Monday, November 1, 2010

Tiny Treasures


Would you care for a tiny spot of tea?  That's all we'll get out of these minis.  I think they are adorably cute!   The blue set was a gift from some dear friends that had visited China.  It is so small and cute, I got all giddy over its cuteness.   Now my dear husband, who is not to be outdone by anyone when it comes to me (blush), went out and found the purplish one, which is even smaller and cuter.  I have a hardtime putting the lids back on with my fat fingers.  The bigger of the three little sets was also given to me by my dear honey, I think for a birthday gift.  He sure knows what I like (sigh).    It is such a sweet thing to be loved and to love back.   Scripture tells us "to love one another, for love is of God, and every one who loves is born of God and knows God."  1 John 4:7.    Let us all go forth today and love somebody ~ in word or in deed ~ and be Thankful that we are all loved by God.  John 3:16  
I am having tea today with Sandi and Martha and a whole bunch of other friends at http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com/  and  http://www.marthasfavorites.com/ 

Monday, October 25, 2010

My first cup


A long time ago my husband and I shared our first Christmas together in the upstairs apartment of an old house on Pikes Peak and 18th on this city's west side. I had wanted china set for Christmas, but knew we could not afford it. My dear sweet husband thought we could and bought me a box of beautiful dishes. The box said "5 piece setting", he figured that was enough for the two of us plus company. To this day I smile when I think on it and he gets a little flush. I took the tea cup from that setting and used it for my tea. That tea cup was the beginning of a beautiful collection of mix and match cups and saucers, teapots, little spoons, tea bag holders, tea sets and other tea accessories that I've picked up here and there or received as gifts from loved ones.  It is also the same cup that stirred a passion in me for all things tea.   I don't make a habit out of using scripture out of context, but this reminded me of Zechariah 4:10 "For who has despised the day of small things?..."  Perhaps My Lord is speaking to me about His plans for me through this cup, my first cup. 
I
I am going to a tea party with Sandi at http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com/2010/10/tea-time-tuesday_25.html and then I am joining Martha at  http://www.marthasfavorites.com/2010/10/new-treasures-for-tea-cup-tuesday.html    See you There!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A visit to MaryEllen's Tea Room

MaryEllens's Tea Room in Falcon, Colorado is located in an unassuming home 16 miles east of city life.   On this quiet little property sits a family home, that from the outside looks like any other home in this small suburb of Colorado Springs.   But walk in the front door and you are suddenly in a charming tea room.   The first thing that caught my eye were the three absolutely beautiful chandeliers that were hanging from the ceiling.  The other thing was that this was a family's home, but the front room had been turned into a dining area with 5 round tables all set for tea, victorian style china dolls, a pink Christmas tree, teawares galore (all for sale) and many other items one might find in a tea room gift shop.   As the guests arrived they are greeted at the door by a handsome young man, all of 8 years old, dressed in a tuxedo.   He is the "butler".   The maid, a young girl of about 11,  bids you to come to the dressing room where MaryEllen awaits to outfit you in a proper dress and hat for the occasion.  She does not leave you wanting for accessories either.  I had on gloves and a feather wrist wrap thing (I really don't know what it was called!), a beaded necklace and chandelier earrings.   The addition of the feather boa put me over the edge into a full on hot flash, and quick as wink she handed me a fan that matched my ensemble!   MaryEllen definitely has an eye for color and everyone that she outfitted that day wore a perfect color for her hair and skin tone.  Amazing.  Once I was properly attired for my afternoon tea, I departed the dressing room and was once again met by the handsome young butler.  He escorted me through the family kitchen and back to the tea room where I was announced to the group -  ahem  -  "Presenting...  Ms. Jo"    
  Yep, that's me.  Feeling like a little girl playing dress-up!  The other guests and I visited while we waited for the other ladies to be escorted to the dressing room for her transformation and then announced when she ready.  Each one was met with an ohhhh and ahhhh, (much like watching fireworks!).  We checked out each others hats, dresses and accessories.  Finally it was time for tea. 
 This was our table.


This is the rest of our group.  We took up two tables.   


 A nice group shot of us.  

After the group pictures, tea was served and we were ready.   After a brief lesson on tea party etiquette, we enjoyed chicken salad on croissants, cranberry scones with devonshire cream, chocolate covered strawberries, and a hot black tea with cream and sugar and a cold roibos blend that MaryEllen makes herself.  It was wonderful.  It left an aftertaste that made you want more.  MaryEllen quizzed us on victorian trivia and had us play victorian era party games.   We had a memorable time.    

Monday, September 27, 2010

Perfect Peach Tea Break!

Taking a break from the fall decorating and enjoying a cup of Bigelow's Perfect Peach tea.   I love transferware.  I've just started collecting it, what I could find anyway.   It's hasn't been an easy find for me. 
 So far I have two red, two brown and one dark brown (almost black) tea cups and saucers.   One red platter and one red bowl.  They remind of the beautiful toile fabric. And seem so right for fall. 
 I haven't found a tea pot yet.  But I will, in time, and when I do I know I will be soooo excited.    In the meantime I'll use my somewhat "cheesy" fall tea pot.  It does the job.

