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 Challenge 249

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 2 comments

Wow! There were some great interpretation of our last sketch! Thank you so much for all the wonderful cards you made for our deployed troops to send home. 

We have another fabulous sketch, inspired by another wonderful card. First the sketch.

Today’s sketch offers the opportunity for a strong focal point accented by several layers of embellishments. It looks a perfect sketch to use some scraps and snippets of paper. With a deadline of March 31 to get Mother’s Day cards to Sandy, I’m thinking some pretty floral papers may be just the way to go for those scraps and snippets. Of course, cards with more general mom sentiments could be sent for other occasions, such as mom’s birthday, and would have a longer shelf life.  :)

OWH Sketch 249

The cards below are the inspiration for today’s sketch. I love that they are so bright and cheery… and masculine! And, now I know what to do with my bitty banner punch! Unfortunately, we don’t know the name of the talented card-maker who made these great cards. If you made these cards, or know who did, please let us know. We’d love to give credit where credit is due. 

OWH Sketch 249 -- sample

As if a great sketch and two wonderful sample cards are not enough, our friends at Doodle Pantry are back to sponsor another challenge. One lucky card maker will receive a mini shopping spree with a value up to $10.50. (Thanks again, Laurie!) To qualify for the Doodle Pantry prize drawing, please link up your card by 11 P.M. EST on March 12.

Without further ado, here are a few inspiration cards from the uber-talented DP team.

Sketch 249 - DPDT2_28_2015Sponsor

Sketch 249 - Get Well Critters

Sketch 249 - IMG_8200

Sketch 249 - OWH Feb 28

Did you know that sponsoring sketch challenges is only one way in which Doodle Pantry supports OWH? Doodle Pantry generously donates a portion of the profits from several adorable digital sets to OWH. Click here to check out these OWH fundraising items, including the two newest additions: Bath Ants and Funky Sock Monkey!

Featured Friday Card Maker Ruza R, Northern Illinois

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 21 comments

TGIF! Is anyone else ready for a weekend? It’s crafty time, and this week you get to meet Ruza. She lives near the Wisconsin border with her loving husband of 30-years and their Special Needs Daughter. Her son and his family live within 20-minutes of our home….how fortunate is she! Ruza is also fortunate to have a ton of talent – she’s been blogging at Ruza’s Craft Corner for 4-years! Be sure to leave her some love here, and go follow her blog…you’re going to love her creations! -Sandy

How long have you been stamping/card making?
– I started my card making journey 4-1/4 years ago after visiting the CHA Show in Rosemont, IL. I started out making cards for family and friends, and never stopped.

Do you have a craft room or specific area where you stamp/craft?
– Yes I do. It’s a combination craft/laundry room (picture below). We just added the craft section to my laundry room last year over the Summer so I create while the laundry is going. I do my coloring of images at my kitchen table during the evenings, and then hit the craft room while the laundry is going OR when my daughter is at her Day Program 3-days a week.

Ruza New Digs

What are your favorite stamp/craft products?
– I can’t just pick one or even a few since there are sooo many! Some of the products I use on a regular basis are Technique Tuesday, MFT, Papertry Ink, SRM Products, Enamel Dots, Bling, Copic Markers, Chalk Pencils for extra shading, etc.


Do you have a favorite technique?

– I love coloring with my Copic Markers, and have started playing with Faber-Castell Gelato’s to create backgrounds. I prefer creating Clean and Simple cards so that extra postage is not required for mailing my cards.


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

– I’ve used several of the OWH sketches, but am inspired by many different Sketch Challenge Blogs in cyber-land.

RuzaR5Do you prefer digis or stamps?
– I have both digital and stamps. I love how easy it is to change the size of digital stamps or flip them to meet my needs. However, working with regular stamps does have its advantages.

Do you have a favorite theme?
– No. It depends on the image I’m working with.


Are there colors you love to include on your cards?
– Not really. I have tons of design paper and just but don’t use it very often.

RuzaR2How did you hear about Operation Write Home?
– I heard about OWH thru PaperCrafts Magazine. I discovered that the cards that were entered into the World Card Making Day Challenge that didn’t get chosen were sent to OWH.


What motivates you to make cards for our heroes?
– I have been on over a dozen different Digital Design Teams since I started my blog 4-1/2 years ago. That means creating a LOT of cards! I don’t sell my cards, and had boxes of them just sitting on a shelf. After hearing about OWH I went thru my cards and pulled out all of the cards that met the OWH parameters. I know that they are appreciated and would be put to good use. Now when I design a card I create them to meet the OWH parameters as much as possible.

OWHtv Week 179

Posted by on Feb 22, 2015 in OWHtv, Stars and Stamps | 3 comments

Another week of fun while I’m away…hope you all have been enjoying the videos I made ahead of time for you! This first video shows some challenges with this week’s sketch – and how we can adjust our designs to make sure we’re not producing sneeze on our cards. If you can’t see the videos below in email, click on the blog post title to go see it on the blog.

