Monday, April 6, 2020

T Stands For Tea Bags

I'd like to begin by thanking a few people who don't get enough credit.  First are the doctors, nurses, staff, and janitors who keep our hospitals going, often without the proper personal protection equipment (PPEs) they need, while working hours that are nearly impossible to imagine.

I want to thank hospital administrators for reaching out and trying to buy PPEs and ventilators to keep their employees safe and their patients alive.

Next are the police and fire fighters/EMS who, with every call they answer, put themselves at risk of catching the virus.

I want to thank the construction workers and Army Corp of Engineers who are working overtime to set up temporary field hospitals to take the overflow of virus patients.

I want to thank the nurses and staff who run the aged care and nursing home facilities.  They have been particularly hard hit and are often overlooked, even though they also don't have enough protective equipment to do their jobs.

I want to thank the grocery and essential store workers who stock the shelves with our food, clean and sanitize carts, and come in close contact with both persons and their dirty money.

I want to thank the truck drivers who put in long hours delivering food and toilet paper to us, while working without the sanitizer and protective gear they need.

We can't forget to thank the postal carriers who deliver our mail and the drivers who bring us packages.

I want to thank the WHO for prioritizing, responding, and deploying aid to countries during this world wide crisis.

I want to thank the researchers who are tirelessly working in private labs and on university campuses to find the causes and cure for this virus.

And finally, I want to thank all my friends, followers, and readers of this blog who have stuck by me even though AT&T, my internet provider has abandoned me.

My heart goes out to all those who must be separated from their families due to their jobs that put them in a high risk category for the virus.  My heart further goes out to all those who are self quarantining so they don't infect other family members.

Please remember, we are all in this together in the age of corona virus.

Today for T Tuesday, we are in my craft room.  While we are sharing our drink related posts, I am also sharing this at Art Journal Journey where Valerie, whose theme is Geometric Shapes, is our host.

My tea bags I brewed last week and used to dye paper and fabric are now dry.

I've tried to deconstruct these cheap tea bags before and they tear and rip before I can get them apart to use in art.  This time I decided to outsmart the tea bags and cut them in the back.

Now the bags are empty and my lavender plant has accepted the tea leaves, it's play time.  Try as I might, I couldn't untangle three of the bags from their tags and strings.  Macrame was never one of my favorite crafts.

I decided to use these as tiny canvases for my stamps.  This one was sent to me by Valerie and it is one of my favorite stamps.  I use it a lot. 

The other two are red rubber unmounted collages 

and were made here in Wichita by Joanie at Mrs. O'Leary's, a mixed media/rubber stamp/scrapbook store.  She specializes in Tim Holtz ephemera and specialty items for collage, assemblages, journals, and altered books.

I decided to cut a used file folder to the size of a page in my Stress Free altered book.

I chose these for my background.  The red was nearly gone, so I thought I could empty the bottle.  Little did I realize how much was actually left in that tiny bottle.  I still have loads left.

Here is the finished journal page.

As I was drawing the "O"s, I didn't realize the glue wasn't dry under the tea bag, and I laid my hand on top of the tea bag.  I did the same when I made the triangles.  As a result, I squished the glue into the top side of the tea bag where I'd stamped the image.  Live and learn, I guess.

I used green metallic pen around the strings, not realizing when I lifted and placed the page in a vertical position to photograph it, the strings would shift and rotate.  Another lesson learned.  Wow, I'm batting zero for two about now.

I used green metallic gel pen on the bottom two shapes, then black to make the squares.  I used gold metallic to make the final circles.  Sadly they don't really show well in the photo.  Looks like that's zero for three!! 

I added a green dot to some of the words on these labels using my metallic green gel pen.

For this page, I began by stamping three empty tea bags, then adding them to the page made from a used file folder.

This is Day 7 of 22, where I used three empty tea bags in an art piece with a substrate consisting of a used file folder.

We had a hard freeze Saturday night, so I cut a few of my tulips to brighten the room and spare them from possibly freezing. 

