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Blog: Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles
Happy 2nd Anniversary, Paper Doll Readers

Last year, we celebrated the first anniversary of the Paper Doll blog with the traditional first anniversary gift of--no surprise--paper.  This year, flummoxed by how to observe the blog's second anniversary and shoehorn in paper when the traditional gift is cotton, I was excited to learn that paper is the traditional second anniversary gift in the United Kingdom. So, please imagine any text in this week's post being spoken with an English (or Irish or Scottish or Welsh) accent of your choosing:


Too often in this blog, paper gets the bum's rush. In recognizing that the influx of paper causes you readers anxieties related to finances, taxes, and even guilt associated with sentimental paper obligations, Paper Doll finds you digital alternatives so you can avoid paper and numerous workaround solutions to avoid the obstacles papers can place in your way. This summer, we revisited the top ten categories of past posts on how to break free from paper clutter.

Given all this, perhaps we spend too little time talking about the joy that paper can bring into our lives. In 2008's Valentine to Paper, I spoke of how the affection a reader holds for the tangible experience of snuggling up with a good book will never be replaced by the efficiency of the Kindle. No USB-supported digital picture frame will ever be so lovingly protected as the photos received by World War II G.I.s, far from home, with only a snapshot of their best gals to keep them warm. And I assure you, no doting mother will ever believe there's an alternative to seeing a paper diploma (framed and under glass that's lovingly-polished daily). For some things, there are no substitutes for paper.

So, once again, in celebration and observation of another cycle around the Sun, I'd like to share just a few of the non-practical, non-essential delights in the world of paper.

It's hard to fathom how he does it, but German paper artist Simon Schubert created this spectral hallway reflection below (see the ghostie?) with mirrored depths...by folding a piece of plain white copy paper.

Unless you read German, navigating these architectural design masterpieces, Escher-esque interior staircases and the other masterworks on this site can be a bit difficult. Instead, visit Schubert's site's PapierArbeiten section and just click on every darn one of the amazing 48 pieces he achieved solely by folding. (Don't forget to pick your jaw up off the floor.)

We move from the spectral to the versatile to view the neato-keen paper sculptures of English artist Clive Stevens. The vibrant artistry of Stevens' galleries can range from colorful three-dimensional charmers like this quaint Gamekeeper's Cottage

  to an Explorer series of white-on-white depictions of the voyages of adventurers Roald Amudsen, Cheng Ho (Zheng He), Magellan, Erik the Red, Ibn Battuta and (below) James Cook:

If you've got a desire to mix your inner Imelda with a love of whimsical paper, be sure to check out Puerto Rican artist/designer Carlos N. Molina's origami paper shoes (which I found through the fabulously quirky Lushlee blog):

Of course, not all paper that enchants us is tucked away in art galleries or designer boutiques. As this flickr find from the collection of David Ngo indicates, sometimes, just a piece of paper in the right place at the right time (a bulletin board, a blank wall, a telephone pole, etc.) is all we need to turn that frown upside down:

The fine print reads:  "can be used to write down a phone number or email, place your gum in [sic], make mini footballs, write secret messages or just supplement your daily fiber intake".  (Don't think it's that cute? Try reading it in a British accent.)

In parting, I encourage you to spend at least a few moments today thinking about the paper in your life that uplifts you--a love letter saved from long-gone college days, a get-well card written in crayon, with some of the letters missing or carried to the next line, and even the mortgage paperwork that reminds you there's a reason why you got up and went to work today. We'll be back in the land of the practical next week; until then, join with Paper Doll and love thy paper.

Happy anniversary, Paper Doll readers, and thank you for your comments, queries and suggestions. Here's to a great third year!

posted on: 10/6/2009 10:30:00 AM by Julie Bestry
category: Paper

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Discuss This Post

by Jeri Dansky on 10/6/2009 2:57:32 PM:

Sadly, this comment system will not allow links (or line breaks). But take a look at the Snail Mail cards from Bas Bleu (at www.basbleu.com/basbleu/Item_Snail-Mail-Note-Cards_UC2022_ps_srm.html ) which read: E-mail rushes to and fro / Since paper letters seem too slow, / But we prefer the status quo: / This card was sent by escargot.

by Yvonne on 10/6/2009 3:13:03 PM:

Congrats Julie on your 2nd anniversary. Thanks for your always informative, interesting and amusing blog. You do a great job! It appreciated more than you know.

by Julie Bestry (Paper Doll) on 10/6/2009 3:43:34 PM:

You're right, Jeri--that little molluskd-driven postcard is a cutie. And thanks, Yvonne. Those are pretty great adjectives that warm my heart. :-)

by John Trosko on 10/6/2009 3:51:04 PM:

Congrats on your anniversary. I remember when you first opened shop. Love your writing and your research into each article is very good! All the best, Julie! John aka OrganizingLA

by Elvia Post on 5/28/2010 4:55:50 PM:

If only more than 85 people would read about this.

by Julie Bestry (Paper Doll) on 5/28/2010 6:46:59 PM:

Elvia, I'm not sure what you mean. More than that number read the post the day it came out, last October! But thanks for reading.

by Shelby Logan on 5/30/2010 5:08:45 AM:

Super interesting read. Truely.

by Katheryn Ferreira on 5/30/2010 1:17:18 PM:

You have done it once again! Superb writing!

by bet365 on 11/20/2010 10:30:53 PM:

hello!This was a really admirable topic! I come from itlay, I was fortunate to find your blog in bing Also I learn much in your blog really thanks very much i will come later

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Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles

by Julie Bestry

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Julie Bestry, President of Best Results Organizing in Chattanooga, TN, is a Certified Professional Organizer®, speaker and author. Julie helps overwhelmed individuals and businesses save time and money, reduce stress and increase productivity through new organizational skills and systems.

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