One day a little card made from a used tea bag by women in a remote village in South Africa arrived at my house, and my life has not been the same since. “Once filled with tea,” it read, “now filled with love.” I did love that card, so much that I framed it and then began to wonder if I could make a note card from a tea bag.
In 2006 I left a much-loved job preparing low-income young mothers to earn GEDs and entered the world of work. I quit because I wasn’t getting any younger and there were lots of things I wanted to do, like garden and write and hang out with grandkids. I hadn’t planned on teabag art.
The cards I create don’t look anything like the one that inspired me. And they continue to evolve. Lately I’ve been tearing up tea bags and putting them back together in funny little ways. I empty out tea bags, throw the leaves in my compost pile, and use what’s left to make tiny canvasses. The tea stains each one differently. Sometimes I add a weathered leaf, but mostly I enhance the stains on the bags with a few lines, dots, flowers, or fences.
Lately I’ve added book marks, coasters and tea bag-enhanced wine bottles to my product line. I sell at a few gift shops and directly from my home. I know my cards are “getting around” when I receive an order from someone who lives thousands of miles from me. It means the “oldBag circle” is expanding.
Cards are totally handmade using recycled materials whenever possible.
Recycling With a Passion
I wrote an article for Laura Pritchett's book, Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers and Dumpster Divers, University of Oklahoma Press, 2009. It describes, along with a little personal history, perhaps why I'm so involved with creating art from a simple, every day, inconsequential, throw-away commodity. The article is, "Of Bags and Rags."
Order Your Hand-crafted Tea Bag Art
No cookie cutter production here! Each piece is by its existence original and unique.
Order electronically (
) or by giving me a call at 970-498-9732.
4 x 6 cards 2.50
2 x 6 bookmarks 2.00
Gift tags 5 for 5.00
Minimum order: $12.00 - postage varies by weight of package
Below are a few examples of my latest creations, click on a photo or visit View More Cards for a collection of cards and bookmarks you can order.