Paper… (but no fluff unless you look under the bed…)

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With apologies to the lovely Gillian of Paperpuff… do go and visit her blog to see what she can craft from paper…

I have always loved paper… Not in a boring way, but in a very visceral way for the sheer pleasure of how it feels, what it can do, what you can make from it and how it can be used to preserve your words and immortalise your own little stamp on the world. I remember staring, fascinated, when I was about ten, at some papyrus fragments that were in an exhibition at the British Museum, and although I couldn’t understand the message, it was still there, after all those years.

I suppose it goes hand-in-hand with learning to read early. Witnessing what could be created on paper I wanted to make my own contribution to the human written record. Then I went to boarding school and in those days, there was no easily accessible Internet and email (although I hasten to point out we did have colour television-my son asked me once if television was invented while I was alive…)

So. In order to communicate demands from parents it was pen and paper, and we were actively encouraged in the art of letter writing, to make it interesting and enjoyable to the reader…what can be more heart warming to a parent than “Please send more money” written exquisitely in fountain pen on paper patterned with roses and kittens…

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We went through phases of collecting and swapping pads of variously coloured and patterned writing paper although my favourite to this day has to be the blue Basildon Bond writing pad, with the blotting sheet at the front. When I have to write a conventional letter I reach for the trusty Parker fountain pen and quality paper in an almost ceremonial way…

When I’m just writing … stuff… then it’s notebooks and biros. Putting pen to paper is a very organic experience and I really feel as if I am achieving and creating something as I see the ink form the words from my head…

Paper itself is actually thought to be a Chinese invention, around 25-220 AD, using a combination of hemp and material. Obviously, vellum was around, as was papyrus (thought to be the origins for the actual word “paper”) but this was the first documented instance of paper as we would know it today. Then its use spread to Europe by the 11thcentury and paper mills making wood based paper were established.

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When I was a little girl, some well-meaning relative gave me a book of origami dinosaurs… this was a little advanced for me, so with the faith that children have in their parents, I took it to my father. He was never a particularly patient man, but, to be fair, he tried. He persevered, obviously wanting to please his daughter… but this was my first instance of learning that sometimes parents can indeed be fallible… He threw the book across the room shouting:

Horrible f*@%*#g Gami!!”

My cat Charlie shares my love of paper. She is an absolute delight at any birthday or Christmas celebration – just show her which presents are hers and she will quite happily rip them open herself. And yours too, if she can. Paper can be hidden under and used as camouflage when ambushing others… newspapers are good for the rewarding bonus shriek as sometimes she even leaps through it…

At the moment, in my paper collection, I have some pre-cut card bases… some beautiful linen based card stock that has a golden glow to it, some hand-made paper with flower petals and other varying shades, samples and shapes… hmmm….what to do with it…?

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133 thoughts on “Paper… (but no fluff unless you look under the bed…)

  1. I love paper too, though I used to eat it (as a little girl!) I remember wanting to buy all of the pretty writing paper in WH Smith and that glorious moment when you’re down to the last sheet and a new purchase is completely justified.

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  2. Bwahaha!! Your parents definitely are characters! 😂 The exact same thing happened to us, my middle son seems fascinated by paper art (he makes lots and lots of paper cut-outs) and his aunt got him dinosaur origami! That same aunt was the only one who ever managed to fold a ptetosaur from it, both me and my husband have never managed it, never mind my kids. Who invents these things I might ask!! But I love to see paper art and I will now go to visit your friend’s blog to see what amazing things she makes! 💚

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  3. Shucks, you say such kind things! Of course I share the paper love, possibly to the point of obsession really. We used to get stationery sets each birthday and Christmas, all temptingly presented in decorative holders. And the smell of them!! I do hope this is a teaser post, a “to be continued….”. I want to see what you do with your stash!!

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  4. Ahh, not that I’m an avid crafter…well not a crafter at all if truth be told. Arty was never my strong point. However, one does admire those gifted in such matters. However, my first observation point was to consider the love of paper being related to a preference for real in your hand books, as apposed to electronic variants. I suspect from this post that is indeed the case. Something about the feel of the written word in yiur hands…and the aroma of an old tome from long ago. Even perhaps the signed copy from bygone scribes and the scent of history.

    One must also mention I gave you a shout out on today’s blog post too…just saying 😊

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    1. I know thank you! I was in transit actually and then I got sidetracked by Ciaran Hinds and Game of Throne memes..
      And yes! Totally..I love “real” books…in addition to the story they tell there is the presence of all those viewers through time..:)

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      1. Great minds and all that! Ha, and wrt real books too! It’s one reason I’m dithering on publishing. I don’t just want an ebook, I want something real…a proper “I made that” statement. You just reminded me of library trips when you opened the book and saw legions of date stamps going back in time. Proper history and the wondering of who all those readers are/were !