And in the second video, I show you how I re-did a card similar to the sample card!

The office reopens next week – but it’ll still be a while til things are their “normal” level of busy again, lots of catchup to do! :)

February Mid-Month Throwdown – Cards for Kids

Posted by on Feb 21, 2015 in Challenges, Inspiration, Midweek Throwdown Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 2 comments

Welcome to the February Mid-Month Throwdown! I enjoyed seeing all the wonderful Thank You cards from last month’s challenge. Such a great variety of cards for our heroes. Don’t worry if you haven’t linked up your card yet, because there is no deadline for Mid-Month challenges.

It may still be winter, but in the OWH world, it’s time for spring cards. And if you’re still working on Easter cards, the deadline to have those at OWH headquarters is February 28th. That’s only 1 week away! You can always just play it safe and make non-Easter cards with fun spring papers or bunnies using the requested 5 themes. Miss You, Love, Thank You, Birthday, and Thinking of You. Our heroes are always looking for the perfect card to send to their sweet kiddos. So, this month’s theme is to make Cards for Kids.

Our sample card-maker this month is Patricia H. who blogs at Thinking of Inking. I just love her sweet super hero card. Her stitching is absolutely perfect!

OWH-blog-hop-10-4-2014Here’s a little about Patricia in her own words:

I’ve been crafting in one form or another pretty much since I was old enough to manage crayons, scissors, and glue.  I used to do a lot of embroidery and cross-stitching, but I had to put those on the back burner when I had curious toddlers who wanted to climb into my lap when I was crafting. I started stamping in 2002 when one of my friends became a Stampin’ Up demonstrator and I wanted to help support her business.  I enjoy using stamps, designer papers, and embellishments from a variety of companies now.  Although I love the look of stitching on cards, I don’t think to do it often.  It’s always a happy surprise when I can look through my embroidery floss and find colors that match my cardstock!

Featured Friday Card Maker: Liz G, Gilbert, AZ

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 22 comments

Hello everyone, and TGIF! I’m excited today to introduce you to Liz, who doesn’t have a blog, but she shares some of her creations on Pinterest on this board. (Did you know that Pinterest is a great solution for nonbloggers? You can post your pics there and enter in our challenges using those for links! woohoo!)  Liz is pretty new to OWH – so she’s just learning about our tutorials, sketches, and OWHtv! Leave her lots of love in the comments – and share with her what your favorite resource is here on our website! Thanks everyone, and have a great weekend! -Sandy

How long have you been stamping/card making?     

I started stamping about 25 years ago. Then got into scrapbooking and about 5 years ago, I started making cards.

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

I have a beautiful craft room where I work on all my crafts. Mini scrapbooks, cards and I enjoy decorating cigar boxes.


What are your favorite stamp/craft products?     

I like to mix different techniques on my cards like watercolor resist, die cutting, embossing. And now I’m coloring with alcohol inks and water colors. Love it. You do such beautiful work. I watch your videos all the time. I think I’m getting better.


Do you have a favorite  technique?   

Kristina Werner, Jennifer McGuire and Sandy inspire me. I watch videos and look at Pinterest for my ideas. I may use the similar materials, but I never make the same card twice. 


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

Operation write home is very new to me and I’m still finding resources. I did see one video that showed how to cut the cards stock to maximize time and materials. I did follow her advice. 

Do you prefer digis or stamps?    

I prefer stamps ( since I’m not sure what a digi is)


Do you have a favorite theme?     

I have no favorite theme, but love cards are fun to make. 


Are there colors you love to include on your cards?     

My favorite colors are red and black. And I guess I use then very often. I feel black grounds my cards and keeps them from looking too froo froo.


How did you hear about Operation Write Home?    

One day I happened upon a video on Operation Write Home. It sounded perfect to me. I had quite a stockpile of cards and I had already given cards to everyone and their grandmother. So I found your guidelines and altered a few cards and put them in the mail. 

What motivates you to make cards for our heroes?

My husband was in Vietnam and my son was in the Navy and my grandson is currently in the Navy. That all the motivation I need. These young people deserve all the help we can give. 

Sketch Challenge 248

Posted by on Feb 14, 2015 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 4 comments

Sketch Challenge 248

Hello and Happy Valentine’s Day!

A huge thank you for all those cards you linked up for our last challenge! Your cards were wonderful and will be so appreciated by our troops and their loved ones.

This week’s sketch is quite eye-catching. It certainly provides lots of opportunity for some interesting embellishments.

Our sketch is inspired by a fabulous patriotic card sent to us by Coni L. You might remember Coni from a Featured Friday Card Maker post last month. Scroll on down to see Coni’s fabulous sample — and marvel at how she achieved her wonderful sample card without it looking like “Card Sneeze“!

OWH Sketch 248

OWH Sketch 248 -- sample card

Don’t you just love Coni’s pops of red and blue against that crisp white background? And, those shiny stars are perfectly placed! Wouldn’t this make a great Any Hero card? To see more of Coni’s creations, feel free to visit her at the creatively-titled I’m sure Coni would love to hear from her fellow OWHers.

