Thursday, May 28, 2020

Tips for Writing Hero Mail for Soldiers, Healthcare Workers, Hospital Patients, and More

Military Thank You Card by Jess Crafts with 2 Cute Ink Stamp

Hello crafty friends! Today I am sharing tips for writing what is often referred to as Hero Mail. This can apply to a variety of heroes, but I was introduced to writing Hero Mail as a way of thanking active military personnel and veterans. I am sharing a video with these tips as well in case you prefer that format. These tips were complied based on the feedback of several organizations including Operation Gratitude, Operation We Are Here, and A Million Thanks.


This video is not sponsored or associated with any of the organizations mentioned. While I did gather ideas from the organizations to share with you and promote Hero mail, I did not work with any of them directly. Affiliate links, which support my channel at no cost to you, are included with the supplies.

Below I will write out the tips I've shared so you can bookmark this page and refer back to it as needed. Also please check out my Card Drive Resources page for more tips and places to donate your cards.

1. Thank them for their service

This one is the most obvious and if you want to stop here with your card that is fine. Feel free to make a connection if relevant. Do you or a family member have previous military/medical/etc experience? 

2. Share with them about you life with these suggested topics:

Pets
Sports
 Hobbies
Kids
Memories
Garden
Vacations

3. Share a joke, funny story, or comic

You likely do not know the recipient, so keep it generally relatable or classic.

4. Avoid politics completely and check with the organization about religious messages

Often a simple praying for you is ok but some organizations have clear rules and others encourage using Bible verses.

5. Check with the organization before including personal information

Some organizations welcome you to share your email or address in case the Hero would like to respond. Use your judgement when sharing any personal information.

6. Get kids involved

This is a great way to keep younger ones busy when you're crafting and they want to help. Let them draw pictures to tuck inside cards or let them make their own. You can include a message on their behalf or let them write something simple. I would limit any information about a child to their first name and possibly age. When I did this activity with my students we simply used first names and I used my own information when sending to avoid any safety issues.

7. Do no include a date, year, or strong indicator of time

It may take an organization several months to process the cards.

8. Consider including non-personal photos

You can share pictures of your garden, your pet, or landscapes that compliment your story.

9. Use the same message multiple times

Many organizations send care packages to several different groups and so if you write the same letter multiple times they can be sent to multiple recipients.

Military Thank You Card by Jess Crafts with 2 Cute Ink Stamp

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Galaxy Backgrounds with Distress Oxide Inks




Hello crafty friends! Today I'm sharing how to create galaxy backgrounds with Distress Oxides inks. I basically turned on my camera as I had a play with my inks and mixed up the application of ink in order to get some slight variations in the background effect. I have a video where I walk you through my thoughts a bit more. 


As mentioned in the video if you do not have any space themed stamps I think you could use these same techniques and some slightly different colors to create an ocean background. Below I'm going to share a closer look at the end result of each ink application type and some finished cards. I will also share the supplies at the end of the post. Affiliate links are used to support my channel and blog but this is not sponsored in any way.  


Above is traditional ink blended background.


Above is the background created by pressing the paper into wet ink.


Above is the background created by smooshing the ink pads on to the paper and then spritzing them with water and drying with a heat gun. 


All backgrounds were created with watercolor paper but thick cardstock would also work. I create like 10 backgrounds at once because if I'm going to make a mess I want to have a pile of cards to show for it. 



Thursday, April 23, 2020

Quick Stencil Cards with Paper Smooches and Create a Smile




Hello crafty friends! Today I have a set of 9 cards using a stamp from Paper Smooches Happy Hellos and a bunch of stencils from Create a Smile. I picked up the Happy Hellos stamp set because I liked that the sentiment and image were all in one and I knew it would be great for making quicker cards. I loved the cat image so I stamped a whole bunch of them and colored them with Copics (C3, C1, C00). Then I created a mask with the coordinating dies and started to ink blend some stenciled backgrounds with my Distress Oxides Inks and Picket Fence Studios brushes. Check out the video for some more info and tips:



I don't always do a coordinating blog post for my videos, but wanted you to be able to get a closer look at the final cards without having a super long video. I am sharing all the colors/supplies used below each picture. 

