Monday, October 29, 2012

Gilded Christmas Tree Decoration

I know, I know—Halloween isn't even here and I'm posting about Christmas. But, it's not too early to start making decorations. For this piece I used the Christmas Tree mold from Arnold Grummer's. These molds are great for paper pulp, but this time I used Creative PaperClay. I kneaded the clay and then pressed it into the mold, taking care to press the clay into all the intricate design areas. 

Christmas Tree mold

I removed the casting from the mold before it was completely dry, and set in right side up on a flat surface to finish drying. Then, I trimmed the casting with a craft knife and filed any rough edges.
Trimmed casting
Next, I sealed the piece with PPA from USArtQuest. After the PPA dried I covered the piece with USArtQuest's Duo Adhesive. This unique adhesive goes on white, but its real magic happens when it dries clear. It becomes tacky enough for gilding, powdered mica pigments, foiling or even glitter. I chose to cover the tree with silver gilding leaf. Here is a picture of the first gilding step—the piece is covered with gilding leaf that I laid on and gently pushed into place with a soft brush.

Christmas tree with gilding

 Next step is burnishing the gliding with a texture sponge to coat all the intricate design area. Here you can see that I've burnished the top of the tree.

Partially burnished tree
After I finished burnishing the entire piece, I polished it with a cotton puff to bring out the luster of the gilding. Here's the finished Christmas tree. I can't wait to display it during the holidays.

Finished gilded tree from Arnold Grummer's Christmas Tree mold
You can see more of my project on the Create & Craft blog.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Making Paper Is Fun And Easy!

Paper is amazing. I'm not talking about that 8 1/2" by 11" college ruled stuff you've used half your life, I'm talking about handmade paper. Handmade paper is an ancient art form steeped in history. It's beautiful, versatile and useful. And it's so fun and easy a child could make it with just a little help from Mommy. But there are plenty of grown ups making paper too.

This week I think the world lost some of it's sparkle with the passing of Arnold Grummer. But his legacy lives on with every sheet of handmade paper we make, because when it comes to paper making I think the whole planet would agree Arnold Grummer was, and always will be the go to guy. His superior knowledge of paper making was equaled only by his commitment to bring paper making and paper crafting to the masses in an easy, fun and affordable way. 

I'm a huge fan of Arnold Grummer and his work, so when I wanted to make my own paper I went directly to his website and got myself Arnold Grummer's Papermill Complete Kit. He has many paper making kits available, but I purchased The Papermill Complete Kit for $49.95. This kit recycles household wastepaper into cards, books, invitations and more in just minutes! It's easy to use and it's clear, illustrated directions guarantee success from the very first sheet. With quick set up and clean up, the kit makes 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch paper and comes with everything needed to form, press and dry paper. All supplies are reusable. It does require the use of  a household blender, dishpan, tray (cookie sheet);  an iron is optional, but  wastepaper is a must!

So let's get started making paper. Here's what you'll need:
Arnold Grummer's PAPERMILL™ Complete Kit

Here we go!

With your hand mold upside down on a flat surface, place the white papermaking screen on the mold, then the white drain rack on top of the screen. Then pull the straps snugly across and secure.

Fill your dishpan with water and lower the mold into the water at an angle. Make sure the water is deep enough to come within a 1/4 inch of the top of the mold.

Select some scrap or wastepaper to recycle. It should be about 1 inch longer and 1 inch wider than your mold - about 7 inches by 9 inches for this mold. Sometimes I add a bit more if I want the end result to be a thicker paper. Now tear the paper into pieces and blend with about 2 cups of water for at least 30 seconds. I added some botanicals at the beginning  but you can add things in anytime. The longer you blend, the finer the pulp and anything you add in become.

When finished blending, pour the pulp into the hand mold and spread the pulp evenly by wiggling your fingers in the water.

Lift the mold out of the water holding it level. Let the water drain out. Set the mold on your cookie sheet (catches dripping water) and carefully pull the straps loose on your mold.

Lift up the mold up and gently pull it away from the white papermaking screen and drain rack.

Now carefully place the grey cover screen over the wet, new sheet of paper. Take your sponge and press firmly over the grey cover screen, then wring out the sponge and repeat until there is no more water.

