mail art diaries: organizing collage bits

Advice, Mail Art Diaries

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I finally broke down and organized all of my collage bits, mostly just the images. It was quite the process! I went through every single book I had been hoarding and ripped out the pages and images I thought I would someday use in a collage. I had at least 30 books to go through! It took days, to say the least. I also had some scraps that had been ripped out; they were scattered in those little ikea boxes.

After ripping out page after page, I sorted them into piles that would work well for me. I came up with about 10 categories: anatomy, animals, backgrounds, maps, misc, objects, people, places, plants, and space. I have a small, two-drawer filing cabinet that I picked up at a local thrift store. The first drawer is used for all of my Dactyl Life stationery and business paperwork. I decided to use the second drawer for all my collage bits. I made the tabs for each file and then filled them up with paper!

I originally thought I wanted to store my paper bits in binders, like I’ve seen a few people do. My only concern with that was how frustrating/difficult it would be to get the image you want out of the binder. I saw that people placed multiple images in one sheet protector and that just seemed like such a hassle. That is my favorite thing about storing images in file folders — it’s so easy to sort through them!

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This is seriously such an easy a way to keep organized and find things in a flash. I don’t know how I didn’t think of it sooner! I wish I did. I recently became kind of fed up with collage because I couldn’t stand sorting through my books and random scraps of paper to find the things I wanted. Whenever I had an idea in my head or inspiration to collage, the excitement to sit down and create was quickly replaced with the frustration of not being able to find the things I was looking for. Pulling book after book out of my cabinet was exhausting. Now I have this great system and I’ve been collaging a lot more. And I got rid of all of my books, which freed up a ton of space.

One thing that I have found that is key to getting and staying organized is by having set categories or spots for things. That is one of the major reasons why I started organizing all of my washi tape in those wax paper roll boxes. They have a set place to go and I find that I’m not throwing them about my desk, where ever they might fit. The same goes for collage bits!

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Let’s Talk About Stationery: Lettra

Advice, Let's Talk About Stationery

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Let’s talk about stationery! I’ve been on the hunt for the best paper for the stationery I sell. I recently ordered some paper samples from a company called Neenah Paper. I’ve been trying to find paper samples for ages and somehow came across their website. I saw that you could order samples of the paper they carry, and went a bit overboard. The catalog itself is completely free, you just have to pay for shipping.

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I was so anxious to receive the package full of samples. I love stationery; love it. I love finding the perfect paper to write on even more. I felt like it took forever for the samples to arrive but it really only took a few days. It was totally worth the wait though, the sample catalogs are gorgeous. They have a selection of every color that is offered for the specific paper type, the different weights they come in, and they just look awesome.

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Choosing the weight of paper is so important! I decided to write on the weight I thought would be best, with four different pens: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and a fountain pen. I wanted to see how each pen felt writing on the paper, how much bleed there would be, and smudge-factor.

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Lettra is just a nice, heavy paper. It would make a great paper for envelopes! Lettra is smooth but it still has a bit of texture to it. Kind of like cardboard; a rough but smooth texture. I’m sure it would be amazing to use when doing letterpress, as that is what it’s advertised for. It’s not so great to write on with fountain pens but it’s nice and sturdy so there isn’t much of a bleed-through. The smudge-factor was low, the only pen that smudged was the fountain pen. I take that with a grain of salt, since I intentionally swiped my finger on the ink immediately after I wrote it. There is no smudging if you wait a few seconds before touching the ink!


Lettra

Pens used: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and fountain pen.
Bleed-through: Low
Smudge-factor: Low.
Writability: Excellent for everything but fountain pens.

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Let’s Talk About Stationery: Crest

Advice, Let's Talk About Stationery

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Let’s talk about stationery! I’ve been on the hunt for the best paper for the stationery I sell. I recently ordered some paper samples from a company called Neenah Paper. I’ve been trying to find paper samples for ages and somehow came across their website. I saw that you could order samples of the paper they carry, and went a bit overboard. The catalog itself is completely free, you just have to pay for shipping.

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I was so anxious to receive the package full of samples. I love stationery; love it. I love finding the perfect paper to write on even more. I felt like it took forever for the samples to arrive but it really only took a few days. It was totally worth the wait though, the sample catalogs are gorgeous. They have a selection of every color that is offered for the specific paper type, the different weights they come in, and they just look awesome.

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Choosing the weight of paper is so important! I decided to write on the weight I thought would be best, with four different pens: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and a fountain pen. I wanted to see how each pen felt writing on the paper, how much bleed there would be, and smudge-factor.

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Crest is similar in texture to regular copy paper you would buy. It’s smooth like butter and super nice to write on. There is no texture to speak of for this paper but maybe that is part of its appeal! It would be a great paper to use for printing envelopes. It can be pretty smeary to write on although it’s not so bad if you let the ink settle a bit. There isn’t much bleed-through, which is really nice!


