Thursday, January 26, 2012

Buntings Make Me Happy

Here's a little one I whipped up for a very special tea party I'm hosting this weekend.

I'm hosting a Creativi-Tea!
I've invited several of my girlfriends over and asked them to bring what ever it is their working on, or something crafty, sew-y, stitchy that they'd like to try and we're going to have a tea party then we're going to get our craft on! A crafty~tea party, is there anything better? I'm really excited about the whole thing!

I made this paper bunting to hang on the porch and welcome the girls as they come to the door. I used my favorite die cutter, and paper from my stash, printed and colored some fancy letters, and mashed the whole thing together one evening last week. I think it's kinda cute!

I also whipped up some pretty jars to use as vases to add some simple flowers to the tables. I used my friend Pam's tutorial. Only difference is that these are vases, not lamps... but I used all the same steps. Super easy and great results, and as an added bonus they're completely free as all of these jars would have otherwise have gone into the recycle bin. I like to use what I have and these little beauties were mayo, pesto, jam and bruchetta, jars in their former lives :) I also already had the other three components, food coloring, Modge Podge and twine.

The color of the jars are actually quite a bit darker than represented in this photo, I'm usually not a big fan of blue, but I'm over the moon with these. I'll make sure to get some pictures with flowers in them (and of all the goings on!) this weekend.

Can't wait to see what kind of creativi-tea results from Saturday, my only regret is that I can't transport all of YOU here for the afternoon, how fun would that be?!

Have a great day, lovelies!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Scarlet Tea Room

Hi All~
It's been busy, busy here! I just got back into town last night after spending a wonderful weekend with my best friend. We somehow managed to simultaneously do lots of fun things, yet have an unhurried, mellow weekend, it really was the best of both worlds. One of the highlights was my friend treating me to an afternoon tea at an elegant tea room in downtown Pasadena, The Scarlet Tea Room.

You already know how much I love to take tea, this was such a treat! We had a long afternoon of tea and much needed talk. Of course like a goober, I took pictures of everything... what. I had to share with you guys, right?
It all starts with a pretty cup.

We chose the 5 Course Afternoon Tea, it was wonderful and started with a delightful strawberry sorbet, which was so refreshing!

Oh, how I love a tiered tray!

Delectable tea sandwiches. Each one was unique and equally scrumptious. The Scarlet Tea Room offers more sandwich choices than I've ever seen at one tea shop. The scones were wonderfully fresh and soft too (but I didn't get a decent picture of them, drats!)

 Pretty deserts, cake & petit fours.

 Tea ~ magic.

 Fresh Berry Romonoff, ooooh baby. Let me tell you that this was one of the most delicious things ever to cross these lips.

Look at that sassy business card! I love it.

Here's a quick shot I managed of another part of the dining room. The Scarlet Tea Room was great, elegant, but not stuffy. It was comfortable and welcoming, a great place to wile away the afternoon.

Oh, and check out this bling! This gorgeous chandelier was hanging in the main dining room. I love the small touches of scarlet red though out the dining rooms, just enough to make a statement without being too much, scarlet is a power color after all. I have to say, this picture doesn't do the chandelier justice, it was so pretty and sparkling!

Taking tea at a pretty tea room is (to me) one of life's great joys. Seriously. If only every day could be filled with such splendor... oh my!

I have more tea related things coming your way this week, so stay tuned!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Girl. Camera. Cuppa.

Hi Guys!
I've started a new adventure! Well, more like a challenge, but it'll be an adventurous challenge!

It's a 365 day photo project, the one I mentioned here. I thought about it for a good couple of weeks, then settled on Blogger as the platform for this project. I already know how to use Blogger, and I can post from my phone, bonus! I'm two weeks into the project and going strong, I look forward to seeing what kinds of photos I'll have at the end of each day.
The photo blog will in no way take the place or precedence over A Cuppa Tea With Me, this blog is home. It's where I cut my blogging teeth, and where I've met so many wonderful people, both online and in person. I've chosen to do a separate blog for the photos because they're not always going to be crafty, pretty, or tea related and I don't want to spam anyones dash who isn't interested in newbie photography.
Anyhooo, I'd be pleased as punch if any of you decided to pop over and follow along. Maybe we can learn some spiffy new photo stuff together!
Be back soon with more crafty goodies to share!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Quilt For Mama

Hi Everyone,
This post has been a long time coming, I started this project last January. You know how that goes, right? Some projects take a few hours, some take 11 months (mostly hibernating), but I digress.

