"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Thursday, March 07, 2013


Recipe Card Binder - Khaki (4x6) - Paper Shay

"An artist's flair is sometimes worth a scientist's brain."
- Anton Chekhov

     I don't know when, where or how I did it, but I lost the owner's manual for my car. I don't know about you, but I frequently use my owner's manual; even more so since I've only had my new car for less than a year. I called my dealership to order a new one and the man quoted me $150! Apparently he gets that reaction all of the time because, once I stopped sputtering, he kindly informed me that I could find it on Ebay for less than half that price. 

I'm pleased and relieved to say that I found a perfectly clean used copy for $50. But as soon as I opened it, the binder broke - grrrr. I was going to hop into my car and head to my local Office Max for a generic binder but then I started thinking - why not add a little Parisian flair? To Etsy!

I was not surprised to find a handful of Etsy-artists who design and make binders and other office supplies. But Jacki Patterson's shop - Paper Shay - was easily the best of them all. Besides the obvious quality of her wares, I love(d) her innovative elegant designs - they're all quite gorgeous. 

One of Paper Shay's swatches

I cyber-wandered her shop's 'aisles' and was immediately smitten with this little recipe binder (see 1st photo). Next I read about exactly what Paper Shay offers. Jacki creates hand-made, custom designed binders, clipboards, checkbook, passport covers, etc - in a variety of dimensions. The covers are laminated with colorful coordinating dividers (with or  without pockets) and steel book rings to hold it all together. All you need to do is pick your background color/design, emblem and wording. And her pricing ranges between $10 and $20 (usd). I was sold. She had me at pick your emblem ;-} 

So I sent her an Etsy-message. I told her my situation, my measurements and the wording I wanted emblazoned across the front of my cover - my vanity license plate. Jacki said yes and was intrigued with my unusual request. Yeah, leave it to me to infuse inspiration Parisian anywhere and everywhere I can - Ha! Four days later my binder arrived. Et Voila...

Front Cover: Yeah, my vanity plate is SISTAH

Inside view

Side/Spine view

Back cover

I am SO happy with the results. It took me less than 60 seconds to assemble my 'new' owner's manual. But what I like best about my Paper Shay binder is that it's the perfect combination of whimsy and practicality. Paris Black Sistah-Diva on the outside and all business on the inside. But now I've got a new problem. My binder is so lovely I don't want to put it in my glove box!

I know that this post may seem...unusual to some - though not to my faithful readers ;-} But my Paper Shay adventure is neatly representative of what this blog is about at it's heart - not just loving Paris: the city's culture, people, food, art, and fashion but how Paris informs and inspires one to inject this savoir-faire not only into everyday State's side life, but into every nook and cranny of it. Word.

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!



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