Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Coffee-staining paper...

Good morning my friends!

Years ago when I first started taking collage classes at one of the rubber stamp stores that my friend and I went to when I lived in Florida, we did some work with coffee-stained paper. In the essence of time, the instructor had already stained some tags for us to use, but I never actually did much coffee-staining myself. I always had the intention of doing more, but of course I never really did.

When I decided recently that I was going to start working on some junk journals, I looked at several tutorials on the process, and of course, everyone has their own way of doing it. This weekend I combined a few techniques and stained some myself, alternating between regular white printer paper and ivory resume paper just to compare the outcomes. There wasn't really a marked difference between the two, so when I do it again I will continue to alternate, using whatever I have on hand.

No complicated technique at all. Here is my process:
  1. Mix a strong batch of instant coffee. I mixed it in a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup, using two cups of almost-boiling water and a couple of heaping teaspoons of coffee.
  2. Cut several sheets of waxed paper to fit two old cookie sheets. You will need the same amount  as the number of pages you hope to stain. (For my first run I found 16 sheets of paper a good number to work with.)
  3. Lay one sheet of waxed paper down on one of the cookie sheets with a sheet of printer paper on top.
  4. Using a cheap 2-inch wide bristle brush, "paint" the coffee onto one side of the printer paper, then flip it over onto the waxed paper and "paint" the other side. Don't completely soak the paper. 
  5. If desired, you can sprinkle a few coffee granules randomly over some of the wet pages to give some of your sheets an even more aged look.
  6. Place another piece of waxed paper on top of the page you just stained, then add your second piece of printer paper to the top. "Paint" each side as you did in step 4.
  7. Repeat this process until about 8 pages are stained, each time alternating the paper with the waxed paper, stacking them as you go along. They will be a bit buckled but this is a good thing. 
  8. Do the same thing with another batch of papers on the second cookie sheet.
  9. Set the trays aside to dry over night.
  10. The next morning the top ones will be pretty dry, but the ones underneath will still be a little damp or wet. So spread them apart on a protected table or counter, each one with the sheet of waxed paper underneath it. This way they will dry faster.
  11. After they dry, iron the pages, one at a time, to flatten them out a bit. Place a piece of muslin over the paper, press using the cotton or linen setting, and do not use steam. Flip over the page, and iron the reverse side, this time without the sheet of muslin. They won't get real flat, but after all, they will be used in a junk journal!
  12. After each sheet is ironed, take a look at the waxed paper sheets. You will find that they are also coffee-stained and have a marvelous color and texture. They will take on a vellum effect and could be used for little aged envelopes, or additional pages in your book. Or, you could just reuse them for your next bout of coffee-staining!
Here is the batch I did this weekend.
The page in the middle with the dark stain was from
adding the extra coffee granules.
To me it looks really old...

Each page will be so different.
This one looks like a paw print from
an animal!...

The darkening at the edges happened all by itself.
Almost the way the pages in an old book
actually look.
And the delicious smell of coffee isn't bad either!...

So, since the first journal I hope to make will be
I couldn't resist copying a couple of pages from
one of my vintage botanical books
onto a piece of my lovely "aged" paper.
Happily, the paper slid through the copier without
a problem.
What a pretty effect this had,
and I didn't even use my printer's "best" setting...

And then, of course, this led to planning
some papers for the cover of my book,
which will be made from a vintage
Reader's Digest book cover,
 covered with this
pretty pink and green paper,
a little corrugated cardboard,
and whatever else I decide to add...

And here is how the waxed paper ended
up looking...

Here it is on an ivory quilt so that you can
get a better idea of how it looks.
This part wasn't mentioned in any of the
tutorials that I saw,
but I really liked getting twice as much
"stuff" for my efforts...

Next time I will try this with tea. Perhaps some nice cinnamon-apple. 
My, wouldn't that make my journal smell good!

I'd love to know about any experiences that you have had with aging paper.
Thanks for coming by!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Spring 2017

Happy Spring!

I thought that you would enjoy this pretty
little French Victorian trade card.


...and back!...

Save it and use in your art.
I have had the original in my collection for a while.

Happy Spring my friends!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A duo of signs...


We are approaching the end of The Mister's physical therapy sessions for his leg, and when we went last week I noticed, for the first time, these signs in the parking lot. It reminded me of some of the odd combinations of signs that people photograph and post on Facebook. Well, as you may know I do not do Facebook, so my friends, you are stuck with looking at Sue's Sign Photo.

Am I the only one that sees the humor in this?
Even rehab can be fun.
Life is what you make it.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 17, 2017

St. Patrick's Day: A Vintage Postcard and a Recipe

Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Today everyone is Irish!

Above is a vintage postcard that I recently purchased
and I would like to share it with you to
save and use as you wish.
I think its a really pretty one.


