Friday, February 14, 2014

A Discussion on Paper...

I listen to - well, watch - a lot of discussion on paper.  There seems to be a huge trend on only buying paper piecemeal... buying one or two sheets from a collection and then only one or two sheets per pattern.  As a magnanimous paper-hoarder, I think this is great... for some people.  This is just not who I am.  While I do buy a sheet or two from a collection to see how I like it, I'm really a collection type of gal; and, often, if I absolutely love a couple of sheets from a collection, I will repeatedly kick my own butt until I can get the complete collection into my hot little hands.  But that's not really what I want to talk about - well, not entirely.
I want to talk about what drives you to buy certain papers.  Is there really a thought process behind the purchase other than "OMG, I think I love it!"?  We all know that I do regularly fall in love with collections of papers:  Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic, Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm, Maggie Holmes, Basic Grey Hey You, MME Find Your Wings & Fly, etc.  And while those are not the only papers you see in my albums, you do see quite a lot of each.  And I am so okay with that!!!  I buy paper I like it (most of the time) and if I LOVE it, I buy a lot of it.
For anyone who doesn't know, at any one time I may be working on several albums concurrently:

  • The Annual Family Album (none ever finished because I'm never caught up!)
  • GiGi's Annual Album (ditto above)
  • GiGi's BFF Album
  • The Me Album (General)
  • The Me Album (Child)
  • The Family Album (General) (Kids rarely included)
  • My Bro's Album
  • GiGi's General Album (anything extraneous to the her Annual Album)
  • Kids General Album (anything extraneous to the Family Annual Album)
  • Heritage Album
  • Misc Albums (Vacation, Christmas, whatever)

(And no, nothing is ever caught up because sometimes I just don't feel like doing anything at all, or I don't have the photos for what I do really want to work on.) The point of that little list is to show that I can absolutely have 5 sheets of the same paper and be perfectly content.  Not only may I have more than one layout in an album with the paper showing (but never in the exact same way), but I may have the sheets spread across many albums.
But also, I find that if I buy a paper collection without any mind to what it's use will be, it's use will find itself when I get it on my desk.  I have a few examples of this:

  • October Afternoon:  I love almost all OA papers.  But rather by accident I have found that OA lends itself very well to older photos - not only the creaminess of the papers, but the patterns as well.  I still don't buy OA for the specific purpose of older photos (I do use them elsewhere as well) but I know I can never go wrong with the line.
  • MME Find Your Wings...:  Has there ever been lovelier paper?  While I haven't put a lot of it in the 2013 Annual Album (?), it is certainly spread across all the rest of them - everything from heritage photos, to current photos of the kids.  And I have no doubt that it will find a place somewhere in my 2014 album (more on that later).
  • DL Lucky Charm, Maggie Holmes, Basic Grey: It's everywhere.  Each spreads across my Annual Album, our Road Trip album, the GiGi's album, and the Family Album.  And if I find any place else, I certainly won't hesitate to use these papers again and again.
  • Echo Park Here & Now, Bella Blvd Snapshots:  Now here's where things gets specific.  Even though I bought these papers for no other reason than that I absolutely love them and feel happy looking at them, once home they found a very specific place indeed: GiGi's albums. While I could absolutely use them for anything, they are perfect for her personality and lifestyle.  So they are used almost exclusively for her.
Another thing I want to mention is our own personal paper style.  We hear all the time about our personal design style: finding that style, integrating that style on sketches, working within our style. But I think we may have personal paper styles as well.  While flipping through my favorite papers doesn't reveal my style automatically, there are a few things I have noticed:
  • I like very clean paper: I am not big into the watercolor trend.  I don't mind playing with some paper with mists, etc., but when paper gets too 'artsy', I'm just not going to jump into a complete collection. (more on this later!!!)
  • I like intense colors:  Whether they're pastels, muteds or vibrants I like my papers colors to be intense on the page.
  • I like great big florals:  You know, the MH Flea Market paper, OA's Cabbage Roses - I love any and all florals like this... so if I've missed any, point them out quick.
Quandaries & Notes:
  • Hmmm...Distressed Papers.  While I rather love Maggie Holmes distressed papers, I don't really care for MME's - go figure! So don't skip looking at something just because you don't think you'll like it.
  • Beware: Just because you love one or two paper lines by a company, doesn't mean you'll love them all: While I love DL 5th... & Lucky..., don't really like Polka Dot Party at all (and unfortunately have the whole collection - thank God I like the peripherals).  While I didn't really love any Amy Tangerine lines, I found several papers in Cut & Paste that I adore. The list goes on and on...
  • There truly are differences between single patterned paper and paper pads.  Single sheets are more of a cardstock grade therefore the colors are more intense.  If you have a pad and really, really like a paper, consider buying a few extra singles - you can't go wrong.
  • What you love and your style don't always go hand-in-hand.  For Christmas (one exception to the don't buy with specific purpose rule), I purchased a MME kit.  It is utterly exquisite - I do absolutely love looking at this paper. However, I don't really want to scrap with it... it doesn't really reflect the feel of my photos - or rather how I feel about my photos.  Actually, for Christmas I prefer less, pretty but not as elegant as this paper feels.  So here I sit with a stack of photos and beautiful paper and can't quite put them together for my Album. But I am sure I will find a place for this paper... probably next week.
  • If you love it, a new paper will usually fit right into your private hoard.  If you can't find the fit right away, use it with more of it's same collection.  Once you've set it aside for a little bit, you will start thinking of endless combinations and places to use it.
  • Paper is my book anyway.  I might get tired of a paper, but I cannot ever imagine thinking that a certain paper is out-of-style.  So I have no qualms using last years papers this year or putting this years papers in my 2011 Album.  If you love it, it will always be in style.

These are snapshots of how, if you love a paper, it will find it's place - you just need to pay a little attention - whether it be for one subject matter or 10.  But then maybe, just maybe, it's our sub-conscience that chooses the papers we love... maybe we love certain papers because we love certain photos and we just don't realize it right away.

Hope all had a Happy Valentines Day!

Stay Safe and Scrap On!

“Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” - Rumi


  1. yay great to see you blogging and an interesting post on all those paper collections.... I am not buying any new paper until I have completed 50 layouts this year! I have so much.... I did manage 23 in Januaury and although I am a bit slower in Feb I think I will be there by the end of MArch!

  2. What a great incentive to use your paper supply! That's really what I should do as well; but I catch myself not using papers to their potential... in other words, if I love a paper and only have a sheet, I cut it in smaller pieces than I normally would in order to make it go further. Wow 50... that's amazing! Of course, I have enough that if I couldn't buy for a couple of years I'd just be out of style, not out of paper!!!

  3. I think furrypig's idea is a good one! :-)

    I have huge stacks of solid cardstock, but only a small stack of patterned paper. I only buy a few sheets at a time--and generally I use them up within a few weeks. But like you, I buy loads of the same sheets if I like the pattern! And yes, they show up across several albums. I don't care much about that either. ;-)

    I totally agree with what you said about paper being timeless. I really hate when some people act like it has an expiration date or something. Boo. It's PAPER! If you love it, USE IT! Woooo!!! =D

    Oh, and one more thing. I have the same feelings about Amy Tangerine products. I love a few things, but I haven't bought much of her stuff at all. Isn't that funny?? ;-)

    You made some really great points, and like furrypig said, it's good to see you back to blogging, Blond! =D