Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pondering My Future In Tea...

On the brink of a new and hopeful year, I do have some sad news to share, and seek some advice from my tea loving friends... Something's been "steeping" in my mind this last month, and I wasn't sure how to address it or what, if anything to say.

I've been an Independent Tea Consultant with Let's Do Tea since March of 2009... not terribly long, but certainly long enough to fall in love with the product, share it with many, many of my friends and family and become very invested in my own little side business. First and foremost, I really love this tea, and I love to share it with people. I'm not a "sales" type person; I just liked it so much I felt compelled to spread the word... The last couple of months especially, I feel like I hit a comfortable stride, happily hosting tea parties almost every weekend.

Unbeknownst to most of us consultants, things were a'changing over at the home office in Texas. On December 2nd, I was SHOCKED to discover an email from our President, Meredith Tieszen, informing us that Let's Do Tea would be ceasing operations today, December 31st 2009. Really? Wow. You could have knocked me out of my chair with a feather...  Apparently the economy has hit our business hard, and the company didn't want to further raise prices (as they did January of 2009) or further cut consultants commissions (as they did in April 2009). To say I didn't see this coming would be an understatement. I was stunned, as was my friend and mentor Mary . We've only seen our business growing, not declining... but there is always more than one side, so who knows. A month isn't very long to wrap up your business, make contact with all of your customers to see if they'd like to place any orders to stock up on their favorites before the company closed... especially in the most financially draining (not to mention BUSY) month of the year for most families... December. Ouch.

At any rate, there have since been some changes and Meredith has decided to keep Let's Do Tea going, but as an online sales company only, which is good for the customers who enjoy the tea, but bad for us consultants left with a big investment on our part, and few options to continue to grow our businesses. We could buy the tea wholesale (if we have a business license) and move forward in that direction, but unless you have an actual brick & mortar store or tea shop, that isn't realistic for many of us. I'm glad that Meredith has found a way to continue the company and secure a future for herself and glad for my customers who now find themselves unable to cope without their daily cuppa. But frankly, I'm not as happy with what's left to us. I really hate to sound like sour grapes, but I made an investment in Let's Do Tea. I put a lot of my time, money and energy into this business knowing not to expect to make a profit right away (and I have not) but rather over the years to come, all that I've put into it would come back to me, and maybe a little extra too. Not to mention the friends that I make along the way... Much to my dismay, that isn't going to happen with Let's Do Tea. I'm really trying to see it as "nothing ventured, nothing gained" and "it's business", but its a bit of a hard pill to swallow...

So, now where do I go from here? Another Tea based home sales business; Tealightful Treasures has graciously opened their doors to us displaced Let's Do Tea consultants and offered us a place in their company. A wise move, as there are hundreds of active Let's Do Tea consultants with tea drinking customer bases already in place. Charlene Phillips the Founder and CEO of Tealightful Treasures, seems great, I have had the opportunity to sit in on a couple of conference calls with her as we decide to make the transition or not and Charlene seems genuinely happy to have us, and understands that its like starting all over again. Tealightful Treasures is going above and beyond to accommodate us and make us a part of their team, for which I am grateful. I feel like I already have one leg over the fence, yet I feel hesitant... I have put so much into my tea biz, I don't want to see it go...'s another risk... should I or shouldn't I... I don't mind saying that I enjoy being known as a "tea lady" around here, hehehe... it's kind of fun! But it really is starting ALL OVER. New product, new inventory, new everything...

I'd love to hear your advice and thoughts. Have you heard of Tealightful Treasures? Are there other tea companies out there? I'm just one person, I've never run my own company so I'm very open to any advise more experienced business ladies may have to offer.

As I've sat here writing this blog, the FedEx guy delivered a great big box... my last order from Let's Do Tea... (biiig sigh) what to do?

With a tear in my tea,

p.s. Gee whiz... what a buzzkill. Please let me add before it's too late, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Let's Hear It For The Boys!

Yeah, let's give the boy's a hand...

Ha! Now you'll have that song stuck in your head too. I heart 80's pop.

I hope you all had a holly-jolly Christmas! Mine was faboo, I still can't believe I finished everything in time! As some of you may know, I vowed to hand make all of my Christmas gifts this year, and I'm so happy to say that I did it!! It was a close call, let me tell you what. I have so much to share with you all, but before I do, I wanted to share something that I received this year which brings me back to my blog title, d'oh! There goes that song in my head again!

I love it when guys get crafty! I've been a fan of Dudecraft for a while, we gals should encourage our menfolk to get crafty more often. I think lots of guys are brimming with creativity, but don't know how to express it. Cool stuff happens when guys get crafty, this for instance, look what I got!!

Heeeheee! Don'cha love it?!? Here, let me turn the lights on so you can see it better...