Years ago (I won't say how many!) when I was growing up my mom would make Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Patrick's Day, even though we are not Irish. Kind of the way she always made fish on Friday even though we were not Catholic. Who can figure?

I never liked Corned Beef and could barely stomach eating it, but unlike most of the kids today, we were required to eat what was put on the table whether we liked it or not. (The only exception was liver, which my brother and I hated, and I still do.) No creating of special dishes for the picky in my mom's household! She would always say "You will acquire a taste for it if you eat it enough", and it seemed to work, because I grew up from a picky eater who lived on milk until I was in second grade and forced to eat school lunches into a foodie who can eat almost anything (except liver of course). Mom also said "If you like to eat, you'll like to cook", and a lover of cooking I am. Thanks Mom! Do you ever wonder why I don't always create too much art?

In any case, I never liked boiled food and to this day I think that it is boring and tasteless. So, in my determination to find a Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe that wasn't boring, I tried several different recipes over the years, and a few years ago I found this one. It is now the only one I make, requiring a little more work, but loaded with flavor. So if you would like to try it, here is the recipe for you to save and print as you wish. All credits are on the page, but also my few notes. A little freshly chopped parsley added to the platter when served is also a fine thing!  Also, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I am not a beer drinker, but a bottle of the Guinness was good along with the meal, and the rest I will use this weekend in a stew recipe, which I will share later. (My husband does not drink at all.)

Though the recipe may not look too clear here,
I did print this out as a test and it printed
quite well...

I hope you enjoy it if you try it.
Let me know if you do, and how it turns out.
Corned beef will probably even be on sale this coming week!

Have a "lucky" day today
and a great weekend!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Garden cleanup, daisies, and SNOW?!

Hello dear friends! This is a little late in coming, but here is the March image from "The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady" once more showcasing the beautiful work of Edith Holden.

Her work was so lovely,
but spring must have come much earlier
where she lived...

Last week here it got to the
high 70s and even 80 one day,
so I mulched a large section of my newest garden.
I set out the rest of the bags of mulch and the
wheel barrow by the deck so I could continue working,
but the reality of March here is that the warm weather
didn't last.
It didn't seem fair that on the first official day
of Daylight Savings Time,
we woke up to this...

It has been cold and nasty ever since,
so I made my own garden fun by purchasing this lovely
bouquet in the grocery store.
White daisies...

...with greenish centers...

...for St. Patrick's Day...

On Sunday there wasn't much else to do but cook a nice
dinner, so Miss German Descent Girl here
made an early Corned Beef and Cabbage and invited my
sister-and-brother-in-law over for dinner.
I cook it in Guinness Stout and one of the leftover bottles
sure tasted good.
And I am not even a beer-drinker, per say!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

No creating in my creative space...

Hello friends.

Where have I been? Well, after my recent greeting card creation frenzy, I decided that there was so much junque all over my studio that it was time for a tidying up. There was no room to work with...

...photos and papers all over the bed...

...and scraps of papers, laces, and
embellishments all over the
work table and floor...

So, I decided that I was not going to make another thing
until I cleaned up at least part of the room.
Now there is nothing on the bed except (temporarily)
 the two new totes that will store materials for
"cards and journal-making"
"fabric collage"...

Now my work table is cleared off enough
to complete an assemblage piece
that I started awhile ago to bring to
The Wren's Nest.
It's about time I finished it since we hope
to go up next month...

What really took a lot of time was organizing
my scrapbook paper bins into various

...not to mention my cardstock bins,
now organized by color...

Who knows, maybe I'll even get my desk organized one
of these days (though it has looked worse!)...

OK. So now I would make some creative time,
except I am too tired from all of the cleaning.
I do, however, have a hankering to create a garden journal,
even though I don't really journal myself.
Kind of in a junk journal, shabby chic kind of style!
What better way to use up all of the
that I just put away!!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Greeting Cards: The Girl with the White Cat and The New Baby

I have been a bit busy lately, but made the time to create two more greeting cards for my Etsy shop, again using beautiful papers and two more lovely images from Ireland Rose Studios on Etsy.

 This is such a lovely image of a little girl
in white sitting with her white cat...

Of course, I have two cats so couldn't
resist this image, which I collaged with
pretty scrapbook papers, scrim,
trim, and vintage lace and brown velvet,
 along with old mother-of-pearl buttons...

This little girl has such a precious face...

I left the card blank inside so that it could
be used for any number of occasions...

The image that I used in the card below is so beautiful,
and its light tinting lent itself to the beautiful art deco

Again, we see my usual embellishments of old lace
and velvet ribbon, trim,
and a vintage mother-of-pearl button...

I printed out the quote on the inside which to me says
it all about a new baby...

I just listed these in my Etsy shop.

Thanks for coming by!