Saturday, July 14, 2018

Operation Christmas Child Journals: Inner Pages

Note: I will be posting cover details, workshop details, donation needs, etc, as soon as I can, but this information I wanted to get out right away so people can start working on these inner pages!

I have a constant battle between keeping things simple and allowing for fun and variety.  So, I'll present the most basic types of journals we are going to make ... but I may add more later!


4.25 x 5.5  This is simply an 8.5 x 11 size piece of cardstock quartered. Thickness should not be too thick; the thicker the pages, the fewer we can include!


Boys: Landscape. While there are always plenty of exceptions that we know of, generally speaking, we can expect a boy to be more interested in drawing than in journaling his deepest thoughts and feelings!  So, for the boys we will be doing a landscape orientation, and plain white cardstock. I would love to have some donations of cardstock that is meant for drawing/sketching ... I am not an artist, so I have not looked into pricing for this. Feel free to put great deals of where and what to get in the comment sections! Because we are focusing on drawing, we'll want to make sure that those who choose to include boy journals in their boxes will be purchasing art/drawing tools for those journals.

Girls: Portrait orientation

By having different orientations for gender, it will also be easier to sort


For the girls, we will have a couple of styles.  One style will include stamped images to color in on every or every other page (opinions welcome!).  As with the boys' journals, those choosing this style will need to purchase pens/pencils/markers to include in box.  The second style will be to include very light printed patterned cardstock, plain cardstock with stamped images that are complete in themselves, and other creative ideas to provide decorative pages.  No need to add coloring implements to the shoe boxes, but of course pen/pencils to write with!  IMPORTANT: When decorating pages, you'll want to keep in mind a 3/8 of an inch margin for punching the sides.


It is important to be culturally sensitve, which to some extent is impossible due to the sheer number of countries the shoeboxes go to!  But, here are some guidelines:

Do not include any military/weapon images. Avoid American symbols such as flags, secular holiday symbols, Disney images.  Very few children will speak or read English; please do not use word stamps. In general, if you are not sure, just ask yourself if a child in Vietnam, Niger, or wherever, would appreciate the symbol you are concerned about.

Remember, please, that these are going to older children, so while I included a few "cute" images in my sample of images to be colored, I focused on less childish images.

Please do not use stickers; we're looking for a more "personal" touch for these journals.  Obviously you are more than welcome to add stickers to your OCC box.


I encourage making multiple pages with the same image, but I would limit it to 6 or 7 (no need to make same number of each design). Notice I have almost exclusively small designs ... I think it's great to have a few larger, but with limited number of pages, I'd like there to be plenty of room for writing. When you are ready to send me pages, please have them in piles where each pile has one each of a unique design.  This way, rather than having to sort ourselves, we will just lay each pile onto another set of unique images.

I haven't made any pages yet for "non coloring" journals.  Patterned cardstock light enough to write on is great, or solid light colors.  Any stamped image colored in would be great, or silhouette images on colored paper, etc.  Here are a few samples of other options from an old journal I made. I will replace with a more useful pic when I get the chance.  I used to use thicker cardstock then, so I would use die cut cardstock panels and corners, but with thinner cardstock, that could cause bumps when writing on the previous pages, so please only use paper if attaching something to a page. Likewise, if applying washi tape, please use very thin tapes only.

Other ideas:
1.  Make a strip of patterned paper about a half inch or so and glue down the edge to be punched
2. Make a panel (keeping in mind the 3/8 inch loss from punched side) of any shape large enough to cover most of the writing space (use post it note paper or temporary glue/tape), and sponge around it, or stamp all around with small patterned stamp, then remove shape for a framed writing page.
3. Using a very, very light ink color, cover an entire page with a design that can be written over.

Whether we do every page decorated, or every other, etc, will depend on how many covers we end up with in proportion to pages that we have.  I am also not going to be picky about how people put together the journals in terms of ratio of plain to designed.  What I will be picky about is quality. Let's not use torn, stained, or dented cardstock, but create keepsakes to be treasured forever!  :-)

At the workshop, we will focus entirely on making and/or decorating covers, so pages need to be complete.  I am targeting mid September for the date, early October at the latest. This way, if we need more cardstock pages made/decorated, there is still time.


