Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday Monday....

Good Monday morning,
After 4 days of rain...we are greening up quite nicely. Spring has officially sprung with the blooming of our redbud! Paul planted this tree almost 20 years ago! One of the really neat benefits of staying in a place for a while is getting to see your landscape mature. I love anything that blooms, so we have magnolias, hydrangeas, peony of all sorts, and many perenials. Our yard is a challange as it slopes in many directions...up-down-sideways-left-right...well, it is interesting. We have deer and rabbit and raccoon, so we get our stuff eaten on a regular basis too. I have several Hawthorn bushes that I have never seen bloom, they are always eaten!
A bit of our back yard taken this morning with overcast sky, rain predicted for most of the week! You can see the slope of the yard. In the foreground is an arbor and I have a wonderful climbing rose that I planted last spring that is really beginning to take hold and CLIMB, you can't see it in this photo, but I will show more of that rose later in the season. Lovely pale pink blooms that go on all summer! IF the deer don't get 'em.

One last post-Easter "deal" from Crackerbarrel no less....This "vintage" bunny was just $3 and the 8 "photo holders" (I will use they for place card holders or banner barers)...4 chicks and 4 bunnies cost $2.

This is a Johnson Brothers pattern that I love and found at Homegoods for just $9.99, can you believe it? How do they do it? I also got a lovely matching covered sugar bowl for just $4.99. I love the shape of the handle on this teapot and it is a nice size for company and I am thrilled to own it! I have about 50 or so teapots in my "collection" and they are displayed all over. I have about 100 bone china cup and saucer sets. I am ready for tea and "taking it seriously"!

This is a new addition to my tea cups, although it is not bone china, it is too sweet with the birds. Found it on sale at Anthropologie.

I saw a tulle wreath on a web site and I thought "I love it, I could make one of those!" So got the ring and 4 rolls of tulle and began tying the tulle onto the wreath....well I needed 4 more rolls to finish. 8 rolls total at 25 yards a roll! Friend Debbie helped or I would still be it is done (see below)

Grandson Zion came for a sleep-over Saturday. We had a great time eating out, going to a movie, going to church, eating the midst of all this fun he also took a bubble bath and called me in to see his gotee (sp?) His dad has one, so now so does Zion!
Gotta love those boys.
Have a great week one and all.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Post Easter catch-up

Family gathering around the chips and dip
Matt and Jacki getting the buffet all set

A "traditional" Easter meal of enchiladas, tacos, rice and fixins

Of course, the traditional SpongeBob pi~nata Here is Zion taking a swing

Some of the tots lined up for their turns

That is not "ketchup".....

What a lovely day Easter Sunday! The weather was totally perfect, a bit cooler than Saturday, but warm and sunny. Paul and I went to church, then home to make tons of enchiladas and out to the Fuquay family festivities! Matt and Jacki have a large home with lots of room, which is good because not only did they invite our whole family...which, including them totals 15, but they invited several other families and friends bringing the total to over 30....they did a great job. Now it is back to just living, but spring is here, Paul mowed the lawn on Saturday for the first time. He also did some "patch" grass seeding as we had some bad spots due to the house being empty while they repaired it after our fire. A port-a-john sat on our front lawn for 8 months...what a big mess that left! We also had tons of ants and ant hills. But now, after 3 years....icannotbelieveithasbeen3years!!! more ant hills and the yard is slowly coming around. I am home puttering today, it is nice to just tie up loose ends and enjoy our house. We have tried to sell this house and for some reason, it didn't sell. I can tell you now, I am glad. I love this place and am attached to it. I would have moved on, if that was the case, but just as content to stay put. I do have some projects to work on, that is for another post.
Here's a great spring banner I found after my spring tea....but it is ok, it looks nice now too. Oh, see the painting on the mantle? I just propped it up there to see how it looks and guess what. I got it at the Dollar Tree! buck.




Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring Tea

Welcome to Happy Spring Tea at my house in Cary, North Carolina. This friendly bunny is full of lovely blue and white pansies shouting "Hooray for Spring!" Fiona is waiting at the door to greet you .....
And the tulip wreath just screams SPRING!

