Stars and Stamps


With the coming drawdown, OWH will be in need of fewer cards in the future – that includes upcoming holidays. PLEASE READ THIS PAGE before proceeding to make cards, organize events, etc – it’s really really really really important. Did I say really important? :)


Sketch #253

Posted by on Apr 25, 2015 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 3 comments

Hi, everyone! Happy Saturday!

Thanks so much for your sketch-252-inspired cards. The linked-up cards look great and will be appreciated by our heroes and their loved ones.

Today’s sketch seems to be another nice middle-of-the-road design. Its overall layout is pretty basic, and yet there are enough elements to allow for some interesting layering and embellishments.

sketch 253

Our sketch was inspired by this absolutely lovely card sent to us by the wonderfully talented Sharon. What a striking palette! And, I just love how Sharon mimicked the pattern in her large panel with those leaves along the ribbon. So pretty! Sharon’s too busy making cards to blog about her creations. So, please feel free to leave her some OWH love in the comment section below.

sketch 253 sample

So, who doesn’t love flowers and butterflies? But, with the OWH Father’s Day deadline of April 30 fast approaching, this week’s sketch could be used to make some great Father’s Day cards. In addition, the April Our Daily Bread Design Challenge is calling for masculine cards which can be used throughout the year. Looks like this is a perfect opportunity to check off two challenges with one card!

April Mid-Month Throwdown – Stitching

Posted by on Apr 18, 2015 in Challenges, Inspiration, Midweek Throwdown Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 10 comments


Welcome to the April Mid-Month Throwdown challenge. Thanks to everyone who participated in last month’s patriotic color challenge. There were so many amazing cards! I think red, white, and blue cards are perfect anytime of the year.

The theme for the May Mid-Month Throwdown is Stitching. This can be real stitching with needle and thread or faux stitching with a die cut or paper piercer. Our sample card-maker this month is Lisa H. She’s new to OWH, but definitely not to card-making. Go see more of Lisa’s amazing cards at Embellish My World and leave her some OWH love.

missing you 017adj

Here’s a little about Lisa, in her own words.

Hi, my name is Lisa and I’m a crafty, middle aged,  midwestern,  wife, mother, empty nester,  cake decorator, scrapbooker and cardmaker.  I started dabbling in card making about 7 years ago as kind of a branch off from my scrapbooking hobby.  I didn’t really start getting serious about it until about the last two years.  I heard about Operation Write Home from my friends on one of the scrapbooking sites.  At the time I was a beginner and  I didn’t think my cards were good enough to donate.  As time passed,  I started learning new techniques, investing in new tools and supplies and  developing my own style.   Also during that time my oldest nephew, Andrew joined the Marines and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan so I learned first hand how important it was to keep those lines of communication open.  I sent weekly care packages to him and his friends and always tried to include cards for them.     Last year, when I was laid up for about 3 months with a foot injury, I decided it was as good a time as any to start making some cards for OWH.   I was so happy to send in my first box of cards back in September.  I had so much fun making them and I’m currently working on box #2.

Featured Friday Cardmakers: Sue’s Southern Stampin’ Sistas

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 27 comments

I have a special treat for you today – a whole group of crafters! 

My name is Susan and my group began in 2009 when our local scrapbook store closed down and I became a Stampin’ Up Demonstrator just so the friends we had formed could stay together and continue to craft!! We began with 8 members and today we have 12. I am no longer a SU Demonstrator but we continue to meet for workshops using products that we have all accumulated (and continue to accumulate) through the years. We have even created a private Facebook page for our group, Sue’s Southern Stampin’ Sistas!! We share sketch and color challenges and the cards we create and enjoy keeping in touch with each other between workshops.

What’s your hometown, and do you have a blog? How long have you been stamping?

  • Susan G – Napoleonville, LA. Like most card makers today, I began scrapbooking at the urging of my student workers about 7 yrs ago, I have been making only cards for the last 6 yrs.
  • Susan B – Thibodaux, LA, 9 years.
  • Paula –  Vacherie, LA, I’ve been stamping/cardmaking for approximately 3 years. I’ve been an avid scrapbooker since my DS was in kindergarten, some 18 years ago. So scrapbooking was my hobby of choice. As he got older, I couldn’t put the camera in his face much anymore. So I knew I had to do something with all of my tools and supplies, and that is when I hooked up with Susan, our group leader, who so graciously took me in to make cards with the group.
  • Pat – Labadieville, LA has two blogs – this one and this one!
  • Debra – Thibodaux, LA. I have been making stamping/cardmaking for at least 8 years  I guess.  Seems I have always been doing but not on this level.
  • Mary – I am from Raceland, LA, 4-5 years.
  • Mona – Napoleonville, LA, 3 years.
  • Linda – Thibodaux, LA., 4-5 years.
  • Earline – Raceland, LA., 12+ years.


