Handmade Craft Paper For Printing

Many handmade papers are art works in their own right. Paper makers often frame especially unique pieces of hand-made paper to show in exhibitions. Paper can be made of many and varied substances cotton and hemp, flax leaves and many other plant fibers all make a wonderful variety of organic papers. Other parts of the plant like flowers and seeds may be added during the process for decoration of the finished paper.

We use paper for many things in our life the most obvious of which would be for books and newspapers and for writing on, but there are other uses for paper that would be more obscure or certainly less thought about. One of these is ‘insulation’. Insulation is made from shredded newsprint that is treated with a fire retardant and packed into the cavities in the loft space. It is cheap and or even free and easily obtainable, but should not be used when there is a risk of damp as it is susceptible to mold. Paper is used extensively for protective packaging and in many industries. Money is made of paper and toilet paper too.

Artists use paper in many ways, silk screen printing relies on paper for unusual and interesting results and many handmade papers are entirely suitable for the process. Sculptural pieces may also be made of craft paper, free standing, constructed, three dimensional forms. A strong, stiffer paper or card is probably the most suitable type for this purpose. An artist may also use paper to construct a maquette for a piece of sculpture prior to its construction. Architects also use paper or thin card to construct models of a building to show prospective clients.

Save Paper Scraps For Future Paper Crafts

Whatever paper scraps you have at home or in the office, find time to save them for future use. They could be excess from gift wrapping, scrap booking, card making and just about any paper craft activities you did in the past. Of course, be neat and orderly when you store these materials so that you preserve their quality and do not create an ugly pile of them in your attic or drawer.

There are different kinds of paper for different kinds of crafts. There is mulberry paper, washi, vellum, ricepaper, parchment and may others. For most paper crafters out there, the most common thing they do is head out to the store and then buy paper products for their crafts. Well, that is commendable, of course. Craft stores are filled with a multitude of supplies and products that are used for a multitude of arts and crafts. But know that many of these items do not come cheap. But do not despair because you have an alternative to buying paper supplies.

Without buying, your home will be filled with lots of paper supplies and products. You are most likely to receive newspapers everyday, bills every month, and magazines every quarter. Perhaps you’ve been too quick to throw them away, but really, these paper products are useful for a variety of paper crafts. You can create a paper wig from those shredded paper, you can create a stamp collage from the used bill envelopes and old greeting cards, you can cutout lovely landscapes and images from old postcards, etc. Even loose leaves from your kid’s notebooks will find their s use into your future paper craft projects if you really think about it.

Outside your home, you will find lots of paper products, as well. Have you seen those posters of products and events being peeled down? Try approaching those guys and see if you can ask a couple of those posters. Ever noticed those uniformed guys giving away handouts and pamphlets at the railway or at the doorsteps of a department store? How about those brochures that real estate agents and sales people give you? Accept those papers and see if they contain valuable information for you, better yet, think about what paper craft you can do with them once you get home. More often than not, you will encounter great quality paper from these freebies and giveaways.

The Art of Composting

Transforming garden waste and kitchen scraps into friable and nutritious, not to mention free, compost can seem an almost magical process. Of course, composting is really about good science and bringing together the perfect conditions for creating nutritious compost as quickly as possible. And why? Because your soil and all that it provides you with, needs it.

Garden soils, especially those soils intensively cultivated for raising home grown vegetables where we count upon good performance from our plants, will need the incorporation of compost for two purposes: To start with to enhance the composition of the top soil and secondly to add important nutrients to the soil. If your soil is too heavy, composed of larger particles, and prone to water-logging, this types of soil is generally labelled as clay soil. The roots of plants find it hard to draw out nutrients and may even rot altogether in chilly, wet winter months. If soil is light and free-draining, i.e sandy soils, nutrients are washed away rapidly and plants and flowers are not able to remove water and goodness from the soil. Digging in humus rich compost, which includes garden compost not merely restores nutrients to tired garden soil but provides structure. This helps to make poor garden soil more water and nutrient retentive, and breaks up clay soils to make them a lot more free draining this enables the roots of plants to make better use of the nutrients trapped in the soil. A generous covering of compost throughout fallow periods can also guard unplanted beds from erosion and also suppress undesirable weeds.

If you do nothing more other than deposit all the garden and kitchen waste materials in a quiet spot of the plot it would perhaps rot down to compost at some point, nevertheless for faster results some sort of compost bin is essential. Traditional wooden compost bins look attractive, and the most useful can be purchased along with add on modules. The beauty of this approach is that you can start off one bin, turn it over in to the next, that will provide helpful mixing and aeration, then leave it to decompose whilst beginning to fill the recently emptied compost bin with fresh waste material. Many keen gardeners like to do their composting running a three-bin unit and this enables them to generate compost as they require it, in harmony with the seasons. Compost tumblers, that turn and aerate compost waste without the gardener having to do much more than turn a handle, or the recent ingenious Aerobin garden composter with its core aerating ‘lung’, can yield compost within a few weeks once filled. These bins are totally enclosed, with added insulation to create warmth whatever the season, and enjoy the advantage of being rat proof.

No matter what form of compost bin you go for the guidelines on what waste substances to add are generally identical, you need to create a balance between ‘brown’ and ‘green’ waste material. Green waste is rich in nitrogen and is vital to kickstart the process of decomposition. Green materials are normally a good source of nutrients in the final compost. Brown waste is rich in carbon and delivers bulk and texture. In general when getting started strive for an equal mix, putting in brown and green waste alternately. You may find you have to add more brown waste in the event the compost feels wet and slimy, a large number of growers would consider that the balance should be more heavily weighted towards brown waste anyway. If the contents of your bin are too dry however, composting will stop and therefore you have to water the heap. (It would be even better to politely request a gentleman to urinate on it!) Green material includes spent garden flowers, kitchen waste such as, nettles, comfrey leaves. The last two being effective compost heap catalysts, but remember just leaves please, no seed heads or roots or your vegetable garden will be overrun with pernicious weeds. Brown waste includes shredded or scrunched paper, ripped-up cardboard, dry autumn leaves, woodash, the contents of your vacuum cleaner, twigs and hedge trimmings which have been put through a chipper. If you’ve chosen a traditional wooden compost bin site it on open earth to ensure that useful micro-organisms can get into the pile, and don’t forget to turn and aerate your compost every now and again. Once all the matter has decayed and you have rich brown, pleasant smelling crumbly compost you can spread it generously on your beds.