Friday, July 25, 2014

Christmas in July Garden Tea

Merry and Happy Christmas in July to you!

Our niece stayed overnight last night - always such a pleasure.

The weather has been so perfect - temps, blue skies, nice breezes.....
that we decided to set up a pretty holiday tea table
 in the garden and have ourselves a lovely garden tea to celebrate!


I grew up in a summer vacation lake town so celebrating
Christmas in July is a big many families that live together
in the summertime never see one another in it is a time
that many folks decorate their cottages and/or boats
and give out cards and gifts.

Years ago when I managed a clothing store up there
I talked Corporate in California into understanding how important it is in that area.....

And they allowed me to play Christmas music
and have special holiday signage with sales.

I did well at that store.  : - D
Good times.

We picked a pretty and shady spot under two trees
with pretty dappled light.

I've had three teas this week so had extra yummies leftover,
which made it super easy to do it this time.

Scones with clotted cream, lemon curd and ligonberry jam, yum.

We brewed blueberry tea for her, and I had coffee this time around,
I really needed a strong jolt after this non-stop week!

We had iced water in the goblets but hadn't filled them when I took this shot.

After teatime we played some games
 in our covered porch in the background.

She learned Rummy, we played Skip Bo
 (a family favorite for nearly 20 years), and also
Spot It and Banana Grams......all good for our brains.

If  you are looking for good fun easy brain games
these are three of our very favorites.

(This pic is the way my game looks, it's "old school.")

Look what she did with the letters of that game
and took this picture for the blog!

 I simply dolled it up Christmasy with PicMonkey.

I think she and I are both feeling quite festive today!

I wish for days like this to  never end.....
but I know right around the corner
 is the time
she won't want to do this with her Aunt Shell anymore.

But until then  I shall savor every moment with my
 sweet, pretty, fun and helpful teatime niece, Reagan.

Love that dimple!

July 25th, 2014

As always, thanks for your visit!

Merry "Christmas in July" to you and yours!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Birthday Tea for Marina

I had a birthday tea for one of my dearest tea "sisters"
 on Saturday afternoon, honoring Marina.

I tried to make it a girlie old-fashioned outdoor garden tea....
but it was super dark and dreary and raining
so I couldn't have it outdoors in our garden,
 so I attempted to carry the theme indoors.


To "ground" the place setting with a little more interest
I used vintage linen pink and ivory dinner napkins.

I adore their pretty embroidered edges.

I used two matching two-tier trays on either end of the table.

You will note I don't have teacups on the table.

I filled an extra large pretty floral tea hat box
with carefully wrapped vintage teacups as their second favor......
each guest to choose one to unwrap to then use for the tea, 
 and eventually take home.

I used the teacup idea
 because I wanted to use this china my guests had never seen
 that includes dinner plates, bread plates and soup bowls,
 but unfortunately no teacups. 

Unfortunately I didn't get a pic of either the hat box or of the teacups themselves.
  I sure wish I had someone else (not a guest) following me around taking pics of things
 because I never seem to remember when I am knee deep in serving.

These are the hand painted garden flowers glasses I used for the initial Welcome To My Home drink- which was a concoction I made up of
kiwi-lime fizzie juice with 7-Up and some fruit.

(And some vodka for those more adventurous.)

This pic was taken before they arrived before the drink was made. 

It was a pretty light sage green colour.

The soup bowls I used for salad and for the soup I used my 
Depression green cut teacups and saucers. 

(Photo courtesy of Mary D.)

I forgot to put in the mandarin oranges
 and didn't include mini cream puffs on this printed menu
 but did serve them. 

(Next came the scones, no pic though.)

NO calories allowed or served at my afternoon tea parties!

(Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)

You can't tell from the food pic but under the pink and brown paper
 for the brownies is a cute teapot print.

I simply tied the silk napkins
 with a little pink paper rose wire tie to make napkin rings.

I attached pink rose and tea- themed name tags
 on a little plant wrapped in a paper doily
as a favor for them, along with the teacup.

Five of the ladies stayed overnight, as they live 3.5 hours away.

We had pizza and fun snacks and watched the BBC version marathon of
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE - the one with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.

We didn't finish until 3:30am, haha.

I wish I had a pic of the set-up my husband surprised us with
 up on the landing.