Now it's your turn.  By now you probably know the "rules," but in case you don't, please show something drink related. It can be photos, a place you visited, movies, tea cups, coffee mugs, a tea or coffee service, postcards, books, magazines, sketches, mixed media, drawings, paintings, tags, ATCs, scrapbooking, or other art that is digital, hybrid, or traditional, as long as it in some way relates back to a drink, any drink.  Please share below and Bleubeard and I, along with the rest of the T gang will be by to visit.   Please link only your T post and not your blog in general.  Old photos are acceptable because they may be taken any time, not just on Tuesday, and not just this year.

Thanks again for being so understanding about my internet issues.

Handy, part 2

If you missed the first part of this journal, you can find it here.    Before we begin, I want to show you what I keep getting every few minutes, or as I'm trying to leave a comment.

I can't seem to stay online.  Not sure you can tell, but on the far bottom right, this was taken yesterday afternoon after a particularly frustrating time trying to stay online.  For those of you I normally visit, you can see why I'm so far behind reaching out to you.  I DO apologize, but at least you can see I'm not making this up.

If you were here yesterday, you saw this is where we left off.

Here are the next two pages.  It's fairly obvious, even though the subject is hands, I'm also joining Valerie at Bastelmania, our host this month at Art Journal Journey, with her Geometric Shapes theme. 

I grabbed a couple of my old S & H green stamps to make the top photo look less like an ad in a trade magazine.  I was thrilled to find the other three images, too.  

In case you can't read it, the hand cut from sheet music I colored using one of my  handmade shimmering mists, reads "Hands of Time."   Therefore I added two clocks left over from my Time altered book.  By now you can probably tell how dry and cracked my hands are from washing them every few minutes (I'm a bit anal that way).

Need a hand? 

More gestures from the book I picked up.  Perhaps I could learn sign language while on this forced hiatus.

I had a page I used to test my mists, so cut it into rectangles to back the two "check please" images.

I dug into my security envelopes and found one that fit the background of these two "blah, blah, blah" images.  The page started with a page from a British newspaper I had been gifted. 

This is the final page.  It is attached to the first page I showed before.  It was definitely left over from my Hands AB.  Adding a few sewn images to the page contributed to the background.  Yes, that's a label from a Hershey's Caramel Kiss.

One of the first "stamps" I made years ago was with a potato.  I cut a large baking potato in half, patted it with a paper/kitchen towel, then allowed it to dry out for a day.  I pressed a hand shaped cookie cutter in one side and cut the outer portion away like you would if you were carving a stamp.  I turned the cutter upside down and did the same to the other half of the potato.  That's why one hand is marginally larger than the other.

I treated the potato stamp like any other solid stamp.  I started by inking it with VersaMark, which gave me time to use embossing powder on the ink.  From there, I used my heat tool to turn the powder into molten goodness.

For "Pointing Fingers" I used my ink jet printer and covered as much embossing powder as I could while the ink was still quite wet.

This is Day 6 of 22 and I finished my Hands journal.  Remember, you don't have to sew in these journals.

Bleubeard and I are delighted you stopped by today. We hope you will also join us at Art Journal Journey with your own art inspired by Geometric Shapes, the theme Valerie has chosen for us this month. 

Sunday, April 5, 2020


I'm trying to make art that many of you could replicate using recyclable items.  We all know there are online stores that sell products we can use to make our art, but I'm hoping to keep as much out of the landfill as possible by showing what you can make at home.

Having said that, today I went a little overboard and made a complete journal from items left over from my Hands Altered Book.  I'll share half today, since I had a terrible time with my tension, changed thread about six times, and broke not one, but TWO needles in the process.

I'm also joining Valerie at Bastelmania, our host this month at Art Journal Journey, with her Geometric Shapes theme.  I'm sure you'll find a few geometric shapes here.

