Eco Printing Tutorial (Paper)

As our zero waste, eco-friendly ideals carry into all parts of our life, they are slowly making their way into my art practice as well. Though I’m still an avid user of acrylic paint, for ages I’d been wanting to dive into eco prints and see how that would work. I follow an amazing eco printing artist on instagram, and I adore the beautiful clothes she makes with her fabric, but to start I wanted to explore dying paper. Hopefully I’ll be able to explore eco printed fabric in the near future though!

So here’s a little tutorial on how to do eco printing on paper.

You Will Need:

  • Watercolour paper
  • Alum (aluminium sulphate)
  • Fresh flowers and leaves
  • Water
  • An old saucepan you don’t need to use for cooking (hit up an op shop for this!)
  • A tub you can soak the paper in
  • Two pieces of metal/acrylic board you can use to sandwich your papers (see video for a better explanation if you’re unsure on this)
  • Twine / String to bind your papers
  • Old towels

Before We Start…

I just want to take a minute to say that doing this eco printing is in no way an exact science. Part of the joy of this type of art is that you get a surprise when you open it up, and you have no real way of knowing exactly how it will turn out! Even when all factors are the same, there is still often variation between one set of prints and the next.

There are lots of factors that could influence how your prints work out including the type of water (mineral content, chlorine content etc), length of time soaking / boiling, types of leaves and flowers, tightness of the binding, and amount of alum used. 

What The Video…

Process:

1. Fill a shallow container with water and add in 1 tbs of alum. Mix it so the alum has dissolved and then soak your paper. Leave it to soak until you’re ready to use it.

2. Add enough water to your saucepan so that your leaves and flowers will be covered. Add 2 tbs of alum and mix until it dissolves. Add in your foliage and flowers and leave to soak for at least ½ an hour.

3. Once everything has soaked for a while lay out your old towel to work on. Take a piece of paper, and lay foliage / flowers on half the paper, then fold in half. Place it to once side, and add more foliage / flowers to the top.

4. Make another sandwich of foliage / flowers and place it on top of the previous sandwich. Add more foliage / flowers on top and continue until you’ve made all the sandwiches you want.

5. Take your metal or acrylic blocks and put them on either side of paper stack. Use your twine to bind them together tightly.

The water is pink because the beetroot slices were soaking in here before.

6. Add both sets of water together in the saucepan and add another tablespoon of alum. You can also use vinegar if you want. Submerge your bound paper stack in the water, and put it on to boil. Simmer slowly for a few hours. You can add extra things into your water too. Avocado seeds or skin, spices like turmeric which will give everything a yellow tint, or even rusty bits of metal.

7. Carefully take out your paper stack and put it on your old towel. Slowly take off the twine and boards, and open up your pieces of paper. You can wait quite a while to do this after taking it out of the water, but it is best to do this while it’s still wet so that the foliage and florals don’t stick to the paper too much.

8. Enjoy your beautiful eco printed paper!

Tips and Notes:

As far as I know you will not be hurt from touching the water that has alum in it – it goes into pools after all! If you’re concerned, use some re-usable gloves. 🙂

I bought my alum at a local pool shop – $15 for 2kg, which is much cheaper than anything I found online!

The best things I found to print with were leaves with fine details (think ferns,  leaves with crinkly edges etc.), and flowers with strong pigment, or that sit very flat when taken off the stalk. Mustard or coriander seeds also have a really interesting effect!

Believe In Yourself Art Journaling Page

Hey everyone! I have an art journaling process video for you today. I used some pages from a children’s book for this page, which is part of my “Play” altered book.

I am keen to do a few more pages using bits from this book. The illustrations are beautiful, and because they have a watercolour-ish style they are relatively easy to add to and turn into a cohesive page!

Let me know what you think! Do you ever use book pages in other languages in your art journaling?

Art Journaling Process – brachot before eating decision tree

As you know from other blog posts our family is in the process of converting to Judaism. One of our recent lessons included learning the brachot for food, and when to say each blessing. We had already been practicing this for a while, so this wasn’t a big hurdle, but it was great to have some of our more weird questions, for example – what bracha do you say for nori when eating sushi? Still trying to find out the answer. I don’t even know if you can buy kosher nori. We’re doing kashrut next, so that will be the biggest shake up so far I think…

Anyway, back to this art journaling page. I feel like I need to make some sort of disclaimer to say that this isn’t a complete “decision tree”, and it’s not intended to be used as a teaching tool or anything. Heck, I’ll probably not even look at this page again unless I randomly flip through this journal! I just wanted to make something relevant and this seemed fun. 🙂

Hope you enjoy this video! I will have another video on this blog over the weekend, and another one next week, yay!

Mid June 2018 Jewish Art Journaling Pages

I want to try and share my art journaling pages more regularly here. Not with big explanations and things that will stop me from sharing – it’ll mostly just be the pictures and that’s it! But I hope you enjoy them. I share my art way more regularly over on my instagram – @taliamakesart, so follow me there if you have insta!

