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!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Not-so-simple Samples...

I feel like I've been in purgatory... making tea samples. Oofa. This is tedious work girls.

But hey!! I'm happyyyyyy! I think I drank a bit too much tea while putting over a hundred of these little babies together! Zing! I'm wired for sound. It's after 11pm, I should be in bed... not gonna happen. Not for a while at least, I need to wear off the tea buzz first. Then again, if I try to go to bed now, I can probably stay up long enough to finally get caught up on Dancing With The Stars and The Biggest Loser. I'm at least 2 weeks behind on each of those. Yes... mind numbing TV, that sounds good right now. I'm typing really fast. Does it sound like I'm typing really fast? Cuz, I am. I'm a fast talker... can't help it.
Whoa, there's a tea mountain beginning to form.
Making a mess of my dining room.

Tea... lots and lots of wonderful, comforting, tasty, yummy tea!

Tea the likes of which you've never tasted (but you should, and I can help you with that)...

Whew! I'm done! Man, I will never take making samples for granted again. That was like a marathon.

I'm trying to get all of my preparations completed early for the Fall Boutique I'm doing on Saturday afternoon. I only have two more days! On the agenda for tomorrow, gift basket making! Then Thursday I need to pull everything together in one spot in the garage so that Saturday morning, I can take off bright & early. The boutique doesn't start until 11am, but I need a couple of hours to get everything set up "just so". I'm a bit of a perfectionist that way.

What's that you say, I skipped Friday? Oh no, Friday is definitely on the agenda, but it's a secret! I'm doing something special for my sweetie, it's a surprise! Eeeee, I hope he likes it! I'll let you all in on it this weekend.

Ok, I think I'll go run around the block or something.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Preparing For The Tea Show!

Oh how I love autumn! I really do, I think I've said this in at least three posts :o) This last weekend was my dear mum's birthday, we spent it together at my brothers house up in the mountains. Maybe I've just never paid attention, but this year the weather seems very strange, as if someone noticed the date, and said "oops, time to change the seasons" and as simply as changing the page on a calender, switched the weather from summer to fall. Last week it was 103 degrees where I live. This week it hasn't reached the 80's... But I digress, the point of this little ramble was to show you this picture. Isn't it beautiful? This is the view that I woke up to on Sunday morning. It had snowed/slushed the night before while we were outside celebrating Mom's birthday with a bon fire, this is what the next morning left behind. This is the view from the kitchen, looking... east? My brother lives on a mountain crest with a valley on three sides, it gets confusing... I think this is east. Yes, east. The sun rises in their kitchen and sets in the living room (that's how I remember things, bizarre, I know). They have a deck that wraps around the east, south & west sides of the house, it's gorgeous I tell you. Gorgeous.

On with the post!

I'm participating a tea tasting at a fall boutique/open house this weekend, in Elk Grove. If anyone would like to come, please feel free! Hello...? Any readers from Elk Grove, CA? No? Dang. I'm also doing a craft faire later in the month in Stockton, CA. These are bigger, and will have lots more people than your average home party, so I wanted a way that I can quickly and neatly sort my teas back together by variety as people browse & sniff their way through my collection until their hearts are content and they find themselves lots of yummy teas! The way I decided to do that was to make banners/runners that represent the colors of the variety of teas that I sell for Let's Do Tea. These are the fabrics I chose. I started with the large piece at the bottom/front. It's so pretty and has so many colors that fit perfectly with what I wanted to do. This fabric inspired all my other choices.

See like this? Going left to right, there are:
  • Herb & Fruit Teas in RED
  • White & Special-teas in YELLOW
  • Green Teas in GREEN
  • Black Teas in BLUE
  • and Rooibos Teas in PURPLE

I only used 1/2 a yard of fabric for each, I was militant about the measuring & pinning. Each runner is exactly 16" wide and 40" long. I used an iron-on fuseable interfacing too, so that the runners are a little more stiff. I sewed a button at the triangular point of each runner, then hung a small tassel over each button. This way I can throw these runners in the washer & dryer without damaging the pretty tassel. Nice huh? Isn't that little set cute? It's tiny!!

I also make a little sign to go in front of each variety of tea, so that people can easily identify what they're looking at. I have about 70 varie-teas (hehe) of tea in my collection. I have some definite favorites, but I haven't found any that I do not like.

I also made a simple sign to showcase our Fall Seasonal Teas. Did you know that Let's Do Tea releases a set of seasonal teas four times a year? Pretty cool, huh? The fall teas this year are outstanding, they are all black teas and they are Toffee Cream, Figgy Pudding and Peppermint Bark. Oh-my-gosh, they're good!
This is pretty close to what my display will look like, only I didn't put out all the wonderful teapots and accouterments that Let's Do Tea sells since I was only taking pictures so that I could plan in my mind how I'm going to set up. Also, I don't have the tasting station set up. I'll have four pots of tea going at all times during the party so people can actually try the teas for themselves. Sounds like fun, no? Are you suuure you can't make it to Elk Grove this weekend? Hmmm?
I'll make sure to take lots of pictures on Saturday. I'm hoping to sell lots of tea, winter is coming and people need a good cuppa! I'm not really a good sales person and thankfully I don't need to be! I just really love tea, and these teas are tea-rrific and speak for themselves. I'm a little nervous, I haven't done a tea tasting on this scale before, so please wish me luck!!
I gotta go make tea samples now, toodle-doo!