Snapshot Interview with Local Paper-Ya Regular: Cassie!

Cassie is a local Vancouverite and a Paper-Ya regular who used our paper for her home project! We took this opportunity to interview her on her process and results!

1. What was your inspiration for using paper for your lampshade? Did it turn out as you expected?

I decided to use paper for this project because I love the way it diffuses light. I think at some point everyone has owned that one tall IKEA paper lamp, so I wanted to copy the basic design of that, but use a more interesting type of paper that had a bit more texture to it. I really like the way it turned out. Because I used the washi, it's more of a nice ambient light, and the fibers in the paper give off a really interesting effect when the light shines through it.

2. Have you done projects like this before? What did you find most challenging about it?

I've never really made a "functional" piece out of paper before - I'm usually drawing or painting, so this was a first for me. The hardest thing about it was dealing with how delicate the paper was. It was tricky to get it to do what I wanted without it tearing, so if anything, I just had to take my time with it to make sure I wasn't going to waste a really nice piece of handmade paper.

Here are some of our other papers that filter light beautifully:

3. What did you enjoy most about this project? 

What I enjoyed the most about it was how satisfying it was when it came together at the end. I had a string of firefly lights that I wasn't using for anything, so I ended up wrapping them around the lamp just to see what it would look like. I ended up keeping them there as an accent and I think it was a really nice finishing touch.

4. What materials did you need for this project? 

The materials that I used were: One old IKEA lamp base, some armature wire from Opus to make the frame, Paper-Ya washi paper, a glue stick (this is the easiest way to get the paper to stick) and firefly lights. All in all I only spent about $20-$30, not including the lamp base.

Different colours of paper would create unique moods for your home:

5. Have you bought paper from us before, or was this your first time?

5. I'd say I'm a pretty regular Paper Ya customer! I always stop by if I'm in the area to have a look at what new stuff you have. I'm into calligraphy too, so I buy fountain pen ink quite frequently!

6. Would you do more projects like this in the future?

I think I'd definitely be into doing more projects like this in the future. I'm thinking about incorporating origami into a lamp design at some point, so we'll see how that goes.

7. Bonus Project! 

When I was buying the washi for the lamp, I came across a cute paper design with some birds on it and decided to frame them. I went to Opus and looked for some interesting looking pre-made frames and put them together in the store. 

Thank you, Cassie! We love to see what people do with our papers.

150 Years Young, Canada!

Canada's 150th birthday is just around the corner!

As proud Canadians, we are celebrating the incredible talent that we bring in from all over our country!


Some of the most beautiful papers we have are sourced from Montreal, Quebec. These handmade papers have stunning textures and details that make them incredibly unique to work with - or to frame on your wall!


Handmade on Vancouver Island, these leather-bound journals are made using traditional binding techniques. We always get excited when we see the newest colours!


Many of our cards are sourced locally from artists such as Dogwood Letterpress, Regional Assembly of Text, Quirky Paper, and more!

We also bring in cards from Edmonton and from as far as Nova Scotia.



Much of our jewelry comes from local artists and designers who use various materials - metal, bamboo, or glass - to create pieces we love to show off.

BC is known for its trees, and to celebrate this we carry locally made wooden watches that show the beauty of nature.


Okay, we admit it - we love bags. 

These lovely ones here are handmade in Toronto and Montreal. We fell in love with the detail and care put into every stitch.


Food for the soul - creative fun for you or to share! These staples are just a few beloved favourites.

These surreal scenes printed on soft pillowcases add whimsical nostalgia to your home.

These letterpress coasters add a touch of Canadian to your home - because who doesn't love maple leaves?

Okay, it doesn't have any maple leaves on it but it does have a cat!

Thank you, Canada. Here's to the next 150 years!

Snapshot Interview with local glass artist Minori Takagi

Minori Takagi is a local artist who makes beautiful pieces of glass jewelry. You may recognize some of the pieces that we carry here at Paper-Ya! Here we explore her art and the process that goes into each piece.

