Monday, May 31, 2010

The Winner of my Giveaway is...

...Sherry from Studio Pashnada.  Sherry's comment was chosen by Random Number Generator after I came in from gardening tonight.  Good thing I said "sometime after 5:00 pm PST."   I will be mailing Sherry her packet of handmade paper right away, including a bonus sheet of moose poo paper.
 Plant fibre cut up and ready for papermaking.  Watch for my upcoming papermaking tutorial (this week).

Thank you to everyone who participated in my Giveaway!

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm so lucky!

 
I wonder how many hours I have spent searching for good luck in a four-leaf clover since I was a child?  Or wished on a wishbone and birthday candles?  And how many pennies have I picked up while reciting, "Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck?"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Collecting More Plants for Paper

Fireweed blooming in late summer

I'll be doing the papermaking tutorial soon so here is a bit more information on collecting plants.  

Never collect fibre that you cannot identify and do not collect plants that have been identified as noxious weeds in your area.  Some plants can be irritants and some can be deadly, even to handle (water hemlock for example).

My goal is to provide basic instructions, making it as simple as possible for you to start making your own paper.  For more detailed information, there are some excellent books available.  Half the fun of making paper from scratch is making your own discoveries.  If you find a plant that is safe to use and you think it might make a nice paper, go ahead and try it.  Cost is negligible.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Here's a Little Giveaway!

To help kick off the new Melange Team Giveaways here is my giveaway.  On Monday, May 31st after 5:00 pm PST, I will choose (by random number generator) one individual to receive this gift.  To enter, please leave a comment after this post.

Handmade paper assortment:  This set of 5 sheets of 5x7" handmade paper is made from plant fibres and recycled paper.  (Pure corn husk, cattail and recycled paper, stinging nettle and recycled paper, iris leaf and recycled paper, and swamp grass and recycled paper).  Use these wonderful papers in collage, in encaustic, to make notecards, or to paint on with acrylics.

This is a 'no obligation' giveaway but I would love it if you became a follower on my blog.  I have just started my free tutorials and I won't stop until I've taught every single art and craft I have learned to do well enough to share.  Check here for samples of upcoming workshops.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Gathering Willow

It was a glorious day yesterday so, even though I had plenty of projects on my list needing attention, I let myself be side-tracked.  As Jo Packham said in the current issue of Where Women Create, "you will never "find" the time to do all of those things that inspire and nourish your creative soul...you simply must MAKE the time..."
Willow heart card on handmade willow paper

My handmade paper supply needs replenishing after a busy winter of card making and soap wrapping so it's time to start gathering materials. I love Mother Nature's Craft Store, where everything is free! 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pressing Flowers in the Microwave

If your only experience with pressing flowers is using an old-fashioned press or phone books, you will be pleasantly surprised by the results you'll get by pressing in the microwave.

But, before we start, here's my disclaimer:  I'm human therefore I'm fallible. You are human therefore you are fallible.  I do my best to ensure accuracy and completeness in my directions but I cannot guarantee results.  Please read my blog Terms of Use before proceeding.  If you're okay with all of this, then please continue!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Tribute to my Creative Mother


My mom was one of the most creative women I have ever known.  She spent much of her life making do but she managed to do it with beautiful style.
Airi Sirkka Annele Huhtala Kuntzemann
June 5, 1926 - November 30, 2007

Mom loved flowers and wherever she lived she created incredible gardens.  Her most spectacular creation was a rock garden that she built rock by rock by herself on a hillside.  Always mindful of her limited budget she collected seeds each fall to plant in the spring and she collected perennials wherever she could.  Old homesteads, ghost towns, roadsides and even from the gardens of the recently departed.  Mom especially loved pansies, her own mother's favourite flower.
Sadly, last fall my sister and I returned to our old home, 46 years later, and only a few remnants of the rock gardens remain.  The Highways Department had purchased the place years ago to house road crews and had brought in loads of fill to extend the yard, burying the rock gardens.

The current  owners kindly allowed us to take a few of the remaining stones and this year we will honour our mom's memory with a special little rock garden and lots of pansies.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Starting this month - free tutorials!

Teaching has always been one of my favourite ways of sharing my art so, starting this month, I will be offering free art and craft tutorials on my blog.

In no certain order, here are some of the planned projects.  Topics will be divided into separate tutorials for each technique, where applicable.
Natural Dyes from Your Yard and Garden 
Creating dyes and applying them to cloth and paper.

 Working with Concrete 
Stepping stones, bird baths, benches and  planters.  Making your mixes from scratch and producing beautiful art for your yard and garden.

Making Handmade Paper from Plants and Recycled Paper 
From choosing and processing your plant materials to methods for forming and drying your handmade papers.
Creating with Your Handmade Papers 
Make beautiful and functional pieces from your selection of handmade papers.
Textile and Paper Art  
Most of these techniques can be applied to textiles or paper.  Low water immersion dyeing, batik and other resist methods, devore', marbling, silk screen, block printing, nature printing.
Basic Soapmaking 
Make your own natural vegetable oil based cold process soap.
Beautiful Body Butter and Lip Balms
Use the basic formulas as the starting point for your own unique blends that address your own skin care concerns and preferences.
Pressing Flowers in a Microwave

'Follow' my blog for updates and schedules. And spread the word!  Everyone is welcome.