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 #239

Posted by on Sep 13, 2014 in Sketch Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 5 comments

Good Morning OWHers! It’s that time of year when fall is in the air and the weather is matching the season.  This year summer wasn’t sweltering hot in my neck of the woods, and that was a good thing. I’m just too darn old to do sweltering any more.

Are you ready for Sketch #239? Hold the phone… say what??? What happened to #238? I honestly don’t know why 238 was left out of the numbering mix, but I assure there is no missing sketch lurking around anywhere. I do apologize.

Sketch 239 has some really good bones… you’ll like it!

239 (1)


The inspiration for today’s sketch is from this card by the wonderfully talented, and creative, Cindy. You’ll want to pop in to Cindy’s blog, Cards by Cindy, and leave some love. The link is HERE.



IMPORTANT REMINDER: Don’t forget… in you’re making multiples of the same/similar card only make 5. Right now we don’t need a large number of multiples. In Cindy’s blog she made 12, but that was before the troops were cut back. For more information please check of the “Operation Rolling Tapegun” post. The link is HERE.

OWHtv Week 159

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in OWHtv, Stars and Stamps | 7 comments

Hello everyone! I had hoped to have a little more for you on OWHtv this week, but with a nagging cold, that was pretty much taken off my plate. Boo, hiss! I haven’t even felt up to any OWH Birthday celebrations.

Birthday? What? Yes! Today, Sept 12th, is the anniversary of the day we received our 501(c)(3) status in 2009. We had been sending cards since 2007, but the date in 2009 marked the official birth of the organization….and it was the first time we began receiving enough donations to cover expenses! Many many thanks to all who have kept us going so long – and who continue to do so.


I was strong enough to make it to the post office today – and found that postage prices went up! Phooey, eh? Medium boxes rose by 30 cents (now $12.65) and large boxes went up by 45 cents ($17.90 for domestic, $15.90 for APO). The flat rate envelopes went up too, I don’t remember by how much. I usually start paying attention to increases that happen in January, so this one took me by surprise. Sorry not to have given you notice!

This means that not only your postage will increase, but OWH’s as well….with the quantity of boxes we mail out, it’ll be a good bit for us. If you’d like to help out and haven’t yet purchased one of our Flat Rate Envelope packs, that’s a big help – the packs, about half gone now, are taking up shelf space we’ll need for the holidays. Feel free to share a link to the fundraiser on your blog or Fb so your crafty friends can get in on the sale too!

Now, on to OWHtv!

Hopefully next week I can get back to doing some more videos, but for now – I’m going to take the weekend off to try to rest up and recuperate.

Featured Friday Card Maker, Pam A. Dallas, TX

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 44 comments

HUGE BREAKTHROUGH at the Ashworth house this weekend!!!!  Can’t believe it wasn’t a story on the 24/7 news!!!! I’m telling you I am just beside myself!!! I presented this major problem to the smartest person I know hoping he could figure out why the instant cappuccino was glumping and not dissolving. It was really starting to annoy me. This was a 2 day conversation and involved great scientific experiments using refrigeration, boiling water and measuring devices!!!!  I explained the problem to FP (chem major in college) and he asked piercing questions, is the water boiling? do you add 1/2 the water, stir like crazy and then add the rest of the water? “Yes, yes I do” I replied.  Hmmm, and it still glumps? “Yes, terrible big glumps.”  Hmm, do you loosen the powder? it settles you know.  “Great idea!  yes I will start doing that.” Unfortunately it still glumped.  FP says, maybe it’s the humidity, put the container in the fridge and let me know what happens tomorrow. “I bet that’s it, there has been a terrible heat wave this week.” FP says, How much water are you using? “Umm, I haven’t a clue.”  Have you ever thought of drinking coffee instead of that weird stuff?, FP asked.  Laughing I replied, “but I like this weird stuff and coffee tastes bitter.” FP’s parting shot, yeah but coffee doesn’t glump!  He does have a point.  So Saturday morning, bleary eyed, I make my way to the kitchen, get the water boiling on the stove, get the container out of the fridge, loosen the powder and put it in a mug.  As I stand there, not really thinking about anything in particular I begin to miss the large coffee mugs I broke 2 weeks ago.  I really miss those mugs, had those mugs a long time, those mugs made a great cup of coffee, bet those mugs were…..16 oz mugs…cappuccino never glumped in those mugs. The light bulb was beginning to shine, yup the mugs I was using were only 12 oz., the problem was not enough water, as the mug was too small. Found a plastic cup which held 16 oz of water and made the cappuccino, NO GLUMPS!!!! A few little flakes, those I can live with.  I was SO EXCITED I just had to take a snap and send it to FP.  I know he was rolling his eyes when he opened the photo of cappuccino captioned with “Look at this!!!  It finally worked!! Need larger coffee mugs!!!!!!!! U r so freaking brilliant!!!!”  Truly does not take much to make me happy.