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

  • Susan G – Oh, I have a craft room!!! I’ve moved and reorganized my craft room several times through the years and have settled in a smaller room, sharing the room with the home office. This seems to work best for me so far!
  • Susan B – I work in a specific area.
  • Paula – Yes, I do. Two years ago, while in a project to remove carpeting from my son’s bedroom, we decided to do the third bedroom at the same time. That was when I turned it into my own foxhole. I spend mostly all of my weekend in there creating cards for OWH, sometimes only coming out long enough to eat.
  • Pat – Yes , I do have my own craft room.  It is usually upside down even though everything has its place.  I work well in clutter I guess.
  • Debra – No, I don’t have a craft room or designated space.
  • Mary – I have a craft room for scrapbooking and card making.
  • Mona – I have a craft room.
  • Linda – I have a designated area where I craft.
  • Earline – Yes, I do have a craft room.


What are your favorite stamp/craft products?

  • Susan G – Wow, that’s a hard one because I love all of my products! I guess I’d have to say my dies, love that you can create so many different images with the dies. To me they take my cards to another level of creativity.
  • Susan B – my favorite products are stamps.
  • Paula –Oh Geez… lets see…. My favorite product has to be my Stamp A Ma Jig. I don’t do anything without that thing. I have two, one at my desk and another in my bag I take to workshops. My other favorite product are my alcohol markers. I’ve discovered coloring images at a whole new level since first grade. It’s so relaxing to me. I’m taking classes right now to get better.
  • Pat – I like a variety of stamps and craft products. I use what gets the effect I want. I’ll add my own sketches if I can’t find what I want.
  • Debra – I really don’t have any favorites.
  • Mary – My favorite tools are my Cuttle Bug, Embossing Folders, Spellbinders & Dies, and tons of Stamps.
  • Mona – My favorite stamp is SU “Thoughts and Prayers”.
  • Linda – I have no favorite products, I enjoy everything I have.
  • Earline – Rubber stamps and dies!

Do you have a favorite technique?

  • Susan G – I wouldn’t exactly call it a technique, but I love layers, many layers!!
  • Susan B – my favorite technique is sponging.
  • Paula – My favorite technique right now is emboss-resist. I love the look. It makes a card so elegant plus, its super easy to do.
  • Pat – No favorite technique. I like to try everything and am always learning.
  • Debra – No.
  • Mary – My favorite technique is using embossing folders & stamps.
  • Mona – Not really.
  • Linda – I do enjoy painting on cards!
  • Earline – No, I am pretty much open to learning anything.

SusanG4Have any particular OWH sketches or tutorials served as inspiration for your cards?

  • Susan G – Yes, some have. However, since the popularity of Pinterest, I seem to get most of my ideas from there.
  • Susan B – No
  • Paula – No, I use them from time to time. Most of my inspiration is from Pinterest or other galleries, including OWH. I usually take that inspiration and end up creating something of my own. I just don’t have that talent to start to come up with anything on my own. I often don’t know where to start. To talented crafters and designers, it just comes so naturally, whereas I have to put a lot of time and thought into a design. I’d rather take that time and build from someone else’s ideas. I make more cards that way
  • Pat – I just like to think about what I would want to recieve if I was the person getting the card and what I would want to send to the special person.
  • Debra – No, I do like to look on Pinterest for inspiration.
  • Mary –. I make all my OWH cards….”Patriot” cards.
  • Mona – I like Pinterest .
  • Linda – No, I tend to look for inspiration from Pinterest.
  • Earline – No.

SusanG5Do you prefer digis or stamps?

  • Susan G – I love the real thing!! I love both clear mount and wood mount stamps!
  • Susan B – I prefer clear mount stamps.
  • Paula – I prefer stamps. I’m always afraid digis don’t last as long or will smear when I try to color. I have an old injet printer so I just don’t know how those inks compare to Memento or other inks.
  • Pat – I use stamps most of the time.
  • Debra – I prefer stamps.
  • Mary – I prefer using stamps.
  • Mona – I prefer stamps.
  • Linda – I prefer stamps.
  • Earline – I prefer stamps.

