Thursday, August 22, 2019

It's Teatime at A Vintage Journey!

The talented Jennie hosts the August challenge at A Vintage Journey, called "A Cup of Tea for Your Art".  Here's what she says about it:

Pour yourself an extra cup of tea (or coffee) 
and use it in your project

In your cup you could dye lace, ribbon, wood, paper and flowers, or use it to create splashes or cup rings on your project. And don't just limit yourself to "ordinary tea" - there's green tea, yellow tea, black tea, herbal teas and fruit teas - whatever you've got in your cup!

I love the theme of this challenge, as an inveterate tea-drinker!  So right away, I tea-dyed a stack of copy paper in some deep English Breakfast tea... and dried them in a low temperature oven.... got a bit of scorching on the end paper as you can see, lol! 

But now, what to do with them?  I mulled this for a long time, given that I died the papers on the first day the challenge was posted!  And finally, after a fortnight, I decided to jump whole hog into the theme, and create a little tea bag book.  This template comes from the wonderful Making Handmade Books, by Alisa Golden.  Basically, one cuts and folds to create little tea bags - these are about three inches by four and a bit.  And because of the tea dying process, there is a wonderful, albeit subtle, vintage feel to these modern paper tea bags.

I knew I wanted some sort of affirmation or positive "vibe" for this little book.  I must confess that even though my former life was immersing myself into and teaching about public policy, the meaning of society, the purposes of public discourse and government and so on, the current political sphere here and elsewhere is overwhelming, and I can only fight through/back/onward by trying to create works that embody some sort of reference to normal/morality/hope.  I thought about sketching tea cups and tea pots on some pages, with quotes on the alternate pages, but ultimately my drawing skills put that idea to rest!  I do have some stamps that would be appropriate, but I wanted a more rustic look.... so once again, my brain went into the mulling mode whilst these pages hung around my table.

I decided I could probably letter something decently, so came up with some short phrases.  Then, in looking through my stamps, I came across some beautiful Penny Black and Hero Arts "Chops" stamps, quite in keeping with this strange fascination with all things Oriental I seem to have going on, lol!  The stamps are in keeping with the more "handmade" look I wanted.  I did not ink the English translation on the Hero Arts stamps (which are the larger brushstrokes) but that is how I knew what the chop conveyed.  And the Penny Black stamp has the name in the title on the stamp.  They are stamped with Vintage Photo Archival ink.

On the back pages, I lettered with a pointed pen and sepia ink:

The covers are made from eco-printed hyacinths and cherry blossoms from many years past in Connecticut.  I am dipping my toe once again into this media, and came across these papers recently.  As these were made by steeping and steaming plant materials in a "tea" of vinegar and water, they seemed to fit the theme, as does their coloration. 

Here is the back of the book, which had some cherry blossoms and daffodils when made.  As you can see by the intro photo, I made a little tea bag title tag out of another of these papers; this has a beautiful grape hyacinth print which you can just discern here:

Thank you so much for stopping by, and please do leave a comment - I love hearing from you!

xxx Lynn


  1. A lovely meditative book to look over as you sip your tea. I love that the pages are formed as little teabags as well as being tea-dyed, and your hand-lettering is the perfect addition to each page, the simplicity allowing the mind to be still and focus. Thank you for joining us on A Vintage Journey with this lovely little album.
    Alison x

  2. Oh Lynn, what a delightful little book. I love anything to do with tea, from drinking it to collage on tea bags so this is right up my street! I love the gentleness of it and the calming words.
    Thank you so much for your visit to my blog and your kind wishes regarding my hand op earlier, it's well on the mend now and I'm managing to be creative, the bandaging is much the worse for wear and is now multi-coloured and 'distressed' rather than white!!
    Diana x

  3. What a lovely post Lynnx You really dived right in to Jennies tea theme chalenge and I adore your tag book with the tea bag cute. Its lovely to have you on board with us at A Vintage Journey Challenge Blog.

    Best Wishes
    Annie CG at AVJ x

  4. Lynn, you poured your heart and soul into the process, and came out with a lovely little book you can flip through when your mind starts to turn to current events. Such a wonderful idea to make your tea stained papers into these little dimensional tea bag signatures! I'm so happy to see you playing along at A Vintage Journey--this is perfect for Jennie's challenge! Sending peaceful hugs!

  5. Thank you for your visit and lovely comment. Sadly, it's unlikely to be a carefree weekend... I'm off to protest at Downing Street.

  6. Fabulous! I love the way you have made this lovely tag book with your dyed papers. it's great that you have used your lettering skills for the positive affirmations too. Thank you for joining in with our challenge over at A Vintage Journey. Toni x

  7. Oh how very creative you are with your lovely tea bag book and beautiful pages! love the soft tea dye on the pages, your great stamps and beautiful written words! thanks so much for sharing with us at AVJ! xx

  8. Lynn, your little tea book is gorgeous, the dyed papers all look wonderful and I love those beautiful symbols you have used throughout on your tea bag shaped pages! Hugs, Anne xx

  9. A wonderful little book. I love everything about it!!!

  10. Just popping in to wish you a very Merry Christmas, Lynn! Where have you been?! Sara Emily


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