I finished packing up these….
And what are they, you ask? PRIZE BOXES full of crafty goodness! For the Memorial Day Bloghop next weekend! How could YOU win one? Well that’s easy peasy. Four of these five are going to go to someone commenting on a blog during the hop – the more blogs you comment on, the more chances to WIN!
And the fifth box? That one goes to a randomly drawn BLOGGER! Yes, bloggers can win too! So if you’ve got a blog, go get signed up by clicking on the banner below – and get your card ready for next weekend!
Happy Armed Forces Day! Go make a card for a hero…how better to celebrate?
Today’s Featured Friday cardmaker is Theresa D, from Kent, WA. Not only does Theresa have a personal reason for making cards for our heroes, she also makes cards with a family member. Which is cool enough. But how about the fact that the family member is her sixteen year old son? Thomas has been generous enough to take time from his obviously busy life to add a postscript about making cards with his mom. Please leave some great OWH love at Theresa’s blog: Playing with Pictures and Paper, or here in the comments!
How long have you been stamping?
I have been crafting since I started 4-H years & years ago. I got started really playing with paper not long after Thomas was born 16 years ago, scrapbooking all the pictures I was taking of him. I’ve just in the last year started to use stamps other than alphabets or sentiments. As I’m learning to use my Copics, I’m investing in more stamps that require coloring. Thomas has been crafting along side of me since he was big enough to hold a marker or crayon.
Do you have a craft room or specific area where you stamp/craft?
My paper crafting stash has taken over an entire extra bedroom. There Thomas & I have staked out our own space to create.
What are your favorite stamp/craft products?
My favorite products are heavy, textured cardstock. Any and all paper lines from Basic Grey. And I’m learning to really love my copic marker collection the more I play with them. Thomas is a fan of anything he can get his hands on.
Do you have a favorite technique?
I don’t really have any go-to techniques. I like to add layers, add a little ink to the edges of pieces, or use a little dimensional adhesive if a card feels like something is missing.
Have any particular OWH sketches or tutorials served as inspiration for your cards?
My favorite, go-to sketches are the ones at OWH. They really fit the way I like to make cards. I try to branch out & try different sketches, like the one at mojo monday, but I always come back to the ones at OWH. Thomas is better at thinking outside the box than I am. He will often create his own sketch or use an OWH sketch and take it in a totally new direction so that if he didn’t tell me which sketch he used, I wouldn’t recognize it.
Do you prefer digis or stamps?
I prefer regular stamps. I hate the fussing with the computer to size and copy and arrange the digis. Then getting the printer to print…. Give me a regular stamp any day!
Do you have a favorite theme?
I like to make thinking of you or missing you cards with little boys in mind. I have tons of boy themed supplies, so this way they get used.
Are there colors you love to include on your cards?
Blue. Or a little black if a card needs a little pop.
How did you hear about Operation Write Home?
I heard about OWH on a message board when it was just getting started as Cards for Heroes. It wasn’t until a coworker passed away unexpectedly that I made my first donation in his memory. He was retired Navy, and the family had requested donations to several service organizations. I’ve been making cards for OWH ever since.
I like being able to give something to those who put their lives on the line for us. I like knowing that I am able to help Heroes keep the link with their family strong. The hero mail talking about the little people keeping Daddy’s card with them at all times, sleeping with cards tucked under their pillows. That keeps me motivated. An added bonus is the quality time that it gives Thomas & me when we create together.
My first real memory of making cards with my mother was a long, long… LONG time ago making thank-you cards to send to relatives, with those cheap crayola 12-color paint sets and plain white copy paper. I’ve since grown out of that phase and enjoy spending quality time making cards with my mom when I’m not swamped with homework, playing videogames, or working on one of my various novels. I tend to make more… erratic card designs than my mother, who requires parallel lines and exact measurements while I’ll put one thing at a 38.14 degree angle this way and a 23.894 degree angle that way. My mother’s inability to think outside the box is something I often tease her about. (One particular event comes up a lot, just ask her about “The Bug’s Life Class.” It’s quite the funny story.)
