Scrap pads

Printing of any kind creates waste. We here at a. favorite design are committed to recycling, reducing & reusing. While we recycle all of our excess paper from cutting, we often reuse misprinted cards, make ready sheets and other prints that are just too pretty to pulverize into new paper just yet.

One of our most common reuse projects is making scrap pads, tiny notepads created entirely of printed scraps. We use them around the shop & when we have a good amount, send them to customers with orders.

Sure, it takes time to collate stacks of misprints that are all the same size, pad them with compound, cut them down and finally separate them into cute little pads, but it's worth it. Who doesn't love giving a new life to something that would otherwise be thrown in the recycle bin? Each little pad is eco-conscious & includes about 30 sheets of our most beautiful make-ready scraps. 

Got an idea for our pretty scraps? Let us know! 


My take on Scrapbooks

As mentioned in a previous post, I was once quite crafty. Now most of my creativity is poured into my business, which honestly is rewarding financially but not always mentally. Today I’m sharing a project from the past that I loved creating. I made “scrapbooks” for several years and sold them at Paper Boy, a stationery store I worked at here in Chicago. Each book was completely different & a collection of scrap papers.

Many of the papers I used were scraps from that very stationery store. I had a bag I would ask fellow employees to please put small scraps that would otherwise end up in the recycle bin. Every couple months I would gather the bags & start creating.

I had an assembly line production style. First I would gather chipboard for the cover. Then I started sorting all the bags of scrap paper. They always included a magical array of ends of register receipt rolls, kraft paper, newsprint paper, gift wrap, art papers, vellum, tissue... pretty much anything used at the store. Not one sheet was the same size as another & I loved it. All the textures, colors and shapes created a wonderful patchwork of papers. I would also include a couple notebook, legal, grid or any other office papers I had purchased at estate sales.

After sorting through all the bags I would begin collating pieces. This was always a puzzle that required bulldog clips to assist in holding the random sheets in place. When I had about 20 flat layers of paper, I would pass them off to my mom who was kind enough to run them through her sewing machine to bind them. This always proved to be a challenge and as you can see by the first photo of this one, they didn’t always turn out straight, which just added a little more character.

Once sewn I would trim or tear sheets that stuck out too terribly far. You can also see in the cover shot I left several layers peeking out on the side. The finishing touches were stamping scrapbook on one of my collected vintage red boarder labels & attaching that to an art paper scrap. I also stamped a handmade ajg (my maiden name initials) on the same art paper for the back cover.

These scrapbooks were always little labors of love. The process took hours and allowed me to be a flow state. Perhaps I should start gathering scrap paper again & revive the scrapbook.

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time I was crafty. It's true. Long before I made a living creating letterpress printed greeting cards, I spent my free time creating for pleasure. It wasn't always large projects or even successful projects but it was time spent tinkering, doodling…basically playing. Those days seem long ago now. Instead I've been filling my free time with obsessively searching the Internet and spending way to much time being a voyeur of other people's lives on facebook & instagram. Today I had an epiphany that this social media time spent encourages comparison. And comparison kills creativity. To combat social media comparison I'm starting to schedule time to be more creative. Crafty even. This may sound strange, I'm in a creative field, after all. So why the need to be creative outside of work? Well, I'll tell you why, it's important to experiment & challenge yourself. And it’s even more important to play. Creating has always been a part of me. And has been time well spent. Honestly, I cannot remember a time I didn't get lost in creation. Something magical happens to my mind while creating. I'm not sure if I can explain it properly so I'll just say it's my zen. Something I love to do and when I do it, I loose track of time. And not just time but thoughts. It's magical. To encourage me to create outside of "work" I thought a good motivation would be to post some old projects. Just random projects I once loving took my precious free time to create. They may not all be amazing but they will have all been created by my very own hands. Watch for some posts about past projects... and maybe even some future ones. Please feel free to let me know if you think I should revisit any of them. Now, time to set down the phone & pick up my journal and pen.