May Arts Ribbon Blog

Sandy Allnock – Prima Ribbonista

I've been creative since I was a little girl growing up in Maryland – drawing, crafting, always making something. My future as an artist was signalled in the second grade, when I won a ribbon for a crayon drawing I drew for a contest on the very first Earth Day! I don't think I've stopped creating since then.

In 1986, I earned a B.A. in Graphic Design from Frostburg State University, and started my ongoing career as an illustrator and marketing designer. I began papercrafting in earnest in the mid-90's for some ministries I took part in; and it's become an even larger part of my life since then. I joined several online communities, began blogging, and I've been blessed to serve on design teams for MelJens Designs, Eat Cake Graphics, Oozak – and I've designed stamps for Stampers Best and Hero Arts.

I find that working with paper, markers, ink, and ribbon is a great daily stress reliever. Daily cards add up….so much so that in 2007, when I tried to find a way to donate my massive collection of cards, I began what is now Operation Write Home – a nonprofit that has sent almost 2 million blank handmade greeting cards to deployed service members so they can keep in touch with home. (And no, I haven't made the 2 million cards…but I've contributed quite a chunk!) Running the organization takes up tons of my time outside my day job, but I love it – and it keeps me creating, and that's a great thing.

As I wanted to increase the quality of the cards that all of us were making, including me, I began producing written and photographic tutorials to pass on tips; that grew into video tutorials, and in early 2011, I embarked on a weekly vlog and live webcast. I truly enjoy the video medium, and I like to make my videos fun and keep people laughing as they learn…..on the webcast I even do a challenge to make a card in just a few minutes out of three randomly selected papers, and sometimes it's a hilarious trainwreck!

I'm humbled that so many people watch the videos I produce, and even more impressed that folks are actually learning something! I never expected to go the route of teaching, but I truly enjoy sparking others' creativity and watching them grow, and I'm thrilled to be able to do that in the May Arts community too. If you see something on my blog you'd like to learn how to do, please let me know and I'll try to work it into my May Arts posts for you!

The Ribbon Lady asked me to share a few of my favorite creations….and I have to say, when I looked at how many posts on my blog were tagged with May Arts, I realized I really might be the company's biggest fangirl!

Visit Sandy on her blog.


Some of Sandy's favorite projects are shown below:


  1. Beth

    Congratulations!  I love learning from you, all the different ways you use the ribbons, and your beautiful cards.

  2. Connie L. Riley

    Sandy, so happy to see you joining the May Arts DT. I loved everyone of the cards you picked as your favorite examples but, of course, the owl one is the one I liked the best!  Thanks for all you do for OWH and thanks for sharing your knowledge and talent.

  3. Nicole Martel

    congrats on making the team!

  4. AnnetteH

    Hip Hip Hooray! and Welcome!
    Happy for You (and me 'cause I get to see more of your work!)
    Thanks for introducing me to May Arts!
    I am so looking forward to learning about new ribbon, designs and techniques from you~ You are the Funnest!

  5. Samantha Kania

    Sandy you are the best!! SO glad you made it, congratulations

  6. lucyschmidt

    I'm so glad you'll be reaching a bigger audience with your contributions as a Ribbonista on the May Arts blog.  "Ribbonista" — what a great moniker and distinctive award.  Thanks for sharing your many talents with us.  It will be fun (as always) to see what you create.  I know we won't be disappointed.

  7. Ronni U

    Great samples that you picked! I am really proud of you!  You are a ribbonista!  All of your heartfelt work has paid off – and the recognition you receive is SOOOOOOO deserved!

  8. Esther Ellis

    Congratulations on becoming a Prima Ribbonista! It has been a great time with you and Operation Write Home. I have learned alot about card making, card kit making, card making meetings, etc. Now I hope to learn more about embellishing with ribbon, jute, twine, etc. God bless you.

  9. Lee Tucker

    Congrats on your new position as a Ribbonista!  You've definately inspired people to take their ribbon use to the next level, so we are really looking forward to your new venture with May Arts.

  10. Susan McShirley

    Great job Sandy.  Love your cards!  And love that you took SRM Stickers along for the ride on your "hoo-ray" and "God Bless You" cards.  Love those twill ribbons!  Got to get me some!

  11. Allison G in TX

    Wow, I learned so much about you from your bio – you should post that on the OWH web page!  We didn't grow up far from each other – I grew up in south central PA and attended University of Maryland.  When I was on the swim team, we had meets in Frostburg!  Now you are in WA and I'm in TX – small world!
    Love your cards and can't wait to see what you create as an "official" ribbonista.  You've always been a ribbonista at heart!

  12. Renee VanEpps

    You really deserve to be on this DT, your work with ribbon is amazing and I know you'll be a huge asset to them.  Looking forward to seeing more of your work!

  13. Cheryl Hutcherson

    Congrats!  Love your work!

  14. Maureen Hayes

    Wow!  It is one thing to have talent, which you obviously do, and another thing to not only be willing to share your knowledge and teach, but to organize the card drive and help our soldiers!  You are amazing!  I hadn't heard of your video series u til now, but I will be looking into it pronto!
    Congratulations on becoming a Ribbonista, I can hardly wait to see what you create!

  15. Teresa Kieser

    Congrats to the Prima Ribbonistas!  I feel so fortunate to have found OWH and you.  I too have improved so much in my making cards since I found you and OWH.  Thank you for sharing your talent and your art with us.

  16. Indy


    Fabulous projects!  Congrats!


  17. Glenda F

    You're a great teacher Sandy!  Thanks for the inspiration, tips, tutorials and all around good fun!  Have fun fondling all the May Arts ribbon.  🙂

  18. sandyh

    congrats on your new venture!  love the picture!

  19. Kathryn

    Congrats on this new role!  I love the cards you've posted.  I think I missed the dragon on your blog originally and it's too stinkin' cute!  It's wonderful that you'll get to teach even more crafters how to hone their skills.  I know I've learned heaps and heaps from you and other OWHers in the nearly two years I've been making cards for OWH and my cards just keep getting better.  Thanks for that! 

  20. Tess Harry

    Sandy,  Congratulations on your Design Team appointment. I'm so excited for you.   I can't wait to see more of the wonderful cards you create with your beloved May Arts ribbon.  

  21. KarenS

    Congratulations, Sandy!

  22. Dixie

    Woohoo!! Beautiful collection of cards! You rock the ribbon!

  23. Sue D

    So happy for you Sandy!  Great cards and love your Stump Sandy portions of your fun videos!

  24. Charlene

    Welcome aboard, Sandy!

  25. Virginia Fynes

    That owl kills me, SO cute. Great projects. Happy to be team-mates!

  26. mary s. - aka Big Mamma

    Oh My goodness.. what beautiful cards!

  27. Linda R

    Hi Sandy….great cards……and  CONGRATULATIONS!!

  28. Amy Jones#8546

    Very cute and fun projects.  Welcome to the team.

  29. Randee Scholz

    Thanks..thanks…thanks for sharing your talent with the world.

  30. Ann M

    Thanks for being such a great inspiration to us!

  31. Nicole S

    Yea forgot, Sandy!  You are such a talented lady with a big heart!  Thanks for being a inspiration in so many ways!

  32. Trista C.

    So happy for you, Sandy! You are amazing!


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