Crest

► Pens used: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and fountain pen.
► Bleed-through: Low
► Smudge-factor: High.
► Writability: Excellent.

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Let’s Talk About Stationery: Linen

Advice, Let's Talk About Stationery

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Let’s talk about stationery! I’ve been on the hunt for the best paper for the stationery I sell. I recently ordered some paper samples from a company called Neenah Paper. I’ve been trying to find paper samples for ages and somehow came across their website. I saw that you could order samples of the paper they carry, and went a bit overboard. The catalog itself is completely free, you just have to pay for shipping.

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I was so anxious to receive the package full of samples. I love stationery; love it. I love finding the perfect paper to write on even more. I felt like it took forever for the samples to arrive but it really only took a few days. It was totally worth the wait though, the sample catalogs are gorgeous. They have a selection of every color that is offered for the specific paper type, the different weights they come in, and they just look awesome.

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Choosing the weight of paper is so important! I decided to write on the weight I thought would be best, with four different pens: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7 Sharpie, and a fountain pen. I wanted to see how each pen felt writing on the paper, how much bleed there would be, and smudge-factor.

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I really enjoyed the linen paper. It has a texture similar to the laid paper but it is a subtle texture and it is way smoother to write on. The laid paper is a bit smeary to the touch but I think the quality of it makes up for that. This paper seems to be a bit more thin feeling than others. I typically prefer a 120 gsm paper but, with the linen, I chose 148 gsm sample to write on. All the other weights were very see-through. All in all, this is really lovely stationery!


Linen

Pens used: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and fountain pen.
Bleed-through: Heavy.
Smudge-factor: Moderate. Not a great paper to use if you are in a rush!
Writability: Excellent. Linen has a really lovely, subtle texture.

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Let’s Talk About Stationery: Laid

Advice, Let's Talk About Stationery

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Let’s talk about stationery! I’ve been on the hunt for the best paper to print my stationery on. I recently ordered some paper samples from a company called Neenah Paper. I’ve been trying to find paper samples for ages and somehow came across their website. I saw that you could order samples of the paper they carry, and went a bit overboard. The catalog itself is completely free, you just have to pay for shipping.

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I was so anxious to receive the package full of samples. I love stationery; love it. I love finding the perfect paper to write on even more. I felt like it took forever for the samples to arrive but it really only took a few days. It was totally worth the wait though, the sample catalogs are gorgeous. They have a selection of every color that is offered for the specific paper type, the different weights they come in, and they just look awesome.

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Choosing the weight of paper is so important! I decided to write on the weight I thought would be best, with four different pens: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and a fountain pen. I wanted to see how each pen felt writing on the paper, how much bleed there would be, and smudge-factor.

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I’ve read a few positive things on different blogs about laid paper but it turned out to be really disappointing! I was expecting to really like this paper, especially for fountain pens.  The smudge-factor was pretty high for all of the pens, and the texture of the paper makes it difficult and uncomfortable to write on. The paper has very small lines that run horizontally. I love the feel of it but the pens don’t! The bleed-through is pretty low, which is probably the only redeeming factor of this paper!


Laid

Pens used: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and fountain pen.
Bleed-through: Low.
Smudge-factor: High.
Writability: Poor. Too much texture!

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Let’s Talk About Stationery: Columns

Advice, Let's Talk About Stationery

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Let’s talk about stationery! I’ve been on the hunt for the best paper to print my stationery on. I recently ordered some paper samples from a company called Neenah Paper. I’ve been trying to find paper samples for ages and somehow came across their website. I saw that you could order samples of the paper they carry, and went a bit overboard. The catalog itself is completely free, you just have to pay for shipping.

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I was so anxious to receive the package full of samples. I love stationery; love it. I love finding the perfect paper to write on even more. I felt like it took forever for the samples to arrive but it really only took a few days. It was totally worth the wait though, the sample catalogs are gorgeous. They have a selection of every color that is offered for the specific paper type, the different weights they come in, and they just look awesome.

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Choosing the weight of paper is so important! I decided to write on the weight I thought would be best, with four different pens: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and a fountain pen. I wanted to see how each pen felt writing on the paper, how much bleed there would be, and smudge-factor.

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Columns is such a lovely paper. It might be my favorite but it’s so hard to choose. There are, quite literally, little columns that run vertically on the paper. It adds such a beautiful texture to it. I was concerned that it would feel weird to write on, especially with a fountain pen. I was wrong! It was wonderful to write on with all the pens. The smudge-factor was low, the only pen that smudged was the fountain pen. I take that with a grain of salt, since I intentionally swiped my finger on the ink immediately after I wrote it. There is no smudging if you wait a few seconds before touching the ink! There is, however, a bit of bleed-through. You can’t win them all!


Columns

Pens used: Pentax EnerGel, Pilot Precise V7, Sharpie, and fountain pen.
Bleed-through: Moderate, with Sharpie being the worst offender.
Smudge-factor: Low.
Writability: Excellent, smooth with the right amount of texture.

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