Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to Make Recycled Paper

So, here's what I ended up with after reading a few sites and a full day of trial and error (good thing it was so fun!)  I improvised in some areas with things i had around the house and didn't have to purchase a thing!

Things You'll Need:

A frame - I used old picture frames (without the glass and backings), but I've seen embroidery hoops,         disposable metal pie pans, once you figure out the process you'll come up with your preferred method and just use what you have around the house. What ever size or shape you want your finished paper to be. Have fun with it!

A Deckle (the bit that holds the slurry in) - use another of what ever you used for your frame, as close to the same size as possible

Screening - this is going to be stapled, duct taped, attached somehow, to the frame. just some old window screening is what i used, i also read you can use nylons stretched over your frame. I haven't tried this method, if you do let me know how it works out!

Blender - I used my food processor

Tub - dish tub type of container - should be deep enough to submerge your frame and deckle. OR you can do what i did and use a 13x9 baking dish and spoon the mixture onto the frame. The kids loved this part because they got to help with the spooning :o)

Sponge and/or LOTS of towels - for soaking extra water out of pulp

Paper to be recycled and water   - self explanatory, right?   ;O)

OK! To set up you need to wrap and attach your screening to whatever frame you chose. I stapled mine to an old picture frame. pull it nice and tight when you attach it, this is what gathers the pulp and forms it into the paper shape that you want. if using an embroidery hoop you just put the screening in between the hoops like material and tighten to hold it tight. metal pie pans (for round papers) you will cut out a hole in the bottom of the pan the size you want your finished paper to be and cover it nice and tight with your screen. I'm sure you get the idea we're going for here, so use what ever you have around that will give you that sieve type of contraption.

Now for your deckle you are going to want another just like the frame, minus the screening. easy peasy.

Now you can start!

first fill your blender about 1/2 way with warm water. If using a food processor fill to the liquid stop line. Then fill the rest of the way with scraps of paper. I have a shredder so I shredded most of my paper and used it that way. If you don't have access to one then ripping the paper into small-ish pieces is just as good. They just need to be a good size for the processor to break down.

Blend paper/water until you have a nice slurry. It should be like runny oatmeal. I made mine too thick the first couple times, all that happens is that you get thick paper. no biggie.  As you go along you'll get a feel for the thickness you prefer.

When it's a good consistency poor it into your container. Add more water to the container to achieve the desired result. As i said, mine wasn't as watery as it probably should have been at first, it was a little too chunky. Just add some plain water and stir it up!

Now to the messy part (i.e. the fun part!)

put your deckle on top of your screened frame, openings lined up. Submerge your frame into the watery slurry. In my 13x9 pan mine didn't submerge so i just held it down so it didn't float around and spooned the mixture onto the screen.  Gently shake the frame a bit in the water to level it out and pull it out.  The screen will be covered in pulp :o)  hold the frame over the container until the extra water stops dripping through the screen.

Now there were different ways i read to do this next part...I'm going to tell you what I ended up doing.

I was doing this at home, when I do it with my Daisy troop I'll have to alter slightly, but as i said earlier, you will find your best way once you get the idea.

I gathered just about every towel I have in the house and had the dryer running almost constantly, but remember, we did A LOT of paper.

you are going to remove the deckle and carefully flip the screen paper side down onto a towel. Use a big towel folded several times if you can, this step is where you extract as much water from the paper as you can.  Take another towel or a sponge and press on the screen to squish out and absorb as much water as possible.  once you have this done VERY carefully lift the screen and peel off the newly formed sheet of paper. (This is the one part my young children just couldn't do, not that they didn't try! lol)  Again, no biggie if the paper rips. just toss it back in the slurry, stir it up and try again!

When its off the screen it should be dry enough to gently pick up and move to wherever you are going to lay them to dry.   Now just leave them alone to dry out!   The thicker the pieces are the longer they will take to dry, obviously, so just keep checking on 'em. Over night at least, i think.