I had the images, but needed to add the little things.  Not sure why I didn't take photos of the left side, but you can see I added a bow I created from a piece of an old sweater, a leftover paint chip, and two postage stamps to match what looked like one on the Made in Canada image.  I made the hands years ago from a potato and a cookie cutter.  I stamped the hands (there are two on the last page, too) and embossed them using copper embossing powder.  They made a great substrate for the first page.

I fell in love with this image I turned into a pocket.  It reminded me of Valerie's theme.  Lots of geometric shapes.  It was from the cover of a magazine I got in 2003.  I never throw anything away.

On the left, the focal image is from my undergrad school.

My undergrad school colors were green and yellow.   Another geometric shape on the lower right.  You can see my tension sucked all day.

More hands, the more different they were, the better I liked them together.   Many were from trade magazines.

As you may know, I have only black ink in my desk jet printer and black toner in my laser printer.  Using colored paper became a viable option.  Yes, I stamped.  I added the stamped image in the top left when I realized I needed something more.  I removed the bar code from a clear sticker.  The flower had a copper brad for the center. 

More images, again from trade magazines are interspersed with a map.

Not sure why I couldn't rotate this photo, but after fussing with it for ages, I gave up.

You might be able to tell we are now at the middle of the book.  I was using my "eye" stamp elsewhere and decided to add it to the part of the page that was torn away.

Besides trade magazine images, I ran across a book on hand gestures.

Even a hairpin found its way into an empty spot.  More stamping completes the page.

I fussy cut the focal hand image, and sewed it, the dictionary page,

and a page from hand gestures to the middle of the book.

This is where I broke my first needle.  I suspect you can see where the thread tore.  The white marks were from the dead needle. 

This is Day 5 of 22 and I sewed a scrappy journal.  You can make one, too.  Even if you don't have a sewing machine, or don't sew, you could create one with bits and pieces using glue.  Remember, any and everything is acceptable in these books.  Nothing is off limits, as you saw. 

Bleubeard and I are thrilled you stopped by today. We hope you will also join us at Art Journal Journey with your own art inspired by Geometric Shapes hosted by Valerie.  

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Let's make a wreath

Spring is here and many of us want to celebrate by adding some type of ornament to our front door or on our porch.  I'm going to make a wreath out of mostly recycled materials today.  I invite you to join me.

The problem with most wreaths is you have to buy a wreath base.

However, if you have an old embroidery hoop, whether plastic or wood, you have your base.

If you are anal like me, you can wrap your hoop in green floral tape.  The tape is one item you cannot recycle.  Here's a tip: be sure to stretch the tape as you roll it around the item.

However, you CAN recycle your old and deconstructed flower arrangements.  Several of these have lived on graves for several weeks at a time over several years, so they are nicely weather worn.  Others have been used over the years in outdoor floral arrangements and are now ready for deconstruction.  You might want to wrap the chosen stems in floral tape, too.

I have these silk and faux flowers everywhere, so I always have lots of colors and styles to choose from.

I chose these flowers because they reminded me of spring.  I glued them to the hoop using E-6000 after I decided I didn't want to deal with my hot glue gun.

It's fairly obvious, I will need to straighten them a bit, because several of these flowers have seen better days.  However, the only new things I used were floral tape and E-6000.   And I didn't even begin to make a dent in my used flowers.

After fidgeting with these flowers a bit, I hung them on my very dirty front porch.

I'm quite pleased with how this recycled and repurposed wreath turned out.

Before I went back inside, I noticed my hyacinths have finally bloomed.

I got close for a better look.

I see the flower on the far left in the photo has already bloomed and died back for the year.

It was then I noticed my tulips!

Maybe they are making up for doing so poorly last year.

I was almost giddy with joy when I saw there were actually buds and not just leaves this year!

I admit I got a bit carried away documenting these beauties.

I even walked around the yard snapping photos

of buds that will soon turn into gorgeous blooms.

Thanks so very much for joining me today.  This is Day 4 of 22 and I made a wreath for my front porch from a repurposed embroidery hoop and deconstructed silk and faux flowers.  I also showed the real flowers growing in my "Flower Bed."