Friday, July 29, 2016

Tea Themed Note Cards

I recently received a beautiful tea-themed note card in the mail, and the sender graciously told me where they could be purchased.

I'm always grateful when I read on blogs or Facebook where tea related items can be purchased, so I'm sharing the note card details with you today.

They're made by Papyrus and come in a beautiful gift box, with 12 note cards, 12 lined envelopes and 12 envelope seals.

The note cards are 5" x 5 ", and can be purchased at Meijers for $18.95.  I bought one box for a gift and one for myself.

And because everyone should enter the weekend with a smile on their face I'm sharing a photo of a "teacup holster" I saw on Facebook yesterday.  I've blogged about my six teacup carriers, but this is the first I've seen a teacup holster.  With a little research I discovered it's a Steampunk teacup holster.  In case you get the urge to acquire one, Etsy has them for $40! ;-)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Afternoon Tea at Secluded Celebrations

As promised in my previous post, today I'm writing about my visit to Secluded Celebrations tea room in Hartland, MI. The 'by reservation only' tea room is about 55 miles northwest of where I live.   It is definitely secluded in a wooded area far off the beaten path.

Grit and her husband, Rich, own a hosta nursery.  They have every kind of hosta you can imagine, from gigantic to teacup size.  She said they stopped counting the varieties after 1,500!  

They added a room onto their house specifically for hosting tea parties, which Grit has been doing since 2007.  It's a small intimate tea room accommodating up to 12.

Grit is my kind of gal because the tea room is decorated with lots of blue and white accessories which she bought from the Bombay Company when it was still in the U.S.

Newspaper article about the tea room [click on it to enlarge].

~ Fresh flower centerpieces from Grit's garden. ~

Two tea loving ladies - Joanie and Lori ~

Below is Linda's granddaughter Jamison [R] and her girlfriend, Emma.  Emma reminded me of Anne of Green Gables - must be her cute braids. A hummingbird feeder was outside their window and hummingbirds came to it frequently throughout the tea.

Below was the beautiful teacup at my place setting which was filled with a black tea called Peace. It was lightly flavored with Jasmine, Vanilla and Lavender.  

The tea began with a glass of Sparkling Pink Lemonade from France, and homemade Pesto and Cheese Bruschetta.  Grit uses her grandmother's china that was a wedding present.

~ Next was a cold Cucumber/Dill Soup. ~

When our Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with Cranberries, Candied Pecans, and homemade Honey Mustard dressing was served, the tea switched to Pomegranate [a black tea].  

Our main entree was Broccoli and Water Chestnut Quiche, Grit's signature Spinach Pie, Fresh Fruit with Spearmint [from Grit's garden], and Fresh Veggies.  Everything was delicious.

Before the dessert course, we went outside to tour Grit and Rich's beautiful gardens.

~ Grit had lots of fairy gardens among the hostas.  ~

We got back inside the tea room just before Mother Nature decided to send a big downpour of rain. Our simple but elegant dessert was Fresh Berries over Vanilla Ice Cream, served with Butterscotch, Caramel and Toffee Black Tea.   

What a tea-lightful way to spend an afternoon!  Thank you for your kind hospitality, Grit!

*  *  *

P.S.   Happy 150th birthday to Beatrix Potter.  I think she would have loved the gardens at Secluded Celebrations.

[Internet Photo]

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Color Me Happy!

Last Thursday [July 21st] I went to Afternoon Tea at a new-to-me venue in Hartland, MI. It's called Secluded Celebrations, and I'll be blogging about it tomorrow.

My friend, Linda Pudlik, coordinated the outing because the owner, Grit [Margaret] Francis, was a member of the tea society, An"tea"Quers, which Linda founded and ran for many years.  At the tea, Linda gifted me with a tea themed coloring book, Garden Tea Party, and a box of 50 colored pencils.  

Coloring is relaxing and therapeutic, and highly popular with adults right now.  I used to enjoy coloring as a kid, so I know I'm going to enjoy this adult coloring book by Stephanie Fitzer Coleman [].  My girlfriend, Lori, told me she recently received a tea themed coloring book with scriptures accompanying the pictures.  I'm going to have to check into acquiring that book too.

Fellow-blogger, Angela, at Tea With Friends currently has a tea themed coloring book giveaway, and she found the book at Dollar Tree.  I immediately went and purchased two for my two youngest granddaughters, and one for myself!  Isabella [who will soon be 11]  is coming this Friday to spend a few days, so it'll be a fun activity while she's here.  Have you gotten into the coloring book craze?

Also at the tea, my girlfriend, Lori, gave me a Grace Kelly book that she bought at an estate sale.  I haven't done a presentation about Princess Grace yet, but I've blogged about her and I know she was a tea lover.  She was truly a lady, and her life ended much too soon.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Down the Aisle with 12 Ford Family Wedding Gowns

The first three wedding gowns on display when we entered the South Cottage were worn by fourth generation brides [great-grandchildren] of Edsel and Eleanor Ford.  Two were brides of Calvin and Henry Ford III, sons of Edsel Ford II and his wife, Cynthia Ford, and the third, was the granddaughter of Josephine Clay Ford.

The gown on the right was worn by Sarah Fox, bride of Calvin Ford.  The strapless, tiered, Oscar de la Renta gown had a black ribbon sash.  Their wedding was July 11, 2011 in Grosse Pointe Farms. The reception was held on the grounds of Edsel and Eleanor Ford's estate.

[Internet Photo]

The gown on the left was worn by Emily Haigh, bride of Henry Ford III.  Their wedding was May 31, 2014 in Grosse Pointe Farms.  Angel Sanchez designed the mermaid style gown with a crumb-catcher bodice.  The reception was at Greenfield Village in Dearborn.