So that's that! Totally easy and fun for adults and kids. you can add a few scraps of construction paper to dye the slurry a color. We made pink paper (red bits of construction in with regular white), green and purple. Also we have purple with bits of yellow, it's really pretty! Have fun and experiment, let me know what you come up with! I'd love to see pictures of your finished product :o)

I wrote this from memory after a full day of paper making, so if I skipped a step or something just doesn't make sense, please ask!  I will do one more batch tomorrow so that I can add pictures to help explain. Until then, have fun!

 <3 Melissa
UPDATE 4/6/12  3PM:
Most of my pieces of paper are dried and have been flattened in books just  bit and are ready to be used! The thicker ones still have some wetness in the middles, I'll just let them be for awhile longer...  A couple of pics of my finished product!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quick update and my first sewing project!

I have been busy lately! Here's an update on some of the projects in progress in the Honeybee House:

Hubby's Best Friend is getting married at the end of the month (Congrats Joe and Cin!) so I've been trying to get the creative juices flowing on some Steampunk attire to fit in with the theme of the wedding.  My mom has Hubs and I covered (you're amazing mommy!) so I have been working on Lady Bird's outfit. This is what I have so far....

The skirt and shoe cover/ruffly spats are almost done and then I just need to come up with some sort of shirt. Hmmm.......   But I can't wait to get her in it all. Gonna be Super Cute!    (Note the tool bag on the floor in the background of that last picture....evidence of another project in progress...)

I have also been crocheting like a crazy person working on a bunch of adorable photo props for my friends over at Stephanie Rose Photography. Here's a few things:

Hopefully I'll have pictures of all these worn by precious little models soon!

I'm still working on painting, DIY shelving and general decorating in the living room (as you can see from the disheveled background in most of these pictures)

I made a bunch of things for Lady Bird's Daisy Scout Ceremony, but unfortunately was so busy making them that I never got any pictures. :o(

And Finally (for now) today's project! My mom gave me her old sewing machine so I set out to try to re-teach myself the basics and learn all the new fun things I can!  For my very first project I re-purposed an old shirt of Hubs' into a summer dress for Lady Bird! It turned out super cute :o)

It's not perfect, but I'm pretty darn proud of myself! And she asked if she could wear it "all the rest of the day", so, guess she's proud of it too  :o)

I will keep you guys up on all the new progress and final pictures when they are all completed!  

What are you proud of today?

<3 Melissa

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My Own Recycled Yarn!!!

I have been wanting to "make" some recycled yarn for some time now and last night I took the plunge.  I grabbed two sweaters I haven't worn in forever and went to work on them. Now, I have to say, I'm super glad I came across this blog post over at Laughing Purple Goldfish Designs. It has some great tips that made everything a little easier. (When she says "you don't want this tangled up"....TAKE HER SERIOUSLY. Yea, I'm being silly, but really! It's a real pain in the rear! I had to cut and tie a few times to get rid of tangles.....)

The yellow yarn is all from one sleeveless sweater..

The blue ball of yarn is half of one sleeveless sweater, the other half is in the photo so you can get a small taste of how it started out...

This project turned out to be even more satisfying than I thought it would be. I'm reusing material that would otherwise be wasted and saving a little money along the way (and seriously, who doesn't love that!). Not to mention these are colors that I would never find and they are nice and soft and comfy, no need to break in new scratchy processed yarn. I totally recommend trying this if you feel brave enough. It was super easy, thanks to the tips from Sharon over at Laughing Purple Goldfish. If I had tried it myself I would have just gone in scissors  flying, rules be damned. But her tips made the process much more trial and much less error.  

<3  Melissa

p.s. Anyone out there who has sweaters they are getting rid of, my arms are open!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

We get by with a little help from our friends....