Ok, slowly peel back the grey cover screen from the corner. If the paper lifts up with the screen, try another corner, or lightly hold the paper down with your other hand.

I cut a few corners here by placing the new sheet that is still on top of the white papermaking screen on a flat surface and carefully put a dry white couch sheet (very absorbent) on top of that.
Then use the press bar and push down hard over the entire surface of the couch sheet. 

Then I replace the couch sheet with a dry one, and gently flip the whole thing over. I carefully peel off the white papermaking screen from one of the corners and cover with another dry couch sheet and press with the press bar. 
I repeat this process until most of the water is removed. Then I remove the top couch sheet, and carefully peel the new sheet of paper from the bottom couch sheet. If enough water has been removed the new sheet of paper should be strong enough to do this. If it does not appear strong enough than you need to remove more water.

Place your new sheet of paper on an ironing board, a cloth, or other flat surface. You can cover your new sheet with a thin cloth if you like. I don't because I want to see my paper change as it dries under the iron. With your iron on high heat and no steam, iron slowly and without stopping over the new sheet until it is dry. You can tell it is drying because the dry areas become lighter. You can also press your paper between two dry couch sheets to dry, but honestly I could never wait that long to see my pretty new handmade paper. Heat can make paper curl so sometimes I do press it under some heavy books after I iron it dry.

Once your paper is dry you can write, type or draw on it. It is fully functional and can be used in endless projects like the ones you'll find on the Arnold Grummer Blog. Remember that handmade paper looks different on one side than the other. So you have even more choices when using your beautiful handmade paper. 

Though this step by step handmade paper tutorial may seem lengthy, papermaking is not. It is easy, fun and seriously addictive! You'll find yourself saying "I'm just going to make one more sheet!" and you end up with a big, gorgeous stack!

*Just wanted to let you know there is a significant hurricane headed directly into us in the next day or two, so I'm not sure if we'll be losing power and for how long. I'll do my best to post a new project on Saturday, November 3rd, but if you don't hear from me you'll know it has something to do with Hurricane Sandy! Prayers appreciated : )

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My goal is to take the whole world on a creative journey one project at a time, so I want to offer many thanks to all my readers in 49 different countries... 

The United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Malaysia, Italy, the Bahamas, the Philippines, Sweden, Egypt, Columbia, the Netherlands, Spain, the Sudan, Turkey, Mexico, Moldova, Denmark, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, the Czech Republic, the Ukraine, South Africa, India, Taiwan, Panama, Serbia, Latvia, Argentina, United Arab Emirates, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 
New Zealand, Japan,Bangladesh, Brazil, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Chile, 
Romania, Hungary, Portugal, Indonesia and Guernsey!

Many Blessings,
Jana : )

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lost a part of our hearts....

Some of you have heard, the Lord called Arnold Grummer home yesterday. His life was filled with family, faith, love, and a passion he shared with you, papermaking.

We'd love any who wish to send a message to our family or have a story to

share to do so here.

Mabel, Greg and I (Kim) thank you in advance for the love, prayers, support and many kindnesses that come to us because of him. We know he belongs to more than just the Grummer family. ♥

Monday, October 22, 2012

Owl Post

I've created . . . an owl!
Enjoy this Halloween video. Instructions for the card below.

To make the speckled paper for the front wing, I added Arnold Grummer yellow anglewings botanicals to white pulp. The tree branch is made from magazine paper-- so, recycled but not handmade. The rest of the owl is made with handmade paper.
To get the black outlines on the wing, face and branch, glue the cut out peices onto a slightly
larger peice of black paper and trim very close to the shape

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Making Texture Stamps With Arnold Grummer's Casting Molds

I love working with different mediums as much as I love finding different ways to use things.  Did you know that you can use Arnold Grummer's Casting Molds not only with paper but also with clay?  I have had some fun experimenting with the molds recently and think that this would be a great project for anyone who enjoys working with paper and paint or making things out of clay.

Items Used:
Scrap Paper
Sculpey III Polymer Clay
Liquitex Heavy Gloss Gel Medium

I started out using Arnold Grummer's Mini Texture Mold and some scrap paper to make my casts that I use for the stamps.  The great thing about making the stamps out of paper is that when you are done with them they can be recycled.

