Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hi there

o-li-o: a miscellaneous mixture; a hodgepodge
(from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary)

That's what my blog will be - a miscellaneous mixture; a hodgepodge of paper crafting techniques, experiments and hopefully, cards. As a short introduction, I originally was a jewelry maker - nothing fancy, just liked to string beads. This papercraft obsession all
started a few years ago when my mom and aunt gave me a few of their leftover rubber stamping supplies "so I could play too".

I had no interest in adding another craft since the beading was already my thing, but they started showing me a few techniques and pretty soon I was hooked (there's nothing better than the first time you heat emboss something, is there?) Now the papercrafting has eclipsed the jewelry making, although I try to
combine the two occasionally.

I'm lucky to live in the same community as my mom and aunt and seem to be the d
esignated keeper of the memories between the three of us. I decided to start a blog to catalog some of our creations and experiments. I'm fairly good at recalling how something was made, but there are plenty of cards and backgrounds that I just look at and think how in the world did I do that?

So I thought I'd try writing it all down - for us, and if I inspire someone else along the way, I will be humbled.

Okay, enough. Let's get to the good stuff. I love, love, love to make backgrounds and have umpteen drawers full of background papers (color-coded, of course - something else about me) that are just waiting to become cards. That's where I fall down on the job - there's always a new technique I'd rather try. Mayb
e this blog will force me to actually finish a card - lol.

So without further ado, here's a card I just made that I think will be a
birthday card for my hubby:

I was inspired by this card on the Hero Arts website created by Shari Carroll. I was drawn to the white fleur-de-lis design and although I don't have that specific Hero Arts stamp, I knew I had something similar (in fact, it's just an el-cheapo foam stamp from Michaels - made by Plaid Enterprises).

While the designer started with a blank piece of cardstock and added color and stamped designs for the background, I wanted to use up something from the drawers full of background papers. I had this very dark alcohol ink background leftover from Christmas cards three years ago that jumped right out at me.
I can’t tell you exactly which colors of alcohol ink it was made with, but do remember we used both PiƱata and Ranger brand alcohol inks. It didn't get used then because it was just too dark and murky. I thought the bold white design on top would perk it right up.

Wasn’t sure how well embossing would “take” over the alcohol ink background, but I inked up the foam stamp with
Ranger’s Snowcap Pigment Ink and embossed with Ranger’s Seafoam White embossing powder. It worked just fine!

Used a 1 1/8" punch to cut the squares, trying to get some of the white embossing on each one, and then arranged them randomly ( I learned this technique originally as Serendipity Squares, I believe). Tried several background colors against the squares and finally decided on Stampin’ Up’s Kiwi Kiss. I don’t have very much Stampin’ Up paper, but just LOVE this shade of green.

Then it needed black to set it off and since the main panel was already A2 size, I had to come up with something bigger for the frame. I have a new set of Cuttlebug folders that I ordered directly from Provo Craft called Asian Bundle that includes four of the larger 5 x 7 folders.

I chose the one called Oriental Weave and embossed a piece of black cardstock. I then swiped Colorbox black pigment ink over the top of the raised area and heat embossed with clear embossing powder. It just made the layer a little shinier and sturdier, but it’s hard to see that in the photos.

Before mounting the main panel on the black layer, I cut out the center (oh, did I also tell you that I’m frugal? No need to waste all that embossed black paper under the main panel!) by tracing on the back with a white pencil and then using my nifty Fiskars finger-knife and a straight edge to cut slightly inside the traced lines, leaving a 3/8" frame to put under the main panel.

It needed an embellishment of some sort, so I chose a spiraled
wire piece (which is actually a Christmas tree ornament hanger that Aunt D found last Christmas and shared with us). It's "hanging" from a snap-type eyelet (which I have tons of and love the look of, but I can never seem to set them with either the Crop-A-Dile, the Big Bite or the old-fashioned hand setter. If you have a trick, please let me know!) Anyway, after I’d mangled both the front & back of the snap, I gave up and just used a glue dot to adhere it to the card. It’s only slightly dented! The wire is glued on with a Pioneer craft gluestick, set under something heavy for the night.

The final white card base is approximately 6½ x 5”. I’ll have to look for an envelope that fits or make one myself. That was one of the pieces of advice from my mom early on – choose the envelope first and then make the card – but my brain doesn’t work that way.

One project done – yeah! Gee, this post took almost as long as making the card. Hopefully this will get easier....


  1. Envelopes are easy to make from any piece of paper plain or decorated.

    This card is beautiful! It's a good thing you are the keeper of the memories and not just techniques - we'd argue too much. :)

    Love your blog.

  2. You know I'm not big on making cards, but I'm already thinking about how I could use this on a scrapbook page.

    Here's the secret to setting eyelets:

    I bought some of these at a convention. They do work, although they aren't quite as easy as the video makes it seem ... or else I need some practice! I'm glad to see they have plain ones ... I bought some shapes, and it's hard to waste them on practicing!

    Good job of describing the techniques, especially the brands you used. Keep it up ... I'm anxious to read more!

  3. Ooh - something I don't have! Wow - that looks so easy! Now what do I do with the piles of snaps I have on hand? Guess I'll just continue to smash them.

  4. I like the wire thing that looks like a treble clef sign. You might put something like that on a card to someone who's into music.

    Have you tried using any of these techniques using a drop or two of vegetable oil?