(Eeegads! Please ignore the scuff marks on the wall. I had no idea they were there until I saw this pic on the computer. Guess I need to move my blanket trunk...)

Isn't it awesome? My friend Arlen made this for me, I just love it! I work with Arlen at my full time job in new home construction. One day last week when I got to my office, this beautiful present was glowing softly on my desk. It was early and still dark, even without the storm that was brewing outside,  my whole office was a glow! Arlen is such a cool guy, he made all of us gals in the office one of these goodies, each one different. He came in extra early, plugged these in at all of our desks, then snuck away like Santa Claus! We were like kids running into each others offices to see all the different styles. Arlen is so thoughtful that he even brought us all a new extension cord in case we didn't have a plug handy. What a guy!

Have you guessed what it is yet? It's a glass block that they make shower walls and decorative windows from!

Arlen used a special glass drill bit on one side, made a hole just big enough to feed through a string of multi-colored Christmas lights, plugged the hole with some kind of gromet, tied it with a gorgeous irridescent red ribbon, added a sweet ornament (mine's a kitty cat) and viola! A beautiful glowing gift! I have never seen this type of thing before, I think he's brilliant! I LOVE when an ordinary object is made into something extraordinary!

I love my glowing gift! I knew exactly where I was going to put it when I got it home and I've had it plugged in at all times (when I'm home of course, safety first!) since they day I received it. I think it's positively neato!! Sean thinks its pretty neato too, I've caught him standing in the hallway gazing at it at least 4 times which makes me giggle.

Thank you ~ thank you ~ thank you, Arlen!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Changing up a bit...

Hi All~
I'm trying to find a new look for this blog... that peuce color wasn't doing it for me... I want something kinda neutral, but with a kick. Does that even make sense? Hmm... I thought not. Well, if you see some changes around here, don't fret... I'm just testing things out.
Wish me luck,

p.s. Any suggestions for cute, easy to use blog template websites?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sneaky Peeky

Hello Beautifuls,

Here's a little sneaky-peeky at something I'm trying like heck to finish before Christmas, it's for my brother and my sister-in-love.

I can show it to you all because they don't read this blog, you see... But if you happen to be in Wilseyville and run into them, let's just keep this between us, shall we?

It's going to be a pillow, a quilted pillow! Hello, quilted?!? From the girl who's just learned how to embroider a few months ago!  The design is Hawaiian, it's the 'ohi'a lehua flower. This hand-quilting stuff (like so much else recently) is brand new to me, it's so cool! And OMgosh, so much work!!

Side (and probably rather lengthy) Note: This year has been a banner year for me as far as crafting/sewing/needle work and blogging. I've tried so many new things this year, and love them all. Deciding what to spend free time on these days is a doosie! I'm sharing this in the interest of full disclosure because recently someone (a real life someone, not a blogland someone) told me they didn't believe I was as new at all this as I truly am. At first I didn't know how to take that, and was a little offended. But after having some time to reflect, here's what I've come up with. I've always felt like I was kind of crafty, but my Mom is super crafty, creative and artistic (as was my Dad). My Dad was a draftsman (the old fashion way, no computers. He died when I was 12 and Greg was 10... my Mom was only 29. My Dad needed a new heart & lungs but he passed away before a match was found. He was 31 years old.) and my Mom was a homemaker. I love them, a lot! They are without a doubt the biggest influence in my life, to this day. Which is as it should be. I don't think there's anything my Mom is bad at... and everything she attempts looks expertly done, even on the first try. Only thing Mom hasn't managed... "teaching" me. I'm not sure why, we butt heads. We're too much a like I think. She says I always want to do things "my way" (hehe... anybody else got a daughter like that?)  But I DO and HAVE ALWAYS learned from her, loads in fact! Like how to be creative, how to think outside the box, how to make something from nothing, the value of things well made, and that love should go into everything you do. Money was pretty tight for my family when we were young, my brother and I never wore the latest fashions, and didn't we have the newest toys. Don't get me wrong, we were definitely spoiled in retrospect, but not with the usual junk. We were loved, and valued. Our parents invested in us, time, attention, imagination, patience, and experience. I learned a great deal just by observing them in thier normal everyday ways, especially their attention to detail, Mom in her sewing, and Dad with his maticulous drawings. I think what I'm getting at, is that when I do/make/try something new, I'm always thinking of my Mom or how she would do it, (WWMD!!!) so I do it all the way, and to the very best of my ability. Time, just like money is an investment, so if I'm going to pour myself into something, I'm going to do my darndest to make sure it's as well made/pretty/tasty/perfect as it can be. So, here in my mid 30's (late bloomer, no?) I'm finally teaching myself all the things my mom tried to show me when I was younger and so much more stubborn. Thanks Mom. Sorry I was such a brat. I'll really listen this time if you want to try that tatting thing again :o)