I got strung along with my mother into Operation Write Home around the same time she did, with my first card sent in being a “Love You” card with Pooh and cottonball clouds. I tend to make more of the thinking of you, love you, and misc. type cards, mainly because of my tendency to use whatever catches my eye at the time, more often than not what’s in my mom’s ‘scrap pile.’ (Which is really full of diamonds– she just can’t think creatively enough to use them.) However, I’d say one of my favorite parts of OWH is stamping the card backs, of which I’ve earned the name “Super Stamper” from Sandy due to my ability to stamp about 2 cards a second in sets of about 30. But the best part of card making is spending time with my mother <3
The episode in which the disco ball appears!!! Be sure to leave your shout out on the YouTube page to qualify to WIN!
Happy Mother’s Day!
We received our latest shipment of cards yesterday and with perfect precision; someone just asked on Friday when I thought the Father’s Day cards would arrive!
Thank you and the entire OWH team for all the work that goes into this project. We get many smiles when people come into our office and see we have new cards. More importantly, I know the folks back home get an even bigger smile (and sometimes a tear) when they receive hand-written cards from their deployed member. I can personally attest to having caused a few tears. By having to write our own messages, we can’t just take the easy way out and pick a card with a nice verse inside.
Also, I gave everyone at least one piece of ‘Hero’ mail to brighten their day.
Thanks for a great challenge last week, your cards were fabulous and will be so appreciated!
Our challenge this week is So Sentimental!
We’re challenging you to use a sentiment on your card as your focal point for our heroes to send home to their family and friends!
We can’t wait to see your card creations -
Our sample card maker for this challenge is Abbie, you have to go visit her Flickr account, she makes beautiful cards!
Oh! I know it’s a Mother’s Day card and the deadline and holiday have come and gone but I think it’s a great example of using a sentiment as a focal point!
Thanks Abbie for sharing your awesome creativity with us!
We encourage everyone to take a few moments to visit and leave comments for the other participants.
Comments are a wonderful way to say thank you for sharing your creative project and inspires everyone to create.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you join in the fun!
I want to thank you and your team for all your efforts and dedication for the wonderful cards you’ve sent to our unit. On the behalf of our Combat Support Hospital, I want to let you know how greatly we’ve enjoyed and appreciate all that you have done for us. Very soon, the next unit will take over. The next team from Maryland will be taking over within the next week and we will head on home! Super yay for us! I will give the next person your contact information and they will send you an email.
Thank you once again for the morale and support of your organization.
Welcome everyone – this weeks’ tutorial is a review of the video for mounting your red rubber stamps. You might find the opportunity to purchase stamps at a savings when they are unmounted. Some people are wary of this because they don’t want to mount their own, but it really isn’t a big deal, and it is worth the savings! This lesson shows how to accomplish mounting, plus some info about “deep etching” and also a great stamp storage idea!
This is one of Sandy’s older videos so please note that the “giveaway” at the end of the video is expired. Aww, shucks.
Here is the video:
Stamper’s Best is the source for our freebie OWH stamp for the backs of your cards! If you don’t have one, be sure to get in your request here. There are many others available at the Stamper’s Best website, including a whole line of Operation Write Home stamps that can be seen here. Best of all, they donate a dollar for the purchase of every OWH fundraiser stamp sold.
Just a head’s up… I know that a lot of us collected the adorable Ciara stamp from Stamper’s Best when she first came out. We’ll be using this stamp for a fun tutorial in June for Flag Day. Just wanted to give everyone time to pick up this stamp if you would like to play along!
Thanks, Sandy for the great video for review this week! Keep those tutorial ideas and submissions coming by emailing me – nancy @ operationwritehome dot org.
Do you remember wayyyyy back in January when we made THIS announcement about our 2 millionth card? If not – watch the video! Kleenex alert….
And now…after a ridiculously long journey overseas and back home…the two millionth card made it back! While we know our cards can sometimes make a quick round-trip, some just take months to arrive! It’s awesome to have cards that don’t have the holiday or season in the sentiment – because even if you’re making a “spring” card because it’s spring here…by the time our heroes may get it and it’s returned home, it could even be fall. We really appreciate your help in making sure anything for a holiday or season beats the posted deadlines….pssst Father’s Day’s done, if anyone still wondered
The 2 millionth card was received by a very happy wife who just sent us the photo…
Welcome to the May Bootcamp! This month we’re going to take a look at how adding variation to your design can add interest.