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      2. It’s the tangible sense of achievement too..like Einstein must have been quite pleased with his theory of relativity, but could he see it? Give it a little pat? No…
        And exactly 🙂 I got a book from the library yesterday that hadn’t been out since 2014…

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      3. Pleased lol…I think smug and rather chuffed at it would be an understatement! What was it 1912 when the first theorem was published? Most people even now still can’t get their heads round it!
        Wow, imagine that little book just sitting all that time with its leaves unopened since 2014. In a few more years someone will open it and wonder who it was that first took it out in 2017 after a three year sleep amongst tomes of all shapes and sizes…

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      4. I do frequently having worked in research with molecules that make millimetres seem enormous. Does my head in though thinking he came up with such a complex theory and yet elegantly simple(ish) at the same time. Now if we could just activate the huge amount of brain that spends its time idling in the background….oh wait…. Cell….
        No the Inquisition, but I do have a sleeping Norwegian Blue Parrot for sale !

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      5. No, no, ‘e’s uh,…he’s resting…
        My forte was biochemistry, in particular molecular biology. That moved into clinical biochemistry and then…molecular thin films…and yes construction of thin solid films that are literally one molecule thick. Used in non-linear optics…savvy lol. As for nanobots…definitely, there are whole departments working on nanotechnology. It won’t be big brother watching you…it’ll be itty bitty teeny things you can’t even see 😱

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      6. Look matey I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now!
        I shared a room with a girl at uni who was doing Biochemistry…totally mind boggling constructing things of such a size when a hundred years ago we didn’t even know about penicillin..

        Like

      7. “No no he’s not dead, he’s, he’s restin’! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn’it, ay? Beautiful plumage!”

        What’s mind boggling is it doesn’t need tech…evolution and generation if life is, as you say, mind boggling. Mind you, the pinnacle IMO, are viruses. No useless genomic material, drop in, rest control of cells and use them to make more virus. Parallels to computer coding…the bigger it gets, the more susceptible it is to hacking or rogue errors. If you consider that, biologically speaking, conscious might be an artefact of complexity then AI is suddenly a very real possibility…scary thought that!

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      8. ” The plumage don’t enter into it. It’s stone dead.”
        Does man have the capability to keep up with the tech of his own creation…humans don’t seem to be evolving any further..do you think this is it for us so by way of compensation, we create more and more complex machinery…I saw a programme where a man’s replacement arm is wired to respond to his brain signals…totally amazing 🙂

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      9. “Nononono, no, no! ‘E’s resting”
        We can’t reproduce fast enough to react to sweeping apocalyptic environment shifts. There is some consensus that we’d need to tech our evolution up to advance. It all gets very surreal. Currently it’s heading toward a Total Recall scenario 😱

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      10. “All right then, if he’s restin’, I’ll wake him up! ‘Ello, Mister Polly Parrot! I’ve got a lovely fresh cuttle fish for you if you show…”
        That’s actually quite a scary thought…someone told me that as soon as you buy a laptop etc they are out of date and I just found that indescribably annoying…

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      11. “I never, never did anything…”

        And in keeping with Lego…”Bad Cop/Good Cop: I hope there’s still a good cop in me somewhere!” Although the background music to the upgrading might start with…”Everything is awesome, everything is cool when your part of a team” 😁

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      12. “Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin’ up! Norwegian Blues stun easily, major.”
        I reserve the right as a writer to add a twist to avoid unecessary singing 😁

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      13. “Um..now look..now look mate, I’ve definitely had enough of this. That parrot is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not ‘alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it being tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk.”
        Bit of interpretative dance instead then?

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      14. “The Norwegian Blue prefers keepin’ on it’s back! Remarkable bird, id’nit, squire? Lovely plumage”
        There’s a thought…clay modelling and voodoo…you might just have created an idea 🤔

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      15. “Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot when I got home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been siting on its perch in the first place was that it had been NAILED there!”
        Not macrame then…?

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      16. “O: Well, o’course it was nailed there! If I hadn’t nailed that bird down, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent ’em apart with its beak, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!”

        Absolutely not that! Might be something in tune with a wordless concept 🤔

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      17. “‘VOOM’?!? Mate, this bird wouldn’t “voom” if you put four million volts through it! ‘E’s bleedin’ demised!”
        Having given up smoking I’m finding these craft bits and pieces quite therapeutic…
        *sighs wistfully* but I don’t half miss the cig in one hand, pen in the other…

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      18. “No no! ‘E’s pining!”

