Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Paper Flurry

Jeeze I've been a busy girl these past few days. Here's my table, you can see the buns in the upper left corner. I'd had an idea of putting wee birds and other creatures into paper mache eggs, a while back, and just got around to trying it last night.

First came the hunt for an egg-shaped object/objects to use as molds. After several failed attempts to make them out of plastic bags and crumpled newspaper, and a wild idea to use a potato, I settled on two wooden half-eggs taped together. I also found a few cups and pressed-glass bowls to make larger paper mache pieces which will be nests.

I love the paper mache paste mix-it's so easy and CHEAP. Microwave a glass of water for about a minute, add 2 T of corn starch, and then microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring between each session, until the mixture is the consistency of yogurt. It thickens as it cools, I usually end up adding a few more drops of water to it as well. Sometimes I mix in lavendar oil as well.

I used torn strips of the local free newspaper, and The Onion, which made for some fun reading as I worked. The molds were just perfect for the length of strips I had torn. On the first layers I used a lot of corn starch glue and on the upper layers, not so much. Didn't use a brush until I got to the decorative layers of tissue paper. My hands have a nice blue-green cast today!

Anyway. I molded them, let them sit for 10 minutes while I molded the next one, and then peeled them out or cut them off, and set them to dry on a muffin tin's backside (DIRTY!). 10 minutes in the oven at 200 degrees, and they were ready for a layer of tissue paper. I did re-inforce a couple of the early ones with another layer of newsprint. I added ribbons to the eggs, my plan is once they're totally dry, to encase the wee animals and cover one more layer of tissue paper around the ribbon, so you'll pull the ribbon to release the animal.

I think I need to find a larger egg mold, the wood one worked great but it was just a bit too small. The animals are going to be SMOOSHED in there!

Lastly, as I was going to bed, I decided to cover my journal with a new cover. I used tissue, stuff from the newspaper, a vintage French postage stamp, a snippet of iron-on lettering my mom had made for me a billion years ago when I was in dance (hence, no middle name), and a flower cut from the lace that was in my sister's wedding gown. I wasn't sure it was going to stick with just the corn-starch paste, so I covered it with a few layers of tissue as well.

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