The twelve-year Asian Zodiac Cycle begins with the Year of the Rat. For those of you born in this year (see dates below), the Rat is considered a quick-witted perfectionist, at the forefront leading the way, while overcoming problematic challenges. The Rat is highly organized and has a very active mind and a very busy life.…

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The second animal in the twelve-year Chinese zodiac cycle is the Ox. Those born in the Year of the Ox (see dates at the end), are known for being the hard workers of the animal horoscope. They are believed to get things done as they are reliable, trustworthy and responsible. They are tenacious and persistent and…

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When Jean first arrived in Umbria back in the late 90s she discovered many regional artisans and craft traditions. Deruta is a town south of Perugia that specialises in ceramic wares. Jean often visited a well-known potter, Ubaldo Grazia at Grazia Maioliche (http://www.ubaldograzia.com), who suggested that they paint one of her paintings onto a plate.…

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When Jean makes her own paper canvases she sometimes stores the finished screens to use at a later date. Jean doesn’t make the individual paper sheets from pulp, but instead combines the ready made mulberry and/or rice paper using a papier-mache’ process to make her screens. Here’s Jean in her studio with two panels that…

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Here’s a suggestion to keep all your Christmas cards, wrapping paper, ribbons and tags – because then you will have a great collection of supplies for next year’s Arts and Crafts designs. Here’s our list for next year’s festive ideas. Some are designs we’ve worked out and some will need to be invented. 1) Recycled…

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We first got inspired by the Country Living Christmas magazines over the years that always had wonderful homemade wreaths. This year, we thought we’d create our own (see image), which is a combination of dried wisteria twine and two types of ivy. We were thinking of ways to decorate the wreath using upcycled materials and…

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We’ve created some Christmas crackers with a twist! Here’s how you can make your very own Christmas crackers… You will need: some crepe paper, wrapping paper and/or any other special paper; scissors; toilet paper rolls; ribbon and/or string; tiny gifts or chocolate to fill the crackers. Next, fill the paper toilet roll with your gifts.…

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For our Christmas-inspired Arts and Crafts here is a festive paper chain idea. You will need: paper; transparent sellotape (Scotch tape); and scissors. You can recycle wrapping paper, paint newspaper, use coloured paper, or even draw and colour plain white paper. We used our samples of wrapping paper made by photocopying one of Jean’s cards…

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Flag Collection by Jean Tori

We came up with the idea of printing flags with Jean’s artwork when we moved to Umbria. We have a big garden and always have flags fluttering in the breeze against a green backdrop of bamboo and walnut trees. Having flapping flags flying in the garden is a very joyful idea! They are full of…

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Part 4. After Adding 5 Layers of Paper, That Have Dried, Remove From the Wooden Frame. I usually add 5 layers of paper to have quite a hard consistency. The more layers of paper, the harder the final product is. After each layer has been added & dried – see Lesson 3. http://jeantori.com/2012/07/paper-making-lessons-part-3/, cut around the…

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