Just before Thanksgiving this year, I pulled this out and got back to work, I wanted to get it finished and quilted for my mom for Christmas, and I still had a long, long way to go. Now, I've only made one other quilt, and it was just a bitty little thing, simple patch work and diagonal stitching, easy peasy. This one though, it was a horse of a different color, but such lovely colors they are.

A quilt for my mom. 

 Here's the quilt label I made, I incorporated it with a little bit of piecing (scraps from making the quilt top), right into the back of the quilt. The pattern I used was called "Turning Twenty Again". From what I understand this is a fairly well known quilt pattern, named because it's made of 20 blocks that can be turned any way you like that pleases the eye. The finished size of the quilt is 70"x84", big enough to lay over a queen size bed.
God willing, this quilt will outlast both my mother and I, and some day someone might wonder who made it, and why (I always wonder that when I find a quilt in an antique or thrift store), so I included that information on the label.

  Can you see this beautiful quilting?
 I had this quilt professionally quilted by the wonderful and talented, Shannon Freeman, I just found this morning that Shannon has set up a Facebook page for her business, This Chick Stitches. Shannon is awesome, and funny and kind and boy howdy, if you're lucky enough to have something quilted by her, you will be thrilled with the results!

Shannon quilted this quilt using a dense, edge to edge meandering daisy pattern... freehand!! I'm telling you, she's amazing, in the picture below you can get a better look at the overall quilting.
Ooof! I love it so much. This quilt would not be what it is without Shannon's considerable skill & talent, thank you Shannon!

Here's a better look at the entire back of the quilt.
(Oh, and see that guy on the mower back there? He thought it was funny to zoom past me on his mower while I was trying to get these pictures in my neighborhood park, and kick dust, dry leaves and broken acorn bits all over me and my quilt... why I oughta! *shakes fist*)

Hey look, binding!! I'm not afraid of it anymore, guys! And I have to say, I'm pretty proud of those corners! My skills at that particular task have definitely improved.
 I did all of the binding in one marathon day. Done in the traditional method, sewn to the front by machine and the back by hand... 11 hours, non-stop y'all!
Eeek, so proud about that darn binding!

Oh, these colors! I love all the jewel tones mixed with the neutrals.

One last shot of the quilt... hanging in a tree by the river.

Happy to report that mom loved her quilt, I gave it to her on Christmas Eve. It was a surprise, she had no clue this was what I had planned for her, yay surprises.

Now... will I make another one like this any time soon? I'd like to say not bloody likely! But you never know... I've already got two more quilts in the works, so we'll see how long these take to get finished. Joy!

Sew, what do you think, friends? Did any of you guys make/give quilts for Christmas? Please, do tell and point me to them, I want to see!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Now THAT'S a pincusion!

Hi Kids!
How's your week been so far? Going well? Getting back into the post holiday swing of things? Why is it that short work weeks sometimes feel longer than regular weeks? Hmph...

Ok! This here is something I made for my pal, Jill for Christmas. I saw this first on Pinterest (ack! I can't find the link, I'll find it and edit this post tonight!) and knew that I HAD to make one because it looked like fun, because I knew Jill would love it, and because I already had the perfect fabric.

I give you the worlds largest pincushion!
 No joke, it's a biggin.

I knew Jill would love these fabrics because we've talked about this line before.

 I cut into my Bliss stash to make this, and I'm so glad I did. I was a little worried once I got into the project, this was a fiddly job. Let's just say that I'm really glad I have one of those handy ergonomic seam rippers, because I ripped this little baddie apart several times.

 The end result was worth it though, I think it came out sew cute, and Jill loved it, yaaaay!

See, I told you it's big! It's the size of a small cake!
mmm... cake.