So, I just couldn't end my night without sharing this awesome tip with you guys :o) 

As I was roaming the great beyond for some inspiration I came across a fab blog written by 4 sisters called The letter 4. There are so many great tutorials and inspiring ideas, I think I must have spent hours wandering around just there!  I decided I had to share this with all of you because I know there are a few out there who have blogs or are thinking about starting one up and it was an "ah ha!" moment for me.

Anyone notice a (albeit slight) change in the look of this page???  In the post How to Make your blog wider Jamie teaches those of us who are a little bit sheepish about messing around with code how to make some changes to make your blog pages look even better than they already do. I love the wider look  Honeybee Blog has now, and have been wondering how to make it happen for quite awhile.  (Jamie also tells you how to re-center your title after the widening)

And while you're there take a look around! Here are some pictures (straight from the letter 4 blog, not my own) of some of the other amazing bits of goodness you'll find over there :o)

Janae's awesome 

 "How's it Hangin' Braid" Hair Tutorial

Jamie's beautiful

Lighted Canvas Tutorial

 and Jade's 
(Which, by the way, I can't wait to try...)

So, go! enjoy! Tell 'em I sent you ;o)

Talk to ya' soon!   

<3 Melissa

Friday, February 24, 2012

Update on New Years Resolution... (insert Happy Dance here) :o)

Well, I'm proud to say that I have actually made some progress on my New Years Resolution! And February isn't even over yet.... whoo hoo!  This is the first year I've actually made a resolution, because...  well...  I know myself and my terrible memory. I can't remember to take a vitamin when the bottle is sitting right out on the counter, how did I think I was going to expect to make a change in something and actually remember to do it? But this year I vowed to get to work on our house that we had built 3 years ago and still has only the builders primer on the walls. You can find the original post here. 

Well, I am here tonight to give an update and share what I've been up to. The transformation starts with the entry way. I don't have before pictures, so just imagine a tiny space with a tiny coat closet and completely bare (the gross kid hand prints and dirt smudges don't count!) off white colored primered walls. Oh and my bench from when I was little that now houses the kid's play dress up clothes.  So basically, a bunch of BLAH, with "lovely" touches of kid added grime. Not ideal.

And, now, we have an entry way that looks like this!

It's not perfect, but it turned out really cute! Now there's a place for the kids to hang coats and back packs because that closet really is pretty small inside, we have everything SHOVED in there. The circles on the door are magnets I diy-ed from old cd's and scrapbooking supplies before we moved to this house. The kids love to move them around and look at the pictures of  family that is far away and pictures of themselves when they were babies.

I got some wood and paint from Home Depot and got to work! After i screwed the wood pieces vertically onto the wall I taped off and painted the boards and bottom half of the wall in a bright white. I used the paint that is paint and primer in one...  wow! It is more expensive, but I almost don't want to ever use "regular" paint again! This picture is after only one coat (both colors) and it only took a quart of the gray to do the entire space (more pictures below). I'm very happy with the coverage and color :o)  Then I put white molding across the top of the boards for a little stylish texture and voila! DIY batten-ish treatment. I had planned to buy hooks and nail them into the boards for the back pack hangers, but purchasing a pre-made 5 hook coat rack and matching 5 hook mini rack for keys, etc. turned out to be easier and basically the same cost.

Here's a quick picture of the other wall. Sorta boring, but for now I'm enjoying the much needed color on the walls and simplicity of the small bench and single shadow box. The shadow box has a picture from our wedding along with the invitation and a (silk) sample of our flowers. I made it a very long time ago and am enjoying seeing it displayed as such a "spotlight" piece.

And that's the first project finished! It was a great start because it's a small area (which meant I was unlikely to get bored and leave it half done) and it is the first and last thing we see as we leave/enter the house. It makes me happy and inspired and ready to get down to more work every time I walk through it. And, the best part? As a family we have managed to keep it clean and tidy! No one wants to ruin the rooms "pretty", lol. Hopefully it doesn't become old and comfortable and revert back to "normal" too quickly, we could use a little time to form good habits. The big ones as well as the little ones ;0)

Let me know what you think! Do you have any suggestions for the space? Do you have something you're proud of ? Share it! I love comments and want to hear your stories.   

