What a Crafter Keeps to Herself

After a successful recent workshop at the store. Wedding essentials!
After a successful recent workshop at the store. Wedding essentials!

I’ve landed into a brilliant situation, compared to others just graduating and getting full-time and substantially paying jobs, even grad school, lined up. At least, I’ve gotten the next best thing that a writer in particular could want. My love for writing means a love for writing on papers. And now I’ve actually been working with it.

For my next workshop: Valentine's Day. And yes, lace tape IS A THING.
For my next workshop: Valentine’s Day. And yes, lace tape IS A THING.
Christmas Card.
Christmas Card.

It’s a good place to be, Paper Source. Everyone steps in, enticed by the fine, exotic papers draped on racks, the comedic and colorful greeting cards lined against old doors on the long, left wall, and the pretty little trinkets scattered across our table tops. Since Valentine’s Day’s the next big holiday, you can only guess what most of our products cater to. I love paper and I work with it; I’ve gotten to know it as a character completely on its own.

Prior to Paper Source, I was using the old school technique of paper bag book binding, but on a whole new level of detailing each book and giving character to each title (COUNTER CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Cannery Row, David Copperfield, Anne of Green Gables)
Prior to Paper Source, I was using the old school technique of paper bag book binding, but on a whole new level of detailing and giving character to each title (COUNTER CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Cannery Row, David Copperfield, Anne of Green Gables).

In a few words, the old-world preconceptions of paper and females are almost the same– just here to look pretty. But in working here, and in directly working with the papers in craft workshops that I also teach, that’s not the case. The paper is made for all beautiful sorts of things. Sometimes just party bunting, to extravagant concepts like cabinet lining (the Italian Florentines are perfect for this!) and photo shoot backdrops — the most bizarre function was that they were used to cover the tops of beehives. Yes, beehives; those fancy and spoiled buzzing bitches! Basically, if you struggle to find a golden purpose for whatever Indian or lokta or Japanese paper you admire, there’s meant to be something somewhere for them. If your vision is still fogged up, Paper Source has your back, with all of our creative paper kits of flowers, cards, and meaningless but gorgeous décor pieces like rosettes and a string of heart garlands. Paper is also complicated, and unforgiving– I’ve never gotten more paper cuts at any given time in life than when I started here.

A Halloween party invite that doesn’t explicitly say so.

It’s nice to hone into these skills. I’m not just writing on papers anymore, and not just creating through writing, anyhow. Focusing more on my DIY and crafting abilities test more to my left brain than I’ve thought possible. It’s in a way, a getaway from writing without letting my imagination get flabby. And of course, you do get crafter’s block with the building, the cutting and pasting for whatever it is you envision. But then there’s the tools you learn in this newly-found outlet of performance. For example, embossing?? Using ink,  powder and heat to create a raised surface of an image or text, it’s been a rough 90% that makes up the detailing of my cards. Then there’s adhesives. Not just scotch tape any more for this girl. I’ve transitioned between glue dots, to tape runners, super tacky tape, and even pretty tape: washi tape. This doesn’t get the job necessarily done but these tapes add just the right hint of decoration without overdoing it. A few months back I of course was crafting, but limited. Now I feel limitless in not just tools but where they direct me in terms of the finishing result.

Altered notebook covers bounded in paper bag and watercolored by me.
Altered notebook covers bounded in paper bag and watercolored by me.

Sometimes you just get stuck with a pretty piece of paper. But as you know with writing, the piece is much more than that: a pretty surface.

Stationery!
Stationery!

*The views stated in this blog post don’t necessarily reflect those of Paper Source. Although I’m sure they would agree with me on the paper cuts.

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