Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Diagnosis Design #7 Jocelyn Olson

First an intro...

In medicine, we document using SOAP notes. It is an abbreviation to help keep consistent format when logging information. 

S=Subjective. What does the patient report. Subjective Data. This also includes the Chief Complaint (CC) which tells what the patients main problem is and History of Present Illness (HPI) a history of what happened to bring them in.

O=Objective. What exam findings do you gather. Objective Data.

A=Assessment. What is your Diagnosis, what differentials could there be (alternative diagnoses)

P=Plan/Education. What is the plan for the patient. What do you want them to learn?

This is the format I will use also.

Now lets begin. This is Jocelyn Olson...

Hanging out at a park with her dad and kids.

How did I come to know Jocelyn? I was looking at the Paper Crafts Blog in April of 2012. New on the scene, I was trying to just figure things out. I didn't know who was who or what was what then. I saw the card below which was nominated for Stamping Royalty 2012 and thought, what a perfect card. How can this card be so so perfect? No smudging, straight, the color choice was a little different for a holiday card, but I think that is what made it so wonderful. I loved it! 

So I did something that I had never done before. I looked at the name of the artist who made it and tried to find her. I began following her blog immediately and I was hooked. She made hand made cards look professional to me. I would study her work trying to figure out how she did it. Then I found out a magical and scary word: DIGITAL. I admire what she has brought to the crafting world, digital that is beyond just print and cut. She is the master of digital, digital-hybrid, and 100% handmade stamped cards and is bringing digital to the mainstream. 

I usually chose designers whose work is very easily identifiable. For Jocelyn, it took me a little longer, but I can usually still identify her designs based on her aesthetic. I hope that after reading this, you will be able to pick out a Jocelyn card out of a line up as is the case for other DD candidates.

 (For the record, this card IS stamped, not digital) Next thing I knew, she was a fellow Paper Crafts Gallery Idol gal and I have loved her even more since! 

Her creative resume is so so good. She has won numerous prestigious titles and contests, published a gazillion times and I think after you read about her work, and see what she can do, you will understand why.

Tell me about yourself, how did you and your husband meet?
My husband and I met on a blind date. My mom and his dad worked together and had adjoining
offices. They would talk about their kids and decided it would be a good idea to fix us up on a
blind date. I was living in Texas at the time, and when I went to visit my mom at Thanksgiving,
she sprung it on me that a trip to a sports bar to watch a basketball game would really be a blind
date. I was annoyed but went along with it. So my mom, brothers, and their wives were on our
first date to watch the basketball game at a local sports bar. Afterwards, I told my mom that he
was nice, but it wasn’t like anything was going to happen (“I live in Texas…he lives in South

A couple of weeks later, my (now) husband sent me a letter. It was before e-mail was as
mainstream as it is now, but it was still romantic. We wrote letters back and forth for seven
months before we saw each other again. Within a week of seeing each other again, we pretty
much knew we would get married (that was 15 years ago).

Her husband Craig and daughter Leni at a historical quilt show. The quilt behind them is one Craig's grandmother made.

CC: I want it to be perfect. and if you do, digital is the way to go!

HPI: Jocelyn has turned us regular crafters into believers of the digital possibilities. She can manipulate images like no one I have ever seen. And just for the record, talking to Jocelyn is like therapy. She is very good saying and asking just the right questions to get you to talk AND feel better.

You will find that her cards are therapeutic also. The sentiments she uses convey messages of hope and promise...

What program do you use to make your digital and hybrid cards?
Photoshop Elements 11.0. I’d love to get the full-size Photoshop program, but Elements is much
cheaper. It was the best $70 I’ve spent on crafting.

Where do you find inspiration?
My biggest sources of inspiration come from online places like Pinterest, fellow designers’
blogs, general design blogs, and Etsy. I love looking at new product lines (both digital and
traditional), and I always get ideas for cards that way.
I also find inspiration in unusual places like my three-year-old’s books. My husband and I have
collected art, mostly from when we travel, and that provides me with ideas. I have a giant oil
painting of a lawn chair in my craft space. ;) (her craft area is a small corner in the dining room).

