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So lately I've found a blank page creatively stunting, rather than exciting like I usually do.  I've found it much easier to start with a background.  I've been using old maps, but I'm getting a bit bored of that.  Any suggestions?  I've been browsing Etsy's scrapbook suggestion for ideas and I found some lovely vintage seed packets which I thought would be wicked, but they're only 2.5 by 3 inches... and I like to do things text heavy, so I think I need a bit more space than that.  :P  I'll probably end up purchasing them anyway because they're just too cute... oh, if it wasn't for Etsy, I might actually have savings.

Anyway, throw some ideas my way! 

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Torn up security envelopes have nice patterns inside, origami paper works well too. I keep a box where I put interesting scraps for future use, and when I'm making layouts I take bits from there.
One time I found a website that sent me a packet of 50 old used Canadian stamps. I collaged them onto a few pages of zine and pasted blocks of text over it. I've also used cut-up playing cards to make a book cover- though they might be too heavy for a zine. Newspapers in foreign languages are good idea too- I especially like Asian papers, since the text runs vertically. There's also a couple of websites that do computer-generated word art- you type in a few words and they'll rearrange them in different ways. http://www.typogenerator.net/index.php and http://www.wordle.net/ are two sites to check out.
wrapping paper or textbook diagrams and of course old pictures. You could blow up images or pics so you see the pixalation...I have used torn papers a lot. Oh, and I am sure there are lots of free use images on Flickr you could print up.
I found this awesome old book of photos of trees that yielded 100+ backgrounds. They were just close ups of bark, leaves, etc... and made really interesting patterns. I'd check out yard sales and thrift stores for old photography books. You might find a diamond in the rough.
Yeah, use the seed packets and blow them up to make them larger. You can purposefully blur them a little and use them that way or scan them to your computer larger than they are and then print them off.
backgrounds are endless.. old magazines, junk mail, cereal boxes, foreign dictionaries.. i need to pull out some of my vintage scraps.. lately i've been using craft papers, like scrapbooking papers for backgrounds.. but i've done that with the last few.. so, something new for the new zine.. my newest zine is about people, so i think i'll try to put photos of people in the backgrounds.. or pictures of the places i am actually writing about..
Thanks for all the suggestions, guys! I ordered some pretty flowered scrapbooking paper, it looks kind of tacky in colour but I think in black and white it'll be pretty nice.
I think I'll just start photocopying things around my house, too. Maybe scatter some seeds on my photocopier, make my cat sit on it, my curtains... thanks for the inspiration. :)
Check out the stock page on deviant art. There are tons of patterns you can download.

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