Tuesday, December 1, 2015

How to make a Deerling Burlap Wreath!

This cute little chalkboard deer head caught my eye on my last trip to Michael's Craft Store.
And I knew just what I wanted to do with it! So I grabbed it and a roll of black striped burlap and headed home with a fun project churning in my brain.

Here is my burlap wreath from last year. I followed these easy instructions over at Stonegable ;) It still had a bow on it, which worked our great since it had the colors I wanted to work with!

If you want to make your wreath into a cute "Deerling Wreath" well, it's as easy as this!

So cute, right!
Or you can take it one step further and add some dimension by adding a row of striped burlap!

I cut my roll of striped burlap into three lengths to make it easy to work with. Then I just found areas in the center of the burlap loops to add a row of the striped burlap all the way around the wreath.

It just took a few minutes to get the hang of it and it turned out great!

Now you can add the deerling and bow!

I liked the pop of red on the deer's head and it gives the appearance of being in the center of the wreath.  I know that I am going to be tempted to try some chalk art on it! And maybe add a sprig of holly or two, but today I will enjoy it just as it is. I celebrate the first day of December by hanging a Christmas wreath on my front door! How do you start your decorating?

You can find me sharing this post over at

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Taking tea with the DuPonts!

When you live in the Philadelphia, PA area you hear some names quite often. To many, this name means carpeting, paint, and chemicals. In the past four years I've learned that it also means philanthropy by way of the Hagley Museum & Library, Winterthur, Longwood Gardens, Nemours and more!
The DuPont family created a lasting legacy in the Brandywine Valley and I've been taking time to
learn more and explore.

Last week, I gathered around the tea table with my colleagues from the Mid Atlantic Tea Business Association. We enjoyed a tour of the grand hotel, historic theater and famous Green Room.
As you can see, there's not much green decor in this room! We heard several stories from our tour guide as to why it is named as such, we liked the story of the DuPont daughter naming it and are going with that one!.

The Grand Ballroom, which took over 12 months to install in 1913 is magnificent! The old world charm just abounds from every surface and I couldn't do it justice! This room is something you have to experience for yourself!

The Club Room adjoined the Ballroom, and I'm sure many glasses of port were drunk and cigars smoked while the Ladies enjoyed their own company during the intercessions at the playhouse or ballroom. This painting was done by Wyeth, (another Brandywine Valley "name") using paints made by DuPont. It hangs over one of the fireplace mantels, softening the hand carved paneling that furnishes the room.

There is a secret door in the paneling that leads from the Club Room to the Playhouse. We took the less direct route so that we could enjoy the Gallery Room that led to the Playhouse. And we even got to look out over the Playhouse from the stage. They've done an incredible job updating and modernizing the theater without losing the charm of the 1914 decor.

After this tour we were ready for tea and treats! The Green Room was quiet and charming in luxurious draperies, carpeting and well worn mahogany.

White tablecloths and napkins were set at our places, the server waiting to help us make our decisions. The menu this month featured chocolate teas and treats! Perfect for this chocoholic!

I am a bit of a tea snob, and was happy to see that I had complete control of my steeping time! There's nothing worse than sipping bitter tea, especially when you want to take your time and enjoy the company and surroundings!

I can highly recommend this destination for Afternoon Tea! In fact, as you're looking at the delicious food, I'll be making my next reservation!

I'll be sharing more tea time with the DuPonts in my next post :)

Have you spent tea time at a special destination? I'd love to hear about it!
I'll be sharing this teatime post at:

Friday, October 2, 2015

Napkins-An Easy detail that delights your guests!

Whether you're planning a big do or quickly setting the table for guests who are popping by, small easy details will welcome your guests!

I just adore fabric napkins! They're good for the environment and make your guests feel special, all at the same time. You can pick them up at thrift shops, vintage goods shops and big box stores. They can be huge dinner napkins, manageable luncheon napkins or dainty tea napkins! Even pretty vintage
hankies and tea towels make lovely napkins! 

Because I make napkins, both tea sized and luncheon sized, I like to use them! As Oprah says, use your special things Everyday! 

Here are a couple of my favorite EASY napkin folds, they are my "go-to" details that make my
place-settings inviting.

Just Tuck it In!                                                                                                                                       A pretty floral napkin can make your white dishes enchanting and easily take them from season to season!

Loop it Thru!
Use your teacup handle to hold the napkin! I've fan-folded it here and pushed it the the handle instead of using a traditional napkin ring.

The Fan-Fold!                                                                                                                  This easy-peasy fold really does the job and adds flair!   

 You can compliment your color scheme with your napkins! Using a larger napkin will show off the pattern.

 A smaller tea sized napkin (9 1/2 " sq) works too, especially when you want to add a punch of color! 

 This fold is so versatile-you can even embellish it with a sprig or placecard!

And then there is the "Rose" fold!

When you really want to make a statement, this fold is it! And it is SO easy! I made a quick video to show you and you will smack your head and say-She's right, that is so easy!I clipped a few leaves from my rose bush to add to the napkin (silk will do nicely too)Here's a close up!