Before using them you need to seal them because the paper is porous.  This will also help your texture stamps last longer.  This is what they look like after a thin coat of heavy gloss gel medium.

You can use them to add texture to polymer clay.  You could also use them with Creative Paperclay.

Or you could use them to stamp the patterns using paint or ink..  They would also be great to add 3D texture to a Mixed Media piece.

To make texture stamps that will last quite a while you can cast them using polymer clay.  Sealing the polymer clay stamps is optional because the clay, after it's baked, is nonporous.

These stamps can be used in so many different ways.  I can't wait to test them out and push them to their limits.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

~A Beautiful Place For Everything~

Many a beautiful paper can be made using Arnold Grummer Paper Making kits!! In this Design team post I will share with you the fact that there is a beautiful place for everything... especially when creating handmade papers!! 

I recently had a small vase of Black Eyed Susan's and instead of throwing them into the composter.. I recycled the dried flowers into the handmade papers I created !! That got me thinking and wondering what else  might I be throwing away, that I can toss in the blender~ Kind of like a refuge pot!
The next day I made my coffee and wondered about using the coffee grounds in the paper and "Voila" adding the coffee to the blender with the papers worked really well.. And who knew that the papers  would smell like a great cup of coffee!! I even used the coffee filter! The first paper on the right on top  is the coffee paper! Next the dried grated orange rind from fresh squeezed OJ!! :)
When you think about it.. So many things can be incorporated such as dried and powdered pine needles for a Christmas themed paper, brightly colored  dried fall leaves for an autumn theme. Also spices such as  cinnamon,nutmeg,allspice etc can be used as well for a  beautiful holiday paper!
You can also add natural coloring agents such as dried beet powder or any of the sea powders such as kelp or spirulina, turmeric, colored pepper powder, Chinese 5 spice... so many yummy options for adding color,texture and fragrance naturally!!

Here... as you can see with the mini papers, the beautiful natural flower petals which are dried and added when blending the paper mixture. If you want more of a fragrance( for instance with the lavender and Rose), use the dried powered versions as well as the petals and you will get a much stronger scent than if you just used the dried flower petals! You can purchase a great selection of powdered herbs and flowers at Rose Mountain Herbs

I also love leaving large chunks of text when blending my papers and items together... it adds great interest and texture in the finished product!

Even as an artist, I can take any of my journal pages or small pieces of artwork and combine them in the mix of blender "goodies"... so many things that we aren't even aware of can be recycled.. not just paper when creating beautiful handmade papers!

I hope this gets your mind in the fun direction of "where can I look now for things to incorporate into my lovely handmade papers!!

~In Love & Faith~

Monday, October 15, 2012

Handmade Paper Casting Jewelry

This is a great autumn project! I created a piece of jewelry from a a handmade paper casting. I used Arnold Grummer's paper casting strainermaple leaf mold, cotton linter squares, and copper sprinkles.

Following the directions in the linter package, I used four linter squares—enough to cover the mold. I blended the linter squares with three cups of water, added a teaspoon of sprinkles, and gave the pulp mix one more quick whir in the blender.

Next, I strained the pulp into the casting strainer, pressed out some of the excess water, and plopped the casting pulp onto the mold. After I had pressed the pulp into all areas of the mold, I used a sponge to press out the excess water. Then, I carefully took the casting out of the mold and set it on a flat surface to air dry. Drying took about a day.

I used scissors to cut the leaf shape out of the paper casting. I painted the top of the leaf with PPA from USArtQuest. I used a generous amount, but not so much that the paper revertered to pulp. While the adhesive was still wet I covered the leaf with USArtQuest Gold Dust Mica flakes. When the leaf was dry, I added a coiled bead made from 34 gauge brass wire and wrapped the leaf with 24 gauge brass wire. I attached a pin back to the reverse side of the lead.

I love the way the copper sprinkles add just the right amount of depth through the gold mica dust. I'm going to enjoy wearing this special piece of jewelry this fall.

You can see more of my project on my Create & Craft blog.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Yes, You CAN Make A Pop-Up Card!

