Tea is an important drink for me. I have been using it in my art . Last year I had a spate of dipping paper in tea to add layers. So using bags as a substrate seemed an easy step. I have been making collaborative tea bag chains with my friend Fran in California.
Where we sewed old dried bags together and then decorated them sending them back and forth to each other adding layers.
I am laid up at the moment with a sore knee and needed a project that would be a bit fiddly and keep me sitting still ….. I decided to have a go at repeating the zine fold mini journal – but by sewing old teabags together.
I used my hand carved rubber stamps of doors to decorate this one – keeping within my current theme of ‘home’
Preparing the tea bags is a bit time consuming. Fran in California can let them dry out side full of tea leaves. In Scotland I have to empty the leaves whilst damp, which means they can rip a bit , let them dry, and then remove the last dregs of leaves. (Jon is being very patient.)
When the bags are dry I sew 4 together using blanket stitch.
I found that I need 8 – 4 for each side of the mini journal and to give the opening of the ‘zine fold’ and strength to the design
I am having fun messing around adding my normal layers
These above are doodled on and then stencilled White acrylic
Below – I doodled with a water soluble purple pen and spritzed
The I added the white acrylic and spritzed orange ink through a stencil
The next stage is a layer of gel medium so that the seams and any ripped bags are reinforced.
Then I add a white rectangle of white acrylic to each bag/ page – I tried stamping on the teabag itself but my inks were lost on my mad backgrounds.
I decided to write a poem about my relationship with tea and Jon, I don’t know why it always tastes better when he makes it.
Tea and home
He brings me one in the dark
Sometimes I am not ready
For the perfect cup
The correct heat
The right strength and amount of milk
It sits cooling as I check my social media
At other times I sip the almost scalding liquid
As it hits the right spot
Sigh -(exhale make the right noise)
‘That’s the best cup I have ever tasted’
It feels like home.
I thought I would add the poem to a tea based mini journal.
I hand carved a few tea cup rubber stamps to use as decoration.
I have given up trying to be too neat and tidy. Carving so small with my tiny v blade seems to create simple almost naive shapes that I quite like.