Every one was so generous in leaving comments for last week’s FFCM, thank you for taking the time to do so.  Please leave some OWH love for Pam in the comment section below as she does not have a blog.  Okay—I am seriously flipping out over these cards!!!!! Y’all are in for a treat this week. oh my granny are you ever!  The pink star card—NEVER would have thought to use the stamp that way—totally awesome!! The peacock card is a masterpiece, that one is worth some serious study on how it was made.  I am totally clueless as to how the circle card was made—is that a die? and how did the center panel of circles get color—scratching my head over that one?  “A laugh is a smile that bursts”— what a great sentiment and beautiful card. Okay, I’m stopping, I don’t want to give any more teasers about these wonderful cards.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy Pam’s cards and her story in her own words…..

Hello from Dallas, TX where I live with my wonderful husband. I am a longtime crafter and have dabbled in all sorts of crafty things. I also really like to cook.

 How long have you been stamping/card making?

Gosh, I’m really not sure, but about 7 or 8 years. I visited a big box craft store, bought some patterned paper, a variety box of cards with white envelopes, and a decorative edge punch to make some Easter cards for family. Then, I discovered a new Paper Source store a few miles away. They had the cutest letterpress sentiments in packs of 10, all kinds of solid colorful paper products with matching envelopes, and beautiful patterned paper. The envelopes had large closure flaps which were so fancy! I bought a few of those items along with a package of plastic envelope liner templates and it has been a downhill slide ever since. Of course none of you can relate to this and you must think I am crazy. 

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

Oh yes! It is fondly known as the Piddle Palace. We converted our guest room a couple of years ago to a multi use room. Guests now sleep on a Murphy bed which is a really nice looking white bead board wall unit when not in use. I have a couple of pieces of Martha Stewart craft furniture, which is awesome by the way. My  standup height craft desk is in the middle of the room so I am able to walk around to use all sides. I have a large cutting mat, craft mat, inks, adhesives, and an embossing station on the desk. The second piece is a matching flat file storage cabinet where I keep paper, stamps, die cut, and score. I sit on a backless swivel stool so I just spin around like a command station to make a card. When we have guests, the table with current crafty mess gets moved to the corner of the room and the bed pulls down. It is a great setup that works really well. The room has a lot of natural light so it is a very pleasant room to piddle. I even have a lab coat, just like a doctor, (compliments of my hubby via Amazon) due to many accidents from dropped ink pads onto white jeans. Not so good.

What are your favorite stamp/craft products?

Well, I have to say my die cutting machine, paper trimmer, and ATG. These 3 tools totally changed the game for me. I still cannot believe I used to cut paper with a craft knife, glue everything with a glue stick, and use pre-made embellishments purchased at the big box craft stores. Eek!! 


Do you have a favorite  technique?

I am a technique junkie and love to learn and try new things. I enjoy participating in several on line challenges and taking on line card classes. Almost all the cards I make for the challenges and classes are sent to OWH so I participate with OWH criteria in mind.  I post on the challenge links as *Pam A*

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

I refer to the sketches from time to time, but tend to follow basic design principles like rule of thirds, focal points, etc. There was once a video post about ATG’s which was fantastic. I cannot believe how a small cardboard disc could make such a huge difference, but it does. Whoever thought that one up is a genius.