1. What made you decide to make jewelry and to work with glass?

I have loved crafts since I was a little girl. I tried many different crafts such as Origami, sewing, knitting, ceramics, and Kumihimo braiding.. but glass was special. The molten glass is a material that you can't touch directly when you are working with it. You have to use tools to shape it. It's challenging but you will get better as you practice.  I think that is why I have worked with glass for 20 years.

Minori at work

Minori at work

2. What is your favourite item to make?

I love working on new pieces. Experimenting with new work is exciting. I've been working on a new product called "Circle Chain". It's a textured circle chain so it reflects the light very well. I also enjoy making unique items. Something like my "eyeball necklace" or "tooth necklace". They are a bit creepy but cute, and definitely fun to wear. I hope people enjoy them as much as I do!

3. How has your style changed over the years?

When I started to make glass beads, I learned the traditional method to make Japanese glass beads called "Tombodama". People collect them or wear one bead on a necklace in Japan. I loved learning techniques and working on the details. But after I moved to Vancouver, people often asked me "it's beautiful but what is this for?" I realized that people are looking for a finished piece of jewelry. Now I am into a modern glass jewelry designs that are "clean+simple". 

4. Could you explain a little bit about the process that goes into making a piece of jewelry? 

My works are all done by torch. It is called Lampwork. I work over the torch to melt glass rods. Flower patterns on/in the beads are also hand made. I make them separately, cut them into small pieces, then melt them into the molten glass bead. 

Next time you're in Paper-Ya, be sure to take a peek at the Minori Takagi pieces that we carry!

You can see more from Minori on her website and instagram.

Fresh and Creative Secrid Wallets

Father's Day is right around the corner, so we wanted to take a closer look at the Secrid wallets we carry. They are small, minimalistic wallets that hold much more than first meets the eye, and they make great gifts - for others or for yourself!

The aluminum case carries 4-6 cards, and is RFID blocking, which means that you never need to worry about accidental or unwanted scans.

You simply flick the tab at the bottom, and the cards pop up, staggered for ease of removal. Simple, efficient, and reliable. 

The wallets come in single and double sizes, as well as with or without a snap closure.

We have recently brought in brighter and bolder colours on top of the classic browns, blacks, and blues - there's something for everyone! 

You can also buy the aluminum case on its own, or pair it with a backing that allows for a secret compartment where you can store sim cards, cash, or other cards. A thick elastic band secures the two parts together, while allowing for a smooth slide.

These wallets are wonderfully compact. We know how easily bags get filled - and these wallets are great space savers, whether you're keeping it in your bag or your pocket.

We are always on the lookout for creative and innovative items, and we think that these wallets fit the bill!

Blog by Christine Fichtner

Scratch Maps at Paper-Ya!

We got so excited about one of our newest products that we just had to share! These scratch maps are a really fun way to track your travels and to inspire you to travel even more!



We love that each map will be different, tracking each person's unique trips. The more you explore, the more you get to reveal!

The maps scratch away to unveil colours, names, and more. Each map has different legends at the bottom, to help you navigate the world.

We recommend using a clean, blunt object to scratch, such as a toothpick or a butter knife.

We currently have two sizes - large and small - and three different styles to choose from. Stop by Paper-Ya to say hi and check them out!

What's up with Noodler's Ink?

At Paper-Ya, we have a lot of love for all of our inks. It's not easy to choose which ones to bring in!

Generous bottles of lovely inks and really fun artwork!

Generous bottles of lovely inks and really fun artwork!

One of the brands we carry is Noodler's Inks. They come in an array of stunning colours, and each ink has its own unique properties. We do our best to bring in a wide variety of colours with each order. Whether you’re using a dip or a fountain pen or even using it for art, Noodler’s Ink will provide!

A fairly common question we get is whether left-handed people can use fountain pens without smudging the ink across the page, and we always recommend the Noodler’s quick-drying Bernanke black or blue. With its quick drying speed, it’s ideal not only for left-handed people, but also for people who use fountain pens on the go!

