Friday, February 24, 2012

Tea Time is not for Golfers!

I started serving High Tea because I'm a socializer.  It also gave me a very good reason to use the Candlewick crystal dishes that I inherited from my grandmother.  Add to the crystal serving pieces a few sets of vintage china and before I knew it, I had dishes to fill a hutch and place settings to serve 12 for tea if I wanted to!  

High Tea is four or five courses and includes a meat course; for my tea parties that is usually a sandwich made with chicken salad mixed with honey mustard along with the mayo.  Or it could be egg salad on cinnamon raisin bread, it is delicious!  Scones and Deavonshire Cream are a must serve and two or three desserts.  

When I send out tea invitations I have a theme in mind, a seasonal tablescape, and handmade ATC (artist's trading card) tags for each guest grace the the dining room table.  In the weeks before the tea I am busy planning the dishes to use, the menu, the centerpiece and then I make an individual tag to sit at each spot.  To hold the tags I have used a variety of objects:  mini sterling silver clothes brushes, flower frogs, photo holders, menu card holders to name a few.  It's fun to watch the guests circle deciding which place setting and bone china tea cup they want and which tag is their favorite.  

Creating the atmosphere of elegance, tea is also an excuse to sit out the basket of vintage hats that I have procured.  Ladies look adorable in cloche hats from the 1920s, a pill box style from the 60s or a darling little velveteen number complete with a veil on top and tiny bow in back.

Do you shop the thrift stores for vintage aprons?  They come to my house if they are gingham check with embroidery, crocheted in multiple colors or the darling little hostess aprons made of silky fabric starched stiff.  

I love to hear the tea kettle whistling, to fill the tea ball with fresh tea and enjoy the company of friends from the decades of my life, all laughing and sipping tea from treasured china cups and splurging on sugar on a Saturday afternoon!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I hear the cottonwoods whisperin' above...

I'm in love with 1950's cars among other things.  I ask you, who wants a car that looks like a box with wheels?  Gimme some of those fins that make a statement on the rear fenders and announce themselves!  My car of choice, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air.  My 'sweet, smooth and sassy' model is Coronado Yellow with a India Ivory top.

The vacations in my childhood were taken in my parent's '57 Chevy, two door hard top.  We road tripped to the Black Hills of South Dakota.  My sister and Grama were sandwiched in the back seat with me.  We played the alphabet game, we stayed in motels and we went to 'curio shops'.  Ahh, the good ol' days!

I love those fins!  A surprise for our 25th wedding anniversary:  the car of my dreams!
Tammy's in Love...

Monday, February 20, 2012

In the Play Room

The afternoon sun pours in the window of the room that once belonged to my son.  He was a senior in high school when 9/11 happened and in January of 2002 he joined the Air Force.  Lots of books about The Greatest Generation and when it was his turn to be a great one, he didn't hesitate.  I did not like the idea; mine was the generation without a war.  My husband was too young for Viet Nam, my Dad wasn't in the military, I had no frame of reference for life in 'the service'.

He waited until his sisters were gone that night in January.  "I want to talk to you guys," he said.  We sat in the living room and he told us, "I'm thinking about joining the Air Force."  I was stunned and then I was crying like I had never cried in front of my children.  "You're a good kid", I said.  "You don't need the military to straighten you out!"  "Who would you rather have serving our country?" he asked.  

He was doing more than 'thinking' about joining the Air Force.  In the last few months he had visited recruiters from more than one branch of the military; he compared the educational benefits and the training and the future they offered.  Thirty minutes after that conversation in the living room with his Dad and me, he was sitting at the kitchen table completing the application to enlist.  His world would change, and so would mine on that night in January.

My 'Play Room' where my piles of scrapbook paper, rick-rack and glue sticks live used to be his room.  In Basic Training it became my office, a new window treatment, faux paint on the walls, new pillows to make his twin bed into a sitting area and enough change that I didn't tear up every time I walked past the door.  His bedroom that held his soccer trophies and the memories of life in high school before the Air Force was still masculine and full of Korean artwork, Asian fabric on the duvet cover and  pillows...but it was where I sat at the computer and worked.  The next evolution came in 2011 when the transition to craft room came when he moved to Hawaii to serve at the base at Pearl Harbor.  He wouldn't come home on frequent leaves, he was gone and the room could now be full of pink and red and crafty stuff.

I come here to play with paper, and listen to books on CD or music and I craft along my afternoons in the sun.