It's such a small detail, but it sure does make your guest feel special! So while you're putting towels away in your closet, pull out those long forgotten cloth napkins and use them tonight for dinner!Your family will notice!
I will be sharing this post over at:                                            French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest FridaysP.S.All the napkins you see can be found on at my etsy shop! Use code NAPKINFOLDS for a  and a 10% discount. Spend $35 and get a free gift with your purchase!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It's a Mad Tea Party, and I couldn't be happier!

It's a Mad Tea Party, and I couldn't be happier!

In celebration of Lewis Carroll’s anniversary I am setting the table for you! Follow the path through the garden, the white rabbit will lead the way.

Yes, the table is set and the Mad Hatter is no where to be found, but let’s enjoy the party and see what happens!

The white rabbit has found the hat among the books and look, it’s time for tea!

Beautiful butterflies are dancing on our plates, set on the blue and white tutu table skirt.

Rabbit ears hold the pretty napkins at each place setting, what time do you have? It's never too late for a scone, is it! Now let's pour ourselves a cup of tea dear, before the Mad Hatter shows up and disrupts everything!  

Thanks for coming to our tea party! It's always such fun to sit, and sip and enjoy a great story.

 I've shared this tea party in the current issue of  The Tea House Times! Watch for my blog post on their website for the quick and easy instructions on how to whip up those rabbit ear napkin rings.
I'll also be sharing how I made that tutu table skirt :)

                                        Tea party treats created by Chou-Chou Sweets!
                                        White Rabbit  and teapot clock salt shaker from Pier 1.
                                        Mad Hatter top hat fascinator from Disney.
                                        Enchanted Garden tea ware from me-Set to a Tea :)

   Leave a lovely comment below and hit the "like" button on my Facebook page to enter to win a set of Alice's Enchanted Luncheon Napkins! Let me know which detail of the Mad Hatter's tea party you enjoyed the most! Give-a-way ends on Oct 10th so hop on over and enter to win! Good luck!

I'll be sharing this tea party with:


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sharing the last Dog Days of Summer with your best friend!

During the last two weeks of August I find myself counting down till the cool crisp fall mornings!
I also find myself retreating into a cool relaxing spot in the yard where I can enjoy my magazines and a big pitcher of iced tea!
I grab my tote baskets(even my wheel barrow) and fill them with all the necessities and niceties that will make the afternoon a retreat. My new assistant, whom I adopted just 2 months ago, is lending a hand! 

We found a little niche in the back yard where a path leads through the holly trees and oak trees.

This offers some much needed shade and when there is a breeze, the leaves rustle to announce it so we don't miss it! 

I've covered the old glider with a crisp white cotton quilt (easy to wash
 and bleach when needed)
and tossed some pillows from the porch chairs in each corner of the arms.
Light weight nesting tables give me plenty of room to spread out the
 tea things and magazines!
I still love to flip through the real things, how bout you?
I even tucked the porch rug under the glider to keep my toes cool and bug free!

I can spend hours relaxing, reading and sipping in this Secret Garden retreat! 
It really only took me 15 minutes to load up the wheel barrow and set up my little retreat!
I think it took longer to take the photos than to set it up! :) Don't talk yourself out of a well deserved retreat because it will take a few minutes and trips out the door to set it up! You will get so much pleasure out of sitting, just being. It's worth the effort!
I've spent many hours this week enjoying it with my new buddy, Willie. 
In fact, I think he believes it's his new club house! 

Willie is a Malti-poo and joined our family just two months ago. He was adopted from the Mainline Animal Rescue Shelter. He's our first dog, and has adjusted well. As you can see from this photo, he does like to assist me and is quite the ham!

You'll find more photos of my Secret Garden Retreat in the 
July/August issue of TheTea House Times.

Happy National Dog Day! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My hardest working Easter decorations!

I love Spring decor just as much, maybe even more, than the holidays. As the kids have gotten older I find that I'm decorating with a more sophisticated touch too.

Six years ago, while I was perusing Pier 1, I stumbled across these cute nests.
I put the cute ceramic bunny centerpeice back on the shelf and grabbed 6 of these nests!
Ever since, they have become my hardest working spring decorations!

Originally I purchased them as place card holders for our Easter dinner table. Here's a photo of the placesetting.

Each year since, I bring them out on March 1st to perk up my winter blues, and sprinkle them around the house! They peek out of my entry way arrangement....
They peek out of my favorite hydrangea arrangement in the living room....

They peek out of dishes in my kitchen.....

And they peek out of my dining room in my lovely glass hutch

Aren't these nests cute! They are so versatile and introduce those lovely spring colors!
I'm so glad I bought 6! I love to move them around the house and porch and enjoy them till the garden is blooming in June!
Do you have a favorite hard working decoration?

I;m sharing over at 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day and one of our favorite family traditions!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Today, along with donning my green scarf and purse, I am setting a green table!  

