Friday, February 26, 2010

Aging Paper

The Eldest has a project at school coming up where he will portray Paul Revere.  He has to give a speech and dress like him (haven't dreamed up a costume yet) and do something creative.  We put our heads together and came up with several ideas.  The one he wanted to do involves him doing a one act play basically.  It's going to take place on an evening during his "great ride" where he has reached an Inn.   While at the Inn he's going to take the time to write his wife Rachel a letter.  He'll be pretend to be writing the letter while speaking aloud.  The letter will also be his creative part of the project.

So, The Eldest and I started to age some paper for his letter.  This was a pretty fun project and here's what we did.

To Age Paper:

1.  For this project we are using legal size copy paper so that he can roll it up.

2.  We mixed a solution of water, tea and lemon juice.   I boiled a small pot of water and threw in a family size tea bag.  Then added in the lemon juice.

3.  In a jelly roll pan we placed the paper and poured the above solution on top of it and let it sit for a while.  Warning:  If you let it sit too long and then don't handle it with extreme care, the paper will tear.

4.  After sitting for a while in the solution, move the paper to another cookie sheet and put it into an oven that has preheated to 200 degrees F.  This serves two purposes.  It dries the paper and ages it a bit more.   If you leave it in too long, it will brown too much along the edges.  I'm not going to give you a time here, oven temps vary too much and you will be far better off by checking the paper frequently until it is aged like you want it.

5.  We did one more thing to age the paper.  Once it was completely dry, we took some cinnamon and rubbed it into a few spots.  You can still see some of it clinging to the paper in the final pic: 

Next we will run it through our printer (carefully) and use an old calligraphy font.  Once the ink is thoroughly dry we're going to crumple it up several times to finish the aging process.

The Eldest loved it.  It's not often that he gets to do something so fun for school projects!

Anybody else out there have any more techniques for aging paper?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Disney Collage

I've never been able to get into the craft of scrapbooking.  I tried to, I really did, but it's just not something that I knew I would keep up with and the expense of doing it was just a little too prohibitive.  Yet, I look at all the cute things that people come up with and how cute their kids' pictures look and my fingers itch to have something that cute too. 

Here's my solution, which happens to go with my walls needing some love.

I went to JoAnn's (cause there was a sale) and grabbed a cute collage frame.   It was 50% off!  12 bucks spent.  Not too bad.  Then I went over to the scrapbooking section of the store and found some really cute Disney stuff that was 40% off.  2.99 spent.  Again, not too bad.

I gathered my stuff and headed to my computer to print the pics out.  Here's where I had some trouble.  The places where the pics go are not necessarily standard sizes.  My software (microsoft crap) wouldn't print out custom sizes and flickr only measures in pixels, not inches so I don't know how to use it for something like this.  I went on the internet and downloaded a photo resizer, but again, it didn't do what I wanted it too.

Another restriction that I ran into during all of this was trying to get as many of these onto one page as I could to save on printer paper.  This printing stuff was supposed to be the easy part of the whole project.

My solution?  Microsoft Word 2007.  Who'd a thunk it, huh?

I put my pics in, resized them, set the printing to best photo and whammo!  It worked.  My pics were printed, cut out and put into the frame.  The Youngest helped me figure out where to put the stickers and we were done!

Our cute Disney Pics:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


So yesterday in my very hurried post I mentioned that I've started a new project while waiting on my test knitters to do their thing with the mitts pattern.  They are already finding things that I missed and it's wonderful.  If I had handed this over to the hubby his brain would have exploded.  It's very hard to proof something in a language that looks alien, and boy do knitting patterns look alien!

The project that I've picked up is called Sidewinders.  Socks done not toe up, not cuff down, but sideways.  Just wrap your brains around that one if you will.  I'm amazed that Nona ever came up with this.  The math alone would be prohibitive enough to ever keep me from attempting something like this on my own.  I'm a math wimp.  I can do it, but it makes my brainz hurt.

The pattern has been messing with my mind though.  I'm trying very hard to "trust the pattern."  I'm not very trusting, so of course this has been difficult for me. 

In a lot of patterns you read directions that tell you to do x amount of rows of the same kind.  What I hate is when the next paragraph reads "at the same time..."   I know, I know, I should be reading the pattern all the way through before beginning the knitting, but does anyone really do this?  Maybe it is just me.  I'm such a rebel.

There's no way this would be a good car pool line or grocery line kind of knitting project for me.  I've been having to constantly refer back to the pattern.  I'm loving the project so far, but it's far from a mindless project.  Which, on the whole, is good for me.  I get bored far too easily.

The Malabrigo sock yarn is looking lovely knitted up like this.  I'm having to use size 1's to get gauge with this yarn.  It's on the lighter side of sock yarn.  It would actually be a great lace yarn for a shawl.  It feels so silky soft, a real pleasure to work with.  Now I know why everyone's been raving about it.  Here's how it looks:

Ignore the orange-y stuff at the bottom.  That's waste yarn that will be discarded later so that I can pick up the live stitches.  Besides that, it's pretty isn't it?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Sock Project

Yay!  I've got test knitters working away madly on the new fingerless mitts.  The mitts have also got a name:   Chimera Fingerless Mitts.  Does it mean anything really?  Not yet, but someday I'll have an explanation for why I chose the word Chimera.  "Flight of Fancy" maybe?  :)

I also started yet another sock project.  I'm going to make Nona's Sidewinders.  I've been wanting to try this for ages and the new Malabrigo sock looks like it'd be great for this.

I'm  off to the Cub Scouts Blue and Gold Banquet for this not so 'Lil Guy:

See ya tomorrow!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Anyone else disgusted with Facebook?

I was on a group there last night and it got spammed with some disgusting porn junk.  I commented on it and told the guy that it was inappropriate and that he had been reported.  Well.  I got a lovely note from my aunt saying that now all my friends could see what I had commented on and would I please take it down?

Just wonderful.  I try to do the right thing and get burned by it.  I was horribly embarrassed.   I'm now seriously considering removing my account from facebook.  The only thing is, I've been using it as a vehicle to sell some of my jewelry stuff.  What a dilemma.

Anybody else had something like this happen?