- The sweet taste of air-popped popcorn
- Her strength and radiance, coming in from a bike commute in the rain
- Pieces of a secret project
- New friends, old friends, found again friends
- Yellow daffodils, flickering yellow beeswax candles
- Blue and white and cream china
- Red zinger and cranberry tea punch
- Ice Wine and Coconut Pouchong teas
- Yummy foods - including vegan options
- A collage art card
- Berries and homemade soaps
- Laughter and tears
- Sewing purses, cutting quilt pieces, refashioning clothing, turning handles, knitting slippers, beading, sharing conversation, listening, singing, reading poetry
- Amazing cupcakes
- This poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, an amazing poem of sisterhood
- Summertime from Porgy and Bess and the Rivers of Babylon, sung by beautiful voices!
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
I did a few things differently than the pattern.
- First, my table isn't that big, so I reduced the measurements. Thankfully, I could use the one Sweetcakes made as an example.
- Second, I skipped the rickrack. Don't misunderstand - I LOVE rickrack. It's just that after all the piecing and sewing, I was DONE. Makes me appreciate the orange one even more, if that's possible.
- Third, I didn't use a half and half pattern. The fabric I chose as my dominant one has a lot of white in the background. The DH came to look at my creation, before I sewed the pieced columns together, and said..."Hmmm, that's a lot of white!" He has a great eye and I agreed, so I cut that half in half...now I had four alternating columns, and I liked it better. The white blended.
- Fourth, I haven't made the napkins (yet). But I will!
I'm looking forward to showing off the tablecloth at my She's CrafTEA! event this coming Saturday. In fact, I've been inspired by the tablecloth to go with a blue-and-white china theme. Here, you can see me testing out a few pieces.
To lead up to the She's CrafTEA! party, I'll be featuring crafty things all week. Enjoy!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Don't know the name of this one (do you?). It's not hyacinth, but it sure is lovely!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I visited some friends at a local nursing home recently. The wife is in the nursing facility, and the husband visits her every day at 4 pm, to have afternoon tea. They were proud to show me their newest tea passion - a black spice tea that was very good indeed! (They'd discovered "large leaf" tea sachets.) They keep a hot pot in the room to boil the water for tea. They enjoy a cookie with tea and talk about the day's visitors and events. It's a sweet, sweet, sweet story.As I was preparing to leave, they asked if they could recite a few poems for me. I was honored to listen. This one captured my heart. Let me set the scene...they looked at each other, eyes misty, a loving energy surrounding them, and recited:
The soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
Lets in new light through chinks that Time has made.
Stronger by weakness, wiser [we] become
As [we] draw near to the eternal home.
On the Diving Poems (1686), Edmund Waller (1605 - 1687)
To learn more about ourselves and how we relate to our elders, I recommend the book Another Country by one of my favorite authors, Mary Pipher. (She wrote Reviving Ophelia.)
I prepare to visit my grandparents this weekend, both in the nursing home. They are blessed to have lots of family nearby, and regular visitors. They share a room. There's a funny irony in their circumstances. My grandfather's body is in pretty good shape, but he'd rather sleep than do anything. My grandmother gets frustrated by what my grandfather could - but doesn't do. Her body has worn out...yet she'd love to be in my grandfather's position to go DO something. They suffer, and yet they laugh and tell jokes and enjoy a piece of chocolate.
While I visit my grandparents, I plan to share that Waller poem with them. I know that, as is natural and whole and holy, their bodies will soon let go completely. I also know that love never dies. My memories of them will remain, and I will carry their love in my heart.
I celebrate my 36th birthday this weekend; my grandfather celebrates his 91st. Happy Birthday, Grandpa!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
We also enjoyed a vegetarian version of Cock-a-Leekie soup, minus the cock, of course - so it was potato and leek soup.
