Thoughts of Spring

The winter cold has hit hard this year on the East Coast.  I shouldn’t complain, though.  Here in Virginia we have dodged the bulk of the snow storms burying our Northern neighbors.  Still, I find myself wishing for Spring warmth and regrowth.  It is with those thoughts that I created my latest blog post for Arnold Grummer’s design team “Wishes For Spring” .  http://arnoldgrummerpapermaking.blogspot.com/2015/02/wishes-for-spring-vase-designed-by.htmlIMG_1651

Take a peek and enjoy.  Hopefully it will pull you to the creative side of the street and we can pull Spring out of hiding together 🙂arnoldgrummer paper making

“Painting” with Paper Pulp

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Just when I think I have seen everything in the crafting/design world along comes another inspiration to worm its way into my artist’s mind.  Such is the revelation that I can “paint” with paper pulp!!  Are you kidding me?  So much fun and so easy peasy to do!  Thanks Sandee for opening my eyes!  Off I go to my paper studio/laundry room to get to work.

Materials:

shredded paper (thanks to the mailbox full of junk mail)

Arnold Grummer’s Papermill Pro (www.arnoldgrummer.com )

LuminArte Twinkling H2O’s Snap Dragon, Wine&Roses, Periwinkle, & Playful Peony (www.colourarte.com/twinkling-h2os )

blender (dedicated to paper making)

plastic tub

water

empty jars or squeezy bottles

Procedure:

1) To create each batch of pulp place 1 handful of shredded paper to your blender.  To the paper I added a bit of LuminArte powder (I don’t tend to measure, but I would guess about 1/4tsp).   IMG_1392

2) Add enough water to cover the paper pile.IMG_1393

3) Blend.

NOTE: I use 2 settings on my blender to create the pulp, puree and chop.  I allow it to process for about a minute before checking.  If any full pieces of shredded paper remain then it can be blended a bit longer. IMG_1394

4) Place the support grid in the plastic tub.  Cover it with the Papermaking screen.

NOTE:  I work in my laundry room and have a utility sink.  I place the tub with support grid & screen into the sink before proceeding to next step.  This allows for splatter to be contained within the sink.  Just a thought 🙂

IMG_1389 Carefully pour the pulp onto the screen.  The water will flow through the screen and into the plastic tub leaving behind mushy, gushy pulp!

5) Lift the screen carefully and pour pulp into waiting jar or squeezy bottle.  Wipe off any drips (the LuminArte powder can stain surfaces) and cap tightly.   IMG_1395

6) Repeat process with other colors.  IMG_1396  As you can see the intensity of color varies.  I like to start with small amounts of LuminArte powder (see step #1 above).  For deeper colors, a bit more was added AFTER the initial blend (except for the 3rd jar which I accidentally “dumped” too much in to begin with!)

Okay, so now I have jars of pulp.  What can be done with them?  Watch and be amazed!  I tend to freeform my designs.  However if you like planning ahead a design can be sketched out ahead of time.  My thought when creating these pulp colors was “Perfectly Purple Passion”. I can see a heart at the center of my design with radiating bands of purple surrounding.  Time to make the idea a reality…

1) Once again place the plastic tub, grid, and screen together.  This time the process won’t be as messy, so I am working on top of my washing machine instead of bending over the deep sink (any splatters can easily be wiped away). IMG_1397

2) If you have your pulp in jars (as I do) then use a spoon to remove some pulp and place it on the screen.  Taking little bits at a time, form a heart.  Tap the pulp gently together as the shape is created.

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3) Once you are happy with the look of the heart, begin adding other colors one at a time.

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4) The grid (clearly visible through the screen) can be used to visualize the edges of your piece.  Work the design out as far as you wish!    IMG_1404

5) Looking at the design it needed a little something….hmmmm, perhaps a heart within the heart.  I pulled out a little more of the darkest color (wine & roses) a created a tiny offset heart.  Perfect 🙂 IMG_1406

Do you see the water puddle in the bottom of the tray?  That is why you want to be sure to work in the tray!  Otherwise you may end up running for the paper towels!!

Time to press out the moisture (yay!) and complete the painting.

1)  Cover the pulp with a couch sheet.  Using the press bar, press down one section at a time.

