Leather-like used tea bags + a great ice-cream-related invention!

Our van is currently parked here:


Yes, a carnivore’s delight here on Pardoo Beef Corporation’s station stay!  They specialise in growing wagyu beef, the cattle having about 200,000 hectares to run around on.  There’s also unlimited fishing and crabbing just a few kms away on the coast – or, if you’re like me and have no inclination to fish – you can watch the potty calves have their twice daily feeding, where patting and letting them suck your fingers is encouraged!

If you are planning on visiting any part of Australia, here is a great travel blog.  It’s far more informative, great pics, not too much text – and  this couple do lots of stuff at each place they come to – than mine is.  But it won’t tell you about cool textiley stuff!

mnmtravels blog – it’s well worth a read.  Even if textiles are never mentioned ..

On a completely different tangent ..

Mr Whippy: I’ve not had one of these soft serve choc dipped wonders served out the side of their van for many, many years.  And probably won’t for another long while.  However, instead of their clangy music speakers being stuck in the 1950s (I am SO over hearing a tinny ‘Greensleeves’ being belted out…), I discovered the individual ice cream drip tray:

Device to hold cone whilst catching melting ice cream drips before the flies/dad/mum/child can lick them up. No more sticky wrists and arms – yeah!

Here’s another blog goody – entertainingly written and often fibre related (yay!):

Weirdweekends blog

A book that I am seriously considering buying .. an information pill to become a super fantastic chef.  Apparently most chefing knowledge comes down to just 4 things: salt, fat, acid and heat.  I reckon I could be pretty smart – pretty soon.  Well, as soon as I get around to getting this book ..

Salt-Fat-Acid-Heat by Samin-Nosrat


Aaaahh, yeeessss, you were probably wondering:  hhmmm, how can I turn my used tea bags into a leather-looking item?  Well, I have the answer.  It may have taken me 5 months and many attempts, but here’s how you can do it without the learning curve 😉

1Tea bags 2 b ironed b4 interfacing applctn.jpg
Jumble of haphazardly placed tea bags on top of fusible interfacing.  Best if pre-ironed, unlike the above ..
2Layer of baking paper over tea bags.jpg
Iron protection! .. a layer of baking paper over the tea bags which are laying atop fusible interfacing
3Tbags adhered to interfacing.jpg
Should look something like this
5Cling wrap ironed between tea bag layers.jpg
Add another layer of tea bags over the top of the previous tea bag layer if you want – using a layer of cling wrap in-between as the glue – before ironing again.  Magically, when ironed, cling wrap doesn’t adhere to linen or silk (ie my backing cloth shown here)
4Stitching stabiliser onto back of interfacing.jpg
Using non-woven stabiliser behind the fused interfacing, sew a grid (or free machine) all over your project (best if space between stitching is no greater than 10mm)
6Drawing on the teabags.jpg
Decorate the front – if you choose …
7Cookbook - creating cover & flaps.jpg
Once you’ve finished decorating, seal with 2 layers of neutral shoe polish.  Just add flaps to hold the book in place
8Book jacket flat out.jpg
And you’ll end up with something like this.
99Inside front cover.jpg
Inside front flap of completed cover to my cook book
9Front cover.jpg
Cook book front.  Finito – woo hooo!!  woo hoo – again!!

And just to do a bit of a pre-empt on my next random post, I’ll be doing a bit more leather work – though using the real stuff this time, with a hint of medieval armory flavour to it.  Anyone can do it – and in a confined space too!

Oh yes, so much to learn – so little space to do it in … that’s what living in a caravan does to you.  Hopefully we’ll stop searching for our ‘forever home’ and just find it very soon.  Crafting sanity may depend on it ..!!

Many best wishes on your own crafting endeavours, hopefully you can turn them out faster than me ..





  1. Lovely colours coming through in your cookbook cover cath.
    The colours are much more intense in the completed cover than during the process pics. Is that due solely to the shoe polish..or more teabag layers..or..?..& is the finished cover sturdy yet pliable like leather?
    You’ve zen tangled in some areas too -kinda fey & interesting! You think up such original projects, well done cath xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb – thanks for having such wonderful queries! Colourwise I think I’m a pretty crappy photographer, the intense colors were shot in the van, the washed-out ones were shot outside. I’m afraid I’m not smart enough to do any colour processing .. yet. The cover is very similar to kangaroo leather in both thickness and pliability. Those zentangles were a mistake .. thanks for being kind though!


  2. Always so inventive Cath. Your cookbook cover looks beautiful and will hopefully inspire your cooking!! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so kindly for taking a look – and hopefully my cooking will become more frequent due to gorgeous cover!😀 I’ve got a bit of a doosey planned next, hopefully it won’t take another 5 months to make it werk tho!


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