[Photo courtesy of Century of Love, Ford House]

~ Gown of Lindsay Ford to Thomas Buhl on September 16, 1995 ~

[Photo Courtesy of Century of Love, Ford House]

The docent told us the gowns in this room would change during the exhibit so several gowns of great-grandchildren could be displayed.

The second room we entered is where Eleanor Clay Ford's Wedding Gown was displayed, as well as her bridesmaid's gown.  

She and her bridesmaids wore exotic, turn-of-the century, Russian-style dresses with Russian head-dresses of pearls and rhinestones purchased at renowned designer House of Lucile in New York. [Owned by Lady Duff-Gordon, who survived the Titanic sinking four years earlier.  She's the designer who did away with those horrible restrictive corsets and made tea gowns famous.]  

Eleanor had four attendants including her sister, Josephine, but our docent didn't know which lady in the photo was Josephine.

[Photo Courtesy of Century of Love, Ford House]

~ Bridesmaid's Gown ~

~ Descriptions of Eleanor and Edsel's Wedding ~

Photo of my daughter Lori and me with Eleanor Ford's wedding gown in the background.

Two other rooms contained the remaining eight wedding gowns, one room for gowns from grandchildren's weddings, and the other from children's weddings.  

In the grandchildren's room, Cynthia Layne Neskow Ford's wedding gown by Priscilla of Boston is shown below.  She married Edsel Ford II on Sept. 28, 1974 in Tequesta, Florida. Her gown was ivory silk cloud satin, embroidered with Alencon lace, and she wore a cathedral length mantilla draped over a Juliet cap.

[Photo Courtesy of Century of Love, Ford House]

Wedding Gown of Elizabeth Hudson Ford, daughter of William Clay Ford and Martha Firestone Ford.  She married Charles P. Kontulis II in June, 1987 in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI.  The gown, featuring a lace bodice and full satin skirt, was designed by Henri Bendel of New York.  Elizabeth is the youngest grandchild of Edsel and Eleanor Ford.

~ Bride with her father, Wm. Clay Ford ~

[Photo Courtesy of Century of Love, Ford House]

Wedding gown of Josephine [Jo] Ford, daughter of Josephine Ford, Edsel and Eleanor's only daughter.  She married John Ingle, Jr., on June 26, 1971 in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. Her gown, designed by Walton-Pierce Company in Grosse Pointe, was white embroidered Swiss silk organza with a high neckline and short puffed sleeves.  Her veil was attached to a headpiece of embroidered silk organza.

[Photo Courtesy of Century of Love, Ford House]

Wedding gown of Lynn McNaughton Ford, daughter of Benson Ford, Sr., and Edith McNaughton Ford.  She married Paul D. Alandt in June 1975 in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. Lynn's embroidered silk organza gown featured long, slender sleeves ending in fluted organza.  She wore a cathedral-length French silk illusion veil with a cathedral train.  The gown was designed by Walton Pierce of Grosse Pointe.

[Photo Courtesy of Century of Love, Ford House]

The first wedding of Edsel and Eleanor Ford's children was Henry Ford II to Anne McDonnell on July 13, 1940 at Southampton, Long Island, New York.  The Catholic wedding was said to be 'the wedding of the century.'  There were 1,100 guests in attendance including John F. Kennedy [Jack] who was a Harvard student at the time and dated one of Anne's sisters.  JFK's sister, Kathleen, was one of the bridesmaids.

The designer of Anne's gown is unknown, but the New York Times wrote "the bride wore a girlish gown of white tulle, very simply made", with transparent sleeves, long white gloves, a "voluminous veil" and long train.

[Photo courtesy of Century of Love, Ford House]

Benson Ford, the second son of Edsel and Eleanor, married Edith McNaughton on July 9, 1941 in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI.

The designer is unknown, but the gown had sheer sleeves and a bolero jacket.  It was made of white silk marquisette - a fine, gauzy fabric - over satin, and trimmed with princess lace. The skirt had bands of lace and was finished with a very long train.

[Photo courtesy of Century of Love, Ford House]

Edsel and Eleanor Ford's only daughter, Josephine Clay Ford, married Walter Buhl Ford [no relation] on January 2, 1943 in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI.  The reception was held at the home of her parents.

Her gown was designed by American designer Mainbocher, and featured a hooped skirt, embroidered with seed pearls and silver thread.  Her veil was held in place by a coronet of seed pearls and crystal.  Her bouquet of white violets, and her white satin mitts added to the quaintness of her bridal ensemble.  

[Photo courtesy of Century of Love, Ford House]

The fourth and final gown was worn by Martha Firestone, granddaughter of the founder of Firestone Tire Company, who married Edsel and Eleanor's youngest son, William Clay Ford on June 21, 1947 in Akron, Ohio.  It was said to be the biggest society wedding in Akron's history.

Martha's Belgian ivory lace gown was designed by Currie Munn, a fashionable New York designer. The long veil extended to the end of the train.

While Anne, Edith and Josephine are deceased, Martha is still living [91 years old], and very active.  The docents said they see her frequently at Ford House.

[Photo courtesy of  Century of Love, Ford House]

The gate house as seen from inside the estate before exiting.  It was a full day at Ford House. I hope you enjoyed visiting the wedding gown exhibit with me, vicariously. For local readers, I highly recommend seeing this exhibit.  It's the only way to fully experience the beauty of the gowns, and well worth the time.  The exhibit is open thru November.  This lengthy post was primarily for readers unable to attend the exhibit, and a visual memory of my visit. It's the closest I'll ever come to attending a Ford wedding!  ;-)