For the scones course, we had Irish Soda Bread Scones. The recipe is in the recently-released book Celtic Tea with Friends, by Elizabeth Knight. (I adore this book, by the way.) I changed the recipe a wee bit to use whole wheat and honey, instead of white flour and sugar.
We had a very simple dessert, Dolfin chocolate with Konacha green tea. Wow - very good! I've had other Dolfin chocolates with tea, and this is my favorite so far.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
My party will be like an open house. I'll be doing crafty stuff from 11 - 5 and have invited friends to join me whenever they can. I'll be serving afternoon tea, buffet style, at 3.
Won't you join me? If you're interested in holding your own She's CrafTEA!TM party in the future, I give you permission to use the name. In return, please write about it on your blog and link to mine. I'll provide a link in return. And your party doesn't have to be like mine - it can be whatever you envision. In addition, if you're working on crafty projects this month, I'd love to provide a link to them, as well.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The story is about Annie, an 8th-grader. Annie convinces her parents to allow her to work part time in the teashop that she adores, run by her grandmother. (Grandma Louisa is my favorite character - she's a hip gal!) Annie and her gal pals (the Teashop Girls) struggle through growing pains, crushes, and manage to rescue the teashop from demise. It's a sweet and touching story. Given my recent discussions about positive-message books for girls, I give this one a thumbs-up. It gives a fairly accurate depiction (as I remember it) of the struggles of middle-school, while allowing the girls to work things out and be the heroines.
Now back to those scones....
Since this is a relatively new book, I'm not going to post the recipe (staying true to my recipe attribution policy). However, you can find the recipe for yourself if you check this book out from the library or pick it up at your local bookstore. (It would make the perfect gift for a middle-schooler in your life.) I replaced the sugar with honey and used skim milk instead of half-and-half. And they were so yummy!
If you've read this book, please leave your thoughts on it here!
3/17 update - check out the Tea Pages' review with this author! Go here.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
- It's a paradox. I really like the books. Yet I do have concerns, too.
- Bella is far too wimpy for my preference. She's presented as clumsy and insecure. True, lots of girls her age identify with that. And yet, I would have liked to see her represented as a stronger lead. (BTW, I found the movie Bella to be more to my liking than the book Bella.)
- The love story transcends logic. That's part of what draws me to the book. I like fantasy, and tie that up with vampires, and I'm a gonner. I just love vampire books! So for me, this story caught and kept my attention. However, others have criticized the love story for being too out there. Obsession, not love. I don't have an issue with this part of it. It is, after all, a fantasy.
- Bella gets pushed around by the boys. This was distasteful to me, even while caught up in the reading frenzy. Edward can be very bossy, and so can Jacob. She immediately takes on the role of the house-daughter for her Dad. Here's a criticism from Sue Corbett, a children's author."Bella is constantly in need of getting rescued. She moves in with her father and immediately starts cooking for him and doing his laundry. She's on track to go to an Ivy League college, but doesn't because of Edward. It's the exact inverse of what I'm trying to teach my daughter." I wonder if that's why they have Bella and Dad eat out in the movie. Stephenie Meyer counters by encouraging readers to get through the whole series. "The thing about Bella is her story isn't finished yet."
I'm going to finish out the series, and I'm certain I'll enjoy the last 2 books. If I had a daughter, I don't think I'd keep her from reading the books. But I would have some girl-power conversations about Bella's choices. That's my 2-cents. Will you share yours?
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Monday, March 02, 2009
I am fortunate to have been raised in a time when the way for women has been pretty easy. I grew up under Title IX sports. Even though I didn't play sports in high school, I had girlfriends who did. I grew up always thinking I would go to college. I've always thought I was just as smart (often smarter) than the boys. In some respects, I've had it pretty easy thanks to the hard, hard work by women (and some men) who've gone before me. The question is this - Is that enough? What about the women who come next? What about my niece? There is much more to do. Because even though I've had it pretty easy, I have experienced discrimination and other messages that say "you can't" because I'm female.
I think that's enough for today.