We never quite know when we turn up at our fortnightly Wednesday afternoon craft sessions exactly what our teacher, the Lovely Linda, has in store for us. Today, she announced to the five of us assembled in her dining
room / craft room that we would be folding tea-bags.
You could see us all silently sizing up the situation. If we were, indeed, to take this announcement at face value would we be required to drink tea before
proceeding to squeeze out the tea bags in preparation for folding them? Presumably the tea bags would need to be empty of tea or folding would be impossible? Even more importantly, how would we Beginner Crafters be able to make something beautiful out of something
as mundane as a tea bag?
It became clear that this was no joke when our Crafty Leader passed round a number of books with titles like "Tea Bag Folding". I do like a book that tells it as it is. Even on the
subject of tea bags. We also had a chance to see some examples, including cute little green frogs, which, in the words of many a television cook, had been prepared earlier. From which we realised that we were not talking about Any Ordinary Old Tea Bags of
the PG Tips Variety.
In the interests of research and because - as regular readers know - I do like the Daily Blog to come over all educational once in a while - I googled tea bag folding. It's otherwise known
as miniature kaleidoscopic origami and was invented by a Dutch woman called Tiny van der Plaas when she was searching around for ideas for a unique and decorative birthday card. Sadly Google History does not record whose birthday it was though it does at least
outline the process of enlightenment.
I mean, we have all heard about Archimedes, rising from his bath water and running naked into the street shouting "Eureka!" having sussed out the relationship between
volume and density. Nobody, however, records whether Mrs Archimedes ran after him yelling: "Come back at once, you stupid man, and put your toga on, whatever will the neighbours think?'"
Tiny van der Plaas
was apparently contemplating her Greetings Card Problem while absentmindedly turning over in her hand one of those fancy tea bag envelopes in which posh herbal tea bags are tucked. I am presuming that, unlike Archimedes, she was fully clothed at the time.
Mr B is always telling me I should never assume anything but I think we would have heard, don't you? I mean, she was almost certainly sitting at the table, steeping her herbal tea bag in hot water and wondering if it might be easier, after all, to just pop
down to The Card Factory - when, all of a sudden, she gazed down at the tea bag envelope in her hand and cried: "Miniature Kaleidoscopic Origami!" Personally I think Archimedes has the edge on Tiny when it comes to announcing a scientific discovery.
Unfortunately I didn't discover all this fascinating information until I returned home. In the meantime, while I ran out of time to make a frog or two (or three), I spent a wholly pleasurable afternoon making two small
kaleidoscopic pinwheels and gluing them onto coloured card. Unlike Tiny van der Plaas I don't actually have a recipient in mind for either of the resultant greetings cards, one of which is a Good Luck card, while the other announces that it is "Just For You."
When I arrive home and show off my handiwork, Mr B wants to know: "Just for who?" I respond, wisely, that that would be telling and with that he has to be satisfied.
Talking tea-bags, reminds me of one of
my favourite quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt: " A woman is like a tea-bag. You never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water."
Good old Eleanor. She may not have thought about using her tea bag envelope
(should she have had one) to practise miniature kaleidoscopic origami, but like Archimedes she had a Certain Way With Words.