How many times do we hear…… it’s a small world?
If we take the time, often we find out just how much we have in common with each other. Sometimes it’s where we grew up, foods we like, children we have…basically our joys. And yet, sometimes it’s in our sorrows we find a person who knows a pain that others don’t understand.
I, Salvage Sister, lost my Mom when I was 17 to a year long battle with melanoma aka cancer. It was a devastating loss as she was my best friend.
A favorite picture of my momma
Recently, I connected with Barbara via Instagram, not only her upcycled creations, but HER STORY!
Brooke and Barbara
I was completely honored that she choose to share how she uses creativity as a process to remember her daughter, and work through her grief, with this tutorial for today’s #ssmfeatureme.
Recycled Paper Making
*Affiliate links used to show exact or similar products used. You can read our full Disclosure Policy HERE.
- Shredded Paper
- Old Blender (Thrift Store is a great place to find one)
- Old Towels/Paper Towels (for couching)
- Plastic Storage Tub
- Old Wooden Picture Frames (they must be the same size for mould & deckle).
- Window Screening
- Staple Gun
- Inclusions – flowers, leaves, botanicals, etc… (optional)
- Rolling pin, wooden stamps (optional)
*See how many of these items can be found at a thrift store or items you already have around the house?
Instructions for Mould and Deckle
- Remove glass and any backing materials from both frames.
- Cover the flat side of one frame with the window screen and staple in place. (This is your mould.)
- Clean 2nd frame of any debris. (This is your deckle.)
Recycled Paper Making Instructions
- Lay towels on flat surface for couching.
- Fill blender 1/3rd full of shredded paper.
- Add water to cover.
- Blend until the paper and water are combined. This will be your pulp. You can add your inclusions here. I made several different batches: lavender from my daughter’s wedding; rosemary, basil, daisy and rose petals from my garden.
- Pour pulp into your plastic tub and add enough water to submerge the mould & deckle.
- Stir the tub of pulp (you always need to have the ‘pulp’ suspended in the water).
- Position the deckle on top of the mould – matching all edges.
- Carefully hold the two frames together and at a 45 degree angle dip them into the pulp scooping up enough to cover the screen. (This took some practice to get even coverage.)
- Lift the frames straight up out of the tub and allow the water to drain off.
- Remove the deckle by lifting straight up.
- Place the edge of the mould on the towels for couching (transferring paper to towel).
- Carefully lay the mould paper-side-down onto the towels.
- Blot the back of the paper with large sponge.
- Lift the mould off the towels – beginning with one side and checking to see that paper has fully transferred to the towel. (Imagine opening a book here.)
- Place another towel or paper towels on top of your paper and press to remove as much water as possible.
- Here I pressed an old wooden stamp on some of the paper. Others I used a carved rolling pin.
- As you make each additional piece of paper stack them on top of each other with towels or paper towels between each layer.
- When you have 5 or 6 cover the entire stack with a towel and place them under a stack of heavy books to dry, 1 – 2 days depending on humidity You can also let them dry in the open. The paper will buckle and ripple a bit but can be a fun effect. Experiment and have fun!
We can’t change our circumstances, but the mission of the site is to make the best with (salvage) what you have, or where you find yourself.
Brooke’s mantra was:
Our attitude, outlook, perspective is the most empowering tool we have.
Though her battle progressed aggressively from Stage II to III to IV, Brooke remained unwaveringly courageous. She never let it take away her hope or philanthropic spirit.
And obviously Barbara is doing her best at the one of the worst situations you can be given…losing a child.
My Grandfather, after losing his daughter (my mom) said no parent should ever have to bury their child. Although I can’t relate to Barbara’s exact pain, losing a child, I do know what it is like to loose someone I dearly love(d) to melanoma.
Here are a few more upcycled project she has done to work through her grief: