Friday, December 19, 2014

How to make a Baker's Twine pom-pom garland!

I fell in love with baker's twine years ago when I got a little fruit tart at the new bakery in town and the box was wrapped in red & white twine.  Back then you had to be a bakery to get your hands on it!.Now it's all the rage and you can find it at your craft store!
 I love pulling red and white decor together for the Holidays and even into Valentine's Day too.
So when I was wrapping a present last week I started eye balling the twine and my mini Christmas tree. Let me show you how easy it is to make this cute little pom-pom garland!

Gather your baker's twine, ruler, scissors and a fork to get you started.
Here we go!
1.   Wrap the twine around your fork ten times.
2.  Cut a 4 inch piece of twine and slide it through the opening of the middle fork tine, right under the wrapped twine and tie a knot around the wrapped twine. Now you can slide it off the fork.
3.  Cut the loops on each side of your knotted pom-pom.
4.  Fluff up the pom-pom. I like to get the ends of the baker's twine all untwisted and fluffy.
5. Now use the longer ends to tie it to your garland. A regular knot will do, not too tight so you can move it around if needed.
Repeat these steps to make as many pom-poms as desired.  I used 7 for my 2 yard garland.

 Here's a close up of the twine around the fork. Notice that I am using the center of the fork tines so that I can easily slip that 4 inch piece of twine under the twine through the fork opening.

I like to make garlands 2 yards at a time. And I also put a little loop at each end. This makes them easy and quick to make and a piece of cake to hang or drape as needed.
When you tie the pom-poms to your garland, start in the center and then tie another on at your desired distance. Remember, they can slide a bit to be adjusted as you finish up the garland.
Have fun and make pom-poms to your heart's content! I know I did:)

Here's the first garland on my little tree.

Please feel free to share you pom-pom garland photos and let me know what color baker's twine you decided on!

I'll be sharing this post over at:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

Please join me in celebrating the life and work of Jane Austen -- born 239 years ago today! And her profile is still the most recognized in the world! 

She was born in Steventon Rectory, Hampshire, England, on this day in 1775. With siblings and parents previlant in her writings she conveys the stories of family life like no other author I know. 
I love reading her novels and finding short descriptions of daily activities, the characters taking tea, the servants behind the scenes providing the stage for the main players, just as they did in real life.
I will admit that I enjoy the novels' adaptations also. Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma, Sally Hawkins as Ann Elliot, Keira and Jennifer as Lizzy, Kate Winslet as Marianne. I'm entranced by these productions with their lovely costumes, gorgeous settings and amazing details!

And you know that I am always watching for those ever present tea time moments! The silver tea sets entering the room as Lady Catherine commands attention! The wedgewood breakfast set passed around the table as the Bennet women jabber at their father. Yes, Jane Austen does provide plenty of tea time moments in her books! At the center of almost every social situation in her novels one finds tea! Of course, tea was a staple in daily life then, it served as a occasion as well as a soothing drink.
I'm honoring Jane today, with a lovely pot of tea! Won't you join me? I'm sure that Jane wouldn't mind if we took her chore for the day, and made tea. Yes, she was indeed in charge of the tea. She was the keeper of the key, as the tea was locked away due to its cost. She drank Chinese green and black teas, there were no other teas imported at that time. So let's steep a rich pot of Chinese black tea, with milk and sugar in her honor!
Tea with Jane Tea Cozy Collection

I had the pleasure of celebrating the author's birthday with two dozen other admirers. The Jane Austen Society has a branch here in PA. and I could finally squeeze time out of my schedule to attend one of their functions! We sang happy birthday, enjoyed a slice of cake and played a lively game of "Jingo" in her honor. A good time was had by all!

If you would like to hold your own Jane Austen party, might I suggest these two blogs to you. These are two of the best party themes and ideas I have come across in the past several years! Lots of decor and favor ideas, I just love it!
Jane Austen Party by "Dear Lillie"
Jane Austen Party by "Be Book Bound"
And if you would like your own Jane Austen Bingo to play, please click here! It goes well with tea, Of course!                  
Are you a Jane Austen fan? Have you set a tea table in Jane's honor? My fans and I would just love to see a photo!  Please feel free to share and pin! Click here to join the pinterest board

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Holiday Tea Bar! 'Tis the Season!