Hope you are hungry and thirsty, pick your teacup from among the spring bouquets of flowers

The table is set, Fiona is waiting....

I created a Spring Tree (see yesterday's post) in honor of the occasion. Had fun making tags, mini banners and butterflies and dragonflies too.

Another view of the spring can see out the back windows, the trees in our yard have not gotten any leaves, but our red bud is glorious....don't think I got a shot of it tho.

The table is set, the tea is made...we are having Cream Earl Grey and a lovely Peach with flowers with our first course and scones and savories. We will enjoy a Carmel Black Tea with our sweets. Our first course is a cold avocado and cucumber soup with cheese straws. Scones are cream with home made lemon curd and mock devon cream and strawberry jam. Savories are a ham and cheese tart on puff pastry, mozurella cheese roll with pancetta and basil on toasted baggette, cucumber on thin white bread, egg salad on pumpernickel rounds with tomato garnish.

The "soup" was delish

All gone

Here's Joyce and Linda and the empty chair is for YOU....Cheers!

The 3 tiers of Teatime. For sweets we have a rich chocolate mousse in a chocolate cup garnished with whipped cream and fresh raspberry, a chocolate caramel tart, mini pound cakes, and a French cookie, which I have forgotten the name of.....I am worn out and it is after midnight as I write...will remember the name and let you know, they are very good with tea.

Here's Risa's extraordinary article at our tea table! Risa is officially famous.

Everyone gets a goody bag with a teaspoon and a little flower notepad, plus I made the bags and even the "filler" is homemade.

I am pretty sure you can click on these photos to get a closer look at everything....I see Fiona got in another photo above...she is sly. We had a lovely time, thank you Risa for thinking of this great idea. I enjoyed getting together with everyone and now that I am done posting, I am going to look at everyone else's tea parties!
tts(taking tea seriously)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tea Prep 101

It is time to slow down and smell the roses...or daffs...or pansies...whatever...just enjoy the process. Having a tea party is all about F*U*, I am having a ball! This is what my kitchen looked like around 3:30pm today.....making sweet little pound cake in flower-shaped molds...will ice with thin powdered sugar
Below are some of the "rejects" which I will share with family on Easter Sunday ....taste good, just aren't as pretty.

I dressed the chairs in sage green pillowcases (king size), then folded over the excess and tied with ribbon and stuck in a pretty rose!

Here's my "Spring Tree"...ala Martha Stewart Christmas....I made butterflies and dragon flies with my Sizzix, then stamped tags and made little banners that say "Happy Spring"

Used more of the roses for a topper.....I like it!

Got the table almost all set, looks very pretty I think....

Happy Wednesday everyone,

I am in the throes of happy teaparty mind is racing in 10, groceries, table-ware, silverware, teapots, tea cups and saucers, 3-tier server...doilies....lemon curd....on and on...of course the mandatory home tidy-up. I am going to take a few photos, so will stop here and come back after a bit....
As you can see, I have been busy. Took lots of pictures, most will be shared tomorrow, hope you can "join" us for tea...1pm eastern time.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Hello everyone,
Since St. Patrick's Day falls on the Monday of Holy Week this year, the Pope declared last Saturday, the 15th, the day to observe St. Patrick's day this least for the Roman all us other folk can enjoy the "wearin 'o the green" two days this year! Paul did his parade thing on was perfect and the whole day was excellent. We were downtown Raleigh at 7am to set up....didn't leave until after 4pm (Paul left at 5) we were totaled. I even got sunburned on my face! (I didn't know what it was at first, duh!)
Today I have our corned beef and cabbage cooking in the crock pot (since 7am) so should be good and tender by 6!
Am beginning to get my head together about the Spring Tea this Thursday.
Trader Joe's had some interesting items....I will make a great cold soup for the first will be posted later this week....of course I will make my FAMOUS SCONES, lemon curd and clotted cream! Who knows what else...I am getting a big excited about it actually....
Will post more on the tea as the day draws nearer!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Random rambling

