Stamped images are great ... but kind of predictable. You buy the stamp because you like the image. You use the stamp because you like the image. It looks how you expected and while it may be lovely ... there was never an element of surprise, of delight, of uniqueness. And the same goes for images you choose in die-cuts, decoupage, chipboard and stickers etc etc.
Which is one of the reasons I so often turn to my vintage books, my plundered pages, when I want to find a special focal point for a card, or any project. Like I did here:
All of a sudden I'll turn a page and suddenly cry "Oh look! It's Effie and Alice!":
I turn a page and, without me having to search for it, I instantly recognise someone or something and it feels like such a treat: a bespoke, one-of-a-kind, beautifully drawn and coloured, perfect-for-a-personalised-card treat!
And you can guess what comes next can't you?
I snip out the serendipitous find when I see it ... regardless of when the recipient's birthday is [or whatever the occasion .. if there's an occasion at all!] and I keep them safe ... for future reference. And gradually I end up with a file of perfect images which look tailor-made for friends and family.
I occasionally seek out something specific but, as I hope this post shows, there's more fun, more pleasure, more surprises to be had when you just let the old books show you what they can offer! And go with what's there, make it work, interpret it your way.
Make it yours. Or your friend and her cat's!
But, if this all sounds too free and easy for you here's some more 'graspable' advice:
Tips for collecting vintage pages:
- try out the idea of keeping a file filled with suitable images for future reference
- snip out and save pages, sentences, titles etc which chime with you, which remind you of something or someone ... whenever you spot them
- treat vintage pages in the same way as you would any other stash: build up a supply over time.
- you'd never turn to the first sheet of patterned paper you could find and expect it to suit every project you had planned: be patient and collect pages together from various sources at various times
- visit the Vintage Paper Packs section of my shop and browse through the specific themed packs to see if there's anything to suit a project or a person you've got in mind. [Recent additions include Christmas packs, horses and anatomy!] But if there isn't anything which fits you perfectly off-the-peg then ...
- you can commission your own bespoke Plundered Pages pack filled with as many themes, styles, ideas as [a] you can think of and [b] I can find amid my collection!
- you could test the waters of vintage papers with a Serendipity Pack: a 50g envelope filled with mystery pages which , once you start looking, are bound to feature something which strikes a chord. [These are now even better value at £3.50]
- or try a pack of general text pages. At £4.00 these are great starter / stash-booster packs which currently come in 3 variations:
- Foreign Language text,
- Numbers + Diagrams and
- General mixed text.
If you have any questions, comments or collections to share ... please do. Us book-cutters ought to stick together ...