musings on paper

…or, more specifically, what I’m doing with it.

I mentioned last Saturday that I’d spent a good chunk of the day making some paper. Well, the main reason I was making it didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped….

The idea was to use some of the dried petals that I’d saved from my bridesmaid bouquet for my friend Julie’s wedding so that I could have some nice handmade paper to incorporate into the page when I get around to doing her wedding pictures for my scrapbook. (Which I should probably get on that, seeing as how their 2nd anniversary is coming up in June!) Well, it didn’t turn out so great…the hydrangea petals, which were a really pretty touch of blue when the paper was wet, completely lost their color as it dried. And the rose petals, which were kind of cream, turned brown. The worst part, as illustrated on the left, was that all of these petals decided to bleed brown all over the paper as it dried. I may still be able to use it, at least if I flip it over to the side of the paper that was drying on the fabric and therefore didn’t oxidize as much (see right), but I’m still kind of disappointed in the look of it.

I also had some other miscellaneous scraps of various-colored cardstock that were too small to recycle as is, so I threw a bunch of them into the craft blender while I had it out to see what would happen. Also didn’t quite turn out as I thought, especially the browns since I was trying to make them about the same color, But hey, my cat approves. She plopped right down on it almost as soon as I’d laid it out, and refused to leave until well after I took the pic.

And then there’s the actual usage of the paper (not the handmade stuff, it took half the week to even dry so I haven’t done a thing with it yet other than stack it in my room.) I’ve been developing….not a love-hate, but more like a love-apathy relationship with my scrapbook hobby over the last year or so. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it….it’s just that 4 times out of 5, when about to do something crafty, I’ll choose something sewing-related instead. Probably the main reason is sheer laziness–I can generally get to the sewing machine much quicker than I can haul out scrapbook stuff. But then, deep down, I know if I had to drop one crafty hobby I’d stick with sewing. There’s this growing part of me that really wants my life to be more simple, and when it comes to my hobbies, I do sometimes consider dropping that one. I can justify sewing, since I can always work new clothes into my life. But I look at the scrapbook culture, and it makes me wonder why I do this…after all, it’s not like I’m trying to preserve the childhood memories of my non-existent kids, like most of them do it for. And then I’m also so far behind on it, since I barely touched it last year. But then I was thinking about it at work today, and there are some pretty compelling reasons to stick with it…for one, like I said, I do enjoy doing it. And I know that sometimes on my really bad “I hate being single” days, it’s good for my head to look back at the old ones and remember the fun times I’ve had while I’m in this place. And then there’s the fact that it’s my best portable option for things like when I hang out with friends and craft for an evening/weekend/whatever, at least as long as I do some prepwork ahead of time to get things ready to assemble. (Since that type of thing generally also involves lots of chatting and movie marathons, the machine’s a little too loud to force that on my friends, and I don’t always have handwork to do. Or the desire to do hand-sewing for hours on end. It’s not good for my carpal tunnel anyway.) And it’s also probably a better option for me than sewing on days when I’m henna-dying my hair…after I get the stuff on, it’s pretty much a 5-6 hour wait time in which I don’t want to risk staining my fabric.  So I’m thinking maybe I should just try to keep the pages simple, use up what I have as much as I can, maybe combine things as much as I can so I end up doing fewer pages and can catch up faster, and then take it from there.

On that note, I did do some scrapbook work on Wednesday, since I didn’t have to teach band and had a good chunk of afternoon free time.

Mostly ready to go–I had the layout figured out, the writing and title already done, anyway, and the paper picked out. (This one was in the queue for the last major scrapbook-day binge I had, and I just didn’t get to it.) So this one is done. Except maybe I should add another circle on the other page to help tie those in better.

This one was a little more time-consuming, since I basically recolored the patterned paper with colored pencils. I’d bought it because I liked the design, in spite of the pink, but realized it would be pretty much perfect for the canoe camping trip. The story: I had “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” stuck in my head for a good portion of it, mainly due to the opening line about picturing yourself in a boat on a river, so I decided to give the page a bit of a psychedelic vibe. And orange and blue are complementary, so the pink paper needed to be more orange. But the recoloring was done before Wednesday. It needs a title and some writing, which will probably go into the big blank orange space, but is otherwise done.

This one also needs a bit more writing, which I’m thinking should go over top of that ribbon to help hold it down. The title was pre-cut. (This is why I like doing prepwork—I feel so much more accomplished when I can just slap all of the ready-to-go stuff on a page and call it done.)

This one may be done…I’m not totally sure. I’m not totally sold on the layout, though I like the color scheme, so I wonder if it needs a bit more of something.

I’m thinking it’s about time to get some of my ready-to-go “page kits” together again…the next 2 weekends are shot, but then I think I might be due for another henna day. Which would be a perfect prepwork day, since it looks like I’ll be hanging out with the two friends whom I traditionally do the big movie-crafty weekends with in May.


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