Saturday 26 October 2013

Ask the panel (that's you, gentle reader)

Now and then, you know I'm given to exposing my family. Remember my sister, you know the one who is a designer at Luscious Life Studios?  She and Dori are constantly designing, influenced by their surroundings and their experiences.  
Pattern..everywhere.  I photograph it.  
Well, they've set about designing 12 x 12 papers with scrapbookers in mind. But wait..there's a considerate twist to this tale.  They recognise that card makers are also using scrapbook papers a lot.  And so they're scaling patterns appropriately. Good idea huh.  As a card making scrapbooker, I'm delighted that they've thought of this.  They tend to come to me with questions when in the 'what the consumer wants' section of their brain storming.  And of course, I'm left dumb struck.  First by fear - because someone may actually take my opinion seriously, and second because well, I'm only an expert at anything in my head.  
Others are inspired by it.
But, I can get over myself long enough to ask you the questions they asked me - and then they are bound to get some really great feedback, sensible even.  So, please, help them out here.  I'm going to ask the questions and tell you my knee jerk answers.  I'd like you to comment with your answers too please.  Because your insights won't be as shallow as a puddle. ready? Settle in then.
Are you a fan of double sided papers?
I am. to the extent that I'm a tad disappointed if I see a sheet I really like and it's single sided.  I think this is because it goes to perception of value though.  Some of the 'top brands' available sell their single sided stock at the same price as other marques that are double sided.I don't buy double sided papers to particularly use with fab and clever folds that expose both sides, or anything artistic and clever like that.
Do you worry about the 'matching' of each side?  For example, a heavily patterned face and the reverse being a lighter plain or check of the main colour?
I don't.  No matter which way the shop displays the paper, I turn it over.  Having thought about it, my decision to purchase is based entirely on me liking the design on one side or the other, not on whether they match or team well. 
Do you buy sets or individual sheets?
I buy both. But mostly individual sheets.  And I've learned not to buy a pad of papers too..unless I can genuinely 'ooh' over every page...I don't like 6 each of four designs..for example.
The sets I buy are usually a few sheets, some die cuts and borders.  I love them, they are enabling for 'short of time or idea' scrappers like me; everything matches but nothing looks the same or erm, really matches.  Love that about a set.  I find journaling cards useful and will often use more than one on a page. At this point, I should say that I've had a  quick scan of my papers...My Minds Eye sets are the most bought (and used) - Laundry Line and Oh La La.  It would seem that other brands I only buy by the sheet. Interesting.  There was a time when I bought every 'collection' by Basic Grey.I had not noticed that I no longer do that.
Is there a price sensitivity?
Yes, inevitably.  I still shop on the 'see it, want it, buy it' theory for papers.  I can't help myself.  But it's probably very telling that I used to think that 55p per sheet was reasonable and now, my papers average £1 each. I think £1.30+ is pushing it...but I have to confess to that not actually stopping me.  (These are die cut or double sided, I should add.)
If you buy sets, are you happy to see die cut sheets included?
Yes..again, it goes to perception of value and that feeling of a 'collection'.  I frequently do not use the die cuts with the papers...and I know that's perverse, but as a card maker, it's quite easy to use them up.
Do you like a page of printed borders?
I do.  They compliment the way I like to make up a page. If there's an irritation with this as a product, it's that often these sheets are double sided too..and you end up having to slice through another border that you'd like to use from the other side.  I guess this is particular to single sheet's just a great way to get some of us to buy two sheets.  Where I think this is the reason, my mind instantly accuses the manufacturer of treating the consumer cynically and I don't buy one, let alone two.  It's a teeny tiny protest!
Do you want to preview some of our designs and be our Design Team?
Yes. Even though I made this question up.

Thank you - I know that Dori will be analysing your answers with a fervour that would be embarrasing if it weren't so important to her!


Sammy said...

IU agree with most of what you've said, except for the fact that I am very much a paper pad person. And when it comes to said pad, I very much prefer single side sheets, unless they add extra. For example, 30 single-sided sheets, are much better than 15 double-sided, for obvious reasons, but if both packs have 30 sheets, I'll happily prefer the double-sided.

I've come across too many pads that have less sheets, but charge the same as a larger pack of single-sided, even though technically you can only make half as much with it. I won't buy those...

Helen said...

