Saturday, April 12, 2008

Stitches-for-Tea...

A Tea Tidbit:
"In 1908, New York tea importer Thomas Sullivan sent out samples of different kinds of tea, each of which had been sewn into little, individual silk bags. Some customers mistakenly made tea with the little packages. Soon many people were complaining when the tea was not in the tiny pouches and the tea bag was Invented."

~A Little Cup of Tea~
I thought I wasn't going to get to play tea party with La Tea Dah at Gracious Hospitality this week! She really stumped me with this weeks challenge ~ Stitches-for-Tea! This week are to share ideas and pictures that involve stitching for the tea table. Any kind of stitches count: sewing, embroidery, knitting, crochet, tatting, quilting, etc. The work can be yours or of someone else, but should be homemade rather than done by factory machines. Ideas are napkins, tea cozies, table linens, and other creations made with tea themes.

I could only think of one thing I had that would fit but it is done by a factory machine! I had to peek around the blog block at the other posters to see what they posted but didn't feel quite up to Vee's cleverness of crafting something just for this post. Then it hit me suddenly, I'd showcase my best friend's handiwork! She has made me some amazing pieces and we have had tea parties with them and she just gave me four new pieces on Tuesday so I even created a tea party just for me so I could show you her fantabulous stitches-for-tea!

Before I let you take a sneak peek at all my lovely gifts from her I have to tell you a little about her. Her name is Pam and she is one of the most precious people God ever made! She has been my friend and mentor for going on nineteen years and she along with our other amigo, Sharon, introduced me to Jesus. You can't have better friends than that!

Pam is a very talented artist. She paints, draws, sews, does all kinds of needlework, including crochet and tatting. AND she rides a Harley! How cool is that? She has an equally talented husband who is creative and inventive and hold your hats girls, romantic, he writes her poetry! She has traveled to some amazing places and has the most fabulous collections from all over the place, plus all the stuff she makes. My daughter loves to hang out at her house and considers her and our other friend, Sharon, to be her other moms. (She thinks my friends are cool to hang out with and gets miffed if she is not occasionally invited to hang out with us!) She said she hopes to able to create the atmosphere in her own home that Pam's has. Pam's style is eclectic and fantastic! There is always a spirit of welcome in her home and love lives there. She is my flea market buddy and the best thing about her is that we laugh together all the time over everything. We have shared our tears, our hopes, and fears, but mostly our joys. One of our frequent things to share is tea!

One time she tried to teach me to crochet and tat, huge disaster! We sat side by side on my couch, she was very confident that I could learn. We had our little hooks and yarn and I learned to do a slip knot thing and I could do a really good chain! It was when you got to the end of the chain that I got really confused and ended up making this little lumpy squiggly thing that was suppose to be the beginning of a simple doily. After her making me take it out and begin over and over, with sweat dripping off my brow, I begged her to let me stop. She had mercy on me and relented.

We took a break and then we changed to tatting. I got my fingers all tangled up in the thread and poked myself about twenty or so times in the very tender spot between my thumb and finger with the shuttle and I never could get all those little knots right. I resorted to needle tatting and had some moderate success with that but my drill Sargent er teacher was not pleased as she wanted me to learn how to use the shuttle. (Pictured below is my first and probably only tatted piece, its a little lumpy and wonky but lovable don't ya think? I'd show you my crochet piece from that session but dear friend that she is, laughed so hard and managed to gasp out between fits of laughter, "What is it?", that my strangely formed green thing has gone into hiding and refuses to be photographed!)
And here is my attempt at butterflies and blooms:She took me to lunch at the home of a precious older lady in our church. They ganged up on me and decided that I would most certainly learn to crochet. After a delicious lunch we commenced to crochet, or at least they did, I just didn't get it. Exasperated, they gave up. Mrs. Martha declared me hopeless and I tarnished her record. I was the very first one she was unable to teach! Ever since then Pam has had mercy on me, although she does periodically threaten to resume our lessons, and she makes me wonderful pieces. Lucky me! Not exactly incentive to learn, hee hee! (I may be in trouble after she reads this post, I feel another lesson coming on!)For an apple blossom tea party I used an old linen table cloth with apples and apple blossoms appliquéd on each corner. You can see the irregular hand stitching around the piece. I had forgotten that I had this piece which was picked up at an estate sale years ago. (I didn't have any apple blossoms so I used Hawthorn Blossoms for the center piece. These are also sometimes called May Blossom and they match the ones printed on the appliqué!Here are some place mats and napkin rings she crocheted. She made me a set of four! You can use the napkin rings or you can use the stem on the place mat to hold napkins, so clever! I keep thinking I need to make some green napkins and fold them like leaves to tuck into the stem sometime. I used some of my Arcoroc French glass apple shaped saucers and cups, which happened to be a gift from Pam also, and combined them with some apple shaped dessert plates with apple blossom cutouts on the underside, which were flea market finds. A spicy apple cinnamon tea is perfect for this tea party!
The apple shaped glass bowl resting on another of her creations was also a gift from Pam and is perfect for serving some fresh apple butter to slather on fresh baked scones! Sugar cubes are tucked into a red wooden apple, a flea market find, which is perched upon yet another of her crochet creations.Pam, the table is set are you ready to party?