So what I'm really trying to say to you all, is this; as I start to explore more and more of what has always interested me (beautiful handmade things), I'm still experienceing a lot of "firsts", so you'll probably read that alot. Please bare with me as I share my novice excitement with you. I assure you I really am just learning all of the things I blog about, which is why I'm so excited to share them. I am very open about the newbie mistakes I make, the things I've botched and I will always be open to tips on how to do things better. I like to look at it like this... with me, what you see (or read as it were) is what you get. I really am a dork, I really get excited over small things like tea, my dog when I get home from work, being able to do a pretty lazy daisy stitch, a ride on my scooter, a pepper I grew myself, a good song on the radio and all the rest of it, swears. I think Popeye said it best, "I yam what I yam." And most day's I'm pretty happy with that...

Ok, I'm coming down from the soapbox now (grinning cheesily). So! Getting back to that pillow! I saw it in Martha Stewart over the summer, see? I instantly thought it would be perfect for Greg & Apryl. Their relationship really started in Hawaii and they were married there almost 4 years ago. It was magical, there was a double rainbow in the sky when they said their vows. We think it was our father, as well as Apryls dad... magic I tell you. They love all things Hawaiiana. Why I thought this project would be a quick 'whip up' is beyond me... this stuff takes a lot of time!! I think I'm about 1/2 way through, and I'd venture a guess that I've spent 10 hours so far. At least. Applique and echo quilting are no joke, people! I can't wait to see how it's going to end up. I'll share more (and better quality) pics as I get further along and inch towards completion. Christmas is only 11 days away, eeek! I gotta go, lots more echoing do!

Hope my soapbox wasn't to dreadfully soapy.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Just a quick hello...

Greetings Y'all!

Hope all my friends in blog~land are happy little elves dashing here and there and making holiday cheer! Hey, that sorta rhymes! Hmm, well not really, actually.... It's been very busy here at Casa Leggett, tonight I'm making candy pretzels to share with the bunco girls tomorrow night, yay bunco!! The picture isn't great since it's from my phone, but you get the idea. In person, they're much sparklier. So I'm taking a break from my toiling (snickering, hehe) to do some blog-o-phoning :o)~ Ahh, cell phone, how did I ever once live without thee?

And speaking of "sparkle", I know I'm a little late getting to this, but I can't skip it, I just can't! Who's seen New Moon?? Come on... I know you're out there... I wasn't the only non-teenybopper in that theater, that place was jam packed with ladies of all ages! Sooo, whad'ya think?? Likes it? Loves it? My vote, LOVE! So much better than Twilight. The production value alone made it a better film, but whoa, the acting has improved, alot! I'm still Team Edward...I think... but darn that Jacob is a cutie! Meow! Oh, I mean woof! Woof-woof!

Anyhoo... I have lots of crafting to share as soon as I have 5 minutes to sit down, even something to do with the above mentioned... oooh, hint, hint Ana!! Check back soon!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why, thank you ever so...

Paulette, this one goes out to you!

Wow, you are such a nice lady! I wish we lived closer than 2,884 miles apart. I'd rush right over after work so we could have a hug and some tea and some gossip and a giggle. I'm so glad that you liked everything that you won, and you wrote such a beautiful blog about it, what a doll you are!

You've made my Christmas spirit come alive today, thank you!


p.s. Thank you Graphics Fairy

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello all you Beautiful Bloggers!
I'm wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving filled with as much love and contentment as possible! As well as turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie, and every other goodie we are so blessed with in such abundance today!

I can't wait to share with you all the wonderful trip we had last week and seeing my niece graduate from boot camp, I still swell up with pride when I think of it... check back soon! Ok, it's back to the kitchen for me... tata!

All my best,
~ Lisa

p.s. Thank you for the clip art Graphics Fairy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

And the winner is....

Drum roll please...

The winner of my very first giveaway is...Paulette!! You've won some Blueberry Bang Tea, yay!

Thank you all for your kind comments and well wishes on our anniversary. It was a great weekend that we had to ourselves down in San Jose... I wish I could be that spoiled every weekend!

Today was a lovely and crisp fall day here in Nor Cal, the sun was shining and all the animals joined me in the garden to pick a winner for the tea giveaway, I don't think I've ever introduced these guys to you. They are my babies... my little critters. Yes, I'm one of those people.

This is Lola, my girl dog. The youngest member of the family, she's 5 years old. She was watching a hummingbird with such intensity when I took this photo, I don't even think she noticed me. Usually she looks right at the camera and smiles! I'm not one to brag (ahem) but Lola is the most beautiful dog to ever walk the planet earth. Swear. I could blog all day - every day, about Lola, I luv her. Whatever Looola wants, Looola gets...

