27 November 2010


Zentangle motifs in fabric
Due to a bit of inconvenience (electrician rewiring areas of our house), I was freed up to make a pilgrimage to Prairie Quilt in Hennessey a week ago. I went solo this time and kept myself entertained with singing along (loudly) with my favorite CD of praise music. To compound the crime, I recorded myself via my new Android app—AndRecorder. (I haven't listened to the audio files yet and hope I can be charitable.) That said, I'm betting GweNaomi was happy to miss this trip.

I think I officially looked at ALL the fabric this time. In addition to a handful of fat quarters, I found four little quilt square kits and fabric with Zentangle Patterns! Does that make the whole trip worthwhile or WHAT!? Although the first one I found was in browns, I later found these blues in another area and they photographed better. Before checking out, I edited down my pile of fat quarters from fifteen down to ten (plus three pieces of cut goods). Oddly enough, the ones I put back were mostly ones I saw when I first came in the door. When I come away with an assortment like this, I always wonder if there is a repeating theme/pattern to my choices. What do you think?
The day's bounty included half-yard cuts of my already made purse fabric.
It felt like I was doing a little 50's-60's time traveling with Sputnik. Then I moved into this dark, bold-n-gold space. Interesting. I even contemplated if the ladies working at this store could tell lots about the personalities of the quilters who come through there, based on their fabric selections. I suspect my selections most say I am not working on a quilt at all, which is true. For now.

Baby J was born on Sunday, January 21. She's a beautiful young lady and her parents are beaming! Next up, our church family awaits the births of Lady Smith and Baby P next spring!

New life for old...
Another project I've had in mind was what to do with my old journals. I started keeping one back in 1977 and stayed with it inconsistently for more than 20 years. There comes a point where they've done what they needed to do and can be released—but how? Hmm. Hmm? Hmm! Paper-making! Several months ago I ran many pages of journals through my cross-cut paper shredder and saved the shreds in two BIG Hobby Lobby bags.

Next in the process is to use a blender to pulverize the shreds, mixed with water, into a pulp slurry. Surprisingly it wasn't gray or white, but a very neutral green which reminded me of that 'eye-ease' paper from steno book, columnar pad, and lab/engineering grid paper days.
BIG NOTE TO SELF: Hold down the lid on the blender very securely because when an unchewed wad finally hits the blade, the mass will erupt everywhere.
Did Maytag his THIS in mind?
After the pulp contains no remnants of the paper, I poured it into a plastic dishpan. In 'normal' paper-making, this is where one would stir the pulp to align the fibers and then dip their framed screen into the mixture. I didn't make any of these screens but got the bright idea to pour the pulp through one of my clothes dryer's flat drying racks. Okay, I used two of them. I let them drip dry over the sink for awhile, so the drips from the uppermost rack would not drip 'holes' into the still wet pulp below, then slid them into the dryer closet for at least 24 hours. I ran the heated cycle a couple of times then just let them air dry.
Note the screen texture on the edge.
And voilĂ ! The finished sheets are very bumpy and have very low tear resistance. But they're writable-uponable (my made up word). Without all that water, the paper dried to be mostly white. More than paper, it reminds me of the fiberboard molded drink carriers you get at drive-throughs to carry up to four drinks. I'm going to investigate some more techniques, find out how to strengthen the paper, build a couple of small frames, and try adding color, leaves, petals, etc. Hey, I might even wind up making something with the paper—how about the cover of a gratitude journal?

More than anything, this process mirrors my own redeemed life—shredded, crushed, mixed, poured out and made anew—ready for my new story to be written. Thank you, Jesus.


  1. I see lots of geometrics on your quilt fabrics. You like that order, I think.

    I just think the idea of shredding old journals for reuse as something wonderfully new is INSPIRED. And now that I know what, exactly, I recieved in my snail mail a couple of days ago, I feel like I have a piece of ya!

  2. PS "writable uponable" LOVE THAT!!!

  3. PSS Omigoodness...a Starry Night coffee mug in the background! Want a very poor acrylic rendition of the painting to go with that? LOL

  4. Your thoughts and words cut up and whirled away. Who would have thought?

    I would like to see flowers made from the pulp – PULP PETALS