Pop-up cards are fun, but I've always felt like I needed an engineering degree to make them. That is until I found Playful Pop-Up Cards by Takami Suzuki. She makes creating a pop-up card easy. I think all 25 of her projects are doable, great looking cards that someone would love to give, or receive.

I wanted to take this project up a notch by adding the element of handmade paper. Handmade paper is beautiful and has a wonderful texture that will really make your pop-up cards pop! Arnold Grummer is without a doubt the go to source for paper making and paper crafting supplies, and he offers several free videos showing you how to make your own amazing handmade paper. I used the Arnold Grummer's Papermill Complete Kit to make the paper for this project.

Here's what you'll need to make this pop-up card:

  • Eight 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inch sheets of handmade paper in the following colors...

Dark blue (cut to 5 1/4 by 7 inches)
Light blue (cut to 5 by 6 3/4 inches)
White (cut to 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches) 
Red (cut to 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches)
Green (cut to 2 by 4 3/4 inches)
Light green (cut to 2 by 2 1/2 inches)
Light pink (cut to 2 by 2 inches)
Yellow (cut to 2 by 2 inches)

  • Craft knife
  • Ruler with inches and centimeters
  • Glue stick
  • Hole punch
  • Pencil
  • Cutting mat
Fold the dark blue paper in half and set it aside. 

Now fold the light blue paper in half and get ready to make the two convex rectangular pop-up mechanisms for this card. This is the most challenging part, and then I promise you it's smooth sailing from here.
I'm going to give you the measurements for the pop-up mechanisms in centimeters because it's just easier. 

The first rectangular pop-up is 3cm in from the left side of the light blue paper and it is 2cm wide and 3cm long. This rectangle is 1cm below the center fold and 2cm above the center fold. This pop-up mechanism will have a mountain fold (folds out toward you like a mountain peak) 1cm below the top of the rectangle.

There will be a 3.5cm space between the two rectangles.

The second rectangular pop-up is 3.5cm in from the right side of the light blue paper and it is 2cm wide and 3cm long. This rectangle is 2cm below the center fold and 1cm above the center fold. This pop-up mechanism will have a mountain fold 2cm below the top of the rectangle.

All these words and measurements simply look like this...

Take your sharp craft knife and cut along the right and left vertical sides of each rectangular pop-up mechanism. Then gently push each pop-up mechanism out toward the inside of the card, folding out along the "mountain fold" line. I turned the card on its side for this picture so you could see the pop-up mechanism rectangles better. It should look like this...

Glue the light blue paper inside the dark blue paper keeping the center folds aligned. Also, make sure not to glue the pop-up mechanisms! They need to stay unattached.

Now trace and cut out the following:
3 small dark green trees
1 larger light green tree
1 yellow star
1 white snowman
1 small red hat (for snowman)

Craft (hole) punch out the following:
3 red circles (snowman's buttons)
2 dark blue circles (snowman's eyes)
2 pink circles (snowman's cheeks)
7 white circles (snow!)

Glue the three small dark green trees onto background of the light blue paper just above the center fold.

Glue the yellow star to the top of the larger light green tree then glue the tree to the left pop-up mechanism. Let it dry a bit so it doesn't fall off while you're working on the rest of the card.

Glue the buttons, eyes, cheeks and hat onto the snowman, and then glue the finished snowman to the right pop-up mechanism and let dry.

Now glue the seven white circles to the light blue paper background to make "snow."

Congratulations! You just made an adorable pop-up card! I think I like mine too much to give it away : ) 

Visit us on Facebook at and click the "Like" box to become a fan and receive regular updates!

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I want to offer many thanks to all my readers in 44 different countries - the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Malaysia, Italy, the Bahamas, the Philippines, Sweden, Egypt, Columbia, the Netherlands, Spain, the Sudan, Turkey, Mexico, Moldova, Denmark, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, the Czech Republic, the Ukraine, South Africa, India, Taiwan, Panama, Serbia, Latvia, Argentina, United Arab Emirates, Bosnia and Herzegovina, New Zealand, Japan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon!

It is both humbling, and exciting to know people are actually reading what I'm writing, and hopefully trying out a few of the projects.

My goal is to take the whole world on a creative journey, one project at a time! Thanks for coming along.

Many Blessings,

Jana : )