Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat?

Remember the American television series Bewitched that ran from 1964 - 1972?  The witch, Samantha Stephens, was married to mortal, Darrin Stephens, an advertising executive.  

In order to blend with mortals, Samantha had to keep her supernatural powers a secret, as well as her wacky relatives, which was often a challenge.  In the photo below Samantha  is having tea with her mother Endora [Agnes Moorehead] in one of the episodes.  The spout of the teapot is just barely visible at the far right.

[Internet Photo]

Elizabeth Victoria Montgomery was an American film and television actress best remembered as the star of the ABC sitcom Bewitched TV series.

She was born April 15, 1933 in Los Angeles, CA, and died May 18, 1995 in Beverly Hills, CA at 62 years of age from colorectal cancer just eight weeks after being diagnosed with the disease.

Montgomery earned five Primetime Emmy Award nominations, and four Golden Globe Award nominations for her role in the series which aired for eight seasons.

The show added to the increasing popularity of the name Samantha.  While the name was relatively rare until 1958, it has remained consistently popular since 1965 mainly due to Montgomery's character.  

I have a daughter-in-law named, Samantha, and she has certainly worked her magic in our hearts.

I don't believe in the practice of witchcraft, but it would be nice if a cup of hot tea appeared on my computer desk right now at the twitch of my nose.  Since that's not going to happen, I'm off to the kitchen to prepare it the mortal way.   Happy Halloween to those who celebrate it!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tea Punch in a New Silver Punch Bowl

I love using glistening silver on special occasions.  It always makes me think of Alda Ellis' comment - "Silver is the table's jewelry."

I got my November/December Christmas issue of Tea Time magazine last week, and noticed Jane Pettigrew had written an article about silver wares for tea in the issue.

Ironically, a friend called around the same time wondering if I'd be interested in buying her Rogers silver plate punch bowl, tray, ladle, and 20 cups, because she was moving to Tennessee and didn't want to take them with her.  She said she hadn't used the tray and cups [they were still in their original packaging], and had only used the punch bowl and ladle a couple of times.  

I really wasn't looking for a silver plate punch bowl since I already have a lovely crystal one that I received for a wedding gift, but I told her I'd look at it.  She only wanted $75 for everything, and a quick peek on E-bay revealed it was worth much more than that, so I bought it from her. Though not a tea accessory, it can still be used at a fancy tea party.

I can even envision a pretty floral arrangement in it when it's not being used to serve punch.

I looked through my files and found a great tea punch recipe that I used for a May Mother's Day Tea at church a few years back.  It will be perfect served in my new punch bowl!

Fruity Tea Punch

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
6 Earl Grey tea bags
6 cups water
1 cup orange juice
1 cup lemonade [prepared from concentrate]
4 cups ginger ale, chilled
Garnish:  Thin lemon and orange slices to float on top of punch.

In a sauce pan combine sugar, whole allspice and 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for five minutes, covered. Remove from heat and set aside.  Bring remaining five cups of water to boil, then remove from heat and add tea bags and steep for five minutes. Discard infused tea bags and add liquid to sugar syrup.  Add orange juice and lemonade and mix together well.  Chill thoroughly.  Just before serving add ginger ale.  

Yield: 12 [1 cup] servings 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

KrisTea's and O'Mara's in Berkley, MI

I've blogged about KrisTea's gift shoppe here [Oct. 2012] and here [Jan. 2014].  KrisTea's sells vintage and new home decor, unique gifts, fine teas [Harney & Sons], and tea accessories.  I've bought several things in the shop over the past few years.  What sets KrisTea's apart from other gift shops is that they serve complimentary tea and scones to their customers in a quaint tea area.

I recently saw on Facebook that Kris made the decision to retire and move to Colorado to be near her son and his family the first of 2015.  A feeling of disappointment came over me because I thought that meant her shop would be closing.

KrisTea's is located very close to O'Mara's Restaurant, and at all of O'Mara's Tuesday Teas Kris provides a 25% off coupon to all the attendees.

With a coupon in my possession, I decided to pay KrisTea's a visit this past Tuesday.  I was relieved to know that even though she's moving, she still plans to keep her shop open.

In my Hudson's presentation are two hats from the department store, because ladies would have worn hats when they went to the Mezzanine Tea Room or one of the 13th floor dining rooms for tea or lunch.  

I found a cute hat stand at KrisTea's that's perfect for displaying the hats, and purchased it.

The turquoise hat still has the original Hudson's price tag of $3.99 attached, and the hat box behind the stand is from Hudson's Woodward Shop [an upscale department in the store].

Yesterday was the final Hudson's presentation at O'Mara's.  They prepared for another large group of ladies [45].  The topic of Hudson's brought in close to 150 ladies for tea over three Tuesdays in October.  In the photo below, Cindy [one of the servers] chats with the first two ladies to arrive.