This is Butch, or Butchie-boy, or Sausage... he's a tubby little guy. He loves food, and he works those puppy eys like no other. He's very spoiled (they all are), and such a sweet, sensitive little soul. He loves his daddy, Sean is his very most bestest friend ever. He is about 8 years old now. I want to clone my dogs. They say you can now for about $50K... that sounds reasonable to me.

This is Chyna-cat Sunflower. She's faaaaat. So soft & so skeeshy. Like a furry bag of jello. She's the youngest kitteh. My mom gave her to Sean for his 30th birthday, she was a tiny white fluff ball back then. Inside of a gold gift bag with pink tissue paper, cutest thing you've ever seen in your life. As she's gotten older (she's 8 now) her colors continue to deepen, she reminds me of a bowl of melted Tin Roof Sundae ice cream. That probably doesn't make sense to anyone but me... I'm weird that way. She's a cuddle~bug, but only on her terms! She'll sit next to you, nay lean into you, and you may pet her and scratch her head, but don't, I repeat don't try and hold her. She gets very indignant about that. Sometimes I do it just to watch her have a hissyfit because it's so funny. Oh... was that out loud?

This here is Egypt. He's the old man of the bunch -14 years young, and more spry than all except Lola! I've had him since before I met Sean, that's a looong time. He's definitely the boss, and all the other animals know it. He still loves to play, and he loves to be carried around and kissed on. He's like one of those hard old guys that's really a teddy bear on the inside. Lately, his favorite thing to do is find a sunny spot and snooze... I wish I were a cat, that sounds good to me too.

There you have it, my fanimals. I love them too much for words... Really, it's a miracle I haven't brought them up to y'all before, they are my life. In fact that's why Sean and I work full time, to provide these four a cushy existance... it's true.

Hope you've all had a wonderful weekend! Eaaaaarly Tuesday morning, Sean and I, along with my mother-in-love, Kathleen, and our niece Ana are getting on a plane and flying from sunny California to St. Louis, Mo then driving down to Ft. Leonard Wood to see our other nieice, Alex (Ana's sister) graduate from boot camp of the United States Army, we're so proud of her. I miss her dearly, haven't seen her in 9 weeks! I'll make sure to take lots of pictures and share when I get back. This is my first trip any farther east than Texas, I'm excited to see St. Louis. We're going to visit Gateway Arch. Oooh, it's high... hope I don't chicken out!

This is Sean and I and Alex the day she left for the Army, I held it together until after she left, then I cried like a baby! I can't wait to see her!!

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A-Tea-C Card Swap

Hi Everyone~
Recently I had the oppurtunity to take part in an ATC swap, for those who don't know what an ATC is (as I just learned myself), it stands for Artist Trading Card. These ATC's are pretty neat , they're tiny pieces of art! The same size as a baseball card, just 2 1/2 " x 3 1/2" total. You're only limited by your imagination. Angela, one of my favorite tea bloggers over at Tea With Friends put a spin on this idea, and hosted an A~Tea~C card swap. How fun!

Angela drew partners for us, and I was lucky enough to get Donna from My Cup of Tea as my partner. Her package came in the mail first, look what I got!!

What a wonderful goodie package! Isn't it fab?!? Along with the A-Tea-C's (which are the burgandy & black card on the left, and the black & white card in the center), Donna also sent me an adorable handmade Halloween card, another pretty ATC card with a tiny little purse on it, a pretty beaded fob, and a Tea Cake! It's so darn cute, you can't see it very well in this picture, but it's a flamless candle that's paper-deco'd into a little cake! I've never seen anything like it. I loved everything, thank you Donna.

Now, for a bit of a confession. I... don't know how to paper craft. Not even a little.  I know people who do this, people who haul around steamer trunks full of 10,000 kinds of decorative paper and chopping devices, a hundred different bladed-scissors, hole punches of every imaginable shape, size and description. I've seen that corner of the store at JoAnn's and I avoid it. I need another hobby like I need a another hole in my head. To a newbie, this scraping stuff is a little overwhelming. Tiny bobbles and brads, cute bits of this & that, and everything looks like it has a specific purpose or should only be used by professionals or at least someone who has a vague idea of how these things are supposed to come together. I felt sooo out of my league. Ehhh... I'm scr'd! Ok... 1, 2, 3 - plunge!

I did some sketches of what I thought I might like my A-Tea-C cards to look like, but had no idea how to execute what I'd drawn. I knew I wanted both of them to be totally different from each other. Of the three ideas I had, only one came out remotely similar (and yet better than I'd hoped and produced in a completely different way). On to the task at hand! Shortly after sitting down to start this project, this is how my work surface looked. I felt like I was in the middle of a full on craft blitz! Madness!

