July 15, 2018

Note Cards

Here are the blank note cards I made from the disappointing handmade paper in my last post. The card on the right was from my June 30th eco-dyeing post. I feel so much better now! So I pressed more flowers today for more note cards.

July 14, 2018

Dried Ferns Paper-Making Update

I worked for a few hours to the point of exhaustion. But I don’t think I cooked the ferns long enough, so the result was not good. I got only 3 sheets of paper (top), and the 3rd sheet has holes. I was so frustrated! So I *forcefully* tossed the fern pulp in the trash! At this point I was desperate for something better, so I broke my own rule to use only natural plants and made 2 sheets with recycled colored paper (bottom). Dried flower inclusions looked nice, and I’ll probably make blank note cards with these. I’m now rethinking my passion for making paper only from plant materials. There’s so much to learn! I’ll show the note cards I like to make next time.  

July 10, 2018

A Precious Gift

It’s been a big week here with numerous family occasions. One of my gifts was made by our daughter, a 6" square ceramic tile and glass mosaic. I bought the supplies a few years ago and tried this craft myself, but it wasn’t for me. So I gave the supplies to my daughter, and she is a "natural". I treasure this!!

July 8, 2018

New Jersey History

We are still celebrating big July family occasions with our "kids" home for the week. Today we took a 30 minute drive to Batsto Village to walk around on a beautiful Sunday. This is an historic New Jersey iron and glassmaking village dating back to the late 1700s. The link above will provide a lot more information. 

Batsto Mansion -- 32 room residence of the Ironmaster

July 1, 2018


Please see my update and comments in my last post about my paper making plants drying. Who knew there were so many growing things to beware of with plants and pets, especially cats. I have bookmarked this ASPCA page link, and will refer to it frequently!

Poisonous Plants

Mean plant image from "Science 4Fun" website 

June 30, 2018

Paper Making Plants Drying

I’ve learned fresh plant materials don’t make good handmade paper, and allowing them to dry after harvesting matters. I have a few bundles hanging on my back porch that are starting to dry out and will be ready in a week or two. That’s one thing this incessantly hot weather is good at doing! 

Day Lily Leaves    UPDATE!

Julia of "Vintage and Laces" posted a comment below that was a huge heads up for me! There will be NO paper making with daylilly leaves!  Onward with the ferns.

For all those interested here is a thorough ASPCA link for plants both hazardous and safe for cats and other animals.

Poisonous Plants

I am still going to use the Ferns

June 26, 2018

Art Journal "Native" Page

These fussy-cut Aboriginal dancers are backed by a page of my recycled handmade paper. It has Lavender buds and two round generic beads on the bottom. It’s hard to see here, but this paper also has some lettering still visible from the recycles. There are two small pieces of weed plant paper on the green background fabric, and I installed beads made by my daughter across the top. At that point it seemed finished. 

My inspiration still comes from making paper, so I’m linking this post to Art Journal Journey.

June 24, 2018

Eco Dyeing Experiment

I’m still working with paper, but I’m not making paper this time. Inspired by Kathyinozarks to learn eco dyeing, this is my first attempt using watercolor paper. The process involves cooking plant materials in a way that they leach their color onto paper or cloth cooked with them. The results are inherently muted, so I want to learn how to get more color. I’m happy with my first try though. Kathy is planning on trying to eco dye her own handmade paper, a goal I haven’t even thought about yet! 

Still inspired by working with paper, but am adding Kathy on Art Journal Journey as an inspiration! 

June 21, 2018

Moving On with Handmade Paper

These various shades of green sheets are made of clover plants weeded from my garden. Starting top left, the sheets are clover plant materials only. Going left to right, then down to the next row, I slowly added white "cotton linters" to each sheet to make it lighter in color. The last whitest sheet is mostly cotton linters with very little clover. Cotton linters are a by-product of cotton plant harvesting. They have short fibers that add smoothness and strength to handmade paper. So these sheets remain all natural. The more I do, the more I realize there’s so much more to learn!