Do you have a favorite theme?

  • Susan G – I don’t think I favor one theme over another.
  • Susan B – I like nature themed cards best.
  • Paula – Yes, I do. As I’m creating cards for our heroes, I can’t help but think about the love they want to send back home to their loved one and how much they must miss them. So my favorite theme is “love” cards and “Miss You” cards. Not necessarily Valentine, because you can say “I Love You” every day of the year.
  • Pat –Do I have a favorite theme? Not really. Depends what age I am making the card for. As long as the message is loving and caring.
  • Debra – No, I do not.
  • Mary – My favorite them is masculine cards, hunting, fishing, & swamp scenes.
  • Mona – No, I do not.
  • Linda –  No, just depends what I am working on at the time.
  • Earline –Not really, but I tend to make more birthday cards for teens.


Are there colors you love to include on your cards?

  • Susan G – I am a Red, White and Blue girl all the way!! Cards with the combination of all 3 or monochromatic cards with either color are my favorites!
  • Susan B – I love Stampin’ Up’s Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive, and Daffodil Delight.
  • Paula – Colors? I love color! I have every color of the rainbow and everything in between of cardstock, inkpads, stickles, cats eye chalk, memento, twine, etc…. so any color is perfectly fine with me to use on cards.
  • Pat – Colors….hmmmm, no particular color. Again it depends what and who I imagine the card for. Then I use what gives me the best effect.
  • Debra – My favorite all time color is SU’s Cherry Cobbler!
  • Mary –I love to use bright colors, and tan, brown, beige, and chocolate
  • Mona – Teal is my favorite color.
  • Linda – Not really.
  • Earline – I am drawn to pinks and greens.

How did you hear about Operation Write Home?

  • Susan G – I read about OWH in a magazine article about 6 yrs. ago and immediately looked into how my group could contribute. We have been submitting cards ever since.
  • Susan B – From our demonstrator, Susan Gautreaux
  • Paula – I heard from OWH from our group leader. She first introduced me to OWH when I became a member of their cardmaking group. I did some research on the website and immediately wanted to help! Our heroes only deserve the best, which is why I spend a lot of time on one card, sometimes as much as four hours!
  • Pat – I heard about OWH from our team leader, Susan. It sounded great and something we could do as a group.
  • Debra – From Sue Gautreaux.
  • Mary –I heard about OWH thru my Staminup Card Making Class under Susan…Now “Sue’s Southern Stampin’ Sistas.
  • Mona – From Susan Gautreaux.
  • Linda – I heard about OWH from our fearless leader, Sue!
  • Earline – From Facebook and our instructor, Sue.

What motivates you to make cards for our heroes?

  • Susan G – My dad served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He instilled in us a deep sense of patriotism and a love for all things military. Some of my fondest memories as a child are listening to his records (remember those) of John Philip Sousa as loud as my mom would allow!! My nephew served in the U.S. Marines and my husband’s nephew is currently deployed in the U.S. Air Force. Having said all that, my biggest motivation is the memory of my brother. He was career U.S. Navy and died of a heart attack at his desk as a civilian employee for the U.S. Navy 6 yrs. ago. With every card I make for OWH, I try to remember that this card may be the last written word from a loved one deployed in the military. Not that my card would be treasured for its design, but what an honor that maybe someone’s last words are written on something I created! I may never know if that has ever happened and that’s ok, as long as I know that I helped someone send love home while serving our country.
  • Susan B – I feel like I am doing a small part for those who give so much.
  • Paula H – For me, our heroes are my inspiration! They deserve nothing less from me here at home. Their countless months and years away from home and family is why I do this. A card home to a family member, mother, father, wife, child, etc. is inspiration enough for me to make for them. I often wonder who is the recipient of my cards and hopefully they are enjoying them Another big motivation for me is card making trends. I love being introduced to new products and can hardly wait sometimes to get those product so that I can create for them. I make a few cards for my own friends and family, but 90 percent of what I do is for them!
  • Pat – Just thinking of the men and women that have to be away from their homes and families is motivation. They have to sacrifice so much in their own relationships and lives to protect us and our country , yet you always hear them say they would do it over again. They are special people in my heart.
  • Debra – Just a small thanks from me for their great service to our country.
  • Mary –I was raised military; my father was in the Air Force for 22 years, World War II,
    and my three brothers all served our country. My oldest brother served 21 years even serving in Spain.
    One of my brothers served in the Vietnam War, and my other brother served in Tideland.
    I am so proud of my family and today say thank you and fly my American Flag high.
    We moved in March 2015 and the first thing we put in the yard was our American Flag.
  • Mona – Their service to the USA.
  • Linda – I remember Sue telling us that a card we create could be the last message a family member receives from a service man or woman and that has stuck with me and been my driving force.
  • Earline – I can just imagine how good it must feel to receive a card from a loved one.


