Stars and Stamps

Midweek Throwdown: Color Challenge / Brown

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014 in Midweek Throwdown Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 1 comment

Well, you all did a fabulous job with your Disney Kids’ Birthday cards. I didn’t expect anything less since Disney is the “happiest place on earth!”

Since it’s the 4th week of the month, it’s time for a color challenge. Returning to our masculine theme for the month (Remember, Father’s Day cards are due to Operation Write Home no later than April 30. That’s just 7 days away!), our COLOR CHALLENGE THIS MONTH IS BROWN. You may be thinking, “Wow, that’s boring, Allison!,” but think of all the shades of brown there are out there and all the cool things you can do with textures and wood grain and the like. Open your minds and your creativity – the possibilities are limitless. Here with our sample card this week is Valerie D. Please leave her some love in the comments. She says her blog is not really a “working blog” but more like a work in progress – I’m sure some of us can relate to that, right?!


Here’s a little about Valerie AND her card, in her own words:

“My card is based on OWH Sketch #199 from 11-17-2013, the stamp set is the “What a Guy” set featured on the SSS Blog on 11-14-13, and the only place I could find the card I CASED is on the OWH Pinterest Board, possibly posted by Sandy.

My day job is librarian and manager of a combined school and public library in NW Wyoming. I have been making cards for 3 or 4 years, but could never figure out how to customize them to each recipient. When I found OWH a year or so ago, I decided it was a match made in heaven. I could make cards with or without sentiments and didn’t have to write inside them. I also found OWH to be a worthwhile organization as many of my family members have served in the military. Both of my parents served in the Air Force and I was born on an Air Force Base. My daughter is now working for the Air Force but as a civilian. Everyone is supportive of my efforts including the children in my library skills classes who have colored many of the coloring pages for me to include with cards.”


Tools of the Trade – Border Punches!

Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in Cardmaking 101, Stars and Stamps, Tutorial, Video | 5 comments

It’s time for another Tool Time episode of OWHtv!

If you don’t yet have any border punches in your arsenal, now is the time to learn all about them and what they can do for your cards!

Border punches can be found from many craft stores, scrapbooking stores or from your favorite consultants/enablers! They start at around $8.00 each and become more expensive with larger, more intricate designs or styles. Those half-price coupons will come in handy when you start collecting these.

Please enjoy today’s episode and don’t forget to share these Tools of the Trade videos with friends who may just be getting started so that they can become inspired by the tools that we use!

Here is Sandy’s beautiful ruffle card mentioned at the end of the video that uses border punches to create a pretty, feminine design. The tutorial, from a few years ago, is still a favorite!



Click here to go to the Dimensional Ruffle Card Tutorial!

Do you have any border punch ideas or suggestions to share? Thanks for watching guys and hope that things are getting springy for you, wherever you may be!

Sketch Challenge #221

Posted by on Apr 20, 2014 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 2 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!

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.





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.”


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.

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!


Midweek Throwdown: Masculine Card / Any Theme

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Midweek Throwdown Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 4 comments

Fantastic job on the Father’s Day cards last week!

We’re keeping our masculine theme for the month going…Why not? We’re on a roll, right? So, we would like you to make MASCULINE CARDS WITH ANY THEME. These could include: Love, Miss You, Birthday, Thank You or Thinking of You. Your card could also continue in the theme of Father’s Day but more generic; in other words, don’t use a sentiment that says “Happy Father’s Day,” but something like “#1 Dad,” “Best Dad Ever,” or “World’s Greatest Dad.” These sentiments can be used throughout the year or for Father’s Day which gives our cards a much longer shelf life.

Our sample card maker this week is Kristine M. who blogs at Kreating, Krafting, Making & Baking. Hers is a punny Miss You Card! What will you make?!

April 9-Masculine-Kristine (1)

Here’s a bit about Kristine in her own words:

“I started making cards after attending a Stampin’ Up party. I was so excited when I saw the demo turn embossing powder into a work of art. I was hooked! A friend referred me to Splitcoaststampers and I read about Operation Write Home and wanted to participate. My dad is retired from the Navy and Coast Guard, my family has participated in all the major conflicts beginning with the Revolutionary War either in the States or Canada fighting for freedom. Patriotism is in my blood. If I can serve with card making I am very happy to do so. And then double bonus, OWH is based in my town and I have been able to help in person.

While helping at OWH headquarters I saw a lot of beautiful, wonderful cards but noticed that many of the cards were floral and feminine so I have tried to focus on masculine cards. I have many stamps that haven’t seen ink and am trying to use them this year. This card was created with one of those stamp sets, a retired Stampin’ Up set called Moose You. It was stamped on Crumb Cake paper with Chocolate Chip ink. The other papers are Chocolate Chip from SU! And I think some are from Studio Calico. I felt it needed a pop of colour so hence the orange.”


Sketch Challenge #219

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 5 comments

Good Morning Peeps, and Happy Sunday! I have a treat for you today.

Doodle Pantry is once again sponsoring our Sketch Challenge. They have an absolutely wonderful array of digital images, some in outline, and some pre-colored. Thank you so much Dawn for sponsoring us. Thank you also to the DP Design Team, Glenda, Joanna, Cara, Ellen, Marsha, Vicky, and Pat. You always come up with some terrific cards to showcase our Sketch. The Teams cards all feature a Doodle Pantry digital image.

Today’s sketch has some good bones to it. It has a nice clean look to it, and I’m looking forward to giving it a try. The inspiration comes from a card by our very own talented Kathryn. Today you will be seeing Kathryn’s card as well as the cards provided by Doodle Pantry’s Design Team. With all this creative goodness and inspiration…. Let’s get going!


Visit Kathryn’s blog, Kathryn’s Cards, by clicking the link Here.

219 sample

Glenda used DP Deer Trio. Her blog, Gilby’s Corner, is Here.

DP Glenda

Joanna used the Petite Bouquet digi image. Her blog, Sitting on Pens & Needles, is Here.

DP Joanna

Cara also used Petite Bouquet digi image. Her blog, Crafting Adventures, is Here.

DP Cara

Ellen used DP “USA Freedom” and “USA Star” images. Her blog, in a world of craft, is Here.

DP Elaine

Marsha used DP “Patriotic Eagle” digi image. Her blog, Gramma’s Room is Here.

DP Marsha

Vicky used DP “Jiggles Giraffe” image. Her blog, Crafting Vicky, is Here.

DP Vicky

Pat used DP “Spring Critters” digi image. Her blog, Stamp, Paper, and Ink is Here.

DP Pat


Well peeps, it’s time for me to hit the road… literally. I’ve got some errands to run today before I can try this sketch and make cards.