Friday, August 28, 2015


©Michele Emerson-Roberts  2015

I remember playing with “whirly gigs” as a child…… do you? They were fun and easy to obtain. It was such fun to run and run and watch the wind make them whirl. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be a kid again!


  • Any of the Arnold Grummer paper making kits
  • Scraps of pink  and white paper (think junk mail)
  • Blender, sponges & soft towels
  • Microwave, heat gun or sunny window
  • Scor-pal™ (LOVE the new 1/8” version)
  • Die: CheeryLynn # B413 “Enjoy”
  • Spellbinders’ Grand Calibur II™ die cutting machine
  • Westcott™ scissors
  • Two pieces 2” square of patterned paper
  • ColorBox™ light pink Chalk ink pad, Stylus™ handle & tip
  • Beacon QuickGrip™  and ZipDry™ adhesive
  • Scrap of white handmade paper
  • Pencil, 1/8” round hole punch
  • Two tiny white brads


  1. Follow the instructions found in any of the AG paper making kits or books to create one sheet of pink handmade paper (think card stock weight). 
  2. When the paper is dry, fold in half and tear to create two 5 ½ x 8 ½” pieces.
  3. Score and fold to create two 4 ¼ x 5 ½” cards. Set one card aside for a future project.
  4. Die cut the word “Enjoy” from the scrap of white handmade paper.
  5. Use the pencil to lightly mark on the diagonal all 4 corners.
  6. Cut on the lines leaving approx. ½” in the middle of the square.
  7. Fold each section toward the middle and adhere them with the ZipDry™ adhesive.
  8. Cut two thin strips of white for the handles.
  9. Use the 1/8” hole punch to place a hole in the center of the whirly gig and the end of the paper handle
  10. Assemble them with the tiny brad.
  11. Attach the two whirly gigs to the upper portion of the card with QuickGrip™.
  12. Attach the word to the lower portion of the card with ZipDry™.
  13. Add a message inside the card. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Paper Flowers with Tamiko

I love handmade flowers.  i honestly love them more than real ones!  Weird huh?  Yet true!  With the Arnold Grummer's (AG) Seed Paper Flowers Kit , not only do I get to create my personally handmade paper, I also get to encourage the recycling by creating seed papers which is MORE than AWESOME!

This procedure only requires the kit mentioned above, some paper you would like to recycle, tissue tints (for coloring the paper, if you aren't already using colored papers), a blender (preferably one you use for paper making or craft, a bowl less than six inches in diameter, some water,  a few dry rags or couch sheets and flowering seeds. you will also probably want some markers or pens to decorate your intended leaves or petals.

I took some torn bits of scrap paper, about a handful, and placed them in 2.5 cups of water in the blender.  I let the paper soak for about 20 minutes while I drank a cup of coffee and read email, hey I am a multitasker!  I then turned the blender on for a few moments (like 60seconds) and watched my paper and water become a slurry.  I decided since my paper was not my preferred color, I would add some of the AG tinted tissue sheets.  Mind you, the word tint means to slightly tinge with color.  So my paper slurry was on the pastel side.  If you want something with more intense colors, you can try adding a little acrylic paint, food coloring or steeping vegetables. I mounted the orange deckle (that's in the shape of the flower petals over a bowl slight small to catch the water.  I also inserted the round screen in the center of the deckle to catch my colorful pulpy goodness.  I poured the mixture very slowly trying to cover the entire center circle.  Once I filled the circle, I sprinkled a few flower seeds.
The circular screen was lifted and a slightly pressed it with a dry towel to gather some of the wetness.  I repeated this process to create a few more flowers.  I also used my couch sheets to help catch water as I waited, while the seeded paper flower centers  dried over night.

I took the orange deckle and traced the shape of the six petal flower out on the card stock, you also get some in the kit.  I panted and doodled on the petals and allowed my art to dry,  I also have seam binding I colored green to attach to the back of the flower, heck these might even go in the mail with an invitation to tea and directions for using the seed paper.  My daughter wants to wear one as a head band, with the flower in her hair, (smiles).  After she is done with her tea party and playing dress up we go outside and plant flower centers.  I think it will be an eventful day. If I am lucky, maybe she will take a few pictures I can post!

