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Posted by on Aug 23, 2013 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 18 comments

Featured Friday Cardmaker: Kathy M., Armada, Michigan

This weeks Featured Friday Cardmaker is Kathy M, from Armada,Michigan!  (That’s two weeks in a row for The Great Lake State!)   When I read Kathy’s answer to the final question, I got a little teary, because I tend to mostly make cards for kids, partly because my friend, an Army captain, deployed with her husband to Iraq when her girls were still babies.  I think of her family every time I make a child’s card.

I also identify with her needlework days. When all our walls were covered with framed work, my husband told me he expected to come home and discover I’d needlepointed a car cover.  🙂

Here’s Kathy, in her own words:  I was born and raised in Michigan and education has been my  career.  I was a first grade and Kindergarten teacher prior to becoming an elementary school principal.  Working with little students inspires creativity!!! 

I have always enjoyed crafts and started out with embroidery and needlepoint and then moved to counted cross stitch.  I enjoy the creativity of crafts and making cards has been a great therapeutic craft as well!!  I have friends who enjoy making cards and we attend local card making classes or drop in card making days together.  We share designs/sketches/techniques and have fun! When we started making  cards we used books for ideas (long before Pinterest and the Internet was part of our daily lives).  Our cards have evolved over the years but I still use some of my initial sketches/designs for idea. 

All of the cards I make in my classes are kept for “patterns” and inspiration!!!!   It is especially fun to design a card to commemorate a specific occasion like a significant  birthday, retirement, a new baby, a 50th anniversary or graduation or to just let someone know you are thinking of them!  I send out LOTS of cards!!!

Kathy doesn’t have a blog, so please leave a lot of warm summertime love for her wonderfully layered cards here in the comments!  And have a super weekend!

 How long have you been stamping?

 I don’t consider myself as much of a stamper as I do a card maker who uses scrapbook techniques for my cards.  I took my first card class at least ten years ago and it was about how to use scrapbook techniques for cards.  I like to use layers, backings, embellishments like ribbon,  buttons, brads for my cards and occasionally do a little stamping.  I also use my computer for a variety of fonts and styles for text.  

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

I have one room in my house that I call the Epi Center of the house….my TV, Crafts and computer  along with a LazyBoy chair for an occasional nap.  The closets in the room are mostly devoted to my craft materials. I  have the luxury of leaving out a project in process because of this room!!!

FF Kathy M 1

 What are your favorite stamp/craft products?

I enjoy using my Cuttlebug with embossing folders as well as Spellbinders for cut outs. I also use lots of punches!

Do you have a favorite  technique?

I like to layer papers for cards.  One of my pleasures is to look through my scraps and see what I can put together for a new card.  I use many  ideas from card classes that I have taken locally and duplicate the cards (like some of these shown here) and change up the papers/styles a little like some shown here.  There are a couple of great stores in our area that offer classes or drop in card making so I can use their ideas for models….Thanks to Amy and Shannon for their inspiration!!

FF Kathy M 4


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

Yes.  I have printed out a few of the designs and used them for greeting cards for my family as well as for OWH. I have had lots of fun with Sketch Challenge #147!  I love that the sketches have the measurements on them….it makes the work go so much more quickly!

 Do you have a  favorite theme?

I am a retired elementary school principal.  When I was working full time I liked to create about 70-100 birthday cards to have “on hand” for use with all of the teachers and staff.  I continue to make “variety boxes” of cards to give to friends or to donate as raffle prizes for charity auctions. I also love to make my own Christmas cards and use ideas from classes at local shops and then adjust them with my favorite papers  and embellishments.

Kathy M 3

 Are there colors you love to include on  your cards?

 Well, red seems to spruce up lots of cards and I use a lot of black for accents but I have papers in all colors!!!

FF Kathy M 2


How did you hear about Operation Write  Home?

My sister told me about the group and I researched and read the web site and was hooked!!

 What motivates you to make cards for our  heroes?

In my most recent school, we were located close to Selfridge ANG base in Michigan.  When I took the job as principal of this elementary school we  had about 75% of our students from military families.  (There was a housing development right across the street from the school.) The dynamic of the school changed a great deal over the 14 years I was there because the housing development was closed and the neighborhood grew up around the school but this community has a strong connection to the armed forces. This base is unique because it serves the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines in one location and over time I got to know the families and see the sacrifices they made for all of us! 