OWHtv week 185

Posted by on Apr 11, 2015 in OWHtv, Stars and Stamps | 0 comments

Happy weekend, everyone! This week on OWHtv we had fun with a background that’s a pretty classic one – and then shared the cards made with tags we sent out to crafters. (I hear I mixed up a pair – so sorry, ladies!)

Dad background

No pre-varnished pad? Emboss and color a background stamp – the easy way! Watch below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

——— S U P P L I E S ———

• Hero Arts Looped Circle Background  ——
• Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Cardstock  ——
• Hero Arts Clear Embossing Powder  ——
• VersaMark Ink Pad  ——
• Powder Tool  ——
• Hero Arts Embossing Gun  ——
• Distress Ink Pad, Peeled Paint  ——
• Tim Holtz Forest Moss Ink  ——
• Tim Holtz Walnut Stain Ink  ——
• Ranger Inkssentials Mini Misters (3)  ——
• EK Success HONEY BEE Non-Stick Scissors 54-00049  ——
• Tombow Adhesive Stamp Runner & Refill  ——
• ATG dispenser  ——

Get the stamps by the links below:

at Simon Says:
at Ellen Hutson:

Sketch #252

Posted by on Apr 11, 2015 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 10 comments

Hello! First of all, thanks to all of you who used Sketch #251 to make a card… or two… or three for our troops. The posted cards looked great!

It seems the CAS-iness of the last sketch was a big hit. Sketch #252 seems like a nice middle of the road sketch for those who lean towards CAS and those who like layers. :)

sketch 252

The sketch above was inspired by a card we received from Jean S. Jean, who is a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, has been stamping for about 20 years. Those of you who follow our Featured Friday Card Maker might remember Jean from a post from last April. If you’re interested in seeing that post — and enjoying even more of Jean’s wonderful cards, please click here.

sketch 252 sample

Don’t you just love these colors?! And, Jean’s banners make sure that the sentiment is the focus of her card.

Speaking of sentiments, this sketch might be just the ticket for making some thank-you-Dad/love-you-Dad/hi-Dad cards. The OWH Father’s Day deadline is the end of April. (While Father’s Day cards are welcome, more generic dad cards will have a longer shelf life.) And, if you haven’t yet played along with the April Our Daily Bread Design masculine-card challenge, you could link your dad card up for that challenge too!

Can’t wait to see how you interpret this week’s sketch!  :)

Featured Friday Card Maker: Lois B, Florida + Colorado

Posted by on Apr 10, 2015 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 12 comments

Lucky me! I divide my time between Florida and Colorado. People assume I winter in Florida but that’s not always true! I love the seasons and Colorado is where my heart lives!

How long have you been stamping/card making?     

 About five years ago I needed a hobby and began dabbling in card making. It was not pretty! But my daughter gave me a gift certificate and some supplies and I’ve been addicted ever since.

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

 In Colorado I have a huge basement area that I’ve managed to fill with supplies. I love to turn up the music and just play!


What are your favorite stamp/craft products?     

After trying to figure everything out for myself, I finally discovered You Tube and Stampin Up. Those resources help me improve my techniques. I also love Simon Says Stamp for dies and stamps. But anything that catches my eye seems to be where I order next!

Do you have a favorite  technique?   

My family laughs at our lack of artistic ability so I have no favorite techniques. I try new things and some work, but most of the time I just try to get a clear image stamped! One of my goals is to learn to use Copic markers to color my images. Thankfully there are lots of clever ideas I can CASE!


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

OWH sketches are a lifesaver! I print many of them to put in a notebook to use when I need inspiration or to challenge myself to find new ways to use stamps.


 Do you prefer digis or stamps?    

I never got the hang of digis. All my cards are stamped. There are so many cute stamps and a variety of sentiments and I just can’t stand not to own them and make new cards!

Do you have a favorite theme?     

I love to make OWH cards that are most often requested. I think it’s important to send cards with no theme, love, thinking of you, and birthday. I try to make masculine cards as a challenge to myself. Those aren’t the easiest for me. I enjoy making holiday cards but I don’t always get them done in time so I leave most of that to others.