 The bottom of the red transferware teacup has Ironstone, made in england molded into it.  This is a picture of the bottom of the saucer.  Olde Country Castles, Made in England, Ironstone.    Happy Teacup Tuesday everyone!  I'm joining with http://www.marthasfavorites.com/2010/09/tea-cup-tuesday-no-30.html and http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com/

Tea-Time Manners, from Tea Time with God, "How much sweeter everyday life would be if tea-time manners were valued ... Manners are merely behaving as though Jesus were our honored guest - as if every other person we meet is His personal emissary.  It means doing and saying what makes others feel comfortable."   The desire of man is his kindness  Proverbs 19:22 

Monday, September 20, 2010

More fall details



Not wanting to totally put away the pinks I just layered the faux fall foliage on top.  I hope it doesn't look tacky - please be a dear and tell me if it does.   Just be kind about it.   And how do you like my "new" fall hat?  I just made it this weekend.    Today, I am joining Cielo at the House in the Roses for Show Off Your Cottage Monday.    

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall Decorations

It feels good to have gotten a good start to getting my fall decorations up on time this year.   Last year I didn't get to it until the first week in October and that is the week we have our church conference and we host a big after conference party at our house.   The pressure was on to get the fall decorating done.  Not this year.  I've almost finished.  Thanks to Bernideen at http://bernideensteatimeblog.blogspot.com/ ,  her post on fall decorating inspired me to get in the basement and pull out the fall bins. 
This is what you see when you walk in my front door.   I think I need a little colorful topper on this tablecloth.   This other vignette is at the bottom of the stairs. 



Here's the fireplace mantel in the living room.   The picture is crooked, I know! 

Some ironstone teacups in brown and one dark brown in the middle, it almost looks black.  I think they look good with fall. 
Good 'ol teddy, he endures all the seasonal changes around here!  Love my sunflower cup.  So this Friday, I'm off work and I will finish with a few colorful touches in the family room and sunroom.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Two Teacups for Teacup Tuesday!

These beautiful teacups came all the way from the Czech Republic just for me!  Really! A few years ago my Pastor went on a missions trip to the Czech.   He has gone many times, as there are churches there that are a part of our fellowship.   There is a Revival happening over there among the gypsy people.  It is awesome to see how Jesus is changing their lives.   Anyway,  on this one particular trip he went to the factory that makes this beautiful china and he brought back these gorgeous cups. 
I remember when he and his wife gave them to me.  It brought tears to my eyes.  Really!  First that he would think about little 'ol me while he was way on the other side of the world doing the Lord's business and Second because these cups are so dainty and pretty.   These pictures don't do them justice.
The mark on the bottom is LEANDER Porcelan Loucky Czech Republic.   (It's not a typo - that's how it's spelled)  I have yet to have tea in these babies.    Maybe you can come over and break them in with me?

I am joining many others for Teacup Tuesday at http://www.marthasfavorites.com/2010/09/tea-cup-tuesday-no-27.html   

Monday, August 30, 2010

Teacup Tuesday

This is my first Teacup Tuesday and I hope you enjoy my cup ~
I went to see a dear friend of mine in Cherryvale, Kansas this summer.   She took me to a couple of antique shops in Coffeyville and I found this cup at one of them.  It was another "love at first sight" cup for me.  You'll see more of those in the future, I'm sure.  I love the gold detail and the rich burgundy color. 
My friend starting collecting cups after she moved away from here.  She said I inspired her,  I gave her a cup as a going away present.  When we got to the antique shop I went one way and she went the other, we met in the middle with tea cups!  It was a precious moment.   She now has 5 cups and I have over 50!  I try to stop, really, I do.  But then I find something like this.
 I don't think it's worth a lot of money, but thats not the point.  It's beautiful and feminine and romantic and, what else can I say?  I drank from it only once, Stash Chai Spice Tea, a favorite of my friend and I.  I won't do it again though because even though I very gently wiped the saucer I knocked some of the gold paint off! 


The mark on the bottom says Lefton China - Hand Painted.  I hadn't really paid attention to the mark until now.  I looked it up on line and found that it is collectable.  They produced china and other collectibles for over 60 years.   Good to know.
   For now my pretty lady is back on her perch, and until next time, have a Happy Teacup Tuesday!  If you would like to see other beautiful teacups please visit http://artfulaffirmations.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 20, 2010

Letter Ladies Tea

My August tea party for the "letter ladies" was a success.   11 ladies attended and almost all wore hats.   Not all of the hats were traditional tea party hats, but hats none the less!  It was the spirit behind the hats the mattered.   I just loved Rachel's cowboy hat - she put a flower in it just for me!   Sorry I did not get a picture that.  Speaking of pictures, I have a few but they are not the best quality.  Honestly, after all the preparations, I didn't even think about taking pictures until it was almost too late!