Do you prefer digis or stamps?

Hands down stamps. I could never color like Sandy Allnock, so it would be futile for me to even consider digis.


Do you have a  favorite theme?

Christmas cards are my favorite, but since most of the cards I make are for OWH, I stick to hello, thinking of you, thank you and birthday so they can be used year round. I do line all my envelopes as I like the way it finishes off the cards. Remember, I bought a package of liner templates that I need to use and it’s a good reason to buy patterned paper. Almost all of my cards are one of a kind designs which is much more fun and creative for me.


Are there colors you love to include on  your cards?

I just go with the design and use all sorts of colors. 


How did you hear about Operation Write  Home?

A post on Melissa Bickford’s blog. She is a Papertrey Ink stamp designer.  I read her post about the same time my fresh out of college nephew was leaving to report to OCS in Newport, RI to start his Naval career. It was such a coincidence that both happened the same week, so I took it as a sign that I should check out OWH. I read about OWH, liked what I saw, ordered the OWH stamps and made some cards.

What motivates you to make cards for our  heroes?

I am very grateful to the men and women who serve our country in very dangerous places around the world to protect our freedoms and interests. Making a few cards seems so insignificant in the whole scheme of things. My hope is that it keeps loved one’s in touch in a tangible way and brings lots of happy smiles all around.

Stamptember fundraiser for OWH!

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in Fundraisers, Stars and Stamps | 5 comments

Our friends over at Simon Says and Avery Elle have a treat for OWH – go check out the news on the Simon blog, and be sure to leave a comment on the post to qualify to win some extra goodies too! (And leave them a HUGE thank you for their support of OWH!)

September ODBD

Posted by on Sep 6, 2014 in Challenges, Inspiration, ODBD Challenge, Stars and Stamps | 6 comments

I wasn’t sure if we were going to make the 50 card deadline for the August Our Daily Bread Designs challenge. But, you ladies stepped up and we made it again. Each month that we reach the goal, ODBD donates up to two boxes of free shipping for our heroes–1 for 25 cards posted and 2 for 50. Two of you each month get the special thanks of winning a $15 gift certificate good toward the purchase of ODBD stamps. The winners for August are:

 #21 Barb Housner

#49 Kristine

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!

I hope everyone is ready for the September ODBD challenge. With the coming drawdown of deployed service members, more info HERE, we all have time to try some new techniques or just spend a little more time on our cards. So the September challenge is to Create your own background. Instead of using patterned paper as the main background, how about using stamps, embossing, or inks. There are so many different things we can try. Look at this beautiful card with a stamped background from Chris on the ODBD Design team.


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I can’t wait to see what everyone creates. Make sure to link up one card for September to get in on the drawing for TWO $15 ODBD gift certificate.  These gift certificates will be good for $15 off stamps found in the “stamps column” on their website. Thank you, ODBD!


OWHtv Week 158 – a dog blog

Posted by on Sep 5, 2014 in OWHtv, Stars and Stamps | 8 comments

mama let me blog! mama let me blog! i think it would be better to call it dogging than blogging. but what do i know.

photo 1

mama has been going away on trips. i get to stay with other people sometimes, and sometimes other people stay with me. i like other people too, even if i miss mama! when mama came home this time, i helped her with all this mail. so did miss kristie and miss penny. this was so much mail that they sent the BIG truck this time to deliver it!

photo 2

mama got sick after her last trip, so she asked me to blog today for her. and said i should ask you to be patient. she gets a lot of the same questions from the same people asked in a lot of different ways, just in case she missed it the first time – but i’m her personal assistant and can tell you she sees them all. so you don’t have to type it in a lot of places. its just taking her a long time to get through a lot of emails, especially when lots are the same stuff again. she’s not getting through it very fast coz i can’t type very fast to help her.

here are the 2 tv shows from this week.

i almost made one myself so there would be three, but my paw missed the ‘record’ button. so it was blank film. i was sad. so instead i posted one of my old videos from a couple years ago. my magic one. i hope you like it.

mama goes to see mister aaron, miss kimberly and miss jennifer, and all the nice people at Hero Arts for a few days. i’m already counting the minutes til she gets back!


