Any Hero Holiday Cards

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And a happy, sort of wintry, Wednesday to you all!

We had our first snowfall (that stuck) of the season last night – not really much to speak of according to MN standards, but it certainly makes it clear that Fall is on its way out and Winter is knocking on the door ….    Even if it is all supposed to melt today, this is more than a bit too early for my personal preference. However, there is an upside — it does mean more ‘inside time’ is around the corner which, of course, means more time for crafting!

Today’s Operation Write Home Midweek Throwdown challenge is to make an Any Hero holiday card and send it off before the deadline of November 30.  In addition to collecting handmade cards that are shipped overseas for the troops to use to write notes home to their families and friends, Operation Write Home also collects notes that are written TO the troops.  These notes are included in the boxes of cards that are sent overseas and the contact person for that unit/group then distributes the Any Hero mail as they feel is appropriate – oftentimes to servicemen and servicewomen who never get a card or letter from home.   While typically Any Hero mail has no requirement that the notes be written on homemade cards, I’m sure they appreciate them as much as anyone else!

The cards I’ve made previously as Any Hero mail have had a patriotic look to them, so I pondered for quite a while about what to do, what to do ….  then, like a flash of lightning, I remembered that, other than the NO GLITTER requirement, the ‘rules’ for card submissions don’t apply to Any Hero mail!   I have a lot of Christmas card samples I’ve made over the years on card sizes other than the A2 (5 1/2″ x 4 1/4″) and so I pulled them out!   One even has a picture of a pine tree in our back yard with the lights shining through new-fallen snow.   What a terrific way to put those cards to use!   Thank you Operation Write Home for this challenge!!

These cards use white ink stamped onto regular cardstock that has been slipped into card bases intended for photos.

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In this set, the upper card uses some Christmas ribbon across the top and a snowflake punch – and it reminded me of a tool I haven’t used in a very long time and need to dig out!  The tall card is from a card kit that I purchased when I first started making cards. The blue layer already had the windows cut from it so all I had to do was adhere it to the base.   The trees and sentiment are rub-ons.

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And finally, the last two cards.  The upper card has the photo of the tree in our backyard.  The other is one I made when I first started experimenting with layers.  I drew the tree on the left with a gold pen and decorated it with stars that I ran through my Xyron.

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I hope you and those that receive them will enjoy them!  Have a GREAT day!  I’m off to write notes in these cards!


The Nature of Christmas Challenge


Hello, hello!

I hope this post finds you well and enjoying my favorite of all seasons – Fall – which is definitely well underway here in MN.   Even though I find it distressing that retailers are already displaying Christmas items when Halloween is still several weeks away, in the crafting world it is understandable that we would already be working on Christmas projects since it takes a lot of time to get all of those handmade goodies completed!

Christmas has also definitely been on the minds of our friends at Operation Write Home (OWH) for quite a while now.   In order to collect, sort, box and ship cards overseas in time for the troops to be able to receive them and get them sent back home to family and friends in time for Christmas, the deadline for Christmas card donations is October 31 (preferably by October 15) which is right around the corner!

Perhaps that is the reason that the Midweek Throwdown challenge this week is to include something from nature that reminds us of Christmas.  The first thing that came to my mind was a Christmas Tree … perhaps not very original but I definitely think it meets the challenge criteria.

This card uses a technique I haven’t thought about in a very long time – Iris Folding. The card can be completed using only a scissors, some paper and a little adhesive.   This tree uses four different Christmas papers that I picked up years ago when I succombed to the allure of a sale but, (as often happens to me when I buy on impulse) once I got back home the paper just didn’t work well for the cards I gravitate toward. The paper is very light weight – about the same as copy paper – so while it wasn’t very fun to work with when layering (it often wouldn’t lay flat and rippled, or tore when I tried to adjust it), it folds like a dream and doesn’t add much bulk to the card even though there are many overlapping layers.

This card does take a little time and patience and isn’t a design that is probably very well suited to mass production, but I truly believe it is something that anyone of nearly any age can do and it doesn’t require any special cardmaking tools.  I don’t know why the photo came out so poorly ….  my apologies.

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Several Iris Folding patterns are available for free through Circle of which is where I found this pattern.  They also include a ‘how to’ section that gives step-by-step instructions for making a heart.  The steps can then be repeated for any Iris Folding pattern.  The pattern for this particular tree can be found here:  I cut the star from gold paper that is corrugated and added a bit of ribbon to the side because it needed just a little something …  I hope you like it.

Wishing you sunshine and warm fall breezes!