Operation Write Home - More Than Cards

Operation Write Home requested photos or video from us to create a video to submit to ABC's Your Three Words project. These 3 words are to express what Operation Write Home means to us. So I thought about it, what Does OWH mean to me? Why do I make cards and send them off, to be shipped to our troops serving throughout the world... There are many reasons.

Its something I can do to support our troops. I feel connected to something larger than myself, when I think of these little cards carrying messages of love and hope and longing. I think of the happiness a simple card brings when sent between friends, and how many times that happiness must be multiplied when a card is sent between the one serving overseas and the ones supporting them here at home.
There are stories posted on OWH's Facebook page from troops and from the happy recipients here at home about how these cards touch peoples lives. Children sleeping with notes from a parent; the gift of sharing a special holiday or anniversary; love letters.
These are not just cards. They are hugs in an envelope, kisses snuggled between sheets of card stock, handshakes, high fives, whispers and confessions. Tangible connections - you know that your loved one held this card, that they took the time to write down a message, that they sent it with love. You can also know that someone made this card with this purpose in mind, gave their time and effort to create a container for these feelings. For You.

When I make my cards, I make them with love, respect, and alot of gratitude. The sacra fices that are made by our troops, and the families they leave at home, are great. Though I make "just cards" I make them in the hopes that someones day is brighter, their sacrifice a bit more bearable, with the hope that their heart is warmed.
Operation Write Home
is much, so much,
More Than Cards.
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OWH Stars & Stamps Sketch Challenge #31

Yes, they got me again! After being sick and Non-crafty this weekend, I was inspired by the Sketch challenge over at the Operation Write Home Stars & Stamps blog...
Here is what I made tonight, simple 10 minute cards for sure, but limited edition :-) as they are made with the last of my retired stash of Welcome Neighbor Designer Series Paper pack. There are only 3 sheets of each design (roughly yielding 3 cards ea with a similar pattern) so while I was able to make a nice dozen again, but had to come up with 4 different ways to incorporate the paper. The sentiment is from the awesome Full of Life set (item # 111500, page 152 of your catalog).

Thanks for looking!
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OWH Sketch #30 and the Mid-week Throwdown Challenge

Over at Operation Write Home's Stars and Stamps blog I was looking at the Midweek Throwdown and the cute digi-stamps offered up for the challenge, when I remembered I had not done Sketch #30, and it seemed like these might go together... so here we have Two-fer Thursday yielded another dozen cards, two each of the designs shown.

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S.o.S. Card Chain Challenge August

This month the Society of Stamp and Scrap-aholics Card Chain Challenge has thrown me for a loop, but I persevered and this is the end result:
Augusts Challenges were:


and/or THEME -
Middle-Eastern - in honor of the Ramadan Holiday
Dogs - in honor of National Dog Day
or Friendship - National Friendship Day was August 1st
So my 2nd Card was my version of the Dog and Sketch and Color challenges:
I rolled on the background in Versamark, then stamped and embossed the truck, stamped and hand colored the dogs & the crazy woman driver, then rolled the background again and highlighted the doghouse. I loosely interpreted the sketch with my token single strip, and the descending circles. In real life this actually a happy sweet card, that purple photographs very blah here I think.

And this insane contraption of a card is for the Ramadan challenge, with an attempt at color challenge. Its a slide out card that replicates the phases of the moon, in honor of the timing of the holiday Ramadan (at the crescent moon, the holiday is governed by the Lunar calendar.) To find out more you can visit this site.

This is the card fully closed. There is not much room for a message, but the back of the card could be used.

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Whooo's Expecting? Memory Jar Project

Some friends of ours are expecting a baby boy, and they have the most adorable nursery started with hand painted Trees and Owls etc... so for their Owl Themed baby shower I made a Memory Jar to gift along withsome of their registry items.
Here is the card that coordinated: This is again stash clearance, so this is the Retired Tall Tales Designer Series Paper, and I created the Punch Art Owl with instructions from Julia Bettencourts old blog.

A Memory Jar is a jar of some kind, that you decorate to hold notes - in this case its for memories of Baby. It has a cute little poem that I printed and inserted inside with some DSP. And for the top I printed the red circle with a quote that I felt fit their Tree theme and the occasion of their sons birth. This is the lid -
The outermost scallop circle was cut on the Big Shot, then the next circle was printed and then cut with the Circle Scissors Plus to fit the layer, then I used the Large Scallop Circle Punch, and finally I printed a monogram and stamped decorations then punched with the standard Scallop Circle Punch. Whew! The hearts are from the Heart to Heart, and the small Heart punch.

