Friday, October 31, 2014

Rustic “Bark” Journal

©Michele Emerson-Roberts 2014

I love creating journals and handmade books both for myself and to give as gifts. The books are always a big hit with the recipients.  I had several males in mind when creating these very rustic small books. Each book is one of a kind and is made with handmade paper with dried leaf and grass inclusions. The books go together quickly so it is easy to make them in batches of 10 or more at a time. I can’t wait to see the smiles on their faces when they open their gifts. Maybe I can find some of those “stick” pencils to go with the books!

These make the perfect gift for the hunter, fisherman, hiker, bird watcher or gardener in your life!


  • Any of the Arnold Grummer™ paper making kits
  • A sunny window
  • Blender, cello sponges and soft towels
  • Scissors
  • Scraps of white, ivory or off white paper (think junk mail, etc.)
  • Dried leaves and grasses, small pieces of bark
  • Chip board (I used pieces of cereal box) for the covers
  • Awl, needle tool or Japanese Screw Punch (JSP)
  • Thin twine/cord for binding
  • Large eyed needle
  • Beacon Quick Grab™ Adhesive

  1. Follow the directions found in any of the Arnold Grummer™ paper making kits to create numerous sheets of handmade paper.
  2. When the papers are dry, fold and tear each sheet into half (or quarters for smaller books) leaving the rough torn edge.
  3. Fold the pages in half, nestle several sheets together (this is a signature). You will make as many signatures as you wish for each book. 
  4. Use the awl, needle tool or JSP to place holes in the signatures. Bind the book with a simple pamphlet stitch (also called saddle stitch). If needed, refer to this quick how-to video -  
  5. Attach the small pieces of bark to the outside of the book covers with the Beacon QuickDry™ adhesive.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Final Look at Halloween


Tomorrow is the day!  The day this entire month has been leading up to and here is a final scare just for you!  The kick off for the holidays is about to begin. 

I have really been enjoying playing with and mixing paper pulps lately to create variegated colors of paper.  For this one, I mixed a black pulp into a sheet of orange.  It was created using one of the Papermill Pro Kits using the basic instructions, but before pulling the deckle out of the water I added small scoops of black and lightly mixed the two by hand.  As I pulled the deckle out of the water the two pulps settled to form the sheet creating this gorgeous orange and black sheet.  The white paper was created using the kit and once it was dry I used it in my embossing machine and stamped onto it.  Isn't fun that you can use your craft tools with handmade paper?  It creates a totally amazing and different look for everything.

Now onto creating for November and the next holiday!  Have fun tomorrow everyone! 

coupon code photo you are welcome to use

Until then, get a start on your holiday papermaking by saving 20% on your order at the checkout.  Don't delay you only have until tomorrow night to use this code! 


From Peg's Crafting Corner

Monday, October 27, 2014

"Friends" card by Linda Hess

This card was inspired by a trip to the pumpkin patch with my daughter and 2 of her friends.  It was a lovely fall day and I got to share the day with 3 teenagers who were literally skipping through the pumpkin patch! 
I took along my Arnold Grummer's Garden Press ( ) and filled it with treasures during the day: leaves, flowers, a lucky 4-leaf clover!  Once home, I waited patiently (with the occasional peek) for the pieces to dry.  Instructions with the press say 3-7 days....I left them for the max time before taking them out.  I discovered that a pumpkin flower is not a very good choice for the press. 
The flower itself flattened beautifully.  Sadly, it was way too fragile to peel off the sadly was lost :-(
The big "reveal" was eye opening as far as what happens to the colors.  Pieces that I thought would stay bright and bold (some Coleus leaves), darkened so much that the veining no longer showed.  Other pieces like the pumpkin flower retained its beautiful yellow.  I can see that I need to experiment with multiple other flowers and plants to see which work best.
NOW for the card!  I started with a 12"x12" blue sky cardstock.  I cut a 5" strip off and folded it in half.  The corners were softened using a corner punch.  I added a soft green to the front.
In my stash of scrapbook paper I found a "friends" sheet with multiple sayings.  I picked a couple and cut the components out to use.  I decided to only use the word "Friends" on the front.  The rest of the saying will be added to the inside.
I found a piece of handmade paper left over from the Halloween Box ( )  I tore the edges to fit the front of the card and glued it in place.  Then I began positioning the flowers and leaves until I was happy with the arrangement.  Then carefully each piece was glued in place using (believe it or not) Elmer's School Glue!
Once the front was complete and dry, I added the wording to the inside.
The rest of the card is left blank for a personal message.
I hope you have enjoyed this project.  I highly recommend the press!  I may have to grab some leaves before they all fall off the trees! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fallen Leaves

nspiration came from my favorite season and from the abundance of colorful leaves all around.

This card was made using several different layers of papers, with the main background piece being a handmade piece.