Featured Friday Card Maker, Marci J., Gothenburg, NE

Posted by on Sep 5, 2014 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 74 comments

Hey y’all hope everyone is just peachy!!!!  I’m writing this a couple of weeks ahead of the actual posting, taking a  few days off of work to just relax.  Today the tree guys came and cut up the 65-70 ft hickory tree that snapped last week during the storm. They also cut down a couple of small trees, several large limbs that were hitting the roof in the back of the house and shredded the mammoth burn pile in the front yard.  It was so cool watching the process. 

Sandy has been getting the word out to cut down (did y’all catch that segue?) on the number of same/similar card design to 5 and for us to send in only our BEST work.  I haven’t had the time to make many cards this year as I’m volunteering in other areas of OWH, but I was able to make a few cards today—it felt wonderful!  I tried a new technique, masking tape, using OWH sketch 143 only made four of those, then I made a couple of challenge cards using sketch 216 a fall birthday card, and sketch 217 using plaid on the card.  It was great to be able to take time to learn a new technique, the masking tape thing is easy and I’ll be using it again.  Making one card is so out of my box, makes me anxious—literally.  It just so happens I glanced over at the fall card and said to myself, that would look good with stitching on it. Now I can take the time and put a little something extra on the card and still make CAS cards—-this is exactly what Sandy is asking us to do.

And it’s something Marci has done. I love her cards, so clean and simple and neat and the designer paper coordinates well, the cards are, quite simply, nice to look at, most pleasing to the eye and I want to know what stamps she used. The sentiment on the first card just makes me want to cry it’s so beautiful, please tell me the company!!  Pay attention to the details on Marci’s cards, her matting is excellent, stitching and paper piercing (hole punching with a needle) are on quite a few; she even puts thread in the button!!  The birthday card is to die for—so creative!  I’ve got to stop or I really will give everything away.

Thank you for all the comments left last week, y’all are a gracious bunch.  Please leave some OWH love in the comment section below as Marci doesn’t have a blog.  Now y’all get comfy and schoochie up real close to the monitor ‘cause you don’t want to miss the details on Marci’s cards!! Here she is in her own words……

I live in Gothenburg, a little town in Nebraska. I was born and raised here and lived here most of my life.

How long have you been stamping/card making?

About 3 yrs. I started out scrapbooking, then went to card making. Those first cards were not good at all, but I’m starting to get the hang of it. I still have a ways to go but I’m getting better. I look at the cards made by all the talented OWH card makers on Facebook and on OWHtv’s unboxing videos and learn so much.

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

I do. Our spare bedroom has become my craft room. I started out in just one corner of the room, but have now taken over the whole room.

What are your favorite stamp/craft products?

I really like My Favorite Things dies and stamps. I don’t do a lot of coloring but I have some cute MFT stamps that I need to use. One of my favorite things to do is to ink up a new stamp for the first time. I also love patterned paper. I must admit I have a bit of a paper addiction. I love all patterned paper, but my favorite brand is My Minds Eye, 5 of the 6 cards on this post are made with My Minds Eye paper.


Do you have a favorite  technique?

I would have to say die cutting. I love my big shot, it just makes everything so much easier. I also mat almost everything on card stock something I have learned from watching Sandy on OWHtv and from sketches it really makes such a difference.

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

YES for sure. I have all the OWH sketches printed out and in a recipe binder that stands up, which makes it easier to look at while making a card. I love to cook and rarely follow the recipe, I always change something. I do the same thing with sketches. I also love OWHtv and have learned so much from Sandy and I always get a lot of ideas from the unboxing videos.