The idea is that you jot down quick notes to remind you of babys adventures, then you can go back and enter them "properly" into the baby's yearbook. I think these post-its that I stamped came out so well that they might be fit to just Scrapbook on their own... These are the zig-zag post-its that I stamped alternately in coordinated colors throughout. Its not that crazy - the pads are only 100 sheets each, so every other or every-every-other would be cute!

I made a little box to hold the notes, and decorated it with another version of the Punch Art Owl, which may or may not pass as a hedgehog. I'm going to have to get the Stampin Up Owl punch though, that would have made quicker work of this guy!! I then included a pen. The notes and pen fit inside the jar, so gifting was simple. I hope they like it!!

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Friday Freebies - Tropical Party

Tropical Party 118515
For most of us, summer is as close as we get to the luxuriously balmy weather of the tropics. But you can make the most of what you have with our Tropical Party set. Create an atmosphere of lazy breezy days on the beach and in the surf with these island flora and fauna. And why not throw in a piƱa colada while you’re at it! Use this set—along with our coordinating Island Oasis Designer Series paper—to bring paradise on earth to your summer parties and to your scrapbook pages of the memories from an unforgettable vacation. Available in wood-mount and clear-mount.

I have a free Serene Sunset tutorial available to you with your $25 purchaseat my online store, good thru August 31st 2010. This seven page PDF tutorial hand out includes directions and color photos for 2 cards and a 6x6 scrapbook page layout; also includes photos of alternate versions of the same cards & layout using the Watercolor Trio stamp set!

Serene Sunset Tutorial - Free with $25 Purchase at


Feeling super sassy? Spend $50 in my online store By Noon Monday 8/09 and I will include a bonus Class-to-Go! The Island Oasis Class-to-Go features the Tropical Party stamp set, and 28 pages packed with step-by-step instructions, full color photos, and detailed cutting instructions will teach you how to make a cute purse and 5 different notecards. These would make great hostess gifts, or invitations to your end-of-summer luau!

Order $50 by Monday 8/9
and get the Island Oasis Class-to-Go
and the Serene Sunset Tutorial
The Tropica Party set coordinates perfectly with the Designer Series Paper Island Oasis 117173, combine and create a perfect storm of summer sassiness!
Both items are only available in the Summer Mini through August 31st 2010.
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OWH Midweek Throwdown - Stash Challenge

This weeks challenge at the Operation Write Home Stars & Stamps blog was to use patterned paper on your cards. I don't know about you, but it really screamed One Sheet Wonder!! to me... so I found a lonely sheet of 12x12" Designer Series Paper (this is from the retired Rasberry Tart pack) in my stash and got to cutting!

I was able to make 16 cards, 2 each of the 8 designs shown here, using 1 sheet of DSP and 1 sheet of coordinating 12x12" cardstock (Old Olive), and one 8.5 x 11" sheet of the white, & 16 of my card bases.

I have a whole box of card bases waiting to be used up... I printed the back side of a ream of cardstock (250 sheets of a nice weight white card) with 2 of the OWH logos (one for horizontal and one for portrait cards), and then had it cut. Now I am all set whenever inspiration strikes! (and when I get thru this ream I will have made 500 cards!! :-) I'd really like to have made all 500 and sent them in by the end of the year. I think I may have to get some help, but with a nice dozen every other day or so I should meet my goal! it is about 20 cards a week, or some very crafty weekends with friends... maybe a OWH Birthday Bash! I will keep you posted! 16 are Done!

If you'd like the PDF you can email me or down load it here from Scribd.com :

OWH Card Base

Also used:
I Heart Hearts, Stem Sayings, Sweet Little Sentiments, Sassy Sayings I - stamp sets, all retired; Heart Punch #119183 and Heart-to-Heart Punch #119181
Happy Crafting!
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Wow! Watercolor Trio

Watercolor Trio 117050

Paint some beautiful floral watercolors on your projects with a few simple stamps from our Watercolor Trio set. These silhouette images were artistically designed to imprint the look of watercolor. So, though we know you still love to watercolor, you can still get the watercolor look you want when you’re in a pinch to make a card quickly. Three common occasion expressions accompany this set, making it a core piece of any stamp collection. Available in wood-mount and clear mount. Also available in Spanish and in French.