What do you do for a living? Does it influence your design?
I’m a research and evaluation consultant for state, federal, and higher ed disability and special
education programs. I was a professor and went back and forth between teaching and research
for over a decade, but when we moved to South Dakota, I decided to take the leap and become

My work and my paper crafting are pretty separate, although I do sometimes find card sketches
in my work files. The move into the digital world was influenced by my work. I travel to other
states from time to time for work, and since I always have my computer with me, I can design
any time I travel. Last summer I participated in Gallery Idol, and for one round, I was designing
one of my cards on the flight home. A couple of months ago, we were driving home from
Minneapolis (in a snow storm, no less), and I was on Photoshop make a card for a call. You get
the idea.

Did you take a digital class when you first started?
No, I’m all self-taught.

Why did you chose digital?
The main reason I started using digital elements is because I would have an idea in my head, and
I didn’t have the products to execute it. Frankly, I was frustrated because I couldn’t find stamps
and papers in the designs I wanted. Now I can usually either find an image I want or make it

Otherwise, here are my top five reasons:
1) Convenience (like I already said)
2) The huge diversity of products
3) I can tweak images, like change the color or scale of an element, to fit the project
4) The undo button is my friend J
5) I don’t have a big craft space, and I don’t have to store as much stuff

Card you are most proud of?
I’ve always been proud of my “Hey” card. The card was published in Paper Crafts Magazine,
and although it wasn’t my first published hybrid card, it represents a turning point in my mind
for when I fully committed to hybrid designs.

(comic book inspired cards have become her signature)

What are your best publishing tips?
Before I started blogging, I stalked a lot of blogs for several months. One of my favorite bloggers
was Chan Vuong, and I contacted her for some tips for getting published. She gave me some
great pointers that I would not have known at the time (e.g., make projects other than cards,
use new products, take a close-up photo of the project, etc.). She was incredibly helpful and
supportive. I’m no publishing expert. I guess I’ve had the best luck with submitting projects with
less common products.

How long do you think about a card before you are on the computer creating it?
A long time. When I get a design team assignment or a call, I typically think about the project(s)
for about a week before I do anything. What can I say? I’m a slow crafter.
Total card time (how long it takes to create a card from start to finish?
From the point I sit down to start crafting, it usually takes me about 1-3 hours to make a project.
Cards with a digital element are usually slower for me, but that could be because I’m distracted
by e-mail, Facebook, TV, etc. Traditional (non-digital) cards are typically faster, but I obsess
over things like cardstock and ink colors.

Favorite place to buy clothes?
I’m short and need short lengths. I tend to shop at Ann Taylor Loft or Banana Republic since
they’re available locally. Since I work out of my house, I don’t buy clothes as often anymore.

Funniest joke you ever heard?
I’m a big fan of Laffy Taffy jokes—the cornier the better. I hate when I buy a Laffy Taffy and
it’s a repeat joke (which of course means I’ve eaten far too many Laffy Taffies).
Here’s a pin that always makes me laugh out loud: http://pinterest.com/pin/89016530104407243/

Most admired blogger?
Oh goodness, I’ve been dreading this question because it’s like choosing between a slice of
lemon meringue pie and a piece of chocolate cake (I must be hungry). My favorite bloggers are
ones who make projects that make me wonder “why didn’t I think of that?”

Saddest thing about blogging?
Without a doubt, the saddest thing is when a fellow paper crafter passes away.

What is the secret to longevity to bloghood?
I have no idea. I suppose I should be more analytical about it, but I just try to keep my head
down and do my own thing.

How long have you been crafty?
Like most crafters, I’ve always been crafty. I used to love to draw and make sticker books.
I loved my Fashion Plates, Lillian Vernon personalized colored pencils, and metallic paint
markers. In my 20s, I dabbled in cross stitching and quilting but was pretty terrible at both. I
didn’t get into papercrafting until I was in my 30s.