Rosh Chodesh Tammuz - jewish art journaling
Rosh Chodesh Tammuz – Jewish art journaling
Back to Black - monochromatic art journaling page
Back to Black – monochromatic art journaling page
Gelli printing art journal page
Gelli printing art journal page
"Hello" spiral art journaling page
“Hello” spiral art journaling page
1 of 4. Cut through art journaling page of an eye and flower petals.
1 of 4. Cut through art journaling page of an eye and flower petals.
2 of 4. Cut through art journaling page of an eye and flower petals.
2 of 4. Cut through art journaling page of an eye and flower petals.
3 of 4. Cut through art journaling page of an eye and flower petals.
3 of 4. Cut through art journaling page of an eye and flower petals.
4 of 4. Cut through art journaling page of an eye and flower petals.
4 of 4. Cut through art journaling page of an eye and flower petals.
"dreamer" art journaling page - altered book
“dreamer” art journaling page – Altered book page using acrylic, scrapbooking paper, and chinagraph pencil.

VLOG: Why SAHMs Should Make Time For ART!

inhale the future, exhale the past

Mums! Do you ever find yourself wishing you had more time for art? Or like it goes to the bottom of the priority list in your life? Well this vlog is for you. This is how I went from never having any time for my art, to making it a priority!

Key Points:

My story of going from being cranky and frustrated to making art a priority and being a happier, more attentive mother because of it.

Making art a priority – adding art journal pages to your to do list!

Consequences of not doing art, and consequences of not doing the washing.

Not doing any household duties in the evenings after the kids are in bed.

Blocking out time in your daily schedule for art.

Prioritising art is not self indulgent.

If you know you only have X hours during the day to do your chores because the evening is blocked out (for art!) then guess what?! You will get it done! (within reason!)

Lets continue the conversation – let me know in the comments what’s stopping you and we can try and find a fix!

Find Talia:
Subscribe – http://youtube.com/subscribe_widget?p=sunshinetalia
Website – http://climbingtree.blog
Instagram – http://instagram.com/taliamakesart
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/climbingtree/

Art Journal Process Video: A Reflection of death & grief

Hi everyone, and welcome to my first process video for the year. This was quite therapeutic to put together, and I loved just having a chat with you guys in the voice over.

In the video I explain how I’ll be improving this channel in 2018. I look forward to your input!

As I work through this art journaling process video I talk a lot about death, and grief, and the reality of not having any tomorrows promised to you. I hope that by the end it is encouraging for you. Sometimes art journaling is less about the page you make, and more about the therapeutic process you went through whilst making it. That’s definitely what this page was for me, and I felt really free by the time I’d finished – like I’d worked through any unknown fear or worry that was in the back of my mind.

Please don’t forget to “like” and “subscribe”. I’d love to get a comment from you – tell me what you think of my philosophy on death and life, or my plans for 2018!

Hello 2018

art journaling page of a girl with text in her red hair

Hello 2018! I am looking forward to creating beautiful art this year.

I thought I would start this blog with a list of some of the creative projects I will be working on in 2018.

  • Weekly Parsha Project. This project is where I create an art journaling spread related to the weekly parsha (torah portion). I started at the beginning of the cycle a few months ago after Simchat Torah, and will continue through till then. I missed a few weeks while we were away, so it’s a priority for me to catch up on those ASAP! You can check these all out with the hashtag #taliastorah on my arty instagram.
  • One Little Word. This is my first year doing this project! I often choose a word for the year, but this is the first time doing the course. I haven’t bought a kit of anything, just the course, and hope to complete it simply and efficiently. I do NOT want this to turn into another unfinished project.
  • Rituals Class. I won this on New Years Day, and I am so excited to participate!
  • Regular art journaling goals – I want to art journal frequently, and continue to learn new things.
  • YouTube. It’s here if you want to subscribe. This year I’ll be posting twice a week – one day will be a process video like the ones currently there, and the second one will be a review of a product including ways to use it. Part of the reason I am doing this is because I want to increase my following places so that I can make it onto a design team for 2019.
  • Family photobook. I like to think this is an ongoing project, but it seems it’s just a December/January project! I like putting these together and having all out photos from the year in a neat little book!
  • Monthly Videos. I’ve been enjoying watching some of the old monthly videos I was doing a few years ago. It’s so sweet to watch the kids being smaller, and learning to talk, and walk and all those things. Luke would LOVE it if I got back into these again, and I want to really try hard to put aside time to do them.

So this is a lot of projects, right?! I figure now that I’m off facebook, Lior is a school 5 days a week, and Eli at kindy 2-3 days a week I should be able to make it work. It will require some self discipline and organisation though!

Do you have any creative projects you’re working on this year?