Thursday, October 9, 2008

Inspiration in a pan of tea

Things I am tired of seeing:

• Balls made of anything (shells/pinecones/strips of old fabric)
• Store-bought plastic boxes of perfect little plastic blue and brown eggs
• Apothecary jars full of ribbons/buttons/candy/anything
• Tiny little jars of ribbons and buttons lining craft room shelves
• Something with a pink rose hot-glued on it and labeled "Shabby Chic"
• All-white vignettes
* Pincushions made out of baby shoes and old silver sugar bowls

Do I sound cranky? I'm really not, it's just that I'm suffering from a bit of "inspiration deprivation." A decorator friend of mine once told me it's a fact that our decorating tastes change every certain number of years or so. I can't remember the number, but I must be there, because suddenly I'm hankering to redecorate, to make some new crafts, and yet I've been so terribly uninspired. Even some of the nationally-famous decorating blogs I've been visiting are starting to all look the same. I don't want to see one more vintage postcard slapped on a background of old sheet music. Somebody, PLEASE come up with something new! And that's where the wonderful art of tea dying comes in.

The other day, I received a review copy of Robin Brown's wonderful new book, A Bit of Velvet & A Dash of Lace. Looking through the glorious, lush photos, I came across a photo I distinctly remember seeing before, of old laces, dyed in tea and drying on a clothesline. This appeared in Country Living magazine a while back, and I was charmed.

Then, I came across the Autumn issue of Somerset Life, my most treasured crafting (and lifestyle) magazine. I was instantly smitten with some images I saw up front, and delighted to realize they were pieces crafted by tea lover friend Connie Govea Stuart. I e-mailed Connie to tell her how much I enjoyed seeing her new work, and she said the paper doll/dress looking piece was made of a tea dyed coffee filter! Inspiration, at last! I don't know what I'm going to do with all this tea dyed lace I'm working up, but I can promise you this: It will not be wound into a ball or dropped into a glass jar!


  1. :-) This is a very refreshing post! I understand!

  2. Tea Friend,
    this is too ,too funny :D

    --and you are so right...
    I did just visit the actual shabby chic store recently in SF, and it is so different than what has
    been labeled 'shabby chic' over time-- & refreshingly so.--ReallY! I promise!
    But going back,you hit it...
    too much saturation of certain things...and it all runs together.
    (I was given this CL book the same week! I like it too) thanks !!! xo

  3. My former mother-in-law used to tea-dye lace and sew it onto solid color towels...sometimes on the bottom edge and sometimes 5-6" up from the bottom. The towels (face cloths, hand towels, bath towels) in her bathroom always looked so pretty. She was a "fall" person like myself so the towels were usually deep gold or beige, brown, etc.

  4. I had a great time visiting your blog. Many nice things to see and read.


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