Saturday, September 10, 2005

September 10, 2005 ~ 2:16 pm


Again, quite a lapse between postings... but with good cause! I've been busily working on my 'zines, trying to meet my deadlines. I'm still working on the discipline issues, maybe eventually, hopefully, I'll be able to work on it so that I'm posting nearly every day.

To the left is one of my more recent efforts, an ATC that I made using Grace's Hand Dyed Silk Fibers. I used them, gluing them in strips, side by side, overlapping only just slightly. The result is a funky kind of pattern that plays off nicely with the dancing blue abstract figure that I painted(using Twinkling H20s) on foreign text ephemera.

I would post a link for the twinklers, but, I don't have a current link... my previous supplier has decided to stop carrying the twinkling H20s... so now I need to find a new source! They are wonderful watercolors! I just love them!

Now... on to tea matters... this morning, I've had 3 cups of tea already, now working on cuppa #4! I started out with two cups of my new breakfast blend (LiberTEAS breakfast Blend - available soon!) -- quite an interesting side effect with tea blending... is that in the course of working on just the right blend... you make a blend that is equally as delicious (if not more so) than the blend you're looking for, but still doesn't exactly fit what you're looking for.

That happened to me as I worked on blends for my breakfast blend... I made a blend that is quite adaptable as a breakfast blend, although it wasn't quite what I was trying to acheive for my "LiberTEAS" blend... so now I have 2 breakfast blend recipes!

The second one won't be introduced to my line for some time however, perhaps not until next year... which will give me ample time to think about how I will market it, and what to call it!

The second tea that I have enjoyed today is my Sweet Caramel O' Mine (Yes, I'm an Axl fan). The depth of flavor to this tea is really remarkable, it surprises even me! I created a complex base of tea, using High Grown Ceylons and Malty Assams. The result is a full bodied, robust yet smooth and malty tea which compliments the rich and smooth creamy flavor of the caramel. It's so delicious... it may just qualify as my new (current!) favorite tea!

To the right is one of my ATCs I made a couple of months ago, featuring a background technique I call "Wax Splotch". I paint Twinkling H20 quickly on the surface of the cardstock, and while the paint is still wet, I turn the cardstock over, and press it firmly against a piece of wax paper, creating a "splotched" appearance on the background. It looks really cool... even though the pic doesn't really show it... it's much more impressive in person. I use this technique on dominos (works really well on dominos because the twinklers don't absorb or dry on the dominos quite as quickly as they do on cardstock) and on puzzle pieces (primed with gesso first).

Well, that's all for today... thanks for reading along!

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

September 3, 2005 ~ 11:04 pm

Hello Everyone~ Wow... I'm actually posting to my blog 2 days after I posted previously... something I've not done in a while... so, I'm proud that I've mustered the disicpline to do so.

To the left is a picture of one of the first ATCs I ever made, called "Pretty Tied Up," inspired by one of my favorite songs by my favorite band, Guns N' Roses. The ATC was made as part of a Song Title/Lyric swap I took part in several months ago, and it remains one of my favorite ATCs that I've created.

Today I've injured my shoulder, not sure exactly what I did, not sure if I slept on it wrong or what... although I don't recall it hurting earlier this morning, so I'm thinking I must have reached wrong or something... either way, it's left my right side pretty stiff and painful. Hopefully after a good night's sleep, it will be less painful tomorrow.

However, the pain has kind have left me somewhat unable to work on anything artistic, because my shoulder won't let me forget it hurts! I guess it is fortunate that over the past couple of days I've been somewhat productive... and hopefully this won't keep me disabled too long.

To the right is a picture of a puzzle piece I've recently altered for a swap. This wasn't for a group puzzle effort, but instead just a puzzle piece swap with an Asian theme.

I enjoyed several wonderful teas today, after several months of not trying any new teas (trying to focus onnot over expanding my collection) I've decided that instead I'm going to change my collection pretty regularly, this way I'll have the opportunity to enjoy many different teas, as will my customers.

So with that thought in mind, I tried the following flavored green teas today: blueberry green, lemon green, Earl Grey green and Vanilla Green. I really enjoyed all of them, but I think my favorites thus far are the blueberry and the Earl Grey. The vanilla in the vanilla green was a bit too delicate for me -- which is something I've found with most of the vanilla flavored teas I've tried. I find that I prefer vanilla as PART of a blend, rather than being the main focus of flavor.

