Thursday, August 27, 2009

how to fill in a Sunday afternoon

Matt's Extension English class were asked to spend the term studying one of the pre-war classics of their choice, look at modern variations in both the written and filmed versions and then write a derivative story based on that novel (the teacher also said a film, art work or and interpretive dance would be acceptable, no one did the dance...) . Matt chose Dracula, forcing him to read Twilight which caused enormous suffering on his behalf but he also got to watch Van Helsing which he thoroughly enjoyed.

After writing his version, he then wanted it printed onto parchment, kindly looking up a recipe that would turn white printer paper into something resembling parchment. Knowing my weakness for paper crafts, he started the process asking for help.

It took me all of two minutes for him to turn it into my project, which I enjoyed for possibly the first hour. After that it got a bit dull but I have done far more tedious things for the kids in the past and I did end up with extra nice crinkly paper for my own use so all ok.

Here are my steps for parchment paper if you are vaguely interested. It would be very quick if you only needed to do a couple of sheets, I ended up doing over 20.

Step 1. The all important mixture. Coffee grounds, instant coffee and tea leaves (handfuls in this case) as well as a couple of sprays of coffee coloured glimmer mist to add a touch of sheen (not important). i think a drop or two of vanilla essence would be nice at this stage as well but I haven't tried that. All mixed in about 2 cups for this amount of boiling water and let cool. Swirl your paper around in it for a while, it seems to dry darker than it looks damp. If you don't want fingers that look like you are a pack a day smoker for the last 20 years, then wear gloves (must remember this tip next time around)

step 2. drying with a hair dryer, adds the lovely crinkly feel. You can brush off the tea leaves and coffee grounds at this stage as well. If you wanted smoother paper then dry slowly between sheets of paper towel with a heavy object on top.

Step 3. Ok not a step just a pile of crinkly paper, although a good time for a tip from our lovely school librarian. If you get a book wet stick it in the freezer and when the sheets are frozen, get it out and shake and scrape it to get all the moisture out. Again I haven't tried it personally but she is a librarian. Henry is very keen to try this though.

Last step. Iron your sheets, I had the iron on linen setting. They worked a treat and printed up beautifully.

ps. After all this, Matt was working out how to put it together when I heard him say whoops. He had started to put holes with a punch in and didn't bother lining them up, with the end result being the first set of papers he tried to punch just having holes clipped in the side...

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