Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Operation Write Home: Ideal and Reality

Hi! I'm Lynn Mathers, and I've been a member and huge fan of Club Scrap since February of 2001. I've also had the pleasure of attending every Wisconsin retreat since 2002! I'm so happy to be this week's Guest Blogger.

When I first came across Club Scrap’s encouragement to participate in the Operation Write Home’s Memorial Day Blog Hop last month, I became intrigued with the cause, and began studying all the nooks and crannies of their website. Immediately I made my first 6 cards with the Wildflowers Club Stamp kit, as inspired by Tricia in the online Scrap Rap Magazine.

Beyond the blog hop, I knew right away that as a paper crafter, card maker and teacher, I wanted to host a crop at my house to create a lot of cards to donate. I had all kinds of ideas about how to set it up—I even thought of setting up a table under a canopy at the end of my driveway with chairs so neighbors could sit down and write a note of gratitude to our troops for the “Any Hero” category. (Had to scratch that one, due to the extreme heat here in the Arizona desert! An idea to try later, perhaps, during our balmy winter weather…)

The time came to invite people, but because I didn’t have much lead time, I could only email some crafty friends and post about my idea on forums, a very open invitation. I requested that participants bring only their own adhesive, letting them use my extensive stash of lovely Club Scrap papers. I even invited some friends who were new to card-making, intending to teach them how easy it was. 

Most people already had their Saturdays in June scheduled, so I wasn’t expecting a big crowd. Only 3 or 4 actually RSVP’ed that they would try to come. But I was hopeful anyway—you just never know how many will show until it happens.

The morning before, I even had a dream that people had invited their friends, so there was a crowd of about 40-50 people! My last recollection of the dream was of myself standing up in the middle of the crowd and asking them all, “How many of you brought any kind of adhesive with you?” … And being so afraid that everyone might raise their hand that I just woke up! Well, that would be a “happy problem” I would find some kind of solution to if it came up.
Finally the day came, but everyone that had indicated interest in coming had backed out – of course, all for good reasons! So I found myself with the unexpected pleasure of having a session of uninterrupted time to do my own thing. What would I do with this block of time?

I decided to try my hand at the OWH sketch challenge. I did one of each of OWH’s card sketches, but used ONLY my Club Scrap SCRAP pieces since I had two overflowing pizza boxes of scraps waiting to be used up; I thought it was an excellent use for them. (Having been inspired by watching Sandy Allnock’s “Stump Sandy” video log segments!)

I only made it through the first five sketches (6 cards), before I decided to challenge myself in another way. 

Sketch #1

Sketch #2
Sketch #3
Sketch #4
Sketch #5

I wanted to see if I could come up with some ALCM (Assembly Line Card Making) directions for sketch #125. 

It was easier to come up with the cutting diagram that I thought it would to be … but again, I only got part-way done before time ran out… here are my unfinished card bases, just to show what 4 sheets of cardstock can do…
I started with these 4 sheets of cardstock...
And ended up with these 4 card bases--with a few leftover pieces added on top, but they could also be put on the inside of the card.
I’m not sure when I’ll finish them, or have the cutting instructions ready to publish, but I’m working on it. (Dontcha just HATE it when life gets in the way of completing your crafty projects?!?!)

What really saved the day, though, was that some of my friends came through for me even though they couldn’t physically stay and have fun. I had put on the invitation that if they couldn’t attend, but had a surplus stash of cards they wanted to donate to Operation Write Home, they would be most welcome. And thank goodness I mentioned that, because now I have at least a couple of hundred cards to send after all to OWH – courtesy of my friends Lisa Carlin, Diana Enns, and Georgia Hauglid
Lisa generously donated from her stash from various swaps she had participated in!

Here are Diana's -- she had built up quite a stash from her marvelous contributions to PSL (Pro Scrapbooker's League) challenges!
So like Tricia posted yesterday, now I have a respectable collection I'm ready to pack up, and ship out to Operation Write Home!

For any hopeful OWH crop/party hostesses out there, the most valuable tip I want to pass on is, don’t forget to ask for card stash donations! It may end up being the most successful part of the event!!

Lynn Mathers


  1. LYNN!! How fantastic that you turned a bit of a disappointment into this wonderful stack of cards for our much deserving military!! It is so terrific to see that your friends came thru with so many cards to donate to OWH as well! Thanks for sharing your process. The cards are all beautiful.

  2. What a great idea for a great cause! Your heart was DEFINITELY in the right place, but I know summer can be a hard time of year to plan events. I'm so glad it all worked out in the end for you.You were able to collect tons of awesome cards for the troops AND get a little much-needed "play" time!. Congrats on a job well done!

  3. Oooh, and I took a closer peek at the cards you initially created from the OWH Blog Hop, and they are truly stunning!

  4. Lynn, you sure didn't let the disappointment of no turnout ruin your day! And you go so much done, the cards are just great!

    We are doing something similar at our annual Scramp Camp with the West Coast Scrap group, most of whom are CS members. I hope I get as good a collection of cards as you did!

  5. Gorgeous cards! I'm so glad your friends came thru with cards for you. Your cutting diagram process looks interesting. The first I heard of Club Scrap was the blog hop and I'm interested in learning more.

  6. Wow! Those are some "stashs" they had!! I've been a BIG fan of the Assembly Line card from the OWH Blog Hop that I've done it about eight times since then. Wicked awesome!

  7. WOWZERS!! You ended up with so many beautiful cards!! Many thanks to you for your support of our Heroes and OWH!

  8. Lynn you are amazing! Your own cards are fabulous and what great friends you have to donate so many as well.

  9. I just want to say that your contribution to OWH is truly appreciated. Your effort speaks volume. I can't wait until you have the formula ready to publish, I'd love to follow it! I recently became a fan of Club Scrap from the latest OWH Blog Hop and I love the idea of ALCM! Thanks for sharing, thanks for your time and effort. Thank your friends for their card donation! Your "Party" was a huge success!

  10. How wonderfully generous! I know the feeling of having an event not pan out as expected but hopefully you can plan one again and have a few friends join. Once they see how much fun it is, you know they'll be looking to do them regularly. :)

  11. Lynn, thanks for letting me have the chance to donate some of the many cards in my stash - I will be happy to send in more :)It's such a worthy cause and my grandson is in basic training - hopefully he'll send me cards.


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