Most pinned card?
I’m not completely sure since it’s hard to tell with Pinterest, but I know I had a bunch of pins on
a card from September 2011. It’s not my favorite card, but I still get weekly traffic on my blog
for this card.

The best way you can see a persons style is through a body of work. Let me show you what Jocelyn can do. These are some of my most favorites...

There is always an element of FUN in her designs.

It's difficult to discern which cards are digital and which are not. This one? Digital Hybrid!

She understands color.

You don't have to work hard to get the message.

Do you notice:
  • Her cards look like magazine ads. They are graphic, CAS, and bold. Her use of color is very conscious and purposeful and mainly because she can create just the certain perfect color that a regular stamp pad can't always touch.
  • Her cards are not SERIOUS, there is always a touch of fun whimsy to them. Even when the card IS intended to be serious, somewhere there is still fun. See the feather below? Just a little fun for an otherwise more serious card.

  • She uses nothing typical or ordinary. The fonts are fresh because they are different and computer based fonts. The possibilities in her designs are limitless.

****For fun I asked Jocelyn to show me how she creates a digital hybrid card from START to FINISH. WATCH!!!****

Whimsical Graphic Hybrid Design

In asking the community what makes Jocelyn stand out amongst the rest and what they like about her work...

JOSCELYNE CUTCHENS (PAPERCRAFTS MAGAZINE GALLERY IDOL WINNER 2012, OWNER OF BOSSY JOSCIE FLAIR): I love Jocelyn's style, it's cute but not cutesy, modern but not stark. She's not afraid to mix things up and use a punny sentiment, I absolutely love that about her. She's a whiz at piecing together digital and traditional for some of my favorite hybrid cards around. Jocelyn is also a super sweet lady with a cool name.

HEATHER CAMPBELL (PAPER CRAFTS MAGAZINE GO TO GAL 2013, GALLERY IDOL TOP GALLERY IDOL TOP 10, STAMPING ROYALTY WINNER 2012): Jocelyn has some serious style when it comes to paper crafts. She's witty and the girl must have an amazing sense of humor because it radiates from her designs. Her knowledge of digital and hybrid cards puts her in a league of her own.

LUCY ABRAMS (DESIGNER FOR HERO ARTS, STUDIO CALICO AND SIMON SAYS STAMP): Jocelyn is a ROCKSTAR!! Jocelyn has long been a favorite designer of mine. She combines style and fun effortlessly, using products in wonderfully unique and clever ways. I mean, look how cute THIS doughnut card is. Eeek!! And creating THIS neon card with digi stamps... amazing. I always love seeing Jocelyn's cards in magazines. She truly is a talented and diverse card maker with a real eye for detail.

Think you want to join this genre? 

  • Buy photoshop. One cannot do her body of work without it. It's the only way to get that crisp effect that is so typical of her work.
  • Clean it up. Jocelyn is a clean and simple gal. She flexes her design power with color and graphics 
  • Don't be shy. Her designs don't hide. The sentiments and images are in your face telling you something...and you are gonna like it! So Go Big or Go Home!

 How long have you been crafting?
Almost 7.5 years ago, I walked into a Michael’s to look at cake decorations, and I saw the
scrapbooking supplies. I was pregnant at the time, and as I strolled through the aisles, I had the
brilliant idea to make 100+ handmade birth announcements. A couple of months later, as I was
trying to match the various ribbons and patterned papers in the dark with a newborn on my lap,
the idea didn’t seem so brilliant.

I dabbled in paper crafting for gifts over the next couple of years and bought a die cutter to
cut felt for crafty projects. It wasn’t until I found a fabulous nearby stamp store (The Crafting
Cottage in Corning, NY) about five years ago, though, that I really became immersed in
stamping and paper crafting.

If I had to pick a song that represented Jocelyn to ME, it would be this one:
Don't worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin. Her work is fun, happy, and always conveys a positive message.