(I think it is now official Party Central when we have sleep overs!)

There was a card table with pizzas and a big cooler
 full of every kind of drink-close to our upstairs tv room
 and easy to grab when needed but not be in the way!

L-R front:  Dina, Marina, Pam, Karen
L-R back:  hostess, Dawn, Mary

As always we enjoyed one another's company.

I hope you enjoyed my sharing Marina's special tea day with you.

Thank you for your visit.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Potting Table Before / After

Greetings and apologies my sweet friends!

I am so sorry to have been so long absent!

Life has been busy and I have been busy living it!

We've been doing lots of entertaining,  
home improving and have been doing
a lot of working - all keeping me away 
from Blogland, the place I want to be the most!

Today I have a simple before and after for you.

Our potting table gets a lot of use and it was looking kinda bleh.

Forgive it's state as is, but I'm keeping it real.

Usually it also has plants on it but on this day
I was ready to plant so the vessels are there.

As you can see it has no sides, back or front 
to hide all the icky bits and to keep stuff from falling when
I get rambunctious and push too far.

Hated stuff falling behind, because this bench table
is all wood and really heavy to move!

Here is the before:

This potting bench was stained to match our hot tub
 which we sold years ago.

It was looking shabby, faded and worn... 
and since we ("we" meaning my husband) were painting the entire
outside of the house I thought it time to spruce up the table, too.


Here is that wonderful man on a super hot day
preparing the new sides after he had painted them!

He wanted something that could vent,
because sometimes we use chemicals
(nutrients and occassionally organic disease help for the roses)
and he didn't want anything to combust getting too hot.

The back of the house is full west and gets HOT!

Here is the prettier after:

She is still a busy working horse, not just decorative
But I love love love her new sides and back wooden lattice work!

I am contemplating a skirt in front but it gets wet and gets moldy that would be gross - 
so I think I may leave as is.

Doors that open and close could be nice, though....but 
I don't want warping, either.

Maybe wood and chicken wire? But will that be too busy
with the latticework?

I can't decide, so left like this, but do invite opinions. 

(Even you, Vee!)


Sometimes the little things
really kinda feel like big things.

(Thanks, husband!)

As always, thank you for your visit!

I promise I will  be catching up
 on all my missed blog reading this week!

Hugs and prayers!



Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Lil Red, White and Blue


A dear friend of both my daughters - Sarah
 made these for us and they are so cute
 I just had to share with you all!

Here's another peek at last year's July 4th
 holiday patriotic tablescape...
in case you forgot. : - )

Regardless of the Boston Tea Party
I still drink tea.  

I hope whatever you do and wherever you go
you are happy and safe.

Be sure in your busy weekend you take a moment to reflect
and give thankful prayers
to those who gave and give us our freedom.

Home of the Free
Because of the Brave!

God bless America
God bless YOU!

As always, thanks for your visit!



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Garden Party Entertaining -Emporium Style!

Summertime is in full swing - 
and so are the pickins' at

If you haven't popped in for a while
here is just a sampling of new things 
that will delight the summertime
 garden party host in you!

Set of 4 brand new garden salad plates!

2 fine china English salad plates -violets

There's lots of lovely items for your home there,
 hope you pop on in soon and see!

Thank you for indulging me.

As always, thank you for your visit!



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Monday, June 30, 2014

Watching Fireworks

Last year you may remember 
my crazy husband and niece/god daughter
 watched our little town's fireworks on our rooftop.
(You can revisit that post here.)

 Our town's fireworks are a week ahead of July 4th, 
as we have an annual street festival. 

On the last night they shoot off the festival's end fireworks.

As we live just minutes away as the crow flies
 one may watch the fireworks from the backyard....
or used to be able to, as our trees have gotten very tall.

So those two crazy brave goofy loved ones of mine
 climbed once again to our roof to watch them.

(I went into my office and safely happily read blogs.)

Here is The Blue Hour without flash
 so you can see how high up they are as they prepare
 for the Sky Eye Candy.

 It had just rained earlier so the roof was wet.

(I know they are absolutely nuts, right?)

He's holding onto her tightly but just yikes.

Adn because I insist on getting more than a few pics to choose from my goofy hubs of course has to throw up gang signs to make us laugh.

            2014                      2013

Some things never change.
(At least I hope not.)

As always, thank you for your visit!