Monday, April 16, 2018

T Stands For Fossils


You have seen what I did with teabags when I dyed fabric at last week's T date.

Some of you may


have also seen that I dyed lace and fabric using hibiscus tea leaves.

Finally this is one I dyed using the last of the hibiscus tea and leftover coffee.

Now it's time to deal with the tea leaves.   Normally I would compost them by placing them around my potted plants in winter and around my plants in my veggie garden the rest of the year.  But today, I am going to recycle them a different way.  I will be making fossils. 

I copied this recipe off a web site I visited last autumn thinking this would make an excellent Christmas gift.  I never got around to making these for Christmas and could no longer find the web site on which I originally found the recipe.

However, I planned to change the recipe in order to use the spent tea leaves I removed from the tea bags I used last week, as well as the hibiscus tea leaves, now dry, also from another post last week.

It never dawned on me there would not be enough tea leaves to fill the 1 cup measuring cup.   I ended up having to supplement the tea with my coffee grounds.  It took three days to finally fill the measuring cup with a full cup of both tea and coffee.

Mixing all the ingredients was a pain, and took forever.   Instead of cold coffee, I used my leftover hibiscus tea (after I removed the fabric and lace, of course).

Then I think am sure I messed up, because the "dough" was so stiff, I added some of my coffee.   This turned into a gooey mess.  And people wonder why I don't bake!!!

The instructions indicated I was to knead the dough, then flatten it out onto the waxed paper.   I had planned to use the glass jar to cut the fossils into circles, then decided I actually preferred the organic look better.

I was fairly certain the fossil dough was too sticky to handle,

but patience isn't one of my virtues.

This one was holding up fairly well.

Mid-afternoon, the pieces had dried enough I was able to press the shells firmly into the balls of dough.

Some of these turned out better than others.

The round shell (sorry, I'm not familiar with shell names) was pressed into the top left fossil in the above photo, as well as the left one below it.  That one also got the fan shell, too.  It would be at least 36-48 hours (according to the instructions) before they were completely dry.  But they were already looking like fossils to me.

Imagine my surprise after these had set for 36 hours, how much the color had lightened the "fossils."  The one above is my favorite, and more on it soon.

I can now understand why the instructions were to flatten the dough.  It looks a bit too much like a crater rather than a fossilized rock.

Even though theses were still not completely dry, they were looking more and more like the fossils I expected.

Once again, this is my favorite, BUT, please do NOT use your heat tool to force them to dry, especially if your fossils are sitting on wax paper.

The one on the bottom right is completely dry, so you can see how the drying process lightens them.

For Day 17 of 22 leading up to bEARTHday, I recycled used tea leaves from tea bags and loose leaf tea, as well as hibiscus tea I had dyed my fabric with.  I also repurposed some shells and turned them into pressed fossils.  Because I recycled something, I'm linking to my friends at Try it on Tuesday where their theme for the next few hours is Recycle Something

Now it's your turn to share a drink related post.  It can be photos, a place you visited, movies, postcards, teapots, mugs, a drink cup, books, sketches, mixed media, drawings, paintings, tags, teabags, scrapbooking, or any other art that is digital, hybrid, or traditional, as long as it in some way relates back to a drink, any drink. Regardless, please share below and Bleubeard and I, along with the rest of the T gang will be by to visit.  Old photos are acceptable because they may be taken any time.



26 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

What an interesting experiment! I am sure the fossils will smell nice. Happy T day, Valerie

johanna said...

i will try the hibiscus leaves on fabric - but quit the rest;) i do not think i would have brought the fossile Experiment to an end;)
have a great week ♥♥♥

Meggymay said...

Wow, the colours of the fabrics look awesome. I love the shades of red you got using the hibiscus tea.
The experiments to make the fossils sounds fun. I think I may have stopped at the dough stage and thrown it on the compost heap. The results were worth waiting for and it is amazing how the colours changed.
You got some great results.
Happy T day wishes. Yvonne xx

Birgit said...

What a neat idea to create fossils and I’m surprised how much lighter it became. I love the colourful fabric made by the tea as well. Very cool

pearshapedcrafting said...

Well you know how to impress me! I love these and how my grandson would have loved to make some a few years ago! Today he turns 16 and how those years have flown! It's great how they lighten as the become dry! Happy T Day even though I am not there! Chrisx

Lowcarb team member said...

Well, that is a different thing to do - thanks for sharing the idea and method.

All the best Jan

Divers and Sundry said...

That's a cool project! I'm surprised they lightened that much, and I wonder why they don't hold their color better. But still, I can see using one to hold rings by the sink or bed. The texture and shell shape are nice.