Do you prefer digis or stamps?

Stamps. I have never tried digis. I’m not tech savvy at all. Stamps can be hard (for me) to get right. I stamp on card stock and do it several times before I get one I can use. If I have to stamp directly on the card I always say a prayer first that it turns out and I do not ruin the card. That always works, as long as I remember to pray.


Do you have a  favorite theme?

I try to do a mix of all the themes OWH needs. I seem to make birthday cards the most and have to stop myself and move on to the other themes OWH needs more of. I do love to make Any Hero cards.


 Are there colors you love to include on  your cards?

No not really. I do not do a lot of bright colors. I just can’t seem to make them work very well. Other OWH card makers make beautiful cards with bright colors but when I try they just don’t look right.


How did you hear about Operation Write  Home?

I can’t remember the web site, but it was a scrapbooking web site and it was on National Card Making Day. I clicked on the OWH web site and read the guidelines and started making cards for OWH that day. I sent my first box a year ago this October.


 What motivates you to make cards for our  heroes?

I love making cards and had more cards than I could use, so when I found OWH I knew I had to make cards for them. I’m so very thankful for all our heroes and their families. They give so much to keep all of us safe, making cards for them is such a small thing I can do for them. My prayer is that a card I’ve made can give a loved one some comfort while their loved one is away fighting for our freedom.

OWHtv Week 157

Posted by on Aug 30, 2014 in OWHtv, Stars and Stamps | 4 comments

Hi everyone! Only two episodes for you this week…..I’m travelling and visiting family, and the housesitter doesn’t do videos – lol! Travel continues for a while, so if you’ve sent in cards recently, your patience in receiving courtesy e-receipts is appreciated, thanks!

The first video shows the hard way to create a card:

And the second shows the most common card design seen in OWH boxes:

Featured Friday Card Maker Jeanann, Mission, TX

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Featured Friday Cardmaker, Stars and Stamps | 24 comments

Hey there everyone, hope all is well with you.  Had a bit of an adventure last week when a thunderstorm went through Gainesville. Miraculously a 40 foot hickory tree fell away from the house.  Chris the tree guy came out the next day to asses the situation, took a look at it, the house and me, shook his head and said “Kathy do you realize that when trees are on a forward sloping bank they fall forward and not backward?”  I said, “Chris, I figured God in His infinite wisdom and mercy reached out His hand and  just pushed it backwards.” He looked at me solemnly and “I think so, ma’am, I think so.”

Huge heartfelt thanks to all who left comments last week—wow wasn’t that a thrill not having any photos for a short time? NOT!! When Sandy loaded the interview onto  WordPress the interview was intact, then the weird web took over acting nutty and didn’t load the photos. Our fearless leader (who never sleeps BTW, cause I sent that email early, east coast time) wrangled with WordPress and fixed it for us. You just never know what is going to happen in cyberspace. Anyway, all the comments were great and thank you very much for leaving them.  Let’s continue this week and leave some OWH love in the comment section below for Jeanann as she doesn’t have a blog.

So many things to note and mention about Jeanann and her cards.  I really like the contrast with the purple and black cone flower card, the train card is a great example of how to tone down a busy designer paper, really like the softness of the purple birthday card and that soft theme is carried out with the ink color, the image and ribbon.  As usual, I’m just mentioning a few aspects to whet your appetite and know y’all will pick out others that I’ve missed.  Time to sit back, get comfy and let’s learn about Jeanann in her own words…..

How long have you been stamping/card making?

Probably about 7 years. It was a natural progression from the scrap booking I did while our kids were growing up. In the over 55 mobile home park where we live some of the ladies taught card classes of all types and I attended. Of course I needed supplies so I found a small independent shop where they not only sold products but had classes and carding nights. Those hooked me. Every Friday night I’d have to be sure I had my checkbook with me so that I could buy some new-to-me, wonderful  product and of course, lots of paper. It’s a shame but that little store closed down. Our ladies suffered withdrawal until one of our group found us a place to meet. Now we’ve grown to over 30 ladies during the “winter Texan” months. I love making cards. It’s something that can be done at any age. Sleep is no problem, I can even dream up card ideas then.