Thank you Jocelyn for taking the time to answer the questions and giving me full access to your blog Red Balloon Cards.

Where did the name of your blog come from?
It’s from the book Goodnight Moon (Goodnight light, and the red balloon). My son was just a few months old when I started blogging. He was colicky and a bad sleeper, and I think that was one of the few phrases my sleep-deprived brain could come up with. The irony is, I don’t really like balloons very much IRL.


  1. Hooray for Jocelyn! Not only do I love her work, but she has a sweet personality. She was one of the first crafting friends I made. Go Jocelyn!!

  2. Mega love. Seriously. Kudos to you for being so amazing! (and it means BOTH of you!!)

  3. I LOVE Jocelyn! She really does make me want to go digital.....and she is just so nice and genuine and fun! Great write-up, love learning more about the legend! ;)

  4. I LOVE it, Wida!!! It's cracking me up reading it. Thank you so much for asking me!!

  5. What a TREAT to read about Jocelyn and creating process! Excellent interview, Wida!

  6. I totally love Jocelyn! she cracks me up on the regular. ps. i don't love real balloons much either, but i love balloon images. haha.

  7. So fun getting to Jocelyn behind the scenes...she makes some amazing cards!

  8. If nothing else I have learnt that I need to find out how to rotate brushes in Photoshop - watching that vid has made me think I've maybe been doing it cack-handed all these years!!

  9. Jocelyn has long been one of my favorite cardmakers out there! She's funny, sweet, and way smart:) Every card she makes (even the CAS ones) are full of thought and design. And what she does digitally? U-N-R-E-A-L! Thanks for bringing us more Jocelyn Wida!

  10. I love this series on your blog, Wida. Keep it up! Jocelyn is amazing. She is one of the first bloggers/card makers I was drawn to. Her designs are always spot-on and well executed!

  11. Loved getting to know more about Jocelyn! She has such a fun style and outrageous talent for hybrid cards!!!

  12. What a fabulous feature. I so enjoyed reading about Jocelyn. I love the graphical look of her designs. :)

  13. Hand clapping going on here - soooo happy you did this for Jocelyn. I love that girl's work. Her CAS mastery of digital blows my mind, but what I love most about her work is her way with sentiments. So fun to learn more about her and I think you were spot on with your diagnosis!

  14. Such a WONDERFUL post!! I love Jocelyn's work...she really is amazing and sweet! :)

  15. Long time fan of Jocelyn! Loved reading about her!

  16. I love this post! You made it so interesting! I've been following Jocelyn for a while, it's nice getting to know her better through your post. TFS.

  17. I love Jocelyn - she's my fave! I stalked her for awhile until I made her like me ;) Seriously though, I loved her work from the beginning and can spot one of her cards almost anywhere. I'm glad you did this and that I got to read it! I'm off to stalk her some more...........

  18. MOST EXCELLENT post Wida!
    I too am a fan of Jocelyn's.
    She is a MASTEr digi crafter...would LOVE to see more of her magic on video:)

  19. This is so fun! Jocelyn has definitely made me return to my digital roots and want to try making my own hybrid cards. You are Amazing Jocelyn!

  20. I loved reading this about Jocelyn! DD is one of my favorite pieces in blogland Wida....Love it!

  21. Oh I LOVED reading more about Jocelyn!! She's the best, all around!! Wida, great insight in your diagnosis ... magazine ad worthy, a little whimsy, and a fresh sentiment. So right on! I was glued to my couch the whole time!

  22. Great choice Wida! Jocelyn's cards are amazing!

  23. An awesome Diagnosis of our awesome supertalented friend. Jocelyn always makes my eyes pop with her amazing hybrid creations, and she is someone I could really learn a lot from! Was great reading more about her too and the trip down memory lane of her creations was perfect. :-)

  24. Jocelyn is amazing, thanks so much for sharing an insight into her papercraft life!


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