Recently I finished up my Cousin Maude journal.
I made this from one of Mary Ann Moss's on-line classes (along with several others) - I think it was Remains of the Day (ROD) and it sat on my shelf for a while. About a year ago I took it down and started working in it - I had used good quality watercolor paper and I felt like I was ready to take the plunge.
One of the things I enjoyed was that I'd used papers in addition to the watercolor paper that I really enjoyed - either large photos from an old book or images I'd taken myself that I printed on study paper. I didn't realize how much I'd like having them, and that tells me I want to do that again soon.
This should also tell me that using better paper is worth it, because I liked my sketches more (especially the ability to work the paper more because the paint didn't just stain instantly). Liking my sketches meant I did more and just now as I am finishing up a couple other journals I'm realizing how my production tapers off when I use junky paper.
I also liked the size of the journal - I'd made it using an old book cover, hence 'Cousin Maude'. The pages had gotten junky, but the cover was still good, so I didn't feel bad about ripping it apart. I do have a hard time gutting old books unless they falling apart or having gotten destroyed somehow. Some people don't. I wish I didn't. Such as it is.
This is what I mean about my being a slow learner. It takes me a while to absorb information and put it to use. Some people jump into understanding from their experience quickly - but it seems I have to relearn some things multiple times before I apply them. I'm hoping I've learned this lesson. I know people's preferences vary a great deal and I absolutely believe we each have to figure out what works for us individually. My frustration is with the gap between what I know I like and my willingness to let myself use it. Some times I just shake my head at myself.