Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Boiling a book

I am always on the lookout for easy and interesting projects to do with my kids. Now these projects should be easy enough to do, not take up too much time in my very busy schedule and be interesting for me, too. So, easy peasy...
Then the other day a video was recommended by a crafty VikingLady, a video about how to boil a book, or dye paper with leaves and dye. I was immediately interested, since boiling time is over an hour and it can just boil away happily while we go and do other things like potty training, homework, cook dinner and so on...

Let me see if I can post a working link so you know what I am talking about


If this link doesn't work, just c&p in your browser.

So the lads gathered lots of interesting looking foliage, and even some tiny forget me nots (made lovely flower outline but no colour) and I got the water on. I added salt in there as well, as the dye I used needs water to be activated. 
Then we layered the folded signatures and leaves, sandwiched everything in between cardboard and tied it with string. I had the feeling it was too loose (didn't the guy in the video mention this?) and wedged a stick between the sandwich and the string. I thought it was still very loose but I left it at that.

Once the water was ready and the vinegar added (careful, lots of foam!) I added a steamer insert so the package wouldn't touch the bottom, only to discover the package floated! (sorry, I did not take a pic). I had to keep it submerged with two rocks from my garden, these rocks are now a lovely shade of blue.
1 1/2 hours later I took out my little soggy parcel and was surprised to find it basically intact! 

The size is half an A4 sheet of watercolour paper, torn in half and then folded in half. I would have to measure it to be exact, but it is about the size of a pocket size moley.

Then to start taking it apart. This is an Ivy layer. As the guy in the vid said, the more structure the leaf has, the better the imagefrom it. So look for anything sturdy, stringy, woody, the more delicate the less likely you get a strong imprint.

And here are a few of the signatures out to dry, I will get two books with 5 signatures each, that makes 20 pages for the lads to art on or marvel over. 

This signature is one of the more mushed up looking ones when you just look at it, but hold it up to the light...
You can also see how some leaves have released some yellow colour onto the paper and made a lovely green with the blue dye I put in.

And this is one of my favourite pages, the back page where some colour from the cardboard penetrated the paper as well.

I will do this again, it was so much fun to collect the greenery and layer it all. Iwill probably use stronger leaves next time and not layer so many leaves between all the pages but keep some plainer with just one type of leaf. I don't know the name of the tree that released the yellow dye, but I will use it again because it also left great imprints. 
I am now probably outing myself as a complete gardening idiot by saying it is some kind of cypress (I know cypressus macrocarpus and this one has similarly shaped cones just teensy weensy), here is a pic of the leaves (?) 

That is it for now, I have so much more to tell but not tonight.

1 comment:

Sue Thing Skene said...

Wow! What a fun and eventful day you have had with the kiddies. I think you all did a terrific job with your book boiling adventure. The pages are just beautiful. I hope I get to see the journals you make using the signatures. Happy crafting ...
Yours truly,
Vikinglady :D