Phew, it's been super busy since getting back last week and reintegrating into real life. It's taken me a while, but as promised in my last post, I have photos to share from my recent trip to Costa Rica.
No trip is complete for me without checking out the local paper and stationery scene, then sharing the pictures with you like I did with this post after visiting Venice, The most incredible handmade cotton paper at Cartavenezia, or this post after being in Toronto, This Toronto paper store has my heart. And sometimes I post about things other than paper, like The most amazing breakfast buffet because the buffet was just that AMAZING!
In Costa Rica, we saw a lot of paper quilling. Paper quilling is the art of rolling, shaping and gluing strips of paper to create decorative designs. The designs in Costa Rica were inspired by the local animal life and landscape. We brought back souvenir notebooks in the shape of the Arenal volcano, the scarlet macaw and the quetzal bird.
Here are some pretty good instructions on how to quill paper if you'd like to give it a try.
I took this picture while on a hike in one of the cloud forests. As I look at the picture now, it feels like a dream (or a screen saver!) and I have to remind myself that I was actually there.
At one stop, we found a treasure-trove of banana leaf paper. This notepad contains a stack of banana leaf paper and the cardboard holder is die-cut into a number of different animals.
Banana fibre is very long and strong so it makes an excellent paper. In the early days of Botanical PaperWorks, we worked a lot with abaca fiber, which is a relative of the banana plant. I remember that the pulp was so fibrous that it took a long time for the moulds to drain. Slow-draining pulp = long and strong fibers.
The store had lots and lots of journals and notebooks made with the banana leaf paper. Everything was wrapped in plastic because of the high humidity. And many of the books incorporated natural twine ties or wood bindings.
I was happy to see so much banana leaf paper in Costa Rica because it is a sustainable paper that uses locally-sourced materials. Compared to cotton paper which requires an extraordinary investment in consumable resources, the banana leaf paper is low-impact and renewable. For a country that is working hard to preserve its natural resources, this is good news.