<3 Melissa

p.s. I have already started on my next project! It's almost done, but I ran out of painters tape (whah, whah...)  A post will be up soon, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My little crafter,,,,

Today I thought I'd share some thing made FOR my five year old daughter (that I forgot to put in the last post...oops) and some thing made BY her as well. She loves to make things...she is getting pretty "art smart" as they say at her Kindergarten :o)

Story: Lady Bird loves kitties. I had my husband choose and bring home some yarn for me one night (I needed inspiration- colors I didn't pick surely would spark creativity, right?) and when she saw it she begged me to make her a Kitty. Huh. How to make an orange, green, and blue kitty and still feel like I accomplished something nice? Here's what I came up with.......   A Kitty Scoodie!  (for those of you saying "a what?!" a scoodie is a scarf/hoodie....clever, no? lol)

picking her up from school... she was so excited about that silly straw she brought out of school with her.   ?!?

*And this is HER latest project*

Story: This is a set of necklaces she made for her and her friend.  too cute..... :o)

Tomorrow's post, after i can get a picture of my son in the hat I made him (that I also forgot to put in my last post....i know, i know, I must try harder....) will be all about Mushroom!
                                                                                                            <3 Melissa                                                                        

Monday, February 6, 2012

What I've been working on....

So, I have finished a few projects and I thought I'd share them with you!  One for me, One for the hubby, and one for the kids. I feel pretty accomplished :o)

This is the bag I made for myself :o) It turned out great, I love it <3

 It's crocheted with two strands ww yarn together - 1 peaches and creme Avocado, 1 red heart Thyme. The inside is fully lined (hand sewn) with some scrap fabric I had laying around.

 The Flower is two shades of pink - sorry, no idea what they are, the paper is long gone, but they are pretty!  ;O)

My 7 and 5 year olds have a stuffed dragon collection that my husband started with them... now they have one made by Mommy!

This was the first attempt at eyes, I guess they came out OK.  He is quite cute and the kids and his new dragon friends love him bunches :o)

My third project turned out super cute! This one is for my husband, A Big Ol' Star Wars fan... (it doesn't hurt that this is my favorite character from the films ;O) )          

I bought safety eyes to try next time...

I'd love to hear your comments or suggestions!  NOW.... what to try next......

                                                                            <3 Melissa

Monday, January 30, 2012

sitting here waiting....

I realized as I was running out the door to pick the kiddieos up from school that it's been awhile since our last "talk". So here I am, blogging from my phone in the car while I wait for the school bell to  ring.  I haven't had much of a chance to go exploring lately (haven't even been on pinterest...*gasp!*) so I'll just share with you the cute little project I finished today.

Its a pixie/elf  hat :0). These are so cute! This one will fit a 6-12 month old, made of Peaches and Creme - avocado and Red Heart - soft pink.  

Let me know what you think!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Picnik, you will be missed....and new stuff in the shop

I am soooo sad to see that Picnik is shutting down!  I have been looking for a very long time to find a photo editing software the does more than simply crop and rotate, that also doesn't cost a months salary. (OK, that may be a bit exaggerated, but it sure feels like it!) I finally came across this wonderful online site called Picnik that has just about everything I could ask for, and now it's shutting down. I say Booooo! and Hissss! to that. I'm sure they have a good reason to be shutting down such a wonderful, helpful service and I wish them the best, but man! I'm bummed.  

Well, I guess onto what prompted this little pity me party.

 Here are some pic's of some of the new things being added to Honeybee Boutique. Hope you like them, and go by the Etsy shop and check them out :o)  (you can just click on the mini etsy shop on the right hand side of the blog page and it'll take you right there!)

                                       <3 Melissa