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:


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.