I enjoyed making these paper flowers with seed paper and I know you will too!!  Don't forget to go one over to the Arnold Grummer site and grab some cool things and MAKE SOME PAPER!!    ::chuckles:: Hey a little blonde birdie told me, there are some new videos being added to the AG youtube channel!!  How cool is that??  Click here to see what's happening!!   It's never too late to create.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Believe Fan Book

©Michele Emerson-Roberts 2014

Each of these little books is full of quotes related to the title on the cover of the book. Several friends are going through some rough patches in their lives and these books will perhaps give them some comfort. Join me in creating this fan book for Debbie.


  • Any of the Arnold Grummer™ paper making kits
  • A sunny window
  • Blender, cello sponges and soft towels
  • Personal paper cutter, scissors
  • Beacon ZipDry™ Adhesive, double sided foam tape or dots
  • Scraps of black paper (think junk mail, left over cardstock scrap, etc.)
  • One or more of AG #2718 Mini Fan Book
  • Verbiage stamps and black ink pad or computer generated quotes or sayings
  • ColorBox™ Stylus™ handle and soft tip
  • Small scrap of chip board
  • Dies: CheeryLynn™ corner flourish
  • Die cut machine: Spellbinders’ Grand Calibur


  1. Follow the directions found in any of the Arnold Grummer™ paper making kits to create black slurry.
  2. Create a sheet of thick black paper.
  3. When the paper is dry, die cut the corner flourish.
  4. Remove the screw hinge and pages from the book.
  5. Stamp “Believe” onto the scrap of chip board.
  6. Us the Stylus handle and tip to apply ink the edges of the stamped chip board and the book cover.
  7. Deconstruct the die to create small decretive pieces to be attached with Beacon ZipDry™ under the stamped chip board.
  8. Stamp the saying onto the pages (or print out verbiage using your computer and printer, then cut and glue to the pages.)

    NOTE: make sure the verbiage is all oriented the same. (My book is landscape oriented and has the hinge on the top left.)

    I suggest that if you are making several of these books, stamp or print all of the sayings at once. (I will often do many different related saying at a time as well as die cutting the bits and pieces and save them to assemble the “Fan” book at a later time.)

  9. Reassemble the fan book.
  10. Decide on the placement of the deconstructed corner die pieces, and attach them onto the cover with ZipDry™ adhesive.
  11. Center and attach the stamped chip board to the cover with double sided foam tape or dots.
  12. Cut a small strip of the handmade black paper to be attached on the left side of the cover.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Children of the Sea Zig Zag journal

Howdy everyone! I am so looking forward to going on my art-cation next month with my good friend Anna, we are going to sketch, watercolor, make "ocean" paper and have all sorts of fun, art filled days! I wanted to make a special journal to do some sketching in while I am down at the beach so I created a themed journal from one of the Tall Zig Zag books that Arnold Grummer makes. They are so cool and easy to put together that I can see them as great gift giving ideas too...and you know what is approaching quickly in 126 days! yikes!! ( hint: starts with a C....)

However, this one is going to be for moi!

I did use regular card stock to cover the book since I didn't have any handmade paper large enough on hand ( my bad!! ) but I did have a yummy piece of hand made paper that screamed "sea" to me and I used it to layer on the top of the card stock. I just love those deckled edges hanging over the edges of the cover, sure I could have cut them off...but seriously...why?

In case you've never seen a Zig Zag book, this is what the inside looks like. I set mine up so that I will have the "landscape" format is where I plan on doing a long beach side sketch. You don't have to make a long sketch, you can break it up into sections, as you can see there are 6 rectangles that you can use individually if you prefer.

Which is what I plan on doing on the backside of my pages. I haven't decided if I am going to journal or sketch in each of them but I have 4 pages to decide upon!

I also played around with the Microfleur Flower Press....oh my goodness, this thing ROCKS! Especially if you are an impatient crafter like myself! Decide you want pressed flowers in your next project? Well, zap some flowers in the microwave and you have them, ready to use!

