Wednesday 25 February 2015

Sloe Gin and Tea Bags!

Welcome to Magpieheaven where the kettle has boiled and the tea is brewing!  Or there is something a little stronger if you would prefer it! A few days ago I was really impressed by a beautiful face my talented friend, Lyn Tivenan had painted on a tiny tea bag! Back in the Summer Dominique, my friend Sue's daughter started a wonderful collection of tea bags for me and I had been using them for rubber stamping projects.

 Lyn's work, however, inspired me to try my own art on some of the Cranberry Black Tea ones. I am not such a talented artists as Lyn, but I do love creating faces. Here is the bag attached to a tiny tag with some PaperArtsy Satin Glaze. It's a light glaze so perfect for using with very delicate paper like tea bag paper or tissue. The tag is just a very inexpensive one from the shop Tiger. I distressed the tag first with some Tim Holtz inks in Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain.

Back in the Autumn we picked sloes and made our own sloe gin, so I decided to create this Sloe Fairy for a label. Her skin tones are reminiscent of the lichen and the moss in the woods where we go walking and there is also something of the 'nut brown maid' about her. I painted an area of light Opaque Fresco Finish paint in Vanilla and built up layers of translucent colours: Zesty Zing, Banana and Cherry Red. I also shaded some areas with Inktense colours in various greens, blues, browns and reds. Her little hat is a Red Lead stamp on another fragment of tea-bag paper. Her curls and furls of foliage I created with Pitt Pen doodling.

And to transform the bottle, I stamped this Lynne Perrella sun onto another tea-bag painted with a wash of Cherry Fresco

A teabag was used for the reverse side too with the same Red Lead stamp that I used for the hat. I also used stained fabric and lace painted with Heavy Gel Medium. I added Treasure Gold to this when it was dry.

Just a little alteration of the label with fragments of stamped tea bags completed the bottle's transformation.

I added some pearl pen accents and attached the label with a piece of hemp to create a rustic mood and remind me of those warm and sunny Autumn afternoons when we gathered the berries. Thank You for stopping by today and meeting the sloe berry fairy!


  1. Still collecting my tea bags, not used any yet but i aim to very soon.

    Fantastic way to label your Sloe Gin, your hand drawn Fairy is very cute :-) xxx

  2. Totally impressed by both the tea bag art and the homemade sloe gin.

  3. So quirky, so unique, so adorable! Xx

  4. Enchanted once again by your creativity and story telling dear Julie Ann.
    So nice to meet your sloe berry ferry on that wonderfully decorated bottle.
    I am not familiar with sloe berries but will go and see what I can learn about them.
    I confess I have an every growing tea bag collection...I find them easier when serving tea for one.

  5. Fabulous Julie Ann! I love the face! I have loads of fruit tea bags….err….somewhere!!! If I find them I may have a go at this. Chrisx

  6. Your fairy is beautiful Julie Ann! The layers of colour on her face are wonderful! x

  7. This is wonderful! I love the tag, your Sloe Gin fairy is very sweet & I love how you altered the bottle.

  8. Looks brilliant! So now I really want to find out more about this teabag method, - the result seems amazing!

  9. I love your faces Julie Ann! You inspire me to do more myself!
    I'm in with Astrid about the teabags, will you share a tutorial? And where do you buy your teas? Inquiring minds(well, me) want to know!!
    One last question , then I'll leave you be... what are sloes?
    Love your tag and you!! xoxo

  10. Absolutely wonderful! That bottle looks really really awesome with your decorations. Love the paiting on the tag, very unique face. I bet the inside of the bottle is pretty great, too! :-)

  11. Well I never would have thought to keep tea bag paper but your results are so lovely! Will have to give it a try, thanks for the inspiration!

  12. Now THAT is a good looking bottle--had to stop by for a peek, your post title was pretty intriguing!


  13. Wow, they are both fabulous and complement each other perfectly. I love the vintage look and your use of the tea bags - beautiful. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog earlier, have a great weekend.
    Diana x

  14. Simply glorious, Julie Ann - your Sloe fairy is utterly beautiful with her mossy complexion and arty hat. Love the added texture of the teabag and wonderful highlighting you've done on her beautiful face. The label complements her perfectly - and the bottle now looks like something out of a fabulous medieval tale. Brilliant and inspiring as always.
    Alison xx


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