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Posted by on Jul 10, 2015 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 34 comments

Featured Friday Card Maker: Mary Frances A, Tampa FL

This week meet Mary Frances; she’s originally from Mobile, Alabama, but she and her husband have lived all over the southeast…Atlanta, Nashville, Raleigh, Charlotte, Birmingham, and finally landed in Tampa, FL, where they’ve lived for the past twenty years. I love the reactions from crafters when I email to ask if they’ll be a featured card maker….Mary Frances just made me smile: “I’m thrilled to be asked to be a featured cardmaker!  And, it means so much for you to say that I make such nice cards!  I’ve watched so many of your videos to help me improve, and to make sure the cards are good to send to our troops and their families!  I’m truly honored to be chosen!” So go meet Mary Frances and see if you agree with me – she makes lovely cards! She has a Pinterest board with her creations HERE.  -Sandy

 How long have you been stamping/card making?     

I’ve been making cards for the past twelve years.  I attended a Stampin Up workshop in 2003 and bought one stamp set and a black ink pad.  The rest, as they say, is history!  I soon became hooked!

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

My crafting area shares space with our guest room.  Over the years, I have to say that the room has become much more of a craft room than a guest room.  Several pieces of furniture have been added to accommodate my hobby!


What are your favorite stamp/craft products?     

I have quite a collection of Stampin Up products as that is what I started out with. I use embossing folders and dies quite a bit, so my Vagabond is my go to tool/machine.  I also like to use punches, there are so many cute shapes, and love the border punches to add interest.  I recently received a MISTI and that is fast becoming one of my favorite tools!


Do you have a favorite  technique?   

I don’t really have a favorite, but I do love embossing folders and dies to add texture and dimension to my cards.  I also love the look of heat embossing.  I follow blogs, etc. to watch for new techniques or refine old ones!


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

I have really appreciated all of the OWH sketches and have printed them out.  When I’m stumped for an idea, I pull them out and search for inspiration.  You can follow the sketch exactly, or combine ideas from several sketches and design a beautiful card.  I will miss new sketches when Operation Write Home ends its mission! You will probably see a sketch design or two in the cards shown here!

Do you prefer digis or stamps?    

I have used a few digis, but I prefer stamps.  I love inking up the stamp and the feeling that I am creating the card.  I’ve collected beautiful inks over the years, and love the look of a great stamped image.


Do you have a favorite theme?     

Holiday cards of all types have always been a favorite, I love sending my creations to family and friends.  I have always loved beautiful floral designs, but have really learned to branch out since I starting making cards for OWH.  I now make a lot more masculine cards, and love making cards with a patriotic theme or colors. 


Are there colors you love to include on your cards?     

I would have to say that shades of blue end up in a lot of my cards, and the decorative paper I buy.  I’m also a big fan of neutrals and use craft, browns and blacks for my cards.  I am trying to use more bright colors, especially with OWH cards.

How did you hear about Operation Write Home?    

I’ve participated in a Stampin Up group workshop for years, and for several years we provided Christmas Cards to OWH.  After asking the ladies about the organization we were making cards for, I researched Operation Write Home and knew I wanted to make cards for the troops and their families.


What motivates you to make cards for our heroes?

My husband and I have always supported our military men and women, and are so grateful for all they and their families sacrifice.  My father was a WWII veteran and after he passed away a few years ago I knew that providing cards for Operation Write Home would be a wonderful way to honor his memory.  I am so honored to use my hobby to help military families stay connected.



  1. Hi Mary Francis of Tampa – I am Mary of Tampa also – after looking at your Pinterest Board looks like we share a lot of common interest – going to miss OWH – love your cards!!!

    • Thank you so much, Mary! I’m going to miss OWH, too. I’m hoping to find another organization to donate to, or possibly nursing home facilities…I’m sure the residents could benefit from the cards!

  2. Mary Francis your cards are just beautiful!! I loved reading and learning more about you! I think a lot of us got our start with SU. lol I am off to look at your Pinterest board. Hugs, Brenda

    • Thank you, Brenda! I think you are right, SU got so many of us interested in stamping.

