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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Natural Dye

At a flea market in Berlin...All I could think about when I saw these was
Sadly, I couldn't get this stuff home....but I can dream...

But I am tea dyeing. You all have probably already been doing it but I am late to game. Better late than never, right? It is super easy and nice and mindless....sometimes that's nice.
I just add a bunch of tea bags to very hot water in a old darkroom tray I have and add paper.
That's pretty much it. Leave it in till it looks nice and dyed and vintagey. Just be careful taking it out because wet paper years very easily.
I put it on top of granite counters in my laundry room and blot it with paper towel (or a cloth) and let it dry. It gets kind of bumpy, which I like but if you prefer flat, put it under very heavy books when it is dry. And, there you go.

Yep, that's right....the tea bags make nice splotches on the papers....I love the randomness of tea dyeing....

Of Course! Bien Sur!
These are my initials so it's my tea dyeing tea of choice.

That's right...FREE from ScrapSF. Boring white paper.....

it comes out of the tea bath looking quite different and much cooler. And you can throw in all kinds of papers....I have tags and library pockets and index cards all happily soaking as we speak.

Yes, that's a great stack of paper but what will I do with it, you ask.

It makes a really nice substrate for collages.....

Also, a nice background to photograph things like ATCs on...or you could fold the sheets of papers in half and make signatures for a book.

(You know me, I cannot leave a postcard or a card alone....I have to customize...)

The backs of the postcards in case you were wondering...

Making a little folder for a pal...

Look at this gorgeous mail from @papertalking on Instagram.
She lives in The Netherlands and just sent me some wonderful mail. Now, I've got to get creative and think of what to send her back.

Another altered Cavallini card going out.

I've got some ATC postcards going out too. I'm busy, ok. Places to go. people to see. And, paper to play with! (and dye)
What about you? Is it summer where you are? We don't have hot weather here in San Francisco but the sun has been shining and I love our cool natural air conditioning.
We don't pools or beaches or swimming in SF.
But we have a lot of fun anyway.
Hope you do too.


  1. Interesting & inspiring! Thank you!

  2. Awesome post! The rusty keys and such make me swoon. I have a few rusty metal pieces that I lay on paper to stain, but mostly I tea dye. Your tea dying looks great, how cool that your tea bags have your initials.

    Here in Austin, TX. we have a saying "Yes we really DO live on the face of the sun." Aargh. I do a very good version of summer hibernation. It's when I do get a bit of artwork done.

    1. Hi Barbara -- they made me swoon too! Oh yes, I am sure Austin, TX is a whole lot hotter than San Francisco. Stay cool and have fun creating.

  3. You had me at rust. Now THAT is a dye I am always up for. If only I had been with you in Berlin!

    Your tea dyed papers turned out great. They are beautiful and subtle. Your pieces you died, then altered, are amazing. I love your collages and the way you put things together. Beautiful work, dear Pamela.

    1. Thanks so very much, Elizabeth. You are very kind. I am still tossing papers into the tea bath....very fun...

  4. Oh that pile of rusty treasures!! So many cool pieces in that assortment!
    I have done a bit of tea dying as well as coffee. Both have beautiful coloring and now I have been saving my onion skins to give that a go as well-I'll let you know how that works~
    Again, such an inspiring post, I just love visiting and looking at your glorious artwork! thanks so much for sharing Pamela!
    Happy 4th of July!
    Jackie ")

    1. Jackie -- I tried coffee dyeing but I didn't like how the paper retained the coffee smell -- funny, because I am a coffee lover not a tea lover -- but there you go. Oh -- onion skins -- that sound be beautiful. Thank you so much for your kind words and happy 4th to you as well.



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