As you know, I'm not a scrapbooker and don't intend to start, not having anything to particularly scrap about. However I love papers.. I buy pads, (which tend to be single sided) and loose sheets.. lots of them. Then can't bear to use them.. you know that feeling! I I love the idea of scrapbook papers scaled for card making, as long as the cost would be right. I don't often use die cuts from packs of paper (hence having lots hanging around) but I love the idea of borders, or smaller versions of the same patterns in a pad (such as Tim does) they're very useful.

CraftygasheadZo said...

I tend to buy pads rather than single sheets, I love double sided papers but like it even more when there are, say, 3 of each design so you get to use them on different projects & be able to choose what side to use!! I am price sensitive but will pay more if the quality and designs are just too lush! I also buy sets of pads, so a 12 x12 & a 8 x8 of the same design, so that I can use the larger for decorating boxes etc but use the smaller for cards. So sizing of design is important to me. If a pad comes with die cuts etc I do like it as adds to the collection.

Hope that helps. Take care Zo xx

Laura said...

Double sided papers are brilliant for folding projects – mini albums, boxes etc.
Both sides need to be from the same colour family to work in folded projects.
Collections are great if you like all of the designs. I tend not to… I hate being stuck with paper I know I’m never going to use because it taunts me. If I buy a collection I want no more than two sheets of each design, and I want something special - maybe matching alpha stickers or matching embellishments.
I never pay more than £1 a sheet. I hate to think I’m being ripped off too, I will count the pieces in the kit and divide the price to get a pence per item cost. If I find they are charging more paper sheet for the kit, or there are less sheets in a pad I won’t buy as a little silent protest. (Seems us crafters are quite alike!) Also I HATE thin or shiny paper, it has to be good quality paper.
Die cut sheets are good, as are matching sticker sheets and matching alphas.
I’m not so fussed with borders, die cuts and alphas are more useful to me.
And finally, yes, even though Julia made the last question up! 

Kathy said...

I agree with most of your answers, and those of the commenters above me...
If I buy a pack of 12x12 the bits that don't tend to get used are the die cut shapes - sometimes I do however use the borders.
I think I like double sided papers in a pack because it gives me the choice - the problem arises when I like neither of the designs.
In the last year or so I've taken to buying only the sheets I like (12x12) even though it's usually more expensive than buying the whole set as a pack. At least this way I don't have a load of designs that I don't like.
I will often then buy the matching 6x6 pad if possible - it's great to have the same designs in 2 scales

What I really hate is thin paper - I'm very fussy about the quality and "feel" of the papers. I don't mind whether they are smooth or textured (like Crate or Carta bella for instance) but they MUST feel nice and weighty.
I don't do much scrapbooking, I'm mainly a card maker but I do like 12x12 for making books, covering boxes and other "larger" projects etc
Incidentally - I recently ordered a pack of paper (the sheets weren't available singly) and there were only about 4 sheets - OK it was probably my fault, but I was very disappointed in the quantity and, actually also in the designs once they'd arrived. And because they were from quite a "known" designer. So I'd also add that with so many of us relying on online retailers, it would be helpful if the producers made better pictures available for us shoppers to see.

And, Julia.. - your last question made me LOL!

Angie said...

Julia I'm a cardmaker that uses scrapbook paper for that. My scrapping is all digital!

Are you a fan of double sided papers? Probably more no, than yes. I hate having 2 patterns that I love and having to sacrifice a sheet of one to use the other.On the flip side, sometimes you love one and hate the other soo, it's a toss up.

Do you worry about the 'matching' of each side? For example, a heavily patterned face and the reverse being a lighter plain or check of the main colour? I'm not a matchy type person in card making so no, not at all.

Do you buy sets or individual sheets?

Is there a price sensitivity?
Well obviously I don't want to pay a fortune for cheap paper, but I am willing to pay more for quality paper.

If you buy sets are you happy to see die cuts included? It depends on the die cuts. If I get two sheets of labels, no but if it's something like flowers or flourishes or vines than I would be.

Do you like a page of printed boarders? I do, they can be a nice touch to a page.

Do you want to preview some of our designs and be our Design Team? I've never been on a DT so have no idea what that would involve lol and that's not a made up answer ;)

Kimbo said...