To the left is my final picture to be featured this evening. It's a picture of a porcelain mask that I recently embellished for another swap I took part in. These little masks are a lot of fun to paint... I love working with Twinkling H20s on them because the porcelain really absorbs the colors so deeply. One of my favorite techniques (and one I used for this particular mask) is to paint a base color (or several base colors as I did here, with a dark blue, a raspberry and a bronze colored paint), then, after the paint has dried, I take it to the sink and rinse it off. Remnants of the color remains deeply embedded in the porcelain, and while it looks like the color is completely gone under water, when it begins to dry, the color reappears. Then, I take the mask and paint a coating of white twinkling H20 over it and it gives it an almost pearlescent look.

You can get a mask of your own at B-muse and if you click on the gallery, you'll see some more examples of amazing masks for inspiration! Be sure to tell Vickie (the owner of B-Muse that I sent you! She's a wonderful person... fast with shipping out orders too!

OK, so I think I'm going to head off to bed, and hopefully some rest is just what this shoulder needs.

Thanks everyone for reading along! Have a perfectly tea-lightful, artful day!


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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hi Everyone! It's been a lonnnnng time since I've posted anything to my blog... and I decided it's time to change it just a bit... it's going to still be a tea journal, but I'm going to add some visual interest as well... I mean, I've got my art, why not include it?

To the right, you'll see one of my very first ATCs I ever made, for a 'color' themed swap. ATCs are "Artists Trading Cards" -- much like baseball cards are trading cards amongst baseball fans... ATCs are trading cards amongst artists.

So, you're probably wondering what the heck I've been up to, to keep my blog dangling for so long! Well... I've been working hard to get my site back up, I had a bit of a problem with my server. Now that it's back up, I am making changes to it left and right, including a big change to the way I handle my Tea of the Month club. These changes were designed to make the club more efficient and a better experience for my customers.

I've also been very busy trying to make my dream of creating a 'zine a reality. I'm actually at the point where I see the light at the end of the tunnel and have started to accept pre-order payments! I've already SOLD OUT of my artist edition... the Artist Edition is the same as the first edition except that the Artist Edition will include a different, unique, one of a kind, hand collaged cover, where the first edition will be a printed cover. If your interested in purchasing your own copy, email me at mailto: or you can join my yahoo group at:

Above is a scan of one of my most recent works. This is an "Altered Sherriff's Badge" (Purchased from ) that was part of an art challenge from one of the yahoo groups I'm a member of. I really wasn't sure what I was going to do with the badge... but I knew I wanted to cover it with clay, since clay is one of my favorite mediums. So I started working the clay to make it soft, and I came out with this really cool blue green swirl that reminded me of the painting Starry Night by Van Gogh (my favorite painting) so I let my muse take it from there.

As far as tea blending goes, I've been busy in that department too! I've been working on 2 new blends, the first, my own breakfast blend. I felt a little weird being a business called "LiberTEAS" and selling English Breakfast Blend... it just sounded weird, you know? So, I decided I needed a LiberTEA blend! And I set out to create a deliciously different breakfast blend that would be deeelish! I wanted it to have a unique base of flavors, so I brought together the exceptional flavors of High grown Ceylons, Flavorful Yunnans, Robust Assams, and Lively Nilgiris. Then I added a bit of honeybush to give it a nice, rounded flavor with a hint of sweet honey-like flavor and then I added just a touch of vanilla to make it smooth and creamy. The results is a taste sensation unlike any you've yet to experience! This blend will be available in October.

The second blend is a Caramel flavored tea. I wanted something smooth and yummy... something that made you want to curl up in front of a fireplace with a cuppa on a chilly fall evening. Something that whispered of the delights of Autumn! What more enticing than Caramel? My caramel blend combines the finest Ceylons and Assams together providing a full-bodied, malty textured base along with the sweet buttery flavor of caramel... making a smooth, rich flavorful cup!


I had a cup of the caramel this afternoon, and all I can say is that this tea definitely met my expectations... I recommend trying it with a sprinkling of sugar (brings out the sweetness of the caramel) and a splash of milk (brings out the creamy consistency of the caramel) and then let it cool just a few moments before indulging. It's a much tastier tea when it's had a chance to cool just slightly (where it's not piping hot, but still quite warm!)

Well, I guess that's enough for me for today... maybe I can keep my commitment to posting to this on a regular basis now that I've decided to incorporate my art into it too! Let's hope so!

Tea-lightful Cheers to all!

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