Here is my very first paper craft, and ATC card. I called this one "Pret~tea in Pink". I started with the pink paper in the background (which incidentally, I just remembered I used at my very first tea party) Then I stamped & embossed in gold, a cute teapot & creamer pitcher. Next I added the felt letters and the tiny iridescent teapot and tea cup stickers I found at the scrap book store. Lastly, I added the little fabric tea cup in the lower left corner. I used this fabric to make a table cover for my garden over the summer, I had some left and I thought it would be cute to embroider over some of the printed designs and use them somehow in this process. I think this came out all right considering it was my first go and all. What do you all think, is there hope for me?

This was my 2nd A-Tea-C card. I like this one best! This was similar in design to what I'd imagined, but different. When I sketched this, I thought it would be a small water color painting... truth be told, I don't really paint either, so who knows how that would have come out. I decided to "go with what I know" -- I embroidered it!! I called this one "Sereni~tea".

I started by finding the Japanese symbol for "tea" online, printing, tracing (backwards!), making a paper transfer with my new handy~dandy transfer pencil and transfering the symbol to the fabric, then I emboidered over it. Don't look too close, again, there are some wonky stitches.

Then I cut from felt, the shape of a small tea bowl, a sliver of brown tea, and the very vague shape of a fortune cookie. Sean said the cookie looked like a squashed, beige PacMan. Whatever. I pinned them to the fabric while still on the hoop and embroidered them into position. I felt like it needed a little something extra over the tea bowl, so I added a whisp of steam.

Next, I removed the fabric from the hoop, cut it to size, and then picked out threads from the top and bottom to create a tiny fringe. Lastly I glued the fabric to the ATC that I'd covered in a decorative paper which had a water color effect... not that you can tell, but I knew...

The very last thing I had to do was add the blue ribbon  you see at the top & botton, this was out of necessity, not design. I probably shouldn't point out my mistakes, but... when I stuck the fabric to the card, the darned glue bled thru, I'm glad you guys weren't here... a minor freakout ensued. I should'a used double sided tape... Ah well, maybe it needed a little bit of something else anyway... I delicately glued a thin blue ribbon to the top and two very carefully trimmed pieces to the bottom on each side of the cookie so that it would like all one piece.

There you have it, my first A-Tea-C cards. All ready to go to Mz. Donna! I made a little bag from the left over fabric as well so that the cards wouldn't be sliding all over the place while in the mail. You can never have too many teapot covered, drawstring bags, right? I hope you liked them Donna :o)

Once I got my imagination fired up, I wanted to keep going! Angela, thank you for putting this swap together, it was so fun. I think we should do it again!!

I'm sure I did that first one all wrong... but it's small, cute, pink and covered in teapots, so it can't be all that bad. I have a whole new respect for you paper crafters out there! Oh yeah, a question for you paper ladies... how the heck do you set those tiny embellishments? Tweezers? Man, you girls are coool.
I'd love to hear what you all think, or any tips you have.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

1 Giveaway! 8 Years! 25, actually 26 Posts!

Dear Blog~
I know I've been neglecting you these last few weeks, I've just been so busy you see. The living breathing world takes so much time and energy that sometimes at the end of the day the tank is empty and there's no power left in my little filanges to punch out a blog... even a pipsqueak blog. But, with great relief it's my pleasure to confirm that, at least for me, absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. I've missed you blog. I'll do better. I promise. I love you blog.

Hi Bloggie Peeps!
I've missed YOU most! I've met through the blogesphere, "e" and "snail" mail some of the most lovely people since I've begun this blogging adventure. Tea lovers, crafters, artists and and down right, good ol fashion great folks. You've been ever so kind and encouraging, and I just want to thank you for all your comments. As I looked back through what I've written I was a little startled to realize that I've written 25 blogs already! Wow. I always knew I was a bit of a chatterbox, I confess I do have a tendency to ramble, but I didn't know I had that much to say, and to be honest I feel like I'm just getting started. Heehee, what fun! So in honor of my 26th blog (a scouche late, just like me) I have a little giveaway that I'd like to present to you all. 

This here is a tin of one of my favorite Rooibos Teas from Let's Do Tea. It's called Blueberry Bang! It's tea-rrific and oh-so refreshing. Delicious both hot AND iced, and caffine free, so it's great little treat during your late night blogging sessions. Oh, is that just me?

