April 28, 2020

Unintentionally, I began a morning creativity practice. We were a few days (or so) into the shelter in place order when I started this. I have been inspired by other artists who use dried tea bags in their art…whether it be creating an image on a single tea bag or including the tea bag in a collage or mixed media piece. I love the “antique” or “aged” paper look the tea bag gives. Plus, it’s size lends itself to some simple creations.

I am a tea drinker. Every morning, I have a cup of yummy hot tea (usually some type of green tea) with my breakfast. Many years ago, I was a coffee drinker, but I finally had to give that up as even the decaffeinated got to be too much for my body to handle. Besides, tea just has a more soothing and calming quality to it. A great way to start my day! So since it is part of my morning routine, I thought it would be easy to save my tea bags every day and have them around for using in my art.

After a few mornings in a row, this turned into an (almost) every day practice. I would select a dried tea bag, get out my oil pastels (one of my very favorite art mediums to use) and a charcoal pencil. I spend less than 5 minutes adding a color background and drawing a simple organic image on the tea bag. I quickly accumulated the tea bag art and decided I needed to do something with them. So out came my art journal and I began to glue them down, side by side, each day. What came out after 20 days was what I am calling my Tea Bag Tapestry (inspired by my husband when he commented that the page of tea bags resembled a tapestry).

This morning practice continues and I am still deciding what to do next with the small pile of accumulating tea bag art. I love the simplicity in this creative practice as it gives me a wonderful way to connect to my creativity in the morning, before my day really begins, and express a little bit of me.

Tea bag drying tip: After your cup of tea, simply lay the tea bag on a plate and let dry for about 24 hours. Once dried, you can use a scissors to snip off the string (if it has one) and the end of the tea bag. Carefully dump out the dried tea leaves and you will have tea bag paper! Be a little gentle with the paper as it can become a little fragile after drying. Enjoy creating your tea bag art!

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