’t use them all, and our heroes need cards.  Also, as a Gold Star Wife, I will always have a special place in my heart for our heroes.  

I want to thank Sandy and everyone who has ever played a part in supporting OWH.  You all rock!

Story Sunday #4: The Brigadier General and the Penguin Cards

Posted by on Jun 14, 2015 in Stars and Stamps, Story Sunday | 6 comments

From time to time, we’ve gotten special requests from our heroes overseas. This one in particular was a real one (as opposed to THIS one!)…it was from Brigadier General John Michel himself! He uses penguins as an analogy in leadership training (you can read his book Mediocre Me and learn a lot more about it!), lessons we can all learn from!

He asked for penguin cards to help his team spread the messages of leadership to their families, too – and we of course said yes. Here’s the original request video:

And how did we do? We met our goals, as always around here! We have the best cardmakers in all of craftdom! Here’s the after-report:

Sketch #256

Posted by on Jun 13, 2015 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 5 comments

Hi, everyone! Happy Saturday!

A big thanks to all of you made cards for Sketch #255. The linked up cards were so nice, and it is wonderful to see so many folks finishing strong for OWH!

Sandy has another great sketch for us! And, as with the last couple of sketches, this sketch seems to have just the right number of elements for CAS lovers to embrace while allowing for some fun sentiments and embellishments.

sketch 256

Today’s sketch was inspired by this fun card sent to us by Cindy. Don’t you just love these bright, cheery colors — and how they are a perfect background for that bold kraft and black sentiment panel?! And, I’m crazy about that red, blue, and green inked background! To see more of Cindy’s handiwork, click here to visit her blog.

sketch 256 - sample

So, how are you going to interpret this sketch? Maybe it will inspire a Miss You card for OWH’s June Our Daily Bread Design challenge. Regardless of the theme you choose, those three elements are sure to make a wonderful focal point!

Featured Friday Card Maker: Marcia H, Seattle WA (via Brazil!)

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps, Uncategorized | 24 comments

This week I get to introduce you to Marcia – she’s from Brazil originally, from a city called Sao Carlos, and has been living in the Seattle area for about 7 years now. She has no blog…”I thought about starting a blog once but gave up the idea because in many ways I still feel like a beginner, I know I have so much to learn… I think it’s better to leave the blog thing for people who have more knowledge to share and more experience than I do.” Maybe your comments can help convince her to take the leap! -Sandy

-How long have you been stamping/card making?    

About 4 years.

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

Yes. My craft room is my sanctuary. Whenever I’m there I forget about my problems and just focus on doing something positive and expressing myself. Cardmaking is my therapy.


-What are your favorite stamp/craft products?

That’s a hard question to answer… it’s like choosing a favorite child! I equally love all my stamps, and dies, and ink pads, and… everything else really.


-Do you have a favorite  technique?  

I’m not good at coloring with Copics, so I try to compensate that by using other techniques to add color to my cards. With a stencil, blending tool and some distress inks you can make such beautiful and colorful backgrounds and it’s so simple to do. I think we should never be discouraged by our weaknesses. We have to find our strengths and develop them even further.

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

When I started making cards for OWH, I had never made cards before. I was just beginning and my cards were… well, not that good. I really have to thank Sandy and other cardmakers for all the wonderful tutorials they made that helped me learn and grow so much.


-Do you prefer digis or stamps?   

Can you believe I never used a digi in my life? Never. I just use stamps.

-Do you have a favorite theme?    

I love making Christmas cards. But I find it hard to make Christmas (or Winter) cards when it’s warm and sunny outside!


-Are there colors you love to include on your cards?

I love red. I like to use color combinations that include red: red/green for Christmas cards, red/pink for Valentine’s and Love cards, red/white/blue for patriotic cards, red/craft/brown for more masculine cards…and so on.


-How did you hear about Operation Write Home?

OWH was featured (more than once, I think) on the Cardmaker’s magazine. I first read about OWH on the “Reader’s Reach Out” column.


-What motivates you to make cards for our heroes?

For me it’s a way to give back to the country where I live and that I learned to love deeply. America has given me and my husband so many opportunities and we are so grateful to be able to live the American dream. My heart breaks for all the heroes and their families who have to go through so much loss, sacrifice and pain. I’ll miss OWH when they finally finish their mission, but I’m relieved that so many heroes are back home and back to their families.

Story Sunday #3: The brown cards!

Posted by on Jun 7, 2015 in Stars and Stamps, Story Sunday | 3 comments

One April day years ago, OWHers were proven to be as innocent as doves.

On OWHtv, a video was posted that led to a lot of brown paper being taken off  the craft store shelves…and every time a box full of brown cards arrived, I just giggled. Watch below, or click HERE to see it on YouTube.

If you’re not watching on YouTube, you might not get the gist of this… was posted on April 1, 2012.

We received brown cards for months.

*still giggling*

June ODBD challenge

Posted by on Jun 6, 2015 in Challenges, Inspiration, ODBD Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 3 comments

Welcome to the June Our Daily Bread Designs challenge! Last month was a great month since we met our goal of at least 50 cards. Awesome job to everyone that participated! ODBD will be covering the cost of shipping 2 boxes of cards to our heroes. We also have 2 new winners of the $15 ODBD stamp gift certificates. Congratulations to the winners!

#13 adele_h

#26 Robin H

The winners are chosen using Please email me at eponinekc(at)msn(dot)com to claim your prize. Thank you ODBD for your continued support to our service members!

