Blog Team Member Spotlight: Kat Benjamin

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Kat Benjamin
Name:  Kat Benjamin

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started creating cards:

I have been a scrapbooker since 2008 but didn’t start diving into cards until I was asked to make a few for one of my design teams. Now they are one of my favorite things to create. My cardmaking process is fairly simple, but I still get to play with pretty paper products when I’m tight on time.

Here are a few of Kat’s favorite cards she’s created:

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These are some of my favorite cards because they are colorful, yet simple. I love simple, impactful designs and tons of color. Colorful cards make people happy!

Fun Facts:

My favorite junk food is gumballs. I go through a million of them during my crafty sessions.

If I could take a vacation anywhere, I would go to Paris. My husband and I have been there once and we got engaged there, so I’d love to explore it again!

My favorite movie/television show is Miracle which is a movie about the 1980 US Olympic hockey team.

I’d love to learn how to sew. I think it’s such a neat skill to have, but I’m a lost cause.

The best concert I’ve ever attended was *NSYNC—no explanation needed, am I right?!?!

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Blog Team Member Spotlight: Heather Pulvirenti

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Heather Pulvirenti
Name: Heather Pulvirenti

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started creating cards:

Hi! My name is Heather Pulvirenti, and I live in Columbia, MD with my husband Jason, and our 11-year-old daughter Lindsay. I was born in England, and have spent most of my life in the US (in Maryland and Virginia), except for the four years we lived in Canberra, Australia (my mom was career Air Force). I am currently self-employed as a freelance Graphic Designer, and spend most of my free time working on remodeling projects around the house and building my business. I’ve recently decided to go back to school to work toward fulfilling a lifelong dream of getting into medical school. Wish me luck! 🙂

I’ve always loved doing crafty things, but my first exposure to cardmaking was in 2004 when I attended a Stampin’ Up! workshop with my husband’s aunt. I was hooked immediately and haven’t looked back since! I’m so happy to be a part of the CardMaker blog team, and am looking forward to sharing with you during this term!

Here are a couple of Heather’s favorite cards she’s created:

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It was hard to narrow down my favorites, but I felt these two creations represent my overall style pretty well: I’m a simple girl who LOVES bright, cheery colors! 🙂

Fun Facts:

My favorite junk food is Lay’s Dill Pickle Chips.

If I could take a vacation anywhere, I would go to the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia.

The one word that best describes me is observant.

My favorite movie is a tie between Can’t Buy Me Love and Girls Just Want to Have Fun.

I’d love to learn how to whistle using my fingers, knit and drawing something other than stick figures.

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Blog Team Member Spotlight: Heather Hoffman

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Heather Hoffman
Name: Heather Hoffman

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started creating cards:

Hi! My name is Heather, wife to the man of my dreams (Michael) and mother to two beautiful (inside and out!) daughters—Katie (13) and Amy (12). I began making cards after my mom and husband conspired to purchase a Cricut machine for me for my 30th birthday; I soon fell in love with the ability to sit down and in a short amount of time create a finished card. It’s amazing how good it feels to complete something when you are raising two young kids! I soon discovered that I couldn’t use all the cards I was making, and began selling them with all proceeds going toward building houses for widows and their children in Burundi, Africa—which is how my blog got its name, Houses Built of Cards. If you’re interested, you can read more on my blog HERE!

Here are a few of Heather’s favorite cards she’s created:

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This is one of my favorite cards—a rare time when I wasn’t rushed with life or a deadline. I created it for no other reason than because I wanted, too. I took time to color, fussy cut, arrange, then re-arrange until I loved it.

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As with most people, guy cards can be some of the hardest to make for me. So I was thrilled with this card! It was totally fun to color these darling images, and the layers were so fun as well!

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These are special to me because I used a technique that I had never seen anywhere before. It was something that popped into my head as I was falling asleep one night, and I was so excited when it worked the way I hoped! I call it double layer embossing; basically, it’s stamping the images in clear embossing ink, then the sentiment in black pigment ink, then embossing them all at once with clear embossing powder before applying distress inks over the whole thing. So fun for flat, easy-to-mail cards!

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This was probably my most liked card posted on Instagram this past year. Both the sneak peek and the final photos made it on my nine most liked photos of 2016. I adore plaid lately, and adding a sparkly shaker window was super fun!

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And finally, as I was narrowing down my favorites from the year, I almost decided to leave this one out (or “cut the crap” as my hubby and I jokingly laughed!) but I just LOVED combining different sentiments with these adorable images to create these hilarious cards. They make me laugh every.single.time!!!

Fun Facts:

My favorite junk food is chewy candies like caramels, gummy bears, etc. All those things that are horrible for your teeth but SOOO yummy!

If I could take a vacation anywhere, I would love to go to Scotland, Ireland, or New Zealand—they have been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember!

The one word that best describes me is … just one? Ugh … so hard! I would say “caring.” I had hubby help me!

If I could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), it would be some of the amazing women that I gained as friends when we lived in Wyoming a couple years ago and rarely get to see. I love and miss them so much!

My favorite movie/television show is stuff we can watch on Netflix! We have never had cable or satellite in the nearly 17 years we have been married, but we enjoy watching different shows that way on our own schedule and time frame. And I love animated movies. Some of my favorites are Frozen (I know—it should drive me crazy by now, but I still love it!), Tangled and Home—they always crack me up!

I’d love to learn how to manage my time better which is something that challenges me daily.