This post is not sponsored but affiliate links are used.


This is the card I share from start to finish in the video. The background is the Create a Smile Blossom stencil. The distress inks are Seedless Preserves and Wilted Violet. The Copics for the sentiment are BG78, 75, 72. 


The background is the Create a Smile Big Stars Polka stencil. The distress inks are Wild Honey and Fossilized Amber. The Copics for the sentiment are YG 17, 13, 11. 


The background is the Create a Smile Petals stencil. The distress inks are Peacock Feathers Mermaid Lagoon. The Copics for the sentiment are YR 18, 16, 14. 


The background is the Create a Smile Triangles stencil. The distress inks are Carved Pumpkin and Wild Honey. The Copics for the sentiment are BG78, 75, 72. 


The background is the Create a Smile Lots of Mugs stencil. The distress inks are Ground Espresso and Gathered Twigs. The Copics for the sentiment are R39, 37, 35. 


The background is the Create a Smile Diamonds stencil. The distress inks are Evergreen Bough and Cracked Pistachio. The Copics for the sentiment are YG 17, 13, 11. 


The background is the Create a Smile Big Hearts Polka stencil. The distress inks are Candied Apple and Abandoned Coral. The Copics for the sentiment are R39, 37, 35.


The Copics for the sentiment are C9, 7, 5.


The Copics for the sentiment are R39 and 35, YR18 and 16, Y17 and 15, YG17 and 13, B18 and 16.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Clean and Simple Birthday Card for MFT Challenges


Hello crafty friends! Today I have a card for two different My Favorite Things challenges. MFT's Wednesday sketch challenge and their monthly birthday challenge. The weekly sketch was perfect for a clean and simple card which was the style for the birthday challenge so they were a perfect match up. I used the MFT Birdie Brown Otterly Adore You stamp set and you can check out my video below for a full tutorial.


This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

24 Christmas Cards with Recollections Winter Dream 6x6 Paper Pad

Christmas Cards with Recollections Winter Dream by Jess Crafts

Hello crafty friends! Today I have another 6x6 Paper Pad tutorial featuring Recollections. I love using 6x6 paper pads because it is so easy to create a bunch of cards without using many extra supplies. I wanted to use one a paper pad that could be found at a big box store, in this case Michael's, because I know that some people prefer to shop there. For today's cards I used the Winter Dream 6x6 paper pad and some coordinating Lawn Fawn stamp sets from my stash. However I think you could easily sub in a set from your stash. Most of these cards will be donated to card drives like Cards for Hospitalized Kids. If you want more info on donating card please check out my Card Drive Resources page.  To see it all in action check out the video.


This post contains affiliate links.

I cut most papers in the collection with Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangles. I use those on so many projects. It adds just a bit of detail to large panels. I made two of each card because there were two of each design in the paper collection. There were 24 sheets of paper in the collection and my goal is usually to get one card per sheet of paper which worked out because I have 24 cards today. I used some extra cardstock from my stash for mats behind my pattern paper and other elements. 

Christmas Card with Recollections Winter Dream by Jess Crafts
Measurements for this card (in inches): A2 (4.25 by 5.5) card base, floral background 4 by 5.25 (made of 2 strips that measured 2 by 5.25), animal strip 2 by 5.25

Christmas Card with Recollections Winter Dream by Jess Crafts

Measurements for this card (in inches): A2 (4.25 by 5.5) card base, largest solid rectangle 4 by 5.25, stitched rectangle (Lawn Fawn) about 3.75 by 5 (Made 2)

Christmas Card with Recollections Winter Dream by Jess Crafts

Measurements for this card (in inches): A2 (4.25 by 5.5) card base, largest solid rectangle 4 by 5.25, stitched rectangle (Lawn Fawn) about 3.75 by 5, banner about 2.25 by 4.75, solid square 3.25 by 3.25, sentiment square 3 by 3 (Made 2)