        I can imagine the not smoking is troublesome if it was part of a habit routine. But these days they are costly beasts. Shouldn’t you be past the craving by now though lol….or…..was the habit not addiction, but enjoyment? Enjoyment is a whole different hurdle to leap 🤔

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      19. “‘E’s not pinin’! ‘E’s passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to the perch ‘e’d be pushing up the daisies! ‘Is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!!
        THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!”

        Now what shall we do for laughs after your line…and yes, I actively enjoyed smoking…but I wouldn’t go back now, I’ve come too far and I HATE the idea of something having control over me…

        Liked by 1 person

      20. “Well, I’d better replace it, then.

        (he takes a quick peek behind the counter)

        Sorry squire, I’ve had a look ’round the back of the shop, and uh, we’re right out of parrots.”

        No idea lol…logical extrapolation of something having control upon one would infer…giving up food is also a righteous thing to do…albeit short lived like the Norweigian Blue 🤔

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      21. Ha ha, one of those strange association extrapolations with quirky humour thrown in for good measure. Would these chocolate biscuits be digestives by any chance?

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      22. Um..yes…unfortunately I have a predilection towards them…got to be better than cigarettes. I’m just waiting for the day when scientific research shows the benefits of smoking, as it did for red wine..dark chocolate…you see where I’m going with this?

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      23. Umm…cast the mind back a week or so…quote “I was never this ill while smoking” 😇 It is an unecessary and expensive (these days) habit though. To have kicked it is a tremendous achievement so KUDOS to you 😊

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      24. Me too…it’s in the memoir Of Wine, Nature and Elegies in Oak lol. My favourite was damson…but you have to leave it three years minimum to really get the full flavour…tricky that 😱

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      25. Really?? I never made that association myself. I find it quite a refreshing taste of Spring. Goes well with apple juice (not cider?). Oooh you are thinking NaNo already…excellent… 😊

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      26. Two years ahead…I had a really annoying dream the other night…I dreamt that I had my novel all written out and saved on my memory stick…the next morning I checked..just on the off-chance, but no, still at Chapter 4!!

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      27. Better than finding the memory stick was broken 😱 Hmm, better go back up my stuff again…iPad, Dropbox, external drive, four internal drives…overkill???

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      28. Good observation 🤔 Speaking of tales…I’ve started compiling my first book into my manuscript template…all this procrastinating talk has me returning to my very first book…sat far too long in my opinion 🤔

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      29. Seems it is actually 25 chapters and 98,000 words…don’t recall ever doing the word count before…but then it’s never been assembled before either! Very strange feeling revisiting some old friends and hearing them stomp and moan “Where the heck have you been?” Petulant indeed!
        Are you thinking synopsis as in blurb and overview or synopsis as in agent variant? Terrible things the latter…my own for completed book is cringe worthy 🤔

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      30. I wanted to get down a proper one for my “Novel” as I keep having the odd chapter and image that I scribble down so I don’t lose it…then the agent one. I read a book about how to write one and I just find myself putting things like “This is my story about…” and I sound about eight years old.
        I am impressed by your word count and chapters… mine is just staring at me …reproachfully…

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      31. What you need is the traditional story board. A plan outlining the story arc and how it moves through beginning, middle and end. Often that will draw out the plot and empower you to flesh it out because you can see the path clearer. Obviously I don’t do any of that lol…I just dive in and let the characters lead me. Try identifying core characters, flesh them out in a character profile and then start with (eg my case) “Rose Marie Gray, mother of two young children lives in two worlds. A split concious driven by past failures; a faux reality hiding a deeper rift that opens doors into another world.” Not brilliant, but avoids “This is my story” 😊 If you need proper advice, support or rant then email 😇

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      32. You have the last line now, but by the time your characters have had their say it might be very different later lol. Mine have arguments with me…it’s the only career you can have legitimate scizophrenic 😜

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      33. Lol…by speech I meant they talk to me, giving their views on my views and then saying OK or that’s pants, I’m not doing that! How far through this book are you? 😊

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      34. Well…it’s already undergone a sea-change from a lonely hearts type thing to something completely different! Because of that, there were incidents that required a change of viewpoint and emphasis in addition to -ahem-a love scene that has become unavoidable..!!

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      35. Oh my, you are writing porn 🤔 Actually, my book has two nefarious scenes. Ive tried writing them out several times, but the core character suffers each time. It’s intricate to her path. Mind you never done a book like this one before. The others steer well clear of dubious indeed!

