1. Sowing lessons by Miss Cristina B. herself (and make little cloth animal toys)
2. Lavender t-shirt dryer pillows...to be explained later
3. Wine bottle glasses and candle holders from recycled wine bottles
4. Make Paper that will be used to create our own greeting card line to be sold locally for fun...(we started this project last night!~)
5. Screen Printing t-shirts and art pieces
6. Ice tea recipes to be sold at the farmer's market
7. Sprouting and other sustainable research projects
8. Discuss collaborative business/non-profit that will either manifest as a magazine, smoothie bar, community center and garden, or all four! (for this I have the book nonprofit for dummies which may be the route we choose depending on the successes of the next few years)
Whew~ What a list. With paper-making now in full swing we are off to a good start with our goals.
Just as a side note I will be documenting our progress towards these goals as each is achieved.
Last night Cristina and I made paper from old newspapers, computer paper, and magazines (which apparently is a no-no because of the gooey film it produces, but it still works). Good youtube videos to watch on the subject are
@ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIF-5ZhxMmA&feature=related and @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6WeqIHyIKM&feature=related.
The first video is very basic. The second is of mother-daughter crafters and their process is almost identical to the process we used. The third video has some unique tips about blending, etc...like using colored napkins for dye. Cristina used a screen from one of the windows in her apartment (snip oops!) and tacked it onto an old picture frame. Also important to the process was making starch to later be added to the water. Starch coats it and makes the paper writable. Here is the recipe Cristina used:
1. Put 1 1/2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. While waiting for the water to boil, dissolve 2 - 3 teaspoons of cornstarch in 3 tablespoons of cold water in a cup or small bowl. Keep mixing the cornstarch while waiting for the water to boil.
3. After the water boils, pour the cornstarch mixture into the boiling water and stir for a minute or so. The liquid will be clear or slightly cloudy.
4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
We only used two teaspoons of the homemade starch in a good three gallon tub of water. Anyways...watch the video if you are interested in your own paper making. Some tips I picked up on with the process are:
- make sure you use a four or more blenders full of pulp if you want a thicker paper (it dries thin, about half of what it looks when saturated with water)
- use a variety of paper types...no just newspaper. There are also special fibers to be found in bulk.
- 0n a grand scale the job would be easier with a cross-cutting paper shredder so you don't have to tear all your little bits.
- the paper takes imprints really well like clay, so let a leaf rest in it while drying and peel away for a cool texture effect!
- if you want petals and flowers mixed in your paper do it in the blender or before the first sponging exercise (see youtube)
Anyways our paper was a little thin and the petals fell off, but successful. We plan on using the paper to make greeting cards. It is so unique and personal and easy to do. Plus recycling old stuff is super fun too. I'll have pictures as soon as I retrieve my camera.