Boy do I love using old tea bags in art. There is something mysterious about the translucent layers they make. Added to paper or other substrate, they look like parchment or linen, while allowing any text or image underneath to show through. Here are some suggestions for using tea bags in your art, collage, scrapbook, or other mixed media projects.
– Layering, layering, layering. Brush your glue medium of choice onto the tea bag and place it on the surface you are working with. Bunch it up here and there for added texture. You can then paint or print over that. Or not.
– Rubber stamps. You can get some dramatic effects that look like a tiny print on parchment that you then add to paper or board.
– Guess what doesn’t work. Stencils with ink from a spritzer or mister. What does work are stencils with ink pad. For this I used a Tim Holtz blending tool that you “load” with ink from a pad, then pounce over the stencil.
– Paint. I am not much of a painter but there are artists out there who turned the humble tea bag into a tiny canvas for portraits. Here I have used acrylics, both [read more]
Altered book cover with handcut angel. Book is a French schoolbook, 1888. Beautiful girl postcard, 1902. Wings are from variety of vintage French papers, including handwritten letter from 1903. (Also, reproduction maps by 7Gypsies.)
Measures 10 cm x 22 cm. All papers are original. These are not printed reproductions! It is wired for hanging, or the wire can be removed for framing. All of my pieces come with extra paper goodies. Cost is £55. Shipping worldwide is £5. You can use the PayPal button below for payment, even if you do not have a PayPal account.
These sketches are from my illustrated journal is a recent trip to the Burgundy region of France. There are many hundreds of Romanesque churches, built between the 10th and 12th centuries. Before then, the area had been occupied and ruled over by Romans. Then they were gone but their architecture and design influence remained and were powerful influences in the creation of these churches. It was a time of crusades and pilgrimages, both of which brought travelers into tiny villages needing accommodation, food, and other practical provisions: these churches attracted these pilgrims and profited from their donations, as did the towns around them.
Hilaire Belloc, writing about his pilgrimage from France to Rome wrote of such places that: “In such shrines Mass is to be said but rarely, sometimes but once a year in a special commemoration. The rest of the time they stand empty, and some of the older or simpler, one might take for ruins. They mark everywhere some strong emotion of supplication, thanks, or reverence, and they anchor these wild places to their own past, making up in memories what they lack in multitudinous life.”
Click on an image to see a larger [read more]
I am deeply attracted to rust-dyed papers and enjoying reading about the technique. It usually seems to involve different combinations of tea, rusty stuff, paper bundles, and a cauldron, and I don’t have room for anything remotely that big, even in my studio, which is a scant 98 square feet and filled to the rafters with ephemera and tea cups. Recently, however, I found a method of dying papers that, while it lacks the eerie depth of mark-making with rust, it is pretty darn lovely; also simple and quick, which makes for near-instant gratification.
Ink (I use a variety of fountain pen inks and homemade walnut ink)
Medium to heavy weight paper or cardstock
A water mister
Ink, Sponge, and Mister
These pages are to be used for a sketchbook. Rather than cut them to size, I tore them, using a ruler as a straightedge. This torn edge is pretty as it mimics a deckled edge, and it absorbs the ink.
Tearing the Edges of Paper
Dip the sponge in the undiluted ink, then dab the edges of the page around all sides.
Now spray the page with the water using your mister/spritzer. Start with the edges, turning the page as you mist. When you [read more]
I had to talk myself into putting her on this cover as it meant cutting her out of her cabinet card photograph, and she is so perfectly the kind of young lady that old-timey songs (and poetry) were written about. It is, however, this very quality that makes her such a sublime altered angel.
Altered book cover. Book cover is from One Thousand and One Works of English Poetry and has some lovely raised embossing. The main figure is from a cabinet card and based on her dress and hair ribbon, is from the 1880s. The border is a fragment of a handwritten letter, French, 1903. The wings are handcut from a variety of vintage papers. All papers are originals, not printed reproductions.
It is wired for hanging, or the wire can be removed for framing. All of my pieces come with extra paper goodies. Cost is £45. Shipping worldwide is £5. You can use the PayPal button below for payment, even if you do not have a PayPal [read more]
Having a lot of fun with these altered book angels made from old cabinet photos and handwritten papers. They are so flirty and sweet and strange.
Book cover, French school book 1916. Woman cut from French cabinet card (with fragment of handwriting), 1917. Fragment of French, handwritten letter, 1903. Handcut wings from a variety of vintage French papers, and sheet music.
Measures 10 cm x 22 cm. All papers are original. These are not printed reproductions! It is wired for hanging, or the wire can be removed for framing. All of my pieces come with extra paper goodies. Cost is £45. Shipping worldwide is £5. You can use the PayPal button below for payment, even if you do not have a PayPal [read more]
Now that is a hair ribbon.
Collage on book cover. Book cover, 1878. Tintype of young man, circa 1860s. Cabinet photo with the handwritten name “Mabel,” circa 1900s. Swiss, handwritten envelope with stamps, 1902. Marbled end paper, 1848. Fragment, French encylopedia, 1878. Measures 17.25 cm x 25 cm.
All papers are original. These are not printed reproductions! It is wired for hanging, or the wire can be removed for framing. All of my pieces come with extra paper goodies. Cost is £65. Shipping worldwide is £5. You can use the PayPal button below for payment, even if you do not have a PayPal [read more]
There is almost nothing in the world I love doing more than drawing in churches. For me, keeping an illustrated journal is not about being the best at drawing or painting – I can’t hope to do anything like that. It is about creating a page that is part visual memory, part field guide. And by drawing in a church, or cloister, or crypt, I feel that I am capturing part of its soul as surely as primitive people believed that a photograph did the same to them.
Altered book cover with found angel. She is from a French postcard, 1917, while the book cover is from a French schoolbook, 1916. Wings are handcut from a variety of vintage papers, including handwritten letter, 1901. Wired for hanging. Approximately 4.5″ x 7″ (11 cm x 18cm).
Cost is £55 GBP with free shipping. Please contact me via email at: email@example.com for [read more]
For centuries, pilgrims from different religions have carried tiny shrines with them to aid them in their meditation. This piece is not only an homage to these talismans but is also a one-of-a-kind of mixed-media, altered art. The handmade assemblage is contained in a vintage, Players Cut cigarette tin. Inside is an effigy of St. Therese on old, wooden game pieces; a vintage wooden thread spindle turned vase holding three, die-cut, altered map butterflies, symbolizing spirit, beauty, and freedom. The butterflies are on individual coils and are three-dimensional, and can be adjusted. As part of a multi-layered collage, there is a fragment of an antique dictionary (1887) with the definition of “Hope” and a reproduction, celestial map.
In the other niche is an antique, cigarette lighter case, mounted on scraps of handmade mulberry paper and eco-print. This case opens to receive your handwritten prayer, intention, meditation, inspirational quote, tiny photo, dried flower, or other memento to help in your personal reflections. You can either write on the small scroll seen here, or add something of your own.
The front of the shrine, somewhat distressed by the years, now also has a decoupaged butterfly and birds’ eggs.
Closed, the shrine measures 14 1/2 x [read more]