The Quilter’s Daughter: Omnigrid Rulers

Omnigrid rulers for scrapbookingThis is the second in a series of posts about my unconventional scrapbooking tools that were given to me by my mom, a quilter.

Last time I showed you my Olfa rotary cutter, my favorite cutting tool.  The best partner in crime to the rotary cutter is my set of Omnigrid rulers.  What makes these better than a conventional ruler?  You guess it, they have a grid.

Having Omnigrid rulers allows me to quickly measure something once – I don’t have to measure the length and width separately.  Since it’s transparent, I can easily throw this ruler over an empty space on a layout, measure the exact size of the space, and instantly know what size photo I need to print for it.

Omnigrid rulers come in many shapes and sizes.  They measure very accurately down to 1/8-inch and have additional hashmarks around the edges to measure to 1/16-inch.  My mom has a ton of these in different sizes, but I just use two:  a 3×18-inch long one, perfect for measuring items on the 14-inch scrapbook pages I use, and a 4×8-inch, a smaller and easier to handle ruler for basic cuts.

I’ve been using these exact rulers for at least 7 years and they’ve never broken or warped and handle all the random things I use them for.  You can find them on sale at many craft and fabric stores as well as online!

I have no affiliation with Omnigrid and was not paid by them to endorse this product.

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The Quilter’s Daughter: Olfa Rotary Cutter

Olfa Rotary CutterLet’s take some time out to talk about the tools of my trade.  I’m not a normal scrapbooker in many ways.  I also don’t use normal tools.  If you looked at my tools, you may think I’m a quilter!  I don’t have that type of talent, but I am a quilter’s daughter.

My mom is a serious quilter as well as notorious handyperson (see the t-shirt quilt).  My mom can show you a beautiful quilt she’s just finish and claim that she “just threw this together.”

She gave me many of my tools.  They are really intended for people that sew, but they work beautifully on paper crafts.  First up, my all-around-awesome Olfa Rotary Cutter.

I can’t use paper slicers, they aren’t accurate enough for my cuts.  I was working on a squares layout years ago (much like this one) when I realized that a paper slicer wouldn’t cut it.  No pun intended, har har.  A rotary cutter is very accurate, clean, and allows me full control.

True, the blades can wear out and get nicks in them.  I keep a pack of blades on hand just in case.  With normal use, I replace a blade maybe once a year.  Just as with kitchen knives, a dull blade is more likely to cause injury because you use more force to compensate for the dullness.  Replace blades as often as you need to!

Warning:  Rotary cutters are very sharp and are dangerous if you don’t handle them properly.  Be careful!  It’s not something you can leave lying around with kids or husbands.  When I was growing up, I was taught to not touch the rotary cutter just as I was taught not to turn my back to the ocean.

This is one of the few tools I can’t live without!

The World’s Oldest Paper

Roll of Papyrus

I now have a small supply of the world’s oldest paper:  papyrus.  Of course, the papyrus I have isn’t old itself but the method of making it originated five thousand years ago.

Buying painted papyrus is a must-do on any trip to Egypt.  Papyrus shops have walls covered with papyrus paintings and drawings at every size and price imaginable.  When we were planning our trip, I thought sure a painting would be nice but I really want some blank papyrus.

Once the husband and I picked out our papyrus painting in the shop, we went to pay for it.  I politely asked if they had any blank papyrus sheets I could buy.

They looked at me like I was nuts.  Why would any tourist want to buy blank papyrus?

In my head: You don’t understand.  I’m a paper crafter.  I love the painting, but I can’t be this close to special paper that I can’t get anywhere else without taking something home.  I have to have some.  What am I going to use it for?  Good question.  I have no idea.

They actually did ask what I was going to use it for as they tried to figure out how much to charge me for it.  I honestly have no idea.  I figure an idea will come to me eventually.  I got my papyrus and hopped out of the store pleased as punch.

What would you do with it?  I have a very large sheet and one small sheet.  It could be made into stationary.  I could use it in my scrapbook.  The surface is fairly fibrous because it’s made out of strips of the papyrus plant rather than pulp like most other papers.  As you may know, I can’t draw a straight line.  I would love to hear your ideas!