Tuesday, June 10, 2008



This lesson today will be easy, can be inexpensive, fun and creative, and useful. Any location where tea is served should, if at all possible, have a little thought put into it so that your whole tea experience is enhanced the more. Now sometimes, we just don't have time, but if you have even just a few minutes, make a scene where you enjoy the look of the spot you're sipping tea from, as much as the tea itself. You can even leave your favorite tea sipping spot decorated permanently so that it's ready every time you are. Think of refreshing its look every now and then though. Let's talk about tea table pick-me-ups, whether it's your private spot, tea for two, or a whole party--doing little things to make a scene!!

Let's start with your own private spot. Find your favorite spot at home. Is it your easy chair? Is it a private corner in your bedroom? Is it a window seat or your own special room if you're blessed to have a room all to yourself. I have a friend whose husband built her a study/devotion room onto their house with a wonderful window she can look out of and enjoy God's handiwork. It's all hers and she enjoys her little doggy, her books, and of course, a cup of tea. What would you like to see in your private spot? Is there greenery, books, flowers in a vase, a beautiful tablecloth, or a beautiful tea set to look at as well as enjoy?

Surround yourself with pleasant things, even something that smells good. Indulge all of the senses. Your tea will indulge your palet. The smell of lavendar or a spring fruit will indulge your nose. The soft feel of a tablecloth or texture of lace will be a welcome addition. The pleasant view of a portrait of family or a picture will be nice to look at. Have the latest book you've been wanting to finish and your Bible nearby; maybe a notebook or journal and pen should be there too. If you like antiques, add a quill pen and old ink bottle with mottled paper. Add a vintage frame with a favorite grandparent or aunt. There are so many things you can do. These are more "vintage" or older looking ideas (my favorite), but if you're a more modern person, add modern art, an ecclectic vase with exotic flowers, modern jewelry on a vintage neckstand, a cool, chic lamp, and something thrown across the back of the chair.

For a larger spot that will be set up to serve more than two, think of putting up temporary, draping, window treatments in the area, something that looks wispy, peaceful, and soft. Make sure flowers, fresh if possible (although there are some incredible faux flowers that will do just fine), are everywhere. If you can get indoor trees, that will be a great addition as well. Have mini tea sets placed strategically throughout the area. They are whimsical and precious to look at. Use pieces to various tea sets (not being used for the party) to place short and tall flowers in. Place pre-folded, fabric napkins in cute little tea cups. Make the air smell fresh or florally. Think of something that could be hung from the ceiling (if the space is not crowded and this won't make your space overwhelmingly crowded). Again, there is just so much you can do.

Making your space precious and even memorable, if you'll be having company, just makes for such a complete tea experiene. You can even use the tea leaves or tea canisters themselves as decoration and scent. You can place dried tea leaves in vintage bowls on nearby tables. This is great decoration and tea leaves have a slight scent. I have seen some beautifully decorated tea canisters that will serve as readily-available, beautiful decoration, if you already own them. Don't hide them in the cabinets; bring them out and use them double duty! I have included pictures throughout this post to give you some ideas. Play around with these and some of your own great ideas and create your "tea scene." Keep some permanent things in place in "your spot" so that you won't have to re-decorate every time you are there. Change out for the seasons or special occasions though. This will be fun too.

I hope you've been challenged to be creative and have unforgettable tea moments. Do it alone, or invite a friend to enjoy what you've done. Comment and let me hear of some ideas you've already tried or would like to. I'm always looking for something new to do or expand on what I'm already doing.

The tea-cha is off to enjoy the rest of her day now. I'll TRY and post tomorrow.

Pictures courtesy of http://www.gardening.about.com/, http://www.bartleby.com/, http://www.elmwoodinn.com/, http://www.whatscookingamerica.net/, http://www.chiff.com/, and http://www.teas2dine4.com/.


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