NOTE: As I began pressing the moisture out it became quickly apparent that the couch sheet was permanently stained (YIKES!)    IMG_1408 IMG_1409

Too gorgeous to throw out (it will get a new life in a future mixed media creation)

2) Turning it over I removed the paper screen    IMG_1410  A quick rinse removed any color that transferred to the screen.  Another couch sheet was applied before continuing to press out moisture.  2 permanently dyed couch sheets later I decided to iron the sheet, covering it with sheets of computer paper instead of the couch sheets.  As one page would become saturated I would replace it with another.  Now I have some gorgeous dyed papers to use in other projects 😀  IMG_14133) Here is the resulting sheet of “painted” paper.  I plan to use it for a mixed media canvas piece.  Fingers crossed that it will turn out as nicely as its beginning.  IMG_1415

Thank you for visiting.  See you next time!

arnoldgrummer paper making arnold grummers 01-2015_Coupon-Code  colourartelogo

Arnold Grummer’s Paper Making

In preparation for my first blog post with the Arnold Grummer’s design team, I am spending my Saturday experimenting.  Years ago I was lucky enough to participate in a card challenge at CHA.  That was my introduction to the wonderful world of paper making!  Who knew that the shredded paper from junk mail and bills and the like could be recycled into beautiful creations?!  Well I am about to spend the next 6 months delving into the possibilities.

For today I will just look at the paper making process.  For anyone who has an inner child, the idea of playing with pulp and mush is quite enticing 🙂  The materials are simple: the Arnold Grummer’s Papermill or Papermill Pro (available online at http://arnoldgrummer.com/index.php/products/papermaking/papermillkits.html or at most craft stores), a blender, shredded paper, water, a dishpan, and an area to work that won’t be affected by water dripping (I chose to work in the laundry room).  I would not recommend using your best blender for paper making, as it is quite addicting and the blender will quickly be “missing in action” among the kitchen tools.  Instead I suggest hitting your local thrift shop and picking one up.  I found mine at Goodwill for $8 minus a 20%off coupon I received for donating goods 🙂  Seriously, that is it!

For my first piece of paper I put 2 handfuls of shredded paper into the blender with 2 cups of water.  I pureed this mixture for about a minute.  Then I added a large pinch of specialty pulp (-like, so an additional cup of water was added and blended for another minute.  Perfect!

Following the directions with the kit, I poured the mixture into the assembled wooden frame.  Now my inner child emerged as the mixture is pushed around within the frame, covering the screened bottom.  What fun!  Took me back to the days of mud pies and squishy toes 🙂

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Once the bottom is covered, the frame is carefully unstrapped and lifted to reveal a mushy sheet of pulp in the shape of (what else?!) a sheet of paper.  But it isn’t done yet.

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Following directions, I pressed with a sponge to remove water from the pulped sheet.  Water will flow into the base and into the sponge.  Translation: this means the sponge needs to be wrung out repeatedly and the base will need possibly need to be emptied while working to remove water.  So glad I chose to work in the laundry room!  I continued to follow directions until I had a fully melded sheet of paper.  Still damp and malleable….hmmm, wonder what would happen if I pressed it onto a texture sheet??

I grabbed a butterfly texture (perfect for the project I have in mind) and placed it on my work surface.  I laid the sheet of damp paper over it and gently began to press it into the textured areas.  When I lifted the corner to check and see what was happening, OH MY GOODNESS!!  the butterfly images were perfectly transferred to the paper.  I quickly pressed the rest of it and then flipped the paper to reveal a beautifully textured sheet of pinkish, handmade paper (NOTE: the paper will dry much lighter than the wet, sludge would suggest).  So exciting when something works as you envision it 🙂

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I need more paper!!  Now that I know the pulp mixture picks up color easily I decide to create a greenish sheet of paper.  I went to my inks and found a sample bottle of Lumiere Light Body Metallic Acrylic in Olive Green (http://www.jacquardproducts.com/lumiere.html).  I created a basic pulp from my shredded paper and then added a few drops of the Lumiere before blending a second time.  It created a subtle green that I hope works well with the pinkish sheet.

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Well this has been a fun introduction to the Art of Paper Making.   Up next, creating with the paper sheets!   Watch for the completed project at  http://arnoldgrummer.blogspot.com/ on July 7th.

Thanks for visiting.  Remember, the Earth without “Art” is just “Eh”  Have a lovely crafty day 😀