I tend to buy mainly pads as they seem better value but sometimes a 12x12 paper jumps into my basket if it is really special - my problem tends to be getting single sheet home in one piece

I do like to have the same paper in different sizes and rarely use the die cut sheets - they tend to go to playschool

I don't mind double sided as long as there is at least two of each so I can use both if I like them. It also gives a choice if I'm not keen on a paper

Yes, you should definitely be on the Design Team x

Kim Ferguson (Paper Crafting) said...

Thanks for valuing our opinions...

I do prefer double sided paper or at least an equivalent in a paper pad so as to stretch my papers further in being able to match up a scrapbook page layout or card with same color hues, tones, etc. It is hard sometimes to find a single sheet of solid color to match the colors used on a patterned paper.

I like versatility of pattern from front to back so as to again stretch the use of a single sheet.

As for die cut sheets and borders, I hit and miss on the use of them. It is nice however when the company label at the top/bottom of a sheet of paper has a printed border on the opposite side for embellishment purposes, rather than being cut off and thrown away.

As for price, I shop sales and bulk as much as I can. I cringe at paying over $.50 a sheet and will not unless it is absolutely THE only sheet I can find to finish a project. SALES, SALES, SALES :-)

I dream of being on a design team, but have not yet put in the energy to specifically pursue applying for one. I do however take my blog very seriously and keep it current. I am a teacher by trade, so the school year is a bit busy. I do work better when there are deadlines and a design team would provide that, so I would do well.

Good luck to Dori and Luscious Life Studios.

Again, thank you for asking. Kim

Laura said...

With regard to caring whether or not the sides of a double-sided sheet coordinate, I actually prefer that if one is bold, that the other is more neutral. I feel like you can then easily find ways to use it all up.

fairyrocks said...

Interesting post, opinions? I also have in spades. I am a scrapbooker first, card maker if I have to.
You have very good well thought out answers.
Yes to double sided, a color coordinated match is always good.Double sided usually has a heavier body to it that I like.
I buy sheets and sets {more sets lately, as individual sheets will sell out of favourites first}
Die cut is a great bonus in a pack, as well as sample layout inspiration.
The only thing that I would say about beautiful scrapbook paper as a whole is consider where design elements are placed on the 12 x 12
sheets. It can be very frustrating to have a beautiful image smack in the middle of a sheet and have to cut the entire piece out and reposition it to get the photos on.
And "Yes" I would love to DT also LOL.

mamapez5 said...

I love my papers, and have one box labelled 'Specials' that I just stroke and will probably never use! Because I live in semi-rural Spain where fancy papers are almost non-existent, I now buy a lot of digi-kits which include journal cards, frames, embellies etc, and I love the fact they all work together. But if I am buying paper for a non-digital album I prefer single sided, as I rarely find one where I can use both sides. I do buy pads and I like there to be at least two of each design so I can do a double-spread that matches. I occasionally use a double sided for making decorations etc, and then I like the two sides to be quite different, even plain on one side, but with colours that tone well. I do not want borders or diecuts in a pad as I prefer to die cut my own. Too much glitter or embossing is wasted on me as I am a scrapper who likes lots of photos on a page, so most of it is hidden!
Good luck to the designers. "You can please some of the people some of the time, but you'll never please all of the people all of the time", so go with your hearts! Kate x

Dori said...

Wow! Thank you, thank you so much! What fabulous well thought out answers. Yes, Julia, fervent analyzing has commenced and I will be re-reading often. Again, thank you all for taking to time to give some thought to our questions.

sandra de said...

Ohhh I love double sided papers but not big on all the other add on (borders etc.). I don't like all the pages or cards I make to look similar. That is why I don't buy pads of paper only single sheets that I like. Used to love all the Basic Grey but now am into the Prima lines. All depends on what is available at the local craft store. I don't worry about matching patters just want the colours to be of the same tone/shade/hue. Of course I would love to preview some of your designs. What fun.

Tonje said...

I seldom buy pads of paper unless they are on sale. I tend to sit with lots of paper I don't need in the pad.

If the paper is printed on both sides I like matching prints/color. I never buy borders or use die cuts much. As a cardmaker I find that a whole lot of papers are made for scrappers. The patterns are often too large to be used on my cards, so I prefer small patterned paper.

Prize matters but if I see "the perfect paper" I am willing to pay more. The "perfect paper" is a background paper that immediately triggers my creativity and where I can see endless possibilities using it.