I ordered this set in the preview of the Summer Mini Catalog (one of the perks of being a Demonstrator, I get advance ordering!) and I really fell in love with it!! You will definitely find the WOW factor in its versatility! Scrapbook pages, cards, and various other projects – the simple beauty of the set really lends itself to so many occasions!

A delicate or striking border, or color coordinated accent, or peaceful background for your photos. The softness will really coordinate with a variety of papers and styles, and the flower motif will go with many themes.
The sentiments that come with the set are only the tip of the iceberg as far as what sentiments would be set off in style on your cards! Birthdays, thank you’s, happy hellos, or sweet sympathy; anniversary and congratulations, Easter and christening, whatever you can think of to use flowers – these will wow you!

The solid images are going to work great for your crafty projects:
glass etching, make some coasters, or decorate a canister for some scented bath soaps. They will also be perfect for stampin’ fabrics! Decorate napkins, jazz up a picnic tote or lunch bag, or decorate a fabric gift bag!
These flowers also will be a simple but stunning foundation for your button and ribbon accents. A multicolor effect is easy to achieve with markers or Stampin’ Spots, and wait till you hand cut these – simply marvelous!

If you’re looking for fast and easy, this is also the set for you! This set looks SO good on monochromatic cards! Its fast to layer, with really beautiful results, or each one of the trio could stand alone as the focal point of your card. The stamps are sized to be used on pretty much all your cards and layouts!
Do not miss this set – you’ll be saying Wow to all the projects coming out with this set!
Only available until AUGUST 31st!

Some accessories to add to the Wow factor:
Square Lattice Embossing Folder –119176 - adds great texture
Stampin Write Markers –IBC page 194 - color coordination for your fine details
Paper snips -103579 – need a great pair to get the perfect silhouette
Ribbon – IBC pgs 190-191- what is a bouquet without a ribbon
Beautiful wings - 118138 – perfect butterfly accents
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Mini Catalog Must Have : A la Carte

It’s Monday!! As you come down off your Crafty Weekend elation, I have for you some Must Haves from the Mini Catalog. These are from our Summer 2010 Mini, and time is running out! You have until August 31st to order these sweet Singles. A la carte stamps are sold individually, so you can get started stampin quickly and economically!

All A Flutter 118284 Price: $6.95

This intricate and life-like beautiful sketch of a butterfly is all a flutter to make a graceful landing on a card or scrapbook page. It’s an image that complements all kinds of expressions including a friendly hello, thank yous, sympathy, and birthdays. It would be a delicate and feminine touch to your layouts, and is sized for use on either your mini-albums or on a full 12x12” page.
It is the perfect canvas for many of your favorite stamping techniques—including water coloring, Poppin’ Pastels, and its GORgeous embossed!
There are some great tutorials out there specifically for this intricate stamp – check out Vellum Butterflies – stamp on vellum paper and you’ve a host of options to color! Color blocking, watercolor, chalks, markers! This ONE little stamp packs a POW! In the Possibilities department! DON’T MISS IT!!!
Motorcycle 117657 Price: $8.95
Our Motorcycle single stamp is sure to get some engines revving on your projects—especially for the men in your life. For those of you with a road-rider in your circle or a son or father who is into bikes, the sketch-like look of this stamp will be a cool addition to a scrapbook page or card for a lot of different occasions.

Some sentiment ideas to get you rolling: congratulations, bon voyage, retirement, and birthdays. This stamp looks great colored in – to match a special bike – but its also great in simple black! Some fun embellishments to try with this stamp are embossing heavy duty aluminum foil for a background, or adding a layer of Crystal Effects to get a nice sheen to your color.

Masculine cards are sometimes hard to come by, but I bet with this stamp in your collection you will always have the coolest cards around!

Need more inspiration for these Must Haves? Contact me today - I'd love to help you find the right design for your needs!

Happy Crafting!

Order your own Must Haves at http://www.midnightcrafter.stampinup.net/ click on Shop Now and enter the item number above or the stamp name. Some additional items you might consider:
All A Flutter:
Staz On ink - 101406 - wont smear, perfect for watercoloring
Watercolor pencils - 101879 - brilliantly colored set of 24
White Vellum - 101839 - delecate translucent paper
Paper Snips - 103579 - expert cutting even in the tiniest of areas
Shimmer Paint - 116807 - Platinum, for that chrome touch
Brushed Silver Cardstock - 100712 - unique finish, emboss for a perfect accent
Crystal Effects - 101055 - add a dimensional shine to your image
Stampin Write Markers - various - coordinated color for details
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