I'm also including a cute little bookmark and a few other little goodies that are sure to make any tea lover smile! You'll love this tea, everyone does. All you need to do to enter is leave me a comment on this post (which is a doosie, I admit, and apologize in advance). If you post a link on your own blog, I'll throw your name in the hat twice! Easy peasy! I'll end the drawing at Midnight (Pacific Time) Friday, November 13th 2009. Post, post away!

Now for some catching up! Whew, can you all believe that it's already the end of the first week of November?? Holy moley! Where have the last 2 months gone, seriously, it's a blur. Since my last post of Oct. 18th a lot has happened. I served tea at another craft fair, my husband and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary, our neice turned 5 years old, we snuck away on a mini vacation where as always, we squished a lot into a small amount of time, my sweet, sweet baby brother turned 33 years old, and my beautiful sister-in-love has a birthday just this next week, shoe! I'm beat, but dang, these are great things to be so busy with! Get some tea and a comfy chair folks, this is gonna be a long post!

Where to begin? Hmmm, let's go by date, shall we? On October 20th my wonderful husband and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. I love him more every year, but gosh it doesn't seem like that long. It seems like just last weekend I was teaching my best friends how to fold napkins for the tables at our reception... very fond memories. I think this is the most singular reason for my love of autumn. The colors, the weather, the birds making their way south in the skies over the harvested wine vineyards that surround my town... it all reminds me of that day. We were married in a beautiful backyard out in the country that was surrounded on all sides by grapes. Wait, I'm getting mushy... hoooonk. S'cuse me, I hadda blow my nose. Thank you Lord for sending him to me :o)

This is Sean and I on our big day, and a picture of the prettiest wedding cake ever, in my lil ole opinion.

So, this might be a little weird... you tell me. I've kept the top layer of our wedding cake all these years. I know, I know... you're only supposed to keep it one year but back then I thought, well, two is better than one, so what the heck. I just wrapped it up and stuck it back in the freezer... and left it there... for 8 years. We've moved three times. I just keep packing to the next house. I think we took it out if the freezy on our 1st and 5th anniversaries and now our 8th. I think our baker did a great job, when we unwrapped the cake it had a tiny bit of frost, naturally, but once that was removed, the cake smelled great! It was soft and spongy and looked like it was made yesterday, swear! Even the frosting didn't look that bad. See...

Ok, well maybe it did look a little smooshed... but it smelled nice. I was being all firm and practical-like, and said this was the year it was going to go. Eight years is long enough, it's going in the trash! Then I chickened out and wrapped it up and put it back in the freezer... It's happy there. I'm happy it's there too, weird or not.

The next event was our nieces 5th birthday, she's a cupcake. Thinks she's a princess...seriously.
Here she is in her Belle Birthday Ballgown.

Ooh, a new tea set! I wonder who that's from??

A new princess outfit. Mulan this time. I think this completes her collection. She has every princess outfit Disney makes, no joke. But isn't she a doll?

Next up was a craft fair I did in Stockton on Oct. 24th... here's a few snapshot of my booth. This was a fun event, but I think I'm going to focus more on home parties. More fun, more time to chit chat, and as I've said before, I am not a sales person, and I almost felt like I was hawking something instead of just sharing tea...

Next up was a trip that my darling husband planned all on his own, whata guy! On Oct. 30th we left for the bay area, he had arranged a room in our favorite hotel, the De Anza in San Jose, and bought tickets to a San Jose Sharks game, go Sharks! This is what was awating us when we arrived in our room... Chocolate truffles and champagne!! Weeee!

Look, he even bought me a new jersey to wear, #20 Nabokov!!

What he didn't tell me until the night before we left was that he'd also booked a second night at the hotel and some time for me in a spa!! His anniversary gift to me. Awww! So on Halloween afternoon, we were driven to the Plum Spa where I was pampered  with a hydrotherapy session, an hour massage and where Sean and I both got pedicures!! Heehee! He's never done that before, it was his first time. I think he liked it A LOT. Later that night back at the hotel we was remarking on how shiny his toenails were.
 Here are a few shots from the Plum Spa website.

 So, as if this wasn't fun enough (and you're thinking, seriously, there's more? --Yes, there is.) Sean took me to tea!! Yipee! I've wanted to have tea at Lisa's Tea Treasures since the first time I visited and I could only browse because we were so pinched for time. It was all I could hope for and more. The food was fantastic and the service was excellent! There were even two young ladies having tea that afternoon dressed as Alice and The Queen of Hearts. It was Halloween after all, and let me tell you. San Jose-ians really get into the spirit! People were dressed up all over town, it was great!
Here I am experiencing tea bliss...

See those bikers behind me? Yes, bikers- real ones... in a fancy tea shop... with doilies.
Variety is the spice of life!