This my friend Debbie in her beautiful Elsie Massey hat.  It just fits her doesn't it? 
We enjoyed the usual tea party fare:   Egg Salad sandwiches, Chicken Salad made with pineapple and toasted almonds that I put inside of partially hollowed out rolls, zuchinni bread with apricot jam, mini french vanilla cupcakes with lavendar frosting, and wonderful blueberry cobbler.   The blueberry cobbler recipe came from Angela at  http://teawithfriends.blogspot.com/    It turned out awesome, I was a little afraid to put the punch cups in the oven, but they did fine and nothing broke!  And they really were a hit.  Thank you Angela for sharing that recipe.   Here are pictures of the food, again sorry for the quality.  

  
  
And guess what?  I almost forgot about the tea!  I had the water hot and ready, sugar cubes and honey, tea cups and spoons, but no tea!   At the last minute I put some assorted tea bags on the cart.  Bad show really!   I had intended to brew some very nice Strawberry tea that I purchased at Bernideen's,  you can visit her here:   http://bernideensteatimeblog.blogspot.com/    We used tea bags instead and the ladies chose their own flavor.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Excited!

Yes, I am hosting a tea party this coming Saturday!  I am so excited.  This tea will be for a ministry I am loving, the "letter ladies".   We get together once a month to write letters of encouragement to the pastors of our fellowship, Victory World Outreach.  I am not positive but I think we are writing about 60 letters a month.   It is a blessing to be used by God to encourage and bless others.   I've been wanting to bless these beautiful ladies with a tea for a long time.  Here I go - details will follow.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Inspired

I haven't blogged in a long time.   I've been very busy,  but good friends understand ... and know that I still love them.    I almost lost sight of my passion to have tea parties because of changes at work and got really busy with that.   But now things are settling into a routine and I've found some "me" time.   And wow was I blessed to come home from work today to find the latest issue of Romantic Homes magazine in my mailbox.  Among all the beautiful pictures and wonderful articles (I always read it cover to cover) I found a wonderful new blog friend to follow - thepolkadotcloset.blogspot.com (great name huh?).   She is featured in the Make It section showing how to make wonderful keepsakes from your old paperdolls.  I went to her blog and found even more craft ideas and hints.  I immediately became a follower.   And then while perusing her blog I came across another,   A Delightsome Life from my all time favorite Victoria magazine.   I remember the first time a saw an issue of Victoria Magazine,  it was more than 17 years ago at a friends house.  I admired my friends "little cottage on the creek", and there on the coffee table with a bowl full of shiny Christmas bulbs was Victoria Magazine.   It was love at first sight and on my way home that day I went to the grocery store to buy my own copy.   After seeing all this beauty, in the magazines and the blog sites, I am inspired once again to continue with my own passions.    Tea parties are a time to slow down, relax and visit with friends.  I  am so ready for that.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Getting with it...



On my other blog,  http://www.myheartstealight.blogspot.com/ , I posted about challenging myself to complete some projects that have been left undone.  As I was writing the post I thought about doing that for my business as well.  So today I have written three pages of my business plan.  I didn't know this would be so involved.  I really just thought that I could start making scones and little sandwiches and start partying!  I didn't know I'd need a catering license and have to use a commercial kitchen.   I didn't know that a business plan can help you organize your vision and set your goals on paper.   This is the first one I've ever written.  Then the other thing I did was set the date for my valentine tea.  My tea will be held February 20.  It can't be on the 13th because Bernideen is having "Tea with Jane Austen" and Natalie and I plan on being there.   Then that evening we have a Mystery Dinner Theatre at church and two of my daughters are in the drama.  So the 20th it is.  I'm excited.  I have my menu set and now I will make the invitations. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

So the place that I thought was a tea room where I could have a bite to eat turned out to be an antique store that served tea.  Just tea.  I was still hungry when I left there.  And then my friend's birthday tea for February was cancelled.  I guess I've sort of found a little valley on the way up the mountain.   So no stress trying to get things done, just more time to plan and begin marketing.   I think I'll host a valentine tea as my "grand opening" and invite my sisters, nieces and neighbors.  How does that sound?  Now to begin the planning for the valentine tea...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Still moving forward ~

No, I have not given up.  I'm still moving forward with this idea.  It takes time.   I just want to start "doing" instead of just dreaming.  Everything is still in the planning stages.  Writing a business plan takes a while and then this morning I thought about the need for a contract.  So now I'll have write that out too.   I've been doing some market research and I have not found a "tea party caterer" in my area at all.   There are several places you can go to for tea, including the Miramont Castle in Manitou.  One place I know of that you can reserve their party room for tea, but it is not the same style as I would choose.  It's more of a "new age" feel.  I don't know how else to describe it.   Just not my taste anyway.  I am more of a romantic.  Today I will go to one other place for lunch to check it out.  She already told me she doesn't do "tea parties" because she doesn't have the staff.   So ~ onward!  I'll keep moving toward the goal.   I have a birthday tea set in February, for a friend, it will be at my house so I do not need a license.   More on the license later. 
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