Sandy picked Coni’s card for our sketch this week because it had such a great teachable moment; Coni had showed how to use those beautiful stars all over the card without it looking messy… and Sandy will share some great ideas on OWHtv this week. Tuesday at noon, she’ll show us a Card Triple Play with three before-and-afters — which we all just love those, don’t we? — and on Thursday, she’ll take a stab at replicating Coni’s card, with her own supplies. Be sure you’re a subscriber so you don’t miss it!


Since the OWH Mother’s Day deadline is March 31, maybe the sketch elements could be replaced with flowers and/or butterflies to make a love-you-mom card.  Cards with general mom sentiments will have a longer shelf life than those with “Happy Mother’s Day” greetings.

Whether you continue on with Coni’s patriotic theme, make a lovely mom card, or go in a totally different direction, we’re looking forward to see what you do with this fun sketch.

OWHtv Week 178

Posted by on Feb 14, 2015 in OWHtv, Stars and Stamps | 2 comments

I’m in Europe – and what better than soccer….er, uhm, football? Futball? (Oh where is that u with the little dots over it!) This week – a card using a hexagon die, and then another video challenging use of some of the leftover bits! (If you can’t see these videos in email, click on the blog title to go to the website to see them.)


Supplies for both videos:

Happy Valentines Day!

Featured Friday Card Maker: Kathryn B, Auburn, IL

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 52 comments

Hello, and happy almost-Valentines Day! (Is it Valentines Eve?) I hope you all have plans with your sweeties, whether they’re spouses, significant others, or just some awesome friends who warm your heart. (I’m with my sisters—I think this is our first Valentines Day together since we were children!) Today I get to introduce you to Kathryn, one of our newer cardmakers – she’s not new to making cards, just to OWH! She doesn’t have a blog, so leave her lots of love in the comments section of this post…you guys are always so kind to one another in your messages! -Sandy

How long have you been stamping/cardmaking?

I guess almost 20 years. Wow, that’s a long time!


What are your favorite stamp/craft products?

I have a wonderful (um, make that huge) collection of Stampin’ Up! and Papertreyink products, as well as Hero Arts.


Do you have a favorite technique?

I’ve been dabbling in watercolor and bokeh lately, but I find that I consistently lean toward layers, die cuts, and embossing.

Do you prefer digis or stamps?

Do you have a favorite theme?

My stamp collection is very heavily floral, but I ahve been adding stamps that re more whimsical. We could all use a little whimsy, right?


Are there colors you love to include on your cards?

I have really been doing a lot with blue/green combinations. I mean, a lot! Even at Christmas!


How did you hear about Operation Write Home?

From my dear friend and fellow stamper, Karen. She mentioned it at a card class and I loved the idea of adding a new focus and direction to my card making. It’s turned into a bit of a mania!
KathrynB5What motivates you to make cards for our heroes?

Many of our friends and family members have children serving in nearly every branch of the military. Their dedication and sacrifice is just so amazing and it’s a debt we can never repay.

OWH cards are a tiny little way to let them know how much it means to us at home, and if our cards can help our heroes share their hearts with their loved ones, then that just makes me feel warm all over.


OWHtv Week 177

Posted by on Feb 8, 2015 in OWHtv, Stars and Stamps | 9 comments

This week we invited YOU to join in…we had 20 winners chosen and they’ll have a month to make a card and get it sent in. We’ll share our favorites out of those – (If you can’t see these videos in email, click on the blog title to go to the website to see them.)

Remember that the office is closed for just over 2 weeks, so the standard courtesy receipts will not be sent til possibly March. Emails will not be answered until then, either. Thanks for your patience!

Supplies for both videos:

The Stitched Animals are listed HERE, but not the Stitched flowers yet; put yourself on the ‘notify’ list and maybe both will be in at the same time!

February ODBD challenge

Posted by on Feb 7, 2015 in Challenges, Inspiration, ODBD Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 4 comments

Welcome to the February Our Daily Bread Designs challenge! Once again, we made our 50 card deadline. That means ODBD will be sponsoring the shipping of two more boxes of cards for our deployed heroes. We also have 2 new winners of the ODBD $15 gift certificates.  Congratulations!

#7 Sherry H.

#21 Susan R.

The winners are chosen using Please email me at eponinekc(at)msn(dot)com to claim your prize. Thank you ODBD for your continued support to our troops!

The theme for February’s challenge is Animals. What kind of critter/s will you add to your card? A cute little dog, bird, or maybe a bunny? Speaking of bunnies, if you are making Easter cards, the deadline is February 28. Here’s some inspiration from the ODBD Design Team. Isn’t the little pup just darling resting in the lovely flowers?


I can’t wait to see what everyone creates. If you are new to making cards for Operation Write Home, go HERE to see the OWH cardmaking guidelines.

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.)