• "Watermarking Your Images"

    Why you should use a watermark...
  • Throwing a Tea Party

    The most important element of throwing a tea party is to have fun and enjoy yourself with your guests. If you spend a lot of time trying to make things perfect and then it doesn’t go according to plan, you might view your party as a failure and be unwilling to do it again someday. Also, when you’re relaxed and not worrying about tiny details, your guests might consider having a tea party too. Remember that the hostess sets the tone for the party, so put on a smile and heat the water...it's party time!
  • Pairing Teas with Your Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner or Dessert

    A delicious tea can enhance and bring out the barely noticeable flavors of food similar to wine. When you’re in the process of trying to decide which tea compliments which food, it’s okay to experiment and learn from your own experience. To begin, choose your menu and then try different teas…in today’s world, tea parties are no longer limited to a particular menu…your tea party can take your sense of taste to a whole new level…you may even want to serve several different teas so that your guests can learn to appreciate the subtle differences in the tea that's available today. We live in a time when there’s so many choices, we hardly know where to start. Hopefully my blog today will give you a place to begin…
  • Planning Your Tea Party - How to Host a Victorian Afternoon Tea Party

    In this day and age, we can find all kinds of occasions to plan a tea party. It may even be no occasion at all! I've designed hats for Bridal Tea Parties, Downton Abbey Teas, Flapper Era teas...wherever your imagination can take you...you can have a tea party to celebrate it ! Afternoon tea is a wonderful ritual that brings beauty and grace into the life of your family and friends. There is something uniquely gracious about the etiquette and manners we bring to afternoon tea that recaptures the romance of past ages. Henry James wrote, "There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as an afternoon tea." Afternoon tea was invented by Anna Duchess of Bedford (1783-1857), one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting. Anna was quite fond of taking tea and petite-sized cakes in her boudoir during the late afternoon hours. Many followed the Duchess' lead, and thus the ritual of afternoon tea was birthed.
  • What to Expect When You're Invited to a High Tea?

    I found "High" tea to be a very confusing term until I did a little study. Now I realize that it actually refers to the height of the table. It's usually served on a dining table...so essentially "most" reference to "high" tea means that in our American lingo, you've been invited to dinner.

    When you receive an invitation to a high tea, due to the confusion of terms, the best indicator of what the hostess intends is to note what time the event is to take place.
  • A Cream Tea Party

    I actually remember the first cup of tea that I drank when I was 10 years old. I was spending a week at my grandmother's farm and every morning she made herself a cup of green tea to go with her oatmeal. I must have been looking wistful as one morning, she offered me a cup of tea. I hesitated and then said "yes, I'd like to try it." She made my tea and told me to wait for it to cool a bit. I took a sip and shivered...it wasn't what I was expecting. Grandma must have been watching my expression because she took the cup and added some milk and honey to it. I tasted it again and it was delicious! I've been drinking green tea ever since, however as a grown up, I learned to enjoy the taste without the milk and honey. There are some who still like their tea with sweetener and milk.

    Hostessing a Cream Tea is definitely the simplest tea party to put on. This tea is generally offered as an afternoon tea, but can be used any time you have the ladies over and want to offer a simple yet enjoyable tea.
  • Edwardian Hat "Green Apple Crystal Fairy"

    My "Crystal Fairy" designs will work for almost any scenario that you can imagine! Sandy chose "Green Apple Crystal Fairy" to wear for St. Patrick day of fun and croquet.
  • Time for a "Light" Tea Party

    When I was a girl, I loved it when my mom would bake cookies and a make me a cup of tea...I never thought of it as a tea party...just a very special time to savor. It was always very short...maybe 10-15 minutes, but just long enough to say mmmmgood and enjoy the pleasure of holding the warm cup of tea (with a little milk and honey) in my small hands.

    A light tea is what we in America would call a coffee break or mid-afternoon snack. It can also be called elevenses, a tea which is taken at 11 o'clock. Similar in nature to our coffee break, it's a simple snack with tea and tea cakes or tea breads, meant to be quick for the working class.
  • Black Tea ~ the most popular tea in Britain!

    When I was in college back in the 1970's, I drank my first cup of Earl Grey tea. It was delicious. I'd been raised on Red Rose Tea (which I still enjoy today), but it was exciting to me to learn that there were all kinds of teas to discover. I remember being surprised by the aroma and then the bold taste of Earl Grey and looking forward to my next cup. Much to my surprise, this wasn't a tea that could be easily purchased at any grocery. I actually had to search for it and was soooooo thrilled when I found it at an import market. This was the beginning of my love affair with "TEA"! Since then, I've discovered so many wonderful teas!

    Black teas overshadow all others in British tea culture. The most popular of them all is Earl Grey, which is said to have been named when Earl Grey saved the life of a drowning Mandarin tea merchant (or his son, depending on who you ask). This legend is entirely untrue and mildly humorous, considering the facts that Earl Grey never set foot in China and early Earl Grey was made with Indian and Sri Lankan (Ceylon) tea. Earl Grey’s distinctive taste comes from the addition of the essential oil of bergamot citrus fruit. Its popularity comes from the old belief that it would quell any “improper impulses” that tea would otherwise encourage in young women.
  • High Tea and Etiquette

    For many years, I associated holding the pinky pointed up from the tea cup with good "ettiquette". I was really surprised when I learned that this was considered an insult, by both the hostess and the guests. There's a lot to learn about how to present a high tea that will be both memorable and enjoyable. Please keep reading to learn "how high" you should raise your pinkie when holding your cup.

    In high society during the Victorian Era, the main point to remember regarding high tea etiquette was that you shouldn’t mention it around proper ladies, lest you scandalize them. (If that came as a shock to you, read High Tea vs. Low Tea
    . If you want to know about pinkies and all that, read Low Tea Etiquette.) At that time, “high tea” had a low enough reputation that many people of wealth took a meal that was remarkably similar to “high tea,” but referred to it as “supper and tea” and other euphemisms to avoid associations with the lower classes. At that time, the other main point of tea etiquette was punctuality. Tea, like much else in the whistle-clock world of the Victorian working class, was set around a very rigid schedule.

    Today, high tea etiquette is the same as that of any British meal. Do not speak with your mouth full or prop your elbows on the table, as both activities are considered to be very rude. Avoid making eating noises like slurping or chewing loudly. Do not leave your utensils on your plate until you are ready for it to be cleared. It is usually served in the home, but if you are eating out, you should be very polite to your servers. Always say “excuse me,” to get their attention and thank them when they bring you food and drink. A tip of 10% is customary, unless it is built into the cost of the meal. (If it’s built in, the bill will say “Service Included.”)

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