I had my "debut" as a member of the Artistcellar design team yesterday.
For my first Artistcellar blog post, I started with a favorite technique—printing on recycled teabags—and used a vintage photo of my mother, Helen, circa 1934. I printed the photo from an inkjet printer onto printable silk fabric, trimmed it to size, and removed the paper backing.
For the base, I started with used teabags. After drying them, I emptied out the old tea, carefully opened them, flattened them out, and printed on them using white printmaking paint applied to an assortment of hand-carved and commercial stamps.
Once the printed teabags were dry, I randomly collaged them onto cardstock using gel (matte) medium, which adheres like glue, but dries flat, and you can stitch through it with ease.
When I laid the translucent silk photo on the teabag print base, too much of the background showed through, so I applied viva décor inka gold old gold to the central area, which made the silk photo easier to see. I added a little matte medium to hold the photo in place, and edged it with a favorite sheer lace, also adhered with matte medium.
For strength, I added a felt backing, then clamped the artwork to the felt and carefully stitched the edges with a machine blanket stitch. To give the piece even more of a vintage effect, I sponged on extra viva décor inka gold old gold to the edges and corners.
The piece especially touches my heart because, growing up, the kitchen was the central gathering place in our house, and mom always had a pot of tea to share with friends and family around our kitchen table. The dress she wore in the photo was made of a rich indigo velvet and I remember feeling ever so beautiful in it when I played dress-up.