100 Days: Tea Tin Time

A lot of floral work has been going on (tease below), but here's a quickie post on a bonus prop just made. It's an old-fashioned red metal tin that will help clutter the tea table in Rana's cottage next to the white porcelain teapot and freshly picked cups (!) The tea bags are miniature versions of Paul's current favorite. I dried his out for several mornings, opened up the little cloths and took 2/3rds of the loose tea out, cut down the stained cloth and retied them with string that had their ply reduced to fit the scale. I hope you'll join Rana for a cup as soon as it's ready.

I used plastic bottles from our recycle bin, cut down with a small hand saw to get their curves. Rolled metal edges were added by carefully gluing different gauges of wire. I made one but it wasn't large enough, so I made another a bit larger and decided to make it operate like a real tea tin with an inner and outer lid. Had to make these a second time out of metal as the cardboard version no longer fit back together after the thickness of a coat of paint.

I went back and forth with finishes, black, red, metallics of all kinds. Seriously. All the metallics in the house, even shiny gold foil at one point. What finally worked for me was to cover the entire container in ceramics finishing, wax-based Luster Paste in a warm red gold (bought every color in New York years ago they are really especially gorgeous in person.) And then painted over that layer, leaving the rolled edges gold, with flat red acrylic. I gave the jars a patina with diluted charcoal gray/black wash to simulate oxidation and wear.

The earth laughs in flowers --e. e. cummings


  1. Anonymous6:29 AM

    Oh how I'd love to share a cuppa!

  2. I don't even like tea, but those bags are so cute! (ElvaUndine)

  3. R those TREEacle tea tins? Spectacular work as usual.

    Upcycling is so awesome!

  4. Welll rounded with a great finish - sounds like a tea tasting but I mean the tins! Nice - I think it's it's the rolled edges that completely disguise their origins and sell them as metal. (I did the same with my prisoner's enamelled tin mug in Cell Animation, a bit of wire glued around the top of a plastic shape.) But that red tin has such a cool shape! And as always, great layered finishes.
    I like the home-made look to the bags - but would Rana even use tea bags?

  5. I think you need a permanent cup kept in the cottage, Peggy. I'll pick one out for you, so it's always here.

    Jessica! You don't like tea? Have you tasted top quality types? I think I better include a little in your Spring package to try!

    I love upcycling too, Mike!! I'm so into it! For props, furniture, even for my own clothes!

    Thank you, Nick! I would love to see your tin mug? Which film it is featured in? Skol?

    I definitely considered Rana using those swell little metal tea infusers that sit on lip of a fine bone china cup (saw them at my high tea at the Peninsula hotel with Genie) but in the end I felt Rana would have this tin filled with REUSED cloth tea bags. I imagine her filling the same cloths with freshly dried tea over and over until they are stained dark with tannins.


  6. (^ tea strainer instead, nick? harder to animate. i DO have a tea witch who holds a spoon like device that you stir the ea with . harder to describe than to simply show.
    let me see if I've ever actually put her out on the net:

    (^ guess not. well alrighty. .. tHERE:

  7. LOVE that witch, Brian! Shes WONDERFUL! Thanks for showing her.

    I never though about the animation ease with the tea bag choice! I'm feeling pretty smart now! [Inadvertently] smart!

  8. I guess Rana would have a lot of guests for a cup of delicious tea! Could I be one of them, please?
    Looking WONDERFUL as always. I love the red color and also this quote:"The earth laughs in flowers."

  9. You bet, Yaz! I think I'll put the names of regular visitors to Halfland on the bottoms of the tea cup roses! FUN!!!

  10. m_) beautiful jars, ..keep working hard inspiratorer.

    got you a banner, still trying to contact webmaster to put it up. i know you probably dont care much but...felt like saying this..

  11. Thanks, Dan! You mean you are putting a Halfland banner up on one of your blogs? Cool! Thank you! Honored to be included on the blog roll!

    "inspiratorer" likewise, inspirationist!

  12. Ok, I understand the tea bags now, good choice!
    My enamel mug was in the film Cell Animation like I said (in Bunch of Fives). Independently we found similar methods. But looking at your props, I wish I'd chipped the enamel more, given it some history like you do.

  13. @Shell
    m_) Yes, I meant exactly what I said. It should be up soon, I designed one myself.
    m_(My site so far is so disgusting, lack of information, lack of lacks even but hopefully we will meet with webmaster to make it look decent.

    m_) As far as everything else in life, hope everything is going alright with you!

  14. OH! Right, I LOVED your film Cell Animation, Nick!!!! I shall go watch it again at once and look for the mug! (I am the proud recipient of your Bunch of Fives DVD which is richly inspiring stop motion start to finish! Thank you, again!) Hee hee, I didn't try to chip the enamel! hee, I'm just clumsy which suits the rusticity of the film--HA!

    Yes, thanks, Dan. As far as I can tell, everything else in life is going alright. My ballet teacher told me yesterday that I'm to stop reacting to everything in life with "suffering". Boy, did he "read my beads"! He's always right about everyone else. So he must be right about me too.

  15. m_) Your link looks awesome!

  16. Thanks for including me, Dan!

  17. M_) WOW, I can't believe ballet would teach you how to stop suffering. I mean, sounds great, who would have thought one of the biggest questions lays on ballet.
    Just messing with the idea...anyway, I did not even know you were a balleter. Very impressive, you have always surprised me, and now dancing.

    ..As for including you, why shouldn't I. People like you is people that matters.

  18. m_) sorry about saying inspirationer wrong. I guess I will never master this language..

  19. Ar you kidding, Dan!? I LOVED that word! I'm so putting it my business cards! You speak English very very well! Much better than I could ever speak Spanish!

  20. HI Dan, I have a very very good ballet teacher, a master really, who uses ballet to put the whole person together. How we move our bodies represents our personality as well!

    He can see that I react to everything as "suffering" when nothing is suffering really. And that I'm too tense! He wants me to unwrinkle the frown lines between my eyes. He says it's possible from the inside.

    My legs kick up high enough but now he wants my personality to learn more.

  21. The earth laughs with flowers. Love it.


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