Sharing my passion for handcrafted jewelry, paper making, and living a creative life.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Moose Poo Paper - The Final Chapter

The moose poo paper is finished so I have started making cards for my Etsy shop.  I am using digitally altered photographs of moose that my husband and I have taken and some that have been contributed by my friends, August and Margaret Meutzner.  The photos are printed on handmade paper.  Each card varies slightly due to the type of handmade paper used for the print and the embellishments used.

The rest of the moose poo paper series can be found here:
Moose Poo Paper - Chapter One,
Moose Poo - Day Two, 
Moose Poo Paper - Chapter Three,
My Moose Poo Paper is USDA approved!

My friends told me last night that they have collected 5 gallons of moose poo for me!  I haven't found much on my property this winter as it keeps getting covered with snow.  The moose have been regular visitors, though, so I'll find a lot in the spring.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Moose Poo Paper - Chapter Three

After the moose poo has been boiled for almost 3 hours, it is strained in a paint straining bag and thoroughly rinsed until the water runs clear.  At this point, all that remains of the moose poo is the fine willow fibres and bark.  Now I put these plant materials in a bleach solution and let it soak for several hours before rinsing thoroughly once more.

This is the plant fibre that remains when the processing is completed.  It has no odour.

Next I mix the fibre with paper pulp that I make from recycled copy paper or other good quality paper.  The fibres that the moose has 'processed' are too short to make good paper without the addition of the recycled paper pulp.

Now I'm ready to start making moose poo paper.  The fibres are added to a water bath and with my mold and deckle I scoop some out of the water at the same time as I make a back and forth motion with the mold.  This is called "throwing the wave."

The water is drained off and the newly formed sheet of paper is released onto a smooth board.  This method produces nice flat sheets of paper with one smooth side.

The sheets of moose poo paper will be left on the board to dry for a day or two and then I'll make my cards.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Studio Tour on ArtSnark's Blog

I would like to thank ArtSnark for featuring Liz-Anna's Lakeside Studio on her blog.  It was fun to be her featured tour.  Thanks, Stacey!

For a tour of Liz-Anna's Studio, press this magic link!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Moose Poo Paper-Chapter 2

I got up early this morning so I could start processing the moose poo before I leave for work. It must have been old moose poo I used last time cause this stuff does not smell pleasant while it's simmering away in a soda ash solution. The lid is on tight and the window is open but it's not helping much. It's hard to describe the smell but it's not what you might think...just strongly organic.

I think I'll close my studio door tight and go do something else for a while.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Congratulations to my OWOH draw prize winner!

Congratulations to Marybeth of Blogmania for winning my One World One Heart draw this evening. Marybeth will receive a set of 4 handmade paper sunflower photo greeting cards. Thank you to everyone who visited my blog. Please come back again.

For a linkable list of all participants in this event

Moose Poo Paper - Chapter One

I didn't get chocolates for Valentine's Day, but I did get moose poo...which kind of looks like chocolates . My husband startled a moose the day before when he was walking to his workshop, so he knew right where to take me.

Most women wouldn't be thrilled with this particular gift but I am. I want to make moose poo paper. I made it years ago and people are still asking for my moose poo paper cards. I originally got the idea from a Somerset Studio magazine article (Vol 1 Issue 4) about Matuvi (elephant dung) paper from Africa. I was intrigued, but since we don't have elephants in Canada, I had to come up with a different source. Moose were a natural choice since they are frequent visitors to my home, they are large, producing plenty of raw material, and they are herbivores.

The moose in our area feed primarily on willow which is a material that I often use in my hand papermaking. The fibres from the moose poo are considerably shortened, though, so recycled paper is added for strength.

The moose poo will be sterilized and processed to remove all the impurities that are unsuitable for paper and for handling. Surprisingly, the moose poo does not smell unpleasant while it is being processed, unlike some plant materials that have the smell of rotting silage.
I make moose poo paper because it is a novelty. And talk about recycling! There is something quite wonderful about making a useful and beautiful product out of such a base material.
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

There's Always a Way Out

I finished this mixed media canvas last night and posted it on Etsy this morning. It's such a great feeling to finish a piece and know that this is how it was supposed to turn out.

While I'm working I sometimes despair that I will ever reach that point. It's sometimes hard not to just give up or to act like a
two year old and have a nice satisfying tantrum!

This painting started out as something entirely different and as I was obliterating the original sunny little scene, I started building a new story. Just as I was wondering how to finish the piece to clarify the message, my husband returned from the garbage dump with a pile of treasures from the recycle shed. Among those treasures was an old romance novel with these words on the back cover, "She was imprisoned by a torturous love." Oh, how I love the dump!

No traditional message of love in this piece but it is about love - self love - and having the courage to make difficult choices.

Friday, February 5, 2010

One World One Heart

I am participating in an international blog event called One World One Heart (OWOH). This event was started in 2007 by Lisa Swifka from A Whimsical Bohemiam to bring bloggers around the world together. It's a unique opportunity to meet and connect with people. I'm new to the blogging community so I'm very excited to discover other bloggers who share my passion for the creative life and to learn from bloggers who have been around for a while.

Click on this icon to take you to a list of participating blogs.

The theme for this year's OWOH event is Magic Carpet. To honour this event, my very first as a blogger, I am giving away a set of 4 sunflower photo cards on handmade paper as a prize. I am crazy for flowers so my Magic Carpet would take me to a place that grew every conceivable kind of flower that could survive my northern climate and bring me back home with a full load, ready for planting.

Leave a comment telling me where YOUR Magic Carpet would take you and you will be entered in my prize give away. I will randomly select one comment entry (one entry per person) on February 15, 2010 at 8:00 pm (PST). Please be sure to leave an email address or link so I can contact you for shipping details if you are the prize winner.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Beginnings

I feel like I am on a learning curve that goes straight up! So far I have tackled Etsy, Facebook, a fan page, and Twitter. And now I'm starting a blog. Two months ago I was only thinking about opening a shop on Etsy.

So I opened my shop just before Christmas,, and thought, like in Field of Dreams, I would list and 'they' would come. Apparently not. So here I am in a whole new world. I love the blogs and getting to know some of the wonderfully creative people behind the art in this intriguing on-line world.

And now that I've done all of this work to bring people into my studio, I guess I should get busy or 'they' will come and I won't have anything to sell.