Thursday, December 01, 2016

making tea

 I first saw the idea of fabric play tea bags on Pinterest  a long time ago, but when my girls and I were invited to celebrate a dear little friend's four-year-old birthday earlier in November, I decided to give the idea a try.
I didn't have a good tutorial, so I fumbled my way through two methods before settling on this style.
Looking through my fabric stash, I found this Beatrix Potter cotton print that I had purchased many years ago. This was perfect for our little friend who has been watching the sweet animated cartoons for the last year or so with her little brother.
I decided to stuff some whole clove pieces in with the quilt batting to give them a pleasant scent during tea time play.
I decorated a little storage box that was easy to open and close and included a set of four demitasse-sized spoons from Ikea. I lined both the tea box and the spoon box with pieces of felt for beauty and softness.
It came together so nicely and my seven year old requested some to be made for her kitchen.

In the meantime, I decided to break into my Christmas fabric stash bought on sale after Christmas last year. And while searching for project ideas, I decided to just continue the tea bag theme, this time adding a dash of peppermint flavoring to the quilt batting. The tea is ready!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

earlier in October

October feels like May going the opposite direction. At the beginning of May around here, spring is just really starting to show itself in leaf buds and uprising flower bulbs. By the end of May, everywhere you look is full on green, insects and birds are busy inspecting all this new growth and warm days have you putting away the heavy coats and sweaters.
Now, rewind all that and you get October. Still so much green turning yellow turning red and orange, but as the month creeps on, the colder temperatures shock the system into scrounging for warm clothes and hats and mittens. Then suddenly there are more leaves on the ground than on the trees and everywhere you walk, your path is softened by leaf litter, the best specimens tucked into many different books to keep flat as they dry and maybe even waxed later.
The frost dates become numbers on the roulette wheel as I take chances on frost warnings, covering carefully and faithfully and then that one night I forget or miss the weather report and find myself making tear water tea in the morning. 
Almost two weeks ago, I woke to find a heavy, heavy frost had settled so I grieved over the loss of my uncovered celery. I did not go out into garden for almost 48 hours and upon closer inspection of the celery leaves, I broke a stem in disbelief that my celery crop had been apparently spared. The week that followed brought very warm and comfortable temperatures and I made a date with the celery to harvest it in the rain this past Saturday. 
The carrots were harvested in stages as needed for the soup pot and by two little cousins playing in the garden on Thanksgiving weekend.

Is this post too long? I just mentioned Thanksgiving so I thought I would slip in some photos from that weekend.
Once I had the kitchen under control and the tablecloth kind of ironed, I took a few minutes to raid the garden for some floral centerpieces. The flowers are legit, zinnias and marigolds. It's the greens that look suspicious: celery leaves and carrot tops, thyme and oregano. Somehow it all seemed to work and the arrangements lasted for close to two weeks.
My husband is not big on centerpieces; he would prefer to not have to look through or over or around to see the food or his fellow diners. So I've learned to keep the table trinkets low-key and maneuverable.
The little girls' table also was given some attention this year, including a very exciting tea candle which was immediately the center of much attention as to when they would get to blow it out. It lasted a couple minutes after the last forkful of food had been consumed and then the candle was promptly extinguished. Ambiance appreciation comes with age, I think.