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This is the last portion of the mural covering the staircase and side entry room. Since work resumes tomorrow, I can say I have my summer project finished. It’s been painted in fits and starts for a couple summers, but now I’m waiting to see if there are any adjustments to be made before I urethane the walls. This is the largest wall section…

The heron and fox section of my mural.

The heron and fox section of my mural.

paper ornaments 12
One of my favorite ways to recycle paper, especially good, acid-free paper, is to use it to create new objects. These Christmas ornaments are made from a combination of drawing paper and other scrap paper using clay form cookie molds. The paper is shredded, placed in a blender with water and whirled until it returns to pulp. The pulp is drained in a strainer and then pressed into the molds. When the paper is dry, they pop out of the mold. Then they are trimmed (or not) and painted. Some in the photo are gilded and then painted. A final coat of urethane is painted on. The ornaments last many years. They are very light and make great tree ornaments — simple and effective recycling.

My large family decided years ago rather than spend tons of money on everyone or draw names, we would do a make it, bake it, or grow it Christmas gift. This is my this year’s effort (and my Santa’s helper, who sanded and primed the gourds, and the cut holes). My sister Jewel grew the gourds. I painted them. They haven’t the final coat of polyurethane on yet, but I thought they turned out pretty good. Hopefully wrens will like them for homes this coming summer. Outdoors I think they should last one or two seasons. By then, Jewel will have grown more gourds (season is too short were I am), they’ll have cured long enough to shed their outer skin and I can then make more birdhouses! Hope everyone liked them as much as I liked painting them.

Birdhouse Gourds

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