Eliza said...

Hi Julia,

So here goes.......

I am a fan of whatever paper strikes my eye at the time, if I want it for a special project that pops into my head at the time then I will purchase the other companions to go with it. I do like single sided and purchase them but most of all my paper is double sided. Unless I purchase a pad and then it is random, usually the single as these have the added embellishment borders and fancy bits to go with them. I do also like to get collections sets to match my paper pads with, like Kaiser has the whole range in one pad, rub ons and collections die cuts are extras and yes I do get these.

I get really cut when I find a double sided paper that I like and both sides are crossing over into the area that I like the most and I am torn between which one is the best side.

I am not to fussed about matching the other side, I just treat it as another piece of paper and work around it.

I am with you on price sensitivity, if I see the paper and I want it and must have it then who gives a rats about cost unless I don't have the coin in the purse to pay for it, some are ridiculously priced and they can stay there if that is the case, but not often. I don't tend to get around many shops to worry about the prices and work again on the see it, brain clicks with it and it comes up with ideas to use it. Hey it all works for me...

As for the pages of printed borders yes I do like them they are great value and give a different element to the page.

Nope not interested in being on any design team, even if it is imaginary.

Good luck with the creating and production of the paper etc. I am interested in seeing what they come up with and hope it is a sell out, they have one really hard road ahead of them. To find paper that is perfect for everyone in today's market is difficult it needs to have a unique flair.

Hugs Eliza

Kate said...

Yes I like double sided papers and agree that in my mind they represent better value for money. You didn't mention the quality but there are some particularly thin ones around that I am not keen on (American Crafts I think produce a good weight of paper for example.) I like the reverse to co-ordinate in some way so that off cuts can be flipped over and used on the same project.

Yes to sets and individual sheets, sometimes if designs are only in a set I just can't afford to buy into that range. It doesn't mean the whole set has to be singles, you could market key pieces as singles plus a set of all.

Definitely look at the price and at the moment with the fast turn around of collections I am only buying 'must haves' at full price and then stocking up on more bulk in the sales.

Yes, I like and use die-cut sheets, but not such a big fan of borders. I am happy with a die-cut sheet containing a mix of items plus a couple of borders.

Like the last question, always happy to have a play around with some new designs!!!

P.S. Hope the house of Dunnit is all ok in the storms.

Rachael said...

Are you a fan of double sided papers?

No. I actually hate double sided papers with a passion because it really annoys me when I have to choose between the two. I find myself thinking "Ooo that poppy side is so pretty but I also love the polka dot side. Grrrr"

Do you worry about the 'matching' of each side?

See above answer :)

Do you buy sets or individual sheets?

I tend to go for packs although like you said there are quite often a few sheets in a pack that I dislike or can't fit into my card making. Then there are the sheets of paper that I love and wish there were more of.

Is there a price sensitivity?

Yes. I resent paying £20 for a pad of papers when I can buy equally beautiful pads for a quarter of that price. I always love a bargain but it has to be quality stock, not rubbish kids paper.

If you buy sets, are you happy to

Hmmm, this is a tough one because I rarely buy packs that include die cuts. I prefer to make my own flower embellishments using my cuttlebug or cameo, and for borders I have my border punches. I like to use my own imagination when it comes to embellishments instead of having it dictated to me by the designer.

Do you like a page of printed borders?

Again, I prefer to make my own :)

Hope I help a tiny bit x

shazsilverwolf said...

Hi Julia, these have made me really think. Mainly about the amount of paper I have that I love- so much so I can't bear to use it, lol!
So, as a cardmaker rather than a scrapper:
Pads, generally rather than single sheets- I have so many single sheets I don't use because its the only one I have- how silly is that? Also, mainly single sided, I hate it when both sides are awesome and I have to sacrifice one.
Cost- has to be reasonable, although Tim Holtz can get away with Highway Robbery- and I'd rather pay more for good quality, heavier weight matte finish paper. Can't abide thin shiny magazine page types.
I'd also like some nice heavyweight embossed/ printed vellums. They are so hard to find- like the ones K&Co used to produce.Actually, just having had a look at my extremely strokable, unused paper, they are mainly K & Co.
I'm not one who uses borders or die cuts, so that part of the deal has no bearing on whether I buy or not. Its purely the colour/design/ tactile nature of the sheet that grabs me.
Being a bit gothicy (who me?), I love dark colours & designs that are ornate- that picture of the window protector is awesome!
Love someone scaling down papers for cardmakers, my preferred size is 8x8, or I go 12x12. I tend to work on an A4 folded to A5 card, so 6x6 is too small for me.
Love being able to chip in my four pen'orth, as my Dad used to say. Thanks Julia. Hugs, Shaz xx

fairy thoughts said...