The Zig Zag books come complete with instructions, all you have to do is use you imagination and voilà, you have your own awesome book! If you would like to see how I made my "free form" paper castings of the seahorse and the starfish, or maybe how to hand embroider a title onto your paper cover then check out my 4½  minute slideshow. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away! Since it's a slide show you can pause it any time in order to read what I wrote, otherwise, speed readers gear

Monday, August 17, 2015

Microwave Flower Press

Hello, it is I, Ann, from the blog over at : and the Design Team here at Arnold Grummer.  Today I am excited to share with you my review and experience with the Regular Microfleur®, available here at the Arnold Grummer Paper Making store/site.  The Microfleur® (micro for Microwave and Fleur is french for flower) is a Microwave Flower Press which makes the process of pressing and drying flowers and other specimens so easy.  In a matter of minutes you can use the Microfleur® to preserve some of your own garden's beauty beyond its blooming season.

The point of pressing, drying , and saving these flowers as crafters and artists is so we can add these to our projects.  Pressed flowers and leaves added to pulp in the paper making process creates interesting pieces.  The dried specimens can be used in a wide variety of creative applications.


Every microwave oven varies in power and therefore will dictate how long it takes for each type of plant you wish to press and dry.  Trial is the name of the game here.  Each Microfleur® kit comes with everything you need to make preserving flowers a breeze, and a detailed instruction manual.  I have and use the Regular size model, and there is a larger model available.  I enjoy working with
this press so much I want to get the larger model myself!

The kit consists of 2 platens (tough microwave resistant plastic type plates with perforations), 2 clips or 4 clips for the Max size model, 2 pads, and 2 sheets.  To load the Microfleur® you just place one platen ribbed side down on a surface, place one pad on top and then one piece of fabric on top of the pad.  Next, place the flowers and leaves to be pressed on top of the fabric, making sure they sit as flat as possible and do not overlap each other. Carefully place the second sheet of fabric over the layer of plants, and then place the pad over the top.  Cover this with the second platen making sure the ribbed side is facing outwards.  Apply some pressure while adding the clips to hold this "sandwich" together.
Be careful not to overfill and apply too much pressure when installing the clips, so as not to cause any damage.

Now go forth preserve some of Summer's beautiful blooms to create with during those Winter days!

Thank you for stopping by, take time to smell the flowers and dry them!

Saturday, August 15, 2015


The other day I was organizing the part of my craft room when I store all the stuff that I've accumulated thinking that someday I'd include it in a project. I have an assortment of frames, boxes—some wooden with glass tops, some chipboard—coasters, glass panels, and other oddities that I know someday will be just the perfect thing.

In among the accumulation was this beautiful solid glass domed paperweight. I knew as soon as I saw it again, that it would be perfect for showcasing one of the flowers that I'd dried with Arnold Grummer's Garden Press.

I carefully peeled away the original velvet paper backing so I could reuse it, and removed the stock photo that was is the paperweight. I cut a circle of my handmade paper, made using basic papermaking techniques. I secured the dried pansy with a tiny droplet of quick dry adhesive, and let the glue dry completely before reassembling the paperweight. I inserted the handmade paper circle with the dried pansy, and reattached the velvet paper backing with strong adhesive.

Here's my finished paperweight.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Paper Cast Handmade Journal

©Michele Emerson-Roberts  2015

You may know that I love journals and handmade books - any shape or size! I make them by the batch and always have a wonderful gift ready for whatever the occasion. Creating journals with handmade paper and castings makes them even more special. There are so many molds available from AG - pick one and follow along with the instructions below to create some of your own.


  • Any of the Arnold Grummer paper making kits
  • Blender, sponges and soft towels
  • AG mold #711 Gingko Leaf (or mold of your choice)
  • Scraps of tan and off -white paper (think junk mail)
  • Roylco Rubbing Plates (texture sheets)
  • Japanese screw punch & 1/8” bit, scissors
  • Scor-Pal (LOVE the new 1/8” version)
  • Beacon QuickGrip™ or ZipDry™ adhesive
  • Stick for spine approx. 5 ½”
  • Heavy thread to match the paper for the binding
  • Piece of Palm frond or bark
  • A small amount of old spices and/or tiny pieces of dried grasses etc.