Happy December! Won't you join me for a cup of tea? My Holiday Tea bar is set and ready for a gathering!

I have one spot in the dining room that is always set for tea. Now it is set for a Winter Wonderland Tea. I drew the inspiration from this adorable garland (from Lowes Home Center) and ran with it! 
(The cute sign and snowflake wreath are from Micheal's craft store.)
It's so festive and gave me the ability to set a tea time space that will shine til New Years. You have to love that!
Here's a full shot of the display. I've done a treasure hunt (something I love to do!) around the house and pulled things that coordinate with the theme, color and sparkle that I envisioned.
I set all my treasures on the dining room table and then put groupings together. 
If you look closely, you will see several triangles of red. This is a trick I learned in design school. Setting up any kind of display, you need to create height and groupings of three-hence the triangles -to please the eye. 

This little cabinet is a dream! It helps me stay organized and I can dress her up easily! (She is from Staples, the 12 cube ones are hard to find!) Today she is dressed and organized for tea time and a cookie swap, hence the empty red baskets, waiting for the dozens of cookies to be gifted! I also have silver edged water goblets and pewter bowls, ready to be filled with some ice and sparkling drinks. 
Mr & Mrs Cardinal (from Michael's) pull the pops of red together. A few of my red transferware pieces can be found also, they add a bit of charm, don't you think?

The cute cottage ornaments(also from Lowes) add a bit of Christmas charm too! They capture the spirit of the vignette, their glittering roof tops sparkle with the mercury glass pillars.

The top of the Tea Bar is prepared for the gathering. Scones, tea and hot chocolate are served buffet style so that the hostess can mingle too! I'm not one to hold court in the kitchen, I like to be with all the guests, enjoying the company and warmth of the season!

I hope that my tea bar will inspire you to get your pretty things out, call a few friends and enjoy each other over a cup of tea!
I would love to see how you are arranging your teaware for the holidays! Please do share!

I will be sharing this Tea Bar at 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hooked on ......Boxwood!

You may remember this photo from my post in September! I am in love with Staffordshire style dogs and when looking through Pinterest for photos I came across this one!
Sorry, there wasn't a link to this photo so that I could give credit to it!
Ever since then, I have been browsing my favorite blogs for boxwood!
It turns out that Courtney Allison from French Country Cottage has a penchant for boxwood everything too!
There are so many fabulous ideas on Pinterest that I created a board just for my love of boxwood!
You can find that here

When I had a minute I went straight to my FAV blog-Stonegable and took a peek at her Christmas Tour. And there it was!
To see more of this wonderful house tour click on the photo!
I just adored this simple and elegant boxwood wreath hanging by a lovely ribbon on the staircase! Voile, the idea stuck and now I see small boxwood wreaths everywhere.
But OH, the price! 

Well, I said to myself! I do have six small boxwood bushes in the yard, let's go see what I can do!
This is what I gathered! I think I could pull this off! 
So, on the hunt again I went into hubby's closet and grabbed two of those wire hangers from the dry cleaners and a bit of green floral wire.

I bent the hangers into a small frame to wire my boxwood bunches to.

I made 6 bunches of the boxwood and wrapped wire around each leaving a 3 inch tail on the wire. I used the wire tail to secure it to the frame. Now, you'll have to be patient and play with the bunches. And I will confess, that I am Not a perfectionist, so I made them simple and just a little full.
I made three wreaths and still had some to spread cheer around the house with. All for the price of...
my time. 

Here's my first Christmas decoration, Thanks for the inspiration, Yvonne!

Hope that you enjoyed my little post on boxwood and please do give me a shout out if you have any boxwood photos to share! I love browsing at boxwood on pinterest and facebook :)

Have a wonderful week!

I'll be sharing this post on some fantastic blogs that I just love to visit.
 I truly do admire these ladies and their talent!
Watch for the links!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Grateful and Blessed Tea Time!

This time of the year inspires me to dress the table in rich colors and get the teapot out! So naturally I was thrilled when The Tea House Times asked me to put together a tea party theme with the rich colors of late fall as the inspiration. The first thing I did was take a walk outside, see what was happening in the garden and on the tress. Adding a few touches of nature to your tablescape brings such a wonderful feel to it! I spread these berries and leaves on the table and new in an instant that I wanted to use the rich reds and eggplant colors of my favorite tablecloth and napkins. This tablecloth also brought together a theme as well. I was able to incorporate my cute Staffordshire dog too!