  3. Mary, Your cards are wonderful. Love your use of the embossing folders and dies. I am always looking for ideas for masculine cards and I loved seeing your cards. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you, Rae! I love embossing folders, too. Sometimes they add just that little bit extra that a card needs for interest! I love your name, have a niece with Rae as her middle name. Name was also used in my husband’s family!

  4. You do exceptionally beautiful layering!! The sailboat card is my favorite – the embossing folder is just perfect to go with that sailboat.

    • Thank you, Martha!

  5. Your cards are lovely! They are bold and clean.

    I especially like the ferris wheel image!

    You made me laugh…my craft space was supposed to be a small part of my guest room as well…well now no guest will ever stay there. The craft has totally taken over!

    I really liked your thought about honoring your dad with the cards. My dad was also a WWII vet, as was my uncle and other family members/friends in other conflicts/wars. I think I will adopt that way of thinking if you dont mind! It is more focused than just “I want to help vets”.

    • Thank you, Margot! You are more than welcome to adopt my reasoning for honoring our family members who have served! My Dad liked to help people when he could, so thought this would be a wonderful way to remember that after he passed.

  6. Your cards are just beautiful.

    • Thank you, Audrina!

  7. Love all these red, white and blue cards, beautifully done, Congrats on being featured today, Mary Frances!

    • Thank you, Adele! I was so pleased when Sandy contacted me…quite an honor as I know she receives so many wonderful cards from all of the great crafters out there!

  8. Mary…I can’t wait to finish writing this comment so I can then make copies of all your beautiful cards for inspiration. You have such a great eye for color, shapes and spacing! Your work product really shows you care! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Thank you, Sandra, for all of the kind words! I have taken Sandy’s words to heart, I do try to make cards that our heroes will be happy to send home to family and friends!

  9. great cards! thank you for your good work.

    • Thanks so much, Mary!

  10. Hello Mary Frances, from the beautiful Pacific Northwest! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful work and thoughts with us! As Margot said, your cards are bold and clean, which I also really like.

    Keep up the lovely work – and thank you for honoring our service members.

    • Thank you very much, Susan. Appreciate the kinds words!

  11. Mary Francis you make amazing cards I hope u don’t mind a card lift or five thank u for the wonderful ideas

  12. Thans, Bernie! I don’t mind at all. I think we all get inspriation from others! I love browing and finding ideas I can adapt for my own cards! That is one reason why I love the OWH sketches!

  13. Hi, Mary! I love your cards. They are clean and your color combos are fantastic. And the patterned papers add so much to your cards. I am going to pin a couple to use for ideas from time to time. Thank you for sharing your talent with us…and with our service men and women. I know anyone who receives one of your cards is thrilled.

  14. Loved your cards…..thanks. Where did you the RED,WHITE and BLUE background papers….
    They really are very pretty. I love making RWB cards as well.

    • Thank you, Carole! I believe I purchased most of the RWB papers at my local LSS store, Violette’s. Love that store and all of the beautiful papers they have.

  15. Beautiful cards – such a nice variety of images and colors.

  16. Congratulations Aunt Mary Francis, your family is very proud of you for your great works and support of our troops.


    • Thank you so much, Neil! That means a lot to me! So glad I can give back just a little for those who give so much!

  17. Beautiful cards. So sweet!

  18. very nice cards…thank you for sharing and for your support

    • Thank you so much! I appreciate the kind remarks!

  19. Thank you Mary for sharing your beautiful cards. I am from Tarpon Springs, Florida; so hi neighbors Mary and Mary!

    I love the Ferris Wheel card. Just the single image with the perfect papers. Love all the Red White and Blue as well.

  20. Great theme for July and especially the Navy ones with the anchors! I am a Navy mom! You all will have to get tog in the sunny state of Florida to continue the card making for our military. I am sure with a little bit of investigating you will be able to find an outlet for your talents!!!

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