Mmmm... The scones were AMAZING! (yes, I was shouting just then)

Sean is such a good sport... he didn't take tea, but he was very patient and spent some time reading the latest letter from our niece, Alex who's at Army Basic Training in Missouri.
His patience was rewarded with a new Mazarati.

This car was on display in Santana Row, where the tea house is located. Neato!
So after tea and a couple of leisurely hours perusing the shops in Santana Row, we popped into Rosie McCannes for some live music, a quick beer and some deceptivley strong garlic fries (which were the only thing that haunted us on Halloween, oofa!) before our last stop for the evening...
A Halloween Flashlight Tour of the Winchester Mystery House!
So fun! Gosh that place is huge, and easy to get turned around in... you think you know approx where you are during certain points of the tour, then you step out onto a balcony and look out over the vast roof lines and realize that not only were you not where you thought you were, but you also have no idea where you are currently. It's weird. Not scary though - bummer. I wanted to be scared, but I wasn't. Oh well... it was a really neat experience being there at night. They had the garden open for self guided tours as well, so we roamed around and checked out the grounds at our own pace. They had people giving out Trick or Treats randomly through out the garden, it was great. They only do night tours a few nights a year, Halloween and every Friday the 13th. If you ever have the oppurtunity to do it, I recommend it.

We had ambitions of hitting the town for some Halloween fun after our tour of the mystery house, but we were throughly pooped. They say on the house tour alone, you walk over a mile inside the house. I believe it too. So instead, we ajourned to our room and retired for the evening. This was the first time in my adult life that I wasn't at home on Halloween handing out candy. This was decidedly better. Plus, I didn't wake up on November 1st to find my pumpkin smashed all over the street infront of my house like I have the last two years, bonus!

So, this my friends is why I've been away from my blog so long... I've been a busy girl. There's been crafting going on in every spare moment too, but I can't share that stuff yet... it's super secret Christmas (gasp! it's almost here!) stuff.

I will share my A-Tea-C swap cards soon though... As soon as my partner, Miss Donna gets her package! Those were a kick! Tomorrow I'm off again to the mountains to visit my bother and his family for some belated (his) and early (his wife's) birthday celebrations! The fun never ends around here!

Ok, folks... sorry this was so very long. I had good intentions of keeping this post as short as I could... but you know what they say about good intentions.

Love to all,

**Don't forget, post a comment to win some fantastic tea from me!**

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fall Boutique

Wow, it's Sunday at nearly 10pm, and I'm finally just sitting down to write this post. Whew... hold on, I need to go fetch myself a cuppa.... Ok, now I'm ready! In case anyone is interested, tonight I'm drinking Eggnog Rooibos Tea. Deelish!

Last weekend I was asked to present and serve tea in Elk Grove, CA not too far from where I live in Lodi. This event was to showcase direct sellers such as myself (I do Let's Do Tea, check it out, it's wonderful!!), Pampered Chef, Salt City Candles, Cookie Lee etc. I served lots and lots of tea and met some wonderful people.

Something I find interesting as I do more tea parties, I've observed that people who love tea, really LOVE tea, and those who don't - can't be bothered. There don't seem to bee too many folks on the fence. People who love tea, dive right in, taste, sniff, ask lots of questions and really seem to enjoy themselves. Others simply say "I don't drink tea." and keep on walking. I can't imagine not liking tea. What's not to like? Maybe people who don't enjoy tea have never had a properly made cup? I admit that bad tea can be pretty bad, perhaps it was too bitter, or over steeped fannings (tea dust), or it had no taste because the water was never hot enough to steep the tea properly in the first place... But would that be enough to turn someone away from tea forever? I'm not sure... I'd love to hear your thoughts, has anyone else experienced this?

Anyway the party was great! We were all asked to bring something to put on the snack table for hungry shoppers, this was my contribution, Lemon Souffle Rooibos Tea Cake. Sooo good! I made the little sign to go along side the cake the morning of the party, I'm glad I did! I had several people ask me about the recipe who might not have otherwise popped by for a chat.

Here is a picture of my tables (I accidentally cropped it and didn't save the original sized image, d'oh!) The runners that I made last weekend worked well for me, I was able to quickly sort and search my teas for folks who were looking for something specific. I think I need a larger table though, my tins of tea always seemed in danger of falling overboard.

This was the small tasting station I'd set up on the hostess's gorgeous granite counter top so that people could sample the various teas I made through out the day. I should have waited until the tea finished steeping before I snapped the photo, that way there wouldn't be t-sacs hanging out the tops of the pots... but you get the idea :o)~

This was a fun event, I'm so glad that I did it and am really excited about the craft fair participating in this next Saturday, October 24th! It's at the Stockton Ballroom from 10am~5pm. If anyone happens to be in the area I'd love to see you there!
Time to turn in, tomorrow it's back to work!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Music, music, music...