Next I pulled some lovely glassware out. These are perfect for parfaits and such but today they made a pretty place card holder complete with metal jingle bell acorns.

Vintage china is set at each place, stacked dishes and teacups are layered on a creamy white charger. The gold and green are so rich and elegant on the backdrop of the deep eggplant tablecloth. I think placing the tea napkin between the layers really accentuates the gold design work on the china.

I used  both gold and silver in this tablescape to add a sense of elegance to it.  The deep rich tones in the floral arrangement are balanced with the sparkling silver vase. The silver rims of the water goblets pull the sparkle along the length of the table.

My dining room table, a french farmhouse style table is a rich deep tone and worked well with the colors of the tablecloth.  You'll notice that the tablecloth is square and not full size so it is laid in the center of the table. This gives the large table a sense of intimacy for the party of four. To complete the table I laid a white organza table runner with a damask pattern the whole length of the table, It gave the bold pattern of the first table cloth a way to recede and not compete with the pattern of the dishes. By layering the runner over the small table cloth you get a feeling of correct proportions.

I think this photo will give you a sense of the layering and coloring, I knew I was on the right track when I stepped by and saw it at this stage.

Now, it's time to enjoy! How about a nice pot of rich black tea with cranberries and oranges
I hope you take time to enjoy your pretty things with family and friends this season. 
I'll be sharing this tea party with:

Sunday, November 23, 2014

How to get 3 yummy flavors of scones from one box!

If you've talked scones with me before, forgive me for repeating myself, but I just adore our gourmet scone mix for one reason!! It makes me look like a four star pastry chef! This mix is so easy and so delicious you will be emailing me and facebooking me with "Why did I wait so long to try your Scone mix?" 
This month, all I can think about it cranberries! Cranberries with my turkey, in my tea, and scenting my house with my favorite candles. So let's start here!
 With one box of Cranberry scone mix. What can you do with that?  Well, let me tell you! Once you grab hold of the "add-in" idea your imagination will amaze you!  This is all there is too it! Easy-peazie!

Make the Cranberry Scone mix as directed and....
   1.      add 1/2 tsp of almond extract as you stir! Add sliced almonds to the top of each 
            scone before baking.
                2.  add 1/2 tsp of orange juice (or extract, which ever you prefer) Add grated orange zest
             to the top of each scone before baking. 
        3.   Make the mix “as is” for yummy cranberry scones and serve with jam and cream warm                       from the oven!
I told you! So easy and they will think that you slaved in the kitchen for hours! 
Listen, I promise not to tell them if you don't tell my family.  

Oh, and I'm heading to the kitchen to add a cup of dried fruit to my scone mix for Fruit cake scones. Now that sounds yummy! What will your favorite "add- in" be? Post here and do share!
Curious about the mix? Click here

You can find me over at:
The Scoop at Stonegable

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How I love the Fall & Catching up!

The past 3 weeks have been a whirlwind! I'll take just a few minutes to catch you up.

Previously in my life (Miranda's catch up quote-are you a "Miranda" fan?)

I booked myself solid these past weekends doing some fun outdoor events. I wanted to be outside meeting new people and testing some new products too!

Here I am at the Newtown Square Railroad Fest! It started out rainy but the sunshine prevailed and I had fun reliving my Thomas the Tank Engine era (my son Tom's favorite)

Two days later, I was traveling to Bel Air, MD to meet with my awesome tea business association!
We had the pleasure of meeting and learning from the talented Lisa Boalt Richardson! She is launching her new book and we got a sneak peek! Yes, I got a signed copy too!

I learned some great tips and ideas for a tea & chocolate pairing! I am planning to hold this class mid November. Check the Workshop tab in the menu bar above.

For the next 5 days I prepped for the much anticipated Cottonwood House Event! I had so much fun sharing and serving tea and tea party treats with these customers! Here's a peek at my tent. It turned out to be a rainy weekend but that did not dampen our spirits! You can find The Cottonwood House on Facebook, don't miss her up coming Christmas event! (I have a previous engagement unfortunately)

The following weekend you would have found me at the Hagley Library and Museum in DE.
This event celebrated it's 36th year and I was tickled pink to be part of it! I sampled alot of tea! Cranberry Harvest was the hands down winner of the tastings! 

