Friday, November 11, 2011

Bracelets and Earrings and Pins, Oh My!

Mixing my handmade paper beads with other beads for bracelets was so much fun, I had to try making pairs of earrings. Then I remembered my button jar. Inspired by my niece who has a line of jewelry with buttons, I decided to incorporate some buttons with my paper beads.
Planning earrings was such a joy, I had to try hanging several from a safety pin as a brooch. I appears I am hooked on this.
Thanks for the inspiration, Ashley!

Handmade Paper Beads

My college roommate recently flew to Chicago to visit me. Of course we had a downtown day, but being the gracious hostess that I am, I set up a jewelry station in my family room and put her to work. We cut up sheets of my handmade paper, rolled the strips into beads, and sealed them with acrylic varnish. The we played with all my jewelry supplies and made bracelets. I love mixing the paper beads with others for color and texture - glass, wood, metal and plastic add just the right visual interest.
These pieces will be on display at The Center's Art Show/Sale on November 20.
I hope my roomie is wearing her new bracelets with style.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Move Over, Harry Houdini

What is it about magic that makes people stare in awe? You know, that moment when you realize, hey, I didn't have a quarter in my ear when I came in this room. But now you're handing me a quarter from my ear, and I can keep it, and even spend it? Wow!
Stay with me now while I go to the next step. It's like when I know I've just taken junk paper, soaked it in water and buzzed it in the blender. I know it was garbage, then wet, then gunk. But then there's the moment of magic (okay, I know it's chemistry, but it still feels like magic) when I pull the gunky pulp out of the vat on a screen, let the water drip away, and place it onto the waiting felt and press it. I know what it was just a moment ago, but now it's something new and beautiful and different. It's like I can go out and spend that shiny new quarter.
The words "pulp" and "hydrogen bonding" do not stop people in their tracks and cause them to say "Wow!" But when I demonstrate papermaking and people see the process, you'd think I just pulled a quarter out from their ear. Move over, Harry, papermaking is magic.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hot Summer Days

It's the kind of summer
that reminds me of playing on the beach and swimming in the lake when I was a
child. It was not unusual for me to have quite a collection of shells by the
end of summer vacation. I put some shells in my garden several years ago, and
I’m watching them weather through the seasons. Right now they are peeking out
between the hostas and the lilies of the valleys.

This pulp
painting was made with 100% cotton rag fibers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I used to consider the traditional heart shape too trite to be bothered with, but I've been using it in my work more and more lately. First as a geometric shape in cards for valentines, weddings, anniversaries, showers and love notes. More recently as the organic shape found in nature, since my stay in the cardiac unit of the hospital. In this piece, which didn't quite fit on my scanner, I repeated the bleeding hearts and added a hollyhock petal that split into a heart shape, placing it above like a winged sun in the sky. Because I incorporate the pressed botanicals into my paper, I drew in the stems and covered portions of the leaves and petals with Graphitint, graphite pencils tinted with soluble pigments. I like the effect of drawing on my handmade recycled paper.

Monday, June 27, 2011

On a beautiful summer day

Here's my summer newsletter.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


This is what I'm up to.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Art Alert

After shoveling snow and making a pot of soup for supper, I have been spending more time in home remodeling than papermaking. Now it's time to get back to the pulp. Here's a few classes where I hope you will join me:
Feb. 2, 6:30 - 8:30 pm at The Center, 12700 Southwest Hwy, Palos Park. (New dates and times). Create handmade paper for cards with hearts and flowers and Valentines and the coming Spring.
March 30 and April 6, 6:30 - 8:30 pm at The Center. With inspiration from the Vernal Equinox, create handmade papers for framing or stationery by painting with pulp from recycled paper and botanical elements from the garden.
I will also be doing a Valentine/bookmark workshop at Evergreen Park Public Library on Feb. 3 at 6:30 pm with the Garden Club. Respond to this post for contact information if you would like to join us there.
Enjoy the beauty of winter for the next few months, stay inspired, and continue creating.