Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The "oldBag" story

Yesterday I responded to an invitation to talk about…used tea bags…. I was the program for a PEO group in Fort Collins. I don’t know what those letters stand for, but I do know that it is a philanthropic women’s organization that provides college scholarships to deserving young women.

One of their members is a fan of my teabag note cards and it was she who hooked me up with the PEO group. I’ve been making “oldBags” note cards and bookmarks for at least ten years now. I sell them in a couple of local shops, at Beavers Market, my local grocery store a block down the street, and from my home. I also take orders and mail cards to purchasers.

I started making the cards after I received one I fell in love with made by women in a village in South Africa. My cards don’t look anything like theirs, but the one I received so long ago was certainly my inspiration. This little card read, “Once filled with tea, now filled with love.”

The cards are simple to make and they satisfy my penchant for making something out of nothing. I begin by drying out the tea bag and emptying its contents into my compost pile. When I have a pile of tea bag papers, I iron them and then glue them onto blank cards with craft glue. I sprinkle a few gold flecks around the edges, add a border and then use the stain created by the tea to create a design. Sometimes I add flowers, trees, birds, whatever seems to work.

I never dreamed that this fun little craft activity would be worthy of a talk.  Making cards from use tea bags is something anyone can do. It’s just that not everyone wants to spend their time messing with used tea bags

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