Tag Archives: paper

Machines that Changed my Life Part I: The Printer

I can’t remember what I paid for my Lexmark  X3350 printer five years ago, but I think that even back then it was less than a hundred bucks. The sheet feeder is starting to fail so I know that pretty soon I’m going to replace it with something even cheaper with more features.

But I’m still amazed at how many tasks this cheapo inkjet can perform right there on my windowsill– tasks that even twenty years ago would been have  unimaginable.

The odd thing is that I rarely use it to print anything from the internet: I think we’ve all become more sophisticated about bookmarking and opening tabs and using search engines. I remember that when my Mother got her first PC she printed out every email I sent her, pulled out her three hole punch and filed them in a binder. If she were alive today I’m sure she’d move them to an email file called Family, as I do.

But, the joy of not having to feed dimes into the machine at the library to make copies of our tax returns! The convenience of being able to scan Lou’s time sheet, save it, and email it to his boss! Most of the banners on this blog are pieces of (cheep and cheerful) origami paper I’ve scanned and downloaded. Just a few minutes ago I copied a ninth grade photo of “Little D’s’ ninth grade picture, stuck it to a card and stamped the background with little “d”s. (I’ve known Dale Simpson Jr. since he was four. He turns 32 tonight.)

It’s also a fax, but we don’t have the telecom hardware to set it up. Hmmm. Are there fax machines that can use a wireless connection?

But here’s the fun fabric/paper geek application that I doubt I invented which gave me a  mini-Martha eureka! moment. If you press a piece of your favourite fabric on the platen, pop down the lid, and press COLOR COPY you get: a piece of paper that looks like your fabric!

I love color, print and design, which is one reason I work  mostly with printed fabric. I mean, I like solid colors and all — I even wear them — but the pretty pictures grab me every time. Liberty prints, Toile de Jouy with all those shepherdesses and French towns, calicoes, Marimekko, Hello Kitty, ikat …

And now I can transfer them to an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper!

I can hear some of you whispering “Um. Why?”Well,  let me tell you it’s a cheap source of cool origami paper, especially if you use a smallish print:

And it could be gift wrap for a small knife for a macho cook friend:

If the fabric was kinda wrinkly when it was copied, it could still be the inside of an envelope. (Yes I’m the kind of freak who likes making envelopes.)

Or maybe I could  make the copy, find the three hole punch, and store it in a binder, as a sort of design library/inspiration book and a record of all those pretty prints long since cut, stitched,pressed,worn, tossed or given away.



Filed under A yard of fabric, Art, Free, Home, Machines, Origami, Paper, Scent