Linda Kunsman said...

wow- what an interesting, clever, and creative project!! Your well written notes and photos of the process are fantastic and much appreciated. I wouldn't have the kind of patience you do;) Happy T day!

Halle said...

You are so clever and adventurous with your recycling ideas. Very interesting!!
Happy T day!

My name is Erika. said...

Those fossils are pretty cool. I think they must have been fun to make. And they open up a whole range of art too. :) That's a very unique use of tea for T Day! It's always fun to see something little different. Your dyeing came out great also. Have a fantastic T Day. Hugs-Erika

kathyinozarks said...

wow Elizabeth you share the coolest techniques with us-this looks like allot of fun-I have hibiscus tea and never would have thought to use it for dyeing-I am going to try that for sure.
I won't be posting for T this week-time has gotten away from me, I don't have any craft updates this past week has been crazy with all this super cold weather here, and I will also be gone most of tomorrow (tuesday) but I will be visiting everyone later

froebelsternchen said...

I love the shades of red you got using the hibiscus tea and what a cool project! And I bet the fossils smell heavenly and you can use them for another art project for sure as well!
Happy T-Day and thanks a lot for this and the many other entries for Try It On Tuesday! This one is so creative again! YOU SIMPLE ROCK your bEARTHmonth!
oxo Susi

Rike said...

What an amusing post! This process of making fossils is amazing! While reading I never thought there would come out such beautiful fossils, but they did!
Your tea dyed laces and fabrics are wonderful! And I like the first photo of the "Mandala" with the used teabags!

Lisca Meijer said...

That is really interesting! They do look like real fossils! That was a very successful experiment. I also marvel at the beautiful colors you manage to get from the tea bags. Of course the hibiscus is so pretty.
Thank you for sharing that technique.
Sorry I wasn’t able to join the t-party last week. We were traveling.
Have a good week,
Lisca

Let's Art Journal said...

The hibiscus tea fabric is such a beautiful colour - I love it! It looks like you had fun making the fossils, so funny about the burnt wax paper and I was surprised that the fossils lightened up so much too 😁. Wishing you a Happy T Tuesday! J 😊 x

CJ Kennedy said...

I like the combination hibiscus and coffee dye the best. The fabric color almost looks tie dyed or should that be tea-dyed? =^,.^= The fossil project turned out great. Made me smile when you made the comment of "and people wonder why I don't bake!" Been there. Love the scallop shell fossil the best, too. Have a Happy T Day

Darla said...

This looks like fun. I have lots of shells so I may have to play along. I really like the fabric that you dyed - such a beautiful color.

jinxxxygirl said...

Elizabeth it was fascinating to see your fossils 'come to life'... I'm so glad you shared that. I wonder how you will show the details in your fossils again if they all dry white? And the color of your hibiscus tea dye is gorgeous!! Happy T day dear host! Hugs! deb

Nancy said...

Seriously now, this is fun! Again, I admire your adventursome spirit. I might have thrown in the towel at the gloppy mess point. But you pressed on and these results were worth it. Your favorite is my favorite, too.

Kate said...

Elizabeth,
I absolutely LOVE the fabric dyed with hibiscus leaves. So pretty and such a unusual color. The fossils looks very fun as well but may I ask what you do with them? Are they molds or for decoration? A great idea to recycle used coffee and tea.
Happy Tea Day,
Kate

Dianne said...

oh my goodness, that hibiscus dyed fabric is stunning! that color...wow. Wonderful fossil tutorial. This would be a great project for school kids studying geology and fossils. looks pretty messy though, and it would take a brave teacher to do this! I can totally see my granddaughter getting into trying this! happy T day dear friend!

Rita said...

I've never seen anything like this! You are more adventuresome than I am. They really did lighten up a lot. :)

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

What a cool project, Elizabeth. They really do look like fossils. So, it's only April and you have some of your Christmas gifts done. Good for you!

Happy T-day! Hugs, Eileen

da tabbies o trout towne said...

elizabeth...how.......cool.....is......this !!!!!!! the hibiscus fabric is very pretty and what you did with the shells is amazing !!!!! ☺☺♥♥

craftytrog said...

Ooh! This looks great Elizabeth! I love the stained fabric and fossils! Hubby is the gardener in our house, and usually takes the tea leaves and coffee grounds for his plants.
Alison xx

Corrine at corrinegilman.com said...

Always an amazing experiment going on at your place. Who knew fossils. These came out great, even with all the hard work...cool idea, keep experimenting and sharing! xox