Camp Beret Begins

Taken from The Navigators site.
Image found on navigators.org.

posted by Beret

Well, it happened.

It happens every year.

The end of the school year approached, mayhem ensued, and now the two best reasons to ignore everything else in the world are in my house 24/7.

It’s looking a little grim for a post until “Camp Beret” goes on a brief hiatus July 8.

Who knows, my esteemed co-conspirator Gina might make a surprise appearance, or I might get lucky and squeeze out a book review before mid-July. But just in case, I’m sending apologies in advance.

Since many of you are experiencing a spike in quality time with your kids as well, might I suggest perusing the archives? Perhaps this is the summer to mummify a chicken, or make a lemon battery, invisible ink, or ice cream in a bag. Maybe you want to try extracting DNA from fruit, or use cabbage juice as a pH indicator. Now’s your chance.     Continue reading “Camp Beret Begins”

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The Quick and Dirty Guide to Paper Marbling

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©2013 Beret Olsen

Ages: 4 and up

I’ve done paper marbling many times, occasionally with satisfying results. Unfortunately, it required a checklist of fussy materials, as well as a sizable chunk of time. Something called ‘size’ had to be mixed ahead of time and allowed to thicken, but not so far ahead of time that it got moldy. Paper had to be pre-treated with mordant and allowed to dry. Who has time for all of that?

I also noticed that I was getting a little precious about the supplies–i.e., I had a hard time sharing them with my kids. That’s because up until a week or so ago, I thought the only way to marbleize was to buy the kit off Amazon, or drive around town trying to find ingredients like alum and methyl cellulose.

Full disclosure here: those are the materials and methods you need to use if you want those amazingly delicate Martha Stewart-y results. If you want to create papers that precisely resemble the endpapers found in old leather-bound books, and if time is not an issue, then by all means go and do it that way.

BUT.

Marbling is fun. And cool. Why not try it with cheaper, more easily accessible supplies? That way, you might be more likely to do it with a group of kids, or with your own, on some random rainy day when you are desperate to squelch the endless bickering. Not that my kids ever behave that way.

So, here it is: the cheap and easy method for marbleizing paper.    Continue reading “The Quick and Dirty Guide to Paper Marbling”

Ridiculously Simple Bookmaking Part One: The Stick Journal

@2013 Beret Olsen
@2013 Beret Olsen

posted by: Beret

Ages: Three and up, though the very young will (of course) need assistance.

I love to make books.

I was going to do a very thorough post including all kinds of different bookmaking ideas. But then I realized the enormity of the challenge. There are a million ideas out there, and I am not to be trusted endlessly surfing the web. Somehow or another, I always end up on Youtube watching a couple of nimrods having a staple gun fight. In light of this, I decided to narrow my focus and introduce one project at a time.    Continue reading “Ridiculously Simple Bookmaking Part One: The Stick Journal”