Archive for January, 2011

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Four Homemade Valentine’s Day Cards to Make

by Rachel Paxton

There is nothing as special or personal as a homemade Valentine’s Day card. Surprise your friends and family with your handmade creations. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Homemade Valentine’s Day Cards
Materials List:

Four blank greeting cards (available at craft stores)
dark redpiece of scrapbooking paper
white piece of cardstock
cream colored piece of cardstock
red and white gingham piece of scrapbooking paper
paper cutter
glue stick
sewing machine

How to Make Valentine’s Day Cards

Card #1:

For this card you will need a dark red piece of scrapbooking paper, a red and white gingham piece of scrapbooking paper (or other coordinating piece of paper), and a piece of white cardstock. Cut a piece of the dark red paper to fit the front of the greeting card and glue it in place. The dark red is the background of the card. Cut two strips of the gingham paper, approximately an inch and a half wide. Cut them to the width of the card (this card will open horizontally). Tear a freehand heart from the gingham paper, large enough to fill up approximately three quarters of the entire card. Next glue the strips of gingham paper to the front of the card with space in between them. The idea is that there is a “strip” of gingham, a strip of red, a strip of gingham, and then a strip of red. Use your sewing machine to stitch* along the edges of the strips of gingham paper, and then stitch around the edge of the card. Glue the heart in the middle of the card. Type “Happy Valentine’s Day” on your computer and print out on white cardstock. Cut out the phrase (narrow strip) and glue to the center of the heart.

* Stitching tips:
If you have never used your sewing machine to make cards, it is easy! Just sew on the paper like you would on fabric. You might want to reserve a needle just for paper so you don’t dull the needle for your fabric projects. There are two ways you can include stitching in your card making projects. You can either stitch directly on the card, or you can stitch on a separate piece of paper and then glue that piece to the card (then the stitching won’t show through the card).

Card #2:

This Valentine’s Day card is quick and easy. Cut a piece of dark red paper to fit the front of your blank card and glue it in place. Type “Happy Valentine’s Day” on your computer and print it on the cream colored paper. Mat the cut-out phrase first on a dark red piece of paper, and then mat that piece on another piece of cream colored cardstock to create a layered look. This card will open horizontally, so turn it in that direction and glue the Valentine’s sentiment to the top third of the card. For the bottom portion of the card cut three small freehand hearts from the dark red paper. Glue these hearts to three torn scraps (in the shapes of squares) of cream colored paper. Space these pieces across the bottom of the card and glue in place. Stitch around the outside of the card and around the “Happy Valentine’s Day” if you wish, but it isn’t necessary.

Card #3:

This card is made from a dark red piece of paper and a cream colored piece of paper. Cut a piece of the dark red paper to fit the front of your blank card and glue it in place. Cut a large square from the cream colored paper and glue it just above the center of the card. Glue the piece of paper in place. Tear a large heart from the dark red paper and glue it in the center of the cream colored square. Type “Happy Valentine’s Day” on your computer. Print on cream colored paper and glue in the center of the heart. Stitch around the cream colored square and the edge of the card, if you wish.

Card #4:

This card is made from a dark red piece of paper, the gingham paper, and white card stock. This card will open horizontally. Cut a piece of the dark red paper to fit the front of your pre-made card and glue it in place. Cut two strips of gingham paper and glue them to the top and bottom of the card so that there is a red strip in between. Cut three freehand hearts from the gingham paper and space them out in the red portion of the card. Glue them in place. Type “Happy Valentine’s Day” on your computer and print on white paper. Cut out into a narrow strip (narrower than hearts) and glue in the center of the card on top of the hearts.

Notes: – The terms “card stock” and “paper” are used interchangably here, but it is up to you which kind of paper you use, depending on the look you are trying to achieve – A sewing machine isn’t necessary for this project, it is just a nice added touch – You don’t have to use your computer for this project, you can handwrite the words if you wish.

About the Author: Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For scrapbooking, card making, gift-giving ideas, and more family memory-making activities, visit

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san francisco

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

For Office Depot, 2010 ended pretty much the way it started: with
a barrage of above-the-fold stories about overcharges and other
irregularities involving the Florida big box and its state and local
government contracts.
This time a year ago, the big story was a report from the San Francisco
auditor’s office alleging Office Depot overcharged the city
by at least $5.75 million between January 2005 and July 2009, an
amount that represented more than 25% of the $19 million the
city paid to Office Depot during the period audited.
Twelve months later, that story was back in the headlines as the
city announced an agreement by which Office Depot will pay
$4.25 million in payment and purchase credits to settle the
Also last month, the head of the country’s leading membership
organization for state procurement officials had harsh words for
a new contract by which Office Depot will be the sole source supplier
to the the state of Florida for its office supplies.
According to Naples News reporter Matt Clark, the contract will
allow Office Depot to use tactics that numerous government auditors
have claimed result in overcharges to agencies in the past.
“Office Depot now will be allowed to lure government agencies
and nonprofits nationwide to the 16,000 products the state competitively
bid at low prices without telling those agencies their
contract purchasing website will be blended by default with potentially
more than 44,000 so-called “non-contract” products
priced as the company chooses,” Clark contended.
Jack Gallt, director of the National Association of State Procurement
Officials (NASPO), told Clark it is unusual for a government
agency to allow non-contract items to be purchased, and called
the Florida purchasing deal a good example of “price shopping.
Certainly, it’s something NASPO would not support,” Gallt added.
And if all that wasn’t bad enough, adding to the company’s woes,
analysts at the Motley Fool online investment service warned Office
Depot may well be heading for the history books before too
long. Here’s what the Motley Fool’s Rich Duprey had to say about
the company’s prospects last month:
“Forget the disgrace of being kicked out of the S&P 500 (Office
Depot also suffered that indignity last month) office supplies retailer
Office Depot is likely to be kicked to the curb permanently.
Both it and rival OfficeMax had been subject to possible buyout
rumors, as the economy has wreaked havoc with business purchases
of paper clips, rubber bands, and correction fluid.
“To get to a surprise $0.04-per-share profit last quarter, Office
Depot had to slash overhead. That’s a fine short-term remedy,
but pressure from its biggest competitor, Staples means it’s going
to need additional ways to hold the line on costs. That’s not an
easy, repeatable solution, particularly after its CEO resigned following
violations of Regulation FD rules. Office Depot is a stock
that will be left at the station.”
For more information on Office Depot’s state contract problems, visit
the Depot State Contract Watch section of INDEPENDENT DEALER’s
web site (

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