Thursday, August 19, 2010

Creatively Consuming Politics

I had every intention of voting, really.  I had placed my ballot next to the computer to look up each candidate and research their beliefs and political outlooks. I think voting is important but I also believe being educated about the person you're voting for is absolutely necessary, otherwise you're making an uneducated guess and possibly voting someone into a position of power to make choices you may not agree with.  (I know, you're wondering where on earth I'm going with this political spiel.)  As I was clearing the table of a few stray bills and notes I came across the voting envelopes.  One was a bright pink, as you may recall- especially if you weren't quite as negligent as I- in getting your ballot in on time.  That's when it occurred to me, what better to do with an unused voting ballot and envelope than to recycle and make lovely handmade paper?!  I gathered some of the lavender pieces I had clipped yesterday morning for a fragrant and aesthetic addition.

To make your own hand-made paper you'll need the following:
Unused voters ballot and envelope (or any other colorful paper scraps)
1/4 of a soft paper towel
Old frame
Old pantyhose to stretch over frame
Large basin
Lavender or other flower or herb of your choice
A spoon or two of liquid starch (if you plan to write on your paper, the starch will keep the ink from running)

Tear up paper and paper towel to fill blender 1/2 full.  Fill blender with water about 3/4 full.  Add pieces of flower/herbs and starch.  Blend until completely pulpy.  Stir in (don't blend) several small blooms and leaves.  Pour this mixture over the pantyhose-covered frame that you've placed at the bottom of the large basin.  Cover evenly.  Gently press excess water from paper and set aside to dry.  After a few hours cover the paper (still over the frame) with a dry paper towel and turn over onto a flat surface.  It's almost done- just allow it time to dry.

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