tea

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which was Actually in A Garden)

ladies-tea-outfit, the artyologist

Well, it’s been a while since I last sat down and typed up a blog post, but as this one is very long overdue . . . here goes!

My mom and sister and I have hosted quite a few tea parties through the years- from birthday parties, to girls youth events and now the Garden Tea is an event we hold every year at my family’s acreage. (I’ve talked about it here on the blog.)

This year the Tea was on May 26th, and the day of the party dawned cloudy, and around mid-morning it started raining. This was hardly a surprise as in previous years it has also rained, forcing the event indoors. However, as you might have guessed by the long-winded title of this post, by 3:00, when the party was to begin, the weather had cleared up, the sun was out with a gentle breeze (just enough to keep the bugs at bay!) and we were able to go outside! We really couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather for the party.

I took a few photographs of the decor, but the pictures didn’t turn out as well as the ones I took last year. Since almost everything was the same as last year, (including the lilac bouquets and chocolate squares) you can just refer to this post to see pictures of what the party decoration and food was like.

ladies-tea-outfit, garden party dress, the artyologist

ladies garden tea dress, the artyologist

But, really, the “most” important part of any Tea Party is, of course, the attire, so instead of focusing on the decor, here is what I wore. This is the Garden Party dress I referred to in my blog post from last year. I have wanted to wear it before, but it just didn’t work out since the party was indoors. This year, however, with the party being out of doors, I could move well enough with this giant skirt without knocking people’s teacups over!

I made this dress about 5 years ago, or so.  I don’t recall there being any special reason to make it- I just loved the fabric. The dress, which I always refer to as “The Garden Party” dress, is a pattern hack of Vogue 2962 and a regular bodice top and sleeve. This dress is just so much. There are about 4 metres of fabric in the skirt alone. It’s definitely not the sort of dress one wears on a daily basis- it’s just a tad fancier. Like if you were going to meet the Queen. Or something like that.

But, since meeting the Queen isn’t in the near future, a Ladies Garden Tea (which was actually held in a garden for once) will have to do! It was a lot of fun flouncing around in this dress. Although, I must admit that I actually didn’t wear this straw hat during the party, as the breeze kept knocking it off my head, and so I had to give up and go bareheaded.

ladies-tea-outfit, vintage style, the artyologist

Well, this is definitely not the best post I have ever written. I am a bit out of practice. . . but at least a picture is worth a thousand words and this is a rather picture heavy post. Thanks also to my lovely sister, who despite the fact that we are both out of practice of blogging, after a month hiatus, took these photos for me!

Hope you are all doing well and enjoying your summer so far. (It might not technically be summer yet, but as we’ve had 34 degree weather lately. . . it’s summer!)

ladies-tea-outfit-2, the artyologist

Truth: I hate the smell of mountain ash. I was just doing this for the sake of photo. 

white-flowers, mountain ash, the artyologist

ladies-tea-outfit-4, the artyologist

mountain ash, the artyologist

Vogue 2962 pattern hack, the artyologist

hat-and-shoes, 1950's style, the artyologist

twirling, vogue 2962 pattern hack, the artyologist

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, the artyologist

Happy first official day of Spring! A quick look out my window still shows piles of snow, despite what the calendar says, so today I am sharing a look back to these photos I took last Spring. I took this set last June, but never published them so, since there are no flowers growing around here yet, nor will there be for a quite a while longer, I thought I would share them with you today, even though they are almost a year late!

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, top view of tea, the artyologist

We did get another huge snowfall this past weekend, despite my wishes to the contrary in my last post, but yesterday it was such a warm day, that the snow is melting fast. I have decided that there will be no more photos including large drifts of snow here on the blog, until next winter! This might mean that all of my photos will need to be taken indoors, or I won’t have any outfit photos for a while. . . but I am so ready for winter to be finished. So until spring really feels like it is here, I will have to make do with looking at last years photos, and enjoying the bouquet of tulips my mom bought for me last week!

Happy Spring dear Readers!

Is it looking and feeling like Spring in your part of the world?

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, tea cup, the artyologist

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, books, the artyologist

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, tea and lilacs, the artyologist

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, bouquet with tea, the artyologist

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, bouquet, the artyologist

Lilacs to Welcome the First Day of Spring, bouquet and tea, the artyologist

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Attire

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, holding-teapot

Since the Ladies Garden Tea was supposed to be in a garden, I had originally planned to wear one of my big pouffy 1950’s style floral dresses. However, because the party was moved indoors, I decided (for the second year in a row) that crinolines and petticoats, crowds of people and fine china don’t make the best of friends. I also decided that, even though it can be incredibly fun to dress in all your vintage finery, because I was hosting, it might be a better idea to wear a simpler style for ease of movement and comfort of the guests. This floral dress, which is so bright and vibrant that it coordinates with hardly anything else in my wardrobe, and is completely contrary to anything else I own (I was planning on creating a more cohesive wardrobe, but you know how that goes . . . ) is what I decided to wear instead. I got this dress just at the end of summer last year, and hadn’t had a chance to wear it yet, so the party was the perfect place to “debut” it. Not that anyone cares about that but me. (Do you like to save new garments for the perfect occasion?)