My girlfriend, Sandy, attended the tea with her friend, Lois.

~Sandy and Me~

I thoroughly enjoyed presenting Hudson's at O'Mara's.  At the conclusion of yesterday's tea the manager of the restaurant extended the opportunity for me to select their monthly tea themes going forward.  So as soon as I finish this post I'll be looking over my resources to come up with something fun for November.  Will keep you posted on what I decide.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Living Room Renovation is Underway!

Out with the old!

Below is what my living room has looked like for several years - this was its second renovation after moving into the house in 1978.   Now it's time for another change.

The sheer draperies will come down and white plantation shutters will go up with a blue toile valance.

The Thomas Kinkade ceiling border will come down.

The couch wall [pictured below] will undergo a major renovation as you can see in my husband's drawing for the wall units he's building.  None of the wall accessories will go back up.

The piano will fit into the middle unit.  All the wall units will be painted white, and blue and white china will be displayed on the shelves.  I'm hoping the new renovation will look less busy/cluttered.

The couch will go where the piano is, and I'm not sure what other pieces of furniture or accessories will still fit.  We'll figure that out when the renovation is done.

The wallpaper pictured below will be coming down...

And York blue toile wallpaper [Country Life pattern] will be going up.  I picked it up from the wallpaper store last Saturday.

The paint [light blue again] has been selected.  I removed everything from the walls, and packed up all the accessories, and now the room is ready for Jerry to work his magic.  

Below are some "before" pictures, and there'll be "after" pictures when the project is completed. 

The piano is waiting for our son to come over and help move it out of the room.  The half wall [pictured in the lower left] will be cut back slightly from the edge of the tile floor, and a white floor to ceiling column will be added.  No wallpaper will be in the back hallway.

And now the work begins!  The house is topsy-turvy, but it'll be worth the mess and inconvenience when the living room is all done. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

American Girl Fashion Show & Tea

The American Girl Fashion Show and Tea was held last Saturday, October 25th.  [My pre-event post can be read here.]

It was a beautiful Indian summer day for driving 30 miles to Dearborn, MI where I met my daughter-in-law, Samantha, and granddaughter, Isabella, for the event.

It was my first time at the Dearborn Inn, and what a beautiful place.

Samantha & Isabella, with American Girl dolls, Julie & Isabelle.

~ Hotel Lobby ~

~ A painting of Henry Ford hangs over the fireplace. ~

~ Painting of Clara Ford at the opposite end of the lobby. ~

~ Hotel Front Entrance ~

Hallway to the Ball Room where the event was held.

Beautiful Ball Room set up for the large gathering of girls, dolls, moms, and grandmothers. A few dads were there too.

We sat at table #33. Blueberry Scones with Devonshsire Cream and Jam, and Chocolate Chip and Sugar Cookies were placed on the table ready for the tea party to begin.

Julie came dressed in her green and white Spartan outfit since later in the afternoon Michigan State Spartans played their rival, U of M Wolverines in East Lansing.  Julie must have brought them luck because the Spartans won 35-11!

Each girl in attendance received a complimentary American Girl fashion show kit.

Isabella couldn't wait until she got home to open hers.

~ Self-serve hot water urn for tea. ~

~ Tetley black tea bag. ~

There were four kinds of sandwiches - Cucumber and Cream Cheese on Wheat; Chicken Salad on White; Ham and Cheese on Wheat; and Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato on White.

American Girl catalogs were placed on the chairs.  Isabella had her pen in hand to circle the clothing and dolls for her wish list as they made their appearance on the runway.

My friend, Linda, was there with her daughter, Karyn, and her two granddaughters, Jamison and Julianna.  

[Linda and Julianna]

[Karyn and Jamison]

Linda bought American Girl doll chairs to fasten to the table for Jamison, Julianna, and Isabella's dolls just like those at the American Girl restaurants.  Isabella was thrilled. Thanks, Linda!

~ Isabella, Samantha, and Me ~

~ Let the fashion show begin! ~

These are just a fraction of the pictures from the fashion show, but believe me  it was an afternoon made in Heaven for every girl present!

And now for the best part... I didn't win English Garden's drawing valued at $350 [which included an overnight stay at the Dearborn Inn] but they drew Isabella's raffle ticket number, and she won the American Girl doll named, Kit, a book, and accessories.  

Can you tell Isabella was on cloud nine?

Isabella with Isabelle on the runway at the conclusion of the fashion show.

Isabella, Julianna, and Jamison.

Saturday afternoons just don't get any better than this!  I learned the American Girl Fashion Show and Tea is an annual event that was established in 2003 to benefit the Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation.  I have a feeling we'll be returning next year!