Category Archives: crafty tricks

Regal

teabag tealight

I don’t need Christmas

My heart celebrates Solstice

Turning to the light

~

Using a bit of poetic licence here to meet our One-a-Week Photo Challenge Prompt: Regal

I was trying to make a tealight holder out of used teabags that was not so BROWN.

After painting it with white Gesso it somehow said ‘Christmas’ to me, so I painted the inside with some gold paint, a few dots around the outside and then it said ‘CROWN’.

used teabags tealight

used teabags tealight

used teabags - tealight holder

Also joining in with Ronovan’s weekly Haiku challenge – prompt words HEART and NEED

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In a Watering Can on Monday

watering-can as vase

I was picking flowers in the garden when a neighbour stopped by for a chat, knowing I might be some time I popped the flowers in the watering can – boom! right there – perfect  for IAVOM!

They did make it into a vase as well. (but to me they look better in the can!)

ceramic vases and recycled teabags

The ceramic vases are the ones I bought at the Studio Pottery near Solva, Pembrokeshire, Wales. You can see these sculptural vases in detail in this post.

To cheer up a dark corner I added tea-light holders made of used tea bags.

re-purposed used teabags

My fascination with turning rubbish into art has taken me off at a teabag tangent.

I tear open used teabags, empty out the leaves and then dry them. They can then be used like paper, you can see a greetings card I made here.

For today – some papier-mâché tea-light holders.

teabag art

Add some pressed Japanese Maple leaves between the layers and hey presto a Teabag Tealight!

I think the spiky maple leaves look a bit witchy – do you? Good for Halloween?

Pop across to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden to see what gardeners all over the  world are putting in their vases this Monday.

Waste

teabag art, greetings card, re-usable greetings card, collage

lend me your ‘shell-like’

this girl dislikes pink

innovate for her

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Ronovan’s Haiku Prompt words this week are PINK and SHELL.

Yikes – how to marry that with what I had already planned for our Photo Challenge prompt of WASTE.

It is the extra creative challenge I like to give myself each week. Well Miss E does not like pink – I know that card does have a bit of pink on it but ……. hey! I did my best!

~

Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows I’m an obsessive recycler AND like to try new crafty things, so this week’s Photo Prompt is right up my street!

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Life-cycle of a tea bag once it enters my house:

It sits in its box in a cupboard full of all manner of black, white, green, herb and fruit teas. I have at least 12 different varieties in there.

Then in it goes –  into my favourite mug

Nevis design from Dunoon

This is a mug from Dunoon. I wanted a big white bone china mug. I contacted Dunoon and asked if I could have the Nevis Design in plain white – I could! and for about £10 cheaper than the decorated ones – I got two. I LOVE them. ❤

After first use the tea bags sit in the little coloured dish to be used, three together, for another cup.

I told you – obsessive recycler!

And now, courtesy of Pinterest, I have discovered there is a whole new world of art materials to be explored – used Tea Bags! I was astonished to see how much amazing art has been created with used tea bags. You can see some examples on my Pinterest Page, ‘Art Tea’.

Of course I had to give it a go.

So instead of going into the compost after their second use, the tea bags are now emptied and dried. (The leaves still go in the compost) My bean-sprouter works well as a drying rack.

drying teabags for tea bag art

Cutting or tearing some and leaving others as two ply paper

prepared tea bags

Now ….. how to turn them into art ……

 

A bit of collage using some paper napkins and some hand and machine stitching.

The circular tea bag has a picture of a cup stuck on the inside with Modge Podge and  is re-stuffed with a little wadding. I downloaded the picture of the cup from this Education Site

teabagart

I’m wondering about this art form – it nudges towards the “just because you can, do you think you should”. I tried putting it on canvas to go with my ‘making art with found and discarded objects’ collection, adding and expanding on the Beach Clean Art theme. Using waste in art.

I’m not sure it stands up as an artwork so I turned it into a greetings card, with packaging paper put between the layers to stiffen the card so that it will stand upgreetings card of teabags with machine stitching

A little pocket for a gift (in this case a fresh teabag) or message. Then it can be recycled once more and re-used as a card with a different message in the pocket.

And then I realised there was a certain person about to have her 10th birthday – perfectre-usable greetings card, tea bag art

She was thrilled with it and her friends intrigued.

