Today I tackled the Big, Bad Box -- a massive carton containing all my hand painted collage papers. My plan was to sift through them, cull out the ones I'd never use, then file the rest away by color groups in the five drawer basket storage unit, 2011's Most Useful Purchase.
It was tedious work. There were many more papers than I remembered creating, and of course they were all jumbled up, colorwise. The task was time consuming but it had an unexpected upside: I found papers I had completely forgotten about, which sparked a flurry of ideas for combining and/or using them in new projects.
Some tissue papers I had washed with color, adjoining opaque papers with stamped designs, produced startling color combos I wouldn't have thought of putting together. Like the magenta tissue which, placed over violet paper stamped with light green spirals, produced a wildly vivid purple with spirals of a hard-to-describe but very interesting hue.
I even came across a folder holding papers I had gathered for an Asian-themed piece I planned to do at one time. The folder had gone missing months ago. Over time I had completely forgotten it existed. When I rediscovered it today, it contained everything needed to create a nice little collage, including a vintage found image and materials corresponding to that focal point. So now it's on my list of pieces to work on next week. I should rummage through my paper stash more often, making a point to dig down to the very bottom of each pile. The TV commercial is right: it pays to discover!