On Tuesday I stopped by Pam's after getting my really good news and she had a gift waiting for me! I decided to showcase them by creating a little tea just for me! She will be sharing the spotlight with our other friend, Sharon as both their handiwork takes prominent place in this cozy curl up setting!
Wouldn't you just love to curl up in the big over sized comfy chair and wrap up from the spring chill with this gorgeous cross stitched throw? This throw features an abundance of pink roses and satin pink ribbon bows and was a labor of love done by our friend Sharon. I dropped in on her one day and found her making it. She said it was for one of her daughters. I oohed and aahed over it, little knowing that she would change her mind and give it to me, making another one for her daughter! This is one of my most special treasures. (What can I say, they love me almost as much as I love them!) After sinking into the chair and being blanketed in a bed of roses you could sip a warm bit of spring with a fresh berry flavored tea served up in a cabbage leaf cup by Peter Rabbit himself ! Peter was a gift I gave myself when I adopted him from, yes, a flea market! Other finds pictured are the basket tray, the small vintage flower book, the fruit motif spoon, the hand painted tea bag holder, and the dainty purple pansy place card holder, which is holding the berry flavored tea. The open book pictured in the background is a favorite of mine. It is entitled , The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, by Edith Holden. This book is a naturalist's diary for the year of 1906 in which Edith Holden recorded with words, poetry, quotes, and beautiful illustrations in watercolor the seasonal changes in flora and fauna of the English countryside.You could also admire the little pot of posies, which happen to be original tatted designs by my friend, Pam! I perched the dainty blossoms on chenille stems and put them in a bit of floral foam in the tiny pot and tucked in a bit of pink grass. I want to wear them as pins! I have some great old buttons and will glue them to a tack pin back and put it through the middle of the flower and I will have an original and unique broach! Perhaps if I look pitiful enough she will make me just one more so I will have a set of four as I might want the pin them to ribbons and tie them around napkins for rings! For now they will remain a little pot of posies!Perhaps while you are sitting there sipping, admiring the flowers, and perusing one of the beautiful books, you will be lucky enough to have a special visitor flutter in! Isn't this butterfly exquisite! The detail is incredible and I love the brilliant color! Pam said she had a pattern for this one. I just love all the swirls and twirls of the wings that give them a feel of movement! Perhaps by chance you will be even more blessed as you sit all alone yet snuggled and surrounded by love and the handmade things by special people that have made your life a little brighter and a little sweeter and most certainly better!
Thank you hardly seems adequate to say to two of the most important and special people in my life for making my little spot in the world a better place. For all the tea times we have shared, I think they were stitched with the finest of threads, the threads of love.

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

P.S. I was unable to get my sign up post done for my 100th post give away as I will be out of pocket for the weekend, so pop back over on Monday for the festivities!

17 comments:

Sweet Necessi-Teas said...

What a lovely post! I enjoyed your stories and the handiwork of your friend. Thanks for sharing!

Scrappy Jessi said...

what lovlies today!!!
nice treats.
and girl you are a talented little needle worker.
darling
oxoxox,
jessi

Natasha Burns said...

What a beautiful post, and you friend Pam sounds wonderful!

Cindy Is Crafty said...

I love the little posies in the pot you made. How cute!

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

What a wonderful post and your friends sound so sweet!
Penny

Stephanie said...

Such pretties ~ I especially love the Bunny tea for one teapot! What precious memories of your sweet friends! Thanks so much for sharing!

Stephanie
Angelic Accents

Scooterblu's Whimsy said...

Miss Sandy, was just checking in on everyone today and saw where you had left a message about your grandmother, on Vee's blog. Hope she is recovering well! You are blessed to have such good friends as Pam and Sharon! :)

Hope you have a great weekend! I left you a longer message on your post about Dr. Chi!

~Rhonda

Lori said...

Miss Sandy, your stitches for tea are so beautiful...your friend sounds fun as well as amazingly talented...the basket you have out for your tea is quite sweet too:) and of course i loves the bunny!!!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

So enjoyed reading about your dear friends and seeing all the gifts that you've received from Pam and Sharon. Perhaps the best way you could thank them is to learn to crochet. ;> So many long for a teacher and you have TWO!

bluemuf said...

I love the beautiful handmade treasures your loving friends have gifted you with. An apple bloosom tea...so pretty. And, your bunny tea pot is fantastic.

thank you once again for a very lovely and uplifting post.

Hugs Karen

La Tea Dah said...

What a perfect post! I don't even know where to begin! Firstly you thought you had nothing to share; but then you discovered so much to share and it was wonderful! Your friends, Pam and Sharon, are very special friends and a blessing from above! How neat that you share so many fun times together and it's frosting on the cake that they make so many pretty things for you! Thanks so much for sharing and blessing your readers with the joy of friendship and tea!

LaTeaDah

Carrie said...

I enjoyed reading and viewing the photos of this charming post.

Storybook Woods said...

Oh these make me want to crochet. Just beautiful. Clarice

kathi~lavender, lace and thyme said...

I really enjoyed reading your post this evening, what wonderful friends you have, thank you for sharing them with us. I would love to learn how to tat, it's such a beautiful lost art. I haven't done much needle work for years, perhaps you could try cross stitching, that is easier :).

Mary Isabella said...

This post was just the medicine I needed after last week. Everything is so beautiful and soothing. The music is so calming to the nerves. I adore the blue butterfly. Butterflies are one of my favorite thing. I would love one in red. I think you could use that for all the Summer Patriotic Holidays. Thank you for stopping by to check on us. He had quite a lot of pain yesterday. Today the pain is better but there is numbness to his foot and ankle. But as I said they had to remove some of the muscle and that may be the cause of the numbness. We are calling the doctor in the morning to check it out. Thanks for continuing to pray for us. Smiles Mary

Charli and me said...

What a lovely post. You sound like a very blessed lady to have such wonderful friends. I love all of your little home made things. What great memories you will have when ever you use them.

Knitting Mania said...

I was so thrilled to see your apple plates and bowls. I have those too!! I've collected them through out the years from yard sales, vintage shoppes, etc. I just love to entertain with them, so fun!!!

Great post!

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