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

I started carding in a corner of the living room of the mobile home we live in.  After my area grew so large that there was only a trail from the front door to the other rooms I knew I had to find another place. We cleared out my sewing room because who wants to sew when you can make cards?  I moved in there. My super helpful and capable husband made me a ribbon rack and a table top where I put my machines. One wall is shelves from floor to ceiling. Those hold all types of items, buttons, embellishments, flowers, etc. Another wall holds two sets of the 12 x 12 paper drawers. One set contains plain colored cardstock and the other is filled, and I do mean filled, with printed paper. I never see a piece of paper no matter what size that I don’t think I need or will need at some time.  I have a large sheet of peg board which holds various stickers  and such. On the door and one wall there are three over the door shoe bags. These hold most of my punches. My honey made me a large bulletin board that I hang all my thin dies on. That way I can easily see them and choose the ones that I need for my project. Some drawers for stamps, low shelves for my embossing folders, and a desk to work on, yes it still fits, and a shelf holding the CD cases I put my clear stamps in pretty much complete the room.

What are your favorite stamp/craft products?

I love using punches and dies. There are so many new dies that are easy to use and really make the card.  We’re no longer tied to the big, thick, Sizzix dies although I still have my old, red Sizzix machine and many of those dies (and use them). I know some of the new machines will cut those dies but habits die hard and I still love my old stand bys.  As far as stamps go I use lots of  brands. I just type what I need into my trusty computer and I have so many choices, in fact, too many.  My friends are big into Stampin’ Up and are so great to share with me so I use them a lot.


Do you have a favorite  technique?

I don’t have just one favorite technique. The ladies in my card group are very creative and wonderful to share and teach so I keep trying the new techniques that they bring.. One of my favorites is inking or chalking a background and then adding a solid stamp.  That makes a simple stamp just pop out. Speaking of popping out, I love to use pop dots to give the card dimension. Right now my group is into the flip cards and slider cards . We just did box cards which were a lot of fun. (Editor’s note: flower/moon card was made at one of the winter Texan gatherings, actual creator unknown.)


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

No, I like to try different sketches. They help me keep from falling into the “sameness” trap.  I watch tutorials from time to time but often think I need to buy something special to create the same type of card and I already have so many things that I need to use .

Do you prefer digis or stamps?

I like both but since I’m not good at coloring I usually choose solid stamps. I told my husband that I just couldn’t color well. His comment was “you used to color with the girls when they were little didn’t you?” “Not the same”  I had to explain. I download some of the cute, free digi’s offered on OWH.


Do you have a  favorite theme?

Are flowers and butterflies a theme? I love both of those but I guess my favorite themes are “miss you” or “I care“. Those just seem to be so “right” for those away from home. I like my cards simple and not too busy.


Are there colors you love to include on  your cards?

Bright basic colors, soft, spring colors, and the fall colors are some of my favorites. . Oh yes, black and white. I don’t think I ever met a color I didn’t like to use. I seem to like colors that match. I wish I was better at contrasting.


How did you hear about Operation Write  Home?

I really can’t remember. I think a friend told me about it and I’m so glad I found it. Since then I’ve seen it featured in some of my magazines and I’ve spread the word. Now some of my friends are making cards and sending them to OWH.


What motivates you to make cards for our  heroes?

I love making cards and sending them for someone to enjoy. I consider those cards  my way of making life a bit easier for our heroes. In my imagination I can see a person in the military picking out a card and sending it to someone they love. I feel thankful for having played a little part in that. I hope that one of my cards will be that card. I’m often asked if I’m bored since I retired. I tell them “no”. Every day is filled with new challenges as I survey all the wonderful things I have to use making cards to send to those who allow me to do the things I love to do and keep me safe while I do it …our military