 Are there colors you love to include on your cards?      

Seasons and themes seem to dictate my colors. I love them all! Sandy has done some tutorials about color wheels and using a contrasting color to make images “pop.” I’m working to incorporate her hints into my cards.

How did you hear about Operation Write Home?    

I heard about Operation Write Home from a magazine. I’ve always enjoyed sending cards to others – especially older people who don’t get out as much. (Yes, I’m quickly becoming one of them! Eek!) OWH is a cause I truly believe in and allows me to make cards to my heart’s content knowing they will not just collect dust but will encourage soldiers to keep in touch with loved ones.


What motivates you to make cards for our heroes?

I am very patriotic. Many young men and women commit to serving our country and often risk their lives. It’s an honor to give back to them through OWH.



Update from HQ!

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Stars and Stamps | 3 comments

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to let everyone know a couple things…

  1. Data entry is finally caught up from the Mother’s Day backlog! It took days, but everyone should have their courtesy e-receipts in email by now; the “date received” is the date the data was entered. Since I had a huge backlog I didn’t know what came in when. Thanks for all of you for your concern via email about the arrival of your cards – all the Mom cards have gone out now. :)
  2. Some of you have wondered about the sidebar numbers in the courtesty e-receipts. I’ve left 2014’s numbers in the spot that says “this year” – because if I have to go look up your info for taxes, I need the data to compile that number. Once we hit April 15th, I’ll adjust it so it correctly reflects 2015 donations. Thanks for your understanding!

Have yourself a fabulous rest-of-the-week!


My husband searches the card box

Posted by on Apr 8, 2015 in Hero Blog, Notes from Families, Stars and Stamps | 4 comments

My husband has sent my daughters and I several cards made by OWH. Thank you to all the artists and everyone involved. My husband searches the card box to find ones with a special meaning. For example, he sent a beautiful card with a violin on it to my daughter who recently began lessons. She was thrilled to receive it! My family has been blessed by your kind hearts and generosity.

God Bless,


April ODBD

Posted by on Apr 4, 2015 in Challenges, Inspiration, ODBD Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 3 comments

March was another awesome month of Our Daily Bread Designs card entries. We made our goal of 50 again! Yay! That means ODBD will be sponsoring two more boxes of cards for our deployed heroes. We also have 2 new winners of the $15 ODBD gift certificates. Congratulations!

#13 Joanie at Making Cards for the Troops

#31 Debbie C.

The winners are chosen using Please email me at eponinekc(at)msn(dot)com to claim your prize.  I hope you ladies have fun shopping. Thank you ODBD for your continued support to our military service members!

Since this is the last month to donate Father’s Day cards, the challenge for April is Masculine cards. If you are still working on Father’s Day cards, make sure to get those to OWH headquarters by April 30th. Making cards for Dad that don’t have Happy Father’s Day on them are a great choice since they will have a longer shelf life. Here’s some inspiration for a perfect masculine card from Dawn on the ODBD design team.



Be sure to link up one card below by the end of the month to be included in the drawing for two $15 gift certificates from our great sponsor Our Daily Bread Designs. Let’s see how quickly we can reach our goal of 50 card entries. (Remember only one entry per person.)

OWHtv Week 184

Posted by on Apr 4, 2015 in OWHtv, Stars and Stamps | 6 comments

Are you ready for the Easter bunny? Prepping for church services? (I’m curious how many OWHers are in a choir…do we have more talents than papercrafting?) Well if you have some downtime, get inspired by this week’s videos. All about making backgrounds for cards…. with a pre-prepared paper pad. Enjoy! And have a happy Easter!

***if you got this post by email, it accidentally included a peek at next week’s video…I moved things around and forgot to change it here!***

Just Add Watercolor

The new Cosmo Cricket pad is so cool – it’s already embossed and already has foil! So coolio! The product keeps running out at Simon Says and Ellen Hutson, but you can add yourself to the notification lists and they’ll let you know when it’s back in. And while I use the Kuretake watercolors, you can use whatever you like to paint with. Watch below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

——— S U P P L I E S ———

• Cosmo Cricket Just Add Watercolor 8 x 8 at Simon Says ——
• Cosmo Cricket Just Add Watercolor 8 x 8 at Ellen Hutson  ——
• Kuretake Gansai Tambi, 24 Color Set  at Simon Says  ——
• Kuretake Gansai Tambi, 24 Color Set at Ellen Hutson   ——
• Power Tabs  ——

OWH under government review!

Our April Situation Report