I’m really not sure if my experiments will produce ‘art’ that I feel worthy of exhibiting , but has been fun to try and I can’t throw a teabag away at the moment –  I’m amassing quite a collection, so I’ll have to come up with something arty to do with them.

Update

Coincidentally, I’ve just seen that there is a programme on BBC2 tonight about the making of tea bags: http://www.radiotimes.com/tv-programme/e/fsq8rq/inside-the-factory–s3-e1-tea-bags/

and here is the programme on BBC iPlayer:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08ywhdn/inside-the-factory-series-3-1-tea-bags

The sheer scale of tea bag production is mind boggling – and I’m shocked to discover that 25% of the materials used to make tea bags is plastic – Yuck!

 

 

 

Recycle: trousers

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I have vowed via my 17 for 2017 Challenge not to buy any new clothes in 2017.

Part of this challenge is to recycle or upcycle existing clothes. These trousers were bought over 12 years ago and I haven’t worn them for at least 10 years. The colour is a bit startling all in one block, slightly darker and more purple in reality. We are in the middle of a heatwave here in the UK, I need some shorts, so …..

DSC_0247

The (long) shorts come just below my knobbly knees and I shall leave them to fray with wear. The colour is more bearable when there is less of it.

With the bonus of two pieces to play with …

DSC_0248

…. on the left an idea for a small shoulder bag, just right for a child to take to the beach and on the right, fabric for textile books or another piece of textile art – fun!

Have you revamped any clothes recently?

 

Love-in-the-Mist of time

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Joining Cathy with the wonderful In a Vase on Monday meme.

Love-in-the-mist, Gardeners Garters and (learn to love your weeds) ground elder flowers.

They are cosying-up in an old glass bottle that I found in the hedge of the farm cottage I lived in many years ago. Some of the materials in this piece of collage/embroidery are from that house and that time – the 1970s. Happy memories.

This is how the piece looks now with some Swarovski crystals added and some more stitching.DSC_0152

I’ve combined a little crochet to add to the texture

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I’m just a tincey bit excited about adding crochet to embroidery and fabric collage – no that’s not true – I’m leaping about and squealing with excitement – can’t wait to see where this takes me.

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Thankfully, life is returning to somewhere near normal, a health scare in the family caused us all some anxiety for a while and daily rhythms went a bit haywire, but happily we are through to the other side and good health and well-being has returned. Sorry to be mysterious but as it was not my own health issue, I don’t feel I can say more.

I have just spent a wonderful few days recharging my own batteries with creativity – that’s what works for me. Sleep doesn’t do it, but sewing, painting, crochet and being in my own creative space, exploring all manner of delicious possibilities does it every time. I’ve even started dreaming in stitches and colour combinations again!

I feel like I’ve hit a Vein of Gold, long may it last.

Van

spring into action

tidy up for a fresh look

and restore order

Our One-A-Week Photo Challenge prompt this week is VAN

combined with

Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge – prompt words: SPRING and FRESH

The photos were taken when I was making a photographic record, for my farming son-in-law, of the building of his enormous new robotic dairy. The massive project took about 3 years to complete. It was fun to see all the different types of vehicles and extraordinary equipment arriving at the farm. The first van above belonged to a builder, the second to the engineer installing the robots.

Spring cleaning has been a theme for me this week as I have been tidying out drawers. Drawer number one, from this:

to this

I found evidence of moths so every surface inside and out of each drawer in the chest of drawers was vacuumed and washed. Then I sprinkled them with lavender and covered it with recycled packing paper that I ironed flat.I really don’t know if lavender works but it is supposed to. Worth a try as I have masses of it, harvested from the garden in August.

Do you have any tips of how to deter or get rid of moths?

This has fulfilled another element of my 17 for 2017 challenge! hurray!

(clearing and sorting 13 drawers, cupboards or shelves 3 done only 10 to go! ha!)

Cathy and I have created a year of photo prompts for your (and our) delight, pop over to Nanacathy and see her cute little VAN!

Seed

dscf4613

growing and playing

burning curiosity

revealing secrets

 

 

One of the things I love doing most with my grandchildren is sowing seeds and sharing in their wonder as they see the seedlings appear. The top right picture is of some double sided sellotape laid on paper for sticking collage material on. Click any photo to see it larger.

Our Photo Challenge prompt this week = SEED

Cathy and I have put together a list for the year, you can see all the prompts here.

Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge prompts = SECRET and BURN.

Join us in the Photo Challenge and add a link in the comments below.

Happy Snapping!