It was a gorgeous weekend and I cannot wait to be a part of this event again next year! But I will admit that this is one of those events that I would love to just attend and enjoy all the activities!

Now, comes the pinch me moment! On Oct 25th I launched 6 of my best selling tea blends at Whole Foods! Yes, the Devon, PA store is carrying these blends on their shelf! I'm  still riding high on that amazing experience of sampling my tea at their store!

And just to keep me smiling, I celebrated my birthday in the midst of all this!
Mom & Dad treated me to a lovely bouquet! As did my sis and her family!

The Fall is my busiest season, and I love it! 
Thanks for catching up with me and watch for another post about how I started this week off with Martha Stewart!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Hooked on......tureen lids!

I will freely admit that I have been admiring petite soup tureens for the past couple of years, ever since I discovered that dear lady, Miss Mustard Seed!
I was so excited to come across one and grabbed it as fast as I could without dropping it in my haste!
Here it is on my mantle last fall with my tea strainer collection. It is so graceful and it moves around the house often to be used for a vase, price tag holder and much more! On one of those occasions, I had placed that lovely lid propped up on my desk against the wall, and that's when it hit me! I just loved the shape and contours of the lid on the wall! I do have several plate groupings on walls throughout my house, why not use lids too? And then low and behold, they just started popping up all over the place! Just like when you get a new car, and then all you see is that model of car on the road!
In fact, I was attending a tea association meeting today at Tea by Two, Bel Air, MD and what did I spot, you guessed it-
A lovely corner with a lid and plate decorating the wall! Instant color in the corner to coordinate with the artwork opposite, a great way to add interest without competing with the framed print!

I've started pinning some great ideas from other bloggers, using tureen lids as home decor. Are you collecting lids to decorate? Do you prefer white? Feel free to share your photos and pins! And if you spot me at a thrift store or vintage shop, I'll be the one making the mad dash to grab the lids, I have quite a few empty walls to fill!

Monday, September 29, 2014

A little fall loveliness!

I've decided to have a few friends over for tea and luncheon. They work just a mile or so away from me and that would give us plenty of time to enjoy each other's company over a simple autumn salad, tea sandwiches, and scones. On the menu, Figalicious tea, cucumber sandwiches, fig & rosemary cream sandwiches, butternut squash salad and fig & walnut scones! Fresh fall flavors, yum!
When I think of early fall, the bright reds, golds and soft greens come to mind so that is the color scheme of my table.
You'll find some hydrangea in the center, low so that we can see each other and dried so that their scent is very mild. The aroma of the tea and food should be the focus!
The plates are stacked ready for the three courses. I've folded the glittered burlap placemats allowing for the four settings to fit at the table. The tiered table is pulled up to offer as a serving area, just as the Victorians did at tea time.

The tea napkins are tucked into the teacups, like flowers in a vase.

Time for a scone, are you ready?

Thanks for joining me for a tea time visit!
What's your favorite element of the tea party? Planning the menu, setting the table, making the invites? I'd love to hear about it!

You can find my tea party at:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Guess WHOO's coming to tea?

With the arrival of fall comes crisp evenings and time to enjoy friends and celebrations!
I've packed up the car and set up our tea party/dinner birthday celebration and guess WHOO's coming?
 The focal point and theme of the party is our lovely blue owl. She's perched here in the centerpiece, overlooking tea time and eavesdropping every now and then. She's surrounded by fall mums and silk butterflies. You can visit my blog post on how this centerpiece was put together here.

Each place setting had a smaller owl which was a favor to share with the guests.

 I just love the blue & white with the golden tones of fall. It turned out to be a great combination.
 Here's one of the place settings. I've stacked my grandmother's blue & white teacup on top of my Johnson Bros. lunch and dinner plates. (Richmond pattern) Then below those are a copper metalic charger from Micheal's and a jute charger from Pier 1. The blue cloth napkin from Pier one is wrapped with fall beaded garlands from Micheal's.
 The stone archway made a wonderful backdrop for our party, and the two windows turned out to be the perfect buffet areas for food and drinks!
 Well, now its time to toast  the birthdays and celebrate another year! Autumn is such a lovely time to pull up a table and chair and just enjoy each other as the conversation flows-as does the tea!

Have a wonderful fall week!
I'll be sharing this party with
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