From the other sheet of handmade paper, I die-cut three maple leaf shapes to decorate a recycled candle glass.

Easy place setting decorations were made by using a die-cut leaf shape with a pinecone glued to the surface.  Names were computer generated and glued to a colored paper background and placed in a small holder and set on the paper leaves.

Using the pour method, I formed two sheets of paper embedded with colorful shards of fallen leaves.  After making the paper mix in a blender, add several torn leaves to the blender and pulse.  NOTE: Remove the middle stems from the leaves before adding to blender.

Try your hand at paper making - visit the Arnold Grummer Papermaking website for kits and other accessories.  Use this coupon code for a discount on your purchase.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Autumn Leaves

©Michele Emerson-Roberts 2014

Autumn has arrived in Southeast Arizona! Cooler temperatures and the beautiful colors of changing leaves - yes, there are trees here, at the base of the Huachuca Mountains, anyway. I love making fall cards to cheer up friends and family. I hope you will enjoy this card as much as I did creating it.


  • Any of the Arnold Grummer™ paper making kits
  • AG Large 4 Petal Fold Envelope (card) template #553
  • A sunny window
  • Blender, cello sponges and soft towels
  • Personal paper cutter, scissors
  • Scor-Pal™
  • Beacon ZipDry™ Adhesive, double sided tape
  • Scraps of light green paper (think junk mail, etc.)
  • Tiny dried flower petals and/or spices and iridescent sprinkles
  • Verbiage stamp and black ink pad or computer generated saying
  • One half sheet of ivory vellum
  • 18” of ½” sheer ivory ribbon
  • Oak leaf punch or die and Spellbinders’ Grand Calibur machine
  • Envelope to fit the card


  1. Follow the directions found in any of the Arnold Grummer™ paper making kits to create light green slurry with inclusions.
  2. Use the template to create one (or more) light green 4 petal envelope/cards.
  3. When the paper is dry, score three sides of the envelope/card.  
  4. Stamp the saying onto the vellum, or use a
    computer generated print of the saying. (If you
    are making several of these cards, print all of the sayings at once. I will often do many different related saying at a time and save them for later projects.)
  5. Punch or die cut an oak leaf at the top of the card (the part that was not scored). You will use this leaf on the inside of the card.
  6. Cut the vellum to fit the top arch and center of the card.
  7. Punch or die cut one oak leaf from the bottom of the printed velum.
  8. Punch or die cut several leaves from the leftover velum.
  9. Attach the vellum to the inside of the card with ZipDry™ adhesive.
  10. Layer and attach a velum leaf, the green leaf and two more vellum leaves at the top of the card.
  11. Use the double sided tape to attach the ribbon to the outside of the card.
  12. Add a personal message.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Decorating for the Holidays with Handmade Paper

The holidays are coming quickly and Halloween is just around the corner so it's time to start doing the decorating.  I especially love hanging wreaths on our doors to welcome guests.  This wreath started out to be a sale find at my local craft store and ended up being a favorite of everyone with the handmade paper roses, the bow and the pumpkin add to finish it off. 
I created 8 sheets of paper using one of the Papermill Kits.  For the black and orange sheets, I made a black paper pulp using left over scraps of cardstock from other projects.  Once I poured the pulp into the deckle and lifted it partially out of the water to create the full sheet, I used the orange pulp which I had created first and then poured into a bowl, to add large dots or patches of orange.  I then finished the sheet off according to the instructions.  The leaves are from a green handmade sheet.  The pieces were all created using a die and hand formed to give the paper shape. 
Once I completed winding the ribbon around the wreath and adding the bow, I used some cotton linters, a sheet of orange tissue tints and the Jack O' Lantern mold to mold the center piece on the bow. 
No matter what the holiday, add to the décor by using sheets of handmade paper to make your next creation.  Handmade paper adds an elegance in itself to any project.  The holidays will be here soon so start your projects today!
                                         coupon code photo you are welcome to use
Use the coupon code PAPER20 to receive 20% off your order, but don't wait!  This code is only valid until October 31st.  Just like the holidays, it will soon be over so don't miss out on the savings. 


Monday, October 13, 2014

Fun with the Flower Press by Linda Hess

This year I became the art teacher at a local Catholic School.  My first "job" was to clear our cabinets and cupboards and shelves get the idea.  I literally went section by section in the room pulling everything out, cleaning the shelves, and then reorganizing like materials (that I found in multiple areas) in labeled plastic bins.  Now I know what I have in the room and the students can easily find materials.

During that cleaning spree I discovered tucked away on a far shelf, 2 (yes 2!) Arnold Grummer's Papermaking kits AND an Arnold Grummer's Field/Flower/Paper Press.  I was so excited!  It was like finding gold hidden away.  I brought the press home with me to experiment, after all I needed to know what I was doing before showing it to my students ("Gosh Mrs. Hess, you have such cool things for us to use!")

