Hi everyone! Can you believe it’s already Friday? We hope you’ve enjoyed the celebration of Operation Write Home’s birthday here on the blog this week! Before we wrap up the festivities, we have one more special treat in store…
Sandy’s back!! Yes, we’re honored to have OWH’s Founder and President, Sandy Allnock, here today for a fun Q & A feature…with plenty of eye candy sprinkled in for good measure. You’re going to love her work! And…you can find even more of it over at her awesome blog, I Can’t Stop Embellishing.
Now, let’s get to know Sandy!
How long have you been stamping?
I started in earnest about 1995, I think…I seem to remember making my own Christmas cards before then, but it wasn’t til I found a ministry that could use a lot of cards that I started taking on the hobby with a vengeance! Ever since the start of Operation Write Home in 2007, my stamping has ramped up to warp speed! I’ve found that I just love passing on what I’ve learned over my years of crafting, so that not only is OWH helping our deployed heroes, but our cardmakers are all growing in their skills as well. It’s a win-win all around!
Do you have a craft room or specific area where you stamp?
Yes, my craft room/computer room/video studio! It’s a tiny room, only about 8 x 10, but it’s chock full of crafting supplies (stamps, ink, paper, markers, and ribbons, mostly), plus a collection of tripods, cameras, and computer equipment for the videos I produce and the weekly webcast, OWHtv. My workspace is often no bigger than the size of a card due to the lack of desk space!
What are your favorite crafting products?
This will sound like pandering - but I love me some Hero Arts stamps! Truly. I wouldn’t have been this excited for OWH to partner with our friends at Hero if they didn’t make the BEST stuff ever. Matching great stamps with my Copic Markers is probably my favorite combo on a card…and then there’s my love for May Arts ribbon…and patterned paper (I drool over October Afternoon, My Mind’s Eye, Authentique)…my dies (Sizzix, Memory Box, Spellbinders)…and don’t leave out my ATG gun and Tombow adhesives!
Do you have a favorite technique?
Coloring, clearly…I love to spend hours (if I can find some extra time hiding under the couch cushions!) parked on the sofa with a bunch of fun stamped images to color. I keep a box full of colored images on hand, so when I sit down to make a card I can usually find some image that will go with whatever patterned paper is inspiring me. My time is limited so having them colored and ready means I can get my crafty fix daily - if I don’t get to make something, I’m one grumpy gus!
Are there colors you love to include on your cards?
Most everything has a dark contrasting color to offset whatever else I’m using - black, brown, or sometimes a navy blue. But my favorite color of all is yellow! So that accents a lot of what I create.
How did you start Operation Write Home?
It was an accident, actually! I never intended to start an organization; I had asked some friends on the Two Peas in a Bucket stamping message board if anyone knew of an org we could send our extra cards to, since mine were piling up and I’d never use them all. I had heard a story on the radio about a woman who sent a box of cards to her son’s unit in Iraq, and I thought for certain someone had an organization to do that already. I got a reply on the message board from a soldier at a Combat Support Hospital who said she’d take them. That led to everyone sending me cards for her box, and a second one, and a third, and needing to find more heroes - and it just kept growing. We now serve almost 200 units at any given time, and are getting very close to sending our 2 millionth card!
What motivates you to make cards for our heroes?
I just am amazed by the fact that these service members willingly sign up to defend me - a person they’ve never met. It’s one thing to fight for your family, but I get included in that “American family” they’re standing up for. And since I’m far too chicken to pick up a weapon and go to war myself, the least I can do is serve those who have that kind of courage. I am motivated to do my very best for them, since they don’t do a half-measure job for me….and as well, our cards are sometimes a hero’s final communication with their family before they make the ultimate sacrifice. If that’s my card, I want it to be the very best and hold up to years of memories.
Thank you, Sandy, for taking the time to chat with us today, for sharing your wonderful work with our readers, and most of all, for the countless hours you devote to Operation Write Home. You are truly an inspiration!
Speaking of inspiration, be sure to hop over to the OWH Stars & Stamps blog today for a feature on one of our very own Hero designers!
And one more reminder before we head into the weekend — you can link up your Operation Write Home holiday cards now through the end of October over on THIS POST for a chance to win some fabulous Hero Arts stamps. Let’s put our talents to work and supply Operation Write Home with an abundance of made-with-love holiday cards for the troops!!
Thanks for joining us this week. We hope you have a wonderful weekend!