  1. Follow the instructions found in any of the AG paper making kits or books to create one sheet of tan handmade paper.
  2. Place the damp sheet onto the Roylco RP/TS. Use sponges or soft towels to remove the rest of the water from the sheet. This cast paper will be the cover.
  3. Create numerous sheets of different weights of tan, and off white handmade paper, adding spices or dried grasses to some of the sheets. (I created 5 sheets for this book).
  4. Create one Gingko leaf casting from tan slurry.

Assemble the journal:

  1. Fold and score the cover and all of the pages in half (Journal will be 5 ½ (high) x 4 ½” wide when assembled).
  2. Place the pages inside of the covers, mark and use the Japanese Screw Punch to create holes approx. ½” from the spine.
  3. Bind the journal by attaching the sticks with the heavy duty thread.
  4. Attach the Palm frond or bark to the center of the cover with either of the adhesive.
  5. Attach the Gingko leaf casting to the center of the Palm frond or bark piece.
Note: You can find a lot of videos on the internet showing how to create many different bindings.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mixed Media Canvas with Tamiko

Hey folks, Happy Wednesday to you!  I am forever loving the process of learning to create my own paper. Arnold Grummer has laid down an awesome foundation that many have and will continue to learn from.  Check out and subscribe to the Arnold Grummer's YouTube channel by clicking here.
Today I made a canvas.  I used one of molds my friend Mitzi gifted me.  Arnold Grummer has a plethora of casting molds available for you on the website.  After reading The Art of Paper Casting, a book that can be purchased on the site, I learned how to properly prepare a mold for casting paper.  Almost like baking in a pan, you usually start out brushing a little oil on the mold to assist with the release of the paper cast.  You don't have to do it every time, but if you ever have a problem removing a dry cast from the mold.. that is one sure way to resolve it.

I learned after I finished my project that I could in fact spray my castings with a workable fixative or brush on some type of acrylic sealant BEFORE I paint it,   That will indeed help with my paint not totally soaking into the paper and it gives it bit of an allowance for a wet media application.

I basically prepared for my cast by, taking some torn bits of paper, a handful, and placing it in the blender with 2.5 cups of water.  I turned the blender on until my water and paper turned into a paper slurry.  I then took the contents of the blender and poured it slowly into my paper casting strainer where I pressed the excess water out.  With that pulp I used tweezers to place the pulp carefully into the mold.  I wanted to make sure I had all the sections properly filled.  The smaller molds normally take 6-12 hrs to dry out.  You can also place them in the oven on a low temp. of 275 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  You can even zap it with a heat gun.

After the mold is dry, again you can protect it with a workable fixative, or acrylic sealant of choice, before you add color.  I did not in this case.  I will try it another time.  I am still pleased with how it came out.  I painted my casted building with Colour Arte Twinkling H2Os .  I applied them very lightly with my water brush.  I did a quickie gelato background.  I attached the building on the canvas board with Helmar 450 quick dry adhesive.  After finding a proper quote on pinterest I printed it on my computer and mounted the wording on darker blue hand made paper scraps from a previous project and adhered that to the canvas, again with more Helmar 450.  If you are interested and seeing how I create paper, check out how the master, Arnold Grummer, does it here.

My quote on the page says :  May your home hold joy; Every room hold laughter;  Every room open windows to great possibilities.

I hope you enjoyed my canvas as much as i did creating it.  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Elegant Card Trio

©Michele Emerson-Roberts  2015

Creating elegant and beautiful cards is a snap! Adding handmade paper is like icing on the cupcake. These three cards went together so quickly – as in less than 5 minutes each, and are sure to be a hit with the recipients. They would be wonderful in any color scheme. I chose to save some time and used purchased cardstock in a soft warm cinnamon color for the card bases and die cuts.


