This post is partly for my ever tolerant husband, who hasn't even asked why there is a saucer full of used teabags accumulating next to the sink.
class from Laura Cater-Woods. She uses tea bag paper for collage. The paper from used tea bags is nicely stained and aged looking. Unfortunately we drink mostly herb tea and it does not add as much color as real tea, but it still has some charm. They are drying out in the saucer. I discovered that they are much easier to open and discard the used tea leaves when they are dry.
Today seemed like a good day to experiment a little, using some of my collected tea bag paper. I decided to build my collage on a piece of muslin so that I could layer and stitch it when I finished. It seemed like it might be a good idea to iron the muslin to a piece of freezer paper, which kept it nice and smooth and provided a work surface as well. I cut up some squares of paper from a magazine and began by gluing them to the muslin with acrylic medium.
For future reference, this background was far more detailed than it needed to be. After the paper was well soaked and down on the muslin I added some fabric shapes and glopped them on with more acrylic medium.
The last layer was tea bag paper, which is fairly transparent, but softens the edges and lightens everything a bit. (That is a stack of my tea bag paper sitting next to the collage)
I let it all dry out in the sun. Didn't take long today. Once it was dry I could see that those darker squares in the background were too dark, so I lightened them up using a white watercolor crayon. I removed the laminated muslin from the freezer paper and layered it with a piece of felt and backing fabric, then I did some stitching to define the beetle and add some detail.
This doesn't look like my work, does it? But kind of fun. I may try some more. As I said, I think the first layer can be pretty simple. The tea bag paper dulled the fabric more than it did the paper, so I added a little color on top. I need to think how to deal with that. Stitching through all that was kind of a crazy ride—hard to control, but gives it a nice free sketchy look, I think.