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, teacup-4

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, floral dress

I got this dress last August, from a thrift store, which is where I get the majority of my clothing. It was originally listed for a lot of money. By “a lot” I mean, not only am I spoiled by the prices of buying the majority of my clothing second hand (“They want two whole dollars for this!? Oh right. . .”) but you actually could have bought a new dress, from a cheap fashion chain, for the same price, or less than this one was listed for. Oh, and the belt was missing. And, it was not from a very expensive or high quality brand. I obviously was not going to go and buy a new cheap dress instead, but it really bothers me that some thrift stores have raised their prices to a point where you actually can buy new clothes cheaper. This is so irrational, and it’s so frustrating as it just contributes to the entire cheap fashion cycle, and throwaway culture we live in. There are many people who won’t shop second hand if they can buy new clothes cheaper, and there are people who legitimately can’t afford the prices of even cheap new clothes, so where can they go for clothing if they can’t go to the thrift stores? I am not in this position, thankfully, but I expect to find lower prices at a second hand store. I think this is one of the unfortunate side effects of thrifting and vintage becoming “trendy” – so many thrift shops have become unattainable for the very people who need them, and have drifted from their original purposes. Is this something that is happening elsewhere in the world? I see it here in Canada (not in all of the thrift shops, mostly in the thrift store chains).

Anyways, that was a bit of an aside . . .  so how did the dress end up in my wardrobe after all? Well, it just so happened that the day after I saw this dress, tried it on and fell in love with it, there was a 1/2 price sale. I put the dress back on the rack, fully aware that it might not be there when I returned the next day- but it was! A couple other pieces I had put back were gone, but this was was still waiting for me 🙂 And I’m so glad. It was a lovely thing to wear on a grey and dreary day, and it does have a very garden feel about it. Because it literally has flowers on it.

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, drinking tea and bouquet

I would have paired it with my white shoes (the only thing in my wardrobe that matches the dress) and a straw hat (I guess that straw also matches) if we’d had it outside, but as it was held inside I was stocking-foot and hatless (scandalous!). However, for the benefit of these photos, which we took outside half an hour after the party ended, because it stopped raining (of course), I did wear the shoes. 😉

Have you ever put something back at a thrift store, and gotten it later, or did it end up being the one that got away? What would you wear to a tea party?

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, tea-table-3

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, tasting desserts

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, floral dress 1

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, teacup-3

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, pouring tea

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, tea table, the artyologist

I am beginning to think that the second weekend of June is marked for rain. For the second year in a row now, I have planned to host a Ladies Garden Tea, in our backyard, and though we have had sun in the days leading up to, and sun in the hours and days that follow, during the hours of the party itself, it has rained. We have decided that it will now be called simply, “The Ladies Tea”, and have given up on hoping that gardens will have anything to do with it at all!

I’m not too worried about it though, because this year we planned to host it indoors, and made our preparations accordingly, so there was no last minute scramble to move the party indoors when the day dawned with grey clouds. An added benefit of holding the party indoors, is that even if it doesn’t rain, you sometimes must contend with wind, sun in your eyes, sunburn, flies in the lemonade and mosquitoes that refuse to leave you alone. By setting up the party indoors, you avoid all these problems, and you can always open the windows to let the fresh air in (and the bugs out) 🙂

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teapot, the artyologist

We changed things around this year, (because we were thinking ahead for once) and set up the sideboard and a table along the side of the living room, so the food and drinks would be close at hand. It worked so much better, rather than having the food in the kitchen like we did last year, as people didn’t have to break up the party in order to go in search of sweets. Last year we had so many leftovers of desserts that hardly even got touched, and this year we had very few leftovers. On second thought, maybe we should have the food in the kitchen again next year; I wouldn’t have minded a few leftovers. . . 😉

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, food table

Since the party was supposed to be a Garden Tea, it had to have a summery and “gardeny” feeling to it. So, the morning of the party we went in search of flowers for bouquets. Last year we had peonies, but this year the season is late and so the peonies had not started to bloom. However, we managed to catch the very last of the dark purple lilacs. Two days before the party, I thought to myself, “The lilacs are still in bloom, and should stay so until the party”, but the very next day when I looked at them again, they had started to wilt, turn brown and fall off the hedges. Only one day before the party!!! We thought that we wouldn’t be able to get any for a bouquet, but fortunately the dark purple ones still had flowers. They were falling fast though, and if you even looked at the bouquet, I think that petals were dropping off. We got two lovely bouquets though, and paired the purple flowers with Caragana branches. Caragana is a rather strange bouquet material, but I love how sculptural and fluid the bouquets turned out to be, and yellow and purple is such a lovely colour combination. For the rest of the smaller bouquets, which we placed on the tables, we gathered wildflowers and weeds, and came up with enough material to make several miniature bouquets. All in all, the room did have a rather summery and festive feeling to it, despite the rain.

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, lilac bouquet and menu

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacup and table

And of course, the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended the party! There were sixteen of us, some of whom were new acquaintances who came with friends, and we all had a lovely afternoon of tea and sweets and conversation. I can’t wait for next year!

Do you enjoy tea parties? Have you ever hosted an event? And have you ever been rained out?

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacups

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, tea-table-2

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, food

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, lemons

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, tablescape

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacups and bouquet

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, desserts

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacup-collection