Variety is the quality of having different forms or types. When we use variety, or change the character of elements, to make them different we give a design visual interest. When variation is introduced, even when it is subtle, subconscience mental activity is required to absorb it. The key to successfully applying variety is that the elements need to be alike enough so we perceive them as belonging together and different enough to be interesting. If the elements are too dissimilar a design will become chaotic and “unreadable” (what we OWHers have come to describe as “sneeze” is a good example of this) but without any variety the design becomes dull and uninteresting.
We interrupt this class to bring you a shameless plug for the OWH Before & After Pinterest Board, where you will find a gallery of cards that visually show a lot of basic but valuable design concepts in action. I like to think of them as 2-minute lessons to grow your cardmaking design skills. (Please note — both the before & after version were created by OWH blog team members as a learning tool and cards sent in by YOU to OWH are not, never have been and never will be ‘redesigned’). We now return you to our normally scheduled program…
Some of the basic ways to vary the elements in a design include:
VALUE: Value refers to the relative darkness or lightness of elements. If your design lacks contrasting values elements will tend to blend together. Adding variety in your values (contrasts of darks/lights) will help to draw attention to elements.
TEXTURE: Variety in texture would include smooth and embossed papers as well as elements like ribbon, flowers and brads. Even though they may be smooth to the touch most patterned papers would fall under the category of ‘adding texture’ to a design.
COLOR: As we discussed in our very first class understanding the relationships between colors can help us to choose colors that will add variety but also compliment our overall design. Even a monochromatic color scheme requires a variation in color value (lightness & darkness) to succeed.
SHAPE: An example of applying variety in shapes might be including a die cut circle to frame an image or sentiment within the rectangular shape of the card design.
SIZE: You might have similarly shaped items in your design but varying in size.
Let’s take a look as some card samples that show variation in one or more of these areas.
In this card design Barb has got several areas where variation occurs most obviously in the varying size of the stars.
Lee Mae has used a variation in color in this design to add interest to her focal point… the bouquet of three (there’s that Rule of Odds) flowers.
Allison has incorporated variation within her 4 hearts by embellishing each in a slightly different way and this design has a lot of variation in textures too.
The circle shapes and sizes are identical but there is variation in patterns and colors in this card design by Samantha and the twine adds variation in texture too.
Nancy’s design has various shapes and sizes of paper button embellishments and having the focal image on a bright white background creates a nice variation in contrast with the dark brown frame.
The variety of circles inside the rectangle frame in this card by Sandy is a great example of how variation in shapes and sizes can add interest to your card designs.
While many designs will include variety in each of these areas (and the more advanced your designs skills become, the easier it is to do this) you will easily improve your designs by applying variety in even one of them. If you feel overwhelmed I would suggest starting with adding variety in one way at a time, in the order we’ve discussed them. Start by adding variety in your values first, then move on to using variety in values and textures etc.
Variation, which is closely intertwined with Repetition (which we’ll discuss in next month’s class) is a very common sight in nature, from schools of fish to forests of trees. The consistent presence of variation with natural repetition may be why naturally always expect repetition to be accompanied by variation and why we find it visually pleasing.
As we continue to explore additional concepts you should be starting to work on building your ‘toolbox’ of knowledge and start to practice applying multiple concepts simultaneously. So this month while you work on a card that uses variation in the area(s) of value, texture, color, shape and size take some time to see how you might also apply one or more of the previous concepts too. At the very least you’ll want to be sure you also have a strong focal point. I look forward to seeing your designs!
Everyone who participates in this Design Bootcamp by linking up a card created for this class will receive a Class Summary in PDF format via email.
Received by a cardmaker:
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your participation in and support of Operation Write Home. Our organization has received several boxes of hand-made cards for our members to send home, and they have been a real blessing.
While we have other means to stay in touch with family and friends back home like e-mail, telephones, and Skype, there is something very special about a card that can’t be duplicated by electronic means. When I send a card home, the recipient isn’t just seeing an expression of my thoughts – they are actually holding something that I held, something that I took the time to pick out and hand-write a note on. It’s a physical connection between us, despite the many miles that separate us.
It’s also a physical connection to folks we’ve never met, people like you who donate time, resources, and creative skill to support us while we are so far from home. I will never have the opportunity to shake your hand to thank you, but by holding a card that you made with your own hands, I feel as though I’ve made a connection just the same. It’s good to know that we have people like you back home who are looking out for us and support us.
Again, many thanks.
Maj C.H., USAF