I am looking for:

Cardstock with stamped images for the recipient to color
Cardstock creatively decorated with original artwork, stamped images that are complete in themselves, (paper) die cuts, panels, etc.
Cardstock specifically meant for artwork, cut into quarters
Light colored or patterned cardstock, cut into quarters

IMPORTANT: Please use a cutter, not free hand cutting, for quartering the cardstock, and measure carefully (panels should be 5.5 x 4.25). 

Note: I've been asked about lined paper.  First, it's extremely expensive to have printed. But more importantly, we do not know what countries these books are going to, and many countries have more pictoral written communication, so lined journals would be inappropriate.

Friday, May 18, 2018

PTI: Create Along With Us

Each month as part of PTI's new release of products, they have a challenge to make a card inspired by a card created by one of the design team members. I chose this card by Dawn McVey.  (I had issues trying to post the card here, sorry!)

I had wanted the thanks die by itself, but it did not "fit" with the hexagon frame segment.  Filling in a few spots gave it the visual help that it needed.  Now I just need to reposition the outermost flower and I will be satisfied! 

Thursday, May 10, 2018


Today's PTI challenge should not have been complicated, but somehow it was.  First, I am trying really hard to use up elements I have saved from project extras, and had a couple of die cuts I knew exactly how I would use to complete the card.  Of course, I could not find them.  Ah, well.

The challenge was to mask a text image, and stamp around it.  I've done lots of masking in the past, and generally it has been masking images for overlap purposes, so I have deliberately undercut images for the mask, so there would be no white spaces.  I realized too late that masking to make an image pop means one should leave some white space for the image to truly stand out.  So, as I have done in the past when I have not been satisfied with the result, I just temporarily glued the panel to a card, and will restamp the text onto a panel and place over the current text.  :-) It was my first time using the floral stamp set from Quilted: Spring, and I really like it.  There are die cuts for the different elements of the image as well.  The scripture comes from the "A Cheerful Heart" set.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018


I enjoyed this week's challenge, although I'd have liked to have had time to try again. I am trying to be disciplined and use something in my stash every time I make a card ... I have tons and tons of cut stamped and/or die cut items that just collect.  I'm sure most stampers reading this post will relate!  I have a ton of PTI's paisleys all stamped and cut as I went kind of crazy with them awhile ago, so while I focused on white, I only had silver/gold/copper embossed paisleys already made, so I used a silver embossed one where I would have done white had a made one for the challenge. The scripture comes from the Cheerful Heart set.

Saturday, April 28, 2018


The "look" of this idea for PTI's "Make it Monday" challenge is not a favorite, though I see a lot of designs that combine black and white outline designs with dashes of color.  I make wallpaper-covered journals, and even wallpaper has this motif. But, I really enjoy challenges!  I was definitely not happy with my results, and in fact, as I do upon occasion when I dislike a final product, I use temporary bond adhesive so that I can take it apart and try something different!  I altered this from the original slightly, when I felt the text did not "pop" the way I wanted to: I made a second die cut, attached it, then mounted the colored die cut on top.  This helped somewhat, but I still was not satisfied.  So, I took one of the markers I had used and did a little outline to help the 3D effect.  I then temporarily attached to a card so that I could have something for the challenge, and later I think I'll either re-highlight it in a darker pink or perhaps even black.  The paisley stamps I used also come with dies, so I probably will stamp the medium and small paisleys onto coordinating colored cardstocks, then die cut them to attach at the blank corners ... that is, if the highlighting turns out!  :-)

Here's the panel before I raised and highlighted it:

And here's the temporarily finished card:

Saturday, April 21, 2018

PTI Challenge: Grafitti

I haven't posted anything in forever, though I have continued to make cards and journals.  Blogging just hasn't happened.  Papertrey Ink hosts a weekly challenge, "Make it Monday," and this week's challenge was Graffiti Word Art. I didn't quite manage it perfectly, but enjoyed the challenge. I do have to wonder, though, if the paint splatter is quite in keeping with the message of "Be still"! The scripture set is from the "Inspired:God" set of stamps and coordinating die.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Nativity Scene

I was completely astounded when my husband purchased a Cricut for me for my birthday this fall.  The expensive of the machine had made it something I did not even consider every owning! Almost immediately after seeing it, I knew I had to make this Nativity!  It was quite the project!  Trying to find enough browns/beiges, getting used to the working of the machine (what blades/mats/settings, etc to use for different qualities and thicknesses of cardstock), and just organizing the project made it a very time consuming project!  I was grateful for help I received from Sue Finucane on the  Gingerwood stamping board ... sometimes live human help is so much better than a product's website!

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