Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tea Baked Dictionary Pages

Black Tea baked Dictionary Pages

Once, when I was feeling "pensive" as a child--I remember being 10 or so and looking moodily
out the window--my Grandmother brought me a cup of tea.  Kids can have tea, according to 
Gram, as long as there is lots of milk and sugar.  The formula is: older you get the less milk.
Anyway, this delicious, thoughtful cup of tea (which made me feel much better, thank you!) 
has made me a confirmed tea drinker for life.  I am rarely without a cup of black tea (cream and 
sweetener) at my elbow whether teaching or typing or making art.  So adding tea to my pages
is a natural.  

Alice, one of my participants in my Visual Art Journaling Group, Colorado 
suggested I try tea baking some pages and referred me to Gwen Diehn's book The Decorated
Journal .  I own this book but have linked to her later compilation book The Complete
Decorated Journal.  Inside is the recipe for baked pages.  I immediately went home and 
baked some of my multi-media journal pages (removed from my journal of course) with tea.

The recipe is in the linked book, but I'm not always the best at following recipes.  I baked
my pages longer than she suggests and I think think they might be a little brittle but they
will be so great for collage.  I am really eager to draw all over collaged pages in my journal.

I ripped pages out of a old dictionary I bought for .50 at the library at the Botanic Gardens.
I put several pages on a cookie sheet.  I brewed a pot of black tea with a whole handful of tea
bags.  I poured about an 8th of an inch of strong tea on the pages, making sure that each
layer of pages was covered.  I tore open a few of the soggy bags (watch out, they can be hot)
and poured the leaves on the pages.  I spread out the leaves.  Make sure that your cookie
tray is not too full of tea or it will slosh everywhere when you mess with your cookie sheet
later (voice of experience).  Bake in a 250 oven until most of the liquid has evaporated.  
Swish the tea and leaves from side to side several times while the paper is baking.  

Hang the pages up and let them dry.  Rinse the pages to get the leaf grit off after the page
drys or you will rinse off most of the color.  If you don't like how they turned out bake them
again.  Hang up to dry a second time.  I used twine between two cupboard knobs over the
sink and bag clips.  The whole point is that your pages look aged and just wonderful.
Just delicious for collage.  

Another tea idea is to use a tea bag that has been brewing in hot water (again, let it cool)
to stain your pages.  The pink-brown tone of this page was created by using a tea bag
like a sponge.  More passes mean darker color.  Use this technique on heavier paper as
the wet will soak through with thinner paper.  I used MaryBeth Shaw's Spring Stencil Girl
Club flower stencil at the top.  Tombo Markers, Martha Stewart Craft Makers and Sharpie
Pen.  I am so grateful that Spring is here!!!

Beginning a page with the baked pages (left) that I thought you'd like to see.  The right side is a
masking tape base rubbed with Terra Cotta Walnut Ink.

Sepia Art Table Buddha

This is the drawing of my art table on the taped right hand page. Have never
taped my pages before.  Experimenting with this in Juliana Coles Quick Draw workshop.  I
think her layered style is akin to patterned style I have.

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