And FIRST up is a celebration of all things Graphic 45! Well - mainly the papers. I do love other stuff, but the paper's always sooooo pretty! Not least of all is this gorgeously yumcious new addition to their collection of colourful printed addiction-equivalent to crack or crystal meth: 'Steampunk Spells'. I've had a couple of 'meh' moments with their 'Secret Garden', 'Little Darlings' and 'Place In Time' collections, not because they're below par, just 'cos they're not really very 'me' - a bit too chocolate boxy, kind of. This 'Steampunk Spells' collection heads back towards their richer, vintage colours and quirky, slightly surreal designs - and that very much IS 'me'! Here's my delivery from the awesome Craftie Charlie which arrived with characteristic swiftness this morning:
Oooooo it's so lovely! It's their Hallowe'en release for this year, combining the peculiarities of the 'Olde Curiosity Shoppe' collection with the beautiful colours and Victoriana of the 'Steampunk Debutante' papers to produce this exquisite selection of unique designs. As always, it's so much better in real-and-huggable life than on a pooter screen, so if you're even VAGUELY liking the piccy above, go ahead and buy - you'll not be disappointed!
There's only one main problems with Graphic 45 papers. Well, two, two main problems.....The first is that actually CUTTING INTO THEM causes ACTUAL PHYSICAL PAIN AND EMOTIONAL TRAUMA! They're SO beautiful that you almost have to check and see if the Lovely Things Police are hiding behind your curtains with a frying pan to hit you with for desecrating the awesomeness of these designs. I've yet to meet ANYone who can cut into a sheet of this stuff without feeling the kind of guilt you'd only get from stealing the Pope's rice pudding on Papal Divine Rice Pudding Day. (It's my blog, my world....there's a Papal Divine Rice Pudding Day, ok? You have to cook with nutmeg sprinked in the design of the Shroud of Turin. Jam stigmata...so on....so forth..... ). Yes, and the OTHER kind-of-related problem is that you can NEVER - NEVER - have enough G45 papers.....which leads to hoarding.... and a Gollum-esque obsessive paper sorting/inspecting/hugging in the dark hours of the night. No - that one's not just me....I KNOW other people do that too! It doesn't make it normal - it makes it a SYNDROME!
I've got better at cutting paper up. It's become quite theraputic, and I have folders now of cut-outs ready to hand for collage and general crafty faffing:
....and it's really odd, 'cos now I have these 'bits' files, I kinda wanna cut things out in order to fill them! YAY! A new compulsive tendency! Have to say that it makes using collage elements in art and craft SO much more fun! I do the same with magazine images....and if there're lovely patches of coloured or textured print I'll have that, thank you very much, as it's awesomely useful for cutting hearts, oval frames, leaves - ANY shape that fits the project.
Saving different text fonts saves a load of cash - an alternative or addition to using branded alphabet stickers. I find it's even worth saving clippings of colours (keep them grouped....yellows with yellows...etc) as that's useful for mosaic patterns and such like. You can achieve some really attractive borders using odds and ends of magazine clippings. I'll see if I can find time to do a demo for this here blog so you can see what I mean....I have a LOT of projects on the go at the moment so I'll add it to the list!
That's about it for this post - if you've never looked at Graphic 45 papers, stamps and stickers then, oh, you so should! You should know that all of their designs have a limited time of release and it's an expensive buy to pick up designs that are no longer in print. On the way out now is the 'Magic of Oz' collection, as well as 'The Olde Curiosity Shoppe', 'Tropical Travelogue' and 'Happy Haunting' so grab them now before the prices shoot up and you have to sell an internal organ to pay for some! Check out the links at the bottom of the blog for recommended online sellers. If you live in the U.S.A you'll have a WAY bigger choice (you lucky little imps you) but I'd recommend Craftie Charlie or Craft Emporium here in the UK especially. Also root through ebay's listings - you can always hope to snap up a bijou bargain-ette! You'll love your first purchase, and your second, third....all of them. Only when you find yourself stroking the pages of your latest purchase lovingly, murmuring 'My Precioussssss' will you know that you have joined the ranks of the G45 Syndrome sufferer. Welcome.....welcome to you, my friend.... xxx