The challenge for June is to make Missing You cards. Missing You cards are one of the most requested card themes from our heroes. Now would be a perfect time to work on those, especially for the OWH Finish Strong Campaign. Just remember to get all of your cards to OWH headquarters by August 1st. Here’s some beautiful inspiration from Lori on the ODBD Design Team. I just love her watercolor background with the silhouette stamps.



Be sure to link up one card below by the end of the month to be included in the drawing for two $15 gift certificates from our great sponsor Our Daily Bread Designs. Let’s make sure to Finish Strong and make our 50 card deadline! (Only one entry per person, please.)

Another Featureless Friday

Posted by on Jun 5, 2015 in OWHtv, Stars and Stamps | 4 comments

Hello friends! We’re without a feature this week again…I sent out a couple requests for interviews and didn’t get responses back…..but I have a few more to send out so hopefully we’ll be back on track next Friday.

In the meantime, a little fun.

I was in the mall to run a fast errand and accidentally parked by a department store, and had to hold my breath to make it through the perfume aisle. (eeeep!) I had to hold it a little longer to snap a pic of this. I know, it’s marketing, but it still caught my attention – do things like this stop you too? It got me wondering if there are things on shelves in my house that could be arranged in just the right way…..or perhaps I need to go to the hardware store and pick up some panels to paint. Wouldn’t this be a great front door?

2015-06-04 17.11.14

Cardmaking inspiration

If you like to watercolor, or have wanted to try out some watercolor, there’s a hop going on over at Pretty Pink Posh. It’s more of a challenge than a hop – the design team and guests have inspiration, but you can add your own card to the Inlinkz and maybe qualify to win some awesome goodies! Check it out HERE (and be sure to find the one by yours truly, I have a fun technique you might like!) I’m thinking of doing some watercolor next week for OWHtv maybe?

Speaking of the show – this past week saw the SitRep (Click HERE to watch it on YT) as well as an unboxing – click HERE to watch that one –  and go leave the ladies some love on the YT page! Enjoy!

Have a great weekend….and watch your mail next week. You’ll know what I mean. :)

Story Sunday #2: How Stump Sandy started – and ended

Posted by on May 31, 2015 in Stars and Stamps, Story Sunday | 10 comments



The history of OWHtv

OWHtv has gone through some evolutions; it began as a one-hour live show on UStream, a site where viewers could watch and chat live while a show was going on. The technology was challenging at times, but it was a fun experiment.

Once we were able to do live shows on YouTube, those replaced UStream. (The earliest episodes of OWHtv are exports from UStream, re-uploaded to our YouTube channel.) We were getting enough views on UStream they began charging us crazy amounts of money, and I was excited that YT was letting us do the same for free. Again, lots of tech difficulties in that format too; live is what it is, and isn’t always pretty!

Stump Sandy

The shows were broken up into segments – reading hero mail, making cards, opening mail, good/better/best (eventually to be Card Triple Play) and more – including Stump Sandy, an interactive segment of the show in which crafters mailed in envelopes of patterned papers that were numbered. Viewers shouted out numbers on the chat during the show, and I was then challenged to make something of whatever was selected. Usually I could distress the heck out of something til it started to match, or use a “side B” that was more tolerable than the other.

The epic fail episode is probably the Hula Girl show below; the paper was awful stuff, and was the beginning of the end of Stump Sandy in my mind, even though it continued past this one. Watch the video HERE on YouTube.

In the Stump Sandy videos, what I thought was just funny eventually had to come to a halt. People were sending in worse and worse Stump Sandy items, including napkins, wrapping paper, and the ugliest papers they possibly could send. The idea was that it would be nice papers – the challenge would just be to find a way to use things together, and teach a little design and color theory along the way. (I did begin to sort through and toss the awful ones.)

Unfortunately, lots of crafters were getting the idea that if I would use ugly paper, it was okay for them to use it, too. I didn’t understand the influence I had at that time, and what I thought of as a funny craft-fail inspired others to go buy that hideous paper and use it. Talk about a learning curve!

Over the years this influence continued to be true – I’ve had to be very careful what is shared in a lot of arenas, because anything posted in jest could be taken seriously, and our heroes deserved so much more than any “joke” card. Even when I used something like Stickles and covered it in Glossy Accents, I had to say over and over and over to seal it in because people only saw that I used Stickles – and we would suddenly begin to receive a lot of cards shedding Stickles all over the place. (And you wonder why I repeat myself ad nauseum! lol)

Changes to the show

Thus, eventually Stump Sandy came to an end. Our heroes’ needs always trump my own desire to be funny or entertaining, so things needed to change so that our service members could have the best handmade cards we could create!

The live episodes also came to an end – it’s harder than you’d think to do live shows, and they meant that I could never do anything else on a Thursday night. The show was changed to a recorded format, short 5-days-a-week episodes (each focusing on a different segment.) Those began to reach many more people—and short videos meant people could just watch the ones that interested them. The requests continue to come in for live shows from the few who watched OWHtv live, but since it wasn’t in demand from the wider audience, it continued to be a recorded show.

As our organization began the slow-down in August 2014 when our heroes began to come home, we also slowed down the number of shows to about 2 a week; the more content we post, the more cards we generate, and 2 seemed to be the right number to bring in the right number of donations. That continues at this time, and will continue until the end of July – since cards are all due by August 1st. (Anything received after that will be returned at the donor’s expense.)

It’s possible that our final party may include some throwbacks. Like a live show. Maybe with a Stump Sandy segment. Just sayin’….don’t go logging off our email list, you won’t want to miss it.

If you go to our channel and search “Stump Sandy,” you’ll get THIS page – and can scroll through and watch some episodes. Warning, lots are very long, many are technologically bad….and once in a while the cards are atrocious too! :)