Sketch Challenge #221

Posted by on Apr 20, 2014 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 0 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.

My sons love when they hear from me

Posted by on Apr 12, 2014 in Hero Blog, Note from Afghanistan, Note from Sailor | 1 comment

Thank you so much for the picture, card, and box of cards! I love reading the Hero letters you included as well.

I’ve been away from my family since 2013. My husband tells me my sons love when they hear from me.

I am very grateful for what you and your volunteers are doing. The cards are all so beautiful! I’m big into crafts, so I can appreciate the work.

Ciara is beautiful! 14 years onld and looking as pretty as she can be.

Thank you again!

-LT A.B., Navy, Afghanistan


Tips for School Cardsignings in May

Posted by on Apr 12, 2014 in AnyHero Letters, Cardmaker tips, Stars and Stamps | 0 comments

If you plan to get a school or other children’s group to send in AnyHero mail or coloring pages, here are a few reminders:

  1. Be sure the kids only sign them with their name and age. No last names please.
  2. If you want the opportunity for the children to get a letter back, you can put a label on it with the school or church’s address.
  3. AnyHero mail should not have envelopes.
  4. AnyHero mail does not need the OWH stamp on it.
  5. Remember that our coloring pages are available for free download – or you can use any coloring pages on the web. Google for Patriotic Coloring Pages and there are tons out there!

We’d love to post pictures – but remember that for child protection purposes, we need the parents’ permission. Or if you’d like to share photos that hide the child’s identity, we can post those…photos like this!


Featured Friday Card Maker, Jean S., St. Louis Park, MN

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 24 comments

Hey y’all, I got the BEST txt last Friday asking me to dog sit Charlie and Lucy.  Of course I said YES!!!!  We have the best time at McFadden’s Place (my house) doing crafts, cooking, going on safari, and my personal favorite, nap time!  As I will have my fave dogs over Easter weekend, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion there is an egg hunt in the making along with a special craft project for their “sister’s” 1 year old birthday.  My precious boy, McFadden has been gone for 3 years, I still miss him, but not the dog hair. I am so fortunate that I get to play with Charlie and Lucy a few times during the year.


Okay enough about me and my fun weekend to come, let’s get down to our fun hobby—card making!  As always, y’all were great in leaving comments last week, thank you!  Jean doesn’t have a blog, so leave a little something in the comment section below. I really like how Jean used the Gorgeous Grunge set, which I have and have tried to use—it’s out of my CAS box, so I keep trying to make it work.  Also on her Forever & Always card—great use of a designer paper with a busy pattern  coordinated with another matching DP.  So…sit back, relax and let’s learn about Jean and her cards.




How long have you been stamping/card making?

I have been stamping about 20 years. I have been a Stampin’Up! demonstrator since 2000.  *Editor’s note: the car image is by Prickly Pear, all other images/sentiments are by Stampin’Up!

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

Yes. I have an area set up in our basement.

What are your favorite stamp/craft products?

I use all Stampin’Up! ink and cardstock. Most of the designer paper I use is Stampin’Up! but I do have some 6×6 pads from other manufacturers.  I have hundreds of Stampin’Up! stamp sets that I love to use.  I do have a few other stamps from other manufacturers that I have purchased since I joined OWH.

Jean S5

Do you have a favorite technique?

No. Not a favorite technique, but I do use my embossing folders and dies a lot.

Jean S1

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

I am trying to use the sketches more often. I have used ideas from some of the tutorials.

Do you prefer digis or stamps? Stamps!

I have used a handful of digis but am too lazy to size and print when I can just grab a stamp!

Jean S4

Do you have a favorite theme?

I love flowers. But, I have been using them less as Sandy said she receives so many. I have been trying to make half my cards masculine and kids themes.

Jean S3

Are there colors you love to include on your cards?

I have all the Stampin’Up! inks and papers, including all the retired colors, but I find I have to keep ordering the same papers over and over… Old Olive, Gumball Green, Chocolate Chip, Early Espresso, Burmuda Bay, Pool Party, and Basic Black.

Jean S2

How did you hear about Operation Write Home?

I don’t remember the website but I know it was a sewing site. I was checking out ways to volunteer as I love to sew and I saw a section of other volunteer sites other than sewing and found OWH. Haven’t had much time to sew as I am always stamping!

Jean S6

What motivates you to make cards for our heroes?

My husband was a career soldier. He retired from the Army in 1990. So the military is near and dear to my heart. I retired from my job in January and now get to spend part of every day stamping for OWH!