Still inspired by making paper, so Art Journal Journey, here it is. :)

June 18, 2018

Art Journal "Wildlife" Page

Wildlife of a few kinds, the strangest one is on the left mounted on two sheets of handmade paper. It looks something like an owl, but then again, maybe not. All I did was add a few defining lines and watercolor to a used tea bag, and it was born. Fussy cut wolves and an eagle are curious, perhaps even on the attack. Wisconsin birch bark, NYC buttons, and glass beads added interest to this page. 

My inspiration still comes from nature and making paper, so I’m linking this post to Art Journal Journey.

June 15, 2018

Something Different

At my request, my husband made a small 4" x 6" weaving loom of a cedar board and small nails. 

My plan was to make "shifu", a cloth woven of hand-spun Japanese paper thread ("kami-ito"). I haven’t achieved the spinning of that thread yet, but I wanted to weave a meaningful piece for a small bare spot on my wall. So I made this weaving of natural jute and silk strips in blue, green, and peach. Thank you, Kathy, for the silk strips! Once done, I hand-stitched it to a sheet of my dried grass handmade paper. The grass and birch bark inclusions were collected from my son’s forested property in Wisconsin. The random white stitches are hemp thread added simply for interest. 

June 10, 2018

New Handmade Paper Batch

My paper-making sessions are getting longer, and the results are better. I’m getting more paper of better thickness. Each session teaches me something, as well as tires me out! This batch was again made from tall dead field grass. The lighter colored sheets resulted from adding "cotton linters" to the pulp. I added lavender buds to the large whiter sheet bottom right, but they didn’t stay whole during blending. The specks smell good though. Some sheets have visible grass segments, I added clover to one, and they all have a lot of texture. I like having texture, it’s always more interesting. I need to somehow start using more of these papers, perhaps in traditional sewn journal and bookmaking. My husband made two small molds for me, thus the three sheets bottom left. They could make neat small book covers! 

My inspiration still comes from nature and making paper, so I’m linking this post to Art Journal Journey.

June 8, 2018


I found this little rock on my daily walk. It says on the back that it was left by a member of the Facebook group "Nacle Rocks" and asks the finder to post to the group where it was found. Group posts reveal painted rocks have been found from NYC to Philadelphia and beyond. Anyone on Facebook can search for the group name, perhaps join, and scatter some inspirational painted rocks of their own. 

May 30, 2018

More Handmade Paper

Posting about hand-made papers from plant materials is hard. They aren’t really pretty like other spring growing things, and I don’t expect everyone to fully appreciate them. However, there’s just something about the process and papers that speaks to me. This is a photo of my Forsythia leaf paper made yesterday from yard bush trimmings. It’s more green than other papers, and it has the aroma of a hayride. What memories! I got 8+ sheets from this batch, my most ever from one session.

Here in the words of Mary Hark, a handmade paper-maker whose work I’ve seen on the web, is a book excerpt describing her feelings about this art-form. I identify with her words, and she gave me permission to share them here.

From the following book:

From The Center: On Community and the Practice of Making

Minnesota Center for Book Arts / Winter Book 2015

Curated and designed by: Anna Bredeson, Monica Edwards Larson and Regula Russell


I wasn’t going to link this page to "Art Journal Journey" for June. However, the challenge from Gill this month by is "Inspired by...". Nothing inspires me more than making paper from nature. 

May 24, 2018

Art Journal "American Indian" Page

This is my next "American Indian" art journal page. I collected the components from a number of places. There are 4 fussy-cut fabrics to set the theme (1 came from an online order), 2 hand-made papers from plants (bush leaves from my NJ yard and corn husks from Kathyinozarks), birch bark from my son’s trees in WI, a hand-made clay bead from my daughter in MA, and authentic bison roving on the warrior’s leggings (also from Kathy). This one makes 6 pages completed, perhaps half-way unless I run out of ideas! 

I’m linking this page to the "Flora and Fauna" challenge by Jo for this month on "Art Journal Journey". I’m counting on the bison roving to make it qualify. :)