I have music!

Have I ever told you of my love for music? Oh yes, I'm a fan. Big Time. I've visited other blogs that have music quietly playing in the background but I couldn't ever figure out how to add that gadget (I'm still learning), but today? Success!

So I have a few tunes picked out, you can see which songs on the gadget thingamajig down at the bottom of the page. I hope you like them too. I have it set low (I think!?!) on my end, so hopefully it won't blast you out of your chair.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Date night, in a galaxy far, far away!

Hi Everyone,

Wow, this week has been a whirlwind! I was busy plotting and preparing and being anxious all week. I shouldn't worry so much, everything usually aways comes out great. Earlier in the week, I eluded to a surprise that I was planning for my husband. Here it is in all it's geeky glory! I surprised my darling with 2 tickets to see the Star Wars in Concert Symphony Orchestra! I scored major points for this little secret, Sean LOVES Star Wars! We had fantastic seats too, 4th row front & center, thank you eBay!!

This event is the coolest I've been to in a long time. I really think George Lucas loves his fans, and makes every effort to make all things tied to Star Wars extraordinary, the Star Wars in Concert tour is being accompanied my a mobile museum of artifacts, some of which have never been seen outside of Skywalker Ranch. I took tons of pictures, but I'm only posting a few otherwise this post will get WAY out of hand.

This is Boba Fett, he is Sean's most favoritest dude. A bad guy, a bounty hunter. Sean always likes the bad guys... I don't know why that is. I guess I should first start by saying that Sean is a HUGE Star Wars fan. He was in 3rd grade in 1977 when the first movie, Star Wars: A New Hope came out in theaters. His mom took him out of school for the afternoon to go see the movie, a very special treat indeed. It's been a life long affair ever since. Here are a few scans of Sean when he was a wee little nerd. He's different ages in all of these snapshots (and isn't he the cutest little 70's dork you've ever seen?? Eee, I loves him!)... and yet there's something similar in all three photos... can you guess what that might be?Hmm, let's see... Star Wars toys in the car, a Star Wars Mug at Christmas, and Star Wars sheets on his bunk at camp... See the obsession growing here? Sean had everything, and I do mean everything Star Wars related when he was a boy, he's not much different as an adult :o)Hahaha... it's ok, I have too many obsessions of my own to count, and he tolerates, and sometimes encourages each and every one of them.
These guys are creepy and I like it!! Sean tells me that they are Imperial Guards. There's something lethal about them covered head to toe in flowing velvet, and slightly haunched in the shoulders. Quite menacing, I assure you. Even on a mannequin encased in a glass box.

I'm not much of an aficionado of Star Wars myself, I've seen all the movies (numerous times) but they don't seem to stick... I can't remember the details. Science fiction involving space fighting isn't really my thing, but there's one that I do like... I dig me some Ewoks! Remember these guys? Aww, aren't they cute?!? They're like buck-toothed teddy bears! And yet fierce little buggers, I'm told. I wouldn't want to stumble upon one on a moonlit night on Endor.

Here we are in the lovely city of Coruscant. The seat of galactic government, Coruscant is alive with glittering lights and rivers of traffic, a bustling megalopolis that refuses to sleep. Like San Francisco, with less crime.

Here is the man of the hour with two Stormtroopers. The one on the right is "a little short for a Stormtrooper" so that must be Luke. That means the one on the left must be Han Solo! Excuse me a, run, run, tackle, scuffle, *forcibly removing helmet*, ooh, it IS Han Solo! Schwaa, kiss, kiss, kiss...

Pardon me... I hadda smootch Harrison Ford. Hey, I'm a child of the 70's/80's too, and he IS Indiana Jones after all... I've always wanted to do that. Ahem... (patting down hair) where was I?
Ahhh, the music! The reason we're all here! This is a piece of original score by John Williams, the composer of the music featured in all six Star Wars films. He is prolific and so amazing, his music has moved us all at one time or another. Truly, whether you've known it or not, you would have had to live under a rock to not have heard his music in your life, especially in the last part of the 2oth century. God Bless this man, he's made so many people happy.

Here is a few minutes of viedo I took of the opening sequence, it's a little shaky, but you get the picture, enjoy! (I hope this loads right...) *EDIT* Darn it, it isn't working right... I'll keep working on it... in the mean time, I've posted a link above.
Encore! Encore! Wow! Goosebumps, fire, smoke and lasers, this night had it all! I wish we could go again! Sean and I had a great time. Needless to say (I hope) my suprise was a raging success!
So any Star Wars fans out there? Have you seen, or do you plan to see the show when it comes to your area? I would recommend it to anyone, this music is so iconic, it was incredible to see live. I'd love to hear your comments.

May the force be with you!