Christmas Card with Recollections Winter Dream by Jess Crafts
Measurements for this card (in inches): A2 (4.25 by 5.5) card base, largest solid rectangle 4 by 5.25, stitched rectangle (Lawn Fawn) about 3.75 by 5, patterned paper strip about 5.25 by 2.25, solid square 3.25 by 3.25, sentiment square 3 by 3 (Made 2)

Christmas Card with Recollections Winter Dream by Jess Crafts

Measurements for this card (in inches): A2 (4.25 by 5.5) card base, largest solid rectangle 4 by 5.25, stitched rectangle (Lawn Fawn) about 3.75 by 5, pattern paper strip about 1 by 5.25, square 3 by 3 (Made 2)

Christmas Card with Recollections Winter Dream by Jess Crafts
Measurements for this card (in inches): A2 (4.25 by 5.5) card base, largest solid rectangle 4 by 5.25, stitched rectangle (Lawn Fawn) about 3.75 by 5, solid banner about 2 by 4.5, square 3 by 3 (Made 2)

Christmas Card with Recollections Winter Dream by Jess Crafts
Measurements for this card (in inches): A2 (4.25 by 5.5) card base, largest solid rectangle 4 by 5.25, stitched rectangle (Lawn Fawn) about 3.75 by 5, dotted paper about 2.25 by 4.75, polar bear strip about 2.25 by 4.5  (Made 2)

Christmas Card with Recollections Winter Dream by Jess Crafts
Measurements for this card (in inches): A2 (4.25 by 5.5) card base, largest solid rectangle 4 by 5.25, stitched rectangle (Lawn Fawn) about 3.75 by 5, banner about 2.25 by 4.75 (Made 2)

Christmas Card with Recollections Winter Dream by Jess Crafts
Measurements for this card (in inches): A2 (4.25 by 5.5) card base, largest solid rectangle 4 by 5.25, stitched rectangle (Lawn Fawn) about 3.75 by 5 (Made 2)

Christmas Card with Recollections Winter Dream by Jess Crafts
Measurements for this card (in inches): A2 (4.25 by 5.5) card base, largest solid rectangle 4 by 5.25, stitched rectangle (Lawn Fawn) about 3.75 by 5 (Made 2)

Christmas Card with Recollections Winter Dream by Jess Crafts

Christmas Card with Recollections Winter Dream by Jess Crafts
Measurements for this card (in inches): A2 (4.25 by 5.5) card base, largest solid rectangle 4 by 5.25, stitched rectangle (Lawn Fawn) about 3.75 by 5, square 3 by 3 (Made 2)


Friday, November 8, 2019

No Line Coloring for Fall/Winter 2019 Coffee Lovers Blog Hop


Hello crafty friends! Today I have a quick post to share my last card for the Fall/Winter 2019 Coffee Lovers Blog Hop. I actually have plans to create multiples of this card to practice my no line coloring and to build up my holiday card stash. I used products from several of the amazing super sponsors of the hop and you can find those links below.


This post is not sponsored but affiliate links are used below to support my YouTube channel and blog.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

6 Card Set featuring Hello Bluebird for Fall/Winter 2019 Coffee Lovers Blog Hop

Hello Bluebird Skating Party Card Set by Jess Crafts

Hello crafty friends! Today I am sharing a 6 card set featuring Hello Bluebird's Skating Party stamp set and Warm Wishes  diecut for the Fall/Winter 2019 Coffee Lovers Blog Hop. I decided to create 6 cards with the same layout but mix up the colors and images. I wanted to create a nice stack of cards because I was planning to add these to my donations to the Caring Hearts Card Drive. They've extended the deadline a bit this year in hopes of getting a few more cards, so I decided to try to make some more to contribute this week. If you want to see a short video tutorial on how I pulled these together check out my video below. 


Both the card drive and blog hop have some amazing sponsors from across the crafty industry so be sure to check them out. I also have pictures of each individual card below so you can scroll through to see how I pulled all the the critters and colors together. 



Hello Bluebird Skating Party and Warm Wishes Card by Jess Crafts

Hello Bluebird Skating Party and Warm Wishes Card by Jess Crafts

Hello Bluebird Skating Party and Warm Wishes Card by Jess Crafts

This post is not sponsored but affiliate links are used below to support my YouTube channel and blog.