I’m never without my water glass or water bottle. I almost panic if I leave home without water, and even if I wasn’t thirsty, I suddenly can think of nothing I want more than a drink of water. I must have some hidden fear of dying of thirst?

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Card Challenge Corner: Stepping Outside

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Thanks
It’s a brand new year so we’re inviting you to step outside of your card-making comfort zone and create a card this week using a technique that you’ve never tried before. Share a photo with us on our Facebook page or Instagram and tag us with #cardchallengecorner so we can see your lovely designs!

The project shown above is by Deborah Nolan and is featured in our spring issue which will be on newsstands January 17th. The fun background is created using Yupo paper, alcohol inks and black pens. Click here to order a digital subscription so you’ll have instant access to the entire issue once it goes live!

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NEW CardMaker Blog Team!

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It’s a brand new year which means it’s time to say hello to a new CardMaker Blog Team! Please take a few minutes to visit these designers’ blogs and give each of them a warm welcome. We’re excited to be working with them and can’t wait to see what inspiring projects and ideas they’ll be sharing with us over the next several months!

Heather Hoffman

Heather Hoffman

Heather Pulvirenti

Heather Pulvirenti

Kat Benjamin

Kat Benjamin

Katie Gehring

 Katie Gehring

Melissa Bickford

Melissa Bickford

Rebecca Keppel

 Rebecca Keppel

Stephanie Gold

 Stephanie Gold

And a BIG thank you to Catherine, Daniela, Jeanne, Juliana, KellyJean, Sean and Nancy for sharing their talents with us the last six months! We loved working with you!!

Stay tuned as we’ll be spotlighting each of our new designers over the next several days!

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Spring Cover Reveal!

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CardMaker spring
Here’s your first look at the spring 2017 issue of CardMaker! It won’t be on newsstands until January 17th, but the digital version will go live this week. Click here to sign up for a digital subscription and get instant access to the entire issue when it goes live!

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Card Challenge Corner: Sketch Challenge

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Sketch 49
Card sketches are a wonderful source of inspiration when you find yourself struggling to come up with a card design. In the back of each issue of CardMaker, you’ll find a sketch along with cards that will help spark your creativity! For this week’s challenge, create a card based on the sketch featured in our winter issue as shown above. We love seeing what you create so please share a photo of your finished project on the CardMaker Facebook page or Instagram and tag us with #cardchallengecorner!

Why stop here? Get more cardmaking inspiration with a FREE issue of CardMaker magazine. Click here for more information.

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Christmas Wishes

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Last-Minute Gift Bags from guest blogger Cheryl Hurttgam

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Gift Bags
Design by Cheryl Hurttgam, owner/designer for The Paper Hollow, llc

Materials

  • 12 x 12-inch double-sided patterned paper
  • Darice 24 inches white double-sided satin ribbon
  • Martha Stewart Crafts scoring board
  • 3/16-inch hole punch
  • Tombow liquid glue

Instructions: Small Gift Bag

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1. Cut two 6 x 6-inch squares from double-sided paper. Determine which square will be the top and which square will be the bottom of your box. Make sure the patterns on the squares are going in the correct direction if there is an obvious up and down pattern.

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2. Score both squares at 1 inch on the top and 1 1/2 inches at the bottom. Then score each of the sides at 1 1/2 inches. Fold the top 1-inch section down and glue. Fold the bottom and sides where the score marks are to give you better placement. Referring to the photo above, cut bottom corners off one square only.

3. On second square, cut from the bottom up to the score line going across the paper. Trim each side of the bottom corner squares just a little so they will fit inside the box to help with construction. These will be the bottom inside of your box. Glue these to the bottom flap of the other folded sheet. Finish the construction of your box by gluing the sides together.

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4. Punch two 3/16-inch holes on each side of top rim. Cut ribbon into two 12-inch lengths. Feed one ribbon length through one hole and tie a knot on the inside of the bag; feed other end of ribbon into second hole on same side of bag and tie a knot inside bag. Trim ribbon ends. Repeat to attach second ribbon length to other side of bag.

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5. Fill bag with small gift or candy! This bag is great for any season with any patterned paper.

For different-size bags, follow the instructions above substituting the measurements below.

Medium Bag: (A2 or A6 cards fit very well into this size)

Two 9 x 9-inch squares of double-sided paper

Score lines:

Top 1 1/2 inches

Bottom 2 inches

Sides 2 inches

 

Large Bag:

Two 12 x 12-inch squares of double-sided paper

Score:

Top 1 1/2 inches

Bottom 3 inches

Sides 3 inches

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Jeanne’s Last-Minute Treat Bags

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Treat bags are always a fun last-minute gift. You can fill them with candies, cookies, popcorn, coffee beans or whatever you have around.

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To make my tag, I stamped the hat shape in red ink and the trim piece in black.

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Next, I cut out the hat pieces with scissors and assembled. I cut a square from white cardstock a little bigger than my hat (1 1/2 x 1 1/2 inches) and trimmed the corners to make a tag shape. I added the hat to my tag and attached it to the treat bag with an adhesive dot. I then attached the jingle bell to the hat.

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I was having so much fun I made a card with the same stamp set (Jolly Friends)!

Jeanne

Supplies used: Whisper white cardstock, Jolly Friends stamp set, Tin of Tags stamp set, archival black and real red ink pads and watercolors from Stampin’ Up!

Why stop here? Get more cardmaking inspiration with a FREE issue of CardMaker magazine. Click here for more information.

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