  • Any of the Arnold Grummer paper making kits
  • A sunny window or traditional oven
  • Blender, small strainer, cello sponges and soft towels
  • Scraps of ivory paper (think junk mail, etc.)
  • Tiny pieces of dried flower petals, spices or grasses
  • Dies:  Quiet Fire words “Believe”, “Thanks and “Hello”
    Impression Obsession: DIE253-U
    Tonic Studios US: 77 E Butterfly Sprig & 76 E Dragonfly Brooch
  • Spellbinders Grand Calibur™ Machine
  • 2 pieces of 8 ½ x 11 cinnamon card stock
  • Envelopes to fit cards
  • Westcott™ paper trimmer & scissors
  • Scor-Pal™ (LOVE the new 1/8th version!)
  • Beacon  ZipDry™ adhesive, Double side foam tape or dots


  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 ivory scraps.
  2. Create one or more sheets of heavy weight ivory handmade paper.
  3. When the sheets of paper are dry, tear them into 4 equal pieces. You want ragged edges. Save the 4thpiece for another project.
  4. Cut, score and fold the sheets of purchased card stock to create three 4 ¼ x 5 ½” card cards.
  5. Die cut the words, both dragonflies and the butterfly from the other half sheet of purchased card stock.
  6. Attach the torn pieces of ivory handmade paper to the front of the card with ZipDry™ adhesive.
  7. Attach the words and “critters” to the handmade paper with tiny slivers of foam tape.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Board drying

Hi everyone, sorry I am a little late today with my posting and there should be no excuses to being late but I have been super busy with some art shows lately and I'm afraid my mind has been preoccupied so I hope you forgive me.

I just got this new stamp set and it comes with little dies to cut out your image so let's take a minute and talk about stamping and die cutting handmade paper. When I stamp, I want a smooth flat surface devoid of any bumps or roughness, and this is how I get that type of surface.
( Please go here for your directions on making your own paper using the fabulous Arnold Grummer Papermill kits )
Tim Holtz Sizzix BIRD CRAZY Thinlits Die And Cling Stamp Set 
Arial font - size 20 printed through computer

You can create many different surfaces with a lot of varying techniques. One of those techniques is how you go about drying your paper. I use a board drying technique which gives me a super flat surface on one side and a textured surface on the reverse side. Which is really nice to have both of those to choose from later on since I never know what I am going to want when I create something. This is a side by side comparison, which may not seem that noticeable but there is a big difference to me. The textured side shows the grid pattern to the cover screen that you use to press against your paper with your sponge and any roughness that you get from air drying.

I researched many methods: Japanese "friction mounting", pressing, ironing and my favorite, laying your wet paper on a board. That means, take your newly formed wet sheet of paper ( that has been couched) and lay it flat against a board. I then take a wide soft bristle brush and smooth out the deckled edges and then proceed to let it air dry. When you remove the sheets, the side that has been pressed against the board is smooth and the side left to the air has texture. Here is a picture of my drying board, you can see where I have already removed some sheets from it.

Here is the set of papers that I removed from my board.

Everyone has different ways to dry their paper, it just a personal preference, but hopefully this will give you something new to try.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Paper Casting

Hello,  Ann here today from the Arnold Grummer Design Team and Annmakes.  I have been enjoying making paper castings lately with some new moulds that I received.  Paper casting can be done in several ways.  Today I am showing you some examples of using moulds and Cotton Linters.
Cotton Linters are a wonderful fiber to create with as the end product results in a very white and delicate finish. However, the Cotton Linter fibres create a very strong natural bond while the fineness of the fibres takes on any details in the moulds almost perfectly.  Of course the moulds can also be used with a regular paper pulp or clay.

To make the pulp all you need are a few squares of Cotton linter, some water and a blender.  Mix it all up and pour through a sieve reserving the cotton pulp and draining the excess water.  Then pressing the cotton into the mould of choice, packing it firmly, and letting it dry.  It is also possible to speed up the drying process in a low temperature oven set for baking.

Once the pulp has dried (over night in my house in this case)  the shape can easily come out of the mould with a flick of a fingernail or pin.  The shape should be completely smooth and show off great detail.  The piece is then ready to be used as is or altered with any colour and medium.

I made a bunch of these to save and use as embellishments in future pieces of mixed media art.

Thank you for stopping by, please visit my blog and YouTube channel to see the other projects I am working on.  Remember that you can purchase any of these wonderful products through the Arnold Grummer store.

Arnold grummer's Cotton Linter Squares
Arnold Grummer's Casting Molds (various)
Tag (Dollarama)
Twinkling H2o water colour Paint "Nutmeg"
Prismacolor coloring pencil blue
Gel Mat Medium (Omer DeSerres)