The Purple Asters in my front yard called to be my first experiment with the flower press (  I read the directions and went to work.  Imagine my surprise to find dried flower petals already in between the layers of blotter paper!  I guess they were forgotten by the previous owner.  Great for me as I can start to craft with the petals while the others are drying (3-10 days the instructions say).
First I must press the Asters and then I can create a card.  Following the instructions I picked some flowers and leaves.  "Pick flowers in the morning after the dew is gone." said the instructions.  Being an impatient person, I picked them first thing in the morning while the dew was still on them...but I blotted the dew off with a paper towel (hopefully that will work and I will not discover moldy, oldie petals when I open the press in a few days!).
The instructions say "For best results, layers items of the same thickness together."  with that in mind I placed the leaves on one layer, topped with another piece of blotter paper. 
I then layered the flower heads on the next layer,

topped by many layers of blotter paper.  The stack was placed into the press and strapped tightly. 
Oh my gosh this is so easy!!  I am heading to the pumpkin patch with my daughter and her friends.  I think I shall stash the press in my purse and possibly find more pieces to press while there :-)
Next post: What to do with the dried petals??  Cards? Paper??  Only time will tell

Friday, October 10, 2014

Dragonfly Dreams

©Michele Emerson-Roberts 2014

I love dragonflies. They are one of the most beautiful of insects. They predate the dinosaurs with fossils showing wing spans of over 2 ½ feet, and today there are approximately 450 species in the US alone. In mythology the dragonfly symbolizes lost loved ones and rebirth.  


·        Any of the Arnold Grummer paper making kits
·        Mold:  Arnold Grummer Dragonfly, # 703
·        Microwave, heat gun or a sunny window
·        Blender, small strainer, cello sponges and soft towels
·        Beacon Quick Grab™ and ZipDry™ Adhesives, double sided foam tape or dots
·        Scraps of off white and yellow paper (think colored junk mail, etc.)
·        Dried flower petals and/or spices
·        Several twigs and dried Eucalyptus leaves
·        8 ½ x 11” Easel Frame
·        Rust Brown suede matt board, cut to fit frame
·        Gold PearlX™ powder, small brush
Arnold Grummer


1.      Follow the direction for paper making and casting found in any of the Arnold Grummer paper making kits or books to make slurry from the off white scraps.
2.      Cast one (or more) of the dragonfly molds.
3.      Dry the castings in the microwave, with the heat tool, or place in a sunny window.
4.      Create two sheets of yellow handmade paper, and one sheet of off white paper – add a small amount of tiny dried flower petals or spices to both slurries.
5.      Allow the papers to dry.
6.      Fold and tear the yellow paper to create a piece approx. 6 x 8 ½” and a piece 4 x 4”.
7.      Fold and tear the off white paper to create a 5 ½ x 7 ½” paper.
8.      Layer and attach the dragonfly casting to the 4 x 4” yellow paper with the double sided foam tape.
9.      Attach the twigs and the leaves to the off white sheet of paper with Beacon QuickGrab™ adhesive.
10.   Layer and attach the 4 x 4” yellow paper to the 6 x 8 ½” off white paper with Beacon ZipDry™ adhesive.
11.   Layer and attach the off white sheet of paper to the 6 x 8 ½” sheet of yellow paper.
12.   Insert the rust brown sued matt board into the slot of the easel frame.
13.   Attach the layers to the matt board.
14.   Highlight the dragonfly casting with the brush and gold PearlX™ powder.

(Reminder - save all your scraps for other projects)

I have created many of these castings and given them as remembrance gifts to people who have lost someone they loved. The castings are beautiful in different colors and mounted to the tops of boxes, the front of cards or handmade journals or framed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Flying Bat's

October is here and signs of Autumn are all around.  With October comes thoughts of "all hallows eve".    That brings visions of witch's and spiders and ghosts ... Oh my! ... bu how about throwing in some flying bats too.

The flying bat's will hang above the doorway of the den and will be visable as people enter the house. They actually move and spin slightly while hanging and add a fun look!

I had a large amount of black card stock remnants from a previous project.  The pieces were too irregular to keep for future projects.  Instead of tossing them I chose to recycle into black paper pulp.
First, the scraps were shredded and then soaked in water before processing in a blender.  At first the plan was to make as many sheets of black paper from the pulp.  While going through my stash of cookie cutters, I came across one in the shape of a bat and had what is called an ... "Ah Hah" moment.

The pulp was placed in a squeeze bottle, a basting tube can also be used.  NOTE: Place the wooden frame onto a baking pan with sides, layering the white plastic grid next, with the blue screen on top.  Place the cookie cutter shape onto the blue screen.  Fill the shape with the pulp to the the top edge.  If needed push the pulp to the inner edges.  While holding the cutter in place, to keep it from lifting, begin to press the edges of the sponge into the pulp to remove water.  Remove as much water as possible from the shape before lifting the cookie cutter away.  NOTE: If needed, use a end of a small, rounded tip of a knife to push the pulp from the edges of the cutter. 