yes i agree with mostof that.. has to be good quality.i usually buy pads not bothered xbout die cuts or borders i make my own. as for double sidedyou can always photocopy it works quite well for me, i often do that and enlarge a particular part i like.

Darnell said...

Haha, love the last question. I don't usually buy single-sheets or sets. For patterned paper I usually buy 12x12 in huge pads because I like the scheme and because I am a saleaholic and can't resist when 200 sheets of beautiful paper go on sale for half the original price, plus a 50% off that coupon. Wait? That's free, that can't be right, but you get my drift.

I don't scrapbook so I don't usually buy double-sided. If I do find some in the huge pads I buy, I usually do that turn-down thing you mentioned.

I'm not a fan of pages with borders for the same reason (they don't scale down well to an A4 card).

I think that covers it for me. I hope I haven't thrown off your survey stats. I wish your sister and Dori every success and agree it is a very good idea! Hugs, Darnell

Carole said...

You bring up several interesting questions...I'm not one to analyze...I just know what draws my eye...and then the conversation of value...followed by how can I reproduce that for less.

Mary said...

An opinion from across the pond... I love double sided papers. Mostly I make cards, so I do like the two sides to coordinate and what I really want is the patterns and graphics to be less than 6 inches tall or wide so they can be used on cards. I like to quarter cut my papers and some companies make the patterns so big I'm wasting too much of the paper trying to use the patterns and graphics.

I do purchase collections of papers, but I do not often purchase pads. I've learned that usually there are only a few sheets that I use from the pads. The collections are a different story. I find I use most of the sheets from 12x12 collections. I love, love, love the Bo Bunny Double dots. The colors go well with so many paper lines.

I'm not big on Die cut sheets, mostly because I own so many of my own dies, I find I can make something that goes better than the ones in sets.

I do like borders, but am sometimes frustrated when I need them to run vertical and they don't.

I'm glad you made up the preview question....of course I'd love to preview paper...Great suggestion!
See you on Wednesday!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Well Julia, I had to weigh in on this one, since I'm neither a scrapbooker nor an avid card maker. When I make cards, I prefer to make my own backgrounds, since I have so many old books and such, as well as lots of paint and sprays, many I make myself.

However, when my dear friend Annette sent me a birthday gift this year, she wrapped it in some of the most beautiful and HEAVY card stock weight double sided paper. Not to waste any of it, I carefully removed the paper, and used it in my scrappy journals.

I can see the advantage for scrapbookers, especially if they make layouts on both sides of the paper. But for cards, it seems like a waste of beautiful paper. So, I used a large circle punch and cut a circle out of the background page. Then I sewed a square over the circle and both sides of the beautiful paper showed. That way I didn't waste any of the beautiful paper and the page was filled on both sides.

To answer your question, as a card maker, I would say double sided is a waste. As a scrapbooker, I would say it allows for two spreads, front and back.

I've bought a few pads of single sided paper that is 6" X 6". I got them for a single sheet I was attracted to. Of course, they were only $1.00 USD, so I didn't lay out a bunch of cash, and I will always be able to find a use for them when I make my scrappy journals.

Not sure what you mean by borders, but I have some 8.5 X 11 inch paper that has borders on it. I hate it, unless I'm typing a letter to a friend. I see no other use for it.

I bought ONE sheet of G45 tags and embellishments (that cost more than a pad of paper and is comparable to your pound 1.30ish) because it had a tag with a rocking horse on it. Talk about a waste. I don't even know what I did with it, because I never used it. So, I can occasionally be a spendthrift, but not very often. I can probably count those times on one hand with fingers left over.

I appreciate being able to respond to this post. Thought you might like to hear from someone who doesn't make the same kind of art as you, but still appreciates beauty and quality.

Sue from Oregon said...

Loved this post Julia...hope you make the Design team LOL!