Inspired by: tea

It's again the 10th of the month and time for the "Inspired by" creation! But what is Inspired by? Every month awesome Marsha and I choose a subject to be inspired by. It can be for example an idea (link), a product (link), a person (link) or a book (link). Or anything! Then we make something inspired by that theme or a piece of art and share it with you and each other on the 10th of the month. You can browse the past "Inspired By" posts from here (link).

As it states in the title, this time the source of inspiration was tea. "Why?" you might ask. Well, both Marsha and me are tea addicts of some sort. We both enjoy this drink very much. To me personally the evening isn't perfect unless I get a cup of tea. And when I start creating, I usually make myself a pot of tea first. If you've followed my blog for some time, you've already seen some tea related projects, too. For example this minialbum dedicated to the drink (link), done for Mixed Media Place's challenge, or this altered tea cup (link) I did while guesting for Prima. I also made an Artists Live show once with tea, you can see the recording of that show here (link) in a post.

Actually my love for the drink caused a problem at first. I had done projects about it and with it already! So I went for a hunt to find another angle. My first go-to-place, Wikipedia (link). I went looking for the information they had on the website. Learnt something new, but what get my mind going was the big variety of the different teas. I knew rooibos, green tea, white tea and naturally black tea, my favorite, but the article made me remember something I had forgotten, herbal teas. I've tried those once or twice and they are not to my liking, but the wide variety of the possibilities for the drink called "tea" made me think about colors. Rooibos is very red, black tea depending on the brand varies when brewed, green is naturally greenish also when brewed and the herbal versions can be red as well... And I knew that teas make a great colorant so I had a plan for the project.

So what I did, I went to a shop that sells spices, nuts and tea by the weight. I got myself as many of the teas I could, only buying a small amount of each. At home I put each of the teas into different bowls, poured hot water on top and then added pieces of white cotton in the bowls. After some time in their hot baths, I took the pieces of fabric out and marveled what I had accomplished. Each of the teas and herbal teas I had gave a different color. Some where just a faint tint, but most of the fabrics had a clearly visible color. I picked a few of the teas which I liked the most, color-wise, and colored some cheese cloth and felt also with those.

When I had the idea of the colorants, I also knew what to color and how to treat them afterwards. I wanted to stitch the different pieces together and make felt ATCs. So I was so happy that the different teas produced different colors! Sort of subtle variations, but still, visibly different. I was then able to follow my plan with the little stiched ATCs. 

Here they are! My tea colored felt / fabric ATCs. Subtle, aged colors made with different teas, layered and stitched together. 

As the pieces of fabric seemed to take ages to dry, I started making the cards while some of the materials were still wet. Ages to dry I say, but honestly it was more just the fact that I didn't color the pieces last thing in the evening but more like the first thing in the morning, so of course I was so excited that I just wanted to keep on going and not to wait for the fabrics to dry. 

When I had attached all the little fabric pieces on top of each other and stitched them, something seemed to be missing. Buttons seemed to fit the theme, so I got my button stash out and found some lovely metallic ones. The buttons went with the fabric theme, but the aged metallic ones also fitted vibe the vintage side the tea dyed fabrics gave me. So I stitched the buttons in place. And remember I said that the fabrics were still wet when I was working with the pieces? Naturally the metal reacted with the moisture thus creating another great color to some of the cards.

I must say that I really like how these turned out! Luckily I still have some pieces of the tea dyed materials left so I can do something else with them as well. But now it's time to see what's Marsha has made using the same source of inspiration. Here's the link for you (link)! Thank you for stopping by today!

Materials: cotton, felt, tea, vintage buttons, thread - all from my stash


Marsha Valk said...

Oh, this is hilarious!!! X-D But also so fab!!! Your ATC's are lovely! It's always magic when you use fabrics! I'm glad we chose tea!!

Jaana H-V said...

Hauskan näköisiä!

Walkiria Celada. said...

Wooow!!, super cool.

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