For years I've maintained that I only drink tea when I have a cold. I drank tea exclusively when I was in university -- until I fell in love with coffee on a trip to Italy in my early twenties. I moved from coffee with hot milk (50-50), to coffee with regular milk and sugar, to coffee completely black, and the darker the better -- and I've seldom returned to tea.
That said, I do keep some green tea bags in the bathroom to use when I soak in a hot tub. Green tea and Epsom salts make a very soothing hot soak after a slog mowing the lawn or shovelling the walks and driveway!
But drink it? Not so much.
Until the last week or so. Until I watched what Libby Williamson does with them, in the episode she recorded with The Quilt Show. You see, she uses tea bags in her art work. Used tea bags that is -- ones that have been steeped, dried, and carefully cut open to empty out the leaves, preferably into a compost pail.
Now, Libby had had an article about this work published in the June/July 2017 issue of Quilting Arts magazine, and I'm a subscriber, but I'll admit that what was shown therein didn't capture my attention. It was...ummm...a bit fanciful for my taste.
But what she did on The Quilt Show -- that was something that intrigued me. I love rough edges and layering is very much part of my landscape work. I also love quirky pieces inspired by an unusual thought (like her piece, "Call Wendy").
On top of Libby's inspiration, I've been wrestling with my challenges to make collages; to whit, Cas Holme's latest book, Textile Landscape, which I bought with a birthday gift card a couple of months ago.
Having managed to get back into the sewdio for the "Fire Moon" piece, I hankered to do some more playing to break up the hours of Christmas knitting that's taking up most of my days right now.
A couple of weeks ago I tore apart a dusty old book -- it was falling apart already -- and painted some of the pages, using a sponge.
The book's cover is interesting too...
So I made a 'contour drawing' of it in my photo program...
|"Contour Drawing" of the cover
But in the end I got stuck again. I just couldn't get a feel for how to go farther with paper. In the process I was digging through sheers and silks and flinging fabric around trying to find something that would call to me.
I came up with a piece of rust-dyed silk charmeuse I've had for a while, and suddenly I could see IT!
There were two pieces right off the bat, and I know there'll be more. I didn't photograph the process, but I did take some pictures of the finished pieces, each mounted on painted 10" square stretched canvas, each about 1/2" thick. I do believe I'll have them framed but for now...
|She Thought He Hung the Moon (C) 2018
Rusted silk charmeuse, recycled tea bag,
machine thread painting,
|She Thought... Detail of moon, stitching
|Where Do I Go from Here? (C) 2018
Rusted silk charmeuse, recycled tea bag paper,
machine thread painting, hand stitching
|Where Do I Go...? - Detail of moon, stitching
Yes, these tea bags are round. I no longer have the box (I store them in a tin with a tight lid) so no idea what brand this is, but the bags hold black tea. I also brought home a couple of roiboos tea bags (also round) that I used at The Shop, and I've also collected a few rectangular bags (black tea) for future use.
Yes, I drink the tea. I've rediscovered the soothing nature of tea, to which I've taken to adding powdered ginger and a teaspoon of raw honey. I don't know how long I'll keep it up, but I've just received an Air Miles coupon for a box of Tetley Tea so...
I think there'll be more tea bag paper in future pieces. After all, I still have more of that lovely silk charmeuse...
Stay tuned -- and thanks, Libby! 😊
Linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday -- and hoping her internet wobbles right themselves soon!
Pour yourself a cuppa and...enjoy!