Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday-noon

First of all, before I show you the papermaking--big news! Leah got a new job!! She just gave her 2-week notice at Fox RX Care and will be done there the end of the month. She'll start the new job in August. Fox RX Care had sold one part of their call center business to a company in India and Leah has been hired by that company as their personal go-to person with the answers. (I don't know what her official title will be.) No, she is not going to India like we thought she might. (I am so happy about that--hurray!! I would have missed her so much!) She will be on call and working from home! She will be answering calls about the company policies or the computer questions for that company in India--well, that's my take on it since I am never quite sure what she is specifically talking about when it comes to her job--chuckle! She has already been doing this for them a little here and there, I believe. I think she will be on call from like 8-9am until 9-10pm Monday-Friday--something like that. She gets a good-sized raise, too! I am so happy for her!! *big slap-happy grin*

And--I am happy for selfish me, too--snicker! This means that she can get set up remotely to their computer at home from my computer here so that she can actually come over to my apartment and spend the afternoon doing crafts or painting or hanging out watching movies--and still answer her calls here!! (She and Dagan have cell phones.) I think Dagan has actually already done that remote connection stuff on my desk computer--or maybe it was the last one he built for me? Anyways, apparently, during their less busy times, she can go work on the flooring at the new house, do the errands and such, too. :) At least that is how it should work. No matter what--this allows her some freedom. She is very good at what she does and has such patience on the phone--it has all paid off! I am so happy for her I could just burst! They are finally getting their new house built (with Leah's floor plan) and she has got her dream job and freedom to work on the house and Dagan likes his job a lot...everything is going so well for them!! Makes Mom happy, I tell you. There must be something to this Law of Attraction (The Secret) stuff, eh? :)

Okay--papermaking....

First of all, we haven't done this for a long time and we forgot a step at the end, but it was no big deal. When I work on my papers I will show you the steps we forgot. We were so busy taking pictures of the process that we actually forgot part of the process--hehe! Maybe just too excited over her new job to think straight?? hehe!

First of all you put some water and some paper into a blender (that is specifically for papermaking--you don't want to use the blender for anything else). You can just use paper alone or you can add cotton linter squares or the loose pulps that come in white and colors. There are sooo many different combinations you can use to make paper or to recycle paper--endless possibilities! Of course, the more pulp you have the thicker the paper, too. We have experiemented a lot with thickness. I'll take more pictures of the various ingredients as I play with my own papermaking over the next week or so.

You beat the heck out of it for a minute or so. We discovered last night that you can't use the cotton squares that you get in the beauty aisle--they just clump up and don't separate. Hey--we try all kinds of things! hehe! But if they don't work--regular cotton balls won't work, either.

Then you pour the pulp mix into the mold. The mold sits in a tub with about an inch of water in it to start with. You can keep making more paper and adding more pulp and reusing the water until it gets a few inches deep--unless it has too much color and you're changing colors. It says not to ever pour the water down the sink. You are supposed to pour it down the toilet. So we always do--and Karma thinks that is a strange and interesting human abberation.

Leah was experimenting with how to embed a leaf into the paper and this worked like a charm! She just laid the leaf on the pulp (we had some dried, pressed leaves for her to experiment with that we had used for decoupage)...

...and then pushed it partway under the pulp.

When you have the pulp evenly distributed in the mold then you gently lift it straight up and let the water drain out into the tub.

You carefully remove the wooden frame (attached with velcro). Leah had an old small baker's sheet that works perfectly for catching the water (which you pour back into the tub, of course). You can see that there is the white plastic grid and then the paper pulp is laying on a sheet of white plastic on top of the grid.

You place the screen on top of the pulp...

...and then you press and press straight down with a sponge to get as much of the water out as you can. Lifting the sponge and wringing it out and moving it over and pressing again until you have gotten the entire surface of the paper. [This is the step that prevents me from making more than a few sheets a day. Pressing like that with my weak arm--the arm doesn't last long. I also can't press as hard as Leah does, so my paper is a little thicker--but it dries and is usable. I have to make a sheet or two and wait a few hours--and then make another sheet or two. All depends on the arm as to how much paper I can actually make in a day. But--it is so worth it! I love handmade paper for cardstock!]

It looks like this when the water is pressed out.

Then you gently remove the screen.

Now this is where we forgot a step. You should place a couch paper on top of the paper, flip it, remove the white plastic sheet, and place another piece of couch paper on top of the other side of the paper. Then we placed them inbetween newspaper sections to wick out the rest of the water (and there is quite a bit!).
But--we forgot the couch papers! I'll show you what they look like next time. We just laid the paper directly onto the newspaper...

...and removed the white plastic sheet...

...and flipped the paper over it. Stacked them as we went along.

I did remember after Leah went home. Duh!! And I did go and put each handmade sheet of paper inbetween couch papers and stacked them under a big dictionary. I'll let them dry a little more and then take each one out and lay it directly on the table to finsh drying. I flip them as they dry. They always seem to buckle. If you want them flatter--then you can actually iron them! We spray them with some spray starch and use one of those thin ironing cloths over the paper--you know, inbetween the paper and the iron.
Boy! Was it ever a good thing that I bought the clear plastic to cover the table. I have appreciated it so many times already. Saves my wood table from paint, ink, cuts, dents, and water of all kinds--now will be protecting it from the damp handmade paper--tada!
Leah made four sheets last night between about 7-9:30pm. The last one, she played with adding some of the dead plants and the store-bought botanicals. Cool! Like rainbow confetti!
So, anyways, that was the evening. I had been so tired yesterday that I took a 3-hour nap. So, I didn't get to sleep until midnight. I am really hoping to stay on days, so I was glad I was up by 9am--tada! I am pretty sore today, so I don't think it is a good idea to start making paper until tomorrow. Besides I do need to do wash, too. *sigh* This is how my life goes--picking out physical priorities. I hate when practical, boring things like laundry win out over something as tantalizing as making paper! But nobody wants to see me making paper in the nude, I can assure you! ROFL!!! Except Miss Karma--she could care less--loves ALL of me as I am--haha! So--I am off to start laundry. :(

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