Since the kids, now 24, 19 and 15 were little, I set a celebration table for dinner. Over the years it has gotten a bit more sophisticated, less plastic leprechauns and more about color and texture. 
Naturally, I start with the color scheme, that's a no brainer, and makes it easy to build from.  Green can be incorporated in so many ways, especially if you go outside and grab a few clippings

I started with the first layer, a fun and bright tablecloth of green and purple. Very Spring-y and cheerful!
Next I brought in texture and contrast with my willow chargers. I've stacked my white embossed dinner plates on a copper colored plastic charger. The copper color gives me that Irish green and orange scheme I want to highlight. Now I've introduced more green with a cute green and white damask pattern melamine luncheon plate with another white dessert plate on that. Yes, that's alot of stacking, but it gives it such a fun and unique look to each place setting!

I found cute foam shamrocks at the craft store, some with glitter that will be used as placecards. (If only I could have found my sharpie maker before I had to get the photo done, but you get the idea)

Since my son's name is Patrick, we have alot of fun with this traditional dinner of corned beef and cabbage. The "Lucky Leprechaun" comes for a visit and leaves a small green gift bag for each dinner guest! In fact, the best gifts over the years have been dollar store finds of candy- like rollos for "pots of gold" and playing cards for after dinner excitement!

I'm hoping that we can keep this family tradition thriving over the years! What tradition do you share?

Willow Chargers, Green & White Plates-Pier 1
Copper Chargers, Foam shamrocks, Green cupcake stand-Michael's Craft Store
Shamrock plant-Trader Joe's
Tablecloth-Set to a Tea
Tea- Top o' the Mornin' & Mint Chocolate Chip- Set to a Tea

I'll be sharing this over at

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Leading a coffee drinker over to Tea!

I have many coffee drinking friends, in fact I have new friends that own an organic coffee roasting company. So during the course of conversations, with coffee drinking friends and new customers, I am often asked about caffeine levels and what to do when a Doctor tells you to drink less coffee each day.
First, you cannot, I mean come on!, you cannot ask a coffee drinker to go on over the "green tea"
side of things! That is just asking for trouble! A coffee drinker has a deep need for this hot beverage
and the only way to get them over to tea is to keep the tea black and strong!
Here are my 3 favorites to get them drinking more tea after they've had their morning brew.

  1. Manor House Mornings-This is an Assam tea, rich black tea leaves and strong black tea! You can add milk and sugar to this and sip a great cup of tea to keep you going in the morning and pick you up in the afternoon! Steep this for a full 4 minutes, going past that steeping time will only get you bitter tea, not stronger tea! If you need it stronger, add more tea leaves. Start with a heaping teaspoon for an 8 oz mug and go from there. -This is a the general rule of thumb for steeping black tea!                                                                                                                                        
  2. French Breakfast- This black tea has bits of caramel in it for those coffee drinkers who add all those sugary flavored creamers to the coffee. First, lets cut back on those! This tea is heaven without milk but it sure does stand up to it, so feel free to add a dollop when you need to! The rich caramel taste is buttery, not sweet.                                                                                                  
  3. Pumpkin Muffin- I've noticed recently that coffee drinkers have embraced the pumpkin spice flavors! Whether they add the flavored creamers or dunk their pumpkin muffin while they sip, they clamor for the spicy taste! I hear groans around the country when late spring hits and all the pumpkin spice flavored coffees and treats go away until fall!  This tea, again the base is a hardy black tea leaf, has all the pumpkin, cinnamon and spices you need to satisfy those cravings, AND we carry it all year long, because you never know when a rainy August morning can turn chilly!
So, those are my three top tea picks for coffee loving friends! Remember the golden rule, if the tea tastes too weak, don't steep it longer- Use a few more tea leaves when you add the boiling water and let the leaves do their magic! 

You can click on the name of each tea and order some for your coffee loving friends, let's bring them over to the tea side of life!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Teacup Roses, More Tissue paper fun!

Now that you have your Connecting Hearts Placemats done, lets continue the tissue paper fun!
I've made a blooming napkin holder out of light pink tissue paper. The fabric napkin is rolled like a rose also, and placed in the center of the tissue paper.
Do you remember how to make those tissue paper flowers from your childhood? How about a refresher course?  Start with your tissue paper, I used a   6 x  9"  rectangle, 6 pieces stacked together.

Now fan fold it all the way across, I used a 2" fan fold.  Next use a piece of wire or even a twist tie and secure the center.  Trim each end of the fan folded strip with a nice curve. This will create your petals.
Now slowly and gently pull each petal layer on one side towards the center. Repeat this process for the other side. Since we plan on using the center of the bloom, you don't need to pull the tissue paper too tight towards the center. I made my blooms large and fluffy! I wanted them to make a statement!
Here's my placesetting! I love how the rose sits high up on the teacup, and pulls the colors from the floral plate. What do you think? Are you ready to give it a try and add a few blooms to your table? 

I also played with using a bright pink wrapped chocolate for the center. This would be lovely for a Mother's day setting! And how about a pink peep chic or bunny tucked into the center for Easter?
The options are so fun! Which one will you try?

Btw...did you know I'm on Instagram?
I would love to have you follow along.

I'll be sharing this with: