When I first started 'modern' scrapbooking, I would visit the local scrapbook store, wander aimlessly with no plan, and buy whatever random sheets of paper struck my fancy. I'd get three of the same sheet (so that, in theory, I could use two as backgrounds for a 2-page spread, then one more for matting photos. I don't think I ever actually did that.) I never had a plan for the papers. I never bought anything to coordinate with those papers, nor did I even notice that most paper was part of a coordinating line of products. I didn't pay attention to who the manufacturer was and I didn't pay any attention to the quality of the paper. Of course, I didn't know it at the time, but I bought a LOT of paper that I would never use. Often, I had three matching sheets that I didn't use.
Times have changed.
In 2008, I started on my first Design Team. Wow, what an awakening that was for me! For the first time ever, I needed to know who manufactured what product and what line it was from. I needed to know what was current, what was hot, and what the price points were. That changed my way of thinking and my way of scrapping forever. For the better, of course.
Now I am very familiar with all the major manufacturers of scrapbook paper. I can discuss their different styles and lines intelligently. I can recognize many papers and most of the signature fonts that manufacturers use. I have a core group of favorites.
One of my latest favorites is Bella Blvd. When I first saw a collection from Bella Blvd, I thought it was too cutesy and busy for me. What I didn't appreciate at the time is that the papers are far more versatile than I thought. The papers are two-sided (with one side less busy than the other), the colors are bold, and the style is clean. It's a good fit for me. Here's a layout I made using Bella Blvd's "Finally Fall" line.
Have you used Bella Blvd? Do you pay attention to manufacturers? Who are your favorites?