Maybe it's because the year is coming to an end. I’ve suddenly had an urge to figure out just how many notecards I’ve created from used, dried out and ironed teabags during the last 11 years. Because of my lame bookkeeping, I will never know an exact number, but it hovers around 6,000. I’ve also made in the neighborhood of 2,500 laminated bookmarks using strips of teabags for a canvas. And at times I’ve made teabag coasters and gift cards. I call my business OldBags.
No. I did not drink all the tea that was brewed in order to retrieve teabags with interesting stains on them. I have a loyal group of friends who leave their used bags on my doorstep or bring them to me when we meet. I am forever grateful for a lifetime supply.
I’ve sold OldBags from my home, through the mail, and in several local shops. Since 2008, I have been a member of Trimble Court Artisans in Fort Collins where I sell my cards and put in a few hours each month working in the store. I have had the great pleasure of getting to know the fifty-plus talented artists that belong to Trimble Court and keep the business vibrant and thriving.
I started when a friend sent me a teabag card made by women in a small village in South Africa. I liked it so much that I saved it. One day I decided to see what I could do with a used teabag. I’ve always been a recycler at heart and I produce a couple of teabags a day myself.
The product I came up with looked quite different from the South African version. Over the years the designs and coloring on the cards has grown and changed. That’s part of the fun.
I love giving teabags new life. When I get stuck on a writing project, I often turn to a wispy little teabag canvas and start messing with it.