We love that so many of the inks are waterproof, archival, UV resistant, forgery resistant… the list goes on. Whether you’re taking notes in class, working as an artist, or even writing your meeting minutes, these inks will help keep your work preserved throughout the years.

The Noodler’s Ink website includes a photo sample of every colour of ink. You can see them all here!

We also recommend that people choose their paper carefully. Paper that’s too thin or too rough will bleed through or feather. If you're familiar with our store, you'll know there is a plethora of choices. But don't worry! We are happy to recommend a variety of journals and paper that are ideal for dip and fountain pens.

Ink newcomers and veterans - we'd love to see you and help you pick out ink, or hear about your experiences with it. We'll see you soon at Paper-Ya!

Blog by Christine Fichtner

Warmth and Inspiration from Paper-Ya

Working at Paper-Ya means being surrounded by endless inspiration. Every time we receive new items, fresh ideas are kindled. My coworkers and customers are an endless source of creativity - each person coming in with a unique background and viewpoint.

There is a strong feeling of warmth and brightness that emanates from every corner of the store, and it's something that I've found myself incorporating into my own decor at home.

In this blog post, I wanted to share how I incorporated paper, pens, decor, and ideas from Paper-Ya into my wedding.


I used some of our thick, shimmering ribbon to tie around mason jars for some simple DIY decor. I placed white rocks and a small tea light inside for a warm, ambient glow as the sun set for the evening.

Reception table

Setting up the reception table!

Setting up the reception table!

I used Japanese tissue as the foundation of colour and style for my decor. I chose gold and silver, since they were easy to match, and also decorative statements of their own. The fibrous paper stood out against the white tablecloth, and framed my guestbook perfectly.

The string lights were a soft, romantic touch. Since they used batteries, I didn’t need to worry about plugging them in or having unsightly cords to tuck away. The warm glow lit up the reception table perfectly.

Guest Book

I chose a Japanese-made guestbook with a cover made of Chiyogami. The pages inside are thick enough to handle felt markers, and the first page has a gorgeous wood-pattern design.

I matched the cover of my guestbook to the Japanese tissue, though most of the time the guestbook lay open, so the cover is less important during the wedding and more important afterwards when it goes on my bookshelf.

If we’d had them in stock at the time, our Rag & Bone guest books would have been a strong contender. The raw silk and gorgeous bindings would have been pretty hard to resist.


Simple white and blue Caran D’Ache pens offset the strong gold and silver tones of the Japanese paper and guestbook. I chose them for their smooth flow of ink and understated design. I did not want them to overwhelm the rest of the table.

Our elegant standing pens would have been another excellent option.

I also had a couple of gel pens and markers for added colour, in case anyone wanted to have a bit of fun or decorate their page. It definitely made for some creative designs!


Washi tape was my best friend for all of my cards and place cards. I decided to do everything by hand since I was having a smaller wedding and did not need to make them by the hundreds. I used blues and golds for the most part, and used thinner black tape to give a nice contrast in colour and size. My designs were quite random and I had a lot of fun taping everything. I taped the cards before I cut them to get the perfect cut at the edges of the paper.

I used slightly iridescent champagne-coloured paper for the actual invitation, and a white card stock for the place cards. 

I also used white iridescent pocket envelopes for the invitations, though proper envelopes would have worked just as well.

Thank you cards

140lb paper, and random watercolour splattering for an effortless, colourful look.

140lb paper, and random watercolour splattering for an effortless, colourful look.

I kept my thank-you cards simple, to avoid too much stress on my part. The wedding is over - it’s time to relax! So I decided to make colourful fronts, and include a simple note on the back. I also cut out seed paper that the recipients can plant, as a kind of wedding favour.

All of my decor contained a certain warmth and beauty that was influenced by Paper-Ya. It is something you can take away with you every time you visit the store.

Blog written by Christine Fichtner