Play Day with Kay – Tea Bag Party

My friend, Kay Hille-Hatten, and I had one of our play days recently. Kay casually mentioned that she had been saving tea bags for her paper book making processes. She makes exquisite books (and jewelry and gourds). Like so many other things, we were working in parallel on similar things. I also have been using tea bags. So we decided to get together and share some techniques using tea bags and stamping. Basically, I take my stack of little tea bags (mostly Earl Grey) and iron them onto WonderUnder. This gives me a base for stamping, painting, spraying, silk screening, and printing. Sometimes I paint the WonderUnder first to have another design underneath the tea bags.

Kay showed up with a marvelous collection of stamps and inks. So while she was ironing tea bags to the WonderUnder, I started playing with her stamps. She showed me several techniques to creating perfect stamps on my tea bags. I especially liked her collection of Kanji stamps. Kanji is the adopted Chinese logographic characters used in the modern Japanese language. I also had some other Kanji of different sizes that worked well with her stamps.

I had previously spent some time drawing beetles, flowers, and butterflies onto the tea bags with micron pens. I ironed the beetles down onto one piece of WonderUnder and stamped some more beetles from Kay’s collection of stamps. I will probably add some paint to this one after I finish adding beetles. Somehow a little butterfly showed up in this one, too.

Handmade collage papersAnother technique you can use is to cut the tea bag/WonderUnder paper to 8.5” x 11” and use it to copy things from my computer onto it. It gives such a great patina to whatever you copy on it. Here’s a photo of some of my papers.

After I finish my embellishments on the paper, I can use it for collage work. I have the added benefit that once I take off the backing, I can either iron it down to a dry surface or I can attach it using acrylic mat medium or some other glue. The only problem is that sometimes I like the paper so much, I don’t want to tear or cut it up for collage.

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