I love the way it looks, and now that I've been through the whole thing and have a feel for it, I'm going to be making one of these for myself out of my Happy Mochi Yum Yum fabric, (I ♥ Happy Zombie!). That's my favorite fabric line of all time. I have several projects lined up for in in the coming months.

All in all, I'd say this wasn't exaclty an easy sewing project (although, I'm sure it was just me... I was kind of stressed when I was making it) but the results were pretty darn good (I think) and I'll definitely make it again.

Let me know what y'all think!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy (belated) New Year!

Greetings friends!
Did you have a nice New Years Eve/Day? Are you the party-hardy kind, the quiet evening at home kind, or the midnight-schmidnight, I'm going to bed kind? I'm the second kind, and it's usually just the hubby and I, as well as our critters all piled on the couch watching movies or whatnot. This year was a little different, two of our dear old friends came over and we nibbled and sipped our way into the new year. Then, just around midnight, as the clock ticked down to zero, we went out into the backyard just like we did as kids, and used up the left over 4th of July sparklers.
Good times infinity.

Any resolutions? I'm not a huge fan of New Year resolutions, generally speaking. They feel a bit like setting oneself up for a hard come down. I think a resolution or better choice can be made at anytime of year, and the dead of winter seems the hardest place to start. That being said, this year I AM going to try to get more sleep. That seems like a nice, gentle goal to start out with. Being a night owl is great for us creative types, but not when you need to be awake, showered, dressed and out the door every morning by 7:30am for a 20 mile (all freeway) commute to a full time job... yaknowwhatimean? So until I pick those winning lotto numbers, I need to try to get to bed earlier. Really try. I'm aiming for before midnight. We shall see...

2011 definitely had it's share of ups & downs. It was not a good year for many of my friends where their furry little hearts are concerned, myself included. Too many beloved souls passed over the rainbow bridge this year...
Not a day's gone by that I haven't thought of and missed this little fella, deeply.

I've spent a good long time thinking about where the last year has gone, it really seemed to fly, didn't it? Naturally, I can't help but think of all the things I *didn't* get done. I was bemoaning this fact with a friend recently. She reminded me of all that I *did* get done, and encouraged me to make a list so I could see it on paper. I took a spin though my Flickr account to remind me since I send/give away so many of the things I make, and ya know, she was right, I felt a lot better!
 Well hey there, big fat list!

I've posted about a lot of these things here on my blog, but there are a good many that I haven't for one reason or another. Especially the most recent Christmas "makes", I'm getting there, I'm getting there. There are 45 projects on this list, and 27 of those were completely hand stitched embroidered projects. Not too shabby, right? Thank goodness for friends who know how to pick you up when you're down.

One of the items listed up there was that I wound my floss, almost all of it! I count that as a project because it took all the crafty hours I had to spare for 3 full nights. Once I started I couldn't stop. I never wanted to be one of those "floss winding people" but my floss basket was OUT OF CONTROL, y'all. It was bad, imagine a very brightly colored birds nest. I couldn't take it anymore. And now?
Booyah! This is a good way to start out the year I think. I didn't label the bobbins with color codes, and I'm not too concerned about them being in exact order, either. I usually pick colors on the fly, so this works for me. Only problem, this box ain't big enough! I'm waiting for one of those highly coveted 40% off JoAnn's coupons to come in the mail, I'm going to get a bigger box so I can have all my floss in one place. Ah, the things that I excite me... My life is a thrill ride, I tell ya.

Welp, as I look at the clock it's nearly my new bedtime so I better say goodbye! I'll be back this week to share a couple more of the neato things I made for Christmas, I'm kinda proud about a few of them :o)

Come back soon!

p.s. Oh yeah! A new project for a new year, I'm embarking on a 365 Photo project wherein you take & post one photo every day for an entire year. I'm excited and a little nervous, it's a lot to bite off, but if I say it out loud (telling you guys is saying it out loud) I'm more likely to make it happen. So far, so good (it's been two days, ha!). I haven't decided yet if I'll be posting these here, in Flickr, Tumblr, or if I'll start a separate blog for them. I'm completely open to suggestions, have any of you done this before? Please, do tell!