I was always especially impressed with the family left stateside when the soldier (mom or dad) deployed and so I think of them when I ship off a box of cards to OWH and hope someone’s day is better because their hero had a card to send home to them. I am also the daughter of a WWII Air Force pilot and the sister of a Vietnam Veteran!  I am proud to make cards for our service members!!


  1. Hi Kathy,
    I live in Chesterfield………..I know exactly everything you mentioned….the school across from the housing area. Great cards!
    I think I even know the Shannon you spoke of!

  2. Hi Kathy,
    I never thought when I told Jil-Anne about OWH that I would someday see your work here. But I should have. We so love all the inspiration you send Jil. Keeps our craft night lively and fresh. Thanks so much for sharing, and for all the cards you send to OWH.
    Jackie W.

  3. Hi Kathy,
    I also live in Chesterfield and know Shannon as well. Love, love, love her shop. I get together with a great group of ladies once a month at Four Seasons Scrap Inn in Emmett. We’re all retirees, many of whom were teachers in Troy & Richmond. I introduced the ladies to OWH about a year ago and they have been great about making cards for me to send to OWH. One time I ended up with 300 cards to send!! My husband is also a Vietnam veteran, so I know from personal experience how much it means to get cards & letters in the mail from a loved one in harm’s way. Back then, that was the only means of communication…no computers or cell phones. I’ll have to ask Shannon if we’ve ever taken a class together at her shop. I’m guessing we probably have. It’s great to know that so many people from our area are involved with OWH!! Your cards are great by the way. You’ve given me some inspiration on how to use up some of the many scraps I have. 🙂

  4. Your cards are great! Also, like your motivation!

  5. Hi Kathy, your story is fabulous. I love your cards, pinned two to Pinterest for future use! Thank you for your past service to our nation’s children and to your work for our heroes!

  6. I love your ladybug card. Great use of different sizes of dotted paper.

  7. What beautiful cards, Kathy! Thank you for sharing your inspiration today.

  8. Great group of cards Kathy! I particularly like the monochromatic Thinking of You design. What a terrific layout for using up some really nicely coordinated scraps. It sounds like you really relish your crafting and it show through in your cards. Congrats on being this week’s Featured Cardmaker!

  9. Love your cards! Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. Wonderful cards, Kathy! You’ve given me some new ideas! I also have a counted cross-stitch on pretty much every wall in my house.

  11. Thanks for sharing your story and your cards. I find it so interesting that each featured card maker has their own little niche in their card making. I can relate to your story. I am the daughter of a Korean Vet and my brother in law served in Vietnam. My brother was in the Army and soon I will have two sons serving. So I love that I can make cards that will bring joy to our heroes and their families.

  12. Love your cards, Kathy! I am also a friend of Jil-Anne’s who enjoys the cards and inspiration that she brings to show us. Such talent must run in your family! Keep up the good work and thanks for sending your cards to OWH!

  13. Your sister is a wonderful friend and she always shares your new creations. Your cards are so beautiful and give us lots of ideas. Thanks for sharing. You and your sister are so talented.

  14. Great cards! I will save these for future inspiration. I especially like the monochromatic (very nice coordination), but they are all great. I also identified with your cardmaking style and amany spects of your story. I was born and raised in Michigan (but now in NC), same era (Viet Nam era miliary wife), I know Selfridge (husband did Reserve duty there). Armada must be hotbed of talented crafters from reading the comments. I have a cousin in Armada, she is not a papercrafter, but a very talented quilter. You do inspiring work.

  15. Hi Kathy; nice to “meet” you! Your cards are gorgeous. They really highlight the beauty of paper crafting. Thanks for all you do for our heroes and OWH!

  16. Love your “dotty” card – complete with the ladybug:)

  17. Congrats on being a featured card maker, well deserved!

  18. Congrats to my sister on being featured this week. She’s an inspiration to me in so many more ways than paper crafting but she’s great at that too! Wish we lived closer so we could craft together. The cards displayed look familiar as she is always sending ideas my way, and I am not above copying a great design. She is truly a caring and giving person – I knew she would love OWH – and you would all love her!

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