Place the gray screen over the image and press with sponge to remove more water.  Remove the screen and cover with a couch sheet, flip over and press through the blue screen.  Remove the blue screen.

Here is where I made a fun, somewhat unexpected discovery!  I purposely did not remove all of the water from the shapes.  Enough water was removed to make it so I could remove the image from the couch sheets to a parchment covered baking pan.  Set the oven to 275 degrees or no higher then 300.
Place the  shapes into the oven and watch them carefully.  As the shapes dry in this process, they will begin to destort themselves somewhat.  Each of the bat shapes came out a little different, some had more distortion then others.  The edges of the shapes will have an organic look to them.  NOTE: My original plan was to retrace the shape of the bat over the pressed pulp and trim to make nice even edges.  I actualy liked the look of the rougher edges!

I gave the bats two dots of white iridescent Scribbles 3D paint for eyes and draw lines with black glossy Scribbles paint onto the wings for some definition of the wings.

To hang the bat's - punch 1" circles from black card stock.  Cut a very small slit on top and bottom of the circles.  Wrap clear monofilement thread around the circles, into the slits, and knot.   Glue to the back of the bats. Leave enough thread for hanging.  Attach to a doorway for some spooky decorations!

Use this coupon code when purchasing kits or supplies from the Arnold Grummer website:

Friday, October 3, 2014

Here Kitty Kitty

©Michele Emerson-Roberts  2014

I love October! Fall colors, cooler weather and one of my favorite holidays, Halloween. I’m not into witches and goblins but black cats are great. We have a wonderful black kitty named “Bitty”, who we rescued from under our porch 13 years ago. She is precious and rules the roost, keeping the two dogs in line at all times. My card today honors Bitty and all the kitties in our lives.


  • Any of the Arnold Grummer™ paper making kits
  • Molds:  R320 Cat With Heart (available from AG)
  • Microwave, heat gun or a sunny window
  • Blender, small strainer, cello sponges and soft towels, paper cutter, scissors, bone folder
  • Beacon Quick Grab™ and ZipDry™ Adhesives, double sided foam tape or dots
  • Scraps of yellow paper (think colored junk mail, etc.)
  • 1 sheets of black 8 ½ x 5 1/2” cardstock
  • Envelope for a 4 ¼ x 5 ½” card (or use the AG template to create a matching envelope)
  • Dies: Stamp Doctor Center Step Card, Cheery Lynn Chasing Rainbows Doily
  • Spellbinders Grand Calibur™ Machine
  • Punches: small cat foot print
  • Bow EasyTM
  • 12” yellow 1/8” satin ribbon
  • Small flat backed yellow heart cabochon
  • Fine tip black Sharpie™ marker, yellow gel pen


  1. Follow the direction for paper making and casting found in any of the Arnold Grummer paper making kits or books to make slurry from the yellow scraps.
  2. Cast one (or more) of the cat molds.
  3. Dry the castings in the microwave, with the heat tool, or place in a sunny window.
  4. Create a sheet of yellow handmade paper. Allow the paper to dry.
  5. Cut one yellow doily.
  6. Cut two strips of yellow scrap to go behind the punched foot prints. (Save the scrap for another project.
  7. Cut one of the center step cards from the sheet of black card stock.
  8. Fold the card and use the bone folder to get a good crease.
  9. Punch kitty foot prints along the outside edges and the two bottom corners of the center step card.

Assemble the card:

  1. Carefully color the kitty with the black Sharpie™ marker.
  2. Tie a tiny bow with the yellow ribbon.
  3. Attach the bow and the heart cabochon at the neck of the kitty.
  4. Use the ZipDry™ adhesive to attach the yellow strips behind the kitty foot prints and to attach the doily to the center of the card.
  5. Use double sided foam tape or dots to attach the kitty casting to the center of the doily.
  6. Write a Happy Halloween message inside the card with the yellow gel pen.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall Table Favors

Fall is really in the air here in Ohio!! So sad to see our brief summer go, but hoping for a spectacularly colored autumn. Even my projects are taking on an autumn feel—like these two table favors that I've made from handmade papers.

I made the paper following these basic instructions. I used tinted tissue to achieve the lovely autumn gold color. Then, using the templates that I've included, I traced the pattern onto the handmade paper and cut them out. 

Here is a pyramid lantern that would be perfect to decorate any autumn or Halloween tablescape.

I love this little pumpkin bubble box!! It is self-closing and requires no glue. I cut the leaves from an old silk flower I found in my stash. The golden vines were made by coiling the wire around a chopstick.

Hope that you enjoy autumn and continue to made projects using hand made papers.