Hello my friends,
My laptop has at least one virus....maybe many more...legion, in fact. So, I am feeling a bit pressured to do as much as I can before the monster overtakes me and the laptop just shuts down, which it as been doing on a regular basis. So, here goes. I am going to do a Hello to Spring Tea on the 20th. Tulips, violets, pansies, hyacinths (sp?), very green grass.....that's the theme...the menu will be some of my favorite tea goodies....lemon scones, curry chicken rolls, strawberry butter sandwiches, mini chocolate mousse tarts, chocolate dipped strawberries...and more to be added as I fill in some blanks....oh, feta cheese tarts! Since Risa picked the 20th, and that is a weekday, I don't know how many of my dear friends I can actually invite...but you are all cyberally invited. (is that a word?) I have decided to do another Bunco party this month too, but am waiting until after Easter and Spring break too.
In case you are wondering....this is a soft-boiled egg in a bright pink plastic egg cup. I ate it all up. It was good. I took 10 photos of this dern egg....none of which showed the entire egg, why is that? Well, so much for my contribution to phtotgraphic art!

Now, what else to say? We took two of our grands with us this weekend to Myrtle Beach. Had a lovely time with them, hope we made some good lasting memories, that is my goal. I just hope they will be talking about me 50 years from now! I love my grandparents, had some wonderful memories and will never forget has been 37and 1/2 years since they passed away...just 12 days apart in June of '69. I miss them still. Memories are all we really have to take with us....go make some




Wednesday, March 5, 2008

winsome Wednesday

Hello friends,
A bit melancholy as my man Mike is out of the race for real. Ah well.
I am thrilled to be participating in a Spring Tea with the very famous Risa a woman whose talents, creativity, energy and style I admire greatly. She is all the way out on the "other" coast....way across an entire continent, but through the miracle of the Internet I discovered her! I am not-so-famous, but it is very cool to be able to vicariously attend her events and "visit" with her on her blog! So I am planning a big/intimate tea.....let's see....the menu...the guests...the theme...the location....lots to plan! BUT FIRST.........................I have to do some much needed yard work. Yesterday I bought a good rake and lots of pansies. Rake first, plant second. When I was a girl, my family lived in a very neat old house in the middle of Kansas City, MO. There were two glass green houses on our property which my grandmother Beulah operated and the whole side yard was filled with wonderful perennials. East Side Gardens was the name of the business. we grew bedding plants in the greenhouses....tomatoes, geraniums, pansies, petunias, marigolds.....from seed. All of us worked in some fashion or another on the planting of those millions of seeds either by making the tar paper pots, using a dibble board to make the holes for the seeds, mixing the potting mix, filling the flats, pounding the potting medium down flat and even with one board....watering, fertilizing....lots and lots to do. The week before Easter, my Sunday School Teacher would come to the garden, buy a flat of pansies and take them home, re pot into individual containers and on Easter Sunday, give each of us girls in her class a pretty pansy to take home....I loved getting that pansy.
One spring evening brought a very powerful storm to our area (Kansas City is very familiar with high winds and violent tornadoes) this storm also brought golf ball size hail, which broke or damaged every single pane of glass in both greenhouses and that broken glass, in turn, broke or damaged almost our entire spring seedling inventory. Within 10 minutes, all that work, all that money, all that time.........lost. But the memories, forever in our hearts.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tea Time

Hello everyone,
Got a catalog in the mail this weekend from one of my favorite places to shop for clothing...JJill and look....they are using a tea-theme for this spring launch! I am thrilled to see two of my favorites together, kinda like match-making in a way....kinda. The front cover has doilies, which is a BIG HINT, pretty clever of them....
Inside the catalog are layouts that are very subtle but way cool, I love what they did!

Great job JJill....
Now, let's see is there anything new? Yes. Was inspired by my friend Bonnie's bedroom and decided ours looked a bit winter-ish, so headed on down to my favorite store of all....Target. Love the Shabby Chic line....bought a douvet cover and a new comfortor for our bed, really brightens up the whole room. Sarah said it didn't look too feminine...but she said the fabric-covered letters spelling the word DREAM was a bit foo foo....and I quote: "poor dad". I really don't think he minds. I asked him and he said he didn't.