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Chewing with the Paper Chipmunk

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Catching up After the Outage

Our electric was out for a day and a night. Blech. Let's hear it for rural living...

So, with a whole day's worth of email and stuff to catch up on, what better thing to do than find a nice little paper-related video?

Each frame was crafted from a 4 x 6" piece of card stock. By Javan Ivey.

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Waxing Paper

As I mentioned before, I wound up waxing inkjet-printed papers for use as covering material for my latest books. I've been quite pleased with the result. I thought I'd outline the process.

First, rub an even layer of wax over the paper. Since this is for a miniature and my block of beeswax is rather large, this is fairly easy. (This fantastic block of beeswax, by the way, was found in a local health food store for less than $3.)

I then experimented with different ways of sanding the waxed paper. Regular fine grit paper did not work--it rubbed off some of the ink. I found this rubber sanding pad at the hardware store, and it works well. I can also roll it up to make it a little easier to grasp. For some reason, a regular sanding block with the same grit number did not work.

Then smooth with a buffing pad, also from the hardware store.

Wiping with tack cloth helps smooth out the wax, but it can leave a little stickiness. I buff some more after this step. Repeat until the desired finish is obtained.

Even though this is a small area to do, this process was causing me problems. I have painful and not very strong hands. I got the idea to try a cheap electric toothbrush to do some of the buffing. It works...up to a point, although I found it actually was not that much easier. However, it is another option and does allow for some finer finishing. I discovered at the drugstore that the toothbrushes are not all equal. Some only vibrate, and others simply don't feel nice in the hand when they're turned on, and, on some, only a small portion of the head moves. If you like this idea, take advantage of the ones that allow you to turn them on in the package at the store. That way, you can get a better idea if it might work for you.

In spite of the hand thing, I've been excited about this. The finish is just perfect for this project. It's smooth and glossy, and is far more durable than regular unfinished inkjet paper. It also deepens the colors of the printouts. I use an Epson with pigmented Dura-Brite inks. I'm not sure how others would hold up to this process, but I imagine they'd be similar.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

My Daily Planner

Book blocks made from pharma inserts, waiting to be cased in.

Here's some more background on those miniature books I mentioned in the last post. Several months back, I found a 7-compartment weekly pill organizer in the drugstore. There was just something about the size of it—slightly larger than usual—that screamed "art supply."

I decided to make little books that look like day planners, one for each compartment. The pages come from copies of the pharmaceutical inserts from my meds. They are 7/8" x 1-5/8".

I've been trying to find a suitable covering material for the little books. I'd been thinking of using Tyvek, but in the end it didn't look "day planner" enough. Mostly, the tiny lettering just didn't look right no matter how I tried to affix it to the Tyvek. I opted, instead, for inkjet prints on paper.  

I made a solid black background and used white lettering. But then the coated inkjet paper scratches so easily and the texture wasn't quite right--what to do?  I decided, as a protective gesture, to coat the papers with beeswax, something new for me. It turned out that the coating not only offers scratch resistance, but the texture of the wax rubbed into the paper definitely suggests "day planner" to me. I was quite pleased with the result. They are smooth and glossy and not "waxy" at all (unfortunately, the picture doesn't convey this very well).

I made the first one last night and eagerly showed my husband, who said, "Wow, a bible--how funny!" 


I had to confess, it did look more "bible" than "day planner." 

At any rate, I can recommend wax-coating inkjet printouts. I'll explain a little bit more about my process for coating them in the next post.

A finished "day planner"

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