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      36. It’s not porn! It’s tasteful! Well, it’s supposed to be tasteful if I could just stop laughing…sometimes these scenes are necessary to the plot though…mine doesn’t suffer- it’s a revelation…oh good grief that sounds even worse!!!

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      37. So, just to be clear, (voice of politician about to talk crap) your plot doesn’t suffer by not having it in…it’s a revelation…tasteful with a protesting exclamation mark…I think it better just to nod, say “OK” and not reveal my inner thinkings upon your word-craft. It sells well though….is all I’m saying 😉

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      38. LOL I’m not going all E.L.James although she must be coining it what with the second film about to come out…however it is integral to the plot and self-development of the heroine…why do I feel like Bill Clinton now??…lol

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      39. Have you written that part yet or just run through it in your mind…which is obviously corrupt and sordid after this new revelation lol. I’m very tempted to misread your desire for Bill Clinton too now…oh…ooops, I just did 😜

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      40. HA HA HA!! You just made me laugh out loud really inelegantly…and nothing wrong with a bit of Bill. He was quite attractive when he was in power, although rumour has it even then he was just a Hillary appendage… but no, the scene is created in rough with words like -ahem- don’t want to shock you with the depths of my depravity-“silk” and “steel” synonyms…

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      41. Apparently such hilarity is good for the mind…although I m thinking still waters run deep now!! I cannot comment upon a bit of Bill on the basis such debauchery never crossed my mind!! But a bit rough you say…dearly me, I was thinking it added to the structure and character development…now it’s rough nefarious too?? Or have I read it wrong again 🤔

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      42. Me? Deep? Why, I’ m just a puddle…metaphorically speaking…and I mean rough in the sense of still handwritten in my Asda notebook!! Sorry to be so prosaic…lol…and strictly speaking, it wasn’t so much Bill as the fact I really liked his house…!

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      43. Never seen it and never want to…lol…women round here went mad over it though so must be something in the water 🤔 I got the impression from critics it was a poor read too 😱

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      44. I rather think it suggested folk round here must be bored and prone to fantasy lol. Must be something in it though judging by the sales and films 🤔 I wonder how it was received by said 80 year old 😱

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  5. I have always loved paper too, since childhood. I used to make little folding toys and games, as well as origami. There was something so satisfying about working with paper (especially in combination with ink or pencil or paint), and different types have such different tactile qualities. I still love beautiful stationery and cards, as well as pens and office supplies in general.

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  6. My oldest was into origami. We had all kinds of little paper boxes and critters laying around. The cats we had loved to find those and bat them around. Then my sons found a small book at Barnes and Noble on making things out of dollar bills………For that they had to use their own!
    I laughed about your cat jumping through the newspaper. When I was a kid ours always did the same thing. They also loved tearing into the Christmas gifts.
    Great post! And yes I love to check up on what Gillian of PaperPuff is up to. She makes the coolest cards.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’ve seen something similar here! Lol…you just reminded me of when my older son was little and stayed at my mother’s for the night. He got into her handbag…found a £10 note and cut a snowflake out of it!! Mum wasn’t terribly pleased but I did tell her to keep scissors out of reach! He cut his own hair at her house once too..!!

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  7. I used to have a whole cupboard of cute card shapes etc, but not sure where they went to after we got our kitchen done. Could be doing with them as making a scrapbook of memories for my dad’s birthday present! Shall have to look for them … must have stored them away somewhere.

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  8. Good grief, Lady Samantha! Yet another trans-Atlantic parallel! I’m beginning to think you’re a long-lost cousin… I’ve been remiss in my writing duties of late. I shall correct that soon. In the meantime, thank you again for an entertaining, informative post. Paper is amazing. 😺💖

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  9. Ah, fine writing paper and a fountain pen … what could be better? (Receiving a letter written with them, perhaps.) Thank you for such a lovely post — gread for International Correspondence Writing Month!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ah, fine writing paper and a fountain pen … what could be better? (Receiving a letter written with them, perhaps.) Thank you for such a lovely post — great for International Correspondence Writing Month!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love paper and pens, always have. That new exercise book at school. An art pad. And, these days, a beautiful journal, a new fountain pen, calligraphy, handmade paper…giving me butterflies thinking about it. When I was young we made our own entertainment (oh dear but we all did lol) and mine was drawing and writing. I was absolute rubbish at it, still am, but did it anyway, still do. Beautiful, blank pages waiting to tell a story! Yes! Smell that paper!

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    1. Not rubbish at all 🙂 I loved your little drawing of a wren and you write beautifully too!
      I never got the hang of calligraphy but I’m fascinated by hand-made paper, the process of making it…smooth perfect sheets, ready to receive words..

      Like

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